Date: March 19, 2012
Atsuro and Taiki's mom finally get around to doing an autopsy on the mysterious jounin whose body they captured after the attempt on Taiki's life.
Poster's note: Profanity filtered in obvious places.
"Inuzuka Pride Chronicles: What a Body Can Tell"
Hidden cave just outside the Inuzuka orchards
It's late in the evening, and now that the heat from the Konoha investigators have died down, Atsuro gets a message from Yuuka, Taiki's mom, that it is safe to thoroughly examine the body. Given that they also wanted to keep the body's existence from the Elders, it was stored in a small, hidden elder in the orchard surrounding the Inuzuka Village. Not many knew of this place, as it was most often used by Taiki when he wanted to hide from his tormentors. Thus Atsuro is given a partial listing of directions, one that takes him south of the village, and deep into the forrest.
Yuuka was not originally from the Founder Clan, but from the Beta, which could explain a few things about Taiki if one dug into her history. Thus she knew how to hide from the advanced senses of the Inuzuka, and monitored the area closely. She set Taiki out in the small clearing, ostensively to lead Atsuro to the place the body was. She and her ninken in the meantime would check to ensure that, (a) Atsuro was who he said he was, and (b) that there was no one following. As Taiki leads Atsuro through a series of twists and turns, going through some underbrush at the edge of the orchard he says, "Not too much further sensei. But don't stray too far from me now, the last turn before we reach the tree we want is rather tricky." At that moment they were joined by Yuuka, who seemed to appear out of no-where.
Atsuro isn't one to get the willies, but there's no question that this is a little creepy. A clandestine meeting in a cave hidden in a forest at night. To examine a dead body. Sounds like the start of a horror novel, that's for sure. But this is important, and Atsuro isn't one to let nerves get in the way of something. So he and Taizen venture out to the forest, keeping a careful eye on their surroundings for anybody who might have followed them.
He's happy to see Taiki (as is Taizen, who begins wagging his tail as soon as he comes into view. "Hi," says Atsuro, "Lovely place you've got here. And such a nice night." They begin to follow Taiki, listening to his directions. He glances over to Yuuka as she makes her appearance. "Evening," he says simply. He doesn't know her that well, after all.
It should be noted that Shinobu himself was not present. Yuuka's ninken were with them, though patrolling. "Hello Atsuro'san," Yuuka says in a soft voice. She looks toward Taiki, who had taken the brief respite to properly greet Taizen, and nods. The young genin stands up and nods, leading them through the undergrowth to a HUGE tree, surrounded by foliage. Taiki motions and takes some very precise steps, then whistles quietly. Shinobu pokes his head out of one spot on the ground, then barks. "Okay, there's a slope downward about a foot from Shinobu's head. Try not to disturbe the vines too much." With these instructions he takes another couple of steps and promptly disappears. Yuuka on the other hand seems to wait for Atsuro and Taizen to go, with her following up behind them.
Atsuro only nods in response to Yuuka's greeting, figuring this isn't the greatest time for small talk. He follows Taiki down the slope, going slowly and trying not to disturb the vines, for whatever reason Taiki's requested it. He occasionally has to turn around and help Taizen out a little. While the dog isn't clumsy, he is very large and requires some assistance in situations like this one. It's not too much trouble, however, and the two make their way down the slope in reasonable time.
Atsuro would notice that he could see through the vines leaning out, but when Taiki walked down the slope, he hadn't moved more than half a dozen steps before he simply could not be seen. The vines were part of the camoflage. Also Taizen would notice that the vines produced an oil that overrode all other scents, effectively masking them from the sense of smell. The slope turned out to be a ramp of sorts, leading underground before opening up into a small cavern. Here there was a table, a desk, and bench carved into the rock. It had some comforts, obstesively brought in by Taiki, but trying to smell anything in here just didn't seem to work.
At this point Yuuka speaks up from behind Atsuro, "I see what you mean Tai'kun. Finding this place without a guide would be a challenge. I'm impressed you've done so much here, especially for a place you discovered by accident."
Taiki grins and turns around to face Atsuro and his mom. "Okaasan, Atsurosensei, Taizen and everyone one else, welcome to my hideaway. I don't have too much in the way of refreshments, but the table is long enough to do what we came here for." He grins at his mother's comments before walking over to a small nook full of scrolls, pulling one out from the middle and taking it over to the table. A moment later the body of the Jounin is laying on the scroll, on the table, ready to be looked at.
Like Yuuka, Atsuro is impressed by the way Taiki's camouflaged the place. "Not bad," he comments, "Guess I've managed to teach you a thing or two after all. Who knew?" He pauses to take a look around the cave itself, noting the rudimentary furniture and… not much else. Taizen sniffs around a little, unused to the sensation of not being able to smell anything. Atsuro gives him a pat on the head to comfort him, then it's time to inspect the body. He walks up to the table, Taizen hesitating slightly before he approaches as well. "So," says Atsuro, "What should we be looking for, exactly? I was sorta hoping he'd have a tattoo or something else that could identify him. Or maybe there's something in his pocket, a one-time pad or something."
Yuuka stops looking around and approaches the body. "First thing we do is remove all his clothes. We need to look for anything that might be out of the ordinary. Like you said, a tatoo or something. We never did a thorough look through after all. It was too dangerous with the Konoha ANBU asking questions." She then opens her hip pouch and draws out a cloth wrapped around a bunch of instruments. "Taiki, you remove the pants. Your kunai should be good enough for that, but be sure not to cut the skin." She then hands Atsuro a strong pair of sheers. "You start on the other side. Cut through is upper clothing along the seems. We want to remove the top without having to lift him up. Look for anything out of the ordinary."
"Wow," says Atsuro, "You just get right to the point, huh? Well, I'm sure I'd just /love/ to see this guy naked." Obviously he doesn't have much experience in the way of post-mortem examinations. He accepts the shears from Yuuka. At least he isn't stuck with Taiki's job. He does as Yuuka instructs, cutting the man's shirt away with the shears, then pulls the cloth away, revealing the man's bare torso. He examines it, the disgust plain on his face, though his frown becomes more curious as he spots something. "Hello," he says, interested, "What's this?" He points out a small scar on the inside of the man's upper arm. "Looks like he's had some surgery here." He reaches over to feel the scar, but stops before actually touching the body. "I don't suppose there are some gloves I can use?"
Taiki isn't too happy with his job easier. In fact he can be heard muttering something to the effect of "Na'chan in a kimono, Na'chan in a kimono," over and over again. He gets the pants off, showing a loin cloth that extends under the shirt. He doesn't go to remove it though, instead he leaves that for his mother should she want. What he does do is walk over to the scrolls and pull out another one. A short time later there is a pair of leather gloves, which he passes to Atsuro. "She likely only brought one set," he adds, to Yuuka's slight embarrassment and blush. "Payback Okaa'san. Payback."
Yuuka chuckles and looks at Taiki and says, "You've got a long way to go Ta'kun," she says, changing her voice to an approximation of Naru's. Taiki blushes deeply at that tease, allowing her to look back at Atsuro. "So what did you find?" she asks, peering over to the arm.
Taiki's discomfort gives Atsuro the first chuckle he's had since coming out here. It's audible and he makes little effort to hide it, but he doesn't make any comments on it. "Thanks," he says, taking the gloves and putting them on. "Boy," he comments drily, "It's just like performing a surgery." He lifts the cadaver's arm with his own left and hand feels along the scar with his right. "Ugh," he says, "There's something under the skin. Not too big, but it's there." He pauses. "I suppose if it was a bomb or some kind of monitoring device, we'd know about it by now? Anyway, we should probably take a look at it."
"Laugh it up furball," Taiki grumbles toward Atsuro sensei, then shrugs and starts to look the legs over. "Nothing much here Okaa'san." Apparently he deciced getting to work would stop the teasing.
Fortunately enough it worked, as Yuuka looks over toward the scar. She runs through a few hand-signs and then mutters something. Her hands glow green as she runs over the scar. "It's not dangerous, but it is booby trapped. Channel chakra into this scalpel as you cut, make sure it's about as much as you would use for a B rank jutsu. And don't cut above it, but around it, effecively gouging it out. Taiki, step back in case something goes wrong…"
"I'm really not any furrier than you," says Atsuro. But that's all he has to say on that, apparently. There is the more serious matter of the scar to deal with. "Booby trapped?" Atsuro repeats, "Man, poison pill in the teeth and his armpit's ready to blow at any second. And I hated it when they gave me a shot a couple months back." He takes the scalpel form Yuuka and gets ready to cut, then stops as he realizes he might not actually be able to do this. "I actually don't know any B-rank ninjutsu," he explains, "Will chakra taijutsu levels work?" If the answer is yes, he'll go ahead and cut, channelling the necessary amount of chakra. If not, he'll return the scalpel to Yuuka.
Taiki steps back a bit at his mother's request, falling silent to let the two work. "Yes, that will work," Yuuka says after a few minutes of consideration. As Atsuro cuts, the skin on each side turns black. A moment later something pops out of the armpit in an ark to fall into a cup that Yuuka had waiting. But then seals start to form all about the body, radiating out from the arm. "Get back!" she calls out. The body doesn't explode, but instead seems to liquify into a black ooze that gurgles for a moment before launching itself at Taiki. Taiki dives for the floor, causing the ooze to miss him and hit the wall, disintegrating a large hole in it as it eats into the wall, destroying itself as it goes. Then Taiki lets out a scream, clutching his arm as he does. It is smoking.
Somewhat distastefully, Atsuro cuts into the man's skin, carefully working the scalpel in and making incisions as neatly as he can. He's pleased when… whatever it is comes out, glad that he's finished cutting into people for the moment. That, of course, does not last quickly. "Oh, cadaver!" He quickly takes a step back from the body, pulling Taizen along with him and ducks and covers. When the black goo fires off, he's glad to see it's missed him and gone for the wall instead, but it seems some has hit Taiki. "Oh, cadaver!" he says once again, then looks around the cave for something that might help. "Is there some water somewhere?" he asks desperately.
Taiki is screaming in pain, it must truly be immense for him to be unable to stop screaming. Yuuka in the meantime runs to her child and casts a paralysis jutsu on him, then lays him out on the floor. "Small bottle in my bag, get it!" she calls out as she cuts way the cloth on Taiki's arm. Two small drops, each the size of a teardrop are smoking on is arm, slowly dissolving flesh. She takes a kunai and says, "I'm sorry Taiki, this is going to hurt." With that she starts to dig the kunai under the acid, literally gouging it out. The room is hazy with smoke, though the smoke does start to flow toward the incline leading to the forest.
Atsuro hurries over to the bag and digs through it for the bottle. Once he's found it, he passes it over to Yuuka. He takes a second to look at the smoke as it leaves. He takes a long, deep breath. "I hate to say this," he says, "But we probably shouldn't stay here a second longer than we have to. If someone finds us… it might all be over. And if that… stuff can be detected or sends some signal or something, someone's going to be coming quick."
Yuuka takes the bottle and nods toward Atsuro. "I know, but I need to get this stuff out of him before we try to move him. In the meantime, can you gather up the scrolls and everything else that looks like Taiki's?" she says as she moves to the second drop, having managed to get the first drop out. The second drop has burned a little deeper, so it is harder going. As she works, the object in the bowl starts to rattle, and voices echo in the chamber.
"…kuro's… stone… activ…" One voice announces in a flat, emotionless voice.
"Trace… then… kill Inu… Tai… can… allow… compl… tech… Too much pow…" The second voice responds. Suddenly the bowl erupts in a gout of flame, leaving a seal on the floor. Yuuka seems to sweat as she tries to save Taiki's arm.
Atsuro doesn't need to be told twice. He and Taizen immediately begin gathering up everything they can. As ugly as the situation has gotten, it might get a lot uglier, and he doesn't want to be around to see it. He glances up as the strange device begins to shake and speak, but continues working even as he listens. Once he's gathered everything up, he stops to listen fully, but the device soon blows up, leaving a seal. Figuring that if the device could send voices here it might also send them back, he stays silent as he kneels nears the seal, wondering if he should try to destroy it. He pulls out a kunai and gestures to Yuuka, pointing to the seal, then waving the kunai back and forth as if scraping the floor with it.
Yuuka finally managed to get the other drop out, only to start pouring the liquid in the bottle on his arm. It's not water, but some kind of clear substance that seems to cause a slight bubbling and throthing at the wounds. Taiki groans loudly, currently unable to scream or even close his eyes. His mother keeps trying to calm the boy down as Atsuro mimes what he wants to try. She nods once, then goes back to gestures and caresses. Slowly the throthing stops, and with it Taiki's groans. Only at this point does she move, stretching to grab the bag and pulling out some medical wrappings. Apparently she has done all she can here.
One nod is all Atsuro needs before he starts scratching out the seal, working as quickly as he can, but also making sure to scrape away the marking as thoroughly as possible. Once he's satisfied that the seal is gone, he gets up and puts the kunai away. His task finished, he stands there waiting for Taiki and Yuuka to get ready. He's sympathetic to Taiki's injuries, but he figures that things are going to get a lot worse if they don't start moving quickly.
It takes some work, but the seal is eventually destroyed. Shinobu trots up to Yuuka, who gently lays her son flat onto Shinobu's back, draping the arms on each side. That done she stands up and packs her belongings before turning to Atsuro and nodding. Shinobu is already going up the ramp as quickly as he can with the weight on this back, which is remarkably fast considering. Then again, the Inuzuka Malamutes were always strong dogs… They soon dissappear, and then Yuuka runs herself, following Taiki.