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 Don't You Find it Strange?[Yaksha/Boria]

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Subject Post 1PostSubject: Don't You Find it Strange?[Yaksha/Boria]   Mon Dec 18, 2017 2:37 pm

The forest of Menos was a bustling one, a realm where mindless masses of souls slowly warred on a scale that was beyond the ken of most mere mortals; millions upon millions of hands and teeth, driven to mindless frustration and consumption by pain that transcended thought and words, all gnashing and gnawing at one another, with about as much effect as flinging fruit as a tank. And yet it continued, over and over, until one particularly lucky soul landed a lucky shot...and then another. The logistics of the entities known as the Menos Grande...it was every bit as miraculous as life itself, that anyone could come out victorious from that pile of violence and self-doubt.

It was a place most hollows avoided, for obvious reasons; a Menos, maddened by hunger and instinct, would lash out at the first creature it spotted, and strike them down. The majority of weaker hollows avoided it for safety, and the majority of stronger hollows avoided it for comfort and simplicity; however simple swatting flies was, dealing with enough in a short period of time took a toll on the mind. Better to write it off as a lost cause entirely, and wait for it to spit out some newfound champion, like a diamond rising from the muck of a swamp.

At this very moment, a lone hollow braved the forest, hair whipping about wildly as it dashed from tree to tree, muttering to itself, and running its hands along its face.

"Wolf...glass arm...wolf glass...glass..."

It paused, turning its head this way and that, as if sniffing the air, and then dashing off in a zig-zagging crescent shape, just as a Menos's tongue shot outwards, nearly impaling it. It began to tunnel into the dirt, letting out agitated squeals of wounded indignation, and thrashing its tail about.

"Knew this was stupid! Going to get killed out here! 'Why can't she just have a forwarding address'? Hueco Mundo! Stupid stupid! No buildings in the land of the dead! Got to get out of here...think of something else..."

It was about this time that a shadow fell over the small hidey-hole that had been carefully, expertly created...but did absolutely nothing to hide the presence of the enormous beast beneath. Indeed, its humped back rose the sand up as if it were a dune, making it more gaudy than concealing.

"...Hate the Forest of Menos. Hate Hueco Mundo. Wanna go back. Hurry up and come out, wolf with glass arm..."
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Subject Post 2PostSubject: Re: Don't You Find it Strange?[Yaksha/Boria]   Mon Dec 18, 2017 3:40 pm

Perhaps it was for the best that the Hollow who had come to the Forest of Menos in search of the Wolf of Glass chose to halt above the Menos Grande that had taken to lying in wait like a burrowing spider. That section of the Forest was much like the others; blanketed in eternal night, lit only by the faint reflections of moonlight filtered through gigantic trees of quartz that rose to break through the ceiling and into the crisp, moonlit desert above. The spot itself lacked any advantage, much like the vast majority of the Forest, being only a random arrangement of the gigantic crystalline trees that gave the subterranean section of Hueco Mundo its name. The luck lay entirely with the Menos below the newcomer.

Say what you would about Boria Lee being a wolf, but her hunting style, long since adapted to the Forest and her own strengths, had more in common with a bird of prey than anything. She had long since picked up the knack of finding a Menos that had set a trap away from other Menos, and the Forest's quartz trees were practically a cobblestone path for her after hundreds of years of hunting in them. Combined with the cornering ability her Kristallnacht offered her and her powerful legs, and the Wolf of Glass could reach impressive speeds within the tree line. All the better for ambushing her prey at speed.

All this was why the Hollow perched in the tree would only have a few seconds warning of what was coming, as a Hollow approached at top speed, intent at first on the foolishly "hidden" Menos below, but his own arrival derailed Boria's intent completely. Most Hollows would eat before anything else, but Boria was not most Hollows and letting your guard down near ban unknown value had killed dozens of Hollows in her lifetime.

Granted, Boria had been the one to end them, but you could learn a lesson by teaching it, too.

Instead of striking her quarry like a swooping hawk, Boria bounced off one of the trees on her approach path and slammed into the waiting grasp of the adjacent quartz monolith to the visitor. The scrape of glass on quartz was rather loud in the quiet of the forest, but not enough to attract the attention of the Menos far below the two of them. She hung, suspended by fragments of glass in a Salvador Dali-esque imitation of an arm, and gave the other Hollow a curious stare. "Curious. You're a sight above and beyond what I usually see here. Another 'god-king' come to slum it with the common folk?" Her voice was strong and clipped in a German accent, devoid of frills like a feminine trill or any sort of purr or growl. All business, as it were, though tinged with the slightest hint of sarcasm. "Though if not, I'd beware. Barragan Louisenbarn walks the sands again. And he's just a little bit of a douche."

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Subject Post 3PostSubject: Re: Don't You Find it Strange?[Yaksha/Boria]   Mon Dec 18, 2017 7:31 pm

"Barragon? King is back? Damn! Damn damn shit fire and save matches! I'm leaving. I don't want to die that badly! You can come with me if you want...it'd make things a lot simpler if you did, but...fuck it, I gotta -go-! I don't wanna see that guy!"

The hollow's eyes bulged from its skull, to an effect that would've been comical if the radiating panic wasn't so obvious; the creature began to billow up from the sand, fretting and raising its hands in a wild gesticulation that brought to mind a creature begging for mercy, prostrating before a superior. It almost looked as if he were begging Barragon to overlook him already, until a thin purple-and-black slit formed in the air just in front of them, overlooking...another desert. This one, however, was a brightly lit place, and seemed bustling with activity from humans, moreso than normal. It seemed, in particular, to be largely packed by the sort of people who could only be classified as 'tourists' by their outfits and the absentminded leers on their faces.

The hollow turned towards Boria, bowing deeply, multiple times, and then gestured to the opening, jumping through it.

"Very important, yes, must tell wolf girl! Job opportunity in human world for hollows. Good work, pay well, do what you love, room for growth...yes, yes, good work! Safe work, much safer than working for Barragon or any other kings. No one trying to kill you, no one hurting you. Great for scared hollows. Don't like fighting, not me, nope nope! Don't want to be punched, or kicked! I hate pain! So...I go to Vegas! Work there! Yes, yes, work! Should come with me, work with me! Better than living here, under King's shadow!"

And with that, the hollow was gone...leaving the portal open, and a small, crisp white business card tucked within the sand, where it had been hiding mere moments before.
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Subject Post 4PostSubject: Re: Don't You Find it Strange?[Yaksha/Boria]   Mon Dec 18, 2017 9:00 pm

Boria's curious gaze grew more and more curious as the new Hollow proved to recognize the name of Barragan Louisenbarn. His reaction was... rather over-the-top, eyes bulging like a character from one of those cartoons she'd seen on the occasional jaunt to the Human World. The Garganta opening was, in light of his verbal freakout, perhaps not that surprising. Boria formed a scaffold of glass between the two trees and strode over to look at the opening in the air. "Hm... desert and tourists," she mumbled. "With English signs and that gaudy casino in the background... Vegas, nice." The stranger confirmed her mumbled guess immediately, offering her a job along with the information. For a short time, Boria was torn. On the one hand, she didn't like to imply that she was scared, but on the other... she was, just a bit. Barragan had been the God-King of Hueco Mundo for a reason, indiscretions and dereliction of the duty that title implied aside. Even if he'd bent the knee to a greater monster and almost lost his life for it, he was still, himself, a monster of immense power. Far more powerful than Boria, and... well, she'd kind of spat in his face.

She bent down and picked up the smooth white business card, reading it aloud. "Ugh. English. So many useless letters. OK... 'Original Sin. Established.'" She turned it over, squinting angrily at the smooth white cardstock. "Hell is this supposed to help me?" She looked at the Garganta and sighed. "Nothing for it, then." With a deep breath and a squaring of the shoulders, she strode through the hole in the air, emerging into the desert heat of Las Vegas.

This wasn't the first time she'd been here, granted. People-watching in Vegas was an occasional guilty pleasure of hers. Tourists did the dumbest shit, and it was usually good for a laugh. She hadn't been back in a long time, though. More people could see her nowadays, for one thing. Humanity had grown strong over the years. Or at least, stronger. Enough that they had enough variance to make hunting the spirits of humans a riskier proposition than it used to be, and that hunting Menos was preferable to a canny huntress like Boria. The ephemeral nature of Vegas meant that much had changed. She looked around, but could see nothing but people and signs, and the latter not well enough to make a judgment on where Original Sin was. She drew her Kristallnacht around herself like a cloak, iridescent glass glimmering in the desert sun but not drawing the kind of negative attention that allowing her Hollow hole to show through would, or cutting into random passersby for that matter. "Hey! How am I supposed to find this place? Your business cards suck!"

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Subject Post 5PostSubject: Re: Don't You Find it Strange?[Yaksha/Boria]   Mon Dec 18, 2017 9:25 pm

"Up here, wolf girl who stands out!"

The voice came from above, where the hollow could be seen, standing on thin air, and running about in circles, as if it were chasing its own tail, or otherwise preoccupied by some ridiculous instinct only it could understand. It began to cackle, and finally stopped running in circles, only to begin performing a strange, shuffling and skittering dance that made it look almost like it was having a stroke, and then crowing to the skies, laughing like a madman.

"Safe again, safe I beeeeee! Stupid king can be as arrogant as he wants, he can come to -me- if he wants something! Nyeh! Come come, quickly now! You am being very lucky today, wolf girl. Am making smart decision, joining us. We am appreciating all you doing for us."

The hollow began to nod, and then pointed off into the distance, before disappearing in a crackle of static, one so loud it forced most people nearby to cover their ears. It reappeared atop a building just within her point of view, pointing downwards, to a spot that looked like it would've been a vacant lot a few months ago...and was now being taken up by a large, square black box not unlike what one expected to see in the remains of a plane crash.

"In here, wolf girl! Hurry, hurry, be quickly! Much to discuss, must get you settled in before anyone comes asking nasty questions!"
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Subject Post 6PostSubject: Re: Don't You Find it Strange?[Yaksha/Boria]   Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:28 pm

Boria's head jerked up to face the source of the sound, the strange Hollow air-walking above her and chasing itself in circles as it crowed its perception of safety to the world. Boria bent her legs and leapt up to a rooftop nearby, improvised cloak jingling in the sudden rush of wind. "I'm here to hear your employer out, not join him blindly. I haven't signed up for anything yet." The sudden rush of static made the wolf-Hollow wince, but her eyes tracked the motion anyway, leading her to a building some distance away. Boria followed the Hollow at a fast pace, though markedly slower than the Sonido-imitation that her guide had used. The black box was unremarkable from above, but then, books and covers and all that rot.

Turning to her guide, Boria shook her head. "I'm not settling in just yet. Let me talk to your employer first. If he wants me to work for him, he'll have to make it worth my while." With that, the Wolf of Glass stepped off the rooftop as casually as some people take a single stair; managing falls long since second nature to the high-velocity huntress of the Forest of Menos. Reishi condensed under her feet, padding her impact as she bent her knees and gracefully touched down on the pavement. Searching briefly for a doorway, she entered the building.

Briefly glancing around the interior, she called out into the room; "Hey. This the..." She glanced at the business card again. "Original Sin? Your business cards are shit but your guy came all the way out to my stomping grounds to offer me a job. Figured after I traumatized him with news of Barragan coming back, least I could do was hear you out."

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Subject Post 7PostSubject: Re: Don't You Find it Strange?[Yaksha/Boria]   Tue Dec 19, 2017 12:08 am


Yaksha, The Anthropophagus




"Indeed it is. Give me a few minutes to finish making my arrangements and we'll talk."

This voice came from right behind Boria, remarkably similar to the voice she'd been hearing the entire time...but far far less gormless. Now there was a hint of a British accent to it, as if the hollow had gotten a very expensive and very impressive education sometime. The same creature, standing straight now, towered over Boria by no less than a foot, hands dangling at its side as it walked straight past her, as if not noticing her. A ponytail, long and lime-green, faintly swayed back and forth as he raked a single finger through the air, showing -far- more finesse than previously as he drew a keycard from the ether, and swiped it down the pad by a doorway. As it beeped faintly, and opened, the hollow ducked down beneath the opening, and murmured to himself.

"I'm surprised to hear you met with Barragon and made it out alive. You'll have to tell me all about it over a nice caprese. I have some perfectly aged basalmic I've been dying to break out. As a matter of fact...if he weren't such a self-righteous prick I would -gladly- allow Luisenbarn into my kitchen to help me speed up the process of fine cuisine. In any case, come on in. We'll be right with you."



Coding Altered From: [The Frost]
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Subject Post 8PostSubject: Re: Don't You Find it Strange?[Yaksha/Boria]   Tue Dec 19, 2017 12:22 am

The voice from directly behind Boria gave her chills. Five hundred years of predation had given her instincts for when a bigger predator was nearby. The fact that she'd been cocky enough to assume by mere appearances that the Hollow behind her wasn't one meant she was getting sloppy in the Forest. Her glass cloak shifted slightly, shards sticking up like a rattled cat's back hair. Her instincts were screaming at her now, a mental cacophony of alarms; you've fucked up, you've fucked up!

All for the other Hollow, now towering head and shoulders over Boria, to stride past her, flourescent green hair swaying smoothly in a nonexistent breeze. He opened the door and led her into the building proper, and she followed. Obviously, he meant her no harm yet, or he would've ended her in the Forest of Menos instead of dragging her here. She would just have to be doubly vigilant now that she was entering his den. "I must've used up all my luck on that encounter, getting taken in by your act. It was a good act, but in hindsight I suppose no Adjuchas would panic that much at the mere mention of his name. Terrifying he is, but he can't be everywhere in the Forest at once." She sighed, ashamed of herself for being taken in so easily. "So, all this just to speak? Is there a reason you couldn't just ask me to join you straight out? I take it you're the one who actually has the job for me, so maybe we can discuss over... caprese? I don't recall ever having tried it before. Most of my mortal life is a blur, and I haven't had much cause to eat human food over the past centuries."

The Hollow considered the idea for a little longer before nodding. "I suppose it'll be nice to try something new. Gillians taste an awful lot like chicken after a while."

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Subject Post 9PostSubject: Re: Don't You Find it Strange?[Yaksha/Boria]   Tue Dec 19, 2017 7:47 pm


Yaksha, The Anthropophagus




"Yes. I'm a coward. I want nothing to do with Barragon Luisenbarn, or the Gotei, or anyone else. I get by on being simply too much trouble to wipe out, very much like a cockroach. I wanted to spend no longer in Hueco Mundo than absolutely necessary, particularly because this time last year I was hardly strong enough to defeat a single gillian on my own."

As he said this, he seemed to relax, every muscle in his body loosening at once...and a suffocating miasma of spirit energy billowing out from him, as if he had just exhaled with great enough force to knock Boria back. The air around her suddenly became stiflingly thick, making every breath a struggle...and he seemed perfectly aware of the effect he had as he met her eyes, before inhaling slightly, and then gesturing for her to follow him through the doorway.

"It's a matter of principle for me. I don't take needless risks, like revealing myself before the time is right. I brought you here because I feel like any conversation worth having is worth having with the home field advantage. Had we talked in Hueco Mundo I'd be a mess of nerves, unable to really harness my fullest potential. Surely you understand that much? No one engages in a battle without first gathering every advantage they can. And...well, let's both be frank. Being a hollow is an advantage to an extent few really comprehend. So come in, and we'll discuss business for a little bit. It's going to be a hectic week, and I won't mince words. It's a seller's market. If you're willing to help me, I can make whatever arrangements you ask."

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Subject Post 10PostSubject: Re: Don't You Find it Strange?[Yaksha/Boria]   Tue Dec 19, 2017 9:41 pm

Boria follows the other Hollow with little hesitation. The amount of power he released so casually meant she wouldn't be able to run, anyway, and as she'd already concluded, if he was after her death, he'd have killed her in the Forest. "Actual intelligence is often confused with cowardice. I don't fight Gillians, for example. I hunt them. Humans, birds of prey, wolves, nobody hunts honorably. Honor is a crutch; can't be brave and dead at the same time." With a shrug of the shoulders, she continues. "You've obviously made something of yourself, if you're strong enough to hire another Hollow and feel safe in that decision."

Boria nods in agreement with the stranger's conclusion about their shared advantages. He was right; being the kind of apex predator that feasted on the souls of others was an advantage no matter what Arrancar, Shinigami, Demons, or anyone else said on the matter. "Well, I suppose the pleasantries should be taken care of first. I can't work for a stranger. My name is Boria Lee, though the soldiers I've stalked on the battlefields in the last two World Wars took to calling me Der Kristallwolf, or equivalent phrases in other languages. Either that or 'Oh, God, stop eating me!'" She chuckled at her own joke before giving her potential employer time to answer with his own introduction.

The formalities thus assuaged, or not depending on what the other member of the conversation replied with, she'd cut to business with a serious expression. "If I'm working for you or anyone else, I'm going to need to know what we're working towards. I don't dance like a puppet on a string; I'm goal-oriented more than anything. I'll work better that way, and we'll both be happier. If I don't like where it's going, I walk, but that's it. I don't rip your throat out, you don't stab me in the back, not while we're working together and not for a month after we stop, if we stop. And we train together. You getting the drop on me like that means I'm way below the level I want to be at, and I'm sure I can help you somehow in that regard." Boria Lee offered her hand to the other Hollow; her real, right hand. "Deal? I see no reason to waste either of our time with bargaining and haggling when I know what I want, and you already know what you're willing to give."

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