Date: December 16, 2015
With the Hospital well defending thefts have began increasing all over Sunagakure. Is there a connection between them and the hospital or is it just a rapid climb in the rate of crime? Shinta and Jiro are about to find out!
"The Drug Operation - Part 2, Lingering Thieves"
The hospital has fallen silent when it comes to criminal activities; with the crack down on security and the supply closet being inspected steadily the amount of opportunities has rapidly decreased toward zero. While that was good for the hospital, that meant that there was no progress on Shinta's mission where the hospital was concerned and more troubles for smaller places of business. Crime had begun moving towards an all new high in seemingly random ways. Restaurants, general stores, even the Akakawa family clinic had not been spared which was both a good and a bad thing… It meant Shinta's family was endangered by the criminals… but it also meant that the boy would have an easy time investigating things.
A messenger bird was sent to tell Jiro about what it was Shinta had in mind. For today they would need to gather a list of the stolen goods and assess what was going on in hopes of discovering if there was a pattern to the thefts taking place. The meeting place was in the general store so that they could learn from the old man what had been taken from his stores and shelves. By the time Jiro arrived, Shinta was again having trouble getting the old man to take him seriously due to his size and physical prowess… or lack thereof.
Jiro didn't mind helping Shinta out when it really came down to it as he'd rather taken a liking to the boy. It's like the little brother he'd never really wanted but will deal with anyways! When he got the bird he'd prepared himself and gone down to the store. Something he didn't like when he arrived was hearing how mean the shop keep was being to Shinta and, while his size might not be much of an advantage over Shinta either, his reputation as a trader of sorts as well as Arika and Ping's friend and house mate might earn him at least a little more respect. "'ey! Wha's goin' on 'ere?"
The old man glared toward the voice at the door but seeing the young man, the shopkeeper widened his eyes only briefly and then cleared his throat while looking over at Jiro for a moment. As he sighed, the man thrust a hand briefly toward the small white haired Shinta and began to explain, "This boy is a student and he's asking about what was stolen from my shop. He has no mission scroll showing he has any business asking around about this, and has the nerve to claim that the Kazekage is sending a student about the village to deal with the criminals. The runt still can't even throw a kunai hard enough for it to stick to the practice board but he wants to play hero." The old man explained before leaning down over the sturdy wood counter between himself and Shinta. "It's thinks like this that get ninjas killed before they graduate.." He explained as though trying to intimidate Shinta.
Shinta stepped back with a frown on his lips from the old man but it wasn't fear.. There was no way he would allow himself to be afraid of some clerk when he was on a mission. This was for his family's business! "The Kazekage has entrusted me with discovering the origins of the thieving organization behind the thefts at the hospital and the thefts around the village may be connected. I am asking for his cooperation in this investigation and he is treating me like a child." Shinta explained to Jiro without looking away from the man. As if being nine meant he was a child. He'd already passed all of his tests at the academy but was avoiding the graduation ceremonies for now, that was all! Not being an official genin could work in his favor against the thieves as they'd treat him like a child, though the shopkeeper was making an example of the downside of his strategy.. He'd be treated like a child by everyone.
Jiro walks further into the shop and stands next to Shinta, glaring up at the shopkeep and frowning deeply at the man. "'s'true, she di' tell 'im that he ha' ta find ou' 'bout this stealin' stuff. An' he's more involve' than ya think. So ya better star' treatin' 'im righ'. Or else." Yes, Jiro will leave that nice in open as he narrows his bright blue eyes at the man, almost daring him to ask…
The old man gaped a few moments, and then closed his mouth on a huff as he leaned back and crossed his arms with an exasperated sigh leaving from his chest. Looking from Shinta to Jiro, who he knew was at the least an accomplished genin, the old man couldn't put off the answers any longer. "Alright, alright… No need to give warnings like that now; I've heard about you and I don't want my shop being traded for a few feathers and sandstone bricks." The man would answer to Jiro before looking down at Shinta. Another Huff. "Pots, pans, knives, and nearly all of my gourds, canteens, and mason jars. That's what they took." The man would answer before walking along his counter and swinging open a store room where a broad variety of weapons and general supplies were still visible. "That's all they took, not even the swords or all of the Ryo kept here. All that and my old fire kit." The man explained before he'd swing the door of his storage closed and walk back toward the pair. "Does that sound like it's connected to people stealing medicine to you, because it sounds like random junk a bunch of kids with sticky fingers took for kicks." The old man explained, no doubt making a jab at Jiro with the comment.
Shinta wasn't paying much attention to the man's attitude much to his dissatisfaction no doubt. No, Shinta was writing everything down in a scroll using a dart… at least he was creative. When he was done with the notes however, Shinta would put on one of his famous thoughtful expressions before answering the old man's question in an honest tone. "I do not know yet but I will keep you in the loop if I need to follow up with a second investigation." Shinta would answer and then tuck his scroll away as he started off to leave from the store. As he moved past Jiro the boy would smile a bit and mouth the words 'thank you', not wanting the shopkeeper to have the idea that he could consider treating him poorly when Jiro wasn't around. Once the boy was outside of the shop, he'd wait for Jiro ans then repeat the list of stolen goods while looking at the older boy. "I apologize if you are busy but I believe the other shop owners might have the same attitudes when I am questioning them. Can I ask you to help me with my investigations today?" Shinta would ask while smiling at Jiro.. Maybe a smile would make him say yes…
"Nobody would wanna steal yer stupi' stuff anyways," Jiro remarks when the man finishes talking. "All'a the other stores 'round 'ere have lot'sa better qual'ty stuff." Jiro just shrugs then before turning around to leave, his hands flopping lazily on top of his head as he exited the store. He stopped next to Shinta and just watched him as he repeated the list of items before he finally gave a little shrug. "Sure, why no'. Itami sai' I w's s'posed ta 'elp ya anyways."
Shinta was glad to hear what Jiro's answer was and was then closing an eye in thought as he retrieved where their next stops were going to be. "I am glad to hear it, the next two places with a rise in criminal activities are the Sandstorm Bar and the Tsuukai Restaurant." Shinta explained as he turned about and started off on his way from the merchant's store. A look down at his gloves and the boy smiled a bit while calling over his shoulder to Jiro. "That man didn't want to give me these gloves; he said that students did not need jewelry distracting them from their mission without allowing me to explain what I intended to use them for. He seems to be a fairly unhappy individual." Shinta spelled out while walking.
The Tsuukai Restaurant was the next stop, the well-furnished and cleaned restaurant still just as lively as it usually was. At a glance no one would think anything was out of the ordinary however the list of available drinks had been shortened significantly. Coffee was taken from the list along with several other filtered drinks and even some foods were removed from the menu for the time being. No doubt a server would be able to point the boys in the right direction concerning who they should talk to about their mission.
"Yea' well he's jus' a grumpy pain in the ass," Jiro says simply in response to Shinta's words while following the boy. His hands remain in their spot lazily atop his head while he follows the younger boy to the next location. When they reach the restaurant he smiles, perhaps a bit wickedly. "Oh they love me 'ere," he says, his voice filled with sarcasm. He'd stolen food from here when he'd lived on the street, though that was two years ago now. Still, some people don't like to forget.
A brief talk with the server and Shinta was leading the way to the manager's office where Jiro's words were proven to be a flat out lie! The manager HATED him and almost didn't want to listen to Shinta's words until the boy explained that the Kazekage was considering reimbursing the stores involved for anything lost.. That managed to get the woman speaking even if it was while she was glaring at Jiro like some kind of monster mastermind. Shinta was quick to copy down everything that she listed too. Every bit of random information could be important when it was all put together and looked over closely.
Once they were finished and Shinta managed his way into the bar with the same excuse, the boy would lead Jiro to the theater so they could look over the information in peace. The bar's missing stock was simple… alcohol… Almost all of what was stolen being their top-shelf brands too. While walking to the theater, Shinta looked at Jiro and summarized the list for him, "Pots, pans, and containers from the store. Filters and coolers from the restaurant, and alcohols from the bar.. Is it making any sense to you, Jiro?" Shinta asked with a curious glance toward the older boy.
Jiro just smiles allllll innocently at the manager of the restaurant, his hands staying flopped on his head and within perfect view of the manager the whole time. At least he hasn't done anything yet to the bar. So there's that. When Shinta starts going over what was taken Jiro just flops in a chair and listens, then shrugs a little. "No' really. Maybe some'uns gonna throw a big party'r somethin'."
Shinta would nod and then add to the list what had been taken from his family's clinic. "Cases of medicines, pill casings, and crushed herbs were stolen from my family's clinic." The boy added while looking down at his list of things in the seat beside Jiro's. When we're making medicines into a cream or a liquid, we need to keep it in a cool area while it sets and before it can be sold." Shinta began while circling the cooler and containers that had been taken. "Then there is the filters and alcohols that were taken.. Those are what we use for cleaning out sediments from the liquid medicines as well as the alcohols are used as a base for several medicines that can be made to tend to wounds." Shinta explained, a short lesson of an herbal medic's basics but then he paused and frowned. "But these are all just components and a little bit of medicine… They have to have someone who knows what they are doing if they are gathering up supplies and not targeting the hospital in full force. Um.. Jiro… You /used to/ be a thief, before you became a trader, correct..? Can you think of any hideouts that are in the village they might be using while brewing medicines?"
Jiro listens as Shinta explains what he knows and the boy nods slowly after a few moments. "I guess that'd make sense," he murmurs under his breath. "They're prob'ly tryin' ta brew more'a tha' stuff he used on you'n the other guys." It's Jiro's theory at least and it makes him frown unpleasantly. When the boy asks about places to brew the stuff he taps his fingers on his head thoughtfully before he finally shrugs. "There's'a lotta 'bandoned places'n such. I know most'a them since I woul' sleep'n'em when I w's on the stree'. We coul' go'n look."
Shinta would nod slowly as he listened to Jiro's theory and subconsciously rubbed at his arm where the injection sites used to be. As Jiro kept talking, Shinta would nod a bit at the idea and smile nervously. "That sounds like a good idea. We have to be careful not to draw attention from them if there's too many. I would rather we find out what they are doing and where they are planning on taking their drugs than to take down a small group.. They'd only come back and do everything again if we don't take them down at their core." Shinta reasoned while he looked at Jiro and waited. Since the older boy was sure to know the streets better, he'd know where best to go looking and what to look for… Right?
"If any'a the ones that're in charge woul' ge' away then they woul' jus' start it over 'gain," Jiro agrees with a small nod, fingers still drumming on his head. "We'll star' lookin' for 'em t'morrow, 'kay? Fer now…'m 'ungry. Le's go ge' some food."
Shinta would nod a bit at Jiro's words and then smile. "We can go to the Tsuukai restaurant.. I think that woman needs to see that you have turned over a new leaf and aren't going to do anything bad. We can even tell her that you helped me a lot in catching the thieves when this is all over." Shinta offered as he rolled up his scroll and tucked it away. Soon enough he was pressing from his seat and pulling free a bit of meat from a pouch. The mention of food had reminded him of someone else who needed to be fed. As he opened the carrying pouch, a flash of purple and gold escaped up Shinta's form and poked its reptilian head from within his poncho to be fed by the young medic. "While we eat I can talk with you about what we can do from here and how we can try to move forward." Shinta explained, already beginning to lead the way back toward the food that Jiro was aching for. Gojira would feast on the strips of meat being offered by Shinta, seeming to enjoy itself while completely ignoring their plans. No doubt, the lizard would be the one to come save the day again in the future too!