Date: January 14, 2014
Following a lead from their previous mission, Atsuro and Daisuke investigate an island where criminals make their home.
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"Colony Collapse - Part 4: Piracy and Kidnapping"
An island far out in the ocean
The past day has been busy for Atsuro and Daisuke. Having gained nine prisoners and a mysterious map from their last adventure, they've had to conduct a number of interrogations, and inquiries into the map. The prisoners weren't well-informed of the details, but it seems there is some group operating around the area shown in the map. This group is apparently no more than a gang of criminals (at least that's what these men believe), but they've been stealing from a number of small cities on isolated islands, like Minatoriko.
But the Leaf Nin have figured out where the gang is striking from: a small island, believed by most people to be uninhabited. And to solve this mystery, Atsuro, Taizen, and Daisuke have travelled there, using the boat they captured before — after Atsuro got some tips from sailors back at Minatoriko, of course. Although the boat was meant to prevent any suspicion if they were seen approaching the island, there's nobody around when they find a small dock on the island. Atsuro pulls the boat up to the dock and ties it there. There's not much to look at here but the dock, a small shed nearby, and a pathway that quickly disappears into a thick forest.
Blergh. So many trips out on the water, Daisuke probably doesn't have much food left to spill into the ocean. As the trio figure their stuff out and make a plan, Daisuke makes sure to recover his jacket with the medicine inside for his seasickness. Once they were ready to go, he felt a little more confident in this trip and, on the boat, showed much more composure than without his medicine, able to talk, strategize, whatever was needed.
Arriving on the island that was supposedly uninhabited, Daisuke felt like, if needed, he could really let loose. "These guys picking a secluded spot like this will really come back to bite them in the parrot." he says as he hops onto the dock, waiting for everyone before heading towards the path. He stops to look at the shed, "Should we take a peek or leave it?" he asks.
Not the guy who's watching his and Taizen back to be barfing his guts up the whole time, Atsuro has been careful to accomodate Daisuke's condition. That medicine seems to be working, but Atsuro's been doing his best to avoid choppy water, and he was ready to give Daisuke some time to just wait on the dock, if he needed. But it appears that he's getting on well enough, so maybe there's no need to worry about that. Atsuro smirks a little at Daisuke's first comment. "I know what you're thinking," he says, "'Hopefully these guys aren't chumps, like all the rest of them,' right?"
Since there was no indication of anyone inside, Atsuro would have simply ignored the shed. But if Daisuke thinks it might be worth checking out… can't hurt to take a look. Checking for traps, Atsuro and Taizen stand on either side of the door, then Atsuro reaches over and shoves the door open. Nothing unexpected happens. The tent is full of things like furniture and bolts of cloth — things that have been stolen from other islands. But the shed isn't large enough to account for what's missing from Minatoriko, much less the whole region. In one corner, things look quite different: swords, spears, and armor are piled-up in a semi-organized manner. They look like they're more likely to be used by the thieves than sold.
Daisuke peers inside, noting the contents, nothing out of the ordinary. The weapons and armor might be in the way or pose a potential risk in the future so Daisuke waits for Atsuro and Taizen to leave before melting them down with a Lava technique. The shed was a bust and had Daisuke thinking that maybe this was just an operation run by like-minded thieves and bandits. Almost depressing in a way. He carries on with the other two, heading towards the path that leads into the heart of the island where the unknown waits for them.
"Geez," says Atsuro, "That was a little excessive, wasn't it?" But it's not like he really minds. They weren't even very well-made swords. Obviously cheap stuff the thieves bought just to be sure they had weapons on hand. It's not a large island, but the path does lead them for a while. No wonder they needed the shed as a storage area. Can't be lugging goods up and down this path all the time. The path winds through the woods for a ways, then leads up and over a rocky ridge. Once they've reached the crest, they can see below them a large depression, and in that, a small village.
Well, perhaps village isn't the right word. More like a large bandit camp, consisting of a number of wooden huts huddled together, one slightly larger and towards the center of the buildings, plus a wooden palisade surrounding the little settlement. It seems that the men here don't have much to attend to at the moment, because the Leaf nin can easily hear the whoops and yells of merrymaking and drinking. And although they can't see into the village that well from here, they can see a plume of smoke rising up, as if from a bonfire. "Should be easy to sneak in, if they're like this," Atsuro notes, "Of course, we don't know exactly what it is we should be doing here yet."
"Was it? Or did I just save you from a future of being stabbed by cheap metal, the wound getting infected due to rust, and you dying a slow and painful death?"" Daisuke says to Atsuro, posing a question. He chuckles lightly and moves on down the path, wondering where they would come out next. As they climb the ridge all the way to the top, Daisuke gets a spectacular view of the island, looking down into a large depression at what seems to be a shanty town of sorts that has sprung up. Making note of the depression it was in, Daisuke chuckles and says "It's like they want me to blow it up or send in waves of lava!" He continues to observe for a bit before Atsuro poses a good point. "Well our job is to stop the theft of the cargo ship goods. Seeing this village here makes me wonder just what our next step would be, as well. Find the boss, maybe?"
Atsuro grins. "I wouldn't be hit. And my constitution is too strong for petty matters like disease or infection." It would probably be easy enough to fill the depression with lava, assuming Daisuke can produce that much of it. Of course, he probably can. "Is there a boss?" Atsuro asks, "It's the natural assumption, I guess, but they could also just be a semi-organized mob. And I don't mean a /mob/ mob, just a mob." He looks to Daisuke, "So, we can either crush 'em and call it done, or we can investigate first, and be sure. Information can be good… and I suppose it can't hurt to try and get the stolen goods back, right?"
"A multi-island ring and a bunch of thugs, there always has to be some 'leader' figure that kills his way to the top or brings good information on shipments or something." Daisuke says, secretly quoting information he got from various manga from his childhood. "Either way, as you say information is good, who knows what is truly going on, after all." he says as he stands, getting ready to find a quick way down the depression, surfing or not.
Not knowing Daisuke is getting this from manga, Atsuro nods, "Oh, okay. I didn't realize you knew so much about criminal organizations. You have a lot of experience with this sort of mission?" Noticing that Daisuke seems to be preparing to go down, he glances over at Taizen, then down the slope to the village. "If we go down fast and get to the base of the wall real quick, before anyone can spot us… well, nobody will spot us. So unless you've got a better idea, that's probably a good way to start Operation Village Infiltration Lead by Handsome Atsuro."
"You need to work on a better nickname if that is what you are going with." Daisuke says with a laugh before he literally leaps forward, landing in the rocks and gravel on the way down. He places his hand on the ground as he still begins to pick up speed, melting the earth and rock into a disc similar to his Nimbus technique. With the disc of rock he begins to pick up speed, having fun while surfing down the depression, even getting some good air on a few wary ledges. "Let's gooooo." he calls back as he makes his way down, heading towards the walls as quick as can be.
"I didn't choose it," Atsuro declares, "It was given to me, by my peers." He hmmphs a little as Daisuke surfs down. He and Taizen don't have any cool techniques like that. Instead, they back up a little, then both sprint forward a ways before leaping. Moving forward through the air, they bypass most of the slope entirely, rolling as they land, ending up not far away from Daisuke. Then the huddle against the wall. Atsuro listens and sniffs. "Don't think anyone noticed us," he whispers. He searches the wall for a foothold, then starts climbing up, "C'mon."
Daisuke hops off the rock board, hmphing at Atsuro who just jumped his way down. "No fun in that." he comments before he looks up at the wall. He helps search for a good foothold, finding on nearby Atsuro, though he is already climbing up another. Moving over behind, Daisuke looks up at Atsuro. "Taizen going to be ok to do this?" he says as he looks to Taizen before starting up the wall himself.
"It was actually pretty fun," says Atsuro, "We caught some good air. Might now have been as /showy/ as your way, but we were in freefall for a second or so." He easily scales the wall. "Not exactly," he answers Daisuke, once they've reached the top. But we have our ways. He reaches into a pocket and pulls out a rope. He lowers an end to Taizen and the dog bites on. Atsuro begins to pull him up, putting all his strength into this doggie-elevator. Fortunately, it's a relatively short distance, so once Taizen's in reach, he just grabs and hauls the dog over.
They find themselves in a 'back alley,' behind a clump of huts. There's a muddy trail leading through, but it looks like this area is left alone for the most part. "Most people are that way," says Atsuro, pointing in the direction of the party they saw before, "But there are a few others scattered around the village, from the smell of things."
"Showy, fun, it all depends on how you view life." Daisuke says as he leans down to watch the doggie elevator at work. It wasn't the most elegant of ways to do things, but it worked. "You guys should work on your jumping and scaling, maybe Taizen can learn wall walking?" he suggests as they all reconvene on the other side of the wall in the mud. As Atsuro points in the direction of 'most' of the people, Daisuke figures they better go the other way, though he pauses a moment. "Well we wanted to find information and potentially a boss. Wouldn't he be with the rest of them?" he asks.
"How you view life," Atsuro repeats, "So the way you view life, nothing can be fun, unless other people admire it? Well, Daisuke, I never imagined your priorities being like that." He grins a little as he puts the rope away. "We've got ways of getting around," he says, "This one was just handy for a short wall where we needed to be stealthy. Can't have a huge dog bounding over the wall." He thinks about Daisuke's reasoning for a second. "He might be," says Atsuro, "Problem is, do we wanna just attack off the bat? I guess with the wall out of the way, they've already lost an advantage. And we've got the element of surprise and all that."
"Of course. Why would I expend effort on something that no one would admire? How do you think I became the most admired ninja in Konoha? It's not just this body and being the nephew of the Hokage, you know." Daisuke points out, playing along with the topic. As for the boss… "I think scouting the area and getting a good lay of the land, so to speak, would be beneficial. I wish we had brought some kind of communicators because if we do go off scouting we will have to meet up again after and who knows how long the party will go on for."
"It's not your body," Atsuro agrees. Now, down to business. "Easiest solution might be to just scout in one group," he says, "You do the leading and looking around, while Tai and I keep a nose out for anyone who's coming. And keep an ear out for how that party's going. Don't want it to wind down before we've found what we want… whatever that is. Iguess any documents indicating where the stolen good are going would be good. And finding the boss, too."
"Not -just-." Daisuke corrects Atsuro with. He listens to Atsuro's plan before nodding his head. "Should I be doing some underground surfing or do you want to stick close together?" he asks, looking in the direction that Atsuro points to having the most amount of people. "It's probably my best means of stealthly movement. I think locating any important or central building would be our first priority, because that would be where any important documents would most likely be." he says as they begin to move in that direction.
"Mhm," Atsuro says, mock-comforting Daisuke. "Whichever keeps you at your most stealthy," Atsuro decides, "Just as long as you can investigate properly." He thinks for a moment as Daisuke suggests looking for an important building. "One of the huts was bigger than the others," he recalls from their look down on the village from the ridge. "But it's near where the party was going on. Maybe we could skirt around through the less busy areas of the village and see if there's a way in through the back. Or if we can make one without anyone noticing. Not like the construction on these things is the highest quality."
"I can get there through the earth, if you want to meet up with me, maybe get a nose on anything else important as you go while I'm in the earth. Let's meet up behind that building that you mentioned." Daisuke suggests, waiting for approval before he would clasp his hands together in a seal and sink into the earth, beginning to move in the direction of the party. Occasionally popping his head out in cover, he was able to get a general feel for the land and, eventually, spot the building Atsuro had mentioned, making his way over to it and waiting to meet up.
Darn that Daisuke, taking the easy route through the dirt while Atsuro and Taizen have to sneak their way through the village. Of course, they just circle around to the back of the bigger building, easily avoiding the few men who aren't at the gathering. These guys probably aren't ninja. But it's the principle of the thing. Once they spot Daisuke, Atsuro gives him a nod, then walks quietly over to the wall, where he listens. "There's someone inside, talking," he whispers to Daisuke and Taizen. "Wanna see if there's a way in from the back while we keep a lookout?" There's not really a back entrance, but like Atsuro thought, it probably wouldn't be that hard to quietly pick a section of the wall apart. Or go up to the roof, where there doesn't look to be much more than waterproof fabric stretched over a wooden frame.
Daisuke spots Atsuro and Taizen and wait for them to catch up. As soon as they do, Atsuro lets him know there is a conversation going on inside. Of course, that is what the newly taught skill Atsuro was taught was for, spying! Daisuke crosses his fingers in a cross-like hand seal and out pops a shadow clone of Daisuke, which proceeds to the roof. "I don't like the look of that fabric, I'd probably fall through or something. This way we don't have to worry about shotty architecture and I can help be on the look out." he says as he clone is perched low on the roof along a beam of wood close to an small open flap in the fabric which allows him to listen.
"Hm," says Atsuro, "Showoff." A little irritated that he hasn't mastered the move yet, perhaps? In any case, the clone doesn't have a hard time finding a spot to lift the fabric. It's been nailed on, and not with impressive skill or effort.
The voices from within aren't /easy/ to hear, but most of it can be made out. "…still searching for it. We've sent messages out to our men on every island, but it will probably be a week before we get any answers." This man seems slightly nervous. The next voice is much more confident, even intimidating, which might explain the nervousness. "A week?" There's a long sigh, "Your operation is profitable, but it isn't very efficient. According to our records on several islands, that ship /would/ have had a very nice haul." There's a short pause, then the man finishes, "I'll be back in one week. If you don't have more information by then, we'll find you a replacement."
Daisuke-clone listens to as much as he can before he leaps down to join the others. "It sounds like either they are looking for the boat we took or something more valuable. They have word out on every island. It wasn't too clear what it was but if I had to guess it would be the boat you guys jacked. One in there is coming back in a week, he's the big boss." the clone reports before Daisuke pats him on the back for a job well done and releases him in a POOF, getting the whole conversation as he does. "Sounds about right. The one man coming back in a week had the other man nervous enough to qualify for a big boss, or at least the lackey of a big boss. We should really capture and question the other man inside ASAP if we want information, but after the other leaves so we don't give ourselves up."
Atsuro listens to the clone's, then Daisuke's explanation of things. "So this whole thing isn't even just this one group," he concludes, "Man, this thing has /layers/. And they might figure out about us soon. Or at least that someone's after them. I guess we didn't leave a lot of evidence back on Minatoriko." He presses his ear against the building again. "Anyway," he whispers, "The boss guy probably won't come back here after he leaves. No exit from the village in this direction. So we'll give him a couple minutes once he's gone, then we break in and see what's inside." The conversation inside finished up, then Atsuro lets the other man leave. "Okay," he says, "How we gonna do this. Just go in by the roof?"
Daisuke nods his head along with Atsuro's assessment, wondering if it was a good idea to bring the now considered missing boat to the island. Hoping no one finds it, his attention turns to grabbing the man. "We go in by the back, you felt like the wall would be easy enough to pry a board loose, lets do that. With the noise from the party we should be able to take him out quick and leave no trace, the roof would probably leave a suspicious hole. Let's go?" he asks, then suggests as he is eyeing the boards for one to pry, finding one.
It's easy to find a good board to pull away. When it's gone, Daisuke can see inside easily enough. Fortunately, the hole appears to be behind some furniture, which is just far away enough from the wall that one could slip in without being noticed. One of the men from the conversation before is still inside. He's walking around the hut and doing various things — reading papers, writing — and doesn't seem to notice anything amiss yet.
Daisuke moves into the hut, crouched behind the furniture. He peeks out to quickly survey the room and various key locations, including the door and where the target is. He doesn't notice anyone else in the vicinity and so he acts, moving silently towards the man sitting at his desk writing and reading. Daisuke reaches around quickly and puts the man in a sleeper hold, waiting for him to pass out quietly before dragging him back behind the furniture and out to the hole. Once he was secure, the question became, "Where should we go to question him?"
Atsuro's head is poking through the hole and he's just about to climb in when Daisuke comes back holding the unconscious man. "Geez," he says, "That was quick." He gets out of Daisuke's way and waits for him to come outside again. And then Daisuke presents him with a tricky question. Wish they'd considered that problem beforehand! "We could just leave the island with him," Atsuro suggests, "Or maybe go back to that shed?"
"Didn't want anyone to come in, I don't have as good a nose sensor as you." Daisuke points out as he drags the man a bit more. "I think most people would wonder about us dragging him around. Were there any safe routes you found on the way here? It will be quite a hike up the hill with him, as well, but I think bringing him to the boat would be a good idea. We just have to figure out how to get him there. I don't suppose Taizen could hold him on his back or something?"
"Most people don't need to see it," says Atsuro, "The route we took to get here didn't have a lot of people — it was easy enough to avoid them. And even if we get caught, we can just run like hell back to the boat and take off before anyone gets within grabbing range of us." He nods. "Yeah, it wouldn't be too hard. Tai's strong." He pulls out the rope again. "Here, just lay him on Tai's back and secure him with this."
Daisuke nods his head and gets to tying the man on Taizen's back, figuring they had a good hour or so before he would begin to stir. "Alright, lets try to remain unseen. I'd prefer to know who we are actually dealing with before they know who they are." he says to Atsuro before making sure Taizen was ready. "Lets head back then." he says as he heads for the wall with the group, letting ATsuro show him the way as he spent most of it under ground last time.
Having gotten their man, Atsuro and Daisuke slip out of the village, then back over the wall. From there, it's a relatively easy path back to the dock, and their boat. Fortunately, it seems that the other man didn't leave the island by this dock, because the boat and shed are undisturbed when the Leaf nin arrive. They put their captive on the boat, then they shove off, heading back to Minatoriko, where they can conduct another interrogation. Hopefully they're finally about to learn something about all this.