Loki (emitter), Chitose
Date: July 5, 2013
Finally the Suna Mission office sends someone to check on the odd goings-on in the desert.
"Desert Wars - Abandoned Carcass"
Burning Sands — Eastern Desert
The desert can be a harsh mistress, with sandstorms competing with excessive heat, even in the "winter" months fooling people all the time. Also, navigation can be hard, and the wind can fool even the most knowledgeable people. Therefore the Suna mission office really didn't pay too much attention to the reports of strange sounds at night at first. It's the desert after all, and Suna doesn't have the ninja to respond to every imagined sound out there. But when one of the main traders vouch for signs of unsusual activity near Fort Zaru, it may be time to send /someone/. Therefore Chitose is called in and paired with an experienced Chuunin, Keitaro. The mission is simple, go out to where the trader last reported those sounds and see if there's anything out there that should be investigated further. Just remember, a live report is better than a body and hastily scrawled notes, not that anyone expects anything like that…
That was two days ago and Keitaro has been mostly silent throughout the trip. He stands somewhat short for a male, and is from no really discernable clan. He's a wind and sword user who's been posted at Fort Zaru multiple times. Otherwise he's fairly normal… well, normal for a Suna nin anyway.
Following along, Chitose is pretty silent herself. Her demeanor is one of someone who has been alone a lot. S he often had to travel alone to make deliveries. She moves along, peering at anything that stands out. She has been stationed out at the Fort a few times herself. She, after all, had to do the duties of a normal nin regardless of her abilities. She peers at the chuunin, after two days and hmms before saying, "And just what do you think is happening out here that is so unusual that we should be sent out?"
Keitaro looks back at Chitose for a moment and blinks, then shrugs. "I think the mission office is right, this is a waste of our time. We wouldn't even be out here if that trader weren't one of the main suppliers for the Fort." He then shrugs and says, "Five to one odds it's a snake of some kind. Or maybe even a rat. Who knows?" That was one thing about Keitaro, he liked to bet, a lot. "Have you seen anything so far?" It's obvious he hasn't, but he's bored, and you are very close to where the trader described, as is shown by a particular set of cacti off in the distance.
A glance over at Keitaro, "Well, you might feel a bit odd before long." She states, "Because you're wrong." Chitose peers at the area around as they approach, "I haven't seen anything yet but I find that when things are most likely nothing, they are most likely something." She shrugs and keeps walking, peering at the various directions, pondering as she moves, "I do wonder what it is that this man saw."
Keitaro mainly grins at Chitose's words and shrugs as if to say, 'We'll see.' But he doesn't actually say it, instead they reach their destination and lo and behold, both Keitaro and Chitose were both right and wrong. This place looks just like just about any other place in the desert at this timef year. That is, a whole lot of nothing. But what is odd is there are some tracks, quite a few of them, that seem to cross the route they've been taking. Understandably they're relatively fresh, but not too fresh. Some are deep holes, extending about 3 or so inches into the sand, others are paw prints. They lead off in both directions from the route, at least that's what the paw prints show…
A glance around as she looks at the various tracks and then hmms, "This is more than meets the eye." Chitose states as he looks around and walks up to the tracks, peering down at them before looking in one direction and then in the other before looking back at the Chuunin, "It seems that there's nothing here but there's definitely proof that something was here."
Keitaro bends at the knees and looks at the holes, noting the distance apart and pattern. "Well, you were right, something large made this," Keitaro says as he takes out a kunai and drops it into a hole. "Deep too." Chitose would find that the tracks do indeed go in both directions, but the paw prints seem to be fresher headed south than they are headed north. Furthermore, the holes kicked up sand in a southerly direction, indicating a northward travel, but no other hole tracks headed south. "Interesting pattern of prints… I'm surprised they're still here, and in such good condition…" Indeed, the wind should have blown over the tracks by now, or so it would appear.
"Unless the creature came back." She looks up and around before pondering, "We should report this." Chitose states before looking around, "We can travel north a little ways to see what we can see but this all seems suspicious." She stands up straight and looks at the strange tracks before turning her attention to the southern tracks, "Fresher tracks to the south but the direction headed is to the north." She shakes her head, "It doesn't make any sense. The tracks north should be far fresher."
Keitaro nods and then looks at the paw prints. "Hmmm… there's two sets of paw prints, did you notice that?" Keitaro takes out flags of three different colors and labels each one. "The holes seem to head north, an older set of paw prints head north, and the fresher set of paw prints headed south…" As he points this out it becomes rather obvious. "You're right. Let's go north a bit and see what we can see, then we can make an accurate report." To the north is a large sand dune, which the northerly set of tracks all seem to go up, though there's far more sand kicked up by the paw prints going north than there were before…
As they do go north, the girl seems to nod, "I see." She ponders and hmms, "This one may have been moving quickly. So much sand being kicked up by their movement." She starts to go up the dune. She peers at the other shinobi, "We should at least check what we can see from the top. After that, we can go report."
Keitaro nods in agreement, then starts to climb the dune. It's slow going, as he instructs Chitose to avoid the tracks, but as the duo finally makes it to the top the region beyond comes into view, and along with it, something very strange. It looks like a dead scorpion, but if so, it's the largest scorpion anyone's ever seen. Easily the size of a man, it seems to have fought something equally large. Furthermore, there are patches of green, bubbling sand around the valley beyond to dune. "What on earth…" Keitaro says before scrunching his nose and putting up a face cloth. "Those spots may be emitting poisonous gas, put up something to breath through."
A shake of her head adn she backs off, "Just leave it." She states and then looks at Keitaro, "We should go back, now." She nods her head and then looks down the dune, "This isn't something we should deal with without back up or more knowledge." She nods her head and tehn takes a breath, "Lets go." She slides back down the dune, shaking her head as she goes, "We aren't equipped to handle this sort of thing."
Keitaro looks at the situation for a moment then says, "Okay, but we go to the Fort, not to Suna. With as long as it took us to get out here, if we take as long getting back then this may be gone. We can make the Fort in about half a day… There's bound to be a Jounin or two there."
"A good idea." Chitose nods her head and then grins as she looks back toward Keitaro, "Whatever this is…it isn't natural by any stretch." She looks forward, "And we need to find what killed a creature like that…because it's scarier than that creature." She then looks up at Keitaro, "Also, you had best be glad I didn't take your bet." And then she starts toward the fort.
Keitaro appears to agree whole-heartedly, and as they leave the area he takes one last look at the prints headed south. "Whatever it is, was likely hunting whatever that was." All Chitose could find as they left is the creature was likely quadpedal and quite large. Nothing else was noticeable, and by the time another team was formed and sent out here, all evidence was gone. Not even the carcass remained. Mission reports were taken, and the duo was sent back to Suna in case one of the higher-ups had questions.