Lives Under War

BY : FicticiousDelicious
Category: Bleach > AU - Alternate Universe
Dragon prints: 2505
Disclaimer: I do not own Bleach or its characters (ownership is to Tite Kubo). I do not profit from this story. The rival factions here are entirely fictitious and not based on any real world factions or events.

Full Description: Two factions are tirelessly warring to eliminate one another. The Gehjoven are cruel roughnecks with an all-male military well known for poor conduct. The Jhezen are wealthy, well supplied and have an honorable military. What happens to the lives of their soldiers because of this conduct? Especially Grimmjow the bloodthirsty paratrooper and Ichigo the inexperienced communication officer…
This story is brutal, violent, and wartime themed. If you do not like these things this is not the story for you. You've been warned.

*WARNINGS! : Blood, Death, Despair, Fright, Guns, Killing, Mild Mutilation, Misconduct, Pain, brutality, knives, war yada yada (includes general warnings in the story description)


Please Read: This story of war is NOT directed at or based off any real world factions, groups, religions, or situations.



"Lives Under War"


Section 1: Without Mercy

            "Attention gunners, commsmen, pilots, infantrymen, all you ruffians!" the division general yelled. His men tensed then stood perfectly attentive. The deck they stood on was in the belly of a large helicopter, air-cutting blades whirring were heard even through its thick metallic sides. "Today we truly commit our fresh lives to cause! To Jhezen! Death for Gehjoven!" The men and women soldiers roared, fists stabbed upward in non-optional loud agreement echoing in the helicopter.


            The Jhezenic helicopter circled a landing area, gunners on its sides fired with ferocity to defend the bird. Those enemies of theirs had come out to play when the heilo came lower to drop off its live package of Jhezenic soldiers. The gunmen aboard really let the fools on the ground, enemy infantry, have it after they'd been stupid enough to compromise their positions by emerging from brush camouflage for an attack at the helicopter. That was the sort of brutish army Gehjoven had all but taped together with their broken and violent civilization...if one could even call them any form of civil.


            Gehjoven's military had stepped on some toes, crossing through Jhezenic territory in recent days passed. A rogue Gehjovenic company, one of many that their military hadn't much control over but still allowed to be mobile, had raided an isolated Jhezenic storehouse. The guards were brutalized and killed then the storehouse's supplies were stolen. It was a large cache and the Jhezenic only noticed some months later when the contents of the storehouse were needed. One government howled at the other and Gehjoven was surely at fault, but unapologetic. So here parts of their armies were; to kill each other over stolen supplies and deaths of Jhezenic men. The Jhezenic army was specifically landing within Gehjovenic turf now to recover their valuable supplies or to steal others.


            Something Gehjoven would never permit: Jhezen allowed women into their military ranks with absolute equal treatment as men. Jhezen was known best for its cunning and wealth that generated better supplied troops. The massive heilo's ten odd gunners mowed down the determined Gehjoven infantry with only three injured on their side during the blitz; two gunners and one unlucky infantry woman of the total hundred aboard. Unfortunately for Jhezen, Gehjoven was known for its battle-hardened, versatile all-male infantry and paratroopers and they could appear for attack in less than a blink... Gehjoven's fighters were all male, all aggressive, probably all block-heads, and relentlessly flowing with overwhelming manpower.


            Gehjoven's ambush on the helicopter didn't work today; they were all mowed down. The Jhezens touched ground and rushed persons and supplies from the helicopter quickly, just a few were sent scouting around their position for further threats. It was a lucky day, there seemed to be just this surprise infantry force from Gehjoven. The massive helicopter let off its last item and personnel then lifted off, vanishing into the afternoon's clouded sky. No threats interfered with the bird's take-off, and it was seemingly gone fast as it had come. It left ten companies - one-hundred Jhezenic fresh-bloods in all - of relatively new soldiers in grass plains with just brush cover near them to scramble into their squads. Scouts confirmed that the Gehjoven infantry who had engaged them were mostly wiped out; survivors were executed. Supplies were distributed, no vehicles but fine rifles, pistols, radios, and rations. Every soldier had their personal gear and responsibilities already so the only thing left to do was get moving to investigate what might be left of the Gehjoven force.


            Generally speaking moving fast into enemy territory was a monumentally stupid idea. The Gehjoven army counted on that fool's mistake, 'rushing', more often than not because their enemies were often afraid to linger in their lands at one position as Gehjoven was known for coming out of nowhere and blitzing enemies viciously. That fact was not understood this time and the ground troops of Jhezen sought suitable cover immediately, in a place away from where the heilo could have been seen dropping them. This decision was ultimately agreed on by the fresh-bloods, new soldiers, and proposed by their anxious division general. The general was fine on the helicopter but now they weren't untouchable any longer and stresses were heavy. An orange haired communications man followed that same general around like a haunt, personally referring the general's orders to the division's different squads as they fanned out. They radioed questions about terrain to scouts and soon heard there was a river, a lesser known one with high banks, shallow current, and foliage about a mile ahead beyond an odd rise in the terrain of the plains.


            Once the Jhezenic companies each came by the river they noticed it cut far as the eye and scope could see through the dry plains, almost dried up. Trees and foliage hovered above them, barely alive and probably what had sucked this river so dry. No incidents occurred when Jhezen soldiers checked their side of the bank for enemies however... Peeking from the other side of the six-foot steep dirt and clay banks were Gehjoven ambushers, alerted by their comrades who had first fired on the heilo. Not two hours after landing, and ten minutes from arriving at the riverside, Jhezen soldiers found themselves engaged in a surprise firefight mid-way through establishing camp by the riverside. It was a nasty surprise and at least thirty well equipped Jhezenic were downed like flies within the first minutes, but their side seemed to be winning..!


            The periodic rattling of guns and whizzing bullets kept up for forty-five minutes. Just about the time the Jhezenic had the chance, after all those minutes, to set up their cannons a helicopter tore through the air. A harpoon shaped emblem painted on its underbelly...and it did not land on the Jhezenic side. That symbol was purely Gehjoven's, for how they stabbed and never released their prey. In fact the enemy bird didn't land at all, displaying their mark a hundred feet directly above the enemy companies. Gehjovenic men bearing rockets and grenades launched them at the cannon assembly sites and silenced the Jhezenics' best chance of defending, killing many of the soldiers assembling the cannons and destroying the artillery.


            Jhezenic emergency signals were transmitted as the helicopter lifted higher, out of a rifles' effective range. Panic riled and frenzied the Jhezenic companies as they lost men from the assaulting helicopter above the trees and many more from unmerciful firing by the ambushers. The Jhezen clustered together to try and keep to safety in numbers. From the helicopter some Gehjovenic paratroopers leapt to their enemies' tree lined bank and fanned on the ground, charging and closing upon the remaining Jhezenic. Many of both sides met death in the trickling riverbed in the middle of the two banks. When the Gehjovenic helicopter's pilots realized that their enemy was withholding far-ranged attackers and hoarding supplies near the back of the line they countered by coming in behind the Jhezenic. From high in the air the remainder of the paratroopers leapt, armed to the teeth they circled over the rear of their enemy's division dropping grenades and being shot down more often than making it onto the ground alive. For their men already on the ground they made this distraction; this...perhaps worth-while sacrifice.


            Twenty decisive minutes later the Jhezenic were devastated by the sheer amount of men and firepower aimed against them from all around. The Gehjovenic didn't fair too well either though. Their rushed and aerial strategies came at a price today; Jhezen's infantry had highly accurate automatic rifles which tore up parachutes and their human attachments easily. Many paratroopers fell to their death. When the smoke of grenades, bombs, and guns cleared the disorganized bodies of the dead and dying were all around.


            The general's young commsman rolled himself over the edge of the riverbank and lay flat against its raised edge, pushing his torn satchel and broken equipment away to ward off their hindrance. His breathing was fast, but not loud, and he'd taken several hits to his thigh. Hits from what? He didn't know, but the adrenaline was too much to feel their pain. A look of horror colored his eyes, especially so when he saw their division general drop over the edge as he'd just done. The man was still alive. 'Stubborn old bastard' he'd felt like saying but for the younger his Jhezen language failed him, and he couldn't say one word under the tense circumstances. The general, himself injured in the shoulder, ripped fabric and tied a tourniquet over the heavily bleeding injuries to his commsman's thigh. They sat for some moments, many bodies to see sprawled in the riverbed and none moving. The two just stared, cursing their fix.


            Ichigo knew what he personally was thinking about; he wished he hadn't fallen on his radio. It was broken now. At least, since their side had suffered total defeat, the Gehjoven weren't doing well either. The commsman didn't know about his general's thoughts, but he wondered. He looked at the man, in his thirties but seeming older right now, and didn't get a reaction. Was he praying to see his family again? Ichigo hoped he could see his own wife one more time... Suddenly they both heard a 'crunch' and quickly fell limp to play dead, eyes cracked barely to see.


            A man came vaulting over their heads and landed feet down on a corpse in the river. A survivor. Their eyes opened a little wider as he turned his mostly shaved head sideways, the side of his neck displaying a harpoon tattoo. The Gehjoven paratrooper began shooting any Jhezen in the ditch in front of him...his back was to the two spooked observers. Trigger-happy or rightfully cautious?


            The general looked to his commsman and whispered, "I need your ammunition." He still had his pistol and lifted it. All they communicated in some few seconds went undetected. The general pushed Ichigo away from him and covered the youth with a Gehjoven corpse. As the bullets were being loaded into their only hope the enemy paratrooper checked behind himself on a whim...


            The Gehjoven's rifle poised quickly as he noticed the general loading his pistol. A split second decision to fire must have been disappointing when uneven footing threw the paratrooper's aim a little and the general's arm was the only thing riddled by his rifle's spray of metal.


            The pistol's trigger had been squeezed some seconds ago but it had not fired! Seconds after his arm was shot-up horribly, the desperate general lunged when their enemy was forced to reload, balancing awkwardly on the corpses. With a loud snarl he met the other man and grappled with the hulking paratrooper. Sliding on dead men's skin and clothing the general toppled the other to the ground. It was a fight the general would never win but he bought time for his commsman and managed to toss the Gehjoven's automatic rifle far behind them.


            Without feeling in his injured leg below the tourniquet Ichigo was afraid but not paralyzed by it. Jhezen words echoed in his mind about the importance of calling in a defeat. Maybe they could even get evaced. The youth clawed his way up the dry bank and hauled up onto the rise, dragging himself and crawling as he fiddled with his radio. Everyone up here was dead as well. Dead like nails and scattered almost the same. The helicopter had fled and there were bodies in broken positions and pieces much ahead of him. A rifle clattered an fell a ways away from him on top of the rise. Seconds later a single gun shot was heard and the blue shocks of hair on the paratrooper's high head came toward the bank. He was going to climb back up and Ichigo was going to be in serious trouble. The youth decided not to test the fates on how fast that hulking guy could climb a six-foot rise and flopped into playing dead. It was a good choice, because that paratrooper hopped up the steepness like it was nothing, clearing it in three seconds tops.


            The paratrooper brute sauntered to pick up his rifle, the general's pistol in one hand already; it was hot with the recent discharge of a fatal bullet.


Ichigo trembled and the paratrooper didn't notice that, it was just another corpse flat on the ground laying aside from the path he'd walk. Playing dead was working.


            His cruel vision scanned the carnage, probably displeased with his situation. Not a single living soul from either side; he hadn't reached for his rifle yet. His paratrooping comrades all in crunched heaps and that scene in the riverbed... This battlefield was brutal, even by what he'd witnessed before.


            The man's face looked utterly emotionless as Ichigo carefully watched him analyze things. Strangely he began to walk forward, throwing the Jhezen engineered pistol far into the distance, yet not collecting his rifle on the ground nearby. Ichigo took advantage of this careless moment and crawled, silent as he could, toward the rifle the paratrooper seemed to be abandoning. Unfortunately the commsman would come to sorely regret that.


            Carnage...the field where the heilo had let the lot of paratroopers out was covered with it. Blood on both sides. How the hell was he suppose to get back short of running the whole way? Maybe those all-terrain trucks their ambushers frequently used were still around. His following expression was solid, beholding the mesmerizing and hopeless sight of blood splatter and torn bodies. When the Gehjoven turned suddenly, importance of his rifle perhaps remembered, and caught Ichigo's head up he clearly realized the livelihood of the boy. Blink quick he rushed and kicked commsman hard in the throat and then the stomach.


            Ichigo coughed, rolling back toward the drop into the riverbed. He was kicked and stomped over and over without mercy. His hands came up to fend off what he could but it was just a pathetic sight. The Gehjoven drew a knife after kicking Ichigo to the very edge. The youth could only react one way. His trembling arms held his head and he cried, "Please don't-" He slipped over the bank's crumbling dirt edge without being stabbed. The unintentional tumble sent him rolling into the corpse of his division general, shot in the throat and face mutilated by a knife... The youth choked on his breath and stumbled over the corpse at the same time the paratrooper leapt back into the natural trench.


            The blue haired man stalked his prey swiftly and flaunted his upper-hand by kicking the crap out of the kid all the more when he caught up, until the commsman collapsed against the opposite side of the riverbed. Grimmjow poised his knife for his kill. He mutilated his enemies while they could still feel...that was his way.


            Ichigo sobbed and held his empty palms up, bloodied from dealing with his leg which his scramble had upset. "I'm begging you..! Please spare me...please! I was drafted into this war! I don't shoot guns! I use radios! Please!"


            The blubbering Jhezen words never seemed to stop as he held the knife ready. Grimmjow couldn't understand this soldier at all but he was going to kill him and wonder about it later.


            Glancing up and seeing the enemy's arms move Ichigo yelled louder, "PLEASE! Don't!" His face was a mix of sweat, ongoing tears, and dirt. His ribcage tingled and his one leg was totally out of touch. 'My kids..!' He was never going to see his kids ever again if this knife plunged into him! Then the Gehjoven moved, and Ichigo's watering eyes squeezed shut. The knife never came... The radio on his shoulder was ripped off instead.


            Grimmjow's red-eyed killing sprees made it easy for him to miss things until he calmed down. The heat of the moment was wearing off and he'd realized this radio could be the way he got reinforcements or evac for himself. He began fiddling while the boy he'd taken it off of began to inhale and exhale quick breaths. When he couldn't get the talking-box to beep or hiss the paratrooper threw it into the cowering man's lap.


            Ichigo's fingers trembled to hold the broken device, casting a glance at his dead general around the paratrooper's calf-high boots.


            "Get that fucking thing to work!" Grimmjow hollered. "It's your technology!"


            Ichigo was shaken up worse by the Gehjoven shouting, words he could not understand, but he didn't rush to cover his head or lift pleading hands. The sight of the unnecessary measure this monster had taken against his general...the carving of his face and this impossible communication made Ichigo's neck drop limp with defeat. He started sobbing quietly to himself, pressing on his bleeding thigh in his broken state.


            The paratrooper's mouth frowned, the scratchy hairs growing in all over his jaw following the lines. He noticed the commsman's abandon of the radio and drew the conclusion by the sobbing that it was unfixable. Grimmjow was out here on his own...with a Jhezenic pussy crying on his boots... His sharp blue eyes fell down and he blew pieces long hair from the middle of his head away from his eyes, the sides were shaven so hair there wasn't obstructing.


            Ichigo looked up again when the gruff man's shadow darkened, closing in. "Please..." he begged softly, watching the knife hand in one hand of the man's. His head shook; 'no' the shaken reaction said. "Please don't kill me..."


            Didn't this idiot understand that they spoke two totally different languages? Grimmjow sheathed his skinning knife with a sliding sound and a click. He grabbed hold of Ichigo by the shoulders of his uniform and roughly hauled the pained boy up his faction's side of the riverbank and began dragging him along.


            Ichigo tried to kick and squirm loose, the ground he was pulled across was abrasive and unforgiving. When he managed to kick the Gehjoven the fearsome man just dropped him for an instant, slugged him, then grabbed one of Ichigo's ankles and began dragging him again. His fearful thoughts trembled with possibilities; what was this monster hauling him off for?! If his general had been carved up without second thoughts... Ichigo could only imagine worse for his resistance.


            Grimmjow dropped the enemy soldier by the rear wheel of a truck the Gehjoven ambushers had driven in. So there was a truck around that had been in use. There was no one else to man this perfectly good transport vehicle now, so...why waste it? Now...what should he do with this kid he'd captured?

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