RANGIKU LAID unconscious on a gurney in a medical ward in the AIM underwater fortress. Phil stood by her bedside, stroking his chin and looking at her concernedly.
"You falling in love or something?" A familiar voice asked.
Phil turned to see Skye walk into the room.
"Just checking in," Phil said, "It's weird, the doctor didn't find any internal injuries,"
"Well, staring at her won't wake her up," Skye said.
"Yeah," Phil said.
"Did forensics find anything?" Skye asked.
"No, they searched the labs and it seems that they were running scans on her," Phil said, "From the scans, everything shows that she is a normal human,"
"How's that possible? Those guys we saw on the field dressed like her, except for one guy, and they had powers," Skye said.
"It doesn't make sense to me," Phil said, "Maybe her body will show some changes when she's conscious. Probably works when they're conscious or something,"
"Too bad Jemma isn't here, she could've probably figured stuff out," Skye said.
"Yeah," Phil said.
"And now that Leo's gone back to try and get her out of the weapon, we're also gonna need help checking the servers on the fortress," Skye said.
"We'll do what we can," Phil said.
Mac entered the room, gaining Skye and Phil's attention.
"You'd want to see this," Mac said.
MAC, SKYE and Phil entered a large room filled with SHIELD agents working on different computers. Mac led them to a large computer in the centre of the room.
"We swept the servers and it seems most of the files were deleted before we secured the fortress," Mac said.
"As usual," Phil remarked.
"But, we were able to find an AI inside the main server, thought you'd have a swing at it and see what you could find," Mac said.
"I'll get right on it," Skye said.
Skye sat at the computer and cracked her knuckles.
"Good, keep me posted," Phil said.
Phil headed for the exit.
"You're going to look at her again?" Skye asked.
"No," Phil said.
"Hey, if things don't work out with Helen, maybe you should ask her out," Skye said.
"Stop trying to set me up on dates," Phil said.
Skye chuckled and Phil left the room.
ICHIGO STOOD before Urahara, Shinji, Hiyori, Lisa, Hachigen, a grey-haired, muscular man, Kensei, a black man with an afro, Aikawa, a blonde man with long wavy hair, Rojuro, and a short, slender woman with green hair, Mashiro, in a corner of the warehouse.
"Now that you have defeated your Hollow, you will be able to control it," Hachigen said.
"And how does that work exactly?" Ichigo asked.
"It basically allows you to augment your power with Hollow reiatsu," Shinji said, "It is mostly concentrated in your head if your a Vizard, like us,"
"How did you become like this?" Ichigo asked.
"Aizen had tried to make Arrancar before and they were his earlier experiments," Urahara said, "They aren't complete Arrancar, but they do have some of their power,"
"And if you have a Hollow spirit in you, then you're like us," Shinji said.
Shinji placed his hand over his face and it glowed. Shinji thrust his hand downward and a large mask formed around his head. It was skull-like and resembled a Pharaoh's with bones at the back shaped like cornrows.
"This is what a Hollow mask looks like," Shinji said.
Shinji's voice was tremulous and immensely hoarse.
"Since you have discovered your power, you can do it easily," Shinji said.
Shinji waved his hand passed his face and the mask disintegrated.
Ichigo looked at his hand closely and held it near his face.
"Just focus your reiatsu into your hand and do the exact same motion I did," Shinji said.
Ichigo placed his hand over his face and it slowly glowed with red energy. Ichigo thrust his hand downward and a mask formed on his face. It only covered his face and was skull like. Six red lines went across the left of his face, three curving from his forehead, over his eyebrows and on the bridge of his nose and three across his cheek and near his nose.
A heavy force overwhelmed him after he donned the mask and he suddenly transformed into his Shinigami form.
"See, perfect," Shinji said.
"I can't believe he had it that easy," Kensei said.
"Well, he must be really talented," Shinji said.
"He's just a lucky punk," Kensei said.
Ichigo swept his hand over his face and the mask disintegrated. Ichigo unsheathed his Zanpakutou and tossed it away, transforming back into a human.
"Now that that is out of the way," Urahara said, stepping forward, "You're gonna need this,"
Urahara handed Ichigo a backpack and he received it.
"What's this?" Ichigo asked.
"It's your combat kit," Urahara said, "Aizen's fortress is gonna be dangerous, so Yoruichi and I prepped equipment you would need while you fought your Hollow. There's a med kit in there and some other goodies you'll need on the field,"
"He has a fortress?" Ichigo asked as he put on the backpack.
"I managed to pinpoint his location in Hueco Mundo and it seems he's built himself a large fortress. It's going to be a tough entry, so you need to be prepared,"
"Okay," Ichigo said.
"You'll also need this," Urahara said, "Put it on your wrist before you enter Hueco Mundo. It will help you hide your reiatsu so that they don't sense you coming,"
Ichigo received a patch from Urahara.
"And what about surveillance cams?" Ichigo asked.
"The backpack emits a signal that disrupts electronics," Urahara said, "I worked with Aizen for years before he turned on the Sereitei, so I know the tech he would use,"
Ichigo nodded and pocketed the patch.
"You will also need Renji," Urahara said.
Renji stepped out of a backroom and walked up to Ichigo.
"What're you doing here?" Ichigo asked angrily.
"Calm down, Ichigo," Renji said.
"How am I supposed to calm down? You're the one who captured Rukia so she'd be executed," Ichigo said.
"Well, I was in a tight corner and I was only doing my duty," Renji said, "I vouched for her and got Byakuya to save her before Aizen could kill her,"
Ichigo sighed and impatiently continued.
"Why are you here?" Ichigo asked.
"To avenge Rukia," Renji said, "We grew up together and she was my best friend,"
Ichigo frowned at him and Renji looked at him sincerely.
"They've taken a lot from both of us," Renji said.
Ichigo turned away from Renji.
"Let's go, Urahara," Ichigo said.
"We're not done yet, Ichigo," Urahara said pointing at the Vizards, "You will need their help as well,"
Ichigo looked at the Vizards then raised an eyebrow.
"All of them?" Ichigo asked.
"So, you think just because I'm a girl I can't do anything?" Hiyori yelled.
"I wasn't even talking about you," Ichigo said.
"Oh, you wanna fight?" Hiyori yelled.
Shinji pushed Hiyori back and she growled.
"Aizen ruined our lives as well," Shinji said, "Because he turned us into this, the Sereitei banished us because they no longer saw us as Shinigami. We want revenge too,"
"But I'm afraid I'm not going," Hachigen said, "I would love to help, but I am not meant for the field,"
"Kensei, Mashiro, Hiyori, Lisa, Aikawa, Rojuro and I will come with you to Hueco Mundo," Shinji said.
"Now, if you follow me," Urahara said.
URAHARA, ICHIGO, Kensei, Shinji, Rojuro, Aikawa, Lisa, Hiyori and Mashiro walked out of the warehouse and up to a spherical gateway. The Vizards and Renji had each worn a backpack like Ichigo.
"I still don't like this," Hiyori said.
"Well, you have to wear it, unless you wanna get caught in a few seconds," Aikawa said.
"This is a portal I configured for Hueco Mundo," Urahara said.
"Why can't you just send us straight to Aizen's fortress?" Ichigo asked.
"Yeah, I still don't know how to use these things entirely," Urahara said, "But it's a work in progress and is fully tested. I threw in a teddy bear,"
"And you're sure it's safe?" Lisa asked.
"Well, I still got a signal on the other side," Urahara said.
"I don' think I wanna do this anymore," Rojuro said.
"Come on, it's safe," Urahara said.
Rojuro looked at Urahara uneasily.
Urahara pulled out a small remote from his pocket and pressed a button on it. A portal opened in the gateway.
Ichigo looked at it uneasily.
"Step aside, Ichigo," Renji said, bumping Ichigo as he walked passed, "Some of us aren't cowards,"
Renji walked up to the portal.
"I'm not a coward!" Ichigo yelled.
"Then prove it," Renji said.
Renji saluted Ichigo playfully and jumped into the portal.
Ichigo growled and jumped into the portal.
"Ladies first," Hiyori said, looking at Shinji.
Shinji groaned and pushed Hiyori into the portal. Shinji, Aikawa, Rojuro, Lisa and Mashiro jumped into the portal one after another. Kensei walked up to the portal and turned to Shinji.
"If I get stuck in another dimension, I'm coming back to kill you," Kensei said.
"Okay," Urahara said with a chuckle.
Kensei jumped into the portal.
RENJI, ICHIGO, Shinji, Hiyori, Mashiro, Kensei, Aikawa, Rujuro and Lisa ran down the cave in the Precipice World with Renji in the lead.
"Ha, you guys are too slow," Renji said.
"This isn't a race," Lisa said.
"And that's only because you jumped in first!" Ichigo yelled.
Ichigo sprinted past Renji.
"Oh, that's how it is, huh?" Renji said.
Renji and Ichigo sprinted, one surpassing the other and interchanging. Lisa shook her head angrily.
"Will you two stop fooling around!" Kensei yelled.
"Ugh, I shouldn't have come along with these bozos," Hiyori said.
"Hey, why should I be at the back?" Mashiro whined.
Lisa shook her head and turned around. She stopped running and Mashiro bumped into her, getting knocked off her feet.
"Hey!" Mashiro yelled.
Lisa ignored Mashiro and walked in the direction they came from.
"Lisa, what're you doing? The Cleaner's coming," Mashiro called.
Lisa walked on and stared at the darkness. Mashiro stood and walked up to her.
"Hello!" Mashiro yelled.
"Where's the Cleaner?" Lisa asked.
"What?" Mashiro asked.
The guys ahead stopped running and walked back to them.
"Lisa, Mashiro, we've gotta go," Kensei yelled.
"The Cleaner's supposed to have been chasing us by now, but it isn't," Lisa said.
"What could have happened then?" Renji asked.
"It doesn't make any sense," Lisa said.
Ichigo did not follow the guys as they walked up to Lisa and he was staring at the walls. They slowly turned purple and a small cloud moved out of a wall and into another one.
Ichigo frowned as he saw part of the wall turn purple. The guys turned to Ichigo and Renji walked up to him.
"Ichigo, you okay?" Renji asked.
Ichigo looked at Renji confusedly.
"You can't see that?" Ichigo asked.
"What?" Renji asked.
"That cloud," Ichigo said.
Ichigo pointed at a purple cloud that floated over him. Renji looked at where he pointed and saw nothing but the cave's wall.
"What cloud?" Renji asked.
Ichigo looked and the cloud was still there.
"What're you talking about?" Renji asked.
Ichigo furrowed his brow, confused at the fact that he could see the cloud, but Renji could not.
"Okay, let's not waste any more time," Shinji said.
Shinji ran down the cave and the others followed him. Ichigo looked around and followed them slowly.
ICHIGO and the guys fell out of a Garganta and crashed onto the white sands of Hueco Mundo, clumped on top of one another.
"Get of me," Hiyori strained.
Hiyori pushed Ichigo off her and got to her feet. The guys got to their feet and Mashiro beat her hands on the sand like a child.
"You guys are mean!" Mashiro cried.
"Ugh, grow up," Kensei yelled.
"Say sorry," Mashiro yelled.
Kensei groaned and walked away from Mashiro who remained having a tantrum on the ground.
"You're just a jerk, Kensei," Mashiro yelled.
"Why you," Kensei said angrily.
"Mashiro, just get up," Lisa said.
Mashiro rose to her feet and pouted. The guys dusted themselves and Ichigo walked on.
"Alright, let's get moving," Ichigo said.
The guys continued walking and stopped when they heard people shouting nearby. They turned to see three figures running away from a large hollow.
One of them had green hair, a horizontal red mark that ran across her nose and was clad a tattered green shirt and skirt with no shoes. She had a large skull on her head and a scar that went down to the right side of her face that aligned with the crack on the mask.
Another wore a skull over his head and wore a purple shirt underneath white armour on his torso and purple trousers and no shoes. The other one wore a large Tikki-Tikki mask over a puffy, yellow costume with black polka dots without shoes.
"Help, help!" The girl screamed.
"What's a human doing here?" Shinji asked.
"No point in asking questions," Ichigo said.
Ichigo flew toward the Hollow and drew out his Zanpakutou.
"Getsuga Tenshou!" Ichigo yelled.
Ichigo swung his Zanpakutou down and sent a wave of black energy at the Hollow, washing over it and leaving its corpse on fire. Ichigo landed and sheathed his Zanpakutou.
The trio continued running.
"Hey, the Hollow's gone!" Ichigo yelled.
The trio continued running. Ichigo groaned and teleported up in front of them.
"Hey, I killed the Hollow, it's fi –,"
The girl bumped into Ichigo and the two fell over. The girl groaned as she got up and quickly backed away.
"Oh, sorry," The girl said.
Ichigo got to his feet as the men helped the girl up. The Vizards walked up to Ichigo.
"Are you okay, Nel?" One of the men asked.
"Yeah," Nel said.
Ichigo looked closely at Nel and frowned.
"You're Arrancar, aren't you?" Ichigo asked.
"No we're not Arrancars," Nel said.
"This is so weird," Lisa said shaking her head.
"What the hell am I looking at," Shinji asked.
"I'm Pesche," The man clad in purple said.
"And I'm Dondochakka," The man in the Tikki-Tikki mask said.
"And we're the Southern Sand Raiders," The trio said unanimously.
Ichigo, Renji and the Vizards looked at them disapprovingly.
"And you raid what?" Lisa asked.
"Well, we go around and raid stuff," Nel said.
"From who?" Lisa asked.
The trio looked around.
"Other Hollows," Nel said.
"Why would Arrancar waste time 'raiding' Hollows?" Hiyori asked.
"Well, there's nothing else we could do around here," Nel said, "We're not allowed in Las Noches and it's the only thing we garbage bugs can do other than raid and play eternal tag,"
"Garbage bugs?" Ichigo asked.
Nel looked away from Ichigo uneasily.
"Eternal tag? Can I play?" Mashiro asked excitedly.
"Well, we've gotta get going," Shinji said, "Las Noches isn't that far off,"
"You're going to Las Noches?" Nel yelled, "Only high level Arrancar are allowed there,"
"Well, we're not Arrancar," Ichigo said.
"What are you then?" Dondochakka asked.
Pesche looked at them and he, Dondochakka and Nel donned shocked expressions.
"You're Shinigami," They exclaimed.
"You're gonna kill us all!" Nel yelled.
"You're the bad guys," Dondochakka yelled.
"We don't have time for this, let's get moving," Kensei said.
The Vizards walked on and Renji waved.
"Nice meeting ya," Renji said, "Sorta,"
Renji followed the Vizards and Ichigo turned to Nel.
"You can't go there," Nel exclaimed, "You wanna kill them?"
"I've got something important to do and I'm not backing down," Ichigo said.
Ichigo smiled slightly and walked on. Nel looked at Ichigo worriedly then sighed.
"Hey! I'm coming with you!" Nel called out.
"Yeah, no, we've got our idiot quota filled," Hiyori said.
"You're gonna need my help!" Nel yelled.
"Just ignore her," Shinji said.
The Vizards and Renji walked away.
"You should stay here, Nel," Ichigo said.
"No, I'm coming with you," Nel said.
Ichigo furrowed his brow as he looked at Nel closely. The skull she wore on her head did interest him and thought that she was an Arrancar. She did seem harmless and he needed to get going.
"Okay, let's get going," Ichigo said.
"Let's go guys," Nel said.
"Coming," Dondochakka said.
Ichigo, Nel, Pesche, Dondochakka walked toward the others.
MAYURI STOOD before a computer, looking at photos of the Shinigami infiltrator's corpse. So far, there was no info about the infiltrator in their records. He felt that he should look over the results over and over to figure out something about the infiltrator.
He looked through photos one more time and studied a tattoo on the corpse's left shoulder. He recognised the tattoo and frowned.
MAYURI WALKED down the halls of Division 8, heading for Division 1 when he came across Nemu
"Nemu, I expected you to be still undergoing treatment," Mayuri said.
"Well, it was faster than I thought," Nemu said.
"Well, if you move out of my way, I've got to see Captain Yamamoto," Mayuri said as he walked passed her, "The sleeper Shinigami was a member of the Shiba Clan. He need to see this right away,"
"Before you do that," Nemu said then stood in his way, "I want to show you something in my office,"
"Show me what? Get out of my way, Nemu," Mayuri said.
"Come on, I swear it's important," Nemu said.
Nemu touched Mayur's shoulder lightly.
"Fine," Mayuri sighed.
Nemu led the way back to her office and entered it.
"So, what is it?" Mayuri asked.
Nemu closed the door behind her and locked it.
"What're you doing?" Mayuri asked.
Nemu donned a sly smirk and Mayuri frowned.
"If you called me to play games, Nemu, then you're going to get yourself punished," Mayuri said.
Nemu sauntered toward Mayuri.
"You know, we've been working a lot lately," Nemu said, "It'd be nice to take a break, wouldn't it?"
"Stop wasting my time," Mayuri said.
Mayuri walked passed Nemu, heading for the door and she held his hand.
"Come on, Mayuri," Nemu said, "Let's stay here for a while,"
Mayuri raised his eyebrow and she closed her eyes halfway.
"What do you want?" Mayuri asked impatiently.
"I just wanna spend some time here," Nemu said, "Just you and me,"
Nemu brushed her hand on Mayuri's chest and placed it on his neck.
"It's been long since we spent some time by ourselves," Nemu said.
"We never did," Mayuri said.
Nemu pressed her cheek against his, breathing into his ear.
"Come on, just stay here with me for a little while," Nemu said.
Nemu licked Mayuri's ear and placed her hand into his pants. Mayuri breathed uneasily.
"Come on, Mayuri," Nemu said.
KUUKAKU sat in her prison cell and a warden stood by, watching the hallways. She had an earpiece that emitted a hologram that wove around her face, forming the shape of shades. In the interface was a live feed from Nemu's perspective as she controlled her and made her seduce Mayuri.
Nemu had sat Mayuri on his chair and sat astride on his lap.
SKYE KEYBOARDED on the main computer in the AIM fortress's computer room. Phil walked up to her.
"You got anything for me?" Phil asked.
"I've found that this AI calls itself MODOK, that's all I can get," Skye said.
"You've found nothing?" Phil asked.
"I've tried to, but the coding is too advanced," Skye said, "I've never seen anything like it,"
"Keep trying, we've gotta find out what AIM is doing before they make another move," Phil said, "They might send reinforcements and try to retake this place,"
"I'm trying my be – oh, I've found something," Skye said.
"What'd you find?" Phil asked.
"They're coordinates for some place in Western Europe, it's a building, but I can't see a name on it," Skye said.
"Well, keep trying, you're bound to find something soon enough," Phil said.
Several screens with code popped up on the computer screen. Skye typed hurriedly.
"What's happening?" Phil asked.
"The AI's crashing the computer and deleting the files," Skye said.
"Can't you stop it?" Phil asked.
"I'm trying, but –,"
The computer went off and so did all the other computers in the room.
"Oh great, the AI crashed the server," Skye said, "Now the computers are fried,"
"Well, at least you still have the coordinates," Phil said.
"Yeah," Skye said.
Skye drew her phone and wrote down the coordinates.
"Prep a team and find out what's in the building," Phil said.
"Got it," Skye said.
Skye got up and left the room.
ICHIGO AND his team walked up to the walls of a massive, domical building that made them look like ants in comparison. They looked up and couldn't see the top of the wall.
"Whoa," Mashiro said in awe.
"Big deal," Hiyori said.
"Are you sure we should go in there?" Nel whimpered.
"Yea, we better get movi –," Shinji tried to say.
Several men fell toward them from above, surrounding Ichigo and his team. Dondochakka and Pesche screamed.
"W-we're in trouble," Dondochakka yelled.
"Oh no, it's the Exequias," Nel said.
"The what?" Ichigo asked.
"The Exequias," Nel said, "They're the highest level guard in Las Noches,"
The men were clad in white Shingami attire and had skulls for heads.
"Great, the action came early," Hiyori said with a smirk.
The guys drew their Zanpakutou and Nel, Dondochakka and Pesche ran off.
The guys fought off the men and spread out. Ichigo slashed two men, dodged a slash and punched another man, breaking his skull into pieces. Kensei punched a man, kicked another one and grabbed another one's head, crushing it into pieces.
"Mashiro flip!" Mashiro said as she flipped over, "Mashiro super drop kick," she dropkicked a man "Mashiro Spring board," she spring boarded off his head, "Mashiro Super Spinning kick!" and she kicked three others as she twirled in the air.
Aikawa cut down a man, blocked another's slash, cut his gut and stabbed another that lunged at him. Shinji wove through several sword slashes, decapitating three men and slashing two others' legs off. Hiyori kicked a man's gut, slashed another's arm off, stabbed one in the eye and decapitated another one. Lisa cut down two men, sidestepped from a slash and cut a man's head off. Rojuro cut down two men, dodged a slash and stabbed a man's chest. Renji spun his blade around, the demarcated sections splitting, held by the chain links, allowing him to whip several men around him.
A man with a horned skull for a head walked toward the fight. Two portals opened beside him and more skulled men ran out of it. The men massed around Ichigo and his friends and their numbers were overwhelming.
Some men moved to attack Nel and Pesche, Dondochakka and Ichigo cut them down.
"There're too many of them," Ichigo said.
"How'd they find us anyways? Shouldn't the patches have hidden our reiatsu and helped us evade surveillance?" Kensei asked.
"They must've just seen us," Shinji said as he cut a man down, "They fell from the wall so they must've been watching from the wall,"
Ichigo kicked a man down, flipped over another's attack and landed, slashing his back in half.
"We should split up and regroup," Ichigo said, "We can't fight them like this,"
"Hey, you can't give us orders," Hiyori yelled.
"Ichigo's right, we have to split up and regroup when we're in Las Noches," Shinji said.
Ichigo ran away from the men.
"Nel, come on!" Ichigo yelled.
Nel, Dondochakka and Pesche followed Ichigo as he ran alongside the wall.
"We're gonna die!" Nel cried.
"We're not gonna die," Ichigo yelled.
Ichigo, Nel, Dondochakka and Pesche ran along the wall and came across Hiyori who appeared before them.
"What're you guys doing here?" Hiyori yelled.
"Same as you, trying to split up," Ichigo said.
"Well, I don't need your he –,"
Hiyori's leg began to sink into the sand.
"What's going on?" Hiyori asked.
"Oh, crap, it's quicksand," Ichigo said.
Hiyori sunk deeper into the sand and began flailing around.
"Get me outta this stuff!" Hiyori yelled.
"Stop moving or you'll sink faster," Ichigo said.
Hiyori screamed and kept on flailing her arms. Ichigo groaned and grabbed her hand.
"Hold on," Ichigo said.
Ichigo tried to pull Hiyori, but the sand was too strong.
"Ichigo," Nel said.
Nel wrapped her arms around Ichigo's waist, trying to help him pull.
"Nel!" Dondochakka yelled.
Dondochakka and Pesche pulled Nel and the sand sucked all of them in.