Date: December 20, 2013
Going briefly undercover, Atsuro and Daisuke continue their investigation into the stolen goods.
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"Colony Collapse - Part 3: Wrecking Ships, Shipwrecks, and Shipping Wrecks"
Minatoriko, an island far out in the ocean
Well, after following dock workers through a small city and ruffians through the wilderness, Atsuro and Daisuke are going to exchange stolen goods with a group of criminals. They have disguised themselves as the very thieves they've been tracking. And with a little help from their interrogation techniques and some captives, they know exactly where to go and what to do.
They've got a heavy crate of goods from the docks that they found at the bandit camp. Thanks to their ninja abilities, it's not too heavy for them, even if it's been a pain lugging it through the brush. They've made it out to the beach where the handoff will take place. The trees start to thin out, allowing them to see the ocean, and a cliffside. But like the captives told them, there's a small path leading down the side of the cliff to the beach. As they get close, Atsuro sets down the crates and waves Daisuke over to peek over the edge. Anchored not far away from the beach is a boat, and on the shore is a smaller boat and some men beside it. They look like rather rough characters, wearing dirty clothes, and being grizzled and scarred. "Alright," says Atsuro, "Above all, we need to find out where they're taking the stuff they're stealing. Any ideas?"
After the night of interrogation and not much sleep, lugging the crates through the brush wasn't exactly a thrill. Leaving the captives back at the camp and sending word to their contractor about their whereabouts, the duo takes off, leaving enough time to arrive at the 'usual' time. When the trees began to thin, signalling the end of their trek through the brush, Daisuke's spirit slowly returned. Daisuke places himself near the edge to get a good look at the situation as Atsuro makes his thoughts known. "Hmm." says Daisuke, eyeing the boat, the dingy, the men. "I don't think the guys we are 'roleplaying' usually ask to get on the boat, so that's out the window." He thinks for a few moments more before throwing out some ideas. "We could say we think someone is catching on to us and ask to head out and bring in replacements. We could attack the boat and interrogate them. We could somehow dispose of the men on the shore without the boat seeing and change our costumes…"
Hmm. All good suggestions. Atsuro backs away from the edge and sits down on the crate to think. "The first suggestion… well, we don't have to fight, so there's less chance of someone, say, getting away on one of the boats and warning the mastermind, or whoever. But we don't know how these guys operate. They might just say 'well, guess you're screwed then,' and we get nowhere." He taps his forehead. "And then the other two… The problem is, if we leave either group alone, we risk blowing it, right? So your last suggestion seems like the best. We just need some way to get them to come out of sight. How about this? We say we've got more cargo, but it's really heavy and we'll need a hand with it. Then we bring them up here and pound them silly. Problem is, the people on the boat might hear the fighting or something." He looks over to Taizen, who he figured might have to sit the mission out, at least for the first bit. After all, he's not sure he could fit a giant dog into their disguise. "There were three guys on the beach. So we can have Tai waiting to ambush them, and hope we can take them down real quick. Then we carry down something else and bring it to the boat, and tell them it was nothing, if they seem concerned."
Daisuke nods his head through Atsuro's rationalizing as he looks down at the men on the beach. "We will need 3 guys if we do pull this off and make it to the boat, one for each man replaced." he points out, looking over to Taizen. "I don't suppose Taizen can henge into anyone but you?" he asks curiously. Either way the first part of the plan needed to be done, and after a bit more planning, Daisuke stands back up, grabbing his crate again and begins to lug it down the small path towards the boats alongside Atsuro. As the men are approached Daisuke nods to each and goes to place the crate in the boat. "There's more up the cliff, couldn't carry it all down the path in one go, mind helping us? Might need four arms for a few of them." he says in a similar voice to one of the interrogated of the prior night as he moves back towards the men.
That would definitely push Beast Human Clone to its limit. "If I put on a disguise, then use the technique, he'd have the appearance of me wearing those clothes. Then I could swap my clothes again and he'd still have the old appearance. He'd still just be me in those clothes, but… well, we'll just have to pick the guy who looks the most like me and try and keep him behind us until we're on the boat." Not that he likes the idea of any of those crusty bandit-types looking like him. Yech.
To make the whole thing convincing, Atsuro leaves his crate behind, openening it up and taking out some of the load. Now at least when the guys come up here, they won't notice a lack of cargo. Then he has Taizen hide in the bushes, ready for an ambush. Daisuke handles things pretty well, so all Atsuro has to do is lend a little support. "Yup," he says, "It's a pretty heavy load this time. Don't wanna try and bring it all down that narrow little path with just the two of us."
"Hmph," grumbles one of the men, "Maybe you should have brought more than two of you then. What're the other idiots doing?" But that seems to be a rhetorical question, since he just starts up the path, the other two men following them. With Atsuro and Daisuke to follow behind. Well, seems they aren't suspicious!
"Smelly, filthy malnourished men wearing rags, I'm sure the resemblance will be uncanny in any of the three." Daisuke quips to Atsuro before they head down. As his act seems to go over well enough, Daisuke finds himself alongside Atsuro walking back up the path behind the men, a perfect place to help with the ambush. As they near the top, Daisuke gives a brief look to Atsuro to let him know it's almost time to pounce.
"Yep," says Atsuro, "All my nourishment goes to keeping these beautiful muscles toned and bulky. You lucky average-fitness people don't know how good you have it." Fortunately, the men actually are somewhat muscular, though certainly not on a ninja level. It shouldn't be /too/ conspicuous.
Atsuro nods in return to Daisuke. Just a little more… "That's it?" one man asks as they reach the crate, "This is hardly anything." But the trap's already sprung!
"Nah, man, that's nothing. We've got more, just look over there." He points off in a random direction and the three men look. They squint into the distance. Not seeing anything they start to turn back around, but that's when Taizen makes his move. He jumps down from the tree, immediately crushing one man under nearly 150 kilograms of dog. The other two seem to have figured things out. One pulls a knife, while the other raises his fists. "The reef is this?" one asks.
Daisuke watches as Atsuro takes the reigns and points off into the wild blue yonder, causing the men to look. He almost chuckles but keeps it together so that Taizen can spring from above. "A wolf! It must've taken the supplies!" he cries out and produces a kunai, " Get it!" he says, tossing it towards the man closest to Taizen that held his own knife, striking him in the hand so that he drops his weapon and can't harm anyone. "Gah, sorry mate!" he says as he runs up, dodging a bloody backhand as the man cusses at him and his poor aim before he slips around him and CHOP, back of the neck strike causes him to crumple to the ground. Daisuke looks over at the other two and their status.
Taizen got the first guy, Daisuke got the guy with the knife. That leaves Mister Fistfighter to Atsuro. But no matter how confident the man is in his skills, he's just not on the same level as a ninja. Atsuro walks up to him. "What the shoal is with you guys!? Stay back!" He takes a swing at Atsuro as the ninja approaches, but Atsuro just grabs him by the arm. He swings him around for a moment, then lets him go, sending him stumbling into a tree. Atsuro isn't far behind, ramming him into the tree again, and knocking him unconscious. "They weren't too tough," says Atsuro, laying the man out on the ground. Then he gets down and crawls over to the cliff edge again, looking out at the boat. There are a few men standing on the deck, looking in their direction. Looks like that yelling attracted their attention, but they don't seem too concerned yet.
"Not too tough, but we are still dealing with the bottom of the barrel of this organization." Daisuke points out as he examines his victim, getting ready for a costume change. One look out at the boat tells him they don't have much time to make a reappearance and so he turns to Taizen. "Lets get Taizen suited up and ready, that will take the most time. You two get organized while I think of an excuse if asked." he says, leaving them to their devices as he finishes switching. "Ideas… ideas… wild animal, dispute with the 'vermin' delivering and told them to go back to their camp, we would handle it from here… I think that would work."
No such transformation.
"I guess," Atsuro agrees, "If their main job is moving things onto boats, they probably aren't the most skilled of the bunch." He nods as he listens to Daisuke's thoughts on the strategy. "Right," he says, "It didn't seem like they're best friends with the other guys. So whoever's on the boat will probably buy that explanation." Now, time to put those quick-change skills to the test! He quickly undresses the guy with the knife, trying not to think too hard about where this guy's been, then changes into his clothes. He hops on Taizen's back and makes a seal
Then with a puff of smoke, there are two Atsuros wearing shoddy clothing, one on top of the other. The top one, the real Atsuro jumps off, and quickly changes back into the old outfit, before checking out the guy Taizen jumped on. Once he's got the details down, he makes another seal, and with a puff of smoke, turns himself into that man. "Geez," he says, "Exhausting."
Once Daisuke's ready to go, he and Taizen pick up the crate, leaving room for Daisuke to get a pair of hands in there too. "Try to make it look real heavy," Atsuro reminds him.
"Just hang in there until we get to wherever we are going, Taizen." Daisuke says as the canine shinobi makes his clone, not sure how well Taizen can move, talk, and hold out while in that form. As everyone is ready, Daisuke walks over and helps with the crate, arms behind him as he walks in front of the rest down the cliff. One man on the boat points and a few others seem to taper off from their vantage point, which was a good sign, but a few stick around. One the trio make it to the boat, they put the crate down and Daisuke climbs in, working his shoulder muscle as if it were a really heavy crate. Suddenly he realizes… boat…water…rocking… he doesn't have his normal clothing, therefore his pills. "I won't be too much help once we get on the boat, I'm afraid." he points out, reminding Atsuro who most likely knew already because of their boat ride over to the island to start the mission.
Everything seems to be going well as they manage to load the crate onto the smaller boat. But Daisuke has definitely pointed out a serious flaw in this plan. If they go out to the boat, Daisuke will be seasick. And if he's seasick, he'll be dead weight. So they can't go out to the boat, but… "Maybe we can make the boat come to us," Atsuro whispers, "Or at least buy us some time." He hops in the rowboat and makes it look like he's adjusting the position of the cargo, while surreptitiously reaching into his pocket and pulling out a kunai. He turns his back to the bigger boat so they can't get a good look at what he's doing. Then he stabs the kunai into the bottom of the boat, prying and splintering away bits of wood until water starts to leak in. "Oh shit!" he exclaims, grinning at Daisuke, "The boat's leaking, guys! We gotta unload this cargo before it gets wet!"
Daisuke seems interested in Atsuro's idea, though he doesn't explain it more than act it out. He raises an eyebrow as Atsuro takes a kunai to the bottom and finally realizes what he had planned. He turns to face the boat, waving his hand to gather some attention along with Atsuro's calls. They should be far enough away from shore for the bigger boat to make it in, so Daisuke calls out "Sprung a leak, bring 'er round so we can get the cargo on dry." He remembers the large rug and figures they wouldn't want to ruin such a thing, this could work.
While Daisuke gets the attention of the men on the boat, Atsuro and Taizen heroically unload the cargo, putting it back on shore, where it will be safe from the water. It seems like the ruse has worked, and the men on the boat grab some oars and start rowing it over. It's a big boat, so it takes them a while, but eventually the ninja can hear the sound of the boat's bottom scraping against the sand. "Dammit!" yells someone on the big boat, "That's exactly why we were using the rowboat in the first place."
Atsuro manages to conceal his glee. "Yeah," he says, "Rocky luck. C'mon, the sooner we get this stuff loaded, the sooner we can work on getting back into the water." The men start hopping off the boat, walking over to the trio and the cargo.
Daisuke is busy dragging the boat, now almost fully submerged, up towards the shore, playing his part, cussing and all. As he sees the boat move up and bottom out, he hides a smile, they weren't going anywhere without some pushing. Continuing to drag the dingy up onto the shore he notices the men all getting out and figures it was a good time to 'get started'. He looks over to Atsuro with a brief glance as no plan was laid beforehand, waiting for a nod or equally informative glance before he would begin, a few more than the recent fights they had.
Atsuro notices Daisuke's glance. Hm, yeah. They'd have to improvise a bit this time. "Here," says Atsuro, clapping Taizen on the shoulder, "You're obviously the strongest one of us. We'll get on the boat, and everyone else can pass us stuff while you use those huuuuuge muscles to lift them." Before any of the other men have time to object, or look at Taizen too closely, they climb up onto the deck of the boat. Atsuro gives a glance to Daisuke. The men start passing them items up, and eventually, Atsuro spots their chance. There are six total, so if they strike real quick, they can easily bring the number of men down to a more manageable number. The men are all crowding around the boat to lift it up and dump out the water, and Atsuro signals to Daisuke, before he and Taizen jump from the boat to tackle one man each.
Daisuke goes along with Atsuro as he seems to have a plan after the glance, walking over to help as the duo climb up on the boat. He passes one of the items up and steps back, preparing for 'the glance'. Sure as day, it comes, and Atsuro and Taizen are jumping down ontop of two men. Daisuke had glanced at his situation, the four remaining, and sighs, "Leave me the hard work." he grumbles. Taijutsu wasn't his strong suit, though it wasn't a weakness. Plus, the men were up passed their ankles in water, which would slow them down if perhaps they took a tumble. All Daisuke can do is sweep the leg of one of the closest men, who wobbles a bit, and push him forward, making sure he falls in the right direction. That man collides into another, who smacks his head on the boat side while the first falls into the water, flapping around. Daisuke is quick enough to immobilize the man dazed by the boat before he goes for the one in the water, ducking out of the way of a meaty fist meant for his head from a third guy.
Both of the men Atsuro and Taizen tackled are unconscious. Atsuro picks them up and throws them into the relatively dry rowboat to prevent them from drowning while the fighting's finishing up. After their attack and Daisuke's, there are only two men left. These ones are on the other side of the boat from the group. But Taizen closes this gap pretty quickly, crouching down, then using his legs to spring over the boat, smashing one guy right to the ground. Atsuro quickly grabs the two guys Daisuke beat up and puts them in the boat too. Need to preserve those prisoners!
Daisuke watches Taizen close the gap towards him and the remaining men, already dealing with the remaining man who tried attacking him while he was immobilizing the others. In a straight up fist fight, but clearly outmatching his opponent, Daisuke finishes it off by blocking a powerful incoming strike, using its momentum to pull the guy's arm, slamming him down into the water and knocking him out. He stands back up, his costume pretty wet by now. "Well, lets get organized and prepare for another interrogation, then? he says to Atsuro, nodding to Taizen, "Good job!"
Inuzuka "The Janitor" Atsuro quickly grabs the remaining men and puts them in the rowboat. A nice bundle of captives, ready to be interrogated. "I hope there's more than one jail on this island," Atsuro mutters. Taizen transforms back into his usual form. Can't stay an Atsuro clone forever. "I think that about wraps things up," says Atsuro, "We need to tie these guys up, see if there's anything useful on the boat… then I guess we take them all back to town and have a little chat with them." He hops up onto the boat for a second and grabs something. When he jumps down, Daisuke can see it's a coil of rope, which he uses to start tying up the men in the rowboat. "You think you can check out the boat?" Atsuro asks, "It looked like there's a compartment below the floor of the boat. Maybe there's more cargo, or a map or something."
Daisuke chuckles at the jail comment and looks out over the water as he realizes they probably weren't going to go back to town dragging all the men through the brush for hours. That meant boat ride, he would have to prepare his body. Either way, Atsuro suggests taking a look around the boat, to which Daisuke nods. He wades back out into the water and hops up onto the boat, looking over the area to find this compartment Atsuro mentions. Finding what seems to be the latch, he opens the plastic 'floor' and finds an assortment of things inside. "We have a map of the area, oooh with circled islands." he says as he holds it up and looks at it. "That's about all, it doesn't exactly point out which is the target, though I guess we could ask our contractor about ports. There's a good chance the 'base' island doesn't have a shipping port."
By the time Daisuke's discovered the map and told Atsuro and Taizen about it, Atsuro has finished tying the men all up. "We'll have to get the guys up there too," Atsuro says. He leads Daisuke back up to the cliff overlooking the shore and ties up the men there too. Then he grabs too ("You take the other one.") and hauls them back down. Nine prisoners in total.
"So it's a multi-island scheme, eh?" Atsuro asks, "Geez. I hope we don't have to go to all the different islands to figure this whole thing out." He starts lifting the men onto the boat. "I guess the same goes for you, eh?" Probably best if there isn't too much seasickness in Daisuke's future. "Well, we'll ask about the ports. And maybe one of these guys will have something to say about it. He suddenly frowns. "I just realized I have no clue how to pilot a boat like this."
"Yeah, I guess we do." Daisuke says as he looks up the cliff, not wanting to go back up yet again. Either way, there was no sense whining. He trudges back up there and grabs one of the men to drag him back down to the rest, getting them all settled into the boat nice and secure. "I think the ports will at least narrow down the islands. I don't see a big secret base of a multi island ring of thieves being on a busy trade island. But then again, I'm not a brilliant yakuza boss or whomever put this together." he says as he gets into the boat himself and looks around. "I think it's like steering a wagon, but you have your speed regulated by a device." he says, peering at the controls, pointing to the large handle looking thing. "That's the only thing I can see that really has enough space to go forward and back to regulate speed."
"We'll see," says Atsuro, "But I think you're right. Someone's making a killing off these goods, but if it was some big-time trader or whatever, these guys would probably be dressed a little better — and more competent. I'm guessing they don't see a whole lot of the profits. So it's not like they're trained mercenaries or anything." He looks at the controls. He's still pretty sure it'll be a bumpy ride. But if Daisuke, the seasick one is fine with it, surely Atsuro can survive, as long as he manages to avoid wrecking the boat. And if they really have too… he and Taizen can get out and swim behind the boat to push it along.
"Okay," says Atsuro. He grabs a sturdy pole and pushes the boat away from shore — much less complicated than the other men were expecting, thanks to ninja strength. Then he fumbles with the sail for a bit until he figures out how to unfurl it, and with a semi-confident hand, takes hold of the controls, guiding the ship around the island, back to the port.