Date: April 8, 2016
Part of an ongoing mission to secure the Land of Fire against invaders sends Team 13 to scout the country for places to set up surveillance posts.
"Scouting For Scouting"
Land of Fire
Team 13 is now missing only one of its members… Again. Though this time, the one missing isn't their newest. They are meeting today because even with the trouble with terrorist bombers, there are other missions that need to get done. This one is probably a fairly serious one. After a recent abduction by Kirigakure ninja of a Konohagakure ninja, efforts are being made to secure the Land of Fire, and to set up patrols and a sort of 'sensory net' that would allow detection of unusual activity and surveillance beyond the range of the Hidden Leaf itself.
Various guard stations and outposts, set up to watch paths both frequented and not, and increase general awareness of what's going on in their own country. If an Uchiha Chuunin is leaving somewhere, that should be known information, and he should be watched the whole way. Further, people should be able to follow him readily. Similarly, if someone is trying to infiltrate the country, there should be prior warning, not just 'whenever they show up at the front gates'.
There have been too many times when this kind of thing has happened. And Tsugumi, as the senior leader of Team 13, has decided the best solution is to build surveillance and scouting infrastructure via sensor-nin and modern technology, and make sure that it doesn't happen again. Right now, they're just inspecting various locales and travel routes and so on. Seeing what routes people are using to travel, where might be a good position to watch these places from if cameras were put in, and also what kinds of obstructions someone might use to evade such surveillance or prepare ambushes and so on.
As a result, they are running through the forest. Tsugumi is keeping them to the forest floor for now, only going up into the trees if she must. Not everyone on the team can tree walk yet, after all. The air is damp and earthy, the smell of recent rain and nature envigorating and dream-like, with all the vivid greenery everywhere.
Namikaze Nonon hasn't gotten to meet these ninja she's on a team with before this meeting. She just showed up at the appointed time, all smiles, waved and said, "Good morning! A pleasure to meet you! I'm Namikaze Nonon, a Chuunin! But don't worry, I mostly handle tactical scenarios and coordination. You can all treat me as equal in rank!" And then they were off!
The blonde kunoichi has likewise remained down on the forest floor with everyone else, so as not to leave anyone behind or make anyone feel inadequate… But even as she is prepared to chat with the others, discuss recent events, the nature of the mission, and so on… She is also keeping an eye out, using her sharp mind and senses to try to see things from an ambusher's perspective, performing calculations of trajectories and the angle of light, and so on, and keeping mental note of it. That's what they're out here for after all.
"How many missions like this have you all been on?" Nonon asks, interested in the former exploits of her team mates. nn
Reime is only so familiar with what is going on in the Land of Fire. Most of her information has come from what Tsugumi and the other teammates have told her about what is occuring everywhere. To her, its serious business, and she wants to take it seriously, but would have to admit she is not terribly familiar with surveillance technology and the like. Aside from that, her Byakugan is still developping, so her sensory powers are only so capable yet.
Nonon was new to Reime. She introduced herself with almost equal cheer to what Nonon had, and then they were off. Reime volunteered to take up the rear. Not for any particular reason,b ut she seemed rather insistant on it. It probably didn't have anything to do with the view she got from the backs of all the kunoichi she was with. No, nothing to do with that.
"This will be my second one of this sort of thing." Reime answers Nonon. "Hopefully it goes as well!"
Suzu grinned and greeted Nonon in turn, introducing herself though she was sure the Chuunin already knew who she was on a team with regardless of prior interraction. She had no objection to having Reime in back, even if Suzu had been the team leader (and she wasn't). It made good tactical sense. With the Byakugan, Reime had basically 360 degree vision. At the rear of the group, she could see everything around them, including areas they'd already passed through. If anyone was thinking of causing trouble, it would be up to Reime and Aru to spot them before that happened.
"Hmm… We were doing an inspection of Konohagakure's defenses a week and a half ago, I think it was? But scouting our own territory like this… Yah, I think it's only my second time doing a mission of this nature." She looks over her shoulder at Reime, and then ahead to Nonon and Aru. For a scouting team like this, with five kunoichi, it would make the most sense to have either a single-line formation, or to be spread out in a fan to provide the greatest range for their sensory coverage. She's starting to learning things like that by observing what her mom and other experienced shinobi do. It's sinking in gradually.
Aru is running along in her assigned position, her scarf flowing out behind her a short ways. She keeps it wrapped properly, so it isn't flying in the faces of allies. Her own Byakugan is active, allowing her to see forwards, backwards, to the sides, and even above and below. If she could run through the trees like Tsugumi-sensei, and Suzu-senpai, and Nonon-senpai, that coverage would be even more useful.
She can see behind her, and where Reime is, and calls out, "Reime-oneesan. Please be sure to keep your eyes focused on more than just the ninja ahead of you." She isn't afraid to sass-talk or correct her 'big sister'. She just talks in that serious-yet-casual way of hers, like nothing upsets her. Kind of cold, but not as off-putting as someone without emotion.
But she's also keeping in mind their newest member. She isn't sure how she feels about a 'senpai' who is younger than she is. Aru turned 16 only about 8 days ago. But here's this Namikaze Nonon, a Chuunin at 15. Or was she promoted even younger? Just how far behind is Aru? She tries not to think about that too much. The best thing she can do right now is focus on the task at hand: That being, the surveying of their own territory for signs of trouble, the areas of the densest foot traffick, and ideal positions to spy from.
She does tack on, however, "…This is the first mission of this type I have been on, aside from the one that Team Rinoko was on regarding Konohagakure's defenses, as Suzu-senpai mentioned. You weren't here for that one though."
Tsugumi has been on many missions of many types, so she doesn't bother responding to the question. From what she knows of Nonon, she would assume the other Chuunin has already familiarized herself with the records of all of them. Despite her youth, she's a sharp one. A true prodigy. Especially given she spent most of her life not even in a Village but just running around in the woods…
She has indeed gone with a single-line formation. Tsugumi at the front due to her greater experience and range of jutsu, and the ability for her Sharingan to cast Genjutsu. Aru is directly behind her, the Genin's Byakugan allowing her to overlap with Tsugumi's perceptions to see ahead, and give prior warning. Nonon is in the center, due to her combination of melee and ranged combat ability allowing her to move to the aid of any member of the team as-needed. And Suzu and Reime take up the rear, with Suzu's ranged Ninjutsu and physical prowess together with Reime's sensory abilities and Taijutsu allowing them to launch attacks rear-wards or to the sides or even ahead of the group.
This pursuit pattern isn't strictly speaking necessary for this mission. They aren't chasing anyone, nor are they expecting an ambush (though such is possible with all these bombers running around). The formation is more for the benefit of experience and hopefully so the younger ninja will learn, think, and take factors like these into account for the future.
After their next break, they'll change formation to a search pattern. Maybe Tsugumi will even ask them to explain why such a pattern works, and who they think should go where. Quiz them a little. However, she still has the mission to consider, and is recording things based not just on what she sees but also her own knowledge of her country. If maps need to be updated, she updates them. "If any of you notice anything out of place, be sure to alert the rest of us." she reminds as she runs.
Nonon doesn't seem to have guesses Reime's TRUE ULTIMATE MOTIVES for wanting to be in the rear, perhaps just assuming that Reime had a good head on her shoulders and understood where she would be best placed. "Hmmm! I see! So you already have some experience with this sort of thing!" She looks ahead to Aru, not taking offense at the passive-aggressive challenge.
She can tell that the older kunoichi resents her. She's actually used to that. There are others who have been passed up for promotion, only for her to come out of nowhere. Even her own team mates, when she was a Genin, initially rebelled at the idea of taking suggestions from her. But as the Kirigakure ninja killed the leaders, one by one, they eventually decided listening to her and the sense she was making might be a good idea. And they survived because of it.
No one likes taking orders from someone younger than them. That's why, right from the outset, she didn't want to put herself in an adversarial position to the rest of the group, and asked that she be treated the same as the rest of them. She won't 'pull rank' or try to lead unless that proves necessary. They have a much more experienced and much more capable leader with them anyway.
n_n she smiles back at Aru silently for a few moments, before responding, "Sadly, I was caught up in some other business, and unable to be part of that mission. Hopefully it was productive?"
Reime makes a choking sound at Aru's accusation. So bold of the slightly junior Hyuga! "I-I am most certainly keeping my focus where it should be!" She adds with a slight laugh of embarrassment and a flush of her cheeks. However, Tsugumi later indicating that they should keep an eye out for anything out of the ordinary gives Reime a bit more focus on what they shoul be looking for and she smiles faintly as she uses her byakugan to begin searching for anything out of the ordinary. Unlike the others, Reime didn't have any worries about promotions or how anyone felt about her, she just sort of… does what she does!
Suzu makes a face like ~~ as she hmmmmmms in thought. "I'm not sure if I'd call it productive… We didn't find any sign of intruders or security being compromised… But then I guess none of the other teams before us did either. It was a little bit disappointing to not be able to go, 'ah-hah!' and discover something amazing. But I guess we at least determined there were no gaps in our defenses?" She shakes her head as she run-run-runs with her arms out behind her, like ninja tend to do.
Her Sharingan isn't active, but she doesn't feel the need for it to be with two awesome Byakugan users with them! Still, when her mom reminds her they should be keeping an eye for anything unusual, she resolves to do what she can and starts scanning around as well. "We're not expecting combat, right?" Suzu asks suddenly, some worry creeping into her. She thought they were just doing a simple scouting mission. If she has to deal with more explosions…!
Aru looks back at the blonde kunoichi at the retort, the veins standing out around her eyes showing she could just as easily be looking at her while facing forward. She is intentionally turning her head to look back at Nonon. As Suzu answers for them, Aru finally faces forwards again. "Dirty Reime-oneesan." she mutters, deciding to drop the matter of the Namikaze ninja for now. She isn't going to score any team work points picking at someone who so clearly has her number. It's really only Aru's own insecurities at work here anyway. She might as well get over them.
That'll show Nonon! She can be mature too! They'll all see!
Her stamina is not as great as that of the other team members, however, and she's starting to get tired from all this continuous running. She doesn't want to be the one to ask for a break, but… "Tsugumi-sensei… I'm not quite at your level yet… Could we have a short pause so that I can rehydrate and get my breath back?" she asks. Her scarf has been hiding how she's been gasping for the past couple miles, but it's clear in the pauses between words that her breathing is getting more labored.
"…Also, I want to know more about what kind of dangers we might be facing as well."
Tsugumi was hoping to leave the worry about danger aside for now, but… Leave it to her daughter to pick the one thing that might rachet up stress levels for everyone. Still, it shows responsibility and growing awareness. Aru, too, seems to understand this isn't just a walk in the park. This is not a field trip or a vacation. And maybe it was Tsugumi who was wrong for trying to coddle these girls and let them pretend it wasn't a serious matter. Sigh. It can be hard to put the mothering aside sometimes.
"Alright, we can take a short break." She comes to a stop near a mossy log alongside the road. "This might be a good opportunity get some training in anyway. Drink up. Remaining hydrated is important. If you need to have a snack, have one." She folds her arms under her chest and closes her eyes for a moment, before turning her attention on all the younger ninja. They're still just children, in her eyes. But she can't keep seeing them that way. Suzu in particular is growing and growing. She's a young woman now. And Nonon has proven herself a capable leader already.
Tsugumi says, "As you may or may not be aware, there have been bombers causing trouble throughout the Land of Fire, especially targetting Leaf ninja and holdings. To better facilitate tracking them down and stopping them, as well as other threats, we're out here seeing where a good place to set up surveillance equipment and establish forward bases and out posts might be. Guard stations, check points… But the same threat we're trying to guard against migh show up. We've so far faced Toujitakumi Clan ninja. Those are ninja of the Land of Earth, who wield Explosion Release. Like it sounds, they can cause detonations with their Chakra."
Tsugumi takes a seat on the log after testing is stability. She's definitely the heaviest ninja here, after all. "I won't lie to you. The chances of running into these enemies exists. We don't know where they are, or how they're coordinating their attacks, or even who is leading them. They also apparently employ ninja with other capabilities, such as Water Style ninja, so we can't assume we know the expertise of any of them. But that's why these defenses and counter measures are so important. Do we all understand?"
Nonon stops with the others and keeps quiet for now. She'd rather listen and hear their responses to get a better idea of her team mates, their views, what kind of people they are, how knowledgeable they are, etc.
The fact Aru wasn't too proud to admit she needs to stop though, is something positive in the girl's favor.
Reime was glad that someone else asked before she did, because the Hyuga badly needed to stop and catch her breath. Once they had done so, she pulls a bar out of a pouch and nibbles on it while looking between the others. "So, anyone see anything out of the ordinary? I didn't. I was looking pretty hard, too. But I've not been out here much, so its all sort of new."
The Uchiha Genin hasn't noticed anything odd and just shakes her head in response to Reime. She takes the opportunit to drink from her canteen, even though she isn't feeling super thirsty. Better to take care of the small thirst now rather than not be able to when she's about to pass out or in the middle of battle. Though she hopes they don't have to fight. Once she's swallowed a bit, and put the canteen away, she asks, "Should we be avoiding combat if we come across people like that?" She'd prefer to, but if they can stop bad guys, shouldn't they try? She's just… Not sure about facing more super-dangerous ninja.
She still has nightmares about the people she saw blown to pieces outside Konohagakure's front gates.
Make things explode with Chakra? That sounds… Bad. About the only thing she could do to counter something like that would be to shut down the enemy's ability to generate and mold Chakra with Juuken. And she doesn't even know how to do that yet. Aru feels like the person least-equipped for this mission. But if they aren't really intending to confront such people, and just have to watch out for them, that would be ideal. She finishes gulping down water from her canteen, in a series of small swallows so she doesn't waste anything, before pulling her scarf up over her face again sidling up next to Reime.
She just wants to stand near her for comfort, really. Any that she can get. Though she tries to seem implacable, this mission has become a lot scarier than it was when they first set out. Still… She'll do whatever she can.