Date: December 3, 2014
A standard patrol of the refugee camps turns into a violent feud between the civilian factions. And an even darker conspiracy emerges amidst the dissension.
Refugee Camps of Kirigakure
It would be nice to say the refugee camps are full of cooperative, grateful citizens who work together for mutual survival. But even with the vast tracts of land they occupy, there's enough refugees that people have begun to chafe. In particular two factions, one from the southern regions of Kiri, and one from the eastern coasts, are constantly clashing. It's nothing dangerous. But when something needs to be done, squabbles break out. Bickering begins. There haven't been any deaths, but brawls have broken out.
Tent pavilions have been pitched, huge waterproof domes. Much needed supplies are being transported by the refugees, overseen by Chuunin and even the occasional Genin. But for this day the east and south factions have been paired together, and glares are being given, shoulders jostled, and a storm of grumbles surrounds the fields.
Having been almost constantly working with the refugee camp itself, Oda was only a little aware of the actions occurring. He hasn't made a move yet, looking concerned constantly though was not helping him be subtle. Oda was one of the detail for the supplies again, and as he hops off of one of the carts he just casts a weary eye around him as he moves to grab the first box.
Hayase is running to and fro, trying to calm the people, giving encouraging words, stepping strategically between knots of citizens to disrupt any quarrels. But wherever she is, anger rises up behind her. And then it happens. A wagon bearing supplies goes too near a ridge. It falls, and knocks a man down, who cries out in pain as heavy barrels crash on him. They roll away and he's pinned under a few barrels. Alive, but in pain. Worse, the wagon was from the southern faction and had fallen on an eastern citizen. The fuse is lit and suddenly shouts drown out all apologies or recompenses. Ironically, in the anger the easterners seemed to have forgotten the plight of their trapped member.
Oda immediately turns at the first sounds of the crash. The fighting distracts him at first as well. He moves past Hayase, patting her on the shoulder to calm her. All the while, he is cutting a path towards the crashed barrel. He uses a bit of his strength as he moves through fighting pairs, reminding them that he himself is here.
Oda's presence doesn't help. It exacerbates things.
"It was an accident!" the wagon driver says. He had managed to jump clear before the wagon capsized.
"Liar! You were the one who got into that fight with Eimi-san just yesterday. You did that on purpose!"
Someone glares at Oda. "Where were you when it fell? You're on /their/ side aren't you. Useless shinobi!"
Hayase wades in, hands raised. "Hey hey, we need to help this man. Someone help me." She goes to lift a barrel, but as she does the man cries out in such horrible pain that she pauses and looks around. "Medic…we need a medic!" she says. No one moves, sure someone else will go. Crowd mentality.
Oda's tone is immediate and cold, "I am not a shinobi."
Oda looks back the moment Hayase calls for a medic. He frowns, he only knows the first aid taught among his group. He cannot describe or diagnose an injury. Oda would catch on no one is budging, and in a surprising move he looks towards the one who blamed him for not being here.
"Can you quickly go for help? We need to make sure he is taken care of. We don't need for them to investigate a problem that would cause the supplies to come slower. That would be a nightmare!"
He's acting as if it would really happen, and that he is genuinely concerned.
The people shift and mutter, but this time Oda's words do have some effect. Or perhaps it's the fact the man is moaning in pain. One of the two horses isn't so lucky. While one has managed to survive it's fall, the other is dead. Several villagers go to assist Hayase and they ease the barrel off him, removing every other fallen object out of the way. But the wounded man doesn't get up. One pant leg is soaked in red. And still bleeding. It doesn't look crushed, but it is broken in more ways than one. No medic is arriving. The man Oda was speaking stares back at him, before nodding. "I'll get that medic," he says, and grabs one of the horses before galloping off.
Hayase grimaces, and then takes out a kunai to slice up the man's pant leg. His leg is mangled. It's perhaps not beyond repair of a very skilled medic, but he'll bleed out before any medic arrives. His face is pale, and when Hayase tries to ease his leg he groans and faints dead away. Hayase chews her lip as she takes out a compressor and bandages. Nothing near what she needs to treat it, if she even had the skill. But she does her best, and the bleeding is slowed. "He…I think he'll live," she says shakily.
And then: "Brother!" A man has arrived and is looking at the fallen man. He whips around in a rage and says, "This is your fault!" to a knot of citizens. Then the fighting explodes, people lunging at one another, swinging rope, canes, and some even draw knives.
'This is going to hurt…'
Oda begins to run into the middle of the bedlam, looking for a specific hand, a knife wielder. Then he finds the right face, a younger female wielding one.
'Wait for it…wait for iiiiit…'
Oda slips in at the right moment, actually deflecting off one of the ones assaulting the female…but he planned it at a proper moment he knew would draw the most attention. The knife she wields pierces into his robe and goes right up against his rib armor, but to anyone else it looks like a long grazing cut. Oda grabs her arm before she can withdraw…making him look stabbed without revealing there is no blood yet.
"No! End this now!"
The fight is artless. It's fueled by fury, not by skill. It's clear even the knife wielders had never taken a life, didn't aim with the cold, disciplined intent to kill. But someone still could be, and Oda's intervention comes in the nick of time. When he's stabbed and shouts out, people freeze. Wondering if he'll attack maybe, or restore the peace. In the hesitation, Hayase says, "Do as Oda-kun says. He is the authority in this sector. Any further violence will be reported." And this violence will too, though Hayase doesn't bring that up.
The fight is simmering down to muttered insults. The woman who had "cut" Oda looks mortified until she sees no scratch, no bleeding. Then she scowls and aims a kick at his knee. "You faker!" she says, though she sounds relieved she hadn't really wounded him.
The horseman returns with not one but two medics who begin to bear away the fallen man after initial first aid. Hayase huffs and goes to help clean up the mess, only to notice one of the crates had burst open. It's full of flasks. She shakes it and something inside sloshes. She unscrews it and takes a sniff, wrinkling her nose. "What's this?" she says.
Oda gets nailed in the knee, and begins jumping humorously as if it really hurt, holding it like he was just kicked by a child.
"Owww…ow ow…Now none of that."
Oda would look up when Hayase got curious, and would walk over with a raised eyebrow. He would motion for her to had him the flask and if she gives it to him, he would sniff it.
Hayase doesn't know exactly what's in the flask. But just the smell is enough to tell her not to take a sip. She glances around. The medics have departed. She hands Oda the flask. A few people are looking curiously at the flasks, and suddenly she knows with a cold drench of terror. This is poison. She grabs a flask at random, unscrews it, and sniffs. The same smell. She hands it to Oda, saying nothing. "What should we…?"
"You're kidding me…"
Oda's tone take a new, rare one A dark, furious one. It's almost a booming, deep bass tone. Oda would squeeze the flask hard and then drop it flat on the ground. He knows he has to put on a display to control the situation by manipulating the mob mentality here. He would grab the crate, and pull it right off of the cart to cause it to shatter, spinning around with furious eyes.
"Alright. Who wants to confess to this idiocy?!"
Before the man can sniff it, Hayase snatches it from his hand. As to Oda's demand as to the culprit she says, "Yeah who knocked over this…this medicine? It's very valuable." Then she'd be grabbing Oda, to haul him down to ear level. "Don't cause a panic," she hisses, between gritted teeth. "This may…this may not belong to any of the refugees here."
There are many confused faces around. Some people are withdrawing. Hayase is working busily to contain the crates, and another Genin has come by who she hauls into helping her. Oda in the meantime is left to his own devices, although she sends him another warning glare.
Oda would glance to the side, clearly hearing something but he looks back at Hayase. It is as if he knows she may have heard it to. What he was attempting, she couldn't really grasp. Oda would look at her, and motion his head towards the whisperers. He would stand up, taking in a long deep breath as if he was containing his own fury—even though it's false. He would look out at the crowd, and purse his lips tight.
"Anyone know the owner?"
"The medicine came from you shinobi, right?" a villager says. "Supplies for relief. That's what the tents are pitched for."
Hayase murmurs, "And that's what I'm worried about." She's also watching the two that Oda had noted. But after a moment she shakes her head and goes to him. She speaks in a lowered voice. "If we can assume each canister is the same, this isn't something a bunch of unhappy brawlers got together. Monkshood poison so carefully crafted and stored takes a long time. Buying it is expensive too, when cheaper poisons would work. What if they're a cover…the refugee camps have far less security than our village. Almost no proper inspections, really." She pauses. "We need to report this. And in the mean time check these other supplies to make sure…" Then she'd start towing the crates inside a tent for the time being.
Oda would take in a long breath again, nodding to Hayase. He would look into space for a moment…getting an idea. He would narrow his eyes slightly too.
"Hayase, I have a odd request…turn away from me for a moment, just don't look at me."
Oda had an idea.
Hayase looks at Oda oddly, with a look that questions whether he'll muck everything up. But in the end she trusts him, and besides he's her superior in rank. So she turns away from him, keeping her eyes fixed on a distant settlement amidst the refugee camp.
Oda nods a little. He didn't want things to be too public about him, it's why Meruin wanted him to stay after all. He would just close his eyes, taking a second. A natural sensor…he began to feel out the crowd, checking if there is any higher than normal levels of chakra in the crowd.
Oda's search will be short: his chakra sensing ability lets him locate two shinobi: the two villagers they'd seen earlier whispering. And now looking more closely under the ragged peasant clothes they wear, their bodies are honed and fit as befits capable warriors. They show no sign of being out of place, as the walk away from the scene of the crime. Hayase hasn't noticed. She's still just looking at that point in the distance.
"Hayase…Go interrupt those two's depature with an accident. The two who were talking among themselves."
Oda would pat her on the shoulder twice, as if he is trying to come up with a plan and is stalling for time. He can only feel chakra, he can't feel how powerful they may be so an accident is key. Oda would turn and pick up a flask after a moment, as if something just passed through his mind…
Hayase looks at Oda thoughtfully when he pinpoints the two who had been whispering. Was that a shot in the dark, or does he have some way of ferreting them out? She's considering the Chuunin before she goes over to the two. It's not an accident that occurs. She simply solicits their help as well as a few others around to clean up the mess. All the rest go to help so what can they do? They turn back to assist with the others. Hayase isn't going to do something as childish as tripping them or impaling them with a rock.
Oda huffs, thankful though they have appeared back and are helping. Oda nods some and look down at the box of flasks…and then looks to the side at a thought. He would take a second before bending down and begin attempting to lift the much larger crate up off of the ground. He makes sure he time it when one glances at him…and rolls the crate completely by 'accident' to cause the whole box to empty on the ground.
Oda's waiting for a reaction.
The crate bursts open and out spills…pairs of socks. Keeping their feet dry and warm is imperative in this watery, frigid landscape. As they spill out there's a great grasp. Then refugees are scrambling to snatch up socks and horde them. The two don't bat an eye. Hayase looks over at Oda and she can't help it. She snickers, and nudges his ribs. Nice try. She looks as if she's trying not to burst out laughing. It seems they hit the jackpot when the poisonous crate popped open. Most of the supplies are innocuous.
Oda, despite looking like a klutz, has accomplished something. The lack of response shows the utter lack of caring. He would nod some to himself, winking at Hayase before putting a hand on her shoulder and whispering.
"How fast can you summon shinobi…"
Hayase only rolls her eyes at Oda. He's trying to look cool when really, what he did, was bust open a crate of socks. She snatches up a pair that has patterns of shamrocks on them. She loves the color green.
Hayase shrugs and says, "We're shinobi." She draws a kunai. She glances over at the pair. By now they know something is up, and know they've attracted some unwanted attention.
Then everything falls apart. Hayase chucks the kunai plus a few more right at the two. One catches the kunai with lightning fast reflexes. The woman flips out of the way. Hayase is grinning up at Oda. "We were right. What refugee could—whoa!" The kunai are being thrown back at /them/ and then the two are gone, moving at full speed away.
Oda would be quick enough to get out of the way of one of them, but the other digs into an unarmed area. He would seethe and growl, glancing down at Hayase. He's not one. He would turn and begin to chase before stopping and skidding to a hault…
When Oda is grazed by the kunai, Hayase grins at him as much as when he'd dumped the crate of socks. "Slow, so slow," she says with no deference at all. When he says wait it's to the air. She started running with him and hasn't stopped as she aims to tackle the woman from behind. Or rather punch her right in the back. The refugees are watching, confused. Hayase had attacked a refugee, but clearly they were something more if they'd easily dodged such attacks, right? And now the man turns to confront Hayase; he draws a sword, the woman takes out kunai to throw.
Or rather he wasn't there anymore.
He finally broke out his bag of tricks and for no apparent reason is behind the kunoichi. He chose her for a reason as he drives his blade right up into her spine from behind. He hadn't wanted Hayase hurt, but the man was now angry enough to cut three times without mercy into the back of the woman.
Both of the shinobi — for they're clearly not ordinary people — are pressing Hayase's heels. She's slashed and cut, but only grazes. Still, things are tipping in their favor until the woman gives a choked gasp, and twists around a bit to see Oda has stabbed her from behind. As her body falls to the ground, the man says, "Mina!" just before Hayase appears a step past him, holding her kunai which is dripping blood. It's as if she'd vanished and reappeared, not as magically as Oda, but with the same finesse. He falls down in a gush of blood. Hayase turns around as the refugees gape. They seem to have forgotten they were in competing factions for the moment. And thus ends the threat, with many questions left unanswered.