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Old 09-27-2019, 09:00 PM   #1
Junge
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“Take a look at these beauties, eh?”

Josuke's gas mask turned downwards to peer into the large trunk as the trader opened it up. There, nestled among a substantial amount of dry yellow hay, lay the objects of Amegakure's interest. The chuunin scarcely got to look at the strange artifacts for longer than a second before the lid of the trunk slammed down tight.

“Thirty thousand each.”
The trader rubbed his fingers together. The eye holes of Josuke's gas mask turned towards the imposing presence of his 'partner' for this job, a ronin Amegakure seemed to be employing more often than not as of late. The samurai was reliable. She also crazy skilled. That combination scared the piss out of Josuke. This would be their third job together yet he was still waiting for her to stab him in the back. To add to that paranoia, in her possession was a suitcase of filthy surface money, since Josuke couldn't be trusted not to drop it. With the way the boat was rocking back and forth that possibility felt too real.

“I only saw four. I thought there was supposed to be more.”
The chuunin spoke in a flat, consistent tone and volume, just loud enough to be heard over a radio blaring some cutesy pop song on the deck above them. A powerful cocktail of medication kept the edges of his terrific fear at bay, almost making him sound professional.

“Take it or leave it, bub.” The trader grunted and pointed an incriminating finger at the young shinobi. “I could report your sorry mug to the Militia and have you arrested-” He snapped, and Josuke flinched. “Just like that.”

The river beneath the vessel churned as another gust of wind from the storm outside rattled its wooden frame. Some small portholes let in the small amount of light that could filter in through the afternoon clouds. The shadowy bowels of the cargo ship didn't do much to hide the hulking bodyguards of the merchant, though. Then again this man probably wanted his muscle to be seen- shinobi or not, starting trouble in a confined space with so many hostile bodies was pure suicide.

He turned and held out one of his long arms to the samurai guarding Amegakure's precious funds. “Let's pay him and get out of here.”
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Old 10-17-2019, 06:01 PM   #2
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"Easy," The samurai said, settling the suitcase down on the floor before her, kneeling down and flicking up each clasp with deliberate theatrics. "This guy looks tough and all but he's actually a coward. Always one step away from a heart attack."

She pulled bundled bills from the suitcase while obscuring the full contents with the lid. She could feel the merchant leering down the front of her robe. She had set her jaw. "Three, six, nine, twelve."

She produced stacks of cash bound together with small loops of twine between her fingers as she counted, lobbing them over to the merchant every time she called a grouping. They smelled of stale cigarette smoke and clinical sterile cleaning agents - - something she had learned to attribute to Amegakure. Or, at the very least, Oichi-san. She snapped the suitcase shut again and click-click-clicked the clasps back down before stretching back up to her full height.

If anything was going to go wrong on something as simple as a buy order, it would be while she was working with the ninja from Rain. He had a habit of attracting trouble, even when there wasn't supposed to be any. He was good at getting out of a pinch, but that was probably experience gained from getting into them. How someone as skiddish as him was so capable to stick that giant nose of his mask into so much trouble was a mystery to the woman: She wasn't completely convinced it wasn't some sort of act.

"We have an agreement?"

"I do like the no-nonsense act." The merchant shoved the trunk forward across the table, and as the boat shifted it slid dramatically towards the pair. There was a cracking sound as the samurai's wooden sandal snapped against the trunk to keep it from careening it to the floor.

"Your turn," She said to Josuke, soft volume of her voice not diluting the barking order. She pulled away from the trunk as the boat leveled out and nodded her chin at the merchant. "You don't even have to dock. We can jump."
__________________
¤Nara Shikagerou, Sennin of Leaf.
¤Hyuuga Yuu, Genin of Leaf.
¤Sanada Ema, Chuunin of Leaf.
¤Gushiken Ren, Chuunin of Mist.
¤Hikoboshi no Natsu, Miko of Wind.
¤Sajime Sahori, Jounin of Stone.
¤Kiku-ichimonji Jun'ko, ronin samurai.
¤Hatsuyuki Shiro, renegade shinobi.
¤Keisei Ranko, The Prince of the Keisei.
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Engi Tech || Leaf & Stone Secondary GM
Important NPCs: Higashi

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Old 10-23-2019, 12:17 AM   #3
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Both parties moved with a stunning synchronicity. As the merchant leafed through the stacks of bills Josuke hoisted the heavy lid of the trunk upwards to further inspect the bounty. Despite the copious amount of hay serving as filler only a few small objects rested inside. Josuke’s gloved palms dug through the packing material but no more of the lustrous artifacts he sought could be found. One of the strange objects he plucked out to look at closer. The thing looked like a glass egg, except that it seemed to reflect light in odd ways. Staring through it was like looking into a broken mirror. As he turned to look through it towards his companion he saw a dozen different images of her imposing form split up across different parts of the egg’s ‘shell’. The way the light bent it almost looked as though she had a different expression in each reflection.

It was a cute novelty, maybe something that would keep a child entertained for an evening. What on earth made it so valuable to Amegakure? That was a question outside Josuke’s pay grade.

Failing to locate any additional artifacts he quickly slammed the box shut, but only after discretely palming and pocketing its contents into the voluminous folds of his coat, just in case anyone tried anything funny. With the job complete his attention focused on the next big task- going home without getting murdered along the way.

Eager to get away from the oppressive and hostile atmosphere on board the boat the chuunin and his ronin teammate left without any complications. As usual his rat-like cowardice screamed at him to shunshin away, buting oneself as a shinobi in this part of the country, even if just for a moment, could lead to disaster. There would be no choice but to walk.

Yet their departure proved completely uneventful. After an hour or so of crossing desolate rice paddies they reached the crossroads where they were to separate. Even as Josuke tepidly handed over the ronin’s payment for the job nothing transpired. It looked as though the mercenary wouldn't be stabbing him in the back. Not today, at least.

Josuke gave the tall woman a polite bow as their transaction completed. “May you have a safe journey home, Miss Kiku-ichimon-“ Josuke’s mumbled platitude disappeared as an enormous baboom swallowed it entirely. The chest strapped across his back detonated with lethal force and spray blood and muddy raindrops in a wide radius. It wasn’t clear if the blast had decapitated him or simply blown Josuke's skull into meaty chunks, but either way the chuunin’s headless body tumbled into the soggy road underfoot with a splash. Voices began shouting even while the blast still echoed through the curtains of rain.

“The ronin is still alive! Take her out!”
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Old 11-04-2019, 07:00 PM   #4
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I can’t see.

There was pain unlike any she had known before, but it was swallowed under the sudden darkness that had over taken her. A darkness more complete than she could have ever imagined - - complete and total blindness. She could feel something dripping down her face like blood or tears, but she could reach her hands up to brush whatever it was away. Her arms just didn’t want to move, but the sudden shift in the weight of her body told her maybe they just weren’t there anymore.

There was a familiar smell in the air, of black powder and blood, and her stomach threatened to turn over for a moment. Even with the pain and the darkness, she could hear the rustling of something coming towards her after the cry to take her out, so she lashed out like a wounded beast. She spun on her hips and brought the heel of her foot into someone’s throat or face - - she couldn’t tell what, aside from the sudden gurgle in pain. She tried to readjust herself, but without her arms responding, she stumbled a step and felt a blade pierced through her stomach, and then another through her back. She had always wondered what it would feel like to have your lung punctured, it felt just like - -

“Take a look at these beauties, eh?”


Her ears were ringing and she felt something moist on her face, like blood or tears - - she absently brushed her hand against her face and sneered a bit at the grimy, oily water that had sputtered up from the paddleboat’s leaky roof. What amounted to an office felt like a place where someone might be lingering just out of sight, ready with a knife for no good. Maybe the man from Rain’s anxiety was washing off on her - - of all the things he could claim as something resembling competency, his anxiety would be the death of him one day. It wasn’t something she’d like to learn from him.

“I only saw three. I thought there was supposed to be more.” He said in his flat tone. She could just barely hear it over the radio, blasting some pop song above through bouts of static.

“Easy,” She said, putting a hand between the trader and Jousuke.” She rested her hand on the suitcase for a moment before flicking the clasps up quickly. "This guy looks tough and all but he's actually a coward. Always one step away from a heart attack."

After they made the trade and were left off the boat, the samurai let out a short whistle.

“Hey, ninja. You didn’t drug me on the sly or anything, did you?” She didn’t make eye contact with the lenses on his mask, looking out over the growing rice. “Something doesn’t feel right. Maybe we should split off now.”
__________________
¤Nara Shikagerou, Sennin of Leaf.
¤Hyuuga Yuu, Genin of Leaf.
¤Sanada Ema, Chuunin of Leaf.
¤Gushiken Ren, Chuunin of Mist.
¤Hikoboshi no Natsu, Miko of Wind.
¤Sajime Sahori, Jounin of Stone.
¤Kiku-ichimonji Jun'ko, ronin samurai.
¤Hatsuyuki Shiro, renegade shinobi.
¤Keisei Ranko, The Prince of the Keisei.
Available for Registry Checks
Engi Tech || Leaf & Stone Secondary GM
Important NPCs: Higashi

Maybe it's the patterns that make me that made me crazy
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(swaps [AP] items)
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Old 11-18-2019, 09:51 PM   #5
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When all was said and done, the suitcase of war funds still held a tidy sum of surface cash. There hadn't been as much to buy so change was expected. Useless to an Amegakure shinobi, of course. Maybe his armed escort could use it?

The ronin waited outside for Josuke as he hauled the large trunk filled mostly with hay onto his back. Outside the rain drizzled its usually fuzzy drizzle. The forest could be seen from where the boat laid anchor, but not much more. They must have stopped in a sparse rural area with few travellers. “No news is good news.” Josuke held up the briefcase, offering it to the samurai. “Your tip.” There wasn’t supposed to be any leftovers but…this hadn’t been the first time Amegakure’s intel had been wrong. Internally the chuunin was struggling with how to explain to his superiors about how the dozens of precious artifacts he’d been sent to recover was now just three.

Hearing the ronin's plan Josuke's masked head nodded slowly. “Agreed. No need for us to stay together now. Amegakure will get in touch again if another job comes up. Hopefully they can all be as uneventful as this one.” As the pair walked into the foliage and outside the prying eyes of the smugglers Josuke unburdened the trunk from himself, plopping it unceremoniously down into the mud.

“If you are feeling unwell I can do a quick diagnosis. Swamp flu is going around this time of year.” Truthfully the chuunin wanted absolutely nothing more to do than to flee, but as usual that insufferable need to help people always cropped up at times like this. He could medicate away the fear and the pain but to date the boy hadn’t found a drug that could quench his dumb dedication to service.

Reaching into his coat he pulled out a small penlight, useless for illumination but handy to have for checking pupil reactions. “Try looking up and to the left, if you have a pink spot on your sclera…” He raised the light up to meet the woman’s face but kept his own vision diverted. Even during a vision test Josuke hated making eye contact. He just needed something else to focus on. Like a bird, or a particularly colorful flower, or those horse tracks, or some shapely rocks-

Tracks. Tracks. Unlike underground, on the hellish surface world the ground was routine scoured by the rain and wind. Part of the reason Amegakure could operate so openly here was because of how the weather regularly washed away evidence. Of course, it wasn’t unusual to find muddy footprints of animals up on the surface. It just meant they’d been around recently. And therein lay the reason to panic.

“Someone…”
Josuke turned, his attention now completely off from the ronin. “I didn’t even think to check. Someone was following the shore.” Sure enough the horse tracks could be seen trailing back upriver. Coincidence? On cue the rain began to intensify.
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