It was brief, but the fist collided against the raven-haired beauty was memorable. Even her balled up fist was throbbing in pain, pounding like pneumatic drill plying through the knuckles. She should’ve remembered not to punch like that, there’s no value in punching recklessly like a brainless yobbo. But another reminder pounded through her body like rippling waves.
She was weak. She could almost feel her knuckles rend into shards. The surging vibration swallowed her momentarily recklessness. She felt the sense of remorse of throwing herself at the nameless Arrancar. She wanted to hide her damaged hand but with the embrace by the punched woman caught her off guard. The bubbling noise and the deranged hiss and giggle unnerved her. It wasn’t too long that she rose above her provocation and now she stood there wondering what exactly going on with her self.
No. There’s no time to think that.
She drowned the ponderous thought by focusing on her own self-inflicted wound. Pain was a helpful reminder that she’s still alive, but she wondered why didn’t she retaliate? She felt the cold draft on her shoulders. She had remembered that her Grey Trench coat. She paced towards the coat sprawled on the sandy ground, watching the powerhouse approaching towards Crowe. There were so many emotions riled up inside her, but none were of hate towards the Arrancar.
She dusted off the coat as she watched her approach towards Crowe. There was nothing witty that she thought up. She swung the coat over her, so the coat is loosely attached to her.
Activities among the population in Las Noches had burst into life. A strange Pale faced beauty with a turbulent Scottish accent had been travelling from one pocket to another, rebuilding parts of the wall all by herself. Many had asked why, or what is the point, but she did not reply. As much as the Scottish female soldier wanted to reply, she knew that her words are embers to the dry structure. Actions is what needed. She would spend days, weeks or even months repairing the ruins of Las Noches. To guide the future to a certain path, one would cleanse the sins of the past and cast away the misery marked on these crestfallen residents.
Slowly, her perseverance grew root and sapling spouted with a smack of these Residents coming to assist, at last. She was able to talk to them and her first word to them was always the same, no matter what pocket of civilization: “Help yourselves!”
With the time skip looming, I thought we should start preparing for it with a nice Hollow/Arrancar only event that spans over the five years. A.H’s determination was to rebuild Las Noches back to what it was.
My aim for this was to provide an opportunity for new Arrancar characters and remaining Hollow-breed to partake in progression or just something for their character to do during those five years. However. Due to the timeskip not being revealed. I will accept the first lot of thread to start just before the five year timeskip.
For the first time in what would seem to be forever. She felt thankful for Crowe’s words. His wanting to stay really mean a lot for her, even if it him staying for a few days. Her candours posturing dimmed like a romantic light. The relaxing of her shoulders showed. Perhaps tonight there won’t be any death.
A.H had not only revealed her name but managed to tame her tempestuous behaviour even if it was ever so briefly enough to save his own life. What did she get in return? Not food, it was never food. Friendship? Well, that sort of things doesn’t gel with the warring Arrancar. Comrade-ship sounds much better for her.
“Crowe,” she spoke softly, gazing at the fire, “The revolver is now yours, a memento of what took place here.” She would normally have felt enraged for losing something that was rightfully hers, but tonight. Tonight, was different. She had lost and by his right, she should surrender her revolver to the victor. “If you lose it. I will hunt you down and kill you.”
Her nostrils flared when she uttered her threat. Normally her threats would be direct and menacing but for once her voice was lightly laced with satire. Another book tossed to the fire and there were little more to say. A flicker of fire and a pop she made her conclusion. She was hungry.
“I’m going to get some food. I’ll get some for you.” She stood upright looking over to Crowe with a neutral glance. “You don’t have to come with me, but I expect you to keep feeding the fire, comrade.”
Speaking of fire. She realised that she left a book that she was reading behind. She took a sharp turn and extended her arm out to grab the book. Her look at Crowe was once more neutral but just for a moment, just for a millisecond. The edge of her lips moved positively before shifting into a frustrated scoff before vanishing into the darkness.
Maybe Las Noches future will look awfully bright with him and that woman being there.
“Aye, I did…” she lightly grinned. Cayo was a mischievous little thing. A sack like hollow with a mask unique even to all, “Aye that I did.” She repeated. With a gentle swag, her demeanour shifted from angry, annoyed to a natural expression. It’s up to the dear hollow to decide which way she goes.
“I agree Cayo.” Her soft Scottish sotto tone brought calm to the once hostile area. She wanted something out of this hollow. A feast? No. She was not hungry, and despite the hollow pressure almost the same as hers, she doesn’t find Cayo at all appetising. No, she wanted so much more out of him, an investment. “I do like a good game,” Her shotgun zanpakuto found itself impaled against the ground. The blade was rooted to the ground with just the lacquered wood sticking up into the skies like a sorry example of a tree. She reminded herself to clean her gun thoroughly once she done fighting him.
Next was her overcoat, the grey trench coat draped over her like she was a queen, but that’s so far from the truth. She liked the idea of warmth and concealment, but today, it is not the day to carry a large stick. She pulled It off from her shoulder and over the shotgun butt to hide its shame of being soiled.
Next was her sleeves. She took a few steps, unbuttoning the cuff and rolling them back to show the smooth, pale arms of hers. Rolling them up ever so gentle. One big fold after another till her sharp looking elbow was laid before the ever so curious Hollow.
“I got a game that we can play,” this was going to be messy she thought. She hoped that her uniform doesn’t get ripped or blooded. Her heavy footsteps began to pound against the ground, kicking up dust to trail behind her. With a curt grin she began the bloody mess with a reckless haymaker aiming towards the Hollow. It had been years that she relied on these two hands along with her legs. She envied this little hollow. Still have their instincts for survival, something that she solely lacked.
“It called impress me!” She scowled. Her single gaze looms on the little Cayo.
“Well…” the sound of Crowe asking her the question comes off as duh to her but judging from her lithe like appearance, it’s difficult to tell what exactly she’s capable of. The shotgun and the world war one highlands replica uniform, it come to no surprise that the first assumption that she lacked the capability to fight close combat, but they are terribly wrong. She was a fearsome monster with a lust for battle. The things that she wailed though to become what she is was something to behold. She looked over to Crowe with a wry, wicked grin that would make a child cry at a glance. Her Scottish bellowed lightly in jovial.
“Aye? I covered wars, y’know? I am good…”
Then the sudden realisation that she was nothing to behold. The grand stage was not at all low. The billowing smog bellowed through out the ruins of Las Noches. The eyewitness scarped out of fear or perhaps something much worse? The roaring snarl of the pressure got her head turning to the young woman, but her craning has become even harder, heavier to turn – like crushing a bottle full of water. She felt the weight of the world clawing her down onto her knees, her legs buckled yielding to the insurmountable power. At last her eye glinted at the blackened gloop massing at the finger tip of ragged girl but that did not frighten her.
It how easy it was to dispatch her was her deepest fear.
Her wicked grin shifted to discomfort and stress as she felt the smog compressed her very being, suffocating her, cramping her. The foul Arrancar stood before her looked upon with a smile that trumped hers. The smile was riled with death. A.H imagined that smile was on her face as she razed all who crawled beneath her down into an overcooked pate. She struggled to stood upright as the weight of Gatekeeper’s agony pinned her head down to the ground. She exerted as the air squeezed from her lungs. She felt her grubby, silky smooth hands clutched her insides and held it tightly.
’Woman…you should learn not to play with food.’
She wanted to move, she want to wail at her with everything she got. If she going to die, then she better died delivering fear to her predator, but the pressure bounds her down to the ground. Her knees bent, slowly laying towards the soulless soil against her will. She grunted. Strange memories flashed through her mind of men slumping over to the ground after being executed with the single bullet drilled into their head. Was it going to be like this? Her dawn, her reprisal failed and the world against her. All she could do was yield and accept it.
Deep within her boils. The thought of the world against her flashed through her mind and it brought her thrill. Rational thought tossed aside like yesterday newspaper why bother thinking about the dread and death. Her head slowly began to shift, tilting up to gaze at the deliverance of death and the facial discomfort slowly began to swing. Out with the newspaper. The blood boiling and bubbling. Discard the death and fear. The joy rising. Her primal urge was her officer. The whistle blows. In come this month Porn Magazine!
She felt hard.
Her thigh muscles tensed, her foot dug through the soil. The aging shotgun glistened against the lonely moon. Her lung expanded with its brute force. Her blue eye sparkled. Her soul opened the doors. The mist of air escaped from her nostrils. The whites from her enamoured, wicked grin gleams.
Her officer jacket draped over her escaped from her form. Dust kicked up with a rumbustious energy. Her footwork quaked, soaring towards her merciless predator and with a sudden loud abrupt roar she buzzed across the distance and there she stood beside her with the right cranked back with such elasticity. Her fist balled up and with the explosiveness. Her release was swift and her best work. It had been a long time since she last threw a punch with such vigour, without a single thought coursing through her mind. She had forgotten that Crowe was behind her. She had forgotten what she asked the mysterious woman. Hell, she even forgotten her name. The ugliness of the nameless’ cero faded along with the commanding aura but that doesn’t matter to A.H.
A little bit of purple would look beautiful on that predator’s cheek.
The surrounding simmers. The fire retains it youthful vibrancy after being fed with books. A.H was back to her spot, but this time her back was turned from re-composed Crowe. Cross legged and the shotgun resting against her right shoulder with the blade sticking upwards. She refused to glance back at Crowe and for a good reason.
She was angry. Her face twisted with disgust and hatred. Not towards her fellow Arrancar, but herself. She hated how it turned out to be. He was supposed to be dead, she supposed to have her face stained with his blood, his entrails smeared across the floor, even against the ruins. She wants the memory of Crowe to be minimal as possible. Just another face with a name that eventually fade away into the pit of many others who were consumed. She wanted to heckle, relish at the wonderous feast she had. Let her rotten off-key tune reach to others and let them despair! But instead, there were silence. The only ambience was flicker of fire and the pop of ember escaping to explore the fleeting life before it fizzled. Is that her existence going to be? A fragrance warring beast wandered off from the warmth, only to snuffed out by nothing? Her own fear gazed back at her and bared fangs. She felt its warmth and as its warmth was slowly fading, further papers were tossed to brighten her exposure.
Her anger dims. All this was unknown to her. Her recent actions though fresh, felt nostalgic, but where? His voice finally picked up from the ambience. That meek Arrancar squeaked more like a mouse than a bird, but there was a small spark, a flint connecting against the rock like spark of determination. His touch grasped against her shoulder briefly before retreating to his spot against the wall. She responded with a consolation prize: a bittersweet smile, an abomination of her devilish grin and distain. Of course, it’s not a prize if Crowe didn’t see it!
‘Aye,’ The Scot chimed in, the tone in her voice was calm, defeated. ‘If you can stand back up. You haven’t failed anything.’ Another piece of worthless knowledge fed to the fire for the sake of comfort. She refused to look back to Bird, ‘but you may as well be dead if ya’ did fuck all. Came here to change things‘. She revealed days before during their travels, but this time she stressed this even further. Her gaze intensifies, not even the smoke could sting her eye. ‘Rebuild this place, get rid of them dead-beat squatters, replace them with those who want to live. We’ll make Las Noches have value again.’
Finally she let out a deflated sigh. For once she conceded defeat by a union of fire and smoke and averted her eye away from the bonfire. She then finally added a question she been waiting to say.
Seireitei is crumbling and the Gotei is a shell of its former self. Ravaged by the plague, the surviving Shinigami struggle to maintain the balance, but with so few of them left, the work is taxing and their fortress-city has fallen to neglect. Spread thin across all fronts, their diminished presence has been noted by friend and foe alike.
The Arrancar have rebuilt Las Noches and are rallying. The throne remains empty, but self-styled Espada have risen up from among them and are vying for control, each one endlessly testing the others’ weaknesses. Too evenly matched for any one of them to claim the crown, they bide their time, waiting for the opportune moment.
On Earth, all seems well—but there is a war being fought in the shadows as the mortals find themselves lacking the protection they once had and so sorely need. The Quincy, having realized the oppressive specter of the Shinigami is no more, are flourishing, and are fighting the Hollow-breeds with renewed vigor.