Date: February 18, 2014
Sunagakure takes apart the enemy puppet they captured seeking information. They get more than they expected, in a way.
"The Silk Conflict - Puppet Dissection"
Kazekage Administration Dome [Sunagakure]
The opening of the Kazekage Administration Dome leads up a flight of stairs, into the lobby of the expansive building. Looking upwards, the entire building is open to the sky. Each floor is a ring, built with a hole in the center to allow a view both upwards and downwards. It is a very impressive sight, with many people visible moving around the upper levels, and stopping to chat around the railings.
The lobby has a tiled floor, with a intricate concentric circular pattern, and the walls themselves have been actually painted, and have designs etched into the hardened sand. The only piece of furniture on the first floor is a desk, and directly behind that, a stair case moving up to the next level. On either side of the desk are Male guards, their faces covered, and a make secretary is seated behind the desk, ready to take any questions or arrange appointments.
No one proceeds to the upper levels without the secretary approving them, and in most cases the armed guards also check them out to make sure they are carrying no weapons. However, there are a few people who can walk back and forth easily without the guards checking them, although all of them must first speak with the secretary.
A meeting was called regarding the capturing of a puppet. It was peculiar as it was nothing that fit within the ranks of Sunagakure before. There was no information on the user of the device, but it was hoped that something would be figured out on how to work it and ultimately, find some leads on it. A puppeteer and a couple others were called in to break it apart and study its inner workings. Itami was around to monitor the process as well as Chitose.
This follow up should be productive, she imagined. Already, they were beginning work in removing some limbs.
Wherever there is the inexplicable, a scientist is certain to take interest. After all, that's what science is all about, isn't it? Making the unknown, known. So naturally Sousa found a way to slip away from his administrative duties and peek in on the 'autopsy' of the puppet. "Greetings, Watanabe-san, Yamauchi-san," Sousa murmurs as he slides in to observe. "A very intriguing artifact you've managed to acquire here."
A look at it more closely and then Chitose looks up at Sousa with about as much trust as a mouse trusts a cat. She stares at him a moment and then nods, "Yes, we are wondering what makes this thing tick." Chitose nods, "We gotta figure out how they move and how they regenerate." She nods her head, "We gotta put a stop to them."
"Greetings, Sousa-sama," Itami says while also bowing to him. "Yes, this puppet…Chitose and I fought against it in the Dead Sands and brought it back. As we speak, there's a number of them coming through the desert and reports suggest that they're elsewhere too. Not just in the Land of Wind, it seems," she states. "We had a team of puppeteers come in to figure out how this thing works." She observes as the puppeteers continue to disassemble the puppet. It seems normal so far up until it gets to the chest area where things begin to get complicated. The mechanisms that work it are nothing that the puppeteers haven't seen before, but not in this particular design.
Sousa nods faintly, eyes focused on the procedure. "Yes, always fortunate when military needs align with worthwhile research, although it does tend to have the downside of making things a bit rushed. The most significant question, of course, is how these figures are operated over such vast distances. Of course, we may learn certain anthropological details as well. The culture and mindset of those who created and use them."
"You are assuming that someone is controlling them." Chitose looks at Sousa before glancing to Itami, nodding in agreement with her statements and then glancing at the thing, "I don't want us to sit on the idea that this is something that is being controlled." She leans down and then kneels, "Or at least, if they are…that a shinobi is doing it." She looks up at Sousa, "I recently had issues with summoned beasts fighting in the desert." She then looks down at it again, "I just think we shouldn't given up on the possibility that they might have disturbed something far different than some great puppet master."
"Hmm. Hopefully so. We need to learn all that we can," Itami remarks to Sousa. "I don't know if these things are controlled or whatever the case may be, but…" She hummed. "What's this about summoned beasts?" She wondered of Chitose. "You mean those scorpions and wolves out there? Is there more that I don't know about?"
Sousa chuckles. "If they are automatons, we are dealing with an adversary so advanced there is very little chance of successfully counteracting them. Or perhaps they happened across lost technology which they do not fully understand themselves, merely utilize. But remote control, as impressive as it is to this degree, seems a much more manageable explanation to me." Sousa quietly moves to scrutinize a piece of the puppet which the dismantling team set aside.
"True…but…" She looks at Sousa, "Ants move on their own and aren't very intelligent but can move together for a common purpose." She nods her head and then looks down at the puppet, "None the less, it is up to you which way you wish to tackle this." She shrugs, "I'm not scientist."
As the puppeteers continue to work on the puppet, they fiddle around until they manage to find a way through the mechanisms. They had to break it a bit to figure it out, but the damage shouldn't be too significant that they can't still determine how the puppet works. There was a failsafe built in and it's probably sheer luck that it didn't trigger or rather, it didn't because the chest plate wasn't lifted high enough to trigger it properly. Steady hands, these puppeteers had.
They leveled themselves with the table and saw the mechanism inside that would've triggered, thinking they'd need a bit more time to deactivate it. It was going to be a bit tough, but they'll manage. "I don't look forward to fighting independent puppets, but if they're automatic, then what reason would they have for appearing not just here, but elsewhere? They'd need to have some sort of purpose, right?"
"In terms of biological intelligence, you are correct, ants are remarkably simple," Sousa replies. "In comparison to any known mechanical construct, however, they are incredibly convoluted. An automaton would not necessarily need to be as complex as a living organism, but the fighting capability these ones display suggests intelligent control." Sousa looks up from his examinations. "Indeed, it is unlikely that they have no purpose, even if they are self-moving. They were created for a purpose, and most likely set in motion to fulfill that purpose."
"And that purpose is what? They seem only to be focused on gathering chakra." A nod of her head and then she looks up at Sousa before glancing to Itami, "Was that something you seemed to get? I assumed them to be leeches…fighting with a style or a purpose, perhaps even to a degree intelligently but they seem to only focus on increasing their chakra reserves."
"Well, even increasing reserves serves a purpose, even if it's a minor one," Itami replied to Chitose. "Until they get that thing open, we won't know what they're doing. We each have a theory that's valid," she explained. "And yes, I did figure out that they absorb chakra and taking out the chakra was the only way I could think to solve that problem," she shrugged.
The puppet would be popped open with part of the mechanism down. So, the thing wouldn't explode, but now the puppet was most certainly on. It couldn't move, though. Hm. Perhaps that mechanism wasn't meant for exploding. It was immobilized, but there was a certain glow in its eyes that wasn't there before.
The chest plate being pried back further revealed that there was a metallic, black receiver in its body, certainly the type of thing that's capable of receiving chakra and set within it was a crystal orb. "Strange," Itami remarked. "I don't think I've ever seen something like this before…" This wasn't any ordinary crystal orb, though.
Sousa smirks lightly. "Reconnaissance would be my primary hypothesis as to their purpose. In order to be intelligently remote-controlled, these constructs must be capable of communicating their surroundings to their pilots, hence, they would make excellent scouts." After the puppet shows signs of life, Sousa frowns lightly. "Remember, the communications link between this machine and its operator may not be severed," he murmurs. "Let's try to avoid feeding it any information, hmm?"
A look at the thing springing to life, so to speak, and Chitose tilts her head, "Well, then this thing still has a life." She then looks at Itami and nods to her, "Well, my thoughts on it are one of three but I don't' believe speaking them here is wise anymore." She then looks at Sousa, "This is your call but I think at this point we might want to be absolutely sure that we make this thing stop working now." She nods her head, "For all we know, it being here may be part of its main purpose and function."
"I couldn't agree more," Itami states. "I think…if I'm right, that this mechanism is what prompts the regeneration. Around this black ring here is a coil of metal. I guess that explains how it could extend and retract. It's possible it wasn't regenerating, but rather using some of this coil to return limbs to its body," she states. "If that's the case, then it could be that it'd have run out of coil eventually," she looked to the puppeteers for confirmation and they nodded to her.
"Well…I think we may need to destroy this thing now."
An image flashes across the orb. "Even if you did destroy it, I have plenty more where this one comes from. I've learned enough about you all from this single puppet and you can expect those crossing the desert as we speak to ruin your village and others like it. None will oppose the Sultan of Sapphires!" The person states from within the crystal orb before disappearing. The puppet remains active, but can be destroyed now. "Looks like we've got our work cut out for us."
Sousa quirks an eyebrow. "Well, that settles a number of questions," he remarks. "And it shows that our adversary is willing to divulge a certain amount of information." Sousa turns toward the door. "Continue your analysis, and do remember to be very cautious about chakra usage near the device. I look forward to a complete report."
A blink at this and she tilts her head, "Truly?" Chitose hmms before looking up at Sousa and then looking down, "I have learned something very valuable today." She nods her head, "Our adversary is both over confident…and truly a coward." She shakes her head, "I have rarely heard anything else boast so loudly." She then shrugs and looks to Itami, "I have no power here…other than bringing it in, I'm not entirely sure why I'm here…but we should likely leave standing orders to not confront these puppets directly if possible, only to follow and observe." She looks to Sousa, "I feel that we need to discover the head of this snake and cut it off…not mess around with the body."
"We'll figure out this snake in due time. For now, I think we can rid ourselves of this puppet or well, maybe keep it around and study it further. Guess it wouldn't matter much now, but it could be useful to figure it out and add it to the line of puppets that comes from here," Itami offered. "A coward and overconfident," she chuckled. "I think we'll be having an encounter with these puppets whether we want to observe them or not. Taking them out looks like it'll be the only option. So long as they're going to ruin this village and others, we'll have to handle them."