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Turn Back the Sands of Time: Part 1

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Ryan lay asleep on a cold, solid, cave floor on the deserted island of Kakusei, the island Seireitou had left him on without a weapon or food supply. His sleep was penetrated by his sore body, rumbling stomach and aching heart. It had been almost a week since he failed to kill one of the higher ups of the arrancar five. The failure physically pained him, but more so mentally. His sleep was disturbed by the nearby running water of an underground river, so he rolled over onto his side, and fell into a painful sleep. The dream came to him quickly:

He was in the human world as it was around 150 years ago. He is in an ally in Imperial Japan, Southwest Karakura Town. In the dream, he took the form of a spirit floating above the scene. In the ally were four boys, all about his age. One was standing on a fence, while the other three remained on the ground looking up at that boy. The boy that was standing ontop of the fence was wearing a black cloak, hiding his face. "What do you want from us?! We don't even know you!" screamed one of the three boys standing on the ground. The cloaked boy cocked his head, "You don't know me, but I know who you are. You three are the demons in my sleep, and the cause of most of my pain and I'll kill you for what you've done!" The three boys began to ball their fists, "Ya! Well we haven't done anything to you!! But if it's a fight you want then I hope your ready to die!" screamed the kid in the front of the group. The cloaked boy lowered his head and balled his own fist, "While it is true you have never physically done anything at all to me. You have both mentally and physically abused someone very dear to my heart, and for that you will each pay with your lives.

The dream ended as abruptly as it had began. Ryan forced himself awake and managed to get his sore body into a standing position. The dream had left him puzzled. Never once had his nights been interrupted like this. He walked to the mouth of the cave which was blanketed by a waterfall and was sitting miles above the actual "floor" of the island. He took of his shirt and stuck his head into the running water and thought over the dream. For some odd reason, it angered him. As that anger arose, so did many others, like his empty stomach, and failure a week earlier. His right arm, which was dangling in the water flow began to charge reiatsu, before he realized, Sei had limited his energy techniques as well. He cursed under his breath and after a few silent moments, with only the noise of the running water in his ears, he let go of his cares and the sky outside the cave was bathed in blood-red, crimson light as Ryan fired cero from his hand into the lake below the waterfall.

After rinsing off in the waterfall, Ryan put his shirt back on and went back into the solitude of the cave. He continued his rigorous training but collapsed from exhaustion. He was so angry with himself. If Sei were to find him now, he would probably be sent back to Hueco Mundo for not trying or something. No matter how hard he attempted to get to his feet, he couldn't. In fact, he couldn't even make it to his knees so he lie there, hot tears running down his stone cold cheeks. In his rage he managed to crawl back to his bed, which was a blanket stretched out on the cave floor. It pained him that his dear wife couldn't sleep beside him and warm his side as she had so many nights since their marriage. It also angered him that he didn't know Matthew's condition. He craved to go to sleep, but fear was rising in him. What if another dream occurred? After an hour he simply passed out, his will couldn't keep him from the darkness any longer. As night gripped the island, so did a terrifying storm. He awoke to the sound of heavy thunder, and strangely had the strength to walk to the entrance of the cave and float out onto a ledge above the waterfall. Rain pounded his face as he stared into the, lightning-torn, black sky. The lightning appeared like spiderwebs across the cosmos and he lost himself in wonder.

An image of Matthew appeared in front of him, but he was unfazed. He knew it was his imagination, but what happened next was his pure emotion for the situation he was in. He reached out and put his arms around the imaginary image of his cousin and buried his face in his cousin's imaginary shoulder and began to sob uncontrollably. As if on cue, lightning illuminated the sky and thunder erupted as he let out a scream of desperation. Seireitou, was secretly watching from above and behind him. Even though Sei himself was a tough rigorous man, this sight even compelled him. Half of him wanted to go to his friend, but the other half knew this had to happen. Seireitou had to give him a push or else the answer to everything Ryan needed would be out of reach. He charged his reiatsu slightly, causing an enormous gust of wind. The gust hit Ryan full force, sending him tumbling into the lake below. He wanted to cry out for help, but was out of strength, as he plunged into the icy waters. Numbness consumed him, as did unconsciousness as he faded away.

He was in his Inner World now, surrounded by his zanpakuto spirit, Butaimaru. The giant green serpent stared him down and then spoke up in a booming voice, "The dream you had was not your imagination. Before you go askin' me for answers, I assure you, I have none. I don't know who those people were or why you had the dream, all I can tell you is that that dream, unlike your others, came from your Memory Realm." the spirit explained. "Memory Realm?" Ryan asked confused. "Yes, all shinigami possess one, but no one is sure why. Not one single shinigami, not even the one considered to be the greatest of his day could open the door to his Memory Realm." Butaimaru replied.

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