DECAY: Flower - Heart and Sky

[Westlands | Coast | Greater Wind Country]
From the eastern desert plains, to the infamous Westlands and the southern coast with its neighboring islands, the Wind Country covers an array of changing landscapes and other settlements. The people who live there are as diverse and powerful as the lands they live on.

Re: DECAY: Flower - Heart and Sky

PostPosted by Tsuneo » Tue Oct 25, 2011 2:17 am

This was it!

Moxie landed deftly on the slick deck, letting the water glide her across, one hand on her hilt, watching narrowly at the single figure guiding the chain that was torturing Kyuuen.

An old shinobi, probably S-rank. Wouldn't matter, she and Toya would have him cut down in less than-

Her toes pressed on the deck and spun her around, gliding the golden blade out to intercept another. Two crewman were trying to flank them, one shoving his sword against Moxie's while the second ducked low trying to lunge beneath the crossed blades to pierce her torso.


Won't be that easy!

The fabric around her torso tightened and stiffened easily under her practiced nunojutsu abilities, the treated fabric amplifying her abilities. The second crewman's sword bent to one side while Moxie shoved the other blade to one side.

She charged.

Her shoulder slammed into one while her hand caught the other, gripping her fingers into his shirt. The three slid head-long across the deck and into the open hatch.

They tumbled in a pile of limbs and swords, Moxie stiffening her entire suit to prevent accidental cuts. It even provided some modest protection from bouncing down the steps and crashing onto the next deck. As soon as the world stopped spinning, she shoved herself to her feet, taking her golden sword with her. The other two were still disoriented and clearly more damaged from the fall than she was.

She swung her head around to the other end of the corridor, her hair whipping around and slapping onto her neck as she did. For a brief moment, she realized that she was relieved to be out of the wind and the rain and the chill of her entire body.

The door at the farthest end of the corridor squealed as the spoked release spun open, two more crewmen with clubs emerging and charging, brandishing their weapons as high as they could in the narrow passageway. Behind her, the two first crewmen were getting back to their feet, collecting their weapons – bent or not. Moxie reached behind her to withdraw Raikenkire.

She actually smiled.

The four enemies came at her simultaneously. The clubbed enemies had shorter reach, which meant Raikenkire would meet them in combat, while the golden justice blade resumed its duel with its original two attackers. Moxie's patterns were simple, but practiced: parry the incoming attack and immediately counter-attack with a stabbing motion to send them backward. Once the two sword crewmen lunged at the same time, forcing Moxie to sweep her gold sword across both of their paths and lean them into the bulkhead. One clubbed attacker was out of position, letting only one to try and bash his weapon onto Moxie's head. She raised Raikenkire to block, then snaked the gold sword away from pinning the other attackers and along the inside line of her body, stabbing it at the clubbed crewman.

It took everything he had to dodge back and away.

She leveraged her advantage here, using the longer-reach weapon to gain several strides down the corridor before the sword attackers could regroup themselves. Moxie now found herself standing beside another door immediately to her left – but it was sealed like the others, with a large valve, that would require her to have at least a handful of seconds to spin open.

And two empty hands.

Instead, a panicking crewman from the other side decided to start turning it open.

Moxie acted on it immediately, shoving her legs against the opposite bulkhead, striking hard with both weapons to give herself a few extra inches, then shoved.

The door slammed into the crewman's face, flooring him. Moxie stumbled back, positioning both weapons in front of her, waiting for them to tumble in behind her.

She took one glance around her.

Crap.

The room was long and wide, lined with beds of the wounded. This was a medical ship.

War or not, battle or not, Moxie was not about to have skirmish in the middle of a room full of wounded. She quickly hauled back her left hand and hurled Raikenkire straight at the doorway. All four crewmen hurled themselves aside, letting Raikenkrie slam into the bulkhead and bite into it.

Come on, give it up! You're not about to fight here in a hospital wing are you? Put your weapons down!

Moxie smirked.

No, you're right, we can't fight melee in here and a lightning burst, even a controlled one, might leap into the medical equipment.

Right, so put it down!

Unless the lightning had some sort of conductor, something to keep it steady until I wanted it to leap around you. Too bad I don't have something like that.

Moxie wiggled a finger, showing the thin thread that reached out to the end of her finger to the end of Raikenkire.

She smiled.

The bolt was a blue-violet spike of light that obeyed the thread perfectly until it was beside the four. It leapt out like a pack of ravenous snakes, swarming their bodies and sending them into convulsions. The remaining electricity zipped back onto the line and followed it all the way to the end, where Raikenkire's lightning steel would eat it up hungrily.

Moxie retracted the thread and took a look around the room. No one had been hurt, outside of the targets. Perfect.

Hana...?

The word made Moxie freeze.

She turned slowly to see Lady Hazama laying in one of the medical beds, bleary-eyed and weak. A tube rose from her wrist and into a bag of fluid. Moxie pressed a clammy hand on her forehead: she was burning up.

Hello, Lady Hazama.

Hm...always saving me...Hana-chan.

Moxie furrowed her brow, then brushed a lock of hair from her forehead.

Just rest now, okay?

Three more crewmen stumbled through the door, though they were unarmed. They gasped at the scene of their fallen crewmen, eyes fixated on the tall, dripping girl. Moxie raised her golden blade at the first crewman.

You're going to take me to your captain. Now.

He gulped audibly and nodded frantically.

She felt more like a guest than an invader, swords perched on her belt, being escorted by three crewman. Her mind kept leaping back to the top of the deck, wondering if Toya was all right, wondering if Ryou had gathered Kyuuen, but she had to shove away her need to blast her way back to the top to make sure.

She needed to secure their way out. It would do none of them any good for them to be safe unless they could get back to the ground.

The bridge was filled with crewmen, each of them tense, nearly to the point of breaking. The captain was younger than Moxie would have assumed, with bright eyes but a face weighed down with weary. He looked at her with a mixture of terror and anger, his fists balling.

What do you want? What is this, what do you think you're doing?

Surrender. It's over. I can light this entire ship up like a book of matches, but I'd rather not. Fly your white flags, throw your flares and we can defect right now, and nobody gets hurt. And don't underestimate me.

Moxie raised her fingers and snapped them.

Then she drew in a sharp breath.

It felt like there was a hole inside her soul, and everything warm and powerful left insdie her was sucked through it. She felt it burning on her chest, right at the mark below her collar bone.

Her chakra. It was gone. Ryou had taken all of it.

It was a bittersweet sensation. Ryou was a live, which meant Kyuuen probably was too. Had Toya been successful in defeating the man on the deck? She had to believe so. When had Toya ever let her down?

But now it meant her threat was suddenly a lot more empty.

- - -

Her body was limp, the muscles overloaded from the shocks of electricity, but Kyuuen was very much awake.

Through all of it.

Through the hurtling toward her death, through the saving of her life, through every twitch of Ryou's muscles, every breath of his words, and every touch of his lips.

But that last line was enough to make any girl snap wide awake.

Her eyes burst open, locking onto Ryou. He looked so scruffled in the rain and sweat and exhaustion of it all. But he felt so warm, so determined.

She kissed him back.

She pulled away and leaned up to his ear.

Thank you then, Hero of Suna.

Kiss

And I suppose, Hero of Me.

They clung to each other, sliding into sitting on the deck. The rain was starting to die down now, only a hissing mist falling from the sky, and the winds settling. She glanced over to Toya – he had made quick work of the magnetic enemy, his blood diluting in the rainwater.

Hey, Toto-

She stopped, watching as he knelt on the deck and started to form handsigns.

- - -

Wait.

The crew stared, wondering. No one moved for a weapon, which was a relief, though she noticed one particularly young and pretty crewman staring at the ever-growing puddle at Moxie's feet.

I'm sorry.

The captain shifted in place, but said nothing.

I...I don't want to start like this. The goal of this war was to eliminate Suna and to take over the Wind Country in one rule...it became our goal too. But one of a new future, a Republic to unify all people. I hate that the right to earn that Republic has forced us to spill blood. Every dying citizen there is a citizen of Wind. Our brothers.

She reached for the sword of justice, the sword of love, and set it down in front of her. She did the same with Raikenkire.

This war is over now. There's no more need to fight. Now we have to start to task of rebuilding...and I want my first task to be bridging our old enemies into one.

She held out a hand.

So please, captain. Let's start. Right now.

It was a bluff, in part, and she knew it. Without chakra, they could have her down in no time.

But it wasn't all bluff. She did believe that. She knew that it was unlikely the world could be like that. That there would be a beautiful way to start this new Republic. No, it's birth would be like any other: filled with pain, covered in blood, and heavy with uncertainty.

As if on command, a flash of light erupted from the port side of the airship. The scroll detonated, tearing the communication tower in half, leaving a smoldering remains of what had been. The coordination for the rest of the forces were doomed now.

Thanks, Toya.

The captain actually let out a sigh of relief when he saw the explosion. The communications started to go haywire, a angry hissing sound blaring over the speakers. The captain made a motion across his throat, and the nosie was gone.

To be honest, I'd love nothing more than surrender. Set the flags, use the flares.

Moxie felt her heart rise like a balloon. The two shook hands.

You're her, aren't you? The Kyuudaime's daughter? '

Moxie nodded.

Good. I hope this new government of yours sees what a great leader you're becoming.

She shrugged.

If I could get half of what she did done, I'd be very happy.

- - -

The three of them sat in the gleaming sun.

The thunderstorm was gone. It, like so many other things, was consumed too quickly by the desert and the sun. The world was shining with wetness, but Moxie knew it wouldn't last the hour.

It never did.

Moxie stood silently, staring at the heroes.

Toya leaned back on his arms. His jumpsuit was peeled off of his torso, the wet garment hanging limp behind him while his bare chest and arms soaked up the warmth of the sun. Moxie wanted to hold him, to trace each muscle with a finger, but instead she stared at Ryou and Kyuuen. The girl had her sleeves and legs rolled up and her head resting in Ryou's lap. Ryou didn't seem to mind.

Cold?

She sat down on the deck beside them, handing them each a thick wool blanket from the ship's supplies. Each wrapped it around them firmly, soaking up water and trapping in as much heat as possible. Moxie slid hers behind Toya and the two joined hands and leaned against each other.

Everything smelled clean. White plumes of smoke were erupting from every part of the city – the signal for surrender. White flags replaced the crests of the royal family, and the fighting below drew to a complete stop. No jutsu. No kunai.

No extra lives lost.

But the City of Seven Valleys was scarred. Like Suna, so many buildings were demolished beyond recognition. Moxie wondered how many of them had flattened the people inside. She wondered if theose who survived would rebuild. Or what they would think of all this.

She shook her head. This was a happy day. Let tomorrow worry about itself. Right now, she had earned a moment to sit with her friends. A moment to celebrate the Republic's birthday.

...birthday.

Moxie laughed, a delightful bouncing laugh that shook all of her friends from their stupors.

Today's my birthday! I can't believe I forgot...

Her amber eyes shot across the battlefield and down into the medical camp. Kohana was there, sharing her birthday. She wondered idly if she were okay. If dad were okay. But somehwo she'd know if they were injured or dead. She'd always know that, especially with Kohana.

That was what a triplet meant.

And then she looked to the horizon. Pantsu was out there, somewhere. Would this change his mind about Wind Country? Would the Republic make more sense to him now that he changed? Could this bring him back?

She shook her head again, droplets spraying in every diretion. Not the time.

She smiled and looked up at Toya.

Well darling, what'd you get me for my birthday~?

She couldn't say it with a straight face.
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Re: DECAY: Flower - Heart and Sky

PostPosted by Uchiha Sasuke » Sat Oct 29, 2011 3:07 am

Tired. That was the rarely necessary word Toya was looking for to describe his current condition. Very very tired.

He hadn’t realized just how long it had been since he had the luxury to stop thinking and pushing and being the perfectly alert Nanaya ready to react to any situation. He was finally allowed to just rest, mentally and physically. And there was no better way to do so than with Moxie right at his side to lean against. She was always there for him to fall back on in battle, and now he could do the same in peace.

So tired…

But it was a good tired. Not the type of burned out, painful tired associated with illness or defeat in combat. This was the type one felt after a job well done. After a successful hunt. Everyone fought and struggled for so long to create a new home for the people of the country, and they’d finally succeeded. It was an indescribably satisfying feeling.

For possibly the first time in his life, the Nanaya had accomplished something more than simply ending evil lives to improve the world. He had made a conscious choice to help build the foundations of this new republic rather than being forced to hunt someone down for his or his friends’ sakes. They had even managed to preserve countless extra lives on either side in the process.

For the first time, he didn’t have to fantasize about being a hero. He didn’t have to wait for people like Dakara to grant him the title of a hero. He could feel it deep within his chest…he was a hero. At least for now.

He took a moment to lean forward and gaze out at the landscape below them. How many people down there would now be living in a better place, one where they could not just live, but thrive in?

Midori, the slightly crazy engineer girl who had somehow managed to make him think just a little differently about his identity and how to hold onto his true self. Perhaps she would end up assisting the reconstruction efforts with her knowledge and practical skill.

The mischievous twins, Haru and Saru, and their gang of misfits. Had they evacuated safely and avoided the same fate as the main village when Suna fell? Would they be able to find a better way of life when this new government finished forming to pick up the pieces of the shattered country?

Dainichi Kaizoku, the passionate Westland representative, the first person after Toya to immediately pledge support to Moxie’s new idea. Surely he was down there amidst the smoke and triumphant shouting. Would he successfully help unify the many factions of this land and protect the new nation?

Every life in the Wind Country would change drastically from this day on. There was no use in thinking to much about it quite yet. For now, they had all earned a little time to relax and cleanse their mind of any stressful, work-related thoughts. For now…

Moxie’s laughter gently rocked through his body, startling him out of his reflective trance.

Today's my birthday! I can't believe I forgot...

Huh…?

No, that couldn’t be right. Even in the midst of their important mission in the southern islands, he’d somehow remembered Ryou’s special day, even leaving himself enough time to carve a little gift beforehand.

There was no way he could have…well come on, there was a lot to think about leading up to this incredibly important mission. Even the best Nanaya could slip on a detail with so much going on at one time, right?

Well darling, what'd you get me for my birthday~?

Her sparkling smile and playful tone quickly washed away the panic threatening to rise up and choke him. He smirked in response, not allowing the slightest trace of surprise to register on his face.

Oh you know, I was thinking about making you a shiny new republic to live in, but then you went and did that yourself. I guess you could call it a joint gift from all of us, but it’s not really any fun when you knew about it in advance. Then I figured you might like some new clothes, but that would be difficult enough for me to pull off even if you weren’t a genius Saihoushi and the daughter of one of the clan’s most famous designers of all time. In the end, I just couldn’t find any suitable present for you, Moriko.

Toya gently pressed his palms against her cheeks, leaning in to steal her lips with a passionate kiss. All of the restrained love and affection he could only bottle up for the majority of this prolonged war finally had an outlet, and he was not about to waste the opportunity.

He reluctantly pulled back an inch, taking a moment to breathe and meet her golden gaze.

Happy eighteenth, love. I’m sorry there’s nothing more I can give now, but I promise to make up for it later. Hopefully next year your birthday won’t be coinciding with any other major historical events.

He slowly lowered his hands from her face before wrapping his arms around her figure and pulling her closer. Despite the rainwater that had permeated some of their clothing, he felt nothing but steady warmth emanating from her. There was nothing more he could ever ask for in that moment.

I love you, Moriko.

He kissed her one more time.
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Re: DECAY: Flower - Heart and Sky

PostPosted by Klee » Sat Oct 29, 2011 10:01 pm

Today's my birthday! I can't believe I forgot...

Ryou found himself a tad stunned by the revelation. He had a horrible memory with dates, but that...the fact that it was her birthday - eighteenth birthday - was something he probably should have known. Or she probably should have told them sooner.

That was...sort of a big deal.

"Hey, oh, why didn't you tell us? Happy birthd-"

He moved to stand up, slide Kyuuen off him and offer up his wishes...only to find that Toya had beaten him to the "cake".

Ryou sidled back down, and promptly averted his gaze. He'd wait.

He turned back to the sky view of the city's outskirts.
A tiny part of him wished there that the storm was still screaming through the sky, draining out the...sound of the pair next to him. But it wasn't.

The sky was silent. Today really marked another birthday, didn't it?

It suddenly made sense how Moxie had forgotten. It was so hard to concede that she, no - they had finally done it. After all that, they were here.

After all that, huh...

He'd celebrated his birthday in the midst of the war too. Now that he thought about it, that had been...his lowest point in the war. When he couldn't see anything past all the built-up tension and stress, let alone an end to the conflict. Let alone an ending like this one.

That was...nice. Nice to know that they'd won their resolution, sure, but also that, at seventeen, he'd finally accomplished something like this in his life. Conquered all those struggles and become well, a hero. Ryou, Hero of the New Republic. Hero of what was now a clear sky they could look upon.

That was nice.

It probably should have been frightening too. What they were witnessing here was, well...a new world order. The birth of one, for sure, what with the scale of this revolution. Would it work? Or like societies before, would the proposed system crumble?

Strangely, he wasn't frightened. He'd faced enough fear here to last a while. No, he was excited. Excited to see this work. And in any way he could, to make it work. Like a true hero.

Not just of the Republic though. Hero of somebody else.

Ryou smiled at the weight resting across his lap.

There was no question. The moment she'd opened those emerald eyes, smiled, whispered in his ear and returned his kisses, nothing else in the world mattered so much. Nothing else even made sense. He'd really fought this war for her, above all things. And that...wasn't a bad thing.

Ryou shifting her position so that she leaned against his shoulder rather than his legs, and he cuddled her close, caressing her arm. She was floating in and out of sleep now, and in all honesty, so was he. But this view was too nice to pass up. Especially when the heroes had worked so hard to earn it.

"Hey, wake up, look - we've flown outta all the smoke, you can see the valley now-"

He chanced a glance around at that point, and in good time. Those two had...finished their business.

Everybody was looking down on the same, incredible view.

"Happy birthday, by the way."
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Re: DECAY: Flower - Heart and Sky

PostPosted by Tsuneo » Sun Oct 30, 2011 2:21 am

The kiss sparked inside her. Suddenly her wet clothes and heavy weapons all felt a lot lighter.

Moxie picked herself up, reaching out a hand for Toya. Ryou and Kyuuen followed suit, leaning on the rail, staring out over the valley. It was chaos down below. Buildings were ground into dust, bodies lay strewn across the streets. Medical teams from both sides were swarming the streets now: Moxie could see the red crosses on the backs of their equipment. She kept an eye out for a burning streak of red hair, but didn't see her sister.

Mm, it's been a really long road. But I'm glad I could rely on you every step of the way.

She put her arms around Ryou and Toya, who were the ones standing closest to her. Kyuuen leaned on the rail, her eyes shut, probably still completely exhausted.

I...well I never really thought this could happen. Any of this. This...this is the sort of thing that heroes do. The sort of thing my mom would've done, not me. Not us. We're just...normal. Although...I guess we're not. That title my dad gave us, he doesn't hand that stuff out lightly. I think he means it. I think he really believes that we are the Heroes of Suna.

There was a loud thump. Moxie spun around, seeing Kyuuen on her knees, fists pressed into the deck.

She let out a wail.

What the- Kyu, what are you-

It's...it's gone!

She was crying.

Moxie spilled onto her knees immediately, trying to get a look at Kyuuen. Her teeth were grit and her face twisted in anger and sorrow and tears were falling steadily onto her cheeks.

I...I'm sorry, I don't know why I'm c-crying, this is stupid, so so stupid! Why am I crying, this is a great day, a really great day, I'm sorry Moxie I didn't...this...

A tiny little squeal choked out of her. A fist pounded into the deck.

It's just you said...heroes of Suna...we...I...Suna wasn't saved. It's gone. The place I lived...the place I worked, the place I fell in love is gone...all gone...

We...I should've done something! Anything to protect it!

Moxie hurled her arms around her and squeezed. Kyuuen didn't shove away, didn't fight, just let Moxie hold her in while hot tears spilled across the both of them.

You've been carrying that around for a while now, huh.

Kyuuen nodded into Moxie's shoulder. She didn't know what to do. What to say. How to make her feel better. All she could think of was how mom used to hold her when she was inconsollably in grief, and how much she had wanted that when mom herself had died.

Moxie tried to mimic that hug as best she could.

I shouldn't be crying...I don't mean this to be...to mean that...I want your Republic, Moxie, I do...

It's not my Republic, it's yours too. And I'm sad about Suna. I may have lost my family home, where my mom lived...the hospital, the Kazekage office, those are all probably gone too. Even if we fixed them, it won't be the same. It won't be the wood and stone my mother walked on. It's okay to grieve Kyuuen. I grieve for it too.

She released Kyuuen and turned her over to Ryou, where the girl latched on immediately, trying not to make eye contact with the boy, as if she were hoping somehow he'd just forget about this moment of weakness. Moxie turned back to the rail, staring at the world below.

This isn't just about the future. This is about the past too. We have to remember and honor that past if we're going to build a good future. Take what was good and remove what was bad.

She reached out and took her friends in her arms, holding them as tightly together as she could.

We get to make this Republic. So let's promise ourselves now that we keep one eye on the future and one eye on the past.

Blooms of white smoke burst in the air. Cheers erupted from every corner of the seven valleys. Everyone was glad to have the war over.

Moxie looked up at the horizon, at the long expanse of the Wind Country, now unified.

Welcome home, friends.

[END ARC]
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