Date: November 30, 2013
Chitose is accompanied by a recently accepted member of Sunagakure forces on a investigative mission into the Garden Variety Gang. Things quickly escalate when it hostages and a misstep or two are thrown into the mix.
"How to Sunagakurain's Weed Gardens"
Ruins of San-Sara Daruta
Ruins of San-Sara Daruta [Land of Wind]
San Sara-Duruta, or 'Three Plate-Delta', was a town situated in the middle of the Desert of Knives. Low buildings made of sandstone or adobe, and undecorated, were the order of the day. Almost anything illegal was acquirable in San Sara-Duruta, provided one knew the right people and had the money to spend. However, the threat that this small town represented to the people of the Land of Wind eventually couldn't be ignored.
Now, all that remains are broken walls, damaged or collapsed structures, and sand. The dead have long since been picked clean by scavenging animals and the ruins themselves picked clean by HUMAN scavengers. However, hopeful thieves and "treasure hunters" still occasionally search this place of wickedness that has now been turned to dust and emptiness. They do not stay, however. The Hidden Sand struck here once. There is no telling if or when they will do so again.
To the west, the Desert of Knives's western reaches extend into the distance. To the south-west, the southern portion of the Desert of Knives lies in wait, serving as a 'border' between the bandit-ruled sands and the less-populated deserts patrolled by shinobi. East lies a mountain range along the north-east desert of the Land of Wind. Caves and tunnels are said to extend beneath the mountains, and potentially even link up with the infamous Catacombs that lie beneath Sunagakure.
Most people choose not to investigate this rumor.
After enduring the terrible heat of the deserts by day and its stark opposite during the nights (made perhaps doubly so thanks to the approaching winter time), team Chi inevitably find themselves standing upon one of the few ever shifting dunes surrounding the San Sara-Duruta, or more accurately, what remains of the place following its decomission at the hands of Sunagakure's forces. Like a few of their fellow shinobi, the team was assigned to investigate this sector to confirm the whereabouts one of the more notorious wandering gangs of bandits that seem to enjoy making an already miserable place to live at times that much more so, be they visitors or residents of the Land of Wind. Their specific target are those belonging to the 'Garden Variety Gang'. Intel regarding their appearance and motives have been… severely lacking, to say the least, due to the conflicting information regarding the gang. What has been worked out based on their movements is that, of the places that the gang have been noted to be seen about, sightings placed them closest to Team's Chi Sector. And seeing as how most bandits tend to try and stay out of each others way (less there is a profit to be made in temporary alliances or the exact opposite), the odds were at least in their favor regarding only having to deal with a few issue at a time. That is, presumebly if both are not or have not been spotted before having come this far. Beyond this, the teams only other advantage is being small, thus making it easier to move about undetected, and the gang's most recent attack supporting the fact that their brand of jutsu seem to mimic 'plants' in one shape or another.
"What's the call, chief?" The tallest of the duo bearing a weathered cloak asks evenly without letting his 'attention' waver from the distant ruins. If an answer is not given swiftly, the man would then turn his gaze down towards Chitose, leader of their two man survillance/'demolition' cell, and give her a curious look. Although curious is putting it boldy given the fact that Iga has barely altered his expression from the neutral since the mission began a few days or so prior to this moment. Granted, Ryoji did have his reasons for this, and had been occassionally proding at said reasons — a Sunagakure headband wrapped around his neck — during the 'quieter' moments of their trip.
Thus far, no movement has been sighted….
"We move in." Chitose states without further words and then nods as she starts off in that direction. The shinobi of the land of Wind doesn't seem to hesitate as she moves out and only occasionally looks back at Ryoji before saying, "Be on the lookout." She nods her head, "I want to find this group sooner rather than later and we have already wasted enough time on this group." She nods, "They are likely just another group of wind bags and need to be brought down."
Ryoji nods subtly. Then returned those milky green pools embedded in his skull towards the ruins again for another few moments before following after her. It… agitated him to no end. Not the fact that he was following someone who only outstripped him in terms of experience as a shinobi of Sunagakure, but because of the astonishing lack of intel on their targets. Then again, they are —
"I wouldn't be so sure of that, Chief." He states skipping a beat due to the sand nearly tripping him up along the way. "The fact that they had to label this tentatively a C-rank mission and the gangs ability to remain at large for this long hints at more." He shrugs. "Though, your welcome to call me paranoid."
No glint of light or subtle movements from the ruins or any of their surroundings can be noted. Either the gang was made up of ex-shinobi, the intel was worse than what was given, or… a trap? So many possibilities. None of which are given much credit once they actually enter the ruins, and if desired by Chitose, begin their search starting from what used to be the main 'road' through the town. None except the last two possibilities. Perhaps.
Looking at the various areas in the ruins where enemies could be hiding and Chitose ponders, "Well." She states softly as she looks at the various areas before saying, "We stick close together and we move quickly." She nods and then looks at him, "We need to find out where in this area that they are hiding. According to all intel we do have, they should be here." She then looks forward, "Unless something or someone else got to them first." She taps her chin a little and hetn looks back at Ryoji, "You have sensory abilities, whip them out." She nods, "Or are you waiting for an invitation?"
The red-headed young man just rolls his eyes and murmurs a "Dunno." Afterwards he became silent to better focus on listening in on their surroundings. Even after all these years, the place still had a way of sending a shiver down the spine of those sensitive to lingering feelings that tended to prevade long after death claimed most of the souls that once resided there. "An invitation, I suppose. Never know what kind of traps could be set off by not reaching a concession first." He says evenly, though, a jab is taken at her for not realizing this before he did. "That aside-…" He trails off from there to better focus on what needed to be done.
For a moment, the Iga is tempted to avoid revealing what Chitose might've broadcast to those that were supposedly in hiding, but dismissed the idea in favor of the more familiar. Wrapped in miniature spheres of wind and dust (once they hit the ground), sensor organs of various designs are set loose to roam about their surroundings. The technique meant to conceal them were far from perfect, for either the man found himself momentarily 'blinded' at times or the disguises would temporarily fell. The sad but true nature of experimental jutsu. Regardless, they served or seemed to be serving their purpose well enough concealing and moving the dispersed sensory organs throughout the ruins; scaling walls, dropping down into old basements, and scanning establishments from cracks or open doorways before proceeding further.
Nothing. Nothing. And more No — wait. Several sensor organs converge upon the edge of a single building that barely still stood. Why? Now that would be voiced to Chitose, along what else was discovered by a few seconds later by those closer to the old entrances into the village. "So faint… and those designs… Hmm…" Ryoji muttered to himself. "Someone has at least been here before us… *nose twitches* A day or two at least. Can't track where they've gone exactly, BUT there is another trail we can follow here in the mean time.. Oh yeah, we've been pretty lucky so far. The entrances have been, how should I put this… warded? Thankfully not from the explosive kind from what I can tell, but… definitely of something to note I s'pose." The Iga explains as he tipped back and forth on the balls of his bare feet. Then stopped and canted his head to the side. "Would be better to wait and see then fall into whatever else they might have set, though, what fun would there be in that, huh?" The corner of his lips tilt upward just slightly into his trademark fox-like grin.
So many decisions! Dare they try to follow one of the trails? Or perhaps, pull a wait and see after covering the tracks? *gasps!* Or maybe just see about setting off an alarm and see what happens? :D … OR, perhaps just rig the place to be destroyed even further and move on. o.od A banquet of possibilities?!
Moving with Ryoji to the locations he specified, Chitose merely looks at them before nodding her head, "Well, we will give them a little bit of time." She nods her head and then moves off to the side and out of the way, "Come on, Ryoji. I believe, if you are correct in these wards being in place…then our friends will be back. You don't ward something you don't care about." She nods her head, "We need to get a good place to hold up while we wait and see what comes and goes." She nods, "If they return, we will come after them." She then points at the spot where the wards are, "Put explosive traps near to the entrance." She nods her head, "I want to blow those entrances should they try to escape into or out of them if need be."
Ryoji nodded, for once wholly in agreement with the chuunin. Well, mostly in agreement. There still remained that 'minor' part of him that would've loved to see more excitement of the explosive variety. That part is obviously gagged, chained, and tossed into a dungeon as the Iga carried out Chitose orders to the best of his abilities. He was no seal master or trap expert per say. The Iga however knew how to rig up something falling under the lines of both to a certian degree, and would what he could at the indicated points before making his way back to Chitose side. But will their plan go according to plan or not won't be decided for at least another few hours. Presumably, that is, if Chitose is willing to wait so long…
Thirty-minutes at most is all that remains before the sun disappears past the horizon, granting one of its lesser but fellow celestial counter-part a chance to take its place in the sky along side the stars. Up to this point, nothing has really changed to indicate the return of those that dared to reside in a place already laid waste to or other travelers simply passing through for whatever reason. There was one close call involving a cobra and a desert cat at one point, but beyond that, nothing.
Then they'd see or better yet sense them, er, something in the distance. Two becomes five, and five turns into ten figures in the distance bearing a cart drawn by some manner of beast of burden accustom to the hot climate and shifting sands, and what can only be the groups latest acquisition… if not perhaps wares? No, upon closer inspection that is most >definitely< not the case. Tied-up, gagged, and blinded by scarfs are a pair of merchants closest to the middle of the group, a man and a woman. A father and daughter combination? Possible… but not all that important compared to those that they were in the company of: A team of eight divided evenly in the male to female ratio, varying in heights, and garbed as generic would be bandits. The one thing that stands out without actually engaging the first (or something along the lines), is that each bore some type of design upon their person reminiscent of what could be find in the Mystic Gardens back in Sunagakure. From their hiding place, the sound of laughter can just be overhead. Obvious signs of an early celebration being no doubt in order. But, not all of the bandits have left their guard down.
The two to the front of the group notice something is off just as they were about to deactivate the ward and call for the rest of their group to halt. One of them takes a few steps closer. It is not far enough to accidentally trigger the ward, but may or may not be close enough for the explosive tag hidden at the base of the pillars that once made up the gate to still cause some damage.
"There, you see that, Aki?" He says, pointing towards the faint trail of disturbed sand left behind by Ryoji's sensory organs earlier. The trail led dangerously close to the pairs hideout and would've outright given them away if not for the animals earlier. The one presumably known as Aki draws in closer to take a look himself…
As they are near to the point of being spotted, Chitose figures it is now or never. She rushes out around the corner and makes a gesture and fires off a cloud of pure ink out over the entire group, causing the area to be darkened and possibly to blind a few. She then calls out, "Ryoji! Blow the entrance so they can't escape inside! Get the merchants!" She then fires off another, more direct blast of ink on the one called Aki and then on the man who had called for Aki to check things out. Her ink blasts made of ink infused with chakra that will burn them for a while to come if they don't get it off. She then prepares for the possible counter attack.
Ryoji cursed underbreath. He knew he should've added a bit more wind to help cover their tracks! Too late now though, because the attack has begun! While Ryoji did his best to use Chitose very same cloud cover to help bolster his chance of sneaking around, the odds weren't exactly in their favor with six other bandits, shinobi and possibly a group of wandering Tenjin based on how one seemed to fade from existence and other erected a wall of vines from the sand O.o;, now fully alert and awaiting expecting a small army to show up at this point. Five actually, for the youngest male — a boy just a few years younger than Chitose — brashly charged at the girl with the intent of delivering a series of strikes reminiscent of a willow in the wind.
"Dammit Kon, fall back!" The Aki yelled out, but to no avail. His partner seemed less inclined on yelling and barking commands, and more on actually helping the boy with a well placed entangling spawn of roots at Chitose feet. Are they illusion to or real? Regrettably, its up to the girl to discern the truth, otherwise they'd grow and bind her long enough for the brash young man to get an actual good strike in!
The way is shut by way of a well timed shuriken throw to trigger the tags. If spotted perhaps as a result, two would break off to engage Ryoji, forcing the Iga to draw a kunai and prepare himself for their worse. The calm before the storm….
Chitose was trained for that sort of attack and was not fooled. When she senses the slightest deception, she simply moves as she bites her lip and…indeed. She is able to sense the lie. She dodges away from the attacking kid, sends a punch toward him that bends in odd ways, making it harder to deal with than a normal punch before she sprays off a blast of acidic ink at him and then turns a similar attack on the man who tried to trap her with his genjutsu.
Just like a leaf in the wind, Kon evades her freaky limb with only a brief moment of suprise lighting up his features. Then came the spray of burning acid to boot, prompting to him to yell after narrowly avoiding that is well, "What is this chick? Some type of squid!?" Oh how close he was…
Sadly, he receives no confirmation or similiar yells of suprise from the other males. What with the acid ink burning a nice patch of skin of the gen user's arm and leg a moment before he could fade out of existence. He howls in pain and struggles to try wiping away the gunk before it can do anymore damage. Despite the amount of pain his ally had to be in, Aki doesn't seem to put off by his screams and yells for him something along the lines of "Quit messing around!" before focusing his attention more thoroughly on Chitose. Something about the girl seemed familiar to him…
Kon doesn't wait a moment more when all he hears behind him is screams and the sound of more joining the fray. Taking out Chitose remained his main concern. She did evade his best move after all! Acting quickly, Kon tries to catch her in the side with a kick, followed by another flurry of willow like strikes to try and keep her off balance, heedless of the fact that staying in close proximity with someone that can spit acid is a bad idea.
Meanwhile back with Ryoji, the Iga has his own fish to fry at the time. Another few steps from the back of the cart and he might have very well been able to prep the merchants for freedom. Instead, one set of eyes catch him in the act and somehow summons another without any exchange between them given. 'How odd' he thought moments before he felt the signs of vines coiling about his legs as well. A familiar feeling, as bad as that may sound, but flawed because of an important detail missing in the illusion! He frees himself of it and on instinct back flipped haphazardly away before the real mccoys had their shot. "Hnn, Youka-chan and Yuri-chan, Didn't think you'd two would sink to common thievery so soon?" Ryoji jokes, knowing from past misfortune run-ins with the twins that doing so would set them off, clouding their judgement just long enough to miss the bullets of chakra and wind he fired at their stomach and foreheads, hopefully.
Moving out of the way of the pair of attacks, she is easily not worried about t his guy. Or at least that is what it seems like with how she moves. She calls out to Ryoji, "Wrap it up with those two! We got a job to do!" Chitose then whips her arm out an impressive length and states, "Not a squid, no, not quite." ANd then she whips it around, aiming that whipping armo to catch not only the guy she sprayed with ink but then sending it further along into this taijutsuist as well. While that is happening her other arm is stretched out far behind her and then whipping forward at high speeds to catch the same guy right in the gut, effectively pincer him between the two attacks, "This fight is over!" She declares and then prepares to go help Ryoji.
"What are we? Chopped — " The arm whips past the boy, startling him into silence as well as scratching him in passing. Crippled by fear, the boy misses the chance to save his friend or avoid the arm when it comes back around to finish the job.
And down goes fra — oh wait a minute! The shock of the blow woke him up out of the stupor. Unsteadily, he gets back to his feet and narrowly manages to 'flow' with the second blow, evading harm for the moment. All that maneuvering around coupled with the punch from earlier left him too dizzy to get back into the fight immediatly. This left the task up to Aki, who after surveying all of Chitose moves, is ready to show her just why they are called the garden variety gang.
An illusion of vines to suffocate her, real roots to bind her after a seed his flicked her way, and finally the true Fury of the Willow are unleashed in such quick succession, the ordinary eye can't keep up!
What was worse, the others seemed to be growing antsy after seeing one of their own fall. Will they have to lose the arrogan attitude and change plans?
Whatever it is they intend to do, neither Chitose or Ryoji have any room to focus on it at the moment. Using his sensory organs to pick at the flaws and find the safest route to evade the duo places the Iga close. Close enough in fact to startle them back a step. For a pregnant moment, nothing happens after that. Then…. "By thou wish, Chief." Ryoji states before rising out of the crouch, building chakra sign-less as he slowly rose, and partitioning some off to fuel the full extent of his Kekkei Genkai. What he sees, feels, taste — everything is so overwhelming, so much more vast that neutral expression on his face switches to one of euphoria; incidentally, scaring the girls that much more.
"Quit looking at us like that!"
He remains unfazed. They do not take kindly to that, a combined their next technique in the form of a bamboo shoot spear: fast and 'invisible' thanks to the illusion masking its approach.
Easily avoiding the attacks, Chitose simply dodges this way and that after the two attacks come in and decides it is truly time to end this. Sending two more blasts of acid at her enemy, she'll make him regret attacking her at all. She'll then turn and fire off a third blast at the shinobi attacking Ryoji and calls out, "Lets finish this here and now, Ryoji!" She nods her head.
'I'm tryin — ' The thought becomes scattered. It was a minor miscalculation and one Ryoji pays dearly for in the form of a bamboo shot being impaled into side. Nothing too critical is injured, Sorta. The pain however nearly drives the man madder than the mad hatter he already is: the consequence for amplifying his senses. Through gritted teeth, a curse spews out. More join it as the man forces the makeshift lance out of his body, then immediately stitches the wound close using hair tendrils. More pain shoots through him and the patch-job is shoddy at best. It would have to do…
Following the sharp sound of hands being clapped together, Ryoji's hair transforms from into hands. Hands that do not waste a moment in pointless wiggling or undulating about before shooting forth to grab the girls by the throat, and if successful, drag them within range for a stomach churning, duel strikes to the gut. Fail, and the Iga would try to single one out to suffer the touch of a 'banshee'.
Both suffer. Youka due to the surprise acid ink and the other by the hair-hand and banshee touch combination. Despite their efforts to aid at the last moment… the one who took on the combination is left with the very real possibility of dieing after this encounter is offer, regardless of their gangs effort to repel team Chi.
As for Chitose, her opponent is truly a relentless plant-machine-man-hybrid, effortless evasive by a narrow margin and lashing out again. This time, there's even less mercy involved. While still crouched down after slipping beneath the first ink spray, the man seems to spit something into the ground, then flashes through a set of hand seals before slamming a palm down on top of the object. "Your wish is my command." Akio speaks up in place of Ryoji. In a much more devastating display of power than what the twins were able to produce together, a forest of sharpened bamboo shoot up up from the ground haphazardly. All of which were focused on impaling the girl if she isn't fast enough to dodge them in time.
As it seems everyone seems to be really able to dodge her abilities, escape her attacks. Frankly, Chitose has about had it all. As the attacks roll in and bamboo rips into Chitose. She screams out and then the bamboo is blown apart as now what is standing there is a beast. Purplish blue chakra flows around the being that is where Chitose was standing. Eight tails whipping around her legs and horns on her head. Glowing white eyes glaring at Akio. She cracks her neck to either side. She then rushes forward at Akio, sending a leg in to sweep his legs out from under him before she spins around and her arm stretches up high and then comes down brutally into Akio, "You're right." The voice is dual. One Chitose's, the other a deep brutal, dark voice of something much larger and much more deadly, "And I wish you to die."
A grim smile had split Akio's features upon hearing Chitose scream, knowing that no one could survive that. And even if by some miracle someone >did< survive, then — Genuine fear alights Akio's eyes as his best attack is shorn to piece under the intense pressure of Chitose's transformation. Hellspawn. Surely that is what they all faced in that moment? Frankly, such thoughts are quickly pushed aside aside when said demon has already begun to close the distance between them. Instead of defending himself like one trained in the shinobi arts, he panics by putting every ounce of effort into fleeing. Sadly, Fear crippled him far too much to make a proper move. He falls flat on his face from the leg sweep. Soon after, the horrific sound of bones being abused beyond the point any living thing should endure echoes across the area.
Akio still lives. By some horrific miracle, he remains conscious in spite of the pain, though the price for that is high. A few minutes at most is all he has left before slipping away. Pray for mercy or beg. Any normal man would be going for one or both if not simply crying out endless in pain. Instead, Akio gritted his teeth when the worst passed for a few scant seconds and tried to implement one last Jutsu…
"That's enough. All of you." Came the clipped and calm words from one of the three still lingering around the cart. Said person steps forward, and after a pregnant pause, forms a single hand seal. His companions, following suit.
Poof! Poof! Poof!
In seconds, the remaining gang members reveal themselves to be none other than Sunagakure Shinobi themselves! Chuunin based on their vests. Good news, right? :D From the look the 'leader' gave to both Chitose and Ryoji, that is not at all likely. "You. Restrain yourself or so help me I'll do so myself." He goes on to say after gesturing towards Chitose. As he spoke, one of his companions leap away to take a look at the fallen while the other freed their 'prisoners'.
Too shocked for words, Akio misses his one opportunity to spite anyone and promptly passes out from the pain. As for Chitose, if she doesn't follow through with their demands, than the leader will personally step up and make her note that she >did< intend to follow through with her earlier command. And, if all goes smoothly fromt there, a confused and injuried would make his way over to the leader just as she says, "Do you either of you two have any idea just how much of our work you've ruined with your heroics?!"
Yep, no good news at all.
A look at the man and Chitose stares at the man with a glare that shows the rage of a beast within her. She glares at him, the tails flicking and moving around her legs before she finally raises up a hand and rips away her form leaving just the girl standing there. She stares at the shinobi and then squints her eyes, "Do you have any idea how much idiocy you have caused with no properly letting others know about your work?" Chitose doesn't back down nor does she seem afraid of this man. Didn't he just notice that she was a demon a moment ago? She steps forward a step and stands up straight, "This was a mission. A mission to find this group. To find out you were infiltrating the group means your infiltration was not properly documented for this group to end up on the mission list." She then crosses her arms and stares at the man.
Sadly, after Chitose countered the infiltration's team leader with a solid point of her own, things only get worse from there. Arguments and accusations are thrown back and forth, proof and and explanations brought forth and dispensed, but by the time has fully set, none are left satisfied with what is said. Ultimately, the argument is set aside in favor of focusing on the return trip to Sunagakure to get things iron out among other things.
That aside… Ryoji is about the only one that found any entertainment over the whole ordeal. Although he made sure to keep a lid on his feeling and be satisfied that the infiltration team happened to have a relatively decent medic on their team to patch everyone up. Mostly, everyone.
As for the actual members of the garden variety gang, those that were present are rounded up and will be transported back to stand trial for their crimes despite how some may argue it being more efficient just to end them then and there. Alas, one or perhaps all of them may still hold key information regarding the rest of the gang. A threat hinted at by one of the twins before being gagged by the Iga when she started cursing too much on top of it all.
Last but not least are the merchant couple, both of which — despite how bitter the man felt about being treated the way they were — quickly accepted the offer to be escorted back to Sunagakure in exchange for recent grievances being put aside.