Date: October 25, 2013
Sunagakure experiences an impish invasion.
"What If? Stars of Spooky - Gremlins"
Village Center Area [Sunagakure]
The very center hub of Sunagakure, the Village Center is a bustling area. Crowds gather in huge groups, all across the very wide square. It is completely protected by the large buildings surrounding it on all sides, and the four desert winds do not seem to intrude into this area.
People can be found doing all manner of things, from hocking wares, to trading for certain fabrics and materials, selling their products, or any other activity from sleeping quietly, to getting into explosive arguments with people. Fights are not unknown here, so there is regularily guards overseeing the circle. The entire circle itself is built to face the largest structure in all of Sunagakure. It is a massive domed building, easily 5 stories high, that seems to be constructed out of seamless and flawless sand. No stones, no mud, just pure sand, caked hard and formed into a building. This is the Kazekage Administration Dome, the head of bureaucracy for the mighty city of Sunagakure.
Their are entrances in all directions into the square, except the south, which is where the Administration dome is located. People are always flowing into the circle from all directions, and leaving as well. Even during the night, it is a sure bet that a large crowd will be in the circle, talking about all manner of subjects.
Sousa's been getting the strangest reports all day. Ventilators are stopping, pumps are blowing gaskets, and appliances all over town are mysteriously quitting. The latest stroke is that the security system in the administration dome has gone haywire, leaving an alarm blaring through it. -.- Sousa stepped outside amidst the milling panic as half the people searched for the nonexistant threat and the other half tried to assure everyone that nothing is really wrong and find a way to shut off that blasted noise. Of course, something is wrong, Sousa can tell that much. But it doesn't seem like a directed, intelligent threat. It's too widespread and purposeless, targeting nothing in particular. It's not so much an attack as…a pestilence, sort of. e.ea
Kuoroke has been trying to work through it all - Sousa had not seen fit to delegate, and he was obviously aware of this, so at the current point it's out of his hands. All he can do is assume someone qualified is addressing the issue, and hope that whoever they are, they'll get to it soon. For now, he has physically removed the light bulbs in his lamps and is working by the light of an oil lantern, pouring over paperwork concerning his newest creation, Operation Copper Swan. There is a lot to go over.
The meeting with the elders had been going as well as could be expected (i.e Horribly). Thankfully, some merciful Kami saw fit to alleviate his elders of their 'petty' concerns with Ryoji's conduct, and instead conscript the young man due to an emergency. A bold plan! And one that may soon live to regret. But what choice did the have when the usual personnel were either away on missions, far too young, or incapacitated! Then again, given what appeared to be the nature of their emergency their intended ruling might very well still be carried out.
People running about frantically! Technology going haywire! That dastardly Sousa out in the open! Christmas has obviously come early this year for Ryoji, for the chaotic events playing out around his humble perch is just too perfect! He smile falters as he sighs heavily. Sadly, he could not revel in it like he would've done in the past. "Sou-Su-kun?" The question precedes Ryoji's flickering (using pure ninja speed alone) a good ten or so steps before the Kazekage. "Awfully fine — *clears throat* — I mean, What is thou bidding of this humble one?" He bows deeply at the waist with a bit of a flourish. "There are others this one probably should've addressed first… but, this is what was requested by.. by my elder kin." He states as he rose, hoping that would be a good enough introduction. A part of him hoped now. In which case, it would be that much harder to focus on dividing his attention between monitoring the disasters using his more distant sensory organs and the present.
Arriving at the center of the village, Chitose looks around as the people move about, some in panic. She lands next to Sousa and looks to Ryoji a moment before looking back at Sousa. She looks around again before looking back to Sousa with a lot of suspicion. She takes in a breath, "What is going on?" She then leans in closer and eyes Sousa, "What did you do?" She squints at him a little before looking around again at all the people.
Sousa glances at Ryoji as he arrives. "Ah, Iga-san. Excellent timing. I'd like you to place watch on as many apparati as you can manage. Fans, lights, pumps, anything mechanical or electrical. The ones that are still working, I mean. I'd like to know what's happening to cause them to malfunction." Sousa smirks at Chitose. "The probability that I am responsible for the current calamity is only marginally higher than the average for all people within five miles of the village."
Meanwhile, up in Kuroke's office, a weird shadow is cast on the wall by his flickering lantern. A shadow with large, triangular ears, a jagged silhouette, and claw-like hands. It lifts something long and thin, perhaps a blowpipe since it seems to be fitting it into the mouth area, and — ! Kuoroke's lamp is blown out with a puff, followed by a malicious giggle.
Kuoroke frowns. Worrying, though the laughter suggests this isn't done for some specific purpose - it's too much fun for someone to be useful to anyone. That means it might not be thought through. He takes the drawers out of one side of his desk, re-lights the lamp, and sets it down inside the now-created three-walled hollow: the area from which one would have line of sight, thus be able to turn off the lamp, is now cast in the lamp's own bright light. He turns his chair around with the back against the desk and begins watching this area, while listening intently for the various sounds in his office.
Ryoji fox-like smile falters for a second in response to the surname. Alas, he cannot deny what is say or react is desired. Only feign sighing in defeat before twirling his finger about in the air. "Done." He says with a smirk. What he could risk routing without having to deal with the feel of tongues being trampled on, ears poked out, organs splattered, people screaming in surprise — overall, whatever sensor can be safely moved has swiftly made its way towards the desired location.
"Hmm… Doesn't look like—" Ryoji's eyes actually open to narrow slits in suprise. Then narrows in suspicion. He had only caught a glimpse of the trouble maker, but it isn't until one of his eyes is picked up, pointed into the ugly mug of one of the gremlins, then unceremoniously lodged into something electrical did he confirm it. Painfully. "Sou-su-kun… *groans*.. ARe you sure.. What do you know of little demons with long spindly arms, sharp teeth, and big ears?" Ryoji manages to spit out as the eye finally dies. "… Oh, and ello Chitose-chan. Fine evening this is, nay?"
"Whenever it comes to mayhem in Sunagakure on a mass scale I'd say you are ten times more likely the culprit then anyone else in a five mile radius." Chitose looks at Sousa before looking around and then blinking as she notes Ryoji, "What?" She then looks at Sousa again, "Demons?" She then sighs, "Just what we need. A demon infestation along with a war between the wolves and the scorpions…" She sighs and then looks out toward the desert, "This is just getting better and better."
"Approximately two hundred sixty-four times as likely," Sousa corrects, "although as the probabilities are spread across a population of thousands, the difference between myself and the average remains marginal. That reminds me, we really must add a course on elementary statistics to the academy lesson plans." e.e Sousa watches impassively as Ryoji suffers to gain information about the crisis. When he describes the deviant element, though, Sousa frowns and furrows his brow. "There is a creature matching that description in the folklore of the Southern Lands, called a mogwai," he muses. "I had thought it a myth, but this does match its reputed behavior."
Up in Kuoroke's office, there is the faint sound of clawed appendages moving over the floor. Whatever this thing is, it instinctively knows how to move stealthily, though not enough to totally elude an elite ninja's senses. It crawls around to the opposite side of the desk, and the reed pokes up over the edge. Instead of blowing out the lamp again, though, the green imp pops up and blows a gust at Kuoroke's papers, scattering them! The demon laughs maniacally and jumps for the window. >D
"Mogwai are supposed to be primarily mischievous, but violent when confronted or foiled," Sousa continues, talking to himself more than to his subordinates. "Still, they prefer to work by sabotage, and are drawn to complex machinery for the purpose of — " Sousa's eyes widen. "I believe we had best check on my laboratories." c.c; Sousa whips out a paper pad and starts scribbling directions.
Kuoroke hadn't expected it to do that - but he sees motion and he moves, reflexively, to grab the culprit. The papers will wait - eliminate the cause first, or he'd be fighting to keep some order in this office forever. In either case, he lunges for the green imp, fingers outstretched…
"Its a joke," Ryoji deadpans, and then goes on to say, "And what do you mean war? The Inuzuka are fighting over beef with the Shippodoku?" Just from a look at Ryoji expression one can tell that he is serious about the question. That, and the fact that he isn't all there. Probably a side-effect from having one's psuedo-eye electrocuted and ear jammed into someplace equally unpleasant. Also, the whole time Ryoji has spoken, it has been while Sousa did his little corrections. Poor Sousa. >.>a
"Mogwai?" Ryoji parrots, gaze now back upon the Kazekage. "Huh… and here I thought Shun-kohai was joking about 'that'" Ryoji shakes his head sadly at that. He perks up at the sound of scribbling. Befuddled, Ryoji asks, "Aren't you going to lead the way, Sou-su-kun?"
A look at Sousa and she blinks, "Mogwai?" She then glances at the card Sousa is writing before blinking, "Ryoji is right, why are you writing and not going?" She then looks at Ryoji more directly, "No, think bigger. You know how some Shinobi sign contracts with beasts from other realms? Well, think along the lines of THOSE wolves and THOSE scorpions." She nods her head, "And they have chosen our desert as their battlefield." She then looks toward Sousa again.
The mogwai's cackling laughter turns into screeching as it is caught going out the window. DX It latches onto the window frame and pulls outward, proving surprisingly strong for such a small creature. It also kicks wildly at Kuoroke's arms with its clawed foot.
"I have multiple laboratories," Sousa explains exasperatedly as he writes. "There are different locations which are well-suited to different types of experiments." Not to mention it's convenient to have a place nearby to escape to and <strike>have some fun</strike>engage in intellectual pursuits regardless of where Sousa's Kazekage duties take him on a given day, but nevermind that. e.e; "The code I've written on these sheets should convince the guards to let you in, assuming they're still alive and at their posts. Be very cautious, there's no telling what sort of half-finished inventions they may have destabilized or even weaponized. And by cautious, I mean GET OVER THERE NOW AND STOP THEM BEFORE IT GETS ANY WORSE." >.< Sousa glances up to the screeching coming from the window on the Administration Dome. "Kuoroke-san! When you're finished up there I have an urgent errand for you to run!"
Once everyone has their directions, it's off through the streets of Sunagakure (or along the rooftops as the case may be) to get to the different laboratories. Darkness has finished settling over the village, and the mogwai have grown bold. They raid the market stalls, gulping down anything edible and playing destructive games with everything else. Naturally, they're also pleased to meddle with anyone going by in a hurry. >}
Kuoroke yanks the creature powerfully, tearing it loose, and then whacks it against the same frame until it stops moving. The creature still in his bloodied hand, he emerges from his office. "Sir?" He asks, getting down. The situation of chaos around him evokes little but a scowl: Kuoroke had expected to find something like this, and getting emotional about the situation won't help it one iota. As soon as he gets his orders, he gives a quick, "Yes, sir." and dashes out of the nearest window, determined not to lose time.
"Ah, hmm, forgot wolves liked desert country too," Ryoji comments, once again as Sousa spoke. Albiet this time he kept things short enough to get the gist of things. "Hai, Hai, Ku-oh-Sou-su-kun," Ryoji replies as he takes up the instructions/code. And after a brief yet suspicious glance to Kuoroke's office window and a quick pat of Chitose's head (if she allows for such) before he ninja leaps to the corner of the nearest building. "And Sou-su-kun? Try not to yell at the gremlins, if'n ya spot any that is." Ryoji dashes off before a counter can be launched, cackling all the while.
He would've kept on cackling until he reached his destination; but then, his Iga senses tingled! Contrary to popular belief, the term "Iga Senses" was actually derived from a joke about how a mother Iga could sense when her children were up to no good even BEFORE they attempted anything. Weird. And yet, it is a true story! "Not sure if this will work but—," Ryoji flashes through a short series of handsigns, ending on the ram seal. Hair begins to fall away at that point, rapidly grows on the fly, and form into the likeness of the Iga as they moved ahead. A prominent sign that the jutsu wasn't completely, but nevertheless — "Brace thy selves." The 'Hair Clones' vague shapes for heads not in unison and charge ahead of their creator, entangling some in the mesh. Unfortunately, some of them brought fans and knew how to use them as machete AND whirlwind machines.
In short, Ryoji's trip is anything but uneventful…
A sigh escapes Chitose's lips as she takes her instructions and takes off in the direction of one of Sousa's many labs. She is shaking her head as she runs, "This is all we need!" She states, "Sousa's inventions in the hands of nut cases…who aren't Sousa." She then keeps running only to have a rope pulled up in her path causing her to trip as she stumbles over t he rope and then nearly falls flat on her face. Instead she catches herself into a roll and whips an arm out to smash a stupid Gremlin into a wall before she pulls her hand back covered in green goo and winces, "Gross."
At Kuoroke's assigned lab, the guards have already noticed something was wrong and went inside to investigate. They come back out amidst sounds of crashing, one bleeding heavily from a cut in his side, the other dragging his companion while his own ear lobe hangs nearly severed from his head. He looks up and spots Kuoroke approaching. "Watch out if you're going in there! He's got a…a…well, WATER GUN!" O.O; What the guard lacked the vocabulary to explain is that a gremlin has found a super high-pressure water jet used for making precision cuts and is now gleefully slicing up the lab's interior with it. >D
Meanwhile, the guards for Ryoji's lab don't appear to be aware of any trouble. In fact, they're leaning against one another in drunken camaraderie, laughing at nothing at all. A cloyingly sweet smell becomes evident a short distance from the lab, and puffs of pinkish smoke can be seen seeping out from under the door. Inside a small group of gremlins is playing with a chemical mixer as though it was a hookah. 89 Naturally, they're as high as the guards, but no less dangerous for it.
Finally, Chitose's lab turns out to be an animal testing lab. Just before she arrives, there is a loud squealing, and a huge, enraged boar smashes out through the window, with a gremlin riding its back. The boar charges off down the street with the gremlin whooping and waving a slide ruler like a riding switch. The guards recover from their shock and head into the lab to make sure none of the other test subjects have escaped…maybe Chitose better go catch that boar before it gets into heavily populated areas? c.c
Kuoroke skulks in, turns his head around the corner… and then turns it around almost quickly enough as the glasses are thrown from his face by a jet just barely touching his temple. Kuoroke thinks: if it fires water, and it doesn't use chakra, the water must come from somewhere. Considering the great amount of damage already done, it has a lot of water -which, incidentally, is so wasteful he'd have to talk to Sousa about it- which means the reservoir cannot be mounted inside the contraption. He whips a pair of scrolls out of his cloak, tosses them around the corner, and then kneels, forming handseals and activating the seals on the scrolls. A thick smoke billows forth. Avoiding the water jet drawing lines through the smoke by moving on the ceiling, Kuoroke makes his way to a point where he has a clear line of sight. All he has to do now is find and sever the place where the gun gets its water: for this purpose, he unfurls his transparent tattoo tower shield, and while the beam stresses the shield to the maximum and pushes him backward over the wet ground, he has the time to find the right tube. From there on out, it's a matter of a quick sideways jerk to get the beam off himself, and a pair of shuriken thrown at the tube: a relatively small amount of damage allows the internal water pressure to break the tube, erupting in an immensely wasteful, but not very destructive, splash of water.
There's a fan blade sticking out of Ryoji's head. Everything from the torso up is covered in something red; presumably tomato sauce. The Iga is being dragged at the arm pits by what appears to be hair youkai. Today really has not been the Iga's day. And by the smell of things at the approaching lab, things are only gonna get worse. Slowly but surely, the red-headed young man forces himself to his feet, knocking away and inadvertently dispelling his helper. He has had it up to the neck with these gremlins! While he did admire their craft and ingenuity (if one can such madness so), it is another thing entirely when he is forced to endure having his senses twisted about like some child's playing thing. Sure it may help in the future whenever he has a kid, but still! So, after taking a deep breath, and immediately regretting having done so due to aggravating scents in the air, Ryoji spits in each of his hands in turn. Soon after he claps his hands together with the fingers pointed skywards.
What hair was once sacrificed along the way is immediately replaced by tons of them sprawling from head and chin, consuming the man until only a vaguely humanoid shape is left. "Satori." Eyes and elven ears (the later of which form ridges down his back) spawn from the tangled mess as it contorts and shrinks into a more definable form. A vaguely hybrid form of a fox and a man. Ryoji starts to sway once the jutsu is complete. The wind had changed! Quickly while he still retained his senses, Ryoji extends his hands; causing tendrils of hair to sweep past the drunken guards and enter the lab to bind those dastardly gremlins to a single ball before dragging their sorry butts out into the open. Given their aptitude for destruction, Ryoji makes certain to keep them within range of the chemicals though.
"Ooh… uugh… hope the others are doing better…" He murmured dizzily.
A blink and a stare and Chitose turns to watch the boar go before grumbling, "Really?" She then turns and starts chasing after the thing even as she looks back at the guards, "Careful…they like to play tricks." She states even as she turns back around. Right now…she's covered in flour. Yes, flour. Flour and there's an oil base underneath so it sticks nice and well as she runs after the boar. At least it wasn't tarring and feathering.
It's a rough night, but the mogwai are eventually purged from Sunagakure. After all, this is a ninja village! :P Even troublemaking mini-demons aren't about to knock this town off its feet. The labs are secured and everything gets swept back into relatively normal condition.
Oh, and what was Sousa doing this whole time? He went to take care of his most sensitive lab where*RECORD DESTROYED*