Tsuande folded her hands and stared him down firmly. Jiraiya drew a breath, but was cut off by the arching of her left eyebrow. Her stony silence told him she was quite serious, and there would be no arguing with her. With an insulting grumble under his breath, which Tsunade decided to respond to later, Jiraiya got to his feet and got on his way. Within twelve hours he had left konoha and rushed to the meeting point, only the bare essentials on his back. Jiraiya hadn't performed an infiltration mission in some time, in his old age he had grown used to the upper status of "last-hope reinforcement", and upon reaching the designated spot—a large plain, from the ground of which hundreds of gigantic bone spires jabbed upward—he was starting to really regret letting Tsunade rope him into this. This kind of running-around information-relay was something the young nina were for, whatever this was, it had better be damn well going out of his way like this. He paced between the spires, running a hand along the hard, white surface. This place had become a shrine to the shinobi of the fire and wind countries, a tribute to the place where the Kazekage Gaara side-by-side with the Konoha ninja Naruto and Rock Lee had once faced the bone-demon Kimimaro, and for the first time a true, clean alliance was formed between the two previously volatile countries. From one spire the crumbling upper half of a skeleton still dangled, and beneath it white flowers grew every spring. Jiraiya heard in that season the Kazekage always had some brought to him. It was a new place, but it held endless history already, the wind through the peaks whispered in a pitch that the ear instinctively strained to define, but never quite could, taunting one with the broken echo of a truly incredible story.

Suddenly, from above Jiraiya was assaulted by the roar of machinery and a powerful wind roared through the bone-forest, trampling over the soft energy that had hovered there and with it's crude, young force shattered the sanctity of the place. He looked up as the source of this glided overhead, then turned and maneuvered to hover above him. The thumping of the chopper's blades made Jiraiya's ears burn, and he grimaced as a rope fell from the open door on its side. He grabbed on and began to climb upwards, long used to crawling into the maw of a beast that was far more than he had ever imagined. The fear of what lay ahead had left him long ago, now, he just went.

The people in the helicopter had filled in more of the hole's in Tsunade's de-briefing, though it didn't help him understand any better what any of this had to do with konoha. A tournament on some far away island in no way linked to any of the countries hardly seemed threatening. But this BORED corporation; although their talk was flawless and their motives seemingly openly explained, on an instinctual level Jiraiya knew there was much more to them—and none of it pleasant. He didn't blame Tsunade for sending someone in. As the ride progressed and he flipped through the profile's of the contestants, he started thinking that even if nothing horribly distressing broke out, he would have fun keeping some of these characters in line.

They dropped him in the middle of the forest, a far more humid and leafy affair than he was used to around konoha, but he knew how to utilize it. He set immediately into setting up shelter, and by the end of the second day after he had been sent out, he had a small, stable nest cradled in the branches of a giant tree. He had camouflaged the thing expertly, and he knew none of the punks he had seen in those files would be finding him and harassing him any time soon.

Now I just have to sit back and wait for the shit to stir. He thought, peering out through his spy-hole. I can't wait to teach some haughty brat a lesson. Any one with a lazer beam think they're hot stuff nowadays, well they'll be surprised when they find what real power is.

Just as the thought finished crossing his mind, in the distance, but too close for comfort, a gigantic pillar of blue flame exploded upwards, briefly took on the shape of some horrendous demon, and a few petrifying seconds later dissolved left the forest in chaotic uproar. Jiraiya stared out at the smoking ashpit, his fingers tingling with the speed at which his blood was circulating. As he watched in disbelief several others sped by beneath his shelter, one cackling about challenging the monster behind the madness. He sunk back against the trunk of the tree, chewing his lip and slowly flexing his hand.


Okies, this is my entry for my enforcer in Avatarjk137's A Winner is Two tournament, the prequel to which you may recall me winning. heehee.. An enforcer is not a participant, but rather someone who makes sure everything goes as planned, and there's this big scandal with the company behind the scenes. For full explanations, go to the man's forums. The participants can challenge me n' stuff though. I dunno is there'll be any more to it. Depends on if I get challenged, or inspired, or find any time in my crazy life. But yeah, Jiraiya's good times.