A/N: IT'S BACK FROM HIATUS! Or is it? Anyway, new chapter!
Thanks for waiting!

Steeling myself against my enemy— my real mom to be specific— I caught her blade and flicked it away, counterattacking with a swipe to the left. She managed to bring her blade back up in time, blocking it and pushing against me as I tried to overpower her.

"You've gotten much better in the last two weeks!" She grinned, both of our hands shaking from the force.

"It's all thanks to you, mom. Without you, there's no way I'd even know what to do with my powers."

She nodded, and then promptly pushed forward, breaking my guard and holding me at neckpoint with her sword.

"You still have a long way to go. Let's end it for the day."

She sheathed her sword, and we sat in the air, just looking down at the great expanse of Graphicard below as both of us returned to our normal forms. It was strange really, how I was apparently born there below, in a completely different world than Remnant, from a mother I'd never even knew existed. It was almost too strange to be real, but I shook it off. While she'd warned me not to use my CORE mode in the real world because of its destructive power, I felt reasonably sure that if I did try to use it in real life it would work.

It was just all so confusing, I felt like I was going insane. The annoying part was that it was realistic, I really could be going insane. I was having recurring dreams of my 'real' mother that was apparently alive, came from a different world, and was now teaching me how to use a power against an evil that not even exist.

I had to, I just had to have proof. "Hey... mom? Is there any way that you can prove to me that this is all real?"

She looked at me with her silver eyes, full of sadness.

"I'm sorry Ruby, I can't. If I had some way to do it, I would. But as of right now, I..." Radeon trailed off, looking away from me towards the EMDI continent.

"Ok. I understand." I nodded, sighing.

"The dark CPU that comes through will be proof enough. And while you're not as strong as I would like, it'll have to be enough."

Nodding again I asked, "Is there anything else I should know?"

"That you're loved, and after this, you'll always be by my side."

That was when the dream faded away, and I felt Jaune shaking me awake.

"Ruby! Wake up! Please wake up!"

I opened my eyes slowly, pushing Jaune away weakly as I felt sleep taking hold of me again. "Go away, I'm tired."

There was a moment of stillness, warmth, and comfort, and then Jaune decided to take my blanket off.

I was wide awake now, somewhat annoyed that he'd just up and do that to me. "Alright, alright! I'm up! What do you want?"

"Just... come on." He told me, leading me downstairs to where Ren, Nora, Qrow, and dad were sitting around the TV, which had Lisa Lavender covering a strange purple portal that hovered above Mountain Glenn.

"I told them Ruby. Is this what you were talking about? The 'bad' thing you felt?" Uncle Qrow asked me, taking a sip from his canteen.

"Yep. That looks evil enough." I joked, not getting any laughs, even from Nora.
"Well then I hope you know how to handle it. I certainly haven't got a clue."

"Yeah me neither. It looks like we could use a lot of help though."

Although it was a live feed, nothing seemed to be changing right now. The portal was open, looking menacing, but nothing was coming out. Maybe we would have some time to prepare for this attack.

I voiced everyone's thoughts. "We need to get back to Vale, and fast."

Qrow stood up and stretched. "I hope you kids know how to run."

"We're running there?"

"Yes Nora, we're going on foot all the way to Vale." Jaune said sarcastically.

"Don't be rude Jaune. Might regret that one day." Dad told him in his usual dadish voice, entering with breakfast. I looked curiously at my blonde haired friend, watching his response.

In the end, he stayed silent, munching on the eggs Dad handed him.

"So how are we going to get there, Mr. Branwen?"

"Huh, I thought you were mute or something. Nothing special, I just borrowed one of Ironwood's bullheads."
"Niiiice. Do I want to know how you 'acquired' them?" I grinned.

"Nope. Wouldn't tell you anyway. After breakfast, let's go and find out what the hell that portal is."

I would be lying if I said I wasn't at least a little bit anxious on the ride, I just knew that something bad was going to happen when we got to the portal. If what Mom said was true, then that meant I was putting my friends and my own life on the line, and I wasn't sure that I would be able to live with the outcome of all this.

...but if I didn't put our lives on the line, there was a chance a lot of innocent people would die. I knew I was willing to die to save others, as well as my teammates if we needed to, but that didn't lessen the pressure I felt building in my chest. If anything, it just put added to it. The idea that I might be sending people willingly into death was not one I wanted to think about.

...and there was the third option, that nothing would happen. I'm relatively sure that I'm not crazy, since there's a portal on mountain Glenn, but there was always the chance that it was just coincidence, and I feared that almost as much as dying.

Someone poked me awake— to be honest I hadn't even realized I was asleep until that. Looking over at my teammate that were buckled in beside me, I followed their lead I geared up for the fight, making sure that my baby was working properly. Him breaking down on me would be bad, super bad since I didn't really have any other way to kill things. If Pyrrha was here and lost her weapons, she could just throw literally anything metal at the enemy. But I lost Crescent, I'd basically be a glorified road runner.

"We're about to be above the drop zone!" Dad called from the cockpit. "Get ready!"

Showtime. I thought, unbuckling myself and peering through at the drop zone a few hundred feet below, stepping out onto the ramp. I felt something move past me, and then Uncle Qrow was falling, with Jaune soon behind him.

I used Crescent Rose's recoil to dampen my fall, and then rolled forward to decrease the impact. Fortunately, my aura took most of the damage and I only had to walk off a bit of the ache in my legs. The rest of my team followed, starting with Uncle Qrow, Nora, Dad, Ren, and finally, Jaune in a parachute.

The plan was fairly simple, we would wait and see if anything entered through the portal, and if it did, we'd just you know— kill it. Wasn't a very complex one, but it would probably do the job. Unfortunately most hunters 'disappeared' after the fall of Beacon, and it was kind of amazing that we were even grouping up in the first place, even if four of us were students.

"Hey, is that thing pulsing?" Jaune said, pointing at the now rippling portal.

"Yep." Nora replied solemnly.

Not much more was said as we lay waiting at the bottom of the mountain.

"Do we even know if something is going to happen today?"

Uncle Qrow glanced at me, and back to Jaune. "I've gotten some intel that says it will. Be patient."

Jaune nodded, flopping down on the ground. We all followed suit, waiting for literally anything to happen.

For about an hour, nothing did. There were no animals to speak of making any noise, but over time I noticed a humming tone from the portal growing stronger.

"Hey, does anyone hear that humming noise?" I asked, the tone now a dull buzz.
They listened for a minute, until one by one they shook their heads. "I got nothing, sorry Rubes." Uncle apoligised.

"Are you sure? It's really loud."

I covered one ear, trying to hear their response as the sound rapidly overtook all other noise.

Jaune was trying to say something to me, but I shook my head, trying to get across that the tone was deafening with a series of hand gestures. The noise was all-consuming, and I crouched, holding my hands against my ears to just try and alleviate the pain a little bit. Something hot started to run against my hands, which I quickly realized was blood running out of my ear drum, crawling all the way down my elbow into the grass.

Someone— probably Uncle Qrow— put their hands on my shoulder, pushing me upwards to look at my face. I couldn't see since my eyes were screwed shut, and even when I tried to screw open my eyes I couldn't make out who it was.

And all at once the noise stopped. Pulling a hand away from an ear, I coughed slightly, and was relieved when I heard it. No loss of hearing that I could tell. I sighed, opening my eyes, I saw myself. It was like there was a mirror directly in front of me, just without any glass. There was the red cloak, the red hair, and red eyes.

But that wasn't right, was it? I didn't have red eyes the last time I checked, and these were a deep crimson— not a little tint of red. The mirrored me smirked, thrusting out a hand as I was held in the air around my waist. I struggled against the force, but if anything it tightened around me.

"Why hello, Godavari. It seems you followed my instructions, thank you for being a good little girl. Now..." My bad self trailed off, grabbing at the air with a hand and bringing the sleeping forms of my teammates to hover in front of me. "Now... Give your world to me, or I'll destroy it. Starting with your friends here."


"Don't 'huh' me. Give your world to me."

It was embarrassing, but I had no idea what she meant. "I'm not going to give up just yet!"

I — she shrugged. "Then I'll start killing off your friends."

Spectral red scythes appeared at all of their throats, jittering with energy. "Hmmm... Let's start with green robed guy over here."

The scythe at his neck pulled back slightly, poised for slicing.

And this is where I had the choice. Did I comply and help her? Or did I let my friends die?

I didn't talk to Ren much, but I knew that if it was between him surviving and a great evil being unleashed, he would definitely choose to sacrifice himself.

"Alright." I choked out, watching as he died.

My other self licked the blood that'd splattered on her hand, a stone cold look on her face. "I'm surprised. I thought you would've given in. Impressive."

I said nothing to her, and looked up to see Nora's head rolling off her shoulders, without so much as a warning from the girl. My jaw dropped, and I could feel the beginning of tears welling up.

"Interesting, so she got a reaction out of you? Let's continue. Shall we?"

"Please... no." I muttered.

"Hmmm? What was that?" She asked, sidling up beside me.

"I said stop! Please!"

There were tears streaming from my eyes at this point, the realization that two of my best friends were now dead just hitting me.

"So? Will you join me or not? Otherwise we will continue. Your choice~"

If I agreed to join her— which is what I guess she meant earlier— it would have meant that Ren and Nora died in vain, and I couldn't just waste their lives like that, even if it meant that Qrow and Jaune would—

I stopped thinking about it, shaking my head of the idea. "No! Why are you doing this anyway?!"

"Hmmm... that's for me to know, and you to find out. But since you're making such an effort, let's play a game. You might even save one of your friends if you play it."

I knew something was wrong about the game, but nodded her onwards anyway. "What game?"

"The game of life of course. Agree to play, and we'll start."
I doubted that there was much she could do, and if it was just a game, especially with a chance to make sure someone lived... I had to take the shot.

"Fine. What's your game?"

"It's simple really. Who do you want to live? This old man, or your scraggly blond friend?"

"You're asking me to choose who lives?"

She laughed, nodding with a wink. "You get to choose. Who will it be? Keep in mind that you only have 30 seconds to answer."

"That's just..."

"Evil?" She finished, "That's the point. 20 seconds remaining."

Choosing between Uncle Qrow and Jaune? That was impossible, it was like asking whether or not I'd rather have a Mom or Dad.

"10 seconds..." She jeered.

"I... I... Uncle Qrow!" I burst out, sobbing.

"Hmm. Too bad."

There were too thumps, signifying their deaths, and the fact that she'd lied.

"You killed them? But—"

"But what? I just wanted to see who you'd choose. Sorry, I had no intention of letting either of them live. And it's all your fault. Perhaps if you weren't so weak and useless you'd have saved them, but in the end they all died because of you."

The force around my waste dissipated, and I fell to my knees, something clicking into place. I didn't feel sadness anymore, all I had left was anger. Anger that she would come to my world and try to take it. Anger that she would come and hurt my friends. Anger that I was too weak to save them.

But I still had a final shot.

Holding up my hand, and making a fist, I felt power well inside me as light gathered around me, surrounding me in whiteness just like in the dream.

But... something was wrong. It was like it was rewinding, and I was left in my normal, human form. Raising my fist again, power welled up just like the previous attempt, but it wasn't white surrounding me. It was a black mist that threatened to choke me as piece by piece armor flew onto me, crimson and purple toned, jagged edges sticking out of every possible point. With a final burst of black, my baby flew to my hand, just like in the dream. But it wasn't mine any more, it was hers. Just like me, my weapon belonged to her.

Everything belonged to her, and I would make sure that she would be able to claim my world for herself at all costs.

"Godavari, do you pledge yourself to me as my undying warrior?" She asked, gracing me with her god like voice.

"Yes, yes I do mistress."