Date: December 3, 2012
Goh collects Mogura and Amiko to discuss tidings.
"Wheelings & Dealings"
It was getting later in the day and the clouds on the horizon were moving closer and bringing rain with them. The day was active, the village was crowded, people from all over coming to see the tournament so that they'll enjoy the next batch of soon to be chuunin put up a good fight. Some were aware of the tension between what would be people from the Land of Fire and Water, specifically the villages as the citizens of each country were more or less on edge, though could put aside their differences. They were the victims, after all.
Itami or Mogura in this case, has come to see the exams and possibly get some information while she was at it. She was here before, though not in the village itself. She had done a bit of scouting around for treasure in the land, but it didn't end well when her escort decided he wanted a cut of the profits. Bah. For now, she's just relaxing on the side of the road, rested up against the bone fence.
Uzumaki Amiko had been enjoying her time in Kirigakure thus far, having spent many hours shopping and a few nights in her glorious, luxurious accommodations. After the war between Kirigakure and Uzushiogakure though, she'd avoided Kiri-nin as much as possible. She hadn't been able to avoid bumping into a few, and they'd seemed nice enough, but she was still struggling to forgive them for the atrocities committed during the war. Today she finds herself wandering the streets however, enjoying the relative calm before the storm. Considering the climate of the Land of Water, who knows how long it could be before there's a break in the rain? She turns on to Retsu Road and spots a woman she'd seen a few times in Konohagakure, and pauses to consider the woman. She wasn't even sure that she was a ninja, but it was always worth greeting a familiar face in a foreign land. Amiko smiles to Mogura and waves, saying, "Hey there."
"Stop them!" Cries a random voice from the side. A shop-keeper has hurtled out of his store at the greatest of speed, rounding the corner to see two men and a woman fleeing with stolen goods in hand. Tensions were high, that's for sure. But it didn't stop common thieves, who, taking advantage of the many many people bustling through, opted to steal as many things as they could.
The trio spin their heads around, looking for any Kirigakure ninja. Oddly enough, the military shinobi who stand guard do not give chase. They appear to be keeping their distance on the rooftops, as if waiting for something to happen. The trio flee down the street, before a male voice cries out in a dramatic fashion. Off in the distance
"Kuchiyose no Jutsu!"
The Kirigakure shinobi that were overlooking the crime just before suddenly swoop into action, pulling innocent people off the road. Only seconds later, an EPIC sized salamander falls down from the sky, quite literally CRUSHING the criminals into the ground. Their top halves stick out, their legs pinned by the gigantic body that is Wanryo.
Wanryo the salamander is no shorty, that's for sure. At fifteen meters tall, the huge thing opens it gigantic mouth high up in the air. As if to yawn, perhaps bored. The same voice that cried out the summoning technique can be seen leaning over the very top of Wanryo's head.
It's Goh. "Hey, Mogura!" He cries, having noticed her. "How was my aim? The guys aren't dead, are they?"
The criminals were all still laying there, legs crushed. But their groaning would indicating that they are quite alive still.
The civilians all around were shocked to begin with, though once they had taken in events, had gone about their day. To be honest, a giant salamander appearing in the middle of the street did rank as a… weird thing. But they were told to expect the weird with these exams. In addition, the lack of Kirigakure ninja fighting would indicate that this is all planned.
The head of Wanryo lowers so that the salamander lays down on the street. Goh leaps off, patting the giant salamander on the head. "I've been looking for you, Mogura. Jump business." He then blinks. "Oh, hey Ami. Didn't see you there. Got your clothes on this time?" He smirks mischieviously.
The crime in progress caught Mogura's attention, but more importantly, she wasn't sure why the the shinobi of this village weren't hopping to action. Well, guess they knew what they were doing, but just then she hears 'kuchiyose no jutsu' and watches as a salamander drops from the sky. She smirked and raised up from the fence to make her way toward Wanryo and Goh. In that time, she offered a head nod to Amiko saying, "Tidings. How are you?" She gestured for her to follow along as she answered Goh in the small break between. "I can't tell from here. I have to get closer to know!" She called out in her approach. From what she could see, they weren't dead. They looked like they were breathing and able to move, albeit shaken by the fact they were attacked by a large salamander. Once she was close enough to inspect, she offered a thumbs up to indicate they were alive and well. "Jump business, eh?" She started. "What's goin' on?"
Amiko was about to leap into action until she was shocked by the sudden entrance of the giant salamander. The girl blinks a few times, her mouth hanging open as she tries to gather her words. "I bet I know who's responsible for this one," she finally manages to splutter out, looking up to find Goh nearby. She raises a hand to him in greeting, and then almost dies when he comments on her lack of clothes last time they'd met. She turns a bright pink and her mouth opens and closes a few times as she's once again lost for words. "Yeah, just tell the whole world," she mutters, shaking her head embarassedly.
Goh laughs at Amiko's reply, still chuckling a bit as he turns his attention back to Mogura. "A fair few things, actually. I can't talk to you out here in the open." Despite the civilians being okay with the large critter laying in the street, they were still getting a few looks. "Why don't we step into my office?" And with this, Wanryo opens its large mouth. And rolling out like a red carpet, is the big long toungue. "C'mon." He beckons Mogura to follow, walking about the ramp-like salamander toungue.
Halfway up, he turns about. "Amiko, I know you're not part of Jump, but this is information you should probably know about. Your Kage should be aware, at least. And I wouldn't be a very good friend if you were left out of the loop." He beckons the Uzumaki to follow as well, just as the blonde dissapears into the open mouth.
Very much like the giant Lion head in that Aladin movie. Hopefully this one won't eat the intruders though!
Mogura lofted a brow. What's all this about no clothes and such? "…I won't ask, I just won't do it," she shook her head. "But alright, so where is this offic—oooooh, oh…oh…" She wasn't exactly sure how to approach this. "Inside?" She looked at the tongue rolling out and down the throat. "Ha..haha…" She was actually nervous while walking towards it. Once inside, she tried to adjust herself to being inside of an animal. The last time she was in something, it was a huge snake. Not cool. "So, what's all this about?"
Looking to Mogura, Amiko explains, "It wasn't really public nudity… I was bathing!" She looks back to Goh with an annoyed expression, "He just waltzed in! There were only other women around… Oh gosh…" She looks defeated and hangs her head low. She then shakes her head again and heads towards the giant salamander, following Goh into his office.
Goh will lead the way, descending into the very stomach of Wanryo. Once they pass through a corridor of complete darkness, they will emerge into the stomach. Lit by some lanterns along the wall, it's a place that will be familiar to Amiko. It's very similar, if not identical to the stomach she travelled in previously.
Meanwhile, outside, the large form of Wanryo will dissapear in a puff of smoke — exploding into nothingess.
Of course, that won't be felt from the inside. "It's nothing, Mogura." Goh grins. "I just walked into the cold springs looking for Tsun, and Amiko was there in her undies. Not really that bad at all." His arms fold across his chest.
"I guess I'll get right down to it. I had a meeting with Yuge when I first arrived here. I was under the impression that this exam was going to relieve tensions, but it appears not. In fact, I guess you could argue that the exact opposite has happened. Yuge believes that some countries have slipped in agents into the examination area. Perhaps going to kill the lesser skilled shinobi of enemy countries. He's trying to keep on top of it as much as he can, but there's only so much he can do. Calling the exams off isn't really an option, after all. Nor is raising the alarm — things would heat up far too quickly." He pauses there, letting it sink in. Or maybe just taking a breath.
"It seems we're on the brink of War. Yuge asked me if I would be willing to help him with the members of Jump. Sort of like a neutral police force to keep the peace here. I declined him. We're not soldiers or mercs for hire, after all. Not to mention that puts us on a slippery slope on the whole neutrality thing." He waves a hand.
"Anyway. Mogura, as the most senior person in Jump, I'd like your opinion on how we should, or should not get involved. It's a very sensible option, perhaps the smartest, to sit the whole thing out and stay well clear of the Ninja Villages. In fact, that was partly why I set Jump up in the first place. But I'd like your thoughts."
He does shift a look to Amiko. This is likely difficult for her to hear, given that the Land of Whirlpools was already in decline after its last attack. It's entirely possible that a War could wipe the whole Village out! Whether it be for being in the way of a front, or for a Village to take as a strategic foothole.
Then he looks back to Mogura. "I'm going to hear everyone elses opinions of course. Some might be keen on defending the small Villages. Or working with the neutral medical center. Others might prefer we do the turtle and just retreat into our shell."
"Hey, it's just between you two. I am okay with it," Mogura joked. Being inside of a salamander was a different experience and not what she expected. It's beyonnd what she expected. "So, he thinks agents have found their way into the exam areas. That's…very odd, but I can see how that'd be a concern. Why would they kill the lesser skilled shinobi? It seems like it'd make more sense to pick off stronger shinobi so they wouldn't have that much power. Then again, there probably are more lesser skilled shinobi than stronger ones." She huffed. "Good grief, things just can't be all peaceful, can they? Gotta just be all messed up. Feh." She folded her arms as they walked along.
"I was kinda hoping you wouldn't say that word. War. I can respect your decision. Being active like that is…not in our best interest. My opinion?" She lifted a hand to rub her chin. "It's best to stay away from ninja villages, this is true. When war comes around, villages will always be looking to get an advantage and I think Jump is that advantage. We're the type that will know what's going on without being involved," she sighed.
"Defending smaller villages will be good, but I don't think it'll be enough. They're really just objects in the way when it comes to war and they're prime for being hotspots for resources when it comes down to it." She needed to really think about this one. "Information is the most valuable resource ever. If we have it, we may have a bit of control over things, minimal, but it may grow over time if we happen to play our cards right…"
Amiko nods slowly. "Yes, I'd noticed the tension around here, but I assumed that it was just due to the history between Kirigakure and the other nations present. Konoha and Kumo aren't exactly friends with them. Iwagakure is the only nation that seems to be remaining neutral, and that's probably only because there are so few of them here," she says, folding her arms over her chest as she speaks, "As a delegate of Uzushiogakure I'm not exactly neutral, but at least I'm a little less likely to draw attention." She lets out a laugh and a cheeky little grin as she says, "I could always seal up any trouble makers we find, and we could store them in Wanryo until the exams end!" Her expression gives away that she isn't really serious. Finally turning back to Mogura, Amiko says, "Oh, and by the way, I'm Uzumaki Amiko. Its very nice to meet you."
Goh nods to Mogura. "You're right. We're the x-factor, I guess you could say. A side-effect of gathering people from all corners of the world is that not only do we have some seriously strong individuals, but also information from everywhere. Not only that, but this information is constantly ebbing and flowing into the guild. At the very worst, what can we expect?" He asks the fellow guild member. "I would think that if we refused to help anyone and turtled up, some villages might try and take this information through force. In the best case scenario, they will offer us heaps of coin to perhaps gather someone's services. Or information." He shrugs. "I guess either way, we say no. Future reputation and contracts aside, the majority of our members aren't combat based. They're just farmers or traders."
He looks to Amiko carefully, before smirking a bit. "Not a bad idea. Unfortunately, they don't let just anyone into the exams. I actually went into the examination area myself a couple of days ago. For two reasons," He lifts a finger. "One being to see how possible it was without raising the alarm. The answer to that is, not easily. Anyone who can sneak into the exams would be better skilled than nearly anyone taking the exams I would say. And two, I wanted to check the status of a future Jump member." He exhales. "She's alive, fortunately." A brief shake of his head. Wasn't really relevant.
"Do you happen to know how Uzushiogakure would react in a War, Amiko? You are allied with Konoha, correct? Will they call upon you?"
Delegates of Uzushiogakure are bound to draw attention. Maybe not now, but Uzumaki are known for their ability with seals. I wouldn't count yourself out," Mogura remarks to Amiko. "You should tread lightly like the rest of us. Sealing up trouble makers may help out in the future, but for now…" She grumbled to herself. "I haven't had to think like this in a bit," she rubbed her head lightly. "I just dig up information, I don't work to create it, but enough complaints!" She planted her fist in her hand.
"Oh, it's nice to meet you too. I'm Mogura," she nodded to her. "At the very worst, we can expect people hounding our people to see what they know. Information as a resource is serious business. What we should do is keep an eye out around Kirigakure. If this is all taking place here, then we need to see how much information we can gather here. The real test is whether we want to report it or not." She then looked to Amiko to see how she'd answer the question directed at her.
"They will call on us," Amiko answers to Goh, "But our answer will be no. We're still depleted and weak and we can't afford to throw ourselves into war. Our alliance is fairly one-way at the moment, since we can provide little-to-no assistance with anything other than small scale missions and our sealing expertise." She shrugs again, sighing. "I guess you're right about me drawing attention too. I've had more than a couple of odd looks from people, what with my hair colour and clan symbols. But if Jump gets in any trouble I'm happy to lend a no-strings-attached hand."
"I asked Yuge all the right questions." Goh says simply, shrugging. "There's only so much that Yuge can tell me, since… well, I'm sure to the Kage, it's equally as much as a guessing game. It's just tense at the moment, like the calm before the storm." His eyebrows furrow a little bit. It was quite bothersome. "Anyways. I'm going to call all the members of Jump back to the guild soon. Ei, Soen, Soren, Aburei, Ariya… everyone. That way, we can have a good chat about what we can do and everyone can be on the same page. Who knows? Maybe even pick up some new information. I honestly don't think we'll be able to stop our travellers from being stopped along the road from enemy shinobi. We don't have the man power to really send combat capables with all of them. It's just a risk they will have to take." He does sigh a bit. This leadership thing was tough.
He quirks an eyebrow up to Amiko, perhaps surprised to hear what she said. "There's no need for that, Ami. Though I certainly appreciate the thought, don't you think you should be holed up in your own home, ready to fight off the invaders?" He smiles, seeming flattered that she had thought of that. "It's the smaller Villages that have me worried, to be honest. Konoha will fight so that Uzushiogakure is not taken, but what if they lose it? The shinobi will be prisoners of war, forced to aid in enemy causes." He frowns. "And the medical center." Goh looks back to Mogura.
"If any Village is able to overpower Mushi and take over the neutral medic facility in the Land of Fire, it's going to have a huge advantage. Like Jump, the Neutral Medical Center is an x-factor. I mean, a hospital filled with some of the best medics ever seen. If Kirigakure managed to take it, or Konoha, then who knows how that will tip things? Not to mention all the poor victims inside." He rubs his nose.
"Hmm. Amiko…" Mogura started, "I'm gonna request that you stay your hand for now. Gather all the strength you can. If war is on the horizon, you're going to need it and be prepared." She closed her eyes then and frowned in deep thought, "I have some connections to Kirigakure. I may be able to draw something out of Yuge. That should give us a good jumpstart if I can manage that much. I'll try and keep you all posted about my activity around here as these exams progress. But yes, it's important that Jump members are gathered and the situation explained to them. We could probably have one person or a couple to each village and have someone or a few in charge of looking around here to gather information. We want to keep ourselves thinned out so it won't seem obvious what we're doing," she opened her eyes then and looked at both Goh and Amiko.
"I understand the medical center is neutral and will be a major asset as well. We'd do well to keep them updated of any changes that may be taking place. I'm hoping that Mushi has thought ahead about the potential for a medical organization to be a hotspot as well. They may need to be moved elsewhere just in case…" She rubbed the back of her neck at this point as the tension was building up. "I don't believe my connections are as strong as yours would be to Konoha, Goh, so you may want to try and take advantage of those while you have the chance. Any others that have connections to their villages would be assets too. See if they can try and get something out of their populations."
Amiko nods slowly, a little frustrated that she can't be of more help outside her village but understanding that her own people need to come first. "Fair enough," she answers sullenly, "There are enough Uzushio-nin here in Kirigakure at the moment that we should be safe in the short term if war breaks out. We have contigencies and meeting points already prepared. Considering that Goh-san is here as well, I assume that the members of Jump will be safe too." She shakes her head in disbelief and says, "All this talk of war. I can't believe its looking like its going to break out again."
"Won't that put them at risk?" Goh asks Mogura carefully, his arms still folded across his chest. His feet move about on the squelchy stomach lining. "I mean, if we put one or two people in each Village and it's warring… if they're discovered." He winces. "Well, that could be bad. Not to mention it could turn their rage onto us as well." Goh scratches his head. "We'll see. I don't want people to feel forced that they have to spy for us. Ei for instance, has very strong ties in Kumogakure. I feel like I'd be taking advantage if I asked her to spy on her friends for me." He looks to Mogura for a long while, before nodding at what she says. "The only person I really talk to anymore in Konoha is the Hokage. And really, she ain't no dummy. I guess I could at least ask to see what she knows."
"Alright, so I guess this is the plan. Mogura, you stay here in Kirigakure and see if you can find anything out. Keep in touch as much as you can, and don't dawdle. I know the other members of Jump would love seeing you around. At the very least, it makes the regulars feel more safe." He smiles to the S-Class member.
"Once the exams are done, I plan on apprenticing Shirokiri Rise. She's a shinobi from Kumogakure, but will be formally leaving once the exams are done. We can head to Konoha first up, talk to the Hokage. Then on my way back to the guild, I can swing by the neutral medical center. Hopefully by the time I get back, most of the other members will have reached my call out message to return and be back."
He nods carefully to Amiko. "It does suck, but at least we have time to prep. You keep in touch too. Don't want the Whirlpools going under." And with this, he turns on his foot to walk back up the ramp from where they came. Into the darkness, believing that the meeting is largely over.
"Looks like. Anyone just sneaking around during the exams and picking off shinobi is serious, but don't feel like you're being left out Amiko. It's important you gather strength now so that you'll be strong when events start to rise," Mogura explains. "But I should have been more clear about my statement. I didn't want them in the villages while they were at war. That'd be far too dangerous. I just want them around while things are heating up to see what information comes around and what we can use. If war breaks out, they should be out of their villags and back at Jump sharing what they managed to gather," she explained.
"Spying on friends is a consequence of war, unfortunately. That's the downside to a lot of these things. War hurts us in unimaginable ways, our relationships go through strain among many other things, but please, do talk to the Hokage," she pressed the importance of this.
As he went over his plan, she smirked and nodded. "Will do. I hope I don't disappoint. I plan on going all out to get this information." She chuckles. "This leadership thing ain't so bad, is it?" She winked. "We can make this happen. I should probably leave now and see about speaking to Yuge. I'll have to enter Kirigakure as someone…familiar with the place." She offered a salute to Goh and a nod to Amiko. "How do I get outta here?" She laughed.
"This way," Goh will beckon the pair to follow him from how they entered. And, as the corridor of darkness is walked through, the trio will emerge from Wanryo's giant mouth. Stepping down from the toungue, the group will find themselves in the fish market of Kirigakure. No-one is around, thus no-body is freaking out. "Will catch you later, Mogura. Amiko, I hope I can at least get another chat in with you before I head out to Konoha." He lifts a hand to wave, and just like this, dashes off into the distance. Zoom!