Chapter 44

Battle of Karakura part 2

"Tick, tick, tick, tick,"

"Stop that,"

"Tick, tick, tick, tick,"

"I said 'stop'" growled Kruoda, this time more forcefully.

"Why?"

"Because," started Kuroda, "it's annoying and childish, for the sake of our shared reputations, quit it."

"Yeesh, someone is in a mood" mocked the Other, Kuroda's less than pleasant twin.

"I'm trapped in my mind, about to be murdered by a psychotic maniac. My daughter was very nearly killed by soul devouring monsters. While my team tries to fight an incredibly difficult battle against the man who is arguably the most dangerous enemy Soul Society has ever face," Kuroda glared at the Other, "I think I have a right to be 'in a mood'"

"Oh? But don't you have faith in your Lieutenant? Rajin right? Shouldn't he be able to lead your squad through this difficult time?" asked the Other with a knowing smirk on his face,

"Rajin is…a wonderful lieutenant. He has assisted me with a great deal of things and I could never replace him. However, I wonder at times if he can replace me," conceded Kuroda, "I find myself wondering if he can truly one day be the Commander of the Black Ops squad."

#

The two beings stood over Karakura town, their eyes locked in a murderous game. It was a game that had been played many times over centuries of history. The game between the assassin and the king.

The king defiant till death, glared into the assassin's eyes. He dares the assassin to come and take his life. He challenges the assassin to try and dethrone the mighty ruler.

The assassin responds with promises, promises that he will kill the king. He will dethrone the ruler. He will walk away with his target's head, its hair wrapped tightly around his fingers.

The game is over, once one of them decides to make their move.

"Death has come for you, King of Hueco Mundo," spoke Rajin for the first time since the game had begun.

"Death? Hmm," Barragan smirked, "how very interesting assassin, that you would use such a word for one who does not fear such a trivial thing as death."

"I'm glad to hear that mighty king, it will make the transition for you so much easier," Rajin shot back.

"Hmph, impudent worm," muttered the elderly Espada. He then raised up a fist and brought it smashing down on his throne of bones. From out of the wreckage he pulled out a massive double-headed battle axe.

Rajin assumed that the weapon was the Arrancar's zanpaktou. With incredible speed he immediately analyzed it.

Large, cumbersome, made for large sweeping strikes.

Long handle, impractical for close quarters fighting.

Power based, not speed, meant to crush opponents with a single blow.

"I doubt that you will even be able to cause me to move from this spot," taunted the Espada,

Rajin snorted, "challenge accepted,"

The shinigami unsheathed his katana and held up to the sky.

"Enter: Denko Te!"

A bright flash came and went, revealing Rajin to be holding his new weapon.

In his hands were a pair of finely crafted Katar. The handles doubled as protection for his hands and were a beautiful gold, the design of each were that of an ornately carved eagle flying through a storm. The blades pointed, sharp, capable of slicing through the air itself.

Both crackled with an ever so subtle charge of electricity, every now and then one could see a small spark crawl across the tip of the blade or around Rajin's hand.

These were Rajin's instruments of death, his tools for killing kings.

It was time they tasted royal blood.

The King of Hueco Mundo took a moment to look over his shoulder as a sudden tower of water smashed through several buildings a mile away.

"Hmm, Harribel," the Espada spat, "she's putting on quite a show, she is eager to show the enemy the pain of her sacrifice."

"Sacrifice?" asked Rajin,

"You're ignorance shows itself Shinigami, yes, sacrifice," answered Barragan, "each Espada signifies an aspect of death. The aspect is the reason for their death as a mortal. It is also the basis behind each Espada's abilities, beliefs, and reason for existing."

"Loneliness, Nihilism, Despair, Destruction, Intoxication, Insanity, Greed, Rage," listed off the Espada, "Harribel's aspect of death is sacrifice. Now-"

The assassin suddenly became a blur, before anyone could blink he was already in front of the King. Barragan was not phased.

He quickly swung his axe down at Rajin, the shinigami flashed stepped out of the way and allowed the blow to follow through.

Off in the distance, a single building was sliced in half. His opponent definitely had destructive power. But from Rajin's current analysis, that was all he had.

Closing the distance, the assassin kicked out with his right foot at the King's face. A split second before his foot could hit the target, Barragan casually tilted his head and allowed the blow to sail passed.

Slightly surprised, Rajin followed up with his right Katar, aiming for the corroded artery just under the ear. The king's mighty axe was suddenly there, stopping the strike form delivering a killing shot.

Barragan retaliated with a wide swing, his axe nearly cutting Rajin in half but failing as the shinigami retreated.

"Interesting," whispered Rajin, replaying everything that had just happened.

He had been moments from landing a blow each time. But at the last moment, it almost felt like his body weighed itself down for just an instant, allowing his opponent time to avoid each strike. This required further testing.

Disappearing in a blur of shunpo, Rajin positioned himself right behind Barragan. His arms crossed, Rajin sliced his weapons out in an X, hoping to decapitate the Espada. But once again the Arrancar's axe came up at the last second and the blades of his Katar screeched along its head.

Down came Barragan's axe again, hoping to cut Rajin right down the middle.

The Shinigami spun out of the way, its sharp edge whipping right past him. Taking the momentum of the spin, he struck out with another kick. This one went straight for Barragan's eyes.

But yet again Rajin was too slow and the King threw his head back just out of reach. The Espada then reached up with one large hand and grabbed Rajin by the ankle. He proceeded to spin the Shinigami around and around before tossing him down at a buildings below.

Rajin went flying but managed to recover mid-fall.

It had happened again, each time he had nearly hit his opponent something slowed down his movements. Had he been a lesser Shinigami he might not have noticed it but his well trained eye had picked up on it the first time. The question was, what kind of power was it?

Control of gravity perhaps? Maybe some sort of force field?

"Confused?" Barragan suddenly asked, "It must plague your insignificant mind greatly because you simply can't understand the nature of my power."

Rajin scowled

"Do you remember what I said? An Espada's aspect of death represent much about themselves: Their beliefs, their reason for existence, and even their powers. Have you guessed what my aspect was?"

"Perhaps you would care to enlighten me oh great one," Rajin replied with sarcasm dripping out of his voice,

Barragan smirked, "Aging, that is my aspect. Aging means time. Time is the greatest and most absolute power of death that slowly consumes all things that exist."

The Espada raised a single hand.

"Watch," he instructed,

Suddenly, the large Arrancar was in front of Rajin. His hand was closing in on the Shinigami's left shoulder. Without hesitation, Rajin shunpo'd out of the way, repositioning himself on a far building.

"Oh? You avoided me?" asked Barragan with a small amount of amusement,

"Time," whispered Rajin, so that was the opponent he faced. He could only guess what might have happened if the Espada had touched his shoulder. More than likely it might have faded away or aged rapidly.

Whatever it was, he wasn't about to let it happen.

"Had I touched you your arm would be dangling about limply right now," taunted Barragan, "but it seems your speed is your greatest power. How very fortunate for you, it will allow you to live for just a few more seconds."

Rajin saw Barragan raise his axe, two buildings away.

Then it was coming down for his head, right in front of him.

"When did he move!?"

Rajin quickly rolled out of the way and jumped at the Espada, aiming to pierce his eyes socket. But the Espada's hand came up, realizing the danger Rajin quickly retreated.

As long as he was within arm's reach, the Arrancar could probably age the very bones inside his body and leave him nothing more than a floppy sack of meat on the ground. He needed to try something else.

Moving too fast for the naked eye and stopping only at planned intervals, Rajin began to put his time in the 2nd division to use. Before long a dozen exact replicas of himself, sustained only by the extreme speed of his movement were created.

"Clones? How amusing," muttered Barragan,

"Amusing?" asked all of the Rajins together, "then I hope that for your sake, you die laughing."

Together, all the clones charged forward. A regular enemy would have felt overwhelmed by the amount of attackers, allowing the real Rajin to deliver a single killing strike.

But Barragan was no regular enemy, he was King of Hueco Mundo.

With a single swing of his axe, he annihilated six of the clones. The others closed in on him.

"How pathetic," the Espada suddenly let loose a burst of reiatsu, blasting the remaining clones out of existence with his sheer presence. "You thought this little trick could throw me off? Such IGNORANCE!"

Quicker than his size could suggest, Barragan whipped around and brought his axe down on the real Rajin. Too close to dodge, Rajin threw up his Katar in an X formation.

Barragan's great axe came struck the two much smaller blades. The force was so great that the Shinigami's defense's barely managed to stop the much larger weapon, by then it was but a centimeter from Rajin's face.

His knees buckled and he was forced to one knee.

"Heh," smiled Barragan arrogantly, "that's right, bow before the King, assassin. You are not the first to try for my head and you will not be the last. Your skull shall adorn my throne like all the others."

"Heh," this time Rajin chuckled.

"Hm? You laugh Shinigami? I wouldn't have expected one of your kind to laugh in the face of destruction, weak as you all are."

"Oh I'm not laughing at my death, I just find your words extremely ironic," explained Rajin, "if you're such a great ruler, the King of Hueco Mundo. Then why are you Aizen's underling?"

Those words struck a nerve with the Arrancar, before long he was pressing down harder on the assassin, his rage multiplying his power.

Even as the axe continued to close in Rajin continued his taunts.

"And I saw the way you had to assert yourself until Tyran said you could be in charge. Are you under him as well?"

"INSOLENT…LITTLE…WORM!" Barragan raised his axe back up and prepared to end the Shinigami before him.

Then, there was pain.

The King of Hueco Mundo felt pain, a sharp stabbing sensation on the base of his neck. He turned his eyes towards the source of the sensation and found the snarling face of a woman.

"Hands off the merchandise!"

A single butterfly shaped stamp appeared on the back of Barragan's neck. Soi Fon, the Captain of the 2nd division, raised back her right hand to deliver the second strike that would ultimately end this fight.

"YOU DARE!" another blast of reiatsu caused both Rajin and Soi Fon to be sent skidding away from the Espada.

"YOU DARE HARM THE KING OF HUECO MUNDO?!" roared Barragan, "UP UNTIL NOW I HAVE TOLERATED YOUR EXISTANCE ASSASSIN, BUT WITH THIS ACT I WILL NO LONGER PLAY WITH YOU! I WILL UTTERLY DESTROY YOU!"

"Uh oh," said Rajin as Soi Fon joined him, "I think we might have pissed him off."

"Doesn't matter, I managed to mark him. All I need is one clean strike and we can finish this," she assured him,

"That might be harder than you think," said Rajin, "you heard everything right?"

"Of course," nodded Soi Fon.

It had been her plan in the beginning actually. Rajin would engage Barragan, goading him into revealing everything he could do while Soi Fon hid and observed. As he did, she watched for openings in the Espada's defenses.

His ability to slow the movement of an incoming object had made it difficult but in the end she had found a crack in his defenses and struck. Ultimately it had been the Espada's ability to control time at will that had been his weakness. His power responded to his command. If he did not command it, time would move on at a regular speed.

Now he was only one sting away from death.

"IT IS TIME FOR ME TO END THIS LITTLE GAME!" roared the Espada, he held his axe out and turned its head towards the ground.

"Rot: Arrogante!"

From out of the axe a combination of jet-black and purple flames began to cover and burn away Barragan's flesh. Yet despite the seemingly painful process, the Espada did not scream at all. Instead he remained fixated on the two shinigami before him.

Before long the flames completely consumed him, obscuring the vision of the Shinigami.

But they could feel the terrible power being released. Death was coming for them.

Then something broke out from the flames, a golden crown atop something white. As the flames began to recede, it became clearer that the crown sat upon a pure white skull.

The Espada had been reduced to a bare skeleton, garbed in a great purple cloak with a black tattered fur collar around his neck and the fringes of his sleeves. To Rajin's eyes he looked reminiscent of the old myths describing a lich. A powerful undead brought back to life by means of dark magic.

Considering what he was seeing, he could definitely see the "dark magic" part.

The Espada took a single step in his new form upon the roof top of the building all three of them stood on. Everything around him immediately vanished, rotting away into nothingness at incredible speed.

If he could do that to mere buildings, Rajin could imagine what he could do to people.

"This isn't good," whispered Soi Fon. The Lieutenant of the Black Ops division had to agree, both he and the Captain's style of fighting consisted of getting up close and personal with their opponents. This Arrancar's ability to disintegrate everything around him rendered close quarters combat out of the question.

Rajin's mind immediately went to work calculating possible strategies and outcomes. There had to be some way around that cloud of death.

"Rajin, I have an idea," announced Soi Fon, "it's a long shot but I think it might work."

"At this moment I'm rather open to suggestions," assured Rajin,

"It'll take a moment, I'll need you to distract him for me."

"How long do you need?" asked the Lieutenant as the wave of darkness continued to roll in closer.

"As long as you can give me," she replied quickly. With that said, the small Captain disappeared, leaving Rajin to face the oncoming threat alone.

"Ha!" laughed the Segunda Espada, "your companion abandons you! Such is the way of cowards! It matters not! I will get her later, for now, you shall rot away alone!"

The mist suddenly doubled its advance. Rajin responded immediately by turning his back to it and moving as fast as he could.

The lethal black cloud chased after, keeping the Shinigami on his toes the entire time. Rajin dared stop till he worked out a plan, one moment of rest and he could end up nothing more than a skeleton.

"Yes! Run! RUN! Shinigami! Cower before the King of Hueco Mundo!" roared Barragan with confidence.

"Take this!" a new voice suddenly shouted,

The Segunda Espada's attention was suddenly taken off the fleeing Shinigami as a volley of large chunks of rubble came at him. The cloud of rot that surrounded him made short work of the missiles and the one responsible was quickly found.

Another shinigami, this one fat and ugly. Barragan could practically smell the incompetence on this one.

"One more ant for me to crush? It matters not, whether it was only one or a hundred would make no difference to me."

Lieutenant Omaeda suddenly found himself regretting his brief burst of courage as the dark could of death was now headed in his direction. He did the only sensible thing he could think of at the moment: throw more rocks.

"D-don't think I can be scared so easily!" he said shakily as he used his large flail like weapon to send more rubble flying at his target. Unfortunately, none of them ever came close to hitting their mark, they were all devoured into nothingness. He might as well have simply swung his weapon at empty air.

For Rajin however, Omaeda's blundering had given him exactly what he needed: an example. While others simply saw a failed attack, Rajin saw a successful testing. Seeing the rubble fly into the cloud, Rajin saw what few others would have. He saw that the chunks of buildings and rock did not disappear immediately, instead they traveled for a short period of time before being dissolved. In addition, he saw that the larger the projectile, the longer it lived.

He now had what he needed to fight back.

"Espada!" he yelled, causing Barragan to pause for just a second. "I'm your opponent! Face me!"

"Hmph, so eager to die?" asked Barragan, "fear not assassin, I will crush you in due time. For now I must attend to this worm first."

The Segunda Espada prepared to devour the portly Lieutenant when suddenly there was a flash of light followed by a strange sensation on his left cheek bone: pain.

The King of Hueco Mundo's skull turned to see the assassin, his right katar smoking from having recently fired off a lightning bolt. A smile decorated his smug face.

"you…YOU INSOLENT SLUG!" roared Barragan, turning his full attention onto Rajin.

Rajin pumped his left arm forward, firing off another lightning bolt. A predicted, the cloud of aging dust came to devour the bolt. But instead of simply disintegrating like all other things, it sped right through the substance and struck the King right on the chest.

The impact was enough to cause the Arrancar to stumble backwards. Rajin's smile grew wider as he began to furiously alternate between his two weapons, unleashing a constant stream of lightning.

King Barragan found himself so caught off guard by this new phenomenon of being struck, that the first thirty seconds of the assassin's offensive was entirely successful. It was only when Barragan finally managed to bring his wits about him that he managed to begin to dodge the lightning.

It was just as Rajin had thought, his lightning was the prefect weapon against this foe. Lightning by its very nature existed only for a split second and in that split second it could travel great distance. In this case it moved through the Espada's mist so fast that it was unable to consume the energy fast enough before it hit the intended target.

While the damage left by his attacks was only superficial at best, Rajin now knew he could combat his opponent on equal ground.

"Flies! Worms! Insects! All of you!" roared Barragan, "you think yourself so great Shinigami? You are not! Before me you are nothing but dust in the wind! I will waste no more time on you!"

The Respira came at Rajin faster than ever, enveloping twice the space it once had. Rajin immediately began a tactical retreat while at the same time firing arcs of lighting back at his pursuer. But Barragan was now on to Rajin's advantage and made an earnest effort not to endure any further humiliation by being struck.

The Shinigami decided to dive through building's window to buy himself a little more time. The black mist easily came in after him, rotting the structure around him as he ran through.

"Damn it!" he growled as he fired a few blind shots through the mist at the Espada. Seeing no immediate effect he shot out of a window and continued his retreat.

"Come on Little Bee," he whispered as he barely avoided being caught, "hurry up, I can't keep this up much longer."

Faster and faster Rajin ran as he kept just out of reach from Barragan's Respira. He dove into alley ways, took to the skies, and jumped through buildings, but nothing seemed to be able to keep the mist away for very long.

"It is not use ant! This will be finished now!" declared the King of Hueco Mundo,

"Yes," said a familiar voice, "it will be."

Both Shinigami and Arrancar turned to the source and found it. Standing atop one of the many sky scrapers, was the Captain of the 2nd division.

"Bankai!"

A flash of bright blue light enveloped the woman and caught the attention of the entire battlefield. One the light subsided and Captain Soi Fon was once again visible, she stood with the ace she'd been carrying in her sleeve.

"Jakuho Raikoben!" she announced, displaying what looked like a massive missile attached to her right arm. The weapon golden weapon was huge, taller than she was and clearly weighed a great deal as a well.

Around her waist, the Captain had wrapped an incredibly thick band of cloth which Rajin traced around the entire building at least ten times.

"I was hoping that I wouldn't have to use this," admitted Soi Fon, "my bankai is far too large for me to conceal and hinders my movements too much. Plus, the explosion is so large, its embarrassing for me to call it an assassination. But given the circumstances…"

She raised the missile and placed the Espada in her crosshairs.

"It'll be sufficient to kill you,"

#

For most opponents, both Shinigami and Arrancar, fighting two members of Seireitei's Black Ops division was borderline suicide. For Gin Ichimaru, not so much.

Keiji jabbed furiously at the former Captain of the 3rd with his bladed gauntlet. His quick strikes normally enough to overwhelm most were easily dodged by Gin. The man's had weaved and bobbed around the 6th Seat's strikes.

As soon as he saw a lull in his opponent's attack, Gin retaliated with a thrust. Keiji brought up his gauntlet and blocked the blade, causing it to spark as it passed by his face. Instinct took over, Keiji moved his hand forward and locked Gin's arm with his own. Immediately he shifted his limb upwards, applying pressure on the back of his opponent's elbow.

Pain was immediate and Gin's weapon fell from his fingers.

Seeing a chance, Keiji struck out with a wild haymaker aimed at Gin's face. Unfortunately, his opponent was too smart to be caught off guard so easily.

"Hado No.31: Shakkaho!"

Keiji was blown right off his feet and sent tumbling out of a cloud of smoke. He quickly jumped back to his feet and gritted his teeth. Before he could decide what to do next, a blade shot out from the smoke and nearly skewered him.

It retracted itself and struck again, over and over like a snake.

Finding himself a shadow, Keiji retreated into the ground.

"My oh my, where have you run of to now?" asked Gin aloud,

Suddenly a volley of red orbs came raining down on his position. From above, Teruno had put his zanpaktou's unique ability to good use and sent a dozen Hado No. 31's at the traitor. Sadly, he knew it would not be so easy.

A second later and Gin came out of the dust unharmed. The former Captain came swinging at Teruno who blocked with his staff. He then retaliated, striking at Ichimaru with the bladed ring at the top of his staff.

Gin of course dodged, jumping back to avoid the blow.

But the purpose of the attack had never been to actually hit, it had been to maneuver the traitor into position.

"Sokatsui!"

Blue fire and lighting burst out of Teruno's staff. At this range it was almost impossible to miss, yet somehow Gin managed to shift the odds into his favor. He spun himself so that the attack just barely missed, scorching his clothing but leaving him unharmed.

But as he dodged one attack, another came from behind. Keiji who'd been hiding for the duration of the brief exchange, leapt up to strike at Gin's unprotected back.

"Tsk, tsk, tsk, too predictable," mocked Gin who had his zanpaktou tucked under his arm and pointed right at Keiji. The blade extended and the 6th seat had just enough time to hold out his armored hand and intercept the tip.

He was unharmed but the force of the strike carried Keiji back, sending him skidding through the air.

"Hehehe, how disappointing," Gin said with fake concern, "if this is what two of the best can do against me, I hate to think what will happen once Lord Aizen takes the field."

"Raikoho!"

A bright yellow light suddenly came roaring upon Gin. He simply smiled and shook his head, so disappointing.

#

Tyran, who had stayed out of the fight, yawned loudly from above the battlefield. He was disappointed as well. There was nothing down there but small fry, fighting the Captain Commander could've been fun but Aizen had given strict orders that Yamamoto was off limits till everyone else was down.

Tyran didn't really mind, but what he did mind was the fact that Kuroda wasn't around. He wanted another go at that bastard.

"We don't deserve to rule" is what he had said, what utter bullshit. The two of them were the strongest, they had both clawed their way up to the top of the food chain. Of course they deserved to rule, for they had transcended to a point where they needed no one else for protection, did not have to rely on anyone else for support. They were true predators amongst the prey, the top of the food chain.

All others bowed before their might. He would prove it, by gouging out Kuroda's heart. Then he would be the true top, Tyran shared position with no one.

Shaking the useless thoughts from his head, Tyran resumed watching the fight between Starkk, Lilynette, and those two Captains. Starkk had merged himself with the little brat and were now giving the two Captains a run for their money.

Tyran sighed, that battle would be over by now if Starkk had any motivation to win. Sometimes Tyran wondered why they kept those two around, all they ever did was sleep.

Tyran then shifted his eyes to the large column of ice on the other side of town. It was too bad Tia had gone down already, the Tres Espada had been a nice piece of ass. Not that she'd ever let Tyran anywhere near her but still, it was fun to look.

A second later a massive explosion erupted not far away. Tyran recognized that area as the one Barragan had been fighting in. Judging by the signatures Tyran was getting, it would seem that the self-proclaimed King of Hueco Mundo's reign had just come to an end.

Perhaps he could get those Shinigami together and he could fight all of them at once. That would provide a good distraction for at least ten minutes.

That plan however was foiled upon Tyran sensing a new presence.

"Already?" he asked aloud, "jeez, Aizen sure is impatient."

The Cero Espada stood and just above him a massive Garganta opened.

Every single person, Shinigami and Arrancar took notice as a hole was torn in the sky. The beings from Seireitei in particular looked surprised and most likely felt dread, enemy reinforcements were coming.

"More of them?" asked Captain Hitsugaya,

"More of them are coming? We are in a lot of trouble," Captain Kyoraku said plainly,

From out of the darkness, single humanoid figure walked out. A lanky hunchbacked looking fellow with a blank look in his eye and a large purple claymore strapped to his back.

"That is one creepy looking fellow," commented Kyoraku

"Oooooooohwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah," groaned the newly arrived Arrancar.

"Wonderweiss, is it really that time already?" asked Tyran,

"Oowaaaaaaaaaaahooooooooooo," replied the unnumbered Arrancar,

That's when another form began to step out from the portal. This one massive and bestial, it looked like a massive puffed a slug that had managed to grow legs. In the center of its bulbous fat head, a single eye.

"What is that thing?" asked Captain Ukitake, as the last words left his mouth his eyes caught one of the figures in the distance moving.

A second later, blood burst out in front of his face and pain exploded inside of his chest. The white haired and good natured Captain didn't even have time to realize that someone had shoved their fist through his back.

"One down," grinned Tyran,

"Ukitake!" Shunsui moved up behind the Cero Espada and prepared to land two heavy strikes. Then he felt something press against his back.

The Captain of the 8th was consumed in blue light.

"Sorry," said Starkk with a hint of remorse, "but the fact that Wonderweiss has showed up, means that Lord Aizen can't wait any longer."

Both Captains of the Gotei 13 fell from the sky and did not move.

"Two down," counted Tyran,

Wonderweiss sucked in his breath then lout out a horrendously loud and earsplitting screech. Not only did it make nearly every single Shinigami cover their ears, but it caused the pillar of ice Captain Hitsugaya had created to crack and the cloud of smoke marking where Barragan had stood to blow away.

Hitsugaya felt dread build up in his gut as he realized what has happening. His tower of ice shattered and from out of it came the Tres Espada. She looked upon him with eyes of murder and immediately began her attack.

As the smoke billowed away, both Rajin and Soi Fon felt the presence of the one whom they thought defeated.

Without warning, a massive black axe wrapped in golden chains shot out of the smoke. It was fast, almost too fast for either of them. Both of them were saved being sliced in half, but Soi fon from simple bad luck was clipped on her wrist.

Then her skin began to rot away.

To the horror of both the Captain of the 2nd division and her lover, Soi Fon's arm began to disintegrate before their very eyes.

Rajin, seeing the woman he loved about to die, felt his brain scramble for solutions yet none of them seemed to register. He could only look on helplessly.

Soi Fon however, came up with an answer very quickly.

"Rajin!" she said, snapping him out of his trance, "cut it off!"

"What?"

"Do it! Cut off my arm!"

"But I-"

"DO YOU WANT ME TO DIE!"

"I…I…."

Suddenly there was blood.

Soi Fon's arm came loose from her body and fell to the streets below before turning into dust. A second later the Captain felt a needle sink into the side of her neck. She went limp and her savior caught her.

"Itsumi?" asked Rajin, still in shock.

"She'll be fine," assured the woman as she took out some gauze to wrap the stump, "but I'll need to work fast in order to stop the bleeding. The rot had spread too far and I had to cut off more of her arm then I would have liked to."

"I didn't…I didn't,"

"Rajin!"

The Lieutenant shook himself,

"Snap out of it, your enemy is still alive." With that, the 5th seat disappeared, leaving Rajin to stare at the villain responsible for Soi Fon's injury.

#

Wonderweiss let loose another screech this time aimed directly at Aizen's prison of fire. The flames, amazingly, faltered and before long were blown away entirely. Sosuke Aizen, was free to walk the battlefield.

Then the massive one eyed beast opened it's maw and began throw up some sort of black substance. That black substance began to take form and before long, dozens upon dozens of Gillian had taken the field.

Through some sort of invisible order, the tall masked Gillian moved upon the three remaining towers. Those guarding them held them off, but through sheer numbers they would eventually be overwhelmed.

"My, my, my, Soul Society sure has gotten sloppy without us."

Suddenly, Gillian began dying.

Many were cut down at a time.

Eight new figures danced across the battlefield, wreaking absolute havoc upon Hueco Mundo's reinforcements.

A smaller one with pigtails wildly slashed her way through the masses of tall dark hollow, screaming like a berserker the entire way through. When her enemies attempted to surround her, she opened her masked mouth and fired off what could only be an Espada's cero.

Another muscular white-haired individual tore into the ranks of the Gillian with his bare hands. His fists moving so fast that the hollow's faces were reduced to pulp only seconds apart from one another.

The green haired woman with an insect like mask hopped her way into the battle and delivered skull crunching kicks to each target.

An obese man in a green suit simply stood in the thick of the battle and snapped his fingers. But with each snap, translucent red boxes of kido formed around the heads of the Gillian around him. He then calmly clapped his hands together. The boxes turned red and their heads fell off.

The blonde man waved his hands and moved his fingers as though playing a massive piano. Music echoed through his ears. Furiously he pressed the keys of his imaginary instrument. The hollows surrounding him advanced but were soon caught by some invisible force that eventually began to literally strangle them. Before long they were reduced to the size of pin needles.

The last one, with hair comparable to Kenpachi Zaraki, dug his fingers right into the mask of a Gillian. With incredible strength he rolled his shoulders and pulled the thing right in half.

"Tsk, tsk, tsk," heard Captain Commander Yamamoto, "you're new boys and girls don't seem to be enough old man. I guess that's what you get for kicking out your previous bunch."

"Hirako Shinji," acknowledged the elderly Shinigami, "why are you here?"

His hand gently drifted to his zanpaktou, while the Vizard smiled, "do you come as enemies?"

"We're not here as your allies," said Shinji, his smile widening. "We're here as Aizen's enemies."

With that said, Shinji turned his back upon the Captain-Commander, "and as friends of Ichigo Kurosaki."

#

Rajin turned as eight new figures surrounded him.

"Captain Hirako," realized Rajin upon seeing the familiar blond man.

"I'm not a Captain anymore Rajin, I'm just here to make sure Aizen dies. We all are," replied Shinji, "Kisuke told us that you'd know best how to place us."

"He did?"

"He did, so…where are we needed?"

"Uh…Captain Hitsugaya seems to need help with that Espada he's fighting. Two of you should go there."

"I'll do it," answered Lisa,

"So will I," said Hiyori.

The two disappeared.

"Captain Kyoraku and Ukitake are down. That Espada is the strongest of the three, we'll need the strongest for him."

"Time to be a hero!" declared Love, "come one Rose!"

"Hey, don't volunteer me," complained the Vizard as he followed after his friend.

"Hachi, we still have a lot of wounded. Can you go find Lieutenant Kira and help him defend the field hospital."

"As you wish" bowed the large Vizard.

"There's still plenty of those Gillian, we need someone to clean them up."

"We'll do it! Right Kensei?"

"Fine," nodded the man,

"That just leaves Aizen," finished Rajin,

Shinji smiled widely, "Oh don't worry, I've got him covered."

That just left himself to deal with Barragan, good. He wanted to do this himself. Just as he was about to jump back into the battle, a hand grabbed him by the shoulder and forced him to stop.

"Just where the hell do you think you're going?"

Rajin turned around to see none other than his friend Kaito holding him back.

"Kaito? Let me go, I have someone I have to kill."

"The creepy skeleton wearing a bathrobe and a crown?"

"…yes,"

"Well, I'm coming with you then," decided the 3rd seat.

"What? No! I'm fully capable of-"

"Rajin, brother, you've always been a great lieutenant. But you've never been a very good leader."

The comment shocked Rajin and cut off whatever he had been about to say.

"That's why you never ascended to Captain when Kuroda left," continued Kaito, "that's why you panicked when Soi Fon asked you to cut her arm off. You've always been a bad decision maker when the heat is on. Especially when it involves those you care about."

Rajin looked down, shame evident on his face.

"Right now, you're compromised buddy. You're not thinking straight, it's my job as the 3rd seat to make sure people from my division don't get themselves killed because of bad judgment. So I'm coming with you whether you want me to or not."

He reached out and patted Rajin on the shoulder, "don't worry, I won't make you do any deciding."

Rajin sighed, he wanted to protest again. But somewhere in his mind, everything Kaito had said registered as the truth. He was no leader, he became lieutenant purely from his skill to operate alone.

Because that's what he was: a lone assassin, unused to having to command others.

"Are you two finished?" boomed the familiar voice of Barragan, King of Hueco Mundo, "I hope the talk you two had will comfort you after you've all become dust."

Rajin turned to face his opponent, much to his surprise the Espada was completely unharmed. But that was impossible, no matter how strong someone might have been there was no way they could walk away from Soi Fon's Bankai unscathed.

"This bastard sure is cocky isn't he?" Kaito commented glibly,

"You don't know the half of it," agreed Rajin,

"Heh," the 3rd seat licked his lips in anticipation. His hammer slid into his palm, "let's smash his skull!"

Kaito stretched out his weapon towards their enemy.

"Ban-Kai!"

#

Tyran observed as the two of the eight new combatants tore through the ranks of the remaining Gillian. They seemed fairly strong and their reiatsu was not too dissimilar from a hollow's. Fighting them could be interesting.

The question was however, which one to go after first?

The male was obviously the stronger of the two. Fighting him first would probably give him a nice long battle to pass the time. The female however was wearing a jumpsuit, one that nicely complimented her curves.

Fighting her might be more entertaining. She didn't seem all there up in her head however, not that she really need to be. Still, jumpsuit.

His choice made, Tyran calmly floated down into the battlefield and approached the green haired masked woman.

Right now she was delivering a series of kicks while yelling out, "Mashiro kick! Kick! KICK!"

A bit overly enthusiastic for Tyran and potentially a source of irritation.

One of the tall black hollows moved in front of the Cero Espada, obscuring his view of the target. He scowled "get out of my way."

With a light back handed strike, he sent the Gillian rolling away like a bowling ball right into a cluster of its bretheren.

"Oi! Woman!" he called, gathering the attention of the Vizard known as Mashiro, "you seem pretty good at taking down these small fry. How about trying me on?"

"AH! A super monster has appeared!" she gasped, causing Tyran to raise an eyebrow. "No need to fear, Mashiro the hero is here!"

The woman dug her heels into the air and began letting out a loud humming, as though charging up for something.

"Mashirooooooooooooooo!"

Tyran raised another eyebrow.

"Suuuuuperrrrrrrrrrr!"

The Espada let out a snort upon realizing what was going on.

"Kiiiiiicccckkkkkkkkkkkkk!"

The Vizard pounced forward, both feet extended out and aimed right at the Arrancar's face.

He simply grinned wolfishly.

#

"Ban-kai!"

The ground below Kaito exploded up into the air and surrounded him. Rubble, stones, sand, all matter that was once part of the earth, whether as large as a bus or as tiny as a pea, answered Kaito's call.

With the assistance from a might gust of wind, the earth swirled around Kaito, enveloping him in a great tornado of rock.

Gradually but surely, the speed of the wing began to pick up. It became stronger and stronger until all the combatants in Karakura could feel its effect. Those like Lieutenant Kira and Lieutenant Hisagi, were nearly thrown off their towers.

Finally the tornado of earth and rubble began to move so fast, one could have compared it to massive drill instead of a phenomenon of nature.

Then, from out of the layers of wind and earth, a hand reached out.

Not a small, puny, human hand.

But a massive skeletal hand, one made of hardened rock and rubble. So large its fingers easily fit around the roof of a building.

From an artistic point of view, it was an amazing creation. The stone so closely resembled that of the inner structure of a human's hand that one could only wonder on how it could be so precise.

But this was no piece of art

This was a weapon

This was Kaito, 3rd seat of the Black Ops divison

This was his Bankai.

Another hand from the opposite side of the tornado reached out as well, casually push over a few buildings on its way out.

Then finally, from the very center of the tornado, a skull emerged.

A massive human like skull, made entirely from the stone of the earth and the rubble of the town's buildings.

The hands dragged out the remaining skeletal structure, revealing what could only be described as a huge human skeleton.

It towered over the rest of Karakura, its height rivaling that of Captain Komamura's Bankai.

There was but one deviation that it had from a traditional skeleton: it lacked any form of legs.

Instead of a pair of legs, its entire lower half was replaced by the rapid movements of the tornado that had created it. The tornado reached up into the ribcage of the skeleton, acting like some sort of singular tail with which to move around on. And inside the very center of the tornado was Kaito, his lips forming a knowing smile.

"Bankai: Ishi Kaze Ikari Gaikotsu!"

Inside the tornado, Kaito flexed his arms, stretching them out. The massive skeleton responded by mimicking him, it was almost a comical thing to see it rub one of its boney shoulders while moving its arm in circles.

"Hmph, am I supposed to be impressed?" the King of Hueco Mundo asked haughtily, "perhaps it is very large. But size matters not when you have the power to shape entire realms to your will. The only difference you have made is that it will take a few seconds longer for you to be consumed."

Barragan reached out with his hand and the black dust obeyed, shooting forward, eager to consume the two Shinigami.

Kaito just smiled.

He reached out with his left hand and so did the skeleton of stone.

He crossed his arm over his chest and so did the skeleton.

The black dust began to close in.

Kaito struck out at the air with a back hand.

The skeleton did the same at a speed that was impossibly fast for something of its size. But instead of hitting the air, the wind followed the hand of rock bone. A huge gust of wind followed its movement, one so powerful that buildings were torn from the ground as though they were nothing more than leaves.

The wave of wind even blew away Barragan's respire. The black miasma like substance that had so recently threatened to devour both Kaito and Rajin, was blown away like common smoke.

"I-Impossible!" roared Barragan in disbelief.

"Is it really?" asked Kaito, his voice amplified by the skeleton, "Your power is but gas that relies on the wind to carry it to its destination. But I control the very wind itself, thus your power is subject to mine."

"My power is subject to yours?! Unforgivable! Unforgivable! To say such a thing is heresy! I will not tolerate it! I simply will not tolerate it! I will crush you both beneath my feat like the insects you are! I will tear your power down one piece of sand at a time! I will show you just how insignificant you are! I will-"

Barragan never got to finish his sentence.

Kaito, who had heard enough of the Arrancar's monologue leaned forward as though to sprint. But instead of sprouting legs, the tornado serving as this form's transportation began to move itself.

It burst the skeletal torso forward faster than any legs ever could. Along the way it ripped a massive trench through the streets of Karakura while at the same time shattering the windows of every building not yet destroyed.

In an instant, the massive skeleton of rock was before Barragan with one gigantic hand raised high. By the time Barragan could figure out how it had gotten to him so quickly, Kaito brought his hand down on top of the Arrancar, like smashing a bug.

The force of the blow leveled every building within half a mile of Kaito's hand.

A few seconds passed of complete stillness.

Then the hand of Kaito's skeleton exploded.

The shinigami raised his now handless left arm to see a familiar black gas clinging to the stony stub. From out of the dust came Barragan, unharmed and wielding his Gran Caida.

"Ha! Is that the best your Bankai can do?" mocked the Arrancar, "I knew you Shinigami were weak, but truly even I had no idea just how pathetic you were. I shall enjoy watching you slowly disintegrate."

By now the miasma had eaten its way up to Kaito's elbow. The shinigami however, remained unworried.

Instead he commanded his arm to simply fall off and so it did. The entire arm of the skeleton fell off from where it connected to the shoulder.

"Removing your own limb in order to survive? Is this something that you shinigami do often?"

Without a word Kaito smiled. Stone and rubble suddenly began to rise from the earth below and gather where Kaito had lost his arm. Gradually, the gathered pieces of rock and cement began to form into a brand new arm.

"Sorry to disappoint you your highness, but your little trick can't seem to keep up with me."

"Hmph, all you have done is buy yourself a few seconds. You still lack the power to harm me, weak as you are."

"Oh I wasn't really trying to hurt you, I just wanted to distract you."

"Distract me? From what?"

Kaito pointed one gigantic boney finger towards the sky behind his opponent, "from that."

"Bankai!"

Barragan turned to see Rajin floating high in the air. Surrounding him were a plethora of dark foreboding clouds. They swirled around him, turning around and around until he was completely obscured from sight.

Lightning erupted from the sky, striking the earth beneath and completely obliterating anything unfortunate enough to be hit.

Kaito wisely raised his hands to protect himself from the storm. Not a moment later a lightning bolt trust him in the skull, blowing off nearly a fourth of his head.

"His activation is still as destructive as ever," chuckled Kaito as he called for new material to mend the wound.

Suddenly a massive lightning bolt struck out at Barragan. The Arrancar quickly jumped out of the way, just barely avoiding being burnt to a crisp right then and there.

Instead a giant crater was formed in his place and in that crater, stood Rajin.

Gone were the Katar that he once wielded.

The Lieutenant of the Black Ops division was now clad from hands to shoulders in bright golden armor.

Beautifully decorated gauntlets covered his hands, the vambraces bearing the image of a great bird striking from the heavens, the shoulder pieces carved to look like the open maws of a maned lion.

His entire torso was now bare, allowing a view of the terrible burns that covered his back.

Kaito shivered upon seeing them, "damn things freak me out every time."

"Apologies your majesty, I needed some time to prepare my Bankai for use," said Rajin, "if I don't prepare appropriately, I would be but dust now. However, now that it has been activated, the one who will be rendered to dust will be you."

"Ha! Me? Have you not seen my power? Did you not see that it is I who render all things to dust?"

"I'm sorry, but now that both of us have activated our Bankai, you simply don't stand a chance."

Rajin raised his hand next to his head.

Electricity began to dance around his gauntleted fingers, becoming more and more intense until finally lightning came down from the sky and leapt into the Shinigami's hand.

Instead of destroying the man, the lightning gathered in his palm then formed itself into an eight foot long javelin.

"Raikou Yari!"

Like the King of Olympus, Rajin drew back his new weapon and launched it forward. Possessing all the power it had as a lightning bolt, the javelin flew towards Barragan.

Barragan, believing himself in no danger, simply stood still. The spear struck him right in the chest.

The condensed bolt exploded in a brilliant display of blue energy and to the Arrancar's great surprise, he felt pain.

The explosion had sent the Segunda Espada barreling right into several buildings and seared his pale bones.

"RAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH! HOW DARE YOU!" he roared, bursting out from the building, "I WILL MAKE YOU SUFFER! I WILL MAKE ALL OF YOU-"

"Shut up!" Kaito's swept his hand through the air, slapping an unfocused Barragan right out of the air and into a skyscraper.

Rajin was there immediately, appearing above the building with a great deal of lightning trapped in his fists. Down he came, slamming his right fist into the roof. The building simply collapsed beneath his strike and the contained lightning broke out right through the structure.

The dust suddenly parted and out came Barragan's Gran Caida like a large black missile. Kaito threw himself back, barely dodging the weapon from decapitating him.

Its owner followed soon after, his miasma spreading out.

In came a gust of wind, courtesy of Kaito, blowing it away.

Sensing his vulnerability, Barragan recalled his weapon. Rajin closed in, his left hand still shaking from containing his lightning.

Barragan raised his axe in defense and Rajin struck. His fist connected with the Espada's weapon.

The force alone was enough to send Barragan flying through the air but the energy that was unleashed from Rajin's strike ensured that he did not escape unscathed.

Each strike from Kaito's lightning infused gauntlets was like being continuously hit by the voltage of miniature lightning bolts.

As the Espada flew through the air, Kaito moved himself into position. With perfect timing, he slammed his hands together and sandwiched the Arrancar between them. Again his hand disintegrated and Barragan broke free.

Kaito immediately began rebuilding his hands but at the same time he summoned three boulders the size of houses from the earth. With a simple mental command he sent the boulders at the Espada.

Barragan sliced his way through the first with Gran Caida, the next two he destroyed with respira. He then stuck out his freehand and fired a cero at the massive skeleton.

Kaito raised his own hand and caught the attack, it cracked but did not break. He then counterattacked by picking up a smaller building with his own free hand and tossing it at his opponent.

Barragan once again called upon his respire, consuming the entire thing before it could crush him.

Black clouds gathered above the Espada.

"Ten no Ikari!"

A flurry of lightning erupted from the dark clouds like as though they were directing the wrath of heaven itself down upon the arrancar.

Unable to move fast enough or perhaps simply unwilling to run, Barragan was struck with the full power of the lightning storm. However, even then, the King of Hueco Mundo came back for more.

He sliced at Rajin again and again, swinging his large axe with practiced ease.

Rajin charged up his right fist and struck back, meeting the Gran Caida head on. The two combatants recoiled from the impact, leaving both vulnerable for a moment. But Barragan did not need to move to summon his respira which he did.

But Rajin was suddenly surrounded by a miniature tornado, blowing the miasma away along with any danger it possessed. The Shinigami immediately took advantage of the moment to charge up his left fist and landed a solid punch on King Barragan's boney cheek.

The Espada was sent reeling, to follow up Kaito picked up a bank with both hands and dropped it right on top of him.

Unsurprisingly, the Espada still managed to survive.

"Man, this guy just keeps coming back!" laughed Kaito, summoning a dozen more boulders "fine with me, I've got plenty more!"

Rajin however, was less enthusiastic about the situation. They had both jumped to Bankai and were both hammering the Espada with everything they had. But still their opponent stood.

Right now they seemed evenly matched, but it took only one mistake or one unexpected occurrence to tip the scales in either party's favor. Rajin sincerely hope that it would be tipped towards them.

#

Tyran frowning.

He made it as a large as possible in order to make his disappointment as evident as possible. The Vizard, those Shinigami who could use the power of a hollow, he had been told of them by Aizen. Upon hearing of such a being's existence, Tyran found himself incredibly excited.

A warrior that has the power of both hollow and shinigami, truly someone worthy of power. Someone truly worthy of standing above others. Tyran had desperately wanted to meet one in battle. To fight against one to see who was more worthy of ruling.

To see who deserved to sit on the top of the food chain.

But now, he stood in midair above the town known as Karakua.

He had been blessed with the opportunity to fight not just one, but two Vizard. The first one, the green hiared woman with a hollow mask resembling an insect. She had been easy to deal with, her strikes were powerful and her movements graceful if not a bit unpredictable.

But even with all of that she had been nothing more than that, an insect. He had simply backhanded her once and the mask she wore shattered.

She managed to survive but just barely. He would have finished her off if the other one, the man with short hair had intervened.

He had gotten Tyran excited, when he not only hollowfied and activated a Bankai. It had been an interesting ability. As long as the man's knuckle blades were in contact with something, the target would be unendingly assaulted.

A single punch delivering thousands in a single second.

But even then, Tyran had defeated him with ease. He had broken the man's arms, tossed him into a building, and then delivered an uppercut to his chin.

Now he held a handful of the Vizard's purple shirt while the man himself was barely conscious. It was pathetic, someone who was given so much opportunity to ascend yet had made absolutely no use of it.

Tyran simply released his grasp and allowed the man to fall to the ruins below.

A lion did not make a point to extinguish the life of every fly it came across.

Still, Tyran needed a real fight. Someone who was on par with him. Someone who had ascended to the same level as he had. Someone who had crawled through rivers of blood and climbed over mountains of corpses in order to stand above all others.

Someone like, Kuroda.

But the man was not here. Why wasn't he here?

What the man had once said still rung in the Cero Espada's ears.

"We don't deserve to rule. "

Of course the deserved to rule. After all that they had been through, why didn't they? They were the ones who had sacrificed everything to achieve what they had. They were the ones who understood that the world was nothing more than giant buffet table. Those who were weak were served as dinner and those who were strong ate.

Kuroda and him, they were the strong ones. They were the ones who devoured others.

They were like wolf among sheep, sharks swimming around fish, falcons preparing to swoop down on upon sparrows, predators hunting prey.

And as predators, it was only natural to come together and find out who was above whom.

But he was not here and the mystery remained.

A flash of intense light caught the Espada's eye and snapped him out of his thoughts. In the distance he saw lightning crashing down unnaturally upon the ground and all of it in a single spot.

Barragan was fighting two shinigami and by the looks of things they were giving him a run for his money.

Both of them were wearing cloaks, one similar to Kuroda's, they must have been from his division.

Tyran smiled

Of course, a king sent his men into battle before taking the field himself.

But kill members of the pack and the alpha will come out to play.

Tyran stretched out a single finger and began to charge a cero.

"My Lord?" spoke the familiar voice of Yang, "is it really necessary to interfere in Barragan's fight?"

"Perhaps if we're lucky, they will kill him for us," joked Ying

"How many bodies does it take to send a message girls?"

"My lord?" both girls asked,

"How many?" he repeated.

"…"

"One!"

#

Kaito launched another volley of rocks at his opponent. As usual Barragan disintegrated them before any harm could be done.

But they were just a diversion.

Kaito opened up his mouth and blew.

The Skeleton that served as his armor did similarly, except of simply blowing out a string of air and massive twister erupted from in between its teeth.

The miasma was blown away, leaving the Espada vulnerable.

In came Rajin, closing the distance between him and Barragan in a fraction of a second, both of his gauntleted fists brimming with energy.

Barragan raised his axe in defense.

Rajin struck with his left fist and was denied a hit by a well-timed block. He immediately followed with an upper cut aimed at Barragan's boney chin using his right fist. But the King quickly drew back, making Rajin miss.

However, the lieutenant was now in perfect position to bring his elbow right down on the Espada's white dome. The Arrancar recoiled in pain, his skull now sporting a new crack in its structure.

"Impudent!" he yelled, swinging his Gran Caida, only for Rajin to jump away "You dare touch the King of Hueco Mundo!"

"We've been doing a lot more than touching you bald little head," Kaito shot back, "I suggest you live with it before we smash the rest of you!"

"Ishi Mori!"

Kaito stuck both of his hands into the earth beneath the town. A moment later, great geysers of dirt shot up around Barragan, forming a circle. When the dust cleared, it revealed ten giant poles made of granite.

Then from the poles giant spikes shot forth, like branches on a tree. These stone branches moved like snakes, slithering through the air to impale their target. Barragan simply moved aside believing the branches to have no mind.

But more branches split off from those that had missed their target, forcing the Espada to continue to move. But time and time again more branches came from those that missed.

Soon the ten poles had created what could only be described as a forest of stone. The previous branches hindered the targets movement while the new ones continued to pursue it. Soon the Arrancar would have nowhere else to go.

But Barragan simply called upon his respire and the entire forest simply faded away. He escaped the forest, only to see Rajin holding a lightning bolt.

He threw the bolt with unparalleled accuracy.

It struck Barragan right in the chest and sent him smoking into the streets below, angrier and more indignant than ever.

"Time to die!" announced Kaito as he positioned himself above the King, both hands above his head to deliver a twin hammer blow.

"Kaito look out!"

A purple streak suddenly blasted its way through the spine of Kaito's skeleton and exited right out the ribcage.

At first, nothing. Only silence.

Then the right arm of Kaito's skeleton suddenly deattached itself from shoulder, crumbling away as it fell on top of a building.

Next came the left arm along with the entire left side of the ribcage, followed soon after by the skull and the rest of the skeleton, and finally the tornado dissipating into simple wind.

Kaito fell from the sky, a hole the size of a dinner plate in his chest.

"Son…of a…bitch," he managed to mutter as he saw the sky grow farther away.

"Kaito!" Rajin yelled as he made his way toward his friend. He arrived just in time to prevent the 3rd seat from landing on the ground.

"Kaito, stay still, everything is going to be alright. Itsumi! Itsumi!" he yelled,

The 5th seat and medic of the squad appeared, "I'm here!"

"Is there a giant fucking hole in my chest?" growled Kaito, coughing up some blood at the same time.

Itsumi kneeled down by Kaito and immediately began working on covering up the wound.

"There is isn't there? Crap!"

"Don't talk Kaito," ordered Itsumi, pulling out a needle containg some sort of liquid, "you'll only make it worse. "

"Worse?! How could it be worse?! There's a giant fucking hole in my chest!" he cried,

"How did this happen?" asked Itsumi as she injected the contents of the needle into Kaito's bloodstream.

"I…I…I"

"Rajin!"

"I don't know! It happened so fast! I've never seen anything like it!"

"Where's that bastard Barragan?" asked Kaito, "where is he?!"

Rajin's eyes widened in realization that Barragan was not yet defeated and with Kaito out of the fight, Rajin wasn't sure they could win this fight anymore.

"We need to get him out of here. Itsumi, you carry him! I'll cover you on the way to-"

A hand suddenly grabbed the Lieutenant by the collar, "Damn it man! Get your shit together! That Arrancar needs to die and you know it! I'm not getting a hole shot through my chest, just so we can run away like pussies! Get back out there and finish that pretentious bastard! You hear me! Go finish him off!"

"But…but we were barely holding him off with the both of us, it would be foolish for me to do it on my own. I'm not strong enough, I-"

"The hell you aren't! You're the god damn lieutenant! THE GOD DAMN LIEUTENANT! GO OUT THERE AND KICK HIS ASS! USE THE FULL POWER OF YOUR BANKAI!"

"You know that I can't-"

"Can't what? Handle it? That guy cut off your woman's arm and got a hole shot through me! Isn't that enough reason!? Isn't that-" Kaito's words were lost as he suddenly began a furious coughing fit.

"I need to get him back to the field hospital," said Itsumi, slinging the man over her shoulder, "you do what you need to do."

With that said she disappeared, leaving Rajin all alone on the roof.

The Segunda Espada chose that moment to float up, "Only one of you now? A shame, I wanted to finish the other one off as well."

Rajin's fingers curled into a fist.

"What's the matter shinigami? Giving up? No one will blame you, I would even applaud you for it. Something to comfort you before I end your life."

Rajin turned around, eyes glued to the roof beneath him.

"Tell me, King of Hueco Mundo."

"Hm?"

"Have you ever felt insignificant?"

"Ha! Me, I am the Great King of Hueco Mundo! I am the Divine Entity of all Hollows! I am Ruler of the Dunes! The greatest of fear of all Shinigami! How could I ever feel insignificant?"

The Lieutenant took a deep breath and slowly let it out, as he did small worms of energy began to inch their way along his body. Some of them danced along the burns on his back.

The burns, he thought. A reminder of why he rarely ever entered Bankai. A reason why he had only ever used its full power once.

Above, the dark clouds once again gathered. But now they were black as the night and rumbled like a massive beast.

"Very well then, Great King of Hueco Mundo, Divine Entity of all Hollows, Ruler of the Dunes, Greatest Fear of All Shinigami. Before this day is over, before I kill you, before I burn you. You. Will. Feel. Insignificant."

"Inazuma Senko!"

One massive bolt of lightning came down from the gathered clouds and engulfed Rajin. It was so bright and intense that even those observing from afar had to turn their gaze for fear of being blinded.

Barragan with his eyeless sockets continued to stare defiantly.

The lightning disappeared and so had the shinigami.

At first Barragan was confused, had the shinigami been vaporized by his own power?

Then there was a flash, so brilliant and bright that even Barragan was blinded. Then there was pain, great pain. Barragan looked down to see that pieces of his black robe had been torn away along with pieces of his skeletal structure.

Then there was another flash and another and another, each time he was blinded and each time pain lanced through his body.

"How does it feel King of Hueco Mundo?" asked the Shinigami, "how does it feel to be unable to control your own fate."

Barragan recovered himself from the sudden attack to see Rajin standing before him, his eyes oozing murderous intent and glowing a light blue, his body radiating with energy and seeming to phase in and out of reality.

Angered, Barragan swung his axe, fully intending to cut the worm in half. But then there was a flash and all he hit was air.

"Confused?" asked Rajin, "many are when faced with this ability. This is the greatest power of my bankai. This is Inazuma Senko: a flash of lightning. With this ability, I become the power that I wield."

Ignoring everything the Shinigami said, Barragan let loose his respira. Another flash and Rajin disappeared.

But to a trained eye, one could see that Rajin did not disappear so much as dissolve. Dissolve into lightning and move through the miasma towards the Arrancar. He then reformed into himself again, for but an instant. In that instant however he struck Barragan right across the face with a fist brimming with the power of a lightning bolt.

Again Barragan was confused, what power was this.

But before he could even try to figure it out, Rajin formed back into lightning, traveled next to Barragan and struck him again.

Each time was like a strike of lightning.

The Arrancar simply could not keep up.

"There is a drawback however," said Rajin after his latest assault, "this power only lasts for 3 minutes. It has been 30 seconds."

Rajin landed another dozen lightning charged blows upon Barragan before reforming.

"I will end your life in 2 minutes and 25 seconds."

Disappearing again, but time Rajin traveled into the clouds. He called to all the energy stored up in the heavens. Lightning surrounded him, turning him into a beacon among the dark clouds.

A second later Rajin came crashing down upon his opponent. Barragan was struck harder than he had ever been before. The King of Hueco Mundo felt so much pain that he could barely even move out of the crater he'd just been put in.

Again Rajin ascended to the clouds to gather his power.

Again he descended and brought unleashed all of it in a single strike upon the Espada.

Try as Barragan might, he could not escape from the human lightning bolt he was fighting.

Fear, that's what Barragan was now feeling.

The fear of being unable to fight back. The fear of not knowing which way his death would be coming.

But Rajin would have the great king know where his death was coming from.

1 minute left

This time when he descended he did not do so directly upon the Arrancar. Instead he came down a full block away, allowing Barragan to see the shinigami cloaked in bright light.

With blinding speed Rajin burst forward and extended his fists out in front of him. Barragan let loose his respire in a vain attempt to protect himself. But the shinigami moved so fast that he moved right through the miasma before it could even touch him.

Both fists connected to Barragan's chest like a twin pronged torpedo.

The Arrancar was blown back while in great pain, tearing up the street and leveling buildings as he went.

Rajin returned to the sky but did not go above the clouds. Instead he reached his left hand to the sky and aimed his right hand at Barragan. Lighting struck the man's raised palm and traveled through Rajin's body. It then shot out from the hand aimed at Barragan.

Just as the Arrancar managed to get to his feet, a stream of lighting struck him back down. The pain was immense and it never seemed to end. The constant stream continued to burn through every nerve that Barragan's body contained.

30 seconds left

Rajin ceased calling upon the lighting and traveled over to see if Barragan had died yet.

But no, instead the Arrancar was amazingly still attempting to rise.

"I….am…the….King of Hueco Mundo! I will not…be beaten…by a worm…LIKE….YOU!"

Rajin raised both hands to the air, held them up for a single precious second, and then ripped them both down.

Lightning, erupted from the sky. But it was not a single bolt, nor was it like any storm. A storm would be a gross understatement. This was a deluge of lightning, as though the god of lightning himself had decided to focus all of his power upon a single patch of land.

Every single building in the vicinity was disintegrated, the ground was vaporized, and the air was burned. The entirety of the fake town was illuminated and for a full 30 seconds, every combatant stared in awe.

But time was soon up.

The lighting ceased.

The clouds scattered.

Rajin's zanpaktou returned to its original form.

Exhaustion hit Rajin like a truck. But despite that, he found the energy to move into the absolutely massive crater that he had created.

Somehow he managed to make it to the center and found what remained of his enemy.

Barragan had been reduced to nothing more than his head, a quarter of the upper right half of his torso, and his right arm.

The crown that had once adorned his head had been melted and the Gran Caida which had once been so intimidating now only had one of its blades.

"Such…power…how? How can this be? How can a lowly shinigami like you wield such power? How could you have beaten me?" asked the Arrancar weakly, "what…what are you?"

Rajin did not respond, instead he simply watched on as Barragan slowly fell to pieces and was carried away by the wind.

"I am Rajin," he whispered finally, "the best friend of that idiot who was helping me fight."

With that, the Lieutenant of the Black Ops division collapsed upon the ground and closed his eyes.

Author's Note:

Wow, that took forever to write out. I'm so sorry, but college has been killing me!

Anyway, I hope you like it. Please review and favorite, seeing that people still read this story puts a little happiness into my otherwise dreary life.

By the way, I noticed that one of the people who favorited my story was called Confused Eggplant. Just wanted to say, that's an awesome name.

Bye Bye!