Inspired by these words… "He's quite the fearless one. Yes, he has peaked me interest. I have plans for you, little Ichigo" AND "I'm going to show him what true fear feels like. True that this battle is going to be hard for him, it'll seem like a walk in the park when I'm threw." FROM MAYURI KUROTSUCHI!

Really, the last thing Ichigo had expected was to be treated like a hero by people he believed to be far more deserving of the reward than he was. He was given a medal, a plaque and even the word of the Head Captain, Yamamoto, the he was a great Shinigami and held the proud figure of what all future Shinigami would strive for.

Why is it then, that after all this praise and congratulating, that Ichigo found himself here? Here being chained to a cold slab of rock, in the middle of a dark room, wearing nothing but pants with the Captain of Division Twelve.

"Why are you doing this to me?!" Ichigo questioned, his anger not even scratching the surface, yet he was already seething. The truth was, Ichigo had asked Mayuri to help him with... something, but instead he wound up here.

"One, I find you absolutely and unquestionably interesting. Two, I have many questions about you that I'd like to know the answer to. And three, this will hurt you a lot and quite frankly you make me highly pissed off," Mayuri answered truthfully and blankly. His grin didn't leave his face for a single second.

Ichigo closed his eyes. He silently prayed that this was all a dream, or an illusion, but everything felt far too real.

"Let's begin, shall we?"

That didn't sound good, and it didn't feel good either. Ichigo's jaw was harshly opened by a strange metal instrument. A cloth was then harshly stuffed into his mouth causing Ichigo to gag fiercely. Quickly afterwards he was blindfolded by a large piece of leather. Ichigo then felt hands on his left leg. The hands pulled his pant leg up past his knee then vanished off to the side where a small clanking noise was heard. Moments later a cold metal dot appeared on Ichigo's knee cap. Ichigo's scream was mostly gagged by the cloth, but he still managed to produce a loud sound. It was a knife that had appeared on Ichigo's knee, and now that knife was slowly dragging downwards leaving a deep gash in its wake.

"Day One, no dosage, Kurosaki's instant regeneration has not been activated. He has been given an inch deep cut from his knee to his ankle on his left leg. Now commencing with step two," Mayuri said aloud, obviously to some sort of recording device.

Ichigo braced himself for the next attack, though couldn't help that his mind wandered to what Mayuri had just said. Instant regeneration… Is he trying to activate my hollow powers? Ichigo wondered.

Hidden within the sideways world is where Shirosaki sat. He looked up into the sky, his vision not on the clouds, but instead on the poor visage of his tortured king. Shirosaki sighed, resting his head apon his open palm. "Poor, poor King..." He smirked. "Shoulda listened to me when ya had the chance."

Shirosaki was, of course, referring to the past month. He'd tried to apologize to Ichigo for his misbehaving, trying to prove himself an obedient horse, but the King wouldn't listen. Ichigo rejected Shirosaki countless times, each of them wounding the hollow's heart a bit more than the last, but nothing hurt more than when Ichigo visited the all insane Mayuri Kurotsuchi. He'd asked the Captain to come up with some way that'd make his inner hollow "shut up for good", but in return Mayuri merely took it as an advantage to do some research.

The best part about it was that Ichigo felt every single drop of pain and Shirosaki only grew stronger.

Now Mayuri held a needle against Ichigo's throat, slowly injecting the bright orange substance into the Substitute Shinigami's blood stream. Ichigo let out a wild scream as heat and pain soared across his body, his eyes (only noticed by Mayuri) flashed orange before Ichigo's screaming halted.

"Step two complete," Mayuri recorded, "First dosage injected, containing the blood of an Adjuchas and the Spiritual Pressure of a fifth seat. Eyes turned orange for merely a second, not enough to activate Hollowfication."

"You... bastard..." Ichigo growled, his voice hoarse and still in pain. "If you continue with your experiment... you'll kill us all!"

Shirosaki laughed though kept it from Ichigo's ears. "Thanks for the compliment King! Yes, I think I will destroy them all. Every last thing you hold dear will be torn apart! And then I'll deal with you." The last bit was said with more of a sneer than with any amusement.

"That's a price I'm willing to pay," Mayuri replied. "I couldn't care less what happened to the Seireitei. And besides, it'd serve my purpose if I got to see how strong you were."


Mayuri chuckled, though it sounded more like a giggle. He fetched a red hot iron rod from a furnace in the corner of the room and brought it into Ichigo's view. "When you wake up you're going to have one hell of a hangover." Mayuri slapped the rod across Ichigo's head successfully knocking Ichigo unconscious and burning a hole through his hair and skin.