Ozpin, Glynda, Ironwood and Penny stood in Ozpin's office again.
"This has gotten out of hand! The Vytals festival is only days away and people are dying left and right! How can we ensure their safety?" Ironwood demanded as he paced the room.
"I was hoping you could help with that actually…" Ozpin admitted unhappily.
"You want me to handle security?" He asked, pausing in his pacing.
"Considering a number of my students are dead, yes, we need the help." Ozpin sighed.
"How many have you lost?" Ironwood asked.
"Two entire teams and several others have been injured." Ozpin sighed again.
"Three, if you count RWBY… The remaining members died in the Patch fire." Glynda added with a sad sigh.
"If it wasn't so close I would call it off, ask another kingdom to host but at this point…" Ozpin stated.
"That's true… I will do the best I can." Ironwood offered.
"Penny, you are the only one to have seen the Red Reaper and live, is there anything more you can tell us?" Ozpin asked as Glynda's scroll buzzed with a message.
"Well… You've seen what she can do, still, I swear it was her…" Penny said.
Glynda gasped, reading the message. All eyes turned to her and she glanced up.
"It's just…" Glynda started but then shook her head and showed the image a student had sent her. It was the server, a sign reading 'Wrecking crew, RR, RT, NT.' was displayed. She flicked through several other pictures showing the obliterated bases and buildings.
"What is that?" Ironwood asked.
"It's just a game… But the thing is, RR? You don't think?" Glynda asked.
"Only an admin can do that kind of damage, you should look through the logs and see what you can find." Ozpin said. "I don't think it could be but if that is related then that is another piece to this increasingly dangerous puzzle."
Glynda nodded and left the room while Ozpin and Ironwood continued discussing defense strategies and possibly hunting plans.
Ruby laughed madly as Cinder's body was hauled away, sent off to Arvan's hospital. Adam watched from the window of a dilapidated building that overlooked the tracks. He shook his head, unsure of how things would go now, with this new leader in place. His first and primary concern was the White Fang, as long as her plans coincided with his, he would work with her. The minute they didn't however…
Ruby danced giddily across the tracks to where Roman and the others waited. She was excited and had no fear of showing her power, the first thing she did however was pull Roman down to her level and kiss him.
It was only hours later and Ozpin was still discussing battle plans with Ironwood when team JNPR arrived in his office. All except Nora who had a broken leg from the blow she suffered the morning Ruby had attacked Beacon.
"We want to help." Jaune insisted.
"Jaune, any team I've sent, anyone I've sent so far has ended up dead. I will not put you and your team, especially with one of you down, in harms way." Ozpin explained.
"There has to be some way we can help, this can't keep happening, everyone is dropping like flies!" Jaune protested.
"No." Ozpin stated firmly.
Jaune grumbled and lead his team back out of the room.
"What are we going to do?" Pyrrha asked on the ride back down.
"We are going to find that monster that made itself look like our friend and end it." Jaune stated.
"We are going to disregard the headmaster's orders?" Ren asked.
"We have to, you don't want that thing coming after Nora again, do you?"
"NO." Ren snapped, uncharacteristically loud. He'd been edgy ever sense Nora had gotten hurt, worried about her.
"Sorry… I didn't mean..." Jaune said, feeling bad for upsetting his teammate.
"I know what you meant…" Ren sighed.
They returned to their dorm, finding Nora in the same place they left her, on the bed reading. Her leg in a cast and elevated with pillows. They sat together and hatched a plan.
"Alight, I think this will work, now all we have to do is figure out where to find them." Jaune nodded once the plan was laid out.
"Actually, I might know someone who can help with that." Ren admitted.
"Really?" Nora asked, surprised he'd know anyone with that sort of connection.
"Yeah, you remember those twin girls from my home town?"
"Oh, yeah… You dated one of them for a while…."
"Well, they work as bodyguards in one of the shadier clubs here in Vale… I'm sure they know someone."
"You know where that is?" Jaune asked.
"Yeah, let's go, It will be open by the time we get there." Ren nodded, standing and turning to kiss Nora before they left.
They got to the club a few hours later, it was dark out and they could hear music inside. As they approached the door though they heard screaming and people started running out in terror.
Rushing in they found the cause, down by the bar they saw Yang, she was beating the owner senseless as the twins rushed to his aid.
Jaune and his team remembered well that Yang had been reported dead in the Patch fire.
Without looking, Yang reached up and grabbed her hair, taking a fist full she yanked hard and in the same motion flung her head at the approaching girls. Both screamed, trying to deflect the horrifying missile. Yang's body went back to punching the motionless man.
The three Beacon students were stunned by the scene, needing time they didn't have to recover from it. Ren was the first to move, drawing his weapons and heading down the stairs as Yang dropped the dead man and stalked towards the terrified twins, retrieving her head along the way. They had fought Yang before and been beaten, now she seemed an indestructible monster.
Ren started firing at her as she put her head back on, she turned to look at him. Her eyes chilled him to the bone. One red and the other violet, both unfocused, empty, dead. He continued shooting so she changed her course, heading for him instead.
Pyrrha shifted her weapon to rifle form and started shooting from the top of the stairs, both she and Ren firing on the torso as her head did not seem to be in control.
Yang was only slowed by the force of the bullets, unfazed by the pain and damage they should have been inflicting. Ren had to start surrendering ground as she advanced, not stopping even though the hole in her chest was growing. Pyrrha shot Yang between the eyes, sending her head flying. Still she advanced, bringing her weapons to bear as she closed in on them.
Jaune finally snapped out of his own terrified stupor and drew his sword, charging the undead girl that had once been a friend. He screamed as he swung his sword in a complex series of movements, sending Yang's weapons out wide and then slashing through her body. By the time he was done Yang was covered in a spiderweb of cuts, her tendons and nerves severed, she fell back and rolled down the stairs to join her head on the floor, still staring blankly at the ceiling.
Ren put away his weapons as he headed over to the twins to make sure they were unharmed. He found them terrified but fine.
"OH, REN!" Miltia cried as she clung to him. "You came to save us!"
Ren pushed her back out to arms length. "No, I came to get information, you are just lucky I picked now to do it."
Miltia pouted but stepped back as Ren's team joined him.
"Well, considering you just saved our lives, what do you want to know?" Melanie asked.
"Where do we find the Red Reaper?" Ren asked.
"Oh… Well, acording to my boyfriend-" Melanie started.
"Who's in the White Fang." Miltia interjected.
"-they are using the abandoned underground city in the southeast."
"Terrible scroll reception out there." Miltia added again.
"Mountain Glenn…" Pyrrha noted.
"Can your boyfriend take us there?" Ren asked.
"I don't think he can risk it… You will have to find another way." Melanie shrugged.
Ren sighed then narrowed his eyes as both twins tensed, frightened. He and his team tuned to see Yang standing, putting her head back on, her wounds healed. She spotted them and started their way but paused when someone called out "Enough!"
She turned, heading back up the stairs. At the top, standing in the doorway and in turn in the shadows was the figured of a man. Yang walked up to him obediently and took his outstretched hand.
Pyrrha charged as they turned to leave, wanting answers. She raised her spear, ready to pin the man when he turned back to her and something stung her shoulder, suddenly the world was spinning and she found the floor rising up to meet her.
"PYRRHA!" Jaune cried, rushing over to his fallen partner and finding her unconscious, a tranquilizer dart in her shoulder. The mysterious man and undead Yang left during the ensuing chaos.
Other than being knocked out Pyrrha seemed okay so Jaune and Ren carried her back to Beacon while discussing how to get to Mountain Glenn. Pyrrha woke before they reached the dorms, groaning from the splitting headache.
"You alright?" Jaune asked worriedly.
"I.. will be… Did we catch them?"
"They got away.."
Pyrrha snarled at that, frustrated.
"We know where they are now though, we can head out tomorrow." Jaune offered.
"You think Yang is connected to the Red Reaper?" Ren asked.
"It would make sense… You saw the way she fought, we all saw how that Ruby thing fought…" Jaune pointed out.
"True." Ren and Pyrrha said together, thinking Jaune might be on to something.
They got back to their dorm to a worried Nora whose concern only deepened when she saw Pyrrha.
"You don't really want to know but we found out what we needed." Ren said, sitting next to his partner once Pyrrha was settled.
"This one is troublesome." Arvan noted to Ruby as she walked in to pick up her new pets.
"Oh?" Ruby asked, looking over the one he pointed to, which was Yang.
"Yes, she slipped out on her own to terrorize a nightclub." Arvan explained, half amused and half annoyed.
Ruby laughed. "Did she kill anyone?"
"A few at least."
"Good." Ruby purred, walking over to stroke her sister's face.
"The others are ready as well." Arvan noted and Cinder stepped into view, staring blankly just like Weiss and Blake.
"Wonderful, wonderful… Soon." Ruby smiled darkly.
She took her new pets back to the base, pleased with how responsive they had turned out, though they would only take orders from her and Arvan. They unnerved the faunus but most of the White Fang simply avoided the unnatural things.
The next day Pyrrha had recovered and after classes they waited for sundown to 'borrow' a bullhead. Nora had been frustrated that she couldn't go and was worried for her team, fearing she would never see them again. Ren promised he would be back for her.
They took the bullhead and flew out in the dark. Jaune didn't ask Pyrrha how she knew how to pilot one. They headed for Mountain Glenn with all speed. They landed the bullhead in an out of the way place and started searching for a way underground, fighting Grimm as they went, the things seemed to be everywhere. After hours of fighting they heard people talking and snuck that way.
Two members of the White Fang were walking patrol so Jaune and his two teammates followed them silently to see where they went. Once the two went in a door they waited a few minutes before following. Inside they found themselves standing at the top of a large building near the ceiling of the cave. They glanced around and not seeing the White Fange they snuck over to the edge and looked down. Below they could see a train and lots of activity as other White Fang moved about, getting things ready it seemed, but for what? Moving along the tracks Ren spotted a figure in a black cloak and pointed it out. "I think that's her."
Jaune nodded his agreement, there was a blond with very long hair following along as well as others. They all nodded and found a stairway down.
They also found White Fang.
Ruby was distracted from her conversation with Roman when she heard gunfire. She glanced the way it had come from and listened for a moment before recognizing the weapons making all the racket. Grinning Ruby started that way, her undead team following her and Roman at her side.
They got to the source to find the three students had fought their way to the ground level. Yang tensed behind her, sensing the threat and apparently having not forgotten her last encounter.
"Well, well, well. If it's not team JNPR come to visit." Ruby smiled, opening her arms wide and speaking in a welcoming fashion. The White Fang gladly slipped behind her lines while the students were distracted.
"What are you? You don't act like the other dead ones." Jaune asked, sounding brave but she knew him well enough to see he was afraid.
"What am I, you ask? Why, I am the one and only Red Reaper, the one your nightmares fear. I am the darkness that dwells within all of you."
"Then what are they?" Pyrrha demanded, motioning at the dead women.
"My pets." Ruby smiled darkly.
"Why do you look like Ruby?" Jaune asked, shifting his sword nervously in his hand and eyeing Roman suspiciously.
"Because, I am Ruby. At least, I was. I learned my true nature, and embraced it!"
They all took a step back, realizing how dangerous she was. Ren shook his head, more than a little unnerved by her. She laughed and waved her entire horde forward.
Jaune and his team, his entire team might have been able to fight off Ruby's team fairly but this time they were short a member and Ruby's team had a powerful ally, it didn't help that none of them registered pain and it took great amounts of damage just to slow them down.
Ruby and Roman both giggled and danced to the sound of screams as student's were brutally slaughtered. Neo giggled madly equally enjoying the orchestra of pain.
Mercury was sure he was going to throw up, staying closer to Adam, the only slightly normal person around anymore. Adam too, seemed unnerved by the scene.
Nora was beyond worried for her team, it had been three days and they had not returned. Ozpin had known what they had done and didn't even bother sending anyone to look, saying it was already too late and that they had done this to themselves. She had a horrible feeling and was sure he was right, something was just so wrong she felt it in her bones.
It surprised her when she heard her door creak open. She glanced up with her blurry, tear filled eyes to see Ren step into the room, Pyrrha and Jaune following him.
"You're alive!" She cried happily. "Oh, I was so worried!"
"Nora…" Ren smiled, his tone calm and even.
She didn't realize it held no emotion.
She wanted to hop up and run to them, hug Ren, she couldn't however, with her leg the way it was.
"Come here! Let me hug you, Ren!" Nora said, a new wave of tears falling.
Ren walked over and hugged her. She realized then something was wrong, he felt… off.
"Ren?" She asked nervously as Pyrrha closed the door.
"Yes?" He asked, pulling back just enough for her to see his face. his lips were turned up in a creepy grin and she realized his eyes were unfocused, empty, dead.
Just the way they had described Yang's as being.
"NO!" Nora screeched, trying to scramble away.
"I came back! Just like I promised, here for you!" Ren told her, his voice oddly toneless and dry.
Nora scrambled, screaming, trying to get away but Ren followed her, staying right on top of her. Her cries went unheard as the dorms across the hall and next door were empty. Nora fell from the bed, unable to stand and run, watching as Ren followed her. She was helpless, only able to hold her arms up in a feeble defense as he clawed at her with his nails, biting her, punching at her. She was trapped and unable to even manage fighting back, unable to bear the thought of hurting her friend.
His strength was unnatural and he wrenched her arms aside, digging his nails into her skin, burrowing his fingers in and ripping her chest open. She cried as she struggled. The person she loved more than anyone alive would be the one to end her life. He continued until she stopped screaming, stopped struggling.
Nora was coughing blood and the world was hazy when the attacks stopped. She felt Ren grab her by her hair and start dragging her.
No one had heard her, no one had come to help her. Her own team had been the ones to do this to her. Her breaths were ragged as they drug her outside, she tried to scream as they had gone down the stairs but this late at night no one would be awake to hear them dragging her and her raspy sobs. She was doomed.
They drug her out to the cliffs overlooking the city, she could see the stairs behind Beacon tower. It was pretty, she thought to herself. Everything went black for her then, her spirit crushed and her will faded, she gave up fighting to live. Her last breath caressed the air as the Bullhead Roman was piloting lowered enough to pick the four of them up.
Nora's body was dropped off with Arvan.
Ruby would now have all of Beacon's best first year students as her pets.
A/N: Heh... Heh.. Everybody's gonna yell at me.
I regret nothing.
I'm a horrible person.
Also, um, Editor2 is kinda dead at the moment, so please forgive any mistakes.
Yeah, it's almost time for our local con and they have gone into cosplay overdrive.