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Shunsui stood in the center of his division's garden, in front of him the members of his own division waited patiently for some sort of indication as to why they'd been summoned. Sure, occasionally he had meetings with his squad, but the atmosphere was generally much more relaxed. Today was different. Today they had a great deal of business to attend to, and he'd show those serving under him just how professional he could be.
"I assume most of you don't know why I've called you together. Well, it's simple really. We've got a mission to accomplish in the Rukongai, although it'll prove much different to what you're used to when venturing into those semi lawless lands. No, we have a benevolent goal this time. We'll be preparing the citizens of the Rukongai for whatever danger may come their way. We'll teach them the basics of combat, and enable them to protect themselves, as often times we aren't able to respond to their cries for help in time to mitigate all of the damage we potentially could."
He paused for a moment, looking over his division to gauge their reactions. He liked to keep tabs on the viewpoints of those working with him. Eventually he had gleaned all he could from their surface level reactions, and decided to continue.
"That's only one part of the problem though. In addition to increasing the defenses of the Rukongai, and by extension the defenses of the Soul Society as a whole, we'll be attempting to repair the relationship between the Rukongai citizens and those of us within the Gotei. Over the years many of the citizens of the Rukongai have become distrusting of us, and rightly so. We haven't treated them with the respect or dignity they deserve far too often. Hopefully we'll be able to change that today. I'm sure it will take time to repair this relationship, but if we show them that we care for their well-being I think we can make a great stride in the right direction all at once."
Shunsui waited a moment after he'd finished speaking, giving anyone who had anything to say the chance to do so. If there were no questions, statements, or objections, he'd begin making his way towards the Rukongai. He had told the other captains of the Gotei what he was up to, of course, and that also played a part into his momentary pause. If any of the other captains, or any of the members of their divisions were intent on joining him then they'd be arriving momentarily.
Subject Post 2Subject: Re: Rukongai Outreach Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:56 am
Hearing that her captain called a meeting filled the fledgling member of Gotei with some nerves. This would be her first real taste of the fifth division. She had heard about the captain several times when she was a lass. Entering the garden a bit before the rest of her colleagues, she wore the classic Gotei uniform. Her sealed Zanpakutō secured to her hip. The garden began to fill with more members. Hono stood in front of the group, a few other members were not familiar with the new girl, though they didn't mention it. Soon attention was averted towards the Captain Shunsui himself as he spoke to the squad.
The girl listened to her superior, his speech rather simple, but it was effective. Her captain had given off a good first impression. The girl had been raised in Rukongai, though she was privileged to live closer to the center, she had never seen how bad the outreaches really were. Hono nodded as the captain continued. The pink hair's reaction was a slight smile and a few nods. She listened to the speech continuation. Soon her mouth opened to speak, though nothing escaped. Quickly shaking her head.
If that was all the girl would follow after the captain. She was directly behind the man as the rest of the squad followed suit. Most of the nerves had gone away, she glanced down at her Zanpakutō one last time, turning her head to inspect her coworkers.
Though Abalia could not say that all of her attention had of late been directed toward the Gotei, it would also be unfair to think the attention she had shown it was anything other than quite dedicated. Her work in the wake of Baraggan's invasion was likely more than most had done, and she had done it all while still keeping herself fully committed to her work in Vastime and at the Tundra. Some might have questioned her loyalties, but anyone who knew Abalia would also know that she was not the sort of person to act duplicitous. Her goals as a member of the Gotei and as a member of Vastime were every bit the same, simply in different spheres of influence.
Of course, she was a Vice Captain as well now, not simply an everyday member of the Gotei. Such a thought did, admittedly, surprise her just a bit, though she hardly made much a show of that. She simply felt as though there were others more qualified for the position than herself, but considering the Captain himself had given her the position, and even told her to request it, Abalia did not much feel in a place to argue. If another could not be given the position, then she would certainly do the absolute best that she could with the job.
The silver-haired maiden's attention was exclusively on her Captain as he spoke, but no sooner had she taken his place near his side than she began her own input.
“With all due respect, sir, might we take a moment to properly discuss the nature of this strained relationship with the Rukongai? You say that they are distrustful of us, and that the Gotei has not necessarily treated them as they deserve. I certainly agree with the sentiment, and while I do earnestly believe that this sort of outreach will do well to better our relationship with them, I do not necessarily think that the onus is on the citizenry, so to speak.”
Abalia, most decidedly, did not mind this entire affair, and indeed it was the exact sort of change she had always intended for the Gotei. But something about it did rub her the wrong way, to use a common turn of phrase, and she was a bit uncomfortable with the implications of this approach.
“I believe that this is certainly the right approach to take, and I do hope I have not been misunderstood. But might I assume there will be more rigidly defined regulations regarding how our men and women in the Rukongai are to carry themselves and act toward the citizenry? Our division engaging in outreach is certainly a start, but we must remember that there have been others in the past, and presumably still are today, who do not consider the safety of the Rukongai a top priority. That, too, should be a top priority, I should think.”
Magnolia was not used to being summoned, especially on the drop of a hat. However, her life had undergone a metamorphosis of late, with the transference to this world, the knowledge she had gained and even the people she had met. It was one of those kinds of years where everything you thought to be true was taken, and then turned upside down. Magnolia moved with startling precision, disappearing in a flash of static before she appeared in the garden. Magnolia was slightly an enigma when it came to the relation between her and everyone else in the division. There was some . . distrust after the encounter that had sewn the seeds that had brought her to become a seated officer here in the 4th division. However for now, as she stood there silently in the garden, slightly off in the corner in the shade of one of the gnarled sakura trees that lay there.
She listened to what shunsui had to say first, he was speaking of a mission here in the gotei. Of teaching innocent men, women, and children how to defend themselves. Magnolia came from a land vastly different from their own, where fighting was the staple method of survival, almost everyone knew how to use a blade, or some basic hand to hand as a form of defense to protect themselves, and their loved one's. Hearing that their captain wanted to give these people, the tools that they needed to have safer lives was warming to her. In fact, it caused the respect she had for this man to grow. Many people could think of the enemies that were out there, and how to keep them out. However, few thought about how to protect those at home, for when the enemies come knocking.
As she listened a girl walked up to shunsui’s side, her hair the color of slate having been stirred by a faint wind--the girl almost instantly interjected and picked up where the captain left off, talking about the state of affairs and more importantly her own imput. It was impressive, the girl was dedicated to her work, and from what she had seen this division was much more cohesive than the other units. More importantly they were making strides to improve and protect the home that they had been given. Magnolia had not been here long, but as she listened to them talk, of bridging the connections and reforging new one’s, she couldn’t help be reminded of the instances of her own life, how each bit of progress could only be done by taking baby steps.
So eventually, even though she wasn’t a talker she made her presence known and walked over beside abalia and shunsui for a moment. She wasn’t quite as tactful as either one but she smiled faintly and said in a fairly level tone.
” I think everything that has been said here is good, but the only point of interjection i have or suggestion that is this. Yes, regulations will need to be changed, you can’t do this overnight though. Let’s focus on changing the perception of the gotei first in the eyes of the rukongai citizens. Once we do that we can undoubtedly work on regulations on our end to smooth them up, you’re right though. Perception is everything, and thus we can’t just fix it, we have to show it through our actions as well.”
Magnolia after speaking her peace seemed to opt for the sanctity of the sakura tree once more, having made her way back over to rest against it’s gnarled time-weathered bark as she watched, and waited to see if anyone else would arrive.
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Subject Post 5Subject: Re: Rukongai Outreach Wed Aug 22, 2018 12:13 pm
SHUNSUI KYORAKU | THE GAME MASTER
Shunsui listened intently to the input of his division, and then addressed their queries. They all shared his point of view, which was a relief. There were some logistical concerns, but other than that everyone seemed to be on board with this plan.
"Pardon me if I don't openly discuss potential policy change that will have an effect on every member of the Gotei in such an open environment. No, even if we were within the division headquarters, I would find it quite inappropriate to lecture my division on the potential failings of the other divisions. That's a conversation I'll be having with the Captain Commander, not with my own underlings, and certainly not in such a public place... Forgive me if that came off more harshly than I intended it to, but I think it would be best if we focused on the goal I've set at the moment."
Having said that Shunsui glanced around momentarily, then came to the conclusion that they would be on their own in this, at least for the time being. That disappointed him, as he'd been abundantly clear with his goals and intentions to the other Captains, and the fact that none of them had decided to participate, or if they had were late, did not bode well for the Gotei as a whole.
"Well, if there aren't any more concerns that necessitate further waiting, and you're all ready to go, let's get to it."
With that he began to lead the way, any further comments could be made while they were en route. It didn't take very long for them to reach the nearest Rukongai district, which while much nicer than the further districts, was also a noticeable and immediate downgrade from even the lowliest sections of the Seireitei. Yet another area in which they could drastically improve. They garnered a crowd quite quickly, as the citizens of the Rukongai were always interested in Gotei actions, whether that was because they were opposed, or just excited to see some action depended on the person, but Shunsui could tell there were a good few citizens who held no respect for them, and would rather not see Shinigami in their neighborhood.
Subject Post 6Subject: Re: Rukongai Outreach Sun Aug 26, 2018 11:31 pm
The newbie was quite amazed by her fellow squadmates. Such intelligent comments, Hono remained silent. She soon listened to the Vice Captain speak, She was the first to object to the captain. She had a few good points, listening. Soon noticing the mild scalding or at least that's how Hono received it. The girl's sharp tongue would likely cause the same to happen to her though more severe. Next to give her opinion was a blonde girl, nodding as she spoke. Hono didn't want to sound stupid, keeping her self quite. Hono studied Magnolia, she wanted to know who her co-workers were.
She followed the captain, they walked in Rukongai, it had been about a month since Hono last visited. It was exactly as she remembered it. As the crowd approached the division, Hono spotted a few familiar faces but didn't greet them since she was on duty. She looked at her captain and finally spoke. "So? where do we start? I'll let you talk" She spoke informally towards her superior. The girl was eager to start her first mission. She did hope the people of Rukongai would change their views, she didn't want the people she grew up with to hate the people she currently worked with.
It was perhaps for the best that Shunsui responded as harshly as he did, else Abalia might have thought to continue this discourse. She was, however, fully aware of the chain of command in place, and so she bit her tongue on any further input for now. She would not avoid giving any further input at all, but would certainly refrain from giving it unheeded for now.
“Of course, sir. My apologies.”
Abalia watched the crowds carefully, allowing herself a small smile as she waved to some of the children and elderly that she was familiar with. Though she was a Vice Captain now, she was certainly still a woman of the people in her heart, and she could hardly so much as stand the thought of losing her connection to these fine people. A few of them approached to shake her hand, or in a few instances even give her a hug, and to those people she showed a compassion and warmth that few among her professional peers could say they had ever been on the receiving end of.
Looking to Shunsui, she spoke more quietly than before, almost under her breath, just loud enough for the Captain to hear. Abalia, too, had noticed the less receptive among their number, a few faces she recognized and a few she did not. It would be wrong to say she was worried, but a bit of concern would be accurate.
“Well, sir, I should like to say our reception has not been completely poorly received. Might I ask how this fares in comparison to your expectations?”
Mistrust. That was the commonality that magnolia’s eyes could glean from her surroundings as she appeared in the throng of shinigami that surrounded them. It wasn’t too long ago that she herself had been on these street’s, wandering due to that simple thing known as necessity. Unlike most of her shinigami comrade’s she knew nothing of the people that lived in this place, what kind of lives they might have to lead, or what kind of hardships they had to work through. She was as much an outsider looking in, as she was a member of realm enforcement, trying to help the realm around them. She had no expectation to how they would be received, and she certainly didn’t show any over displays of affection, or condemnation for anyone either.
It could be considered boorish, the carefully masked neutrality that was painted on her face like a mask. However, it was easier to remain impartial, uninvolved. As the rukongai citizens surrounded them, or rather huddled together looking at the large gathering of shinigami that had appeared out of the blue, their hesitancy was as clear as day. It didn’t matter that it was shunsui, it mattered that they were shinigami, and a mixed-bag reaction was exactly what Magnolia perceived.
Thankfully, her spiritual pressure would not add any duress to the situation. It was like static, and vastly surpressed to the point that she could easily be perceived as an unseated squad member, rather than a seated officer of the gotei 13. After all, she was a new face, and her rampant spiritual pressure would undoubtedly cause far more harm to the situation, than it would do good, this was not a combat mission after all.
Magnolia was simple in terms of her outlook. She didn’t need to act until the verdict was given to do so. Instead her eyes seemed to canvas the crowd, looking for abnormalities that could be considered detrimental. While Abalia and Shunsui rightfully were in the forefront of this, she opted to remain within the throng of members that joined them, a simple part of the rabble. Her zanpakuto were what she had brought with her today, their simple unadorned scimitar hanging at her hips; her clothing the simple black that the rest of the gotei wore.
Soon after canvassing the crowd, and finding everything to be within a satisfactory parameter, her eyes shifted and glanced at the captain and his vice-captain. Her expression neutral as she waited for them to begin to talk about what they needed to do. Pride had nothing to do with it, instead it was hierarchy. It was a concept that had been schooled into her bones. Individual strength was subjective, adhering to a system was what made everything flow effectively. Thus she was sticking to the system, gauging her captain just as much as she had gauged her surroundings. Given this was as much a test of character for her captain and vice-captain as it was a logical operation to undertake.
Shunsui looked over towards the newest addition to his division and smiled. She seemed more than readyto get started, and he appreciated that. It was always a good sign when new recruits showed such enthusiasm. He hoped nothing that happened here today would disillusion her in any way. Although the reception wasn't quite as bad as he'd imagined, perhaps he was just being pessimistic.
" Don't worry, you'll have something to do soon."
He continued to examine the crowd, and noticed that there actually were a fair few of them who seemed genuinely happy to see them. That surprised him, if only slightly. Shortly afterwards Abalia spoke to him in a hushed voice, and he responded in turn.
"I suppose I was a bit overly concerned about their reactions to us. Maybe the relationship isn't as far gone as I thought. Well, that only makes this easier."
Shunsui motioned for his division to gather round before he began to address the crowd. They all seemed interested in what he had to say, even if some of them were still not happy they were here. Raising his hand into the air in greeting, he began to speak.
"People of the Rukongai, thank you for having us. I can tell that some of you aren't so happy to see us. I can understand your distrust, but I've come in an attempt to make amends. I realize that many times in the past these districts have been torn apart by collateral damage, and that some of you may think we're responsible for that. Well, maybe we are, perhaps we should protect these lands that are under our control more thoroughly. From the time I was made captain of realm enforcement I've done everything I can to see that your homes remain safe, but sometimes we Shinigami are slow on the uptake, or otherwise preoccupied. That's why I've come today to conduct a training exercise for anyone interested. We'll do everything we can to prepare you in case of a threat to your homes or lives, whether that be how to fight, or maybe how to get away. For anyone not interested in any kind of training we'll also be helping with any problems that may be presented to us, as long as they're in our power to act upon. Afterwards, if you'd be so kind as to have us for dinner, I'd like to prepare a feast to celebrate the continued relationship between the Gotei and the Rukongai."
Shunsui wasn't prepared for the crowd's reaction. He'd expected a general sense of agreement, at least from the majority of the crowd. What he got, however, was uproarious applause. He stood, a bit stunned for a moment, before he got over the shock. It seemed that almost everyone in this area was accepting of them at this point. All they'd needed was a bit of reassurance. Still, he worried over how the citizens of the further districts would react. He didn't imagine it would be so simple once they got to the real slums.
He put those thoughts out of his mind for the moment, and began to set up an area where he could instruct those who came to him in whatever way they wished. He knew they wouldn't have time to speak with everyone, but he hoped that the teachings could be passed around amongst the citizenry, and that they would be able to work together to prepare everyone more completely. He also looked to the other members of his division, motioning for them to do the same.
Hono followed orders, moving in and giving the captain her undivided attention. Hono herself wasn't quite sure where this supposed distrust really originated, Hono had always looked up to the Gotei, but that wasn't relevant now. The speech went swimmingly. It appeared the crowd was accepting. It surprised her, she was told it would be rather difficult to persuade the people of Rukongai, however it seemed to be rather easy.
Hono helped set up the best she could, seeing her collages working hard boosted her moral. Hono looked over at her captain and spoke, "If you need anything, lemme know!" the rookie told her leader. The newbie stepped away to teach a couple of citizens some basic sword techniques, though was she really the best for this job? She began getting annoyed by continual mistakes the souls made. "Ugh! No use BOTH hands dammit!" Hono shouted, forgetting that she was currently on duty, her words were rather loud, she hoped nobody else would notice