Enemy of the King

Author: Spirit of Entropy

(Author's Note: Sorry for the lateness, I was moving into the college dorm today. Couldn't get this chapter out here till now. And since the semester is starting tomorrow, I will be changing my update schedule to one chapter every 3 days and I'll see how that goes.

Finishing the Infiltration saga here.

Just a reminder, I highly suggest reading this story in "1/2" format. So please select the "1/2" option out of the "full 3/4 1/2" selection. Other than that, please enjoy the latest installment.)

Second Arc: Soul Society

Date Posted: 8/22/2010

Font Key:

Text

"Speaking"

Thought/emphasized words

Attack names/Hollow Speak/Ghostly Speak/Scene Break

(Sound effect) / (Other)

Reiryoku = Spiritual Energy

Reiatsu = Spiritual Pressure

Last Time:

Colonel Sever's voice echoed through the speaker system once again. He took this chance to gloat about his prized creations.

"Have you figured it out yet? Each prototype has a unique special ability. It's not a shikai skill, but a power I fused into their bodies. If you weren't able to guess it by now, then you won't have another chance. It's time for me to increase their battle prowess to the maximum setting. I'm afraid you won't live through the test. But please do provide me with some useful data."

Chapter 16: Infiltration Part 5

Uryu v Prototype 01

With each arrow that the Quincy shot at his opponent, a pattern began to emerge. "Pride of the Quincy: Piercing Shot Level 3!" The projectile fired at 8 times the speed and force. A small vacuum trailed behind in its wake, emitting a sharp clap from the sonic boom.

However, just like with the other shots fired, 01 was easily able to deflect it. Such a level of invulnerability shouldn't exist. It was then Ishida noticed that the Prototype soldier had stood absolutely still at the moment before the arrow struck.

How very suspicious. Let's test that out. Uryu decided as he summoned three low-powered arrows into his spiritual bow and then fired them all at the same time.

01 grunted forcefully as he stuck his hands out in front of him and deflected the projectiles to the side. Just as Ishida predicted, the prototype was forced to stand absolutely still at the moment of impact. Not only that, the Quincy also noticed that with the inclusion of more simultaneously fired arrows, 01 looked to struggle more.

So the key to defeating this guy is quantity over quality. – Uryu

A high pitched ringing noise sounded as Ishida pulled back the bowstring to its fullest. However, not a single arrow was summoned within the weapon. "Pride of the Quincy: 99 Blast!" The Quincy released the 'empty' string and, just as the name of the skill implied, 99 spiritually charged arrows materialized and rained upon his opponent.

01 did not falter, as he took in a deep breath and roared loudly. The cloud of arrows dispersed in every direction. Some hit the roof, others hit the wall, and a few completely bent around the Prototype soldier. Each collision made against the surfaces scattered small metallic particles into the air. Debris blocked the Quincy from view for a moment.

"Pride of the Quincy: Piercing Shot Level 4!" Ishida fired his strongest base-level attack, at 16 times the speed and force, the arrow shined brilliantly as it collided into the mysterious defense used by 01.

However, this time the total deflection that usually happened didn't. The super charged arrow looked to have slowed down at the last moment, but it still kept its course implanting itself into 01's right thigh. The mindless automaton didn't flinch but it still acknowledged that its leg was damaged.

"I think I've figured you out. Your power is a type of telekinetic defense. I had thought that your ability was a type of skin-armor but not even the strongest body could go without a single scratch. Then I postulated that you were deflecting my attacks before they could injure you. It's extremely difficult, even impossible for someone to withstand every single attack just with their body."

"But if you consider the idea that the opponent is somehow changing the course of the arrows, it wouldn't take much effort to apply a small force in a perpendicular direction. I've also identifies two weaknesses. You need to stand in one place for your ability to work, and you need to accurately judge the amount of force necessary to deflect each attack. Too much or too little, and your 'perfect' defense won't work." – Ishida

If 01 had the ability to think for himself, he would have been surprised to find out that his skill was so quickly identified and its weakness clearly exposed. He would also have experienced fear, which might have saved him since it would force him to come up with either a counter-strategy or an escape plan.

But none of that happened. Prototype 01 was inflexible and could only fight with how he was programmed. He was limited to an uncreative and restricted fighting style, which would lead to his downfall.

"So if I randomly vary the amount of power with each of my arrows fired in quick succession, you should eventually be unable to deflect them." Ishida concluded as he prepared to open his Elemental Realm.

"I call upon the Spirit of the Wind. Open the gates to the Sky Realm and become my instrument! Breathe renewed life into the fallen warrior!" Wisps of swirling air current circled around the Quincy, forming into large wings that attached to his back. The bow in his hands changed form to become more intricate in design.

"Seal of the Wind: Crushing Hurricane Shot!" he shouted as his strongest attack accelerated at 100 times the force of a single arrow. The blowback from the attack was enormous, but Prototype 01 was able to barely manage deflecting the attack with his telekinetic ability.

Ishida had predicted this and quickly closed the Gate to his Elemental Realm. The rapid decrease in energy felt unusual but he shook off the feeling and fired a base-level arrow which pierced through 01's psychic shield and into the enemy's ribcage.

The Quincy's assault wasn't over yet as he opened the Gate to the Sky Realm again and fired a full powered projectile. But just as quickly as the attack left the bow, Ishida closed the Gate and fired another base-level spiritual arrow. The continuous opening and closing of the Elemental Realm was taxing on his body but his plan looked to be working.

Prototype 01 couldn't keep up with the rapid changes in strength and speed of his opponent's attacks. 01 had to use everything he had to block the strong attack, but that left him defenseless against the weaker secondary attack. Even though the automaton's mental 'will' to fight was unyielding, his physical body was dying from the numerous injuries.

Huge open wounds covered 01 from head to top, and finally the artificial being collapsed from lack of blood supporting his system.

Ishida struggled to maintain an even breath as his entire body succumbed to the stress and exhaustion of releasing and sealing the Sky Realm. This battle was over.

Orihime v Prototype 02

"Shield Breaker." That was what Orihime guessed 02's ability was. When the Prototype put both of his hands on her Santen Kesshun spell it shattered almost immediately.

She had quickly put some distance between her and her opponent. Such a strong close range-type fighter should be dealt with at long range. "Koten Zanshun!" Orihime chanted as Tsubaki raced away at high speed.

02 faced the attack head on and brought his left hand up to block it. Unbelievably, the attack spell appeared to have been stopped. But that wasn't all that happened. The Prototype brought up his right hand and smashed it into his left which was holding Tsubaki in place. The spirit shattered into small particles of golden light, as Orihime recalled the attack into her hairpins.

Whatever 02's ability was, it became apparent that it was more than a shield breaker. Orihime would have to try something else. "Ye lord! Mask of blood and flesh, all creation, flutter of wings, ye who bears the name of Man! Inferno and pandemonium, the sea barrier surges, march onto the south! Hado number 31! Shakkaho!" A red ball of energy channeled into her palms and was released.

Orihime watched as Prototype 02 used his left hand to hold the kido spell in place, and then smashed his right palm into the orb of red energy, destroying it in s show of light and sound. That confirmed what his ability was. 02 used his left hand to block and control objects, and possibly analyze their structural make-up and then he used his right hand to break it apart at the microscopic level.

If that was the case, Orihime would have to use more drastic measures. "Open the gates to the Realm of Light. Clustering hopes become a new star. Its shining omnipotence reveals all. Seal of Light: Nova, Fist of the Burning Sun!"

Orihime's appearance changed in a flash of light as it always does when she opens her Elemental Realm. Her gloved fists glowed with white spiritual fire as she prepared to fight her opponent in hand-to-hand combat.

"It's time to go all out!" Nova Orihime shouted confidently as she struck a pose.

"Since energy attacks won't work on you, I'll just have to beat the crap out of you with my own two hands!" Tendrils of spiritual energy circled around her as she channeled it into her feet to launch her forward at devastating speed.

The first punch thrown was blocked by 02's left arm. An echo of spiritual waves rebounded off the impact and spread out in ripples in slow motion.

"Ora ora ora ora! Pow!" she taunted as her combination moves connected.

Program initiating… - Prototype 02

Technique: Shattering Disassociation

The command was entered into the automaton's mind and the execution had started. 02's left fist glowed light blue.

Left arm: Analysis

Nova Orihime's fist connected with his, resounding in a large echoing sonic boom. The prototype took this opportunity to try to disable his opponent.

Right arm: Destruction

The arm connected with Orihime's glowing fist. A red shine erupted from the point of contact due to the sound, energy, and heat released from the reaction. But to 02's surprise (if he could feel surprised), the young woman's hand had not shattered into pieces.

"That's not going to work on me! I'm constantly regenerating spiritual energy into my gloves which both add to my attack force and protect my hands from damage. I was hoping this battle could have lasted younger!" – Nova Orihime

"Supernova, End Flare!" A wave of white fire consumed 02 from point blank range. The residual blowback from the attack was powerful as it incinerated the wall behind the Prototype.

Orihime closed the gate to the Light Realm, her task finished.

Ichigo v Prototype 03

Program initiating… - Prototype 03

Technique: Ghost Hand

Ichigo felt the floor beneath him shift violently. The metallic tile under his feet suddenly upturned and hovered in place. Other tiles around him performed the same maneuver. His opponent looked to be absolutely still as metal and steel pieces from different parts in the room began to rotate around his form. 03's katana was among these pieces.

"What the hell is this?" – Ichigo

A strange sense of static electricity hovered over Ichigo's skin as 03's control over the pieces increased. Suddenly, three sharp projectiles flew at him with terrifying speed. The shinigami from Karakura skillfully dodged and deflected the shards of metal. But it seemed the onslaught had no pause as more and more daggers of metal and steel flew at him.

"Magnetism? Is that what this is?" Ichigo confirmed his guess as the Prototype's storm of metallic projectiles rained down upon him.

Block…dodge…block…deflect…dodge…deflect. The mental mantra echoed in Ichigo's head as he kept up with the attacks from all directions. But staying on defense really wasn't his preference so his eyes sharpened on his opponent, ready for a counter maneuver.

"Getsuga Tensho!" the wave of Reiryoku arced wildly cutting a path through the storm of debris. For a moment, 03 lost control over his magnetic ability as he was forced to dodge the attack.

Not done yet! Ichigo fired two more of his energy attacks, effectively disabling his opponent's technique long enough to open his gate. "Open the gates to the Realm of Darkness. The absent void is all consuming. Bend to my will and defy destiny!"

The transformation was hurried. As soon as the black tattoos formed on his arms, they quickly seeped into his blade which he stabbed into the floor in front of him.

"Seal of Darkness: Eruption!" The ground shook furiously as black lines of reiatsu shot from the puncture point and raced across the floor. With each shadow cast upon the attack, it grew in strength.

Finally, as the lines converged upon the unmoving Prototype the end was dealt. A column of black light and energy exploded from beneath 03's feet. The dark fire consumed him, blowing a hole through the ceiling that most assuredly reached the surface at ground level.

The Gate closed, Ichigo reverted into his normal form.

Rukia v Prototype 04

Even though Rukia, knew the name of her zanpakuto and her techniques, she was still hesitant about using the full extent of her powers. Viral was a ruthless user of these very same skills and Rukia's fear was rooted in her previous lack of control.

04's commands were finally received. Program Initiating…Technique: Release of Form

Rukia watched as 04's body twisted and turned unnaturally. It made her sick when the Prototype's bones had apparently been reduced to a viscous and more flexible substance. It was then that she realized 04's ability was a type of shape shifting/body extension.

A fist rocketed towards her from quite a distance away—Prototype 04's arm had extended to a length greater than 10 meters. She tried to cut the exposed arm but as soon as the sharp edge connected it felt like it was cutting through chewing gum.

Injuring 04 with normal means looked to be an impossible task. Rukia needed to compose herself if she wanted to defeat this abomination. Rapid extension and consecutive contractions require a significant heat tolerance in order to prevent tear and break. She knew this and that meant she also knew how to act on 04's weakness.

A cooling effect on Prototype 04's skin would be enough to counter and destabilize his unusual ability. Most people in her position would consider themselves lucky at the fact that they were equipped with such a zanpakuto that could provide the solution. But she was still hesitant.

Viral was just a parasite. It wasn't me in control. That's what Orihime had urged her to realize. Rukia wanted to believe it, but her inner turmoil still held her back.

An elastic hand extended towards her and wrapped around her left ankle tightly, effectively trapping her. Prototype 04 dragged Rukia towards him, watching her struggle in a vain attempt to get free. The automaton reshaped his right arm into a spear shape and fired it at her.

Rukia moved her head to the side to avoid the strike that would have killed her. But the sharpened makeshift-projectile still dug into her shoulder. It retracted back into the body of 04 almost as quickly as it attacked.

The former God corps shinigami clutched her shoulder in pain. It was actually the first time she experienced such a feeling since she had regained control of her body. It felt strange, but more importantly it provided her with an epiphany.

Pain. She had actually felt that intense reaction. Such a foreign sensation provided her with a sense of self. It meant she was alive, and that she was in control of her own body. This realization was enough to restore some more of her identity and confidence for a moment. This flash of self-evident truth allowed her to call out the attack that would end the battle for 04.

"Tsugi no Mai, Hakuren!" A wall of ice formed in front of her and consumed the sight in front of her. Everything cooled around Prototype 04 as the spiritually-charged ice encased him. His shape-shifting abilities were halted since the genetically altered cells within him couldn't cope with the sudden decrease in temperature.

If he could scream in pain—the program in his head wouldn't allow it—04 would have. The ice tomb that permeated throughout his entire body shattered, his form falling away along with it.

His enemy in pieces before her, Rukia couldn't help but feel conflicted. Was this a triumph, or was this evidence of her earlier worries. Was she as deadly and vicious as Viral was?

Sado v Prototype 05

"El Directo!" the juggernaut teen shouted as a blast of spiritual energy launched from his fist. 05 had kept his sword punctured into the ground in front of him. As the attack raced towards him, the Prototype performed a rather peculiar counter.

The automaton soldier flicked his blade with two of his fingers. A small vibration—only noticeable from a really close distance—shook the dug in katana. Sado watched as his attack reached the sword and exploded into a shower of harmless light particles.

Program initiating… - Prototype 05

Technique: Empowered Resonance

05 lightly struck the zanpakuto in the ground once again. The vibration carried and extended out into the air around them. Sado watched as the metallic floor cracked and pieces shattered into dust as the sound wave permeated outwards.

The Prototype then withdrew his katana a centimeter higher out of the ground, still leaving it imbedded in the surface, and struck it with his fingers once again. This time the metal didn't shatter. Instead, Sado felt a painful ringing noise reach his ears. He clutched his head as his vision shook violently. Blood began to leak out of his ears and nose. His eyes felt watery and a sharp stinging sensation suddenly hit the back of his head. But then it all stopped.

The tall young man tried to shake off the strange pain that had coursed through him less than a moment ago. Did that have something to do with his blade vibrating? He replayed 05's disguised attack in his head. The first time 05 used his technique, it shattered his attack. The second time, it broke the floor. The last time, it somehow hurt him. There was one physical property that existed, Sado guessed his opponent was exploiting.

Resonance Frequency. Every object has a resonance frequency, which is the frequency of vibrations that when applied, shatters the very structure of the object. Apparently, 05 could use his katana to emit varying levels of resonance frequencies that could theoretically break anything.

05's adjustments corresponded with the Prototype's attempts at finding the exact frequency he could use to severely injure Sado. The young man realized this and decided to act fast before the automaton could use his technique again.

"Open the gates to the Earth Realm. Share your gift and craft my will. Forge my weapon. Seal of the Earth: Spear of the Land!" Black Iron sand exploded out of the cracks in the walls. The whole structure was built underground, so that made the collection process easier. The particles formed a long spear that was held solidly in Sado's hands.

However Sado's used his mastery of the Earth and continued absorbing minerals and elements from the surrounding dirt. An armor encased his body from head to toe, resembling bleached-white bones. Normally, this type of defense would be weak, but Sado had a plan.

Prototype looked to be analyzing his opponent's change in structure. Adjusting the katana—used as a tuning fork—05 struck the blade with his fingers. The automaton didn't realize his mistake, and it cost him dearly.

The vibrations he initiated in his blade were set at the resonance frequency to shatter Sado's bone armor, but that meant it was also set at the exact frequency to destroy his own skeletal structure. 05's bones in his arms, legs, and torso shattered and his body collapsed quite painfully. The Prototype lay on the ground, his own ability had defeated him.

Sado's bone armor shattered away to reveal a secondary armor composed of diamond which shielded his body from the harmful resonance frequency. Closing his Elemental Realm, Sado looked around the room to see that everyone had quite easily defeated their opponents.

These Prototypes were certainly nothing to brag about.

Scene Break – Scene Change to Lab Basement Level 25

Colonel Sever looked at the monitors with seething anger. His prized creations were so easily disposed of, as if they were annoying obstacles rather than the ultimate soldiers they were designed to be.

"GRAAAAAAHHH! I'll kill those insolent brats!"

Scene Break – Scene Change to Lab Ground Floor

"Don't let them get away!" the Colonel's voice echoed through the intercom system. However, unknown to him, the shinigami stationed on the Ground Floor were already knocked unconscious and readily disposed of as Ichigo and the others easily escaped the facility. Compared to the experimental soldiers on the 10 th basement floor, the rest of the guards were easy pickings.

Scene Break – Scene Change to Camp 13

The Warden was conversing with some of the guards, planning to increase the workload of the camp slaves as soon as their shift ended, when suddenly a loud explosion rocked the headquarters.

"What the hell was that? !" the Warden inquired furiously.

Several guards ran outside to deal with the commotion, only to be cut down as the demonic form of Zaraki Kenpachi ascended the stairs up to the high tower that overlooked the camp.

This beast of a man had cast off his disguise. A golden aura of deathly Reiryoku encased his muscular form. The steps beneath his feet cracked from the sheer spiritual pressure that exuded from him. The Warden pissed himself as he stared into the eyes of the 'Rogue of the Rukongai'. A man thought to be a monster, shinigami from all over the God corps knew to fear Zaraki.

"What…what are you doing here? !" the Warden stuttered as all feeling left his legs.

The eyepatch wearing man crept closer and closer to the terrified Captain. His enormous form towered over the cowering camp warden. A bloodthirsty smirk adorned his expression.

"I'm just here on a visit." He said with a maniacal laugh.

The Warden stared into Kenpachi's glowing eye, recognition finally coming back to him. And that only served to increase his fear of the man.

"You! You're that boy from all those years ago! You killed my Captain!" the Warden screamed.

"Hahaha! I would ask for your name, but I don't care to remember pigs like you." – Zaraki

"W-wwait! I'll give you anything you want! Anything! Just name it!" – Warden

Zaraki paused for a moment faking consideration at the warden's desperate plea. "…"

"How about this? I'll give you something." – Zaraki

"I'll give you the name of the man who ended your life! Zaraki Kenpachi, Rogue of the Rukongai!" An explosion of power surged through his blade as the demonic man killed the pathetically weeping warden.

The Headquarters tower collapsed in a heap of rubble taking with it an entire section of wall. Kenpachi emerged from the pile of debris, unscathed as he powered down his flaring energy. The slave camp inmates emerged from their shacks, looking around in amazement at the destruction.

The man who had caused it all stood tall and roared loudly at the crowd. "Follow me if you want freedom! To leave behind the tyranny of the God corps and to grasp your future with your own hands, follow me! Beyond this nightmare is a world you can live in freely!"

The crowd was mixed with awe, disbelief, hope, and happiness. They could feel the metaphorical 'chains' holding them down, release. Together they left this nightmare, following the Rogue into the horizon to a free life.

End Chapter 16

(Author's Note: The planning out stage for the fights in this chapter felt a lot better when I wrote it. But then when I actually put it out in a full length chapter, it just didn't feel good at all. Oh well.

No omake this chapter. This was released late enough as it is. Remember, I'm starting the 3 day – 1 chapter schedule now. See you next time.)

Quote from a Future Chapter:

"In Hell, we go to war when we're bored...we get bored a lot."

Next Time:

Chapter 17: Factory