Help! A Storm took my Friends!


Hiroto, Itami

Date: November 13, 2015


'Help!! A storm took my friends!!' is all the posting read for the mission. It seemed simple enough. A sandstorm came through and overtook some people. The posting was fresh and the bodies may yet be found! Enter Hiroto and Itami to track the lost souls. With survivor Toshi as their guide, they may find his friends yet or maybe the friends might just find them?

"Help! A Storm took my Friends!"

Dead Sands - Northern Desert [Land of Wind]

Dry heat is tolerable, but everyone reaches their limits. A party of people out this way succumbed to the desert

and found themselves lost to the sands. Why they were out in this part, no one knows. Even with storms, the sands feel

just as lifeless as ever. That's no exception for Itami and Hiroto.
She has led the both of them out this way on a mission to discover what happened to the party that was out this

way. The report came in quickly enough that they might be able to find the lost individuals before long. Strangely, the

one surviving member of the party narrowly escaped from the storm and headed towards Suna, completely distraught. There's

no mistaking the power of storms, but his description is unusual…
"I'm telling you, that storm wasn't normal. It was…I don't even /know/ what it was!" The man spoke. Itami

attempted to calm him saying, "I understand, but please, I need you calm so that you can explain thoroughly. It will make

our work easier."

Hiroto looks ahead out in the sand. Tenshi was already in the air looking around. This was what he was built for

really. Well for now at least until his skills had improved with a bow. Maybe he could become a force to be reckoned

with. "So it is some sort of storm. But not normal? So it wasn't the normal sandstorms that are seen around here, or was

it even a sandstorm at all?" Tenshi soars through the air as he does a good distance ahead of the group.

All Tenshi can see at this point is miles of sand ahead, along with a few rocky outcroppings. Itami, at this rate, sees

no hint of a sandstorm, though there is wind blowing, it isn't enough to cause a storm. "Sir—Toshi!" He corrected. "Err,

Toshi. We need your help here. You're the one that decided to come along, anyway. If you're going to be with us, then you

have to stay calm." Toshi nodded quickly. "Okay, okay. I gotcha." He inhaled deeply and sighed the breath back out.

"…It…was…." He tried to speak, but only ended up sobbing. Itami grumbled to herself and patted Toshi reluctantly.

"Just…point out the area, okay?" Toshi nodded and pointed out the outcropping ahead that he remembered crossing before

the storm hit.

Hiroto was not going to try and talk to the man now. Tenshi continued flying ahead about the same distance, and would

report that nothing is of note yet. Either way Hiroto would send chakra to his eyes to then look at the outcropping that

is up ahead. Tenshi was probably near to it now. Well near for being in the air as high as he probably was, but near at

the very least.

As the trio approaches the outcropping…nothing happens. Itami takes this to mean that this is the desert and it does as

it pleases, when it pleases. Still, they had to find some bodies around here and they should be close, if not, at the

area the bodies disappeared at. Certainly, it doesn't take long for the sands to cover anything, even more so when

there's a storm, but that's what Hiroto and Itami are out here for. They've got the skills necessary for this part of the

land and it pays off when a piece of cloth makes itself known by flapping in the wind, largely covered by sand. "Toshi,

we're in the area. Focus." Itami spoke to the man. "We'll need you vigilant here. Get it together."

Hiroto continues moving as he does, and spots the little piece of cloth waving from the sand. Suppose that is where a

body may be found. Then he heads towards it while Tenshi still looks around. Even if this person is dead there may be

another who isn't, and who could be saved… Might as well look for them. Hiroto would try to see what the cloth was

attached to, and see if it was a person for sure.

It wasn't a person! Thankfully! But it did come from a person which means they're still out here. Whether they're dead

or not is questionable. "I know who that belongs to!" Toshi finally pipes up and moves forward to inspect the cloth.

"It's my friend's!" He reaches down to help with pulling up the cloth. "They must be around here. I mean, there's no way

they could've gotten that far in the storm!" Itami approached Hiroto and Toshi saying, "I'm inclined to believe you.

We'll investigate further here."
Whatever the case, their investigation would be short lived. The storm that Toshi spoke about is beginning to

kick up again. Out of nowhere, a mass of sand begins rolling forward and quickly coming across the landscape. Toshi

looked up to see the darkness on the horizon and began to grow scared once more. "Oh no. It's coming again!" He was

prepared to run, but Itami quickly grabbed him and snatched him back. "No! Don't run, you'll just get lost and we'll have

a harder time finding you!"
She continued fighting against Toshi while she tried to issue a command. "Hiroto! Call Tenshi down and gather to

me!" She remarked. "Quickly!" With a free hand, she began to seal and soon, reached down to grab an outcropping.

Temporarily tossing Toshi aside, she was free to raise up a large chunk of earth, leaving a hole behind for them to find

shelter in, "Here!"

Hiroto saw that it was in fact not a body. Good. That would have been sad. Of course it didn't take long for them to see

as well, but the got interrupted by a storm brewing. Oh great this is just what he needed. Hiroto quickly called Tenshi

even before Itami told him, and only gathered to her once she told him to. He moved that way as fast as he could before

she then raised earth into the air leaving a little cave like entrance for them. "Oh wow. Good idea." With that he would

move in before the strom overtook them.

Toshi, naturally, was the last to get inside. In all his sobbing and issues, he had instincts and they told him this cave

was safer than the rest of the desert out there. So, he flopped inside and rolled down just as the storm darkened the sky

and blocked out their view. At least the wind wasn't getting in here, though the sand slipped in every so often. "Now, we

wait for it to pass…" Itami remarked. While waiting, she turned around to face Toshi and saw he was nowhere to be

found. "…Toshi?" She questioned. She thought for sure he'd dove in here. She even saw his ungraceful tumble.
"Toshi!" She shouted. "I'm here!!!" He remarked. "I'm just not sure where I am!" Of course, he was about to

panic. "Alright, sit still and don't move anywhere!" It turns out, he fell far enough that he rolled into a pocket that

entered into a tunnel of some sort. There was some light getting through, though it varied with the fierce storm above.

That means they're still close to the surface. Hmm. "Looks like we're closer to figuring this thing out."

Hiroto sits down once inside. He was grateful to not be caught in another sandstorm. Those things were annoying, and was

not something he wanted to deal with. Anyhow they were now inside, but wait…where was Toshi. Seemed Itami noticed as

well, and she began calling for him. All that was found was a tunnel. There was some light, so they were not to far yet

which meant Tenshi was okay so far. As you could expect the bird did not like being confined. Either way sitting on top

of Hiroto's head kept him steady for now as they examined the area.

Wind travels through the tunnel below, but not at the rate of the storm above, thankfully. Sliding through the opening,

Itami finds herself on the ground in the tunnel. She proceeds to look around and inspect the place. Nothing out of the

usual… Well, almost. There's a trap up ahead that's rigged to cause some rocks to fall down. "Toshi, are you alright?"

The man nodded as he drew close to Itami. "Yes, I'm fine. A bit dinged up, but I'm okay!" He chimed. "Good. We'll

continue once Hiroto and Tenshi come through."

Hiroto follows them, and right away Tenshi spots it. That trap was not going to hide from him that easily.

"Itami. I don't know if you see it or not, but up ahead there is a trap. Looks to be setup to drop rocks upon whoever

trips it. Be careful through there if we continue. I will look for me, and Tenshi will probably spot them." He does just

that. Looks ahead to try to find more, and keeps a close idea on the one we already found.

Itami looks ahead and sees the trap Hiroto spoke of. "Ah. Good eye. I hadn't noticed it." Or rather, she's too

focused on Toshi to pay attention. He's too nervous and could cause all sorts of problems. "I'll just disable the trap

and we can move on." So, she does just that. With the string clipped and the peg remaining firmly rooted, it won't be

going anywhere. "Let's go," she gestures them forward.
The tunnel is short in length, widening at the end to expose a cavern that has many more pathways within it. So

far, there was no hint of anyone being around here, but the group remains determined to find something. Just…where to

look? Itami decided to join in and finally contribute by attempting to seek out any signs of life around here.

Alright good thing he spoke up. If he hadn't that could have been dangerous. Luckily Itami dealt with it now,

and they could continue. Now they would move on, and continue looking for their targets. This place was seriously maze…

"Hmmmm… Where to." He looks around from his position to hopefully find an answer.

There's sand ahead in one of the tunnels. The rest look empty in comparison. One thing is clear. There's someone

here and they don't want to be disturbed, but the question is why? Toshi steps up and out into the cavern to look around.

He's confused about which path to take and turns around to look at Itami and Hiroto for signs of what to do next. "…So

uh, any ideas?" Itami couldn't sense anything thus far, but there's always a chance. She flicked her tongue out of her

mouth, causing Toshi to grow squeamish and question who she really is. Is she even human? Does that mean Hiroto is human?

Is he half bird like she's half reptile? What if that bird is the real leader?!

"Itami. This looks like the best option although it could be dangerous I suppose. Which path do you think we

should go down?" He points down the sandy one when voicing his opinion. Now him and Tenshi split up with Tenshi flopping

to the ground, and walking around instead of flying in a tunnel. They both would look down different paths, and then meet

back up with info.

"I'm picking up the most from the sand tunnel, so we'll follow it," Itami says while walking towards it. "We'll

keep a look out for any other traps while we're going through. If we continue through there, we may draw closer to our

goal of finding the one responsible for this." Toshi nodded to himself and proceeded forward with the group. He looked

back momentarily to peer at the cavern and observed a wisp of sand swirl in the air. Shaken, he turned on his heel and

drew closer to Itami to keep himself within range of the group. What was that? Did Bird Leader see it? He's back there,

"It appears this tunnel just leads to another cavern. But, there's good news. More items are in here," Itami

says as she finds more objects that belonged to the group Toshi was with. "There appears to be satchels and more clothing

items here… All abandoned?" That didn't sound right." Toshi looked around the cavern, finding that this one was closed

up as opposed to the other one. No sand that can get in here, so…/how/ did it get in here? "Uh, is it normal for sand

to get this far?" He wondered.

Hiroto would eventually follow along as well listening to everything that was spoken. Most of it he did not

comment on, but he was listening. Mostly for now he had nothing that was really needed in the conversation. Up until

Toshi speaks of the sand does he say anything. "Ummm. Probably not. Which……couldn't be someone controlling the sand

could it Itami? That could explain the weird movement off it…or the timing at least."

"That could very well be the case," Itami stated. "Someone could be controlling it." She smelled the belongings

and identified the scents she picked up to be the ones she detected earlier, but now that she's here, something else is

present. A scent that isn't native to these items. "Hmm."
Rising up from the ground, she took a look around and some of this tunneling started to tell a different story.

Just as she began to put the pieces together, sand began to fall from the ceiling in small streams and before long, she

was pinned to the ground by some unseen force. Toshi, of course, was frightened. "What's going on?!" He called out.

"There's nothing there what could—I…I think that's what was causing the problem!" He can't see it, but he's almost

positive that whatever this force is, that's what made the sandstorm.

Hiroto would look around at all the items until the sand started falling. His first instinct was ready his bow,

and he did just that. He aims it first firing once at the sealing from where the sand came from, and secondly across the

room at the passageway into the tunnel. He doesn't expect to hit, but if it is near maybe he could cause it to panic.

Afterthose he would then move down to help Itami up from the sand before getting his bow ready again.

While the initial arrow missed and struck the ceiling, the second arrow found its way into something. The

response was a hiss and dust rising up from the ground in a particular pattern. Itami, now helped off the ground,

prepared herself to engage this threat. "Thank you. Now for this thing here…" She couldn't see it, but the tracks were

a dead giveaway not to mention that arrow, as well. "I see there's some camouflage going on here," she stated. "Be

mindful of the tracks and any other signs of movement." She utilized her senses to get a better idea of the scent of this

creature so she'd be of more help here. Once she was certain she had it pegged down, she launched an attack with the

intent to cause more harm.
Where did this leave Toshi? Well, he decided he'd make himself useful and just pick a nice safe place to hide.

Hiroto helps Itami up, and pulls out a forked arrow. His second arrow had stuck in something, but before he

could do anything Itami jumped at it. All he knew was that thing would be hitting the ground. Keeping his eye on the

arrow, and how it moved he judges that a certain spot would be a limb. He aims the forked arrow and fires it hopefully

sticking whatever it is into the ground before quickly pulling two more arrows out one after the other. Both would be

charged double with chakra to do as much damage as possible to the thing.

"Aaaaah, hahaha!" Itami laughed. "Well, I think I've got an idea of what this guy is all about," she grinned. "I

know what it is." She placed some distance between her and the creature as the arrows came in. With one locking a joint

in place, the other two were left to pierce the hide of the creature enough that it wasn't able to maintain its

camouflage anymore. It all faded and revealed one large lizard. "So, that's the one that's been causing problems. Nice to

finally get a look at it," she nodded.
The now identified lizard was able to pluck the forked arrow from its limb and resume movement. It was exposed,

but it wasn't down for the count. Puffing up its body, it then expelled a blast of wind towards Hiroto and Itami both to

blow them against the wall.

Hiroto watches as his attacks hit. This thing was a lizard… well that is different. Either way it was a lizard

with wind abilities, and Hiroto had to think on his feet to avoid the blast that would have sent him into the wall.

"Itami… Anything that you may know about this kind of lizard that can help. Again he would fire some arrows, but for

now it would just be three normal ones.

"This lizard is…well, it's definitely a larger species. Usually docile, but it's a bit violent now. No telling

why, though," Itami described as she dropped to all fours and used the boost her limbs provided to evade the wind. "I

suggest we stun it. Keep it from moving too much. Once we do, I can calm it a bit," she states to Hiroto. Toshi peers

from his hiding place to see how the fight is going. So far so good! Looks like his team is winning! He knew he made the

right decision by coming along!
The lizard, on the other hand, is not exactly what one could call thrilled about these attacks, so it gathers up

more wind to spew at the two attackers to defend itself.

"Alright if you think you can calm it down I will try to stick it in place." With that he pulls out more forked

arrows. He was really getting tired of having no netted arrows for things like this, but soon….soon he would hopefully.

With this he fires two forked arrows at his two front limbs to stick him in place, and allow Itami to speak should she

need to.

The lizard is stuck firmly in place by the forked arrows and it's none too happy about it. With Itami having

once again dodged the blast of air, she's now close enough to calm the lizard down so she can prevent from killing it.

She lays a hand on it to drain it of stamina so that it has less energy to fight with. "Okay…" She states while patting

it gently. Its breathing was heavy and its eyes were continuing to dart around to measure the danger. "Now, to see if

it's consumed anything." She moves towards its stomach and presses a hand against it and inward to determine if there was

any human inside. Didn't seem like it. "Alright, that's clear, so we know that it didn't eat the party." She hummed. "If

that's the case, where could they be? Their signature ends here…" She sniffed at the air to get a read, but all she has

is their belongings.

Hiroto would let Itami do her thing now while he looked around. He really wanted to find some sort of clue if he

could, and Tenshi seemed to be doing the same thing. Here they both were moving around some trying to find, but so far

they could not find anything around here… maybe they should just keep looking while he concentrates himself.

Toshi came out from his hiding spot once the beast was subdued. With no evidence of his party, he was beginning

to think he was the only one left out of all of them. That all changed when the sound of shuffling came from a nearby

tunnel and out into the cavern where the lizard had just been subdued. It was the party! Turns out their scent was

heavily obscured by the area and with good reason, their…clothes had been removed. "You guys are alive!" Toshi shouted

excitedly and ran up to them. "What happened, though?" A man, with nothing but a headwrap covering his head and tattered

pants on spoke saying, "Well, a sandstorm happened and we ended up falling down into a d*** nest. This place was being

guarded by that thing," he pointed to the lizard.
"Turns out, this place that /you/ dragged us to had the spoils we were looking for, but you failed to mention it

was infested with these lizards and their offspring!" He raised a hand to show a sizable baby lizard still attached to

it. The baby wiggled its tail happily. It was only teething, after all. "Oh yeah, I did forget to mention that. But this

place had gems. We could've been rich!" Toshi chimed. The man groaned and the rest of the party rolled their eyes.
"We barely escaped. We left our stuff here to distract the big lizard and when we went to find a hiding spot,

turned out there were hatchlings all over the place. Didn't take them long to start chewing on us." He pulled the baby

free and it dangled in his hand, trying to gain footing so it could latch on elsewhere.
Itami chuckled to herself. "Ah, yes. These lizards don't simply chew, though. I'm sure they were chewing because

you seemed like a nice morsel. At this stage, they're too weak for tearing off meat, so they just sort of chew around and

make it softer. Doesn't make it uncomfortable, though. Now that this situation has been resolved, I feel obligated to

nurse the larger lizard back to health now that I know it's the mother," she grinned.

Hiroto just falls to the ground when the others arrive. Mostly just to sit down, but still he was a little tired

after all this. "Wow… was that really why you were out here? Because Toshi wanted to become rich….so badly so that he

lead you into this place? Wow…" Hiroto then stands back up. "Itami…. is that mission complete then once we bring

these people back to wherever the plan to go? Considering the lizard mother was just defending it's babies and home I am

sure we don't have to bother it, and it can live peacefully here for now." Tenshi flies back onto his perch on Hiroto's

head and seemingly passes out up there…

"Hey, I didn't know the lizards were that big. When I was told, they just said lizards. I expected small

lizards, like the ones that always run around," Toshi explained his case. "I'd say so. Toshi is the one that filed the

mission so we'll be receiving payment from him," Itami replied to Hiroto. "Hey wait, not so fast. I said that we had to

find the party in the mission, but /they/ found /us/. So, you guys didn't actually complete your mission. I'm keeping my

The party looked between themselves and the baby lizards that were attached to them, then towards Hiroto and

Itami. "Oh…" She wasn't sure what to say at the moment. She hasn't met anyone that had the audacity to pull such a

stunt. After all they've been through and no payment will be received based on a shoddy loophole? "…I'm feeling a bit

peckish." Is all she had to say. There wasn't much to define why she said it, but the reality began to sink on the party

once they determined what it meant. Toshi didn't have a darn clue.

Hiroto glances between Itami and Toshi. "You know Itami. That lizard is probably just as peckish. You did check

earlier right? Did it seem hungry then?" Hiroto grins some, and even Tenshi peeks open an eye to see what this fuss is

about. Tenshi then in his own little bird way glares at Toshi when he understands the situation. "Oh what's that Tenshi?

Your hungry too? Itami…. what should we do?"

"Ah yes, it did seem a bit hungry. Empty stomach and all…" Itami spoke. "Tenshi is hungry as well? I'm sure

he'd like a choice cut. I'm willing to make that a possibility." Toshi turned around. "You're going to feed me to the

lizard? I don't believe you. Besides, these guys will report you if you do," he thumb pointed back at the party. As far

as they were concerned, he was free game to be eaten.
Itami lifted her hand and claws grew through the tips of her fingers while her hand morphed to look more

reptilian. "No one really has to know. There's a reason this area is called the Dead Sands," she spoke with an increased

amount of hisses in her voice. Before long, she was looking more and more like a lizard. A big…scary lizard.
Toshi shrunk back and backed towards the vocal party member who then 'accidentally' stumbled forward and

launched him towards Itami and her open armed embrace. "Nonononononono, okay! Okaaaay!! I'll pay!" Itami grinned a toothy

grin, hoisting Toshi into the air to meet her face. "We'll be expecting payment upon return to Sunagakure." He nodded

fearfully until he was dropped back to the ground, slinking back behind his friend. "Let's head back so I can pay them!"

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