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2215 Burdett Avenue, in Upper Sunagakure

The Sietch Zensunna has a large collection of houses varying from small to large. The cave splits horizontally near the back and all the housing has been lined up on both levels. The upper level contains the nicer houses like store owners and businessmen live while the lower level is filled with the moderate to small houses and apartments where the majority of shinobi live. There is a large, ramp that rises up the 40 some feet to the upper level which is lined with more houses.

Middle Class Residential Area.

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Michi
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2215 Burdett Avenue, in Upper Sunagakure

Fri Dec 28, 2018 11:33 pm

23:33 December 28

Michi arrives alone at 2215 Burdett Avenue, in Upper Sunagakure. Over her right shoulder a leather bag that contained unknown cargo. She would pull a ring of keys from her left pants pocket and insert a large brass key into the lock. She would enter the building, a three story sandstone building that was about three stories tall and housed six households, one family to the right and one to the left. Exactly seven minutes later, a light would turn on. It was the third floor, to the right. The curtains would be pulled apart and the woman inside would peer out at the street as if she was looking for something. She would wait a full minute before she resigned herself to the confines of the apartment space. Too high up for the layout to be seen from the street, all that was apparent was the heavy curtains that flanked the window and the loud music that seemed to come from the apartment approximately a minute later. It was uncharacteristic of what one would expect from the oracle: Metallica-Master Of Puppets (Lyrics).

She was taunting him if he was out there.

Order of Operations
  1. Simple Trick of the Mind
  2. I Need About 50
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Re: 2215 Burdett Avenue, in Upper Sunagakure

Sat Dec 29, 2018 10:48 am

10:48 December 29

The music died down after 20 minutes, on a loop until such a time. The curtains remained open but the window itself closed. At 00:02 the lights went out, There was no discernible movement from the household, less the occasional shadow of someone or something walk past the window and seemingly peer into the street. It remained as such until 0800 the next morning, a faint beep that could only be heard if one's ear was pressed against the door or a wall would hear. The lights turned on and a woman in a sports bra and training shorts would peer out into the street. There would be signs of movement in the house but by 10:48 she would depart from the premises after closing the curtains and turning off the lights. Wearing a simple jacket and white button down shirt, a pair of earthen-hued pants and a pair of heavy leather boots. Over her shoulder a leather bag that looked a bit too large for the small woman. She would lock the front door and leave, she was headed in the direction of the Toraono Dojo.

Topic Left. S Rank. 1 Hour.

Order of Operations
  1. Simple Trick of the Mind
  2. I Need About 50
  3. 2333 December 28
  4. 1048 December 29
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Re: 2215 Burdett Avenue, in Upper Sunagakure

Sun Dec 30, 2018 10:45 am

She never came home the night of December 29 into December 30th. The house remained in place like a great silent tombstone. No lights shone, there was no signs of movement outside beyond the movements of pedestrians. Inside, it was hard to say with the curtains drawn but there was no obvious movement, the limb heavy cloth windows did not seem to sway. However, there was a delivery in the early morning hours, a large brown package. 82 inches by 38 inches, and about 5 inches thick. It would take about 5 men to drop the parcel off at the front step and it would bang loudly but not rattle as it rested on its side in the front of the residence. Perhaps this was a trick, a means by which she meant to draw out her onlookers if there were any, their curiosity getting the better of them as they rip into her package and see what they can glean from its contents. Or this could prove to be a missed opportunity, a truth that can only be learned by ripping away at the cardboard.

Order of Operations
  1. Simple Trick of the Mind (headset POC)
  2. I Need About 50 (homestead POC)
  3. 2333 December 28
  4. 1048 December 29
  5. Passage: 1200 December 29
  6. Trade Post of Comptois (letters created, not yet sent)
  7. Passage: December 29 1925
  8. From the Shadows I Wait
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Re: 2215 Burdett Avenue, in Upper Sunagakure

Sun Dec 30, 2018 3:28 pm

December 30, 1528 pm

She returned home in the early afternoon. She was moving slower than previous, her skin a bit paler. She was eating something, a piece of bread from the looks of it. A large bag slung over her shoulder, a shopping bag in her hand filled with unknown items. The bag itself was unremarkable, a smilie face with the phrase "have a nice day!" Written beneath.

Two hours earlier a woman matching her description was at a small storefront called "Nuts n' Bolts" a shop for tinkerers and mechanics. There she bot a number of items, a few brass plates. A few metal bars, springs and levers and gears. There were a lot of gears in several sizes. She paid in cash, was polite but overall did not stand out less the dark circles under her eyes and the tremor the merchant noted to her hand.

She would take note of the package, peeling it from the side of the building. She would rip the corner of the box, it was a dark metallic corner. Whatever it was, she seemed pleased by it. She would fumble with her keys, unlocking the door. The package seemed rather large, too large for a woman of her diminutive stature and girth yet she gripped the edge of the package and lifted the awkward and allegedly heavy package into her homestead. She would return a few minutes later, peer outside the door before the entrance was assumedly locked.

It would be another 7 minutes before a light turned on. Third floor, left side. The curtains would open less than a minute later, she would stare into the street. A book planted on the sill she would take a note of some sort before retiring into the depths of the apartment.

Order of Operations
  1. Simple Trick of the Mind (headset POC)
  2. I Need About 50 (homestead POC)
  3. 2333 December 28
  4. 1048 December 29
  5. Passage: 1200 December 29
  6. Trade Post of Comptois (letters created, not yet sent)
  7. Passage: December 29 1925
  8. From the Shadows I Wait
  9. December 30, 1528
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Re: 2215 Burdett Avenue, in Upper Sunagakure

Mon Dec 31, 2018 5:56 am

December 30, 15:35 pm

A dark haired man walked down the street with his hands in his pocket, whistling a tune, seemingly without a care in the world.

His gaze wandered around aimlessly, stopping on nothing in particular, though he seemed rather interested in the architecture of the buildings around him. This was a residential street, only a few years old due to the very recent migration of the Sunan population to the above-ground areas of the village. Architects had, of course, stuck to the traditional building materials around them — sandstone, limestone, more sandstone — but the need for a lot of buildings had given some up-and-coming building designers a chance to flex their skills and get creative. Each building was a little different from the last. It wasn’t uncommon for a person to be interested in the different styles and fashions that had integrated themselves, essentially overnight, into the Sunan landscape.

The man’s gaze had landed on the upper floors of one such building, address 2215, when all of a sudden a previously curtained off window on the right-hand side was flung open to reveal a dark haired woman looking out at the street. He didn’t avert his gaze — he had no reason to — but she didn’t either. For a brief moment the two locked eyes. He thought that was odd.

He continued on his way, not stopping to continue their staring contest. He was enjoying his walk, and the buildings’ architecture wasn’t going to admire itself. There was nothing that stood out about the man. He was just a guy on a walk.

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Re: 2215 Burdett Avenue, in Upper Sunagakure

Mon Dec 31, 2018 3:49 pm

December 31, 2018 15:49 pm

The next 34 minutes, the light remained on. There was movement inside but from the street it would be hatd to make heads or tails of it all. Then the lights would go out, the time 1622. For a time, there would not appear that there was life or movement. That is, until 2051. The curtains would sway, the possible silhouette of someone inside. The lights would turn on, once again less than a full minute later. A woman, unmistakably Michi would stand by the window, book in hand. It would appear as if she had just woke, her jacket off and the button down shirt she donned was wrinkled. Her hair, tousled and potentially finger-combed. She would stand there for about two minutes, again she would jot something down in her book before she clapped the large leather-bound tome closed and retired back inside.

There was some movement, the shadows were a sign of this. They seemed particularly lively. Then the music would start playing, it was old rock. It was the same song as before and it was blasting loudly. Loud enough that it could be heard from the street with some clarity, likely obnoxious for those that might share that building. There were buildings adjacent on either side, but there was some distance to cover before that noise would assault their otherwise silent night. A park to the right, swings and a slide, a paved area for the local children to play ball, even a sandy open area with a few flowering spiney plants. On the other side, a street. Her apartment was a corner property and two lanes separated her apartment from the next building, further buffered by windows and walls. If tested by a curious onlooker, the sidewalk before the closest adjacent residences, the song was audible if only barely. Likely muted in its entirety inside either building.

There was something off about the song, this distortion. This noise. Like an electric whine that on occasion would crescendo independent of the song. The occasional "ping", a series of rapid, sharp noises that seemed to be drowned out by the Metallica song on an apparent loop. The song and the noise would persist for about 7 hours. It would be December 31, 0433 in the morning when the song finally ceased. The absence would seem strange, like a gap in an otherwise perfect smile, like a fat girl in the gym, a vegan in a butcher shop. There would be no other noise, but there would be movement. The scent of food being cooked about 17 minutes later. A loud crash 36 minutes after that. The lights would remain on until 0509 in the morning. Then with the flick of a switch, they would go out.

The lights would turn back on at 0945. Then there would be movement once more. At 0948 she would look out the window and again jot down a note before retiring. The unknown movements would persist until 1056 in the morning. Then the music started playing again. There would be some noise beneath it all, however exactly what was being done was an unknown. That is until she made her way to the window she had been seen at several timed before. She opened the window, she was wearing different clothes. A than she was seen in last. A pair of camo cargo pants and a white tank. In her hand several bars, each about two inches thick. The bars appeared unusual, the surface uneven, the color "wrong." She leaned out the window and she started to 'install' these bars. Parallel to each other, vertically placed. She appeared to be a perfectionist in her endeavor. It took nearly an hour to complete her task.

Upon completion it looked like a brownstone with barred windows on the third floor, rightmost window. She would close the window, sealing the glass to pane. There were two sets of windows to the left of the median from the view of the observer. The next window, the the observer's right the next window would be opened and the process would be identical to the first. Again, shy of an hour to complete the task.

It would have been a dull process to observe. Thankfully, it was over for now. One curious enough to walk the perimeter of the building would probably stand out like a pregnant girl at prom, but curiosity potentially sated. The top floor had in total 8 windows, all street facing. There was likely at some point windows on the other sides but they had been bricked over. Of the window's top floor, only two windows had been barred over. The 6 remaining were unbarred, but dark, unlit. The two floors below, mirror images less the barred windows and the entryway.

She would retreat into the homestead for a few more hours. Almost three. The lights out for about an hour of this time. Eventually a woman would emerge from the front door, the time would be 1441 in the afternoon. She would be dressed in her usual garb, cargo pants and a button down shirt beneath a brown leather jacket. A pair of boots. She had a meeting to keep with one Miroku Akkuma.

Order of Operations
  1. Simple Trick of the Mind (headset POC)
  2. I Need About 50 (homestead POC)
  3. 2333 December 28
  4. 1048 December 29
  5. Passage: 1200 December 29
  6. Trade Post of Comptois (letters created, not yet sent)
  7. Passage: December 29 1925
  8. From the Shadows I Wait
  9. December 30, 1528
  10. December 31, 2018 15:49
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Re: 2215 Burdett Avenue, in Upper Sunagakure

Tue Jan 01, 2019 5:52 am

January 1 0552

She did not arrive home until late. She walked with purpose to the apartment building where she did what she had done each of the nights previous. Only it took a little longer, about 8 minutes from entering through the front door until the moment the light shone on the third floor. She would emerge from the depth of the apartment and look out onto the street. Jot something in her book before she clapped it closed. There would be movement, however the movement would prove brief. Then the lights would go out once again, the barred window that separated her from the outside world a strange reminder of where it was that she slept. Did she feel safer with those bars? Why didn't she place them sooner? There were more questions than answers over these past few days and in the days to come there would only be more.

Order of Operations
  1. Simple Trick of the Mind (headset POC)
  2. I Need About 50 (homestead POC)
  3. 2333 December 28
  4. 1048 December 29
  5. Passage: 1200 December 29
  6. Trade Post of Comptois (letters created, not yet sent)
  7. Passage: December 29 1925
  8. From the Shadows I Wait
  9. December 30, 1528
  10. December 31, 2018 15:49
  11. Deal with a Devil
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Re: 2215 Burdett Avenue, in Upper Sunagakure

Wed Jan 02, 2019 10:50 am

January 2 0950

She Stayed in the homestead for most of the day, the lights turned on at 1517, movement inside for about minute before the image would make herself known through the bars and the pane of glass. It was customary, her standing there and taking a note it would seem over what it as hard to say. She would retreat back into the room after a short time, about 3 minutes and there would be movement. The lights on the left side of the build, the viewer's right, would flick on. First time in a few days that there was any obvious activity. It would be reminiscent of the day before, she wore rather casual garb and leaned from an open window as she installed a set of bars in front of this street-facing window just as she had the windows adjacent. It took nearly an hour to complete her task, she was slightly faster, practice perhaps coupled with some muscle memory from the day before. The second, slightly less time. The time of completion was 1702.

It was not interesting to watch, not in the least this homestead, the top floor illuminated and the remainder dark and dead. Yet she would dip into the household and there would be movement, the scent of food cooking would hit the street. It would seem obvious to the observer that she was cooking but there were also a number of loud noises. Bangs. An electric whirl. The whine of a saw? Yes, it would appear that the oracle was in the midst of some sort of construction project. After several minutes, the sounds of music would start to play, the time being 1732. The noise she was making would still punctuate the tune. Bang. Bang. Crash!

The building would seem to shudder and shake, the noise too loud for the music to obfuscate. A faint light would be visible in the apartments to the left and the right. The time would be 1928. Through the curtains a silhouette of a woman could be seen.She walked to the window and opened the curtains on the left of the building, the observer's right. Her hair was speckled with sawdust as were her clothes. She did the same on the other side of the building before she retired back inside of the building. The music would turn off three minutes later, the time 1931. From here the building would grow silent and remain that way through the night.

The next morning she would arrive at the building, the time being 0950. She was never seen leaving the building, nor was there any sign that someone else had entered of left the building. Strange. In her hands she had two shopping bags, each filled to the brim with her recent purchases. She would unlock the front door and enter the building as she had so many times before. The lights were already on in the top floor, a dim light on the floors below. Seven minutes before her shadow could be seen passing by one of the windows on the second floor.
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Re: 2215 Burdett Avenue, in Upper Sunagakure

Thu Jan 03, 2019 7:03 pm

Michi had turned into a homebody. At least superficially, she was well aware of Oda's abandonment but he still had the day to fulfill his contract. Yes, it would be a week in a matter of hours and then she would be coming for him. Deals are meant to be honored and they had an agreement. Of course today she would be kept busy. It was obvious that she was building something, also that the apartment building was abandoned or at the very least that she was the only resident. If the use of light and signs of movement indicated anything, it could be suggested that she lived on the top floor, in the rooms to the upper right (for the viewer the upper left). Of course that was disproved when a loud, assuredly explosive force opened the second floor to the third. Of course the question was "why" but that was not a question she would willingly answer just yet. She was barring the windows apparently and brazen in how she obviously fortified her alleged homestead. Then the suggestion that there was more than what met the eye was revealed for those that paid attention, she did not leave the house every time through the front door. There was one time, just the one, where she had somehow escaped her household without being seen. There was a secondary means of entrance and egress that was not immediately apparent and it was likely that there were others secrets inside of there.

Today was all about finishing her installation of those bars. There was some activity in the morning hours, until 1047 at the very least. Then she would open the window on the second floor and continue the installation of her metal bars. There were a total of 6 uncovered windows, she would complete the installation process by 1355. She would jump from the second story window and land on the ground outside. She would stare at her work, perhaps she was admiring this work in progress but she was a hard one to read. She would pull something from her pocket, a box about the size of a deck of playing cards. She would compress a button, probably a cliche large red button. As she did so a loud BANG could be heard, the unseen but somewhat felt concussive force caused the structure to shudder and the ground itself to quaver. It was significantly more powerful than the previous. A testing ground? Perhaps. But why the effort with the bars? There were more questions than answers as always when working with her. This was no different.

She wiped the sweat off her brow and re-entered the building at 1403. She had so much more left to do. One could hear coughing if they walked past the building. It was a hacking, harsh cough that almost sounded like she was retching. The curtains would open on this ground floor. Finally something that could be seen from the bottom level. The ground was covered in rubble, there were not many personal items strewn about the garbage but there were some. She did not seem to care too greatly about whatever it was that she owned. The only thing of import being a large metal box in the center of the room that was covered by a thick layer of plaster-dust. It was not damaged and it had a massive combination lock on its face. Whatever it contained, it seemed to have value to the Oracle so that could only mean one thing.

She would sift through the wreckage, she knew where they would have fallen. The bars. Yes, she retrieved the items needed to complete the windows on the bottom story. There were less windows on the bottom floor, the front door took the place of one of the windows on this story. She was not going to stop. She would perch on the sill of the window and complete the installation of the first window at 1456, second 1537, third 1600, fourth 1631 and fifth 1658. That was the final window. Her building was not "secure" but from what? She did not appear fearful of Oda. In fact she wasn't at all. She was playing a game of psychological warfare. She knew she was being watched. That she was going to be watched. She was bringing attention to herself. She was not attempting to hide her movements. In fact she was drawing attention to herself. She was creating a sense of urgency. Giving abstract deadlines. Yes, she was screwing with them, but the woman was also multi-tasking. The building was significant.

But she had other things had to be done on this day. With the last window barred, she would entertain herself elsewhere. Digging just adjacent to where she had recovered her bars she would uncover a duffle bag. She would unzip the bag and reveal, a change of clothes, a bottle of water a towel and a brush. She was getting changed. She did not care if there was a peeping Tom peering in through her window. She would be changed and clean in a flash. Her old clothes in the bag that she would sling over her shoulder. Then she would make her way over to the large safe in the center of the room. She would open the lock, her body in the way of the combination. When the safe opened it would reveal her most prized possession: her books. She would look at the spines and pick one and add that to her bag. That was all she needed to do. She would leave, her day thus far productive but far from over.

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Re: 2215 Burdett Avenue, in Upper Sunagakure

Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:12 pm

At some point, after she’d arrived back at her house but before she’d exited the building, a note had been affixed to the front door of her apartment building by a man whom she'd never seen before. The note read as follows:
”Note” wrote: Dear Michi,

I’m sorry I haven’t been in contact recently. I’ve been working hard on your order, but something unexpected has come up! I’ve been called in for a mission, recently, which I’m unable to refuse. You know how it is, right? Unfortunately, this means my work on your order is having to be postponed.

Don’t worry, I still have every intention of completing my end of the deal! I gave you my word, and I intend to keep it. I’ll be gone for a few days, perhaps even more, so would you do me a favor and make sure nothing happens to my apartment while I’m gone? I haven’t had the time to replace the door handle you were so kind as to remove for me, so I’m concerned that it might become a target for a couple of hooligans that I may or may not have cheated out of some money at the casinos a few weeks back. You know how angry mafia henchmen get, right?

Anyways, hope you’re doing well! Seems you’re going through some construction at the moment, so I didn’t want to bother you. Hope it all goes off without a bang!

Regards,
Oda Yatamaru
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Re: 2215 Burdett Avenue, in Upper Sunagakure

Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:31 pm

She had been watching him. She was always watching someone, but she had her favorites. A few of them needed to invest in thicker curtains. But one Oda Yatamaru did not have to worry about that any longer, he had no curtains. He had no house/ He was safe. He was free. Well, not quite. He probably should have walked away, avoided her baits but he had to venture near enough the meeting place that she had chosen. She would not know the details of his past week, he had become a ghost but even ghosts show up for a haunt once in awhile.

"There you are," a calm voice commented from above. Yes, Oda was being watched and everything he was doing was being recorded in her little black leather bound book. "I see you have moved from your previous place of residence," she noted out-loud as she eyed the man. Did she know that this was Oda for certain, no. But if someone was able to so simply be unrecognizable by simply changing their features then the average academy student could be undetectable. For Michi it was a pattern of behavior, it was the fact that this person came to her house. She did not share this address with anyone but Oda. A purposeful fact. In fact she was giving everyone a different location where they could find her. It was how she tracked them, not the other way around. If it was not Oda, it was an associate of the tinkerer. Just like the location she shared with Miroku's son would be associated with the boy and tangentially his clan if she were to believe that the boy dutifully shared all he knew with his father,

It was how she could draw inferences between people and places. How she could learn who knows who and what they might possibly know. "A note... for me?"

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Re: 2215 Burdett Avenue, in Upper Sunagakure

Fri Jan 04, 2019 9:47 pm

"There you are."

”Huh?”


This was clearly not Yatamaru. Yatamaru didn’t wear a full-body jumpsuit colored a deep shade of turquoise-blue, a bandana-headband that covered the entirety of what appeared to be black hair (Yatamaru had white hair!), or circular sunglasses that appeared to be as darkly shaded as the man’s hair. His skin was pale, just like any Sunan who had lived the majority of their teenage and adult life underground, but that hardly was a connection to Yatamaru’s similarly shaded skin.

"I see you have moved from your previous place of residence," the woman stated. The be-speckled man turned around, confused by the voice which seemed to appear out of nowhere, only to determine it was emanating from above him a moment later when she continued to speak. She said something about moving, though the words meant nothing to him.

”Oh, excuse me, ma’am! I didn’t want to disturb you. You seemed busy, and I was just asked to drop this off for Yatamaru.” He clearly didn’t recognize Michi. He had no reason to. He wasn’t Yatamaru. ”Do you, uh, know him? I’ve been a friend of his for a few years now, and he’s never actually invited me over before. I...almost thought he didn’t have a place.” Anyone who knew Yatamaru might have made just such an assumption. From Michi’s own experience having visited the place, he might as well be living in an alleyway somewhere.

"A note... for me?" The man had just finished affixing it to the front door of her apartment, but he moved to retrieve it at her inquiry. ”Yes, he was quite insistent that I get this to you. He was called away on a mission, recently, and seemed rather perturbed that he was going to be letting a valuable customer down. I’m just passing it along.” He gave her a genuine smile. He was relaxed, not on guard, nor seemed suspicious. Except for the note, apparently.

The two of them, however, were not the only ones in the immediate vicinity.

On the other side of the street, crouched low in the shade of the building he was leaned up against, was a man with white hair peering around the corner. He was hard to detect, as he’d been spending his entire adult life learning and practicing how to avoid detection, but that didn’t make him invisible — just sneaky. There was a fourth body, as well, but there were no indications as to where it might be.

”Would you like me to leave the note on the front door, madam? Or, would you like to come down and read it for yourself?” The man asked innocently enough. What would Michi say? What would she do?
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Re: 2215 Burdett Avenue, in Upper Sunagakure

Sat Jan 05, 2019 2:45 am

[Snapshot, Master Rank]
She would wordlessly cast this jutsu. She knew it well, she had used it a number of times when there was simply too much detail to take in and she felt that she would otherwise neglect something important.

She let out a low chortle. Sure, she would play this 'game.' "It must have been terribly important for him to leave so suddenly that he had the time to find a friend of his that does not know a one Oda Yatamaru's address, yet he... must know yours?" Let him dig a deeper hole. "And then take the step of leaving you with a communication to deliver a message to me, an address that he also knows," she was moving closer to the 'stranger' with each word she uttered. A dangerous confidence exuded from the woman as she found herself in proximity of the alleged courier. Of course she smiled, it was a forced expression that did not seem to sit right on her face. Like a viper wearing a bow, it really did not give a false sense of calm, just suggested an aberrant nature to the interaction in progress. "I will be happy to read this myself," she announced as she attempted to take the letter from his hand with a 'clumsy' gesture as she attempted to touch his fingers. She wanted to get a feel for him. How hard, how long, how soft, how firm his grip, his heat.

There was a hint of cold when she drew particularly close. There was something obviously wrong with this woman, from the shadows at play around her feet to her icy touch and her smiling but otherwise neutral expression. The eyes said it all, some would call them a window to one's soul and if someone looked in there they would see a glassy void. Yes, there was an inquisitiveness to her piercing gaze, but there was no anger or myrrh, no fear, jealousy or shame. She was simply studying and calculating with the warmth of a machine made entirely of flesh and shadow.

The letter, if she retrieved it was a farce. She had already made it back to his apartment on January 1. She was well-aware that he had abandoned his former place of residence. "Oh," she announced as folded the letter in half. "Friend" she repeated the word from earlier. "How very kind," the letter was not personal enough to track Oda with and she knew it. However, she was not going to tell him that. There was a fine line between a lie and a manipulation, something she was becoming a bit of a master of. "Of course being told," she was picking her words carefully of course "that Mister Oda Yatamaru is engaged in a mission, I am concerned about my order being ready on time." A truth. "I suppose I will have to track him down," she announced as she tapped the letter with her index finger. "Should be useful."

"Since you are here," a change of direction. "You should come inside, I too have a message for Mister Yatamaru." Friend or henge, it mattered not. It was time to send a message.
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Re: 2215 Burdett Avenue, in Upper Sunagakure

Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:30 pm

"It must have been terribly important for him to leave so suddenly--”

”Yes, terribly important,” the man would interject.

”--that he had the time to find a friend of his that does not know a one Oda Yatamaru's address, yet he... must know yours?"

”Oh no, nothing of the sort!” He wasn’t sure what she was implying, but he seemed a little taken aback by the implications. ”Strictly professional relationship, ma’am.” Whatever that meant. His words were stiff. Perhaps even formulaic?

"And then take the step of leaving you with a communication to deliver a message to me, an address that he also knows." She continued her line of questioning. She was very insistent on these questions, as if she were trying to build up a case for something. She seemed to be painting a rather slanderous picture. ”I was just asked to deliver the note, ma’am. He said you gave him this address, personally.”

The bespectacled man did not seem phased by her predatory grin, nor her dark, cold, aura. Completely unaffected, or perhaps made of stronger stuff than the average man? More mettle. More assuredness. Could be.

"I will be happy to read this myself," she stated, though her hand seemed to stray just a hair further than necessary in order to grab the note, towards his hand. And yet, despite the seemingly ordinary nature of the action, the man tensed up considerably. A few things happened, all at once: from somewhere near his palm, a swarm of insects instantly began to pour out of his...skin...and began to coat his hand in what seemed, to them, a defensive maneuver; at the same time, the man dropped the note, letting it flutter from his hand to the ground; then, his hand and entire arm jerked backwards quite suddenly, and quickly, to remain just outside of Michi’s grasp. He didn’t want to be touched.

”I’m sorry, ma’am, but could you please refrain from...physical contact?” The swarm of insects was growing, attempting to cover the entirety of his wrist and the back of his hand up to his knuckles. They had sensed danger, in the form of one intruding hand that seemed to exude a cold, menacing, aura that had a clear effect on the environment around her, and were simply reacting to it. ”My little friends are rather…protective. I hope you don’t take offense — I just wouldn’t want you to get stung, or worse. They’re open to suggestion, from me, but they’re not my servants.” Slowly, the insects would retreat back into their hosts’...skin. They were lurking, just beneath the surface, in case they needed to defend their home again.

Meanwhile, there was activity on the roof. Perhaps they could hear it, from down three stories and while being distracted from the conversation, but a very tiny blowtorch was in action. The flame emanated from a single finger, very precise, but that did not mean it was not powerful. And besides, the need was small: a very tiny hole, not too big, and not too small — just big enough to get a finger, or two, through — in the corner of the roof. The corner of her (supposed) apartment. The creeping rooftop figure would work fast, knowing there was only a limited amount of time available. She’d be back very soon.

Meanwhile, at the front door, the conversation would continue.

"Of course being told that Mister Oda Yatamaru is engaged in a mission, I am concerned about my order being ready on time."

”Yes, he was concerned about that too. That’s why he sent me, with this letter, to inform you of the necessary delay. Unfortunately, there was nothing he could do. Shinobi have their responsibilities to attend to, after all.” He was trying to stall, as best as possible.

"I suppose I will have to track him down.” She tapped the letter, indicating that she would be using that to do so. "Should be useful."

”That seems unnecessary, ma’am. He’ll be back soon, once his mission is completed, and I’m sure he’ll resume his work immediately upon his return. He seemed rather upset, when he gave my this note, that he would be unable to continue working on your order. He seemed like he was rather enjoying the work, to be honest with you, ma’am, and the call for a mission seemed a rather annoying hindrance to him.” He barely stopped to breathe, or let her interject. ”He’s always rather enamored by being able to work on puppets, you see, and so I gathered that you had placed a rather large order for him? Whatever your reason, as a friend of his, I want to thank you for giving him such an engaging project. He seemed rather happy to receive your order — he could use a bit of cheer and involvement these days.”

Eventually, inevitably, she would get a word in. It might have taken a false start or two, but eventually she would get her say. "Since you are here," she would begin, "you should come inside. I too have a message for Mister Yatamaru." There it was. This had been expected.

”Oh, how kind of you! I’m afraid I’ll have to decline, however.” He looked off to the side, checking the position of the sun in the sky. ”It seems I’ve taken quite a bit of your time already. I wouldn’t want to impose; and besides, while I’d be happy to deliver a message to Yatamaru, on your behalf, I’m afraid that’s not within my ability to do at the moment. Can’t reach him while he’s on his mission, you see. Plus, I’m sure he’ll be contacting you, immediately, once he returns. Won’t be much point in giving me the message, as he’ll probably want to speak with you much more than he’d want to speak with me upon his arrival. The fastest method would probably be to just wait for him to return.”

The rooftop operation was almost done. Just a little more time, now.

The bespectacled man would move to leave. ”You take care now, okay ma’am? I don’t know what sort of renovations you’re doing up there — and believe me, that’s none of my business! — but I hope you’re taking the proper safety precautions! Always wear eye protection, make sure you lift with your knees, and don’t forget to stay hydrated!” He would wave as he turned around, a friendly smile on his face, and a skip in his step. What a jovial, kindhearted, and carefree man he was! Not at all suspicious.

[ooc]
Bespectacled man is attempting to leave topic. Not fully Topic Left, however.
If-Then Scenario: Michi notices ‘work’ being done on roof.Show
She’d noticed. That wasn’t good, but it wasn’t catastrophic, either. There was a plan for this. A contingency; a conditional.

There was movement from the other side of the street, where the hidden white-haired man had been sneaking. Suddenly, a flash of light — the distinctive glint of metal reflecting sunlight — would be noticed out of the corner of Michi’s, and the man’s, eyes. Kunai. If Michi didn’t react first, the bespectacled man would: a solid wall of moving and shifting bodies, formed out of the outpouring streams of insects emanating from the man’s wrists and under his clothing, would protect the two of them from the pointy bits of the projectiles.

”WHAT THE-?!” he would exclaim, obviously surprised by the development. ”Ma’am, something’s wrong! Do you...do you have any enemies that would do this?” There was no time for an exchange, however. The kunai had been rigged — explosive notes went off, causing the wall of insects to be rendered impotent. It had absorbed the blast, but now they were exposed. ”Forget it! There’s no time! Ma’am, you need to get out of here — NOW!”
If-Then Scenario: Michi insists that the man comes upstairs.Show
She was insistent. Maybe she saw something? Maybe she’d noticed something? Maybe she was just paranoid? Whatever the reason, she seemed to really want him to go upstairs with her. Maybe...she had a thing for glasses?

”I really should be getting going...” And yet, he knew she would not let this go. When someone offers something once, usually they were just being polite. When someone offers it twice, they were serious. It was likely that she wouldn’t relent so easily. ”It really wouldn’t be…proper...either.” And yet, if she still insisted, then he’d be in trouble.

The protocols were not designed for this:
  • Distract Michi.
  • Prevent physical examination.
  • Initiate distraction, if necessary.
He defaulted to the last option. He scratched his head in consternation — that was the signal.

There was movement from the other side of the street, where the hidden white-haired man had been sneaking. Suddenly, a flash of light — the distinctive glint of metal reflecting sunlight — would be noticed out of the corner of Michi’s, and the man’s, eyes. Kunai. If Michi didn’t react first, the bespectacled man would: a solid wall of moving and shifting bodies, formed out of the outpouring streams of insects emanating from the man’s wrists and under his clothing, would protect the two of them from the pointy bits of the projectiles.

”WHAT THE-?!” he would exclaim, obviously surprised by the development. ”Ma’am, something’s wrong! Do you...do you have any enemies that would do this?” There was no time for an exchange, however. The kunai had been rigged — explosive notes went off, causing the wall of insects to be rendered impotent. It had absorbed the blast, but now they were exposed. ”Forget it! There’s no time! Ma’am, you need to get out of here — NOW!”
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Re: 2215 Burdett Avenue, in Upper Sunagakure

Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:56 am

She did not believe him, but it did not matter. It was just another variable to consider. Misinformation, the truth and the varied unknowns were all irrelevant as long as she seized control. As long as she maintained a firm hold on the narrative. She would work with what she had and be successful with it. What she had was a nervous, jittery... Aburame, if she were to believe with her eyes suggested. After all, it was a mere touch, a glancing caress and from unseen crevasses a swarm would emerge. It was a warning, do not touch otherwise something unfortunate might happen. Unspoken, only implied.

She invited him inside and he declined, of course he would. It would be like crawling into the back of a non-descript white van with the promise of puppies from a tall man in a dark trench-coat. Would she know that he was trying to stall, there was no way to know for certain the intentions of any man or in this case woman. She could attempt to take him in by force, what she lacked in physical strength she had in surplus in other places. He did not like being touched, or rather his insects disliked physical contact. Good to know. They both knew that this would result in the cliche insistence that he must enter, that the lady was not going to take 'no' for an answer. What waited in there for him? It was unlikely milk and cookies, that was too... Sousuke. It was unlikely a room of torture devices, that was too Roku. It was unlikely a room dedicated to darkness and the occult, that was something that seemed to represent Kazuki better. That or bad poetry with lines such as "the Night is vast and deep..." and "Shadows with a savagery that clings." No, there was something else in there waiting for him. But he was not looking to discover the inner sanctum of that building. It was likely a trap, of what type he could only imagine.

This series of unfortunate events would start on THE ROOF.

The Roof: The roof itself was made of red clay tile. A single thickness consistent throughout. The interloper on the roof would feel his shoes slip on the 30 degree pitch, however probably shinobi training. A bit of chakra use to climb a not even close to vertical surface was a viable argument as to why he did not slide off the edge of the roof and plummet towards the ground three stories below. However, he or more than likely "it" would feel their fragility beneath his feet. The creak, the crack and the threatened break. Yet none of the tiles broke away, there was only a 50% chance that a fragment would not break away revealing his or it's dues ex machina presence, so luck was on his side. As he drilled the hole in the roof and threatened the integrity of the S-shaped terracotta and the mortar would crack and flake, would bits of it break away. Probably, a slender finger such as her own would leave a hole about 31.2mm and her hands were smaller than average. Not to accuse the deviant on the roof of having small hands, that often came with negative implications regarding what might be found in one's briefs but rather it was probable that he was merely average. Ring finger on a man, normally a size 10 which would be 62.2mm in circumference or 19.8mm in diameter, multiplied by two would be 39.6mm. In terms of centimeters. The average tile 255mm, the hole he drilled could in theory not hit a critical point and cause the brittle roofing material to crack. However, not everything would come out Millhouse.

You see, the house had endured within the past two weeks a pair of explosive forces that caused the structure to wholly shudder. The rafters were damaged, the foundation cracked, and yes the structural integrity of the roof itself was compromised. She did not need a clever defense system or keen senses to cause what would occur next. The roof itself would groan under his or it's weight and yes, break away. Shatter. Like a brittle sheet holding him aloft, it would rip and break and the roof itself collapse inward. In spite of all of this man, specter or something else entirely, luck would elude him in the sense that this would not be silent. Without footing he too would surely fall, plummet three stories until he hit jagged earth where he would disperse mayhaps in a puff of smoke or a sharp bit of earth or stone would piece a limb leaving a bloody swath as he pulled himself free. Or... perhaps he could fly. Wouldn't that be fantastical, to have been that prepared? Too many variables to pick any one, all three were relevant possibilities that would require adaptation but as she has said so many times before -- she is malleable. More than a mantra or a prayer, it was something ingrained in her as a means of survival.

The Inside of the Apartment Building

The floor was covered in a thick layer of rubble. Curtains covered every window, less the one Michi had peered through. The wall studs were exposed and the backside of the brownstone brick was bare. There was no insulation, just open space. The windows all had metal bars, they could be viewed by the shadows they made through the thin curtains highlighted by the light of the sun. There were two things curious about this place, one a massive dark metal box that seemed undisturbed and clean of any dust less the dust that had now settled from the damaged roof, However the rubble seemed less on and around this simple box that bad no lid nor face. There were runic symbols etched into the sides of the box that were obscured by a layer of mortar-dust and broken tiles. The other curious thing was the door sitting on the other side of the entryway. It was resting against the wall and it was quite uncanny to behold. 80 inches by 36 inches, and about 3 inches thick. It was made of a dense metal, too heavy to lift yet somehow the Oracle had carried this box inside a few days earlier. Yes, this was the contents of the box left outside of her house a few days ago. The door had five openings, each a five inch perfect square. there was something else strange. well several things but they would require a living, real being to investigate. Not a simple clone that would not have survived beyond the impact of the fall.

Of course, what does the man have to worry. He had the hapless woman in his web of lies, didn't he? Yes, she was falling for his ruse and she would flee. he would have the opportunity to investigate and determine the truth behind these puzzles in progress.

Outside:

Would she see the man up there? Maybe. It really is not entirely relevant really, she would not miss the obstreperous destruction of her roof or the calamity of the premeditated 'attack.' They went of near synchronously. The Aburame's insects came to her 'defense' a partially impenetrable wall of writhing insects that would light up like a fireworks display as the combustive force of explosive notes. Yes, apparently plural. A wave of heat would flash before her face and the shrapnel of the kunai would spray outward. Bit of hot metal stinging her skin. She had raised her arms to defensively cover her face. Did she see the attack from the corner of her eye, just before it was launched? Yes. Yet curiously enough she did not make a conceited effort to defend herself beyond the trademark look of shock and concern, feet planted on the ground and mouth slightly agape pose taken by civilians. She -had- to be chakra capable. It would be ludicrous to think otherwise but even now she made no attempt to display the traits of a shinobi, a mercenary or something else entirely that was trained. Thus far her assets seemed to be relegated to being exceptionally intelligent, but coming out to a likely hostile target seemed to be incredibly stupid. In fact for such a smart lady, what she was doing did not seem smart at all. Or was it?

The truth would come out eventually. Just not quite yet.

”WHAT THE-?!”

Surprised, yet ready on a moment's notice with swarms of insects. Aburame were like any clan, reclusive and secretive with their techniques. Not that the Oracle was unfamiliar with the clan, she had studied it intimately during her tenure in the Palace of the Glorious Immortal. Diamyo Ishii Shiro was particularly interested in the skill set of the Aburame. His questions superficial at first, regarding the buzzing noise and the clicking noises but over time more descriptive until it was with certainty that she knew he was very concerned about something regarding the Aburame Clan, not that he ever revealed exactly what. In addition, she had the honor of seeing an Aburame in battle, or at least one that displayed the skill set of one in the World Martial Arts Tournament. In fact, that was one of the disadvantages of such a display of martial prowess, it demonstrated to the world one's full skill set. Surprises were limited, were recorded and could be watched on a continual loop on repeat if necessary. It takes about 1.5 seconds to summon forth a swarm of kikai unless they were released in the midst of battle, as seen also by her. in which case they seem to seep out during the course of combat but they had only just now entered combat. Those insects had to already be prepared and this 'reactionary' act of valor was just that. A show, a charade. Perhaps she was an eternal pessimist, but only time would tell that truth as well.

”Ma’am, something’s wrong! Do you...do you have any enemies that would do this?"

She would play along. "Yes, lots," Michi claimed. It was the truth, even her supposed 'friends' coequals would turn on her for a small sleight and as of late she had done much to earn their ire. She had no friends, just a network of acquaintances that found her more valuable alive than dead. She had come to terms with this fact some time ago, it was a lonesome fact that she took as a non-variable. She accepted what she was, as a tool for others but she had something that she never had before and that was independent will. The ability to choose and the ability to act of her own accord. To not only love or hate, she could always do both but acting on either was beyond her capacity until now.

She even screamed with the insects burst into a wall of flame. Potentially her confident pose was all an act and she was weak. It was possible that all she could do was break into a drunkard's hovel and make a request while he was too bleary-eyed to make a conceited retort.

”Forget it! There’s no time! Ma’am, you need to get out of here — NOW!”

"You too!" She insisted as she attempted to grab his hand to run off. As for where, she was letting her 'savior' lead the way.

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