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Infestation Training thread (Open/Hanzo)

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Infestation Training thread (Open/Hanzo)

Post by Shiroki on Fri Sep 08, 2017 2:33 pm

No leads, no escapees, an in-folder overflowing with folders stamped 'urgent' and no sign of the Captain in sight.

A typical day in other words. And Shiro was bored already. He looked back at his desk, reluctantly unfolding a paper airplane pieced together from the empty carcasses of evil paperwork. Captain Tsuyosa's requisition request; written on expensive stationary emblazoned with her House crest, appeared just as complex as it did before he had pressed it into service as his airplane's cockpit. Sighing, he set it to one side. It was already overdue anyway, and procrastinating for a few more hours wasn't going to hurt. He could use a breather anyway. Maybe someone in the barracks would be up for a round of kido tag...?

Sadly, this was not the case. Not entirely surprising, given that anyone who was anyone in 2nd had likely heard enough about house-rules kido tag to unanimously decline. It was very odd indeed how so many of them remembered pressing appointments elsewhere or important business whenever he asked. Spoilsports.

He was about to leave when a single solitary figure caught his eye. It occured to Shiroki then that he had been mistaken. Not everyone knew of house rules kido tag. One person remained who didn't, a person who might even say yes. But for some reason, it seemed bad to be taking advantage of somebody like that.

The cub shook his head in confusion. Morality hadn't played that big of a role in his decision process before. Maybe the role of Lieutenant was changing him more than he would have thought.  

It didn't change him enough to abandon his alternate plan though; making an effort to dampen his spiritual pressure so as to creep up on an unsuspecting quarry without being seen. Shiroki stopped a hand's breadth away from his target, adjusted his lieutenant insignia and folded his arms in his shihakusho the way he had seen some Captains do, practicing looking imposing as he settled into the role. He had to admit he had a long way to go before mastering that trademark icy stare though. Did captains actually practice sneaking up on people and glowering? Given how every Division's captain seemed to be proficient at it, Shiro assumed the answer was yes. Better get some practice at doing so himself then. In case he ever became captain or had to fill in for one.

Not to mention because it was so darn fun.

Checking to see if his arms were folded the right way, Shiroki craned over the one remaining Shinigami seated in the barracks and cleared his throat, hardly caring that he had to find a stool and stand on it in tiptoe to do so.

''Up for some insect extermination, Judai-san?''
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Re: Infestation Training thread (Open/Hanzo)

Post by Hanzō Judai on Fri Sep 08, 2017 9:59 pm

Hanzo's head turned sharply, with a hollow crack of his neck. Inside the helmet, he winced. Though he loved the grinning Deva helmet, it was heavy and not meant for quick, sudden movements. He cleared his throat loudly, quickly pulling the sleeves of his uniform back down. The sleeves had been pushed up towards his shoulders, showing some of his tattoos on his shoulders and four heavy golden bands on his arms.

"Oh, it's you, Lieutenant. Um... Insect extermination, Sir?" Hanzo looked back down towards the paperwork in front of him. He wondered if reading all these complaints of 'improper usage of force' was something that should be delegated to the newest member, but the mounds of paper five inches high seemed to paint a picture of somebody higher up on the social ladder saying "not my problem".
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Re: Infestation Training thread (Open/Hanzo)

Post by Shiroki on Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:31 pm

The sudden motion was enough for Shiri to speedreed a few of the topic titles littering his newest teammate's desk, prompting another uncharacteristic flair of empathy.

''Yeah...about those. Don't worry about that, you weren't with us when we went on that; um, outing so you shouldn't need to handle the fallout. I'll do something about it later,'' After all, why not? He already likely had Captain Sabi from 13th breathing down his neck about overdue paperwork. Having another Division pissed wouldn't kill him. The whole thing was ridiculous anyway. Improper use of force be damned, as far as he was concerned that hollow had been resisting arrest and deserved what was coming to it. So what if they let themselves get carried away? Not his fault if those support teams from 4th couldn't deal with a little roughousing without checking himself into therapy. He respected how important they were in healing and stuff...but the bleeding hearts outlook was too much. They should just stick to what they knew and leave the head cracking to people who actually knew what they were doing.

''You look like you could use a breather Judai-san. It's too nice a day to be stuck doing paperwork. Especially if no one else is doing it. We could go out on a field trip, if you don't mind showing off your apartment. Or l could book the dojo for us if you like...that seems to be a little more up your alley. It'll be fun. Kido, combat, Jizen, whatever you like. And if anyone has a problem just blame it on me. We might even have you well on the way to shikai in no time...assuming you haven't already got one and are hiding it for some reason of course,'' mistaking the reaction, Shiro added quickly. ''Not that there's anything wrong with that, keep whatever secrets you like. This is Squad 2 so its pretty much standard here. As long as those secrets aren't stopping you from being part of a team we don't mind,''

From there he brought out the big guns: tilting head and widening eyes to Disney proportions. ''Pleease?''
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Shiroki

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Re: Infestation Training thread (Open/Hanzo)

Post by Hanzō Judai on Sat Sep 09, 2017 9:58 pm

Hanzo looked at the paperwork, tilting his head in thought. Inside the helmet, his ears twitched. There was a lot of papers in front of him, at least a good portion already signed. It wouldn't be that much of a problem to just wait until later to finish.

Hanzō Judai shrugged, standing up and straightening his papers into nicely organized piles. "I suppose it won't hurt to step out for a while. I have to run to the apartment today anyways. If you'd like to come,
you're welcome.
"
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Re: Infestation Training thread (Open/Hanzo)

Post by Shiroki on Mon Sep 11, 2017 4:38 am

"How's everything so far then, any problems?" The pair made a strange sight strolling down Seireitei's avenue; a tall man and his diminutive companion. "Are they still making you process students over at the Academy? If it's not your thing, we can try something else more interesting. People think the 2nd's all about ninjas and arrests but there's more to it. We're spies, enforcement, wardens and talent scouts," the Lieutenant gestured roughly in the direction where that building lay just outside Seireitei's gates. "Overseeing the new students is just as important as catching people; more important even in some ways. For many of those students you'd be the first Shinigami they ever see, and some might even want to be like you, or surpass you. That's quite a feeling..." his tone turned contemplative. "I remember when I saw my first Shinigami. Seems like yesterday even though that must be centuries back. Black outfit, sword...I wanted to BE like her," Shiroki laughed wryly. "The real thing's more boring than I thought it would be and the cool black uniform turns out to be annoying to wear every day...but I wouldn't trade it for anything."

"But where was I? Oh right--Academy's important, don't let anyone tell you otherwise. It's not a posting that has much room for advancement though, so it depends on where your interests take you. If you like excitement and action it's probably not the best place for you. Try other things and see what you like, it's what I did. Or apply for a Seat and become Lieutenant if you want. If that's your thing, you'll need a testimonial and some endorsements saying you got what it takes. It's different for each squad I think--some make you do a test, others want to see your recent achievements," he snorted. "Maybe the 11th makes you kill the previous lieutenant before you can take their place. It wouldn't surprise me,"

They walked in companionable silence for the next couple blocks, the cub taking several steps for every one of his companion's larger strides easily. "Guess what I'm sayin' is that you start with where you want to be and work backwards, find out what it takes to get there and become better at those things. We can go over some of those, but I can't help you with what I don't know so for stuff like brawling you'll need to learn from someone else,"

Chalk it down to habit, but it troubled him somewhat to be out in the open street and not the more welcoming shade of alley shadows. "Are we there yet?"
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Re: Infestation Training thread (Open/Hanzo)

Post by Hanzō Judai on Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:18 am

Hanzo led the Werewolf to a smaller section of Seireitei that was mostly old stores and cheap housing. It was obvious when they came to the right area; everything just looked poorer than the rest of Seireitei. Maybe not as bad as Rukongai, but it certainly wasn't anywhere close to where a nobleman would live.

As they walked, Hanzo listened to his lieutenant going on and on about advancement, work and improving oneself. Under his helmet, he made a wry face. Hanzo moved towards a four story building that was in desperate need of a fresh coat of paint, pulling a set of keys from his pocket as he responded to the Werewolf. "Processing might be boring, but I don't yet have the strength for being a warden, the speed or subtlety for stealth,
and I still can't get my Asauchi to become a true Zanpakuto and tell me its name.
"

He unlocked the front door, leading the second seat into the apartment building and up two flights of stairs to the third floor. The building was a plain and ugly on the inside as it had been on the outside, and several of the doors they passed separated them from loud, angry fighting going on in the apartments.

He stopped before room 306, taking a smaller key to unlock the door, though he had to ram his shoulder into the door when it stuck. "I called an exterminator the other day, but I haven't been back since I joined the Division. I took your advice and started sleeping in the barracks, but my things are still here. There should be some frozen food in the freezer, and grounds for coffee on the counter next to the coffee pot."

The inside of the apartment was a single room, with a small bedroll on the floor under the single window, a chair in front of a TV, a table beside a refrigerator/freezer. Several boxes were stacked up along one wall, each marked by a word, 'clothes', 'books', 'uniforms'. The floor was four large tatami mats and nothing hung on the walls.
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Re: Infestation Training thread (Open/Hanzo)

Post by Shiroki on Sun Sep 17, 2017 10:29 am

It was a nice little place, by bachelor standards. Anything larger and he would have had trouble with what he intended to do.

"I wouldn't worry about the exterminators," Shiro took a glance around to satisfy himself that all windows were shut, before taking up stance. "Take a deep breath,"

"Bakudo #21: Sekeinton,"

Red smoke billowed out from point of contact and began to spread, slowly filling the room. Having no place to go, it grew thick and stifling as it diffused into the air.

He took a backward step out of the apartment, motioning for Hanzo to do the same and close the door behind them. "It's perfectly safe. I used to do this once or twice a month back when I was assigned cleanup duty years back. Pests get into the pantry like you wouldn't believe. Bit of smoke always does the trick, harmless to us but kills insects dead. And don't worry about the mess, Hado: Tenran will take care of that too. Speaking of which,"

He opened the door a crack, allowing smoke to waft out slowly instead of all at once. "There we go,"

Piled up at the other side of the door was a small heap of crawlies, struck dead in the act of finding an escape. Nothing could survive without access to air, and apparently insects weren't any different. The fact that he had been increasing his own spiritual pressure to weigh down upon the room's available oxygen certainly helped too. "I don't think they'll be bothering you for awhile. And if they come back, you could always get me to chase them out again, Judai-san. It's what I do anyway--chase things,"

"As for what you said just now, everybody's got to start somewhere. I'm here because I like to chase things. Do what you like long enough and you get better at it. I'll always be here if you need a sparring partner or help with anything. It excuses me from paperwork,"
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Re: Infestation Training thread (Open/Hanzo)

Post by Hanzō Judai on Tue Sep 19, 2017 9:50 pm

"No, sir, wai-" Hanzo began when he realized what was going on. Too late, he watched the smoke billow up and the room get closed off.

He groaned, thinking that the owner was going to have a fit. She hated kido being used in the building. Well, nothing he could do now, but he was still annoyed. He had wanted to get some of his things but decided against going into the oxygen deprived room for a while. He motioned for the Lieutenant to follow him back downstairs, leaving the door open; he had nothing worth stealing anyways.

He talked as he led the way downstairs, "Well, I definitely could use the practice. But I'm not sure how to go about it. I haven't felt comfortable holding my Asauchi since the incident with the Ryoka. It just feels... heavier now," he said, tossing his head back and pulling the ornate helmet off. His plain face was scrunched in though, lips pressed to a line. His large fennec fox ears were pulled backwards and flat as he confided in his superior.
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Re: Infestation Training thread (Open/Hanzo)

Post by Shiroki on Fri Sep 22, 2017 7:20 am

Well, perhaps that could have gone better. While it was true that Shiro had always been a firm believer of 'better to seek forgiveness than to ask permission'; maybe sometimes it would be best to err on the side of caution and ask people before doing things.

After all, one didn't have to be a mind reader to sense Judai-san might be feeling miffed and only too polite to say anything about it. He made a mental note to apologize if conversation turned that way, or to make it up some other way if it did not. No sense making stuff more awkward than it already was.

"It's only natural," Dammit he was so bad at feelings. But so too were the rest of the Squad; neither Division 2 nor 3 were exactly known for their counseling abilities. Sad as it was, he really might be the best person to try. "You faced someone much more powerful than you, and did the best you could. We couldn't ask any more than that. Fighting on without any reason is useless. You did the right thing sending the alarm. There's nothing bad about running away. Heck, I do it all the time,"

He wondered if the pep talk was working. Given the lack of response, most likely not.

"Was that...your first time facing someone who wanted to kill you?"
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Re: Infestation Training thread (Open/Hanzo)

Post by Hanzō Judai on Fri Sep 22, 2017 7:56 am

Hanzo led the way back outside and leaned his back against the stoop. "It was. Even in the Academy, I never had to fight, let alone be so overwhelmed. The girl... I thought she had just been some kid, probably someone who stole their dad's clothes to feel more like an adult. She really killed those people in the Academy, though. I... I don't know why she didn't kill me. She wouldn't even let me get hurt once she was done with me and I just don't understand it."

The fennec fox shapeshifter ran a hand through his short hair. It was getting shaggy and needed a trim. "But I can't do anything with my sword now. It feels wrong after she used it. It's heavier than I remember,
and the weirdest part is, I feel like it's... crying. That probably sounds weird,
doesn't it, Lieutenant?
"
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Re: Infestation Training thread (Open/Hanzo)

Post by Shiroki on Wed Sep 27, 2017 5:21 am

Huh. Now that Hanzo had mentioned it, it did seem rather odd to kill some people but not others. The boy searched his memories from that recent catastrophe. On hindsight, it did seem as though the monster ryoka was holding back. Though why she would do that but also kill the others in the Academy was beyond him. Unless...maybe she saw it all as some kind of game? That might explain a lot. Or even--he found himself thinking of the anime cartoons he'd watched with Captain Oshime and in his own school days. The ryoka did seem to be a lot like a kid; maybe for some reason she thought real life was like those cartoons and that people came back after they died? Silly notion, but it accounted for much of her actions and offense-oriented fighting style.

But she had been holding back though. He knew that on some level, and likely Captain Tsuyosa was aware of that too. They both had been trying to finish off the ryoka before she unleashed whatever doomsday power she kept in reserve against them. It hadn't been fair, but that was the way of the 2nd: Seek not beauty in battle, seek not beauty in death... He knew that litany by heart, and likely Hanzo did as well.

As for the Asauchi... He was no expert, but from what Hanzo was saying it sounded like it could be the indication of an inner conflict. If so, that might actually be good news: a sword that was in conflict with the wielder was a sword beginning to develop an identity--which was more than what a blank Asauchi could boast. It took no effort to swing a sharp piece of metal at a target; what made it challenging was if you had to subdue or come to terms with an unacknowledged part of yourself first to even do so.

He would tell Hanzo as much. "It seems your zanpakuto might be on its way to awakening, Judai-san. If it's the first time you've sensed any sort of awareness from your blade maybe it's trying to make itself known to you. Sometimes it takes a fight to the death to get these jerks going. You wouldn't believe what Inukaze put me through," Thinking of that prompted a mental shudder. "But the zanpakuto is part of us; all of us--even the parts we don't like about ourselves. Accepting all those parts, or at least knowing they exist is a step towards ownership and shikai."

"You stayed to watch some of the fight didn't you--even though I said to flee? And it bothered you, made you wonder about things that haven't come up before? Wasn't pretty, but yeah we were going for the kill. Both the Cap'n and me," He gazed into the distance. "Was two on one unfair? Yes. Was wrecking South Rukon too much? ...maybe. Was it honorable? Heck no--but we did it then and we'll likely do it again. We aren't Eleventh, we don't muck about with honor-in-battle crap. We're the Second, and we fight to win no matter what. Even if we got to cut the ryoka's head off to make sure she isn't faking," A pause. "I might still have done that if there was a body to do it to, actually,"

Hmm. On hindsight maybe it would be better not to mention that last part. Oh well. "Knowing the stuff on paper's a lot different from actually facing it in real life, so... Is there...anything you need to talk about?"

Crap he was bad at this. But if it was any consolation, at least Captain Pekku wasn't any better.
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Re: Infestation Training thread (Open/Hanzo)

Post by Hanzō Judai on Sat Sep 30, 2017 6:07 am

Hanzo looked down at the sheathe on his hip. Even now, it felt wrong, too heavy and dense. If he touched it, a sense of loneliness overcame him and he could hear crying from far away. He'd never heard of something like that, a sword that did nothing but cry. He had tried communing with it, meditating over the sword but it was as if he was too far away to be heard, or maybe it wasn't listening.

Hanzo looked back up at his Lieutenant. "Oddly enough,
Lieutenant, knowing you both were going for the kill doesn't make me feel better. That girl... She was toying with everyone. Even I could feel that her spiritual pressure was so filtered that it was just pure energy with nothing attached to it. She felt like nothing, and nobody can hold back that much while fighting for their lives. And I can't help but wonder what'll happen if something like her came back, and wasn't holding back like last time. What if she actually wanted to kill Shinigami.
"

It was more than what Hanzo usually said at once, and by the slump of his shoulders, it was clear the thoughts were weighing quite heavily on the Shapeshifter. The fennec fox ears were pressed flat as the muscled man looked at the Werewolf boy, clearly debating asking something personal.

"Can... May I request a favor of you again, Lieutenant? If you have a Shikai, I'm sure you can communicate with your Zanpakuto unlike me..."
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Re: Infestation Training thread (Open/Hanzo)

Post by Shiroki on Mon Oct 02, 2017 6:19 am

Communicate. Well, that was definitely one way of putting it.

"More like we argue and beat each other up," he had been trying for levity but was falling pretty short of the mark. "But sure, whatcha need?"

Inukaze's awakening had also turned out to be kind of a shock. It had forced him to confront truths about himself he would rather seal behind locked doors which never saw the light of day. First contact was always going to be unsettling, however you approached it. Rarely would there be a reaper who wasn't surprised about the form their sword took, or never complained about his or her sword spirit giving them trouble during Jinzen meditation. The worst part about it all was how personal each journey ultimately was. Hanzo would have to walk solo for some of the way, since nobody else could be a better guide for one's own soul.

Not that he wasn't willing to help out of course. Anything for a packmate.
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Re: Infestation Training thread (Open/Hanzo)

Post by Hanzō Judai on Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:46 am

Hanzo ran a hand through his hair before looking at his feet. "Would... you try to talk to this sword for me? I've tried, I really have, but it's as if it doesn't want me near it. All I can get is that... crying sound and its feelings of loneliness." Hanzo shook his head, pulling the still sheathed katana from his belt-loop.

The sword still looked like an Asauchi, but under close inspection there were subtle differences from the generic sword given to all Shinigami and the one held in Hanzo's hands. For one, a very faint design was starting to appear on the sheathe, looking like some twisted pattern of overlapping skulls on the red sheathe. And the guard was different, slightly rounder than it had been, less rectangular than it had been even the day before. It was slowly, gradually changing appearance ever since the attack, but Hanzo couldn't get any answers or acknowledgement from the sword.

"I was hoping, maybe with your experience, you could get it to respond to you. It won't even acknowledge my presence."
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Re: Infestation Training thread (Open/Hanzo)

Post by Shiroki on Tue Oct 03, 2017 2:37 am

"We can't see a spirit unless its owner forces it out by force, never mind speak to it," Hanzo seemed crestfallen, but the fact that there had been changes to the blade itself was likely a good sign. If he wasn't mistaken, it was beginning to reflect traces of its wielder's essence imprinted where once was blank steel. "You'll hafta go in there yourself, and if Jinzen's not working try something else,"

Tapping into his inner senses, the jackal chanced an experimental sniff. There did seem to be power here, faint and buried traces that overlaid both Hanzo and his sword. Those would get stronger if he managed to learn its name and progress onto Shikai. But this was certainly progress. Especially compared to the nondescript reiryoku associated with Hanzo before. All Academy graduates were capable of exuding reiatsu and powering kido spells with energy of course, but it wouldn't be until they established a bond with their zanpakuto that their reiatsu would develop a unique trace all its own. If he concentrated just right, he could almost see the new colors in the man's aura even: an indistinct blur of red(?) and gold. Some new flavor was associated with it as well, an acrid aroma that smacked of hot metal and...sand? Given that they weren't anywhere near the meditation gardens and this wasn't Hueco Mundo, he could safely rule out physical sources. Which meant that whatever Hanzo's sword was; it could be sand related. Somehow. And if he squinted just right...a concept flashed into awareness too quick to identify. Was that...a container of sand of some sort? A metal ring?

He shook his head to clear it. The information input was only conferring vague impressions, little more. He still had no idea what shape the other zanpakuto would take, or what abilities it would possess--other than it was likely to involve sand in some way; and be extremely difficult to work with for both its wielder and the opponent. It had given a very strong sense of a restriction that may well backfire upon its wielder if he wasn't careful. If that was the case, then it was no wonder the sword spirit didn't want to 'come out and play' as Inukaze put it. With such a built-in 'restriction' there was a possibility of Hanzo's Shikai ability being ridiculously strong; something that needed limits put into place to prevent injuries otherwise. If the sword-spirit doubted he could handle it, he would be having more trouble accessing his inner world until the spirit deemed him 'ready'. And that could take anywhere from days to years.

Luckily, there were alternatives. Whether Hanzo liked them or not was another matter.

"Jinzen's not the only way to reach the inner world, Hanzo. It's only the most...painless," Shiro hesitated before drawing his baton. "My first time happened back in class, when a stupid buncha Hollows flanked me and left me for dead. Then poof--Inner World," he ran his fingers over the many nicks in the wooden surface. "They're still us, so they don't really want us to die. If we died, they die with us,"

He gave Hanzo some time to think this over before continuing. "So: Pop quiz. We're Onmitsukido. We've a guy with info we really needta know. He won't play nice, what's next? Torture him? Nope; big tough guy, he ain't afraid of torture. Then what--offer sake and sushi?"

"No. Whatcha do is: you threaten what he cares about. Then he'll crack," Shiro glared at his own tonfa like it'd done him a personal injury. "And you already know what they care about, don't you? Said it before: Us,"

"Y'know, 11th Squad can't be as dumb as they look, because they already know this...sort of. Ever ask y'self why so many guys in 11th are so bad at Jinzen but still got Shikai? They've figured it out before any of us did: other way is to get y'self beat up and force your zanpakuto to come save you,"

"I can't make it talk to me. Only you can do that. But what I can do is help force it out if you want. We're not from 11th so I won't mess you up like they'd do...but it's still gonna feel pretty bad. Faking's not gonna cut it. Has to feel real; be real. Won't come out otherwise,"

"I'll be in the Playground if you wanna play some tag,"
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Re: Infestation Training thread (Open/Hanzo)

Post by Hanzō Judai on Wed Oct 04, 2017 12:23 pm

Hanzo hung his head. It had been a long shot, but he thought it worth a try at least. The shapeshifter sighed, putting the Zanpakuto back in place and covering his head with his cracked helmet. He didn't know how he was going to fix it; it was a one-of-a-kind. The Shinigami straightened, agreeing to meet his Lieutenant at the 'playground,' but not to wait up for him.

Parting ways from Shiroki, Hanzo went back inside up to his apartment and started to gather up some of his more important items, putting them into a large duffel bag. His clothes went in first, some health products next, then the handful of pictures from his days at the Academy. He had some books, too, that he wanted. After a few minutes, his bag was full of his personal affects, and he slung it onto his back and started walking back to the Second, leaving the duffel under his desk, noticing the papers were all still there, along with a brand new pile. Rolling his eyes, Hanzo jogged off to find Shiroki on the playground.
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Re: Infestation Training thread (Open/Hanzo)

Post by Shiroki on Wed Oct 04, 2017 10:13 pm

No doubt about it, the 12th really outdid themselves on this one--

Shiroki sat at the counter of what appeared to be his favorite soba shop back in Inuzuri's district. The resemblance was uncanny, right down to the rickety wooden furniture and tattered menus on the walls. Only the absence of welcoming smells wafting from the kitchen and shouts of its patrons spoiled the illusion. This wasn't the actual shop at all but mere stagepaint--a replica model built to scale and only one out of the scores of other hollow buildings he had requisitioned to be created when he got his rank some years ago. Given how many fugitives sought refuge in the high numbered districts, it made sense to have a scale replica available for the Onmitsukido to train in before being sent out to experience the real thing.

Thus far, it had seen little use. Oh the Captain used it sometimes when training the new recruits in the finer points of urban warfare, but other than that most of the division tended to leave it alone. General consensus was clear: the full scale replica of 78th district Inuzuri was creepy as hell and gave the impression of a ghost town. Empty buildings standing intact, washing hung out to dry but no sign of any occupants in sight.

But that was precisely the point; to get the troops familiar with navigating an unsettling environment. Criminals on the run hung with other criminals. They didn't picnic in a bright open meadow and make themselves sitting ducks for Onmitsukido ninjas to pick off.

The hourglass upon the restaurant counter told him there was still some hours to dusk--the appointed time. He liked holding all his games at dusk. It messed with sight and--best of all--made an already spooky town spookier. Everything was in place, he only had to see to a few final preparations.

He drew his sealed zanpakuto from its sheath. At that pre-arranged signal, several members of his Retrieval squad blurred into existence around him, weapons at the ready. They made no sound, standing like shadows awaiting an order.

"We," Shiro didn't bother to turn around, the place was quiet enough that they could hear him perfectly. "Are gonna play some tag,"

Nervous whispers and sideways glances erupted around his unit. He waited for them to die down before continuing. "It's different this time though. Hanzo wants to get his Shikai,"

More sideways glances, but fewer whispers this time. Everyone present here was an officer who had attained Shikai. They knew what he meant, and what it was going to involve. He might've helped a few of them down a similar path himself.

"You know how it goes, but I'll say it anyway--for as long as the drill's in place I'm no longer your Lieutenant and Corps Commander," the child slipped out of his shihakusho and laid his Lieutenant badge on the counter. "That's gonna be Officer--no, Lieutenant Judai's from here on. You will listen to his orders and do only as he says while he tries to apprehend a treasonous ex-officer," there wasn't any need to explain who the target would be of course. "With one exception--only do exactly what he says and no more, don't try to be helpful or give advice or interfere."

"Unofficial orders--try to spread out and separate the group as best you can under Lieutenant Judai's orders. If he says stay together, you do so. But if you can find an excuse to slip away, do it. I'll be picking you off one by one. If you feel something touch the back of your neck, you're 'dead'. Anybody who's dead will follow me to help with the setup,"

As for rules of engagement. He gestured at the triangle of sky blue cloth knotted loosely at his neck. "Game ends when Hanzo manages to take this bandanna from me. Explain it to him and pass on the officer badge when he comes in. Any questions?"
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Shiroki

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