Chitsuki's feet barely touched the rooftops here in the 78th district of the south Rukongai as she and Dokuja used their flash step to speed along thru the residential area, she took the lead and he stayed close on her heels as they scanned the area for an signs of disturbance. It had been an uneventful day save for a few scuffles breaking out here and there, it was the same just as every other day since they began patrolling Inuzuri nearly a week ago.
She raised her left hand without looking back to him and motioned outward with 3 of her fingers extended before she veered away from the buildings on a straight path to the nearby woods. There was no need to look back to make sure he followed; they had been getting better speaking without words. Their hand signals may not have been the conventional ones but they had become familiar enough between them, possibly a good thing if they happened to be signaling each other while being watched by an enemy.
Dokuja breathed a sigh of relief as they shifted their path and touched down on the ground, they dashed onward into the woods. The sound of children crying and cursing men began to fade more and more as they went deeper in. He welcomed the silence. It only took a few hours into their first day of patrolling for him to become tired of this wretched assignment. If he could have his way he would not get involved with these people and with any luck they would kill themselves off so that their horrid existence would no longer mare the Soul Society. His faithful leader on the other hand saw things much different than he and did her very best to save those she could and help the ones in need, bless her childish heart with it's foolish hopes. She strived so hard for those who did not want to be saved.
They slowed and came to a stop in a clearing just big enough to fit them, he watched as Chitsuki fell against a tree with a groan as the thud from her back hitting the bark sent a tremor thru her chest. Her legs gave way and she slid to the ground, eyes closed gently as she gave an exasperated sigh.
Dokuja just crossed his arms and leaned against a tree opposite of her as he shook his head disapprovingly, he could tell today had really been getting to her. Maybe an hour before they took this little break there had been a fight that had broken out between two drunkards, the men brawled in the middle of the street toppling pottery and over turning tables in their self-justified battle. All the while mothers tried to shield their children from the debris being tossed about while the orphans attempted to take advantage of the commotion and make away with whatever prizes they could claim in the confusion of it all. She made a valiant effort to break it up before any of the bystanders became involved and got injured but it all went to hell after that, the two fighters turned on her while the mothers scowled and all the children threw stones at her screaming to stay out of the Rukongai. He could swear that he saw her heart breaking as she let the rocks bounce off her. He had to admit she had the patience of a monk to just stand there and take it all without so much raising a hand against them to even defend herself.
The Soul Reapers were not well liked here, especially so far away from the Seireitei were all law was seemingly forgotten. "Why do you do this to yourself?" He knelt in front of her and used his forefinger and thumb to force an eye open. "And no pretending you're asleep just to avoid answering." He couldn't help but smile just a little at that, she kept trying to do that when he poked around with his questions and she didn't want to talk about her self-proclaimed failures at keeping these people safe.
She smirked at his statement, looks like she wasn't going to be able to avoid this talk today. She opened both her eyes and looked at him with an almost tired expression. "You should already know the answer to that question." She adjusted herself while he uncapped a jug of water for them to share. "We are members of the 6th Division, a squad that is looked at by all the other Shinigami in the Soul Society as a model division. We embody that which is the law. How can we really be so great if we place ourselves on a pedestal above everyone else and refuse to give a hand to those in need of one?"
"I can understand protecting those that need defending, I became a Soul Reaper so that I could safeguard those unable to do so for themselves but what you are doing is different. I shield those that wish to be saved, what you are attempting to do it save the ones that don't want to be saved. I genuinely believe that these people like it here. They like the misery, filth and corruption…"
"It only seems that way." She interrupted him just before taking a sip of the water. "They just don't know any better. It falls on us to keep them from harm even if the harm is of their own doing. This is all they have ever known, you can't expect people that have been deprived and oppressed all their lives to welcome the change we are trying to give them with blind faith and open arms. All we can do is show them that there is a better life out there for the taking if their willing to grasp it."
He shook his head at her as he picked bits of dirt from beneath his finger nails with an expression that was far from inspired. "You know… This naive view point of wholesome goodness might be cute if it didn't threaten the border of insanity considering the particular topic at hand." He flung the lock of hair that had fallen across his chest back behind his shoulder where it belonged. "This is the South Rukongai we are talking about and on top of that this is Hanging Dog, one of the poorest districts there is. Chock full of people that lie, steal and cheat from birth just to survive. Some things, needless to say, just can't be saved. That is the way of the world darling, always has been and always will be."
"Oh, come on…" She sat forward a bit with that loving smile of hers. "We are Shinigami. It is our duty to do everything in our power to help the souls that are here in the Soul Society and those that have yet to find their way here. Even if they do not yet know that they want our help."
"Funny." He said in a rather dull tone. "I don't recall learning about any of that in the academy."
All she could do was chuckle, she knew full well how much he hated this assignment…
Chitsuki!... Pay attention child!...
Tengoku's words erupted in her mind, alerting all of her senses. In a fluid motion she shifted her feet and leapt up just high enough to grab Dokuja's torso, tackling him to the ground nearly too late. Something sliced thru the tree she had been resting upon just moments before.
Dokuja could feel the wind created by the weapon as it flew past his face, his eyes focusing on the strands of hair that had been cut as they drifted down.
They hit the ground hard, Chitsuki rolled away and fell into a crouching position. Her eyes following the strange blade as it arched upwards and sliced its way back from where it came. She cursed herself for being so sloppy, nothing had been happening during this assignment that warranted any real caution. So she let herself become careless, a mistake that will never happen again.
A lesson learned child… Now is the time to rectify your mistake…
Dokuja looked over to her, she had completely transformed in that instant when a true threat had arisen. The soft look in her eyes was gone, replaced by a hardness that could only be granted to those battle readied souls. Her body was tense; no breath escaped her lips as she ceased the need for air in order to allow no distraction from any sound reaching her ears. She resembled a predator waiting to pounce at any given moment. His eyes met hers; he knew she had found her prey. They spoke without words, they did not need words. They moved like the wind, a mere trembling of dust was all that remained to show where they once were. They ran hard with weapons drawn, he could see she had created blade from both her hands. This was a side of her he had yet to see, part of him was excited to finally see what made this girl so great but there was something else… Something that frightened him. It was that look in her eyes when their gazes met, never before had he seen such a look of sheer blood lust before now. He could not imagine that a yearning for another's death could be so strong.
Now they rushed onward, diving head long into a battle blindly. His logic screamed to him to develop a strategy, to slow down and observe the situation first and then make a calculated strike but instead he rushed onward in the footsteps of his leader. What was this blind devotion he showed to follow her impulsively into danger? Was this trust?
The odd sound of the flying blade ripping thru the air filled their ears, along with the sound of a creature they both knew well. Chitsuki's pace got faster as the real threat became clear to her and Dokuja followed without question, even though his heart was pounding. This will honestly be the first time he had ever come into contact with a hollow. The only thing that had come close to this was when he was in the academy and his class made a trip to the world of the living for a simulated battle against dummy hollows. They jumped, sensing the blade coming up from behind them on its return path and finding its home in the weary hand of a fellow Soul Reaper.
As they broke into the clearing they parted ways, Chitsuki leapt towards the hollow. Its arachnid like form skittering from side to side but she had the advantage of surprise, it was not even aware of its new opponent until her blade fell and separated on of its limbs from its body. The beast cried out, wailing in pain and fury as it turned to face its new pray.
Dokuja used the opportunity to move unseen around the creature and come up beside the wounded man, his shihakusho was torn at the waist and blood soaked the dark material. "Are you alright?" He asked the man as he tried to steady the husky man, his only advantage to being able to do so was his height since the man's weight surpassed his own.
"Better now that backup is here." He wiped away a trickle of blood that had made its way thru the stubble on his cheeks. "But where are the rest of you? No offense but I asked for another squad not for just two women. If this hollow was able to take out my entire team what good does just two shinigami have."
Dokuja let out an aggravated grumble and let go of the man, forcing him to steady himself on his circular blade with a bit of a painful grunt. "For one." He raised his index finger to emphasis his point. "We are not your reinforcements. We were on patrol nearby when we nearly lost our heads to you flinging about your obscene weapon carelessly. And secondly." He extended his middle finger to form the number 2 and thrust it into the man's face to really emphasis his agitation. "I am NOT a woman!"
The man went wide eyed, both statements caught him off guard. "My bad…" The sound of the girl fighting the creature drew his attention, she was holding her own but the damn beast was quick. It never stayed still for very long, that was the issue he was having with it.
Chitsuki laughed, this thing blocked every one of her attacks and it moved so quickly and frequently that using her impaling technique was impossible. She leapt into the air, kicking out and downward while she simultaneously extended a blade from her foot but again it was blocked. The force spun her but she used the momentum to lash out with another blade from her hand, only to have another attack blocked. It was frustrating and exhilarating all at the same time, she let her spiritual pressure flair as she laughed heartedly. For a moment she even thought about releasing the restraints of her implants but decided against it, she like the challenge. She needed it. She needed to experience the feeling of having to fight for her life and to know that one mistake could mean the end of everything. Just one more step closer to being able to face Kenpachi on the battle field and prove her love to him.
Amethyst eyes watched the spectacle that was his commanding officer, he watched in awe as she moved like liquid. She was nothing more than a fluid shifting of blades and flesh as she spun and attacked continuously. She was a dancer, the clang of the metal was the music she moved to and the blood stained battlefield was her grand stage. It was beautiful… But something bothered him. None of this made any sense; his eyes darted to the bodies of the man's squad. It was the typical 7 man response team, there were only 5 bodies scattered about which meant that one man must have left to retrieve back up… there is no reason why a unit of this size couldn't deal with one hollow unless the beast itself was of formidable power. If that was the case then how did such a creature slip into the Soul Society unnoticed? "Where did this hollow come from?" He asked the man who had just nearly been able to catch his breath.
The man scowled. "It's one of Squad Twelve's damn science projects." He spit blood as he spoke the damn of that damned squad. "It got loose during a facility transfer and we were ordered to retrieve it…" He looked around at his comrades, all of them good men that had their lives taken away by a mad man's tinker toy. This had to be ended, they creature was supposed to be brought back alive but he didn't care anymore. "If you two can manage to hold that thing still long enough for one good swing than I'll run it thru."
Dokuja gave a nod of affirmation, his feet moved and he was gone. Luckily he was well enough at kido and he could only assume she was as well given her statement of being formally trained by the former Kido Corps commander. Between the two of them they should be able to bind it long enough to keep it from skittering about. He dove into the battle, Hebi Kiba was drawn but still in its sealed form, he stuck out at one of the limbs the creature raised. The sound of metal rang out but there was no damage dealt to the creature itself, luckily that was not his intention as he locked eyes with Chitsuki. She nodded and retreated a short distance away with Dokuja landing close by. The hollows attention was still on them but they were now far enough away to allow a moment to breath.
"I take it we have a plan." She spoke as she steadied her breathing and recalled the blades she had extended. The slight aches from the small wounds that had been created from the weapons continued emergence could be felt but she pushed the little distractions away. She couldn't allow the adverse effects of her symbiosis to affect her in the midst battle, she will deal with all the cuts later.
"He wants us to restrain the hollow long enough for him to attack." He sheathed his zanpakuto, knowing full well he was going to need both his hands free for this.
She groaned, she knew full well he meant using kido. "Simple enough. I will keep the hollow focused on me, you come around to its flank with a binding spell." She wasn't fully aware of his Kido capabilities but she hoped that whatever spell he used would be sufficient enough to hold the creature long enough for the other man to do his attack and save her from having to use any of those cursed demon arts. Gods how she hated the name, it felt as if by using them was mocking her and the wretched blood that flowed thru her.
Do not hate your blood child… It is a blessing and honor to have such a noble bloodline…
'If my blood is so noble than why do normal people fear demon's so much?'
"Understood." Dokuja's voice pulled her from her thoughts, he moved away and off to the left while she went in with blades drawn to draw the beast's attention and give him the much needed time for his incantation. "Disintegrate, you black dog of Rondanini!" As he spoke he began to trace intricate symbols in the air with a red aura that had enveloped his hands. "Look upon yourself with horror and then claw out your own throat! Bakudo number 9! Geki!" A thin red light engulfed the hollow, completely paralyzing it as it let out a wail and struggled against the binding.
Chitsuki cursed to herself as she watched, he used a low level spell on it. Normally it would have been fine but this was no ordinary hollow, it made her wonder what his actual kido abilities were. She could see the binding begin to fail as the beast fought against it, damn it all to hell. She had no choice. "Bakudo Number 63: Sajo Sabaku" A yellow rope lashed out and encircled the creature, completely repressing it now.
"Alright!" The man yelled as he drew back his arm with circular blade in hand; he began to spin, winding himself up to gather momentum for his attack. "Kazi Kamisori! Wind Razor!" He let the blade go and it flew with a speed much greater than before, the sheer force of its rotation created gale force winds that sliced the very leaves being tossed about and sent the splinters from the felled trees flying like tiny daggers. The sound it made was like a screaming that pierced their ears.
Chitsuki and Dokuja shielded their eyes from the debris; she dared to hazard a look just in time to see the blade slice the beast up the middle. Its body dissipating into nothingness as the two halves fell away. Soon there was nothing left of the creature that rampaged mere moments before.
The blade arched and returned to its master who breathed a heavy sigh of relief, he leaned his weight against the blade and did his best to stay his trembling legs that threatened to give way at any moment. He closed his eyes and rested his forehead against the cool metal, now that the battle had passed the sorrow of losing his men was slipping into his heart.
"Are you ok?"
He opened his eyes and looked over to the girl, at least he couldn't mistake this one like he did the other one. "Yea, I'm good." He straightened himself and took a deep breath; he would have time for remorse later. "Thank you for the help." He was going to lay into that damn back up squad the moment they got here and ream their lazy asses for taking their sweet time. "The name is Fujiwara Kaito, 10th seat of Squad 10."
She bowed to him, recognizing him as a higher rank than she regardless of the difference in Squads. "I'm the 12th seat of Squad 6, Chitsuki Yume and this is our 23rd seat, Dokuja Chigo."
"Ah…" Was his very simple response. He chuckled a bit at their shared confused expression. "So you are the infamous 'Blade Princees' that everyone has been talking about."
"Excuse me?" She could not figure out what in the world he was talking about, she looked back to Dokuja who only shrugged in response. He was just as clueless on the matter as she was.
Fujiwara raised his hands apologetically. "I didn't mean that as an insult, your technique to summon blades has been a bit of a gossip topic among all the squads. Being able to see it first-hand I can say that it's an impressive ability."
"I didn't realize I was all that interesting." This was all news to her and from the look of things it was news even to Dokuja. She realized that the people who did know of her ability were a bit disturbed by it but she had no idea that it had been gossiped about by so many others.
This was all new information for him as well, Dokuja crossed his arms inform of him as he pondered it. He knew that he was not very popular with the other people of the Seireitei so it was no surprise that he was not in on the gossip but he still prided himself on keeping up to date on information. Hell, even he didn't know about her Symbiotic ability until just a few when he finally asked her why she didn't carry her zanpakuto. It was all quite a bit to take in at once and he could tell there was still more she had hidden but he didn't pry into it. Everyone had a right to keep their own secrets; he was no different after all.
"Well, can't say that it's been fun but I have things that need to be done." Fujiwara gave them a halfhearted wave as he turned away. The bodies needed to be prepped for transport, and then there was the matter of talking to the families… That was the part he hated the most. "Thanks for the support."
They watched him walk away silently, it was obvious that he did so with a heavy heart. "Do you think we should help him?" Dokuja asked, dealing with death was not an easy thing to deal with. More so if you had to do so alone.
"No." She said it simply; she could feel his questioning eyes on the back of her head. "This is something he has to do on his own. These people were under his command and it falls to him to tend to their bodies. This is the responsibility of a superior officer and the burden we must face when we fail those who trusted us enough to put their lives in our hands." She turned away and began walking out of the clearing, she knew without looking that Dokuja followed suite.
He watched her silently; the tone in her voice was heavy as if her own heart was wounded by the death of these people. Such a tender hearted child she was. Was her heart so grand that she could truly care for some many people that she knew nothing about?
She looked up to the sky and gaged the position of the sun to estimate the time. "It's close enough to quitting time, let's call it quits a little early today." It had been a much more eventful day than normal and she wanted to get a head start on the paperwork she will be needing to turn in to Master Kuchiki-Sama.
"Of course…" Dokuja kept his response simple, he was glad to end the day early and it looked like she was too.
Akon jotted down a few notes from the readings that had just come in on Chitsuki, things had been pretty quiet this week. His main amusement came from torturing her, he had sent her a note earlier in the week to inform her that the Gigai was ready but since then he has been getting a chuckle out of avoiding her and telling the other scientists to inform her that he wasn't around so she would have to wait. Cruel to some but he had to do something to liven up things around here.
He had to admit though, he was rather proud of his creation. Very rarely did any gigai that was generated differ in any sort of way from the original but this one might as well been its own being considering how much different it was from its original. The only drawback it had was the little green pill that still waited in the test tube on his desk; he had already figured that it was not a Gikon like the Captain had told him it would be. Being able to study it slightly he was able to confirm his suspicions that the little green pill was in fact a Mod Soul but there was no telling what special attributes the Captain placed in it…
A blinking light on his monitor drew his attention away from his musings, with a few swift key strokes he brought up another window that shoed an inactive vital scan.
"So… They managed to kill it…" He looked at the clock and noted the time. It didn't take them very long at all to dispose of the hollow; on top of that Chitsuki didn't even have to release her limiters. She was safely able to limit 80% of her power but doing so made for some very uneventful readings. There had not been so much of a hint to Shoushin Konton's spiritual signature in some time. He let out a little sigh, guess that means the next thing they throw at her is going to have to be a bit stronger…
Byakuya's eyes flowed over the words of the report in front of him, her reports were always uneventful save for a few scuffles here and there that she attempted to break up but those were of no real concern to him. It was the section detailing her encounter with the 12th companies escaped research specimen that really interested him. He was pleased to see that under actual battle circumstances the small team cooperated efficiently and effectively, their ability to communicate silently was a good proof of their compatibility as a team. He had honestly doubted that boy's ability to fall into a subordinate's role considering his background but he was glad to be mistaken on the matter.
A firm knock on his door drew his attention away from the report, the spiritual pressure coming from behind it was easily recognizable but he wondered what business that particular person would have here of all places. "Come in."
Toshiro opened the door and stepped in quietly, he did not meet his fellow Captain's gaze until he had completely shut the door behind him. When he did their eyes met and Toshiro made no attempt to hide the anger in his eyes.
"What can I do for you Captain Hitsugaya." He broke the connection of their eyes and looked away, slipping the report into a nearby folder and pushing it aside for the time being. He really had no interest in anything the young Captain had to say considering he had a feeling he already knew what it was going to be about.
Toshiro tossed a folder onto the table, a few of the pages that were contained inside threatened to fall out as the folder slid a few inches before stopping in front of Byakuya. "It's a copy of the report filed by my 10th seat earlier today about the incident in Inuzuri. Along with his written commendation for the assistance they provided in dealing with the escaped research specimen."
Byakuya rested his elbows on the desk and clasped his hands together, he eyed the young man before him and the look of sheer detest in the eyes bearing down on him. His voice was as stoic as ever as he responded as formalities dictated. "I will be sure to have them informed about his gratitude."
"Don't insult me Kuchiki." Toshiro dismissed his formalities. "Don't assume because of my young age that I wouldn't be able to see what's really going on here and here's a little bit of advice Captain." He spat out the title to add emphasis to his anger. "I suggest you leave the experiments to Squad 12 and the next time you feel like throwing away the lives of Shingami to test a scenario than use your own damn people to do it." He turned and left without giving Byakuya even a moment to respond and defend his actions. He slammed the door shut behind him as he stormed away.
What happened today was no accident; a research specimen just happens to escape during a facility transfer and just so happens to make its way completely undetected all the way out to Hanging Dog unnoticed. A district that by sheer chance has been recently patrolled by a special two-man squad that contains the one person being kept under surveillance and suspicion by damn near every squad… Yea, that's about as believable as Aizen coming out of confinement begging forgiveness.
Chitsuki took a deep breath, once again she found herself at the research and development institute. For the last two days she had been attempting to come see Akon because of the note he sent saying the gigai was complete but every time she came here they told her that he wasn't around, part of her was certain that he was toying with her again.
Why do you keep torturing yourself like this child?...
"I am not torturing myself." Great, being patronized by a voice in my head is always fun.
Oh really?... than tell me child… Why does it always rain here when you find out his not around?
"Miss Yume?" An inquisitive voice piped up from behind her, startling her a bit.
She turned to see the young scientist that had approached her before when she was showing Dokuja around, what was his name… Rin? "Ah, hello there." She gave him a bit of a wave.
He gave a nervous chuckle and waved back to her. "Um, what are you doing here Miss Yume?"
"Oh." She looked around a bit, hoping maybe she would catch Akon walking around a corner at any moment. "I was actually looking for Akon, is he around?" Please, please, please.
"Oh yes." He pointed off to the side that led into a hall of doors and other hallways. "He's down in his office; would you like me to show you where it is?"
Her heart was pounding in her chest, he was actually here! "Yes, please." She had only been to his lab once before and she wasn't sure if his office and lab were one in the same so better to be safe and shown the way. Without so much as the slightest bit of conversation she followed him down the winding all, she vaguely remembered the area. It seemed as if they were heading to Akon's lab after all, she knew that if she continued down this hall even further it would bring her to Akusai's lab. She shuttered a bit at the thought of him, she hadn't seen him in quite some time and she would like to keep it that way.
Rin gave a gentle knock that sounded more like a tap and waited patiently for a response.
"Come in." Akon looked up from his paperwork to see Rin peeking his head in. "Rin? What are you doing here?" He really wasn't expecting to see him, last he knew Rin was supposed to be cleaning up down in the lower labs.
"Um, Miss Yume is here to see you." As he said it she came up around him and into the lab.
"Ah, thank you Rin." He leaned back in his chair and lit a cigarette; he figured that she would be showing up sometime today. He stood up and walked around his desk. "You can go now Rin."
He just nodded and left without another word, he figured she was here to see him about that recent gigai he made. Not a lot of people knew about it, for some reason it was being kept a secret and only high ranking officers were allowed to know about it. In fact, the only reason he even knew was because he accidently found it while cleaning up in Akon's lab.
They both watched him go without saying a word, Akon tapping the ash from his cigarette and bring it to his lips again. "So what can I do for you Miss Yume?" He knew full well why she was here but he couldn't help getting a little bit of enjoyment out of the frustrated look on her face.
"You know exactly why I'm here." She really did hate it when he taunted her. "I came to see the Gigai you made; you sent me a note…" She reached into her sleeve to pull out the note he sent her, she had been carrying it around ever since she got it.
He walked up to her and grabbed her chin, interrupting her movements and cutting off her statement. "And how badly do you want to see it?" He couldn't resist allowing a smile to form along his lips; he could see that fire igniting in her eyes. That ferocity that he craved, the sheer look in her eyes as he brought his face so dangerously close to hers. "Are you willing to beg for it?" He could swear he heard a faint growl itching its way to her throat, her fingers twitched. Oh how she must have wanted to slap him. He let her go and took a step back, raising his hands defensively. "Just kidding."
She rolled her eyes at him with an aggravated groan. "Why do you always have to be just a pervert?" She could not figure him out for the life of her. He went from being a kind man to a rotten lecher in the blink of an eye then back again.
"Don't get so worked up about it." He took a drag from his cigarette and exhaled the smoke slowly. "The whole reason I do it is because you get so riled up about it." He turned and grabbed the test tube containing the Kaizō Konpaku from off his desk and slipped it into his pocket. "It's not often we get people as lively as you coming to visit, anyways, come on let's get going."
She couldn't help but think that the people they usually have visit are unconscious and soon dissected. She shrugged it off though, that wasn't a particular thought she wanted to dwell on so she dropped it and followed him out of his office and thru the winding halls. "Um… Where are we going?" She felt like they were making their way deeper into a labyrinth. "I thought you would have the Gigai in your lab." She could feel her heart start to pound, the thought of finally being able to see it was creeping up and making her very anxious.
"I had it moved to a more secure lab." They came to a stop in front of a barred door, he removed a special key from his pocket and slid it into and opening that resembled a mouth. He watched her from the corner of his eye, there was a feint bit of sweat on her brow and she was chewing on her lip… Both signs of anxiety. How peculiar that she would get so worked up over something so seemingly trivial.
That was odd, why would they need to have it kept in a secure location? "Um, can I ask why?"
He tapped his cigarette again. "No, you can't." The doors opened with a groan and he walked inside, completely ignoring the wide eyed look she gave him.
She growled a bit under her breath, he was so frustrating! What right did he have to tell her no? Wasn't this gigai supposed to be for her anyways? So shouldn't she be allowed to know why this thing had to be kept in such a remote and secure place?
He looked back at her with those lazy eyes of his, he couldn't help but smirk and the blatant rage she had building behind those crystal eyes of hers. "Are you just going to stand there glaring at me or do you want to see your precious gigai?" He laid his hand on a covered object, smirking at her wickedly.
Her brain stopped its complaints; she could feel the lump in her throat growing. She could see the outline of a body beneath the surgical tarp, the sound of it crackling as he pulled the tarp away filled her ears. It was almost a deafening sound in the large room as the tarp fell to the ground.
Chitsuki exhaled slowly, she hadn't even realized she was holding her breath until she noticed the ache in her chest. She didn't know what to say as she looked at it… at herself. The body was bare and she could see the flawless skin, the hair was unbound and fell freely over its breasts. This is who she should have been; if she had been born in some other time, some other place than where she had been. This is the person she should have been.
Tengoku looked thru her daughter's eyes at Akon's creation, she could feel her daughter's joy but she could not bring herself to share it. Sadness cut into her that did nothing but deepen the already jagged wound in her very soul, if she had been stronger… If she could have fought back the ones that killed her love and taken her captive… She could have saved her daughter from the fate her weakness cursed her with. Looking at the creation before them she could see the beautiful woman her daughter should have been, the beauty that came from the union of her and her beloved. The thought of him, her dear husband, almost made her want to weep. If only he was still alive, how proud he would be to see how strong their daughter has become. She was indeed a beautiful woman, with or without the scars, and even though the form she wears now does not have any of her father's fine traits she had her true form that encompassed all his beauty… she almost wished that Chitsuki would transform one of these days so she could see it again…
Chitsuki touched the cheek of the gigai thoughtfully, the skin was so soft. She looked into its eyes, they were lifeless but something about them seemed off. "Her eyes are different than mine…" It wasn't a very drastic difference, the color was still the same but there was just something off about them. She did know her body better than anyone.
Akon smirked; he wasn't surprised that she had noticed the slight change. "Yes, it was a side effect caused from having to re-write the genetic sequence." He put out his cigarette and walked behind the gigai, pulling the hair back behind the shoulders to fully expose the body. "It's only a slight change that only people that know you on a deep level might be able to notice." He cupped the face and repositioned the face upwards to look at those wonderful eyes he created. "But if you keep it from making eye contact than there is nothing to worry about."
She couldn't help but blush, looking at the way the gigai was exposed and how he touched the body so tenderly. The thought of why it was created still nagged at her though, she knew the reason he had originally given her but it just didn't seem right. "What are you going to do with it? We both know I don't need it and I really don't think you would create something to just sit around and collect dust."
He smiled at her. "Of course I have no intention of allowing her to rot away down here." He repositioned the head so it was looking straight again, the thought of leaving such a grand creation down in the depths covered by a tarp with insulting. "I will use a Gikon to animate Maneru and she will stay here and act as my assistant." Although he will have to find suitable clothes that will hide her face, it truly will be a shame to hide that but it had to be done. It would be pointless to have everyone know about the secret body double.
Maneru? "You gave it a name?" She didn't expect that at all, she honestly didn't know what to expect and what about the artificial soul? She only knew a little about the Gikon from the few times she talked to Hanataro about his trips to the world of the living, that's when she first learned about the gigai too.
"Of course I did. Everything deserves a name doesn't it?"
She blushed at that, remembering how it felt not to have a name and how wonderful it was when Shun-chan named her. "Yes… and it is a good name." and fitting since the word 'Maneru' meant 'Mimic'. She smiled up to him. "Thank you for this… It means more to me than you can ever imagine." She turned and left without saying another word, she knew she could not linger for too long and it would be unhealthy if she became obsessed with it. Seeing what she could have been was good enough for her, she knew she could never change her body and take away her scars but at least now she knew what might have been and it was enough to give her that little peace of mind.
He watched her leave without saying a word, waited till he heard the click of the door latch before he took the few small steps to be standing in front of the body. His hand slid into the pocket that held the fateful test tube, he removed it and eyed it with every bit of caution that he used when he initially inspected it. He still was not sure on what to think, it was the Captain's creation wasn't it? Would it have a dead personality like Nemu? What abilities did he imbue it with? What to do…
He looked over his creation approvingly; its eyes were his favorite even if they had no life to them just yet. He took great care in replicating that ferocity in these eyes, by no means was it a side effect like he told Chitsuki but she didn't need to know that bit of information. He ran his thumb over the soft lips; these were a perfect match to the original. He pushed his thumb passed the threshold of her mouth and used it to part those fine lips, with his other hand he brought the test tube to his own mouth and tilted it back allowing the small green pill to fall against his lips. He used his tongue to hold the pill just behind his teeth as he pressed his lips to hers, with the tip of his tongue he pushed the soul candy passed hers and to the back of her throat. As the pill worked its way down her esophagus he felt the body in his arms come to life, the soul igniting those wonderful eyes of his creation.
She looked thru the eyes of her new body, as a pill she could be aware of the things going on around her but that was it. Now she had a body to explore the world in, she was no longer trapped and she had every intention of experiencing this world. The Captain had programed sufficient knowledge into her; she knew the histories including those of the mod soul origins and what had been done to her predecessors… She will live for them… and for herself.
"So, is this how you treat all your assistants?" She smiled a wicked smile up to him, oh the things she planned to experience… In the name of science of course.
He couldn't help but smile as he felt Maneru press against him; he had a lot to discover about the abilities the Captain put in this thing but at least the personality was proving interesting. He was thrilled to see that those ideal eyes were alive now like a storm, that is what he craved. There was such emotion in there, so unlike the dead eyes of Nemu and there was no fear in them like Chitsuki's. Yes, these eyes were truly a master piece. He almost laughed at the thought of what Chitsuki would do to him if she found out the fun things he planned to do with this gigai but what could he say?... He was a man after all.