Date: May 29, 2013
Inuzuka Tao is found assassinated, suspects unknown
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"Selective Assassinations - Opening Salvo"
Inuzuka Clan Alpha's home
It's early afternoon, around the time Taiki likes to train, some days with his team, other days with others. Today was supposed to be with his team, though Atsuro has a standing offer to join anytime he wishes. Today Taiki and his ninken appear to be experimenting with various tags while he waits to see who all would show up. Holding up a tag, he calls out, "Fuinjutsu: Seal Encampment Wall!" A rather weak-looking seal array forms under him as four walls of blue energy rise slowly out of the ground. The technique is obviously still in its beginning stages of implementation, and the power being provided to it is insufficient.
It's been a while since Atsuro's seen Taiki, so after his own training is finished, he figures he may as well go to his training field for a short visit and see what he's been up to. If Taiki can't smell him coming, he can probably hear him, since he's whistling a cheerful little tune to himself. Taizen walks alongside him, not whistling, but wagging his tail, happy to go and see what's up with Taiki.
They walk into the training area just in time to see Taiki practice his new jutsu. He seems interested when the walls appear, but frowns as he realizes that their power is weak. Of course, not knowing jack about seals, he doesn't realize that this is a mistake and just assumes that there must be some purpose to the whole thing. "Hey, kid," says Atsuro. Taizen woofs in greeting. Atsuro scratches his head. "I, uh, don't get it," he admits.
Well Taiki did state he wanted to have the team meet up, and well walking to the training area is Hinotori. Granted with all that he's heard, he's not too sure he wants to be training right now. But at least the training would get him in gear to do something other then moop. It doesn't take him long to get to the training area and as he does, he takes his time, scanning the area until he finds Taiki, who is speaking with Atsuro, both their nin-ken are theer as well. Good thing he's brought doggie treats.
Taiki shakes his head and looks over to Atsuro as the field starts to die. When it disappears, he looks at the ground with a slight frown on his face before looking back to Atsuro. "Pity… and here I thought you were a lady's man…" After a brief chuckle, he shrugs and says, "It's supposed to be a new fuinjutsu seal I am working on… only there's obviously a mistake in the array somewhere. For a B rank technique, it's awful weak." He then looks over at Hino and smiles, "Hello Hinotori-san. How are you? It would appear as if you're the first one from the team here."
Atsuro looks over to Hinotori. "Hey," he says, raising his hand in a lazy wave, "What's up?" Taizen speaks up, "Hello, Hinotori." Atsuro looks around for a second, then back at Hinotori. "What brings you here?" he asks, not having heard that Hinotori is now on Taiki's team.
When he looks back to Taiki, he just frowns. "Seriously?" he asks. Obviously not a fan of that particular bit of innuendo. "What will it look like when it's done?" He pauses for a second as he remembers something important. "Oh," he says, "By the way. Ryo is fine. I saw him a couple days ago. He was kinda… sulky, but he's alive and well otherwise. Just in case you didn't know." He shakes his head a little, "After that comment, though, I think I should just keep him as far away from you as possible. He's too pure to hang around you."
Quirking a brow, "Hey Taiki-sempai." Hinotori says as he leans against a training dummy, watching Taiki as he works on one of his seals. Looking over towards Atsuro and Taizen, he smiles. "Hey guys. Team leader wanted to meet up for some training." he says as he points to Taiki. "I'm on Team 6, but if Ryo-san is back, I don't know." he says. Hinotori did tell Taiki he would step down from the team if Ryo-san ever came back and if he's back then he would. Stretching out a little bit, Hinotori allows calm to flood through him, he is a bit tired, but still in good spirits.
Taiki tilts his head at first, then shrugs. "Okay, obviously another joke to avoid," he says as he makes a mental note for future reference. Then he nods. "Well, I'm definitely glad to hear he's back, and if he still wants to be part of Team 6, then I have no problem with it. However," he says as he looks at Hinotori, "I distinctly remember telling you that I would welcome your continued presence, even if he did come back. I would recommend that you don't make plans just yet Hinotori-san. Let's see what Ryo-san has to say first." That said, he turns back to Atsuro. "Sorry."
Quietly, Atsui would happen past where the others were at. He was actually on his way to go train of course. Some of his original gloom had been lifted due to conversations with both kumo and konoha nin. Contemplatively, relatively slow steps carried him along, more in thought than in motion. As normal, Atsui kind of faded into the background anyways, thumbs hooked on his belt, he'd instinctively just avoid running into people on his way to the training ground. So was it deep thought? or the random musings of a child? Who would know really.
Atsuro looks between Taiki and Hinotori. "Really?" Atsuro asks, "That seems kinda odd. Aren't you a jounin? You could be leading your /own/ team. Or you're just subbing in for Ryo?" He grins and 'whispers,' "Between you and me, Taiki has no clue what he's doing, so I suspect you'll be the real brains of the operation."
He gives Taiki a sidelong glance, "I mean, apparently he's spending his valuable time making seals to help in his philandering?" Then he says seriously, "And since when am I a ladies' man? Anyway, you don't have to apologize, the joke was just… really weird, frankly."
As he catches a new scent, he looks over to see Atsui walking in. "Oh," he says, "Hey, kiddo." He pauses for a second as he notices that Atsui seems a little distance. "You daydreaming?" he asks. It's sorta a roundabout way of asking what Atsui's thinking about. Atsuro is aware of Atsui's problems with his clan by now.
Glancing towards Taiki, he only nods his head. Hinotori continues leaning against the dummy for now. "I don't lead teams much anymore, I help where I can." Allowing that to be all that needs to be said about him leading teams or having one of his own. "Taiki-sempai does a good job as it is already and proven himself to me already so I don't mind following his lead. As for Ryo-san, I'm glad to hear he's alright and like Taiki-sempai just said, I will stick around for a while longer."
"Philandering? Really?" Taiki says with an arched eyebrow. He then shrugs and says, "I'm a one woman man, thank you very much." He also picks up the scent and looks toward Atsui as Atsuro addresses him. "Hello Hyuuga-san," he says, obviously picking up visual and olfactory cues. "How are you today?"
Taiki turns and is about to remark on the lack of competence issue when another smell, and sound, turns his attention to an Inuzuka clan member and a dog that joins them. Atsuro would probably recognize the man as one of the messengers the Inuzuka clan uses when speed is important. Either way, he walks up to Taiki and kneels, which frankly startles Taiki to no end. He's obviously not used to people kneeling to him. "Taiki-sama," the man says, causing Taiki to do a double take. This is just too wierd to him. "Your presence is requested by your father and Kenichi-sama immediately. They say… bring anyone with you that you wish… under the understanding that they are considered hired for a mission based upon their showing up." Taiki nods once, then looks at those collected, silently asking if they wish to accompany him.
Atsui blinks as Atsuro calls out to him. Becoming more aware of his surroundings, he'd smile slightly, lifting a hand in a wave, before walking over to them. That formal bow was given in response to Taiki with a shrug. "I.. well.. not.. daydreaming.. that's not something really.. allowed.. just thinking.. I.. I'm doing well, Inuzuka-san. It is nice to meet you." This last bit is of course to Taiki. "I'm Hyuuga Atsui of the main branch.." He'd trail off as one of the offical looking Inuzuka would show up and deliver that message. He'd glance between Taiki and Atsuro, finally giving a small shake of his head. "I.. don't have.. I mean.. I can't.. without a branch member.. and.. I was.. just going to train.." He'd shrug slightly, finally trailing off as he realized he was rambling and the offer may not of even been to him anyways.
Atsuro nods to Hinotori. "Oh," he says, "You look so young for semi-retirement. What's your secret?" He grins. "Actually, I guess I don't really lead teams right now either, but that's only because I can't find anyone for mine." He shrugs. "Anyway, I won't interrogate you. All kinds of different specialties and roles in this village." He seems cheerful.
He sighs a little at Taiki. "Nevermind." He tries to subtly gesture towards Atsui. There's a kid here, Taiki. He looks over to the messenger, then shoves his hands in his pockets and sits back as he speaks to Taiki. "Well," he says, "What fresh hell is this, I wonder? Okay."
He nods to Atsui. "Just wondering what was on your mind," he says, "No worries." He grins, "But you know, nobody can really tell that you're daydreaming if you do it right. Oh, but don't worry about this too much. You don't wanna get wrapped up in clan business anyways."
Looking to the young Hyuuga, smirking a little bit as he speaks about day dreaming but the apologizing for doing so. Shaking his head, "Atsuro-sempai is right, don't apologize, because volley I nap pretty much anywhere I find that I lile to sleep." he chuckles. Well it's true, but when the messenger comes for Taiki and tells him he is needed. Standing up fully and looking to Taiki, then Atsuro, "We better go, don't you think so?" Hinotori places his hands into his pockets as he starts to turn away from teh group, already knowing the Inuzuka village pretty well already.
Usagi comes in shortly after all of this, raising a brow as she notes the seriousness of everyone's faces, looking to Taiki, Hinotori, then Atsuro, and then to Atsui and back to Taiki. "…..did I miss something?" She tilts her head, leaning against the tree she finds herself near and looks back around at the others. "It almost feels like someone went terminal or something right now…."
Taiki looks around as each person speaks, then first addresses Atsui. "Inuzuka Taiki of the Founders Clan," Taiki says with a bow. As the young boy speaks up about having to go, Taiki nods once. "Very well, I hope to catch up with you some other time then." Taiki seems nice enough, the offer is genuine at any rate. Then he turns to Usagi and says, "Come on, we're apparently needed at the Inuzuka Clan compound." Finally he turns toward the messenger and sighs. "Very well, lead the way…" He motions for everyone to follow him, though it plainly obvious he's uncertain as to what this is about.
Atsui would flash a smile towards Hinotori with a small nod. "Ahh.. right.. ok.." Looking to the others, he'd shrug slightly. "I.. dunno.. but.. anyways, I will take your advice, Atsuro-sensei and not get involved in the clan business." He knew well exactly how clan business could be! Bowing to them one last time, He'd start to go when usagi showed up. A bow was given her way. "It's.. a mission, for the Inuzuka. They may need another.. so.. right." Atsuri would nod towards Taiki, both in acknowledgement of his introduction and the invite offered for meeting later. Waving, Atsui would head off for that genin training ground, contemplating the latest meeting he's had with the inuzuka and the others there as well.
Waving at Atsui as he leaves, Hinotori would look at Usagi and smile at her. "Nothing yet, but it seems Taiki-sempai is being summoned as well as I think Atsuro-sempai." he say slooking over towards Atsuro to see if this is true. Shrugging a bit, Hinotori would look to Taiki, "You ready?" he asks as he looks at the messenger who came to deliver the summons. Glad it isn't his clan, there is no telling what would happen if he had to answer for one, but then again….he lets that thought end there. No need to bring up ntohing bad especially with it neededing not be brought into question.
Usagi shrugs slightly at Taiki and falls into step behind him. "Not the first time we've gone somewhere not knowing what the broadside we were doing" She looks to Atsuro and Hinotori a few moments later, then to Atsui. "A mission for….oh this should be good" As the young Hyuuga went off, she looks at the others and smiles softly to herself. The Nara were way too laid back for things, so if that was called, it was usually either relaxed, or dead serious. So, off they go!
"Hai, they wanted Atsuro too," Taiki says as he starts leading the group toward the Inuzuka compound. As it comes into sight the first, rather obvious indication that this would be anything but "good" is the fact that the gates to the Inuzuka Village, normally wide open, are currently securely shut. The guards, normally relaxed-looking, are rather tense, only getting more so as Atsuro and Taiki, along with the others, appear. Then, something that would set the hair of any Inuzuka on end is that the guards do not automatically let the people in. All names are recorded, and Taiki, Atsuro, and the messengers are actually challenged with the emergency pass-phrases.
At this point Taiki has had enough, and speaks up. "Okay, just what is going on here? We were summoned, but since when is the compound locked up like a vault?"
"I'm sorry Taiki-sama, but it's orders from your father… I take it these people," the guard asks, motioning with his head toward Hinotori and Usagi, "are with you?"
Taiki nods once, then sighs. "Yes, I vouch for them," he says, though he wonders why they're showing such deference. That is not normal. A few moments later the group are led in and escorted, not to Taiki's house, but to the Clan Alpha's residence. As Taiki recognizes where they are going, he's quick to give Hinotori and Usagi a heads up. "It looks like we're meeting Tao-sama. This is… disturbing." That's the only warning he can give them as they are met at the door by a member of the Beta Clan, a big, hulking man that comes rather close to matching Atsuro in muscle size.
"Not really," says Atsuro, shrugging, "They just wanted anyone Taiki had with him." That's true, but more importantly it probably makes it pretty obvious just how interested Atsuro is in dealing with clan politics. In any case, the significance of the closed gates is not lost on him. He frowns, knowing that something big and bad must be going down. And they even have to use pass-phrases?
He continues to follow Taiki into the Alpha Branch building, growing visibly uncomfortable, either at being in inside this building, or whatever's going on. He folds his arms and eyes up the muscle-bound Beta Clan member, wondering what he has for them.
Not too worried about whats going on, "I've seen my fair share of worse things so this isn't new." he says as he walks along with the team and Atsuro. Quirking a brow up at Atsuro for a moment as the older Inuzuka hasn't spoken yet. Then looking to Usagi, he shoulder nudges her, "No worries, I have plenty of treats for the ninken." he chuckles a little bit trying to lighten the mood up a bit.
It's not until they get to the Inuzuka part of the village when the gates are sealed and looking to Taiki for a moment, his eyes narrow then looking to the gates. 'I wonder whats gonig on, Tao-kun wouldn't just lock up for no reason.' he thinks for a moment. Sighing a little bit, he just waits and listens as they are filled in by Taiki.
Usagi raises a brow at them for the time being, definitely curious at the level of security, as well as the deference showed to Taiki. This was not normal, as she's been to the Inuzuka compound several times before, both with and without Taiki at that point. She eyes the beta member for a few moments, looking him over and glancing around for their ninken. If the man started trouble, he'd be overmatched quickly, but the Inuzuka 'always' have backup. Somewhere. Though she smiles at Hinotori too, and shrugs. "I'm usually prepared…Shinobu and Nozomi love me for that, last I checked" Past that, she waits to see what's going on from Taiki, or whomever they're to meet.
"I honestly have no idea what's going on," Taiki says to Hino and Usagi as they send him questioning glances. "This is… highly unusual…"
"Kenshin-sama is this way…" the large Beta Clan member says, acting as a guide and being very formal. Everything seems to be in order as they first enter, at least to sight. But looks can be deceiving, as anyone watching Taiki's face can tell. He was distinctly nervous as they walked through the compound, but as they enter the house Taiki's eyes narrow, his expression turning very grim as he looks straight ahead. It's obvious that Taiki is not being led by the Beta, but more is walking behind him, almost urging the big man to walk faster.
Kenshin meets them at the door, seated on his ninken, with Kenichi standing next to him. The door is an old-fashioned sliding door that appears freshly stained by something. Kenshin takes one look at Taiki and nods, then looks at Hinotori and sighs. Kenshin's face is rather… drawn and grief filled as he croaks out, "You nose is telling you the truth Taiki. We ask that you and those with you start an investigation into who, how, and why." By unspoken agreement, Kenichi opens the doors to reveal a blood-spattered room with three covered bodies in the center.
"Tao-jiji…" Taiki says, sighing as he holds back tears and prepares to do as asked.
As they continue deeper into the mansion, the smell of blood in the air reaches Atsuro's nose. Always a disturbing smell for an Inuzuka, but right here in the very heart of the clan? Atsuro has never had any love for the clan leadership or the system that supports it, but this cannot be a good turn of events. His face is dark as he follows the Beta Clan member.
He stays silent for the conversation with Kenshin, at least prior to the reveal of the bloody room. "Barrage!" Atsuro mutters under his breath. He's not experienced in these matters, but with that blood spattered all over the room, he can only assume at least one of these deaths was quite violent. Actually… nobody among this group is experienced in these matters, are they? He turns to Kenshin, a suspicious look on his face. "You could have asked anyone in the entire village to investigate," he notes, "But you went with Taiki and whoever was available. There are top-notch detectives available and you've chosen Taiki over them." His eyes narrow, "You think he has special knowledge." There's only one possible conclusion, but he asks anyway, "You already know the 'who,' don't you?"
Usagi furrows her brow as she looks at the mess around them. Her first thoughts are to look at the blood itself, how it was spattered and the like. The second is to ask. "Have the bodies been moved from where they were found?" Is the second, and the third…..may not be so easy. "And is there a…determinable cause of death? Weapon, claws, explosives…anything?" She's not entering the room, taking a moment to bow her head in respect of the departed though.
Kenshin shakes his head at Atusro as Hinotori goes to check the area around the building. "No, we don't. In fact, we were hoping that Taiki could eliminate them from the list of suspects. If they managed to sneak in here and kill Tao-o.. Tao-sama and both of his ninken, that speaks very badly for our clan's safety. And even though Taiki does not have the investigative experience we would normally ask for in a time like this, he does have extensive medical training, so he should be able to narrow down the possibilities for us."
Kenshin then looks to Usagi and shakes his head. "The bodies were not removed, just covered. Nothing else in the room was touched, and we didn't look too closely at the cause of death. No one besides those here know who the victim was, in fact. Just that there was a death. Alpha clan members aren't too numerous though, so someone will figure it out soon enough.
"Normally, a team of investigators specializing in forensics comes in to catalog evidence. While I can perform a rudimentary autopsy, it should be noted that I'm not, by far, a specialist in this kind of thing. In fact, my specialty is as far removed from this kind of work as life and death itself. But if it is your wish…" Taiki looks at his dad and at Kenichi, silently pleading to not force him to do this. "I will require at least Usagi's aid, for even dead, a doctor should not treat close family members.
"Please son," Kenshin responds. "Usagi-san, and anyone else you want to bring in, is okay, but we don't want anyone else but you leading the over-all investigation. Not many people are aware of all the possibilities like you are…" To this Taiki nods and then looks at Usagi with a silent plea for help in his eyes.
Bombardment. "/Someone/ managed to sneak in here and kill them," Atsuro points out, "That speaks very badly for our clan's safety either way. You wouldn't actually try to eliminate them on that basis. And regardless of his training, Taiki simply isn't better than an actual investigator, unless this is a special case. If you were simply trying to rule out possibilities, you wouldn't have called in Taiki /first/." He folds his arms as he pauses to sniff around the room and try and smell for anything useful past the blood. If they haven't even done rudimentary investigation yet, he may as well get the ball rolling.
Usagi sighs softly and looks to Taiki and nods. She looks at Atsuro and takes a slow breath, closing her eyes and tkaing a deep breath. She takes several moments to calm herself, and she opens her eyes and takes another look at things. She looks around the room for a few moments again. "So where to start….we need to look for signs of what happened, not just how they died" She looks at Atsuro for a few moments. She doesn't say anything about what he spoke of, a look of particular discomfort shows on her face for a moment, but it quickly passes.
Taiki sighs as Kenshin and Atsuro argues, but at the same time sees what is going on here. "It's politics Atsuro," Taiki says as he motions for Atsuro to go on in even as he explains. "Remember, even if they are behind this, they could be working through someone in our clan. We could very well have another traitor on our hands. The only way to ensure that isn't the case is to have the one person that everyone knows they want dead running the investigation. If they weren't involved… This is my grandfather Atsuro. I never had a problem with him, but I wasn't known to be especially close either. Okasan and Kenichi-sama both could be said to be too close, and therefore biased. But with my history, this makes me ideal. I'm sure I'm only scratching the surface of the the political situation, but…" He then sighs as Kenshin nods his head in agreement before turning to Usagi. "Atsuro, you start looking at the room. Usagi, you look at the bodies, let's see what's going on… Hopefully Hinotori-san will be back from checking the perimeter at some point."
Atsuro exhales sharply. He was hoping Taiki would be too distracted with the investigation of the bodies to interrupt his attempt at pumping these two for information. It doesn't /seem/ like they're holding out on them, but it certainly was pretty suspicious to frame the possiblity in terms of the clan's well-being, as opposed to what actually happened. He just wanted to be sure they weren't being lead astray by a well-intentioned lie.
As Taiki requests, he starts looking around the room, actually using his sight now to see what he can uncover. He does, however, report the results of his smell. He's probably got the best nose in here, after all. "There aren't any unusual scents here," he notes, "So the culprit either covered their scent somehow, or… it was an inside job."
Usagi nods slowly and heads over to the closest body. She lowers her head in a small prayer to the departed spirit before lifting the covering off the body to begin inspecting it. She looks over the injuries as well as location, her eyes going up and down, as well as seeing if there were any signs of injury to their backs. She's also looking for anything amiss, something that shouldn't be there, or a lack of something that should. "Cause of death is…sharp objects in concert, likely claws….some seem natural, however others seem too…clean. Too precise. The killing blow to the Inuzuka clan leader was the injuries sustained to his back, and while it seems there could be poison involved….I can't say either way here in the field" She looks back to Taiki and sighs softly. This could get messy. Fast.
Those were words no one wanted to hear, and it pretty much cemented Atsuro's place in this investigation. "Meaning that this there are a lot of variables here…" Taiki shrugs and then turns to Usagi to listen to her report. Once she gets it he asks them both, "Can you get some samples from the blood splatter please? Take multiple samples, and mark locations and name of the collecter. We'll double up on them, then have them analyzed." He then pulls a tag out from one of his pouches and lays it on the body of Tao. "Fuinjutsu: Chakra diagnosis technique…" The tag glows briefly, then fades quickly, more quickly than Usagi is used to. "Well, it was worth a shot… I didn't get the presence of any seals, but there wasn't enough residual chakra left in the body to allow for clear conduction of the seals. That means I'll have to search by hand."
A few moments later, and the process repeated twice more for each ninken with similar results he turns toward the remaining elders. "Keeping Tao-sama's demise a secret is going to be impossible. I would recommend a brief statement indicating he is dead due to foul play. We should state there is an investigation, and anyone with any evidence should approach… me. Do not allow this room to be entered or cleaned without checking with me first." Both elders nod, each knowing jut how messy things are about to become.