This post has the following content warnings:
Sep 24, 2020 1:58 AM
Orochimaru and Rian resonate
Next Post »
+ Show First Post
Total: 473
Posts Per Page:
Permalink

Mariko blinks, mutters a few numbers to herself, then: "Yeah, I think so. You'd probably have to apply it before deployment, but if you had a master seal... I have some other projects right now, but I don't think that'll be too tough? I'll want your help for the medical aspects, though, so it should maybe wait until you're more advanced. An area of effect seal is also maybe possible, but it'd kinda have to be indiscriminate..."

Permalink

"Either'd be super useful. Thanks! How've you been holding up, anyways? Jiraiya taught you anything lately?"

Permalink

"I've been good, though this stupid seal I'm working on is helplessly overcomplicated. I'm making some progress, though. Jiraiya hasn't been much help, I think he's still sulking over that whole affair with Tsunade..."

Permalink

"Mariko... What happened there?"

Permalink

She checks for Jiraiya - almost certainly not in hearing range, and it's not like he pays any attention to her anyways - then shifts uncomfortably. Lowly: "It's... We got out to one of the satellite towns, Jiraiya wandered off after some woman while I got a hotel room, and then I felt - three really powerful signatures approaching from Konoha, while Rian and Emi and two others came from their base. I'm not an idiot, so I ran towards Rian..." She summarizes the following fight in pretty good detail, including the weirdness that was the maybe-fake Uchiha Madara. Then the quite frankly boring wandering all over to find Tsunade, getting to Tanzaku-gai, realizing Tsunade'd been already approached by Orochimaru, getting upset and into a fight and that stupid bet... Then she checks again for Jiraiya - hasn't moved, isn't channeling chakra to his ears - and... Doesn't tell Sakura where she learned the shadow clone, but it's probably not hard to figure out.

Mastering the Hiraishin. Arguing with Jiraiya, bouncing him back to the same place so he couldn't pick a fight with Rian's resonant. Talking to Chihiro, and her news about Rian. Later, receiving the necklace from Tsunade.

Permalink

Sakura listens quietly throughout, and hugs her at the end. "I wouldn't have wanted to have to put up with all that. But that's why we're training, isn't it, to face those types of situations as well as we can..."

Permalink

Mariko nods. "I was serious, too, about continuing Rian's old dreams..."

Permalink

"I'll help," she says, pulling back slightly. "With whatever. We'll grow strong together, work hard together... And someday we'll have peace, and be Team Seven again."

Permalink

"That'll be nice."

Permalink

They spend the rest of the day talking (while Mariko's clones study in the background), then Mariko walks her home. Sakura falls into bed, for once not dreaming of her textbooks.

Instead she dreams of a future suddenly in sight.

Permalink

Riza, more commonly known as ANBU member Mori, has just received a summons to appear before her Hokage.

She can feel her resonant Gazeru, one of the guards, as she approaches. She kneels when she arrives, saying simply, "Hokage-sama."

Permalink

"ANBU Captain Mori," she responds. "Your assignment is to accompany myself and a strike force to the hidden training facilities of Root. All trainees are to be captured alive with a minimum amount of injury. Full members who resist my orders are to be killed. Your team will consist of Washi, Buta, and Shishi. You will relay periodic updates to your resonant, who will remain with the ANBU and Jounin Commanders throughout the mission."

Permalink

"Yes ma'am." The relaying isn't uncommon - she and Gazeru are one of ANBU's only two pairs of resonants. Usually Gazeru remains with the Hokage while Riza's deployed, but this isn't that far outside the norm.

Permalink

"Very well. Your team has already been summoned; you have thirty minutes to read the documents prepared for you and plan approaches. Dismissed."

Permalink

"Yes ma'am."

She leaves for the mission room, and speed reads through the documents. Potential opposition, what's known of Root's capabilities, a written description of the layout as remembered by an ex-Root member (no maps have been found).

She's fortunately already familiar with this team, so planning doesn't take too long, and soon enough they're ready to set out.

Permalink

The base is close by shinobi standards, in the mountains ringing the valley Konoha sits within.

It's hidden, well enough so that if they didn't have a very accurate sketch pointing it out from one of the three who approached her they would struggle to see it. (None of the three are coming, largely because it's still possible they're traitors. Yasumi is aware she might be walking into a trap; usually, traps end worse for her opponent than her.)

She investigates for then quietly breaks the seals protecting the entrance, then flings it open. She's not going for stealth, here - the other known exits are being covered by other teams - and announces, "This is the Godaime Hokage! By the power invested in me by the Daimyo of this great nation, I demand you present yourselves at once!" Her voice carries unnaturally, likely echoing throughout the compound.

It takes a few moments, but - 

A figure emerges from the gloom, immediately kneeling. The form looks mid-teens. "Hokage-sama," he intones.

"Name and designation," she says.

"Aburame Torune, Root 592."

So. Danzo had been taking clan children, as well.

"Everyone within this facility is ordered to gather in whichever space Danzo used for mass briefings, which you will lead me to. If there is no such space, whichever will fit the full capacity of the facility," she orders, the words echoing again, while not letting her thoughts show on her face.

He nods, and turns to lead the way.

Permalink

The members have gathered by the time she arrives; her sensor confirms that all detectable signatures except theirs are within that room.

She signals to her ANBU team to cover the exits, while she strides to the front of the group. Her temporary guide joins the ranks.

"By order of the Hokage, Root is disbanded. All full members are to report for training and testing, to be integrated into the proper shinobi ranks. All recruits will finish their training within the framework of the rest of Konoha."

"Yes, Hokage-sama," the crowd says, mostly in unison. There's no other murmuring, no protests, no uneasy shifting.

"ANBU Team Wa will escort you to where you will receive your new assignments." Along with a second, hidden ANBU team.

They acknowledge, and file out on her signal.

One base down, at least four more to go, only one of those with trainees.

Permalink

The operations go smoothly and quickly for the most part - one of the bases apparently had an unusually strong-willed commander, who decided Danzo's last orders were more important than her new ones. She takes care of them easily enough; ANBU tend to be focused far more on stealth than on holding their own in a battle.

She orders her ANBU to gather and relay all papers and records they find to the ANBU Commander, and informs Ibiki that his department will be scheduling 'interviews' with the higher ranked Root members, or anyone likely to know anything at all.

They still have to sort out Danzo's spy network, after all, which will require a more delicate touch than showing up in person and blasting down the doors.

Permalink

Riza, of course, is the one sent out to find the more recalcitrant spies. Most of them have accepted that their usual reporting links now go to the Hokage. Some links have been severed, though, by the deaths when the Uchiha sisters went after Danzo and in that last reluctant base. She spends her last night in Konoha taking a few precious hours with her resonant, then heads out.

They just about have thoughts down. Sending emotions is easier, and it isn't that unprofessional if she's resting and her resonant is off-duty at the moment.

She's never alone, now, no matter where she goes.

Permalink

The news about the death of the daimyo of the Land of Rice Fields, Sound's nominal base of operations, and his sons reaches them a mere day before the new daimyo contacts them, requesting a meeting - with either body. 

They still don't know much, only that a 'hunting accident' was blamed, never mind that the old daimyo was a lazy ass who rarely left the safety of his palace.

Rian heads out with the Sound Four as their honor guard. The daimyo's palace is buzzing like a kicked beehive, and there's a palpable air of worry among the courtiers Rian passes.

They're waved into the daimyo's inner sanctum almost immediately upon arrival.

Rian pauses and bows when they enter, leaving their guards outside.

Permalink

The daimyo is seated cross-legged on a thin, heavily brocaded pillow. She gestures to another across from her, and says, "Uchiha Rian. I am pleased to finally make your acquaintance."

Permalink

Rian sits, somewhat uneasy but hiding it.

The old Orochimaru hadn't interacted with the daimyo much at all, and if he'd ever met the late daimyo's sole daughter, he hadn't remembered it. None of their spies knew much about her, either, at least not that could be scrounged up in a day - quiet and studious, spoken well of by her tutors, no signs of exceptional ambition. No signs of personality, period, or opinions on the running of the country.

"The pleasure is mine, Lady Daimyo," Rian murmurs. "We offer our condolences for your family's misfortune."

Permalink

"Your condolences are appreciated. Now, I know that my late father largely left your resonant to his own devices, and Orochimaru in turn stayed out of his way, but I feel we would both benefit from a closer relationship. I have been hearing rumors of some of your recent changes to the running of Sound..."

Permalink

"Yes. After our resonance, we felt a different way of running things might be more efficient."

Permalink

"Acting like a proper village, at least outwardly, is for the best if we are to rebuild the reputation of this land. This was once a great nation, did you know? I would see it rejoin the Five Nations among the annals of history. I believe Sound can play a part in that."

Total: 473
Posts Per Page: