Date: May 12, 2014
Taree from Kirigakure is sent to aid Sunagakure as a physical body. She is put out in the middle of the desert on a three man team for the day.
The Burning Sands
Night is almost over. The very first lights of day are coming over the horizon. This was summer in the Land of Wind. Soon the sun would be baking the sand in a heat that would easily reach over a hundred degrees. It is a deadly heat that is only masked by the refreshing breeze of the wind. If it does not kill you the animals might. Not that you find any of them out in the open day light.
Keiji stands outside a large earth hut next to the road. Due to the pirate attacks and the Shinegakure attacks, Suna was running short on shinobi. Luckily their ally sent a few Genin to help out. They were distributed to border patrol to free up some other bodies for pirate hunting. Somehow though Keiji managed to land patrol duty. They had set up a check point for goods coming in and leaving the land. His eyes scanned around looking for the new Genin. Technically she could have been a long lost cousin. They were both from clans that were affiliated with different arachnids. He pondered if she was even aware of the Shippodoku. As he thinks about the similarities of the clans, his eyes go back to the road.
"Someone's awfully giddy." Ayumu says as he sat next to Keiji with one leg extended out, the other pulled towards the chest, and both hands at rest atop his knees. For intents and purposes, the red-haired Iga looked to be relaxing on duty, but in truth, he had his sensors scattered and secreted just about everywhere. Normally such things would still fry under the heat of the desert, but such a weakness has long since been accounted for by the Iga.
The ending of the night quickly ment that taree would be very miserable again. The summer heat in Kirigakure was bad enough. In Sunagakure it was practically a death sentence, at least for the unprepared. It made Taree both worried and excited, this would be a good opportunity to kill off a few weak links in her brood. Hurrying along Taree knew grumbling would not help with any of her orders. Traveling along with a slow paced supply wagon. Only finally reaching the transfer point. It did amaze her thou the value of a barrels of water in the dessert. Looking around for the Sunagakure ninja's so she could report.
Keiji focuses his attention on Ayumu for a brief moment. "It is not every day you meet someone who could have ancestors related to your own. I am not sure if they turn into giant spiders, but it would be kind of neat, huh?" It is probably the most Keiji had actually talked about personal feelings in his life.
As the wagon pulls up, Keiji moves towards it. "You might want to get inside quickly. Grab what water you can and head into the hut. This will be your home for the day. You can report in later." he states to Taree. He then looks at the wagon driver. Once Taree had gathered what she needed, the wagon driver would take off.
The corner of the Iga's lips twitch upwards towards a smile, for it has been quite some time since he's been able to get little more than a yes or no from the shippodoku. The rare treat is savored in silence. Once the wagon arrives and Taree disembarks, Ayumu pushes away the delectable thought in favor of examining the petite Okumo. She'd note, if it wasn't already clear due to his eyes being closed, that the Iga was either blind or had a severe squint. Regardless of what the case may be, he offers her a short wave and a friendly foxy smile in greeting before she moves on to Keiji's orders. "Hmm… a four year difference at best, but still a viable mate, eh, Keiji-senpai?" He asks, regarding the shippodoku from the corner of his eyes.
Taree didn't look to be very happy at being in the desert. Arranging her hat to shield herself from the rising son. She would nod and acknowledge Keiji, appreciating someone being practical for a change. Heading to back of the wagon she would carefully lower a specially marked barrel the size of herself down the wooden ramp to the sandy road. Pushing and rolling it toward the hut. A strange sight , difinitely to much water for one person. Stopping long enough to return the friendly wave, at least before her face would turn bright red hearing the term viable mate. Shielding her bright red face with her hat she would continue to roll the barrel into the hut. Kiddie corner it threw the huts entrance to get it inside, glad to be out of the sun. Recovering her composure, "Okumo Taree reporting as ordered Sir"
Keiji shakes his head at Ayumu's comment. There was a reason he was still a Genin. This was a minor reason for it. "Ayumu, this has nothing to do with finding a mate. She is a Genin of an allied nation and you will treat her as such. Understood?" Beneath his mask, Keiji was laughing, however he needed to keep up a straight face. He then moves into the hut after Taree. "Shippodoku Keiji, I will be your commanding officer for today. We are simply stopping and checking cargo moving through this check point. Nothing too dangerous, but you are given permission to kill if needed. Please do not take that as a right to just take out citizens."
Ayumu feigns pouting; but inwardly, he's laughing as well. "My apologies Keiji-senpai. I merely meant to get the possibility out of the way over having you two dance around the subject all awkwardly." Ayumu explains before pulling his legs in and pushing himself up into a crouch. "And this one here is Iga Ayumu, just by the way. But you can call me Oji-san (Uncle) if'n ya prefer." He adds grinning.
Hearing Keiji introduce himself made her think, what did she know about Suna clans. Thinking quietly to herself before mumbling out to herself "Shippodoku a member of the scorpion clan." Stowing the barrel to the side, taking the time needed to carefully check the seals. Smiling to herself, so far she was liking Keiji's practical streak. Finally giving Keiji a respectful little bow, before handing him a small scroll, her offical orders. "Thank you for being practical Sir. My first mission practically had to ask permission to defend myself."
Giving Ayuma a wierd look at the thought of calling him uncle. "I will not be killing anybody hopefully. But if it comes to that I ready." Setting her pack down next to her barrel digging out a few things. "I brought fresh fruit from Kiri if anybody is interested." Offering Ayumu and Keiji some fesh apples. Smiling at Ayumu thinking did not know anything about the iga clan.
It seemed like Ayumu was trying to make the girl uncomfortable. It was almost like he just asked her to call him daddy, except it was uncle. "Ayumu, not only are your jutsu creepy, but you are too." Keiji states.
After taking the orders from Taree he speaks again, this time to the Okumo girl. "Yes, I am gifted with Sasoriendai. I am able to transform into a full scorpion when need be." He then turns towards the window. "Thank you for the apple, however I am not hungry. Please take the first watch."
"Mah-ee, always with the misinterpetations of my intentions." Ayumu says, shrugging his shoulders weakly. As he accepted the fruit another thought occurs to him as well. "Hmm… honestly though, your own is hardly in any position to be calling another clan's techniques creepy." He reprimands lightly as he rose fully to his feet. Afterwards he would wait for the orders to be dispensed before drifting inside the hut to appearantly take it easy till he was called on to take watch.
Taree would take her time and prepare to go outside. Putting on a large sand colored silk veil covering her face and most of her legs before stepping outside. Munching on the apple as she went listening to the conversation. "Actually I would not call any clans techniques creepy. If something is disturbing it was probally designed that way for a reason. Best to figure out the reason." Shrugging filling her canteen from the barrel. Nodding to Keiji, Taree would step outside proceed to look around for the best practical spot to keep watch. Shrugging she climb the side of the doom hut, Laying a tiny bit of silk where needed for support. Able to pop her head up for a complete view of the area, Taree would spend the time keeping watch. Letting a few spiders weaving a bit of web for shade.
"Go ahead Ayumu, show her your technique. It serves its purpose, but its still creepy." Keiji states. He had hoped Ayumu would toss her an ear or something. As Taree moved outside, she would not have to wait long for the first traveller to pass by. The man was using a mule to pull a wagon, but he was on foot. Keiji steps out in time to see him approach. He looks for Taree to stop him. He wanted to see just how serious she would take the mission.
Taree would see the wagon approach long before it arrived. Hopping down off the hut heading to the front ahead of the wagon. Giving the traveler a quick look and the wagon before speak. "Stop in the name of Sunagakure!!", stating loudly if not a little too serious. Standing in front of the mule ready to move if need be. "Please state your business and if you have anything to declare." Taree felt a little wierd stopping someone a good foot taller than her and asking for paper and giving orders. Wondering to herself why would anybody travel in this heat. A sane person would travel at night.
Ayumu grinned but would wave off the offer. He would prefer not giving an Okumo any further ideas about how to extract the secrets of his clan bloodline anymore than he would have to. And besides that, it wasn't as if the Iga had any desire to waste anymore energy than he would need. So, he tunes it out, and mentally gives the command for the organs to go in a sort of stasis while drifted between the world of sleep and reality. Cognitive enough to realize their first passerbyer has arrived, but no where close enough to dig any deeper into the subject. For now…
The man stopped the mule. He seemed to be fairly aged. He looked at the short shinobi. "A little small for this job arent you?" he asks in a playing tone. He then waves back towards the wagon. "I am hauling kimono into the country. The taxes have been paid." he finally answers. He then reaches into his shirt and pulls out an envelope. He hands it to Taree. The document has the official stamp of the Land of Wind.
Keiji finds no issues with how she treated the man. Taree had been very professional. Of course Ayumu appears to be as useful as a pylon. Keiji moves towards the wagon. "We will need to inspect the back of the wagon, that way we can be sure of whats there." Keiji then nods to Taree. It was a pretty simple job. "Be quick with the inspection Taree. He only has a few more hours to get to town before it becomes dangerous for the man and his mule." It was the way of the desert. The sun was just above the horizon now.
Taree made the inspection as quick as possible, she even offered the man her canteen while she did. Taking a good look at the envelope, Taree would do what any sensible Okumo would do. Let her spiders do the searching. Sending out dozens of spiders, crawling from almost every crevice and fold of her clothes. The spider would quickly and efficiently search every nook and cranny of the wagon. Her spiders returning as quickly as they left. Stepping toward the man nodding, trying not to giggle under her breath.
Collecting her canteen and handing the man back is paperwork. Nodding to Keiji, "Your all set Sir. Travel safely" Walking back over to Keiji waiting for the man was well out of ear shot. "Do you think he knows I just bugged his wagon and can track him if need be?"
It was more of an absent-minded thing, or perhaps better yet, an idle curiosity. The thought would prompt several snake trails beneath the sand to make their way towards the back of the cart. The buried sensory organs would monitor the progress of the brood until they finished, then act as a lax escort for the driver for awhile. Their owner Ayumu in the meantime rolls over and murmurs something about, "Arachna Babies."
The driver seems a bit confused but goes ahead and leaves. Normally he would have said thank you but the confusion had him just wanting to get out of the area.
Keiji grins as he realizes whats happening. She was a smart girl. She could actually make a life for herself in Suna if she responded like that to all of her missions. "I doubt he had an idea. Good work." Keiji then looks into the hut looking at Ayumu as he continues to talk about the concept of breeding between the two clans. "If you are not careful Ayumu, I am going to send you back to Kiri with her when this is done. Then you can crack all the jokes you want and see what happens."
Just shortly after the sun reaches high in the sky another wagon train comes through. This time it is three wagons and they are all driven by horses. They appear to be moving really fast. It seems pretty odd to be driving horses that fast in the heat, at least to anyone who knows horses.
Taree yawns softly the desert heat starting to get to her. Perking up noticeably as the three wagons starts coming toward us way to quickly. Whistling softly, "They are in a whole lot of hurry to get somewhere. Either trying to run the check point or getting chased by something." Watching the dust cloud the wagon train was kicking up, it just proved how fast they were coming. "I can stop the wagons if you wish Keiji. But i can not guarantee the safety of the horses on full gallop. They libal to break a leg"
Ayumu turns over in his sleep, seemingly having missed the threat fromt he Shippodoku. At some point while they await the next passerbyer or unfortunate danger to enter their midst, the Iga falls asleep in earnest; leaving sensors out in the desert to gradually decay over time and fade into nothingness. However, enough survive to alert the Iga of the emminent arrival of more guests. "Want I—*yawns*… to meet them half-way, Keiji-senpai?" Ayumu asks, as he wiped the sleep from his eyes.
Keiji saw the cloud of dust and the wagons as they came forward. "You have done enough Taree. Time for Ayumu to earn his keep." the Shippodoku answers. "Go ahead Ayumu. Meet them half way. I want them to stop. Also… do not harm the horses. If they are smugglers we will confiscate the goods and the horses." He then looked back towards Taree. "Watch this…"
Taree did admit to herself that she wanted to see the smart mouth Iga in action. Taking a step back to stay out of the way so she could watch. Peering around to make sure the wagons were not a distraction for a preluding ninja attack. Smiling as the show was about to get interesting. "What are the rules on confiscated good? I really don't think a smuggler would be that stupid to run a ninja guard house"
Ayumu sighs heavily, then grudingly gets up to his feet and steps outside the hut. And here he was kind of hoping that Keiji wanted to test the newcomer a little more. "Mah-ee… Hope neither of you get your hopes up too much. My repoitore is a little on the limited side." Even as he speaks, the Iga has neither stopped walking towards the oncoming or allowed his mind to wander away in earnest from putting together a plan.
With hardly a word of warning after that, Ayumu disappears, kicking up a large cloud of sand and wind from his initial burst forward.
His feet hardly touch the ground as he makes his way thanks to the miracle of a little wind manipulation. Shadow clones join him in route and would help coordinate jumping on to the wagons and commendeering control. That is, after trying to hail the driver to slow down first. ;)
The first wagon comes to a halt as the reigns are pulled by Ayumu… after he shoved the driver off the wagon into the sand. This causes the other wagons to stop as well. This causes five men get out of the first and the last wagon. These were obviously the guards for some sort of cargo in the middle wagon. They look pretty mean. One of them is even wearing an eye patch. "Stupid shinobi. Let us pass!" one of them yells from the back. Things are at a stand still for the moment.
Keiji walks forward and holds out his hand. "I'm going to keep count. The shinobi who takes down the most bandits gets ice cream on me." It seemed like a nice treat for such a warm day. Keiji then closes his hand. "Kill them. Show them the price of smuggling in the Land of Wind."
Taree was awed with Ayumu's master of the shadow clone skill. It made her curious and a bit worried about her fellow genin, such a advance technique. Her head turning sharply at the offer of ice cream made her giggle. "You know you guys are so lucky. I am not from around here. Usually id just make you get lost for a while. Then we would entertain ourselves on who gets what first." Dropping to a half crouching stance Taree would hand sign, take aim, and spew for streams of silken web from her mouth. Deciding she liked mister eye patch best, making him her target. "Do you want any of them alive to be questioned? Kieji Sir."
Woops!" Ayumu says, grinning like a madman after shoving a bit harder than he intended. With a simple shrug of his shoulders, the Iga goes back to the business of slowing things down a peg so that noone else ended up hurt. Unfortunately, all his efforts amounts to is the mixed results of stopping the wagons, only to have one of the other drivers — guards by the smell of them — choose bluntness over guile. Typical.
With a shake of his head and a snap of his fingers, the two clones summoned before quit there search of wagons and move on to help deal with the bandits. Honestly, they spent more time playing with the two they engaged over actually trying to disable them. Ayumu meanwhile would take over rooting around and hopefully come up with something that would prove their innocence.
The dark Shippodoku pupils followed the combat. Taree had used webs to cover up the free eye of the man with the patch. Though Keiji felt it was a little cruel, it was no doubt effective. "No need to let them live. That just means more paper work." Ayumu on the other hand seemed to be squeezing the shadow clone jutsu for everything it was worth. Then Keiji noticed Ayumu was actually rummaging through the wagon. Even Keiji pondered what Ayumu might find.
Ayumu would find gems in the middle wagon. It was a wagon filled with precious diamonds. Most of them varied in colors. This was an odd load for these people to be carrying.
Shaking her head at how efficient shadow clones actually were Taree would take a few steps forward calmly watching the bandit starting to fall into disarray. "Thank you Keiji for thinking of the poor innocent trees. So much wasted paper." Smiling at the bandits giving them a light shrug and a look like oh well sucks to be you. Hand signing repeatly making her spiders earn their keep for a change. A series of her own clones poofing into exitance. All leaping forward dancing between bandits attacking them. Only to explode moments later into puffs of cobwebs covering the bandits. "Do you think i can keep one of the horses for the trip back to Kirigakure?"
To pocket the marvels, or to not pocket them. That was the question. If Ayumu had been the current Iga Councilor or a woman, then perhaps he would've slipped a few away before making his report. Luckily, he was neither, and quite happy about the fact. "Oh Taichou (Captain)~" Ayumu chucks a diamond over his shoulder towards Keiji's general direction, then straightens out and springs to the next wagon.
Meanwhile the clones manage to trick two of the guards into dispatching one another. In transistion to the next, the more wild-eyed one calls out, "I would'n go think'n that now. Though will spare ya from our on stables if'n ya need it."
"This is kind of fun." Keiji states as he moves his hand into his uniform to get a flask of water. He takes a drink of the refreshing water. "I do not know how you all get so physical in this sun. It's almost unbearable." Keiji's hand then reaches upwards to catch the diamond chucked by Ayumu. He glances over the red ruby for a moment. "Thats very interesting." He then starts walking towards the middle wagon. He was pretty sure between Taree and Ayumu, no bandit should actually come and try to attack him. "We will talk about pay later Taree. For now, stick to the task at hand." It seemed she might be a nature lover. That or she wanted the horse for more evil means… like testing poisons.
Taree brightens up as she finally walks close enough for the fun to really begin. "I know this heat is really pissing my brood off. Sorry to say they going to need something to slake their thirst." Points at the remaining living bandits. "Eenie Meenie Miney Moe, you your lunch." Taree would just stand defensively as the spiders would come pouring out of her hair and down her legs. Swarming over the poor unfortunate bandit. Letting the children have their lunch. "You can finish off the last ones Ayumu. Those shadow clones are amazing."
"Consider that an Iga secret on my part." Ayumu calls out, though his words do not carry well with his being hunched over the third wagon, scanning it thoroughly for any hidden caches. It is what he would and has done in the past with vary degrees of success.
As for the rest, the clones and Taree's own efforts did a pretty darn good job of keeping the bandits from bothering there leader. Albiet in the clones case, it was mostly a matter of being in the right place at the right time. "That we are pip! Most appreciative we are as well of the compliment." The wild-eyed clone said as he held up the last bandit beneath the arm pits while his brother went to town beating him up. Unfair? Probably. But it beat getting consumed by a bunch of spiders while still conscious.
Keiji looked in the back of the wagon. There were many, many jewels back there. He then glanced over to see that the bandits had pretty well been taken care of or managed to run away. "Looks like we have some loot to impound." He then motions for the two genin to come over. "We will need some shade for the horses and the wagons. We will be moving these goods to the village when night fall comes." Keiji then puts his hands together to form some earth signs. He presses his hand to the sand and a giant earth dome forms. "Take the horses and cargo into there. Make sure they are secure. Ayumu, the next watch is yours. I'm going to go take my nap."
As Keiji walks towards the hut he says over his shoulder, "Taree five, Ayumu four." So what if it was not an accurate count. Ayumu had made fun of his arachnid blood.
Taree would lead the poor abused horses into the new large doom of earth. "Now that is a useful Jutsu Keiji. You must have a nice house." Put the horses comfort before her own, Taree would take their harness off, Feed, and then water them. Yawning softly she would spit out web once more making a nice large hammock on the ceiling of the new earth doom. Sending some of her brood down to guard the loot. Calling out to everybody, "If you need me just call the brood will wake me." Crawling up a silk ladder Taree would crawl into the hammock, pulling the ladder up with her, and make herself comfortable.
Moments later she would start snoring.
Ayumu rubs the side of his skull, cringing at the headache of his destroyed shadow clone. All it took was one good counter for the man to and a sharp elbow jab for the man to get free on go running off into the desert. While it may have been the prudent thing to give chase, Keiji had a point about wasting too much energy out in the desert sun. "Another opportunity then, friend." The Iga murmured to himself as he made his way over to Keiji. Whereas Taree got the easier task of securing the horses, Ayumu had the lovely job of moving the cargo under the shade by hand.
The work is harsh under the tyrant of a sun, but he completes the order quickly enough to earn a little bit of respite while Taree was conscious. Belatedly does it click in mind that he the Shippodoku wasn't honest about the count. However, instead of getting even more frustrated, a coy smirk plays at the edge of his mouth. "Hmm… young love. Always with the subtle." It would be the last thing to leave the red-haired wonder's mouth until it was time for Taree's shift.