Prologue: Ragaraja Falls, the Trickster Returns

How had he failed so completely? All those years, all that effort, and this was what happened? He even had to abandon Kyouka Suigetsu in order to retreat back to Las Noches. So many sacrifices, but he still had a chance. The Hougyoku was still intact in its vault. With the Gotei Thirteen busy rounding up the stragglers he had a window, but it was slim. He moved as fast as his battered body would allow and steadily made progress towards his destination.

If he still had the Hougyoku he could start over. He could go even deeper into Hueco Mundo to hide, find even more powerful Hollows, maybe even Vasto Lorde. He could wait, even if it took him decades.

Just a little further. The fighting from the clash had heavily damaged the palace but luckily this was the one place unharmed. Except it was open. And occupied.

"This is it?" A feminine voice, light, almost airy.

"Yeah, to think this while mess was caused just because of a tiny jewel. The second I laid eyes on the thing I knew I finally found it. But how is the progress of it?" He'd recognize that accent anywhere.

"Enough to have put a dent in it, but only just. Then again it was lying here the entire time so it wasn't getting reiatsu directly."

"Oh bother, I was hoping this whole rebellion business could have accomplished something. In the end it was just pointless." POINTLESS!?

"Come, we have to get moving."

"GIN!"

Aizen finally made his presence known. Gin scanned the treasonous Shinigami from head to toe. He was disheveled, his clothes a wreck, splattered in blood and dirt, and his hair was a mess.

"They really did a number on you, Aizen."

"What is the meaning of this, Gin?"

"None of the Espada either. Are they all dead, or did just get sick of you?"

"ANSWER ME!"

The smile dropped from Gin's lips and his narrow eyes opened. Acidic blue pools looked at Aizen, but not as a superior and not even as an equal. He glanced at the empty sheath at Aizen's hip.

"You couldn't even remember your sword. You really are a Grade-A fuckup, nothing more than a bit player."

"Bit player? You were playing me the entire time!?"

"Of course. It was fun to watch you act like you had any idea what you were doing."

Aizen had enough. He would not be humiliated further. He might have lost Kyouka Suigetsu, but he still had other methods of attack. Even in his current state he could still cause damage with a quick incantation. Wrath, however, clouded his mind at the worst time.

"If you don't have the Tenki, then you're worthless."

Aizen wasn't aware he had been struck. He crumpled to the floor and his lifeblood seeped from where his heart had been. Over him stood Gin's guest, not a spot of red blemishing the white, hooded gown she wore.

"Aw, couldn't you have let me do it?" Gin pouted.

"You would have enjoyed it too much." Her fingers were smeared with blood. She had been out of action for too long if she had gotten this rusty.

She glanced at the artifact in her other hand. All that bloodshed for such a tiny thing. And none of Aizen's army had any clue what it actually was. She secreted it into her sleeve and began walking out of Las Noches. They needed to be far away by the time the Gotei Thirteen arrived to strip the place.

"You really haven't found any of them?" He hated silent walks.

"It was like I told you before. You and I are the only ones that are ripe, so to speak."

"It might take so long that you'll be just as grey as I am."

"Even if it did, I'd still go through with it.

"Right behind you, Ama-nee."

They vanished into the infinite, blighted waste of Hueco Mundo. And with them they took all knowledge of the war's true purpose.

XXXXX

Author's Notes: Ah yes, it's been far too long since I dealt with this. With the end of Bleach I decided to finally get around to a little experiment that's been mulling around in my head for far too long. As you can tell, the Arrancar Arc went down a lot differently in this universe. Another series that will explain that will be put up at a later date when I get further into the current story in order to expand on some plot points. For now, let's begin a new tale and a new era