(Day 13 through Day 19)
A coming of age
[Day 13...late at night]
(In the 9th Division Acting Captain's office)
Hirokatsu Goto, Vice-Captain and current Acting Captain of the 9th Division, put down the report he was reading and then looked slowly to his left and over to the empty seat which was where his acting Vice-Captain and 4th Seat, Kaki, had been sitting hours earlier. His tired eyes looked through his long bushy eyebrows in the dim candle lights which Hirokatsu had preferred for late night work.
Hirokatsu had been forced to order the young and hard working Kaki to take her leave for the night, as she had refused to leave while he was still working. Hirokatsu was proud of her diligence and hard work, and her care to stay up with him was noted and appreciated, however, Hirokatsu had seen her try to hide her drooping eyelids and yawns, and he knew she needed the rest. She had been working as hard as Hirokatsu in the last few days, and had taken to her new role as Acting Vice-Captain as seriously as he had known she would.
She was a strong and talented Shinigami, but she was still growing. She simply did not have the stamina yet to keep up with the long nights Hirokatsu had been accustomed to for so many hundreds of years. She could very well end up being stronger than him, but for now she needed her rest so she could do her work to the capabilities that Hirokatsu knew she wanted to.
Hirokatsu smiled a bit to himself, she almost reminded him of himself in his early days in the 1st Division so many years ago. As he looked back over to the "in" box, he was somewhat happy to be greeted by only one remaining reconnaissance report for the day. Hirokatsu loved his job, but even he was satisfied to know his work for the day was nearing completion.
Hirokatsu took it into his hand and looked at the small clock on the wall reading 3AM, he knew reports could come at any time, but normally there were always update reports delivered at 6AM. 3 hours of rest this evening would be a welcome thing, Hirokatsu thought to himself. He looked to the report, it was bit dirty, something Hirokatsu normally frowned upon, but with the rise of Recon coming from the Rukongai this was becoming more the norm and more acceptable.
Hirokatsu eyes perked up slightly as he read its title page and leaned back on his sitting pillow. It came from a young unseated Shinigami, Yokohama, on scheduled patrol in the 16th Eastern District, only one district away from his family's home in the Eastern 15th District. On the cover also was a silver star though a bit grimy, the silver star indicating a "higher" priority for reports. How it got to the bottom of the stack troubled Hirokatsu, but at least it wasn't a gold star.
Hirokatsu opened the report and his eyes looked over the document carefully, and as he read each line his brow wrinkled just a bit more than the last. The twinkle of the dying candle flames on his desk combined with the chicken scratch handwriting of the unseated forced Hirokatsu to bring the report closer to his face to read clearly.
Yokohama's silver star report was indeed intriguing. It was the 5th of such reports, though first indicated as "higher" priority, and first to indicate the actual sighting and killing of a Hollow in the Rukongai. Up to this point, Hirokatsu had remember Yokohama's reports consisting only of Citizen rumors of Hollow activity, a few lost pets, and a minor injury in the District. This was often the case in the Rukongai, 'ghost' stories and hollows were often reported, though rarely ever true and normally the result of wild imaginations accidents or covered up criminal activity. This report however, not only confirmed the Hollow activity but also described Yokohama's killing of a lesser Hollow the day before.
Hirokatsu looked up from the report and sighed lightly as he finished it, then signing his name on the bottom of it, and placing it gently in the "out" box for filing, he twirled his bushy mustache and thought to himself.
Yokohama indicated his time in the District was scheduled to change, and was recommending that he stay in the 16th District longer as the Hollow he had killed had matched the descriptions of several of the stories, though the vast distance between each (within the District) made for the likelihood of the Hollow he had killed being quite remote.
Hirokatsu turned to his right and the small perch of Hell Butterflies he kept next to his desk. One came to his finger in a quick flutter, and Hirokatsu brought it up to his mouth speaking into it as it recorded his message:
His voice was soft yet stern and to the point.
"Yokohama-san, you are to stay within the Eastern 16th District and continue your surveillance and investigation into your findings until further notice, and will report in via Hell butterfly twice a day on your findings...do be as thorough...and CLEAR... with all of your reports as possible"
Hirokatsu flicked his finger lightly and watched as the Hell Butterfly flapped its wings as it moved up and then out the small open window in the office.
Hirokatsu twirled his mustache as he pondered to himself. Thoughts of the young Yokohama and his report, as well as others, slowly turned to thoughts of his family in the 15th District. They had requested he come visit earlier than his normal end of the month, due to some family business that needed his more immediate attention.
Hirokatsu twirled his mustache a bit as the the candles dwindled in their light. Hirokatsu looked to them and leaned into to each, blowing them out softly.
It had been a long day, and it was time for rest.