This idea has been playing at my mind for awhile now and I just had to write it out! Don't worry, "Yes, My Lord" is still my main focus.
Bits and Pieces
Their demise began with a bloodcurdling scream, the pavement being stained a dark crimson.
The warning had come too late; "They're here!"
The residents scattered, most attempting to flee while others foolishly raced towards the intruders with broken pipes and heavy stones raised high within filthy hands; the only makeshift weapons to their disposal in such a fallen society. But as sharp blades slashed through bone and bullets rendered through defenseless flesh, the defiant dwellers were brutally cut down by the army suited men. During this, the chilling sounds of blood soaked shrieks joined the death that lingered in the air.
As corpses fell, mangled and beaten, it became painfully obviously that not only were the peoples' struggles useless, but their souls were undoubtedly damned.
Blood covered all that the eye could see and the howls of the destitute people being massacred all around her caused a young female to tremble in fear within the moldy covering of her tent. As she shook, thick tears of terror fell from the girl's deep violet eyes.
This wasn't supposed to happen. Not now. They had been told that safety came the moment the sun set over the peak of rock surrounding the land— the military ranks were said to never attack after sundown. And yet, as the full moon watched overhead, the inhabitant of the railroad overpass were left shredded along the slums of the heartless city.
Between the cries of death, the aluminum of rapidly spinning helicopter rotors sounded, growing closer with every desperate gasp of heavily polluted oxygen.
The mind numbing buzz and the flashing of lights from above pushed the cowering girl to a critical realization. This wasn't one of her horrible night terrors that plagued her long before the breaking hours of dawn. The screams that filled her ears, the discharge of artillery, the grinding of blade against human hide— this was reality. Everything that Rukia Kuchiki knew and loved was being slaughtering in the territory that she had always called home. Her biggest fear was now a living nightmare.
With great force, the heavy splatter of liquid hit the side of her tent. Shadows rushed about in a desperate attempt to survive and Rukia new that the splash against canvas was yet another person she once known—of someone she was once close to—being murdered before her little patch of land.
Between racing thoughts, her mind was gradually beginning to clear. There was one other reason besides fear holding her within the moldy confines of her portable home.
The girl's childhood friend and only remaining family, Renji Abarai, had left the safety of their home to fetch a bucket of drinking water no more than ten minutes ago. A river ran along the border of the underpass territory, not too far from their little setup of survival surrounded in thick wild flower and burning trashcans. He was out there still…in the lines of assured peril while she lay frozen and petrified. All the while, the soldiers seemingly encircled her; closed in on her.
Rukia was not a warrior nor was she anything close to a fighter. Her petite body was weak and frail. She knew rising against the armed forces would be nothing short of sure suicide, but she needed to do something. Renji was most definitely fighting for his life while she trembled within flimsy piles of cloth used during freezing nights. The female ground her teeth in anger and self disgust; tears never ceasing their fall against redden alabaster skin.
The indigo-eyed woman wanted to stay—to wait for her companion—but time was running out. Death himself was coming for her, ready to devour her soul and drag her down into the fiery pits of hell for all eternity.
She gave a shudder at the realization, tugging at her messy onyx locks. The commands of the army soldiers were becoming loader in their swift approach. The men's voices were ringing in Rukia's ears and at that moment, every one of her survival instincts screamed one order:
She had to get away before it was too late.
With only an oversized windbreaker covered in rips and tares shielding her, hiding her features, Rukia scurried to her feet and bolted into the death covered night with as much courage as she could muster. As the young woman raced through the crowds of the blood-spattered remnants of the small establishment, her wide eyes moved frantically, praying for a way to safely.
During her search, she spotted her neighbors, an elderly couple, tossed to the cold ground not too far away, left forgotten. The man was draped over his wife of fifty years, protecting her even in death. Against their wills, their souls had passed on to the other side and Rukia had to force herself to keep moving. They had been such kind people.
The girl held back the bile that was rising in the back of her throat. Now wasn't the time. Rukia would make it a high priority to mourn the lost lives of her people the moment she escaped this fateful tragedy.
The solders marched throughout the encampment, pulling families from their homes and as Rukia ran, she noticed that the armed forces were yanking back hoods and tossing aside the beanies of their prey, seemingly searching.
When the men found nothing but the greasy, sweat cover manes of the homeless, their swords were raised or their pistols cocked. Even the screams of small children begging for the men to spare their relatives' lives went unheard.
Crimson fell as full families were annihilated without a care in the world. The military ranks were truly heartless assassins, just as the numerous stories portrayed them to be.
Rukia knew what they were looking for. It was obvious and it caused her racing pace to quicken even further.
They were searching for her kind.
She had to get away.
But luck never seemed to be on her side. As Rukia sprinted through the warzone, a load order was heard at her side; "You! Freeze!"
He was dressed in a once crisp uniform of the nation, his navy hat crookedly perched on back slicked tresses. The man was covered head-to-toe in red, and his glare clearly showed insane bloodlust as he spotted Rukia's attempt at freedom. Then, much to the girl's horror, he started moving towards her in bulky, mud incrusted military issued boots; the man prepared to strike mercilessly.
However, her pace did not falter in the least. She could see the river's edge in the distance. That was a sure sign to safety. Only an idiot would stop at certain death now.
She wanted to live.
He was running at her now and Rukia's only hope was the possibly of passing him before he struck her down in cold blood.
"I said, freeze!" His voice was filled with clearly placed rage.
No, she was so close.
Than unexpectedly, the murderous man pivoted on his heels, stopping no more than a foot from her pathway to face the river. His sword swung outwards for an enhanced reach. As the blade flew at Rukia's approaching form in a roundabout slice, the man nearly howled like an angry beast; "Damn it, freeze!"
The moment the sound of the blade cutting through the night air reached the female's ears, violet eyes dilated fully. Rukia didn't bother slowing her steps, the raven-haired seemingly racing towards her oncoming demise.
All the while, she never pulled her gaze away from the river's border.
The blade had been moments away from making contact with her jugular but just as the combatant was about to bare his teeth in a victorious grin, her cloaked figure was shown before him, crouching directly beneath his sword like a wild animal ready to pounce. Rukia's stare met his then, and the girl felt a small amount of pride as she gazed up at his surprised expression. It seemed as if no one had ever dodged his sword until now.
In those few seconds before she shifted her weight forward into a position similar to a wild cat breaths away from jolting forward in a race across the savanna, Rukia noted the way his uniquely blue grease-back mane seemingly glowed in the moonlight.
It was a strange, brief thought and with a rush of wind against flushed skin, the girl was bounding forward once again in a race for her very survival, the beautiful river being the finish line to freedom.
Rukia knew it was coming the moment she felt the cool air against her matted raven locks— against her fluffy cat-like ears on top the stands. In her rush to evade the soldier's blade, the girl's hood hand fallen. The yell broke from the homicidal warrior in arrogant recognition, his voice booming to his fellow armed forces; "Neko!"
Rukia's eyes closed briefly, the girl accepting that in that moment, she alone would be hunted due to her nearly extinct heritage. However, she pushed that aside. She refused to let anything else enter her mind besides the murky waters up ahead, the girl running towards her salvation.
As the material of her windbreaker moved against her motions, a long black tail was seen from underneath; her cat-like abilities pushing her past the simple survival instances of mere humans. Her bare feet scarped painfully against rough asphalt as her lungs burned in anguish. Rukia was pushing her little body to its breaking point but she wouldn't stop, even as the surrounding troops fired.
Their cries of war were deafening even while strict orders were growled; "Do not shoot to kill! When need it alive!"
The loud snaps of weaponry were heavy in the air. The sound caused the Neko to flinch with each crack of metal, expecting her demise to come with each passing bullet.
However, as the cat moved, it seemed that she was astonishingly still unharmed.
Maybe, she really could make it out alive.
It seemed that the darkness was being used to her advantage. Although, right as the thought entered her mind, an excruciating slice of fire was felt against her side.
Rukia stumbled, the girl catching herself mid fall against the jagged rock that surrounded the river's edge, blood oozing from her scraped palms.
Biting hotly at her tongue to stiffen a cry of pain, a tiny arm was pressed to where the bullet met flesh. Tears and sweat mingled as the cat carefully crawled down the stoned surface leading to freedom.
The load screams and gunshots blurred in her mind and Rukia did her best to stay conscious with the ever pained inhale of soiled oxygen. The icy water was felt against her soles as she crept down the mountain-like rocks.
She had to make it. She would not allow herself to die like a pathetic, wounded animal.
The night was concealing her as well as pushing her forward and as Rukia slid into the fast moving current of the chilly lagoon, the shots ceased. The Neko heard the army men at the top of the bay, searching once again.
But the men would not descend into the rocky landscape let alone into the massive lake itself. The water was long past freezing and the waves violent. Only a fool desperately clinging to their existence would ever take such a risk.
Yes, Rukia Kuchiki was a fool. It was clear with ever frantic moments against the angry tide that threatened to wash her small form out to sea.
She wanted to live.
The sounds of the military had stopped; maybe they had given up. The girl could only hope.
The filth ridden water stung and irritated her fresh obtained wounds, the Neko staggering. The burn was unbearable but Rukia had to make it across the stream no matter the cost.
Safety was waiting on the other side.
The eighty districts of the homeless, an area known as Rukongai, were separated from the upper class lands of Karakura Town by the tides of the deadly Karasu River. The region closest to this river was Rukongai's seventy-eighth district known as Inuzuri; the area also known as the underpass slum—Rukia's home sweet home.
But now everyone she had cared for had been snatched away, never to been seen again in this putrid world. The Neko glanced back feebly, tears falling even within the frosty swill of the Karasu.
She was all alone now.
Her struggle brought her to one of the many rocks that were scattered along the water's surface, anchoring her and the Neko let out a pained cough. The female's lungs were heavy, her whole body burning as the subzero temperatures played at her skin.
If Rukia made it to the other side, how long could she possibly live in this condition?
A small hand moved forward, the tiny appendage slipping, before digging into the next stone that led a straight path to the jagged landmass on the approaching side. Grasping it the best she could, Rukia pushed forward. She wouldn't lose hope now. Maybe others had escaped and were waiting for her on the other side… maybe even Renji was waiting for her.
She had to stay strong.
The lake was far too deep to allow her short figure to reach the unhygienic sandy floor so Rukia continued to kick against the tide in a strange, doggie paddle-like motion; which was quite ironic given the current circumstances.
The windbreaker's water heavy material was making simple movements even more difficult, the large hood blocking her eyesight, disorientating the female. She wanted to throw in aside, it was only causing problems, but it had been a gift from Renji. The only gift she had ever received in her lifetime.
She knew he would be proud of her when they met again in their Utopia of the rich.
It could have been hours or minuets, she couldn't be sure, but by the time she had somehow made it across the tarn, Rukia's mind had become clouded and hazy and the Neko wondered briefly if hyperthermia was finally setting in.
Tugging herself to the sandy shoreline of Karakura's edge, shock was gradually fading and exhausting was beginning to make an understanding appearance. All she could do was lie against the ground similar to a wet rat; bleeding and broken.
"Help…" Rukia whimpered weakly to the seemingly deserted word, her body now cold and unresponsive.
The Neko was sleepy but she knew that if she closed her eyes, even for the briefest moment, there was a very high possibility that she would never wake again.
Moister fell from her eyes once more and Rukia numbly realized that she was still crying. Why was she crying?
She had to stay strong.
The soft glow of streetlamps overhead filled the night as the Neko weakly attempted to pull herself forward once again, only to have her body slump down against the earth in defeat.
Time past—she had no idea how long— and Rukia lay shaking, fighting against sleep the best she could with distracting thoughts of her past and dreams of the future.
She was sobbing silently now, thick liquid crimson seeping from her side and pooling beneath her— the bullet.
I really am going to die.
The stunning realization brought unguarded fear. The raven-haired Neko struggled as her body seemingly began to shut down against her will.
"Damn it! If this was how it was gonna end, why did I even bother running in the first place!" She was screaming now, near hysteric, sobbing loudly as the cat dug her nails deep into damp sand in pained frustration.
Although nearly deafening, the question was whispered in a deep, suspicious tone and Rukia held her breath.
What if one of the navy men had finally found her?
The Neko attempted to crawl away from the approaching presences but ended up only hissing at the pain of her side, frozen in place.
"Hello?" The voice was absolutely male the girl did her best to remain completely still, even thought the streetlights had surly already given away her position.
He was at her side now, his form nearly glowing in the luminosity of the surrounding lampposts; "Shit- Are you ok?"
Her vision was blurred due to her overpowering sobs and extreme blood loss. However, a mess of orange met her vision, and the Neko gave a pained cry. "Please…Don't take me back..."
Her pride no longer existed as the man pulled her to him carefully, a large hand brushing back knotted raven locks from her tear soaked gaze.
His voice was kind and concerned, "What's your name, Miss?"
Rukia didn't say a word; she couldn't, her consciousness was slipping from her now.
"Miss!" The unknown man was yelling urgently now. "Stay with me!"
Blank violet eyes gazed up at the foggy image of her savior. The man held her close, using his body heat the warm her, his words now muted in Rukia's mind. He was warm and the Neko felt strangely safe in his arms.
"Thank you," Rukia croaked, her voice sounding rough and foreign, the bitter taste of copper strong on her tongue.
The man was screaming now, for help, for her to open her eyes for anything- but the Neko felt an inner calm that was lulling her to an unknown state of mind. She couldn't seem to fight it anymore.
She was so tired.
Resting her cheek against his hoodie covered front, Rukia let her thoughts leave her, mind darkening.
The pain was fading; she could finally sleep.
A bit of a cliffhanger. I hope this first chapter didn't disappoint! I will be uploading this fic every now and again. No lurking! I love hearing my fantastic readers thoughts and feedback.