Date: March 24, 2011
A troublemaker from Shemri's childhood turns up as a significant menace in the Land of Wind. The hunt for a predator begins.
"Hunting the Predator - Trespass (cutscene)"
Kazekage's Office, Sunagakure
Shemri pokes her head into the door of the Kazekage's office. Her eyes dart around, then snap forward when a voice greets her. "Come in. Neither of us have all day." Shemri blinks, then steps inside, approaches the Kazekage's desk, and bows stiffly. "You sent for me, Kazekage-sama?"
Sousa scribbles away at some document on his desk. Without looking up, he flips a photo over to the side of the desk closest to Shemri. "Indeed I did. I'd like you to take a close look at this photograph, to start with."
Shemri creeps closer to the desk. Furrowing her brow, she peers at the visage in the photo. Wild, golden-brown hair and beard, broad shoulders, chiseled features, amber eyes with a certain glint in their — Shemri inhales sharply. "Tategami," she breathes.
Sousa nods absently. "Yes, I wondered whether you would be able to recognize him. What can you tell me of him?"
Shemri slowly pulls her shoulders back and gazes at a speck on the wall. "He is a distant cousin to me, a member of the Maneshi clan. During the Clan Wars, he became feared for the ferocity of his fighting and that of his atoneko, Kizu. Before the wars ended, he left the Maneshi clan, saying that he would start a clan of his own."
In the silence which follows, Sousa's pen scratches onward…then stops abruptly. "What else can you tell me, Maneshi Shemri-san?"
Shemri shifts her jaw for a moment, then swallows and continues. "When we were children, Tategami often tried to start trouble between the Maneshi and other clans, especially the Satonezu. He would gather other hooligans and ambush the children of other clans, to bully them and steal their toys. I always tried to stop them when I could, and if their victims got away, they would take out their anger on me." Shemri's eyebrow twitches. "He called me 'Little squeak mouse.'"
While Shemri speaks, Sousa's pen resumes scratching. When she finishes, Sousa clips the photo to the document. "Hmmm, very interesting psychological profile. Well, here's an update on your long-lost clan-mate, Shemri-san. It seems he's done fairly well at his goal of establishing his own clan, there are twenty-odd shinobi following him at last report. Mostly kunoichi, curiously. They call themselves the Pride. They do mercenary work, but few legitimate governments will hire them due to their history of indiscriminate pillaging and looting when not paid to leave a given town alone. They are classed as a B-rank nuisance, not dangerous enough to be worth hunting down — especially considering the difficulty of catching them with any force large enough to reliably deal with them — but too dangerous to be entirely ignored. And now it seems they are passing through Land of Wind territory."
Sousa sits down and swivels his chair to face out the window. "Oh, one other little question, Shemri-san." Sousa holds the document up so that it faces past him toward Shemri. "If you were assigned to a team responsible for tracking the Pride and preventing them from harming any Land of Wind citizens, would you be at all hindered in your duty by your familial relationship with Tategami-san?"
The dossier with Tategami's image is plucked from the Kazekage's hand and pinned to the wall by a kunai. Shemri is already gone, the door swinging as though dazed behind her. Sousa smirks. "I'll take that as a no."