Welcome to Cyberninja Quest, Ghost in the Naruto: Reloaded, directed by M. Night. Shyamalan. The Year is 2XXX, and business in the Hidden City of Konoha is bustling, and that business is all out corporate warfare. With the end of the 2nd alien war, military spending is projected to fall dramatically, and the current glut of arms manufacturers, pharmaceutical suppliers, and infosec concerns can't last. Profits are down, unemployment is up, and as the competition over contracts grows ever fiercer companies that once seemed all powerful are now struggling to survive. Is this the first step on a long road to peace, or the prelude of a new war? In our last thread, Yudao was betrayed by one of his employers, slaughtered his way through over two dozen men, obliterated a warehouse, took a short spelunking expedition, and discovered that the last remaining enemy shinobi is none other than the only daughter of one of his other employers, the head of the largest pharmaceutical conglomerate in the city, Yutaka Iwao.
Previous thread: >>1231914Archive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=CyberNinja%20QuestTwitter: @DeathMatch_QM
>>1245593For a single moment, the tip of a blade scraping against the underside of Yutaka Naoko's ribcage, staring directly into her eyes, you freeze. Those eyes are a portal to the underworld, a bottomless abyss with no escape. Every action, even lack of action, leads inevitably to your doom. You need to think, you need more information. There's only one person here who can help you find a way out of this now. You snap back into motion, swinging the sword up and away over her chest. With a heave you slam it through her pinned wrists and into the ground. You release it and pry your own blade out of her weakened grip. You sling yourself upright off of your injured arm, settle your weight ontop of her, and rest the tip of your tanto on her neck. "Yutaka Naoko. Why are you here?"She glares at you, frowning, but her mouth slowly creeps upwards into a grin. "Wouldn't you lke to-"You shove the point of your tanto tighter against her neck and her voice cuts out."I will ask questions. You will answer them. Try to lie to me and you die. Try to play games with me and you die. Try to escape and you die. Do you understand?"She glares up at you,"Yes.""Good. First question: >1)"Who do you work for?">2)"What is your mission?">3)"How did you know the location of the anti-psychotics?">4)"What is the access code of your kote?>5) Writein
>>1245599>2)"What is your mission?"
>>1245615>2)"What is your mission?""To ensure the total destruction of the warehouse, send activated nerotoxin to several specified addresses, and to kill the leader of the security team." Hmm, this complicates things. She's not working for Hirano like you expected. With that bit about destroying the warehouse it sounds like Yutaka's doing, but why would Yutaka want you dead? She was also leading a team of Sugiyama's men. Or was she? There's been no way to contact Sugiyama, and there were infiltartors in the Yutaka security team. Could she have killed Sugiyama's team and taken their place? But then why Sugiyama's orders? And what was that about transporting neurotoxin? You still need more information. >1)"Who gave you those orders?">2)"What adresses?">3) Writein
>>1245681>1)"Who gave you those orders?"
>>1245851>>1245915>1)"Who gave you those orders?""My Father. W-" you glare at her and the sound dies in her throat. This, this is bad. Possibly worse case. Yutaka put a hit out on you. Finally decided you knew too much? Got tired of your voice? Maybe didn't appreciate you stealing the chemicals he explicitly told you to destroy? But how did he find out? Naoko here knew about the anti-psychotics, both what they were are where they were. You have a suspicion the addresses she was going to bomb with neurotoxin are the same ones you have. That's not information that just gets left lying around. Someone was watching you, everywhere you went. Listening in on your encrypted calls, your talks with Hirano. You're the head of securty at his company! You know those meetings weren't bugged! It had to have come from Hirano. But he's not stupid, or at least not this stupid, this isn't a game, look what Yutaka planed to do to him! There's no way he's cooperate. Willingly. It's been a few hours since you last spoke to him. Longer since you've met in person... Things are progressively getting worse. Yutaka has decided to have you killed, Hirano is either dead or has been so thouroughly beaten into submission he might as well be, all that's left is Sugiyama. The notion of him 'protecting' you from Yutaka is laughable, even if he'd try it would never work. These questions are just digging you deeper and deeper into your grave. Time to stop digging and start looking for ways out. You have a hostage, a pretty valuable one too. Perhaps too valuable. Running, is impossible. And the only people who could possible stand up to Yutaka, there's a reason you retired. Death is better than going back to them. No, there has to be a way out of this, something you're missing. Why would Yutaka send his daughter to kill you? He's not the type of man to overestimate people, or make rash decisions. This situation you're in right now is pretty bad for him all things considered. You go where he tell you, he knows where you live, there are a lot of easier ways to kill you if that's all he wanted. There are more questions, some that might need a third party to answer them.>1) "Why were you chosen for this mission?">2) Knock her out and drag her to the network access point. You have some questions for her father.>3) Writein
>>1245948>2) Knock her out and drag her to the network access point. You have some questions for her father.She might not know.
>2) Knock her out and drag her to the network access point. You have some questions for her father.You flick the tanto to the side and press the flat against the side of her neck, hard. She starts struggling but when you turn the blade slightly and nick her skin she stops. After a second her eyelids start drooping, and a few second later her whole body drops slightly as she goes limp. You hold the pressure for another minute just in case. She'll be fine. Probably. Now there's the matter of transportation. You have one working arm, severe damage to your back, and she's currently nailed to the ground through her wrists with her own sword. Well, her bleeding to death while unconscious would be bad, she could wake up at any moment, and you could use a handle... You put your tanto between your teeth, grab her by the wrists and stand up. It takes a mighty heave, and your back almost gives out, but you manage to pull her out of the ground, sword and all. You look around to get your bearings, turn towards the access point, and start walking, dragging her limp bdy behind you. Strangely, your back doesn't hurt nearly as much as it did a few minutes ago. That's probably a bad sign. Dragging a body is hard work when you can barely stand, but at least your legs seem to be working. Only a few more miles to go. Only a few more minutes until she wakes up, one of you dies of bloodless, or the suspiciously absent police response ti that massive explosion finally shows up. A lot of pain and dragging later, you finally start picking up signal. It's four forty-five, pretty late, this was supposed to have been over a while ago. Already, a faint trickle of chakra is flowing into you. You could send a message out now, but you might not like the response. You could wait, try to get enough energy to repair some damage and more thoroughly secure your prisoner, or you could get out of here. These relays are monitored, Yutaka at least will know if you start doing anything overt. You look behind you, there's also the matter of her kote. It too should be picking up a charge. If she's going to make a break for it, now would be the time. >1) Remove her kote, try to get access to it>2) Use your own, restrain her and heal yourself>3) Contact Yutaka>4) Transport both of you somewhere less exposed
>>1246071Ah, forgot one.>5) Writein
>>1246071>1) Remove her kote, try to get access to it
>1) Remove her kote, try to get access to itYou shove the sword she's impaled on into the ground and sit on it, pressing it further in. Then you reach up, take the tanto out from between your teeth, and take a glance at her arms. Most people tend to keep their kote on their arms, there's no real reason for it, it works equally well anywhere, but there's something to be said about being able to see it just by glancing down. It's reassuring. This girl, on the other hand, has nothing on her arms but a coating her own blood. You hope she's not one of those crazies who implant them in their bodies, that could get ugly. Thankfully a quick recon of her limp body reveals a lump on her right thigh. With a few moments of careful slicing you manage to expose it, a dull metal plate, featureless but for a laser enscribed spiral in the outline of a leaf. A quick moment of inspection with the point of your tanto and you find the catch and pry the faceplate off. You're greeted by a sprawling complex of circuitry, wiring, and metal enclosures. There are a lot of possibilities in that small device, for you and for her. You put the tanto back in your teeth, reach up to your shoulder and press down on the exposed edge of your own kote. A spring-loaded catch pops open and you pull free a cable topped by a pair of sharp prongs. You bring it close to the exposed wiring and sweep it back and forth. As you do, a bizarre buzzing odor fills your head, the sensory feedback of the probe. Too hot, too leathery, to wet, almost there, got it! You jam the probe into the side of a black plastic cube and send a small spike of chakra through it. In response there's a puff of grey smoke, a short electrical discharge, and suddenly your senses expand until you encompass two bodies. Carefully, you move one of your four eyes to a red alert box and select the option to ignore the security warning. Moving slowly you navigate through several menus until you find the release button and press it. You fall back into one body and an audible click signals the release of the kote. You grab it and pull it free of it's socket, leaving a patch of raw, red skin exposed to the air. Now, what to do with this thing? >1) Search through it for information. You don't expect much, but there might be something useful.>2) Try to drain an last bit of chakra out of it into your own kote. You doubt there's much, but she might have been saving some for a surprise>3) Connect to the relay>4) Writein >If you chose 3, choose one each of:>3.1) With her kote, making it look like she's alone>3.2) With your kote, making it look like you're alone>3.3) With both kote, making it look like you're working together>and:>3.X.1) Transport both of you somewhere more private>3.X.2) Contact Yukata>3.X.3) Pull in chakra, secure the prisoner, heal wounds
>>1246204>3) Connect to the relay>3.1) With her kote, making it look like she's alone>3.X.3) Pull in chakra, secure the prisoner, heal wounds
>3) Connect to the relay>3.1) With her kote, making it look like she's alone>3.X.3) Pull in chakra, secure the prisoner, heal woundsFocussing your intent, you let your mind seep into your kote, and then through the link into hers. It's somewhat difficult in your condition, you can feel your concentration slipping. Quickly, you tune into the relay and switch into recharging mode. Instantly, a surge of chakra floods into the link, you struggle to hold it together and pull it through into your kote. The first drop reaches you and you immediately throw it into the link, taking some of the burden off you mind, more and more follows it, and you strengthen the link further. Finally, you let it in. Your posture straightens, the exhaustion flooding you washed away. Unnoticed half-shut eyes snap open, your vision clears, and the beginnings of a pounding headache recead. Your back screams in agony, your arm burns like it's doused in molten lead, and your heart races into overdrive. How close were you to dying just now? You shift in your seat and check the sword pinnig your prisoner's wrists to the ground. Worryingly, it's several inches higher than you remember it. You leap to your feet and avoid a sudden slash as she rips the sword out of the ground and swings it at you in a sudden burst of strength. She staggers onto one knee and takes another swing at you, her arms still impaled on the blade. You reach out, catch the swing and twist it, throwing her back onto the ground. Still holding the blade you put your foot on her stomach and push her down. Time to deal with this. With the torrent of chakra flooding into your body it's easy to begin moulding chakra into your foot. You concentrate it, warping and wrapping it through your kote, encoding it. With a snap you release your foot and black tendrils explode from it, wrapping the girl tightly and then constricting, bundling her up into a ball with her arms pinned behind her back. Reaching around, you grab the other end of the sword and pull it out of her wrists. She gasps and a stream of blood quickly starts falling onto the ground, but you put your hand on her arms and just like before, shove chakra through your kote and into her. There's a burning smell, and your hand glows green, She cries out in pain and tries to move, but remains ttally motionless. A few second later, you remove your hand, revealing fresh, uninjured skin. One problem taken care of, you begin to focus on another, your arm. You focus the chakra into yourslf and probe around your shoulder. One shoulder blade is pretty much destroyed, charred all the way to the marrow. The shoulder itself is a mass of swollen partially cooked muscle exposed directly to the air. Your arm, you can barely reach, it's almost totally disconnected, held on more by scraps of your uniform than anything else. --continued--
>>1246374For now, you dull the pain, close off the arteries and focus on regenerating blood. Trying to repair all that right now will take a while and probably knock you out. Later, if there is a later, you'll deal with it. Speaking of which-There's an incoming call through the relay. You don't recognize the sender's address, but realistically there's only so many people it could be. You're considering whether to pick up or not when it automatically connects. That probably means- "Naoko, report." A Light, almost bored voice emanates from her kote. Yutaka.>1) Pretend to be his daughter. A somewhat challenging task, but you have a decent idea of what she sounds like.>2) Use your own voice, maybe it'll set him off guard>3) Don't answer.>4) Writein.
>>1246378>1) Pretend to be his daughter. A somewhat challenging task, but you have a decent idea of what she sounds like.Might find out more even it's a bit.Goodnight. Great run.
>1) Pretend to be his daughter. A somewhat challenging task, but you have a decent idea of what she sounds like.Carefully altering your voice you reply, "Mission Successful, all objectives complete.""Hmm? Good. Excellent even. You pass," the voice is different this time, less bored, but with a hint of scepticism. Did you say something wrong? Did he not expect her to succeed? Pass? There's no way you can drag this out, he's probably just going to tell her to report back for debriefing. You have to say something."Pass? What are you talking about?" She didn't say anything about 'passing', and unless she's an excellent liar she was telling the truth. She strated out kind of insubordinate with you, and you had a knife to her throat, she's probably pretty disrespectful, even to her father. There's a pause and the line goes silent for a few seconds. Did you just blow it? Maybe she's just like that with people who were trying to beat her to death. Stress affects everyone afeter all. Or maybe she's soft on her father? You can't imagine that man showing any kind of affection to anyone, but you never know, some women are into that. "Just a little job interview. Congratulations again on surviving. I was skeptical about replacing him, but it all seems to have worked out." Close one, guess he was just surprised. 'Replacing him' huh? If he's talking about you, it makes sense. hire a replacement, test the new one on the old. A little creepy to do that to your own daughter, but that's Yutaka, practical to a fault. "Oh, one more thing.""Yes?""Next time, when you have a bright idea, talk to me first, will you?" What's he-"Bring my daughter in when you report. She is alive isn't she?" That- he- you sigh."Yes sir." The line goes dead. What just happened? >To be Continued
>>1246521This is really good! Thanks for running OP!
Yutaka definitely just tried to kill you. But he seemed surprised to learn you were dead. He also now knows you're not dead. Or did he already know? He didn't know if his daugher was alive, but he didn't seem to be worried either way. That whole conversation bothers you. 'Just a little job interview'?'Congratulations on surviving'?'It all seems to have worked out'? This was a test? For who? He mentioned replacing someone, probably you, so for his daughter? To replace you? But he wasn't talking to Naoko at the end, he knew it was you. Later, there was something more relavent, simpler. 'Next time, when you have a bright idea, talk to me first, will you?' That at least was clear, a warning. He knew about Hirano and the anti-psychotics, and he wasn't happy about it. But a warning after trying to kill you? A job interview? Congratulations on surviving? Maybe all of them. You go behind his back. He decides on a warning, but someone wants your job, says they can do it better. If they can, there's no reason to keep you around. Replace you with someone more loyal. if they can't, they're not worthy of the job, you get another reason to stay loyal. But what if you didn't figure it out? What if you just thought Sugiyama betrayed you, or Hirano? Or what if you just killed everyone? If Hirano betrayed you, you'd stop working for him, be willing to work against him.if you thought it was Sugiyama, you'd have no reason to hold back anymore. You'd have to give everything you had on him to Yutaka and hope it was enough to keep his favor.If you just killed everyone, what does he lose? Just men, just his daughter. You shudder, somethings off here. He doesn't normally act this way, throwing so many things away at once. He wants Sugiyama's head, yet he was willing to lose both of the highest-placed infiltrators he has. Even that warehouse, insurance can cover a lot, but can he really be coming out on top in that deal? So many things could have gone wrong. This is all adding up to a lot of time and money on a slim bet. Yutaka's planning something, something big. For now, at least, those plans seem to include you. You doubt he'd go through all that trouble just to kill you now. You both you he could do it anytime he wanted to. No, he's planning to wring every last drop out of you first. He's got you bad, and his grip only gets tighter. With Hirano gone you've got no identity, you can be sure Yutaka will graciously provide one. You should be worried, you should be desperate to find a way out. But for some reason you can't quite explain, the edges of your mouth are creeping upwards. Just when you were starting to get bored, just when you were settling down and letting yourself fall into a relaxing routine, this happens. Things are getting interesting again. --continued--
>>1249269For right now, though, you look around you. Absolutely nothing. Just you and your prisoner. You should probably get moving. Yutaka didn't seem too concerned with timetables, but Sugiyama is always chombing at the bit for info. You're also still pretty badly injured, and barely clothed for that matter. Your suit has pretty much been reduced to a pair of shorts and one sleeve. First, there's the matter of the prisoner, Naoko. She's currently lying immobile on her side, wrapped tightly in black cabling so tightly she can't move a finger. You walk over and crouch down in front of her, tapping her kote in your hands. "Well, I have some good news and some bad news. Which would you like to hear first?"She glares at you, twitching her face muscles as best she can to try to get her displeasure across."No preference eh? Let's do bad first then. Apparently you're not supposed to kill me. I know, I know, your mission. Turns out it was a sham! I know! I'm surprised too!" You pause, looking for a reaction, nothing."Also, in all the exitement, it seems like I accidentily broke your kote." You wave the device in your hands in front of her, before channelling some chakra into lightning and frying it in a burst of smoke and sparks before tossing it to the side."Whoops! Oh well, good news now! It turns out I'm not supposed to kill you either! This whole night has been one big misunderstanding! Really kills the mood doesn't it? So, I'm going to release you now, and you're going to come with me. Remember, no killing!" You tap her on the side, and the cables loosen and retract. Slowly, she uncurls herself and stands up. You rise with her, not breaking eye contact. She rolls her shoulders and starts rubbing her wrists where you shoved her sword through them. "Oh, one final question. You are the captain of Sugiyama's hit squad right? Not that other guy back there?"She frowns and spits blood on the ground."I'll take that as a yes." Now then, where to first?>1) Head for Yutaka first, you can get a new uniform and medical in the security station on the way.>2) Head for Sugiyama first, he'll probably appreciate the battle-damage>3) Head for somewhere more private, you and Naoko need to talk>4) Writein
Ah, it seems the fateful day has come. No one's here.Time to enact emergency measures. Vote whenever, I'll check the thread at random intervals and respond if there's anything there. I'll probably still be around most often during the 00:00 to 04:00 timeslot, but who knows. For now, I'm off!
>>1249270>1) Head for Yutaka first, you can get a new uniform and medical in the security station on the way.Sorry for being late.
>>1249562>1) Head for Yutaka first, you can get a new uniform and medical in the security station on the way.Whatever Yutaka's up to, you need to know, now. He comes first. You send out a command to the relay, requesting transportation. Yutaka's got his fingers in a lot of pies, the transportation network being one of them. Large shipments of goods are constantly being shuffled around the city, but not all of those goods are what they claim to be. By shifting imaginary merchandise between stores, warehouses, distribution centers, and private residences, a chain of connections can be made that spreads in every direction at once. Somewhere out here another warehouse connected to this link is going to ship out a few crates of oranges. A few seconds later there's an energy surge and a flash of light. The world dissolves away, and the disorienting sensation of being simultaneously squeezed through a staw, shaken violently, and then slammed face first into a wall replays itself a half dozen times. It's impossible to tell exactly how long transportation like this will take, and depending on how full the network is or how much attention is being paid to it's motion it can be faster to walk. This time, it only lasts half a minute at most. With another flash, and a lungful of ozone, you appear in a small, empty room covered floor to ceiling in plain white tiles. You turn to the side and check behind you, Naoko's still there, still glaring at you. You glance over the whole room, thinking. This time, it'll be... left- The wall to your right slides back and swings open, revealing a figure wearing the same pristine white Yutaka security uniform you started out in tonight. Damnit, every time. He steps back and to the side of the door after a second, and you stride past him into a hallway. pristone, featureless, white tile. Just like everywhere else in this part of the building. Naoko follows you out of the room and you can't help but notice how much she stands out in her uniform. Dull gray is practically black in comparison to the walls, your eyes hurt just looking at the contrast. By comparison, the guard is just a slight distortion in the in the tiles. The Guard turns to the door and slides it shut back into the wall, leaving the hallway completely featureless. He turns to you and says "Debriefing, twenty minutes, both of you." before turning around and walking down the hallway, disappearing around a corner after a few steps. "Well, you heard what he said. See-" you turn around and Naoko's gone, just like the guard "-you there." You hate this place. After memorising the entire layout the first time you came through, you've still gotten lost every time. The layout's never the same, always very close, but never exactly. Either the building rearranges itself or you're getting sent to different locations. --continued--
>>1249904Ten minutes later you find what you're looking for, a medical station. A low metal table sits in the center of a room, other than that and a locker by the far wall, there's nothing. Same featureless white tile, same flat soft lighting that leaves no shadows. You approach the table, one one edge there's a small slot, you open the catch on your kote, pull out the connector, and plug it into the table before lying down on it. With the slightest effort you channel a small amount of chakra through your kote and begin the same automatic regeneration function you used earlier. This time, there's no immediate pain, no surge of chakra. Instead, a feeling of heat gradually builds in the table below you, and you find yourself slowly rising off of it into the air. There's a pulse of light and a horrific crackling sound as your entire right arm is stretched out, rotated, and then torn free of your body. Before you can draw in enough breath to scream the heat below you triples in intensity, your entire back goes totally rigid as if it was glued in place, and you jerk upwards again accompanied by another sickening ripping sound. The wind is sucked out of you, the pain is so intense you can barely even feel it anymore. Then the regeneration starts. You black out. You wake up lying on the table, drenched in sweat, naked except for the metal band around you left arm. You roll off the table and onto your unsteady feet, unplug your kote fromthe table, walk over to the locker, which clicks open at your approach, and retrieve a neatly folder uniform. You dress as fast as you can and leave the room. You hate this place. --continue--
>>1249907Another five minutes and you find the elevator, a featureless white panel in a featureless white hallway. It opens as you approach, revealing a featureless white box. As you step inside the doors close. There's no sensation of movement, no vibration, no sound. A few seconds later the door opens and you step out into a polished marble floor. Directly in front of you there's a glass and chrome desk, empty except for a single picture frame. Standing infront of it is Naoko, still wearing the same light grey uniform from before. Behind the desk, a tall, thin man with grey hair sits in a white leaher office chair with his arms folded in his lap. Behind him, the entire wall is one window looking out over the city. Yutaka Iwao. Other than the hair, you'd think he was the same age as his daughter. In pictures from twenty years ago, when he founded the company, he looked exactly the same. You walk across the room, until you're standing next to Naoko. He unfolds his arms and leans forward in his chair. "So, now that we're all here, let's begin. Yudao, how would you rate the performance of my daughter? She had three objectives, two of which she did not complete, and the one that was accomplished coincided with your own assignment." >1) Focus on her faults>2) Focus on her good qualities>3) Give a balanced review>4) Be dismissive>5) Writein
>>1249910>4) Be dismissive
>>1249910>>3) Give a balanced review>>4) Be dismissive
>>1249910>3) Give a balanced review
>>1250003>>1250170>>1250483>>1250749>3) Give a balanced review>4) Be dismissive"Competant at taijutsu, above average ninjutsu usage, excellent teamwork and coordination, a little on the agressive side, but determined to win. All around an excellent shinobi. In other words, totally average. If there was a difference between her and the rest of her team, I didn't notice. The only reason she lived is that I recognized her face. With all due respect, I could beat her with one arm. In fact, I have." You cross your arms and glance sideways at Naoko, she doesn't seem to react, her face a neutral mask. Her father, as well, retains his usual placid expression."Hmm? Interesting, interesting," he shakes his head slightly before turning back to you and smiling "I suppose it was to be expected, with her inexperience. This was her first mission after all." First mission? As a squad leader? That does explain a few things, things did only start coming together for her once her team was already down most of it's men. A lack of command experience could explain those initial mistakes. If so, she's a fast learner. "Naoko, any progress?""Just one.""Oh? How dissapointing, I was hoping for at least two. One is better than nothing though. Congratulations anyway.""Thank you. It's... disorienting, difficult to use. But I think I have a handle on it now." You glance back and forth between Naoko and her father. What the hell are these two talking about? Yutaka turns to you, "It seems our friend here is confused, show him." Naoko turns and looks directly at you. For an instant, you lock eyes, before you reflexively flinch and look downwards. The color of her eyes, not black like before, red. Sharingan. "It seems you're familiar. Then you know what happened tonight won't be happening again. In fact, I wonder if I'm already stronger than you." You can't see her face, but you can practically hear her grin. >1) Ignore her>2) "We'll see.">3) Look her in the eyes.>4) "Prove it.">5) Writein
>>1252011>2) "We'll see."
>>1252011>2) "We'll see."Cool to be here for one
>>1252011>>2) "We'll see."Note; invest in Pocket Sand.
>>1252064>>1252433>>1252454>2) "We'll see.""We'll see.""How about right now?"Yutaka claps his hands, "Now now you two, you'll be working together, learn to get along." He smiles, and gestures at you "For now you're dimsissed, give my regards to our mutual friend. I'm sure he' dying to know my reaction to tonight. Don't dissapoint him." You bow your head, turn, and walk back to the elevator. As you enter and the door closes, you take one last look at the two of them, Naoko grnning, and her father gently smiling. You hate this place. Back through the maze of corridors, you find a guard standing in the middle of one of the many empty hallways. As you approach, he setp to the side, reaches into the wall, and slides a door open. Inside, you recognize the featureless room you arrived in. It's not in the same place as last time. Wordlessly you enter and the door shuts behind you. You send a request for transport and almost immediately there's a flash, you find yourself standing in a small, water-damaged concrete room in almost total darkness. After a tense second, you finally sigh in relief. You're out, back in one of your stash points. Every time you leave that place you expect to show up next to an armed bomb. This place isn't exactly safe, afterall, Yutaka knows about it, and he just showed he can send in whatever he wants directly from his headquarters. But it's a start. Next is Sugiyama, he's... different from Yutaka. Whereas Yutaka Chemicals is massive, everywhere, constantly in the public eye, Sugiyama Security isn't a name anyone recognizes, but half the buildings in the city runs on his software, and the other half wishes they did. His company is small, only a few dozen people, if that, but he has connections everywhere. If he wants something done, it happens. As a consequence of that, he doesn't even bother having a headquarters, or even an office. If he wnats to talk to you, he comes to you, not the other way around. He won't show up just anywhere, and he can take his time checking things out, probably part of the reason he's so impatient. There's really nothing you can do about finding him. You have the locations of a few drop off points, that's good enough for leaving a report, maybe even exchanging short messages. But strange things are happening with Yutaka. Sugiyama might be able to shed some light on what's going on, and you probably won't get anything but cryptic suggestions and insults over any sort of netwrok connection. You'll have to meet face to face. >1) Go to the nearest dropoff point, give him your report and head home, it's been a long night>2) Naoko has to report in sometime, if you looked around, you might be able to catch her at one of the dropoff points and find out what she's up to>3) Go looking for Sugiyama, if you wander around the city enough he'll find you. You could use somethign to eat anyway>4) Writein
>>1252912>1) Go to the nearest dropoff point, give him your report and head home, it's been a long night
>>1252912>3) Go looking for Sugiyama, if you wander around the city enough he'll find you. You could use somethign to eat anyway
>>1253040>>1253345>3) Go looking for Sugiyama, if you wander around the city enough he'll find you. You could use somethign to eat anywayYou need to talk to Sugiyama, in person. Yutaka is acting even more suspicious than usual, you've just learned that the promotion criteria for your position is assassinating the current occupant, and those eyes, those damn eyes. You never thought you'd see them again, not after you left the octagon. If Yutaka is actually related to a descendent of that acursed clan, things could go from bad to worse. Red eyes come from the octagon, and the city center is one hundred percent military, no exceptions. You have to know what's going on. Yutaka isn't going to tell you. Sugiyama might have something, and if not he can find something. He'd do anything in his power to keep Yutaka away from the government, unfortunately that probably means more work for you. First thing's first, you walk over to a pile of sagging cardboard boxes in the corner of the room and open them to reveal a pile of assorted clothing. You strip out of the pristine uniform and throw it in another box, filled with several others. You throw on a green T-shirt with a blue koi jumping across it, a pair of beige shorts, and some sandals. You don't spend a lot of time in this place, honestly you're lucky there are even shoes in here. You'll have to remember to restock or pick somewhere else or next time you'll be walking ot of here barefoot. You walk up to a metal door and shove on the handle a few times, loudly unjamming it and pushing it open enough to fit through. You're at the bottom floor of a parking garage, mostly empty, probably due to the giganic pool of water covering most of the floor. You kick the door closed with another metallic shriek and start heading for the exit. the first thing that always strike syou as you sep onto the street is the sheer, overwhelming amount of energy in the air. Your sensors are blaring at ful blast, even in passive. It's like being in the center of a continuous explosion. There's enough chakra humming throuhg the air to vaporise most of these buildings, maybe even enough to replace them. Any work with sensrs is practically useless here, back to the basics. Right now you're downtown, on the southern side of the city, near the center. You could probably see the octagon from here if you faced in the right direction, but that's not where you're going. You need to go further south, into the less dense areas of the city. You say less dense, but the streets are totally empty, wide expanses of highway between towering pillars of buildings. --continued--
>>1253564As you walk down the empty street, you wonder once again why most people never seem to question the wide, regularly spaced, and brightly lit roads all across the city. Most of them never get used. There's no need for trucks due to the network, most people do their shopping from home, and for the few who people on the street there's never a real need to walk more than a few hundred feet due to regular transit relays. In the poorer sections of town, where the expense of constant network transit adds up to something significant, and the roads actually get used for foot traffic, most of the space is taken up by stalls anyway, might as well be more buildings. The roads aren't there for traffic. In the octagon, they're not even called roads. They're buffers for barrier segmentation of the city. Each building can be isolated and contained independently of the others, the entire city broken apart in an instant into a billion splinters. Supposedly it's to facilitate emergency responce, or to make it possible to demolish old buildings in safety. Knowing who's in charge of it, you can't help but think there are other reasons. Idle thoughts fill your mind as you wander further and further south. Like why exactly you chose somewhere so far away from your destination, what you'll do if it rains, and what exactly you want to spend what could turn out to be the next several hours doing. The streets are gradually filling up, and the buildings gradually lowering. You can see small crowds ahead, and the signs of open stores. >1) Find an umbrella, maybe some new clothes>2) Look for something to eat>3) Look around for something interesting, you don't get out here much>4) Writein
>>1253567>>2) Look for something to eat
>>1253836>2) Look for something to eatFinding sugiyama, or waiting for hi to find you, is going to take a while, and it's been days since you ate anything besides cold field ration bars. You don't really know this part of the city that well, so you keep walking and let your stomach guide you. The crowd is getting denser and denser, quickly transitioning from a slight trickle to a river of bodies flowing in every direction. With no real aim in mind, you let the current pull you along, and admire the scenery. There are food carts all over the place, and while they make your mouth water, you can't help but feel it wouldn't be worth it. This may be the last time before another spell of nothing, you don't want to spend the next week thinking back on eating a hotdog. You continue drfting from street to street. Just as you're finally breaking down and drifting towards a fried dumpling stand your eyes are drawn upwards to a gigantic neon display of a mermaid combing her green hair into a bowl of ramen. Below it in large, red, strobing lettering it says 'Seaweed Princess'. It's so bright you wonder if people could go blind just by looking at it. Taking it as a sign, you walk through the entrance. Inside, it's surprisingly quiet. There isn't anyone inside. Not at the counter, not at any of the tables near the front window, no one. You walk over to the counter and call out into the back "Hey, anyone home? Ths place closed or something?" There's a metallic clattering and then a loud crashing sound echoes from the kitchen. A voice calls out from the back, as if from far away "What do you want?!""Food?""O-oh, just a minute, hang on, please examine our specials! They're on the menu!" That's, strange. That guy sounded pretty nervous. You take a sweeping glance around the front and still don't see anything, until you notice there's another table to the side, away from the window, in a small alcove behind a wall of drink machines. At the table is a dark skinned man so tall that even sitting he reaches halfway to the ceiling, so wide you wonder whether he needs two chairs, so muscular he looks like he was carved from a block of stone, and so completely covered in tattoos it takes a second for you to realize he's not wearing a shirt. He's leaning against the wall, with his feet up on the table and his head back, fast asleep. The voice yells from the back room "Finally! I was just about to pack up for the night!" A small, weasely looking man emerges from the back room and steps up to the counter. "I was beginning to think he'd never-" He follows your gaze to the side and yelps, jumping slightly before continuing in a much lower voice. "C-can I take your order?" The menu does look pretty enticing, and you're committed now, too hungry to leave. Besides, you were getting bored anyway, this could be a fun way to pass the time. >1) Ask about the specials>2) Ask about the man>3) Writein
>>1257752>1) Ask about the specials
>>1257752>>1) Ask about the specialsI hope they're stuff like "Cyber Ramen" and "Neon Udon"
>>1258861>>1258875>1) Ask about the specials"You said something about specials?""Yes, yes, the specials," he looks around on the countertop, pauses for a second as his eyes sweep over the sleeping man, and then pulls a paper menu out of a rack and hands it to you. "All there on the first page!" there's a grunt from the sleeping man and you both turn to look at him. He shifts slightly in his seat and then relaxes again. "T-take your time." You look down at the menu, Shinju Special - ¥888 - Ancestor of all noodles, origin of all broths, all natural organic blendSage of the Six Path - ¥666 - Six ancient herbs and spices promote harmony and cooperation of the palateThe Full Moon - ¥1000 - A recipe passed down through the ages, contains an ancient and powerful flavorInfinite Tsukiyomi Bowl - ¥3000 - Free if you can finish it, ingredients tailored especially for you (NO REFUNDS!)The Octagon - ¥444 - CLASSIFIED and back up at the man behind the counter. "You look like a hungry man, dare you try the Infinite Tsukiyomi? Many men have sought it's salvation, but none have succeeded. Or perhaps your wallet is light, and your hunger is large. The Octagon is a real bargain value, but are you willing to take the plunge into unknown darkness for a chance at success?" There's a glint in his eye, and even through his nervous twitching and flop sweat you can see the eye of a predator. What the hell is this place? >Order>1.1) Shinju Special>1.2) Sage of the Six Pat>1.3) The Full Moon>1.4) Infinite Tsukiyomi Bowl>1.5) The Octagon >Choose a seat>2.1) At the counter>2.2) By the window>2.3) By the drink machines (there's only one table, and it's occupied) >3)Writein
>>1260577>1.4) Infinite Tsukiyomi Bowl>2.1) At the counterWe will become the scourge of the Ramen Shop. The Man with the Bottomless Stomach!
>>1260670>>1260684>1.4) Infinite Tsukiyomi Bowl>2.1) At the counter"I'll take the Infinite Tsukiyomi" "Yes, yes, I knew you'd be up to it. But what kind of man are you? What do you dream of?" he strokes his chin, carefully looking at you for a few seconds before seeming to come to a decision and scuttling back into what must be the kitchen. "Just a moment, prepare yourself!" This place, that man, this whole situation is intensely bizarre. There's a feeling welling up inside you that you can't quite put a finger on. As a gust of hot air blows from the kitchen into your face, you suddenly recognize it. Hunger. The smell is overpowering, all consuming, you find yourself leaning forward over the counter trying to get a better scent. A minute later, the chef returns, holding a plain white bowl. Surprisingly it's normal size, maybe even a little small. Still, he carefuly, slowly makes his way towards you, a focused, determined look on his face. Carefully he lowers it to the counter and then gently slides it towards you. Inside, there's a dark broth, almost black, filled with thick reddish noodles arranged carefully in concentric circles. Arranged on top are several dark pieces of meat. You've never seen anything like it before, but for some reason it's the most appetizing thing you've ever seen. It's barely in front of you for a second before you've upended the entire bowl and poured it down your throat. the fullness of the broth, the texture of the noodles, the savory meat with a hint of spice, this is the best bowl of ramen you've ever had. No, this is the best thing you've ever eaten! What's the catch? With a clatter, you place the empty bowl on the counter and look at the chef in confusion. That was it? "What are you looking at me like that for? I thought you were hungry." You look down into your bowl, only to find it full again. When did he? You pick up the bowl again, and again toss it down your throat. The same as the first time. This time, you carefully examine the bottom of the bowl before putting it down. Printed on the inside of the bowl is what appears to be a stylized depiction of the full moon, In the center, the character for 'infinite'. The instant you place the bowl on the counter, noodles begin spiralling out of the image and broth seemily bleeds in through the bottom. "As long as you remain willing, the bowl will never remain empty. Satisfaction guaranteed, if you can pay the price." There's no way this bowl makes an infinite amount of ramen, it must be pulling it in from somewhere else. But this is fresh, he had to have just made it. Probably there's a whole pot back there full of this. Enough to overcome the stomach of any normal man. But you're not a normal man, and this is not a normal hunger. He doesn't know who he's messing with! --continued--
>>1262058You finish the bowl, set it down, and then without pausing pick it up and drink it down again, and again, and again! Five, ten, fifteen times! Anyone would be hard pressed to eat this much in a single sitting, but you've been dying for a decent meal and just regrew half your body twice in as many hours, you keep pushing on. You take a quick glance at the chef while you're lifting the bowl for your seventeenth time. You expect to see panic, despair, or at least acceptance. Instead, you see nothing. He's gone. You must have missed him leaving while you were occupied. A hot wind blows from the kitchen. That bastard! He's making more! This isn't a competition to finish a large amount, it's a race to see whether you can eat faster than he can cook! You won't be beaten! Twenty, twenty five, thirty bowls! Your stomach is full to bursting, your breathing is labored, your hunger completely vanquished. Five bowls back you almost choked. You're slowing down. Staring into your thirty first bowl, mesmerized by the spiralling loops of noodles, trying to summon the will to lift the bowl, you hear steps coming from the kitchen. In front of you the chef is standing, his lips pulled back in a predatory grin. "Every man has his breaking point. The moment where he has to stop and examine his reasons for living, for following his ideals. When he to admit there are limits to the actions of man, limits to what one man can do. Is this your breaking point?" Honestly, it's pretty damn close. You're not sure why you're even doing this. It's not like you need to win this conpetition. You have the money, more money than you could possibly spend on pretty much anything, let alone ramen. Why are you even here? You're just trying to pass the time until Sugiyama shows up, you don't want to spend an hour vomiting all over him. >1) Conceed, pay the bill. You doubt this guy'll mind you hanging out for a while, you're not entirely sure you can walk.>2) Keep going, follow the spirit of mindless competition, you've already gorged yourself past any sane limit, why stop now?>3) Writein
>>1262069>>2) Keep going, follow the spirit of mindless competition, you've already gorged yourself past any sane limit, why stop now?While we're holding the bowl, run fingers across it. Let's see if we can find the chakra flow. There has to be a way he's moving the ramen, if we can find it and pinch it we can win without eating all that he keeps cooking.
>>1262661>2) Keep going, follow the spirit of mindless competition, you've already gorged yourself past any sane limit, why stop now?If there's one lesson that life keeps trying to teach you, it's when to give up. One thing after another always goes wrong. There always comes a point where you can, and should back down. So far, you haven't learned that lesson, and you not going to start now! It's time to get serious. This guy wants to play dirty, you'll show him playing dirty. You're no ordinary stooge, easily overcome by the simplest of ninjutsu. You're one of the elite, best of the best, you've fought, and killed, men who used techniques that show this to be the party trick that it is. You won't surrender! You stare at the bowl, outwardly preparing yourself for another bowl. But inside, your mind is focused like a laser. The interference is insane, chakra is clogging the air around you, filling the entire restaurant with deafening currents of energy. But you're extremely close to what you want to see, and you have physical contact. This is doable. You reach into the bowl with your mind, tracing the symbols you remember seeing. Around and around the moon. Where's it's powersource? Where's the connection? At first there's nothing, but you remain focussed, clear your mind, and you can see it. The tiniest strand of chakra, humming in the bowl, looping through the material, connecting to the bottom. You can feel it. It's not active now, but there's a trigger on the bottom of the bowl, set to go off on contact with the counter. If you can sabotage that trigger, it will stop refilling, no matter what it's connected to. Of course if you do it wrong, you could force the seal active, and spray yourself with the entire contents of a boiling hot cauldron of soup. But that's a risk you're willing to take. Sometime you have to let yourself take an injury to succeed. Slowly, carefully, you lift the bowl to your lips. As the seal gets closer and closer to your kote, the sensor becomes more and more accurate. You can see the trigger, you're sure of the mechanism now. With the tiniest puff of chakra, you break it, severing the line beween it and the rest of the array. This is the moment of truth, you're either going to empty this bowl or pout boiling water all over yourself. You drink it down, slowly, and painfully, but you do it. The bowl is empty. You bring it down triumphantly, and glance upward at the chef. He's in for it now, what's his reaction going to be? As you set the bowl down with a resounding CLACK, he flinches slightly, but other than that his grin remains. if anything, it gets wider. "What's the matter Mr. Shinobi? Give up?" --continued--
>>1262964 You look down at the bowl, it's full. You check the trigger again, it's still broken. You check the seal, it's not active, there's no power in the bowl anymore. It's totally dead. But the ramen remains. "Heh, heh, heh. Won't be long now. You've reached your end." This is impossible. The seal didn't activate, you're sure of it. Experimentally, you raise the bowl and take a small sip. You gag slightly, but manage to swallow. It's still there alright. What's going on here? How is he doing this? Are you going to be outsmarted by a ramen chef? Slow down. Be calm. Think. Analyse the situation. The seal was definitely there, and it was definitely working until just now. But there has to be somethign else, something you're not noticing. Why did the chef flinch when you set the bowl down after breaking the seal? You weren't looking at the bowl, but nothing seemed out of the ordinary to you. Why did only he react? Wait. It seemed normal to you. Seemed. you've been feeling something strange for a while now. At first you thought it was just hunger, then it was nausea from overeating. But what if it was somethign else? Carefully, you set the bowl down. It refills in front of you once again, but you ignore it. Instead, you focus on your kote, reaching down into the processor and flipping a switch. Your entire body jolts, like you've been shocked, and your senses reel for a second as your chakra system is violetly thrashed around and disrupted. Infront of you, the ramen is gone, the bowl is empty. Genjutsu. The ramen was genjutsu! But your stomach still hurts, you're still bursting with fluid like you just swallowd thrity bowls of ramen. "What did I just eat?""Giving up hmm? I-"You stand up and grab the chef by his shirt, pulling him across the counter until his face is almost touching yours."What did I just eat?"The man is sweating violently, his eyes dilated like saucers. His lips flap soundlessly a few time. You shake him slightly and tighten your grip."Water! Just water!" he frantically struggles in your grip, futily trying to break free. You pause, still staring into his eyes, and carefully listen to your body. No excessive sweating, no fever, your heart and lungs feel fine, only your stomach feels off, but that's to be expected. He's probably telling the truth. "You found me out! No need to pay, no- I'll pay you! How's that? How about free food?! There are real things on the menu too! Free meal! Whenever you want! For life!" He's turning bright red, shuddering and tossing himself back and forth against your grip. You let him go and he flies backwards over the counter and crumbles onto the floor. --continued--
>>1262966From the side, you hear laughing. Low at first, but growing louder and louder. You turn and see the man who had been sleeping before bend over his table, laughing. He starts punding his fist on the table. "Hahahaha! He got you! I can't believe it! HA! Hahah! HAHAehooha! Tears are running down his face, the table is starting to warp under his repeated blows, and with a final hit it shatters completely and he falls to the floor, where he continues laughing, rolling around in the fragments of destroyed furniture. Behind you, a bell rings, and the door closes. A man wearig a bright blue pinstriped suit and tigerprint pants is adjusting the closed sign to balance on the doorframe. He turns around, exposing his bare chest, and looks over the restaurant with a stony expression on his face. "What the fuck is going on in here?" The man rollong onthe ground pauses his riotous laughter for a second and yells out "He fell for it! He fell for the soup!" and then begins laughing again The main in the doorway pauses, looks at you, and then breaks out laughing too. Looks like Sugiyama finally found you. >End part 2Not sure if that's it for right now, but it's a convenient breaking point. I'm going to have to write an introductory post into the next section so it'll be a while no matter what. While I'm here, questions, comments?This interstitial part won't last much longer, we'll get back to the action pretty soon.
>>1262968I enjoyed it, kinda slow and wish there was more people, but that'll hopefully solve itself.Also, we totally need to join in on that laughing and help the Ramen dude up, dude fucking got us. No need to be mad at an honestly impressive bit of Genjutsu since it didn't hurt us.
You just got genjutsued by a Ramen Chef. Sugiyama and the other guy are right to laugh, it's ridiculous! You! A Ramen Chef! You're alive! It was just water! But it could have easily been poison instead, or maybe ythe genjutsu could have been something different, and big guy over there could have walked up behind you and snapped your neck while you were distracted! You start laughing along with them. Almost killed by a bowl of noodles! After all these years, that's what would have gotten you! Soldiers, assassins, dangerous risks, deadly situations, you've survived situations so horrifying you can't even remember them! But this! This is how you would have died! It's hilarious! But, you have a job to do, can't keep laughing all night long. Slowly, you manage to clalm yourself down and stop, only to notice the restaurant is dead silent. The chef is on the ground, halfway to crawling back into the kitchen, head turned and staring at you over his shoulder. The big guy has stopped his rolling and is propped up on one arm looking at you strangely. Sugiyama is still standing in the doorway, rubbing his chin in thought. He walks over to a table and starts dragging it towards the back. "Hey, pretty boy! Get up and help me with this, we've got work! Chao! Clean this mess up!" The big guy levers himself off the ground, kicks some of the table splinters to the side, walks over to Sugiyama and grabs the table, picks it up, and starts walking back to the corner. Sugiyama grabs a chair and follows him, looking over his shoulder at you and jerking his head to follow him. The chef, chao, emerges from the kitchen with a broom and dustpan and starts sweeping up the wood splinters. You grab a chair and walk to the corner, sitting down at the table with Sugiyama and 'pretty boy'. You'd initially ignored him, wrote him off as just some local thug messing with the owner, but if he knows Sugiyama he's big business. You take a closer look at him. Nothing really jumps out about his features, besides the obvious, but the tattoos, gold dragons swimming through clouds around a sunset, say something. They're too elaborate, too high quality. No petty footsoldier could afford this. Combined with knowing Sugiyama, this guy's a Yakuza lieutenant, at least. Sugiyama looks back and forth betweent he two of you before speaking "So, I'm sure you're both curious. This," he points to the big guy "is Pretty Boy, he's part of the Golden Eight, head of district 4. And this," he points to you, "is Yudao, he's Yutaka Iwao's right hand man, and one of my most valuable associates." Golden Eight huh? That's big, they formed from the eight richest Yakuza groups in the city, one from each district, joined together and elected a leader. If this guy's in charge of district four, he's only one step from being boss of the whole city's underworld. You expected this meeting to be interesting, but not this interesting. --continued--
>>1265316"Now, down to business. Pretty Boy can wait, we talked before. What I want to know, is WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO THAT WAREHOUSE?! I HEARD THE EXPLOSION! You were supposed to blow up a few crates, not the entire building! And, while I am extremely happy you managed to remember to keep my squad leader alive, did you have to kill EVERYONE ELSE?!" >1) "Things got kind of heated in there, chemical things">2) "Your men were a little overzelous">3) "Whoops">4) Writein
>>1265321>>2) "Your men were a little overzelous"
>>1265321>2) "Your men were a little overzealous"
>2) "Your men were a little overzealous"You have no idea how much Pretty Boy knows about what's going on right now between Sugiyama, Yutaka, and you, best to say as little as possible until you know how he's involved. Sugiyama definitely knows abou Naoko, there's no way something like that got by him. But exactly how much does he know? And what does he know that you don't? And how do you get him to tell you? "Your men were a little overzealous, especially your leader, and well one thing lead to another." Sugiyama deadpans at you for a second, "One thing lead to another eh? Maybe she was trying to help me out, that one's got an eye for trouble, and you're trouble. If you weren't so damn useful I'd be rid of you. Feh." He spits onto the floor out the side of his mouth and shakes his head. "Anyway, if that's all you've got to say for yourself, let's move on. Pretty Boy?" Pretty boy leans forward on the table "For a while now I've been having problems with some tongs, think they're big, try to throw their weight around. Up till now, no problem. Few days ago I heard about them pushing some new product, without my permission. I went down there to correct their mistake. I pushed, they pushed back, hard. Lotta guns, lotta men, which is funny because all the guns, and all the men in this district come through me and I didn't hear a word about it. So I checked around, they're not coming through me, they're coming through this," he reaches into his pocket, pulls out a reddish piece of plastic, and throws it on the table in front of you. "Take a close look, I found it on one of the tongs" You lean over and look at the plastic, it's not red, it's just covered in blood. The edges are torn, and the surface is all scratched up, but you can just make out the outline of a stylized tree made from a Y and a C, Yutaka Chemical. Sugiyama reaches across the table and picks it up. "This is new, Yutaka doesn't normally get involved in street fights, so I find it strange that a street gang is walking around with his weapons. Pretty Boy here came to me with his concerns, and I did a little digging of my own. Turns out their new product, it's coming out of one of Yutaka's factories, the one down south in sector twelve. Now that, that's surprising. Yutaka Iwao in the illegal drug trade. It doesn't make any sense, it's not like he needs the cash! or so I thought! I started looking deeper, poking around in some records. Turns out things haven't been going so hot for old YC recently. Factory closures, mass layoffs," he pauses and looks dircetly at you, "mysterious explosions. Something's off. What do you know?" --continued--
>>1266632You don't know anything. This is the first you've heard about Yutaka having problems. Usually, when there are 'issues' you're the first to know, and the one who 'troubleshoots' them. But Yutaka hasn't breathed a word to you. He's been hiding it from you, to cover a weakness? No, if anything he's been more confident, getting stronger. "Yutaka isn't having problems. I'd know. Which means that he's doing this on purpose. I can't think of why, but that's the only-" suddenly a thought strikes you. Yutaka has more money than he can possibly spend, there's no way he'd get into the drug trade for just that. There are people who are paranoid about where their money is coming from, want things kept unraceable, you've handled that before. But what if someone wanted more secrecy, something totally deniable. Not just secret either, but in massive amounts. Red eyes. Your face goes slack. Sugiyama smiles slightly, "Ah, there it is, there's the moment. Figured it out? Yutaka's going black, isn't he? Ha! Crawling back to big momma government!" he claps his hands and chuckles. "I knew he'd do it someday. That bastard'll never settle for second rung, he wants all the way to the top! You know what this means don't you? If he's going dark, he got to get rid of everything," he fixes you with his gaze, "Everything." Yutaka's going black. Leaving the city behind and going behind the Octagon, fully merging with the military. He can't take anything connected to his past life with him, not the money, not he people, not the property, nothing. But he doesn't need any of that, the Octagon doesn't run on money, it runs on information, power, and favors. Right now, he's trying to leverage evreything he's got into something he can spend on the inside. That explains the warehouse, he didn't need it, get rid of it. That also explains Naoko. Red eyes come from inside, she's an agent of the Octagon. You have to get out, of all the things Yutaka has to get rid of, you're probably number one on the list. If not, that's even worse. The thought of Yutaka dragging you back with him is enough to make you consider suicide. You already can't see a way out of his grip, if he goes black, it'll be over for you. You escaped once, you'll never escape again. --continued--
>>1266637"There there kid, it's not all bad! This means there's only one option left, and I know you do your best work when you're backed into a corner. Come on, you can figure it out!""I have to kill him.""Congratulations! I look forward to the funeral! Now, there's a problem of course, how are you going to do it? Luckily, I've been talking to our friend here, and he's more than happy to lend a hand. Unfortunately, he's a little busy witht the tongs right now, but if he wasn't..."Pretty Boy leans in close and grins widely, "I'm going to kill the Crimson Snakes. All of them. The head, the lieutenants, the brothers, the footsoldiers, I won't stop until there's nothing but a river of blood. You help me, and I'll help you. Sugiyama says you can do it. Will you?" What choice do you have? "Yes." "Don't dissapoint me." Pretty Boy stands up, pats you on the shoulder, and then vanishes, no smoke, no sound, no rush of air. Gone. You instantly disrupt your chakra, and then send out a sensor pulse, but there's nothing there. No genjutsu, no ninjutsu. He's just gone. Did he just move that fast? "Pretty boy's a dangerous guy. I think you see why. Don't worry, he's invisible or anything, he's gone. But watch your back. I'll be watching mine. The Crimson Snakes are based out of a hotel up north, Jade Fortune or some shit, but they're also swarming around that factory. I can't figure out where their leader is. That's your job. Find him, get rid of him, get rid of the weapons. No timetable, but if I were you I'd hurry. Things are going to hell." Sugiyama stands up and starts heading for the door. >1) Go home, check your messages for any presents Yutaka might have left you, and maybe get some sleep>2) No time like the present, start the investigation now>2.1) Check out the Hotel>2.2) Check out the Factory>2.3) Look into the Golden Eight, try to find out if Pretty Boy has any alternative motives>3) Writein
>>1266641>1) Go home, check your messages for any presents Yutaka might have left you, and maybe get some sleep
>>1266641>>1) Go home, check your messages for any presents Yutaka might have left you, and maybe get some sleepGet some real food too, man can't live off just water and genjutsu.
>1) Go home, check your messages for any presents Yutaka might have left you, and maybe get some sleepAfter a quick stop in Chao's restroom, which you were happy to note wasn't also a genjutsu, you head outside. This is big, killing Yutaka. it's something you've thought about a lot in the past, but every time you concluded it was impossible. Now it looks like it just got even more impossible, but you have to do it anyway. You've got a hell of a lot of work, and not much time to do it in. You need a break, you can stave off sleep almost indefinitely with enough chakra, but you need to be ontop of you game for this. Even in perfect condition you doubt if you can pull through, no need to stack the odds even further against you. Your stomach rumbles in discontent. You need food, preferably real food. You decide to give up on looking for something good and settle on the first food cart you see. The sheer amount of grease in the fried dumplings you buy makes your tastebuds scream in agony, so you find yourself swallowing them whole like a duck. Better than nothing you guess. The smell of that genjutsu soup is still lingering in your mind. It really was the bets thing you've ever tasted, even if it wasn't real. Maybe you could learn how to do that to yourself, it would sure make the rations more appetizing. Time to head for district seven, you've got a place to sleep there, and it's also a dropoff point for any messages from Yutaka. Given the circumstances, you don't think you'll be staying there. A quick stop to check for any messages, then you'll head out for somewhere else that he hopefully doesn't know about. You step into an alleyway, throw on concealment and request a transfer through Yutaka's network. After a few minutes of waiting you're transported from the alleyway to a rooftop on the other side of the city. The building you're standing on is only a few dozen storeys tall, but this district is on a plateu above most of the rest of the city. Below you the city stretches out in every direction, it's lights just barely being overpowered by the dawn. Far to the south, the city rises again, the buildings growing taller and taller, reaching your level and then quickly surpassing it and soaring into the clouds. At their center is the spire, a single massive grey spike emerging from the dead center of the city and extending so far above the clouds you can't see where it ends, if it ever does. The other buildings might as well be blades of grass by comparison. You ignore the scenery and walk over to an air vent. Swinging a hidden lever in the base it lights slightly off the roof and you slide it out of the way, revealing a ladder. You climb down the ladder, pulling the vent cover back on as you go, and pass through a short section of ventilation befoe emerging into a dimly lit apartment. --continued--
>>1269993You cross the plush carpeted floor, avoid the velvet upholstered furniture, and walk to a dark wooden table with a printer on it facing a simple wire mesh tray. Empty. Yutaka's reward for a job well done is more work, his punishment for poor performance is more work, and his default response to any completion of any job is also more work. This time, however, there's nothing. That can't be a good sign. "Nice place you got here, I like your furniture, very comfortable." a voice drifts upwards from behind you You wheel around and see Naoko, lying down on your couch smugly grinning at you, holding a sheaf of paper. She wasn't there when you came in, or at least you didn't see her. "What do you want?" "We have a new assignment," she waves the sheaf of paper at you, "you got this, but it's so inconvienient having to meet up somewhere later. Much quicker to just come get you myself!" She throws the papers at you. You catch the sheaf and start scanning the first page. An assassination, someone called Tanaka Kazuo, and a picture of an old man with white hair and sunglasses, reading the newspaper in a bright yellow robe. Just visible down the neck is the head of a golden dragon. You don't recognize him, but you've heard of him. This is the golden dragon, the head of the golden eight. This is a problem. "Blah blah old man, blah blah famous ninja, blash blah head of the biggest Yakuza group in the city. Same old, same old. There's really no need to send both of us. I could do it myself, but I figure the two of us should be able to bang this thing out a few days quicker." She looks you up and down "You wearing that? Or are you gonna change before we go?" >1) "I'm busy right now, I'll contact you later.">2) "I was planning on getting some sleep.">3) "Get out." >4) Make a run for it>5) Writein
>>1269996>3) "Get out."
>3) "Get out." "Get out," you narrow your eyes and glare at her. She stands up and steps forward until she's in your face. "Make me." She's testing you. There's no reason to stick around here, and you weren't planning on it anyway. You don't even like this place. But right now the tone of your working relationship is being set. She's made a move to take charge, get you under her heel and keep you there. You have to explain to her who's in charge of who. You toss the orders aside, "Alright, I will." You throw a jab at her face, but she leans backwards and kicks at your legs. You swing to the side and grab her kick, but her other foot is already heading towards your face. Ducking under the blow, you shove her leg downwards, trying to force her to the ground, but she pulls herself towards you at the same time, flips upside down, moves into a handstand and lifts you off the ground into a throw. You push off her legs, make contact with the ceiling and spring back toward the floor from directly above her, flipping down and wrapping your own legs around her pelvis, going for a leglock. She kicks upward around your lock at your chin, you dodge the kick barely and she wraps her knee around your throat, locking it behind her other leg. You both fall to the ground. You can feel the strength sapping from your body, but you quicly put all your strength into your arms, and pull back hard on her knee, snapping it backwards and releasing some of the pressure on your veins. She screams slightly through her teeth, but you only manage a slight gasp before she uses her release from your hold to roll upwards into a sitting position and put her weight back on your throat. You try to release your legs but she grabs onto them and holds them together around her waist with both hands. Your vision is starting to fade around the edges, you could overpower her hold, but it would take too long. Instead, you reach your now free arms up under her arms, grab hold behind her back and pull as hard as you can while pushing down with your legs. There's a sickening pop, she cries out in pain louder than last time as her body lurches forward until it's entirely pressed up against yours. The power in her leg is gone, but it's still wrapped tightly around your throat. You start pulling your arms out from behind her back, your vision narrowed almost to a pinprick when it suddenly goes black, and then red. Your entire body freezes in place, your arms halfway to your throat. You flick the switch and start disrupting your chakra, but it's like your arms are moving through clay. Slowly, you inch them towards your throat and manage to get them under her leg. As your vision goes completely dark, you push with all your strength and throw bodily off of you. --continue--
>>1272796You can't see, you can barely move, and all you can hear is ringing, but through the sensor you have a vague impression of chakra close by, for now it's not moving. Some combination of genjutsu and a near loss of consciousness is making it hard to move, but you carefully roll onto your stomach and start trying to push yourself off the ground. As you regain your feet and finally begin to regain some semblance of vision, you hear a sudden violent cough behind you. Turning around, you see Naoko lying on her side, as you watch she levers herself up onto her good knee, and then stands up, snaps her broken leg back into position and faces you. She's holding a sword. She grins at you, "Look what I found under the couch!" She's different from the last time you fought, qucker, more agile, thinking farther ahead. Or seeing farther ahead. Either way, you're going to have to bring out the big guns if you want to take this any further. You still can't kill her, but that mission briefing said you had a whole week to complete it, surely no one would notice if she spent a few days locked in a box without any limbs. >1) Try to de-escalate before the building gets demolished and one of you ends up dead>1.1) Capitulate, go on her mission>1.2) Call it even, try to get her to leave>1.3) Distract her and sneak out >2) Keep going>2.1) Taijutsu seemed to work last time, you've got a lot more than a sword hidden in here>2.2) Bring out the ninjutsu, blowing up an apartment building probably isn't the wisest of moves, but it sure is the quickest>2.3) Take this outside, her sharingan gives her an advantage at low speeds >3) Writein
>>1272798>1) Try to de-escalate before the building gets demolished and one of you ends up dead>1.2) Call it even, try to get her to leave