Puppet Play


Akina, Asao

Date: September 6, 2012


Asao tests out his new team mate.

"Puppet Play"

Training Fields [Sunagakure]


This training area is an open field surrounded by large rock formations that help keep the harsh winds of the desert from just erasing it from existence. The field is actually divided into four major areas. The main area is used by all ninja of Sunagakure regardless of rank. There are many training posts, a few obstacle courses as well as a number of sparring circles for everyone to use.
The other three areas are set up to better cater to the needs of ninja of different ranks. They are all accessible by three paths that snake through some of the rock formations and lead to them. There's one set up for students, which is also used to test students intending to graduate as Genin. Another area has been primarily set up for Genin usage, even though some Chuunin can usually be seen there as well and finally there's an area set up for anyone of with the rank of Chuunin or higher.
All three of those specialized areas mimic the challenges found in the general training area, except the challenges found in them are customized for the appropriate ranks.


Asao had gotten the offical word that Akina had been added to Team 2. As such, he had sent a request off, about mid-afternoon for her attendance within that training ground. He was interested in her exact capabilities and until he saw them in action, it'd be hard to tell what she could and couldn't do. As such, Asao was there himself, the scorpion puppet seemingly absent while he sat off to the side. Toku, the cloak, was wrapped about his form, hiding rather Tokkan was also with him or not from the bag on his back. He was patient, each second noted carefully. The study of the newest member of Team 2 has begun.

Perhaps she should have been used to it by now, having being summoned a couple of time before for various reasons by the team leader, though this time was different. This was by a team member. The first time she had met him she may have not known that, but still, the kunoichi found it unusual. Akina could only suppose that he wanted to poke and prod at her to figure out how she ticks just as Keiji did, but it was difficult to determine if that was really the reason. After all, she only met Asao once before. Maybe he just wanted to buy her lunch and meet her formally?
Her dusky eyes blink lightly beneath the hem of her hood as she steps lightly into the field, the rare patch of grass stretching out before her like lush green carpet beneath her feet. Asao made no effort to hide himself as she easily sees him sitting patiently on a bench, waiting for her. An uncertain smile tugs at her lips as Akina quietly approaches, lifting a small hand to wave. "Konnichiwa?"

Asao would straighten up as he sensed and saw her walk into the training yard. At her approach, Asao stood with a formal bow given. "Konnichiwa. I am Asao, as I had mentioned when we last met. I am one of the 4 members of Team 2, with you being another one of them. As my specialty is puppetry, I prefer to know who I work with, hai?" Asao would tilt his head to the side. Would you be interested in a quick spar.. mayhap show me your capabilities currently and we'll then meet at the ramen shop for dinner?"

Akina blinks with some surprise when Asao bows so formally towards her, clearly not expecting that of all things. "Um, yes, you did mention that." she murmurs, "And Shippodoku-sama also said you were a Chuunin, right? That must be really neat." A small smile tugs gently at her lips and she absently glances over his shoulder, as if expecting to find one of his puppets. If there were any, they're not obvious right off hand. Her dark eyes return to his emerald green gaze, her expression softening subtly for a brief moment. "Akina would not know the difference between them, unfortunately. And, she could, but she is hardly a match against you." The long sleeves of her kimono shift as she reaches for the pouch at her hip, pulling out a few needles and turning her open hand out for him to have a glance. "Akina studies really hard and makes her own poisons, but she is just an amateur at best. This is the main tool she uses."

Asao would nod, musing for a moment. "Interesting. I have actually incorporated my own blend of toxins within the puppets to apply poison to my enemies when they are cut." Asao, the real one, would step away from the wall to Akina's right. There was a surge of ticking, very much akin to a grandfather clock, as the henge would fade from the puppet before Akina. Tokkan, the humanoid puppet, with Toku, the cloak wrapped about it, would lift one arm. It was extremely mechanical in motion, the stages exact as a gear shift would be. It's hand would bend back, revealing that blade that would come out. The forearm then pivoted on the elbow joint, to allow it to open up, revealing that pool of poison the blade would normally rest in. "I have also done my own studies into such things, although it is not my main tool. Do you have any potential amendities you might advise for increasing potential damage and lethality of the poison?"

Her smile grows for a fraction of an instant before Asao steps out into view just before the one that was sitting on the bench ticks just a bit louder and then fades. Obviously a henge. Akina bottom lip sticks out with obvious disapproval that she was tricked, but otherwise is silent as she watches the puppet bend an arm back, elbow bending and opening to expose the pool of poison. Her dower expression instantly brightens and the kunoichi instantly hurries closer, eager to inspect the blade and the poison Asao had selected. Touching the blade would be too dangerous, but it doesn't stop her curiosity. "Hm, while Akina have not studied enough to know what might increase the potency of your special brand of poison… have you considered adding a hallucinogen?" Her dusky eyes glance up at him.

Asao would ponder for a moment, a small shake of his head given. "Actually, no that particular variable never occurred to me. With a hallucinogen, there is a high possability of causing the target to not be able to react to the real world while dealing with whatever the drug caused to spring up for them.. Considering the different modes of injection I have at my disposal, that is a high probablity of success too.." Asao would give a firm nod. "I am glad that you spoke of such then. With the proper refinement, that should add a through capability to my arsenal. Would you potentially have a specific hallucinogenic compound in mind with your inquery on the subject?"

Akina couldn't help but smile a bit from the way Asao talks, wondering to herself if he was really serious of if this was just part of his nature. Standing to her feet she straightens, "Hm, well in the desert there are two possible sources, plants and fungi. Animals being more difficult to obtain so it would not be as useful. Akina thinks you would need to do some testing to see which kind works with your poison the best. Probably a psychedelic hallucinogen, so…" Her brow furrows with though as a hand cups at her chin. "Akina thinks you should try the spineless cactus in the desert. It is natural source of mescaline."

Pondering for a moment, Asao would give another small nod. "Mescaline. I will indeed research this further to see how compatible it is with my current poison mixture." Asao's attention seemed to switch gears, along with the click from the puppet before them of it's arm closing and the blade sliding back away. "If you wish, when I plan to harvest materials, you are welcome to work with me for obtaining the necessary resources." He'd glace and Tokkan, who returned to standing there with it's arm down by it's side. "Are you sure you wish to decline the mock combat simulation? I would only use Tokkan so I can fully gauge your capabilities, hai? Although I am sure that Shippodoku-san has probably put you through the same testing regime. He did the same when I was assigned to Team 2."

Akina positively beams with the offer. "That would be wonderful. Akina has already considered asking if she can cultivate a few of the protected seeds in the Mystic Flower Gardens for her own poisons." Who knows if she'll get permission, but the kunoichi is optimistic. Her dusky eyes watch him quietly for a moment longer, though her bottom lip disappears as she gently bites at it. "Suppose we can… Akina do not mind sparring. Shippodoku-sama was just… a little harsh when he tested her." A small shrug of her shower lowers her gaze to the ground near her feet. "He probably does not like Akina."

Asao would give a small nod. "Hai, Shippodoku-san is particular in his capabilities. He is strong, so he may of been harsher than originally anticipated when he was testing you. Otherwise, the speech pattern may cause potential issues for him. It is not something I have heard recently, so would be the 3rd potential item to cause complications." Asao would smile slightly then, a nod towards the empty spar ring. "I will not be rough on you. It'll just be Tokkan and I, rather than all three puppets. As I mentioned, this is a simple test to learn your capabilities for further calculations. Too many unknown variables causes it to be harder to adapt plans as necessary, hai?"

Staring near her feet for a moment or so longer, Akina lifts her dusky gaze up at the ring as Asao motions towards it. "Hai…" she murmurs softer, biting at her bottom lip once more. The girl is silent as she turns away from him and the puppet to approach the ring, looking at the indent on the ground. Stepping inside she looks back up at Asao. "So… how do you want to start?"

Asao studied her as she walked over to the ring. Interesting. A non-combatant shinobi? Or there's something else there. Shaking his head, Asao along with Tokkan would walk over to the ring. Stopping across from her in the ring, Tokkan would come to life, fluid as silk, it settled into a guard, hands up as it faced her. Tokku would unclasp from about Tokkan to flip over to Asao, settling about his shoulders to reclasp at the front. "Simple. You attack, I defend. Depending on capabilities is how strong of a defense I have to use. I will only attack as a prod if you give me a long enough opening, hai?"

Akina watches curiously as Tokkan moves so fluidly, as if he was a real person. Truly Asao is an expert with his puppets to use them in battle, in the midst of combat. Her dark eyes flick to the other as it seems to jump from the puppet to instead settle around Asao's shoulders, thoughtfully watching as she considers just how to start. Just like with Keiji, testing him right out would make the most sense. Small hands hidden under her enveloping sleeves reach to the pack at her hip and in once smooth motion Akina bends her knees, bracing her weight as both arms lash out to throw a dozen needles straight at Asao.

Asao would blink at the sebons sent his way. A scroll from his vest would be popped into hand and as the paper ribboned out, he'd focus a bit of chakra into it. The scroll turned to iron, causing the senbon to plink at it and drop to the ground. A small nod was given, as he'd roll the scroll up. "Interesting." Asao would take a small side step, virtually dissapearing from immediate sight behind Tokkan then. His chakra would flare through his form, preparing for the continuing battle.

The scroll unfurls with a blink of an eye and hardens into iron, easily shielding both the puppet and Asao from her attacks. Whatever hopeful expression she may have had falls with a hint of disappointment that her senbons were stopped so easily, not that she really expected to be successful. "At least with Shippodoku-san Akina was able to hit him once…" she murmurs lightly. Right now that's all she can hope for, one hit. Akina makes a face as Asao purposefully steps behind Tokkan. "Playing hide and seek are we." There's no choice. She has to get closer, and that means getting around the puppet. Silent for a moment longer the kunoichi dips lower to push her weight through her legs, giving her sudden speed. Her aim is to dodge Tokkan's possible advances to attack the puppeteer, the senbon hidden in hand.

Should she be successful, the kunoichi twists herself to put more momentum, more power into the spinning kick at his chest.

Asao didn't move, that spin kick smacking Akina's foot right into the middle of his chest. Of course, he didn't move, the wooden thud causing the henge to crack and fade, revealing Asao to be the one in front. Tokkan would click at her, it's head turning to follow her with it's own simple snapped punch. It was one of those simple strikes, not enough to actually harm, if it did indeed hit.

And… he's a puppet. Her eyes flash with something darker beneath the hood of her cloak as she uses the clone to launch herself upwards into a backwards flip, watching the henge fade away just before Tokkan reappears and she lands on her feet. The punch is aimed at her and the kunoichi is only given a split second decision. Before she's able to fully duck and spin herself into a lower leg swipe, the punch connects, knocking the wind out of her. Akina makes a face to herself, but quickly comes to the realization that with his clone technique Asao can be either himself or the puppet, reducing her chances of hitting him by half. Sneaky puppeteers. "You… are not even trying." Akina isn't even sure if she wants to see him really try.

Asao raised a brow at her, Tokkan once more stepping back between them. "I can, if you wish. As I stated before, I was not going to do anything offensive, unless you give me a long enough opening. This is a judgement of your capabilities. It does not seem appropriate for me to attack, hai?" Asao would shrug slightly, Tokkan mirroring the move. "I will retaliate next time you attack."

Akina pouts softly and crosses her arms over her chest. "'Long enough opening'." she murmurs the words back at him. "Akina thinks you are just picking on her now." Her dark eyes flick from him to the supposed puppet, trying to make out if it was the real thing or not. "Akina thinks she showed you enough of her skills."

Asao shook his head slightly. "I do not pick on others when attempting to assertain capabilities." Tokkan moved then, the puppet putting on a burst of speed as it'd rush at her, spinning low to whip a leg around in a sweep, before it'd do a dual punch at her aimed at sending her stumbling. "That would be a long enough opening."

Akina lowers her chin subtly as she lifts an arm, sideswiping the leg away from her before the puppet aims two punches at her get. The first she smoothly dodges, stepping back just enough to avoid the punch completely but the second connects, driving out the breath in her lung for a split moment. She's given only long enough to catch another breath before the kunoichi abruptly grabs at the puppet's arm, using it as she pulls Tokkan into a spin to throw it back at Asao, slamming it back into its owner.

Asao was slow in his own dodge, Tokkan and the puppeteer stumbling off to the side. It'd only take a moment for Asao to get that sorted out. Both Asao and Tokkan would straighten up, facing Akina once again. "Alright. You are definitely solid on Taijutsu. I am guessing the poison is your main ninjutsu format?" Asao took a step back nodding slightly. "We can quit, if you desire to now. I have figured out what your current capabilities are at, unless you wish to expand with any other interactions?"

Akina gets some sort of satisfaction that she's able to land at least one hit, but she's silent as she watches Asao straighten himself and the puppet. "Pretty much." she murmurs. "Are we supposed to come up team formations on our own or is that something that Shippodoku-sama will help us figure out? Or team building exercises?" The kunoichi tilts her head just slightly at him.

Asao shook his head slightly. "Ultimately, we just work together as needed. We have not gotten into such a situation to require a full formation. As well as Sasaki-san requiring.. unique proceedures." Asao would shrug slightly, both he and Tokkan relaxing out of that stance. After a moment, the puppet would fold up on itself, settling into a small box that slid under Toku on Asao's back to settle in his bag. "If you wish to come up with a formation, you are welcome to offer such to Shippodoku-san, hai?"

Pondering this briefly, the young kunoichi lowers her chin with a thoughtful nod. "That could be the next logical step." She doesn't have an specific formation in mind, no, but not knowing what he meant by 'unique procedures' makes Akina a bit wary. And the boy… he must have been as young as she was but for some reason he never remembered her name. A small breath parts her lips with an absent sigh. "Akina thinks she is a little tired."

Asao would give a light nod. "Hai. Of course. Another time for dinner then." Asao would give another formal bow to her. One last studied look of Akina, Asao would turn away and head for the exit of the training area. Ok, so that was different. It'd be an interesting report that he would file on Akina, however there was more potential to her, so it is definitely worth working with her in the future.

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