Fair warning though, Ichigo's gonna be kinda nasty. Power hungry, selfish, good guy only out of pride, etc. Well, this chapter may seem slightly out of place and pace, it goes to show just how shitty Ichigo's luck is, and how much he wants to be the best? Can anyone else guess what's going to happen at this rate?

Don't mind the OOCness of Ichigo, but everyone else is perfectly within character!

A Madman's Requiem

"Itei." Ichigo groaned, feeling as if his throat had been filled with needles. Unlike before, he was phsyically restrained to the bed, his legs cuffed with seki seki shackles, in order to prevent another escape attempt.

But upon awakening, Ichigo found himself staring back at his new partner.

"Well good morning sleeping beauty!"Kazeshine cackled as his partner realized that with his new restraints he wouldn't be going anywhere, and with is injuries, not anytime soon. "Looks like ya finally decided to wake your lazy ass up!"

"You're enjoying this, aren't you."

Kazeshini's grin was matchless.

"I hope ya heal fast, Ichigo. We've got shit to do."

--

"Gah!" Ichigo yelped ducking and dodging for his very life. "F-Fuku-taichou are you crazy?! You're gonna kill me!"

"That's the point!"

Shunsui Kyoraku exhaled softly.

Attaining shikai was just one of the many requirements for becoming a seated officier. The condition varied between squads, but for Shunsui Kyoraku, any aspiring shinigami that wanted a seated position in his division...

Had to survive a sparring session with Lisa-chan, directly after they achieved shikai. Ichigo, being new to the Gotei Thirteen, probably didn't know that was one of the requirements, but then again, he'd already been informed, hadn't he?

Another loud crash revealed that his suspicions had been correct, and the ensuing litany of swearwords confirmed that Ichigo was none too happy about it.

"Hmm..." Shunsui pondered, bringing the bottle to his lips for another long pull of sake, "Maybe I did forget to tell him."

--

"Tsubuse (Smash)."

With this command, Lisa's n┼Źdachi transformed into a exceptionally-long spear with a blade, reminiscent of that of a Shaolin spade (a fanned-out blade with a silver outer edge), on one end and a heavy ball on its other end that increased her hitting power, batting away Kazeshini before the blade could even so much as reach her cheek.

"Haguro Tonbo."

Scowling, Ichigo propelled himself backwards, trying to put some distance between himself and the lieutenant. It was all for naught, as she swished into existence behind him.

Fuck. Inside Ichigo's soul,Kazeshini swore virulently as he crisscrossed himself with his twin blades summoning all of his reaitsu in an attempt to buffer them from the full force of the blow. This was going to hurt, and they both knew it. He could only grit his teeth, plant his feet, and hope that this strike wouldn't kill him.

The fifth seat and his zanpakutou, both screamedout in pain as Ichigo's body slammed into and through the eastern wall of the gondola, spattering the stone a grisly red from his now reopened wounds. Coughing up another darkly colored glob, Ichigo rested on his elbows for a moment, before heaving himself back to his feet.

Lisa's shadow fell over him then. and again, they were forced back, unable to withstand her assault. With seconds, Ichigo repeated the same feat of being launched, head over heels, back into the rubble he'd only just dug himself out of.

Then, Ichigo stopped, shuddred suddenly, his normally brown eyes taking on a devilish purple hue. Snarling, he forced himself out of the rubble, a bluish black reaitsu shrouding his body, lending it an almost flaming appearance.

"Oh, ya think that's funny, do ya?" Kazeshini and Ichigo grinned as one. "Well, then you're gonna love this!"

As one being, they threw out his blades simultaneously, both spinning towards Lisa. But much to their annoyance, Lisa didn't flinch. She simply stood there as the weapons whirled closer and closer.

Finally, at the last moment, she twirled her spade. She pointed it so that the tip was facing the coming weapons, and then in a few swift movements she had gently knocked aside both blades, hooked the chain with the tip of her spade, and pinned it to the ground. The twin weapons lay flat, and Haguro Tonbo sword was standing straight and victorious.

"You pass." Lisa declared simply.

Ichigo groaned Kazeshini clicked his tongue in distaste. He hated this woman already, but at the same time, felt a small sliver of respect, at least in regard to her combat prowess. Now, he had a goal, a purpose, something to drive him and give him motivation. Ichigo felt the same way too.

They both wanted to kick her ass.

--

(Some hours later)

"Ichigo-kun?" Shunsui's tone hardened slightly as he turned his gaze to Nanao. "What's this got to do with him?"

The girl seemed to fidget for a few moments.

"H-He's going to be executed, sir."

--

"What?" The news hit Ichigo hard, his mind still reeling from all that had happened.

"You do not have a choice." Replied the judge. "Accept our authority and look beyond yourself. We are doing this not only for the good of the Soul Society, but for the human world, the material world as well. To preserve the balance, to ensure justice, that is the only thing that matters-

"Bullshit!" Ichigo spat upwards at them, his words filled with malice. "All you dipshits ever talk about is balance! You guys don't know shit! All you do is sit on your asses all day and judge us! Where's the justice in that, huh?!"

"It is not a matter of whether or not they should be killed." Boomed the judge, and everyone went silent. "It is a matter of removing the weeds that might grow to choke the garden of safety that is the Soul Society. Weeds will always grow, and it is our duty to pluck them out, before they tip the balance."

Before he could further protest, his sentence was brutally handed down with due authority.

"Kurosaki Ichigo, you will be imprisoned for the next hundred years, and then, you will be executed."

With his arms bound by the reaitsu restraining shackles, Ichigo could only seethe silently as he was roughly dragged away.

--

Ichigo, now bound, zanpakutouless, helpless, and behine bars gazed pleadingly at Shunsui, his mismatching eyes full of disbelief and grief. His arms were bound behind his back, his legs, shackled together as well, forcing the fifth seat into a rather uncomfortable cross legged position.

"This isn't fair!" His muffled voice trembled from behind the remnants of the mask, distorted by hollowfied reiatsu. "I'm not a hollow, and I didn't kill anyone! Captain, please! You have to believe me!"

His second night as a fifth seat, and this had happened. Disobeying orders, following fuku-taichou Lisa out into a potential hostile zone, and getting the living shit beat out of him by a berserk Kensei. Hours ago, he'd woken up on trial only find himself screaming in pain, his face half covered by a hollow mask.

And now... slated for execution?!

"Please! I haven't done anything wrong! You have to believe what I'm saying!"

"I do believe you." Shunsui sighed, all trace of humor gone from his face. "Unfortunately, its not as simple as you think, Ichigo-kun. The central forty-six still wants to punish you, and there was only so much Jushirou and I could do for you. "

"S-Sir?"

Shunsui now stepped aside, to reveal a rather curious shihakusho clad individual. His face was covered in white/black makeup, and that, coupled with his golden eyes, blue hair, and golden stubs for ears...

Creepy.

"My my." The figure remarked bending down to poke at Ichigo's sternum. "You certainly are an interesting specimen, aren't you? Tell me, how does that hollow reiatsu feel? It's quite painful, isn't it? No, don't bother to answer that. I can tell that you are in pain, but the question remains, how much pain are you experiencing? Agonizing pain? Excruciating pain?"

"Ichigo, this is Kurotsuchi Mayuri." Shunsui was noticeably uncomfortable, but still he pressed on. "He's...well, how should I put this? I suppose you could say he's your...parole officer."

"What?" Ichigo scowled. "What's that supposed to mean?"

"I was able to negotiate your release-

"Th-That's great!" Ichigo felt a sudden surge of relief wipe everything else away.

"But there's a condition."

"Don't worry." Mayuri assured the wary fifth seat in a way that could only put someone ill at ease. "I won't kill you. However, I will evaluate your condition every three days per week, in sessions consisting of four to twenty four hours. And in case you're wondering, yes, you have absolutely no say in what kind of experimentation or research I choose to conduct."

"Bit me." Ichigo would've bitten Mayuri if he could. Such was the indescribable feeling of loathing he felt for this grotesque perversion of man. He'd never hated someone so strongly, and they'd only just met each other. A trickle of reaitsu leaked out of the cuffs, creating a small crack in them.

But Kurotsuchi remained undeterred.

"How rude." Mayuri's grin was enough to make Ichigo want to skitter back into the darkest corner of his cell, but the hybrid resisted the urge to do so. Instead, he trembled with rage, not fear, as the former third seat continued to prattle on and on.

"Really, you should be honored." The way Kurotsuchi clacked his fingernails together made Ichigo feel anything but honored. "I've never had the chance to dissect a shinigami/hollow hybrid before, in fact, you'll be the first and last of your kind, what with other's slate for execution-

"Now wait just a minute." Shunsui surprised Ichigo just then, his hand shooting out from the folds of his sleeves, clamping down on the scientist's shoulder with such force, that the new head of the Research and Development Institute actually gasped with pain and surprise at this rash behavior. Indeed, Kyoraku's expression was not normal, not one of calm, reverent complacency. In fact, it was the exact opposite.

Instead of a cool, gentle smile, Kyoraku's upper lip was parted slightly, revealing pearly white teeth, as his mouth curled back into a snarl, adding further weight to the biting tone his words carried, whilst his free hand reached to one of the two swords belted to his hip. "You remember what I told you, gaki. Ichigo-kun's still my subordinate, and if you harm him in any way, I'll shove my bankai up your-

"Please, Kyoraku-taichou." Mayuri snorted, wincing again as his shoulder popped out of place. "Are you implying that my method's are so inferior that I would be unable to keep my specimen alive?"

"Not at all." Shunsui's grip tightened, his left eye twitching visibly beneath the shadow of his hat. "All I'm saying is that I don't want Ichigo under your scalpel anytime soon." He deliberately strained the youth's name to make it clear that Kurosaki was not to be thought of as a mere specimen. "Not in your lifetime or the next. He's to be back by morning."

"Very well." The madman relented at last, his shoulders drooping slightly, though whether it was with dissapointment, or relief from finally being freed from the captain's vice-grip remained questionable. "I suppose physical modification and cellular enhancement is out of the question then?"

"Quite." Shunsui answered, turning his back to Mayuri with a flourish. "Now, if you'll excuse me there's a bottle of sake calling my name, and I need to find my old drinking partner." His tone was heavy and sad at this, and for a moment one could not help but wonder if Kyoraku knew that Lisa and the other's were in fact, nowhere near here, and on their way to the world of the living.

Instead, chigo swiveled his gaze back to the conversation, curiosity piqued.

"Come again?"

"Oho," With Shunsui gone, Mayuri's devilish grin returned quickly, his gaze snapping back towards his would-be research subject. "It would seem that this topic caught your interest, hasn't it?"

"What're we talking about here?" Ichigo asked warily. He was curious, but that didn't mean he was willing to subject himself to experimentation so readily, without knowing the consequences. "What...kind of modifications?"

"What kind?" Mayuri huffed angrily, but there was the faintest hint of pride lingering within his smirk, his tone already taking on a feverish pitch as he began to speak at an equally rapid pace. "What kind, you ask?! I could make your skin as hard as diamond! Your reflexes, ten times that of the average shinigami! Your strength, superhuman! Your body, able to perform feats that would make captains' gape, capable of recovering from even the gravest of wounds, injuries that would kill a lesser soul! The list is so long, the possibilites so endless, that I cannot even begin to scratch the surface!"

Despite himself, Ichigo felt a grin starting to curve across his lips. Limitless ideas flowed through his mind, each scenario ending with him basking in the warmth of admiration and recognition given to him by all of the Soul Society.

"I like the sound of that. When can we start?"

"Right away!" Mayuri cackled, pleased with the abrupt cooperation his test subject now displayed. "Guards!" With a swift snap of his fingers, two men came forward, and moments later, Ichigo found himself unbound, stretching his stiff joints.

"Kazeshini." Ichigo barked, and with a rush of wind, his zanpaktou materialized in his hands. Taking a moment to make sure that his parent was alright, and onboard with this, the fifth seat belted his zanpaktou.

"Come, come!" Mayuri beckoned, already on the other side of the hall. "Discovery awaits us!"

You better know what you're doing, dumbass. Kazeshine was wary, and that was rare, for someone like him. He didn't trust this Mayuri guy one bit, and the saying "I trust him as far as I can throw him," certainly didn't apply here.

'Shaddap.' Ichigo clicked his tongue as he stepped out into the cool night, only for a black bag to swing over his head, It's me he'll be tampering with, not you. You're the lucky one.

--

The harsh, fluorescent lights stung at his eyes as the bag was removed.

"Please," Mayuri, or rather, the vague outline of Mayuri that Ichigo could see with his limited vision, beckoned to the cold slab of steel that lay between them. "Make yourself at home."

Steadying himself, Kurosaki placed a hand on the table.

The operating table was cold, and for a moment, Ichigo regretted his decision. His very flesh quivering against its icy grasp, it was all he could do to ignore the pounding in his ears, prop himself up on, and then lower himself back down upon the rectangular slab.

Kurotsuchi gleefully tittered as the data continued to stream in.

"Fascinating, absolutely fascinating. It seems that your body has already adapted to the hollow reiatsu and is now channeling it through a seperate network, similair to that of your shinigami reiatsu. Most fascinating.

Ichigo tried to ignore that little tidbit of informations. He had to hand it to Mayuri though, for a deranged psycopathic scientist, the guy really did keep a clean place of business. Anisthetics and sedatives on one rack, organs and a variety of tools on the other, shelves neatly and precisely labeled, not a single item or tool out of place.

"Aha! Here we are!"

He now held the needle up to the light, displaying an icy blue fluid inside of the syringe. Seeing his captor flick the needle while pressing the plunger, squirting out a thin stream of blue while removing the air from the liquid inside the chamber, left Ichigo slightly uneasy again.

Mayuri looked at the hybrid, his left eye slowly drifting upward from the center of the socket, the right performing the exact opposite motion. "Oh, and I thought I should inform you, this needle in my hand contains a simple placebo I have used to effectively distract you, Kurosaki Ichigo."

Ichigo's eyes widened in surprise at the madman's statement when he felt a small prick on the back of his arm. He whirled around to find a small robotic arm had swung out of the wall to stick him with another needle. Immediately, his body numbed, rendering the would-be vizard motionless, with a weak sense of motion remaining in his neck and head.

"I hope you don't mind," Mayuri tittered, "But I've decided to forgo the use of a sedative during this procedure. I always find that my research requires that, within the time span of the experiment, I question my test subjects to see what effects, if any, this procedure has on the mind. Of course, the only way around such an obstacle would be to keep the subject conscious throughout the experiment so that it would be easier for him to recover within the allotted time." He looked at Ichigo, flashing an intensely discomforting grin.

"Are you ready for the procedure?"

"Alright, bring it." Ichigo willed his body and mind to relax, his eyes to close as Mayuri brought the scalpel to his left pectoral and made the first incision. A thin line of blood ran down Ichigo's chest, and Mayuri paused, the wide grin distorting his visage once again.

"Did you experience any pain?"

"You know what? Fuck you." Ichigo grit his teeth, grunted and snarled, but the smirk never once left his face."This...is nothing! I've had hangnails worse than this! "He was used to pain, after being continously beaten down by Zaraki Kenpachi, Ichigo all but welcomed and relished it. The pain reminded him that he still had a long way to go before he reached the top, and until then, until he reached the pinnacle of perfection, he would bear with it.

"Excellent, excellent!" Mayuri cackled. " Your pain tolerance is superb! Now, I would ask you to brace yourself, but it seems a little late for that, doesn't it? That being the case, I'd ask you to avert your gaze and keep it on the ceiling. Any vomit would hamper my work, and we certainly don't want that, now do we?"

"Ya think?" Ichigo forced the words out, only to gasp as he felt the persistent laughter in his mind die away, punctuated only by the sound of a sharp thunk. He blinked, staring up at the reflective ceiling, and found that the mask had crumbled away, thanks in part to the small mallet Mayuri clutched in his right hand.

Discarding it, he reached for another scalpel, this one fresh and clean, as compared to its blooked soaked companion. Setting the soaked scalpel down, Mayuri pulled out what looked like a small tube. Depressing the toggle switch on said tube, a fine red laser, barely an inch in length and diameter, snapped into existence.

"Now, let Kurotsuchi Mayuri see what makes you tick."

Ichigo tilted his head back and scrunched his eyes shut.

True, he was no stranger to pain but...

This was going to hurt.

I sincerely hope you all enjoyed this chapter! I did my very best to keep Mayuri in character, and I hope you all enjoyed this little 'dissection' as much as I did! After all, there will be plently more to come! You didn't think it'd be just one pain filled procedure now, did you?

Next time: Meeting Nemu, and Moving up.