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  1. - Top - End - #91
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: [BiTPR2] Renewed Revolution: Spirit World IV

    [Soul Society - Before Gotei HQ]

    "Every time you lie to me, I'm cutting your pay in half. Are you sure that's your final answer?"
    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 - #92
    Orc in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: [BiTPR2] Renewed Revolution: Spirit World IV

    Hueco Mundo
    The Ground

    Buffeted by the shockwaves from the objects crash Kyoki stands her ground, only taking a couple of steps back. However with Ragunaroku this was something she could stand against. Seeing what the object was Kyoki stands still in shock at seeing her, friend? Yes that seemed appropriate. Seeing her friend trapped was something she did not expect to see. Upon seeing a quincy, likely the one responsible for said friend's predicament she slowly started moving again. Readying Ragunaroku she shot forward with a Sonido to close in on the tired quincy.

    "Scream!"

    At her command the mouth on the blade broke into a wide grin before belowing out one of the most loud and hair raising screams imaginable. The blade vibrated violently with the soundwaves. Should the Quincy not react in time she would find that the scream was for more than just making the blade loud and disorienting.

  3. - Top - End - #93
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: [BiTPR2] Renewed Revolution: Spirit World IV

    [Hueco Mundo]
    Roof of Las Noches

    Jehoel tracks the missiles that escape his Cero, watching as they fly into the district behind him. He turns his attention back to the remaining planes and sighs, sparing a moment to rub his face with one palm in irritation before simply vanishing from the path of the hail of projectiles direct towards him by the two remaining planes. The third plane's pilot will likely have some trouble tracking his new location. The second, however, will have little difficulty noticing Jehoel's new position crouched on his canopy. Shattering the glass with contemptuous ease, Jehoel grabs the pilot by the throat and hurls him from the plane with bone-shattering force before using Sonído to return to his former position.

    The light from the fires in his district give the hole a hellish feel, a sensation that is only enhanced by the swarm of Hollows that spew from it to escape the flames. They come in many sizes and shapes, running, flying, and crawling in the dozens from the district as the fire consumes it.

    Jehoel turns to the assembling Hollows, who screech their defiance into the eternal night of Hueco Mundo. He points a finger into the air, right at the approaching Nachfolger.

    "Kill."

    A massive eruption of Ceros, balas, and stranger projectiles launch to meet the arrows hurtling down at the roof.

    Jehoel, for his part, looks for the last plane, already beginning to charge a Cero.

    The Ground

    Nikolina, unaware of her surroundings, cringes at the sound released by the blade. To her credit, however, the Quincy responds immediately to the attack, swiveling to face Kyoki and dodging her initial slash. Pulling back with a burst of Hirenkyaku, the quincy launches back into the air, firing a hailstorm of arrows at the small Arrancar.
    Truly awesome Ark Tamaeus avatar by Bryn. Full size version here.

  4. - Top - End - #94
    Orc in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

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    Hueco Mundo
    The Ground

    Kyoki's eyes widened as she saw the Quincy dodge her attack. Seeing the rain of arrows coming for her Kyoki uses Ragunaroku to cut her wrist and leak out her black blood.

    Bloody Neddles!"

    Multiple droplets of blood formed into sharp neddles and shot forward aiming to cancel out the Quincy's rain of arrows. If some of them missed then that would just mean they could continue forth and pierce her foe.

  5. - Top - End - #95
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    [Hueco Mundo]
    The Ground

    Although it's a valiant effort, Kyoki's bloody needles simply can't compete with the sheer volume of shots being launched at her. The bloody needles easily pierce through the arrows where they connect and push forwards toward Nikolina, who is forced to dodge away from them. All around the needles, however, a seemingly endless wall of arrows pushes and surges towards Kyoki.

    Of course, should they connect, Kyoki will find that the light shots do almost no damage against her.
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  6. - Top - End - #96
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [BiTPR2] Renewed Revolution: Spirit World IV

    [Hueco Mundo; outside Las Noches]
    Valentina's Flota

    When Jehoel redirects a missile and topples the tank, Valentina's Flota cheers. The mortals are much more susceptible to the shockwave. Because of this, the Arrancares quickly take advantage of the stunned and fallen Quincy, and quickly strike down several of them. Even Valentina herself gets into the rhythm of the battle, casting out her distracting thoughts.

    As it is, the Quincy and Arrancar are around equal in terms of organization, but the Arrancares are more powerful individually.


    Caeyrn and the 2nd infantry battalion

    Caeyrn feels that now is the time. In the shadows, he gives some final instructions to the 2nd infantry battalion. "Now, it's time. Don't forget: Keep numerical advantage, stay in groups, at least in pairs. Keep enough distance."

    Then as a last word of instruction, he gives the slightly-odd instruction: "Remember the signal." It's probably a signal to get back together if they get separated, or something.

    On that cue, the 2nd infantry leaves the shadows, effectively doubling the size of the Quincy army with fresh troops. With the entirety of Valentina's Flota facing away from them, none of them expect or immediately notice the quincy troops behind them. None of them expect the wall of Quincy Spirit Arrows that suddenly mows down those Arrancares who were slower in the charge. As they are attacked on two sides, it doesn't take long for Valentina's Flota to fall apart in confusion.

    At that point, the 2nd infantry battalion no longer needs to fire in a block. They spread out to not be vulnerable to a single powerful Arrancar. They fire at will at all the Arrancares engaged in the battle all across the desert, letting their sudden numerical advantage, freshness, and surprise give them the upper hand.


    Valentina

    Valentina sees her fleet falling around her. It's enough to throw her out of the groove of battle, as every question of why returns to her mind at once: Why are they attacking? Why were they hiding and waiting? Why are they dying? Why? What's the purpose?

    This time, it's a Quincy arrow piercing her shoulder through that kicks her mind back into the battle. She looks around and sees her Flota confused and routed. What can she do? Where can she attack? She uses her great endurance in Sonido to run around the newly-appeared battalion and pick off some Quincies.


    More

    After most of the infantry has gone off to battle, Caeyrn turns to one of his uncles. "Keep me informed." Informed on who dies and who needs help, informed on when those who are more loyal to the Belenus family need help, and the state of those more traitorous Belenus...how to shape the battle best to their advantage.

    Then, Caeyrn also leaves the shadows. He activates his Zornhau der Seelen - his razor shield - for any Ceros coming his way, and forms his spirit weapon.

    After giving a moment to analyze where he's needed most, he enters the battle.
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  7. - Top - End - #97
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: [BiTPR2] Renewed Revolution: Spirit World IV

    [Soul Society - Before Gotei HQ]
    Quote Originally Posted by Kuroimaken View Post
    "Every time you lie to me, I'm cutting your pay in half. Are you sure that's your final answer?"
    The little humanoid looks thoughtfull. Or would look, if Koutarou could see her face through the grinning skull mask. "Are you sure you want to be cutting Miss Takenaka's inventions in two? That sounds awfully wasteful. And dangerous."

    ---

    [Hueco Mundo]
    Above Las Noches

    The now pilot-less second plane veers off-course, crashing against the dome some distance away. The third plane can't turn fast enough to track Jehoel's movements, so instead, it focuses its fire on the Hollows crawling up from his district. The bullets shred some of the less durable ones into pieces, while bouncing off the hides of those with better defenses. The rockets shot by the third plane are largely intercepted by the mass of Hollows - something that turns out to be a slight mistake, as it causes the phosphorous to spill on those who just got out of the jungle to escape it.

    All around, the sky becomes filled with explosions and flashes of light. The Nachfolger are much fewer in number than the defenders, but their rate of fire is massively greater. They survive without casualty from the first wave of counter-attack, circling above the Hollows like birds of prey while raining death and destruction upon them.

    Meanwhile, a solitary figure walks up the dome, far from the heart of the battle. Seeing the smoke rising from the hole in the dome, he smiles. Smell of the jungle burning in the night... that sure brings back some memories. Leaning on Hein Wiesweide's cane, Niklaus Gottschalk continues his silent limp forward, the sound of the cane tapping on stone drowned by the roar of battle.

    ---

    [Hueco Mundo]
    Ground - Caeyrn's battallion

    Demetrio, the brainwashed Arrancar, remained silent and apathetic for the course of the journey. Now, when Cayern gives the order to attack, a demented grin spreads across his face and his eyes gleam. Out of the blue, he grabs Torahiko's shoulder. "Come, comrade. This is our moment of glory! Fpr the Emperor!" He then charges towards Valentina's flota, half-dragging the young human along with him.
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

  8. - Top - End - #98
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: [BiTPR2] Renewed Revolution: Spirit World IV

    [Soul Society - Before HQ]

    "Don't be ridiculous. I mean that she would only deliver half the inventions to you.

    So you'd have to share."


    Kids hate sharing!
    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."

  9. - Top - End - #99
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: [BiTPR2] Renewed Revolution: Spirit World IV

    Hueco Mundo
    Roof of Las Noches

    With the surface of the roof becoming increasingly unsafe, the nightmare tide of Hollows from Jehoel's district scatter, sliding in all directions to escape the flames and arrows that rain down upon them. A shockingly small number of them perish; despite great numbers and almost bestial single-mindedness, the Hollows move with tremendous speed, agility, and purpose. The weak, in Jehoel's district, do not survive.

    With the Nachfolger presenting a clear target, the Hollow swarm surges into the air after them. Largely unable to match the speed of the armored Quincies, the Hollows begin to spread more thinly, attempting to encircle the invaders.

    More directly problematic, however, is Jehoel. Using the swarm as a cover, he blurs from the roof to reappear in front of the leader of the Nachfolger squadron, quickly seizing them by the throat and snapping it with a casual gesture of his hand. Extending both arms towards the remaining flyers, he releases a pair of wide-ranging ceros at them, blanketing the sky with blue fire.
    Truly awesome Ark Tamaeus avatar by Bryn. Full size version here.

  10. - Top - End - #100
    Ettin in the Playground
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    [Soul Society - Before HQ]

    It's quite a dilemma. The little creature is forced to think. Then, and idea dawns on it. "But, when we return together, there's going to be just one of us. So I'd only need to share it with myself", it proclaims victoriously.

    ---

    Quote Originally Posted by Flashback; Vietnam, 1965

    <"Captain! The weather's getting bad! If we don't turn back, we might crash!">

    The man being talked to doesn't respond, the sound of their helicopter's rotors drowning out the soldier's speech. He just stares silently into the distance from the hatch of the heli, eyes glazed. A trail of smoke is rising from the distance, the night sky turned blood red by the light of the fires below reflecting from the clouds. A sound of a machine gun firing hits the man's ears, and he can see a cone of death formed by tracer bullets rain down on hapless enemy soldiers.

    What number is this? This war? Third? Fourth? Depends on how you count, probably. First he fought against the commies with Germans... then he fought against the Germans because the commies demanded it... now he's, what? Fighting against the commies, because the guys who fought against the Germans, demand it?

    <"There's no sense in any of this">
    , he mutters.

    The soldier grabs his shoulder and shakes him a little. <"Captain!">

    <"I said, there's no sense in any of this!">, the man barks, thinking the soldier didn't hear him the first time. <"Look at them, scurrying like ants while we're up here. Big damn heroes, we are. What's the point? What are we fighting for here, anyway?">

    The soldier blinks. He let's go of his captain, unsure of what to say. Then, one of the other soldiers from the cockpit interjects. <"Isn't it obvious? We fight for the same reason everyone does">, he speaks deadpanly, looking over his shoulder. <"To win the ****ing war."> He turns to look ahead again.

    The captain gives him an incredulous look. <"Sure. To win the ****ing war.">

    The first soldier shakes his head and collects his thoughts. <"Listen, all that crap doesn't matter! Cap, the weather! We ought to get back!">

    The captain looks at him. <"Sure. You do that."> He then grabs his gun and jumps out of the helicopter.

    <"Captain!">
    ---

    [Hueco Mundo]
    Above Las Noches

    Jehoel's speed comes as a surprise to the leader, and he doesn't manage to react as the Arrancar assaults him. Those following him are forced to scatter to avoid the Ceros. The battle becomes fragmented, moving away from the Primera district, with groups of Hollows following and trying to surround isolated Nachfolger. The remaining fighter jet speeds to their help to drive away the defenders and give his comrades time to regroup.

    Niklaus, though still far away, sees the demise of the leading Nachfolger. It's quite a surprise, as no ordinary Hollow nor Arrancar should've been able to dispatch of him so easily. Then he realizes what's going on, and a lopsided grin spreads on his injured face.

    So! The Leviathan himself has joined the front of battle. Based on information they squeezed out of Demetrio, Niklaus knew to expect this, but still... it's quite historic to see the ancient Hollow fighting in defense of something. Niklaus quickens his pace. He can't expect to remain unnoticed for long anymore - especially since the battle is spreading his way, too. But there's no point in doing anything flashy before he has to... that would be a waste of a grand entrance.
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

  11. - Top - End - #101
    Orc in the Playground
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    [Soul Society - Before HQ]

    "At which point all we have to do is turn on the timer each tool will have installed.

    For which you'll only have half the time available.

    Understand one thing. If you can't be trusted, you can't work with us. It's the basis for every military organization. Until you EARN that trust, you'll always be watched."
    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 - #102
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    [Hueco Mundo]
    Above Las Noches

    While the Nachfolger have an undeniable advantage over the swarming Hollows, the residents of Jehoel's district are disturbingly resilient and intelligent; they soon prove to be dramatically stronger than run-of-the-mill Hollows. Combined with their sheer numbers, they are a serious threat to the Quincies. This danger is compounded a moment later, as Jehoel destroys the final jet by tearing through the plane's wing and leaving it to fall to the ground. Having dealt with the most pressing threats and seeing the Nachfolger contained for the moment in dealing with the Hollows, Jehoel turns to survey the ground battle for a moment.
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  13. - Top - End - #103
    Ettin in the Playground
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    [Soul Society - Before HQ]

    The little humanoid chuckles. "That's silly. You're being silly. Here you are, worrying about whether you should trust us. The answer to that's obvious. The people you really ought to be asking that question about are elsewhere." It rocks back and forth on Koutarou's back, smiling brightly behind its mask. "Besides, half the time is still better than no time."

    ---

    Quote Originally Posted by Flashback; Vietnam 1971
    Someone's at the mouth of the cave. The man can tell despite resting with his eyes closed, because a draft carries the intruder's stench to him. Odd. No local would be stupid enough to get here. Not anymore.

    <"Hello? Is anyone here?">, a male voice calls out in English. That's another thing worth of note. The accent is distinctly Yankee. The man gets up and moves so he can see the newcomer. He can only see a silhouette though, the light of the setting sun shining from the mouth of the cavern and making him squint.

    The newcomer halts, surprised by what he sees. He was expecting someone, but the unshaven, feral appearance of the man in the cave gives him a pause. The man can see his hand moving, possibly to the handle of a gun. Then, the newcomer spots the tattered uniform the man is wearing, and visibly relaxes. <"Hey. Are you...?">

    <"One of you? Yes.">
    , the man in the cave responds, standing straight and moving closer. His eyes slowly adjust to the light, and he he sees the newcomer is an American soldier, a corporal, probably in his twenties.

    <"No, I mean...">, the corporal begins, lifting the edge of his helmet up to get a better look of the man. <"That plague on your chest. Are you...?">

    <"Yes">, the man cuts him short, sounding less than pleased. <"How'd you find me?">

    The corporal smiles. <"Heard someone was waging a one-man war against the 'nams. Didn't guess it was you. Your heli got lost in the mountains, everyone tought you were dead. It's an honor to meet you, sir.>"

    The man frowns. <"An honor? Why'd you say that?">

    <"Well, you're sort of a legend. Uh, a living legend, I suppose. Everyone's heard of what you and the berets did in Tịnh Biên...">

    The man furrows his brow, his frown growing deeper. <"Have they now?">

    The corporal beams. <"Yeah! You guys got a whole book written about you. Heck, a few years back, they even put it on film!"

    <"Must've made a really great film, us being shot at.">
    the man says and sits down. <"Why'd you come looking for me?">

    The corporal's smile fades. <"We're withdrawing. Everyone's going home. We're supposed to make sure no-one's get left...

    <"So did you win?">


    The corporal falls silent. The man gives him a long look, then snorts. <"Thought as much.">

    <"Yeah, feels like we're throwing the fight if you ask me. But everyone's so bleak these days. Saying we were wrong to get involved in the first place. Sort of perverse if you ask me. People like you've been risking your lives, and they just go on hating. You ought to be celebrated as heroes...">

    <"I'm not a hero.">

    This time, it's the corporal who frowns.

    <"Heroes have ideals. They have people to protect. Someone, something to fight for">, the man says, leaning back against the cave wall and placing hands behind his head. <"Maybe I had something like that, once. But when I got overseas? Nothing."> He chuckles. <"Didn't really want to be a soldier again, honestly. I just wasn't any good in anything else.">

    The corporal stares at the man, dumbfounded, and shuffles his feet nervously. The man snorts, and turns to look at the setting sun. <"Yeah, I get it. You're one of those who got here thinking we had a cause. And you got here, in this cave, because you thought I was fighting for it too. But that's not the case. I don't fight because of the war. The war ended for me... I don't even know how long it has been. I didn't count. I fight, because fighting is all I can do. People like me, are not heroes - we're dogs. We're held on a leash and made to bite those our masters dictate. But my leash is broken, and I'm just running wild now."> The man pauses and glances at the corporal. <"Sorry for the rant. Don't usually talk this much. Just haven't had anyone to speak to for a while.">

    Silence falls around the two men. The light grows dim. <"We... we ought to go...>", the corporal mutters.

    <"Not coming.">

    <"But... why...?">

    <"Thought I said it. Nothing's there for me.">

    <"But... getting left here alone, it's a death sentence!">

    The man burst out in laughter. It's a hoarse, humorless one, and so sudden it gives the corporal a scare. He gets down and nervously looks over his shoulder, out of the cave.

    <"Don't worry. It doesn't matter if they hear us. They don't come here. Not anymore.">
    Leaning on his knees, the man gets up. <"Here, I'll tell you a secret. Draw your gun.">

    The corporal looks at him with wild eyes. The man's voice turns harsh. <"Draw your gun, Corporal.">

    Slowly, the corporal draws it... and then hands it to the man, handle first. The man shrugs and takes it. <"Didn't tell to give me it, but works just as well. Watch."> He arms the pistol and places it on his temple. The corporal shakes his head. <"You... you don't have to...">

    The man shrugs again. <"Well, if staying here's a death sentence, what's the difference?"> And then he shoots himself.

    Except, the bullet can't pierce his skin. And the gun won't budge from his grip either. So it goes the path of least resistance and explodes out from the back of the gun.

    The corporal scrambles back in horror. <"HOLY ****!">

    <"What's the matter, Corporal? I'm just fine, aren't I?">
    , the man asks, glowing blue veins showing through his skin. Handle of the shattered pistol is still in his hand. He offers it back to the corporal. He just stares at it, as if it's not real. When he won't take the remnants of his gun back, the man throws it over his shoulder. <"I suppose, if there was any justice in this world, I'd be knocking the gates of Hell right now. But I guess the Devil himself is too scared to take me in. So no need to feel bad for leaving me here. I have nothing to fear."> He turns to look at the jungle.

    <"But you? Yeah. You ought to go. And if someone asks what you found..."> He glances at the corporal, grinning. <"... you can tell them you found a dog. That's all.">

    The corporal scrambles out, his heart racing. He isn't quite sure what drives him, just that he wants to get as far away from the man as possible. Halfway to his troop, he realizes the man wasn't grinning. He was just baring his teeth, like beasts do when some clueless human gets too close.

    A dog. Sure.
    ---

    [Hueco Mundo]
    Above Las Noches

    The pilot of the last plane ejects himself from the cockpit. Where normal humans would rely on a parachute, he activates the wings of his Vertrauen, but is rapidly beleaguered by a group of Hollows. Failure of the fighters is a serious setback to the Nachfolger. This fight is exactly what they were trying to avoid - the fuel bombs were meant to clear the way so they could've focused on breaking through Jehoel's district to the city below. They might be holding their own for now, but they're not going to advance like this.

    Clearly, a change of tactics is in order.

    On the dome, Niklaus strikes down hard with the cane, embedding it to the stonework. From the folds of his uniform, he fetches a radio phone and a Ginto capsule. He barks a single command, and then waits.

    Above and around, some of Nachfolger set aside their bows to draw their Seele Schneiders. Those who were already using theirs fire them down and then draw second ones. Hollows dodge the lethal weapons, but they are not the real targets - the dome is. The bladed arrows form a rough circle on the dome. Niklaus opens the capsule and pours its contents on the cane. Just then, the Hollows in the air above, Jehoel included, can feel a sudden pull, like a tremendous magnet drawing them down. Below them, beams of light zig-zag between the Seele Schneiders. They were shot in a hurry so most are out-of-pattern, but by virtue of sheer numbers four of them align well enough to form the corners of a pentagon with Hein's cane. A Quincy Pentacle, over a mile in diameter, is etched deep in the stone, a great pillar of flame shooting upwards and illuminating the sky.
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

  14. - Top - End - #104
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: [BiTPR2] Renewed Revolution: Spirit World IV

    [Soul Society - Before HQ]

    "Do you know why I ask?

    See, you're right. The ones I gotta watch out for are the people who tell me what to do. Part of being a soldier is learning to do what they tell you even if it sounds like a bad idea. Part of being a leader under these people is learning how to do it while protecting everyone else under you. Or even knowing when to say no, and standing up to them.

    But one thing doesn't change for either one. You don't have the power to change who's in charge. So whether you actually trust their orders is irrelevant, because you have to follow them anyway, or find a better way, but in any case, you have to get things done.

    When you DO have the ability to change who's supposed to do what, though... that changes. You gotta make sure people aren't working counter to your interests. You have to be able to trust them. You should make sure they are, if not content, at least thinking that betraying you is a really bad move to begin with for whatever reason.

    And that brings us back to you. I'm willing to give you a shot at working with us. But if we know nothing about you, I can't give you anything MEANINGFUL to do, now can I? Not until I can tell you know it's a REALLY bad move to mess with us.

    We're at an all-time low tolerance for traitors after the last three months."
    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."

  15. - Top - End - #105
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    [Hueco Mundo]
    Above Las Noches

    The moment of distraction necessary to launch the Seele Schneiders cost a number of the Nachfolger their lives, but few of the swarming Hollows realize what is going on until it is far too late to stop or evade the pillar of flame erupting towards them. A few of them manage to escape and a small number manage to weather the explosion without dying, but the vast majority of the swarm are incinerated. The rest scatter, fleeing into the night.

    Of Jehoel, there is no sign.
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  16. - Top - End - #106
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    [Soul Society - Before HQ]

    The little humanoid starts giggling midway through Koutarou's speech. It stands up on his shoulders, then jumps down at its conclusion. "Silly Uncle Whatever. The question of whether to trust me was something to think about for the one who let me out of my little box. Now it's kinda too late. But I'm not doing anything, nor are the people bossing you around. Nor are you. We just stand around speaking a lot of words, that's all. Those you are bossing around, they're doing the meaningful stuff. They're those who could screw things up, or fail you, or betray you if that's their thing." The little humanoid balances on one leg and twirls around, then points at the snake-haired creature which has just sit motionless on the ground for the duration of the discussion. "You see the other guy there? He tried to give you a clue, but you just ignored it. Or you're really just that good at doing what he said you're doing."

    ---

    [Soul Society - Engineering Division]

    There's a rather odd display going on near SENCorp's premises. What appears to be 54 human-shaped Hollows dressed in modified Shihakusho are forming a line in the non-restricted area. They've been trickling to the area from various directions during the past fifteen minutes. One of them is acting as a drill sergeant, it seems, commanding the masked creatures into attention and then at ease. Then, it turns to face the entrance to SENCorp grounds, as if waiting to report its company to a commanding officer.

    Which is odd, since no appointment or event involving this motley crew has been scheduled or announced for the day.

    ---

    [Hueco Mundo]
    Above Las Noches

    Of three dozen winged warriors, fifteen persist. In addition to those who were blindsided by Hollows when preparing the circle, seven got caught in the blast themselves, not managing to make it to safety in time. Their charred bodies fall from the heights and drop limply on the dome. Their remaining comrades will have to work so their sacrifice won't be in vain. The Nachfolger regroup to a loose formation and head for Jehoel's district.

    Niklaus pulls the cane from the stone. He can't see the Leviathan anywhere. Could it be he was incinerated by the blast? He was almost at the center. But no, that would be too easy. If lesser Hollows could survive, surely he did, too. Niklaus sharpens his senses, trying to hear, smell, even taste if something's out of the ordinary. He feels currents of wind caressing his hair and the Reiatsu emanating from the fleeing Hollows.

    Back on the dunes, the 1st Infantry battallion is fighting for its life on the opposite flank of the Arrancars compared to Caeyrn's battallion. Turiel Vulkensen has stopped them on their tracks and his troops are pushing them back. Just then, a cross of blinding white light blooms in the direction of the armored battallion. Spears of white light shoot from its top towards Turiel, surprising the old Arrancar with their speed and strenght. Gabrielle "Kreuzritter" Merkel, her form obscured by full suit of plated armor, raises her sword Rosenkreutz in challenge to the blacksmith, then speeds to fight him in close combat. Soldaten cheer at the sight, their morale bolstered by the sight of their champion.

    For a moment, it looks like she'll gain the upper hand, her sharp thin blade achieving the nearly unthinkable by cutting through Turiel's Hierro with little apparent effort. But then, he releases his Zanpakuto, the heat and pressure from it pushing his opponent back. Armored form of the Behemoth emerges from a cocoon of red-hot rock, and for a moment, the Dragon and the Knight try to stare each other down, before resuming their mortal combat.
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

  17. - Top - End - #107
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    [Soul Society - Before HQ]

    "For the sake of not discouraging everybody working under me, let's just say it's the latter, rather than the former, shall we?" Koutarou teases back at the little humanoid.

    "But you're only half right. Proper work takes good direction. I won't deny I'm not the one breaking my back out there, but I make it a point that everyone knows they're breaking their backs at the right places, and for the right reasons.

    Ever heard of a little something called 'reconnecting with one's work'?"
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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 - #108
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    Default Re: [BiTPR2] Renewed Revolution: Spirit World IV

    The little humanoid places hands behind its back and stands on its toes. "Maybe in a past life or two. You don't sound like you're reconnecting very well, Uncle Whatever. I bet you've been under a lot of stress lately."
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

  19. - Top - End - #109
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    Default Re: [BiTPR2] Renewed Revolution: Spirit World IV

    "Feel free to call me Uncle Kou if you like, it's shorter.

    Anyway. The basic idea is that when you divide a large work into multiple smaller pieces, each person doing each piece of work may not recognize what part their work played on the final product. So if you have six people working on an ox cart, even if four people worked on the wheels, none of them will know which wheel they worked on.

    But they need to know that their work is important, because without any of them, we don't have an ox cart at the end of the day. People can feel that their work is important when it's part of something greater. But sometimes you have to point it out to them.

    And to answer your question, yes, I have been under a lot of stress lately. I've got a big criminal to catch."
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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 - #110
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    Default Re: [BiTPR2] Renewed Revolution: Spirit World IV

    [Hueco Mundo]
    Above Las Noches

    The Nachfolger will realize their mistake only once they have entered the district, as a distinct point of deep blue light glows almost invisibly within. When Jehoel had seen the pentagram channeling, he took immediate action and fled underneath the origin point of the explosion, into his district. There, he bit open a finger and waited, his scent hidden by the intense burning smell remaining from the fuel bombs.

    With almost no warning, a titanic blast of energy from Jehoel's Gran Rey Cero launches out of the district, so great in size that it leaves almost no room to dodge for the Nachfolger.
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  21. - Top - End - #111
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    [Soul Society - Before HQ]

    "Oh, so it's a bit like running a con where you manipulate a lot of separate people into doing your bidding and the big picture will only become obvious when it's too late for any of them to do something about it." The little humanoid looks up thoughtfully. "Except, in this case, you expect people to be happy when they find out."

    ---

    [Hueco Mundo]
    On the dome of Las Noches

    The attack is so sudden most of the Nachfolger don't even think to dodge. The four Quincies coming in last, who were still close to the edges of the hole, dive to the sides and manage to survive - partially. One has her legs torn apart by the blast, another loses his left arms and wing, the remaining two on the opposite side of the hole lose their right arms and wings. They all get violently thrown up and away from the edges by the force, unable to stop their falls before colliding with the dome quite a distance away.

    Not much to speak of remains of the rest.

    The only one to escape the blast unscathed is Niklaus, by the virtue of not being anywhere close to the hole. With his one healthy eye, he looks in surprise at the aftermath of the explosion. Then, he regains his calm and resumes walking. Based on the size and direction of the blast, he knows where his opponent is - or was, a split second ago. He can approximate how fast Jehoel got there, and how fast he could get to any other part on the dome. The hard part will be spotting Jehoel before he spots Niklaus.
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

  22. - Top - End - #112
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    [Soul Society - Before HQ]

    "They're actually getting something for their trouble, other than their job satisfaction." Koutarou frowns. "You're awfully small for someone so fascetious."
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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."

  23. - Top - End - #113
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    The little creature crosses its arms and harumphs. "Hey, it's not nice to pick on people based on their height."
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

  24. - Top - End - #114
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    "There are four and a half dozen of you. If you combine their heights, I should be making jokes about how tall you're supposed to be.

    Anyway. I thought Hishikawa was going to set you all up within Engineering. Where's the rest of 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."

  25. - Top - End - #115
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    Default Re: [BiTPR2] Renewed Revolution: Spirit World IV

    Quote Originally Posted by Frozen_Feet View Post
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    [Hueco Mundo]
    On the dome of Las Noches

    The attack is so sudden most of the Nachfolger don't even think to dodge. The four Quincies coming in last, who were still close to the edges of the hole, dive to the sides and manage to survive - partially. One has her legs torn apart by the blast, another loses his left arms and wing, the remaining two on the opposite side of the hole lose their right arms and wings. They all get violently thrown up and away from the edges by the force, unable to stop their falls before colliding with the dome quite a distance away.

    Not much to speak of remains of the rest.

    The only one to escape the blast unscathed is Niklaus, by the virtue of not being anywhere close to the hole. With his one healthy eye, he looks in surprise at the aftermath of the explosion. Then, he regains his calm and resumes walking. Based on the size and direction of the blast, he knows where his opponent is - or was, a split second ago. He can approximate how fast Jehoel got there, and how fast he could get to any other part on the dome. The hard part will be spotting Jehoel before he spots Niklaus.
    Hueco Mundo
    The Roof

    Jehoel emerges from the scorched opening of the first district a moment later, apparently jumping with sheer muscular power before landing on the edge of the roof. He takes a moment to survey the unfolding battlefield, then extends a hand towards the densest concentration of Quincy forces remaining in the field and starting the process of charging a Cero. Apparently, this is going to be a big one, since he takes a few seconds rather than firing it almost instantaneously like usual.
    Truly awesome Ark Tamaeus avatar by Bryn. Full size version here.

  26. - Top - End - #116
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    [Soul Society - Before HQ]

    "They're off playing soldiers somewhere. It's hard to say exactly where, because they took an awful many roads to get there. But they're that way." It points at an apparently random direction. If Koutarou has a map or good memory, he might note to his satisfaction that the Engineering Division is in that direction - but then again, so is about a quarter of the rest of Seireitei.

    If he actually had the means to trace a straight line from the creature's finger all the way to SENCorp, he'd realize the little humanoid is not just pointing at, but following the movements of the "drill sergeant" there to ridiculously fine fractions of a degree.

    ---

    [Hueco Mundo]
    Roof of Las Noches

    Jehoel's Gran Rey Cero created a hole in the cloud cover as it went - now, the crooked moon is shining through it. For a passing moment when he leaped from the pit that's his District and back on to the roof, he cast a long shadow across it.

    Niklaus decided that's as good a chance as he'd get.

    As Jehoel charges his Cero, the light from it breaks the darkness surrounding him. Just then, he can notice there's a man standing to his left, only ten meters apart. Few seconds? Niklaus is confident he can draw faster than that. He flicks Hein's cane up - and lets Feuerwerfer spit out its malicious blue plume of flame, of the same sort that killed Akiyama Hoshi. Niklaus hardly thinks Jehoel will be incinerated like her, but like white phosphorous of the rockets, the flames don't just burn - they cling, greedily grasping at any solid surface like Jehoel clings to knowledge and memories he has hoarded.
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

  27. - Top - End - #117
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    Default Re: [BiTPR2] Renewed Revolution: Spirit World IV

    Quote Originally Posted by Frozen_Feet View Post
    [Hueco Mundo]
    Ground - Caeyrn's battallion

    Demetrio, the brainwashed Arrancar, remained silent and apathetic for the course of the journey. Now, when Cayern gives the order to attack, a demented grin spreads across his face and his eyes gleam. Out of the blue, he grabs Torahiko's shoulder. "Come, comrade. This is our moment of glory! For the Emperor!" He then charges towards Valentina's flota, half-dragging the young human along with him.
    "Gah-" Torahiko hadn't been expecting to be dragged around by Demitrio, but he's actually doing a pretty good job a keeping up. He's not, however, doing as well a job keeping focused on the task at hand, with his train of thought making short detours to the land really hoping that this charge doesn't get both of them killed. That, and a brief fantasy about stealing one of the swords off the fallen hollows after the battle, until he realized that they might dissolve along with their owners.

    He tried firing a few quick shots towards the flota as they approached, more intended as cover than to actually hit anything. "Let's see how far all that training got me." At least he's enthusiastic for now.
    "Life before death, Strength before weakness, Journey before destination."

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    [Hueco Mundo]
    Roof of Las Noches

    Jehoel, distracted by the battle in front of him and several decades from his last pitched battle, fails to notice Niklaus for a mere instant. That moment is just long enough for Niklaus' tongue of flame to engulf him. It is a testament to the ancient Hollow's power and will that he does not scream or flail at the assault. The Cero fires as intended, arcing towards the Quincy army and detonating with extreme force. Immediately afterwards, Jehoel speeds away from Niklaus, at first beating futilely at the flames before rolling in an attempt to put them out. As this becomes obviously ineffective, he begins tearing strips of his flesh from his body, tossing the flaming chunks away from him as the flesh regrows.

    For now, his regeneration is staving off the worst of the damage, but he is too busy to stop Niklaus.
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  29. - Top - End - #119
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    Default Re: [BiTPR2] Renewed Revolution: Spirit World IV

    Las Noches: The Battle outside

    La Sexta's Flota and the 2nd Infantry Battalion

    The battle rages on. Disorganized and weary Arrancares vs organized and fresh Quincies. By the end of this post and thanks to Jehoel, however, even the Quincies grow more worn.

    (Honestly, you two can use Valentina's flota as NPCs that you can do whatever you want with, to show off Torahiko and Demetrio's powers and-or-whatever you want, until Quidel shows up to oppose them and save the day. Likewise, Strawberryman, you can do the same with the 2nd infantry until Quidel reaches those two.)


    Caeyrn

    Between fighting an Arrancar, Caeyrn watches the dome to see how the battle progresses up there. It is almost impossible to miss, with all the light and attacks blaring up on the dome. Even from here, he can see that many of the powerful quincies are perishing. This isn't exactly what he was thinking would happen, but he can work it into his plans.

    Fortunately, this means he is looking at the dome as Jehoel begins his Gran Rey Cero again, this time towards the battle on the ground. Recognizing what is going to happen, Caeyrn smiles. This is perfect. The actor causes his spirit weapon to disappear, and replaces it with a ginto capsule. He pours the ginto into his hand, then says something in French: "La Discorde remplit de fureur les guerriers, et excita la bataille, sans se montrer." Chaos filled the warriors with fury, and heightened the battle from afar.

    Because of that, he activates his Schrift: the letter A. Armor. The spirit essence fires all across the battlefield, and wraps all the Quincies and allies nearby in a brief instance of armor that then burns away, to survive the Cero - well...mostly. That's mostly what happens. Those farthest from Caeyrn didn't receive enough of the armor in time (The Cero was much more powerful than he had expected). Those who objected most vehemently to his father's rule in the Belenus house don't receive enough armor, so that the armor burns away too quickly for them (with such power of Jehoel's Cero, of course it burns away at the armor). Third, several Arrancares who were locked in battle against the Belenus who sided too quickly with the Zerreißen Himmel also received some of this momentary armor: enough receive it that it would feel uncontrolled, almost as if Caeyrn was unable to control who received the protection and who burned under Jehoel's cero. It is just like what comes next in the epic poem: Chaos fights against both sides.

    This definitely takes some energy out of Caeyrn, but he feels it was worth it. Now, back to the battle on hand.

    He charges another Arrancar, aiming to slice off an arm with his razor shield.


    Valentina

    Valentina races around the battalion, trying to pick them off and attack them like any other great cat would attack her beast of prey. It's a little difficult, as the Quincies were instructed to not split up. Fortunately, now that her mind is in the hunt again, she realizes that the majority of their attacks - the spirit arrows - are exactly what she's good against. She can absorb their attacks, their arrows, and block their attacks to some arrancars. After enough arrows, La Sexta Espada returns fire with something very similar to Cero Doble.

    However, thanks to Jehoel's Cero - she'll have to remember to thank him for this later - the Quincies grew a little disordered and some were alone without their partners, especially out here in the outskirts of this battle. There's now more in the battle that she can do, picking them off one by one.
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  30. - Top - End - #120
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    Default Re: [BiTPR2] Renewed Revolution: Spirit World IV

    Quote Originally Posted by Frozen_Feet View Post
    [Soul Society - Before HQ]

    "They're off playing soldiers somewhere. It's hard to say exactly where, because they took an awful many roads to get there. But they're that way." It points at an apparently random direction. If Koutarou has a map or good memory, he might note to his satisfaction that the Engineering Division is in that direction - but then again, so is about a quarter of the rest of Seireitei.

    If he actually had the means to trace a straight line from the creature's finger all the way to SENCorp, he'd realize the little humanoid is not just pointing at, but following the movements of the "drill sergeant" there to ridiculously fine fractions of a degree.
    Koutarou lacks that ability, actually.

    He actually doubts anyone but Hideki or Chouko might be able to pull off a similar feat if asked.

    "Here's to hoping Hishikawa followed actual protocol for once..."

    ______________________________

    Whoever's next in line after Chouko gets two letters. One is addressed to her office, generally speaking, and is a formal request to employ Nanashi's 54 selves to work within the division according to their best abilities displayed. It's a fairly long and very complex document, as befits most bureaucracies.

    The note is much shorter.

    "Yo, Takenaka!

    I found ya some manual laborers. They said they wanted to work with your space rock slingers. I'm pretty sure you can keep 'em busy. If you need to whip 'em into shape, just whistle, I have an Onmitsukidou unit on overwatch for that.

    Enjoy your extra manpower!

    Setsurou"
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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."

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