((Just a warning: this is a sort of experiment in writing different settings and trying new moods [going for a bleak and hopeless war-type feeling here]; it's going to have very few canon characters, and be more focused on two different teams of OCs fighting a war within the Winter War. If that's not your thing, then I'm sorry.))

A man, more intelligent than any of the rest of us in that damned outpost, maybe more than anybody in the entire fucking war, told me something once. He told me, while we were hunkered down in the sand with ceros snapping all around us, too far into the war to pray to anything, for anything, 'Remember your brothers.' I didn't get it back then. I'm not sure I get it now. But no matter how long I live, no matter how long I love, I won't love anybody more than I loved all those sour bastards in that outpost in the middle of Hell.

-I arrived at the Hueco Mundo outpost in December. I know this because the last thing I saw of Seireitei was the first fall of snow.-

The first thing I could remember after running through that Gargantua, black as hell and what I'd been warned could've been my last trip ever, was that the air I was now breathing was so painfully dry. I stared up at the landscape first, my mission statement clenched in my left hand, and at the endless white dunes all around me, then up at the sky. There weren't any stars, just a moon. And that moon was...I couldn't put my finger on it. Something about it was wrong.

I looked back at the paper in hand, my name across the top in a familiar scrawl. I was sent to replace the last emissary for my Division, who...died, on the field. That was disquieting, but I wasn't thinking about it. If I thought about it, I'd think about the possibility of my own death, and then I'd lose my nerve. And I needed all the nerve I had in me for what I was about to enter.

There had, about a decade ago, been installed a base in Hueco Mundo; permanent, with a Gargantua positioned not terribly far away, but not too close either, that could be opened at any time. It had originally been intended as a surveillance outpost, but Las Noches had erected their own outpost to match Seireitei's, and the two outposts had been at neverending war ever since. One emissary, that is, one member from each of the Gotei Thirteen's squads, had been sent to the base ever since, to assist in protecting it and in an attempt to defeat the Las Noches outpost. Nobody volunteered for the job anymore, as nobody who'd gone had come back alive yet. So they started drawing numbers, pulling names from the Divisions. I was the name they pulled for Third Company.

I sighed, before walking towards the outpost building before me, though it'd be easier described as a fortress; I'd heard it was modeled after Las Noches itself, the Hollow base in this world, their world. Maybe modeling it after the base built to last in this environs would make sense, but it was still something else in the ever-growing list of things that I just plain didn't like about this entire deployment in the Hollow World. I just didn't like it.

I walked inside, the permanent fixture of a Gargantua behind me already gone, and the white cleanliness of the building was unsettling. I didn't like the uneasy feeling it gave me to see everything so pure white, so...antiseptic, almost, and was so distracted by it that as I turned a corner, I didn't even see, or sense, what was on the other side of the corner. And I didn't see it for a while, because whatever hit me in the face knocked me out cold.

-It was then that I realized exactly how out of my element I was.-

When I woke up, I was staring at the ceiling, and it felt like I'd been hit in the head with a sledgehammer.

"Feels like I've been hit in the head with a sledgehammer," I said, aloud, while observing an odd brownish stain on the wall. Everything else was bone white.

"That's because you were," A chipper voice sounded beside me, and I turned my head to look at the speaker. " A Kido version of a sledgehammer, anyway. I wouldn't move too much," The man said again, because I could tell it was a man, and I caught sight of him. A twenty-something man, though apparent age means nothing to souls, very pale but who seemed to have the face and frame to make the paleness work, and who had long sunny blond hair tied back in a ponytail and a pair of bright, laughing blue eyes, stood there watching me intently. I blinked, sitting up and putting a hand on the left side of my skull, which was throbbing painfully. I looked to the man as he spoke again. "Skull fracture, you know. You're lucky that your Doc is such a good medic, or you'd be deader than dead. Maybe in a coma. No, wait, probably dead." He laughed again, and I groaned under my breath. This man was coming off less than sane.

"Who the hell hit me?"

The doctor seemed to grow serious a moment, before sighing, shrugging nonchalantly. "No one. It was one of the booby traps Mako set up around here. Don't hold it against him, though; despite his methodology being a bit cracked, he really does mean well." He smiled, and at that moment looking at him I thought, 'He's probably a killer with the women.' Because he had that look about him that he could talk his way into or out of anything he wanted, even pants. I then put my hand on my aching head and winced; bandages, probably circling my head. Great. Not five minutes in home base, and I'd gotten a skull fracture and suffered major head trauma.

"Mako?" I asked, at a loss for anything else to say to this doctor.

"Mmhm. Our boy from Fifth. He's a good man, but a little...well, extreme in his methods. He thinks if we're not good enough to dodge the traps, then we shouldn't be here and breathing anyway." He frowned and shrugged, though it was more 'oh, that's a shame' than 'it's a real problem around here'. He then looked back to my eyes, interested again, and asked, "So, what spec are you?"

"Spec?" I asked, confused. I glanced to my hands a moment, wondering what I should say. "Well...my name is-"

"No, I meant your spec. Your specialty? Damn, boy, catch up with me!" He laughed, and I scratched at the bandages. I already knew they'd itch later, and that disappointed me. I'd have some irritation later on, and that's not what I wanted.

"I'm emissary for Third." I muttered it under my breath, but loud enough to be heard. He laughed again, as he did often, and clapped me on the shoulder.

"A blitzkrieg boy! I should've recalled that we'd lost ours. He ran into their Tank. Real mess, that. Not much left to bury." He seemed only vaguely dampened in spirit by this, and it's when I realized that this man either had no conscience, no soul, or was completely insane. I barely recognized when he looked up at me again, smiling. "So, Blitzkrieg, welcome to the Hueco Mundo Command Outpost. You'll be here 'til you die, and if they eat your soul, a good deal of time after your death too."

That's when I decided he was just insane.

"Erm...thanks. I'll be going, if you think it's safe for me to." I was already sitting up, looking for my shihakusho top and zanpakutou. He waved me off, nonchalantly.

"You'll be fine. Maybe have a migraine for a while, but nothing worse than that. Now, Blitzkrieg, you'd better watch yourself. It'd be a shame if we had to get another Third so soon after his spot was filled," He called after me, cheerily, as I slipped out the door with everything on me. I didn't want to be around that madman for very long at all.

-It was then that I began to realize how out of my element I really was.-