Date: November 26, 2010
Once more, Meimei tries to impart wisdom into the class, but some students make it difficult. Noses are picked, scorpions are dodged, murder is attempted, and instructor censorship abounds!
"Walking In Sunshine"
Desert Outside Sunagakure
"The assignment today is simple," Meimei/Yoko starts off. "You live in the middle of a desert. That means a lot of things are scarce. I admit that this is the first desert I ever encountered, but adapting to new situations and environments is vital to survival as a ninja. So I did some studying even BEFORE I arrived here. Now that I have spent a few months in the Land of Wind I can confidently say that deserts suck."
She adjusts her tinted goggles on her face, and then turns her attention on one of the students. "You there! Stop picking your nose! That is a disgusting habit! Use the tissues I gave you!" Turning her attention back on the rest of the class, she says, "Aside from sucking, deserts also have other qualities to them. They are NOT lifeless wastelands. Inhospitable? Yeah, of course. But they are not barren of life. So your assignment is three-fold. With the specialized ninja tools I have provided each of you, we are going to learn how to survive in the desert for an extended period of time. We will be staying out here for about 24 hours." Meimei looks up at the sun directly overhead.
"Your parents and/or guardians know how long you'll be gone. But I didn't tell any of you, because then you'd be sure to pack extra stuff and bring along sleeping bags and all of that. And guess what? You don't get extra stuff. You get what any ninja stranded in the desert would get, assuming nothing happened to his or her equipment. The advantage, of course, is that you have me around to watch over you, and the rest of the class to provide aid if anything… 'Unfortunate' happens. Any questions before we head out?" The class is beyond the large area of tents and pavilions and so forth that were set up outside Sunagakure. Infact, they have walked for about four miles beyond the furthest test, and AWAY from any incoming caravans. The tents, and Sunagakure itself, can both be seen in the distance, but neither is within easy reach.
Heavily-lidded eyes blink twice before a slim finger is plucked out of her nose. In it's place is stuck a tissue, into which Harada Misayo blows rather vigorously. Once the quantity of whatever was inside of her nasal passage is deposited into the thin sheet of soft paper, said paper is tossed over her shoulder with a frown.
…What? A girl needs clean nasal passages!
The blonde-haired student appeared sleepy, or perhaps it grouchy was a better word. Maybe even sullen. Or some combination of all three. Regardless of what her expression is, she wears the same solid black shirtdress she's almost always running around in, her arms held at her sides at angles, her wrists propped on her hips. Despite the noonday sun high overhead, beating down on the bodies with its intense heat, the prococious preteen wasn't even sweating. Not even with her bright red bandana secured squarely on her dome.
"Oh. Sensei. What if I am needing to pee? There are no bathrooms out here. Are we to build one? I have not received adobe-building training. You have not given it to me. Your lessons, they should go in order."
Where did the girl even keep her ninja tools!? In that Hello Kitty backpack strapped across her shoulders? She points out towards the oceans of sand casting their dunes all over the place. "There is nothing to build with."
Oooo, wilderness training! :o Megumi's actually pretty confident about this one. Mommy's a huntress, after all, and she used to tell Megumi stories about surviving in the wilderness. Let's see, what were some of the tricks she used…look for trails worn in the brush by animals, those usually lead to water or food…moss tends to grow more heavily on the side of a tree that's closest to water…and mud is good for staying cool and keeping insects from biting. Right, that's enough to start with! Megumi takes a look around. No brush, no trails (that last for more than an hour or so anyway), no trees, no mud…Yoko-sensei's right, deserts are no fun. ;.;
On the plus side, ninja tools /are/ fun. :D Megumi eagerly fastens her provided tool belt around her little waist, shifting her hip like a fashionista. "Whatcha think?" she says to nobody in particular. Megumi draws a kunai and brandishes it in what she imagines is a cool pose. "I could get used to this." n.n
Minako may not have known about what this assignment entails until just now, but she still brought her sword! Because… When >isn't< it a good time to bring a sword!? Exactly! No such time exists! So here she is, in the desert, in a sleeveless black shirt, black tights, black shoes, and with a sword strapped to her back. How she expects to draw it without cutting off her ridiculously long red hair in the process is unclear.
"So basically we're going camping, but without any camping equipment? Hmph. Roughing it isn't new to me, Hibiki. I hope you're planning on teaching us something other than being miserable!"
Well, this shoudl be interesting. While not prepared for a long term outing, Risu has made a few changes to her outfit after experiencing being out and about more during the day. She now has a hood, light weight and white fabric, her whole outfit is more white than before. She has a simple mask she can pull up and with the hood and mask and goggles, none of her face will end up being exposed to the bright hot light. More, her whole outfit is more for comfort in the heat, with very light weight material, all in white or light tan. She still is a bit of a pack rat, but nothing like she was so she has no special benefit for this little test, no special stash of things, well, other than a second water bottle hidden at the bottom of her pack along with the normal one on her belt.
Risu listens and nods, as she glances around, to see if anyone else has questions. As usual, Risu has none really to add to the mix, keeping quiet and watching mostly.
Yoko answers Misayo with, "You just find somewhere relatively private and go. No constructing facilities required. Of course, if you happen to have Earth Release or something else sufficient for making a building, you can go in there instead. Otherwise…" She trails off without going into specifics. Yoko then nods towards Megumi vaguely. "Careful with those. They're practice kunai, but they should be treated the same as you would normal ninja tools. They are not toys. You're all training to become ninja!" she addresses the class at large. "Childish games are for when class is over. And drawing a weapon is something to save for when you are expecting combat." She carefully does not direct this lesson/speech at Megumi specifically, but it should be no great mystery who she is really intending this for. (This is an actual way that Japanese school teachers will admonish students! For serious! They're too polite to say it to the face of the student, so they say it to the entire class!)
Pausing, Yoko says to Minako, "I do plan to teach you other things. But being miserable builds character!" She slaps a fist into the palm of her other hand to affirm this statement. Yeah, that was a joke, but… Again, there is either scattered giggles or dead-silence. Kids are so lame. "…Alright, enough of that. Let's get going. And since none of you thought to ask what three-parts of the assignment were that I mentioned, I guess I'll tell you. Seriously, how can you expect to complete an assignment without knowing what's involved? Part of a ninja is gathering information. You were given clues and you failed to recognize them." She shakes her head.
"Each of you has an incomplete map of our part of the Land of Wind. It is your task to recognize landmarks and sketch them into the blank parts of your map as you encounter them. I want to see fully-completed maps of the area we'll be going to if you want full credit. The second part of this assignment is that the more tools and resources you have left when we get back to the Village, the higher your grade for conservation of materials. The third part of the assignment is based on how well you follow instructions, and any ingenuity you display in making use of the instructions provided. I will NOT be laying out every single aspect of how to survive in the desert for you. You'll be expected to listen to what I say, try things out, and figure out problems as you come across them. This doesn't mean I won't help you or answer questions, but leaning too heavily on me will impact your grade."
She then turns around and begins marching off into the noon-day heat of the desert.
"Oh. I am allowed to use the bathroom outdoors. This should be made aware to the people inside of Sunagakure. They are not all knowing this."
Thankfully, the blonde-haired young girl doesn't go into the details of how she knows these 'facts' as she listens half-heartedly to the instructions given. A partial map? That must have been in the tools she was given. Fake ninja weapons? Probably also among the tools. Those she'd save for later for when some of the other children began to annoy her. She could at least console herself with the fact that her instructor's legs were short, and therefore not that hard to keep up with!
"Sensei. …Sensei. …Sensei. …Sensei. …Sensi." Yes, this will go on until Hibiki Yoko actually turns to look at Misayo. "Why are you asking us to draw pictures of sand? Landscape art will not help me to become shinobi. I am trying to learn as Uncle did. This is making it more difficult." Here it comes… "Are we not there yet? How far must we go into this sand? One spot is like all others!"
Megumi blinks and slowly stows the kunai away, as though she'd intended to do so all along and the teacher's words weren't really altering her actions. "I was bein' careful," she mutters under her breath. :Megumi looks around casually, waiting for something to happen so they can all forget there was any implied beratement. Sand…sand over there…s'more sand…sheesh, and Yoko-sensei wants us to find /landmarks/? Well, at least they should be obvious, if they /exist/. Megumi nods at the end of the instructions and troops off after Yoko.
Risu does a little inventory of the tools they have been given and then looks around. A map… hm… could be useful skill to have for scouting. She listens, but again asks no more questions and instead just starts to follow Yoko through the desert. She has her hood and mask up, protecting from the midday sun, tinted goggles in place as she moves through the desert. There's little else she can do as she trails along, taking in everything else she can as she tries to remember things for writting down on the map.
Minako frowns at Yoko. She's good at frowning. "Being miserable builds character?" She turns to Risu and starts marching forward quickly to catch up to the other orphan. She calls out, "Hey, I thought you said that this one was different fromt other adults. She's exactly the same! She's supposed to be teaching us how to be ninja. But how are we supposed to learn if she won't even give us detailed instructions? It's like this is her first time teaching anyone!"
She frowns and continues marching along next to Risu. "…This isn't her first time teaching, is it?" she demands suddenly.
Yoko turns her head to look over her shoulder at Misayo after the first call for her attention, and keeps on looking until she stops repeating 'sensei'. "I'm not asking you to draw pictures of sand. I'm telling you to complete the map you were given correctly. What happens if you're sent on a scouting mission? You have to be able to map out enemy territory accurately. What happens if you're seperated from your team mates? Being able to navigate via a map can be the difference between life and death — capture or freedom. And if you have no map, and are in a completely unknown area? Being able to recognize or memorize landmarks can help you find your way back to familiar lands."
She then faces forwards again, ignoring the sarcastic question from Minako. Already kids are complaining about the heat. One kid has even gone through his entire canteen and is asking others for theirs. "A reminder: Water is a resource, and is thus part of the 'conservation of resources' part of the assignment. We've barely started, so drinking lots of water right now would not be wise." Suddenly, no one wants to share water with Mr. Thirsty. Sucks to be him.
"Hmph! So it is like classroom learning while not in the classroom and without the books. I will draw the landmarks and learn this navignation!" (Yes, she really did say 'navignation'.) Already the map is out, Misayo with a pen in hand, scrawling away furiously. Every time a rock that is barely more than a pebble is passed, it goes on the map. Cacti, a lizard, even her own footsteps are marked down! With little dashes as a counter as if she were making a treasure map in which the person's directional footsteps must be followed to find the loot. Dunes are also sketched as tiny humps, the blonde squinting at each of them as she counts, placing them in exact order.
Too bad everything would look different the very next day.
"NANI!? You will not be getting water from me!"
The red-bandana-wearing student scowls at the thirstiest of the children, holding her materials towards herself and away from him as he begins to clamor for some for her. When it's brought up that she hasn't even touched her own canteen, she scowls, before reaching into her bright pink, rhinestone-encrusted pack…
…and then hits him in the face with one of her blunted, practice shuriken. "You are now dead! You will drain the water reserves of others no longer! NO PROTESTS! The dead do not protest." She points at the boy even as she turns her eyes towards their instructor. "I have conserved resources, do you see?"
Risu frowns and digs out her spare canteen. She shakes her head a tad and moves over to the now bruised boy who was so thirsty. She looks at the wound (hopefully minor) and says, "Here…. you can have some of mine…" She lets him have some drink from her spare canteen, either figuring that the spare won't count against her or… more likely, not caring. She does her best to find a small bandage to hold against the boy's face, which she dampens, "Hold this against it, it might help." She offers then… with a sigh leaves the boy her whole second canteen and starts to trudge along again. She glances at the angry girl and mutters, "Hope I never end up on her team… too quick to kill off a team-mate who might be hurt."
Risu turns to Minako, "I dunno, but… she isn't the same. She's trying to help us. We hafta figure out things our selves, but… she does say things, you just gotta listen to her carefully." She points out, "I mean…learning how to survive out here is pretty important, isn't it?"
Minako hmphs. "I'll listen alright. But she better say things worth listening to! Living out in the desert… Even temporarily. I guess that's important. As soon as I know enough to survive I'm leaving this place after all. I'm going to go find—Uhh… A couple people. A couple ninja! Yeah! They're supposed to be protecting me, but they didn't do their job, so I have to find them and find out what they were thinking! And that will probably involve crossing the desert. So I guess this is important after all."
This huge load of baloney is brought to you by Minako's hope that her parents are still alive somewhere and that if she finds them then everything will be okay. She won't have to be a ninja, she won't have to go to any stupid academy, and everything will be okay. "…What do you know anyway?" she demands of Risu and then speeds up her marching, as though Risu had responded to her and said something offensive. Whether she actually responded or not.
"Hey, Hibiki!" she calls out as she speeds up. "How far are we going to travel? And for how long? And shouldn't you be giving us tips about how to survive in the desert?"
The purple-haired woman says, "You didn't conserve that shuriken. Taijutsu could have taken him down just as easily at that range. Also, please don't beat up the other students, no matter how greedy for water they may be. If he actually tries to TAKE anyone's water, you may all feel free to disable him appropriately."
She looks over her shoulder when Risu reveals she has an extra water pouch. She frowns a bit. Good planning ahead… But people weren't supposed to have extra supplies. Oh, well. It's not as though it was intentional. So she looks forwards again, just as she sees three large stones that are leaning together, creating a sort of 'tent' of stone. "There's your first land mark for the map, and our first rest stop." She turns her attention on Minako finally. "We're stopping for a little while just up ahead, to have lunch, Uzumaki. After that, we're going to march for about half an hour to our destination. As for surviving in the desert, I recommend you conserve water and watch out for that scorpion."
She swiftly attempts to grab Minako and haul her away from where she was about to step down less than an inch from a small black scorpion, with its tail arched and ready. It was definitely giving a threat display, so that would have meant a stinger in the foot! "Try to show a bit more situational awareness, Uzumaki."
The blonde scowls at the boy who'd 'made' her waste her shuriken. After a moment, she frowns around at the ground, but the instrument is gone! Swallowed by the earth, picked up by someone else, or maybe still clutched in the boy's hand as he awaited his moment of vengeance.
"Oh. You are telling me that I should have injured him with my fist, but in the same breath you are telling me that I should not injure him with my fists! You are making things contradictory! Difficult! You must only give one set of instructions at a time!"
Already, Misayo has latched on to her next target, a girl who was walking too close to her, sketching out the rock formation as it's pointed out. The Harada girl begins looking over her shoulder, sketching exactly as she does. Until there's a protest, anyway. "Nani!? I am using the ninja art of information gathering! I am using my available resources! Do not be stingy." This coming from the girl who would rather shuriken a classmate in the face than share her untouched water with him.
"Uzumaki, you have to watch where you are going when you are talking to someone." Butting in where she's not wanted was another of her specialties, it seems. Misayo was full of them! Or at least full of something else that was likely going to make this a looooooong twenty-four hours.
Minako is still complaining throughout the teacher's explanation, but she protests especially loudly when she is seized and lifted and bodily moved to a new location. "Wh-what the heck!?" she cried out, not even having time to react before she is set back down. "What do you think you're—" but she breaks off as the bit about the scorpion penetrates her awareness. "…." The red-head looks at the scorpion as it most likely prepares to get out of the way of all the incoming trampling feet. It has got to be sensing plenty of vibrations through the ground, after all. "…Tch! I knew it was there! I was just… Testing your reaction time!" She hmphs and turns to walk away haughtily. She trips over a rock, hops a couple steps, then turns around to grab the rock and chuck it into the distance. Then she turns and starts walking again.
She makes extra sure to watch the ground from now on, however.