A Next Step


Rika, Kuoroke, Kichiro

Date: July 23, 2010


Kuoroke and Rika meet to discuss a next step in their attempt to solve Itami's situation, and recruit some additional help.

"A Next Step"

Canyons of the Land of Wind

Canyonlands are mazes, even for Ninja. Of course Kuoroke and the Council that isn't causing issues at the moment would know right where Rika is. She needed to have somewhere so she could be contacted and all! As for the rest, well, who knows where the real Nagahara camp is currently. Nomads are good at that. However, Rika has a tent set up in a particularly out of the way recess, high enough up to be safe from flash floods, and out of the sun in general. She is currently sitting on top of a rock in a strategic part of the canyon that seems to be an eddy for the wind, and in meditation.

Kuoroke makes his way through the canyon, trying not to leave a trail that's not too clear. He looks around for two things. First of all, for Rika, whom he is supposed to be meeting around here, and secondly Kichiro. The Genin has received orders to come to roughly this place, although those orders were not supposed to be specific enough to locate Rika, and to try to come subtly, under the guise of some solitary survival training. The Jounin stands on a rock and peers around, allowing Rika an easy chance to spot and recognize him first.

Kichiro was arriving as ordered. It wasn't hard for the genin to have an excuse for survival training in the wilderness. The kemonoken often found nature the greatest teachers. Kichiro carried his pack on his back and bounded accross the canyon floor on all fours, letting himself revert to his animalistic ways. He pauses every now and then to sniff at the ground or the air before traveling further. He spots Kuoroke and bounds at him, pouncing at him in an overly playful manner.

Rika has no doubt chosen this place for a reason, anyone coming? Would be hard pressed to not be in her field of vision. Naturally some stealth might manage, but that's never a guarantee either. That and the wind, the wind makes for a very good communing with the elements sort of place, good feng shui, so to say. "Senpai." She greets as Kuoroke approaches, her goggled eyes hard to read, but her head moving enough that it is obvious she is looking towards him now. And then, "Kichiro-san." A bit of surprise he's here too, but not much.

Kuoroke's response to Kichiro's playful optimism is met by a hard, stern glare from the Council Member, but then it's followed by a slight smile and a nod. "She might attack you on sight. I've visited Imota, she'll likely not respond to my presence anywhere very well, either." he cuts to the chase, explaining Kichiro's presence. "So I decided to bring in someone who's not in any way involved. That's one of the reasons I wanted to talk, by the way, I visited Imota. The boy is in the hospital, still unconscious."

Kichiro responds to the glare as if he had been struck, falling backwards and tumbling down the short rise Kuoroke was waiting on. He arghs in fake pain before forgetting it entirely and pouncing back up to crouch besides the pair. "yeah, what did happen to Immy? They wouldn't tell me anything and were even waiting at the window when I tried to come in the back way to visit him?"

Rika's mouth opens up slightly at that, and one could probably safely assume her eyes are wider now too, there's even a bit of worry in her tone of voice. "Oh no…" She says, "I should have reported as soon as she attacked me the first time, not waited." She sighs and lets her head hang down a bit. "I hope Imota will be ok. I know his attack targetted her, and another present as well." She looks to Kichiro and says softly, "It's… complicated, Kichiro-san. And involved Itami-senpai. I'll let Kuoroke-senpai explain more." She's not sure how much more to say!

"I'll tell you exactly what you need to know." Kuoroke says. He nods to Rika, with a slightly friendlier smile. "Thank you." before continuing the explanation. "Indeed. There's an… internal situation in the village. It involves Itami, and Imota is now in the hospital. Although I understand he will be better soon, so that's good. The events were just very hard on him. Emotionally. The medical staff helped me quite a bit in getting information." Kuoroke frowns for a few seconds and stays silent. "This is all quite sensitive. You'll not share any information you have about this with anyone besides the two of us and anyone else I name. Is that understood?"

Kichiro listens carefully. "It seems theres always something going on behind the scenes.. and frequently targeting Itami." He nods to Kuoroke before striking a one handed handstand. "If there is one thing I know well, its how to know nothing. Ask anyone in the village."

Rika lets out a sigh of relief at the mention of Imota getting better. "Hayato, a visiting Jounin of an allied village, as I understand it, knows something as well. Seeing that he saw the issue with Imota. He was going to defend Itami-san, as he did not know the full story. But other than Imota's attack, there was no actual violence that I saw." She adds. "Sousa-sama, Hibari-senpai, and Koudo-senpai have yet to get back to me on it."

The Council Member begins explaining. "After a while here, you'll return home. Take no less than the average time you'd be away on survival training. I've seen your file, and I'll keep an eye on your behaviour in this situation, and it's very important. Once you're back, you'll try to stay informed on Itami's actions and whereabouts. Discreetly. Understood? Very, very discreetly." He stresses these last words qutite a bit. "I'll see if I can talk to Sousa in person." Kuoroke promises. "Right, Hayato. I r… Imota remembered him, but I didn't catch the name. He used a clone, I believe… Any idea where I can find him?"

Kichiro flops back over to his feet and turns to listen more carefully. "I can do disreet.. or at least distracted. Do we know what we're looking for? either with Itami or with this Hayato fellow? I've not met either of them"

"Aoki Hayato, if I remember correctly." Rika responds. "Though I dare say after Itami ordered Imota to attack as she did, it may have swayed his point of view on the matter." She purses her lips, "Kuoroke-senpai, I'd recommend, perhaps, checking with the hotels first. And the Council Secretaries, he did mention something about trying to get a meeting with a member of the Council." Then a look to Kichiro. "It might be best, when Imota-san wakes up, to try and be his friend. I know it could be hard, but keeping him away from Itami is imperative."

Kuoroke sighs. It's an annoyed sigh. Nothing more, nothing less, just a lot of annoyance. You can practically see the regret for his choice dripping off him. But hey, he's got this and he can at least try to make it work. "You'll pay attention, and you won't attract any, and you will find a way to get the information to me quietly. And…" He lets Rika speak, and nods. "Actually, that's a good idea. Do that. And the why's should not worry you. You don't need to know them, okay? Oh, yeah, right," his voice moves from a harsh, mildly growling commanding voice to a perfectly civil one. "Rika, do you know anything about a medicine Itami was taking? She had headaches… You think that's the…" Kuoroke takes a wary sideways glance at Kichiro. "…what you mentioned in your letter?"

Rika blinks at this, biting her lower lip. "I.. don't." Though as she says this, it seems as though something might be dawning on her as she reaches up to push up her goggles and from the look of her countenance. "Though I don't remember her ever taking such things until recently either, now that you mention it."

Kichiro shakes his head, "its not a hard task. Imota-san is my friend.. I worry about him and what this has done to him though. Do you wirry he will try to do something to Itami?" He seems to be distracted by some random cricket, hopping away.. perhaps he missed what was said about letters, perhaps not.

"Ah." Kuoroke smirks slightly. "So there might be something there. Either the medicine's part of the… predicament she's in, or the headache was, or the headache is a side effect. Either way, we might be on a good track here." Kuoroke looks at Kichiro. "Good. No, Imota… He will probably not try to do anything to Itami. Nonetheless, it's best for his health, and for the situation, to keep him away. Again, this is the limit of what you need to know. Okay? And even he shouldn't know that I talked to you."

"No so much that." Rika says honestly to Kichiro. "Instead, I worry she'll make him do something that would get him hurt. Like when she convinced him to attack me. If I had been someone who didn't care, he would… well, he's a Genin. I'm a Jounin." The implication there? You do the math. Rika is a rather powerful combat nin with many area of effect abilities, Imota a Genin. "I'll try to ask her mother if she knows about the medicine too." Rika adds after that.

Kichiro nods, "aye. It will be difficult to do both, keep an eye on Itami and keep Imota away from her. Given the two, keeping Imota occupied would be better for my particular skill set. And don't worry.. as I said, I am really good at knowing nothing." He pounces at the canyon cricket, missing horribly and taking a tumble. He looks up to see where the cricket went before walking back over to the conversation, pretending nothing happened.

"Thank you. If it's related, she might know. Shh. He doesn't need to be involved into this more." The Council member speaks to Rika. When she compares a Genin to a Jounin, he nods with a deep frown. His attention shifts to Kichiro. "I said…" Kuoroke reaches towards Kichiro, intending to grab him and roughly put him on his feet. "I agree. You'll keep Imota occupied. However, whatever you can find out about Itami's actions and whereabouts, you'll have to know where not to be, after all, might be valuable. And I said you needed to be aware of, not watch her actions. So keep your eyes open. Now, get going," He motions with his hand, as if tossing something aside, sending him away. "You'll stay away for a realistic amount of time, and only then return, understood? Go." Turning to Rika, Kuoroke suggests, "I should get home, make sure Imota's getting better, and see if there's more to find out. You talk to her mother, unless there's anything else we should discuss?"

"Hai." Rika says to Kuoroke. "I'll do so. And I cannot think of anything else." She adds, before looking back to Kichiro. "Have fun there too, Kami know that Imota needs to learn how to have some fun too." She grins widely, "Consider that almost as important as the rest. Help him learn to be more than just another mindless child soldier ninja. That's part of what the Academies are trying to solve, after all."

Kichiro chuckles, "far ahead of you in that. I've already been talking to him about that.. as well as training with him physically while he has been helping me with my shortcomings." He pauses, distracted by a butterfly, "i will… well. I will be a friend to him.. since thats what I am already."

"I actually think he's quite valuable to the village as he is. Nevertheless, he can use a little rest after what happened." Kuoroke puts in. "Good luck with Itami's mother… I hope you can get something worth the trouble out of her." He turns away and begins walking. "Well, what are you still doing here?! Start walking, if anyone is interested in your departure, they'll need to just find a camping site or something."

Kichiro immediately bounds up the walls of the canyon and scrambles away the opposite direction before bouncing to the opposite wall of the canyone and continueing, his athletic skills obvious.

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