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Old 03-26-2014, 11:39 AM   #1
Jami
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Default [Event] Unusual Suspect

She's been sighted here, here, and here.

The man, a taller fellow with broad shoulders and the look of ex-mercenary about him, circled spots on a map as he spoke. The map focused on the southeastern quadrant of the island, more detailed than any map the hidden villages seemed to have, and he marked various spaces along and off the coast. Each circle coincided with a black X, though there were several more X's without matching circles. The man tapped his finger to each spot as he continued speaking to the shinobi.

These are wrecks we've been trying to recover. Before Last Landing got set up, ships used to sink out here all the time – this patch has a lot of rocks and that damn reef.” His finger traced a dark blotch in the water of the map, which extended off the right edge towards the hint of Shell Island. “Terrible for ships, but safe enough for divers as long as they work around the tide. Or, well, we thought it was safe, then that Jintek camp got burned to the ground and now the higher ups want this mermaid girl looked into. Personally, I think it's crazy, but the money's good.

And it was. Though the bounty on the mystery woman wasn't quite as high as the one on the arsonist, she'd quickly rocketed from quiet rumor to person of interest throughout Last Landing, not just in the little office of this Tori Trade 'operations director'. He rolled the map up and tied it with a little bit of cord, then offered it to the shinobi. “Travel is safe along the coast, long as you don't bother the Lac too much or run into a turtle. You could cut through the jungle if you want a straight shot, but, well, traveling through the jungle never ends up as simple as it sounds. You two need anything from me or you good to go?
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Old 03-27-2014, 11:09 AM   #2
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"Is the bounty for a live capture?" The Akagawa Jounin asked as he accepted the map from the Tori Trade representative and tucked it away into a small pack. Investigating, locating, and then capturing their quarry would be a more difficult task than simply eliminating her. Transporting a captive across the island would present further difficulty. But, as the man said, the money was good. Do they want to know the how and the why of these attacks, or do they simply want the problem to go away? He hadn't had enough encounters with Tori Trade to know their modus operandi--not that their operations on the mainland would necessarily translate here.

Ever since arriving to the island, Akagawa Anji was struck with the sense that the rules common to him did not apply here. The Grass shinobi was, himself, off-book; he wore nothing that would identify his village or clan, and had even forewent the use of his jounin flak-jacket. There are probably some of my comrades here, since any place where shinobi can mingle is going to be of interest to the villages, he thought, but I'm here on a leave of absence. It was, in all likelihood, a needless precaution. His reputation didn't stretch much further than the village.

Anji glanced over to his partner for this task and noted that, with the other's hair and Anji's own clothing, they were sporting a fair amount of green between them. The Grass shinobi didn't recognize him, which was an odd feeling. I've never actually worked with a foreign shinobi before. He prided himself on being a professional, though, so that thought didn't register as anything other than an idle observation.
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Old 03-27-2014, 11:35 AM   #3
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The green-haired jounin listened carefully as the company's representative gave them the mission details. He also noted that his partner went ahead and took the map that was handed to them. It could have been a sign that he wanted to take lead, but it also could have been just naturally reacting to someone giving them a tool for their mission. Shuju was slightly over thinking it. He didn't have any objections about being lead through the mission, but he wouldn't have appreciated being bossed around; in fact, he simply wouldn't allow anyone to act that way.

It wasn't very common for shinobi of different affiliations to work together on missions, and in Shuju's case, it was something he had never done before and perhaps that was for the best. He usually wasn't a person that got a long well with others, even though he was starting to get better he still had a long way to go. He was a professional in his actions and his results, but his tongue was sharp, harsh and too rude for any professional setting.

The mission at hand was in some ways suitable for Shuju's area of expertise, but in other ways it was a subject he hadn't had the slightest clue about. Being a member of the KAZE division and an investigator in the hidden sand gave him the right profile for the investigative mission. However, the mission revolved around sea investigations and being born and raised in the wind country, there was very little for the sand jounin to see in terms of bodies of water. Half my background makes me think I'm the perfect candidate for this job, but the other half makes me wonder why the fuck did they choose me for this.

"I sure do hope at least one of us rode on a ship more than two or three times in his lifetime." Then just as he was about to start trekking through the jungle, he had another realization; the wind country had no jungles or forestry either. The wind country is a fucking wasteland...
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Old 03-27-2014, 06:42 PM   #4
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The director frowned a bit at the question, then scratched his chin. He cleared his throat with a hum. “Live would be preferable. We can’t confirm that she’s actually done anything wrong besides spooking some drunk sailors and tired workers – this could all be wrong place, wrong time. So, you know, don’t go in there all gung-ho ninjutsu-blazing style.” The man leaned in a little, covert. “If she ends up being dangerous, though, go ahead and take care of her. The reward is for getting rid of her, however that happens.
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Old 03-31-2014, 09:54 AM   #5
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That is... surprisingly reasonable, Akagawa Anji thought, as he nodded to show that he understood the director and then followed his partner's lead and turned towards the jungle. The measured response made sense, though; Tori Trade was perhaps in a position to set the tone for all of the business on the island. It wouldn't do to be overly bloodthirsty. Still, it changes things: I came here under the impression that they had decided this "mermaid" was the problem that needed solving, but it turns out there is a problem and they've given us a lead instead of a target.

As he stepped foot into the jungle, he glanced over to Shuju. "Ships? Yes, I've spent plenty of time on ships," the Grass jounin said, as he quickly took to tree branch and surveyed what he could of the jungle ahead. There was no telling just how similar this jungle would be to the one he just left--which meant that not only would it be dangerous, but it would likely be dangerous in unexpected ways.

"Well, actually not so much ships as boats," Anji amended, setting off into the jungle. He took the point position, his familiarity with the terrain, if not the creatures in it, giving him a frame of reference on how to proceed. Moderately high branches, as bare as possible and avoiding concentrations of vegetation large enough to hide a predator. He knew to avoid the ground; the ground was where prey wandered. "And actually, not so much a boat as a kayak. On a river." Outwardly, the Akagawa jounin kept his expression light. His eyes, however, were intent on the snarls of trees and vines ahead of them--the ground might be where the prey wandered, but it was also where leftovers fell.
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Old 03-31-2014, 11:48 AM   #6
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At first, Anji noted that he had some sea experience on some ships. Then little by little, he toned it down and admitted to having kayaking experience and it wasn't even on open seas either. Shuju completely disregarded that kind of experience, marking it off as utterly useless even thought it was better than what he had. Better experience by no means meant good experience. Why do I get the feeling that's going to end up 'I think I can swim' with this guy? As opposed to his usual responses, Shuju smiled. He did his best not to say anything out loud.

Shuju followed his partner into the jungle and listened to his advice. Frankly it was all new to the puppeteer as he never had any experience with traveling through forests or jungles. He only knew the dunes of the wind country and in there, it was relatively flat. In the desert animals hid underground or camouflaged as they had no consistent cover to stay behind save for some cacti and boulders that were yet to be grounded into dust by the heavy winds. The island and the wind country were two very completely different worlds and that mean Shuju had a lot to learn from his temporary partner. The green-haired man didn't like to admit his lack of knowledge, but he was willing to follow Anji's actions and learn as much as he could.

As in just about every other mission he was on, Shuju was the less physically capable one in the team and so, it took him more effort than it would take any other shinobi to get onto a tree branch, but he didn't make it too obvious to his teammate. Using all the power he could muster from his legs, he hopped onto the lowest tree branch near him and from there he jumped onto another one, reaching the height that was described by Anji. It was also a point where Shuju knew he could easily land safely at any given moment if needed. He didn't need to climb any hire only to embarrass himself in front of a foreign shinobi. It was enough that he was practicing the art of watching his manners with other people and keeping his complaints to himself. The 'friendly' attitude was difficult enough to maintain and he wouldn't have been able to keep it if he was ridiculed.

"Just how far do you think these damn freaks of nature can reach?" Shuju inquired about the island's animals.
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Old 04-01-2014, 01:42 AM   #7
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"Too far, and likely further than either of us are expecting," Akagawa Anji replied, his face an impassive mask as he focused on the task at hand. Every skittering sound, every rustling in the brush, the sounds of scales rubbing on wood, of chitin clicking; anything could signal an impending attack. It is, he thought, one of the reasons that I hate jungles.

The Grass jounin chose this low height to travel by because, when it came down to it, he'd rather make a stand on solid earth than take on some unknown tree-borne predator in its own environment. It did, however, leave a thick--sometimes impenetrable--canopy above their heads. With that in mind: "But if we are attacked from below, going up is the choice of last resort."

In contrast to his partner, there was no hiding that Akagawa Anji was physically inclined. He realized early into his martial arts training that trying to slow down his movements simply resulted in his moving awkwardly and inefficiently. As a result, Anji moved like a darting hummingbird ahead of Shuju, first hitting trees to the left and right of the fairly central path among the boughs that they were taking. "I don't think different species would work together, per say, but some predators learn to associate a certain ground threat with prey leaping up through the canopy." Opportunists weren't a problem when you saw them in time, but they were opportunists because most of the time you didn't.

He also tended to talk quite a bit at times like these, as though his mouth had decoupled itself from his active attention as he scouted the way. "If we encounter anything, it is probably best to wound it and keep moving if we can't kill it outright." A wounded predator probably wouldn't pursue them, and slowing down could make them more of a target. Stopping was--to say the least--inadvisable.
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Old 04-02-2014, 11:05 PM   #8
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Thankfully, the two shinobi didn't encounter anything overly dangerous – nothing worse than coiled pythons and lurking jaguars. With their wits about them, the wildlife posed little threat to the jounin. Soon enough, the jungle gave way to scraggy rocks and then sloped into a sandy coastline. The beach stretched roughly to the north and south here, seemingly endless. Though the beach was made of near-white sand, the shallows were clearly quite full of stones and pieces of bright red reef, as well the partially salvaged, and partially sunk, chunks of ships.

In fact, the shinobi arrived quite close to what looked like a campsite. The bow of a small ship had been up ended for a makeshift shelter near a firepit. A couple nets had been rigged up between the bow and some pieces of mast, most of them holding various supplies and tools, but a couple had workmen dozing in the sun. Several smaller tents were arranged further from the shore, though still on the beach, and an older man stirred a pot of something hanging over the fire.

On the water, men in canoes were helping others swimming in the ocean, mostly with dragging crates and nets out of the sea. At least one of the workers looked to be a shinobi, considering she stood on the surface of the water as she directed the civilians around. According to the director's map, one of the sightings happened just off the coast from this camp, though there didn't appear to be any mermaid girl hanging around in plain sight.
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Old 04-03-2014, 01:33 PM   #9
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The two shinobis' travel through the jungle was mostly uneventful. All they had to go through was a few smaller animals that were mostly ignored. Shuju was just glad that they didn't run into any of the strange or oversized creatures that he kept hearing about on his ride to the island. It wasn't that he feared them, but the sheer annoyance of dealing with them just wasn't worth it. The puppeteer often valued uneventful moments as they left him nothing to bitch and moan about. Uneventful usually meant peaceful and quiet. Here I was expecting to see giant sword wielding gorillas and karate snakes… glad I didn’t.

The investigator then arrived at the beach. It was a nice looking one but there was activity all over the place. The whole area seemed like a makeshift campsite full of workers, and it seemed like they were salvaging a ship. A spark immediately lit up in Shuju’s brain and he felt lucky to run into a shipwrecked crew. Fortunately for the green-haired man, he felt no shame in taking advantage of other people’s misery. I guess that’s what a shipwreck looks like.

Despite all what was going around, the first person that caught Shuju’s attention was a woman standing on water. Now that was by no means strange to a shinobi, but he felt like she was out of place among all the others ones. The investigator ran several possibilities through his mind, wondering what she was doing there but pondering wasn’t going to get him anywhere. The investigator typically mistrusted others, and he was often forced to get information from other people, so he figured he would ask the girl with chakra first, feeling like she was more likely to be reliable.

I guess this will be our primary source of information, eh?” He told Anji. “I’ll go talk to the friendly neighborhood shinobi out there.

Shuju walked up close to the water where the woman was standing, but he stood just a few steps away from where the water reached. He was no water walker and did not like getting his boots wet on the beach.

Hey there!” He called out to her. “What happened to these folks?
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Old 04-03-2014, 02:39 PM   #10
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It was an odd, but not unwelcome, feeling for the Akagawa; getting through the jungle without so much as a single life-threatening encounter was the sort of thing he could get used to. Which would probably get me killed. In the end, he chalked it up to sheer mathematical chance--some days, all the beasties were busy eating other people.

His relief was short-lived, however, because they had now stepped out of a terrain with which he familiar and into one with which he was not. Ostensibly, there are creatures here also looking to dine on the stray person. He quickly took in the camp, his eyes moving from wreck-turned-makeshift amenity to amenity. Well, at least there are more potential targets here. Anji was not familiar enough with the island to know if that would attract or dissuade attention from the local fauna.

The Grass jounin nodded absently as Shuju announced that he would go and talk to the shinobi seemingly in charge of the area. He took the map out of his pouch and unrolled it, taking a moment to confirm that they were where they needed to be. He focused on the circles and the cross-marks, but if there was a pattern hidden there he didn't have enough information to see it. Perhaps someone else does, though.

Anji quickly decided on the old man by the cooking pot as his most likely source of information, after eliminating all the others present as either working, sleeping, or (in the case of the shinobi) already being hailed by his partner. Besides, old men always have stories. If I'm lucky, he has a story or two about this supposed mermaid. Or perhaps he'll see some significance in the areas marked out on the map.

Walking over to him, map in hand, the Grass shinobi took a seat nearby. Small talk wasn't something that Anji was terribly proficient at so, after a short greeting and explanation as to his job and objective, he asked: "Have you seen or heard anything about the rumored mermaid?" And then, offering out the map: "Can you think of anything these locations have in common? Or any places of interest that might be missing from the map?" It was a long shot, and the Akagawa didn't expect much to come of it. Entirely separate from the job at hand, Anji had decided to explore what he could of the island--the map would be very useful in that regard.
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