Mystery of the Self-Strangler


Jon, Gin, Yuki, Nanoto, Imota

Date: 30th March, 2010


Ninja of all nations, unite! Or at least play nice long enough to investigate a murder in neutral territory.

"Mystery of the Self-Strangler"

Ward 6. Fuuma Alley

Murder! The street is filled with stunned gawkers, gazing at the grotesque remains. Actually, it's not so much the fact that somebody was killed that has the locals staring; sordid dealings are commonplace here in Fuuma Alley, after all. It's the bizarre nature of this particular slaughter. The victim lies in the street with his own hands gripping tightly at his throat, apparently having choked himself to death. Suicide? No, it's impossible to strangle yourself like that, you pass out long before it becomes lethal. So somebody had to have…assisted in the operation.
Jon stands looking down at the corpse while a police officer marks out the outline with chalk. A crime like this would take a special method of killing, which probably means ninja. And when investigating a ninja, it's best to use other ninja, for the likely event of confrontation. Jon glances at the crow perched on his shoulder. "Scruvo, see if you can scare up some help." Scruvo nods. "Right y'are, Jonny-boy." Scruvo takes off and flies over the town, calling out to those below. "Hoi, any ninja types, follow me! We'll make it worth y'while!"

Gin, having been sent to Fuuma alley purely on an errand by his own mysterious mentor, wanders around with the smile wide on his face and his hands clenched behind his back as is usual for the boy- the Chuunin proudly displaying the Kirigakure Symbol on the forehead protector around his neck, though no symbol or piece of his uniform quite indicates a rank. The young boy walks with a an odd quick gait as he looks at the various vendors, pausing at one while he runs at his chin.
Then the sqawking gets his attention, the gaze of the young Ninja immediately shifting to peer at the sky as he watches the bird fly. His smile seems to get wider, showing off some teeth before he takes off in a very quiet run in the direction the bird had come in- seeking the owner of the creature and determining that if he head in that direction, he'd come across the owner eventually. Luckilly for the boy, he was fairly closeby.
Walking around the corner, there is no look of surprise from the boy. No gasp. No real indication of what he was thinking. Just that strange smile upon his face as he looks up at the officials gathered as well as Jon himself and bows his head slightly to indicate a bit of respect, approaching slowly and observing quietly.

Though actually stationed in Kirigakure, the Takokujin's Yuki was off on a personal errand today, her business bringing her to the Fuuma Alley. She wore a black cloak, its hood pulled up, mostly obscuring her features. With her shady purchases complete, she was nearly ready to head back when she heard a voice from high in the sky. "Worth my while, huh," she whispers to herself, her feline curiosity piqued. She wasn't a ninja, but she could probably pass for one. Grinning like a hunter stalking its prey, Yuki followed along with her gaze to the sky, following the bird to its destination.

Nanoto heads toward the land of Rice after being directed there by the salesman at the Konoha market place. Nanoto was looking for explosive tags and was pretty annoyed that he had to leave the village to acquire them. With a reluctant groan Nanoto informs the higher ups of his upcoming voyage. He departs with minimum supplies as he doesn't plan to be long.
Upon arrival to Fumma alley the destination in which he was told to visit Nanoto passes up people who seem to be in a panic and hears amongst the crowd "Murderer". As Nanoto makes his way through the discontent mass he sees a contorted corpse with a white chalk outline. Clearly the person has been murdered. Nanoto approaches the body nonchalantly as observes the body gently shoving people out the way and assuring them that he is a Konoha shinobi. It appears to have been strangled to death as the hands were positioned around the neck. From the first glance Nanoto can determine that the murder was mad to look like a suicide and that the victim wasn't physically strangled and that some sort of ninjutsu was used. "Is this?" Nanato's eyes widen as one jutsu enters his thoughts about the body. "There is more than enough shade for it to done." Nanoto says quietly to himself. He looks up at a near by shinobi (Jon) and says "Excuse me but I believe a Nara was responsible for this."

While this mystery had been going on, Imota had been focusing on the solving of one of his own. The search for Sasaki Roureinashi had been still ongoing, and his searches had led him here, in search of the same. He had been lucky so far that his trip had not been unapproved, though the reason had not been specified. But it had been a search that Imota would have undertaken regardless, even if he had to risk death itself. The seedy brothels and strips clubs were the clearest bait for the old man, Imota chased. The perv would not have been able to resist, and Imota knew this well.

Jon signals to some of the other officers present to start clearing the area. They nod and begin pushing away anyone who doesn't look like they're there to participate in the investigation. Soon Jon is left standing with a motley crew of shinobi from different lands. "Thank you for responding," Jon says as Scruvo arrives back and settles on his shoulder again. "I'm Saito Jon of Kumogakure. I was lent to the local police organization to help them become more organized and efficient. This, however, appears to be a crime beyond their capability to handle, manpower-wise. Luckily for all of you, the victim happens to be from a wealthy family, and they've offered a tidy little sum for anybody who assists in bringing the killer to justice."
Jon points down at the body. "As you can see, the victim appears to have strangled himself. I probably don't need to tell you that this would be impossible under ordinary circumstances, so we can rule out suicide. It was almost certainly due to some sort of ninja ability, like—" Jon blinks and looks to Nanoto. "Sounds like you know about a technique that could've done this," he remarks. "I'm interested to hear your explanation, but hold that thought for just a moment."
Jon looks to the other three. "I need you three to fan out and look for anyone else in town that looks like a ninja. The time of death was pretty recent, so there's a good chance they're still here somewhere. Bring them in for questioning, peacefully if you can." Jon smiles wanly. "Oh, and of course, I'm afraid you're all suspects too, though the fact you came here speaks well for you. Still, don't skip town. It'll reflect poorly on yourself /and/ your village." For those to whom that applies, of course. Jon looks back to Nanoto. "Now, you were saying?"

Gin continues to smile, looking down at the body while he listens to what the man from Kumogakure says. Of course, an introduction was not asked of him, so the boy doesn't feel it required to inform the fellow Ninja his own name and indentity. During the explanation of what had happened, the boy can't help but take a step forward and crouch to get a somewhat closer look at the body.
His eyes are very keen as they look over the facial contortions, noting the blown vessels in the eyes as well as several other things about the mans face. Gin's smile remains as he notes that the victims facial expression wasn't quite one of surprise; he knew he was being killed. "It is possible." The boy whispers up to Saito as he stands up, "Though, if I had done this his throat would be slit." He states plainly as he runs a hand through his hair and then clenches his hands behind his back.
Looking up at Jon his smile widens, "This man knew what was going on. It wasn't so simple as someone coming from behind…" And with that, the boy turns and starts heading toward a nearby alleyway. "I do believe I spied a Ninja near the vendor I was visiting earlier… I will begin my search there." He states rather matter of factly as he begins heading back in that direction, his voice never raising above that strange docet tone- though, one could note the poison of sarcasm staining the boy's every word. As if this was all one big inside joke.

Imota had been wondering about this situation indeed. The only techniques he would have even considered that could do something like this was that of the Kugutsu technique most puppeteer used. Chakra strings connected to the joints would certainly do well in order to help one choke himself to death. But his suggestion would not be of much fruition if he could not prove it, and chakra was a forces that indicated little trace of use unless one could sense or see it. He would be obediant in spreading out as the Saito nin had suggested but there was a whole lot more to this mystery than what the body had been indicating.

Yuki crossed her arms as she looked down at the body. It wasn't the first time she'd seen a dead body, and she didn't seem to be bothered by it. She kneeled down by it, leaning in closer, but avoiding touching it. "Hm, while they're off finding suspects, let me take a better look at the body," she says, grinning as she inspects it. She takes a closer look at the corpse's neck. "Definitely strangulation. But was it with his hands?" She ponders, continuing on with her examination while the others look for a suspect.

Nanoto nods and sighs heavily as he thinks 'Damn! What did I get myself into?' Nanoto places his hands in his pockets and with a yawn he prepares to explain his theory to Jon. In an apathetic voice Nanoto grimly says "Well if you notice his neck has marks on it from a strangle. Now the Nara can use shadows to paralyze their enemies and control their movements so the man my have been aware of what was going on but not able to do anything about it. A jutsu called a shadow neck bind is used specifically for assassination and can strangle an opponent with their own shadow. However it doesn't leave a mark. So the Yamanaka could be a suspect too. I propose that we find a motive instead of a killer first. " Nanoto blinks and yawns and looks back at the body examining it further.

Jon nods slowly. "Interesting…it's certainly a possible line of investigation. Haven't heard of these Yamanaka either. As for motive, that could be as simple as robbery, as the victim was carrying significant money and that's gone missing, or it could be an assassination for any number of reasons—a rival political family, an angry ex-girlfriend, maybe even a mistreated geisha. The victim wasn't the most virtuous of men." Yuki's examinations show that the marks on the victim's neck match perfectly with the victim's own fingers. There's even a little scraped skin and blood under the fingernails. Looks like the victim's own hands really were the murder weapon.
Meanwhile, a few shady characters are brought in by the others. A couple of them are, ostensibly, street performers, using their abilities to entertain passerby in the hope of getting a few coins. A puppeteer who made his puppet dance with invisible strings, and a genjutsu specialist who enticed her customers with…exciting fantasies. And lo and behold, a Nara is also found, a guy who claims he's here on vacation to relax and enjoy the casinos. Just as Jon is about ready to start questioning them, one of his officers calls him over to deal with a distraught and demanding relative of the deceased who wants to talk with the head investigator. u.u "See what you can learn about these people," Jon says to his deputy investigators before heading off briefly.

Gin smiles as he starts to make his way through town, the boy making his way to the area where he spotted the woman earlier. Blue eyes move over everyone who looks suspicions- and with a boy like Gin, from the village he hailed from that definitely met jsut about everyone -as he moves. Arriving in hte area he spotted her in first, the boy smiles as he makes his approach. "Excuse me…"
He states plainly as he approaches, hands behind his back as he grips a kunai- to break a Genjutsu Illusion should she try something against him -in his hand, ready to be squeezed. "One, Saito Jon, in charge of a police investigator wishes for me to bring you back for questioning." He say's rather simply as he motions over his shoulder. "Please come with me…"

Upon inspection of the body Nanoto realizes the position of the hands and the worn marks on the fingers and the neck. No doubt the man's hands were the weapon of choice for this crime. Nanoto sighed as his Nara theory seem to be faulty due to the fact that if the Nara did commit the crime the man would've been immobilized and unable to move his hands in response to being choked. As Jon prepares to leave Nanoto would grab his arm while still looking at the body. He calmly says "Wait, the Nara could've have done it." He takes a deep sigh and says "Remember the Yamanaka I mentioned earlier? They're a clan that can use their minds to control other's actions. No it seems that their jutsu would be the best choice due to the crowed area, no one could really detect them." Nanoto notices the suspects and yawns as he says "however" Nanoto would then glare at each suspect and smile "I'll be asking these people a few questions if you don't mind." His arms folded and his expression bold.

The genjutsu specialist scowls. "Figures. Call girls all up and down the street, but the fuzz decide to pick on the ONE that doesn't even touch her clients." On reaching the crime scene, though, she blinks. "Oh. So…this isn't about…okay. Um. Well, I can tell you that the guy was a jerk, he stiffed me yesterday. Didn't see him after that, though." The puppeteer glances at her, and his clownish puppet waggles a finger accusingly. "Ah, so you had a motive!" The genjutsuist glares at the puppeteer. "Hey, if I killed every deadbeat who cheated me, I'd be public enemy number one by now! Anyway, what about you? You look nutty enough to do it just for laughs." The puppet puts its hands over its chest in an expression of shock. "How scandalous! Why, I would never touch anybody but my precious Mokei with my chakra strings." The Nara chuckles quietly, his adam's apple bobbing. "Well, like the kid said, it couldn'ta been me. Can I go now? I got a busy day ahead of me."

Gin smiles as he drags the girl in, not litterally of course. He simply walked behind the Genjutsuist until all the suspects were gathered, and unlike most teenage boys he didn't even pay a mind to her assets- quite strange indeed. Hanging around in the back, the boy rests with his back against a wall while he listens intently to what everyone is saying- paying close attention to the veins in their necks, as well as anything else that would indicate pulse.
Anatomy was something Gin was used to, and very familiar with. The only thing that ever confused him was… well, when there were just to many people to focus on and he too could be indicated at any time. Though, for all Jon knew he specilized in Shurikenjutsu. The boy lets his blues fall upon the Nara and he tilts his head to the side. "Wishing to leave only indicates guilt." He states rather plainly, sarcasm once more poisoning his words while that smiles seems to grow a little wider. "Though it is unlikely, judging by your stance and what you look like, you could very well have developed a new type of Jutsu that could do more then what a Nara typically are capable of…" His smile widens, a shadow crossing his features. "Though I hear all Nara are lazy…" Attempting to goad the suspect- good going Gin.

Yuki stood up from the body, having been examining it for a while now. She sighed softly, crossing her arms and turning towards the three suspects. She listens to them speak, finding herself annoyed with each of them equally. Her cold glare snaps to the Nara, and she states plainly, "Couldn't have been you? And why is that?" She eyes each of them. They were all awfully suspicious. "Do either of you two know this man?" she asks the Puppeteer and the Nara. "If you lie to me, I'll make you swallow a thousand needles." Despite being a figure of speech, Yuki looked cold enough to actually go through with such a threat.

Nanoto would chuckle slightly as the suspects acted foolishly and entertained him a little with their charade. Nanoto would walk closer to the three and gesture to the young lady who was recently inspecting the body "prepare to use defensive measures as the culprit may get anxious and try to escape once I nail him or her." Nanoto would smile as he took out a kunai and points it at the Nara trying to unsettle him. "Now sir I said you couldn't have killed him, doesn't mean you couldn't have been involved however. You see none of you alone possess the subtly of killing a man in broad day light except for the Nara, however the Nara doesn't posses the ability to kill the victim in such a way. So knowing this I have one question to ask the Puppeteer. Have you ever met this man and if so what occurred? And don't lie I can tell you that that man leaning against the wall will know and my hand often slips around liars." Nanoto moves his hand with the kunai pointed at the puppeteer in a threatening motion. Nanoto would smile as he knew that his actions would create unsettling behavior and a rise in blood pressure he looks to the man against the wall. "Excuse me sir which of them has the highest pulse at the moment?"

The puppet tilts its head as if trying to get a good look at the victim. "No, I do not know him," responds the puppeteer, "and I have never met either of these two." The Nara balks. "Hey, if you're gonna talk about inventing new techniques, anybody could do that. Why don't you concentrate on the woman with the motive?" "Shut up, pencil-neck!" snaps the genjutsu specialist. "What kind of illusion could trick somebody into /strangling/ himself? Besides, a genjutsu would've been broken by the pain long before he could choke himself that much." The Nara glances at Yuki. "Well, I overheard the kid talking about Nara abilities on the way here, and he's right, the only trick we got that could make a guy do something to himself is one where we make them do what we do. So I woulda had to strangle myself at the same time, see?" "Maybe he was just trying to squeeze some of the fat out of his tubby body and got carried away with it," suggests the puppeteer. The puppet turns its head quickly to look at its master with jaw dropped open and hands on its cheeks. "Don't yell at me, Mokei-chan. It's times like these when people /need/ to see the funny side of things!"

Gin shakes his head at all the movement, getting somewhat lost in the different people here. After all, to anyone looking at him the boy was also monitoring his companions. Looking at Nanoto, the boy tilts his head to the side. The fact that that particular one had taken it upon himself to do the investigation made it really curious. Gin approaches Jon and leans forward to whisper to him, "Watch that one…" He says motioning to Nanoto, "Closely. I find it strange that he is so adament to take charge of this…" And with that, the boy leans back and looks at the Genjutsuist again. He smiles.
"Actually…" He states plainly, "An illusion could easilly make someone do that… though, you are correct about the pain breaking it. I doubt even /you/ are that good…" Once more, though his smile doesn't fade there seems to be a hint of poisonous Sarcasm. Eyes look to the Puppeteer and he just… doesn't say anything for a moment. "Comedy is simply stupidity that makes people laugh. You're being accused of /murder/, try to show some remorse for the…" A chuckle, "Deceased."
Then the boy's eyes rest on the Nara again and he shrugs. He didn't like /most/ Leaf Ninja, due in part to Yasushi-sempai's personal crusade against them. Regardless, it was clear to him that if this one did it he would've had to make contact. But a thought occurs. "Can't you meld with the shadows?" He asks simply, approaching the body again and leaning over to look at the mans hands again. Perhaps further observing the mans hands would turn up something.

Yuki crosses her arms, glaring at the three suspects with a gaze that could pierce steel. Her tail swayed back and forth as she concentrated, analyzing each of them as they spoke, her gaze especially concentrated on the Nara man. Despite the Nara's pleading, she wasn't convinced that he couldn't do it. Then again, she was suspicious of the puppeteer as well. The other two 'detectives' seemed intent on interrogation, however, and Yuki watched each of them reply for tell-tale signs of lying.

The genjutsuist responds to Gin's sarcasm with manyfold of the same. "Oh, what, an illusion that makes him think his head's turned into a giant boob for him to squeeze? Get real." :P The Nara blinks at Gin's question to him. "Uh, no. Kinda wish I could, but no, no shadow-melding stuff." Just then, Jon finally manages to get away from the ranting relation of the victim. Finding his deputies overseeing a squabble between the suspects, he sighs. "Okay, that's enough," he tells them. "All of you are dismissed for now, but don't leave town. Very likely we'll want to talk to you again."
Unfortunately, due to the lack of police manpower, the investigation doesn't manage to get anywhere very quickly, and all three of the suspects /do/ wind up skipping town. The volunteers who attempted to help Jon do get cleared eventually, but nobody gets any reward. So the case of who made the rich jerk wring his fat neck that was much thicker than that of the skinny bankrupt Nara is never conclusively solved….OH WELL.

"Well." Gin states plainly as the time has passed in the blink of an eye, the boy sighing as he runs a hand through his hair. For the first time someone could note that his smile /nearly/ faded from his lips, ALMOST disappearing from view but not quite- the curl of his lips was still there. "That is a minor annoyance." He states plainly as he looks to the Lead Investigator and shrugs, "Told you they were all guilty…" He states simply before he starts heading back toward Kirigakure. His hands are clasped behind his back, and his smile has returned. Having picked up what he was sent to pick up, the Chuunin decided it was time to head back. His trip was already derailed by the investigation as it stood anyway.

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