Disclaimer: I don't own anything.

A Hollow Maelstrom

Chapter 12

''I-I can't'' Orihime choked out.

''Why not?'' Naruto asked her.

''He killed Kuchiki-san!'' she sobbed. ''You promised-''

''-That I would do my best and I did. That doesn't mean I'm perfect however. I had my Fraccion leave your friend alive when they could have easily finished her off. One of your other friends has found her, and judging by the reiatsu one of your Captains. You shouldn't have any worries. Now Orihime-san, I'm going to have to ask you again, please heal AA.'' Naruto told her.

He was standing in her quarters, the body of Aaroniero on the floor. His glass head was cracked and broken, the heads spilling out over the floor. Ggio had taken time to retrieve both of them. Slowly Orihime's hairpins separated.

The golden light surrounded Aaroniero once again as Naruto watched in amazement as the Espada was restored back to life. The glass head reformed and red liquid filled the head of the Espada once again. Slowly the head's eyes opened up and Aaroniero rose once more.

''W-Where am I?'' the two heads spoke in unison.

''You live once more. Thanks to me. It was my Fraccion who retrieved your body and brought to the Orihime-san here.'' Naruto indicated.

''You brought me here?'' Aaroniero's voices murmured.

''Yes, I.'' nodded Naruto. ''But we'll talk about that later. Why didn't you tell me that you had the memories of a Shinigami Lieutenant? That's one of their higher ranking officers!''

''I-I did't think it was relevant.'' Aaroniero offered hesitantly.

Naruto sighed.

''The top four are moving out. You are to accompany me personally and tell me everything about the enemy Captains as quickly as you can.''


Before Renji's eyes the dark skinned Arrancar faded away into the wind. He slowly got up, shifting rubble out of the way as he looked at the bloodied form of his Captain. Byakuya had arrived to rescue him in the nick of time.

For the first few minutes to the fight they tested the waters, sparring with each other. Renji tried to help, but Byakuya had told him in no uncertain terms to stay out of his battle. It was typical behavior for the Captain.

Then the Espada released his zanpaktou. The Arrancar's release was strange to say the least, but deadly. Renji himself remembered blacking out as the Espada took control of his body. When he looked, the ashes of the Arrancar where already fading away into the wind.

''Captain-'' Renji began.

''Do not speak, but observe your own wounds.'' Byakuya admonished him.

''I'll be there soon.'' Hanatarou looked up from his healing work on Rukia's body. He had arrived in the aftermath of the battle.

''No, I can move I have to help Ichigo!'' Renji got up slowly.

''No.'' Byakuya shook his head again. ''That fight you don't have to worry about.

Sand was kicked up everywhere as Ichigo got up slowly. He coughed out a bit of sand and retrieved Zangetsu from the ground. Nearby he spotted the form of one of the 4th Division medics moving through the sands to watch over a wounded Chad.

''Eh that was boring'' remarked Kenpachi as he looked at the massive corpse of Yammy . ''Poison ain't no way to win a fight.''

''That's very rude, you should be glad to have ingested the antidote I gave to you beforehand.'' Mayuri hissed.

The battle with Yammy was long and brutal. Kenpachi at first had an easy time cutting off various body parts while Konjiki Ashisogi Jizō gouged and poisoned the monstrous Arrancar. However due to the immense reiatsu that Yammy possessed, the poison took a slow time in affecting him. Eventually Yammy transformed into a newer, more ape-like form and demolished the caterpillar-like form of Ashisogi Jizō.

Then Unohana finally stepped in. Ichigo had never seen the woman fight before, but it was truly breathtaking. Yammy finally died between the blades of Kenpachi, Unohana and the poison of Mayuri's bankai.

Speaking of which….

Ichigo fell to the ground, coughing up blood. He looked up towards the 12th Division Captain.

''Y-you.'' He choked out.

''Oh yes, the antidote.'' Mayuri mused. He fished quizzically in his bag for a moment, inspecting it for a blue vial which he threw at Ichigo. The Substitute Shinigami caught it and gulped it all down quickly.


''I don't want your thanks human.'' Mayuri snapped back. He looked over the massive corpse of Yammy.

''It's going to be a pain dissecting this.'' He remarked. ''Nemu!''

''Yes sir?''

''Retrieve a blood sample.''

''Man this really was boring. Hey Ichigo did you find anything tougher?'' Kenpachi asked him casually.

''Sorry, can't talk. I've got to save Inoue.'' Ichigo turned around, looking for Ishida who climbed slowly out of the sands.

''You two shouldn't be moving. You are wounded. Let me look at you.'' Unohana said calmly to them.

''But Inoue-'' Ichigo began.

''Now.'' Unohana said firmly. The orange-haired Shinigami swallowed nervously.

''Yes ma'am.''

Then then Tenteikura hit everyone.

''For your success against the Espada you have my deepest respect.'' Aizen's voice filled the air.

''Success against us? He doesn't hold much respect for us.'' Naruto muttered as he walked into the chamber room of the Fifth Tower.

Nelliel looked up at Naruto walked into the room, Aaroniero behind him. His Fraccion moved in formation as well. Next to her were Pesche and Dondochakka, each flanking Orihime. Grimmjow was sitting bored on a nearby pillar and Rudobon stood at attention.

''Naruto,'' she said, getting up. '' Is it time?'' she asked.

''Yes. Soon Aizen is going to finish and we'll deploy.'' He confirmed. ''He'll probably leave you in charge, seeing as after Ulquiorra you are the highest ranking Espada here.'' He told her.

He moved in closer and leaned in to whisper into his ear. ''Is it time for the plan?'' she asked softly, so no one could hear.

''Yes.'' Naruto trailed a finger over her scar. ''That thing is unsightly. Perhaps you should remove it.'' His eyes flickered over to Orihime.

''-and I'm leaving you in charge of the girl, Nelliel.'' came Aizen's voice from the casting kido, cutting off her reply. She looked at Naruto as they seperated.

''Don't die.'' She said to him.

''I won't.'' smiled Naruto.

Aizen Souske stepped out into the air above Karakura town. He looked down at the faces of his old comrades. Their expressions stern and unforgiving before him.

It was only to be expected that they would be like that, he thought.

''Looks like we made it just in time.'' Yamamoto said gruffly, his voice carrying across the winds.

''Made it in time? Where on earth do you have proof for such a thing?'' Aizen responded, a knowing smirk on his face. ''I know this is not the real Karakura town, but this is not something to be concerned about.'' He looked behind him.

''Starrk, Naruto, Harribel and Ulquiorra, come.'' He commanded.

Four garganta opened in the middle of the sky. Reality spitting apart. Starrk rubbed his head as Lilynette picked her nose. Black panes folded away from the blue, sky, revealing Naruto's calm face as his four Fraccion and Aaroniero stood behind him. Harribel stood calmly as her Fraccion followed her. Ulquiorra stood alone and stoic.

''Aaroneiro?'' Aizen turned to look beneath him.

''I revived him Aizen-sama.'' answered Naruto. ''I find his company entertaining.'' the Seguna explained.

Aizen looked him over for an instant, eyes studying him, then he turned back to face Yamamoto.

''Since Karakura is in Soul Society, then I'll just destroy you all here and complete the key on Soul Society.''

The Arrancar stepped forward.

''It's just that simple.''

Silence filled the air as Naruto looked over the forms of the Captains.

''That's Captain-Commander Yamamoto, he is extremely powerful.'' Aaroneiro had told him minutes ago.

He looked over, seeing Hitsugaya, a petite woman, some sort of dog-man, a white-haired man, somebody that looked like Starrk and a bunch of other Lieutenants that did't really matter in the grand scheme of things.

The difference of power between a Captain and a Lieutenant was immense. Naruto himself could single-handedly defeat every Lieutenant and Fraccion on this field combined. Only Ayon would give him the slightest pause.

Simply put, this was a battle of the Captain class, the Fraccion and Lieutenants where a mere sideshow.

''So….'' Naruto began slowly. ''Are we going to do this or what-''

He was interrupted as Yamamoto's cane transformed into a zanpaktou.

''Everyone step back. Turn all creation into ash, Ryuujin Jakka'' the ancient Captain said.

An immense pillar of fire filled the air and Naruto's eyes winded. The power of this shikai was immense and not be underestimated. A wave of fire lashed forward as the Captain-Commander brought his blade chasing down.

In a second Aizen,Tousen and Gin where enveloped in raging fire. Naruto felt the heat keenly on his skin as he fell back in the air, whistling in appreciation as he saw the fire cage form around Aizen. That was impressive.

''That's pretty hot.'' Naruto commented.

''Joukaku Enjou. They can't leave that wall of fire for a little while at least.'' The old man gruffly said. Naruto's ears picked up to hear his words.

''Now let's take our time in crushing them shall we?'' he spoke outloud.

''Not a chance old geezer.'' Naruto smirked. He turned to the other Arrancar.

''Does anyone have any objection to me taking command?''

''None, Naruto.'' Harribel told him.

''None, Naruto-sama.'' Ulquiorra said coldly.

Starrk shrugged. Naruto knew he did't care at all. Lilynette kicked him angrily.

''Now now, what have get got here? We have many enemies and Aizen is stuck in the flames.'' Naruto remarked.

''I think you underestimate Aizen-sama Naruto.'' Harribel told him.

''Maybe, but let's not take any chances now shall we? Now as for the battle-'' Naruto looked over the Shinigami.

''We can't stay on the defensive at all. If we do that the Shinigami we will just outmaneuver us and dictate the terms of the battle.'' Naruto said.

''Alright, the town beneath us is a fake created by Soul Society. Aizen said we have to infiltrate Soul Society to create the King's Key, but do we really need to go to all that trouble?'' Naruto asked.

''The pillars?'' Ulquiorra asked him.

''Yeah, four pillars, destroy those and the real human town reappears here.'' Naruto said confidently.

He turned to Findor.

''Will you do the honors?''

''Yes sir.'' The Fraccion brought up his wrist blade and gave a sharp whistle. Reality ripped apart and four massive hollows crawled their way into existence slowly. They looked up and roared, launching themselves against each pillar.

''The pillars should be at the cardinal points right?'' Naruto commented to himself.

Across the battleline Naruto could see a fat Shinigami begin to panic at the discovery.

''Fools.'' Yamamoto's voice rang across the air. The hollows fell apart, sliced into pieces, their bodies fading away as they were purified.

''Do you really think we would leave such important locations undefended? No, they are guarded by elite fighters.'' Yamamoto proclaimed. Naruto looked over and sensed four new reiatsu.

''Reinforcements? I see.'' Naruto turned to his comrades.

''We'll be forming up into teams and taking out the pillars one by one. This not a sparring match but the real thing. Do try and take prisoners if possible for interrogation, but be reasonable and place our side first.'' Naruto told everybody.

''Now, no offense Aaroniero, but you aren't strong enough to face the Captains if I'm correct, you should be good enough for the Lieutenants though.''

''None taken.'' gurgled the Novano.

''Alright. Ggio, Mila-Rose, you take the North Tower, Findor, Sun-Sun, Tesla, you get the East, Avirama, Apacci, you get the South. Harribel take the West. Starrk, Ulquiorra, move to engage the Captains with me and keep them busy. Aaroniero stay with me and keep on feeding me information about my opponents.'' Naruto ordered.

Harribel's head snapped in confusion. Naruto knew full well that her Fraccion fought best as a team. Why was he splitting them up? It made no sense at all.


''-I've got it all taken care of.'' Naruto assured her.

She did't know that he needed the pillars to be intact to slow down Aizen's plans as much as possible. Naruto did't care about the Ouken or Aizen's war. He just wanted to extract as many comrades as he could from this mess and kill Aizen. Ayon would screw up his plans if her Fraccion summoned him, he didn't need an uncontrolled berserker on the battlefield.

And so far his plan was going according to plan. He just needed for Wonderwiess to appear and then….

He would strike.

But in the meantime he would keep up appearances.

''Let's start this party Ladies and Gentlemen! Sharpen your blades and go!'' Naruto shouted, drawing his sword.

''Get ready! Put the entirely of your sprit on the line here! Be a steel wall even if your flesh is torn asunder to the last shards of bone!'' Yamamoto roared.

''You must not let them take even a single step into Soul Society! All Lieutenants move and redeploy to the pillars! Captain Komamura you have the female Espada!'' he continued as the Arrancar launched forwards.

''Wow! That's hot, man the Captain-Commander really went all out,'' Gin whistled. He looked over to Aizen.

''So what's the plan Captain Aizen? We can't exactly do much from here.'' He admitted.

''There is no plan. This battle will be long over before we need to lift a finger'' Aizen told him.

''Hm? Really, aren't you a little disturbed by Naruto-kun? After all he's the one who's going to assume command.'' Gin.

Aizen looked at him, a faint smile in his lips.

''I am quite well aware of Naruto-kun's ambitions. Let me repeat this to you. There is no plan. I am amused by my pawns. I'm looking forward to see what Naruto-kun's next move is.''

Huracan came out of its sheath in time to block a sword from the petite female across from him. She was clad in the haori of the Second Division and her dark hair was cut short around her head, with the exception of two long braids, she was rather pretty in a tomboyish way.

''Who exactly are you?'' Naruto asked as he began to force her back.

''I don't tell my name to targets.'' She responded, zipping around and kicking at him, only to have Naruto catch her and fling her back. She landed in the air, skidding back as she looked up in disbelief. Nobody since Yoruichi-sama had been able to counter that move.

''Soi Fon of the Second Division. She is a speed-type with a poison-type zanpaktou.'' Aaroniero reported.

''Thanks AA.'' Naruto adjusted his stance in the air. Soi Fon looked at the strange Arrancar behind the other Espada. How had he known that?

''I might as well tell you my name since your Second also.'' Soi Fon's eyes winded as she caught the implication of those words.

''Segunda Espada, Naruto Uzumaki.''

''And I am Novano Espada, Aar-''

''Just call him AA. Trust me, it's a lot easier than his full name.'' Naruto interjected.

''Toshiro Hitsugaya.'' said Ulquiorra tonelessly as he locked blades with the white haired Captain. The shorter Captain glared at him. Their green eyes matched each other with the same cold expression.

''Naruto-sama has given a full report on your abilities.'' Ulquiorra continued.

Hitsugaya frowned.

''What rank are you Espada?'' he asked as the two speared with a clash of blades.

''Cuatro Espada, Ulquiorra Cifer.''

Harribel stooped in midair as a massive Shinigami appeared before her. She unsheathed Tiburon from her back and studied her new opponent. He was almost twice as tall as her and appeared to have the head of a dog.

''This is where you stop.'' the Shinigami accounted, hefting his own blade.

''What are you?'' Harribel asked. ''I have never seen a Shinigami such as yourself before.''

''It doesn't matter.'' Komamura said as he charged in.

Hisagi looked up as two Arrancar appeared in front of him. One was a youthful looking boy wearing some sort of tiger skull on his head. He clutched a squared-off katana. The other was a beautiful woman with deeply tanned skin. She was carrying a broadsword.

''Well here we are. Tell me what's your name Shinigami?'' the woman asked.

''Hisagi Shuuhei, Lieutenant of the Ninth Division.'' he answered, his voice guarded as he brought Kazeshini up.

''Lieutenant. I see. Let's do this quickly.'' Ggio said. He appeared in front of Hisagi in a burst of sonido and Tigre Estoque collided with Hisagi's blade. Rapidly the two flew into an exchange of attacks. Ggio smirked, this was a highly skilled opponent if he was reading him correctly.

Suddenly the Fraccion lashed out with a kick, sending Hisagi flying back several feet. Then Ggio rushed at him, sword pointed out. Hisagi leapt out of the way only to hastily block Mila-Rose's zanpaktou. He grunted as Ggio reappeared and kicked him in the side of his head.

''I've got him!'' Mila-Rose shouted gleefully as he moved in, Leona raised.

''Growl! Haineko!'' swirling ash suddenly shielded Hisagi.

''Matsumoto-san.'' Hisagi looked up to see her appear with shunpo beside him.

''Do you need help?'' she asked.

Findor looked down at the bald Shinigami in front of him. Beside him Sun-Sun and Tesla appeared, blades drawn.

''I'm-'' the Shinigami began.

''Ikkaku Madarame of the 11th Division. We already know about you and your comrade who I fought earlier.'' Findor said. He finished chipping away at his mask.

Ikkaku peered at him. ''You're the guy that Yumichika fought? So is it going to be all of you at the same time?'' he hefted his zanpaktou, already in shikai.

''Sorry, but the 11th don't do anything more than one-on-one's'' said Yumichika as he appeared on the platform.

''Eh?'' Ikkaku looked at him.

''The Captain-Commander is ordering me everybody to reinforce the three pillars. Captain Komamura is covering my post.'' Yumichika said.

''One-on-ones? I'm sorry, but this is war. Let's go.'' Tesla said as he moved in, Sun-Sun following him as Yumichika was suddenly cornered by two Arrancar, but before he could raise his blade, Tesla's sword was stopped by another Shinigami.


''It would be better if this was three-on-three.'' Iba said, his zanpaktou already unsheathed.

''Izuru I'm here!'' Ōmaeda huffed as he landed next to the stoic 3rd division Lieutenant. Up ahead some sort of shirtless Arrancar was yelling random threats at him while a female with short hair looked annoyed at the whole behavior.

Frustrated, Apacchi slapped Avirama.

''What the hell are you doing!'' she shrieked at him.

''It's my ritual I have to do it!''

''It's stupid that's what! We're here to fight not to talk.''

''Tch.'' Avirama drew his zanpaktou. ''I guess sure.'' He turned to the Shinigami.

''Well here we come! Scalp! Aguila!''

''Are you scared?' Nelliel asked the girl. Orihime looked at her, hesitating to say something.

''She's so quiet all the time. What's wrong? Scared?'' Grimmjow asked.

''She probably is,'' Nelliel agreed. ''But don't worry child. Can you hear me?'' he asked.

Orihime bowed her head. ''Yes ma'am.''

Nelliel nodded. ''I'm not going to hurt you. Grimmjow I think we should put Naruto's plan into action.''

''Action?'' Luppi looked around. Rudobon glanced at her.

''What plan?'' Luppi asked.

''Aizen-sama stated he had no use for the girl anymore? He also stated that the enemy here is free to come and take her. It's come to my attention and that of the Segunda that the enemy is primarily after the girl. And seeing as we have no further use for her, I have one solution.'' Nelliel gently took Orhime.

''Please don't be worried. Grimmjow please stay here with Luppi, Rudobon come with me.'' Nelliel commanded as she disappeared in a burst of sonido.

Rudobon followed her, along with a group of Calaveras. After a few moments Luppi began to open his mouth, he shut it when Grimmjow began to glare at him.

Ichigo flew over the vast white sands of Los Noches. Orhime was being held in the tower above, he knew that. He felt only adrenalin and panic run through his body after Aizen's message to the Shinigami in Hueco Mundo.

The bastard had tricked them all. Ichigo felt like an idiot for running into such a trap. Now his hometown would be destroyed right now if not for the efforts of Soul Society. He had to rescue Orihme and find a way to return.

Then he stopped in midair as an Arrancar appeared in front of him. She was a tall beautiful woman with lone green hair. Her mask fragment took the form of a horned helmet on her head. She had Orhime in her hands as she set herself down lightly on the sands. Another skull-headed Arrancar appear behind her.

''Let her go!''Ichigo began, reappearing to summon his mask.

''Okay. I will let her go, on one condition.'' The woman said.

''Huh?'' this was not what Ichigo was expecting.

''I am the Quinto Espada. Nelliel Tu Odelschwanck. We have no further use for the girl and I see no reason to hold her any longer. I will release her to you without a fight if you and your allies agree to leave Los Noches.'' She stated.

''Kurosaki-kun'' said Orhime softly.

''I realize that you are a substitute Shinigami and not officially part of the Gotei 13's military. However allies have come to rescue you and your friends.'' Nelliel said.

''But how are we supposed to get out of here?'' Ichigo asked.

Nelliel shrugged. ''Your problem, not mine. Now do we have a deal?'' she asked.

Ichigo paused, looking at Orihime's hopeful eyes.

''Yes.'' He said, lowering his zanpaktou. Nelliel nodded and let go of the girl who fell to the sands softly. Ichigo quickly grabbed Orihime as Nelliel stepped away.

''Leave Los Noches at least. Rudobon will be monitoring the central compounds. If any of your allies attempt to attack us we will defend ourselves.'' Nelliel told him before the Arrancar disappeared in a burst of sonido.

''Inoue are you alright?'' Ichigo asked with concern.

''Y-yes Kurosaki-kun.'' She stuttered.

Author's Note: To answer the question of Aizen dealing with Naruto's plan to overthrow him, let me put it like this:

He's fully expecting betrayal. To him the Espada are mere pawns to be used. In fact the only Arrancar he actually needs is Wonderweiss. The rest are disposable. In essence Aizen is not aware of Naruto's exact plan, he knows his general intent towards him, he simply doesn't care. He's just that goddamn arrogant.

I mean, he even flat out states in the manga that he never expected the Espada to trust them and told them not to trust him. He expected the Espada to be self-reliant and not to trust him.

He never trusted anybody and he expects nothing less than betrayal from Naruto. He will deal with it when the time comes, and not a moment before. In Aizen's mind he's a god and had nothing to fear from mere mortals.

Of course Naruto plans to exploit Aizen's arrogance, but for now he's serving Aizen. He''s playing a rather delicate game, being a double-agent.

The Fake Karakura Town battle with contain some pretty big changes from canon. Namely Naruto is not as arrogant as Baraggan and will make much better tactical decisions.

As for the fights I've changed things a little due to the new additions. Harribel is not fighting Hitsugaya because Naruto has briefed everybody of Hitsugaya's abilities beforehand. So obviously she is going to be fighting somebody else.

As for splitting up Harribel's Fraccion, the main reason for that is so they can't summon Ayon and wreck Naruto's plans. Naruto knows about Ayon and how uncontrollable it is and doesn't want that kind of loose cannon running around on the battlefield. Naruto also has no intention of sending in his Fraccion one-by-one. He's sending them in teams. Unlike Baraggan he actually cares about his Fraccion''s welfare.

About Unohana fighting Yammy, I tried to skip over much of the details. According to the databooks she's the of the strongest Captains supposedly, but we've never actually seen her fight in the manga at all. So I went with the safe route.

EDIT: After reviewing my story, the next chapter will take a while to get out as I want to go over and edit this entire story (Which is in dire need of a grammar fix if I am to be honest with myself) that will probably a while.