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Kaz

The End

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The rhythmic pitter-patting of footsteps could be heard marching into an abandoned warehouse as a storm rumbled overhead. A group of twelve soldiers marched through the rain with rifles trained at the ready. Each soldier was outfitted in similar attire. Long, black, double-breasted trench coats with shoulder straps. The coat is bound at the waist with an ivory belt and a lavishly decorated buckle with the symbol of a bald eagle clutching the world within its talons. All of this is worn over a pair of black trousers and tightly tied trench boots. One soldier had an eagle insignia adorned on his back with a golden star in the middle. This man was the leader of this group of black-op soldiers. They quickly fill the warehouse by twos, one for each side. They stay close to each other with their backs practically hugging up against the wall. One by one, each of them equip special goggles to get a better opportunity to spot their awaiting prey. From above, their target quickly moves around in the shadows. Its beady yellow eyes darting from beam to beam with the greatest of ease. The creature is worried and afraid but determined. Determined to feast on a meal and quell, if only for a fleeting moment, its insatiable hunger. It wants to stop these men at any costs but most importantly, it is determined to survive. A quick bolt of lightning from outside briefly illuminates the warehouse, causing one of the soldiers to spot the creature above. "The target is up on the ceiling!" he yells as he fires a barrage of bullets towards the creature's direction. The others quickly follow suit, covering a large area of the roof in bullets. The sound of rainfall is quickly engulfed by the sounds of shell casings hitting the floor. After a solid minute, the firing stops. The guns still smoke in their hands as they begin to move around and form up in search of what they hope to be a dead body. Still in formation, they walk before a blur streaks in front of the leader's face. His audibly startled gasp causes them all to stop dead in their tracks., holding up their weapons for round two. A scream of pain and anguish rings out, this time from behind the group. They quickly begin to move back and attempt to figure out just who the sound came from. Taking a few steps forward, one of them feels his foot stepping into something wet. The group could hear ravenous chewing coming from the other side of the room. The sickening sound of something being crunched upon. A lump formed in the leader's throat. He knew what had transpired. Another bolt of lighting from outside revealed what they all feared. Someone in the back of the group had been caught off guard from behind. One single swipe from the creature was all that was necessary to end his life and claim his head. Now, the creature sat feasting the spoils of its victory, fulfilling one of its goals. Its ivory white mask covered in splatters of crimson blood, grinning at the soldiers with fiendish delight. 

"Fire at will men!' the lead soldier says as they begin to pepper the creature with a barrage of bullets. The bullets, unfortunately, have little effect on the creature's tough exterior but it does manage to slow it down. It slowly backs away, giving the remaining eleven soldiers time to surround it in a U-shape. It backs itself firmly up against a wall, attempting to swipe at any advancing soldier to keep their distance. The creature was no fool. It knew that it only needed to bide its time until the bullets ran out. From there, it would be child's play to finish them all off one by one. All twelve would serve as a glorious feast. "Switch to the RXR rounds immediately." The leader flicks a small switch on the upper right portion of his rifle as the weapon begins to hum slightly. Suddenly, the bullets firing from the weapon glow blue, moving at an increased speed. These rounds, compared to the others, begin to rip into the flesh of the creature who howls in pain. Each soldier quickly flicks the switch on their riles as the inside of the warehouse is illuminated in a blue-ish glow. The creature is pelted from all sides from the gunfire, hole after hole being blasted into its body. A few seconds pass and the creature slumps to the ground, near lifeless. The leader holds his right hand upward, signaling a stoppage of gunfire. All still have their guns trained on the creature in the event it akes any sort of movement. From behind, three military vehicles pull up to the entrance of the warehouse. The back door of the middle vehicle opens as a bright purple umbrella emerges. A pair of pristine black loafers step out on the wet concrete as a man closes the door, umbrella firmly in hand. His jet-black hair drips a few drops of water from the raindrops that manage to get by his umbrella. His black coat dangles just above the wet ground as he makes his way forward. Each step is slow and meticulous. Taking in all the dreary scenery with his calculating eyes. As he walks inside of the warehouse, he closes his umbrella and uses it as a makeshift cane. His footsteps echo above the pattering rain as the soldiers part to let him through, guns still trained on the target. The man reaches the group of soldiers, handing the captain his umbrella as he takes a better look at the nearly deceased creature. "Would you like to use my googles to see the creature?" the captain says inquisitively. "No need. I can see its magnificent figure just fine without." the man says sharply. He stands in awe of the wounded creature before him.

"It's breathtaking...isn't it?" Breathtaking to behold such a magnificent creature like this." He says after a long pause in between. He starts to kneel down and get a better look at the creature but stops himself. An old saying rings in his head. "Never taunt a wounded animal." Relenting for a more appropriate approach, he pulls a PDA from within his coat and begins to scan the creature. "It is Adjuchas level and was nearing its completion of Vasto Lorde. Probably would have had it finished you all off. A shame you didn't let that happen." "An A Ranked hollow? This was one of the easier ones we've fought. Mind you, we lost a good soldier but the target went down fairly easy." The Captain pipes up. He was quite fond of his work, quite fond of the job he and his team performed. The thrill of the hunt. Protecting humanity from these abominations. One measly life was necessary for what he believed would be the salvation of billions. "I'm glad you cling so closely to fantasy, Captain. Try not to dabble too closely into delusion, however. The harsh realities of the world may scare you." He glances up at the Captain and gives a small, yet snide smirk before returning his attention to his PDA. "I've watched the entire battle from the chips installed in your goggles. The same device that allows you to see and combat spiritual creatures such as this. You all were falling right into its trap. It's backing up was not to get away from you but to corral you all in one spot. Had you waited just one more minute to use the Reishi X-tinction Rounds, you would have been all killed during the reloading process. Either as brutally as your colleague was or instantaneous by a cero. Had you used the rounds from the start, it would have adjusted and changed its strategy accordingly. I know what you are probably thinking and no, it was not a sound battle strategy. What you experienced was dumb luck that just happened to work out in your favor. You still do not truly know what you are up against."

Taking the umbrella back from the Captain's surprised hand, he removes the false bottom to reveal a small needle. Purple fluid dripped from the tip of the needle as he injects the liquid into the creature. It gives a small groan before it returns to its labored breathing. The creature's eyes glaze over before closing. "A pity. Even now, you do not realize the danger you were just in. According to the data, this creature had regenerative capabilities. With each passing second, it slowly regrew the damaged tissue. It would not have been long before the creature regained enough strength to strike again. Likely a suicide attack. Luckily, the special agent I've injected into its bloodstream will sedate and use the regenerative capabilities against it. The body, however, will be preserved for transport." The Captain stands mystified at the mistake that nearly cost him his own life. The man chuckles at the Captain's revelation and finishes collecting his required data. Slipping the PDA back into his pocket, he opens his umbrella and walks back to the waiting vehicles. A few men from the larger vehicle in the back, quickly file inside the warehouse with a large container to store the now sedated creature within. As they pass the man, he stops and stares out into the darkness in front of him. "Good job Captain," he says coyly. "You've been a great help in amassing all of the pieces I required. You have my thanks. I'll report the completion of your mission to Ms. Hikari." "Thank you, Mr. Kuna." The Captain responds as he and his soldiers salute the departing trucks. In the backseat, the man rifles through the data stored on his PDA, uploading that to the monitor on the right side. As he types on the keyboard, the monitor in front of him pulls up the files of the Captain and all of his team. A red 'X' is placed on the one deceased member as the man studies their files intently. His eyes dart from file to file before he shuts the monitor off and stares out at the streets around him. "I'm surprised you didn't bring me to this dimension sooner. It would not have come to this. However, it's quite impressive what you've done in this short amount of time. This entire empire, all of this equipment, just to appease your daughter and secretly settle your vendetta against him." Narutaki sits beside him, staring out in the vast darkness the window provided. "She is my little girl, it is only necessary I give her things to make her happy. Which is why Decade needs to be dealt with. He is dangerous. Given your history with him, I called you at the right time. If I called you before I set this up, he would have discovered you. With his arrogance, he'll never suspect you to be here installed in the empire he believes is his. The Arrancar will distract him until you are ready. Until it is ready." He places a gray briefcase that sat by his leg on the man's lap, never removing his gaze from the window. "The creatures of this dimension are truly astonishing. Such hubris they have. Human and Hollow DNA should be the final catalyst you need in order to use what is in this case." "Anything to see my old buddy again."  Listening to Narutaki's words, the man opens up the briefcase, revealing a blue gun with golden accents. Cards, similar to the ones Tetsuya uses, lay beside it. He marvels at the sight, slowly moving his hand to touch the weapon. "Don't forget our deal, Diend."

WC: 1,958

 

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It was 3:10 early Friday Morning. Takeru Kuna hadn't slept since he last saw Narutaki in the backseat of the transport vehicle. He spent countless hours focused on the computer screen that sat before him., studying and perfecting the research notes. This research would give him the edge against his old friend Tetsuya. He was so very close. So much so that he could see the metaphorical light at the end of the tunnel. There was just a bit more than he needed to do. One last hurdle he needed to cross before he could achieve his goal. He took a long sip of coffee before he returned his icy gaze over to the computer screen once more. He was on borrowed time and he knew it. He had to get this completed before Tetsuya discovered he was in this dimension. Tetsuya was an arrogant man and that arrogance would keep him under the radar for the moment. Regardless, things would be....problematic if he was found before it was ready. The contracts from the business Narutaki gave his daughter and the Arrancar he conned into dealing with Tetsuya would only keep him occupied for so long. His finger hovered over the enter button momentarily before he decides to watch the footage once more. Finally pressing the enter button, the video began to run.

A man, one of the employees of the technology subdivision of Hikari Incorporated, stood in the middle of the room. Sweat beaded from his face as he stood ready to test out what they believed to be the next development in fighting the supernatural of this dimension for those other than Tetsuya who received contracts. The man had been selected in secret; the promise of a substantial bonus his reward for his cooperation. Little did he know, he would never receive such a bonus. "Are you ready?" a voice rang out in the video. The man nodded and gave a thumbs-up as he placed a piece of equipment around his waist. "Viral cores initiated. All readings are currently in the green. Go ahead and begin the procedure." the man picked up the blue gun Narutaki gave Takeru and slide a blank card in a slot on the side. A small rhythmic hum began to emanate from it as blue streaks of energy begins to crackle around him. "Increase the power.." Takeru's voice ran out from the video as a technician on the side does exactly that. Soon the man begins to writhe in pain, screaming at the top of his lungs as he drops to his knees. Sweat drips profusely from the man's face, blood slowly dripping from every opening that it could. "Sir?! We should stop. He'll turn at this rate." A voice rang out. "Keep it going!" Takeru demanded as the technician reluctantly increases the power. More and more energy is poured into the system as the screams from the man begin to turn feral. His body shakes violently. Getting on his hands and knees, the man screams one final time as a white substance oozes from his face. With each tremble his body made, it began to steadily grow larger in size. His clothes were shredded in the process. Fur sprouted from his body, a blackened hole forming in the center of his chest. The white substance that oozed across his face began to harden and take on a canine-like appearance. The screams slowly turned into howls as the gun is tossed on the ground, sliding towards Takeru. The men in the lab start to panic, a feral creature slowly forming in front of their eyes. Takeru simply stood and watched the spectacle in front of him, not wavering for a moment. The transformation was soon complete, the man was replaced by a ravenous beast with only the desire to feed on its mind. It lunged for the closest individual, swiping a large portion of his body away with a single strike. Another man bolted for the exit but was met with a similar fate. It picked them all off one by one with teeth and claws until only it and Takeru remained.

A ravenous growl was heard as it slowly lurched towards the man with ill intent. Takeru stood with his hands firmly jammed in his pockets, now seemingly annoyed with the scene that had just transpired. With impressive speed, the beast lunged towards Takeru, lifting him and pinning him against the wall. It moved its head mere inches away from Takeru as it growled viciously; thick heaps of saliva dripping down its maw. "Yet another failure," Takeru spoke at least as he pulled a small device from his pocket. With a press of a button, the piece of equipment that remained on the beast exploded, taking its lower body with the controlled blast. The explosion caused the beast to drop Takeru as it fell to the ground, dead. The video feed soon cut out, Takeru with an even more annoyed look on his face. "Yesterday's test was a failure, just like the rest of them. Not truly hollow but not truly human either. I need to come up with a better solution as I'm beginning to run out of subjects. If I waste any more time with this, he'll end up finding me. I just seem to be missing one binding component." He furrows his brow and begins to once again look at the notes, meticulously scanning all of the complied information. It doesn't take look for him to be once again lost in his thoughts, so much so that he does not hear the door creak open behind him. An audible thump is heard as a hand is slammed on the desk. "What is it, Ms. Asuna?" Takeru says to his assistant without looking up from his paperwork. "You are going to be late. The showing is today, remember?" "Is that today?" he mutters. The woman smiled as the man sneered, scattering the paperwork in annoyance. Today was a demonstration for some of the new tech the technology department was developing. Unfortunately, Narutaki neglected to mention that he would have to attend a few of these to keep up the facade. Takeru silently curses the man before rising out of his seat. "When is this showing?" he replied as he walked towards the exit. "It's in one hour. Mr. Hojo will be the main presenter. You'll just have to be there to keep up appearances. Most won't even know you are there." "Fine..." Takeru grumbled. His mind was still lingering on the research. He wondered just what this missing piece could be. Narutaki only said Human and Hollow DNA but obviously that was a lie. Irritated, Takeru exits the door and heads down to prepare for the showing. "Soon old friend. We'll meet." 

WC: 1,132

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