Gotei 13 Forces A figure moved and continued onward, looking up at the setting moon as he continued his way towards the Sereitei. One was the only symbol seen on his clothing. Behind him, the green glow of kido illuminated the front lines where the shinigami held off the hollows. The figure was lost in thought, going far too fast for any to catch his conversation to himself. "One day... A day when the reincarnation cycle is uninterrupted. From life to death to death to life. Hollows won't interupt it, neither the quincy. A few might die for me to get to this dream, but everyone else will thank me for doing a little evil. Yggdrasil, you are doing better than I could have ever imagined, drawing all these hollows out to the slaughter. I do wonder what is keeping that human Kirako though. He's a keypin to the world of the living. He's too strong for mere hollows to have done anything to him." As he passed from district to district, he looked at the scared faces of the few people watching for hollows. It stopped the thoughts beforehand as a profound sadness settled on him. "Forgive me for the little bit of pain, people of the Soul Society.... I swear it will all be worth it." ******* In the middle of a darkened room, a shinigami stood with a column of light on him only. He stood steadfastly infront of the 46 panels infront of him. His posture conveyed powerful presence. The panel spoke to him. "Captain Commander Daiki Sakaki, what is it we hear of hollows still in the Rukongai? Shouldn't they have been put down by now?" "Hollows have appeared in swelling numbers in the Rukongai, we can't handle them as per normal patrols. I have already deployed several divisions to engage them. Several districts have been completely devoured. Casualties are high on both sides. We have identified that they are being led by Arrancar, which is how they are so well organized and have resisted our attacks. We are holding them off at District 51. I have visited these districts myself, things are grave." "And why have they made it to the 51st district!? Your performance is being questioned at this point, Captain Commander. This is the single biggest loss of souls the Soul Society has seen in a millenium!" "I recognize the tragedy. As noted, there are Arrancar, some of which have rivaled our captains. Captain of squad 8, Musashi Oda, and several others have fallen. I believe that they might be able, at least in terms of raw strength, rival the Gotei 13. To be honest, I don't think there are many hollows left in Hueco Mundo, I believe we are looking at the full force of the hollows." "Rival the Gotei 13? Preposterous! If things are that grave, what of the reports of you refusing to slay a single hollow?" "Greatly exaggerated, I have slain four so far." "You could slay thousands more, why are you not personally pressing the battle?" "As I said, these Arrancar are a threat. If they have several arrancar able to match our captains, what do you suppose would lead them? And if I reveal my strength to them, that's a weakness. What would happen if you show weakness to a beast?" "Tch. Are you suggesting these mere hollows have something able to match the Captain Commander of the Gotei 13 forces?" "Are you suggesting that they have pushed the Gotei 13 forces so easily without a force like that?" "If that is true, the Gotei 13 is in danger, and us as well! Still, I find it hard to believe they have a force like that. Why do you suppose every single hollow is attacking us?" "They move like a wounded beast. My guess is that something has wounded them, displaced them. If that is the case, we may be able to eliminate them completely. That's why I am waiting." "Something? Captain Commander, we do not deal in the vague. We need every detail, give us a reason of what." Sakaki bit his lip, the first bit of hesitation he had shown. "I do not know. I just know how the wounded beast moves. Only guess I could have is whatever is blocking up the Dangai could have something to do with this as well. I believe if I let them show their strength a little more, without showing mine beforehand, we'll be able to push them back and regain the Rukongai." "And.... What if you're wrong?" "Then we eliminate them here and keep on pushing. I grow weary of hollows. Don't you see it! Every.Single. Hollow. Do you know what that means if we win!? We could have a final solution. A tommorrow without hollows! Imagine the hollows gone, then think of the world without the quincy! Not a single interruption to the reincarnation cycle! We wouldn't even be needed!" Discussion rang throughout central 46 at the thought. It was new, and some almost thought it heresy. "Captain Commander Sakaki, keep your ideals to yourself, that is not the purpose of your station, your purpose is merely to enforce the balance of souls. How are we on that front? Must we change the balance? What does division 12 say on the matter." "You know they are without a captain, he was lost in the beginning of the Dangai danger, he's the reason we decided to temporarily withdraw from the human world. What we can tell, the balance is not yet thrown off, though I worry if we don't finish off the hollows soon, it will be." "Very well. You are dismissed." "I have one request. The majority of the Gotei 13 shall be deployed against the hollows. "Then you would leave the Sereitei completely unprotected?" "I'll leave a few here. But I need to see the shinigami's efforts with my own eyes, and they need to see the captains united. I can't fight personally, I haven't seen their full strength. I refuse to show them ours, but morale will falter without us showing being truly united. The quickest way to end this is for us to kill their leaders. Unless you prefer the hollows to destroy the Rukongai completely, we should go. A commander belongs with his men." Central 46 was silent for a moment, before some discussion started again, a decision being reached. "Very well. But Central 46 will not convene until your return, until we feel it is safe." The light dimmed, and Sakaki quietly departed. Human World Coalition Why has it come to this? Are human beings always doomed to be swallowed by greed and power, the want to achieve such through any means? This and many other questions rose in the mind of a particular Quincy in what looked to be an underground facility. The white-haired woman showed great discomfort in what was being done, but she alone sought to see the place shut down. The Quincy in question was one they called Reikuhara, a woman part of a special two-man cell that the very leader of the Coalition had direct command over. One of two that held great skill to become such in the first place, and now she was here, in what looked to be an underground facility walking through corridors and along catwalks with unconcious bodies scattered around. While her purpose there looked unclear at first, what is known is that this facility was one of two hidden away from 'public' knowledge and run by those in the Coalition. Here however, Reiku had been on a path to shut the very place down, being the reason why so many laid out cold. "Why would the Commander do such a thing. This isn't right. Experiments like this.. It's so inhumane, so wrong...." The woman spoke to herself as she gripped a bow in hand, continuing to walk along as she looked around. Her task was finished here, having dealt with those that had conspired such dreadful acts as well as free those that had been subjected to these experiments. "Are humans not supposed to be more morally inclined than that of the hollows or the shinigami?.. Where is our dignity in this? Our actual humanity? In the namesake of power?.. This is not why we've formed this Coalition.. Kirako, what were you thinking..?" Further questioning monologue continued as the woman pressed onward, taking her leave of the place as she eases her grip some on her bow, sliding the physical object into place across her back as she sighed, seeing no more need for it. As she stopped in place in a building above ground, she slightly looked up as in thought, "Elam...what will you do?" * * * * Some time had passed since then as Reikuhara now walked through areas of the Coalition's base of operations. Amidst all that was happening, it left the woman on a sour note having to deal with something such as this when they already have so many other problems to deal with, namely the hollows. A short smile did creep up on her lips as she shook her head, "I'm sure my sister is having fun atleast.. Oh that woman.." She sighed as she continued on, giving nods and small waves to others nearby, listening to anything they had to report or say while remaining brisk in her walk. Where she was going, the number of people were dwindling more and more until she came up on a meeting room, remaining infront of the doors as she stood still. Elam was keeping Kirako busy so that his attention was diverted away from what Reikuhara was up to, as well making sure word didn't get out either way. Reiku was not sure what was to come from all this but a confrontation of the issue was something that needed to be done. As she stepped through the doors, she was not entirely prepared to see what had occured inside, "Elam??... What did..... Did you-?.." The woman spoke curiously as she looked over the scene, a bit dismayed at seeing the outcome. * * * * FROM ANOTHER POINT OF VIEW Knock. Knock. "Yes?... Come right in.." A man with an old but grunty voice, from inside the meeting room spoke up, addressing whoever it was that knocked on the door. The door was slowly opened, when a figure entered the room. "Ah.. Elam, it's you.. How are things going?.." Elam was quiet for a few seconds as he approached the table. Standing there with a serious expression on his face. The man with the grunty voice was confused as to why a response from one of his trusted men was not received. "Something wrong..?" He tried to assure. Another few seconds passed before the eye-patched Quincy spoke up. "Kirako-san.." He finished, referring to Kirako Daihetai, the Commander of the Human World Coalition, and a Fullbringer at that. There was something he had to figure out, and in order to achieve that, asking the right person would be for the best. Elam's blue eyes showed resolve and conviction. What came next would change things around in the World of the Living. "There is something I need to clarify, or rather, know.." The Quincy expressed with determination, the glimmer of almost disgust could be seen in his eye. Kirako was seated on a chair. The big meeting room also had an office in it, where the Commander usually was. The expression on Kirako's face was becoming serious, wondering what was bothering Elam's mind. "And.. What is it that you want to know?..." Kirako firmly posed a question. "Were you a part of it as well?.. Knowingly?.. The facilities.. The experiments!?.... All of it?..." He coldly gazed at Kirako, wondering if all the questions he asked would receive the harsh answers he expected. Kirako's demeanor was much more serious now. He stood up from his chair, standing there for a few seconds. He knew full well how smart Elam was, and whatever he said, it would've taken him quite the convincing if necessary. ".. So you know..." Kirako sighed, sounding disappointed. The words that came out of Elam's Commander were the bitter truth, or rather, the words he needed to know. Everything was true. Their Commander was experimenting on the humans that were effected by the collapse of Hueco Mundo, and even the pluses who were roaming around in Karakura Town. "I'm sorry that it had to come to this... Boy..." The Commander moved away from the chair, approaching Elam. A blade materialized in Kirako's hand. Elam stood there silently, not moving an inch, His gaze locked onto their Commander's eyes."What I'm doing is for our own benefit.. To receive more power. In order to destroy those damn Hollows, in order to protect the Humans... It is all for the greater good... My son..." Despite the words that escaped Kirako's lips, despite the way he tried to justify the end for what he was behind, it was all horrendous. Kirako stood before Elam, not using his blade right away. "I should have known someone of your caliber would've figured it out sooner or later... And I bet Reiku has too... Right?.. You two were always a notch above the rest." He asked, not getting any answers out of the Quincy. A smirk was plastered on their Commander's face. It was as if what he was doing would have no repercussions in the future. "You know it better than anyone.. If the news about this is spread around our coalition, I will lose the trust I need in order to get this done.. Things will be in shambles. It cannot happen.. And thats why... I must--" Kirako was abruptly interrupted by Elam. "Kill you..." The Quincy finished Kirako's sentence, though noticed how the latter lunged with the blade towards him, trying to take him down with a surprise. "Don't get cocky... ELAM!!" The Commander raised his voice. In that very moment, the Quincy was literally gone from the Commander's sight, not giving him a single chance to react. Kirako's eyes widened, as he looked around the room, confused. A grin was plastered on his face, knowing quite well where Elam was. Turning around drastically, moving his blade and its sharp end towards the direction he felt the latter's presence was, he felt the sudden pain in his chest. Not fully knowing what had just happened. Another simple blade was plunged into his chest, giving the Commander a fatal injury. Standing there for a second, blood gushed out from his mouth as he slowly moved his eyes towards Elam, who was right below him, at point blank, with one hand gripping the hilt of the blade that would eventually take the man's life. "... Yo...Yo--- You'll.. Regret thi--" "No... I won't.... Kirako..." Elam coldly stated, before he pushed the blade deeper in and used the force behind it to throw Kirako against the wall on the other end of the entrance. The life was slowly seeping out of the Commander. His face covered in blood from the mouth down. The blade still plunged into him. The Quincy stood there with a demeanor unfazed. A few seconds later he approached the now dead Kirako Daihetai, and the now dying former leader of the Human World Coalition. Standing before him, he gripped the hilt of the blade which was covered in blood and pulled it out from the body. Not a single scratch on him. "It's a shame Kirako.. That I couldn't tell you that your facilities... Will no longer exist... And the fact that.. Reiku probably has taken care of one already. You old fool..." The door into the meeting room opened again. A familiar female voice ushered from behind. With his back turned against Reiku, he tilted his head to the side, gazing at her from the corner of his ice cold eye. The event before the female Quincy was probably something she did not expect. They were a two-man cell that worked directly under Kirako, and probably equally as strong if not stronger. The question that escaped Reiku was definetely not unexpected. If anything, she was more fond of the Commander unlike Elam, and couldn't believe that he was behind everything. Though the facility she visited surely gave her the answers she herself seeked in all of this. "It was necessary." Elam harshly stated, before his gaze turned back down at the body against the wall. "Is it done?.." He asked, referring to the facility she was to destroy. After a few seconds he walked away from the body, which would allow Reiku to see the condition of Kirako. On his way to the very chair the Commander usually sits on, he casually dropped the bloody blade. "You and I will be taking over..." He finished, before he sat down. "As equals.." His entire demeanor was abundantly cold and unfazed. Before she answered, Reiku shut her eyes and quietly sighed, "Yeah.. I've gathered a small group reliable enough to clear the rest of it out, gathering those guilty I've left unconscious and evacuating any stragglers that remained hidden. We'll find out what to do with them later for their actions, but the facility will never be functional again. But to see that it had to lead to death like this.... I guess I can only be disappointed in all this, moreso by the Commander." Crossing her arms calmly across her chest, Reikuhara stepped away from the door and towards a desk, standing near it as she looked upon Kirako before turning her gaze upon Elam, "It looks as though he would have discarded us given the chance. To think with all this conflict, humans still hold onto their greed.. I wonder, if he had perished by other means, his desires might have eventually made him an enemy to his own cause." Shifting her attention on the matters elsewhere, she shut her eyes again before her tone shifted, having now addressed Elam's earlier comment about taking over, "Explaining this to the others won't be easy, and I am certain there will be resentment towards it. Still, I guess this was unavoidable in any case. But now it looks we have other matters to tend to. There's still one facility left and the hollows are also still giving us trouble on the surface. Have you gotten any word from the others about that? My sister maybe?" Elam's demeanor was becoming calmer than it had been a few seconds ago. Listening to Reiku regarding her thoughts about the Commander and his little unruly business, he glanced at the body before diverting his attention towards his fellow Quincy. "His intention was to take care of the both of us once he found out that I knew about his plans..." There wasn't really much to tell, even Reiku had figured it out. "Before all this..." The Quincy referred to the little event in the meeting room. "I had already gotten the reports regarding the Hollows.. and the Shinigami.. .. But first.. There are a few groups of Fullbringers and Quincies out there pushing the Hollows coming from Hueco Mundo back..." The situation was quite dire in the World of the Living, and it was all thanks to the Shinigami and the Hollows. If anything Elam had a personal issue against Seireitei. "But these.. Abominations.. They are coming in groups from Hueco Mundo... And quite fast... I don't know why.. There's not much information I've received regarding that. We'll have to find out.. In order to stop this..." "We've already severed our connection with Seireitei and the Shinigami. That's why the coalition exists.. We can handle this on our own... And as for your sister..." Elam thoroughly explained the situation, before he stood up from the chair, walking towards the wide table with the necessary information about the structure of Karakura Town, and the many strategies, forces, and the location of where the Hollows were possibly coming from plus their own bases away from the coalition's headquarters. "Knowing her.. She's probably out getting rid of the Hollows." Despite his own personal issue with the Shinigami in general, he had come to terms with how the coalition was to work. With how mixed they were. With Quincies, Fullbringers, Enhanced Humans, and even Shinigami who accepted their cause and had abandoned Seireitei. Even if there weren't many of that, one exception would be Reiku's half-sister. Kairi Veritahl, a substitute Shinigami. Looking at the wide table before him and Reiku, he decided to bring something familiar up. "Since you took care of one of the two facilities. The remaining one has to be taken care of as well... Also.. The death of Kirako will surely spread like a wild fire around the coalition. It is inevitable." Elam actually had a plan regarding that, and he knew full well the reaction some may get once its out. But if anything, it was for the better. "Reiku..." He uttered, before continuing. "We will tell the people of the coalition about the reason behind the Commander's death, but only when we have rallied a group in order to prevent any more experiments from happening. It is also for their own benefit. So they can witness it by themselves and see what you saw... And... We will get the coalition back on track to face the real threat. the Hollows, and maybe even Seireitei, if they meddle in our business and the World of the Living. Like we've told them not to do." "It won't be easy to find the support we might need at first, but you're right...our leadership won't come easy but there are not many others aside from us that can reliably take that position. As much as I'd like to say there were. I will personally see to it that Kairi will not be involved in the other facility, we'll need her on the offensive more than anything. I know you prefer it have nothing to do with shinigami but she is needed to keep pressure on the hollows just as any others fighting out there. Because she's capable of what shinigami can do as well..." Reikuhara then looked over the table with her hands planted firmly on it as she leaned over, "I suggest we contact Lecor and give her the go ahead to make a push. Once we have our numbers on casualties and those who are still ready, I think we should be able to drive the hollows back enough to flush out their chain of command. When we are ready and have dealt with what's needed about the facility, I will go and join my sister on the defense." Lifting herself up from the table, she then moved towards the doorway and stopped again, turning to face Elam, "I am not saying this of doubt, but of reassurance. We've fought alongside one another for a long while, Elam. I do not doubt you, nor of the actions you have done. It was inevitable that Kirako would have met his end, but I will say this much. I know you are different, but to remain strong and truly just in our cause, if I see you falter onto similar paths as he, know that you may share a fate similar someday. Truthful to say I trust you far more than I did Kirako, but that is just what I wish to tell you as we take on such responsibilities for the consequences we shall face in the future." "I never doubted the fact that your sister would be capable as a Shinigami. I've come to accept it as it is. Because it's neccessary." Standing across from Reiku, his concentration shifted towards the map of Karakura Town laid out before them. There was much to do about the coalition and the enemies they are facing, and how dangerous things could get. "And as you say. Your sister is probably more useful out there on the front. I wouldn't have it any other way." If anyone, Reiku was perhaps the only one who knew how Elam really felt about the Shinigami, but now, with the both of them taking command over the Human World Coalition, more would eventually know by the time if it ever did come to that. The Quincy was hoping for nothing of the sort, if anything, creating a rift inside the coalition would definitely end badly for them all, and especially leave the Humans unprotected. "I will personally invite Lecor and notify her about the facility and have her take care of it. I'm sure if anything, she is capable of that, by taking a few others with her." He turned away from the table and moved across it, nodding towards Reiku regarding Kairi and helping her strengthen their defense. His gaze was locked onto his fellow Quincy when she addressed something quite interesting. Elam had a cold sharpness to his aura as his gaze was focused on what escaped her lips. "You are probably the only one who can say that and get away with it. But if I do follow the same path as Kirako. I'd have it no other way than to have you cut me down." A couple of seconds passed as the eerie silence swirled around the room between the both of them. Eventually, Reiku left without saying a word, but Elam knew that what she said was out of concern and that she cared, hoping it would never come to the same thing. Alone in the room again, or rather, with the dead corpse of Kirako in the meeting room, he slightly lifted his hand up, before reishi started to appear above his palm and materialized into a sky blue, but transparent sparrow. Manipulating the reishi further, it eventually turned into a black one, and semed like it was filled with life, nor was it transparent anymore. A small note was rolled up in Elam's vacant hand, before he gave it to his sparrow, who eventually grabbed it with his talons. Once it flew away from the room, the reishi made sparrow eventually dissolved itself along with the note before it reached the wall. It was not gone, and would appear again outside, making its way to the Fullbringer, a General, Casana G. Lecor. The note notified her about a meeting requested by Elam in the very same meeting room. She would be the first one who would know about the demise of Kirako Daihetai. Or so they would believe. El Miedo Before her was a diagram, set on a table entirely constructed of bones, she hated the thing. Her gaze practically boring through the diagram laid out on the smooth surface. Her eyes trailed over it with purpose, each movement noting a different nuance. The diagram itself was composed primarily of reiryoku with a small amount of reishi used to bind it in place temporarily. After several minutes of pursuing the nuances of the diagram she lifted her eyes and hands from the table. The moment her hands ceased contact the reiryoku condensed into thin lines of reishi, which then folded into a two foot long rod, which she snatched up, collapsed down into a 6 inch rod, and hid in her clothes all in one swift movement. It had been a diagram showing the status of the war. Noting the location of her troops in both the World of the Living and Soul Society. Currently she was focusing the bulk of her forces in the Rukongai and Karakura town. However, it wasn't all she had, though she had certainly led the other two factions to believe it was. Sighing as she looked around the war room in which she held meetings with the Presagio, and every so often her Argén, she shook her head, a slightly sad look in her eyes. She hated this. If only there hadn't been disturbances in the Dangai. If only Hueco Mundo had not began to collapse, she'd be there, merely watching over her kin...rather than leading them to be slaughtered, and slaughter, the other races. It was disgusting. Unable to remain in one place for long, lest the idea of this war overwhelm her, Armonia strode forth, exiting the chamber that was but a grim reminder of her position, and out into a garganta. As she entered the Dangai she had to make a decision. Would she personally lead the assault against the humans, or the shinigami? She closed her eyes, remembering the positions of all the pieces on the board. She had committed it to memory, but it was easier to adjust by using the diagram, which was why she had it at all. Suddenly she felt a presence approaching, her eyes snapped open, her reiatsu flared, and her expression changed to one of mild anger. An arrancar appeared, entering the Dangai through a garganta. "Matriarca," the arrancar driveled, bowing to one knee before her. Armonia made no response. After a moment the arrancar began to speak, not bothering to rise, likely out of fear. "The Humans seem to be rallying. It appears their general has fallen to two of their own. It seems to be a coup. They're heading to a nearby factory, something about human and soul experimentation from their former leader," the arrancar's tone was level, despite the fact that she could feel fear and hunger emanating from his form. She began walking past him, reopening his garganta even as she gently laid her hand on his head, patting it. "Thank you Ascarta, you have done well...this time. You will be rewarded later. For now, pass the message on to the Presagio and Argén in the Rukongai. Tell them to pull back their central forces, and circle others around the side." Ascarta managed to sneak a glance at her face as she spoke, she was smiling, it was a dark look. "I want them to think they're winning. Make it convincing. If they do, tell them it will be well worth their time. Oh, and remind them what I do to those who don't listen to orders," she met the arrancar's eyes, looking down at him, a cruel smile on her lips, before she turned away and walked through the garganta, the tear in space closing behind her. Ascarta shivered and rose, "The woman is terrifying..." he muttered to himself, before he took a few breaths, regaining his composure, and then departed. It was time to get moving. Arriving in the human world, Armonia had already suppressed her reiatsu down to absolute zero, making it impossible to detect her. She turned and then vanished, continuously using sonido to get to her destination. When she got to her base of operations she would give the order. Call upon the hollows, contact two of the Argén, and ready themselves within garganta, poised to attack. The key was to have the humans begin their assault on the factory, then blow it up, swarming hollows into the rubble just afterwards. That ought to send a message, and deal the most damage. Then again, perhaps she ought to protect the facility, gather information on the experiments that had been conducted therein, use it to her advantage. It would also make her more unpredictable. If the enemy's leaders couldn't figure her out, they'd never be able to predict her properly. Which was more valuable? A show of sheer force to intimidate, or information and unpredictability. She chose the latter. This was going to get bloody. She steeled herself for the result of her decision, even if it was an hour or so away. She really did hate war.