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  1. - Top - End - #61
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Extra Episode 1: Secrets of the Generals

    Koutarou looked attentively at the samples. He was oddly quiet, his gaze distant. At first one might figure he didn't quite understand what was being explained to him - he was, rather, trying to figure out answers to the questions Li posed out of habit.

    "Assuming these were meant for research, has said research borne fruit? I mean, 1500 years is a very long time, equipment or not equipment."
    The Void, the Cold Steel, the Just Sword courtesy of Prime32.

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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

  2. - Top - End - #62
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Extra Episode 1: Secrets of the Generals

    "Yes. These." Li reaches to Liīs pocket and retrieves something, then puts a clenched first before Koutarou. When Li opens it, Koutarou can see two dark spheres on the commanderīs palm.

    Artificial and modified souls.

    "In principle, creatures like the one in the jar function exactly like an artificial soul. They just consist of Hollow, or negative, energy. If you flip that around by, say, purifying them, you get a positive, or Plus, soul fragment. Thatīs how artificial souls were originally made, I reckon, before we learned to synthesize them without using these Hollow fragments as a starting point."

    "A modified soul is - well, if you put together enough fragments, you should eventually get a whole soul, correct? Thatīs how modified artificials are made. When they were invented, there was a huge commotion. Some people wanted to discontinue the project and exterminate all modified artificials."


    "At first, I though it was because abusing dead human bodies was considered distasteful, or perhaps because it would have lead to needless involvement of earthly to ghostly affairs. There was another reason, however: a modified soul is not a Shinigami. It does not purify Hollows. Rather, just as various soul fragments were fused together to make it, it will continue to absorb further soul fragments to grow - namely the Hollows it slays."

    "In other words: modified Plus souls function near-identically to Menos. They just end up with a positive collective entity, rather than a negative one. I donīt know if this ībugī was fixed later down the line, but that was the prime reason they were considered abominations before attitudes mellowed out."
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

  3. - Top - End - #63
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Extra Episode 1: Secrets of the Generals

    Wait. That doesn't make sense.

    "How could you - we - not know? I mean, Modified Souls are still in use nowadays, aren't they?" Koutarou noted as he gazed at Li's three... 'assistants'. "And that sounds like a very stupid reason to throw them away. Given enough time and nurturing, a modified soul could conceivably become a Shinigami down the line. Our skills could conceivably rise out of anyone with sufficient spiritual power if given proper training, and a Modified Soul is no different."

    While he tried not to get ahead of himself, the thought bubbling inside Koutarou's brain wouldn't give it a rest. There WAS a possibility Li had already considered and tested this.

    "...Commander... are you suggesting we shore up the current lack of manpower in Soul Society's ranks by filling it with modified souls?"
    The Void, the Cold Steel, the Just Sword courtesy of Prime32.

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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

  4. - Top - End - #64
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Extra Episode 1: Secrets of the Generals

    "Of course someone knew", Li states flatly. "How else could I have found out this much? There is not much information mainly because modified artificials form a tiny fraction of our forces. There are... I think, less than hundred such artificials in active duty at the moment. Ordinary non-combat artificials outnumber them 20 to 1. I'm not an expert in making them, so of course there is a lot I can't tell you as of now. I've yet to cross-reference contemporary SSI research on the subject, mainly because their indexing is a mess."

    Li sighs and pockets the orbs again. "I'm seriously considering that idea, yes. If we were to field every extant Gigai, we could conceivably double our forces. The problem is, we don't have enough modified artificials ready. Normal artificial souls are useless as warriors. If we were to scrape the bottom of our resources, we could field maybe one Division's worth of modsouls. They would still require training to function as a group, as well. Overall, serious implementation of this scheme would take 1 to 2 years of time. It's a great idea, but not a solution to our current dilemma."

    Li points at the vial behing the glass. "There are no easy get-outs for our organization. As such, I'm preparing for the worst case scenario. Remember what I said, of us Shinigami? That as long as even one of us exists, Hollows can be returned to the cycle of life?"

    The commander lets the hand drop. "I'm going to alter that disease. Make it so that it turns its victim not into a Hollow, but a Shinigami. To that end, I have already began analyzing my own blood. Now that I have Izanami's, our progenitor's, as well, I'm fairly sure I can find the common factors that give us our power. Yes, it sounds far-fetched in this land of ghosts, but if there were no such factors, that disease could not work either. Whatever transcendend qualities they imprint on our very souls, those qualities must have physical manifestations in our incarnations, whether those be made of Reishi or earthly matter."

    Li retrieves the syringe filled with Izanami's blood, then looks behind and calls out to the girly artificial. "Orchid. Enter biohazard examination unit. Add new sample. Protocol 2." A meek "Hai" comes from behind Koutarou, and then the assistant comes to take the vial from the commander.

    "If Seireitei falls, I'm going to release the modified disease into the Rukon. Gotei may be doomed, but Shinigami will continue to exist regardless."
    Last edited by Frozen_Feet; 2013-08-03 at 07:08 AM.
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

  5. - Top - End - #65
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Extra Episode 1: Secrets of the Generals

    Koutarou seemed at a loss. He couldn't begin to fathom the chain of events leading to such a measure.

    The reasoning was solid. It was sound, even.

    It still meant unleashing biological warfare on the very people the Shinigami were sworn to protect. Admittedly, if no Shinigami lived, then the citizens of Rukongai were still doomed. The effectiveness of such a measure was still in the air, however - Seireitei's greatest strength lie in organization rather than sheer numbers, and it wasn't until the Shinigami stopped fighting each other that they even managed to form such an organization. Left to their own devices, how would the citizens of Rukongai react?

    "Commander. I'm aware that you do not make such a suggestion lightly. I'm also aware that the situation is dire and this would be the last of the last resorts we would employ.

    But if I am to allow this to happen knowingly, then there is something I need you to promise me."


    Koutarou put his fist forward.

    "Promise me you will do everything in your power and beyond, sacrifice anything, so that this does not become a necessity. That Seireitei will do anything and everything to survive before it must turn on the very people it is meant to protect, even if it means turning tail and hiding.

    If you do not promise me this, then I will not be able to allow this to continue.

    Even if it means fighting you."
    The Void, the Cold Steel, the Just Sword courtesy of Prime32.

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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

  6. - Top - End - #66
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Extra Episode 1: Secrets of the Generals

    Orchid, uncomprehending of the tense situation, steps into the airlock with the syringe in her (?) hands. Meanwhile, the Commander looks sadly at Koutarou and his extended fist. "Cities do not, can not turn tail and run, Ishinomori-san. They either stand their ground or are destroyed. Once this city is destroyed, it will mean the downfall of Shinigami culture as we know it. Gotei will fall with it. Even if every single one of us were to escape this very moment, it would mean a permanent change in our way of operating." In the airlock, Orchid places the syringe on a mechanical arm and begins dressing in a hazmat suit.

    "Now, there are many more avenues than this that I am looking at. Accepting the Arrancars' offer. Sealing our city to a different dimension. Sending modified souls to war. Founding new divisions and splitting apart old ones. But I can't guarantee effectiveness of any of those. More to the point, I can't promise I will do anything more just for the sake of our survival. I am already compromising a lot by even considering this option, but there are still worse options, lines I am not willing to cross."


    " 'Anything and everything' is too broad of a qualifier, Ishinomori-san. Besides, there are still factors you do not know. For one, there is the Royal Guard. For two, there is Eibon and his lot." Li beckons towards chairs next to the laboratory tables. "Why don't you take a seat while I tell you of those?"
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

  7. - Top - End - #67
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Extra Episode 1: Secrets of the Generals

    Koutarou reluctantly nodded and sat himself down. He was willing to listen to Li's reasons, even if he found this option he had been just presented unconscionable.

    Which made him shudder to think of the lines Li wouldn't cross.

    Perhaps he was still a little too naive. Too willing to seek the avenue of least harm.
    The Void, the Cold Steel, the Just Sword courtesy of Prime32.

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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

  8. - Top - End - #68
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Extra Episode 1: Secrets of the Generals

    "First, the Royal Guard. Or 'Division 0', as I often hear it called. We have two visitors from them at the moment, and hopefully I can arrange you to meet both of them tomorrow night. So you don't have to just take my word of them." Li sits down as well, opposite of Koutarou.

    "First, what they are called is a bit misleading. Yes, they do protect the King. But they were not chosen for just their combat capability or loyalty. They were chosen from amongst the greatest inventors of Seireitei. Each one of them was a pioneer in some field and changed how we Shinigami conduct our job."

    "Second, their task is to protect the King, and the King alone. They are not part of Gotei. They do not exists for Gotei's, or even Seireitei's, benefit. Their standard protocol is to only involve themselves if Gotei has already fallen. Not to defend Seireitei, but to rebuild it from scratch."

    "Third, the King's key, the device supposedly left in the hands of the Commander-General of Gotei, is not an external device. It is the very flesh and bones of those who belong to the Guard. This means no-one can enter the King's realm, without help of someone who already resides there."


    Li gives the implications a second or two to sink in. "As you should realize from this, Izanagi-soutaichou did not, could not voluntarily go to ask for help. He was taken. At this point, I seriously doubt he will come back before our current situation has resolved itself. He was the founder of Gotei. As such, he is immensely valuable to the King. I feel it is safe to assume he is now officially part of the Royal Guard, and will only act if the King directly orders him to."
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

  9. - Top - End - #69
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Extra Episode 1: Secrets of the Generals

    "Pardon my French, sir, but that sounds a lot like they're a factor that influences in exactly 'jack ****'." Koutarou noted in his first display of real... annoyance might as well be as close a word as any.

    Not at Li, but rather the stance of the Soul King and Squad 0.

    What is a King without its people, after all?

    "By this, you seem to mean that we cannot actually request aid or reinforcement from the Court, but we knew this already. We would have already called in otherwise before the likes of Jehoel even made his statement.

    Although it does seem rather interesting that we are being visited by members of the Royal Guard."


    Koutarou considered the implications of Izanagi having been taken, but he apparently failed to see the relevance of this insofar as it was something beyond their ability to control - because of what Li said earlier about not being able open a door to the Court without the aid of someone living there.

    "And even assuming we COULD bring Izanagi-soutaichou back, we have no guarantees he'd want to return. Or would have a significant enough impact to change the tides of war. He may possess unfathomable power, but he is still only one man."
    The Void, the Cold Steel, the Just Sword courtesy of Prime32.

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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

  10. - Top - End - #70
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Extra Episode 1: Secrets of the Generals

    Li sighs. "I would be glad if I could say with certainty that the Royal Guard will simply sit out this battle. But the issue is not that simple. Like I said, the serve the King, and only the King. If the interestests of Gotei or Seireitei run counter to interests of the King... they have the incentive, the authority, and the power to eliminate us from the picture."

    "And that brings us to Eibon."


    The Commander's face is stern when saying out loud that name. Koutarou might notice Li's grip of the bamboo cane tightening.

    "I said before we Shinigami are not one big, happy family. This particular divide goes a way back, to time before his hospital's founding. It is, indeed, one of the prime reasons this place exists."


    "I trust you know of the Order of Eibon, as it included the founding fathers of our Science Institute. But what is less known is why they were called such. It was not just because they were an order of people, under Eibon's rule. It has to do with that famed sorcerer's last words."

    "Eibon was an inventive man. A genius, one could say. Based on his achievements, it was almost certain he was going to be offered a place in the Royal Guard. But he chose... differently. Now, I can't say for sure what happened. I wasn't there to witness it. All I know for certain is that Eibon died. Some claim he committed suicide. Others say he was murdered. The truth, is probably somewhere in between. Yasunobu Shenryu and his other followers tried to keep their lips sealed on the matter as well as they could."

    "But my teacher, one of the founders of this hospital, caught one of them drunk. And in that moment of carelessness, that person let slip what the great sorcerer had ordered his successors to do. Let me see if I can do this from memory..."


    Li bites lip and stays silent in concentration for a while. It starts to seem the venerable Commander has forgotten what was meant to be said, but then the elder resumes speaking:

    " 'In my final moments I have gathered you to direct you in the days after I pass. Uplift the small host for in them is the hope we all must strive to uphold. Be cruel if you must. Let them be preyed on by monsters in the darkness. Their suffering will bring them to a level we spirits can never achieve. It may take more than a single lifetime of we spirits but do not despair for our work is just and will continue even when you who stand around me are no longer capable of living on. I leave this in your hand, my final order. Tear down the foundations of heaven and break this cruel cycle.' "


    Once again, Li gives Koutarou a moment to process the words. "This, I fear, is the creed that was followed by Yasunobu Sawada, and his adoptive father Shenryu before him. This may be the creed followed in secret by untold SSI members. I trust you can see the problem."
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

  11. - Top - End - #71
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Extra Episode 1: Secrets of the Generals

    Koutarou frowned. He seemed to struggle a little to understand the exact meaning of the words. But it didn't take a genius to understand the dangers behind such a creed. Mentally, he repeated the words to himself to make sense of them.

    "I cannot say I understand the exact meaning of this, but... well, protection is one of, if not the single most important duty of the Gotei. I don't think it would be an exaggeration to call such an attitude callous and treasonous.

    'Uplift the small host'."
    Again he continued to repeat the words to himself. It felt like a puzzle. Were the words intentionally muddled? Was the idea to leave behind an enigma for each of Eibon's followers to solve on their own?

    "I cannot for the life of me figure it out. Who do these words refer to?"
    The Void, the Cold Steel, the Just Sword courtesy of Prime32.

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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

  12. - Top - End - #72
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Extra Episode 1: Secrets of the Generals

    Li lets out another, weary sigh. "Your guess is as good as mine. Those who knew did not tell. But for what it's worth, I know how my teacher chose to interprete that passage: completely literally."

    Li straightens up. "Taken that way, it is a pretty open encouragement of rebellion. Eibon might have been a genius, but like many so-called geniuses, he had his problems with authority. For the bright-minded, it is often hard to grasp that progress often comes easiest in small steps - evolution, not revolution. But he who could conceive a different world each day would have been ready to cast away all things of yesterday in preparation of tomorrow. To my teacher, such thoughts were sacrilege. To entertain them would have been to deny value from all once beautiful and sacred."

    Li stands up and stretches back. "Of course, one could ask, did she cut ties with Eibon's lot because she disagreed with them, or did she find them disagreeable because there was already bad blood between them? A woman faced a very different world thousand years back. Regardless, that was the straw that broke the camel's back. Because of that knowledge, she and her sisters departed the Phoenix temple. Because of that they joined Gotei and founded this monastery - to support and uphold the cycle, rather than oppose it. And that is the task she passed down to me."

    Li looks at Koutarou. "As it stands, it looks strongly possible that it was Shenryu who engineered this war. I would not be surprised to find some of these Arrancars had his express support. For me to decide on my course of action, much depends on what Yasunobu Sawada ended up doing. Did he leave to join them, or antagonize them? I shudder at the thought of dancing to their, to Eibon's, tune. Whatever they did, they did it for benefit of a very small group. A group that might not be found in Gotei, or all of afterlife, even."
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

  13. - Top - End - #73
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Extra Episode 1: Secrets of the Generals

    "Like the cogs of a machine left running long after its user is dead." Koutarou compared. "Or like a virus in the form of a dangerous strain of thought. Give some a grasp at deciphering the last enigma left by a genius and you have enough people in all the wrong positions doing what they must by their egos. Worst kind of fanatism - it seeks affirmation and validation that only history will judge."

    "And yet we can't even be sure these were Eibon's last words."
    The Void, the Cold Steel, the Just Sword courtesy of Prime32.

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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

  14. - Top - End - #74
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Extra Episode 1: Secrets of the Generals

    "In that you are right, sad as it is." Li puts the cane asides and opens one of the laboratory table drawers. "I wake up each morning hoping to find the piece of this puzzle that would make it all fall in place. But each new piece of information just reveals the puzzle is even larger that I thought. Those alarms, for example. At this point, I can only assume they have something to do with our new foe - but what? Or how? I have no idea."

    "Ironically, it would have been trivial to find out if they had been triggered a month, or a year, ago. Back then, we could have send as many men as we wanted to look after those facilities. Now, a threat at another front forces us to sit back and hope for the best."


    Li pulls out a stack of papers and spreads them on the table. "Now, if you would excuse me, I would rather resume my work with the disease. I have little else to tell you this night. I hope I can arrange a meeting with Kisaragi-dono and Sanbo-kun at the Black Dragon Gate. In the interim, there's a task you could do. Go and check Laboratory Seven at the SSI. Ask them for a headcount of current, combat-ready modified artificials. You are going to need someone from the SSI to guide you. I suggest Castus Vern if you can catch him."
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

  15. - Top - End - #75
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Extra Episode 1: Secrets of the Generals

    "Not yet, Commander. I do have one last question to ask."

    Koutarou bit his lip before he spoke up.

    "This disease - much as I dread the idea of using it at all, I have to ask. Why turn it loose on Rukon, rather than the Hollows? Would it not be a slightly less horrific choice? From a logistic standpoint, we would diminish the numbers of our enemies in the process.

    Given the choice, I would much rather we destroy this entire avenue of research at once. I wouldn't think twice on it, either. I am, perhaps, willing to accept that if even Seireitei must have an end - even if we should all perish and leave the Rukon to fend for itself - we should be better than this. If our goal is survival, then we run and hide to fight another day. It's shameful, but nowhere near as shameful as this. If we are to fight to the last man, then we shouldn't ask that last survivor to change and destroy that which so many fought so hard to protect.

    I realize I speak out of turn in this, and that I lack the knowledge and foresight that you do - or even that Yasunobu Sawada did, reckless and misguided though it may have been. But I think it would shame every Shinigami that came and died before us if we took this last resort.

    Again. I understand you do not suggest this lightly. But my conscience will not allow me to passively accept this."
    The Void, the Cold Steel, the Just Sword courtesy of Prime32.

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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

  16. - Top - End - #76
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Extra Episode 1: Secrets of the Generals

    Li retrieves a red pencil from the folds of the haori. "Rukon, because I do not have realistic means to disseminate this strain directly to Hueco Mundo. On the other hand, wide-spread contamination in Rukon is trivial using extant Medicine & Logistics waterways." The Commander makes some corrections to the papers on the table.

    "Additionally, if these Arrancars betray their promise, I expect Hollows to eat hundreds, if not thousands of Rukon citizens. As the most effective mode of transmission of this disease is consumption of contaminated flesh, using Rukon citizens as vectors should lead to expanding epidemic, especially considering cannibalistic tendencies of Hollows. Due to structure of Hueco Mundo food chain, the disease should be enriched in the most powerful levels of Hollows."
    Li glances at Koutarou.

    "It is mere pragmatism, Ishinomori-san."
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

  17. - Top - End - #77
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Extra Episode 1: Secrets of the Generals

    "PRAGMATISM MY ASS!!"

    Koutarou was furious. Logic be damned, he couldn't accept this.

    "YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT THE LIVES OF DEFENSELESS PEOPLE OUT THERE! You can't reduce the lives of people to statistics - people who depend on us! People who are relying on us! You're not even giving them one last shot at saving themselves - you're actually serving them on a platter as poisoned food to the enemy as one final '**** YOU' in case we fall!

    It's not a logistical scenario - you said it yourself, the Court takes the best and brightest to rebuild the Gotei from scratch if it's destroyed. What you're considering as the worst-case alternative is unthinkable, Commander!

    I honestly cannot imagine what horrors you might consider a worse alternative than this. I simply can't fathom anything worse than making our own people sick to decimate the enemy!

    For all his recklessness, at least Kiba-san has his heart in the right place when it comes to this. We may exist to serve the Soul King, but a King is nothing without its people!"


    Koutarou panted as if exhausted. He really hated himself for such an outburst, but he had to make a point. He understood - or at least hoped to understand - the burdens of leadership Li was faced with.

    But isn't the ultimate duty of a leader to make sure each of those under him lived another day? Was that not why people trusted him?
    The Void, the Cold Steel, the Just Sword courtesy of Prime32.

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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

  18. - Top - End - #78
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Extra Episode 1: Secrets of the Generals

    Li puts the pen away and turns to face Koutarou. "... if I'd wanted to, I could have fashioned a parasite that controls minds of those who ate it. I could have spread it through standard Shinigami rations so that you, or Kiba, or Sawada, would not have any choice but to obey me. Or I could have fashioned something far more virulent, that spreads through air and kills its victims instead of changes them. But I am not creating a weapon for war. Destroying our enemies is not the point. Preserving the cycle of life is."

    Li places hands behind Li's back, looking calmly at Koutarou. "Crux of this plan is creation of new Shinigami is. Contamination of Hollows is a mere side-effect. Think of it. If the Hollows betray their promise and attack Rukon, part of its citizens will be eaten - out of spite if nothing else. It is unavoidable if the situation progresses to that point. The presence of this disease, or any other, will not change that outcome."

    The Commander shrugs. "Of course, from the same premises, we could as well assume many of our own troops will get eaten as well. Would it ease your conscience if I only issued contamination with this disease to Gotei volunteers? Well? The end-result will not be remarkably different."
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

  19. - Top - End - #79
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Extra Episode 1: Secrets of the Generals

    "Are you not forgetting one thing, Commander?

    Once a Shinigami, always a Shinigami."


    He called back to Li's words the day previous. "In the event of our death, we return to the cycle of life as Shinigami after death. So if the Gotei dies, it only means sooner or later it gets reformed, because eventually the Shinigami come back around.

    In other words, the measure in and of itself is unnecessary. Without proper guidance and discipline, you will at best give a lot of very angry, very pained people a lot of strength. That doesn't bode well for any of us. You DO remember why Seireitei was initially founded, I trust."


    He considered Li's question. "At the least, you would be giving them a choice. It's not a choice many would take. But still a choice.

    Is there no way this can be made to only affect Hollows? To be spread through the air? Anything is better than what you suggest right now."
    The Void, the Cold Steel, the Just Sword courtesy of Prime32.

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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

  20. - Top - End - #80
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Extra Episode 1: Secrets of the Generals

    "In truth, I do not know", Li says. "The base strain of this disease is indiscriminate. Changing what it does appears to be easier than changing how it does it. I'm working with limited time. If I could snap my fingers to make this disease do anything I wish, I would jump at the chance. Alas, it's not simple." Then, a faint smile breaks on the Commander's lips.

    "Congratulations, Vice-Commander. You have proven I was not entirely mistaken to entrust this all to you. You still worry of the residents in Rukon. That is good. There are depressingly many Shinigami who don't spare a single thought for them."

    Li resumes writing on the papers. "For now, I need you to do what I said and visit Laboratory 7. After that, we can start rounding up volunteers, within Gotei or outside it. Then, if we still have time, we can decide whether to use this strain or not. I sincerely wish we don't have to."
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

  21. - Top - End - #81
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Extra Episode 1: Secrets of the Generals

    "Commander, I will keep this from becoming a necessity if it's the last thing I do. Even if it kills me, I will come back and keep this from happening.

    Someone has to keep you in check, even if it's just as a little tug on your conscience."


    Koutarou turned around and sighed.

    "I will do as you request though."
    The Void, the Cold Steel, the Just Sword courtesy of Prime32.

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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

  22. - Top - End - #82
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Extra Episode 1: Secrets of the Generals

    The Commander lifts the paper up and observes it. "A little tug of conscience is exactly what I need, Ishinomori-san. It's what we all need sometimes. Good night."

    As Koutarou leaves, the two artificial souls step back into the main room, now decontaminated and out of protective suits. They emotionlessly resume their dull work of cataloguing experiments and data sets.
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

  23. - Top - End - #83
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Extra Episode 1: Secrets of the Generals

    "Good night, Commander."

    Koutarou moved to leave the building. His heart was heavy and so was his mind. But not much he could do about that...
    The Void, the Cold Steel, the Just Sword courtesy of Prime32.

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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

  24. - Top - End - #84
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Extra Episode 1: Secrets of the Generals

    Quote Originally Posted by Frozen_Feet View Post
    [B]
    [Soul Society]
    (Alchemical Gardens)



    "You are free to think as you will." The Commander takes another sip. "I will not burden you with pleas to help in my research, then. If, in some point of future, it is deemed my actions were excessive, it means you will not be persecuted as my partner-in-crime."

    Li puts the plastic cup down. "So enough of that. It's almost 21:00. My pupil should be here at any moment. My wish is for you to tell him everything about our King and His Guard, as honestly as you are allowed. Do not concern yourself with my opinion when you do. If he is to be an useful replacement, he will need perspective other than my own to make his decisions."

    ((OOC: This means we're going back to the episode soon, but Kuroi, I think it'd be polite for Koutarou to at least exchange greetings with Castus before that since I mentioned him by name. )
    "I will answer any question he may have." Saruhiko answers simply, glancing at the flowers. "What I can answer at least. What have you told him up to this point? I would hate to repeat you."

  25. - Top - End - #85
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Extra Episode 1: Secrets of the Generals

    "Don't worry about it either", the Commander says, crumbling up the now-empty plastic cup and throwing it to the trash bin next to the workbench. "If you happen to repeat something, then it merely confirms to him I was not lying like a rug. I'm sure he'll ask or notify you if he is confused, or feels something is needlessly repeated."
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

  26. - Top - End - #86
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Extra Episode 1: Secrets of the Generals

    ((Some unexact amount of time later))

    Koutarou slowly headed back to the Gardens. He carried a short but detailed report of the state of the Modsouls, as he had been requested. Though the report itself weighted almost nothing, his conscience felt impossibly heavy.

    Put simply, he hated the current situation, and what the Commander called "pragmatism". Perhaps because he had risen through the ranks starting from the rank-and-file, and perhaps because he felt inferior to Li's intellect, Koutarou couldn't ignore the nagging sensation that his superior officer had, in fact, lost sight of what was important - jaded by the consequences of responsibility.

    If he did, then it was Koutarou's job to make sure he regained those. But that wasn't an easy thing to do.
    The Void, the Cold Steel, the Just Sword courtesy of Prime32.

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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

  27. - Top - End - #87
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Extra Episode 1: Secrets of the Generals

    Around 21:15, the Commander peeks out of greenhouse 1 to see if Koutarou has arrived yet. Li brightens when Li sees the Vice-Commander walking towards the gardens. "Good evening, Ishinomori-san. We've been waiting you. There's hot water if you want tea." Li opens the door so Koutarou can see the other person inside. "This is Kisaragi Saruhiko-dono, from the Royal Guard. I'll leave you two to talk for a while. Do you have a report on modified artificials? I will peruse it in the interim."
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

  28. - Top - End - #88
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Extra Episode 1: Secrets of the Generals

    Saruhiko rises to bow before taking his seat, motioning in front of himself. "It is a pleasure to meet you. Koutarou-san."

  29. - Top - End - #89
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Extra Episode 1: Secrets of the Generals

    "Likewise, Saruhiko-dono." One might notice that Koutarou's bow is significantly deeper than it probably needs to be*.

    "Here you are, Commander. Overall it's simple enough. I also requested an update on the status of our defensive projects under SSI auspices - we may well have need of them soon." Handing Li the report, Koutarou headed over to the chairs to seat himself. "And yes, I would appreciate a cup of tea."

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    *The angle at which one bows to greet determines how much one recognizes that person as his or her superior. Friends and family typically greet by bowing no lower than a 45-degree angle, often with their eyes meeting (the purpose of a deeper bow is to not look up and stare, and to not meet one's eyes when greeting, which is considered rude when addressing a hierarchic superior). When meeting someone of greater hierarchy or deserving of greater respect or gratitude, however, one bows at a 90-degree angle.
    The Void, the Cold Steel, the Just Sword courtesy of Prime32.

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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

  30. - Top - End - #90
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Extra Episode 1: Secrets of the Generals

    The commander snatches the report. "Thank you. If you excuse me, I now have some orders to prepare. I'll knock when I get back." Li moves out of the door and closes it.
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

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