Pitch and a miss


Taiki, Atsuro, Naru

Date: September 10, 2013


Taiki tries to recruit Naru and Atsuro into a top secret mission

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

"Pitch and a miss"

Study, Inuzuka Clan Alpha house

It's been a couple of weeks since the end of the second exams, and Taiki has been… odd for the entire time. He seems to be handling his workload pretty well, though there have been times when he was absent pretty much mysteriously. He kept the clan pretty much preparing for conflict though, and has been known to be practicing on a few things himself, sometimes in odd locations. Most people in the clan have just chalked it up to preparing for war on a few different fronts though, since his responsibilities are varied.

Thus it should be of no surprise that on this evening he sent out messsages via ninken to various places, requesting people to join them. He has given a short list to the house staff to admit only a few people, and the list is very short indeed. Currently he sits in his office, going through a folder as he waits for visitors. Shinobu and Nozomi are at the only door in and the window out, respectively, as if guarding the entrances and exits for various reasons.

Atsuro and Taizen have been training too, of course. Taiki warned them that something has been coming, after all, and even if it turns out to just be nothing at all, they know it's better to be safe than sorry. As for Taiki's mysterious activities… well, Atsuro figures they're either political, or just Taiki's personal affairs. That is, things he'd just rather not get involved in.

Although he doesn't know what this meeting is about, it doesn't really come as a surprise to him. It's far from the first time Taiki's wanted to speak to him in private. Still, he has a feeling something's up as he and Taizen step into the house. They make their way to Taiki's office and Atsuro knocks on the door.

It was to say that Atsuro wasn't exactly alone on his approach to Taiki's office, after a few moments a familiar Uchiha had trailed right after him, her hand rested neatly behind the ribbon like fabric which bellowed about her, drifting with each winding step, a raven hue'd brow perked up at Atsuro's presence but then again she wasn't incredibly suprised. She knew something was up, especially wit h the message that was left behind for her, she decided to go ahead and move forward, clicking her bare feet against the ground for Atsuro to know she was coming in from behind, of course with those senses of his he could have possibly picked up her scent or something as soon as she entered. "He summoned for you too? Atsuro-kun?" Naruegawa asks curiously, also offering an assured nod as a greeting.

The house staff is especially vigilant during this time, and their entrance into the house has been well remarked, albeit quietly. Shinobu raises his head as the pair nears the door, and tells Taiki who is approaching before Atsuro even knocks. Taiki waits for the knock, however, then clls out, "Come in." His voice serious sounding despite the fact he's on familiar terms with the people on the other side of the door. He doesn't stand, but he does look up as the man and woman enter and offers a greeting to all. "Hello Atsuro,Taizen, Naru-chan, please come in. Care for some tea?" He closes the folder as the door opens, so the only markings on it shows, "Confidential: Eyes Only." It's not even the standard file that the Inuzuka keep, which tend to be fairly distinctive. The door is closed behind them, then Taiki finally stands, but doesn't come around the desk to make it personal. "Take a seat?" he offers, waving to a couple of chairs set before the desk.

Atsuro already knew Naru was there, simply by scent, but he only glances at her briefly when she speaks to him. Not to be rude, exactly. It's just that this doesn't seem like the time for small talk. "Yeah," he says, "I'm guessing you don't know any more about this than I do." Even Taizen isn't up to his usual friendliness, given the apparent gravity of the situation, and only offers Naru a look and a "Hello."

Atsuro opens the door, and he and Taizen enter when Taiki tells them too. "Hi," says Atsuro, "No thanks." His expression seems to say 'quit wasting time,' as he and Taizen sit down. Taizen woofs hello to Taiki and his nin-dogs, and Atsuro sits back in the chair, stretching his legs out and putting his hands behind his head, saying nothing but looking at Taiki expectantly.

"Mhm," Narusegawa replied back to Atsuro, she too more so wanting to get to the point of all this, especially with the exams going, there was definitely a sense of urgency. Following through after Atsuro she inclined shake of her head, refusing the tea Taiki had offered them both and instead returned a fairly faint smile. " You seem to be pretty busy as of late Ta-kun… It might be best to just get straight to the issue at hand, honestly I have to say I'm a little bit worried…" When it came to Taiki Naru knew to keep an open mind as to what may be going on… was there going to be another attack? A planned kidnapping? Anything was possible at this rate. She pondered quietly to herself about what the situation may be, settling herself infront of the desk, crossing her slender legs along one another.

Taiki sighs and nods, then decides to forgo the standard rituals for brevity's sake. "What I'm about to discuss with you two is considered confidential for the moment. Parts of it, to be divulged later on, are rated higher confidentially, per the Hokage herself. You are not to divulge this information to anyone save in the line of duty, and even then, parts of this are never to see the light of day."

Taiki is so serious he makes a couple of quick hand seals and then places his right hand on an obsidian orb on the right side of his desk. Seals flash out to cover the room, and the light coming in from outside seems to dim a bit. Taiki has just sealed the room. "As you both know, tensions between Kirigakure and Konohagakure have been on the rise lately, with rumors of war being bandied about. In fact, I have even gone so far as to prepare the clan for the eventuality of war. A war, in fact, that will not happen. The issue has been resolved, though the announcement has not been made publicly yet, though I expect Hashiramako-sama to make an announcement at any time now as to the resolution of the case. This part is confidential until the Hokage makes that announcement. As you can ascertain rather easily, I personally am rather heavily involved in this situation."

Success! Between his teacher and his girlfriend, Taiki has been successfully browbeaten into just saying it. "So dramatic," he mutters as Taiki seals the room, frowning a little as his eyes adjust to the lack of light. He looks at Taiki as he starts to talk about what's happening with the war. The war that won't happen. Wait, what? "Okay," he says, "So somehow the resolution to this whole thing involves pretending to gear up for war… Why, exactly? And what does that have to do with us?" In other words, he wants Taiki to get to the point.

Narusegawa couldn't help but to arch an eyebrow, the room was sealed…everything was quiet for the moment, she peered at Taiki intently. " I'm not sure what the point in all this is if the situation is resolved… What else is going on here?" Narusegawa pegged the question, tilting back into her seat so she could support herself better along the frames of the chair, she kept her head tilted awaiting and curious about what possible answer Taiki might come up with. "Who else is aware of this situation?"

Taiki leans back and seems to consider how to express the next part, then says, "Because the solution was developed using back-room politics, Atsuro. The summit was an abysmal failure, and war was just about a certainty as we left. Kirigakure wanted too much from us, and with the Hokage's previous stance, there was very little room for us to maneuver. Thankfully, a solution was found in talks after the fact between one delegate of Kiri, one Kaguya Takeshi, and the Konoha contingent. Primarily the deal was tentatively struck between Takeshi-san and myself, pending approval from the Hokage. The Hokage has agreed to terms different than what was offered at the summit, and for security's sake it was decided that this information would be kept need-to-know until it was announced."

Taiki then nods to Naru and says, "The precise terms of the deal are known to five people total. Those are Kaguya Takeshi, Senju Hashiramako, Aburame Etsu, Uzumaki Amiko, and myself. Aburame Etsu and Uzumaki Amiko were our delegates, and have been made well aware that this information is highly confidential. In essence, during the final rounds of the chuunin exams the Hokage will announce that we were givn erroneous information, and were not aware of Shirayuki Katsurou's actual status as being in Kiri's bingo books. As a result, even though he will be allowed to complete the exams, he will be turned over to Kaguya Takeshi at the end of the finals for exportation back to Kiri." It goes without saying that this part of this discussion will soon become widely known.

As Taiki continues his explanation, Atsuro suddenly finds himself having misgivings about this meeting. "Okay," he says, "I'm glad you've finally gotten to the point, but I'm going to just stop you right there." He gestures to himself, "I know you, Takeshi, and Katsurou personally. I don't know what you're about to tell us, but clearly I shouldn't be involved in it. This situation is already volatile. I think it would be best if I left." He starts to get up, "Oh, make a record that I'm leaving at this point."

Narusegawa listened intently about the situation, scratching lightly behind her her ear… She honestly had no idea this had been going on in the back ground. She noticed Atsuro's protest, or at least his reluctance. "Well I'm not quite understand what needs to be done here. If there is a background deal between Kiri and Konoha don't we just need to let it play out? Is there more you aren't telling us? Why in the world would we return back one of their shinobi? The Shirayuki? You do realize he will most likely die once he is handed back over…?"

"Actually, that's all the more reason for you to stay and hear me out Atsuro. While I do know Takeshi-san personally, I don't know Katsurou-san nearly as well. In fact, I've had all of one true interaction with him. He's not as likely to trust me as he is you, and that may jeopardize the true mission, which is not… precisely… what I've stated thus far. Will you stay and listen? I will warn the true mission is an S rank secret, need to know basis only,"Taiki asks, holding up a hand in a 'please hear me out' gesture.

As Naru raises her objections, his face falls flat. "I know that's the most likely result of him making it back to Kiri, Naru-chan. As I just said, there's more involved, and that is why I asked about both of your stealth abilities. Whether you decide to take this mission, or put someone forward who can, those abilities are of the utmost importance in this situation."

Sigh. Not going to make it easy, eh Taiki? Atsuro shakes his head. "No, Taiki." He gets up from his chair. "I'm sorry; I don't relish this. But you and I both know that even the appearance of impropriety in this situation would be a ticking time-bomb. I can't offer any possible benefit to this mission that outweighs that risk. Aside from that, it's a simple matter of professionalism. You know I can't agree to this." He and Taizen start to leave, but Atsuro turns back, realizing that he (probably) needs Taiki to remove the thing with the seals. "Is there anything else?"

"You will have to tell me more about this mission if you want my help, I tend to be good with stealth, at least in terms of using my genjutsu to do it for me… You will have to determine if that is good enoug hfor the mission…" Naru concluded…she too was a little one dge, but not so much as to want to waltz right on out of the room. "I suppose perhaps we can speak a little more in depth in a bit? I will need to know just exactly what we are dealing with so that I know if I'm actually the person you are looking for…"

Taiki sighs and shakes his head. He closes his eyes for a moment even as he reaches over for the orb. "The offer is saving Katsurou-san's life, gaining the cooperation of Takeshi-san in this endeavor, and preventing a war. The mission is more a win-win situation, though there are many ways for things to mess up. But if you truly wish to bow out of this, then do so with my blessing. The choice is yours." After Naru says her peace, he sighs again and says, "It's rather simple, really. The Hokage wants to ensure that what we agreed to happen does. While I trust Takeshi-san to live up to his side of the bargain, which will save Katsurou-san's life, I do not trust that others from Kiri may try to interfere. It's that interference that I need to have someone good with stealth watch for." Taiki then lays his hand on the orb, dismissing the seals on the room and says, "Tell you what, both of you think about this, and if you think you can do it, let me know. I really can't say more than I have without a commitment, and I need you to be quiet about what you heard in here today. There's a lot of lives at stake here, not the least of which is Katsurou-san's."

Atsuro buries his head in his hand for a moment. "Taiki, I was leaving so that you /wouldn't/ tell me anything more," he says through his fingers. "Don't try and add spin to sweeten the pot." He pauses for a moment, then waves a hand, "You know what I mean. What I'm saying is that the choice /isn't/ mine, because I can only chose one choice." He moves towards the door, then asks again, "Is there anything else?" There's a short pause, then he adds, "Anything else that doesn't involve you trying to get me deeper into this?"

The spat between Taiki and Atsuro appeared to be getting worse, she merely sweat dropped but didn't want to push the conversation any further. Instead she just say back, closed her eyes and let out a soft sigh. "Just let me know when you want to talk about the mission and I will see what I can do…" Narusegawa reaffirmed, allowing both Atsuro to talk without her really butting in at this point…She was going to remain quiet until this was over with…

Taiki shakes his head and decides to give up. "I'm sorry Atsuro. I was just trying to clear up a misconception." With that the seals drop, and Taiki stands up. "No hard feelings, at least on my end though." At this his own ninken stand up and walk up to him. "I'll be in touch Naru-chan," he says warmly to her before he turns his back to them both and walks over to the bookcases with the file. He just stands there, looking at the bookcase, as if deep in thought, though his face is unreadable should one try to look.

"It's okay," says Atsuro, calming down, "But it was never a matter or saving him or not saving him. I have a personal relationship with the three most important people involved in this highly secret, internationally important mission. It just wouldn't be responsible for me to accept. That's all." He opens the door, and he and Taizen quietly step out into the hallway. He glances at Taiki. This surely has him worn out, or on edge, or something to that effect. "Later," he says, "Don't work too hard." Taizen woofs goodbye, then Atsuro shuts the door and they show themselves out of the building.

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