Chapter 7: Werewolf in Trouble
Chapter 7: Werewolf in Trouble
(by 3D Master)
The training compound, formerly soccer field, was surrounded by a wall. Lining the wall was a small pavement, then there was a bit of sand and finally the grass started. The sand did duty as a running track. A few gunshots came from the building on the right, which was built within the walls, thickening them a bit. To the left was a similar structure, but unlike the building on the right which was thickly walled and securely closed with bullet proof windows and doors, this one was open, allowing entrance. The left building contained the kitchen and a few cooling down and recreational rooms during breaks, and as such didn’t need the security a building filled with guns and ammo needed. It also housed further on into the walls themselves the showers, the toilets, the changing rooms, and lockers for the Slayers, and the same for men. This building is where Xander and Kakashi were, while Neji had taken Kalinda further in the building to do some training with her eyes - conveniently away from Faith /and/ good see-through-walls practice.
Xander had casually sat down and looked out on the training field, where the redheaded - dyed fiery red - Diria was teaching Faith some basic Tai Chi movements and the mental focus accompanying them. Kakashi looked coolly at Xander, standing casually. “Take a look, sensei,” Xander said, nodding outside and giving Kakashi a small smile.
Kakashi raised his right eyebrow for a moment, and then turned to the field. He raised the head band that covered his left eye, revealing a red eye with three swirls: the same eye as Xander when he activated it. “Interesting,” Kakashi said, looking around, taking in the Slayers. “Not unlike Naruto, yet completely different,” Kakashi spoke, and Xander nodded.
“The Nine-Tails and his chakra is sealed; you only see it when he uses it,” Xander mentioned casually.
Finally Kakashi settled on Faith, and even the usually unflappable Kakashi took in a sharp breath. He lowered his bandana down again and looked at Xander. “So . . . it is true. What about the others?” Kakashi asked him casually, but Xander noticed the hint of worry.
“Chakra and chi control seems to allow them to keep the demon contained,” Xander told him steadily. Kakashi put his bandana back down, then looked down, their single eyes peering into each other. Xander added, “As well as use its power.” Kakashi nodded gravely.
The door to the left opened and in came Kurenai. Her hair was damp, and not wearing any makeup, having washed it off during her shower. Kakashi turned to look at her, Xander just grinned, always feeling better when she was in the same room as him. “Kakashi-san,” she greeted with a slightly surprised smile.
“Kurenai-san,” he returned the greet.
Kurenai walked over to Xander and sat gainly down in his lap, making sure he was well-aware of her alluring presence, without becoming super playful and gratuitously teasing him. She wrapped her arm around Xander’s shoulder and told him, “I can’t believe you made me take the same punishment. Thirty rounds on the obstacle course every day, no car, grounded for two weeks?” Kakashi’s right eyebrow raised a bit, even as he seemed to relax his body even more.
Xander shrugged and told her, “Sorry, Kutey, but the girls were right. You helped them out putting Faith through that, you have to get the same punishment; or they’ll start to get the idea if you have something you get preferential treatment.”
Xander looked from her to Kakashi, and thought of the first time he met both.
Some two and a half years earlier
“Are you certain we’re going the right way?” Dawn whined once again, avoiding a puddle of water. They were everywhere, having rained recently - they would know; the three of them were still wet. They - Dawn, Xander and Oz - were walking through a thickly grown forest, almost a jungle really on one of the islands of the Oceanian Archipelago. Thick backpacks were on their backs, and Dawn had lost patience quite a while ago.
Oz kept characteristically quiet as Xander said frustrated and angry, “No! It’s called the /Hidden/ Village of the Leaf, not /Obvious/ Konoha!”
“Okay, okay,” Dawn muttered, flinching back a bit at the sudden anger coming from Xander. Xander wasn’t usually that angry, he could be that sarcastic, but never that bitterly angry. She had to find a way to cheer him up. She looked to her right at Oz, who merely raised an eyebrow at her, which made Dawn nod in satisfaction: she had a mission.
Xander suddenly stopped, making Dawn and Oz do the same. He peered around from the corners of his eyes. Dawn and Oz did the same, taking in trees, the occasional bush on the ground. Xander’s eyes widened first, the others followed. Instantly they jumped away in three directions, just in time to avoid a net.
Dawn twisted around her axis, landing on a high branch, seeing a quick red motion to her left. She twisted as she jumped onward back down, and tossed twenty kunai all at once. The red motion revealed herself to be a stunningly curvaceous, raven-haired woman in a red and black outfit: a short slanted skirt, a top with one strap over her right shoulder, and a little net-thingy over that. Dawn made a motion with her hand and her kunai twisted in all directions. A moment later the woman was surrounded by onrushing kunai. The woman suddenly twisted around her axis as kunai neared, and Dawn - still falling down - looked in surprised at what had to be a ninja caught the knives one by one. “No way,” Dawn muttered surprised. The woman stopped twisting, and with it stopped being blurry, and a with a single motion threw twelve kunai at Dawn - six across from another six and between each was tied a rope. A moment later the ropes reached Dawn, and was wrapped tightly in them as the kunai circled her and eventually wrapped into the ropes. A moment later Dawn thumped painfully and wrapped tight on the ground. “Ugh,” she muttered and started struggling to get out; the woman had already moved on to her next target.
Xander quickly jumped to another branch. Someone was close by gunning for him, but he had yet to see him. Suddenly from behind a branch a man appeared that was obviously a ninja. He wore a vest with a lot of pockets over a blue shirt and pants, and had grey hair. What was odd though, was that he wore his bandana diagonally, covering his left eye. For only a single moment Xander allowed himself to be moved by the irony of facing a one-eyed ninja. The two came closer. Xander landed on a branch and then somersaulted backward off it, landing on the ground, and forcing the ninja to come down at the sudden movement. Below the ninja threw a punch, which Xander parried, pushing the arm aside, and doing the same with the second puch. Swiftly without a sound his open palm slammed into the ninja’s chest and sent him flying away. Immediately Xander threw his right elbow back, slamming in the chest of the same ninja, causing him to stagger back. A moment later both of them disappeared in a puff of smoke.
Xander made no sign of surprise, turning around to his right, and jumping back as the ninja jumped from a few bushes. He threw three kunai at Xander, who drew one of his own and deflected his opponent’s with it. Water splashed about, as neither man cared for avoiding to step into a puddle. The ninja had another kunai out, and Xander blocked it with his own, gauging the power of finally the real ninja. The two ninja looked each other in the eye, and Xander noticed the respect there. Suddenly though, the ninja zipped away so fast. Xander was strong, immensely strong he had found out after joining his different chakras, and he was fast, but he was nowhere this speed. He turned around to where the ninja was behind him, and got a solid punch in the gut for his trouble - which he took with the tightening of his muscles just in time. The ninja’s eye showed a slight hint of surprise, but then stepped back, splashing water up high deliberately. Xander moved forward. So did the ninja’s right hand, moving in the water, and from underneath the cloth covering his nose and lower face, came a slightly muffled, “Suirou no Jutsu.”
Xander’s eye widened as the water suddenly formed in a bubble around him, and shrank forcing him into a crouch. He had been to late - knowing this jutsu well as it was one of those that Kanasi had taught him. Trapped in the water prison, Xander needed a way out, and there really wasn’t a way unless he could disrupt the ninja’s concentration on keeping the water. Somehow Xander doubted his opponent was going to give him long. Xander made several handseals, which the ninja saw through the see-through water. His eye widened as Xander said, “Mizu Bunshin no Jutsu.” The stating of the technique was a way to focus the mind, and not strictly necessary. Xander and his friends had quickly found that wasting to much mind power on pronouncing the original language names was counter productive, unless it was a name that was easily pronounced. The Water Clone Technique was one of those that was easy to pronounce.
Around his opponent water flushed upward and formed into exact copies of Xander which attacked. The ninja however wasted no time and charged his chakra into electricity in his left hand. Xander’s eye widened as the ninja stuck it into the water prison. A moment later the electricity had surged through the water and into Xander. “Agh!” he called out as he jerked about by the electricity, then slumped into unconsciousness. The water clones instantly dissolved into the water they were made from, and splashed onto the ninja.
The ninja let his prison go and looked down at Xander. “Impressive,” he said coolly and then proceeded with tying his quarry up.
Oz peeked from behind the tree to his right, which was he was facing with his back. He had seen how quickly and easily the female ninja had dealt with Dawn. But where had she gone? Oz sniffed again, and then his eyes widened. How had he missed her? He turned left and smashed his fist into the ninja that came flying at him. As he hit her, he got his answer: after connecting with her solidly she disappeared in a cloud of smoke - obviously just a chakra construct and thus no smell. He smelled her now though, but suddenly from both the tree above him, the ground below him, and his back came three more female ninja - all the same one in red. The one from the ground grabbed his legs, the one above grabbed his shoulders, and the one behind grabbed his arms and pulled them behind his back.
He grunted and growled trying to break free - but they were strong. He was about to transform and unleash all his power, when he guessed the real ninja came into view. She came from his right, diagonally: up wind. He should have known! She looked him in the eye, and then connected a powerful jab with her open palm against his chest, above his heart. There was a momentary glow at her palm, and then he felt himself slump into unconsciousness.
With a groan Xander slowly returned to the land of the conscious. “Xan!” When he heard the urgent whisper coming from Dawn, he was awake instantly and looked around. The first thing he noticed was that he was chained up. He wondered if he was strong enough to break them. Left from him was a kneeling Dawn, who was wrapped in thick rope. To his right was a groaning Oz, lying tied up on the floor and slowly coming too.
He was in a rather spacious room; the floor made of wood, as were the walls. Two doors were on both left and right side of him, and a third double door behind him - but he didn’t know that yet. There closet filled with books, and one with cups and plates. The closets looked imposing - made of wood, painted dark, some glass windows. Xander’s carpenter nature admired the workmanship fleetingly. The three of them were in front of an equally impressive desk and chair. Blonde hair came up from the back of the chair. Beyond the chair were windows, looking out over a villages that was half jungle. To the left, in the corner of the window, could be seen part of Mount Rushmore. Correction, now that Xander took the faces in better, it was obvious they weren’t the American presidents, but it was something similar. Xander noticed some eight guards around the room; two in front of the window some ways apart, another two on both the left and right walls, and finally - purely by his other senses - two behind him.
Further there was one young woman holding a small pig standing next to the big chair. She was stroking the pig gently. There were three more ninja. Two males were to Xander’s right, standing next to each other - they were the guy that beat him, and a guy dressed in some sort of green jogging suit, over which he wore the same pocketed jacket the one-eyed guy wore. The man’s flat hair reminded Xander somewhat of Bruce Lee; but Bruce pulled the look off much better. To Xander’s left and behind him and his companions stood a woman in red. It took Xander exactly 1.32 seconds to take in the whole room.
“You okay?” Xander asked Dawn as he surreptitiously tried to find a way to untie his chains. Dawn nodded, she didn’t seem frightened - just nervous.
With another groan Oz fully rose to wakefulness, and set up on his knees, looking around unflappably. He asked Xander and Dawn if they were alright with a single look.
“There!” a woman’s commanding voice sounded in heavily accented English, and the chair turned around. “Now that you are all three awake, we can have a little talk.” The turning chair revealed a stunning blonde, who looked to be in her mid-twenties. A small diamond-shaped something Xander and his friends couldn’t identify was on her forehead. She wore a dark-brown to green chamber jacket over a grey/brown wraparound, forming a V at her cleavage - and what a cleavage. Both Xander and Oz had to struggle to keep a smile from forming as they saw a pair of the biggest breasts they’d ever seen on a woman directly in front of them. And although Xander usually preferred somewhat smaller, he was still a man. Next to them, they could practically hear Dawn roll her eyes.
The beautiful big-breasted woman stood to give her a little extra in the imposing department, and said, “Good, you speak English, as I expected. Now, in order to get to Konoha properly, one would have to ask for it’s location in several official places who will send you through two more checkpoints, while your background is checked to see if you are trustworthy. /Especially/ if you’re not from the islands. You didn’t; you simply asked in several places for a most likely position, I’m guessing cross referenced it with some information you already had, and came looking. It’s the reason why you were greeted the way you were, and not allowed to knock on the gate. I’d like to know who you are, and why.”
Xander looked from Dawn to Oz, having given up on getting loose once he realized they had reached their destination, and was confident they weren’t going to be killed, given they were still alive and what he knew. Neither of his companions gave any indication they wanted to take point on this, and so he sighed, and said, “My name is Xander Harris . . .” Xander nodded his head to his left, and continued, “This is Dawn Summers, and finally Oz Osbourne.” Xander ignored the slightly odd looks at the final name. He continued, “A few months ago I had a vision, which lead me on some very obscure hints to Thailand and an old hermit ninja who had left the village for personal reasons. He taught us what he knew till he said that continuing to learn from him would waste our precious time, so he gave us directions to Konoha.”
The woman stayed silent for a bit, looking suspicious, and asked, “Why Konoha?”
Xander looked at the woman, and Dawn took him in quietly, taking in his almost expressionless face - now that she thought about it, he had pretty much looked a lot like that the last year in Sunnydale as well. Perhaps he was worse than Dawn thought? Now what to do about that though? Anyway, Xander’s short contemplation was over, and he answered, “He said the Uchiha clan were the only ones who could teach me about this.” Xander let his strange new eye come out, and it had the desired effect. No matter how hard they tried to be inexpressive, everyone who could see his eye showed they were surprised at the sight.
The woman with the pig stopped stroking it, and even whispered, “Sharingan.”
The red-dressed female ninja suddenly came several steps forward, and turned to look at Xander. Her eyes widened as she saw the red eye, dotted with two small swirls halfway from his pupil on a small black circle. The blonde woman suddenly leaned dangerously forward on her desk and said, “/How/ did you get that eye?”
Xander gave a pale imitation of a smile, and answered, “I was hoping /you/, or rather the Uchiha clan, could tell /me/.”
The woman looked sternly at him, and then the expression deflated, and she sat down with a sigh. “I am Tsunade, Hokage of the Leaf,” she said with some annoyance. Xander’s eyes widened at the title the woman identified herself with. Oz stayed typically cool.
Dawn’s teenage hormones made her blurt out, “Kage. That’s what Kanasi said. So ‘Kage’ is village leader.” And if Dawn guessed right the most powerful ninja, or close to at least, in the place.
“Kanasi,” the one-eyed ninja who defeated Xander spoke with some interest. “The legendary missing-nin from the Mist. He is the one who taught you?”
The three of them nodded. Tsunade took back control, saying, “The Uchiha clan is no more. Some years ago one of them slaughtered them all, including his parents. Only his younger brother he let live, he . . . he left to pursue his quest for vengeance against his brother.”
Xander sucked in a breath in disappointment and defeat, which Dawn once again noted. The Xander she once knew and crushed on, would never show defeat. Xander said, “Then there is no one who can teach me to use this.”
Tsunade folded her hands together and rested her chin on them with her elbows on the table, taking in the three strange visitors. Finally she came to a decision, “Perhaps there is. Kakashi.” She looked from the corner of her eyes to Kakashi. The one-eyed ninja hesitated a moment, then stepped forward, and lifted his bandana.
“Whoa,” Oz said, as he saw the same eye in the man’s left eye-socket as Xander’s when he channeled chakra to his - except that the man’s Sharingan had three swirls as opposed to Xander’s two.
Kakashi looked a bit surprised at Dawn, and he said, “Her chakra is golden.”
“Hmm?” Tsunade said, still thinking with her chin on her folded hands. She made a wave and said, “We’ll get to that later.” She pointed at Kakashi and asked, “He got his by implantation after he lost his own eye. Did you ever get an implant?”
“I’d have gotten two,” was Xander’s almost empty answer, and pointed at his eye patch.
Tsunade nodded in understanding. “Gai, would you cut them loose,” Tsunade said.
“Yes! Tsunade-sama!” was the man in green’s enthusiastic reply, giving a thumbs up that had the Sunnydale crew stumped. The man rapidly pulled a kunai, and cut the ropes on Dawn and Oz in an instant. The two stood up, Oz showing his too large clothes, and the green man unlocked the chains around Xander with a quick technique.
“The vision, Mr. Harris, what exactly was it about?” Tsunade demanded of him.
“How much do you know about demons, vampires and the other nasties out there?” Xander asked as he and his friends moved their bodies to get circulation going again.
It was the female ninja that spoke this time, “Enough, given that one giant demon-fox attacked our village some dozen years back.” Tsunade threw the ninja a sharp look by merely moving her eyes to her. “Sorry, Tsunade-sama,” the ninja said, bowing apologetically and taking the same step back. “I’m Yuuhi Kurenai,” she put in quickly.
“Well, then I can skip that part, and I won’t look crazy either,” Xander nodded with satisfaction, and began to tell his tale. Of the Slayers, of making two, of Dawn, Glory and the Key - since Kakashi’s Sharingan had revealed that secret anyway - of the First Evil and of making many to defeat his army, and then his vision. What it entailed, what the crisis was, what was going on. Finally he was finished.
Everyone was enraptured by the tale, as well as impressed what a bunch of untrained teenagers managed to do - not so impressed with other things they managed to do. “This the truth?” Tsunade asked, having to be sure.
“That is easily verifiable!” Gai spoke up with a huge grin, his teeth glinting and giving a thumbs up sign. “All they have to do is give the good-guy pose!” Everyone looked at him, and Dawn was the first to catch on. She put out her thumb and grinned. Oz eyebrows raised at her gesture and mimicked her, much to everyone’s surprise except Gaia’s. Xander looked from one to the other, shrugged and did the gestures as well. “Verified!” Gai said, going into the pose himself for a moment. “They’re telling the truth! No bad guy could ever pull off that pose!”
The Sunnydalers lowered their thumbs, as Kakashi nodded, the others looked stunned, apart from Kurenai who said, “It’s just putting out a thumb and smiling, Gai-san.”
Gai nodded, and said, “And no bad guy can do it just like that, they can try, they can make a bad approximation, but none can do the true good-guy pose.”
“No offense, Gai, but I would like a little more certainty,” Tsunade said with a slight hint of annoyance in her voice. “Kakashi,” she said with authority.
Kakashi nodded, and looked at the three newcomers. The swirls in his eye suddenly started turning around the circle. “Tell the truth, is the tale true,” Kakashi droned.
“Yes,” Dawn and Oz answered like dummies, while to the ninjas surprise Xander shook his head free.
“Impressive,” Kakashi muttered once again, placing the bandana back over his exposed Sharingan, as Dawn and Oz were freed from the spell.
“Hypnotization,” Xander said, looking at Kakashi with a look that said he wanted to be taught. Kakashi’s look was questioning, and Xander replied bitterly, “I’ve been hypnotized and mind controlled before; the last time I vowed I never was anyone’s butt monkey ever again. I looked up techniques to block it, strengthening my mind - it seems it worked.”
“Butt monkey?” Kurenai asked amused, eyes sparkling. Xander turned a dead gaze at her, and shrugged.
Tsunade sighed and brought the meeting back on track. “So apart from training, what is it that you want to do about your vision here anyway, if it indeed is true?” the Hokage asked, her thick accent sounding oddly to Xander. “Hire us to fight the demons for you?”
The last question was half humorous, and half disdain. Xander chose to ignore it as he answered, “I don’t know. I just followed the vision’s . . .” Xander trailed off. He remembered thinking about the ninjas in their prime and their military strength as such back in Thailand when Kanasi mentioned them. That brief hope had quickly been crushed because he didn’t really see what to do with it, but Tsunade’s words gave him an idea. “Yes, but not hire, and not just you. All of you, all the hidden villages; that won’t be enough, but through Riley I should be able to get at least one army in it as well. Although not quite hire, I don’t have the money to hire all of you. I’m thinking if you want to stave off certain destruction, we’ll have to fight together.”
“No way in hell is that possible.” The one who had spoken was the girl with the pig, and she took several steps closer. “Some of the villages are our enemies, or are enemies with another village. They’d never follow an enemy village into battle.” She made a gesture to stop the protest that was about to come from Dawn, and continued, “Even if it is from armies of demons who were going to wipe out all of humanity. They’d think the village leading the fight would be ready to stab them in the back the moment the demons are neutralized. They’d take their chances alone.”
“Unless the leader isn’t from any village, but an outsider,” Tsunade stated with finality, head still resting on her hands, peering speculatively at the three strangers that had arrived here, settling on Xander.
“Me?” Xander asked.
“Him!?” the woman said in shock.
“Hey!” Dawn and Oz protested on behalf of their friend.
“Shizune,” Tsunade warned her friend.
The woman wasn’t finished though, and said, “No offense to you or him, Tsunade-sama, but he couldn’t lead himself out of a pack of butter.”
“I wouldn’t be so sure,” Tsunade said keeping her eyes locked with Xander, who was getting nervous, but didn’t have enough strength to show it. “I said similar things about Naruto, remember?”
“If he thought sending a few dozen of those girls against tens of thousands of demons was a good idea; and not with small hidden attacks, but what amounted to a full frontal attack, I don’t think I’m overstating things, not much at least,” Shizune pointed out heatedly.
“Well, I wasn’t exactly thinking at all,” Xander felt the need to defend himself for some reason, and then frowned at his words.
“Exactly my point,” Shizune said.
“No, it is not,” Tsunade said while a thin smile that grew in a smirk as her eye. “You’re the one who planned out the attack on the big snake you mentioned?” Xander was about to answer ‘no’, when Tsunade interrupted him, “I’m not talking about the idea, I’m talking about the strategic plan.”
“Well, I’m the only one who knew how and where to set the explosive not to kill anyone outside, it’s this Halloween soldier possession you see, one of the chakras that was in me I told you about,” Xander said putting away down his involvement, “meant I had to do the details too.”
Tsunade nodded and said, “You said the attack on the hell goddess was a collaborative effort. What about the cyber demon?”
Xander answered her, “Magic you know, not- . . .”
“Uh, uh,” Dawn piped up, shaking her head. “That was you, I remember you said something about becoming someone with Giles and Willow’s brain and magic skill, and Buffy’s bodily strength, Giles just knew that could be done with a spell. You got the idea. You brought the rocket launcher to get the Judge as well.” Dawn turned to a Tsunade who’s eyes were glinting more, “Was this overgrown smurf that was said no weapon forged by man could kill.”
“Yep,” Oz confirmed coolly, before Xander could protest.
Tsunade had a deep smile, and said, “Kakashi, Kurenai, you’ll train them. One of the first things you two do; teach him some self-esteem.” Xander was flabbergasted, as were most of the most others. Tsunade continued, “When you think he’s ready, lead him to the other villages, and have him convince them. In three months there’s another Chuunin exam; I’m certain that the others just like me would want him to prove he’s capable as a leader, which means he’ll have to pass it.” Tsunade turned back to Xander and said, “The Chuunin is the second rank of the ninja; they’re squad leaders. In the exam you’re graded on your ability to lead, to think of strategy and tactics.” Tsunade thought of something, and turned to Kakashi, adding before anyone could protest, “Kakashi, teach him at least one language that is commonly spoken here, he needs to be able to converse with the villages and their kages directly, and I’m not sure they all know English.”
“Yes, Tsunade-sama,” Kakashi answered coolly, letting his one visible eye glide of the three somewhat surprised people with some intrigue.
“Tsunade-sama,” Shizune said with surprise.
“Shizune,” Tsunade interrupted her with a raised hand. “He’s the only one, don’t you see? He’s the only one who could get the other villages to follow along, he’s the only one who had contact with the other country’s military, the only one who’s fought battles with both chakra, magic, bladed weapons, the guns and explosives warfare, and knowledge of planes and ships warfare through his possession. If it’s as bad as his vision says it’s going to be, we’re going to need it /all/. He’s the only one who can stand in the middle and forge a working army out of such diverse and conflicting ways to fight. I’m not willing to take the chance his vision is nothing; if it /is/ nothing, it doesn’t matter, if it /is/ and the world doesn’t have a functioning, ready, big-enough army . . .” Tsunade left it at that, apart from saying, “That’s my decision.”
Xander looked up at Kurenai’s face, who still sat on his lap. He smiled and gave her a quick kiss on the mouth, a brief contact of tongue. Then he pulled the her off of him and got up. “Oz is late,” Xander said darkly, having given the werewolf enough time according to him. He walked to the door on his left, and entered it, Kurenai and Kakashi following him. He took the first door on the left in the corridor. The small room was mostly beige stone, the floor white tiles. Inside the room was a table, a few stairs and multiple portable radios hanging on the walls. A bigger, stronger non-portable radio on the table, behind which sat a relatively average looking African Slayer. “Misia,” Xander called sternly and the girl looked up, startled a bit. “Has Oz called in yet? If he isn’t here by now, he should have contacted us.”
“Uh, no,” she answered, eyes widening at Kurenai and Kakashi entering behind Xander.
“Contact him then,” Xander said and leaned on the table. She nodded quickly and turned up the power to the radio.
“SH to Wolfman, SH to Wolfman, please come in Wolfman,” she called into her microphone.
Static. After a few moments waiting she changed the frequency and tried again, but the result was the same. Xander straightened up, and turned to his right, grabbing a portable radio from the wall. Then he turned onward and walked resolutely out of the room. Kakashi and Kurenai made way, and they followed him back to the refreshment / kitchen area. “NEJI! KALINDA! GET OUT HERE!” Xander called out loud as he exited onto the compound, where his twenty Slayers were training. He pointed out five rapidly, and as behind him Neji and Kalinda joined up behind the other two ninjas, he commanded, “We lost contact with Oz, he’s late, we’re going to find him!”
“Yes, Xander,” the five Slayers he pointed out called, half concerned for their sister Slayers, half-excited at going on a mission and fighting some demons.
“I’m coming with,” Faith said, walking up to him.
“No, Faith,” Xander said gently with a raised hand. “You haven’t fought in a jungle, and I don’t have time to give you a jungle survival course.”
“But- . . .” Faith tried to protest.
“Faith,” Xander said sharply, gesturing to the armory - the Slayers making tracks. “If six well-trained Slayers and a werewolf knowing jungle terrain intimately are having trouble, you’ll only slow us down and get yourself and others in danger, you understand?” Faith bit her lip, every instinct in her telling to help out, but she nodded. Xander held up the overgrown version of a walkie talkie and said, “Be with the radio though, we can always benefit from your experience.” That seemed to settle Faith down and she nodded reluctantly.
Xander strapped the radio to his back as the Slayers returned fully armed with stakes, knives, kunai, a few with swords or an axe, and a gun. One Slayer held a fully pocketed ninja vest and tossed it over to Xander, who put it on smoothly. Another Slayer tossed a gun belt with multiple clips, as well as the .45 gun of course, and Xander put it on in stride. He had turned to the back of the compound where there was a smaller exit, and he and his entourage exited there, running.
Faith remained watching them leave for a bit, before turning to the building to go to the radio room. The other Slayers waited for a bit, and then a few went after Faith and the others continued their training.
The moment Xander’s group was certain Faith could no longer see them, they sped up. Jumping in one go onto the nearest roof and jumping to the next. A little later they reached the edge of the jungle and jumped onto a branch, then jumped with all fours to the next tree and new branches, then again, and again with ever increasing speed. Soon they were moving fast enough to be ticketed within built up areas if they were in cars.
About an hour later, Xander said, “Kalinda, Neji, we should be close by enough. Far sight, find their exact position.” Xander had regularly tried the radio, but apart from headquarters they got just static.
The two of them nodded, and muttered, “Byakugan!” Veins around their eyes stood out as their eyes activated, which was visible by slight ridges in the irises showing they were tensed up and ready. The group of ten continued to move forward at great speed.
“Seeing them,” Neji said after a while, and Kalinda nodded. “Eight degrees right, approximately eight kilometers. All are injured, one heavily - five Slayers, one werewolf.”
The group of ten changed course as one, putting even more speed into it, and Xander said, “Good, that’s all of them.”
Kalinda added, “They are under attack by some hundred demon dog-like things.” Their speed increased even more.
Oz and his five Slayers were fighting practically back to back in the middle of a small clearing. The demon dogs were all around them, often growling, waiting for the right time to strike and jumping in high. Or they simply came at the fighters rapidly over grown. A black-skinned blonde-died girl lay unconscious on the ground, chucks of flesh bitten out of her arm and stomach. A Latina Slayer was standing above her to keep the demons off of the downed Slayers as well as herself.
The Latina, and all the Slayers, were frightened, especially when the demons came jumping at them. The sleek black-skinned, shiny dogs, barely bigger than a scrawny street dog, but deadly. Three rows of individually movable tiny teeth were in their mouths, but the glowing red eyes were the worst; as if hell itself came to tear you apart. One of them did exactly that, and the Latina slammed her fist into the side of its neck, making it tumble back. There was another demon dog jumping her from her side though, and the Asian Slayer just next to her had her hands full with a few of her own. It latched onto her upper arm, and the three rows of teeth started sawing her flesh away. “Aah!” she screamed, as another ran forward and went for her unprotected lower left leg. Her scream grew, and then turned to fury. “GET OFF ME!” she screamed, kicking the demon on her left leg off, then wrenching the one on her arm, crying in fury and fear. The dogs sensed her fear and weakness and came at her en mass, jumping her from the front, both her sides, and even diagonally, easily twenty in all. Pure instinct made her form the hand seals, and then grumbled, “Water Shield Technique.” For it, she used some of the water in her own body; seeing as it was eighty percent water, but she knew she couldn’t do that often or she’d dehydrate. Instantly she was enveloped in a cocoon of water, that the dogs stayed stuck in, howling in fury their prey was denied them yet again. “OFF!” she screamed, and the water shot outward, washing the dogs away and making them tumble and bang into their fellow demons. Then they got up and growled angrily.
“Oz, we can’t keep this up!” the Asian Slayer said, getting very apprehensive as she tossed a dog back into the crowd by its tail. “None of us have much chakra left either.”
Oz growled, and ripped open a demon’s flank with his claws before tossing it away. After it landed it got back up, limping this time. Oz bashed another demon that had been eating his leg on the top of its head with the side of his fist, then kicked it so it flew off. “Joo-eun, don’t worry,” Oz said with a grimace, his snout moving to produce he words giving him an odd look. “I’m sure the others will have come looking; they’ll be here soon enough, just keep it up a little longer!” He sent another demon flying back, as the Korean girl nodded and ducked below a jumping demon. Oz looked over to the Latina, and asked quickly, “You okay, Tamaya?”
“Just thirsty, perhaps I should do as the vampires do, and drink some demon blood?” the Latina said grimly, trying to keep up her bravado as well as her companions, and it seemed to be working.
Oz nodded, and then blinked. He took a sniff to verify what he thought he smelled, and gave a quick look to his left. “In fact; they’re just about here, just a minute more, girls.”
And so the Slayers buckled down, beating demon dogs down. But the dogs weren’t slowing down, in fact, they were stepping up their attacks. More and more jumped at the Slayers and the werewolf at the same time. One black girl froze as she saw a dog coming at her very close - directly at her neck.
Suddenly the dog yelped, and dropped to the floor, rolling once as a new Slayer arrived. “You got trouble with a few nice doggies, Cythia?” the Slayer asked with a big grin, reaching for the downed demon dog, as nine more figures landed all around the exhausted original six. One Slayer immediately sped to her downed sister and got out a first aid kit.
The Slayer picked up the dog by the neck. “No!” Cythia yelled. “Don’t kill it!” But it was already too late, the dog’s neck was snapped, and the new arrival tossed it to the other demons. They were standing, growling, holding their attacks in order to study the new arrivals.
“What do you mean?” the new Slayer asked, and Cynthia pointed to the dead dog; its eyes no longer glowing.
“Oz, okay?” Xander said as he was standing next to his wolfed out friend, looking at the dead dog as well.
As ripples formed at the demon’s forward flank, Oz greeted back with happy twinkles in his eyes, “Xan, one Slayer down. On me nothing that isn’t already healing.”
The demon’s skin tore open, a new dog snout coming out of it, eating the skin with its razor sharp teeth, that ripped it apart easily. Eyes glowed, and then the dog jumped out, covered in some of the blood of its predecessor, giving the black demon a smooth shiny look. The wound from which the dog came, then started closing up, skin pulling back. Finally the wound was no more, the demon’s eyes suddenly started glowing again. It shuddered, then stood up, shook itself, and growled at its prey.
“There were five,” Oz snarled viciously breathing heavily, “we killed them easily, then there were ten. Killed them and there were twenty. We decided to check if chopping them in multiple pieces helped . . . now there are over a hundred. They’re like land piranhas crossed with an amoeba. We ran out of ammo a long time ago.” Xander looked from the corner of his eyes to the wolfman, who in his half-man form was anything from the cool reserved guy he was normally. No matter how often Xander witnessed it; an Oz that wasn’t perfectly collecting continued to seem wrong somehow. Not to mention that a clothed werewolf looked odd; Oz had learned to wear clothes several sizes to big, so that when he transformed they wouldn’t rip apart.
“I see your dilemma,” Kurenai commented coolly.
“Where’s your radio?” Xander asked as the demons steadily started to become more animated, obviously having decided the new arrivals weren’t that big of a threat, and ready to attack.
“They ate it,” Oz commented with finality.
Juu-eun decided to add, “Something in the temple was jamming it; we tried to get far enough a way it would work again.”
“Let’s test just how much damage they can come back from,” Xander said and pulled his gun, removing the clip and stuffing it in a free carry slip. He pulled a new one out, one covered in several Japanese letters. Oz looked appreciatively, knowing what it was. One of the ninjas tools were small papers, tags, with the same signs, charged with chakra. Activate it, and they explode - Xander had decided to create bullets with those tags wrapped in it - these were it. He quickly loaded the clip, aimed at one demon dog, and fired. A moment later the dog screeched in pain and started wriggling on the floor. A moment later there was a big explosion and the demon was mostly shredded completely, spraying the other dogs with blood and mashed demon flesh. Only two legs, the head and the tail remained, lying gruesomely on the ground. The other dogs howled at the loud noise, and slowed down again, re-evaluating their prey.
Kakashi looked at it with a raised eyebrow. “Bullets with exploding tags inside them,” Oz clarified, making Kakashi and Neji look impressed. Then it happened: the pieces of the demon dog started rippling, and slowly flesh and bone started growing from the neck, the pieces of leg and the tail, wrapping together to form tissue. Soon there were four dogs with just flesh, and a little later skin and short fur covered that.
Then they got up, and Kalinda said, “Now that, was just disgusting.”
Xander put his gun away, got the radio off his back, and said, “Well, we’re going to need some research.” He activated the radio . . . and just got static.
“Shit,” Xander muttered and looked around, the demon dogs becoming agitated again, then nodded. “All right, here’s the plan. Me and a Slayer are getting far enough away to use this thing; you guys need to keep them busy and here for a bit. All right?”
“No problem,” one Slayer said.
Kakashi just nodded. “Not a Slayer, I’m coming with,” Oz said, interrupting the moment, and clarified, “Better ears, if we get a garbled mess, I might be able to understand it anyway.”
Xander nodded. As the dog’s growling grew in volume and their boldness grew back to old proportions, he said, “Go!”
For the first time in quite a while the humans attacked, much to the surprise of the demon dogs. As eleven people shot outward - Tamaya stayed with the downed Slayer - two more shot much higher into the air. Kakashi and Kurenai forged several shadow clones as they all attacked the dogs - the clones looking exactly like themselves. The dogs were bashed, tossed away. Neji slammed his hands in the dogs shutting down non-vital internal organs, to keep it crippled at least for a while. Gunshots sounded along with the fist fight; bullets tearing through flesh in legs and back sides: hurting and disabling as many of the demon dogs as possible.
Xander and Oz had landed on a branch, and sped up and over the demon dogs, hoping they wouldn’t notice them leaving, at least not right away. The sped onward for twenty seconds, when Xander pulled the radio from his back, and tried it. It worked! “Slayer Headquarters to Leader One, come in!” the frantic voice of Misia sounded.
“Leader One here, we need research,” Xander called out through the radio and stopped on a branch. A heavily breathing Oz doing the same next to him, as a relieved sigh came through radio. “We got some black dogs, red glowing eyes, split in two and revive when you kill them. Tear it apart and the individual bigger chucks will grow new ones.”
In the radio room there were four Slayers, and one called, “On it!”
Faith’s eyes were wide though, and she called, “WAIT!” She jumped forward and grabbed the microphone. “Xander, I know those things; fought them two years or so ago. The only way to kill them is either using some stake or bulled made of gold through the heart, or fire; but the things down to bones and charcoaled flesh!” She let go of the send button, and listened.
The return sound wasn’t nice; jags and pops, from which came, “A- . . . Fa-” Then just static.
The Slayers looked at each other for a bit, and then Faith said, “Get me some gold weapon, I’m going after them.”
“No!” Misia objected. “It’s just interference, let’s give them a minute.” Faith grinded her teeth together. “A minute won’t matter,” Misia added.
“And not a second more,” Faith grumbled.
The radio crackled and muffled Faith’s voice after her first sentence. Xander frowned and looked at Oz. “Gold heart, or fire, I’m pretty sure,” Oz told Xander, who gave Oz a grateful look that he had made himself come with Xander.
“Acknowledged, Faith,” Xander send back and there was only static. There was a growl and a dog was on a branch one tree over. “I hope,” Xander muttered, as Oz growled angrily.
“It’s the damn demons themselves,” Oz snarled angrily. “Nasty bastards,” he added, realizing just how dangerous these things were if you couldn’t contact anyone close enough by them, and they just multiplying.
“Fire,” Xander said, and grinned, tossing the radio over to Oz who caught it. He made the seals, and said, “Flame: Fireball technique!” Then he sucked in breath, brought one hand to his mouth, and as the dog jumped forward, blew hard, sending a fireball from his mouth forward. A moment later the dog was enveloped in fire, and his fur lit. It screeched in pain, and wriggled trying to get the fire out, making it change course. It slammed into the tree trunk next to Xander instead of against Xander and fell down, howling and screeching all the way. It thumbed on the ground, dying instantly. Still on fire there was a rippling, and a new dog attempted to get out, but was soon howling and screeching as the fire consumed him to. Then things went quiet, as there was only bone and charcoaled flesh remaining.
“YES!” Oz exclaimed in victory, making a fist. “FINALLY!” he growled in addition, just as new growls sounded and a group of demon dogs arrived. Xander grinned and jumped down, starting his new technique.
Making the handseals, he called, “Flame: Mythic Fire Flower technique!” As he landed he once more brought his hand to his mouth and blew; but instead of a big one, now came a string of smaller fire balls. Each changed course and enveloped one demon dog each, who went screeching to their deaths.
As Oz landed next to him with a bloodthirsty look on his face, Xander pulled out the radio, and sent, “SH, you can hear me, we got it.” Multiple sighs of relief came from the other side, and the two of them started running back to the main battle.
Back at the main battle, the Slayers and the ninjas had fallen back in a smaller formation; having noticed to there consternation that even non-lethal attacks became lethal and new healthy dogs joined the fight. Since the dogs’ death meant forming a new dog, and completely healing up, they simply had no normal healing; no blood coagulating, and so they bled to death rapidly.
Then the screeches from the dying dog reached the Slayers ears; too far away for the non-enhanced hearing. Kalinda looked into that direction, and said, “Byakugan.” Her eyes activated and she shot forward with her vision, quickly finding Xander and Oz - and burning dogs. “Fire!” Kalinda exclaimed triumphantly, “And they stay dead, no new demons!”
Kakashi’s eye immediately focused back on a few dogs that jumped him. He grabbed them by the necks and tossed them back with a twirl, then started handseals, calling, “Katon: Housenka no Jutsu!” A moment later he fired multiple fire balls from his mouth, just like Xander did earlier, and multiple dogs went screeching to their death, sometimes lighting his companions
A cheer came from the Slayers, and then Kurenai and several of them pulled instant chemical torches from somewhere on their being, quickly lighting them with a quick motion over the top. She ducked below a jumping dog, and sliced the hotly burning over its belly. It caught fire, and dropped down screeching. Kurenai quickly kicked it away, before its fire might become a threat to herself and the others.
A little later Xander’s still away voice called as loud as he could, “Fire! Gold through the heart!”
He wasn’t loud anymore quite a bit away, but it was audible even to ones without enhanced hearing, and Diria hissed, “YESS!” As more demons met fiery torches, or more of Kakashi’s fire balls, the Slayer got out her gun, and replaced one clip with another.
“You brought golden bullets?” Cynthia asked in disbelief.
“I’d like to be prepared for anything,” Diria answered as she shot demon dog through the heart. Screeching the dog dropped to the floor, and writhed as golden fire started consume it from the inside out, quickly engulfing the entire dog. She looked over for a moment to say, “I was girl scout before I became a Slayer.”
She went through the clip quickly, her gunshots joining the chorus of death screeches and fire. Once the closest dogs were killed off, Kakashi said, “Behind me!” They all did as told, and he made a different set of handseals, then said, “Katon: Karyuu Endan!” Bringing his hand up to his mouth and breathing out, he let out a massive blast of fire that engulfed everything in his path; everyone but Kurenai and Neji quite impressed. It was enough fire and heat to kill the Slayers as well if they were still in the way.
“Flame: Fire Dragon Blast!” Xander’s voice sounded from their right, and a moment later the same attack came from him; shooting alongside the Slayers, engulfing all the demon dogs that was in the circle surrounding them there.
After several more of the attacks from Kakashi and Xander all the demon dogs were destroyed, and a good section of the jungle was on fire.
After having extinguished the fires, the most injured were sent home. The downed Slayer had been awoken, but still couldn’t walk so they had taken her along as well. Two of the newcomers had gone with them as escort. Thus five Slayers and their teachers, a total of nine people, reached the temple where the trouble had begun. It was overgrown with jungle, and barely recognizable as a building even now. There was a vaguely a dark opening, and some exposed, carved rock here and there. The stairs looked more like a natural overgrown slope than artificial - it was old, really old. Oz, now in his human form, wearing his too large clothing oddly well, and his wounds all but healed, said, “We had to burn through several illusions to find it, so I’m assuming that wasn’t the only line of defense.”
Xander nodded, and said, “Eyes open then.” He activated his Sharingan. Kakashi lifted his bandana revealing his Sharingan, and Neji and Kalinda activated their own eyes. Then Xander set foot on the first step.