820/Old debts and young Shadows

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Old debts and young Shadows
Date of Scene: 28 March 2020
Location: The derelict remains of a shopping mall at night, which is exactly as creepy as it sounds.
Synopsis: No description
Cast of Characters: Chizue Nakamura, Natasha Cranston

Chizue Nakamura has posed:
    There wasn't so much as a window lock out of place, but there it had been. A neat pale green envelope sealed with a wax stamp, set carefully upon the personal desk of one Natasha Cranston. The letter had been hand written with the utmost care, delicate gold ink upon more of that pale green paper. An address and a time, and signed with a Mon in bright red ink. Three diamonds within a circle. It's not the first time a Cranston had found such a thing waiting for them of course, the green paper and gold ink were plenty distinct all by themselves. The Mon though, well it hadn't shown up anywhere in the years since '46.

    The address is, well it -was- a shopping mall. Now it's an empty husk, still in the process of being stripped and gutted before demolition. Past fluttering caution tape, and placards warning of tresspass. Past a sleeping security guard in a trailer out in the parking lot, and a fairly incredible amount of rats? Well at the heart of the structure where the fountains had once been, thats where the Ninja awaits.

    Still as she is, seated on the rim of that fountain. She isn't quite invisible to the naked eye, but she is never the less more than a little difficult to pick out amongst the general darkness of the place. Gaze silently following the ghostly heat signatures of rats going about their business.

Natasha Cranston has posed:
    Natasha's natural first instinct when she saw the letter was to have some pointed words with the people she apparently pays too much for her home security... Until she recognized the symbol. She's in a thoughtful mood as she carefully lifts the note in gloved hands and carries it with her as she walks to the stairwell - and, to the eyes of most people, vanishes between one eyeblink and the next.

    She descends into the Sanctum and heads for her Grandfather's old 'trophy room' - the only monument he'd allowed his ego, even if keeping it clean was a chore. She opens a particular case, and looks down at a beautifully written letter, elegant Japanese calligraphy acknowledging a debt, the promise of future repayment... And that same triad of diamonds in a circle.

    Her grandfather's research had come up suspiciously blank. She herself had never bothered to look any further. Clearly, an oversight.

    Still, an invitation like this should at least be responded to.

And if it's a trap... Well, Shadows are hard to catch.

    Chizue's first clue that she's no longer the only occupant of the premises is when several of the rats she was keeping track of almost simultaneously pause in their cavorting, look up, sniff once or twice at the air, and then bolt for cover. With that to alert her, she can just barely make out a spot near the approach where one of the flickering shadows is moving against the wind rather than with it...

Chizue Nakamura has posed:
    The moment she moves, it's as if she's been hewn from transparent glass. A roll of that hooded head as her ratty look outs key her in, and well that means it's show time right? She pushes off, that cloak holding the image of her previous position for a split second before dissolving into a mess of brilliant color like a corrupted Jpeg. She hits the ground as silent as death all the same, waving a gloved hand out to one side, and letting her own camouflage resolve into stark perfect matte black.

    Then she lifts a hand to pull that hood back, exposing the polygonal animal mask clinging to her helmet. When it finally comes up to a bright cherry red it's easy to finally make out the details of the shape, A rat perhaps or maybe a mouse? The rest of her gear follows soon after, adopting a fairly neutral selection of greys. That pair of swords at her hip finally plainly visible.

    "You honor me with your presence, I thank you for accepting my invitation. I would have remained at your estate, but I did not want to unduly alarm you."And a pause as she flips that cloak over one shoulder to expose that web gear hidden beneath, and in dull green? A trio of diamonds within a circle, painted right across her chest plate.

Natasha Cranston has posed:
    As predicted, the infrared goggles appear to be no help at all; clearly, whatever magic or ability allows the Shadow to shroud themselves from view is not so easily thwarted by mere technology. As Chizue reveals herself, there might be the briefest of pauses in the shadows' movement before it continues on its way toward her.

    Shadows shift and move along the ground in the flickering light from what few lamps are still working, pooling together and seeming to rise up and solidify and for one eye-twisting moment the shape seems to be both two and three dimensional... And then a figure stands before her, looking almost exactly as her clan's accounts describe. Tall, black clad, blue eyes almost too bright to be human glaring down at her from underneath the the wide brim of a slouch hat, while a crimson scarf covers the rest of its face, a cloak billowing in the light breeze enhancing the impression of being made of the shadows they call their own, the leather straps over the chest hinting at a pistol harness.

    "... When an onmitsu goes to this much effort to get one's attention, it is considered wise to see what is on their mind," comes the reply, distorted almost beyond human range by what sounds to the experienced ear like a very good voice mask with some distinctly unconventional settings.

Chizue Nakamura has posed:
    A full stop pause, letting the Shadow present themselves on their own terms. It's honorable, but well it's also just plain rude to interrupt a good performance. Her own body language is, well at a glance decidedly casual. "I am the Chunin Kunoichi known as Owari, disciple of the sacred void and honorable servant of the Haga Clan."She lets that little bit hang in the air for a moment, dramatic pause in other words.

    "My clan prospers, in no small part due to the actions of a mysterious foreigner. We have largely vanquished the foes at home, and are now able to attend to our debts. I am honored to have been given two tasks to accomplish in America. To pursue and destroy outlaw Ninja hiding in this country from divine punishment for their evil, and to offer you the fullest extent of my services possible permitting it does not endanger my primary task."Slowly she drops her left hand to her swords, and gently plucks them free of the little magnetic plate they were anchored to.

    Those swords are offered over without hesitation. "The Haga clan pays it's debts, we humbly apologize for how long it has taken for this repayment. I am otherwise yours to command, in disguise or otherwise as necessary."

Natasha Cranston has posed:
    Natasha considers the explanation and offer, searching her memory until the penny drops. After learning her grandfather's secret she'd spent some time reading up on every news article on the Shadow she could find. A bit self-indulgent, perhaps, but she'd been enough of a child still to want to. One in particular - just after the War, during the reconstruction, one of the Shadow's relatively rare forays to the Far East. The timing matches up with the age of the original letter. Had he unknowingly aided a ninja clan at the time? Entirely possible. The fact that this one is here, now, knowing the things she knows, suggests that the clan is a powerful one, and not one who takes its honor debts lightly. To decline would be rude... And the girl certainly has the skillset to be of assistance.

    None of these throughts are betrayed outwards, as the Shadow continues to regard the young onmitsu and the proferred swords, until finally there is a nod.

    "I acknowledge your clan's debt and accept your service," the Shadow replies. "I admit I had not planned for an assistant... But I will not turn down help that's freely offered. Come; we can discuss the details in better surroundings than these," they conclude with a wave of the hand indicating the general state of the area before turning to head back toward the streets proper.

Chizue Nakamura has posed:
    "I don't know, I thought the rats added a certain something." Those swords are replaced at her side, that cloak is pulled back down and she picks up a step to follow behind. Casually plucking that mask free to expose the armored faceplate behind, and well folding thar little rodent mask up flat. Replacing it with some flavor of dog, a Shibe perhaps? Anyway that new mask clicks into place audibly, and well she doesn't so much as skip a step. From one rat amongst many, to a loyal hound just like that.

    "There we go, somewhat more appropriate I should think."That cloak flashes pitch matte black for a moment, and with that hood pulled back foreward it snaps back into seeming transparency."It's important to stay in character after all."