A time travel story. Inspired by Scattering Time and Space, Crimson Memories Repeat, and to a lesser extent, For a Good Future.
This is just the prologue.
Disclamer: I do not own any part of RWBY or receive any sort of monetary gain for writing this store. I write this purely for my own enjoyment and the enjoyment of my readers. (I'm putting this here just because almost every story I read has it, however I don't get why. It's blatantly obvious and not required anywhere in the terms of (which I read very carefully looking for this specifically, so if I missed it, I must be truly blind). Can someone tell me?)
She walked through the wastes that were once the beautiful City of Vale. The sounds of Grimm filled the air. Atlesian Knights patrolled the city, ordered to shoot anything that moved in, be it human, Faunus, or Grimm. All people here were assumed Hunters and deemed wanted by the new White Fang government. The Grimm were being hunted for the sake of telling the people they were doing something and in slight hope of reclaiming the city. Vale was deemed lost, so what was she doing here? Killing Grimm and Atlesian Knights for someone who happened to have the money. Well technically, she was escorting something, she didn't know or care what, but it involved killing any and all Grimm and Atlesian Knights on sight.
Some Grimm round the corner.
Her scythe unfolds in her hand as she takes it off her back, leaping forward at the Grimm and turning them into a pile of dissipating Grimm limbs and body parts.
She folds the scythe again and puts it back in its place, continuing to walk along next to the slow moving vehicle.
Go here. Do jobs. Get payed. Go to Atlas. By food and supplies, occasionally temporary housing. Repeat. That was her life, living for the sake of living and nothing else. Boring, monotonous, and friendless, at least, after all her friends had already died.
She'd managed to kill Cinder but by then it was already too late. She was the last Hunter she knew of, though there were no doubt others surviving somewhere. To the best of her knowledge, even Ozpin had fallen.
Sometimes. Many times. Even most of the time, perhaps, she wished for a chance to just go back and try again. To save Remnant. To not let Yang or Weiss or Blake or Jaune or Pyrrha or Nora or Ren or any of them die.
But that wasn't possible.
They were all dead and it would stay that way.
Realizing where her thoughts were going, she stopped thinking, putting a lid on her emotions before she attracted every Grimm in the city.
Too late however. So many Grimm. Possibly hundreds, crawling out of all the buildings. While she may have put a lid back on her emotions, the driver was probably very scared which was attracting even more Grimm. In turn making him more scared, which attracted even more Grimm.
Escort missions are the worst.
"Top speed, let's get out of here," she orders the driver, jumping on top of the car and activating sniper mode on Crescent Rose and loading a magazine of HE rounds.
No way she'd have enough ammo for each one individually. She begins firing at larger groups, shredding the Grimm apart. If there weren't so many, it would be extremely effective. The driver took off top speed along the clearest road, even though it wasn't the right direction and Ruby fired forward, clearing out any Grimm in the way.
As they drive out of the circle of Grimm, the Grimm begin to sprint full speed, chasing after the car.
She pulls out a fire Dust crystal and throws it into the enormous hoard of Grimm, shooting it just before it was lost in the stampede and destroying tens of Grimm.
She aims at the nearest pillar of a building that had nothing but its support pillars left on the bottom floor that was slightly ahead of them, aiming to blockade the path for the Grimm and buy them some time to get away. As the high-caliber fire Dust round hits the pillar it cracks and collapses, causing the building to start falling, almost crashing down on top of them and crushing what could have been hundreds of the Grimm.
"Faster. Get out of here."
As they drive past a large and relatively intact seeming building, a gigantic Nevermore bursts through the building, raining chunks of rubble all over the road, behind them, ahead of them, and on top of them.
She leaps into the air, her eyes lighting aflame with the power of the Fall Maiden, a power Cinder had inadvertently passed to her.
She swings her scythe and a storm of rose petals created by her Semblance as well as controlled and hardened by the power of the Fall Maiden fly like a bunch of razor sharp blades follow its motion, shredding the rubble and the Nevermore that tries to fly through it.
Fire surrounds the blade of her scythe and she swings it at the hoard of Grimm, burning them to ashes.
She didn't want to use the powers of the Fall Maiden because it no doubt made Salem far more interested in her, but it was that or be crushed by several tons of falling rubble. Taking a gambit was better than flat out dying. She hoped the driver was too busy driving to really notice what she was doing.
She drops back down onto the car to avoid wasting her powers—she didn't really know what they worked off, since it certainly wasn't Aura, but she knew they must have limits—and her eyes loose the fiery glow.
Scythe reverts to sniper rifle and she continues shooting at the Grimm that grew ever more distant.
They leave the city, passing the broken wall and continue driving for a short while.
Suddenly the car swerves and skids to a stop, just a bit away from the edge of a broken bridge. Shit.
"This thing can go off road, right?" she asks the driver, leaning down off the roof.
"Uh... sure?" he answers unsurely.
"Then let's go. Unless you want to be trampled on by a stampede of Grimm."
The car turns the rest of the way and drives in the direction they were originally going next to the ravine, towards their destination which was thankfully outside the city. In fact, the destination of this car though not their—'their' meaning her clients—final destination was a train station where they would unload the cargo and take it to Atlas. While Hunters were wanted, people realized this was simply because the White Fang feared them and they were still paid for their services, which were generally some form of protection.
Well, they were until all the ones openly Hunters were killed, leaving her the last one.
Needless to say, the number of Atlesian Knights dedicated specifically to hunting her down was ridiculous. They would never get her, not if they kept doing what they were. No number of Atlesian Knights could catch her. Her speed was too great for them to catch her if it came down to it.
"We're almost there," the driver announces.
Ruby looked out behind to see if any Grimm were following them, satisfied she puts away Crescent Rose and sits down, looking at the rising shattered moon.
The only thing that remained unchanged in her life. At least there is something beautiful left in this world.
She takes out her scroll—modified to run off of Aura, which allowed to run basically indefinitely—and puts on her decade-old headphones which somehow had remained undamaged in the past 11 years.
She turns on a song and watches the moon rise on the top of the car. She rarely had more than minutes a day to relax.
She looks forward and sees a train station, relatively devoid of damage thanks to the constant Atlesian Knights patrolling it. The second person inside the car opens the window and reaches a hand holding a considerable quantity of lien out. Ruby takes it and says, "You never payed me. I never protected you," before jumping off the car running to a stop.
Seeing a patrol Bullhead high above, she uses her Semblance to run into the ravine and hides in a small cave.
Satisfied with her certainty that she hadn't been seen and when she no longer hears the sound of the engines, she emerges from the cave and checks her supplies.
Low on ammo. Low on food, now seems like as good a time as any to go to Atlas.
She presses a small button on her red cloak and it turns white. Climbing out of the ravine and using her Semblance to dash through a brief gap in the patrols, she boards the train that was already starting to move.
The car she ended up in appeared to be full of various foods, presumably brought from the Vale storage.
Well there's food solved. She grabs an MRE and eats it quickly, focused on getting food and ignoring the so-so at best taste. Who was she kidding, it tasted terrible, but it had calories.
She opens the door and climbs out of the car and onto the top.
The train drew a large number of Grimm, but they couldn't keep up with the high speed train.
She climbs back into the car and curls up in the corner, hidden from the entrance and closes her eyes. The trip from Vale to Atlas was a long one.
The door opens, instantly waking the sleeping woman.
The inspectors were human. "We got a stowaway," one says, rounding some crates and laying eyes on her.
She dashes right past him and out of the train, hiding from the inspectors.
She looks around. She was inside the walls of Atlas. She sneaks out of the train station and assumes a normal posture, blending with the crowd.
Checking how much money she had, she decides that spending a bit on a decent meal that actually tasted good wasn't a bad idea.
She enters the first restaurant she sees since anything that wasn't MREs and what not would taste amazing to her.
Ordering some dinner, she sits down and eats.
Half an hour later, when she's just about to finish, things go south.
"Everyone exit this building. Ruby Rose you are under arrest for treason," the Atlesian Knight says, it and its squad leveling their guns on her and everyone scrambling out of the building.
"It's not treason if I was never on your side," she says, standing up and switching her cloak to red.
"Come with us or-"
"Or what? You'll kill me? Isn't that what you plan to do anyway?" she asks, her scythe unfolding in her hand.
In a flash she's standing behind the knight, which slides apart along the middle and falls to the ground, followed by a bunch of rose petals.
A few seconds later, the Atlesian Knights are all in scraps.
She leaves a lien note on the counter, paying for her food and steps outside the building to find a bunch of Atlesian Knights pointing hundreds of guns at her from various levels. Several White Fang snipers could also be seen in the distance. And worst of all, smack in front of her, several meters away stood a red-headed bull-Faunus with a katana.
"Ruby Rose. I'm impressed that you managed to avoid us so long, but I find it exceedingly stupid of you to show up in this city. You're the last one, and yet you walk right into my hands."
She spins round her scythe and says, "I was hungry."
People running away or watching in a combination of fear and hope could be seen through the semi-circle of Atlesian Knights.
He's not an opponent I can hold back against.
Spinning like a red missile in her cloak, she launches into the air and spreads her cloak out, stopping her spinning.
Her eyes light with the flame of the Fall Maiden and rose petals storm around her.
All the knights and snipers open fire, but the projectiles bounce off the barrier of petals around her. Then with a swing of her scythe, the petals flying in a curve, shredding the knights and missing Adam who jumped back to avoid the attack.
Her scythe switches to a sniper rifle and 7 shots take out the 7 snipers.
"I suggest you bring a larger army next time," she says, having decimated all but Adam himself.
"The power of the Fall Maiden. And it seems you're even more adept and wielding it than Cinder was," Adam says.
"Where's 'Queen?' She gonna help you out or just leave you to die?" Ruby speaks.
"The powers of the Maidens can't be that powerful if you were able to kill Cinder," he says with a smirk. "True."
Adam puts his hand on his sword. Ruby switches her sniper rifle back to a scythe and readies it. Her eyes glow a brilliant white and her scythe is covered in a white flame.
"But I'm not simply the Fall Maiden," Ruby replies.
The two charge at each other.
Adam lands on the roof of the building behind Ruby. Ruby lands on the ground. Blood spurts from Adam's side while not a scratch appears on the Argent Maiden.
With nothing but the wave of a hand, a million razor sharp blades cloaked in white fire fly at Adam, shredding through his feeble defenses and causing him to fall to his knee, covered in cuts and bleeding from his whole body.
"The power of the Argents normally only has an effect on the Grimm, however it seems that when combined with the power of the Maidens, that restriction is lifted," Ruby says, flying up to stand in front of the man who was responsible for the death of many of her friends.
"And now, you will face retribution!" she yells, swinging her scythe and beheading leader of White Fang.
Then the brilliant light in her eyes fades, and she leans on her scythe. The use of the power of the Argents was taxing on her body.
Hundreds of Atlesian Knights crowd the streets and buildings, aiming at her.
Without the use of the power of the Maidens, she wouldn't be able to defend against that amount of high-tech Dust rounds. So, fighting the massive headache she was experiencing, she used her Semblance to retreat, leaping along the roofs and attempting to escape the city.
With one final leap, she leaps over the wall and lands outside the city, hiding in some ruined houses that were outside the walls.
Just as she catches her breath, a red hole rips in the air in front of her. Behind it was a place where the sky was red and purple crystals littered the ground which looked red, but that may have been from the red sky. The terrain was not like any place on Remnant. In fact, the only things in common were the presence of an atmosphere—proven by the clouds in the red sky and lack of powerful wind flowing into the hole—, the presence of gravity—proven by the existence of an atmosphere—and the shattered moon in the sky which was undoubtedly the same moon.
And in the portal stood a woman. Salem. 'Queen.' Grimm Queen. The root of all evil.
"There you are, simple soul," she spoke.
Tendrils of darkness pulled Ruby in through portal into the Grimm Queen's realm.
The presence of the moon proved it was also 'on Remnant.' It's presence in the exact same place in the sky proved that it was in the same place on Remnant.
Forcing down the headache, she once more activates the power of the Argents and the power of the Maidens along with it.
The tendrils are burned away by the white flames, but not before she's pulled through the portal, which seals behind her.
"There you are, Grimm Queen," she says, fighting her fear.
With a yell she charges forward at the Grimm Queen, aiming to cut her in half.
The Salem avoids the attack by stepping to the side and Ruby spins around, shooting round after round of what looked like beams of white fire out of her rifle, all of which were deflected by Salem. Save one, which scraps her side and black blood flows from the wound. She's not immortal! I can kill her, perhaps end all Grimm! It would be a sad world without friends, but also one without Grimm or White Fang. A world in a better state then ever in human history!
In retaliation thousands of beams of darkness fire at the Last Huntress.
Met with a brilliant light, the darkness evaporates and the Huntress charges towards the Grimm Queen, who parries the scythe with a barrier of darkness appearing in front of her hand.
The white fire coated scythe turns into a blur as Ruby overcharges her Semblance and releases thousands of strikes upon the Grimm Queen.
Some strikes make it past the Queen's defense and small cuts and scratches appear all over the Queen, causing her to be covered in black blood. As the endless rain of strikes stops, she allows her defense to fall and collapses on the ground. Ruby swings her scythe but before it lands, the white flames vanish and the scythe slows to a fraction of its original speed, a red glow shatters around Ruby and the scythe bounces off the Queen's pitiful defense.
"Such a shame. You were so close," Salem says sarcastically, standing up and grabbing the scythe, throwing it aside.
A beam of darkness comes from Salem's palm, striking the center of Ruby's chest and spheres of red spiraled around it and towards Salem, being absorbed into Salem's hand, draining the very soul of Ruby.
She writhed in pain and defiance as she floated in the air, shrouded in a dark aura.
Then right as consciousness slipped away, her world turn white and the pain vanished. She felt like she was floating, no force acting on her.
"Where am I?" The question came out instinctively. Am I dead?
"Not quite. You will be the moment you leave this timeless moment, however," a disembodied voice that sounded vaguely female spoke from all around her, reading her thoughts and surprising. So I failed?
Who are you?
"I'm an observer. Or perhaps I am the moon. My power of intervention is limited, however, I can offer you a second chance."
And that's the end of the prologue. I finally wrote something new that actually feels like it might be good enough to post, like I didn't really cringe while reading it. Who knows how many thousands of words of unposted shit I have. Okay, I went and checked. 25k words of unposted writing, though some of it I plan to probably post at some point. Anyway, moving on.
I realize that Ruby was a 'bit' overpowered (okay, no matter how you look at it, defeating Adam in 2 attacks and killing him with a third is a lot overpowered), however if you consider that she's the Fall Maiden (which is reasonable, since she probably ends up killing Cinder, whose last thoughts will naturally be of her and she qualifies (basically, she's a young woman)) and a silver-eyed warrior (who I unoriginally decided to call 'Argents' (though I'm not sure where I got that, it might even be multiple stories)) who has the power to freeze an enormous dragon of a Grimm, it doesn't seem that ridiculous.
Given the future plot for this story, I had to make her able to beat Salem, but I also needed her to lose, so I went with her running out of her Aura thanks to having used her abilities to kill Adam. With the fact that she was unconscious for a while after freezing the dragon Grimm and said that 'everything hurt,' I decided that the cost of the abilities of the Argents—aside from Aura—would be things like head pains.
As for Salem's ability to devour souls, Salem = Grimm Queen = Grimm = attracted to emotions ~ eats emotions ~ eats souls. It's kind of a stretch, but I think it's reasonable.
Any reviews, follows, and/or favorites would be greatly appreciated. Especially reviews.