Hello there!

So before you begin just a few things to note.

First, I was the author of A Second Chance - Initium Novum . If anyone remembers it I'm grateful. However I must also apologize if you do. Things happened, hardware was lost and essentially that fanfic will never see the light of day again.

Second, this will be a time travel fic if you couldn't tell by the summary. Just a warning for people who might be looking for something else.

Third, even though this is a time travel fic I will not be covering most of Season 1 and a majority of Season 2. I feel at this point we've had all we could handle of that particular part of RWBY. At least in fanfic. I mean honestly how many different ways can you kill a Nevermore? Don't answer that.

Fourth, I already know who is going with who. No changing my mind there!

And last but not least there will be an OC. I know that strikes doubt in the hearts of many. Hopefully I don't wind up in Mary Sue land! Dreadful place if its to be believed.

Re-written 3/02/2018

The original chapter was a disaster. I actually felt embarrassed while reading it. The feeling of "Did I seriously consider this good enough to post? Really!?"

I feel it flows much better now. Also no more pointless angst. Urgh.

The Four Kingdoms no longer existed. Mistral had been the first to collapse, its council betrayed from within leaving it easy prey for the Grimm. Months later the Kingdom of Atlas had followed; the vaunted Atlesian military unable to face both the Grimm and the civil war that had suddenly started within its borders. It took almost five years for Vacuo to fall but fall it did to a wave of Grimm-Faunus hybrids. This left Vale, or more precisely, Beacon which many called the last bastion of mankind, a bastion that was soon to be overrun.

Jaune Arc, one of the last surviving Paladins of the Order of the Dragon, stared silently at the large monitor that dominated the west wall of the Command Center. Displayed was a map with an overhead view of Beacon and the lands that surrounded it. Each area was separated into color-coded zones that created a mosaic of blue, yellow and red. Blue for areas under Beacon control, yellow for areas which were contested and red for areas lost to the Grimm.

He closed his eyes and sighed. There was just so much yellow and red. He realized the situation for what it was. How could he not? Every day had been a struggle and he knew they had only survived as long as they did because the Grimm had not pressed as hard as they could. It was as if some force had held them back, kept them from swarming over his positions. Now it looked like that force had disappeared, deciding that it was finally time to snuff out the last vestiges of humanity.

Opening his eyes, he saw as another zone turned from yellow to red, more men of his lost to the insatiable appetite of the Grimm. Unconsciously his right hand dropped to the hilt of his sword, Crocea Mors, as a memory surfaced in his mind. The body of Cinder lying at his feet, her face a mask of shock and anger as her life blood poured from a gaping wound in her chest. What had her final words been? Ah, yes. "Your plans will be doomed to fail…just…like…mine…"

Well they'll just see about that.

Turning around, he regarded the leader of his Dragoons as the young woman removed her helmet. A mane of blond hair cascaded down her back. Having just returned from the field, he was not surprised to see the young armor-clad woman covered from head to toe in grime and blood. From the way she stood however; he knew none of the blood was hers.

"Give it to me straight, Yang. How much longer can we hold?" he questioned while watching her eyes carefully. They flickered briefly with doubt but that emotion quickly drowned in a wave of righteous anger.

"As long as they have to," she said as she shot him a glare. "The men know what's coming, what their duty is. They will not break; you know that. But…" Her voice faltered.

"Just because they won't break doesn't mean they won't be overwhelmed," Jaune finished for her.

She nodded as her hands clenched tightly around her halberd. "It's madness out there, Jaune. No matter what we do, no matter what we try, it just never ends. A score replaces every Grimm we strike down. The outer defenses are at the breaking point. It's only a matter of time before it becomes infeasible to hold our positions there."

"We won't have to," he said as he waved a gauntleted hand. A scaled down holographic map of Beacon appeared in front of him and Yang. "It's as you've said. The Grimm are pushing, hard. If there is any way for us to complete our objective, we need to move up our timetable. That means a few things must change."

He highlighted several zones and then gestured to a messenger who stood nearby. As the man ran up he ordered, "Lieutenant, pass the word to Knight Captain Fox and his adjutants. Inform them that they are to abandon the outer defense line. Holding it will only waste what little manpower we have remaining. They will instead consolidate most of our forces here at the edge of the campus. I leave it to them how they choose to do this."

"Yes sir." The man saluted and hurried off.

"Hmm, I see what you're doing," Yang said, a fist held under her chin. "Drawing our lines closer will mean our teams can cover each other better. Not to mention the fortifications there will give them some much needed cover. However…" She gave off a predatory smile. "The way they're set up will also allow us to gain some control of how the battle will flow. Cardin made the adjustments I take it?"

Jaune nodded and waved over another messenger. He spoke briefly with the man before sending him off as well. Turning back to Yang he said, "It won't be much but the traps should buy some more time."

Her smile grew wider, the young woman eager to get back into the fray. "Where do you want me and my Dragoons?"

Jaune quickly tapped another zone on the map. "Here, at the Central Communications Tower."

Yang started, her smile disappearing. She studied the map and then frowned, her eyes looking up at him questioningly.

He smiled the same way she had done just moments ago. "I have a trump card I've been saving for a moment like this and I need you nearby so you can react in the best manner possible once I use it."

Crocea Mors slid from its sheath and he held it steadily before him. "The final stages of Operation Ark start now."

Cardin heard the alert over his communications bead and frowned. Something must have happened for Jaune to move up the timetable like that. Sighing internally, he turned around and knelt down in front of his daughter.

She looked at him, her face smiling in the way only a child could. He reached out and hugged her, holding her tightly in his arms.

"Alright sweetie, it looks like daddy needs to hurry back to work now," he said while gently stroking her brown shoulder length hair. "I know I promised you that I would be with you for the entire trip but some very important friends need my help. Just follow your aunt to the ship and hold a seat for me, okay?"

"But daddy, why do you need to go help them? Why can't you say with me?" his daughter asked, her little arms clinging with a strength that was completely at odds to her small stature. "You promised me you would! You pinky promised!"

"I know honey. I know. But remember..." Cardin gently pried her off him and smiled, his hands gripping hers. He could not believe how she looked more like her mother with each passing day. "I'm superman remember? I'm a hero and heroes help people when they call, isn't that right?"

His little girl scrunched up her face and then asked, "Just like mommy?"

"Yes honey. Just like mommy." Good, maybe this wouldn't be as hard as he had thou-

"But mommy said the same thing and she never came back," she whispered. Her face began to pale and tears started to well up in her eyes.

Gulping, Cardin desperately searched for his sister-in-law and spotted her off to the side. It looked like the woman had decided to give them some distance, a small measure of privacy. His eyes sought hers and tried to convey what he could not say aloud.

The older woman responded immediately and quickly made her way over.

"It's okay Cocoa," the older woman assured as she reached the two of them. She knelt down beside his daughter and grinned. "Remember who your daddy is. What do you always say when people ask how he is?"

"M-my daddy is the strongest," Cocoa replied, her voice shaky.

"And isn't he?" his sister-in-law continued. "Have you ever seen your daddy lose a fight? Don't you have faith in him?"

"I do!" Cocoa almost shouted. Her voice was noticeably stronger. "I do have faith in my daddy!"

"Then believe in him, Cocoa. Let him go and help his friends. Let him be the hero you know he is." The older woman glanced at Cardin and winked.

Taking her hint, Cardin stood up and stuck several poses in quick succession. He was sure he looked ridiculous doing it but he could put up with anything if it was for his daughter. While striking what he hoped was a particularly heroic pose, he glanced down.

Cocoa sniffed a few times and looked up at him. Her face had regained some of her color. She took her aunt's hand and gave him a wide toothy smile then said, "Go daddy, be their hero too."

Cardin chuckled and reached down to place a hand on top of his daughter's head. With a quick shake, he ruffled it and said, "You bet honey."

"Fight on men! They cannot withstand us!" Knight-Devout Yue yelled as he cleaved a Beowulf in two, his crimson eyes flashing. As the beast's remains fell to either side of him, he took a moment to survey the field. The men on this section of the wall were all engaged in combat but they were holding, somehow. A glance at his HUD confirmed that it was much the same on the other sections of the wall.

However it could not last. He could see the small slip-ups, the slight mistakes the men were starting to make. They had all been fighting for the better part of a day without any rest and it was starting to wear them all down. Aura or not, things were going to give soon and he could not think of any way to delay it.

Sidestepping a charging Boarbatusk by a hair, he turned and blasted a crater through the offending Grimm's head with his revolver. Spinning back around, he saw movement coming from his peripherals and ducked in time to avoid an Ursa Major from smashing the side of his face. His Aura might have protected him from most of the damage but it would have left him stunned regardless. Thumbing the trigger of his chainsword, he swung up and lopped off one of the Ursa's giant paws. The beast howled and reared back on its hind legs, spittle flying from its jaws. With a flourish, he disemboweled the Grimm and grimaced as some of the beast's blood splattered onto his face and his short snow-white hair.

As he stopped to wipe his face clean, he realized two things. First, how was it that he even had time to find a cloth to wipe away the blood? Second, the sound of combat had abruptly died. Yue looked up and his eyes widened.

To a beast, every Grimm on the field had stopped moving. Even as he took in the sight, a flock of Nevermore plummeted from the sky and crashed into the ground. One fell close to him and as the dust cleared, he could see the thing's eyes looking balefully back at him.

Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, he stepped forward and quickly decapitated the Nevermore while wondering what had caused such an event. After a moment, he concluded that he honestly did not care how it had happened. Whatever is was, it had only affected the Grimm and he did not want to squander the opportunity it had given them.

"Look alive men! Don't just stand there gawking! Kill them all!"

Jaune tore himself away from Crocea Mors with a shout, his hands feeling as if they were on fire. Staggering backwards, he stumbled and collapsed onto the ground. Chest heaving, he turned his head toward Yang and gasped, "Your…turn…"

Yang nodded and slammed her helmet's visor down. Her eye slits blazed as she sprinted off the tower's roof. Halberd clenched tightly in her right hand she jumped off and for a moment, it seemed like she was weightless, her body just hanging in the air. However, the moment quickly passed as she dropped into the night. After her followed her unit, each man and woman emulating their commander as they rushed after her and toward battle.

Coughing, Jaune laid back and directed his gaze toward the stars. He smiled. In his wildest of dreams, he would have never imagined it going as well as it did. Leave it to Ozpin to have a failsafe that made use of him and his family heirloom. Still, it had cost him. His Aura was gone and he could already feel the hands of death coming for him.

"Heh, I know Pyrr. I'm sorry," he whispered as he closed his eyes, imaging how his partner would scold him once he meant her on the other side. She had always been more concerned about his safety and health than he had; it was one of the reasons he'd fallen for her. Jaune, you need to start taking better care of yourself. Here let me bandage that for you. Jaune, don't push yourself so hard. Your body needs time to heal. Jaune, you haven't been eating lately. Let me get you something. Jaune-

As another coughing fit racked his body, he couldn't help but look forward to his approaching death. He would finally be able to rest and reunite with not just Pyrrha but all the others. One thing for sure, he would give Ozpin a verbal thrashing. The old man deserved it.

Opening his eyes, he put that thought aside and looked toward the stars as the enormity of what he had accomplished dawned on him. The Ark would be able to launch, its cargo safely nestled within its hold. Humanity would have the chance to start anew, away from the Grimm. They had won.

Suddenly an ear-shattering roar filled the night sky.

Jaune's mouth went dry. No, it was not possible. It simply was not possible!

The roar came again followed shortly by a titanic explosion. Screams erupted.

Gritting his teeth, he strained his muscles and managed to find the strength to push himself up. Panting, he began to crawl to the edge of the tower. The going was slow and he had to stop several times to catch his breath. All the while, the sounds of people screaming and crying filled his mind. When he finally reached the edge, he directed his gaze out across the grounds and felt his heart stop.

The Ark lay on the docks, its body gutted. Flames wreathed the massive ship and within its remains stood a gargantuan Grimm. Even from his vantage point, he could see as it opened its maw and engulfed hundreds of fleeing figures in molten flame.

Several stood their ground and he swore he could make out some familiar faces. They tried to fight back but all they got for their courage was a swift death.

He watched as a figure with flaming yellow hair, Yang; launch a ferocious attack with her unit supported by their remaining tanks and mechs only for the Grimm to sweep them all aside with contemptuous ease. Yang herself snatched up by a massive claw and swallowed completely.

Jaune could barely feel the tears sliding down his cheeks. They had been so close. Victory had been right there, just within reach. As darkness began to close in around him, he let lose a cry toward the heavens. He had failed.

Someone was screaming that much was clear. Whoever it was, Cardin's heart reached out to them. He had heard screams like that before. It was a scream for the loss of a loved one, a soul-tearing scream laden with grief. He needed to help the poor soul, let him or her know that there were people out there who could help with the sorrow, to help them move on. That is until the screaming abruptly stopped when he had to cough.

He had been the one screaming.

Still coughing, he opened his eyes and was stunned to find himself on his knees, his face pressed against the concrete with his hands tightly gripping his hair. Pushing himself up, he brought down his hands and gazed at them in shock. Whose blood was that? Why were his fingernails torn clean off? What had he been doing? What had happened? The last thing he remembered was running to his command station after saying goodbye to his daughter.

That's right! His daughter!

Cardin picked up his head and felt his blood go cold. The sight of the burning Ark and shrieking figures covered in flames filled his vision. Reality rushed back to him and he remembered why he had been screaming. Why his hands were bloody and why there were tears streaming down his face. His shining star, his daughter, was gone and the thing responsible for it towered behind him.

The Grimm was monstrous. It looked like a dragon out of legend with a wingspan that could bloat out the stars. Its claws were as long as street lamps and he had seen its thick scales shrug off fire from everything the warriors of Beacon had thrown at it. Then there were the eyes. The intelligence behind them was one that pre-dated humanity. To it, they were nothing but pebbles on a road.

Moreover, it was looking down right at him.

He felt his blood turn into ice.

It almost seemed to laugh at his helplessness. Gloating over how powerless he was.

As it opened its jaws, fire licking at its chops, Cardin closed his eyes.

Yue opened his eyes and wondered why he was sitting down. As he tried to stand up, he grimaced as pain shoot up the length of his body. He glanced down and regarded the solid steel pipe going through his abdomen with almost detached interest.

How many times did this make now, coming back from the brink?

Sighing, he looked around and saw the remains of what had been a tank squadron, now nothing more than just hunks of charred iron and steel.

"Wish this dying business would hurry up. I don't have all day," he said to no one in particular. "I mean seriously, how much blood have I lost now? Must've leaked out several pints at least, right?"

No one answered him, not that he expected someone to. That cursed Grimm had made sure of that.

While the minutes dragged by, Yue played with several ideas on how his current situation could have been avoided. They weren't incredibly clever but he blamed that on the fact that he was speared to the ground and how every breath he took was agony, not exactly the ideal situation to think up intricate strategies.

One thing for sure, he was going to punch that ridiculous headmaster Ozpin in the face for playing that game of his. So many things hidden for the so-called right moment to only be squandered in the worst ways possible. Granted, as a Knight-Devout he could understand why the man had done what he did. That did not mean he had to agree with it.

"Although I might have to get in line behind Jaune and Ruby," Yue mused aloud. "No doubt they had a greater stake in his game than someone such as I. Probably better that way."

As his vision began to dim, he sighed and prepared to greet his friends. He'd no doubt kept them waiting long enough.

Fate observed the three souls floating before it with an emotion bordering on curiosity. Why had it plucked those souls from the soul steam out of countless others? What whimsical notion had made it stop those souls from continuing on to their predetermined rebirth? The more it thought on the matter, the more vexed it became when it could not find an answer. It was Fate, the omnipotent force to which all life was connected. In the countless millennia it had spent watching Remnant and beyond it had never once before experienced what it was feeling now. Confusion.

No, that was not possible. Fate could not be confused. There must be a reason why it had taken those souls, some purpose that was surely important. Right? Grabbing the three souls, it studied them closely. Their wishes were simple. One yearned for his family. The other yearned for his friends. The last sought a purpose in life. In the end they all wished for the same thing, a second chance at life. Nothing out of the ordinary. Many souls often passed with some task unfulfilled. But surely there was something else?

Wait. What if that was it? Yes, these souls had no greater destiny but perhaps that is why they had attracted its attention. They were meant to do great things but had obviously been mislabeled. Yes, clearly that was it. Confident that it had found the reason behind its action Fate wondered what to do. The three had already died, that much was true. However, it would be a simple matter to give them back their lives. Yet it hesitated. If it left things as they were, the souls would just come back to him in much the same way and that would be inexcusable. That would mean that it had been wrong and that was impossible.

Perhaps…perhaps it would give them some advantages. Ways to help them meet their greater destiny. It was only right. If it had a face it would have smiled, impressed at how cunning it was. It took the three souls and imprinted on them gifts, one of which was the knowledge they had carried when they had still been alive. Satisfied, it tossed them into the sea of revival and praised itself on a job well done.

After all, Fate was never wrong.

Comments and Criticisms are welcome.