tozasemurcielago: (Default)
[personal profile] tozasemurcielago posting in [community profile] spira_rp
The Eremite plains were a vast expanse of scrub and sand, populated by beasts that were larger than their brethren in other locations, but still, for the most part, knew better than to attack something that felt like Ulquiorra. He travelled with his hands in his pockets, and his mask out, the half helm sitting on top of his head and the presence of the Hollow's chakra mingling with his own seemingly enough to ward off all but the most confident of monsters.

Or perhaps it was Ienzo-san that they avoided. Regardless, the effect was the same. Their journey on foot had been largely unmolested.

They'd made numerous journeys now, as a pair. Enough that their coupling could almost be described as comfortable. Ulquiorra wasn't companionable company by anyone's standards, or by any stretch, but he was at least content enough in Ienzo's presence.

More than content in Ienzo's presence. Ulquiorra hadn't expended any energy examining his thoughts on that matter. They were strange, illogical thoughts, and they rose unbidden at inopportune times. Ulquiorra did what he did with all illogical nonsense the world thought to present to him, and he dismissed it from his notice, and put it where he kept everything else that made him think ridiculous, illogical things, at the back of his mind, buried deep below the waves in his head, and proceeded to ignore its existence.

There was a faint green light in the far distance of his inner world, not enough to see by but enough to make out the outlines for the first time Ulquiorra could remember. He didn't spend any time pondering the meaning of that, either.

There was a Research Facility here in the Wildlands of Bancour, and that was their goal. He'd travelled as Ienzo-san's bodyguard to a number of locations, all of them of interest to a researcher such as himself. Alchemy was his skill, his class, but it wasn't his only concern. Ienzo-san would as happily study history as language as alchemy. He was doing well with Nabradian, his grasp of Old Rozarrian having come along far enough that he could converse in it, now, and the latter language served as a springboard for the former.

They'd come as close as they could to the Research Facility through a Garganta. The difficulty was that it was a poor mode of travel for a terrain one wasn't familiar with. Space was twisted where one travelled through them, and it was possible to come out high in the air, or under water, or deep in the heart of caves that never led to the surface if one didn't know exactly where to open the other end.

So they walked. Ulquiorra walked with his hands in his pockets and his eyes on the terrain. There was a tinge in the air, on the edge of his senses, a suggestion of something, but it was a sense that had grown no stronger or weaker as they moved. Ulquiorra had put it down to the background noise, as it were, of the locale. His sword hung at his left, and he kept Ienzo-san on his right. The air was dry, and warm, but not unbearable.

He turned his head when something new flickered in his senses, a chakra signature reaching his attention. It wasn't close, but it was there. The beasts thus far had ignored or avoided them, but that was no guarantee that every one of them would. He tracked it in his mental map of his senses, observing it for coming closer. For now, it didn't seem to be making a move. A chocobo eater, perhaps, or one of their more unpleasant cousins the earth eater. There was nothing here that Ulquiorra expected to present a problem for him if he was required to dispatch it.

Date: 2017-05-11 02:03 pm (UTC)
theschemer: Eye closed. (...I desire to know who I am.)
From: [personal profile] theschemer
Ienzo wasn't particularly fond of the region.

It wasn't quite sandy enough to be considered a desert, there was too much scrub, too many rocks, too high a chance of rain. It wasn't hot, as one might expect, but there was an oppressive lack of breeze that felt draining despite the almost agreeable temperature, at least to Ienzo.

It would, in his opinion, help if the region was mapped but that was too much to ask of the Bancouri government at the best of times, let alone now. Centra was populated, but the Wildlands weren't and as such, went ignored. The land was too dangerous to risk a flyover, the irregular Jagd preventing such an endeavour. On foot... the manpower needed would be phenomenal. The Wildlands certainly appeared on atlases, and maps, but the areas that comprised them were only vaguely labelled. Specific features were largely passed on by histories penned before the modern day or by word of mouth.

The research camp was one of these. Word said that it was in an area called the Eremite Plains, but that's all they knew, and it wasn't helpful without accurate maps depicting their span. The Plains could end up being much larger, or smaller, than the maps suggested, depending on the artist and their flare for the dramatic or conservative estimates.

Ienzo strongly thought that a research installation could do with being signposted, but that was apparently far too much to ask.

Date: 2017-05-11 05:01 pm (UTC)
theschemer: Pensive. (....Find it tough to be myself.)
From: [personal profile] theschemer
"Quite," he said, pausing to pull the well-folded document from his bag. "This region is marked, but the features are vague and imprecise. It's as if the mapmaker knew that the area existed, but didn't bother to research the relative measurements, let alone the topography."

It was frustrating. Without reliable map, it was hard to work out where one might construct a research station. The Eremite Plains were uneven, elevated in places, and with deep trenches in others. Without knowing exactly which parts were which, and how much of it was flatland, it was nearly impossible to guess where it may be.

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Date: 2017-05-17 04:55 pm (UTC)
theedgeofreason: Light: Sly. (With words beset in gold.)
From: [personal profile] theedgeofreason
Aizen felt it.

The sensation tugged at his perception suddenly, as though somebody had thrown open a window to let in the spray of falling rain.

He narrowed his eyes in the dim light of his study and stood. To feel the unmistakable reiatsu of a Hollow of that calibre so suddenly, and so close, could only mean that it had manifested itself close to the palace.

And then the wards fell away.

It was as if somebody had turned on a hose. Spray became a torrent and recognition flooded Aizen's mind as the chakra did his senses.

That could only be Murciélago.

There were few Hollows that felt so unfathomably dark, so heavy, or so oppressive and if that was what it was, it could only mean that something had happened to Ulquiorra. If that was it, there were few who would be able to remain standing in its presence, let alone take it down.

He pushed back his chair with a scrape of wood on wood and made for the hall, picking up his Zanpakuto on the way out.

Date: 2017-05-17 08:36 pm (UTC)
thesilentstorm: Sideways look (Thirty Six)
From: [personal profile] thesilentstorm
Lumi stiffened at the kitchen table, sitting up straighter in his chair.

He caught the scent before he felt it, but the difference in detection could only be measured in the seconds. He put a hand on Marluxia's forearm and squeezed lightly, sure that he hadn't been the only one to feel that.

When the barrier was breached, he narrowed his eyes, confident that nobody in the palace could possibly miss the flood of heavy chakra that rushed in. It put him in mind of looking out across a sea and seeing nothing but water in all directions. It drowned out everybody else in the vicinity, making most of their concealed chakra signatures feel like less than shadows beneath its benthic pressure.

It had to be a Hollow, nothing else felt the same. He had enough experience of them, albeit largely through contact with Arrancar, to know what it was.

"It's a Hollow," he said, getting to his feet.

Date: 2017-05-17 09:13 pm (UTC)
declaregamuza: (Bound to your side)
From: [personal profile] declaregamuza
Nel had been happily curled up with a trashy romance novel for the last hour. The kids had been behaving themselves, there was no one in the infirmary, she'd done the shopping yesterday, and there was no laundry that needed doing either.

The most pressing thing Nel had to deal with today had been the stiff member of the notorious gillionaire sky pirate against the milky thigh of his buxom captive. It was perfect. A couple of hours alone with the sort of books you didn't read in public was heaven.

It was the atmosphere that hit her senses first. It was bleak, crushing hopelessness, the kind that left you unable even to shed tears, and it didn't creep in, it swept in. Then came the pressure, the sheer power of the thing enough to steal breath and buckle knees.

She'd never felt the like before, not on this scale, but it did, in some ways, remind her strongly of Ulquiorra. When his mask fragment was out, he felt a little like this; like defeat, and destruction.

Ulquiorra was out with Ienzo, and the two of them were off to some Bancouri research facility. They'd been on multiple such expeditions before. Ulquiorra was nominally Ienzo's bodyguard, and partly his gaoler, but mostly, of late, he was his friend. It had been good to see Ulquiorra with a friend.

This feeling was definitely a Hollow, and a horrifyingly strong one, and it definitely felt like someone had taken the way Ulquiorra felt when he had his mask out, and amplified it until there was nothing of Ulquiorra left.

She dropped her book and grabbed Gamuza. Breathing came easier when she brought the mask out, but if something had happened to Ulquiorra, and he was this strong, she'd need to use her full resurrección just to get close.

She all but ran to the source.

Date: 2017-05-17 09:23 pm (UTC)
gracefuldahlia: (pic#6503115)
From: [personal profile] gracefuldahlia
Marluxia felt the intrusion before Lumi's hand landed on his arm. It felt dark, and heavy, and oppressive. It felt, in truth, like standing on a world that was falling to the Darkness, when the Darkside Heartless erupted over it, and the world began to fragment. It was almost a nostalgic feeling, though not in a good way.

This world didn't have Heartless, however, and that was why Marluxia agreed with Lumi's assessment. "A strong one," he agreed, rising to his own feet after Lumi. "How armed are you?"

How armed not are you armed, because this was Lumi, who travelled in varying states of being armed that varied from heavily up to to the teeth, without ever darkening the door of unarmed. If Marluxia ever caught Lumi in a state of being unarmed he'd know to remove his head without hesitation because it was clearly a poor imposter.

Date: 2017-05-17 09:35 pm (UTC)
sipthehoneylikeabutterfly: (can help to keep you fair)
From: [personal profile] sipthehoneylikeabutterfly
Szayel's caffeine addiction was second only to his sex addiction. He was, at that point, happily indulging his second addiction while transcribing his own notes, headphones on and the sound of his own voice playing back to him.

He stopped the recording when he felt the intrusion. He knew that reiatsu. There had been a few Hollows, in the early days of the Arrancar project, before Szayel had become a subject, that he hadn't been able to approach. Murciélago was one of them. Ulquiorra wasn't the first they had tried to pair it with, but he had been the first to survive. At the time, they'd wondered how long he'd survive, but he'd exceeded expectations and seemed to have shackled the Hollow well.

Perhaps not that well after all. That reiatsu was unmistakable.

He removed his headphones and made for the door, then stopped. He was stronger now, but he still wouldn't be able to stand in the Hollow's presence. He'd have no chance of fighting it, of course; that would be a task for the higher ranked, but there was data to be had.

He grabbed Fornicaras and released his mask. The thin white bone formed across his skin, hidden by his glasses frames. Then he set off to find a good vantage point.

Date: 2017-05-17 10:40 pm (UTC)
thesilentstorm: Glare (New Twelve)
From: [personal profile] thesilentstorm
Lumi, earlier in the day, had been in the garden getting a little of what passed for fresh air beneath the ground. As such, he was armed more than he usually would have been to walk around the palace, but not as much as he would be when out and about. One could never be too careful with Marluxia's malboros.

He inclined his head, raising an eyebrow a fraction as his answer.

He touched the sword at his hip and flashed the gun on the inside of his coat as he walked to the door. He also had a dagger or two concealed elsewhere, but neither, he wagered, would be much use against a Hollow of that calibre. He didn't expect the sword would either. The gun, however...

"It's loaded with Hollow Rounds," he said, crossing the threshold into the corridor at a quickstep.

It would have been coincidental for anybody else, but Lumi was a pragmatist like that. A Hollow bullet would blow the head off anybody he needed to use the gun on, but had the added bonus of seriously damaging Hollows. Hollows and Arrancar.

Lumi considered such ammunition insurance and this time, it seemed, it had paid off. He pulled it from the holster.
Edited Date: 2017-05-18 11:10 am (UTC)

Date: 2017-05-17 10:54 pm (UTC)
shoottokill: Discontent. (...is outworn.)
From: [personal profile] shoottokill
Well, well...

Now that was an interesting sensation.

Gin had been on his way to the kitchen when the breach occurred. He stopped, feeling different signatures flare up in response. Aizen, of course did. A few of the Arrancar made a move also, others... most of the palace was crushed beneath the wave, with few exceptions.

He knew it, of course. It was Ulquiorra. Hollows almost universally had chakra with a dismal feel to it, but his Hollow famously took that despair to a whole new level.

He was only one of two Captains within the Palace. He doubted that Kadaj, one of the other wielders of a Zanpakuto, would be able to tolerate reiatsu of that intensity.

"I suppose I should go and see what's goin' on," he said to himself cheerfully.

He could probably stretch to lending a hand if necessary, but he'd rather not. He was Aizen's problem, after all.

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Date: 2017-05-19 10:53 pm (UTC)
theedgeofreason: Dark: Dangerous. (From high above the world.)
From: [personal profile] theedgeofreason
Aizen sat himself in his chair, not feeling the need to loom over Ulquiorra to make his displeasure even more obvious. He could have, the position would have made him seem more intimidating, but he knew very well that he didn't need to exercise such tactics.

Instead, he looked up at Ulquiorra, eyes hard and bearing no trace of the gentleness he showed in Archades where he wore the Captain's mask.

"Explain."

What Ulquiorra responded with would undoubtedly show which aspect of the disaster he considered the most important. His release, or the Alchemist's welfare.

Date: 2017-05-19 11:56 pm (UTC)
theedgeofreason: Dark: Displeased (There was no way we could have known.)
From: [personal profile] theedgeofreason
Aizen listened, expression not changing.

His explanation revealed a lot, but he would be wanting to see a replay of events all the same. A creature that could not be harmed by a Cero from Ulquiorra was interesting, to say the least. It surprised him more than just a little. Not many creatures had the sort of armour that could brush off a blast from a Cero, but for it not to leave a mark? That required further investigation.

As for the Hollow...

"Segunda Etapa," he said, sitting back in his chair. "Is it the complete release for your Hollow," he asked, aware that a Zanpakuto could partially release, "or another stage?"

Had the Resurrección he had seen from Ulquiorra before been incomplete, or had he simply attained additional power as part of the bargain? It was possible that either were true. Immature releases produced incomplete Bankai results where Zanpakuto were concerned, Hitsugaya was evidence of that, could the same occur with Hollows who didn't quite trust their host with all of their power?

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Date: 2017-05-19 11:05 pm (UTC)
thesilentstorm: Glare (New Twelve)
From: [personal profile] thesilentstorm
In Lumi's opinion, there was no chance for Ienzo's arm. He would be lucky to only have a few more inches removed to allow Szayel to make a neat job of sewing up the wound. How much he lost was of no consequence, though. He was missing his arm to halfway up the humerus. The bone, from what Lumi could see amongst the torn flesh and blood, was splintered and the flesh itself was a mess, having most definitely been torn rather than cut.

Stopping the bleeding would only be of benefit to keeping him alive, not the arm itself.

Szayel had a point about Ienzo's famous ability, even if he had drawn attention to it out of cruelty. He was a Ryoka, yes, but he was valuable because of his unusual talent with an unorthodox form of Alchemy. Without the ability to clap and bypass the need for a complicated Alchemical array prior to activating a transmutation, he was useless, especially to Aizen.

"If you fail to stop the bleeding and make a clean job of sealing this wound," he said flatly, eyeing Szayel, "he won't be doing much of anything."

Date: 2017-05-19 11:43 pm (UTC)
sipthehoneylikeabutterfly: (when I'm in you)
From: [personal profile] sipthehoneylikeabutterfly
Szayel pushed his glasses up his nose. He wouldn't say that Lumi scared him, but after the encounter with him in the infirmary the last time, he certainly came higher up the list of people not to push too far than he had. Having seen him stand before Murciélago, that opinion was only intensified.

Not pushing him too far wasn't the same as not pushing, however. "It seems a pity to waste my efforts on someone I'll only break down for parts later anyway," he answered, almost conversationally.

Date: 2017-05-19 11:49 pm (UTC)
declaregamuza: (Be careful what you're wishing)
From: [personal profile] declaregamuza
Nel pursed her lips as Szayel spoke. She got as far as coounting to two before she reached out and clapped Szayel around the back of the head, hard. "Keep talking like that," she said, her total lack of amusement obvious, "and we'll be breaking you down for parts because that's all that will be left."

Honestly, she didn't know how Szayel had survived adolescence. He had the survival instinct of a particularly distressed lemming. Talking about using Ienzo for parts, in front of Lumi, after Ulquiorra had shown up looking like none of them had ever seen and feeling like his Hollow was in total control? He must have been looking to die.

Date: 2017-05-20 12:05 am (UTC)
thesilentstorm: Displeasure (Thirty Two)
From: [personal profile] thesilentstorm
Lumi turned his head slightly to face Szayel, barely resisting the desire to give him a flash of sharp teeth and the hint of an inhuman growl. He barely remembered sinking his teeth into the hierro-reinforced flesh of Szayel's hand, but Szayel certainly did.

"We both know that you wouldn't be entitled to Ienzo's remains upon his death," he said, his voice devoid of emotion in spite of the subject matter. "That honour would likely go to Professor Hojo, if the rest of us didn't incinerate his body before any of you had the chance to get your hands on it."

After all, they had a scientist of their own. Even would likely have no reason to do anything with Ienzo's body if anything should happen to him, but Lumi was sure he wouldn't allow him to fall into the hands of one of the natives.

"Besides," he said, arching an eyebrow, "if you fail to save his life, you may not live long enough to even put in a claim."

Date: 2017-05-20 08:19 am (UTC)
sipthehoneylikeabutterfly: (to wish us all goodnight)
From: [personal profile] sipthehoneylikeabutterfly
Szayel's upper lip curled as he pushed his glasses back into position following Nel's smack. He despised her, he really did. All that sweet, caring, motherly protection extended to all and sundry couldn't possibly be genuine. Few people were genuinely nice, and the ones that were certainly weren't that nice.

Nel definitely wasn't. He'd been there when she'd allowed Nnoitra to beat him black and blue, after all. She followed Aizen. Nel had been there, playing healer to the Arrancar while they got into position to turn the capital city of Bancour into a rock.

She played at being nice, and the infuriating thing was that she had so many of them fooled.

He flashed her a poisonous look before he threw his attention to Lumi instead, and feigned an almost bored haughtiness. "I'm the Arrancar's surgeon, not yours. My life doesn't hang on whether he survives this."

He glanced at Ienzo and added, pointedly, "Fortunately."

He reached the doors of the infirmary and pushed them open. They were designed to simply swing, so that someone could get through them with their arms full of patient, but there was no point in making Lumi do it himself on this occasion.

"And don't pretend you care whether he lives or dies, or what happens to him afterwards, outside of what it means for protecting your own secrets."

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Date: 2017-05-25 12:34 am (UTC)
thechillyacademic: Neutral. (Proceeded by the opposition.)
From: [personal profile] thechillyacademic
Even had not missed the sensation that the rest of them had been subjected to.

Even though his laboratory was situated rather deeper into the palace than most, with the exceptions being the furthest reaches of the grounds and the deepest laboratories now owned by Hojo, he still felt it. That dark, unpleasant feeling, the strange depressive wave that seemed to crawl into the room. It reminded him uncomfortably of being inside the Chaos Infusion, albeit without the Zaltys for company.

He glanced at the sinister seed in the jar on his desk and narrowed his eyes at thing. It still emitted a dull, purple light, even days and days after encapsulation and consistent observation.

Time seemed to crawl by until, as if somebody had flicked a switch, the reiatsu drew away like a tide receding. Even took a breath and sat back in his chair, debating whether to get up and investigate. He maintained that he was non-combatant, but lately that had not strictly been true and people knew it. Well, he was capable, just ... largely unwilling. At that moment, he was simply unsure.

Date: 2017-05-25 01:11 am (UTC)
gracefuldahlia: (pic#5303317)
From: [personal profile] gracefuldahlia
Marluxia had been down to Vexen's little laboratory more times than he'd cared to since Vexen had taken residence there. This would make yet another visit for the scoreboard. It was fitting, here, that he was seen to venture into Vexen's territory from time to time, if only to maintain the appearance of a true alliance between them.

He let enough of his own chakra rise to give Vexen some forewarning of his approach. He didn't have anything to fear from Vexen except perhaps having to listen to him talk, but he still preferred not to startle him. Especially with the news he was about to break.

He didn't wait at the doors for Vexen to meet him, instead walking straight in.

Date: 2017-05-25 01:45 pm (UTC)
thechillyacademic: Glare II. (And the wisdom I can't deny.)
From: [personal profile] thechillyacademic
He felt Marluxia approach.

Distantly, he considered Marluxia a bit showy, not suppressing his chakra like that, but it was a distracted, half-formed thought that fled entirely as the door to his quarters was pushed open without invitation. He looked up, a scowl on his face, before the one to his office could follow suit.

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