In The Cat’s Ear Ficbit – Preliminary Exam

“Contracts have a price.” But I never did, and I never knew why…. “Use your power, you have to pay. Some of us eat flowers. Some write poetry. Some have to break their own fingers. Some… are worse.” Hei shrugged. “If you don’t pay the price, you die.”

“Well, unless your body did die,” Mao put in. “We ran into another possessor who’d lost his body, once. He didn’t have a price anymore either.” Ears perked. “And that sounds like a symptom too?”

“It might be,” Ishida allowed. “Physical bodies tend to put limits on how much spiritual power a person can unleash. Many exorcists require rituals to perform their duties, or to recover afterward.” He frowned. “But I would rather not speculate without more solid information. May I examine your auras?”

Yin stirred. “Will it hurt?”

“Will it-?” The doctor cut himself off, cold eyes softening. “No, young lady. It shouldn’t hurt at all.”

“Good,” Yin nodded. “Hei’s tired.”

Ishida’s brows jumped. He glanced at Hei again, just a little wary. Then at Huang.

“Eh, he’s been worse off,” Huang grumped. “Just don’t startle him if he’s sleeping. You want to go first, Yin? It’ll make them feel better if they can watch.”

From that almost hidden smile, Ishida had heard loud and clear, So they can tear him apart if he even looks like hurting you.

“I don’t mind.” Yin looked up. “What do I do?”

“Sit still,” the doctor stated. “I need to be close enough to sense the energy clearly, but I should not have to touch you.”

Good, Hei thought, watching like a hawk. He didn’t know how Yin had been examined after the Syndicate had found her, but he’d gone through enough of his own involuntary visits to their labs to guess. Syndicate researchers were just as ruthless as their assassins. Though they usually didn’t leave as many bodies.

17 thoughts on “In The Cat’s Ear Ficbit – Preliminary Exam

  1. “But I would rather not speculate without more solid information. May I examine your auras?”

    To quote the Project: We need more data.

    I have the feeling that like the Project verse characters, the results of the data aren’t exactly going to make them happy.

    “Will it-?” The doctor cut himself off, cold eyes softening. “No, young lady. It shouldn’t hurt at all.”

    It says something that Yin’s first question about someone doing something to her and her teammates is whether or not it will hurt.

    Also shows that Ryuuken isn’t as cold-hearted as he likes to act. (Kinda of like certain Captain of the Sixth)

    “Good,” Yin nodded. “Hei’s tired.”

    Yeah . . . hurting an already tired and stressed assassin does like sound a good way to die. Even if he was expecting it to hurt. Hei probably has a pretty in-grained reaction to pain that’s probably hard to turn off when he’s fully rested and relaxed*.

    *Well as relaxed as any assassin ever is.

    Syndicate researchers were just as ruthless as their assassins. Though they usually didn’t leave as many bodies.

    I get the feeling that wasn’t from lack of effort on their part.

    Is Hojo (or Nii) catching?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Canon Ryuuken is very protective of Ichigo and Orihime… and Uryuu, in his own way. 🙂 And yes, it’s implied the Syndicate researchers need a humanity transplant. I suspect part of the problem is they’ve classified Dolls and Contractors as not human. And once you decide that… ow.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Canon Ryuuken is very protective of Ichigo and Orihime… and Uryuu, in his own way.

        His way of showing it is a little dysfunctional. Considering I got the impression that Uryuu thinks that his father could not give less of a hoot about him . . . or something along those times.

        Ryuuken, when your son has watched the grandfather that he adores get murdered by Hollows because the local patrolling Shinigami didn’t do their job, he is NOT going to listen to any talk about leaving the dead to the dead. Probably has the side bonus of your son getting the impression that you don’t care that your father was murdered. And that you might not care if the same thing happened to him. I know that is not what you meant but this isn’t about your intentions. This is about how you are perceived. And Uryuu has a very bad perception of you.

        Of course, Ryuuken isn’t the only parent in the Bleach with . . . shaky . . . parenting skills. Isshin, randomly attacking your kid for no reason that he can discern is not training. He will not see the value in what you are doing. He just thinks you are crazy. You are lucky he (apparently) does not consider it abuse. Or that no one else apparently does. ALSO Isshin, you should have told your darned kids about their heritage. They have a right to know. Especially since you know Ichigo has very strong second sight.

        Probably a minor miracle that Ichigo made it to fifteen without being eaten. Yes, people like Urahara were probably keeping an eye on him. And there is whoever was assigned to patrol Karakura. Still . . .

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Canon Ryuuken and Isshin complain to each other about their bad parenting skills, so at least they know they screw up…

        And yes. Yes, Ichigo making it as long as he did without getting chomped is, I suspect, pure dumb luck….

        Liked by 2 people

      3. I suspect part of the problem is they’ve classified Dolls and Contractors as not human. And once you decide that… ow.

        Very ow.

        Of course, Syndicate scientists probably aren’t the only ones who do not consider Contractors and Dolls to be humans or even people at all.

        Which would be another reason for both to be leery of government officials. Because if they don’t consider them to be people . . . the government won’t treat them much better than the Syndicate does.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Misaki’s one of the few people who’s seen a doll call someone a friend and try to help them. Between the MI6 team and Li, she’s willing to believe they’re people. Maybe not run of the mill human, but people. Problem is getting that out to the general public!

        Liked by 2 people

      5. Problem is getting that out to the general public!

        And having them heed it.

        Contractors and Dolls don’t act and think like your average person . . . that makes them very easy to slot into the Not-Tribe position. Tribe tends to be very hostile to Not-Tribe. Especially if Not-Tribe has superpowers that Tribe doesn’t . . . powers that they have often used to kill Tribe . . .

        Not saying Contractors and Doll aren’t people and shouldn’t be treated as people . . . they are people and should be treated as such . . . but it’s not hard to see why some people do not and will not see them as people. They don’t follow the script and that does tend to set one’s internal alarms blaring. And with some Contractors and Dolls, your internal alarms should be ringing. Because a lot of them aren’t nearly as nice as Hei (and Mao).

        Liked by 2 people

      6. Hei and Mao would be the first to admit that. Along with firm denials of being at all nice. They’d just like to, you know, not get shot on sight for being Contractors.

        (Hei’d like a lot more than that, but he’s going to have a hard time admitting it.)

        Liked by 2 people

      7. Mao has few wants?

        Bunnies: He’s the one the crazy talking horse Chooses.

        Me: It is a Yuzu centric fixit for the rather excessive number of orphans in Bleach. You are way off beam.

        Bunnies then introduce a complex design proposal that does not address that the suggestion has nothing to do with Yuzu.

        Me: Hmm…


  2. Ryuuken’s diagnosis:
    “The good news is that you have Hollow powers, and are probably aren’t going to be going all the way Hollow in your current bodies. The bad news is that you probably can’t learn Hollow abilities, and I’m not qualified if you want experiments to get lots of power without consequences. If you are dead set on the latter, I would need your permission to consult with some very sketchy people. Some of whom I wouldn’t sooner kill than have anything to do with.”

    Something entirely different:
    “I can’t be at the clinic today. I’m down with a bad case of Hojo-Jianyu syndrome, and am confined for public safety.”

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I’m reminded of a line from a Fate/Stay Night fanfic, where one character (who’s actually relatively moral, all things considered, given their setting) is explaining (part of) standard procedure for the Mages’ Association to another character:

    >>”When someone researches forbidden magic […] That person is immediately marked as a target for his crime. If Enforcers are sent out, death or capture is the result. Preferably capture. Waste not, want not, after all.”

    It’s noteworthy here that in the Type-Moon multiverse (or ‘Nasuverse’, so Fate/Stay, Tsukihime, and I *think* Melty Blood, tho’ I’m really not sure on that last one) mages are scientists to a degree, and while usually not Hojo or Ni level do tend to be a little… Well. One of the nicest and most moral ones we meet casually uses mind control on a random elderly couple to make them think he’s their grandson visiting from college so he can get free room and board. And it’s standard practice to just up and kill anyone who witnesses anything magical to maintain the Masquerade.

    I got sidetracked. Point is, it’s noteworthy that in situations where scientific research progress trumps everything else, and morality does not matter, the bodies are never just left lying around. That’s a waste of resources. Even if the head researcher doesn’t have the time that’s why people have minions lab assistants minions. You want all the data you can get, the broader your data the broader and more confident the conclusions you can draw. And with people there’s just so many variables that can’t be controlled for that you want as wide as data pool as absolutely possible.

    So it’s really not surprising, honestly.

    …That doesn’t make it any less disturbing when you’re the research specimen.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Nasuverse describes a mixture of properties originally developed by Kinoko Nasu. There are a lot more parts of it than that, just of variable canon and debatable authority. Melty Blood is as normal Nasu canon as far as maguses go. Sion is an Alchemist, which isn’t the organization we are more familiar with, but the alchemists exist in most of the continuities. I think Fire Girl is one of the ones whether you can debate inclusion in the Nasuverse. Bunch of dubiously canon titles in Nasuverse, and for fanfic purposes it really depends on your starting assumptions.

      Waver wasn’t just after free room and board, he also needed to hide his presence. The elderly couple was very good cover.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Ah, fair enough. My interest in Type-Moon and the Nasuverse is passing at best, so I didn’t know all the details on what was and wasn’t continuity. And it has been at least a year since I last saw Fate/Zero so I had forgotten that detail of Waver’s motives, thanks for the reminder. Still, Waver’s pretty damn callous about the mind control and how he treats the elderly couple. I mean- he’s not cruel at any point, but the scene where we’re introduced to the couple? Downright creepy how casual he is about it.

        Granted for the monsters of the Fate/Stay universe there’s some stiff competition… Uryuu Ryunousuke, Caster the Bluebeard, Kotomine Kirie, Zouken Matou… After all that Waver and his mind control isn’t even really a blip on the radar.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Magus culture is pretty bad. Pretty much everyone in it would be liable for death under the Strictures of Ottovar. Makes some crossovers a bit tricky. (Since reading Sword of the South, I’ve been a little more fixated on Wencit being summoned as a Servant. It’s hard to do in a way that isn’t boring.)

        Your point about crossing the line from researcher to research specimen stands. The folks the magus would agree are evil, insane or criminal include some fairly evil types. (Then we have Emiya, Emiya, and Touko in KnK.)

        There are a lot of properties out there that have enough conflicting canonical material that one is very free to pick and choose. Is Star Wars the new canon, Legends, or a specific subset of Legends? Star Gate, comics, movie or TV? SG-1, SG-1 and Atlantis, or not excluding Universe. (I prefer Infinity to Universe.) Star Trek. Marvel, DC, etc… Keeping track of everything is a lot of work. Fortunately, the people who do that often put it on the internet for easy reference.

        Liked by 1 person

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