Date: October 26, 2014
Team Sandstorm are sent out on leads about two missing agents. The team has a run in with the missing agents who over estimated their capabilities slightly, resulting with the death of one, though one escapes.. for now.
"Hunting for Deserters"
Land of Wind
A Sunagakure black ops operative has gone missing, which is worrying whether their disappearance is intentional or not. What's even more worrying is that one of his closest friends has gone missing, as well. After almost two days of hearing nothing, Sunagakuran analytics have finally found a few clues, and teams have been sent out to either rescue or apprehend the shinobi and his friend, depending on the situation. One of the teams sent out is made up of Tsuchi, Rikuto, and Akiko. A shinobi on an unrelated mission, stationed in a mountain village in the North of the country, heard of two people matching their description and MO passing through and heading further North. While the lead is an unlikely one, it bears investigation…
Only just arriving in the mountain village, Tsuchi looks back at Rikuto and Akiko, peering at them even as she nods her head, "Come along then." She states and then claps her hands together, "We can't possibly spend all day and all night waiting on you two to get moving." She chuckles, "We have things to do and I am not going to sit around." She nods her head and then looks forward before she bites her thumb lightly and slaps her hand down. Only a moment later a poof of smoke arises and standing there is Sora, smiling at Tsuchi and then looking around, "Oh, good good. It looks like we are out of that village and out for some serious fun, yeah?" He chuckles and moves in close to Tsuchi, "And I'm betting you brought me something delicious yes?" He then peers back at Akiko, "Oh! Even better." He moves off to sniff at Akiko, peering at her carefully, "Delicious something hidden away, yes?"
Akiko manages to keep on-pace with Tsuchi (at least until the Sasaki uses that wind chakra to run about), Kotone taking the sky-route to the mountain village and arriving much earlier than the three. "It's not our fault you're so fast, sensei!" she exclaims, breathing a bit hard at this point. "Sora!" she exclaims, beaming to the ferret. "Hmm… I think Kotone was hunting since she got here earlier… Maybe she'll share?" she glances to the falcon, who actually caught two snakes on the journey. "Do you like snake, Sora-san?"
"Ya ya.." Grumbles the young Miira, having been told not to use his craft, needing to work his legs out more. Rikuto moves fromthing form his collar and to his mouth, sucking onto it gently before moving it back. Glancing towards Akiko, he hums lightly and asks "As soon as Kotone is larger, you're going to start riding her to keep up, aren't you?"
When the young woman pauses and slaps the ground, he blink a few times, one of the first time he saw the creature summoned. Slowly shaking his head, the young Miira chuckles, listening to the first questions Sora asked. "It's Tsuchi's tab for the imported grubs you know. I still have some snake jerky." Rikuto adds in, patting his hip pouch lightly.
The path along which the two reportedly left lies north of the village. It starts nice and easy, but from the looks of it quickly grows steep to turn into a nearby valley, still climbing. The group may have hurried here -and in doing so, made up for a considerable part of the delay they have on their quarry- but they still have a difficult path ahead of them.
A grin as she watches the two and even a bit of a giggle as Sora nearly feints with delight, "Snake is the best!" He declares with a wide grin and then nods his head, "And grubs?!" He looks over at Rikuto before chuckling and rubbing his belly, "I will eat well on this mission!" He nods his head and then looks back at Tsuchi and states, "Speaking of…what are we doing here?"
Tsuchi nods and then points at the paths as they approach, "We are after what could either be a pair of deserters or two that have been captured." She nods her head, "Now we gotta make our way after them and bring them back, one way or the other." She then starts walking up toward the path and on her way up it, smiling as she nods her head, "We have to move quickly after them."
Akiko recovers enough and stands up a bit straighter. "Let's go, then! We gotta catch up to them, right?" Kotone drops the dead snake on Sora as she goes to fly further ahead and maybe scout a bit. Akiko starts on the path again, but pauses to wait for Tsuchi's lead. "So… We just have to bring them back, right? We're not supposed to kill them or anything?" she wonders. A glance back to Rikuto to make sure he's still nearby.
Luckily for the young Miira, both his speed and his endurance weren't as meek as his strength for carrying heavy things. The was a light current around him, as well as a growing heat but it didn't seem to leave him sweating very much. "..Kotone has enough time to go out, hunt for a snack and get back? Just how slow are we to her?" Turning his attention towards Tsuchi, he looks to the side past her before speaking up, "Do we know what they're good at or was that left off the scroll again? I wonder if either are earth manipulators." As he mused the thought, the teen begins to look down at the ground and rocks around them as if they were suspects
The files provided for the mission list the two as an Iga Aoi, whose main means of attack is water manipulation, and Fujimoto Taichi, a seal and scroll user with a natural aptitude for electricity. Since the former is a black ops operative, he is also good at subterfuge and stealth.
While they talk and discuss, the group continues up the path. It takes them a while, but the environment is pleasant: they've moved far enough North for some hardy vegetation to grow over the slopes and a river streams over the bottom of the valley as they move up, filling the air with the sound of flowing water.
As they're maybe two turns from reaching the crest of the mountain ridge, Rikuto notices a the presence of chakra up ahead, more than one would expect from a simple traveller. Seconds later, Kotone descends with additional information: he has spotted a figure up ahead, apparently waiting for something in what seems to be a remarkably defensible position.
Looking back at the pair, she hmms as she doesn't spot anything but then Rikuto and AKiko seem ot have information, epescially with Kotone descending. Even as she listens she ponders and then she smiles a little before she points at Akiko and then kneels down, "And….just how do you think we should approach this situation, hmm?" She peers at Akiko and then looks to Rikuto before looking directly at Akiko, "This is your call."
Akiko blinks a bit as she's given command of the situation. She considers, hmming lightly to herself. "I think Kotone said the guy was waiting for us in a defensive position. Could you maybe sneak around to the back and catch him from behind while me and Rikuto-san take the more obvious approach?" she wonders. The girl glances up towards the hill. "I don't think the guy has anyone else around, but they might be hiding…"
+pose Tilting his head to one side, his pace slowing for a moment as he begins to feel something, an odd warmth. "Sensei. slow.." Turning towards Akiko, he nods lightly a few times. "It isn't just a normal person. Either they are a older shinobi or they were just using ninjutsu. I can feel a build up from here." Turning to Tsuchi for a moment, he then look down the road again. "I can't really tell how strong he is, but I think we might be waiting for us."
Tilting his head to one side, his pace slowing for a moment as he begins to feel something, an odd warmth. "Sensei. slow.." Turning towards Akiko, he nods lightly a few times. "It isn't just a normal person. Either they are a older shinobi or they were just using ninjutsu. I can feel a build up from here." Turning to Tsuchi for a moment, he then look down the road again. "I can't really tell how strong he is, but I think we might be waiting for us."
A glance to Sora and Tsuchi nods to him, "You heard her." She gives a small salute and starts moving along the left and looks back, "You two keep moving." She nods her head and then starts off quickly even as she does, she leaves a few flickering bits of energy in her wake which hide away all her movement visually and chakra wise. Even as she starts to slip off with Sora, leaving the pair to their plan even as she watches from afar.
Akiko watches her Tsuchi disappear before making her way up the hill. She tries to stay out of sight, much like one would if they didn't suspect the man to know they were following, and tries to keep quiet as she moved. "Rikuto-san, try to keep low or something. I don't want him to spot us right away, even if he knows where we are. We can't give him any kind of advantage." She nods a bit, drawing her bow from her back and nocking a few arrows while Kotone flies into the air, hopefully high enough to avoid attacks.
Fishing around his mouth with his tongue, he watches Akiko, but then closes his eyes, faintly shaking his head but doesn't say anything. Rather than focusing on staying out of sight, the young Miira begins to focus onto himself as he moves, preparing for when they actually were noticed. "I'll make a note about learning to be more invisible next time.. I'll try to just follow your foot steps," was softly said as Rikuto attempts to do just that.
Tsuchi disappears, leaving her two less-experienced allies alone and sneaking up on what appears to be a lone figure. After she's gone for long enough, the water in the river wells up, and part of it turns into an oversized scythe which rises from the stream and slashes at Akiko and Rikuto both, slicing rocks in half on the way there.
It seems, Tsuchi has faith in her genin to do what is necessary and even as the man reveals himself to be hostile, she and Sora attack from two directions at once. One coming at him from behind and the other coming at him from the side. Tsuchi kicks low to send a burst of wind toward the man's legs and take them right out from under him if she can even as Sora spins in mid air, empowering his own tail with lightning chakra to slam it into his chest and drain him of some vital stamina before she finishes by sailing up over top of him as well, already gathering a burst of pure wind, a great deal of it packed into one small orb that she sends toward him which will whip around into a miniature whirlwind that will threaten to rip right into him.
Akiko darts out of the way from the water, narrowly avoiding the water. She immediately looses an arrow at the man, saying, "Rikuto-san, watch out!" She hopes her first arrow, which had a flash-bang attached, was able to blind the enemy as she sends two more arrows, these aimed at his midsection.
Following after Akiko didn't turn out as well as what he has hoped, though he manages to notice the river beginning to swell. When it was made clear that it was coming after them, he brings his hands together. "Got it!" As he spoke, a cycling layer of wind wraps around him, managing to within the blades of water.
Breathing in, he turns towards where Akiko has fire off a explosive arrow and rapidly breaths out a series of small orbs, that expend the further they travel.
As the group descend on the lone figure, they find that he'd been standing not only in a defensible position, but in a barely-visible bubble of chakra. The attacks pulverize said dome, but several of them are stopped on the way there. One of Rikuto's. When it finally caves in, Tsuchi is descending into a cloud of smoke and debris caused by the explosive attacks. Her whirlwind clears the area again immediately, slamming into the young man and throwing him backwards, where he meets one of the explosions. He gets up, apparently surprised to be outnumbered, and with a crackle of lightning dashes off, trying to put some boulders between himself and Akiko and Rikuto. He seems to prefer a one-on-one battle with Tsuchi. Once he's got at least some sort of terrain between the two of them, he produces two scrolls, one in each hand. As they fall open, metal spears emerge from them, flying towards Tsuchi. As soon as they've done their part, the ninja -who by now can be safely assumed to be Taichi- brings his hands together. As he forms hand seals, lightning first crackles over his fingertips, then his whole hands, and then it jolts forward, catching up to the flying spears amd dancing around them.
Akiko and Rikuto, without an enemy in sight, are not out of their enemies' mind: the water rises again, driven by some unseen force, and spiralling into kunai is flung at Akiko and Rikuto both. Despite standing further from the water, Rikuto seems to be the main focus of the attack, with Akiko getting caught more in the fringes of it, for some reason.
One spear hits Tsuchi and one Sora. Both wince even as they both kick off in alternate directions as the lightning comes in. Tsuchi glares as she pulls the spear free and then looks toward Taichi, "Give it up now, Taichi. You can't win. My squad will bring you and Aoi in, dead or alive." She nods her head, "I would prefer to salvage your life." She then spins and kicks out with another burst of wind, skimming along the ground toward his legs again before she would rush forward with a burst of throwing stars made fully out of lightning. Even as she flicks that small hail of stars his way, Sora is already climbing up above and coming around to send another lightning powered paw punch toward Taichi's side in order to drain him of more of his energy, "Give up now!"
Akiko wants to chase after the guy, Taichi it would seem, but she can't keep up with him. Plus, there are other things to worry about. Namely… Water kunai getting thrown at her. She has to do a backflip in order to dodge it, looking around and glancing upward. "Kotone, do you see anything?" she calls out, hoping her falcon companion can spot something. "What about you, Rikuto-san?" she wonders, looking around for signs of the man who's attacking her and the Miira. "We can leave Taichi to Sensei and Sora-san. Let's figure out where this Aoi person is quick."
The winds that had protected him before manage to splatter the first kunai but the second one manages to stay solid long enough to slash at his arm in passing. "Geeze.." Turning to look forward again rather that avoiding an attack, Rikuto closes his eyes and exhales slowly. Turning his head from one side to the next he shakes his head. "I can't pick up where he is, I'm feeling too much chakra all over right now, just is a blur." Opening his eyes again, he moves to keep up with Akiko.
Lightning crackles around Taichi, but by the time his technique is activated he's already thrown down by the blast of air. He lands with a crack, lightning stars striking him in the back. He convulses with every strike. As he struggles to get upright, the ferret's paw strikes him and a surge of lightning makes all of his muscles contort in agony. He stops moving, although it's unclear whether he's just unconscious, dead, or maybe even just faking it. On the bright side, possibly, the assault on Akiko and Rikuto also ceases, for now.
Stepping up quickly to the side of Taichi, Tsuchi immediately checks for a pulse, her right hand checking, her left hand alreayd prepared to make the necessary hand signs if things went bad. It's a good thing that Tsuchi needs only one hand to create a hand seal and launch any of her skills. She peers at the deserter before looking around quickly and gesturing, "Sora, quick, go check on Akiko and Rikuto."
A quick nod is given and Sora scrambles up over toward Rikuto and Akiko, peering at the pair, "You two ok?" Sora calls out even as he scrambles around, taking a look around as he moves, trying to see who or what it was they were fighting even as the ferret shifts into position, "You find your target? You beat him up good?"
<Public> Ayumu has disconnected.
Akiko continues to look around, blinking a bit. "Not even a whisper!" she exclaims, her body still tensed for a fight. She has a few more arrows nocked in her bow, but apparently doesn't need them. "Rikuto-san and I couldn't see him at all. I dunno where he is or anything." She sighs, definitely frustrated. "What about you and Sensei?" she asks the ferret, guard not going down for a second as she continues to keep an eye out for Aoi. "Did you take down the one guy? Taichi?"
Rikuto begins moving forward, continuing even after Sora manages to catch up with them. "We're close to them. They might be watching us right now, we were being attacked but we couldn't see them." Turning around, he glances towards Akiko and points towards the stream where the water might have come from. "This one's a water manipulator, they have to stay close or they'll be using a lot more chakra trying to make water. A long shot but a shot still."
Frowning as she can't find a pulse, Tsuchi shakes her head before looking over at the area around. She grabs him up in one arm as she stands up, pulling him up and attempting to take Taichi under an arm and up and over to the others. She peers around as she approaches, peering at the area before saying, "We need to get moving." She nods her head, "We can't stay out here forever."
Sora looks around as well, frowning as he seems unable to see anything. He moves over to Rikuto and peers at him, "Come on, Rikuto. We trained for this. You gotta be able to sense the last one, right?"
Akiko glances to Taichi curiously before focusing some of her chakra to her eyes, enhancing her vision slightly. Kotone flies around in the air to seek out the next target. "This is annoying… Rikuto-san, do you sense anything at all?" she wonders. The girl makes her way up the path even more, nearing the river despite the fact that it could be hiding the target. Maybe she can lure him out… The girl has her bow ready still, wondering idly if she'll even need it.
With one of the targets taken out of the fight, the team must go after the covert ops nin himself: Iga Aoi. So far, they haven't even seen him, but they know he's lurking nearby…