A/N: Hey guys, Archemedies here with chapter six of this story. I don't know what's up with this chapter. I'm really tired, and I want to get this chapter out today, so we'll be seeing Ruby's meeting in the next chapter. Once you read to the end you'll get what I'm talking about. Anyway, this chapter goes all metaphysical at the beginning, sorry about that. Fav, follow, and review if you want, and now, to answering said reviews, arguably the best part about writing these A/N's.
Although I can't answer some questions, as that would spoil the story.
TenWing: Thank you, once again.
Bl4nk: To be honest, writing that scene was almost as awesome as reading it must of been. Thank you for the compliments, and yes, Blacklight is OP. Also: Stop guessing at the plot! Not that I'm going to stop you.
Guest: Yeah, that's what I was going for with Mercer and Ruby, although where it goes from here is up in the air.
FinnJake: No, that infected was not a goliath, or Ruby would be a greasy mark on the ground by now. It was the chainsaw guy from No Brakes, who fought Ruby. As for everyone finding out in the future, that's up in the air.
Thanks to evryone else who reviewed, and, stay Jammy.
Chapter 6: Reflection.
"Mercer? Mercer? Where are you?"
I stood in a faceless crowd, in a blank, crowded city, featureless ghosts drifting past, walking straight past me, but never coming into focus.
"Mercer? Where are you?"
"I'm here Ruby. Right beside you"
"But..You're not there..."
"Am I not?"
Sudennly, Mercer was standing beside me.
"I'm every where Ruby, every where and anyone. That is my true nature"
"But...Are you still you? I though it was just a disguise?"
"What better diguise, then a new soul?"
"Is it? You did it. Without any heisitation, you consumed that troop, tore his soul from his body, and took it for your own"
"But..That's wrong...I killed him..."
"Is it wrong? You didn't kill him, not really. What are we, if not memories? And now, his memories live on. In you"
I was facing him now, standing there in his normal clothes, staring me in the eyes with a half-formed smirk on his face.
"I...Guess. But...If we are other people...Are we still us?"
"That all depends on how you define "Us". We are the sum of their existances, and all the people we've ever consumed, and ever will. That's what we are"
As I watched, the people around us came into focus. Many of them were White Eye troops, other's were dressed in hazmat suits. Mercer watched as they kept on walking.
"What we're doing is right Ruby. Don't you ever forget that. All these people, are people that the world is better off without...Or people better off without the world"
As he said that, a young girl, no-more than ten, walked past, dressed in a hoody, jeans, a pair of battered converse, and an oversized pair of headphones. Mercer grimaced as she walked past, watching her go with a deep look of loss.
"What we're doing isn't just good...It's nessescary. What I have planned is something that needs to be done, desperatly. It could save us all"
"But you've never said what you have planned...What is it?"
"Better you didn't know until our plan has come to fruition. Soon, Ruby, soon. Soon, it will all make sense"
"Hush, Ruby...It's time we ended this discussion. You need to wake up"
He reached forward, grabbing hold of me and holding me close, resting his chin on the top of my head.
"Wake up. There's work to be done"
"No...Don't do this..."
The people surrounding us began to fade, as did the buildings. Soon, it was just me and Mercer, standing in a pure, white abyss, alone, except for each other.
The world filled with white, and I woke.
I snapped upright, looking around myself, finging myself back in my dorm. It had been ten days days since I'd seen Mercer last.
Blake and Weiss were in their beds. But where was Yang?
Oh yeah. Infirmary.
I got out of bed, got ready, being as quiet as I could in order not to wake my teammates, dressing in my normal school wear, taking the time to remove Mercer's chip from where I'd hidden it under my pillow and putting it in my blazer pocket, and leaving the room, taking my scroll with me. I made my way down to the deserted cafeteria, getting a breakfast bar from an automated machine that was pushed up against one wall, as the cooking staff didn't appear to be in yet. Thinking of that, I checked the time on my scroll.
Wow. I didn't normally wake up that early. It must have had something to do with the dream I had. With nothing else to do, I pulled the chip from my pocket, and wondered about calling Mercer. I wasn't even sure if he was up, let alone whether he'd pick up the call. With no other course of action presenting itself, other than waiting until everyone else was awake, and returning to my dorm, I slipped the chip into my scroll, and went into my contacts, to find a new one had appeared. It simply read:
I pressed the button, and the call went through, barely ringing before it was picked up.
I couldn't help but feel a bolt of relief shoot through me as Mercer's voice came through the speakers.
"No, it's not me. Because if it was me, that would mean I was calling myself. And I'm fairly certain, that that's a sign of madness. And if it isn't, it really should be"
I sat, completly confused by his answer, and trying to make sense of what he'd just said.
"Ah, that makes far more sense. See, now we can talk"
"Hey. You OK?"
"Yeah. I woke up really early today, and since there wasn't really anything to do, I decided to call you"
"Ah, right. I hoped you were going to call me. I was going to ask if you wanted to meet up again. Say, 8?"
"That would be fine with me"
"Cool. See you then"
There was a buzz as the line went dead.
I sat in the cafeteria for another half hour, thinking about nothing in particular. Eventually, I got bored enough that I picked my scroll back up off the cable, and redialed Mercer. He picked up immediatly.
"Can we meet up now?" I couldnt help but realise how whiny I sounded. Mercer didn't comment, much to my relief, instead answering in a dry tone:
"Yes, we can. Same place?"
"Yeah, same place"
"OK. Meet you there"
I stood up from my table, and went back to my dorm inorder to write my teammates a note.
Blake and Weiss.
I've decided to go into Vale for the day, just to get my thoughts in order. I probably wont be back until late, so don't worry about me.
I left the dorm, and began the trek to my meeting place. On the way there, I stopped at one of the many vending machines and bought two cookies.
I made my way out onto the academy grounds, findng Mercer sitting on one of the park benches that adorned the paths. I walked up and sat down next to him.
We sat in silence for a few seconds, until I remembered something.
I reached into my small hip pocket, and pulled out the cellophane wrapped cookies. I put one down next to me, and held the other one out for Mercer.
"Here ya go!" Mercer simply stared at the cookie in my hand, a wry smile on his face.
"What...Don't you like cookies?"
"Yes Ruby...Yes, I do. Thank you"
He took the cookie from me, and carfully removed the packageing. I, for one, tore the cellophane off and chewed into the cookie, reducing it to crumbs in seconds. Mercer watched this in amusement, before taking a small bite of his cookie.
"I take it you like cookies?"
I blushed: "Erm...Yeah...I do"
"Hmm...Nice to know"
Mercer finished off his cookie, before standing.
"Are you ready to go?"
I bounced to my feet.
"Yeah!...Wait, where are we going?"
"Enthusiastic, are we? I don't really have anywhere in mind. I was just planning to walk around Vale for a while"
"Shall we do this the same way as before? You take the airship, and we meet up in Vale?"
"How do you get down though?"
"If you follow me, I'll show you"
I followed Mercer down to airship docks, and saw one of the automated airships was about to lift off.
Mercer sprinted forward, and I followed. Just before the airship took off, Mercer leapt into the air, triggering his glide. I did the same, and we landed on top of the airship with a barely perceptable thump.
"Now, we travel in style"
I and Mercer stayed, crouched, on the top of the ship, until it stopped once it reached the Vale docks. We hopped off, landing behind one of the kiosks, and walked out into the early morning crowd. I checked my watch, which now read:
I and Mercer just walked for a little bit, before stopping at a streetside cafe.
"So...How are you?" Was my pitifull attempt at starting a conversation.
A complete lack of conversation ensued. Mercer broke the silence first.
"More importantly, how are you? Feeling good after last time?"
"Yeah...I haven't had the chance to test out my...Weapon, yet though"
"And that's what I wanted to talk to you about. There's a Schnee operation nearby. A few infected and a couple of brawlers, the creatures we thought before, escaped the quarantine zone. Schnee have caged them up, and are preparing to move them. I was thinking...You and I crash their party"
I stared at him for a few seconds, before nodding.
"Yeah, I think we should. When?"
"How about now?"
I heisitated for a bit, before nodding once more, and standing.
We moved through Vale, sticking to alleys and and side streets, until Mercer waved me still, and leaned round the corner of the alley. He gestured for me to look, and I did so.
I found several White Eye troops and Scientists standing around several cages. There were five cages in total, three of them filled with around ten infected each, the other two holding a brawler each. Mercer nodded to me, and I put the hood of my cloak up, before we stepped around the corner, into view of the White Eye.
Mercer activated his blade, and I followed suit, focusing in my arm, until it morphed into my chainsaw. The Schnee personel noticed us, the scientists running and cowering at the far end of the alley. The soldiers raised their rifles, and before they could even fire, I'd charged, the chain detaching from my saw, and whipping out, tearing the weapons away from three troops, leaving two others to open fire. I dodged to the right, but it was't enough, and several bullets slammed into my side with a force like a dozen punches. I staggered, before righting myself, looking down to find holes punched through the left side of my shirt. I had the vague realization that I really shouldn't be standing as Mercer leapt on the troops. One soldier escaped him, and backed away, presenting an easy target. Without thinking, I lashed my chain around his waist, pulling him close, before grabbing him with my other hand, and slamming him into the pavement. He was absorbed into my arm as I felt a deep sense of strength in my stomach, and I looked down to find the red patches on my shirt had stopped growing. Images and words began to flash by.
Sir, Is it true that there's a second Mercer running around out there?
A briefing room, and a gruff, commanding voice.
...Intel says that there may be someone infected with the same virus as Mercer, yes. Reports are unconfirmed as yet. If you find anyone who appears to have the same abillitys as Mercer, you are weapons free.
A White Eye troop, with commanders honours on his shoulders.
But sir...People are saying she's only a kid? Do we really have to kill her?
The same commander, looming closer.
You have to do anything I tell you to do, maggot! I don't care if she's a three year old with a teddy bear and a floral dress, I tell you to shoot her, you will shoot her on sight, Understand?
I looked up to find Mercer walking towards me, soaked in blood.
"Yeah. Should we deal with the infected now?"
"Yes. We should"
I and Mercer walked to the cages, and I regarded one for a second, before l sliced my chain through the cage, and the infected inside. Mercer destroyed the other infected with his blade, cutting through the wire mesh as if it were paper.
We walked over to the brawlers, and they snarled and growled at us from within their cages. Mercer turned his arm into the same whip like construct he'd used to fight Weiss, and slashed the locks of the cages. The brawlers burst free, one sprinting for Mercer, the other throwing itself at me. I left Mercer to deal with his, and focused on my opponent. It paced from side to side, staring at me with blood red eyes, and I stared back with eyes, that when I caught them in the visor of one of the scientists, glowed the same color. It leapt, and I raised my saw, sliding under it, and slashing across it's stomach at the same time. It hit the ground and rolled, and I slashed out with my chain, catching it across the knees, and causing its legs to fold under it. As it hit the ground, I leapt forward, swinging my saw and catching it in the throat, the saw teeth skidding for a moment before biting deep, and tearing through, letting its head drop to the ground.
I looked over and saw Mercer was finished with his brawler, and walked over to join him.
"Now, you need to come with me. There are some people I'd like you to meet"
With that, he nonchalantly walked off down the alley, leaving me to scramble after him.
"But where are we going?"
"Somewhere just for people like us"
"People like us?"
"Alex. My name is Alex"
And off I strode with Alex, into the dawn.