Ch 1: Death and the Breeze
…1902, 13 years before Hollowfication Incident.
My name is Kyle Tobias. I'm 14 years old with blond hair and blue eyes. I'm the kind of person that avoids trouble until I have no choice. The only thing that sets me apart from people I guess would be the fact that my parents ditched me as a kid and I live with my best friend. I still haven't been able to forgive my parents. However, I digress.
That day was the usual for me. I woke, washed, walked to school with my friends, and did the normal teenager things. I left school alone and went over to my girlfriends' house. We hung out and did our thing, and then I walked home. It was dark, but I never really cared. I was a black belt in Bao Gua so I could defend myself. From people.
As I was walking I felt a sudden searing pain, a deep blackness, and then I was lying against a wall several feet from where I had been.
"What the hell happened?" I thought to myself as I pulled myself to my feet, heard a clanking, and felt something hit my chest.
There was a broken chain attached to my chest. It hadn't been there when I was walking and I looked around to see what had happened. I gasped when I saw my body lying slumped on the ground. My stomach and chest had burst open and blood was everywhere. I actually watched the life leave my own eyes. I felt a chill run through my body.
I fell back and lay there gasping for air. I had just watched myself die!
"Wait. If I'm…dead, then am I a ghost now?" I muttered.
Then I heard a terrible screaming. It sounded like metal scraping bone. I looked for the source and saw a giant creature. It stood at least twice my height. The body was covered in coarse brown hair except for the head. A white mask that looked similar to an armadillos face blocked its features from sight.
I felt a primal fear settle in my stomach as I turned and bolted from the spot as fast as I could. The thing roared again and was after me. I passed the car that had hit me and saw that the driver lie slumped against the wheel, his head missing. I looked back and saw that blood was dripping from the creatures foot long claws. It had killed the driver, who ended up killing me as well.
I couldn't outrun the thing! No matter how fast I forced my legs to push me, it kept getting closer. My body wouldn't move like it did when I was alive and my breath was running short. I forced myself to move faster. I ran into a dead end.
"Shit!" I yelled as the creature cut off my escape path.
It roared again and charged me, intent on another meal apparently.
"Come on you bastard!" I yelled in a reckless frenzy; the adrenaline, frustration, uneasiness, and terror caused me to forget my rationality.
Without stopping, the creature attacked, using its bulk to try to crush me. I leaped to the side and it missed by inches. It was slow and ponderous now that it had lost its momentum. I think somewhere in my mind, I knew I was gonna die; I guess I just wanted to make this thing work as hard as it could to kill me. It came at me again, swinging a great claw at me. I leapt back, the claw grazing my torso. I grunted in pain as blood ran down my chest.
"Shit." I panted, clutching my chest.
The thing came at me again, this time stabbing at me. I dodged to the side and my face was scraped. It swung again and I dodged; only this time, the chain got caught in the claw and tore from my chest.
I fell to the ground, forgetting everything around me; my world had turned into a white-hot flame of pain. I screamed into the night, not caring who heard, until my voice gave out. I rolled on the ground and begged myself to die, to end the pain. I managed to open an eye and when I looked down at the wound, I saw that my fingers were shattering into pieces.
"W…what the hell?" I managed to gasp, pain still racking my body and the creature slowly coming closer, knowing that I couldn't stop it.
Suddenly my vision went black and I was standing in a blank room. In front of me was a single pillar that went up as far as my eyes could follow into a clear blue sky. Under my feet was a field of grass. A constant breeze rustled my hair.
"My my my. You really think it's over, don't you?" came a woman's voice.
"Who's there?" I asked.
"'Who's there'? That's not very nice. Don't you know the person that knows you better than anyone?" the voice came again.
"Where are you?" I asked, trying to calm myself down.
"Right here." she said, rounding the corner of the pillar.
She was beautiful. There was no other way to put it. She wore an easy grin, the kind you have when seeing a close friend for the first time in ages, and purple hair that trailed down her back to her waist. She wore a white shirt with a matching skirt and socks up to knees. On her right hand was a red glove, and her right shoulder and left calf had a long ribbon bound around them. Around her neck, covering the lower part of her face, she wore a scarf that trailed down to her ankles.
"Quit gawking. Its embarrassing." she said playfully, pretending to blush.
"I…I wasn't. I was just…." I stammered, trying to find out why she looked so familiar.
"I can see you working it over. You still don't remember me?" She said with a pout, "That's really mean you know."
"I'm sorry. I get this feeling I should know you, it's just that I can't remember why." I told her.
"Oh. Well, you'll remember in time. Now what I don't get is why you haven't cut that idiot outside to ribbons. We have the power you know, you and I." she said.
"Where is this place?" I asked her.
"Your own soul. This is the basis of your being." she said.
"This is it? A pillar?" I asked her, feeling disappointed in my soul.
"Yep. Look for the symbolism here. Then everything'll make sense. Oh crap! I forgot. You're about to die again!" she said, suddenly panicking.
"Can you say inevitable much?" I commented, feeling fatalistic.
"Not really. You see, like I said, you have the power to kill that thing. The only problem is, you have to find it. And for that, you'll have to know where you keep your own power." she told me.
"Where I keep my-are you nuts? How would I know where my power is when I didn't even know I had it in the first place!?" I said, getting irritated all at once.
"Just think. The form, the place, these aren't important. All that matters is the reason. If you had power, why would you have it?" she asked me.
"Why would I have it? To protect people. Right?" I asked, not feeling so certain.
"Mmm. I guess. For now. But there's another reason to that as well. So then, who do you protect? People? Your beliefs? Your friends? What?" the girl asked me.
"…My family." I answered after a moment.
"Family. The love of a family. Now then," she gave a wave of her arm, and three boxes appeared in front of me. "You have enough time to open one box. These boxes are the "family" you speak of. Family by blood," she pointed at the right one, "by bond, and by ideal." she pointed at the middle and left boxes respectively. "One of these contains your power. Try not to die! I'll see you again if you don't!"
She disappeared, vanishing with a fresh gust of wind.
I stared at the boxes, thinking hard. Suddenly my inner world quaked violently! The pillar was shaking itself apart!
"By the way. When that chain was torn from your body, your soul started to disintegrate. So you got about thirty seconds now!" the girl said from nowhere.
"Bitch!" I yelled in frustration.
I stared at the boxes again. Then I made my choice. I dived at the box that held the Family of Bond and tore it open. Inside was a pair of sword handles. I grabbed hold and white light blinded me!
Suddenly I was back in the dead end alley. But I wasn't the same as before. I stood light as a feather. On my waist I wore a pair of ninto. Instead of the clothes I was wearing when I died, I wore a black hakama. My wounds were completely gone.
"Now then, about you." I said to myself, losing myself in the cockiness of new power.
The creature looked at me warily, as if it might not be wise to attack further. I didn't give it the chance to think. I wrenched both swords from my waist and lunged, slicing off the creatures arm in a single pass. It cried out in agony and thrashed around, cradling the stump.
"Not so funny now is it!?" I yelled. Dissipation
"Take it easy! Don't get reckless!" the girl whispered in my head.
"I got this in the bag." I told her.
Then I cried out in pain as the creatures other claw ran through my shoulder. Blood burst from the wound.
"Told you." the girl said with a sniff.
"Quiet." I told her, choking on the thought.
The creature attacked again. I dodged and attack, but suddenly the fur turned denser and my blades wouldn't cut anymore.
"You should have killed it in one pass!" the girl yelled in my head.
"Quiet!" I yelled back.
"Why?! You're the idiot that can't remember that my name is **********!" She yelled.
"I can't hear her name." I thought to myself.
The creature attacked again and again. I blocked and dodged his attacks and tried to land my own. None worked. His fur was like armor.
"Come on! Call my name! It's your own stupid reservations that are stopping you! Can't you trust me?" she asked, sounding sincere. "I'm willing to trust you with my power. Are you willing to trust me with your life?"
I thought to myself as I dodged the creature. I knew her. I just couldn't tell from where. My body was telling me to trust her. My mind was saying be careful. But my soul told me nothing. Then I decided.
"If you're willing to trust me, I'll trust you." I told her.
"You mean it?" she asked.
"I don't lie to women." I told her.
"Then come on! Throw away your doubt! Draw your blade! Shout it! Call it! My life is! My name is…!" she yelled in my head.
"Gust forth! Lisianthus!(Eternal Breeze)" I yelled, sliding my blades together.
They melded into a single blade as tall as my body. It had no real cross guard. Instead there was a guard that went about five inches before becoming the blade. From the pommel, a rope hung. Tied to the rope was an ornate cross in a deep red. My shoulder wound grew cold and then suddenly it was gone.
"Oh yeah! Now I feel it!" I shouted, feeling giddy with the power. Pale green energy flashed in my eyes and leaked from my hands.
I charged the creature and, remembering Lisianthus' words, cleaved it down the middle in a single pass. It shattered away into nothingness as I slashed the air and sent the blood on my blade splattering to the ground.
"Oh. It's dead already. My my. You must be quite the prodigy to gain shikai after being a Shinigami for less than ten minutes." came a calm voice from behind me.
I turned and saw a man dressed as I was, with brown hair, an easy smile, and glasses.
"Who are you?" I asked, raising my sword.
"Me? Lieutenant of Squad 5, Sosuke Aizen." Sosuke answered, giving a mocking bow.