Date: October 6, 2010
Following the prison break under the Uchiha Enclave, Fuyu and some "friends" come looking for the Hokage… And perhaps a fight.
"Filling The Gap"
Hokage's Academy Office - Konohagakure
It is presently afternoon. The Hokage's office that is on school grounds, as opposed to the office that is in the tower on the east side of the Village, is receiving some visitors. These visitors do not look very happy. As a matter of fact, they look highly unpleasant — scary even. Three Uchiha stride down the hall. One of those is ANBU, judging by the bird mask he is wearing. All of them are glowering and glaring at anyone who gets in the way or even looks in their direction. More than one Student — and even Academy Instructors — have caught those glares and gotten out of the way very quickly. Accompanying this trio are two others. One is Taji, who is kept in FRONT of the ANBU Uchiha in the middle. He is not permitted to lag behind at all or hang around at the rear of the group. There will be no slipping off or backing out.
Not that he really has a REASON to, per se, but apparently this is a matter of great import.
At the front of this procession is Uchiha Fuyu. She is wearing her official Jounin garb, with flak combat jacket and all. This is what she normally wears anyway, but sometimes she prefers to wear her outfit from the Clan Wars. Either one means she is not relaxing or out on casual tasks. These five sweep down the hall towards the meeting room here in the Academy.
Something bad must have happened.
Zero and Hashiramako didn't quite share an office, however some would begin to wonder as the Kage sat at the desc, reviewing student records in preparation for the upcoming graduation. Periodically, she'd glance over at her confidant, sitting at one of the sidetables doing yet more paperwork. "Do you know anything of Akimichi Kyoji? He's set to graduate, but I'm not so sure. Have one of our guys observe him for a bit." She said, putting the paper into the 'maybe' pile. Yeah, ho hum, the kage is here in her robes doing what kage's do best, boring paperwork. :P
And with such boring paperwork comes letting others do it! Hyuga Akomura picked up his little blue book of notes, holding it open while peering inside at a marked page. "Hmm… Akimichi… Aha, here he is, Kyoji-san. A fast learner, and.. attitude problem along with second youngest in the course. He can stay back as far as the instructors professional opinion cares… but her nerves are shot dealing with him apparently. I could transfer him classes? Put him with Uchiha Okentu, maybe." He put his book down, and sifted through grade sheets for the academic finals and teacher evaluations of students, looking for the actual paperwork done on the child. The thickest folder by far of the stack he had. "Hm. Yes, quite an outgoing individual." He stares at the folder for a moment before opening it. "Or even… other methods of discipline.. make him carry his file around the village for a year, heh," he chuckled at his own joke.
Taji looks a tad uncomfortable, being just a genin with such people but he manages to put on a good mask to a casual observation. He keeps up, just behind Fuyu, but ahead of the other three. He glances around as he follows, observing as best as he can as the group moves down the hall towards the Hokage's office. The group causes a bit of a stir as they head down the hall of course, right towards the Hokage's office. Seems boring paperwork is about to be interupted by this group of 5. Taji does stick out a bit like a sore thumb, being the youngest of the group of 5 by far, and clearly not ANBU or Uchiha.
The group comes to the office, announced probably by some aid who likely looks very nervous, assuming Fuyu-san is willing to wait for such an introduction. Seems there is very serious business at hand indeed.
There is no announcement per se. Any attempts at such are ignored as Fuyu pushes right on through to eventually reach the office doors. She raps on the door with her knuckles quickly and then doesn't wait for admittance before opening the door and coming in. She enters and stands right in the middle of the room, facing Hashiramako. Once everyone is in the room, the last one in closes the door, possibly shutting out any aides or similar that are trying to protest.
Fuyu tosses two thick file folders onto the Hokage's desk. One is non-descript but very, very thick. It has the Uchiha crest on it, which is not normal for files of Konohagakure. The other is thinner but still hefty, and has 'Top Secret' and 'Classified' stamped on the cover. The former is probably Uchiha property. The latter is probably something Fuyu shouldn't even have known existed, let alone have been in possession of. "The folder on top details a previously-secret prison complex under the Uchiha Enclave that was being used for the detainment of prisoners that were deemed too dangerous to be turned over to official law-enforcement immediately. Ones who have special abilities or information that can best be suppressed or obtained by the Uchiha. That facility was used to contain Uchiha Rainos prior to his escape while under the supervision of Senju guards that the prison's existence was revealed to. That prison suffered an almost complete shutdown of its security systems a few days ago. Many escaped, more than a few guards were injured or killed, and I have here a non-Uchiha witness to the event who also helped in reclaiming the facility personally."
She steps aside so that Taji is visible. "The other file… I will explain later, but Taji was part of that as well."
As far as the dealings with the not-so-well known parts of Konohagakure, Hashiramako usually left such dealings with Akomura, as she picked up the undisclosed file that yes, maybe Fuyu shouldn't have known about. She pulls it towards her, leaving it closed on the desk as she motions for Akomura to deal with the prison situation. "I'll talk to you about this later, Uchiha-san," she said, tapping the classified folder.
Akomura stood, rubbing the bridge of his nose for a moment, stepping over to in front of the group of five after snagging the folder marked with the Uchiha symbol. "What is the situation with this?" As he opened it up and began perusing, so he could read and listen to Fuyu both at the same time.
Meanwhile, the Hokage was still going through one of the large stacks of paperwork she had on her desk at the time. Paperwork was hard, catching up on paperwork is even harder.
Taji frowns, as he is escorted in with the group, but says nothing. He gives a brief nod though, to anyone watching when Fuyu indicates he is a non-Uchiha witness. He glances around the office, not having been in here much before, if ever. Then he turns his attention to Akomura, nodding again, as he peers at the folders, unable of course to read the contents from here. He stands silent, watchful, waiting for anyone to call on him with questions. He seems to feel that silence on his part is the most appropriate action at this time, and sticks to that, for now.
Fuyu turns her attention from Hashiramako to Akomura. "The situation with the prison is that it is now under full lock-down and back in our control. The prior situation is that not only main systems, jutsu, and security measures stopped working for unexplained reasons, but also the multiple redundant systems. I thought at first it was sabotage… Perhaps on the part of a certain Clan…" She does not look towards Hashiramako, but the bird-masked ANBU member does. Only briefly, though. He then focuses back on the head of ANBU. "…But that individual would not know the details of how to disable ALL of the systems that were affected even partially… And the evidence indicates that there was no manual tampering that our investigators were able to detect. Further…"
She looks towards Taji for a second. "There were systems that have no 'in-between' state in their functionality. That folder is only one of multiple folders describing in excrutiating detail COMPONENTS of our security systems and how they work. But even from that you should be able to tell that the Kekkaijutsu and Fuuinjutsu used should either work or not work. There is no 'partial functionality' for a room-wide Seal that has multiple supporting elements. At all times there is something keeping the Seal at fully power, even if one part is removed. If all the parts are removed, it shuts down. And yet there were some cells that were fluctuating in their containment levels. As though the energy feeding them was being disrupted somehow…"
Fuyu looks at the folder in Akomura's hands. She is loathe to divulge even a portion of the secrets of her Clan. It took a lot of work to build the facility without anyone else finding out, let alone the resources that were put into making it secure. But if it is in danger of letting loose dangerous criminals in the future… It will have to be shut down, and the prisoners relocated.
"I have a hypothesis about the reason why this happened, but I don't have enough information to prove it. So I am submitting the information that I DO have and requesting additional intelligence be added to this matter. Because it is not just the Uchiha Enclave's special prison that might be affected next… Imagine if the Kekkaijutsu that guards the entire Village were to shut down at an inopportune time. We'd be completely open to anyone and everyone." She takes in a breath and says, "Taji, you were at Ankoku Cave on its initial exploration mission, correct? The one lead by Kirryu Moriko to recover a box or bag or some such? Would you care to describe your experiences there for those who were not present? I only have that file that Hokage-sama has to go by, you see…"
Hashi thumbed through the file on the prison briefly, glancing over diagrams of seals, construction and other things pertaining to the prison. "Hmmm, village has been formed for only a few years, so I can't imagine the prison being overly old considering it was built in secret in earth that is littered with the roots of my own village wide security and monitoring. And to do so without my being aware of it, is very impressive. So, I'm not overly surprised that somehow something in this got overlooked and has been exploited. We learn more from our mistakes than we do from our accomplishments." She said calmly. "It sounds more like an inside job than something that can be blamed on a Senju that is guarding one person over a period of a few weeks at most." She stated.
She then looked over to Taji, "Taji-san, can you give me a mission debrief of what occurred at the Ankoku Cave with Moriko-san? At the moment, this particular mission eludes me." She stated as she closes the file on the prison and begins to glance at the original mission request in the folder.
Taji hesitates, thinking, frowning, "Well…." He starts off slowly, "It was some time ago. We were sent to recover a chest of some kind. It was not clear what the contents were, in fact I think we were specifically /not/ told the contents, but sent to recover it from this cave. Only, something was very wrong at the cave. We found several corpses there. Some were just skeletons, a total of about six of the skeletons had what appeared to be ninja tools, and there were hitai-ite there from Kusagakure, Sunagakure, and Takigakure…" He says slowly then then blinks and peers at the Hokage, "Actually, if I recall right there was a letter on one of the bodies, addressed to you. I believe I handed that letter to you directly?" He tries to jog the Hokage's memory, "Most of the bodies had blows to back of the head, and strange saw toothed blade marks on the bones. Some bodies looked like… well, like vagrants or something but at least six were nin." He repeats.
Taji shrugs, "Anyway, we recovered the box but something was very wrong in the cave. Some thought it was a genjutsu, or something like that. It was… like nothing I ever experienced before." He admits, "And… I believe a second team was sent to investigate but I never heard the results of that investigation. I was not 'invited' to go along." He notes, "I believe it was deemed to risky to send genin back to such a place?" He glances between the Hokage and Fuyu, "That's what I recall off the top of my head. I don't believe my team was ever told who hired us to recover the chest, nor did we look inside it."
Fuyu listens to Hashiramako's dismissal of the idea of Senju sabotage. Fuyu already said she had abandoned that possibility but the casual defense of her Clan as though it were impossible for a Senju to do anything traitorous or foul… For a moment she bares and grits her teeth in the right corner of her mouth, facing away from the Hokage. But then she turns her focus fully on what Taji says. She listens and notes how he left out a certain detail…
"And I believe that the report from Akimichi Noab's team indicated there was a similarly disconcerting force in that cave. Ankoku Cave APPEARED to be the residence for something. Something powerful and hostile. Something that feeds on Chakra… And perhaps flesh as well. It was tentatively identified as present during your meeting with Taji before, I believe. But it was not properly identified until Noab went. The influence of the creature was believed to have grown since the original mission. It had expanded to influencing much of the local wildlife, as well as the forest itself, and showed no signs of stopping its spread. Water had been turned green and toxic, trees were rotting or growing in unnatural shapes, still-living animals were falling apart and becoming increasingly hostile… And I believe the team even returned a sample of the toxic water for analysis."
Fuyu crosses her arms and says, "Upon attempting to enter the cave, no one was able to go much further than the very threshold without falling under mental attack. Not from Genjutsu, but just waves of emotion and painful memories. And Noab's team also said that other human beings had been in the vicinity before them, and that they heard sounds of what might have been battle going on below."
The three Uchiha Loyalists, previously silent and perhaps even forgotten, now are all staring at Hashiramako. And four pairs of Sharingan eyes are set in the faces of the Uchiha present, including the one with the ANBU mask. "This leads me to believe that someone was down there attempting to control or kill the creature. Since then, my ANBU friend here," she indicates the man to her left. "Has done a scouting mission on my orders and identified that the forest is no longer being corrupted or changed. The things that were dying-while-alive before are now completely dead. The green coloration of the water has begun to leech out into the soil, and grass and new plants are beginning to grow… But they are all stunted in their development. Animals still stay clear of Ankoku Cave, but no more appear to be getting sick. Further, the waves of Chakra that were, for lack of a better term, 'evil' have ceased to exist. Whatever was in that cave… Is either dead, or not there anymore."
Fuyu narrows her eyes. "These files indicate you have known about the cave for quite a long time. Why has nothing been done before now? Why has no effort been made to destroy or seal away the creature in the cave? And what do you suppose would happen if Uchiha Rainos was the one in that cave and he has now gained control of it?" The Uchiha woman's voice raises in volume throughout this until she finally demands forcefully, "What will you do if the creature in that cave — the entity that was dwelling in a pit of raw human malice — is now under the control of Rainos!? And what will you do if that creature is the NINE-TAILED FOX!?"
Hashi looked at Fuyu with a steady nerve, her peripheral vision taking note of the sharingan that was activated on her escort. "First of all, if the thing is the Nine Tail Fox, you are giving Uchiha Rainos way too much credit. Second of all, the situation was being monitored. There can be no good without some evil. The world needs balance in all things. The land is healing, which is something that will take time to do. However, now that it appears the situation has changed, it is time to send in yet another investigation into the region. Perhaps, that will give you the answers you need." She then nodded to the Uchiha present, "I do wonder, why the four of you," she asked nodding towards Fuyu and her escort, "Would come in here for a report like this with your Sharingan burning? Considering the accusatory tone, it could be considered threatening." She added. "So, if you would please, unless under direct order of myself or in the event of an emergency, put those away."
She then looked over to Taji and nodded, "Ah, that is right. The letter was from Dr. Uudo, who was passing through the area. I think we provided him with an escort for his safety in the region." She said slightly idly. "Saw toothed blade like cut marks, does not sound like an animal beast at all that I am aware of. Unless someone was butchering bodies to feed it. Which makes me think that when Taji's team originally went, the creature was either young or sick itself. Perhaps the improvement of the area, is note of its improved wellbeing. Either way, a team shall be dispatched to investigate it." She said thoughtfully. "Any other thoughts on the matter, and how do you think it ties into the situation in your prison?"
Taji tilts his head as the Hokage talks of balance, an idea near to his heart at least. He stays silent though, watching, not adding anything more to the discussion at the moment as he takes a step to the side, as if not wanting to be in the way of any potential 'conflict' between Fuyu and Hashiramako, just to be safe. He gulps as things seem to tense up, but silence does seem to be the best policy for the Genin right now… not wanting to risk drawing any further unnecessary attention to himself.
Fuyu continues to stare at Hashiramako, and considers trying to just invade her mind with her Genjutsu and force her to tell her secrets, but she has done a lot of work to make herself appear loyal to the Village… And she IS loyal. She just has different ways of expressing that loyalty than most. "…The situation was being monitored. And yet someone entered the cave and did something to alter the conditions of Ankoku Cave from the state it was previously in, and the influence it was previously having on the environment, and no one was the wiser until after the fact. That is what you are saying?"
She waits a moment, to get confirmation, and then she turns to the others present. They had all come with the understanding there might be trouble here. They had expected Hashiramako to be alone, though. And as much as Fuyu hates the Senju, she will not start a fight with the head of the ANBU present. Especially since the Uchiha ANBU in the room, while ostensibly part of the 'Loyalists' and supposedly feeding her secret information, could also potentially be a double-agent. A spy sent by ANBU to infiltrate the Loyalists and report anything they might be planning that would be traitorous. Fuyu has done nothing traitorous, but that doesn't mean she is going to trust an agent of ANBU that has yet to be proven worthy of such trust.
She is the first to deactivate her Sharingan. Her eyes revert from red and black to simply black.
"Fine, then. It seems you have everything handled. It appeared from the information I had that you or someone under your command may have been planning to strengthen a wounded Bijuu in order to use it as a weapon… And then Rainos got ahold of it. For one who claimed to wish for peace as much as the rest of us here in Konohagakure, that would have indicated an ulterior motive of some kind. I am glad to know that this was merely an instance of incomplete data as opposed to an actual conspiracy…"
She makes sure those behind her have turned off their own Dojutsu… One look from her, and they do it instantly. "Now that the misunderstanding is done with… Here is some additional information I have. Whatever the creature was that was in that cave, Bijuu or otherwise, it is likely that either Rainos HAS gone to the cave looking for it, or will eventually. Because the reason I had access to that classified file was that when he had assumed control of Konohagakure, and took me into his confidence, he told me all about this entire situation, his suspicions that it was the Kyuubi, and his plan to go there and take command of it with some 'secret weapon' of his. I do not know what exactly the weapon is, but I do know he has shown a keen interest in the cave. If he does not have the creature now, he will at some point in the future. And I would prefer it if we did not give him the chance to use it."
Fuyu considers her next words carefully. Looking once towards Akomura, she then focuses back on Senju Hashiramako. "You said that a further investigation team will be sent to follow-up on Noab's report, and the one I have provided today from ANBU operative 55 here. I would like to lead this team and I would like for the team to be more than just a four-man squad. I want as many as we can spare. There is no telling what may or may not be there, but I have no intention of anyone risking their lives again in an unknown area with insufficient back-up. Maybe it seems to have died down, but that doesn't mean anything. It could be a ruse, or, perhaps as you said, the creature is stronger now… Which would mean something even more dangerous than before."
And then she drops the other shoe. "I also would like Taji to come with. He has experience with that cave. He has been further inside than Noab's team, even. His guidance could be very useful. I would call upon the others that were on that first mission, but they are currently occupied with other tasks. I checked. And to answer your question in the simplest terms possible, given that I have already taken up quite a bit of time… Rainos applies some sort of Seal to the ground in the middle of the Uchiha Enclave. I asked him what it was for and got some vague and evasive answer. I think he may have escaped because he had something in place that could make Chakra cease to exist in a given area, either by absorbing it or sending it elsewhere… Such as Ankoku Cave, or wherever he may be at a given time. The S-Cell he was placed in was very well-designed to negate the ability to control Chakra. If he could drain Chakra from his own prison cell and send it to himself he could have easily escaped his confinement. And then he could drain the Chakra-intensive security systems of the prison at a later date — such as a few days ago — to feed his new pet, or simply to strike at the Clan that 'abandoned and betrayed' him."
Hashi looked at her, unblinking, "There is no conspiracies within this office, people will see what they want to see. Uchiha Rainos is a master at twisting words and setting friends at each other's throats. People with less tie to each other, is all the easier." She said calmly. "Is there something there? Quite possibly. The chakra was thick enough to choke before, it has gone down and the situation has improved. We definitely need to go there." Hashi agreed. "I think it should be done as a joint operation. Perhaps separate teams to go in, performing different purposes. Perhaps you, Fuyu-san can lead one with Taji-san. I would request that perhaps Daisuke-san, my nephew also joins you. If there is more than one entrance into the cave, I would like Akomura-san to lead a team of his own. If what is there is a threat, a few teams already in strategic locations of the cave could prove useful. I will have someone fetch our maps of the cave later." She said.
"As far as your prison goes, and Rain. Why let someone who was a prisoner enter the prison with seals on hand? And then to leave one? Doesn't make much sense. I will send a few specialist from the ANBU to investigate the seal he left and see if it can be removed if it has not already been done. As far as the incident the other day, the seal could have something to do with it, but I'm more apt to believe he is toying with us. Sassahara Natsuki visited Daisuke and I for dinner. She pulled me aside and told me a little about the situation in confidence. She stated that it was mostly less powerful people that had been released, and the seal at the opening appeared to work just fine. The seal that you said Rainos left, was it near his cell or near the beginning of the area?"
Hashi thought for a moment, her brow wrinkled in thought, "You said in the middle of the Uchiha Village. What is directly under seal? You say the prison is underground. Would the area that seemed affected be under the seal? If so, that may explain the range and would just prove Rainos is toying with us." She said, "He uses a form of psychological warfare. He's a pain in the ass when playing chess and Go." She said. "Anyway, I'll read over the reports and visit the Uchiha Village and the prison personally before the end of the week. Unless there is something else, I need to get back to this paperwork."
Akomura listened to all of the talk between the two. The mention of seals rather caught his attention. "There is a legend.." he started, almost looking like a storyteller telling a fanciful tale to his grandchildren.. which he had, and that mantra fit this situation perfectly in his mind, "-of a grandiose seal that gives the users enhancements to whatever their bodies and minds attach most to in their methodology of living life, or cowering from it. It's a most dangerous thing in the wrong hands, or a powerful tool in the right ones." He waved a hand. "Noone this side of two centuries ago knows where it is, it's just a legend. I looked into it myself before the most recent clan war, but found the better part of nothing." He shook his head, "If I could look at the seal he left, wherever it may be, I could possibly try to break it down, or if anything, try to seal it off myself so it cannot effect the area. It would really turn into a decorative logo on your lawn. You could even paint a fan over it if you wish." He didn't mean that as a moral jab, but was truly offering to the other clan head that yes, their clans may not see eye to eye. Less so than the Senju and Uchiha had, but still the rivalry was there. He looks down to Taji, "Would you mind writing me everything you know about what you have seen down there," and looking to Fuyu, "And I can disseminate among…" a glance to Taji, then back up to Fuyu again, "..others.. what needs to happen and who will be working this out? I know you and I can get together to put together the teams more effectively with combined information." Offering a sotr of middle ground of who's running the show instead of butting heads, since the Hokage just motioned that she had paperwork to do.
Taji nods to Akomura, "Ah, well, I can but I already wrote up a report and submitted it. I'm afraid it was some time ago when we went to the cave and my memories won't be as fresh as in that report." He explains. "Probably would be best just to read the report I already filed?" He asks hopefully. "In any case, should I stay around to go on this mission? I believe Tosai-san had mentioned going to the land of lightning soon, taking me along. I'm not sure which of these takes priority?" He asks, looking for some clarification it seems on which takes precedent. "I'm willing to help out any way I can. It is possible whatever was in that cave effected me less since I rely on Chakra less than a lot of more powerful Shinobi? I'm primarily taijutsu, and hardly use any chakra based defenses or attacks. It may be the more chakra you have at your fingers, the worse the effect is, which, if that is the case, sending very powerful ANBU or someone like that might be worse than sending someone with less chakra, even if they are less skilled." He suggests. But then, as things seem to be winding down he glances to Fuyu to see what he should do next, following her lead if possible on when to leave.
Fuyu nods. "There is much we don't know yet. If it feeds on Chakra and flesh, then obviously the use of Ninjutsu and Genjutsu should be kept to a minimum, and everyone should keep an eye on everyone else. Guard the back of the one guarding yours. But unless we want to just collapse the cave linking the Land of Fire to the Land of Rice Fields, then we have to do something — even if that means going into a dangerous situation. If you wish to request to stay here or go with Tosai, feel free. But the thing a LOYAL ninja of Konohagakure would do would be to risk one's life to preserve the lives of others. So think about whether your duty lies with yourself or the people who would lay down their own lives to save yours." Then she nods to Zero/Akomura, and says, "I'll find you later to hash out the details. There are other preparations to be made." She then turns and walks out.
If they keep talking or not, she doesn't care. Confronting and framing the Hokage had not worked out as planned. So she would have to go the other route. Blaming Rainos for everything, and getting the Senju to commit enough resources to stopping him that if they were to fail…
Only the Uchiha could fill in the gap.