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Big Eyes, Small Mouth (BESM): Bleach - Chapter 1: The Gathering


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Akiko Taki had been chosen to patrol Karakura town for some time now. Her Lieutenant, Nanao Ise had personally handed the order to her, signed by Captain Kyoraku and Captain Hitsugaya. Curiously, they'd actually gone through the trouble of seting up an identity for her, getting her close to what seemed to be the nexus of many of the increasing Hollow attacks, Karakura South High School. Her day as an assistant art teacher had just finished, When her special phone rang. There was a hollow nearby, and it was getting closer.

Jierumi Anya's day had been filled with minor injuries, mostly scrapes from PE on the track. All in all it had been quiet, and left him rather bored. As the clock neared 4, he was clear and ready to leave, but then he heard that unmistakable sound, that otherworldly roar. One of them was near, and it sounded hungry.

It had been decided at the Captain's meeting to send a contingent of Soul Reapers to Karakura Town to investigate the Hollow attacks. Akiko had done well, but with the frequency of attacks, and the fact that they grew more frequent, a large Soul Society presence was deemed necessarry.

The reinforcement squad would be lead by 10th Squad's Lieutenant, Rangiku Matsumoto. Ayame Kuchiki from Squad 8, Mamoru Kimura from squad 11, and Jiro Kestrel from squad 2 comprised the rest. Their orders were to prepare for extended activity in the human world, and meet at the Senkaimon in an hour.

(OOC you are all free to post. Let the game begin.)

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Jierumi froze as the roar sounded. It told him two things together. One, the Hollow, whatever it was, sounded rather nasty. His blood chilled over the second fact. He hadn't wanted to get involved with the knowledge that otherworldly beasts threated the streets.

But considering how close that roar sounded, it occurred to him that the students of the school could be attacked. That settled it. He would go out and deal with the Hollows, at least this one.

The fey-spirit that had given him this clandestine knowledge had also imbued him with powers. For his students, he would use them.

Jierumi waited for a moment to collect himself, then proceeded in the general direction of the roar.

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Ayame was both excited and anxious about her first real assignment since joining her squad. She was a little disappointed that it would take her away from the squad, since she knew that she hadn't had quite enough time to settle in since she challenged for and took the 13th seat. On the other hand, such an assignment was probably a test of her ability to perform as a seated member of the squad and she was determined to make a good showing. She couldn't let down her squad, or her father and the clan.

So, an hour before they were due at the gate, she was in the dojo of her squad, the few belongings she was taking with her neatly bundled in a pack set by the door and her in the middle of the room going through the katas she'd been being taught by several of her more advanced squad-mates over the past few weeks. Watching her, one might have thought her a younger version of her father: her movements were fluid and precise, every economy of motion taken into account and her entire being focused on the path that Tennyo no Setsugekka was cutting through the air. That is, those that did not know Kuchiki Byakuya in his youth. Her calm was different from the one he'd finally achieved after Hisana's death, and it was Hisana's passion and joy that his daughter moved with.

The dance continued on, pulling her ever closer to Karakura Town and her duties as a Shinigami of the Goetei 13.

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Akiko sat on the roof of the school working on a sketch of the town. She would have to get back to her duties soon but for right now she was taking time to enjoy her self. This would be a beautiful painting. Perhaps if she could paint it just right to look like sunset Yumichika would want it when she returned to soul society. Her paintings had become quite popular and she was sure that many of the soul reapers would love her views of the mortal world. When the phone went off she immediately put the sketch pad to the side and pulled it out. Another one had been detected. Then she heard the roar. Standing up she pulled out the container she carried her replacement soul in and quickly popped the little pill.

Once she was free she turned to the body. "Return home and start working on dinner, and please do not forget the sketch pad again I have been working on that one for days." The replacement soul bowed and she was off. Keeping one hand on her zanpukuto she moved directly towards the sound.

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"And so, in summary, all other matters notwithstanding, to which to say..." Even bowed at the waist, Jiro kept a watchful eye for the minute tic of Soi Fon's brow that indicated she'd reached her limit for tomfoolry. There it was.

"...the fire and explosion in the Rukon district was the accidental result of a pair of gangs fighting over turf that included a sawmill. No spiritual power was involved, and there's no threat to the Seireitei. Most of the idiots involved managed to kill themselves, so there's hardly any need for reprisal either."

Soi Fon frowned ever so slightly and said, "That's not your decision," in a tone of mild reproof.

"Of course. Just offering an eyewitnesses interpretation, Soi Fon Taicho." Jiro straightened up and waited to be dismissed. Soi Fon was silent though, staring moodily off to one side until he shifted his weight uncertainly to his other foot and asked, "Will...that be all?"

"You have new orders," she said, tossing him a rolled up scroll with an elaborate wax seal. "Report to Senkaimon within the hour."

Jiro caught the scroll reflexively, aware of two things simultaneously. The new mission had come fast enough that it probably didn't originate with Soi Fon, who typically liked to plan things out more. And second, that something was bothering his Captain. He knew better than to pry though. Soi Fon was tolerant of eccentricities that didn't affect performance, but she brooked no overfamiliarity from subordinates.

Sensing that his leash was still short, Jiro bowed and replied, "Hai, Soi Fon Taicho." Then he seemed to evaporate as he sped off to read the orders. What he saw brought him to a cold stop.

Ayame, he thought woodenly, as his stomach dropped into his bowels. So you've come this far already...has your father no shame?

With hands that felt cold and numb, he rolled up the scroll and tucked it into his uniform. Then he seemed to vanish again, leaving only a curl of dust in his wake.

At the Senkaimon, Jiro waited in the shadows to see who would arrive first. Well...first after him.

(OOC - In case it's unclear, he's hiding. :))

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Rangiku was last to show up, preceded only minutes before by Mamoru. "Allright, if our Member of the Stealth Force will actually join us now..." She spoke to no one, and yet everyone now knew they were watched.

When Kestrel emerged She nodded. Alright We've got an alert for the school, our gate opens about a quarter mile Soulth along the river. We have one Soul Reaper on Station, and with any luck we'll be able arrive to help, or barring that at least join up and get an accurate analysis of the finished fight."

The gateway opened and Each of them went through, Emerging as she'd said from the River.

They all could hear the sounds of multiple Hollows, and indeed saw at least 3 in the air. Everyone set off at maximum speed towards them reaching the school quickly.

Akiko immediately saw the three in the air as she left her temporary body. She could hear the roar of at least six more hollows. This was very very bad.

Jierumi heard multiple roars now. They were getting closer. If he was to fight he was going to have to go outside.

(OOC there are nine hollows in all present, currently they haven't noticed everyone yet. you all have one turn to get ready and act before they notice the greatly increased presence of Soul Reaper Reishi. We have 3 Screamer, two Froghead, and 4 Bone Type Hollows.)

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Jiro did a quick count of hollows and grimaced melodramatically. "Nine hollows at once? What a pain...I'm sure some will split off from the main mass once they see us, and then we'll have to track them all over the place."

"Lieutenant! With your permission, I'll keep up with any that don't come down here to engage you. With luck, they'll lead me right to whatever drew so many here in the first place."

At the nod from Rangiku, Jiro made a hand sign and summoned his spiritual force. "Bakudo twenty-six! Kyokko!"

With that, as if erased by some cosmic pencil, he was gone. Even the telltale presence of his spiritual pressure was concealed.

(OOC - This assume the Loot agrees with Jiro's plan...if not I'll change my post.)

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The recurring roars indicated that more were coming. Crap. Well, Jierumi thought, time to take cover and get the exact odds. Carefully stepping outside through the door, Jierumi started muttering strange words, ones of illusion, which hopefully should conceal his presence for now.

Click to reveal..

(16:44:05) (Jierumi): Hide in Plain Sight: Stealth check +12

(16:44:10) ChatBot: (Jierumi) rolls 1d20 and gets 3.

(16:44:28) (Jierumi): yuck 15

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Mamoru licked his lips and grinned at the prospect of the combat. He headed through the portal without hesitation. However once through, and made aware of the scope of the threat, he gulped and steeled himself for the coming fight. He drew his sword and set himself for the coming battle, in front of the gates of the school.

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Akiko watched the hollows approach. Nine could be problematic. She heard as much as felt the voice of her sword speak to her.

"Why do you hesitate?"

"There is a difference between hesitation and contemplation. I am trying to decide the best way to attack them without being over whelmed."

"That's simple. You do it by using me."

She could not help but smile. Kyuukyoku Kiden was her arrogance if nothing else. She wondered if she had grown strong enough for this. She drew her Zonpukuto and made a instant decision eight would be easier then nine. Choosing what she believed to be the strongest she raised her hands and chanted.

"Carriage of Thunder. Bridge of a Spinning Wheel. With light, divide this in to six. Bakudo sixty-one! Six Rods, Prison of Light!"

She figured this would get their attention.

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Jierumi's illusion worked slightly hiding him from the Screamers in the air. The two Frogheads in the courtyard however did not miss him at all. Their attention was slightly averted for a moment, like the Bones, When Akiko's Bakudo pinned one of the Screamers in place. Suddenly she was at the center of 4 Bones and two pissed off Screamers.

Both launched attacks towards the lone soul Reaper, blasts of pure sound, and missed, blowing holles in the roof beyond her and to her side.

(OOC time for initiative rolls everyone)

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(Order is Screamer A (pinned with bakudo), Screamer B, Screamer C, Akiko, Bone 1, Jierumi, Bone 2, Ayame, Jiro, Bone 3,4 and then the Frogheads)

The trapped Screamer fought hard against the bindings but remained bound, the other two launched attacks against Akiko, missing again, but coming much closer this time.

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Those Screamers were quickly getting annoying but she knew it was best to deal with the enemies already near her. They would have to wait. Turning to the nearest Bone type she brought her sword up as she had been taught for years, aiming to slice right through the head from the bottom of the mask.

Click to reveal..
Using Strike

(13:13:56) ChatBot: (Akiko) rolls 1d20 and gets 8.

8 + 9 = 17

Assuming hit +10 Dmg

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Akiko's Blade slices clear through an arm on one of the Bones, hitting the shoulder instead of the mask. Howling with Rage the hollow swiped at the younger soul reaper, but missed completely.

On the ground Jierumi could hear the sounds of combat on the roof, but he had two Frogheaded hollows to contend with off his own.

(J you're up.)

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All things considered, two was better than the many upon the roof, fighting.... well he didn't know, but it didn't matter at first. Jierumi raised his hand, the image of a curling rope flashed in front of the palm, and mystical ropes flashed from the ground, looping around to snag on of the Frogheads.

Click to reveal..

(14:45:30) (Jierumi): using Snare on Frog 1

(14:45:40) (Jierumi): attack (Ranged) +5

(14:45:44) ChatBot: (Jierumi) rolls 1d20 and gets 11.

Total: 16

If successful, the froghead can't move, is entangled, and the Snare's toughness is +4

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Ayame sensed the blow that knocked Akikko down and zeroed in on the Shinigami they had come here to assist; she unsheathed Tennyo no Setsugekka and attacked the Bone with a swift and sure strike.

Click to reveal..

Using Rythym of Combat to know the state of allies and enemies in combat. Using Quick Draw to pull weapon and still attack.

Attack:

1d20+7=17

Assuming hit, +11 Damage

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As Ayame struck there was a telltale shimmer in the air just behind the towering 'Bone' hollow. From the shimmer exploded the visible sight of Jiro in his black hakama, sword raised high over his head as he hurtled down at the monster she was striking at, seeking to coordinate blows and finish it off!

(Strike: 19 to hit, damage DC 21)

http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/2405683/

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The Bone never knew what hit it, as it's mask was split from two directions, It dissipated. From a distance they heard Rangiku's voice. "Roar!, Haineko!" a wave of ash enveloped One of the untouched Bones, and it dissipated under the Lieutenant's attack.

The bound froghead attempted to break free but remained bound, only just barely. The other lunged at Jierumi with a vicious attack of its claws. raking across his chest.

(DC 20 Toughness save)

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Click to reveal..
(03:20:12) ChatBot: (Akiko) rolls 1d20 and gets 20.

Toughness 20 + 3 = 23


Shrugging off the attack with no trouble. She was relieved to see the other soul reapers arrive but she couldn't remember being told of their coming. Her zonpukuto was unhappy.

They are killing our hollows!

Akiko Then I suppose you best get your fill and quickly.

Akiko brought the sword guard up to her forehead with the blade pointed straight up.

"Charge the Heavens, Kyuukyoku Kiden!"

As her sword awakened the steel took on a blue sheen and nearly cleared. Electricity leaped up and down the blade. She brought it around and looked to the still bound screamer in the air.

"Heavenly Bolt of Judgement!" Swinging the sword up she sent the electrical blast right at the hollow.

Click to reveal..
(23:23:02) ChatBot: (Akiko) rolls 1d20 and gets 2.
Electrical Control.

2 + 9 = 11 vs. bound screamer

Assuming hit damage +10
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The two unbound screamers launched atacks against Rangiku, sensiher her being the most immediate danger. One hit knocking her away, bt the first missed, even as Haineko shredded the one that hit her.

Akiko's attack slammed home against the Hollow, splitting its mask, the binding kido fading as it died.

(Jierumi, you're up. 1 Screamer, 2 Bones and 2 frogs left.)

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Click to reveal..

I don't have the roll, but I can assure you the result was a Bruised (-1)


Jierumi twisted and weaved, managing to recieve only a sharp but light blow. Scrambling back from the Froghead, he whirled about and the image of a fireball appeared in front of his hand. That turned into a real ball of flame, shooting back at the target.

Click to reveal..

(12:11:47) (Jierumi): attacking the unbound Frog with Blast.
(12:12:00) (Jierumi): attack = +9
(12:12:06) ChatBot: (Jierumi) rolls 1d20 and gets 5.
(12:12:24) (Jierumi): Attack = 14
(12:12:47) (Jierumi): if hit, dmg DC is 18
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Ayame turned smoothly to face her next opponent, only the grin she flashed at Jiro and Akkiko showing her enjoyment of the morning's 'exercises'. Tennyo no Setsugekka flashed again, slashing at the nearest of the two bone Hollows.

Click to reveal..
1d20+7=24

Assuming hit +10 damage.

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Jiro returned the grin more out of habit than anything. Inwardly his heart was thumping hard. Ayame was in mortal danger out here, and she didn't seem to be taking it seriously at all! At least he'd made it back to her side.

He leapt up at the other skeletal bone hollow, slashing his zanpakto horizontally across its mask!

(Strike! 24 to hit, damage DC 21.)

http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/2412895/

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Akiko looked down at the last bone. She had never seen that sort of Bakudo before. Still as much as she wanted to study it she could not risk letting another hollow escape. Raising the sword up she aimed and swung down.

"Heavenly Bolt of Judgment!"

Click to reveal..
(19:43:17) ChatBot: (Akiko) rolls 1d20 and gets 5.

Electrical Control

5+9 = 14

Assuming hit damage +10

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Jierumi was surprised by the Froghead vanishing, but he supposed that it was for the better. Focusing on the remaining Hollow, thus missing the signs that the combat on the roof was over, he raised his hand.

A flash of the flame image, a blast of fire soaring toward the mask of the Hollow... it would be over now.

Click to reveal..

(20:57:51) ChatBot: (Jierumi) rolls 1d20 and gets 7.

7+9= 16.

If hit, +3 Damage.

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Both attacks hit as the hollow vanishes. The area was clear now, except for the Soul Reapers, an Jierumi, who thanks to his attacks the Five Soul Reapers knew was there.

Rangiku descended down to the ground in front of Jierumi. "I was unaware that there were any humans who could see hollows, let alone fight them. Who are you?"

Click to reveal..
kbyjw2.gif
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Akiko quickly leaped down and landed behind Rangiku. Sheathing her sword as it changed back she surveyed the area to make sure non of the hollows were simply hiding instead of in retreat. She decided to let the lieutenant deal with the human.

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Jierumi glanced back frankly at the strange woman. The robes were familiar, in a odd way. The fey-spirit had described who they were, he just couldn't place the name.

"Jierumi Anya. You're... what's that name..." He grinned as he suddenly dredged it up from memory.

"Soul Reapers, yes. I guess someone like me would be out of your experience." he added in a snarky tone.

Then he paused suddenly as he caught sight of Akiko. "Is that Miss Taki? She's one of you?"

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Jierumi shrugged as he remembered the accident that bestowed him his powers, special sight, and knowledge of the secret world. "A couple months, give or take. Somehow, I helped out some strange spirit, and it decided to give me a healthy dose of powers, plus Spirit World 101. That's how I figured out who you are."

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Jiro leaped nimbly down from where he'd been battling Hollows with Ayame and gave a grandiose bow to the strange mortal.

"A most remarkable tale," he said, sliding his zanpakto back to its sheathe. "Spiritual power often runs in bloodlines though. Perhaps your father, or mother, passed something along that was just waiting for the right moment to be awakened. I am Jiro of squad two."

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Ayame landed with the others, but gave Jierumi a curt and uninterested once over before addressing Lt. Rangiku. "The Hollows appear to be gone, however from their behaviour I think it would be wise to do a patrol of the city. Such an odd disappearance and so many of them to appear all at once."

Her eyes tracked back to the mortal, but hardly seemed to look more through him than at him, before returning back to watching the sky. She had not yet sheathed her zanpakto and was relaxed but alert. "Perhaps the mortal is attracting the Hollows." It was the only acknowledgement she'd given so far that she had even really noticed him.

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