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Stand in Heaven
...where even God himself has never been...
[Compile] Orihime, Byakuya, Hollows 
8th-May-2007 01:45 am
Kanzeon Bosatsu
There was a splash and a thud as Orihime lost her grip on the dishes she had been washing. The plate floated the rest of the way down into the soapy water, forgotten, as the redhead felt chilling recognition tingle the hairs on the back of her neck.


The feeling was unmistakable; she had long been used to sensing when one was nearby. But this felt like it was stronger, and it reminded her too much of all those times lately that she knew something had happened, but she just never got there fast enough.

Not this time, she told herself, scrambling out of the tiny kitchen to the front door of her apartment. Suddenly she had difficulty standing, and clutched the door handle for support as she felt the sudden weight of crushing reiatsu around the city.

She needed to find her friends, and quickly! Regaining her composure, she threw on her shoes and ran out the front door, forgetting to shut it behind her in her worry. It wasn’t just Hollows, she could tell. It was bigger, more dangerous, it—

Orihime barely whirled around in time as she felt the presence of something behind her, and a Hollow’s tail swept through the stairs leading up to her apartment. Crashing to the ground in a roll as the stairs crumbled, she let out a yelp and came to a defensive crouch. Her hands reached instinctively to her barrettes, and she took in her attacker, a lizard-like creature with a horned mask of sorts.

But that wasn’t the only one, was it? Knowing she had felt more than the presence of just this one Hollow, her eyes flitted around quickly, not daring to take her eyes off her current attacker for more than a second. That was when she saw more approaching, in a way that reminded her eerily of the day that Ishida-kun had challenged Kurosaki-kun. What had happened this time, to bring so many??

A brief tapping sound permeated the air, though no normal mortal ears could hear it. Two shoji screen doors materialized from thin air before sliding open. A black Hellmoth flittered through, closely followed by a regal looking man in black and white robes.

Without looking back as the portal to Soul Society closed, Kuchiki Byakuya took a few seconds to orient himself. He was in an unfamiliar part of Karakura town, one presently besieged by an abnormally large amount of Hollows.

He had been roused from his office in the 6th Division headquarters (though it was late at night in Seireitei, he hadn't even been close to going to sleep yet) to investigate this matter immediately. And though he could feel a more powerful presence in the distance, he could also sense a human in immediate danger.

Deciding to cleanse this area first before moving on (a shinigami’s duty was to protect the humans after all), he flash stepped towards the mortal in danger, only to discover that it was a familiar looking young woman with orange hair and strange powers.

A mass of Hollows hesitated at the corner of the street. Their tasty mortal snack (the one with long orange hair) was looking more dangerous than they had anticipated -- and a shinigami of high reiatsu-level had just joined her.

The big lizard Hollow, however, knew no fear. (Possibly because he was not the most intelligent of Hollows, but these things do happen.) With a howling squeal, he rose up on his hind legs, jaws sagging open to display huge jagged teeth, and prepared to charge, trample, rip, mutilate, and chew.

[OOC: Providing Hollows in this thread due to a shortage of villains. Hope you don't mind!]

Orihime’s eyes widened and she scrambled to her feet, taking the moment the Hollow reared up as her chance to move. She wasn’t going to be able to catch up with her friends easily with this many of them around. And a small part of her worried if she’d even make it to them – she had her powers, but they weren’t as strong as Kurosaki-kun, Ishida-kun, or Sado-kun – and whatever she sensed out in the distance was even stronger than the approaching Hollows she faced now.

She began to run to the side even as she called out the words to her attack. She’d try to hit it before it came after her, but she also had to keep moving if she wanted to even make it down this street before she was attacked again.

“Koten Zanshun, I reject!”

She aimed Tsubaki with as much determination as she could muster, even as it charged towards her, remembering that such was what it took to deliver a cutting blow. Caught up in her own fight with the creature, she hardly noticed the arrival of the captain Shinigami.

Byakuya stoically watched as the human girl ran from the Hollow, her complete attention on that single creature instead of her surroundings as well. He didn’t blame her for the folly; she wasn’t trained in the ways of combat after all, but it could be a fatal mistake. Other Hollows could attack her from another direction and put her in a worse situation. It seemed he had arrived just in time.

Leaving the lizard like Hollow to the girl; Inuoe was her name if he recalled correctly; Byakuya raised his right forefinger at a group of lined up Hollows. Undoubtedly they were waiting for the right time to attack her as well, probably when her back was fully turned to them.

“Hadou No. 4, Byakurai.”

Immediately a bolt of lightning jumped from his pointing finger, the electricity unerringly racing towards the vile monsters.

Tsubaki sliced through the air, direct as a laser, and cut directly through the Hollow's mask as it charged at Orihime. The mask fell apart, shattering to powder, and the Hollow crumpled to its knees with a slow groan, then crumbled to dust itself.

The other Hollows were already beginning to recoil as Byakuya pointed at them, but too little, too late. The lightning outraced their attempts to flee, and scythed through them, bringing them down and frying them.

A brief silence settled over the street. In the distance, the reiatsu bursts of approaching Hollows could be felt, and their cries were audible, but for the moment Orihime and Byakuya had cleared the area.

If she weren’t in such a hurry, and the situation weren’t as dire as it was, Orihime might have cheered for the victory over the Hollow. As it dissolved, she let out a sigh of relief, cut short at the realization that there was suddenly a Shinigami here, and that he had disposed of the other Hollows on the street. Ones that she didn’t even realize were there just a moment ago. Or him, for that matter.

She halted, not one to run off without giving thanks to her rescuer, and blinking in surprise at who it was. Wasn’t that… “Kuchiki…Taichou?” It certainly wasn’t who she expected, but somehow she just knew that the guy was more caring than he seemed on the outside! How come boys always had to look so serious just to hide that they were actually quite helpful and nice? Turning, she gave a sincere bow. “Wah, thank you so much for your help!”

The roars in the distance diminished her cheer a little, and she glanced off in the direction that most of the reiatsu was coming from. “What on earth is going on…?” she questioned quietly, worry seeping back into her voice as she gave her crushed staircase a glance of sympathy.

That Soul Society sent their captains out to help suddenly gave her an instant indication that it was more than just a Hollow invasion. They were the strongest ones! But… hopefully that meant that they were also helping in other parts of the city.

[Previous Thread]
8th-May-2007 06:30 pm (UTC) - [Byakuya] I prefer dinner parties actually.
Byakuya merely nodded once in acknowledgement of her thanks. During this entire time he hadn't stopped scanning the area for more dark reiatsu, knowing that there were more Hollows out there than they could visually detect. It was only a matter of time before they encountered their enemies soon.

“I do not know the purpose of this invasion,” Byakuya spoke in answer to her question, “but I do know that it is a dangerous place for you to be in. It would be best if you returned home and let me handle this situation.”

As a shinigami he had a duty to protect the humans, even spiritually gifted ones. He also did not want their interference while he did his job, well meaning as they were. Byakuya was a Captain after all, and though his foes were numerous they couldn’t possibly be a match for him.
9th-May-2007 12:21 am (UTC) - [Hollows] Food! Yum!
The Hollows were beginning to mass at the ends of the street, ebbing and flowing as they waited for one of them to get up the courage to charge, and meanwhile all tried to stand behind each other.

"You ought to listen to the nice shinigami captain, missy," a tall creature with a widely fanged mouth hissed. "We'll take him first and rip him limb from limb and gnaw the flesh from his bones, and then we'll come for you and you'll die screaming . . . but at least you'll live a few minutes longer. Mmm. Shinigami taste good."

"She's just a human," another hisses behind it. "Nothing she can do. Useless little creature. Worthless. Trash."
14th-May-2007 11:41 pm (UTC) - [Orihime] Oh no, but you guys just ruined my party dress! ;o; Who's buying a new one?
“Oi, Woman!” A gruff voice perked up from around Orihime’s head and she jumped as her thoughts were interrupted by a yank of her hair. Tsubaki hovered nearby, crossing his arms and looking severely impatient. “Don’t just stand there, get moving! You didn’t call me out to chit-chat!”

The girl nodded once, then turned her attention back to the Captain. “I’m sorry, Kuchiki-Taichou, but I can’t do that. I’ve got to catch up with Kurosaki-kun and—”

She whirled around as soon as she realized that they were nearly trapped on the street again. Orihime scolded herself for her inattentiveness, but more than that, the words of the Hollows stung. She bit her tongue to keep from falling for their goading.

All this time, even though it had only been moments, she should have spent advancing and getting closer to helping her friends. But the real question was will that make a difference? First, she had to get past this street. Brows furrowing in determination, she took a step forward and prepared to launch Tsubaki once more.

“I… I don’t have time to hear that from you!” she cried, fists tightening at her sides as she tried not to let her fear show. She may be determined, but she would be lying to say the sheer number of Hollows at the end of the street didn’t scare her just a little. “I reject!!”

She had to at least try, and she had to at least let Kurosaki-kun know that he wasn’t fighting alone.
16th-May-2007 03:34 am (UTC) - [Byakuya] ... He will. *points*
His lips thinned into a straight line as he stared down at the mortal girl. She was obviously over her head in this situation, even if her powers were unique. Did she really plan on fighting all these Hollows as well? Her courage was commendable but her logic on the situation was anything but.

However, Byakuya had recently been reminded of the valor in fighting against the odds if something was worth protecting. The Kurosaki boy had shown him that, and she seemed quite determined. And in any case, she would not be fighting alone.

“Very well, woman,” he said as he stepped forward, Orihime already having taken the first shot at the latest batch of foes. “Fight as you wish, but do not expect me to watch out for you excessively.”

Leaving Senbonzakura sheathed for now (he wouldn’t foul his zanpakutou’s blade with such low level Hollow blood), he raised both hands and made a cupping motion with them.

“Hadou No. 31: Shakkahou.”

A ball of red energy formed between his hands before shooting towards the largest congregation of Hollows.
16th-May-2007 11:22 pm (UTC) - [Hollows] Owie. You are howwible howwible meanies.
The Hollows couldn't live up to their threats. On one side, Tsubaki scythed through them, reducing them to dust; on the other side, Byakuya's blast crackled from Hollow to Hollow in blossoms of fire, scorching them away and purifying them.

But they didn't stop. There were more of them, and now some were crawling over the roofs of the nearby houses, maneuvering to take the Shinigami captain and the human girl from an unexpected angle. Long tentacles flexed as one of the creatures prepared to jump down.

There were far too many Hollows for comfort. If someone had let them in, then he hadn't bothered to close the door behind them or take any sort of precaution.

(Is that a spreading darkness in the sky?)
17th-May-2007 03:03 am (UTC) - [Orihime] You started it! :'(
Orihime knew what the Shinigami thought of her and the other Ryoka. But she never really let it get to her, not unless it was staring her in the face like in the current situation. And in Byakuya’s case, she saw concern beyond the stiff answer of indifference he gave her.

So she was grateful, and it only increased her desire to prove that she didn’t need help anyway. Even if it had been nice when Ishida-kun had saved her in Soul Society, to be able to stand and fight with her own abilities was a desire she shared the same as any of her friends.

“Thank you!” she called back with perhaps more cheer than the situation deemed necessary, but she wanted to reassure him. “I’ll be ok, besides I don’t think my apartment is in any condition to be returned to!” It was force of habit for her to make a small joke. That they were surrounded made it all the more necessary for her to find something to lighten the mood.

Relief washed over her as the two attacks took out the Hollows without much trouble. Soul Society’s magic was amazing! But the thought was short lived. Her dash forward aborted once again as more took the place of those she just killed.

Orihime’s breath caught in her throat and she spun around on her heel. Darn it, there was just no way through this way! How many were there?! She moved to double back, but her steps halted in dread when both ends of the street were blocked. They were closing in on them. The ones on the roof didn’t escape her attention either, nor did the shouts of the Hibiscus spirit at not being used effectively.

But more than anything, she found herself staring at the strange condition of the sky, wondering just what could possibly be next.
22nd-May-2007 12:40 am (UTC) - [Byakuya] Then let us finish it
This situation was both strange and ominous. The unnatural darkening of the sky did not go unnoticed by Byakuya as he disposed of a few nearby Hollows. What was going on? This certainly went beyond the norm of Hollow activity. Even the gateway to Hueco Mundo was acting bizarrely, the portal seemingly open for longer than usual. The only reasonable basis for all of this was Aizen.

But just what was his aim in doing this? Was he trying to draw shinigami out to the real world in order to attack Soul Society?

Byakuya hoped his sister was all right, but he didn’t have the time to contact Soul Society to inform them of his suspicions. The Captain could only believe that the remaining shinigami could defend their home while he was gone. And he hoped that the 12th Division was keeping an eye on the situation on Earth; some insight into this odd night would be appreciated.

Dodging several tentacles groping at him, he finally drew Senbonzakura and struck out quickly to sever the offending appendages of a Hollow. It was getting too crowded with enemies in here; it was only a matter of time before they were overrun.

“Inuoe-san, I suggest we leave this place,” he said calmly as he kept an eye on his current opponent. “This location is not beneficial for us. I will create an opening, and when I do, run for the streets.”
22nd-May-2007 11:54 am (UTC) - [Hollows] Nobody loves me, everybody hates me, think I'll go and eat souls
The Hollow that had been facing Byakuya drew back with a cry of pain as it lost several tentacles. Others hesitated, unwilling to take its place in the front line and be the first to have to confront the Captain.

The ones on the roof realised that they were about to lose their prey. Some of them prepared to jump: others threw themselves up into the sky, floating on membraneous wings like ominous clouds.

And some began to stream towards the growing darkness above, moving together and coalescing.

Half a dozen came leaping down on Byakuya and Orihime, mantis-like claws working and scything, fanged mouths opening and drooling.
27th-Jun-2007 03:37 pm (UTC) - Re: [Hollows] Nobody loves me, everybody hates me, think I'll go and eat souls
Though she had remained fairly calm considering the situation thus far, the longer Orihime stood in the street the more uncertain she began to feel. And so at last, Byakuya’s advice was met with no protest, only a nod.

As much faith as she had in him creating an opening in time, however, Orihime was not stupid enough to not to cast a shield as the Hollows cascaded down upon them.

“Santen Kesshun, I reject!” Hinagiku, Baigon, and Lily zipped into formation to form a glistening triangle shield. It hovered above both Byakuya and its caster, and Orihime found it difficult to block the blows of so many Hollows at once.

“What the hell is that thing?” Tsubaki shouted, his attention taken up by the larger threat, above.

Orihime began to feel a knot of fear work at her insides, but she didn’t take dare glance away from her shield. “I can’t…” Wince. “…look right now!” As soon as Byakuya made his distraction, though…
27th-Jun-2007 03:39 pm (UTC) - [OOC:]
((I am SO sorry this took so long. x_x I think my muse/drive kinda... died a few weeks ago. I didn't mean to inconvenience you guys.))
2nd-Jul-2007 01:32 am (UTC) - Re: [OOC:]
[OOC: No worries! ^^]
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