Lotus Pond Dojo
(What makes a dojo? Most would say that a true "dojo" comes from the lands of the Orient, a place where, nestled between the stands of bamboo and fields of rice, students of this region sought in days of old to undertake an inward journey, a quest to find their potential through the martial arts.
In the days of old, the dojo was a place of strength, a community of fighters all learning every day, from the youngest white belt to the masters who taught them.
(But as the world grew older, the race of men grew more intelligent, building upon the teachings of their past and with the materials of their lands. Crude rafts made of sticks became barnacle-crusted vessels of wood and pitch and sail, and then powerful slicing ships of metal and smoke. The concept of a man taking to the air began as a dreamer's whimsy, became sketches of propellers and wings under the hands of a wise inventor, then turned into a rickety craft powered by the love of two brothers, finally taking flight as a biplane, and then huge commercial aircraft. With bits of plastic and wires, men became able to use the air to keep in contact with each other, and with their tools finally connected all the world together, for better or worse.
(In this age, nothing has to be stationary, or confined to one country. Connected, mankind can enjoy each others' culture, no matter where they may live. People are coming and going as regularly as the coming and going of the seasons... and, it turns out, some take their buildings with them.)
Colorado, the present, somewhere high in the Rocky Mountains. The Lotus Pond Dojo, a building the size of a Super Wal Mart. An equally large basement extends below, although no one has ever catalogued all the hidden passages...
(Tobuo Kakoemetsu is regarded by his students as the greatest teacher of ninjitsu to ever have lived, even though they usually can't name any others who hold that title.
Decades ago this old, humble master decided to leave his homelands and bring his gift to America... the gift of teaching ninjitsu. His reasons are yet unclear, although it's clear he loves to teach. His teaching manages to be both gentle yet unyielding, demanding utter obedience yet letting the spirit flourish. He is a master of his craft, and in training the most lethal assassins he instills in them the desire to preserve and protect life unless all else fails. A tall, old man, lithe and frail-looking, his eyes appear forever closed with age, but they crinkle kindly, and his gnarled hands never fail to offer whatever is needed, be it a spanking or a warm cup of saki.
(This man is your teacher. For reasons you've kept secret in your heart, you've sought his training when you were just a very young adult. For many years you have studied the arts of ninjitsu, and you don't regret a single day spent doing so.
Your belt has changed color many times, and we join you now a few days before you'll take your test to achieve the second highest rank at the dojo: the Red Belt, the Fledgling Ninja. In addition to your formal test, you must perform an act of ninjitsu.
Usually, students will go to the modern cities at the base of the mountains and perform acts of silent espionage, or a token theft from a heavily guarded safehouse (the goods are, of course, returned after you've shown them to Sensei Tobuo). You, however, have chosen a different tactic: you will sneak into the
Sensei's own storage room, nestled here within the school. Rumors among the students say your master keeps wondrous things in there: unbreakable swords that bond themselves to their masters, herbs that somehow allow a person to breathe underwater, and even nameless tools that true ninja masters used in the old days to perform nigh undetectable spy work. They say the things in there could let a man scale walls like a squirrel, slip through cracks like a snake, or even fly through castle windows. Even more the students don't know about could lie there as well. Your mission is to steal one of these tools and display it to your master the next morning.
You're not worried about his reaction; if you fail, he'll praise your initiative. If you succeed... well, you value your master's pride in you more than anything, and the vision of his proud smile fills you with hope. So, stretch your muscles and prepare, Orange Belt, and let us join you in your chambers as you prepare, on the night of your raid...)
Lotus Pond Dojo
Written by Mr.Peaches and the community of catprog.tfcentral.com
You finish tightening your black clothes down, making sure there's nothing that could get caught on anything. You're in your quarters--a small room lined with Japanese style. Your tatami mat is rolled up in the corner.
The light of a stand of candles you made yourself gives everything a warm yellow glow. Your heart is pounding; this is bold, what you're doing--very bold. Even though you tell yourself you won't get in real trouble if you're (probably) caught, you're anxious. I mean... this stuff is *bold.*
You shake your head and clear your mind of your fear, only to have the candle light catch your gaze. You're reminded of your recent dreams, off the subject of your raid but still important to you nonetheless. You were performing amazing ninjitsu feats in those dreams, but your body was... different, a little different every time you dreamt. The dreams always ended with a jet of fire streaming out of darkness and consuming you. As the dream repeated night after night, the fire went from feeling agonizing, then painful, then uncomfortable, then pleasant, then invigorating. A few of your closest friends have reported similar experiences. What does it mean? Does it mean anything? You've been meaning to discuss them with Sensei Tobuo, but you've been so focused on your studies that by the time you remember you wanted to talk with him, it's very late in the evening and he's retired to his chamber for sleep, although you half-suspect that he doesn't even need to sleep anymore. What a mysterious dream, though...
From the candlelight your eyes are drawn out the window to a tiny, tiny speck of brilliance on a hill far down the mountainside, on a totally different ridge. For days now, you and your fellow students have been secretly spying on a group of college-age people snowboarding in the mountains--six males and three females. You've gathered that one of them won some great sponsorship for something, and now they could afford to take their friends on the boarding trip of their lives. So that's what they were doing, and growing closer to the dojo by the day. Although you know they don't know it's there, vigilance is needed. The school is cunningly hidden against the boarders, although at the end of the day, people coming across the dojo aren't much of a big deal. If someone actually finds Lotus Pond,Tobuo usually treats the guest like a king and tries to recruit them to the school. More than one of your fellow students came that way.
But these players, the dream and the boarders, are distractions from your task at hand. Maybe Fate will bring them into your circle, and maybe not. You clear your mind and put out the candles. Standing in the cool night air just on the other side of your room's sliding paper door, you visualize your dojo. Both the upper and lower levels are the size of a Super Wal-Mart, filled with tight, twisting paths and rooms of all kinds.
The rooms are roughly arranged in a sort of bull's eye pattern: student rooms line the outside, a hallway runs between, another layer of rooms comes next, another hallway lies beyond those, etc. The stairs to the lower level lie in the center of the upper floor. You must make it to those stairs, down to the basement, and then search around for the room you've never seen.
Patrolling every hallway is one of your fellow students, training their senses to detect an intruder's approach. If you are seen, alarms will be raised and your task will fail. You can't, of course, use lethal force.
Most students will be trying to conceal themselves, as well. Every one that sees you will tell Tobuo that they did when you present the artifact from the Master's Room, lowering your "grade" and honor.
Thinking over the massive obstacles between you and your goal, you can't help feeling overwhelmed. But, on you will go.
[Now,] you think to yourself, [how to start...]
Written by Mr.Peaches on 18 July 2006
Pray to a spirit for guidance.
You decide that a bit of otherworldly help never hurt anyone. Thankfully there was a small shrine in your room for such a purpose. But there were so many potential spirits, which one would you choose? Perhaps praying to Amaterasu herself? She was the most powerful of the Kami, but what you needed right now wasn’t sunlight. What about a Gashadokuro? A large skeleton arising in the courtyard would be the perfect distraction for your wandering classmates. But that wasn’t very stealthy, now, is it? You racked your mind for potential suggestions until one stuck out to you. The Kitsune. They were mischievous spirits, known for their wily antics and intelligence. Plus their ability to shapeshift would come in handy… if they would lend it to you. With this in mind, you lit up some incense and began to pray to the kitsune, making clear to the spirit that there were rewards to be earned from helping you. After a few minutes of praying a voice picked up in your ear. “Treasure you say? Tell me the details.”
Your head snapped back and forth instinctively, you did not see anyone there. “Who are you?” You say as you started to check around the room, another protege could have been playing a trick on you. “Call me Kasumi, your neighborhood Kitsune.” She said just as you pulled the closet open to check for a hiding student.
“Kasumi, huh? Well assuming you aren’t one of the girls from the other dormitory, I’m trying to get into my master’s storeroom. If I take one of his treasures and present it to him then I’ll surely go up a belt.”
“And you need my help to get there. Well, that sounds good and all but I don’t see where I would profit from this.”
“You can have something from the store room. My master never goes in there anyways, I’m sure he wouldn’t miss some trinket.”
“Now you're speaking my language! I’m just going to have to ask one small thing in exchange for my help.”
You raised an eyebrow at this, you were already promising them a treasure in exchange for their help. A treasure that you had no idea if your Master would not notice it’s absence. The stakes were high but you decided to hear them out. “What else do you want?”
“Your body.” Kasumi’s inflection sounded diabolical. “But only temporarily. I’ll inhabit your body and do all the heavy lifting. All you have to do is watch. Once we’ve got the treasure, i’ll take my piece and go.”
Your body? It was a big ask to relinquish control of it, even for a few minutes. Kasumi could wreak untold havoc in your name. Or this is exactly what you needed. Perhaps you didn’t have the skills to make it on your own but Kasumi does. There also was the possibility that another spirit could have the boon you were looking for without the stipulation of losing control of your body.
This choice could have massive ramifications on your own life, you need to choose wisely.
Written by The Futa Guy on 24 April 2023
Accept Kasumi's offer.
"I'll do it." You say. "Take over my body." You dry swallow and steel yourself for what is to come. When Kasumi speaks next it feels as if she’s inside your skull. "Good choice, you won’t regret it." Suddenly, what felt like a gust of air rushed up your knows and you felt your body turn limp. Your head went slack on your shoulders as well. You tried to send a nerve impulse to move something on your body but found that it was impossible.
Instead, something else brought your head up. There was someone else inhabiting your brain now. "Ah, so this what a teenage boy feels like." Your words left your lips but you did not say them. It clicked for you that you had been possessed, Kasumi was speaking.
She moved your body around, stretching and getting used to its eccentricities. "You’re kinda stiff. You call yourself a ninja." She said with raised eyebrow. She even felt up your nethers, something you weren’t exactly comfortable with.
"Oh, this won’t do! How am I supposed to move with this thing flopping about! I think I’m gonna have to make a few cosmetic changes."
Cosmetic? You never signed up for this! Would they be permanent? Could she even hear you?
"I can hear you in there and please don’t be mad. You agreed to have me do anything to get you your precious promotion didn’t you?" You waltzed over to the mirror and Kasumi posed a choice to you.
"I at least let you decide which form we take on. Something more matronly? Older, wiser, taller, thicker." She emphasized the last part especially. "Or something… your size. Same age, a hit with all the guys."
"With all the guys?" You didn’t exactly understand what she was putting down but you knew had to pick what felt right.
Written by The Futa Guy on 01 May 2023
“Hmm? The same age? It’s a different approach but I can make it work.”
You watched in shock as she snapped your fingers and suddenly you had something very different between your legs. It felt weird to not have something hanging off you down there but this was only the beginning of the changes. Your body began to thin out, dropping you by at least twenty pounds. As a result, your waistline shrunk, making your pants hang looser. Your hair retained its color but grew longer into ponytails that dropped down to your butt. Your thighs looked a little more… shapely as well. Your chest grew out next forming very small breasts.
There was no tiptoeing around it… She had turned you into a girl! A… relatively cute girl. Kasumi played with your new locks and you could easily see yourself as being the object of all the guys affections… not that that was something you wanted.
Why? Why did you need to do this?
“You’ll see. I’m just more comfortable in the body of a girl.” She did a couple of stretches in your new form. “We’re a lot lighter and limber now! You’ll thank me for it later.
She then took you out the door and immediately you both were faced with your first hurdle, the fact that you were staring directly into the eyes of Kubo, one of Sensei’s most diligent students. What would Kasumi do? Attack him? You’d have to get him quick before he escaped or called for back up. Or would she try to use some of the feminine charm on him?
You didn’t have long to react…
Written by The Futa Guy on 19 May 2023
Drag Kubo into the room with you
Thinking quickly, you grabbed Kubo and dragged inside the room. You quickly locked it up as he began to speak.
“Who are you? What are you doing in this room? Where is he?”
Right in front of you idiot. Kasumi shared your annoyance with the boy and spoke, “I don’t what where “he” is. I’m trying to find him, I’m sure he’s up to no good.”
“You think he’s trying to make a break for Sensei’s store room?”
“Definitely.” You smirked. You could see what Kasumi was doing and realized this idiot was going to lead you straight to it.
“I was going to go search for him. The longer we wait, the larger possibility that he gets away.”
“You’re right but… who are you? You’re a bit far from the girl’s dorm and I haven’t see you around before.”
“Kasumi. At your service.” You shook his hand.
“I’m... Kubo.” He seemed a little nervous to be talking to you now that everything had calmed down.”
“Kubo. Nice name.” You grabbed his hand and said, “Shall we get going then?”
Does she really have to be this flirty? You were a bit dismayed but just had to watch helplessly as you and Kubo left the room and began stalking the halls looking for yourself.
You both made it to the stairs and surprisingly without running into another student.
“Huh, maybe he already made it downstairs? Or… crap we didn’t think to check the window. HE could have jumped. Sensei’s gonna kill me…”
“Hey, Kubo. Honey. You can’t blame yourself for not thinking about that. How about you go check the window and I’ll head downstairs.”
“G-great idea. Good luck.” Kubo said, dashing away. Kasumi smiled and turned to the stairs.
“Men turn to putty in women’s hands. See? It has its advantages.” You slinked down the stairs and had to admit that she had a point. However, your progress was halted by a locked door at the end of the stairs. You didn’t remember this door ever locking or the fact that it appeared to have a strange locking mechanism.
The door was engraved with the words “What Comes Twice a Week and Only Once a Year?” and underneath were four letters that looked like they could be pressed.
“E” “Y” “W” “M”
“Hmm, a puzzle? I’ll let you figure this one out. I’ve done enough heavy lifting for now.
Written by The Futa Guy on 21 May 2023
Your fingers pressed in the “E” carving and you heard the sound of gears turning as the door trembled and began moving apart.
Two e’s in “Week” and one “e” in Year. Your reasoning turned out to be solid and Kasumi seemed impressed. “So do you have any idea where this storage room could be? Kasumi said as you began walking through the basement. The basement was set up in the same concentric circle design as the upper level. You reasoned that maybe the storage room was in the middle but maybe that was just too easy.
Nope. Maybe there’s a sign somewhere?
“See your sensei’s probably trying to trick you. The storage room is probably in plain sight, behind the first doors we see.” Kasumi said quietly but proudly as you rounded a corner and found two doors, one on the left and one on the right.
Her reasoning was solid and even if it wasn’t, it wouldn’t hurt to check one of these rooms.
Written by The Futa Guy on 23 May 2023
Left. You opened the door and walked inside. The room was dark and only a tiny bit of ambient light let you see two feet in front of you. However, you had more than one sense to rely on. Your ears perked up at the sound of something hurtling through the air, to which you spun out of the way to dodge. Kasumi however was more than prepared and began evading them with ease. You didn’t know if it was her supernatural abilities or the more limber form you had taken on but it was very impressive.
“Why does your sensei have a room like this!” Kasumi darted to the end of the room, trying to find a switch to stop the barrage.
You had no idea, it must have been some type of security system. You figured they probably weren’t lethal but if they had some type of tranquilizer in them then you were screwed. Thankfully you grabbed a lever at the back wall and pressed it down, causing the darts to cease. Taking a breath, you took a moment to take in the surroundings. This was fairly empty, with a few practice mats for practicing martial arts.
There was a mantle and a fireplace on the right wall that caught Kasumi’s eye and she took you over to investigate it. There were a few pictures of Sensei throughout his travels but one of the photos was bent at the corner.
There. The picture. You picked it up and got the frame open to find a crumpled piece of paper behind the photo. Unfolding it, you realized it was a map of the basement floor, complete with some annotations. Unfortunately, the storage room wasn’t marked out but two rooms were circled on it. These rooms were labeled “compass” and “security”.
“Perhaps your Sensei wanted to test you all with getting into his store room. One of these items might just get us there.”
Kasumi was probably right, but which one?
Written by The Futa Guy on 25 May 2023