Loki (emitter), Chitose
Date: October 16, 2013
Chitose is sent to find out what is going on with a merchant caravan, only to make a grim discovery…
"Desert Wars - First Death"
One day's travel West of Fort Zaru
Some time after the chuunin trials were over, and the escalations out in the desert had begun, a call went out from Fort Zaru to Suna. It seems a merchant train had stopped unexpectedly on its way between Suna and Fort Zaru, and was not moving. While the personnel at Fort Zaru weren't particularly forthcoming, they did say the merchants were requesting Shinobi from the village. Apparently something happened, and the merchants themselves were spooked. When pushed, the messenger simply said, "I have no idea, but hurry." Thus Chitose got picked, as it wasn't quite clear what this was involving as of yet, but they figured that she'd be able to get some kind of idea, and be able to relay it back to Suna. That was a day ago, and now Chitose is leading genin duo out here, who are her supposed aides.
Honestly, Chitose would have gone alone but she knows the strength there is in numbers. She glances at the pair that were given to her, "Satoru." She states to the Iga to her right and then looks over, "Ken." She then nods to the Hayato, "Be careful as we approach. We are walking into a situation that is fully unknown. This means that we are possibly going to be facing great power or complete triviality." She nods her head and then walks forward as she looks in the direction of their target, "Act rashly or without care and your death will be of your own making."
The two genin look at each other, then Chitose before nodding. "Do you know why the could have paired us together Chitose-taicho?" Ken asks as he looks up for his falcon. "I mean, with the two of us, we're more trackers than fighters…" He pauses a moment as the falcon emits a scream before he says, "Kyu says the merchants are holed up in a circle just over the next hill," he adds.
Satoru noda and looks toward Chitose. "Should I scout a bit to get an idea of what we're going into?"
"Scouting is why you were needed." Chitose nods her head and looks back, "Fighting is my strong suit." She then looks forward and starts moving forward as she stretches her arms up above her head and starts moving, "I need your knowledge. Knowledge I cannot retrieve." She then looks to the Iga, "I need you to prepare traps, to create a way to keep our enemy from escaping if there is an enemy." She then looks to the Hayato, "I need you to watch from above and prepare to work with Satoru to keep this perimeter." She then looks, "You will both assist from afar if it comes to it."
Satoru nods and opens his mouth, causing a small ball of flesh to come out and form into an eye. He gives it a toss, and the eye makes its way up the slope to look around. "I don't see much in the way of trouble there, save for the merchants who are armed and watching outward. There's one wagon in the center, with two people guarding it…"
In the meantime Ken gives a shrill wishle, causing the falcon to kite upwards. A few moments later Ken nods in agreement. "It seems almost peacefull, if not tense," he says with a sigh. "I have no idea what they're doing though, save watching in all directions." As they arrive at the top of he hill, two young men are there, with crossbows in sight and armed. "Who are you, and what do you want here?" the older one asks.
"I need to know that our merchants our safe to travel these lands." Chitose nods to Ken and Satoru, "That is our chief concern here. If there is an enemy about then it may be as simple as distracting that enemy so our merchants can escape." She then looks forward, "If these people are hostages or otherwise, I need you to ensure their safety while I face the enemy."
Upon cresting the hill and spotting the two with crossbows, Chitose tilts her head, "I am Chitose of Sunagakure." She peers at one then the other, "You have caused quite a stir out here with your actions." SHe nods her head, "And I am here to ensure that this stir ceases."
The men look at each other, then back to Chitose. The one who spoke before arches a brow and tilts his head. "Well, we're sorry if we interrupted your precious schedule, Chitose of Sunagakure, but when we lose a child in the desert, we take things rather seriously. So I tell you what… you can help us find her, or you can go back to your village and we'll find another village who wants to trade. After all, all those new fangled regulations you put into place are a real pain in the rear."
The two Genin look at each other, and Satoru nods as he concentrates briefly. After a moment he shakes his head to Chitose and shrugs, indicating he's not sure what they will find out here. Ken keeps his mouth shut, waiting to see what Chitose is going to do.
A look to Ken and Chitose nods to him, "Send your companion and start searching out with a grid pattern to find this girl." She then looks to Satoru, "Send out at least one eye to go start searching as well. One for each direction." She then looks toward the man and then states, "I have brought those who are best at searching and they will do what they do best. Do you have a description of this lost girl?" She steps forward, "And…curious."
Chitose looks at the caravan, "When someone loses a girl…do they usually draw up ranks as if they were trying to keep people out?" She looks to Satoru and then at Ken, "Did you spot any search parties?" She hmms and tilts her head and hten looks at the men, "Did you send search parties to find your girl or did you hope that by gathering up around that single wagon there…" She points at the wagon in the center, "Usually when I lose someone, I don't gather in closer…I spread out."
Satoru nods and forms three more orbs, then sending them on their way. Ken gives a couple of shrill whistles, and Kyu also starts to fly a pattern. "They do when they're in a haunted area," The man grimaces. "That's our supply wagon, in case you were wondering." In the meantime the other man, who looks very distraught, gives the description of a young girl, about 5 years of age with blond hair and brown eyes. She was reported wearing a set of tan pygamas, and was last seen playing around the center wagon. "And we sent out a party, but they returned, white as ghosts themselves, and swearing they saw nothing."
A look at the man and Chitose tilts her head, "Haunted?" She then looks to the side again, "I was not aware this was a haunted area." Chitose then looks at the wagon before looking to Satoru and Ken again, "What is this?" She hmms as she looks from one to the other, "Keep an eye out for the girl and more." She then starts forward without asking and looking at the center wagon, "I will investigate the area around the center wagon. I am curious how a young girl can just vanish in the vast desert while playing around the central location of a caravan."
A few moments later, as Chitose is making her way toward the caravan, with the scouts in tow, Satoru speaks up, "Chitose-taicho, there seems to be a… disturbance in the sand to the south. A rather large one. There are several craters, some with bits of glass there. The entire place looks like a battlefield, a rather large one. It's about a mile to the south…" Ken, in the meantime nods and adds, "There's another one to the north west, about a mile and a half. I don't know how we could have missed it earlier."
Stopping, Chitose looks at one then the other, "Glass?" She hmms and then looks in both directions, first the south then the north west. She rolls a shoulder, "Well, seems we have a problem then." She hmms before saying, "Wait…" She taps her chin, "Give me a moment." She then looks to Ken, "Get me a better view of that northwest battle, examine it as best you can." She then takes Satoru off to the side, pulling him along as she goes and then leaning in close, "I need eyes inside the center wagon." She states, "I need to know what is in there and you are the only one that can do that." She nods to him and then pats him ont he shoulder, "And tell me more about that battle to the south." She nods to him again, as if that were all they were talking about as she turns back to the men, "Stay close here. There's something going on."
Ken closes his eyes for a moment and then opens them. As he begins to describe the batttle-zone, it is becomes clear that two very powerful forces fought there. Like the battlefield to the south, there's a lot of melted glass, as if an intense heat melted the sand down into glass. There's also a lot of black blood, in both sights, intermixed with some reddish blood. No discernable prints can be made out, though there's signs of some man-made debris there. Finally Ken tilts his head to the side before paling. Kyu lets loose a loud shriek that echos across the desert. "Taicho…" he whispers, trying not to be overheard, "I think… I think they can call off the search…"
At the same time Satoru pales, "Their supplies are gone… there's a large hole in the bottom of the wagon, and over half of their rations are gone. Only water remains, and there's precious little of that. Also, there's some blood there, I can't tell what kind," he says equally as quietly.
The men look at each other and become nervous. "What? What did you find?"
A blink at Ken, "What is it, Ken?" She then looks at the whispers from Satoru before looking around and then shaking her head, "You two!" She points at the men, "Move, now. You are guarding nothing!" She states and then looks around for a moment, "Ken, Satoru. Get them all to safety." She nods her head, "I want everyone out of here now." She looks at the men, "Your central wagon is empty." She nods to the men, "Whatever is attacking attacks from underground." She nods her head, "You should move if you value your life." She then gestures, "Now." She then idly rolls her shoulders and prepares to attack if need be, "I need eyes in all directions. Ken, recall your bird. We cannot stay here."
"Wha??" the men say in unison. A female screams and runs toward the wagon, only to slip on something to slide all the way underneath of it. Satoru blinks and says, "She just fell into a pit, not very deep, but she's stuck." Just then he recalls his eyes, and then sends more out as Ken calls back the falcon, but the falcon doesn't leave where its circling.
"It's a hand… a small, human hand…" Ken says before giving another shrill whistle. Now Kyu dives down, picks something up and starts to make its way back toward the three of them. "Gather everyone up, do a head count!" the man calls, as the other starts to try to help get people organized.
Moving quickly, Chitose slides in quickly and is careful not to make the same mistake as the woman as she attempts to whip her arm down and stretch it out so the woman can grab her arm. She'll pull the woman out if she an before she looks to the man, "Get a good count of everyone. Your caravan can be replaced, your people cannot. We need to get everyone to the fort, immediately." She points at Satoru, "Is there a way you can send a message or are you only able to send out scouting?" She looks at Satoru, "Cause we need for Fort Zaru to meet us halfway."
Chitose manages to get the woman out of a sand-pit that looks like the sand had folded in on something that burrowed under it. In the meantime the men are already making a head count as Kyu returns and drops something in front of Ken. It's a little girl's hand, belonging to something about 5 years old. It is dissolved off at the wrist, with a only a bit of lace melted into the hand to show what the girl was wearing. "I think it may be the missing girl…" Ken says as he picks it up using a rag. "Though I've never seen this kind of injury before." One of the men sees Ken holding the hand, pales, and quickly distracts one of the few women with this caravan. Yep, its hers.
Sotaru, on the other hand, nods. "I can send simple messages by attaching something like a scroll to the eye," he says as he calls one of them back. "I don't know about the distance though…" He starts to prepare a scroll anyway as one of the men come up and report that the only person not accounted for, by them at least, is the little girl.
As she pulls the woman out, she nods to her and then gestures, "Lets move, now." She nods her head and then looks at Ken with a wince before looking to Sotaru, "You are moving in the direction you are sending it, it should help." She then starts that way, "I want them to meet us. Direction we are in and to meet us." She nods again before looking to the people here, "Lets go, as I said. You can't replace each other, you can replace wagons. Your supplies are gone, your lives are not…" She then looks toward Ken and Sotaru again, "Keep your eyes out and about. The people's safety is top priority."
The apparent leader of the group nods as Satoru finishes the scroll and sends it on its way. In the meantime, Ken keeps Kyu up and about, looking about for any sign of trouble. "So far everything's quiet," he tells Chitose as they make their way from the camp. "There are… battlefields all around us, some much older than others…" Satoru confirms this, while the survivors start making their solemn way back to Fort Zaru.
"Yes, I realize that, get them to safety." She states, "And remember, watch for any disturbances in the sand. If these enemies attack from underground, you won't be able to easily see them." She then looks at the people as they move before looking around, "WE are going to need to get the Shippodoku out here." She then looks forward at the movements, "We will need to find out what is happening." She then nods, "I will be sending a message once we return. We will need to start escorting as many caravans as we can until we can figure this out."
Ken and Satoru both nod in agreement as they start to escort the caravan people back to Fort Zaru. Eventually the group is met by a force set out by the Fort, to include water and basic food supplies (ration bars mainly). Thankfully, nothing else seems to attack the group, and they're able to make the fort by nightfall, though the very faint sounds of wolves and odd screeching can be heard echoing out from the desert after the sun goes down. The merchants are naturally terrified, and soon after the man that turned the woman away comes to identify the hand. Yes, it did belong to his daughter, the little girl they were looking for. After making the identification, he goes off to tell his wife that their precious daughter is dead, and to mourn.