Date: March 12, 2013
A team tracks down a dangerous group of mercenaries to a cabin in the woods and sets up an ambush. Then, while trying to solve one mystery, they uncover others.
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"Struggle with No Reward - Soldiers of Fortune: Part 2"
An isolated portion of the forest in the Land of Fire
Weeks ago, a mission to recover information from a bartender regarding dissent against the shinobi ended in failure after a tense interaction with a mercenary group nicknamed the Boars and the Pig. The bartender was beaten to death the next morning, with no useful information extracted. However, with a bounty from at least one victim of the mercenary group and the need to discover what, if anything, the mercenary group knows about the failed mission, a team has been dispatched to seek out the thugs for hire. The primary mission objective is to gather information about their involvement in the failed mission, the secondary objective to capture or kill the members of the crew for various violent crimes.
After a few fruitless efforts, finally intelligence managed to uncover the location of a supposed hangout for the group. Although the Boars and the Pig were not there, Atsuro and Taizen were able to track the scent of the mercenaries to an isolated cabin in the forest, atop a hill. The presence of smoke rising from the chimney suggests there is activity inside. The group is presently at the bottom of the hill.
Hideaki has said little to his comrades during the mission, responding to direct questions and little else. During the mission briefing, he had been a staunch advocate of the yet unproved theory that the murder of the bartender was no crime of passion.
As they approach the cabin, Atsuro and Taizen start slowing down, gesturing for the team to keep low and quiet. There are almost certainly people in the cabin, and he doesn't want to make things harder just because someone happens to glance out a window and spot them. He crouches at the bottom of the hill, and waves the team in close to hear his instructions.
"We want to scout the exterior of the building," he explains, keeping his voice low, "If there's more than one exit, we need to be aware and keep them covered. And if we can split into two teams and enter from two places at once…" He smirks a little, "Well, they're even more screwed." He glances at the members of the team. Naru and Hideaki can probably be trusted, stealth-wise. Ataru… well, Atsuro remembers how his last mission with Ataru nearly went. "Keep quiet and keep out of sight," he adds. You know, as a reminder to the /whole/ team, and any one specific person. "We'll circle around the hill and observe, then make our way up on whichever side has the best cover."
A mission that finally aligned with what Narusegawa was good at? The Uchiha couldn't have been any more excited aside from the seriousness of the mission before them. The temperament of spring was welcoming allowing Narusegawa to strip down into a pair of black shorts and a matching tank top, a large emblem of the Uchiha clan emblazoned along her back. Aside from a few ninja tools the blade sheathed horizontal along her waist line. "Sounds like a good plan, Atsuro-san," Narusegawa soon whispered to him as she lingered into atree above the cabin sight. Her sharingan casually began to flash into existence, the three tomoe spiraling and taking in the area about her, focusing to see if there was anything she could pick up. "How about I take Ataru-kun along with me? I will have the genjutsu to help mask his presence," Of course she was teasing him, though it was no harm done.
Ataru would follow along, musing as he'd move with the others. He actually had Kyouki out to start with, the spear humming with the rightious fury of leveling justice on the mercenaries that have killed others and probably killed the bar tender. He'd look up at the cabin for a moment, before blinking, looking over at Atsuro. "wait wha? We're goin sneakin? Meh.." Shaking his head, he'd shrug and glance over at Naru. "oh.. uh.. that might be a good idea Naru.. I ain't exactly.. stealthy.. Why I think Atsuro made sure ta remind everyone 'bout quiet.. I.. would just be walkin up ta the door and knockin.. but then again, I ain't afraid of a couplea lunk heads.." Ataru shrugs, shifting Kyouki between his hands. "either way, onward then, yah? We splittin up ta rock the house?"
"Yes. I am sure 'rock the house' was exactly what was meant by 'keep quiet and out of sight,'" Hideaki notes in deadpan. He nods and sticks with Ataru as they circle the house.
With her enhanced visual sense, Naru would notice as she circled the building there is indeed a back door, disguised to blend in with the wall. Only a small gap in the wood for a handle and the faint outline of the opening give it away.
Meanwhile, Atsuro and Taizen would notice that while they were previously tracking five scents, one of the scents seems to have already come and gone from the cabin, heading back out toward a nearby small river.
The path with the greatest cover is the one leading to the back of the cabin, not the front.
Leaving the business of actually surveying the house itself to the others, Atsuro and Taizen fulfill the duty that only they can. One of them is missing from the cabin. Not a huge problem, but it could make things complicated. As they gather near the back path, Atsuro whispers to Hideaki and Ataru. "One of them is over at the river. You saw them, right?" he asks, "How quickly do you think we can take them down? And how quietly?" Tracking down this one person would be nice, but there's no way to do that and give the cabin the proper attention. Atsuro's hoping to hide in the cabin and set up an ambush.
Once he's gotten the answer, he and Taizen start making their way up the hill to the cabin, trying their best to make no noise and stay out of sight, then crouching down by a wall if and when they make it.
Narusegawa moved quickly and silently about as they began to make their rounds in order to figure out the best way to sneak into this cabin. The element of surprise was going to be necessary especially if they intended on capturing them. The group had to make sure no one else would be caught in the cross fire as well. "I see something… a blended in entrance along the back of the cabin… We should be able to sneak around to that location with enough cover to keep us out of sight," Naru explains, gradually making her way along the hill curious as to what else may have been in store for them.
Quick and fast.. Ataru can do that.. With a mental apology to Kyouki, he'd flash the spear out of existance, stretching slightly to get his body limber, those pistons would form within his limbs as he'd ball his fists and head that direction. "I'll make it as fast as I can.. just knock em out.. dun kill em.. I got it.." Maybe. Either way, gathering power as he went, Ataru walked towards where Atsuro said there was another person. Time to lay a smack down.. Ataru was good at that!
As Ataru gets within sight of the river, he can see a small dock with a rowboat tied up. The presence of a second rope that is tied to nothing suggests there used to be a second boat here. Regardless, no one seems to be there anymore.
Meanwhile, up the hill, Atsuro and Naru make it up the hill without any trouble. Hideaki missteps once, making the faintest sound of grass crunching underfoot. He winces, but takes his position next to the others. Raucous laughter can be heard from inside, and it does not stop as the nin approach. Hideaki kneels next to Atsuro, wincing at his error. It seems they are undetected so far, however. He looks to Atsuro for further instructions.
Seeing that Ataru has abandoned them, Atsuro frowns and mutters something to himself. It's inaudible, but it almost certainly starts with an F. Hideaki just gets a quick nod and smile. If nobody noticed, it's fine. Especially for the person who didn't run off to do something else. Now, how to do this when the team is down one person and there's a secret entrance?
He quietly reaches up and tries the secret door. It's unlocked, so whoever's attacking from that side should have no trouble getting in. Now, how to divide the team up, especially when he has no idea when or if Ataru's going to be showing up again? He gestures for Naru to stay by the back door and subdue anyone trying to leave, or bust in when he and Hideaki do around front. He knows it's a bit of a risk taking Hideaki to circle the house with him if he's making mistakes like he just did, but they'll have to deal with that possibility. Gesturing for Hideaki to follow, Atsuro takes Taizen with him, quietly making their way around to the front of the cabin.
Narusegawa nodded and positioned herself along the rear of the cabin. No one else was going to escape unless they busted out throw the windows which wouldn't at all be a silent gesture. For now she reached back and slowly began to unsheath the blade at her back side, and lowering herself promptly against the door. With it being unlocked for now she just waited and remained silent, she had a feeling she would know when it was right to barge in through the back of the cabin, but no one was going to get in her way… and deep inside Naru she didn't have any intention of..subduing the enemy.
Making his way to the dock, he'd peer about. Ok.. Atsuro said there was one here, he saw it? or something? Scratching his head, he'd frown before finally giving a shrug of his shoulders. Eyeing the rowboat, he'd move to the dock, pull the boat as close to the edge of the land as he could and after he hopped ashore, he'd plant his feet and lift the boat, planting it up in a tree.. still tied to the dock. There wasn't going to be any way someone was going to get away quickly from that route! Nodding, satisfied with the work, he'd head after the others, heading for that back of the building as.. well, it looked to have the least number of windows.
Hideaki slinks along the side of the building, in step behind Atsuro, managing to duck under the windows and move more quietly than before. Atsuro and Taizen have no trouble at all, though at one point Taizen has to be especially careful to hang his head down and avoid it being seen through the windows
Meanwhile, it's hard to keep moving a boat to a tree quietly, but the dock is distant enough that Ataru manages it.
And so the group is set up, with Naru (soon to be joined by Ataru) waiting at the back, and Atsuro, Taizen, and Hideaki crouched against the wall near the front door. The laughter inside continues.
Once he, Taizen, and Hideaki are in place and ready to burst in, Atsuro grabs a ninjato from Taizen's vest. The dog himself takes a kanata and they position themselves near the front door. Atsuro raps sharply on the door. "Everyone in this building is wanted by the Konoha Ninja Corps for questioning. Anyone who exits the building now, with their hands on their head, will be treated leniently. Anyone who resists will be taken by force — we are authorized to kill, if necessary."
Should anyone actually surrender and leave by the front door, he'll leave Taizen behind to make sure they don't try anything. Otherwise, they both go in, ready to fight, Atsuro gesturing for Hideaki to enter behind him.
Atsuro was doing the talking meaning that Naru didn't have to worry about pushing the situation any further. If anything Naru was interested in doing things forcefully and she was definitely going to exact that if they decided to resist. They were going to be punished for what they did to the bartender… As far as she knew people like this didn't need to live. Regardless she kept herself steady long the door, nodding to Ataru as he had rejoined her. She didn't want to make any noise just in case the criminals decided to try and slip out of the back entrance. They would be in for a harsh surprise if that was the case.
Settled into place beside Naru, he'd plant a hand gently against the ground, kneeling quietly. Focusing himself, he'd listen to what was happening on the other side, pausing at the yelled out bit about surrendering. He'd muse and look at Naru, brow raised in silent curiosity Do they go in? Do they stay here? It's hard to tell, although with the power on the other side of the building, it may not be necessary for them to go in.
Not surprisingly, the laughter stops immediately after Atsuro's announcement. There is some murmuring, and then some scraping sounds as if relatively heavy objects are being picked up.
"Guess you've got us," comes a reply from a hoarse but female voice. "We're coming out." They are true to their word, and in a few seconds, a door opens quietly… But not the front door. The back door opens, revealing three large, muscular men and one woman who nearly rivals the build of the others. All four are armed with kusarigamas and all four are shocked when they see Ataru and Naru on the other side. One of the men utters a particularly foul expletive.
"As shocking as it sounds, I believe they may have been deceiving us about surrendering," Hideaki notes dryly as he hears the sound on the other side of the cabin.
"Gosh," says Atsuro, matching Hideaki's tone, "They sure fooled us." He was hoping for a peaceful resolution to this mission, but obviously things are going to get at least semi-violent. He and Taizen charge in, hurrying through the cabin to attack the enemies from the rear. He and Taizen focus their attacks on a single man, Atsuro coming in swinging his blade from the left while Taizen does the same from the right.
The battle began to occur from the other side which pushed Narusegawa to swiftly end this as quick as possible. As they reached the back of the door and opened it they were armed and obviously dangerous. "Ataru!" Narusegawa exclaims prompting him to ready himself as she herself went in for the assault. The door was flung open and she split into the room, edging herself in to knock back one of the criminals with brute force. The glint of her blade simmered with radiant chakra in a attempt to subdue them while spiking them with torrents of electricity. A single slash danced into a swift stab to send one of the criminals to their knees if they failed to defend.
Ataru would move at Naru's call, vanishing from where he had been, to pick one of those whom had not been attacked. A blur of motion, that first strike was a feint, the second slamming the enemy to the ground, while Ataru would leap into a flip, following that hit that knocked them down with an immediate flipping kick to smash his foot into the middle of their chest. That piston would fire at the moment of impact, increasing that potential damage output, to be sure.
Hideaki closes his eyes ever so briefly, focusing his mind to bring about a change in the way he focuses his chakra, changing his subconscious objectives from efficient to powerful. He then races after Atsuro. When he arrives at the scene of the conflict, he inhales sharply, then spits out a bead of wind at the lone woman who has yet to be attacked. He follows this up with some swift handsigns. A gust of wind rushes through the room as a clone separates from the real Hideaki and practically throws itself at the woman before vanishing in a violent surge of wind.The woman manages to dodge the bullet, but the wind clone staggers her.
Naru's opponent is struck twice and does indeed fall to his knees, spasming from the electricity coursing through him. Ataru's target is frozen in place before being knocked to the ground with the strong followup hit. Atsuro's takes a slash straight across his chest, then another The man attacked by Atsuro is the first to drop his weapon fall to his knees voluntarily. He puts his hands over his head, desperately announcing, "I surrender! Please!" The others soon follow suit. They know they are beat.
It does not take long to restrain the group. All of them could use some medical attention, though the woman is plainly in the best shape.
"Alright, everyone," Atsuro says, "Good work. Let's restrain them. And don't be too rough with them." He pulls a spool of ninja wire out of his equipment pouch and passes it around to whoever needs some, then takes a length for himself and starts tying up the guy he and Taizen took down. Not having hands, Taizen can't assist anyone with the tying, so he stands guard, in case the mysterious fifth person should return at this inopportune moment. They should have time to take care of matters in detail later, but there is one important question on Atsuro's mind right now.
Once everyone's tied up, he asks. "There were five of you here before," he says, "Who was the fifth one, and where did they go?"
Naru didnt have any questions. All she had began to do was help tie up a few of the individuals with the lining of wire keeping them snug and restrained. After that was finished she took a step back and brushed the dirt from her hands. A job well done or so it seemed, with them giving up so easily she didn't have the bloodthirst she had originally started with. " Hmm, well I suppose that is that then hmm? Unless they don't want to talk we can just kill them and be on our way," Her threats were an attempt to rile the crminals incase they were stalling.
Ataru would beat the person down, all of them dropping quickly, he'd nod and bind his own target. Musing to himself, a shrug would be given as he'd dust his hands off. Walking outside, he'd start searching for the others, might as well see if there was any other direction the other person may of went, could potentially catch that final person and have the full gang. Kyouki demanded to be involved with the final meting of justice, having that flash happen while outside as the spear came into existance again.
"The boss?" one of the men pipes up in response to Atsuro. "It's a good thing for you he wasn't here. Way tougher than all of us, probably put together. He's got shinobi training too. He would have taken all of you out. But he's going to meet some guy who just goes by 'Doragon.' Don't know much about him. Never met the guy"
The man is cut off by the woman. "Shut your mouth, you decorated fool."
The man who was speaking before considers this for a moment. He looks between Naru and his own comrade. Then back at Naru. Then keeps right on talking. "Don't I know you?" He says to Hideaki.
"He was at the inn, dope," the woman replies.
The talkative fellows eyes widen. Hideaki tilts his head. "Speaking of which… Why did you kill that bartender?" Hideaki asks.
The man swallows. "Boss said Doragon put out a pretty price just to get some shinobi there. We were gonna get the bartender to tell you shinobi that some innocent folk were causing trouble. I don't know why. But you showed up early and the bartender lost his nerves. Boss said we were supposed to kill the witness if things went south."
Further questioning only shows that these four are strikingly ignorant of whatever their boss had planned. The only other revelation of interest is that the boss should return to the cabin after he has met with Doragon…