Date: April 11 ,2012
Itami and Kuoroke lead the planning portion of a mission.
"UnNatural Disasters - Operation Halt Sandstorm"
Administration Dome (Sunagakure)
The opening of the Kazekage Administration Dome leads up a flight of stairs, into the lobby of the expansive building. Looking upwards, the entire building is open to the sky. Each floor is a ring, built with a hole in the center to allow a view both upwards and downwards. It is a very impressive sight, with many people visible moving around the upper levels, and stopping to chat around the railings.
The lobby has a tiled floor, with a intricate concentric circular pattern, and the walls themselves have been actually painted, and have designs etched into the hardened sand. The only piece of furniture on the first floor is a desk, and directly behind that, a stair case moving up to the next level. On either side of the desk are Male guards, their faces covered, and a make secretary is seated behind the desk, ready to take any questions or arrange appointments.
No one proceeds to the upper levels without the secretary approving them, and in most cases the armed guards also check them out to make sure they are carrying no weapons. However, there are a few people who can walk back and forth easily without the guards checking them, although all of them must first speak with the secretary.
Something needed to be done about this sandstorm. Goods couldn't get in or leave the village and it was placing a strain on the economy. This sandstorm has been going on for a week now and a few brave souls had tried to venture out into it either to get turned around or swallowed. There's no telling if the people are fine or not. Those that have been found have been placed within the care of medical professionals to tend to their conditions.
The public is looking for an answer from administration and one hasn't come yet. Investigation is the only thing they can do at the moment and so far nothing hasn't quite been gathered, until today. There were reports coming in from those that have been watching the weather and studying it. This is definitely something generated by a jutsu, but no one knows who is responsible. There was a suggestion to utilize sensor nin to trace the chakra back to its source or at least provide a hint of what they're dealing with. No storm has ever been so constant with windspeeds that didn't change and continued over the course of days. Nature had variation. Jutsu was concrete.
A meeting was held in the admin dome, welcoming all who would like to provide service to try and stop this storm and ultimately those responsible and inside one of the offices, a group of sensory ninja were waiting for further direction to determine how to solve this problem.
Kuoroke, shoulders behind his back, looks at the people gathered for this meeting with gravity. He hardly needs to explain the reason for the gravity, or indeed, the meeting itself. Both are well described by the gruesome howling that lately has been audible in every corner of the village like a case of national tinnitus. He cuts to the chase, with a brief, stern "Hello, everyone" followed by an expectant nod to the operatives, both the ones stationed locally and the ones who have news from far-away villages, who have reports to make about the downright hostile weather.
Keiji had gathered for the meeting. The boy is wearing his black hood and mask. The two articles were coming in handy with all this sand. Still though, hee was starting to get tired of the sandstorm and the dangers that it meant to the town. He figured that every hand would be able to help. Basically, despite not being able to sense chakra, the village might still be able to put him to use. His dark pupils dart around looking at the others that had gathered.
Itami sat down in a seat, reclined and relaxed as her eyes or eye, rather, scanned over the gathering in the office. There were the sensory ninja and then a few people, ninja and otherwise, that were available and wanted to help. All was silent, aside from Kuoroke's greeting to the group. She didn't bother to greet them as he'd already covered that for them both. Now, it was time to get down to business. So, she put it plainly. "This sandstorm we're encountering has caused damage to our village, placing health in danger, our buildings and economy. Trade is down and no one wants to do business around here if they feel they'll be lost to a sandstorm. However, it appears that we are not the only village encountering these problems. Others are dealing with these…natural disasters, but I suspect that by looking at our own, I feel that these disasters aren't so natural. They just appear to be." She explained.
"Information gathered on the storm indicated that the windspeeds over the entire village were constant and hadn't varied in any way since the storm began. We know that real storms, while they might sometimes maintain constants, don't typically carry on in that same way for a week. So, speculation leans to this weather being controlled in some kind of way. If that is the case, then these sensor ninja," she stretched out her hand to indicate the small group gathered in the corner, "will work together to determine the source of the problem."
Kuoroke fixes a long, studying, and as usual stern look on Kichiro's face, or rather, on his mask, but says nothing, so he does not interrupt Itami's description of what is going on. Although he feels it's entirely unnecessary, he chooses to do so because interrupting Itami would be even more counteproductive. He simply nods along, waiting for her to be done, and then focuses on the people that will be making their reports.
Ok, so far the knowledge was not shocking. Keiji thought about the fact it was constant. That probably meant that there was a possibility it could have been more than one person. That or this person had an extremely great amount of chakra. The boy does not interrupt Itami either. He had no real information on the subject. Scouting on his own time had only ended up with the boy having a face full of sand or taking refuge under ground. Things were starting to look like a mission was about to happen. At this point the young Shippodoku was pondering what purpose they might use his skills for.
At a nod from Itami, the sensor ninja tread over to the middle of the room where they each focus and dedicate their abilities to figuring out the source of the village's weather problem. "While they're working, we should also try to discuss the issues in other villages. Who has the information on them?" She wondered, lifting her hand as if to point out the individual among those grouped here.
Kuoroke spends a few moments going through the reports, both written and memorised, of his foreign contacts, and gives the short version. "From the information I've received, most of the Great the villages, from what I've heard, have had some odd occurrences more or less coinciding with this problem. What's remarkable is that each problem seems to be custom-tailored to the country it's in." He raises his hands from the table, palms up, as he further illuminates, "Specifically, the Land of Fire has had some incidents with smoke, that is to say, with fire, the Land of Water has floods, and so on. We have issues with a strong wind. However, I have little in detail on the actions being taken there to solve their problems."
Keiji had no real information on the subject of what was happening in other villages. He knew about as much as Kuoroke did. That had already been stated so the boy simply remains where he is. His eyes glance around the room to see if anyone else knows more or if they will be quiet like him. In his head though, he is trying to put togeth what little clues there are. Whomever was behind the attack was not alone in their overall scheme. There was no way they could attack all the major villages at the same time. The fact that the smaller villages did not seem to be going through the same also meant there was possibly motive behind the attacks. Maybe it was political.
Itami hummed softly while her hands came together for the fingers to rap against one another idly in thoughtful gesture. "Well, there's nothing we can do about theirs. We can only focus on ours and maybe see about what's happening to others. This seems serious for all these events to happen at the same time, but…it could prove interesting in the long run," she stated with a hint of underlying intrigue beneath. Lowering her hands to fold them across her chest, she looked around at the group. "This may or may not provide us with an advantage."
"More than that, it seems… ideological." Kuoroke answers. "In two ways. Firstly, the… reason for all of this seems to be targetting -countries- rather than -villages-, as evidenced by the use of fire, and not leaves, in Konohagakure, and secondly, he seems to make a point of throwing the country's own name, and the powers implied by it, back in that country's face." He raises an eyebrow, looking at Itami. "How would it provide us with an advantage, then?"
Keiji listened as the two Jounin spoke. He felt slightly out of place speaking to the higher ups. Kind of like the new kid at the table offering his advice. "If the targets are the countries, then the Daimyo's would make the target list. Is the mountain keep under attack here in our land?" The boy was not certain if the sandstorm spread all across the land or if it was simply the village. "If the five great nation villages are under attack, this is more than likely a group fueled by political agendas. The five nations have the greatest military strength. If they had a beef with the shinobi way or wanted to disable the lands entirely, they would have attacked the smaller villages as well. Then even money could not by opposition." Now he had simply hoped that his words made sense to them.
Itami tilted her head curiously, but in the end, she straightened it back up and smiled. "Well, the objective is for us to solve our own problem. I want us to be the first of the villages to determine what the source is and then erase it. Other countries are being weakened by these problems as well and the longer they take to solve their problem, the more apt they are to be vulnerable. We want to reduce competition, even being a neutral village," she explained simply enough, though she knew there was much more behind it. "It's all a race to the finish, I suppose…" She then looked to Keiji and said, "It may be something regarding political agenda, whatever that may be. I think that's worth looking into. Attacking the villages directly…may even be a distraction. If we're unable to focus on the village or country, it leaves us open to other issues. I think we should do our best to get through this as best as we can. Grab some goggles and protective gear, face masks, whatever you need to lessen exposure to the sand…" Her voice trailed off as one of the sensory ninja indicated that he's picked up on something. This was confirmed by another who was standing beside him. She nodded in affirmation. The others joined in soon after. Itami smirked, "Fantastic."
"It would be even better if we could get control over whatever is doing this - or solve our own problems, but delaying the solution of the others' somehow. It would be mostly a short-term benefit, but a benefit, still." Kuoroke takes his glasses off, briefly massages his nose where they rest, and then puts them away. He then reaches into his robe and produces a pair of far sturdier-looking goggles he usually uses in heated combat situations when glasses are just too vulnerable. He, too, smirks. "Let's go, then?"
Keiji nods and moves towards a pair of goggles. He does not put them on but instead places them in his pocket. With sensors acting like hounds, they would lead him to the target and he would be able to do what he does best. "If we fail to stop them before Kirigakure stops their own issue, we may have another war brewing." Kirigakure seemed to attack countries at the first sign of weakness. While it sucked for the country, they did manage to keep the other nations on their toes. The boy turns towards both the jounin leaders. He figured Itami would lead the way. But he seemed shocked at the idea Kuoroke would be coming out to the battlefield.
Itami's smirk grew into a smile and the look of the group was that of determination. The sensory ninja were ready to dedicate their time to hunting down the cause of the problem. To Kuoroke and Keiji, she nodded in reply. "You guys go ahead and head out. I think I'll stay around here…" She offered. "I'm sure you guys will do what's necessary to get to the source. I'll be here to help manage the teams that are out to aid people."
Kuoroke answers with a nod of his own. This was in line with their earlier discussion, and Kuoroke likes consistency in such matters. "A good idea." He says, before, looking at the sensors, getting up. "Well, then. Tell us where we need to be." He orders, moving to the door.
There is a bit of shock for Keiji as Itami decides to stay behind, but the orders were given and he was certain she had her reasons. He just never knew her to avoid a brawl. He smiles slightly as he remembers she had lead him into his first bar brawl. Soon though he shakes the memory from his head and moves towards the door… that is of course after the sensor nins.
"We can discuss it along the way. It'll keep us going strong instead of remaining stationary here in the office," the woman spoke of the sensory group. Itami shrugged, "Guess there's the answer. You guys will be heading out and looking into the problem together," she grinned and offered a modest salute to the group. "Be quick about coming back. Stay close, don't get turned around. Complement one another to the best of your abilities," she drilled, "Aaaand whatever else there is to think of. Bring back success, hm?"
Kuoroke merely nods at everything being said, already walking to the door while the others continue speaking. With a final "Hmmm-mmm" and a last nod to Itami, Kuoroke opens the door and looks at the other members of the party expectantly.
Keiji followed suit out the door. He offered a single wave to Itami and then a glance towards Kuoroke. He was not certain what they would find but this was another one of those missions to go down on his record. Another step up the ladder. Then again, this was for his people. It meant a lot as to what jobs he was sent on to save others in the country later down the road.