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The E.f.d.f.

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The man of the hour had arrived.

Dressed in an all gray suit with black shoes and an old brown hat was Rear Admiral Andrew Ryan. A man with a deep voice that commanded respect. A brow that showed constant demand for issues throughout his command. A man with the face of a worn out soul, but determined to see his goals achieved. This man was one of the major leaders of the European Union Defense Forces.

He waved his hand at the audience that sat facing the podium. At tables to the sides of the podium were respected leaders, powerful individuals, or men with too much money to spend. It didn't matter at all to Andrew Ryan for he knew he was a greater man then all of them. They all came from backgrounds that set themselves above others at birth. No not Andrew Ryan he was a self made man. He created his own weapons industry, and proven his valor time and again on the battlefield earning him the grudging respect of his peers and the admiration of the denizens of Europe.

Standing behind the podium he pulled out his note cards to read from them, but he realized something. He need not need paper to tell him what he needed to say. No! All the people needed to hear was what came from his heart and mind, not words soullessly written down onto paper like a common plebeian.

Ladies and Gentlemen I say thank you. You the citizens of the E.U. keep these collective of nations alive and fit. It has been through your daring and ingenuity that has kept the Britannian parasites from taking anymore of Europe for their Emperor. Our enemy is twice our size with a population that exceeds ours. How is it that we've managed to survive this long?

You all know already, but I'll say it anyway.

It is because we are a nation of men! Every citizen here works for what they receive. We fight not for some ruler that oppresses us, but for ourselves! Britannia claims that no man is equal. The Emperor proclaims that each man there works for his feed. Those are ideals in which I too agree on, but all too often do our oppressors raise one hand with a hammer and behind their back clench a whip!

The citizens of Britannia are fools led by parasites. The royal family only exists to feed off of the endeavors of greater men. Everything they own is not from their own doing, but from other's labor. So I say to you Emperor of Britannia you are no man! You are but a parasite and like all parasites I'll step on you like the insect you are.

Citizens of the E.U. you have nothing to fear! Their numbers may be limitless, but they lack a vital power.

They lack the willpower that we have! We will meet them in combat and we will take back the land they stole from us.

Do not fight for your leaders! Do not fight for family or for some god! Fight for your property, fight for your happiness! Fight for yourselves!

Do not expect others to fight for you, to feed you, to tell you that everything will be all right. A man knows better than to nurture a parasite that does nothing but feed on him.

I ask you this my fellow Europeans.

Are you men who fight for what is theirs by the sweat of your brow or are you slaves who obey a higher authority?

Let Britannia come I say! They'll not find a defeated nation filled with despair and poverty. They'll find a nation of strong able bodied men who'll not bow their heads to parasites. They'll find a nation of men who'll not sit down and watch as everything they own is stolen from them!

Let us show the World that we are a Nation of Men!!!

And that was all he wanted to say. It wouldn't be too long a wait for him to show the worth and merit of his words as soon as the first of his "Mobile Suits" began to be deployed out onto the front lines. Let the Britannians come he thought, for he'd welcome them with a storm of death. For he knew that what came to claim his and other's land were not men, but something less than a man.

Edited by Andrew Ryan
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"Ahh what a beautiful day." William Eu Britannia said to himself softly as his gentle gaze stared at the clouds. He was in the E.U. formerly the bitter enemies of Britannia, but now under his control. All of Europe was his as was the Britannian Empire.

"It was a great idea to dispose of my brother like that and to allow Pendragon to be wiped out killing all of my brother's loyalist supporters with him. Now with my little brother and my father dead this world can now become mine..." Britannia muttered darkly revealing his ruthlessness and inner darkness. Sitting on the veranda of a castle that he used for his vacation home he turned to his guest.

"If it wasn't for you my greatest ally I wouldn't be Emperor of the entire world ahahaha! I must ask how did you manage to kill off all the members of all Seven of the Union's institutions?" William said turning to his ally True "Slade" Grit.

"None of 'em could sense a spiritual presence. So lopping off ere heads was like takin' sweets from a babe." Grit said in a blue shirt and jeans and over it a brown coat and wide brim hat also brown. He was leaning against a white pillar behind William staring into space.

"Well if it wasn't for you taking out the firm higher ups they never would have signed the treaty with me to rebuild their economy which I myself crashed by disrupting all their trade..." William said and then taking a sip of his tea staring at some birds flying by.

Since his father and brother's death William was made Emperor of Britannia, consolidating his forces. in which he used to shatter the trade routes between the EU and Asia. He even poured in so much money into the Union that it took buckets of dollar bills to buy one loft of bread. His most loyal followers he placed in his highest ranks to ensure order, but William allowed enough freedom in the EU and Britannia to keep the populace content. All that was left was the Asian Federation.

"What about them Yellers in the east yer Highness?" Grit said pointing out Asia was still fighting Britannia.

Turning back towards Grit William became grim. "What about them? They pose no threat. Their countries are un-united and they bicker more with each other then with my soldiers."

"For now Slade let us savor the taste of victory before our next move is initiated" William said ominously as the walls of the Castle lined with Britannia royal Guards and Knightmares.

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He never really enjoyed visiting to the human realm. It was a cold and shallow place for him, a metal world ruled with an iron fist. Alas coming here was a necessity as the simplest means of entering Hueco Mundo was to force a low hollow creature to lead him there. Like a bolt he dashed through the clouds, much like a chain reaction dancing between them. His sensory for hollow reiatsu was at its peak, however traveling at such speeds it often proved difficult to take notice of a reiatsu if it appeared too faint.

He traveled a great distance before sensing something that made him feel like his insides where turning into an endless pit. He froze in motion.. And when the speed of sound finally caught up with him the sky roared like thunder to his sudden halt. He felt it... Vaguely.. Not weak enough to be mistaken as a wishful feeling nor strong enough for convincing hope. The familiar feeling it gave off was the only certainty that somewhere, down below, something felt like Slade.

He gazed below to see a vast and majestic city, it was bright and pure.. Much like a pearl. Despite knowing it had a heart and mind of metal, from a far off distance like this.. It was rather beautiful. Ruroki made a fast attempt to get a rough estimation of where the source from Slade's reiatsu could be transmitted and started descending rapidly.

As he came closer to the city the feeling only got stronger and stronger making pin pointing its exact location both accurate and simple. It was strange however, he had almost expected it to vanish the moment he started the descent.. Yet.. It lingered, it almost seemed... Inviting. Eventually the young Captain had reached a grand building, a palace to be precise and all around him where human nobility going on with their carefree lives. Nothing about this place reminded him of his friend..

A sensation of mixed feelings stirred up inside him.. Both joy and anger, rage and sadness and Ruroki never being the kind of person to let emotions run amok was for the first time in his life wasn't sure how to react. Despite this however.. He pressed on.. He needed to see him, he needed to ask why and hear the words personally come from the person he once upon a time used called brother.

He phased through the large oak gate leading inside the palace as the material world had no effect on a ghost. Rapidly approaching, knowing that just behind a few other walls a friend he wanted to punch so hard in the face was just a moment away. There was no point in hiding his own reiatsu at this point, in fact it ever so slightly increased subconsciously from the anxiety with every step he drew closer.

As he shifted through one last marble wall the familiar tune of a southern accent was immediately noticed. Behind a set of lace drapes and curtains Ruroki saw the unmistakably silhouette of what would be his friend sitting down in a chair. His eyes frowned with anger and with a basic shunpo he appeared in frond of Slade only about 5 meters between them.

For the longest of moment Ruroki simply stared with scorn at his old friend, he didn't say anything but the judging feeling in his eyes. He had noticed the presence the other man who seemed to accompanied Grit but at the time Ruroki couldn’t really care any less. This man wasn’t probably aware of him either way.

Now finally standing face to face with his lost friend the young Captain wasn’t sure what to feel, he was angry.. Very angry but truth be told what he mostly felt was hurt. In this anger he reached for the hilt of his Zanpakuto, grasped it firmly and started very slowly draw it from its sheath. Black small, yet fierce sparks erupted from its edge as it was being drawn out slowly. However the blade had only been pulled out for a few centimeters before he stopped.

Never before had his blade felt this heavy to draw from his sheath. Could he really do this? To draw edge against his own brother? A task much desired yet it seemed to be impossible. He couldn't, not against him and he sheathed back what little of the sword had been drawn. He stared at him to collect thought, still with scorn in his eyes.

"At first I couldn’t believe it.. Or perhaps I didn't want to believe it." his monologue voice spoke out referring over Grits sudden defection to the enemy. "Do you know what its like to be told by strangers that your brother, the very man you've bled with and would have died for is declared an enemy of the state? That he had become the very thing he set out to destroy?" with every word spoken Ruroki's voice got more and more pent up from the anger over having to express his feelings after having felt betrayed as he did.

"Of course you don’t Slade, just look at you." He continued. "Sitting here with a human, lookin' rather content about it too. And for what? For what Slade? Did the things you sought to protect really mean that little to you? Did my trust, my friendship really mean that little to you? Well? Answer me that Slade!" by completing his sentence Ruro's feelings towards this was overwhelming enough he'd taken a step forward when demanding an answer from his friend.

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A storm was brewing he thought as the unnatural clouds approached the area and thundered with lightning strikes. Like before he was awestruck at the beauty his friend could create, but did he see it as a weapon or did he understand its brilliance. The power to control the weather like the heathen gods of old was blessed only to a few and likewise Grit had not been one. Deep down he held resentment for that fact. Insecure of himself when he stood near his friend. He was aware of that fact, but he never once said it to his old friend. He had never really opened up to anyone. No one knew him and he never came to know anyone. He did it not out of ignorance but his desire to do so was underdeveloped. He didn't want people to see who he really was beneath his facade. He didn't want them to look down on him in disgust or in pity. Perhaps Grit simply didn't know himself and kept people away to conceal his identity. A childish fear to be afraid of the unknown least of all yourself. To have to make up lies on what you like or what you dislike. Was I simply born hollow inside?

Even as he saw the storm the reflection of his friends thoughts Grit placed himself in front of two faced mirror. To reflect a face back at those he meets and he closes his eyes to his own reflection. Oohh I'm tired of being alone...

Trust was something Grit learned long ago to never have. To trust was to be foolish he had thought. People would only hurt you if you shared yourself with them. The emptiness inside a person whose trust was broken was just as deep as the abyss between him and everyone else. Perhaps that's why he never really got to know people. The hassle of telling lies from honesty. Such a pain..

More thunder was heard and lightning flash across the sky as the storm was now above them. Such a beautiful sight...

If only he could have been like the lightning in a storm. Shining brilliantly for one second, striking true and fierce. No he was not that lucky. He was like a tree struck by lightning who had been hollow inside for so long.

"At first I couldn’t believe it.. Or perhaps I didn't want to believe it." his monologue voice spoke out referring over Grits sudden defection to the enemy. "Do you know what its like to be told by strangers that your brother, the very man you've bled with and would have died for is declared an enemy of the state? That he had become the very thing he set out to destroy?" with every word spoken Ruroki's voice got more and more pent up from the anger over having to express his feelings after having felt betrayed as he did.

"Of course you don’t Slade, just look at you." He continued. "Sitting here with a human, lookin' rather content about it too. And for what? For what Slade? Did the things you sought to protect really mean that little to you? Did my trust, my friendship really mean that little to you? Well? Answer me that Slade!" by completing his sentence Ruro's feelings towards this was overwhelming enough he'd taken a step forward when demanding an answer from his friend.

His face looking up at the storm Grit stood silent for a moment as his hat and brown trench coat flapped. Did my existence always feel this cold?

His eyes moved as his eyes looked to see Ruroki standing there. Dilated Grit's expression weakened and his eyes softened.

"Ruroki...."

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He didn't get it.. Didn't Slade fathom the situation? Why did his gaze soften? What's with his mournful expression?! The display only enraged Ruroki even further. "You're playing dirty! Can't you at least act like a villain?!" He scornfully suggested whilst gritting his teeth. The anxiety overwhelmed him on the inside, breathing became heavy. The fist grasping the hilt of Kokurai was twitching. Ruroki remained indecisive whether or not he should draw his blade and end the betrayal with a single motion and truly become alone in this vast world. Or whether he'd keep the sword sheathed and cut the ties with Slade like he truly was dead but without having to carry the burden of his best friends blood on his hands.

Feeling nostalgic over the treasured memories of youth he spent together with Slade and Saya when staring at his friends weakened face didn't exactly contribute to a decision. Did Slade's time spent together with Ruroki, Saya and everyone else in their academic years mean so little to him? The early years of squad duty? The death of Saya? The means of being friends?! The only still living friend?! Feeling heavily betrayed and nearly petrified in the arm that clenched his zanpakutÅ Ruroki eventually loosened his grip around it along with the tensed up pressure built surrounding it. It wasn't however due to any sort of aspect in forgiveness or mercy, but more caused by an action of confusion, leaving him in a frustration enough to change his course of actions. With a snort, Ruroki quickly approached his friend in the chair. With a forceful grip around Slade's collar with his left hand made the bizarre black markings of his artificial arm run amok in a shifting pattern. "Why damn you?!" he demanded to know, ferociously but yet in a relatively leveled manner. The grasp around the collar tightened even further. Ruroki wasn't known to let his emotions get ahead of his personal interest. With the few times they had things tended to get out of hand quickly. And this was one of those times his feelings were running amok. It took a great effort to keep his reason borderline.

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Slade's body jerked as Ruroki grabbed his collar and pulled him close. Slade merely looked the other way as his old friend asked him. His eyes hidden by shadow and the wrinkles around his mouth more prominent, Grit was tired. Grit meekly raised his right hand and set it atop Ruroki's clenched fist holding onto Grit's collar.

"Why did you seek power Ruru?" Grit rhetorically asked his old friend. His life flashed through his eyes, Grit traced back his own reasons.

"I did it to protect the people I cherished" he stated quietly. Grit's free arm slid off the arm off his chair.

"No one wants to lose the things that's important to him. It's the same with people, but it does feel like a selfish desire. Maybe that's why..."

He moved his face to stare at Ruroki as his eyes struggled to keep their gaze.

"I achieved skill over the Healing Arts to stop the hold death had over the wounded."

"I mastered Bankai so I had the power to protect others from villains"

His hand tightened around Ruroki's as he recited his true feelings about his motivations for his diabolic actions.

"I claimed the rank of captain to better achieve these ends"

"And eventually I became the Captain Commander and Emperor of the Vandenreich to save people from having to fight at all" he stated with a hint of ferocity in his eyes.

"What better way to bring peace than to have absolute control over all the chess pieces. No more battle, no more pain, no more bickering. Just people living their lives.." he drifted off as he finally broke his gaze and stared back at the horizon.

"I got too caught up in my selfish wants"

"The delusions of a man who is afraid of loss. It makes him do silly things hee hee.." he muttered sardonically.

"But it's all over now..I've accepted my folly.." Grit finished as he released his grip over Ruroki and his hand went limp and slid off his friend's hand. His foot outstretched knocking over a hidden vial onto the ground. The contents inside it were empty save for the trace droppings of poison Grit had just taken before Ruroki's arrival.

"I think it's time...I exit the stage my friend" Slade told his friend smiling brightly.

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"Tsch!" He slightly staggered over his friends sudden outburst and by the time Slade released Ruro's wrist, he let go of the collar as well. "You can't outwit pain, Slade!" He spoke out with a strong impulse but couldn't help but to feel a slight sense of pity. He could relate to him, even to the point where it got painful. After all, he also took an alternative path in his life for the sake of others. Just not as severely misguided as Slade had ended up. Even the power he'd obtained were just means to not having to experience reoccurring events. But it was all for naught, each time, and even if you tried obtaining all the power in the universe it never seemed to be enough. Pain would always catch up to you. It was part of life, all you could do was to take lessons from its experience. Pain is the force that teaches us what kindness really means, the compassion we feel towards others is the result of understanding pain. Everyone have their demons.. Demons we'd have to endure for the remaining time we have. Demon's we could never vanquish but only learn means to tame.. But perhaps that's exactly what Slade had tried to accomplish? To disperse his own demons and along the path losing his way?

Ruroki found his way of thinking too naive, perhaps it was wrong of him in doing that for his mind wasn't all too different. But it seemed too childlike when brought out into the light. But then again, the Slade he grew up with was always bright and cheerful. Even with the event of Saya's death Ruru had only been able to see it through because of Slade's cheerful strength. So perhaps.. The child-like path he'd chosen wasn't such a shocking outcome after all, but one more typical of Slade? Guilt rushed through him, he couldn't help but to sense that perhaps things would have turned out differently if he hadn't abandoned Grit in is ascension to the king's realm for a decade. Perhaps if the two of them only had stuck together rather then going separate ways life would have guided them both to better paths. Ruru's expression had softened severely when he now glanced over to his friend. "I'm sor-.." he begun saying but the words choked up inside his throat.

But he never got another chance to say it before Slade uttered his final words and the tingling noise of the small vial colliding with the stone pavement. Ruro's soft expression had quickly turned into a rather dumbstruck one with the following events of the strange choice of words and the drained vial. Ruroki took paced steps to pick up the vial and smell its insides. He knew this bittersweet smell, it was an herbal substance. A toxin extremely lethal to spiritual beings in higher dosages. Ruro only knew of one cure, but those plants only grew in the Soul Society, and even if he'd reach one it would take an hour to prepare it. "What.. What have you done?!" He questioned in an outburst as a sense of anxiety and worry clouded his senses. "This isn't the time to be fooling around, Slade!" He commented, perhaps in hopes this was nothing but a foul joke. However, the panic in his action spoke differently when he hastily threw his precious friend over his shoulders without even paying heed to any possible protest.

He opened a senkaimon and used his lightning step to gain a frightful speed while traversing through the Dangai. If Slade truly had taken what he thought it was, he didn't have much time left before it would rob him of his life. Deep down Ruro knew he would never have enough time to provide an antidote in time before he'd pass and that only a miracle would save him at this point. But he chose to ignore that fact, he had to try! He didn't want to experience this, not again, not with Slade as well. It would shatter him to lose him too, the very last person he could call family, his best friend, his brother. "Don't you dare!" He'd managed to cry out in the darkness as it got harder to breathe. His sight was starting to fail him as well when his eyes had gone watery from the panic attack overwhelming him. He felt the need to break down and let panic take him in, much like what happened with Saya. But he wouldn't allow himself to do just that, he wanted Slade to live, no matter he had to do to see it so.

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