Factories and warehouses! Oh My!
Chad is currently at his frequent training site: a
skeletal old building that, for some reason, is never ever compelted as
construction crews constantly find new things to repair every week.
He's being more gental this time, honest.
He's after learning to put a 'cap' on his spiritual output, which makes training quite a bit easier when he doesn't bring the building down each time. He's been taking his training almost leisurely lately, things have been somewhat slack, aside from the Menos Grande that appeared a few weeks ago. He hasn't had the need to go all out in awhile, though he's trying to keep ahead of things.
Orihime Inoue hasn't spent as much time with her friends as she should. It's summer break, and she's got more time on her hands...or, she thought she would. How was she to know that things would get so hectic so fast? Philosopher's stones, group assembly, soothing Tatsuki's recent bouts of angst...she hasn't had the chance to talk much with Ichigo, Uryuu, Rukia, and Chad. At least she got to chat with Rukia last night, even though the circumstances were less than ideal. And she felt so good about the results that she set out to find the others immediately. And since Chad is the one she sees the least, along with him being so quiet and isolated, she figures he probably needed a visit.
And some cookies. MEXICAN cookies! The chili powder and cumin ensured that they had an authentic south-of-the-border kick to them! And with a center of gooey, sweet bean paste, who could resist?
It doesn't take long to find him. There was that reiatsu-searching trick that Ichigo and Uryuu had nailed. And after a few slightly embarrassing cases of mistaken identity, at last she's managed to find the big man. Hitching her backpack onto her shoulders, Orihime jogs up the steps, and BURSTS into the room with the door slammed open, one hand raised high. "Good evening, Sado-kun!"
"Inoue?" Chad blinks, as he glances in her direction. He was so pre-occupied with holding his power back that he didn't sense her coming until she was already inside. Apparently concentrating on holding back is far more distracting than he initially thought.
The armor vanishes from his arm, and he offers a small wave. "Haven't seen you around here lately. I was just wrapping up." He says, looking back at the various scorch marks on the walls, and knocked-over boxes. "Not quite as big a mess as I normally make."
The giant begins walking towards Inoue, or rather, the exit. "Just about to head back out. Coming?"
Orihime Inoue looks around, her mouth forming a little 'o' as she surveys the damage...or more correctly, the lack thereof. "Wow! You're getting really good!" she applauds, then beams up at Chad again. "Once I figured out where you were, I thought you might be a little tired, so I brought you some cookies and milk!" She unslings her backpack and opens the flap, then jogs after Chad to join him at the exit. "Here you go!" She proudly presents a thermos, still cold, filled with milk. And the cookies...oh no...those are in a ziplock bag. THOSE are homemade!
Cookies? Homemade? By ...Inoue? Errm...
"...thanks." He says, accepting the thermos and the bag of cookies. Why not? He's feeling brave tonight. And he could use something to drink anyway. "So where have you been, lately? Still in that Xing Kingdom?" He should really visit that place sometime. But he's still too used to the routine of his 'normal' life to visit outside the Gates too much. Or at least, not as much as Inoue does.
"Well..." Orihime smiles, though she looks a little flustered. "Actually, after the guy named Nine Dragons wiped out that poor village, Ling-san and I aren't really allowed to go back." She fastens her pack and slings it onto her shoulders again, glad that it feels a lot lighter without the thermos. "It's too dangerous, because his half-brother wants to kill him and make sure he doesn't have any competition for the throne." It's a little embarrassing to tell him why she isn't allowed back; Shiu Cho would probably use her to get to Ling, as he did before. And besides...she has intentions to return anyway, in disguise! Which is why she's smiling. "So Ling-san and I are just living here, and looking for the secret of immortality when we can. He searches more often than I do, though," she chuckles, rubbing at her hair. "What about you, Sado-kun?" That's enough about her! "What have you been doing?"
"Immortality?" Chad can't help but be curious there. He never thought that Inoue would ever want to look for something like THAT. It's probably something that Ling person wants. Though, as he decided before, he trusts her judgement in her affairs with her own life, so he'll leave it at that.
He shrugs ever so slightly as he opens the thermos. "I've mostly stuck around here." He says before taking a sip. "The only thing that's happened with me lately was a Menos attack a few weeks ago. I helped Ichigo, along with this other man. ...I didn't catch his name. Strange outfit, though. Blue tights and a red cape, seemed American."
No, Chad doesn't read comics. He's probably /heard of/ Superman, but he's not familiar enough to recognize him. That's kinda sad.
Orihime Inoue nods. She'd heard about the Menos attack, but not much about it in detail. "I can't believe I missed that..." But it's just as well. What could she have done against a Menos Grande that the others couldn't? "Anou, that was Superman-sama!" she beams at Chad, inwardly delighted that he isn't shirking away from her gift. Yay! Maybe her cooking is getting a lot better! "He's in charge of the IPA right now, so I guess you could say he's our boss. He came to visit the other week, and brought Indian food with him. From India!" Her dark eyes are glittering. Someone was certainly impressed, even if her fiance was less-than-enthused.
Paranormal Sector - Karakura Town
Truth be told, this town looks as one might expect of a modern Japanese suburb. The streets are clean here, and the homes usually look neat and tidy. It has a sort of small town charm, with its small, locally-owned businesses - some of which operate out of houses. The local landmarks include a large open market on the end of town close to Tokyo, a large high school, and the family-owned Kurosaki Clinic.
Indeed, if one cannot see ghosts, Karakura Town seems normal. However, those with supernatural senses may realize this place is out of the ordinary. Hollows, ghosts infused with evil energy, are sometimes on the prowl here, and they are combated by the Death Gods - invisible warriors fighting against these accursed ghosts.
For those who know better, this place may idyllic, but it is still a battleground.
It's a wonderful Saturday day in the mountains. School
is out, the sun is high, the heat is rising - but in the shade, under
the trees, people are happy, picnicking, chatting, talking. A few play
Go. Off in a nearby clearing, Tatsuki Arisawa and her Karate Team
companions are having a friendly mass spar, with Tatsuki smiling
broadly - having settled her scores with Ichigo, the young woman is
content, for the moment.
That will not last. The sky tears asunder, the universe yawns wide, and from the void between this world and the next, a pinpoint of light crashes down, a massive shockwave erupting from the point of impact, sending people flying like dominoes. Those unfortunate enough to be at ground zero are eradicated instantaneously by the energies released.
The dust clears. Standing there are two entities, massive spirit pressure crushing the very thought from all in the area. One is short, with black hair, a white mockery of the shinigami uniform, a sword tucked in his sash - and as he draws a zipper down the center, a hole is revealed in his chest. The shattered, bone-white half-helmet mask does nothing to hide the grooves in his face that look almost like tear-tracks.
"Mmm," he muses, surveying the area.
Next to the short one stands another, much taller and stockier. His clothes match the other, white hakama and the same jacket but worn open. At his side is a Japanese sword. But even the giant hole in his chest is rather dwarfed by his size. All that remains of his mask is a jawline and marks on his face, and the teeth accent his grin as he peers around at his surroundings gleefully.
But then his face falls slightly, and he looks a little bored. "Bua?! Even with these 'gate' things everyone's been going on about, this place is pretty dull! You'd think there'd be more spiritual energy than this." Yammy impatiently grumbles to his fellow Arrancar. "You sure all we gotta do is find 'em?" He refers to their target, not the gates. "I'm gonna suffocate soon at this rate."
Chad is currently walking with Inoue away from Karakura Industrial (aka, their sparring ground) after finishing up a quick training routine. The two were happily enjoying the walk, and their conversation.
Then IT hits.
The sheer force of spiritual pressure is enough to alert Chad, let alone the explosion. If there were no blast, he'd still tell something was very very wrong. "Inoue..." The giant says, cautiously. "...do you feel that? What IS this?"
It's close, though. Not far at all from their location. The pressure is intense, whatever it is, it's terrifying. It makes the Menos he faced a few weeks ago seem like a kitten. Which gives him that much more of a reason to get there. Something like this... it can't cause any more damage. "We should go. We have to see what this is."
The twilight hour. Why is it that every single bad thing that ever happens in Karakura, or at least one where maximum pwnage tended to require, occured around this time? It was as if this region of the world decided the Full Moon wasn't enough. But today, it was peaceful...relatively. Keigo and Mizuiro were chatting about the latest magazine that Keigo received in the mail yesterday. Hanataro was working his shift at the convenience store. Orihime and Chad were hanging out. God knows where everyone else is.
Rukia herself was alone, ambling home from patrol. It was pretty quiet, she hadn't heard from anyone today, but usually, that was a good sign. She was wearing her typical dress and sandals, and for all intensive purposes, she was just an ordinary girl walking home.
And then, that ominous wind blows. Being an expert at kidou had her be just a little bit more sensitive to anomalies in the area. She couldn't help but turn around from where she's standing, to look at some point off.
And then there it was. Her indigo eyes catch the beam of light going down, slamming onto the ground miles away from where she is. And then, the massive shockwave of spiritual energy exploding from that point and outwards, signalling to those who aren't dense enough not to feel reiatsu that something was wrong.
"....." Rukia doesn't even react with a dramatic shout of exclamation or anything. She just starts running in the direction in where she saw the flash of light. A noble effort in her part, for she only manages to take a couple of steps closer before the ground explodes in front of her, the upchuck of pulverized concrete and dust mingling with the wind to start a dust cloud, obscuring her and the entire, wide block from view.
Poor Hanataro. Remember those stories about weird boogeymen coming out of the closet? This happens in his store...except it came out of the toilet. At the heralding of that flash of light in the mountains, it seemed to act as some strange, strategic signal for others to arrive. It looks random, it looks scattered, but there is no coincidence that the resulting fallout in the district seemed to be targetting those with a high level of spiritual energy. To dine on souls, or to hinder potential "meddling kids," who knows? The only thing the poor convenience store clerk will know, whenever he is allowed to take a break by his kind store manager, is that something STARES at him with large teeth whenever he opens the bathroom at the store to use it.
There were more occurences around town, naturally...
Orihime Inoue remains frozen in a half-spin, facing in the direction of the terrible, cloying reiatsu. It feels almost poisonous...deadly, she supposes would be a more accurate term. She can feel goosebumps on her arms. And suddenly, she's very, very glad that Chad is here with her. "Y-yeah..." she murmurs, her brow furrowing. It came from the east. Wasn't Tatsuki's karate club spending the day in that area?
Immediately she breaks into a spring, her long chestnut hair flapping behind her as she races down the sidewalk. She hopes she's wrong. She hopes Tatsuki and the others aren't there at all.
Ichigo was in town, not exactly really close to the place of impact. He also has the spiritualsenses of spoiled mayonaise. Usually, this would mean the horror goes past his notice. However the raw power of this, perhaps power to meet and exceed his, is enough to make him take notice.
What the hell?" he asks, head swiveling in the direction in time to see the blast of light.
"Son of a..."
Ichigo ducks into some nearby bushes, hiding himself the best he can before he touches his badge and ejects from his body.
In his spirit body, he rises and explodes into motion, runing as fast as he can. He won't get there in time on foot. His own spirit power builds and builds as he runs, licks of spirit fire coalescing blue around his body as he goes to find a spot to change again.
The shorter of the two looks around with disdain. "From what?" he asks, pointedly. "This makes our task easier. With all this filth down here, the target should stand out like a beacon..." His eyes dart off to the side. Hmmm. Strong reiatsu there, but...too far to tell. Pity. They'll have to --
A short distance away, slowly, Tatsuki slowly rises, her head muzzy, her vision blurred from the impact and...and something else? She peers over, her breathing labored, at her other teammates. "What...what the hell...?" she breathes. "...Miayahara...Kudou...all....dead?" Her eyes widen, but only a little. Their injuries are horrific - their bodies were shredded by the naked force of the spiritual shockwave, not to mention the impacts with trees. Tatsuki wetness down the back of her neck - it's not sweat. She whips her head around and is nearly knocked over by a wave of sickness and nausea. There is a long streak of blood down the tree she just rose from. "Ah....what..."
"Hm," mumbles the shorter of the two newcomers. His voice is cold, quiet - clinical, totally detached from the horrors around him. "One's still alive."
Uryuu Ishida is training in his backyard when the massive blast of reiatsu crashes into the city. With his senses as sharp as they are, it's like a sledgehammer against the blackboard of his mind. "Wh-What on earth..." That energy is far greater than anything he can remember sensing in the past. He immediately vaults over his fence and makes a beeline for the park, at his top Quincy speed.
It just hasn't been Hanataro's weekend. Last-minute scheduling conflicts have left him manning the counter yet again, ruining his plans to take a nice quiet day off. "You want which magazine, sir? Anou... I'm not sure I'm old enough to sell-" The boy's sagging eyes pop wide, and he snaps his head around in the direction of the mountain. "No, kid, the rack is over there-" "Gomen, sir," Hana apologizes with a fast bow and a bolt for the door. "Let me get the manager!"
The kind manager is busy playing with a spreadsheet as his most valuable employee goes flying through the backroom. "Hanataro-" "There's a customer wanting a naughty magazine and I need to use the restroom! I'll be right back!" Ichigo-sama and Rukia-sama and Hitsugaya-taisho should have everything under control, but it couldn't hurt to pop out of his gigai to take a quick look...
Unless the restroom is occupied. "Gomen, I'm sorry~" Slobberfumeslobberslobber. Slamclick. "... Anou... Don't people down here use mouthwash?"
Chad's own bravery is just barely holding, in fact. He can tell danger when he senses it, and he has the feeling that whatever they're running into, they're no match for it. But they can't just let this go by unnoticed, either.
This is where Uncle Ben would say something about power and responsibility.
Inoue may be glad to have Chad with her, but he's also glad she's there. If people are hurt, if they're dying, then she's the only one who can help them. "Inoue..." He says, as they dash up the path. "Once we arrive, I want you to take care of anyone that's injured. If someone's hurt you're probably the only one who can help them. I can only fight, I can't heal the wounded...."
Chad knows, of course, that whatever is waiting for them is too much for him to handle. And certainly too much for Inoue. So he wants her to stay out of harm's way as much as possible.
Orihime Inoue glances up at Chad and nods, her face serious. "Okay!" She has to strain a little to keep pace with Chad's longer legs. But good heavens, she's glad the girls had to run the marathon so often! It's not much further ahead. She tries to seek out Tatsuki's reiatsu, but it's no good. The other two are just too loud!
"From the low quality!" Yammy quips back, clearly disappointed that hardly anyone in the vacinity even survived their arrival, so getting a snack was more or less out of the question. He raises his eyebrows at the lone survivor, lumbering over to see who it might be with a grin. "Hey, that's something, surviving our arrival like that! So you must be strong!" His senses weren't as honed as the shorter one, and much like Ichigo, he probably didn't notice much about the others in the distance.
Yammy turns back to his superior, "Hey Ulquiorra, this the one?" Even if the energy radiating off of him isn't as much as than the short one, it's in no way any less crippling.
Go to the store they said. Pick up something for them to eat they said. You have a skylight they said. Yeah, Urahara and Co. told Renji alot of damn things. However, if nothing else but to get the heck out of the place and have a bit of peace and quiet, he went. Besides he was going to see how Hanataro was doing. Yeah, peace, quiet, make fun of the healer. Good times. Good times.
Of course how long did the words 'Peace' and 'Quiet' ever go together in this town? As Rukia said. PEACE? NO PEACE!
The shockwave of the blast in the park crashes over him and he nearly staggers. "What the f*** was that?!" Of course...now people around him on the street think that he's some kind of flashbacking hippie freak. Does he care? Of course not!
His streaches his long legs out as he breaks into a run towards the park. What the hell was going on there?
When Ichigo springs out of his body, he would see it. Smoke clouds rising from his town, and not just in one place. The convenience store seems to have been hit, as well as a space several blocks down. Actually, it seems that there had been several places that had been hit, small patches of chaos just by the mere impact alone coming from where Tatsuki was spending time with the Karate club. There are screams, there are cries. There's a fifteen car pile-up on a major highway. If this were a major metropolitan city like Tokyo, they'd be screaming: GAMERA!!! already.
But it looks like, for all intensive purposes, that an earthquake had hit Karakura. To the more mundane eyes, that is.
When the smoke clears, Rukia sees it, wiping the dust from her eyes to see the towering shadow of a Hollow that isn't....well, it looks like it wasn't as massive and as compensation-indicative as most hollows like the Menos Grande. It was more streamlined, a dark, semi-transparent shadow made out of translucent ichor, the familiar mask, and the red eyes. It wasn't bulky, however....in fact....it looked very streamlined. Aerodynamic. And smaller than an ordinary hollow. It was a body built specifically to fight, and fight well. Like a combat-Porsche. Rukia recognized what it was instantly.
The being in Hanataro's bathroom looks quite similar. In fact, even as Hanataro stares, and then slams the door shut almost instantly, his own Ajukasu stares at the door blankly.....and then, even as the manager handles the customer, he stares wide eyed when the bathroom door just BLASTS open, sending the door hurtling through the window of the convenience store. Woopth. Slobberslobbersnarl. The thing leaps out like an alien out of the infamous movie, and starts...well, going after Hana. Why? Because shinigami are TASTY.
Alas, poor Renji, we knew you well. Go to the store, Urahara said from behind his fan, and his eyes glinting mischievously. Of course the redhead has been relegated to being an errand boy. Renji, however, as he rambles up the street, something just...well, suddenly LANDS on his head, CRACKING his sunglasses as whatever it was rebounds off his skull, rolls on the ground, and stands up. It was a hollow, it was obvious because of the mask. But it also had black wings on its head to give it the silhouette of pointy ears, and a stick that seemed to be made out of the same material as the mask he was wearing.
It was also only 2 feet tall.
Congratulations, Renji. You get Ajukasu-Yoda.
Tatsuki Arisawa looks up at looming Yammy, her breath coming in ragged huffs. "Wh..." she chokes, barely able to speak. (I can't...breathe...I can't look...can't look away...my...my head's all fuzzy...) She tries to rise, but only gets half-way - a truly monumental achievement in itself - before falling back to her knees. Her fists won't rise. She can't move. Helpless.
Ulquiorra emits a disdainful noise. "Stuff your complaints. I said I could go alone. You begged to come along, Yammy, recall? As to that one..." He doesn't even look - his eyes scan the horizon, instead. They're coming. Quickly. Excellent. "Moron, pay attention for once in your life. Merely standing that close has nearly erased its reiatsu. You're crushing it just by being there."
His eyes look over at Tatsuki's - unfocused, glazed over. She's seeing quintuple. Even if she could move, she could never attack, not in this state.
ISHIDA RUNS LIKE A JACKASS.
Okay maybe this time, he doesn't run too much like a jackass. In fact, at present the Quincy seems to be the closest person to Rukia's vicinity, as she had been walking past the park when this mishegas started. Of course, right outside he could see and sense the chaos...it seemed as if smoke was everywhere. But then he would see it, something looming from the walk, just past the park, as well as other anomalies occuring in the vicinity.
From the north end of town, Hitsugaya is just starting his patrol now that Rukia is done with hers. Unlike Rukia, Hitsugaya shed his gigai at the beginning of his shift, since it's far easier for him to prance around this town in his shinigami robes than normal clothes. No one is likely to try to give him a hard time this way. If he gets assaulted by any more excitable teenage girls, he's not going to ever go outside if he's not totally invisible.
Since it's so early in the shift, Hitsugaya is mildly surprised when his Captain's intuition pings a Hollow. The tsunami that follows the ping could almost knock him down, but the little captain weathers the force of the Arrancar arrival. This is why Captains and Vice-Captains aren't allowed to arrive in style. It would murder little boys and girls like Tatsuki's karate club without much effort. There go the nationals, huh?
Ichigo is using all he can for speed, suddenly realizing that direction is where Tatsuki went to train.
It's then that he says some very unhealthy words that shouldn't be reproduced, lest some child repeat them. Ahem.
With hakama rippling, the berryhead puts all he can into his speed, using shunpo now and again to gain a little extra oomph. 'I'm going to make it! Hang on, Tatsuki!'
One day. One day his damn sunglasses would last more than a month. He was sure of it. However, this was not to be the month. Renji eyetwitches as he feels the glasses crack, then one have falls to the concreate on one side of him, and one on the other. He sighs before turning to look at what gave him such a brutal bonk on the head(Not that a blow to the head would bother him really. Its his hardest part most of the time.)
What. The. Hell.
"...Ajukasu. Heh. What the f*** are you doing here?" He growls out, even as people around him scatter back from the obviously insane hippie as he leaps backwards, hands still in his pockets and stareing at the little thing. Hrmmm. Where to quick-change, where to quick-change...
The Quincy whooshes out from an alleyway, cape trailing behind him, to find Rukia right in front of him, and he skids to a stop near her. "Kuchiki-san! What --" The Ajukasu catches Uryuu's attention, and he stares, then quickly summons his bow again. "What kind of Hollow is that?" It's strong. And that's not even the largest source of energy in Karakura right now... He quickly goes on offense, leaping up and letting a rain of arrows loose on the Ajukasu.
Yammy's face falls again, and he frowns. "What a disappointment." He glances down and tsks at the girl. The insults he just lets slide, he'll just ged rid of this trash so they can be on their way. Rearing back a leg, the Arrancar swings a lazy kick forward, entirely intending to put Tatsuki out of her misery. "See ya."
Tatsuki Arisawa stares. MOVE. MOVE.
But she can't...
Renji's ajukasu decides that for him. Before he could react, the thing was right in front of him, and before the mouthy redhead could complain as to how ugly it was, the squat midget-hollow pulls a move that would make Happosai proud, hooking its cane at the collar of Renji's tie-dyed shirt and hurls him across the way and into the park.
A familiar, highly-trained reiatsu registers in her going-crazy Hollow-sense, Rukia jerking her eyes away from her present enemy to land on the Quincy. "Ishida!" she exclaims. This was no time for explanations, and once Uryuu decides to pull that voodoo that he does so well, she leaps out of the way, her springy Gigai rolling and crouching on her feet just as the reiatsu-arrows slam through one hunched shoulder.
"This is diversion, there's something ELSE going on over there!" Rukia points to where she had seen the light. She didn't say it, but her message was clear: They had to move, and they had to move fast.
But the thing seems to be rather fast, evading and twisting out of the way of the Quincy's normally impeccable aim before it leaps towards him, the 'bladed' arm swinging down in an effort to cleave the Project Runway contender in half (okay so he's not, but he'd rock the contest if he was).
She could also see Ichigo flash-stepping past them. She doesn't even say hi. Damn. Sometimes Rukia could be a jerk. ;) But as always, she was practical: the sooner Ichigo could get to the place where the Bad Thing (tm) was happening, the sooner it could be over (or so she thinks). She wasn't so helpless that she can't hold the fort while he does what he does so well.
The thermos and bag of cookies that Inoue had given him not five minutes ago are dropped. Just as Chad finally begins to see what is happening, as they get within range, he sees a giant looming figure over Arisawa, ready to kick her face like a football.
Chad's speed increases considerably, as he sprints forward. His armor forms on his right arm, and he dives ahead, arm extended, opening to get there in time to catch the foot before it can hit its target. His left hand is placed behind the right for added support, he even ducks into a half-kneeling position so he can use his legs to brace himself further. He puts everything he has into blocking this kick.
Which is why he's so surprsied when he feels the force of it. But that's not the worst thing. Chad has an inkling that this isn't even the full strength of this creature. Such strength. Just what ARE they?
Orihime Inoue is right behind Chad. Literally. Her arm is jutted to the side as she stands in front of her friend, placing herself between the injured fighter and the creature that threatens her. And oooooooo, she's giving him such a dirty look! She doesn't say anything for the time being, catching her breath after the sprint, focused on what this guy in front of her intends to do next.
And there are so many bodies...
So these are the Arrancar. Orihime doesn't like them already.
Ulquiorra's eyebrow quirks.
His face is the very physical expression of the concept of 'meh.'
Wheeee! Renji flies though the air with the greatest of ease...smashes into a tree...and slides down like a koosh ball thats just been pegged against a wall. His body falls into the bushes and lies there motionless. Could the redhead be down for the count that quickly?
Of course not. What the hell were you thinking?
As a Shinigami he raises from the bushes, glareing at the thing as his still sheathed sword rests on his shoulder. There is a snort though as he unsheathes the weapon. "Lets get this over smallfry, I got better things to kill today than you." He growls, almost lazily. Though the flash-step that follows his words and the vertical chop towards the crown of the things head is anything but lazy.
Tatsuki Arisawa's conscious, but not. Her body won't react. Her mind can focus and think - and she can tell, distantly, that if she had not trained as hard as she had, even THIS pitiful fortune would be out of her reach - but her body is paralyzed. She looks at Orihime as her friend arrives, her eyes glazed over and unfocused, but full of terror.
Blocked, the cane sparks as it collides with the might of Zabimaru. For something so tiny, it seems strong enough, more than, even, for it not to be easy pickings for the shinigami. The cane whips around again, clashing with Zabimaru...and since Renji is a vice-captain, it's a particularly, very fast fight: full of quick moves, and flashing stock backgrounds from the animators' supply in the backroom. Twisting around, the Yoda-thing rolls like a small ball between Renji's legs. It picks itself up, turns around to face Renji's back and opens its mouth.
Hey! Renji was tasty looking, you can't blame the hollow for trying a taste. And so there it goes, snapping its teeth on his butt.
Uryuu manages to dodge the Ajukasu's blade arm, but only just. He fires off another shot at point-blank range, while his senses extend to the spot where the Arrancar touched down. Through the two overpowering forces, he can barely make out Chad's reiatsu, and next to him --
Ajukasu? Immediately forgotten. The Quincy vanishes, following after Ichigo as fast as humanly possible.
Run boy, RUN! Flicker. Footfalls. Another flicker. He's almost there. He's in the park. When the spiritual pressure is making his head hurt, there's obviously something wrong here. Ichigo runs, the backgrounds a blur as he speeds through the park towards the heavy reiatsu and his friends.
They have to be alive. They have to.
The kick is stopped, though it stirs up a lot of dust. When it clears, the arrancar still stands there, but he holds off for a moment.
Oh, so things aren't so boring after all? Yammy blinks and peers down at the two new arrivals that suddenly stopped his cleanup. "Who the hell are you?"
He also asks again, as it can't hurt to double check. "What about him, Ulquiorra?!" He's getting impatient.
Ulquiorra's hand doesn't even leave his pocket - although he DOES look over, this time. His eyes have no color. "Twit. Grow a brain. Maybe then youcould learn to do this by yourself." He looks at Sado, eyes focused, peering into Sado's very soul - a gaze so spiritually intense it very nearly has physical force. "It's obvious. That one..."
He looks away, back to the horizon. They're still coming...maybe one of them is the target?
"WHA--?" Rukia looks around, the Quincy suddenly gone. "ISHIDA YOU JACKASS!"
Bleach filler will never be looked at the same way again.
The jerk didn't even finish what he started! Grinding her teeth, Rukia stands up, the shadow of the much larger thing falling over her, and she turns slowly to face backwards. Yachiru-style, her own reiatsu suddenly flares outward, bluish-white light flickering from the circle lighting up underneath her. Her sleepy-looking eyes narrow, the violet color flaring out at the sudden, spiritual output.
And then, this pose cuts to a new scene, as no one really knows what Rukia is capable of at this point. :D
Chad's strength holds out long enough, and Yammy backs off for just a moment. Whew. "Inoue..." Chad says, he doesn't look back at her though, his doesn't take his eyes off of Yammy and Ulquiorra. "...like I told you before. I want you to take Arisawa and get out of here." Chad can tell, there are others coming, they have back-up. He just needs to keep these two away from Inoue and Arisawa long enough for them to get here.
He can surely do that, at least.
As Ulquiorra informs Yammy of his status, in their eyes, Chad doesn't waste any time in launching an attack of his own. He knows that a full-power attack from either of them would put an end to him very quickly. So he has to strike first!
'There are two types of attacks...' He recalls Captain Kyouraku telling him. 'Those that you can no longer use past a certain point, and those you can continue using even when you have passed the limit, by putting your life force into it. Your attack is obviously the latter'. Chad has come to realize the extent of what he meant. He has also learned that he can put his entire essence into one big blast, if the situation demands. And what other situation would come up could possibly trump this?
Clenching his fist Chad springs upward, out of his kneeling position, and launches himself at Yammy. Fist ablaze, he thrusts it forward with every last thing he's got.
The sword and the cane clash again and again, making sparks like a pair of lightsabers. Damn Darksider Joda. Renji hisses softly, this thing was fast, and strong. The Shinigami growls though. He knows this is a distraction though, and his reiatsu flares up in annoyance. This was taking to long dammit...
...and then the thing rolls behind him. Where did it go?! Oh wait. THERE it is. He can feel the sting and tug of teath and he twitches. No one bites him on the damn ass. NO ONE! Of course now its got hold of the seat of his hakama. Only one thing to do then.
Loose the Hakama.
Don't worry, Shinigami fight with standard issue black boxers on. This is of course a PG show. Most of the time at least. Leaping out of the way, the Shinigami punts the little annoying 2 foot thing into the air, and attempts to play baseball with him. Of course, since the bat is really a sword, he's hopeing it'll be a bit more fatal.
Orihime Inoue kneels next to Tatsuki, folding her thin arms around her friend's shoulders to pull her to her feet. "Okay," she nods, furrowing her brow further. The ugly disdain and utter contempt in the big one's face makes her sick to her stomach. It's almost painful just to be close to them. Sweat beads on her forehead, which she dutifully ignores. "Be careful, Sado-kun," she cautions, her heart thumping with concern. "Don't overdo it." Just keep them at bay until she can get Tatsuki away. He can do it. No one's stronger than Chad.
Somewhere, in the other side of the world, Renji Fangirls SQUEAL.
Ajukasu-yoda is PUNTED. The thing shoots into the sky like a falling meteor, if meteors fell upwards. It continues soaring, and soaring, and soaring...until there's a little TING! in the sky.
And just as quickly, it starts falling back. But well away from Renji. Upon impact, the freakish little cannonball SLAMS onto the dirt. Again, it was like a meteor impacting the ground. A massive shockwave of spirit energy surges out of the crater, in an effort to knock Renji back and send him flying, perhaps bouncing on the ground, and perhaps screeching. It even tears off trees by the root, the impact was so massive.
Rukia is at present standing to the side. She seems to be managing her own quite well, even in just her gigai, her hands glowing with blue-white energy and crackling lightning. The thing she was fighting didn't seem to like light all too well. Either way, both sets of eyes, red ones for the baddie, violet ones for the shinigami, bug out a bit as Renji invades THEIR fight...
In nothing but his underwear.
The Ajukasu stares.
Rukia flushes red, and rounds on her enemy. "WHAT DID YOU SAY?"
"What? I can't look?" the Ajukasu retorts.
Ulquiorra watches, impassive. He turns his eyes back to the horizon.
He mumbles something about the difficulty of finding good help.
Yammy's smile seems to return then, and while he'd certainly be enjoying himself more if their target were to arrive, it's not going to stop him from taking out his frustration on the teen in front of him. "OK!" As Chad charges at him, the giant reaches back with a hand, meaning to catch the punch and pull it away from him. Of course, if this causes damage to Chad, well. That's what you did with trash, wasn't it?
He still doesn't notice the approaching others, though. His senses are too dense.
For the first few seconds of his attack, Chad genuinely believes he may have a chance. It's the single most powerful blast he's ever managed to put out. If he were capable of this way back in Soul Society he may have actually beaten Captain Kyouraku. Or, at least, landed a hit.
The most powerful blast Chad can manage. And Yammy catches, and Chad's fist, barehanded. For one, brief moment, Chad's eyes go wide, and he attempts to pull back.
But Yammy pulls harder.
There's a sickening sound of flesh ripping and bones breaking. A spray of blood flies out of Chad's limb, as the giant fighter collapses to the ground. Part of his arm lands next to him. The OTHER part lands a few inches to the left.
The only relief comes from the pure shock. Pain was only felt for a moment, before the intensity of what happened overcame him. Chad hits the ground hard, and unmoving. With his eyes rolled back in his head there isn't much sigh of consciousness, or even LIFE, for that matter.
Indeed! In nothing but the boxers of modesty, Renji lands near Rukia and her opponent. He was wearing his top, but the shockwaves of the creature ripped that right off. As well as his hairtie. Renji fangirls are now fainting the world over. Urahara is going to make bank out of this if he does get it all on film.
Renji of course dosn't like anything but...well...RAAAAAAAAR, show on his face. He's in the middle of a fight, no time to be embarased! Of course he might do that later. Once he realises who it is he landed near. If it was ANYONE else...no...nevermind.
"F*** NO YOU CAN'T LOOK!" Renji roars towards the Hollow as he shakes himself free of the dust and smoke, tats and all. His hair half undone and swirling behind him as he runs one finger down the blade, transforming his sword into its second form.
Yeah. Renji never was one for big long speaches as he launches the whip-blade past the Hollow that Rukia was fighting and then pulls it back to slide though it.
And no, he hasn't noticed Rukia there quite yet. He flew by way to fast.
Strange things are afoot at the 24 Hour Convenience Store. The manager and the half-dozen customers in attendance just stare in awe at the new open-air window, then simultaneously shift their eyes towards the young clerk backing away nervously from an empty bathroom. "N-N-Nice ajukusu! Good ajukusu!", Hanataro stammers, waving his hands meekly. "Why here, why now, I wasn't even supposed to be here- aaaaah!" As punishment for overusing his Clerks quoting ability, Hana stumbles backwards over a stack of ramune cans and spills them and himself onto the floor. "Anou... Would you... like some soda?"
Ulquiorra seems unimpressed. The grass is fed by this man's blood - more life is sustained. Useless.
Tatsuki is breathing rapidly, whimpering occasionally.
The ajukusu LOOMS over at Hanataro in his pile of Ramune cans and soda. And then, the clerk offers him some.
"REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!" the alien-like, streamlined killing machine yells at his face, gobs of ectoplasmic spittle flying everywhere. And with that, the thing lunges, intending to rip Hanataro to pieces for a quick meal. If he moves, he'll chase him out of the store, and probably leave the manager perplexed.
Renji's Zabimaru snaps out, past Rukia's face and jamming itself right into her Ajukasu's head. It would explode, if these things were easy to fight, but it does rear back, clutching the side of its face as it finally comes head-to-head with someone of equal power.
Joda, however, isn't done with Renji. The freakish cannonball of death flies from the crater. It speeds through, like a bullet gaining speed, threatening to take off the rest of Renji's head, when Rukia's ELBOW gets in the way.
This is done absently, much like what Rukia would do to Kon. And as the freakish Hollow-thing falls back, clutching its face, the shinigami, still in her gigai, continues staring, red-faced, her jaw dropped open.
What did the damned things AMBUSH HIM IN THE SHOWER or something?
Orihime Inoue is halfway across the clearing, trying not to hurry TOO much since she's worried about hurting Tatsuki any worse than she already is. ~Just a little further...it'll be okay, Tatsuki-chan...~
But the screaming explosion behind her catches her attention. Something is wrong. Something is horribly wrong. Looking back over her shoulder, her eyes grow steadily wider. Blood arcs, spattering on the grass. No...! NO!
"SADO-KUN!" she cries. Orihime's heart seems to stop cold in her chest as she watches him spill to the ground. How could this happen! How could they...!! Leaving Tatsuki to rest against a tree, the girl races back to her companion, hands reaching out, tears starting to fill her eyes. ~Please don't die! Oh, Sado-kun!~ Just a few moments ago he was smiling, eating her cookies...actually eating them, not pretending to eat them and spitting into a bush when she wasn't looking... And now he's...
In school Renji's spell power wasn't very good. He could use some low level spells, could resist out of shear stubbornness. Could know what they do, but for casting them? Yeah. He was lucky if he could hurt a small gnat. A small sick gnat. He didn't worry though, he just concentrated on what he was good at.
Making Rukia blush.
I MEAN! Hitting things with something sharp! Yeah. Thats it.
He's really good at his prime skill though, and it helps that he likes to use it. With an inarticulate roar he blurs forwards, taking advantage of the thing staggering as he swings his sword at it, in a two handed overhead strike. Boxers flapping in the breeze as leaps towards his target.
Yeah. Someone isn't going to live this down.
Yami's grin grows wider as Orihime arrives back to her friend's side. "Hey, what about this girl? More trash?" He waits for Ulquiorra's reply. He also seems entirely unfazed by what has happened so far.
Ulquiorra looks over his shoulder, impassive. There's a girl? Oh. Huh. "...yes," he decides, looking back away. Something's coming. Filth, but...stronger filth than this. "More trash."
Hanataro will have a convenient excuse for 'leaving', as to everyone's continued surprise, he faints dead away. The manager quickly dashes over to his fallen clerk's side with a shout of "HANATARO!"
"D-d-don't worry, sir! I'll be back," Shinigami Hanataro apologizes as he leaps to his feet and sprints away from the ajukusu and towards... the cooler? "I-I have to protect everyone before Ichigo-sama or Renji-fukataisho arrive! I-It's up to m-me..."
Much to the continued surprise of all the norms, a refridgerator door flies open on its own accord and a bottle of Sapporo comes zinging out straight at the spilled pile of cans. When it explodes in mid-air, that's when the collective decision to GTFO is made and everybody starts rushing for the doors.
Chad continues bleeding. The amount of blood isn't even funny. The injury could easily be fatal if he doesn't recieve SOME sort of treatment, and fast.
(And the first one to make a 'disarmed' pun will die, with death)
With permission given, Yammy swings a fist forward towards Orihime then, only with a finger pointed forward this time like one might squish a bug. "Yeah!" His big grin is like a kid who thinks it's fun to blow up his G.I. Joes, except, you know. These aren't exactly action figures he's smashing.
Blinded, and losing the advantage its superior eyesight gives, the bladed entity rips its hand off its face in a concentrated effort, an arm coming up to try and block Renji's strike. One slam causes it to skid backwards, and at the two-handed arch, Zabimaru's first release manages to cleave right into the mask it wears. It starts cracking. The roar is deafening, but even when the protective face covering crumbles, one could see the thing slowly dissipating into ash.
See? Renji can do just fine against baddies his size, he just has a problem with squat ass-biting midgets.
Rukia, thanks to Kon, however, is now an EXPERT at dealing with that level of perversity. Even as the midget-Ajukasu gets up, and charges towards her, leaping up in a blur of darkness, Rukia manages to pop the soul candy in her mouth, Pyon backflipping agilely out of the way even as her own shinigami form surges forward, her hand grasping her zanpakuto.
Sode no Shirayuki released upon command, the white ribbon ripples out from the end. She doesn't even hit Joda, but moves past it as she swings her sword once. And once the blade of the White Snow's Sleeve catches light, it's all over. The ground turns into ice, shooting upwards into the sky in full, towering, Ben and Jerry's-like glory.
The face pressed up against the ice is almost grotesque. Poor Joda was forever frozen in time, with a scrunched up face and doing the Jazz Hands.
Orihime Inoue falls to her knees at Chad's side, holding back her tears. Her hands tremble, longing to push back those shaggy bangs, to comfort him somehow, to thank him. Chad knew from the start that it would go this way. This was why he told her to grab the survivors and run. He knew how powerful these people really were. He understood that neither of them could even land a scratch. So he sacrified himself...to protect her, and Tatsuki. He fought alone so they could escape. Her heart constricts painfully, looking at the whites of his eyes, the dark blood smeared on his face, seeping from what's left of his arm. Chad... Sweet, silent, strong Chad...
"Sacred Tri-Link Shield..." Orihime's voice is quiet, but firm. The strength of her resolve, the power of her feelings, pushes a gleaming shield of gold light in front of her, blocking the finger of pointing death. Reiatsu surges brightly through Orihime's body, brighter and more potent than it's ever been. It's rude to point, Yammy.
Orihime Inoue strikes Yammy with her trivial NO U! attack.
Damn ass-biting midgets. You can never trust them. There is a growl though and Renji pulls his arm back to deliver a new strike to the thing...but no. Its already dissipating. He just snorts at it, his sword fadeing back into a katana as he rests the back edge on his shoulder. That wasn't so bad...except for the midget. Wait...THE MIDGET!
He spins on his heel expecting some freeking thing to be flying right for his face and sees...Jazz Hands. Don't they know that those never help?! Hold on...ice...that means Rukia must be...ah yes! There she is! So he trots over towards her, hair swirling around him. "Rukia! You hurt?" He asks as he glances down at the much smaller Shinigami.
Nope. Still not noticed, or not bothered, that he got his freeking clothes blasted off...Renji must be related to Dark Schnider.
And it stops it. Surprise actually registers on Yammy's face, because for all he knew, he'd never seen that sort of skill before. There's a bright flash, and his reiatsu is held back, although just barely. He withdraws his hand and looks down at Orihime as his face falls back into it's bored state. "What's the deal wiht this one?" What was it with humans refusing to die so easily like that?
Tatsuki whimpers. "run..." she croaks.
Ulquiorra looks over. "....interesting," he murmurs. He turns to face them fully - the mere weight of his gaze causes Tatsuki to emit a strangled choking cry and fall silent again.
Orihime Inoue rises to her feet. It's not easy. But her gentle eyes are hardening, disgusted with the man in front of her. He had no right to do this. No right at all. "Sacred Dual Return Shield." Vwip! Vwip! Two small arcs of light fall away from her hairpin, spiraling over Chad. They meet, and expand, stretching out another golden shield over his arm. The blood seems to cease spilling, rising upward, disintegrating into thin air. Piece by piece, bone and flesh and sinew begin to mend. The speed of her healing is impressive; she's never healed anyone this fast before with the exception of one prince of Xing.
But Orihime doesn't look back. She continues to rest that guilt-trip-inducing gaze of hers on Yammy, hands held loosely at her sides. Her fingertips are numb. Her heart is pounding. And yet, she feels strangely calm. Orihime doesn't want to die. But she's not scared. Not of being hurt, not of dying. Her only real concern right now is to protect Chad and Tatsuki. Ichigo is coming. She can feel his reiatsu; distant, but drawing rapidly closer. Just a little longer, then. Everything will be all right.
The female shinigami sheathes Sode no Shirayuki back into its scabbard, the white ribbon fading and she turns around even as the ice and snow dissipates slowly from the frozen collumn she made. She would've forgotten about the craziness of the night if it weren't for the fact that a half-naked Renji was suddenly in front of her, so preoccupied with what was happening that she almost faceplants on his chest.
She looks up, and up, and up. Her face turns a bright RED, and whenever he takes her by the shoulders and shakes her for not answering his question, she could only gape. Thoughts fill her head. She feels kinda funny.
All she could think of was how Byakuya was going to EVISCERATE HIM if he ever caught his vice-captain in such a state with his sister.
"Renji...." she croaks, forcing the words through her dry throat. "...your...clothes...."
Yammy stares though. He's not really good at the tact sort of thing. "W-what? She's a healer? And how is that guy still alive?" Perhaps he'd be amused in a moment, but right now he looks surprised.
Ulquiorra glances over at Yammy, then at Inoue's healing power. (Healing arts...? ...no, wait...) He watches as Chad's arm pieces itself back together. (That...is definitely not healing arts. I cannot tell if it is time or space being manipulated...but whichever it is, it is something completely different from healing.) He turns his eyes to Inoue. (I've never seen it's like before...)
"You," he says aloud, thoughtfully, "are a strange one...human."
Chad is no longer in pieces, anyway. By this point the arm, which was broken just a few moments ago, have become one piece again (more or less) and has begun the process of re-attatching itself to Chad's torso.
The giant remains 'out of it', however. But at least his life doesn't seem to be in danger any longer. ..provided he's not attacked AGAIN, of course.
Orihime Inoue squares her shoulders, setting her jaw firmly. She has to hold... Occupy them... At least until Ichigo can get here.
She can picture his handsome face, wearing that perpetual scowl on his brow, his warm brown eyes so serious. ~No.~ Orihime frowns, the corners of her eyes tightening. ~Why must I always lean on Kurosaki-kun? I can't dump my problems on him. Not now. I don't know what's got him so worried, but...~ She lifts her slender hands, pushing out her palms, fingers pressed tightly together. ~...driving these people back, without relying on him...~ The power of her reiatsu swirls around Orihime, her skirts fluttering, hair unfurling behind her. ~...giving him some quiet, safe space so he can think... I can do...at least that much for him.~
The dirty look turns into an outright glare at Yammy. You are so screwed, mofo.
"Tsubaki!!" she shouts. Her reiatsu spikes, and the last two petals of her hairpins breaks away. "Sacred Solitary Cutting Shield!"
Tatsuki-chan. Sado-kun. Ishida-kun. ...Kurosaki-kun.
Everyone...this time, I'll protect you.
Like a spear, the tiny ninja spirit slices through the air, rushing at deadly speeds towards its target. (And if one looks very, very closely, one can see Tsubaki wiping away a tear of pride from his eyes. Which sorta look like this: ^-^ At last! He gets to slice open this bastard, for great justice!)
Ulquiorra watches. Curious.
That damn ninja looks way too happy. It's irritating. If it hurts Yammy, Ulquiorra may be forced to smash the brute through a mountainside for sucking too much.
Catching her with one hand on her shoulder before she can faceplant. "...Rukia...you sure you are alright? I mean you look like your feaverish..." A pause though as she finally speaks and calls his attention to the real reason why he feels a distinct breeze where there isn't usually a breeze. He looks down at himself, blinks once. Well where did those go. Ah screw it. It was a fight, he dosn't really remember. Then he looks at Rukia again. Blinks once.
Devil-Renji and Angel-Renji on his shoulder stare down at her to.
Devil: ...dude. She is blushing.
Angel: I concour. This means only one thing.
Both: MILK IT FOR ALL ITS WORTH!
Yes, Bayuka would kill him, Ichigo would kill him, hell if he was thinking right he would most likely kill himself. However his blood it up, and he smirks at her. "...if your gonna stare that much, might as well take a picture. You gonna sit there and be red all night or we gonna go see what the f*** just happened in the park?"
At this point the Shoulder-Renji's dissipear so they won't be the ones to recieve the most likely incoming punch.
In 150 years, Rukia had never seen anyone half-naked. It was sad. It was EXTREMELY sad, but it was true. So forgive her when her wide, violet eyes just stare at him some more. Why? Because let's face it, Renji is hawt. All tattooed, over several decades worth of hard physical training has transformed the boy she knew into a lean, mean, smirking killing machine. The grinning, mouthy ponytailed boy was slowly vanishing before her eyes. It was weird. It was crazy, but somewhere at the back of her mind, Rukia might just....
"You're blushing. Take a picture."
The uppercut was so fast, so sudden, and so POWERFUL, it was almost a shoryuuken. She didn't even feel any pain, her adrenaline level was that up. "I AM NOT!" she bellows. She searches around frantically why Renji tries and recovers from the clock, and before he knows it, she's gone.
Only to flash back, and SHOVES a white-and-pink kimono in his hands that she bogarted from the nearby clothesline.
"Put this on," she growls.
Hey! Yammy may be dense, and more than in the physical sense, but he's not THAT dumb in a fight! The big arrancar crosses his arms, looking bored as Orihime contemplates her next move. Right until she shoots some strange fairy-bug thing at him! He raises a hand to block. He certainly hadn't expected her to fight him, but like hell he's gonna let a little thing like that get through.
As the impact strikes, he catches the small thing in his palm. It actually kind of tickles, he thinks to himself. "What kinda bug was that?" The question is asked with a grin as he dusts his hand off and the dust and energy settles once more. "Hey Ulquiorra, what do you want me to do with this one? Think Aizen-san has use for her tricks? I'll try to bring her back in one piece."
Elsewhere, there's a one-sided food fight going on. Bottles, cans, and the occasional bag of Fritos fly across the store, only to explode in mid-air. Hanataro whines as he dodges a swipe by diving behind the snack aisle, "Where is everyone? I'm running out of food!"
What? The writers wouldn't actually let Rukia admit that she has things like FEELINGS or anything. It couldn't be like Renji would just stand there and let Rukia come to terms with the fact that the little kid she knew wasn't so kiddish or so little anymore. He had to say something, and so he had...
And he got decked like a Rock-Em Sock-Em Robot for it. PING. Stagger, fall. He sits down and blinks, seeing stars. Ugh, well he deserved that. Of course he is now a mature Shinigami. He would never do anything childish in return for the punch would he?
He takes the pink kimono as he stands, streching and rubbing his jaw. No words at first, just a kinda look of '...its freekin well pink...' Ah well. Not like he dosn't have one at home. Noteing her still stareing as he starts to put said kimono on, he smirks...and a bit of a jingle from one of those wired TV things that he saw at Urahara's pops into his head. Must...resist...but...ah hell with it. He can't.
"You think I'm gooooorgeeeeous. You want to kiiiiissssss me."
He's a dead man.
As Ichigo runs, there seems to be a less dire disturbance in the Force behind him. He just gets this sensation that he will have to kill Renji later.
For now...SO CLOSE!
Ulquiorra watches for a few moments. A fascinating power, and yet...
"No. No, that will not be necessary, Yammy."
He watches. Does she have other tricks? This should be an adequate way of discerning the depth of this one's power...
"............................" Rukia's eyes get WIDE as Renji shrugs on the kimono, singing in a sing-song voice to taunt him. She thinks he's goooorgeous? She wants to kiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiss him? Wait, WHAT? She turns redder, and redder, and redder, and she STOMPS on his foot once he's done dressing. What the hell! What did she do to deserve this, she took care of the squat midget thing for him!
"Renjiiiiiiiii..." she growls, rolling up her sleeves. "I think you better QUIT WHILE YOU'RE AHEAD...." Notice that she does not confirm or deny what he said, probably because she wouldn't even DIGNIFY that with a response. If things weren't so hectic and dangerous right now, she'd kill him. But she can't deny the fact that she's so red she's almost purple.
And then, she could feel it. Her head whips around towards that point at the park where the shit was hitting the fan. "Get off your ass, Renji, we gotta go!" she yelps, grabbing his collar and jerking him up before taking off again towards the catastrophe's general direction.
Yammy doesn't hesitate, and simply follows the order. He swings an arm forward to grab the girl, presumably to crush her or something equally as unpleasant.
Orihime Inoue stares in horror. Just like that, he's gone. Broken. Shattered into dust. "No... Tsubaki-kun..." she gasps, frozen in place. This couldn't be real. He's been injured before, and it took days to heal him.
But she can't fix this. "Oh no..." she utters in a petrified squeak. And suddenly Yammy is moving, too fast for her eyes to follow, too quickly for her to dodge. There's not enough time to put up her shield...! ~Ling...I'm sorry...!~
Ulquiorra waits patiently to see how hard Yammy gets owned.
Ow! He needs that foot to stand and stuff! Renji winces. Oh he deserved that, but it was damn well worth it! And no Urahara around to record it as blackmail material. Ah yes, today is a good day...well apart from all hell breaking loose in the Park. He does though sinch up the Kimono, though he can't fix his hair on short notice, so he'll leave that mostly undone.
He smirks at her reply and would open his mouth to say something...but he feels it to. Something happening...something...bad. "Dammit, thease small fry wasted to much time." He growls out, though a little part of him is cackling madly to see her so flusterd just by seeing him half naked. Reality will thwack him upside the head soon enough.
And like that he's off, his strides matching easily with her's as they both dash towards the rumble in the Park. Lets see who is going to be owning who here...
Chad, meanwhile, is still lying in a pool of his own blood. In case anyone was curious. Though the pool of blood doesn't seem QUITE as large now. We'll bring you more status updates in the future on the condition of Chad's pool of blood.
Yammy's arm slings forward, intent on Crushing Orihime, but...it doesn't quite get that far.
In a flash of Reiatsu, and a flare of black robes, Ichigo has interposed himself between his friend and this strange new enemy, Zangetsu leveled in one hand between the two.
"I'm late, Inoue. I'm sorry." Brown eyes look to the side, looking at his friend out of the corner of his eye for a moment before looking back at the two invaders, his gaze steeling.
Uryuu Ishida arrives an instant later, without flash or flare. He is simply there, one arm around Orihime's shoulders protectively and the other holding his bow ready. "Are you alright, Orihime-san?" he asks quietly, fixing his strongest Quincy Glare(tm) on Ulquiorra and Yammy. His eyes flick to Chad and Tatsuki's prone forms, and he suppresses a wince. Clearly they aren't alright...
Orihime Inoue shivers in Uryuu's arms, finding herself looking up at Ichigo's back. Again. She failed so miserably, and now Tsubaki had to pay the price, and Ichigo had to protect them all... "Kurosaki-kun..." she whispers, her voice breaking in a mixture of pain and relief. Ichigo was here. Uryuu was here. Things would be all right. "I...I'm sorry, Kurosaki-kun..." she hangs her head, her eyes guiltily watching Chad and his amazing disappearing pool of blood. "If I... If only I were a little stronger, then I..."
Ulquiorra stands by, unimpressed. So they're here. Maybe he'll have to actually move, now.
Oh quit being emo about standing in the background. If you wanna smash things, it's simple as that. Go smash it! That's Yammy's line of thinging. He blinks at the sword that stopped his attack, and glances back to Ulquiorra. The question doesn't even have to be asked, it's simple he wants to know if THIS would be the target. They just keep going up in scale, sort of like advancing levels in a game or something. Not that he'd no of those sorts of things.
Ichigo has the audacity to smirk a little. Only a little. "Everything will be fine, Inoue, once I beat these two up."
Reiatsu burns, building higher and higher, power of the soul taking physical form.Ichigo's free hand grips the wrist of his other hand and grits his teeth, taking his spirit power to the limit. Dust swirls around his body, and nearby stones pulverize to dust under the raw power eminating from his body.
Ichigo, at the call for release, is smothered by a widening sphere of swirling dust and pitch black soul fire, the black rising to the sky in an impossibly high pillar. It dies, leaving the dust to swirl, and Ichigo is changed, the tails of his tattered coat flutter in the self created breeze
Ulquiorra's eyebrow does not arch. He just...stares. Interesting...
"You did well to hold them off, Orihime-san," Uryuu says softly. "May I ask you to see to Sado-kun and Arisawa-san? You can do more for them than I could." He steps forward, forming an energy arrow in his left hand, but he doesn't nock or fire it just yet. He watches the Arrancar from behind Ichigo, getting as good an idea as he can of their spiritual power and its nature.
If the cavalry doesn't come to Hanataro, then the next step is bring Hanataro to the cavalry! Which is exactly what the little paramedic is doing right now! He's racing down the street, dodging passers-by while the ajukasu nips right at his heels. "E-Everyone must be... at that explosion... I'll just... aah... I'll just have to join them!"
Chad is being healed nicely, by now. Still has a ways to go, but he'll survive now.
If he wasn't in the process of being healed he'd SO stand back up and punch Yammy in the face. Afterall, it's just a flesh wound!
Orihime Inoue's hands rise, laying her fingers over her knuckles. It's incredible! So this is Ichigo's bankai. She feels safer just looking at it...looking at him. The Number One Protector. She didn't get to see it up close before. ~Wow...~
But there's something different. It's not quite the same as what she felt on the hill of Soukyoku. His reiatsu is dry, harsh, almost...violent. Almost like...it isn't really Ichigo at all. Orihime's hand tightens over the other, pressing her curled fingers against her pounding heart in a vain attempt to slow it down. She looks at Uryuu, hearing his request. "I...I still have my shield. I can protect--"
The newcomer comes and acts all cool, then powers up, and Yammy is left scratching his head in confusion. "Hey, he said bankai didn't he? So he does that mean he is...?" Come on, how many more where they going to have to go through anyways? Garbage duty was getting old. He glances to the quincy as well, but for all he knows, that fancy looking arrow is probably just like that glowing bug from earlier, right?
"Inoue, Ishida." Ichigo says, almost flatly. "Leave." They can't handle this. Hell, he may have trouble, but not with this big guy. Brown eyes slide to the small one in the back. He is the stronger of the two. Ichigo could maybe have defeated Yammy normally, but taking chances is lame when youcan just use overwhelming force.
Ulquiorra says, "Yes. It appears so. I had not believed we would find him so easily...I guess your pointless scuffle had a use after all, Yammy." He regards Ichigo. "Orange hair...and a black bankai...It's confirmed. That is our target, Yammy." He turns his attention back to the others in the area. "Get to work."
Uryuu nods to Orihime. "If you can protect one of us, please do so, but please protect yourself first, if necessary." To Ichigo he simply snorts. "After all this time, you think I'm going to let you get yourself killed now? Don't make me laugh." Underneath the snark, though, the message is clear: I've got your back. The arrow is cocked and ready, but he still waits before taking action.
Orihime Inoue's eyes widen at the raw edge to Ichigo's voice. She can't help but shiver again. "O-okay..." she attempts a smile. It doesn't quite make it, though. She takes a step backwards, her expression filled with worry. ~Kurosaki-kun...~ Orihime draws in a deep, shuddering breath, then turns to kneel beside Chad and tend to the healing shield she erected.
When she runs...she almost collides into Hanataro getting chased by another rampant beast. Oh dear. "Hanataro!" Rukia hollers, hearing Pyon run somewhere in the background as rear guard. "Duck!" Running still, she shoves her palm forward, calling up a kidou spell quickly, knowing the phrases by heart enough that it doesn't take long for her to call up arcs of lightning crackling from her fingers with her other hand still on the hilt of her zanpakuto. She continues to charge, aiming carefully and BLASTING the Hollow snarling after the poor medic.
Running still, even as the thing screams and writhes, lashing out with its bony tail, the female shinigami leaps, arms stretching out to encircle around Hanataro and yanking them both out of danger at the sheer velocity of her dashing run.
This of course, leaves Renji for an opening, incidental double-tech attack.
It's about damn time! Yammy all but shouts that, but his expression is enough to convey it as he charges for the orange-haired one. "Lucky! Now we don' t have to sort through all this crap to track you down!" He slams a fist towards the shinigami . He's the target. If the other one is really a threat, Ulquiorra may or may not do something about it, but Yammy isn't exactly doubting he could take two on at once either.
Woah woah woah. Now that was a release of spirit power. "...I think the idiot just cut loose." He grumbles softly before Renji comes around a corner. For a moment he blinks, oh...Hanataro being chased by Giger Alien. What next is on the agenda? Then Rukia blasts it leaving him an opening.
How can he resist a woman that leaves him openings like that.
He flashes forwards, one backwards slash severing its tail and his hand goes to its throat, slamming it backwards. With an almost gleeful and evil grin on his face he pounces on it, driving the point of his sword through the things mask and into its face. FACE STAB FACE STAB! WHEEE!
As the thing dissipates he is left crouching there, one glance up towards the two of them. "...you better come with us, I have a feeling you might be needed." He says towards the medic before he dashes forwards again. Time to find out whats up in the Park wouldn't you say?
It doesn't even look like Ichigo moves. One minute, he's standing with his arms at his sides, the next, Tensa Zangetsu is inverted in his hand, holding Yammy's fist at bay with seemingly little effort.
"You're the one who ripped off Chad's right arm? I guess I'll have to take your right arm!"
There's barely a flicker as Ichigo uses his full speed. He jumps up and over Yami's shoulder, his entire body just seeming to teleport. Uliquorra and maybe Ishida are the only ones here strong enough to even think about seeing his movements, and even then, they're nothing but a blur.
For instance, no one can see him swing Tensa Zangetsu at Yammy's arm.
Ulquiorra makes no motion, his face does not twitch, his breathing is uninterrupted.
However, his background is suddenly replaced by surprised speedlines.
It all happens so fast, Hanataro doesn't have enough time to even try to get the pair's attention. One moment he's running for his life, the other he's been swept up into the arms of...
"Rukia-sama~" Aww, he's so cute when he blushes!
Orihime Inoue stares. And stares. And stares. And stares some more. There's not even a twitch of a lash as she watches Ichigo, unblinking. And even so, she didn't see him move at all. He's incredible! She always knew he was somethingn really special, but this is the first time she's been able to witness the extent of his abilities firsthand. She swallows hard, then quickly looks back down at Chad. She has to concentrate on healing him first, she can gawk at Ichigo's hawtness later!
Uryuu watches Ichigo and Yammy trade blows with interest. His Bankai certainly is impressive. Clearly the Quincy needs to step up his training. Can't be letting the strawberry surpass him. He glances over to Ulquiorra, who doesn't seem to care enough to enter the fight just yet. Well, that's fine. He'll merely watch as well, for now. (After all, one-on-one fights are a time-honored shounen tradition.)
Rukia-sama is staring past Hanataro and at Renji, her face grim as she watches her childhood friend just go insane over the alien-thing that was chasing the poor, hapless medic with the powerful zanpakuto. She turns slightly to rest both her hands on the clerk's shoulders, shaking him a bit. "Are you alright, Hanataro?" Her voice is calm, despite it all, and her voice gentler - but that was to be expected, it was Hanataro's kindness that made her incarceration bearable. Naturally she thought she could bear it all even without him, but he certainly made things easier. She appreciated the company, and she appreciated the fact that he was willing to face her older brother (and get himself killed for his impertinence), just so Ganjuu could take her to safety. Of course, it didn't happen like that, but she owed him still.
She nods at what Renji says. "He's right. Stay close, okay?" She helps the clerk up, and then, her own delayed party starts running again, towards the park, where the shit was going down.
o O (Just a little longer....hang on, everybody...)
Ulquiorra also watches, his eyes narrowed. He is utterly unreadable. (Moron! This is why I told you to learn to do things yourself! That's what happens when you attack someone without reading your opponent's strength. However...) His eyes turn to Ichigo. (Yet...that child's strength is also surprising. His ability to pierce Yammy's Hierro, let alone slice off his arm in a single strike...unexpected. I had been told he only recently learned Bankai, but his reiatsu...it is already impressive. But...no. No, it is not yet of a level to threaten that of Lord Aizen.)
His eyes dart to Ishida. (And this one...not a Shinigami at all. A Quincy? I'd thought them all destroyed long ago. Interesting...)
Yammy didn't feel his arm detatching till it was already falling to the ground. He stares wide-eyed as it registers what just happened, and he whirls after to try to follow the movement of Ichigo. Just like that- just like that he took his freakin' arm off!
"W-What?!" He breathes heavily and the shock sort of settles as it turns into rage as he glares angrily at the orange-haired one. Blood drips to the ground in a mirror of Chad, although he doesn't have a nifty little fairy to heal his. Crap.
"Damn you... little s***!" It was certainly a first, something like this happening to him. He was going to smash that brat!
Ichigo lands at about the same instant that Yammy's arm does. He allows himself a smirk as he turns to face theArrancar. He opens his mouth to say something smartassed, but he freezes, bringing his free hand to the right side of his face.
. o O (No..no no no no! Not now! GO AWAY!)
Ichigo doesn't move. It's like he's asking for an assbeating, while his reiatsu fluctuates strangely. Like he's fighting himself. FREE SHOT!
Uryuu eyes Ulquiorra as the Arrancar contemplates him back. He's not about to strike first, before he's seen what the emo kid -- er, what Ulquiorra is capable of. Then Ichigo freezes, and Uryuu turns to him in shock. "What are you --" Oh, crap/. He recognizes that reiatsu, from the night he regained his power. This isn't good at /all.
It's all so dreamy! She's actually talking to him! She even remembers his name! Ah, Rukia-sama! "I'm fine~", his voice lilts, as he blushes and wobbles.
Reality returns in the form of Renji's instructions. "Ah... oh!" No time for daydreaming! Medics might be needed! And most of all, Rukia's watching! Hanataro snaps to alertness and quickly nods to both as he pats his shoulder strap. "I'll stay close by- anou... Where did you get the pink hakama, Abarai-fukutaicho?"
Yammy didn't quite notice Ichigo was having a little problem right away. In fact, he was so angry, he went right for his sword. Tendancy to ignore logic and all that, but what was overdoing things so long as it got the job done? But just as he was about to draw, he caught sight of the twitching, and his lips twisted up in a grin. Free shot indeed! "Hah!" Snapping forward with a kick, he moved to send the shinigami flying. See how you like that!
Orihime Inoue glances up again. She can't help herself, wanting to check on Ichigo. But more importantly, she's extremely worried about the sudden wobbling of his reiatsu. What was happening to him...? He always had his power on full-blast! She's never felt it dip so low before, or rise so high in just the blink of an eye! ~Come on! Get up! Kurosaki-kun, get up!~ she urges silently. And then Yammy serves a crushing blow.
Immediately Orihime is on her feet, running for Ichigo and his assailant. No! Don't hurt him! "Kurosaki-kun!" she screams. The sight of his blood is almost enough to make her cry. Her Ichigo...as just a really special friend who is totally not a love interest because only Rukia can make him have sparkly-eyes.
BOOT! Ichigo spirals through the air, apparently not back to his senses until he hits a big old oak tree and shatters it to kindling with the raw force of his impact. The death god clatters to the ground in the pile of splinters and leaves, his reiatsu returning to normal. That probably means his little friend didn't take over. This is a good thing.
Then again, he's not moving, so it may be a bad thing.
Yammy grins as his hit lands, and he's about to move in for another when suddenly that girl, that other trash from before is moving in. "Don't interfere!" He lashes out at her with his only good arm once more, quite glad to be taking out his aggression finally. He doesn't know Why Ichigo's not moving, but like that's too big of concern in his mind. Others arriving? What's that? Yammy's got a one track mind.
"Kurosaki!" Damn that orange-haired idiot, what is he -- "O-Orihime-san!" Uryuu growls and pumps spiritual energy into his arrow, making it flare nearly sun-bright. The arrow flies, straight at Yammy's shoulder. If he had more power, Yammy might be looking at a double disarming, but this probably doesn't have that potential. Hopefully, though, it'll at least hurt like hell.
Ulquiorra doesn't react.
Pain hurts. Let Yammy get it, he seems to like it.
Smeared. Creamed. Bashed. There's an explosion of crimson at the sheer force behind Yammy's half-hearted pimp smack to Orihime. It literally knocks her off of her feet, shattering her arm, leaving the left half of her upper body a bloody pulp. She arcs through the air and lands in a silent heap on the ground. It all happened...so fast. There wasn't even time to scream. She closes her good eye tightly, paralyzed with the pain. She can't speak. She can't move. All Orihime can do is listen, and fight to stay conscious.
There is a sudden flash. Along with Uryuu's strike, there is a sudden blast, and the temperature suddenly drops several degrees. Ice crusts onto the ground, tracing along roots and grass and leaving wide, crystalline waves of ice. The blast spirals towards Yami, at his blind side, even when he turns to accost Inoue who was running towards the fallen Ichigo. Thank goodness Ishida was there......though she really can't see them too well as Yammy is HUGE.
Shinigami Rukia had arrived, in the black robes that people rarely, if ever, see her in, the white ribbon of Sode no Shirayuki twining around her arm and having flash-stepped in front of the fallen heap that the shinigami substitute made on the ground. Hanataro was coming, and she plants herself firmly in the middle, her blade flicking onto the frozen ice and cutting a deep and blatant line in front of her, reversing the blade and drawing it back. Her stride shifts, planting her legs apart and the tip of her soul slayer pointing right at Yammy.
She doesn't say anything, but her narrowed eyes and the line drawn on the ground said it all.
YOU CANNOT PASS.
Fine sentiments for someone who was no bigger than the freaky Arrancar's KNEECAP, but there you go. She's going to plant herself there until Hanataro gets to Ichigo to ascertain his condition. Her countenance was as frigid as the element she wielded. All she saw were the three mortals she'd grown to care for on the ground, and she was pissed.
And when Rukia was mad....well, she was quiet.
Tatsuki slowly, painfully, her mind battered and her body uncooperative due to the sheer power flying around, begins to push herself - bodily, slowly, using every single ounce of willpower - towards the fallen Inoue. She glares at the Arrancar weakly, seeing twenty where there are only two. "Hang...in...there..." she chokes to Orihime.
Not so for the Shinigami with Rukia. Pretty in pink, Renji crouches off to the side after having landed from a jump. Slowly unfolding to his full height he flicks his sword out to one side before resting it on his shoulder. "Oi. F******. Lay the hell off." He growls out towards Yammy, before glancing towards Ulq, raising an eyebrow. What the hell are they? Those Arrancar? The power level is considerable.
His narrow gazed glare fastens on Ulq before he snorts. Someone shorter than Shiro. Wow. Thats amazing. "I don't supose you'll just walk away eh?" He growls. Naw. He really hopes he dosn't actually.
Hanataro isn't any stranger to huge messes and large threatening beasties far larger than him. But this? His voice quivers as he looks over all the death and destruction, "Chad-san? Arisawa-san? Inoue-san? ... Ichigo-sama!" Good thing Rukia pulled off the delaying action, because the little medic has yanked out Hisagomaru and is racing like a fool over to the berryhead's side.
So. All was going well for Yammy. If you don't count that missing arm. He smacked that shinigami good, and even that girl that got in the way, and-- Ow, hey, that really stung!
The arrow from the Quincy throws some of the force out of the smack he delivered to Orihime, and left a singed spot on his shoulder, but it did little do keep Orihime from being hurt. Regardless, now Ishida also had the Arrancar's attention. Yammy growled, but leveled a grin in Isihda's direcion. "You want to play too, four-eyes? I'll crush all of you!"
Rukia's arrival was therefore only half noticed, and not in time to avoid the blast of ice. The attack drove him forward a step and kicked up clouds of icy dust. As it settled, a few shards could be seen imbedded in his back, but he was still standing. Flexing his shoulder, Yammy's eye twitched and he glanced back to Ulquiorra. "Looks like all the trash wants to see us today!" He returned his glare to the two in front of him now, as Ichigo joins them. Oh look, he was able to get up again. "Did you expect so many?"
Yammy reached for his sword once more, because he was getting tired of these gnats pecking at him. He preferred his fists, but if the orange-haired one was able to move still, then he'd better beat the crap out of him quick.
She doesn't say anything, but she feels him rise somewhere behind her. Rukia doesn't even look at him. Maybe she's too afraid to have him see her expression, the brief look on her face when she saw him lying there, unmoving and death-like....cut down from his prime before he could even determine what the hell Life was really all about. All she could hope for at the moment was that Chad and Inoue were alright. But that was alright, they brought Hanataro. He was good at what he did.
She closes her eyes momentarily at his thank you.
"You're too important to lose," is said, simply - testament to the fact that she was, as usual, straightforward. At the same time, the statement in itself was quite ambiguous. She could be stating the obvious, or she could be stating what she felt in terms of herself, a general fallout from her discussions with Orihime. The world may never know.
Her eyes slide to Ulquiorra when Renji addresses him. "Hanataro....take care of Inoue-san first. Ichigo, he's the strongest between the two." She nods in the direction of Ulquiorra.
And, you know, DELIVERING A MAJOR DISS AT YAMMY AT THE SAME TIME. OH. WHASSUP NOW?
Inoue-san, right. Fix her up, she can help put everyone else back together again too. Hanataro nods again to Rukia and now dashes the other way to go help Orihime. There's no time to go looking for human healing aids in his backpack, so he'll just have to give her a quick fix via the Hisagomaru method. Getting repeatedly hacked at by a sword that absorbs wounds shouldn't hurt... right?
Behind Rukia's back, Ichigo smiles slightly. Whether it was just the fact that Tatsuki was right, these people are willing to fight with him and for him, or the fact that he's about to cut loose on these dank little punks is hard to tell.
Knowing Ichigo, it's probably both.
"Maybe I'll let Renji have his fun," he says to no ine in particular. "Oi! Renji! Go all out on that guy. He'll whup you otherwise," Simple truth, or a not so subtle dig to his rival? In any case, Ichigo steps forward, moving next to Rukia and he looks down at her zanpaku-to, a weird thought crossng his mind. "Y'know. Your zanpaku-to kinda looks like Tensa Zangetsu in reverse." He doesn't go after either Arrancar. Yet.
Uryuu goes dead silent as he sees Orihime hit the ground, bloody and broken. His bow raises again, but he merely points a finger at Yammy. "I don't know your reasons for coming here," he says coldly. "But daring to strike Orihime-san... is the last mistake you will live to make."
The bow shatters from the center outward, as a massive blue spiral of energy envelops the Quincy. The pillar reaches to the sky, then shatters, as a wing of pure spiritual energy extends from his back. His bow reforms fluidly in his hand, metallic and angular, and he stretches his bow string back. To the naked eye he only fired once, but a dozen arrows the same size as the first arc across the sky toward Yammy's face.
"If you had half of a brain," Ulquiorra notes, "you would have sensed them coming half an hour ago. Twit. --Wait." He actually frowns at Yammy. "What are you doing? Do you actually need your zanpaku-to against this garbage? You are one of the strongest, Yammy. Act like it." Subtext: Or I will kill you and someone who doesn't suck can take your place.
He turns to regard Uryuu and the others. "Trash," he decides. He doesn't even look at Renji, but speaks nonetheless: "And you would be the Vice-Captain of the Sixth? Byakuya Kuchiki's protege. Lord Aizen did not exaggerate when he spoke of how finite your power is."
His eye darts over as the Quincy releases his full power...but he does not move to protect Yammy. Why? If he falls to something so weak, it's his own fault.
A voice speaks up. Rukia's voice, but much higher...and WEIRDER. "Rukia-sama's zanpakuto is Sode no Shirayuki! Pyooooon," the perky, sugary voice reiterates in your obligatory BLEACH EXPLANATION OF TERMS MOMENT. Indeed, the animated gigai, stationed there to protect Hanataro and his charges if needed, is squatting over a branch like a gargoyle, beaming down toothily at Ichigo...and Renji, who might look just a little creeped out by her. "It's an ice-and-snow type, so it's white all over...in fact it's considered the most beautiful in Soul Society, pyon." She lifts a finger and wags it a little bit. "Of course no one really knows the extent of its powers, pyon. All this time Byakuya-sama's kept her from advancing up the ladder because the higher she climbs, the more danger she'd be in, pyon."
Good god the thing was freakish. Rukia doesn't seem to mind her though. She glances down at her released soul cutter, lifting it up a bit to compare it to Ichigo's. It did look like the other side of the spectrum compared to his zanpakutoh. The other side of the mirror. Pure white versus null black. She couldn't help but be a little startled at the thought.
Maybe they had been fated to meet after all.
"As long as they work together just fine..." She grips the hilt tighter, turning her head up to meet Ichigo's eyes, and smirks faintly. "...I don't care if it's puke-green."
Orihime Inoue glances up blearily at Hanataro. It's...hard to make out his face. But those eyes... She recognizes those tired, gentle eyes. "Ya...Ya...mada...san...?" She doesn't move, or even twitch when he withdraws his sword. Is it a mercy killing? "Ku...Kuro...Kuro...sa...ki...kun...is?"
Tatsuki is lying next to Orihime. She is not physically wounded.
She's just nearly being totally annihilated on a spiritual level by the tremendous spiritual pressure in the area.
Tatsuki also manages, "He's...ok...ay...i think...can't...see..."
The berry looks from Rukia next to him and up to her inhabited gigai in the tree. What the hell/. That thing is /creepy.He shudders a little bit before looking back to Rukia, having a little Moment in the middle of this chaos. "Oi! Ishida? Take care of the fat ass, will ya? I think I'm gonna help Renji."
Assuming the Quincy will listen, Ichigo stoops a bit to whisper in Rukia's ear. "Thanks again for comin'. I owe you one. ....Be careful, alright? These guys are strong."
Without another word to his kind of, almost, would-be ladyfriend, Ichigo vanishes, only to reappear close to Renji, facing down the short guy with the half-hat.
Wait. Zanpaku-to? "You guys have Zanpaku-to?"
Renji glances back and over his shoulder towards the Pyon in the tree. Blink. Blink. "...thats really f****** creepy." He mutters to himself. Then he glances back towards Ulq and again his eyes narrow. Aizen. Lord Aizen? What the hell do they have to do with that bastard.
"You know enough about us it seems..." Renji growls out as he takes a step towards Ulquiorra. Though there is a glance tossed towards Ichigo.
"...anything happens to Rukia and I'll kick your ass."
Then he turns back towards Ulq. He's the more dangerous of the two he can feel it. Trash is it though. Screw that. "What the f*** do ya have ta do with Aizen?" He spits out the name with considerable venom. Hate even. You know Renji, all about the strong emotions. He would make a really crappy Jedi. Of course the question is followed by something else. Some incling of suprise in his face. "...Zanpaku-to?" Aizen...what the hell have you done?
Hanataro has a zanpakuto! He's chopping away at Orihime like a frightened sushi chef with it! Sword style? What's that? He's also too busy doing the paramedic bit to notice the bad guys have zanpakuto of their own. There is one thing he does find, however, and he stops and waves his arms frantically to catch Pyon's attention. "There's a human here," he yells, flailing Hisagomaru over at Tatsuki. "She needs to get out of here before she suffocates!"
Rukia wanted to tell him that she'll be fine, that she was just as good as any seated officer without a rank, and that he smelled like blood and if anything HE should be the one taking care. Of course, she also wanted to tell him a lot of things, but all she manages to say was 'aaaaaah' with the jazz hands before he flash-steps to Ulquiorra and Renji's position.
Okay, so maybe not 'aaah' with the jazz hands. But rather, "You too," is murmured softly before he vanishes to give her childhood friend a hand. Between the two of them, they can pwn the midget easy. Right? Ichigo did say these guys were strong.
Turning around, violet eyes widen at the Quincy's one-winged form. EH??? What the-- "Ishida...." she murmurs, circling around Yami with Ishida on the other side.
"Looks like it's you and me, Ishida," she says, steeling her form and getting into an attack stance. Normally she wouldn't go two-on-one, it was against her code of honor. But....damn, if these guys were gonna fight dirty, so was she.
However, the word that the arrancar have zanpaku--WHAT? Rukia whips her head to stare at Ulquiorra, and then Yammy again. WHAT? HOW?
Yammy makes a sort of 'pfft' sound at Ishida as he threatens him, and then he turns to shout at Ulqiorra. "Of course not, shut up!" Any close observer though would see that he was about to draw it out in anger, in order to end things quickly. He did not like being made a fool of. So when Ishida powers up, his eyes narrow and he put his anger into his blocking as he raised his good hand again. Yammy didn't like to dodge. It didn't seem cool to him.
It blocked a good amount of them, creating quite the enormous energy blast as they hit. Many got some nicks in too, but although it was clear they hit, it was also clear it wasn't enough. Yammy pulled his hand down and glanced at it, then back at the Quincy and Rukia. It also seemed that his previous quarry had lost interest in him. Well whatever, he could beat them up next, if Ulquiorra didn't cream them first. "Wouldn't you like to know!" His grin returns, and he delivers a punch in Ishida's direction, following up with a kick towards Rukia. Straight brawler, that's what he was. "Now hurry up and die!"
Orihime Inoue flinches at the first strike. Maybe it's better if she doesn't look. But how...can it hurt so good? The crippling pain actually begins to dissipate instead of worsen! Have her nerves decided to call it quits and take a vacation in Maui? ...No, she can still feel the agony of her injuries. What kind of crazy zanpaku-to was that? "A-arigatoo, Y-Yamada-san..." Orihime's lips twitch into a tired smile. Her fingers grip the blood-soaked grass as she silently prays for the safety of the others. And boy oh boy...how is she going to explain this to Ling...? Probably with cake.
"Vulgar," Ulquiorra notes of Renji. "Of course we have zanpakuto. Have you learned nothing? Or perhaps nobody has told you. No matter." He waits, watching Yammy's fight. "So are you going to attack me?"
Tatsuki is also still right next to Inoue, having exerted every iota of strength to draw near to her wounded friend.
She looks about like you'd expect someone whose soul is suffocating to look.
Uryuu gives Ichigo a quick nod, then nods to Rukia as well. "Looks that way, Kuchiki-san," he replies. Then Yammy attacks! Uryuu blurs to the side, and Yammy's fist clips him, but he only ends up with a bruise. (It's a huge bruise, mind you.) Another quick step, and Ishida flies around to Yammy's back, releasing one large arrow this time. He's aiming for the upper back, in an attempt to cripple Yammy's remaining arm.
Hanataro's still flailing and trying to get Pyon's attention. Why isn't he carrying Tatsuki himself? At his size, she'd be dead by the time he literally dragged her to safety! Hmm. Maybe if he did the Luck-Luck Dance...
"You asked for it. C'mon, Renji. Let's make this chump learn why you don't," Ichigo explodes into motion, running circles around the midget and leaving dozens of afterimages in his wake. He spirals around Uliquorra, covering a great amount of space in nearly an instant. He's not flash stepping. He's running.
This becomes especially evident when he speaks in stereo. "Getsuga Tenshou!" and twin crescents of red tinged black reiatsu spiral away from teo different points of the circle.
Sure, people can dodge one, but can they dodge two at once?
Pyon's borrowed, violet eyes swivel around like an owl's. "Aaaaah, Yamada-san!" she waves cheerily from her tree branch. "Whatcha doin'?! Is Inoue-san okay? Pyooooooon!"
Good god the thing was creepy.
At the mention of a human suffocating, she blinks. "Ehhhhhh? Really?" She squints a little bit until she spies another dark haired head near Inoue. What? Where'd she come from? She hadn't seen her there before (as Inoue put her in another place before), but she nods, and superhumanly leaps from the branch, bounds over a rock, and lands neatly at Hanataro's side.
Wordlessly, with one hand, she picks up Tatsuki effortlessly and hoists her over her shoulder.
"I'll run her to one of those hospital-things, okay?! Bye Yamada-san! Pyon!" And with that, she's off.
Tatsuki is being taken to safety! And away from Inoue! She doesn't have the strength to resist, although her arm does trail out, reaching for Orihime with what tiny, insignificant strength is left in her mortal body.
Don't worry, Tatsuki! Hanataro's back to chopping away
all of Orihime's wounds! She'll be back in one piece before you are!
There was the kick...and GOAL! The sudden flash of the fast, fat man's gesture plows Rukia right in the stomach, where she usually gets hit, and is sent skidding to the side with bent knees and her fingers still gripping her zanpakuto tightly. From where she stands, she shoves a palm forward, growling out the words of a kidou spell. The ball of red energy blooms from her palm, and once completed, she throws her arm back, and hurls the build-up forward in a fastball that would make any Boston Red Sox pitcher proud.
She needed to get his attention from Uryuu for a second. If he was being this impervious without even releasing whatever zanpakuto he has, she wondered just how serious a trouble she and Ishida were all in at the moment.
No matter. It wasn't as if she relied too much on her martial abilities. She patiently waits for an opening, using her kidou blast in an effort to ensure one.
One goes high, one goes low, isn't that always how it does. Ichigo moves quickly this is true, and Renji grins viciously. This is why he likes combat, you can concentrate on it in exclusion of all else. No real reason to hold back either now is there? Ichigo blurs fowards and Renji leaps upwards, his sword flashing...no...get that image out of your mind. His sword changing to its second form with a whispered command.
Alright, that wasn't a whisper, that was a roar, and then his arm slings fowards, sending the bladed edge of his zanpakto towards the unresponsive and downright rude Ulq. Yeah. Take that bitch!
Yammy whirls around as he barely connects with Ishida, his eyes at least able to follow this one better than the first that took his arm. "Fast! Not fast enough though!" But it seems he too isn't fast enough to turn completely around, the blast from behind catching his shoulder, the blast from Rukia hitting his front, although it only serves to piss him off more. He's looking worse for wear simply because Ishida picked a spot that had already been hit once before, and yet despite all that he's STILL standing. Big guys don't fall down easy. "Damn you ants! We aren't here for you! But I'll kill you anyway if you insist!" This time he charges after the shinigami. She wanted his attention, she got it. He brings his fist down again. Really, he'd use both for such an overhead swing, but he's uh... missing one at the moment.
Dodge? Well, if you insist. It's hard to tell exactly what happens. The two attacks impact simulataneously, and in the aftermath, Ulquiorra is there, unharmed. For those with extremely advanced senses...
Ulquiorra performed a Sonuda flashstep about five hundred meters to the rear and then came back. In the space of a microsecond. He looks over at Ichigo, and at the incoming Renji. "Useless. You truly are trash." Zabimaru's edge comes at him, and Ulquiorra finally actually, truly moves. His hand rises up, and catches the blade - edge first, in his hand. It cuts. Slightly.
He then snaps the blade in half.
"Are you done yet?" Ulquiorra inquires.
It was like...a huge bull. Charging at her. And she's there, waving the red flag.
Rukia doesn't move. In fact, she stays perfectly still, in her attack stance and unwavering as the man charges towards her. She waits for it...waits for it, and then, he lifts his fist and arcs his arm forward, sending it down on her head. It was almost as big as her entire body. And that's when she moves.
There's barely a sound when she flash-steps from the strike-point, vanishing in mid-leap, only to reappear again at an adjacent tree-trunk. She spring boards off it, sending her higher, flash-stepping again only to appear in the other end of Yammy, and a point higher still. The white ribbon whirling around her, she cries out her next attack.
The wave of frost and ice spirals through the air, in an effort to hit the big man dead on in the face in a downward angle so it would affect the ground underneath him as well....and hopefully anchor him into place. "Ishida!" she yells. If she's successful, if she manages to freeze him into the ground.
Ichigo looks shocked. How the hell can that guy be faster? It is simply not possible. "What? How?" Then helmet kid shatters Zabimaru. This would be bad if it were Zangetsu. It isn't, so Ichigo can just try harder. "I'm done screwing around! I'm gonna kick your ass, old school!"
Once more, Ichigo blurs into motion, going from Zero to Yes in an instant. Sure, the guy can dodge energy waves, but can he dodge strikes from someone who has obviously surpassed the speed of Plaid? Ichigo runs a guerilla game, striking repeatedly every second from a different angle. Sheer volume states something will hit and cut this little bastard down to size.
"Right!" Uryuu calls in response, already readying another shot. He can already feel himself slipping. Damn it, he can only hold this level of power for so long before he risks burning his powers out again. Well, he'll make his last shot a good one, then! His wing dissolves away, and the energy from it arcs around and gathers in a massive, blindingly bright arrow. He pulls back, aims for a split second, and fires.
You know, Renji should be damn well used to having his sword broken. This is like the second...third...something time its happened isn't it. However he's...yes...STILL SUPRISED. Dammit. Thats not how that attack was suposed to work. He lands several feet away and stares at the shattered hilt in shock before growling.
RENJI MAD. RAAAAAAAAAR.
You know approximently what happenes when Shinigami gets mad? Yeah. Bad things man. Bad things. Just hold him there for a little bit would you Ichigo? Yeah. Thank you.
The redhead half closes his eyes, and that spirit power spikes from him as he smirks viciously at the little bastard. Fine. You want all out. You'll get all out. Of course Renji might pay for it later, but meh. Whatever. He's a tough Shinigami. He ain't gonna die anytime soon. "BAN--"
And the ground around him trembles for a moment, then...yeah. Second form time! YAY! Everyone in awsome second form! Though the fur shoulds look a bit silly with the pink kimono.
Look, its the snake-thing! Ain't it cute! Look Ulq! It wants to EAT YOUR SOUL. With a nice white wine.
Orihime is... mostly back together by now. Enough so that she can at least sit up without pain. Hanataro wipes the sweat from his brow as he nods to himself in satisfaction. "Feeling better, Inoue-san? I need to go help your tall friend over there next," he says, waving Hisagomaru over at Chad. A wary eye goes over to watch where everybody's still fighting and his voice starts to tremble again, "And then everybody else..."
This is why Ulquiorra is always scolding Yammy to pay attention, to use his brain to fight, not his brawn. Yammy never listens, because to him it was stupid. Rather than argue his point, he would just prove it anyways. Which is why when Rukia somehow manages to freeze him in place, and Ishida's attack hits him immediately after, he howls in rage rather than any amount of pain (despite the fact that it was beginning to hurt a little now.) "Damn you two!"
In that case...
Yammy opens his mouth then, not moving from his spot. A bright light forms there, and the energy increases greatly. See how they take a Cero to the face! Unfortunately it's either one or the other, as they are in separate places. Yammy decides it takes less time to turn around, that shinigami was pissing him off anyway with all that ice and crap, and so he fires straight ahead! Incoming!
Orihime Inoue puffs out a breath, offering a tired, tired smile at Hanataro. Wow, their eyes almost match! "I-I'm okay, Yamada-san. Thank you very much!" She looks at Chad, a little surprised to see that Ayame and Shun'ou are still there, hovering over him. Even while she was out like that, they cold remain...? Thank goodness. She sits up. And decides she'd really much rather lie back down, since her head is spinning. She lost a lot of blood, it'll take a while to get it back.
Ichigo's sword comes at him, tnk tnk tnk CATCH
Ichigo's blade cannot even begin to pierce Ulquiorra's body, glancing off as if striking impermeable iron. He easily catches the sword in his hand, his blank eyes staring at Ichigo. "Fast. Not strong enough. Number six would be able to crush you in combat. Is this all you can do?" His fist lashes through Ichigo's blade, slicing it neatly, and then uses what remains to hurl the boy in the direction of Renji. Who is going Bankai.
"Another amateur bankai user? Fascinating." The snake comes, and Ulquiorra...catches its jaw, and literally pries it open as if he were a dentist expecting for cavities. "...held together by your reiatsu...I see, so it could not be destroyed by a conventional attack. However..."
His fist lashes out and shatters the lower jaw of the snake in a single strike.
"My strikes are hardly conventional."
Still holding the snake's upper skull with one hand, he extends his hand toward the interior of the beast, and at the end of his outstretched finger, a point of darkness forms, growing and deepening, a veritable singularity of power. A Cero, aimed to fire directly down the path created by the spine of Renji's bankai - and into the Shinigami's very soul, eradicating him and Ichigo with him. "I didn't want to have to kill you. You are hardly any kind of threat. But, as you insist..."
The blast is released, and the very world screams its torment.
The screams of souls being wiped from the earth. The cries of anguish. The sight of friends being killed.
Those aren't what's going to be heard today.
The scream is more of an annoyed grunt. The cries of anguish likely sound more like a giggle. The sight is not so much friends being killed as that of an eyepatch flying through the air and landing in front of Ichigo.
Unstoppable Force? Meet the immovable object.
Kenpachi Zaraki stands there, taking all of the blast head on, not even getting pushed back. But, notably, not moving forward, either. He's just standing there, taking the blast. The Cero clashing with an extremely powerful reiatsu.
A reiatsu flattening anyone not strong enough to stand up to it.
Who knows how this is going to end?
They had zanpakuto, and they had cero.
It almost wasn't fair.
But when Yammy opens his mouth, Rukia swings her soul cutter again, the ribbon encircling the air behind her. She half-expected more words, more yelling, more insults to come out of his mouth. Instead, even as she rears back and bears down on him with the tip of her sword, she realizes she was wrong. Light, bright and pulsing, swirls around the hollow-hybrid's mouth, and then, she saw nothing but red.
To her credit, she doesn't even scream. Not even when the red beam seared half her clothes from her body, and ate away at her skin. Blood arcs from the hole punched through her collarbones. The pain was so intense, so acute, that it was almost to the point that she didn't feel anything at all. And then she felt it, the sensation of being erased. It was strange.
Was this what it felt to have one's soul disappear?
And on the back of the giant Force of Nature clings his usual pink-haired tumor, blinking at the rush of power that ruffles her puffy pink hair. When did she decide to go for the afro look? "Whoa, that's scary!" she says, ducking her head a little against the large man's coat. Once the Cero blast dissipates she pops back up, looking around curiously. "Wow, looks like we missed most of the fun, huh Ken-chan? Oh, look-- Hi Ichi!!" She gives a cheerful little wave, which is completely out of place in the current deadly atmosphere. "You havin' fun?"
The pure white zanpakuto comes up from twitching fingers, in a last ditch effort to try and minimize the damage by blocking, if she still had the strength to. The blade gleamed, and ice swirled upwards. It was weak, but it helped. She felt some sort of relief at the back of the fuzz growing at the back of her brain.
If she was going to die today, her last thought would be of Renji.
Because she didn't manage to GET BACK TO THAT JACKASS FOR WHAT HE SAID EARLIER.
There is a noise that goes QUAAACK.
A significant portion of Yammy's Cero is abruptly deflected by an inflatable duck that was not there before.
It appears to be clearly labeled 'PROPERTY OF URAHARA KISUKE-KUN, ESQUIRE'
As the smoke clears and the power spike drops, Renji's Bankai coils about him and the Shinigami growls. Smirking slightly at the little kiddo. ...and the snake gets its jaw cought. And shattered. Ow. Now that hurt. Quite a freekin bit. However he does something that might be considered ENTIRELY suicidal by some...by most...alright. Yeah. By everyone pretty much. Of course he's not the most 'safe' of fighters by a long shot. However this is a bit of a streach even for him.
He trusts Ichigo to block him...yeah. I know. Its insane. But he does.
Twisting the snake in Ulq's hands Renji snaps the upper part of the jaw off himself, and sends the remaining bits of bone, held togther with his own spirit energy, slamming into the beam that is aimed for Rukia. Now the beam's already HIT. Yes. But at least this will damn well stop it from continuing...or at least thats what he hopes.
...of course, this is also going to cause him some SEVERE PAIN. But hey. He's used to that. He can fain after he makes sure everyone LIVES.
Ichigo winces, knowing exactly what's comng his way...but it doesn't because Kenpachi's tanking it for him. There is really only one thing to say. "Holy shit!"
That's about all he could manage before he caught sight of Rukia taking the full force of something he almost did. "RUKIA!" is about all he can manage as the eyepatch flutters to the ground and he vanishes in a flash step, paying no heed to the tiny terror. He'll pay for that later, but Rukia's in trouble! He moves as quickly as he can, diminished in power as he is, to the side of the fallen. Tensa Zangetsu falls to the ground heedlessly as Ichigo drops to his knees and skids across the ground the rest of the way, looking a bit frantic, wondering if living first aid will work on the dead, as he applies pressure to the wound.
Everybody had better hope she survives. Even Uquilorra isn't strong enough to stand against Wichigo.
Rukia sprawls on her side and skids across the duck, to stop...right next to the duck.
She stares at it, and while her eyesight is fuzzy, she could read the lettering this close. She can't help but laugh. Except this laugh sounds more like a wheeze. It was one of those WTF moments that people can't escape, and there was nothing to do but laugh. As said, everything hurt so much, she was a little delirious. The flaring reiatsu that she recognizes at Renji's impacts the beam that would've finished her, twisting it away from her, and then, Ichigo was there, when he was on the other side of the battlefield.
She rolled on her back, with no effort of her own. She didn't even drop her sword, feeling hands on the base of her collarbone pressing in. Violet eyes hazily find Ichigo's face somewhere in the back of her head, she couldn't help but smile, her grip slowly slacking from her sword as darkness starts to creep in her vision.
"Ichigo..." she croaks.
You're my hero? You look awesome in black? Have a twinky? I love you?
"...it said 'quack'. ....that's awesome.."
Uryuu sinks to his knees as his bow dissolves and his power fades away. He's not burnt out, but it will be a few hours before he can defend himself again. Luckily for him, no one is paying attention to him. He watches and curses under his breath as the Arrancar very nearly tear the entire group to shreds, but for the appearance of two 11th-divisioners. And a duck. Hopefully this is the end of it...
"RUKIA-SAMA!" Even as he was concentrating on his patient, Hanataro couldn't miss the Cero Laser Light Spectacular. One of the most important people in his (relatively) young life nearly got evaporated! Chad will just have to wait some more. The medic drops Hisagomaru at the giant's side and races over to join Ichigo at Rukia's side, his medical pack already unslung and the gloves quickly being unrolled on his arms. The timidity and hesitance is gone. "Stand back, Ichigo-sama," Hanataro all but commands. "I'll save her."
Ulquiorra frowns. Just a little. "Kenpachi Zaraki...and Yachiru Kusajishi. I see. Captain and Vice-Captain of the 11th Company. And..." His eyes turn to the duck, and then further, to the city. "...they're coming."
And suddenly, unperceived, he is in front of Yammy, and smashes his fist into the giant's gut to get his attention. "Idiot. I knew letting you come was a bad idea. Your game drew the target, it's true, but it has also gotten the attention of these two, not to mention Yoruichi Shihouin and Kisuke Urahara...and others. They are far beyond our level. At this rate, we'll lose. Unless..." His hand reaches out and simply...taps space. The world splits before him, the yawning void of Hueco Mundo appearing. "We retreat."
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