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    Default [BitPRē] Renewed Revolution Spirit World VI: Now With Mortal World

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    Quote Originally Posted by KnightDisciple View Post
    [Maximum security prison]

    Masamune followed silently until they arrived at the actual holding area, and Setsurou explained what this place was.

    "It is only natural that the head of the Onmitsukidou bear secrets. That is the duty laid before them. And redundancy of holding areas is not a bad thing, either. As for trust, well."

    He smiled genially.

    "We bear many secrets without issue, what's one more? Now."

    His face was deadly serious.

    "This prisoner. Let's hear his words."

    ================================================== ============
    [The bar]

    "You don't get it, Teach. Or maybe you do? It's only kind of about them being Arrancar. I think. Argh. Stupid booze. But...didn't the Shinigami hunt because Hollows are souls in torment? We fight for defense because until, like, a year ago, we destroyed souls. This whole thing is about more than just harm. But...like I said, it's academic. Doesn't matter. Peace is on, so we don't fight them. It is what it is."

    He stared at the empty cup.

    "I think I need to go back to my room and sleep this off."
    ================================================== ===================



    Masaru was about to respond to Shinji, when Aoi ported out and Naito was barreling to the Combat Division. Instead, he simply sighed and shook his head.

    A few moments later, he was standing outside the HQ, politely looking toward Naito.

    "What may I help you with, Naito?
    Quote Originally Posted by Rater202 View Post
    Las Noches: Segunda District

    Svetlana is making judgments on which two of the ten Warriors Turiel offered her would be best for her purposes.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kuroimaken View Post
    [Meanwhile, at the Shinoreijutsuin]

    Ryoma is bored out of his skull.

    He's not exactly a bad student. When it comes to Hakuda in particular, he displays an enormous (pun not intended) amount of talent. His Zanjutsu would make most master swordsman weep - it is effective in its brutality but lacks precision and grace. Teaching Shunpou and Kidou to the giant has proven difficult simply on account of his mass - the former requires very wide open spaces, and so does the latter because the effects of his spells come out proportional to his size. He seems surprisingly timid when it comes to the incantations themselves, claiming they are "embarrassing", which has affected the efficiency of his spellcasting. And of course... he still has a problem when it comes to his "leaking" Reiatsu.

    But most of all, learning all this stuff has not alleviated Ryouma's deep-seated desire for violence and alcohol. Not to mention his complaints over sleeping in a tent like an animal. So he decided to come ask if he could at least fashion a bed for himself.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dorizzit View Post
    [Maximum Security Prison]

    Rin follows behind Masamune, having no substantial reaction to the trip into the prison. The only time she does anything other than walk and observe is at the dimensional barrier, which she scans using a small computer mounted on her forearm before entering.

    "Has he attempted to escape? Made any statements, or taken any unusual actions?"

    [Outside Combat HQ]

    By the time Shinji and Masaru reach the outside of the division, Naito and Aoi appear to have gotten partway through a conversation already. Naito appears to be agitated, although that pretty much means that it's a day of the week ending in "y."

    "-about this when you're older."

    Aoi tilts her head to the side.

    "Chronologically, biologically, or experientially? Our physical birthday is-"
    "-Irrelevant. Look, we can..."

    Naito trails off as they notice the other two. Instantly, Naito breaks off the conversation and walks over to them, Aoi following quietly behind. He spares only a brief look at Masaru.

    "Nothing." He turns his focus to Shinji, handing over his phone. "Take a look at this. It was just passed on to me from Torahiko."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuroimaken View Post
    [The prison]

    "If he has, then he didn't get far. He's been under several layers of Kidou ever since we picked him up in the Mortal World." Setsurou explains. "Not to mention heavy surveillance. If he even sneezed wrong... I'd be the first to know." The Captain gestures to the prisoner, before subtly noting the edge of a barrier a couple of feet away from where the prisoner currently sits to the rest of the party. "His general unresponsiveness so far has been the strangest part of his behavior... and not just because this guy is an escapee from Hell."

    Rin can see the lock is of particularly good craftsmanship. It would be a tough nut to crack from either side and requires both sides to be functional at the same time in order to open, making communication between them crucial, so killing everyone inside and trying to figure a way out is a less appealing plan than one might assume. It lacks the finer intricacies of her work, but then again, who can measure up to someone with her training and expertise?
    _________________

    [Combat Division HQ]

    "Hey, hey, slow down, Naito. What--" Then Naito shows the cell phone to his friend.

    "...This raises more questions than it answers. I'm... gonna need some context in here.

    But for the sake of, I dunno, politeness, Captain Hirako Masaru of the Combat Division, Tetsuhiko Naito, who might want to lay off the caffeine juuuuuust a smidgen."
    Quote Originally Posted by Dorizzit View Post
    [The Prison]

    Rin turns her full attention to the imprisoned figure.

    "This is an unusual situation. There are no rules."

    [Combat Division HQ]

    "Caffeine is pois-" Naito's body language shifts as Shinji's introduction actually processes. Slowly, Naito turns to look at Maseru, the last word dragging out as they do so. "-ooooooooooooon."

    Surprisingly enough, Naito actually has the good grace to look a bit embarrassed.

    "Tetsuhiko Naito."

    Naito extends a hand to shake.


    Previous Thread


    Mortal World: the Kunlun Mountains, the Castle of the Sin Rostra

    Having recruited two of Turiel's finest warriors, a hulking brute with a massive ax and a more lithe man with a polished metal shield, Svetlana returned to the Castle of the Awakened Sin Rostra.

    1: This was the last place her child's killer had been seen.

    2: Her child's killer had been born from the actions of the Awakened Sin Rostra, meaning that they bore a share of the responsibility.

    The Garganta opens up just before the front entrance of the castle proper, and then Svetlana does her best to force the door open(if it is not already so.)

    Las Noches: Primero district

    As far as Shin-Tan Ubai knew, the Primero district had been abandoned ever since the Quincy invaded. There hadn't even been clean up efforts.

    If she wanted to find an antique Quincy pendant, one made from the dead cross, it was her safest bet. A leftover corpse, one dropped in the heat of battle and never reclaimed... If she couldn't find one, maybe she'd at least find a lead on one.

    Of course, the hard part would be sneaking into Las Noches to find one... If the dome around the city didn't have a gap exposing the Primero district to the natural sky.

    Shin-Tan's Garganta is open for only a second, just as long as it needs, just above the opening in the dome. she's already using Bakudō #26, Kyokkō to conceal her presence and reiryoku. she falls, from the top down towards the ground of the district, using just a bit of Fullbring to keep her fall slow and steady.

    Once she lands, somewhere near the middle of the district, she opens all of her senses and examines her surroundings.
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    Spoiler: Ode To Meteors, By zimmerwald
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    Quote Originally Posted by zimmerwald1915 View Post
    Meteor
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    Way down the air
    To the floor
    Where my other
    Rocks
    Are.

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    Default Re: [BitPRē] Renewed Revolution Spirit World VI: Now With Mortal World

    [Elsewhere...]

    Bai contemplated his actions, sat down at a café in downtown Paris. He loved the tea and croissants here, even if the servers were always less than polite - proof that one needs not be gracious if one's work is decidedly above par. To everyone looking outside in, he held in his hands a thick book, no discernible title, which he stared into intently, but if one kept a close enough watch, they'd see he hadn't turned a page in nearly 10 minutes. No one is that slow of a reader.

    Bai, on the other hand, had been using it to keep track on Shin-tan Ubai's movements, along with Svetlana and Sarah. Of the three, Sarah's concerned him most - Hell was a difficult dimension to monitor remotely so he only had somewhat delayed and blurry information at best.

    "I wish I were better at convincing people. That poor girl could have been out by now..."

    He reached into his pocket, where he felt the remains of broken pentacles once used by the invading Quincy. Most of these either had their power exhausted entirely or were too broken to be useful anyway - he made sure to leave behind only that which she'd find some use for. Even then, there were not too many that had managed to make their way past Las Noches' walls. Shin-tan Ubai had her job cut out for her.

    "Why do people reach for a sadness they cannot touch rather than the happiness that they can? Out of sheer stubborness no less."

    At least the tea and croissants were tasty.
    The Void, the Cold Steel, the Just Sword courtesy of Prime32.

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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

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    Default Re: [BitPRē] Renewed Revolution Spirit World VI: Now With Mortal World

    [Maximum security prison]

    Masamune ponders the facts as they stand for the moment.

    "Is his unresponsiveness a statement of his mood, of his state of being, or something else?"

    He shook his head.

    "We should question him. Now, if we can enter the space. If he escaped, others might, and we need to know how."
    ==============================================
    [The Bar]

    Chuck stands to leave, and immediately braces himself on the table, blinking heavily. Seems he's taken in a bit more than even his heavily-enhanced Quincy metabolism can handle, at least right this moment.
    ==============================================
    [Outside Combat HQ]

    Masaru just smiles at Naito and the others, nodding at them and giving a slight bow before taking Naito's hand in a firm but not aggressive handshake.

    "Naito, glad to officially meet you. I apologize if my presence left you out of sorts. Is there anything you think I could be of assistance with here? Or do you all need to run and find your friends and gather together again?"
    BitPRR Characters: Entries Masaru, Chuck, Thomas, Turiel, and Masamune

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    Default Re: [BitPRē] Renewed Revolution Spirit World VI: Now With Mortal World

    Primero District

    Shin-Tan doesn't know that Bai scoured the Primero district.

    She just knows that her best bet for getting what she needs is here.

    So she places her hands on the ground and uses Psychometry to gain the recent history of this place--back durning the Quincy attack.

    Where bodies fell and all that.

    To get an idea of where to look.

    (Just keeping it going.)
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    Spoiler: Ode To Meteors, By zimmerwald
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    Quote Originally Posted by zimmerwald1915 View Post
    Meteor
    You are a meteor
    Falling star
    You soar your
    Way down the air
    To the floor
    Where my other
    Rocks
    Are.

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    [The secret prison]

    "We do not know, sir. He doesn't respond to most forms of stimuli, negative or otherwise, and he won't say a word. No threats or pain of torture - we figured we can't exactly outdo Hell at its best even if such tactics did not produce dubious results on the brightest days." Setsurou replies. "We have been able to confirm that he IS cognizant, with a little help from some medical scans. But for whatever reason he simply won't say or do anything.

    Frankly, I doubt we will get any useful intel out of him. We know how to send him back, but then there's a good chance he'll just escape again.

    Which... provides us with a possibility of a plan, but I don't think it would necessarily bear fruit."


    He sighs.

    "At any rate, we have access to the prisoner any time you see fit. Deciding what to do with him is quite above my paygrade anyway."

    _______________________

    [The Bar]

    Not an uncommon occurrence, all told.

    "C'mon, I'll get you to whatever lodgings you got. Walk off the booze, get a little fresh air. Barkeep, add his to my tab."

    _______________________

    [Combat Division HQ]

    Shinji gives Naito a chance to acquaint himself with Masaru, and can't help but smile a little. The fact his friend has the good grace to show a little embarassment is a sign that he's getting the hang of his emotions back. Near as the Kuzunoha scion can tell, that's generally a good sign. "Wartime" Naito probably would've been more dismissive of his little faux pas.
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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

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    Default Re: [BitPRē] Renewed Revolution Spirit World VI: Now With Mortal World

    Las Noches
    Primera District

    The Primera District, a foreboding and terrible place even in its heyday, is now little more than a scorched charnel house. The ruined shells of primitive structures dot the landscape of the barren district, alongside burn marks and a few blackened bones. As any light source the district once held has been destroyed, only the faint light of the stars above still illuminate the area. As Shin-Tan extends her awareness into the location's past, she feels an overwhelming torrent of intense sensation: pain, fear, and madness swirl together as Shin-Tan momentarily relives the most horrific part of the battle for Las Noches. Once she is able to sort through that, however, she can easily locate a number of dead Quincies and destroyed planes that fell into the district. The whole section has stood empty since the battle, and no effort has been made to clean or repair it.
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    Default Re: [BitPRē] Renewed Revolution Spirit World VI: Now With Mortal World

    Primero District

    The carnage is irrelevant.

    All that matters is finding a piece of the dead cross.

    The first corpse she searches bears no fruit. There's not even a normal cross... Which is strange.

    Neither does the second one. Or the third. Or the fourth.

    She can't find one on the fifth. She even searches a plane's wreckage.

    It takes her until the tenth corpse, a full hour after she started searching, to finally find a cross.

    A plain, nondescript four-point cross. Nothing fancy. The silver is slightly tarnished and worn, but it still shines.

    Shin-Tan Ubai can practically taste the power. A quick use of Psychometry confirms that this is what she was looking for, starting with the death of the quincy she found it on in the battle, before playing backward the battle and events before it in fast motion up until the metal from which the cross was worked was carved from the cross.

    And then back further, the history of the cross is laid bare before her eyes. The nature of its power.

    IT's inception, over a million years ago
    Quote Originally Posted by cardrian View Post
    It's near-black in every direction, faint blues and purples color the void like clouds of light, and even brighter points of light in the distance. A pale figure stands alone, waking down a series of reishi platforms, the first being to ever intrude on the physical heavens. To be the very first spirit to climb this high, the very first being to stand in space.

    And yet, for all the upward climb it should have taken to get here, the white-cloaked figure is looking down, smiling at the blue star beneath them. The road of reishi gives way ahead, leaving only the dark void of space. That doesn't seem to bother the figure at all, as they step forward, beyond the path of light. They smile just the same, even now that they're falling.

    The fall is slow at first, the moment stretching out agonizingly long, the planet's gravity is at its weakest this high up. But the figure doesn't try to stop their decent, gently accelerating as the gravity well pulls them inward. Falling, faster and faster, they catch fire as the atmosphere resists entry, the forces at work twisting the spirit's body, tearing away small pieces, and all the while, they seem almost happy.

    The impact was immense, sweeping out with enough force to scorch the landscape for miles in every direction. And laying in the still smoking crater was a twisted mass of silver, still recognizably humanoid in shape, but the features were warped beyond recognition. But who could have recognized a being like them to begin with? It's clear, somehow, that what remained was meant to be his gift to humanity, the greatest expression of compassion he could give in that life.
    It takes Shin-Tan almost a half-hour to recover from the flood of memories, from the history of the piece of spiritual silver and divine power in her hand. When she does, she smiles.

    First, she places the tip of the silver-cross's longest prong into her mouth and bites down. Sarah's body enhanced by Shin-Tan's strength makes it easy enough for the teeth to inflict enough damage to make the cross bleed. She savors the metallic taste of the blood until the wound is dry.

    And then, once that is done, Shin-Tan Ubai summons her sword-self and carefully skewers the cross onto the tip of the blade, and begins draining it of power. More of its blood dribbles down the edge.

    There's not much power in the cross, it's but a small piece of the whole, but over the course of a minute, every trace of reishi, reiryoku, soulstuff, and other spiritual power in the cross is absorbed and assimilated. Then, as the cross is currently a spiritual object, it too dissolves into Reishi and is absorbed into the blade and by extension Shin-Tan.

    At first, there's no effect.

    And then the stealth spell hiding Shin-Tan's presence fails as her reiatsu pulses and the nature of her power chances from three parts to four. She falls to her knees and has a brief compulsion. A vision she can't make out.

    And as she comes to, she sees the letter 'R' on the back of her hand in red, before it fades.

    A Schrift. And she knows instinctively what it is--the power she's inherited.

    "The Ressurection."

    "Goddammit. I didn' wanna be Quincy Jesus. I just wanted what I needed for balance... Oh well. At least this makes things a little easier."

    She restores the spell hiding her presence and leaves the Primero district for elsewhere in Las Noches. She'll have to test something before she moves on.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zimmerwald1915 View Post
    Meteor
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    Way down the air
    To the floor
    Where my other
    Rocks
    Are.

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    Default Re: [BitPRē] Renewed Revolution Spirit World VI: Now With Mortal World

    (Forgive me, but I figure I might as well. Sarah's body being dropped off is more a handwave--it's served it's purpose, but anyone who has a character or NPC free in Las Noches is free to react to the rest.)

    Sexta District: Residential Area

    If someone, some lowly Arrancar looking to scavenge homes while their owners are missing or dead, happened to prey upon the home of the current Sexta Espada, and happened to get past the invisible Kido barriers that werren't there this morning, and happened to get into the bedroom. Well, they might find a comatose human girl lying in repose on Lady Sexta's bed. She's clearly breathing, but nothing could possibly wake her up: Lights on, no one's home.

    One trained in the seeing of spirit ribbons or sending specific spiritual signatures might find just the slightest hint of Quincy power hanging around her.

    Las Noches: Science District

    Shin-Tan Ubai, once more the play white Hollow Sarah with the black chain markings in a Sin Rostra's uniform, stands in the middle of the abandoned District.

    Making sure that Sarah's body wouldn't die any time soon had been a good trial run, but if Shin-Tan was going to use R to cut a dozen steps out of her plan... Well, could it bring back souls that had been destroyed entirely?

    She drops the stealth spell. She'll need to talk if this works.

    Shin-Tan Holds out her hands and focuses her power, drawing upon the Schrift that the fragment of the cross had given her.

    "Come on now, get yer asses up."

    The sands in the area start to pull together and reassemble into for sand sculptures which then snap to life and become four Arrancar--a lean one, a fat one, a slimy one, and a musclebound one.

    "Fatso, Slimer, Musclehead, Fido... Welcome back to the world of the living dead. In case you're wondering why you're not dead anymore, well, it's been a couple of weeks since the Espada murdered you, the little girl you were hanging with is now a powerful level Hollow trapped in Hell, and I'm the physical manifestation of her potential to become a Shinigami that just ate a piece of the thing that gives Quincy their powers."

    The Misfit Arrancar are a bit too busy processing the fact that they're not sand anymore to have heard any of that.
    Last edited by Rater202; 2019-07-12 at 03:04 PM.
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    Spoiler: Ode To Meteors, By zimmerwald
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    Quote Originally Posted by zimmerwald1915 View Post
    Meteor
    You are a meteor
    Falling star
    You soar your
    Way down the air
    To the floor
    Where my other
    Rocks
    Are.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuroimaken View Post
    [The secret prison]

    "We do not know, sir. He doesn't respond to most forms of stimuli, negative or otherwise, and he won't say a word. No threats or pain of torture - we figured we can't exactly outdo Hell at its best even if such tactics did not produce dubious results on the brightest days." Setsurou replies. "We have been able to confirm that he IS cognizant, with a little help from some medical scans. But for whatever reason he simply won't say or do anything.

    Frankly, I doubt we will get any useful intel out of him. We know how to send him back, but then there's a good chance he'll just escape again.

    Which... provides us with a possibility of a plan, but I don't think it would necessarily bear fruit."


    He sighs.

    "At any rate, we have access to the prisoner any time you see fit. Deciding what to do with him is quite above my paygrade anyway."

    _______________________

    [The Bar]

    Not an uncommon occurrence, all told.

    "C'mon, I'll get you to whatever lodgings you got. Walk off the booze, get a little fresh air. Barkeep, add his to my tab."

    _______________________

    [Combat Division HQ]

    Shinji gives Naito a chance to acquaint himself with Masaru, and can't help but smile a little. The fact his friend has the good grace to show a little embarassment is a sign that he's getting the hang of his emotions back. Near as the Kuzunoha scion can tell, that's generally a good sign. "Wartime" Naito probably would've been more dismissive of his little faux pas.
    [The Bar]

    Chuck sighs and stands up, muttering about where his lodgings are. His teacher doesn't have to drag him out, but it's a near thing. Seems Chuck's out of it...
    ===========================================
    [The secret prison]

    Masamune stands quietly for several moments, clearly thinking over the situation. Finally, he speaks.

    "I will go in to speak with the prisoner. The Empress will accompany me and scan him with Kido your people likely do not have access to."

    That's a polite way of saying they definitely won't know them. His phrasing doesn't order the high mistress of Kido to do what he mentioned, but it heavily suggests it, and it plays to their strengths anyways.
    BitPRR Characters: Entries Masaru, Chuck, Thomas, Turiel, and Masamune

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    [At the prison]

    "Understood, sir." Setsurou replies, signaling to one of the guards to get ready to let the Royal Guardsmen through. The guard signals back.

    "Whenever you're ready."
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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

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    Default Re: [BitPRē] Renewed Revolution Spirit World VI: Now With Mortal World

    Las Noches

    "Well wasn't that a waste of time?" Shin-Tan Ubai asks to herself as the Misfit Arrancar she resurrected take the chance to run off.

    "Might as well head on out then."

    The corrupted sword spirit opens a Garganta and vanishes through it.

    (This is more so the thread doesn't disappear off the page than anything else.)
    Last edited by Rater202; 2019-08-04 at 12:25 AM.
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    Spoiler: Ode To Meteors, By zimmerwald
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    Quote Originally Posted by zimmerwald1915 View Post
    Meteor
    You are a meteor
    Falling star
    You soar your
    Way down the air
    To the floor
    Where my other
    Rocks
    Are.

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    [IntSec HQ]

    Every week, like clockwork, Hishikawa Setsurou spent some time actually at headquarters for once, while a body double of the Hishikawa family made the rounds to make it look like he was somewhere else.

    The reason was simpler than it appeared. Setsurou wanted some privacy to actually see to a task that he'd made a habit of since he started mastering the various arts: he wrote his memories down on a journal. It helped him clear his head, and registered his state of mind at the time of writing.

    Of course, these also contained some of his deepest, darkest secrets. Which is why he made it a point to write in code. He used a complex cypher mixing alphabetical and syllabic substitutions, coupled with semi-random shifts in style. To top everything off, he would make it into the form of a stylized drawing. The process took some time, but it ensured it would take someone particularly smart and skilled to break it. Or someone whom, in addition to that, knew his quirks particularly well.

    As of right now, there were perhaps three or four people in Soul Society proper that could do that, not counting Setsurou himself. Momoka, Rin, his grandfather and, possibly Takenaka Chouko - if she were to be tasked with it, though in all likelihood she'd run it through a decryption program of some sort.

    "Day XX of YY, the X year of Heiwa.

    It's been an... unique three past weeks. Our interrogation on the Hell escapee Jack the Ripper went absolutely nowhere. Unfortunately, to be expected. Even if I believed in torture, I don't think he'd give up anything useful - after all, he was a denizen of Hell. We ultimately decided to keep him confined until the current situation with the Ghost King is seen to.

    The mortal children that came to us in search of aid for their friend Yamada Katsuo have recovered well. Yamada in particular showed a lot of resilience for a boy his age. The Commander-General seems to feel a sort of kinship with the boy - for once, I felt inclined not to look too deeply into it. Even though knowing secrets is my business, that felt incredibly distasteful. Can't say much for the others. Tetsuhiko Naito is an unique case in terms of spiritual composition, and it's definitely a good thing that they're working with who they are - the Unseelie Accords proved a blessing for someone in their condition. Note to self: find the whereabouts of anybody who might have had a hand in that experiment and hand them to that kid. For that matter, Aoi-san would probably give the SSI modsoul department gleeful fits of possibility. I asked Momo to keep them reigned in. Pretty sure the last thing that girl needs is a sense of being an artificial curiosity.

    Speaking of Momo... we got married.

    Yeah, even writing that still feels unreal. Her whole journey back to noblehood has been crazy, in point of fact. With Central 46 incapacitated, it was high time we got a new leadership, and the rebirth of the Tsuyoi fit that timing like a glove. I managed to convince the Koutetsu not to turn the marriage itself into a spectacle, because of the Rukon elements that might still potentially crash the party. Of course, that was a bluff. I managed to work with Gwyn and helped defuse them a week before that could even become an issue. Gwyn knew Momo, and Momo is now set to make the right decisions for the little guys. In her ever-so-subtle way, Momo is grooming my sister-in-law for a leadership position in the Chamber.

    I'm already preparing for when she feels hurt and betrayed. It's not going to be pretty, and she'll need me to be there for her. At least I got a lovely honeymoon out of it.

    The Commander-General was publicly punished for acting against the Red Pheasant. To be frank, it felt like a tasteless spectacle, especially when the Yellow Ki-rin Empress took his place afterwards. Knowing the man, he would have gladly borne twice the punishment out of respect for her if nothing else, but he was sternly reminded that doing so would've made her appear weak. I believe more private sanctions would have been just as appropriate, but it wasn't my place to say it. I suppose if ever there was a downside to my not wanting to push my position as a noble, this was kinda it.

    The Royal Guard is still around, partially to fix the mess that happened during the Red Pheasant incident and partially to coordinate our restructuring.

    Right now every last effort is being focused on preparing to kick the Ghost-King's teeth in for good. The Hell situation, whatever it was, is going to have to wait until we've dealt with him, something that's long overdue. One thing that sort of rubs me the wrong way is that the kids sort of drafted themselves into this mess. They say at the very least they intend to protect Ikari. Only one, Kamogawa Shinji, chose to come back after a little while to talk shop with Momo. I never saw her come happier out of a conversation about spells and the like. Somehow I get the feeling the kid needed a female figure just as much as Momo needed someone young and bright to dote on.

    Still trying to figure out a way out of this. I don't want her to do what she plans, but I've never been able to change her mind once it was set. And since I promised not to let her plans out, I can't really discuss this with anyone.

    I'll only get one more shot out of convincing her, for all the good it'll do.

    I love you, Momoka Tsuyoi. Whatever comes of this, that feeling will never change."
    Last edited by Kuroimaken; 2019-08-22 at 04:06 PM.
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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

  13. - Top - End - #13
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    A Few Nights Ago, Hueco Mundo, many, many spirit miles from Las Noches.

    Shin-Tan Ubai buried her blade into the head of the last lesser hollow. She consumed it's reiryoku and reishi, but allowed it's souls to be purified and sent to soul society.

    The last one. The last of the Hollows that Sarah killed in self-defense. The last of the souls that Sarah had been unfairly damned to Hell for had been restored and purified.

    And yet, Sarah's still in Hell even though her so-called-sin had been completly erased.

    Just hard proof at the inherent injustice of the system.

    "So... I can sense Sarah... She's got plenty of soul-stuff in her, probably enough, but just in case... Damn... the cross is still my best bet for getting enough power and souls to make absolutely sure, but Foxy grandma is such a god-damned stubborn, dumber-than-a-slasher-flick-about-the-banana-splits bitch that I'll need someone with a bit more clout to get it... Nobody's gonna trust the national socialist asshats even if I can get to them and prove that I've got that power that makes me the rightful owner of the cross in their deluded worldview...

    "Lots and Lots of Shinigami and Arrancar died in the past few months... Maybe if I proved R's power and offered to restore all the improperly slain souls... Nah, Las Noches would probably be all for it but the Shinigami would burn me as a heretic.... God damn it, I can't help but feel like there was supposed to be someone else here doing legwork on this... Why though?"


    While pondering and walking around in the middle of nowhere, Shin-Tan doesn't notice the massive imposing gates forming behind her. Not when they open just wide enough for a robed and masked figure to step out.

    She only notices when they slam shut.

    And she turns around just as the escaped Sinner tears off its mask and cloak, revealing a humanoid, batlike hollow with a long tail and a horned skull mask with black chain markings that perfectly resemble the ones in Shin-Tan's own body with no signs of the chains of Hell upon her.

    "Well, crap. Look, Sarah... I know you're mad. And you have a right to be mad. But I kinda need you to get back down there or I'm not 100% sure I'll be able to get yo out permanently--"

    Shin Tan doesn't finish because Sarah punches her in the face.

    "You... Yeah, I should have seen this coming."

    Shin-Tan vanishes with one of the high-speed techniques she has available to her. It doesn' really matter which at this point, and reappears a short bit off. "Bakudo number--"

    And she doesn't get to finish her spell because Sarah fires a Cero directly at her and her Ceros have gotten big. Shin Tan is forced to dodge.

    Something Shin-Tan didn't consider: Her actions have resulted in Sarah being significantly stronger than Shin-Tan herself is. For one time since Sarah came to Hueco Mundo for the first time, she's the one that's overwhelmingly stronger than the other guy.

    To survive, Shin-Tan needs to stop being Shin-Tan.

    "I was really hoping to save this for something more climactic, but it seems fate's against it: Ban~Kai!"

    Shin-Tan swings her sword-self forward and grips the handle with both hands. Her reiryoku explodes around her and when it clears, the Zanpakuto spirit is dressed in a simple, lowing robe of what appears to be darkness itself. Upon her face is a skull mask identical to the hollow she's facing, and in her hands are two massive blades, more polearms or better yet heaps of raw iron than swords, with chains hanging from the hilts and flowing up her sleeves.

    "See, Sarah, this is the kind of power you could have had if Karma wasn't a bitch."

    "Never wanted power. Just wanted to not hurt."

    Sarah fires another Cero. This time, the sword spirit doesn't dodge. The dark energy of the robe expands out and the Cero is drunk inside of it.

    "You remember how your Aegis used to do that, right? But not as good? Guess where that came from."

    The sword spirit appears behind her master and swings both massive blades down.

    CLANG!

    In an instant, the hollow is cloaked int he same indestructible black and silver metal as the Sword Spirit's weapon self, in a stylized armor covered in bones and skull.

    In a flash of green light, both spirits are on the ground with the armored hollow holding the sword spirit down by the neck in a choking, crushing grip.

    The Zanpakuto can think of only one thing to salvage her plan.

    "My.. My name is... Tamakui no Onihime..."

    And then an armored fist caves the sword spirit's head in.

    Las Noches, Sexta district residences, home of Lady Sexta.

    Upon a Bed in the Sexta Espada's house is a young teen girl lying comatose. Her soul is missing--though she still lives and draws breath, there's no will, power, or animating force beyond a bit of magic keeping her alive.

    She is, or was, mortal, but being physically transferred to Hueco Mundo has reshified her... And that means that she sort of... Unravels, when the spirit who worked the magic keeping her alive is slain. The component particles of reishi sort of drift away leaving naught but empty clothes.

    The Lady-Sexta, who has come to be a surrogate mother for the child, clenches her fist in anger to witness this.

    Far away.

    Tamakui no Onihime begins to dissolve into reishi as another bit of reishi suddenly begins to form above Sarah.

    Both sources of reishi begin merging into Sarah, who looks up in surprise. She doesn't want this. she doesn't want that psycho bitch to be part of her.

    She doesn't have a choice though. Tamakui no Onihime has always been part of Sarah.

    When the last particle of reishi from both the sword spirit and from Sarah's body is absorbed and Sarah is whole again, her reiryoku flares and she explodes in a flash of silver.

    When the dust clears, there isn't a batlike Vasto Lorde but a humanoid spirit kneeling in the sand with the black and silver wakizashi that started this mess clenched in her fist.

    Slowly, the girl stands and gingerly touches the edge of the hole in her torso and the bonelike fragment of mask over her right eye and forehead.

    The first realization that occurs to her is that she's dead for real.

    The second is the implications of everything she did since ending up in Hell, as her humanity and sanity have returned to her.

    She doesn't take it well.

    shakily, she steps forward before tearing open a Garganta.

    Las Noches

    Which opens up just outside lady Sexta's house. The child, stumbling, practically forces herself past the front door and makes her way inside.

    Svetlana, the Espada, comes to her home's entryway to confront the intruder before recognizing her child on sight. She removes her coat and wraps it around the child just as the child collapses. The motherly Arrancar pulls the child into a warm hug as the child begins to cry, and over the course of a few hours, the child tearfully recounts everything that's happened.

    Svetlana is both saddened and horrified at what her daughter went through, but also someone proud that her child had grown strong enough to escape from Hell.

    Sarah is shocked that it was only a couple of days. It felt like months.

    After all is said and done, Sarah is tucked into bed. It's late and night and the child is clearly exhausted both physically and mentally.

    Now

    Sarah is dressed, once more, in the uniform of a Numero, though this time custom marked with a patch over the breast showing her to be the Francione of the Sexta Espada. The Wakizashi she gained recently is at her hip, but the way she glances at it says she's not exactly comfortable with it.

    Believe it or not, Svetlana is combing the child's hair.

    "Are you sure that you want to do this?"

    "I have to... I need to stay busy. Keep my mind off of..."


    "If you change your mind, or feel you need a break, I won't stop you from coming home."

    I know... I love you, Mom.

    Sarah's adoptive mother wraps her arms around her daughter.

    "And I love you as well, my child."

    And with that, Sarah Smith accompanies her mother on Lady Sexta's rounds for the day.
    Last edited by Rater202; 2019-08-25 at 01:11 PM.
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  14. - Top - End - #14
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    [Las Noches, Sexto Distrito]

    There is something to be said for the way Las Noches' hierarchy works. The general rule of thumb is that anyone who proves their power over an Espada can take said Espada's seat, provided the fight is provoked in a formal fashion.

    Sagarosso Vespertilio is and has always been about the spectacle. He's spent the time since his forced retreat in Russia taking back up what he had abandoned - seeking new heights of power to exact his revenge on the likes of the Sin Rostra.

    That vengeance is over and done with now. Every last one of them has become sustenance for the vampire, whose ennui over the past couple of centuries had not abated in that long. Or so he thought.

    "I'm sorry for not doing this with the ceremony it deserves."

    Svetlana doesn't see the attack that robs her of consciousness coming past that sentence. Sarah, on the other hand, can see only darkness. It surrounds her. Reminds her of the general feel of Hell's environs. It feels like something positively terrifying has crawled up in her brain and nested in it.

    It feels like too long, but it is over within moments.

    "It is done, Soothsayer."

    Bai reaches while Sagarosso hands him the crimson orb that used to be Tamakui no Onihime. Ripped clean from Sarah's own soul - along with a number of other things. Chief among them is every ounce of spiritual power she had 'absorbed' in Hell.

    "Shall I do something to the other one?" He points at Svetlana.

    "No. I have something else planned for her."

    Bai mulled to himself as he had Sarah and Svetlana float behind him and into a gash in reality of some kind. As for Sagarosso, he simply vanished into the shadows.

    [Elsewhere]

    "It is for the best, child."

    "I know, Kuzunoha-sama. Hell ill abides escapees. The Wardens would have eventually tracked down the girl and attacked Las Noches to bring her back. Countless, senseless deaths would have followed.

    I simply wish I could have done this in a more subtle manner. Manipulating that old bat brought to the fore some memories that I do not care for."


    "I told you that Foresight would bear down on you like a curse sooner or later."

    "Well what kind of a tabooist would I be if I listened to the advice of my elders? Might as well commit a couple more atrocities against the cycle of reincarnation while I'm at it."

    [Three days later]

    The Sexto Distrito breathes a collective sigh of relief as Svetlana returns, although her unwillingness to answer the basic questions of where she was and what she's been up to causes a few perked eyebrows.

    Meanwhile, back on Earth, more specifically New York, Sarah Smith finds herself headed for the first day of school in her young life. She remembers next to nothing of her spiritual background and upbringing, but much of it is a haze. After having been attacked by a particularly ferocious Hollow when she was younger, she slipped into a coma, out of which she only came recently. Thankfully, her mother, Svetlana Smith, never gave up hope.

    It helps that Bai chose to stick the girl's soul in a younger body so she could enjoy a proper childhood. He gave them both memories as mother and daughter, choosing to make up the coma story along with a background of initial estrangement so that the two would eventually come to terms with the situation on their own. Both memories of each soul's spiritual abilities were blocked, to be released only in the event of an attack - if the shikigami he left behind were somehow unable to watch over them. That worked into their cover story as two pet ravens.

    But one thing is for sure, neither will be involved in spiritual affairs for at least a full century.
    The Void, the Cold Steel, the Just Sword courtesy of Prime32.

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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

  15. - Top - End - #15
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    *scrubbed*
    Quote Originally Posted by Kuroimaken View Post
    [Las Noches, Sexto Distrito]Bai reaches while Sagarosso hands him the crimson orb that used to be Tamakui no Onihime. Ripped clean from Sarah's own soul - along with a number of other things. Chief among them is every ounce of spiritual power she had 'absorbed' in Hell.
    Which then explodes in Bai's hand.

    "You frickin' Interloper, can't leave well enough alone."

    Regardless of whether or not the explosion harms bai or the other one in any way, every last bit of energy they just stole from Sarah escapes back into her and she begins to stir.

    Meanwhile, from behind Bai, a chain begins to wrap itself around him. It seems that Svetlana wasn't as unconscious as was assumed.

    "You have three seconds to get the Hell out of my district before I decide to make the two of your the main course of a mother-daughter picnic."

    Meanwhile, Sarah is kneeling and clutching her head.

    "No... Please. I don't want to."

    In her mind, the sword-spirit that just returned to her screams at her.

    "You idiot! I know you hate me but those ****ers are trying to take ya away from Mommy! Yer armor's in here with me! You don't know how to use that sword! If you don't call on me you're not gonna be able ta defend yourself! You only need to do it once!"

    "...Devour... No, no, I can't."
    Last edited by flat_footed; 2019-09-14 at 11:25 PM.
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    Meteor
    You are a meteor
    Falling star
    You soar your
    Way down the air
    To the floor
    Where my other
    Rocks
    Are.

  16. - Top - End - #16
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    [Meanwhile, in Hell]

    "How is the simulation going?"

    "It's good. The sinner's soul believes that it has survived the encounter."

    "Excellent. Perhaps an eternity in a false reality will make it reconsider the next time it tries to cheat a soul out of its rightful punishment. And we can use her as a case study for the next fool who attempts escape."

    With this, the Wardens went back to their respective duties.
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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

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