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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default [BitPR2] Violence by words! Fearlessness and rebirth.

    [A certain isolated hospital ward]

    Setsurou wasn't expected today.

    Regardless, the newly-appointed third seat of Internal Security happened by the door anyway. Like a light breeze. Or rain. Or both.

    By special authority given him by the Commander-General, the onmitsu was shown into the ward wherein Masaru was kept under observation. He had to undergo sterilization and be given a scan, but nothing beyond that.

    As he entered the room, he unceremoniously headed towards where the security cameras happened to be and... stared at them for a little while. If the patient happened to be awake, he might notice a subtle sign he does after staring at each one.

    And then, without saying a word, Setsurou pulled up a chair by Masaru's bedside and... looked at the de facto Captain of the Combat Division for a long time. He was uncharacteristically silent.
    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 - #2
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Violence by words! Fearlessness and rebirth.

    For a long moment, there's just silence, Masaru laying there as if asleep. Both men know he's not, but it's a nice illusion to give the battered warrior a few moments to collect himself. Finally, his eyes slowly open, and his gaze drifts to Setsurou.

    "Am I to be killed today, then? On suspicion of possibly in the future maybe doing something wrong or crazy, thanks to this arm?"

    His voice grows more bitter, though his face remains calm and almost serene.

    "Perhaps the Commander will have an Arrancar appointed Captain of the Pack! An animal to lead animals, after all. If that's the case, lie to me as you slit my throat, good sir. I'd rather not pass on actually believing that's what will happen."

  3. - Top - End - #3
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Violence by words! Fearlessness and rebirth.

    "I didn't expect the hit squad to go unnoticed by you. As expected of the man behind the Guerrilla Division.

    No, you're going to remain very much alive and well, provided you don't try to take your own life.

    I turned off the cameras, by the way. We're the only ones in this room listening to this."


    Setsurou couldn't exactly blame Masaru for being bitter. The man has weathered one blow to morale after the other. It's a miracle he's even got the strength to be in contempt of his situation.

    "I came here to say I'm sorry."
    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 - #4
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Violence by words! Fearlessness and rebirth.

    "Yes, I am sure the only situation where you can use lethal force against me is if I attempt suicide. I am sure that's the extent of your orders."

    The sarcasm was almost solid.

    And then Setsurou apologized. Masaru couldn't help but chuckle.

    "Why are you apologizing to me? You didn't do anything but come into my room, and presumably help run my kill squad. You didn't rip my arm off and graft this thing onto my body. You didn't make Izanami go insane in the first place, or have a temper tantrum out of nowhere. What have you got to apologize to me for?"

  5. - Top - End - #5
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Violence by words! Fearlessness and rebirth.

    "I didn't keep this from happening."

    He stared HARD into Masaru's eyes. The pain was almost as solid as his sarcasm a moment ago.

    "The only reason you're in this bed and under surveillance now is because you did right by your duty; not that I need to tell you that. At the time you were fighting Izanami, I came up with a plan to attempt to extricate you from that barrier and, perhaps, stun her long enough that she could be contained. I failed to convince others to go along with said plan and well, the result is what it is.

    So I failed you. Not because of what I did, but because of what I didn't do."


    Setsurou stared at the floor for a little while. And then continued.

    "Yes, I am the one holding a sword over your head. I couldn't despise this position any more if I tried. I have fought, all my life, to NOT become what I am right now. Yet here we are.

    I don't expect you to forgive me or take pity on me for it. But I want you to understand that your death would be a complete and utter waste. And I HATE being wasteful. I don't expect you to become my friend. But I do want to see you hold up that same earnestness out there, leading the spear of Gotei.

    I don't expect you to leave this hospital bed the same man you were before you got into a cage match with one of the most frightening creatures in existence, but I do hope you don't change too much."
    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 - #6
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Violence by words! Fearlessness and rebirth.

    Masaru stared back.

    "It sounds like they did their duty, and fulfilled my request to them. I didn't have them shut me in because I wanted to die. I did it because Izanami was, perhaps still is, obsessed with me."

    He waves the shadow arm about to emphasize the "is" bit.

    "She was determined to prove me wrong and herself right. It wasn't about killing me, not really. If it was I'd be a stain on the roof. It was about some sick sort of test for me. She wanted to see my "true power".

    I apparently didn't entirely measure up, though perhaps she sees some sort of "potential" in me, yet. Or perhaps it's the shadow-based nature of my powers that she is fascinated with. I don't know for sure.

    What I do know is that I stabbed her with two broadswords, one into a kill-zone in the torso, and one into her face, before releasing my black flames, which burn as hot as any fire.
    "

    He closed his eyes, falling back onto the bed for a few moments before opening them again, staring right at the ceiling.

    "She didn't even notice. I think to scratch her, I would have needed either a Bankai, a light-based Zanpakutou, or probably both. In case you haven't noticed yet, we're short on either around these parts at the moment."

    At Setsurou's comments about the "spear of the Gotei", Masaru laughs a deep, bitter laugh.

    "Spear of the Gotei, Officer? That so-called spear is BROKEN. Our Captain, dead. Vice-Captain, disappeared and declared a traitor. Peace with the Hollows. Forsaking our sworn duty to release tortured souls from the torment that is a Hollow's existence, instead allowing human-shaped Hollows to take them for either food, or more soldiers. Negotiating laws with them. And now myself, locked away in a hospital room, maimed by a mad goddess, suspected by most all of the Gotei of being "infected" or "tainted", a kill-squad hovering above my head.

    Tell me, Setsurou. Does that sound like a recipe for a healthy Combat Division? Wait, no, the Pack. We're the Pack now. Dehumanized, reduced to animals. Dogs. Servants of man. Derided by all others, behind our backs and to our faces.

    I'm left wondering if what's left will ever become useful again.

    But more importantly, I'm wondering what use we would have? Shall we make war upon the impoverished masses in the Rukongi upon the word of the nobility? Shall we fall upon the Shinigami Science Institute like the Blade Of Damocles? Or perhaps we're to fall upon our own swords, and allow the Arrancar of Las Noches to take up residence there instead, the better to further their relations with our illustrious, peaceful nation.
    "

    He laughs and raises a finger into the air, waving it about in emphasis.

    "No, better! You feed us to the Arrancar to make them stronger! That will show your allegiance. After all, it was the rabid dog at the head of the Pack that attacked the illustrious leader of Las Noches, was it not?"

  7. - Top - End - #7
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Violence by words! Fearlessness and rebirth.

    SLAP.

    Clear across the face.

    "You know, I get that you're rattled beyond anything you've experienced at this point, what with being mutilated by a crazy abomination and all, but here I had this image that you boys of the Pack had more guts than that.

    You call the spear of the Gotei broken? Then it needs to be reforged! Honestly, I always figured that was the wrong denomination for it anyway. The Combat Division is the shield that everyone depends on to do their jobs and uphold that selfsame oath you were talking about! And you of all people should know that it's not just made of you, the Vice-Captain and the Captain - every man and woman who trained every day puts their life on the line to protect those they care about.

    In case you didn't notice, Las Noches or no, there's STILL a group of people out there who wants our blood, and they will stop at nothing until we're eradicated! I saw a woman's head explode and her compatriots didn't even blink.

    The Pack has a job to do, and you're upset because the mantle of leadership is on your shoulders even if you never asked for or wanted it in the first place. I can relate. Really, I can. After all, I've been running from the same thing my whole life.

    But there comes a point when you just can't run anymore!!"


    Setsurou's mask fell completely. Such an outburst, such emotion - it was not like him. He didn't even know Masaru outside of a few files and some security footage, as well as a short talk with Koutarou. Yet he saw a reflection of himself in the man, and whether he hated himself for it or hated what he saw in Masaru was hard to tell.
    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 - #8
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Violence by words! Fearlessness and rebirth.

    Before Setsurou's eyes finish blinking, Masaru is sitting on the edge of the bed and his shadow hand is around Setsurou's throat. There is an expression of raw rage on his face. But the pressure is not so much that the spy cannot breath, though talking might be uncomfortable.

    This lasts for about 2 seconds, before there's a flash of metal, and suddenly Masaru is on the opposite side of the room, his wakizashi halfway between them, point-first in the floor...

    And the severed front half of the shadow arm falls from Setsurou's throat, already dissolving, while the remaining stump quickly forms a new hand.

    "Do you know what I see when I close my eyes at night?"

    Masaru's looking at the arm, not Setsurou.

    "They used to be normal dreams. Fun ones, weird ones, embarrassing ones, the occasional scary one, though those were more "oh no everyone around me is dead", because to a guy with a building sized dragon in his soul, "scary monster" is relative. Occasionally I'd see the people who'd died on my watch. Painful, but things I'd accepted.

    Now I sometimes see that...and sometimes see fragments of things worse than any battle I've faced. Things I don't understand. But I think I know where they come from...

    Part of me wants this thing gone...but with this arm, I just know some of my power is greater. And what would I replace it with, hm? Metal and wire? Or perhaps hold my second sword in my teeth!
    "

    He shakes his head and looks at Setsurou again. His eyes are slightly distant. Haunted.

    "My problem with the rest of the Division isn't "can I reforge it", but "What can we be remade to be?". And this assumes I would take over, and not Naijeru. He is at least my equal in power and experience.

    But beyond this new group, who are small but powerful, what other enemies do we actually think we have? This...cult...needs kill teams, not an entire Division.

    And then what? The Commander seems to believe the peace with Las Noches will be permanent. I accepted the truce because I believed we needed time to rebuild. But the Commander thinks we don't need to fight them, ever. I don't agree. But if that's the direction the Gotei goes, and say we eliminate this Cult in perhaps 5 years or less...then what?

    What will a Division of nigh-immortal combat experts do with no combat to wage? Shall we hunt down any mortals with power, be they innocent or guilty of any and all perceived crimes? Then what?

    That is the question I need an answer to before I can truly help the Pack.
    "

  9. - Top - End - #9
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Violence by words! Fearlessness and rebirth.

    "You're clearly mistaken about the Commander's intentions, I think." Setsurou replies as he tests his vocal chords once again. "I'm sure you'd rather get it straight from the horse's mouth, but here's the long and short of it. As you know, I was the diplomatic envoy that got sent to Las Noches.

    I'm not going to lie to you, it's huge. And I mean REALLY HUGE. Very impressive too. In a lot of ways, there are tons of Arrancar out there who are pretty much bleached versions of ourselves. There are writers, inventors, scientists, musicians, actors. PEOPLE, Masaru.

    But you know what was the one common thread among them?

    They were deathly afraid. Of me and Aryanna. Yurius gave us the personal tour, and I could tell that the only reason people even tried to tolerate our presence was because they knew that, if we had any real hostile intentions, then Yurius could wipe us off the map.

    Sounds like a great deal for them, right?

    Except I've lived there for fifty years."


    Setsurou paused to let Masaru digest this information.

    "Not within the city proper, mind. I never breached it. But I did live in Hueco Mundo for that long. I traveled its sands. I've watched the monsters. Fought some of them, too, when it turned out I had been careless concealing myself.

    I can tell you that it is, at the very least, rather pretentious of Yurius to claim he represents his kind. He's a leader, yes, and a powerful one. But there's only so many Hollows he can strong-arm. That cult is the beginning of something much, much greater. Even if we stop it, someone will end up taking its place. And then another, and another.

    Don't you see, Masaru? Las Noches is a faction. Hueco Mundo is a world.

    This will never end. The people will always need protection. You keep banging your head against the idea that a soldier's duty is to kill, but that's an assassin's job.

    A soldier's job is to protect. I know this sounds hollow coming from me, and I probably should know better than to try and teach you that, but I think this is an important truth you've left behind.

    As for your arm... if removing it is really what you want, we can look for a way. If you want to seal Izanami there, we can look for a way to do that, too.

    I get the feeling even if the hit squad tried to do its job, they wouldn't be able anyway."
    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 - #10
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Violence by words! Fearlessness and rebirth.

    "Except that the whole arrangement is weighted to discourage us ever combating another Hollow again.

    Las Noches is responsible, by default, for any and all Hollows in the Mortal World. Period. We are disallowed contact if not to directly save ourselves, Mortals, or Pluses from clear and present danger. We can perhaps bend that on occasion, but not break it.

    The thing is, this Cult is threatening, but not large. And there's clearly something more going on than just Hollows fighting against Las Noches.

    More than that, every Hollow brought in by Las Noches will strengthen them. Perhaps this isn't an issue for 5 years, but what about in another 50 years?

    These aren't just my questions, Setsurou. If all of the higher-ups have decided I'm the de facto leader of the Combat Division, I have to try and anticipate their questions as well. It's not just my morale I have to rebuild, it's theirs. I have to figure out how to revitalize it after the beatings we've taken.

    And right now, I don't know how to do that.
    "

  11. - Top - End - #11
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Violence by words! Fearlessness and rebirth.

    "It didn't occur to you to ask someone you respect for advice?"

    Of course, it sounded obvious when he said it, but sometimes the most obvious questions go unasked.

    "So you prepare for what you fear. It is, really, the best you can do. You ready a solid defense for when the inevitable time comes that it is actually needed. You find the people you can rely on for support, and you build up their trust.

    From what Yurius told me, he intends to let the Arrancar lead themselves given time. Recipe for disaster right then and there. I should probably also mention to you - it's entirely possible not every Hollow that gets captured is actually added to an army. There is a district within Las Noches that offers... asylum for those who can't make the cut. Those who can't live in society.

    Don't underestimate the need we'll have of the Combat Division in the coming days, Masaru. Soul Society has hardly ever been weaker at its upper echelons than it is right this moment, and we're looking like a fine meal indeed."
    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 - #12
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Violence by words! Fearlessness and rebirth.

    "Not...really, no. Mostly because I wasn't sure who would be able to help. I mean, it is kind of a unique situation..."

    That sounded better in his head.

    "And intellectually, I know you've got some good points about ongoing threats. It's just...I went into a coma after intensive training and self-discovery, and everything was great. I come out, and things proceed to go all the way through every level of Hell.

    And now all these people outside Combat Division are acting like I'm the Captain or something. At best, I'm co-fill-in-Vice-Captain alongside Naijeru and the other Squad leaders. None of us felt comfortable truly stepping up. And it's not like there's an official order from on high or anything.

    Add all of that up and you have me where I am today.
    "

  13. - Top - End - #13
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Violence by words! Fearlessness and rebirth.

    "Pretty surreal, huh. Like you're going to wake up at some point and discover it's all a dream. A horrible, horrible dream."

    Setsurou shook his head.

    "So yeah, people are treating you like a Captain. Have you considered that's because they see you as the guy who's thinking rationally? Taking charge, making the tough decisions?

    I mean, did you see Naijeru jumping in to fight an ancient monstrosity to save other people? Nevermind her interest in you. You didn't even blink. You went with 'damn the consequences, just lock me in here with this nutjob'. You went in there ready to die to keep everyone safe.

    That's the important thing - the really important thing. At the end of the day, a guy like you is the kind of guy who gets to make everybody come home safely. Nobody's born knowing what to do in a given situation.

    And hey, you're friends with the Vice-Commander, right? If you need leadership tips, you couldn't ask for better advice."
    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 - #14
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Violence by words! Fearlessness and rebirth.

    "I believe the term is 'nightmare', Setsurou-san."

    He laughs a bit at the other man's assertion.

    "Except that locking myself in a box with a monster to die is less "leader" material and more "hero" material.

    I think, besides my own general uncertainty, I have 3 concerns about trying to end up Acting Captain.

    First, I worry it would be seen as usurpation by the rest of the Pack. Which would harm our already-fragile morale.

    Second, I worry about the rest of them thinking I'm less qualified than, say, Naijeru, just in general.

    Third, I worry about the Division's general morale.
    "
    Last edited by KnightDisciple; 2013-11-16 at 11:55 AM.

  15. - Top - End - #15
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Violence by words! Fearlessness and rebirth.

    "I don't think even our folks at the SSI can see the hairs you're splitting on that regard.

    And you could've just summed it up as "I'm worried about what other people think". At the end of the day, that's what it is.

    Worrying about morale is admirable, but you have to realize you can't keep deciding things as a council forever. At some point you're all going to disagree on something very, very important. And then you'll take time correcting a potential mistake.

    Solution to problem one: get the support of the other squad leaders.

    Solution to problem two: everyone saw you choosing to duel with Izanami. By applying solution one, you can basically shut them up with that little factoid alone.

    Solution to problem three: keep them busy. If you don't have time to think, you don't have time to worry. Training exercises in general should work.

    Failing all that, I'll whip you up a marketing campaign."
    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 - #16
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Violence by words! Fearlessness and rebirth.

    "Then I suppose my only question is...will Commander Li allow me to attempt to step up into leadership? Will the Commander allow a man with a kill squad watching his every move to lead one of the more dangerous Divisions in the Gotei?"

    Masaru seems to be giving Setsurou's words some serious weight, but this is not an idle question from him, to be sure.

  17. - Top - End - #17
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Violence by words! Fearlessness and rebirth.

    "I have a better question for you. Does the Commander have a choice?

    You do realize your own death would just pile on the already massive blows morale has endured, right? This is protocol. If Li believed you were a clear and present danger, you'd have been dismissed, locked into a cell in the deepest prison he could find, and the key would have been eaten by a Menos.

    Honestly, I'm not even sure the kill squad assigned to you can actually do the job - not assuming you resist. And I could always pretend I'm unable to actually finish you off. I'm THAT good."


    Setsurou ain't kidding.

    "All told, you're the best remaining choice the Commander has. Basically because if even you bite the dust, he needs an immediate replacement. I'm sure there's room for disagreement there, but it's not that big."
    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 - #18
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Violence by words! Fearlessness and rebirth.

    Masaru remained silent and thoughtful for a long time after Setsurou's words. His mouth was set in a thin line, but his eyes moved about quickly, seemingly sightless. Almost like he was reading a book in his mind's eye.

    Finally, he spoke.

    "You are correct. And, I have some ideas on what the Combat Division could be doing. But. I will need a meeting arranged with the other Squad leaders as soon as possible. And then, I will likely start implementing plans that will keep us sharp, but might make some of the more...traditional...people in Soul Society a bit antsy."

    He gives a humorless smirk at that remark.

  19. - Top - End - #19
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Violence by words! Fearlessness and rebirth.

    "I'm all about flying in the face of tradition. Do tell."
    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 - #20
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Violence by words! Fearlessness and rebirth.

    Masaru shrugged, unconsciously rubbing at his shadow-shoulder.

    "Training drills are all well and good for some basic focus and skill-building, but for the Pack, actual combat works best. Metal is forged in fire, and skill is forged in battle.

    So if we can't fight Las Noches, and this...Cult...is small and stealth enough that Recon has a better chance of finding them first, what is left to us?
    "

    His gaze drifts out the window, where the view shows much of the Seireitei, and the walls beyond.

    "Lady Death had said she was going to the fringes to fight Hollows intruding on the domain. I think we can do a better job, what with more of us and teamwork. We can establish patrols to really and truly clear out the roving bands of Hollows.

    More than that, maybe we can actually try to make a difference, out in the outer Districts. Things may be alright in the inner circles, but out there, it's bad. But here we sit, Gods of Death, waiting, judging, doing so little.

    We've already all but given up on the Material world. I refuse to do nothing and give up on this one. Not when I have the strength to make a difference out there, even if only a little bit.

    We could hold training classes as well as strike down bandit groups. Give the people the skill, the strength, and the confidence to protect themselves. To teach others. The Pack isn't that large, all told...but if we can start something, maybe we can, one day, when centuries have passed, say that we made Soul Society a better place.
    "

    He gives Setsurou a bitter smile.

    "Or will that see us branded traitors and outlaws, for daring to think beyond these walls and the estates of the richest nobles?"

  21. - Top - End - #21
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Violence by words! Fearlessness and rebirth.

    "Barking up the wrong tree there, buddy. I don't give a fig about nobility, even if I'm technically part of it..." Setsurou replied with an expression that almost made him look as if the inside of his nose were ticklish.

    "I don't particularly see anything wrong with that. Might help us reconnect with the people of Rukon, too, even if it feels like sending an army of elephants to kill ants. You realize the average bandit is a speck of dust next to the average Shinigami, right?

    I don't dislike the idea, mind. Some might argue that the cost outweights the benefits, but I think you know better than to assume the Pack won't be needed. And Recon can only find the Cult, not necessarily fight them.

    Now, fighting the bands of Hollows out on the fringes of Soul Society... that has more potential. Who knows, get successful enough and we might even find you going for hunting expeditions in Hueco Mundo.

    There's just one thing I don't get. Wasn't Recon the Division tasked with patrolling the human world and hunting down the wild Hollows in there?"
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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 - #22
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Violence by words! Fearlessness and rebirth.

    "It will show them we care enough to do things. More than that, the point is not just to protect them, but to help them protect themselves."

    He became more animated, pacing about, gesturing, not looking at anything in particular.

    "Imagine if every Shinigami out there teaches 5 civilians to protect themselves. Of those 5, 2 of them turs around and teaches 5 more people apiece. Of each of those 5, 2 teach 5 more. Then hold that pattern. 1 teaches 5, and 2 of the 5 go to teach 5 more. Repeat. I don't know the exact math, but that grows quite large quite soon. And even if 2 of the 5 students in a set "go bad", there's 3 that don't. Which means the Rukon, all the Rukon can eventually protect itself and stand strong.

    And if people feel safe, protected, and empowered, they're more productive and feel freer to live their lives.

    Swatting wild Hollows out there, or swatting bandits ourselves, is a side benefit.
    "

    He stops for a moment at Setsurou's question, raising an eyebrow.

    "More than once Combat Division members rotated into Recon teams. And while Recon members are fine soldiers and often handle lone Hollows, when they encountered a more powerful Hollow, or a whole group of them, the Combat Division came into play. That's what we're for, backing others up in sticky situations."

  23. - Top - End - #23
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Violence by words! Fearlessness and rebirth.

    "Hmmm. Fair enough. How do you counter the natural objection to that idea? Namely, that teaching peasants how to fight can blow up on your face. One of the very specific reasons nobility doesn't institute an armed force to protect the Rukongai is because they fear revolts.

    Which they wouldn't have to if some of them didn't happen to be obnoxious asses, but hey.

    They're going to bring that up. How do you pick and choose who gets to learn how to defend themselves?"


    Setsurou's tone was more inquisitive than it was critical. His intent was to help spot potential hangups in Masaru's plan before they actually arose.
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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 - #24
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Violence by words! Fearlessness and rebirth.

    "If the first interactions these parts of the Rukongi have with us in years are us helping and enabling them, treating them as valued people with hearts and minds, capable of learning to defend themselves, it will engender a lot of good will.

    Obviously anyone who's openly engaged in banditry or the like is excluded from classes. But beyond that? I don't think it would be right to exclude any other students. After all, the Shinigami Academy taught a monster like Sho Sabitsura, who slaughtered quite a few of her classmates due to a single Hollow. If they're okay with our system empowering individuals like that, I don't see why they'd object to us teaching Rukongi civilians what amounts to self-defense and police fighting techniques.

    I'm not proposing an army be formed. Just defense and civil enforcement. If some of the citizens step up to help protect their fellows, the rest can become more engaged, productive, and happy members of our society and community.
    "

  25. - Top - End - #25
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Violence by words! Fearlessness and rebirth.

    "It's not that I disagree, but you haven't really addressed the question.

    The problem isn't with giving them the means to defend themselves. The problem, as the nobles will see it, lies with them having the ability to actually not depend on the nobles themselves for anything.

    At the end of the day, the nobles need a reason to exist too. Some will be happy to encourage you, others not so much. To put this plan into motion you'll need a number of nobles sympathetic to the plight of the people of Rukongai backing you up."


    At this point, Setsurou had a mischievious glint in his eye. It wasn't hard for Masaru to tell he already had a list of people.
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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."

  26. - Top - End - #26
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Violence by words! Fearlessness and rebirth.

    "The counterpoint is that at this time, the people in the outermost districts don't rely on the nobles anyways. The nobility of Soul Society does nothing for those people. In fact, the outer quarter of everything is typically left to its own devices. The nobility don't go there, their business ventures don't go there, because it's too dangerous.

    By making the people safer, it makes the region safer, which allows them to extend their influence and business further. Thus they can get more power and money for themselves, and the region improves at least a little bit.

    And if the nobles actively support the efforts, instead of just allowing them, they in turn are shown to be benevolent and caring, and improve their reputation with the rest of Soul Society. Who, incidentally, vastly outnumber them. But also have a large amount of untapped potential.
    "

  27. - Top - End - #27
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Violence by words! Fearlessness and rebirth.

    "That sounds better. Word of advice though: show them the advantages first. Don't appeal to their common decency, appeal to the improvements they can make to their own lives, and offer the reputation increase as a side bonus.

    If they cared about their reputations firsthand, they'd have made an effort already, however superficial.

    And try to downplay how they're not really doing anything at this point. Someone's emotions are bound to get the better of them otherwise, and then you'll get into a shouting match that gives you nothing."


    Setsurou's coaching sounded a lot like a salesmanship lesson. In the end, it was pretty much no different.

    After all, debating is an art.

    "They're also going to ask you how you plan to keep up Seireitei's defenses AND teach Rukongai. Forget the lack of logic in that statement; it's going to happen regardless and you're better off not diving into those murky waters. Your answer?"
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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."

  28. - Top - End - #28
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Violence by words! Fearlessness and rebirth.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuroimaken View Post
    "That sounds better. Word of advice though: show them the advantages first. Don't appeal to their common decency, appeal to the improvements they can make to their own lives, and offer the reputation increase as a side bonus.

    If they cared about their reputations firsthand, they'd have made an effort already, however superficial.

    And try to downplay how they're not really doing anything at this point. Someone's emotions are bound to get the better of them otherwise, and then you'll get into a shouting match that gives you nothing."


    Setsurou's coaching sounded a lot like a salesmanship lesson. In the end, it was pretty much no different.

    After all, debating is an art.

    "They're also going to ask you how you plan to keep up Seireitei's defenses AND teach Rukongai. Forget the lack of logic in that statement; it's going to happen regardless and you're better off not diving into those murky waters. Your answer?"
    Masaru nods.

    "Change up the order in presentation, soft pitch. Makes sense."

    He ponders the next challenge for only a moment.

    "The Pack has always been a mobile reactive force on the battlefield. Discounting the Sekiseki walls, we have an entire Division devoted to physical fortifications and defensive Kido spells. Beyond that, the SSI has apparently started work on one or more large, powerful weapon emplacements that could stall even the more potent enemies out there. Beyond that, the Engineering Corps likely has a multitude of useful devices.

    So the most likely scenario is an enemy appearing at the walls and taking time to try and get in. As the walls and defenses delay them, the Pack elements proceed to strike them from behind.

    In a case where they directly enter Seireitei and bypass the walls themselves, our presence in the Rukon ensures that if nothing else we won't be subject to defeat in death in our barracks. We can instead move back to the city as a united fighting force.

    With the recent innovations and expansions in our communication systems, and the promised increases to come, it's very conceivable that we could stay in regular contact with the command elements at all times.
    "

    He shrugged.

    "In an absolute worst-case scenario, an enemy powerful enough to totally overwhelm every other Division present would likely not have been stopped by our presence. In which case, the Pack presents a force with a multitude of skills, ready to establish a new Gotei in the outer reaches of Soul Society.

    Beyond that, we could see if Engineering and SSI could set up some sort of fast mass transit system underground or whatnot. I believe they have similar systems in the Material world, some which go quite fast. I think most of our scientists are more interested in science and ideas than "originality", and could be convinced to study said systems.

    The whole thing can't be done in a single night anyways. It's a process of likely years.
    "

  29. - Top - End - #29
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Violence by words! Fearlessness and rebirth.

    "Good analysis. Play up the aspect of a primary line of defense. Most nobles aren't aware of the particulars in the latest incidents involving invasions of Seireitei. Bring up numbers if you can to sound more convincing. Really, the more research you can do before you get moving, the better." Setsurou noted again.

    "Remember, you're not lying to them in any capacity, just presenting information in a way that makes them more susceptible to accept you. You will have to endure snide commentary, veiled insults and the like. You don't NEED to kiss up to the nobles to make your case, provided you make a strong one. But you WILL need to approach them with tact. I have a book or two that I could lend you to help prepare."
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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 - #30
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Violence by words! Fearlessness and rebirth.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuroimaken View Post
    "Good analysis. Play up the aspect of a primary line of defense. Most nobles aren't aware of the particulars in the latest incidents involving invasions of Seireitei. Bring up numbers if you can to sound more convincing. Really, the more research you can do before you get moving, the better." Setsurou noted again.

    "Remember, you're not lying to them in any capacity, just presenting information in a way that makes them more susceptible to accept you. You will have to endure snide commentary, veiled insults and the like. You don't NEED to kiss up to the nobles to make your case, provided you make a strong one. But you WILL need to approach them with tact. I have a book or two that I could lend you to help prepare."
    "Literature would be appreciated. I'm still kind of transitioning into the whole "responsible leader" thing instead of "party hard warrior" life.

    That feels like a lifetime ago, you know. Despite being just a couple of months, really.

    But yes, research, calm attitude, clear presentation.

    Perhaps you could also make sure certain parts of the Gotei leadership could at least be amendable to the idea, when the time comes?
    "

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