A Bridge Over Troubled Waters


Kaido, Kioko, Kurome, Zankuro, Tatsuo

Date: Unknown (log received June 4, 2015)


Kioko and friends are sent on an unknown mission that turns into something more than first thought.

Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.

"A Bridge Over Troubled Waters"

Unknown location

Kioko would have been called in by the Jounin Council to deal with a particularily sticky mission (no pun intended) for her to take on. A village was requesting a group of shinobi to deal with a problem that they refused to say what it was. Normally mission requests of this nature would have been rejected due to lack of information in order to classify it, but because the village was offering a substantial amount of money and there were no indications of Recluse activity in the area, the mission was accepted.
The Council instructed Kioko to pick a mixed group of Chuunin and Genin for this that all had different skills if needed. The village was deep into the heart of the Land of Fire and no other information was given. The Inuzuka, Kaido was suggested as one of the members that Kioko should pick along with the new clan head of the Uchiha. The other two were left up to Kioko's discretion.
Kaido was found by the lake, it was three months since he and Takeo had left the village on a journey for Takeo to seek the Great Turtle Clan in order to gain their knowledge. He was working on coordination with someone new added to his family, a strange raccoon-dog (OOC: Tanuki) that had a very strange accent and was more loudmouthed than Bandit was. Bolt too had changed, he no longer was small and in that time away, had grown to be much larger than Bandit, and was able to speak human (albeit stunted, yet understandable with effort) to people.

It's a little odd when Kioko is specifically chosen to lead a mission, a little suspicious even! But she does as she's told and gathers up a mixture of shinobi at her disposal to lead on this mystery mission. Each person would be sent a missive to join them for the mission. Thus, as Kioko arrives at the lake, she would glance around in hopes that the others would soon be on their way before smiling over at Kaido as his trio. "My, you keep gaining companions, and you might one day match the number of my hive," she jests with a chuckle as she approaches and looks around. "I assume you got the message that I need you for this mystery quest, hmm?"

Kurome simply waits by the meeting spot, which apparently is the lake. She leans lightly against the tree, Uchiha Symbol on her back hidden by the cloak she wears for the colder weather, as well as travel. The young woman seems relaxed as she waits, though she's still wrapping her mind around the fact that she's going on a village-sanctioned mission. It's been a while, to say the least…

Zankuro may or may not have skimmed the missive, because when the chuunin arrived at the meeting point, the Sarutobi is anything but dressed for a mission. Aside from the giant scroll the teen tended to carry at all times, he is dressed in a formal dark green kimono, white happi, and geta. Some effort was also put into his hair, though success in that endeavour is questionable, to say the least.
"I'm.. didn't… keep ya… waiting.. did-…" Zankuro cuts off there, having only just looked up and taken a proper look at those gathered at the lake. Denial kept him from reaching the right conclusion, but as the realization donned on him, the flowers he had in hand fall freely to the ground. "Uh.. uhm… Wha…" He gets no further than that before drifting into silence.

Tatsuo was a bit surprised to be summoned to a mission…yet perhaps he shouldn't have been. If they wanted him to get stronger then he'd have to start going on missions and try to help. If nothing else he was starting to meet new people, even if he still did stay pretty much to himself, in the back and out of the way. When he actually arrives he looks at the others and just offers a small bow, not actually speaking, and looking no small amount nervous.

Kaido looks up as everyone converges on the lake and blinks, "Oh hey Kioko… yeah, I did, kinda strange that you'd be ass…" He's cut off by the tanuki who runs, jumps and gives Kioko a big wet smack on the lips and says, "I'm in looooooooooooooooooooooooooove!!!!" He looks back at Kaido and says, "You never told me ya got such hawt kunoichi around here! Yer holdin' out on me brah!" Bandit just snorts and says, "Nice knowing you pal…" Bolt just tilts his head and then ducks and covers his eyes with his arms and paws and says, "New friend is dead…" Kaido just sighs and looks heavenward as if to say 'Give me strength'. He does however wave to everyone else that wanders in with Kioko.

Kioko is momentarily distracted by the arrival of Zankuro and Tatsuo, blinking at the fact that Zankuro looks more like he's get ready to go somewhere el-MMPH! Suddenly having a mouth full of…. Tanuki mouth! What the eff is going on?! As one might expect, the tanuki rather quickly receives his own mouth full of something… Well, side of the head as Kioko goes to swat her off him. "Stop goofing around. We have a mission to complete, baka." She then looks back to Kaido, asking, "I suppose you know where we're going then? We should get a move on."

Seeing everyone arrive, Kurome moves from her spot to the group and says, "Pardon me. I'm a bit unused to missions, having been away for some time. I'll do my best." She peers at the Tanuki, commenting preemptively, "If you try that with me, you'll be served roasted for the next meal."

Zankuro went from silent and disappointed but raging to the point his whole face turned red. He didn't care who or what the strange looking dog looked like, or the fact that Kioko already punished him by swating him away. The Sarutobi simply charged at the beast with the full intent of kicking him well across the lake! What he failed to count on was his geta's giving away, resulting in the rotund and finely dressed teen turning into a rolling boulder on a crash course for both Kaido, Bolt, and the Tanuki!

Tatsuo's eyes widen when he sees the weird creature jump in and kiss one of the ladies. How weird. The young Nara just watches in silence from his spot, a little separated from the others. And then someone goes rolling on towards some of the others. What…is happening here? It's so odd.

Welcome to the weird and wacky world of Konoha. Doborou takes the smack and cartwheels away, whistling and laughing, "She's sassy… I love a babe that's got some attitude…" He sashays over to Kurome and says, "Awwwww… don't be like that honey, ya know once ya go furry, ya never go back!" Bolt sneezes and when Zankuro trips and rolls towards him and Kaido he yelps and jumps out of the way. Kaido just throws up his hands and sticks out his foot to stop Zankuro and says, "Chill Zankuro…"
Bandit then yells to Doborou, "Yo! Stop being a strut and get over here!" Doborou looks a little hurt and says, "But heeeeeey! I want to play with all the ladies!" Bandit glares at Doborou and he sticks out his hands and says, "Ok ok! Geeeez you've got no sense of humor!" Kaido sighs again and then addresses Kioko and says, "I know where it is, but I know probably less than you do about this mission, let's just get there and we'll find out what it's all about. It's probably bandits or something like that, that they don't want everyone to know about." Kaido shrugs and says, "I'm ready to go whenever you are Kioko… and Doborou, if you cause any more trouble, I'm unsummoning you for the duration, ok?" Doborou sighs and kicks the ground, "Oh fine… Sorry" He says this prefunctorally to Kioko and Kurome.

Kioko seems to just ignore what's going on between the dogs after the racoon dog is away from here. He looks over to Kurome and nods to her, saying, "We'll be sure to assist you if need be." She then looks to Kaido, nodding to him as well and saying, "Let's go." With that she turns toward to start walking out of the village, finally casting another look toward Zankuro as she says, "You really need to pay attention when you're sent a letter. Go get some more suitable clothes on and catch up with us at the gates to head out." Should no other ruckus happen, they'd be on their way to the designated village to find out exactly what their mission is.

Kurome nods slowly and moves with Kioko, taking up the rear position unless otherwise stated. Her eyes watch the ones before her, studying and calculating… Yet there was nothing to see yet. Simply personality, which has been analyzed in the time it takes to reach their goal.

Once the dizziness wore off and Zankuro realizes that Kaido had his foot on him, that gets quickly shrugged off unless the elder man had not already removed it himself. The Sarutobi then started to dust himself, silently complaining, cursing, and glaring daggers at the tanuki every now and then until Kioko spoke up.
Hearing her speak brings back disappointment so great, a cloud of depression hovered over the teen. Despite the dark mood he found himself, he still walked away from the group, found himself a tree to hide behind for a few minutes, then returned in his usual gear. His head remained bowed from lingering depression, meaning little attention is paid to anything else at the moment.

Tatsuo really really wasn't sure he wanted to be involved with this odd circus. But orders wee orders and he was going to follow them. He kind of hangs back as they make their way to the gates, then stays a little separated from the group as they traveled. Apparently he and others aren't something he does well with. Then again some of these people knew of his blunders in that last mission. He'd been useless. More than that. He'd gotten others hurt. It wasn't something he liked remembering.

The group arrives at the village and the elders and several of the more important villagers rush out to greet Kioko. The headman of the village says, "Oh THANK GOD you're here! We're at our wits end. The village across the river keeps attacking us for no reason! They steal our livestock and every young lady we have! You MUST stop them!"

As they arrive, Kioko smiles as the villagers come out to meet them, holding up a hand for the team to halt to talk to them. "So this is what you wouldn't inform our village of," he says, lifting an eyebrow slightly. "Very well. We'll deal with it…. Excuse us for a moment." With that she steps back toward the outskirts of the village, waving for the others to follow her. Once they've huddled, assuming they have, she says, "This is a bit suspicious. We need to investigate this a bit before we charge in weapons blazing. They refused to inform the Hokage of what this mission was about before we got here, but now they act as if it's all a simple matter. It may be nothing, but we need to be sure exactly what we're doing here."

Kurome nods lightly. "We're happy to help," is all she would offer if anyone spoke to her, the kunoichi traveling and following Kioko's lead. She frowns just a bit at hearing that the mission wasn't just hidden because the leader felt like not giving details, it was the client's fault. "There might be something fishy.." she agrees. "How should we investigate this?" The woman focuses some of her chakra, preparing beforehand just in case.

No matter how long the team travels, Zankuro's mood never lifts with time. The Sarutobi actually grew a little more withdrawn into himself, and lags behind the rest more so than the norm. When the team arrives he only plays enough attention to catch bits and pieces before shuffling off to follow Kioko and the rest for an impromptu team meeting. "Maybe we should just ask them, 'Hey, what's up? That can't really be all there is too right, 'cause like, come on, right?' and.. yeah." Zankuro throws in a careless shrug for good measure, then turns to Tetsuo.

They had arrived and Tatsuo remained a little outside of the rest of the group, including the huddle. The boy kind of stands a little back, just catching faint hints of what the others are talking about. Whatever is going on he'll do whatever he's supposed to, but he obviously isn't used to being part of anything with the way he hangs back. The young Nara takes a moment to look around while to others talk, just kind of checking things out.

Kaido listens and then nods to Kioko and says, "Yeah, something's definitely fishy about this, I think we should check out the other village before we do anything. Doborou is already taking off and calls back, "ON IT BOSS!!!!!!" Before Kaido can even turn and tell him to stop, he's gone and Kaido blinks and then starts to redden and shake with a bit of anger and mutters, "Great… why couldn't I have gotten a summon like Kimura, who's much more docile and tractable… but NOOOOOOOOOO, I had to get someone who's WORSE than Bandit!" Bandit turns and snarls, "HEY! That's not nice!" Bolt just rolls on the ground laughing at everything.
Kaido then sighs and says to Kioko, "Let's go, with our luck he's probably set fire to the village, slaughtered their livestock and caused an outbreak of plague… or more likely, he's stolen 'shinies'. And indeed as they cross the bridge that divides the river and the two villages, Doborou comes back carrying various small items taken from houses (mostly useless like bottlecaps, broken cups and the like) and says, "Don't see no stolen livestock and the women all seem happy to me…"
Just then as they enter the village in question (and Doborou hides behind Kaido) the headman comes up red faced and says, "Ah! Good! I was hoping a group of shinobi would show up! Those lying punks across the river are trying to hire mercenaries to attack us! All over a bunch of cows and some girls who found husbands here! THEY set fire to our crops and broke most of our farm equipment! You MUST get justice for us!"
Uh oh… suddenly this isn't QUITE as clear cut as it was before is it?

Kioko glances to Zankuro and shakes her head at him, saying, "People lie. I was chosen as leader of the mission, so let's just follow the train of thought I've given you so we don't turn this into more of a circus than they've already made it." Once Dorobou comes back, she blinks at his words and frowns. Once they arrival, the information they're presented with basically confirms a second side of the same story… except who's actually lying here? "My friends will need to interview some of your villagers if that's alright. Thank you for the information." With that she waves for them to huddle a bit away from them, saying once they're out of range of hearing of the headman, "Investigate this. We need to compare livestock brands with their farmers, make sure the women weren't actually kidnapped, and see if the stories about fires and breaking equipment are true."

Kurome approached the village with the group, staying as obscure as she possibly could and not really providing much as she looked around the town while they spoke to the new man. Then the regrouped with Kioko, upon which she mutters, "Put a knife to one of their necks and they sing like a canary…" But they weren't supposed to do anything violent, so se simply went about exploring and trying to figure out what seemed to belong to who.

Zankuro cringes at the shout, but gave Doborou no more than a glance before refocusing back on Kioko. Her assessment stings quite a bit. Even so, the mental kick is just enough to snap some sense into the Sarutobi. Mostly. It was at least better than him being all kinds of moping about.
"And so the trouble begins." Zankuro murmured upon seeing the headman rush up to the group, grinning a little up. Then, things got explained, eliciting some mild grumbling from the Sarutobi. "If noone got any problem with it, I'll take the livestock."

Again Tatsuo remains outside the group a bit as they travel to the next village and then huddle again. Right at the fringes, that's where he stays. When the start spreading out, well, he just kind of goes with it. Quiet boy is still quiet as he explores, eyes scanning buildings, people, animals, everything that comes into sight as he tries to find anything out of place. Or really any clues to what exactly is going on.

It takes quite a bit of investigating, but eventually you learn that this is a Hatfields versus the McCoys type situation. Neither village is innocent, and it's clear that over time the feud has escalated to the point where it's nearly open warfare. Kioko and the rest manage to sort it out and if not broker a truce, at least calm things down to the point where open hostilities aren't going to happen.
Kaido, for his part, after the group left the twin villages to return to Konoha, made the suggestion that the Hokage and the Jounin Council refuse to accept any missions involving the two villages until their differences can be settled. Another recommendation is for the Hokage to send a letter to the Daimyo to have him order the Headmen of each village marry their son of the first village with the daughter of the second to make a peace. Whether it'll fly is another matter altogether.

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