[Plotboard] The Fall and the Rise

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Kao
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[Plotboard] The Fall and the Rise

Post by Kao » Tue Jan 29, 2019 5:05 pm

For a while, things were chaotic.

Panicked shouts had filled the sealing cavern as Kanna's assistants made their way to the injured council members, stumbling over the bodies of the sealers who hadn't survived. Darkness hung like a heavy shroud, nearly palpable as the men and women stepped on broken glass and sharp pieces of rock that had fallen from the ceiling. Shizuo's legs shook like jelly, and after his barrier dissipated he had collapsed, barely able to draw breath. Like he thought, holding the barrier technique had nearly drained him of his chakra reserves completely. He fell in and out of consciousness, fighting it as he tried to crawl towards someone - anyone - who he could still help.

Up on the observation deck, the wall of lava had collapsed completely. Behind it were Enkouten Kaizen, lowered to one knee and panting, while the Tsuchikage stood to his left with his arms outstretched in front of him. Both men had tried to protect the council, but their combined doton and youton techniques had been ineffective against the pure spirit chakra that had assaulted the cavern. The most they could do was keep the place from collapsing and protect the others from flying debris, but the ukiyogenma's chakra had permeated their defenses and had affected them as well. The rest of the council was scattered around them, a few of them conscious on their hands and knees. The rest of them lied on the ground, motionless.

"Send an alert to the hospital staff that were on standby!" the kage barked, and though the Enkouten clearly didn't want to leave the scene of the disaster, he obliged and rushed out of the cavern at breakneck speed. Kanna was distraught. Out of all the possible scenarios, this was one of the worst that could have happened.

Shizuo woke up several hours later to the blinding white lights and walls of his hospital room. The nurses urged him to lie down as he yelled for his clothes and information, but the young man didn't heed their words. The nurses had been sworn to secrecy but eventually he wore them down - he had been present at the sealing, after all - and he made his way to Kiyoshi's room. When she showed no signs of awakening he settled himself in an armchair near her bed, never taking her eyes off her sleeping form.
Kao's CharactersShow
Akari KotaruJouninIwagakure no Sato Team 18 Jousai [color=#1fb8a3]
Komiya ShizuoSpecial Jounin Iwagakure no Sato [color=#177ba6]
Important NPCsShow
Akari Kanehara Akari clan elder [color=#80A0FF]
Sakata KannaIwagakure Councilwoman [color=#3DA43B]
Hazuki Shuran Jinchuuriki researcher [color=#E854C0]
Enkouten Kaizen Iwagakure councilman [color=#C65871]

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Valkier
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[Plotboard] The Fall and the Rise

Post by Valkier » Fri Feb 08, 2019 1:38 pm

Consciousness returned slowly, at first. Thought trickled into Kiyoshi's waking mind like half-molten wax, filled with the memory of terrible dreams. Dreams of pain, of screaming, of swirling colours and an eternity bound within a featureless cage. She could feel it still, trapping her, stifling her, trying to break her will and force her to do the bidding of... of...

Her eyes snapped open and she bolted upright, shouting and flailing against a tangle of sheets. One of her arms clipped a vase on a bedside table and sent it tumbling to shatter on the floor in a spray of dirt and flowers before she froze, gasping and staring around her in alarm. For a long moment she sat there, confused and stunned by the bright lights and clean walls of the hospital room. Then the tiredness hit, washing over her like a wave and pushing her back down into the warm embrace of the bed. She closed her eyes against the influx of sensations and brought up her arms to cover her face. Then, at a sound from nearby, she peeked out between them and saw Shizuo sitting to one side.

He looked... worried. Why would he be...? Oh. Oh. Memory slowly returned, and she shuddered behind her arms. No wonder her body felt so leaden.

"He—...Hey." She coughed at the dryness of her throat. Her voice was quiet, and sounded far calmer than she felt. "What... What happened? Did it... Am I...?" she withdrew her arms and looked at her hands, as if expecting to see a physical sign of the beast now sealed inside of her. Oh, yes, it had worked. She could feel something there, writhing inside. And had to fight down a sudden urge to vomit. Something nagged at her thoughts, urgent but just beyond reach, until...

"Oh shit! The sealers, the council!?" At once, the memory returned of the final moments before she'd passed out; figures on the floor, broken or cowering. Some running, some yelling. Blood and tears. Sitting bolt upright again, she spun on Shizuo. "Shizuo, what happened?!
CharactersShow
Terūin Hayashi
Jounin
Konohagakure no Sato

[ Hayashi-tai Gosei | ANBU ]
[#E5D3C1] [#ED9E84]
Kenitsuna Kiyoshi
Chuunin
Iwagakure no Sato

[#FFB777] [#DB6909]
Aisu Naohiro
Genin
Kirigakure no Sato

[ Unit 12 ]
[#BAE0E2] [#70CEE2]

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Kao
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[Plotboard] The Fall and the Rise

Post by Kao » Sat Feb 23, 2019 12:41 am

Shizuo gave her a half-hearted smile as he sat upright in the chair. He hadn't been sure how Kiyoshi would react or how much she would remember, but it quickly became evident that there was a lapse in her memory. The young shinobi watched her intently and his face twisted in concern when her face paled and she demanded answers about what happened. For a moment, he said nothing. He wasn't sure what he could say without distressing her, but eventually he would have to tell her the truth. Instead of answering her immediately he stood and sat at the edge of her bed, his ice grey eyes meeting hers green ones.

"Calm down," he finally responded as he placed a gentle hand on her shoulder. "Now's not the time for that, not as soon as you wake up." The shinobi tried to usher her back into a reclining position, though at the same he was ready to step back in case she couldn't compose herself. No matter how she responded, he wouldn't allow her to leave the hospital bed. "I'm more concerned about you. How are you? Do you...feel anything?" His eyes briefly flickered to the crown of her head, where a new golden ring had formed on her skin. On anyone else it would have been difficult to see, but since Kiyoshi had a shaved head it was quite a prominent feature. There was no doubt that it was a result of the genma sealed within her, the physical marking of her new status as a jinchuuriki. Shizuo decided not to bring it up.

The thing about telling someone bad news - truly awful, heart wrenching news - was there was no real way to soften the blow. Most people might try the Good News- Bad News approach. To Shizuo that seemed disingenuous. There was no good news, nothing positive to say about the situation at hand. He could, of course, tell the young kunoichi that the sealing had been successful. But could that really be considered good news when all that meant was that her life was forever altered, permanently tethered to an ageless spirit that held such disdain for the humans that had subjugated it decade after decade? The special jounin doubted any sane person could consider it "good news."

"I'll tell you everything that happened, but only after it can be determined that you're...okay. That there's no immediate danger to you or anyone else in this hospital." His word choice suggested hesitation. Apprehension. One may even be able to interpret his tone as fearful. Truthfully, after all he had seen there was part of him that was indeed afraid. But for Kiyoshi's sake, he would do his best to suppress that feeling.
Kao's CharactersShow
Akari KotaruJouninIwagakure no Sato Team 18 Jousai [color=#1fb8a3]
Komiya ShizuoSpecial Jounin Iwagakure no Sato [color=#177ba6]
Important NPCsShow
Akari Kanehara Akari clan elder [color=#80A0FF]
Sakata KannaIwagakure Councilwoman [color=#3DA43B]
Hazuki Shuran Jinchuuriki researcher [color=#E854C0]
Enkouten Kaizen Iwagakure councilman [color=#C65871]

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Valkier
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[Plotboard] The Fall and the Rise

Post by Valkier » Tue Feb 26, 2019 5:30 pm

Unfortunately—or perhaps fortunately, since it had undoubtedly saved her life only hours earlier—stubbornness ran strongly in Kiyoshi. She struggled, trying to resist Shizuo’s attempts to keep her bedridden, but found his touch surprisingly strong for all its outward gentleness. Unable to push past him to rise, she instead reached up her own hand to grab a handful of his shirt, and met his too-calm gaze with her own, momentarily wild eyes. Her grip on him was partly one of panic and frustration from wanting to know what he knew; but mostly it was because he was there, he was solid, and on the inside she was still facing the terror of the last few hours. The concern and uncertainty she found in his eyes struck her and helped, slowly, to ease her towards calmness. Her grip lessened and she dropped her gaze, and listening to his reply, she eventually let go and lay back down onto her pillows.

”I feel…” She trailed off but nodded, looking up and watching for Shizuo’s reaction as she tried to find the words. ”It… The Genma is there, deep down. It’s… like a light, just out of reach, but when I close my eyes I can feel it. It… She is furious. Furious and waiting.” Kiyoshi’s voice had fallen to a whisper as she spoke, and she closed her eyes, trying to search out the terrible, slumbering power that now rested inside of her. For a moment she sat motionless, almost meditative, breathing deeply and focusing her mind inwards. Deeper, beyond the shell was Kiyoshi, delving into a new depth that before had never existed. And then she found it—just a fraction of it—and tore herself back to reality, wincing visibly and shying away from the encounter as if burned, her face suddenly pale.

”Shizuo,” she looked back to him, quiet and fearful. ”Yes, I feel something. It feels like the radiance of a thousand suns bursting forth at once inside of me.” And somehow, she hadn’t been obliterated by the sensation. Yet. ”But it’s… stable? For now, anyway.” Her hands began to tingle, and she realised she’d been clutching the duvet in a white-knuckled grip. She let go, and concentrated to stop her hands shaking. ”I think the seal is working. I can feel her there, but… well, I’m still myself.” Mostly.
CharactersShow
Terūin Hayashi
Jounin
Konohagakure no Sato

[ Hayashi-tai Gosei | ANBU ]
[#E5D3C1] [#ED9E84]
Kenitsuna Kiyoshi
Chuunin
Iwagakure no Sato

[#FFB777] [#DB6909]
Aisu Naohiro
Genin
Kirigakure no Sato

[ Unit 12 ]
[#BAE0E2] [#70CEE2]

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Kao
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[Plotboard] The Fall and the Rise

Post by Kao » Sat Mar 09, 2019 2:54 pm

Kiyoshi was met with an expressionless stare when she grabbed his shirt. It was a calculated response, his lack of a reaction, and truthfully it was difficult to pull off. Like her, he had demanded answers, and he shared much of her frustration in the given situation. But Kiyoshi didn't know the extent of what they were dealing with, and he thought it best that he ease her into it. "Good," he replied, a bit of trepidation still evident in his tone. The young shinobi moved to pick up the shattered pieces of the vase, holding them gently in his palm for a few moments. "That's the important thing, that the seal is working and that the genma is under control. That will please the council, Kanna especially. It means this all may have been worth it."

The pieces of the vase clinked as they fell into the small garbage bin at her bedside. For a moment the special jounin kept his eyes on the fragments. Broken glass appeared as broken bodies scattered on the cavern floor, the faint buzz of the florescent lights overhead intensified to an almost deafening hum, beating like a gargantuan heart. The moment quickly passed, but it left Shizuo's body numb and the pit in his stomach deepened tenfold.

"Look, there's no easy way to say this. But remember that the important thing is that the sealing was successful, and that you'll be an asset to the village if you keep up with your training and continue to keep the genma under control. No one will blame you. Sometimes sacrifices need to be made." He paused for a long moment, taking in any change in Kiyoshi's expression. His own would become more worried. Pained. But he kept going with his explanation. "We don't understand why yet, but something with the sealing went wrong. And...some of the council members - Okada Rin, Genkoyoushi Juroumaru, Fujiwara Kuroda, Tezuka Hotarubi, and Shu." A sigh. "Kiyoshi, they're all dead."
Kao's CharactersShow
Akari KotaruJouninIwagakure no Sato Team 18 Jousai [color=#1fb8a3]
Komiya ShizuoSpecial Jounin Iwagakure no Sato [color=#177ba6]
Important NPCsShow
Akari Kanehara Akari clan elder [color=#80A0FF]
Sakata KannaIwagakure Councilwoman [color=#3DA43B]
Hazuki Shuran Jinchuuriki researcher [color=#E854C0]
Enkouten Kaizen Iwagakure councilman [color=#C65871]

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Valkier
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[Plotboard] The Fall and the Rise

Post by Valkier » Sat Mar 09, 2019 6:27 pm

Kiyoshi's eyes settled on the broken glass as Shizuo spoke, a measure of trepidation rising due to his tone. But then she glimpsed her own reflection within one of the larger fragments, and she froze. A tired, weak-looking girl looked back at her. A girl with an unnatural golden band burned around her head. Her hands rose to her head immediately, probing and questing, but felt nothing; the ring was simply part of her skin, as incongruous to the touch as a tattoo. But with such deeper meaning than any ink could ever hold.

Her shock at seeing that held her attention as Shizuo continued, so it took a moment for his words to register. When they did, they came with a wave of cold shock. She slowly dragged her eyes away from her reflection and up to meet his. He was serious.

"Dead..." She echoed numbly. She stared blankly for a long moment, unable to speak further as the news settled in. Okada Rin, dead. Genkoyoushi Juroumaru, dead. Fujiwara Kuroda, Tezuka Hotarubi, Shu. Dead.
"They died... for this? For me?" She couldn't look away. Shizuo was clearly pained by the what he said, and his earlier questions about her suddenly felt all the more critical. With good reason. It seemed almost unbelievable that so many high ranking and senior members of Iwagakure's council could be killed because of her; she was nobody. Just a girl. But no longer. Silence stretched out between them as the news sank in.

"I wasn't strong enough, was I? I couldn't keep the Genma under control, or... Not quickly enough." She hesitated, then clenched her fists yet again, and resisted the urge to scream. Or cry. Breathe. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath, held it, then exhaled slowly. As she did so, she felt a new weight settle upon her shoulders. Despite the shock and the despair, the tragic revelation strangely helped her mind recover some small measure of her usual firm resolve. These people had died for what she had become. With the knowledge of that awful truth, that men and woman better than her had lost themselves in seeking this result, how could she falter now?

She realised that she'd been silent, unresponsive to Shizuo for a long time as she fought that internal battle. When she next looked back at him, a glimmer of determination had returned to her eyes.
"Their lives... To mine..." She eventually muttered, barely audible even in the heavy silence of the hospital room. "'I will not fail.' That's what I said to Kanna before all this started." It seemed like weeks ago, not mere hours. "I will master this. I must. I will live where these men and women cannot. I will serve where they cannot." The decision solidified in her head even as she spoke. Their deaths would not be in vain.

"But I am still inexperienced. I'll need time to learn, adjust, and grow. I... May need someone to show me the correct path, and to keep me upon it." She held Shizuo's gaze, but said nothing more, leaving the question unspoken. The words she wanted to ask wouldn't come. The man was clearly deeply disturbed by what had already happened, and for all she knew was just pulled into the entire affair unknowingly or unwillingly. He might even hate her for what she'd done. She couldn't ask him to commit to a fate that could so, so easily be the same as those fallen council members.
But who else did she have?
CharactersShow
Terūin Hayashi
Jounin
Konohagakure no Sato

[ Hayashi-tai Gosei | ANBU ]
[#E5D3C1] [#ED9E84]
Kenitsuna Kiyoshi
Chuunin
Iwagakure no Sato

[#FFB777] [#DB6909]
Aisu Naohiro
Genin
Kirigakure no Sato

[ Unit 12 ]
[#BAE0E2] [#70CEE2]

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