Date: August 16, 2014
The leadership of Sunagakure states their official response to the demands of the Silence.
"The Silence - Suna's Response"
Sunadome Arena - Fighting Ring [Sunagakure]
From the ground floor of the arena, one can truly get a sense of the sheer size and spectacle of the place. At its widest point, the colosseum is nearly a mile in circumference, and the domed ceiling is roughly fifty stories overhead. Needless to say, trying to take it all in can be dizzying. The floor of the arena is made up of a number of massive rolling sand dunes, about a hundred fifty feet tall at their tallest point. In the very center of the arena, a simple, well manicured lawn of green, rather like an oasis, marks the primary battle spot. The lawn is a little larger than a standard boxing arena, and is even equipped with a small pond, no more than five feet across.
With an international crisis on the horizon threatening what appears to be all of the Shinobi world, Kuoroke has decided to make a statement. Everyone interested is invited to the arena, with specific purpose. People start streaming into their seats a while before, and chatting among themselves, as they wait for Kuoroke to appear.
Akiko yawns as she comes into the arena, settling down in a seat. Kotone is perched on her shoulder much like usual, and both are enjoying a nice meal. For Akiko, some bread with butter. For Kotone, some kind of meat that was cooked. The girl just sits with mild interest at why Kuoroke might have to say, but is mostly bored by the waiting.
Keeping a hand over the backs of several empty stadium seats, Rikuto seems to let his digits flow with a unseen breeze. The teen manages to find a ringside seat to rest in while the rest of village was still arriving. Moving his hand to the hood of his cloak, he exposes his face, making it easier to look towards the microphone set out for the councilman once he arrives.
Walking into the stands, Tsuchi is heading for the front row. Right behind her is a ferret who seems quite displeased about something. Even as she takes a spot up front, he plops down in a seat right beside her and then glares over at her. She then looks over at him and blinks before pointing at him, "Enough!" She declares and then sighs, "Just cause you don't agree with something doesn't mean I can't do it! You do stuff that annoys me all the time!"
Sora, for his part continues to squint at her before just huffing and muttering, "Snake lover."
Stepping into the arena, Moe would look around spot Tsuchi and Sora, arguing as always. A low snicker escapes her lips at that before she steps over and takes a seat by the pink-haired girl on the opposite side from the ferret. "Good to see you two getting along so well," she comments sarcastically as she settles in her seat. "… I wonder if the Council have made a decision then about how they're going to answer the Silence's threat."
Kuoroke, too, enters the arena… stands? Apparently unbothered by the fact he was the one supposed to give a speech, the Kuroki moves to one of the seats among the crowd, gives his neighbours a nod in greeting each, and comfortably settles into the seats, looking at the sand below expectantly.
Looking away from the arena as the voices and shuffling surround him, Rikuto began to look through the stands for the sources. Close by he would look at Tsuchi and then look around her, trying to to see who she was arguing with, it would take him a moment to realize the person with her was a small furred animal. "First a hawk, then a lizard.. now a weasel. I didn't expect there to be that many different types." While he spoke out loud, the teen's voice was low, uttering a loud thought.
Rikuto turns his attention to Moe as she mentions the Council. Soon after, a light smile appears on the teens lips as he nods lightly to Akiko before turning back around. He would notice Kuoroke in the stand but it seems he didn't realize he was the council member who was supposed to be speaking soon.
Before Tsuchi can speak up, Sora steps up and glares at Moe, pointing at her, "This is all your fault, you…you…" He hmms and seems to be at the loss of words before finally declaring, "Adulterer!" He nods his head and then seems pleased by his statement before moving back over to sit next to Tsuchi and then cross his arms over his furred chest.
Tsuchi facepalms hard before finally sighing and looking over at Moe, "Yeah…we get along quite well. As you can imagine, he seems displeased by…something." She chuckles and grins at Moe before looking forward and blinking as Kuoroke sits with them in the stands and then looks at the others here, "I'm not really sure…I thought it was Kuoroke that was to speak up. Not sure." She then hmms, "In my opinion, we just kill them when they show up…destroy a whole village? This lot is insane."
A lone figure, short and covered in a monkish cowl, strolls out into the middle of the arena with a measured stride. The plain robes don't signify much to the uninitiated eye, but of course most of the people who've lived in Sunagakure for a while know what this could very well mean. Sure enough, the hood is pulled back to reveal the wizened face of Kokoroe Sousa, the Kazekage of Sunagakure. Who knows why it wasn't announced that he'd be the one speaking; maybe one of his experiments concluded earlier than expected, and he decided he had time to make a public statement on this little matter after all. ;9 Sousa folds his hands behind his back and gazes up at the crowd.
"As most of you are by now aware, there was an incident at the chuunin exams in Kumogakure," Sousa begins. "A rogue group calling itself the Silence attacked the audience during an examination tournament match, then issued a statement. They claim to hold evidence of underhanded dealings engaged in by all of the hidden villages, and they demand that the villages reveal their 'true faces', or they will do it for us."
Sousa pauses and smirks lightly, indulging in a personal aside. "To be quite honest, the thought of having a ubiquitous revelation of state secrets is fascinating to me. So much progress is obstructed simply by the short-sightedly selfish withholding of information between competing parties. A world where there are no secrets, an open-knowledge game in mathematical terms, would be so much more…expedient."
Sousa gives a knowing sigh and shakes his head. "Of course, the reality is not nearly so ideal. It would be foolish to believe that this disgruntled faction could reveal all of the shinobi world's dirty secrets, even on a temporary basis. In response to their demand, I shall say this much: yes, certainly Sunagakure engages in activities which we would prefer not be made public, just as every shinobi village does. When has it ever been otherwise? In the reality we are obligated to live within, secrecy often is a valuable tool, and we must make use of it in order to compete with other entities who are similarly secretive. If the Silence chooses to disclose what information it does have, however damaging, about Sunagakure and the other hidden villages, so be it, but their demand that all of our dealings be unequivocally brought to light is both laughably ineffective considering their leverage and ridiculously unconfirmable." X)
Sousa tilts his head with an amused smile for a moment. n.n Then he looks back to his audience with the same smile, but a touch of hardness in his eyes. "Nevertheless, that does not mean we are not taking the threat this rogue coalition presents seriously. Councilor Kuroki-san, the floor is yours."
At the little ferret's display, Moe quirks an eyebrow at him and shakes her head. "If you're going to use a word, be sure you actually know what it means, brat. I'm not married nor do I attach myself to anyone that is, so that word doesn't make sense in any context." She then looks at Tsuchi and chuckles a bit before cutting a glare that could probably burn through his soul if it were possible as a warning of what will happen to him if he should try to publicly humiliate her again then a cheery smile at Tsuchi.
As Kuoroke approaches, she would blink and nod at Tsuchi. Her eyes follow her cousin to where he moves before looking up to where the Kage presents himself to speak. All in all, nothing that's said surprises her, though she listens respectfully and waits for what will be said next.
Akiko listens curiously to the conversation around her before Sousa decides to give his speech. She doesn't really understand what's being said beyond 'there are bad guys and their demands are ridiculous'. Okay… Well, she'll just have to make sure she's strong enough to get rid of the bad guys that might show up. Kotone spends her time people-watching for now. The falcon spots Tsuchi and Moe and Sora, tapping Akiko to point out the older Shinobi. The girl recognizes them both and tries to unobtrusively make her way over, giving them a tiny bow of greeting. She's not too sure what they're talking about either, but it might be easier to understand than what's going on down below…
Rikuto remains distract by the arguing of the furred creature and what looks to be its handler.. or lover. Listening to the charge being leveled leaves the teen with his head cant to one side in silence. The Kazekage's voice quickly steals his attention as his brown eyes focus onto the center of the arena intently.
Once silence filled the arena again, Rikuto mutters a question, "Just what will we do with these missing nin though?" The teen furls as he becomes lost in though but then bows his head forward towards the arena. A faint chuckle follows a snort, answering his own question when his head raises, "The enemies of Sunagakure will be buried in its dunes."
Kuoroke listens intently to the Kage's statement, nodding a few times. When he notices Moe looking at him, he briefly raises a hand in greeting, but then his focus is on Sousa again. When the Kage is done speaking, he stands up, moves through the rows carefully, and then hops down into the sand. "Thank you, Kage-sama!" the Kuroki announces. He turns around and studies his crowd for a while silently. "Ladies and gentlemen. Cousins, sisters, friends! A few days ago, in an arena much like ours, a covert group has reared its head. They call themselves 'Silence', and they demand that we speak. They hide in the shadows, and they demand that we reveal what keeps our village safe. Why?!"
He walks in a circle, looking around the arena. "Why would they demand that? Chaos! War! That is what they seek. They wish to undo the growth of the villages. The safety they bring. They have announced as much. The Silence wants to create a world where you must choose between the health of your children or your siblings. A world where you must decide between the lives of your brother and your sister. Where you must choose to sacrifice a village, or a loved one. To sacrifice them to criminals, to traitors, to madmen, to people like themselves, this 'Silence'! They seek to forge a world where neither you, nor those you love, can sleep soundly at night for fear of their violence, and to forge it in the fires of Sunagakure."
Another pause is left to let that image sink in. "But we will -not- allow this. We've fought too long, we've lost too many, to bend our heads to these thugs, only to keep fighting, to keep losing those we care about!" Kuoroke lowers his voice again from the passionate shout it had turned into. "Today, we must still make difficult choices. We still have enemies. We still have secrets, for they keep us safe. We must maintain these secrets lest those enemies strike against our old and our young, our weak and our infirm. And for these people we will stand against this Silence. These are dangerous people, and times may be hard while we fight them. So keep this in your hearts. When we stand against the Silence, when they hear our cries of defiance, take courage in the fact we stand for those you love. For the people you grew up with. Look upon the people in the street and the people in your home. It is them we must now defend. We are the people of the desert. We are strong, we are enduring, and the bonds that hold us together are strong. We will not let this Silence bring us to our knees."
Kuoroke raises a clenched fist and, pumping it, exclaims, "Not today! Not tomorrow. Not -ever-!"
Even as Moe glares at him, Sora climbs across Tsuchi's shoulders, making her lean her head forward with an annoyed look so he can glare back at Moe right up until his tail gets a hand on it, Tsuchi's hand, that tugs him back to his seat. She squints at him, "I'm not your jungle gym." She then looks over to Moe and shakes her head, "Don't worry, he's just jealous." Sora just sticks out his tongue. Tsuchi than hears the Kage speak and stops this little bit even as Sora moves off his seat to the edge of the arena to look down at the center.
"Who is that?" He asks and is thumped for it and tugged back as Tsuchi states in a hushed way, "That's the Kazekage, now silence." He then blinks in surprise and moves back to his seat, all proper and calm, paying close attention. Tsuchi then blinks as Kuoroke speaks up before shifting some and then tilting her head before she watches as everyone seems to be all excited. She then licks her lips softly, "I see."
When someone begins to move behind him, Rikuto turns around some what snarling with clinches teeth. Before the youth would yell at the person standing up he noticed the person as a councilman and quickly turns back around, choosing to watch the man jump down and into the arena below. Raising a gloved hand he begins to scratch at the side of his head nervously, waiting for the other man to now speak
As Kuoroke spoke the nervousness in Rikuto from his near mistake shifts into irritation. 'Home..' is the only word, hardly above a whisper, that slips from his lips during the speech. The teen glances towards the side for a fleeting moment once the speech ended with the man's fist thrust in air before focusing onto the arena once again. Raising his hands in front of him and begins to clap his hands against each other, not seeming to wait to see if other were going to join with the applause.
Sousa gives a short bow to Kuoroke as he finishes his speech. "Thank you, Kuroki-san. An energizing oration, to be sure." Sousa looks to the crowd again. "An informative word for your tactical advantage. Some of the members of the Silence displayed some extremely powerful techniques during the attack. Little is known about the nature of these techniques yet, apart from that they appear to be seal-based, and one of them resulted in a powerful chakra drain. Be sure to familiarize yourselves with the profiles of the known Silence members the administration is providing to all shinobi, and do not attempt confrontation with those beyond your skill level. Should you find opportunity to obtain further information about this rogue group, use your best judgment and training to determine how to proceed. Be cunning and resourceful, Sunagakure. That is all."
Moe has to smile a bit at Kuoroke's speech. She definitely hadn't expected that from him. At his last words of his, she applauds a bit, quite proud of her cousin. Then it's back to the Kazekage, whose words, rather bits of plans of action, draw attention as well. Once it's done, she'd smirk a bit and look back over at Tsuchi, having literally ignored all of Sora's antics since the glare. "Well, it looks like Sunagakure gets to stand up against another impending apocalypse. This should be interesting."