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 Chapter 4 : May the winds guide you

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Sakurai Akira

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 4 : May the winds guide you   Sun 24 Nov - 9:51

"You need to get out of here. I have a bad feeling. And you must live. You know this. It is my duty to keep you alive and make sure you grow strong."

When she was younger, the voice used to alarm her and send a chill down her spine. That reaction had stopped long ago though, and she had become familiar with the voice over time. She didn't mind it, even agreed with it in most cases, and her demon had proved itself a reliable ally over the years. More than once it had been right in threatening situations, saving her skin. She trusted that voice, and if it told her she was in danger, she needed to act on it.

"Alright, if you say so," she said aloud, answering the voice no one but her could hear.

She had gotten some interesting information on this dead man, but for all the things she'd found out, many questions still remained unanswered. Well, enough time spent on investigating a weird corpse that someone was trying to preserve for some reason.

Akira got down from the bloody rock with the strange seal on it. What was the seal for? She held the makeshift torch up to the rock and looked at the seal intently, memorizing it. Then she took a few steps back and gave the dead man one last scrutinizing look. Tortured, blood being drained, some preservative salve... She couldn't make much sense of it.

In any case, she had to leave, now.

Stealthily she crossed the short distance to the finding place where she'd found the flint. She scooped up a few sharp pieces and was reminded of her filthy hand. That's right, I still need to wash it, she thought. She turned her hand around in the torchlight, frowning at the stickiness attached to her skin. "Yuck." Her friends were going to have questions upon seeing her hand. Maybe she should go to the river first.

Much time to ponder this she didn't have, because Hiten came in view, standing not too far outside the cave, perched on a tree branch. "Well hello there, stranger," she joked. "I thought I told you guys not to worry." She held her bloodied hand close to her side, obscured in shadows thrown by the torchlight.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 4 : May the winds guide you   Sun 24 Nov - 11:29

Meran was nervous... and it showed by his sand. It's movement was edgy, less fluent. As if it expected to go to work real rapidly. He had also seen that it was a puppet arm, but what was it doing here?

Meran clearly had different questions about the arm than Hina had. His thoughts strayed to Akira and to the vulnerability of their situation. It wasn't just the arm... An arm would not be enough to cause this tension in his shoulders, there was something more, something that recognized the information as not exactly right. He went over things in his mind.

Someone must have left the arm, but why leave that, why not take that along as well... Surely one would not leave one half and take along the other broken half?

But there was more that nagged in his head. The reason that he had checked around for suspicious things earlier... Things were going great for them, too good it seemed, they found this perfect place to stay, a great abundance of food and fresh water. There was nothing that actually seemed wrong and out of place, except that arm... And that was what put him on edge.

Meran tried to shake it of and turned to Hina, who was captivated by the puppet arm. He looked over the cooking for a bit, so thing would not burn and started to ponder about their situation. Letting everything they had learned about this area until today pass his mind, to see if there were some connections he had missed.

He got up and observed Hina putting the arm through its motions. Was there something odd about it? As she checked, he checked with her, using his own unique view to address the problem. In this moment she was their puppet master and he thought he knew what she would be searching for. He has know her since birth. True, he himself was little more than a baby at the time, only one and a half year old, but he had grown up with her and her clan. And if Meran knew anything about her... She would be more interested in the part itself, than she would be in the total context behind finding that part here.
At least not like Meran would, he enjoyed looking at the bigger picture and figuring it all out.

Meran had noted the damage as well, but what could have caused it? If there was a fight instead of an accident, why weren't there any other traces. Why, if he could extract the arm so easily, did the owner leave it behind?

Meran left Hina to her further studies as he himself went and tried to make more sense of the "Crime" scene, the place where the damage was caused to the puppet. He took a burning branch with him to find out more about the area. He had to be sure they were safe this night, it was after all, he who had suggested to stay the night.

At the find place he would stick the burning branch in the ground, then he would take out his little booklet and paces the area, sketching anything he would find interesting, to store the information, to better process it, so he could figure this bigger picture out.




  • Subterfuge; used mostly to connect the information, find things wrong with the cave and things that do not seem to fit right

  • Investigation; To find more clues on what transpired and to see if he could find out more about the arm.

  • Tracking; To look for traces of what transpired here

  • Intelligence; Using Meran's intelligence and willingness to learn he tries to process the information and recall information he has gathered in the past.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 4 : May the winds guide you   Mon 25 Nov - 5:37

Hiten sat in the tree and stared at the stars. There was not much to see in the area and with the darkness rapidly setting in, it would be a waste of time and effort to go through the forest and search for his teammate. He should trust her capabilities of defending herself and warning the others should anything happen. He liked the sounds of the woods in the night. It always gave him a sense of how big the world usually was and that he rea..."Well hello there, stranger," The boy was slammed back into reality by the sound of Akira's voice. He sighed. "I thought I told you guys not to worry." Hiten looked at Akira and gave her a nod. "There is a small difference between, blatantly lieing and bending the truth Akira, But you are safe. And that is what is important now.. Did you find anything?

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 4 : May the winds guide you   Mon 25 Nov - 9:33

She blinked, feigning innocence. "Lying, me? No, no." She shook her head. "Okay, so I didn't exactly tell you not to worry, but I did say I'd be back soon. I wasn't gone long, was I now? And of course I'm safe, what were you all thinking?" She stopped there, realizing she was starting to ramble. She sighed, but a small smile played on her lips. Of course her friends would send someone after her. They cared for her well being. As always when they did something like this, it touched her.

Perhaps she shouldn't have left on her own, but there hadn't been a doubt in her mind she'd be fine alone in the woods. The only one keeping her company was a tormented dead man hanging upside down from a tree branch, and she was pretty sure he wouldn't pose much of a threat to her... or any of them for that matter.

All too aware of the bloodied hand hidden in shadows close to her side, she realized she couldn't keep her findings to herself any longer. "Come on down, Hiten," she called out, evading his last question. "Let's go back inside." She deemed it a better idea to tell them all at once.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 4 : May the winds guide you   Wed 27 Nov - 3:25

Hiten smiled and jumped down.  And calmly spoke "Offcourse Akira.. You would NEVER lie to us.. How silly of me to even consider the possibility.. My apologies.." The boy smirked and walked towards the cave.

He inhaled and smelled the food when stepping inside. "Hmmm it sure smells delicious Hina, So what kind of ingredients did are you using to prepare the food? Ooow wait I see you have a new toy.. What it is for thing?." Hiten pointed at the arm Hina was holding.

"Not something that just grows in the wild... At least I hope it doesn't.. Imagine that." The thought of puppet arms growing in the wild sure was a fun.

[roll investigate/survival for the food. To see if it is done.]
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 4 : May the winds guide you   Fri 29 Nov - 1:04

As Meran concentrated his mind as his eyes, nose, hands and ears kept checking for additional details to add to the information he already posessed, a picture began to form in his mind, multiple pictures in fact, each of which showed various diffrent possibilities and with each new detail found his mind would wipe the no longer possible scenario's from his mind filtering them until only that which was still possible in his own mind remained in tact.
Still it all seemed quite like a mystery to him, the cave aside from the rubble of rocks underneath which he found the damaged puppet arm didn't seem to show many if any other signs of combat having taken place in the cave. Either someone has done a very good job to remove such evidence, or there was never a real battle in there.
Searching further through the cave he would discover they were not the first staying the night there, but this didn't come as much of a shocker seeing how ideal the position seemed to be in regards to that.
One would have to be a fool to be near this cavern, know about it and not make use of it if needed.
But some footpirnts and the freshness of the wood splinters on the ground that seemed to be ex-puppet material showed that there was someone staying there no longer than a week ago and by the looks of it, it was a group of two people. Potentially Genin like them, at least there was nothing there present to contradict it.
Meran would find nothing wrong with the cave itself.
Hina however while examening the arm would see the masterful craftsmanship that was behind it as the arm, while on first glance appearing to be a simple human-looking wooden puppet arm, was in fact a rather advanced peice of weaponry. In fact one of an expertise level she has only seen one person compare to in the past, this would be old lady Chiyo as not even her dad could craft such a masterpiece.
It was an S-rank limb part, it could de-tach and re-attach itself to the main body freely from the looks of it. The wood was prepared in such a way that it was more flexible and durable than anything she had ever seen. In fact she would know for a fact that even with the arm motionless and at her mercy, she'd have to try really hard to make a scratch in it even with a kunai, a really sharp katana would be required for this. The arm was equiped with 4 traps/weapons, but being unactive Hina could find and disassamble them if she wanted, but it just showed the skill of the puppet master behind it. The fist of the arm had a hidden blade in itself that could be retracted very fast, making it hard to even spot on the moment of attack, the blade naturally still had traces of rather potent poison on it. The fist itself could also be shot off like a projectile with the blade either out or hidden. It's de-tachable functions made it so that this fist could then later be reunited with the arm to be shot off again and again if needed. But using the fist like a projectile like this could definately surprise an unsuspecting enemy, but that wasn't all, inside the hollow arm which becomes exposed if the fist is shot out there is a net attached to a cirquit which is meant to be shot off right afther the fist, trapping the opponent to choose between being hit by either the spiked poisonous fist or the paralyzing poison drenched net meant to be his or her final resting place. Then at the side there was also an opening which had a scroll hidden inside of it. The scroll simply read 'Do Not Open ; Private Property'.

Soon as Hina would find the scroll Akira and Hiten would be re-entering the cave again together. Hiten would notice that the food was indeed done.
It was dark outside and aside for the sounds of insects and a few birds flying from tree to tree disturbing the calmness by rustling some branches it was also rather silent.
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Chikamatsu no Hina

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 4 : May the winds guide you   Fri 29 Nov - 5:19

The more Hina looked at the arm, the more she got excited. It started with the material alone. She let her fingers run across the smooth material. She pushed and prodded the arm and let out small gasps of admiration. "Amazing," she whispered under her breath. She sheer and utter skill that this.. master craftsman had put into this piece was astonishing! It was almost as if the arm wasn't made out of wood at all. She could only hope to achieve such a level of expertise some day. Though, if she would have to make a guess, it would take her years to master this level of craftsmanship. She let out a small sigh of admiration. She really doubted if even her father, the strongest and most skilled puppet-master she knew, would be able to manipulate wood so delicately. It looked amazing, and it was so durable. She used her fingernails to try and gauge the durability. With wood like this, who would need metal parts for armour?! A small "Whoa." escaped her lips as she let that thought sink in. She let her fingers roam across the awe-inspiring material a little longer and then moved on to the mechanics of the arm.

She was not at all surprised when she noticed the arm was able to attach and detach. The moment she saw the skill in the woodcarving she realised this would be an S-rank puppet part. And even the weapons stored inside showed the skill of the master. She carefully studied the weapons inside and her eyes went wide when she noticed the hidden blade. An excited smile spread on her face as she attached strings to the arm to make the mechanism trigger. As the hidden blade shot out with a metallic sound she let out a delighted short laugh. "Haha! So cool!" If she hadn't been holding the arm she would have almost clapped her hands in childish delight. The light of the fire caught the blade and Hina noticed a sticky, fluid substance on it. She gasped. 'Poison!' She was about to touch the substance when she remembered her father telling her that you should never, ever, ever EVER touch an unknown poison. So she lowered her hand again. Away from the blade. What little she could gather from the poison was that it was strong. But that was no surprise. She wondered if she would ever find the crafter. She would have so many questions. And yet again, she wondered why anyone would leave such an excellent weapon behind. 'The owner must've been in a real hurry.' she thought.

She noticed another trigger. The fist could be used as a projectile. The idea of punching someone in the face from a distance made Hina giggle. "Hehe. Nice." She was almost tempted to trigger this mechanism as well, but opted against it. She didn't want to shoot away the puppet part, she wanted to study it! Besides, Meran would probably nag at her for it, causing her to be distracted from studying the arm. She let out a sound of wonder as she noticed the net hidden in the arm, with, again, poison. 'Now that's clever!' she thought with an admiring smile on her face. Working in layers and making your attacks not obvious. She could feel the inspiration bubbling up inside of her by just studying this weapon of great skill. She couldn't wait to take it home with her and show it to her parents! She was sure they would be just as impressed as she was. Maybe they even knew the maker! Hina had been wondering whether it could have belonged to old lady Chiyo.

She didn't waste long on that thought however. Those questions would be answered later! Right now she wanted to know more about this arm! She eagerly turned her attention back to the arm, studiously checking out every last inch that she could have missed. She found a small compartment in the arm. 'How many more things will fit in this arm!?' she thought in amazement. The compartment opened with a click and she gasped as a scroll became visible. A tiny squeal of excitement left her lips as she grabbed the scroll. Could this contain more information about the arm? About weapons? Maybe they were more ideas for other puppet designs! Maybe, maybe it could tell her who the maker was! By this time Hina was literally bouncing in her "seat" on the floor next to the fire place.

She didn't think about how it could maybe contain valuable information for a mission, how it could contain secrets. She was too excited about the "sheer awesomeness" of the puppet arm and so eager to learn more about it and its maker that she didn't think about how illogical it would be to keep design ideas for a new puppet inside an old puppet. She didn't notice how her friends entered the cave. And had she only thought for a second longer she would have remembered that while touching unknown poisons was a big no-no; opening scrolls from clearly high-level shinobi who don't want you to read the contents might be a bad idea as well.

That last thought first crossed her mind a split second after she had tore open the scroll with a huge beaming smile on her face, one hundred percent convinced to find some cool puppet design.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 4 : May the winds guide you   Fri 29 Nov - 6:15

It was a heavy process of trying to figure out what the history of this place was. There was so much he wanted to know and so little input of information, but he managed to get a little idea of where they were and what had happened.

There did not seem sign of a struggle, so it probably would have been an accident, but why leave the arm? Meran glanced at Hina, who by now was discovering all sorts of things about it. Why would any puppeteer leave something like that?

Meran picked up a shard of wood from the ground, turning it over in his hand, while the other still clutched his notebook. The boy wasn't a puppet master, but he had been around puppeteers long enough to know the value of a good part. Hina was always nagging that she wanted the new model of this or that. Meran suspected the owner might come back for the puppetarm, but there wouldn't be anything wrong with Hina looking at it? Surely not, if the owner was a member of her own clan.
The problem would be prying the part from Hina's hands to return it to the owner. Meran half expected her to be surgically attached to the part by now.

AT least Hina would refrain from doing anything stupid.. Like doing things that she could not turn back. She was like Akira in that case. They both had a good set of brains, that would keep them from doing dumb things.

There was still a little voice in Meran's head, warning him that something wasn't quite right, but he could not place his finger on what. At that moment his belly grumbled from the hunger.
Meran looked at the new comers, with Hiten checking out the food.

"Thnx for finding her Hiten, I knew you could do it! Why did you go out alone in the dark Akira? That isn't what we agreed on in the hospital, you know that we aren't the most popular right now! How's the food getting along, Hiten?" Meran asked when he takes his place near the fire. He tucked away his notebook again, eager to eat and do the final preparations to sleep and travel in the morning. He knew one thing for certain, he wanted to get going at first light.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 4 : May the winds guide you   Fri 29 Nov - 12:13

When Hiten and Akira arrived back, the smell of food met them at the entrance. Hiten started asking Hina about their dinner, but she seemed preoccupied and didn't answer.

Akira stepped closer and looked at the item in Hina's hands. A puppet arm. Frowning, she studied the limb. It looked very human, with exactly the right proportions. She'd seen her fair share of puppets, having spent years around Hina and her puppet crazy family, but none had ever looked like it could have belonged on a human body. It felt bizarre to see one that did.

"Not something that just grows in the wild," Hiten remarked, making Akira raise an eyebrow and smile dryly. "At least I hope it doesn't.. Imagine that." She let out a breath in a short laugh as the strange image went through her mind and she shook her head slowly. "Yeah, I don't suppose you get by those often," she joked, and imagined puppet arms popping out of the ground or growing on trees.

Growing on trees.

She quieted with that thought.

Meran noticed they had arrived. He held a shard of wood in his hand and Akira was acutely reminded of the flint in her own. She quickly tossed her makeshift torch into the fire, obscured her filthy hand by holding it close somewhat behind her, and watched the fireplace crackle as her stick stirred the wood upon coming down.

Akira remained silent when Meran thanked Hiten for finding her. It was more like the other way around, but she decided to let Hiten have the honors. However, his next words were directed towards her. "Why did you go out alone in the dark Akira? That isn't what we agreed on in the hospital, you know that we aren't the most popular right now!" She listened to his berating words and resisted the urge to sigh. She knew he had a point, but she hadn't felt endangered at all. She'd felt pretty relaxed in fact, up until her demon told her to get a move on. Well, nothing had happened so far.
"Relax Meran. There's nothing in these woods but..." corpses, she thought, but caught herself in time before she spoke the words out loud. "...things that will die if they attack me." Phew, nice save. "In any case... you're right, I'm sorry."

When Meran sat down to start eating, Akira moved to stand beside Hina. She looked down at the eerie arm where her friend had removed a scroll from a hidden compartment. Her earlier thoughts came back and she asked: "Can you make a puppet arm from a human arm? It looks eerily real to me." Hina was fascinated by the arm, so it must really be something special.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 4 : May the winds guide you   Sat 30 Nov - 6:02

(Seeing as Hina bluntly opened the scroll in her possession I am now forced to perform 2 automated rolls for all of you....first roll is based in your knowledge of sealing as far as skill and stat which will be added as a bonus to a gen and speed roll do determine whether you see it coming. Second a speed and Taijutsu roll to check if you're actually able to avoid it. )

As the scroll would open a big cloud of smoke would evaporate from it rising to the top of the cave. Then a bright blue light would emerge from it beaming upwards as well and chasing away the smoke. The light seemed to be chakra based.

(Hina SLK stat + Jikukan....Stat = 4 (Roll Bonus = 3) Skill = 0 (Roll Bonus = -3) ....Roll = 0)
(Roll Failed)
(Hina GEN stat + SPD stat....GEN = 3 (Roll Bonus = 2) SPD = 3 (Roll Bonus = 2)...Roll = 4 (No bonus from understanding))
(1 success)
(Hina gets + 1 bonus on her getaway roll)

(Meran SLK stat + Jikukan....Stat = 3 (Roll Bonus = 2) Skill = 0 (Roll Bonus = -3) ....Roll = -1)
(Roll Failed)
(Meran GEN stat + SPD stat....GEN = 3 (Roll Bonus = 2) SPD = 2 (Roll Bonus = 2)...Roll = 4 (No bonus from understanding))
(3 success)
(Meran gets + 3 bonus on his getaway roll)

(Akira SLK stat + Jikukan....Stat = 2 (Roll Bonus = 2) Skill = 0 (Roll Bonus = -3) ....Roll = -1)
(Roll Failed)(rolled 1 = Exceptional Fail....Akira thinks it's ok not to mind it giving her a penalty on the next roll. Due to MISunderstanding the situation)
(Akira GEN stat + SPD stat....GEN = 3 (Roll Bonus = 2) SPD = 3 (Roll Bonus = 2)...Roll = 4 -1 = 3 (No bonus from understanding))
(0 success)
(Akira gets 0 bonus on her getaway roll)

(Hiten SLK stat + Jikukan....Stat = 4 (Roll Bonus = 3) Skill = 0 (Roll Bonus = -3) ....Roll = 0)
(Roll Failed)
(Hiten GEN stat + SPD stat....GEN = 3 (Roll Bonus = 2) SPD = 2 (Roll Bonus = 2)...Roll = 4 (No bonus from understanding))
(1 success)
(Hiten gets + 1 bonus on his getaway roll)

The bright light would then rapidly form itself into a cylinder shape and began expanding all throughout the cave as what seemed like metal walls began to sprout from it filling the insides of the cave as if a building began to instantly and automatically construct itself inside the cave. The 4 of them would be forced to either move completely outside or as close as possible to the very edges of the cave, but the last option was obviously a risky one seeing as they didn't know just how far this thing would expand itself from the scroll.
Or rather it was just a very large object, in this case a house being transported here from another dimension.
Meran would be the first one to see it coming and the only one in the group thus able to fully accurately react to the situation. He may choose to either grab two specified items from the cave on his way out or an item and drag along a team mate to give them a bonus in their escape.
All the items including the campfire that were left in the cave are otherwise now destroyed aside for a few I will roll for later. Or he may choose to ignore either and get a +3 bonus on his getaway. Choosing to still carry the items will reduce the bonus by 1 for each item. Choosing to help a comrade will cost 2 bonus points per comrade. (Challange level 3)
Hina would be closest to it but would only realize she should be moving the hell away when she saw the lights form into a soldid cylinder-like shape ready to expand. (challange level 3)
Hiten would be close to the exit together with Akira and would much like Hina only notice the signs of danger just as the light began to expand luckily for him he wasn't far from the exit.He can choose to help Akira along but this would increase his own challenge level to 3. (Challange level 2)
Akira would be standing there unaware of any danger pretty much almost until the metal walls comming from the scroll would be all up in her face. (Challange level 3)

(I will roll the actual outcomes once Hiten and Meran give me their decisions so I can make the correct rolls.)
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 4 : May the winds guide you   Sat 30 Nov - 8:57

=================================================
Meran


It was like the world crumbled before his very eyes. Meran didnt care for a second about his own live when he saw the explosion of light appear in Hina's face. With that explosion of light, Meran's scream filed the room. No words were used, it was just a scream that feared losing all that was important in his life. His team was in danger, his niece was on ground zero of the explosion, his friends were also in harms way. All he cared about was about to disappear in front of his eyes....

He could not, he would not let that happen... Meran was the oldest, he was their big brother, their guardian, protector and rock they could build on. He had to do something. He could not bare to lose them, not now, not here.... Not when they were all still so young...

Anger flared in him because of the apparent hopelessness of the situation, he was about to loose them, he could not. He wanted to scream, he wanted to shout, to beg, to cry.... But it was going too fast, there was no time, but what... what could he do... The others were starting to notice something was wrong as well, but they were too late as well... He wanted to curl up into a ball, but somehow his body knew he had to stand, like it understood there was still a chance before even he had realized himself.

He rose from the ground, dozens of feelings raging through him, but he knew, he needed one most of all, one emotion he had to build on, to give him strength, to get him through this. Anger, Rage, Pain! He needed those emotions, he needed them to act. It was clear as glass what he needed to do, he needed them, they needed him, they were like baby sisters and a kid brother to him. It was his duty to protect them... All of them, as they would protect him should they be able to.

As he rose from the floor, he also rose to the occasion, his arms rose with him, commanding the sand as he knew he should and he began to move towards the exit, not as fast as he perhaps could have done as he was primarily focussing on getting the others to safety. Most of his special sand started to form  armour on his back, but not all. He saw Hina getting up to run for the cave opening, seconds after he himself already started to move and as he was making for the exit himself.
She was still clutching the puppetarm and Chouchou as she moved.

Akira was still standing, but she was dumbstruck by what was happening. She was not even moving to get out. But she was still near the opening.

A tear ran down the teen boy's face as his arms waved in the air towards the two with a fury, as if he wanted to physically push the girls outside. Even though the two girls were to distant from him to physically touch, the sand around him, both natural and special without a task, obeyed his command as it had done so as long as he could remember. A wave of sand moved in front of the kid, who rushed outside behind it, hoping that he could get his friends to safety, by forcing a wall of sand out in front of himself.

Would this hinder his own perfect escape? It would most likely, but he did not care, he needed them to be safe, more than anything in the world. He just would need to trust his own capabilities to get out safely himself. But he could not stand the thought of losing his niece who had been more of a sister to him than Kazenkou would ever be, nor his friend, that seemed icecold at times, but had as warm a heart for him as he had for the girls. And how could he fail Akira, sweet Akira, Meran had promised to look out for her, even if she might not like to be taken care of, but the red haired boy had promised, so he would protect her, she was also his little sister, but different..

A weird thought struck him... "Different how??" but it was only a fleeting thought as he had to focus on his own escape, instead shouting to his three friends: "FLY YOU FOOLS!"


=================================================

NOTES:

Though I had the option to either take a couple of items or 1 teammate, I would like to try the move described above, because that would fit Meran. As his personal Honour code is Team first, they are his most important parts of his life. He would do anything to keep them three safe, even risking his own safety.

Seeing I had not seen any mention of it in the Admin post, I would like to remind Admin that all 4 teammembers have the merit [Combat Ready Mind]

Special Sand: Cover entire rear of Meran seeing that is exposed to the scroll, using about 2 uses to get the girls out as well.

Sand: Using all the sand, not used in the armour to create a wave of sand to push the girls from the cave, mustering all the sand he can. He himself behind the sand wave, heading for the exit as quick as he can.

=================================================

HITEN POST:

Hiten would not doubt for a second, as soon as he knows something is wrong, the boy acts. He had the same Honor code as Meran holds. Without a doubt Hiten immediately did all he could to help his friends. Instead of running from the danger, he rushes closer to get Akira out first. He was too far away to help the others, but he knew he could only do so much. With pain in his heart he would drag Akira out with him, ahead of the torrent of light, sand and expanding metal.

=================================================

Hiten asked me to post for him, because he is busy at the moment, he told me what to post in .2 of a second after I posed him the question.
Safe Akira...
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 4 : May the winds guide you   Sat 30 Nov - 14:44

(Here come the rolls guys, get ready)

(Meran . Speed = 2 (Roll Bonus = 2) Atletics =2 (Roll Bonus = 2) Roll Bonus from awareness = 3, Roll bonus lost due to actions undertaken to assist comrades -3. Challange level = 3....Roll = 1.)
(Roll Failed)

(Hiten. Speed = 2 (Roll Bonus =2) Atletics = 2 (Roll Bonus = 2) Roll Bonus from awareness = 1. Roll bonus from help by Meran, 1. Challange level = 3...Roll = 3)
(Roll Success)

(Hina. Speed = 3 (Roll Bonus = 2) Atletics = 2 (Roll Bonus = 2) Roll Bonus from awareness = 1, roll bonus from help by Meran, 1. Challange level = 3....Roll = 3)
(Roll Success)

(Akira. Speed = 3 (Roll Bonus = 2) Atletics = 3 (Roll Bonus = 3) Roll Bonus from awareness = 0, roll bonus from help by Meran, 1. roll bonus from help by Hiten,1. Challange level = 3....Roll = 4)
(Roll Success)

There it happened Meran's special sand covered the boy's back but with Sabaku boy's own strong intent and concentration in the heat of the moment his emotions seemed to conjure a large wave of Sand which would hamper the expansion of whatever it was that was comming out of the scroll providing his comrades with just enough time to escape out of the hole. He would see the special sand clutch around him on it's own as he would feel it pressing down.
This would be one of the few moments in his life when Meran actualy experienced a form of pain, one of the few he was familiar with, pressure pain.
Everything would turn dark before his eyes as the sand would surround him to prevent the large object ontop of him from crushing the boy into a pancake shape. Be he anything but a Sabaku right now he would have certainly be a human pancake by now indeed. He was trapped there under this huge metal thing which seemed to fill up 98% of the cave. Luckily for Meran it wasn't all of the cave giving him just enough room to keep himself alive. But not unharmed.
Meran receives 3 HP damage and a broken leg-bone.
The Object was now fully summoned and before the aspirant Genin, inside the cave now stood something that looked like a small metal-armored building, a mini-base of sorts. There was an opening at the front and on the inside Hina would notice a lot more puppet parts, all appearing to be human-like. And even an almost complete puppet dressed as a peasant or militia of sorts. Akira would recognise this puppet to be wearing clothing similiar to the corpse outside, the body posture seemed to be similair as well. But then there were a few preserved human limbs inside a glass refrigirator, medical equipment, monitors, a normal bed and a medical bed with straps to strap someone down in place and a few human organs here and there. In particular 2 hearts that seemed to still be beating despite being on their own inside two large tubes filled with a light green liquid.
It was quite a facinating display especialy because the entire place seemed well furnished, although very pragmatic and boring with only the bare necessities in place, it did have electricity, refrigiration, tool and everything else one might need aisde from drinks and food.
In fact it looked like a display they might enjoy to awe over for a bit, be it not for their team-mate still being stuck underneath this awesome visual spectacle Hina had so unfortunately summoned.
The animals in the surrounding area all distanced themselves from the location quickly as it seemed to make quite the noise. In fact if there were people nearby somewhere, they had definately just heard them. And with their 'political' position right now, that was definately not a good thing.
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Chikamatsu no Hina

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 4 : May the winds guide you   Sun 1 Dec - 1:52

As soon as she opened the scroll she realised she had made a huge mistake. First smoke erupted in her face, but soon the smoke was blasted away by a column of light, blinding her. Somewhere her mind registered a scream, but she didn't understand what that meant, were it came from. A single word flashed through her mind. 'Shit!' She didn't think more, didn't say anything, in stead, she jumped up with the puppet arm in her hand and clutching over Chouchou's legs with her other. She started to sprint towards the exit of the cave as walls of some sort were materialising behind her.

The entrance seemed so far away, and she could see her friends standing there. Her eyes widened as the realisation hit her that they could be in danger. "RUN!" she screamed at the top of her lungs, while still sprinting towards the exit. She saw Hiten grab Akira and head towards the exit. She saw Meran make sand armour on his back, turn around and head for the exit as well. They would be alright! She would be the last one out of the cave.

However, Meran's hand swept up in a large gesture. He was controlling sand, but that slowed him down! 'No!' she thought. Why didn't he just run?! He could save himself. As soon as the sand hit her in the back she understood what was going on. She had never experienced the ocean, but she had seen images of tidal waves, and this is how she imagined one feeling. The sand pushed her forward, quickening her escape. The sand was pushing harder than she could run however, and she felt herself being swept up in it, and flushed out of the cave, for lack of a better word. She and the others burst out through the cave opening. Hina landed on her side and rolled a couple of times from the momentum as the sand stopped pushing her. Chouchou was still firmly clamped to her shoulders, but she had dropped the arm somewhere beside her. The sand was everywhere. In her clothes, in her hair, in her eyes. She raised herself up on all fours and coughed to get rid of the sand in her mouth.

(Que music)
That's when she looked up to see two of her friends. Only two. Where was Meran?!
"MERAN!" her scream of sheer terror filled the air around them, her voice slightly cracked. This couldn't be happening! She saw him! He was in front of her! He had been running! He had his sand armour! He couldn't have not gotten out! He had been safe! His sand always protected him from everything! Always!

She didn't even realise she was moving until she was halfway back to the cave entrance. "No, no, no, no, no, no!" she kept saying over and over again. Meran. Her oldest friend. Her dearest cousin. Her brother. He had always been there for her, she couldn't think of a day where she hadn't seen him or thought about him. All the things they had done together. The conversations they'd had, the family gatherings they'd attended, the pranks they'd pulled. She couldn't live without him. Not yet.

She threw herself down at the edge of the metal floor and screamed his name again. He had to hear her. A small rational voice in her head said that that room probably took up the entire cave, but she immediately squashed it. He had his sand! He was tough! He would survive! He had never died before, and she would never forgive him if he would start dying now! Her thoughts stopped making sense, but she didn't care. He couldn't die. He just couldn't. It was unimaginable. It wasn't the kind of thing that happened to them.

And then she realised that it was all her fault. Her fault. She had been looking at that arm. She had found that scroll. And she had opened it. The world began to blur around her as tears finally began to form in her eyes, but she didn't wipe them away. She was shocked, staring into empty nothingness as coldness took a grip of her heart. Had she... had she.. killed her brother? Had she killed her best friend? Had she killed.. Meran..

Tears uncontrollably rolled down her face. She couldn't imagine never seeing him again. They had to pull pranks on other people together and laugh from their hiding places. They still had to go on missions together. Real missions. Not stupid trainings or fake missions they gave themselves when they were little. They had to go to different countries together. All of them. As a team. Their team could never work as a three-man-squad, they needed Meran. They needed to evaluate their boyfriends and girlfriends for each other. They needed to attend each others' weddings. And become an uncle or aunt to each others' children. They needed to see each other as old people. They needed to live a life together. She needed that. She needed her brother. Her cousin. Her buddy. Her partner in crime. Her best friend. She needed Meran.

She had to save him! He was still alive, she knew it, felt it in her aching heart, and she had to save him!

She started clawing at the ground, irrationally trying to dig out all the sand under the floor. "Meran!" she screamed out again, "Can you hear me? I will come and get you, you hear?!" She continued clawing at the ground. "I promise you," she muttered furiously. Her fingers started to hurt from the exertion and she realised she was getting nowhere. She looked around for something else, anything else that could help her. The tears on her face were making clear tracks in her dusty face as she looked around her. 'There's got to be something!' she thought, desperately.

She looked inside the.. lab for a lack of a better term. There were human body parts in glass jars, humanoid puppet parts lined up neatly against the walls and on tables, there was medical equipment and even two still beating hearts in glass tanks.

Hina looked inside to find anything that could help her. Maybe there was a deactivation seal! To make the entire lab disappear inside a scroll again. There had to be! This was a transportable lab! There had to be a switch, or a button, or a seal or something. If she could find no such thing she would start looking at the puppets. Was there anything here she could use? Was there a puppet which was strong enough to lift or bend the floor. Was there a puppet which could saw through the metal floor? Or one that could dig underneath it to reach Meran? If she could find no useful puppets either she would start looking at the chemicals and tools in a last ditch resort. Was there anything that could burn through metal? A flamethrower? An acid? A saw? A drill?! Anything!

(Subterfuge C, Summoning jutsu E, Academics C, Science E, Medicine C, Investigation E, Chemistry D, Ninjutsu D (Specialisation: Puppetry)
It's a bit mixed, but hopefully it's clear anyway, if not, don't hesitate to ask me.)
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 4 : May the winds guide you   Sun 1 Dec - 2:28



00:00 -> 03:55 Song to set the mood.

=============================================

Silence...

Darkness...

Is this the end?

There was no light, nor was there sound...

Meran did not hear anything, did not see anything...

Should he be able to?

There was no taste, nor was there smell

The boy did not smell anything, but what could he be tasting?

So there was taste... DUM-DUMMM...

A SOUND! but not from outside, from within...

So he was alive, he should be able to see then... Why could he not?
Wheels were grinding in his mind... Why could he not?...

Why wasn't there any sound except for the beating of his own heart?

Slowly realization dawned on him as the next sense returned to his body... the pain... the excruciating pain, pressure all over his body, slowly crushing his body to death... Meran wanted to scream from the hurt, but still his mind shot towards the rest first?

He smiled as he realized that he had probably managed to get them all out safely. The gears ticked in his head to process all information available... The sensation of pain was overwhelming, pushing out the other thoughts he tried to have. But he had to think, he could not stay there and do nothing the rest of his life... Wouldn't take long though.

Meran began to chuckle and eventually outright laugh about the situation he was in, it started out as normal laughter, but soon the laughter let the pain sip through and the chuckles began to become screams or pain... But no one would hear him....

For a moment he passed out, but he returned, still in the darkness.. The screaming had done little to improve his situation, but it had allowed him to get his mind in order. Or at least less focused on the pain... Now he had to figure out how to get out of here... Meran tried to figure out what he could do, but all he could think of was, what would his father do....

Hmmm... his father would just get up and walk out of there... Gaara could lift a mountain with his sand..., it did require a giant amount of sand, but if anyone could do it, it would be Gaara....
But it was not Gaara that was in the current situation... It was Meran...

Thinking of his sister was no help either, she would never had gotten in this situation, besides... she was just as strong as Gaara. Especially with Shukaku sealed inside her... It would mean the big dude would have taken over, Gaara always warned for that situation, but meran's mind was drifting with those thoughts... Still he knew there should be a reason why he would think of both his father and sister....

Then it struck him! Why was it that they always had enough sand around them to perform such stunts?! He had known it to be a possibility, but he had never thought he would need it in Suna... So he was rusty at it, but he should be able to do it. His ancestors had all done it before him, hell it was how a big part of Suna was constructed!

It would take effort, but it was possible. His Sandcontrol was good enough!
He could turn the earth around him into sand!!!
A better name would be sort the earth around him..

The big question was... Was the building above constructed with a solid floor? Could he displace the mass beneath it, without it breaking? Should the breaking of the floor be a bad thing?

More and more he realized he should not care... Either way, it was his best shot to get out... His only shot... He summoned his strength and slowly moved his fingers... It would be slow, but perhaps it would work. He let his sand dig in front of him, while pushing him forward from the back. New sand from the front filling up the space behind him which he abandoned. He moved forward towards the exit of the cave like he was on a conveyor belt. His sand moving him as if he was in a stasis box, keeping his body in a shell of sand.

Sand control C, Sand Jutsu Skill C, Chakra Control C, Survival D
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 4 : May the winds guide you   Sun 1 Dec - 6:49

Akira had barely finished her sentence when the scroll opened and all hell broke loose. She hadn't seen anything coming, hadn't expected it really. All was fine and well mere seconds ago, the only odd thing being the eerie wooden arm in Hina's hands. Nothing had indicated the disaster that would fall upon them in the blink of an eye.

And then it happened, and all Akira could do was stare as the horror unfolded around them. There was a bright light and then metal walls came at them seemingly out of nowhere, advancing so rapidly she didn't have time to react. In a flash of a moment, she saw Hina scramble around to get away, Hiten hooking an arm around her waist to pull her along with him and the last thing her senses registered was the feeling of being swallowed up by sand.

The sand spit her out on the ground where she rolled on the grass before her instincts finally kicked back in, and she quickly got to her feet. She gingerly touched the arm she'd injured the previous day while she scanned her surroundings, her heart beating rapidly in her chest. She was relieved to find out she wasn't injured, despite the rather rough massage of the soil.

Hiten was near, and she saw Hina too. "Meran...?" she whispered, just when Hina's voice loudly echoed her thoughts. "MERAN!" Akira's grey eyes latched onto Hina as the girl hurried back to the cave. Wait, cave? There was a building in there! And Meran, where was Meran?

She ran towards Hina as the girl fell to her knees at the edge of the metal building inside what had been their cave. The girl with her three long ponytails looked lost as she called out Meran's name. Akira frowned and took a step back. Was Meran underneath?

Her eyes went wide. She placed her hands on her head as fear gripped her heart. She looked up at the sky. What had just happened? She quickly racked her brains and came to the conclusion it had been the scroll Hina was studying. Akira hadn't paid much attention to it, as her attention had been drawn to the eerily human wooden arm.

She looked back down and saw Hina start to cry. The sight was such a shock her hands dropped to her side. Happy cheerful Hina... crying. The entire world felt off balance as she saw tears rolling down her friend's cheeks. A strange feeling made itself master of Akira, she couldn't decide if she felt pity or sympathy... or something else. Whatever it was, her heart ached.

She didn't know how she felt herself. Meran had saved them with his sand, and now he was underneath a freaking metal building. She swallowed and stepped closer to Hina, getting down on her knees and doing the only thing that felt right at that moment. She closed her arms around her friend and held her close.

She lay her head on Hina's shoulder and wondered why she felt so strangely empty inside. Was it shock? Thinking of being shocked, why on earth had she stood there frozen to the ground when everybody was killing themselves trying to get out of that cave? Killing themselves... Was Meran dead?

She let go of Hina as the girl started to dig at the ground with her bare hands, trying to get Meran out. "Meran! Can you hear me? I will come and get you, you hear?!" She was obviously convinced he was still alive.

Akira stood up and placed her hands on her forehead. She was at a loss of what to do. That didn't happen often. She closed her eyes, taking a deep breath. Unwillingly the image of Meran crushed underneath the metal construction creeped its way into her mind's eye, and she suppressed a shudder.

Her eyes flew open and she let out a breath she didn't knew she was holding. Meran was fine! He had to be fine! He had his sand that would protect him, always. Right?
No! She shook her head. I can't doubt it. I mustn't doubt it. Snap out of it!
Making up her mind, her arms came down and she was just in time to see Hina enter the building. Was that a smart thing to do?

She looked at the edges of the cave and searched for a crevice of some sort, an opening perhaps. Then she cautiously followed Hina into the building... and her eyes opened wide.

She stared in fascination at the human limbs and organs in bottles, jars and tubes. As she walked further inside, her eyes came upon puppet parts that, much like the arm Hina had held, looked eerily human. Her heart skipped a beat when she saw the unfinished puppet, and she stopped in front of it. She narrowed her eyes as recognition washed over her, and she thought back to the corpse she'd found earlier on, so like this puppet.

When she backed away, she bumped into the medical bed with straps on it. She gently touched one of the straps with her fingers, and looked at the caked blood on her skin. Her mind reeled when dreadful thoughts intruded her mind.

"Preserving..." she murmured quietly, remembering the salve that had been smeared on the dead man. She looked around the room, seeing the body parts, the organs. The glass fridge. Pieces of human beings, being preserved. Her eyes went back to the medical bed. Straps, to hold people down so they couldn't move, couldn't escape... while someone cut them open, tore them apart.

Her breathing became shallower as she eyed the puppet parts, shaped so eerily human. The question she'd posed to Hina came back to her. Can you make a puppet arm from a human arm? "Hina," she said calmly, though she didn't feel very calm inside. A foreboding sense of dread took hold of her soul. "Can you make puppets from human bodies?" Vaguely, she remembered one of Hina's wild tales about a puppet master who turned corpses into puppets. But that was just a story, even though Hina swore otherwise.

She turned around, facing the familiar looking puppet again. She feared she already knew the answer to her own question. Her heartbeat drummed in her throat. You need to get out of here. I have a bad feeling, the voice of her demon echoed in her mind. It hadn't been just the site of the corpse that was dangerous, like she'd stupidly presumed. They were in danger in this entire area. Some sociopath was on the loose, turning people into puppets.

She felt panic rise in her loins as the realization hit her. A hand closed over her mouth, the dread in the pit of her stomach threatening to make her sick. They were in danger, they needed to get away. This laboratory... they were standing in the belly of the beast. Only now did she fully understand the urgency of her demon's words.

But Meran, what about Meran? He was trapped, if he was even still alive. For the first time since she could remember, Akira didn't know what to do. She simply stood there, staring at the puppet, looking aghast.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 4 : May the winds guide you   Sun 1 Dec - 7:32

Akira was there. She was following Hina. She was hugging Hina. And even though Hina was numbed to the outer world, it helped nonetheless. Just to know that she wasn't alone. As Hina ran into the lab to search for anything that could help her free Meran, Akira had followed her even in there.

Hina hadn't been paying much attention to the puppets, only to see which ones would be able to help her, which was saying a lot, because the girl was a puppet fanatic. 'The whole reason we are in this mess right now..' she thought. However, as she was scanning the chemicals that were neatly labeled she heard Akira's question directed at her.

"Hina, can you make puppets from human bodies?" At first Hina didn't even look up from the chemicals in the bottles. Why would Akira ask that question now? How was that even relevant at this point? Would it help them to get Meran out from under this mess? No.

"What?" she replied, sounding distracted, "I don't know. I guess so. Yeah, there are stories of puppet masters who could. But," and that's when she finally turned around to face Akira, "I don't see how that's..." Akira was standing in front of and staring at a puppet that wasn't.. quite a puppet. It was a work in progress. And that showed that the puppet was not made of wood.

Hina's eyes roamed across the room, really looking at it for the first time. Not just letting her eyes fly past human limbs and organs, passing them off as "not useful". Her eyes rested on the medical bed with the straps. Used to contain someone. And the organs around her in jars. The large quantity of puppet parts. And her mind flashed back to the puppet arm Meran had found. The one that had started it all. The one that lay outside now. The one that she had touched.. She remembered the texture of the wood. No, not wood, human skin.

Her eyes widened as she muttered, "So it's true..." Of course she knew of the stories her clan told. They were like bedtime stories. And she had known them to be factually true, but up until now they had always seemed more like.. fairytales.

But know, with the facts shoved in her face, she knew it must be true. And by looking at that half-finished human/puppet there, the maker must still be making, so to speak. Her thoughts raced. The only puppeteer she could think of that was said to be able to make human puppets was.. Sasori of the Red Sand. But he was almost a legend too! But.. just as with the human puppet she knew him to be factually real as well. Her uncle, Gaara, had been kidnapped by Sasori of the Red Sand once. But even if she had known him to be real, she hadn't been able to believe it. You just don't come across secret laboratories of legends.

Her light blue eyes locked onto Akira's stormy grey ones. "We need to get Meran and get the hell out of here." And with those words she continued searching the lab. Less panicked now, but all the more urgent. They had to leave. ASAP!
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 4 : May the winds guide you   Wed 4 Dec - 1:23

Hiten dragged Akira out of the cave as it collapsed around them. "C'mon Akira we need to get outta here as fast as we can!" He grabbed the girl by the waist and rushed towards the exit.
Merans sand pushed them the last few inches they would miss and they rolled outside.

Hiten laid there and stared at the stars... Trying to find out what exactly went wrong in there.
Was it? That strange hand Hina was holding?.. Someone boobytrapped their fish?.. Or was it something else?
All the noise around him became a monotone buzz.'Snap out of it Hiten.. Take it one step at a time.. Did you get out? Yes.. did your friends get out? Kinda.. Better count to be sure.'

All the sounds returned to normal and he got up, looked around and saw Hina and Akira franticly digging underneath the metal object that had a door...
He rushed there and saw that there wasn't enough space for the three of them to dig something out.
'Idiot!!.. Meran is still underneath that contraption what else would they dig for?.. And you can't help digging.. do something else that could be usefull instead of standing here like an idiot doing nothing!'

"I'm going to make sure you two can continue digging without being interupted.. I'll yell if there is anything coming this way or if I'm attacked.. But whatever you do.. please get Meran outta there."
He nodded and walked back to a reasonable distance so his plan would not interfere with the two digging girls. But would still keep them a tad safer from any potential danger.. [Action: Mold chakra.]

Hiten hid once he found the spot and sighed as he formed the seals. This plan had to work.. If it wouldn't he would've been useless and he hated being useless. [Action: Hidden Mist/and more molding] Roll survival and stealth.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 4 : May the winds guide you   Mon 23 Dec - 5:04

As Hina would run around in her panicked state around the building she would have a hard time truly focusing on her surroundings. There was only that one almost finished puppet she could find that looked like a member of some-kind of militia, She could only find 4 more puppet arms, 5 more puppet feet (one of which was the missing component for the almost finished puppet as it seemed to be 'dressed' in a similar fashion. Two more rather human-looking puppet heads. She couldn't make sense of any of the Chemical compounds in the place as they were way to advanced for her knowledge, but she knew enough not to touch them.



However as she would be doing that she could feel the ground under her feet starting to move as Meran would begin to control his sand. Akira and Hiten would see the Sand first go wild underneath the building to form the correct kind of shape to the Sabaku boy's desire before it would calm some and start to lift the building above the wounded boy. The pain he was feeling made it a little harder for him to control the Sand as it wasn't really a feeling a Sabaku was often used to, but he seemed to manage greatly.
However Hina being in the building at that moment and all of it weighing quite a bit began to take it's toll. Mostly it was Hina moving in worry above him that at the moment caused most of the hardship as the Chikamatsu girl would find herself elevated slightly before the building would begin to slowly sink again onto Meran. He had it, but not enough to escape. At least he felt he couldn't keep this up for too long without dropping the small base back ontop of himself again.

The mist would cover the area but both Hiten and Akira who were outside would then be able to sense sources of chakra approaching and with their abilities of sensory this could only mean one thing, whomever was approaching was a Shinobi or were shinobi...and they were combat-ready and combat-set.

Hina was still inside the building and could only jump out of it through the now smaller entrance due to some of it being obstruckted by the cave in it's lifted state.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 4 : May the winds guide you   Tue 24 Dec - 0:33

'Useless. Useless. Useless!' was the thought that went through her mind as she took note of the options she had for freeing her cousin. The chemicals were way to advanced for her and anyone knew that mixing random chemicals was a bad idea. Of course, one could argue that opening random scrolls was a bad idea as well, but she hadn't had any experience with random scrolls so far! She had however mixed random chemicals once. Once.. Her already panic-pale face became another shade paler at that particular memory. She shook her head. Yeah, she would never do that again. And now she would add 'open random scrolls indoors' to her Not-To-Do list.

She went through the puppet parts she had found again. 'Four puppet arms. Useless. Five puppet feet. Even more useless. Two puppet heads. What are they gonna do, chew away the metal? And that almost finished puppet.. human.. thing.' She severely doubted that it could help them out of their predicament. She thought about the person who had made it, obviously intended for battle. Would she want to use it? Use something that was made from another human body? Use a corpse as a weapon? It seemed.. morbid.

She was about to lose hope. Frustrated tears started to well up in her eyes. She wouldn't be able to get Meran out of here. And they really needed to get out of here! She had doomed her cousin and one of her best friends to death by laboratory.. If he hadn't been crushed immediately - which she had tried to convince herself in the beginning that no he couldn't have been crushed! - he would surely run out of oxygen if they couldn't get him out. She angrily wiped at the tears in her eyes and got a firm look on her face. 'No. That's just not going to happen. I won't let it.' She was about to formulate a plan in her head when the earth started to move.

"What the..?!" she said as another 'push' or 'wave' came and she had to grab a hold of the medical bed so she didn't fall over. Her eyes widened when she realised what it must be. Or rather, who. 'Meran!' He must be trying to dig himself out with his sand! Another wave pushed her upwards. She had to get out of here. She looked towards the entrance, which was becoming smaller due to it being partially blocked by the cave. By the looks of it, Akira was already outside. She must have done so when Hina had still been looking around.

Without thinking too long she ran towards the exit and jumped out. As her feet touched the ground she wondered if she should have brought any of the puppet parts from inside, but she quickly decided that she could grab one later to investigate it some more, if she so wished to. She quickly moved away from the lab entrance, making sure to give Meran all the room he needed. As she looked around to see where Hiten and Akira were she noticed the mist.

Hiten must have summoned the mist. To give them some sort of cover against anything that might be attracted to the sound of a laboratory being summoned inside a small cave. Speaking of "anythings". Apparently they were approaching. Shinobi. Combat ready. A small part of her hoped for friendlies, but the more realistic part of her deemed that chance very small.

Without saying a word she moulded chakra and attached strings to Chouchou, who was still strapped to her back. She tried to get contact with Hiten and Akira. Wordlessly. Of course, it wasn't a huge secret where they were, but perhaps hiding their exact location could give them some sort of advantage.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 4 : May the winds guide you   Tue 24 Dec - 17:20

A tear slowly grew in the corner of Meran's eye, it was not just from the pain, he had felt pain before even physical pain, but it was a long long time ago. Back when he was not in control of his sand, back when he was carefree as a kid, just running headlong into trouble.

A smile reached his lips, mad as it was in his current predicament. Situations like this help you remember things long forgotten, it was actually Hina who had last hurt him, or at least, the last time he can remember. Seems she had not forgotten her old tricks. Though she had hurt him as unintentional now as she had back then. She was only a baby then and Meran was barely older. He was visiting his aunt, uncle and niece and his uncle had asked him to help him feed Hina or Meran had asked him if he could help, it was hard to remember how it went exactly, one thing was still edged in his memories though and that was that little Hina was teething at the time. Meran still swears that he has a scar on that finger from when she slammed her jaw shut onto his finger. Back then it probably was more the shock than actual pain, but it was the closest thing he could remember... But this hurt more... Far more, the pain was excruciating, it felt like every bone in his body was slowly crushed, several seemed compromised already.

But as said before, the pain was but one of the reasons for the tear welling up in his eye. Meran was so frustrated, he felt like he had failed.. Why wasn't the sand working to his will, just like his father's sand did for him? Or his sister's for her? Did that special bond the two of them share, from which he was excluded change so much? Was the Bijuu effect that great?

Meran could not believe it, this was his failure, not their greatness, surely he should be better at working the sand, better at controlling it, bending it to his will...

He thought back to how his father had explained his ways to him, how he had expressed how he had controlled the sand, how he does not force it, but merely guides it in the direction he preferred it to move. The chakra infused sand wants to move, wants to act in certain ways, you just need to guide it to move and act as you want it to move.

But Meran had never understood this, instead of guiding he had grabbed and forced. He had never managed the laid back control that his father had, nor the finesse his sister had.... And that was his failure, not their success, he was certain of it...

Suddenly he realized what he was doing, he was giving up, his life flashing before his eyes, reliving past experiences relative to the situation, to find a way out. He needed to stop this! The tear flowed down his cheek and seeped into the sand. Anger started to build, not anger against Hina, or anything else that lead to this situation, but angry at himself for giving up, he was not one to give up, nor here, not anywhere, he was a Sabaku, born in the desert and that was where he would die and nowhere else! Not beneath a stupid summoned metal plate, no! This would not defeat him! Even if he had to bring the entire mountain down...

He felt the sand, it wanted to move, to break through, the lab. was as unnatural to it, as it was to him. But it needed guidance, in the right way, on the right moment, the right place to strike. Meran used the pain, used the frustration, but most of all, he used the words his father had spoken to him all those years ago. He guided it all as he guided the sand, using its nature to erode. Sand could bring down mountains, so meran would certainly not give up on breaking down this slab. He would surpass both his father and his sister, whether they had that Bijuu or not.

Meran had just crossed out giving up from his dictionary and this little obstruction would learn of that!

====================================================

Same attempt to escape..
Investigation/subterfuge to find weak spot in the construction
Sand control and skill to break through and escape.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 4 : May the winds guide you   Wed 25 Dec - 2:39

Meran would feel that indeed forcing the sand like most young and less experienced Sabaku did was not the way to get him out of this situation, but it was when he was about to give up that he realized that his first escape attempt, although failed, wasn't a failure completely.
And perhaps it was his Suna-shinobi trait that he inherited, for Suna shinobi are known far and wide for turning failures or losses into advantages and victories.
The fact he had lifted the lab earlier gave him just enough time and the right angle to observe the situation as he could now actually SEE where he was and what the thing ontop of him looked like. The base being lifted also gave him and his sand better momentum.
And when he saw Hina jump out he knew all of his team-mates were on a safe distance, he should be able to pike through that base which even if it fails would provide him with a tunnel to crawl through for escape. It was just like his father had said indeed, but more often than not one learns things by experiencing them first hand, rather than reading or hearing about them from others.
This was one of those lessons.

The Sand would form around Meran's body in a spike formation before a brunt end of it took place as an emergency shield in front of him, likewise used for creating pressure as the rest of the sand then dropped the base back down onto itself smashing through it. The mini-lab falling back in place with another loud sound as Meran now laid there inside the lab where there was a hole in the floor sand sipping through it onto the inside.

Whomever the figures were that were on their way, it seemed like the aspirant Genin still had some time before they would arrive.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 4 : May the winds guide you   Wed 25 Dec - 14:30

At first Hina didn't seem to understand the implications of the question asked, but then it suddenly dawned on her. Hina's blue eyes went wide as she looked around the laboratory. She really looked this time, instead of scanning over the objects in a crazed panic. "So it's true..." she muttered.

Though Hina hadn't spelled it out, Akira knew she'd been right on the mark with her observation. She watched her friend with worried eyes, wondering what was going through her mind. Hina knew about people who...

Akira glanced at the eerie puppet next to her and frowned. So there really were puppet masters who took puppetry to an entirely different level.

"We need to get Meran and get the hell out of here," Hina continued in all seriousness, further confirming to Akira just how dire their situation was.

Akira couldn't agree more. She nodded at Hina before she saw her friend continue her search for something... anything... that could aid them in their quest to free Meran. "I'm going back outside," she informed Hina. "I'll find Hiten and tell him..." She let the sentence linger, not quite knowing how to finish even though her intent was clear.
I'll tell him we need to get the hell out of here, we need to hurry up getting Meran out from under this fucked up laboratory, and he needs to know this isn't some horrible incident... We're in real danger here.

But she didn't find him when she went outside. There was mist all around, and no longer any fire to light the way. The lights from inside the building were reflected in the droplets of mist around her, where she stood near the entrance, but there was nothing but darkness beyond.

She took a few steps forward, careful not to stray too far away from the light, and stared in wonder at her surreal surroundings. Little diamonds floating all around, the droplets reflecting light. A curious sight.

For a moment she took the opportunity to let the silence sink in. Quietly, she tried to sense Hiten's presence. A chill went through her spine when instead of Hiten, she felt unfamiliar chakra sources approaching. They were closing distance rapidly, but there was still time for them to get away... if they could only manage to free Meran. And Hiten, where was he hiding? Did he feel the unfamiliars approaching? He needed to get back here!

The next moment a rumbling noise could be heard and Akira whirled around to see Hina leap out of the moving metal building. The building was moving?! How... Of course, Meran! Akira moved back to Hina. "It's Meran isn't it?" she spoke softly. "Please let him succeed," she continued in a whispering voice, more to herself than Hina, having come to the conclusion there was nothing any of them could realistically do to get Meran out.

The building came down with a thunderous thud, and one passing moment Akira feared Meran was underneath... A heartbeat later she was running into the queer living quarters again... and her heart lurched in relief when she found Meran lying on the ground in the pragmatically furnished room.

Her relief quickly faded when she saw he wasn't unhurt. "Meran!" she said as she crashed on her knees next to him. She wasn't going to ask him whether he was okay, because it was obvious he was not. "I'm so glad you're... you're..." She shook her head sadly. "You're here," she finished, looking at his leg briefly. A pained expression crossed her face, which she quickly suppressed by closing her eyes. When she opened them again, her eyes went over the items in the room again. Should they get Meran out of there immediately? There was a bed here he could rest on, and there was electricity that provided them light to examine his wounds, and tools that could help them patch him up the best they could. Well, if they'd had the time.

She stood up swiftly and walked to the normal bed, where she grabbed the pillow and went back to Meran. She carefully propped the pillow underneath his head to reduce possible stress and strain, and took hold of his hand. "Meran, where are you hurt?"

They needed to know as quickly as possible so she and Hina could grab whatever material they needed and then get out of here. On the one hand there were shinobi approaching them and they didn't have much time, but they first needed to find out if Meran could be moved at all without endangering his life.

As she sat there waiting for his answer, she was silently starting to mold chakra. Meran would find out about the people approaching, but not now. Later. First things first.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 4 : May the winds guide you   Wed 25 Dec - 23:06



The figures that were approaching suddenly began to move faster and although the ones inside couldn't sense it , Hiten could sense there was suddenly more of them as well. He couldn't tell numbers as he wasn't a sensory type, but he could tell the number of those charged with enough chakra for anyone to sense had increased. This meant whomever they were they felt no need to hide their presence.

They would also suddenly increase their speed of movement as their levels of chakra would begin to drop, Shunshin, they were already employing Ninjutsu to make sure their 'target's' wouldn't get away. Was this HEAT? If it was their chances of survival upon encounter would be ridiculously low as HEAT could not afford them to tell of this and seeing they needed some of them alive it would be more likely that HEAT had gotten some form of contractors to do the job. But these contractors were capable of employing ninjutsu so they weren't regular bandits for sure.

Within a matter of seconds Hiten would find his mist surrounded, non of the enemies seemed to desire to step into it's range and preferred to stay right outside of it. They had them completely surrounded however from all sides, some of them up in the trees, other's down on the ground and seeing as they were in a passageway which was below general ground-level all of them had the advantage of high ground.

8 of them on the ground right above the cave, 8 more ontop of the tree on that same side, right outside the mist range and with weapons drawn, most holding a ninjato or a tanto but 6 among the 16 had a katana.
On the high ground opposite the cave, left and right of it they seemed to employ the same formation.
64 of them total, they were definitely out of luck here.
Hiten currently being the only one who had the full picture of the situation as he was not hindered by the mist, but he was still hindered by the darkness of the night.
But he could see them, the enemy was dressed in shinobi gear of black and red colors and had forehead protectors without a village emblem on them. Their faces all covered with cloth and their attire appearing rather similar to all the others among them. There was a great chance Hiten would have never heard of them as few would recognize these uniforms, Meran and Hina however upon seeing them would know them as the Blood Brotherhood attire. Bloodline Hunters, a logical ally for HEAT in hunting down the team.
There were after-all 2 valuable bloodlines to be gained here.
"You are surrounded, drop your Jutsu and your weapons and we may choose to spare your lives. Lack of compliance will result in your immediate termination." One of them warned.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 4 : May the winds guide you   Fri 27 Dec - 10:48

The shards were still crashing down around Meran when he tried to get up from the ground. Further than his hands and knee, he could not lift himself right then, it was too painful, but he had air, sweet sweet air... The sand slowly crumbled from his body onto the ground around him. Tiny drops of blood fell down on top of it from his head. It wasn't a deep wound, but it still bled more than any wound he had gotten in years.

Meran was tired, it had been a full day and sleep did not seem near for him now, but he would need rest. Enough at least to settle his mind. Meran lowered his body back to the ground, the movement, though subtle, enough to cause a sharp intake of breath. His leg was pretty banged up and he would not run the next month or two, he might not even really walk anywhere the next few days...

Where was he anyway? The boy looked around, surprised at the things he found. The bare earth around him made it clear enough that his body was not moved, but the "sterile" environment seemed alien.

He was confused, but who would not be? After having a building land on top of his head!
He barely noticed the things that happened around him, he was still processing the sudden drop in panic of his mind, but still things did not fit, seemed strangely eerie to his young mind.

Akira ran over... at least he believed it was her, her beauty was unmistakable, her voice that of an angel. But he found it hard to respond. She went away to fetch something, giving Meran a moment to regain some of his senses.
He managed to thank her as she turned him on his back and placed his head on the pillow, despite the immense pain it brought to his leg, something that jolted him back to the present even more. "Hurt?" He managed to ask... I'm not hurt, I am merely acting... the sharp intake of breath just moments before, and the leg in an odd angle betrayed his lie, he knew she would look through it, but he did not want to seem like a baby in fron of her, Meran needed to be strong for them four at this moment.

Though he was not a sensor type, he noticed enough of the commotion outside, to know they were in trouble and if things went very sour, they might have to leave him behind to save themselves.
He had gotten from underneath, but though he was out of the frying pan, he was now into the oven. But let them come, he did not know who it was, he was angry enough to need something or someone to vent his frustration on.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 4 : May the winds guide you   Fri 27 Dec - 11:18

Akira pointedly rolled her eyes at Meran's response. From his sharp intake of breath it was obvious he wasn't acting at all. So he was going to play the part of the big boy who doesn't feel pain? She had no time for this.

She let her eyes roam over his body to make a quick assessment of his well being. No respiratory problems, he seemed to breathe well. No trauma to his rib cage then. That was good.

The blood on his head came from a shallow cut, just a scratch. Her eyes lingered on his leg. There was the main problem. His leg was mangled, no good. The sand had protected him well, but not well enough.

"Your leg's worrying me," she told him, trying to keep calm. There were people approaching, and Meran likely couldn't even stand. Maybe she could find a brace of some sort...? "This place was summoned from the arm," she started. "It's someone's living quarters, and a laboratory at the same time. There's medical equipment here. Want me to try finding you a brace? We need to get out of here, quickly. We can't linger."
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Chapter 4 : May the winds guide you
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