Rinako, Izo, Chitose
Date: February 11, 2013
Rinako sends a pair of genin to retrieve a lost pet lizard. Just a simple D-Rank Mission, right? …Right?
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"It's Just A Lizard"
Sunagakure - Outside the gates
It was an overcast day in the Land of Wind, a virtual rarity in Sunagakure, which featured 'blistering heat' in its travel tour guide. If it had a travel tour guide. Y'know, 'hidden' ninja village and all. Even though people traveled to it all the time, traders and craftsman and such. Rurohashi Rinako didn't really know why they were called 'hidden' at all, really, since even their enemies knew where they were. Maybe it was because shinobi were supposed to be unseen and it was all in the name. A gimmick.
Regardless, the dark-haired Councilwoman, ex-jinchuuriki, and beetle extraordinaire was currently outside of the village proper, where young genin weren't often allowed to go when not on an assignment. Her attire was the tyical outfit she wore when she expected to be ninja-ing, all black, bared midriff, no sleeves. She holds an umbrella over herself, keeping the majority of the rain at bay, even as it tried to turn the sand underfoot to mud. But it was just a light drizzle.
To her left stood the affectionately-named 'Junior', who was so called because no one could pronounce his freakin' real name, except perhaps Rinako herself, who'd spent more time around him than anyone. But the giant, six-foot-long rhinocerous beetle only stand about waist-high to her, with its legs curled up protectively under him to keep them dry, water beading and falling off of his carapace.
She was currently just awaiting the arrival of a pair of genin for today's mission. Why these two? Well, she'd just flipped through a list of names because she was bored and wanted to get out of the office and leave all the paperwork of her position to her subordinates. It was well-known that the newest Councilor vastly preferred to punch things in the face vice sitting in her office.
C'est la vie.
Coming out of the village, as she was requested, heading to outside, peering up at the sky and shaking her head. It was such an odd thing to see rain at all. Either way, she was coming out to see what the councilwoman wanted. Chitose peers at the beetle as she arrives, looking somewhat confused by its presence and then around to see what else is going, "Hi." She states, seeming confused, "Chitose, reporting as requested."
Raindrops fell upon Izo's upturned face. It was a good day considering he was being called out and refreshingly cooler weather. With a smile he walked out of the city, spotting the large beetle right away. He quickened his step slightly, seeing another Genin already there. As he approached he tightened his sash a bit. With a smile he inclined his head to the two already there. "Miira Izo." He murmered quietly.
"Ordered, Yamauchi. 'Reporting as ordered'." Rinako corrects affably enough, though she doesn't bother to look up from the scroll half-unrolled in her hands. Finally, she glances up, and then promptly yawns. Izo gets a nod, though it's only done halfway through the yawn. And then the yawn turns into a stretch, and the stretch turns into a full-body stretch and pretty soon Rinako's reaching her hands over her head and twisting sideways and still yawning. Until she's done, then she lets the hand holding the scroll flop back to her sides.
"Miira." She says finally. "Took you guys long enough. I've been out here for… minutes."
"Tell the the truth, Rina-chan." The young, deep voice resonates from, of all things, the giant bug next to her. "You came out here to nap and this just also happened to be the meeting spot." Rinako nudges the rhino-beetle into silence with her knee with a disapproving frown. Junior just chortles quietly to himself.
"Okay, today is a D-Rank mission." The dark-haired Jounin continues with all apparent dignity and sincerity. "It is of vital importance that you uphold the strength and inte… grit… blah blah blah." She motions out at the desert with the scroll in her hand. "Lady Todai has lost her favorite pet 'sand lizard', whatever that is. You guys get to go out there and find it. The one who brings the lizard back here alive and unharmed completes the mission. The loser will have a failure entered into their permanent record. You'll be judged on… I dunno… technique and stuff."
Another yawn. "Look, just go find it and lemme sleep."
A blink at that and Chitose looks at the woman, "Umm…" She is about to respond when she notices the beetle. She looks at the creature for a long moment before nodding, "Yes, ma'am." She states as she stands up straight and nods her head, "As ordered and…umm, as ordered." She then looks at Izo before looking out to the desert. She taps her chin and immediately starts looking down and around, "Rainy day…" She grumbles a little to herself before starting off toward the desert a little ways, peering about, "Sand lizard…" She then starts to think to her years delivering things to what a sand lizard is before just heading out a little ways to get a good look around, maybe she'll just spot it?
"If I may" Izo begins as he turns slightly, "does this lizard have a name?" Information was an important part of a mission, or so he'd been told. Even with something simple like this, he wanted to know as much as he could. He ran a hand through his damp hair briefly, considering the beetle as he waited for a response. He decided he liked the beetle. Rinako seemed to be more bark than bite, judging from how the beetle interacted with her.
"Oh, yeah… Maybe." Rurohashi Rinako has to look back at the scroll for a minute, running her finger along the vertical lines of characters. Was she even taking this seriously? "It's called 'Totodile'. He's apparently very friendly and likes to eat meat." Then she looks up and makes shooing motions with her hands. "Now off you go. You're falling behind your competition there."
Once the two genin have headed off, Rinako folds up the scroll, sticks it back inside of her shirt to keep it dry, and props a hip against the giant beetle next to her. "You are a cruel woman, Rinako-chan." The great big bug says very matter-of-factly.
"Meh." Is the unmotivated response. "They'll get on well enough. Maybe. I dunno. They'll probably fail. But if they pass, at least they'll learn… something." The dark-haired councilwoman sighs. "I remember when the rain used to make me happy. Now I'm just tired."
Rinako starts to climb on the back of the beetle, but he shakes her off with a sound of disgust. "I am not a bed!"
For Chitose, well, it's a desert. There's not much to see and most of the creatures have burrowed into the sand to avoid the heat. There's a group of rocks over in one direction, some cacti in another, and a hawk circling lazily overhead.
Looking back, Chitose frowns a little before looking off again. She spots the Hawk circling and stares up at it a moment. She then looks down and around at the area where it circles, trying to find the spot underneath where it is circling directly. If there's nothing there? She'll just head toward the group of rocks.
Izo nods and starts walking over to the rocks he sees in the distance. He looks over to the other Genin some distance away. "Hello there. You said Chitose didn't you?" he asks with a smile. "It might be easier if we just work together, we can get back to the village faster." he offers.
The hawk, coincidentally, is circling right over the group of rocks. It's getting lower and lower with each circle, something certainly seems to be drawing it down towards the earth. The rocks themselves are rather unremarkable. Just a random ol' group that could be anywhere in the desert. Some huge boulders that would take ten men (or one very strong Jounin) to lift, and others mere pebbles. They form a sort of mini-canyon, more or less.
The bird drops lower, lower, lower… and then starts to dive at something that it sees down between the rocks!
"You may be right, Izo." Chitose nods and then blinks as she spots the hawk diving. She races forward suddenly, "If we don't move though, neither of us will succeed!" She then whips out a kunai and flings it toward the path of the Hawk, attempting to scare it…or if she is a bad aim kill it. It's not like it'd be intentional, "I bet the lizard is here!" She nods her head, "That or a mouse…"
Izo didn't respond aloud, instead he just smiled and nodded. He began running toward the rocks as the kunai was thrown. He put up his hands. "Body Flicker Technique." he whispered. He understood it was normally used to defend against an attack, but he wanted a closer look, and faster. Besides, what good was learning acceleration jutsu if he couldn't use it.
The hawk veers off-course as the kunai comes out of nowhere, forcing it to dive off to the side, almost impact a boulder, and then begin agitatedly flapping its wings to gain altitude and escape. It's flying away as quickly as it came, soaring low over the desert sands in the rain, but slowly gaining altitude as it catches higher and higher air currents, glaring in that bird-like way back at the person who had dared assail its majesty.
By virtue of his technique, Izo reaches the rocks first, and he's thus the first to see… some kind of iguana-looking lizard. It's almost three full feet in length from the tip of its tail to the head, with spines running all up and down its back. The creatures as some sort of puffy throat it was puffing up to perhaps look more menacing at those who have dared come to its lair.
Or maybe it just looked kind of bored.
Letting out a breath, she nods as she watches Izo appear near to the target. She comes running up from the other side to peer down at the iguana looking thing before shrugging, "That looks like it." She nods her head and points down, "Do you wanna grab one side and I grab the other or…what?" She peers at Izo, "I mean, it's easily half your size." She then shrugs, "Half mine, too." She then gestures, "We each get a half though and we can get it back without perhaps too much struggle."
Izo chuckled. "You don't mean carry it?" he asked with a chuckle. "Seems like that'd be hard. Instead he sat down and opened a small lunch from his pocket. "Totodile, hey there buddy…" he said quietly offering the meager amount of food to the creature. He looked up at Chitose. "Do you have any meat? He's supposed to be friendy. We should be able to just get him to follow us."
The lizard just sits there on the rock, opening its mouth occasionally to catch some of the drizzling raindrops, breathing so rapidly its sides move in and out in that way lizards do. If it had teeth, it would probably be quite the menacing creature. Instead, it just sits there all serenly and blinking at the two invaders into its personal space.
The iguana-thing finally begins to respond to the presence of food, skittering slightly towards Izo, its tongue flicking out to scent the air. But just then something else stirs…
The sand shifts, rocks are dislodged, some quite big, and then there's a veritable explosion of sand grains and pebbles. A giant desert crocodile emerges from its underground lair, its enormous jaws open and hungry, lunging right for the iguana-lizard with the intent of swallowing it whole! The thing is massive, almost twenty feet from tail to nose, it's head alone the size of each of the genin.
And with that, without thinking, Chitose grabs the iguana looking lizard and breaks off in a run, "Food won't work!" She declares as she attempts to dive to the side out of the path of the giant crocodile. She then blinks as she looks at it, "Wait…" She stands up quickly, still holding the iguana before she states, "I really do hope that the little one is the one we're supposed to get…" She then blinks, "…wait…why am I wondering this now?!" She then turns and starts running toward Sunagakure, "Run!"
Izo jumped to his feet. "I'll go with that plan." he said, dashing to wrap an arm around another part of the lizard. "But won't it just chase us?" he said, lifting a portion of the three foot lizard. He looked over his shoulder to see what the large… thing was doing.
"GYAAAAAR!" The desert crocodile roars, it's mighty tail displacing stones that weigh almost a ton with every sweep. As Chitose scoops up the lizard, who digs its claws into her clothing for purchase, the great beast misses getting its snack, and instead its jaws close around solid stone. …And then they snap shut, crushing and shattering that stone.
It tosses its head from side to side, flinging stones, and does indeed begin to give chase. And for a crocodile? It was FAST! The thing can't quite seem to catch the genin, but its certainly keeping up with the pair as they try to escape by making tracks along the desert sand, every step making a bell on its collar jingle.
As they run, she hears the jingling bell and looks back over her s houlder, "Oh ***!" She calls out as they run. Chitose looks at the lizard they are carrying and then at Izo, "We've succeeded!" She yells and then looks forward, "I believe that thing behind us is a sand lizard!" S he then looks forward, "Rinako!" She yells out as she runs, "Rinako!"
Izo nods again, letting Chitose take all of the small lizard. Splitting off he begins waving his arms around to gain the attention of the large collared creature. "TOTODILE, DOWN BOY!" he shouts up, still running towards the village.
The Councilor snorts herself awake at the sound of her name, sleepily raising her head from her position sprawled across the top of the giant beetle. At least Junior was nice enough to hold the umbrella for her as she used him like the world's hardest mattress. For a moment, she furrows her brow.
Two kids carrying a lizard between them and being chased by the biggest twenty-foot crocodile she'd ever seen. She has to wipe at her eyes a few times before that image begins to make any sense to her. "Oh. ***."
The crocodile keeps chasing after the pair until they split up, and then it starts to veer in Izo's direction, because, well, he's waving his arms and drawing attention. With a reptilian roar, the giant scaled beast lunges at him, clearly intent on devouring him whole, snapping its huge jaws at his much small form.
Rinako… seems unconcerned, but at least she's sitting up on the beetle now, frowning in their general direction. She lifts a hand to her mouth, "Hey, don't bring that thing over here when it's all hungry and bitey!"
Looking over at Izo, she blinks as she watches it veer off to c hase him. She then shakes her head, "Don't be a hero!" She calls out and lets the now pointless lizard go. It will either run for its life…or is stupid and not a concern. Either way, she tu rns and starts running after the crocodile. She hmms as she watches it before blinking, "Totodile!" She calls out, "Totodile! Where is your mommy? Find your mommy!"
Izo smiled. "I bet it's hungry!" he said. "And this is fun, not heroic." he chuckled and waved to the crocodile over his shoulder. "Come on Totodile, what would Lady Todai think?" he said, changing his course towards Chitose. It was getting close however. He wondered if it would react to anything he or Chitose said.
"They're gonna get eaten."
"Then shouldn't you help them? You ARE their Jounin instructor for this mission."
"I have faith in them."
"You mean you don't feel like getting up."
"Look, they'll figure it out!"
Chitose, unfortunately, was NOT Toto's mommy. So when it fails to bite down on Izo, it doesn't concern itself when its tail inadvertently goes veering right for her in a swipe that can crush stone as it changes direction to chase the male genin! But it does stop after a moment and snaps its jaw shut, looking at the female genin for a moment, assuming she wasn't smeared into paste by it's tail. For a crocodile, it certainly did have a rather lost-puppy-ish expression on its face.
The discarded lizard, meanwhile, just stays where it is, blinking placidly in the rain as if it didn't really care about anything else that was going on. "It's been out here for two days, feed it or something! We can't return it until it's calmed down!" Rinako calls out, lifting a hand to her mouth. Whether they'd hear and/or heed her over the roar of an angry twenty-foot death machine is another matter.
Had it been aiming, Chitose would probably be paste. She is just glanced by the tail, sending her spinning. She pushes herself up quickly enough though, shaking her head.
A sigh as she runs and Chitose looks toward her satchel, "I don't have enough to feed a 20 foot crocodile." She then sighs as she opens the satchel to reveal a sealed bowl, "They will be ***…" She sighs and opens it up. The beef curry inside certainly smells delicious. She tosses the bowl right at the crocodile with a wince, "Here's hoping…I don't have anything more…except me."
"Chitose!" Izo shouted. Upon seeing she was okay he looked around. The lizard. The lizard was meat. He darted to the lizard and picked it up again. If whatever was in the bowl wasn't enough he could always use the lizard. "Hey Toto, need some meat?" he said with a quick smile. He really needed to learn to stop smiling.
The giant crocodile opens its mouth as the bowl of curry is flung at it, snapping it out of the air like a dog with a frisbee. Except in this case the dog eats the frisbee whole, glass and all. Then it thumps its tail against the desert sand lols its tongue out, yes, panting just like a dog.
When Izo picks up the lizard, it doesn't even respond, except to give him a bored look. But it gets Totodile's attention, who begins to wag its tail in earnest and look at the male genin expectantly. That's when Rinako finally makes an appearance, suddenly behind the two genin, facing the twenty-foot sewer monster.
"I wouldn't hold onto that snack for too long, Miira. He might take your arm off to get it." The Jounin Councilor approaches the scaled reptile, reaching out a hand to pat it on the nose. "So you both brought it back at more or less the same time. Good work!" She looks over her shoulder with a lazy, pleased smile. "That means I'll let you two decide which one of you fails the mission. Just make it quick."
A phew is let out of Chitose when Rinako steps in. She stares at the crocodile, peering at it for a long moment before she looks at Rinako with a blink. Then she looks at Izo. She shakes her head and then points at Chitose, "There was no failure!" She points at Rinako, "We both did exactly as you asked." She nods her head, "There was no failure. It's a tie." She nods her head, "We couldn't have done this alone."
Izo tossed the lizard toward the large creature. He put a hand behind his head and chuckled. "Well, Chitose was the one to feed it." He shrugged and began walking towards the village. "Besides, it wouldn't have followed us if she hadn't grabbed the smaller lizard most likely." he continued reasoning. He stopped once he was closer and looked up at the sky again, enjoying the damp weather.
One of the Councilor's dark eyebrows arcs towards her hairline. Out here in the rain, with her hair wet, she didn't even quite look old enough for her position, but, ignoring the tail-thumping gator for a minute, she makes a shrugging gesture, spreading her hands out to her sides a bit. "If you are unable to decide who failed, then you will both have to fail." She says affably, as if she wasn't affecting their futures at all.
As the lizard is tossed to Totodile, he catches that, too, in his teeth. A moment later there's a rush of air and a roaring buzz that fills the air as Junior swoops in, back carapace up, exposing a pair of wings moving so rapidly they can't be seen by the naked eye. The rhinocerous beetle wraps its legs around the enormous crocodile, who makes small sounds of confusion, before lifting it off and flying out over the village with it.
"Kakuokabutomushi will take care of Toto. And Izo, you are giving credit to Chitose knowing that you will be chosen as the failure?" Rinako nods her head. "That is acceptable."
The dark-haired ex-jinchuuriki moves forward, taking first Chitose by the shoulder, and then Izo, and pointing them to face towards the village. "You may both be too young to remember much of the time before the villages formed. It was clan against clan, often in mere fights for survival. You worked for the time when you would die, and you only had to hope that your death would mean your clan's survival and not its demise." She squeezes each of the genin on their shoulders.
"Much enmity was put aside to form the Village Hidden in the Sand. But shinobi life is still filled with pain, loss, and sacrifice. Sometimes people have to die to finish the mission. Sometimes you have to make that sacrifice… or accept that loss when the sacrifice falls to someone else. That is what this lesson was meant to teach you: not to compete against each other, but to decide who will fall."
With a bright smile, Rinako ruffles each of the younger shinobi's head. "I'll pass you both. So let's go dry off and get something to eat, since this one sacrificed her lunch for Lady Todai's pet. …Though I wonder where she's been keeping that thing in the village." She murmurs, pushing the girl and boy pair towards the village.
A look at Rinako and then she hmms as she hears that, looking up at her before nodding, "Ok." She states with a hmm before nodding her head. She then looks at the village, staring at it for a long moment before nodding again with a frown, "I see." She t hen looks over toward Izo and nods to him, "Don't do that again." She pokes toward him, "I might have gotten eaten if you hadn't distracted it." She then looks over toward the flying croc.
Izo watched the large and strange sight fly over him before giving his attention to Rinako and Chitose. He put a hand behind his head again, smiling. You really do those two things too much he thought to himself. As Rinako spoke her piece Izo nodded once, the smile becoming a touch more serious, but quickly regained it's vigour with his hair being tusseled. "Many thanks Rinako-San." he put forward as she left.
Upon Chitose's declaration he smirked a bit. "You had it covered I'm sure." he said cheerily. "Besides, I said I was having fun." He said in an upbeat fashion. He set off into the village with a wave.