Mei Terumei winced as another rumbling concussion shook the base. That would be the madman, then, breaking through the defences.

She snapped her fingers, and one of the rebel ANBU dropped down beside her. "Sound the evacuation, plan six. I'll provide the distraction."

"As you command, my lady." The shinobi vanished into the revolutionary base, and Mei steeled herself to go out and fight.

Mei calmly walked out of the base to stand before the Mizukage, Yagura, who was already cloaked in two tails of lurid Youkai and staring at the base with blank eyes.


Mei glared back. "I'm going to stop you, you have to know that. I have to. Blood lines aren't everything, but they provide the village with the elite it needs. And your policies are self destructive, and… oh, what's the use? You're probably too deep to even hear me now." A signal flickered in her chakra sense; the evacuation was complete. She flashed through handseals like quicksilver, laying down her best area denial technique to slow the rabid Jinchuuriki. "Lake of fire!"

Her feet shimmered as she rose off the now liquid ground, most of the island turning to lava with the use of an enormous amount of chakra. The Three-tails host was less prepared, and his chakra cloak sank to the waist before he began applying the water walking exercise to the lava.

Mei turned away. "We got away again, psycho. Better luck next time."

Madara shook his head from the next island over. "Oh, no, you don't. I'm not letting his authority get undermined like that. No matter how fake it may be…" His one visible eye spun into the Eternal Mangekyo, and he stared at Yagura. "Neutralize the lava field and kill her!"

Yagura's all but vestigial mind twitched. Lava was hot. Water stopped fire. He drew deep on his beast's chakra, the creature not offering up even a shred of resistance, and performed a technique that drew in tidal waves.

Mei turned. "What the…" A wall of water rose above her. In every direction. So… this is a Jinchuuriki's power…

A flicker of movement to her side, and an arm took hers just before the wave hit.

There was a bang.

Madara stared in disbelief at the enormous mushroom cloud of steam and pulverized rock rising over what had been a medium sized island, and was now a circular lagoon. Without checking, he knew that the blast had to have completely vaporized Yagura even through the chakra cloak – that explosion was on the near-mythical scale used to combat Bijuu.

"What the hell just happened? I could swear that was a steam explosion, but what… oh, I am an idiot. I just had him drop a hundred thousand tonnes of water onto a lake of magma, of course this would happen." The oldest Uchiha absently went intangible as a block of basalt the size of a house landed where he was standing.

Shaking his head, he began to walk off. "Well, that's put a damper on my plans. Three years before the Sanbi reforms…"

Ao noticed the woman he had sworn to follow stepping out of a rapid transport technique. "Mei! You survived?"

She nodded absently. "Apparently, though it was a close run thing. Thank you..?"

The ninja who had rescued her shook his head. "I have no name, I am but a tool."

She slapped him warmly on the back. "Don't talk like that, it's why we ended up in this whole mess in the first place. But if you like, I'll make it an order. Tell me your name."

He nodded. "It is Haku… lady Mizukage."

She blinked. "What?"

Ao nodded, and the form of Zabuza joined them out of the mist, chuckling. "That blast could destroy anything, and you're the strongest of us rebels. No way are you not getting the top spot."

The elder hunter-nin weighed in. "My Byakugan confirms it – the Sanbi's power is dissipating. Yagura is dead, and we have won."

Zabuza laughed. "Mei, Mei. Still a little slow on the uptake… same old Mei…"

Mei twitched and rounded on Zabuza. "I can spit corrosive steam, you know, so stop calling me OLD!"

Zabuza windmilled his arms and stepped back. "Whoa, it was just a joke! We can all move past it, right?"

"PAST IT? Take this!"

Zabuza fled from the newly hailed Fifth Mizukage, desperately pumping out mist to hide in. As they were from Mist and learned to Water Walk in the academy, neither of the high ranking ninja consciously noticing the tsunami rolling in from the devastated base island.

Ao beckoned Haku over. "Any progress on finding the others of the Seven?"

"Samehada is still with Kisame. Kiba is likewise still with Raiga, though he has not resurfaced in a while. The others are unaccounted for, except for Hiramekarei which has been located and will be back in the hands of Hidden Mist at the end of the week."

Ao nodded. "You found where Mangetsu died, then?"

"I did. It seems he overused the special feature of his assigned sword, and ran himself completely out of chakra killing his opponents."

"That doesn't sound fatal, just embarrassing and debilitating."

"He was water walking at the time."

Ao frowned. "So someone who can turn into water... drowned?"

"It is sort of pathetic, isn't it?"