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Old 10-22-2018, 10:02 PM   #1
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Being the social expert that he was, he made his third or fourth abrupt topic change of the day. “Are you, uh, doing okay otherwise? Still eating healthy? Exercising? Don't be afraid to rely on your friends-” he went to make a sweeping gesture with his spoon, but all his gesturing finally bit him in the ass. The melting ice cream became unstable and a large glob of the sugary treat splattered down the front of his clothing.

“Ah, crap.”
Hana stepped off the boat with a scowl hidden behind a pair of large, knock-off sunglasses. Unlike the tourists that had clambered onto the barge with her, the newly promoted chuunin didn’t gawk at the concrete jungle of Metsubishi as they did. Rather, she marched past them, her shinobi attire masked by a myriad of ribbons casting the illusion of civilian clothing – a simple, black and white-polkadoted peplum romper with a set of black flats to match.

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“Holy ffff-uck.” The words slurred out through a damaged mouth. The chuunin's vest hung half open, with a few tell-tale chunks having been torn from it. His feet carried him backwards, towards were he had left Hana. Abandoning her had been a mistake- he'd bitten off more than his crooked mouth could chew and now the girl was undoubtedly paying the price. Rushing straight into that trap had been bad. Torching the entire place to cover his tracks had been worse. Whoever was pulling the strings had planted the explosives well in advance, a fact the Hyuuga hated himself for not realizing sooner.

Some warm blood slipped down his face and into his eyes, irritating the bloodline which surged with every ounce of chakra Kannon could muster. He rubbed it out, trying to ignore the building frustration as he continued to plow towards where Hana hopefully still stood. Maybe that tomb wasn't even a target tonight. Maybe the vandals only wanted to cause random, senseless destruction. As another explosion ripped through the air, the Hyuuga could already feel the red hot judgment of his clan bearing down from above. No, no. Focus. Get Hana, get out. That's all that matters right now.
She had come to Metsubishi as an agent of Konohagakure. The city itself was ripe with criminals and enough shady people to put the most corrupt of daimyo out of business, but she only had dealings with one. Hana was working not just for her village, but for one of the most prestigious clans in the village as well – the Hyuuga. It was her own shortcomings that put one of their members’ in harm’s way. Things had changed since then.

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Kannon did his best to stand. He got up on one good knee but the hole in his thigh from the spear prevented anything greater. His face pointed down, hiding an expression nobody but his father would be able to interpret.

“Consolation prize.” Daisuke shrugged and put his boot over the neck of the chuunin.

Artificial rain fell on the pair and filled the air with a soft pitter-patter of droplets. To a Hyuuga, those mundane little spheres of water glistened in the heat like a billion stars. Forming words with his destroyed mouth always proved difficult without a prosthetic. But Kannon managed to wheeze out a single rejoinder. “...sorry.”
Not only did she have reliable intel that one of Hyuuga Kannon’s eyes was floating around in the Metsubishi underworld, but she also had gotten word that a team of chuunin dispatched from Leaf had gone missing during a routine contraband check. While they had been patrolling more than just the Metsubishi Lake, the situation was unsettling enough for Hana to have been tasked to aid in the investigation, providing her hunt for the Byakugan did not lead to a dead end.

From what she understood, Yuu had already located one of Kannon’s eyes in Wind Country. He hadn’t been fortunate enough to reacquire it.

Hana wouldn't make the same mistake. Kannon had suffered enough: Despite all of her moping and depression, the mere thought of her comrade's body parts being bid on like steak from a slaughterhouse was enough to galvanize her. The old Hana was back, equipped with all of the trials and tribulations she had endured since.
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Last edited by Wess; 10-24-2018 at 07:10 PM..
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Old 10-24-2018, 06:19 PM   #2
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Lovely city, Metsubishi. While it might reside under de facto Leaf control, even the might of a country like Konohagakure couldn't eradicate its robust capitalistic nature. For the right price you could find someone to do anything you wanted.

Gemmei was no stranger to sustaining horrendous wounds in the line of battle, but she swore the Metsubishi clinic did a far better job at patching her up than Kusagakure ever managed to. “Stop picking at it it, Gem.” Gemmei's husband Hachirou looked up from his clipboard. “It looks fine.”

“Yeah, sure.”
Gemmei rubbed her tender face again with both balms. “Even a pig thinks a pile of shit looks good, doesn't it?” Not even twenty four hours ago a 'simple' delivery job ended with her throat being crushed and face slashed open. One would hardly be able to tell that from her appearance now. She and her husband both wore matching black-tie business suits, though her smaller stature meant the sleeves didn't quite fit. Better than that dress! At least I can fight in this.

Not that she would be fighting. It was very clear now that marrying people you knew nothing about was not a good idea. Kitabatake Hachirou and herself were now involved in the death of three Leaf operatives and in the transport of stolen goods. Sure, those corrupt Leaf assholes had it coming, but details like that tended to not matter to the higher-ups.

And if she was going to be honest with herself, she didn't hate these not-so-legal jobs, either. The last 'honeymoon diversion' that her husband asked her to do earned her more money in a few hours than she'd ever made doing missions for Kusagakure. Even now her pockets felt heavy with unspent cash. So I'll play along for now. She watched the men finish loading the large wooden crates of supplies with idle boredom. I'll take the risk of dying as a criminal over the slow death of a stay-at-home mom any day.

“Didn't forget anything at the hotel room, did you?”
Hachirou put his clipboard down and grabbed his cane. “We're leaving with this shipment tomorrow.”

She looked over the warehouse again with pursed lips. It lay right on the riverside and was full of unmarked shipping containers ready to be loaded onto barges. Only the serial numbers painted on the sides gave any hint as to what might be inside. “Plumbing equipment, right?” Gemmei rolled her eyes. “Yeah, thieves are always stealing toilets and bidets. Good thing I'll be here watching it”

Her husband smiled and gave a none too subtle wink. “It's a tough business, Gem.”
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Old 10-24-2018, 07:35 PM   #3
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Like a cat, Hana slipped through alleyways that your average girl would think twice about. She’d seen it all before – Konohagakure’s slums weren’t much better, only there one would be more worried about being abducted. Here, it was just petty theft and robbery for the most part: Metsubishi had its own criminal underworld, and Hana was quick to adjust, given how she handled a group of men stalking her by pulling away the ribbons disguising her around her neck, flashing the men the Leaf insignia that she wore like an ascot.

As she rounded a corner, a ribbon wrapped around her arm, distorting the dark cloth of her attire to appear as flesh gave way and shot upward. It coiled around the bars of a balcony, and she pulled herself up, letting the ribbon rewrap around her as she went. Just high enough to see past the buildings below, she brought a hand to the comm-unit in her ear. It buzzed with static as she stared down into the cityscape below.

“Where?”

The voice that filled her ear was disgruntled, almost angry. Whoever was on the other end didn’t seem to be too happy to be on desk duty.

“The edge of the River of Purity. You see the warehouse with the docks? Your friend’s eye should be somewhere down there. Think you can handle it or should I send in backup?”

“We’ll see when we get there. There’s a lot of shipments to go through. I’d be better off being discrete. Can’t have a member of HADA ruining my element of surprise now, can I?”

She clicked off the communication unit as she leaped from the balcony onto the nearby roof, using her natural agility to propel her forward. Just before she came into range, Hana dropped off a rooftop and circled around, keeping a low profile. If it came down to it, she figured she could play up the stupid girl shtick, at least until she found a guard to impersonate.

From her position in the shadows, behind a stack of the large shipping containers, she could make out a pair talking. Either a young boy or a prepubescent girl and a much older man in matching suits. She nodded quietly to herself, letting her eyes focus further on the details. Definitely a girl.

She’d wait and listen further.
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Old 10-29-2018, 10:26 PM   #4
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“We could hire some more men, you know. This is just a skeleton crew”

“Pfft.”
Gemmei leaned against one of the large wooden crates and picked at her teeth. “And cut into my profit? Isn't this why you married me anyway, so you could save money on guards?”

Hachirou tapped his jaw as if in deep thought. “How could you say that, Gem. I married you for your winning personality and good looks.”

A thick, smarmy silence followed as both newlyweds just stared at each other.

Gemmei cracked first. “Fuck off, mate.” She flapped one of her too-long sleeves in the air. “Don't you have a cripple convention to get to?”

“Quite right.”
Hachirou tucked the clipboard away and steadied his cane. “I'll be back in the morning. You know how to reach me.”

“Don't worry, I won't.”

“Love you too.”

Gemmei's response was a loud, exaggerated vomiting noise, which followed her husband as he hobbled all the way down the dock and to a rickshaw waiting at the end. The few swarthy longshoreman still on duty tried not to laugh at their employer's wife. Just another bliss filled day in the life of a married couple, isn't it?

Her husband's shipment only took up a third of the warehouse and each crate was haphazardly organized, some of the crates even teetering as if a slight breeze might knock them over. Gemmei huffed and removed her sports coat and tied it around her waist. Finally, a chance to train! She rubbed her hands together in greedy apprehension before clapping them, letting a golden circle slowly surround her.

It'd been too long.
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Old 11-14-2018, 03:52 AM   #5
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Hana perked a brow when she saw the ring light up around the other girl. It was definitely a ninjutsu, but it wasn’t one that she had seen or heard of before. From what she could gather, it did not appear to be an elemental technique either. Regardless, whoever the other girl was seemed to be married to the cripple who had left before Hana had a chance to stop him. According to the duo’s conversation, he was the owner of one of the shipments at the warehouse.

The chuunin mulled that she might very well be able to make a trade if she couldn’t find the eye herself. Child brides were hard to come by these days, especially ones with a talent for ninjutsu. He’d want her back, provided that Hana was capable of incapacitating her. But Hana wasn’t ready to engage the girl, at least not yet. No, she had already decided to take her time, observe, watch for a little longer. Hana figured that the ring surrounding the tuxedo-clad girl very well could might be a barrier technique. Whatever it was though, gave some sort of joy to its caster. Judging from what had transpired earlier, she was miserable – Hana figured that she would be too if she had to deal with a sarcastic man that looked like he’d be screaming at other people her age to get off his lawn for the rest of her life.

Still observing the ring, Hana made sure that she didn’t step near it. She was a good distance away, still ducked behind one of the larger shipping containers. With no one left for the girl to talk to, Hana began to ease further back. Her eyes, while no Byakugan, were more tuned than the average shinobi. The girl was happy to prepare her strike from afar, out of earshot.
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Old 11-14-2018, 10:43 PM   #6
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Discretion with their power was a long-standing Shinshi tradition. Stay low, don't draw attention to yourself, be humble, all that kind of nonsense. It was a good thing Gemmei wasn't a Shinshi anymore then, wasn't it! She started with the basics, readjusting some of the topmost crates with gentle nudges of redirected gravity. As she walked along the warehouse floor Gemmei grew more daring. A zero-gravity leap here, spinning a box on its axis there. Such free use of the Hen'Iki put a strain on her chakra stores but the burn felt good. Use it or lose it, someone stupid said once.

One of the wooden lids sitting atop a crate looked ajar. With a couple of well timed jumps Gemmei climbed up the mountain of cargo to inspect it. She pried the heavy top off and peeked inside. Just a bunch of straw. After a quick glance around to check if the coast was clear she plunged her short arm inside to look for treasure. A few minutes of rooting around later she got nothing back but handfuls of garden hose. “Feh!” Looked like this would actually be a boring job. She was really expecting some drugs or weapons or something cool. What a dud.

As she pulled the lid back into place another idea hit her. Like her Shinshi clan arts, these last couple weeks of 'honeymoon' were making her rusty. These little odd jobs her husband had her running weren't enough to keep in shape. Gemmei needed more practice to keep her shinobi instincts sharp. She lifted the wooden lid with a very unfeminine series of grunts. Not too heavy, really. No different than her old, trusty tower shield.

With one final triumphant grumble she hoisted the lid up with both arms and held it aloft. Yeah, this would do just fine. Like a kid on a playground Gemmei jumped from her high-up perch and resumed her patrol, now swinging around the crate top as if it were a weapon. Those dumb dock workers could gawk and stare if they wanted. This was the first time in a while the red-head could cut loose and do what she loved.

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Old 11-27-2018, 02:56 AM   #7
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Telekinesis? Impossible.

That’s what it looked like, anyway. Whatever the redheaded girl willed seemed to happen within the circle, evident by how the crates spun freely and how she propelled herself to heights higher than the average ninja could jump. Hana found it odd how the girl expended her chakra so freely, considering that she was on guard duty. But then again, the redhead had a ton of dock workers that worked for her and would probably be happy to assist her, provided they actually knew how to fight. From her position, Hana observed them, with some looking at their boss’s wife with amusement, others with awe, and even some with contempt, like they expected her to know better.

Regardless, Hana knew her ploy. Impersonating one of the dock workers wouldn’t be too hard. She just needed to find or get one away from the others.

Like a cat ready to pounce, Hana prowled from between the shipping containers, doing her best to remain unseen. The ribbons that covered her from head to toe occasionally shifted in color; the little dress she appeared to wear disappearing in place of fabrics that resembled gray plastics or the wooden nature of the crates. From her position, she began silently mapping the routes that the workers took in the maze of crates and shipping containers.

Locating one in particular, a rather stout woman with wispy brown hair tinged with flecks of silver, the chuunin found her mark and followed her. Wherever she was headed was away from the girl that could throw boxes (and possibly people) with her mind. Maybe she was going on break, but Hana didn’t wait to find out.

Sneaking up behind her with skill fitting of an Omoi chuunin, Hana reached out with a hand, letting the ribbon surrounding her arm unravel and shoot forward. It wrapped around the stout woman’s throat, cutting off any noise as Hana proceeded to pull her back towards her, before she brought a rising knee to the woman’s face and a chakra-empowered fist shortly after to the side of her head. The piece of cloth kept her from landing with a thud – gingerly, Hana pried open one of the crates nearby and dumped the unconscious woman inside, though not before producing another two ribbons and binding the woman’s hands and feet. For good measure, she had produced another and made a gag.

Sliding the crate’s lid back on top of the container, Hana took a deep breath as her form shifted again, this time assuming the form of the woman that she’d singled out.

Now she just had to decide where to start.
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Old 11-28-2018, 12:16 AM   #8
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A wicked grin covered Gemmei's face as she wiped the sweat from her brow. It just felt so good to burn energy like this. In battle Shinshi always had to take care not to bite off more than they could chew. Anchoring to a taxing weight source for too long could drain chakra reserves incredibly quick. Growing up Gemmei always saw that more as a challenge than a road block: how long could you hold out before your Hen'iki crippled you?

Eventually, though, there were no more crates to tidy up. With a heavy sigh she slammed her improvised lid shield back down on the crate she nabbed it from. The noise made everyone jolt awake. “False alarm, folks!” Gemmei wheezed. “Keep on doing...whatever it is you guy get paid to do. Yeah.” She gave a mock salute to nobody and took stock of the warehouse again. Metsubishi's world-class quality meant even a dinky place like this had strings of electrical lights running along the roof. Likewise even as the sky darkened the outside of the port was well lit with street lamps of all sizes and shapes. It robbed a lot of the mystery out of the job, she thought.

She took up post near the tallest of the stacks of crates and added two more to the top just for fun. It wobbly precariously which was exactly how she liked it. From atop her throne she sat cross legged and took in all her kingdom. What were these dock workers doing, anyway? There wasn't exactly a ship to load. Everyone seemed really preoccupied just...patrolling. What a weird thing to do for a bunch of boxes of tubes and pipes.

Even in this dull setting Gemmei still couldn't help but to feel giddy. This was the first time in a while she was on her own again. No dumb partner or 'helper' or bodyguard or anything. It was just...her. Alone. Purely responsible for her own self. A one woman nation.

It felt good.
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Old 11-29-2018, 02:58 PM   #9
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Popping lids off the crates wasn’t the difficult part. Rummaging through them without getting caught was. True to the Omoi division, Hana worked quickly, doing her best to get through the ones surrounding the perimeter. Luckily for her, the patrols of dock workers hadn’t made it to her yet – it seemed odd that they’d continue to linger since the redhaired kunoichi had done most of their work for them, what with restacking the crates that needed to be. If any of them were on par with the woman Hana had decided to impersonate, she doubted that she’d have much of an issue if they were to confront her. When it came to the kunoichi though, Hana had her doubts.

Working her way inward, she grew more and more suspicious of the dock workers. From what she’d gleaned, they all had a specific patrol route. She knew that there was one on the way to her. Crouching behind one of the crates, she let the man pass before resuming her work. In time, he’d come back, but from what she had gathered, not for another ten to fifteen minutes. Again, she moved swiftly, doing her best to work through as many crates as she could. The fixtures all seemed to be on the perimeter, while this row all seemed to be pipe. It was annoying have to test each one to see if an eyeball was inside, but she made due.

“I had to have lost my keys here somewhere.”

The voice made Hana’s head turn sharply, her features resembling a raccoon that had been caught rummaging through garbage. Directly to her left were a pair of men that didn’t seem too different from one another – broad shoulders, strong arms and small legs. One with black hair, the other with brown. Both looked to be just a few years older than her.

“Uh, what are you doing?”
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Old 12-02-2018, 02:57 PM   #10
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Wasn't it funny? Back in Kusagakure, Gemmei would have hated guard duty. It was one of those insufferable jobs where nothing happened and where you really didn't want anything to happen. Yet here she sat, giddy as a schoolgirl, all at the prospect of a long night watching boxes. Marriage really did change the way you saw the world.

The electric hum of the lights and occasional sound of wood being pushed along the concrete floor floated drowsily through the air. Gemmei teetered her crate tower back and forth a few times just for the thrill of it. Here was her kingdom of cargo, however short lived. Might as well make the best of it!

Then, at once, excitement! Panicked shouting erupted from a corner of the warehouse she couldn't see from her crate pile watchtower. Gemmei was back up on her two feet in an instant. The voices were loud and unintelligible, the growly shouts of men involved in some kind of altercation. A thief? A spy? A domestic spat? Gemmei didn't care. What mattered was that it was an excuse.

Her flat footed shoes landed with a thud atop the crates nearest to the disturbance. It nearly cost her all her balance to do so and she wiggled her arms a bit to keep herself from falling. Damn, never thought I'd be missing those ugly shinobi sandals. Still, her appearance bought a sudden end to the commotion as two dock workers looked up at the short teenager lording a few dozen feet over them.

“Alright, peons!” Gemmei crossed her arms and gave as menacing a smile as she could. “What's happening here? Who do I need to beat up?”

“It's him!” One of the workers pointed a crowbar at the other. “He's done stolen my hard-boiled egg! Right from me own lunch pail!”

Gemmei's shoulders visibly deflated. The other worker shouted out some rebuttal, but she didn't hear it. Shouldn't have got my hopes up.
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