Crossed Strings [ Oddy ]

[House of the Lotus | Higashikaze Academy | Hana Medical Institute]
The glistening seat of freedom, a blooming city in the dust, and the foundation of all their hope. Hanabira is the capitol city of the Republic of Suna, home to the Parliament, Higashikaze Academy, and the Hana Medical Institute.

Crossed Strings [ Oddy ]

PostPosted by Love » Sat Sep 21, 2013 10:53 pm

It had been a while since she had felt the dry air of the desert lands, even longer since she had been inside one of their medical facilities. A trip all the way to the outer edge of the Land of Wind, around the Westlands at to the western most shore, was a long one to say the least. It was a journey the green skinned girl would rather have not taken. While Hanabira City, the new capital of Kaze no Kuni, was impressive, it was also far from home. Not just the home she was carving out in the forests of the Land of Grass for her clansmen and herself, but also the traditional home she had grown up knowing in the desert lands. The old Sunagakure, only partially rebuilt, was now nothing but the Legacy Outpost. While that was her main station as the member of the military force of this land, the official business she had to conduct made it necessary for her to make the longer venture. Plus, it was not just official business that had brought her to this place.

All things in due time.

At the present, Akiko found herself in a rather odd position.

As a change of pace, the girl was in the hospital as a patient, rather than a medic. While it was true she was only qualified as a field medic, and never actually held a residency in the hospital environment, the woman felt this was all very unnecessary. She knew her own condition, but the gain leave from her active status with Sunagakure she'd have to follow through with regulation. The waiting though was the hardest bit about it.

She found herself pacing back and forth in a medical exam room, biding her time for a doctor to come and clear her. Arms crossed under her chest as she stepped back and forth, her patients as a patient was beginning to wear thin. The situation only became worse, instead of better, when the physician did finally show. As if perfect timing, Akiko was turning in her pace just as the doctor entered in through the door causing the two women to collide head on. The medical chart the woman dressed in white had been holding sent flying into the air as the two kunoichi feel backwards.

"I'm so sorry," The green girl apologized as she picked herself to her knees and started collecting the mess of papers.

The doctor was doing the same, having lost track of any order to the charting. "No, no. It's---" She paused as both her hand and Akiko's reached for the same sheet in the middle. The red haired puppet mistress was the first to pick it up, as it was more than just the doctor's speech that froze. Looking up, their eyes met with each other for the first time. "You're...glowing!"

As the two women stood up together Akiko passed off the bundle of papers she had picked up to join with those the stud doctor had collected. The Megami woman was impressed with how easily the doctor had picked up on her condition considering that she had to practically bash Dokutoru over the head with the news. "Ya can tell just like dat?"

"It's pretty obvious." The physician said unable to take her stunned eyes off of the red haired woman. "How long has it been?"

"Just over a month." Her blushed facing turning a bit more creeped out from the expression on the doctor's face.

"And you've waited this long?" That's when it became really strange as it wasn't an uncommon time frame considering how most women find out the news. "You're--"

"Pregnant."
"Green!"

. . .

"Well of coarse I'm bloody well green! Wat else would I be?"

After some explaining and reference to the mixed up assortment that was Akiko's patient file, the mood swing prone pregnant Akiko finally settled back down as the examination got underway. "I really am sorry about that mixup again." The doctor said going over to the medicine cabinet to get some supplies.

"It's fine, let's just get on wit dis, shall we?"

"Very well, disrobe and get your legs up in those stirrups."

And Akiko thought she was in an awkward position when she had been alone in the room.




"You're leave starts immediately," The clerk at the military office Akiko found herself in some time later said giving a final review to the documentation he had been presented with. "You'll need to be medically cleared after giving birth to be reinstated. Until then, you're not to intervene in any operation except in the most dire of---"

"Yes, yes, I know. Even if I didn't just 'ave da dangers of expanding too much chakra explained ta me, I'm a medic meself."

The bespectacled, bearded man held the pages in his hand upright and glanced down at them. "So you are." Setting the paper on the table, his hand reached for a stamp, which he damped before pressing down onto Akiko's profile to certify the leave. "That settles that. Was there anything else I could help you with, miss?"

"Actually, yes." She said, feeling as though one of her burdens had been lifted off her for the time being. "I was 'oping ya could direct me to whomever's been assigned at investigating a group called Decay." The man gave Akiko a questioning look, as if pondering whether she had heard anything he had just said. "Don't fret, just want ta pass along some intel, dat's all."

With this the clerk left, though after a few minutes he found his way back to his seat with a new set of papers. "Ah, yes, here it is. Guujin, Ayatsuri."
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Re: Crossed Strings [ Oddy ]

PostPosted by Oddric » Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:49 am

Ayatsuri Guujin's abode was his own. Touching the outskirts of Hanabira City stood a beautiful home. Made of beautiful refined wood, and only a trained eye could have spotted that someone had made heavy modifications to a house that stood prior. The size of the house looked as if it would comfortably fit a family of four. There was a fenced off portion that lead behind the house for about half an acre, but curiously, nothing existed aside from the fence. It was nearly creepy. Subtly creepy. Along the wooden frame of the front door were the engraved words "Guujin". On the door was a metal knocker, for the very rare visitor that came to visit Ayatsuri.

Within the house was a much larger basement. This was where Ayatsuri spent a lot of his time when he wasn't involved with Decay matters. Here was where he worked on technology, puppets and his personal experiments. More often than not, the three were directly related.

"Ah, damn." The light brown haired man grumbled, looking at a wooden post just meters from his position. A samurai stood before it, its sword stuck inside the post. "This is tricky." He sighed. He was hoping the samurai's sword would have cut through the post.

The young man's fingers moved, and then so did the samurai. It was obvious now that the thing was a puppet, but the amount of time and skill that the weapons expert Ayatsuri had put into it showed in the craftsmanship. Rather than some puppeteers who split their skills between puppets and other specialties, Ayatsuri kept his focus on weaponry and technology. And the basement was where he worked on his craft.

A light flow of chakra through the invisible strings that attached to the samurai, its sword glowed a light blue as it jerked forward with great speed, cutting clean through the post. "Oh, yes!" The boy cheered, his brown eyes moving from the samurai and to the other posts that were scattered about the large basement room. Some cut, most not.

No chakra amplifiers notable, no strange modifications, no handsigns on Ayatsuri's part, any puppeteer worth their salt would raise an eyebrow to how the puppet had performed such a feat. To move so quickly, strike so strongly, and use chakra to aid its movements... it seemed as if the puppet had its own chakra reserve. It did. Ayatsuri stayed away from the dark art of converting human corpses into puppets, he saw it as disgusting and evil. Instead, he moved to another option. Arguably just as "dark".

The samurai reeled back, the glow of the sword had dimmed. Ayatsuri squinted, uncomfortable by the samurai's own chakra that was flowing back into Ayatsuri. Extending his fingers, breathing in, Ayatsuri held his breath for a moment before exhaling. The puppet's chakra remained contained within now. Ayatsuri was going to need a lot of practice.

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Re: Crossed Strings [ Oddy ]

PostPosted by Love » Tue Sep 24, 2013 10:50 pm

The soft murmur of an engine was as odd of a sound, as they come, to cut through the desert. However, the winds of this country never carried any noise long, not even the rev of an unnatural engine. Well, maybe 'unnatural' wasn't an apt description. The solar engine came to a halt just outside the fence line of the rather large structure outside the main city Akiko had just trailed from.

The green skinned girl slid herself off her creation as the roar died to a mum. A quick flash of a summoning scroll and the peculiar puppet became nothing more than a puff of white smoke as the chakra strings connected with the scroll snapped the rerolled parchment into Akiko's nimble fingers.

As she walked the distance along the fence line, her hand becoming free of the scroll as it passed to the rising vine out of her side pouch, the unburdened fingers slid along the horizontal beam that tied all the many planks together. A flash of purple flared in her eyes as they took from the touch much more than any other connoisseur of wooden creations could tell from a simple feel. It was an odd thing, a building like this at the ends of the desert. Whereas most other buildings are made from sandstone or sheetrock, this one stood out from the rest not only for its physical separation from any other structure. The oddity wasn't just about the rarity of wood as a building material in a place like this. It was about the craftsmanship that went into the construction. Architecture, carpentry, they were bot an artesian craft. But than again, so was puppetry.

Akiko was surprised to find that the person assigned to Decay investigations was also a member of the puppet brigade. Though smart, as smart as any engineer, puppet masters tended to have antisocial streaks. Something about spending long hours alone with no one to talk to except the mannequin you're creating didn't inspirer confidence in most. Some people might consider her an exception given the sexual appeal she exploited, but the truth was no one that was properly socialized could carry out the depths required for her more heinous of experiments.

The outstretched hand held itself off from the door as Akiko's purple and black eyes kept spinning in her mind. She never once touched the knocker mounted on the wooden barrier, even if her hand had reared back immediately before each powerful bang. Instead, a chakra string was what gripped the metal knocker, appropriate considering who she was here to see.
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Re: Crossed Strings [ Oddy ]

PostPosted by Oddric » Sat Sep 28, 2013 9:10 am

Ayatsuri's head lifted from his puppet and to the ceiling. Several metal shingles clanked against each other as the vibrations from the knocking on the door were specifically carried down to interact with the metallic cylinders. "Huh." He hummed, severing the chakra string connection to Samurai, the young man approached a wall, placing his eye up to a hole. It was quite obvious that he had placed a series of mirrors within the walls, leading all the way up to the front of the house. An equally small hole along the side of the wall harbored a tilted mirror, giving the puppeteer a downward look at his guest. His green guest.

Moments later, Ayatsuri had scrambled up several flights of stairs and darted from the basement door to the front door. Throwing it open, Ayatsuri looked at who was gracing his home with her presence. "Aki-- Ackyo-- blah!!" The exhausted Ayatsuri exhaled, holding his chest as he attempted to catch his breath. Wrinkles formed in his one-sleeved tan tunic as he clutched the fabric.

Straightening out his back, Ayatsuri held his door frame and gave a calmer exhale. "Akiko Megami!" Maybe she would be surprised that Ayatsuri knew who she was. Then again, there weren't many green women in Suna. "I'm so excited you're here! I am a huge fan of your work. I've been watching you ever since you came to Suna!" A bit stalker-esque. But true. Just by looking at the young man, Akiko could tell he was several years younger than her. His fair hair and light brown eyes gave him a youthful look anyhow. Ayatsuri had always looked up to Akiko as an older, more skillful, puppeteer. Even now.

"...But, I guess you came to me for a reason?" Ayatsuri never got any visitors that just wanted to chat. He didn't have a single friend. His work required strenuous hours from the lonely man. "As the greatest detective in the Wind Country, I am at your service!"

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Re: Crossed Strings [ Oddy ]

PostPosted by Love » Fri Oct 04, 2013 11:52 pm

She had broken her strings before the door swung open, abandoning the minor act of puppetry to revert to a more traditional approach. However, before her bent knuckle could touch wood the door swung open to a very startled Ayatsuri and a very confused Akiko standing on the other end.

"Jolly good, I'm--" She started in, not quite catching the first botched attempt at her name, but before she could get out her introduction the eccentric shinobi had already completed her sentence in her fit. There was an initial delight that such formalities were no longer necessary, as Akiko too knew who the man was if only because the clerk had directed her out to this secluded homestead. However, this perk soon vanished as it was replaced with the suspicion of perverted creepiness causing her raised hand, which had nearly knocked Ayatsuri in the face before she halted her attempt to wrap on the door, to lower slowly on the stunned woman.

"Charmed," She said to be polite after the offer of services. "Right, ah..." She found herself in the doorway at a loss for words. "I'm 'ere to--wait a bloody tick!" She almost got herself back on track before it all derailed with her normal confident tone returning. "Wat exactly do ya mean you've watched me? Cause I do try und make it a point not to end up in some creepy basement." Dealing with perverts was nearly a daily thing in her past. It seemed any man that wasn't initially off put by her complexion was instantly attracted to her. It didn't exactly help that she had a Megami sense of showing off her natural body, but that last thing she was expecting to find on this diversion was a fanboy.
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Re: Crossed Strings [ Oddy ]

PostPosted by Oddric » Sat Oct 05, 2013 10:19 pm

Raising an eyebrow, Ayatsuri was taken aback by Akiko's sudden hostility. Of course, he knew she could be a bit fiery like her hair. The puppeteer was not at all on Akiko's level of thinking, so it him a few awkward moments of silence before he put two and two together. Which was more than obvious given by his spontaneous change of expression.

"Oh! Oh! No!" One hand on his face in embarrassment, Ayatsuri took a step forward to put his other hand on Akiko's shoulder as if to comfort her, but abruptly stopped and turned from her, he free hand also on his face. "I'm an idiot!" Undoubtedly Akiko just found the situation even more uncomfortable.

Turning back to Akiko again, Ayatsuri walked into the open doorway. "I've just... uh..." The words weren't coming easy to him. "I've kept tabs on you, always there whenever you were in Suna using your collection, watching your technique, what your puppets were made of... I've always been quite jealous of your ability to use plantlife and wood, the perfect abilities of a puppeteer. It's been much of a struggle for me to try and compete with your... natural methods. You've been an inspiration as someone who I want to surpass." He let out a hard breath of air, slumping his shoulders. Hopefully that was enough.

Beckoning her inside, the light haired boy took a few steps back. "Come on, let's talk in here where it's cooler. We can go to my basement if you'd like! I've been working on some things down there!" Yes. The not-creepy basement. Ayatsuri certainly knew how to win a lady's heart.

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Re: Crossed Strings [ Oddy ]

PostPosted by Love » Sun Oct 06, 2013 9:49 pm

It had been a while since she had interacted with other Suna-nin, at least the ones that didn't try and kill her each time they crossed paths. Even longer since she had been around other puppeteers. She had taken on a small instructing roll in the corps, though that was short lived before her world trip and the subsequent fall of old Sunagakure. She had forgotten just how antisocial puppet masters could become.

"You really are dreadful at speaking wit women, aren't ya?" The green girl said with a playful grin as she took the invitation to enter. The smell of a rosy perfume followed her in, the scent being much more noticeable when she was out of the continuous desert wind. "A girl tells ya she doesn't want ta end up in your creepy basement, und da first ting ya do is invite 'er down dare." She said taking in the domicile at a glance. It all looked very normal, though yet incredibly atypical considering there weren't many houses like this one in the desert lands.

Turning around back towards the man her hand found itself on her hip, bumping it out to the other side as she giggled. "Just teasing, Love. Da two of us our puppeteers, und dare's always an expectable level creepiness date goes along wit dat und our basements. Top choice as far as workshops go, und we all tend ta take our work home wit us." Her basement was so odd that she had to have two of them, one for puppet craft and the other a laboratory for her botany experiments. However, just knowing what can happen to unsuspecting victims that had been brought down there against their will, you'd be right to be nervous about entering a puppeteers' atelier. "I wish I could return da flattery, doug. I was surprised ta 'ear da detective I need ta see was also a puppet master, but I can't say I've seen any of your work." Trying not to seem conceited she quickly justified that. "'Fraid I've been out of town a lot, lately. 'Owever, maybe ya can show me some of watcha been working on while I'm 'ere. Da basement's fine, doug seeing as I 'ave no idea where anytins at, maybe ya should just lead da way."

On the stair climb down, she commented on the question that was begging her mind when she had first pulled up on the place. "Ya give me a lot of credit fur my woodwork, but even I was never so bold ta 'ave a 'ouse made of lumber in da middle of da desert."
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Re: Crossed Strings [ Oddy ]

PostPosted by Oddric » Wed Oct 09, 2013 6:05 pm

"Creepy?" Ayatsuri asked, looking to Akiko as they approached an open doorway that undoubtedly lead downstairs. "I don't think it's creepy..." His hand rubbed the back of his tanned neck.

He found nothing odd or strange about his work. In fact, anyone who made comments otherwise were the ones that Ayatsuri found to be strange. Akiko aside. As a puppeteer, she knew what it was like to be on the receiving end. She spoke from experience.

"I'd be delighted to show you my work!" Taking the first step, Ayatsuri's tone had been kicked up a notch. He wanted a professional opinion on his creations... as well a moral-check over. "I have a few... questions to ask you about my puppets. Like I said, you've been somewhat of a rival to me. So I've had to use some unique methods to craft the most advanced puppets that I could. More than just wood and metal gears and the occasional weapon seal." Ayatsuri didn't know about the human puppets that Akiko had in her possession... not for sure, anyway. It was likely her mind jumped to human puppets when Ayatsuri mentioned his unusual methods.

As they reached the cooler floor of the basement, Ayatsuri turned his head to look at the older puppeteer. "A lot of my detective work has involved me going to the outskirts of the Wind Country. Decay presence is strong there, and that's where I've gained the most intel. Seeing as how all I've been doing for the past few years is... tracking that damned organization, the rest of my time has been devoted to crafting: puppets, weapons, and my home." Ayatsuri's family ties were less than ideal. And his number of friends was... well... Akiko was the first warm-hearted person that had entered his home. "I visit neighboring forests during my journeys, collecting and storing mass amounts of wood in scrolls. I wouldn't be caught dead living in a house made of stone and sand!" He paused. "...Of course, I do plant several trees for every one I chop down." He thought she might appreciate that.

Walking into the massive basement, seemingly larger than the portion of the house that was above ground, it was split into several rooms. No real decoration, aside from the blue prints attached to the walls, puppet parts scattered about, and full puppets hung from ceilings or propped up on mantels and tables. Impressively, the basement rooms and floor were also wood-born. The basement itself was lit by small lights along the wall. Ayatsuri had set up his own supply of electricity using geothermal energy and wind turbines. Ayatsuri was very, very crafty.

Pointing to a large wooden dragon in the middle of the room, a very strange feature about it was the machine that was latched onto its back. Several cylinders and the presence of a tank gave it a similar look to a... well, an engine. "It's almost ready. I'm powering that beast by steam. There are still some kinks I need to work out to make it more efficient... but it's good. I've spent months on it." He laughed, a smile on his face as he looked to Akiko. All he wanted was for her to be impressed with his work. Just a little. If she took well to it... no, it didn't matter. No matter what she thought, he would tell her the other project he had been working on.

"Sorry, you didn't just come here to see my puppets. You needed something, right? A detective? If I had to guess... Decay? I haven't done much otherwise these past few years." It was very rare that he would be assigned a mission within Suna's own borders.

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Re: Crossed Strings [ Oddy ]

PostPosted by Love » Sun Oct 27, 2013 1:42 pm

Her eyes, still purple, began spinning again as she followed behind the man. Her steps were cautions, the wooden heals she was wearing sounding off with each step against a matching floor. It was what told her she had hit the next tread on the way down, since the Idenshigan blinded her of her normal sight as her hand against grazed against the wooden wall that lead deeper into this peculiar complex. However, it didn't take her long to find the genetic string she had grown curious about, so by the time they had reached the bottom the stairs and Ayatsuri looked back to the green girl, her eyes had become stable once more.

"Dat's good ta 'ear." She said at the notion of reforesting. There was a time when she would have grown much more uncomfortable about a person chopping down trees. In the rest of the world it could hardly be avoided, but one of the appealing notions of Sunagakure was that it was a rarity to say the least. "Dat does explain, dou, while so much of dis came from around the River Country." The unique climate there combined with the ample source of water gave the woody plants noticeably well defined xylem, though granted you needed special eyes to take notice. She couldn't identify every species, but she too has traveled the world seeking the gifts of nature, she just didn't have to cut anything down to take anything back with her.

The green girl, wearing a dress that was also green but of a darker hue, walked alongside the dragon puppet, leaning in to get a closer look at the boiler like contraption mounted to the mannequin. "Steam? Once only good in 'otsprings, but now da've got it in trains, ships...Never imagined it'd be in a puppet, dou." She said standing upright again. The design wasn't too far off from what she had done with her Dune Runner, though the two drew from difference sources of energy. Still, it looked like it powered something big. "Personally, I prefer more natural energies, but we each play to our strengths." She said as she started walking around the puppet to the side Ayatsuri was on. "If you're in need of inspiration you should 'ead to da Land of Snow. 'Ear tell dare doing trifle dings wit steam over dare." The Wind Country didn't quite have the same budding infrastructure, but it was harder to make things like trains work on an ever changing topographical chart.

She had caught herself starring once more at the puppet, this time towards the face of the beast, but the repeat mention of Decay brought her attention back away from matters of art. "Right. Well, I suppose we should 'andle da formalities first." She said walking in front of the man as she headed towards what looked to be one of the cleaner tables in the basement. Her hand dropping to her side, a few vines emerged from inside her hip-hung pouches, each of them lifting up scrolls they had coiled around.

"Decay is exactly wat dis deals wit." Taking the small scrolls, she sat two of them standing upright on the table as she pressed a seal on the third to cause it to extend in length, growing from a few inches to over two feet. Taking the now larger scroll and laying it flat, she unrolled it to reveal a map of the Land of Wind drawn on it. The parchment, if it could be called that, was leafy and had a greenish hue. The other two scrolls were very much the same as this, not like the normal ones she used for storing her puppets. She motioned with her finger for Ayatsuri to join her at her side as she looked down to the map of Kazi no Kuni. "I recently came into a mess of intel concerning Decay, und seeing 'ow you're our residential expert on da matter, I felt you could do more good wit it all."

The map of Sungakure, as most do when they are produced by a cartographer from the Wind Country, included a darkened section to represent the Westlands within the larger boarders of the country as a whole. On it, several villages were marked with small "X", most of them in the boundaries of the darker zone, though a few just on the outskirts of it. "I've transcribed all the information onto these three scrolls." She left out the fact that she had omitted anything that could be used to link the information back to Kokuei. With everything that happened between them the last time, she couldn't explain it to herself why she still felt the need to protect his anonymity. Maybe she just thought nobody would see the information as credible if it was known that it came from a deserter, or maybe she just didn't want to compete with Sunagakure in dealing with the twisted man. "It includes information on all of dese locations, along wit people in da regions dat are associated wit Decay."

"I'm not sure 'ow much of dis will be news ta you, but I 'ope you get some uses out of it. Going tru it all, I couldn't piece it all togeter, but I don't 'ave da backround info on Decay." She said looking over to Ayatsuri. "'Ell, I can't even tell you if day really exist. Dare are some out dare dat dink it's all one big 'oax, just rumors to keep people out of da Westlands. As if anyone would need an excuse." Akiko was still skeptical about Decay. Her limited attempt to dig up information on the organization had resulted in little outside of the information that Kokuei had given her. Even if she wasn't now on medical leave, she'd likely not get much use out of this information, which was why she needed Ayatsuri. "But let's say day are real, wat's dare end goal, und why 'asn't Suna taken open action about dem?"
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Re: Crossed Strings [ Oddy ]

PostPosted by Oddric » Sun Oct 27, 2013 8:25 pm

Raising an eyebrow, Ayatsuri watched as Akiko showed, indeed, the mess of intel that she happened upon. On a map too organized to have been by anyone but someone was transcribing the information, Akiko had decoded the information she gathered. He seriously doubted that all the information would be something he already knew. Needless to say, he was excited about the information he happened upon.

"Well, this is fantastic! Once we've talked about this, I have some information to share with you, too. Another reason I'm glad you came onto my property. Wasn't sure how I was going to tell you." Hands on the table, Ayatsuri leaned forward to scan the map for details. His eyes mechanically wandered to a couple of villages in the Westlands. "All very neat, too. For someone who has some skepticism in her about Decay, this is all very well done." Ayatsuri had skepticism of his own now. He wasn't going to pry away at the green girl, she had given the information to him. He wouldn't ask of her her motives.

A smile came over his face, he turned to look at Akiko. "How old do you think I am?" He asked, shrugging his shoulders at the odd look he expected to get. "I'm eighteen. I'm also the only official staff member working on this Decay case. The only person in the entirety of Suna that is working to stop Decay. A kid." He pushed off the table. "After the old Suna was destroyed, after we retaliated against the noblemen who came against us, the Suna officials seemed to decide to be totally selfish. The months leading up to the climax of the chaos befalling the Wind Country, Suna sent out so many resources to try and remedy the situation and help other villages in the Wind Country. Once we built ourselves back up, we didn't care about anyone but ourselves. So while an entire organization is preparing itself for war against the entire Wind Country, Suna just cares about its damn self. The officials seem to think that is the best course of action." Visibly upset, Ayatsuri's fingers tapped against the wooden table before him. His eyes ran throughout the map. "Towns being attacked, structures being built in the Westlands, assassinations of important Wind Country higher ups... more importantly, clear evidence of Decay reaching out further than just the Wind Country. Crucial data has been stolen from the Hidden Snow, Decay-owned drugs found in bandit camps in the Water Country... Suna has done a great job making sure that we think we're safe and that no one needs to know about what's going on out there."

He didn't imagine Akiko felt very good about the information Suna was withholding from its citizens. It was rare Ayatsuri expressed his feelings like this. But it needed to be said. "Sunagakure just doesn't care about anyone but itself. If Suna's officials don't open their damn eyes, it'll be too late. Decay will have become more of a problem than we can handle. Decay's a small tree with mile-long roots underneath. I'm not sure what their end game is, but it can't be good. And if they keep on going they way they have been, they'll have enough power to do anything."

Ayatsuri had a huge weight on his shoulders. A weight that no one cared about. If the whole thing turned sour and Decay started a war... Ayatsuri contemplated suicide.

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Re: Crossed Strings [ Oddy ]

PostPosted by Love » Wed Nov 06, 2013 12:09 am

With her eyes the way they were, Akiko considered being a bit forward and bringing her finger up for a forehead poke at the question of how old the man was. While you could cut a person in half and count the rings, it would have been easy for the girl to range Ayatsuri's age based on the genetic traces there to find. However, inappropriate touching wasn't required with how quickly the man, who could barely be considered that now, had answered his own question. Instead, Akiko just bit her lower lip and clutched a hand against the edge of the adjacent table as she listened.

As Ayatsuri spoke and scanned the map, Akiko's eyes drifted to the wall decorations, particularly the blue print right in front of her. Her wandering eyes weren't for any particular interests, but it wasn't as though she had to review again the same information she had just turned over to the clearly eccentric detective. "While dat all is very damnable," She started in just before turning her back to the table and lifting herself up on it as a seat. Both her hands rested on the top knee where here overlapped legs crossed. "But I still find it 'ard ta believe a village dat 'as seen so much could turn a blind eye to an organization as wicked as Decay is purported ta be. Afta da Kazekage disappeared und da Feudal Lord took advantage of our weakness, ya dink our focus would be ta combat such dreats, 'stead of allowing dem ta grow."

"Not dat your plant metaphors aren't wasted on me," Akiko turned her head with a slim smile as she raised one of her hands off her crossed legs. Spinning her wrist around so that her palm faced straight up, a small twig merged to her in the center of her hand started to grow till it formed a very small, almost bonsai-like, tree. "But let's say fur a moment it's all bloody well true, I've no reason ta doubt it. Wat's your part in all dis den?" She paused for a moment being sure to look Ayatsuri square in the eyes as her retinas faded from purple to a hazel green. "Da lone dog sent to sniff out da enemy all for a counsel dat likely won't believe 'im no matter da evidence 'e unearths." If the higher ups in Hanabira refused to address the threat of Decay with the appropriate, militaristic response than the impact a single investigator could have in swaying the future objectives of the village would amount to about the same as if not a soul was assigned to the case. "So ya find dis tree, maybe even dig out some of da roots." She brought up her other hand to pinch the small bonsai at the base. "But if all ya manage ta do is break off a fragment..." With a snap she brought off the palm-grown plant, her eyes wincing a little as it was done since the wooden example had been connected with her nervous system. "It'll all grow back so long as da smallest shred of dese 'mile-long' roots remain." In her upturned palm a genetic copy of the small plant she had held grew out of her chakra, though this time it did not stop until it was larger than the last.

"It's da bases rule in gardening. Wat ya dealing wit it's a tree, but a weed. Und dose are frightfully resistant." She spun her wrist back around and clenched a fist before opening a loose hand that seemingly had swallowed up the second example to leave nothing but her normal skin. As for the miniature tree she had already broke off from herself, she sat the small trinket down on the table beside her hip. "Ya not da only one passionate 'bout bringing down Decay, but ya are da only active duty Suna-nin under orders ta do so."
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Re: Crossed Strings [ Oddy ]

PostPosted by Oddric » Sat Nov 09, 2013 1:11 am

"Yes. You'd think they would put a bit more effort into combating Decay. The way they see this issue, the way they really see it, is that our downfall in the Feudal Lord's war against us was our willingness to help the rest of the Wind Country in the approaching dark times. We spread ourselves too thin. By keeping to ourselves now and building up our resources, we won't make the same mistake. Obviously... that isn't going to do us much good." Ayatsuri's expression perked as he witnessed Akiko grow a twig out of her arm. It was a skill of her's that he had been quite jealous of.

A smile formed on his face, albeit a rather defeated looking smile. "I'm not much of a gardener." He shook his head. "I'm afraid all I'll be able to do is break off fragments. But hell, I haven't even grabbed this... weed yet. I'm afraid Suna won't pay attention to Decay until its too late. It may already be." Hand on the same table Akiko planted herself on, Ayatsuri's eyes wandered to the map he had been given before sighing. "Getting others involved is a big task. But, I suppose that's something I need to worry about." He looked to Akiko. "Thank you for delivering this to me. I'll make good use of it. Now I have something to share with you."

Spoiler:


"I had forgotten about it, it was such a quick thing. I was in the middle of a heavy investigation, following a Decay member, so my mind was in a different place. And to be honest, I didn't think much of it. But with you here in front of me now... it's obvious I should have reported it to you the moment I came back to Suna." Ayatsuri shifted, eyes pulling from Akiko and to the ground, as if he was looking for something. The puppeteer seemed deep in thought as he recalled details.

"It was a few days ago, I was in Sienna city in the Westlands tracking a Decay member."

Worn down buildings on either side of a dusty road, Ayatsuri kept his movements restrained as he walked with intent. A few dozen people in the immediate area, the puppeteer had his eyes locked onto his target just a few meters ahead of him. A brown robe covering Ayatsuri's body kept him anonymous.

"While I was doing that, something caught my eye."

Eyes flicking from the road and his target, Ayatsuri had noticed something in his peripheral vision. Head turning, Ayatsuri's vision guided him between two buildings. With the sun approaching the horizon, there was still plenty of sun to see down the darker alleyway.

"Moving in the shadows, a couple of figures were walking moving from behind one building to the next."

In the open corridor, a figure in a long black cloak moved into Ayatsuri's field of vision. The figure had something in his arms that he was carrying, but it was covered by a brown sheet of cloth. This cloaked figure, to Ayatsuri's dismay, had on a mask. Ivory-colored, it was a bird mask. Though not exactly friendly looking. A crow's mask described it quite well. Behind the man was a woman, short black hair and a large amount of blue tattoos covering nearly half of her body.

"One was a woman with light blue tattoos that totally covered her arm. The other was cloaked in black, but the structure of this individual was undoubtedly male. He had on this... very white bird mask. The beak quite large. A raven mask maybe? A crow mask?"

Ayatsuri continued to walk, but hit vision fixed on this very narrow space, this narrow period of time. The two appeared to stop for the briefest moment before Ayatsuri could no longer see them. They appeared to be chatting.

"The cloaked man stopped and turned to talk to the woman just as I walked away from the alleyway. It was when he turned that I noticed something. He was carrying something in his arms, I couldn't see what it was because it was covered with a sheet. When he turned, though, part of it was not totally covered."

Sheet swaying with the turn of the man's body, an arm was sticking out from under the sheet. A green arm.

"There was a body underneath the sheet, I'm not sure if it was dead or alive, an arm was hanging out from it. It was a green arm. The same tone of green as..." Ayatsuri opened his hand up to Akiko. "...well, you. Only a few Megami are still alive, and I presume you're keeping tabs on them?" Ayatsuri was a good detective, but he wasn't so good that he knew the revival of the Megami had caused the population to bloom. "Either way, I figured that was information that needed to be passed along to you. Given a couple of days have passed since I saw that... I'm not exactly sure where to help you. Unless you wanted to make the trek to Sienna." Ayatsuri couldn't offer much assistance. If he hadn't been so preoccupied, he would have investigated. It didn't stop the man from kicking himself for not trying, though.
Last edited by Oddric on Mon Nov 11, 2013 11:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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"This adventure is made possible by generations of searchers strictly adhering to a simple set of rules; test ideas by experiment and observation, build on those ideas that past the test, reject the ones that fail. Follow the evidence wherever it leads, and question... everything. Accept these terms, and the cosmos is yours..."
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Re: Crossed Strings [ Oddy ]

PostPosted by Love » Sat Nov 09, 2013 6:47 pm

"Well, dat all marits looking into. Problem being, I'm not in any capacity ta take on a mission no matter 'ow official." The green girl boosted herself up before sliding off the table and back onto her wooden heels. She tilted her head towards her fellow puppeteer, her red hair resting softly on her shoulders. "Dang is, I'm not just 'anding over dis information because you're da residential expert wit Decay. 'Fraid I'm on ordered medical leave for da next nine months…well, 'bout eight more I suppose." She said cupping a hand over her still flat stomach. It wouldn't take a master defective to put what she was saying together.

However, Akiko didn't leave much time for an awkward, obligatory congratulates before she turned on her heels to face towards the table. The maneuver brought her a little closer to Ayatsuri, and most naturally the girl, who never had much of a respect for personal space, rested a bent elbow on the man's shoulder while both of them were facing the table. Unlike with Dokutoru, there wasn't really a height difference between the two of them, but give it a few more years and that should change. "Still, it's a long trek from 'ere back ta forested land." The finger on her other hand grazed over Hanabira and trailed northeastward, not towards any specific point, but just the general region towards the Land of Grass. "Suppose a woman like me were ta 'ave ta stop und resupply, it wouldn't be unimaginable I'd end up somewheres in da middle." Her finger pinpointed atop Sienna City.

Her eyes drifted from the map and back up to Ayatsuri. "Dank you." She was hoping that the detective had simply stumbled upon a plague doctor handing a particularly bad case of gang green, but she was still thankful to be informed.

"Dare was one more ding ta go wit dis, dou." The woman said as she turned fully towards the man and took a step backwards, her arm parting from his shoulders when she did. No longer on its rest, the limb dropped back down to her equipment pouches as another vine raised up with yet another scroll. However, unlike the others that she had laid out not he table, this one was a normal paper scroll. "It's not a price, da intel is yours no matter wat ya choose ta do wit it, but just a request."

Setting the scroll on the table, she unrolled it some to reveal a very familiar seal for anyone in the puppet coups. A quick hand-signs sent out a small puff of smoke to reveal a windup bird toy. "I trust you're familiar?" A clockwork messenger bird was nothing new for a puppeteer. "I've already coded dis one ta be able ta find me workshop." She said turning back towards the man. "If in ya travels, whether wit dis intel or ya own, you should come across any word of someone possessing da shadow element, any word, could ya relay it back ta me?"
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Re: Crossed Strings [ Oddy ]

PostPosted by Oddric » Sun Nov 10, 2013 1:18 pm

"Ah..." Ayatsuri responded, looking to his role model's stomach, as if he could detect that there was a growing infant within her body.

Crossing his arms across his chest, the puppeteer watched as the young woman mapped out a path for herself. Sienna falling conveniently between Hanabira and the Land of Grass. "Yes." He agreed, wise to her game. "If your travels land you in Sienna, watch your back. It's one of the larger Westland cities." Which made detective work quite difficult. He imagined Akiko would have herself some trouble too, if she did more than just resupply.

Watching as Akiko retrieved a scroll from her person, a smile lit up his face as he saw the contents within. Hands on the table, Ayatsuri crouched slightly so he was on "eye level" with the bird. As the Megami continued to speak, Ayatsuri admired the handiwork that went into crafting it. "Beautiful." Even if Akiko didn't think so. Even if she thought it was one of her lesser creations. Akiko was no amateur, and her work proved it.

Rising up, Ayatsuri pulled himself away from the wooden bird. "Any person with the shadow element in the Wind Country would certainly be curious." He began. "We had but one family of Naras in all of The Republic. One has no abilities to speak of and nearly never leaves her home. Another is kept away in our asylum. The youngest went missing during the attack on Suna two years prior. Presumed dead. And the last, your ally, went rogue. You were assigned to retrieve him, you reported back a mission failure, and he's seemed to have literally vanished." It was probably about now that Akiko was surprised, maybe suspicious, that Ayatsuri had so much knowledge of events relating to Kokuei. "I get any details relating to Decay. Missing ninja are under suspicion of being allied to Decay. Given Kokuei's wandering nature, his last recorded level of skill, and now that he has gone off the map... well, he's high on the list for a major threat against Suna. The Council doesn't care much about Decay affairs, but when someone powerful inside our own walls leaves... it could turn disastrous. Even they recognize this." Hands on the bird now, Ayatsuri examined it a bit further. "You'll be the first to know, from me, if I catch wind anyone possessing the shadow element. But if it's Kokuei," Ayatsuri looked to Akiko. He knew what her true intentions were. "I can't promise that the Council won't send their best to eliminate him as one of the top threats against Suna and her people before I can get the message to you. But I'll do what I can."

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Re: Crossed Strings [ Oddy ]

PostPosted by Love » Tue Nov 12, 2013 11:20 pm

"Seams dare's no getting any tin passed an expert detective." Akiko said as she turned and leaned back up against the table she had previously been seating on. Her ams were down to her sides, palms flat on the wooden surface with fingers clenching the finished end. "Tell me, do ya keep tabs on all da village's missing-nins, or is Kookie a particular interests of yours?" The amount of knowledge Ayatsuri had on hand bordered on obsessive. However, Akiko didn't wait for a response before she rose a hand and waved off the question as if whipping clean the air. "It's no matter, but ya right, it's Kokuei I'm concerned wit. As ya mentioned, I failed to either capture or kill 'im on me last mission. Leave a bit of a mare on me record, und fur obvious reasons it's a record not likely ta get any better any time soon."

"I've no doubt dat da 'igh council will send dare best afta Kokuei, und I'm not asking fur ya to deliberately wit'old information from dem. Ya 'ave a duty, but best way fur me to right me record is ta complete da mission dat was originally mine." Her eyes drifted back to the dragon puppet in the middle of the room, though her mind was more on her history. "'Owever, it's not just 'im. Kokuei believes dat Decay may be involved in the disappearance of 'is brother. Whether true or not, 'e's unstable und, as ya say, likely ta be drawn in ta Decay. Any information on 'is brother can be used ta bait 'im. Not only dat, but Kokuei's found some way of splitting off 'is chakra in utters. Still not sure too what end, but it leaves a trace of shadow chakra behind."

She left out that she was one of the ones that Kokuei had tagged. However, her reasons were believable and they were in line with what she had told the crows the last they had met. Her last run in with the shadow welder had left the woman scarred. Not physically, and the mental damage was no just in the Fuuinjutsu that she had elected not to tell Dokutoru about. Now with her pregnancy, everything seemed to be changing.

"Thank you, dou. Anytin ya can unearth will be appreciated."
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