A Predator Among Us

Chapter 1 - Greed's True Form

"Devour, Glotonería!"

Those two haunting words echoed the dimly lit chambers that was Aaroniero Arruruerie and Rukia Kuchiki's battlefield. A seal in form of a tubular proboscis that wriggled like a worm expanded in a fattening sea of dark purple flesh. This expansion would give way to a mutated towering frame of gelatinous tissue, comparable to that of the most hideous invertebrate species. A pair of teeth grinned hungrily on either flank of bubbling frontal surface, gargantuan crimson eyes beading down at its victim. Worst of all, the body of Kaien Shiba, bound in Espada attire raised his Shikai in proclamation down at his enemy.

"Left you speechless, haven't I, Rukia?" Aaroniero inquired with Kaien's voice and a uncharacteristic sneer spreading over its duplicated face. Waving his arms in a flamboyant manner, he could only look down at his enemy and victim of psychological torture. "Standing before you is the form that equals the totality of all aspects that I've absorbed. Over thirty thousand Hollows, give or take a few hundred, capable of being called upon while I'm in this state. And that is just touching the tip of the proverbial iceberg of what my Ressureccion can do!"

Rukia down below was left speechless. Over five stories tall, her enemy had grown into a monolith of terrifying proportions. Not only the body of her beloved superior and friend was sitting atop like a sacrilegious crown, atop a disgusting head, but the sheer magnitude of her foe weighed heavily on her.

"His Reiatsu is on a whole other scale in comparison to when he was fighting me prior," Rukia thought with widened eyes and a mouth agape with shaky gasping breaths. "it feels like Kaien yet I can feel so many others. No Arrancar I've faced or seen had such a sinister sensation. It truly feels like I'm facing a legion of beings rather than a singular one. What a horrible monster this Espada is!"

"Here I come, Rukia!" Aaroniero shouted aloud with a maniacal smile stretching across his face.

Rukia was quick to snap out of her terror ridden daze. Leaping back, her body sailed in the air, watching the ground she previously stood upon quickly be rolled over by the slimy behemoth. Before her feet even touched the ground, the bestial creature would almost be on top of her in a disorienting charge of swift momentum.

"He's fast for his si-" Rukia began to comment, finding herself halted dramatically by a bludgeoning impact. A smaller sized tendril near the front of the mouthless section of Aaroniero, from an outward perspective, finger flicked the diminutively sized Shinigami backwards. The impact alone would cause the air to pop and split visibly in a vertically elliptic shape, sending a bullet wave of force to follow Rukia's careening frame.

Hitting the ground, she rolled head over foot, landing unceremoniously onto her front. As soon as the wind returned to her lungs and the stars left her eyes, she pushed herself up slowly to her feet. Looking over her shoulder, she could see the eerie dim lighting casting a dark silhouette over the monstrosity that gleamed menacingly upon her frame. Eyes wide and breath hitched, her body shook with trepidation in the face of her inevitable killer.

"Not going to fight back? How sad," Aaroniero mocked openly with outspread arms, "I'm so disappointed in you! The Rukia I knew wouldn't give up so easily. Or is it, you're simply showing your true colors as a coward?"

Rukia's feeling of fear quickly shriveled before her rage. Pupils shrank as her shivering jaw now gnashed with a visible flash of pearly whites. Swinging her Zanpakutou around, Rukia leaped up at the beast, her blade aimed at the mocking face.

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!" Rukia shrieked out as she impaled the effigy of Kaien, straight between the eyes. The smile seemed almost permanent, as if no form of harm had been inflicted. As seconds would pass, the impulsive Shinigami would realize with a face contorting to disbelief that her attack was for naught.

The face, head, and body seemed to evaporate before her eyes. Bowing her head, she saw the entire colossal fiend seemed to evaporate into a wisp of dark hued mist. Even as she hung in the middle of the air she could only gape at what transpired.

"You have that look of confusion again, Rukia," A transparent, deep voice echoed all around her within the room. Somehow sensing her sudden look of apprehension and caution, the voice continued. "I told you I have tens of thousands of Hollows granting me their unique powers. While the majority are nothing to boast of a select black sheep of the herd seem to possess useful ones I appreciate. This aspect is to turn one's body into the fabric of Reiatsu that imitates shadows and melds as one with them."

Lowering herself down to the ground, Rukia held her Zanpakutou with both hands, her breath coming out in steady pants that perspired frosty mist. Ice formed around her hilt and bonded with her fingers, a steady snowfall manifesting around her almost as a instinctive field of Reiatsu.

"I see what you're doing, Rukia," The bodiless voice continued to echo all around her, unnerving the Shinigami further, "You're lowering your core body's temperature so that you can feel the heat of my approach. This also in turn raises the efficiency of your Zanpakutou's attack power, making instantaneous freezing a much more easy feat. I know this because you revealed finite mechanics to me all those years ago, or need I remind you who helped you train to use that power?"

"SHUT UP!" Rukia yelled out, turning around and around with her sword held up nearly above her head, ready to strike. "stop pilfering Kaien's memories! They aren't yours and you shouldn't act like you're him!"

"Oh, but Rukia..."

"Grk!" Rukia suddenly gurgled out, finding her throat suddenly gripped by a strong hand. A follow-up punch was made by his other limb, causing her mouth to gape out and project wads of spit. With her sword still raised, she would feel the arm stretch up and raise her in the air, ascending many feet up into the air.

"...I am him. You know what they say about you are what you eat, after all," Aaroniero chastised her with a decadent grin. This was emphasized through aforementioned point by dragging his tongue across his lips.

"B-Bas-ngh!" Rukia choked out, still unable to swing down her blade.

"Your body is too weak to maneuver effectively, not after lowering your core down to this level. Maybe you should have considered doing so for not such a long period of time without even combatting me? That probably would have worked," Aaroniero suggested with a mocking grin.

All the while he spoke several worm shaped limbs flowed up from the bubbling myre that was his lower body's flesh. They would wrap around Rukia's body, melting away the frost that covered her skin by mere contact, entwining all up her Shikhakushou up to her sword wielding arms to ensure she wouldn't use her Zanpakutou. In a matter of seconds she would be all but mostly wrapped by writhing dark flesh that pulsated like a slowly beating heart.

Rukia wrinkled her nose at the stench such putrid Hollow tissue made, her stomach already turning by being bound and touched by this abomination. Never had an Arrancar she had met before turned her insides around more than he.

It was only when she caught him staring at her with a less predatory look and more of a pensive expression. Using Kaien's face unnerved her further, making her almost yearn for the dead and gone man she loved so dearly. But at the same time it made her coil up in fear at what such a monster had planned.

"You're in a unique position, Rukia," Aaroniero confessed with a frank, level tone. "originally I had wanted to make you my pawn. You'd curry favor to Lord Aizen for me and allow my ambitions to be further realized with all of your friends dead."

Turning her around by the neck, examining her head and her bound body. To Rukia it'd be the humiliating fact that with the look in his eyes she would be no more than a piece of meat before a hungry beast. An intelligent beast, however, for he seemed to have a more eloquent taste than most Hollows as he continued to examine her visually.

"Eating you would be a waste," Aaroniero said with a nod of certainty, "you may possibly grant me some aspect of your powers and your Reiatsu, but it wouldn't further my goals in the slightest. My weaknesses as you've seen would be intact and I'd still be no closer to achieving any aims I have."

Pulling her closer, Aaroniero's eyes narrowed as a thin lipped smile spread widely across his face. A hint of greed glinted in his eyes as he looked her dead in the eyes, breathing a new wave of fear into her pores. Her shivering breaths would come out shaking being this close to the nightmare that waved the face of the beloved she slain herself. It did nothing but entice Aaroniero to continue explaining her fate.

"You and I are going to become one, in a sense I inadvertently had with Kaien Shiba," Aaroniero explained in a all-too gentle tone. "my shell, despite some advantages it has lent me in the past, is limited to environment and definitive errors in its design. No, I think a new form is required for my evolution to continue."

In that moment, Rukia's eyes widened with absolute fear. The insinuation and the way he spoke as he held her could only mean one thing. A squeaky choked gasp would be let out of her agape mouth before a desperate inhalation to relieve her strangled neck of more oxygen. That intake of air would be all the invitation required as a mouthful of body binding flesh crawled up her chin and dove into it forcefully.

"MMMMMMMNGH?!" The woman gurgled out in a muffled protest. Her body began writhing violently as hard as she could as the flesh ropes soon expanded into curtains. In a matter of seconds, her body would become mummified, sealing away the visibility her black linen and beige cloak endowed figure possessed. Even her sword would be consumed by a tub of vertically inclined tubular tendril meat.

"Let's see if you remember this sensation, Rukia," Aaroniero said with a delightfully carnal smile, "I know I do! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"

It was then that everything just beneath her eyes would be forcefully invaded. The pores of her skin, the cut on her cheek, her very insides were penetrated and forced into her. The sensation would be the equivalent of lighting her nerves on fire and keeping them over the pit of which the flames originated from.

If a shrill shriek could be felt more than heard, now would be the moment that Rukia would remember feeling this form of Reiatsu. The last thing on her mind was that horrific Hollow that sealed her beloved's fate. The one that took the wife of Kaien away before she killed it and him as well.


After what seemed like an eternity of flesh imbuing itself into Rukia's body, all traces of Aaroniero's gigantic body would be lost. In its wake, a pair of tennis ball shaped skulls would spill out of a cracked jar filled with crimson transparent liquid. They would roll lifelessly and inert to their sides, with nothing left inside of them but emptiness.

Lowering to the ground in its place, however, was a dark humanoid shape covered in vile flesh. Soon the flesh would disappear entirely and would be left with an elegant, quaint female frame. An upper class frilly coat of noble wear flourished over the frame, organized in a manner that would fit her body perfectly with a high-up collar that framed her raven tressed head. White gloves wrapped around both hands, holding Sode no Shirayuki in a more nonchalant lowered manner. Violet eyes opened and blinked around her environment, glancing down at her own body and bestowed attire.

"So strange," She spoke, raising her left hand before her eyes, clenching and unclenching it experimentally, "is this how the body of a Shinigami truly feels? Fascinating."

Swinging her blade around a few times, she performed a few graceful pirouette maneuvers followed up with flips. After seemingly prancing around in the dark halls for a handful of minutes she allowed herself a small smile of revelling. A small compulsion of releasing her Reiatsu to test how large her Reiryoku had increased swept over her, but it was quickly silenced by the inner voice of reason.

"I don't want everyone in Las Noches to know of what happened. At least, not yet," She thought with a nod.

Looking towards the glimmer of light, cast by the hole Rukia had created by her Souren Soukatsui. Narrowing her eyes she inhaled deeply before exhaling slowly. With trepidation she walked towards the sunlight, her footsteps echoing the battle wrecked halls of his personal quarters. The only sound that she'd hear would be her breath and her footsteps as she approached the rays bathing a portion of the room with its brilliance.

Reaching out, she'd briefly retract her fingers. Closing her eyes she reached towards it once more, walking into it in a stumbling manner. What came wasn't a searing sensation or a sudden sapping of her vitality. Instead, for what felt like the first time in her life, it was a foreign sensation she never knew.

"Warmth?" She whispered aloud as she blinked her violet eyes open, turning her head towards the artificial star that glared down at the interior of Las Noches. While she turned her eyes away from seeing it, she looked around at her form and saw that it remained intact. More than that, it had no affect on her in the slightest, that much she could tell from sensation more than action.

"Hahahaha...HEHEHEHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!" She laughed in a tone of revelling and victory, hugging her sides as her form bowed forward. Fear had all but vanished from her core and now, as she was, she felt truly unstoppable. As she wiped her tears away from her laughter, she swung her sword to the side, sealing it in a single motion before sheathing it into its scabbard upon her hip.

"The light cannot keep a creature of darkness at bay any longer," She declared with a smile, raising her arms up in a declarative manner to the empty desert. Eyes narrowed with a predatory hunger as her pupils shrank and momentarily created a slit within her lavender orbs. "Aaroniero Arruruerie is reborn! The hunt for more prey begins now!"

A/N: Wow, I went from writing a Dark 6th Chapter of Reap the Pain (if you're fans of that, you know what I'm taking about. If not, read Reap the Pain to know what I mean XD) to writing out this horrorfest.

This idea came literally through a conversation. The idea that Aaroniero could devour her and gain her powers, appearance, etc. and thus allow him to get even stronger than those up above him on the totem pole of the Espada.

While he never actually "devoured" Rukia in this Chapter, it was the next best thing. Imbuing his form and entire essence into her opens the door for a huge gateway of new possibilities. Capable of being so much more than simply a lab freakshow creation of Aizen's, he (now a She) is able to do much more as a Hollow/Shinigami.

Where will this lead? Who knows? Read more to find out -w-

Please leave Reviews containing your thoughts, what you'd like to see this series go, and what you liked or disliked. Constructive criticism is appreciated but I don't think negative commentary is helpful. Until then, the next Chapter should be released next week. Cya around~