“Targets of interest?”
“Yang Xiao Long, daughter of Subject Brimstone, who escaped during her transportation to the Hellgrounds. Ruby Rose, current attendee of Signal Academy and daughter of Summer Rose.”
“Good. Given Ozpin’s history, Rose will be attending Beacon too in just under a year. It is unlikely that she will finish her education at Signal. Who else?”
“Weiss Schnee, “Heiress” to the Schnee Dust Company and likely target for the White Fang. Her survival is preferable, but not critical. Her father is still doing a good job with running the company.”
“And Blake Belladonna, ex-member of the White Fang’s top troopers. She cut her ties after a train-robbery almost killed dozens of innocent civilians at the hands of Adam Tauros, her partner.”
“Doubtful, I know. But this one will also be attending Beacon soon.”
“Curious. I want Rose and Long to stay alive at all costs. Belladonna and Schnee are of lower priorities. Make it happen. Take whoever you need.”
“Which one should I take, sir?”
Life is a peculiar thing. The complete development from one creature into another can be considered both a biological thing and a philosophical thing. What is it that directs something to evolve? What is the main cause for a creature to adapt to the surroundings? Well…the word ‘adapt’ itself can be considered an explanation for that matter.
When faced with dire circumstances, a living being will be forced to either adapt to its surroundings and completely change- or accept its fate and die. But when it comes to adaption…is there a greater power than the human mind?
Humanity’s capability to change and adapt has been their saving grace once- when Remnant was young and change was in the skies. Evolution had been kind to them- humankind was able to prosper in a world that they could conquer due to their capability to adapt. Soon, they had spread all over the world.
History is vague as to what happened after humanity spread over the seas. Some say it was an ancient evil that had been roused from its slumber some time ago- meant to conquer and destroy. Others try to be more logical with their fears and say that evolution had taken a dire step against humanity in a bitter, but random development.
There are those that state that they came from a yet unknown place on the world, lying dormant until disturbed. There are even people who believe that they were send by some god to enact his vengeance on humanity. No-one is certain where they came from or what they want, but almost everyone agrees on one thing: they wanted us all dead.
The terrible collection of monstrous beings…ancient forms of destruction and creations of evil. Otherwise known… as the Grimm.
Creatures of darkness with a ravenous desire to destroy all that mankind had created.
They came without warning, slaughtering their way past the futile attempts at defiance of human beings and raging through the northern-most continent, where they were said to have appeared. Soon, the remaining humans in the northern region of their beloved planet realized that they could not possibly hope to defeat an enemy this fierce, this evil.
But humanity was strong. Their warriors were determined to protect their species, against all odds and whatever the cost. They formed pairs, groups, armies and eventually organizations to ensure that they would prevail. With the innate gift of Aura, the manifestation of their brave souls, humanity could hold their own against the bitter foe. Utilizing their Aura in unique ways, they could Bond to their partner in battle and create a link that enabled them great mental prowess.
But the monsters of Grimm were unrelenting. Even the Bonded warriors could not keep the foe at bay and soon, strongholds once thought invulnerable, started to fall before their onslaught. With an entire continent lost and only four Kingdoms under their control, mankind was well on their way to lose the war for their own survival.
Then, when all seemed lost, humanity discovered Dust. This too, is a vague element in history. But this time it didn’t matter how and why. The only thing that mattered was that the Dust- a strange and powerful element- was the means to an end. A way to win the war.
Utilizing the power of Dust, humanity struck back at the Grimm and halted their reckless advance. They fought a short, brutal fight that could determine the fate of every human being on the planet. In the end, they managed to stop the tidal waves of nightmares and push the Grimm all the way back to the North, where they prevailed.
Once more, what happened there is something that nobody knows. The warriors that survived went into isolation and never spoke of their victory. A decapitating blow was dealt to the hated foe, which halted the advance of all other monsters to their borders and ended the war. The four Kingdoms remained under human control, but the Grimm had absolutely leveled the Northern continent. Human presence there remained, but so did the presence of their enemy.
Yes. According to some, it was. Peace was something that some people were prepared to sacrifice anything for. The people in the northern continent cut themselves off from the rest of the world, choosing to keep their own customs and culture.
After the war, mankind kept the tradition of Bonded pairs, though rarely for combat. As great as the mental link that the Soul-bond created was, the risks in war were too great for it to become viable in the defense of the Kingdoms. Now, humans only bonded when feelings of love blossomed between them. A mother might Bond with her child…two devoted friends could Bond together...two people in love could Bond. The responsibility –and with that, all the burdens and results- of the Bonding increased with the dedication if the soul to the process. One has to beware though…when two souls are fully intertwined, one cannot live on without the other.
“Yeah, we received the coordinates too sir, we’ll get to it.”
“We don’t need the police there. Find out where the girl is.”
“The girl, sir?”
“I did not stutter, did I?”
The radio remained silent for a few seconds before a reply came. “No sir. Commencing search.”
“Good…” Headmaster Ozpin sighed, before shutting the radio off. He had been conversing for at least half an hour before he could actually get the man to work; a feat of which he was particularly proud, seeing as the Vale Police Department wasn’t exactly the most gifted group people out there. Still, they served their purpose well enough when faced with the ordinary forms of crime and localized violence. Matters needed a more refined hand when the circumstances became direr, of course.
And the matters were going pretty well today. He had woken up perfectly in time according to his schedule and the few preparations that he had to commit himself to were still far from worrying. Another year at Beacon Academy was about to commence; only a week remained and he had all the time in the world to properly prepare for the coming year.
Of course, time was a rather abstract concept. One week for a new year to start was one thing, but one week to pacify the disturbances in the city of Vale? That was not as simple. For the first time in at least three years, Headmaster Ozpin could stare at the shimmering orbs of light that arose from the city and actually worry about what was going on down there.
People were whispering in the streets of Vale. Existing doubts and fears that had been festering for years now had been called to life and now people were both worrying about the possible return of the creatures of Grimm as well as their own lives. Where the rumors had come from or why people were even thinking about the shadow-beings as forces that could commit themselves to a mass return was beyond him. Unfortunately, this sudden panic-induced hysteria was good for only one thing…and that was allowing crime to prosper.
And the Police Department couldn’t keep the chaos under control. It was organized crime…in its purest form. Unlawful activities of those seeking to increase their own standing and finances without any merit or worry for the lives around them…if only roaming gangs were the only things that Vale had to worry about. The hierarchy in the newest forms of crime made it very hard for the Vale Police Department to keep tabs on what was going on. That was precisely why the city needed its Hunters.
The only problem was that Beacon could not deliver enough warriors to both contain the various roaming Grimm parties as well as combat the developing state of crime. And the collaboration between the Kingdom of Vale and the other Kingdoms was abysmal at best; they were simply too far away and too busy with their own problems, whatever they might be, to aid Vale.
Now, Ozpin was aware of the potential return of the Grimm. In contrast to most of the civilians out there, he knew perfectly well that the ancient foe had not simply disappeared. They were out there, waiting for something. Beacon academy’s sole reason for existing was based on that, in fact. When the Grimm did resurface with the same force as they had all those years ago, the Kingdom needed to be ready. But the way the civilians kept gossiping and talking about it was… rather unnerving. More and more applicants for his academy kept coming and eventually he had been forced to conclude that the school was prospering. Prosper meant welfare and welfare meant peace. As such, they were in a time of peace.
And that was the key. Everyone thought about peace and prosperity, despite their worries about the Grimm. As such, none of the people in the Kingdom were actually ready for war. And the education at Beacon took time and discipline- only a few notable individuals had been able to become a full-fletched Hunter in less time than four years.
The new group of students had been selected. Soon, a fresh batch of teenagers would enroll in the Academy, their heads filled with the romanticized ideals of war and combat. Honour…glory and medals. Sure, every single one of them would be gifted and capable. But how capable would they truly be? These individuals had to bring their own equipment, but how willing would they be? How far could he push them before they would snap and give up?
Two sharp knocks on the door shook him from his musings. “You may enter.” He said without turning around to see who was disturbing him. He knew who it was. The person that stood in the door-opening was none less than the famous Glynda Goodwitch, an extraordinary huntress and very capable teacher. She was one of the few individuals he truly trusted with a task as important as this one.
“Miss Goodwitch.” He said and gently pushed his glasses a bit higher. “Are you ready?”
“Yes sir.” The woman said with a clear voice. Her blond hair had been tied back in a simple knot and she already wore her fighting outfit. “I have received your list of potential candidates, but I do wonder. Why did you choose her? She is too young, she should remain at Signal for the time being.”
“My reasons are my own…for now,” he calmly said. “For now, it is important that you find her very soon. The year is about to start and there are still a few things that I need to take care of. “
“I understand sir.” Glynda replied and turned to leave.
“Glynda?” He asked, catching her attention again.
“Be careful…with the subject. I don’t want any of them to be stuck with…prejudices…if you will?”
The huntress seemed thoughtful for a second before her face calmed itself again. Once again devoid of emotions, she gave her answer. “It will be done.” And with that she turned around and left his office, leaving him alone with his thoughts.
“The streets are dark tonight. A power-outage has occurred this afternoon and is preventing electronics in Jericho-street from working properly. When confronted with the repercussions of the outage, Chief Harking of the Vale Police Department explained that there is no need for trouble. The Power outage should only last until 3’o clock tonight, according to him. After that the streetlights should be up and running again.”
“That is interesting, Lisa? Why should the power-outage cause any form of trouble? Is that just an unfortunate figure of speech, or is there something else behind this all?”
The channel remained silent for two seconds before someone responded. “I think that a power-outage could be a source of panic. Chef Harkin only wants the people to know that there is no need for uh…panic.”
“You heard it people, no need for panic! What else do we have, Lisa?”
The old man sighed and pressed a button on his remote, turning the television off. The news was getting more and more serious -the amount of armed robberies was going through the roof and people were getting mugged on the streets every night. Yesterday night, there even was a case of a duel murder. Murder! And now the Vale News Network saw fit to warn them about a power-outage in some street nobody had heard off? That was just silly. It was not like it would hit him or something, so why was it even on the news?
He was a well-aged man; over seventy years old and still the proud shopkeeper of ‘From Dust Till Dawn’. He sold all kinds of dust-artifacts: the pure form, crystals, cartridges and even multiple measures to transport quantities of the stuff. He had a lot of expensive merchandise and he was proud of it. He wasn’t interested in stupid blackouts he needed to know whether his hop was safe or not! Would he eventually need a better security system?
Or his very first security system? That actually seemed like a good idea. Even though he didn’t have any reason to suspect that anyone would target his shop- besides for stealing his supplies of Dust. And everybody knew that if you needed Dust- you needed to target a Schnee facility. That was the reason why nobody would actually try to rob him; he wasn’t a large scale dealer. He didn’t hold any appeal to thieves- so far the only human in his shop that looked even slightly suspicious was a little girl with a red cape.
She had been there for at least fifteen minutes now, browsing through all kinds of magazines and visiting one dust dispenser after another; studying their effects, origins and prices.
Had she been any other person he would have grown suspicious and called the police. But he did not worry a lot about this girl: she had been annually visiting him every two days to look through his weapon magazines. For some reason she really loved those and he paid it no mind. She wasn’t looking for a way to rob him or steal his Dust supplies- he was sure of that. He could tell. She was just a little girl- couldn’t be older than a year of fifteen or sixteen.
“Find anything yet?” He asked the girl and turned his television back on, hoping that something more useful had come up.
The dark-haired girl didn’t respond to his call, but he hadn’t expected her to. She was wearing headphones, listening to music; so she couldn’t hear a thing he said.
That was one of the other reasons that he trusted her to do nothing out of the ordinary. How could a person plan a robbery when said person couldn’t even keep notice of his or her environment?
His little nephew was a Police officer. He visited him every now and then to tell him- filled with proud and confidence- about the new tactics he had learned. How he learned more and more about police maneuvers and how his skills kept improving.
The kid had been so proud of himself that the old man hadn’t bothered to tell him that the police was becoming more and more useless around these parts. What use was a policeman when he couldn’t properly defend the innocent and the good?
But his nephew didn’t need to know that; he was still so young and filled with hope. And that was what the city needed the most around now- a good sense of-
The bell above the door rang and multiple men entered his shop. They were all wearing black suites, with fancy and very matching shoes and little hats. That alone wasn’t weird- he had seen plenty of businessmen enter his shop to do research for Dust applications. But there were a few reasons that these men looked like trouble to him.
The first one was the young looking chap with his orange hair and fancy cane, who looked around like he owned the place. The second one was that all these men were wearing red ties and sunglasses, making them look a bit like a cult. A rather fancy cult, but a cult nonetheless. The third and last one was the fact that all of the suit-wearing males were wielding swords and firearms. That was a major indicator of trouble.
The punk with the orange hair walked up to him and crossed his arms. Then he sighed heavily and looked at him from underneath his bowler hat. “Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a Dust shop that’s open this late?”
One of the armed men pointed his gun at him and he instantly raised his hands, not wanting to get killed in a robbery. “Please! Don’t shoot, just take my Lien and leave!” He exclaimed. He should have gotten that security system when he had the chance…
“Calm down!” The lead criminal said. “We don’t want to shoot you or take your money…we’ll just relieve you of any spare Dust you might have.” He nodded with his head to the Dust canisters and the suited men quickly moved to seize them.
“Wait!” He said but the person aiming his gun at him took a step forwards and he instantly froze again, scared to death of the hanging threat.
Another of the criminals walked up to the counter and held up an empty suit case. Was he supposed to fill it with something?
“Crystals. Burn. Uncut.” The man spoke with a weird accent he could not identify. So this guy wanted the pure unprocessed crystals that he kept in his counter.
He grumbled under his breath as he grabbed the beautiful shards and stuffed them into the case. These were expensive and very powerful crystals and he hated seeing them go into the wrong hands. These things packed a lot of punch and he knew what they could cause when used improperly…and these people didn’t seem like the right hands.
From the corner of his eyes he could spot one of the robbers unsheathe his sword- which was also red. What was with the fashion choice of these…these bandits? Were they in some kind of gang?
The man advanced towards the girl and called her out. “Alright kid, put your hands where I can see ‘em!”
She didn’t respond. Of all the days to wear headphones and listen to loud music, she had to pick the one when a gang of armed robbers had planned to mug him!
He didn’t want to know how this ended. He didn’t need to know. Either he or the girl would be shot or stabbed during these criminals’ escape and the VNN would have one more murder to casually talk about. Sometimes, life was a sick joke.
While he was busy filling their caskets, he could hear the words being exchanged between the dark-haired girl and the man threatening her. He was asking her to put her hands in the air, but she ignored him. Or at least that was what the guy had to think- he couldn’t possibly know about her headphones, could he?
Wrong. The moment his eyes glanced over her face and ears, his eyebrows rose and he could have sworn that the man’s sunglasses moved a little bit too. The sight was strangely amusing in a twisted way. Like their sunglasses could somehow reflect and change upon their emotions.
Then the criminal started making wild gestures with his arms to his own face. One hand slapped against his ear and the other one started plucking imaginary headphones out of the air. The guy was obviously trying to catch her attention, but so far he wasn’t exactly successful. Of course that little…play…wasn’t the best technique to grab someone’s attention he knew off.
Eventually, it had to occur to him that the girl couldn’t see his elaborate scheme because she was standing with her back towards him- a red hood draped over her head. The henchman had to be a very clever person to come up with such a great conclusion. What oh what would the overly intelligent man do to actually get her attention? To get her to focus on him?
The well-clothed criminal walked up to her and grabbed her by her shoulder to turn her around. In the process her hood fell off and revealed her head completely. Her face was obviously surprised- most likely this entire robbery had been completely missed by her.
She took out her headphones and threw him a curious glance. “Yes?” She said with a friendly voice.
The man that was so desperately trying to get her attention smiled and he silently pumped his fist in the air. Then his features calmed themselves and his mouth actually formed a grimace.
“I said hands in the air, now!”
Now he sounded agitated. Were these men that were going to rob them, or little kids privy to mood swings?
“Are you…robbing me?” The girl responded with a hint of amusement in her tone. Excellent deduction skills girlie, now put your hands in the air before he hurts you!
“Yes!” The criminal replied, seeming honestly relieved that she finally understood him.
And then things happened too fast for actually follow. She moved- it wasn’t even that fast of a hit- but the guy went sailing through the shop and landed with his head in one of the still empty cases.
Another guy aimed his gun at her, but she moved again and both of them went sailing through the window.
He wanted to shout about the destruction of his favorite window, but then he realized that a little girl was going to fight half a dozen armed men single-handedly because he hadn’t bothered to get himself a security system. He should feel guilty- he would, had the girl not been able to completely wipe the attacking gang out. In the brief moment it took him to despair, she moved faster than he had ever seen a girl her age move and knock out all those bastards without even killing any of them.
…was that an enormous scythe? Where had she been keeping that monstrosity?
“Well…” the orange-haired man said and started to walk towards her. “I have to say, it has been an amusing evening. But for now, I am afraid I must take my leave.” He grabbed that fancy cane of his and aimed it at her.
“Ta-ta!” He declared and pressed on a button. A targeting reticle appeared and he pressed the button again. A large red blast escaped the end of his cane and for a second he feared that the thug might have actually hit the girl. But when the smoke cleared and the man had run away, the girl was still there but only a few feet away from the crater in the ground.
“Mind if I go after him?” She said.
“No…not at all…” He responded and felt a faint smile coming up. This girl had saved him, his shop and everything inside of it without as much as scowling at the situation. She was a unique person…one whom he would have liked to know better. Maybe she would return to his hop one day…and then he would be there to thank her and try to make things even better. Including a new security system.
The girl jumped off again and disappaeared over the roof.
That man’s cane had been truly amazing…such style…elegance…the potential for destruction. Maybe he would try and design such a magnificent piece of equipment for himself. He could most definitely use the style. He clamped his hands behind his back and whistled all the way back into his ruined store.
Well, that situation had been worth every single penny that he had invested in it. The henchmen he had hired had been nothing but brutal thugs: literary. All they had done was swing their weapons around like clubs, yell and scream a lot to sound tough and then getting beaten by a little girl.
Roman Torchwick hurried up the ladder to get to the roof of the building, his spoils of crime dangling in his right hand. At least he had managed to take a suitcase filled to the brim with dust with him…so things weren’t completely bad. Had he returned without anything to offer…his safety might not be very guaranteed.
A faint ‘swoosh’ behind him made him reevaluate his findings. He turned around and saw the same redhead that had beaten the crap out of his men standing there. “Hey!” She yelled, steadying that ridiculously oversized scythe of her. How did she even carry that? Was the one of them? Or was she a student?
Roman took a few steps back until he had reached the edge of the roof, his brain running overtime. On one hand, he could easily beat this little brat. If he killed her here and now, nobody would know about his little fieldtrips and that meddling fool wouldn’t know about him. On the other hand, people would discover the body and link it to him. And then he would still have to deal with meddling fools. The only solution that did not include a meddling fool was running…and that would be bad for his ego. If only she could be here in time… a little bit sooner. “Persistent…” He muttered and involuntarily his hand clutched his dear cane a little bit tighter. Time was a peculiar little thing…and he really needed good timing right now.
A torrent of wind behind him nearly send hum tumbling to the ground. It seemed like his ride was here –and his lovely…companion…was ready to bail him out. He turned around and jumped into the open tray of the airjet. “End of the line, red!” He called out and grabbed a large, red dust crystal. These things were volatile as hell and very effective when it came to rooting out…resistance.
Roman threw the crystal at the girl’s feet and fired a second shot at it with his awesome cane. A large explosion consumed the girl and he felt the thrill of victory. “Whoa hoo hoo!” He yelled and resisted the urge to pump his fist in the air. He was certain that he had dispatched of her. All her speedy jumping and fancy weapon swinging and she had still possessed the brainpower to run away from the exploding gems.
He broke down in laughter. History had an odd sense of humor; brats trying to stop him, ending up in total defeat? Yeah, totally a familiar area.
Torchwick was about to head back in the plane when he noticed something that could potentially ruin their fun. A new enemy had arrived on the scene; a woman with a purple cape, blonde hair and glasses. Was it national day of the capes or something like that? If he had known that, he would have wrapped a little cape around his cane!
The woman waved with her own cane –which was still smaller than his, something in which he took a small comfort- and seemed to have projected some kind of protective field in front of the girl… ah hell she was a huntress!
The huntress flicked with her own cane (because hey, why not?) and much to his frustration, multiple purple shooting stars appeared, striking at his expensive ship. "That’s my transport you’re ruining!” He yelled at the woman, who proceeded to ignore him. He hadn’t even painted the damn thing yet! And it was a rental to boot…
The ship started to lurch from one side to another with the barrage and he very nearly lost his ability to stay upright. His cane flew out of his hand and rolled to a stop somewhere inside the cargo bay. He held to his hat with one hand and used his other one to support himself.
“We’ve got a huntress!” He yelled at his pilot. The red-garbed woman who was trying to keep the ship in the air with all her might instantly left the control panel and made her way to the open bay. He made no mistake though; she didn’t take his orders. She made a very good point of never taking orders, always giving them. And something that she also gave? Subtle and silent hints. Such as leaving the cockpit of a plane under fire. So he did the wise thing and took over. He was a better driver than she was anyway. Men were always better drivers.
The Huntress made a gesture with her weapon and a single purple bolt sailed through the air, burning a brilliant shade of purple in the night. It exploded in the air multiple meters above his ship and he would have laughed at her lack of aiming skills, had he not been busy keeping the plane from crashing. He had priorities.
Then the place where her bolt had exploded made way for thick, black clouds that spread above the rooftops quicker than any storm could. The sudden gale of winds was enough to catch his ship off guard again and he started losing the controls. Again.
“Do something!” He yelled at his partner.
The Huntress swept her cane to the right and many dozens of razor-sharp ice shards flew through the air. They all seemed to originate from the storm brooding above him and he had no doubt what would happen if one of those hit him. End of the line, orange.
“What the hell!” He yelled. “Not you, her!”
The knife-like projectiles rained down on the metal ship and he could actually hear the not-so-subtle ‘thuds’ of each hit, denting and scratching his craft even more. One of the shards hit the cockpit and blew through the glass panes with ease, narrowly missing his head and messing up his leather seating.
What was his partner doing? Was she standing there with her thumbs lodged up her ass?
Torchwick activated one of the aft cameras and saw her launch a firebolt at the two females standing on the rooftop. The Huntress managed to avoid the hit, but then Torchwick’s partner raised her arm and the glyphs on the ground behind their enemies glowed white-hot, before exploding outwards. She completely messed up the roof, but apparently the Huntress had no trouble with this seeing as she gathered up the shards and debris and formed a large arrow with it. Talk about crisis management.
Little miss Huntress launched the deadly projectile at their ship and miss fiery woman was forced to relocate her fire to try and blast it out of the sky. But everytime she hit the damned thing, it simply reformed itself again. When it was about to hit his ally, Roman quickly pulled at the steer and the ship lurched to the side, presenting the armoured roof to the projectile and bouncing it off of his ship.
But playtime wasn’t over. The arrow reformed itself into more arrows and they started circling his ship. What had happened to simply shooting your enemy when you had the chance? Why was all this sorcery necessary to get the job done?
The woman in the back of the plane spread her hands and a torrent of flames spread around the ship, completely vaporizing the projectiles and probably throwing a severe look of smugness right off of a certain Huntress’s face.
The redhead on the roof decided to act on her own now. How adorable. She set down her scythe and turned -actually turned- the weapon into a gun. That settled the issue of who this little freak was; she was a student. The next time he saw her, he would kill her.
With her newly formed rifle the girl opened fire at them, but his ally blocked all the shots and retaliated by creating several blazing circles underneath the duo. The Huntress swept her weapon around and threw the girl away from them, before jumping out of the way herself. But the brief lull in the fire was enough for Roman to regain control over the plane and he quickly steered away from the building, closing the hangar bay in the process.
He had done it! He had escaped the meddlesome kid and the huntress with a woefully impeccable sense of timing. He had successfully managed to steal one whole suitcase of Dust. He was such a top-notch criminal…
He would have to fix his airjet though…repair the damage…fix the scratches…paint it.
Definitely paint it.
Day One – Interrogation office – 23:22
The red-haired girl looked up with the most pleading, amazed face that Glynda Goodwitch had ever seen. “You’re a huntress!” The girl said with an awed voice. Then she came even closer and placed her hands together in a pleading gesture. “Can I have your autograph?!”
Well…there was only one thing that Glynda could do with such an adorable demonstration of admiration. She took the girl back with her to Beacon academy, put her in the interrogation office and started scolding her. She enjoyed the sudden change on the girl’s face; from happiness to shame. It was good that the rascal realized that she had done something wrong- but she had no idea of the trouble she was in.
Miss Goodwitch took a deep breath. “I hope that you realize that your actions will not be taken lightly young lady. You have put yourself and others in great danger!”
The red-haired girl frowned and she could see a little bit of despair in her eyes –exactly what she was looking to inspire in her. The girl could have gotten herself killed tonight because of her foolish actions. Glynda didn’t want to think about what might have happened had she not interfered.
“But they started it!” She said, possibly seeking an argument in her favor. It was not going to happen.
“That doesn’t matter!” Glynda responded. “If it were up to me, you’d be sent home…with a pat on the back…”
The girl smiled, perhaps hoping that she’d be out of trouble within a few moments.
“…and a slap on the wrist!” Glynda used her wand to slap the place on the table where the young lady had placed her hand, but she quickly pulled it back and shrieked in fear. Her reflexes were remarkable for someone her age.
“But unfortunately it is not up to me to make such decisions. Plus: there is someone here who wishes to meet you.” And with that she moved out of the way and revealed the door-opening to the girl. Or rather, the person who stood in the door-opening.
He was no-one less than headmaster Ozpin; the man who ordered her to bring this girl to Beacon Academy. The man who oversaw everything that happened and, hopefully, the man who was going to lead the next generation of Hunters to greatness.
Glynda Goodwitch he was just about to turn and face him when she saw what he was holding in his hands. A plate of cookies. What was he planning? Was this part of some advanced interrogation tactic?
Ozpin set the plate in the middle of the table and sat down in front of the girl. “Ruby Rose…” He said and leaned forward to get a closer look of her face. “You have silver eyes…”
Goodwitch frowned when she heard that. She knew of a small handful of people who had silver eyes…and given Headmaster Ozpin’s history, this meeting might turn more problematic than she had thought beforehand. Was this why he wanted this girl?
The redhead stuttered and tried to say something, but her words didn’t quite come out. The headmaster was working his magic and the girl was already at his mercy –even if she didn’t realize it herself. He held his gaze for a second longer before returning to his original position. “So!” He said and held his hand out to Glynda. She understood the message immediately and handed him the Scroll with the footage she had recorded. Ozpin continued talking while activating it, not missing a beat. “Where did you learn to do this?” He said and showed her the combined result of camera footage and Glynda’s own.
“Well…” The redhead stuttered and looked at him with an unsure expression in her eyes. “Signal academy…who do you recognize?”
Ruby smiled nervously. “Your eyes…gleamed when you looked at the Scroll. You saw someone fight like that before?”
That was…impressive. Very impressive. Very few adult people could read the Headmaster like that…just what had Ozpin planned with her?
“So they did…” Ozpin stopped talking and for a moment, his eyes glazed over and he looked at a point between the girl and himself. Glynda was certain that Ruby would not miss that. Then, he recovered and stood up from his position. He gestured at the plate of cookies and the girl tentatively took one. And another. And another.
And before Glynda knew it the plate was almost empty.
“Yes… one other scythe-wielder of that skill. A dusty old crow…”
The girl nodded in agreement and tried to confirm it. “Uh thut’s mah Uncrel!”
It was an amazing feat considering the raw amounts of cookie currently in her mouth. Normally a person would be unable to even breathe, let alone speak with their cheeks so stuffed with mass.
The girl probably realized that she was speaking gibberish and quickly swallowed. “Sorry, that’s my uncle Qrow!” She continued and seemed to live up completely. “He is a teacher at signal; I was complete garbage before he took me under his wing. And now I’m all like-“
She made some strange sounds as her limbs curled curved in unknown patterns. It was meant to be a mimic of martial arts, that much was certain, but…the execution of it all was vague. And very childish to boot.
“So I’ve noticed…” Ozpin said, his face still serious. Out of nowhere he retrieved a steaming cup of tea and sat down again. “So what is an adorable girl like you doing at a school designed to train warriors?”
And then Ruby Rose spend two minutes explaining how much she loved the thought of being a Huntress, how cool hunters and huntresses were and how romantic and awesome their lives had to be. She seemed so extremely excited about the prospect, that Glynda could actually see Ozpin’s heart swell with proud. Just a tiny bit and she was the only person that could see it, but it was still there.
“Do you know who I am?” Ozpin asked the girl, showing no outward change to her speech safe for a little smirk.
“You are professor Ozpin, headmaster and founder of beacon academy, the first real Hunting Academy in Vale!”
She knew history well, Glynda had to give her that. The girl was ambitious, colourful and already well trained. If the headmaster was really planning to do what she thought he was…then she wouldn’t be the one to stop him. She would support his choice.
“Do you want to learn at my school?” He softly asked her.
“More than anything!” Ruby responded in an even softer, awestruck tone.
“Well then…welcome aboard, Miss Rose.”
Day 2 –onboard dropship to Beacon academy- 9:10
The following morning was filled with hectic events for Ruby. She had barely come to terms with her sudden allowance into Beacon before she had been dumped on a humongous airship, where she was supposed to spend the night. That alone was actually enough for her to come to terms, as it sucked away much of the joy that she had been feeling. It was a rare night that she did not sleep in the same bed, room or building as her older sister.
And to top it all off, she had gotten painfully lost when she had gotten up in the morning. The walls had somehow rearranged themselves or something like that, because now she was unable to even find the room where she had been sleeping.
“Damnit Yang…” She muttered as she walked past the big window for the sixth time. The sun had already risen and despite the fact that she could hear people, she did not find the one people she wanted to find. “Where are you?”
This big window –which granted her an awesome view- was now the only thing that she kept seeing regularly. In a way, it had become her only ally in this maze. If she were to venture out on her own, she risked encountering other people. People that were older than her and therefore fully capable of being condescending and mean.
So being lost it was.
“Ruby? Is that you?”
Wait a minute, Ruby thought. She recognized that enthusiastic voice, that boundless way of expressing one’s self. Was that… “Yang!”
The blond girl that had just entered the room locked her lilac eyes with her and Ruby could see her expression turning to golden glee. “It is you! I had heard something about you being here but I couldn’t believe it!”
Yang tackled her and pulled her in a punishing embrace. “Oh I just can’t believe my baby sister is going to beacon with me! This is the best day ever!”
Can’t. Think. Air. Deprived. Must. Beg. For. Release. “Please stop…” She managed to gasp. Her big sister released her but kept a strong grip on her hands.
“But I am so proud of you!” exclaimed Yang.
Why? There was no reason for her to be proud of her like that! “Really Sis…it was nothing. “
More people entered the room –it would appear that Goodwitch was right about the staging area. “What do you mean? It was incredible! Everyone at beacon is going to think you are the bee’s knees!”
And that was where the problem lay. “I don’t want to be the bee’s knees okay! I just want to be a normal girl with normal knees!”
“What’s with you? Aren’t you excited? You are going to be the youngest student to attend to Beacon in years!”
“Of course I am happy! It’s just…” She sighed and tried to find a way to express her various doubts and concerns. “I… I got moved ahead two years. I don’t want anyone to think that I am special or anything.”
Yang gave her a warm smile and Ruby felt slightly reassured of her cause. “But you are special!” The girl said and her eyes were so full of love that Ruby couldn’t help but feel reassured. She knew that there wasn’t any problem in the world which the two of them couldn’t handle and with Yang close to her, she was going to turn out alright.
Thanks…” She whispered and smiled in return. She couldn’t help it; Yang could make even the gloomiest or emotionless of people dance with happiness once they were in the same room with her for two minutes.
Together they watched a television screen come to life with the daily news on it –first a not-so-informative scene about a robbery prevented at a local dust shop. After that came a report of a violent shootout in the southern part of the city, where an unknown group of people had shot and killed up to seven other people, who were later identified as members of a crime syndicate. The city was growing ever more violent. Ozpin´s timing had been perfect.
Then, a more interesting topic was breached.
“And what was supposed to be a normal preparation for the memorial of the infamous Schnee Hall Massacre, controversially known as the ‘’Final Solution killings’, turned into a chaotic demonstration as members of the White Fang disrupted the peaceful gathering. A week from now two years ago, multiple dozen members of the infamous terrorist organization known as the White Fang were murdered without provocation near one of the larger Factory-Halls of the Schnee Dust Organization. It was one of the most prominent examples of violence against Fauna in recent history and still used by the White Fang as argument for-“
“Final Solution Killings?” asked Ruby. “What are those?”
Yang’s expression turned sad. “It’s…just like they said on the news. Nearly two years ago, a large group of nonviolent members of the White Fang were preemptively slaughtered by a group of unknown assailants. They hadn’t been carrying firearms which, according to a spokesman of the group, was because they hadn’t been planning any crimes. Just a protest against the Factory-Hall.”
“They were all murdered?” Ruby pressed for more information. She had never heard of a gruesome event like that. “Even though they didn’t want to do anything?”
“Yeah. People blame the SDC for what happened, but they have denied responsibility.”
“But why would the White Fang interrupt a memorial for their own fallen people? Doesn’t make sense.”
“I know,” Yang said with a shrug. “Probably because they think they’re the only ones who get to honor their comrades or something like that. It’s not important though.”
Ruby wasn’t so certain of that, but she had never even seen a member of the White Fang, so it probably didn’t concern her. She didn’t have a lot of time to ponder the subject though, as a nerve-wrecking speech courtesy of Glynda Goodwitch followed up on the news, basically telling them how lucky they were to be here and that they needed to work really hard.
The real action, however, began when Ruby could finally spot the castle where they would be spending this newest chapter of their lives. “You can see Beacon Academy from all the way up here!” She said when she beheld the amazing collection of buildings and towers through the clear windows. It was an amazing sight –surely everyone would agree on that, wouldn’t they?
But then she heard someone groaning and stumbling behind her and she turned around, shocked by what she was seeing.
“Guess the view isn’t for everyone…” Yang said. Ruby cautiously took a step backwards, knowing that what was about to come wouldn’t be very pretty. Her poor big sister didn’t possess that common sense, unfortunately. So when the moment-breaking highlight of their social interaction came, Yang was the one who got to experience it firsthand.
All over her shoes.
“The safehouse possessed no further Intelligence on the whereabouts of the target. Continue operations as planned, but keep the bigger picture in mind.”
“Sir. Yes sir.”