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 Broken Limits

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Registration date : 2007-04-03

PostSubject: Broken Limits   Wed May 09, 2007 12:12 am

NOTE: EXCEPTION MADE TO RP FORMAT HERE AS THIS IS A COLLABORATIVE RP STARTED ON ANOTHER SITE


Power breeds corruption.

It was perhaps the most influential and meaningful of all the phrases passed down through the centuries like some old family heirloom. Unlike something of material value, the son of his father would often turn aside the philosophy of guarding against corruption until it was too late. At that point, he would often realize in an odd way how his foolish actions gave him understanding of that which he should never have done.

Such was the case with an old shinobi of the Elite Hyuuga Clan's main branch. Inherent to all its members, the Byakugan was a trait long prized by those who possessed it, and long envied by those who lacked it. The "All-Seeing Eye" allowed the Hyuuga to behold many things, others could never hope to see or even visualize.

For an old jounin known as Hyuuga Karousi, simply seeing all was not enough. It never was and never could be. His knowledge of the Byakugan became vast over his later life-years. Some whispered in fear that the old man could even read the thoughts of others like a book.

Fortunately for the others, reading minds was not a goal of the man.

Unfortunately, he sought to harness the power of Byakugan as an offensive weapon.

He manipulated it, bending both eye and chakra towards each other, to create a unique Bloodline Limit known as


"Seikagan!" the young boy shouted, bringing his hands up to his temples as his dark eyes began whirling. Before him, the rope bridge suddenly collapsed, ends burning and snapping off, dropping several unfortunate chuunin graduates into a yawning chasm.

"Gotcha that time..." he grinned, as the red faces in his eyes twitched happily. Pushing his hat back so as to avoid it falling into his face, he leapt up easily over several jagged rocks, landing lightly on an outcropping above a river of lava. Eyes narrowing, he searched the horizon. The land of his village was dark, hot, and to others; foul-smelling. Volcanos and rivers of lava covered the mountainous region in a unique natural defense. True, he was somewhat in the open up there, but he'd dropped his pursuers.

"Still ...so confident?" someone whispered behind him.

Leaping back, Rysuki caught sight of the three chuunins he had dropped, all of them singed and nearly out of breath. As he began to reach for a weapon however, the three older ninjas had already hurled several hissing seal-kunai straight at him.

Reacting quickly, he tore his hat free and swung it beneath his feet, racing down the rocky mountain in a bizarre effort to avoid the projectiles. Turning back on his "sled", he focused his eyes again, pupil-faces grinning wider.

The kunai all exploded prematurely, saving the fire-eye caster from doom.

Unfortunately, the combined explosions managed to blast a shower of rock down, and with his hat serving as a sled, Kuryoku Rysuki was unable to bring it up as a shield in time. The heat wave hit him, pelting and scratching his face with a rain of dust and tiny black rocks from the mountainside. He was knocked silly, tumbling down the hill and skidding to a halt on a bed of ash.

Groaning, he stumbled to his knees, looking up at the tall form in front of him.

"Still trying to burn everyone bigger than you...?" the man asked.

"Ah..hehe....s-sorry, Kyuubi-sensei.." Rysuki chuckled.




"AGAIN!" shouted the masked figure.

It had been the third time that day Ryuu had been tangled in a mass of glowing strings at the hands of his opponent. Grumbling, he untied himself and tied the strings back onto his fingers. He hated this, training for hours a day to achieve something he didn't even want. But it was what his family wanted.

Eyes narrowing behind his crow like mask he bolted with inhuman speed into saftey of the pinnacles of stone around him. His opponent still had not moved, and continued to stare strait ahead into nothingness. Ryuu pulled out six shuriken, then with as much speed as he could muster threw three his target, blurred to the other side of the ring and flung the other half. The masked mans eyes flared breifly as he whirled around, catching each as it came within six inched of him. Ryuu had taken his chance and sprinted at his target, performing a series of hand gestures.

"Kage Kubishibari no Jutsu!" he shouted.

Opponent now trapped in a series of spinning motions, Ryuu whipped his strings in wide arcs before flinging them towards his opponents head. Arms whipping in the same motions as he used to catch the shurikens, the masked man grabbed the strings. Ryuu’s eyes widened into an expression of "Oh snap". As he began trying to untie the strings as quickly as possible, he was yanked off his feet and swung around and around and around at blazing speeds before the masked opponent released him and sent Ryuu flying into three stone pillars before rolling to a stop.

He lay there, lying on his back, staring at the ceiling above him before his opponents masked face appeared above him. "That is enough for today Ryuu..." he said curtly.

"Yes sensei..." Ryuu said in a low voice, then stood up and walked towards the door.

Before he got a chance to leave he heard his master’s voice, "Ryuu"

Stopping, he turned around, "What is it father?"

Raidon Shiomi continued staring ahead, not making eye contact with Ryuu. "Your skills disappoint me, you lack the strength, the wisdom, the instinct to use Karasuseishi. You are fast, but that is all. Your sister had so much potential, but she is lost to us. So no you must carry on our family traditions, but I fear they will die out with me."

Ryuu stood silent for a moment, and then walked out the door.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Fishing rod in hand, and the string of the Karasuseishi hanging from its end, Ryuu made his way towards his favorite fishing spot. His father’s words still stung him, and he would have to endure them again tomorrow and the day after that... and the day after that. Why did his sister have to go and die like that? He knew it was a selfish thing for him to think, and immediately hated himself for saying it. His sister was his only friend in his family, and also the family prodigy, which had allowed Ryuu to spend all his time fishing.

Pulling out a candy bar from his pocket, he began chewing on it to calm his nerves, at least he could escape his family for a little while. He got to the bridge that he normally took to get to the extinct volcano which held his fishing spot and found it destroyed

"Rysuki..." he thought to himself.

Not letting this little obstacle get in the way of his free time, he tied a kunai to the end of his fishing string and with practiced movement, tossed the string across the chasm, where the kunai embedded itself in an outcropping. Pulling it to see if the string was safe enough, he grabbed onto it and swung across it to the other side.

Where he immediatly crashed into a cliff.

"Ow..." he muttered to himself and slid to ground.

Picking himself up, he looked up at the kunai still stuck in the cliffside wall.

"Crap... how am I gonna get that thing down..."




"Tell me something," Kyuubi said wearily, sitting down on one of the few rocks that wasn't heated to the point of scorching. He stared at Rysuki as the boy's eyedemons narrowed and faded, leaving behind two black eyes. "Why do you keep incinerating things like this? You are not a Jinchuuriki, yet your antics have caused enough commotion that you are compared to Gaara on a destructive scale, and your main family has di-"

"I know what they did, uncle." Rysuki hesitated, nearly spitting the last word out. his uncle had taken him under his wing for training, gaining some measure of skepticism from the village elders, and evidently a stern letter from Konoha's Godaime Hokage herself. "But...why you? What made you decide to train me instead of following my father's actions?"

"I won't lie to you." his uncle said. "You're one of the more dangerous people in this village. To throw you away would be to waste a valuable resource."

"So I'm just a weapon to you?"

"Essentially, yes."

"Loving the blood-relative friendliness here."

"You destroyed much of the village. Be glad I haven't thrown you to the lava."

Rysuki moved quickly, eyes flaring up again as he spun around for a roundhouse kick that his uncle blocked with surprising speed, pinning him in a position that left the boy pressed over a river of lava. Kyuubi, many times stronger, had the younger ninja completely helpless.

"Weapon or no, valuable resource or no, I can still dispose of you and simply claim you were trying too many stupid tricks with that over-sized hat of yours. Remember it."

"So..." the boy smiled. "Are you going to let me go, or do I have to melt the rock we're on and kill us both? I may be disposable according to you, buy I don't think anyone woudl be very happy if you died...practicing taijutsu around cliff edges."

Grimacing sternly, Kyuubi released his nephew, nudging him slightly.

Rysuki dropped, sliding down and away from the cliff edge rapidly. Overcoming his surprise, he managed to pull two kunai from his back pouch and heat the grip on each one, sending them spinning into the rocks below, where they exploded.

Above, Kyuubi watched Rysuki fall and land neatly on the pile of rocks he had created with the exploding knives. His eyes narrowed as a note was hurled back to him, tied to the back of a kunai hole. Catching the blade easily between two fingers, he snapped the paper free and tossed the weapon into the boiling river below. Indifferently, he tugged the edges, opening the paper.


Some weapons turn out tougher than others.

When he looked down again, Rysuki had vanished.




It was just crazy enough to work.

that or it was just crazy...

Setting his fishing rod on the ground he walked back about ten yards and kneeled down. If he could run fast enough, maybe he could run strait up the wall and get his kunai down. He estimate itv was about 30 feet strait up, so with a good running start, he could reach it. Sprinting strait at the wall, he leaped forward and ran up the vertical slope. It turn out his ten yards weren't enough. slowing down, he pushed himself and with one final grasp, grabbed the kunai in his hand.

"GOT IT!" he shouted happily, before looking down and realizing how high he was off the ground.

"... crap" he muttered to himself, gripping the kunai tightly in his hand. "you had BETTER not break off" he growled at it.

there was a cracking noise.

Ryuu could just HEAR the kunai snickering, rock a by ninja in the cliff side, if the knife breaks, the ninja will fall, an down will come ninja, kunai and all

"... you're the devil"




Puppets.

They could be so outdated sometimes.

You could study all their was to know about them, become an absolute MASTER at manipulating the things, and yet they all had the same weakness.

The chakra.

True, the constructs made fascinating warriors in their own way, and were formidable, as they did not feel pain, but their tethers were a burden. They couldn't move very far without their owner losing sight, and they were also tools. They could not heal on their own. They had to be fixed manually.

It was this weakness that one rookie genin decided to use to his advantage.

Forget the puppet.

Keep the strings.

Use them.

The 14-year old genin sat on an outcropping, overlooking a lava-filled chasm. The upper half of her face was hidden by a form-fitted skull-mask, leaving waist-length blonde hair sticking out behind it. The eyesockets of the skull were empty, allowing her still a good amount of peripheral vision. The skull itself was of unknown origin, though word had it Kuryoku Kyuubi liked to think it belonged to a missing-nin from the Inuzuka clan.

The ninja known as Arashi Chishuki sighed. Kyuubi was a power-fanatic; rarely training ninjas for any purpose beyond seeing how many enemies they could kill before they died. Her older brother, Arashi Dokuro was one of the few chuunin in the village who had survived the sadist's training. Though it was not her decision; Chishuki would have had the Hokatsuki strip Kyuubi of his title and banish him long ago. The man was a good teacher, but for all the wrong reasons.

And that was why 'Shuki was out here; avoiding the molten-eyed man. She had been scanning the cliffsides and dropping rocks into the molten river below most of the morning, and was now bored of it.

Getting up, she began walking when he caught sight of an all too familiar person down a little ways on the chasm ridge.

"d**n," she whispered, dropping down to a ledge out of Kyuubi's sight. "He's still out here?"

Glancing about, she caught sight of what seemed to be someone hanging on for dear life above the lava river by a single kunai.

"Ryuu...you've either gone stupid, or Rysuki's uncle shoved you down there..." she grimaced. Looking around at the rockscape above the chasm, she judge the distance, and leapt into the chasm, swinging one of her arms up at the rock surface and focusing on the line her hand could point to the rock. Her angle of descent slowed as the distance between her fingers and the rocks began to glow with a faint blue color. Despite the predicament, she couldn't surpress a giggle.

Then she realized both of her hands were occupied with the swinging, and she had no way of catching Ryuu.

Still hanging by a thread, Ryuu was looking up at the form standing silently above him. He half-expected Kyuubi to lend him a hand, before remembering that the jounin literally believed in people lifting themselves by their own sandal zippers.

Then, something slammed into him, catching him in the face and wrapping over his shoulders to lock behind his back. Blinking stars from his eyes and moving his head back in the awkward helmet, he was embarassed to discover he was staring at a fellow ninja's...

This guy had better not be gay... he thought as the lift pushed him forward. It wasn't long however, that the gentle up-and-down swinging motion had him and his strange rescuer flying out of the chasm and crashing in a mad tumble to the rocks.

Ryuu coughed, feeling something soft beneath him. Opening his eyes and blinking dust from them, he found himself in the same position he had been in, though the ninja's legs weren't locked over his back. Using that as an advantage, he sprang back, screaming.

"I AM NOT GAY!!!!!"

"Who -koff- said you were?" the other ninja wheezed, sitting up.

Ryuu looked back down at the skull-masked form in front of him, now propped up on one elbow. Reaching up, the ninja pulled the mask away, spilling overlong bangs over her dark grey eyes. Despite the fact that she was out of breath, that her fishnet shirt and red overcoat were rumpled, and that the black skirt she wore had been shoved up to her waist, she seemed to be a girl.

Ryuu looked at her face, then her chest to make sure, and then back to where his face had been pressed for the past five minutes and went beet red.

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PostSubject: Re: Broken Limits   Wed May 09, 2007 12:13 am

Embarresment is always crappy; for Ryuu it was a living hell. It had taken him years to get used the heat of the village wearing his iron mask, but now he was boiling himself alive. "I was j...juh... just" he stuttered, realizing that there was no filter between his mouth and brain when in these kind of situations. " just making sure that you never saw me making out with a guy"

Chishuki blinked, "Is that so?"

"YES, now if you excuse me," he said quickly. "I have some fishing to... do?"

Realizing his fishing rod was still on the outcropping of the cliff, he staggered over and stared over the edge. The rod still lay there, and so was the string of the Karasuseishi.

"OH DAMMIT" he shouted, downing a box of jelly beans. "AH CAHN BWEVE ZSH! MAH DASH GANNA KILL MH"

"what was that?" asked 'Shuki, walking over to the stressed lava nin.

Swallowing, Ryuu took a breath. "My dad will kill me for loosing that string... Can you toss me into the lava river there? I want my death to be quick..."

"ok"

"wait, wha-" the next thing Ryuu knew he was falling into the chasm toward the lava below. his mind was screaming, HOLY CRAP! THE CRAZY CHICK ACTUALLY DID IT!

He was suddenly yanked to a stop and found himself hanging. Blinking, he strained himself to look up and found his leg wrapped by a glowing string.

"what the... thats Kugutsu no Jutsu... without a puppet?" looking beyond his leg, he saw the girl gripping the charka string and grinning.

"happy now!" she called out.

"You could have killed me!" he yelled.

"But I didn't, did I?"

"point well taken!" Crossing his arms, he shouted again, "Hey! swing me towards my fishing rod! I think I can get it"

Ryuu felt himself sway back and forth. Turning he reached out towards the rod, each swing brning him closer.

"Almost.... almost.... GOT IT!" he said happily, gripping the fishing pole. "pull me up now!"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Back on top of the cliff, Ryuu pranched around, hugging his fishing rod with joy. "Thank you miss! you saved me who knows how many hours of climbing down there and coming back up... Now I still have time to go fishing! If theres anything I can do for you, ask!"




'Shuki sighed, walking over and floop9ing lazily onto a rock as though it were a pile of cushions. "Don't think there's anything you can do that I'd want...unless?"

"NAME IT." Ryuu said suddenly.

She sighed. Okay, maybe this kid can do something... Taking a breath, she asked.

"Can you get us off Kyuubi's team?"

"We're..on a team together?" the other ninja said, blinking.

"Yeah." She sighed, flipping to her feet and kicking a rock over the chasm edge.

"I got a look at the plans in the academy. It helps having an older brother working there."

"Older...wait.." he said, eyes widening behind his helmet. "You're....Demonstrings' sister?!"

'Shuki rolled her eyes as Ryuu launched into a burst of detail about her brother Dokuro, some details she was tired of hearing, and some details that made her wonder just how many things her brother DID brag about in the village. He was an accomplished chuunin, but the way in which he announced things often left him with either many enemies, rivals

or many fans.

"Um...fishing-person...?" Chishuki said nervously.

"-and my family keeps saying how I need to grow up and eventually beat the snot out of your brother, but anyway," he continued. "MY NAME IS SHIOMI RYUU! HAVE MY BABIES!"

At that moment however, a gloved hand shot out and clamped itself over Ryuu's helmet, pushing the metal against the ninja's mouth.

"SSH!" Rysuki hissed. "You want the old psycho to find us?"

"RRMFFKFFI?" the fishing-nin asked, pulling away. "What're you doing up here?"

"Avoiding my uncle."

"Aren't we all?" Chishuki muttered.

"He shoved me off a cliff though. He's got some crazy notion that we're all expendable tools.."

"Sounds like Kyuubi to me." the girl huffed.

"So you're skipping training again, dude?" Ryuu asked.

"For now. I get better teaching time reading through the instructor's notes. At least the notebooks won't try to kill me."

"So....skull-girl here says we're all on a team?" Ryuu asked.

"Starting tomorrow. Enjoy your last day of freedom..." the fire-eye muttered.




Ryuu grumbled, "Its gonna be better than training with my dad..."

The sound of suppressed laughter suddenly cut through the group.

"Trust me..." said Rysuki. "By this time tommorow, you'll be BEGGING for daddys training again."

"Listen to Big hat; we're gonna go through hell" said Chishuki

Ryuu rubbed his head, the thought of someone worse than his father was like truely trying to contemplate infinite. These two seemed sure of Kyuubis training, and he too had heard the stories.

"well..." began the helmeted teen, straitening up as much as he could. "There's only one thing I can do then"

Striding forward past the two he picked up his fishing rod and walked towards one of the volcanoes. "I'm going to spend my last day fishing... as LONG as possible. See ya guys later!" waving, he walked off, wondering if this is how people on death row feel.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ryuu sat on the edge of his hand made dock. The lake had formed inside one of the lands many inactive volcanoes, creating a mini paradise for the fishing-nin. The fish were plentiful, so Ryuu always had a good catch. Today they seemd scarce, almost fearful.

"God dammit, I hate omens... I hate them hate them hate them."

Reeling in the bait again, he pulled out a new night crawler and stuck it on the empty hook where a fish seemed to have nibbled away at its past occupant. Tossing the hook into the lake, he laid back and closed his eyes. His mind wandered to what was coming.

Kyuubis training all day... and then his father would obviously still work him to death at home, no matter HOW tough his new sensei would work him. His mother would try to help him through this, but his father would just get her to "stop babying him" as he put it. He smiled a bit, his mother was overprotective of him ever since his sister passed. He remebered that when he was nine, he was being bullied by a group of kids who were threatening him with beatings when his mother stepped in. They were fine after a few stitches, but no one ever found one kids pinkie finger. She was a fireball who only seemed to be doused by her husband. The only other person in his family who thought he was worth something besides his sister.

The line tugged.

Ryuu was immediatly alert and began reeling. Two seconds later he stared at the tiny thing at the tip of the hook. he was suprised the bait didn't EAT the thing. Sighing, he unhooked it and tossed it back into the water.

"well.. I still have... 10 hours until my freedoms over... I'm gonna have to catch SOMETHING"

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PostSubject: Re: Broken Limits   Wed May 09, 2007 12:13 am

There was another tug, harder this time.

Ryuu leapt to his feet, shaking the weathered boards slightly with a faint clatter as the line went taught. Eyes wide, the fishing-nin pulled bag, using a method he'd memorized in his childhood for reeling a fish in without snapping the line, or the rod.

Regrettably, the method for doing such a thing did not take into account the likelihood of being jerked from the dock and swung over the water like a piece of bait. Ryuu Shiomi barely had time to reflect on that bit of irony before a pale blue fist slammed against his helmet's front, sending him sprawling back into the dock, crashing painfully through it and coming to rest with his legs still in the water. Shaking his head and trying to pull the small tuna from inside his faceplate, the eye that wasn't being batted by an albacore tail got a look at the man in front of him.

His opponent was scarier than his own father, standing almost seven feet tall, the mist-band strapped across his forehead tightly. The attacker's skin was an unsettling shade of blue, with his eyes a narrow and beady black with tiny gold irises. His cheeks were slit in several areas, as if in mimicry of gills.

Ryuu didn't know what the slab of bandages was on his opponent's back, and he didn't feel like asking why the man wore a black coat with reddish flowers all over it.

In fact, he didn't feel like doing anything that would make the attacker angrier than he already was.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"So you're heading home then?" Chishuki chirped.

"Yeah." Rysuki sighed, getting up from his seat on the sun-blasted rocks. "Inventory check before my uncle kills me, or tries to...again."

As she watched him go, Chishuki wondered what a life of near-constant danger would be like. She knew full well the dangers of being a ninja in and of itself, but to be one so...targeted, and hated among the adults...like the jinchuuriki of Konahagakure and Sunagakure.

It almost made her forget about the slack-jawed man-o-wood in front of her, before it decided to roll the ball in its lower jaw out, sending the makeshift grenade rolling at Chishuki before it blew up. The girl found herself flying head over heels covered in burns and bruises.

Coughing, she brushed her dusty hair from her eyes, reaching back and pulling the skull-helmet over her face as another ball joint fell loose and soared at her on a suicide run.

This time, she caught it within a cat's-cradle array of chakra strings and bounced it right back at the hulking form behind the puppet.

The black-masked figure's right arm gestured, freezing the device and retracting it to the puppet standing before him.

Facing the scorpion-ridged killer, 'Shuki felt her fingertips grow warm.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Rysuki however, made the return to his home without any trouble.

Sliding lightly down a rock face, he pushed off for the lava, swinging his hat beneath his feet and skidding over rocks and magma alike, not bothered by the heat or flying cinders that would occasionally smack and roll of his jacket in the intense heat.

Angling towards a protruding rock, he ducked down, curling his body into the hat as the current shot him into a small tunnel that sent his hat bouncing from the lava and skidding down a rocky chute to land with a thump in a decent-sized bedroom carved from solid obsidian. It wasn't the only way into his house, but it was the one he used to avoid being followed. Only his uncle and Dokuro knew that the abandoned well was a three-foot drop down to a hidden door that entered into the expanse of his living area.

That's when he realized he wasn't alone.

Someone else sat on his bed, eyes closed lightly beneath over-long bangs of black hair. While it was too dark to see the man's clothes, Rysuki distinguished some kind of ring on his finger.

Then the intruder opened his eyes; irises contracted into a thin shuriken-like form that hid his pupils from view.

"You should not be here..." he whispered.






Eye's widening, Ryuu yanked the fish from his helmet and tossed it into the water. Propelling himself to his feet, using main his butt muscles he scooped up his fishing rod and backed away.

"s...sorry I caught you sir... It won't happen again," he squeaked.

The massive mans eyes narrowed as a growl escaped his lips. Ryuu decided that this was a time to do what he did best, running. The young fishing nin had barely turned around by the time his attacker was on him, and a fist the size of a dinner plate crashed into his chest. Flying backwards, Ryuu barely had time to orientate himself by the time he crashed into the tree. Sliding to the ground, he coughed and stood shakily to his feet.

"aw crap... I never get a break do I?" he thought.

Pulling the string out of his fishing rod, he tied it to his fingers and looked towards his advancing enemy. the man was grinning almost sadisticly as his hand reached toward the massive bandaged thing on his back.

"HIYA!" Ryuu shouted and snapped the string in front of the shark mans eyes.

Blinking, he stepped back suprised. Ryuu saw his oppurtunity and took it

"RUN AWAY!"

In a blink, he vanished. The shark nin looked at the shrinking smoke cloud heading down towards the village and jumped in pursuit.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Panting, Ryuu stood at one of the many hanging bridges leading to Yougankagure, finally evading away from his attacker. Pulling out a slightly crushed box of chocolate covered raisans from his back pocket, he let out a tired sigh.

"Who was that guy and why was he so obsessed with trying to kill me? its not like I've ever done anything to him except catch him on a fishing line..."

As he lifted the box of sweets to his mouth, a large bandaged mass flew out from behind one of the many rock formations into Ryuu's side; the sounds of ribs cracking running through his body. Crumpling to the ground Ryuu let our a moan and gripped his side. His pursuer leapt over the rock formation and came to a stop over Ryuu. Smirking, he bent down and picked up his blade. Ryuu's eyes snapped open as he punched at the mans back. This seemed to serve little purpose other than to piss off the shark man. Picking up Ryuu by his collar he tossed him into a large boulder sending cracks up its surface. Coughing up blood, Ryuu fell onto all fours wretching.

Turning back towards his weapon, the shark nin felt his arms jerk backwards. Spinning, he turned to see his arms wrapped in glowing strings and Ryuu standing up in blood dripping from beneath his mask. Letting out a grunt, the man slammed his arm down, letting him pick up his sword, and yanking the fishing nin towards him. Ryuu braced himself as the massive blade swang into chest. A thousand suns exploded in his eyes as he felt his chest crack and some of his insides rupture. Ryuu flew completely across the chasm and landed with a dull thud on the other side, strings laying limp.The blue man chuckled as he started over the bridge to his fallen foe.

Ryuu turned his head weakly and made a small hand sign. "got ya..."

The explosive seal that Ryuu had placed on the mans back when he punched him detonated. Ryuu watched as he was consumed in a fireball and grinnned through blood stained teeth. The man still stood, half of his robe vaporized and covered in burns.

And apparently extremly pissed.

Continuing his advance toward Ryuu he took one final step when the sound of snapping hit his ears. Ryuu was still smiling as he lifted his hands, the string of the Karasuseishi tightened around the ropes of the bridge.

"bye bye..."

he pulled and the ropes snapped, sending the man plummeting. Ryuu watched him dissaper over the edge and looked up towards the sky as uncocniousness took over him.

The shark man in question had slammed his sword into the side of the wall and skidded to a stop. Hanging there he grumbled to himself and began his climb to the top.




Kyuubi spat, barely keeping the metal toothpick in his mouth as he did so.

That's one down. The Kisame mimic's still up and going. Disappointing.

He stood atop one of the houses in the center of the village, gaining a decent view of two tests. He knew Rysuki was inside, but he figured the boy would likely ignite the Itachi-bunshin's robes and get away. Scuffing one foot on the roof, his scarred eyes narrowed as he watched the shark-clone climb for the top. Wrecking this village's main roads is hardly a workable strategy.. he thought, watching the girl struggle in a tripped net of her own making against the Sasori clone.

He never heard the other person approaching.

"I imagine you at least notified them that they would be tested." a new fvoice said, sounding far younger than Kyuubi's thing growl.

"Always protective of your little sister, aren't you?" he sneered.

"Hardly." the other ninja replied, stepping out onto the roof. While his outfit was similar to that of other jounin, the jumpsuit was a pitch black, leaving the vest a deep red lined with pale grey bandages over his forearms and hands. Aside from black hair with a gold stripe down the center, the only other odd accessories he possessed were golden bands at the base of each finger and thumb. Running a hand through his short black hair, he watched Chishuki break free and attempt to swing the puppet off his feet by the tail.

He cringed upon seeing her sent flying by her own strings and whirled about in a circle.

"I would have interfered by now if it were otherwise." he finished.

"This some trick to show me you don't play favorites, Dokuro?"

"If you think I'd manipulate genin into traps against older ninja for sport, then you're mistaken."

"You can't keep them trained in the old way anymore, boy" the demon-nin replied harshly. "It's what cost Konoha so hard when Orochimaru hit them, and it's why they've now got one of the sannin off hunting for the other sharingan survivor."

Figures. Dokuro thought. "You always did advocate survival of the fittest." he added verbally. It is for that reason that I'm taking command of these three."

Kyuubi froze.

"Repeat that?"

"You heard me." Dokuro sighed.

"So you're just out to keep these kids away from their role as the village's weapons?" the scar-eye hissed.

"Your methods have already injured one genin more than is normally allowed, and-" He paused, hearing the crack of an ankle and three ribs breaking down below. It didn't take the mechanized laughter and whoosh of a tail to figure out the cause. "Make that two genin."

"Then they shouldn't have been so eager." he replied sharply.

"Um..." a smaller voice said uneasily from behind them.

Kyuubi's eyes widened, turning to find Rysuki standing quietly with his hat pulled over his face.

"I...burned the guy alive" he said, cringing as though his uncle would blast him apart at any second. "I didn't mean to..it..just ..sorta happened."

Dokuro glared over at Kyuubi, no small amount of ire in them.

"One out of three is still unacceptable for your supposed advanced teaching methods."

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PostSubject: Re: Broken Limits   Wed May 09, 2007 12:13 am

Ryuu stared up into the black abyss above him with half closed eyes. He felt light as a feather, yet he could not move his body, it was as if he was being held down by weights. Every so often he saw flashes of things, or... two things, locked in a fight, but he always floated back to the dark world after a few moments.

"maybe I'm dead..." he thought sadly.

Then he saw a light, glowing brightly a distance away.

"yup, I'm dead... and there's the light at the end of the tunnel... thing" he said to himself.

The light began approaching, slowly at first, then faster, until the glowing dot floated right in front of him. Ryuu blinked in surprise and tried to raise his hand to touch it. The the sphere began shifting and changing shape, growing arms, legs and head. Floating in front of him was the form of his sister, now aged 6 years since the incident of her death.

"My sisters here, I guess this is it. This is heaven..."

The form of his sister smiled and reached down to his face. it a single swift motion, she pulled off the beak of his helmet. Ryuu didn't know what to make of the strange situation, until it bent down and kissed him. Eye's widening, Ryuu tried to move but still could not. If this was heaven, it seemed like things were VERY messed up there. The form pulled back and smilied again, then faded as Ryuu slowly floated back to conciousness. The world was blurred, he felt as if he were being carried somewhere very fast. His eyes felt heavy, and so he closed them once again.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

There were many rumors in the Village Hidden in Lava about Mayaa Shiomi. Many ranged from ridiculous, such as the one that she was related to Kisame because a woman as vicious as that HAD be half shark, to more that were so plausible it made one uncomfortable. Like she was an Ex-ANBU squad leader with a so many kills under her belt that she was forced to retire. Whatever the case, she was the woman that had actually been accepted by Raikou Shiomi, which the village had labeled "Yougankagures biggest prude", which no one had ever said to his face of course. How the two ever had kids was always one of Yougankagures biggets mysteries, but they suspected it involved an unholy amount of sake and leather. Whatever the case, Mayaa's violence had been curbed by motherhood. Almost no one ever saw her angry unless one of her children were in danger, and then she revealed her old frightening self.

As one Kisame clone was about to find out.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mayaa Shiomi walked along the streets of Yougankagure, carrying two large armfuls of groceries under each arm. No one would have guessed the woman was 38 by her looks. She wore an unzipped Yougankagure jounin jacket, and what seemed like a blood stained butchers smock underneath, whose color almost made it seem to be maded out of human flesh. Yhe smock extended almost to the ground, revealing her ninja boots sticking out fron underneath. Her arms and neck were covered by fishnet, and her gloves were a pitch black. Her face though is what caught the attention of many. It was a young face of about 25, with bright blue eyes and platinum blonde hair, which was tied up into a shoulder length pony tail in the back, and one long bang culing in front of her face. She smilied to herself, hoping to get dinner in time for Ryuu to be home.

He had just recently passed the genin exams and was about to be assigned to a team. She had hoped that Raikou would have at leas showed some form of appreciation for his sons hard work, but he remained stotic.

"I could have punched him in the face at Ryuus graduation... he would have never expected it..." she chuckled to herself, but doubted her words. Raikou was a very suspicious man, and probably would have seen it coming. The sound of a bridge collapsing caught her attention. Bridge collapses were very rare in Yougankagure, but were nearly always fatal to the non-ninjas. Hopping across rooftops and cliff outcroppingsm Mayaa approached the destruction scene, hoping that there were no fatalities. What she saw was Ryuu lying on the ground, blood ouring from a dozen wounds, arms and legs at bizzare angles. Dropping the grocery bags and letting the contents spill across the ground, she ran to him and knelt by him fearfully.

"Ryuu!" she cried out and bent down to touch him, but just then, a massive sword that seemed to be made of shark skin stuck itself in the ground at the cliffside. Mayaas eyes narrowed as she approached.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The man grumbled to himself as he climbed the cliff wall, slamming the sword in every few feet and pulling himself upwards. Kyuubi had said that the kids would be no problem for them, and that they should show mercy on them. He had believed the old jounins words and taken the kid for granted. It was simple, even fun, but then the kid started fighting back. In the end, he had nearly been blown up and dropped into a boiling pit of lava. The kid was so dead when he got up there.

Slamming the sword onto the ground above, he pulled himself to saftey, and found himself staring at a woman hefting his own sword. Her eyes were narrowed in a look of pure hatred, and the clone's eyes widened.

"so... this sword shaves huh? HOW ABOUT I SHAVE OFF YOUR BALLS WITH IT CRAPSTAIN"

"WAI-" the man began, but the the woman charged.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The man never knew what him. In a scream of rage, Mayaa slammed the sword with blinding speed into the mans head as a series of snaps echoed through the canyon. The man flew over of the ravine of lava into the boulder formations on the other side. He lay there unmoving, either by the sword numbing effects, or paralyzed because of the broken neck. With a leap, Mayaa cleared the ravine and brought the blade down into the mans crotch. A gasp escaped his throat, then silence. Mayaa stared down at the unmoving form and then tossed his blade into canyon behind her. She lept over to Ryuu and careully picked him up, heading for their home.

"That man... looked like Kisame," she thought. "But it couldn't be... he was far to easy to beat."

Closing her eyes as she ran towards home, she tried to figure out an answer. "But who would send fae akatsuki members onto someone like Ryuu"

Only two people would do something like that to genin, one was her own husband, but she doubted that he would think it was worth his time to do this... the other...

"Kyuubi..." she growled to herself.



Pain.

How the man had managed to concentrate long enough to hold the transformation in so long was a mystery even to him. Half rolling, half crawling; he got to his feet, slapping the palms of both hands together and dispelling the jutsu.

In a puff of smoke, the figure fell back, wincing at the multiple injuries already inflicted by Mayaa. Sitting up gently, the revealed girl moved to push her hair out of her eyes and stopped at the ugly twitch in her chest. Blonde hair hanging into her face, Temari wished for her normal outfit rather than the torn black coat and stumbled off to find her fan. It had been Kyuubi's idea to cover it in a shark-hide "blade" and Temari had only agreed provided he assure her that she wouldn't lose the weapon against a genin.

As the sand-nin moved back towards Yougankagure's hospital, she reflected that she would have to get Kyuubi to retrieve her fan from whereve the woman had thrown it.

I'm never again going to make fun of Kankuro when he gets kicked in the crotch.

~~~~

"You forget," Kyuubi retorted, pacing angrily back and forth along the rock wall. "that the choice to enter this combat was theirs alone."

"That may be," Dokuro admitted, still concerned that there had been no sign of medic ninjas. While it was true that Yougankagure's training methods were more strenuous thant that of other villages, perhaps even matching the harsh conditions of The Village Hidden in Sand, the conditions they lived in every day had put an unprecedented push for the training of medi-nins. "Either way, I'm not going to yell waste your time any further by yelling."

"Backing out of your own threat to take my team?" Kyuubi laughed as Dokuro walked off with Rysuki following him.

"I'm hardly backing out." the other ninja yawned. "I'm just leaving you in good condition for when she finds you."

"Who?!" Kyuubi yelled at the retreating string-jounin. "YOU'RE ONLY A ROOKIE JOUNIN AND YOU'RE RUNNING ALREADY?!"

"DAMN RIGHT!" Dokuro yelled back as a shadow rose from behind Kyuubi. Before he turned, the lava-jounin could have sworn he saw his nephew grin evilly at him.

Casually, the older ninja turned. "Whaddaya.....want..?" he finished, staring at the woman in front of him.

He barely had time to dodge before a fistful of Shurikens whirled by his head. Now unmoving, he glared back at the attacker, catching sight of what looked like a genin draped across her back limply.

"Oh, come to pick up the baby from daycare?" he asked, eye-slots widening to a full-grin.

"and fire the teacher..." she hissed.


~~~


"Gyurgh...hot in there..." the genin thought, hitting a release lever and splitting the enormous puppet shell from the top. He wished he was in another village, as the blasting heat from the volcanic activities around him didn't do much to relieve him. Pushing the discomfort aside, he leapt out and onto the rocks, immediately wishing he'd worn something other than his typical black attire. He had to give the girl credit; for a rookie, she'd fought well, even disabling the right needle-arm of the Sasori-shell. According to the jounin who'd hired him for this, the girl was a puppet-user, without the puppets. Approaching her lazily, the black-clad ninja took a moment to wonder about the possibilities. Using chakra strings directly....she must have better control than most her age. he thought, bending over Chishuki and rolling her over to check for any injuries other than the broken ankle.

Nothing too bad.. he thought, eyes narrowed to slits as one gloved hand checked her pulse. though I somehow think my sister could handle this one better.

His thoughts were distracted at the sound of dust whirling behind him and compacting. A thin smile went across his face. "I haven't heard from you. I assume you lost your headset?"

The chuunin behind him didn't respond immediately, black-rimmed eyes staring vacantly over the lava. "He has a bloodline limit. The disguise was lost."

"Figures the old guy would put you against his own nephew." the black-clad ninja responded as a ragged figure lifted the girl between its four arms. "We should get back to the main village area. Temari's probably there already."

The red-haired chuunin vanished in a violent whirl of sand.

"Always the dramatic one, Gaara." the black-hooded ninja grinned, dashing off in a blur with Karasu.

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PostSubject: Re: Broken Limits   Wed May 09, 2007 12:14 am

They were dead now--all of them.

Every last one of them.

Dead.

Death . . . it was actually amusing enough for him to laugh at the situation, had it not been so morbid--had the entrails of his former tribesmen not been picked at the by teeth of racoons, had the black and grey eyes of his family not been gored out and tied together like a boquet of flowers, like a horrendous marital decoration.

The scene was, unfortunately, not laughable.

Death was a natural occurence to him at this point in his life. He had witnessed the beginning and the end of it time and again. He had memories of how peaceful it was, how happiness seemed to cascade into the faces of those that passed, how celebration bloomed from a beloved tribesman taking the next step in eternity.

The faces here were full of anguish, torment. The deaths here were grotesque and full of hatred, no one was there to celebrate their awful passing.

Bellies lay slashed wide open, gaping like a maw into the torture of the netherworld. Heads lolled about loosely as insects feasted.

The aromas and sights were unforgettable.

Daichi had lived for two years since his banishment from the tribe Kumori, and he had never felt such an urge to kill mindlessly. Never had he felt so angry, and at the same time so . . . hunted.

The signs of battle, though he had never seen them before, were present. Bamboo staffs used for sparring--an activity he remembered well from his youth, katana, sai, kunai littered the forest floor and consecrated the once-blessed mire. Where once the moonlight would shine to keep the common visitor company, now waiting for him was a crimson sheen.

Daichi was fifteen, and stared at the scene like a full-grown man that had lived to see a hundred battles. The moonlight guided his steps around the innards of the Kumori victims. He was careful not to disturb the final resting place of any one of the bodies.

Distantly, a woman moaned in agony, begging for a merciful end to silence the pain. She shouted in vain silence to her god, to the moon to smite her and grant her mercy.

Minutes later, the woman he would never identify fell silent, perpetually. He could almost hear her sigh of relief. Then, it was gone, and he was alone again.

As he investigated the scene, Daichi unconsciously removed his shades from his eyes, perhaps out of a deeply buried respect that emerged at the sight. But when they came off, his dim, grey pupils fell upon the corpses of his mother, his father. Both were bound by their backs, their flesh melted together. Their eyes rolled into the back of their heads and had already begun to sink in.

Daichi, though mortified, could not turn away from the sight. His beautiful mother, his powerful father--his birthparents--they were slain like animals, their pelts played with like a child would have done such a terrifying thing.

He returned to his senses, only after the moon settled directly overhead, fully illuminating the battlefield, and the slaughter on which it took place.

He was finally able to see the bodies.

Hundreds of them. No end to the garden of corpses in sight. Finally, he was able to see the rivers of blood, sweeping through the grasses and weeds, down the banks, and into the water.

He had seen enough by that point. He looked for no more clues as to what had happened, who had committed the crime, but turned.

Daichi turned, and he left it behind.





The medical facilites of Konoha were legendary among the various ninja villages, boasting state of the art recovery facilities, as well as being home to some of the best medical ninjas in the area. To visit the facilities was to feel completely at peace, even in a time of crisis.

Unfortunately, the Lava village did not boast such facilities, and often dealt with severe injuries by the euphamistic method known as "lava baths". Debates over the general comfort of such a treatment were a common occurence at every village meeting, and often ended with Kuryoku Kyuubi receiving treatment for various puncture wounds, and at least one other person opposing him requiring a full-body skin graft.

Ironically, Kyuubi's fervent desire to put Yougan genin through the Chuunin exams would bring the village into the circle of others, and most likely abolish such harsh practices by vote of the other Kages.

That worry was now increased tenfold, as Kyuubi hated giving in to any sort of pressure, and with Dokuro taking over the team, he would undoubtedly bring some of Yougan's harsher traditions to light with the Hokage.

All in all, it was not a pleasant series of thoughts going through Kyuubi's mind when he awoke. Lying on the red-sheeted bed that disturbingly resembled a pool of linen blood, he could feel much of his body intact, not daring to move just yet for worry of upsetting any unnoticed injuries. He did not fear death or pain, but incapacitation was a great concern for him. He hated weakness.

Lightly flexing one muscled arm, he waited for a red-vested staffperson to walk by, probably to check his condition and jot down a few notes. Knowing the person would push him back down if he tried to rise, he fumed silently at the unneccessary mothering, wishing he could be doing something...anything; twhether it was running his team through another drill, or holding Dokuro's head in a vat of boiling water for fun.

Half-closed eyes alert, he snapped his arm out, seizing the attendant with such speed and force that he was rewarded with the double-snap of a breaking wrist and wet scrunching noise as he broke the forearm back on itself, tearing bone through skin. Before the attendant could even cry out in pain, Kyuubi had dropped him with a sharp blow to the head.

In a manner remniscient of some freshly reborn creature from the grave; Kuryoku Kyuubi sat up, disregarding the grinding of several broken ribs as he swung his legs over the side of the bed. Breathing heavily from the sudden exertion, he stood tall, favoring his right leg -locked in a solid iron bracing- as he moved over to the only other conscious person in the room.

"So you're finally up.." the masked ninja grunted, breath hissing from behind his face-concealing mask as he remained with both eyes glaring down at his bandaged son who lay sleeping in what must have been an uncomfortable position with all the bandages and splints along his young body. "You're lucky my wife didn't see you before she left."

"Yeah," Kyuubi said, wincing as he realized part of his lower jaw was sealed in a shining metal frame. "Jeez...just how hard did we hit each other anyway?"

"She's had an amazing degree of healing done on her forearms and chest, but she'll probably carry more'n a few burn scars there for the rest of her life though. You're injured, so I won't rough you up for it today."

"Hardly your style, Raikou!" Kyuubi laughed coldly. "Previous injury never stopped you from beating someone senseless before."

"Yeah, but if I did something to make her happy -such as killing you- she'd try ta thank me with some sort of affection-shower." the puppet-ninja hissed in a low voice.

"Sake and leather?"

"Yeah..." Raikou whispered in reply, involuntarily shivering.

~~

In another room down the hall, the young girl known as Chishuki shot awake with a start and immediately regretted it. Flopping back down and giving herself another spasm of pain from the impact, she managed to look around simply by turning her head and focusing with the one eye that wasn't behind a patch. The kunoichi was also in a crimson-covered bed, left to recover by the staff who had thankfully deemed her injuries insufficient for a "mercy killing".

Bracing herself and using her unbroken arm, she sat up, feeling a warm draft of air across her back. She was topless, modesty protected only by the bandages across her chest that also gave her ribs some moderate comfort. Staring down, she found one of her ankles wrapped tightly and taped to keep the sprained limb in place. Sighing, she caught sight of a left-behind pair of wooden crutches.

Can't grab 'em from here... she thought in confusion, wondering if the staff hadn't expected her to be awake so fast. Reaching one hand, she managed to project and toss out a handful of chakra that split along her fingertips, snaring on the ends of the crutches and dragging them to the ground with a thin clatter that thankfully didn't echo too much. Not daring to lean over with her ribs in their current condition, she kicked them up with her good foot, standing with their support and feeling thankful that they had at least left her skirt on. Eye roving ceaselessly like some hunting predator, she caught sight of the rest of her clothes. Not daring to pull her shirt on yet for fear of upsetting her injuries, she managed to shrug into the red overcoat and make her way barefoot into the black-rocked hallways.

Her mind drifted back to the test. Test? They'd been put up against Akatsuki members to test their abilities...and it hadn't even been their first day as an actual team. She knew that rules generally prevented siblings from being on the same team, much less one sibling being sensei to the other, but Kyuubi had hardly played by the rules himself. She would have to deal with her older brother's occasional jokes, but at least jokes were better than impromptu deathmatches.

She only wondered how the fire-eye had managed to get members of a known criminal organizatino involved in a post-graduate exam without them invading entirely.

It took her the better part of ten minutes to get down the hallway, but when she arrived at the small reception area, she found Rysuki slumped in a chair, enormous hat covering much of his body and giving one the vague impression that a dinner plate with arms and legs had dropped in to sit down for a nap. Going against guidelines for a quiet atmosphere, she raised one crutch and swung it loudly against the metal surface with a ringing echo. The desired effect was achieved as the ninja awoke suddenly, limbs flailing as he instinctively triggered his eyes, reflecting the heat around the underside of the hat and kicking it away to brush his smoldering hair angrily.

'Shuki giggled at the effect momentarily before the gloved hand slapped across her mouth, stifling the laughter.

"Don't. Do. That." Rysuki hissed, eyes darting behind her and down the hallway. "They've got Kyuubi in here, and with Ryuu's dad visiting, we don't want either of them to know we're awake."

"MphphRmphhRRFPH?" the girl asked, shaking her head away. "They're keeping Ryuu in the same room as Kyuubi?" she whispered in a panicked voice.

Rysuki's eyes narrowed. "Not if we can help it.."

"What do you mean?" she asked urgently.

"We're heading back to the main village." he said shortly, turning on his heels and striding swiftly for the doors.

"B-..but.."

"We're going to tell Ryuu's mother just which room they've put him in..." he said with a sadistic grin as he placed his hat back over his short black hair.

Disregarding the stabbing twinges of pain from her injuries, Arashi Chishuki sped after him; out of the hospital and into the bridgeworks of Yougankagure with all the speed her crutches would give her.

~~~

The branches creaked and groaned, as though they were suddenly at the breaking point from having an incredible weight pressed down upon them. Fortunately, the cause for the quiet noise was merely the rapid slapping of several plasti-sealed open-toe boots. Normally at midnight, much of Konoha was asleep peacefully, or at least lying in bed.

Tonight was different.

Reports of a village-related massacre had hit the main desk of the Fifth Hokage just before bed, and she had wasted no time in sending several ninjas to investigate, despite the awkward hours. Already nomadic, news of the Kumori clan passing by Konha had been knowledge for several weeks. The massacre startled most, and for a few elders, it brought back memories of another massacre four and a half years previous involving the police-styled Uchiha clan.

Landing quietly on a branch above the carnage, one of the kunoichi held a hand over her nose in revulsion at the stench of decay. Her eyes watered slightly, though more again at the death rather than the tragedy. Haruno Sakura hadn't known many of the Kumori-clan ninjas, but she had a softer side for victims of tragedy, ever since-

Sasuke.. she thought, suddenly seeing his body among the Kumori before pushing that thought from her mind and glancing back at the other ninja behind her. "Survivors?" she asked quietly to the seemingly floating pair of whiteish eyes in the leaves. She couldn't see as well in the da-well, she couldn't see at all in the dark, having spent most of her missions lately in broad daylight.

The ninja in question brought one bandaged hand up to his other arm which was bare, and swung his hands about each other, clapping them into a quick seal before triggering a chakra flow through his eyes and enhancing their visual capability with a softly whispered "Byakugan!".

Neji's world seemed to pale, taking on a layered form that allowed him to peer at and through everything. He almost shut his eyes and stumbled from the tree as the massacre's remains flashed into a clear and distinct image. Moving beyond the bloody woodland, he swept his gaze until his eyes fell upon a quickly moving figure. Sighing with small relief, the blood vessels about his eyes relaxed, restoring chakra to its normal flow. "One survivor." he said quietly, raising one arm to point. "That way."

Nodding a short affirmative, a third member in their party took off with a blur into the treetops, hopping nimbly over branches and leaves as he suddenly shot above and past Daichi. He skidded slightly, rustling leaves and knowing his chance at a quiet approach was forfeit. The Kumori had impressed him as being among the stealthiest ninjas ever encountered, and Rock Lee had just blown all hope of impressing them in turn. Deciding to avoid causing too much suspicion, he flipped down from a branch, rolling forward off his back and landing easily directly in Daichi's path as though meeting nomadic shinobi was an everyday thing for him.

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PostSubject: Re: Broken Limits   Wed May 09, 2007 12:14 am

The night had begun as normal--normal for him, seeing as he woke up every evening at moonrise in a dank, shadey alleyway in Konoha, and left for a quick round around the city, scavenging for what he needed. He stole, but only what he required to survive. If he was restless, he would wander into the forest and amble aimlessly through the shadows where he spent his life. Often, he would exercise his swordsman skills in the darkness, get a bit better every time.

Typically, such practices took place in the "Twilight Grove" his people had established hundreds of years before. It had been a sacred ground where other people were forbidden to trod upon. For centuries thereafter, it was a religious location of sorts, where the moon passed over perfectly once every year. His people would gather there at that time and drink from the spring, which was believed to grant purity and good fortune. Daichi had remembered coming to that sacred spring once every year when he was a boy and drinking from its crystal clear water.

He remembered the feeling of tranquility just a sip would give oneself. Even if it was ordinary water flowing from a rock formation from the mountain region, the coolness of it compared to what they normally drank was enough to refresh and revitalize. For a century however, since the plague had devastated the numbers of the Kumori clan, the visits became less frequent to avoid encountering the local Konoha villagers. Thereafter, Konoha black ops. shinobi had watched over the grove in secret, except for the sacred day once a year, where the Hokage would respect the nomadic group's extinction with a day of peace.

The sudden reappearance of the nomadic tribe—and their sudden massacre no less—was a shock to a village that had silently respected their disappearance for more than a hundred years. This night however, on a traditional training patrol, Rock Lee stood before—for all he knew—the last remaining survivor of the just-slain Kumori nomads.

The Leaf village ninja took a docile stance on the shaded branch as the Kumori teen slowed and stopped. As he came into view, Lee saw the flash of steel under the glint of moonlight. A katana remained hidden in the shadows with its user, and the Genin kept his calm.

“Are you lost?” Daichi had heard Lee say. Lee apparently had tried to take his stance in the moonlight to reveal that he held no weapon and bore no threat to the Kumori, and also had knowledge that—if he was of the extinct bloodline—he could see splendidly in the dark, but have a much more difficult time facing the moonlight. Despite keeping his cool, Lee was a full head shorter than the black-eyed kid taking up the opposite branch.

Sakura had entered the tree just above and behind him a moment later, trying to keep herself silent. A few leaves rustled in the outer branches from her added weight, but the added noise could not be discerned from the rest of the wind-disturbed canopy. Neji followed just as quietly and remained hidden behind a tree trunk, possibly using his blood-inherited ability to watch the action while avoiding being spotted.

When Lee finally saw Daichi shake his head in negativity to his previous question, suspicions arose quickly, suspicions that he wanted to address with the stranger. Moreover, he was eager to try and perform admirably for Sakura who was no doubt watching the whole thing. To the cherry blossom just a few dozen yards away, she was no more interested in Lee proving himself than he was considering putting a kunai through his own frontal lobe.

“Did you do this?” he demanded firmly. There was, after all, no one left to suspect for the deaths of an entire tribe. It was reminiscent of the slaying of the entire Uchiha clan by only one of their own. Perhaps it was becoming a custom.

Daichi in return stared down at the site of his people’s final resting place, returned Lee’s gaze and slowly, almost wearily, shook his head negatively again. Though it wasn’t an impressive performance by any means, and Lee had almost been hoping for a fight, he was compelled to believe the look of depression behind those black eyes. Nonetheless, Lee’s stance did not falter at all, and he remained alert and defensive. Just because he had said no did not mean that it was true.

Lee had other questions he wanted answered, but the kid seemed to have no words to share with the trio of Genin. Daichi had shifted his weight a bit, and Lee saw it as an attempt to escape.

“Do not leave,” he said. “We have questions you must—“

Before Lee finished his statement, the Kumori—precisely according to legend—disappeared into the shadows without a trace. As Lee lunged, he was forced to grab the branch in order to keep from overshooting off into the air. He used a chakra connection to the branch, and wound up hanging upside down, scratching his head. Sakura arrived on the branch next and looked around.

“Neji!” he called out, “Where is he?”

The white-eyed Genin walked down the trunk of the tree the next moment, examining the local area. “I couldn’t follow it with my Byakugan. It was no teleportation jutsu,” he deadpanned. “He was facing the village when he disappeared.”

“Then shouldn’t we be headed back?” Sakura asked worriedly. If that boy had been responsible for the death of the entire Kumori clan, she wondered what he was capable of doing to Konoha without the village being alerted.

Lee rotated around the branch and crossed his arms. “I do not believe that that person did this,” looking at the bloodbath far below.

Neji was silent.

Lee continued, “I believe that that boy was one of the Kumori. A survivor.”

Sakura spoke up next, “Then why did he leave so suddenly?”

Neji cast a frustrated glance at Lee. “Perhaps if you hadn’t thrown accusations at him in the first place, he would not have left so suddenly. You were predisposed in your judgment, you fool.”

Rock Lee felt a blush creep onto his face, feeling failure surge through his veins, not so much for losing the Kumori boy, as he did in failing to impress Sakura. He could already feel her gears in her head grinding, evaluating him, rating him in his performance.

The Hyuuga Genin continued, “We know at least that he couldn’t have slaughtered his whole family by himself now.”

Sakura raised an eyebrow. “How do you know that?”

“Because, the way he escaped. It was amateur, at best. He was no ninja, not even an Academy student.”

“But how could he escape us, otherwise?”

Lee spoke up, “Because he has inherited the abilities of the Kumori clan. The Kumori use their chakra to disappear into the shadows and walk through them silently, leaving no evidence of their existence.”

Sakura blinked, and then nodded in understanding.

Neji spoke again, “It’s not a difficult technique for their young to learn. Kumori were supposedly able to master it by the age of five. He escaped from us for the moment, but he did not disappear.”

Sakura said, “It doesn’t really matter how he did it at this point. I say we go back to the village and tell Lord Hokage. She’ll know what to do.”

Lee gushed. “Brilliant and beautiful Sakura-chan! You amaze me more every time I am near you!”

Sakura sighed. “Thank you Lee . . .”

Lee continued, “To Lord Hokage!” Leaves rustled as Lee darted towards the dim lights of Konoha, followed by an embarrassed, if somewhat aggravated Sakura. Neji was left alone, arms crossed and silent.

Neji rolled his eyes and finally broke his own silence. idiot

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PostSubject: Re: Broken Limits   Wed May 09, 2007 12:15 am

"Some mission this was..." Temari huffed angrily as she lay in one of the faintly demonic looking beds of the medical wing. Thankfully her village had been able to dispatch its own medi-nin quickly upon hearing of the chaos that had been Kyuubi's post-graduation training. Injuries now nearly healed, the wild-haired girl was anxious to get back to her home and never have anything to do with the strange land that was Yougangakure again.

What was supposed to have been a simple training mission for the three chuunin had been a total disaster, and left Suna's intermediary council more baffled than embarassed. Gaara himself had nearly been flash-incinerated from Rysuki's Seigakan, and Temari might have been killed if Shiomi Mayaa hadn't found her son's life more important than the pleasure of beating up an enemy. As it was, Kankuro had given his target a run for her money, but only too well. As near as the reports indicated; he had overcompensated for the massive shell's operations and used something that was build more for deception in a manner more befitting of a rhinoceros than the scorpion for which it was named.

Even so, he seemed to be enjoying his time at Yougan greatly.

"Remember the bright side of this," Kankuro said with a slight grin on his painted face. "it paid better than just about anything else we've ever done." He was sitting on the far side of the room with his hood off and hanging on a rocky projection. He seemed almost naked however, without the typically ever-present cylinder of bandages that was Karasu. While he'd objected strongly to leaving it behind at first, realization that he would be using a replica of Akasun Sasori's war shell was enough to push concern for his primary puppet from his mind.

"Despite the fact that half of that fee went to the medic for overtime work on healing." Temari growled, seemingly determined to leave the village in a poor light. She could understand her brother's view on the high fees and the out-of-the-ordinary thrill he seemed to still get from beating up an opponent, but then again, he wasn't the one who'd almost been paralyzed and nearly rendered reproductively sterile by a madwoman who wasn't supposed to show up at all.

"You are alive and healed." the third member of the trio said, with a slightly shuddering edge of uncharacteristic joy. "That's more than others can say." The sand chuunin stood at a window, staring out over the chasms and craters of the Lava Village, enthralled by how well everything seemed to fit together despite the fact that most of hte walkways and paths were either metal catwalks or thing rock-arch bridges.

It had been a strange change in Gaara's demeanor of late. He seemed to draw on energy and enthusiasm from the knowledge of life, living to see that things existed rather than living to see the end of existence as he so often had before. In the minds of the three siblings; it was a pleasant change, as Gaara tended to ignore the annoyances of life with an aloof silence, rather than brutally crush them beneath a remorseless wave of his sand. During the last exam in which Gaara had advanced, he had shown the change noticeably when he hung back to keep Kankuro and Temari safe from another team of would-be chuunins.

In Kankuro's eyes especially, he had been grateful for the change; as the "old" Gaara would have killed another squad instantly and threatened his brother and sister if they even opened their mouths for the next ten minutes.

"Healed physically, Gaara." Temari finally shot back. "This mission's description mentioned nothing about interference from the genins' mothers!" She finished with a huff, still more than a little annoyed at the sudden attack.

"Look on the bright side," Kankuro yawned. "Our employer found her out and clobbered her easily. I doubt we will hear from her anymore."

"Wishful thinking." Gaara replied. "It seems that Suna's client is also in this hospital."

"What makes you so sure?" Temari asked nervously.

At that point, a lump of dry sand drifted back into the room, dropping grains lazily like a small cloud. Without warning, it hit hte rocky ground, scattering and dribbling like a river up at Gaara's gourd where it sealed. Both eyes open, he turned slowly, black clothes rustling in the warm air.

"One attendant's wrist is shattered. We should leave now." he said simply, moving quietly from the room in time to see two other figures run and hobble past as though the devil were chasing them. Barely blinking, Gaara strode after with his brother and sister behind them.

Yougankagure was nice, but it would be pleasant to be back in their own village.



Mayaa on the edge of the table, not looking like one for conversation. She flexed her arms with a slight grimace, as the fishneting on her arms had been removed and replaced by bandages to heal the burns. The smock on her chest was untied and hanging down over her legs, while the top of her chest was also wrapped by bandages, leaving her belly exposed.

It wasn't the wounds she was upset about, she had just wished that she had been able to hit Kyuubi more before they were stopped by the village ANBU.

She hadn't seen Raikou since she had returned from the hospital and wondered where her husband had gone off too. It wasn't like him to go somewhere without making it seem like the biggest thing since sliced bread. Mayaa sighed, the house was unusually empty without the presence of her family. Putting her hand on her cheek, she leaned against her knee blowing the single lock of hair out of her face for entertainment.

"are you sure this is where she lives?" cried out a female voice from outside the house.

Mayaa perked up and walked towards the window. Two kids were heading up the walkway towards the house, and Mayaa immediatly recognized them as Ryuu's teammates.

"what are they doing here..."

~~~

"THEY WHAT?!" shrieked Mayaa.

Rysuki and Chishuki cringed. "They... they put Ryuu in the same room as Kyuubi, and Raikou is in there visiting too," stuttered 'Shuki, never before facing an enraged Mayaa before.

"LIKE HELL THEY ARE!"

Rysuki was able t hop out of the way, but Chishuki was bowled over by the enraged jounin as she barreled down the streets of the hidden lava village towards the hospital. the chakra string-nin tumbled down a few feet before sitting up in the dust coughing.

~~~

Raikou stared out the window of the building at the approaching dust cloud and grimaced beneath his mask.

The wife was coming.

He glanced once more at Ryuu before looking back at Kyuubi. "I'm sorry Kyuubi but I must be taking my leave now," hissed the puppet-nin as he flicked one of his hands in an odd dance. A large puppet crawled through the window, its hind claws digging into wall of the building. Its two large arms split into four as it grabbed Raikou and scuttled out of sight.

Kyuubi was beggining to get a bad feeling everytime someone ran away without notice.

"WHERE IS THE BAKA?!" screamed a voice from down in the lobby.



"'Shuki?" someone whispered faintly in the white.

Light. Was she dead?

Arashi Chishuki seemed to float in a brilliant abyss of light, drifting aimlessly through a blinding white world of nothingness. Unable to feel anything around her, much less her own body; the girl drifted almost aimlessly through the bright void towards the voice. Images began filling her mind.

"String girl?" the voice said again as a

She floated further, passing through a cloudy section of the abyss.

Puppies she wondered, gazing down at the hordes of white-furred baby dogs squealing happily beneath her. If she was indeed dead; then heaven could not be more bizarre to her mortal eyes. If she were still alive -which made very little sense given surroundings- she resolved to tear her clothes off and dive naked into the writhing heaps of snuggling white fuzz beneath her.

The adorable images beneath her changed as the puppies suddenly stopped squealing before melting into bloody heaps of bone and muscle. Before she could utter a small cry of dismay however, a tagged kunai flew beneath her; dragging the girl along until she finally screamed and sat up on the narrow metal bridge.

"Don't kill her!- Oh..." she said quietly, blinking as she felt a gloved hand under one arm. Unblinking and expressionless, she stood up shakily, picking up her crutches from where they had fallen in Mayaa's wild charge. She shook her head wearily attempting to throw off drowsiness again.

Rysuki was already halfway back across the metal catwalk. "Come on!" he shouted back nervously. "We have to get my uncle out of the hospital."

Arashi Chishuki shook her head, confused. "What?! We're trying to save that maniac now?!" She shivered, disbelieving that Rysuki -who seemed to hate his uncle more than any of them- would want to save him. Hesitantly, she hobbled down the metal bridge, drawing even with Rysuki as he started jogging again. "You...-huff- didn't answer my question..."

"I don't give a crap about my uncle.." he said angrily, hat thumping his back wildly behind him. "I want to get him out so Ryuu's mom doesn't wind up exiled for murder."

Chishuki sped up noticeably at that point.


~~~


"Damn..." Kyuubi grimaced, watching as Mayaa drew closer to the hospital via a metal-lined catwalk over a river of magam. "Perfect shot from here, but I'd be an obvious culprit..." he muttered, wishing his bloodline limit didn't leave such distinctive damage.

Pulling back from the window's rocky overhang, the lava-jounin spun on his heels, moving quickly for the red satin curtains that were hanging in the rocky archway. He threw a baleful glance at Ryuu as he left the darkened room, momentarily cursing Raikou for marrying such a barbaric woman.

Moving down the hall with his usual alarming speed, he took no notice of the medi-kunoichi who attempted to stop him. He could have melted her into an unrecognizable pile of flesh and blood on the spot, but murder was not his objective. Instead, he settled for grasping her wrist as she attempted to move and silently sedate him with a chakra pulse. Whirling, he bent her arm back; ramming the nurse's glowing fist into her stomach and dropping her to the floor in a muddled daze.

Boots crunching down the rocky hallway; he took a sharp right and opened one eye, vaporizing torches as he went and plunging the hallway into total darkness. It took him a mere second in a storage closet to locate some rope and lash off the corridor behind him and label it as "In repair due to rockslide". With a grim smile, he moved around several more corners, finally pushing open the curtains to a deserted room where he slumped backward into a bed, flicking the lights on and pulling the curtains shut.

The room itself was as sparse as any other, but isolated -probably an emergency care ward- but still had a large enough window to provide escape if it were needed. It didn't take a genius -or a look outside- to tell that a route out was beyond the window. Kyuubi remembered the Arashi clan's design of the hospital facilities; where larger windows often held ledges and footholds to provide emergency escapes when needed.

Eyes half shut, the jounin flipped a notebook out of his vest pocket and began scribbling out multiple training plans. He knew the sand nin would not agree to another test, and short of appealing to the village council for a chuunin selection based on the Mist Village's exams, he was left with few options he felt would push the genins' abilities to their maximum.

Then it hit him.

Kyuubi began scribbling again, wondering how Tsunade would react to seeing a personal request to make use of the Forest of Death.


~~~


Tsunade still wasn't happy.

"You mean..." she began in an even voice; one that was hard to maintain given the time of night and hersake-induced drowsiness -one Shizune continually insisted would be her downfall as Hokage. "You mean..." she said again, stifling a yawn with one hand while a red-painted fingernail on her other hand rapped the desk lightly. "That you found one of the clan alive and simply let him leave without questioning him?"

Her stern gaze flicked between the three genin; from Sakura, who looked like she was barely managing to stay awake and swaying on her feet; to Lee, who stood straight to attention as though awaiting either death or a list of ten A-rank missions that he would probably vow to complete in under one hour; and finally her eyes hit Neji, who seemed tired, though he stood relaxed with his pale eyes locked on Tsunade's.

The Hokage sighed. While the outcome was dissapointing, she had to admit that none of the shinobi she had sent out were night-owls in their own way, and the warm night air had probably dulled their concentration and focus as it was.

Standing slowly, she waved a manicured hand lightly in their direction. "Neji, locate your cousin. Hinata's usually up late anyway with training and we can have her take a look around outside. The rest of you; we can finish this discussion tomorrow." she said curtly before one of her forehead veins gave an unpleasant throb. "TOMORROW, Lee." she yelled, noticing that the mushroom-cut topped shinobi still remained standing.

"S-Sorry Hokage-sama..." he panted. "I shall rest now."

Taking off at a run, he crashed past the doors; causing them to swing open with a headache-inducing slam. Tsunade sunk back into her chair worriedly, massaging her temples as she listend to Lee's enthusiastic promises -of performing 1,000 one-handed pushups if he failed to fall asleep within one minute of climbing into bed- fade down the long hallways outside the main building.

It was going to be a long night.

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PostSubject: Re: Broken Limits   Wed May 09, 2007 12:16 am

There was a marketplace at the center of the village. That marketplace was the home of food stands innumerable, where every day a mixture of delicious smells would ride the wind upward--amazingly never drawing any creatures over the village wall. Intermingling with food stands stood any kind of small shop imaginable. Exotic goods, supplies for journeys to foreign lands, furniture imported from other villages, and small weapons dealers for personal use outside the police and ninja forces were among the most common and profitable.

The portion of the village just beyond the marketplace lay the various home and working districts of Konoha. Taxes were nonexistent, allowing for plentiful income to even the lowest of workers to supply their families with a comfortable living condition. Dwellers in Konoha were furthermore rare in buying property or homes. Most commonly, it was inherited from parents, or relatives of the deceased. It was common enough for a ninja to live in a dormitory setting however. Space was limited, and buying property and basic needs were expensive enough to keep the classes tightly wound.

Closest to a suburban area in Konoha was the once-splendid Uchiha clan portion of the village. Though the clan had long since died out, no demolitions had taken place to supply the further need for housing in the small--and growing smaller--village, possibly out of respect, possibly out of fear of vengeance. Because of the need for room, some clans in recent years, had begun to take up their living in the mountains that hugged the border, just below the Hokage that had helped the village blossom into what it was.

Hyuuga Hinata had not been old enough to remember the time the four Hokage had stopped the Nine-Tailed fox. She had not been old enough to remember the death of the Fourth, or the First or Second. She had however, been witness to the fall of the Third, and rise of the Fifth, and somehow, the thought of the cool night air pushed her mind into a certain frenzy that allowed her to appreciate what she had before her.

Hinata leapt effortlessly from rooftop to rooftop over the dimly-lit streets. It was not yet time for the village to settle into its peaceful slumber, but right beforehand--the time she enjoyed the most. It was when everything seemed to settle down after the roar of the daylight hours, right before the explosive silence of night turned the tranquility back into a deafening roar. Her white eyes glinted as the moon emerged from behind a cloud, bathing the sleepy little town in soft, silver light.

The rush of wind through her hair and folds of clothing wrapped around her, and she used her chakra in turn to reverse the direction of the air flow and carry her farther in her leaps. She reached the edge of the titanic wall of the village in minutes--slow, considering during an exercise, she could sprint from one end of the town to the other in the same amount of time. The fact that she had already been at her home when Neji informed her of the Hokage's instructions made her all the closer.

Nonetheless, Hinata hit the wall running and immediately turned. Chakra flowed into her feet and gripped the wall, and she ran at an angle. Her legs blurred her upwards at an angle. Her chakra, while not powerful to the extent of her cousin's, allowed her to keep a good thirty feet off the ground without falling or losing her footing. Neji however, could scale the wall to the very top and down again without falling.

She turned into a blur and her eyes dimly lit up--Byakugan--allowing her glimpses well towards the center of the village. Blurbs of bluish-white spiritual energy melded together to form what she could see of the populace.

Almost immediately at the start of her wall climb, Hinata bolted from the wall of the city and landed on the rocky surface of a tall building. Her feet blurred again and she resumed bounding from rooftop to moonlit rooftop. As she continued to patrol, keeping her eyes out for anyone sticking out in the streets, her mind began to wander once again, back to familiarity.

More specifically . . . back to Naruto.

"Naruto-kun . . ." she murmured in her pale, almost delicate voice. Her cheeks flushed to a light pink. Her Byakugan deactivated for a moment, and she had to reenlist its aid to continue her search.

Despite the fact that he had disappeared, his face and final words were still clear in her mind. Hinata had never felt for any boy what she had felt for him. Then, came the pain of realizing that he had left, possibly never to come back. Despite knowing his dream of becoming Hokage, and as powerful as he was, she had a sneaking suspicion that he would never return alive. It depressed her, for the fact that he was there for her, and she was never really able to return it--not physically, at least. It was what she had wanted, to prove to him that she had what it took to be worthy of the Hyuuga main house.

Now that he was gone, she wondered if she would ever get that chance.

Hinata was lost in the thought and depression, so much so that she nearly missed what she had been assigned to find in the first place. Just down the stretch of dirt road, her Byakugan spotted an irregular formation of chakra. It wasn't so much different from normal, except for the fact that it was as deep a shade of blue as the sea. She had seen shapes differ in chakra, depending on personality, and intensity of flow during battle could cause brightness to change. It intrigued her--and unfortunately, distracted her. Almost before it was too late, she felt her feet at the edge of the rooftop.

She began to stop, her sandal-bound feet kicked up pebbles, and she shot chakra to her lower limbs in a frantic attempt to correct her moment of carelessness. Her energy passed from the soles of her shoes and into the rooftop uselessly. The energies grabbed, but did not remain with her, and disappated rapidly. She slowed a bit, but did not stop.

Hinata finally tripped over the edge of the building, her feet immediately coming out from under her, even as she stretched her legs once more to try and run down the side. Instead, she plummeted towards the earth, with nothing between her and the cold, dusty surface. She let out a scream, though she knew that there would be no one below her to hear it. No one to catch her.

Time seemed to slow to a torturous pace, as tears had time to well up in her eyes. Her vision blurred before her, and she almost swore that she saw her tears fall faster than she was. Despite herself, Hinata closed her eyes and clenched her jaw, preferring to savor her last moments to herself with something other than screaming.

She thought back, back to the Chuunin Exams--where he called down to her from the balcony, down to where she faced her cousin in a fight to the death. She had given thought to surrendering, until Naruto and his outburst had given her the courage to continue. She remembered what she had been fighting to become, what she wanted to change in herself, and saw it in him at that moment . . .

"Naruto-kun . . ." she breathed into the air, "I'm sorry . . ."

Minutes returned to seconds and flowed normally. Once again, Hinata felt the wind whipping at her hair and causing her tears to fall with her. She could feel the ground rushing up to meet her without watching it with her eyes. She flinched and prepared for her life to end--

--before abruptly landing on top of something softer than the ground, but not exactly a trampoline either. Whatever it was, it collapsed beneath her, seemed to cushion her fall, and--if she was not mistaken--became winded from the impact of her body.

Then, after it happened, all settled into silence again. Whatever she had landed on, she clenched to it as if it were a life raft in the middle of an ocean. It had saved her, and she did not want it to go away. If it was an illusion, she was afraid the whole scene would replay, and surely her life would end that time. Fate would not step in once again and save her twice. Whatever had caught her would let her die.

She waited until she heard people rustling about in their homes nearby, shouting out angrily at the dark, telling the disruptor of the night's peace to venture forth where the sun dared not shine.

As soon as that happened, she opened her white eyes--and saw the Kumori clansman lying beneath her, unconscious.

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PostSubject: Re: Broken Limits   Wed May 09, 2007 12:16 am

The Shiomi clan; not as much a clan as a single family line who technique is passed down from parent to offspring. An old clan who was said to have existed at the founding of the village hidden in lava along with the Arashi clan, both stemming from an unknown puppet clan of the distant past. While the Arashi clan began using puppetless chakra strings, something about the shiomi clan of the old refused to give up being in power over another being. After a time, the clan became bored with only controlling the will of a puppet, and decided to branch off to control the will of human beings as well. But techniques like those of the Yamanaka clan had to many drawbacks; and so it was then that Shiomi Ai created the Karasuseishi, a powerful string that gave the weilder power to control an enemy without fail.

Soon after, Shiomi Ai created the tradition of mask wearing amongst the clan. These masks were originally worn only as a symbol of a puppet master, a faceless being completely in control of your fate. Slowly, the idea of the mask being used as symbols of ones rank in the clan instead of a symbol of the clan itself replaced Ai's ideal. Though a few disagreed with this new form of ranking, little has been done to change the traditions of the clan of marionettes.

~~~

"Sei! get down from there NOW!" yelled Mayaa, looking up at her daughter with a mixed expression of fear and rage on her face.

The 12 year old girl stood on the edge of a cliff, hot air whipping up from the canyon below causing her wild black and pink hair to whip across her grinning face.

"But mom! I want to show you what I can do!"

"THERE IS NO WAY IN HELL YOU'RE GOING TO DO SOME THING L-"

"Quite dear, lets she what she can do," said the masked figure beside her. "I trust her abilities."

"Raikou?! how could you say something like that?!"

Her question remained unanswered as Sei hurled herself off the cliff, laughing all the way down. Dissapering out of view, she whipped out glowing strings from her finger tips. In a bizzare form of arial ballet, she swung from outcropping to outcropping doing somersaults and corkscrews. With a flick of her wrist she wrapped the Karasuseishi around a scraggled branch and catapaulted herself out of the canyon.

Mayaa watch in horror as Sei flew towards a a large boulder at speeds that would crush the girls head like a grape. Smile never leaving her face, Sei put a single hand in front of her face and shouted "RASENGAN"

The boulder exploded into bits and through the debris rocketed the young prodigy with a wild whoop. Mayaa covered her face as dust rained down on her, lowering them only a moment after to see Sei's smiling face. "See mom! I told you it was cool!"

Raikou nodded his approval and walked over to hug his daugher, but Sei rocketed past her father and glomped the young boy who had been hiding in his shadow. "Ryuu!" she squealed. "You're here! I thought you were fishing!"

The young boy shook his head, happy in his sisters warmer than normal embrace. "I.. wanted to watch you..."

"you're so cute... maybe I can teach you to do something like that somet-"

"I'm sorry Sei, but you have to get back to your training." interrupted Raikou.

"but dad I-"

"no buts, get your helmet on and follow me"

Sei lowered her head. "Yes dad..." she turned to her brother and waved. "Bye Ryuu."

Ryuu clung to his mothers leg, watching sadly as his sister left.

~~~

Mayaa had found Ryuu alone in his room, a still warm and bloodstain bed across from his prone body.

"That asswipe ran away..." she muttered, considering going after him but deciding against it. Instead, she sat down beside her son and soon fell asleep at his bedside.




"Oi, stop squirmin up there..." Rysuki grimaced, bracing his booted feet along the reddish-black rocks outside the hospital. He skidded slightly, eyes widening at the sudden thought of him and Arashi Chishuki sliding from the craggy surface and plummeting to their shared doom. "I know your leg's busted but you should be able to use strings or something!"

"I'm..mrrmph..trying to get a look!" Chishuki retorted, hands scrabbling at the windowsill while her uninjured foot swung wildly. Aside from her own hands, the only support she had was her uninjured foot which rested on the now-sore shoulder of her friend. "Anyway, this would have been easier if we'd just checked with the receptionist and knocked on the door."

"IF Kyuubi-sensei is in there..." the fire-eye panted, unable to wipe the sweat that plastered his black hair to his forehead. "I do not feel any need to be in the same room as him and Mayaa-sama." He shuddered slightly, remembering that the sand-girl that had beaten Ryuu had been equally bludgeoned by the enraged jounin. He would be surprised if Suna charged an extra fee for damage done to what Rysuki had learned was one of their prize kunoichi.

"Point taken," the girl grunted as she pulled herself up, accidently heaving her body to far and flopping onto her stomach with a force that caused her mending ribs to creak. "Owch!" she cried out, banging her still-aching head on the rough window with a dull thump. Scrambling up on her forearms and attempting to look as endearingly innocent as the awkward situation would permit, she breathed a sigh of relief as she found Mayaa sleeping, and Kyuubi nowhere to be found.

"He's alright.."she said quickly, turning back slightly to stare at Rysuki who had just managed to climb up after her and was now looking in curiously as well. "So..." she asked, pushing her hair out of her eyes and turning around to sit with her back to the window. "What're we gonna do now?"

"Figure out how the hell we get down." Rysuki answered shortly, sliding up onto the sill next to her and staring down at the fiery rivers below. "I think it was easier to go up as I was able to support you from below. If we tried going down right now, your leg would drag us both into the lava."

"So we just sit here?" 'Shuki said, an annoyed tone creeping into the girl's voice. "I'm not going to swing us out on strings unless I know I can land safely on both feet."

Rysuki paused. He wanted to get away from the hospital as fast as he could, but at the same time; he didn't really see a way to do it with Chishuki's leg injured. Screaming for help was so far out of the question that he almost threw himself to the rivers below in embarassment for even thinking about it. I could always try burning handholds and footholds, but there's no way to go except down...and trying to climb sideways would only work for me. Not willing to leave a member of his own team behind, he stared back at the window, leaning right up against the strangely cool glass. Eyes turning downward, his hope for an easy entrance was brutally stabbed to death as he saw the window locked from the inside. He didn't know why he was so worried about going into the room. His uncle wasn't in there, and Mayaa had no grudges against him that he knew of, unless she carried the rare misconception that Kyuubi actually cared for his nephew's well-being.

At that point, the only pleasant thought in his mind was that of the conversation he had overheard between his uncle and Chishuki's brother; that Dokuro was working to transfer command of the Lava Team and move the rookie genin out of Kyuubi's hands. Whether it was that thought that got him acting again instead of thinking, or the annoying grumble from 'Shuki's stomach; Rysuki didn't know. He moved his hands to his temples, focusing chakra through his eyes in a reddish flare from the center of the smiling pupils. SEIKAGAN

The window shivered in the intense heat, and for a moment Rysuki wished for the Taiyoukami Seikagan of his uncle's; an advanced version of the kekkei genkai that could channel the chakra in a far more destructive manner and instantly melt portions of the target in a single fiery attack. Even with the sustained maneuver, the glass had barely begun to "soften" and Rysuki's eyes were already dried and burning from lack of moisture. Eventually, he managed to soften the window enough that he was able to silently borrow Chishuki's crutch and push the molten glass aside, only to find a very awake Mayaa at the window, and staring directly at them through the hole.


~~~


Back at the Village's council chambers, Arashi Dokuro sat in one of the nobleman's chairs, slumped sideways with his legs dangling over one side as though someone had thought him an old doll and dropped him atop the piece of furniture. "No, I'm not going to let this slide off as "just an accident" at all." he said, staring at the three ninja standing before him. "Tamayu hired you, and didn't exactly do the best job of setting this whole thing up.

"Understatement of the year." Kankuro sniffed, eyes narrowed beneath the fake Akatsuki hat he was wearing in place of his hood. "Suna's not going to be happy with our report at all."

"Then you can tell them that we are removing Kyuubi from his Team Command position." the string-wielder said, a disarming smile on his young face. "I hardly approve of his methods either, and I can tell you that if you are called on again-" he added, choosing to ignore the muttered "like that will ever happen" from Temari. "I will make sure someone like Mayaa does not interfere."

"I have only one concern." Gaara said from behind his siblings, not bothering to look up from staring at the uninteresting black-rock floor. "Can you protect your own squad from the missions you may send them on?"

"You have my word on that!" Arashi Dokuro laughed, flipping through a booklet of plans and notes he'd taken from Kyuubi upon the jounin's entrance to the hospital. "Jeez....."

"What now?" the puppet-nin asked, a faint grin on his face. "Don't tell me the THIS IS THE SONG THAT NEVER ENDS...'s a pedophile too."

"No..." the rookie jounin said, eyes wide. "This guy had A-rank missions lined up for them next week." He grimaced, slamming the booklets shut angrily. "Rest assured...I won't be putting them, or you through this sort of stuff in any future missions; whether they're from my village or yours."

Standing, he shook their hands -or tried to, as Gaara seemed to be more than a little reluctant to have any sort of contact- and stood at the doorway, watching the three ninjas depart. His eyes followed Kankuro in particular. "Ruder than most genin I've met..." he sighed. "I'll probably cut his head off if he starts comparing more than just chakra-string jutsus with Chishuki."


~~~


"Not the happiest looking shinobi, are you?" Sakura asked, staring down at the unconscious form of Daichi with mixed amounts of curiousity and concern. Had they brought him back when they first located him, he would likely be awake right now. Unfortunately, having Hinata land on him -while it did get him in without incident- also had the side effect of breaking both of his arms and bruising several ribs. It had taken Sakura most of the early morning hours, but by breakfast time, the only thing she could do besides poke agitatedly at a bowl of ramen was watch the Kumori and make sure he didn't wake up and try to run off.

"SO..." a familiar voice called from the open door. "trying your luck with any dark-haired boy that survives a massacre?"

Sakura nearly jumped through the ceiling as her tired head shot up, green eyes wide as she caught sight of her friendly rival leaning lazily against the door. Yamanaka Ino's blue eyes seemed curiously split in their focus, leaving Sakura wondering if the girl was staring dreamily at the boy on the table, or casting a challenging glare in her direction.

"I-Ino?" she asked, stifling a yawn in surprise and shaking her head to clear it. "What are you doing here?"

"Oh, I'm just telling you to get back home before you collapse from exhaustion." Ino smirked, shaking her blonde head and walking over to help the over-tired Sakura out of the chair. Perhaps it was a well meaning action, but that didn't stop Sakura from shooting to her feet shakily, eyes already half-closed.

"I don't need..." she yawned again. "your help.." I'm not letting her do this to me again...she doesn't have to remind me I've already lost Sasuke-kun to Orochimaru.

"Oh calm down," Ino laughed, putting one arm around Sakura's middle and steadying her. "If I wanted this one that badly, I'd just give you a shove out the window right now." she added with a faint smirk as the two girls walked towards the door together.

"...fine." Sakura said, a faintly predatory gleam in her green eyes. "But when Sasuke-kun returns, don't expect me to let you get first shot just because of this."

"I wouldn't expect anything less." Ino shot back with a grin as they left the quiet room.

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PostSubject: Re: Broken Limits   Wed May 09, 2007 12:17 am

He opened an eye as soon as both of the girls turned away. Once they left, he was able to sit up in a rather uncomfortable position. Both of his arms had been reduced to faint fractures by Sakura’s healing prowess. She had jarred him out of unconsciousness briefly when she had touched his bruised ribs, and the pain soon after put him away once again.

The bruises were gone, and the pains from his limbs were a faint reminder to the danger he was still in. Despite the fact that he thought he was still not safe, he knew he was in no condition to be leaving yet. Though a hospital was not the most secure building in the world, he would feel better in one than out on the street. Nonetheless, he squinted his black eyes against the light and looked around the room.

He saw no sign of his newly-acquired katana. His shirt was missing as well, and his sunglasses had been set aside on a far counter. He wasn’t sure if his legs had been injured since the person had fallen on him from the rooftops, so he didn’t really know if he was up to trying to move so soon just to reach them.

Instead, he reached across the side table next to the bed for the lamp switch, and turned out the light to make sight easier. Unfortunately, the action took a large toll on him, and he was forced to lie back against the pillow. For entertainment value, he had the blank white ceiling to stare at, and the riddle as to how he would be able to get to the far lamp on the other side of the room without moving.

Eventually, he gave up on both options and closed his eyes, reflecting on the night’s events. The gore-fest was still prominent in his mind. The crimson-silvery glow of blood and moonlight intertwined beat a dark path into the recesses of his mind, unfolding a short story that was his life. He saw himself winding up the same as his slaughtered people—a tortured mass of writhing flesh in his last moment, begging for Death’s sweet embrace. Then she would come and grant him his wish, then send him off to eternal slumber.

Such thoughts gave Daichi shivers, and he rolled over onto his side, forgetting about his injuries. He immediately regretted it, and moaned in pain as his injured arm seared his brain with messages of agony. He rolled onto his stomach and planted his face in the pillow. He didn’t really care if he suffocated as a result. Sleep was what he wanted. More than likely, he wouldn’t for several days.

As the seconds ticked by, each spent in the darkness of his mind, he allowed himself to think of less horrifying images. One such image that flashed through his mind became the group of ninja that had tried to stop and interrogate him on his way back to the village. One had the head of a mop, and appeared to have caterpillars crawling across his forehead. Another was the pink-haired girl that had treated his injuries. He was yet to meet the third member of the group, but during his attempt to flee, he had spotted a third, long-haired member of the team. Unfortunately, he had not gotten a good look at him.

The mop-headed ninja had been the one to catch up with him. Surprising, considering the fact that Daichi had lived in the trees and forest for his entire life. Rock Lee had surpassed his speed without sweating, and had left him only with the option to shadow-walk away. The long distance made for an extended amount of time spent in the Nether Realm, which took a toll on his physical strength, and in the bright light of the full moon, it was all the more difficult to shift between the dimensions.

He had barely had the strength to reemerge from the shadows, and after an hour of finding a suitable place to bed down for the day, a person fell on top of him. He had been knocked unconscious in that event. Daichi only assumed it had been a girl by the sound of her scream. Without enough energy to shadow-walk, he ran and tried to catch her—which ended with his head slamming forcefully against the ground. He could only assume that he had spared her, even though it could have been wishful thinking. Despite the logic surrounding the fact that he had been a very convenient cushion for her landing, he was driven to think that she had survived merely because he had put his own body down to ensure it. It would seem hardly fair if she wound up dead anyway.

Life had not been fair for the Kumori boy anyway, and his vain attempt could just have been par for the course. Daichi had been optimistic for much of his life though, and it didn’t fail him there. Head buried in the pillow, he smiled invisibly, and winced as he slowly rolled face up. Even through the night’s difficulties, he found it in himself to sit up once again, and try his legs out for soreness. After finding none, he slipped his feet over the edge of the bed and set his sandaled feet on the floor.

Daichi stood slowly at first, sliding relatively comfortably into a straight-up position. It was at that point he first looked at the door, and was a bit astonished that a nurse or even the pink-haired girl had not walked back in and discovered him awake and alert. He lifted each leg to test it, and then crossed the room in a squint, picking up his shades and placing them on his nose. Then, he began his quest for his shirt, but stopped bothering after the first minute. It was likely for it to be in the hospital storage, and his katana was likely to have been confiscated by the authorities as evidence to solidify their claims as him being the killer of the Kumori clan.

In hindsight, grabbing his father’s murder weapon wasn’t his best idea . . .

Nonetheless, if they had thought him to be the killer, he would likely have several ninjas guarding him at the moment. He sensed none outside the door, and the hospital beyond was as silent as a tomb. Still only half-decent, Daichi cautiously slid the door of his room open and peered out, glancing left to right. Despite the look of abandonment, both the lights on and an injured patient with no one watching him told Daichi that someone would be coming soon. He slipped out of the room, leaving everything else as it was and slinking silently down the comfortable, shady hallway.

He had a simple plan: find the storage, get his things, and escape. Put on paper, it would sound just fine. However, he had no experience with the medical facility whatsoever. Worse yet, he was almost certain there were nurses doing rounds in the building. If one of them found him wandering, he would have to risk shadow-walking again to get away. Though it wasn’t dangerous, shadow-walking into the moon-dominated night would be difficult at best. He had done it once already, and stringing together too many individual walks could cause him to black out from overexertion.

Keeping as quiet as he could, he rounded a corner and peered into a dark corridor. His sharp black eyes glinted, seeing no one in the darkness. He threw a glance over his shoulder to see that he was not followed, and began running at full clip down the hallway. His shoes made soft clapping noises on the ground, not loud enough to be heard through closed doors or echo against the walls.

The information and registration desk loomed ahead just a few dozen yards, labeled with a large clear sign. It was dark, the attendants either in another part of the hospital checking up on patients, or retired for the night. Daichi took the first spot of good luck he had received that night like a valuable gift. He hastened his running speed and blurred even quicker down the cold tile.

Irony struck him dumb again when he took another turn too quickly and carelessly. His night had been full of genocide, suspicion, and people falling off a rooftop on top of him. To add to the list, the gods of cruelty stuck a girl his age right in his path. He had no time to stop, as he was already looming directly in front of her by the time she gasped and drew his focus. He tried to jam his raised foot to the floor and slow down to ease some of the impact. Instead of it working, his stance faltered, and he clumsily barreled right into her, sparing her the worst of it. Both tumbled down across the floor end over end, stopping only when the back of Daichi’s head rammed into the information desk.

For the second time that night, Hinata had found herself gripping the boy’s shoulders for dear life, and only opened her eyes when she sensed that the motion had stopped. Then, soon after the fluttering papers settled, all was silent.

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PostSubject: Re: Broken Limits   Wed May 09, 2007 12:17 am

For a moment, time stood still for the two lava genin. It was in that moment that Mayaa's face changed from enranged to sleepy and the jounins head then flopped back onto the bedside. Rysuki and Chishuki let out a combined sigh of relief, not wanting to deal with the unstable kunoichi. Widening the molten hole a bit more with the crutch, Rysuki turned to Chishuki "Come on, before she-"

"get down!" shouted Chishuki, yanking the Rysukis head away from the hole as a fistful of shuriken tore past their heads.

"Kuchiyose no Jutsu!" the lava jounin said softely, as though still half asleep, nipping her finger and spreading it across a scroll. A six foot long, blazing knife appeared in Mayaas hands. There was no scream of rage, only a cold silence as she ran at the window towards the trapped genin.

"Mom! those are my friends!" rasped a voice from the pile of bandages on the bed.

Mayaa came to a sudden stop and whirled around, the knife thudding to the ground and dissapering in a cloud of smoke. Rubbing the sleep out of her eyes, she stared at Ryuu, then at the two genin still out on the window. "Oh I'm so sorry!" said sweetly and tore the window out of the wall, allowing the Rysuki and Chishuki to step into the room, and immediatly forgot they existed. "Ryuu! you're awake! Are you feeling better? do you want me to gut Kyuubi for you?"

Ryuu noticed his two friends frantically shaking their heads behind Mayaas back. "No mom, its fine... What I really want is the feeling in my legs again."

Mayaa clapped her hands together, eyes blazing, "I'll get those lazy ass medical nin up here as fast as I can, even if I have to break all their legs doing it." She sprinted through the door and skidded off into the dimly lit hallways.

Ryuu stared at the open doorway with his mouth agape. "So, whats it like having a loon for a mom?" asked Chishuki innocently

~~~

They didn't know how it happened, only that one of the bridges had collapsed. A group of Yougankagure Jounin hoped around the area, searching for any signs of life. Mayaa herself frantically searched any out croppings or caves in the walls on the cliffsides for sign of hr daughter. "Kugutsu was with her... how could something like this happened..." growled Raikou, "She HAD to have lived... there's no way that someone like her could die this easily."

"We discovered something down near the lava," said a ANBU Yougankagure nin, its red face mask held in place by a gold plated headband. He held up a head band in a gloved hand, its plate melted to the point where it was almost unreconizable. Taking the object in his armoured hand, Raikou ran his finger over it in a solemn silence.

"Raikou! what are you doing!" shouted Mayaa, hopping onto the outcropping. "We have to find Sei! ... what are you holding?" The string nin slowly handed his wife the headband, not believing what had happened. Mayaa stared at the burned and twisted object and began trembling. "Oh god no, she can't be... SEI CAN'T BE DEAD," she screamed and burst into tears, head falling onto Raikous shoulder. The ANBU and Raikou were silent, witnessing the first and only time that Mayaa had shown her tears.

In the distance, a young boy sat under the eaves of his home, waiting for his sister to get home from her training.




Early morning.

The bright moon that shone down on Konoha hid behind the smoky clouds above Yougangakure. Heat-vents from the chasms throughout the village blasted the scalding air skyward, slamming it through the cooler clouds and eventually moving them aside for a clear night above the volcano-based shinobi town. Freed from the constriction of the dense air; the moon shone brightly and illuminated the Hidden Lava Village with its ethereal blue light that saturated the crimson lava-lit village in a hazy violet shroud. The effect combined with the steam vents gave the land itself a strangely surreal air.

Such a thing was rare, and the sight of the vilage in such a light left those awake, shinobi and not in a quiet and reverent sort of awe. Even conversation in a room holding three genin and a jounin was stalled as tehy paused to stare out across the landscape.

Unfortunately, one shinobi had little patience or time for the natural display. Ignoring those below the rocky hospital cavern-mountain's edges, Kyuubi's blackened eyes searched the purple horizon for his answer, and the reason he had not slept yet. Grumbling, he turned away from the window, pacing the hospital chamber wearily and flexing his once-injured hand. The medi-nins had only done as much as he had wished them to, and he'd used his own eyes and a kunai to repair the damage to the rest of his forearm. Eyeing the gloved limb, he whirled and swung it over and down at the floor as hard as he physically could.

PCHINGHK

Kyuubi grinned, pulling his wrapped arm from the deep cut in the rocky floor, taking in the faint ringing noises of his steel-layered bones and paying little mind to the scars along his forearm. He spun once more, facing the jagged basalt window hole just as the small grey hawk came soaring through.

Eyes narrowed in disdainful amusement, the lava-wielder watched the bird circle the room once, wings flapping frantically as though it had suddenly realized where it was. Kyuui lunged, eyes whirling to activation and vaporizing the hawk in a steaming pile of feathers and ichor as his hand shot forward and siezed the note bound to its charred leg.

Forest of Death, he thought with no small amount of gleeful anticipation, unrolling the parchment with a flick of one leather-covered thumb. here we-

His eyes narrowed at the emotionlessly cool dismissive rejection letter that suddenly burst into flame, flaring out from itself in ashes and drifting lazily on the warm early-morning breeze.

"You will regret that, Tsunade-mesuinu..." he hissed, striding angrily through the suddenly-flaming doorway to his hospital chamber, taking special care to set the walls on fire as he strode through the hallway with frightening speed..


~~~


White eyes.

Daichi was on the cold floor, half-dazed, half-conscious as he stared drunkenly through his now-lopsided sunglasses at the seemingly-floating double-pair of white eyes in the darkness of the lobby.

Two pairs?

Uncertain of what had happened at first, Hyuuga Hinata shook her head, pushing back into a sitting position nervously as her eyes adjusted to the darkness. She stood, staring down at the shadowed form in front of her and momentarily was focused on discerning the identity of the person until she heard the familiar sigh behind her and nearly jumped out of her skin.

"You should have seen that coming, of all people, Hinata-Sama." the owner of the second pair of eyes whispered with the barest hint of derision.

"N-Neji nii-san..." she squeaked, turning to face him quickly and forgetting about the boy she'd just crashed into. "I did not think there would...be anyone here this early."

"You should have used the byakugan." he insisted, turning and gesturing back into the darkness. "The Hokage wants the boy watched for now and is having ANBU placed throughout the hospital now. You should not be here now."

"W-What are you doing here?" she asked, her voice barely above a whisper, but determined not to fall back to the meek and timid person she always seemed to become in her cousin's presence.

"Your father's been worried about your safety, and he seemed to feel that it would be best if I came to find you myself." he grimaced. Whether the angry sigh that followed was due to the annoyance at playing babysitter for the Family Branch, or the fact that Hinata still wasn't strong enough to handle herself in his eyes; the Hyuuga girl didn't know. All she wanted at that point was to return home as quietly and quickly as possible.

Neji's concern for her was evident only in that he stayed within her range of eyesight as they left. However as soon as they were outside the hospital -passing Shikamaru who was busy helping two other jounin set up a floodlamp perimeter around the hospital- Neji bent his knees and sprang into the air with such speed that his hair almost flew loose. Barely keeping up with him, Hinata began wondering less about the boy at the hospital, and more about whether her cousin would ever truly change.

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PostSubject: Re: Broken Limits   Wed May 09, 2007 12:17 am

((( LITH )))

Ryuu shrugged as much as his neck could allow, "Its okay I guess. Things get done pretty quickly... and people give her free stuff just so she won't Randomly castrate them."

Ryuu proped himself up on a pillow and swung his lanky legs over the side of the bed. "But right now, I'd give anything for a good amount of pain killer," the masked genin added. "We seriously need better medical nins..."

"Our village isn't exactly known for our ability to make things feel nice," said Chishuki. "We're known for making things burn and die."

Both young ninja ninja looked over at Rysuki, who was busily incenerating flies on the now empty window sill. The awkward silence caused the fire-eye to turn around with a casual, "what?"

"nuttin'," said Ryuu, looking for another topic. His eyes fell onto a summoning scroll left on his bedside table. "Hey, did mom leave this here?"

Chishuki looked over at the table, "No, I saw her take her scroll with her when she left."

Ryuu picked it up with his unbroken arm and slowly unrolled it. The characters forming the words 'Satsu' was written one its surface. "Hey... this is dads puppet..." said Ryuu, his voice exposing every fiber of his confusion. A small slip of paper fell from the scroll, and had two words scrawled on it.

'A Gift'

"... God I'm dreaming now aren't I..." said the fishing nin.

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PostSubject: Re: Broken Limits   Wed May 09, 2007 12:18 am

"I'd have to say you are." Rysuki yawned, turning away from the insects lazily and leaning back in a chair to prop his legs on the edge of Ryuu's bed, not seeming to care if the sheets got ash on them. "Your dad's got a reptuation that's about as pleasant as my uncle's from what I've heard about him." Though in a scenario like this, he thought. I don't need a gift, unless it's a chance to fight that girl who kicked Ryuu's ass into next week.

"Has anyone managed to figure out what the deal with that idiotic training session was about?" Chishuki asked, eyes flashing in anger momentarily.

"Get used to them." Rysuki replied sharply, eyes glowing with an inner fire ever so briefly. "My uncle's run those things with just about every team he's had. His 1/3 Student Fatality's made him a bit of an infamous legend in the council here. By his own logic, he hasn't done his job if at least one of us isn't dead within a few weeks."

"How'd I get stuck in this group of freaks?" Ryuu muttered from behind his bandages.

"Your family and Chishuki's are known for being collectives of prodigies." Rysuki yawned eyes widening again as he focused on the ceiling and casually blasted a lightbulb from its socket, the overheated glass splashing into puddles on the other side of the room with a hissing noise. "Kyuubi likely included me since I'm one of the few in the Kuryoku clan who doesn't hold back on use of this kekkei genkai."

"So we're supposed to be a collective of Hyuugas and Uchihas?" Ryuu asked, worry increasing. Didn't we just get our asses handed to us in a completely unbalanced fight?

"In Kyuubi's mind, yes." the fire-eye said, sounding completely unconcerned with the entire life-or-death scenario they had just been through. "In your brother's mind," he added, turning to Chishuki pointedly. "We're supposed to be more like a small cluster of those Aburame wierdos. Decently powerful, but not in the piss-offedly loud fashion."

"My..brother?" she asked, tilting her head in a slightly confused fashion and scratching her hair. "Wait...I think I heard the medical nins talking about this. Isn't he planning on taking Kyuubi's spot as jounin leader of our team?"

"Last I heard, yeah." Rysuki yawned. "So maybe you shouldn't get used to Kyuubi's tra-"

Ryuu leapt to his feet, about to let out a joyful whoop before pulling four muscles in his injured body and promptly collapsing.

~~~

Typically, anyone wishing to journey through to Sunagakure would wind up travelling across a truly unforgiving expanse of desert wasteland. The sunblasted area around the Village Hidden in Sand only stretched for a couple hundred miles, but the heat was enough to leave any unprepared army or traveller exhausted.

If however, one was a native to the village or a pre-exptected visitor, other ways of entering remained.

Barely out past the edge of a forest on the country's border, a small light could be seen beneath the trees above a sharp canyon edge. The glowing fire in that area was being used not only to keep any animals in the area away, but as what one of the three called "an unecessary use of wood".

Needless to say, a 2/3 majority among the trio prevailed in creation of the small blaze.

"Admit it, Temari." one of the other two said with a teasing laugh. "You enjoyed that mission, even if the end didn't go the way you'd planned."

"Shut up, baka" she replied sharply, green eyes glaring at the cast that was still locked in place around her forearm. "You wouldn't laugh like that if you were beaten in an ambush by a jounin."

Kankuro fell silent at that point, weighing odds of his physical condition at the end of such a fight. He knew he probably couildn't win against someone like Mayaa, but he managed to weigh his odds of escaping without critical injury. He had the puppets to rely on, and he could handle long-range, but evidently speed and distance were irrelevant. Eventually, he frowned at the knowing and triumphant grin on his sister's face. "Yeah, unless the entire team took her at once, she'd kick our asses. I'll admit it." he added, drawing a questioning stare from Gaara and leaning back easily against a tree to remove his hood; revealing his over-matted brown hair. "That is, if you'll admit that you didn't have a completely bad time there."

"Deal, then." she sighed, eyes half shut in exasperation. "I wouldn't mind going back as long as we got to avoid disasters like the one Kyuubi set up for us."

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PostSubject: Re: Broken Limits   Wed May 09, 2007 12:18 am

((( LITH )))

Ryuu lay on the ground feeling useless. His entire body was a mess, and the only probable reason he hadn't been given the lava bath was because his mother had threated to anally rape anyone who tried to touch him with a rusty butcher knife. He had been the one who was nearly killed in the fights, while his friends had only been moderately to barely injured at all.

As Chishuki and Rysuki helped him back up onto his bed, Ryuu muttered, "Years from now, a word will be created to describe the amount of fail I just achieved..."

"I'd go with Megawfulnormous," grinned Chishuki.

Ryuu was silent for just a moment before he burst out laughing, the pain in his lungs forgotten.

~~~

Kyuubis rampage through the hospital cooridors went undisturbed, mostly because the med nins feared him too much to try and put a stop to it. As the fire eye rounded the corner, a masked figure placed himself between Kyuubi and the wall. Kyuubi ignored the bystander at first, choosing to burn through him rather than avoid him, but the man casually side stepped his range of vision and approached him.

"You seriously need a drink" said Raikou

~~~

Raikou and Kyuubi sat at one of Lavas very few bars, the Puppet Jounin only flipping up the lower part of his mask every so often to take a sip of sake.

"You've had interesting training methods with your nephew..." said Raikou between sips.

Kyuubi merely grunted

"You had him isolated did you?" continued Raikou, ignoring Kyuubis lack of intrest.

"He had done it to himself," said Kyuubi. "Completely seperated form the rest of the village due to his... tendency to burn everything in sight. Even you should know that Raikou."

"I never doubted that he was, pity they removed him from your training. I don;t think anyone else will be able to handle him well... thats not a sweet little kid we have running around the village."

"That's where you're mistaken Raikou," said Kyuubi, taking a sip of his own sake. "He's nicer than you think... but THAT'S going to be purged in a hurry."

"Sometimes I think you enjoy breaking these little prodigies," said the Puppet nin with a hint of amusement.

"There is an art to it, and I'm very... very good at it. But enjoy? Well... maybe. After they put the peices of their shattered little minds back together, it makes them stronger" said Kyuubi with a feral grin.

"You're a monster"

"Thanks, does this mean I get a raise?"

"Just a Medal. Yougankagure is having budget problems," laughed Raikou

For a while longer, they drank in silence. As Raikou sipped down a mouthful, he set the cup onto the table with a distant look in his masks eyes.

"Does it ever seem to you that these... genin aren't children? How they act, how they talk, they don't seem like kids" said Raikou

"They're not ment to be kids Raikou," growled Kyuubi.

"I was thinking... they never had time to act like children. None of the kids around here are normal. They act like... History. Conquerers, Warriors, Kings, and Tyrants."

"We're trying to earn a place in the world, not heal a wounded heart. You're more compassionate than you choose to reveal Raikou... and frankly its more than necissary," said Kyuubi.

Raikous face remained expressionless behind his mask, "I was just thinking aloud Kyuubi... Oh, and IF they assign you another genin squad, try not to hurt them."

"You're joking right?"

"I ment, don't hurt them more than usual. A dead ninja is useless, a living one can be used as cannon fodder."

Kyuubi thought about how Ryuu had been the one closest to death, then let out a hoarse laugh, "Oh, so you can decide when you son is used as cannon fodder and I can't? Quite the hypocrite aren't you?"

"Ryuu is ten times smarter and stronger than I am. What I'm doing to him will bring out his genius. If I had gone through it myself Kyuubi, it would have crushed me." said Raikou with wiry smile and sipped down another shot of sake

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PostSubject: Re: Broken Limits   Wed May 09, 2007 12:19 am

Tsunade was not happy.

"And you are certain there are no traces left of the massacre?" the hokage asked, leaning forward on her deks and lacing her fingers together beneath a peircing stare. Beneath her elbows, the smooth surface of the fortress-like desk was covered in reports, Bingo Book updates, and an uinpleasant-looking letter with a volcano-etching seal washed across the bottom.

"None." Umino Iruka said, managing to avoid stepping back under her gaze. "I made sure the bodies were moved beneath Konoha into one of the hospital's sub-levels and out of sight." Swallowing at the memory of death's smell, he continued. "We used summoning jutsus to avoid jostling them too much, but they are hidden now."

"Good." This sort of thing is almost unprecedented she thought, eyes looking down at the report on the massacre. Details on the event had been horrific enough, but the fact that a casualty list and cause-of-death sheets were yet to come had even the aged medi-nin's stomach in an unpleasant knot.

And then there was the letter from Yougangakure, boldly requesting use of the forest of death. She had balked at the idea, immediately writing it off as an idiotic prank and sending a reply off without hesitation. She had heard rumors of the overzealous jounin bearing the Kyuubi name, but had always dismissed them as being class-originated rumors or gossip.

The request merely seemed to be the latest in a series of pranks, and indeed the Lava village's reputation in Konoha was practically a myth.

"Tsunade-sama?" a familiar voice said with a worried tone from outside the chamber.

"What is it?" she asked, standing abruptly at the sound of Shizune's voice and startling Iruka...again.

"You have a visitor." the almost meek voice came. "He said its urgent."

"Send him in." she sighed, slumping back into her chair wearily and fixing her dark eyes on the door.

Opening of its own accord, the door swung aside to reveal a shinobi she had never seen in her life. Clad in black with a bloodred single-panel vest belted twice across his torso, the shinobi stood easily with an almost insolently casual posture that momentarily made her doubt the claimed urgency of his message.

Looking him up and down again, she noted the bleach-white death's head mask he carried by the eyeholes, as well as gold colored metal plates across his shoulders and the backs of his hands. More curious still, was the volcano-like etching in them. She stared down at the paper and back at the insignias.

As she looked at the leter, the shinobi's eyes fell on it as well and he let out what sounded remarkably like a dismayed groan.

"I...apologize for the letter." he said hesitantly as though choosing his words. "I had hoped to arrive before it did to avoid causing you greater stress than that which you now appear to be under."

"Don't waste time with apologies." she replied sharpy. "What's done is done. Now explain who you are."

"Right..." he said, voice suddenly hardening as he scratched his black-haired head lightly with one gloved hand, golden bands at the base of each finger glittering in the office light. "My name is Arashi Dokuro, a jounin of Yougangakure."

"Yougangakure..." Tsunade repeated, glancing at Dokuro and the letter. So there is more to the lava-dwelling shinobi than a few rumors. "Then this letter was sent by your village?"

"Unfortunately." he replied, not moving from the doorway. "I doubt this will do much to relieve stress on you, but the village council of my people has removed "Kyuubi" from his leader position on the team we will be sending here in a few weeks for the chuunin exams."

"Then there certainly is more to you people than a foolish request to use the Forest of Death for training his team."

Dokuro snorted, trying to hold back laughter at Tsunade's announcement. "Is that what he'd requested? I thought he was writing you a death threat, not submitting a training request of that sort!"

"I don't find any of this funny, Dokuro." she said, raising her eyebrows.

"Forgive me, Tsunade-sama. I merely find it amusing that he would go so far after the fiasco with Suna."

At mention of Konoha's allies, Tsunade leaned back in her chair, eyes half-closed. "He's working with the Sand? Perhaps you should fill me in on this "Kyuubi" of yours..."

~~~

Rysuki was puzzled for the first time in his life. Up until that point, much of his time existing had been living the "life" of a weapon, training under his uncle or whatever means he chose for himself. Threats on his life had always seemed almost as common as yawning to him, and anyone he met was rarely a decent conversationalist, much less a friend.

As he winced at Ryuu's painful laughter, he realized some amount of that had changed. The shinobi and the kunoichi in front of him were laughing and giggling, treating the day's adventures as though they were long-forgotten dreams lost to time.

Rysuki finally understood that the concept of "leisure" was something totally new to him.

"Um...Ryuu?" 'Shuki said, suddenly looking concerned as she stood up.

"haahhhhh"

With a thud, Ryuu had fallen back onto the bed, twitching slightly against his bandages.

"Mediiic."

Well, maybe not all leisure. Rysuki thought, prodding one of the bandages with a finger. "You've been moving around way too much." he said. "I'll see if we can get you transferred to Konoha for a bit. I've heard their Hokage could have wounds like these healed and cleaned within an hour."

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PostSubject: Re: Broken Limits   Wed May 09, 2007 12:19 am

((( BEAR IN DA COOLER )))


There he stood, in front of the long table where the seven elders sat. None of them he knew anything about, except that the leader was some distant relative of his through marriage decades ago. As they peered at him quizzically he took a quick peek at his mentor Ruina-sensei, who was standing at attention by his side. He only caught her eye for a secound, but it caused her to smile kindly at him and place her hand on his shoulder. He had been training every day since he had been under her guidence, and he felt that she was almost more like a sister now then his mentor.

"Tatsumaki Kichiro, we are very pleased at your progress, and believe that even though you have only been training under Ruina-san for a year you two are a superb team. We, the elders of the Tatsumaki clan think that you are not only ready for the chuunins, but that we can send you with Ruina-sensei on a class-S mission." One of the elders said, making Kichiro's eyes widen.

"You cannot be serious!" Ruina shouted, "Kichiro is still only a Genin, what would possess the council of elders to think of such a thing!?! It would be sending him to his... "

"Enough Ruina!" The leader of the elders said, like a whisper but was not drowned out at all. He stroked his long white beard for a few secounds before he continued. "I understand your concern Ruina, but we of the council has debated this for weeks and this is what we've come up with. With you he should be perfectly safe. This mission requires smarts and stealth, as well as caution which the boy does have."

*****

Kichiro heard the twang before he saw the arrow. His katanna flashed out of it's sheath and split the arrow down the middle, causing both halves to miss him. He saw Ruina-sensei jumping into the trees ahead, so he kept crounched on the ground and ran after her.

One trapmaster, six gadget-nins, and a tatsumaki missing-nin. We have to use our heads for this...our lives depend on it.

*****

Kichiro snapped out of his daydreaming, just barely missing the wooden Katanna Ruina-sensei sung at him. He slashed back with his own. His arm still throbbed when he went his full speed, but he had to grin and bear it if he didn't want to hold the rest of his team back for the chuunins. It had taken him 3 months in the hospital, and 2 more months of physical therapy to get him back to this level. The Medic Ninjas at the hospital had told him is was a miracle that he didn't lose any permanent mobility or speed, that with more training he could surpass where he was with ease.

"Your partners for the chuunins are at the outskirts of the city." Ruina-sensei said with a smile, getting a hit on the side of his head. "Gaara is with them, so when they arrive we must pay our respects." Kichiro nodded understanding and walked over to where he left his real equipment. He was going to be on a team with two of the most powerful Genin in the Hidden Sand Villiage, and this made him feel even more nervous that he would be unable to pull his own wieght with the wounds he still had.

Will I be able to strengthen myself by the time we reach Konoha? Will I be able to prove to the childeren of sand that the Villiage Hidden in Tempest is just as strong as they are?

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PostSubject: Re: Broken Limits   Wed May 09, 2007 12:20 am

The sandy landscape plummeted beneath the trio's feet, giving way to an enormous skien of sun-parched towers and gourd-like houses. They rose at varying heights in equally different layouts, remaining connected above the ground by bridges and wirelines that gave several of the spires a web-covered appearance. All in all, the village resembled the product of a sandcastle-building toddler on a beach.

As the wind blasted over the desert in a sand-whirling storm, the appearance of the dried stronghold became even more forboding, looking like the abandoned excavation site of some long-forgotten ruin. Despite the misconceptions any stranger might have however, it was home to the three siblings standing on the cliff edge that only now was level with the middle of the tallest building; the Kazekage's chambers.

Those chambers had remained empty for almost a year however, as the council itself had yet to appoint a Kazekage in the relative absence of one old enough. Initially, the council had elected to move beyond Yondaime Kazekage's children in terms of candidacy, citing Gaara's behavior as the principal cause, and not failing to mention that neither his brother nor sister seemed the types to sit behind a desk all day.

That however, changed upon Gaara's return to Suna after his first run through the Chuunin exams in which he had seemed to become far less violent, confining the targets of his outbursts to pottery or other inanimate objects. While he was still feared by many, one of the elders did note one day that a pot or desk was easier to replace than another shinobi or kunoichi.

"This is where we part for now then." Gaara said suddenly, startling his brother and sister more with his timing rather than what he had said. Eyes closing, the sand around his feet began whirling at his ankles, dusting his robes and feet as though preparing to spirit him away to some other part of the village alone.

"G...Gaara?" his sister spoke first, uncertain as to what her brother meant. Parting? The council can't have appointed him now-

Kankuro for once, seemed at ease with the announcement, one eye widening in his sister's direction as her surprise was voiced. "That jounin must have hit you harder than we all thought." he sighed. "Gaara has advanced by now, and thus we are left one ninja short. Unless he got himself killed, our third member should be out of the hospital and active by now."

Groaning as she remembered, the sole kunoichi of the now divided team rubbed her temples wearily, mind feeling more than a little overwhelmed with the events of the past few days and the knowledge that the team would be altered. There goes much of our fighting dynamic she thought, only slightly consoled by the fact that Kamaitichi could handle the Forest of Death this time in place of Gaara's sand attacks.

When she looked up again, Gaara had vanished.

~~~

"Where're you going?" Chishuki asked as the fire-eye stood from his seat so fast the chair crashed back against the wall, spilling several crates of bandages. He's agitated, this isn't like him.

"We're going to fail in the exams." he said shortly, heading for the door as though Hell itself were creeping after him.

"Who says we're even taking them?" Ryuu asked, lying flat on his back and in pain. Unmoving, he didn't even try to lift his head for fear of reopening another wound.

"My uncle probably signed us up the minute we passed the academy crap." Rysuki shot back with a hint of anger. "He may not be in charge of our team anymore, but he filed everything of ours without consent. We either enter and fail, or rescind our consent in the written segment and fail."

"You're a ray of sunshine." 'Shuki chirped with a smile that momentarily caused Ryuu to forget about his injuries.

"We've still got a third option." Rysuki shrugged, opening the door and glancing back. "If we can get Ryuu out of this slaughterhouse of a hospital and into Konoha, we can have one of the medics there treat him. I've heard they're generally not supposed to accept foreigners, but I think we can get in if we tell the Hokage that it'd be detrimental to Kyuubi's own aims."

"Y'make it sound like he actually wants me dead." Ryuu chuckled weakly.

"He just wants us all too broken to stand up to him when we attain enough skill to actually pose a threat."

"Doin' a good job so far." Ryuu muttered resentfully.

"Would it help if I wore a cute little nurse's outfit for effect?" Chishuki asked happily.

Ryuu's nose began bleeding.

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PostSubject: Re: Broken Limits   Wed May 09, 2007 12:20 am

((( KATSU )))

Two figures started to walk along the streets of Konoha.
One of them was nondescript, he was a basic raven haired boy, wearing black clothes and blue eyes. he was constantly chatting with the other boy, who would strike more interesting at a glance.
The second boy stood a couple inches taller than the other, he wore more traditional black and red no sleeve top and pants that closely resembled hakama.
He had a stalk of turqoise hair, which he wore a headress around to keep up.
However, that was not the interesting part of him. On his face he wore a Back and red demon mask, covering all but his eyes and mouth. The conversation between the boys seemed to be mostly by the raven haired boy.
"Really Katsu-kun" the raven-haired boy stated, "is it really necessary you ALWAYS wear that mask? I mean really, do you ever take it off?"
"never in public Kira-san... and if you ask one more time I'll have to hit you." the Masked boy replied, he seemed to start getting annoyed by the raven-haired boy, named Kira.
"all right, but you'll never get a girlfreind if your face is covered, you think you're Kakashi or something?"
"that is not your concern Kira-san, and Kakashi-sempai will be my jounin instructor."
"yeah yeah.. no need to brag. as far as you know we'll be on the same team so ha." Kira made a face at Katsu, then stopped when he saw Katsu's clenched fist.
"sheesh, calm down.... you need to calm down you know.." Kira sighed, and they continued to walk together down the street.
"By the way Kira-san, where are you staying?"
"well... I thought I'd stay at your place, I'll pay for myself if it'll help... being you're poor."
"you don;t need to remind me. fine, you can stay, but you pay for yourself."
"I understand completely. but seriously, you need a girlfreind badly."
"not as badly as you, I can live being single."
"oh hey come on! that's nbot fair Katsu-kun!"

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PostSubject: Re: Broken Limits   Wed May 09, 2007 12:20 am

"Ah, get some sleep, forehead girl." Ino teased asshe and Sakura left the hospital, the latter girl leaning on the former for support...again.

She had dragged Daichi back to his bed after the literal run-in, and spent another half an hour healing over new injuries acquired in the fall, and old injuries that had reopened from his unexpected tumble. The effort had left him recovered and sleeping again, but at the same time; she found herself completely drained by daybreak. Once again, Ino was supporting her out of the hospital, a task the flower girl had taken some amount of pleasure in, as it gave her a chance to one-up Sakura without being blatantly obvious about it. After all, rivalries only burned out if they increased in intensity too fast.

"I can make it on my own now." Sakura said, pushing herself free and walking slowly down the streets, feet kicking up dust as they shuffled through tiredly. "See you tomorrow."

"Hmph...you just don't like admitting you need my help." Ino said to herself as two other shinobi passed by, talking about what sounded like girlfriends. Sasuke's gone. she thought, almost soberly. Guess the other guys are figuring they've got a chance now.

"I can make it." Sakura said, unexpectedly feeling her voice rise as she turned her gaze back towards her friend/rival. "I'm not helpless you know."

"You're also not looking." Ino snickered as Sakura -her emerald stare elsewhere- ran into a much taller and strangely harder form.

Stumbling back and falling with a cough in the dust, she heard a voice above her say in some surprise; "Dust here, huh? It's like volcano ash without the heat..."

Coughing again, she stared up at a black-haired skull of some sort, barely managing a squeak of fright in her exhausted state.

"Don't worry." the skull said in a surprisingly calm voice that actually aleviated the kunoichi's anxiety. "I'm just visiting." he added, pulling the helmet off and revealing the swept-back black hair that hung down over his back. The first thing Sakura noticed was one of his eyes; badly scarred and glassed over in a pale blood-filled lens.

Sasuke...no...Ka..

"Arashi Dokuro." he said, leaning down and extending a black-gloved hand to lift her to her feet, ignoring the fact that Ino had lost her chance to save Sakura's butt...again.

"Foreign." she muttered, noticing the gold-plated emblem on his glove's back.

"Yougangakure." he said simply, releasing her hand and raising it towards a support strut protruding from one of the buildings above. Pausing as though waiting for something to fall on his head, he narrowed both eyes at her as he replaced his mask. "And please don't look at me that way. I'm too old for you."

His fingers spread, sending a lacework of pure chakra whirling up to grasp the extending beam. The strings flared briefly, and his muscles tensed. In an instant, he had shot up and forward; literally swinging his way across the village.

Sakura stared after him, stunned that he'd even said such a thing, and even more surprised that he'd noticed her looking at him. But it wasn't affection. she thought. He looked-

"Into older men now?" Ino asked. "How unfortunate."

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PostSubject: Re: Broken Limits   Wed May 09, 2007 12:21 am

((( BEAR IN DA COOLER )))

"We shouldn't keep them waiting Kichro-kun" Ruina said, snapping him out of his thoughts. He nodded to her, then took off as fast as he dared. He decided this would be a good chance to test other abilities than combat, so he focused chakra to the soles of his feet, connecting with a wall and running along it. As he dashed along the wall he tried flipping up onto the roof and back. He almost lost his footing on the first try, but he slowly got better and better. This gave him more confidence that he'd be fully recovered by the exams.

Ruina watched Kichiro running and jumping along the buildings, and it made her smile. "He'll never give up until he's fully tested his abilities. He's determined to keep working hard until he can't progress any further. I wish you the best Kichiro-kun"

Once Kichrio caught sight of his new teammates he launched himself into the air, using the Kaze-Shunshin no Jutsu to seemingly 'teleport' within 10 feet of them. Then he awaited their attention and for Ruina-sensei to show up.

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PostSubject: Re: Broken Limits   Wed May 09, 2007 12:21 am

"Newbie alert." Kankuro said, raising one eyebrow in annoyance as his hood-covered ears picked up Kichiro's landing behind him.

Good technique though. Temari thought. He's just about up to Gaara's speed, even if it's all he can focus on when he moves that way. He still hasn't picked up on attacking at the same time, otherwise he'd have left his sword embedded in the sand between Kankuro and me.

"So...you're the so-called replacement for Gaara?" the puppet nin said, face fixed in its usual condescending sneer as he stood and turned to face Kichiro who offered no immediate reply. "We don't...." he paused, weighing his own words to see how the wind-shinobi would react. "mind having you on the team. Just make sure you're able to fit in with how Temari and I work rather than charging ahead to be a solo operative."

"Like Gaara?" Kichiro asked softly, finally responding and aiming his comment at the siblings' former tendency to hang back and let their brother do the brunt of the work for them, even if the alternative at the time was death or crippling injury.

"You...." Kankuro said, starting to sound as though he wanted to trap and impale Kichiro. "Are-"

"Not Gaara." Temari said from her seated position on the desert cliffside behind them both. "And we she said, glancing at Kankuro with a look meant to quiet him down. "Are not asking you to be him, or to not be him. We'll all have to relearn certain aspects of teamwork; none of which will be attained if you two allow this to continue. Kankuro, allow him the chance. Kichiro, follow us for now. You will have to change to fit with us, just as we have to change to work with a team that does not include a trump card."

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PostSubject: Re: Broken Limits   Wed May 09, 2007 12:22 am

((( BEAR IN DA COOLER )))

"I know the meaning of teamwork, and I do not plan on being a hindrance. In fact, from my training that last few days I am possitive I will be in complete recovery by the time we reach Konoha." Kichiro answered, bowing to Temari, and then to Kankuro although not as deeply, showing Kankuro that he was displeased to have hostility towards him at first meeting.

"If it will help, perhaps we could exchange information on the way there? Get to know how each other work, our strengths and weaknesses for example. I wish to know in what ways I could help fill the gap that you two are used to."

He looked back, seening Ruina-sensei within sight but a distance away that she wasn't intruding. He bowed in her direction and she smiled, then turned around walking towards the hospital. He hoped that he could find a way to make these shinobi comfortable with him...otherwise the Chuunin exams would become increasingly difficult.

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PostSubject: Re: Broken Limits   Wed May 09, 2007 12:22 am

"Not what you expected?" Temari said, holding back a slight laugh at the expression on Kankuro's face. His painted expression was a mix of shock and what could only be described as the urge to bash Kichiro with his puppet himself.

The puppet nin began muttering something about preppy shinobi and how they often tended to end up dead very fast. Temari noted his frustration, as one of his hands was already toying with the bandage wrappings that held his two puppets in place on his back.

"Let him be." she said. "He's not too bad for a newbie. After all, he's actually willing to try and fit in with us rather than change the team dynamic entirely." she added, momentarily wondering what it would've been like if someone like Naruto had somehow been assigned to their team.

Despite the warm air, Temari shivered.

"So...just when do we head for Konoha?" Kankuro asked, fingers already twitching in anticipation of another round of fights. He had been seeming more and more eager to cripple something of late, and Temari was surprised someone with as short a temper as he had held it in this well.

"One week more." she whispered.

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PostSubject: Re: Broken Limits   Wed May 09, 2007 12:23 am

((( KATSU )))

"seriously though.. you need a girlfreind.. might loosen you up. didn't you talk about a girl at home once?"
"never...speak...of that girl....again..."
Kira decided not to push the subject, for fear of his life.
He then spotted two girls they passed.
"oooi... Katsu, those girls look nice... especially the blonde one" he whistles softly.
"the least we can do is talk to them... maybe see if they'll eat some ramen with us... you know you like ramen."
Katsu also noticed the girls, but mostkly the one with pink hair.
"is that girls hair....pink? is that natural?"
"who knows, maybe she died it, maybe natural... why don;'t we find out eh?"
"fine Kira, we'll go... for your sake... pull me into it and I'll kill you."
"yeesh...fine.."
the two boys turn a 180 and trod towards the girls.
"hhey! hey, you two girls... hey!"
"you do not understand subtly Kira...I swear..." Katsu sighs.
they make it closer to the girls and Kira moves in front of them.
"hello, I'm Kira, this is my pal here Katsu-kun. we were just passing by, I'm new here, and we were wondering if you could spare us a bit of your time?"
The masked ninja Katsu just crossed his arm, wondering when Kira will shut up, and also how a girl could have pink hair. He kept a serious face behind his rather outlandish headwear(the demon mask).

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PostSubject: Re: Broken Limits   Wed May 09, 2007 12:23 am

"I am NOT into older men, Ino-pieeep!"

For the second time that day, Sakura found herself bumping into a shinobi whose face and obviously name she did not recognize. Konoha hasn't changed all that much, but with Naruto and Sasuke-kun with me, was I always this sheltered from the others?

"I don't think I'd mind hanging around," Ino said, draping an arm around Sakura's shoulders with enough weight behind it to make her point noticeable. "But someone here seems to have overtaxed themselves working at the hospital and should be at home."

You're just enjoying playing the superior one... Sakura thought angrily, managing to keep her face from reddening. "I'll be fine later." she said, backing away from Kira slightly and moving to sidestep him. "I don't need people surrounding me every step of the way here."

Ino watched her go, rolling her eyes as she turned and made her way back towards the flower shop her family owned. She woujldn't be surprised if either of the two boys attempted to follow her, but the fact that Sakura was out of the picture for now would leave one of them playing the part of third wheel on whatever "spare time" slot they had come up with.

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