Date: 23rd March, 2010
With tensions mounting over the Land of Waves situation, Goh attempts to weaken Kirigakure's support from Sunagakure.
"Ninja Politics with Goh"
Sand Storm Bar
Having sent in a request to meet the Kazekage directly, Goh has been instructed to await at the Sand Storm Bar. To be honest, the ex-Jounin of Konoha was surprised by this. Shouldn't it be done in a high-profile office? But.. well, this is sort of just cements the fact that Sunagakure liked their sneakiness. The subject of the meeting was regarding the large tower that has appeared within the Land of Fire, although in clear view of just not the Land of Wind, but even perhaps Sunagakure. That's all, Goh thinks, really needed to be mentioned.
And so, now he waits. Sitting in a relatively dark booth, the blonde leans forward on the table, arms folded so that he props himself up. Just waiting. He's in no rush! It's a nice evening, with the band playing some nice jazz tunes. So far, not many fights have broken out. Oy.
"Interesting patterns in that music, hm?" Sousa shows up on the other side of the booth. Just 'cause he's ninja like that. And if you need a reason why he'd /want/ to do it that way, it wouldn't do to have curious people following him to a secret meeting, now would it? "As I understand it, they don't plan everything out beforehand, but of course it can't be totally random. They improvise within certain mathematical bounds, though they generally don't think of it that way. Amazing how the human brain can do such intelligent things without…thinking about it." Sousa glances around the bar. "I'm expecting a couple of my advisors, and when they get here you can tell us what you wanted to say."
Just like Sousa's entry, Itami followed suit so that she would be difficult to trace upon arrival to the bar. Though, she only appeared near the entry where she would walk the rest of the way towards the booth that Goh and the Kazekage now occupied. When she arrived, she bowed to them both in a light, yet respectful manner before saying, "Greetings," acknowledging them both. "How do you both fare this evening?"
The third and final member of the trio expected to meet Goh at some shady looking establishment, some place that Hibari wouldn't generally find herself visiting, is last to arrive. She more or less slips in through the main entrance of the building in a small group of also arriving patrons. Given her unassuming appearance, none would even suspect that she was a jounin class shinobi… or a council member for that matter!
Her glasses glinting in the light of the room for but a moment, the woman's eyes scan about the room to locate her appointment and meanders over to where the others are to join them in that shady booth. Upon getting there, the jounin's face was slightly flushed from the heat of being outside in the scorching heat. "God, it's like walking in an oven out there. How long does it take to adjust for crying out loud?" she complains conversationally towards the group before sitting down and huffing and looking for something to drink.
"Hm?" His idle glance to the stage is suddenly thrown in front of him, eyes widening in surprise at the sudden appearance of Sousa. Was.. he able to teleport? "Er.. Right. No problem, Kazekage. Thanks for coming to meet with me personally. I'm sure you must be pretty busy at the moment. All I can offer you is some pickled veggies!" A grin and a small nod. "No problem. Advisors work."
With Itami appearing at the doorway, Goh lifts a hand to wave. "Oooh.. Itami as well! Long time no see. I'll have to tell you about all of my crazy adventures in Kirigakure later." He chuckles. "I'm fine, fine. Managed to escape unscathed."
And then.. Hibari arrives. "W..What?" To hear a Council Member complain of the heat was truly a rare thing. "Man. To hear a Council Member complain of the heat is a rare thing." See? Even Goh thinks so. "Nice for you all to come. Um, I have a few things to talk about. As you guys know, I'm from Konoha. I just spent some time in Kirigakure, and.. well. Things aren't looking too happy over there. I wouldn't be surprised if some sort of War brewed any minute."
Sousa smiles wanly at Hibari's complaint. "I've been running an experiment for that the past decade or so. I'll let you know when I get results." Sousa glances between the two Council members momentarily. "Hmmm…Hibari-san, you'd look better next to him. Please, sit." Sousa indicates the spot by Goh for Hibari, then motions Itami to join him on the other side. What? Mismatched couples would draw attention.
Sousa leans back and listens while Goh begins his spiel. A smile draws across Sousa's lips. "Hmhm. You…'spent some time' in Kirigakure. And evidently came out fairly unscathed. Tell me, did you sell your wares there as you did here, or did you hide in the open in a more subtle way?" Sousa shrugs. "Well, don't answer that if you don't feel like it. I'm sure you have more important things to say."
Itami takes a seat next to Sousa and although she was genuinely curious about the activity coming out of Kiri and Konoha for that matter since the meeting, she refrains from mentioning anything at the moment. "I'd love to hear about your adventures in Kirigakure. I expect that you sold well enough. Maybe I might be able to get my wares out soon." She shrugs. "Oh well, that will come later." After this, she grows quiet expecting to hear whatever news there was to be delivered. A nod goes to Hibari as she enters and she smirks from behind her scarf. "I thought you would have come up with something by now to combat the heat or at least adapted. In due time."
Hibari can't quite remember who it was she was supposed to be in a meeting with, as far as the one who wanted to meet with Sousa went anyways.. But when she glances over at who it was, she can faintly recall the face of someone she met at the admin building briefly as he was checking into the village as a guest. Other than that, she didn't know much else about this guest.
Raising an arm to wipe a few dots of perspiration off her brow, Hibari smirks at Goh for a few moments as he comments on her complaining. "I'm not a Sunagakure native. And the desert isn't my friend. I think it's conspiring against me." she says almost in a hushed tone before quirking a brow at Sousa's suggestion that she'd look next to Goh.
Glancing over at Goh once more, she carefully takes a seat next to the visitor and sets her large red leather case down on the ground beside her carefully, sniffing slightly at the air… cringing at the smell of vinegar… "Ugh.. since when was Kirigakure ever a happy place to begin with?" she comments before looking over at Itami. "It's not easy! I don't think I'd want to be dependant on some herb that lowers my body temperature. Who knows the havoc that'd cause.. I'll just wait and see if I adapt normally. Or if Kazekage-sama comes up with a miracle potion." she says with a nod.
"I did a bit of both. Hiding wasn't really that much of an option though…" Goh replies to Sousa, shifting over on the booth seat a little for Hibari to sit next to him. "I had Kirigakure ninja shadowing me no matter where I went. Part of the deal I made to enter the village in the first place. I like to think my veggies made some of a difference, though. Gave them some warm feeling in such a cold place." He shudders a little.
"Anyway, you're right. Let's get right down to it. Like I said. Kirigakure seems to be a bit agitated towards Konoha. I'm not sure what's going to happen. As the Kazekage of Sunagakure, your influence on either side would greatly shift the tide in how it plays out. If I may ask, have you put much thought into alliances yet? I know that the villages are new, but… yeah. I bet at least one of them will call for your aid in the future." A pause. "..I no longer represent Konoha officially, but I still like to do all I can for them. It's my home, after all." Sitting up straight, he sucks in a breath. "If you are allied with Kirigakure, then I have a.. erm. What's the word? Proposition. Yeah, that's it! Proposition. It has to do with that big tower that's appeared. Surely you've all seen it?" A glance around to the others. "On my way to Sunagakure, I managed to get in. It's not something that can easily be done, but I got into the tower."
Sousa chuckles faintly. "I'm a little surprised they let you in, knowing where you're from. You must be a rather persuasive individual. But then, you've already shown that, haven't you?" Sousa folds his hands inside his sleeves. "We have…a certain amount of understanding with Kirigakure. Nothing especially binding, but we are not total strangers. But, the tower does intrigue me a bit." Sousa glances at his aides. "Have we gathered much intelligence about that yet?"
Itami shakes her head immediately and she sighs softly. "It is true what Kazekage-sama says, however we did agree to remain neutral. We did not wish to be aligned with any one power, but we do know the dangers of remaining neutral, but that can't be helped at the moment. Besides this, I have seen the tower and I am curious about it just like the rest of us here." She hums. "You mentioned that you entered it earlier. Did you discover anything about it beyond it being some obelisk from nowhere?" She shrugs.
For the most part, Hibari grows quiet as the business at hand is starting to get going here.. and she's more of a listener for the time being than a commentator on an ex-leafer roaming the world selling nasty vegetables. The news about Kirigakure on edge with Konohagakure wasn't exactly new news to Hibari as they do hear things.. being the information super power of the major villages! Or so things are told anyways.
As Goh continued talking, she figured it wasn't her place to decide whether or not the village should side with either side just yet… though she was more inclined to do business with Kirigakure over Konoha. At least, her kind of business. The prospect of a proposition in the event of an alliance with Kirigakure causes Hibari's brow to quirk curiously. Perhaps something to do with the sudden tower that sprouted up at the border between Wind and Fire. "Eh… not much intel has been rounded up as of yet. I believe something is in the works. We should just blow it up." she suggests in a purely joking manner. Looking serious until she smiles deviously.
Goh nods faintly at what Sousa has to say. "Fair enough. I won't intrude on the specifics of such an understanding." A grin comes across his face at the thought of him being persuasive. "I guess.. I can be, given when I need to be. They certainly didn't go easy on me, that's for sure." A brief nod, before he looks at the Council Members to see what they knew. It would be good to know where they stood on it, that's for sure. Eyes swivel over to Itami, where he seems to think. "I can understand that, for sure."
"I guess I'll show some of my insight as to how things work with it. The tower is tall. /Very/ tall. Running up the surface would likely prove to be impossible, save for those with heaps of endurance. The actual tower, which itself is probably 800 feet high, sits on top of nearly 5000 feet of standing bed-rock. I couldn't tunnel through it. The only option was to head straight up. But even I wouldn't last long against it." He doesn't say of course, /how/ he managed to do it. Not yet. "The actual tower that sits on top of the bedrock is hot.. Not only the surface, but the very air around is so hot that it makes even me sweat! It's likely why it looks red around the top. It's clearly designed to sap the energy from you. In the form of blistering heat! I can handle hot temperatures usually, but even I would've been done for."
A grin goes to Hibari. "..you may wanna stick clear of it, especially if you can't handle the desert heat."
Turning his attention back to the Kazekage, Goh continues. "Once you pass the exhaustion of getting high enough and start to get numb to the intensity of the heat, the top bit of the tower has some windows that lead into /blistering/ hot rooms. Rooms so hot that you'll feel like your skin is melting. Way hotter than the outside. Seriously. I've never experienced anything like it before. Not a fun place. Again, I couldn't get in. No way I could handle it. Probably last a few seconds before I'd be burnt. The very top of the tower is sort of like a dome… It's white hot. I wouldn't go near it." He doesn't say anything else about it, shutting his mouth.
"I guess that's all the free stuff I can offer right now." He says with a chuckle. Likely, it's all stuff they could figure out on their own, given enough time. "Now," He begins in a serious tone. "I can offer you more information. Like what's inside the tower," How on earth did he manage to get inside if it's so hot? All a mystery! "Maybe even how to get in it." A hand lifts to scratch his head. "But I figured. Why would you want to barter for such trivial information? You could probably figure that stuff out yourselves. So on top of saving you the time for figuring it out, I'm gonna offer you a truly exotic and unbelievable item that I brought back with me. An item that, if you look for, won't be in the tower anymore. Even if you get up, get in and look around, there won't be anything obtainable there for you." Collecting himself, he sucks in a breath. It felt like he was walking on eggshells.
"I'm not asking you to join up with Konoha for this. That's clearly too much for the unknown. Just if you could break your ties with Kirigakure." And there it is! "If you do, I'll gladly tell you everything. If you're not interested and wish to venture into it yourself, then consider the matter dropped."
Sousa listens quietly through Goh's narrative. He sure says a lot of 'I couldn't have taken it' for somebody who evidently was there. e.e The likely implication is fairly obvious; he must've had help of some kind. But that hardly matters. What matters is, if he's telling the truth, exploring the tower would be a difficult and hazardous task. An interesting puzzle, perhaps, but still, difficult. "Well now," Sousa muses. "It does seem as though such an extreme environment might house very unusual objects. Very valuable ones too, seeing as the tower is obviously man-made. Be that as it may, it would be…difficult to justify changing the policy of an entire nation toward another, merely for an unknown artifact." Sousa looks to his aides again. "Just how hard would it be, do you think?"
"That…is asking for a lot, don't you think? Simply because we have ties does not mean we are close. It is only a tie and a fairly loose one as far as I'm concerned." Itami speaks on that part, but soon waves her hand in a dismissive fashion. "I can understand that you still have ties with Konoha even though you are separate from it, but these things sound a bit more diplomatic than I expected. However…I do not believe breaking ties will be difficult, but it would seem like a bit of a suspicious gesture if we were to up and discontinue anything between them and us. I do believe there might be questions, of course, this could just be me over analyzing, but one can never be too careful." She explains followed by her hands lifting to her head to rub her temples. Why did things have to be difficult. It was never easy, but that's asking for too much also.
"In the end, this all falls down as how this will benefit us. Let not Kazekage-sama's words be ignored, but that is my viewpoint on the matter. Apparently this relic you have is valuable and whatever else may be present in the tower as well. Just…who made it and why in this place? Was it some kind of ideal location of some sort? There's just too many things I'm thinking of at once. I am unsure if I'll be able to address each one, but…." She shakes her head. "Rambling. My apologies."
Hibari leans forward onto the table, resting her elbow against the table itself while leaning her chin against he palm of her hand. All the while, listening to Goh reaccount his exploration and information regarding his time spent investigating this tower that is nagging at both sides. From the sounds of it, this tower was meant to be impassable by normal means, even for most shinobi. "Hmm… interesting." she murmurs to no one in particular. Looking a little perturbed, Hibari frowns when the mention of unbearable heat is brought up the higher one ascended this tower. "Goodie, that means I get to secure the base." she says with mock enthusiasm! That's if she even goes out there to supervise!
For the remainder of Goh's story about the tower, and of his proposition… she just shakes her head slightly at this seemingly simple request to sever ties to Kirigakure. Then again, the way Goh was speaking.. he clearly had this item in his possession somewhere, along with potential information about the tower that hasn't been brought up. Her free hand drumming her fingertips lightly on the table. "Well, we could always detain you.. and drug you into a cooperative stupor until you tell me what I want to know.. and give me whatever this item is." she muses somewhat seriously, a cold suggestion that's made mysterious as she smiles over at Goh. Was she kidding? Or was she serious? The Kazekage would most likely prevent her from having that kind of fun anyways… "But, as they both said. It's not as easy as you think. Just asking us to cut ties when we went to the trouble to establish them."
The woman continues to drum her fingertips slowly, "As for this tower.. it shouldn't be to hard. With the proper precautions against the heat and all. Though I won't be going up there. I'd die half way up from the heat. And I know how terribly everyone would miss me." chuckling quietly.
"I would imagine so." Goh replies to the Kazekage. "Mind you, I have no idea how close you are with Kirigakure. You mentioned that there is simply an understanding, while Itami said that you guys are largely neutral. If you were under a strict alliance with Kirigakure, I probably wouldn't have brought it up at all." Leaning back a little, Goh thinks to himself. "This item I hold does some truly amazing things. With it, I'm sure you guys could make new things and probably even discover some other crazy uses for it that I don't know about. Bringing in new parts of technology can be a huge boon for the village as a whole, and not just military-wise either. But.. I won't really press the matter. I'm sure you all know what it could mean. Not only that, you'd gain a largely un-matched knowledge of the tower itself as well as the technology inside it. How to get in. Some of the secrets of it."
A nod goes for Itami, where Goh seems to agree. "Those are some of the things I'd tell you later. But I can tell you that from the top? You have a vantage point of /everything/. It's so high though, I'm sure you guys already thought of that. Handy to be able to see heaps though." He shrugs a little. "I won't presume to tell you what's best for Sunagakure. But on top of what I just said before, if you're drawn into a battle with Konoha because of a Kirigakure offensive that may happen, then I expect Sunagakure lives will be lost. If you stay neutral and remain here, then there'd be no quarrel. Konoha has no ill feelings for Sunagakure. In fact, I believe the Hokage still feels terrible for what happened before. The last thing she wants to do is just make things worse, y'know?"
Sighing out a bit, he suddenly smiles. "No problemo, Itami. This stuff is pretty deep and complicated! Heh. From what I saw though, the object I have is the only one of its kind. There are others in there to be sure, but you won't be able to get them. Doesn't work. Trust me." He gives a nod, before beginning to slide out of the booth. "Anyways, I'll leave it to you guys. It's not a decision that can be made so quickly, y'know? When you decide, get back to me. I guess we'll go from there." Sliding past Hibari as she mentions that he should be drugged, Goh sort of freezes on thought, laughing nervously. Of course.. She was joking, right? Right. Standing at the end of the booth, hands slide into his pockets.
"Gotta remember though, it is in the Land of Fire technically. Not by much at all, but still is. If you plan on sending a team for the tower, should probably be prepared to see some Konoha shinobi around. Especially since the Hokage may have a team at the site already. I dunno what her situation is with it, but there's no way she'd just let that thing go unguarded for long." The ex-Jounin proceeds to make his way out, lifting a hand to wave. "Thanks for meeting with me! See you guys around."