The Test of True Love

Sakuma Ryuichi
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Joined: Mar 16 2008, 12:46 PM

Aug 10 2010, 08:51 PM #1

From the 'OH NO" thread

Around midnight the night before The Test, a barefoot Ryuichi snuck out of the hut and made his way towards the central fire pit so as to not wake up Tatsuha. The banked coals hid the face of anyone nearby, including his own as he sat on a nearby log. Pulling out his smartphone, he first went to the notepad function. Typing intensely with his thumbs, he deleted entire sections of what he had written, until it sounded perfect to the vocalist’s mind.

Smiling, he emailed it off to just the right person before heading back to bed. Snuggling close to his fiancé, Ryuichi kissed the back of his ebony head.

I hope that he’ll have to delete it unread in a few days, he thought, pulling the blanket over himself and closing his eyes.

*~*~*~*~*

Tohma. Don’t read this unless I don't survive being on this island. If I DO survive, delete this without reading it, okay? Ryu

Dear Tohma,

I, Sakuma Ryuichi, being of sound mind and body…

That’s SO morbid! I think I’ll just talk instead. I know you know who to send these to should the worst happen to me anyway.

But I guess I should explain first why I…uh..why this happened so that you don’t think bad things about Tatsuha.

I took The Test because I wanted to not because someone made me. Not Tatsuha, not Chief Big Lani, no one.

I needed to prove to myself that I was able do be strong. To be able to prove to myself that I can do things with no one to rely upon but myself. You and Nori and Mr K took care of me for so long, now its MY turn to take care of someone.

Uesugi Tatsuha.

My fiancé.

Don’t blame Tatsuha for my….uh…should he live. I’m a grown-up, and I made the decision to risk my life to prove to myself that I AM able to act like one. To be able to protect the one I love, or to be able to go the distance, for better or for worse.

I guess if you‘re reading this, the worst happened. So don’t be mad at him. He tried his best to talk me out of doing what I’m about to do…whatever its going to be. I really don’t know what it is, after all, it’s a Test, and if I knew the answers, I could cheat. I won’t, but you know how it is with teachers and tests….

Anyway, I leave most of my worldly possessions as well as my Space and offices and whatnot inside of N-G to my Tatsuha, to do with whatever he wants. I forget how many houses I own, and where they are, but I'm sure that the accountants at N-G Pro know, ask them. The last time I counted, I think I had twelve...but I've bought some since then. They're Tatsuha's if...uh...well....

Don’t give him a hard time, Tohma. He didn’t know I was going to put him in my...uh…you know.

Somehow, I don’t think he really wants my stuff. I think…no, I KNOW he’d rather have me, alive and well. He loves me with his entire heart and soul. I can feel that he does.

Also, as a personal favor, take care of my Tatsuha for me. I know, I know, you think he’s just another fan boy, but he’s not. He’s completely different than Eiri, even though they could be twins, but Tatsuha-kun’s personality is a lot more….hopeful. He still believes that you can grow up to do what you want. He still believes that dreams can come true. And most importantly, he still believes in love.

Plus, he has the best porn collection I’ve ever seen.

My money I leave to Saki and any kids that you and Mika-san have so that they can go to the best schools. Just because I didn't do well in school doesn't mean that they'll drop out of college like I did. You know that I want them to have the best schools and the best colleges. The best of everything, really.

I leave my bunny bestest friend to you to take care of, Tohma. Make sure he eats his veggies and let him watch Animal Planet every now and then. The animal cop shows are his favorite.

Kuma once told me that he wanted to try and make you give him a REAL smile, from one of my bestest friends to another. I hope that he does. Maybe even make you laugh someday, like he does me.

Try to smile more, Tohma. Not the fake smile you give people when you don’t want them to know what you’re thinking, but REAL smiles. The kinds you give me when you think I’m not looking. The kind you give Mika-san when she’s fussing at you to eat when you’re working late at night at the office and you think she‘s not looking. I’ve seen her whenever I sleep on your couch waiting for you to finish work. She loves you, Tohma.

And laugh more. Laugh like no one’s watching, like I do.

Laugh when Tatsuha tells a joke or does something funny. You KNOW he is! He’s so funny when he‘s Big Daddy, he should be on stage! I don’t mind being his straight man…even if I’m NOT straight! ^_^

To the world, I leave any unreleased songs I have lying around to listen to, with the royalties to go to the Uesugi Temple in Kyoto. I have a bunch of songs hidden, stashed in my Space, and in all of my houses.

I think I recorded enough to make at least 14 CDs, maybe more. All I ask the Temple to do is a few sutras on my birthday every year to ease my…uh…passing.

Wow. So depressing to say that. heh

Tell Noriko that I love her. Not only is she my bestest girl friend, she’s the only girl I ever really considered marrying. But then she got married without me. *sigh*

I’ve always thought of Saki as the daughter that we should have had.

Tell Tatsuha that I meant it when I said that I’ve loved him with my entire being ever since the day we met. He’s the only other person I’ve loved as much as you, Tohma. But then again, you knew that. I think that’s why you two don’t get along. He’s the only other real competater…compidator…rival you ever had. He’s the only person in the entire world I love as much as I love you.

But now, you and I are just bestest friends…even if he still worries about me leaving him for you.

Oh! Make sure that Kuma comes to the….funeral. He’ll never sleep properly if he missed saying sayonara to his bestest friend in the whole world.

I love you all…more than Life itself.

But then again, you all knew that too.


Sakuma Ryuichi
*~*~*SUPER-GENIUS VOCALIST SAKUMA RYUICHI!!*~*~*
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Tatsuha Uesugi
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Joined: Oct 5 2005, 09:44 PM

Aug 11 2010, 04:51 AM #2

Shortly after midnight, Tatsuha cracked open an eye as he felt first a light kiss on the back of his head, then Ryu settle back onto the futon beside him before going back to sleep. Once the Chibi was settled, Tatsuha opened both eyes and gazed long and silently at his sleeping fiance.

This might be the last time I get to do this, he thought morosely.

Seems so unfair. Just when I finally am sure he loves me like I love him...sure that I love him, truly love him and not just as my hot ass fanboy obsession, THIS SHIT happens. I'm gonna FREAKING DIE! Tats grit his teeth. And worse yet, I'm gonna get him killed right along with me. All cuz I wasn't strong enough to say no. Maybe if I'd have just...maybe if we'd have just...left earlier...left later...not left at all...we wouldn't be facing this...trial...thingy...dea....

Tats couldn't even finish his own thought. He was damn tired of not being in control. He was damn tired of feeling like every moment was his last and that Ryu was beyond any kind of help he might be able to give him.

In short, Tats was damn tired. Period.

Easing himself away from Ryu so as to not wake him, Tats dragged himself out of bed and outside; forgoing shoes. He headed outside to the now dying pitfire and moving a bit beyond to a seating log set apart from the pit, Tats sat down and whipped out his cell phone. As usual, his cheap ass, weak ass plan left him no coverage bars to work with, so instead of trying to make a call he knew wouldn't go through, he set about making a text message instead. Bound by 160 character limit his cheap ass, weak ass phone restricted him to, Tats set about making his last will and testament.

(1)Eiri. It's me. Tats. Listen. I'm in some kind of trouble, situation, fucked up kind of thingy. I can't even tell you where I am cuz I don't fucking know! Just follow the signal on my phone to come find my body on this backwater rock and make sure you put me somewhere nice, goddamn it, and not just out on the street with your shit! Uhh, I'm in a thing I might not make it through and I need you to come through and do some stuff for me if I don't, ok? First of all, if Ryu, he's here with me, and Eiri, he tried to wear a grass skirt ass nekkid underneath! God is good to me, Eiri, God is SO good...but that's something else, so pay attention and stop sidetracking. Ok, if I don't make it, come get my body and take it back to the temple. Daddy can do whatever he wants. If he don't want it, (2) it's a shame to let it go to waste if it ain't messed up with me being so fine and all, so donate it to science. Especially if it's reproductive science. So them nerds and shit can see what they missed. Give em something they can work with! Ha ha. Ok, seriously, second thing, all my stuff you can have. I don't think Meeks wants my porn collection, and really, you're the only one who can truly appreciate it. If you sell any of it, make sure you get that Jun Matsumoto ass pillow on eBay quick. He signed that for me with his own...uhh...let's just say it's a collector's item. It collected a lot. Oh and don't let my Ron Jeremy collection go for no money, ok? He gave them to me over lunch one day and that'd just be a fucked up thing to do to a friend. Ok, then there's all my school shit. (3) There was that poor boy in the back of the class, uhh...Ed something or other. He only has one arm and is so poor he had to make the other one out of metal. It's a damn shame, Eiri, a damn shame. Give it all to him. He likes school and shit and I used to think he was cute with his pretty hair braid, so that's my good deed, alright? Also, there's all my other stuff. You can have it. Most of it's yours anyway. And...for the record I'm sorry I was a shit to you sometimes, ok? You were just so much fun to be a shit to, I couldn't help it. Be nice to Shuichi. Something tells me he's as close as you're going to get to real happiness, so try not to fuck it up ok? After all, who else wants you? Tell Meeks I love her, even if she is bossy and tell Daddy...tell Daddy I tried. I really did try. (4) Sell my Porsche and give the cash to the temple. And make sure you feed the cat that hangs out around the fish pond. We had some good conversations whenever I was on punishment out there cleaning it. Eiri, for me, take care of Ryu if he makes it and make sure he knows that I love him SO MUCH more than anything, ANYTHING and if I didn't make it, it ain't his fault, ok? Tell him...tell him thanks for taking a chance on me. Sure I'm fine and I'm Big Daddy and...all...but of all the people in the world, he chose me. Tell him I'm grateful. I could have just continued to stalk him, but he gave me a chance and I honestly think I'm a better man because of it. DO IT RIGHT EIRI or I'll come back JUST TO KICK YOUR ASS! (5)One more thing, give Ryu my jade prayer beads I got when I got my first prayer sutra. I don't have much to give a rock star, but and don't tell nobody this, but they're my most valuablest thing. They're his and nobody else's ok? Give Meeks my baby shoes Daddy and I think Mommy had bronzed. I don't remember Mommy, I just remember Meeks, so she is kinda like Mommy, huh? I think she might like them. I love you, Aniki. That's the only time I'm ever calling you that. I love you all. And I really did try. Tatsuha Uesugi. P.S. If you find the chainmail thong I took from you, just throw it away. That shit chafes like a motherfucker! Where in all of Tokyo did you even find it?

Satisfied that his messages said all he had to say, Tats set them to be delivered whenever he or his good looking body made it back to civilization where they had things like wireless service and toilet paper.

Standing up, Tats looked to the heavens and cleared his throat.

"AHEM! Hey God of Booze, God of Porn, God of Cigs, and God of Bacon HEAR ME! I've been nothing if not a loyal steward of your good names and practitioner, partaker, buyer, and consumer of all things you stand for. For many many years, during some of which me possessing those same things were highly illegal, I might add. The way I see it, y'all OWE ME! I've preached the gospel of your names, and lived the life by your code. I eat Bacon with everything. If there was bacon flavored iced tea, I'd be the first in line for it. And have you ever thought about bacon flavored edible underwear? I HAVE! AMEN! I smoke cigs after I smoke cigs, just cuz I need a hit to calm the hit! Two spoons of booze makes the medicine go down! And don't even get me started on the porn. I KNOW Ron Jeremy! Nowhere will you find a herald, a messenger, a worshipper better than me, so if you want to keep all that love going for yourselves, BAIL MY ASS OUT OF THIS HOT FREAKING MESS ASAP! Send in the Guard. Send me a flying carpet made of Bacon. I. DON'T. CARE. I need y'all to huddle up and then call the play cuz I'm in need of a Hail Mary like you wouldn't believe. And in return, I promise to be nothing but a loyal, first class acolyte to all your holy names."

Glancing back toward the hut, Tatsuha ammended his prayer.

"And if you have to choose between us, send Ryu back and keep me. I don't want to live without him, but I CAN'T live knowing he's gone and I'm not. Ok boys, I need you to give it your celestial all. I'm going to bed now, so please, take one for the team and HELP ME!"

Tats gave the sky a thumbs up, and feeling much better about the situation, he walked back to the hut to finally cuddle up and sleep with his man totally at peace and totally at rest.

Just before he entered the sleeping quarters, Tatsuha paused. Redrawing his phone from his pocket, he made one last minute adjustment to the messages he'd set to send to his wayward brother.

He deleted them.

"I don't need to send them," he said to himself with a crooked smile. "I got shit to live for, I got a man to live for AND I've got bacon and porn on my side. If that don't guarantee a happy outcome, I don't know WHAT the fuck will!"

Once they were gone, Tats went back inside, nestled himself next to his man and wrapping both arms around Ryu's slender body, fell deep into bacon-flavored dreams.
"

"Have you ever danced with the Devil by the pale moonlight?"
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Chief Kalulani
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Chief Kalulani
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Joined: Dec 31 2009, 12:58 AM

Aug 11 2010, 08:38 PM #3

Chief Kalulani was tired. He’d spent a long time at the warrior’s camp last night, with his own wife, several of the village women, and the tribe’s ‘witch doctor’, who all tried to make the ailing Mr. Sakano more comfortable.

Although not fatal – usually – Purple Orchid Fever was no picnic. The itch was tortuous and the sores, if they popped, spread the disease even more. Not to mention it just plain hurt.

Mr. Sakano must have brushed up against the purple fronds that contained the poisonous oils, Kalulani surmised. The fronds held poisonous oils much like poison ivy in the Western world. Only the purple fronds’ poison resulted in the angry, purpled sores. The sores started out as tiny red dots but then blossomed into raised, round welts with long purpled tendrils arcing from the center. Hence, the ‘Purple Orchid.’

The tribe’s witch doctor had been sent for, and he administered antibiotics and an antihistamine to the unfortunate Sakano. Hoakua and some of the older women of the tribe brought a smelly, but soothing mash made from a combination of jungle roots and simple baking soda. A little cold pond water was added to the mix and this paste was applied over Sakano’s entire body. It dried a drab gray color, making Sakano look like some strange statue in a pose of ungodly pain.

It was very late when Kalulani returned, wife in tow, to the village. Hoping that no further misfortune befell them, Kalulani spent the remainder of the night tossing and turning in anticipation of The Morning of the First Test.

He now stood in the center of the village tired, bleary-eyed, and worried for his own son and Mana. The villagers had already gathered. Kaio and Mana stood tall. Everyone was silent. Even the birds had quieted.

Kalulani looked around. The off-islanders were not there. Perhaps they were hiding, having given up on the idea of taking the tests! Kalulani prayed to the Gods of Earth, Water, and Sky that it was so.

Without waiting a beat, he began the ritual somberly.

“We all know why we are here."
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Sakuma Ryuichi
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Joined: Mar 16 2008, 12:46 PM

Aug 12 2010, 12:57 AM #4

Something's wrong, the Rock God thought in his silent dreaming.

I know, its too quiet. What was I supposed to do today?

Sitting bolt upright, Sakuma Ryuichi shouted, “The Test starts today!”

Shaking Tatsuha as the raven-haired monk slept, he rolled off the mat they were sleeping on. Throwing off the blanket, Ryuichi hurried to put on his favorite purple converses.

“We all know why we are here," he heard Chiftain Kalulani say as he hurried out of the hut.

“I WISH TO TAKE THE TEST!' he bellowed as he ran over to stand a little bit away from Mana and Kaio.

“What do I need to do?” he asked, standing at attention in front of the Chief.
*~*~*SUPER-GENIUS VOCALIST SAKUMA RYUICHI!!*~*~*
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Tatsuha Uesugi
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Joined: Oct 5 2005, 09:44 PM

Aug 12 2010, 02:32 AM #5

Interestingly enough, Tatsuha slept like a log. Since having landed on the rock of hell, Tatsuha hadn't had more than a few hours sleep, and most of that was rough. But after the previous evening's last will and testament, then subsequent demanding to be helped by, if not higher powers, at least tastier, happier ones, the bricks that had seemed to weigh him down with worry suddenly seemed to have vanished. Amid a dream of sitting upon a bacon-covered throne, a rough shake and a shout later, Tatsuha lay awake on a now semi-empty mat, watching the blur of his fiance streak out of the hut and toward slightly uncertain doom.

Yawning mightily, Tatsuha stiffly stood, scratching himself in deep, dark places, put on his shoes, and shuffled out into the bright tropical morning light.

"I WISH TO TAKE THE TEST!"

Tats nodded to Kaio and Mana who stood stoically before the Chief, ready for all the tests had to dish out.

Sans breakfast and not willing to face whatever bloody freaking tests awaited them with nothing on his stomach, Tats reached into his pocket and pulled out his crumpled pack of smokes. Withdrawing the next to last one, he lit it and threw it into his mouth. Nodding in greeting to the Chief, he pulled on it long and hard, then exhaled in a cloud of carcinogenic serenity.

"What do I need to do?" Ryu asked as Tatsuha came to stand beside him. Tats took up Ryu's hand into his own free hand and continued to pull on his smoke, looking more and more like his brother with each puff.

"WE," he corrected his fiance. "What do WE need to do?"

Tats cracked a tired smile at the Chief.

"I wish to take the test too."
"

"Have you ever danced with the Devil by the pale moonlight?"
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Chief Kalulani
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Chief Kalulani
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Aug 13 2010, 04:06 PM #6

Kalulani was a patient man.

“What do I need to do?”

Kalulani was a calm man.

“What do WE need to do? I want to take the test too.”

But Kalulani was also an extremely tired and vexed man whose wish for the off-islanders to stay out of harm’s way so he could focus his worry and concern solely on his own son and the young warrior Mana was now dashed by the supercilious Ryuichi Sakuma and the haughty monk, Tatsuha Uesugi standing there cockily demanding to be sent to their deaths.

“You need to be silent!” Kalulani growled dangerously, for he was also a ferocious warrior and no-nonsense Chieftain. Having stilled the pair, he continued with the short ceremony.

“Kaio and Mana and Ryuichi and Tatsuha have invoked the Tests. Their tasks shall be identical. Let no one here claim that one pair was favored above the other, nor that death, should it occur, was beyond the measure of the test. All equal, all fair; all as it has been among us.

“No one may aid or counsel these men. No signal. No succor. They will act alone. No tools, no food, no water, no timepieces nor navigational device will be given. They will have only the clothes they wear and their will to live for one another.

“Now this is the first test you shall encounter,” Kalulani looked at the four. “It is the ‘Test of Commitment’ to prove to what ends you would go for each other.”

And with that, Kalulani outlined a test of extreme proportions.

Very simply, Kaio and Mana would be sent to a smaller sister island within 100 yards of theirs and Ryuichi and Tatsuha would remain on the main island.

The test would be the same for both: climb the side of a mountain and at the top Ryuichi and Kaio would have to find a large pearl. The pearls had been left in the clefts of stones the night before by the Chief’s warriors. The clefts would be illuminated by bright sunlight and the gleam of the pearls should be easily seen.

What Kaio and Ryuichi did not know, however, was that they would each need to cross over the scorching sands and sharp stones and all of the dangers one could encounter on a volcanic peak in order to reach their pearls. Two of the warriors who had placed one of the pearls had needed to be carried down carefully by their comrades after cutting their feet badly on the rocks, but Kalulani didn’t mention that.

Mana and Tatsuha, meanwhile, would be left to climb the other sides of their respective mountains. Their task was to find, hidden in a cave, the beautiful Bird of Paradise flower that had been placed there the night before by the tribe’s warriors.

What they did not know was that there were poisonous snakes and sinkholes in the caves. Also, Kalulani did not mention that one of the warriors nearly fell to his death in one of those sinkholes while placing one of the flowers, but was saved just in time by his brothers-in-arms, suffering merely a broken leg and sprained ankle. He too, had been carried back down the mountain.

And the test didn’t end there!

The pearls were to be brought back down the mountain whole, unscratched, and as pristine as when the sun shone on them. And the Bird of Paradise must be brought back completely intact and as fresh and colorful as the moment it bloomed. No backpack or bag or protective covering was allowed so the men would need to care for their precious cargo with their very lives.

Kalulani explained all carefully. And then he looked gravely at the four. “You must do all before the Sun God’s last light shines upon the horizon. If I do not hold the pearls and the flowers in my hands at that time, then the one who has not delivered his shall have failed the test and he and his partner shall not be fit to wed.”

Kalulani looked at his wife; Hoakua was already looking worriedly into his eyes. Such panic in her face for their beloved son Kaio. Kalulani steeled himself, wishing for all the world to say anything but this next:

“Let the Test begin.”
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Tatsuha Uesugi
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Joined: Oct 5 2005, 09:44 PM

Aug 16 2010, 12:06 AM #7

As the Chief outlined the first of their tasks, Tatsuha listened.

Sort of.

And when the Chief was done, Tatsuha understood everything that had been said.

Mostly.

Ok, he caught the first two minutes. After that, his three-minute attention span cut him loose a whole 60 seconds early. Tatsuha DID however hear that he was being sent off on a fool's errand to pick a bunch of nancy boy flowers while Ryu got to go pearl hunting.

"How come he gets to go treasure hunting and I get the chick mission? Surely you got some kind of GUY thing I can do, like rip the still beating heart out of a wild boar or go stand under a water fall naked while I pray, if you want to take the spiritual path, but flowers?!"

Tats was incredulous.

"Really?!"

The two warriors who had been assigned to lead him to his task stood behind the mouthy monk and exchanged glances. The one on the left shrugged, then without ceremony began patting Tatsuha down and extracting from him all traces of civilization, starting with his watch. His worthless phone was the next to go. When the one on the right made for his lighter, Tats stopped the love fest dead in its tracks.

"Now what the DAMN IS THIS?!" Tats smacked the warrior's hand away. Again he and his partner exchanged glances.

"No help may be given to you during this test," the one making for his lighter said. "No one may aid or counsel these men. No signal. No succor. They will act alone. No tools, no food, no water, no timepieces nor navigational device will be given."

He opened his mouth to continue, but Tats cut him off at the pass.

"I heard what the man, said," he retorted indignantly. He made a reach for his watch. "No one gave me my stuff, I came here with it. It'd be one thing if I asked you for a GPS or satellite phone--speaking of, I don't suppose either of you got one of them you'd lend me awhile?"

Tats looked at the blank faces looking back at him.

"Didn't think so. My original point still stands. I CAME here with that stuff, nobody GAVE it to me. If you didn't want me to have them, you should have worded the contract better. This kind of fine print wouldn't stand up under a two-yen lawyer."

The warrior tried again.

"It is for honor that you go alone with no aid. It's...it's..." he struggled to make the monk understand. "It's tradition."

Tats snorted. "I gotta carry honor, tradition AND a flower down a mountain? Bit much without a bag don'tcha think?"

Again blank faces looked back at him and when he once again reached for his watch, Tatsuha watched the blank look turn to one that looked a whole lot like shamed annoyance. It was the kind of look he got whenever he got caught cutting corners around the temple. When they say clean the altar, they don't mean wipe down the top with Pledge. When someone says light the candles they mean light the first one and use that one to light the next and that one to light the next, so forth and so on, not use a mini torch to set a whole row aflame at a time. Tatsuha knew that look all too well. It was a look that said, it wasn't so much that it got done, but it was HOW it got done that counted. Each thing done in its own way was designed to further one down a path of deliberate spiritual contemplation. Riding the HOV lane to Enlightenment not only defeated the purpose, it was in fact, CHEATING.

Sucking back a mighty curse, Tats dug into his pocket and handed over his cig lighter, but his cigs themselves he kept.

"I got one cigarette left and if I'm gonna die, I'm gonna die with nicotine on hand, HAIL GOD OF CIGS. Y'amen."

Rolling his eyes like a 12-year-old girl at his two guides, Tats stooped down beside Ryu and put his arms around his man.

"Be safe, Baby-kun and do your best. Whatever happens, your man'll be right here waiting for you, so don't take too long."

Tats kissed Ryu lightly across the lips, then hugged him deeply.

"For you," he whispered in Ryu's ear as he let his lover go.

"ALRIGHT LETS GET THE SHOW ON THE ROAD, THIS MAN AIN'T GOT ALL DAMN DAY, I GOT FLOWERS TO PICK, MEN TO MARRY, AND A VEGAS TO ROLL TO!"

Tats set off in one direction, only to be turned forcefully 180 degrees then let go. Tats huffed irritation and continued to puff through his smoke as he set off on his mission, with his two perplexed guards bringing up the rear.

"He's either really brave, or really stupid," the one on the left said.

"OI! GIRLY MEN, GET A MOVE ON!" Tats called from up ahead. "I'M ON CHIEF TIME!"

"I got five on really stupid," the one on the right answered.
"

"Have you ever danced with the Devil by the pale moonlight?"
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Sakuma Ryuichi
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Aug 18 2010, 02:05 PM #8

"WE. What do WE need to do?" Ryuichi heard Tatsuha say as he felt his fiance take his hand and stand beside him.

"I wish to take the test too."

Smiling proudly as his fiance spoke, the mossy-haired man squeezed Tatsuha's hand and stood proudly as they waited for the Chief's response.

“You need to be silent!” Big Lani growled at the pair, causing Ryuichi to blink at him but otherwise not react. With a determined glint in his eyes, the vocalist waited as the Chief continued. Listening to what the Test outlined, Ryuichi's mind began contemplating the best way to complete the task at hand.

“No one may aid or counsel these men. No signal. No succor. They will act alone. No tools, no food, no water, no timepieces nor navigational device will be given. They will have only the clothes they wear and their will to live for one another.

“Now this is the first test you shall encounter. It is the ‘Test of Commitment’ to prove to what ends you would go for each other.”
Chief Kalulani outlined.

"How come he gets to go treasure hunting and I get the chick mission? Surely you got some kind of GUY thing I can do, like rip the still beating heart out of a wild boar or go stand under a water fall naked while I pray, if you want to take the spiritual path, but flowers?! Really?!"

Listening to Tatsuha's reaction to his half of the Test, Ryuichi resolved to do his task as fast as humanly possible.

“You must do all before the Sun God’s last light shines upon the horizon. If I do not hold the pearls and the flowers in my hands at that time, then the one who has not delivered his shall have failed the test and he and his partner shall not be fit to wed.”

“Let the Test begin.”


As first he, then Tatsuha was patted down for items from their modern age, Ryuichi explained, “I left my wallet and cellphone next to Kuma on my sleeping mat in our hut.”

“I'm sure you did, Sakuma-san,” the warrior said, continuing the pat-down before giving the Chief a nod. Turning to follow the warrior, he felt himself be turned around.

"Be safe, Baby-kun and do your best. Whatever happens, your man'll be right here waiting for you, so don't take too long.

"For you,"
Ryuichi heard his fiance say as the mossy-haired man followed the two warriors.

“Don't worry, Puppy, we'll both be fine, I'm positive that the Gods want us to be together,” Ryuichi replied, turning to face Tatsuha and give him the gentle, shy smile he reserved just for his fiance turning and following the two warriors.

As they lead him away into the jungle, Ryuichi giggled at the last thing he heard Tatsuha say before the green darkness swallowed him whole.

"ALRIGHT LETS GET THE SHOW ON THE ROAD, THIS MAN AIN'T GOT ALL DAMN DAY, I GOT FLOWERS TO PICK, MEN TO MARRY, AND A VEGAS TO ROLL TO!"

*~*~*~*~*
Due to having to learn new dance moves for performing, Ryuichi quickly picked up the way the warriors moved through the jungle brush. Watching how the warriors leading him walked, Ryuichi imitated their flowing movements as they made their way. Near-dancing through the jungle almost as if he was a native, ducking branches and weaving around trees as if one with the jungle, Ryuichi also realized that his usually tripping-over-unseen-tree-roots clumsiness seemed to vanish as the group made their way to the base of the mountain.

Hn...wonder what else useful I could learn from watching these men? he thought as he watched the direction in which they were heading. Noting where the sun was in relation to their position, Ryuichi made a mental note to return in this same direction if...no WHEN he managed to make it down before the sun dropped.

"Here is where your Test begins, Sakuma-san," Ryuichi heard one of the warriors say before they melted away into the brush.

Standing all alone at the base of the mountain, Ryuichi gazed up towards the sun to get his bearings, making note once more of the sun's direction in relationship to himself before he set off on the climb. Going past huge trees, he made his way through the jungle growth, once again imitating the warriors near-dance like movements. But all too soon the vocalist realized he was thirsty.

“I'm thirsty Kuma, but what's that thumping noise,” he asked, thinking back to his plushie best friend, lying safely back on the mat next to his wallet and smartphone. Spying a tall coconut tree, he made his way towards it, making sure not to lose sight of where he was heading. Looking up at the tall tree, he sighed.

“How do they get the nuts down?” he said as he put his hands on his hips and gazed upward for a bit before looking around on the ground for fallen nuts. Just as he was about to continue, Ryuichi walked behind a large volcanic rock and managed to scare half to death a monkey that had used said rock to crack open a coconut. With the pissed-off simian screaming at him as it made its way up a nearby tree, the vocalist picked up the two halves before making a face and drinking what was left of the coconut milk. Taking off his light long-sleeved shirt and leaving him shirtless, the vocalist tied the nut inside of it and hooked it into his belt, before returning to his climb.

*~*~*~*~*
In the meantime, both Mana and Kaio, having spent their entire lives in a jungle, made good time up their respective mountain. Using their skills, both were able easily able to find both food and things to drink as they made their way up the steep sides.

“I wonder how Kaio's doing,” Mana murmured to himself as he easily climbed a coconut tree, twisted one of the fruit off, stripped off the outer husk with his teeth and dropped it, where after a short search for a rock, he cracked it open. Drinking the milk, he wrapped the halves in his shirt and tucked it into his belt before resuming his climb.

Kaio, on the other hand, was rather lucky in finding a small stream flowing down the mountain to satisfy his thirst. Following the stream until it ended partway up the mountain, he took a coconut half that was on the ground, rinsed it, and filled it partway before continuing.

*~*~*~*
All too soon, the side of the mountain steepened, and the vocalist found himself going from a gentle slope to a gradual upward walk. Used to the uphill selection on his treadmill at home, Ryuichi was only slightly slowed by the mountain's slope as he made his way through the lessening jungle.

Breaking through a particularly dense patch of brush, the vocalist realized that he had found the end of the jungle, when he laid eyes upon a desert of scorching volcanic sand.

Blinking at the change from green darkness to glittering black sand, the rock star shrugged, adjusted the shirt hanging on his belt, looked up at the sun to make sure he was still on course and continued walking.
*~*~*SUPER-GENIUS VOCALIST SAKUMA RYUICHI!!*~*~*
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Sakano
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Sakano
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Joined: Jan 10 2010, 08:28 PM

Aug 19 2010, 12:39 AM #9

What the hell kind of a place was this? First the blue bird of happiness shits on his head, then a scene from a Tokyo gay bathhouse followed by dressing up like the headhunters on Gilligan's Island...and did he mention that he now had the plague?

This was unbearable. Like poison sumac complicated by major sunburn. Everything both hurt and itched like fuck. Waaaaaaaaah!

"I'm gonna die! I'm gonna die in the jungle like that guy in that movie! What was it again?"  His senseless screaming and thrashing was probably a nuisance to all these noble savages who had more urgent things on their minds, but Sakano was a spazz on the edge. Just how much did these weirdos expect him to take? I never should have let Mr. K talk me into coming here. Everything went downhill from the moment I got on the jet with that crazy gaijin!

Constant shrieking, blubbering and general panty-waisting sometimes brings good results, however, for one of the natives brought him some kind of tropical tree sap or something. Probably meant as a topical solution, but they were slathering him with other things to shut him up so he grabbed the little carved bowl with the tree sap and swallowed it. Anything that might stop this ungodly itching!

Wait...why were the trees starting to sing Grasper songs?  "Oh, look! K-san! It's Shacho in a grass skirt acting out the third scene from The Tempest. I love Shakespeare!"

Oh, the colors in the air were so pretty! Sakano tried to catch them, but they fluttered away like rabid butterflies.  "Oooh, little swirly caterpillars, how your ears doth glow!"  Looking around, he suddenly realized he was in the most beautiful place on Earth. Why hadn't he noticed that before? And why did he suddenly think that Jimi Hendrix was the sexiest woman who'd ever lived?

Something K had muttered a few pages back suddenly rushed to his delusional frontal lobes:

"Promise me you'll watch my back, because buddy you're all I've got! You watch my back and I'll watch yours. OK?"

"What was that, K-san? Wash your back? Okey dokey! Just let me find some crab sponges..."  Sakano wandered off looking for some, but quickly forgot just what he was hunting for when he stumbled upon a group of cloistered nuns lining up for a marathon. What were they saying? He leaned in to listen as the fluffy gleam of their voices rose in circles into the cosmos.

"ALRIGHT LET'S GET THE SHOW ON THE ROAD, THIS MAN AIN'T GOT ALL DAMN DAY, I GOT FLOWERS TO PICK, MEN TO MARRY, AND A VEGAS TO ROLL TO!"

"He's either really brave, or really stupid."

"OI! GIRLY MEN, GET A MOVE ON! I'M ON CHIEF TIME!"

"I got five on really stupid."


Oh, what was this? A wedding? How romantic!  "I'll be the flower girl!" Sakano announced as he twaddled through the brush, but apparently no one had heard him, and they boarded the Queen Mary, then sailed off into the shrubbery.

On the up side, he could barely feel his own extremities, much less any itching or burning. He and K seriously needed to bring back some of this tree sap and sell it on the Ginza. They'd make a fortune before they got arrested!

"K-san, help me cut down these trees..."

Oh yeah...now everything was shiny. Fucking shiny.
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Tatsuha Uesugi
Forum God
Joined: Oct 5 2005, 09:44 PM

Aug 20 2010, 03:48 AM #10

Due to having been a heavy smoker from a frightfully early age, and due to only regularly exercising a muscle group that served one...maybe two purposes, particularly when he was alone, Tatsuha was ready to drop five minutes into their trek.

"ohmygawdAREWETHEREYET?!"

Gone was the bravado and obnoxiousness that had gripped him all of four minutes and sixteen seconds before. That had gone right out the window and been promptly replaced with tongue-wagging, dog-like pants. The two tribesmen that led him exchanged quiet glances, then the one on the left silently handed the other something that looked suspiciously like money to Tatsuha. He couldn't be sure though, as his entire world view had been reduced to a sweaty blur. Salty rivers poured like waterfalls down his hair which was plastered to his face in dark, drenched wisps. Each step in the intense humid tropic heat was one that took the teenager one step closer to passing out.

Even though he was only a few yards from the village, indeed, he could still hear some of the children playing in the distance, around him, there was absolutely nothing he recognized. Behind him, the familiar scene had been instantly swallowed by dense rain forest the second they left the clearing. Bright, verdant greens assaulted his weary eyes and the calls of horny birds attacked his ears. The dappled sunlight that beat down on him was filtered through the thick canopy of broad green plants, trees and leaves. Broad green leaves that did absolutely nothing to alleviate the brutally oppressive heat and wickedly bright sunlight that caused it.

"Fellas, can we stop a sec...geez...this is friggin heat is KILLING ME! Why are y'all even shacked up out here like this, far, far away from pizza, beer vending machines and central air conditioning! There's no need to live like this!"

Tats stopped and grabbed the nearest tree limb to catch his breath. The flat, wide stem snapped off immediately and rained a stream of cool water on his hand and arm, completely catching Tatsuha off guard. He'd put all his weight on that stem and when it gave, gravity finished him off and took him to the ground.

"Well shit!"

Tats face planted himself right on the forest floor. Looking up, the two tribesmen were already out of sight and only the faintest rustling of leaves gave him any clue as to their whereabouts.

"Well shit! They left!"

Tats scrambled to his feet and dashed after his guides, finding them only after thrashing about in the brush until he somehow stumbled out in front of them.

Startled they exchanged glances.

"What took you so long?" Tats asked cockily. Sighing heavily they both skirted around Tatsuha and kept walking. Tats fell into place behind them.

"How about giving me one of them nifty walking sticks?" he asked, pointing to the spear tipped lances each carried.

"Nobody's even looking and it ain't like I'm going to tell!"

They ignored him.

"Fine!" Tats huffed. A few steps later, accompanied only by the sounds of their movement and the far off cries of birds, Tatsuha got bored.

"You know, you COULD say SOMETHING. ANYTHING! The silent treatment is getting old real fast. I didn't have to come all the way to God's out house for the silent treatment--I could have stayed right home in Tokyo and gone to my brother's house for that!"

Nothing. Not even a backward glance to tell him to shut up.

"Fine," Tats said, undeterred. "I'll talk to myself then!"

And talk he did.

He talked about how hot he was. He talked about how thirsty he was. He talked about needing a cigarette. He talked about needing a drink. He talked about how tight Ryu's ass was.

This didn't cause any conversation on the part of his guides, but the minute the words 'sweetest, most delicious ass crack on Earth" left his mouth, the guide on the left walked into a tree.

"That'll learn you for ignoring me!" Tats laughed. Then he went right back to be annoying in the hopes that one of them would at least give him a drink from the water pouch he was carrying.

No such luck.

So Tats kept on talking.

He talked about being stupid enough to wear his jacket, which he promptly took off and tied around his waist. He talked about not understanding how they could walk around ass naked like they were, save for the grass skirts and reed sandals, and NOT be knee deep in man love every day.

"I mean, it's not like you don't see each other's sweet, delicious ass cracks every day! I can't imagine what happens when somebody's gotta tie his sandals around here!"

The one on the right tripped over his own feet and went straight to the ground, face down.

"See what I mean?" Tats said, eyeing the dude's ass crack that revealed itself in all its bronzed glory.

"Just look at that. Your village ought to be called George Michaelopolis! He's another one that likes to run around in the bushes."

The grounded guide got up and with all the dignity he could muster, straightened out his grass skirt and took all the will he had left not to strangle Tatsuha. He continued onward, but not before sparing Tatsuha a withering look.

"Big Daddy, two, nekkid natives, zero!"

Tatsuha was about to start up all over again, when his guides abruptly stopped, causing him to run full into the back of one.

"Was it good for you too?" he grinned sweatily. The guide turned Tatsuha frontwards so he could see what they saw. And see Tatsuha did. In front of him lay a mountain. A BIG. ASS. MOUNTAIN. One that had been obscured by the foliage, but now stood front and center and huge before him. Green trees and thick grasses carpeted the side of the mountain, down the middle of which rushed a crystal clear stream. Tatsuha followed the mountain steeply upward, and found that approximately halfway up the almost vertical slope, the greenery and water gave way to bleak, black rock along which were dotted hundreds of hollows and depressions.

Any one of which could have been the opening of a cave.

Any one of which could have been the opening of HIS cave.

He was going to have to all but scale the side of a ginormous mountain, then find one hole among hundreds that held a single flower and get said flower back down what was going to amount to damn near a straight drop to the ground without any kind of help, without any kind of gear, in the blistering heat without water, food, or damaging the flower.

And as if it couldn't get worse, it all had to be done before sunset.

Tatsuha's dry, cracked mouth fell open.

"Well, shit."
"

"Have you ever danced with the Devil by the pale moonlight?"
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Sakuma Ryuichi
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Joined: Mar 16 2008, 12:46 PM

Aug 23 2010, 09:16 PM #11

Ryuichi gazed across the black sand. Having only seen such a substance in decorative containers in stores, he was amazed to find out that it was actually a natural substance.

Its going to get hot out here,' he thought to himself as he took the first few steps. Deciding that he needed some kind of cover, he turned around and went back into the jungle. Looking around, he found what he was hoping for, a plant with huge leaves. Pulling off a few of the largest by their stems, he made a makeshift umbrella out of them before once again venturing onto the shifting sands. A glint caught his eye just as he was about to put his foot down, causing him to pause with one purple converse-clad foot still in the air.

“WHOA!” he exclaimed out loud as he realized that he had almost blindly stepped onto a sharp piece of volcanic rock. Looking at the path up the mountain, he came to the realization that the entire mountainside was peppered with the sharp-looking rocks.

Once again gazing up at the sky to see where the sun was before looking down at his shadow, Ryuichi pondered what to do next. His shadow was shortening, but not underneath him completely, which would have meant that it was still well before noon. Daring to stand and gaze for a bit longer up the mountainside, he mentally charted a zigzag path that, while it would take longer, could also lessen his chances of getting cut by the razor sharp rocks.

Determined, the vocalist set his jaw and began to navigate his way up the steepening ground, mentally thanking the gods that along with animal cops shows, Kumagorou loved to watch survival shows on Animal Planet.

*~*~*
Mana too had finally left the jungle, only to see a similar sight. Having no access to cable, he only had the tales of how others in his tribe had managed to make it across the dangerous sands.

Finding a large stick lying on the ground, he poked the ground ahead of him as he walked, thus avoiding the worst of the sharp stones as well as sinkholes.

Kaio used similar tactics on his climb, so unknowing, the pair made excellent time up their mountain.

*~*~*
Making his way zigzagged up the mountain, Ryuichi was only partway up when the sun hit its zenith. Sparingly chewing on coconut meat as he made his way, he nearly fell as the ground beneath hm gave way, only a dancer-like step-move preventing him from falling as the crevasse opened under his feet.

“FUCK! There's sinkholes too?” he yelled, his powerful voice echoing in the sinkhole's depths. Once again, the vocalist stopped walking to gaze up the mountainside and chart a path, this time debating on walking on the larger volcanic stones instead of on the shifting black sand.

“I have to do something to help me make better time up this mountain,” Ryuichi said to no one in particular as he quickly zigzagged his way, hoping to miss any more sinkholes.

Getting his bearings a while later by peering up at the sky, then back at the mountain, and eternally happy that he hadn't hit any more sinkholes, it dawned on him that he was seeing something sparkle in a different way than the volcanic glass rocks. Making a mental path up towards it, he began to trudge on, occasionally glancing up the mountainside to keep himself on track towards it. As the sun reached its zenith and began to head down, Ryuichi made his way into the cave where the glint was coming from. Standing at the entrance, he stopped, his jaw hanging open as he realized what he had found.

Inside of a small cave more than 2/3rds of the way up the mountain, Grasper's Lead Vocalist came face to face with a human skeleton.
*~*~*SUPER-GENIUS VOCALIST SAKUMA RYUICHI!!*~*~*
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Tatsuha Uesugi
Forum God
Joined: Oct 5 2005, 09:44 PM

Aug 24 2010, 07:18 AM #12

"I don't suppose you could be so kind as to lend me one of those?"

Tatsuha watched as both of his guides stooped before the natural pool of crystal clear water that had formed at the base of the stream. They were each silently filling the skin water pouches they carried attached to the waistband of their grass skirts. Tats watched disgustedly as they continued to ignore him.

"Of course not."

Sighing heavily, Tats stooped beside one and after watching them take a long, satisfying drink from his pouch, cupped his hands into the surprisingly cold water and had a drink. As soon as the sweet liquid touched his lips, it was all Tatsuha could do to keep himself from dunking his entire head into the natural basin-shaped depression and sucking up the entire thing. He hadn't realized just how thirsty he'd become during the trek with his taunting and cracking wise in that unmerciful tropical heat. With extreme effort, he tore himself away from the water and rolled over on the flat rocky outcropping they were perched upon. Sighing heavily, Tats looked around.

It was beautiful.

The stream ran almost a straight vertical line down the side of the mountain, reminiscent of a little waterfall. The rushing water made a pleasant bubbling sound that soothed Tatsuha's ears. All around him thick grasses carpeted the steep mountainside the stream bisected, while tall, broad tropical plants and trees provided a bright green roof of shade. It was very easy to imagine that he was on vacation at some kind of posh island resort that had taken great pains to recreate the tropical wild at a substantial price that all was lovingly passed to its well-heeled customers in the form of way over priced fuzzy drinks served in coconut shells with little paper umbrellas, and a water feature in the posh lobby.

But he wasn't on vacation. He was on an actual island, facing an actual trial that was likely to leave him more worse for the wear when he was done than when he started. And he still had the majority of what was only the first test still to go.

Sighing heavily again, Tatsuha stood up, glancing longingly down at the water. As much as he wanted another deep, long drink, it wouldn't do to get water-logged when he had so much physical activity yet to go. But, not knowing how much he could depend on the water source to help him out, and knowing full well that he'd get no help from his guides, Tats took a long thoughtful look around. Then, hitting upon an idea, he left the immediate area to the bewilderment of his guides. When he returned a few minutes later, the one on the left laughed out loud.

Tatsuha had gone back onto the path they'd just traversed. He could make it out now that he wasn't actually walking on it. A faint trampled line leading back into the forest from the stream clearing at the base of the mountain led him back to the very trees that had put him on his ass just moments earlier. Snapping off a broad leaf at the stem, Tats was happy to see that, just like before, a stream of cool water ran over his arm. The leaves stored water! Taking one and a bit of vine, he wrapped one leaf around his head and tied it into place, so that the broad frond covered his head like a visor and the stem end sat near his mouth like the headset microphone his Baby-kun used on stage. Testing his creation, Tats took a sip of cool refreshing water, using the stem like a straw. Satisfied that the system worked, he snapped off another leaf and tucked it into the back of the jacket he had tied around his waist. Then, for good measure, he also selected a sturdy branch that had fallen to the ground as a walking stick. When he re-entered the clearing where his two guides waited patiently, he looked like a giant green hand had attacked the top of his head, but he had shade, he was relatively cool and he had a limited water supply that was both clean and portable. And with the leaf he had tucked away in his jacket, stem folded upward to keep the liquid from running out, he had a portable water/shade reserve. And he had a heavy stick he could use as a crutch to help pull him up the steep grade that lay before him.

"For love!" he saluted the two and taking one last look at solid ground, Tats headed up.

He completely missed the surprised looks of admiration that followed him.

Tats followed a thinly visible trail that ran beside the stream upward. Much like the trail back down on the forest floor that he'd just left, it was very faint and unobtrusive, obviously made by people who wanted to leave as little change upon the natural landscape as possible with their passing. While that was all well and good ecologically, it made it hella hard to stay on the path and follow it for someone who wasn't familiar with it. And the steep grade of soil and grasses beneath his feet, made it hella hard to get good purchase to keep his balance going forward AND make good time. Not really a sun reader, Tats could still feel the time slipping away from him as he clambered upward using his walking stick for leverage and stability.

Just as he figured, the trail stayed beside the stream for its duration. While keeping a constant eye out for trail branches that led away from the main path, Tats was both relieved and unsurprised that it remained true and single. It only made sense. The folks living there wouldn't make unnecessary trails that would leave more damage than they wanted on the natural world they lived in, plus, in this heat, they'd need a steady water supply to do whatever it is they did on the side of a mountain. Tats surmised that the cave he was looking for was one that they had probably used before, if not for a trial, then for other purposes. He sincerely doubted they'd have forged a new trail just for him or this particular test on such short notice, so he went with his gut instinct and kept to the path without being too concerned that he had missed the cave he was seeking.

Stopping only once to dunk his head and his leaf into the stream beside him, Tats continued up the path, making slow, but steady progress, until eventually the verdant green that had been his constant companion from the start of his journey, began giving way to bleak, black rock. Beneath his feet, the carpeting grasses and soil, increasingly became rocky and pebbly, giving him even less footing to work with. Tatsuha began having to use his walking stick to keep himself steady as the unstable earth frequently gave way underneath him, causing him to slide or go skidding off to one side. Still, he kept to the path like his gut told him to until he reached a plateau where the path ended abruptly. The plateau, a broad, ledge-like shelf etched into the side of the mountain, marked where the visible stream ended. It retreated out of sight into the mountain itself, leaving Tatsuha without a marker and without a source of water.

Going forward, Tatsuha tossed his walking stick up over the edge above him and found footholds he used to push himself up and over the ledge. When he stood atop it, he became thoroughly dismayed at what he saw.

Barren, volcanic rock as far as the eye could see. Looking much like an alien landscape, the field of spiky rocks that lay before him jutted out at odd angles, looking wickedly sharp and difficult to get over. Not just that, but the entire area gave off an odd heat that permeated the jungle air. Slowly Tatsuha realized the heat was coming from below. And that wasn't all. The air, the very thick air here smelled pungently of sulfer and ash. Like a hotsprings, but ten times worse, it was almost dizzying and it choked Tatsuha's every breath. Off in the distance, thick plumes of white steam drifted slowly from the other side of the horizon that he couldn't see, up toward the sky. Not quite understanding what it was that he was looking at, Tats ignored it for the moment and began scouting for something that looked like a cave. Figuring that it wouldn't be too far away from the beaten path he'd just left given the inhospitable terrain, Tats felt a wave of relief when he actually spotted the thing in plain sight off to the side of the rock field. He'd been worried that it was going to be hidden, but again, it made sense that it was not. The tradition that limited him to no modern assistance to help complete his task, also limited the villagers who had been tasked to set the whole thing up. Dressed as they were, Tats was sure they weren't going far in those thin reed sandals, in this oppressive heat just to lay down a friggin flower for him to find.

Not seeing anything else that resembled the natural crevice-like opening in the side of the mountain that continued going upward, Tatsuha was sure he'd found the right place.

If finding the cave hadn't been a problem, getting to it was a hella different story. Between him and his destination lay a round, bowl-like depression in the mountain that was filled with sharp, black rocks and boulders. Had Tatsuha been a nature channel watcher, he would have realized what he was looking at was the caldera, or the crater that had been left behind after an ancient volcanic eruption had blown off the top of the volcano in a violent fit of fire and ash, that had subsequently over time left the hole filled with left-over debris and cooled lava that had formed the glassy looking rocks and spires that he now faced.

Tats took a drink from his make-shift straw, then set off in the direction of the crevice.

He hadn't taken his first step when suddenly the rock beneath his right foot gave way with a glass-like shatter, and Tats went down violently on his right knee as his leg fell through the thin crystalline top of the rock into the the rock's hollow center that was filled with knife-like protrusions, each of which viciously clawed their way deep into Tatsuha's leg.
"

"Have you ever danced with the Devil by the pale moonlight?"
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Chief Kalulani
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Chief Kalulani
Junior Member
Joined: Dec 31 2009, 12:58 AM

Aug 31 2010, 07:17 PM #13

Akamu turned and handed the binoculars to K so he could see Ryuichi Sakuma’s climb up the mountain. It was clear that Ryuichi was a resourceful man, in spite of the fact that he was a city-dweller and show business celebrity. Akamu pointed to where the singer was on the mountain. If the two off-islanders were this resourceful throughout the tests, his job of protecting them would be easy.

But Akamu thought too soon, because while K was watching Ryuichi’s progress, one of Akamu’s men burst from the jungle brush at a full run. “My Lord Akamu,” the breathless warrior said as he came to an almost dead stop. “The other – The Monk – he has fallen and hurt himself.”

Akamu’s eyes widened only minimally and he steeled his face. “Continue.”

“He reached the sharpstones, my Lord. And then he missed his step and fell to one knee. He is cut and bleeding.”

Akamu said nothing but stared, unseeing, past the young warrior.

“My Lord, what do you want us to do?”

Akamu had promised his Chief and friend, Big Lani, that he would only intervene to rescue the two off-islanders if their deaths were imminent. He felt his own brow furrow in doubt at the thought.

“Do?” he responded sharply. “Do nothing until I have arrived to see.”

Akamu turned to the other warriors. “Stay here. Remain hidden. Do nothing, say nothing. Follow, but do not help The Rabbit Man. Report to me if his situation becomes troublesome.”

Akamu looked grimly at K. “We must go to the young Monk,” he said calmly. “We will make good time if you follow me, doing as I do, moving as I move – just as the Rabbit Man did with his tribal escort. The young Monk’s wellbeing rests on your ability to trust us, Claude Winchester.” Akamu rested a reassuring hand on K’s shoulder.

Just when Akamu thought it was safe to head into the jungle, another messenger – this one from their camp – burst out of the brush from the other direction.

“Lord Akamu! My Lord!” the new messenger panted.

Akamu’s eyes narrowed. Now what…?

“Well?”

“My Lord, Mr. Sakano. He…” The messenger hesitated casting a quick glance at K.

“What?” Akamu snapped.

“His fever peaked, my Lord. He was delirious. We didn’t know he would do it. We would have stayed closer by if we thought he would. We – “

Akamu growled and glared at the man.

“My Lord. Mr. Sakano drank the juice of the biki-biki tree.” Having finally spit it out, the messenger began rambling in relief. “We were using it to make the healing mash to put on his body and no one expected to him to do anything because he was flailing so wildly but then he calmed down once we covered him in the mash and he all of sudden reached out and took the bowl and drank the biki-biki sap and – “

“Silence!” Akamu spoke quietly, but it somehow caused the birds and insects to go still. “Make sure you double the guard on him and do not let him get up. Tie him down if you have to.”

Something in the messenger’s face made Akamu cringe.

“My Lord,” the man went down on one knee and bowed his head.

Akamu saw long lines of sweat trailing down the back of his neck.

“My Lord, forgive us. Mr. Sakano was too fast. He gained his feet, my Lord, and surprised us by heading swiftly into the jungle. We… have not found him yet. My Lord.”

“Does Big Lani know?”

“I came to you first, Lord Akamu.”

“Then go to him now and tell him everything. His orders are above mine, as always. But I tell you, and make no mistake. If that man is found harmed or if harm comes to anyone or the tests are nulled because you and the others foolishly lost him, you will wish you had taken the tests yourselves -- and failed!”

Without another word or gesture, Akamu set off behind the first young messenger with his company and Claude Winchester in tow, making their way to Tatsuha Uesugi.

A short while later….

Chief Kalulani was not pleased. The man, Sakano, had slipped through the hands of their best warriors in a state of delirium and under the hallucinogenic influence of the biki-biki juice.

Kalulani turned from the messenger and called two of the tribe’s best young trackers to him. In low tones, he described Sakano and the situation.

“Find him. Bring him to me. Unharmed.” Then he added, “Do not frighten him.”

The trackers looked at one another dubiously, for everyone knew what it was like to control someone in the throes of The Biki-Biki Blast, the watered-down drink the teenagers made from the tree’s sap.

But this man – this off-islander, Sakano – had drunk a bowlful of the sap in its purest and most potent form!

Kalulani saw their looks and realized it, too. “Use darts if you have to,” he told them grimly.

The trackers nodded.

“Good thinking, Chief Lani,” the messenger spoke up. “Sedative-dipped darts will give them a fighting chance to bring their prey – uh, I mean the man -- that is Mr. Sakano -- down. In. Back.”

Kalulani shot the messenger a withering look.

“Right, Chief!” The messenger bowed hastily and ran off down the road to the warriors’ camp.

The two trackers smirked as they watched him go.

“What are you waiting for?” Kalulani bellowed.

The trackers jumped, raised their fists in the tribal salute to the Chief, and then ran off soundlessly toward the jungle to find the biki-biki blasted Sakano.

***************

Making good time, Akamu and company had reached the place on Tatsuha’s side of the mountain where the jungle thinned out. Akamu had looked back only once to see that K was keeping pace with him. As long as nothing got in their way, Akamu reasoned, they would reach The Monk in three quarters of an hour or so.

Rounding an outcropping of tall jungle ferns, Akamu realized that he had again shaped his thoughts too soon.

There, not far from them was a man partially hidden by wide jungle leaves. Whoever it was, seemed to be completely naked. But it was hard to tell for sure because the man was coated in ash-gray paste.

Sakano!

Akamu came to a sudden halt. His warriors bumped into him from behind one at a time. He growled at them.

Pointing directly at Sakano’s back, he sharply ordered, “Get him!”

Three warriors sprang toward the small Japanese man.

We have him! Akamu thought, for the fourth time too soon.

As he watched, his warriors stopped one at a time in their tracks. One at a time they touched the sides of their necks. And one at a time, they fell like dead weights upon the green-carpeted jungle floor.

That’s it, Akamu sighed internally. I’m not thinking again for the rest of the day.
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Mr. K
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Mr. K
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Joined: Sep 28 2005, 02:45 AM

Sep 3 2010, 02:46 AM #14

Hey, he liked a good laugh like anyone else, but this time K wasn’t laughing...

The fuss-budget Sakano was ailing from something called Purple Orchid Fever! It was dis-gus-ting! And on top of that, Ryuichi and Tatsuha were apparently risking their lives with some ridiculous test to prove their damn love! Argh!

And people called him manic; they called him a ‘Crazy American’. Pfffftt!

A strange image entered K's blonde brain. A furry countenance with normally friendly, glowing green eyes was now hissing angrily at him, it’s back arched and claws out. Oh no! Rabies!

K wore a deadpanned face at his thoughts. Either way Tohma was going to kill him!

He HAD to make sure Ryuichi and Tatsuha got out of this thing alive! He HAD to return Sakano to Japan spot free and healthy!

Poor sap. All K wanted was to give Sakano a little thrill. Brighten his dull disposition. To give him something to brag about, to answer the call of the wild, to get down and dirty and do a real man’s job. Wait… That didn't sound right. *sweatdrop*

He just wanted to toughen the producer up a little! But that wasn’t happening.

K scratched his blonde head listlessly as Akamu looked through a pair of binoculars. The warrior then handed the equipment to him; K studied the other man quietly as he took them. These binoculars weren’t his. Hmm, how many others ‘things’ did these guys have that they weren’t telling him?

K recalled that Chief with his pair of running shoes.

Whatever the deal was about these tribal dudes, something that he could not quite put his finger on, he was not allowed to bring his guns. Sigh…that was fine. Fine... K decided that shooting them off would only distract Tatsuha and Ryuichi anyways. He’d been told, oh my yes, he’d been told. But K still felt naked without them!

Speaking of naked, K glanced down his front. He was glistening with sweat from head to toe, earning a suntan and naked except for a cloth that covered his no-no areas. He thought, what would Hiro say if he could see him now? He’d probably keel over laughing, unable to catch his breath as tears leaked out his eyes. The blonde sighed heavily and brought the binoculars to his eyes to get a good look at Ryuichi.

Never in a million years could he imagine Ryuichi doing something like this. Crazy Rabbit Man! Still, it was the act of a man, a real man. K silently cheered him on. Suddenly his attention was broken from Ryuichi on the mountainside as the rustling of movement caught his ears. One of Akamu’s warriors came running over to them.

K licked the salty sweat from his upper lip as the messenger spoke.

“The other – The Monk – he has fallen and hurt himself.”

What?!

Blonde brows furrowed. K cast cool eyes on Akamu, saying nothing as the man dealt with the protocol.

“We will make good time if you follow me, doing as I do, moving as I move – just as the Rabbit Man did with his tribal escort. The young Monk’s wellbeing rests on your ability to trust us, Claude Winchester.”

“Trust is often a commodity that I can’t afford to offer with the type of work I’m in,” K spoke coolly, “But, I’m not in Kansas anymore, am I?” He flashed Akamu a cocky grin and offered confidently, “You need to learn to trust me as well, Akamu-san, and I think we’ll get along just fine.”

As they were about to rush off to check on Spyboy, another messenger came bustling like his ass was on fire.

“My Lord. Mr. Sakano drank the juice of the biki-biki tree.”

What in the blind fuck was biki-biki juice?

K watched on dumbfounded as he discovered that Sakano was now on the run in the jungle, and had, by all means, duped these warriors. Sakano escaped and outran these guys? K couldn't believe it! But now they couldn't find him. If only they didn’t burn their clothes! Maybe Sakano would still have been wearing his shoes! See, there was this tiny microchip in the sole that…well, nevermind that. TMI! <.<

He chased after Akamu through the thicket of jungle forest in his bare feet. As they ran along, K asked Akamu, “You never mentioned, but is drinking biki-biki sap dangerous? Will Sakano-san be alright?”

Before Akamu could answer they came into a stonier area, on their way to Spyboy. And there before them, wandering in the forest like a Yeti was the most hideous creature K had ever seen!

“Oh my god what is that?” K charged.

Studying really carefully, K’s eyes flashed wide when he realized. “Sakano?” he murmured just before Akamu gave his order.

“Get him!”

Everything happened so fast. K’s instincts spiked as projectiles met flesh. Bullet or no, he knew what he was seeing. At the same time as the warriors in front of them went down, K placed himself in front of Akamu like a human shield.

“Don’t worry Akamu buddy, it takes a lot more than a dart to bring me down,” K assured smugly.

But no more darts came.

K scanned the bodies lying on the jungle floor passed out, and then his eyes darted up at Sakano. Egads! Bad Luck’s manager shielded his eyes as if pained for a moment. The man was a festering eye sore!

But K’s heart went out to his comrade and he heard the distinct sound of a hissing pussy in his mind. That spurred him into action. That’s right Claude, Tohma’s gonna kill you! Bad Luck needs their producer! Faster than these jungle warriors could ever hope to be, K rushed after Sakano and tackled him to the ground.

"Seriously, Sakano. What the hell have you done to yourself? Why did you leave the camp? You should be resting, getting your beauty sleep. Ya know, so you'll look all sun-kissed and enthusiastic for Tohma-san. Don't worry buddy," K said softly, "I got ya." The blonde managed to pick him up and toss him over his shoulder like a bag of potatoes. It wasn’t the first time he had to haul around his silly ass. "Trust me, man. I know things," K told Sakano. It wasn't a big secret. K knew Sakano was Tohma's dog for life.

“Ok boss,” K said facing Akamu, “I have acquired the secondary target. Now how about we hurry to find the first, Tatsuha Uesugi?”
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Sakano
Junior Member
Sakano
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Joined: Jan 10 2010, 08:28 PM

Sep 3 2010, 07:12 AM #15

Apparently K-san didn't want to help him chop down trees to sell on the Ginza. That was fine; the cast of Cats suddenly burst out of the men's room. Maybe they'd help him. And then maybe they'll sing that song! Before Sakano could ask, all three of them dropped to the ground grasping their necks. Probably Muslims observing Sal&#257;h, he reasoned. They must be assuming the ritual position for prayer.

That was laudable, but the shoe department of Bloomingdale's really wasn't the proper place for that. Never mind; Sakano needed to practice his act for the Cirque du Soleil. Shacho liked performers, right? Then he'd become the greatest daredevil bareback elephant rider and whipped cream juggler in the world! For the first time in forever, even Inner Shacho was on his side.

"You're so talented, Sakano-san. Now show me again how you jump through a burning hoop of fire while standing in a bathtub full of margarine."

Okay, Shacho!

The doorman of Bloomingdale's had other ideas, however, and soon tackled Sakano to the ground, evidently to force him into observing Islamic prayers with the others.

"But I'm not Muslim!"

The doorman hoisted him over his shoulder fireman style and carted him over to the Dalai Lama, who was hiding on the escalator in the middle of the galleria.

"Seriously, Sakano. What the hell have you done to yourself? Why did you leave the camp? You should be resting, getting your beauty sleep. Ya know, so you'll look all sun-kissed and enthusiastic for Tohma-san. Don't worry buddy, I got ya. Trust me, man. I know things."

He knows things? Oh nooooes! Somehow the doorman had discovered his secret love for Justin Bieber. Shacho would never forgive him!

It's only his music! Just the music! I don't find him personally attractive!

"Hmm...? What was that, Sakano-san? I was busy molding my earwax into various animal shapes and didn't hear you."

Um...nothing, Shacho.
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