The old man beside me sighs before whispering, "I can't believe we're expected to do this trial for the Neo district." His face was darkened by the wooden framed canvas screen in front of his seat. I could still clearly see him, but anyone in the middle of the room could not see us as we sat in multi-tiered circles around the room.
I simply nodded in response.
"Don't you agree? I mean the Captain Commander didn't even bother to ask us before approving the creation of that district. What is the point of having the central 46 if we aren't making decisions?"
"I agree completely, and they should be doing their own trial, too." The white-bearded number 36 said from the other side of me, eavesdropping on our conversation.
"Well it is obvious she's guilty, she even said herself that she killed him." Number 34 commented again. "It's not like they really even need a trial."
"Well actually, she said her zanpakuto did it on its own." I may not like doing this trial, but a trial did need to be held. The old men in this room just enjoyed punishing people, especially dealing with the Neo district.
The grey colored 34 grumbled. "You young people all stick together. You never understand anything."
All three of us redirected our attention back down to the center of the room, where the respected Captain Shuunsui Kyoraku stood waiting for the accused murderer.
"Where is your comrade, Shuunsui?" Number 1 spoke.
"Yare yare, shouldn't your men be bringing her in?" He responded in his usual uncaring and mysterious tone.
As if they had been called, the guards came walking in. There were four of them surrounding a figure in black with a white hood. The figure had a collar on her neck which was connected to 4 chains. Each of the chains connected to poles carried by the guards. She even has her ankles chained together. To me it looked like none of this amount of security was needed, she did not seem to be resisting at all, and her head was bowed.
Once in to the center of the room, another guard, who acted as bailiff, hooked the woman's ankles chains to a connection point on the floor. The four other guards released the chains from her color, and then removed the hood covering her face. She didn't even move.
She looked young, her long hair hung down to her hips and had not been brushed. It was messy and had probably not been touched since they beat her when they captured her. She hadn't resisted, but they were there to capture her purely because she had killed their friend. Not all shinigami are good. Is she a bad one as well?
"Nice to see you, Artemis." Captain Kyoraku says, looking down to his former pupil. She didn't even move in response.
"Where is your head captain? Aaron Vincent should be here to defend her, should he not?" Number 1 spoke again from behind his screen.
"The Captain Commander is preoccupied at the moment and should be joining us later." Captain Kyoraku smiled and tipped his hat.
"Fine then, let's hear your remarks, Ms. Artemis."
She stood there, head bowed and still silent. She did not seem to be sorrowful, more like angry, but accepting.
"I will be doing the talking if you don't mind." Shuunsui smiled again, this time bigger and directly looking at Number 1's screen.
"Fine, begin Captain."
"I'm sure you have already heard most of her defense, but I suppose I will have to retell it." He stepped forward, to stand directly beside the accused. Then, surprisingly he sat down on the ground and crossed his legs. "Where to begin
"Quit your fooling around, Kyoraku!"
"Yare." He put his hands in front of him as if to push away the yell. "Well then, I will start with her position, duties, and temperament. Is that acceptable?"
"Get on with it."
" Raina Artemis was assigned to the healing squad upon her graduation from the academy. The only reason for this placement was because her zanpakuto's shikai form supposedly was incapable of injuring anyone. Instead, its ability seemed to be able to heal those who she intended to cut." He laid down on the ground, flopping himself backwards. "As it turns out, her placement seemed to be working. She was capable of healing most wounds much faster than anyone could with kido. Every time she healed, her zanpakuto would look at its target using the eye at the top of the scythe and a beautiful display of white reishi would flow from the wounds as they healed. However this display did not happen every time, sometimes it would be dull or have bits of black mixed in, but no one ever knew why."
"Is this going anywhere?" Number 12 interrupted from his seat right in front of me. I could see him tapping his fingers on his table impatiently.
"I'm getting there, I promise." Captain Kyoraku sat up again and smiled causing 12 to make a huffing noise. "It seems as though, when Hiroshi Takamura was taken in to the 3rd squad and had Artemis heal him, he had just finished being a coward, letting his comrades die and fight for him. While he ran away he was burned on his back."
"There is no proof of this!" An angry number 21 yelled from the other side of the room.
"Indeed, there even might be proof if that thing had not opened a portal to hell in the middle of the Soul Society." number 42 added.
Captain Kyoraku stood up, but a gloved hand appeared in front of his pink flowered kimono.
"There is no point in this, they will never believe anything you say. Just let them kill me or lock me up. It's not like I was happy with healing anyway." Raina Artemis spoke, looking only at Captain Kyoraku.
"I'd like to hear what you have to say about how Hiroshi died, Ms. Artemis." I said.
"It doesn't matter what she has to say." said number 34, the grey old man next to me, loudly enough for the whole room to hear, even though he was looking directly at me.
"That is right, no zanpakuto has ever acted on its own as long as we have been here." I was wishing I had a different seat as number 36 added his opinion.
"We have only been stationed here for 5 years, or do you not recall that the former Captain Aizen killed the previous central 46, 6 years ago." said number 9. "It is not as though we know how everything in the Soul Society works."
"That is right! We were surprised ourselves when told about the incident with Captain Hitsugaya's Hyourinmaru! We don't know everything." Number 46 appeared to be on my side here as well.
"Continue, Ms. Artemis. Explain your side of this story." Number 2 stated, I'm sure he earned a look from number 1, but I couldn't tell from this angle.
Captain Kyoraku looked down at her, while she looked up. She nodded. "Fine, well he came in for healing for those burn wounds. I'm assuming we all know he was burned by the fire hollow his team was fighting." She looked directly at number 1's screen, like she was looking through it. "Well, another fact everyone knows, is that in previous fights, and as part of the healing squad I was only capable of healing, not hurting anyone, and white light was always surrounding my scythe. When I tried to do the same thing as always for that man, no white light appeared, instead his wounds only poured out black energy combined with blood. I was able to see his evil come flowing out of him. He had seen the first line of his comrades get incinerated upon their approach to the hollow, so he ran sideways, away from his team."
"Where is your proof!?" yelled 42.
As if called in at that minute, Captain Commander Genryusai Yamamoto walked through the double doors into the accused and defense area. Following closely behind him was a tall dark haired man with a Roman numeral 1 on his white haori; I assumed this was their captain commander, Aaron Vincent. Also with them was Captain Mayuri Kurotsuchi and Captain Jushiro Ukitake.
"What is the meaning of this, Captain Commander?" Number 1 asked.
Captain Yamamoto just grumbled and Captain Vincent stepped forward.
"I heard that you want proof, and I have found it. Mayuri, if you would." Captain Vincent said.
With his creepy smile Captain Kurotsuchi pulled out a sheathed sword from his robe. It was almost entirely black with purple underneath the hilt wraps. On the very top of the hilt was a small red slitted eye, and on the sheath itself were two gems a red one and a violet one. The guard was made of a very dark metal and was also in the shape of an eye.
"This is Hanketsu, Judgment. Raina Artemis's blade. I have done extensive research on this weapon and found that when used on a being who is untainted it will heal them, but as its name implies, its power is based on judging those deeds. Therefore, when used on someone horrific, it will kill them." Captain Kurotsuchi stated without changing his smile, he was after something, I'm sure.
"Your word is not proof enough, Taichou." Number 42 spoke again, still focused on his only concern.
At 42's comment, Captain Kurotsuchi's smile became even creepier, spreading across his face. He reached into his sleeve and pulled out a small glass jar, with a small hollow in it. "Captain Vincent, if you would be so kind
" Captain Kurotsuchi looked sideways at the Neo district's captain commander.
"Of course, all in the name of this proof which I suppose you'd like to see yourself as well, right Captain?" Captain Vincent's question merely cause Captain Kurotsuchi to smile again.
Captain Vincent stepped forward to stand next to Raina, while Captain Kurotsuchi placed the jar with the hollow in it on the other side of her. Captain Kurosuchi did not stop though, he handed Artemis's sword to her, even though her hands were not bound. She looked blackly at him.
"This is a test, kill the hollow and Captain Vincent. OR heal them both, whichever you choose. If you can, you'll go free, by order of Captain Yamamoto." Captain Kurotsuchi said.
"Yamamoto! you cannot come in here, give a murderer a weapon, and then tell us she will go free no matter what our verdict!" Number one yelled, accompanied by the loud bang of his fist hitting his table.
"Mmm." Was the only response.
Raina Artemis drew her sword, watching the captains around her. It truly looked like she was going to attack, and I braced myself. To my surprise however, she sighed.
"I won't be able to heal the hollow, or hurt the Captain Commander." She bowed her head.
"Just give it a try, Raina." Captain Kyoraku touched her shoulder at Captain Ukitake's words.
She sighed again, before speaking. "Determine their worth, Judgment!" At her call the blade grew huge. The hilt became a large staff, while the blade grew and curved into a scythe. At the connection of the staff and the blade was a large red slitted eye. I had a horrible feeling looking it to that eye. It looked at me as well.
"The hollow first
" She swung the scythe down, slowly and what appeared to be without killing intent, she must be trying to heal it. The tip of the blade touched the jar and she paused for a moment. Taking in a breathe she pressed the scythe down and she shattered the glass, the tiny hollow tried to get away, but she had poked it lightly with the blade, enough to make the smallest of wounds.
Dark energy filled the area around the weak hollow spewing out of its small wound. That energy was being sucked up, towards the scythe's eye. Eventually there was nothing left of the little demon, except for a small white bone mask.
I looked around to see the captain's faces, since I would not be able to see the faces of my fellow Central 46 members. Captain Kurotsuchi looked downright pleased. His eyes were wild and his smile quite large, clearly happy with how his experiment was going. Captain Vincent's expression had not changed, he just looked at Raina as though she hadn't easily slaughtered that monster. Captain Kyoraku seemed to be unphased as well. Captain Ukitake however appeared to be a bit worried as he turned to the Captain Commander.
Captain Yamamoto spoke simply. "Continue."
Raina let out another sigh as she turned to her Captain Commander. "I'm sorry
I guess I have to try to kill you, Captain."
"Don't worry, I'm confident you won't be able to." He smiled at this statement, and she looked slightly confused, but it quickly changed back to her depressed face.
She once again lifted that giant blade, which was far too big to be wielded by someone of her size. Her expression changed to anger as she seemed to be working up her killing intent. I was entranced by this show, even though I barely understood what was going on. She brought the blade down with as much force as she could on the Captain and I could not look away. The blade sliced right through him, but this time the room was filled with an amazing white light, it probably would have been blinding, if it weren't for this screen in front of me.
Once my eyes adjusted I could clearly see the scythe absorbing the light energy into its eye as it stared at Captain Vincent. He was not cut at all. He just stood there with his hands behind his back, smiling.
Captain Commander Yamamoto broke the awe of silence that had fallen on the room. "Take her away." He said, and the four guards rushed past him. They held their poles to her neck and replaced the chains. She looked shocked for a minute, then hung her head. When she brought her gaze back up, she looked emotionless, just as she had when they brought her in. Captain Commander Yamamoto left through the double doors while Raina was replaced under arrest, she dropped her scythe and it transformed back into a sword. She was guided out by the guards, to I do not know where.
Captain Kurotsuchi picked up her sword, sheathed it, and walked out with a grim look. He must not have gotten the results he wanted.
"Yare, Yare. Quite a handful today, eh Ukitake?" Captain Kyoraku said. Then the two walked out together. Captain Vincent's face was hard to read, but he appeared to be in deep thought as he followed them out.
"Central 46 adjourned!" Number 1 yelled. He was pissed off, and rightfully so, all of the men here wanted to see this girl get the death penalty. Their first death passed down as the new central 46. I wanted justice, and somehow I got a weird feeling that, justice had been done as I left the court hall.