Date: December 3, 2010
The terrifying incident at the Sunagakure Academy is enough to have Sousa summoned back from the World Ninja Competition in Kusagakure. Itami relates the situation to him, and Sousa goes to take action…though perhaps not of the sort his subordinates are expecting.
"Blood-Red Sandman - Report"
Kazekage Administration Dome [Sunagakure]
Kazekage Administration Dome [Sunagakure]
The opening of the Kazekage Administration Dome leads up a flight of stairs, into the lobby of the expansive building. Looking upwards, the entire building is open to the sky. Each floor is a ring, built with a hole in the center to allow a view both upwards and downwards. It is a very impressive sight, with many people visible moving around the upper levels, and stopping to chat around the railings.
The lobby has a tiled floor, with a intricate concentric circular pattern, and the walls themselves have been actually painted, and have designs etched into the hardened sand. The only piece of furniture on the first floor is a desk, and directly behind that, a stair case moving up to the next level. On either side of the desk are Male guards, their faces covered, and a make secretary is seated behind the desk, ready to take any questions or arrange appointments.
No one proceeds to the upper levels without the secretary approving them, and in most cases the armed guards also check them out to make sure they are carrying no weapons. However, there are a few people who can walk back and forth easily without the guards checking them, although all of them must first speak with the secretary.
An emergency has been declared in silence. The village couldn't know about it or else panic would ensue. They were in recovery and doing well. Anything that affected that would only serve to be a problem. Even still, something that is so close to home, rather, within it is distressing. Of all places, it had to occur at the Academy. In order to ensure some form of normalcy, Itami had a team sent to the Academy to clean up the mess that was the storage room as well as the halls. She even ordered a thorough sweep of the Academy to make sure that there weren't other areas that may have suffered the same fate.
At this point, she's inside the Administration Dome, a bit fatigued and still suffering a small amount of shock. She had a paper and a writing utensil in hand to write a note to address to the other council members, but couldn't bring herself to write without her hand shaking vigorously. That and she was feeling ill and the Academy episode only served as a catalyst to boost her fever into a cold. Sighing softly, she relaxed back in her seat, eyes closed while trying to gather herself so she could focus.
It never fails. You go to take a bath and you get summoned away. e.e Fortunately, Sousa wasn't quite /in/ the bath yet, and is still wearing a bathrobe. He walks into Itami's office wiping water off his hand on the robe. "And just when it had reached optimum temperature. I presume this is a matter of some urgency."
Itami open her eyes and sees that Sousa has arrived. Leaning forward in her seat, she nods to him, both in greeting and in reply to his statement. "It is." She states and looks at the paper that she had yet to write. "The Academy. Recently, there was something that occurred in there. I didn't expect to see anything like it." She appears to be running on about the situation and looks up to Sousa followed by a sniffle. Drawing a tissue from a nearby box, she places it up to her nose and continues, albeit a bit nasal in tone.
"There was blood…a trail that lead from the entrance and further into the Academy. Kureno and I followed it and we discovered that it all came down to a storage closet. There was blood on the wall and dripping from the ceiling." She shakes her head lightly. "There were men that were killed, suspended on the ceiling, each of them having a hole in their bodies. It was unusual. I've seen it before. Like…some kind of bite wound." She explains. "I had a team go to try and clean up the mess."
…Good grief. e.e He really had to go and do that? I mean, sure, Sousa /knows/ he's been unstable lately, and it's been a while since Sousa's been able to do anything about it due to the tournament, but couldn't he at least have been more discreet? A /school/, for crying out loud. With little kids running around. This'll send people into a self-righteous must-protect-the-children spree, even if it doesn't go beyond the council. They won't relax until there's a resolution to it. There'll have to be a scapegoat.
This, of course, is all Sousa's split-second internal monologue. He doesn't betray his thoughts with his appearance. "How grisly. Where did you see it before?"
Luckily, the information hasn't gotten out yet and she had a team sent to clean up the mess before people would know what was happening. Itami was functioning to some degree. Still, she's still shaken about the ordeal. She still doesn't know who the Ghoul is, so all of this is going over her head as far as fathoming it is concerned. "I saw it on a mission when a caravan was brought here to supply aid to Sunagakure. One man was bitten. We had a run in with some kind of…thing. I don't think there's much of a coincidence, but that thing was in the school. In fact…I'm certain. I was almost…" Her voice trails off and she reaches up to her neck to rub it gently. She was almost a victim herself of it.
Sousa nods slowly. "The fabled Ghoul of the Desert, then." Yeah, definitely going to have to be a scapegoat. Fortunately, the nebulous nature of the Ghoul allows for some…flexibility. "One has to wonder what the creature really is," Sousa remarks. "As I recall, your report on that previous incident indicated it was vaguely humanoid, but almost certainly not human, correct? Of course, it /could/ be some manner of transformation technique, but considering how long the legends have been around, assuming they /are/ more than legends someone is now using to their advantage, one would think a human would be dead by now…ah well, all this is highly hypothetical." Sousa shrugs. "So then, what action have you taken thus far?"
"Yes. It was somewhat humanoid. I wasn't able to see all that well because the caravan was surrounded by some kind of sandstorm or…something." Itami replies. "But, I wouldn't know. Even my knowledge of the Ghoul is limited. I'm not necessarily from Sunagakure. So, what others have known, I'm still learning. I've heard various stories, but all differ from place to place around the desert." She shrugs. "My apologies if I'm unable to be more specific, but after the incident at the Academy." She isn't sure what to think anymore. She saw the Ghoul firsthand and was nearly done in by it. It's /here/ and she almost can't do a thing about it. "I feel like I don't have much power in this situation. All I want is for the village to be safe, especially the children since that's where the incident occurred."
Yup, all about the kiddies, as predicted. Even for the lizard-lady. "I recommend you get some rest, Itami-san," Sousa says. "Even those experienced in bloodshed are bound to find brushes with death traumatic. I'll look into this matter." With luck, the idea that Sousa's taking responsibility could delay the Council getting organized in their investigations. Sousa heads off toward the records area. If anybody asks, he's going to research the matter of this Ghoul…but of course, what he really hopes for at the moment is a private word with the Recordskeeper. It should be…enlightening.
"But…" Itami starts. "Well, yes, that makes sense, but I'm not so certain I'll be able to sleep well tonight. Seeing what I saw isn't exactly sleep material." She sighs. "But I will try." With that, she nods him off and decides to end this business. She hasn't written the letter yet, but she thinks that can wait until she's had enough rest.