Date: February 13, 2011
An investigation following the cataclysm at the Land of Whirlpools is launched. What will it uncover?
"Gentle Mist - Upon The Water"
Ragged Coast - Islands
The cataclysm that struck the Land of Whirlpools and Land of Waves has devastated both countries. It has also impacted the nations surrounding those two. The Land of Fire is no exception. Relief efforts from both shinobi and non-shinobi forces have been sent to the eastern coast of the Land of Fire to look for surivors, to provide food, fresh water, and shelter, and to heal the wounded and watch for any disease outbreaks that may occur.
This is the third time that a major natural disaster has struck in the past several months. First in the Land of Wind, then in the Land of Grass, and now in the Land of Whirlpools… Some feel that this is not simply a coincidence. The fact that eye-witness reports indicate that a MONSTER of some kind was responsible makes a lot of people nervous. And more than a few of those nervous people are individuals in positions of power. It appears to the minds of those who seek to retain these positions as though someone is systematically targetting and trying to destroy the ninja nations… Possibly with a new secret weapon of some kind.
Others think the Nine-Tails has emerged from hiding and is simply running amok. It is essentially an intelligent natural disaster, after all. But a few have another idea…
The idea that the Nine-Tails may BE the secret weapon being tested, and that there really IS a pattern and a purpose behind these disasters. One of these individuals is Uchiha Fuyu. She has requested of the Hokage permission to take her team to investigate the possibility that Uchiha Yau, better known as 'Rain', may have taken control of the Nine-Tails. There is only one other that could have accomplished this, but Fuyu does not believe for a second that Madara-sensei would be wasting the power of the Nine-Tails in such a fashion — let alone murdering thousands of people for no forseeable reason. War is one thing. Appearing out of nowhere and destroying innocent lives without warning is another.
The team is presently rushing through the forests of the Land of Fire, heading east. The docks leading to the Land of Waves suffered only minor damages due to being further south. But north of the docks… "We should be coming up on the coast soon," Fuyu informs those who may not have come this far before. They are most likely leaping through the treetops, but if necessary they can use the ground as well. Just incase Taji is unable to manage. He should have Tree Walking down at least by now. If not, there is going to be some serious focused training during this mission…
Taji is able to leap through the tree tops this time. Seems since the last long distance mission he has managed to master tree walking. So at least he's keeping up on that front. This allows the team to keep in the tree tops as they head through the forest towards the coast line. Taji seems quite able to keep up for the moment, even with his large backpack he usually carries along. "So… we scouting or… looking to rescue someone in particular? What's the mission, Fuyu-sama?" Taji asks as he leaps along with the group, keeping an eye out as best as he can for signs of destruction even this far inland as the group heads towards the shore. He seems to be on 'alert' wary for the unexpected as he lets the others lead.
Even in his own mind, Nobu has ventured few guesses as to what might be causing this series of disasters, though he certainly hopes that more information will come up with investigation. In any case, he's not particularly thinking of that right now, preferring to simply keep his focus on the specifics of the mission before him as he hops from branch to branch. As for the coast, he's been out this way before on the occasional mission, though he's not familiar with it by any means.
Taji's question echoes his own thoughts exactly. "I've been wondering that myself Fuyu-sama," he adds, "And I've heard that the ocean still hasn't settled down yet. Is this disaster still ongoing where we're headed then?"
Having positioned himself back behind the others, Uchiha Hinotori has taken it upon himself to act as rear guard. Arms swept back and using the trees and their branches as cover. Hinotori is able to keep himself hidden pretty well while moving. Granted he too is training while on the mission to keep his steps silent. He doesn't know what the mission is seeing as they weren't told by Fuyu-sama as of yet, but that didn't matter for now, she ordered them to come with her and thats what they were going to do.
Having made out to teh docks plenty of times before, this area isn't all that new to him, but given the last time he was at the docks a scuffle happend and well people got in trouble. Luckily he wasn't one of those who got in trouble. Landing softly and leaping to the next branch which is higher, continuing to keep out of sight just in case someone tries to ambush.
Fuyu is frowning. She's usually frowning, so this isn't new. The fact she didn't give more information before coming here is new, though. She usually gives at least a general idea of what they are hoping to accomplish. At the questions, she answers simply, "The Hokage wasn't available, but I have permission from her office to investigate whether the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox is responsible for all this. We think someone may be trying to control it somehow… Or may already have control and is 'testing' the extent of that control. Either way, we're looking for signs that what happened was the result of a Tailed Beast attacking or that it was something else. We need confirmation. The people in the area are not our concern but if we see someone in trouble we can detour to help them. Otherwise we leave it to everyone already assigned to the task of search and rescue."
This may be a bit of a major announcement, but Fuyu says it relatively calmly. Her thoughts are elsewhere. She thinks of the future, not of the present. Such a lack of focus might be costly on the battlefield but she apparently feels the threat of attack is minimal.
"The weather patterns have cleared up, but it will be awhile before the waters settle. We probably won't have to worry about that." A pause. "But if it starts raining blood, then we should probably run for our lives." Completely dead-pan.
Gradually, the scent of salt water that has been lingering in the air becomes a secondary sign that they are near the ocean. Because they break through the treeline and almost immediately have to stop moving because the forest just ENDS right there. The beach should be at least a five or six more miles away, based on ANYONE'S last visit here. Instead it's about thirty feet away. The ocean has claimed the entire coastline from south to north, it seems. Massive boulders have been thrown inland by tsunami, smashing through the trees and piling up to make a broken sort of 'ramp' leading down to the sand. Fuyu stands on the last tree branch, and searches for some sign of where all the trees went. But aside from lots of drift wood, there is nothing.
Taji's face turns to a frown as well as he considers the leader's words. The way it's delivered, the dead-pan seriousness to it, leaves Taji ill at ease to say the least. As the group comes to the shore line he halts just in time, blinking as he clings to a tree and peers down at the water, "Uh…. wow… the ocean is this far inland?" He looks up and down the coast and then out to sea, to see if there are any signs of serious disruption going on right now, and also taking in the changes in the terrain.
"Think this is just a tsunami's results or think something else did this all?" Taji asks as he examines the area, "I mean… I've never seen the results of a tsunami but this… is crazy. The coast should still be miles away!"
"It might literally rain blood?" Nobu asks, "Has anyone tried collecting it for testing?" Seeing Fuyu stop up ahead, he ends his pondering and quickly slows down, landing in a crouch on a thick branch about two trees back from the sudden end of the forest. He looks out over the destruction ahead, then replies to Taji. "I haven't either, but I would imagine something beyond just a tsunami caused this. The forest ends uniformly from here. Under normal circumstances, you'd expect some stronger trees to stay upright. Or there would be more sheltered areas where a boulder or hill or something breaks the waves," he speculates. "But I am not an expert."
Leaping down a few branches, Hinotori continues keeping up with the others. As the mission perameters are given Hinotori listens, he is surprised to hear that they are are investigating this area for possible signs of the fabled Nine Tailed Fox. This could be a very dangerous mission, he for one hopes that this isn't nothing to do with the Nine Tailed Fox, but then again it's hard to say what could've caused this damage.
Smelling the salt water and landing down next to the others as the forest suddenly breaks, Hinotori crouches on the tree he lands on. "What the hell." he says lowly, keeping his voice from getting high. There should have been more forest.
Fuyu continues to search with her eyes, ears, sense of smell, and anything else that she thinks might reveal what went on here to her. Eventually she answers with, "I don't think it was a jutsu, but a normal tsunami wouldn't errode this much of the shore unless the sediment itself was of the correct type. Or rather, the incorrect type for the purposes of holding everything together…" She shakes her head. "I'm not an expert either, but this isn't normal or natural." Turning north, Fuyu leaps down to some of the boulders and starts running along the newly-relocated beach. "There should be a town north of here. We should see if it was wiped out or if it survived," she calls back. "They might be able to provide us an eye-witness account of what happened. And belatedly, yes, it might literally rain blood. That is what was said to have happened before the beast appeared. For three hours."
Taji frowns as he studies the horizion slowly. "A town? Okay… I guess… to the north?" He looks that way then looks back out to the sea, "Whatever it was really changed the landscape around here a lot… I know something of this area and… this is totally changed." He says softly, a tad upset by his voice, "I'm sure hundreds if not more died in the… whatever it was. We should be cautious, if people are in distress they might think we were the cause." He notes as he hops down to follow Fuyu. "So… raining blood is some kind of early warning then? Maybe?" He ventures, "Wonder if it is real blood or just… red water." He glances up at the sky as if expecting to see blood red clouds or something."
Figuring that there's no reason to hang back with everyone else at the edge of the trees, Nobu jumps ahead to the next branch, then to the next, bringing him up in front with the others. He pauses for a second to take a look at the now-unobstructed view and frowns at an island in the distance. "Was that on the map…?" he wonders aloud to himself, then jumps down to the devastated ground below shortly after Fuyu does and falls in behind her. "Can we consider the blood important then? It might give us some kind of clue… or some kind of disease. That could be its purpose, even."
Hinotori continues to survey the area, he didn't like this at all. Whatever has done this has tremendous power, this only makes him grimace slightly due to not training much further then he has. As Fuyu explains what could've happend, Hinotori listens. No jutsu had this much power, and if so, this could possibly end bad for them. Hinotori lets the others get ahead of him, his other training begins kicking in as he starts looking around for tracks, if any. Though at the mention of raining blood, he puts that at the back of his mind, it could be important. It doesn't take him long to catch up with the others, "We should also be prepared to maybe not find that town to the north. Whatever caused this could've possibly taken out that town as well." he says simply.
Fuyu starts to answer Taji with, "We don't know. No one at the site of the event thought to stop and gather any. Or if they did, then they haven't told anyone else. We should probably send someone to Uzushiogakure to ask the Uzumaki as soon as possible. They mostly survived intact, thanks to their knowledge of Sealing Techniques."
At Nobu's words, Fuyu slows down her pace and she turns her head to look back over her shoulder. "Was what on the map, Nobu? The town? Yes, it is well-known. And I am aware it might be gone. That is why we are going to check on it, Hinotori." She shakes her head a bit, wondering if the younger Uchiha even listens to her half the time. Maybe he's distracted with the prospect of the Kyuubi being in the area. That IS cause for concern…
Taji pauses, as the group starts to discuss things, then looks out at the island in the distance. He shrugs then looks back at the others, "Unless you want to run out on the water, or… find a boat, hard to get to the island. I might… mind you I said /might/ be able to keep my water walking together enough to get out there but… I suspect I'd get wet a few times." He flushes just a tad, "I'm working on that, almost have it." He glances north, "Probably best to start with a town we know is there, to begin with, though? Or at least a town that /was/ there once upon a time."
After a moment Taji starts to rummage around in his backpack to pull out some binoculars. "Here." He offers Nobu, since it seems he was the one to spot whatever it is out at sea to begin with, "This might help." He suggests, giving a hopeful look to Nobu, as if trying to be sure he's being useful to the group and all.
"The town?" Nobu repeats quizzically. After a few seconds, he recovers. "Not the town, Fuyu-sama." He gestures out over the water. "I was talking about that island. The map didn't indicate anything like that… if I remember correctly. No islands until you start getting close to the Land of Water, I think." He looks over to Taji. "If it's related to… this, then it might be dangerous anyway." He accepts the binoculars. "Thanks," he says as he brings them up to his eyes and looks out over the water at the island.
He spends a few moments studying it, then lowers the binoculars again. "I think I see a volcano. And I think it's erupted recently; there's a lot of ash. Looks like it might have broken off from some other piece of land though. And there are already some plants there. I'm not sure if the island itself is new, but I don't think it was here before." He hands the binoculars back to Taji.
As more information is being relayed to the team and questions still going back and forth. Hinotori does quiet himself when he is addressed by Fuyu, apologizing wouldn't make her happy. Hell he was trying his best to pay attention but with the possibility of the Kyuubi being around, the thought of it was distracting him a bit. Taking a few moments to gather himself and listen to what is being exchanged by Nobu, Taji and Fuyu-sama, Hinotori just focuses on them.
When it's pointed out that an unknown island that isn't marked on the map. He turns in that direction, "I don't remember an island being here either and islands just don't suddenly appear either." he says. Trying to remember the last time he was out here, the Uchiha sighs, it has been awhile.
Fuyu skids to a stop at the mention of an island and frantically searches the horizon with Sharingan active. "Where!?" she demands. Kind of a severe reaction, but once she sees what is being pointed out and examines it closely… She breathes out a sigh of relief. "An actual island, then. I thought it might have been… Something else." She shakes her head, but doesn't stop looking at the island. "…There's Chakra out on that island. It's dispersed, but… That actually makes it more questionable. Chakra doesn't just sit around in the air. It is generated by living beings. But… I can see the air and land 'colored' by Chakra."
Frowning, Fuyu chews this over mentally. "I don't think it's a Genjutsu. I can see through Genjutsu. We should investigate this island and see what's making that Chakra… But first…" Fuyu reaches into a tool pouch at her hip and withdraws a mechanical bird. She also brings out some paper and a pen, and quickly writes a coded message on the paper. Making it into a small scroll, the Uchiha woman tucks it into the bird's beek. Then she wind the bird up like a clockwork device and throws it skywards. It flaps its wing and starts flying in the direction of Konohagakure.
"Someone needs to know where we went," she explains. Then she puts her hands together in a Seal and says, "Kage Bunshin no Jutsu! <Shadow Clone Technique!>" A duplicate of Fuyu appears in a puff of smoke. The duplicate says, "Climb on my back, Taji." and bends down for the Genin to do as instructed. Seems he'll be carried across. Once everyone is ready, Fuyu prepares to run across the water. It may be quite a distance, but by this point each of them should have plenty of Chakra.
Taji flushes anew, frowning a tad at the offer to be carried but… he knows his own water walking is unreliable still so sadly nods, "Okay." With some effort he climbs up on the back of the clone, looking out towards the island, "If there's chakra out there there must be something going on out there. Who knows… maybe that caused all this trouble but be strange to just walk right out at the exact right spot. Do we know where the rain came down the first time? It wasn't here, was it?" He seems to mostly just be voicing his internal concerns publically.
Taji makes sure he has a good grip on Clone-Fuyu. "I can probably manage a short distance of water walking but running all the way out to that island? Yeah…" He shakes his head, "Okay, well at least people will know where we are." He notes as he glances at the bird as it flies away towards Konoha.
"My apologies, Fuyu-sama," Nobu says, watching Fuyu as she sends the message back to Konoha, "If I'd realized it was so important, I would have been more clear about it." What would there be chakra scattered over the island? I thought it was abandoned myself." He begins walking over to the water, ready to start water-walking across to the island once he's there. It appears to be a fair distance, but he's confident that he can make it there easily enough.
Watching Fuyus reaction, Hinotori gets a bit of an uneasy feeling. But as she relaxes, he turns to look back out at the island. Activating his own Sharingan, he crouches slightly looking over the terrain of the beach. But as Fuyu prepares her mechanical bird to send the message to Konoha, Hinotoris eyes seem to focus more on the island now, looking at the dispersed chakra of the island. Once the others are ready, Hinotori lets out a breath, "Keep your breathing under control, and your body relaxed." he says looking to Nobu.