Date: May 18, 2016
Atsuro, Kenta and Tatsuo rushes to the classified archives to find the file listing all the members of the sealing party present when Tatsuo was made a Jinchuuriki. Unfortunately, the traitor in the Leaf had anticipated this and planted a trap in the file.
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"Tail Hunters - Explosive Investigation"
Konoha Classified Archives
Last Week, on NMR…after interviewing a pair of captured kidnappers it had become evident that someone within Konoha was involved in trying to capture Tatsuo. Someone who'd been at the Isobu sealing process. This leads the four shinobi to the restricted archives to look up who had been involved in the process to greatly narrow down the search. And so…
A pair of guards meets up with and flank the group quickly as they near the archives, having been called in by Taizen's report. "Are you alright?" One of them asks of Atsuro, seeing as he's the most important of the group at the moment. Tatsuo moves just behind the others, body stiff and face still rather neutral and emotionless as it had been when they'd discovered the bodies of two of their captives not long ago.
It actually hasn't been a week, but what seemed to be only moments. Well slightly longer than moments. Kenta still didn't enjoy everything that went on between discovering that a traitor killed two of their prisoners and arriving at the archives. He wondered whether the archives have been ransacked the entire time. The medic-nin comes to a stop behind Atsuro. He also stands slightly behind Tatsuo, so that the boy would have both front and back covered by Jounin. After everything that's happened, Kenta isn't about to allow careless oversight to enable Tatsuo's kidnapping.
"None of us were hurt," Atsuro tells the guard, "What about here, has anyone come by recently? Anything happened to any of the files here?" He takes a moment to sniff the air for any sign of intruders. That includes the guard, though he does so surreptitiously. The infiltrator was clever enough to get into the cells, faking a guard's appearance isn't out of the question. "We'll be looking at the Top Secret files. You can consider these two to have clearance for now." He moves towards the files.
The guards seem surprised at the deluge of questions but he shakes his head. "No, no one has been here all day sir." The guard is a familiar enough one to be easily recognized by Atsuro. He gives Kenta and Tatsuo a stern looking over but allows them after the Inuzuka, since he'd ordered it and all. Everything seems well enough in order with all the files at this point. It's very tidy and everything is kept locked away. The guard stays a distance back so as to not intrude but keeps an eye on the visitors.
Tatsuo just looks around the archives with wide eyes, the problems in his mind momentarily forgotten as he sees all the cabinets filled with files. So much information. So much he could learn. Yet it's all, technically, off limits to him. That makes his eye twitch a little bit as he thinks about it. So much knowledge…
Like Tatsuo, Kenta's a bit awed by the amount of knowledge all around them. On the other hand, this is also blunted by the fact that he's been to the archives before as part of both Jounin and medic-nin duties. In addition, the state of the files that list which shinobi were part of the team to seal Isobu into Tatsuo is important enough to take up most of Kenta's thoughts. "Umm… at least it doesn't look like the place has been ransacked. That doesn't mean that the files we need are still here though, not if the traitor is clever," Kenta murmurs to the rest of the small group. "Let's hope that he either didn't think of removing them or didn't have time to."
As soon as the guard has given them the clear, Atsuro continues on to the files, leading the way to the top secret area. "It should be here," says Atsuro, "If they've taken the record, we'll have to start interviewing people one by one and figuring out who was there." He pulls out a drawer from one of the file cabinets. "Let's see…" He pulls a file folder from the drawer. "Here it is. This could blow the whole thing wide op — oh, detonator!" He starts to open the folder, but suddenly tosses it across the room, away from the three of them.
Tatsuo is too distracted by his surroundings to notice what Atsuro is doing until it's too late. The opening of the file starts a soft sizzling sound and the truth is opened…in a way. The file was trapped with an exploding tag and Atsuro just activated it. There really is little time as by the time Atsuro throws the folder the process completes and an explosion is rather imminent, threatening the whole of the archives on top of those in the room!
Kenta's eyes widen. No! The archives! All the precious knowledge inside! Kenta acts on instinct the moment that the explosive tag is revealed. He doesn't think. The young man forms a quick serious of hand seals even as he launches himself bodily towards the file that Atsuro just flung across the room. A skin tight shield forms around the young man's body a fraction of a second before he reaches the trapped file. Kenta bends to snatch the explosive tag from the folder and runs towards the middle of the area, the point furthest away from all the precious files. He tries to fall to the ground with his shielded body curled up tightly around the tag.
"Everyone, stay b—" Despite Atsuro's attempts to corral everyone away from the explosive tag, Kenta slips through. His eyes widen with horror as he realizes what the mednin is doing. "Kenta, NO!"
Tatsuo's eyes widen as what's happening finally dawns on him and he reaches for the fleeing Kenta, but is too late and unable to follow since Atsuro corrals him back. The tag explodes under Kenta, the medics body saving the others as well as all the information in the archives, although…what would it do to the medic? Tatsuo bypasses Atsuro, going so far as to have a wall of water push the Inuzuka away from him if need be so that he can drop to his knees next to Kenta and quickly send medical chakra through him, checking his injuries. Or, ya know, for a pulse.
Kenta's still and unmoving when the others approach him. Luckily, Tatsuo can tell right away that he's still breathing and isn't really injured. The concussion created by the explosive tag had only stunned Kenta for a moment. Almost all of the force was otherwise absorbed by the shield around the young man. That shield had absorbed much more dangerous jutsu than a mere explosive tag, so Kenta wasn't really in as much danger as the others might have thought. It still wasn't a very advisable thing to do. Kenta starts to groan loudly. "Owww… Are the files ok?" he asks in a dazed voice while blinking blearily up at everyone.
From the other side of the room, the release of a held breath can be heard. "Kenta, you—" Atsuro shakes his head. He just takes a moment to catch his breath. "Thank you," he says, "That was very brave. And I think they're okay, thanks to you." He walks over to the file and kneels down, carefully picking it up and opening to see what's inside.
Relief floods Tatsuo's features when he finds that Kenta is okay and only stunned. He swallows back tears that threaten to fall, silent now that all is said and done. He stands and offers a hand down to help Kenta back to his feet before looking over to Atsuro and the file. Inside is just a simple note. 'Boom'. The ink doesn't smell fresh, but it's also not super old. It was probably removed sometime within the last week or so. Whoever is doing this was covering their tracks in case the group failed.
Kenta takes Tatsuo's hand and gets to his feet. He moves slightly stiffly, but doesn't sound any other signs of discomfort from his encounter with the explosive tag. A heavy scowl fills the young man's normally placid features upon seeing the empty file. "Umm… this traitor is really starting to get on my nerves. He thinks he's so clever." Kenta looks at the Inuzuka duo. "Atsuro-senpai… are you able to get any scent off of the note? Or tell whether the paper and ink have anything special to their properties that we can use to track the source?"
Atsuro sighs as he regards the note. "I can't smell anything identifying on it. And he /is/ clever." There's a strange smirk on his face as he carefully puts the note back in the folder. "I would guess about… seventy-five percent as clever as he thinks he is. Just couldn't resist taunting us… by leaving us a note in his own handwriting. In an archive open to only a handful of people. Oh, and of course we know that he uses seals. He destroyed the evidence, but in the process he's just given us more to work with—that's always how it goes." He stands up and dusts his clothes off. "Get an investigation team in here," he calls to the guard.
The guards have been standing there in stunned silence after everything that had happened so quickly. They owe their lives to Kenta as well. "Uh h-hai!" One of them runs off quickly while the other stays, still a bit stunned.
Tatsuo looks over the simple note that Atsuro had found, his face once again more neutral. "How many people would have access to that Atsuro-sama?" he asks, dark eyes moving up to meet Atsuro's as his fists clench at his side. "What kind of person is doing this? And why?" Those tears that are being held back seem to want to escape but he won't let them.
Kenta places a hand on Tatsuo's shoulder. "Someone that we're going to catch sooner or later, Tatsuo. Probably sooner, because we have Atsuro-senpai directly working on the case. I'm not going to let anything happen to you either…" The young man's voice trails off and his eyes loses focus for a second as he recalls what happened to the last host of Isobu that got captured. He blinks to clear the memories away. "Umm… definitely won't let anything happen to you. If anyone wants to try, they can do it over my dead body," the medic-nin says fiercely.
"I don't know off the top of my head," says Atsuro, "But /that/ information would be a lot harder to get rid of. Even if they got the archives copy, did they get the copies for the academy, and the rest of the administration, the training areas? Even if they did, the likelihood of someone having seen them just gets higher and higher. Tatsuo, we /will/ find this person. I can already taste their blood." He coughs and looks over to Kenta, "But I'd rather it didn't come to that, especially since it almost felt like it just now."
Tatsuo reacts in a rather surprising way. He shrugs off Kenta's hand. "No. People have already died protecting me. I don't want anything to happen to you three. I…I wouldn't be able to live with myself if something happened to you guys." His eyes lower to the ground and to the burn mark left by the explosive tag that Kenta had covered. That could've been it right there. "I-I'm going to go get some fresh air. I'll wait outside for the team…" That's teenager code for I want to be alone for a little bit. And then he turns and walks out.
Kenta looks troubled when Tatsuo shrugs his hand off. "Nothing is going to happen to us, because we're going to catch that traitor and his cohorts first…" he starts to say before his ward simply walks away from them. The young man looks at Atsuro with concern in his eyes. "Umm… Tatsuo is really being hit hard by his. We need to solve this case as quickly as possible. I don't like the idea that there's a target on his back right now. It was bad enough with Takeo, but Tatsuo's like a flesh and blood brother to me. I can't let anything happen to him."
"I know," says Atsuro. "He just needs some time. If I could, /I'd/ take a little time. It was hard seeing you jump on that bomb, Kenta. Having your friends die is just part of being a ninja sometimes, but if I lost you I'd never be the same again. Tatsuo's probably just thinking of that possibility too. And if you had been hurt, you would have done it to save him." He looks around. "We're going to just get in the way when the investigators show up. Let's clear out." He starts walking out of the restricted area. "Keep an eye out," he tells the guard, "You can return to normal duties when the investigators get here."
The guards quickly salute Atsuro when he starts to depart, nodding their understanding of his orders. "Yes sir," they say quickly. The guards that remain are on the alert and they are being superbly watchful. Which is why one spots something surprising enough to bring it to the attention of the others. "Hey, that kid just disappeared. Does he have some kind of special jutsu?"
"I didn't die, Atsuro-senpai. I didn't even get hurt. If that's a fear, I wouldn't go on missions at all. The possibility of dying is something that's part of being a shinobi," Kenta states somberly as he follows Atsuro out. The young man skids to a sudden stop when he hears what the guard said. "Ummm… what? Tatsuo doesn't have any such ability. He…" The medic-nin's eyes widen. "Atsuro-senpai! Can you smell him anywhere at all?"
Atsuro nods. "Well, I know, but when I saw you dive on that tag, all I could think was—" His eyes immediately narrow as the guard points out Tatsuo's disappearance. "He doesn't have any such jutsu," he says. He runs outside and sniffs the air. Coincidentally, Taizen has come to the archives to reunite with Atsuro. "Tai," Atsuro calls, "I need you to get back to the administration and have them put the whole village on lockdown. Nobody gets in or out. Get me every sensor and tracker available."
There's nothing to show where Tatsuo has gone. His scent simply dies at the same location he'd vanished from. The guards run out to look around as well, but the Nara is indeed quite gone. Few things could've done that. The most obvious with all that's happened so far is a seal master. Perhaps one of the greatest ever to live. With all the seals so far and the sudden disappearance it's the only thing that makes sense. And there's only a handful strong enough within Konoha. And only one expert who would've been at the sealing. It's an Uzumaki. The one who actually sealed Isobu into Tatsuo.