Ch 7 White Fang
“What the heck are you doing?”
Sammy was standing over Lan who was bent backwards in an arc above a stone with his hands and feet touching the ground, tied to Lan’s body in various places were many stone weights including one in his mouth. The two of them were in a small clearing in the forest that was surrounded by bamboo, the stone located right in the middle of it. Lan motioned with his head towards the scroll Byakko had given him, which showed a bad sketch doing exactly what Lan was doing now. Sammy walked over to the scroll and inspected it.
“20 minutes at a time? That’s rough.”
Lan grunted in acknowledgement and motioned with his eyes towards a small steel timer below his head.
“Oh” said Sammy noticing it, “how long do you have—”
All of a sudden there was a click and suddenly the clearing was filled with a horrible grinding and screeching noise. Sammy yelled in alarm and clamped his hands over his ears. It took him a few moments to realize that the noise was coming from the alarm and that it was actually Byakko singing a popular pop song and as for the words…well let’s just say that the two were lucky thar the more vulgar ones were rendered unrecognizable by Byakko’s horrible singing. Lan’s eyes twitched as the sound washed over him, he was obviously used to listening to such a horrible thing. Lan spat out the weight in his mouth and then yelled at Sammy.
“HIT THE BUTTON ON TOP! THAT WILL TURN IT OFF!”
“WHAT?” Sammy cried, his hands still covering his ears.
Lan gasped in exasperation and began motioning to the alarm below him with his eyes. Understanding, Sammy rushed over and stomped on the button on top with his boot. The music stopped, and they both sighed in relief.
“Why does Byakko do this to you” asked Sammy, uncovering his ears.
“Dunno” said Lan, flopping onto his side and beginning to take off the weights. “But if I don’t do what he says” Lan closed his eyes and shuddered “Things do not go well. Plus I don’t get any stronger if I don’t.”
“No not the training” said Sammy “I meant the alarm.”
“It was his order” said Lan, getting up “and if I don’t listen to him, even for something small like this, he’ll be assigning me more…physical resistance training.”
Lan winced and covered his buttocks as he remembered the last time Byakko had made him do that. Lan had serious doubts that strengthening his anal sphincter would make him a better warrior. But when he had revealed these thoughts to Byakko, he, with a long iron spike, had disagreed. Sammy, knowing better than to inquire further, simply nodded.
“About time to head back now though” said Sammy, looking at the built in clock on his arm and talking in an ecstatic voice. “Come on, our lesson with Rowan is beginning soon and he said we’d start building firearms today!”
“Ah ha!” said Lan “Weaponry, I am totally going to school you today.”
“We’ll see about that” said Sammy smiling.
The two of them then raced off back towards the village.
The sound of gunfire was reverberating inside Rowan’s workshop. Lan and Sammy were firing the pistols that they had made at some plastic moving targets. The two of them were in an underground practice bunker. Once the two had finished their guns a little while ago they decided to have a competition to see who the better shot was. It had been quite some time since the two of them had begun target practice and the ones on Sammy’s side of the field were riddled with holes in many places, the ones on Lan’s however seemed factory new. Lan was whining with frustration as he missed shot after shot while Sammy stole a smug glance at him every now and then.
“Aw come o-Oh that wasn’t”
The quality of the guns that they had made was actually very similar to each other in case you were wondering. But Lan kept missing every single shot. It seemed that Lan’s proficiency was firearms was extremely limited. This was curious considering that he had excellent aim when throwing or using a bow and arrow. After emptying their last clips the two of them turned around and looked at a score board behind them. The Final results: Sammy-84, Lan-0. Sammy punched the air with glee while Lan bent over and sighed. Sammy smiled and was about to begin gloating when Lan suddenly started mumbling.
“Oh I’m so worthless. Can’t even hit the broadside of a barn. I should just die. Ughhhhhh”
Taken aback by the sudden darkening in Lan’s personality, Sammy stood there stunned for a moment.
“Uh, no you’re not Lan.” Said Sammy, reaching out and patting Lan on the back. “Nobody’s good at everything.”
“I’m a warrior though” said Lan with a heavy voice “I’m supposed to be good at everything related to a fight and firearms are one of the biggest parts of the military today.”
Lan then collapsed onto the ground, Sammy jumping away in fright, and began sobbing.
“OHHHHHH! Why am I such a failure? WHY!?”
Sammy hovered around Lan, who seemed to be beginning to form an inferiority complex, trying to cheer him up when all of a sudden the door to the room burst open. Sammy jumped in surprise and Lan, aroused by the instincts he had begun to hone, leapt into a fighting stance. In the doorway stood Rowan, his face dripping with sweat and a look of alarm painted across his face.
“What is it!” shouted Lan, who had quickly forgotten his previous misery.
Rowan just stood there, slowly recovering his breathing. Sammy and Lan stared at him expectantly.
“Well?” said Lan after a few minutes “Speak up.”
Rowan took a deep breath and then turned to look at Sammy.
“There’s a White Fang airship nearby sending out a signal.”
“And?” said Sammy, obviously nervous.
“They're looking for you.”
“I received the signal a few minutes ago” said Rowan, flipping a few switches on his computer screen.
The two boys, as well as Anna and Hiroshi were also crowded around the screen.
“Here” said Rowan, clicking a replay button.
A rough voice crackled to life, blurred once in a while by a wave of static, it sounded tired, angry, and desperate.
“To all listeners in the area. We are searching for a young boy around the age of 5. He can be identified by his brown hair, circular spectacles, and features depicting him as a squirrel Faunus. If you see this child, send a reply message immediately.”
The message ended and the room went quiet.
“Well Sammy” said Rowan after a few moments “what do you want to do?”
“Huh?” said Sammy, turning to face him.
“Whoever this guy is” said Rowan, slumping into his chair. “He probably knows something about your past. Why else would they be looking for ya?” Rowan picked up a mug of coffee and took a sip before continuing “But we don’t know why their looking for ya.”
Sammy stood and stared at the floor for a few minutes. He then lifted his gaze and stared at everyone in the room, taking in all their faces. He took note of Lan’s encouraging smile, Rowan’s nonchalant stare, Hiroshi’s intense gaze, and Anna’s kind smile. He then lowered his head again, placed his chin between his thumb and forefinger, and began to think. His time here in the village had been fun and he was truly happy here. True he was curious about his old life, but if it meant giving up all of this he wasn’t sure if he wanted to take that route. His mind was a buzz, filled with all kinds of turmoil. It was then than a small, firm hand grabbed his shoulder. Sammy looked up and stared into Lan’s smiling face.
“Whatever happens, everyone here will always be your friend and if need be we can protect you from anything.”
Like a beam of sunshine searing its way through the morning mist, Lan’s words cleared Sammy’s indecision. Nodding, Sammy turned to Rowan and stared the engineer in the eyes.
“I want to meet them” said Sammy after a deep breath “Let’s meet the White Fang.”
“Alright” said Rowan, turning around to send a message to the airship. “Now let’s give those peace-loving Faunus the go ahead to land.”
Little did any of them know of the change that would take place within the organization in eight years time.
The members of the village watched as the ship descended onto an open stretch of land. It was a bullhead, slightly larger than normal with the normal oval-like body, glass window on the front, and 2 large wings with attached engines sticking out on its sides.
There was a loud clunk as the ship landed. A door in the back opened and a platform extended to the ground. A large muscular man in a long brown trench coat walked out, surrounded on both sides by a group of white fang guards. The man had rough features, like a battlefield veteran, had short brown hair and was smoking a pipe.
The man stared across the crowd, scrutinizing every face.
“Alright” said the man in a gruff voice. “Where is he?!”
The one who answered was Sammy, who was now standing at the front of the crowd, trembling. The man turned to look at the child. His eyes widened and his pipe fell out of his mouth. He slowly walked forward toward Sammy, tottering as though inebriated. He stopped right in front of the boy.
Sammy gulped as he stared into the eyes of the towering man. All of the sudden the man knelt down and reached out for Sammy. Sammy yelped and closed in eyes in panic. He was quite surprised when he felt the arms gently embrace him.
“Son” said the man, his voice now shaky “I’m so glad you’re safe.”
Sammy’s jaw dropped and his eyes grew wide. The man released his hold on Sammy and then lifted the boy into the air, a slight smile emerging on his rough features.
“Dad?” said Sammy, his voice starting to break as tears began to stream down his face.
“Yes” said the man smiling “it’s me.”
He then embraced Sammy again, this time the little boy hugged back.
The majority of the villagers were equally happy and surprised. Many of them began cheering and clapping
Hiroshi stepped forward as the representative of the village and held out his hand to the man, his face devoid of the surprise and mirth that bathed the rest of the village. As with all political matters he was approaching the situation with a calm disposition.
“Greetings sir” said Hiroshi with a small smile on his face “Welcome to Longa Ciner—“
He was interrupted as a blue blur zipped passed him. Lan stood in front of the man with a broad smile sitting on his face.
“So you’re Sammy’s Dad” said Lan, flapping his arms like a penguin. “That mean you’re a squirrel Faunus too.”
The man gave Lan an uncomfortable blank stare, set Sammy down, and opened his coat. He, like Sammy, had a large fluffy squirrel tail. He had on a white tank-top under his coat which showed off his muscular build.
“Does this answer your question human?”
Lan was taken aback by the venom that was in the man’s voice. He was obviously one of the members of the White Fang that held a strong hatred for humans.
“I thank for taking care of my son until now” he said with a very slight bow “he and I will be taking our leave now.”
He took hold of Sammy’s hand and Sammy, shocked by the sudden thought of leaving, was dragged without much resistance.
“Hold it!” shouted a rough voice.
Greb appeared behind the man in a millisecond and seized his shoulder.
“You haven’t even introduced yourself yet and you’re just gonna take off?” he said with one eye-raised.
The man turned his head and seeing that he was talking to a Faunus his features relaxed slightly.
“My name is Momonga Cranndarach”
He then turned around and held out is hand, which Greb grudgingly grasped and shook.
Suddenly finding his voice and strength at that moment, Sammy pulled his hand out of his father’s grasp and turned to face him.
“Wait Wait Wait! I can’t just leave just like that! I mean I’ve lived here the past two years, I’ve got amnesia, and I got to say bye to everyone first!”
“Your mother is worried sick.” said Momonga crisply “The last I saw her she was crying her eyes out, so you have to come home now! You’ll be able to recover your memory much faster at home. Now Come!”
“Oh come on!” shouted Rowan, emerging from the crowd “you
got to at least let us send the kid off.
Why don’t we have a party or something tonight, I mean this is really
sudden after all. The kid won’t be
comfortable leaving just like that!
“And if I should refuse?” said Momonga, clenching his fists.
“Dad!” shouted Sammy, pushing away and running back to the villagers. “What is wrong with you?”
“What’s wrong with me?” shouted Momonga “what’s wrong with you supporting this human. You should know how they have discriminated against our kind!”
“That doesn’t happen here” said an gruff old voice.
Turning, Momonga found himself face to face with Greb.
“What you have just said may hold true in many settlements all over the world, but it don’t happen here.”
“Yeah” shouted a Mr. Hono, a fox Faunus.
All the other Faunus in the village began to mount their protest as well, and the area was soon filled with their shouts.
Momonga gazed across the sea of villagers. He was shocked to see so many of his people supporting those who he believed had subjugated them for so long. The guards behind him were shifting uncomfortably as the shouts poured on. All of them were so used to having all the Faunus on their side during rallies that they had no idea how to deal with the current situation.
Hiroshi raised his palm and the shouts slowly died down.
“I know that you are very busy my friend” said Hiroshi with a gentle smile “but perhaps you and your men could stay the night and recuperate before leaving. It must have been very difficult searching for your son these past months, come to Anna’s tavern with us and have something to eat…and maybe a few drinks as well.”
Momonga looked at the man (obviously surprised by his good nature), stared at the villagers surrounding him (especially the Faunus), and then returned his gaze to Hiroshi.
“Well…I guess it wouldn’t hurt” said Momonga finally relenting.
Hiroshi held out his hand and the crowd parted before him.
“The tavern is this way” said Hiroshi, waving in the general direction. “follow me.”
Momonga and his guards, after casting uncomfortable gazes at each other, began to follow him after a few moments.
Lan and Sammy watched them walk away with smiles on their young faces.
“Not even gonna have time for all the teary-eyed goodbye stuff now are we” said Sammy with a grin.
“Probably not” said Lan “Come on, it’s party time.”
A few hours later the restaurant was filled with laughter, the clanking of mugs, and the scraping of platters.
Momonga and his men had been quite reluctant at first, but after a couple glasses of Greb’s vintage whiskey and some of Anna’s gourmet cooking, their hardened demeanors quickly melted away and were replaced by the visage of happy drunks. Momonga especially had come around and was now arm in arm with Rowan and Greb as they sang and swayed around the room. Anna was busy in the kitchen, preparing the food for the sudden festivities. Lan and Sammy were conversing with the least hammered White Fang members and everyone else was drinking and having a good time. The party was a fun one and lasted well into the night, slowly depleting the tavern’s ale supply. After speaking with many members of the village, both human and Faunus, Momonga was slowly able to open up, especially after recognizing that many of the humans in the village had gone through the same kinds of troubles and persecution that he and the rest of the Faunus had. Things quieted down around 3 A.M., Sammy and Lan falling asleep together on one of the sofas, and most of the villagers had either gone home or were asleep in strange positions in random places in Anna’s home. The only two still awake at this point were Hiroshi and Momonga who were both sitting at the bar.
“It really has been a surprising day” said Momonga, pouring himself another shot of sake. “Never thought I’d find my son and meet some good humans on the same day.”
“Now now my friend” said Hiroshi, shaking his head slightly. “Don’t say it like that. Say people. Be we humans or Faunus we are all people of this world.”
“Yeah” said Momonga, staring down into his glass. “If only other people saw it that way as well.”
“Give them time” responded Hiroshi “I am certain that you will see a change.”
“It’s what we’ve been hoping for” said Momonga, swallowing another cup “things don’t seem like their progressing though.”
“Things like that happen in every process my friend” Hiroshi patted him on the back and poured him another drink “Don’t lose heart.”
“Yeah” said Momonga with a smile “but I probably will in a couple days if my wife ever finds out I drank this much.”
Both of them gave a weak chuckle.
“But what was Sammy doing so far away from home?” asked Hiroshi.
“Well…” said Momonga, scratching his head “my wife and I…aren’t exactly on the best terms right now. We didn’t want the boy to get caught up in the crossfire so we sent him to live with his uncle. Imagine our horror when we found out that the village had been destroyed by Grimm, especially when the message came five months after the event took place.” He paused for a moment, looking slightly ashamed. “I had thought the boy had already been killed, especially after the corpses of all the other people in that town had been confirmed, so I didn’t want to use the resources to search, but my wife wouldn’t have any of that. Rosy has always been a go and get-em girl, and it looks like that attitude has paid off this time.” Momonga turned and stared at Sammy’s sleeping form, a smile visible on his hard features. “It’s nice he made a friend, but his arm…” Momonga sighed.
“It wasn’t your fault” said Hiroshi patting his back.
“Maybe, maybe not. It doesn’t matter now” said Momonga “he’s safe now and that’s all that matters.”
“Indeed” said Hiroshi.
“A toast” said Momonga, raising his cup “to my first human friends.”
“Kanpai!” responded Hiroshi.
They both drank deeply and sighed.
“This really is a crazy town though” said Momonga “I mean, how the heck does something like that happen?”
He motioned towards Lan who had stripped down to his undies in his sleep.
“Let’s just say his grandfather’s bad habits tend to rub off on him” said Hiroshi
They both chuckled again.
“Crazy town” said Momonga again. “If only every town had people like it has.”
Hiroshi smiled, and raised another toast.
They then spent the rest of the night drinking, and finally fell asleep when the first rays of golden light began to peak through the windows.
After taking the morning and most of the afternoon to recover from their hangovers, the members of the White Fang loaded their ship and prepared to leave. Sammy and his father had quickly cleared out Sammy’s room in the back of Anna’s restaurant and had loaded his belongings onto the ship.
Rowan, who had grown closest to Sammy during the stay, had given Sammy’s arm an extra tune up and, with Momonga’s stern insistence, had included a detailed operating manual to go along with it. He also gave Sammy a few books and other learning materials in case Sammy ever felt like delving deeper into engineering.
Everyone was standing outside the ship and was giving Sammy words of encouragement and expressing farewells. Strangely though, even though the goodbyes were so fast, no one believed that they were being too hasty. In this town, many a good old man and women passed away without warning. They were already used to quick goodbyes. Sammy, although sad at the thought of having to leave, was eager to meet with his mother and the rest of his family. The only one who was truly torn over the sudden departure was Lan, but being instructed by Byakko to “suck it up whenever something bad happens” Lan quietly stood there, his face stern and his hands in his pockets.
Noticing this, Sammy smiled and walked over to Lan.
“Come on Lan, don’t be sad. It’s not like we’ll be saying goodbye forever.” Said Sammy. “I’ll come to visit a bunch.”
“Yeah” said Lan, suddenly smiling.
The two stood there staring at each other for a few moments, a stupid expression on both their faces. Then all of a sudden they burst into tears and gave each other a tackle like hug. Tears and snot ran down their faces as they wailed about how they would miss each other. After a few minutes they separated and wiped their faces on their own shirts.
“You know what you’re going to be doing in the White Fang? Asked Lan, blowing his nose on the hem of his shirt.
“Don’t know” said Sammy, doing the same “probably help out with protests and stuff, but I’d really like to work with machinery.”
“Don’t worry” said Momonga who came over and placed a hand on Sammy’s shoulder “you will. We can’t be letting the skills you built up these months go to waste, and besides there’s always…” Momonga trailed off as a serious expression appeared on his face. “Never mind” he said again after a few moments, “anyways, you’ll be put to work with those skills of yours. But first” he said, suddenly looking nervous “you’ll have to help me settle things a bit with your mother. Rosy was never one to patiently wait, expect anything once we get home.”
Momonga then turned around as one of the guards was calling his name. From the looks of things the ship was almost ready to leave.
Sammy and Lan returned their attention to each other, but both were too nervous to say anything else.
The first to break the silence was Lan.
“It’s probably going to be a while before we see each other again. But to make sure we don’t forget each other. I’ve prepared something.”
Lan reached inside his gi and pulled out a small bottle and two small cups.
“Sakazuki!” said Lan, with enthusiasm.
“What?” asked Sammy, confused.
“I read about it in a book once” whispered Lan excitedly. “Two guys who were very close shared a sakazuki to forge an oath of brotherhood!”
“Sounds cool!” said Sammy. “Let’s do it!”
Lan pulled out the stopper of the bottle, filled both cup, and handed one to Sammy.
Sammy sniffed and wrinkled his nose.
“What is this?” he asked
“It’s called sake” answered Lan, “from what I read it has to be this drink in order for the ritual to work.”
Lan and Sammy smiled as they took the cups.
“Brothers” they both whispered, clinking the cups together and downing their drinks.
“Tastes weird” said the two of them simultaneously.
“But now we are brothers in spirit!” said Lan with a smile.
“Time to leave!” called a guard from the direction of the ship.
Lan and Sammy turned to each other, smiled and grasped each other’s hand.
“We’ll see each other soon” said Sammy with a smile.
“Yeah” said Lan.
With that, Sammy dashed towards the ship and boarded it. After the ramp was retracted and the door closed, the engine hummed to life and the ship rose into the air.
Sammy stared down from the one of the side windows at Lan’s shrinking figure. Momonga came up behind Sammy and placed a hand on his shoulder.
“I’m sorry we had to leave on such short notice.” He said sadly “I know you must have become attached to those down below and—“
“It’s okay dad” answered Sammy, “Mom’s got to be really worried.”
Momonga smiled. Although Sammy had yet to recover all his memories, Momonga felt closer to his son than before. Before, Sammy had been a quiet child who had always huddled in the corner whenever Momonga and his wife had an argument. Now the boy had a strong light in his eyes, burning with confidence and pride as well as a little more muscle than before.
“If only every village could be like that” Momonga thought, “staring down at the shrinking multitude down below. “If the majority of humans can ever start seeing us as equals, I hope it’ll be just like that.”
He was about to turn around and leave Sammy to his thoughts when something caught his attention. He sniffed and detected the odor of strong alcohol. At that moment Sammy let out a large belch and started wobbling. Alarmed he ran over and supported Sammy with his arms. The boy was red in the face and his eyes were spinning. He was obviously drunk.
“How the heck did—“
His question was answered as he glanced out the window. Down below, a crowd had gathered around the Lan’s supine form who had a sake bottle and two cups lying around him.
“Sakazuki” whispered Sammy in his drunken stupor.
Momonga let out and exasperated sigh and then smiled.
“Brothers huh?” he said, placing Sammy on a seat and buckling him up. “Let’s hope this is a step in the right direction.”
Once the ship reached the proper altitude it readjusted its engines and took off into the distance, racing off towards Sammy’s home, the 7th division of the White Fang.
The Grimm watched as the ship fly away. They had been surprised when the ship had touched down and believed that they had come to bolster the village’s defenses. But their worry had nothing, the ship had left. But this event left a new idea in their mind. The village could always contact others for reinforcements if things went badly for them. But they knew what they had to do. They had already noticed the large communications tower for sending and receiving information with the outside world. That would be their first target in their coming attack. They then turned around and tromped towards the seething mass of Grimm below to gather together their vanguard.