A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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    The year is eleven and two thousand cycles into the common era of the world of the living, as determined by events of conflict between a western empire and the holy lands of the Middle Eastern deserts. In this entire era there has never been so much hollow activity as there is right now. While still unorganized, the renegade Hollows have made attempts on the Seireitei that increase in frequency and number with each passing day. While they are all hollows of low rank, their numbers have been keeping nearly every squad of the Gotei 13 busy fighting them back. The 12th Division scientists have discovered some sort of commonality between the hollows involved in these attacks. Traces of similar hollow energy have been found in the world of the living. The densest collections of these renegade hollows have appeared in the most unlikely of areas. Some gather in major cities where their food sources would be most plentiful, while others gather near small villages where only a handful of humans live. There seems to be no pattern to these attacks or these gatherings, but it is known that these hollows do not gather with any other type of hollow. Their hollow signatures are unique when compared to other hollows. They are hostile to other hollows and have been observed to ignore plusses in favor of gathering in these ‘chosen areas’. One such location is that is Grenada, a small town in northern California. You, along with a number of Shinigami from your Division’s barracks, have been assigned to investigate this area and to discover what is attracting the Hollows to that spot. With so many Shinigami on duty protecting the Seireitei, your squad couldn’t spare enough people for a full contingent. In the same are members of other squads who are to aid you on this mission. The leader of this temporary task force is Kenshin Yoshiro, Third Seat of Squad 3. You are to follow his orders without question. Avoid destroying the Hollows, if at all possible, until you have discovered their reason for gathering there. Once you have obtained this information and destroyed all remaining Hollows, Third Seat Yoshiro will hand down your new orders.



    Seireitei, Senkaimon Gateway Platform | 10:34AM

    Awaiting your arrival is a man with grey hair pulled back into a loose pony tail. His eyes are a dull muted brown and his expression is that of constant boredom. Clenched between his teeth is a small pretzel stick that has been dipped in chocolate. A pair of dark rounded glass with yellow rimmed sunglasses hang on the tip of his nose. His apathetic gaze meets you from above the sunglasses as you assemble on the platform. To either side of his stand individuals with face coverings. They appear to be far too focused on their own tasks to be bothered to notice your arrival. A single cough is uttered from the man to announce that he is about to speak.

    "So you are all they could spare...? Well it figures. I am Third Seat of Squad Three, Kenshin Yoshiro... and I'll assume you all know why you are here. There is something odd happening in the world of the living and it probably has something to do with the sudden attacks here in the Seireitei. The hollows ain't got the advantage and they ain't got the numbers." The pretzel stick is suddenly snapped as he chews it, but as soon as he finishes eating it another appears without warning, replacing the one he just ate. The look of boredom is replaced, for a moment, with that of fury. "So why the heck are they attacking us? To distract us from what's really going on. What that is, we don't know. But you lot are going to find out. We've already sent quite a few Shinigami from the tenth and thirteenth divisions, but they were rather green. We're going to provide backup, and to investigate what's going on. I know, 'why aren't the ninth or seventh getting involved?' As it turns out, this isn't the only investigation under way or attack on the mortal world in this area right now. We're just a task force of who happened to be left over... from the looks of it, that meant a lot of tenth division guys. Well, shall we?"

    He turns without warning, facing away from the group. You can hear the familiar sound of the appearance of the guides and messengers of the Soul Society. Six Jigokuchō appear, one for of each of you, as the doors to the Senkaimon appear. Third Seat Kenshin gives a half hearted wave from over his shoulder, as if asking you all to follow him. Guided by the Jigokuchō, you leave the Seireitei for the World of the Living as the doors of the Senkaimon close behind you.

    Grenada, California | 6:38PM

    The other side to the Senkaimon opens to you as your arrive at your destination, the small town of Grenada, California. The gate opens on the rooftop of a short building. From where you stand you can feel the sudden change in spiritual pressure and those of you with Soul Phones can hear ringing tones and/or feel vibrations from them. The ringing/vibrating becomes so constant and intense that the phones automatically shut down to avoid exploding in your pockets. Your own power feels suppressed within this strange aura, or it could be the power inhibiters that you were given before meeting with the head of this miss matched task force. Third Seat Kenshin looks over his shoulder to the lot of you, giving a quirk of his eyebrow before facing forward and rushing off into the distance. He makes the path easy enough for you, only choosing gaps between buildings that aren’t too far apart. While you could easily phase through the buildings, the landing on the ground below would still hurt for those of you who cannot fly. The pressure you’ve been feeling builds and builds, becoming so powerful that it is starting to become painful. If it is affecting Yoshiro, he isn’t letting on. Just as the pain grows to the point of making you lose consciousness, it disappears. It was as if you walked into the eye of the storm, so to speak.

    As you make your way through the town, you see fewer and fewer large buildings and more small buildings that are all fenced in. Those of you familiar with western culture could easily identify these as homes for the humans. Every few houses you see a broken wall, a collapsed roof, or a crater in a yard; all signs of the increased and reckless hollow activity. On the edges of your vision you can see hollow and Shinigami in battle, but it appears that your Shinigami brethren have the fight under control. Yoshiro urges you to continue onward, following a trail that the rest of you cannot seem to see. Your journey brings you to a house besieged by dozens of hollows. Surrounding the yard and working to fight them are the rookie Shinigami of the Tenth and Thirteenth Divisions. With a few quick movements and the sound of Zanpakutou clashing against Hierro, your task force leader punches a hole in the enemy line. He stands guard as you rush in, and backs in slowly as the rookies fill the gap. Third Seat Kenshin gives each of you a post, and commands you to hold it at any cost. “I’ll be right back… I’m going to search the house, see what it is they are after.” At first it seems that you would be able to hold the line, but for each Hollow slain there are one or more ready to fill its place. As the fight continues, hollows from the entire area begin to congregate on your location, drawn by whatever it is that is attracting them.

    In the distance, there is a humanoid figure standing on top of a wooden post with wires attached to it. He watches the battle with some interest, obviously not bothered by it. There is a white mask covering his face, and his hands are decorated with vicious claws. He stands with his elbow resting in his palm, and his free hand taps a claw against his chin every so often. Every time one of you thinks of confronting him, the hollows press harder and in greater numbers. Just as you become used to fighting the terrible brutes, they are replaced with many smaller and faster ones that you can’t seem to pin down. Every time your strategy changes, so does the forces fighting against you. In the end, it is all you can do to hold them back.

    Third Seat Kenshin returns, looking slightly less bored than normal. You hear his voice as if spoken softly near you, rather than yelled from across the yard. “I’ve found what they’re looking for, there’s this kid in there who’s Spiritual Pressure is through the roof. Well… not literally, or the roof would be gone. That that I’d put it past him. Anyways, he can kinda see us and what’s going on. Whoa… uhh… what’s with the light show?” The child, who had followed Yoshiro outside of the house, was starting to glow a light blue color from a point in the center of his chest. As the child moves further from the house and closer to each of you, something strange happens. The back of Koshiro’s hand begins to glow with a bright blue light much like but slightly different from the boy’s glow. A point behind one of Haruto’s many tattoos also glows with this blue light, originating right over his heart. Juro’s glow comes from his right shoulder, shining through the material of his Shinigami clothing. The shine for Kurohi comes from two places, behind the feathers of his throat as well as general glow from Karasu’s entire being. And Nakata’s illusion of himself glows in general, but Nakata himself has a glow coming from the center of his forehead. The individual observing the battle from his perch on the wire covered post has a purple aura coming from the eyeholes his mask.

    The masked stranger raises a single claw from his lower hand, a dark red light growing there until it suddenly unleashed itself on a section of the hollow and Shinigami forces, removing both from the fight in a single instant. To the far right of the blast was Koshiro, having part of his clothing scorched by the blast. To the far left stood Nakata, who was able to jump out of way at the last moment. The blast didn’t kill those caught within it, it removed from this world them along with any else that was within that area. With that act of recklessness, the tide of battle turned against you. The hollows press in harder from every point, your forces spread far too thin to deal with the onslaught. Had the boy been discovered earlier it would have been difficult, but possible to escape. Now that the hollows easily outnumbered you five to one. Just as it seemed that your mission was to come to a sudden and bloody end, the hollows numbers seemed to thin. It wasn’t that there were less of them, but rather that they were pulling away. This was most obvious near each of the shining Shinigami that made up the miss-matched task force. The glow between you grew stronger, as did that with the boy and the masked stranger. The light seemed to repel the hollows, and soon there were so few that fighting to keep them back was no longer necessary. The masked stranger turned away from the battle and simply disappeared. Third Seat Kenshin falls back to the ground, sitting there while munching on his latest pretzel stick. “I have no idea what that was all about…” The lights among you seem to fade, but not completely disappear.
    Last edited by Volos; 2011-03-16 at 04:32 AM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
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    Koshiro

    Koshiro didn't drop his guard for several seconds, nor did he loosen his grip on Tokei-ka. Finally, he adopts a more casual posture, letting the sword drop to his side, and thinks for a moment.

    In all honesty, he owed the blade his life - and for more than the usual reason. The sword spirit was constantly badgering him to push himself in his training - harder than any of his instructors at the academy, in fact. Now he finally understood why she did it. Her training extended to areas outside of combat, as well.

    Prioritize, she was always telling him, Figure out what you can do, then what you *should* do, and what order to do it in. And always assume that there won't be enough time. Koshiro was more of a go-with-the-flow sort of Shinigami, or at least that was what he kept telling himself, but at times like this he found that creating a checklist was a great way to maintain his sanity.

    So... what *can* I do? Continuing to fight the hollows seemed pointless, as did pursuing the masked man-thing to whatever parts he'd disappeared to. He could check himself over, see to the other members of his team, check in with Third Seat Kenshin, or talk to the strange boy.

    He wondered about the light coming from his hand. His experience with the Twelfth Division had taught him that glowing things were either running a current through a resistor or about to explode - both were somewhat disturbing in the present context. He went through a couple of experimental flurries with his weapon, and his hand didn't seem weaker or less dexterous, nor did it hurt. A mystery for another time, then.

    His sleeve was still smoldering from the masked man's cero... or not-cero. His education had taught him that powerful hollows could fire beams of destructive spiritual energy, but had never mentioned that it would delete the targets from existence. He was bleeding from a number of claw marks where Hollows had nearly walked off with a piece of royalty.

    Looking at 'his' team - the ones who had come through the gate with him - he found them all to be in about the same condition that he was in. Could be worse. Could be a *lot* worse.

    That just left the boy. Koshiro sheathed Tokei-ka and walked over to the strange child. "You can see me, kid? Do you know what just happened?"
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    Kurohi

    The usually cheerful, outgoing and playful Kurohi was dead serious in such a dire situation like this one. The little raven shinigami was flapping his wings in the air and skilfully directed the attacks of his Zanpakutou, a large-sized raven with an unusual style of combat, also assisting the beast with some low level kido from time to time. Still, the battle was quite tough, and some losses were taken on his part as well.

    As everyone started glowing blue, however, he allowed his usual child-like nature to slip in for a second, as after looking at everyone's glowing body parts, he observed the light blue Karasu. That's.... That's beautiful. - he thought, before remembering the true reason he was here, closed his eyes and summoned the Reiraku, re-checking if everything was stable.

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    Summoning Reiraku - (1d20+13)[19]
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    Juro slowly brings his whirling blade to a stop as the tide of hollows slows. Breathing heavily and obviously worn from the long and difficult battle his expression is serenely calm. Talking to no one in particular Juro quips, "Well...seems the scales have tipped in our favor...". He looks at his right shoulder for a bit longer than a glance before turning to look over at the other members of the task force.

    As the third seat comments that he has no idea what that was all about Juro simply shrugs and turns to the boy, waiting to see how he responds to Koshiro's question.

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    Nakata

    As the tide of battle finally slowed, Nakata brought his illusion over to where he was standing. Then he dismissed it at the same time as he dropped his invisibility cloak in order to make it look like nothing had changed other than his shikai. The illusion had been in his fake blood release state, and by mixing his illusion with himself, all the party would see was a flash of light and then him standing there holding what he had lead everyone to believe was his 'sealed' zanpakuto.

    "That was fun..." He said with a sigh. He was tired from having to spend so much energy to keep his illusions and invisibility up, but overall things hadn't been to bad because of his illusions and stealth tactics.

    He glanced over at Haruto, "Alright, pretty sure I'm definitely winning now. How many did you get?" He joked. In all honesty, he had been so busy just trying to keep the hollows back he had no idea how many he had taken out in all that chaos.

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    Haruto Katsuo, Unseated Officer

    The Kido master would have used his most powerful spells to continue the fight. His Zanpakutou was of little use in actual combat, so Haruto would have used powerful blasts of electricity to beat the hollows back. Focusing even more power into this Kido, he could strike five foes at once and his range could reach all parts of the battle surrounding them. When a brute would threaten to break through the line, Haruto would rush over and use a powerful singular blast of energy that would not only damage the foe but force him back several feet.

    As the battle came to a close, Haruto was feeling the drain on his power reserves. He hadn't been this low in quite some time. The Shinigami stares at the glow coming from his heart, wondering what it could be. He sees that Third Seat Kenshin and Koshiro are already dealing with the boy, so he briefly turns his attention to Nakata. "How many? It was how big of a one you got, and I knocked down a beast! Literally. Then I finished him off with a blast, Ker Pow!" He makes a motion with his hand much like the shock wave from around a powerful blast. With a sly smirk, he turns toward the glowing child. "Are you injured? We're the good guys, alright?" Haruto would check the child for injuries, and if he found any he would heal him using a minor amount of Kido.

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    Heal Check (1d20+2)[3] to see if the kid is hurt.

    Cure Light [1 SEP] (1d8+5)[9] on the Kid if he's hurt, or on Koshiro if the kid is fine.
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    Grenada, California - Residential District | 7:03PM

    Koshiro's efforts to talk to the child seem to go unnoticed. The boy walks around his yard, looking rather confused and even worried. He seems to gravitate toward the members of the task force as he wanders about. Since Haruto was unable to find anything wrong with the kid, he used his Kido to heal Koshiro. The child is on the verge of tears; but is not clear if it is from sadness or frustration at the confusing scene before him. "...what's going on? Hello? Is someone there? Are you a ghost?" The boy asks no one in particular in the tongue of the locals, the butchered form of the King's English used by Americans. Those of you who cannot speak either the original language or the new butchered form cannot understand the boy. The boy's glow was slowly dimming, but as Koshiro and Haruto came closer to him the fading would slow to the point where it seemed to almost stop altogether. Their own glows, along with that of the rest of the task force, would remain at this dimness but would not completely disappear.

    As he gathers his focus and attempts to sense the Reiraku, Kurohi discovers something strange. The hollow cords are fading quickly, as most if not all of them have either been slain or are fleeing, but something different was happening with the cords of the task force members. While the cords were for the most part behaving normally, they were attempting to change their paths without a real cause. It was like watching someone's footprints shift position on the ground. Where the cords of each task force member came closer to each other and even began to touch, a light blue light could be easily seen. It was the same light that was fading from each of the shining points on all of the task force members. As for the masked stranger, your senses could not reach out far enough to track his cord. Where the blast had happened, it was as if the cords were severed. It was much like what happened when one died, except the cords were not fading as quickly. It was almost as if they were still connected, or perhaps the blast empowered the cords and allowed them to remain for some time. It wasn't completely clear exactly what had happened.

    When Nakata attempted to end his illusion, it seemed more difficult than normal. The glow that was coming from his forehead and being expressed as a general glow about his illusionary self, seemed to give the illusion more power or perhaps a bit more realism. It was difficult to say, with the weariness of battle beginning to set in. What was also strange was that everyone had taken a serious beating and used a great deal of their power for this fight, but now they were hardly injured and had more than half of their fighting energy left over. As the light faded and became dim, they felt refreshed. Whatever this light was, it was definitely affecting them. "Fight's over. Figure out what's with the kid and try to find any humans who need memories replaced. I got to report this in." Yoshiro jumped to the top of the house and pulled out his Spirit Phone, talking in hushed tones.

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    Nakata

    "Yeah, uh sure. I can do that." Nakata says after finally getting rid of his illusion. It was strange that it was so tough to do. Normally he could dismiss it extremely easy. The fact that it was so difficult made him a bit nervous.

    "Alright kid, let's see if we can figure out what is going on with you..." Nakata mumbles as he walks closer to the boy. "Can you see me?". He ask waving in front of the kid.

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    Koshiro

    After the kid wanders away from him, Koshiro gives up and lets Nakata deal with him. He nods his thanks to Haruto for the healing Kido and seeks out Juro. "I'm up for searching for humans in need of a memory rub if you are."
    Last edited by Jade_Tarem; 2011-03-17 at 12:15 AM.
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    "Sounds like a plan." Juro replies as he starts searching with Koshiro.

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    Kurohi

    "Yeah, I probably won't be of much help even if he sees me... Unless you want me to scare him." - Kurohi said and giggled for a bit, while joining the witness hunters.

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    If it's a search check, I'm taking 10 for an aid another for the guy with the highest search modifier, netting him a +2.
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    Haruto Katsuo, Unseated Officer

    Seeing that the others have the child and perhaps even the search for humans under control, Haruto decides to look for any plusses. While it is a grim thought, he cannot help but imagine that many people could have been killed from this influx of hollow activity. And even if he can't find any plusses, that either means they were all eaten or perhaps no one died. First Haruto searches inside of the house, to see if this kid has (or had) any parents. While inside of the house he tries to get an idea of what this kid is all about, perhaps to get a clue as to why all that glowing was going on. While he has a moment to do so, Haruto also uses a minor amount of Kido to heal himself.

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    Search (1d20+11)[21] for people inside of the house.
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    Grenada, California - Residential District | 7:13PM

    The child seems to react to Nakata's hand gestures, but then walks straight through him and calls out to a broken section of his fence. "Is anyone there? Why aren't you saying anything? Hello?" As before the child is speaking in the tongue of the region, butchered English. He picks up a stick from his yard, waving it about as if to fight off some invisible attackers. It was clear that the kid wasn't exactly aware of what was going on. He is currently on the wrong side of the house to see the hole left by the masked stranger's blast.

    The mission to search out human witnesses for the purpose of altering their memories seems to be very successful. At Juro's lead, Kurohi and Koshiro are able to find several humans within a short amount of time. Having only two Kikanshinki between the three of them makes things more difficult, but with Kurohi's maneuverability and Koshiro's roundedness they make short work of the assignment. Juro is able to find a few humans who were cowering in their homes and has no trouble swapping their memories. Aside from anyone who may have evacuated the area, it seems that all the mortals have been accounted for.

    Haruto's search inside of the house is made rather difficult by the north side of the house being partially collapsed from missing a good deal of its supporting wall. It was part of what was 'removed' or utterly obliterated with that strange blast. He searches every floor and every room of the house but finds no one. It almost seems that the house is empty until Haruto thinks to take a closer look at the hole in the wall. Underneath the rubble there is a hand. As he moves around, he can tell that there are two mortals trapped under the rubble. They seem to be breathing, but aren't able to free themselves. The rubble of the house has landed in just such a way that it is providing a protective shell while trapping them at the same time.

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    Nakata

    "Yeah kid, I'm right here. Hello! What's your name?" Nakata says with a sigh. It was a pain because he hadn't brought anything to clear human memories with meaning he was stuck with the kid trying to find out some information.

    Glancing around to make sure nobody was watching, Nakata created a small illusion of a butterfly in front of the boy and made it fly around in front of his face to see if the boy reacted to his illusions.

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    Koshiro

    Koshiro reunites with Haruto, returning the other's memory suppressor after flashing the last witness he could find, and frowns at the rubble. "The child's parents, perhaps? We should get them out of there, if for no other reason than so that we can wipe their memories properly."
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    Haruto Katsuo, Unseated Officer

    Raising his eyebrow an inch or so, Haruto responds to Koshiro's suggestion. "We could just phase through the rubble and erase their memories without even bothering to rescue them." After a soft sigh, Haruto redraws his Zanpakutou and starts to focus energy for Kido. "Step back, I'm going to get them out of there... Hado Number 14 Onpa Misairu!"

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    I need a reflex save from the... rubble? They ignore hardness since they are Sonic like.
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    Kurohi

    "Whoah, whoah, whoah!" - Kurohi said as he cowered when Haruto has blasted off with his Kidou. He then dared to loosen his hand slightly and look through the gap between the claws.

    "You might hurt someone like that, you know!" - he said as he was getting up and dusting himself off when it was safe for sure. He then got out his Kikanshinki and proceeded to delete the memories of the two humans.

    "D'aww, it's not fun when they're unconscious!" - disappointed Kurohi said, as he was replacing their memories in a puff of smoke.
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    Grenada, California - Residential District | 7:25PM

    The child continues to ignore Nakata and his illusion. Every once in a while he swings his stick around, sometimes right at Nakata or his illusion but mostly just at things that aren't there. He even takes a few lively swings at Juno, then past Juno, and then straight into the fence. While he seems to react to visual stimulus from time to time, he never responds to any sound made by the Shinigami. Eventually the kid gets tired of 'defending' himself and lays down in the grass while looking straight up into the sky. Truly this is strange child.

    Haruto's Kido blast of sonic energy seems to do the trick, even though it was quite reckless for him to do in the first place. Somehow he was lucky enough to blast away the parts of the rubble that would have killed the humans had it fallen on them. One misplaced blast and he would have had two crushed mortals on his hands (not literally, they'd still be under the rubble). Kurohi seems to have no trouble with replacing the memories of the parents.

    Third Seat Kenshin suddenly laughs from the top of the roof shortly before jumping down while sliding his phone into a pocket. There doesn't seem to be a pretzel stick in his mouth at this moment, he either must have run out or forgot about it. "Good news. We got nearly all of them before they started to disperse. Bad news is that the rookies are all going home and we're left to do the clean up. You have a few minutes to prepare and figure out a strategy before heading out. Any luck on that kid yet?" Your task force leader reaches inside of his clothing, pulling out of a small cardboard box. The sound of paper and cardboard tearing is shortly followed by a satisfying crunch.

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    Default Re: Shards of Memory (IC)

    Kurohi

    Huh? What's with the lack of pretzel sticks? - a thought ran through the raven shinigami's mind, before he decided to put it aside and focus on the issues at hand.

    "I think the kid kinda sees our outline but can't really hear us, ya know. We'd be better off if we had some kind of surveillance set over the kid. 12th Division nerds can do that, right?"

    Awaiting the answers from Kenshin, Kurohi has decided to re-check the Reiraku, closing his eyes in order to see them properly.

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    "Hmm. I wonder..." Juro says as he observes the kids actions.

    Listening to the third seat's instructions Juro continues to watch the kid, until something clicks in his mind.

    Just after Kurohi notes that it seems that the kid can see but not hear the shinigami Juro holds his zanpakutou in front of him and speaks quickly but calmly. "Balance the scales. Hikari to Kage!"

    With a burst of light his zanpakutou is released. Juro wastes no time, immediately illuminating one end of his zanpakutou into a bright light source and waving it to see if that gets the kid's attention.

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    Obviously spending 1 SEP to release shikai, then using zanpakutou illumination ability

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    Haruto Katsuo, Unseated Officer

    Haruto suddenly has a sinister smirk as he walks from the broken house into the yard near where Juro and Nakata are attempting to get the child's attention. He speaks up, offering his own opinion on the matter. "Humans are fragile..." The Shinigami holds his blade over the boy's chest, held loosely between his thumb and forefinger. "...even something like a simple accident..." Haurto's fingers loosen, allowing the blade to drop a few inches before he stops it. The Zanpakutou still hangs precariously over the boy. "...can end their lives. In such instances, we Shinigami are called upon to purify the spirits of the dearly departed. Plusses, unlike living humans, can see us. If the body dies, even for a short moment, the soul can be released. I could revive him with my Kido while one of you talks to him? Unless someone has a better plan?" He withdraws from the boy, sheathing his Zanpaktou and waiting to see how the rest of the task force group responds to this.
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    Koshiro

    The taller Shinigami shrugs in response to Kurohi's question. "Twelfth Division nerds can do a lot of things, yes."

    When Haruto makes his remark, he frowns. "Would you cooperate with the guy who just stabbed you? Let's avoid killing any kids, here." He digs around in a belt pouch. "I have a Soul Candy. Has anyone tried Soul Candy? No? Let's do that before we impale him."
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    Nakata

    "I didn't bring any Soul Candy, Gigais, or any of that mind stuff so I couldn't really test much." Nakata says with a shrug as he watches Haruto. He considered for a moment creating some illusion to screw with the other shinigami, but decided better on it. He didn't use his illusions often outside of combat in order to make sure people didn't notice and he wasn't going to risk someone noticing over some kid.

    "Anyways, I'm ready as I'll ever be..." Nakata said to Kenshin, "What do you want us to do about the kid? Leave him?"

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    Grenada, California - Residential District | 7:29PM

    "Honestly, you lot aren't much better than the rookies. I'll stay with the kid as you do the clean up. He was important enough to the hollows to warrant such an attack, he doesn't need to be left in the hands of those who'd rather study than protect him. Haruto's blast seemed... effective. I'll stand guard over the three of 'em, alright? Koshiro, good thinking with the Gikongan. Go ahead and give the kid one, see what happens."

    Kurohi's re-inspection of the Reiraku doesn't show anything new in within the area he had previously searched, but now that his senses are reaching further, he sees something rather disturbing. The masked stranger's Reiraku is barely there, having already faded to the point of almost being undetectable. The cord and the energy coming from it are hollow in nature, but there appears to be a purple glow about it. Just as Kurohi notices this feature, it disappears completely.

    The child doesn't react to Juro's illumination, nor does he seem fazed by Haruto's threat to end his life. He squints and gives Koshiro a serious face for a moment before going back to his star gazing. As Koshiro gives the child a soul candy, an easy feat with how the kid was laying back on the grass all still like, his soul is suddenly forced out of his body as the candy gets stuck inside of his mouth. "...?" The plus of the child still has its chain attached. Or at least you can assume that it is attached. The chain is clearly visible, but the base to which it should be attached is glowing so brightly that you cannot see it. Only on the edges of this light can you discern the color, a beautiful eye shattering blue. "Why are you guys... wearing such silly outfits? AH! It's a huge birdie! It's all black! Get IT AWAY!!!" The plus of the child attempts to swing his stick at Kurohi, only to realize that not only does he not have a stick, he honestly doesn't have an arm to swing it with. This only aids in the child's confusion and leads to more screaming. The spots of each of the task force members that had previously been glowing are now bright with the searing azure illumination just as is coming from the child's plus' chain base.

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    Koshiro

    Koshiro attempts to pin the kid's arms to his side and bodily lifts the boy off the ground to prevent him from getting away. "Kid! Calm down! The bird isn't going to hurt you!" If/when the boy stops screaming, Koshiro spins him around so the child can look at him. "We're... ghosts, alright? And we made you a ghost for a minute so that we could talk to you. No, you're not dead - it's a special ghost-power we have, and you'll be back to normal after we leave."

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    Diplomacy to calm the boy down: (1d20+6)[25]

    Koshiro is speaking English, although it might be a bit dated.


    If Koshiro succeeds in getting the child to listen, he looks to Third Seat Kenshin, giving the officer's questions priority.
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    Nakata

    "But we are nice ghost. We protect people. Kinda like guardian angels. Calm down, we won't hurt you." Nakata says as he steps next to Koshiro to talk to the boy. "We beat up bad ghost and keep everyone safe. We just used some ghost powers to let us talk to you so we can make sure you are ok."

    ((Aiding another with the diplomacy check))
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    (1d20+11)[20]

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    Kurohi

    "Huge birdie? I always thought I was rather short..." - Kurohi says, putting his claw to his beak in thought. "Ow, right... That's compared to the real world birds." - the raven adds in a disappointed tone.

    Returning to the kid, Kurohi decided to aid with soothening him up: "Anyway, kiddo, please relax. I'm rather nice." - he says and goes into a cheesy dance. "See? Kids love dancing animals, right?"

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    Diplomacy: (1d20+9)[21]
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    Haruto Katsuo, Unseated Officer

    Haruto crosses his arms over his chest, sighing as he responds to Koshiro's complaint in Japanese "I honestly hadn't planned to impale the child. No one had come up with a better plan, so I figured saying something that off base would... inspire you. Seemed it worked." Then he turns to the child, speaking in the King's English. "Oi kid, we are noice ghosts. Dae not worry, we just want to talk. And would ye mind turning the lights down a tad? It is really bright, and I'm having a hard time looking at ye. Were ye witness to sumfink strange, dark, or monstrous? We got em, so no getting all scared fancy." Haruto was convinced that the difference between American English and British English was minor at best, and that the child would have no trouble understanding his words.

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    Sense Motive (1d20+9)[15] for it's standard use, to see how the kid is handling all this new information and/or reacting to us.
    Knowledge (Kido) (1d20+11)[19] on the glow from the Kid's chest
    Spellcraft (1d20+11)[29] if needed
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    Juro, having little skill in dealing diplomatically with other shinigami and no idea how to deal with a human child, opts to start out of the way as the others handle the boy. Instead he decides to test a quick theory.

    Taking a few steps away from the group, to insure none are caught in the darkness, he turns off his zanpakutou's illumination and has it create a region of darkness instead, to see if the light on his shoulder can penetrate it. His experiment concluded Juro seals his sword and rejoins the group.

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    Grenada, California - Residential District | 7:36PM

    The child reached a level of confusion that surpassed that which most mortals could handle. He had a few of them trying to all talk to him at once, each one saying something more strange than the next. The child's expression went from terror and worry to sudden realization. "...I ate too much ice cream before bed. Yeah, that's it. Just a dream." The kid tries walking away from the group, but is stopped short as his chain becomes taught from its short length reaching its end. He looks down, seeing the brightness coming from his chest as well as the chain connecting his spirit to his body. "Wait... ghosts... I'm dead? Wow that's so cool!"

    Third Seat Kenshin sighs out of slight frustration. "Kid... we ain't got time to mess around waiting for you to figure this out. Answer my questions and I'll put you back in your body. Don't and you'll be like this for longer than you'd like. Trust me, it gets nasty. Did you see the monsters that attacked and why is your chest glowing like that? Have you always been able to sense things, or was this just for today?" Yoshiro stares the kid down, with his pretzel stick pointing straight up. The odd combination of seriousness and foolishness seems to work on the kid.

    "Uhh... umm... no? Kinda, I mean there were shadows and half there kinda things. Uhhhmmm... and there weren't any glowing stuffs on my chest either until now. I've seen alot of blue when I dream though... and uhh, there wasn't anything like this happening to me before today. No seeing stuff." The child acts much like any typical child, he can't seem to talk without pausing or making an odd distracting sound to lengthen the pauses. While it's rather annoying to have to listen to, he eventually gets the point across.

    Juro's test reveals that while the light cannot seem to pierce the darkness produced by his Zanpakutou, it doesn't stop him from being able to see where it should be. He can sense the light without being able to see it with his eyes, it is just natural for him to know where it should be. Juno realizes that even if it wasn't attached to his body, he would know where it is at. As he conducts this test, he becomes more aware of where the other members of the task force and the child's soul are located in regards to his light. Yoshiro, however, does not have a light and isn't as easy or natural to sense to Juno.

    Yoshiro pulls out his phone, taking a look at the front screen while slowly chewing piece after piece away from his pretzel stick. He smirks, very slightly, before addressing the group as a whole. "There's one dense collection of hollows as well as two more dispersed groupings. The main one is in the center of town, near where we stepped down. The others are harder to pin down, as they are smaller in number they aren't easily defined as a group. I got the kid, you lot figure out your strategy and get to it. I'll be waiting here." Third Seat Kenshin forces the kid's soul back into his body, and isn't being gentle about it.

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