Date: October 24, 2012
A big break in the case of the Recluse, and Taiki's dad awakens.
Poster's note: Foul language filtered in obvious places.
"The Recluse Saga - Awakenings"
It's early evening, and Team practices were pretty much done for the day. Taiki over-all seemed fairly nervous about something, growing more so when an ANBU arrived during the team practice to hand the chuunin a note. He didn't say much about what was in the note, but gave Ryo and Usagi a glance each before looking at Ryuu. He promised to tell them later, and instead of out and out telling them when they finished the day's work, he basically ordered them to meet him here after clean-up and dinner.
Inside the room is a man that looks a lot like Taiki, only older and rather frail looking. The man had brown hair at one time, but a lot of it fell out much like a chemo patient's, and the rest turned gray. Inuzuka clan markings adorned the grown man's sunken cheeks, indicating there's at least some relation between him and Taiki. This man was obviously once a ninja, but he looks old, very old now. Two older dogs are laying down on each side of the bed, both alert. There's a chair next to the bed, facing it, in which Taiki is sitting, holding the older man's hand. Taiki's two ninken are guarding the door and the window, with Shinobu at the door, ready to pounce on anyone not welcome here. The room is quiet, with only a monitoring seal flashing slowly, in rhythm to the old man's heartbeat.
Usagi was the first to arrive after dinner…she had something of an inkling, especially after the note, and the fact that she volunteers here during her off times. So with whatever happened, she was dressed as a shinobi as she enters, pausing to wait at the door…though if Shinobu would let her, she'd pet him until given permission to enter. They were told to meet, not come in unannounced. And secondly, she was already announced….Shinobu would likely tell Taiki of her presence, if the chuunin didn't smell her himself. So until told to enter, she waits.
Ryuu showed up next. He saw Usagi from down the hallway. One his way through the hospital he got a few glares from the medics and nurses. Ryuu assured them that he wasn't going to cause any trouble today…if he could help it. The young Senju waves to Usagi quietly. He then greets Shinobu and Nozomi with a smile. Ryuu figured Usagi had the same inclination as him and so he waited until told to enter as she did. He glances to her then back down the hallway. "Ryo's not here yet? That means I'm actually not the last to show up this time. " he chuckles softly.
Ryo had some concerns when the Anbu showed up to deliver a message to Taiki. He knew it had to be something to do with the Recluse or Taiki's father. It was narrowed down as soon as Taiki told them where to meet. Of course the young Uchiha boy's mind drifted over different possibilities as he ate his own dinner. He tried to be as quick as possible, but found upon his arrival he had been beaten by both other members of the team. They seemed to be waiting.
"I must be getting slow in my old age." Ryo joked as he approached the two. They had not been invited in yet, so a bit of minor humor seemed ok. "Has anyone seen Taiki yet? I am hoping he is ok. This is a difficult time for him." Ryo makes sure to warn the other two. Not that they did not know, but incase something happened and Taiki did not respond as they thought he might.
Then Atsuro and Taizen show up. Better late than never, right? The two hurry down the hallway at a moderate pace, stopping when they come to the small crowd at the door to the room. They're a little dirty, with a couple of mud stains on Atsuro's clothes and Taizen's coat, and small twigs and pine needles in their hair. "Hi kids," Atsuro greets, cheerfully despite the solemness of the occasion, "Anyone know what all this is about? I heard something about evidence or something and I came here as soon as I could. Which wasn't very soon, because I was in another town about an hour ago." He takes a moment to sniff the air. "Taiki already in the room?" he asks.
Taiki does indeed know they are there the moment they arrive. After all, even without enhancing his senses they're sharper than a normal human's, or a ninja's for that matter. "Come in, Atsuro, Ryo-san, Ryuunosuke-san, Usagi-san. It's almost time for the person that sent me that note to arrive, and there's no use in you blocking the door. When they enter, Taiki looks at Ryuunosuke and says, "Senju Ryuunosuke-san, meet my father, Inzuka Kenshin. I'm afraid he can't say much right now, he's been unconscious for a very long time…" he says as he looks at the older man in the bed.
Just as Taiki is finished with the introductions another, older man knocks on the door. The redish-grey hair pretty much pegs him for an Uzumaki, and given the fact there /is/ grey in the hair says just how old he is. "I thought you were alone, I can come back later?"
Taiki shakes his head and sighs. "These three are members of my genin team. It would be best if they knew what they are up against. Besides, two already know what's going on. And you know Atsuro already. So they're in the know, save for Ryuunosuke-san here who is hearing this perhaps for the first time. Everyone, this is Uzumaki Tenken, the seals master hired for my father's case. If you have questions, which I know you will Senju-san, please wait until he's done with his initial briefing."
Usagi nods slowly as she looks around, then back to the chuunin. She enters the room, looking at the rest of the team, then to the seal master. As she does so, she offers a bow to the man, stepping aside to give the others room to enter. She leans against the wall, looking about as she waits for the explanation why they were called here. Taiki would definitely have that out in a few moments, given time, and she didn't feel like rushing it whatsoever. And then he's going to give a brief…she settles in against the wall and nods.
Ryuu blinks at Ryo "I haven't seen him. Shinobu and Nozomi are here though so he's most likely inside." he motions to the two nin-dogs. Soon Ryuu felt a disturbance hastily approaching them. Sure enough Atsuro showed looking as if he had a dispute with a mound of dirt and trees. Ryuu rubs eyes and just nods to Atsuro "Hi and yeah I think it's safe to assume he's in there." When Taiki tells them to enter Ryuu follows in after Usagi. His eyes go to the elderly and sickly man in the bed then to Taiki. There was a resemblance far beyond that of them both being Inuzuka. When Taiki introduces the man it clears up for Ryuu.
He's spoken with Atsuro about this a few times. But he didn't know much else except for the condition Taiki's father was in. The arrival of the Uzumaki raises more questions but as Taiki advised Ryuu would wait until Tenken has given them his initial briefing.
Ryo nods to the others and then spots Atsuro. After a moment they are let in. Ryo keeps quiet although he does glance over Taiki's father. He was not sure if the condition was an actual improvement or the opposite. While the man seemed to be doing better he did not actually look it. Ryo then glances towards the Uzumaki. He remembered the guy from their last time in the hospital. It was only a matter of time until the news was out.
"That answers that," Atsuro says, sharing a glance with Taizen. He pauses to shoot Ryuunosuke a little grin, then the two of them head inside the room after everyone else. He looks Kenshin over soberly, then asks Taiki, "How's he doing? It still looks like he'll recover, right?" He and Taizen make their way to an emptyish corner of the room. It's a small room, and they're probably bigger than anyone else, so it's better to just stay out of the way, unless Taiki wants something specific from them. He gives Tenken a nod while Taizen gives him a wag of the tail. Exactly what Tenken is doing here remains to be seen. Atsuro really hopes this is good news.
"He's doing well, from what I understand. There was an improvement that they said Uzumaki-sama would explain."
The old man nods in agreement. "Very well, if you insist Taiki-dono," the elder Uzumaki says before pulling up a table from nearby. "I admit to being a little suspicious when I found out how little there was to the information you gave me, but as I was removing the seal on your father, I understood. These people… if you can call them that, are sick and perverted in ways that make me want to hide." The old man then shivers for a moment. "Devious does not even describe the person who thought that seal up, nor does sadistic. To catch up the people who may not know, The Recluse put a seal on Inuzuka Kenshin that destroyed both his nueral and chakra networks, and would have eventually killed him. I was asked to come here and remove it. What we did not suspect, and did not know until a few days ago, is that the seal wasn't just one seal, but a series that… well, lets just say the reason he didn't look like he was going to wake up was because those seals were keeping him unconscious. I finally found the last and removed them all, and he went from merely unconscious to asleep. He should, by all rights, wake up any time now."
He waits for a moment while Taiki releases a breath he himself didn't know he was holding. His expression shows actual relief, stronger than any other emotion save anger that he's shown for the past few weeks. "I thought that would be a blessing to you. We also managed to, miraculously, retrieve some information from that lump of cooked meat that you returned. In the partial seal you found was two things, an armband and a list. Here's where things get odd… the paper is something that a few days ago, we thought was only available to Uzumaki. It was a very closely held secret for us. I can't say much, save it was paper that isn't easily destroyed, even if it turns to ash. Seal damage is the only known thing that can destroy this paper. I seriously need to know where this man got this…" He seems very upset about that, but then shakes his head. "None of our stores turned up missing, I checked. What this contains is a listing of locations, not much about what they are. Thing is, the only location we can even begin to interpret points to somewhere in Konoha, where? I don't know, save for its somewhere with a lot of rocks and trees."
There's a very distracted look on her face for a few moments, as Usagi goes through the places that popped up as readily available on her head. The first one, she doesn't look so worried about, the second is like watching a train wreck. "The first two that come to mind are the Hokage monument…..and the Toshiba forest…" She looks particularly concerned about the second, looking to the others. "that's…the training grounds" She closes her eyes and shakes her head. "They've potentially been watching us this entire damn time…Everything we learn out there, everything we know…they could very well already know about us. And who's doing what" She looks at Taiki. "Training's going to have to kick up a notch if we even want to stand a chance…" She gets lost in thought again, taking a slow breath and running through a few things in her head.
Well so far Ryuu wasn't lost. The Uzumaki are seal genius and experts one was called in to remove a rather complicated and intricate seal from Taiki's father. However from what Tenken has said it seems that something recovered rouse a bit of interest. Ryuu looks to Taiki then Atsuro now a bit lost. He'd have to ask for the entire story from one of them later. Right now he just tries to keep up with what Tenken was speaking about now. Ryuu rests his hand on his hip. Usagi's portion gets Ryuu thinking as well. "Toshiba Forest and Training Ground 44 are two locations that come to mind…." Ryuu mutters scratching his head softly.
Ryo knew most of the backstory and very little of that actually came as a surprise until the paper was mentioned. That meant some kind of tie to the Uzumaki clan. Maybe it was a defector selling secrets or someone who had duplicated the formula. Either way the next bit of information does not seem as shocking. "Calm down Usagi. We knew they had their fangs around. How else would they know where to find us? They have been watching and could easily be among us. Just because one side acts as a sword does not mean there is not a shield present." The young Uchiha then looked towards the doctor. He was still eager to know if there was any more to this.
Atsuro listens. It's a little hard to keep up, truth be told. Some of it he knows already, and some of it is outside his area of expertise — he'll freely admit that he knows next to nothing about seals. "Boy," he comments, "'Lump of cooked meat.' You can't just say corpse or cadaver or something? We don't really need to go into a lot of detail on its condition, I promise." Yeah, he feels a little squeamish about that body.
He glances over to Usagi. "I'd say it's more likely that they've been watching /Taiki/," he points out, "Rocks and trees are the first casualties in any of his training sessions. And this whole thing is about his techniques." When Ryuu looks at him, he gives a quick nod, tacitly agreeing to explain it later if needed.
Taiki swallows a lump of something, but that's it as far as the effects of that revelation are concerned. "We still need to check out those areas, and consider warning the Hokage's office. We can't do much without proof, however," he comments, thinking as he falls silent there.
Tenken then turns the armband around so they can all see it. "We're not sure what this is yet, but the emblam is obviously im…"
That's as far as he gets before a increadibly hoarse and dry-sounding voice speaks up, catching everyone's attention not from the volume, which is low, but because it's a voice only two, maybe three people have heard before. Taiki's head snaps around to the source of the voice after the second word, his face transforming into a mixture of released grief, incredible happiness, and surprise… all in one experession. "That is their symbol," Inuzuka Kenshin speaks up. "They… don't display it often… only in their bases or outposts…" The symbol in question is a fiery ring divided up into five parts, one for each element, with the kanji for "balance" overlaying everything but the outside ring. "I should know… it was the last thing I saw before they sealed me…" Tenken nods, making note of that, but doesn't say a word as this newest development is obviously something… important.
Usagi's head snaps up at the voice, not focusing on the man, but focusing immediately on the band. Studying the detail, studying the way it looks, what it says, everything. She takes a slow breath. "I want that written down, please. Just a copy for me" She nods to the man in question, taking a slow breath. "Glad to meet you, Inuzuka-san…though I wish it could have been under better circumstances" She closes her eyes and leans back against the wall, shaking her head slowly.
Weak and hoarse voice caught Ryuu's attention as well. He looks to Taiki's father happy for Taiki that he's awake. He glances to the young Inuzuka chuunin and grins when sees that look come across his face. Ryuu could only imagine the happiness that surged though him at the time. Taiki's father seemed to be strong enough to recall and divulge useful information. After what he's been through it was a quite impressive and remarkable. "How commendable. Even like this he still…" Ryuu comments.
The voice is surprising to Ryo as well. Even more so that the man knew the symbol and what it meant. Taiki's father knew more than he was letting on. It was one thing to see the symbol but another to know what it was and where they usually keep it. The young Genin scans back and forth between the others to see if anyone else caught on. He then looks towards Taiki's father Kenshin. He really hated to make the assumption public, but he had no choice. "You know where we can find them, dont you?" he asks. "That or have information that we could use to search for them. Correct?" His eyes then focus on Taiki. He did not want to be seen as actually interrogating the team leader's poor father.
"We could try asking your uncles about it," Atsuro suggests, "The bad ones, I mean. You think they were involved closely enough to in the loop on something like this?" He shrugs. "Might be worth an interrogation. Anyway, this isn't anything we didn't already know, really. We've known that they were spying on you for a long time now. We just didn't know all their methods." He stops and rubs his chin thoughtfully. "Do you know if they know that you know?" he asks, "Not trying to be clever. This just seems like something we could use to our advantage. Turn their seal into a double-agent."
He perks up a little as Kenshin speaks. "Hey," he says, "Didn't realize you'd be waking up." Taizen barks happily and wags his tail. That's about all they do for the moment, though. This could be pretty emotional for Taiki.
Taiki's trembling hand reaches out slowly, tentatively, as if not really believing that his father is truly awake. Finally his hand clasps his father's and the chuunin nearly collapses as Kenshin's hand squeezes his. Only Ryo's questions really keeps Taiki from doing that, for at that split instant something snaps in Taiki, only for Kenshin's words to derail it completely. "You… have reason… to ask… I would too," he says, gathering strength as he continues to wake up. Taiki then sags, dissolving into tears as he clenches his father's hand to his face. "It's okay Ta-kun," the man says to his son as tenderly as he's able. "I'm not leaving yet… Shh…"
It takes a good few minutes for Taiki to calm down, and when he does his face is red from both the tears and embarassment. "Sorry dad…"
"Shh… You've had a terrible time of things, I can tell… But your vest… and the people… tell me what I need to know."
Taiki nods and looks to Usagi. "Can you help me make him more comfortable… please?" he begs of the genin as he tries to figure out how to easiest get his dad to where he can talk to everyone. "Ryo… let me get him comfortable, then he can answer questions…"
Usagi comes up off the wall and nods, coming over to the man to see if she cold help make him more comfortable without causing any more harm to the man's body. He 'was' still weak. As she does, she looks to Taiki with a soft gaze, an attempt at comfort without contact, but nonetheless, she checks the pillows, and what else she needs to for what she needs to do. Past that, she waits.
Ryuu turns his head towards Ryo as he fires two questions on Taiki's father. "Easy Ryo, I know it's imperative that we get answers but someone else here is a bit more entitled to his attention at the moment." he glances to Taiki briefly. Ryuu moves for his own section of a wall to lean as Usagi tends to Taiki's father. Not much he could do now besides wait. He was pretty sure they all were about to get an earful.
Ryo nods to Taiki as he requests that he waits. He then turns towards Ryuu. "Since this occured, there has been little to no information to off of. There have been no counter strikes and no real chances to fortify the defense against them. This is the first real information we have that can change outcome of this battle. If some thing happened to Taiki's father and we were to lose him to a coma again, it could be one of you in that bed. It could be Taiki. It could be Atsuro. Not that I fear it, but it could be me. As a member of this team, I have a duty to ensure it's safety. I know deep down Taiki understands this. I can only imagine how he would feel if it were you or Usagi to be next. He would feel the same way I would." Ryo did not mean for the lecture to be so lengthy but he wanted to get his point across. "Taiki can take all the time he needs. Thats fine."
For a moment, Atsuro wonders if he and Taizen shouldn't simply leave, and give Taiki and his father some time to catch up. Obviously it's an emotional moment. Even a total stranger could tell that just from watching, but Atsuro knows there's even more than that going on. Regardless, it seems like they're about to hear something important, so he decides they should stick around. He briefly considers teasing Ryo, but Taiki and Ryuu have already called him out on that, and Atsuro isn't a bandwagon-jumping sort of guy. And he does have a point. "In fairness," he says, "Ryo might have a point. This is certainly a relief, but it could be a big break too."
After Taiki ensures that his father can speak to them all comfortably, Taiki turns to his team. "Ryo is right, and I understood what was going on when he asked, all I asked for was a few moments Ryo. My dad would chide me if I insisted we hold this off for another time."
Kenshin's slow nod agrees with what Taiki just said. "These people are a master of keeping secrets, but the man who sealed me couldn't help but to gloat a little," Kenshin said haltingly. About that time a few ANBU, alerted by Taiki himself, entered the room. Tenken motioned for Kenshin to pause while he quickly brought the ANBU up to date, then motioned for the weakened man to continue.
"It seems that what happened with my brothers wasn't unusual. In fact, it's their modus opperundi," Kenshin says a little more strongly, having begged a glass of water to fortify himelf. "I don't know where their new base of operations is, but I know they have an outpost inside Konoha. Where I don't know, but that list… probably isn't an observation of Taiki's training. They told me that they consider Taiki an ant, to weak to commit a major resource to. Likely what they sent so far were the expendible people. The bed-head thought I was… admiring their symbol. He told me they hung it up in all the bases and outposts, and that it was too bad they couldn't display it in public. "What's the use in making people think you don't exist if you show some kind of identifying symbol?" he said. They have to have some way of recognizing new operatives, but what I don't know. Talking to my brothers may help, but you may want both a Yamanaka and an Uzumaki there. Something about ensuring their agents can't talk…"
Usagi nods slowly. "Considering their mastery of seals and medical ninjutsu, I'd say we might want someone else there to make sure the bodies don't explode when we try to probe them for too much information…probably a med nin. A very skilled one at that" She pauses to look around at people, and sighs. "Anyone know one?" She glances around, furrowing her brow. "If they're not watching Taiki, then the Hokage monument makes more sense. Could be a cave, could be a hollowed out portion of the cliff, anywhere….Toshiba'd have to be underground there, otherwise too much risk of someone discovering it, unless they have a heavy hitting genjutsu user…." she pauses for a few moments, then sighs again. She shakes her head at a particular thought, then goes back to the wall to lean against it.
Ryo nods his head. He then listens when Kenshin speaks. "Something does not make sense here. If Taiki is a mere ant, then why did they go after you?" The question was carefully worded to avoid his wife. No need to cause him more pain than he was already in. "I always thought this had something to do with Taiki going against the clan. However those reasons almost seem like a front for a different agenda. Maybe some evidence that threatened the leadership of the clan or something?
Unfortunately Ryo did not have much time. He would wait for the response to his questions then excuse himself politely. He had… things he needed to go do.
Atsuro smirks a little. Hey, he just really loves it when villains are undone by their own arrogance and inability to keep their mouths shut. Especially when it actually happens in real life. "That's odd," Atsuro comments, "If they have to rely on people outside the organization in most cases, you'd think their resources were limited. But apparently they have no problem sending assassin after assassin into the meat grinder, just to get an 'ant.' I'm guessing the 'expendable' thing was a bluff."
"As for the hideout…" He rubs his chin. "It's the Hokage mountain," he deduces, "Remember, the watchers didn't go there because it smells like people from outside the clan. If the hideout was nearby, that'd do it. They don't want to interfere with their friends."
He glances over to Usagi. "Anyone know a skilled mednin?" he asks, "Are you fishing for compliments?"
Taiki himself has to ponder at that, but Kenshin clears the situation up. "According to them, Taiki has too much potential. It's not realized yet, but they don't want him to realize it. As I said, I don't know what their goals are, but the person who sealed me was getting pretty aggrevated that a supposed "ant" was able to defy them time and time again. There's something deeper, much deeper. Last thing he said before I fell to the seal was that soon it wouldn't matter who they sent. I don't know what that means."
Usagi gives Atsuro a look. "I was being serious. At best I'm in training, and don't know any med jutsu right now as is. So no. I'm not" She looks slightly annoyed at Atsuro's comment, but after a few moments, she returns to the issue at hand. She ponders that last piece of information after a few moments. "Maybe they're close to realizing their goal, whatever it is, and once they've done that, they'll be able to 'try' to take Taiki out with 'anyone'….or…" She sighs softly. "If they manage to get the right seals and med jutsu into a person, there's no telling what they can do to someone. It's scary what the human body can do to itself, sometimes. But with someone controlling that….it can get so much worse"
"So whether Taiki is an ant or not he proves an obstacle to their plans." Ryuu scratches his cheek in thought "Surely seem confident too." Ryuu gets up off the wall and heads for the door "I'll save my questions for later. Right now I'm going to head to the Lookout, I needed to stop by there anyway." Ryuu mentions. "If i can think any noteworthy medics I'll let you know. Right now I'm still trying to kinda absorb all of this." he chuckles softly. Ryuu blinks looking back to Taiki's father. The seal placed on him was probably their way of tying up a loose end. If they learn that it's been undone and that the liability remains they may come for him. But that was the least of their worries Ryuu figured. "Well I'll see you guys soon." Ryuu departs now and makes his way towards the Hokage's lookout.
Atsuro frowns. "I can think of a few things it would mean," he says, "But the first thing I can think of is that we need to check every inch of Taiki's body for a seal. His uncles had plenty of contact with him for months. Could have been easy enough to put something on him during a beating or something, right?" He gives Usagi a nod. "There's something like that too. Of course, they've always thought far, far more of themselves than they should. It's hard to tell if they've actually got something, or if they've convinced themselves that they've got a foolproof plan yet again."
He gives Usagi a shrug. "Just wondering," he says innocently.
Taiki looks distinctly nervous as one of the ANBU tells him to stay there while he went to talk to the doctors. "There's no time like the present," Tenken admits. "Might as well make yourself at home Taiki-dono. You'll be here for a few days at least."
Taiki nods tentatively as he says, "Don't rule out the rocky area of the Toshiba forest guys, these people have proven us to be wrong before. That ambush should have taught us that…" He then looks to Usagi and says, "Tell Ryo he's in charge until I'm cleared. I don't know if I'll be allowed visitors or not…"
The other ANBU says, "We'll clear a list through you, since you know who to trust most." Taiki nods and sighs.
"Look at it this way Ta-kun, you can catch me up on what's going on, though I'm afraid private time with Naru-chan will be out of the question for a bit…" Taiki's instant shut down of his expression concerns Kenshin greatly as he turns to Atsuro and raises a brow. "What did I say?"
Taiki winces at that question, though he doesn't seem to be able to vocalize what he's thinking.
Usagi closes her eyes softly at that, sighing and shaking her head. She looks to Taiki for a few moments with a questioning gaze, as if asking permission. She is 'not', however, vocalizing things to him just yet. She blinks for a few moments, and then says. "Oh, my manners…gomen, Inuzuka-san. I am Nara Usagi, Genin and a member of Taiki's team" She offers a bow to the man, now that formal introductions have been made. Nor does she expect him to try and bow back. Atsuro still gets a glare for the response, but nothing more past this point.
"Ouch," says Atsuro, "Sorry, Taiki. Just thought they'd quickly take you off to another room and give you a quick strip search. Didn't realize it would take days." Normally he'd poke a little fun at Taiki's nervousness, but this hardly seems like a good time for it." He shrugs. "And that was the other spot I was thinking of. But the mountain has more evidence going for it. And it's less frequently used. Easier to hide than in the rocky area."
Aaaand it looks like this meeting's going to have an awkward conclusion. He figures it's probably best if he answers that for Taiki. He glances at Taiki for confirmation, then if allowed, explains, "It's, uh, actually going to be out of the question permanently." He decides to assign Taiki the win, especially in front of his dad. "He broke up with her."
Taiki almost, /almost/ gives Usagi the go ahead, but Kenshin's shock and upturned eyebrow at him, as well as his sense of self-preservation, forces him to shake his head. "I'll explain, when we're alone," Taiki says to his father. "It seems the universe decided to play, "Lets see what we can dump on Taiki now," while you were out." He sighs and then turns to Atsuro. "I realize that, but also being less frequently used means that people are bound to notice someone hanging around there regularly. If these people want to hide, then that's not the smartest place to do that."
Kenshin nods slightly twice, first in response to Taiki's comments, then to Usagi. "Taiki has a team of his own to lead now? That's good…" He then yawns and says, "I know I've been unconscious forever, but I am still tired. I hate to ask, but can reconvene later?"
Usagi nods to Taiki after a moment, then pauses. "Permission to accompany Atsuro-san, provided he agrees as well" She doesn't have an expression right now, simply looking back between the two of them. "I'm not looking for a fight, you both know that. I know where I stand, and I know how poorly that is…but I'd prefer that no one go solo on a scouting mission. While that'd be pretty indicative of where they are, we don't want to lose experienced ninja either"
"I think we should gather more information first," Atsuro says. "Assuming we can keep them thinking that there's still a coma protecting them. We should be aware of what we're getting into, but we need to be able to get the drop on them as well." He rubs his chin. "We could get ANBU to help as well. There's no telling just what they've got in terms of defenses. And they're not likely to have been infiltrated."
"Anyway," he finishes, "I should actually be going myself. Just send me a message when you're ready. But for now, see you later." He gives the others a nod, then Taizen barks a goodbye and they leave.