Date: March 11, 2013
Ryoji and Naru are sent to an Island with an intelligence compound to run a scroll from the intelligence compound to a satellite camp on the other side of the island. A pack of Jaguar (yes, a pack…), a joke that lead to repelling down a mountain, and a mysteriously empty camp ensue.
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"A Naruto Jungle Book"
Land of Fire Island not far from the Fire Dock and Land of Waves border
The messenger hawk dropped off a scroll for Nori and Ryoji, well for some random person to tell Ryoji actually, but now we're just cutting hairs. The scroll stated to meet at the Eastern Intelligence encampment that was on a small island just off the shore of the Land of Fire and Land of Waves border. Once the two of them arrived, by whatever means they could manage (for Nori it was by ferry), a Jounin waits for them outside of the gate to the Intelligence complex. The man looks to be an Aburame, but without seeing the bugs crawling or buzzing around, it is hard to be 100 percent sure.
The contact states, "It is about time you two showed up. We need you to take this scroll and run it to the other side of the island. There is a secondary camp there that requires this information quickly. The path you take to get there, either around the island or over the mountainous center…is up to you. I'll warn you, there are some dangers to the island, but I'll leave that for you to find out." The man hands over the scroll to Ryoji and then states, "Oh, eh, here…the scroll." He clears his throat.
Ryoji had to hand it to Konoha, when they needed outside help to make up for their numbers they certianly were decisive and quick about it! He just wished the messenger had not arrived so soon. At least then he would've had time to finish his 'coon stew. Still, a job was a job, so without hesitation he accepted it before shooing the messenger away. "You'lll keep an eye on things wont'cha Shun-kohai?" Ryoji asked of the hooded companion at his side. A simple nod is all given, though by the time it is complete Ryoji is gone in an explosion of smoke…
The very same ferry that Nori took would be the same one Ryoji arrives on as well. The one difference being the Iga's personal 'issues' with boats requiring his being out of sight and out of mind for most of the trip. Just how he managed this feat would remain unknown to all except perhaps the ferryman himself, even once Ryoji has disembarked just after Nori. Granted, after having some random, non-descriptive traveler shadow the Yamanaka, a portion of Ryoji's peculiar methods could be gleaned. An explosion of smoke would preceed a greeting from the wanderer as he stepped forward to accept the scroll in his true form.
"Thank ye for this young'un. Though mind ye manners! Time is not out masters to command ya know." He winked, then turned to Nori. "Well then partner, heads or tails?"
Nori raises a brow as he sees the explosives. He smirks at the eccentric behavior though, so he mustn't mind being partnered with Ryoji too much. When Ryoji asks him heads or tails, Nori erms, "I'm a Yamanaka…my mind is my best feature, so…heads." He doesn't entirely know where Ryoji is going with the question, but he is being friendly enough to play along with him for now.
The contact disappears within the complex and leaves the two of them alone. Nori asks, "So, eh…which way? Do we take the long route and stick to the beach…always having the water to our back, or do we take the short route but have danger all around us?"
Ryoji listened with an amicable grin in place; but as soon as Nori seemed about done he raised a finger and waggled it in Nori's face while shaking his own head in harmony with it. "Tsk, tsk partner. Life is filled with lessons, and this be a free one I give you." Ryoji stated, then took a deep breath with his arms folded behind the small of his back. "When on a mission, its best to use a made up last name. Never know who be listening in, and worse yet, certian clans — as you should know — have quite the built up grudge against them." Ryoji added, nodding sagely in agreement with his own words. "SO! Let's cut out the middle man shall we?" He paused to give Nori enough time to answer, then slipped a hand into his pocket. "Coin flip, by the way. Heads we take the long route, tails we take danger route. Personally — " He flipped the coin up high. "I hate shortcuts. Always troubling a person with a false sense—" The coin begins to drop. " — of safety. Still… don't know much that'd save us from an ambush so close to the water." The coin lands…
And its tails. "Hmm, see? Nothing but trouble those routes be!" He sighs. "Mind taking point?" He asks. But if rejected, Ryoji would grudingly walk ahead.
Nori smirks, "We've only just started the mission though. How are we supposed to work together if you don't know what I am capable of. My name is a telling mark of my abilities…but also my weaknesses." He bows and then grins as the coin is pulled out. "Middle man indeed." The young Yamanaka is no more than a boy, so games are still fun for him. When the coin lands and shows tails, Nori just nods. The boy moves in front of Ryoji and starts walking around the complex and toward the center of the mountain.
Before the complex is even traversed, the ground begins its incline. Nori establishes a mental connection with Ryoji, assuming the man lets him, so that he can transmit directly into Ryoji's mind, <It might be best to talk in here instead of broadcasting everything to the outside world. Just focus on talking to me, and I'll hear it. See, even if you didn't know my clan before, this would sinch your ideas, I think.> Nori also sends out his sixth sense to check for any dangers…although he would expect animals as the danger over shinobi…and animal chakra is harder to note…but he does it anyway. The island quickly swallows the duo into a thick jungle, and movement gets slow. <Perhaps we should take this journey into the tree canopy,> Nori asks?
RP: Nori uses TELEPATHY-I.
RPCOMBAT: Nori defends against with a CHAKRA-SENSING-TECHNIQUE…40
"Woe be it to the man who underestimates a companion, as much as he does the same to the shadow of a tree." Is all Ryoji bothers to reply with before sepping aside to let Nori pass ahead. Now with the trek underway, Ryoji belatedly slips the scroll into the inner folds of his sleeves. There is only some mild resistance on Ryoji's part at first before the link is fully established. Once established, Ryoji had this strange urge to scratch at his forehead as if to slay an itch. Despite the urge, he resists though his fingers occasional twitch at his sides at random.
<… So familiar…> Ryoji thinks without meaning to, then narrows his gaze at the Yamanaka's backside. It is… difficult, to keep his thoughts free of anything that might cause trouble later on; but nevertheless, he manages… somehow. <Be that as it may… No, let's stick to the ground. Or do you wish to find out how long you can hold your breathe?> Idly as they conversed, Ryoji kept 'chewing' on something in his mouth before finally spitting up small mass of pink-ish, slimey goop. Heedless of what happened he presses on; knowing and faithful that the organs that would spawn from that pile would keep him well informed. Be it heat signatures, the sound of feet ahead, or even simply sight.
RPCOMBAT: Ryoji defends against with a SENSORY-ARRAY…44
Nori notes the goop, but doesn't make a comment, out loud or mentally. Even though it is only Spring, it is hot in the jungle. Nori would find himself sweating profusely, and without having been told what they were going to do ahead of time, he quickly finds himself having gone through what little water he had in the burlap sack he has drapped across his back. Luckily, as per Ryoji's wish, they've remained down in the brush rather than up in the trees.
As they travel, they come across a mountain-side pool of water. Nori calls out, <I need to stop for water. How are you with it? If you need to stop too, we should take turns and keep an eye out.> There are certainly plenty of animals around for the two of them to pick up on with their extra-sensory perceptions. None so far, seem to be interested in them such that they'd become a threat. Nori goes first, seeing as he's on point. Of course, that is when problems arise. Ryoji would sense it first, followed by Nori not too much later…a pack of something large is coming their way.
Despite the heat of the jungle, pressure from all sides by random greenery (some of which had to be cut down unforunately), and a steadily increasing incline, Ryoji fared just barely better than Nori. A hardy constitution from years of traveling could only help by so much. Thus as soon as it became clear that there was water to be had without wasting their own depleted resources, Ryoji was pretty quick to maneuver over to it as Nori spoke. Just as he lowered himself down to a knee however he hesitates.
<Wait. Make sure you test it first before consuming it, neh? Don't want to fall to some leftover from the deep warring times just out of the blue you — > Ryoji starts then whips his head back around to the south-west. <Lovely. We have company… Take to the canopy> Even as he gave the command the Iga had already prepped himself to leap high and follow his own advice. As he (or hopefully they) lay in wait, Ryoji gave a few silent commands. SOme of his organs would try to investigate the approaching pack more closely, the rest would be diverted to either follow back down the path the 'beasts' came from or try to distract them by mucking about noisely with their surroundings.
Nori had a hand cupped full of water when Ryoji told him to wait and test the water. <Test it with what?> He should probably have brought tablets or something, but he didn't know he should have. He makes a mental note to add that to his bag. He sighs and stands, only to sense something coming too. Nori nods, right about the same time that Ryoji starts to tell him they have company. He is also already headed into the canopy by running up the side of the closest tree.
Both of the shinobi would quickly realize that the pack of beasts was made up of Jaguar, which is odd in itself because Jaguar do not normally travel in packs. Still, it is a pack, and while some of the pack is distracted by the sensory organs trying to get the large black cats to follow or be inquisitive, most of them continue to head in the direction of Nori and Ryoji. The pack stops by the water, and while most have a drink, several are gazing about…perhaps acting as the pack's guards. One even takes to the trees, climbing up a few branches. Nori isn't the best at hiding, so when the cat comes up, it notices them and snarls. That quickly sends the others into a heightened state of alert and attack mode. Uh-oh. Do they run, do they stay and defend, or do they make the first attack.
Distracted though he may be by the need to keep his sensory organs relatively safe and focus on their own various tasks, Ryoji still managed to find the time to say, <Be wary little yamanaka. For what approaches can smell fear.> A chuckle almost escaped his lips soon after but thankfully he recovered in time before the big cats actually swarmed the clearing.
<Peculiar> He commented off-handily, leaning in closer to try analyze the creatures more closely. If only he could get a little closer then — he shook his head, dismissing that line of thought. The mission comes first… this time. <Yama-mochi-kun, these just might be — > His head snaps in the direction Nori had hid and after a moment of hesitation a decision is made. <Don't panic. Just possess it and send it back with the all clear. If that fails…> Ryoji did not need to say anything further. If it came down to it then, well, someone might just get left behind to keep them the busy. That somebody of course being the Iga himself, though he refused to give that away to Yamanaka just yet.
He simply did not trust a village with a history filled with the 'hero' type of people.
RPCOMBAT: Nori attacks with MIND-BODY-SWITCH-II…33
Nori hasn't ever taken over a cat so large before, but he has taken over cats. There are plenty of cats back home on his family's farm. The peculiar comment does make Nori perk his eyebrow, but he doesn't respond back. This is an intelligence complex; who knows what they do here. Theboy merely watches and waits.
When he is found out, Nori listens to the direction, and slumps himself over on the branch in such a manner as to not go falling into the middle of the pack once he goes unconcious. He opens his hands to make the special Yamanaka seal…and he takes the large cat over. It takes a moment for him to open the cat's claws and re-stabilize himself. The other cats snarl lightly, but Nori meows back. Yes, he meows, while the other cats growl. Nori's never taken over a big cat before…
Still, the odd meow seems to confuse the other predators, and once Nori/Jaguar drops back down to the ground, the others go back to their business. The Nori/Jaguar even manages to walk out of the area…and soon the others follow. In a bit, Ryoji's sensory organs would note that they are alone again. Nori would wake up too, but he would look rather tired after this. <We're good to go…but that took a lot out of me. I also lead them in the opposite direction of our travel. Let's go.> Nori luckily is not the hero type.
As they continue along, they reach the peak of the mountain, which is not covered by trees. They can see all around the mountain, from the complex on the one side, to the outpost they are headed to down below on the other side. Nori nods.
Ryoji hated waiting, but nevertheless he did his best to let things play out while remaining at the ready to spring in. As skill and perhaps a bit of luck would have it, the plan goes through without much of a hitch. Though as a safety percaution Ryoji made certian to keep an 'eye' on the pack while the duo focused on proceeding with the mission.
<Just a minute.> He requested as he dropped down to ground level, then wandered over to the pond. Soon after Ryoji cocks his head back and seemingly hocks a luggi into the water. <Hnn.. seems good enough I s'pose> He commented idly as he dug out a spare canteen from his satchel and filled it up.
Tempting though it was, Ryoji hesitated in throwing the water and simply offered it to the Yamanaka as they climbed higher. <Don't stay too silent by the way. Vocally I mean. Limited protection this way might have.> "MmmmHmmm, Smell that high rise air? All breezy 'nd stuff and filled with *tastes the air* Salmon? No, that.. that can't be right…. So, can ya see our desitination?" He spoke and transmited at the same time.
Which may or may not confuse the already taxed boy. <All of that to the wayside, Do ya sense or see anything ahead we should worry bout?> "Oh bagheera! I just realized how freaking how we are! Nori-kun quick, break out the ropes!" He commanded and joked at once, starting and panicked shuffing inside his bag while he waited for an answer(as expected).
Taxing as it was to keep up the charade, Ryoji did not let up on scouting ahead in his own discrete manner as always. He only required a bit more time though given how exposed the peak was.
Nori stays put as he is told. For a moment, he considers not drinking the water once Ryoji spits into it, but he realizes that this is probably just another one of those pinkish slime things…and he's sensed their movement and presence already. He's fairly certain they are some sort of sensory devices, so he just shrugs and drops down to the pond to drink directly from it. The canteen is caught, but tossed immediately back, <I have my own, but thanks.> He falls to his knees and drinks from the water anyway. Once he's had his fill, he fills his own watering can and places it back in his burlap sack.
Nori has gotten used to communicating during missions via telepathy, so to actually need to talk for protection, well…it hasn't even crossed his mind. Nori herms, "You may have a point there," he notes. Again, the boy raises an eyebrow as Ryoji goes a little off the deep end. "Salmon? I was thinking salt myself." He shrugs, a bad habit of his, and nods, <I see,> err, "I see the outpost down there." He points, and sure enough, there's a little speck of sparkling-red against a sandy back-drop. That could very well be a fire.
Nori doesn't quite get the joke though with breaking out the ropes, because he actually does. One thing a Yamanaka always needs to carry on him is rope. Once you control someone, the next step is tieing them up so they are no longer a hassel…and Nori's good at it. So, he pulls out the rope. "I can tie it around the next largest tree and tie ourselves off so that we don't fall. I mean, I know tree-walking, but I'm getting tired heh."
Finally, Nori takes a moment and looks down, scanning the area, "I'm not seeing anything right now." So, Nori ties off, offers another rope to Ryoji whether or not he takes it, and starts down the side of a cliff…even if Ryoji was just joking. Once down, they leave the ropes in place. The way down isn't an issue, and they make good time now that they are hydrated. Up ahead, the smell of smoke is prominent and the sparkle of a small fire camp can be seen. The question Nori asks is, <Do we approach by the beach side or just step out of the jungle…or announce ourselves from here?>
"Eh!? Uhm, I was joking friend. Just joking." Ryoji deadpanned, waving his hand before his face, palm facing the side. "Heheh, but hey, if ya wanna use something like that then by all means. I think — " <Exit the jungle so long as you think you got enough energy for at least.. two more of those possessions?> " — I'll take a load off here really." Ryoji emitted and lazily began to lower himself to sit upon the edge. Half-way down he hesitates and says, "Or on second thought — " before rising once more. "The longer I keep those two waiting, the more trouble I meant end up in latter.. Hmm…" Ryoji added, rubbing his chin thoughtfully.
<Keep in mind that we at least have an idea of what we might face ahead as well… However, if you really think its a good idea to go announcing our prescence this — *mental cough* Nevermind…. Heads, we announce our prescence from here, tails, I'll head down -without- the scroll but with you prepared for possess anything that tries to ambush me. Deal?>
Nori doesn't always understand jokes or sarcasm, but he laughs and nods once he realizes Ryoji was teasing. Still it got him down without exhausting his chakra supplies…and it was a short-cut! Nori knew how Ryoji liked short-cuts, but it really did speed up their timeline.
Nori hasn't a clue about who the 'two' of them waiting are, but he lets it slide. He does; however, state, <That sounds like a good plan. I've got enough chakra in me for a few more dances at least.> Yeah, he likens chakra usage to rhythms, music, and dances. So, he waits for the coin toss.
RP: Ryoji rolled a 2 with 1d2 die.
Nori watches the coin toss and it lands on tails. The boy holds out a hand and takes the scroll when it is offered. When Ryoji heads out to the camp to walk around, he would find the fire still burning, and a tent. All is quiet (minus the crackling of the fire).
All is quiet, toooo quiet. Disconcerted, Ryoji neither signals for Nori to follow or tries to investigate the tents themselves. Instead, a silent command is given to what remaining sensory organs weren't busy tailing cats or escaping the natural wildlife. The next thing Nori might notice is a bunch of tongues, eyes, and creepy ball shaped mounds of flesh rolling or crawling past him and falling off the edge of the peak itself.
It was painful, to the least, feeling all of those sensors crash into the ground and what have you. Still, it was nothing compared to having an arm chopped off. Or worse yet, crushed. The very memory of those events sent a shudder down the Iga's spine. <Get ready.> He commanded, then fell to a knee and closed his eyes. At varying pace the organs immediatly began their search for life at the campsite, within and in the surrounding area. Only once certian that there was no danger aboud did he finally send a message for Nori to come down.
And all of those sensory organs find…nothing. There is no sign of a struggle. There is no sign of someone walking off or sand shifted/piled lightly to denote tunneling. It is truly a mystery. No matter how long and intensively Ryoji searches, the fire just burns and no one turns up. There are definitely signs that someone was here other than the fire even. There are notes, pencils, the tent, a sleeping bag in the tent, even some left-over scraps of food.
When Nori is finally given the signal, he comes in and shakes his head, "So…what do we do now?"