Date: Feburary 20th, 2010
The Birth of a new Special Ops team that Uchiha Only.
"Birht of Karasu"
Ruined Temple in the Uchiha Village
A scroll arrived at both Kirin and Hinotori's homes along would a handful of other Uchiha ninja that would explain very little to the ninja other than they were called to a gathering at dusk the next night at the old ceremonial shrine building that was, as far as anyone knew, abandoned and marked as unsafe for exploration after the fall of Madara. Officially sealed with the Uchiha crest, the letter would be anything but a joke and yet would give away so little information that it would get even the least curious soul curious in the situation they had just been brought into.
A day had finally passed without incident and darkness would begin to coat the land. As dusk falls, the houses within the village of the Uchiha turn out their lights one by one until eventually the village is quiet. In the north section of the Uchiha village, the shrine stands still as if still truly abandoned. Within it's doors it was a completely different story. One who enters would be greeted by well kept rooms down well lit hallways. It seemed, at least, that someone was using the place. In the far room, the one used for old ceremonies and Uchiha council meetings when Madara ran the clan, the various trinkets and tablets as well as any other decoration that used to adorn the shrine, had been removed and in the middle of the room stood some early arrivals, milling around uncomfortably.
After a casual walk through the village after hours, Kirin silently moves through the darkened streets..though he may have taken his time, he shows up exactly as is appropriate..since the scroll was so general, this must be another simple meeting of no real import..but he would be obligated to attend regardless. Kirin stops as the shrine moves into view, his eyes fall to the ground for a moment in contemplation..reflecting on his younger years, and the direction the clan has taken in recent years. After a long pause, Kirin continues.. finally making his way to the shrine. Leaning his back up against the entrance, Kirin crosses his arms slowly.. seems he means to arrive fashionably late, or maybe he's waiting for someone.
Having been one of the few who were given this scroll, Hinotori had found that this was the second time he's been called upon for some unseen reason. Keeping the scroll out of prying eyes was easy, even from his nosey sister. On the following day, Hinotori easily left home without much of waking anyone in his home. Finding his way to the ruins where this was supposed to take place. Looking around first to make sure he wasn't followed, Hinotori goes into the ruins and as he enters further in, he sees the lights of candles lining the walls. Stuffing his hadns into his pockets, Hinotori walks further in only stopping when he is side by side with Kirin, "Hello Kirin-sensei." he says then bows his head to the others.
After a few minutes two ninja in black masks appear outside the main door to the shrine and open the door before kneeling down. Three men clad in black robes with similar black masks walk up the path to the shrine, passing by the men and walking into the shrine. Once inside, the doors are closed behind them and locked, the two men outside left on guard. The three men walk slowly towards the back room, no distinguishing marks on the two men at each side of the man in the middle. The man in the middle had a few notable differences, namely his black robes carried the Uchiha fan crest on the back while white lines drew intricate lines along the black void that was his own mask. Two more ninja in black appear to open the doors to the room where the Chuunin and Jounin Uchiha are standing and waiting and eventually the men walk into the room. The mumbling and whispering that was going on silences as the three men walk into the room, standing before the group. One of the two men accompanying the 'leader' branches off to stand to the side of the boys and men in the middle of the room, calling for attention and silence. It's only after a minute of silence that the man in the middle speaks up from behind his mask.
"For generations, the Uchiha clan has prided itself on the strength and prowess of the ninja born into our clan. For generations our clan has been known around the ninja world as a name to be both respected and feared." the man says in a rough voice, giving a moments pause before continuing. "Recent events have brought the clan into an alliance with other clans of the Land of Fire and seen the loss of one of our brothers, needlessly. While this treaty signed by the Will of the Uchiha clan is to be respected, our clan is still highly sought for on missions of extreme importance and delicacy. Because of the restrictions of the Hokage's system of handling missions, we have begun to receive more and more requests for these such missions personally."
"You all standing here tonight in one of our most sacred areas have been summoned for one purpose. That purpose is to become a member of a secret group of ninja within the Uchiha clan that operate off the books. There is nothing fun about these missions, nor does glory and fame await those who perform well. The operations of this group are completely sealed away from the history books and have quite often changed the balance of war and politics. This group that I speak of is the "Karasu."
After Hinotori would have arrived, Kirin nods lightly to him..moving to enter along with the younger Uchiha..Kirin takes up a spot in the corner of the chamber, well away from the rest of the members..he seems more like an amused spectator rather than stammering with curiousity..he figures what happens will happen, whether this is a genocidal trap, a hoax..or even a legitimate summons, it will happen. Kirin glances around as he leans up against the wall..noting only a few and a few more Uchiha, the scroll must have been addressed to fewer then he had at first imagined..but why this bunch? As the procession of cloaked figures enter, it draws Kirin and the rooms full attention.. he watches on silently, his arms crossed as he leans. 'Karasu, ka?' Kirin echoes in his mind. After a pause, Kirin moves off of the wall..and his hands fall away to his sides. "Genryuu-san, what is the need for our secrecy?" - "Even so. The ANBU of Konoha will surely know of our movements, or have you also accounted for this?" Kirin speaks out over the crowd, a serious look on his face.
Moving with ease as one might notice, Hinotori walks in further to the chamber. Seeing as most of the Shinobi here he didn't know he figured he would just tag along with Kirin for now. Nodding to a few who acknowledge him, he leans against the wall he was near and watches as the last of the few enter. He like everyone else was wondering what could be so important to be meeting here. But a moment or two later, that was answered. Watching as the procession of senior Uchiha Shinobi enter into the chamber followed by the leader, Hinotori bows his head slightly. When the leader begins to speak, his mouth is closed. This was all something he hadn't expected, he heard whispers of the ANBU but nothing concrete until Kirin states that the ANBU may find out. But then again this was their clan leader, Genryuu. A smile tugs at his lips at the name they would go by, but for now he awaits further information.
"The Konohagakure ANBU are not a problem to worry yourself about. Their missions and importance is not taken lightly by our ranks but because of the Uchiha within their ranks, we know that they are still unaware of the activities of Karasu or uninterested. Even if they were to become aware of the existence of the group, there is nothing going on to warrant their attention as they are just as busy. But… If you are scared of doing something under the nose of authority, you are not bound to stay in this meeting." The man beside the 'leader' says, both wearing masks which makes it hard to tell who's who.
The man in the middle speaks up again, louder this time to catch any other murmurs going on and silence them. "Karasu is a symbol of fear and death. A black, faceless assassin in the night that strikes effectively and without remorse. Karasu has operated in the shadows for centuries within the Uchiha clan, though the need for numbers has never been so great. Members of Karasu wear masks similar to the ones you see on the members tonight." the man says, nodding towards the man beside him and over at the side watching the recruits. "They wear no markers tying them to any village or clan when out on a mission and they operate completely in the shadows. Unsuccessful missions usually end in capture and eventual death, which provisions are taken to quicken the unpleasant experience of torture by enemy hands. There are no lies that need to be kept from you about this group but full information will come with acceptance into the ground. What we can offer in a way of explanations is little at this time. Because of the importance of these missions we complete, failure is not an option that one can live through. You may just involuntarily start the next Great Ninja War. Which brings me to the next point that may be on some minds already." he says before clearing his throat, pausing for a moment. "Members of Karasu are brothers and sisters that you see around you every day in the village, but one can leave at any time to choose the life of a normal ninja again. The reasoning behind this is that full members are sworn in a seal of secrecy and aren't just forbidden to talk about Karasu with non-members, they cannot."
Kirin smirks to himself, keeping any retort he may have had for a different venue..after all, his question about the ANBU was legitimate. Kirin listens on, taking in everything thats said. His eyebrow raises lightly at the mention of a sealing technique, he's seen them performed before for various reasons..and while it may prevent one from speaking about something, there are other ways to divulge information if they really wanted. It's hard to really trust in the ninja world. "Hnf." Kirin tones to himself, leaning back up against the wall..intent on hearing whatever else Genryuu and his bodyguard detail had to say.
Listening to what was said by the members of this Karasu group, had such a group been within the Uchiha all this time? As the information was still being spoken about, the young Uchiha Chuunin scans the faces of all the others within the room, including Kirin. All were intent on what was being asked of them, some look nervous, others determined. He didn't know why he was called upon, he didn't stand out all that much, but here he was. Looking to Kirin who just leans back against the wall, Hinotori didn't say anything else, though it did un-nerve him about the seals, but then again, they had to keep information from getting out and the fact that they could go back to being regular ninja was a plus. Looking convinced, Hinotori didn't leave. He waits to see if there were more to be discussed.
"You have been called upon after a careful selection process. You have all been observed and have been said to exhibit the qualities necessary of members of Karasu. The choice is ultimately up to you, no one is forced into this kind of lifestyle." The man in the middle says, continuing on. "If you have worries, complaints, more questions, that is only human of you, but the first step towards the mask is that of trust. Trust in your fellow brothers and sisters of the Uchiha clan. We are the watchtower, looking over the lands for our enemies, enemies that seek to cause harm not just to our clan, but our land. We share this land with people, enemies of the past and perhaps brothers and sisters of the future. In order to fulfill the duty we all have as ninja of Uchiha and Fire, we take up the mask and cut all ties to keep this land and the people in it safe." With that, the man bows, low enough to be taken as respectful, before exiting the room. The man to the side of the leader now takes up the stand where the leader once was and continues on, letting the recruits know what is expected of them and how to 'accept' the invitation into the group. He then asks that this meeting be kept a secret for the safety of the members and recruits involved.
Once outside the shrine, the man who did most of the talking removes his mask, revealing the young face of Uchiha Genryuu of the Uchiha clan, the clan leader that took over after his sensei, Madara. "It doesn't get any easier, huh?" he says to one of the guards outside as he walks out, getting a muffled chuckle from the woman behind the mask. He looks up at the moon, shining bright on this clear night, and sighs, walking on down the path after handing his robes to the woman. The group was important enough to keep active after Madara's reign, but he certainly had his problems with it. Perhaps with the new bunch, they could change some of the ancient practices. That's really all he had to look forward to.