Date: April 23rd, 2010
"Black Ops: Testing the Waters"
Fire Ferry Docks
The meeting was quite brief actually. A bunch of masked people standing around in the dark of night talking about waves and political climate… well not so much. A scroll was laid out on the ground, it was actually… ridiculously large. It was as big as a meeting table. On it were glowing markers that indicated infiltration points, noted patrol route density, and of course, the target, the Daimyo of Waves. "We will infiltrate from the north and head towards the capitol in the center of the island. During this time, we will have to disguise ourselves as Konoha delegates and proceed from there. At least some of us. It would be best if some acted as guards and others acted as the delegates." Three would mention with his many voices coming together as one harmonious tone. "This likely means we will be split up at some point. Given our numbers, we need an overwatch as well." Three would consider this for a few moments before coming up with a few decisions. "Seven and Five would work best as the guards. Six will be our over watch. Three and Eight will handle the information gathering on this mission. Are there any questions before we designate code names and move out?"
Eight shifts their weight slightly, the clean and undescripted mask with a crimson number eight on the right temple glancing towards Three as he explains the mission in detail. Every now and then, their head lowers to look over the large map spread out before them, memorizing it. "What intel are we looking for specifically?" asks a monotone voice from the mask, neither male nor female and bland. "You explained what we are doing and how. Also. Should we meet somewhere should we get separated or the unanticipated happens?"
Seven was at the moment cool as a cucumber looking at what had been before him. A scroll, so detailed, so huge, with every bit of intel gathered, nothing like it had been saw before by the operative until this point. A mission to talk to the Daimyo. Of course it had been classified, but something about acting as a spy, kind of threw the big guy off kilter a little. He wasn't use to being this quiet, this…calculating. Luckily, his job as posing as a guard, would not be so hard. He just had to be prepared for a fight. And that's only if things got dicey. The planning came together too flawlessly to fail. But life as a ninja, did not guarantee easy situations. Three would only receive a nod from Seven.
Upon leaving the very quick meeting, Five moved along with the group keeping more of a protective watch over the group as they moved as whisps of shadows as they travelled to their destination. Once at the gathering place, Five listened quietly to the instructions that were being given. Posing as a guard was something that Five could do easily. Looking to the scroll at the entry point, he knew that not being seen was a must, and working in a team this big meant that all instructions had to be followed. Nodding, Five looked to the others as Eight asked for further clarification, then to Three to hear the response.
The Dragon masked operative had been totally quiet during the meeting, it's eyes focused on the map. Remaining totally quiet, Six nods upon being assigned as the overwatch. Arms crossed, Six nods and awaits further instruction. Like the other, Six too was surprised by the spying but there is no questioning. Six seemed ready.
Three would answer as he would first roll up the scroll. "Kirigakure has been within the Land of Waves far too long, and we do not know why. We are to determine why, based on the current information. We have been told within meetings with Kirigakure shinobi that they are protecting the Land of Waves legitimately. Hokage-sama does not wish for the free world to be oppressed, and thus our objective is to understand the Land of Waves point of view. As far as a point to fall back to should things go wrong…" The melody of voices would state as the gigantic scroll was suddenly poofed in to a near microfilm size and stashed some where within his traveling cloak, "…that will be given when the time comes." Obviously, Three had something up his sleeve for situations like this that did not require yet another meeting to situate. "Let us move." he would state as they would once again travel as shadows towards the coast where extremely sleek, low profile, unpowered rafts awaited them.
Eight straightens their back and rises to their feet, the dark, light armor matching the others in uniform. Lowering their chin wordlessly, they push off with sudden speed as they follow after Three. Their surroundings blur around them as they move, like shadows as they disappear from sight without even recognition from the prowling wildlife. Silent, Eight keeps their focus around them as they move.
The Phoenix mask wearing member only bows their head once Three finishes given them what they needed for now. Stretching just slightly, and looking to the others as everyone began leaving. Taking one last glance about the area the dark figure Five flickers out of sight only to be replaced by shadow as it vanishes into darkness.
Six nods once again as the orders are given. They make a seal, but remain silent as it moves out the door. As the rest of the group begins to move out, Six waits until she is the last, then exits, leaping into the treeline and following after the group from twenty feet back, watching everything.
After everyone mounted up on to the raft, laying upon it as just enough collective chakra was used by them to cling to the raft solidly, it would activate and begin to ride along the waves rapidly towards the destination. An ingenious little invention that only those with chakra and control over it could use properly. It would take more than a half hour to reach the northern coast where the raft was also deflated and micro sealed. This time, it was given to Five for safe keeping. "I need an area sweep." Three would state as he was crouched down along the shore.
Leaping from the last branch, the small group lands inside of the raft as it rocks only slightly in the water, their weight settling into it as it starts to speed through the calm waves. Powered by chakra. Settling into their seat, Eight narrows their eyes behind their mask as they survey their surroundings, focused throughout the length of their trip as minutes tick away. Landing half an hour or so later, their feet touch ground once more, listening to Three's brief command before turning and jumping into a blur, disappearing. Mere yards from where they landed, Eight keeps to the ground, intense eyes scanning for any threats that may be nearby.
Coming up last as the others are already in the raft, the phoenix mask wearing shadow steps out of shadows and enters into the raft. Keeping his attention to the rear and sides of the raft as they rocket to their destination. Keeping quiet and making sure that nothing is watching them or trying to keep up with them, Five gives a glance to the others who were sitting quietly doing whatever they were doing. Once they reach shore, Five quickly moves out of the raft. When three seals the raft away, he catches the film that the raft was sealed in an secrets it upon his person. Once the command was given to look around, Five flickers from sight around the same time as Eight does. Surveying the area for those who even dare be watching this particular area. Dark eyes view from behind the mask slits, keeping his focus on the surrounding area as he blurs through the area silently then slowly making his way back.
Exiting the boat, the boar mask of the group would find their own self standing near the rest of the group, silent and being careful of his own cover. This one would peer to the rest before the area sweep had been ordered and not bothering to wait on the others, Seven, would a be user of a technique, chakra extending from his body down to his feet and then into the earth beneath his feet, hoping that at least if he couldn't see what was coming, he could feel its approach. For just as longs at the target couldn't fly, this one would feel it coming from a mile away. Or at least somewhat closer.
Another figure that wasn't in the boat before, or on the other shore, appears on the edge of the waters. Stepping onto dry land, facing straight forward. Yes, he just appeared out of seemingly nowhere. Was he here the whole time? Was he in the boat? Who knows.
Zero looks about as the rest make their advances and spot checks of the immediate area, possibly further. He himself makes his own discerning gaze out past their momentary stopping point. Zero remains quiet for the moment.
Having his own methods of receiving information, Three seemed not to have an interest or intent in using his own abilities. He knew that the others, at least those he was aware of the identities of, had better abilities for immediate area recon. He would await for their reports as he'd focus a bit of chakra in order to prepare for what may have to be a variety of scenarios be it combat, stealth, guile, or silent take downs. "What has been seen?" the harmonic voice of many would ask the others lowly.
Low to the ground, Eight pauses as they lift their chin slightly, the pale porcelain of the plain mask marked only with the crimson brushed number eight along the right side of the forehead. Their gaze narrows behind the mask before they turn, blurring again with movement as she reappears within the group. "There is recent damage to the terrain, indicating most likely a recent battle. There is also a small three man patrol group, with Kumogakure colors… armed and armored." murmurs the monotone voice. Neither male nor female.
A singular seal is issued by the Dragon masked individual, her eyes reverting to the milky white kekkei genkai of the Hyuuga Clan. Scanning the area, Six shifts her weight, pausing to take over the entirety of their surroundings. Hmming, a voice echoes from beneath the mask, cold and calculating; yet hushed all the same. "Eight is… spot on. There is terrain damage all about… as if a large scale war has been waged recently." Back tracking, she points in one direction, "There is a three man patrol… armored and armed, and baring Kumo markings. I doubt they're Shinobi though." Six turns her head slightly to look at Eight, as if curious how she saw the exact same thing. With a shrug she returns her attention to the group leader.
Meanwhile it seemed that Seven had came up short. Beyond the finding of the nearby surroundings, the technique he had used had not been quite affective. The Boar masked ninja would here the report, and say nothing, merely cracking knuckles, and relaxing knowing well that what was coming may either be hid from, or in the likely run, be confronted. One question in his mind seemed to appear. What had Kumo shinobi been doing here. And invasion? Seemed weird. Well if it had been, it was unlikely that this group would engage them. But they would be watched all the same.
Zero remains silent as everyone gives what they have found out. "Redundancy is not needed. If you see or hear something someone has already made known, do not repeat. We do not need the risk of compromising our mission, selves, or comrades." With that, he returns to his vode of silence, and concentrates to turn some of his physical energy into chakra before turning to three. "I am here to measure abilities, and lend aide where needed. You are in charge of the mission, unless otherwise is required of myself. I am here for when needed, Three." Zero would stay around, but in the background, if shadows had backgrounds, Zero is comfortable watching from them.
Three would stand and nod as he'd form a single seal and nothing would happen but a few tiny shimmers for a blink of an eye before they would disappear into the night. For those with Byakugan, they would easily see at the very least tiny flying orbs of chakra making their way from Three. There were only, interestingly enough, three of them as well, and they seemed to be attracted to the presence of the three targets ahead. So much luck so far, what could go wrong? "Prepare to knock the targets unconscious." Three would state despite Zero being present. On this operation, Three was second in command, and thus he took the responsibility of the tactical orders to allow Zero, who apparently came along as well to focus on the long term strategy. The Kikaichu would slip in to the armor of the targets as Three would state, "Now." just as the Kikaichu would inject their venom into the targets, making them very lucid and non responsive for awhile.
"Hai." Eight murmurs with the command, turning their head slightly to glance over their shoulder as their gaze follows the spectral lights of the bugs as their pinpoints of chakra flickers towards the three men. Only when Three says 'now' does Eight bends their knees, blurring with speed as their lax arms fall limp at their sides. Appearing behind the soldier on the very left, the number Eight lifts a hand to grip at the side of their neck, sending chakra through the tenketsu point to stun him for the moment.
Six pivots on her heel as the orders are issued, her attention now focused on the glowing chakra bugs. On 'now', Six flickers out of existence, reappearing behind the soldier on the right just to deliver a stunning blow to the cerebral cortex. Whether or not it was a fatal strike is hard to tell, for Six's target simply collapses to the ground; a large lump laying silent. Stepping to the right she then disappears into the shadows.
"Hmph." being said with a nod, Seven, would see the shimmers beneath the scattered light of the moon, travel towards the three that had been on the way. Hearing the word, "Now", would have been like hearing a gunshot on a track and field course as he would go for the last of the three. The man would be grabbed, and kidnapped within the blink of an eye, a hand being enlarged, then engulfing the man's head, thus providing a slow knockout from asphyxiation before the nin would sit him behind a nearby tree, and rejoin his group.
Walking up towards the area of conflict, Three would gaze about the area. They were on the high ground. The Daimyo's palace and the surrounding court was easily visible, and the lights of it seemed to be lighting, not fire. It seemed so far the palace was secure. This didn't make any sense. There was a foreign shinobi presence, another one actually, and there was no attempt on the capitol as of yet. Narrowing his gaze, the lion masked agent would simply ponder for a few moments. "I believe it is time to initiate the second part of the plan." he would state calmly as he'd suddenly henge in to a man that was some what large, about 6 and a half feet tall and wearing fine, colorful clothing, but appearing some what like an islander. The plan had changed slightly. Three was disguised as a southern islander diplomat, instead of a Konohagakurean diplomat. His skin was tanned and he had a rather stoic and powerful physique, but was slightly pudgy as well. "My temporary designation…" his medium baritone voice would state, "… shall be Utade Mati."
With the three soldiers unconscious and on the ground, Eight shifts their gaze from them to Three, who appears to have henged into a minor diplomat of one of the southern islands. Turning slightly towards him and lowering their chin. "Our plans have changed some then?" asks a monotone voice behind the mask. "What are our identities then…"
While in the shadows, Six places her hands together in a seal and poofs into a male guard of similar theme to Mati, before stepping into the visible light. "Perhaps we should hog-tie and hide these soldiers in the shadows as to not blow our identity." With a fleeting glance back to Mati, Six continues, "I assume I shall pose as a guard." The voice is deep, yet there is a certain look to her that would easily pass for a civilian guard.
Meanwhile, Seven who had been noticing the changes everyone had been assuming, he would use his own henge, and become more in that of a guard, one more formally suited for a diplomat of high status and noble upbringing, his voice, malformed into that of a roughened grunt, of that of a battled hardened veteran. He would look to the others and say, "This one may need someone to guard as well, unless acting as a liaison." He would look to eight and say, "Perhaps if not needed on watch, you may act as this one's official."
"Zero will rightly become the over watch, and Eight, you shall be accompanying me as my back up as we originally planned." Mati would clarify as he'd designate the rest. Pointing to Six he would state, "Ran." Then pointing to Seven he would state, "Kabo." Glancing over towards Eight however, he seemed to reserve the name for a moment as he didn't know how Eight would appear.
Eight glances to the others through the mask, releasing a slow breath before they lift their hands and press them together, fingers forming quick symbols before smoke poofs around them. As the smoke dissipates, Eight seems to have henged into a short, tiny islander woman with a light dress and a dark tan. "Utade seems to be well enough of a last name." she replies in a light voice, so soft that one would find it difficult to think that she would ever be violent.
Six nods and repeats her new identity. Slouching a bit so her posture didn't look to perfect, 'Ran' falls silent, awaiting orders. While things were being figured out, 'Ran' quickly rolls the bodies into the shadows before falling into position beside Mati like she did with guard duty.
Giving a salute, "Kabo", as he would now would be called, would be ready, now that everyone had been set for duty. He would remember the names of the others and proceed forward as recommended. Hopefully his tact can be performed well as he would keep in "uniform", and give the presence of a well tailored shoulder.
"Yo." Mati would state as he looked towards the woman beside him. It wasn't a greeting however, it was her designation. Mati would go towards Zero to discuss a few things, and he would nod a bit before returning. "When we enter the capitol, we should seek out Five who should have been planted by Zero as a temporary servant while his normal one is sick. His name I believe will be Honda." With that, Mati would simply say, "Move out." as he began the not so long trek towards the open road to the capitol.
Utade Yo. There are worse names out there. The tiny little islander woman moves beside Mati when he returns, quiet as she listens to their updated news. With his orders, she turns to calmly walk by his side as the pair of guards move with them. While Yo looks perfectly happy as her eyes explore her 'new' surroundings, she keeps well aware of their surroundings.
During the trek, there would be allot of signs of scattered battles, but no true force remaining what so ever. There were a very few mist shinobi amongst the many cloud soldiers that were killed well off the roads. It sort of had a high way to hell feel. Mati was not at all sure what was going on. The information that Konoha had gathered had been about Kirigakure's heavy boarder presence not… all out battle with an entirely different village. They would enter the Daimyo's court, and be met with tentative welcome by the obviously shaken guards. "Hey there, what's going on around here??" Mati would state with a bit of excitement in his voice. "Came to speak about extending our trade and I seemed to have stumbled upon a party of some sort! But …why are they all dressed funny and wielding those pointy sticks and such?" said the liaison of the island nation. Obviously he at least was …. free spirited and certainly not used to battle and war. The guards would shake their heads slightly. "Those… forces are using our island like a play ground…" one of them would say as Mati's eyes light up. "A play ground?" he'd nudge Yo semi-heavily and say, "Should brought the kids! I told you! Man are they gonna be sore at you hon." and then he'd let loose a hearty laugh as the guards just sweat drop and gesture for them to get in before this loud dufos got them all killed.
Yo only chuckles with a petite voice as Mati booms with laughter, covering her mouth as she smiles brightly, "Oh yes yes. I am sure they are so sore at me, just because you always want to be their funloving daddy. Ho ho!" she happily chuckles, all the while watching the guards out of the corner of her eye. As they are waved inside, their little group passes between the few standing guard.
Meanwhile, hearing and seeing such, Seven, under the guise of Kabo the decorated guard, had been seeing that things had been worst than he thought. The ninja would watch as Mati and Yo would ham it up, making acting the best they could, and would think of playing along though wondering if the rouse would have any effect on the info gathered. "I do not think that this play ground they speak of is a safe one for the younglings, my fine sir.", he would say as he would look to the guards and say, "Would you know by chance if danger, by the sound of it may reach us hear, guardsmen? I have to be sure that my lady and my lords safety is guaranteed. Otherwise, this could mean more than just simple death."
Leaning slightly on Yo as they went, the two diplomats seemed to be rather careless as they pretty much moved to a different subject altogether. Something of course the guards would have grown used to by now. They were escorted by a servant in to t the great dining hall of the Daimyo to await an impromptu dinner. Usually something like this wouldn't happen, but with the country in disarray, the Daimyo had trouble sleeping, and took every opportunity to get his mind off of what was currently happening… which he didn't fully understand to begin with. Blinking a few times as he'd finally come into the room to see his two guests and their protection, the Daimyo seemed pleased more than worried. "Ah, you are wise to travel with guard." he would greet them. Mati would look back at Ran and Kabo for a moment before saying, "They insisted… you know how guardians can be, always worried you might cut yourself on a spoon and all that." he'd once again laugh loudly which the Daimyo seemed taken aback by. So uncouth… but strangely it made him feel better to not have someone so pretentious and strict with their protocol during such dire times. "Dinner will be served soon, please make yourselves comfortable." the Daimyo would state.
Yo chats with Mati with a soft and petite voice, though her smile is all that more bubbly as he booms with laughter, poking fun at how his whole belly seems to shake when he does. Meeting with Daimyo, she smiles happily enough, though remains silent as she glances between him and Mati, no doubt business will be brought up at dinner. The lives of merchants. Yo giggles some into her hand as Mati once again booms with laughter, which seems to shock their host.
As the dinner would begin to be served, the Daimyo would ask some what cautiously as it was some what out of the social graces of his station to inquire, "How… long have you two…?" he'd actually be at a loss for words. Was he really being so forward as to ask of their relationship. Being an older, unmarried man, he was curious. As he cleared his throat to try to change the subject, Mati would state proudly, "Many years, many babies. She is my heart and I'd never have made it through it all without the guidance of my little Yo Yo.", he'd state with an incredible warmth in his gaze at her. The platter being set down before him seemed to distract Mati for a moment however, keeping him in a seemingly infinite loop of desires. "So delicious…!" he says though what he was referring to remained unclear. Inhaling deeply, Mati would look towards the Daimyo instead and say, "I have to wonder… Lord Daimyo Sir, why the trade by ship from our country has been halted." Mati would state, taking a stab given the current situation that seems to be going on in the Land of Waves. "Are we not still in good favor with you?"
Yo laughs louder as she cups her right hand on her cheek, cheeks blushing bright red and as embarrassed as can be. "Ho ho! You are just saying that because I caught you cheating on your diet last week, Mattie! And you are still not off the hook for that yet, no no no!" she giggles regardless. As Mati reaches forward to generously help himself to the platters, the tiny islander woman's eyes sharpen as she promptly reaches out and smacks at his hand, as if he were a child that was doing something he knows is wrong. With a pointed look, the woman sighs heavily before shaking her dark head, ignoring their conversation now that they were talking about business.
*CRUNCH* Ah… the crisp snap of the greenish, firmest thing on the plate. The expression on Mati's face says it all as to the sheer amount of pleasure he must be experiencing, or lack there of. It was hard to tell by the way his face twisted as he listened. The Daimyo was set at ease by these people. They were so alive, so unworried about things. It may not be wise to be unworried…but at the same time, being worried never made things better, no matter how logical it seemed to your mind. With a deep, relieved sigh, the Daimyo would answer the question. "No, no. Your country still is deeply valued to my own. It's these… conflicts. The Land of Water sent Kirigakure shinobi over here in order to help boost their economy as the world has changed to the era of the great shinobi villages. It requires allot to keep those intact. I dare say most of them if not all of them are larger than my little island nation." The daimyo would smile weakly as he'd sip a bit of tea.
"Any how, they came to offer their … grossly over developed muscle to make sure that we were not harassed by pirates and thugs and things of that Sort. They also seemed to want to keep other shinobi out, which while a strange practice, did help in some ways to keep us secure. Not all of my people were happy about that, as some of their personal deliveries were delayed, but over all, they kept our country safe, as they promised. I believe it was to be temporary any how… and while they don't believe I am aware, I am rather certain they also wanted to …keep me to themselves while the negotiations concluded." The older Daimyo would chuckle slightly at his small shrewd act. "This however… didn't effect trade with the southern islands." The Daimyo's demeanor began to grow a bit darker, a mix of fear and anger. "My island is being besieged by the Land of Lightning. I do not know why. It… was so sudden. Dreadnaughts, vessels carrying hundreds of troops, ships of battle came to my shores with no warning at all. My guards tell me Kirigakure did much damage to them while they were on the water, but when they hit land, Kirigakure was pushed back… and is likely to lose this "war". I would suggest after you eat and rest, that you leave and head home for awhile. It is dangerous here. However… if you cannot, they seem to be ignoring my court entirely. Perhaps they will want to talk when they eradicate the only force that has a chance of stopping them on the island… I am not sure."
Mati would carefully slip a bacon wrapped shrimp into his hand as he got a carrot stick. He'd munch and his face would contort until he got to the sweet spot of the flavorful addition to the seafood tang to which his expressions would simply melt. Keeping his focus on the Daimyo after, he'd nod a few times before saying, "Ah… oh… yeah that's… no that's not good." wiping his hands on a cloth, he'd take Yo's and stand, bowing towards the Daimyo. "I am sorry that we have to eat so little and depart… your company was certainly pleasant, Lord Daimyo. However… we should leave as not to be stuck. Our children… we can't leave them alone in the world. We can't even consider that possibility. Please, excuse us." The Daimyo would understand and send them on their way without being offended luckily. The two guards. Mati and Yo would take their leave and begin their way back to the extraction point.
On the way, far from the capitol, the henge would be dropped, at least that is how it would appear. Three would actually henge in to his ANBU form, hand over Mati's face where as the henge was performed, the mask would be replaced. "We have gathered our intelligence. We much give a report to the Hokage about the circumstances in Waves." Their trail back was without conflict as the battles around the island ,easily seen at times in the distance, where not along this central road.