Date: April 18, 2014
Ishino returns to Kirigakure from his personal mission into Kumogakure with plenty to report.
"What Makes Us Human - Best Laid Plans"
The Mizukage's Office
"You are dismissed. Be well."
The Mizukage turned away after the bow of the woman who was his eighth consecutive meeting this day, heading back to his chair from beside the desk. He took his seat, mind flipping over towards his next meeting just as soon as he heard the click of the door closing behind her.
Doihara Ishino. Due to arrive just now, their meeting scheduled in twenty seconds. Which meant, Meruin knew, he would be giving permission to enter his office in twenty seconds. So he turned his black orbed gaze out of the window, the mists within his eyes matching those that were out in Kirigakure, bringing the man's purpose into the forefront of his mind.
And exactly 20 seconds from that instant in time, there'd be a knock on the door. Waiting for that permission to enter, Ishino would come in alone, no old man with him. He'd close the door behind him smoothly, before giving that elaborate western style bow. "Mizukage. I've come to deliver my report. I also have a bit of a personal request."
Meruin's eyes were on Ishino as he came through the door, hands settled onto the wooden rests of his chair. With the door closed, that intricate bow offered in respect, the Okumo inclined his head in return to the man, his own gesture returning that unspoken respect.
"Welcome back," he spoke, gesturing to the chair on the other side of his desk, signaling for the man to take it. "Come then. You may report."
Ishino nods lightly and settles into the chair. "Thank you. So, the reason I went to Kumogakure was to try and get Sachiko to come back with me. Seems she fell in love with Hiei, instead. Therefore she has not returned with me. Nor will she." Ishino muses for a moment. "I have to admit that I took it with some difficulty, however I have been able to work with Akane-san to rectify that issue.. So I'm not going to kill someone because of the emotional discord." He gives a small shake of his head. "With that said. There is a resource we might have access to, in Kumogakure, who's wishing extraction."
Meruin's brows lift by a margin at Ishino's word of Sachiko and his ability to work through it with the aid of Akane. He lifted one in particular, quiet gesture murmuring 'That explains quite a bit.' The man's hair slips over his shoulders of its own volition, platinum strands resting against the chest of his robes. "I won't pry into your personal life with the knowledge that you've managed to get things under control with Fujikujo Akane." He raises his chin slightly. "Tell me, then. Who is your contact?"
Ishino shakes his head slightly. "She is still.. available.. for you, Mizukage. That was a stipulation that I agreed to. She made an oath. I would not attempt to force her to break it." Shrugging slightly, he'd shift in the chair a moment, to get a little more comfortable. "Misaki. Who happens to be a Jinchuuriki. She was attacked by that parasite that we all dealt with and it caused her to go crazy.. While the Konoha Jinchuuriki died.. she was recovered." Ishino muses. "It seems the Raikage refuses to allow her to live. She's constantly under house arrest. Watched, hounded worse than prisoners." He purses his lips a moment. "Having a Jinchuuriki that is beholden to us for giving her a life seems useful. I told her she would have to behave and wait, until I could speak to you. But she wants out. Desperately."
Meruin gives a nod of acknowledgement at Ishino's mention of the woman's oaths and availability, but spoke nothing else on the matter with either voice or body, simply allowing conversation to move on towards the next order of business. Which was, it seemed, Kumogakure's premier Jinchuuriki.
The Mizukage's hands slowly come together as he listens, fingers steepling in the air between his armrests. Very interesting information. These words are the first to fill the air after Doihara's notice, the Mizukage's eyes narrowed slightly. "All of it with interesting potential. Kumogakure's Jinchuuriki wants to leave her homeland."
The mists of his eyes swirled the slightest bit more swiftly, intent gaze on the Swordsman. "Answer me the questions you can. What is the extent of her mastery over her tailed beast? Has she extended pleas to any other nations for aid to your knowledge or suspicion? Do you know the precise reasons for her home being turned into a prison? Is there any chance that she is still unstable due to the parasite? Do you believe that her personality would meld with Kirigakure's ideals? We will want to make use of her before she leaves Kumogakure, to perform some deed that'd affirm her desire to cut ties with her home and be of some use to us. What are her talents? How in danger are we of her lashing out from her prison? How long will can we make her wait? Furthermore, what did she do while under the influence of the parasite? Anything you know, speak on. Anything you do not, I will acquire."
Ishino nods solemnly. "To my full knowledge, I am the first and only one she has spoken to. It was in private as when anyone else was around they'd refuse to allow her to speak freely. Multiple times this happen. From what I could tell of my own testing, it is an agreement seal between her and the Bijuu, allowing a fairly extensive mastery of it's chakra. She is imprisoned as when she was under the parasite influence, she caused disruptive actions in the village and attempted to flee. She has been told multiple times by the Raikage she could leave, then was not allowed. She mentioned that Mushi-san was the one whom purged the parasite, so I do not believe she is unstable now." He muses, then shrugs. "I was a dim hope to her. She's under crushing despair. So she can wait as she doesn't see another way out. I do not think she would have an issue doing something to prove her willingness to leave. I also believe she could adapt to life here. She is a taijutsuist. She would fit well with them." He shakes his head slightly. "I do not have full specifics on her capabilities as we were watched. Myself for who I am, her due to this half-life she's allowed to live."
Meruin's head lowers in a brief nod at the information.
"You are in favor of making the extraction," he spoke. Not a question, but a statement. "There is much to be gained through a successful operation. But also much to lose, both in failure or success. Being caught and ruining diplomatic proceedings with Kumogakure, having her enter our lands only to wreak havoc with her Bijuu, or to simply use us as a way to escape the hold of a shinobi village." A slight jerk of the brow said 'And more besides,' but he let those things go unsaid as he continued with, "However, I am inclined to believe the reward may be worth the risk. So long as we get her here and keep her here, we acquire either a Jinchuuriki or a tailed beast with which we may create a new one. Investigations into the viability of the operation will be made." And with those words, the matter had closed.
"Our next order of business?"
"Two more items. Both of importance but one that effects more than just me." Ishino muses for a moment, gathering his thoughts. "The other day I was contacted by a Jounin of the death village. He asked for me by name. We moved into the mists outside of visual sight of the wall. His kage is requesting an artifact he claims Kirigakure took from one of their masulems. He said we can not figure out how it works and is not worth much to us." Ishino frowned. "He threaten to blow up the docks if I did not give an answer within 5 minutes that I'd look into it. He then threaten my family's clock shop. I proceeded to apply genjutsu pressure. In the end I stated I would have to speak to you on it, which I believe he took as a compliance. It was not, but after using Blurred Time on them three times, he was not much able to speak much longer." He shakes his head then. "We got three prisoners now. They are under constant watch so as to not allow them to die. The process of information extraction has begun with skinning them. I wanted to be.. through.. and make sure they understood to not threaten my family." Ishino shifts in the chair. "As for the artifact.. I have found notations on it. But it is still your decision."
Meruin tapped a finger against the wood of his armrest…
"Forever bold, these death shinobi," spoke the Okumo. "It makes them dangerous and foolish in equal measures." His slowly swirling mists remained pinned on the Seven Sword. "We will keep your family safe. We will increase the watch on the docks and see them routinely searched. But we will not give them the artifact that they desire. They are not nearly so strong that they could intimidate us into doing their will."
Meruin's chin lifts slightly, "However, this is still an opportunity to gain a certain amount of information that we otherwise could not. We will not give them the gem, I assume, that they desire. We will give them a forgery. During the exchange, you will find out just why they want it. What it does. What they plan to do with it. In their sense of victory, with their tendency to be extremely cocky, they can be manipulated into divulging information. And take care as to when you give them the counterfeit. We cannot know if there are energies within their jutsu allow them to sense that we cannot. Unlikely, but a potentiality. After the exchange, I will have ANBU following them to see where they go. If the meeting turns violent, they will be present to aid you in combat. Just ensure that the meeting takes place away from the village, if possible. And as for the prisoners…
"Continue your work."
Ishino nods in reply. "I will see what I can do to stall and extract information from them. Make sure the ANBU stay back as I don't wish to hit them with Genjutsu.. if they send three like last time, I can take them down much as before.. You've seen my work, Mizukage." Ishino muses. "As a side effect, the genin and chuunin of the death village we had before I had killed. A side effect of the diplomacy of this time. Considering we replaced it with a jounin, I considered the loss minor at best." Shaking his head slightly then, he'd smile. "The last thing is definitely more personal in nature. Doihara Saisho. You know of her?"
Meruin's head cants slightly, calm gaze shifting inscrutably. "Your work is good. Exceptional, even. In the future, however, do refrain from killing village prisoners if at all possible. Their lives are not yours to take, their fates not yours to decide. As a matter of village security, they are village property." A brief moment passed with his silent gaze before he nods. "And yes. Your younger, adopted sister. We've never had the pleasure of a meeting, but I have seen her a number of times. From all accounts, she is a fairly precocious young girl. Why do you ask?"
Ishino nods solemnly in response. "Indeed. I do my best. It was a matter of trying to extract further information from them on a diplomatic level that I had it done." Musing for a moment, Ishino chuckles. "I know we had a brief transcription between us about her going to the academy. I got your initial response of confirmation but I was wishing to follow up on it.. She.. is a puppeteer, Mizukage. One I found by happenstance. Tis part of why I adopted her.. well, the Doihara did." Ishino shakes his head slightly. "She's very intelligent.. but very shy about shinobi due to her parents both being lost in wars.. She has asked about going to the academy and thus I asked you. I would doubt if they'll have a brighter student there. Given my own protective nature I did wish to make sure that she was not unduely targeted out.. I promised her she would be safe, Mizukage, so I mean to keep it."
Meruin gave only the occassional nod as Ishino spoke, interrupting in no way until the Swordsman had finished speaking. Not for a small time afterwards, even, the Mizukage examining the man across from his desk. It was only after that pause that he spoke, voice low and strong, owning its own presence.
"'Any student caught with a blanket thicker than the normal sheet will sleep naked for a week. Any student caught awake past curfew will be assigned on patrol for the next 24 hours; If caught asleep during this time they will be whipped. Any student caught eating or drinking anything besides water within the bunker will be refused food for 24 hours. Any student who is not awake and dressed by the assigned time will be tossed into the cold spring from the top of the cliff. Any students caught fighting outside of training will be assigned to the graduation test the very next day.'"
Meruin's focus was clear, present on Ishino. "These are the rules of the place you wish to see your sister. These are the rules that help shape our shinobi into someone able to stand up to the rigors of life. Doihara Saisho will not be treated any differently than any other student. She will not be protected more than any other simply because she is your sister. As a student, she will learn the strength to fend for herself or she will fail out of the academy. If you wish her to be free from danger, fear, or pain, lock her up. If you wish her to be able to face and survive these, send her to the academy."
"I remember my own time there, Mizukage. I'm not asking for special treatment. I'm just asking to make sure she is not attacked for who she is." Ishino chuckles softly. "It shall be interesting to see hwo the academy shapes her. She's strong.. she's just unforged.. So I'm quite happy to send her in there and let her find her own strength."
"She will not be afforded extra protection," spoke Meruin, "But there are rules in place to prevent excessive student conflict. There will be some form of 'bullying,' as there are always those who must judge and intimidate. Those, she will simply have to learn to deal with. Anything truly serious, however, will not be tolerated, and if noticed, either prevented or punished. Within these bounds, I am curious to see just what her forging would create."
Ishino nods solemnly. "Fair enough. So she goes and we'll see what happens." Musing, Ishino finally gives a small shake of his head. "I know of nothing else of critical importance.. ahh.. well, almost. I'm about ready for the official display of the HARPS unit, Mizukage. I have one more system to install, verify it's integration and doesn't blow up.. and I would say it's officially accessable for general use."
Meruin gestures towards Doihara, noting, "I desire for your demonstration to be a highly public affair. Meaning something that is available for the world to see. I wish for this to make a statement. With that regard, I will be sending you out of the country to do it. With so much trouble brewing, however, it would be unwise to send you off. Few would have the time to see and it would leave us more vulnerable. Provided your systems are fully up to date, we will have you display your masterwork after our waters have calmed."
"Easily, Mizukage. I have no trouble on waiting for the official display being after things settle. If the death village pushes too far, I will be happy to use it on their village too. If needed." He chuckles softly, shaking his head. "But the more time I have, the better my craftmanship on it. So there is not a major rush for the display. I just wished to provide a full progress report on it."
Meruin lets out a little breath through his nose. A small puff of laughter? Mayhaps. More likely not, knowing him. "Have no fears. You and your behemoth will not be underutilized. It is well that you've kept me up to date on your own. It is one of your most favorable traits." The Mizukage's chin lifts slightly, "Now then. I've a forged gem to see created and some papers to draft as swiftly as possible. Unless there is anything else important to speak on, you are dismissed."