The Firelands Job

Gatac 2014-04-14 12:24:50
"War is good fer business," the boy replies. He then turns to the house and hollers. "Oi, get the feckin' door!" Seconds later, the door seems to get unblocked from inside and swings open, revealing a few more young men, more overtly armed and ready to put the hurt on anyone who tries to get past their doorman. Beyond them, you can spot the stairs leading underground, presumably to another volcanic cave.

"After ye, Suneku," the young says.
Admiral Duck Sauce 2014-04-14 12:30:51
Raiden Suneku is supposed to be there, and the Blue Oni is confident to a fault, so Toshiba walks down the stairs. Going first means the thugs won't get the length of the stairwell to deduce any mistakes in his disguise, at least.
Gatac 2014-04-19 04:08:50
"You keep your eyes open, O-Rei," Rock Lee. "I'm expecting company."
"Ha!" the young man - O-Rei - laughs. "Yer a right puss, brother. Go on, I'll sort your company if they show."

With the door closed behind them, Rock and Toshiba walk down the stairs, with one of the as-of-yet nameless minions leading the way with a torch in his hand.

"This whole area's studded with caves and old mines, so we just took the biggest and built this little hut to hide the old entrance," Rock explains. "It's not much, Suneku, but it is our home away from prying eyes. We're digging our way to Stonesky - and once we're ready, we'll blow the walls and take the city from inside. We'll have control over the most secure trading post with the mainland within hours, and then we'll be able to land more supplies and men. Pretty good, huh?"


Outside on the rolling hills, Kiara watches eagle-eyed. Too bad she can't follow Toshiba further - but on the other hand, if he gets into trouble, she'll have to hack her way through all those guards. Wouldn't that be just awful...

"Hey, Kiara!" comes a young voice from behind her. She looks over her shoulders to see Bumi in her black outfit, shlepping half a meadow in grass and leaves on her back for camouflage as she commando-crawls up the hill beside Kiara. "Mako was being such a dick about everything, so I thought, hey, who do you know that's totally awesome and could also totally use some help? Well, it's your lucky day! Infiltration Apprentice Bumi reporting for duty! Who's the bad guy? When are we gonna flip out and kill some dudes?"
Admiral Duck Sauce 2014-04-25 12:08:28
"Clever, but risky," Suneku responds. "Who's handling the gonnepowder? You could blow the walls and collapse them right on top of you if you're not careful, or they could do little more than mar the rock."
Gatac 2014-04-26 09:02:28
Rock claps Suneku on the back. "Funny you should ask, Suneku - I'd heard you were a powder man without equal. Or did I pay you just for the name?"
Nevina 2014-04-26 12:53:06
Kiara quirked a brow at the approach of Bumi, mildly surprised at the sudden appearance. "Did you follow a trail this way? And does Mako know you've left?" Her tone was light hearted, but there was no way to guarantee that the young ninja slipped through as unnoticed as herself.

Not wanting to alert others of Toshiba's presence, Kiara decided that a shift in positioning was in order. She silently waved a hand at Bumi, indicating a movement away from their current perch. Eyes flicking across their surroundings, she tried to determine a good spot that would make them look like they were spying on something else while still within helping range for Toshiba. A precaution if Bumi had been seen. Not likely, but as a just-in-case. It was better to be safe than sorry.

Kiara took a moment to pause at her thoughts, almost laughing at herself. Since when was she the safe type? Regardless, she didn't want to blow Toshiba's cover, and perhaps moving slightly off hand would give her a better overview for potential action anyways.
Gatac 2014-04-26 14:17:05
"Well," Bumi says, "your friend Toshiba left kind of a big freaking trail of fire in the sky - which, for the record, is dope? But not as awesome as freaking dragon wings. So that pointed towards Stonesky, and I figured if I took a glider I could maybe follow without falling too far behind. Then I stole a horse and rode all night, that was less awesome, but I've got this kick-ass ninja tea I've been chewing and I am so freaking awake right now. Oh, and Mako? Puh-lease, sister. He's got plenty of other students to get pissy at, it's not like - like he'll actually miss me, or anything."

"Ooh, are we doing a tactical relocation? Awesome. I love that, I got my best grades in tactical relocation! Where are we going? We've got a pretty cool angle on the front door but maybe there's a secret entrance or other next level sneaky stuff! Like the air vents in that hill, yeah? Duuuude, maybe the mines down here are all, like, haunted? How freaking sweet would that be? Kiara and Bumi, demon-fighting duo!"
Nevina 2014-04-26 14:29:45
Kiara had to give the girl credit. She certainly had high endurance and drive, with or without ninja tea. She also suspected the girl would be sorely regretting it tomorrow. Grinning, Kiara cast a sideways glance at her new companion, "Well, lets put your tactical relocation to the test then. How about we take up your air vents and dance with the ghosts?" She doubted the haunting, but her face positively glowed at the prospect of doing more than sitting watch.

"Though you'll be sending Mako a letter after this is over, right?" Kiara didn't want to be complete irresponsible, after all. Scouting out the path, Kiara began slinking like a feline, slipping silently towards the air vents with full confidence that Bumi would be right in tow.

It probably wasn't a wise thing to have two brash decision making ladies put together.
Gatac 2014-04-27 02:43:43
(Kiara's Sneak: 1d20+16 = 33
O-Rei Lee's Notice: 1d20+11 = 24)

O-Rei may be keeping his eyes peeled, but he can only look one way at a time - and the hills and shrubs offer plenty of cover for Kiara and Bumi. Bumi leads them to the crevices atop a hill that look they were drilled down many decades ago and have now been eroded to resemble something natural. The air shaft that follows is twisty and narrow - it's tight for Bumi and oh-my-gods-what-if-I-get-stuck tight for Kiara, but the limber ninja manages to thread through, and finally the shaft widens again as it opens into the cave below. With hands and feet braced against the cave walls, Bumi and Kiara descend further, almost ready to drop into the cave, when -

"Yeah, I don't care," comes a voice from below. "We've been down here for weeks now. The fuck are we waiting for?"
"We're waiting on Rock and he's waiting on someone," another voice says. "Hey, the money's good. I'll take the money for waiting around."
"Fuck the money," the first guy says. "I've got to spend some of that in town, you know?"
"Do you need the woodcuts again?"
"Fuck your woodcuts."
"Well, if you don't want them..."
"Wait, no. Shit. I mean, your woodcuts are fine."
"Yeah, that's more like it!"
"Sorry, man. Didn't mean to insult your woodcuts."
"Never insult a man's woodcuts."
"Right, I'm sorry, I said I'm sorry."
"Hey, man, relax, it's all good, just busting your balls."
"Like I need any help in that department. So, yeah, no offense, but I've tugged it to every fucking splinter in Sakura Samurai."
"Ew, man!"
"Like you haven't!"
"I don't brag about it!"

Bumi looks up to Kiara. What now?
Admiral Duck Sauce 2014-04-29 08:59:36
Gatac wrote:

Rock claps Suneku on the back. "Funny you should ask, Suneku - I'd heard you were a powder man without equal. Or did I pay you just for the name?"

"You heard right," Suneku replies. "I was just making sure nobody else had been foolish enough to tamper with the primordial forces of creation while we were all down here."
Gatac 2014-05-01 10:26:39
"Of course not," Rock says. "There's a whole mountain just waiting to come down on us if we make a mistake down here. You'll see we run a tight ship."

The stairs finally end at a short tunnel that takes you into a large cavern, with multiple levels of further ledges and tunnels, as well as a few dozen men hard at work - and an underwater river snaking right through the middle, where men are dumping gravel into the rush of the current in an effort to get rid of material excavated from the assault tunnel.

"It's not much, but it's home, for now," Rock says. "Do you want to see the blackpowder now?"
Kagemaru 2014-05-03 16:54:29
Kagemaru carefully follows the hints Kiara left behind and arrives at the cave right when Kiara and another small figure climb into an airduct.

Swiftly he moves through the shadows, carefully timing his movement to the head movement of the guard and soon reaches the hole Kiara disappeared in.
Huh, I must have lost some weight. Kage thinks as he effortlessly slips down into the narrow opening.

Sliding down the walls, he stops right above Bumi, who has an inquisitive look on her face.

"Oh, you're the one who tried to bounce on Kiara in the city, aren't you?" Kage whispers to her, after sending a greeting nod to Kiara.

edited by Gatac on 2014-05-04 01:05:17
Admiral Duck Sauce 2014-05-05 21:23:52
Suneku shakes his head. "First things first. I'd like to get a better sense of this place's structure before we get too far into the demolitions work. How big a force do you need to get through the blast site? Where do these other tunnels go? How far down? How deep? That kind of thing - it's important to gauge the effects this plan will have on these caverns in general."

I might only know the minimum about gonnes and their powder, but I've lived in and around mountains my whole life. I know you can't just blow holes in walls without taking into account the rest of the rock around you, I just hope they sound like educated questions... Toshiba's no Kirika, so he tries to keep the conversation focused on things he does know about while coaxing as much useful information from the Lees as possible before the inevitable happens.
Gatac 2014-05-12 13:28:01
"Of course," Lee says. "I'm a bit of a geologist myself, so I understand your concerns. I think it's best if we take a look for ourselves. Please, after you, Suneku."

(Toshiba's Notice: Roll 1: 1d20+17: 1d20(12) 17(17) = 29)

...and that's the third time Toshiba's caught Lee nodding to one of the men when he thinks Toshiba's attention is elsewhere. Something's going on, and it looks like it's not in Toshiba's favor.


Bumi throws an inquisitive look to Kagemaru, then to Kiara, then at the two loudmouthed bandits(?)/soldiers(??)/future ninja victims(!) below, but finally looks back to Kiara for a signal - attack, or let them pass?
Admiral Duck Sauce 2014-05-12 13:58:59
To hell with this. I'll not be caught unawares down here without cards to play.

"On second thought," Toshiba-as-Oni-as-Suneku says, "better to properly secure the powder now, then get accustomed to the working space, safe in the knowledge a true expert was last handling the explosives. After you, Lee."
Gatac 2014-05-21 14:21:22
"Sure, sure," Rock says. "Come on, I'll introduce you to our geologist."

Rock leads Toshiba through a wide tunnel, through which the clang of metal against stone echoes. At the end, he finds several mercenaries driving metal spikes into the brittle rock with large hammers, while a foreigner with fancy dress and a thin wire contraption sitting on his face looks on. Toshiba can see that the walls of this little cave have been smoothed and used for various tests of the rock's strength, with notes carved and painted in chalk directly into the rock. As the foreigner turns to look at them, Toshiba can see that the wire-thing holds thin slices of ruby in front of the man's eyes.

"Suneku," Rock says, "I'd like you to meet Quennel Dumont. Monsieur Dumont, this is Raiden Suneku, our new explosives expert."
"Tres heureux," Dumont says, extending his hand to shake. "You are familiar with the use of powder, then? The soldiers only know excess, but our undertaking requires a certain...finesse."
Admiral Duck Sauce 2014-05-21 14:53:26
"Excess has a finesse all its own, but in this case I agree," Suneku says amiably. "This plan of yours is looking up, Rock. I'm going to inspect the powder stores now, and expect that they'll be as well-handled as the rest of this operation. Do you care to join us, Dumont?"

Lee's trying to catch me out now, putting me together with this other specialist. Flow like water, embrace Rock's plot like a yielding pool before dashing it against the (ahem) rocks.
Nevina 2014-05-21 18:32:59
Kiara passed a silent grin in greeting to her childhood companion before turning her attention back to the blissfully ignorant men. It was difficult to discern hiding places for their bodies, and it sounded like they weren't terribly enthusiastic for their duties. It would be the wise decision to let them pass, and simply sneak further into the establishment without notice.

She was about to grudgingly give the signal to pass when they mentioned waiting and the name Rock. Oh ho, a plot in which the obvious course is to clearly capture and pull out the blades? Surely no one would immediately miss two men who have apparently been waiting for quite some time..

Her decided course of action was to knock one out and leave the other--the wood blocker, perhaps--awake, if not incapacitated. Artists had a tendency to value their hands. That could be fun. But keeping them from crying out and alerting others would be the tricky part, particularly with all three of them crammed in a small tunnel as they were, which meant they couldn't spread out all at once as easily. If they waited for the men to take just a few steps further without looking back, the trio could slip behind them and get both at once.

The young woman quickly flashed her eyes about their surroundings, judging where they might hide the two men and conduct services uninterrupted. Quickly, of course. It didn't seem like a highly traveled path, which meant there was less of a chance of people coming by, but she didn't want to jeopardize Toshiba's work. Still.. she was quite curious to learn what bits these two knew, and they obviously weren't going to mention it in casual conversation for ease of eaves dropping.
Gatac 2014-05-28 15:49:56
Old ninja wisdom: squishy meatbags make for soft landings. Like a rain of pain, the ninja threesome drops down onto the hapless soldiers below, quickly overpowering the two. With Kagemaru's shadow garotte wrapped firmly around the neck of one and Kiara's toothy smile being enough to transfix the other, it falls to Bumi to break the silence.

"Alright, you losers," she says. "You better open your mouths...before we close your eyes!"
"What...what do you want to know?" the non-choking guard - the artist, as Kiara notices - stammers.
Bumi hasn't thought that far ahead, though, so all she manages is to look to Kiara for guidance again.


"I do," Dumont says. As you walk, he starts to hold forth about rocks, pumice this and parental melts that - Toshiba can barely keep up with the foreigner's excitement, though having spent much of his life around mountains and inside caves gives him enough insight into volcanic rocks to stay alive in the discussion. Rock tags along, clearly trying to figure out some new way to trip Toshiba up, but hasn't come up with any new moves by the time you make it to the powder stores - all thirty kegs of it.

Well, it won't blow the whole mountain apart, Toshiba figures, but it's more than enough to cave in the whole dig. Not exactly a reassuring prospect.

"Um, I'll leave you to it, then," Rock says. "Can I expect your assessment of the situation at dinnertime, Suneku?"