Date: November 22, 2012
A group of shinobi are tasked with escorting a sculpture through the desert, and things go rather well even after the unexpected company they receive.
It is early in the day and Kameko stands waiting by the village entrance with the humongous sculpture placed in the back of the wagon/caravan and the artist who made the piece. The sculpture itself was breathtaking, taking the appearance of a giant explosion at its peak. The glass is stained a dark blood red and orange towards the bottom and as it reaches the mushroom-like cloud at the peak it blends in with dark gray and black colors giving it an even more realistic appearance. Kameko was surprised that she was actually assigned to be the leader of the mission, the artist seemed to enjoy the idea of having another artistic soul to talk to while they made their journey to a village across the desert at the borders of the Land of Wind. Kameko requested Stealth's help in the mission, she knew it would be good to have someone experienced like him able to provide aid to her. Plus she figured he would bring the twins along, and all the extra hands she could get were appreciated. As she waits Kameko idly makes conversation with the artist. "So what was your inspiration for this piece?" The artist beamed brightly before motioning to the sculpture. "It represents the swelled emotions of the Land's and how one day these feelings will just burst if we do not get a control over them." Kameko nods thoughtfully continuing to gaze over the sculpture.
Indeed, requested on the mission, that figure would show up. The mission meant they were on top behavior. He's been teaching the twins some moves and this was going to be the first time they'd get to see if it was paying off or not. While the twins were left with a clone to walk up to where the mission starting was at, the clone vanishing at the last moment when they were in sight, the figure would casually step out of the shadow of the artist. The statue looked at, then the man when he mentioned the swelling of emotions. Red eyes were unblinking for a long moment before that soft tenor would croon out. "Interesting." Attention turning to Kameko, a small nod of greeting was given. "Is it secure.. or am I securing it?"
The twins had gotten dressed in their black outfits to match Suterusu and followed after the clone quietly. They'd never really liked missions before and only even entertained the idea because it was him who asked them to. As the two came to stand amongst the group, their eyes showed a smile at Kameko but they stayed quiet. They gazed at the statue, eyes sparkling with controlled mischief as they waited. During their wait, they both fiddled with their necklaces, Nao making the orbs roll in their confines and Jun simply running her fingers along the braided metal.
Kameko glances over at Suterusu and gives him a polite nod in return. "It is already secure, thought about letting you use your wire so you would be able to manipulate it if things got bumpy. The metal would risk scratching the sculpture though." She smiles at the twins "Greetings Nao-chan and Jun-chan it is a pleasure seeing you two again." The artist flails a little bit in fear at his shadow seemingly coming to life, but seems to relax as Kameko knows the figure. "Y..yes please don't scratch it..It took months to heat the sand…then there was working it into place…and staining it." Kameko smiled over at the artist. "Do not worry, nothing will happen to your sculpture. You are guarded by capable hands." She turns her attention back to Suterusu and the twins. "The mission itself is rather simple, make sure the sculpture makes it to the border in one piece. There have been rumors of some people not…particularly enjoying the message he's trying to make with this piece. So there may be some risks along the way." She looks between the three pausing for a moment. "The Council managed to find a safe enough path so there should not be too many environmental hazards. Are there any questions before we set out?"
That figure would have.. another figure step out of the artist's shadow. This one would slowly walk around the transport, studying it over carefully. Making that full circuit, a nod would be given towards the original, and the clone would poof. Pondering for a moment, a final small nod was given. "No questions. As long as the path is secure, we should be fine." He'd nod towards the twins, while looking to Kameko. "We'll take the right side. Watch for others who may have issues with the statue. Just signal when ready to go." He'd turn then, to head over there, the twins presumed to follow as.. well.. they were in essence told to do. Either way, he'd do just as he said, guard that right side once they did actually set off.
A few moments later, Keiji rises from the ground behind Kameko. His hands move to brush bites of dirt and sand off of his attire. Then he turns his attention towards the glass sculpture. There is a little confusion as to what exactly it meant or why someone would want it. For now he keeps his opinions to himself though he does give a weird glance to the artists. Needless to say Keiji did not understand some of this new age art. "There are always environmental hazards. Especially in a place where wind can become deadly." His voice is aimed at Kameko. She after all is the leader of this little mission. His eyes then focus on Suterusu before a nod is given. The twins receive a similar response.
Kameko glances over at Keiji when he arrives and smiles faintly at him. "Yes, but not overly so in this situation. We will not have to worry about dealing with any rocky paths at least." She shrugs before giving the artist a reassuring nod. "We will return to give you a full report once we get back." With that done she nods at Suterusu's plan. "That sounds fine. I will attempt to keep the mules on track. They are sturdy enough to pull the weight of the wagon, but they are not exactly the easiest animals to work with. Keiji-san can take the left side or the rear, whichever he chooses." With that she climbs into the driver's seat of the wagons and cracks the reigns on the mules. "Hut hut!" With a bray the mules trudge on ahead moving at a decent pace considering the size of the sculpture they were hauling. After a couple of hours traveling on the set path all seems to be going well, except the group was being followed. A group of five rogue mercenaries were tasked with destroying the sculpture before it even reached its destination. They were several meters behind the wagon, but seemed to be closing in. The group doesn't seem to bother too much with making their presence unknown, so they would probably be easily detected by the more aware members of the group. Kameko keeps her eyes ahead focusing on keeping the animals on the right track. "Stealth, Keiji-san, any signs of trouble?"
That figure would indeed be aware of them. Frowning, although it was hidden by the face wrap, he'd motion for the girls to get up on the wagon with Kameko. Looking back at the group that was following them, he'd go through that hand seal to create his shadow clone duplicate. That done, the shadow clone started walking towards the mercenaries. "Yes. There is trouble. I will try to stop them, potentially with Keiji-san's help."
There was not much for Keiji to say, so he remained quiet. When given the choice, Keiji indeed chose the left side instead of the rear. For the most part the travel fairly boring. He glanced around a bit to pass the time. This was part of the job. After a few missions, one learns to seperate their mind from their body. Indeed He was aware of the trouble approaching from behind.
As Suterusu sent a clone, Keiji sunk into the earth. Suterusu's clone would be easily seen approaching the mercenaries. Keiji on the other hand would not be so easily seen. His hands reached up from the earth grabbing the legs of two of the bandits and pulling them down into the earth until only their heads remained above the sandy terrain.
The leader of the mercenaries notice the clone approaching them and smirks arrogantly at the figure seemingly missing the fact that it was not the original. “Sorry fella..if that's what you are, gonna have to mess up that shiny thing you guys are carrying. Now if you guys behave then perhaps we will let you off with a small beati…” He is interrupted when two of his comrades scream girlishly as they are pulled neck deep into the sand out of no where. The leader blinks for a moment simply staring at them as they attempt to squirm their way free from the sand. “Wise guys hm? Well guess this won't be as easy as the client mentioned..” He nods to the other two are free to distract the clone. Both pull out rather large hammers and run towards the clone hoping to beat him into the ground. The leader looks back down to the two in the sand. “Get up you two and shape up! Find whatever did that to you and kill it.” They blink for a moment and nod trying to climb out of the sand to find the source of whatever happened. Now that all the annoyances were seemingly taken care of the leader flickers away in front of the caravan holding up an ax to frighten the mules. Kicking back in fear the mules bray frightened and Kameko frowns as she tries to calm them down tugging on the reigns a little. “Easy, easy!” The mule's squirming causes the sculpture to shake rather dangerously despite the ropes securing it down. Kameko looks back at the sculpture her eyes widened a little. She orders the twins to hold it steady and hops from the drivers seat to try and help them. “Stealth! Get him to stop scaring the animals!”
"Hai." That soft tenor voice crooned out of the leader's own shadow. pooled about the man's feet as the figure snuck over there would be a set of wire. That last motion would cause it to suddenly spring to life, the wire acting much akin to ivy as it'd climb up the man's body, barbed chunks of metal springing out of it to hold fast onto him. If he caught the leader with it, he'd be pushed off to the side as the mules would then be reached out to, to calm down.
The clone would watch the two coming at him, quickly going through his own hand seals and kneeling down as they got close. Much akin to the razor wire that the original used, this would actually be crafted in the ground, that final step, the critical point to stop them before they got to him, it would shred the earth as it came up, attempting to wrap about both with razored edges, clawing into flesh to maintain the hold on the enemies. If he did manage to get them, the clone would stand, pushing them over as well. Red gaze stared at the two on the ground for a moment. "Both of your eyes will make a fine addition to my collection.." That soft tenor voice would croon to them, as a kunai was slowly pulled free from some point in that black cloth wrap.
For now the two neck deep in the sand were trapped. This would slow them down unless they knew some type of jutsu to escape. Now he made his way back to the wagon, popping up from the earth beside it. "Mules are a sub standard way to travel." The chuunin looks towards the glass sculpture and then towards the leader. If Suterusu was unable to deal with him, Keiji would.
Kameko peers over at Keiji as she tries to get the sculpture steady with the twins. “They were the only animals around sturdy enough, I've done mentioned that before we left.” The leader blinks and flickers away from Suterusu onto the driver's seat on the wagon as soon as he heard that voice. “Nice try! My associates may be simple to deal with, but I'm a different matter altogether.” He looks out growling when he spots the clone able to subdue the other two with ease. They are only able to squirm as the clone pulled out a kunai. “D-don't do it! We were just paid! W-we can talk or anything, just don't kill us!” The leader shakes his head. “Amateurs..” The two Keiji managed to pull down were having their own difficulties trying to break free. Now that he was on his own he moves to smash the sculpture with his ax, only to find Kameko standing in his path. “Stand down. It's over.” The leader smirked at her before attempting to slice her down. “Outta the way, it's over when I say it's over.” Kameko blinks and glides forward with lightning on her feet, managing to duck away from the large blade and shove the man over the side of the wagon.
While the two were dealt with over there, that figure would summon more clones, the four of them leaping outward as the man got shoved off the wagon. Immediately going through those seals, the multitude of wires as well as the speed would attempt to do much like he had before, capturing the leader with that massive scale of wires. This time however, it was a much bigger scale, more wires going much further to capture and tie him down. Although this would be narrowed enough to avoid spooking the mules further. No need in causing further issues than was already started by the leader. "Keiji-san, see you can stabilize it without hurting it, hai?"
Keiji's eyes look upwards at the giant statue. Keiji did not wish to touch it. His eyes turned towards the mules. They were the cause of these issues. If their reigns were to be severed then ruckus would be put to an end. The choice was not easy, but Keiji looks towards the driver. "Drop the reigns." he states as he moves and slices the harness with his pincered finger. Now the mules were free to go. He was certain they would not travel too far.
With the mercenaries taken care of Kameko returns her attention to stabilizing the sculpture. Finally after a few shaky moments, with the startled mules run off, the sculpture stabilizes and Kameko can breathe a sigh of relief. She glances in the direction the mules went and sighed a little before hopping down from the wagon. "We can take a moment to rest while the mules settle down." She glances at the subdued mercenaries in thought before looking over at Keiji and Suterusu. "What shall we do with them? We are outside of the village so killing them could be an option. But perhaps we should bring them back to interrogate them. They could have some valuable information about any enemies our client may have." She looks over at the two who were still in the sand. "It's sad…I wished they sent someone more skilled to try and throw us off…but still…Keiji-san could you please dig them up long enough for Stealth to tie them up too? Then you can just throw them up front with me." With that she glides off to chase down the mules so they can finish the rest of their journey.
Pondering for a moment, the figure would finally give a nod. "We keep the leader for interrogation. The rest of them are a burden. I will claim their eyes." Walking over to the two that were in the ground, that kunai would once again be pulled. Kneeling down in front of the first one, he'd carefully apply that blade at just the right spot, leaving the men alive as each eye was plucked cleanly with a cut of that optic nerve, they would be put into a pouch in one of those folds of the cloth, leaving the men screaming in agony. Once the two in the ground were claimed, he'd walk over to the two in the wire mesh who were probably begging for mercy to do much the same thing. Calm and precise, he enjoyed verifying that the eyes were not knicked after plucking them from the heads of the men. When the last one was claimed, he'd nod and walk over to the bundle that was the leader, detaching him from the metal mesh in the ground to be tossed up on the wagon. "We're ready to go. What do you think, Keiji-san? There going to be any more potential victims on our path? This was pretty light weight for a glass statue."
Keiji shrugged his shoulders as Kameko left to go get the mules. What happened next came as a bit of a shock to Keiji. He did not understand why Suterusu would take the eyes of the bandits. Moments after the eyes were removed of the ones in the earth, Keiji placed his hands together and the sand swallowed them alive. While briefly painful, it would save them from a life of misery. After the ones in the snares lost theirs, spike would rise beneath their heads ending their lives. "There may be more." While Keiji hoped their pain was more a ploy to get the leader to speak, he did not want more to suffer for possibly joy though.
When Kameko returns with the mules she raises a brow at the gruesome scene she returned to. "Well I guess you two made a decision hm? Fair enough, less paperwork for me to fill out. A report on casualties would be much smaller than filling out information on too many captives…" She glances down at the terrified leader who was silent after hearing his comrade's screams of agony. After fixing the reigns and reattaching them to the mules she nods to the other two. "Thankfully we aren't too far off from the location…Let us get back to it then." She cracks the reigns for a moment and the group set back off to their location with no other troubles to deal with. Once they returned back to Sunagakure the leader was handed off to the proper authorities to be dealt with and a full report was given to the artist. This mission was a success, a bit bloody, but a success.