Caravan Halted


Junan, Itami, Mayonaka

Date: May 21, 2011


Itami, Junan, and Mayonaka investigate a caravan that halted in the middle of the desert, all its passengers dead without injury or dehydration.

"Caravan Halted"


The harsh sun sits high over the deserts of the Land of Wind late in the afternoon. Most natives would likely consider this an average day here. However, a traveling merchant rushed into Sunagakure a couple hours ago and reported something he saw out in the desert that startled him quite a bit. An entire supply-carrying caravan headed to sell their goods to local merchants of Sunagakure, along with a few travelers who paid a fare to join the journey, just stopped in the middle of the desert, the bodies of its passengers strewn around it, yet none seemed to be physically harmed.
Standing at the side of the halted caravan, a rather enormous man walks around through the pile of bodies. He calmly walks steps around the bodies, examining each one. Despite what might be a quite disturbing sight for most, he seems totally cool. Then again, experienced shinobi see dead bodies quite often. Lifting a canteen to his lips, Junan takes a sip of his water as he continues to walk around, apparently his stomach not unsettled a bit by this either. He steps back a moment and looks for other clues, but the winds of the desert have long since covered any footprints that may have been around.

The sun is harsh, but the wind is nice, and has worked wanders for keeping Mayonaka relatively cool. At least, she has so far resisted the temptation to drink down her own water. She seems about as bothered by the bodies as Junan, stepping among them and around them casually, perhaps because she has done so even amongst the corpses of those she called friends. "What do you think? I am no Medic Nin, but I would almost guess at first glance some mixture of genjutsu and poison. But something still does not seem right," she makes her observation, glancing over to Junan, then down at one of the bodies, kneeling down and starting to examine it closer for any clues as to what may have happened. "Any idea what the cargo is? Might want to see if it's been touched, too…" She could be talking to herself, but she does so loud enough to let the others know what else could be done.

Itami received this news and sought to look into it. Disappearances could happen, but the majority of the time it was a lost caravan that needed some guidance. In short, they were usually found and brought to safety, but there were the cases where caravans would disappear entirely. These, of course, worried her the most.
She didn't waste any time in leaving the village to find the place the merchant spoke of. It wouldn't be too long before she reached the site of the occurence. "Greetings." She offered to the other two present. "My apologies for being late, but I am here now. Might I ask what has been figured out so far?" She inquires while walking over to inspect the body. She looks at the wagons, but isn't sure of what the cargo is. She imagines it's just the usual. Food and other such things, but occassionally something else will pop up.

"It could be many things," Junan says as he continues to look through the bodies. Not a single one has suffered any sort of fatal injury. He glances to Mayonaka for a moment as she examines a body before moving to the caravan and looking in through the already-open caravan. "Nothing really out of place here," he says with a shrug before looking back out at the un-bloody massacre. As Itami arrives, he greets her with a nod and a faint smile. "Good to see you again… There seem to be no survivors, but none of them were injured physically at all. Any traces of the perpetrator's footsteps have been carried away with the winds." With that, he begins walking around again.

Mayonaka's examination is rather cursory, rolling the body just a bit to see what she can, and giving a brief pat down with her hands to check for concealed injuries before sighing and standing, bringing her hand up to scratch her head, "Damnit, I've never see anything like this, personally. I mean…it could be dehydration, poison, thirst, problems with the heat, or something wrong with their chakra…I don't have the skills to assess it," she says, looking up as Itami arrives, and glancing back and forth between her and Junan. She steps forward, looking puzzled as she nudges at another of the bodies with her foot, "This would be something for an experienced medic. If there was a sign of attack, then I could probably figure out the cause, but this is outside my experience." Few things would she ever admit to not being able to do, but for the sake of not failing a team, claiming medical knowledge she lacks was at least one of them.

Itami nods to Junan in reply, "The same to you as well…" She glances over the bodies and the area. "No physical injury?" She frowns and begins to take a closer look at a body nearby. "This is no good…" She listens to Mayonaka as she speaks, bringing herself to a full stand after looking over her body. "I'm no experienced medic either, but we could have a couple of these bodies taken back to Sunagakure for further investigation. The rest can be buried. That still leaves us to figure out what happened here, though." She sighs.

Looking to Mayonaka as she becomes a little frazzled at the situation, Junan chuckles a bit. "Relax. It'll get figured out. If it doesn't harm us or the village, there's no immediate rush." He looks back to Itami for a moment before looking down at the bodies. "A pile of corpses not harmed by hand or sun sitting out in the middle of the desert. There aren't that many options of things it could be. I'm sure an autopsy will uncover it all." His eyes narrow on the corpse he looks down at, mind wandering off for a moment as he thinks.

A nod from Mayonaka to Junan, "Yes. I did not mean to seem ill at ease. I am only puzzled. What cargo were they transporting? If there is water, we could at least transport some of that back," she suggests, before looking over at Itami, a rather cold smile on her lips as she raises a hand, wiping a finger across her brow to take care of some sweat. "My guess is poison, or a problem with their chakra flow. They do not look dehydrated or starved. I suppose we shall find out once a medic has examined them. My bigger concern now would be who would do this, why, and where they may be. If they have bad intentions, I'd rather be ready for them."

Itami hmms. "Well, the merchant only just arrived, so I'm assuming the kill was fresh." She shrugs. "An autopsy should do the trick, I imagine. I'd just like to figure out who is responsible. There are plenty of clans around here that can use poison, but the ones that come to mind are possibly Shippodoku, puppeteers and possibly even the plant users…the name eludes me at the moment, sadly." She lifts her finger to her chin to tap it. "Some might dwell beneath the sands. Others just may be particularly quick. I know San Sara hosts some vile criminals, but who is to say one of their own is responsible." She shrugs again.

"Seems to be just basic things. Food, water, and such," Junan says with a shrug. He glances up to the horses that were pulling the caravan, which also seem to be dead of the same causes as the people. "That's going to be a nice little walk carrying things, unless you'd like to be the new horse." As Itami ponders on the situation, he looks to her and ponders as well. "Perhaps you should have some of your village folk ask around and see if anyone particularly suspicious has been wandering around."

A nod from Mayonaka, and she looks at the bodies again, then up at the other two, "We should at least take anything we need, or that we may need if the situation arises," she points out, looking around and then approaching one of the smaller corpses, kneeling down and reaching out to feel its face, "Let's take this one back to Sunagakure. She should be the lightest, she will slow our travel the least," she observes, looking back to Junan for his opinion. "Unless you have a better idea. After choosing, I can bury the rest in sand easily if necessary."

"Certainly and perhaps we should…probably have a team come out here to retrieve these corpses and bury them properly as well as contact their respective families." Itami remarks. To Mayonaka, she nods, but might disagree somewhat. "I am uncertain of taking anything from them as I'd much rather the bodies are untampered with other than being carried back to the village or buried safely, but since there is more uncertainty than fact here, I suppose it can be allowed to take what is necessary."

"Right. I'll take a hike into the San Sara and see what I can find out," Junan says with a nod. "Since I'm no villager, they won't think to attack me on first sight." He glances down at the corpses for a moment, pondering how far he should go into the San Sara.

Mayonaka shakes her head at Itami, "I would not take from the corpses. In combat, one takes what one must, but this is not combat yet. I respect the dead. I only meant to check the supplies they were transporting and take what we need, just in case. Food or water to see us home," she clarifies. No grave-robbing, just theft. Sorta. She rolls her shoulders and sighs, finally bringing her own water skin up to take a drink. "Mmmm…but if we can't, we can't. That can not be helped."

Itami hums. "Right." She remarks. "If it's necessary." She stated once more. "This caravan was headed to Sunagakure, although…how they got out here is a mystery. They might have been mislead…" Now that she gives it more thought. She doesn't know many caravans that would pass straight through the sands unless they truly needed to, but most would take the long way around and go through the border…

Glancing between the two, Junan gives a couple nods here and there as they talk. "Well, in any case, if you hear about a few bodies popping up in the San Sara, too, don't bother coming to investigate those because you won't likely care about any criminals that try to attack me." Another glance is given to the corpses, supposing it best he mortally wound any he might end up fighting in the San Sara.

Mayonaka looks between the other two and nods. "Keep me informed if you find out anything," she requests of Junan as she gathers up just a minimum of supplies. Then with a saluting wave, she takes off towards Sunagakure, quickly vanishing in the wind and blowing sand.

Itami grins. "I'll keep that in mind." She replies to Junan. "And will do." She adds to Mayonaka before she disappears. "Well…" She picks up the woman Mayonaka pointed out previously. "Guess we should get her back to Suna and one male as well. We can do investigations into San Sara a little later. For now, I'd just like this mess cleaned up quickly. I'll have a team sent out here to handle this and get the caravan supplies into the village."

"What, you think I'll actually need help with a few little criminals?" Junan asks with a light chuckle. "Very well. I'll help you back into the village, then I'll be on my way to the San Sara." With that, he moves to pick up the corpse of a young man over his shoulder. "Shall we then?" He then darts back toward the village with what some might considering rather unusual speed and power in his stride. The results of this should be rather interesting for Sunagakure, anyway. Things are falling into place exactly as they should.

Itami lofts a brow. She wasn't expecting him to leave so fast, but maybe she's just moving too slow. She smirks and follows after him back to Sunagakure with the woman draped over her shoulders. She hopes that the people won't be lost to the sands or other things while she's away.

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