Chapter 3 - Escaping the World of the Living

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Chapter 3 - Escaping the World of the Living

Post by WarJack on Fri Dec 30, 2016 2:19 am

Jack had been on a power trip since he’d consumed the Shinigami. The power he’d felt was indescribable. He could feel the dense muscles on his body increase in mass, his body felt more durable and the cut on his shoulder had almost instantly healed after he’d consumed the massive amount of blue essence.

Unfortunately for Jack, his killing of Bartholomew Kuma, one of the newest Squad 7 Shinigami had not gone unnoticed…

-

Takio, Lieutenant of Squad 7, was rushing around his barracks, gathering report after report from all of the newer Shinigami that had recently graduated from the Shinōreijutsuin and joined his squad.

After receiving all of the reports, Takio left for his private room - the Lieutenant’s quarters - to review the notes.

The new recruits shouldn’t have run into anything too dangerous while in the Human World. There had been fifteen new recruits from The Spiritual Arts Academy whom had joined his squad, so Captain Sabo had him pair them up and send them off on their first missions.

There were an odd number of recruits this time around, but fortunately one of them had stood out from the crowd. Bartholomew Kuma was an exceptional student, passing every class with high marks and finishing the curriculum in five years, instead of the usual six.

That alone put him ahead of his classmates and it was an easy decision for Takio to make, when deciding who should undertake their first solo mission.

... Thirteen! Fourteen! That’s all fifteen reports collec-… Wait a second. Fourteen?” Takio’s mental train of thought halted abruptly. “Where is Bartholomew’s report?” he wondered.

Double checking, then triple checking for the report, Takio began to grow concerned.

In the few short weeks he'd gotten to know Bartholomew (as well as the rest of the recruits) on missions, training and drinking nights out, Takio knew how punctual Bartholomew was. Never missing or late for anything. This was a first and he did not have a good feeling about this.

Takio's concern only amplified as he left his quarters and entered the common room area of the squad barracks. He saw Aamir, Lieutenant of Squad 12, being ushered into Captain Sabo's quarters by the captain himself.
Rushing after them, he quickly and quietly opened the door, entering the room to catch the tail-end of what Aamir was saying.

"...olomew Kuma has been killed. I'm sorry Captain Sabo. Our sensors indicated he encountered a Hollow, engaged it in combat, before dying shortly after going into Shi-Kai" Aamir concluded grimly, not a trace of humour to be found in the normally cheerful man's tone.

Takio could see Captain Sabo visibly restraining himself at the news. He was a very prideful man and he could see the loss of a new recruit was cutting him as deeply as a sword wound.

Takio watched as his captain swore loudly, while slamming his fist on the table, completely losing his cool. “Unacceptable! Takio, gather a few squad members and exterminate the Hollow!”

Nodding, Takio swiftly left. Captain Sabo was an honourable man, but he had a vicious temper when suitably angered.

-

Explaining the situation to the other squad members was difficult, the vast majority of the newly graduated Shinigami had agreed that Bartholomew was the best recruit and most suited for a solo mission.

The news of his death was troubling, especially to his closest comrades, who would often go drinking with him.

“So what’s the plan, Lieutenant Takio?” shouted a voice from the crowd of Shinigami, whom had gathered before him.

Takio looked at the men and women in front of him, his squad members who he’d sworn to protect, when he’d taken the post of Lieutenant.

Their heads held high and their hands on their Zanpakutō, looking righteously furious and itching to avenge their fallen comrade.

Takio stepped closer to the group and spoke in a low, gravelly tone: “Okay. This is how it’s going to go…”

-

Several hours later, a Senkaimon appeared 50 feet in the air, on a hill on the outskirts of a small town.

11 Shinigami stepped out of the dimensional gate, accompanied by the Jigokuchō – Hell Butterflies – that guided them through the World Penetration Gate. These 11 men and women had one goal in mind.

Revenge.

They had been tasked by Sabo, Captain of Squad 7, to avenge their fallen comrade, Bartholomew Kuma, the most promising student of the most recent batch of graduates - fresh out of the Shinōreijutsuin.

Tracking the Hollow hadn’t proved to be a difficult task. It must have been a relatively new Hollow, roughly a week old, as it couldn’t mask its Reiryoku very well.

Aamir, Lieutenant of Squad 12, had pointed them in the right area – The outskirts of a rather small looking town in the middle of nowhere.

It was child’s play for Takio to find the rogue Hollow from there, as they tracked it to an old, abandoned warehouse with his Reikaku (Spiritual Sense) and Reiatsu Chikaku (Spiritual Pressure Perception), although the other squad members weren’t at the level that they could track spiritual beings to such a specific degree. They could sense the Hollow, but not accurately pinpoint its location.

“Alright, we’ve arrived. We’re taking no chances here. Split off into pairs and fan out. I want this building surrounded” ordered Takio, as he placed his hand on the hilt of his Zanpakutō and slowly began walking forwards, in the direction of the warehouse’s main door.

Nodding, all 10 squad members split off into pairs. 4 of the resulting 5 pairs of Shinigami scattered to the 4 corners of the warehouse, while the last pair stayed with their Lieutenant, ready to support him if needed.

-

Jack noticed something was wrong the moment that 11 pinpricks of light appeared in his peripheral vision. These were powerful foes, he realised, as he looked back down as the evaporating remains of the Hollow he’d just devoured.

Even in his current state, he was still weak compared to these beings. These Shinigami.

Jack was disgusted with himself - he needed to be stronger.

His body was stronger now than it was a few hours ago. The strength of his pounces, his claw swipes and his tail strikes were all stronger than they had ever been before.

His utility-based abilities, like walking on thin air were improving – He could run, jump, pounce and glide from air that solidified below his feat.

Jack was the strongest he’d ever been in his new form, and yet he knew that he was still not strong enough to take on 11 foes, especially ones as powerful as these appeared to be.

Oh yes, he knew just how powerful each and every one of these Shinigami were. Ever since he had tapped into the blue-white coloured spec of light he’d seen in his head, he’d noticed new abilities he could utilise:

  • Walking on air. Moving so fast that the world blurred around him and a buzzing sound was produced.
  • Firing destructive beams of light from his mouth and tail.
  • Healing from devastating damage that had been inflicted to his body, during fights.

There were probably more.

But even after all of that. All the struggles, the triumphs, the adrenaline rush and the fervour of battle, and the euphoria of consuming the delicious blue particles that filled him with power and the new abilities, he still wasn’t strong enough.

He still wasn’t the strongest.

So Jack had a decision to make; Fight an unwinnable battle, or run and live to fight another day.

Live, or die.

The choice was obvious.

-

The Spiritual Pressure in the area began to increase dramatically. Takio felt his eyebrows rise of their own accord. This Hollow was more powerful that he’d previously thought and its Reiryoku masking abilities were more advanced than he’d given the Hollow credit for.

It didn’t matter. The Hollow was still weak, compared to him. His squad members might struggle, had this been a solo mission. Fortunately, each of his men and women were paired up, so they would be fine.

Suddenly, an extremely loud buzzing sound filled the air and a feminine scream tore through the still evening air, quickly followed by a loud grunt and a pained roar.

Using Shunpo, Takio quickly appeared and took stock of the scene before him.

The Hollow was large, towering over the 6ft tall Ryunn, the male of the pair. It had leathery black skin, sharp looking claws on each appendage and a long, thick tail, with a wicked looking protrusion at its tip. It’s body was also encircled by large leathery black wings which were slowly unfurling.

The source of the scream had was obvious. The female of the pair and the miniature 5ft tall Karia, was missing an arm.

It appeared that the Hollow had targeted two of the younger members of his squad, perhaps sensing a weakness there. It had slashed through Karia, severing her left arm from the shoulder down, rendering her incapable of battle as she was left-handed.

Ryunn had seemed to have proved himself adept under pressure, as the Hollow had a moderately sized cut along its left flank.

Both of his members were holding their heads, and Takio could see blood slowly seeping from their ears. Had the loud buzzing sound he’d heard been loud enough to blow their eardrums?

His quick assessment of the situation finished, Takio stepped forwards, into the heart of the fray.

-

Jack had tried.

One of his new abilities was moving so fast the world seemed to blur around him. It was accompanied by a loud buzzing sound. He’d found that, with focus, he could increase or decrease the volume of the buzzing sound created by the technique.

Jack had attempted to strike before they had gotten into formation. He’d evaluated the situation and picked out the weakest pair of his opponents and focused on increasing the volume of his technique - to as loud as it could possibly go.

It had been semi-successful.

He’d burst out of the warehouse, as the world blurred around him. The loud buzzing sound had been loud enough to disorientate the female of the pair in front of him. So he’d struck, tearing through the soft flesh of her shoulder, dismembering her and removing her ability to fight. He’d specifically targeted the arm which was touching the hilt of her Zanpakutō.

Unfortunately, the male of the pair had recovered from the surprise attack far more quickly than Jack would have liked. He’d been unable to dodge the fast draw and swing of the Shinigami’s sword, he yowled in pain as the sword swiped across the left side of his body.

Even more bad news followed. A few seconds after his attempt, the most powerful of the group had appeared before him, walking towards his comrades. He’d suddenly appeared in his vision, in a flash. Jack hadn’t seen him coming.

There was a significant upside to this situation however - Jack was no longer surrounded. He could sense the rest of the Shinigami fast approaching his location.

It appeared the powerful one had realised it too, as he was frowning while his eyes flickered around to the rest of the Shinigami, who had begun to appear before them.

Jack grinned, a blood-thirsty grin and quickly backed off, retreating into the warehouse. As he’d expected, 3 of the 4 pairs of Shinigami followed him through the open doors, with the powerful one slowly stalking behind them.

Jack fled to the corner of the room, hidden behind a large wall, he slowly began to focus the blue-white energy towards his mouth and tail.

Time to do some real damage.” Jack thought, grinning at the devastation he knew his next attack would cause.

-

Lieutenant Takio grew worried. He could sense the Hollow, whose Reiatsu was building at an alarming rate. It was hidden behind a wall, in the far corner of the building he and his squad members had found themselves entering.

But he couldn’t figure out what the Hollow was doing. He could distinctly feel two separate points of Reiryoku building up, but he didn’t know of a Hollow attack that required this.

The only Hollow technique he knew of that required the build-up of Spiritual Power at two separate points was Descorrer, the ability to open a Garganta between the World of the Living and Hueco Mundo, the dimension in which the Hollow reside.

Takio was sure it was an attack, based on how his men were being drawn into a tight, enclosed area.

“Hold fast! Don’t get drawn in by th-” he started, but he’s warning was cut off by a loud roar from the Hollow, which jumped out from behind the wall.

“Cero! Dodge!” Takio shouted, as his world was enveloped in a blue-white hue. “Bastard! That Hollow fired twin Cero!” Takio mentally cursed, as he once again utilised Shunpo to escape the violent attack.

But the violently bright light faded abruptly, before it reached the spot Takio had evaded from.

-

Takio took a second to evaluate the damage from the Hollow’s devastating attack.

His vision swam as he saw the remains of one of his squad members, Jaraiha, who attempted to block one of the Cero with his Zanpakutō, only to be annihilated by the second Cero, which tore a large hole in half of his chest.

The Hollow’s body was long and its tail only added to that length. The Cero coming from the tail came from a different angle, which must have slipped passed Jaraiha’s defences, scoring a clean blow to the left side of his chest, which had been vaporised.

Jaraiha’s partner, Zahrias, had been badly burned, but had managed to escape most of the damage, only suffering minor burns to the backs of his legs. He stood hunched over, panting from the unexpected adrenaline rush caused by the quick movement, before he let out a pained cry of realisation, noting that his partner was in such a critical condition.

There was nothing left of the second of the pairs who Takio had followed into the warehouse, as they’d been exterminated by the surprisingly powerful Cero which had torn through their bodies.

The third pair had simply dodged the violent attack, splitting from each other’s sides and dashing to opposite sides of the destructive blue-white light, as it roared past them.

The final pair that he’d followed were older and more experienced than their other squad members, as well as being competent Kidō users.

They’d both summoned a shield – Way of Binding #38: White Tiger Hide – without using an incantation. Normally, an incantationless shield would have been weaker, but the combined strength of two overlapping shields had been enough to halt the two destructive Cero in it’s tracks and prevent it from reaching them.

What was worse for Takio, the Hollow didn’t seem to be exhausted from the powerful attack, meaning that he could probably use it more than once, and that he would be able to keep fighting, even now.

Takio made a snap decision. “All of you! Get back! This Hollow is far more powerful than we’d first realised!”

Without comment, the remaining Shinigami gathered their wounded comrades and retreated through the open doors and towards Ryunn and Karia, who were still recovering from the Hollow’s previous surprise-attack.

-

Jack’s second attempt had been moderately successful. More successful than he’d mentally wagered. The screaming voices in his head had unified upon his decision to use one of his most powerful techniques - the twin beams of light.

His attack had caught 4 of the 9 Shinigami that had entered the warehouse he’d retreated into. 2 deaths, 1 critically injured, 1 with moderate injuries.

Unfortunately, that is where his luck had run out. 5 of his foes had been untouched by his attack. 2 had defended and successfully blocked his attack with some sort of translucent shield, while the other pair had simply moved out of the way.

The powerful one hadn’t even been touched by his attack.

Jack cursed mentally, his thoughts running at a million miles an hour, as the voices in his head began to ramp up in terms of volume and intensity. They were screaming things like; “Run! Hide!! Escape!!!

Suddenly, his luck changed. It seemed that the powerful one was concerned for the rest of his Shinigami comrades, as he ordered his men to retreat.

Curious” Jack thought, as he tensed his body while assessing the situation, searching for a trick or trap.

Seconds later, he grinned. The Shinigami had gathered their wits and retreated, leaving him alone with the powerful one.

He couldn’t take him in a fair fight, that much he knew. His options were limited. In fact, Jack couldn’t think of a way out of his current situation.

But he knew. He knew that he would survive. He had to. So he did the first thing that came to his (admittedly primitive) mind.

He roared.

-

Lieutenant Takio had seen plenty of things in his life as a Shinigami.

He’d seen Hollows larger than buildings. He’d seen bloodshed over the largest city, which was regularly contested by the Hollow and the Shinigami – Kyoto City.

He’d seen a Hollow invasion force, led by 13 of the most powerful Hollows - the Espada & the Maestro - along with their beloved King Dormammu, penetrate the walls of the Seireitei and attack the very heart of the Shinigami.

And yet, something about this Hollow struck a chord with him. It wasn’t fear, it wasn’t excitement. Takio couldn’t identify this feeling. But regardless, this Hollow had decimated nearly half of his team in one, admittedly unexpected, yet devastating attack.

Suddenly, a large roar interrupted his mental reverie and Takio felt the Hollow’s Reiatsu increasing again, so he drew his Zanpakutō and prepared himself for the Hollow’s next attack.

Once again, the Hollow surprised him. It leapt backwards to the far corner of the warehouse, pressing itself up against the wall and swiped through the air, releasing two bursts of Reiatsu.

Takio’s eyes widened. He recognised the Descorrer technique from his past experiences with Hollows. He shot forwards, leaving an after-image and dust swirling behind him.

The large, black dimensional tear opened in the far corner of the building, as the two pulses of Spiritual Power tore through the air, ripping open a portal between dimensions.

A large buzzing sound accompanied the tearing sound of the Garganta being opened, as the Hollow disappeared, leaving behind a hazy after-image.

Takio stopped a few inches short of the Garganta, staring into the inky blackness of the void that separated the two worlds, as the portal began to slowly close.

It was just setting in. Takio swore, shouting in frustration, before turned back towards his injured men.

The Hollow had escaped.

How would he explain this failure to Captain Sabo?

The Hollow had escaped.

How would he face the men and women serving under him, back in the Soul Society?

The Hollow had escaped.

How would he face the brave Shinigami who had followed him into battle, after he’d failed them?

The Hollow had escaped.

-
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WarJack
Human
Human

Posts : 41
Join date : 2015-02-13
Age : 23

Character sheet
Name: WarJack
Title: King of Hueco Mundo
Race: Hollow

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