Date: October 3, 2012
Ataru arrives at Jump, with a proposition bigger than any had expected.
"S-Class beginnings! Jump takes its first big mission"
//Shiroku Hills - Southern Beach //
A fantastic mid-morning on the island known as Southern Beach. A gentle wind sweeps through the perfectly clear day, blowing with it the subtle smell of salt from the surrounding ocean. Not a cloud in the sky adds to the theme, leaving quite a few people in Shiroku Hills to be out and about.
The little town is abuzz with general excitement. With Jump starting to gain some serious traction across the world, it meant that more and more people were visiting. Which in turn meant a large boost to the business and sales going on.
On top of general civilians and shop owners lining the streets, there are also a few 'tough' types. The big burly men with large swords seem to stereotype these figures, and indeed, there are a few of them around. Suggesting that more than regular shinobi can get jobs here. But there are also a few more mysterious figures. Those wrapped in bandages, or with large cloaks casting their face in shadow.
In general, just a big melting pot of people from nearly every avenue of life. Right smack bang in the middle of town, with his own little stall setup with the others, is the blonde pickler! Goh can be seen selling his wares, trying to haggle his customers as best he can so he can get the best price.
Ataru didn't like it. This was what Fuuma had looked like to him, all those years ago. Entire body tense as he stepped off the ship, he'd look around for a moment. Moving towards one of the clothing shops, he'd quickly purchase a wide straw hat, the front of it just loose enough on the weave to allow him to look out. After that, a cloak to go over the top of his red coat, a dull brown, was wrapped about his body, hiding everything under the volumous cloth. Once that was taken care of, Ataru would head out into the streets again. It still had him on edge. Even being spotted at the start could be doom for him. But he had said he'd meet Goh and other resources said Goh was here. Thus, the tall figure was seen walking along the street in relative silence. His movements seemed tense, giving a sense of unease to an otherwise casual day. Having spotted Goh, he'd start for that stall.
A certain member of Jump has been shopping, as she chews a stalk of wheat in her mouth. Ariya walks around carrying some lightweight fabric, a look of intense concentration on her face as she stares down at it. She sometimes stretches it out, as if trying to find a secret hidden within its fold. An expression of growing frustration on her face is cut off when she sees Goh selling his pickled vegetables. Now that she thinks about it, she hasn't tried those and she said she would. So she shoves to the front of the line. People look angry at first, but those looks fail when they see Ariya.
Maybe it's because of her presence, or the sword with her, or because the last job she took she successfully saved a merchant ship from pirates, but also destroyed the ship, leaving good and bad guys alike to swim to the shores as she laughed at them without helping. She gets the job done, but she seems to be getting fewer friends around town
"Can I cut in?" she asks the person, who turns around and would backpedal before she smiles to Goh. There's a space carved out around her and the pickler, and many leaving. Then she puts the entire mission fee on the table, probably ten times as much as Goh has ever gotten. "I'll try your best jar," she says.
It had been a.. well, less than successful start to the morning than Goh had hoped for. With all these people, and there were definitely a lot, he expected to be sold out by lunch! At this rate, he'll be lucky to even get through half of his stock by the end of the day. With a dramatic sigh, he leans back from his seated position, before his eyes catch a not-so familiar figure approaching him.
His eyes squint, not quite recognising who it is. He had only met Ataru once, and it was through a clone. This Ataru was very much concealed.
And then, suddenly, Ariya arrives. He blinks a little in surprise, before sighing once again as she puts the money down on the table. "Real smooth." He states simply. "We're trying to make this a friendly place, remember?" Smirking on anyrate, he does offer a jar forth. His pickled ginger. Usually reserved for high class shinobi, it's known for not only packing a punch, but spurring the body past its normal limits. Sort of like a soldier pill, really! "Here! Give this a whirl. It's my highest of high quality. Super stuff. I don't hand it out to just anyone, but you should be able to handle it."
And then he leans to the side, gesturing for the hooded figure to approach closer. "Ahoy stranger! Up for some pickled veg?"
He had stopped when the lady cut in line. Fist curled in that rage, although the whole response from him was hidden under cloak and hat. That hat would dip as Goh hailed him. Well, that was the same voice and he seemed to know the person that agitated the regular people. A slow breath taken and released quietly, he'd move closer to the table. One last glance around, his voice was pitched low, although the accent would most likely be unmistakable. "Yo. I had this clump o' salamanders tellin me ya were wantin ta talk ta me.. I discussed it with Soren and Soujiro is lookin 'round. Figured ifn ya ain't too busy, we could mebbe get ta somewhere not on the streets ta talk?" He'd shift his head, the hat lifting up to let Goh, who was reclined, to see under it, where those sky blues were studying him closely.
Ariya seems to ignore everyone completely including Ataru…until she hears what he's saying. She takes a step back to make way for the other woman, looking curious. The only people she wouldn't cut in front of are other Jump members, and she's never met this woman. But anyone who was contacted by Goh's salamanders must have some kind of connection with him. "I didn't know you had business with Goh-kun," she says, and even though it's not much of an apology, her tone is as such, as she screws off the lid. Goh would probably recognize her ever present hunger at work, as she seems to take out a pair of chopsticks from thin air.
Though she doesn't seem to recognize the other people wanting to buy Goh's vegetables as having business with him. She'd look at Goh speculatively. This something she can stick around for? She doesn't…what? Whoa! She's eaten her first piece of ginger, and Ariya devolves from a dangerous warrior into just another hungry customer, starting to gobble down the pickled vegetables and only half listening while they're talking.
Goh squints again, peering at the cloaked figure carefully. "Oh." He says, in almost relief. And a bit of surprise too. "Ataru? I didn't think you'd be here." Standing up from his stall, he puts a 'Be Back Soon' sign on the front. Not that it bothers many, as what customers he had were suddenly disenchanted with the arrival of Ariya!
"C'mon," He gestures for Ataru to follow, before looking to the female. Who, at this stage, was starting to melt into a puddle! His pickled vegetables can certainly do that. ;) Although he does catch the look she gives, to which he nods.
"You should come along too, Ariya. If you're keen on becoming S-Class, this is something you'll have to become involved with at least partially. Not saying you have to be a leader or anything fancy, but yeah." He clears his throat. "Be good for you to be involved."
And with this, Goh leads the way out from the crowd of people and to the side of the Village. He strides along, the trio eventually reaching a small portion of grassy plains that stretch into the beach. The constant buzz of chatter and activity heard in the background. And here, he turns about to face Ataru. "I'm not going to get into trouble for you coming here, am I?" He muses. "I thought you were off with Soren? Not that I mind of course. Welcome to Jump! Home to goofs like you and me. And her." He gestures to the woman.
"This is Ariya, a senior figure in Jump. She looks mean, but is actually pretty nice. Ariya, this is Ataru. He's part of a wandering troupe that cover the lands."
Ataru would nod slightly, a glance towards Ariya, he wouldn't comment. Following after Goh, he kept alert as he'd watch those looking at the trio until they got out of the immediate area. He would relax then, some, the hat shifted to at least let his face be seen in full. He kept the cloak about him, a small chuckle given with a small shrug. "Eh. Soren and I have loosely associated with each other.. we're workin together, but ultimately, we ain't really set up together yet. Gotta sort out where ta go, hai?" Ataru would study Ariya for a long moment, before he'd shrug, looking back to Goh. "Yah, I'll be fine.. parta the reason fer the getup, hai?"
Ariya grabs another jar of pickled vegetables—she'd paid for like twenty of them after all, and it's quickly sealed in a scroll. She does scowl for some reasons when Goh mentions her becoming an S-Class, but makes no comment besides a nod. She'd fall in with the two, strangely on Ataru's far side so that he'd be between the two Jump members. She eats as she goes, though somehow manages to keep an appraising eye on the other wanderer. The names don't register much to her. She met someone named Soren, but probably not the same one. She says, "Joining Jump doesn't mean cutting ties by entering service. It's about as unofficial place you can get. The biggest rule is that you have to be S-Class to take on the more dangerous missions." She looks pointedly at Goh, giving him a nudging look.
"I guess so. Working out a location is tough, I can admit that." His arms fold across his chest, tightening a little. "Well, this island is known as Southern Beach, or just the Beach to those around here. Jump is… well, I sold it to you as a guild." He points to the big building on top of a hill. "But I guess it's more than that. It's a group. An organisation. A brotherhood. A family. All of those things, really. We all look after each other when we have to and make sure to have fun doing it."
His head turns a little as he looks up at the building more. "We take in most. So long as you're not a criminal of course. Shinobi, wanderer, whatever you are. We have jobs for everyone. Of course, places to crash and eat here too." He looks to Ariya as she explains a bit, where he grins. "She's right. You don't have to stay here if you don't want. In fact, a large portion of the members are right now scattered across the lands. Staying with their family members before the War, or trying to work out some last minute trade routes." He pauses.
"Don't want to take the wanderer part out of you, after all. Itami for instance, is in Sunagakure. Aburei and Raili are off in Kumogakure I think. And there are a heap of others everywhere else."
He lifts a hand to sort of rub the back of his neck as Ariya finishes. "Yeah. We have some pretty dangerous missions that come through. Life or death stuff that involves high level combat. Regular members won't be able to take those. But if you can pull them off, the coin you get is pretty unreal. Room for advancement, I guess you could call it. Heh."
Ataru would ponder for a moment, arms folding across his chest would have that shift of cloth over them from the cloak. "Ahh.. well.. havin a place ta crash that ain't a village would be good mate.. However, there's my problem, hai?" He'd raise a brow, glancing over at Ariya for a moment, before shrugging slightly. "When ya got the Yaolin after ya.. places like this are full-a spies, hai? Not sayin any ya guys would do it.. however, they are there.. I saw at least one symbol from a mafia family.. they're scopin." Ataru would sigh slightly. "I'll level with ya mate.. 'fore Soujiro and I could settle anywhere.. we gotta deal with Fuuma, the Yaolin. We remove a major family like that, tell the others back off or they're next.. then we might be safe comin here.. Otherwise, ifn I say I'm parta Jump, all I'm doin is puttin a bulls eye on ya and everyone else associated with it.. hai?"
Ariya stares at Ataru as she warns Goh of his record. And then, she chuckles slightly. Deja vu. "I had the same talk with Goh-kun. My past isn't all peaceful, and I may bring some danger to Jump. But you needn't worry. Join Jump. Just don't be baggage. And if your baggage is more than its worth, I'll take you down myself." Somehow she manages to say that in a friendly rather than threatening way. But the words are there. And maybe they'd be a bit reassuring, albeit hardly authorized by Goh. Ariya doesn't seem to conform much to rules.
She goes back to devouring her ginger. Small matters aside, it's completely delicious. Though she would ask after a minute, "Would these Shaolin, Fuuma, whatever, put up a good fight? Are they worthy opponents, or a bunch of small fries that come in numbers rather than strength?" Of all things Ariya sounds almost cheerful at the prospect of fighting.
"Oh, right." Goh chimes in with a cheeky grin. "The mafia. I had… maybe forgotten that little detail. You're right. I don't want those scumbags on the Beach. Much less anywhere near it. We're still trying to grow legs here, after all. Don't want them here influencing the people and turning it into a bad place." The blonde lifts a hand to rub his chin.
"Ariya is right. Though I don't know all the details yet," He gives her a bit of a look with that comment, "…most of us have some sort of baggage. As a wanderer, I can understand having to cut deals to survive, which then come back to bite you. However, this could actually be a serious problem."
He does raise an eyebrow to Ariya in curiosity, before then looking to Ataru. As if waiting for an answer from him. He too was curious to know what this foe was like. "What are we dealing with? Deception? Power? Shinobi? Or just… gangetrs? Even if you don't join for whatever reason, wiping these guys out would be a good first step. Not only for Ataru here, but for everyone around Fuuma Alley."
Ataru would laugh, a small shake of his head given. "I ain't thinkin we gotta worry 'bout ya takin me down or not there mate." He'd grin towards Ariya, before a shrug was given. "Yes. They have goons, they have stronger goons. They have two layers of shinobi.. good and those that ya really dun wanna mess with, hai?" He'd give a small shake of his head then. "The family itself is one-a the head ones in Fuuma. They're inta everythin, they got eyes everywhere.. Two weeks ago I got jumped in Konoha, while on a patrol fer Konoha by an enforcer and 5 of their goons.." Ataru would shrug slightly then. "It's big enough.. that while I'd be happy ta take yer guy's help with it.. I ain't gonna drag ya down 'fore I'm done with em."
Ariya looks intrigued at Ataru's reply, rather than angry. She smiles slightly, but there's no point in blowing empty air right now if they're just talking. She just gives a nod to postpone that little experiment for later. She does frown at Goh's comment. More baggage than usual might put other Jump members at risk for real.
She does laugh when Ataru mentions being jumped by five goons, and she'd give him a pat on the back. More like a stinging swat. "And you survived? Good for you! If you join Jump you're our comrade. Your troubles are our troubles. What's a friend without a bit of life threatening issues to overcome together? Better than any communal bath." Ariya really is a fighting fool. She looks ready to go. Or at least ready to eat lots of ginger, in which she's already halfway through the jar.
Goh's nose wrinkles a little, before looking to Ariya in a bit of curiosity. Hearing the depth of what they would have to get through, it certainly sounds tough. He isn't entirely sure what to say, so he just seems to think it over for a minute.
"It's alright, Ataru." He finally says. "We can handle it. The only question is whether we should bring any of the big guns or not. A few are already on their high class jobs. The fodder I don't care about." He begins. "But… everyone else. What's the go? You say they are those who you 'do not want to mess with'. Are we talking Kage strong? Or more your Jounin standard strength?" Seems he is keen to know as many details as he possibly can. Just to he can get a better bearing.
"If you honestly don't know, I guess we'll go in a bit blind. But that's fine, I'm pretty confident."
Ataru would give a small nod. "I know of at least one kage level. Mebbe two." He would shrug slightly. "I ain't sure fer sure about the top, hai?" Ataru chuckled slightly. "We're talkin 'bout 300 people in Fuuma that yer gonna be havin ta deal with.. While the fodder mebbe fodder.. there's a lotta it mate. I took out a mafia head family member in the middle of a village.. it was 180 people.. all of em parta this family off in Land of Fire, hai?" A slow breath taken, then released. "it'd be amazing ifn ya can take em down.. and like I said.. ifn we do, I'd be happy ta hook up with ya guys. Good work is good work.. That's really my main reserve, hai?"
Ariya pauses in the act of eating when Ataru really sums up the number of their enemies. Three hundred. She looks amazed, though not particularly afraid. They'll just have to think this through logically. "Three hundred? A hundred per each of us," Ariya says, and then she laughs. "Well, there goes my current strategy." At least she's not the type to keep on insisting she can take that number. She smiles and says, "Think up a strategy that won't get us killed, and I'm in. This may take longer than a day." Then she'd give a slight wave and say, "I'm heading off. Call me when you need me. Ataru…it was interesting, meeting you." She goes in a western direction. Seems she doesn't live at the headquarters.
Goh once again wrinkles his nose at that.
Where the heck was Mushi when you needed her? >_>; One he could probably take. Maybe. But two? That tipped the chances too far away for his liking. Even with Ariya.
"Alright, well, this is an official job!" Goh declares suddenly. "And we're not allowed to fail. Falling short on such an important mission so early in the piece will look really bad, y'know? Only one thing. We'll have to swing by Sunagakure on our way there." He coughs a little bit. "…and collect the only S-Class member we have on the roster. Once we've got her, we can head out to Fuuma."
With Ariya motioning to leave, Goh nods. "Yeah, we'll leave it here. Think of plans, then join together again. Feel free to stay here if you want, Ataru. This place may not look like it, but the security is top notch. There are always eyes everywhere to make sure no-one shady is in. So you can relax without too much of a worry, alright?"
And with this, he moves to stride away too, heading back into the village area.