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Old 09-02-2018, 02:29 PM   #11
Junge
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“What kind of dickweed accepts a job without being prepared?” Prattled the equally if not more so unprepared Gemmei. “If we’d been attacked at any point what were you planning to do, defeat your foes with a snarky quip?”

“Don’t be so hard on yourself, Gem.”
Hachirou hobbled out from the side of the building with the sleeves of his own dress shirt rolled up. “Shiro, my good man. I assume you accept, er, alternative payments. My friends here were a bit short of funds-“

“What? No!”
The previous insult of being paid to move furniture now gave way to the insult of not being paid at all. “You promised cash, asshole!”

Hachirou shrugged as he examined the couch. “I promised good pay. And, well, this is good pay.” Glancing around the alley he quickly reached into his pocket. In a flash he whipped out what looked to be several very expensive looking necklaces. “I think you’d look good in the jade one, Gem.”

Gemmei’s scowl took on a new level of disgust at such a transparent bribe. “You’re kidding. There is no way that me, a trained professional solider with my level of skill will be reduced to manual labor like this.” With all the outrage she could muster she pointed incriminatingly at the nice couch, spitting with every word. “If you think I’m so desperate for money that I’ll debase myself doing plebian jobs for the rich and powerful then you can eat-“

-

“Shit.”
Shiro and herself stood at the foot of a lofty, glamourous looking Metsubishi skyscraper. The couch rested nearby. Transporting it on foot had been the easy part. “We have to go up that many floors, without getting spotted? Seriously?”

Huffing Gemmei readjusted the shimmering brooch that now hung from her neck. “Alright, Eunuch.” She turned expectantly to the man she had been threatening with a fork not half an hour ago. “What’s the plan?”

Last edited by Junge; 09-10-2018 at 08:51 PM..
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Old 09-02-2018, 02:46 PM   #12
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"You mean, besides just killing everyone in the stairway?" Shiro had unbuttoned the top few clasps of his shirt, and was pulling at it to air himself out, beads of sweat sitting against his scarred and ruddy skin. His voice was strained with the stresses of the job and Gemmei's prattle. "A ninja sealing scroll would have solved all of this. Closest contact I have for that sort of thing is a few days from here."

He was muttering to himself, as he fanned himself off. The couch was tempting from the first time he sat his eyes on it, that dangerous and lusty prize, but instead he was in a squat as he eyed the building before them. For whatever reason, the mission involved infiltrating this skyscraper with this large portion without being seen. There was probably a maintenance door somewhere around back. If they were lucky, an entire private stairway. That sort of architecture was the rare sort.

He glared over at Gemmei. "I'll carry the package. You can do your ninja thing. Probably doesn't matter how loud you are as long as we're not seen."

There was a series of popping sounds and smoke as shadow clones appeared around the man. Between the five of them, hoisting up the couch like it was a delicate child wasn't a huge effort. The shinobi proper patted himself down, as if looking for something, then shrugged over at Gemmei. "Whistle if you need me. I don't have my radio, either."
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Old 09-10-2018, 10:07 PM   #13
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“It's a good thing you're so generic and forgettable,” Gemmei rubbed her nose as she watched Shiro's clones get to work. “I can't even tell these are clones. They just look like a crowd of run of the mill losers to me.”

She readjusted the incredibly conspicuous piece of jewelry around her neck, then tried to pat down the poofy sides of her dress for the hundredth time that day. Ninja work. This was ninja work! Sure, maybe to her the job made no sense. And yeah her husband was very clearly involved in some kind of illicit business. Not to mention how this whole thing smelled to high heaven of foul play. But breaking it down like that, how different was this from working for Kusagakure anyway? Gemmei did random garbage all the time for the village without understanding why. That's a soldier's life!

“Hang on.”
Gemmei spoke with less whine as her brain shifted gears. “Lemme change.”

A set of seals later and Gemmei disappeared in smoke, replaced by the very spitting image of Shiro except way shorter. Gemmei nodded in sage approval to her own plan, then looked at Shiro. Or a clone of his. She'd already lost track.

“I'll keep any prying eyes off you, and you handle the mindless grunt work. Sounds good to me. Meet you at the top, then?”


-

The glamour! The glitz! The prestige! Tiny Shiro's head poked out from behind an ornate gold-leaf covered door. The stuffy, narrow fire escape was nothing like this penthouse! Gemmei made a mental note to hate the rich and successful more often. She crept out from the fire escape and towards the room, her tentative footsteps not making a sound on the plush red carpet. What an easy job. Any sort of dumb moron could have snuck up here with the couch. Why on earth would you hire shinobi to do it?

I should go whistle that dork and let him know the coast is clear.
She didn't see any cameras or guards or bouncers or anything. The penthouse was probably even unlocked and unoccupied. What a joke!

She turned around and pursed her lips together to give a whistle. No sound came out. Rather, no air came out. Gemmei came to a very sudden realization she couldn't exhale and that a cold, metallic sensation now wrapped tightly around her throat. While she couldn't scream out any profanity when the chain pulled taut and slammed her into that nice carpet, Gemmei still let out a very pissed off gargle. For now that would have to do.


Last edited by Junge; 09-26-2018 at 11:00 PM..
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Old 09-25-2018, 07:04 PM   #14
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I’d kill for a cigarette.

Shiro and his shadow clones started to make their way gingerly up the stairs, with one body lingering a few paces behind to keep any surprises from slinking up from the shadows. With Gemmei at point, they didn’t have to worry about anything coming from above.

The stale air and rusty creaking of the fire escape eventually gave way to the penthouse without any surprises. The Shiro crowd made an exaggerated display of carefully putting the couch down in the middle of the foyer before splitting apart to scan the room. One picked up a golden apple and rolled it back and forth in his hands.

“Do you think the girl is really being coerced?”

“Trafficking in Grass? Wouldn’t be the first time.”

“Maybe you should double check on her, then. Do some research on her husband.”

A third clone let out a soft sigh. “It’s not my place. Besides, a solo shinobi isn’t going to be able to poke around in Grass Village affairs for long before they end up dead. Better to just trust the girl to handle herself.”

“There was six of us, right?”

“Seven, with Gemmei.”

“Where’d you send the other one to, then?”

“I haven’t sent anyone anywhere. Sound off.”

“One.”

“Two.”

“Three.”

Shiro, the actual, turned as the counting stopped and realized he was suddenly very quite alone in the room. The last lingering thoughts of his clones settled in his mind as his chakra constructs had faded – sitting in the same room as he was, then suddenly nothing. A lump rose in his throat as his eyes quickly darted around the room.

Gem? You having a laugh?”

There was the faintest shimmer in the air, a small line distorting the dust tracked in by the crowd from the fire escape – and Shiro was dropping to the ground. A garrote, or something like it. Whatever had picked off his clones. He ducked into a roll and counted his blessings that the specter had taken all his false bodies before his own. What were the chances of that? One in six?

As he broke the roll he turned to face whoever it was – bringing his hands up into his martial arts stance, the air around him suddenly snapping to a chill – but there was nothing there. Not even a shadow, not an echo, not a sensation of dread. Just nothing.

Gemmei!” He barked, furrowing his brow. “You alright, kid?
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Old 09-26-2018, 11:33 PM   #15
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Blood flushed her face with color. Dirty fingernails tore at the skin around her throat as if she could dig the chain out, but of course such futile efforts yielded nothing. Boy, she was mad! Infuriated past the point of no return. Henge dispelled now she looked very much helpless in her horrid dress. How insulting! How unforgivable! How utterly irredeemable!

That cock-nosed little ass bandit called her a kid! She was seventeen now, a full fledged adult! Once she escaped the clutches of her leash she was going to strangle that plain looking tooth sucking coconut shucker to teach him a lesson about calling people names. But first she'd need to not die here.

The chain around her neck pulled every which-way and her body tumbled in its wake, like a child playing with a yoyo. With a breathless grunt she wrapped her arm around the length and funneled chakra into it seeking to unbind her throat. The metal fizzled slightly as her chakra failed to work its way into the links. It's ninjutsu? Another throat-contorting snap of the chain lifted Gemmei off her feet and flung her into a nearby wall. Not hard enough to cause any damage to the very expensive wallpaper, but plenty hard enough.

A welcome sensation of release filled her as the chain loosened enough to allow her to breathe again. This was immediately followed up by the very unwelcome feeling of a cold metal blade biting into her tender neck flesh.

Something whispered to her in a raspy, inhuman tongue. Gemmei's usual snark fell flaccid in response to the unseen threat. This time she played it straight.

“Oy, Shiro.” Her voice crackled out of a bruised windpipe, hopefully loud enough to carry to her 'partner'. “You are trespassing. Put your hands on your head and get on your knees or...”

I'll get killed
is what she was told to say but sensing perhaps Shiro wouldn't see that as a negative...”Or use your imagination.”

In rapid succession the artificial electric lighting above them flicked off, plunging the area into even deeper shadow. The rich were too good for windows, apparently.


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Old 09-28-2018, 08:02 PM   #16
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“Oy, Shiro.”

His name rolled out of her mouth like pebbles in a glass bottle, unnerving and unnatural, sending a shiver down his spine with a mixture of displeasure and disgust. It seemed like she always mocked one of his noms de guerre or said his given name with an extra helping of her homemade sarcasm. Hearing his name coming out so bluntly and pathetic out of her raspy little throat set Shiro on razor’s edge, his face flushing with stress as he lowered his stance and strained his ears to try and locate where her faint grumbling as coming from.

For some reason, it reminded him of his former partner: a fellow Snow refugee and the daughter of his mentor. The unnatural, strained lilt...it wasn’t the former partner he was reminded of—but people trapped in her ninja mentalism. Having been raised so carefully and focused, Shiro’s genjutsu training was limited. Even something as rote as genjutsu kai for a generalist shinobi was beyond him. Whatever made Gemmei say his name so plainly and talk without a hint of her usual crass posturing would either be abject terror…or a genjutsu trick. Why would shinobi be hired to stop a couch from being delivered to some gangster’s penthouse?

It’s probably filled with drugs.

Shiro shifted his weight backwards as the thought spilled over him, and relaxed his left arm long enough for one of his precious few hidden kunai to slide down his cuff and into his waiting hand. Beyond the grief of his burnt homeland and the lack of purpose inherent in being a dog without a master, there was the steady lack of supply and comfort. A ninja with barely any ninja tools was barely whole. He held the blade expertly, pointing it down towards the ground and cupping his other hand over the handle to maximize his stabbing power - - Shiro was ready to admit that he was starting to reach the edge of his calm.

And then the lights flickered out, bathing him completely in shadow.

The shadows: his hunting grounds. The familiarity of the sudden darkness was like a warm blanket surrounding him, clinging to his skin like an old friend. Without his eyes acting as a distraction, he could hear the struggling of the girl in the other room. Whatever it was that had cut the power – could they see in the dark? Doujutsu tended to need at least some light to function, but technology could see even where the most powerful shinobi couldn’t. There was any numbers of unknown magics available to the shinobi of the world, too – even those that could see in this perfect dark: but the shadows were Shiro’s oldest and closest friend.

I should probably listen to the girl and just leave, He wagered. But if the wife of the middle-man dies, I probably won’t get paid.

He crouched to the ground, and even in the dark, the shadows swirled up to caress him, blacker than black. He started to move towards the next room, carefully visualizing the one he had been in, recreating it down to the last detail in his mind, so that he wouldn’t have to run his hands against the wall to find the door.

Worse, I think I'm starting to miss her whining already.

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Old 10-05-2018, 03:13 PM   #17
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Good heavens, the stench! Gemmei knew a thing or two about body odor and the person holding a knife to her throat was off the charts. Even a toddler could find you in the dark smelling like that! Even her sweat tasted bitter and foul, as if the smell tainted it. Disgust overtook her feelings of rage. How had she gotten captured so easily? Sure she was rusty from all this honeymoon business but that's no excuse to botch the job this hard!

Maybe the smell was her. It was the smell of failure.

No, it's definitely coming from whoever has hold of me.
The silence of the room grew more stifling by the second. Cold streams of sweat dripped down Gemmei's greasy face as the blade remained pressed up against her pale flesh. Where was Shiro? He must have ditched, right? No matter what way you sliced it, the furniture of a rich dude was just not worth getting killed over. What a city, Metsubishi.

Thick, sticky droplets ran down her body, thankfully ruining her dress. Wait, wait, back up, kid. The silence continued unabated as Gemmei tried to make sense of it all. That's not me. I know my body fluids, and that's not one of them.

A memory flashed by. Everyone in the compound woke up to the sound of an explosion. An attack on the Shinshi family? Assassins? Saboteurs? Traitors? “No”, her father breathlessly wheezed. “Generator blew up. Someone overfilled it.” What the hell! Then that nasty fog that filled the complex wasn't a poison gas? “No, Gem.”

”That's gas.” From where? Behind her. Her attacker. Her attacker reeked of gasoline.

That meant what? It could be any one of a hundred things, but the absolute worst case scenario must be- oh shit. Could you even make bunshin out of that stuff?

The otherworldly voice crackled into her ear again, the faintest emotion of impatience in its tone. “Scream, female. Draw him out.

Yeah, right, like Gemmei was some kind of doll you could pull the string on and-

A half enraged, half agonized howl burst from the chuunin as a razor sharp claw raked across her face. Not very ladylike, but it would have to do.

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Old 10-05-2018, 07:44 PM   #18
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For years, Shiro had honed his abilities as a jounin – that illustrious rank of the most powerful ninja in a Kage’s employ. Special forces, emotionless killing, a perfect dedication to the shinobi handbook penned by shinobi generations passed, he had had it all - - and it hadn’t been enough to protect his village from being consumed in fire, or to keep the last remaining connection he had to that previous life from sleeping through his greedy and desperate fingers. He had foiled himself, trading the persona of a razor’s edge to a dulled knife held in a nicotine stained hand. He unbuttoned the top button of his dress shirt as he slinked forward, cloaked in the shadows of his subtle, stealthy spellcraft, measuring his breathing as he moved with each careful step.

Protecting an assassination target in absolute black wasn’t an easy task. Luckily, unless whatever it was that was attacking the penthouse was a master of voices, she was still alive - - even if the script wasn’t her own. But how would he attack, when he couldn’t see if he’d hit the girl he was supposed to be protecting? He moved a hand to his throat and flexed his fingers, feeling for the edge of a razor wire as he stalked through the doorway.

Then, suddenly, a horrible beastly scream from across the room he just entered! There wasn’t time to think, with the life of Gemmei on the line – much less when hearing such a terrible noise directed at you in the darkness. Shiro rushed forward to the sound, breaking his cloaking spell, his dagger silently rushing through the air alongside his punching fist. His other hand reached out before the attack, colliding with the soft and spiteful skin of the redheaded beast from Grass, and he gave it a firm squeeze, sinking his thumb into the hinge of her jaw. Well - - hopefully it was the girl, he didn’t have any idea of who was attacking them, and it was a folly to assume it wouldn’t ALSO be a small teenager. He yanked her head down, since she wasn’t his target, and lashed blindly with his kunai behind her.

“Fuck, don’t bite me!”
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Old 10-08-2018, 12:33 PM   #19
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Tugged one way, then another. The sharp wounds across her face only throbbed with greater pain as she was violently pulled from her captor. The assailant seemed almost eager to let go and released her without resistance. Gemmei, always the one for underhanded tactics, came to an immediate conclusion.

Shiro's grip was far too strong so she switched to clawing at his dirty fingers with her own. A few teeth might have been used as well. It was dark and dangerous Gemmei wasn't in the mood for decorum. “I might be booby trapped, idiot!” Foul smelling gasoline soaked her body and dress. Their attacker used ninjutsu, so it wasn't out of the question that the chuunin might go up in a giant fireball at the snap of a finger. Then again, what choice did she have?

The briefest flash of light spray out from the blade of Shiro's kunai as something intercepted its path. Gemmei only briefly glimpsed the attacker in the spray of sparks. I must be hallucinating. Or under a genjutsu. There's no way...

Wait, shit, sparks! A hundred little red embers landed on her dress and crackled against it. No choice, then. She would have to use that.

As her flash-paper dress caught aflame Gemmei tore through a few hand seals, ending with a massive clap. A mighty shockwave of wind surged out from her small frame as she planted both feet firm on the carpet. The whole building shook with her movement. Taking in a deep breath she roared. This booming bellow came not from petulant teenage girl.

This was the roar of a GOD


That was the idea, anyway. Gemmei wasn't a fan of genjutsu- you couldn't really see if they worked or not. She was sick of being handled like a piece of meat anyway. Now was the time to attack!

So she burst into flames. Not actually part of the plan, but it certainly added to the illusion of the red-head being a smoldering manifestation of an angry deity.

As the grossly incandescent dress ignited the room filled with a red-yellow glow. In that moment the form of the attacker could be seen in earnest, still reeling from the apparent ferocity of Gemmei's trick. Red, beady eyes stared out from behind a masked and protruding nuzzle. Gray-white fur covered the creature from head to toe and a whip-like, barbed tail flicked lethally behind it. The ears gave away its true nature: this was a monster from Rain Country's infamous Rat Yakuza.


At the exact moment of Gemmei's immolation, the rat-thing appeared to be forming the hand seal for a genjutsu kai. Just Gemmei's luck, but any opening was better than nothing!

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