ICHIGO Kurosaki was a 20-year-old first year student at the Karakura College doing a course in Journalism. Despite his calm demeanour, he was scared as hell. He barely got up early enough and usually was late for lectures.
He got out of bed in the morning and quickly searched through his mess of a wardrobe. He got dressed and headed out, but the minute he slammed the door, he quickly got back in his room and grabbed his books.
He ran into class and it was a ghost town. Only the redheaded beauty, Orihime Inoue and the tall, built, sober Latino, Yasotora 'Chad' Sado were in the room.
"Hey, guys, where's everybody?" Ichigo said as he put his book on a desk.
"No one's interested in getting here early; you know the professor's usually late, right?" Orihime said.
"Yeah, I kinda forgot," Ichigo said and he took a seat.
"What are you doing here early, Ichigo?" Chad asked in his usual blasé tone of voice.
"I don't want to get on the professor's bad side" Ichigo responded.
"Why do you care? I didn't think you really cared about class in the first place, what with the tardiness and skipping class," Orihime said.
"I don't, I just don't want to cause any more trouble." Ichigo said.
"You have a point I guess" Orihime said.
She yawned and stretched her arms back.
"I'm hungry, I haven't even eaten yet" Orihime said and headed for the door.
"Yeah, neither have I" Ichigo said and followed her.
Chad simply grunted and followed suit.
As they continued down the hallway, a monstrous roar echoed.
"What was that?" Orihime said as she grabbed Ichigo's arm.
"A Kaiju, it must be outside" Chad said as he looked around expectantly.
"Oh, man, really? Why can't we have normal disasters like tornadoes or something?" Ichigo groaned angrily.
"I think a tornado would be far worse than a Kaiju, Ichigo. We wouldn't be able to get away by running." Chad said.
"Yeah, well it's hard enough as it is. Where do you think it is?"
"It sounds like its –"
The monstrous roar came again, this time louder. Whatever it was, it was coming closer.
"Near the cafeteria."
"Then it's in the building?!" Orihime said in a panic and ran away.
"Orihime, come back!" Ichigo said as he followed her.
"She's got the right idea, we better get going, Ichigo" Chad said as he started running.
Ichigo and Chad ran after Orihime, passing people who had just entered the hallway and were reacting to the echoing roars.
"Ichigo, Chad, Orihime, wait up!" shouted a shrill male voice from the back of the hallway.
Ichigo looked over his shoulder and saw the slender, raven-haired Tatsuki Arisawa and the slim brown-haired Keigo Asano. Seeing Keigo now made Ichigo regret missing him earlier. He sprinted onward, surpassing Chad and Orihime.
"Ichigo, we should stick together!" Chad called out, but Ichigo was long gone.
Ichigo's chest heated up and his joints ached, but this did not stop him as he made several corners to avoid Keigo following him. He soon realized that he forgot about Orihime.
He stopped and looked around; realizing that he also forgot which path he took and was now unsure where the others were. He had to assume that Orihime was in save hands and continued on, looking for an exit. A taxi or the campus' storm cellar was the only destination on his mind.
A roar echoed again. Ichigo stopped; his heart was in his chest. It occurred to him that he ended up near the cafeteria, the very place he was trying to avoid. The roar sounded like it was right next to him.
Thunderous footsteps echoed around him, drawing closer and closer with wildly increasing speed. Ichigo leaped forward as the wall near him exploded to pieces. A rock smacked against his shoulder resulting in searing pain. A silhouette of a monster emerged from the dust cloud. It was enormous and its head nearly grazed the ceiling as it moved. It stood at nearly 10 feet tall.
He stood frozen in place, gripped with fear. Everything in his body told him to run, but he didn't; his body wouldn't budge and he just stood there. The monster turned to him and he could make its cold eyes through the thick cloud. The monster released a deep, bellowing growl that sent a series of shivers up his spine.
The emergency alarm went off. People ran out of classrooms in the halls and others whimpered within their own.
The monster looked around, distracted by the alarms, giving Ichigo an opportunity to escape. There were two ways to go, a path to a stairwell to the upper floor and another to the fire escape. He took the path to the fire escape assuming that the smaller hallway would make movement hard for the monster.
Ichigo kicked the door open and ran down the stairwell outside the building, skipping a few steps and jumping at times. He grazed his knees and landed badly at times, but all the adrenaline in him numbed the pain. The monster broke through the wall and debris fell down all around him. He looked downward and there was a large distance from where he stood and the ground. No amount of adrenaline would numb the pain of such a fall.
The monster grabbed the stairwell and started pushing it forward, dislodging it from the wall. He grabbed the guardrail and braced himself for impact. The stairwell fell over and Ichigo jumped off it when he was close enough to the ground. He struggled to get to his feet and the monster landed behind him.
He ran on looked at the monster over his shoulder. It had reptilian skin and ran on all fours like a mammal. It was nothing as he had ever seen and strangest of all was its face; it was the skull of a bull.
He ran on and entered an orchard. He looked around for an exit, but there was none. He turned to his left and saw a large sword sticking out of the ground. As odd as it was, he ran to it.
The monster was closing in, its hot breath smothering him and making him sweat. With no means of escape, his only option was self-defence. He leaped forward and grabbed the sword's hilt.
As he soon as he grabbed it, he felt a strange and powerful sensation fill him. He stood there, waiting for the monster to come to him. He studied the monster and took a fighting stance.
He swung the sword with all his might and sliced through the monster's arm. The monster recoiled and howled in pain. He did not realize it, but since he grabbed the blade, he had his eyes closed.
He opened his eyes slowly, expectantly, to see what he had just done. The monster's arm lay before him, disembodied from the animal. The creature roared again and ran toward him.
The monster swung its arm at him and Ichigo blocked it with the sword. The monster snapped its jaws at him and he quickly switched to blocking the bite. This left his torso open and the monster took advantage, smacking him away.
He hurled onto a tree and fell to his knees. The monster ran up to him when suddenly, a girl in a black kimono pounced on its back and stabbed it with a katana. It ran around like an angry bull, lashing around as it was unaware the location of its assailant. The monster ran up to a tree and smacked its back against it along with the girl. The girl slid down the tree painfully and the monster ruthlessly smashed her against the tree with its remaining paw.
Ichigo dashed toward the monster and slashed its leg. It swung at him and he rolled out of the way, slashing its torso. Orihime ran into the Orchard.
"Ichigo, are you okay?" she called out.
"Oh my God, Orihime, don't get any–"Ichigo yelled.
The monster stabbed Orihime in the gut with its paw. Ichigo's eyes widened as Orihime fell limp on the ground. Her wound bled profusely and she laid motionlessly on the ground.
Ichigo yelled in rage and ran up to the monster. It swung its paw at him; he leapt out of the way and slashed it in the neck. It fell to the ground and he stabbed its neck, driving the blade deeper and deeper as blood spurted out. The creature whined and howled until its voice quietened into a squeak. He dislodged the blade from the corpse
Ichigo threw the sword away and ran to Orihime's aid. The sword vanished as soon as he let go of it. He knelt beside her, confused, angry and lost. Ichigo tried to perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation when Orihime's ribs suddenly cracked as he touched her chest.
"Orihime, Orihime!" Ichigo began to panic, looking around frantically.
"I'm sorry, I tried to help, but I couldn't do anything to stop it" said the girl, trying to console him.
A man walked into the orchard. He wore a ¾ green jacket with a green martial arts gi underneath, along with a white hat with green stripes and clogs. A walking cane assisted his gait and shadow hid his eyes.
"Ichigo, stay calm, I can do something to help her," the man said calmly.
Ichigo did not hear him, his mind to focussed on Orihime. The girl walked up to the man who spoke in a hushed tone.
"Look, it won't be long before her hollowfication starts; we can stop it. Use this," the man drew out a strange knife with a round handle from his pockets.
"Stab her in her sternum and pull it out when she starts coughing." The man instructed as he handed the knife to the girl.
"Wait, why should I listen to you, huh?" the girl retorted.
"Do you want her to die?" the man asked.
"Well... " the girl tried to decide when the man suddenly left.
The girl looked around for the man, offended at how he addressed her.
"Okay, I'll try it."
The girl walked up to Orihime and knelt beside her. She stabbed the knife into her.
"Hey, what the hell are you doing?!" Ichigo exclaimed.
Orihime sprung to life, taking a long deep breath. Her wound closed and she coughed violently. Ichigo was relieved. He helped Orihime sit up and she took rapid gasps, trying to steady her breathing.
"Ichigo," Orihime said, looking deeply into his eyes about to say something she's been holding in for a long time. From her expression, it seemed important.
"I, I wanna know ... What that outfit was! What was that sword? Who's the girl?"
She was okay all right. Orihime bombarded Ichigo with a series of questions that if it were anyone else, he would have knocked her back unconscious. The girl walked up to Orihime and waved her hand before her face. Orihime went unconscious, annoying and confusing Ichigo.
"What did you do to her?" Ichigo said.
"Hold on, I haven't killed her. She has seen too much so I'm going to wipe her memory" the girl responded.
"What are you talking about?"
"I'll replace the memory of her seeing us with the police killing the Hollow"
"Hollow, wait what's a –"
Ichigo turned to the girl, but she was gone.
A GROUP of eleven men and two women clothed in black kimonos with white jackets of varying style and length had a meeting in a large room. They were the Gotei 13, captains of the thirteen court guard squads of the Sereitei.
Twelve of them stood in two rows before an old man seated on a throne-like chair; the first division captain. His name was Yamamoto Genryuusai.
"In the many years of the Gotei 13, few people have committed extraordinary crimes that have opened the floodgates for abominations that no one has ever conceived; one of them being resurrection. The 12th Division has detected that someone in Karakura town has performed a resurrection. Someone with the capability to perform such a feat is undoubtedly someone who would pose a threat to the Soul Society. We need a scout, someone to study the person responsible and if possible apprehend them. Who shall it be?"
A man with long black hair and wore several hairpins stepped forward. He wore a sleeveless jacket with a blue scarf and had white, fingerless gloves that were arm's length. He was the fifth Division Captain, Byakuya Kuchiki, current head of the Kuchiki clan.
"I nominate my lieutenant, Renji Abarai, to take up the task," Byakuya said without even opening his eyes.
"Very well, have him go to Karakura immediately."
ICHIGO'S room, for possibly the first time this semester, was completely clean. Everything was in place and the floor was spotless. He entered the room and was shocked with what he found.
"H-how in the world?" He said as he looked around.
The girl in the kimono from before entered the room wiping her face with a towel, clad in a blue shirt and shorts.
"What the hell are you doing, don't you knock?" the girl asked.
"What am I doing? This is my room! What are you doing here?!" Ichigo said.
"Well, I'm washing my face. I needed to freshen up before taking a nap. I was so sweaty since that incident in the Orchard."
"Don't make me repeat myself, what are you doing in my room?!"
"Well, I need somewhere to stay. Since I got injured, I'm stuck in this humanoid form and I cannot sense where the Shinigami Station is in this town," the girl sat on the bed.
"Well why come to me? And did you say 'Shinigami'?" Ichigo asked impatiently.
"Yes. Hmm, I guess you don't know anything yet. Well, since you have the Zanpakutou now, it'd be a shame for you to die ignorantly." The girl leaned against the wall.
Ichigo growled and tried to compose himself.
"You see, I am Rukia Kuchiki, a Shinigami, and I am, or was, on a mission from the Soul Society to deal with evil spirits – the monster you saw – called Hollows and eliminate them." the girl explained.
"What a load of crap," Ichigo groaned, "Are you telling me that 'evil spirits' exist?"
"Well you saw what happened earlier, so you tell me what you believe" Rukia replied.
"You're also gonna say ghosts exist, right?" Ichigo asked as he sat next to Rukia.
"Yeah, they are called Wholes and they are what Hollows feast on and transform into their own kind. The holes in the middle of the chests of Hollows symbolize Wholes losing their humanity as they transform" Rukia replied.
Ichigo thought and realized; the Hollow he fought earlier also had a hole in its chest. He shook his head.
"Man, this story get's stupider the more I listen. Tell me this, if spirits exist, then why are they solid? Why could I easily touch those 'Hollows' like the one that attacked the campus? Shouldn't spirits be intangible, yet alone invisible?" Ichigo asked.
"There are people who are clairvoyant; humans are not entirely helpless. Some, like you, can see and touch and even communicate spirits." Rukia responded.
"Then why can 'spirits' like 'Hollows' touch physical things, like the people they eat?" Ichigo asked.
"There are things about spirits that you humans would not understand," Rukia responded, trying to avoid the question.
"Well, so you're saying you 'Shinigami' go around killing 'Hollows', protecting us humans from them?"
"Well what about several others that have attacked and killed many people before?"
"There's a large number of Hollows that attack so we are sometimes unable to kill them all. Besides, we have another duty to perform called Konso. Konso is the process of helping a human soul, a Whole, to pass on to the Soul Society. We do so by touching the bottom of our Zanpakutou hilt on the Whole's forehead." Rukia replied.
"And before you ask," Rukia interrupted Ichigo, "Zanpakutou are the swords Shinigami used to fight Hollows, like the one you used."
"So, where'd the one I used disappear to?" Ichigo asked.
"If a Zanpakutou comes in contact with a clairvoyant human, it becomes their property and they become part human and part Shinigami. Another way to turn humans into Shinigami is for a Shinigami to infuse their spiritual pressure or energy, reiatsu, into that human's body via a sword stab," Rukia explained. "The reason the Zanpakutou disappeared is because you are now part Shinigami. Shinigami discard Zanpakutou into pocket dimensions when they aren't in use. Since you are part human, your kimono; the main attire of Shinigami, your kimono also enters the pocket dimension."
"Now we have pocket dimensions ..., that makes a lot of sense," Ichigo said sarcastically.
Rukia frowned at him and he looked away from her, trying to further piss her off.
"How do ghosts now use science and help each other pass on and stuff? Shinigami are one thing, but Shinigami that do more than kill is total nonsense?" Ichigo asks.
"Like I said, there are things you humans cannot understand. You choose what you want to believe, I've told you all you need to know"
"So, you're saying you have no place to go?" Ichigo asked.
"Yeah, I was thinking of staying here," Rukia answered.
"Well, it's a little late to let you out on the streets." Ichigo sighed and looked at his watch, "One night, that's all you get"
"But you can't sleep on my bed."
"What am I supposed to do then?" Rukia asked, getting off his bed.
Ichigo walked up to his wardrobe and pulled out a mattress. He dragged it and placed it next to the bed. He walked up to the wardrobe and pulled out a thick bundle of blankets wrapped around a pillow.
"Wait, so you're gonna let me sleep on the floor? That's a rude way to treat a girl," Rukia answered, simply to annoy Ichigo.
"Fine, fine, fine, you can sleep in my bed. I'll sleep on the mattress."
Ichigo started making the bed and Rukia sat back on his bed.
"Thank you," Rukia answered.
Ichigo muttered to himself and continued making the bed.
IN THE Sereitei, a man clad in a dustcoat and holding a document entered an office. A captain sat at the desk. The man had a black face with white on its sides. He was ghastly, he had yellow teeth, his nails were long and black and his skin – other than his face – was completely white. He is the 8th Division Captain, Mayuri Kurotsuchi. Next to him stood a beautiful, slender, raven-haired woman who wore a kimono modified into a short dress. She was his lieutenant, Nemu Nagasaki.
"Sir, we have several Hollows entering Karakura Town again, it's a code red situation," the man spoke impishly.
"Well, well, this situation is getting quite out of hand," Mayuri answered with a tone contrary to worry or concern.
Mayuri got out of his seat and walked up to the man, receiving the document and leaving the room with him and Nemu.
MAYURI AND Nemu entered the office, the same room the captains met earlier, and Yamamoto raised his head to him without opening his eyes.
"What is it, Mayuri?" Yamamoto responded.
'Sir, our scientists have been keeping watch on Karakura town for a few months and we have detected a huge spike in the number of Hollow attacks." Mayuri answered as he walked up to Yamamoto.
"Is this supposed to shock me? Hollows attack Karakura all the time."
"Not at this rate."
Mayuri handed the document he received earlier to Yamamoto and he went through it. Yamamoto couldn't believe his eyes, Mayuri was right, the numbers were astounding.
"The numbers have more than tripled in only a month; that is more than anywhere in the world. How is that possible?" Yamamoto asked.
"Normally only Hollows of exceptional power can open the gates of Hueco Mundo and cross over to the physical world, but now any kind of Hollow has been able to cross over. Once only 2 to 3 attacked per week, but now about 9 to 13 Hollows attack per week," Mayuri answered.
"So what could be the cause of this?"
"That's what I came to speak with you about about. We have been unable to learn anything from Hueco Mundo using drones as the Hollows there simply destroyed them. We need scouts on the field who can collect enough data to help us understand what is allowing Hollows to enter Karakura willy-nilly and, unlike the drones, who can defend themselves from Hollows effectively. The scouts need to be of Captain Level because we do not know the extent of the powers Hollows possess."
Yamamoto reached to his left and pressed a button on the armrest of his chair.
"Summon the 10th Division Captain, please"
"Yes, sir," responded a woman on the other end.
A redheaded Captain entered the room accompanied by a timid looking raven-headed man.
"You summoned us, sir?" the Captain asked.
"Yes, Ashido, it seems the time has come yet again. You have to return to Hueco Mundo to investigate the rise in the numbers of Hollows entering Karakura," Yamamoto ordered.
"Yes sir, I will get going right away, it won't take me long" Ashido answered
"Good, Mayuri open the Garganta and send Ashido and Takeshi to Hueco Mundo."
"Yes, sir," Mayuri answered.
THE MAN in a hat and clogs entered a high tech lab and walked up to a large computer.
He typed a few keys on the keyboard and moved icons around the screen. A real-time aerial map of Karakura town came on screen. It moved over to the Karakura College and stopped on Ichigo's room.
The image moved to a different light spectrum, similar to infrared. Ichigo's energy readings along with Rukia's were now visible and Ichigo's changed rapidly in colour.
"Why is his energy so unstable?" the man spoke to himself.
ICHIGO slept soundly on his bed beside Rukia who sat against the wall. A phone rang and Ichigo stirred.
"Huh, oh, it must be Orihime," Ichigo said drowsily.
He reached for his phone and its screen was blank. Rukia pulled out a phone from her pocket and lifted it up to show Ichigo.
"It's mine," Rukia said.
Rukia pressed some keys on her phone and Ichigo looked at her suspiciously, confused by her use of it if she was indeed a Shinigami.
"My Soul Pager has detected a Hollow within a kilometre of here, we have to go," Rukia said as she got up.
"A Soul Pager?" Ichigo asked. "How can souls be detected with technology?"
"There are things you humans –"
"Don't give me that, you just don't know, do you?" Ichigo said angrily.
"Well, there are things low-ranking Shinigami officers aren't told," Rukia said.
"Okay then," Ichigo laid back.
Rukia stared at Ichigo. He closed his eyes, trying to avoid her gaze. She kept on staring, frowning at him. Ichigo turned over, but it did not help. He opened his eyes and frowned angrily and he became agitated. Ichigo turned to Rukia.
"God, stop looking at me, Rukia!" Ichigo yelled angrily.
Rukia was unfazed.
"Look, you have to do my job now and that means hunting down Hollows wherever they are and whenever they come up." Rukia said with a pleading expression.
Ichigo groaned angrily.
"It's to save lives," Rukia said.
"Fine," Ichigo said as he got up and groaned, "what do I do?"
"Stretch out your hand and focus your reiatsu into it," Rukia said.
Ichigo stretched his arm out and frowned. His arm pulsated and veins popped from his head. Nothing happened.
"I said focus your reiatsu into your hand, not to pop a vein!" Rukia said, almost laughing at him.
"Okay, look, I don't do Yoga, so I don't know how to 'channel' energy or anything" Ichigo said.
"It's not Yoga. Let me make it easier for you. Be relaxed and simply focus on your hand. Make clenching and unclenching motions and visualize the Zanpakutou in your hands." Rukia instructed Ichigo.
Ichigo stretched his hand and looked at it. He clenched and unclenched his hand. Nothing happened. He did it again and nothing happened. Rukia became impatient and it was evident without her making an expression. He closed his eyes, took a deep breath, clenched, and unclenched his hand.
The Zanpakutou appeared from thin air into Ichigo's hand. Black cloth appeared from thin air as well and wrapped around Ichigo's body, forming a black kimono with a white belt. Gloves with metal plated forearm guards wrapped his arms and boots with metal plated shin guards wrapped his feet. A red sash made of spade-shaped beds hung across his torso.
Ichigo looked at the Zanpakutou. It was single-edged, the blade was shaped like a kitchen knife, white on the bladed side with ancient Japanese markings and black on the blunt side and had white cloth wrapped around the bottom of the blade to pass as a hilt.
"Hmm, interesting," Ichigo looked at the mirror, nodding happily.
"Okay, now that you're done staring at yourself, let's get going," Rukia said as she walked up to him.
She climbed onto Ichigo's back and he instinctively held her, despite being startled.
"H-hey, what are you doing?" Ichigo said.
"I need to show you all the ropes and where to go to find the Hollow, so get moving." Rukia said.
Ichigo ran up to a wall and smacked into it.
"What the hell was that!?" Rukia asked exasperatedly.
"Well, I thought that since I'm a ghost, I could phase through the wall. Guess, that doesn't work for Shinigami," Ichigo said as if nothing happened.
"Human's perception of ghosts is a lot different from the actual thing," Rukia answered, "Now get going"
Ichigo opened the window and leaped out.
ICHIGO ran on the rooftops of houses in the Karakura suburbs. The cloth from the Zanpakutou's hilt wrapped around the blade and was sheathed in the red sash. He looked around and some people noticed him.
"I must be the loudest ghost in the world or I'm not a ghost at all. How are they seeing me?" Ichigo asked Rukia who was busy on her pager.
"Maybe there are a lot of clairvoyant people in Karakura town," Rukia said.
"You're telling me everyone is clairvoyant? Everyone can see Hollows and the attacks are so frequent that they are called Kaiju in the news,"
"Well, I don't know everything, okay?!"
Ichigo jumped onto another rooftop and continued running. He noticed that his physical capabilities had increased each time he had the Zanpakutou. He had run over four kilometres in three minutes and had not broken a sweat while normally, he would be drenched in sweat.
"So, where is the Hollow?" Ichigo asked.
"It's close by," Rukia answered.
"Didn't you say it was within a kilometre from campus? I've run over two kilometres and I've seen nothing,"
"Well, Hollows don't stay in the same place, they are predators and they keep –"
The roof Ichigo had been running on suddenly exploded into pieces before them. A Hollow stretched its head out and had a man in its mouth. The Hollow chewed the man and jumped onto the road nearby, smashing into a car and starting a panic.
Ichigo jumped onto the ground and Rukia got off his back. He drew his Zanpakutou and the cloth slowly unwrapped itself from the blade and retracted around the hilt.
The Hollow had the form of a lizard with reptilian skin and the skull of an elephant for a face.
Ichigo ran up to the Hollow and it swung its tail at him. He jumped out of the way, an inch from the tail's tip and the Hollow's tail smacked into a woman, hurling her into a shop nearby.
"Ichigo, you should be careful! Your job is to protect humans, think of that as you fight!" Rukia yelled from behind.
"Got it," Ichigo answered as he dodged the Hollow as it attempted hit him with its trunks.
Ichigo swung the Zanpakutou twice at the Hollow, missing each time. He slashed the Hollow's front leg and the Hollow recoiled, spraying a gas at him from its nasal cavities. He jumped out of the way and the ground the gas went over set on fire. The Hollow smacked him with its tail and jumped at him with a bite. He jumped out of the way and sliced on the Hollow's neck. He slashed the Hollow's skull and dodged swipes from its tusks. The Hollow charged at Ichigo who kicked it, sidestepped and slashed its arm. The Hollow swung its tail at him and he caught it. The Hollow tried to escape and he held it down. He cut off the Hollow's tail. The Hollow jumped on a building's wall and ran across it, dodging his attempts to cut it. The Hollow pounced on his back and swallowed his head whole.
"Ichigo!" Rukia screamed as she ran up to Ichigo.
The Hollow suddenly began to contort, twist, bend and move in very strange ways. It began to roar and spat Ichigo out. It started choking and spat out blood. Ichigo got to his feet, taken aback at the Hollow's behaviour.
"What the hell is going on?" Ichigo asked.
"I have never seen this before," Rukia stated.
"So, what the hell is going on, Rukia?"
"I told you, I don't know!"
The Hollow's body started pulsating and bulging. Ichigo picked up Rukia and made a break for it.
"What are you doing?" Rukia asked.
"I don't know what's going on with the Hollow and I don't wanna know," Ichigo said as he made a hasty escape.
The Hollow fell limp on the ground and its body set on fire. Ichigo stopped running and turned to the Hollow.
"What the hell is this?" Ichigo said as he set Rukia down.
Rukia walked up to the Hollow.
"Why did it go on fire?" Rukia said as she bent down to examine the Hollow.
Rukia's pager beeped and she picked it up. She got up and walked to Ichigo.
"We have another Hollow in the vicinity. Let's get going," Rukia said.
"Okay, hop on"
Rukia piggybacked Ichigo and he ran off.
ICHIGO ran down the sidewalks of town, passing several stores.
"Where's the Hollow?" Ichigo asked.
"There it is," Rukia said as she pointed to his left.
Ichigo ran in the direction and saw a Hollow shaped like a gorilla, reptilian skinned and had the skull of a dog for a face. The Hollow did not stop and it simply continued running.
"What's with this Hollow?" Ichigo asked.
Ichigo ran up in front of the Hollow. It ran around him and continued where it was going. Ichigo stood there, dumbfounded.
"What? Is it scared of me or something?" Ichigo asked as he watched the Hollow run off.
"This day just gets stranger and stranger," Rukia said, pocketing her pager. "Well, there's no use standing around, let's get moving."
Ichigo chased after the Hollow that made some distance. After hours of running and chasing the Hollow, which had become illusive, Ichigo began to lose his patience. Despite the Hollow not posing a threat, Rukia kept on pestering Ichigo to chase it. Ichigo nearly gave up and headed for the campus when they caught up with the Hollow again. It was leaving a small shop.
"What the hell, a shop?" Ichigo stated.
"This is ridiculous," Rukia said, getting off his back.
"Wait a minute; I knew that man was familiar. Rukia, do you remember the man who gave you that syringe thingy that resurrected Orihime?" Ichigo asked.
"Yes, the man with a hat and clogs?" Rukia inquired.
"Yeah, I remember him; he is the owner of this store. His name is Kisuke Urahara," Ichigo said.
Rukia walked up to the store and Urahara's name was on the sign above the entrance.
"What would a Hollow want from a shop?" asked Rukia as she inspected the shop's sign
"Something's not right here," Ichigo stated.
URAHARA Kisuke walked up to the spot where Ichigo fought the lizard-like Hollow and walked up to the corpse. The police cars amassed, but he was unfazed, continuing toward the corpse.
He pulled out an odd looking flash drive from his pocket and waved it around the corpse. Lights flashed from the flash drive's insert point onto the corpse as Urahara waved it. He pocketed the flash drive and started walking away.