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#1 Prey, Hunter, Prey (Cirujano and Alicia) on Sat Jul 22, 2017 8:29 am

The alabaster sand in this area was far more coarse than it was in most other locations. Those who walked the land barefoot would be hardpressed to tell the difference between this sand and tiny sharp rock fragments. It was this coarseness and size of the individual grains which allowed it to so successfully serve as rooftop canopy to the Forest of the Menos directly below. It was from this forest that a new form emerged.

It grew up through the sand like a plant of sorts; first the smallest of sprouts disturbed the surface, pushing aside the rough minerals of the ground. Then several more sprouts of various sizes emerged in lunar light. A mound formed below those buds and the sand forming that mound gave way to a featureless mask. Soon, the entirety of the Adjucha hatchling stood atop the sands of its new hunting ground. A mass of twisted roots offered the advantages of a tripedal form. A featureless mask with a quality of whiteness that rivaled the moon above sat horizontally on its form. From that mask dozens of thorn covered vines lashed about. At the end of each vine were fanged leaves. Hollows which mimicked the forms of earth’s carnivorous plants were a rarity.

“Do they still tell tales of the Vasto Lorde state in Menos Forest?” The vines of the botanical Hollow twitched about and sought out the sound. “Did a human wondered Hueco Mundo?” The Hollow asked itself as it set eyes upon the being not even one-hundred paces away. The motionless moon casts light on all who walked the desert; but it seemed to casts a special light on this being. It illuminated the entirety of his form. His deep umber skin and the copper colored markings that were his estigma beamed with an otherworldly radiance. His eyes shined like golden embers of a newly made flame. The white kosode he wore beamed with its own radiance, as if it were sewn from threads of the moon’s very effulgence. Surely such a creature couldn’t survive this desert? Yet here he was.

How did a voice so soft it could have been a whisper make its way to her ears from so far away? Was the control he held over his voice such that he could cast a whisper over a hundred paces? What other ways could he exact control over his body and were any applicable to battle? These were questions that an intuitive and cautious mind would devise. The Hollow however, did not. The moment she saw Nadroj she sprung into action. It covered the distance between them like a fast moving wind. Each fanged leaf and thorned vine primed to rip into flesh.

A blur of movement grounded the creature. She landed with a mighty thud. Smaller thuds emanated from the sands around it. She looked up to find each and every one of her vines torn from her head riving on the ground. Her would be prey stood over her, but didn’t look at her. Instead, his gaze was focused on some far off point in space. “What...what do you want?” She muttered. As she spoke, several new vines slowly grew from the stubs of her old ones.

“A sensible Hollow.” Nadroj began. He rose a single palm and revealed a pearl sized orb. Its glow was a bright citrine in color, despite the surface being a matte turquoise. “I wish to test the success of my newest creation.” He continued, still focusing on a single point off in the distance. “Eat this.” He turns his palm and allowed the orb to fall to the sands. It’s descent was curiously slow, as if it were attempting to resist the pull of gravity. In fact, in never actually touched the ground. Instead, it hovered in place just millimeters above the closest grain of sand.

“What is that?” She responded.

“This will either make you a Vasto Lorde or destroy you.” He said, voice betraying his lack of concern for the outcome. “The power of a thousand souls have been distilled into that tiny pill.” He continued. “Those Adjuchas with even the most latent potential ascend into the ranks of Vasto Lorde after consuming one thousand souls. Eat it, and prolong your existence. Help me test my latest creation.”

She’d existed for nearly a century in this wretched plane where time had barely any relevance at all. Yet still, the seconds it took her to weigh her options seemed to pass so slowly she’d almost convinced herself that time stopped altogether. She could refuse and be killed by the being or she could help him test his pill. If it contained a thousand souls, surely she would become a Vasto Lorde. Furthermore, she could use her new power to kill this fool. Her mind was made up. The first of her fang covered leaves to completely regenerate was made to swallow the radiant orb.

Again, time seemed to crawl to a standstill. Every fiber of her being began to tremble as she remembered something. This man said that it may destroy her. With this thought, her form erupted into a pool of effervescence. The sands around her flew into a flurry with enough force to rip the skin off almost any of those she once knew in Menos Forest. But she knew even that force wasn’t enough to end the being before her. She could feel her body changing, sense her own power climb to previously unimaginable heights. Her senses began to augment and crawl across the land. When all was said and done, she stood as anew.

Her sleek emerald colored form was now humanoid in shape. This was the closest she’d been to her form as a human in nearly a century, and yet, this form was even more perfect. Her new mask was all but featureless. A porcelain cascade of leaves stretched from the crown of her head to the base of her nose. A single opening over her left eye revealed a single vibrant red iris. Purple, pencil thin lips parted to reveal a row of sharp, green teeth. Thorned vines hung from her head and draped just below her pinched waist. Large fanged leaves were fixed to the end of her arms where hands would have been, were she actually human. A static charge shot through the air as she released the full extent of her new spiritual pressure.

“Satisfied?” She said, turning to where Nadroj stood. “Your creation worked!” She screamed, raising her jaw-like leafy attachments. Before any proper attack could be mounted, a terrifying low growl crawled over the land. It began her her feet and worked its way up her form. It carried an inexplicable coldness that stilled her.

A red-yellow blur through her from her feet and launched her back before vanishing. “What was that?” She said, rising to her feet. “It wasn’t your’s something else.”
“You can perceive it now.” Nadroj began.

It was now that she realized that he when she was preparing to attack him, he never took his eyes off of that one point in space. Where was he looking? She followed his gaze until she saw something off in the distance. She also noticed tracks and a trail of dust that had yet to settle. That thing was what attacked her. A tremendous pain drew her attention to a missing arm. To her surprise focusing her attention on the wound was enough to regenerate it completely. Still, what was that beast?

A large quadruped with a mouth which spanned at least two thirds its height stood facing her. It had no visible eyes, yet she could tell its attention was completely focused on her. Massive fangs surrounded even larger fangs. Despite the number of teeth its jaws still had the ability to completely close to create an airtight prison for whatever was unfortunate enough to find itself in its reach. To make matters worse it had two clawed arms which extended from both side of its jaws.

“You misunderstood me.” El Cirujano continued. “I wasn’t interested in testing the evolutionary pill. I learned to spot Hollows with Vasto Lorde potential ages ago. This is how I knew that you had such a high probability of becoming a Vasto Lorde.”

Though he spoke to her, she found that she couldn’t take her eyes off of the creature that had attacked her. Perhaps her increased cognitive ability was due to her becoming a Vasto Lorde, but regardless, at she began to piece together the events which were unfolding, she began to see a certain irony. As a Gillian, her power lured prey with an appetizing smell; it promised sustenance. Would she now serve as sustenance for that thing because she ate the evolutionary pill? No. He said that eating it would prolong her existence. This could only mean that as a Vasto Lorde he knew she had a fighting chance. Right?

“The creation I wanted to test was Apex.” He continued. “I’ve made certain improvements to its form and thus far I’ve only tested its prowess in controlled settings. You see, the most realistic tests, and reliable, so far as this type of creation is one randomly provided by the wild.”

The ensuing battle was nothing if not informative. Nadroj was able to confirm that his lab tests were correct. This new form was flawless. He reverted his eyes back to their normal state.

As the Venus Flytrap inspired Hollow began to disintegrate, Nadroj had begun to doubt the conclusiveness of the study. Apex, in its own way of communicating, had informed its maker of a new arrival above ground. Was it malfunctioning now, after the test?
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#2 Re: Prey, Hunter, Prey (Cirujano and Alicia) on Mon Jul 24, 2017 4:37 am


Alicia didn't fail to notice a sudden spike in hollow energy in the area around her as she wandered the sands looking for more "recruits" for her army that she was building to better prepare for the next time shinigami were arrogant enough to march on Hueco Mundo. In fact she sensed it was as high as a vasto lorde. probably putting the thing on par with a weaker espada member. She used her glamour ability and made herself appear as the unmoving sand around her as she moved herself, and her illusion, towards the location she felt the power surge from. However by the time she got there not only was the energy gone but all she found was someone far less potent in sheer energy than what she was expecting.

That meant two things. Either this man failed to evolve, which was unheard of since once the process started death was usually the only means to stop it, or he had killed the one who did evolve before it could reach it's full potential. The latter being more likely also intrigued her because he himself didn't seem to have the power to pull such a thing off. Which meant there was more to this than there appeared to be. Further making her curious was why she felt like she and the man weren't alone.

Keeping her illusion active more for shits and giggles than anything else at this point. her voice picked up as she approached, "So either I am very disappointed or I am very pleased. You should decide quickly which of these it is before you become one of the truly dead."

technique log [click to open]
Name: Glamour Type: Physical
Description: The user can alter their appearance by the use of illusions, appearing as anything they want. Anyone who is able to bypass her illusions will realize it is actually her, but will have to once again break the illusion if she changes appearance again. She is not limited to only humanoid appearances. She can do this at will. This doesn't change anything about her physically. This also applies to her Zanpaktou. She would still be swinging her Zanpaktou's katana form physically. But she could make it be perceived as any weapon. However as soon as someone figured out it wasn't really the weapon she was "making it seem" like she was using. The Zanpaktou would revert to Katana look immediately. However just breaking the weapon illusion doesn't auto-break the body illusion. She can however do this freely. Though in a combat situation, once broken the first time, it's unlikely someone would fall for it again.
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#3 Re: Prey, Hunter, Prey (Cirujano and Alicia) on Mon Jul 24, 2017 10:01 am

Nadroj summoned his zanpakuto to him for closer inspection. It arrived in a flurry of sand and dust before kneeling. It exposed the dense skin of its upper half and folded its clawed mandible arms around its jaws. Its small bloodshot eyes  focused on its maker utterly unconcerned by him ignoring its discovery. Whether it was capable of caring and just didn’t or simply wasn’t capable of caring would only entertain the curiosity of El Cirujano later on. For now though, his maker had assumed that the discovery was false.

He needed to know exactly what it was that was malfunctioning. He focused his Pupula Duplex on his creation, more specifically he focused on the most likely origin of the issue, the head. Frustration began to creep its way into his mind with painstakingly slow strides as he realized that there were no flaws. The creature’s brain was perfectly constructed. There were no obstructions in its nasal cavity either. He could only deduce that this form was fundamentally flawed. Well, that or, there was something, or someone, in the area that he couldn’t sense. Alicia’s voice confirmed the latter.

He spun towards the direction of the voice but still saw nothing at first. There was nothing, at least this wasn’t the case at a quick glance. A second glance in surveillance of the area revealed something most curious. While one layer of his vision showed nothing other than white desert dunes and matte black sky, his molecular vision unveiled the newcomer. To the uncanny eyes he wielded, the air itself was far more than an unseen gas; it was a highly textured cornucopia of all gases which formed it. These molecules seemed to be flowing around an empty space curiously humanoid in shape. In one instant there were molecules of air surrounding the shape to create a sort of form fitting mold, and in the next he could see the cells of an Arrancar, and then in the next, he could see the complete picture of the woman. Intensely dark eyes and auburn hair sculpted themselves from nothing as her illusion began to fail. He did not know it was an illusion, but that held little impact on his breaking free from it. He dare not focus on the space she occupied for any longer than the span of a few inconspicuous looking glances. SImilar glances were aimed at other locations in her general area. For some reason, she was hiding herself.

But how had she hidden herself? He’d originally thought that she’d fused her form with the air itself, but his molecular vision debunked the notion. The hole in her chest confirmed that it was definitely not the demon magic used by the Death Gods. Could she make herself incorporeal? No, that was silly, after all, the air molecules which originally revealed her location would have passed through her form entirely. Was she bending light? It was possible. In the time it would ordinarily take one to take a breath, he continued working his way through any and all possibilities his creative mind could devise; and there were plenty. In the end, the list was long, so long that it was barely helpful in terms of avoiding danger.

This woman had gotten fairly close to Nadroj in a fairly short amount of time, or had she been there all along? He attempted pesquisa. She wasn’t completely hiding her presence, but he began to doubt whether she’d expressed the full extend of her spiritual pressure. His attention remained fixed on her general location. Though fully aware of her physical form, he didn’t reveal this. Instead, he spoke as he would had he only used her voice and pesquisa to deduce her location.

“Are you threatening me?” He began. Though Apex didn’t move in the slightest, Nadroj had made it aware that it would likely be made to attack shortly. “That’s quite bold of you. Perhaps you’d like to show yourself and make an introduction first?” He continued. Despite the surprise of her appearance, his voice remained unshaken. This may shake her, or make her even more curious about the Arrancar she now stood before. In either case, hesitation in attacking would be the result at the very least. The most he could hope for was an opening that would allow Apex to end things quickly if it came to that.
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#4 Re: Prey, Hunter, Prey (Cirujano and Alicia) on Tue Jul 25, 2017 3:33 am


Alicia was no fool. She was paying attention to the man before her when she started talking. His reaction was not the same as the others. This meant he knew where she was. Or at the very least knew where to attack to be effective. She dropped her illusion upon realizing her little game was up, but rose her spiritual pressure towards it's peaks since he spoke in an arrogant tone to her with the question regarding her threat, "I did indeed little worm. you've also neglected to answer my question." She eyeballed the creature next to him and looked momentarily confused. She sensed the amalgamation of hollow energy and shinigami present within most arrancar, but this one felt....different.. She had never met a Zanpaktou that had a corporeal form so she didn't know that that was what she was staring at. However the moment passed as she returned her eyes to Nadroj and frowned.

"Am i pleased to find you at the very location of a Vasto Lorde's birth, or am I disappointed in finding a insignificant pest that I must crush with my heel." She raised her arm as she slid her Zanpaktou out of it's sheathe and merely held it to her side in reverse grip so that the blade was still pointing up but her thumb was angled down, "Because I am a very busy woman and if you are in fact the pest I think you may be.. I wish to proceed and end this so I can continue my objectives."

If he attacked he would find the fury of the Queen of Hueco Mundo in front of him very well beyond his ability to handle, but she still questioned why she felt a vasto lorde in the area she found him in. He was not as strong as one, but if he was able to somehow defeat one.. then he was worth looking into at the least.
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#5 Re: Prey, Hunter, Prey (Cirujano and Alicia) on Tue Jul 25, 2017 6:23 am

Nadroj was floored by the sheer weight of her spiritual pressure. An Arrancar of this power level and this bold with their approach could only be an Espada. If she weren't, then she at the very least would know what would happen if the random Arrancar she was attacking was an Espada. Or was this something else? Was she simply looking to test her power against someone in the same manner that Nadroj had done to the carnivorous plant Hollow he'd destroyed just moments earlier?

Strange, it almost sounded as though she wanted to find someone more powerful than a Vasto Lorde Hollow. The way she spoke didn't project an air of finality as one would expect from someone simply seeking a fight to the death. So then, what was her reason for being here? What were these objectives she was trying to complete? All of this seemed to be pointing to her being some sort of collector, but not a collector of scars or memories of battle. No. Locating that Vasto Lord seemed to be in line with what she was after. And the fact that she spoke of having multiple objectives meant but one thing. The Espada, were rounding up Vasto Lord and powerful Arrancar. Or, at least this one was. Why? There was but one way to find out, and at this point, Nadroj knew just what she wanted to hear.

"I created a Vasto Lord here." He began. The muscle fibers in his neck were all but excluded from the exasperating effects of her spiritual pressure on his body. "Then I destroyed it." He continued. "I created it to test my creation." He clenched a hand and pointed a finger towards Apex who had also been forced to the ground. He began to explain his reasoning.

An Adjuchas alone was not enough to test the functionality of Apex. It’s strength was equal to that of The Surgeon, its maker after all. A newly born Vasto Lord wasn’t exactly the perfect subject either, but he’d yet to even begin searching for a way to speedily force a Vasto Lord to the pinnacle of their potential. A Vasto Lord who has yet to ascend into the ranks of the Arrancar was, on average, no greater threat than a pre-Adjucha who had been successfully made to undergo the Arracar transformation. Making a complete Arrancar just to potentially destroy it in the end was something Nadroj wasn’t too keen on. Therefore this was always the best option available to him. Centuries of research had led him to this conclusion.

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#6 Re: Prey, Hunter, Prey (Cirujano and Alicia) on Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:06 am


Alicia let up on her spiritual pressure as the man began answering her questions to her satisfaction. Although it didn't seem he knew of her he at least recognized what her level of power represented. To some degree. So he's super smart and useful. Things that weren't generally applied to most hollow. That caught her interest for a moment, but she shrugged the thought off as she looked over at the thing he was referring to as his creation. She still wasn't quite sure what the thing was supposed to be but didn't particularly feel like having a science lecture on the things biology right now. The point she focused on for now was this man had not only created a pseudo vasto by forcing out a hollow's potential, but had managed to destroy it as well. That was something Alicia was looking for. She was currently in the middle of repairing all the damage done by the shinigami rampage and the lack of effort on the former king of Hollow's part.

"Then you are not a pest, but a useful ally. I wish to extend an invitation to the Espada to you. I would advise against refusing unless death seems more comfortable."

She allowed him time to respond with questions or answers or anything before continuing though she would answer his questions as they came up at a later point, "I currently rule the espada.. and as such am rebuilding the forces decimated by the shinigami. Your experiment could easily help to compensate for what was lost.. should it be able to be tweaked to work on a more massive scale." she sheathed her zanpaktou and motioned for the man to follow her as she headed back in the direction of the mostly rebuilt Las Noches, though if she had her way it would be a temporary home as her plans would move the hollow into the human world on a more..permanent... basis. "I have in the works the means to give you the chance for such an experiment as well.. if you are willing to follow me and join my cause that is."
technique log [click to open]
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#7 Re: Prey, Hunter, Prey (Cirujano and Alicia) on Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:26 am

He'd never been interested in joining the ranks of the Espada. In fact, he'd always gone through great lengths to avoid even being detected by them. Being discovered now was due only to his own laziness and poor planning. The rumors of the Espada being ravaged by the Thirteen Protection Court Squads were true. A more in depth analysis on those who survived would have lead him to the conclusion that they would at least attempt to rebuild their ranks with a wide scale recruitment effort. This of course would have led him to avoid the white sands until rumors of either their ranks being replenished or their efforts failing altogether.

She had however peaked his interest with a single statement, "...should it be able to be tweaked to work on a more massive scale." He quickly regained his composure and stood. Apex stood along with him. A low pitched growl emanated from the base of its massive throat. It wasn't meant to threaten, but instead, to relay a message to its maker. The message carried with it, information Nadroj had already gathered the moment the new ruler or the Espada released her spiritual pressure "I can't beat this Arrancar..." El Cirujano permitted himself a slight smirk while glancing back in Apex's direction. "Did you just say 'I'?" the researcher thought. Apex was silent. The statement carried a great deal of weight and for a moment he wondered if Apex understood this. "I" after all implied a level of awareness of self that Nadroj wasn't aware his creation possessed. What were the limits of his zanpakuto's sentience? This called for more research at a later time.

Regardless, he turned to Alicia. "There's no need for such threats when you've peaked my interests so..." he said, reclaiming his neutral facial expression. "Am I to understand you want me to use my scientific prowess to help you rebuild the Espada?" he continued. "What exactly did you have in mind when you mentioned this more massive scale?"
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#8 Re: Prey, Hunter, Prey (Cirujano and Alicia) on Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:45 pm


Alicia smirked as he got the balls to tell her not to threaten him as he was already interested, but let it slide for this moment as she had more pressing things to deal with, "I can rebuild the Espada itself on my own.. no what you would be assisting with is replenishing the main bulk of the hollow army which was lost to the shinigami.. Sure I could wait for a year and have the humans send more souls to my realm.. or we could go convert one of their lesser lands into hollow overnight and beef up my fighting force."

She kept pace and didn't stop walking but she did pause in her little speech before continuing, "Of course the latter seems far more delightful to do than the first. No? Forcing human souls to convert into hollows without having to send a massive force of hollows to do it manually? Doesn't the idea of the sheer science of it fascinate?"

Since she was feeling lazy all of a sudden she stopped walking and frowned before looking to her left and to her right before putting two fingers to her mouth and giving a long loud whistle. Moments later a giant sand hollow formed infront of her in a bow as she commanded it to take her and her new toys back to Las Noches quickly.

Now on the makeshift sitting pad on the beast's back, assuming Ciru followed, she's continue her conversation, "Eventually all souls become hollow. Whether once or many times. So the process of forcing this change wasn't all that complicated to figure out.. Getting those hollow to be more than cannon piss however..that would take time and training and an intelligence not all of the newly appointed hollow would possess. This is where I hope you would come in."
technique log [click to open]
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#9 Re: Prey, Hunter, Prey (Cirujano and Alicia) on Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:06 pm

"To be honest, the science behind such a move would be simple enough." He said, eyes following the self-proclaimed ruler of Hueco Mundo. Though he'd lost interest in the part of the experiment she was referring to, due to the ease he would have in creating such a method of transformation, he instead focused on another opportunity.

The Espada and Gotei Thirteen both decimated each other's forces. An attack on the human world directly was bold, but depending on the time it took for the Shinigami to discover what was happening combined with the time it could take to transform a populace could very well give the Espada the numbers needed to overwhelm them in at least one major battle. This was the opportunity for the Espada to beat the Shinigami at replenishing their forces. More importantly, was what he stood to gain from forcing an entire community into Hollows; test subjects.

He would ordinarily think that this was some ploy to lure him into a trap. However, if this woman wanted him dead, she could easily eliminate him given how powerful she was. Then there was also the fact that the Espada were desperate for reclaiming the power they had before the attack. There would of course be consequences from getting involved with the Espada, but he could deal with those later.

Cirujano followed the leader of the Espada, and Apex in turn followed him. A beastly grunt came from Apex. "Don't bite off more than you can chew." was the message carried within it. Nadroj's eyes darted towards his creation. Another unexpected occurrence. To think that it could even form such an idea outside of battle.

He turned his attention back to Alicia. "I will of course require some of these Hollows for my own uses. Would you oppose?" He finished, noting every oddly moving grain of sand which went into forming the body of the mineral based Hollow. If he could only get his hands on this one as well.

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