Bleach: Words of the Copper Chain

Quincy and Hollow

A FULL MOON shone over a forest. The ground was covered in grey sand and small Hollows in the form of lizards scurried around.

A strange, grey and cloudy portal opened in the sky. sAshido and Takeshi leaped out of the portal and landed on the ground. The two looked around, studying their environment. By their expressions, they were calm, but braced for action.

"So this is it, after all these years I am back to this godforsaken place. Hueco Mundo, the realm of the Hollows," Ashido said, his tone filled with dread.

Takeshi looked around, suspicious.

"Hey, didn't people say Hueco Mundo does not support natural life?" Takeshi asked, "If so, why are there trees here?"

"I do not know. Hollows are destructive creatures and they would destroy any trees. Other than the Hollows, the atmosphere is so thick with reiatsu, they plants would be unable to grow. I have no idea how there are trees here. This makes no sense," Ashido said as he continued on.


ICHIGO ENTERED his room from the bathroom with a toothbrush in his mouth and Rukia just finished making the bed when he entered.

"Okay, living with a chick in the same room is weird," Ichigo said.

"Yeah, well this is not a vacation for me either," Rukia said, "there is no privacy in this tiny room"

"Hey, it's not tiny! – Well, it kinda is, but my room at home is bigger," Ichigo said.

"You sure?" Rukia asked, seeing through Ichigo's pathetic attempt at a lie.

"Yeah, you're right, it's not," Ichigo said, defeated.

"Anyway, when do we get to eat around here? I'm getting hungry," Rukia asked.

"Well –" A knock came on the door.

"Ichigo, hey, Ichigo are you there?" Tatsuki called from outside the hallway.

Ichigo cursed under his breath.

"Quiet down, it's Tatsuki" Ichigo whispered.

"Who's she?" Rukia asked.

"Quiet down! She's a friend of mine," Ichigo whispered, although at that point, he quietly screamed.

"Your girlfriend?"

"No, now shut up and hide,"

Ichigo opened the wardrobe and Rukia walked up to it.

"What, I'll never fit in here," Rukia said, not whispering at all.

"Will you whisper, dammit? Just get in!" Ichigo said, no longer whispering either.

Rukia entered the wardrobe. Ichigo walked up to the door of the room and opened it. Tatsuki looked around as if expecting something.

"Hey, Tatsuki," Ichigo said as if nothing happened.

"Hi, Ichigo, could you give me my books back?" Tatsuki asked, still looking at the room at the corner of her eye.

"Yeah, sure," Ichigo asked, wondering what Tatsuki really wanted.

Ichigo looked around the room, wondering where the books were. He then realized that they were in his backpack that was in the wardrobe where Rukia hid. He tried to think of an excuse and he could tell that Tatsuki was getting impatient and would soon end up searching the room herself.

Ichigo pretended to search every corner of his room, avoiding his wardrobe in a way that would deter suspicion.

"I'm sorry, Tatsuki, I can't find it," Ichigo said, pulling off a façade so good it looked natural.

"What about the wardrobe?" Tatsuki asked.

"It's not in there,"

"How do you know, you didn't even search in there?"

"I don't need to; I only put clothes in there, not school stuff,"

Tatsuki studied Ichigo's face to see if he was lying, but she couldn't tell. His expression was blank.

"Hmm, okay," Tatsuki said, leaving the room.

Ichigo closed the door and gave a sigh of relief.

"Okay, Rukia, you can –"Ichigo said when Tatsuki ran back into the room.

"Aha, I knew it, you're hiding something!" Tatsuki said as she ran for the wardrobe.

"No, don't!" Ichigo shouted, but Tatsuki ignored him and opened the wardrobe.

She looked around and the wardrobe, as he said, only had clothes in it. She spotted his backpack in the corner, picked it and got her books from it. She closed the wardrobe and turned to Ichigo who looked afraid.

"'No, don't' what? I just got my books," Tatsuki said.

"Oh, right, sorry,"

"And who's Rukia?"

"My, uh, kite,"

"You don't have a kite"

Ichigo panicked.

"Yeah, but can't somebody have dreams? I've wanted a kite for years," Ichigo said.

"For years? Ichigo you hate kites and you can buy a kite any day if you want. Quit with the lies, Rukia's some girl you had in here, isn't she?" Tatsuki asked, "If you keep having girls over, how are you gonna pass?"

"Don't you count as a girl? We study in here all the time," Ichigo said.

"I –"

"No, you're right; you don't count as a gir–"

"Shut it!" Tatsuki yelled as she smacked his head with her books.

Tatsuki left the room and Ichigo quickly locked the door. He opened the wardrobe and Rukia wasn't there.

"Rukia? Rukia? Crap, where could she have gone?" Ichigo said as he looked around.

Ichigo poked his head into the wardrobe.

"Hey!" Rukia yelled as she suddenly appeared before him.

Ichigo and Rukia's faces were an inch away from each other. He jumped back, yelling.

"Oh, so you don't find me attractive?" Rukia said.

"Will you shut the hell up!? I jumped back cuz you appeared out of nowhere!" Ichigo yelled as he got on his feet. "How'd you do that anyway? Aren't you in a 'dormant' human form?"

"Yeah, but I guess that I still have some powers left over; Shinigami can become invisible," Rukia said.

"I hate the fact that your stupid theories are coming true,"

"They aren't theories, they are truth," Rukia said with a smug look.

Ichigo looked around and picked up the mattress off the floor.

"Well, since you can go invisible, this will make hiding you easier," Ichigo said as he stuffed the mattress in the wardrobe. "You'll sleep in the wardrobe."

"Hey, I'm not your toy or anything –"

"Well you threw yourself into my hands so you're gonna do what I say or you're out," Ichigo said.

"You're bluffing,"

"Look, you can fit in the wardrobe, so you can sleep in it. If your powers completely dissipate, I can still keep you hidden in the wardrobe."

"Okay, fine," Rukia sighed, "but, what will you do about food?"

"I'll just order double amounts and bring some here. If anyone asks, I'll say I'm taking a new diet or something," Ichigo said as he packed the mattress in the wardrobe and spread sheets on it.

"There"

Ichigo stepped back and let Rukia take a look. The mattress was so aligned with the wardrobe that it looked like it was built in. She was impressed, but she did not want to admit it. Other than that, being surrounded by all the cologne was getting to her and making her uncomfortable.

"Well, thanks, I guess. I've gotta get some food, I'm starving myself."

Ichigo left the room. Rukia blushed and opened a window.


ICHIGO, TATSUKI, Orihime, Chad and Keigo were taking a class. Keigo was not listening and he did not bother to hide it.

"Hey, Ichigo, have you seen Ishida anywhere lately?" Keigo asked.

"What, Uryu Ishida? No, now shut up, I'm trying to listen, Keigo," Ichigo said.

"It's odd man, he's been outta class for so long,"

"Well I don't give a crap, so shut the hell up, dipstick!"

"Harsh, man, I was only theorizing that he was kidnapped by aliens!"

Keigo jumped on his desk.

"Aliens from the fifth planet from the moon of Trigar; aliens that feast on your brain for picket signs – picket signs of death" said Keigo, trying to sound deep and philosophical.

Tatsuki cupped her face in her hand, disapproving Keigo's stupidity. She asked herself why she even liked the maroon. She looked at him and then remembered; it's because he's funny.

Tatsuki kicked the Keigo's desk and he fell over.

"Hey, who did that? See, it was the aliens," Keigo said, looking around and anticipating an attack.

"The Trigarian aliens are real!" Orihime called out from the back.

"No, it's Targaryen," Ichigo groaned, "you watch too much Game Of Thrones, Orihime. And didn't you say they were from the fifth planet of the moon of Trigar, not Trigar itself?"

"How do you know so much, hmm? Ichigo?" Keigo said, looking him in the eye.

Ichigo pushed Keigo away.

"Okay, stop with the stupid stuff, you guys," Tatsuki sai.

"No, but it's true. I saw one on my bed and it was round, soft and cushiony," Orihime explained.

Keigo got to his feet, elated that someone else understood what he was saying.

"Yeah, I had the same experience; the alien was under my head trying to suck out my brain," Keigo said.

"Whoa, it's bizarre," Orihime and Keigo said simultaneously.

The professor looked at his watch and then back at the two.

"Those were your pillows, you morons!" Tatsuki yelled.

"That's what they want you to think," Orihime said.

"If it's true, then Trigarian aliens have been attacking me ever since I was one," Ichigo said, trying to play along and see where their stupid theories would go, "Hey, maybe they've been hypnotizing me to wear pants this whole time!"

"Yes, speak brother! They're brainwashing us all!" Keigo shouted.

"Please keep your pants on, Keigo," Tatsuki said.

"Well, I'm taking my skirt off. They've been hypnotizing me too," Orihime said with her hands on her waist.

"Whoohoo – ah!" Keigo cheered when Ichigo kicked him.

"Okay, that's enough!" The professor said, "Get back to your seats, you clowns!"

"Never! You can't hold me down, you Trigarian mind control slave!" Keigo said as he ran toward the window and jumped out.

Keigo held onto the window at the last second and pulled himself back in.

"Wait a minute, that is what the Trigarians would want me to do. As the only man not under their spell, I'll be here to snuff out their –"

"Get out, Mr. Asano!" the professor yelled.

'Quit being so formal!" Keigo shouted as he left the room, crying hysterically.

Keigo came back in class and sat on Ichigo's desk. Ichigo kicked him off.

"Get out!" the professor yelled.

"Fine, we don't need you, oppressor," Keigo said as he began to leave. "C'mon Ichigo,"

Keigo walked passed Ichigo's desk and he sat there, ignoring him. Keigo grabbed Ichigo by the arm and dragged him out of class. Orihime followed Keigo and turned her head at the professor as if to shun him.

"Good riddance, the less people we have in class, the easier it will be to teach," the professor said.


KEIGO AND ORIHIME walked down the hallways as they dragged Ichigo.

"Hey, let go of me!" Ichigo yelled.

"No, trust us, it's for your own good," Orihime said.

Ichigo folded his arms and sulked. He wondered how people could still pull him and drag him around no matter how strong he had become. Was it because he liked being treated that way? If it had been a criminal, he'd easily escape. Ichigo wondered if he had some dark twisted masochist in him. Then again, Orihime was also dragging him and he would not mind going wherever she was. He just wished Keigo was not the other one pulling him.

Keigo and Orihime let go of Ichigo and he got to his feet.

"Okay, I think we are far enough," Orihime said whilst looking around.

"Far enough for what? Is it yoghurt?" Ichigo asked excitedly.

Orihime and Keigo stared at him, confused.

"What? I like yoghurt, okay," Ichigo said as he folded his arms.

"Far enough for nobody to hear us talk about –," Orihime said.

"For nobody to hear your crazy schemes to fight the 'Trigarian Invasion'?" Ichigo asked, no longer playing along.

"No, I truly think something weird is going on with Uryu. He has not been to any classes for a week and I have not seen him in his room," Keigo said.

"And what were you doing there?" Ichigo asked.

"Why are you asking?" Keigo asked, "Besides, I didn't manage to get in there, but he was not around,"

"Just because his room was locked? People skip classes in college all the time," Ichigo said.

"What can someone be doing cooped up in their room for a week?" Orihime asked.

Ichigo could think of a million things people can do cooped up in their room for a week, but he did not want to tell Orihime. He did not want to taint her childlike mind. What would he say, though?

"Uhh..., eat healthy vegetables?" Ichigo stated, though it was mixed up enough to be a question.

Orihime looked at Ichigo, studying him. Orihime unconsciously pointed her nose up when she was angry or suspicious in a way that Ichigo thought it was cute. At this moment, he wondered whether he would tell her more made up stuff about what you can do in your room or playfully pinch her nose.

"Well, I do that too, but I don't think Uryu is that kind of person," Orihime said with a grin.

"Why do you care if he is missing?" Ichigo asked.

"This is not like Uryu, he loves school. He's always studying, missing parties, he would never miss class for a day, yet along a week," Orihime said.

"Hmm, you do have a point about Uryu. Where could he have gone? What is he doing?" Ichigo wondered.

"That's why we need your help; you can help us find Uryu," Keigo said.

"Let me do this instead, I'll walk away, go back to class, get a diploma, get a job and not worry about some high minded jerk I don't talk to," Ichigo said as he began to walk away.

"Wait, Ichigo, don't forsake your friends," Orihime said.

Ichigo continued walking away.

"Do something good for someone else,"

Ichigo kept on walking.

"...Okay, fine, we'll get you a froyo,"

Ichigo stopped.

"Unfrozen?" Ichigo said without turning.

"Yes, unfrozen," Orihime chuckled.

"Okay, I'm coming," Ichigo said as he turned back.


ICHIGO, ORIHIME and Keigo searched around Karakura College all morning and nobody saw Uryu. The three went to Uryu's house, but his dad was not home. It was 4.30pm and the three were exhausted.

"You know what, I'm tired. I'm gonna go back," Orihime said as she walked away.

"Okay, bye, Orihime," Ichigo said.

"Well I'm not gonna give up on our friend. C'mon, Ichigo," Keigo said as he marched on.

Ichigo groaned and reluctantly followed Keigo. The two searched around for another hour. Ichigo and Keigo walked up to a street corner and Ichigo just about had it when they saw something swoop passed them.

"Whoa, what was that?" Keigo screamed, falling on Ichigo.

"I don't know, man," Ichigo said as he threw Keigo off him, "but I'm outta here, bro"

Ichigo left and ignored Keigo's calls. When he was out of Keigo's sight, he ran down the street and summoned his Zanpakutou and his Shinigami attire. Ichigo jumped up to the roof of a building and looked out at the town. A figure was jumping from roof to roof a few yards before him. Ichigo followed suit and chased after the figure whilst sheathing his blade. What is he doing?

Ichigo could swear that the thing that swooped before he and Keigo was Uryu dressed in some white clothing. It was too fast for Keigo to see, but Ichigo spotted it, and not because of his Shinigami powers, but because of his superb 20/20 vision. As Ichigo chased after Uryu, he wondered if he was a Shinigami and possibly if they wore different coloured Kimono or even better – since he disliked his outfit – different attires all together. Other than that was how Uryu attained such powers because from the glimpse he saw, he was not wielding a Zanpakutou. Questions popped in Ichigo's mind as he chased after Uryu. Despite Ichigo pouring it on, he was unable to catch up with Uryu. Was it his power? Maybe some Shinigami are faster than others, Ichigo thought.

Ichigo began to lose sight of Uryu and he thought it'd be over for him and he would not have a chance to question him unless he was caught red handed. Ichigo envisioned himself a few feet closer to Uryu so that he could just jump him when suddenly Ichigo disappeared from the spot he was in and indeed ended up a few feet closer to Uryu. Without a second to wonder how it happened, Ichigo jumped Uryu and pinned him down on a building's roof.

"Uryu!" Ichigo asked.

"Get off me," Uryu said as he broke from Ichigo's grip.

Uryu got to his feet and the two studied each other. Uryu was dressed in a white suit without buttons and a short cape buttoned to his left shoulder. After seeing him, Ichigo hoped there were other options for Shinigami attire other than a Kimono and whatever the hell Uryu was wearing.

"Oh great, so you're a Shinigami as well, huh?" Uryu asked, displeased with his discovery.

"Wait, you're not a Shinigami?" Ichigo asked.

"No, but you, Ichigo Kurosaki, are now my sworn enemy," Uryu said.

"Wait, what?"

Uryu held out his hand and a wristband with a cross on its end dangled from it. The cross glowed and released blow light beans from its vertical ends, creating a bow shape.

"Hold on, Uryu, I didn't come here to fight you," Ichigo said, but to no avail.

Uryu made an archery motion and a string appeared from the vertical ends of light bow along with an energy arrow. He held a bow and arrow made of blue energy

"Crap," Ichigo said as he drew his Zanpakutou.

Uryu fired the arrow at Ichigo and he leaped out of the way.

"Hey, dude, stop!," Ichigo yelled.

Uryu fired two more arrows and Ichigo dodged. Uryu fired another and it grazed Ichigo's arm.

"That's it!" Ichigo yelled as he lunged at Uryu with a swing of his Zanpakutou.

Uryu blocked the Zanpakutou with his bow and used his right leg to enable him to stand. Besides Uryu's unfazed expression, Ichigo was pretty strong added to the fact that his Zanpakutou felt like it weighed a ton.

"Uryu, I didn't come to fight, I was just looking for you to see where you were; you haven't been to school lately," Ichigo said, trying to reason with him.

"Oh yeah, then why'd you come ready to fight in your Shinigami gear?" Uryu asked.

"It's because you were too fast for me to catch up to you normally,"

"Yeah, right," Uryu said as he pushed Ichigo away.

Ichigo frowned and stared Uryu down.

"Uryu, don't make me do this," Ichigo said, infuriated, "I have been able to beat you every time you've fought with me as a normal human and I've shown you mercy. This is different, if you attack me now; I don't think I'll be able to avoid accidentally slicing you in half!"

Uryu frowned then smirked.

"Alright then," Uryu said as he drew another energy arrow.

Ichigo went into a fighting stance and the two stared down. Uryu pulled the arrow back then stopped and the arrow dissipated.

"Oh, so you've come to your senses?" Ichigo said as he sheathed his Zanpakutou.

"Nope,"

Uryu fired an arrow at Ichigo. Ichigo was caught off guard and he braced for the hit. The arrow passed Ichigo, however, and struck a Hollow that was behind. Ichigo turned to it, panting.


ASHIDO AND TAKESHI traversed the forest for what felt like hours. Takeshi wielded his Katana-shaped Zanpakutou like a gardener, slashing every single lizard Hollow he saw. Ashido did not mind them as he was focussed on the big, strong Hollows.

"Ashido, sir, why doesn't the moon move at all around here? Haven't we been walking for a while now?" Takeshi said as he slashed a lizard Hollow.

"Well, there is no passage of time in Hueco Mundo. It is constantly midnight with a full moon," Ashido said.

"Well, this location is very apt for Hollows then, isn't it?"

"Yeah, you can say that,"

Takeshi sheathed his Zanpakutou in a sheath that hanged on his waist. Ashido's was similar

"Why are you so calm around here, sir? This place is dangerous." Takeshi asked.

"I was here a very long time ago, before the Shinigami harnessed Garganta. I was a lieutenant back then and we were fighting Hollows in Amsterdam when they retreated into a Garganta of their own making. We followed them and were trapped here for what felt like a century, battling Hollows. Mayuri used tricked a Hollow into opening one and sent a backup squad after us," Ashido said.

"How'd you survive that long without food? Don't tell me you ate Hollows!" Takeshi said.

"No. When you've been through training like I have, you can last for up to 3 months without food. I am not sure how long I stayed here though since I could not count days," Ashido said.

"So, then –" Takeshi said when the two heard voices.

Ashido and Takeshi instinctively hid behind a large tree.

"What, I thought this place only had Hollows?" Takeshi asked in a whisper.

"So did I," Ashido said as he drew his Katana-shaped Zanpakutou, "does it mean that there other beings like Shinigami? Have humans become smart enough to use Garganta as well?"

"Well, I don't know, but if it's an enemy," Takeshi said as he drew his Zanpakutou, "better not wait to find out,"

Takeshi tried to run out of cover and Ashido held him back.

"Wait, Takeshi, let us see who it is first before we attack. The Sereitei may have sent backup," Ashido said.

Ashido and Takeshi waited and listened as the source of the voices came closer. They became clearer and there were two beings speaking. It was an odd dialect Ashido and Takeshi could not understand. They had accents that sounded like Arabic, Japanese and Latin mixed into one. The beings came from behind a tree a few metres from Ashido and Takeshi. Ashido stuck his head out and was shocked.

"Impossible," Ashido said as he went back behind the tree.

"What, what is it, sir?" Takeshi asked.

"Those are Hollows talking,"

"What?"

Takeshi looked out and he saw it for himself. Hollows around 8 feet tall were walking on their hind legs and clearly having a conversation.


ICHIGO WATCHED in shock as Uryu's energy arrow had set the Hollow on fire.

"Whoa, thanks for the hand back there," Ichigo said.

Uryu fired an arrow at Ichigo and he dodged it.

"Hey!" Ichigo yelled.

"I was not saving you; I was just killing the Hollow," Uryu said.

Ichigo groaned.

"You know what," Ichigo said as he started walking away, "Screw you, I'm outta here,"

Ichigo walked passed Uryu.

"Hey, get back here, we're not done," Uryu said.

"Yes, we are,"

Uryu fired an arrow at Ichigo and he jumped out of the way, drawing his Zanpakutou.

"You're dead, Uryu,"

Ichigo charged at Uryu, swinging his Zanpakutou wildly at Uryu who dodged every swing. Uryu fired an arrow at Ichigo's head and he dodged. Ichigo grabbed Uryu's neck, slammed him on the roof they were on. Ichigo swung his Zanpakutou when Uryu fired an arrow at Ichigo. Ichigo jumped out of the way and Uryu got to his feet. Uryu fired three arrows at Ichigo and he cut them all with his Zanpakutou. Ichigo withdrew his Zanpakutou and dodged two more arrows Uryu fired. Ichigo got close to Uryu, weaving his way through arrows and kicked him in the gut. Ichigo elbowed Uryu's back and punched him, knocking him to the ground. Ichigo drew his Zanpakutou and stabbed toward Uryu who blocked it with his bow.

"Wait, wait, Ichigo, hold on," Uryu said.

"Make me," Ichigo said.

Uryu kicked Ichigo off him and got to his feet.

"Look, we can settle this in a different way," Uryu said.

"You're just afraid you'll lose, man," Ichigo said, chuckling.

"No, think Ichigo. If we fight that means one of us will have a death on our conscious and the police will obviously find the others corpse and track the victor," Uryu said.

"A ghost's corpse?" Ichigo said.

"Shinigami are not human, but they aren't ghosts. They aren't intangible, they aren't invisible and obviously can be killed," Uryu said, "They may say that they are, but I do not believe it,"

"So, what are you, then? You don't seem human either," Ichigo asked.

"I am a Quincy, a human who has tapped into their spiritual potential,"

"Oh, that makes sense ..., I think," Ichigo said. "So," Ichigo withdrew his Zanpakutou, "how do you want to solve this?"

"With this," Uryu said as he reached into his pocket.

"Ichigo!" Rukia called from behind Uryu.

Rukia ran up to the two.

"What are you doing here, Rukia?" Ichigo asked.

"I traced you with the Soul Pager. What are you doing? You're not supposed to be going around as a Shinigami without me supervising; you still have alot to learn," Rukia said.

"So you must be the Shinigami that gave Ichigo powers?" Uryu asked.

"How do you know that?" Rukia asked.

"I sensed two Shinigami reiatsu signatures back at campus and since you're in normal clothes, I deduce that you've lost your powers because you gave them to Ichigo," Uryu explained.

"Well, I didn't," Rukia said, "Who are you?"

"I'm a Quincy and I'm gonna prove something right now," Uryu said.

Uryu pulled out a small pill shaped device.

"Oh, no," Rukia said, eyes widened in shock, "don't do it!"

Uryu ignored her and crushed the pill.

"What did you do?" Ichigo asked.

"I've summoned several Hollows to our location," Uryu said.

Ichigo eyes widened with shock as he heard several Hollows roaring. He looked around, seeing none of them in sight.

"Son of a –" Ichigo said as he drew his Zanpakutou.

"Uh, uh, uh," Uryu said as he drew his bow, "attacking me won't solve anything. They are already here,"

Several Garganta opened up in the sky. People in the town saw them and panicked. Back at the Karakura College campus, students panicked.

"Why have you done this?" Rukia asked exasperatedly.

"I'm issuing a challenge to prove which is the better Hollow Slayer, Shinigami or Quincy," Uryu said. "Whoever kills the most is the winner,"

"This is no game, people will die," Ichigo said.

"Not if you kill them quickly enough," Uryu said, "though it will be difficult," he drew his bow, "to keep up with a better opponent.

Hollows leaped out of the Garganta.

"Rukia, get to safety!" Ichigo yelled.

"Where?" Rukia asked.

Ichigo looked around as the Hollows crashed on roofs, cars and all over the town.

"Get on my back," Ichigo said.

Rukia climbed on Ichigo's back and wrapped her arms around his neck.

"I'm gonna kill you for this, Uryu," Ichigo said as he charged at a Hollow that landed before him.

Uryu drew his bow and engaged the Hollows. Ichigo swung his Zanpakutou at a Hollow and another jumped him from the side. Ichigo blocked the attack and another Hollow smacked him backward. Ichigo quickly flipped over and fell face first to protect Rukia. Ichigo got up and ran as another Hollow swung its paw at him. Ichigo sliced a Hollow in the torso, blocked another Hollow's attack and Rukia was hit. Rukia fell off Ichigo's back and off the roof. Ichigo jumped after her, catching her in midair and landed on the ground. Ichigo looked around as Hollows amassed.

"How am I gonna kill them all?" Ichigo asked as he looked around.

Rukia didn't answer and she winced, holding her arm in pain.

"Let's try a different strategy," Ichigo said as he got to his feet, "Rukia, can you still use your arms?"

"Yeah," Rukia groaned, "I can try,"

Rukia got on Ichigo's back and he leaped back, dodging a Hollow's attack. Ichigo kicked the Hollow and it recoiled.

"Okay, Rukia, I'll try to mix things up a bit," Ichigo said and he blocked the Hollow attacking, "You'll hold the Zanpakutou when I give it to you and you'll give it back when I need it, got it?"

"Yeah, I guess,"

"Good"

Ichigo pushed the Hollow back, sliced it twice and kicked it back. Two Hollows charged at Ichigo from either side and Ichigo jumped back, letting them hit each other. Ichigo punched one Hollow and sliced the other. He gave Rukia his sword and gave the Hollow he punched a roundhouse. Another Hollow ran at Ichigo and he jumped onto the roof of a building behind him. Ichigo got the Zanpakutou from Rukia and jumped down, slicing a Hollow's face in half. Ichigo kicked a Hollow, sliced another, punched another one and jumped away from a swing. Ichigo ran up to a car, jumped on it and flipped behind a Hollow, slicing its back. A Hollow clawed Ichigo's arm and smacked him back. Ichigo fell face first again and struggled to get to his feet.

"Dammit,"

"Ichigo, are you alright?" Rukia asked

"Not really –"

A Hollow stepped on Ichigo's hand and he yelled in pain. Ichigo sliced the Hollow's arm and backtracked away from a Hollow that spat fire at him. Ichigo ran away.

"What are you doing?" Rukia asked.

"I have to find a less infested area," Ichigo said.

A metre away, a Hollow charged at a woman. Ichigo lunged at the Hollow and sliced its arm. Ichigo kicked the Hollow, leg swept it and sliced its torso.

"Oh, thank –" the woman said when the fire-spitting Hollow spat on her.

Ichigo ran to a car and broke its door off. The Hollow spat fire at him and he used the door as a shield, deterring the flames. Some flames landed on Ichigo's feet and he flipped away with the door still shielding him. Ichigo threw the Zanpakutou into the Hollow's skull and he smacked another Hollow with the car door. Ichigo ran up to the fire-spitting Hollow's corpse and dislodged the sword from its head. Ichigo smacked the door and the Zanpakutou together like a Viking as Hollows amassed.

"Woohoo!" Rukia cheered and Ichigo grinned.

Ichigo charged at the amassing Hollows.


ASHIDO AND TAKESHI battle the Hollows. Ashido swung his Zanpakutou twice and the Hollow blocked each strike. Ashido dodged two shots and teleported away from the third. Ashido appeared behind the Hollow and sliced its back. Takeshi swung twice at the Hollow and it blocked. He continued to swing at the same spot. The Hollow backtracked as Takeshi bombarding it on the same spot. The Hollow's arms started to bleed and Takeshi sliced one arm off. Ashido reached into his pocket and drew a small glowing grenade. He threw the grenade at the Hollow and it exploded with green flames, engulfing it. Takeshi sliced the Hollow across the torso and kicked it. The Hollow emerged from the fire and opened its mouth releasing a red beam from it. Ashido teleported out of the way and the beam hit a tree, knocking it over. Ashido appeared beside the Hollow and sliced its arm off as well as gashing its ribcage. The other Hollow fired the same beam at Ashido and he used the Hollow's corpse as a shield. The Hollow's corpse was incinerated, leaving nothing but its skull. Ashido looked at the Hollow skull he held and realized. The other Hollow fired a beam at Ashido and he easily deflected it with the skull. Takeshi ran up to the Hollow and stabbed it.

"I think I'll hang on to this skull here," Ashido said.

"Well, I'm not touching that thing," Takeshi

"Oh, you won't," Ashido said as he sheathed his Zanpakutou and the Hollow skull.

Ashido and Takeshi continued their journey.


CHAD SAT in his room, calmly reading a newspaper. Chad flipped a page when he heard a girl scream in the hallway. Chad quickly got up and left the room. Chad entered the Hallway and found Orihime running away from a Hollow. Chad entered another room which was left open as Orihime ran passed him. Chad pulled out a table and threw it at the Hollow's face. It recoiled and Chad caught up to Orihime. Chad and Orihime made a turn and a six-legged, spiky Hollow charged at them. Chad looked around and there was an open room in front of them.

"Orihime, get in!" Chad said and Orihime did.

Chad picked a fire extinguisher and sprayed the Hollow in the eyes. As it recoiled, Chad entered the class Orihime was in.

"What now?" Orihime asked.

"I don't know," Chad said, looking around.

The two Hollows collided and started fighting each other. The six-legged Hollow pushed the other back.

"What the hell?" Chad said.

The other Hollow pushed the six-legged Hollow through the wall of the room Orihime and Chad were in. Chad lifted Orihime and jumped out an open window as the Hollows continued fighting. Chad and Orihime fell several storeys toward the ground. Orihime's hairpins suddenly glowed and three points separated from it. The points flew before the two in a triangle formation. Chad and Orihime landed in the middle of the triangle and were suspended from the ground. Orihime opened her eyes and looked around, realizing what happened.

"Huh?" Orihime said.

Orihime tried to touch the ground and something blocked her; a force field. The points disappeared and returned to Orihime's hairpin, letting the two fall on the ground. Chad got to his feet and helped Orihime up.

"What was that?" Chad asked.

"I don't know," Orihime said.

"It came from your hairpin, I thought you'd know,"

"My hairpin?" Orihime held her hairpin, confused.

"Whatever it was, we need to get outta here,"

A Hollow fell in between the two, separating them. The Hollow charged at Chad and he started running.

"Orihime, go get help!" Chad said as he ran.

Orihime nodded and ran the other direction.

Chad ran and tried to jump into a room when the Hollow grabbed his legs and slammed him down. The Hollow tried to grab his torso and Chad blocked it with his right arm. The Hollow clawed into his arm, but it failed to break skin. Chad pushed the Hollow back and the two power struggled. Chad got to his feet and pushed the Hollow back. The Hollow charged at Chad and he punched it with his right arm, knocking it back. Chad looked at his right arm in shock as his fingers started turning black from the tips. The Hollow began charging again.

"Let's try this!" Chad said.

Chad punched the Hollow with his left and his fist bruised. Chad screamed in pain and the Hollow smacked him away. Chad got to his feet and looked at his left hand. It was bleeding. He looked at his right and his entire hand was now black. Chad clenched his fist and he dodged a swing from the Hollow. Chad punched the Hollow in the gut with his right arm and backhanded it with the same hand. The Hollow tried to charge at him when the six-legged Hollow came and tackled it from behind. The two Hollows began fighting and the Hollow smacked the six-legged Hollow away. Chad ran up to the Hollow and the six-legged Hollow pushed him aside and bit the Hollow's shoulder. The Hollow writhed and the six-legged Hollow stabbed it in the gut with his paw. The six-legged Hollow ripped off the Hollow's shoulder with its mouth and let its corpse drop. The six-legged Hollow turned to Chad with blood dripping from its mouth. The six-legged Hollow stood on its hind legs slowly, doubling its height. The Hollow roared furiously and Chad shivered with fear. Policemen arrived in a squad car, emerged from it and fired at the six-legged Hollow. It was unfazed, but was agitated and it ran to the policemen.

"Bring the big guns!"a policeman said.


A SWAT officer ran in, got on one knee and fired an RPG at the Hollow, sending it hurling through the air and into a building. Another Hollow arrived, toppling the squad car at the policemen. The policemen ran out of the way and fired at the Hollow. Chad took the chance to run away.


ORIHIME RAN down the corridors outside a building. A Hollow nearby was attacking girls. It grabbed one, threw it passed Orihime, and through the wall of the building she was running along. Orihime tried to run the opposite direction and a girl with a hole in her gut limped before her.

"Get he-" the girl said when she fainted.

The Hollow bit some flesh off the girl and her corpse's skin began to quickly rot. Orihime screamed, but shivered in place. A point of her hairpin broke off and flew toward the Hollow. It transformed into the shape of a spade and flew into the Hollow. The Hollow writhed and Orihime looked at it in shock. The spade flew out of the Hollow and stabbed it in the arm. Orihime took off a hairpin and saw that one of the points was missing.

"Whoa, Chad was right; it did come from my hairpin," Orihime said.

The Hollow smacked the spade and it transformed back into the hairpin point, rejoining the hairpin. The Hollow tried to attack Orihime when its arm fell off. Orihime ran away.


CHAD RAN down the campus courtyard when a Hollow smacked him. Chad did not fall and he punched the Hollow with his right hand and the six-legged Hollow, now five legged and charred, clawed his left arm. The five-legged Hollow lifted the Hollow by the neck, crushed it and ate its head whole. Chad watched in horror as the five-legged Hollow chewed the Hollows head in its mouth and dropped its carcass. The five-legged Hollow charged at Chad and he couldn't react in time. Urahara entered the area, tapped his cane on the ground and a red barrier appeared before Chad, protecting him from the Hollows attack. Chad turned to Urahara.

"M-Mr. Kisuke, what are you doing here?" Chad asked.

Urahara frowned and the Hollow began to contort and it puked out blood till it fell and died.

"Get up, Chad," Urahara instructed.

Chad got to his feet. Orihime ran from a Hollow close by. Urahara turned to it and it puked blood and died as well. Chad walked up to Urahara.

"Mr. Kisuke –" Chad said when Urahara interrupted.

"Chad, I have something I want to talk to you and Orihime about," Urahara said.

The barrier dissipated.


ICHIGO KICKED a Hollow and smacked its head with the now battered car door, which broke into pieces. Ichigo dropped the door and held the Zanpakutou with both hands. Ichigo panted heavily. His kimono was dusty, the top was torn up, his arms were blooded and his face was sweaty and bruised.

"Damn, Uryu," Ichigo said, nearly wheezing.

"Are you gonna manage, Ichigo?" Rukia asked.

"I dunno, I'd look for a place to hide, but there isn't one," Ichigo answered.

A Hollow ran up to Ichigo when a rocket knocked it far back. Ichigo turned and a group of SWAT officers ran into the area.

"Move away, civilian," a SWAT officer said.

The Hollow got up and the SWAT officer fired another rocket at it, killing it.

"Phew, thank God for the police," Ichigo said.

Ichigo climbed on the side of a building, struggled, and then managed to get on the roof. He looked around and police and SWAT teams amassed.

"Well, that makes things easier," Ichigo said.

A helicopter flew over Ichigo, firing at Hollows on rooftops.

"What do you think; can we go back to the campus? The cops seem to have everything handled," Ichigo asked.

"Maybe, I wouldn't mind resting a little bit," Rukia said.

"Well, I'm off then"

A Hollow jumped from the roof of the building and crashed into the helicopter, though the explosion it as well. Pieces of the helicopter fell toward Ichigo and he jumped off the building. Before he could land, a Hollow smacked him through the window of a store. Ichigo crashed onto a shelf and Rukia landed on the floor. Rukia screamed in pain as shards of glass entered her arms. Ichigo coughed blood and wheezed on the ground. Ichigo coughed and grovelled in pain. The two groaned in pain, defenceless and the Hollow ran toward the store. A SWAT car bashed the Hollow and SWAT officers emerged from it. A SWAT officer entered the store and saw Ichigo and Rukia.

"Medic!" the SWAT officer shouted.

A Paramedics team entered the shop and began to administer First Aid to Rukia and Ichigo. The earth suddenly shook.

"What the hell?" the SWAT officer said.

The earth stopped shaking and everyone looked around, confused.

"George, get a look at this," a SWAT officer called from outside.

George got out of the store and a SWAT officer pointed at the sky.

"Oh my God," George said in shock.

"Bring in the Air Force," the SWAT officer said into his comm. unit.

A giant Garganta opened in the sky and all the Hollows stood still, looking at it. The police took advantage and killed the now immobile targets. A gigantic, 200 foot tall Hollow emerged from the Garganta and roared in a huge, mellow roar that sounded more like a moan. Its skull had a long nose, its skin was black, leathery, and its limbs blended with its skin, looking invisible. It was a Menos Grande. The Hollows ran up to the giant Hollow and ran clung onto its skin. The Hollows continued amassing around the Menos, covering its skin like ants.

The white of Ichigo's eyes suddenly turned black and his once brown pupils turned yellow. Ichigo sat up and unsheathed his Zanpakutou, walking toward the store's window like a zombie.

"Sir, don't move, you need treatment," the Paramedic woman said.

Ichigo continued walking and exited the store.

"Sir, please," another Paramedic woman said.

Ichigo jumped onto a building's roof and jumped from roof to roof toward the Menos Grande. A jet arrived and bombarded the Menos with bullets, killing the Hollows on the Menos' skin. The jet fired a missile and the Menos began to topple slightly. Ichigo growled in an animalistic way and jumped onto the Menos' skin. Ichigo ploughed through Hollows with his Zanpakutou and ran up to the Menos Grande's skull. Ichigo jumped back as a missile hit the Menos' skull. Ichigo swung the Zanpakutou downward and blue energy shot out of the blade in a curve, moving toward the Menos. The energy shot grew larger and it hit the Menos, knocking it off its feet.

Pilots in the jet looked at this in shock.

"What the hell was that blast?" the pilot asked.

"I have no idea, man," the co-pilot said.

The Menos fell back into the Garganta and it shut. Ichigo landed on a building and looked around at police forces fighting Hollows. Ichigo roared at the sky like a Hollow.

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