A group of missing-nin from the Takumi Village invades Sunagakure and kidnaps a Ninja Academy student. They seek Gaara's powers to revive their village's ultimate weapon. Gaara, Kankuro and Temari pursue them with no other help from the Sand Village. Meanwhile, Shikamaru assembles the Konoha 11 (minus Tenten), and splits up into two-man teams - Shikamaru and Ino, Naruto and Lee, and Kiba and Choji. Each two-man cell will assist one of Sand shinobi. Neji and Hinata will avoid combat and scout ahead, while Sakura and Shino act as medical support and command and control (using Shino's bugs to pass along information).