Shimiko watched as Seigi and Yui both entered the room. Yui was more or less similar to what ANBU had described her as. She had a serious grudge against the Society (a trait Shimiko shared) and she was quite powerful with a temper to match. Shimiko already took a liking to her as she saw a lot of herself in the Kotoshura. She turned her attention to the Douchiwa. Seigi was so much like her brother it hurt. The way he sat down, the way he analyzed the situation, the way he talked. It was all reminiscent of the man that had inspired her to become a shinobi in the first place. Shimiko's gaze lingered on Seigi for longer than was normal. Eventually, she forced herself to look away. No matter how much this man looked like her brother, he simply was not the same person. The last thing she wanted to do was creep him out by acting like she had known him his whole life. She trusted him, but ultimately she wasn't ready to view him as family and she was certain the feeling was mutual.
Yui noted that the Society posed a bigger threat than Kiri and she made a solid case for that claim. The intelligence they had received from her was rock solid and filled in many gaps. Nikuyo Yuki was an operative of their's which meant that they might have spies embedded in Kumo's government as well as Konoha's. If they could corrupt the Second Mizukage who couldn't they get their hands on? One of them was also a teleporter with unlimited range and they had a penchant for snatching Bijuu like it was nothing. Honiko was powerful by herself but now it was clear that she was leading a pack of demigods. She's training Nozomi to be just like them...if they carry on with their operations then she'll be just as strong as them....I can't fall behind!
"I agree Yui. If they recruited a Kage it would be safe to assume that they may have eyes and ears in every village in the world. This means that a taskforce that was outside the traditional village governance structure might be our best bet for taking them down. I've already begun that process....but I've had limited results so far....
She was referring to having let Ken loose with the hope that he would infiltrate the Society and weaken them from within. However, she had not heard from him in some time. Perhaps she would need to start cutting off Kaida's fingers on live TV to get him to remember his mission.
"We don't have any real leads on the Society's whereabouts so far Seigi, but from what Yui tells us they might be based near Kiri. Given Kiri's close relationship with the organization its not impossible to think that they are housing themselves near their allies. I still think we might need to squeeze Kiri if we are t-
Shimiko stopped as they were interrupted by a masked ANBU. The Kumo-Nin strode towards his Captain and whispered something in her ear. She paused for a moment and whispered something back. The man nodded in response and left the room.
"The situation's changed
" Shimiko said in a serious tone. "Give me a moment
Shimiko got up and left the room. She was gone for fifteen minutes or so. This would give Seigi and Yui a little bit of time to get to know one another. Or perhaps not. Either way, when Shimiko came back in the room she'd be holding a VHS tape. Several ANBU-Nin would begin setting up a projector and hooking it up to a VHS player. Shimiko would insert the tape and the projector would pop to life. It casts an image on the far side of the wall. The lights in the room were dimmed and the video began to play.
- Menza's Message to the Kage of the World:
Menza stood in the Medical Bay Facility surrounded by cameras. He was going to make a video that would be sent across the world. Each Kage would receive a copy of this taped video message. What they would choose to do with the information contained therein was up to them.
The video would begin with a flicker. It was a tad bit grainy given the technology and setting but it was otherwise fairly clear. Menza stood before the camera smiling. He was wearing a black turtleneck sweater, slacks, and a white lab coat. It was the standard attire for a scientist.
"Hello Kage and Leaders of the Shinobi World....some of you may know me as Menza Sukiyama or Menza the Cursed One. To some of you I have been a close friend and ally....and to other's I've been an absolute nightmare. Plaguing your people and politics endlessly over the past few years. Well I'm here to give bad news to my friends and great news to my enemies....
Effective immediately I will be retiring from the world of shinobi! That's right ladies and gentleman, I will no longer be an active menace against you or your people. I will be winding down my operations and transferring to a peaceful environment where I can study the sciences without having to deal with your ignorant and violent kind."
Menza was smiling as he spoke but it was clear from the tone in his voice that he was pissed off. He stared into the camera and continued:
"But before I leave, there is some business I'd like to settle. You see, this matter involves a girl. A girl named Yui Kotoshura. Now I won't bore you with the details but its important for you to know that this girl has twice engaged my services. And unlike you brutes, my services do NOT come cheap. She has refused to pay me and so now I have taken something of her's....."
The camera panned to the side and would provide a view of a gurney with a young man laying on top of it. It was Rin Uchiha. Rin would be utterly unconscious, an IV hooked into his arm keeping him sedated and restraints keeping his body strapped to the bed. Menza would walk over to Rin and poke his cheek with a scalpel.
"So now Kage of the world what happens next is up to you. I will have my payment one way or the other but because I am a fair and honorable man, I will give you a set of options."
Menza twirled the scalpel in his hands and began rattling off the possibilities:
You give me an unconscious Yui Kotoshura and Ōtsutsuki and I'll call it even....you can have this boy back safe and sound, I'll even throw in the Nine-Tailed Fox as a goodwill gesture. What you choose to do with that Bijuu is up to you. Fight over it, make an agreement, I don't care. But the essence of option one is Yui and an Ōtsutsuki for this innocent gentleman and the Nine-Tailed Fox."
Menza was being a bit misleading here. By the way he spoke, it sounded as though Rin and the Nine-Tailed Fox were separate entities. He wasn't sure what the extent of the world's knowledge was when it came to Rin's identity as the host for the Nine-Tailed Fox. The Hokage probably knew, but whether that information was shared was a complete and total mystery to Menza. Given Rin's state when he had first found the boy though, perhaps his recklessness had compelled him to reveal his abilities to Kiri and Kumo. Regardless, he opted to add a bit of disinformation into the mix. It would make the Kage's question the situation. Did Rin still have the Nine-Tails? Did Menza remove it from him? Were the two always separate? By creating an information gap, Menza was strengthening his bargaining position.
Some of you Kage might be high minded! You'd never turn over two innocent shinobi in exchange for power. Well, fortunately I have a second proposal that ensures that everyone goes home happy, alive, and well. In exchange for 15 Million Ryo I will relinquish my claim to Rin, the Nine-Tailed Fox, Yui, and your precious Otsutsuki. Everybody wins, no one is harmed. An ideal although expensive solution."
Menza would now place his scalpel near Rin's throat.
Some of you might be saying. 'We will never negotiate with terrorists! Especially not you Menza!' And I'd say 'How noble!'. Unfortunately, that puts you squarely in the third option. Let's say you do nothing. You waste my time. You attempt to negotiate. You attempt to free Rin. You do anything other than select the first two options....Well then I kill Rin and then I release the Nine-Tailed Fox. Where? It will be in one of the three villages. I may even split him into three and unleash them in each. I might throw a plague on top of it just because I can...."
Menza would walk up to the camera. The Kage of the world would be given a close up of his face. They'd peer into his elliptical eyes and see that he was completely serious.
"Choose wisely Kage of the world. You are the smartest and most powerful ninja in your respective villages. Are you willing to sacrifice the safety and integrity of your people over some blonde bimbo and her heroic boyfriend? I think when the chips are down you will do the right thing.....attached are the instructions on where, when, and how the drop-off will occur. You have a month to decide. Oh and one more thing.....this is for Yui Kotoshura."
The camera would close in. Menza would lean next to Rin's unconscious face and stare into the camera.
"Hello Yui-dear! Depending on how things shake out we may be seeing each other very soon. The Kage of the world might send you to me....or they might reunite you with your love. I'm not sure what they'll do but there is one thing I want you to know Yui-dear.....
"This is all your fault. You brought this on yourself and the world. An Ōtsutsuki may die........Rin may die....millions may die....all because of you.
Menza would slap Rin's cheek with the scalpel.
"Personally I hope the Kage choose option three. I do so very much want to kill this boy. He's extremely irritating and he's worked my last nerve. Its funny you see...when I told Rin to follow my orders in order to keep you safe, I said that if he failed I wouldn't give him a body to bury. I told him that I'd inflict unimaginable suffering on you and then harvest your flesh until there was nothing left....now that the roles are reversed, I don't think I'll do that. I'll make sure Rin's body gets back to you. I want you to see his corpse. I want it to be a reminder. Remember when I helped you out with that thing? The last words I said to you was: "What is given can be taken away".
Menza looked into the camera and began to laugh manically. It was a cliche'd and villainous laugh but it was actually a genuine one. He could imagine Yui watching this video. Shaking with anger and fear for what was to become of Rin. She'd be totally helpless and at the mercy of the very Kage whose help she sought. It was absolutely delicious.
The video then abruptly cut out and the message ended.
Shimiko remained silent with her hands folded as she watched the video. A chill ran down her spine. So this is the teleporter that Yui was referring to....Menza Sukiyama aka Menza the Cursed One....
He was wearing a doctor's outfit which meant that he was probably an Ijutsu specialist. She also noticed that the man was deathly pale. He literally appeared to be a Shiroi just like Honiko. What the hell is it with this organization and albinos?
She wasn't sure if she trusted his claim that he was retiring. The man seemed quite mad and mad people were notoriously unreliable about their future plans. Nevertheless, based on what Yui had mentioned to her he might be playing some kind of sick game. And those sort tended to have a compulsion regarding sticking to their rules. Either way, the options were all bad and ultimately unacceptable. Shimiko knew that much right away. Rin Uchiha was not her Nin nor was Yui, but even from a machevilian perspective letting an Ōtsutsuki fall into the hands of the Society was completely unacceptable. Based on what she knew about Seid, the people from his homeworld were far too powerful to simply give away. If there were other such beings in Konoha and Kiri then they'd need to be kept safe from this man and his cohorts. But even if they weren't, she wasn't keen on giving up Rin and Yui. Yui seemed to be pure of heart. She was imperfect, maybe even reckless and naive, but she was trying to do the right thing. She loved Yui and Shimiko had no reason to hate Rin. She didn't know him but if Yui vouched for him, she was willing to believe that he was a good person.
More importantly though, Shimiko did not want the Society to win. All three options were a victory for Menza which meant a victory for Nozomi. Hell no!
Shimiko thought defiantly. They weren't going to give Menza what he wanted, not if she could help it. The money was out of the question. Kumo didn't have that kind of cash and she sincerely doubted that even the Kiri Empire had that kind of money laying on hand. Konoha was rich sure but they probably weren't 15 Million Ryo rich. That wasn't even a possibility and even if all three villages pooled their funds, they'd be economically crippled. There'd be a global depression and the conflicts between nations would grow as each village would seek to take advantage of the other's weakness in order to shore up their own country. It was the exact sort of environment that the Society would thrive in. The last option was by far the worst. Rin would die and Menza would inflict unimaginable suffering on the shinobi world. The only real option he had left them was to cheat.
The video stopped playing and the projector was turned off and the lights turned back on. Shimiko turned to see Yui's reaction. She was certain the girl would be distraught. Menza appeared to be taunting her specifically. Lording over Rin's vulnerable body and implying that he was likely a goner. That sort of torture and psychological warfare from a Godless man like Menza only further infuriated the Chinoike. She imagined Yui felt even angrier.
" she said. She gave the Kotoshura some space and silence. To vent, curse, scream, and threaten their foe. She could only imagine what she would do if Yui and Yua were in that situation. The thought alone caused the Necrossiah's spirit to bubble with righteous vengeance. Jashin forbid....
She banished the thought and eventually continued: "We'll get him back...I see now what we are dealing with. These people need to be totally destroyed. We cannot negotiate with them, we cannot give in. They have threatened every village in the world and jeopardized the safety of even their so-called allies. I'm not sure if we can trust Kiri but if we can get assurances from them and if you truly think there are people within their government that we can rely on then I say we work with them. The only way we are going to overcome an enemy this powerful with the deck stacked against us, is to work together.
"Seigi and I had planned to attack Kirigakure....to drive a wedge between them and the Society and to get them on the same page. It looks like for now we might be bedfellows although we'll need strong confirmation that they'll play ball. They'll still have to answer for their crimes on a host of issues but that can come later. For now, I'm willing to accept their help...What do you guys think?