Storm Front [Open] Sept 29, 2015 15:29:33 GMT -8
Post by lash on Sept 29, 2015 15:29:33 GMT -8
It had been many years since I had been forced to wander through this forsaken desert. Ostracized from the start simply because of my elemental chakra natures, I had wandered, alone, on a simple, yet long-standing mission from the shadow government of Sunagakure no Sato. "Go somewhere that Suiton will be useful! Send us information from the outside world! Be the spy that Sunagakure needs!" These were just a handful of the words that were uttered to me as I had left, but I remember their bitter sting, drilling deep into the old wounds of former teammates and Shinobi instructors. I had been punted around from mission to mission like some kind of joke, never once receiving the recognition that was my due for my successful tasks. Well, all of that was about to change. It was time for me to forsake my mission.
I brought my right arm up to shield my face as a sudden gust of wind sent suna sprawling all around me. "I hate the sand. Tch." After speaking, I turned my face to the left and attempted to spit out some of the same sand that had flown into my mouth, my tendou for opening it in this forsaken place to begin with. All the while, I moved forward, stewing on the anger that roiled deep inside of my bones. So they thought that they could cast me out, be rid of me, and then go months without even sending me a correspondence that they had received my intel? Yurusenai! Unforgivable. And there would be a reckoning. A storm was coming, and I was to be its epicenter.
At long last, I reached the village gates, and what I found there was alarming. They were unmanned. No shinobi stood on the walls, none were at the Gates, questioning those who entered. The sandstorm that blew around me let up for just a brief moment, but in that time, I saw no usual bustle of streets filled with activity. There were no merchants calling out their wares. As far as my eyes could see, the entire place was empty. A frown furrowed upon my face. Where was everybody? I continued forward, bringing my arm up once more as a shield against the sand as the wind began to blow once more. I moved slowly, taking the time to scrutinize my surroundings, searching for any signs of struggle, famine, or disease. However, it was for naught, for my eyes saw nothing.
It was not until I reached the center of the town, known by me as the Crier's Square, that I spotted something amiss. Several doors slammed shut, but not with the practiced military speed of a shinobi, but with the careless motions of a cowardly populace. I continued walking, finally reaching the place known to me once as the Kazekage's office, and I halted my advance, eyes scanning for any signs of military life. And I found none.
Ice hit me in the center of my gullet; not the ice of fear, but of cold, unbridled wrath. I pivoted on my heel, my haori flaring behind me as I reached for my wakizashi and unsheathed it with practiced grace. The weapon made a soft ringing sound in the empty plaza that lasted mere moments. Here in this place, my homeland, which had once been referred to by many as a Great Ninja Village, the leading military force for the Nation of Wind, a barren and desolate wasteland of decline stood like a graveyard testament to untold and numerous failures. I raised my head high, wakizashi in hand, and called out, my voice resounding throughout the plaza as a trumpet on the front lines. The haori fell down neatly across my shoulders, revealing the Sunagakure no Sato headband that I wore as a belt across my waist.
"Oi! Who alive here can bear witness to my presence?!"
There was only silence for a moment, painful and still as my voice continued to reverberate between the buildings. I was about to give up, disgruntled and sick to my stomach with the disappointing stench of failure that wafted throughout the entire city, until one door opened, and a man stuck his head out. I found myself momentarily surprised as I recognized the man, who went by the name of Assiah. Up until the moment of my forced departure from this place, I had purchased groceries from his shop several times a week. Now... now he just looked desperate, and hungry. The youthful face of the salesman that I knew was gone, replaced with signs of premature aging brought upon by worry and thirst. I saw his eyes widen with surprise as he recognized me as well, and he bowed.
"Lash-dono... it is so very good to see you."
With a wave of my left hand, I symbolized my disdain for this type of conversation. "Assiah-san, I have no time for pleasantries. If you know what has happened here, then speak."
The man spoke then, telling me of the tribulations that had befallen Sunagakure no Sato. Mismanaged military funds and the inability to protect essential growing areas outside of the city had caused a weak military and civilian city. Shinobi were sent off on missions to far away places and had simply never returned. Nobody had seen or heard from the Kazekage in quite some time, for he had apparently vanished, like so many of his soldiers. And the council of elders who were supposed to make decisions on behalf of the civilians? They, too, had vanished into thin air. Water and food had become scarce, and the dangers of a desert home became apparent with the scarcity. It had taken only a few weeks of this absence for the people of the town to grow restless and afraid, and a great many of them had simply packed their things and headed off into the blistering sun in search of a better life.
As I heard all of this, my fist clenched, knuckles growing white around the hilt of my wakizashi. It took all of my effort not to begin shaking. Instead, I spat upon the ground.
"People of Sunagakure!" Once more, my voice resounded through the empty plaza, but it was not as empty now as it had been. Windows had been cracked, with eyes peering through the darkness of the unlit homes. There were a few people left in this place, and they heard my voice well. "For too long have we been caught in vicious web of survival! While we squandered our military might on fruitless gestures, other nations have taken up arms and utilized them well. To the northeast, Konohagakure has claimed dominion over Mizugakure. If we are not careful, they may set their eyes upon our lands, as well." I shook my head. "But to this end I swear to you! I cast out the title of Kage, the shadow which hides and does nothing for its people! I disavow this failed system of government! From this day forward, this is no longer a shinobi village. It is my village, and it shall bend to my will. And that will? It will be domination the likes of which this world will have never seen before."
I extended my left fist into the air.
"Now! Who will stand with me?!" I paused, and then barely whispered the following words, though I knew they would carry throughout the plaza. "Or who will dare to stand against me?"
[OOC: I will leave this post here for three (3) days OOC. Anyone who wishes to respond may. If you do, please note that we will be creating a strict IIC of 36 hours that shall be in remainder for the rest of this thread. Please only post once until the 3 day original limit has been met, after which I will respond to any posters and we will resume posting order with IIC intact. Should nobody respond, I will simply go forward with my plans unchallenged.]