Struggle With No Reward - Marking The Drawing Board


Meruin, Ishino, Aoitsuki

Date: March 13, 2013


Having received intel about an indirect attack on their reputation, Kirigakure sends ninja to case out and neutralize the threat. These shinobi meet and discuss a plan they believe will provide the best chances of success.

"Struggle With No Reward - Marking The Drawing Board"

Room 441 in a tenement complex in Fuuma Alley

Ward 9 [Fuuma Alley]

Blending seamlessly with the surrounding shantytowns, the grinding electric behemoth of Fuuma Alley welcomes you with neon light and the stink of humanity. Raised tracks carry trams, freight, and sparking power cables over the wide streets between the ordered city blocks of disordered buildings. The expense to light the city under the shadow of sick-colored smog is as staggering as the electricity is sporadic. The apparent secret of Fuuma Alley's booming industrial sector is that there -is- no industrial sector, or rather that the entire town seems to have been zoned for industry. Smokestacks of power stations, mills, and factories can be found on every block. The tramways travel right through some of them, weaving through the second stories of buildings like a bizarre second city over the first. Bars, merchants, and tenement houses catering to the factory workers operate right across the street from the workplaces, or next door, or in a converted mill building, or have been converted into mill buildings themselves. The dams dividing one class and business from another have broken and everyone and everything mingles together in easy reach.


West - (W) [Ward 15]
Northeast - (NE) [Ward 12]
North - (N) [Ward 6]
South - (S) [Fuuma Basin]

Meruin stands in an empty apartment within one of the tenement buildings, the Okumo no longer an Okumo. Or a ninja for that matter. A simple henge has seen him taking on the form of an upper middle aged man, the thinning wisps of light blond hair the only hint at his age. He looked otherwise as strong as anyone else in their youth, his bearing one of authority, his muscles the product of rigorous training. At 5'11, he wasn't overly tall but had sufficient height to make an impression, as he knew that he'd need to.
For now, though, he waited and looked out of the window with the beautiful view of the neon sign of a strip club across the way. There were other shinobi tasked to aid in this endeavor. They were told to find this building in the Fumma Alley and to come henged as anything but shinobi to report for further orders. It was short notice and a rather uninformative, but he had no doubt that the ninja sent would be veteran enough to be nonplussed by such a thing.

Ishino would be there exactly on time for when he's suppose to be there. The quiet knock at the door revealing that teen within his kimono. He didn't normally work in such things, but a better dressed than normal person didn't stand out nearly as much as his normal work outfit. Indeed, the henge was minor, just enough to add a bit of age to him. He wore the carefully tailored look of one who gets a glance and ignored, if not ignored outright. He still had his gold watch on him, but instead of it's normal attachment to that circle, it was hidden within that kimono. A small nod was given to Meruin once the door to the room was opened, quiet steps carrying him in to look about for a moment. He didn't say anything as of yet. Afterall, he wasn't 100% for sure that was Meruin yet.

Aoitsuki had kept herself moving along with the group, her own henge wasn't at all flash. If anything it was similiar to her usual self aside from the flash clothing and few blemishes along her flesh. She carefulyl trailed herself behind the man she followed. Following in right after Ishino she peered into the room but didn't say a word, she too was a little curious to know if the person before them was Meruin or not.. Though the willingness for them to enter was perhaps some evidence of that. The kunoichi brushed off her worn clothing, settling herself along one of the chairs waiting to see what else was to be said.

Meruin's chin lowers and he looks to the ground at his side, listening. A moment passes. A breath. And the balding man steps away from the window, clearing the few steps it took to reach the door swiftly before he opened it to allow Ishino entrance. He inclined his head to the easily recognizable man. He'd allow him entrance, eyes flickering towards the subtly altered Aoitsuki as she stepped up just behind him. "Blessings," he says in his own voice. If they knew him, they'd know it was him. "You're precisely on time. Perfect." He closes the door behind the pair, walking towards the table and inclining his head towards Aoitsuki, giving a respectful "Swordswoman," in greeting.
He reaches the table and opens the pack on top of it, pulling out a few sheaves of papers. "Come. We have the situational details here. We need to finalize our plans." He places a sheet of paper on the table, unfolding it to reveal an architectural map. He looks up towarsd Ishino and Aoitsuki. "As can be expected, there are certain levels of unrest among the populace at the moment. The whispers of war are still present, though they've been echoing for quite some. We cannot be sure if they will build or die off just now. Whether this is the case or not, we've just found that there are those looking to take advantage to stir up antagonism in the people."
He gestures towards the map on the table, turning his brown eyes down on it. "You were abruptly summoned because we've only recently learned of this. There is a group of mercenary ninja and civilian dissidents within this factory preparing to act against us, specifically. Their plan, as far as we can tell, is to simply assault innocent civilians disguised as Kirigakure ninja. They will, of course, leave survivors who overhear them saying that they made a grave mistake and depart. Perhaps more than once. Afterwards, words will spread, Kirigakure will of course deny any knowledge of the attack, but our protest to our innocence will do little good." He arches a brow. "These people must be neutralized."
"But Kirigakure must never be here. Do you understand?"

Aoitsuki folded her hands lightly in her lap as she peered over the brown sheet of paper. A finger nudged into her cheek while looking over the man once again, quite aware of what the mission would require. " So you want them neutralized, I see. Have you been able to determine their battle ability? Disguising as kiri shinobi and having a lack of ninjutsu might not be a good idea for them. We will need to destroy them at their meeting point and possibly pick up on any more leads soon after… Is there anyone of importance?" Aoi was simply getting her questions answered while interwining her fingers along one another. The mission seemed straight forward but it would be weird to simply "kill" of their citizens. "There has to be more to this…"

Ishino would stare at the sheet, studying it intently as he listened to the mission briefing from Meruin. A finall nod was given then, attention shifting to Aoi, then over to Meruin. "Do we leave survivors?" Almost absently, that hand would slip inside the front part of his kimono, pulling out the gold pocket watch for him to check the time. "We'll need to move quickly and quietly. I would have to agree.. we need to get what data we can from them, without anyone else seeing us.." Ishino would trail off, pondering. "It will have to rely on stealth. I do not have the genjutsu to make us vanish and pulling out Time Keeper in the open is a give away."

Meruin quietly clicks his tongue against the roof of his mouth. He looks towards Aotsuki, brown eyes placid. "Neutralizing includes assassination as a possibility but not a demand." He looks to Ishino. "Whether or not there are any survivors depends entirely on what we find. If there's a way to get them to call of their maneuver without killing them, that would be preferable. If we have to kill them, and we find an option that leaves us with the opportunity to leave survivors, we should do so. We have a woman on the inside, and we would need to allow more than just her to survive if we were to avoid laying suspicion on her.
"Finally, however," he says, "We've gained the knowledge that the factory ceased production due to geological dangers found by the crew. There are flammable gasses trapped in the earth beneath the tunnel system that they'd made under the building. They were discovered, part of the tunnel collapsed, and the factory above closed. Or last option is to gain entrance to the tunnels and combust those gasses. The resulting explosion should see our duty done. However, the blast will be indiscriminate, our inside woman will have to be sacrificed for the cause, and there will likely be collateral damage. Messy. But still a success."

Ishino would nod slowly. "A last resort then. Not a difficult task to get into the tunnel, Time Keeper is able to burrow rather well." He'd finish memorizing the map then, a final nod was given. "So we figure out how to make them stop. If we can't stop we try to not kill our inside person along with a group of them. This is of course, done without them realizing we are from Kirigakure." Ishino would fold his arms across his chest loosely, pondering. "This shall be complicated, but between the three of us, possible. I would have to say, Shirayuki-san may need to leave the blade away from this scenario, as it is a dead give away."

"I believe my henge will suffice," Aoitsuki stated in return to Ishino, finally rising to a stand to dust herself off. " We can go through the tunnel and subdue them from below. I can also use mist to mask our presence if need be. But it would be best to see how they are organized once we get there, if we can slip in with the crowd that might be even better. We don't necessarily need to fight if they accept us," Aoi spoke softly though also offered a shrug of her shoulders. " I suppose that will be it for my questioning. We just need to move to that location as soon as possible…"

A pale brow finds itself arched over Meruin's eye, blond over brown. "On the note for haste, I believe it best that we agree on a sure plan before we move in. They may move to act today, it is true. Or they may simply be preparing for next week. We cannot know until we enter and learn this. The building itself can be seen outside of this window, just behind the exotic dancer's club. They share an alley. Getting there swiftly will not be a problem. However, getting there and making mistakes due to being to hasty seems as though it will be. My hypothesis is that you two have been too long away from the killing field." A gentle reprimand, as his tend to go.
He taps the second sheaf of paper on the table saying, simply, "There is more information here. We could enter as mercenary shinobi, provided they have not kept extended logs on who they've hired and are frequently referring to them. However, as they are simply shinobi, whom these people are fighting against, hired to kill innocent civilians, it is not very likely that we would get very far as a mercenary without being questioned. Therefore, it would be better if we posed as a few of the civilian dissidents and explored in that guise." He taps the second stack of papers that'd gone untouched. "We have specific names, sketches, and general demeanor of a few key people whom we can abduct, kill, and replace should we so choose." He begins spreading the papers out, sifting through them and turning them about for the other two to view.
"Therefore, we have three options before us. We enter as mercenary shinobi and attempt to sneak into the facility, learn enough information to decide on how to act further, and finish the mission. Enter and kidnap specific civilian dissidents, take on their form, and continue our information gathering. Or immediately find our way into the tunnels and detonate them, the factory above, and whatever else is in the blast radius." He looks at the two.

Ishino would bow his head slightly. "I rarely am on the killing field. As a genjutsuist, I tend to be more on the information gathering side." A small smile was given as he'd give a light nod. "The best course of action is the mercenary shinobi I believe. Afterall, while we can replicate others, there is nothing saying we have their neuances down exact. One simple thing that someone we act as is 'suppose' to know and we do not blows it. Mercenary shinobi both allows us to have gear out, as well as not worry about potential slip ups. We only need basic information to end the threat."

"Ishino-san is correct. It will be better for us to act like "shinobi" which is the least likely thing for us the mess up on. Now with that said shall we go along now? We will need to get the Kirigakure attire from them; That will bet our hook conversation to get more information. " Aoitsuki informed, truly ready to get things moving at this point. "It should be pretty easy to take care of things on that route and then we can branch out for information if need be… If worse comes to worse we will end the threat as soon as someone gets an understanding as to what is really going on,"

Meruin nods, then, tapping a finger against a profile after giving a nod to Ishino. "Then we shall enter under the guise of being hired mercenary shinobi." He gathers up the profiles he'd shown the pair, pressing them into a neat stack and setting them aside as he speaks. "We should also begin setting up the contingency plan of combusting the subterranean gasses through the useage of Time Keeper or whatever other methods we need to employ." He begins putting papers away, though, he leaves the map out with a tap and the words, "Note the entrances and the diagram of the tunnels beneath the building." He looks towards Ishino. "How well can you control your puppet from a distance? Through material? Steel and earth specifically. Will you have to accompany Time Keeper or can you be within the building with us as you excavate with it?"

Ishino would study it, a slow nod given. "I can control him away from me.. Delicate control is 100', more than that I lose much of the control. However, it can be escavating the whole time." Ishino would point at the tunnel, tracing a loop down, back and then up. "Under that building. It will dig over to the basement of the pleasure house from here. Then loop down and around." Ishino nods lightly, looking to the other two. "I will be at partially reduced capability during this situation, however I still have things I can manage with both scrolls and genjutsu, without Time Keeper around."

"Hmm I thought you were able to henge your puppet. Perhaps I am mistaken, Ishino-san?" Aoitsuki asked curiously, though he would have been at a disadvantage, Aoi was quite aware that he had the apptitude to fight without the help of his puppet. "I doubt you would personally need to use such a weapon but having something remotely around to set off the gas would be a good contigency plan as long as we also can get out of there safely," Aoi informed, scratching the side of her cheek as they continued to talk about the plan .

Meruin nods to Ishino. "Good. Should we perform our jobs ably, your reduced efficiency shouldn't come as an issue. In this case, I would like for you to have Time Keeper begin burrowing from this building's basement. It holds the least chance of him being seen. Secondarily to that, I would like to know just how broad this resevoir of combustable gas runs. I'll have some of my spiders sit within your puppet both so that I can know when it reaches the gasses, so that I can keep note of it's progress, and to supply us with the remote detonation."
He nods towards Aoitsuki, "The plan is for the spiders to leave Time Keeper so that the puppet can clear the blast radius as well. If none of us have access to explosive tags — they're easiest for our efforts — then they will simply use the acids that they use to burrow until one of their bodies ignites and finishes the job." He puts the map into the bag and closes it, leaving it to the side. "Is there anything else to say before we go or anything you would like to look at? All of this will be gone approximately 60 seconds after we vacate the building."

Ishino would give a small nod. Focusing a moment, that pocket watch would be opened again, revealing Time Keeper. One scroll selected, he'd pull it out, whipping the paper about Time Keeper quickly with yet a bit more chakra used to cause the outfit to form about the puppet. Pulling up the hood, the puppet looked almost human, sans the lack of breathing as well as looking within the shadow of the hood having no face. It might scare children, but for the temporary task it's needed, it should work out. The scroll rolled up, he'd carefully attach it to his hip, a few locations on Time Keeper opened for other scrolls to be claimed. It was enough to make him look like a shinobi who uses scrolls, at the very least. Finally, he'd look to Meruin then. "There are multiple openings they can now reside in. Please fill him up, and we will be ready to go."

Aoi nodded to the both of them, it is much easier for that Puppet to move around while looking at least somewhat human. She smirked and gave a nod to Ishino once again. " I knew somethinh was a bit off.. This should give us the advantage we need without much worry and if the puppet is necessary then we will have him as well," Aoi finalized though she didn't have much else to say. "I don't see us having any other problems… I'm ready to begin whenever you all are,"

Meruin nods and steps away from the table. "Very well, then. We have our course of action, set." He steps up to time keeper, pressing a hand to it's side. "Now we simply have to put it into action. This mission is of high importance. Keep this well in mind as we go about things." Spiders travel along his arm, bodies brown with yellow stripes, their legs long and hairy. Theyr small heads soon enter the puppet, followed by their bulbous backsides. "When this is over, whether these people simply call of their plans and go home or this entire section of the city explodes…
"Kirigakure was never here."

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