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Old 06-08-2019, 02:32 AM   #1
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Disheveled workers huddled in fear at the towering, faceless monstrosity before them. The factory's shuttered windows let only the dustiest of light filter through, and what that waning sunlight showed was horrifying. Like a specter of death the gargoyle loomed towards them with menacing intent. The helpless souls could only watch in horror as it extended its meaty claw, dripping with a foul black slime, and pointed a thick digit right at their quivering bodies.

”Could I bother you good people for a handkerchief.” Inabune's rumbling baritone shook out from beneath her executioner's hood. ”Some of the crude oil got on me.”

The rhythmic clank and clatter of the Coal Country factory continued on unabated even as the workers began winding down the day's activities. Nobody who worked there was quite sure what is was they made, but the machinery was pretty dang impressive nonetheless! Levers and gears and pulleys and all manners of conveyors rumbled along with a well greased efficiency. The whole plant almost ran itself.

“Spooky.”
Muneshige bit the end of her pencil and made a face, since her pencil was covered in some kind of stray lubricant. “So you guys just move the boxes, you don't ever mess around in the guts of the beast?”

“I really can't talk to you, ma'am.”
The foreman grunted as he wiped the sweat off his brow with a dirty rag and continued his work. “Look, the big boss said we shouldn't worry about it. It's great you ain't asking for money and all, but this here is a work zone and...”

“Hm. Yes.”
Muneshige bit the end of her pencil and made a face, but this time she did in on purpose for dramatic effect. “Don't you fret. My crack team is as discrete as they are professional. Your crew won't even notice we are here.”

“I'll pay you for it!”
Twenty feet above them on some kind of rotating catwalk the high-pitched voice of one Mutuo Noboru squeaked out. “Can you cut it out like...like in this picture here...yeah, the one with the cape. Oh, and this one too, if it isn't too much trouble!”

Muneshige's face sagged a bit before breaking back out into a grin. “It doesn't matter how dark your ghost in the machine is, sir. The Brigade of Light will shine on!”

Somewhere someone let out a loud, disgusted groan, which was quickly followed up by the hiss of a beer bottle being opened.
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Old 06-23-2019, 03:08 PM   #2
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Boring.

Goose chase.

Ooh? Marked as special interest for Sakoshi representatives. I'm a Sakoshi representative!


Though Hana looked to just be working her way through some trashy novel as she lay on the sand, behind her sunglasses her special eyes were scanning the pages for the real information hidden on the pages with magnetic ink - that was supposed to be taken back to the hidden village to be deciphered by a slew of special devices, not just simply read by operatives who happened to be able to sense the reports by just looking at them.

As she flicked to the corresponding page, telling herself as she always did that if she just so happened to deal with something while she was local, it would save the division the time and resources of having to wait for her to get back, and then to have to send someone again... Plus she was sure the kid and the seagull wouldn't object to staying at the beach a few hours longer while she went to check it out, rather than going straight home.

---

Oh that explains it...

Getting into a building wasn't usually that hard, especially when she could genjutsu an ID that would normally show whatever she needed to be allowed somewhere, but the workers at the gate had only become more skittish once she had convinced them, as though there was something inside they specifically didn't want any of their superiors to know about; and now that she was through the doors she could see what that was - she wasn't the only guest.

The giant was easy enough to spot across the factory floor, as was the lady talking with what looked like the foreman. She seemed to be the one in charge, so Hana assumed she'd be the best to approach if she had to make herself known to any of them. She wasn't a huge fan of the idea, but she had a feeling deep in her gut that they were probably here for similar reasons, and if so then it would be next to impossible to work around each-other without being noticed; and given the choice between being upfront or trying to be sneaky and ending up in the middle of a misunderstanding... the former was marginally more preferable.

She'd only taken a couple steps though before the unmistakable high pitched glee of an overexcited child rang out from one of the walkways above. A giant and a child? Whoever the other lady was, she had an eclectic taste in companions. Curiosity got the better of her though, since the kid in question seemed to be requesting something, and finding out what might give her more of a clue as to what they were all doing here than whatever the others might be willing to share. So much for being upfront.

With a couple of well placed jumps, being careful not to knock any of the many levers and dials that covered nearly any surface as she bounded from one to the other, she landed on the gantry behind the boy in question, peering over his shoulder to try and look at whatever he was showing the confused factory worker

"Ohh... what you making?"


[Used]S3 Writ Of Authority (offscreen) - to create a false ID to let her into the factory
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Old 06-25-2019, 01:10 AM   #3
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Without looking up from his manuscript or turning away from the metalworker Noboru blurted out his response. “They're good luck charms! Normally you have to special order them but they don't deliver to Long Lake, and this one was limited edition so you can't get it anymore anyway...” His head popped up at once as the realization hit and he spun around fast enough to lose his balance. “Huh? Where did you come from?”

A heavy hand laid itself on the boy's shoulder. He didn't respond, instead only craning his neck upward to look at the owner. “Ms. Chomin, do you know her?”

”Go to Lady Chosokabe.” Inabune's rumbling voice coupled with her sudden appearance of two tall women scared off the craftsman and he scampered back down the stairs to the ground floor. Inabune seemed to ignore him entirely. ”You are needed.”

“Uh, right.”
Noboru glanced at the tall stranger, then gave a small bow. “Excuse me, Miss!” With a soft metallic pitter patter the boy's sandals carried him off. The monstrous Inabune's hood cloaked eyes remained locked on the new woman. She shifted her weight and the metal catwalk they stood on groaned in response.

”I am Brigade of Light Adjunct Chomin Inabune.” She huffed out from beneath her mask. Her hulking posture gave the impression of a gorilla preparing to throw a haymaker. The muscles along her arm rippled and she raised a heavy, clenched fist.

”Could I bother you for piece of cloth, my hand got coated in grease and it is quite bothersome.”

Elsewhere another dynamic duo stared at a brick wall with intense interest.

"Why would a hallway just end like this,"
grumbled Ryo as he snuck another nip from his warm beer bottle. "There ain't nothing here!"

"There's nowhere else to search? We didn't find squat! Pfft!"
Muneshige tapped her foot in agitation. "Looks like we're setting up for another all nighter. Glad I packed the sandwiches."

Last edited by Junge; 06-27-2019 at 12:11 AM..
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Old 06-25-2019, 06:07 PM   #4
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"Long Lake?"

There wasn't a Long Lake in Coal Country, at least not that she knew of. Whoever these people were, they had come really far just for some good luck charms. Her question was left unanswered though, as was the boys own question of her, as the hulking giant she had spotted before had evidently spotted her in return and come to investigate the mysterious woman accosting the youngest of their group. Still, she had learned some names at least; Ms. Chomin, Lady Chosokabe. Nobility perhaps? She could half imagine some wealthy matriarch marching into a factory with her bodyguards to get the good luck charm her grandson so desperately wanted...

Her skin prickled and her muscles tensed as Ms. Chomin approached, gripping tightly onto the railing with her off hand, just in case the hanging walkway wasn't strong enough to withstand whatever was about to happen between the two amazons. As her hulking companion raised her arm, Hana braced herself to be knocked off her feet and sent flying... only to end up being floored figuratively instead as the masked woman made her request.

"Huh?" She blinked, the tension in her body falling away, forgotten in the sheer surreality of the moment, just staring at the oil-smudged hand in question. "Cloth... right. Oh, yes actually"

She put a hand across one of the bracelets on her wrist, and pulled a worn-looking messenger bag out of the air in a shower of sparks before digging through it. She moved carefully, almost telegraphing everything she was doing as one might in-front of a frightened child, or someone with a crossbow pointed at you, so as to make sure nothing she was doing was misconstrued as a potential threat. It no doubt helped that the bag had the patches of several medical organisations sewn across it - ones she had collected over the years once she had learned the hard way that Cloud's own medical badge was not universally recognised, but even so she felt she couldn't be too careful.

"Here" She held out a small packet with a disinfectant wipe inside for a moment, opening it up and handing the Adjunct the cloth inside. "The uhm, rubbing alchahol in it really cuts through grease and stuff, won't just smear it around."

She paused to give Inabune time to make use of it before trying to regain her focus and deal with the marginally lesser of the confusing things the stranger had said as she had introduced herself. "Hana, by the way... Kurosaki Hana and, forgive me, but did you say the Brigade of Light? They told us that was a myth... You're real?"

Cloud had an interesting relationship with spirituality; specifically that it was outlawed, practically denied the existence of. Everyone knew that Miko and Kami existed, but under a rule that forbade any kind of religious or pseudo-religious practice certain truths tended to get filtered before the people got to them. So while Hana had vaguely heard of the Brigade of Light, it's existence had been somewhat dismissed by official channels; and she, like most Lightning Shinobi, had simply been far too overworked to ever have time to find out for herself. She had to admit though, it would explain why the woman in-front of her was dressed like something you'd see during an inquisition... or rather, at the end of an inquisition...
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Old 06-27-2019, 12:42 AM   #5
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Without a shred of shame Inabune quickly and efficiently wiped the offending lubricant from her palms, then thoughtlessly tossed the used up fabric to the side. ”Thank you very much, ma'am.” She held her fingers up to the buzzing electric light overhead and nodded. She spoke much quieter than usual, as if talking to herself instead. ”It is hard to hold my tools with slippery hands.”

The mystery woman introduced herself as a skeptical Hana. Armed with this knowledge Inabune did her usual thing. ”It is not my concern what you believe of the Brigade.” She pointed a now clean finger towards an approaching group. Underneath the pair of women came the child, old woman, and grumpy man, talking in various tempos as they moved in from some other part of the factory floor. ”These are my comrades. We will purge the corrupted forces we find here.” She paused to exhale. ”Pay us no mind. The Brigade only hunts the Dark.”

“Hey, ogre!”
Ryo grunted from below and jerked his thumb towards one the of factory's exits as Inabune turned her hooded head down in his direction. “You see the gremlins yet?” She shook her head and Ryo turned back to the group huddle with a huff. “I'm telling you guys, half the workers here are drunk, you can't trust a word they...”

A foghorn high above the factory sounded and signaled the end of the work day. The noisy machinery slowed to a stop and the oily workers all began to file out of the stuffy structure. The oldest of the group clapped her hands then shouted up to Inabune. “Oy, big girl! We got permission to assist tonight's security patrols.” The old woman gave her underling a thumbs up. “Go get your axe! We're in business!”
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Old 06-27-2019, 08:12 PM   #6
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Hana frowned as the others called up, not so much annoyed at the interruption, but rather put off by how they all referred to their giant companion. She was big sure, she even made Hana look like a normal girl by comparison, but Ogre? That seemed uncalled for.

"Do they always call you such mean thin-"

The klaxon blared out over the end of her question, and once more they were left unanswered as the old woman leading the group yelled out marching orders for her hooded associate.

Axe...? Shina, she really is an inquisitor...

She scrunched her nose in thought as the four of them all went off to prepare, they obviously had some idea of what they were expecting to find here; far more than she had been given by the report she had... intercepted. Still, at least she had a place to start, whatever was going on happened at night, which meant she'd need to sneak in again later and she wasn't in a mood to sweet talk the staff again; instead, she placed a small device on one of the large pieces of machinery, the Sakoshi technology almost perfectly disguised amongst the existing dials and knobs.

---

Nightfall came, and Hana dropped down from one of her electric portals, courtesy of the device she'd left there earlier in the day, and surveyed the factory in the dim light. She could sense a scattering of security patrols, that seemed like a token effort more than anything, and of course the four she had seen earlier. She let out a soft sigh as she started making her way toward the group, a sigh that hung in the air in front of her as vapour - so full of metal and without the sun streaming through the windows nor any working machinery to warm the place up, the factory floor was almost unnaturally cold... She really regretted not bringing anything other than beach and summer wear on this mission.

There was no way around it now, she was going to have to work with the Brigade, and that meant approaching them head on and being honest about the situation - neither of which came naturally to a Shinobi, but she had little choice. She'd called home to report in her initial findings, and the existence of the Brigade, to see if the extra complications required instructions that hadn't been on the purloined intelligence report, and the answer had not settled well with her... Her gut was screaming that there was something deeply wrong with all of this, and the four strangers were her best chance of finding out what.

"So." She caught up and walked level with the youngest of the group, once again picking him as her first point of contact. "Did you get the charms in the end?"





[Used] S5 - Magic Door to sneak back into the factory from outside

Last edited by Bass; 06-27-2019 at 08:18 PM..
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Old 07-08-2019, 10:26 PM   #7
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The Brigade, freshly switched out of their civilian clothes and now armed in earnest, still very much looked like a bunch of out of place oddballs. Ryo fussed about with a large crossbow while Muneshige helped the still hooded Inabune into her armor. Noboru pensively kept watch while gripping his wooden bokken. Despite the hazy yellow light emitted from the strange 'light bulbs' that dotted the factory, the shadows seemed as though they would jump out to attack at any moment. The boy's alert eyes darted back and forth. Vigilance! Constant vigilance! A hero mustn't let himself be caught off guard by anything!

“Oh, no.”
He responded politely to the voice without thinking. “They don't do custom orders here. The craftsman was very understanding though. He told me to go ask the metalsmith up in-” he stopped and sputtered. “Huh? You're still here, Miss-”

”Miss Hana.” Inabune grunted as she heaved her shield onto her right arm, but otherwise paid the mysterious woman no mind. Muneshige and Ryo seemed similarly unbothered by the arrival, as if a decision regarding the stranger had already been made.

“Miss Hana!”
Palpable relief wheezed out of the boy's lungs. “You helped Miss Chomin out earlier!”

With a nasty hacking cough Ryo cleared his throat. “Quick introductions. I'm Ryoseidowa, and I'm a lousy shot. That beast,” He pointed his arbalest at the large woman. “You've already met.” He jerked his head towards the old woman as she leaned on her trident like a walking cane. “That walking corpse is the 'leader' of our little misfit crew. You can call her Muneshige if you're feeling charitable.”

“And I'm-”


“-the brat is Noburo. He's unreliable.”
Ryo brushed his mustache off with his free hand, then exchanged doubting looks with Muneshige and shrugged.

“Well, tall lass!”
Muneshige leaned back onto the heels of her sandals with an expectant look. “What can we do for you?”
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Old 01-12-2020, 06:50 PM   #8
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"Aw, thats a shame, it looked like such a cool desig-" Hana began, only to get interrupted as the others noticed her and stole the conversation away from herself and Noburo. "Is he always so mean to all of you?" She asked as Ryo finished the last of his introductions. She had almost managed to ask before when she had noticed them calling Inabune names earlier, but now she could see that the courtesy seemed to extend to everyone. Maybe it was some in-joke they shared, friendly banter they had worked up the closeness to get away with over the years, but from her perspective as an outsider it just seemed awful.

Says the lying double agent...

She shook the thought out of her mind, as much as she wouldn't object to an answer were she to get one, she recognised that the elder woman's question took precedence. "Well... to be completely honest" She didn't like putting all her cards on the table at once, but of the two sides she clearly wasn't the one in the advantageous position, and these were desperate circumstances. "I need your help finding an excuse not to blow this place sky high..."

"Short version, I'm from Lightning Village... we have a whole bunch of contracts in Coal because we're neighbours and Fuck Iwakagure, and some analysts noticed that the numbers coming from this place weren't adding up. I came, I checked it out, I called in what I noticed, and uhm... might have mentioned you, and the local supervisor said to glass the place... which, for context cos I know Shinobi have a bit of a bad reputation, is not the standard procedure.

She sighed before continuing. "Somethings wrong with all this, and I don't know what it is or even how to start finding out what it is. But given that it was mentioning you all that freaked him out, I'm thinking you do know how to find the truth. And if you can, then maybe we can fix it, and these people don't have to lose their livelihoods because some asshole behind a desk is scared of, or worse, hoping to hide, whatever is afoot here."

She scanned their faces as she finished, unsure what their reaction was going to be. She wasn't even sure what hers would have been in their position. So much for her trip to coal being a milk-run and an excuse for a quick beach break...

"So... any chance you can help?"
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Old 01-12-2020, 09:48 PM   #9
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Eyes closed and head nodding in sage agreement Muneshige seemed on the verge of making a profound, thoughtful statement to rally the team for the night's job. “Which one was Iwagakure again?” She turned towards Noboru. “That's uh, Hidden Moon? Hidden Ice?“

“Stone.”

Muneshige scowled and waved dismissively. “Well, no problems there. I would even say we are already...rocking it. Eh? Eh? How about- oh, okay.” As she turned back around both Ryo and Noboru had already excused themselves as if anticipating the horror that was to come. “Ah, what a bunch of party poopers.” Muneshige faced Hana again and crossed her arms with a sigh. “Inabune, explain to this nice shinobi Brigade policy!”

Clearing her deep throat the now hooded Inabune recited from memory a convoluted mess of Brigade law. “In other words,” Muneshige held her head up as high as her short stature would allow. “Normally, we can't work with foreign governments, despite how...saintlike you shinobi tend to be. I guess that explains why the security staff don't seem to be around. Probably didn't want to get blown up!”

”We don't either.” Inabune pointed out in an attempt to be helpful.

The old woman shot the ninja a playful wink. “But good news for you, my memory isn't quite what is used to be, and I've already forgotten everything you said except the important parts.” Muneshige wore an expression that suggested a smug satisfaction with her ploy. “So we'd be happy to help! It's a girls' night out on the...factory!”

Inabune's rumbling voice seemed troubled, but her expression could no longer be seen behind the hood. ”I will lead the way then, Miss Chosokabe.”



me kami sm

"That's it?"
Muneshige's exasperated voice echoed out through the spacious interior of the factory core. "It's just a bunch of pipes and some tanks. No demons or monsters at all. I can't believe we broke all those doors down just for this!"

Inabune's hooded face turned and scanned the room but found it likewise devoid of any ghosts or ghouls that could explain the factory worker's fears. There was simply nowhere else in the building to look, though. "Let us not lose faith." The mask turned towards the shinobi, but said nothing. Her large hands remained clenched into fists.
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