I do not own RWBY, it belongs to Rooster Teeth. I do own the Original Characters though.
Here you all go! Chapter 1. Thank you all who gave in ideas for Ruby's Grimm name, and have decided on Silver Rose. I want to give a shout out though to Mata Nui, who gave me a beautiful sounding name for Ruby. Sorry I didn't use it, man, it just felt too… formal. Plus, I couldn't pronounce it. Still, great suggestion.
Reference in this one! See if you can find it!
THIS IS HAS BEEN EDITTED AND REWRITTEN FROM THE ORIGINAL DRAFT!
Chapter One: Close Calls
Four Years Later…
The Red Forest was a truly wondrous place.
A mountainous region where the trees always appear as if they are undergoing their autumn transformation and their leaves change colors and fall from the branch. But the trees of the Red Forest never seemed to run out of leaves, even in the winter months. Their branches shed and regrew leaves at an alarming rate.
And unlike other forests, its trees only bore red leaves, thus its name, the Red Forest.
But it is not just the leaves that are red. After countless years of falling to the forest floor, the red leaves have turned even the ground and grass crimson. The only breaks in the expanse of redness are the brown tree-trunks, scattered boulders, and the strange, bending path used by the Dustlings' metal snakes.
Such a snake was traveling it right now. It's black, boxy frame moved along the path with surprising speed, constantly making a bizarre chug-chug-chug noise and occasionally letting loose a funny wail-like sound.
Despite being of Dustling make, the snakes are rarely bothered by Grimm. Their speed surpassed all but the swiftest Grimm and its hard shell was difficult to penetrate. It was a waste of Grimm and energy to try and attack such things.
But today would be a different story.
The Dustlings used these snakes to transport themselves, supplies, weapons, and crystals over vast distances. They were strong, well-guarded, and fast. But they had one weakness. They were reliant on the path, without it they could not move.
So the Grimm had destroyed sections of the path further ahead.
It was from a high-up cliff looking over the destroyed pathway that the Overlord and its hybrid heir watched and waited for the snake to arrive with several other Grimm behind them.
It looked down at its heir… its daughter, as she stood by its side, eagerly awaiting the coming carnage with a fanged smile. Silver Rose had grown much over the past four years and would continue to do so as time went on.
The empty tooth sockets of her mask had begun to grow teeth. Though they were nothing more than round nubs right now, time would change them into dagger-like teeth. Her claws had lengthened and grown sharper, they were now about the length of her fingers before her change and twice as thick. The bony stubs along her arms had lost their dull tips and had become small spikes similar to quills.
But the most noteworthy change was her intellect.
Silver was very cunning and very smart, smarter than the oldest of its Grimm. She seemed to absorb everything the Overlord taught her like a sponge. She was inquisitive too, always curious and asking questions to better understand things. Like why the Grimm only attack Dustlings and not beasts.
She had asked the question several months ago, after she tried to pounce on a lone deer like she had seen hounds do to Dustlings. The Overlord caught her just as her feet left the ground, and her startled yelp spooked the deer into fleeing.
Silver had sensed the deer's soul and thought it similar to Dustlings. The Overlord told her that this was both false and true.
When the third shard struck the surface of the planet, and Dustlings came to be, the Dust that flaked off the shard during its descent from the heavens drifted down from the sky and unto the land like snow. It corrupted every beasts, twisting them from what they once were into what they are now. Some were twisted so much by the Dust they actually became Dustlings. Now Beastlings, none are aware of their true heritage, despite it often sprouting right out of them in the form of beastly appendages.
It told her that while beasts did have souls they were to be left alone. For it were the forms of the beasts that provided the Overlord with the inspiration for many of the first Grimm, such as the hounds, bears, and ravens.
As a reward for their unconscious contribution, the Overlord forbid the killing of any animal unless done so in self-defense. And over time, many animals became accustomed to the Grimm. They were still wary of them, of course, but would only become aggressive if Grimm encroached on their territory, or they felt threatened in some way.
Silver grew very depressed afterwards, ashamed that she had almost struck down one who provided her father with the inspiration for the bodies of the Grimm. She swore to never hurt an animal again.
The Overlord told her such an oath was naïve and stupid. It told her she was permitted to kill animals if they attacked her, and that for many centuries Dustlings used animals for a multitude of tasks, from beasts of burden to attack animals used to hunt Grimm. If they learned of her existence and that she would never harm an animal, they would use it against her.
At this, Silver became enraged. Furious that the Dustlings would use those who aided her father to do their dirty work.
Just another way for the Overlord to further plant the seeded desire to kill Dustlings in her mind.
She put that desire to good use. It was she who concocted the plan to destroy the metal snake's path after several months of observing the snakes moving back and forth on it. Noting how one stopped when a herd of animals stood on the path and the Dustlings had to scare them away with the snake's blaring whistle, instead of just going around them.
Bears were used to destroy the metal frames of the path, while the hounds positioned the ruined rails along the path to give the illusion they were still in working order.
That had been done an hour ago, and hundreds of Grimm were now hiding in the forest below, waiting for the moment to strike.
The Overlord had sent a freshly spawned raven ahead to spy upon the train and discern its contents. It took direct control of the raven, so that it could see and hear what it did.
The snake on the path was one of the… less guarded variants, designed to carry Dustlings between the two main nests on the continent with extraordinary speed, but lacked any true form of defense. The perfect target to test its daughter's new strategy.
Pleased with what it saw, the Overlord relinquished control of the raven and continued to wait.
It would not need wait long, as the telltale sound of the snake grew louder and louder. Its heir ran up to the edge of the cliff as to get a better view, and was soon followed by the Overlord, who put a hand on her head.
They watched with anticipation as the snake drew closer and closer to the trap, completely unaware of what was truly waiting for it.
The following devastation brought forth a swelling feeling of pride from within the Overlord's chest. A sense of pride it lets its daughter know and feel.
'Very good, little Rose, very good.' It praised, watching the scene play out. 'You have done well.'
The snake did not simply roll over to the side or crash into the ground as expected. Instead, its head went careening off to the side before being struck by the second segment. The third then smashed into the second, sending it spiraling off the tracks, while the two behind it sprang upwards in a triangle before crashing back down to the ground. One of the segments was torn completely in half when another segment pushed through its middle, revealing terrified Dustlings trying not to fall out.
Finally, the last of the segments crashed, and the brief moment of destruction ended. It was a complete and utter mess down there. Screams and shouts made by the Dustlings echoed through the forest. And as their despair and terror wafted into the air, the Overlord looked down at its giddy heir.
'Give the command, little Rose.' It told her. 'Let them feast on our enemies.'
She looked up at it with grateful eyes, then turned towards the ruined remains of the snake and let loose a shrieking roar that rivaled the mighty trumpeting call of a mammoth.
The Grimm shot out of the surrounding woods with howls and roars of their own. They fell upon the wreck with savage ferocity, taking the Dustlings completely by surprise. The screams intensified, but were no longer of despair, but of terror. The screams and roars became intermixed, and a cacophony of sound echoed through the crash site.
A serpent slivered one of its heads into a segment, flushing the Dustlings out and into the waiting jaws of the hounds on the other end. Bears were ripping open roofs and jumping inside segments, killing the Dustlings within. Some tried to flee, but they were run down by chargers and boars, whose speed far surpassed their own.
The amount of fear and panic that flowed in from them was invigorating. The Overlord was almost tempted to jump down there and join the slaughter. But it would not. It would wait till the majority of the Dustlings were dead before descending to the site with its heir. It could not risk survivors seeing them and escaping with the knowledge of their existence.
Speaking of its heir, Silver Rose was practically vibrating with excitement. The amount of negativity seemed almost too much for her to resist, she was using all her will just to keep herself in one place. She would need to learn more restraint if it took her this much concentration to not succumb to her Grimm instincts.
It placed a hand on her shoulder, squeezing it tightly but gently to remind her not to let her instincts get the better of her. It worked, if but a little. Silver still radiated anticipation and excitement, but at least she wasn't vibrating.
The Grimm completely covered the wreckage now. Any Dustlings left alive were either hiding, or barricaded in the few intact segments that had yet to be torn open. Satisfied, the Overlord motioned for them to make their way down and inspect the crash.
Its heir did not need much motivation and shot passed the Overlord like a bullet. It followed behind her at much more leisurely pace. It wasn't like the snake would be going anywhere soon.
As it walked down to the wreckage, the Overlord couldn't help but think of how much it had changed since the day of appointing Silver its heir.
Since the taking in of little Silver, it had found itself becoming more and more accustomed to her inherent Dustling nature.
The first year had been difficult for both sire and heir, as Silver Rose was plagued by terrors in her sleep. She'd wake up, screaming at the top of her lungs, and bolt to the Overlord's side, crying her eyes out.
At first, the Overlord simply ignored its heir's plight, assuming they'd go away. But the terrors stayed. Every time she placed her head down to rest, she did so with fearful reluctance. Every night she went to sleep, she was torn from her rest by nocturnal visions that confused and terrified her.
One night, she refused to detach herself from the Overlord's body, clinging to it like a tick. Eventually, the Overlord gave up on removing her, and just waited for her to fall asleep. But when she finally did succumb to exhaustion, it noticed something.
Not once did she stir from her slumber, not even a murmur escaped her lips.
Its presence seemed to bring her a sense of security that traveled into her dreams. This both mystified and confused the Overlord. Was it just its presence that forbid the terrors from encroaching on her sleeping mind, or was it simply having another being near her that did the trick?
It experimented, had her sleep with the Grimm, memorized the results and came to a conclusion. When she slept with the hounds she did not wake with fear, but neither was she quite. She'd whimper and moan in her slumber, tossing and turning uncomfortably.
The other Grimm had little effect on her. She'd only wake screaming as she had before.
Thankfully, as months passed, she began to experience the terrors with less and less frequency. She still slept mainly with the Overlord or the hounds, but from time to time would rest with the other Grimm.
Through this the Overlord found itself to be becoming more… gentle, with her. It would still chastise her when she performed poorly, but would always, as if by reflex, reassure her that she will do better next time.
It was odd, but seeing Silver Rose hurt, be it physically or emotionally, always brought something out in the Overlord. Something it had never experienced before in its long life. And in time, it realized what the feeling was.
It had grown attached to her.
At first, it was afraid of this. Had it grown soft because of her? Was it losing the killer edge that had kept it alive all these centuries? Was it a mistake to take her in as its heir? It didn't know.
But one look at Silver's beautiful eyes destroyed the doubts and erased the fears the Overlord held.
No… this was not something to be fearful of. It was something else…
The Overlord's reminiscing was brought to a grinding halt when the howl of a hound echoed from the wreck. It knew that howl, it was one that meant help was needed, that something was very wrong.
The Overlord's fire-red eyes widened with horror.
It had worked! It had worked! It had worked! It had worked!
Silver's plan was a complete success, and Father was so very pleased with her. The Dustling's metal snake had hit the destroyed rails and crashed just as she planned. The Grimm had slaughtered them with ruthless efficiency, and were now enjoying their well-earned reward of Dustling flesh and emotion.
Silver wanted to see the wreck up close, to witness the full extent of the damage caused by just a few out of place metal bars.
But most of all, Silver wanted to make a kill. A real kill.
The deaths in the crash were her doing, yes, but the majority of the casualties were inflicted by her father's Grimm, who swarmed the derailed transport like a horde of ravenous insects. And though it felt like she had killed, at the same time it felt like she hadn't.
Besides, there were bound to be a few stragglers still alive. The Grimm work fast, but have a tendency to miss a few things in their initial rush to kill.
When Silver finally reached the bottom, she was greeted by a bloody scene. Over-turned snake segments ripped open, puddles of blood staining the ground a deeper shade of crimson, the butchered bodies of Dustlings strewn about the area, and the creatures of Grimm feasting on them.
Silver always found it funny how even though they didn't need to eat, they did so anyway. She had asked her father why they did it, and he simply replied with, 'They like the taste'.
Perhaps she should try some. After all, her Dustling half required that she eat, drink, and rest, (albeit significantly less than a normal Dustling needed to) in order to survive, and the only food she could find were berries, nuts, fruits, the occasional dead animal, and whatever food her father had the Grimm loot from Dustling nests and caravans.
Silver loved her father, he was so very caring and generous to her. Not only would he make sure she was fed properly, but he would also soothe her when sleep terrors shook her from her slumber, and when the clothes she had first found herself in became too small for her, he wove for her a special outfit using his powers that would grow with her body.
And just as a Grimm's appearance changed with time, so too did the outfit.
Currently, it was colored black with a few red details here and there, and several armor plates. A sleeveless black blouse with an armored plate around the chest covered the top half of her body, while a frilly black and red skirt took its place underneath the blouse, and was held in place by a gray belt. Black leggings with shin and knee guards covered her legs, and blackened boots protected her feet.
The only article of clothing that Silver Rose wore besides this was the old, tattered, red cloak and hood that she had been found with. The edges were frayed, holes riddled it, and the material was worn and matted, but it still served its purpose.
Her father had taught her much over the years as well. Where the four major Dustling nests were located, how to properly feed off negative emotions, where a Dustling's body's weakest points were, how to command creatures of Grimm… the list went on.
And this devastation, this carnage inflicted upon the Dustlings was Silver's way of giving back.
She walked through the wreckage and bodies, her proud smile never leaving her face. She passed the feasting Grimm, who stopped to watch her pass before returning to their meals. The sound of a wailing Dustling babe could be heard from within one of the segments, before a hound ran inside and silenced it with an abrupt (and wet) crunch.
Unfazed by the act, Silver continued her stroll. When she had made it to the center of the disaster zone, she suddenly felt something underneath her foot. Looking down to see what it was, Silver was greeted by the upper half of a Dustling sprite. Its body had been cleaved in half, and only one arm remained attached to the torso. She grabbed it by its remaining limb and raised it high in the air for her to examine.
The expression on its face was of such dumbstruck shock that Silver couldn't help but giggle at it. It amazed her how easily they had been beaten, how they could only scream in terror as the Grimm descended on them.
She almost pitied them. They were so much weaker than her father made them out to be. He portrayed them as tenacious and resourceful survivors, who never gave in without a fight. But Silver had yet to see any evidence to support this clai-
Silver jumps to the side, (sprite body still in her grasp), narrowly dodging the piece of metal that had been swung at her by a surviving Dustling. It was a male, its body was covered with blood, bruises and cuts, the clothes were in tatters, and it breathed dry, wheezing breathes that betrayed its exhausted state. Yet it still stood there, brown eyes angrily narrowed at Silver as she returns it with a glare of her own and a challenging hiss. It let lose a roar and charged her again, metal club raised high.
She threw the sprite's corpse at it, sending the male crashing into the ground and knocking the makeshift weapon out of its hand. Not giving it a chance to recover, Silver leapt at the male with claws extended, only for it to kick her in the stomach and send her flying back several feet.
Silver groaned in pain, clutching her stomach with one claw as she stood back up. The Dustling had retrieved its weapon during her recovery and was now circling her. Silver was cautious as she circled it in turn. The Dustling seemed… off, different from ones she had seen before.
She shook her head to clear these thoughts. Now was not the time for pondering. A Dustling was a Dustling.
Silver then charges the Dustling abruptly with a scream, hoping her sudden attack might startle it and give her the advantage. Instead, it smoothly sidesteps to the left and smashes the metal against her head, sending her slamming into the ground.
Silver curled up in pain from the blow, clasping her oversized claws over her ringing ears as she clutched her head. She could hardly feel the black blood trickling down the side of her head. She looked up to see the Dustling male standing over her prone form, mocking her with calm arrogant eyes.
Silver would not stand for this. She was the daughter and heir of the mighty Overlord! Inheritor of the Grimm hordes, and future destroyer of Dustlings! She would not meet her end at the edge of some Dustling's metal stick!
Mustering her strength, Silver lashed out at the Dustling. It held a look of brief surprise as her blade-like claws sped towards its unprotected mid-section...
Only to harmlessly bounce off some unseen force.
Silver Rose's eyes went wide with fearful realization. She knew now why this Dustling felt so different. It was a Hunter, a Dustling trained to hunt and kill any and all Grimm it came upon.
Hunters were powerful beings. They wielded mighty, shape-shifting weapons and were capable of manifesting their souls and using them as weapons or shields to aid them in combat. They were the most hated of all Dustlings.
And Silver had made the mistake of underestimating one and was now paying the price.
It raised the piece of metal high above its head, intent on bashing her head open with it, when three hounds came out of nowhere and leapt at the Dustling. The Hunter jumped back to avoid their slashing claws. The hounds placed themselves between Silver and the Hunter, growling and roaring angrily at their mistress's attacker.
Two of the hounds rushed the Dustling, while the third let out a howl, alerting all the Grimm to close in on its location.
Within seconds, all the Grimm were converging on the scene, rushing towards the outnumbered Hunter with complete disregard for their own lives, only thinking of protecting their Mistress from this aggressor.
The serpent that had been among the attacking Grimm curled itself protectively around Silver, using its own body as a shield. As a result, Silver could not see what was happening, though she could still hear everything. The yells and grunts of the Hunter as it fought with her father's Grimm, the yelps and snarls of the hounds and chargers.
It went on for several minutes before the sounds of battle abruptly stopped. The serpent uncurled its body to reveal Silver's father holding the Dustling Hunter high in the air by its throat. The evaporating bodies of hounds and chargers littered the ground around them, their essence being absorbed back into their Overlord for later use.
The Dustling kicked its feet fruitlessly in the air, growling angrily at her father. Silver watched in awe as her father threw the Hunter hard against the ground, the sound of breaking bones reaching her ears, followed by a short scream of pain. A scream that was silenced, when the Overlord brought his mighty, bone-white mace down on the male's head.
He placed an armored boot on the still Dustling's shoulder, and wrenched the weapon free. Then, he turned his gaze on Silver.
'What made you think you were ready to challenge a Hunter, little Rose?' His deep, commanding voice boomed in her head. 'Did you think its wounds would slow it down?'
'I-I did not know, Father.' Silver admitted timidly. 'I thought it was just another Dustling-'
'Just another Dustling? Have you learned nothing from what I have taught you, child?' He growled angrily. 'Has this one victory made you think every Dustling is the same? That they are all so easy to kill?' He then points his mace at the dead Dustling. 'If this Hunter had its weapon, you'd be dead five times over!'
Silver looked down at her feet, ashamed that she had disappointed her father so much, and that she had let the success of her plan go to her head.
'Hubris is a fatal flaw, little Rose. One a leader must be free of if they are to lead properly.' He knelt down and gently tilted her chin up so she was looking into his eyes. 'You are my heir, Silver, the inheritor of the Grimm. But you are still very young. Too young to attempt to kill an adult Dustling by yourself, Hunter or not.'
'Yes, Daddy.' Silver apologized. 'I won't do it again.'
'Good.' He let go of her chin and stood back up. 'Now come, we're leaving.'
Dejected and depressed from disappointing her father, Silver followed after him with her head hung low. The Grimm returned to clearing out any remaining Dustlings, though a few hounds heeled at Silver's flanks, nuzzling their heads against hers in an attempt to lift their young mistress's spirits. One even took it upon itself to lick off the blood coating the side of her head with its slimy warm tongue.
Silver was very fond of the Grimm hounds, and had it been any other time, would have welcomed the affection with a smile. But her failure to kill the Dustling had dampened her mood too greatly for even the hounds to cheer her up.
She pushed their muzzles away and continued to follow her father back into the forest.
But as she walked behind her father, head looking down at the soiled earth, Silver noticed something in a puddle of blood.
A Dustling footprint.
A Dustling footprint accompanied by many more footprints that were all leading away from the crash.
'Father!' Silver called out urgently, prompting her father to look back. 'Look! Look!' She pointed franticly at the bloody footprints. He calmly walked over and knelt down to examine them.
Silver was now completely ashamed and terrified. The possibility that a Dustling had escaped put both her and her father at risk. If word got back to the Dustlings' nest they would send out countless Hunters to track them down and kill them. They would render the Grimm leaderless and unable to replenish their losses.
Because of her, her entire species may face extinction.
Tears formed in her eyes as she began to envision her life after this moment. Her father would forbid her from leaving his sight. He would hide her away in some forsaken cave guarded by thousands of Grimm, never to be let out until the Dustlings forgot all about them.
Which could take centuries!
She had failed. Failed to prove her worth. Failed the Grimm. And had failed her daddy!
*sniff* 'I'm sorry, Daddy.' Silver told him as tears trickled down her face. 'I'm sorry I failed you.'
He swiftly turns his head towards Silver, startling her. 'Do not say that, Silver.'
'Do not say that.' He repeated sternly, completely facing her now. 'You have not failed me, little Rose.'
'But I failed to recognize a Hunter, I failed to kill a single Dustling, and I failed to ensure all the Dustlings were killed!' She huffs as more tears slide down her cheeks and mucus fills her nose. 'With all this, how can you say I have not failed you!?'
The Overlord embraced his crying child, bringing her close to his chest. 'You have never failed me, little Rose.' He soothed, stroking the back of her head tenderly. 'You may have disappointed me for not recognizing the Hunter, and this survivor might someday complicate things for us, but this does not deem you a failure.
'You must understand, nothing ever goes exactly as desired, mistakes are inevitable. They are an inescapable aspect of life. And it is by learning from our mistakes that we grow stronger and wiser than we were before.'
He realeses her from his embrace and looks her in the eyes, his mighty hands placed on each of her shoulders. 'Do not worry yourself with the Dustling stray. From the tracks, it is only a sprite, and the entrance to their nest is several days away by foot. It will run into the ground before it reaches the nest.'
He then turns her around, so that she could once more view the aftermath of her plan. 'Look upon this sight, Silver. Look upon the death and destruction you have brought to the Dustlings. When they learn of what happened here, fear will spread through their nests like a plague. Panic will grip their souls, and rage will cloud their judgment.'
'I cannot see how such a beautiful display of cunning and brutality can be a failure.' He spoke with pride, wiping away the tears from her eyes, before standing up once more and extending his free hand to her. 'Come, little Rose. We have much to do.' Silver sniffed one more time before grasping his hand and heading back into the forest.
Father and daughter then entered into the wooded confines of the Red Forest, leaving feasting Grimm in their wake.
"Breaking News! A train traveling from Vacuo to Vale was discovered today, derailed and destroyed on the tracks of the Forever Falls railway. The train had been scheduled to arrive in Vale three days ago, but when it failed to arrive on time, the manager of the station grew concerned. After several hours of waiting, the manager contacted the VPD, who sent out a search party, accompanied by a Huntsman, the following day."
"Soon after setting out, they came upon a young boy. He was exhausted and dehydrated, but otherwise alive. The Huntsman ordered members of the search party to take the boy back to be treated, while the rest continued their search for the missing train. The boy is now resting Vale General Hospital and doctors say he will make a full recovery."
"When the party arrived on the scene, they found a nightmarish sight. Destroyed train cars littered the area, bodies covered the ground, and Grimm were everywhere."
"One officer, described it as a massacre, torn straight from the annuls of history. When mankind was completely helpless against the creatures of Grimm, without Dust or Huntsman to protect us."
"When the Grimm had been cleared out, VPD officers were able to determine the cause of the incident was that the train tracks had been damaged somehow. Bent and out of place rails along the track left little room for doubt in the minds of all who were present."
"Sadly, it appears all aboard the train were killed when-"
"Wait, hang on. I'm getting reports that similar accidents are happening all over Remnant! Several trains have been found derailed outside of Atlas, and another just hours after leaving station in Mistral."
"We are also getting reports that Grimm are being found in large numbers at each crash site. Leading some to speculate that the Grimm are responsible for these accidents. However, we are unable to confirm this at this time..."
Nine Years Later…
The cemetery was a little more occupied than usual today. Families and friends visiting the graves of their loved ones, paying their respects.
The reason for the surplus of visitors was that it was the anniversary of the Forever Falls' train wreck.
The wreck claimed the lives of hundreds of men, women and children. Innocent people, visiting from Vacuo, who preferred a more scenic route than the faster airships and boats provided. Sadly, it was this preference for scenery over efficiency and safety that sealed their doomed.
He could still remember the screams, the crashing, the train car rolling around like a dropped can of soda, the people bouncing around inside it like rubber balls.
And the scream…
That terrible scream.
He remembered the scream most of all. The scream was the signal.
The signal for the Grimm to move in.
No one believed him, of course. They all just marked it up as some hallucination he experienced due to the trauma of the whole event. They kept telling him it wasn't the Grimm who derailed the train. Instead, they just chalked it up as an accident, a tragic accident that should never have happened, but an accident nonetheless.
Their opinion changed during the following weeks, when more trains were found derailed and the wrecks covered with Grimm. The kingdoms eventually realized that the Grimm were responsible, but instead of investigating how the Grimm figured out how to derail trains, they just rebuilt the train tracks on raised platforms to keep them out of reach.
The official story was that several experienced Grimm had coincidently found out how to derail train tracks in quick succession to each other.
He knew it wasn't that simple, though.
There were far too many Grimm waiting for them for it to be an accident. It was too coordinated. He had watched from the inside of their train car as creeps and boarbatusks ran down anyone who tried to escape.
It was only by some strange stroke of luck that he survived. Luck, and his father's sacrifice.
His father had been a great man, a Huntsman who protected people with little regard to his own safety. He taught him how to shoot when he was seven, and how to maintain a weapon at five.
All he had of him now was the stetson hat he wore and his Huntsman weapon, Red Redemption.
His father had given them both to him right before telling him to run, run and never look back. He did what he was told, he ran out with Redemption in his hands, ready to blast any Grimm that got in his way.
Only to see them run right on past him.
He couldn't fathom this behavior then, (or now), as he was too busy running for his life. And boy did he run. He couldn't do anything but run, his mind too horrified by the possibility that as soon as he stopped, the Grimm would pounce on him.
He was so caught up with running, he didn't even notice the bullheads flying above him till the Huntsman jumped down in front of him, and even then it took some effort to stop him.
The next thing he knew, he was in a hospital bed with his grandfather sitting next to him.
That was nine years ago.
Since then, he's lived with his grandfather in Vale, enrolled at Signal academy, and been accepted into Beacon. He was the leader of team RWBY, which consisted of himself and three girls. Yang Xiao Long, Blake Belladonna, and Weiss Schnee.
They were all back on campus though, enjoying the weekend with their neighbors, team JNPR. He didn't tell them where he was going, or that he even left. He just placed a note on the door saying, 'Visiting family. Be back later. Rojo Toro.'
They didn't need to know the details.
As he walked the trail he'd walked countless times before to reach their graves, he could see the silhouette of a man up ahead.
It was Papi.
Papi was in great shape for someone his age. Standing as straight as he could, he was tall for a man his age, and still had all his hair on his head. At first glance, the eighty-year-old man looked sixty-five.
"You're late, Rojo." He said disapprovingly, not taking his eyes off the graves. "You shouldn't keep them waiting. It's disrespectful."
Rojo offered an apologetic smile. "Sorry, Papi." He reached into his burgundy duster and brought out a small bouquet of roses. "I thought Mama might like some flowers, so I bought some on the way."
Papi turns his head slowly to face Rojo, careful not to push himself. "That's good, then." He says with a tired smile. "Rosa will like those. She always liked flowers."
Rojo nods and places the roses on his mother's grave. Lowering them with so much care, one might think they would shatter if dropped. Once the flowers are placed, Rojo kneels down, takes off his hat, and looks at his parents' resting place.
"Hi Papa, Mama. It's me, Rojo." Not even a minute into talking with them, and was already tearing up. "I miss you both a lot, Papi's been doing good, and the garden is looking great." He stops for a moment to try and collect himself.
"I, uh… I got accepted into Beacon. Sorry I didn't come down earlier to tell you the news. I've been really busy with studying and homework." He pauses again, trying to put his words together. "My team is team RWBY. I'm actually the leader, if you can believe it. Guess I really impressed the headmaster, huh.
"I'm the only guy, though. My teammates are all girls." Rojo cracks a weak smile, thinking about his parents' reactions to the news. "Don't worry, Mama, I always knock and put the seat down. And I don't peek either."
Rojo goes quiet again. "They… they're all real nice girls. Their names are Yang, Blake, and Weiss… If you don't mind, I'd like them to meet you someday." He turns to look up at Papi. "Do you think they'd mind?"
Papi smiles down at Rojo mischievously. "Course they wouldn't mind, Rojo. Your papa's probably grinning ear to ear right now. His little boy with a bunch of ladies." He chuckled a bit at the end, prompting Rojo to chuckle too.
"Hehe, yea…" He turns back to his parents, a small smile on his face. "I'll bring them over during the first break then. You're gonna love them, trust me."
The smile on his face contorts back into a sad frown. "I miss you." He repeats. "I miss you both a whole lot. Not a day goes by when I'm not thinking of you."
He pulls Red Redemption out of its holster on his back and holds it out in both hands, as if to make it an offering. "I'm gonna become what you were, Papa. I'm gonna protect people, gonna make the world a safer place, I swear."
Tears start to roll down his cheeks as he clenches the rifle in his hands. "I'm not gonna let any more kids become orphans." He hiccups, barely able to contain his grief and sorrow.
Rojo feels a strong hand on his shoulder. He looks up to see Papi, tears streaming down his face too. He looks down at Rojo, who stands up and embraces his grandfather.
The two then both break down, lamenting their grief through wails and sobs.
'I'm gonna find the Grimm who took you from me.' Rojo swears to himself, as he continues to cry into his grandfather's shoulder. 'I'm gonna find it, and I'm gonna kill it!'
Author's Note: Annd Done! Man this one went through a good deal of rewrites, let me tell ya. The last part was the hardest, I couldn't think of a good way to link them for a while, but when it did I got it down on paper! Red Redemption looks a lot like the La Longue Carbine from Fallout New Vegas. It doesn't have a collapsible frame or alternate mode, it's a classic like Juane's. He does have a combat knife though.
Also, Rojo is visiting their graves during volume 1, in case that confused a few people.
The Overlord's names for the Grimm
King Taijitu: Serpent/snake
Death Stalker: Scorpion
As always: Please Fav, Follow, and Review! Thank You!