Starr's efforts bore fruit; the Weapon Core seemed to illuminate dimly as a twisted union was formed between dark and light energies. The hollow crystalline gemstone was now, at least partially, powered. Perhaps even Starr could feel the Core calling to her, pulling her to a lost continent to the East. But it was all unclear. And it seemed, at least for the time being, that the mysterious stranger was not going to arrive. For now, Starr would need to wait for further instruction.Mission: The Candidates 2
Summary: After infiltrating a pirate crew in the midst of a raid, Astra’s third Star observes their behavior before deciding whether or not to use them for her weapon core. When a rival pirate crew appears she deems them more worthy of the title “guilty” and sets out to prove it.
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Starr’s fingers alone couldn’t block out the tremendous sound of half the ship’s cannons firing at once. The brisk ocean air trembled but not as much as the planks beneath his feet. Plumes of smoke drifted up from the iron barrels of even larger guns stationed below deck. When the smoke cleared he expected to see the larger and more impressive ship sailing parallel to them get torn apart by the barrage of dense metal flying at them. Instead, the shots struck an invisible wall and dropped into the waters below.
“Aye, looks like we got the right chase lads.”
Starr turned toward the owner of the voice. It was a man in his late thirties, somewhat gaunt, wearing a coat of luxurious blue fabric with a scabbard by the waist, sparkling rings, and a hat that tapered in three directions. Compared to the mismatched, unappealing garb of many aboard the pirate ship he may as well have been royalty. Starr couldn’t help but feel sorry for the rest of them who looked like they wore the same clothes every day until another ship came along. At least it was easy to see who ran things around here.
“This a turning point for us. Once we’ve laid claim to the motherload, we can finally send them Ants running. How’s that sound?”
As the captain spoke, his crew seemed instilled with determination. Dozens of men lined the side of the ship as the two ships drew closer. They each formed handseals, unleashing a plethora of jutsu at the barrier between them, each blast, blade, and bullet forming cracks in its surface until it scattered in a shower of electrical sparks. The mob let out a cheer and started leaping toward the other ship. Starr joined them, wanting to see how they operated up close.
Lodging a kunai in the hull with a well-aimed throw, Starr yanked the wire attached to it and pulled himself onto the side of the ship. Two bodies covered in electricity plummeted past. There were ninja above, raining down a combination of lightning and gunfire. Thankfully, a serpentine stream of water erupted from the water to guard the group as they made their way to the top. Another round of cannon fire rang out, shredding through sails, rigging, everything the large ship needed to keep their ship in motion. What next?
Once Starr and the others boarded it was over in a flash. The pirates, outnumbering the ship’s guards, formed teams and took out each guard individually while protecting each other. Their coordination was impressive, they must have been doing this for a long time. He found some guards literally frozen in place, not frozen solid but encased in ice. They were gathered beside other tied up guards and the rest of the ship’s crew. Despite their injuries, no one aboard the cargo ship was killed, either knocked out, beaten until they couldn’t fight back, or forced to surrender.
As Starr searched crewmen for valuables like several others were, he felt a hand on his shoulder and a chill that permeated his whole body. He looked up to see the Captain smiling at him.
“How are ye today, Darwin? Feeling under the whether?”
“Nay, i feel pretty good actually. Not much better than a successful plundering eh Cap’n...Fennis?”
Starr responded to the captain in a cheerful way like one of his crew would, remembering his name at the last second. Starr tried stepping away but his feet wouldn’t move. Glancing down he noticed frost gathering beneath him. Fennis spoke again, leaning in to whisper.
“Don’t run off now. We can talk. Ye not Darwin. No one i know responds to that name.”
A black spike slowly protruding from Starr’s palm came to a halt. His first instinct was to kill the captain and escape but he swallowed the urge. These pirates weren’t the worst people. Could they even fuel the weapon core?
“I can be whatever you want me to be, maybe even an ally. Those ‘Ants’ you mentioned, they’re the Red Giants aren’t they? You can rest assured now that Astra is looking out for you.”
As Fennis was about to continue, the sound of shouting were heard and two heavy impacts shook the entire ship. Starr and Fennis both looked back to see number of flaming boulders headed right for them. The air around Fennis felt colder than it had ever been as ice formed on the ship and coalesced in the shape of a pair of dragons that coiled around it as they protected the ship and everyone else from the onslaught. By the time he turned back, Starr was gone, leaving only an asterisk carved into the spot where he once stood.
Two enormous ships flying red flags threatened to lay waste to everything in sight with their meteoric bombardment. The cargo ship was taking the brunt of their firepower until two of the ships working with Fennis moved in to deflect them with jutsu of their own. The attacks were powerful enough to smash through ship’s sturdy hull. If the cargo ship was destroyed then its valuable contents would be destroyed along with it.
Starr boarded one of the green-sailed ships on the way to the red ones and stopped when he saw what was in his way. People were pouring out of the red ships in large numbers and boarding the green ships. They were under the banner of and infamous pirate crew larger than any other in Kurikita, or so he’d heard. The now burning ship where two sides engaged in bloody combat wasn’t the best place for him to be. If he wanted to influence the situation in his favor he had to attack the heart.
Starr’s focus narrowed immensely and all the color in the world vanished. Everything moved sluggishly as though time itself had slowed down. His Rinnegan saw the chaotic battlefield as a maze that constantly shifted and warped as the battles raged on. But there was a path, a glimmering thread, which he followed without question.
As he ran, black rods emerged from his hands in the shape of a simple pair of daggers. Within the desaturated world a single color stood out: Red. It showed as a mark on the bodies of those he passed by, unguarded flanks, vulnerable necks, crucial tendons. He sliced through them without thinking, moving like a blur to the untrained eye.
He consciously avoided the Greens (Fennis’ men) and licked blood off his daggers while keeping a count of everyone he’d cut. Many of Starr’s victims were already engaged in battle with the Greens which make them far easier targets than those who had their attention on him and although he didn’t know it, his blood harvesting gave the Greens opportunity to finish off their injured foes.
Meanwhile, his own eyes darted rapidly as he avoided danger. Swords, knives, and sabers of questionable quality were swung at him but were far too slow to reach his body or get past his own blades. Ninjutsu and firearms bore no better results. He was always one step ahead, already out of sight before the attack is launched or shielded behind a supposed ally. He noticed something when the tactic didn’t work. The Reds seemed almost antagonistic to each other to the point that they didn’t care who was in their way. More often than not, Reds fought over the same targets rather than work together, like they were competing.
Upon finally reaching the end of the the trail and the edge of the ship, Starr found less and less Greens ahead, only the enemy. He dashed into a group of Reds where he noticed people that were hesitant, lingering behind, fearful of joining the fray. They looked out of place. Suddenly Starr noticed his surroundings taking on an orange hue and dove backward as a fireball blasted his previous position.
Obscured by smoke and flames, Starr activated Semblance once again and disguised himself as one of the Reds. The daggers he had were hidden as well. He jumped onto the deck of the larger ship with an unconscious pirate in tow but didn’t get far before he was stopped by someone a bit better dressed than the others and one too many piercings on his face.
“Where ye goin’ with that sorry lad?”
“Looked dangerous. Didn’t want him in the way.”
“Yeah? Give him here… Hah! The shitty rat, i saw him leave just a minute ago and he’s already like this. Welp, there’s no place for him here.”
After snatching the unconscious Red from Starr’s hands and being amused by his bruised face, Ringhead lifted him into the air and casually tossed him overboard. Starr stiffened.
“Now that he’s napping elsewhere, ye can go back to killing those rats.”
Starr nodded, turning around without a word. Then a small ball dropped from his hand and covered the area in a thick smokescreen. The sounds of fighting could be heard inside before a cloaked figure dove over the side of the ship and into the water. Ringhead came out of the smoke grinning at the water. When other Reds took notice, he just waved them off.
“I already took care of the rat. Nothing to see here.”
Ringhead, Star-3’s newest disguise, was perfect for his infiltration of the Red’s ship as he seemed to have some kind of seniority among them and could explore the ship to his leisure. Now that he was here, he needed to find a certain person. So, he went up to one of the guys hurling long-ranged jutsu at the other ships, and asked for the Captain. Ringhead was told the Captain was below deck and warned not to bother him. Thanking the artillery with a pat on the back, Ringhead launched a black rod into his body which rapidly multiplied inside him and left him a standing corpse. It stayed unnoticed long enough for Ringhead to leave some more artillery in a similar state before heading down a set of stairs that creaked beneath his feet.
He passed a number of gunners firing cannon before coming up to closed room at the back of the ship. There were screams coming from inside, a combination of terror and something else. As he tried to approach the door the screaming stopped and he heard something hit the floor. The next thing he knew, a stone slab came crashing through the wooden door and right for Ringhead’s...head. He dropped to the ground, narrowly dodging it.
“Who let a stinkin’ rat on my ship?!”
Ringhead’s eyes widened at the sight of the figure stomping toward him. His tri-cornered hat suggested he was the captain but his resemblance to Fennis ended there. He was shirtless and very muscular despite his prominent gut that hung over a gleaming belt buckle he was trying to fasten. Behind the Captain, Ringhead caught a glimpse of a woman wearing nothing, bruised and shivering in a corner.
A large hand reached for Ringhead and he rolled sideways while stabbing the floor with his black dagger. A split second later, multiple black spears shot up around the Captain that would have skewered him had they not snapped in half without even breaking the skin. So Ringhead, without a moment’s hesitation, threw down a smoke bomb and jumped. His target was the ceiling. If he could break through that to the outside he’d be able to make his escape. He wasn’t about to fight someone he couldn’t kill instantly, not after being found out so fast. A black lance took shape in his hands but before he could pierce the heavens he felt stone wrap around his legs and slam him into the ground. The body of Ringhead flickered for a moment as the clasp on Semblance broke, returning Star-3 to her original form. She frantically reached for the device as it fell, managing to grab it before the Captain emerged from the smoke cloud clad in thick stone armor. He snarled.
“Ye thought you could scurry away after disrespecting me? CAPTAIN GREGORY!?”
The stones tightened around her legs with a force that thretended to snap them in half. Placing her hand on the wooden plank she sent rods multiplying through the floor again only to tear through the foundation of the floor and make both the Captain and her fall through. They landed with a heavy thud on what could only be the lowest level in the ship. When the dust cleared she noticed the Captain’s head was bare, his hat having fell off during the fall. While he searched frantically for his missing hat, Star-3 found a moment to look around and noticed a group of people quietly staring at them. When they met the Captain’s gaze they all shrank back, their shackles clanking together with every movement. She knew why they were here.
“Just try and escape me. No one has. No one will.”
Captain Gregory, having recovered his hat, charged at Star-3 even angrier than before. She ran into the darkness, multiplying her rods and filling the area with sharp obstacles which were all shattered by his impenetrable body. He headed right for her even though he couldn’t see and she knew he was sensing her every movement. She had just the thing for that. When she reached the end of the line, with the Captain blocking all avenue of escape, she dropped a special bomb that unleashed blinding light and deafening sound, but more importantly, it disabled his sensing. Just as the blast went off she attached an explosive tag to his arm which she detonated as soon as he brought his arm back to guard his precious captain’s hat, the only thing not protected by his armor.
When the flash ended, Captain Gregory remained unharmed but he felt like something was missing. His head was bare once again but he didn’t have to look far. His hat was right there, sparkling even in the dim light. He put it back on, feeling whole again, immediately began sensing Star-3’s location knowing she couldn’t have gotten far. Little did he know, she couldn’t be any closer to him. The very hat on his head transformed, revealing Star-3 holding what was left of Semblance in one hand and holding the other firmly on Gregory’s head. Neither of them moved a muscle.
“You must be miserable seeing your entire life flash before your eyes. Now you know how i feel...if only for a moment.”
As Star-3 removed her hand from the Captain’s head she drew out an ethereal silhouette of his form. Empty, the man collapsed to the ground, his impenetrable armor crumbling into dust. The prisoners, waiting with bated breath watched as Captain Gregory emerged from the darkness and approached them. To scared to move, they were surprised they heard their shackles breaking, their restraints undone.
“Don’t worry. You’ll see the light again soon.”
After hiding the lifeless body, Star-3 disguised as the Captain returned to top of the ship and ordered all the Reds to return. Though confused, they all compiled without question and the ship was steered away from the ongoing battle. He could see the Greens had no trouble holding out while she was gone, managing to prevent the cargo ship from sinking beneath the ocean while ensuring the ship’s passengers could escape with their lives.
Although she managed to fool the Reds for the time being, she didn’t want to pretend to be the Captain any longer than she needed to. So, she gathered everyone on the deck and had each pirate she named come below deck with her. Having the names and faces of the worst Red Giants fresh in her mind, as well as all the atrocities they’ve ever committed in the Captain’s presence,s he had no trouble knocking out every member who didn’t suit her needs. She was left with a pile of unconscious people bound with the help of the prisoners and a handful of unwilling crewmen after informing them of their newfound freedom. Before they woke up she pricked each one with a knife and dripped their blood into mug containing the black jewel she had. After regurgitating blood from the dozens of people she attacked earlier, she was positive she had at least 100 different people’s blood on the jewel. While it did appear murkier than before, she wasn’t quite done yet.
The ship’s red sails were lowered for perhaps the first time in a long time and Star-3 got the chance to talk to the people she’d rescued and was overwhelmed by how grateful they were. One of them hugged her, the one she’d seen earlier but fully clothed, overjoyed that they were returning to Kurikita where she could see reunite with her family. When she let go, smiling with tears rolling down her face, Star-3 instinctively took out her weapon core and touched it to the wet spot on her shoulder in the hope it would be the final piece of the puzzle. Before they got to far away, she looked back to find that the battle they’d left behind was over. The one remaining Red ship fled, and the four Green ships dragged the entire cargo ship with them, securing whatever treasures were contained within. They owed her for this, but not now. In time she was going to need all the help she could get.
(Shichishitō no Jutsu) - Seven-Branched Sword Technique (x11)
Chakra Cost: 20-30
Damage Points: 40-60
Description: The user creates chakra rods from their arms or other chakra rods in contact with them which in turn produce more rods, a process that can be repeated indefinitely. Through this process a variety of tools and structures can be formed. The rods can be produced with enough speed and force to impale a person with virtually no resistance. Their inherent durability makes them suitable of being used as a defense against attacks of equal strength. Chakra rods may be merged through contact or severed whenever the user wishes while in contact with them. By severing rods as they are in motion it is possible to launch them as projectiles. Multiple users can perform this technique collaboratively to create structures faster and with more mass making them stronger which counts as a single move.
-Only usable by Rinnegan users including linked paths
-Structures retain their strength when separated from the user.
-Collaborative usages increase the technique’s rank by +1
-A collaborative usage of the A ranked version is usable 3 times per battle with a 1 turn cooldown
(Dōgigo) - Semblance
Chakra Cost: N/A (-10 per turn)
Damage Points: N/A
Description: A device resembling a watch that is designed to aid in covert operations involving groups of people. Twisting a dial located along its edge makes it passively take chakra from the holder and link itself remotely with up to eight similar bands. By forming the Seal of Confrontation in any position, the wearer and anyone linked to this device can transmit a mental command to it and have the Transformation technique passively applied to them. They appear to flicker for an instant when assuming their disguises instead of being covered in a puff of smoke. Regardless of the user’s skill with transformation, the result is so intricate it is impossible to tell it apart from the real thing. This device maintains the transformations itself so getting injured will not cancel them. Transformations applied by Semblance do not cost a move except when multiple people transform in the same timeframe. In that case it will cost just one move and remain passive.
-Each person may only use this device to transform once per turn
-Moving long range from it cancels the transformation
-Transformations can be cancelled at will
( Kemuri Senkōdama ) - Smoke-Flash Bombs
Range: Short - Mid
Description: Similar in use to the smoke and flash bombs respectively, this tech dazes the senses by emitting a powerful sound and light. It was powerful enough to block even enhanced senses of sight and hearing, leaving those with vision and sound based sensing useless. It's major downside, however, is that due to affecting a wide area, allies could also be caught in the blast radius if not warned beforehand. Due to the mass amount of chakra released from the explosion, chakra based sensing dilate also left useless. These are also able to negate B rank and below technological sensing devices as well.
Note: User can have up to 3 max while Cyborgs have up to 6.
( Kinjutsu: Tamashī no jokyo Jutsu ) - Forbidden Technique: Soul Removal Technique
Chakra cost: 70
Damage points: N/A
Description: By placing their hand on a target's head this technique allows the user to learn everything that the target knows. Once this is done, the target's soul is ripped from their body, killing them. The technique takes some time take full effect (the time it takes to read the opponents mind) but the only thing the target can do is stop the technique before all knowledge is acquired. However, by attacking the user and forcefully making him remove his hand, the soul will be dragged out and the target killed. It is, however, completely useless against clones.
Note: Can only be used by Rinnegan bios with the (Ningendō) - Human Path active.
Note: Can only be successfully used twice.
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