I do not own RWBY. I do however own the Original Characters.
IMPORTANT NOTICE! READ BEFORE READING THE CHAPTER!
Hello everyone. I'm going to level with you. I didn't write most of this chapter. ExecutorDragon, aka DragonBlitz87, was the one to finish it. I only wrote the first scene. Why you may ask? Because I have absolutely no drive to continue writing Grimm Heir. I have considered simply cancelling this fic several times, but Dragon talked me out of it. So, this is what's going to go down. I am NOT writing this story anymore. I am giving creative control over to Dragon. Some of you may be sad to hear that I won't be writing any of Grimm Heir anymore, but I honestly just can't bring myself to do it. Not anymore. This story began because I was enraptured by RWBY and the possibilities within its universe, but I no longer feel that way. I hope you can understand.
Chapter Forty: Storm Over Vale
"Alright, you're full! Get them out of here!" The Atlesian soldier slammed the Bullhead's side door closed before either of the pilots could respond. He banged his fist against its hull twice and within seconds the aircraft carrying over a dozen scared civilians was rising up into the air, freeing up the space for another Bullhead to land and take on another load of people. As the door slid open, the soldier's voice was nearly swallowed by the loud hum of the Bullhead's idling engines. "Okay, next group! Move up!"
As the next group of frightened civilians made for the Bullhead, Rojo and a few of the Atlas robots opened fire on an approaching nevermore. Graciously, it was far from the biggest one Rojo had seen today. The Knights hit the Grimm with controlled bursts from their ETM rifles, staggering the nevermore and drawing its attention, but not outright killing it. Rojo corrected that when the monster turned to glare at them, firing off a round from Red Redemption that struck the nevermore right in the eye before traveling through whatever Grimm had in place of brains.
Lowering the rifle for a moment, Rojo narrowed his eyes as he scanned the airfield. By either luck or incredible foresight, Vale's airport had not been in the path of the main Grimm swarm, allowing Atlas forces to quickly convert it into a major evacuation center. Rojo watched as more aircraft took off and made for the rendezvous point on Patch Island. Most of the transports were Bullheads, but larger sky-ferries could also be seen, taking on hundreds of people at a time, before slowly ascending into the sky.
Rojo had managed to get Papi and others onto one of the ferries, after he agreed to stay behind and help hold off the Grimm. Papi had demanded the soldiers let Rojo on with them, slinging all kinds of creative curses at them as he did so. Thankfully, that was the extent of his defiance. Rojo promised the old gardener that they would see each other again, and that had quieted him down enough to let Eddy wheel him up the ramp with no complaints. When Lily started to cry, the young sharpshooter promised her he would see her again.
As the Knights turned to face another approaching pack of Grimm, Rojo prayed he hadn't lied to her.
As he took aim at the speeding pack of creeps and beowolves, Rojo felt something vibrate in his pocket. The ringing of his Scroll followed a moment later, but he ignored it, keeping his focus on the Grimm. The Knights took out most of the pack while Rojo managed to headshot five of the larger ones. Were that Red Redemption could hold more than eight bullets at a time. The Scroll continued ringing.
Rojo considered letting the call go unanswered. Who would be trying to call him right now, during all of this? However, that same reasoning was what ultimately made the sharpshooter give in and answer the call. If someone was trying to call him now, then it had to be for a good reason.
Rojo fished the device out of his pocket and checked the screen. His eyes went wide. It was Weiss. In the chaos and confusion of the last few hours, Rojo had completely forgotten about his team back in Beacon. Worry, concern, and guilt came rushing back into him as he hit the answer button and brought the Scroll to his ear.
"Rojo!?" At hearing her voice, Rojo let out a breath he hadn't realized he'd been holding in. "Thank goodness you're still alive! Where are you!? Are you alright!? Are you still in Vale!?"
"I'm fine! I'm at the Vale airport helping with the evacuation," As he talked, he looked towards Beacon, its proud tower haloed by hundreds of swarming black shapes. "What about you guys? You're not still at Beacon, are you?"
"No, we're fine. We're on the emergency escape shuttles right now, heading for Patch." Thank god for that, Rojo thought, relieved to hear his team had made it out. "But Rojo… she's gone!"
His relief gave way to worried confusion at those panicked words. "Wait, what are you talking about? Who's gone?"
"Yang!" The Schnee Heiress cried, borderline hysterical. "She's gone! Just when we reached the auditorium and heard that… that scream, she turned around and ran off!" Rojo's grip on the Scroll tightened at the mention of the scream. "We… Rojo, I think she's going after that Grimm girl! Please, you have to find her before she gets herself killed!"
Rojo was still for a long moment, a hundred different emotions roiling around inside his stomach.
Then another pack of Grimm was sighted and he cursed.
The Knights were already firing by the time Rojo had managed to pocket his Scroll and bring his rifle up. Three shots rang out from Red Redemption, two of them killing a creep and a boarbatusk while the third glanced off the thick carapace of a furious ursa major. The Alpha Grimm barreled through the small arms fire of the Knights, soaking up the damage like a sponge. It crashed into the squad of Knights, crushing a pair of Knights beneath its forepaws while the rest were sent flying. The nearby civilians screamed in terror. Some ran off further down the airstrip while others tried push their way onto the waiting Bullhead.
Sensing their fear and panic, the ursa turned to the crowd of people, its large tongue running along its teeth in anticipation of the slaughter before it. Rojo wouldn't give it the chance. Just as the beast took its first step toward the crowd, he drew his combat knife and threw it. The blade struck the monster in its exposed cheek, causing it to rear up onto its hindlegs in surprise and pain. Running now, Rojo gripped Red Redemption by its barrel, brandishing the rifle like a club before swinging it across the backside of the ursa's right knee. Unbalanced, the Grimm toppled to its side. By now, the remaining Knights had recovered from the charge and were laying into the down Grimm, firing almost point blank into it. The ursa's carapace cracked and splintered under the barrage, before the beast finally stilled and disintegrated.
The Grimm's death calmed the crowd, if only a little. It took several, painful long minutes for the Atlesian soldiers to get everyone back under control. During this, Rojo retrieved his knife and reloaded Red Redemption. He then pulled his Scroll back out; Weiss' frantic and frightened voice audible long before he brought it to his ear.
"ROJO!? ROJO!? ARE YOU STILL THERE!? WHAT'S GOING ON!? ROJO!?"
"I'm here!" He shouted back; his temper short from all the adrenaline coursing through his veins. He took a deep breath, trying to steady the drumming of his heart. "I'm still here Weiss," he said, less angry this time, "and I'm sorry, but I can't go after Yang."
"What!? B-b-but Rojo-!"
"But nothing!" He interrupted firmly. "We've got hundreds of civilians out here, Weiss, all of them scared out of their damn minds with just barely enough men to keep them safe from the largest Grimm attack in history! If I go now, they're as good as dead!" Rojo regarded the burning city around him with a scowl, his grip on Red Redemption tight. "I'm not trading their lives to save hers."
"Are you hearing yourself right now!? Rojo, she's our teammate! Our friend! If it were you out there, she wouldn't hesitate to -"
"If I was out there, I'd expect all of you to do the same as me," he barked back, his reprimand causing some of the civilians to turn their heads his way. "Our duty is to the people first and ourselves second! It's our job as Huntsmen to protect them from stuff like this from ever happening! We fight the monster so they can live in peace. Or have you forgotten that!?"
"… … …"
Her silence was answer enough for Rojo. "This is what we trained for, Weiss. This is what being a Huntsmen is about." He turned to regard the press of civilians still clamoring to get aboard the Bullhead. He watched a woman hold out her infant son to the solider at the front, begging him to take the baby. "I hope you and the others make it to Patch. Stay safe."
Weiss started to say something, but Rojo canceled the call before she got the first word out. He didn't want to argue with her, not now. He pocketed the Scroll and turned his attention back to the task at hand. The Grimm attacked again, then again, and again. He managed to keep them off the civilians… for the most part. But as he fought, as he fired round after round into charging Grimm, as he watched each Bullhead take off and land, Weiss' words rang in his head.
She's our teammate!
Time dragged on; the frequency of Grimm attacks started to lessen, allowing more people to get out. Rojo didn't question this, however, didn't think to ask why the Grimm were easing up on them. His mind was elsewhere.
She's our friend!
Before he knew it, the evacuation was almost done. The crowd of people was now just a small group, eagerly boarding the last Bullhead. The solider gestured for Rojo to come aboard, but as the young sharpshooter started running for the transport, he stopped, and looked out toward the burning city. The solider was yelling now, but his words were muffled, like something was blocking them from reaching his ears.
If it were you out there, she wouldn't hesitate!
Rojo looked back to the Atlesian solider, still desperately gesturing for Rojo to get on, his voice suddenly loud and clear as he shouted toward the young man.
"Come on, kid! We got to go! What the hell are you waiting for!?"
Rojo didn't answer. Instead, he turned on his heel and headed back into the burning city, agitated resolve clear upon his face.
He heard the solider shout after him for a while longer after that, before he was replaced by the roar of the Bullhead's twin turbines as the aircraft made its way to safety.
While Rojo ran straight back into the jaws of hell…
"Two more Nevermores, inbound!"
"I've got one on my tail!"
"There's too many!"
"Where are they all coming from?!"
"This is blockade two-four, we can't hold out any longer!"
"I'm hit! We're going dow-KRSH!"
"Where's our backup?!"
Captain Buck Hollow, continued to listen to the chaotic radio chatter while he simply stared out of the bridge of his battleship, Blue 4. In all of his years in service to the Atlas Navy, he had never seen anything like this. It didn't matter how many Grimm they killed, for every one killed, five more just took their place. The skies were pitch black with the amount of Grimm.
It was like something ripped out of a nightmare, only no one was waking up.
As it was now, they were barely holding out. The captain knew they couldn't hold out for much longer, but the evacuations were only forty-two percent complete. There were still plenty of people still in Vale. The calls for help came in faster than they could respond too. He just hopes that the General would make a decision soon, otherwise Blue 4 might be going down in-.
"Attention all units, attention all units," Buck heard General Ironwood's voice over the rest of the radio chatter, "We are pulling out in five minutes, repeat, five minutes. Keep as many of the Grimm distracted until then. The civilian transports need every minute."
Once Ironwood's voice cut out, Buck checked his watch. It was 19;30 hours on the nose. He started his mental timer. Once the timer ran out, they would have to leave and leave whoever was still in Vale to their fate. He still couldn't believe that this was happening. But he won't let his crew see him panic. For if they did, all hope would truly be lost for the battleship.
Still, one question burned in the back of Buck's mind, as he watched a flaming Atlas battleship begin to fall from the sky, its guns blazing and firing into the flying horde of monsters.
Were they really going to lose to these filthy, mindless beasts?
A violent lurch that shook Blue 4 answered his question.
"Damage report!" Buck yells, while the vessel shook again.
One of his crew members was about to shout a response, but then a different deck hand screamed, "Captain, on the bow!" terror was clear in her voice.
Looking to the bow of Blue 4 though the bridge windows, Buck saw something that made his blood run cold. There, on the tip bow of Blue 4, surrounded by black smoke and red flames, was a Creature of Grimm unlike any he had seen before.
It stood upright like a human, but was far too big to be anything like a human. It was at least ten or twelve feet tall and was clad in a black, fur cape, concealing its body from view. Burning red eyes, seething with loathing for whatever its gaze met, locked onto the bridge before it. Buck could feel its gaze land on him, almost like its gaze could pierce through him and burn him alive at any moment. Two long and tall horns curved upward atop of its head. But before he could study the Grimm in greater detail, it burst into motion.
It charged along the nose of the Atlas battleship with heavy footfalls which shook the whole ship. The Grimm made its way over to the windows of the bridge and brought out a deadly looking mace from underneath its cape. Buck reached for his gun, while ordering his deck hands to do the same. This proved both a wise and fatal mistake all rolled into one. For the second the Grimm smashed its way through the crash-proof windows, the beast started to swing wildly, killing anyone within reach of its mace.
It crushed consoles and turned deck hands into bloody confetti, body parts sprayed everywhere, their Auras smashed through completely. The few who managed to open fire with their guns only proved that it was a worthless endeavor. As the rounds either bounced off its unseen armor or the Grimm simply ignored it.
Buck fired his side arm pistol in hopes to gain its attention, which did work. But only when the Grimm turned its powerful gaze to him did the captain finally realize that it was a huge mistake. And while the Grimm brought its mace up over its head, Buck didn't even bother to scream in horror or roar in defiance.
It was pointless to.
The Overlord swung its mace down onto the Dustling with full force, leaving its bloody entrails splattered across the floor of the large metal bird.
With the creature dealt with, the Overlord turns its attention to the interior of the metal bird itself. Various windows line the inside, giving a good view of the world outside. But the Overlord did not dwell on the subject for too long. It needed to destroy the metal bird as quickly as possible and get back to searching for Silver in the nest.
A sudden screech that sounded like a battle cry made the Overlord turn to look at the source.
Flying toward the metal bird that resembled something like a charge was that large draconic Grimm. It saw the beast upon arriving within the confines of the Dustling nest. The Grimm was charging the metal bird in hopes to destroy the machine. It needed to leave, now!
With a growl of fury, the Overlord ran out the same way it came in. Once clear from the interior of the metal bird, the Overlord made for the edge and leaped, quickly allowing itself to fall to the ground below. Any Grimm not belonging to it were smashed in the skull plate as it fell. Behind it, it could hear the large metal bird destroyed by the large aviant Grimm, followed by an explosion. As the ground closed in, the Overlord ordered a nearby great raven to do a fly by below it.
The giant, black raven swooped in from the left side of the Overlord. The king stretched its armored gauntlet out to catch a hold of the raven. The second the clawed fingers touched the raven's feathers, it gripped onto it with great strength while the raven pulled up out of the swooping dive. The Overlord quickly got onto the great raven's back and ordered more ravens and eagle-lions to gather around it to cover it. With that done, the Overlord of Grimm simply looked below it at the nest in flames.
It was a beautiful sight in many ways. Stone streets and buildings were in flames, the fires reaching high into the air and smoke belching, casting long shadows across the land. With the sun long since set, the glow was all the more sinister. But it's getting distracted. The Overlord needs to find its daughter and ensure her safety at once. Reaching out with its mind, the Overlord finds Pup's mind and starts communicating with the hybrid.
'Pup, do you have Silver's scent?'
The Overlord could feel the response from the hybrid canine. He has her scent. And was closing in on her position. Good.
'Reach her, Pup. And keep her safe until I get there.'
It didn't receive any confirmation, but it knew Pup would not allow anything to happen to his motherly figure. The Overlord did, however, start tracking Pup's movements in order to follow his lead. Despite sensing that Pup was injured in a way, the hybrid was somehow even faster than before. But the Overlord chose to ignore this for the time being. All it meant now was that Pup would reach Silver all the quicker.
It ordered the flock of ravens and eagle-lions to start flying in the general direction of Pup's heading. It will be upon them soon and will take Silver back to the Gulch (now a Tower). Nearly upon them, it hears Pup give out a howl and feel his gaze fall upon the Overlord itself. When it was close enough, it reached out to Silver's mind and touched it.
'Silver…' it said to her.
It was expecting her to race to it with excitement clear in her emotions. Like a Dustling sprite happy to see their parents. However, that was not the emotions it was sensing from its heir at all. It was a jumbled mess of emotions.
Shame, joy, fear, happiness, and most of all... self-loathing.
But why? Why was she giving off such mixed emotions?
The moment the raven caring it landed, Silver took a small step back. The action surprised the Overlord. She looked about ready to flee. More than that, she was on the verge of tears by the looks of it. And these were not tears of joy. The moment the Overlord dismounted, Silver's eyes started watering, streams trailing down her pale, white cheeks. Not expecting the reaction, the Overlord could only stand there in shock.
'... my fault…'
The words from Silver were hollow, almost like a whisper in the wind. The Overlord blinked in confusion.
'It's my fault that all this happened.' Silver clarified.
'If I had just listened,' she was trying to keep herself composed, 'if I had just obeyed your orders to return to the Gulch,' but despite her efforts, she could not hold back her tears, 'if I had not done anything that was against your wishes, then none… none of this would have ever happened…' she took a moment to regain herself, 'I just… I couldn't come home to you as a failure!' her word echoed in the Overlord's mind.
Its eyes widened while Silver continued her rambling.
'If I had not enthralled that stupid Beastling! If I had just stuck with the plan! If I had only done as you had wished! Then you wouldn't be disappointed in me! And I… and I... '
At last, she could not contain her emotions anymore and let it all out with one sorrowful wail. The sound was like that of a dying animal, defining its fate right up to the bitter end. It was so haunting and pitiful to the ear, that even the mighty Overlord took a small step away from it. And when the wail was done, all that was left was the sound of a sobbing sprite.
Then Silver started using her voice than her thoughts, "I'm sorry! I'm-I'm so sorry! Please… please don't hate me!" her voice echoed throughout the broken streets of the nest while her crying didn't stop. She collapsed and fell to her hands and knees while the crying continued.
Finally, all the mixed emotions have settled onto one continuous one. Guilt.
Throughout its eons of living, the Overlord has rarely, if ever, felt the emotion of guilt from any Dustling or Beastling. In all of its life, it has only seen it twice, both were recently as well. Here, and back in that snowy forest four-teen years ago, when it fought the White Cloak. As the White Cloak was dying, guilt flooded her whole being as she wailed, just like Silver did. For what reason, to this day the Overlord still does not know.
But whatever the reason, when the guilt overwhelmed the White Cloak, the Overlord, for the first time in its time since it began this war with the Dustlings, felt something it never thought it would feel.
Pity. It pitied the poor, dying creature that was overcome with guilt.
From all the emotions that the Overlord had felt in its time in this world, the emotion of guilt left a foul taste in its maw. And it never wanted to feel it ever again as long as it lived. But now, here was its little Silver Rose, radiating the same emotion it did not want to feel ever again.
Had she been carrying this guilt with her this whole time since that conversation? Had its words truly broken her to the point of such emotions? Had the Overlord made a critical error in its decision to reprimand her like it had?
The Overlord closed its eyes and heaved a heavy sigh. It was too late to undo the past; all it could do for now was to help heal the wound somehow. Reopening its eyes, the Overlord moved forward a single step. As the king moved toward its heir, the child continued to belittle herself with her voice.
"Please, father… remove me from my position of heir to the Grimm…" she said, her voice full of despair, "I am no longer… worthy of being at your side…"
No… that's not true.
"I am a failure as an heir…"
No, she's wrong.
"I don't deserve the air that I breathe…"
That isn't true!
"Please, daddy…" the tears were still flowing down her face as the Overlord came to a stop in front of her, just a foot away, "Disown me… as your daughter…"
Finally, she was finished with her verbal-self-abuse and looked up to her father, the Overlord of Grimm, her eyes puffy and tears streaming down her face like rivers. The flames from the buildings around them gave her face a pale glow, her emotions reached their peak and beyond. Having laid her feelings bare to her father, she had said all she wanted to say.
The Overlord stood there for a brief moment, unmoving at all…
Then, with careful slowness, the Overlord bent down to her level…
And pulled her into a gentle embrace.
Compared to itself, the Overlord's daughter was cold, it guesses from lack of eating or drinking properly for the last few days, though it didn't know for sure. But none of that mattered now. All it cared about at that point in time was comforting its heir and then bringing her home. But more than anything, it must tell her that she is not a failure and that it will never disown her for any reason. Ever.
'Silver.' It said to her mind in a calming voice, while pulling back to look her in the eyes. She was still hiccupping slightly, but she was beginning to calm down. 'I want you to know something important…'
It noted that she tensed up and looked back to the ground where she sat. She waited for a moment before the Overlord spoke again.
'I will never disown you from my side.'
When she heard those words, she looked back up at her father in shock, confusion clear on her teary-eyed face.
Seeing her confusion, the Overlord elaborated, 'Silver, I have made more mistakes in my life then I even bother to count anymore. Every creature in this world has made a miscalculation, an error in judgment.' It rubs its armored-clawed thumb against her cheek to whip away the tears, 'But to this day, I do not think that taking you in was a lapse in judgment.'
Hearing this, Silver's guilty emotions started to slowly, but surely, fade away, as the Overlord continued on.
'You made a mistake. We all have.' It says with a reassuring smile upon its maw, 'Also, I couldn't care less about any of that right now.' Silver's eyes had finally stopped watering, telling the Overlord that this was working, 'All I do care about right now, is taking you home with me.' It said, 'Once there, we'll talk this out in greater detail. But I also want you to know one important thing, Silver.'
Silver was silent as she waited for her father to continue.
It took a moment, for the Overlord actually didn't think that far ahead of its own words for once. Then, it remembered something Silver told it years ago, back when she was exiled to the far north, across the sea. It was only three words, and the Overlord still did not fully understand what they meant, and most likely never will, but the words seemed appropriate for this moment.
It looks at its heir with the humblest expression it could muster.
'I… I love y-.'
The enraged growl from Pup put both the king and its heir on edge, both tensing up and the Overlord reached out with its senses to feel for the threat.
Did more of the witch's Grimm arrive to attack them?
How careless! It should be more aware out here at the moment then to let itself get caught up with-.
"Get the Fuck away from her… Monster…" a venomous voice ordered.
The Overlord glared ahead without turning to look at the owner of the voice. This was no enemy Grimm it was feeling, this anger was not from a Grimm at all. It was a Dustling. And judging by Pup's reaction to it, the Overlord had a fair idea 'who' it was.
Slowly, the king of Grimm turned to glare back at the Dustling.
Sure enough, standing there, almost radiating flames off of its golden mane, with fiery-red eyes staring at it with wrath that seemed to match its own was a target they had been trying to kill for months…