Prologue: Silver Trailer
"The stars shine on as hopes and dreams to some, but for others…they shine as so much more."
A silver jacket swayed in the breeze, covering a kneeling figure in the graveyard. One didn't have to be next to the silver-haired young man to know he was saying perhaps his last goodbye to loved ones. His face was like that of a charming young athlete, with the exception of a jagged scar that ran from his right brow to just above a black mustache. With a final sob he rose up to his feet, breathing in the cool breeze around him and feeling it blow over his round, furry ears. With the wind calming, his jacket rested to show a symbol of a bear paw and two ax-blades connected by a three-dotted line. Underneath it was nothing but a simple black wife-beater, partly exposing two tattoos on his chest; over the heart was bear paw with red slashes under the claws, and on the right was a howling wolf outlined by the shattered moon of Remnant. Today was the day the airships arrived to pick up the next wave of Beacon students, so he began his trek through the gold-hued forest to get to the docks.
Every step rang of crunching leaves and twigs, a giveaway to any Grimm. That's when he noticed a tree up ahead scarred with markings and raced to get a closer look; some Grimm in these woods were very territorial, especially the owl-like Strix or devilish Leedsons. He shuddered at the thought of the latter and readied his gauntlets, just in case. Looking around as he continued pushing through the forestry, he saw that the marking continued its presence for several acres until finally there were none. His ears continued to hear the crunching of the underbrush until he heard the unmistakable sound of a gun being cocked.
"That's far enough, mate," a deep, cockney voice called out from behind him as it continued, "Well look over here gents; we got ourselves another catch today!"
The jacketed young man then saw people making their way out from behind the trees in front of him. He counted at least twenty men, all armed with various weapons. 'Oh joy, thieves,' the loner thought flatly. One of the other men, a rat faunus armed with what looked like a machete/shotgun, piped up.
"Check his pockets for anything valuable, boss. Who knows what he's got in there?"
"Peter, do you always have to think small? He's got Dust around his belt, and he's armed. Those weapons would fetch a mighty nice price!" The leader scolded. His crew then started arguing about how much they were worth, and that's when the fuzzy pair of ears on the young man's head flattened. He slowly turned towards the thief-in-charge…he'd had enough.
"You guys want my gauntlets, eh?" he asked calmly.
The boss, a gorilla faunus holding a bulky assault rifle, simply nodded with the enthusiasm of a child, big grin and everything, He wasn't grinning for long though, as the bear-boy in front of him clocked him in the gut with an uppercut that sent him straight into the trees above. Turning his head, he could see the others charging at him with their weapons at the ready and he simply smirked.
"Well that's just too damned bad!" he smirked as he cracked his neck and ran towards the marauders. As the nearest one swung his broadsword, the shorter man parried with the blade on his gauntlet and planted the other in his jaw, satisfied with the crunching sound of shattered bone. Grabbing the agonized man, he threw him into two of his cohorts and delivered hooks and crosses to their exposed midsections before grabbing them by the skulls and slamming them face-first into the nearest tree. Turning to his left, he saw a pair of sai aiming towards his head and ducked as he kicked the goon's knee in, sending him flying into his companions with a second kick to the ribs.
Another squad of goons charged in behind one with a lance. Raising and aiming his fists at the lancer, he pressed on the exposed buttons under his index fingers, firing the cable-attached blades from their polls on his gauntlets and catching the lancer around the legs. With a tug of his arms he dragged the man down and began swinging him around like a meat flail at his fellow thieves. Swinging and hearing satisfying cracks after thuds after yelps, he released one cable and reeled in the other to land a vicious left hook and knock the lancer out. Reeling the second blade in, he looked around the area for signs of any more of the group. Nothing but twitching or unconscious would-be-thieves scattered amongst the forest.
"Are we done here?" he mocked, spreading his arms out with an air of irritation. He got his reply in the form of gunfire from the leaves above, dodging out of the cloud of bullets behind another tree.
"Ah, so you wanna play that game, eh?" he continued to jest as brought his gauntlets together, combining them into a bladed-crossbow, "Alright, let's play!"
The loner peeked around the corner and was quickly greeted with a hail of bullets. He hit the dust-cycle trigger and selected fire dust. 'They want to play hide-and-seek? That's adorable!' he thought in amusement. Leaping from cover, he went for automatic and sprayed the trees ahead of him with the explosive Dust-headed bolts. One by one the trees and surrounding bushes blew apart and scattered the band of thieves. He couldn't help but notice that someone was miss-
Leave it to the rat to sneak his way away from the fight and attempt to shoot the young traveler in the back. But the second his hand slid the shotgun's pump, the bear faunus dived for cover. Poking his head out, he could see the one named Pete was downright terrified.
"So Peter, how's your guys' health plans?" he asked, storming from cover to pulverize the bandit. The rat faunus yelled a mixedcry of desperation and ire as he unloaded every Dust-shell he could with terrible accuracy, either being blocked by the crossbow's bladed limbs or shot down by responding, semblance-aided bolts as the bear neared with cruel intent.
"Apparently it's great!" he shouted, swinging the front of his weapon to smack down the now-machete and simultaneously ramming the stock into the coward's face. But he didn't stop there as he threw an elbow into the rat's skull and dropped him like a stone. Bringing the butt-stock back up, the bear repeatedly slammed it into his face until he was a swollen, bruised lump with eyes. He felt himself getting deeply angered, both because of this "hold-up" and because this fight definitely grabbed the unwanted attention of any local Grimm.
Taking a moment to compose himself, he mused aloud to himself, "Now where was I? Oh right, the airship docks! Hopefully I'm not too-"
The bear faunus had been blindsided, his aura thankfully dulling most of the damage but it still hurt like hell. Looking in the direction the hit came from, he could see now that it was the ringleader, a morning star spinning in his hand for a second strike that connected as the bear was hazing in and out of control of his growing anger; now was not a good time to lose it and have his semblance ineffective.
"You're going to pay for this, you little shit-stain!" he roared as he began his assault swinging and connecting once more. But he didn't notice the silver gleam radiating from the young man's raging eyes. Thanks to his semblance, the young man refocused and could see that his hulking enemy was going for a backhand followed by another downward swipe of his morning-star by the way his feet and arms were positioning and the way the weapon was held …and he had just the counter. He hit the form-shift trigger, his crossbow changing into the form of a mighty ax; the Arktouros of his father's days.
As the chain began its arc, so did the effect of his hyperkinetic semblance. He pressed the trigger above the upper grip and spun the cylinder to Lightning Dust. He caught the man's bulky wrist, squeezing to hear him shout in pain swept before spinning him towards him and knocking the poorly-held weapons from his hand. Without a second's thought, he swept the brute's legs from underneath him and slammed his weapon down on his chest to plant him firmly into to the ground…all in almost one fluid movement.
But it was too late for the loner; the anger he had tried penning up had burst forth from his control and his eyes hazed with silver. As his foe twitched with sparks of electricity dancing around his body, the bear pounced on him, bringing Arktouros back to gauntlet form and pounding the giant thief into a screaming, bloody pulp. After a few seconds, his ears twitched at the sound of rustling wings and a very pungent smell, bringing him back from his malicious frenzy. He knew what was here, and he needed to leave yesterday.
"Why don't you just kill me?" coughed up the leader.
"Because I have an airship to catch, and you lot have a new guest who's starving for your attention," he growled in regained composure, and quickly dashed from the scene.
All his ears could hear were the scream-like roars of the Leedson, and the howls of terror from the bandit leader. Their echoes and the tombstones of his brother and mother reminded him of one thing as he tore through the golden forest: what comes around goes around, and when the time comes, he'll be ready for it.
Introducing the Mauler