Chapter 1: Changes
. . . And just like that everything was different . .
Aratani stood there in the middle of her superior’s office , frozen , horrified , looking at the chaos that was displayed before her very eyes . The entire space was ransacked . Papers scattered all over the floor and desk , drawers left opened and looked as if they were thrown about ..what just happened here ? ..more importantly where was her superior Kisuke Urahara ?. After the shock she dropped to her knees , who would do such a thing ? surely it couldn’t of been himself that would do this why would he ..what was going on here ?. In that moment there was a presence behind her in the doorway , she slowly looks back to find the deputy department head and third seat .
" . . Kurotsuchi ” Aratani managed to get out in a whisper , looking a little surprised to see the very strange individual ” W-What is the meaning of this--what is going on ?” she asked , her tone starting to rise .
" Don’t raise your tone to me , ” he bluntly spoke ” You mean to tell that you didn’t know ?”
" Don’t know what ?” now she was scared , what was it that she didn’t know ?
He simply gave a tsk ” My my you are a bit slow aren’t you , Kisuke Urahara has been exiled .”
Aratani’s eyes widen ” E-Exiled ? . . but-but why ?!”
" Getting caught in the act of performing hollowfication experiments ”
-!!! ” No , that’s impossible--he wouldn’t do such a--there has to be a mistake !” she stammered ” Kisuke would never ! ”
" It seems your assumptions of him were wrong . Now that he is out of the way , I am in charge here . ”
Aratani was lost for words , course she was there the day that Urahara had him released from the maggot’s nest . The history between them she did not know about , and in the nine years that this man had served under Kisuke she never found out and probably never will . She would never forget the look on his face , that sinister grin that came across his face when Kisuke gave him a offer that he couldn’t refuse .
" If I were to pass way , you would have total control .."
That were Kisuke’s exact words to him that day . And since then for some reason Aratani had feared those exact words coming from his mouth . The idea of Mayuri Kurotsuchi having complete and utter power over the department of research and development , the department that Kisuke spent countless hours and days building with his very own hands and knowledge scared her . Nothing in his memory would exist anymore , Kurotsuchi would and will rip that away with his own bare hands . Course in a way it was only natural for him to do so , after all Kisuke Urahara was his mentor , always seemed to be one step ahead of him and Mayuri hated the fact and always strived to be better than him , make improvements where he could . To put it bluntly ..he couldn’t stand the man for what ever reason that she did not know .
" Aratani Takahashi ..”
Aratani snaps out of her trance and looks up
" I’m appointing you in my previous position . Refusal is out of the question and will not be excepted . We have a lot of work to get started , get up woman , start by cleaning this up and then report back to me .”
" . . . .Yes sir, . . as you wish ” she responds softly
" Hmph ” was his only reply to her response before quickly walking away .
Since it was a direct order , Aratani collected herself from off the floor and started cleaning up the mess. The whole time she couldn’t help but think about what the future will bring for the department , will her new superior bring it to a bigger glory or will he simply destroy Kisuke’s dream and bring it to ruins ? . She would just have to see that’s if she will survive his leadership . But one thing was for certain , even if the other staff in dues time forget she will not . She will never forget about Kisuke Urahara , the founder of this establishment . He was a generous and kind soul not only to her but to everyone who knew him and served under his time here in the soul society , she will never forget such a man like that .
" . . .Fare well , Captain Kisuke Urahara . .”
Being unable to really focus on the task at hand this job took Aratani a little while to complete . Knowing that Urahara was never returning really tore her apart , there was nothing romantic between them or anything of that nature , no . She just had such high respect for him and believed in what he wanted to accomplish . Knowing that Kurotsuchi knew that about her Aratani had to be careful about her thoughts and feelings or suffer his wrath , gods forbid if she dared to utter his name or express her feelings about their previous superior to that man . From here on out she had to be cautious and extremely careful . For nine years she had watched and worked beside him , knowing that he was more than exceptionally intelligent and skilled yet she was still learning about the man that now had total control . Mayuri never speaks of his past , nor does he leave hints or clues , but one thing she did pick up on was the fact that under all that paint was someone who is or can be very dangerous . From here on out she would have to do her best not to upset him or double cross him , after all he was a very intimidating man his presence leaks the fact even if his strange appearance really didn’t so much .
Once everything was cleaned out of the office space and was now completely empty , Aratani like she was instructed to do left to report back to him . He stood out from the other individuals so finding him was no problem even if this place was very large . Like she figured he was already starting his dictatorship , Mayuri was already barking orders and rushing others about in the process . When approaching she did it very slowly .
" . . Everything is ready for your use , what is my next task .”
Without batting a eye or even looking in her direction ” Good , now make use of your new position here . I expect regular reports from you on the hour and all data analyses and all other important paperwork at the end of each day . Failure to do so or delays will result in harsh punishment , now go .”
Aratani bows her head ” . . Yes sir , . .it shall be done .”
" Then why are you still standing there ?” he responded, coldly ” Get a move on ”
she quickly stood back up straight and left in a hurry . Watching him when he had this title for nine years couldn’t really be that hard ..could it ? . Picking up a clipboard as she entered the lab , she skimmed through the paperwork to see what needed to be done and had to be completed before this evening . She split up the staff into groups of two and gave them all each a task to work on , she also made it a point if they all work together and got it done the easier it would be on them and on herself . As the day passed on , like she was ordered to do , Aratani on the hour gave her report on the progress of each individual and how close they were to completion . And like every hour without looking at her he would just give a nod of the head and respond with ” Now get back to your post ” and without saying anything she would walk away .
As the day progressed , Aratani also was distracted about another topic . She was questioning the idea as to why he would grant her his previous title here in the department . Since the day that she had met him Aratani was always under the impression that he didn’t like her , let alone couldn’t stand the fact that most times that he had to work with her on projects . Surely someone else was more qualified for the title , why her ?. Made her wonder what was the true purpose of giving her such a thing , a title that held such high responsibilities and gave her some authority when it called for it . To be quite frank about it she didn’t trust him , not even a little bit , she wasn’t like Kisuke who trusted him full heartedly on anything or everything allowing him to do whatever he liked or saw fit . All together in her upmost honest opinion on the matter , Kisuke honestly had Kurotsuchi spoiled to having such power . Knowing all that and knowing he was power hungry he was going to use it to his full potential and ability , already starting that on day one .
Evening had at last finally come . One by one everyone started to leave the department slowly but surely until the only ones left was herself and the tyrant , Aratani collected up all reports and carefully started walking with it all piled up in her grasp trying so hard not to drop one single documentation . She sat them all on the desk before him and took a step back , knowing that he was now in charge she had to wait until he granted permission for her to leave . It was very silent for awhile before finally he just moved everything over , for the first time since early this morning golden orbs were staring into her one blue and one green ones .
" You’ve done well ”
" . . Thank you ” she replied with a slight nod of her head
" But rest assured you still have a lot to learn. Observing and watching me over the years isn’t going to be enough , I’m certain that you know that .”
gives another nod ” . . Yes sir ”
" That is why I was gracious enough to give you this position . Not only are you observant but you also pay attention to details , even small ones . Not everyone here in this department does so , that’s why I need someone like you to teach them . Let them learn from you , set a example , but don’t over rule me . .after all ” that sinister grin appears ” Urahara left me in charge , I am in command of the department of research and development , I intend to extend my authority to all of squad twelve and nothing is going to stand in my way .”
Aratani remained silent , but to give some kind of reply she gave a nod .
" Now that you know of my intentions , I want you to assist me on making that happen sooner or later . I am already aware of all the chattering that is surrounding the Seireitei about who will be selected to occupy the seat of Captain for squad twelve now that Urahara is gone , since you have proved yourself worthy enough to even work in my presence , I want you to assist me on accomplishing this next task . ”
" . . I already know refusal isn’t a option , ” she replied ” . . I will assist you on this task without question .”
A dark chuckle manages to escape as the grin returns ” . . .Good choice ”To Be Continued . . .