Date: October 12, 2010
Fuuma Alley is many things to many people. What it generally is NOT is "normal" or "pleasing to the senses". But it has what two dead Genin need to start living again.
"Strangeness - People Are Strange When You're A Stranger"
Fuuma Alley is, generally speaking, a dirty, noisy, crowded, smelly, dangerous place. But it also has lots of things in it. Things one can't get other places. Or at least not through >legal< means… Does that mean that fake identification and other such things are legal in Fuuma Alley? No, but there's essentially zero regulation. The law enforcement is utterly corrupt, and so is most of the ruling body that supposedly governs law enforcement. So, even though Chichi and Seiji are new, fresh-looking, and not at all street-savvy, it is possible that they might be able to get what they're looking for without any great difficulty!
Or, on the other hand, maybe they'll have >lots< of difficulty. Chichi is flitting around to different booths and shops, looking at all the things she never dreamed existed previously. "Wh-Why is this man selling huge spiders in cages? Are they… Pets or…?" She then makes out what appears to be some skewers behind him, with fried, eight-legged bodies impaled on them. She turns green and moves away to go look at a clothing store.
A short time later, she is rushing out of that store, possibly running into Seiji if he tried to follow her. ">Don't go in there!<" she yells at him regardless. "Don't you >dare< go in there! They have all kinds of… Of… You know. Women's underwear! And… Uhh… S-sex stuff, and it's just… Lying out! On display! Some of those I don't even want to >think< about what they're for!" She shakes her head is dismay, and then starts to head deeper into Fuuma Alley to see if there's any >normal< clothing stores around here. They need something that will let them blend in better, after all.
And hey, shopping! :D
Fuuma Alley is, a crappy place, but then again, right now Seiji and Chichi need to dissappear. Seiji pretty much kept up with Chichi, but looking at different things then her, granted the spiders do catch his attention. He blinks at how huge they are and well when Chichi begins backing away from teh spider legs and skewerd spiders, he just swallows and eases back a bit offering the seller a polite bow of his head.
As he looks about the circle, he notices a weapons shop and heads on over to it. He smiles when he notices a few well made blades, but the prices for them were sky high, and he thinks he knows why as he notices a few marks and such on them. It doesn't take him long to finish looking around when he steps out side and is ran into by Chichi. Stumbling back a little, "Whats wrong?" he asks urgently as he looks arond thinking that someone maybe had tried something or tried to attack her. But when she explains about the clothing store and he looks in it's direction. He blushes a bit, "Well some shops are like that, I think I ran into one in Kumo, and that was by accident." he tells her. Quickly trying not to blush so to avoid how and why he ended up in a store like that.
Figuring this time he should keep up with her a bit better, he gestures for her to lead the way, and besides he really did enjoy shopping with Chichi, even though when they shop she tends to kill his wallet. As they go through a side street, Seiji notices a small store, and as he walks over towards it, it was actually a clothing shop. "Hey come here." he says not wanting to give away her name, seeing as he didn't want ot give away her name or anything. "COme on we can find some clothing here." he says as he takes her hand and leads her into the shop.
Fuuma Alley is a big place. There are lots of places to hide, both for people and for animals. Rats, roaches, flies, snakes, and various other pests all live in this city. As Seiji leads Chichi into a clothing store, a pile of crates has, between its wooden walls, a rat. The rat is scrounging for food, and the boxes humans leave lying around sometimes have food in them. Squeaking as it waddles along, the fat rodent pauses to clean its face, sitting up on its haunched and rubbing its paws repeatedly over his head and ears, wetting the paws with its tongue, and then stroking over its face again.
Slick with moisture, semi-reflective even in darkness, a worm-like or slug-looking creature makes its way out from inside of one crate. There are others crawling around the vicinity of the crates, inside and on their outsides. No one knows where the leeches came from. They just started infesting the city in the past few years. And yet, the actual blood-drinking leeches are rare. Most of these leeches are helpful and will eliminate more dangerous parasites. Thus, people have learned to leave the creatures alone for the most part. If they have to move them, they do it vaguely and without intent to harm, rather than squashing them and throwing them away. Bad things happened to people who tried to rid the city of the infestation.
The sort of things that one does not speak of in polite company.
And yet this rat has not learned what the humans have. It lowers down to all fours upon detecting the leech that is approaching. It wiggles its nose, gauging information from its whiskers and nostrils, and then scampers forward swiftly to seize upon the leech, trying to pick it up with its paws and then carry it in its mouth. But one bite, and there is an electrical *BZZZT*. The rat lets out a startled squeak as it literally goes FLIPPING through the air as though hurled, and lands on its feet about a yard away. The leech seems to have swollen somehow, now about 1/3rd larger.
It continues on its way as though nothing happened, and the singed rat decides to depart the area.
Inside the shop, it appears the Seiji has found a good place to look for clothes that 'fit in'. They have a wide variety of traveller's garments, wilderness survival gear, and a smaller section of city-dweller clothes. Nothing fancy, but that's probably for the best. Some guy in his 40s is standing behind the counter.
Chichi's hand is grabbed by Seiji when she comes over to see what he wants. "Huh?" she inquires. Then she gets dragged into the store. She pieces it together slowly. "…Oh, right. Well, let's not go crazy. You know, because…" She looks around cautiously and then leans in close, cupping a hand over her mouth to conceal her lip movements, and whispers in Seiji's ear. "We don't need to be flashing a bunch of money. We probably stand out plenty already without drawing >that< kind of attention. So go for what we need, but don't go for the most expensive. Expensive doesn't always mean quality, and we need every ryo we have!"
Then she leans away and lowers her hand and smiles at the man behind the counter as though she hadn't just been doing something incredibly suspicious. Then she moves away to try to find some good-quality travel-wear for various situations.
Seiji nods to Chichi, and well the rat does catches his attention and watching as it's food turned on him makes Seiji chuckle a bit. He then begins looking for city wear while Chichi looks for travel wear. Seiji rubs his eyes a bit as he looks at the clothing, the only part of shopping he didn't like was all the walking, but knowing that though only makes him chuckle a bit inwardly. Finding a few things that were his size or slightly bigger, he picks them up, mostly greens and browns and a few black garments. As he looks for clothing for Chichi, he knows he has to be careful of what he gets her, but he does his best and picks out a few select items for her. Before going up to the counter, he walks over to where Chichi is, "Can you look at theses and tell me what you think?" he asks. He was pretty bland when picking clothing and well it's always good to have a second pair of eyes.
The man behind the counter arches an eyebrow as he stands there and watches the two teenagers, but otherwise does nothing in response to Chichi's whispering and smiling. He drums his fingertips on the counter a couple times until Seiji and Chichi seperate to look at different types of clothes. Then he resumes reading a scroll or something laid out in front of him at the desk, making sure to glance up occasionally to make sure nothing is walking out of the store on its own.
Chichi has followed her own advice and done some bargain hunting, looking for good stuff that doesn't cost as much as good stuff should. She isn't having a terribly good amount of luck. They have no reason to cater to people much here. Either people buy stuff or they don't, usually. That doesn't mean prices are jacked up (or at least not >all< the time), but it >does< mean that there's no '50% off' tags on anything. She has to evaluate each item on a case-by-case basis. Most of them don't even have any indication of how much the store owner expects people to pay for them. What is this some kind of… Of… Haggling shop!?
She wanders over just as Seiji approaches her with some clothes. She blinks at them. "Well, I guess they're okay… But I don't think you're the type to wear skirts?" She then shrugs and walks up to the counter. "Okay, how much for all of these?" she asks, perhaps naively. "Also, we're looking for someone who can get us local identification made. We're uhh… Setting up in the city and want to make sure we have anything we might need. You know. Incase… 'The law' starts picking at us."
She thinks she displayed her interest fairly subtlely without going into detail on the fact she wanted illegal I.D.
Seiji shakes his head, "It's for you if you want it." he tells her. Seiji looked at the price tags and had the same luck that Chichi did. SOme of the items didn't have any tags on them, but he did know that the owner could jack up the prices if he think he could more money out of them. Upon Chichi say what she likes, he would walk up to the counter with her. Granted he was about to say something when Chichi pretty much tells the man what they needed. Groaning inwardly, Seiji just looks to Chichi for the moment, then to the clerk. Smirking a bit, to try to add to Chichis unorthodox methods. Seiji makes sure to keep an eye out on anyone maybe watching them outside of the store owner.
The man just looks at the piles of clothing put on the counter, rolling up the scroll that was previously laid out, and tucking it away on a shelf. He examines each item individually, and then finally speaks. "1,200 ryo. And this is a gear shop, not a referral station. I don't know anything about any I.D." Yes, 1,200 ryo for clothes and he's not telling them anything. Great.
Chichi stares. "…Huh?" 1,200? That's a lot of money! She is torn between trying to haggle or just paying. Then she remembers they have >barely< 1,000 ryo left! They have to save! "…Well, you know… This doesn't look >that< good… I mean, look at this stuff! It'll keep me warm — barely — but it won't be comfortable, it won't look good, and it won't stop a knife or anything else. I'll give you 400 ryo."
The haggling begins. And Chichi, dumb as she is, winds up probably being ripped off. But at least they have 400 ryo left out of the 1000 they entered the store with!
…>So< ripped off.
With all their stuff gathered, Chichi grumbles and makes her way towards the door, assuming Seiji is carrying stuff of his own and following her. And they still have no idea where to get new identities!
They were getting played but Seiji let Chichi take the lead, they both had to learn how to fend for their selves and knwo when they were being taken for a ride. And the fact that she managed to get everything for 600 ryo. He sighs and takes everything after they've been bagged up. Following CHichi out of the shop, he looks around and leans in close to her. "Be a bit less conspicous about the ids. Just saying your looking to find someone to get ids will alarm people. We can look around for a bit, but we have to be a bit more cautious." he says to her. Looking around for a few moments, "Fuuma is pretty big, lets look around a bit longer then head back, maybe we will be able to find what we need and if not we try again tomorrow." he says. Taking more of the lead, he begins walking with Chichi down another street. He was worried, trying to find fake i.d.'s isn't something your trained for, and well seeing as they never really finished their ninja training only makes this harder. Not knowing exactly where to go Seiji tries to keep within the central area which could easily lead them back the way they came to get out of the central area anyways.
Ninja training does not necessarily equal knowledge of how to acquire false identification, no. But espionage and infiltration training would have taught the two Genin all they would need to know in a situation like this. Unfortunately, neither has had such training. Thus, the round-about method of walking around, sticking to the more well-populated central areas with plenty of lights and witnesses, and not going to the right place or talking to the right people.
And yet, since the moment the two left that shop with their backpacks or what-have-you full of clothing, Seiji and Chichi have been followed. They were noticed while still in the store. The inquiry about identification may not have moved the store owner to speak, but other ears were listening… Ears that most would overlook, for the simple fact that they are not recognized as ears.
And so it is, that when Seiji and Chichi venture near enough to the mouth of an alleyway that branches off the street they have been following, a voice calls out softly, "Hey…" The word is simple, but obviously directed at the two Wanderers. This is because they happen to be at a relatively quiet intersection of alleys, without actually having left the main street. A glance around would reveal that a young child is standing in the alley to the right, along with an older boy. Perhaps slightly younger than Seiji. Neither is dressed 'well' per se, but they are not garbed in rags or dirty or anything either. Instead they wear simple black outfits with a white circle on the left breast and the outline of a white, worm-like creature within that circle. The boy was the one who spoke. He repeats his call. "Hey…" And then he adds onto it. "You looking for somethin', buddy? You and your friend there lookin' for somethin'?" Why is he talking like that? Repeating himself? The boy has a calm, tired-sort-of expression on his face, with a half-smile on his lips. A faint, ghostly smile. The little girl at his side just stares straight ahead at Seiji and Chichi and says nothing.
Chichi follows Seiji around. While this city is interesting, it is also big, scary, and not yielding the results she had been hoping for. When some creepy boy calls out to her and Seiji when they're in a quieter part of the city, she turns quickly and leans around the Yotsuki next to her to see who it is. "…." She stares at the youth and the even younger little girl. They don't seem too healthy. "…." The offer or question or statement or whatever that was just adds to Chichi's confusion, so the red-haired girl responds simply with, "…Huh?"
About ready to stop and head back to where they were staying Seiji stops when he hears someone calling out to them. Turninig around and looking at the little boy, he studies him and the girl for a few moments. Crouching slightly and nodding to Chichi, "Maybe, who wants to know?" he asks as he looks at the kids. Both were unhealthy looking, and the fact that he nor Chichi noticed them until unnerved the Yotsuki genin.
The gaunt boy, perhaps 13 or 14, looks towards Seiji when he responds. "Know a girl… Know a girl that knows things… She can tell you what you need to know. If she don't know it, she can find out. Yeah, she can find out real good — what you need to know, you know?" He tries to chuckle a bit but it's brief, and raspy. "I was told… I was told you was looking for something. Maybe a way to walk in the daylight and not be seen. Not be seen by EYES that is. Those with ears will probably spot you, but not eyes. No, eyes won't spot you, but ears might. Either way, she can get you the papers. The stuff you need."
The boy looks at the little girl next to him and winces as though in sudden pain. Then he turns his attention back to Seiji. "So, if you want her help, you just go to this address tommorow… She'll be waiting for you. If you don't show up tommorow, then don't show up the tommorow after tommorow. If you do, there won't be anyone there. Not a single one there."
Then he gives out the address of a house somewhere in the less intact parts of Fuuma Alley. The dirtier, more crime-ridden portions… But an area that at least USED to be a place for families to be raised, and honest people to make a living.
Seiji looks to the boy as he crouches there, he was talking in riddles, but Seiji didn't bother to stop him. 'Eyes and Ears huh?' he thinks to himself as he continues. He glances over at Chichi for just a moment to see if she is getting this, but when the boy offered them a address, he commits it to memory and nods to the boy. "I will not ask how, but we will be there tomorrow." he says simply. He didn't like the fact that some information was dropped by Chichi, but then again if not they wouldn't be getting this. "Who do we ask for when we get there?" he asks. That was his one question, even though they will be going to an unknown person to get things and to learn things, it's good to know just a few names if possible.
Chichi stares at the creepy kid and the also-staring-little-girl who is somehow even more creepy because she just stands there and smiles blankly and >stares< straight ahead. Chichi has the impulse to wave a hand in front of the child's face, but doesn't want to get that close. She somehow gets the impression she'd get bitten.
She listens to the address and so forth, but has nothing to offer. Seiji is smarter than her. Maybe he can understand. She'll just stay over here and be the muscle! She'll protect Seiji! …From behind him! Yeah!
The boy just sort of moves his head around a bit and then stabilizes himself. He really does not look so well. Then the little girl reaches up a hand and seems to barely brush the boy's right hand. He snaps to attention immediately. "Yes! Lady Kumogaki! She will be expecting you!" Then he seems to become quite weak and looks nervously at the girl. She looks up at him, and he turns to escort her away down the alley, without so much as a good bye. Or is SHE escorting HIM…? He certainly seemed afraid of her…
Very odd. Odd people, odd encounter, odd city. All abnormal. And yet so is the situation that Seiji and Chichi find themselves in. They had best acclimate.