Date: January 2, 2013
After some brief negotiating at the gates, Aimi gains entrance to Sunagakure for her mercenary company.
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"Aimi Arrives at Suna"
Outside Sunagakure [Land of Wind]
The desert here is a well-travelled stretch of sand, with various sandstone buttes rising up from the relatively flat terrain. However, directly to the west is a roughly circular arrangement of mountainous cliffs that is the naturally-formed defensive barrier of Sunagakure no Sato — the Village Hidden in the Sand. The entrance to Sunagakure, rather than being a true 'gate' as other Villages tend to have, is an open space in the thick, sturdy walls of stone. This opening can be controlled by the ninja guards to close up and secure the Village against invaders. Scaling the cliffs without the use of ninja skills is nearly impossible, and with the many guards and scouts that line the edges of the cliffs, even experienced ninja would be hard-pressed to get inside without being killed on sight.
Infiltrating without being seen is not remotely likely. Patrols regularly canvasse the sands themselves, and ensure nothing suspicious is going on. If anything out-of-place IS seen, the ninja report their findings as quickly as possible. During sand storms, the cliff-faces tend to be closed. Desert natives know better than to be travelling during such a storm anyway.
Well, there was the little incident in Kona. The Tsubame Mercenary company did not know that they were close to a village until a young woman named Rise had warned them about it. So the company quickly packed up, offered an apology, and moved quickly to the Land of Wind where the next contract was. The company travels the desert, but soon, some of the scouts in the company start to get tired and dehydrated. The commander doesn't push her company hard. At this point, the elderly woman calls forth Aimi. "Aimi, go around, gather the scouts. We'll take shelter in those cliffs over there.", she points out. Aimi, the young Tsubame member nods her head, and quickly goes out to gather the scouts in.
As they get closer to the gates, the elderly commander looks at her second in command. "No bellowing. In fact, you stay here…", she says. The woman waits, and Aimi comes back. "Aimi…What do you see at those cliffs.", she asks.
Aimi looks at the cliffs, and frowns a bit. "Guards."
"Good girl, and guards means what exactly?", she asks the young woman.
"That there's something that needs protection there. A city maybe?", she asks.
The Elderly woman nods her head, and hands Aimi a scroll. Aimi looks at it, and reads a little bit of it. She nods her head and takes off towards the closest guard. She takes a deep breath before looking at the guard. "May I speak to the elder? Or the commander in charge here? My commander would like to ask to come inside for protection against the elements.", she asks, bowing formally, and extending the scroll with both hands.
The guard on duty nods and takes the scroll. "We've been watching your approach for a bit now," he remarks. "You did have a destination in mind before you headed into the desert, didn't you? Most folk try to send some sort of advance notice before walking up to a shinobi village with an armed force." :/ The guard shrugs and passes the scroll to one of his compatriots for transport to somebody further up the command chain. "You'll have to lay down your weapons before coming in, of course. That's if you receive approval, it's not my call to make. How'd you end up way out here anyway?"
The young Mercenary takes a little bit of a deep breath. "Well, you see, we're traveling a bit north of here for another job. Sopposedly a minor war is about to break up north. Nothing unusual.", she says. The woman takes a moment to blink before sighing a bit. "A shinobi village? Really? Grit. Thats not on our current maps…", she mutters. THe girl takes a moment to turn back around, and uses a mirror to flash some signals to the commander. After a few seconds she turns back around.
"We try to avoid the villages. There's a lot of strain with sopposed shinobi wars going on. We travel around to warlords, and do mostly guard duties while their armies fight. For many people in the company, this is our first time crossing the desert. Our commander has crossed it three times in her lifetime, but never with a full company in tow.", she tells. Aimi looks around a little bit. "If it is a hassle, you can point us to the nearest oasis, and we can set up camp there.", she offers. The woman pulls out her mirror again, and watches as signals get passed back.
Aimi pulls out her tonfas, and lays them down on the ground in front of the guard. "Is it ok if a few of our company moves into the shade though? Some are suffering heat stroke, and 2 need care. We mostly work in the Land of Fire, and the Land of Water, so this enviroment…its kinda harsh on us.", she says.
"Oh, you can all come in now. I see no reason to delay matters further."
A cowled figure strolls up through the passage in the rock, twirling the scroll in his fingers. The guard salutes. "Kazekage-sama! Are you sure that's wise? We haven't assessed their strength yet, or what they are carrying."
Sousa shrugs. "All things in life are a gamble of one outcome versus another. True, it is theoretically possible that they would have enough strength to cause some serious damage once inside before they could be quelled, but there are few who would embark on such a suicide mission. I prefer to gamble on the far more likely outcome of aiding potential allies."
The young woman takes a deep breath before she lets it out slowly. "Thank you.", she says. Aimi turns around, and flashes a few signals before the company starts to move along. They clearly not exactly a huge company, but they are at least the size of a division. Well, a Shinobi division. Once they get closer, an elderly woman steps off one of the moble wagons, and bows a bit formally. "I thank you, Kazekage. I hope this young one did not intrude upon you.", the elderly woman comments. She looks at Aimi who shakes her head quickly.
Aimi looks down at her tonfas. "May I pick those back up now, Sir Kazekage?", she asks. The woman fidgets a little bit. The Elderly commander shoots Aimi a look, and bows formally.
"Apologies, Kazekage-Domo. This young one is still learning her place in the world, and speaks out of turn. Forgive her rudeness, and thank you for allowing us to stay in the village, for a short time. We hope to restock, rest our injured, and be prepared to leave in 3 days time.", the commander says. "If there is a place you wish for us to stay, we will make camp in that location and bother your village none.", the Commander says. Aimi squeaks a bit on the side, quickly bowing formally.
Sousa chuckles at Aimi's question. "As willing as I may be to gamble on your good intentions, I see no reason not to take what precautions will not greatly inconvenience you, if only for my own villagers' peace of mind. Your weapons will be kept safe and returned to you when you leave." Sousa signals to the guards, and they start collecting weapons from the company, including Aimi's tonfa. "Unusual choice of armaments, that," Sousa remarks as they're carried away. "A farming tool pressed into service as a weapon by desperate individuals, then given blades to make it more effective. Most would simply procure an object designed for martial effectiveness in the first place, were it an option. But I suppose we all have our little historical quirks, hmm?" Sousa plucks a kunai from his pouch and twirls it meaningfully. ;)
"At any rate, I'm sure we can find a place within the village walls for your company to make camp," Sousa says, speaking more to the elder. "You're free to avail yourselves of our inns as well, should any of your number be willing to pay for more comfortable lodgings."
Aimi blinks as Sousa figures out that her tonfas are bladed. Then again, for a Kage, it would be easy to tell the sheathed blades by the small crack near the handle of the tonfas. She blushes a bit. "But in choosing a more martial weapon, you show that you are more of a fighter, giving yourself away. Plus a tonfa is also a farming tool, as you pointed out. With it, one can make small watering canals for a season if we were to make a camp. A sword would dull if you use it to dig a ditch, and an ax can chop down trees, but wood doesn't feed a belly like rice and vegitables do.", she says. The woman smiles a bit before being bopped by the Commander.
The commander nodes her head. "Our young Miss Aimi also has issues of speaking her mind too much. Her choice in weapon was her father's who was trained with them. It helps that she is naturally physically gifted, and her chakra limiters choke off what chakra she has.", the commander says. Aimi gives a face.
"And what about sickles, Commander? Are they not a farming tool that Shinobi pressed into service themselves.", she comments.
The commander glares at Aimi. "You, child, just earned a dawn watch, and no meal tonight.", she says. Aimi winces, knowing the Dawn watch is the hardest of the night watches. "We thank you for your hospitality, Lord Kazekage.", she finishes.
Sousa nods faintly. "Sound considerations." He wonders when was the last time she used her tonfa in such a fashion, though. ;) Sousa smiles to the elder. "Ah yes, those who are particularly vocal usually do find themselves in trouble. Their propensity to speak on things that others would rather not hear of earn them ire." Sousa turns and heads back toward the village. "Those which survive this tend to be the agents of change. Welcome to Sunagakure."