Date: December 20, 2015
Atsuro visits Kenta's office late at night to return a book, but discovers an office break-in and sabatoge instead.
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"Fang & Talon - Office Devastation"
It's late in the evening, closing in on 11PM. Despite how busy Konoha's hospital is, this is still one of the quietest times of the day. It's between the current hour and the hour before dawn the next day that the least patients arrive. Those that do are mainly for emergency treatment, which has less to do with accidents than pre-existing conditions caused by long term diseases. All in all, the halls of the place is quiet and most of the rooms darkly empty from a lack of people. Only the hospital's evening staff, a skeletal staff, is in residence. Anyone that visits the place during this time would sense this like a gaping wound.
Footsteps echo from a nearby stairwell, then the door at the landing creaks open and Atsuro walks into the hallway with a book tucked under his arm. Taizen's not with him right now — Atsuro's planning to just drop the book off with Kenta and then head home to sleep. He walks down the hall until he reaches the door to Kenta's office and knocks a couple times. "Kenta?" he asks into the door, "You around? You forgot your book."
Even as Atsuro's knocking, he'd notice something a little strange. No light seeps from around the edges of the door, meaning that the light inside Kenta's office hasn't been turned on. At this time in the evening, it'll only be dimly lit in there from whatever moonlight or ambient street light is available through the window. On the other hand, sharp Inuzuka ears can detect the sound of ruffling papers, footsteps and things being shifted around. Only, there's a measured quality to the sounds, as if all the motions are carefully performed to reduce detection. All those sounds stop as soon as he finishes knocking.
Atsuro frowns slightly. Watching Kenta at work can be a sight indeed, but that only explains the sounds themselves. Not the cautiousness of whoever's making them. And Kenta would certainly have answered him. He knocks again. "You in there, Kenta? Should I just leave the book on the floor here?" He places his hand lightly on the knob and turns it slowly to test the lock without making a sound.
The door jostles in Atsuro's grip, but it doesn't move inwards, since the lock had been engaged. All of a suddenly, the sound of movement on the other side increases in a flurry. Drawers thump hard, feet scurry (more than one pair) and at least one unfamiliar voice curses softly. Then, Atsuro can hear the scraping sound of something heavy being pushed towards the door.
Sighing loudly, Atsuro frowns. Not on HIS watch. As soon as he hears the movement from the other side again, he steps back from the door and kicks it as hard as he can to open it.
CRASH! The door slams open and the top hinge cracks, so that the door lists away from the frame. It's much darker inside Kenta's office than the hallway, so it takes a second for Atsuro's eyes to adjust, but he quickly sees that there are four intruders crammed inside the space. All of them are head-to-toe in black, which leaves nothing more than eyes revealed. The room isn't spectacularly large in the first place, but it's made even smaller by all the paperwork, study materials and furnishings that Kenta keeps in there. Four fills the place to a moderate amount, so Atsuro will have -very- cramp conditions to work with if he enters too.
Of the four intruders, the closest one is pushing a heavy bookcase towards the door. The man now abandons that and rushes to grab the door itself in an attempt to slam it shut. One intruder rushes to guard the open window, the best escape route available to those inside. The remaining two quickly continue to tear through Kenta's belongings. They hold glowing lightsticks in their hands while they grab documents, scan the words and toss them away. Some of Kenta's beloved possessions lie broken on the floor too. The whole place is a mess.
"In case this isn't obvious," says Atsuro, "You're all under arrest. SECURITY!" Hoping that there actually is someone on security to hear that, he jumps forward into the room, attempting to push past the man trying to shut the door and get over to the man by the window to cut off their best chance of escape.
The intruder trying to get to the door staggers backwards as Atsuro tries to move past him, but instantly goes on the offensive when it's clear that there's no way to keep the Jounin Commander from entering. A shroud of chakra surrounds both of his hands. He instantly sends a barrage of strikes at Atsuro. All of them are attempts to land a touch on Atsuro's chest, neck, spine, arms or legs instead of the more deadly punches and stiffened finger jabs that characterizes more deadly taijutsu styles.
One of the two figures going through Kenta's desk makes an exclamation of excitement. His cohort instantly rushes over to go over the papers that were found. They begin to stuff loose sheets into a bag, not even caring where the documents get crumpled or torn in the process. A cat figurine, that Atsuro knows Kenta received as a birthday present, falls to the ground to shatter into three pieces as one of the men knocks it off with a casual sweep of an arm to produce more room on the desk.
With a graceful spin, Atsuro nearly dances away from the first intruder's attack. He continues his attempt to push across the room to the window, only pausing briefly to make a hand seal. A clone explodes into existance and jumps out behind him to throw itself at the man by the door and hopefully close off the second possible point of escape for these intruders.
There's a loud curse from behind Atsuro, but no grunt of pain or gasp of alarm. The first intruder has anticipated the move as soon as the Jounin Commander started making hand seals. He slides away from the shadow clone's assault without breaking the flow of his own movements. Instead of trying to retaliate against the clone, the man kicks aside a chair, which goes crashing into a shelf, and springs at the source of the jutsu instead. One of the two intruders at Kenta's desk also breaks away to intercept Atsuro from the front, leaving only one person stealing documents from the drawers. Chakra scalpel enshrouded hands slap at Atsuro again and again.
If the man by the door doesn't actually want to bother defending the door, that's just fine with the clone. He moves over to the opening and yells, "SECURITY!" once more, then moves to shut the door as best as it can be while it's in that condition. Atsuro himself is able to only escape half of the other man's attacks. Pressing on through the pain, he retaliates with several strikes of his own. Not chakra-enhanced, but relying on his sheer strength.
Oddly enough, no one comes running when Atsuro's clone yells out into the hallway. But the yelling's quickly aborted when a chakra scalpel slices the muscles of the Jounin Commander's side, causing his clone to dissipate in a puff of smoke. The two intruders continue to attack him relentlessly. The one guarding the window watches on with a frown while the last intruder continues to rummage through Kenta's belongings.
The two intruders engaged in combat with Atsuro flow like the wind, bend like saplings and move like smoke. "The Jounin Commander's not much without his mutt," one of them laugh harshly between grunts of effort in the exchange of blows. He feints at Atsuro's side and face with his medical chakra enshrouded hands. Meanwhile, his partner flows around Atsuro to stab at a vital point in the Jounin Commander's back with glowing fingers.
The feint proves to be useless. Atsuro can sense a false attack — and a real one too. He moves towards the feint and away from the real attack at his side. "Good point," he says, "I /do/ need a dog to help me." He makes the same seal as before and the clone takes up a defensive position behind him. "I've always wanted a witty opponent to try this out on," says Atsuro.
"But I guess these guys will do," the clone finishes. Both make another seal and there's a loud pop and in a puff of smoke they disappear. Replaced by a big, two-headed dog with a reddish-brown coat. Not as large as the technique usually produces — not any bigger than the combined size of Atsuro and his clone, actually. Both heads bark loudly in baleful unison.
Both of the intruders facing off against Atsuro curses loudly. They redouble their efforts to disable him. Meanwhile, the one going through the desk seems to be finishing up grabbing the documents that the group wants. As the battle continues, Atsuro is struck by an odd fact. All of the intruders smell -exactly- the same. This is important, but hard to dwell on, since the fight is commencing at such a fierce speed. Even though none of the moves used so far are environmentally destructive, Kenta's office is going to be destroyed beyond repair if this keeps going on.
The dog snarls, slipping under the men's arms with surprising agility, seeming to know the attacks are coming before even their users do. As for the identical smells, the most obvious explanation is that someone else has been using Shadow Clones as well. If any of them are real, the best solution is to eliminate the clones as quickly as possible and figure out who it is. Taking advantage of the two attackers being this close, the heads turn away from each other and snap at the men with powerful jaws.
Poof! One of the attackers disappear in smoke when sharp teeth clamps down on his arm. The remaining intruders cry out in alarm at the reduction in numbers. Unfortunately, the one doing the stealing has also completed the task. He tosses two bags to the man guarding the window. "Take them and destroy them!" The bags are caught and disappears from sight through the window as the one who took them flees out of it. The one behind the desk quickly moves to take the place of the disappeared clone.
Now there's more room to maneuver inside the trashed office with almost half the party gone. Paper rustle underfoot and mementos crunch wherever the men (or dog-men) step. The last two intruders seem determined to silence Atsuro once and for all without any regard to their own health. But of course that won't be an issue if Atsuro's only facing down clones.
Whatever the importance of the man who escaped, Atsuro's going to have to deal with these two first. Suppose that one of /them/ is the real ninja? The heads take a deep sniff to get a sense of both the documents and the men. And then it's on. The dog charges toward the window, both heads snapping and snarling at the man guarding it in an attempt to rip him to shreds.
Poof! Another one of the intruders disappear as the vicious maw rips a huge chunk out of its side. The remaining clone roars in defiance and tries to tackle Atsuro. He slashes at the monstrous canine creature with glowing hands, aiming for any location where injured muscles and tendons would cause a massive slowdown. At this point, it's obvious that there's no way that the remaining intruder can kill Atsuro. The only thing that can be done is to buy some additional time for the fleeing party to get away.
The dog slips just out of harm's way again, its paws flicking delicately across the floor as it twists its body. Now it's time to take care of this one more opponent and hope that the escapee can still be tracked. With nothing to distract it now, the wolf lunges forward, twin mouths open, displaying the sharp teeth arrayed within before they snap down.
"Doesn't matter. You failed!" the last intruder exclaims right before he's torn to pieces… POOF! And this one proves to be a clone too. Everything's silent as Atsuro's left alone in Kenta's trashed office. The door has completely fallen off its hinges now. There's torn paper everywhere, in additional to smashed decorations and cracked bookcases. The teapot that Kenta always serves Atsuro out of is toppled over with the handle snapped off. It's easy to imagine the expression on the young medic-nin's face when Atsuro has to show him all this.
As soon as the last clone is gone, the wolf disappears in a puff of smoke, leaving a bloodied Atsuro in its place. That very image of Kenta comes to mind, but Atsuro turns it aside for the moment. He can't prevent it, but maybe he can still find justice for it. Stepping over to the window, he leans out and takes in a deep breath of air, taking in every tiny scent left.
The battle had lasted only a few more minutes after the disappearance of the documents, but the intruder that grabbed them is far away by now. Thankfully, Atsuro has the speed and stamina that makes the Inuzuka clan famous. He quickly identifies the trail, which leads north across the rooftops of the surrounding buildings and towards the northern border of Konoha proper. Atsuro must be gaining on his quarry.
When Atsuro makes it to the border, he's met with a terrible surprise. The scent of smoke fills the air. A pile of ash, quickly getting swept away by the wind, lies on the ground next to two hastily discarded bags that Atsuro recognize as the containers used for the stolen documents. The scent of the intruder also stops exactly at this point, as if he had disappeared into thin air.
There's justice on Atsuro's mind when he reaches the ash pile, but there's murder when he realizes what it is. "Typing son of a desk," he mutters under his breath, "I know your scent. No one escapes me forever. No one." Already his mind is thrumming furiously with plans to track this criminal down. For now, he needs to get medical attention, assess the damage to Kenta's office, and talk to the security staff. All three can be found at the hospital. He turns around.
Atsuro finds a kunai held to his face when he tries to re-enter the hospital through the window of Kenta's office. The wielder stammers a quick apology and retreats to allow the Jounin Commander to enter once he recognizes that unforgettable face. There's about half a dozen security staff crawling all over the place, both inside the office itself and out in the hallway.
"Atsuro-sama! I'm terribly sorry!" the guard that threatened says. He looks uneasily at the taller shinobi. "Should have known that you're already working on the problem. I just thought that you were the vandal coming back to get something for a second." He winces when something crunches under his sole. "Kenta-san isn't going to be happy to both his office, one of his laboratories -and- his test subjects trashed all in one night."
Atsuro has more or less calmed down on his way back to the office, but some of the frustration returns when he gets a blade stuck in his face. "I suppose you weren't here five minutes ago," he says tiredly, "Because you were investigating the disturbance in the lab?" He waves his hands. "Everybody out. The perpetrator might have left some evidence here. I don't want anyone in here except Kenta without my saying so. Send a message to the head of the Delta branch — I need our best trackers here right away."
"Hai!" Everyone starts filing out, except the guard that nearly stabbed Atsuro. He seems to be the most senior of the team. "Yes, we're sorry, Atsuro-sama. We were alerted of disturbances in two different locations. One was a lab room where Kenta-san has often been seen often in the last few weeks, where he was performing some of his research. All his notes were taken along with viral cultures he was growing. The second location is a small pen for animal test subjects. Kenta-san had a monkey and giant fish housed there. Both were killed and their bodies destroyed by something that one of the resident medics identified as flesh eating bacteria." The man shakes his head sadly. "Now this. It looks like someone has it out for Kenta-san. I'll send a contact to the Delta branch as you instructed. Do you need anything else, Atsuro-sama?"
Atsuro exhales in frustration as he surveys the damage to the office. "Does Kenta know about this yet?" he asks, "Send him a message, if not. And send a message to the police — we'll be starting a full investigation as soon as possible. Whoever did this has sabotaged Konoha's medical research. We /will/ find them and they're going to tell us why. Don't let anyone even into the hallway around here unless it's urgent."
"Hai!" The guard starts to back out of the room. He's careful not to disturb or destroy anything else along the way. "A message was sent to Kenta-san's house and should be arriving around now. We'll secure the location and make sure that this news doesn't leak out to the public." No use getting all the patients and hospital visitors worried about their safely in Konoha's biggest medical facility. Only the fact that the break-ins happened late and night and in locations outside the common visitor areas would prevent the knowledge from spreading too quickly.