Shadows of Deceit
Prelude to Darkness
Big thanks to everyone who reads this or any of my stories.
***I do not own Bleach, just the storyline which I am currently working on***
I failed, I let everyone down. Orihime, Tatsuki, Chad, Uryu, Rukia…
There were problems from the very beginning of our quest.
Bad timing which ended up with us running through the Dangai, and after we managed to break into the Seireitei we were immediately separated, all because I couldn't control my powers.
Even after all of that I thought we had a good chance of success.
I defeated Ikkaku and even Renji in our rematch, I felt invincible, I knew we would win. We would rescue Rukia, get back to the living world, and take down anyone who stood in our way.
Then it all fell apart.
I ran into one of the Captains, some guy by the name of Kenpachi, and although I defeated him I was also defeated by him. When I woke up I found myself here, in this prison cell made of some stuff that completely blocks and suppresses spirit energy.
Later on I was told by the guards that there would be a trial to determine my fate.
I assumed that they would kill me, after all they sentenced Rukia to death for less and I practically declared war on them.
A day later I learned the fate of my friends.
Orihime and Tatsuki had been ambushed by members of Squad Twelve and killed in the conflict.
Chad was killed by the Captain of the Seventh Division who he had been unlucky to run into.
Uryu fought bravely, making the Quincy proud, but in the end had been slain by the Captain of Squad Two.
Ganju has been arrested and is also awaiting trial, same as myself. I can only hope that they will spare him due to his limited involvement.
A few days later the bastard Byakuya Kuchiki paid me a visit.
He informed me that Rukia had been executed and that her last request was for us to be released, not being told of our failure and casualties.
Apparently Renji grew a conscious and had attempted a last minute rescue, but was in no condition to fight off the other lieutenants, much less the Captains present at the execution. Just for good measure he has also been arrested for insubordination.
Later that evening though I had received an unexpected visitor.
"Psst hey Ichigo"
I sat up from my bed at the sound of my name and made my way over to the small window in my cell. Looking out I saw an attractive dark skinned woman wearing all black on the other side.
"Um who are you?" I asked, searching my mind to try and put a name with the face.
"It's Yoruichi," she paused looking a bit indecisive and allowing me to try and process the dramatic change. "I wanted to tell you… I'm so sorry for how this all ended. I tried to rescue you after your battle with Kenpachi but by the time I reached you several captains had already placed you in custody. I also tried a last minute intervention for Rukia, but with the Captain Commander and half a dozen other Captains at the execution site I couldn't get close enough."
I knew what she was trying to do, take away my guilt and put it on her shoulders, as if she were the one who had failed. I gave her a small thankful smile.
"It's not your fault Yoruichi-Sama, I know that you can't get me out of here with all the guards and the stuff this building is made of… but could you do me a favor?" I swallowed, trying to force the tears from my eyes as I remember my friends and family, all those who had relied on me.
"C-could you tell my dad that something happened to me, I don't think he would believe the truth so just tell him it was an accident or something." I couldn't bring myself to directly state that I was asking her to inform my father of my 'death'.
"Also would you ask Hat-n-Clogs if he could look out for him? He will be alone now and I worry about him."
For a moment a strange look passes over her face that I don't have time to recognize, guilt maybe? Just as she is about to say something I hear a guard returning and warn Mr. err Ms. Yoruichi that she should get going.
There is no reason for her to be caught too.
Just before leaving, she glances back one last time to mutter another apology, then disappears into the night.
Days passed by with nothing to do but await my fate and think about how life had lead to this moment; until I was finally told that the council of Captains had assembled to judge me and my actions.
As I walked into the long hallway I immediately felt the eyes in the room focus on me.
A mixture of expressions covered the various faces. Everything ranging from contempt, to excitement, to pity.
I was forced to sit in a chair in the middle of the room, and was then bound to it.
"Ichigo Kurosaki" The old man seated in front of me spoke in a commanding voice, silencing the various murmurs that had begun from the other Captains, "You are here to answer for the following crimes: theft of Shinigami powers, unauthorized entry into the Dangai, assault on a gatekeeper of the Seireitei, assault on several Shinigami including three officers, and the attempted intervention of a state condoned execution. What do you have to say in your defense?"
"I did what I know is right and nothing you say or do will make me think otherwise. So you can take your laws and shove them." I responded.
I was too disgusted in a system that would kill someone for saving lives to care about defending myself through any kind of legal method.
"Very well, we will now decide your sentence." The Captains left the meeting hall leaving me alone with my thoughts.
With nothing else to do I glanced around the large ornately designed chamber. It must have taken a fortune to build this place I realized, yet another failure for these so called 'guardians of the dead'. They leave civilians in poverty but spend massive amounts of money just for a room to stand and talk in.
I remember being brought out of my thoughts by the sound of the door opening and the various Captains returning to their spots.
"Due to… unforeseen circumstances it has been agreed by the Gotei Thirteen that execution is not warranted for either you or Ganju Shiba. We have discovered that the execution of Rukia Kuchki was in fact staged by several traitorous Captains for an unknown reason, all of this after they had murdered the controlling government of Soul Society. Therefore you are hereby sentenced to three hundred years imprisonment for your crimes, and the removal of your Soul Reaper powers in order to prevent any further incidents. Ganju Shiba will be released into the custody of his family due to their former status as nobility."
A few moments passed as everything the old man said slowly sunk into my mind and I was able to process everything until…
"YOU BASTARDS!" I shouted, which seemed to startle everyone in the room. "You killed Rukia because you didn't even bother to question why. We were doing the right thing but because you are so damn set in you blind ignorant traditions you can't even think for yourselves. Hell you murdered my friends who were barely even a threat to any of you!" I continued shouting, until one of the guards gagged me to stop my "disrespectful outburst".
After the "trial" I was returned to my cell, without so much as an attempt at an apology. The only remorse coming from a man wearing a pink kimono and a sickly looking man with white hair.
That brings us to the present day, with me sitting alone waiting for those pompous assholes to strip me of my powers, again.
It is evening now, the only way I know this is due to the rising and falling of the sun and moon.
Someone else is here though, just outside my cell.
I do not know when they arrived. Maybe they have always been here, watching me. I have certainly felt as though I have been under surveillance ever since I entered the Seireitei but I had assumed it was just my paranoia.
As I stare into the darkness, the only light now coming from the full moon and a few torch-like devices on the walls dimly lighting the hallway, I finally am able to make out the shape of a person standing in the shadows.
As the man strides out into the pale moonlight I am finally able to make out his appearance, he is wearing a Captain's uniform. His glasses, simple brown hair, and friendly smile do nothing to help me relax.
I have seen what these monsters are capable of.
He glances over me, as if assessing my soul, before speaking.
"Hello Ichigo Kurosaki. My name is Aizen Sosuke, and I have a proposition for you."
That is the end of the first chapter of my "Shadows of Deceit" story. I hope I ended it on a decent cliffhanger.
This will probably be the only chapter I write in the first person, simply because although I find it interesting and fun to write in it becomes a bit difficult keeping past and present tense separate.
I have changed several things from cannon in order to make this story work, first Karin and Yuzu were never born. Second, Tatsuki was given spiritual powers, because I feel she should have had them in the actual Manga. Finally Keigo and Mizuiro never befriended Ichigo. All of these changes are necessary for what I have planned.
I have made a few changes to canon in regards to the invasion of Soul Society, but I believe they are all fairly possible. The fact that Ichigo's companions just HAPPENED to run into captains they could either A. defeat or B. wouldn't kill them seems ridiculously convenient. Also like I said in the prologue, I have to be a bit cruel to Ichigo in order to remove his attachments from the 'good guys' and part of that is removing his friends from the picture.
Finally I am planning on introducing some romantic pairings later on, I have not decided who yet, and I enjoy Harribel and Nel both just too much to choose. When it gets closer to the decision I will put a survey in my profile for people to vote on, after all author's write for the reader, not for ourselves.
Finally, if you have a time stop over and check out "To find the Heart" written by 'IIIIIIIIII'. Many of my future chapters have parts credited to this story, and it's just a really good story.
If you have time to comment or favorite I appreciate it.
If not then I hope you simply read and enjoy.