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Aloha.<br />This chapter has taken a while, but unfortunately it could, and possibly should be named:<br />But if I had ca...
“No, that doesn’t feel right...” Iris took out her frustration on the delete key, watching the offending sentence blink ou...
“Uh, Iris?”<br />“That’s it!” she cried as inspiration struck, hurriedly writing her revelation down before it slipped awa...
“Stupid maternity pyjamas.” Iris grumbled, staring angrily at her nightclothes. “And why are you cooking?”<br />“Because I...
“But you’re English” Iris frowned slightly. “in a sense anyway. Of course you’re going to say that.”<br />“Hey, we enslave...
“Hmmmm,”<br />“Hey, if you don’t believe in the wondrous properties of tea, it’s no great exaggeration to say that it’s a ...
“I’m still rooting for ‘Godric the second’”<br />“No.” Iris laughed. <br />“Yeah, Godric,” agreed Xander “That’s ridiculou...
“So how are you feeling now?” Godric smiled, putting an arm around his wife. <br />“A lot better actually.” replied Iris. ...
“NOT NOW! PLEASE NOT NOW!” AAAEIIIIIIHHHHGGGG!”<br />“He-hey,” smiled Godric smugly. “I’ve just realised how incredibly fe...
And here she is. That’s right, another daughter! <br />They decided to name her Elyssia on the guidance of some mysterious...
“So have you been to see the baby yet?” asked Isildur as he made his shot. <br />“Yeah,” replied Ichigo with a small smile...
“Ah student life,” Isildur mused. “I’m glad you asked me actually. Things are pr-etty good.”<br />
Like his older sister, Isildur had gone to University as part of a group. Sharing his dorm were Heffalump’s son Quartz, He...
In addition to Isildur’s band-mate and cousin Faramir, Gabriel the elder brother of Faramir and David, the third member of...
“Gabriel,” said the cafeteria manager, “please tell your friend that students are not permitted to be shirtless in this ar...
I love Quartz. He’s just one of those sims y’know? Plus, other sims do brilliant things around him. For example, midnight ...
Dylan, being a good little family sim, had already found himself a gal- and proposed to the aforementioned gal. <br />The ...
Gabriel also wanted to find that special someone and enlisted the help of the matchmaker. <br />“Sure I can find you a guy...
So he tried again. <br />This time Caspian Marmite turned up.<br />As in Caspian his great x4 uncle. <br />And I really wa...
Attempt number 4 = Caspian again.<br />*headdesk*<br />“Hell, even I could do better than that matchmaker.”<br />And the r...
“I just don’t think I’ll ever find a guy.” he said sadly.<br />“A guy?” asked David, audibly surprised.<br />“Yes,” replie...
So there were two very happy couples in the group before long. <br />
Lucky Shack Cards and Drink was a bar with regulars. Customers who turned up again and again, looking to relax. Such as Ke...
“Double whiskey,” he winked at a barmaid, sliding into a chair. He began to tap the bar absentmindedly as he looked around...
“You’re not the first faery I’ve seen.” he said quickly, regaining his smooth manner.<br />“Oh how disappointing,” she sai...
“So what’s your band called?” <br />“The Dunedain.” he said smugly.<br />“Never heard of you.”<br />She took another gulp....
“I, will buy you -one drink. ” she smiled, brushing his arm lightly as she slid back onto her seat. “Kay?”<br />
We're no strangers to love,You know the rules,<br />And SO. DO. I. <br />A full commitment's what I'm thinking ofYou would...
Never gonna give you upNever gonna let you downNever gonna run around and desert you<br />Never gonna make you cryNever go...
“Oh my gods.” said Ichigo, disgusted. “Rick Astley ? Really?”<br />“Hey, we were very pissed by then.”<br />“What happened...
And it had. <br />“I really like you Merrow.”<br />“Yeah, that’s sort of implied.”<br />“Er, you’re right...”<br />“It was...
“-and that’s how I started my very grown up and totally awesome relationship with the most beautiful girl in all the world...
 This doesn’t really fit in anywhere, so... In other news, the last of the Gamlet spawn have had a few birthdays.<br />On ...
Meanwhile, their only daughter, Isseult, is at Uni with Iracebeth and her various other relatives. <br />She is currently ...
She’s not the only member of the dorm that’s in a relationship. Isis, the daughter of Helena and Demetri, has recently bec...
“Coco! Come and look at this!”<br />“If it involves you, Gavin and that photo booth, I Don’t wanna know.” <br />Coco was n...
Do you by any chance remember the clown that Iracebeth marked as her arch nemesis last chapter?<br />Their relationship co...
But she has also begun to date a certain Mr Mitch Indie. It’s unclear whether Mitch had much choice about the initiation o...
It didn’t look like the sort of place that should exist in the day. It felt perverse to Ichigo to think of it doing anythi...
Ichigo wasn’t nervous as such, but something about the place put him on edge slightly. He spotted Mort and Ysabel at a tab...
“It’s good to see you again Ichigo,” smiled Ysabell. “I’m sorry this has all been so disorganised, but things aren’t as st...
They sat down at a long table, littered with empty bottles. Typically, Mort wasted no time in getting down to business.<br...
“And the gifts you possess,” continued Ysabell “are usually only seen within certain ancient families that have been perfo...
“Pah!” grunted Mort . “Soul Reapers. They think they’re so great.”<br />“Dad has a bit of a complex.” said Susan smoothly....
“And their other main duty is Hollow Cleansing.” she continued, reading further confusion from Ichigo’s expression. “When ...
“Both you and Susan have shown a great aptitude for this role. But it’s a difficult and of course dangerous job. So are yo...
“YOU!” He yelled as the memories from that unearthly night bounced around behind his eyes. <br />
“Have you already met?” asked Ysabell, confused.<br />“Bloody Soul Reapers,” mumbled Mort “Can’t do anything as arranged.”...
“If it’s okay with you Ani Mei, We’ll leave you three to talk this over. Mort and I are snowed under at the moment. Full m...
Ani Mei sat down beside Susan and looked at them both for a while. <br />“Yes, you do have extraordinary levels of spirit ...
“-and he sends it SOARING!”<br />Jinta shouted excitedly, watching the ball rocket through the air. <br />Ururu was also w...
Her left hand closed around it, then panicked as it tried to comprehend the unfamiliar occurrence. The ball did a few disa...
“I’m sorry Jinta.” she replied earnestly. Her voice was high an soft, as meek and harmless as she looked. “But I am gettin...
“I’m really sorry,” she sniffed, he lower lip trembling. “I’ll try really really hard to get better.”<br />“Aww, Ururu.” h...
“Aren’t you two supposed to be working instead of messing around and arguing?” <br />“Hello Miss Ani Mei,” Ururu said poli...
Thanks to Yaeko, Ichigo could see that the sign above the shop read ‘Urahara Shoten’. He had walked past the building a fe...
It was a large shop, and appeared even bigger due to the complete lack of merchandise. There were a few empty shelves, an ...
Behind the aforementioned counter stood a tall muscular man, who might have been rather intimidating if he had not been du...
“Fourty years?” Ichigo said incredulously.<br />“I may appear young to you, but I have lived nearly ten of your lifetimes ...
“It’s okay Tessai,” the new figure, presumably the person they were here to see, strolled casually into view “I’m already ...
“It’s the afternoon.” said Ani Mei. “And this is Ichigo Marmite and Susan StoHelit.” <br />“Kisuke Urahara, pleased to mee...
“...So you’re saying you need somewhere to train these... Fledglings?” Kisuke asked, casually flicking a piece of fluff fr...
“Hmmmm, where are you gonna find a space like that?” he said with a crooked smile. “If only you knew someone who could set...
“For whom exactly?” Susan asked dryly.<br />“Y’know, it’s just occured to me that I might know of the perfect place.” he s...
“You’ll have to give me a day or so though,”<br />“That’s fine.” Ani Mei smiled. “Thanks Kisuke.”<br />“Well I try to be h...
“Alright,” he grinned. “I’ll be right out.” he began to walk towards the back door and, without turning back, said “come b...
“Mr Yoruichi is a cat?” <br />“Not just any cat,” answered Tessai. “ the Boss’s best friend what’s more.”<br />“It kinda m...
Later that day, Ichabod struggled to choose a birthday wish.<br />“OH! What about- no that’s stupid...”<br />“Oh yeah, but...
Iago took a less obvious route inside in order to avoid the stream of relatives heading towards the decking. <br />“Go on ...
Ichabod grew into a knowledge sim (SURPRISE!) with a surprisingly achievable LTW of maxing out seven skills.  <br />“Awww,...
“I don’t know,” said Ichigo with a rare, Ichabod induced smile, “I think he must be pretty tough now that he’s all grown u...
“Anyway, it’s my turn now.” <br />“OUCH!” Ichabod was surprised how much it hurt. It had looked like a fairly light punch....
“-ppy birthday to YOOOOUUU!” warbled Woozle, finishing significantly later than everyone else.<br />“I’d seriously get a m...
“I can’t believe my baby’s all grown up.” said Yaeko, looking proudly at her son.<br />“Are you crying Mum?” <br />“I migh...
“This will do nicely.” said Ani Mei approvingly. <br />“Good,” said Tessai, stretching, “because I really don’t want to mo...
“We’ll start training tomorrow.” said Ani Mei. “Thank you.”<br />“Anything for a loyal customer.” Urahara replied as she t...
“WhatchadoinYoruichi?” he asked in a goofy voice, settling down beside the cat. “Checking the sky for rain?”<br />“You can...
“Would you like to talk about it now? Or after I get you your milk?”<br />
Well that’s it I’m afraid. I told you nothing much happened.<br />Yet again, I foresee a looooooong generation. Trust me, ...
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The Marmite Alphabetacy 35

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Transcript of "The Marmite Alphabetacy 35"

  1. 1.
  2. 2. Aloha.<br />This chapter has taken a while, but unfortunately it could, and possibly should be named:<br />But if I had carried on a bit longer, I would have had to carry on a LOT longer- if you catch my drift.<br />In chapter 34, we learnt that Ichigo can see and interact with spirits and that whilst Iago can too, he chooses to ignore his abilities- which are not as strong as his twin’s. Isildur’s band got going and Iago ... was a tosser. We heard about Ichabod’s adoration of his big brother and Ichigo had a strange encounter with a ghost, a woman and ...something else. Iracebeth made a clown her enemy and continued to believe that the heirship was her birthright. Iago pledged to support her but secretly hides ambitions of his own. <br />
  3. 3. “No, that doesn’t feel right...” Iris took out her frustration on the delete key, watching the offending sentence blink out of existence. “Oh crap,” She had held it down for just a second too long. “Damn NaNoWriMo. Can’t let it win...”<br />
  4. 4. “Uh, Iris?”<br />“That’s it!” she cried as inspiration struck, hurriedly writing her revelation down before it slipped away. <br />“Rissa?” her husband tried again. “It’s 2PM, why are you in your pyjamas?”<br />“Oh what? Just because I’m not a pleasure sim I can’t wear my PJs all day?” she shrieked. <br />“Would this be the hormones by any chance?” Godric asked calmly.<br />“MAYBE. But I have to be comfortable to write- and besides, I love these pyjamas. Soon I’ll have to wear those eeeevil maternity ones.”<br />
  5. 5. “Stupid maternity pyjamas.” Iris grumbled, staring angrily at her nightclothes. “And why are you cooking?”<br />“Because I’m a loving husband and it’s my job to look after you when you plunge into sleepwear induced turmoil.” <br />“And here is stage two.” Godric announced the next morning, gesturing that they should sit.<br />“Tea?”<br />“Tea.” he said firmly. “Tea makes everything better.” <br />
  6. 6. “But you’re English” Iris frowned slightly. “in a sense anyway. Of course you’re going to say that.”<br />“Hey, we enslaved an entire sub-continent to ensure our supply of it. If that doesn’t prove how magical it is then I don’t know what could.” <br />
  7. 7. “Hmmmm,”<br />“Hey, if you don’t believe in the wondrous properties of tea, it’s no great exaggeration to say that it’s a direct insult to the millions who toiled under the yoke of the Raj.” <br />“Alright, alright.”<br />“Do you believe?”<br />“I believe.”<br />“I still can’t believe that I’m going to have another brother or sister!” Heffalump squealed. “Have you thought of any names?”<br />“Maybe,” Iris grinned<br />
  8. 8. “I’m still rooting for ‘Godric the second’”<br />“No.” Iris laughed. <br />“Yeah, Godric,” agreed Xander “That’s ridiculous.”<br />“What about ‘Godric 2’?” he suggested brightly.<br />“Now THAT’S a name!” nodded Xander.<br />“Don’t be stupid Dad,” said Heffalump. “And anyway, what if it’s a girl?”<br />“Errr........ Godrina?<br />“So this baby will be my aunt or uncle?” asked Ichabod. “But I’ll be older than it?”<br />“Yup. It’s weird isn’t it?” smiled Iris. <br />“It’s brilliant! It’ll be like having a little brother or sister; I just have a bunch of elder ones!” <br />
  9. 9. “So how are you feeling now?” Godric smiled, putting an arm around his wife. <br />“A lot better actually.” replied Iris. “Thanks G.”<br />“Meh, hormones are hormones. Five pregnancies in I have a pretty good idea of how to deal with them.”<br />“I can’t believe we’ll have another baby soon! I’m so excited!”<br />“Me too” he grinned. “It’ll be great.”<br />“I can’t wait till schlee’s here.”<br />
  10. 10. “NOT NOW! PLEASE NOT NOW!” AAAEIIIIIIHHHHGGGG!”<br />“He-hey,” smiled Godric smugly. “I’ve just realised how incredibly fertile I must be. “<br />“GOODDDDRIII-ARRRIEEEEGH!”<br />
  11. 11. And here she is. That’s right, another daughter! <br />They decided to name her Elyssia on the guidance of some mysterious otherworldly force... *cough* <br />
  12. 12. “So have you been to see the baby yet?” asked Isildur as he made his shot. <br />“Yeah,” replied Ichigo with a small smile. “Have you?”<br />“Yep, she’s a right little sweetie. I can’t quite get my head around the fact that she’s my aunt though.”<br />“I know what you mean,” agreed Ichigo. “I suppose we’ll get used to it eventually.” He straightened up, looking back at his brother.<br />“So how’s Uni anyway?” <br />
  13. 13. “Ah student life,” Isildur mused. “I’m glad you asked me actually. Things are pr-etty good.”<br />
  14. 14. Like his older sister, Isildur had gone to University as part of a group. Sharing his dorm were Heffalump’s son Quartz, Hermione’s son Dylan and Helena’s son Edmund...<br />
  15. 15. In addition to Isildur’s band-mate and cousin Faramir, Gabriel the elder brother of Faramir and David, the third member of The Dunedain. <br />
  16. 16. “Gabriel,” said the cafeteria manager, “please tell your friend that students are not permitted to be shirtless in this area.”<br />“Quartz, you heard the man.”<br />“Yeeeees,” Quartz said shiftily. “Shirtless... That’s what I am...” <br />
  17. 17. I love Quartz. He’s just one of those sims y’know? Plus, other sims do brilliant things around him. For example, midnight Tai chi.<br />“Dude, seriously. What the hell?”<br />“Oh come on mate, it’s really relaxing.” <br />“Then relax yourself in your own freakin’ room!”<br />
  18. 18. Dylan, being a good little family sim, had already found himself a gal- and proposed to the aforementioned gal. <br />The lady in question, SolveigRaha, was an immediate hit with his parents who were thrilled to see their son so happy. <br />
  19. 19. Gabriel also wanted to find that special someone and enlisted the help of the matchmaker. <br />“Sure I can find you a guy. The love of your life I assure you.”<br />But when his date arrived, he immediately began to slap Gabriel for no comprehensible reason. I checked his relationship panel and he is apparently furious with Gabriel- who has no memory of ever having met this guy. <br />
  20. 20. So he tried again. <br />This time Caspian Marmite turned up.<br />As in Caspian his great x4 uncle. <br />And I really wasn’t getting any Wincest vibes. Neither was Gabriel. <br />Attempt number three produced Kaito Nakamura, Yaeko’s father. Whilst they’re not actually related, dating the grandfather of your cousins is a little bit weird. <br />
  21. 21. Attempt number 4 = Caspian again.<br />*headdesk*<br />“Hell, even I could do better than that matchmaker.”<br />And the random postman was probably right. <br />Resolving that he was perhaps just not meant to find anyone, Gabriel turned to head inside but stopped when he heard David, who had just returned from class, calling him.<br />“Any luck?” he asked, eyeing the matchmaker.<br />“Urgh,” Gabriel sighed. “Absolutely useless.”<br />“Hey, I can hear you y’know!”<br />
  22. 22. “I just don’t think I’ll ever find a guy.” he said sadly.<br />“A guy?” asked David, audibly surprised.<br />“Yes,” replied Gabriel, instantly defensive, prepared for the usual. “Why? Do you have a problem with that?”<br />“No!” cried David. “I just didn’t know. I’m gay too- and if I’d known I would have...” he trailed off, embarrassed.”<br />“You would have what?” Gabriel smiled.<br />“I would have asked you out.”<br />“Well now you know don’t you.”<br />They stared at each other intensely for a while, not realising that Quartz had semi-materialised behind them. <br />“Ello, ello, ello. What’s all this then?” he grinned, giving a thumbs up and a wink before strolling away. <br />
  23. 23. So there were two very happy couples in the group before long. <br />
  24. 24. Lucky Shack Cards and Drink was a bar with regulars. Customers who turned up again and again, looking to relax. Such as Kermit and Miss Piggy, members of the short-lived Muppets OWBC . <br />But every so often, an unfamiliar face strolled in by chance. Isildur had been that face one night, although he had sauntered in, fingergunning the bar staff, with the ease of a nightly customer. <br />
  25. 25. “Double whiskey,” he winked at a barmaid, sliding into a chair. He began to tap the bar absentmindedly as he looked around. This place seemed alright.<br />“Can you stop doing that?” <br />Isildur stopped, surprised and turned to his left. <br />“What’s the matter?” asked the woman after he had stared silently for a while. “Never seen a faery before?”<br />“Er, sorry.” he bumbled highly uncharacteristically as he snapped out of it. She turned away, back to the bar. <br />
  26. 26. “You’re not the first faery I’ve seen.” he said quickly, regaining his smooth manner.<br />“Oh how disappointing,” she said dryly, taking a sip. There was silence for a few seconds. “So what’s your name?” she asked.<br />“Isildur” he smiled cooly. “Yours?”<br />“Merrow” she replied. <br />Things weren’t flowing as easily as they usually did for Isildur.<br />“I’m in a band,” he said casually- this normally worked.<br />“Big deal. So am I.”<br />“Yeah?” he said interestedly.<br />“Mmm hmm,” she said. “Tickled by needles”<br />“Oh yeah! I know you! “he lied. “You guys are great!”<br />
  27. 27. “So what’s your band called?” <br />“The Dunedain.” he said smugly.<br />“Never heard of you.”<br />She took another gulp.<br />“Let me buy you a drink.” Isildur said, waving the barmaid over.<br />“I have a drink thanks. And what’s more-” she drained her glass “it’s finished. And I can buy my own drinks.”<br />“Aww, come on.” he said as the girl began to walk away. “Give a guy a chance.”<br />He received no response, and turned back to the bar with the sigh of a man who’s painfully aware of what he’s just let go. <br />“The one time I screw a conversation up-” he muttered to himself, vaguely registering the sound of the neighbouring stool scraping backwards to allow access. “You’re not the first faery I’ve seen. Urgh. Why did I-”<br />
  28. 28. “I, will buy you -one drink. ” she smiled, brushing his arm lightly as she slid back onto her seat. “Kay?”<br />
  29. 29. We're no strangers to love,You know the rules,<br />And SO. DO. I. <br />A full commitment's what I'm thinking ofYou wouldn't get this from any other guyI just wanna tell you how I'm feelingGotta make you understand<br />
  30. 30. Never gonna give you upNever gonna let you downNever gonna run around and desert you<br />Never gonna make you cryNever gonna say goodbyeNever gonna tell a lie and hurt you<br />
  31. 31. “Oh my gods.” said Ichigo, disgusted. “Rick Astley ? Really?”<br />“Hey, we were very pissed by then.”<br />“What happened to one drink?”<br />“Weeelll, y’know... First I drank one and became four, and when I fell on the floor I drank more.- Long story short: I’m blissfully in love. ME. LOVE. And I didn’t think it was out there. I just had to do some searching-”<br />“By getting totally rat arsed? That’s how you find love is it?” <br />“It worked for me.” he shrugged. <br />
  32. 32. And it had. <br />“I really like you Merrow.”<br />“Yeah, that’s sort of implied.”<br />“Er, you’re right...”<br />“It was sweet anyway. I really like you too.”<br />
  33. 33. “-and that’s how I started my very grown up and totally awesome relationship with the most beautiful girl in all the world.” Isildur finished and noticed another of his brothers, who had just returned home. “Hey Iago! How about a game?”<br />“I don’t think so.” Iago drawled, without so much as turning his head.<br />“Nice to you too bro,” Isildur sighed, not bothering to watch him walk away. “Uni’s great thanks. Don’t return my calls or anything, it’s fine.” He returned to the table to make his shot. “I see he’s pretty much the same then?”<br />“Worse.” replied Ichigo, his voice taut. “I mean, he’s an arsey bugger - he’s a teenager; we all are. But Iago...” he trailed off, “I don’t even know...”<br />
  34. 34. This doesn’t really fit in anywhere, so... In other news, the last of the Gamlet spawn have had a few birthdays.<br />On the left you can see the twins, Benedict and Arren. Hamlet and Gail’s youngest child, Flick, is on the right. <br />
  35. 35. Meanwhile, their only daughter, Isseult, is at Uni with Iracebeth and her various other relatives. <br />She is currently involved with this guy- whose name I can’t remember...<br />I’m a bad simmer okay? But with a smoking jacket like that, who needs a name right?<br />
  36. 36. She’s not the only member of the dorm that’s in a relationship. Isis, the daughter of Helena and Demetri, has recently become engaged to her adorable teenage sweetheart, who goes by the name of Gavin. <br />
  37. 37. “Coco! Come and look at this!”<br />“If it involves you, Gavin and that photo booth, I Don’t wanna know.” <br />Coco was not without her reasons.<br />
  38. 38. Do you by any chance remember the clown that Iracebeth marked as her arch nemesis last chapter?<br />Their relationship continues to blossom to new levels. <br />
  39. 39. But she has also begun to date a certain Mr Mitch Indie. It’s unclear whether Mitch had much choice about the initiation of this relationship- but he seems to be enjoying himself. <br />
  40. 40. It didn’t look like the sort of place that should exist in the day. It felt perverse to Ichigo to think of it doing anything other than pop-or perhaps, groan- into being when darkness fell. <br />The Leaky Cauldron was arguably more intimidating in the daylight. True, it’s questionable clientele were absent, but , without the colloidal gloom, the pub <br />
  41. 41. Ichigo wasn’t nervous as such, but something about the place put him on edge slightly. He spotted Mort and Ysabel at a table near to the entrance; they looked up as they heard him approach, his footsteps clearly audible in the empty air. <br />“Ichigo,” said Mort in greeting. He stood up, as did his wife. He wasn’t sure- even in the day, the pub perpetuated a murkiness that ensured the need for candle light- but he thought he recognised the third figure. <br />
  42. 42. “It’s good to see you again Ichigo,” smiled Ysabell. “I’m sorry this has all been so disorganised, but things aren’t as straightforward as we expected.” she turned to the girl, who had joined them. “This is our daughter Susan.”<br />“We’ve already met Mum,” she said, faintly exasperated, “when we took our entry tests.”<br />“Oh,” she said in surprise, “Well that’s good. You’ll be spending quite a lot of time together.”<br />Joy. Thought Ichigo, remembering her attitude. He did not like this girl.<br />
  43. 43. They sat down at a long table, littered with empty bottles. Typically, Mort wasted no time in getting down to business.<br />“So the thing is Ichigo,” he began. “your test results-”<br />“Were they bad?”<br />“No, if anything, they were exceptional. You possess a very rare set of aptitudes. But they aren’t the right ones for you to train as a Shadowhunter.”<br />“Oh,” he couldn’t help feeling disappointed. <br />“But that was only ever one option.” Mort reassured him. “That’s just what we thought might be most likely considering that Ysabell, your relative, is one. These things normally run in families you see.”<br />
  44. 44. “And the gifts you possess,” continued Ysabell “are usually only seen within certain ancient families that have been performing the role for centuries. They aren’t rarer, it’s just less likely that someone outside of the families would have them- if that makes any sense.”<br />“I think so,” said Ichigo. “So what kindarole are we talking about?”<br />She paused, considering the best way to explain. <br />“They’re called Soul Reapers- or Shinigami.” she began “That’s what you have the potential to become. All souls have some degree of spiritual energy, but some possess exceptional levels. And if these souls are trained, they can become Soul Reapers. ” <br />
  45. 45. “Pah!” grunted Mort . “Soul Reapers. They think they’re so great.”<br />“Dad has a bit of a complex.” said Susan smoothly.<br />“I do not.” he scowled. “I just don’t see why they think they’re so much better than Shadow Hunters. They think it’s sooo easy. But they haven’t got any of the powers you need to deal with downworlders. They’re just sword-happy, egotistical pri-”<br />“One of whom, your daughter will soon become Mort.” Ysabell interjected firmly. <br />“Yeah... Well... I didn’t mean-” he grumbled.<br />“Anyway, carry on Mum” said Susan.<br />“Soul Reapers have many duties, but their most important ones are finding wandering souls and helping them pass on-”<br />“What do you mean ‘wandering souls’? Surely Grim- I mean, your father, comes for them and that’s it.”<br />Susan smirked. “Did you really think something like Life and Death could be that simple?”<br />Ichigo glared silently at her, and she smiled smugly back. Ysabell appeared not to have noticed. <br />
  46. 46. “And their other main duty is Hollow Cleansing.” she continued, reading further confusion from Ichigo’s expression. “When a soul... fails to pass on, it is known as a Whole, or a Plus. They are bound to an object or location that they felt close to during life by their Chain of Fate, which is attached to their chest. This chain will eventually corrode and a Hollow hole will form in their chest where it used to be. This process can also happen if the chain is ripped out of the Whole, a whole is consumed by a Hollow, or if the spirit loses its heart to despair.” <br />“Hollows are corrupt spirits, intent on devouring both living souls and Wholes. There is nothing left of the soul they once were. They are entirely driven by their insatiable hunger.”<br />“And Soul Reapers... kill them?” Ichigo asked.<br />“No. They... exorcise them. They are cleansed of all that they have committed as a Hollow and then pass on.”<br />“I guess there’s no point in asking what happens after that is there?”<br />Ysabell smiled. “I wouldn’t tell you if I knew.” <br />
  47. 47. “Both you and Susan have shown a great aptitude for this role. But it’s a difficult and of course dangerous job. So are you interested?”<br />“Definitely.” he replied without hesitation. This sounded perfect for him. He had always felt an overpowering need to help and protect those in need. Undaunted by the intense training he knew it would require, Ichigo was certain that, if he could use his power to both aid and defend, he wanted to do so. <br />“That’s brilliant news.” Ysabell beamed. “I didn’t want to pressure you, but I really think that you and Susan will make excellent Shinigami Ichigo.” <br />“When is she gonna get here?” Susan asked her father with a sigh.<br />“Any time now I would’ve thought.” answered Mort.<br />“Er, who are-”<br />“Your teacher.” Ysabell explained. “A Soul Reaper who has agreed to take charge of your training. She’ll obviously be able to tell you far more than I can and- oh! Here she is.”<br />Ichigo followed her gaze, leaping up from his seat with characteristic speed as he caught sight of the approaching figure. <br />
  48. 48. “YOU!” He yelled as the memories from that unearthly night bounced around behind his eyes. <br />
  49. 49.
  50. 50. “Have you already met?” asked Ysabell, confused.<br />“Bloody Soul Reapers,” mumbled Mort “Can’t do anything as arranged.”<br />“Not that I remember...” answered the woman. <br />“What do you mean?!” he yelled. “You had a full on battle with that thin- that Hollow. A kid’s soul was in danger- and you just forget about it?”<br />“OH!” she smiled slightly as the memory returned. “I remember now. But only because I had to drag your sorry ass home. I can’t be expected to remember every night of work you know.” <br />“You took me home?” Ichigo continued to yell.<br />“Well I had to knock you out since you were so determined to get in the way. And then you looked so pathetic lying there on the ground-”<br />Susan snorted.<br />“I was trying to help him.” he said furiously. <br />“Well with a bit of luck you’ll be able to next time.” she smiled. <br />
  51. 51. “If it’s okay with you Ani Mei, We’ll leave you three to talk this over. Mort and I are snowed under at the moment. Full moon and all that.” said Ysabell<br />“No problem, I’ll speak to you soon.” she replied.<br />“Thanks, we’ll be off then. Tom?” she called the owner over. “Would you mind cleaning up these bottles.” <br />“Not at all Miss Ysabell.”<br />“Mrs Ysabell.” Mort corrected him sulkily. <br />She gave a small smile of amusement and walked over to Mort who was already standing to leave. She gave his hand a small squeeze which seemed to remove some of his angst. “Goodbye then. Be good.”<br />“We’re not children Mum.” Susan said exasperatedly. <br />“Ok, I’m sorry.” she said, still smiling as they left. <br />
  52. 52. Ani Mei sat down beside Susan and looked at them both for a while. <br />“Yes, you do have extraordinary levels of spirit energy for humans.” she concluded. “It’s pretty strange that two ordinary mortals-”<br />“In all fairness,” said Ichigo. “My dad can stop time and her grandfather is Death.”<br />“Hehe, you have a point. But even so... Those things are unlikely to have had an effect on your- But anyway, it doesn’t matter does it?” she stopped and stared at them silently again. “I must emphasise that this will be highly-”<br />“We know the risks.” interrupted Susan.<br />“I highly doubt that,” said Ani Mei. “But if you’re aware that it will be perilous and you still want to learn, then we might as well get started.”<br />“Wait a second,” said Ichigo suddenly. “Ani Mei? I’ve heard of you... Aren’t you a simself?”<br />“I’m lots of things.” she said calmly. “I’m even a Goddess in one universe. But here I’m a Soul Reaper, and that’s all that matters to you.”<br />Ichigo realised that there would be little point in further questions but resolved to find out more further down the line. Before long, Ani Mei lead them out of the pub and into a warm autumn afternoon. <br />
  53. 53. “-and he sends it SOARING!”<br />Jinta shouted excitedly, watching the ball rocket through the air. <br />Ururu was also watching its parabola, but with a faint nausea instead of burning pride. <br />Keeping her large blue eyes locked on its trajectory, she stepped cautiously backwards and forwards, trying to predict its landing. She raised her arms as it approached, fighting her natural instinct to fling them over her face. <br />
  54. 54. Her left hand closed around it, then panicked as it tried to comprehend the unfamiliar occurrence. The ball did a few disappointed bounces when it reached the ground and Ururu picked it up, with her left hand as Jinta approached. <br />Jinta gave off the impression of permanent frustration- which was accurate for the most part. <br />“Ururu, how am I supposed to practice when you can’t even catch the ball?” he asked moodily. <br />
  55. 55. “I’m sorry Jinta.” she replied earnestly. Her voice was high an soft, as meek and harmless as she looked. “But I am getting better aren’t I?”<br />“Well yeah,” he said “But it’s taken you months to learn to catch- so how long will it take for you to learn not to drop it?”<br />
  56. 56. “I’m really sorry,” she sniffed, he lower lip trembling. “I’ll try really really hard to get better.”<br />“Aww, Ururu.” he sighed as she wiped away a tear, “C’mon,” he said awkwardly. “I didn’t mean to upset you.”<br />
  57. 57. “Aren’t you two supposed to be working instead of messing around and arguing?” <br />“Hello Miss Ani Mei,” Ururu said politely, with a small smile.<br />“ It’s our break. And what are you doing here?” Jinta asked with considerably less decorum. <br />“I’m here to see Urahara.” replied Ani Mei. <br />
  58. 58. Thanks to Yaeko, Ichigo could see that the sign above the shop read ‘Urahara Shoten’. He had walked past the building a few times and, from somewhere in his memory, the impression that it was a sweet shop surfaced. <br />Dumb ass place for a sweet shop. <br />This area was always practically deserted, certainly well clear of the trade favoured school routes. And why would Ani Mei have brought them here? It seemed unlikely that she was buying them a pre-training pic ‘n’ mix. <br />“Fortunately for you, since the boss knows that he can trust me with important information ,” he grinned, puffing out his chest, “I happen to know that he doesn’t have anything on today. He’ll be inside.”<br />
  59. 59. It was a large shop, and appeared even bigger due to the complete lack of merchandise. There were a few empty shelves, an abundance of crates pushed against the walls, but the only sugary indulgences in sight were a few lollipops that stood smugly on the counter. It was however, spotless. <br />
  60. 60. Behind the aforementioned counter stood a tall muscular man, who might have been rather intimidating if he had not been dusting the till when they entered and then looked up with a broad smile upon noticing them. <br />“Ani Mei!” he cried “It’s good to see you again.”<br />“Thank you Tessai,” she replied as Susan and Ichigo continued to wonder why she had brought them to an empty sweet shop. “It’s been a long time.” <br />“About forty years, if I remember correctly.” <br />
  61. 61. “Fourty years?” Ichigo said incredulously.<br />“I may appear young to you, but I have lived nearly ten of your lifetimes Ichigo.”<br />“Simself, remember?” mocked Susan.<br />“Shut it.” <br />“I’m here to see Urahara, Tessai.”<br />“Oh I’m afraid he isn’t here.” he folded his arms as his voice became more stern.<br />“Yes he is. If he wants to be all reclusive he shouldn’t let Jinta find anything out.”<br />“Damn that boy,” he sighed. “But I still can’t let you see him. The Boss will be-”<br />
  62. 62. “It’s okay Tessai,” the new figure, presumably the person they were here to see, strolled casually into view “I’m already awake- for once” he said sleepily, following it with a wide yawn. “Good Morning, Ani Mei- and friends.” the man added, passing a hand lazily through his tousled hair. <br />
  63. 63. “It’s the afternoon.” said Ani Mei. “And this is Ichigo Marmite and Susan StoHelit.” <br />“Kisuke Urahara, pleased to meet you both. Well, I’m guessing you aren’t here for sherbet- which is fortunate ‘cause you’d be sorely disappointed. Come on through.”<br />
  64. 64. “...So you’re saying you need somewhere to train these... Fledglings?” Kisuke asked, casually flicking a piece of fluff from his knee. <br />“Yes,” Ani Mei sighed. He was making this take far longer than it needed to.”<br />“So if you would-”<br />
  65. 65. “Hmmmm, where are you gonna find a space like that?” he said with a crooked smile. “If only you knew someone who could set you up with such a venue...”<br />“Oh come on,” growled Ichigo “What is that you want? Money?”<br />Urahara laughed and turned to Ani Mei. “I like him, he’s funny.”<br />“Just get on with it.” said Ichigo, with a glare.<br />“Oooh,” he still spoke to Ani Mei “Angsty too. He’s gonna be fun.”<br />
  66. 66. “For whom exactly?” Susan asked dryly.<br />“Y’know, it’s just occured to me that I might know of the perfect place.” he slid smoothly from the crates. <br />
  67. 67. “You’ll have to give me a day or so though,”<br />“That’s fine.” Ani Mei smiled. “Thanks Kisuke.”<br />“Well I try to be helpful,”<br />Ichigo resisted the urge to ‘pah!’ defiantly.<br />“Sure you do,” she said.<br />“Boss?” Tessai had reappeared.<br />“Mr Yoruichi is here to see you.”<br />
  68. 68. “Alright,” he grinned. “I’ll be right out.” he began to walk towards the back door and, without turning back, said “come back tomorrow and everything will be sorted.”<br />“Hey Yoruichi,” he cried, picking up the cat and bouncing it up and down a few times. “I knew you’d be back you little devil.” The cat did not seem overtly amused, but purred begrudgingly. <br />
  69. 69. “Mr Yoruichi is a cat?” <br />“Not just any cat,” answered Tessai. “ the Boss’s best friend what’s more.”<br />“It kinda makes you feel sorry for the guy. Having a cat for a best friend...”<br />“Who’s my fuzzy little trouble maker?” Urahara cooed. “You are, yes you are.” <br />
  70. 70. Later that day, Ichabod struggled to choose a birthday wish.<br />“OH! What about- no that’s stupid...”<br />“Oh yeah, but wishing itself isn’t?” drawled Iago.<br />“If you don’t want to be here then piss off Iago.” said Ichigo. He wasn’t prepared to let him ruin Ichabod’s birthday.<br />“Great idea.” he said without emotion. <br />
  71. 71. Iago took a less obvious route inside in order to avoid the stream of relatives heading towards the decking. <br />“Go on Ick,” Ichigo said encouragingly.<br />Ichabod smiled at his big brother and prepared to blow out his candles, now certain of his wish.<br />I wish I could be more like Ichigo.<br />
  72. 72. Ichabod grew into a knowledge sim (SURPRISE!) with a surprisingly achievable LTW of maxing out seven skills. <br />“Awww,” said Heffalump affectionately. “Look brand new skinny little nerd body.” <br />
  73. 73. “I don’t know,” said Ichigo with a rare, Ichabod induced smile, “I think he must be pretty tough now that he’s all grown up.” <br />“ I doubt that,” Ichabod laughed. <br />“C’mon,” Ichigo initiated a game of Punch You Punch Me. <br />“Hey that was pretty good!” said Ichigo after Ichabod landed an ok-ish punch on his shoulder. <br />“Yeah...”<br />“No, it was!” he insisted. <br />
  74. 74. “Anyway, it’s my turn now.” <br />“OUCH!” Ichabod was surprised how much it hurt. It had looked like a fairly light punch. <br />“Sorry, Ick.” said Ichigo, also confused. “I guess I don’ t know my own strength.” <br />
  75. 75. “-ppy birthday to YOOOOUUU!” warbled Woozle, finishing significantly later than everyone else.<br />“I’d seriously get a move on if you want any cake,” said Iracebeth “Get there before Demetri does is all I’m saying.”<br />
  76. 76. “I can’t believe my baby’s all grown up.” said Yaeko, looking proudly at her son.<br />“Are you crying Mum?” <br />“I might be. My youngest child has just grown up, I think I’m entitled to. C’mere,” she pulled him into a hug.<br />“I love you Mum,”<br />“You’re a teenager now, you’re not supposed to say that.” <br />“Oh right. I mean, I hate you.” he corrected himself.<br />“That’s my boy.”<br />
  77. 77. “This will do nicely.” said Ani Mei approvingly. <br />“Good,” said Tessai, stretching, “because I really don’t want to move all those crates again.<br />
  78. 78. “We’ll start training tomorrow.” said Ani Mei. “Thank you.”<br />“Anything for a loyal customer.” Urahara replied as she took her leave. Tessai returned to the front of the shop and Kisuke wandered outside. <br />
  79. 79. “WhatchadoinYoruichi?” he asked in a goofy voice, settling down beside the cat. “Checking the sky for rain?”<br />“You can drop the act now Urahara.” the cat said in a deep voice.<br />“You know what I’m here to discuss.” the cat continued. “Two of them are already here.”<br />Urahara sighed. <br />
  80. 80. “Would you like to talk about it now? Or after I get you your milk?”<br />
  81. 81. Well that’s it I’m afraid. I told you nothing much happened.<br />Yet again, I foresee a looooooong generation. Trust me, it annoys me more than it annoys you.<br />I am however, quite excited by some of the directions it’s heading in. <br />It seems unlikely that I’ll get another update up before Christmas, (unless I do a special festive post...) so I’ll take this chance to say<br />Merry Christmas<br />Happy Hogswatch <br />Etc...<br />May Robot Santa, the Chanukah Zombie and Kwanzabot watch over you this festive season. Although it’s probably better if Robot Santa doesn’t... <br />
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