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 New Year's Reflections

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Genpaku
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Genpaku

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Subject Post 1PostSubject: New Year's Reflections   Sun Jan 01, 2012 6:20 am


__________________________________________________


[Aqua - Kingdom Hearts OST - Yoko Shinomura]
__________________________________________________

-{E N T E R}-
-{T H E}-
-{T E M P E S T}-
Vanguard’s barracks stood strangely quiet, void of all noise except an almost rhythmical, soft thump. We’ll get back to that noise in a moment though; the barracks were so quiet because they were all but deserted. The New Year had technically rolled around once more, though the Asiatic countries celebrated the close of the year at a different time if truth be told; all depended on what calendar you decided to follow along with as the days passed. It was an excuse to celebrate though, something that seemed to be increasingly hard to find anymore. So most of Vanguard had decided to take advantage, and had thrown a party in the upper lobby to bring in the New Year in style. There were tables with food and drink laid out, open to anyone who wished to partake. The noise of laughter and voices rose to the heights of the ceiling and bounced like a rubber ball back down, crashed against the windows like the waves of the sea, and generally filled the upper levels with excited and happy noise; a considerable improvement over the lower level.

Ah, not back to the strange sound. It was the sound of a lone man who had decided he did not wish to partake of the festivities above; his reasons for such a decision were many. Genpaku Arishima came to a stop in the middle of the training quad of the barracks, which sat deserted. He was dressed in a mix of old Shinigami gear and his own clothing, which he used as training equipment. He took a few breaths, deep, slow, and deliberate. He left his eyes closed as he breathed, taking in the silence and its calming influence for a few moments before he opened his emerald orbs once more, and prepared. Then he vanished. The soft thump sound returned as Genpaku’s steps carried him faster than the eye could perceive; the sound came from seemingly everywhere as the young Commander moved around the training quad; he was one of the most proficient users of Shunpo in the world at this point, but you didn’t get and stay that good if you let it rust, much like a blade.

Besides, his opinion of his own abilities wasn’t quite as high as some believed it should be; like his reasons for avoiding the party, there were many for this. He came to a stop once more, but this time he did not bother to go another round. His mind was not focused enough to get any real work done right now. He let out another breath, this one heavy with annoyance before he turned and walked over to where his Zanpaku-tous leaned against the wall. He sat down, back against the wall and leaned back, looking up into the simulated sky that was the dome of the barracks. Above and beyond that reinforced dome was the receiving station, where the party was being held. He didn’t feel much like celebrating today.

He didn’t remain there long though; he had the itch. Inside this place, he felt restless all at once. He had noticed it creeping up on him lately, but this day it was stronger than he had felt in some time. After a few minutes he rose, grabbed his Zanpaku-tous, and headed back to his personal quarters to collect his gigai. Raiden and Fujin remained strangely quiet, but he didn’t mind; he had quite enough rolling around in his head without a pair of voices chiming in. He reached his quarters and collected the gigai. He didn’t remain within the Vanguard base much longer after that, slipping out the back to avoid the party and the questions. He’d deal with them…later he supposed.

The young Commander of the newest organization had a great deal on his mind. This year had been…eventful would be a grievous understatement at this point. This had been the longest year of Genpaku’s second life; it had topped the year of Ender’s invasion, which was not exactly an easy feat. Part of that was certainly because Genpaku felt more responsibility for this particular year than he had back then. He slipped out of the Vanguard base apparently undetected, and simply decided to walk along the streets of Sukai Karakura for a short while. The weather within the dome was kept constant and calm, and yet the cold had seemed to seep through the dome and had descended on the cities like a hawk upon a mouse. Out of habit, he pulled his long coat closer about him as he walked.

He wasn’t exactly clear on where he was going either at this point. He simply needed to go somewhere other than the base for a while. He felt like he needed some fresh air, but he knew that wasn’t the case. His mind was simply working overtime, and his body was working to keep pace with it. With the close of the year at hand, his mind had decided a trip down memory lane of the years events was in order; the only problem with that idea was that this year had not been a good one. The invasions of London, Italy, Egypt, and Soul Society weighed heavy on his mind; particularly the loss of London as a whole weighed heaviest. The events of Spain and the invasion there was equally troubling.

Genpaku blamed himself for much of the failures in those areas, and the readiness of some of the Earth governments to shift the blame to him did little to help alleviate those feelings. There were others; groups who thought that the Spiritual Nations were doing too little to protect the lands of Earth and the cities as a whole, people still scared and outraged over the utter annihilation of London and the surrounding areas. That event kept coming back to his mind, since he felt personally responsible for it to a degree. He had been there, he had tried with all of the power he had at the time, and he had failed to even slow down the events the unfolded. The result had been the loss of one of the major centers of the world and millions of lives.

He came to a stop at a corner, and he looked nothing like his normal self. Free of the eyes that looked up to him for confidence and guidance, he let his half smile fade. The face that normally held a smile now held a deep frown, with distant and sad eyes that appeared to have seen too much with too little rest. He took a deep breath of the bracing cold air, letting it linger in his lungs a few moments before slowly letting it out. He cast a look around, trying to figure out where his wandering feet had taken him this time. He was near one of the tubes that connected Sukai Karakura with Karakura Central it seemed. Genpaku lifted his gaze up, looking at the dome that surrounded the city. Nearby, there were a series of cracks and breaks, with work being done to repair them. Remnants of the battle between himself, Solas, and Vohlis.

That was another event that hung heavy in his mind; the demon Vohlis was a powerful demon lord that had managed to break his way into Sukai Karakura for reasons unknown. He had been attacked by a member of the Yayjuu and wounded by the time Genpaku and Solas arrived on the scene. Even with the demon injured though, he had been unable to lay a single finger on the demon as the battle began. It had ended when Solas had bombarded the demon with a display of power that had resulted in the demon’s demise. Genpaku was glad about that; a major thread had been destroyed. However, he felt as though he had done nothing or close to it towards that end. Solas would tell you her attacks had only hit because Vohlis had been preoccupied dealing with his assault. Genpaku didn’t see it quite the same way.

Raiden and Fujin had agreed that he was being too judgmental and hard on himself; he didn’t agree with that either. There was an organization that now hinged on him, looked to him for leadership and guidance, or at the very least for competence. He felt like he was failing at delivering those things at this point. He had split off from Soul Society because he had believed that the freedom would allow him to do more good than being tied to it would. And yet it seemed, to him at least, that he was running into more trouble than before. Many of the governments of Earth would agree with him, and he didn’t particularly care that they were just looking for a scapegoat; he fit the bill because he was not doing his job correctly.

He didn’t want to stand here anymore, so he stepped off the curb and continued down the road a ways before he turned and entered one of the elevator tubes that would take him down to Karakura Central. At this hour, the elevator was empty, and he rode down in silence as he watched out the window the great dome of Karakura, and the glowing city below it. He exited the elevator, his gaze still dull and head full of worries and cares. He still wasn’t sure where exactly it was he was heading, but he felt like he needed to continue walking. He turned down the street, and headed west for a while. He passed few people, and no one bothered to talk to him. Maybe it was the distant look or the sense of gloom about him, but something apparently made him unrecognizable for the time being, and he didn’t so much mind that.


__________________________________________________


[Bonds - Fate/Stay Night OST - Kawai Kenji]
__________________________________________________

When he next came to a stop, he found himself near a strange place; a graveyard. And that quickly, he knew where he wanted to head. He turned on his heel, and vanished with a shunpo. Using spiritual abilities through a gigai was harder, but not too much so. Shunpo was akin to walking for him because of the lengths and time he had spent training with the technique, so he barely noticed. He reached one of the dome exits, and passed through in a rush of nothingness. His destination was known by precious few, and its location by fewer still. Shunpo when used for distance made many trips surprisingly short. The air outside the dome was colder still, and slow fell heavy over the countryside. It passed by Genpaku in a blur of white.

His destination lay far away from Karakura City; at one time, it had been known as Ikaru City, and before that just Ikaru. This was the place Genpaku had been born and raised. It had fallen to the hordes of demons and hollows before the domes had been put in place. Some of it had been reclaimed by another domed city that had sprung up afterwards. Genpaku came to a stop in these ruins, and walked along the destroyed streets of his life and boyhood. He could have covered the remainder of the distance with another step, but it didn’t feel quite right to him. His destination was the graveyard of the once prosperous city, but beyond that his destination was three stone pillars that marked three graves with great significance to the young Shinigami.

Genpaku’s family had been buried shortly after their death; he had attended the funeral with a heart full of sorrow and rage. The story of how exactly he had come to achieve his Shinigami powers was somewhat known; he did not speak of it much though. To say it was traumatic would have been an understatement. He returned every year to this place to visit the graves on the “anniversary” of their deaths. The cemetery was also a quiet place, one where he could reflect on things in peace. A small dome had been put in place to keep the cemetery intact, the donation for such having come from an unknown source. The additional wards were Genpaku’s, though he had required the help of several Kidou Corps members and so on to make sure they were strong enough and intact.

He walked through the entrance and gave a half-hearted smile to the gatekeeper; he knew the man well enough from his visits over the recent years. Inside the dome he was able to remove his jacket; it was kept the atmosphere of a midsummer’s day and night. Stars that were not visible outside shown bright inside this dome; this weather was not at all fitting for his current mood, but he didn’t really care at that point. He walked silently down the pathway, a familiar route to his feet. He came to a stop at three markers, and leaned back against the railing behind him.


”Hey Mom, Dad, Brother.” His words broke the fragile silence that had hung about the place, previously disturbed only by the sound of cicadas. Whether those were real or just another fabrication he neither knew nor cared. He also knew their souls were not here; they were located somewhere within Soul Society he imagined, or had returned to the cycle. It was true; graves were more for the comfort of the living than the dead, though that was a little wrong in this case because of technicalities.
”A lot has happened since last I was here. I’m a leader of my own organization now. It’s…a little more work than I had guessed,” he said, and gave a small, sad chuckle.

The expression faded slowly from his face, returning to the worn and depressed look he had worn earlier. He took another slow breath.

”I don’t know what to do…” he said quietly, as though confiding a secret to the souls of the departed. In a way he was confiding a secret to the still air about him and the emptiness of the place. Here, in the dead hours of New Year’s Eve he allowed the pressures to crash down on him in earnest; here he had no one to hide his fears from.
”No matter what I do it’s not enough. For every step forward I’m thrown to a different path,” he muttered, his voice low, angry, and resentful. ”What am I supposed to do?”
”Get back up.”

The voice caught him off guard; he shot a glance to his left to find the familiar figure standing next to him, just a ways away. Her long brown hair hung down past her waist, though currently it was pinned at the top to make it more like a tail than the normal free flow it was allowed to take. Fujin’s emerald eyes bore into his gaze as he turned to look at her, anger rising in him at her words. The Zanpaku-tou spirit had manifested of her own accord, and stepped away from the railing to face him more directly.
”What good will it do if I just fail to-“ he began; her open hand impacting with his cheek cut him off as a resounding thwack resounded off the walls. His hand came up to the spot where her hand had hit him, his eyes angry meeting hers.
”If that’s what your excuse is going to be, I’ll take back my power however I have to,” she threatened. The two stood there for a short time in silence. It was she who broke the silence.

”Just because things are hard does not mean you can afford to sit on your ass and mope. Nor does it mean you can tear yourself apart constantly and try to hide it. If you’re weak get stronger, if you’re slow get faster. You discount what good you have done and focus on what you failed to do, and you do so at your own detriment.”
”Tell that to the families of those from London. Tell that to the people of Cairo and Italy, of Spain. I’ve failed too many times to just ignore,” he growled, the disappointment and anger plain on his face.
”Why are you the only one that can be responsible for those events?
”Because I can’t account for anyone else; that’s not my place.”

They stood there in silence again for a few moments. Finally Genpaku gave a small sigh.
”You can’t just sit stagnant; if you take that course, you will only fall further behind and be lost to the cycle.”
He looked up as though to respond, and found himself once again alone.
”Dammit…” he muttered, partly because she had left so quick and partly because he knew she was right. But what was he supposed to do then? He leaned back against the railing, looked up at the false sky above him, and thought.
”What would you say to do Dad? You already didn’t like fighting. Would you say to step away? Or would you say to get up again like she did?”
He knew the answer.

Slowly in the depths of the being that was Genpaku Arishima the resolve began anew, but it had a great number of obstacles to break through first. His anger, his sorrow, his feelings of weakness and helplessness all held stronger claims in him than in any other time. He was the kind of person who soared against adversity, but with the odds so against him and failures mounting he had begun to crack. Others had told him it was not his fault, but millions were dead, and he had been powerless to stop their deaths or even to avenge them. These events would either break the young leader of Vanguard, or they would forge in him an even greater resolve to succeed; only time would tell that story. For now, he let the silence comfort him and let his thoughts spiral outwards, away from himself and away from these troubles. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a phone to look at the time; 12:08AM. He cracked a small smile.

”Happy New Years. May the next year be ever fairer,” he muttered, the words of his mother from long ago. Funny, the things that stayed with you.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
-{B R E A K - I N}-
-{T H E}-
-{S T O R M}-


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Subject Post 2PostSubject: Re: New Year's Reflections   Sun Oct 04, 2015 11:55 am


✖| Clean Up Time!! |✚
┣▇▇▇═─          ☠          ─═▇▇▇┥

It's been 2014 or even before that!
There for I will be locking this thread, feel free to revisit this and keep on reading!

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