Date: April 6th, 2010
Three members of Team 01 meet to plan out how they're going to avoid the badguys and still contact the Council about what they've found out.
"Death Is Only The Beginning - The Conspirators Meet"
It's a few days after the mission to the graveyard. The corpse heists were stopped — for now at least — but in the process many questions were raised, and the wrath of someone with influence in Sunagakure was incurred. For the past three days there have been Sunagakure's fledgling special operative ninja sweeping the Village and the desert. They've been questioning everyone, especially ninja, and generally making it hard for Suna's Team 01 to get anything done. So Ruri has taken the opportunity to study some information on Seals while she is holed up in her room with her sister. Rinako, of course, complained the whole time, like she didn't know that they had to stay hidden.
The investigators came to their apartment anyway. Ruri just told them that they'd been quarantined for the past five days by Hone Nai after it was determined that they had contracted a possible contagious illness on a previous escort mission. The investigators were quick to leave after Ruri started breathing on them.
Now, however, the search has died down enough that Ruri is heading to meet her team mates outside the Village, near an outcropping of rocks in the desert. Rinako is still sleeping, since it's high noon.
Life certainly is rough when you're a simple-minded woman living in a village that emphasizes intelligence work, and you've got something to hide for once. >.<; Shemri has dodged suspicion primarily through a combination of luck and Megumi-chan's antics; the investigators assessed Shemri's tense demeanor as stress caused by the little girl trying to get into things in the background while they questioned her. Anyhow, why would a working mom get tangled up in any intrigues? :P
Arriving at the meeting place, Shemri takes out her frazzled nerves on her team-mates. "Hoi, how much longer must we sneak about with this?! We should tell what we have learned! The Council will not allow them to get away with this!"
Kara is already out there with Ruri, yep, yep! She's sunbathing on a towel on the sand, in a teensy weensy white bikini that is actually some strips of linen bandages and thus doesn't cover much at all. Doubly so since she is on her stomach and has her bandage-top undone so that she doesn't get any lame tanlines.
She has on some dark glasses (not quite sunglasses, which have yet to be invented) and is just resting and waiting. Pharaoh is lounging against the rocky outcropping, empty eye sockets staring blankly out at the desert sands. When Shemri comes up snapping at everyone, Kara doesn't bother to look up immediately. She just purses her lips, and hmmmms. Finally, she says, "Better keep it down. The Shippodoku can hide underground, you know. A lot like Hone-san, and Pharaoh-kun, infact. So you never know who might be listening in…"
She pushes herself up onto her elbows and looks at Pharaoh for a moment. Pharaoh is the only male here, so she has no concern about modesty for the moment. She thus gestures with her hands as though there were invisible strings connected to her fingertips — and there are, of course — and Pharaoh's head slowly lifts. He turns his head this way and that, and little bits of glittering ornamentation in his headdress sparkle in the sunlight. Then, Kara smiles and says, "Nope. All-clear!" She releases her hold on Pharaoh with her Chakra Strings, and the puppet resumes 'resting'.
"I think that now that the search has died down a bit, we can try to contact the Council. The thing is… Whoever is in charge of the… 'Activities', shall we say, obviously has a lot of control over Sunagakure, if they can order out special operatives to search around like this. It's possible that one of the Council members might be in on it. Thus, we need to be careful who we talk to."
Ruri glances away from the desert, the sun glaring off of it making her eyes hurt. Shemri making a fuss causes Ruri to look around. "Sound travels, Shemri-san." she admonishes. Once Kara lifts herself up, Ruri blinks at the slightly older girl and then looks away with a blush. The confirmation that they're alone causes Ruri to nod.
"You're right, though. We need to tell someone. We don't know what will happen if we don't. They might find us out eventually anyway. Or they might resume their 'activities'. Or maybe they'll stop, and destroy all the evidence, and we'll have no way of proving they ever did anything. We don't know! So we have to tell someone… But as Kara-chan has pointed out, we can't just tell anyone. It has to be a Council member, and it has to be one we can…" She practically gags on the next word when used in relation to the Council. "…Trust. Sorry, got some sand in my throat."
Gah. >.<; Again with having to watch herself in every little thing. Shemri scowls at Kara and folds her arms. "I should think you would have more reason to worry about spies at the moment," she mutters. Shemri takes a deep breath, then exhales. "Very well…I know little of the individual Council members myself. How may we determine which of them is safest to speak with? I do not believe we could get away with spying on any of them." :/
Kara just smiles at Shemri's verbal jab. "Well, I >am< pretty hot, I guess. But most guys are sort of put-off by Pharaoh-kun. I can't imagine why." She makes kissy faces at the corpse. Pharaoh does not return them, on account of not having lips. Then she hmmms at Ruri's words, and Shemri's question. "Well, I checked with our… 'Friend', and he is already a step ahead of the competition it seems. When the Sand-Gestapo showed up to question him and question the whereabouts of our Team as of three nights ago, he had already 'organized' our records." A beat. "The Rurohashi Twins have been quarantined for the past five days due to suspicions of them having The Plague, you have been tending to Megumi-chan, and >I< have been studying a new secret technique that I am not at liberty to discuss without authorization from the Kazekage himself." She smiles. "It really helps to have someone in charge of records. There's no record of our mission ever happening or even being posted. The mission we didn't go on, I mean." She tilts down her glasses and winks.
Ruri blinks, taking a moment to figure out who Kara is referring to. "…Ohhhhh, THAT 'friend'. Yes." Hone Nai is in records? Good to remember. Probably how he found out so much about those involved too. If they were regularly requisitioning ninja and supplies and things under false pretenses, the disparity would have been obvious to someone who spends a lot of time around records.
"Yes, I found that out, thankfully, before I was questioned. Clever guy, that 'friend' of ours." Even with the all-clear, she is cautious about naming names or specifics. Paranoia at its best. Then again, it's not paranoia if they're really out to get you.
Kara finishes after her original comment about Nai helping out with the records, "So, I think that our friend can possibly give us some insight into the Council members via their personnel files, and possibly restricted records too! We can look at the history of each, see if any of them would have personalities or whatever that might lean towards loyalty to the Village over personal ambition… That sort of thing."
Shemri glances at Kara's puppet. "He looks like death," she states matter-of-factly. "A ninja should be understanding of another ninja carrying around frightening things, but you may have more success if you only took him on training and missions, rather than playing with him every hour of the day." Shiikaa glances up at his mistress. So what are you saying? You were able to get a boyfriend even though I'm always with you because I'm /not/ threatening? >P
Shemri scratches her head. "Ah. Aha. This friend of yours sounds like a very useful person to know." Nope, not really making the connection. n.n "So then, is there anything I ought to do while you are looking into these things?"
Kara frowns at Shemri. "Well, be that as it may, Shemri-san… I'd rather not be unarmed like I was when we met in front of that clothes store. The Beard almost got me! That jerk! If I'd had Pharaoh he wouldn't have even tried." She thumbs her fists on the ground, and then sighs, before rolling over onto her back. Yep. No one out here to see her, so there's no reason to get tanlines. Resting her arms at her sides, she relaxes and says, "Our friend that we met the other night, Shemri-san. The one with the odd manner of dress?" She then huffs and says, "Hone-san!" Man, having a kid must make your brain dull or something!
"I can't think of anything specific you should do, Shemri-san. Just try to relax. Or at least appear to be relaxed. If you're tense all the time, they'll be suspicious of you."
Ruri considers Shemri's question. "Yes, actually. You can talk to our OTHER friend… The one who accompanied us back to the Village. I've tried prodding him a bit, but he hasn't been cooperative. And he could use a kinder hand. I imagine being a mother you could try the 'good ninja, bad ninja' approach. I've been the bad ninja. You can be the good ninja. Tend to his head injury, give him water and food… Get him to share his point of view on all that's happened. However you want to do it. Just try to get information out of him, if you can."
She then glances at Kara and turns completely away from her to face Shemri, face red. "…A-anyway, do you think you can handle that job, Shemri-san? I can tell you where he is, if so. …Though actually, we should probably relocate him occasionally too."
Shemri shrugs. "You could learn to use some ordinary weapons, or even your fists. At any rate, perhaps it is best you do keep it with you. If a boy is turned away by it on first sight, he will not likely be able to live with it. There must be some who would not mind it. My own husband has a metal arm and leg, after all, and I married him."
Shemri nods to Ruri. "Hmmm. I do not believe I am so warm and gentle as the image most have of a mother, but I shall try." Shemri peers at Ruri's face. "Speaking of being nurturing, though, you look rather flushed. Are you certain your illness is fake?" :P
Kara hmmmms. "I suppose that's true. I could use some more skills for myself. I've thought about it before, but haven't had the time or motivation." She shrugs as she puts her glasses back in place. "And that's true too. I don't want some shallow guy who judges Pharaoh based on his looks!" She sighs.
Ruri nods to Shemri. "Good. I know you're tougher than you look, but you at least have more experience with caring for a useless lump than I do. …Though, actually, Rinako is pretty much the same. So maybe not." She shrugs. "Anyway, just do your best." At the question about her face, she blushes again and looks agitated. "Yes, I'm sure! I'm just… Uhh… Overheated!" Well, no one else is all red, but maybe she got sunburned? Whatever!
Shemri nods. "Very well. Let me know anytime you are ready for me to speak with our 'other friend'. For now, though, I must go. I have a feeling Megumi-chan will be getting into trouble soon." e.e Shemri gives a brief bow and heads off toward the village.
Some distance away, Shemri halts. Waaaaait a minnit…she turns and cups her hands around her mouth.
"HOI! SHIIKAA IS NOT USELESS!!!" >.<
Kara sucks in a big breath, causing her chest to rise rather spectacularly, and then calls out, "RURI-CHAN MEANT AN >INFANT<!" Then she sighs and sits up. "I guess I better be heading back too. Don't want to be out in the sun for >too< long. A tan is one thing, but being charred is another." She then begins wrapping up her chest with bandages and setting about putting the rest of her clothing on. This was a productive meeting!