Date: January 29, 2014
Pursuing a lead from the previous mission, Atsuro and Daisuke end up fending off a full-blown assault on an island fortress.
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"Colony Collapse - Part 5: A Visit to the Island Fortress"
Nejirojima, an island far out in the ocean
After following the piracy ring to its home base, Atsuro and Daisuke were able to capture one of the ringleaders, as well as discover that the criminal group is working for someone else. As for who that someone else is, and where to find them… that's a bit trickier. Interrogating the ringerleader only revealed so much, but it was enough to work off of. The man told them this: the man he was meeting with was a ninja, a representative of some wealthy benefactor, and appeared to go roughly northward when he left the criminal's island. This benefactor seemed to be selling the stolen items, through legitimate trading channels.
Definitely not a lot, but after some asking around Minatoriko, the Leaf nin have an idea of where to go for more information. So they've sailed to Nejirojima. Once a small, unremarkable island, Nejirojima has expanded to be a great sea-fortress and naval base for the surrounding islands. It also has an extensive archive of shipping records and naval patrol reports for the whole area. The ringleader gave up the names of a few of the more unique items that were stolen. If all of these items are shown as being sold at a particular island, Atsuro and Daisuke know where to look next. They have a letter from the chief factor at Minatoriko which should convince the guards at Nejirojima to let them into the archives.
As they step off the boat onto the docks at Nejirojima, a number of men, armored and carrying spears approach them. "Halt!" yells the man at the front. "You will submit to a search and surrender any weapons to us. After that, you will tell us your business here."
"Like Smaug I will." Daisuke says in a bored tone, finding the number of guards surrounding them and their weapons of no threat. He turns to Atsuro and nudges him. "Show them the letter already, we are on a timeline before our presence is discovered by the wrong people." he urges. It had been a lot of taxing brainwork in the last few days and Daisuke was about ready for a vacation. The sooner they were able to find what they came for, the better chance they had at taking out the root of the problem once and for all without any resistance. This had made Daisuke a little short tempered with set backs like these guards in front of them right now, and the red-head's temper is quite fierce once unleashed.
Atsuro reaches into his pocket and pulls out the letter. "This should tell you our business here," he tells the guard, holding the envelope out to him, "As for our weapons… if we wanted to kill you, being unarmed would hardly stop us." The guard spits, handing the letter back to Atsuro. "I really doubt that," he says, "We'll let you in, but I /do/ need your weapons first. Twenty people a day try and pull that 'we don't need weapons' nonsense. I say, take a ninja's weapons away and he's no better than any other man in the same position. Hand them over." Atsuro glances towards Daisuke and grins. "What about that?" he asks Daisuke, pointing to an empty barrel a few paces away.
Daisuke walks over to the barrel, emptying his kunai and shuriken pouches, such a pain to re equip everything after, it certainly didn't help his mood. "Unarmed, huh." he says after he is done, walking up to the guard and letting his eyes go feral, Son's golden eye's now shining bright with anger. "Ninja themselves are the real weapon, not some metal trinkets." he says in Son's deep voice. With a blink his eyes return to normal and he stares down the guard. "Now let us in and stop wasting our time." When Daisuke's temper rose, Son's prideful nature shone through more than usual, as Daisuke attempts to immaculate the guard for his incompetence in keeping them.
Oops. That's what Atsuro gets for being cocky. "I meant blow it up or something," he says, walking over and putting his equipment in the barrel. "To show them how Gandalf we are." Oh well. He removes Taizen's vest with the swords and puts that in the barrel too. "It better all be there when we come back," Atsuro tells the guard. Those swords are expensive, and if Atsuro finds any missing, a surgeon's going to be searching the /guard/ for weapons.
Not in the best mood, the guard leads them through the fortress. They walk up a set of steps, leading from the harbour to the main courtyard, through a guard station, then up another set of steps, where they walk along a fortified wall. It's quite a walk, actually, and it seems they won't get a chance to finish. Suddenly, Atsuro stops and sniffs the air, as does Taizen. "What's that burning?" Atsuro asks. The guard looks around, not seeming to have an explanation. Uh-oh.
Daisuke looks around as they walk, taking in exits, rooms, guards, whatever might be important later on, just out of habit. Whenever he went into a new place he was always mapping it mentally, no matter where it was. Up on the wall, he starts to get annoyed. "How far is this Bombur place already." he says to himself before Atsuro smells fire. He turns to the guard and grabs his collar. "Where are your archives. Spit it out, This walking nonsense will get us no where, we could've been there 20 minutes ago." he says as he shakes the guard, "HURRY UP."
The guard only pulls away and glares at Daisuke, but he does hurry up, leading the Leaf nin down a set of steps to the other side of the wall, into a different section of the fortress. As they reach the bottom of the steps, some yells can be heard from another part of the fortress. Atsuro looks around, looking for buildings that might hold the archives. Unfortunately, there are a number of buildings here. He's about to repeat Daisuke's question to the guard, but he's interrupted by an explosion.
BOOM! One of the outer walls of the fortress disappears in a flash of fire and a cloud of smoke, bricks and bits of rubble flying into the courtyard. Fortunately, it's not close enough to hurt anyone in the group, but by now it's obvious the fortress is under attack. The guard, as well as all the other guards in the area start running towards the breach in the wall, "Both of you go back to the dock and stay in your boat," he calls back. "Hey!" Atsuro hollers after him, "The archives! Where're the archives, you idiot!?" By now, plumes of smoke can be seen rising from other parts of the fortress. "Arkenstone," says Atsuro, turning to Daisuke, "What do you think? Bail this idiot's Thorin out and make him take us there, or look for it ourselves?" There's more yelling from the breach. Whatever's going on over there is hidden by the smoke, but the Leaf nin can hear the sound of metal striking metal. A lot.
Daisuke wobbles a bit as the explosion rocks the fort, looking up at the ceiling. IT was clear that they were under attack. The guard runs off, leaving them at the bottom of the steps they just walked down. "Either way we will need to buy some time to get to the archives without having them destroyed. You ok without your swords? Or do you want me to go clear the fort while you keep looking?" he says to his fellow ninja, remembering Atsuro relied more on his weaponry than he, himself, did. "Maybe try to find that smell of old parchment and follow it, you can do that, can't you?" he asks, waiting for Atsuro's decision before he would go running back to the wall.
It's not exactly easy to concentrate under these conditions. "You mean you'll help the guards while Tai and I see if we can track the archives down?" he asks, "We can do that. I should be… okay without my swords." He does rely on his weapons more than Daisuke does, but he can get by with just Inuzuka skills for the time being. Besides, there's gotta be a sword around here somewhere. He glances around at all the buildings in the area. "I hope they're just right there when you go in," he mutters, "I don't wanna waste time running around every floor." He looks up at Daisuke as the other man goes up the wall. "We'll come and get you when we find something," he says, "Good luck."
He and Taizen take off, heading for the nearest building that looks like a good candidate for the archives, leaving Daisuke on his own for the moment.
Daisuke scales the wall and enters the area with the breach, noticing a bunch of guards fighting back what look to be ninja. He tch's, figuring this to be some kind of silly bandit raid, but if it was ninja, he would have to step things up. The guards weren't exactly winning, either as Daisuke arrives, engaging and disposing of one ninja within a few moments. He estimated their strength around mid-genin level, they certainly weren't from any village that he could see. "Every guard back!" he calls out, letting them back away from the breach and handle the ones that had made it inside before he clasps his hands together in a series of seals and expels a large amount of Lava onto the breach, flooding the area behind it where the ninja were coming in and hardening in the salty sea area into a basic wall enforced by the earth chakra within his element.
Daisuke has successfully closed the breach. With most of the ninja being less experienced, not many of them are capable of getting over the wall, but there are a few higher-level ninja simply jumping over Daisuke's barrier. There aren't so many, but they're still more than a match for the guards here. Then there's the matter of the other areas of the fortress that are under attack. A few other ninja trickle in from the other parts of the fortress, and things are now getting rather chaotic, with the guards and ninja scattered all about the courtyard, fighting. Worse, the guard Atsuro and Daisuke was following doesn't seem to be around. Fortunately, his corpse isn't either, but their tour guide is missing for the moment.
This wasn't getting anywhere. Daisuke may have slowed the flow of ninja but the fort was too large to deal with by any normal means. It was time to bring his effort up a notch as Daisuke lets the crimson cloak of Son Goku leak out from his body and surround him in a cloak of pure chakra, the sudden change causing the ground to shudder and crack. He lets out a warning roar that echoes throughout the fort and surrounding waters of the island before he sprouts numerous arms of chakra, going through the first group here to pick out the ninja from the guards, scooping some up and launching them far over the wall into the sea. He orders the guards to get back to the courtyard and group up on defense, having them around him was just more of a nuisance at this point as he goes about clearing the area quickly using his cloak and multiplying chakra arms.
Taking on a jinchuuriki at full power is a formidable task for even an elite ninja, so the chuunin ninja left in the couryard are quite easily swept aside by Daisuke. The guards left, at his direction, and are now on their way to other areas of the island fortress to help out in the other areas under attack. For the time being, Daisuke is just alone here with Son Goku in an empty courtyard. Off in the distance, the sounds of battle can still be heard. Atsuro and Taizen aren't anywhere in sight, but they're probably in one of the buildings around here, looking for the archives.
Attacking this island meant there were most likely boats. Daisuke looks around at the cleared out area before deciding to scale the Empire Stat-fort to get a view of the surroundings and situation. Once he is atop the roof of the nearest building he should be able to see over the walls and to the shoreline. His goal is to spot and, afterwards, launch a giant Lava fireball, at each of the boats to sink them into the sea, either hoping to cause a retreat or a change in the tide of battle. He looks out over the view from the top, locating his targets after a quick scan. Channeling both his bijuu and human chakra, Daisuke launches a steaming missile of compressed molten earth from his patented Nimbus technique towards each of the boats.
There are a little under ten boats carrying ninja onto the fortress, and they're large enough that Daisuke can hit them without much trouble. Most of them burn up quickly, their survivors either desperately climbing the walls of the fortress to join the battle, or drowning with the boat. Of course, the closest boat was the only one where the method of entry to the fortress was totally thwarted, so there are still ninja in the fortress. Still no sign of Atsuro or Taizen coming to get Daisuke, but they've had a while to search now, so it can't be too far off. But there are already a few ninja coming into this area from the other parts of the fortress. It's not clear if they're looking for the archives too, but they do seem to be making their way here on purpose.
Without Atsuro letting him know his status, Daisuke had two choices. He could race into the building they were last in and look around the innards of the fort for them, or he could keep defending until they (hopefully) arrived. As the enemy ninja begin to make their way into the area from the other areas, Daisuke decides defense is the best option, hoping the Inuzuka duo would get what they need and hurry up. Sprouting numerous chakra arms from within his demonic cloak of red chakra, Daisuke holds his ground against any charging ninja attempting to get into the building.
Daisuke's attacks are effective, but they're not inconspicuous. Obviously, the enemy is already intent on reaching this area, and they now know that this is where they'll find the greatest opposition — the fortress's guards are decent fighters, but they're not enough to totally stop a ninja force this size. The enemies are easily dispatched, but more and more pile into this section of the fortress.
As time goes on, the ninja get a little more powerful. And while they're unlikely to ever match a jinchuuriki, they're getting hard to keep track of. The sheer numbers of ninja charging in through gates and over stairways to other sections of the fortress might be enough to slip a few by Daisuke.
Admidst a sea of ninja Daisuke continues swinging away, the ninja beginning to pile in ontop of Daisuke in sheer numbers. Swinging his chakra arms around dispatches those within the general vicinity but more pile in and Daisuke was beginning to tire. If Atsuro and what they needed weren't in the building, he could simply end this, but there was still no signs of Atsuro as, indeed, a few ninja are able to scale the walls from the sides and slip by. "Ringit, Atsuro, hurry the Bilbo up." he yells through the sounds of battle as they begin to get by, wondering just how many ninja there were and what nation could supply so many. If he had to guess, about 5 or 6 had gotten by him in the last few minutes so whatever Atsuro was doing would have to involve defending himself.
The stream of enemy ninja is slowing to a trickle. It would seem that the enemy ninja are either starting to lose their nerve, or they've simply run out of men to throw at Daisuke. The sounds of fighting from other parts of the fortress have all but disappeared, though whether that means the fortress guards have won, lost, or simply disengaged is anyone's guess.
Unfortunately, just as the battle is winding down, one of the buildings nearby goes up in flames! It doesn't seem to have simply been a casualty of the fight — someone wanted it to go up. The door crashes open and Atsuro and Taizen leave in a blur. When they stop near Daisuke, a thick set of files is tucked under Atsuro's arms. "No swords," he complains, "And one arm's occupied. But I got the goods." He looks around the area, surveying the carnage. "Geez. Well, we gonna get out of here before their buddies come?"
Daisuke is huffing and puffing by the time the ninja stream slows to a trickle, Son Goku roaring in victory from within him at the marvelous battle of hundreds to one. Well at least someone was happy. Daisuke turns towards the explosion of flame as the tower goes up, raising an eyebrow. Was he too late? Just as he was about to go investigate, Atsuro shows up with files. "Jeez man, way to keep a guy waiting with hundreds of blood thirsty ninja." he says with a frown, realizing that Atsuro probably didn't know that they were dealing with trained, at least limited, ninja now, not just bandits. "Wouldn't be surprised if I just took out the whole clan, but I know you are eager to get your swords, so lets go." he says with a nod to Atsuro. "Wonder where that guard got to…"
"Yeah," says Atsuro drily, "Looks like you nearly died." He smirks a little, "They weren't much more than genin level. Otherwise I wouldn't have escaped." Then he actually listens to what Daisuke says. "Those two goals are kinda conflicting," he says, "I doubt the guard is down by the docks. I dunno. I'd be entirely comfortable with just running back to the boat and getting out of here before anything can happen to these files. Of course, that won't foster good relations between Konoha and whatever blah blah blah."
"Ah, but what if the guard was an insider working for the ninja this whole time? Seems suspicious that he just vanished after." Daisuke says, channeling that detective manga experience. Either way he didn't want to really look, he just wanted to get out. "Lets get going, we can report the attack when we get back and they can handle it. If I haven't fostered enough relations with this defensive, then nothing will be enough." he says as he pats Atsuro on the back before jogging in the direction he thinks the dock is, letting the reddish chakra just disintegrate into the air as it's source is closed off.
"Well, I wasn't around to see him vanish, if you'll recall." Atsuro hefts the files, "Anyway, I guess you're right. They can't complain about us leaving when we've — well, /you've/ — just won the battle for them. And I preventd all of their records from being torched… so I guess we'd better return these when we're done with them." He and Taizen follow after Daisuke in search of the docks.
As they move through the fortress, the full damage of the attack is apparent. Walls breached, buildings blown up, guards killed. But it would definitely be in worse condition had Daisuke not dealt with the attackers so swiftly. Injured guards are being carried off to the medical area by their intact comrades in arms, and the guard they talked to before is probably around somewhere, but the Leaf nin don't see him. Oh well, he wasn't much more use to them anyway.
Finally, they're at the docks again. It seems that both the barrel of weapons and their boat survived the attack. "I missed you," Atsuro sings, taking his swords out of the barrel and giving them back to Taizen.
"Get a room." Daisuke says as he leans over the barrel, digging out his kunai pouch and other weaponry that he had dumped in there. As everyone is getting re-geared, Daisuke takes one final look back at the fortress, remembering all the casualties. "I think it's safe to say that we aren't dealing with some unorganized group or clan. If they could send that many against the fort, they probably have more. Seems we will most likely not be dealing with bandits from here on out." he says before turning to walk towards the boat, popping one of his sea sickness pills.
"I'll ignore that comment," says Atsuro, hopping onto the boat, then helping Taizen get on. He starts getting the boat ready to go. "I suppose so," he says, "I doubt it was just a coincidence that they came here to burn the records building just as we showed up to take a look through it." He thinks for a second, "Well, I guess we already knew that they head men on Minatoriko. Someone just got word out ahead of us. Maybe we'll have to be a little more quiet about actually getting the records, eh?"
"We can tell our client what he needs to know, but it's safe to say we should spare him or anyone any more details about 'next steps'. Anyway, lets get back, I'm exhausted." Daisuke says as he sits on the side of the boat, closing his eyes, and waiting for them to be off.