THE ARRANCAR TEMPLATE
I. Basic Information» Name:
Hiramatsu, Ahmya» Age:
5'10" / 178cm» Weight:
150lbs / 11 stone / 68kg» Gender:
Rogue, preferring 'her own side' or affiliation with those who play multiple sides.» Appearance Written:
Upon first glance, Ahmya's long, lustrous black hair can be very hard to ignore. It hangs to just above the small of her back, thick and voluminous but also soft, and frames her face with the hard lines of short-cut bangs in contrast to her fair skin.
Her eyes, slate grey and cold, often give the impression of a sullen woman who is perhaps weary beyond her years but the truth of the matter is that she just doesn't sleep very much and what little sleep she does get is often restless and fitful.
Tall by most people's standards at 5'10" / 178cm, Ahmya's build is more or less what you would expect from a born predator like an Arrancar. Light, feminine, and lithe, her physique is an almost stereotypical depiction of a naturally gifted swimmer with lean, powerful musculature, in a slim and graceful package.
A byproduct of her athletic lifestyle and generous height, Ahmya is always conscious of her posture and keeps to a rigid stance, particularly on her shoulders. A small to moderate bust removes much of the temptation to slouch and the way she ever-so-slightly inclines her head backward might also give the impression that she's looking down on you. Perhaps intentionally.
Despite the athletic appearance and cold distance of her eyes, Ahmya loves to present herself in warm and feminine ways. Often outfitted in a shihakusho of a solid, dark color she accentuates and punctuates her appearance with vibrant, colorful kimonos and the occasional accessory. Primary colors like red, blue, and yellow are adorned with orchids, lotus, vines, or a multitude of other floral patterns in her standard wardrobe. When not dressed so 'formally' her style is consistent with what many Western cultures would expect of a 20-something woman, although she takes special care to wear versatile clothing that she could sprint in or perhaps even fight in--if in a pinch.
Although she prefers consistency and a 'signature style' in her every day there is one trend in fashion she allows herself to make an exception for: chokers. Her favorite piece is a thin black band of silk clasped together around the silver outline of a heart. Her fingers and wrists are otherwise free from jewelry or adornment, but she does sport multiple modest ear piercings.» Appearance Image: » Bone Fragment:
Perched like a circlet or a diadem upon the head and mere centimeters thick, her final mask fragment sits at her hairline but is strategically covered by bangs. Three, small, bony protrusions on each side of the brow interrupt the otherwise smooth surface» Hollow Hole:
Perhaps stereotypical, her Hollow Hole rests mid sternum, just over her heart. It is covered almost constantly by her wardrobe not out of any sort of shame or desire to conceal--if that were the case she would take greater effort to hide her Mask Fragment--but rather out of simple necessity. It just doesn't look very good
Ahmya's reiatsu is a rich and dark pink, almost magenta, that billows around her like the cream being poured into coffee or ink left to billow in a glass of water. It is cloudy, with its own distinct weight and volume like a thick fog at midnight. But, unlike its owner, her reiatsu dances chaotically and with an almost playful pulsation. During moments of intense focus or anger, her reiatsu stains the dull gray of her eyes a very warm pink.
II. Personality» Personality:
Everything about Ahmya is considered first for efficiency. The way she walks, the way she talks, the way she moves, and even the way she thinks.
Stalking about the room with long strides and her head on a swivel, Ahmya looks and acts something like a caged tiger more than anything human. There is a tension to her walk, almost like a coiled spring ready to unleash its energy. Yet in spite of this, her movements are deliberate and careful with no overt action wasted on either nervousness or excessive energy.
Her hands remain calmly at her sides, or clasped together in front of her. She turns her body only to address others directly, preferring to otherwise turn only her eyes when speaking casually.
Linguistically, she speaks with a neutral accent, more formal sounding than natural as if she spent many months or years practicing just so. When using Japanese, she prefers the aristocratic Tokyo-ben, but occasionally slides into Kansai-ben when she loses her manners or lets her guard down. She also speaks a very clean Oxford English bereft of the same 'faults' that her Japanese might betray.
In light of how she carries herself the best way to describe the way this creature when under duress, or when needing to strike, would be fluid. Rather than simply unsheathing her sword and attacking there is an impeccable flow and balance to her motion which lends a sophistication well in excess of the actual savagery that underscores her actions. Like ocean waves, she can be calming, soothing, and steady. But never forget that those same waves are also relentless, unforgiving, and deceptively powerful.
When in conversation, Ahmya's warmth comes to the surface. She is congenial towards those she considers to be friends, or at least entertains as her equals, often asking at length about how they are, how they have been, how their life is going, and all the other sorts of things that friends talk about. Sometimes, she almost asks too many questions as if she might be taking stock of the person she is talking to rather than asking from a genuine place. Regardless of the truth, she is well practiced at making it appear to her benefit.Matronly:
Although young and without children of her own, Ahmya has a natural matronly instinct that she is compelled to act upon. She cares for those in her charge and those she feels close to in a way that goes beyond wanting or needing to be their friends or companions--she wants the best for them in all the forms that takes. Sometimes she has to be stern and tell people what they need to hear rather than what they want to be comforted by. Sometimes she must show her 'family' that she is willing to do whatever it takes to protect them from threats, whether that be through simple intimidation or something more severe. Beneath her formality there is both a mother's love and a mother's wrath.Willfull:
Perhaps cliche to say, Ahmya is a very strong-willed woman but this runs much deeper than simply refusing to give up in the face of adversity. She believes, not uncommonly, that the universe responds to the weight of a person's will. Reality is a consensus that cares for the strength of your voice, not for the equal counting of votes. Acting against this is simply not in her character. If there is an issue she cares about, or a problem where she believes her reality is invested in the outcome, she will not stand idly by and let the future be determined by her inaction. She must will her future to exist. No exceptions.Disciplined:
Self-control and a lack of spontaneity are the prices she must pay in order to project the image she has cultivated, and get the responses she has grown accustomed to receiving. There are few other ways that a person could endure the long many long sleepless nights that she has and still remain sane.Brutality:
Patience is a virtue, it's true, but even Ahmya's legendary tolerance has its limits. And at that point, where her tolerance is taken to or beyond its bring, she seeks to resolve the situation with egregious and enthusiastically applied violence. Results are what matters. A few broken bones, a few spilled pints of blood, a few lost limbs...None of that alters that reality.Quirks and habits:
While she has worked to smooth over many of her 'less ladylike' habits and eliminate anything that would demean her perception as a lady of sophistication, Ahmya cannot help but slip into at least a couple of those habits. Most obvious is her lip chewing which also prompts her to take fabulous care of her otherwise full lips. Throughout her day, she frequently applies or reapplies various glosses or balms to her which she rationalizes are to try to dissuade herself from messing them up by biting her lip.
Less noticeably, she has a habit playing with her fingernails when her hands are idle. Although she keeps her nails healthy and of modest length, the practical reality of swordplay has often meant that long nails are a detriment in her day to day life, but some things simply are
too cute to give up. To resolve this dissonance she is often digging one nail into the other to scratch at some sort of itch she cannot seem to reach.Hobbies:
Antoine de Saint Exupery once said, 'Perfection is achieved not where there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away'. This is a philosophy that Ahmya takes great pride in pursuing. Completing jogging routes in the shortest amount of strides. Arranging and decorating rooms to their minimalist perfect. This passionate pursuit takes many forms across all of her leisure time and often leads to a lot of extra cleaning up and tidying--which comes in handy during many sleepless nights.
More socially, she is an avid viewer and supporter of American basketball, as well as choosing to play that sport frequently in her own time. She enjoys flower arranging, painting with water colors, and cooking/baking snacks that run the gamut from very healthy to very naughty.Dislikes:
There are certain lines Ahmya cannot suffer to be crossed. For if they are, it digs into her sensibilities and drains her focus from the things that really matter to her. Chiefly among her rules is to obey the hierarchy; some people through either merit or inherent greatness are just better
than others. This needs to be recognized, and this needs to be followed. It's the only way society continues to roll forward, by allowing itself to be guided by those who are the betters. Yes, this makes her elitist. And closely related to this, she also deeply values respecting elders (especially parents) although that is by no means an implied agreement to defer to them. The wisdom of age is worth valuing, even if the boldness of youth speaks more to her. Observing a failure in either of these things in others is sure to put this young lady on tilt.
III. History» History:
Ahmya was born on March 14 and her mother had joked with her father about how fifhours hours of labor and a baby girl wasn’t exactly what she had in mind for a White Day gift, but the truth was that Ahmya’s parents loved her every bit as dearly as they loved one another from her very first breath.
Both her mother and father had been masquerading as members of the Japanese military for quite some time by the day Ahmya was born, and as such, she was raised in a comfortable environment that was perhaps bordering on lavish. She was wanting for nothing during her childhood, and even from a young age her mother and her father did their best to not only instill a solid set of values in their daughter, but lay a foundation for the skills they both knew she would need later in life as she was doubtlessly destined to follow a similar path. And face similar struggles regarding her nature.
It took tremendous discipline for her parents to keep their true nature private in the world of the living despite everything going on around them. They were secretive towards the world, they had to be, but between them they bared everything as the naked truth.
The heavy military influences in her upbringing became the bedrock upon which her world view was based—she experienced the benefits of rank and the chain of command on a daily basis, and coupled with the work ethic she saw in both her mother and father, already at an early age she realized that there were only two things that a good person needed to be: hard-working and obedient. Self-indulgence had its place, of course—that much was clear from the way her parents acted at home—but it was something private, shared only with friends and family. For her tutors she felt nothing but the deepest respect, and she worked hard not only for her own benefit, but also to please her parents.
Naturally, they were enchanted by their dutiful daughter, who even before her tenth birthday was making significant progress in her spiritual abilities and senses, devoting herself to becoming someone worthy of her parents’ legacy. It seemed as though there weren’t enough hours in the day to satisfy Ahmya, and her father’s repeated insistence that she go to sleep rather than read all night—for Ahmya was an avid reader—became a game of sorts for the both of them.
It was during one such exchange some months after her twelfth birthday that Ahmya spoke with her father for the last time. His body was found the next morning, windpipe crushed, and Ahmya was devastated. Her mother put up a strong front, of course, but Ahmya and Ahmya alone could see how much she was suffering. She redoubled her efforts, her young mind attempting to not only fill the void the death of her father had made in her heart, but also to please her mother in a childish attempt to distract her from her sorrow.
Zanjutsu had always been her favorite—Ahmya took after her father a lot in that respect—and while she did not yet have a style to call her own, she had a dream: one day, she would command her blade with the same prowess, with the same elegance, as her late father had done. She would reach that point, and then keep going. What had happened to him would not happen to her. She would not leave her mother alone.
Time passed, and Ahmya entered puberty, growing to look more and more like her mother with every day that passed, but she spent little time with others her age. She was very much in a hurry to grow up, not realizing that she had but one youth, and despite her mother’s insistence that she would regret it later in life, Ahmya pushed onward. On her seventeenth birthday, she entered a military and martial arts academy, intent on graduating in record time.
It was no surprise, of course, that she excelled in all her subjects; her head start was considerable, and she was fueled by an unearthly drive. It wasn’t quite ambition—Ahmya did not lust for power—but rather it was an overpowering desire for results that propelled her forward. Results meant progress. Progress meant she was that much closer to her goals.
After a little over a year, Ahmya was on the brink of graduating, but the instructors were concerned by the fact that she had grown so fond of her sword. Privately her parents had stashed away a Zanpakuto for her intending it to be a coming of age gift upon her graudation, but after her father's death her mother deigned that she was to have the blade and begin bonding with it as soon as possible. Regardless, the process had not been easy on either end even though she could practically feel her father's legacy within the blade, calling out to her.
Despite her patience, Ahmya’s frustration was mounting, and it distracted her from the subtle change in her mother’s behavior—she had become more distant than usual, and even the strong front she usually put up around the house was crumbling.
When news of her mother’s suicide finally reached her, Ahmya could do nothing but stare in numb shock at the wall in silence. The threat of her death had always loomed, just as it had done with her father, but as with her father, it had been completely unexpected. Ahmya could not comprehend the reasoning behind such an action, and it was with no small amount of despair that she came to the realization that her mother had abandoned her. She was all alone.
For two weeks she remained in seclusion, neither meeting nor speaking with anyone, and when she finally emerged, it was with dark circles under her eyes and her own Zanpakutō at her side. She had remained awake the entire time, unable to find the respite in her dreams she so desperately craved, and when she reappeared at the academy demanding that she be allowed to graduate, the instructors could not deny her.
She was taken in by friends of the family, a pair of Arrancar that had served in the human military with her parents and that Ahmya had called aunt and uncle since her earliest days, and moved her things out of the house she had grown up in. It was still very much hers, but it wasn’t somewhere a young girl would want to live on her own, especially not with the heavy memories she associated with it.
For two years she lived with her foster parents, for two years she didn’t sleep, and for two years, she was unable to commune with her Zanpakutō. The inquisitive, good-natured and hard-working girl she had once been had become flinty and cold, filled with a growing sense of the futility of her actions, and a question was constantly nagging at her: with her family long dead, why did she press on?
On her twentieth birthday, she found a reason.
It started with a simple interaction with a young child at the market. Ahmya sat on a bench with her legs folded up under her body, watching the people pass by as she waited for another day to wash over her and be lost. A young child, a boy about six whose hair was matted with dirt and his clothes caked with mud, ran up to her stared into her eyes from mere feet away. Deeply into her flint gray eyes the child looked, more deeply than anyone had looked at her since...since both of her parents were still alive. In that child's eyes she saw the same need she had faced without her parents and she knew what she had to do.
She broke a piece of bagel from her half eaten lunch and handed it to him. He ate it slowly right in front of her, savoring the gesture as much as he savored the food. He followed her and she wanted to keep him safe, to protect him, but her foster parents would never accept an additional burden like this, let alone from a human child.
As she helped him search for a place to bed down for the night, out of the gutters and warm and safe, a streak of black caught her eye. High in an old, barren tree a very special crow landed to perch and watch as the two crossed courtyard. The three-legged bird watched them with a curious eye and the occasional flutter of its wings and then just as quickly as it swooped in the bird disappeared. She knew instantly, in that short glimpse of the creature, that it was a sign from her Zanpakuto. She was finally on the right path.
For nearly three years she built her gang. She closed her parents estate and took some of their final dispensation and bought a house. Simple, but as large as she could afford, in one of the poorest districts in Tokyo. And she outfitted it with beds and bunks and a pantry which she always kept stocked. The kids came, one by one at first, but then in larger and larger groups as her reputation grew. This was 'momma'. Or 'Auntie Ahmya'. Or 'Ahma' to some of the youngest among them still working on their speech and diction. She gave them food, she gave them shelter, she gave them purpose
. In return, they gave her obedience and hard work, and she was a hell of a woman to disappoint.
It started small, as the funds and petty cash for her orphanage began to dwindle. A wallet here, a watch there. A pair of earrings from time to time. But the need and the crime both grew until theft was simply no longer enough. Thankfully, some of the boys had grown into young men and they were fast enough, strong enough, loyal enough to extort both tourists and locals alike. Protection rackets, private gambling, debt sheet collection, illicit courrier service, the kids covered it all and did so pleasantly beneath the nose of the local law enforcment. Their youthful folley was enough to escape suspicion regarding their greater organization.
But one night a pair of local Yakuza came for her. They followed a group of her boys back to the orphanage and put the pieces together as they entered her domain. The two men saw an easy mark-a young woman by herself with a bunch of kids-and made their play. What they didn't count on was Ahmya seeing a sight she had not laid eyes on in several years-the three-legged crow perched on an open windowsill as her heart raced in her chest and the Yakuza began to lick their greedy chops.
The din of thunder rumbled outside and the rain began to pour. A heavy, dark, rain that could chill a man to the bone.
She agreed to pay and lead them to her bedroom to open her safe, on top of which rested her katana in its saya. She had not unsheathed it nor practiced her kata since she moved in with her foster parents.
Everything seemed so still, so silent, except for the song of steel as her Zanpakuto tore through the air.
A sickening rip, like a wet sponge being torn in half.
A cold thump as one of the man's forearms fell to the floor. There was no taking it back.
Her reiatsu bloomed for the first time in years as the fury crept into her eyes and ached to soak every muscle with the rage contained in her sword. One step, then another. One cut, then another. The second mand squeezed off two shots before he went down, one even hitting her abdomen. As new flesh bubbled to the surface and the bullet was rejected by her quickly awakening body, her children rushed to her air and came upon the blood-soaked scene. She was her father's child, after all.
IV. Equipment» Equipment:
[This section has been skipped intentionally.]
V. Racial Techniques/Abilities/Skills» Racial Abilities: Zero Nami (ゼロ波 "Cero Wave"):
Although Ahmya can normally only fire her Cero from the palms of her hands, by sweeping her sword in a long, wide arc she is capable of releasing a Cero that behave more like a wave than a beam. It is the same rose-gold color as the Cero she fires from other points.Hierro:
Ahmya's Hierro is still growing harder and developing into its true strength, but it has solidified into a formidable defense for her torso and neck. She is generally more durable in her 'center mass' than she is if attacked on the limbs.High-Speed Regeneration:
What she lacks in the innate defensive ability of Hierro, Ahmya more than makes up for with her High-Speed Regeneration. While suffering a wound is a setback for any warrior, Ahmya simply cannot be kept down for any significant length of time. New flesh bubbles to the surface as her reiatsu works quickly to repair even severe damage. While this does not save her from the pain and suffering of her wounds, it at least helps mentally to know that they will not be keeping her down for very long.Sonido:
The iconic Arrancar interpretation of high-speed movement, Ahmya uses this skill to 'finish the job' or to weave in and out of close quarters during combat. Built naturally for quick bursts of speed, the young Arrancar make use of her nimble frame and keen eye to dart around the battlefield leaving only blurs and the static crack of her Sonido behind for opponents to swing at.Garganta:
If ever there were an ability that appealed to this young woman's psyche...With a short, violent rip of her hand, or a shallow cut of her sword, Ahmya rends open the space before her and creates a small, black void that can lead to another dimension or cross vast distances in space.Yagyu Shinkage-ryu:
Her preferred sword style, this is a descendant of Battojutsu and is mixed with elements of aikido. Collectively, this style emphasizes fluid movements, subtle techniques, and use of a long, thin blade in order to disarm or incapacitate an opponent (rather than outright killing them). While any true student would admit they have much to learn, Ahmya is exceptionally gifted in this regard, even if she sometimes abandons the finer points of her training in exchange for a little fun.
VI. Sealed Powers » Zanpakutô Name:
Yatagarasu (八咫烏, "eight-span crow")» Zanpakutô Appearance:
A modest 30" katana, Yatagarasu is quite simple in its design. A slight curve on a slender, singled edged blade is accentuated by a black, circular hand guard and a simple, black grip. There are no interesting features or quirks of the blade itself aside from a shobu-hi (a type of blood groove) that runs the length of the blade. The saya, although principly black, is decorated with small white and pink cherry blossoms.» Unique Power:
Arashi no Karasu is the imperfect, sealed form of Ahmya's power. Literally translating to 'storm crow', this crow first needs to summon her storm. Upon drawing her blade, Ahmya's katana begins to leak salt water from the blood groove and her each step leaves behind wet footprints. The smell of salt spray and the briny sea blooms forth from her reiatsu and as she rushes for her first attack, the heavens unleash a cold rain on the battlefield.
Representing the first stage of Ahmya's greatest flaw--her stubborn, unrelenting, and driving focus that often leaves her blind to the true dangers around her--Arashi no Karasu induces thick, dark rain clouds to dump a cold, discomforting rain on the battlefield around her which soaks opponents causing them to grow cold, their muscles to tense and cramp, and their bodies to begin to shiver. This rain is centered around Ahmya and appears to 'move' with her.
The rain with slow to a trickle and then stop once she sheathes her katana, and the clouds dissipate shortly thereafter. Ahmya is immune to these effects and suffers no impediment from any accumulated water, nor from its temperature.
Aside from giving her an edge in pursuit of her prey as well as offering cover for the hunt, the strength of this power is in its synergy with the later stages of its evolution.
VII. Resurrección» Resurrection Name:
Kuroi Ame, Kokina Gaido [ 黒い雨 高貴なガイド "Black Rain, Exalted Messenger"]» Resereccion Release Phrase:
Ahmya speaks in a flat voice, "Black wings, black skies."» Release Actions:
Ahmya's entire form submerges into a puddle of water which has been produced by her Zanpakuto, before bursting forth from the water in her evolved form.» Resurrection Appearance:
That which was a beautiful, fair skinned woman only moments before has given way to the twised malice of the released Zanpakuto. Just as Ahmya is consumed by her goals, so too is her form as she seeks to batter down and subjugate that which has earned her wrath.
Fair skin and rosy cheeks have yielded to a faded, pale, unhealthy looking slate-green like a bloated, water-logged corpse. And her eyes, once gray and stoic but still possessing an almost marble-like luster that underscored her discerning nature now instead burn wholly with a predatory red. Her hair, once long, straight, and thick is now a matted, tangled mess of seaweed, sand, and brine.
Her body, larger now at nearly ten feet tall, still maintains its nimble grace and agility but has traded the smooth lines and polished posture for sinewy limbs and gnarled joints. Around the sides of her torso, her skins transitions and fades from its unhealthy flesh into similarly colored fish scales, and transitions once more into lustrous black feathers that sprout into three sets of wings on her back (6 total wings).
The middle set of wings, when completely unfurled, stretches thirty feet from tip to tip. The other two sets of wings are each twenty-six feet. Although these wings are large enough to be functional they merely enable her flight; she does not need to flap them in order to soar over the battlefield or hover in place. In general, Ahmya is able to hover at approximately twenty feet off of the ground or fly at a speed similar to how fast she could run on foot, without needing to dedicate effort to the action. Heights in excess of this example, or speeds in excess, require her to exert herself.
Her Zanpakuto grows to accommodate the size of her new form but remains physically otherwise unchanged. The blade, once perfectly sharp and polished, now appears rusty as if it had spent years in the salty water of the sea. This change is merely visual and results in no loss of cutting power.» Resurrection Abilities:
Building upon the torrential downpour of her sealed power, Kuroi Ame Kokina Gaido allows her access to a variety of ocean and storm-based techniques all in keeping with her relentless brutality. Additionally, the downpour created by her sealed Zanpakuto is 'upgraded' to a terrible storm full of lightning, thunder, and wind such as an unfortunate sailor may encounter on the high seas.
Her favored techniques in this form include:Aku no Nami ("wave of malice"):
Her Zanpakuto and Resurrection produce substantial amount of water. Water infused with her reiatsu and malice. Bending this to her will, Ahmya can command the sea water to swell into a wave designed to batter and bludgeon and unfortunate opponent.Hikōsen (飛行船 "Shipbreaker"):
Some objects or people are just too big for her smaller, more lethal waves to harm at all. For just such an occasion, Ahmya can summon up a much larger wave capable of unbalancing and knocking back even the largest of opponents. Smaller creatures may find themselves swept away by the cold water entirely. Due to the size of this wave and the amount of water involved, this technique takes one post to 'hit' and then another one post cool-down before it can be used again.Tatsumaki (竜巻 "Waterspout"):
Simple in appearance, the strength of this waterspout lay with its collateral damage. Relentless winds and swirling water suck up any loose objects or flotsam or even people before spitting them skyward only to hurdle back to the ground. This technique isn't so much controlled as it is 'unleashed' into an area. The spout generally does not drift very far, although like the real thing, it is unpredictable even for Ahmya.Sora no Ikari (空の怒り "Sky fury"):
It wouldn't be much of a storm without lightning. Although limited, Ahmya does have some control over the fury of the sky in addition to the water. By surging her reiatsu up as something of a lightning rod, she can direct bolts of spiritual energy to strike her sword and infuse the blade with a substantial, one time boost of killing power. This ability has a three post cooldown.
VIII. Skill SheetWill Skills
- Willpower: Adept
- Mental Deduction: Beginner
- Pain Endurance: Adept
- Focus: Beginner
- Durability: Beginner
- General Speed: Beginner
- Strength: Beginner
- Weapon Skill: Adept
- Pesquisa: Beginner
- Sonido: Adept
- Cero/Bala: Beginner
- Hierro: Beginner
IX. Role Play Sample» Roleplay Sample:
The young boy puffed up his chest at the question and started explaining himself, but it didn’t take long before Ahmya cut him short, the words dying in his throat.
All it took was that single syllable and it seemed like the young man in front of her deflated back into a boy, robbed entirely of whatever it was that had kept him afloat thus far. In itself, it was a good indication Ahmya's arguably kneejerk reaction had been the correct one. The proper response to setbacks in Ahmya Hiramatsu's 'little family' was not to let them blindside you. It was to turn around and demolish them.
‘But why,’ came the plaintive bewilderment at last, and Ahmya could only shake her head.
"I don’t have to have a reason." The flat affect crushing that last bits of optimism the boy had left.
‘There’s no way you don’t have a reason!’
She pursed her lips in silent thought for a moment, then inhaled.
‘Your street gang was the first place I went to for help when this thing was formed. Half of the people in that warehouse were old members of the other major gangs in your neighborhood, which made it the logical place to start. You’re not an accomplished ganger, or else you wouldn’t be here today. You also didn’t take the offer to leave those boys in favor of what I offer when it was first given, which in itself tells me a lot about you: you hesitated the first time, and you’ve been second-guessing that choice ever since. Now you’ve finally realized you’re fed up with their small time efforts and are looking for greener pastures elsewhere and are hoping that I will accommodate you."
She took a step closer to her interviewee, touching two fingers to his chest, right above his heart. "If your reaction just now is any indication, I’m willing to bet that much of what I’ll find in here is half-measures and lack of follow-through. That’s not what I’m looking for."
Her cold grey eyes bored into his, as if challenging him to act.
"This thing of mine is by design small, but it’s made up of those who are very, very good at taking care of their family no matter the costs, no matter the risks. You are small, but you’re a far cry from good. Thus I am formally denying your request to join. Goodbye."