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 Dust and Sandlewood

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PostSubject: Dust and Sandlewood   Thu Jul 09, 2009 9:22 am

"Admit it Viola, we're lost." Astarte said over the sound of rising wind. "And the storm is getting worse."
The desert stretched away from us in every direction, stone monoliths towered into the sky in the distance, but beyond that the dry rocky ground was devoid of any landmarks. The wind was blowing hard from the south, the storm was bearing down on us, sand and dust tumbled through the air.
Away in the south a huge wall of dust nearly a mile high stretched across the Horizon.
"You think?" I said sarcastically, while eying the towering cloud with worry. We needed to find shelter, fast.
The storm had come out of the south in a matter of minutes, the quick biting wind preceding the storm had buried the road and hidden any landmarks there might be, leaving us stranded, with the monstrous storm bearing down on us.
I was kind of shocked at how easily we got lost, I had lived in these deserts all my life, and had traveled the road from Taiyogakure to Konohagakure more then once, not that it would have mattered, we were hours out of my village, and still a few hours from the next closest town, a diminutive little settlement on the border of the river country.
"We need to find shelter or that storm is going to tear you apart." Astarte said flatly.
"I know, I know," I said, looking around for a cleft in the rock, a shallow cave, a narrow ravine, anywhere we could get out of the storm, but there was no where, and we were running out of time, the wall of dust was only a few hundred feet away, towering up into the sky to blot out the sun.
I ripped off my outer coat and wrapped it around my head, and put on my goggles so that my face was protected from the sand, then ran for it. I didn't have any destination other then to get out of the direct path of the storm. A large rock towered up in front of me and I dove behind it covering myself with my cloak as the dust storm blasted over my head, I peaked up out of the cloak, looking around for Astarte, but she was nowhere to be seen.
Then out of nowhere, a dark, vaguely humanoid shape appeared on the top of the rock. I jumped in shock then sunk back into the rock.
A voice came from nowhere. "Its not safe out here child. Come with me." Then the shape opened its eyes, they were shining; A bright blue within blue, there was a harsh blast of sand, and then I was somewhere else.

It took me a moment for the change of scenery to sink in. The dim lighting in the cave hid shapes, but as my eyes grew more adjusted, I realized I was standing in the entrance to a moderately sized cave, stone seats were placed around a fire that had burned down to glowing embers.
"Viola, where are we?" Astarte's voice pierced the silence like a gunshot, as the demon materialized beside me, another voice, speaking in soft sing-song, came out of the shadows beyond the fire.
"Digging 'round the deep, only missing out on sleep."
"Who are you?" I said in a voice that was much more panicked then I had thought I was.
"Chasing 'bout my head like the wolf that found the sheep."
I slowly walked over to the source of the voice, it was coming from an elderly looking women,on the floor in front of a small incense burner. A thin column of smoke rose up in twisting spirals between us. She smiled, she knew we were there, but her eyes were gentle, kindly, until they opened, revealing the strange, shining, blue within blue.
"Ah young ones," she said with a laugh, "Lost and afraid from the looks of it." He voice was strong, collected, and spoke of a harsh life. She beckoned to one of the stone benches placed around the fire, opposite from her. She then continued in her soft sing-song again.
"Please take a seat.
"Let me tell you both a tale of war and hope.
"It's a story that you may have heard before, told as mythical lore."
I sat down, not sure what else to do, I heard the storm still blowing outside, and other people shuffling around beyond the the passage we had occupied. The women drew a handful of tiny crystals from a leather bag, and tossed them into the fire, causing it to boil up in a mesmerizing dance of sparks. Her voice permeated the cavern, seeming to resonate from the walls themselves.
"This translation is clear, unlike the embellishments that have reached...your...ears.
There was a boy; who shared your bones, your eager blood; your will, despite..all..odds..." The fire seemed to die down as she continued, more slowly.
"He had it all in his hands...and he watched it all; turn...to sand." The fire dimmed down back to coals, casting the room into shadow.
I had no idea what she was talking about. I knew my family history, but I had no idea what she was getting at.
"What do you mean?" I said, 'Who was this boy?"
"You know who I mean,
"This is a tale, all who live knew before, maybe as folklore."
"What story?" Astarte asked, but the women continued singing. The fire began to smoke heavily, thick wisps of it billowed out around the room as she sang.
"He went digging round the deep only missing out on sleep.
"But shadows, chased bout his head like a wolf that'd found its sheep."
"Don't go digging 'round there, you be slipping bit too much.
"Milling muck and mud with the mind that lost its touch." The smoke settled out, leaving nothing but the thin stream of incense.
"What are you talking about?" I said irritatedly, "Who are you talking about?!"
The women paused for a moment, then spoke with a sad smile on his face.
"Omir Ilbad." She said, then continued in her sing-song. "He's been traveling 'bout in time, never stepping out for much.
"Deepest of the deep with the wolf that lost those sheep.
"Because it's more than a little but less than a bunch,
"Found his way around with the blind that lost its touch."
She stopped and I turned to Astarte.
"Omir Ilbad?" I said to her under my breath. "Who is that...unless?"
"Bloody Omir..." Astarte said quietly, "The Bloody Omir?"
"He wasn't from the Ilbad tribe...was he?" I said, there was no way.
The Artuga clan had formed from the coming together of three tribes, the Brutor Tribe, who had lived in the rain country and had formed the core of the ninja strength of the clan, the Vherokior , the scientists from the fire country, who developed the clan jutsus, and the Ilbad Clan, from whom the Kekki Genkei originated. She knew the Ilbad were old, and shrouded in myth and legend, but Omir...the Omir, there was no way. The women was continuing, and I didn't want to miss what she was saying, so I returned my focus to her.
"The choices he'll make! That day, will burn down the world we've helped create!" new voices came from the shadows, more people lurking in the darkness, their hands tinged with the blue of the Ilbad, some with glowing blue eyes.
"But don't be scared, kid."
"...don't be scared, kid..."
"You're gifted!"
"...You're gifted...."
"Follow this stream and live out this prophecy."
The women dipped two sticks of sandlewood incense into the fire and gave each of us one. The stream of smoke from the incense grew, somehow pulling her gaze, the voices grew and fell, rippling like water over stones, barely understandable. my eyes were pulled to the smoke, glued to the twisting flowing stream, their voices were fading, cascading around me....
"Set the needle on it's path,
Bobbing up and down and past.
Tears and seams all turned to one.
Every stitch and each spool spun."

I opened my eyes. A tiny stream rippled along the ground in front of me. I was standing on the path to the river country, me and Astarte were still clutching the burning sticks of sandlewood.
"What Happened Star? How'd we get here?" I said glancing up, when I glanced back to the incense, it had vanished.
"Uh...we walked?" Astarte said. "Remember? You kept complaining your feet hurt? The sand was too hot? That storm was gonna turn and catch us?"
"It did catch us." I said flatly, but I wasn't sure now, I had no idea what had happened, how we had gotten where we were, but Astarte clearly didn't remember it, so I held my tongue, not wanting to sound crazy.
"Come on, lets get to the village, I know Balmung lives here, we can stay with his family for the night." I said, "Its been a long day and I need some sleep."
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Leaf Genin

PostSubject: Re: Dust and Sandlewood   Thu Jul 09, 2009 10:17 pm

"Someone's approaching." A faint murmur of a guard told Balmung, "Alright kid, lets see what you've learned while your days at the academy." Balmung nodded as a few guards along with himself marched towards each guards armor clanking with every step. Swords and spears at the ready they approached the gate. "Halt!" A guard spoke pointing his spear outward, it was someone fairly short, would most likely only be a kid. "Is that..?" Balmung asked himself, one of the guards turned, his armor creaked, "What? You know this person?" Balmung tilted his head looking, "Maybe, i can't tell from this distance." The storm had ceased now, was someone who was probably out in it. Balmung drew sword. "No entrance after dark." The guard spoke, telling the girl the way it was. "Wait a minute, Balmung said walking over and examining the girl. "Let her in, she's Leaf Ninja, I know her." Balmung told the guards, they stepped out of the way and let her through. Balmung sheathed his sword and began walking towards the village, "Come on Viola, you can stay at my place for the night, your a ways off from Konoha."

The 2[3], continued through the abandoned streets, It was lights out and curfew was being enforced lately due to a nearby village being Sacked. Balmung opened the front door and performed a handsign, his armor poofing out of existence. "I'm back mom." He said dropping a couple things on the ground and kicking his shoes off. "Your early, what happened?" His mother asked stepping into the doorway, spotting Viola her brow rose, "She's a friend of mine, on her way to Konoha she needs a place to stay the night, she can sleep on the couch right?" His mother nodded, "Yeah, that's fine Balmung." A heavy footstep approached from the other side of the kitchen, "Whats all the commotion about?" His father said flatly, looking over the small troop inside the washroom now. "Oh, nevermind." He said walking back out with heavy feet. "Its late Balmung, finish your things and go to bed, you have a long walk ahead of you tomorrow." Sighing and shaking his head "Yeah, whatever." He said rolling his eyes a little. After his mom went back up, Balmung turned around and looked at Viola, "So what are you doing here anyway?, Heading to Konoha? I'm leaving tomorrow, you can accompany me if you want." He stated cracking his neck.
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PostSubject: Re: Dust and Sandlewood   Thu Jul 09, 2009 10:43 pm

"Yeah," I said," I was heading back to the leaf village to start my genin training, we got pushed off track by the storm and ended up here." There was still sand in all of my clothes, gathering in the folds, collecting in my shoes...and I swore I could still smell the faint scent of sandlewood. I really needed a shower.
"So whats the deal with this place? All the guards have a stick up their ass." I said glancing back outside where the armored soldiers were still noisily patrolling the street.
"As if they'd stop any real threat, with the noise their making a ninja could take them out from the next zipcode." Astarte said with a smirk. I laughed, but I could tell Balmung wasn't amused.
"No offense of course..."
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