WIND WEAVED through the black of Kuukaku's cloak as she stood among six of her warriors, the gigantic walls of the Sereitei before them. Two Warriors arrived, lugging a large cannon. They placed it down and one of them walked up behind it. He held two handlebars and directed the cannon at the gate.
The Warrior shot a beam at the gate, creating a large hole in it. The man fired repeatedly in a downward, vertical line until the gate crumbled into many large pieces.
Kuukaku held her prosthetic arm out. It glowed and a small hole opened in her palm. She shot a fireball at the remains of the gate and incinerated them, creating a pathway through them.
The Shiba Warriors ran in through the wall and others joined them. The people of Rukongai ran into the Sereitei and Kuukaku sauntered in calmly.
She walked through the crowd as they collided with Shinigami in the Sereitei grounds. She shot three Shinigami to the left, another one to the right and dodged one that slashed at her. She drew out her Zanpakutou sheathed across her lower back and cut off the assailant's arm.
Kuukaku weaved through the crowd and ran towards a large pathway. Several Shinigami ran toward her and she went on one knee. She held her prosthetic arm like a cannon and sent large fireball that washed over them. She ran passed their burning corpses and continued on.
Kuukaku ran up a large staircase onto an upper level in the Sereitei. She looked around and saw three large gates going in separate directions.
"Who are you?" a Shinigami approached her.
Kuukaku ignored them and turned to see a gate with the symbol of the fifth Division. She ran toward it.
"Hey, you're not allowed up here." the Shinigami drew her Zanpakutou.
Kuukaku shot a fireball at the Shinigami and ran through the gate.
ICHIGO FELL out of a building and crashed onto the white sands of Las Noches. The blue-haired Arrancar dived through the hole in the wall and flipped toward Ichigo.
Ichigo teleported out of the way and Shinji swung at the man. The man flipped, kicked Shinji's Zanpakutou away and punched him as he was in midair, hurling him back.
Ichigo reached for his Zanpakutou and the blue-haired man punched him. He kicked him in the knee, elbowed his ribs, backhanded him and punched him in the gut, hurling him back.
Ichigo flipped over and landed on his feet, skidding to a stop.
"I've had enough of this crap." Ichigo reached for his Zanpakutou.
Ichigo drew his Zanpakutou and sent a Getsuga Tenshou at the man. The man flipped away from the blast, did two cartwheels and flew toward him with a punch. He blocked the punch with his Zanpakutou and swung at him sideways.
Ichigo swung at the man twice and he blocked the hits with his forearms. He punched him in the gut, gave him an uppercut and kicked his leg. Ichigo slashed at the man, who blocked it swiftly with his forearm. He sent out a Getsuga Tenshou, sending him hurling back.
The blue-haired man bounced twice on the ground and flipped to his feet. Shinji swung at the man and received a swift backhand to the face.
"Whaa!" the man took a kung fu stance.
"Get lost!" Ichigo lifted his Zanpakutou.
Ichigo sent out a large Getsuga Tenshou and the man jumped out of the way. Shinji appeared behind him and stabbed him through his chest. He dislodged his Zanpakutou.
The man trudged, fell over and died.
A man with a skull for a head ran out of the hole in the building and Ichigo threw his Zanpakutou through his head.
Ichigo growled and walked toward the man. He dislodged his Zanpakutou and sheathed it.
KUUKAKU WALKED into an office that had a large glass wall on one end, leading to a lush garden.
"Huh, didn't figure Kuchikis were slackers." She looked around the room.
She walked up to the desk and looked at the computer screen. She took a seat and went through its files. She keyboarded and opened up a file labelled 'Clan Hierarchy'.
She read through it and frowned.
ICHIGO AND Shinji ran down the halls of a Las Noches building when they heard clanging sounds.
"What's going on?" Shinji looked around.
"Nel." Ichigo's eyes dilated.
The two drew their Zanpakutou and ran down the hall. Hiyori flung through the air and slammed against a wall before them. She fell limp on the ground and dropped her Zanpakutou.
Nel backtracked fearfully and Dondochakka and Pesche ran behind her. Ichigo ran up to her and Shinji ran up to Hiyori.
"Nel, are you alright?" Ichigo placed a hand on her shoulder.
"Oho, look who's made a friend."
Ichigo turned to see a man who spoke walking to them.
He was very tall, slim and wore a ¼ white trench coat over a white Shinigami trousers and black boots. He wielded a large scythe with a two blades on both ends in the shape of inverted crescents pointing upward. He sported a large devilish grin and wore a patch over his left eye.
Ichigo charged at the man and slashed at him. He smacked him away with his scythe, causing him to smack against a wall.
"Ah, ah, ah," the man shook his head, "Don't interrupt me."
The man turned to Nel who shivered at his gaze.
"Nel, come on, tell me exactly how you survived."
Ichigo jumped and swung at the man. He blocked it with his scythe, grabbed his leg and tossed him aside.
"You were supposed to be dead." He ignored Ichigo and turned to Nel.
The man walked toward Nel and shoved his scythe at her. Shinji jumped in his way and blocked it with his sword.
"You'd better step back," Shinji lowered his eyelids calmly.
Shinji pushed the scythe away and slashed at the man. He caught his blade and looked at it.
"Hmm, not sharp enough." The man smirked.
The man pushed the blade away and kicked Shinji, knocking him off his feet. Ichigo screamed as he ran toward him.
"Buzz off." The man smacked Ichigo away.
The man walked toward Nel. She whimpered and stepped back, bumping against a wall.
"You don't wanna talk? Fine then, die!" The man lifted his scythe.
The man shoved it at Nel. Ichigo lunged at him and they exchanged sword slashes.
She watched the fight as the man easily threw Shinji and Ichigo around like rag dolls. She held her head in agony as images flashed through her mind. She began to sweat she looked at the ground then she frowned.
She looked up at the man as he threw Shinji and Ichigo aside.
"I … I remember you," Nel strained, "N-n … Nnoitorra."
Nnoitorra's eyes twitched with rage and he growled.
Nnoitorra swung wildly at Nel. She dodged the scythe swiftly and flipped back, letting him lodge it into the ground. She summoned a Zanpakutou in midair and slashed his hand, leaving a small gash on it. She landed a few feet back and he recoiled.
Her outfit changed the moment she drew the Zanpakutou. She was clad in a white uniform with a top that had buttons running from her right breast down to her thigh with a belt across her waist over white trousers and shoes. She had white gloves and a purple sheath on her right side, attached to a purple belt.
"Why you …" Nnoitorra's anger grew.
Nnoitorra pointed his scythe at Nel and a shot a yellow beam out of the blade. She opened her mouth and sucked the beam into it. She closed her mouth and spat a purple beam back at him. He dodged the beam and it hit a wall, causing it to crumble.
Ichigo and Shinji rose to their feet and looked around. Ichigo looked at Nel in surprise.
RENJI SPUN around, extending his Zanpakutou out and slashing several Hollows around him. He retracted the blade and stabbed it into the ground. The blade shot out of the ground and stabbed a Hollow. The blade smacked against the ceiling, stabbed back into the ground and out of it, stabbing another Hollow. He retracted the blade.
Lisa cut down a Hollow, dodged a bite and stabbed the assailant. She flipped over a Hollow that clawed at her and slashed its head off, mid-flip. She slid under a Hollow and cut its head off. A Hollow bit at her and she slashed it across its mouth, dismembering its jaw from its head.
Kensei punched a Hollow, grabbed its head and smacked another Hollow with its body. He kicked a Hollow's paw aside, drew a dagger shaped Zanpakutou from a sheath on his boot, mid-kick and stabbed the Hollow. He sheathed the Zanpakutou, dodged as a Hollow twice his height clawed at him, rolled to its left and punched it in the gut with so much force that it fell over.
"Mashiro Leg Sweep!" Mashiro leg swept a Hollow, "Mashiro Flip!" she flipped it over "Mashiro Dropkick!" she dropkicked the Hollow, "Mashiro Helicopter Spin Kick!" she did a handstand, did a split and launched into the air, kicking Hollows that lunged at her from all directions as she ascended into the air.
Rojuro threw a tethered dagger into a Hollow's neck, threw the dagger at the other end into another one's chest and pulled on the rope, causing them to smack into each other. He drew out a tethered dagger, stabbed it into a Hollow that jumped toward him, rolled out of the way as it fell, threw the dagger on the other end into a Hollow that ran toward him and kicked it in the head. The two Hollows fell over, entangling other Hollows in the tethered daggers.
Aikawa slashed at a Hollow's leg, punched it, dislodged the blade and cut down another Hollow that clawed at him. A Hollow bit at him and he grabbed its arms and tossed it onto another Hollow. He rolled over, stabbed a Hollow's foot, lifted it and stabbed into another Hollow's neck like a skewer. He tossed the two skewered Hollows, sending them crashing onto oncoming Hollows whilst dislodging the blade.
Renji cut down a Hollow, flipped laterally and threw his Zanpakutou into Szayelaporro's head. He landed and panted heavily. He looked around and saw all the Hollows' corpses in piles. His friends were exhausted and bruised.
"Come on guys," Renji walked on, "We've gotta long way to go if we wanna kill Aizen."
He walked up to Szayelaporro's corpse and dislodged his Zanpakutou.
"Could we stop for a breather?" Mashiro slouched.
"Nah, let's move." Kensei frowned at her.
Kensei walked passed Mashiro.
"But I'm tired!"
"Yeah? Well, tell that to everyone else." Kensei continued on.
Mashiro folded her arms, sulking.
"Jerk." she pouted.
The guys walked towards a door nearby.
KUUKAKU READ files on the computer when the office's door swung open. Byakuya Kuchiki entered the room.
"Kuukaku." He frowned.
The two stared each other down. Byakuya reached for his Zanpakutou and Kuukaku flipped back, smashing through the large window behind her desk and throwing a grenade into the room.
The grenade exploded, sending bits of glass flying out. Kuukaku landed in the garden and rose to her feet. She looked at the burning office and squinted.
White, petal-shaped energy particles shot out of the office and toward her. She shot a fireball at some of them and others went for her back. She clenched her prosthetic fist and a wristband glowed. A large force-field shield formed out of the band and blocked the petals.
Petals shot at her from her left and she blocked them with the force-field shield. The petals retreated and Byakuya flew at her with a stab of a Zanpakutou forming from the collecting petals. He collided with her shield and he pushed her back, flinging her onto a tree. He landed before her and swung his Zanpakutou downward, disintegrating it into energy petals that shot out at her in a wave. She rolled out of the way and they washed over the tree, heavily lacerating it.
The tree fell in between them and Kuukaku rose to her feet. A wave of petals washed over the tree, annihilating it into mere splinters and flew toward her. She ran away and rocket boosters in her boots launched her into the air. She shot a fire ball at a wave of petals and blocked another with her force-field shield.
Kuukaku flew back, blocking and firing at the waves of petals that chased after her. Byakuya flew around her and punched her, hurling her back. He directed a wave at her and she blocked it with the shield. He sent another wave around at her and she shot a fireball at it.
Byakuya formed his Zanpakutou and slashed at her. Kuukaku blocked it with her force-field shield, but he hit her with so much force that he flung her at the ground. She crashed onto a corridor in a street. She struggled to her feet and he landed nearby.
"Go deal with the riot." Byakuya moved toward Kuukaku.
A Shinigami nodded.
SHINIGAMI AND Military Officers fought the Rukongai rebels and Shiba Warriors. Shinigami easily cut down the rebels and the Warriors fought back.
A Shiba Warrior cut down a Military Officer when a Zanpakutou drove through his skull.
Kenpachi Zaraki walked amongst the Rukongai rebels and cut them down nonchalantly. Yachiru sat on his shoulder, humming calmly as he walked on.
"This is boring." Kenpachi groaned.
"I wonder what riled them up." Yachiru looked around.
"I dunno, probably tired of living."
"It's sad, now they're all just gonna die."
"And I won't get any real challenge." Kenpachi groaned again.
"Ah, well." Yachiru shrugged.
Shunsui watched the battle from a nearby building. Nanao stood beside him at the window.
"You're not going down there?" Nanao pushed her glasses back.
"Why should I?" Shunsui folded his arms.
"Because it's your duty to protect the Sereitei."
"I thought it was our duty to protect them."
She sighed and looked at the battle.
"Now they're so helpless that they think they can run things," Shunsui sighed, "All this violence is pointless."
"At least you should do something rather than hide out here." She furrowed her brow.
"What's the point? Yamamoto won't listen to me."
Shunsui walked away from the window and took a seat.
"Well, you should try something." She turned to him.
He groaned and lowered his straw hat over his head.
"I've tried before and people have still died. This will be no different,"
"Well, if you don't do anything, more people will die too." She headed for the door.
Shunsui watched her leave.
KENPACHI CUT down a Shiba Warrior and continued walking, cutting down Rukongai rebels and Shiba Warriors like a gardener cutting grass.
A Shiba Warrior hid behind a pillar and turned to another one.
"Where's Kuukaku? We're getting slaughtered." He looked out at the battle.
"I don't know." The other Warrior looked around.
Shiba Warriors wielding guns shaped like rocket launchers arrived in the area and took their positions, kneeling on one knee. They shot blue energy beams at Shinigami that attacked the rebels.
Mechanised cannons popped out of nearby buildings and the Shiba Warriors shot them down. The Shiba Warriors shot down several Shinigami and one shot at Kenpachi. He ducked and the beam hit a nearby building.
"That's what I'm talking about!" Kenpachi grinned.
He dodged another beam and ran toward a Shiba Warrior. The Warrior shot a beam at him and he cut him down. A Warrior shot a beam at Kenpachi, flinging him into a nearby building. Yachiru jumped off his shoulder before he crashed through the building.
"You shouldn't have done that." She turned to the Warriors.
Kenpachi kicked the debris off him and jumped out of the hole in the wall.
NNOITORRA SWUNG his scythe at Nel who jumped out of the way. Ichigo lunged at him and he grabbed him and threw him onto Shinji. Nel swung her Zanpakutou at him and he jumped back.
Nnoitorra kicked Nel, knocking her off her feet. He swung down at her and she blocked the scythe with her blade. He stabbed at her head with his hand and she dodged it, letting him pierce the ground. She gave him a double-footed kick and he stumbled back.
"Getsuga Tenshou!" Ichigo's voice echoed.
Ichigo shot a Getsuga Tenshou at Nnoitorra who swung his scythe at it, causing it to explode. The smoke dissipated and he was unscathed.
"What the …" Ichigo's eyes enveloped in disbelief.
Shinji swung at Nnoitorra who grabbed his Zanpakutou and tossed him onto Ichigo, sending him hurling through a wall.
Nel ran up to him.
"Enough!" Nnoitorra grew impatient.
He swung his scythe down and she flipped away. He hit the ground, causing the floor to break in a trench formation. Nel landed on the rocks and hopped toward him, bouncing off different rocks. She jumped into the air and shot a pink beam out of her hand.
The beam hit Nnoitorra and he merely stumbled back. He smirked and shot a beam at her from his scythe. Nel jumped back and sucked the beam into her mouth. She opened her mouth to send it back and he jumped onto her and grabbed her mouth. He squeezed his hand and the beam exploded in her mouth.
Nel flung into the air and crashed on the floor.
"Nel!" Dondochakka cried.
Nnoitorra shot a beam at him absentmindedly, hitting the ceiling and causing debris to fall, separating him, Nel and Ichigo from Hiyori, Shinji, Pesche and Dondochakka.
Nnoitorra walked up to Ichigo and picked him up, strangling him.
"It's a pity, really," Nnoitorra smirked, "Nel just made a new friend and she ran into me. It'd have been better if she just died and didn't pull anyone into this mess."
Ichigo tried to break out of his grasp, but failed to. He could try using both hands, but it would mean dropping his Zanpakutou and that would turn him into a human. He would definitely have no chance as a human, so he tried futilely with one hand.
"What am I saying? I don't care about you."
Nnoitorra lifted his scythe, about to cut Ichigo.
"Put him down!" Nel's voice came.
Nnoitorra turned and saw Nel standing groggily. She had a large ghastly bruise across her mouth that was slowly healing.
"So you're back for more, huh? Okay, fine." Nnoitorra turned to her.
He tossed Ichigo away like a rag doll. Ichigo coughed badly as Nnoitorra walked over to Nel.
"Goodbye, Nel." Nnoitorra brandished his scythe.
Nnoitorra held out his scythe and it glowed. A yellow sphere formed in the middle of the crescent blade and began to enlarge.
Nel panted as she looked around. Ichigo laid coughing on the ground and the others were stuck behind the rubble. She frowned.
"Die!" Nnoitorra smiled sadistically.
Nnoitorra shot a large beam out of the scythe that covered the area of the entire hallway. It spread out toward her and grazed against the wall. She opened her mouth wide and breathed in.
"Just give up." Nnoitorra held his scythe cockily.
The beam reached Nel and went into her mouth.
"Impossible." Nnoitorra eyes dilated.
Nel sucked the colossal beam into her mouth and closed it. She spat out a pink beam twice its size out of her mouth and at Nnoitorra that destroyed the wall in its path. The blast hit him and exploded, destroying part of the hallway.
The smoke settled and his scorched corpse fell over.
"Ichigo." Nel said.
Nel ran toward Ichigo and he raised his hand, stopping her in her tracks. He groaned as he got to his feet.
"Ichigo, you're hurt –,"
"What the hell was that?"
She took it aback.
"I thought you said you weren't an Arrancar." Ichigo stood up.
Nel remained silent.
"If you weren't, how were you able to beat that guy?"
He frowned at her and she sighed.
"It's true, I am an Arrancar." she sheathed her Zanpakutou.
"Then why'd you lie to me?" he sheathed his.
"I wasn't lying."
"Oh, so I made it all up?" his anger grew.
"Then what is going on here?"
Nel looked around and glanced at Nnoitorra's corpse.
"A month ago, I was made the first female Espada and I became the fourth strongest. My name is Neliel, Neliel Tu Odelschwank,"
"So you're an Arrancar, not just a Hollow but from a Vasto Lorde." His brow furrowed.
"I don't know, Ichigo …"
"You heard what Zangetsu said before that man attacked me."
She looked away from him.
"So, what now, huh? You blindside me with some attack and inform Aizen where I am? Or kill me right here while I'm too tired to fight?"
"… Ichigo, I don't want to fight you. I'm not your enemy,"
"Well, I'm a little lost on what to think right now."
Ichigo rubbed the nape of his neck and walked around.
"Ever since I woke up in the place, I've hated fighting. The meaningless war, death, but each time I tried to run away, the violence kept pulling me back," Nel frowned, "I had to fight to prove that I, Dondochakka and Pesche were worth keeping alive and instead, I became the fourth Espada. I tried living in line to avoid any more fighting, but I gained a new enemy in Nnoitorra. He despised me because I was put a level above him and he is the one who did this to me."
Nel pointed at the scar on her face. Ichigo looked at her and his expression warmed a little.
"Clearly I can't run away and a war is coming. There's no running away from it and like every war, you need to choose the side that's going to win." she looked into his eyes.
"And which side is that?"
Ichigo furrowed his brow.
"I don't know who you are and I don't know much about the Vizards or Shinigami, but I can see that you care about people; that's something I can't say about Aizen. He lusts for power and it will consume and destroy him and anyone who's on his side."
"And what if I lose? What if I'm not enough?" worry in his expression, "I came here to avenge my friends and I'm not gonna stop, but what if I lose in the end?"
Nel walked up to Ichigo and held his hand.
"Then I'd rather die fighting on the side that wants to end the violence than following orders for the side that wants to create more." She held his hand tightly, "Let's end our wars, Ichigo."
Ichigo smiled and held her hand.
KUUKAKU CRASHED onto the ground and Byakuya landed near her. She tried moving her cracked prosthetic arm and it stiffened. He walked up to her, his Zanpakutou reforming in his hands.
Kuukaku pulled out a device from her pocket and tossed it at Byakuya's chest. It electrocuted him and he fell over. She rose to her feet.
"Reiatsu disrupter," Kuukaku panted, "Causes your energy to double back to your brain and render you unconscious. Guess Urahara's just as smart out of bed after all."
Kuukaku drew her Zanpakutou and trudged toward Byakuya. She tiredly raised her hand to cut him when she heard footsteps nearby.
She turned to see Soifon and Punishment Force Shinigami standing around her.
"Stand down, Kuukaku," Soifon frowned, "It's over."
Kuukaku looked around, seeing the destruction from her fight with Byakuya. She looked at her feet and saw her boots shorting out. She sighed and dropped her Zanpakutou.
"Okay … I surrender." Kuukaku raised her hands.
Soifon gestured for the Punishment Force Shinigami to put her in handcuffs. The men walked Kuukaku passed her.
Soifon furrowed her eyebrow.
"What's that?" Soifon turned to Kuukaku.
"What about them?" Soifon's confusion growing.
"You and I have a lot to grieve about."
"You're fighting on the wrong side, Soifon."