Date: November 11, 2013
Taiki's call is answered, and a new direction for pottentially solving the problem is decided upon.
"The Silk Conflict - More research and help"
Quarantined Lab, Konoha Hospital
As time goes on, the diagnosis of what the parasite's progression seems to continue to get worse. Everyone has their other duties to fulfill, but Taiki ensured that there was someone in the lab at all times, including several medic-nin who's jobs were to deal with those infected that Konoha found or that were brought to Konoha from elsewhere. In the meantime, the revelations of just how serious this parasite could become caused Taiki to branch out even more in his requests for help. If they did not find a way to contain and stop this disease soon, people would start dying from it. As it was, he had standing orders to Konoha's hospital that if anyone showed debilitating illness directly from this parasite, they were to contact Taiki immediately.
It was time for base investigation team to meet again, and Taiki was waiting. He had an epiphany that he wanted to discuss with everyone, and for the first time he had some hope, slim though it may be. Thus he orders the quarantined lab enlarged, and anyone who wanted to meet Taiki over his summons brought here.
Having been with Taiki for a long of the research and attempts at culling this thing, Shuuren was swift in returning to the lab for the next part of the research. Already dressed in his bio-suit and ready, the Daimyo sits at a table reading a scroll and going over what's already been discovered and looked at for options to stop this parasite. Whoever created this thing or at least utilizes it to this extent is good, almost scarily so. For now, while they wait for others to arrive, he will continue to ponder what they've already done and seen over in preparation for the meeting. After all, the sooner the cure is created, the better.
When Kenta catches wind of the meeting, he makes sure to block out his schedule to attend. The puzzle of how to stop the parasites have been a nagging thought in his head at all times, so the opportunity to study the illness and exchange new ideas is one that he isn't about to miss. The boy arrives promptly at the lab after a full day's rest to ensure that he can tackle what's ahead at peak levels of energy. His attire is clean, utterly utilitarian and he carries a case with what's likely writing implements and some medical tools inside. His normally serious expression is etched even deeper into his youthful features than normal. Upon entering, Kenta dips into a respectful bow at the two medical shinobi already in the lab. "Konichiwa," he greets in a somber voice.
Amani would not ordinarily be around here as she had her own business to tend to, but she took particular interest if only to gauge her curiosity in the matter. It could reveal some other things, possibly techniques that she can utilize in order to further her abilities as a medic. She arrives to the area and looks about at those gathered. She nods quietly before finding a place to seat herself. "Salutations," she made a bow once more. "I understand medics have been summoned to discuss something regarding this issue. When can I expect to hear about it?" She was frank with her words to Taiki, but she had a schedule to maintain. She'd glance to Kenta momentarily and greet him with a nod as well.
Mushi reaches the meeting place at surprising speed, in fact urgent speed. She's arriving with the mud still on her boots and her hair terribly wind tousled. She has her ways of getting around quickly. There's nothing that can draw her in like news of an obscure symptom that's difficult to tackle. She doesn't look excited per se — after all, it's a disease with the potential to be fatal — but she's certainly intrigued. However, as she nears the meeting place she frowns. There's something strange she's heading towards, she can feel it. Something about this will be different. Still, it's with a careful smile that she convenes with the other medics. "I hope I made it on time," she says. "I'm Nikumari Mushi. An…off-the-path medic." Her eyes rove around, slightly friendly, but just a little cautious. "I'm fairly discreet and I haven't heard much about this." Her gaze lands on Taiki.
Taiki nods as each person comes in. Kenta is put to work going through Taiki's notes so that he will be up to speed with what Taiki has thought up. Shuuren and the others get a nod as they arrive, with Taiki first telling Amani, "Very shortly, and I'll explain what this is all about."
When Mushi arrives she is first shown to a place where she can knock off the mud. When she is settled in, he begins speaking. "Thank you all for coming. As you all know, I have put out a call for medic nin and medical personel to investigate a potentially fatal-yet-unknown disease. Since the disease is continuing to evolve, I'll give you a brief history of it. When we first discovered this disease, it was discovered that it was a chakra parasite housing itself in a person's chakra core. Even civilians could get it, and indeed merchants were the first targets. This is an induced disease, actually a jutsu of unknown origin. No one known in the elemental countries has anything like this. We discovered it was a spying jutsu, as it sent a signal conveying everything the person sensed, all senses, to a specific location. Thus, at first, it was listed as a security matter. But it mutated."
Taiki takes a moment to take a drink before continuing. "It became contagious to the point that any chakra applied to it beyond that which allowed it to live caused it to spread, like a pollen. This means that the seal techniques for the detection and removal of the parasite became dangerous to the medic-nin without strict and alienating precautions. Even that does not fully help, as it is also transmittable by chakra and body fluids. Currently we have a total of three to ten people detected with this parasite per week, and every med-nin on the containment team has to have their own chakra surgery performed on them at least once a week. Sad to say this is not the final stage of this mutation. As we discovered in our last meeting, the parasite has six stages, and we're on stage three. Stage for causes people to become sickly, five makes them borderline critically ill, and the final stage will be deadly to all but the hardiest patients. Given the transmission process, I'm one step away from declaring a medical emergency over this parasite. Unfortunately sealing the village will not help, as we can be reasonably assured that just about every country and hidden village has been visited by at least one merchant who had been attacked." He pauses for a moment to allow this to sink in before continuing, but there's obviously more to come.
"Konichiwa," Shuuren says, returning a light nod to Kenta and then to Amani. Just as he looks back to his paper, he senses something coming, his eyes narrowing slightly on the paper as if concentrating before going back to normal as he looks back up to see Mushi. "Welcome aboard then." A light smirk touches his lips briefly for some reason before he looks to Taiki as he begins to speak, merely listening silently as the Inuzuka goes over what the others need to know before getting started on developing a cure is possible. Still, with the additional Medical Ninja and one in particular whose chakra signature draws his attention, this process should speed up to hopefully stop this thing before it gets completely out of control.
Ever the formal and respectful one in such meetings, Kenta makes sure to bow in greeting towards both of the two women when they arrive. He quickly goes through the pile of Taiki's notes when the senior medic nin points him towards it. As he scans the characters on the scrolls, Kenta keeps part of his attention on the information that Taiki is divulging to the entire group. Some of it is already familiar to him and no surprise shows on his face. The fact that the last stages of the disease is bad enough to cause fatalities does produce a reaction in the way that his somber expression become grimmer.
Amani's attention momentarily falls upon Mushi as she comes running in. She doesn't know where she's been and probably wants to keep it that way. No need to try and figure all that out. Once she's done focusing on others, she pays attention to Taiki as he begins talking about this parasite. It's…troublesome, to say the least. It continues to grow without any progress made on removing it? It spreads easily, it transmits information, it's almost a perfect tool. "This appears to be a…complicated piece of work," she remarked about this parasite. "I'm looking forward to this epiphany you've mentioned because at this point, it appears to be able to best every possible way of dealing with it. If this turned into an epidemic, I'm not sure of what I could truly think about the issue. It's difficult to put to mind."
Mushi wears a thoughtful expression as Taiki explains the nature and extent of the epedemic. She asks, "What is the progress of the disease? Do you believe the stages are evenly timed or is it accelerating?" From time to time she's looking around at her fellow medics. From the look of it, many of them are from the same village. All of them actually. She might have liked to work with a more familiar team. But ehh. They seem quite capable. She gives a low, respectful bow to Kenta, and one to Amani as well. When Shuuren greats her she looks at him at first friendly, but then her eyes widen and her smile falters. "You…who are you? What are you doing here?" she asks him, quietly. It seems a strange question to ask, since it's pretty clear who they are and what they're here to discuss. She's trying to keep her attention on Taiki—it's hardly casual news he's dispensing, but she seems rather intrigued by Shuuren as well.
Taiki looks around for a moment and says, "We have a way to remove it, but as of right now its more than slightly dangerous for the medic nin involved. But there is one point that I appear to have glossed over: This is a jutsu. That means that someone is controlling this parasite, what it does, when it does it. It was originally applied on merchants that were captured and then released after the Jutsu was performed. Whoever it was that did this, we know he had the chakra levels of a biju, and we know approcimately where the transmissions went. The main problem is both poltics and finding the right people to go into the southern border area of the Land of Lightning to attempt to capture this person."
Taiki then turns to answer Mushi's questions. "As such, its progress and timing is based upon whoever is controlling it. That is the primary reason I've been keeping the exact focus of this investigation group quiet. I'm coming perilously close to tipping him or her off as it is, and I fear whoever is involved will send it to more dire levels before we're ready. For example, the move into the third stage happened shortly after Nagmura-san and I first got together to work on this, which is where I introduced both the detection seal and the removal process. The removal process is based upon my chakra healing techniques, which combines seals and medical ninjutsu that focuses directly on the chakra network. My first attempt to heal a person nearly killed the patient three times, but from that I learned how to do it without killing the patient.. but now we have the problem of infecting the medic."
"Me?" Shuuren asks, canting his head slightly at Mushi. "I'm Nagamura Shuuren, the Daimyo of Tea Country and a former Medical Ninja Jounin of Kumogakure among many other things with business and such. If there's more you care to know, we can discuss it later, my dear. Right now, research is our priority since it the fate of the shinobi world is in our hands." With that, he looks back to Taiki, silent once more as he explains. He does chime in at the end of the statement, however, saying, "So we basically either need a non-Ninjutsu way of disabling this thing or something that can be used at long range while keeping the contagions contained until they die."
Kenta speaks up in a quiet voice. "It sounds like the only way that we can surely get rid of the parasites is to end the jutsu. The other methods work, but they have too many drawbacks and it sounds like the rate of infection is overcoming the rate of successful treatment. What's going on now is just a stopgap measure." His lips draw downwards at the corners. "Unless you thought of something else, we might need to figure out a way to stop the jutsu user without alerting him and without causing a political incident." Kenta's pauses and his brows furrow. "Could there be a way to… jam the chakra signals, so that the parasites can't receive their orders. Maybe that'll make them go inert."
"Southern border of the Land of Lightning. What is stopping Konoha from achieving this? They are allies. Is there something keeping them from getting there? It is nothing that I have heard of," Amani seemed a bit confused about this. "I can perform work on chakra networks, but nothing involving seals," she waved a hand as if shrugging. She can't help there. "You do have clans capable of causing confusion with chakra signals, don't you? If jutsu is performed by chakra, though, it may be conceivable that it can be performed enough to block frequencies. Cause static, so to speak."
Mushi is watching Shuuren with a stoic gaze, as he rattles off his many titles. By the end she runs a hand through her hair, and then gives a slight shrug. "You're right…Shuuren-kun," she says. "Any pleasantries can wait till later." But her gaze isn't pleasant one bit. She takes a deep breath and then returns to the matter at hand. She listens carefully to the rest of what Taiki has to say, but she seems a little uneasy. There's plenty of talk about taking sides in this one, and the possibility of political issues. Mushi says, "I'm skilled with sealing techniques. So I may be of some use there. Though I can't block a chakra wave, without knowing its source." There are too many lives at stake to dodge out of this one to avoid a little trouble, it seems.
Taiki nods to Shuuren, then smiles at Kenta. "Actually, what I had come up with is pretty close to what you mentioned, but there are drawbacks. Shuuren and I were having a discussion on remote activation of seals, since I did not possess that skill yet, but I thought it could be useful to detect the parasite without spreading it. But since there's chakra involved, the parasite would just follow the transmission of chakra back to its source. But then, how can the person or persons controlling this disease activate further stages, or even receive the transmission, without catching it themselves? The only answer I can think of is some kind of specialized remote activation jutsu. Since the jutsu's entire structure is so alien to the common ground of the elemental nations's way of using jutsu, blocking the transmission would be very hard to do. But what if we found a way to send a signal to modify the genetic code ourselves? It would be hard, but more doable with the right knowledge sets. We could even try to find some way to make a device that could do this in a large area, but I can't image that would be very cost effective."
Taiki sighs and looks toward Amani for a moment and says, "Even amongst allies, you don't send an armed force into
your ally's lands, not without some preparation and discussion first. And coming up with the right team for the job has proved… problematic. That's especially true with the problems Kumogakure is currently having with various groups. Precations must be taken to avoid causing an incident."
"Yes, tracking him down and killing him is the next step, but keeping people alive while that's being done is also a plus," Shuuren says with a glance to Kenta. Another glance is cast toward Mushi. That conversation probably won't be so pleasant at first, but no matter. As Taiki goes into his newest plan, the bureaucrat starts to ponder a bit. "I suppose that's where I come into play then," he says with a chuckle. "Inventing things and money are two of my best qualities. We need a foolproof design before I can have it put into production, though. Are you wanting to use a chakra signal to broadcast this 'cure', or did you have another idea in mind?"
Kenta nods his head in understanding. "So it comes back to some of what we touched upon during our last meeting. You must have uncovered enough new information that makes the idea a more viable option now." He pauses and a trouble look appears on his face. "I hope that the user of the jutsu won't have a way to counter this. Eventually, he or she might develop another version of the parasite that's harder to tamper with even if we completely neutralize this one." His expression clears slightly. "But Nagmura-sama is right. It's more important to save these lives first. It'll also buy us more time to work on the permanent solution."
"If the poisoner crafted these parasites we may be able to find him by their chakra signature," Mushi says. She looks to Shuuren and says, "You can invent something in such a short time?" a little impressed despite herself. She doesn't speak as everything is explained a few theories are put forward. But she says, "Even a person with bijuu level chakra has his limits. If he puts a huge amount of energy into these parasites he'll have less and be more vulnerable when we track him down. Hopefully," she adds. "How many people are infected, did you say, Taiki-kun?"
Taiki ponders things for a few moments as he's asked questions, then says, "I would like to think so Nagamura-san, as this entire disease is a jutsu. But that's where we need more investigation. We need to find the "frequency" commands are given on, determine the code, and find a way to buffer ourselves. Perhaps some kind of remote storage device to store the chakra used to make this signal. But… when it comes to mechanics and chakra, that's where I start to get lost. I'm very conversant in chakra networks, chakra use, shaping and purifying chakra, and even countering seals on networks. But we need to do more research so that we can do this safely for everyone involved. Otherwise we'll decimate our medical and seal forces trying to save those we can." He then looks to Mushi and says, "Over all the elemental nations, that is unknown. Nor do I know how many Kumo finds in a given time period. But we normally find three to ten victims a week, not counting the medic nin who have to have the removal procedure performed on them every so often to keep this truly contained. It's a large struggle right now, and we're barely breaking even."
"The problem with that is that the parasite takes on the chakra signature of its host," Shuuren points out to Mushi before looking back to Taiki and pondering more over the plan. "If we find that, we can pin-point his location easier. He'll also have to put forth more effort to try to counter our efforts, which should make him easier for sensors to find." With that, he grabs a pen and starts to make some notes on a fresh scroll. "So we need a massive chakra pulse that can scramble and overtake this signal… We either need chakra batteries to pull this off or operators with massive chakra reserves. If it's a set of people, they'll also need Medical Ninja to perform chakra surgery on them periodically to be sure they're infected and broadcasting anything malevolent."
"You sound skilled," Mushi says to Taiki. "We shouldn't give the use of seals up as a lost cause. We should explore both options…both in seal making, and inventing a contraption that would help us. As well as sending a team who can not only stop this man, but also be able to counter his methods specifically." She nods to Shuuren. "And I agree, the more effort he expends on his…infection, the less he'll have to defend himself. I suspect that this is not a large operation, from how it's set up. Well, I do have a technique that can freeze chakra flow without making contact with the person…but it can only be done temporarily. I'd need some time to find a permanent solution."
Taiki nods as he looks around and gives a grin. He seems to like Mushi, at least as a compatriot medical nin. Beyond that he doesn't know much about her though, and he'll have to find out more. Amani seems alright herself, and of course he gets along with just about everyone else. A group of intelligent people like this should help things tremendously. "Very well. Through that door is the decontamination station for the lab beyond. Why don't we adjourn to the lab and see what we can come up with?" That said he gets up and goes to stand by the door. In the station there are a variety of environmental suits of differing sizes, so odds are there's at least one that will fit everyone. Taiki of course has his own, and slips it on rather quickly. Once everyone is suited up, he leads them all into the lab where a jar glows green with several tags pressed around them emitting a very low, steady stream of chakra into whatever is in the jar. "There it is, at least our working sample." The jar itself sits within a glass box that is likely hermetically sealed, with several other seals inked in at the base. Taiki takes security of this very seriously.