Chapter 5 - Survival, Growth and Change

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Chapter 5 - Survival, Growth and Change

Post by WarJack on Fri Dec 30, 2016 2:24 am

Sleep seemed to matter little to him now. Jack’s Hollow body didn't seem to need rest.

Oh, he would fatigue and tire after a few consecutive fights for his soul, but hiding in the trees for a short while would always solve any issues.

Not many Hollows had wings, so few managed to chase him up the tall quartz trees. Of the bird-like Hollows that had managed to chase him up high, the ones that hadn't given up the chase had been killed.

The forest was taller than he'd previously estimated too. Jack had seen gigantic Hollows, with masks longer than his body, lumbering through the forest and occasionally fighting each other.

The large Hollows didn't seem interested in little Hollows like him. But Jack was very interested in them.

Jack wanted to become like them, huge monsters that occasionally tore through the forest at surprising speeds, devouring anything in their path.

-

Many, many kills later, Jack began to notice something strange. The sounds of battle that made up the ambient background noise of the forest seemed to dim, like he was used to it.

Instead, Jack could hear the voices of what felt like thousands of souls in his mind.

It made sense, he supposed. If he'd eaten hundreds of Hollows in this place, who had in turn eaten their fill of souls… The number of souls would quickly begin to add up.

What didn't make sense though, was the urge to feed. The urge to feed coming from a specific direction.

Jack was used to the constant, unending hunger. But he was confused and intrigued by the urge to feed pulling him towards a specific location.

His mind was screaming at him to hunt, to feed, to devour. More so than ever before.

His interest piqued, Jack followed his senses. He ran up a nearby quartz tree, before jumping and gliding from tree to tree, in search of this place his mind was driving him towards.

-

Jack knew the instant he'd found the spot he was looking for, when he stumbled across a clearing. 3 reasons easily gave it away:

Firstly, the ambience of the clearing. The noise seemed to increase in ferocity and pitch. The amount of power and pressure here seemed stronger than anything he'd previously felt. Stronger even, than the presence of the powerful Shinigami he'd escaped from in the Human world.

Secondly, was the clearing itself. The area was sparse, devoid of the many quartz trees that littered the forest. As a result, the forest floor was sandy, instead of dirty and muddy, and gaps of light filtered through the canopy to the forest floor below.

Third and finally, there were hundreds of Hollows who had already commenced fighting in the clearing.

If the pained screams, angry roars and victorious cries had been prevalent before, that noise was magnified a hundredfold now.

Large, 4 legged Hollows did battle on the ground. Clawing, tearing, biting, charging and maiming each other to death, while the bird-like Hollows jumped and flew from tree branch to tree branch, firing a multitude of Ceros into the brawl below.

No Hollow seemed to stop to absorb the blue particles even, seemingly content with obeying the desire to consume all nearby life.

Pitiful” Jack whispered to himself, as the background noise faded away and he turned inward. He would need to be at full strength for the fight.

Staring into the inky blackness of his inner world, Jack marvelled at how easy it was to find this place now. No more meditating for ages at a time, it took but a few moments before he could reach the inner recesses of his mind.

You wish for power?! Well, so do I!” Jack roared internally, momentarily quieting the once loud and never ending chatter coming from the thousands of souls that resided in his mindscape.

Power! Fight! Victory!” Jack’s audience chanted back at him, in an almost hypnotic way. The urge to feed was stronger than ever.

It seemed the souls wished him to mindlessly jump into the fray and tear into the first Hollows he could get his hands on. The souls thought they could drown his wishes out, in their cacophony of orders.

That would not do. So Jack did what he knew best.

He roared.

SILENCE!” Jack roared into his inky black world. “You dare order me?! Individually, you were all weak, but collectively, we are STRONG!

Silence was his only answer. But before long, the familiar blue spec of light answered his roar.

Jack bounded forwards, enveloping himself in the blue particles. Wrapping his power around himself.

It was time.

-

Looking down on the Hollows below him, Jack began to charge his twin Ceros - One in his mouth, one at the end of his tail.

After waiting for an opportune moment, Jack leapt from his perch high in the trees.

Two bird-like Hollows left the safety of their perches, as Jack unleashed the destructive, pale blue energies under his command, which tore through the battlefield, obliterating countless mindless Hollows on the ground below.

Mid-flight, Jack reached outwards. Timing it perfectly, Jack grabbed the necks of the two bird-like Hollows, dragging them down to the ground with him. Their necks snapped in his grip upon impact with the ground.

That was when his plan began to fail. The Hollows immediately noticed a more powerful foe had entered the clearing and the ones in his immediate vicinity set their sights upon him.

Bombarded by assaults from all angles, Jack was forced to use all his limbs in perfect offensive and defensive unison, to avoid being destroyed by the hundreds of Hollows that approached him.

Fighting one-on-one was one thing, fighting one versus twenty was another entirely. Especially as when he killed a single Hollow, two or three more took its place.

Jack had one major advantage going for him though. These Hollows had once had similar intelligence to himself, but they had becoming mindless killing machines when the urge to come to the clearing had taken over them.

Jack had fought against the urge and established dominance in his own mind. He was in control and the Hollows in front of him would soon realise they were outmatched.

Smacking Hollows away with his wings, ducking and diving away from Hollows that launched themselves at him while cutting them to ribbons with the sharp end of his tail, clawing and maiming Hollows with his claws. But it was no good.

No matter how many Hollows he killed, more showed up. Worse still; Jack was beginning to tire.

The longer he fought, the more Ceros he used, the more tired he got.

After a little while, he’d tried using a low powered Cero, and accidently fired too early. The beam of pale blue light that shot from his tail with the force of a cannon was small, but fast, as it smashed into a bird Hollow with pinpoint accuracy and shattered its mask.

Jack managed to make use of this new technique and fired many more low powered Ceros, but it was still no good.

Eventually, he was too tired to move.

Jack found himself at the centre of the clearing. Standing, hunched over from exhaustion, Jack found himself looking up at the light filtering through the canopy. In an odd, brief moment, he thought he saw stars through the sand covering the upper canopy of quartz trees, before his world went black.

-

WHAT?!

Jack discovered he was still standing in the clearing. The Hollows had not started to bite and tear at his flesh like he’d expected, instead they changed - mid-flight, as they jumped at him - into formless, black blobs, that stuck to his body.

Jack then found himself slipping, slowly falling into the ooze. Like a villain from a cartoon movie that he’d watched as a child in the Human world, he began melting.

WHAT IS HAPPENING?!” Jack’s voice screamed internally, echoed tens of thousands of times by all the souls in his head. Nobody understood what was happening and everyone was terrified, screaming at him to pull himself out, to run away.

-

Jack’s vision faded and he found himself in the inky blackness of his inner world. The blue essence was nowhere to be seen, and all around him the echoes of screams could be heard.

Flickers of images of a thousand thousand lifetimes flashed before his eyes.

Holding a sword, he charged at a man on a horse, before being cut down by the horse-rider’s pike.

Long brown hair cascaded over his face, as he knelt in front of a stern-faced man on a throne.

His hand was around the throat of a blue eyed, blonde haired woman, as tears tracked down her face. She held a dagger in her right hand, which was pinned to a wall by his left hand. Jack couldn’t tell if her face showed anger, or regret, as he realised he was bleeding from a stab-wound to the heart.

Next, Jack found himself standing on the balcony of a hotel. Just as 4 armed men burst into the room behind him, he leapt from the edge of the skyscraper.

The scenes kept coming. Some fast, some slow. Some were long, almost like a video. Others were short, like pictures.

Eventually, Jack was bombarded with memories that he recognised.

Jack found himself in a garden, throwing apples over a fence with a boy in a school uniform.
- Did he go to school with him? -

Then he found himself riding bikes with 3 other boys, down a long country lane.
- Did he know them? -

Then Jack found himself in a meadow, surrounded by tall grass on all sides. At his side was a young boy - his brother? - and two young girls. They ran across the field, chasing the sun, with laughter in the air.
- Was this his childhood? -

Jack then found himself bowing in a Dojo, shaking the hand of an elderly man, while surrounded by men and women of all ages in white martial artist uniforms.
- Who were these people? -

Jack was then standing in a field on a cold day, next to a greying older man who oozed confidence and power - his father? - as they watched a game of humans running at each other, one holding an oddly shaped ball.
- What was happening to him? -

Finally, Jack found himself wishing a short, brown haired woman - his mother? - goodbye, before leaving a house on a cold, dark night.

Was that only a few nights ago?” Jack wondered, before being assaulted by more images in a random order.

Suddenly, they stopped. But the voices, the voices seemed to respond by increasing in volume. Louder and louder, the cacophony of noises grew, until Jack couldn’t take it anymore.

Shut up!” Jack ordered, shouting into the darkness. Unfortunately, that did nothing to halt the noise which had reached extreme levels. If anything, it spurred the souls onward.

Tens of thousands of souls crying out to be saved, crying out in fear, in anger. Jack’s voice was being drowned out, lost in the tide of voices.

I SAID, SHUT UP!” Jack roared, raising his voice to the limit and injecting what little power he had left into his mindscape.

Had he not closed his eyes, Jack would have seen a visible distortion wave of air race through his mindscape, banishing the loud, unruly souls to the furthest corners of his mind, to reveal a vast mindscape.

Instantly, the noise quieted, giving Jack a moment to think. When he opened his eyes, he was shocked to find himself standing atop a mountain.

The cold, high winds threatened to push his body off the side of the snow-capped mountain, into the inky black sea below, but his body remained rooted.

Looking down, Jack saw he was a lot higher off the ground than he expected to be. His body was huge!

The more he looked around, the more impressed and confused Jack grew.

The land around him looked inhospitable, yet he could see great gouts of fire release from a multitude of nearby mountaintops.

The sea below was inky black, similar to his old mindscape, yet Jack could see shapes and shadows flit across the ‘water’. He suspected the ‘water’ was actually the thousands of souls he'd devoured. He was unsure what the shapes in the sea where though.

Up in the sky it was dark, like the night and while no stars existed in his mind, the sky was lit up by a pale, blue moon.

The moon and the sea were the representations of his power… How curious. If so, then why did dragons inhabit this land in his mind?

He'd seen the dragons, spitting fire from their caves in the sides of the mountains and flying around the world in his mind.

When no clear answer presented itself, Jack shrugged and turned his thoughts back to his body.

He appeared to have changed into one of those gigantic monsters he'd seen charging through the forest.

But why?

Jack decided to see if he could return to the forest.

With great mental effort, he pulled himself from his inner world.

-
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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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