Gin began the careful process of
stealing through Twelfth Division.
He expected Grimmjow's diversion elsewhere in Seireitai, and Di Roy's activities in Karakura, should attract a lot of shinigami attention. Still, this was the area of Kurotsuchi Mayuri's power. No doubt there were cameras focusing on him at this very moment.
Then again, if he was lucky, Kurotsuchi might decide to "lure him further in" to trap him, so that he wouldn't have the rest of Seireitai asking to share. That'd be convenient. Because Gin sure as hell didn't intend to give Kurotsuchi the chance to use any of his little poisons on him. Oh no.
Now, where was that little Arrancar? Between a combination of going to wherever was most heavily guarded, and where Kurotsuchi's favourite labs were, and then sniffing for Arrancar reiatsu, Gin hoped to be able to track him down fairly fast . . .
It had been over a week since Hisagi's last dizzy spell. He had been thinking that maybe they were gone for good, but almost as soon as he'd had that thought, he'd found himself leaning against a wall for support. And he'd been having such a good day up until then. He'd been keeping busy but not running himself ragged, and had had a good sparring match against his division's third seat early that morning. Then he had set out on his usual route from division to division, delivering reports and so on.
What could have triggered it? He had left the Thirteenth, in something of a hurry to get away from Ukitake-taichou's overly solicitous inquiries into how he was doing, and his head had already been spinning and he'd had that light-headed, almost numb feeling that he'd slowly learned was a precursor to one mother of a dizzy spell.
Whatever had caused it, it didn't change the fact that he was leaning against a wall somewhere between the Eleventh and the Twelfth and counting down the seconds until his head cleared and the sharp tingling down his arm and leg finally peaked and faded away.
Mayuri was busy with something too important to be interrupted. He always was, really, which meant that he should NEVER be interrupted. So when alarms started going off and someone had the audacity to try to bother him with the details, he sharply announced over the (one-way) communication mechanisms he'd implanted in all of his subordinate's ears that they were to go take care of it themselves.
Presumably, Nemu was around somewhere. If the problem got out of hand, she should be able to take care of the matter. That was what he had created her for, after all.
Because whatever was going on, it wasn't another Arrancar intrusion. Aizen wouldn't be that stupid, pulling the same trick twice, especially after Mayuri had had sufficient time to study one of his precious soldiers. Already, the Captain's subordinates had been provided with preliminary versions of tools to counter ceros and vials of acid effective at wearing away that unusually thick skin. They were prepared for that eventuality, and had orders to capture any such intruder alive, but it wasn't going to happen. Especially not with him there this time. No one would dare attack the Twelfth Division with Captain Kurotsuchi present. That was suicide. That was inconceivable.
That was secretly what Mayuri was hoping for. Another Arrancar specimen would be convenient - his current one was almost used up. It would also validate the extra caution he'd been using. He'd backed up all new data in three different places, had set more traps and barriers between the main division and his laboratories, had coated the planes of more of his labs with reiatsu-dampening material so as to be harder to locate and reach. The drawback, if it could be called that, of the last extension of his defenses was that he couldn’t as easily sense the reiatsus of the others in the division, but why would he want to?
The bottom line was this: Mayuri was busy. Even a few of his subordinates dying, as seemed to be happening, wasn’t worth leaving his work for at the moment. Anyone who let their research or data get destroyed during this inconvenience faced that fate anyway. Most of them knew that, and the rest...well, they'd find out, should they be stupid enough to put their lives before their work.
Captain Kurotsuchi kept working.
[OOC: mention of Gin killing a couple peoples was approved by the Gin player]
Yumichika stretched, leaning back then rubbing at his sore eyes. He'd spent the last few hours toiling over yet more paperwork (there was even more than usual now that they had teamed up with the 8th on some of their patrols - that Division seemed to be rife with it, in Yumichika's personal opinion), and now it was finally finished.
He chanced a quick glance out the door, his spirits falling as he realized how late it was already. That meant he needed to take these out now...and not take a break to rejuvenate first.
Sighing dramatically and absently wondering where Ikkaku and fukutaichou could be, Yumichika got to his feet and began making his oh so graceful way out of their grounds....
And paused at the door. Something wasn't right. There was a barest tingling on the edge of his senses - a strange yet familiar reiatsu. He felt his senses pulled toward the 12th Division.
There was a dark figure leaning against a wall, half-hidden in shadow. Not wanting to take any chances, Yumichika slipped into shadow himself and edged closer. It wasn't until he was almost right on top of the perpetrator that he realized who it was.
"Ah, Hisagi-fukutaichou!" he exclaimed in greeting, his voice low in accord with his still-present feeling of foreboding and the evening hush. "What are you doing out here, hm?"
He hadn't really encountered the vice-captain since their battle after Aizen's betrayal. From what he could tell, Hisagi hadn't said anything about Yumichika's...peculiar shikai abili, but there was no way to really tell.
Gin pursed his lips in a silent whistle as he shook the latest blood off his zanpakutou. Well, well. Either Kurotsuchi-taichou was being unusually lurkish and stealthy in his approach to luring Gin into a trap, or he was engaged in such significant research that he couldn't be distracted from it.
Which would certainly make it easier to sink a blade into his back . . .
Gin was fairly sure he was getting closer to the Inner Sanctum of Disturbing Science. The equipment was better quality. Perhaps he should pause to question somebody.
Or perhaps . . . his nose twitched. He had caught a faint whiff of Arrancar reiatsu.
Perhaps he'd just follow his nose. Further in and further in.
The problems happening not far behind the wall Hisagi was leaning against were not perceivable by those outside--yet. In any case, Hisagi's attention had just been roundly diverted by the approach of someone he was not entirely happy to see.
He forced himself to stand up straight, even though he was still feeling slightly wobbly.
"Ayasegawa." Hisagi's voice was so frosty it could have given Hyourinmaru a run for its money. "I'm not looking for a re-match if that's what you were wondering. I'm out running errands, and I ought to be getting back to them."
He offered a curt nod, and stepped away from the wall. Unfortunately, instead of stalking off, he stumbled, nearly falling right into Yumichika.
Mayuri wondered irritably what was taking so long. The intruder should have been neutralized by now, but instead, his subordinates were actually fleeing. Well, that or dying. In any case, nothing had been accomplished during the last few times he'd looked up from his work. What was wrong with them? Grumbling, he opened up two-way communication with Akon.
"What is going on up there? Why are you worthless bags of particles running away? Do you want a repeat of last time someone infiltrated the institute?" Captain Kurotsuchi had punished Nemu most severely, of course, but that hadn't meant the rest of the division had come away from the catastrophe unpunished.
"Well, see, the logic here is that if we all die, no one's going to be left to continue our research or capture any Arrancar that follow. Besides, Ichimaru hasn't really destroyed any- "
"Yeah, that's who the intruder is. I would have thought you'd at least-"
"I'M BUSY! And I would have thought my entire division could have at least taken care of one intruder, even if it IS a former captain!" Mayuri hissed curses under his breath. He should have realized Aizen would do this to him. And his subordinates were (unbelievably) right - if the intruder wasn't an Arrancar, it wasn't worth dying for. Someone else could do that.
“Fine. Continue evacuating the building then, and see if anyone else is around who feels like risking their necks. Just don’t send out a signal for help yet. We don’t need those brainless dogs from the Eleventh laughing at us unless it’s absolutely necessary.”
Mayuri had a sickening feeling this was exactly the reaction Aizen had planned upon, but there was nothing to be done about it. He was not going to tolerate Kenpachi hounding him about being too much of a coward to defend his own division (for the possibility that he’d understand the value of continuing important research would be lost on the animal), and besides, Nemu was supposed to arrive soon. She’d better.
Cutting off communication before Akon could respond, he turned back to his work. Where had he left off? Ah, yes…
Mayuri continued his experiment, waiting impatiently for the situation to improve. In the meantime, there were plenty of traps and barriers between what remained of the Arrancar test subject – which must be what the bloody traitor was after – and Ichimaru. They might not arrest his progress altogether, but they’d slow him down. And time was, really, all Mayuri required at the moment. Once his research was done, there would be nothing to take his attention away from quashing the treacherous insect.
[OOC: I used Akon here because it's close to the end of the game, he was never played, and I was sick of using the word 'subordinate' so many times. If this is an issue, let me know. Also, many apologies for being slow.]
Yumichika's eyebrows shot straight up at Hisagi's cold greeting. He could not respond right away, however, as Hisagi chose that moment to stagger into his arms. The 5th seat could not help the slight coloration of his cheeks at the unexpected accident - Hisagi was, after all, one of the more aesthetically-appealing of the shinigami employed in the Gotei 13, and Yumichika did appreciate beauty.
It did not last long, though. "Yare, yare," Yumichika chided in a maddeningly superior tone as he stood Hisagi up and brushed him off before gesturing for him to lean against the wall once more. "Looks like you're in a bit of a hurry when you should be taking it easy, Hisagi-fukutaichou. And you needn't worry about a rematch - I rather think our last encounter was quite decisive, don't you?" He gave the vice-captain a smug smile.
As he spoke, he kept his senses firmly trained on what was going on behind that wall. He didn't know anything specific or feel any reiatsu strong enough to warrant any sort of suspicions - it could just be whatever Mayuri-taichou was experimenting on - that Arrancar, most likely. An involuntary shudder ran down his spine.
If it was that, Yumichika certainly wanted no part in it.
Gin felt a certain degree of annoyance at how this operation was proceeding.
It was all simply taking too long. Kurotsuchi Mayuri's traps were intricate and took a certain amount of care to bypass. Kurotsuchi Nemu had proved a hindrance and put up a surprising fight. He'd left her for dead, but if he had the time afterwards, he intended to haul her back to Aizen for a few experiments. That'd teach her better manners.
And as for this latest barrier that the little scientist with horns had activated before fleeing like a bunny -- a fluffy, pain-feeling, soon-to-be-sliced-apart-and-flayed bunny . . .
Gin let his reiatsu rise, and cut through the shimmering field in a single motion. It was possible that someone further out might perceive the flux of power, but he was growing short on time, and Grimmjow's little suicidal diversion wouldn't last forever.
And he could smell Kurotsuchi Mayuri now. Oh yes. Close, definitely close. This wouldn't take long.
[OOC: Permission given by Mayuri's player to auto Nemu having been injured.]
[OOC: Also, Gin's latest blast was loud enough to be noticed outside the walls of Twelfth. Hisagi and Yumichika, feel free to hear/perceive/sense it.]
Hisagi did not miss the fifth seat's smug smile. "It was only decisive because your damned shikai took me by surprise," he snapped. The idea of a rematch was beginning to sound appealing. Hisagi wondered what the vain shinigami would think of a sonic blast pitched to give him the kind of vertigo that would have him on his knees and puking his guts out in a most unlovely fashion.
"And speaking of your shikai," he said, stepping toward Ayasegawa, eyes narrowed, voice taut, "what the hell kind of after-effects is that thing supposed to have?" It would be lovely to have someone to blame for what had been happening to him. And maybe, part of him was hoping that Ayasegawa would say something along the lines of oh, just some residual weakness, but that goes away after a month or two, because an explanation--especially an explanation that included an expiration date--would be nice after all the crap he had been through.
"Ever since T... ever since the traitors left, I haven't been feeling right," he said, "and I have a feeling that you might know why." He was only inches away from the other shinigami, and was waiting for whatever explanation or excuse (or more likely, a flouncing denial of everything) Ayasegawa could offer.
Instead of excuses or flounces, however, what he got was a flare of reiatsu from the building next to them. A very familiar flare of reiatsu. Hisagi's eyes widened, and he met Ayasegawa's eyes as if to say did you feel that?
Mayuri frowned. It was getting harder and harder to concentrate on his work. Even the most insular walls wouldn't keep out the flares of reiatsu coming from Ichimaru as he inched his way closer to the bowels of the division. Well, the scientist hadn't expected the traps to completely shut out someone of that skill level...
Captain Kurotsuchi almost - almost - made a mistake when Nemu failed to stop the intruder; his hands shook with indignation and outrage that his daughter had failed him once again. Where had she learned such incompetent behavior? Not from him, that was certain. His efforts and building, training, and disciplining her were always scrupulous.
All of that effort, down the drain. It was a statement applicable both to Nemu and to his current project. Mayuri slammed his tools down and shoved his experiment in a nearby freezer. He was so close to finishing, but that damn traitor was also close, too close to things Mayuri would rather him not be able to access. If he waited until the past possible second, the equipment damage incurred by the confrontation would be devastating. It had to be him; all of his subordinates were either dead or gone by this point. Had Akon been able to find no one hanging around who'd make good fodder for this insidious weasel?
Everyone would pay dearly for this interruption. But first, Ichimaru had to be deflected. Mayuri slid open a wall and stalked down a corridor, heading for a certain room. If there was going to be a confrontation, it was going to be on his terms.
[OOC: As you know, Akon is out looking for people to throw to the dogs (or rather, fox). Hisagi and Yumi players may feel free to incorporate him if they wish]
Yumichika smirked as Hisagi snapped at him. It was so very easy to bait him. Maybe he ought to hang around him more often.
He was taken aback as the vice-captain advanced on him, asking his next question as if it were a challenge. He lifted his hands in a gesture that was a mix of seeking peace and 'back off.'
"My, someone's bitter," he said lightly, trying to casually put distance between him and the indignant Hisagi. "Now, I do not know of any after-effects; I don't generally have to stick around those few opponents I am forced to use it on...usually because they have been, ah...diminished." Diminished, as in the Hollow was usually shriveled and drained to the point of extinction - but Hisagi didn't need to know that part.
He was about to continue with a jibe to Hisagi's personal energies - after all, someone of his spiritual talent should recover quickly - but before he could, he was interrupted by the rise of an unmistakable and disturbingly familiar reiatsu. His eyes found Hisagi's, and he knew the vice-captain was thinking exactly the same thing as he.
Yumichika didn't even stop to consider that this was someone else's division and thus he should let sleeping dogs lie - the 5th seat was a man of action, and without a second thought, he took off into the 12th Squad grounds, fully expecting Hisagi to be a hair's breadth behind him.
[ooc: i'm not comfortable with manipulating akon, so hisagi-mun, feel free. ♥] [Previous Thread]