My Darling Tora! Find the Missing Pet... Cat?!


Jun, Shinjiro, Katsumi

Date: June 14, 2016


Team Masashi gets their first mission! Missing Pet Rescue!

Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.

"My Darling Tora! Find the Missing Pet… Cat?!"

Toshiba Forest

Ah, a brisk November afternoon! Team Masashi is out and about today, it seems, on a mission for the feudal lord's wife. Let's take a look at the details…
"My poor kitty Tora has gone missing!" she wailed, clutching a handkerchief to her cheek fretfully. "Please find him! He is orange with black stripes, and has a darling red ribbon tied on his left ear!" Well, a D-rank mission to be certain. Perfect for the fledgling team! "Leave it all to me!" Jun says, earning a dry glare from their team sensei. "Uhh.. I mean US!" he corrects quickly, grinning sheepishly at his new teammates. "Alright," the sensei says, clapping his hands together. "If you're all ready, let's get started. Go home to get any supplies if you need to, and meet up at the entrance to Toshiba Forest in exactly 20 minutes."
Jun rushed home and grabbed an instant ramen packet, a couple of rice balls and all of his ninja gear, making sure that his shiny new hitai-ate was tied securely around his forehead. He admired himself in the mirror for a moment, grinning broadly at his reflection. "Lookin' good!" he tells himself, before leaving his house and locking his door behind him. Onward!
Back at the forest, Sensei was waiting, folding his arms and leaning against a tree. Jun is huffing by the time he reaches the meeting spot, having sprinted all the way there in his eagerness to get started. "Here!" he says, waving a hand up from his doubled over, knee clutching state. "…. Jun," the sensei says, with an almost pitying expression on his face. "If you run like that everywhere you go, you'll have no energy left for the mission…"

Shinjiro prepared for the mission the way he prepares for everything. With haphazard precision. He gathered his pre selected gear and a rations before leaving the manor and doing his casual walk to the field, arriving not long after Jun, despite his lack of hurrying in the slightest, "Hey there." He says as he arrives and makes his way to sit back against a tree, "Just tell me when we're going." He says as he gets comfy, lowering his headband over his eyes.

Once Masashi-sensei explained the details of the mission they had been assigned, Katsumi felt her heart to a little leap in her chest. She was finally going on another mission - only this time, she was a Genin! She was so excited, probably about as much as Jun, and made her way home quickly to gather her things. It was a good thing that she'd eaten well, this morning and noon, otherwise she might not have had the energy to keep up with her teammates. Moving her headband from its hanging place around her neck to secure it across her brow, Katsumi grabbed her supplies and headed out.
Well… Maybe it was only Jun she would struggle to keep up with, besides the sensei of course. As she arrived at the meeting place, she saw the Uzumaki bent over and catching his breath as though he'd just been running for his life from a crazed animal. Shinjiro, on the other hand, almost seemed lazy - even though she knew that he was probably just playing it cool, as usual.

Jun just heaved one last huff before straightening up and looking like he was juuust fine. "Heh! Don't even worry about me, sensei. I can run for days, for weeks! No big deal!" Sensei just chuckled and looked over towards Shinjiro, giving him a kick in the leg. "Get up, this is no time for napping. Even as Genin, you must always be aware and prepared." He then smiled towards Katsumi and nodded. "All ready, then? Let's head out. Shinjiro, because you have the most perceptive eyes, you take point. Jun, you take middle, and Katsumi, you take the rear, with me. Our job is first to locate the missing pet. Let's move out, and stay alert."
"Yes, sir!" Jun said with a stiff salute, before falling in behind Shinjiro. He was a little miffed that the Hyuuga got to take point, but.. Well, he DID have those weird eyes. So he figured it made sense. Still, he kept his eyes peeled from his position, taking note of the forest for signs of animal passage. Or better yet, a cat.

Shinjiro sighs at the leg kick, "You coulda just said something sensei." He grumbles as he gets up and takes point, the veins of his eyes bulging forth as his Byakugan activates. He walks along, his eyes darting about at the slightest wisp of movement from any direction, even those he shouldn't be physically capable of seeing.

Katsumi didn't mind bringing up the rear. At least if something snuck up on them from behind, she wasn't going to be the first - or only - one mauled. With a great enthusiasm the young girl trodded off behind Shinjiro and Jun into the forest, and kept her eyes peeled. She'd been working on learning things of the forest, how to read the various tracks of animals and what the different species' paw prints looked like. A cat print would stick out like a sore thumb, and surely such a creature with bright colours would stand out in all of the green and brown. She wasn't sure if a bow would have stayed on the feline's ear or not… Travelling this far through trees, brush, and who knew what else probably would have gotten it removed at some point. Wouldn't it?

After a good ten minutes of walking, there had still been no sign of the stupid cat. Jun cupped his hands around his mouth and shouted into the distance. "Toooo-raaaaa!!!! Here kitty kitty!!!" Sensei darted forward quickly and thwapped him on the head. "What are you doing?" he hissed. "This is a search mission! What you are doing will scare off every animal in a half mile radius! Baka." Jun ducked his head and shut up, gulping quietly. 'Maybe I should just stick to looking,' he thought meekly.
Meanwhile, the cat they were looking for was still out of their sight, some ways away. Who would be the first to spot it? And were they even heading in the right direction?

Shinjiro snickered slightly at Jun getting berated but said nor did anything else to react to it, his focus still on searching out the cat. Even still, the momentary distraction threw him off his game as his vision was now less focused and scrutinizing.

Katsumi's eyes didn't linger on the ground very much, though she did make sure to glance every now and then. She knew that cats really liked being up high, and that meant little Tora would more than likely be up in a tree at /some/ point. She kept her ears open, as well, trying to listen through the subtle songs of birds in the distance. Maybe they would hear a meow of distress, or something of that nature. She didn't want to think that perhaps the poor pet had been hurt, but maybe scared and stuck.

As the team gets deeper into the forest, Jun starts to notice some rough looking terrain.. Giant claw marks on trees, broken branches, and big paw marks on the ground, and let's just say he gets a little disconcerted. "Uhhh… sensei? Are you sure it's safe to be in this part of the forest? I mean… Don't.. Really dangerous wild animals live out here?" he asks a bit shakily. Sensei just smirks slightly and waggles his eyebrows at him. Jun glowers and hunches his shoulders a bit. Either his sensei was a bit sadistic, or he knew something that they didn't know… And he wasn't sure he was liking either possibility.

Shinjiro keeps walking like nothing's wrong even having caught sight of a tiger. Thats right, a tiger just hanging around. Because ninja god hates us. He speaks very calmly, "No sudden moves, no signs of panic. Tiger at two o'clock. I mean that litteraly. Just remain calm."

When Jun made his question toward the sensei, Katsumi had turned her head to look at Masashi-sama with a curious expression. Normally people waggled their eyebrows when they were being mischievous. But… Sensei wouldn't deliberately hide a detail that could get them killed. … Would he?
As she caught sight of the broken branches, and one very distinct mark of claws gauged into a tree, Katsumi started to feel a little nervous. It came as no real surprise when Shinjiro stopped and spoke in an extremely calm voice - one that unnerved her for what it could potentially mean. 'Tiger at two o'clock,' she heard him say, and her eyes went there rather quickly to search with a deep inhalation of breath. 'Greeeat,' she thought to herself. 'Hopefully it responds to 'nice kitty,' cause that's all I got…'

Jun froze when he heard Shinjiro say there was a tiger around. "What?!" he frantically whispered, shaking and sweating. Yeah, he wasn't staying calm. Sensei only chuckled, and nodded. "Yes, there's a tiger nearby. But why are you all worried? You have me with you… Of course, if he takes me out first, well.. I guess there's no hope but to run…" Jun gives him a mortified expression. "Sensei! Don't say stuff like that!"
It was all Jun could do to hunker down and try and hide in the bushes for a bit. "Let's just… wait for him to go away?" he offers hopefully, giving his team a sheepish expression.

Shinjiro stopps and sighs as he crosses one arm and brings the other up to facepalm, "Jun get back here. If we just dont draw attention to ourselves, like your doing, it will leave us alone. If it was going to attack it was hungry it would already have attacked, right now we're at most a curiousity, we want to lower ourselves below that so it goes back to ignoring us." He says with practiced calmness, his eyes locked on the tiger's position.

With Jun's lack of calm, and Shinjiro's over-abundance of it, Katsumi was at a loss. Being next to Masashi-sensei did help to quell her fear, a little, but she couldn't help siddling a little closer to him - as well as peeking around a bush curiously to try and see the tiger a bit more clearly. Masashi was, however, a bit too calm as well. Even in her opinion he was being very jest. 'Oh yeah, there's a tiger nearby! But don't worry, if it eats me you'll be fine.' It actually brought a silent laugh out, which shook her shoulders as she glanced to Jun. "It probably would rather we go away, anyway," she whispered. Sure, Shinji had a point that they were a curiosity to the big cat… but they didn't know if it was hungry or not. And Katsumi liked to nibble on things, when she was hungry.

The big cat, of course, noticed them about as soon as he heard Jun's outburst, and it slowly started prowling closer. By the time it got within ten meters of the team, its feral eyes were glowing with caution, and its ears flicked toward the humans in a series of short twitches. But one might notice, if they were looking… The red ribbon on the tiger's left ear!
Jun didn't pay any attention, of course, he was too busy shaking under a bush. But Masashi just sits there smugly, not saying a word and waiting for the team to figure it out. In the meantime, the tiger lets out an ear-splitting roar! If the team isn't quick, they'll likely bust an eardrum. Best do something about that tiger, and fast!
Luckily, Jun had the common sense to cover his ears in time to block out most of the roar. It did, however, startle him awake in the metaphorical sense. In that moment, he looked up and noticed the red ribbon tied to the beast's ear. "WHA??!!!" he exclaimed pointing at the tiger emphatically. "That's….. TORA?!?!?" Jeez! What was that lady pulling? Well, if it was Tora… Then he'd just have to get it? He leaps!…. And tries to grab onto the tiger's back! Smart move, Jun. Smart move.

Shinjiro watches the encroaching tiger, taking note of the ribbon, and slowly covers his ears as he sees the swelling of its lungs to roar, hoping the motion will alert Katsumi to do the same and hoping that Jun was purring his pants and covering his ears to pretend he wasint there or something of the kind. As expected it lets out an ear splitting roar and shortly after Jun leaps at it like an angry squirrel.

Everything made sense, now. Why Masashi-sensei hadn't been concerned about a /tiger/ being close by. THAT was the /pet/. Katsumi noticed the ribbon on the ear, as it observed them all, and she found herself curious as to if she could simply call out it's name and be done with the whole thing.
However, in her fascination Katsumi didn't notice the big cat's lungs expanding - not did she pay attention to Shinjiro's signal. Late in covering her ears, the girl winced hard and let out a small shriek of pain as she lowered her head and held her head while her ears rang profusely. MAN, Tora had a good set of lungs…
She felt motion beside her and looked, barely hearing her own voice when she called out to Jun. "Are you crazy!?" Pet or no pet, the brightest star didn't leap onto the back of a tiger. She didn't want to call her best friend stupid, but… She worried about him, sometimes.

Though Jun was still rather scrawny, he managed to hang on tight as Tora began to buck and leap, trying to get him off. "Just… Sit… Still!" Jun cried out as he was tossed this way and that. But he was determined! Sensei just laughed and shook his head. "You'll never do anything but tire him out, that way! And I guarantee you will get tired much faster than he will…. Here." Reaching into his vest pocket, the sensei pulls out a bit of coiled up rope… But it wasn't just ANY coiled up rope! It was a giant fuzzy rat tied to the end of a pole! Instantly, Tora stopped and looked at the oversized cat toy, his eyes gleaming with anticipation. With a flick of sensei's wrist, the rat bounced in the air and enticed the tiger forward, his giant paw swatting at it playfully. Jun's mouth came open and he slid off the tiger's back slowly, watching dumbfoundedly as the sensei tamed the beast. "Where…. Where the stripe did you get that?" Sensei just smirked and looked at him, his eyebrow lifting coyly. "Oh, this? The Daimyo's wife gave it to me, to help us catch her cat. Useful, no?"

As Masashi calms the cat down with a rope toy and Jun slides off the tiger Shinjiro quietly walks over to Jun and pulls him away from the tiger, whispering, "You should probly not stand to close, just in case." Before ushering him to follow over to Katsumi. He kneels down in front of her and waves his hand in front of her eyes to get her attention, "Hey, you ok? Can you hear me?"

There was a part of Katsumi that could only laugh, as Masashi-sensei revealed his hidden trick. He'd certainly been hiding things from them - much ndesired information, she might add. But at least they had all sort of managed to work together. At least until she did something stupid.
As Shinjiro knelt in front of her, Katsumi slowly raised her eyes to meet his with a mask of calm. She could read his lips better than she could hear him, as her ears were still ringing quite a bit. But she was alright, and nodded to him to acknowledge his question. "I'm okay," she said, her voice sounding odd and garbled. It was mostly in her left ear; she might have to get that checked out, when they got back.

Sensei just chuckles as the cat now seems quite tame. "Well done, team. We have acquired the target. And it seems he's in quite a good mood… Let's get him back to his owner and collect our pay." Jun still looks rather dubious at how this all turned out. Was this for real? Still, he had just completed his first official mission! "Piece of cake!" he said as he rose to his feet, pumping his fist. He couldn't wait for the next one!

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