Date: August 12, 2014
Akiko, Moe, and Tsuchi are charged with chasing after the Stone Tanuki gang as an attempt to both gather information and take down some of their numbers.
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"The Stone Tanuki Gang: Encounter in the Ruins"
Ruins of San-Sara Daruta [Land of Wind]
San Sara-Duruta, or 'Three Plate-Delta', was a town situated in the middle of the Desert of Knives. Low buildings made of sandstone or adobe, and undecorated, were the order of the day. Almost anything illegal was acquirable in San Sara-Duruta, provided one knew the right people and had the money to spend. However, the threat that this small town represented to the people of the Land of Wind eventually couldn't be ignored.
Now, all that remains are broken walls, damaged or collapsed structures, and sand. The dead have long since been picked clean by scavenging animals and the ruins themselves picked clean by HUMAN scavengers. However, hopeful thieves and "treasure hunters" still occasionally search this place of wickedness that has now been turned to dust and emptiness. They do not stay, however. The Hidden Sand struck here once. There is no telling if or when they will do so again.
To the west, the Desert of Knives's western reaches extend into the distance. To the south-west, the southern portion of the Desert of Knives lies in wait, serving as a 'border' between the bandit-ruled sands and the less-populated deserts patrolled by shinobi. East lies a mountain range along the north-east desert of the Land of Wind. Caves and tunnels are said to extend beneath the mountains, and potentially even link up with the infamous Catacombs that lie beneath Sunagakure.
Most people choose not to investigate this rumor.
West - (W) [Desert of Knives (North)]
South-West - (SW) [Desert of Knives (South)]
East - (E) [Mountain Range - Northern Desert]
It was an interesting twist that Kotone had led them back to the same place she had taken Akiko to train previously on the mission they were sent on. Sure, no one was there at the time the had gone to the ruins last time but now Kotone and Akiko were certain that feint tracks in the desert sand took them back out to these very ruins. A portion of the Rogue Ninjas known as the Stone Tanuki gang were supposedly spotted in this area, quickly striking at caravans and disappearing back into the desert sand. Now the group of Moe, Akiko and Tsuchi were tasked with bringing this group down.
Even as Sora races ahead, sniffing at the ground and squinting at the various ruins that they approach, Tsuchi looks to Akiko and then to Moe, hmming softly, "We gotta be very aware…these guys are known for quick, stealthy attacks and escapes. They won't be easy to get at."
Moving along with the group, Moe has summoned Anda to help look in ways opposite Sora. The snake moves underground at a rapid pace, using his natural abilities to try to seek out any presences that shouldn't be here or seem malevolent. "If I can manage to bind a couple of them up, it should throw their strategy off enough for us to get them." Of course, as per usual, she doesn't look anything like a shinobi to the naked eye other than the fact that she's running with this group, something they can use to gain an advantage if the situation calls for it.
Akiko follows after Tsuchi, Moe, Kotone, and Sora, a bit nervous that today's targets are going to be rogue Shinobi. She was used to chasing down animals and trying to catch the occasional bandit, but this mission felt like it was a bit over her head. Regardless, she was determined to do her best. Hopefully her training would come through today! Akiko looks around, trying to heighten her sight by focusing chakra to her eyes. It's gotten easier, but it's still not that effecting. She has to rely on Kotone for the most part. "Well, at least we have extra pairs of eyes to help us find them, Sasaki-san," Akiko says, trying to stay optimistic.
"Careful." Tsuchi states to Moe and then to Akiko, "From here forward, we gotta start focusing on being more and more silent." She nods her head and then takes a breath before letting it out slowly, "If are too loud, we run the risk of alerting them before we find them." She then looks around, "Though, not sure that we aren't already spotted." She nods her head and then lets out a slow breath, "Remember, these guys attack quick, quiet and then get out. Hit and run. Prepare to stop them when they try to hit." She looks to Akiko, "Your job is to put arrows into those that Moe and I stop." She nods her head, "And keep an eye out."
Sora glances back and grins, "I'll get 'em." He chuckles even as he moves low to the ground and slips to the side to peek into a nearby building. At that very moment, the group has no idea if they are being watched or not…or do they.
A simple nod is given to Tsuchi as she speaks, Moe getting right to work. Lines begin to spread out from all her tattoos, linking together to form a pattern all over her body. She closes her eyes for a moment then looks over at a ruined building, making silent gestures to that other two to let them know that something seems to be happening over there. Since Tsuchi is lead of the mission, however, she waits for her orders before moving.
Akiko salutes Tsuchi, looking both excited and nervous at the same time. Her breathing is quiet, the girl forcing herself to try and stay unspotted. Kotone keeps a bit higher than usual to seem inconspicuous and keep out of range from projectiles. The Hayato on the ground looks around warily, unstrapping her bow from her back. Something catches her and Kotone's eyes, and the girl points it out in a whispered tone. "Sasaki-san… it looks like that building near Sora… The roof doesn't look right. made out of cloth instead of stone, almost…"
Looking first in the direction Moe gestures, Tsuchi simply lifts both fingers to her eyes and then points at Moe and then at the building. She then waves her over toward it before looking to Akiko. She glances up at the building and then leans in close to Akiko to whisper, "Bow ready." She nods her head and then makes a quick gesture and sends a small puff of sand over toward Sora to get his attention, a moment later she is in motion even as Sora looks where Tsuchi is looking.
Her quick gestures send wind chakra down her leg and she spins around to send a spinning heel kick toward the roof of the building, unleashing a gust of wind that sends what looks like a massive cloth covered in sand up into the air, as a disguise. What sprouts up though, isn't a ninja but rather it is a mechanical implacement being controlled by chakra strings, the human like face is where the puppet stops looking human given its stout body and heavy arms which are both spinning senbon launchers that start spinning right away at Tsuchi and Akiko.
Meanwhile, as if that were a cue, another Shinobi comes out from under the building that Moe was directed to followed by what could be argued (and probably is) his twin brother, both twins riding on almost what appears to be stone surfboards they ride up out of the sand and both try to clothesline Moe as they ride toward her, looking to put her between their path so both of their arms can connect.
Moe nods simply once again and would start to make her way toward the building. She hadn't expected Tsuchi to start and assault so soon, but she is ready, as Anda peeks its head up from the sand to warn her of the incoming threat. What may seem like an odd motion to most, rather than jumping out of the way or ducking, she brings her hands up to the belt holding her jacket around her and loosens it a bit, allowing a pair of giant tattoo snakes to fly up from her collar on the back and wrap around her entire body, deflecting the dual clothesline while using the same motion to lash out at each of the twins to try and bind them up before they can do any more damage.
Akiko gets her bow ready, nocking arrows in advance. Tsuchi gives her signal, and Akiko draws her bow. Annoyingly, the thing that comes out is a puppet with all these sharp objects, most of them landing in her body despite her attempts to dodge. Oww… Kotone sees Akiko get injured, but the bird keeps back for now, continuing to stay on the lookout. Akiko takes a chance to try and shoot an arrow at one of the Shinobi targeting Moe since puppets won't feel her arrows and she's not that good of a shot to disable it with one arrow.
A look at the incoming and Tsuchi calls out, "Sora! Find the puppetmaster!" She calls after him and he salutes before rushing off and she then turns her gaze quickly to the puppet while gesturing for Akiko, "Keep pressure on those twins!" She then jumps up high and sends another gust of wind toward the puppet which then rockets up and away from her gust of wind even as she slams into the roof of where it was before chasing after it as it sends a pile of senbon at her, wind gusting around her as she dives aside to avoidt he blast.
Meanwhile, the twins rush aside as the shield is created only for the second one to get bound up by Moe's snakes and the other has to slip quickly away and avoid her other attack and then duck low under an arrow, "Hey! One at a time ladies!" He then snickers and surfs around to attempt to use his rocky surfboard to hit Moe's legs and take them out from under her in a spin before he'll send the other end into a connection with his brother and the snakes around him to attempt to get him free before finally a group of pebbles are kicked up from the ground to smash at Moe, "That's a bit too kinky for a first date, lady."
The snake that didn't hit its mark is quick to react, putting itself between the woman and the surfboard and then the pebbles to shield her. "What's the matter? I thought two ladies was every man's dream," she retorts with a smirk as she shields herself with the tattoo. Meanwhile the bit of Kurooke that scared most people shows in her as a smaller sake comes out of her skirt down her thigh to present not two but five fangs that go to lash out at the bound twins' throat to try to eliminate him in a flurry of three acidic strikes at his jugular.
Akiko tsks as her arrow missed her target, a bit frustrated with herself. To be fair, she had only practiced on static dummies… While Moe subdues her opponents, Akiko launches more arrows at the twins, keeping her distance between them and her. Those attacks look nasty, and getting hit by one just might knock her clean out of conscious land! Kotone, in the meantime, still has yet to join the fray, still keeping an eye out on the battle from above.
Off to the west of the pair, Tsuchi is busy fighting a puppet only for a puppeteer to come bursting out of a building nearby being chased by a ferret. He lets out a poofed off screech as he throws a pile of senbon back at the ferret who dodges them while Tsuchi isn't so lucky off to the side as she is caught by a blade in the side and winces as she feels the poison pump through her system. Luckily it doesn't stun her but it does hurt like hell even as she sends a wind powered axe kick into the puppet that causes it to slam intoa rooftop nearby.
Meanwhile, the downed Tanuk Twin is hit once by a fang only to race away quickly from the others by spinning off on his rocky surfboard and then he dives into the ground again. His brother is able to avoid two of Akiko's arrows easily but the last one slips right by his ear and he whistles, "Close." He lets out a breath and then races off toward Akiko and grins, "Time to for a nap girly." He then sends a kunai her way that blows up with a stun tag on it before he tries to bypass her and hit her in the back of the neck with a chop.
One twin manages to hide from her, drawing a grumble from Moe. However, she is mindful of the battlefield. Spotting the twin going after Akiko, she sends a snake hurdling after him again, attempting to latch onto his legs and yank them out from under him as the one that went for his brothers' throat now goes for his own. "Didn't anyone ever teach you not to hit little girls?"
Kotone decides to spring into action right then and there. She dives down the moment the first twin attacks Akiko, helping Moe with the visible twin. Akiko, however, is really unlucky today… She wasn't expecting the attack, let alone an exploding attack that effectively distracts her, and the knock to the back of her neck is jarring, but she recovers. More arrows are taken from her back, two arrows making their way towards the guy who attacked her. Hopefully Kotone doesn't get hit, not that Akiko is aiming for her falcon. But if Kotone moves in front of the arrows by accident, that would be bad…
A screech in pain as he is punctured by her snakes even as the fight between Tsuchi and the puppeteer rages in the background. The twin above ground is not in a good spot as he rolls and spins away from the arrows incoming at him and he breathes heavily, poiting at Moe, "You hurt." He nods and hten looks to Akiko, "And you are scary annoying." He then licks his lips, "But…not done yet!" He then claps his hands together and a rock formation forms behind him like a wave and sends his surfboard right for Moe even as he sends a group of spikes at Akiko, "Go down you annoying welp!" He calls at Akiko and then looks at Moe, "And hey!" He grins, "You can die, too!" And that's when the sinister combo becomes clear as his brother's hands shoot up from under Moe to attempt to grab her ankles as his face appears and he grins, "No running away!"
"Oh, there's a lot more where that came from, love," Moe says with a smirk to the boy, wrapping herself in one of the giant snake tattoos once again to keep the second twin from grabbing her ankles, yet that is only a momentary fix it seems as the surfboard slams directly into her and sends her flying. "Now now, boy, there are kinder ways to try and get a peek up a lady's skirt," she says as she picks herself up, shaking herself a bit before the snakes fly off at each of the twins again, trying to bind them each down. "Akiko, strike hard!"
Akiko smiles super cheerfully to the first twin, seeming pretty happy about the compliment. Even if she had gotten quite a number of injuries from the rogue. "Why thank you very much! But is there any way I can just be scary instead of scary annoying?" she wonders, dancing back in a rather acrobatic dodge to avoid the spiky rocks being sent her way. A sigh of relief. The whole maneuver puts her at an awkward angle for her first arrow, though, the thing flying a bit off course. Her second arrow is no better. Once she lands and is on steady ground, though, she's able to attack the first twin with a decent shot, aiming for the guy's heart.
A crazed Puppeteer comes barreling into the area for a moment and screeches as he send a pile of explosive tags behind him, "Back off!" He yells out even as Sora flips through the explosion, a ltitle burned and then dives toward the man to punch him with a lightning charged hand before he races up to try to hit him again only to have the Puppeteer poof away in a burst to leave behind a wooden mannequin that goes to pieces under the second attack. The puppeteer racing away. Meanwhile, he controls his puppet expertly against Tsuchi who is hit by a heavy blast and send falling into the area, "Would you two kill those two already?" Tsuchi calls out to the pair and then races off.
Meanwhile, the Tanuki twins end up going spinning and ducking away from all the attacks, both very injured but breathing heavily, "Dammit." They say in unison and th e first one points at Akiko, "Hit me and you lose the annoying part." And they look at each other before nodding, "Time to end this!" They both call and then both race forward on their boards, before spinning and sending blasts of sand and rocks at both in a spinning blast!
Moe smirks a bit at Tsuchi as she calls out to them, her giant tattoo shielding her again before going to wrap around one of the twins. "I concur. Let's end this," she says with a dark smirk as a tattoo cobra rises from her jacket, lifting the collar a bit over her left breast as it presents a multitude of fangs that lash out at the man's throat with killing intent.
Akiko hmms, wondering if that is actually possible. STATUE! That spinning blast is impossible for Akiko to avoid, and she really probably shouldn't have bothered to try. Her attempt to avoid the attack is met with failure, the girl ending up with multiple scrapes and bruises from the debris. Kotone backs out of the fight for a bit, staying above and hovering over the twins out of reach from any attacks that could head her way. Akiko grumbles and dusts herself off, checking to make sure her bow is alright. It is, fortunately. "Okay, let's hope this works…" she mutters, nocking several arrows. Ready, aim… FIRE! All three head toward the first twin that seems to have great joy in taunting her.
Twin 2 gasps as he is wrapped up and then blinks a few times as he hits his throat and then looks over, "Brother…" He gasps out and falls over even as Twin 1 looks over and blinks, "Bro!" And than he is hit in the shoulder and stumbles, ducking under the second attack barely before the third embeds into his throat. He looks at Akiko and blinks a few times before gasping and falling over. He twitches a couple of times but seems the twins are down.
Meanwhile, a puppeteer lands near to the twins and gasps out, looking at Akiko and then at Moe before glaring at Akiko with her bow and pulls up an explosive tag to throw at her only to blinks and scream out as his heavy puppet lands atop him and crushes him and Tsuchi lands atop that. Meanwhile, Sora comes around from behind that and grins, "Well…seems that's done."
When the last twin is finally down, Moe lets out a sigh of relief and drops the one in her grasp onto the ground by his brother. "A shame. I thought they'd last a little longer, but I guess that's always the case," she says with a smirk as her tattoos recede back into her clothes. Once that's done, she'd tighten her belt back and look over to Tsuchi and Sora. Anda then makes his appearance again, popping up from the ground below Moe and wrapping around her shoulders. "Not bad," she says with a smile as she reaches up to pet his cheek. Seems his job in battle is a bit more indirect than that of Sora.
"Hah! Got you!" Akiko exclaims cheerfully, looking around to make sure she isn't in any other danger. The one puppeteer seems to freak her out a bit, the girl letting out a startled squeak when Tsuchi and puppet lands on the puppeteer. With a sigh of relief, the girl holds out her arm for Kotone to land on. She gives the bird a few light strokes to assure Kotone she's alright. Still, the genin probably needs to get some healing done on her… Akiko lets Kotone perch on her shoulder for now. "So… Now what, Sasaki-san? Kuroki-san?"
There's no more movement from the criminals and they are quite dead, especially the one with an arrow in his throat. Even as she hops off the puppet, Tsuchi looks over at Moe with a nod and then glances at Akiko, "Well, we killed them. That means we win. We check the area real quick and then report back." She then poitns at Akiko, "Especially you, no need for a wounded genin to get more wounded." She nods, "I'm not gonna write up the paperwork that will be necessary to explain a dead genin."