Lan stood there stunned as Jirall walked forward to address the crowd gathered below him.
“Brothers! Sisters! Are your eyes now open?!” he shouted “Do you see that they will never compromise and give you what you all rightfully deserve! They only see you as animals, no, tools! That they can exploit for their own gain, and throw away once whenever they feel like it.” He opened his arms wide “Are you not sick of this my brothers and sisters? Are you not tired of being treated like livestock?”
Murmurs of agreement were flowing throughout the crowd below
“If so!” continued Jirall “Then the time has come to fight for what you rightfully deserve! Against these humans who crush our hopes and laugh at our dreams!”
The Faunus down below slowly grew more and more riled up as Jirall continued his speech. With a jolt, Lan came out of his shock and suddenly realized what was happening.
“Things will never get better if you continue to allow these tyrants to cow you into submission! Now is the time to fight back!” shouted Jirall.
“No!” shouted Lan, rushing into the crowd “Don’t, if you do that you’ll only make things worse! People will just get more and more suspicious of Faunus.”
“That’s right” shouted Byakko who came to stand next to Lan “You start some kind of violent uprising and you’ll only prove what all those racists say about you all!”
“You need to show them that you won’t stand for the bad treatment anymore, but at the same time show that you aren’t threatening them!” shouted Lan, who restated a piece of policy that he had read from a book on political philosophy, “Things will get better, I know things are bad now but that doesn’t mean you can blow stuff up just because—“
“ALL OF YOU SHUT UP!” shouted Siemans, who had just now snapped out of his shock and into a seething rage. “YOU WHITE FANG GET OFF MY WALLS!” he shouted, pointing at the White Fang, “AND YOU PACKANIMALS GET OUT OF HERE AND BACK TO YOUR QUARTERS BEFORE I KICK YOU OUT OF MY TOWN TO BE SLAUGHTERED!” he ended this phrase with a spray of spittle.
The Faunus workers stood there shocked, staring at their employer with wide-eyes.
Byakko covered his eyes and groaned.
“Idiot” he said.
“You see!” shouted Jirall, extending his hand in Siemans’s direction “This is how they see you; this is what they’ll do to you just because you don’t have the means to fight back! Well no longer!”
Jirall snapped his fingers. At evenly spaced intervals throughout the crowd of workers, a Faunus put on a black mask similar to the ones that White Fang on the wall were wearing and pulled crates out of the bags that they had on their back. They all placed the crates on the ground and ripped the lids off, revealing a variety of arms inside.
“These are the means that I can provide with.” Shouted Jirall, “I give you all a choice now. Will you continue to allow the humans to oppress you or will you take up arms alongside us and fight for your liberty!”
“Jirall!” shouted Lan “Are you really turning your back on the creed of the White Fang?”
Jirall laughed and then fixed Lan with a hard stare.
“I have faithfully followed that creed for years, dutifully following the words of our ‘wise leader’. But I haven’t seen any of the change that he promised would happen. Businesses still slam their doors in my people’s faces, Faunus are still forced to work for meager sums and in squalid conditions, thousands and thousands of us still die in obscurity without the masses even giving them the time of day!” Jirall went on and on. It seemed as though he had been keeping these emotions in for years and was reveling in finally setting them free. “So to answer your question Lan, yes, I am renouncing that the White Fang and their fruitless pacifist policies. I will be leading a new faction, one that will do what the White Fang has failed.”
He signaled to two of the men standing next to him. The two men pulled two large flags out of the ground and impaled them into the wall. On the flags were the black, altered, White Fang symbols that decorated Jirall’s clothes.
“Today is the birth of a new militant faction that will fight against the tyranny that has oppressed our people for generations.” Said Jirall “Today is the birth of the Black Claw.”
“I DON”T CARE WHO YOU ARE!” shouted Siemans, “GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE BEFORE I CALL IN THE MILITARY AND—“
A gun was fired and a bullet hole appeared in the wall behind Siemans, only inches from the man’s skull. Squealing like a frightened schoolgirl, Siemans dropped to a crouch and covered his head. Lan turned his direction in the sound of gunfire and saw one of the mine workers holding a smoking firearm.
“I am sick of your crap Siemans!” shouted the man, “I’m taking my fate into my own hands now!”
“How dare you!” shouted Siemans, standing up and brushing himself off. “Guards! Lock your shields and take these animals down!”
With a roar, the guardsman rushed forward, swinging their deadly batons at all within their reach. With the fear of being electrocuted and killed, many of the Faunus workers made their decisions. Many groups converged on the various weapon crates that had been set down and grabbed the weapons inside.
“Lan!” shouted Byakko, grabbing the boy’s shoulder and bringing him back to earth “We gotta minimize casualties!”
No sooner did he say this, than the forces of workers and guards crashed into each other. Shots were fired, explosives went off, and screams of agony filled the air. Lan and Byakko darted all across the field, harmlessly incapacitating as many combatants as they could, but there were simply too many. Many fell to the ground screaming in pain, and many more fell to never rise again.
The guards were vastly outnumbered by the Faunus, however their shields repelled most of the firearms aimed at them and their armor was able to protect them long enough for them to run out of the way of the explosives. Things looked like they would end in the guards’ favor, until the sound of jet engines filled the air. Three large White Fang, no, Black Claw ships descended on the fray from far above and began firing heavy artillery rounds at the guards. The calibers of those firearms were able to pierce through the guardsmen’s shields, ripping through their bodies as if they were tissue paper. Recognizing that they were the ones at a disadvantage now, the guards quickly retreated back inside the office building, which was fortified in case of mine revolts. As the guards fled back inside, the ships stopped firing after seeing their bullets bounding fruitlessly against the fortified walls of the office building. A cry of victory came up from the Faunus but few moments later, Siemans’s voice came on the intercom.
“Think you’re pretty tough don’t ya, well you’ve all forgotten something very important.”
A few seconds later a large yellow sphere crashed into the engine of one of the ships, causing it to spin out of control and crash into the side of the mountain, luckily those that had been inside had managed to eject themselves in time and were slowly floating down on parachutes. Lan looked up and saw some of the turrets on the cliffs surrounding the town turn towards the remaining two airships.
“Hah!” shouted Siemans over the intercom “Did you see that coming dirt bags?!”
“Yes” said Jirall, removing a small detonator from his coat and triggering it “Yes I did.”
All around the city, explosions erupted halfway up the cliffs all around the town at regular intervals. The turrets surrounding the town grew dark, and shut down.
“We planted explosives on the power lines” said Jirall “Did you see that coming you slimy mama’s boy.”
Lan could picture the shocked expression that was covering Siemans’s face at that very moment. But another more important thought filled his mind at that time.
“Jirall!” shouted Lan “What were you thinking!?Those turrets protected the town from the surrounding Grimm!”
“Our kids!” shouted one of the Faunus workers, dropping her weapon and falling to her knees “There in danger!”
“What the heck!” shouted another worker, turning his gaze at Jirall, “You said you were going to help us, but you’ve doomed us all?”
“Fear not” said Jirall, raising his hands “That has already been taken into consideration.”
Two of the men next to him pressed a button and a holo-screen popped out of a device that had been set up in the ground. It showed a large group of Faunus children huddled together in what appeared to be a cavern in the mines.
“Your children are safe” said Jirall “Right after you all entered mines early this morning, my operatives moved the children into the mines through secret tunnels in the walls of the town, tunnels that have already been sealed to prevent any Grimm from entering. It will be easily defensible thanks to its natural barriers and will serve as our base of operations as we launch the final phase of our plan.” Jirall then pointed to the two airships still hovering above him. “After our goal has been completed all Faunus who have assisted us will be made honorary members of the Black Claw and be escorted out of the vicinity on the ships to a safe area.”
The Faunus down below begin murmuring amongst themselves. To them it seemed as if they had little choice but to conform to the man’s will if they wished to survive.
“But what about the rest of the town!” shouted Lan “They’ll be overrun by Grimm!”
At this, Jirall let out a piercing laugh, Lan noticed Daylen wince as his brother did this.
“Those slavers have lived for years off the blood, sweat, and tears of hundreds of good Faunus” said Jirall “This will be their just desserts…However” Jirall turned to look at Byakko “They may be able to survive if a certain stubborn old man puts his full effort into protecting them.”
Jirall knew full well what Byakko was capable of; as a result he didn’t want the old man interfering with whatever he was planning. Destroying the turret power lines killed two birds with one stone, allowing him to force the town’s Faunus to join him as well as remove one of his greatest obstacles, cunning.
“True” said Byakko, flexing his powerful leg muscles and scratching his chin “But not before I take you down!”
Byakko erupted forward, throwing himself at the group of Black Claw members like a cannonball and collided with Jirall and Daylen…or at least he should have. The old man passed right through the two of them and crashed into the men behind them. As he passed through, the visages of the two leaders shook and crackled. Lan then realized from their shimmering forms that the two of them were holograms; their bodies must have been somewhere else.
“Too bad” said Jirall as Byakko subdued all the solid Black Claw around him “But we’re not stupid enough to show ourselves in front of you.” He then turned to look at Lan “Well, it’s been fun, but we really must be getting to work now.”
“Grandpa” shouted Lan “go take care of any Grimm coming near the city, I’ll handle things here!”
“Are you sure” said Jirall “I believe you both have somewhere you need to be, you don’t want your two little friends back at your home to become lonely now do you?”
“What!?” shouted Lan, alarmed, but the holograms had already flickered away.
Byakko swore loudly and turned to Lan.
“Come on, we got to take care of the littlies before anything else!”
With that he leapt downwards towards Lan, grabbed the boy, and threw him over the wall. Lan landed on the other side with a soft thump and moment later Byakko landed next to him with a loud crash. Nodding to each other, to two of them darted back towards their house, watching the panic that was slowly spreading throughout the town.
Within a minute Lan and Byakko arrived back home.
With a sinking sensation in the depths of his stomach Lan saw that the front door was busted down. The two of them arrived at the porch and then dashed into the entrance…to find three Black Claw operatives passed out on the ground with Ignis and George sitting on their backs.
The two of them barked and ooed as the Lan and Byakko came through the door.
“How did you--?” started Lan,
The two little guys reached down and each picked up an object. George picked up what appeared to be one of his used diapers, a substance that Lan just noticed was covering each of the Black Claw operatives’ faces. Ignis was holding a picture of Byakko giving a big thumbs up, scrolled across the picture in black ink was the phrase “go for the groin”. Apparently George had blinded the assailants with the diapers while Ignis went straight for the groin, as evidenced by holes in the trousers of the incapacitated black fang which revealed their underwear.
“I have taught you well” said Byakko, his arms folded and a smug smile on his face.
Lan let out a sigh of relief and collapsed onto his rear. Finally he could relax a little—.
At that moment the cry of a giant nevermore rang out across the town.
“No time to rest boy” said Byakko “This town’s always attracted Grimm thanks to the high levels of negative feelings that are always permeating this place, and now that the turrets are down they can start getting close to the town.”
Byakko nodded and began heading upstairs.
“Tie these guys up for now” he said “after that we need to get ready.”
Lan nodded and after quickly restraining the Black Claw members with pieces of rope, headed upstairs where he changed out of his guardsman uniform and into his combat clothes which consisted of a blue and black t-shirt under a dark blue trench coat, a pair of long black pants, a pair of blue and white fingerless gloves, and a pair of black sunglasses that could protect against flash bangs. His clothes also contained numerous pockets and compartments where he placed a variety of weaponry and tools. Finally, he strapped his larger weapons, which consisted of a bow; a staff; and a wooden sword, and his trademark backpack to his back. As he came back downstairs, he found his grandpa sitting on a large black and white duffle-bag.
“As you already know” started Byakko, “I’ll be heading up to the walls to keep the Grimm from getting into town; in the meantime you see what you can do to remedy this situation down here. Oh and do make sure to not hurt the turned Faunus workers too badly, some of my drinking buddies haven’t followed up on the bet they made during the party.”
Lan saluted and nodded, after surviving Byakko’s training he was more than prepared.
“One thing first” said Lan, who dashed to the kitchen.
He came back with two packages wrapped in leaves, one was the size of a loaf of bread and the other was the size of a thick log.
“Can’t fight on an empty stomach.” Said Lan, handing the log sized package to Byakko.
“Thanks boy,” said Byakko with a chuckle, “I’ve got a little something for us as well.”
Byakko reached inside the bag and pulled out a small black box. Lan noticed writing on the top and came closer for a better look.
‘Lucky Underwear’ it said.
Lan and Byakko gave each other a serious look and then nodded. The two opened the box and grabbed their respective undergarments. Lan reached into his pants, ripped off what he was currently wearing, and somehow managed to put on the new pair of underwear, which was blue and covered with black forms of various animals. Byakko also put on his new fundoshi, which was white with a cartoon white tiger’s face on the back. Lan noticed that Byakko didn’t rip out his old underwear before putting on the new one. Lan opened his mouth and was about to inquire about it when Byakko announced:
“I wasn’t wearing any underwear today.”
His question answered, Lan shut his mouth.
“You see I farted, and a hole opened up and—“
“Stop right there” said Lan. He then turned to address Ignis and George.
“You ready little soldiers?” asked Lan.
The two barked and screeched in acknowledgement, and then ran over to the empty underwear box, grabbed it, and dropped it at Lan’ feet.
“Ah so you want some to eh?” said Lan, “Then you can have my old one!”
Lan tore his old pare of underpants in two and tied the first piece around Ignis’s neck, and the second around George’s head.
“Ready?” said Lan.
The two of them saluted in response.
“All right then,” said Byakko, grabbing his duffle bag and heading towards the door.
“Hey grandpa” said Lan “I’ve been wondering about it for a bit, but what’s in that duffle bag.”
Standing on the front porch, Byakko turned and gave Lan a toothy smile.
“My sports equipment.” He said, and then vanished, carried away by his inhuman speed.
Now sure that the town would be 100% protected, Lan dashed out the door and headed towards the mines again, Ignis and George hot on his heels.
Arriving back at the mining complex, Lan found the area deserted and the land torn apart like a warzone. He sent Ignis and George to look for any survivors amongst the many supine forms littering the ground.
Having no idea of what occurred after he and Byakko left, Lan believed that his best option would be to acquire some intelligence from those nearby. Thinking that the guardsmen and office workers would be more cooperative than the desperate Faunus workers, Lan ran towards the office building, arriving just as a loud “Fort!” from his grandfather’s throat echoed across the town followed a moment later by the sound of the loud clank of a golf club hitting a golf ball and the death cry of what sounded like a giant nevermore.
Lan tried to open the doors, but found them firmly locked. Lan pulled back his fist and threw a full-powered punch at the door. Surprisingly the door held against the powerful blow, only cracking slightly. Lan whipped his arm back and nursed his knuckles; luckily he didn’t receive any physical damage due to his aura. The door seemed to be made from an extremely durable glass.
As he began to think about a way to get inside he noticed a small movement inside behind the receptionist desk. Lan knocked on the glass, hoping to get the attention of whoever it was. Lan saw a guardsmen’s visor slowly peer over the desk and when the man saw that it was Lan and not an angry Faunus, he crawled out from behind the desk and began to limp towards the door. Lan noticed a bullet wound in his right thigh that had just been treated.
The man came to the glass peered behind Lan to make sure there were no enemies, then pressed a button on the side of the door, causing them to slide open.
“Quick, quick.” He said, motioning with his hand “get in before—“
Before he realized it, he was staring at empty space and Lan was standing at his side.
Startled, the man stared at Lan for a few moments before snapping out of his daze and quickly shutting the door.
“Oh, thank god you arrived Lan.” Said the guard “Things are going downhill faster than a jackrabbit with its ass lit on fire. Things were exploding, people were dying and and--”
“Easy man, easy” interrupted Lan, who grabbed the man and began shaking him violently “Just tell me the situation”
“O-kay-just-stop-shaking-me” said the man.
Lan let go of the man who took a moment to recompose himself before beginning to explain.
The guardsman, who revealed his name to be Drew, explained that after Lan and Byakko had left, the firefight had continued only this time the guards had the advantage thanks to their position within the fortified office building and the advanced weaponry that Siemans had somehow managed to provide. After realizing that they were in a disadvantageous position, the alliance of Faunus workers and Black Fang had then split into two groups, each led by Daylen or Jirall. The group led by Daylen had taken the lifts down into the mines and put up their defensive front there, while the group led by Jirall had headed up into the reactor in the cliff that held the facilities where dust was purified. The airships had headed back to the airfields to refuel.
Soon after, Siemans had dispatched the now rearmed guardsmen towards each of the two locations in order to subdue the Faunus there; Drew had been left behind due to the bullet room that he had sustained. Also, Siemans had just left the building with a regime of guards towards a warehouse at the edge of town that contained what he called his ‘trump card’.
After hearing this, Lan thought for a few moments and decided that his best bet would be to try to convince Daylen, who was the more agreeable of the two brothers, to stop this madness. Lan thanked the guard and then turned to exit the building.
“Wait!” shouted the guardsmen “Take these, you left them in your locker this morning.”
Lan turned and found the guard holding his shock batons. Lan snatched them up and quickly pocketed them.
“Thank you” said Lan. “Oh that reminds me, you’d better tell your superiors to fix the power lines connected to the turrets.”
“But the Grimm!” said the guard “right now they should be swarming over the—“
“Grandpa’s taking care of it” said Lan “Any technicians you send there should be just fine.”
The guard nodded and Lan turned around, pressed the button opening the door, and stepped outside. He found Ignis and George waiting with two groaning piles of guardsmen and Faunus. Lan didn’t have time to apply medical treatment, so he turned to the guard behind him.
“No way!” shouted the guard “I’ll help my fellow guardsmen, sure, but those Faunus? No way in he—“
Lan leapt upwards, grabbed the man around the scruff of his neck and dragged him down to eyelevel.
“Oh you will” said Lan “because if you don’t I will make sure to tell grandpa…have you ever seen him angry?”
Lan finished the sentence with an unnerving smile. The guard swallowed and then answered with a weak:
“It would be in your best interest to keep it that way.” Said Lan “and don’t even think of giving any preferential treatment or telling any unsympathetic people about them, because trust me he’ll know.”
The guardsmen swallowed and then slowly nodded. Lan patted the man on the back with a smile, and then pulled a bag of medical supplies out of his backpack and handed it to the guard.
“And also” said Lan “here’s a little incentive to make sure you do the job equally well for all of them.”
Lan handed the man a gold coin that he had taken from his grandpa’s treasure room, Byakko never used that money anyway and had told Lan that he could take as much as he wanted. The guardsman’s eyes widened and his fear was replaced with a countenance of pleasant surprise.
“Yes sir” said the guard, pocketing the coin. He then began to drag the groaning forms of guardsmen and Faunus into the building.
“Just like grandpa said” thought Lan, turning towards the lift leading down to the mines. “Threat of physical pain + incentive = very loyal person”
He ran over and stopped in front of the shaft, pressing the call button for the elevator. In the moment that he was waiting, Ignis and George caught up to him. George leapt upwards and perched himself on top of Lan’s backpack and Ignis stopped at Lan’s heel. At that moment the elevator bell rang and the doors began to open. All of a sudden Lan felt the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end and a cold chill down his back, a warning from his heightened instincts that had been beaten into him from the day he first opened his eyes. He grabbed Ignis and leapt sideways, just in time to avoid the barrage of machine gun fire that poured out of the door. A moment later, three Black Claw troops ran out of the elevator and pointed their weapons in three directions spreading out of the center.
Lan saw that they hadn’t noticed him yet and threw a small paper package into the group before grabbing Ignis and diving behind a nearby pile of refuse.
“Huh?” he heard one of the troops say, “What the—“
With a sound that very much resembled a fart, the package exploded and enveloped the three in a red and green mist.
“Agh!” screamed all three of the guards.
“My nose!” shouted one,
“My eyes!” shouted another
“My lungs!” shouted the last.
In their moment of disarray Lan took a deep breath, switched on his shock batons, and dove into the gas where the struck each combatant in an unprotected area. The mist faded away a few seconds later, and Lan let out a loud exhalation. The three troops were unconscious at his feet and were currently being sniffed by Ignis.
“I’d say the stink bomb pepper spray mix gets 5 stars” said Lan.
He then pulled a length of rope, gagged and tied the troops together, and threw them into a nearby dumpster.
As he walked back to the elevator, he found that Ignis and George were already waiting for him.
“You guys need to help from now on” said Lan.
The two of them gave an exclamation of understanding as Lan pressed the down button and the elevator began to descend down into the caverns down below.
With a ding the door opened and Lan stepped out into the mining tunnels. What greeted him were the bodies of guardsmen who had tried to retreat and were gunned down by the three machine gun men who had been waiting in the elevators and Faunus workers who had been dragged into the fray.
Lan walked over to the nearest corpse and offered it a silent prayer. Such sights had become normal to him now that he had walked many different paths with his grandfather. They had often come upon small villages or groups of nomads that had been wiped out by Grimm. But this scene filled him with even more sorrow than those times. These people had been killed by their fellow man, by those who could have worked together with them for their mutual benefit but had instead turned towards the road of death and despair.
“Let’s check for survivors” said Lan to George and Ignis.
They went around and found a few people that were still breathing, after which Lan did his best to treat them with basic first aid and acupuncture. Those he treated were dragged off into small dead end side tunnels where they were set into rough handmade mats and blankets slapped together from clothes taken from the corpses. After treating the last man, Lan turned and was about to head deeper into the tunnels when he heard a groan from behind him. He turned and saw the guardsman he had just treated slowly sit up.
“Easy man” said Lan running over to check on him. “Here, have some water.”
Lan pulled a plastic water bottle from his bag and offered it to the man who downed it gratefully.
“Thank you” said the man, touching the bandages that covered the upper right side of his face.
“What’s the situation?” asked Lan.
The guardsmen explained that there had been two groups of guards. One led by their best combatant Marcus, and the other led by the guard captain Aurelius. Marcus had gone up to confront Jirall and Aurelius had gone down to confront Daylen. Upon entering and searching the caverns, the guards had been struck time and time again by the guerrilla tactics of Black Claw soldiers and Faunus workers that had been hiding in the tunnels. After a while he had gotten separated from the main force and had attempted to retreat back to the surface.
Lan nodded and handed the man a rifle he had found on the ground for self-defense.
“Don’t hurt anyone that’s recovering in any of the side tunnels” said Lan, “Only use it for self-defense.”
The guard nodded. Lan also gave the man a variety of medical supplies, food, and water and told him that if anyone else woke up, be they man or Faunus; the guard had to make these supplies known and help them.
“Come on guys.” Said Lan to George and Ignis “We need to gather some more intelligence.”
The three of the then headed deeper into the tunnels.
“Where are they!?” shouted the guard.
The Faunus woman shrieked as the man pulled her large raccoon ears even harder.
“Talk!” he shouted.
“I don’t know!” cried the woman, tears pouring down her face “We didn’t follow them! Those who didn’t want to fight ran away as soon as we got into the mines!”
“Don’t give me that crap” shouted the guard “We know every one of you animals are cooperating with those beasts! Now talk!”
“Hey” said the man’s partner, who was leaning on a nearby wall guarding a group of five cowering Faunus, two of whom were merely children “You mind hurryin’ up?”
“I’m workin on it!” shouted the first guard.
“Well alright” said the second guard, straightening up “I’m gonna go take a piss, call me if there’s any trouble.”
The man rounded the corner of a nearby mining shaft, walked down a little ways, and proceeded to do his business.
“Ahhhh” he sighed, as another scream from the woman echoed down from the hallway “sweet relie—“
He then noticed something to the left of the yellow puddle that was now forming on the ground. A small red canine was sitting on the ground and staring up at him with its tongue lolling out of its mouth.
A moment later something dropped down from the ceiling and covered his mouth with its hands. The guards reached upwards to try and remove it, but in that instant he was hit from behind with two stun batons. The man grunted, and then fell to the ground unconscious.
“Good job boys” said Lan, sticking his stun batons into his pockets “Now let’s go save that—Ignis, bad dog!”
Ignis had been creeping towards the yellow puddle on the floor and had slowly been extending his tongue towards it.
“I’ll give you meat later” said Lan “so don’t do nasty stuff.”
A few moments later they turned the corner and walked towards the guard who was still interrogating the woman. Thinking that the boy’s footsteps were those of his comrade, the guard didn’t turn around and was knocked unconscious with a whack from the baton.
“Are you all right?” asked Lan, walking over to the woman.
She nodded slowly and then got back to her feet.
“Barbarians” she said, spitting on the unconscious form of the guard. “Every last one of them.”
“They’re just scared” said Lan “most of these guys haven’t ever been in a real combat situation before…just like all of you.”
“We’re not hurting anybody though,” said the woman “Yes we’re following those White-- uh, Black Claw, but we don’t have a choice! The town’s going to be infested by Grimm and—“
“Grandpa’s defending the town and the technicians will have the turrets up and ready soon, you’ll all be fine” said Lan. He then paused for a moment and looked the woman straight in the eyes. “Do you think what the Black Claw is doing is going to make a positive difference?”
“Honestly…no” said the woman “all it’s going to do is give those anti-Faunus politicians another reason to take away our rights.”
Lan nodded and the asked her if she knew where Daylen was. She didn’t have much information, so after telling Lan what she could, she headed over to one of the safe areas that Lan had mapped out along with the Faunus that had been with her and the two guardsmen (now tied up). Lan then explored the mining area more, saving Faunus workers from violent guardsmen and saving captured guardsmen from extremist Faunus, making sure to gather information all the while. He also happened on a few canisters of purified Dust, which he subsequently pocketed. After a little while he deduced from the information that he had gathered that Daylen and his troops were in a large cavern near the center of the mine.
After running in that direction for a few minutes, Lan found a completely unexpected sight. As he rounded a corner leading to the large cavern, he discovered the majority of the troops along with guard captain Aurelius gathered in front of the main entrance leading into the tunnel. They were noticeably better armed than the guards Lan had met earlier and had on very serious expressions.
“Aurelius!” shouted Lan “What are you—“
“Shhhhhhh!” shushed Aurelius “Quiet do you want to—“
He then noticed that the one who had spoken up was Lan.
“Lan” he gasped in a quiet voice, his face suddenly filled with relief “Thank goodness you’ve arrived.”
“What’s the situation?” asked Lan in a now quiet voice. Ignis and George plopped down right next to him and also fixed Aurelius with an intense stare.
“Daylen and his troops are in the cavern ahead, along with a large portion of the workers” said Aurelius “They’ve bunkered down behind some hastily constructed defenses and have they’re weapons pointed at all the openings to the cavern.” He paused for a moment to take another peak into the cabin.
“Do you know what they’re planning to do?” asked Lan
“I’d have to be an idiot not to” said Aurelius, turning back to face Lan. “after all, its smack dab in the middle of the room behind their defenses.”
“It?” said Lan questioningly.
“They’ve got a bomb boy” said Aurelius, “and from its size and current position, it’ll set off all the dust veins in the mine and collapse the caverns under the city.”
someone asking me about what romances I wanted, so I guess I’ll tell you
now. In all honesty I would love
LanXRuby, because Ruby’s innocent and quirky demeanor would strike a chord with
Lan, who would have already lost his innocence by the time he met her (11 years
later from present time in the story.) But if this story is never accepted as
canon, then Lan will never meet Ruby.
I also wanted to ship Yang with Lan’s apprentice (haven’t decided his name yet), who will appear much much later in the story, who despite being older than Lan, looks up to him as a sensei.
Once again thank you for reading my stories, and if you have any suggestions please let me know.
Well then: Next chapter, Lan understanding and use of Dust gets a boost.