Pietro is putting the finishing touches on part of the Amity Communications Tower. Lena was just sitting by herself, still hating the idea of having to hide inside this thing. She wanted to be out there, and fight alongside her friends... to protect Ruby who she had no idea if she was safe or not. It was torture staying up here and not being able or even allowed to help. But they told her several times it was for her safety, given her Maiden power would attract all the wrong attention. But Lena knew it wasn't just to keep her safe, but also to keep others safe from the danger she could attract.
Pietro when he receives communication from Penny "Dad?".
He stops what he is doing "Penny?".
"This does not seem like a very good idea" Penny admitted, since she had been sent down to the dust mine to plant a bomb that would blow up the dust and help send Amity higher in to the sky.
"There is a difference between a good idea and our best idea. Sadly, we don't have time for much else" Pietro as he keeps working to finish the final touches "We have enough systems up and running to broadcast our message and keep Amity in atmospheric orbit. But our thrusters just aren't capable of reaching our target altitude on their own".
On the lowest level of the colosseum's arena, Maria is piloting a mech and using it to carry a large machine "Ha, fortunately, we're sitting on a couple hundred tons of thrust".
Maria walks the mech to the center of the platform and puts the machine down.
"Once we passed into broadcast range, we'll activate stabilizers, re-establish global communications, and boost the message we've recorded out into the rest of the world. After that, we just have to pilot Amity away from all this mess" Pietro said.
"But what if no one is able to come and help Atlas? If I stay behind, I could maybe-" Penny began but was interrupted.
"Penny, we are not having this conversation again. I'm your father and I'm telling you that you belong on Amity. Besides, young Lena is going to need your protection a lot more than the others" Pietro said as and Maria are riding the platform back up. But his words made Lena clench her fist for a moment.
Penny was disappointed but had to do what she was told "Yes, sir".
"Don't you think Penny has had enough people telling her what to do?" Maria asked.
Pietro sighs "Prepare for launch, please. I'm moving us into position".
Penny flies out of the Dust mine and up to Amity Tower. Once she arrives, she sits on the edge of the platform next to Lena who hadn't spoken a word since they got here. Penny puts a hand on Lena's shoulder, trying to comfort her. Didn't help much but Lena put her hand on Penny's to show she appreciates what she's trying to do, while Pietro works on a computer projected by the machine that Maria placed.
"All systems are ready. Penny? Penny looks at her father and then gets up and walks over "Amity is requesting launch access… now".
Penny looks at the screen, which says "Connecting…" She looks down, waiting. Pietro and Maria look at Penny, and after a few moments, her eyes glow slightly. The tower's stabilizers activate, glowing purple, and Pietro and Maria celebrate.
"Oh yes, it worked!" Pietro cheered and Penny smiles, but then lowers her head. Pietro places his hand on her arm to comfort her, and she looks at him and smiles. He then begins typing on the computer again "Oh, I didn't have time to install seat belts, so I'd advise you to hang on".
Pietro taps a button on his walking chair, and parts of the chair's legs begin glowing purple. Maria laughs and walks away. The bombs in the Dust mine begin counting down from thirty seconds, and Penny begins helping Maria get back inside the mech. The two are soon distracted by a loud thud, followed by a fireball flying up through the air. Penny flies over to the edge of the platform and looks down to see a huge hole where the fireball melted through from outside the colosseum. An airship levitates up from the smoke, and atop the airship stands Cinder with flames coming from her hands.
Cinder looked at Lena with an excited face "And where do you think you're going?".
"Cinder!" Lena said with an angry glare.
Cinder hops down from the airship with a grin, while Satya, Emerald and Neo exit the airship. The countdown on the bombs reaches zero, and the bombs explode, setting off a chain reaction of Dust eruptions. As the colorful explosions intensify, four jets on Amity Tower activate. The combined force causes the tower to begin flying into the air, which slams Penny into the floor, while Lena and Cinder drops to one knee and steadies themselves with their hands. Emerald and Satya has been forced to the floor by the tower's ascent. They look at Cinder, who is focused on Lena.
"I was hoping your friends would be here. But it looks like they left you to do all the work" Cinder mocked.
"No. They just had more important things to do. Dealing with you has been very low on our list of priorities" Lena shot back.
Cinder only smirks begins spawning dozens of glowing hot glass swords on the floor around herself "Is that so? Well that makes things easier for me".
The tower finishes ascending, and its jets turn off. Cinder grins and thrusts her hands forward, making the glass swords launch themselves at Lena. With not a second to waste, Lena blinks out of the way from the sharp objects. As Lena dodges the projectiles, Cinder smiles as she prepares another a spear and throws it where she believes Lena will show up next. She was right and the spear barely misses Lena as it graces her side. Lena gasped as more blades flew towards her. Piloting the mech, Maria hops in between Cinder and Lena, using the mech's arms to block the remaining glass swords. The mech stands tall and begins walking toward Cinder.
"Get away from her, you bi-" Cinder's airship suddenly slams into Maria's mech, knocking it away.
Cinder and Lena look at each other and then begin flying toward each other by using their maiden powers. However, Lena dodges Cinder and continues past Maria, who is wrestling with the airship. Lena knew a battle in here could destroy their only chance of getting Amity in to position. She needed to get Cinder out of here before anything is damaged. So she flies out of the arena, hoping to lead Cinder outside. Cinder chases Lena out of the arena, and Emerald turns her attention to the battle between Maria in the mech and Neo in the ship.
"Cinder!" Satya called out and looked ready to follow but stopped when Penny showed up in front of her.
"You will not harm my friend!" Penny declared, her swords ready for combat.
Satya glared at her "Alright you little Atlas toy. Let's put you down for good!".
Maria manages to slam the airship down onto the floor, and Neo reverses the ship until it breaks free from the mech's grip and floats away. Maria looks around, only to find the airship seems to have disappeared. She then notices Emerald using her Semblance on her to hide the ship from her vision. The ship once again slams into the mech and keeps going until the mech is slammed into a wall. Neo parks the airship and gets out. Maria opens the cockpit of the now damaged mech and begins climbing out, only to see Neo standing in front of her. In the distance, Emerald calls out to Neo.
"Let's go!" Emerald hurries out of the arena, but Neo only spares her a glance before looking back down at Maria.
"And what do you want?" Maria demanded.
Neo leans down to Maria and uses her Semblance to make herself look identical to Ruby. She then grabs Maria and tosses her out of the mech. Maria rolls and gets to her feet, sliding to a stop with a confident grin. On the platform above, Pietro watches as Maria begins dodging Neo's attacks. He hurries back to the computer to check on the tower's status.
"Please, please, please!" The screen displays an image of Amity Tower above a green dotted line labeled "Broadcast Range". The top of the screen says Broadcast Signal Range Achieved "Yes!".
However, as the tower's stabilizers activate, the text on the screen changes to "Warning! Stabilizer Fail", with a diagram and multiple windows appearing. The screen then changes again to display Amity Tower dipping below the now yellow dotted line. The top of the screen says "Broadcast Signal Lost In -" with a countdown timer for three minutes. The hole that Cinder burned into the colosseum is directly next to one of the stabilizers, causing it to malfunction and struggle to remain active.
"We're… drifting?" Pietro begins typing on the computer.
Outside the arena, Lena struggled to stay ahead of Cinder who was hot on her heels. She landed on the roof of Amity and looked up at Cinder who was hovering above her.
Lena glares as she brings out her pistols "You know Cinder? I am happy you showed up. I was worried I wouldn't get the chance to finally make you pay for everything you did. And this time we are fighting on even ground!".
Cinder laughed mockingly "You really think just because you got Maiden powers by pure chance, that you are my equal now? Unlike you, I acctually know how to use them!".
Cinder creates a bow and shoots several arrows at Lena who dodges them before returning fire with her pistols. They continued their little fire fight for a while until Cinder flies towards Lena who quickly began to fly as well. But Cinder quickly caught her, causing them both to crash back on to the roof and causing Lena to drop her pistols. Lena knocks Cinder of her and both get up with Lena quickly delivering a punch to Cinder's face. Cinder growls and countered with a back hand that staggered Lena a little. Cinder went for two more fire balls to no results as Lena avoided them and landed a punch to Cinder's head. Lena went to capitalize on it with kicks, but Cinder blocked them and ducked under another. Cinder used this opportunity to throw another punch, but Lena dodged it and delivered a kick to Cinder's gut, making her slide back.
Lena couldn't help to mock Cinder a little "I remember you being a much better fighter than this. You've allowed your power to become a crutch".
Cinder growls before she dashed forward and delivered an punch to Lena's face which sent her backflipping, before she landed on her feet. Cinder uses her power rocket herself towards Lena, grabbing her before flying of the roof. They struggled with each other for a bit before Cinder slamed Lena in to the side of Amity. She raised her grimm hand and was about to use it to drain Lena's maiden powers from her. But Lena grabbed her hand and tried to keep it away from her face, but Cinder was slowly overpowering her. Lena managed to force Cinder's hand to the side and delivered a strong headbut to Cinder's nose before kicking her of.
Cinder held her nose and glares at Lena "Annoying pest!"
"Annoying you is the least I can do" Lena said as she flies with her maiden power "I told you already, we are on equal fotting now. You won't beat me so easily this time".
Cinder glares before she smirks "It's not about overpowering the enemy. It's about taking away what power they have. And I happen to know why you are fighting as hard as you do".
Lena got wide eyes as Cinder flew away. She knew what was doing, and quickly followed her.
Inside the arena, Neo repeatedly swings her parasol at Maria, who laughs and blocks every attack with her cane. Neo hooks her parasol's handle on the cane and uses it to throw Maria. Much to Neo's surprise, Maria changes her cane into its sickle form, hooks it on the parasol's handle, and pulls herself forward to land a kick on Neo's head. Maria then hops off of Neo's head, and Neo begins to fall over but catches herself. Neo charges Maria and leaps at her, but Maria blocks the parasol with the top of her sickle and then folds the sickle's blade down to ram the head of it into Neo's face. She then unfolds the sickle to hook it onto the parasol and pull, knocking Neo down.
While that was happening, Satya and Penny were locked in combat. Satya fired lightning bolts from her new arm that Moira had given her. Moira's experiments were not pleasant, but they did provide Satya with many new tricks.
Penny avoided the attacks, as she returned fire with her lasers, which Satya avoided. She then used her arm to give herself a boost towards Penny who only had time to gasp before Satya's dark arm punched her in the face. Satya then grabbed her and threw her down in to the floor. Penny looked up just in time to use her blades to block another strike from Satya and force her back. Penny sends her blades at Satya who blocked all of them, but Penny managed to use her swords to open up Satya's guard, allowing penny to deliver a powerful punch to Satya's face, sending her flying back. Satya grew more frustrated as she sends another blast of lightning at Penny, who used her swords to block it, but still got caught in the blast zone. Satya smirks as she dashed forward and grabbed Penny by the face and smashed her head in to the floor.
"These new abilities hurt like hell. But they came with a lot of benefits" Satya said as she lifts Penny in to air "Maybe now I can finally be Cinder's equal".
After she said that Cinder came back and begins shooting flames at the metal beams supporting the communications platform, successfully melting three of them before she is grabbed around the neck by Lena who holds her in place.
"What is wrong with you!? If the world is united, we can stop Salem! You won't need to serve her anymore! So why are you still loyal to her!?" Lena demanded, struggling to hold Cinder.
"I serve no one!" Cinder said as she slams the back of her head in to Lena's head forcing her to let got and fly back as Cinder turned around to face her "And I am only loyal to myself. All this is just a means to an end. All that power will be mine".
The melted beams begin to give out, causing the platform to slowly sag. Penny noticed what was happening and forced Satya of her before flying up and stabs her nine swords into the floor and uses the strings to pull the platform up. With Penny holding up the platform, Lena uses her maiden power and begins shooting ice magic at two of the beams, attempting to cool the metal back down. She looks down Cinder, who flies over, wraps her legs around Lena's waist, and begins trying to grab her with her Grimm arm.
"Lena!" Penny cried out before she was hit from behind by Satya.
"Our fights is not over yet, tin can!" Satya called out to her.
Lena struggled against Cinder, who's grimm arm got closer and closer to her face. Lena could feel the claws touching her face and had to think of something quickly. She forced them to fly downwards and managed to slam Cinder in to the floor. Lena got of Cinder but noticed Satya attacking Penny and fired an ice blast at her. Satya noticed it to late and let out a cry of pain as she took a direct hit from the blast which knocked her out cold. Cinder saw this and with an angry scream she extends her Grimm arm, grabbing Lena by the neck. Lena struggled against the grip Cinder began draining her maiden power.
But before Cinder could drain enough, she screams in pain as a sword cuts of her grimm hand. Penny had recovered from Satya's assaults, giving Lena the opening she needed. With Cinder distracted by her regrowing arm, Lena builds up some magic in her hands before blasting Cinder with the full force of her Maiden Power. Cinder was sent flying backwards, and slams against a wall. But Lena did not let up she continued blasting Cinder with her maiden powers, and Cinder screamed in agony as her aura was quickly being drained. At this rate, Lena was going to kill her... and from the hatred in her eyes, she might acctually be trying to kill Cinder.
"CINDER!" Emerald screamed as she ran at Lena who noticed her just in time to dodge an swing from her weapon "Cinder! No no no! No!".
Emerald kneels beside Cinder, who is lying unconscious on the floor. She rolls Cinder onto her back to check on her, while Lena levitates near them. Emerald turns and fires her gun toward Lena, but the bullet flies straight past her and hits the machine on the raised platform, barely missing Pietro. Lena glares at Emerald and looked ready to fire another blast.
"I know I can't beat you. But I can fill that thing full of holes before you take me down" Emerald said, letting a single tear fall.
"Why...? Why are you loyal to that monster?! After everything she did! All the people that died because of her! How could you possibly be loyal to someone like that!?" Lena demanded.
"Shut up! People like you could never understand! I owe her everything! I would be nothing without her!" Emerald shot back.
Lena gave her a look like she just said something really stupid "You are less than nothing as long as you stay with her. She doesn't care about anyone. She wants power, and nothing else".
Emerald glared at her "Let us go... or I will destroy that machine".
Lena looked ready to attack but Penny grabs her shoulder "Lena... don't".
Lena looks at her before she let out a frustrated sigh before her Maiden powers stops. The colosseum shakes and rumbles as Lena and Penny looks around. They watches Emerald hurriedly carry Cinder away and then flies away. Emerald gets into the airship, setting Cinder beside her, while Neo starts the ship. Emerald worriedly pets Cinder's head, then looks at Neo, who looks annoyed.
"Get us out of here. Hurry" Emerald said.
Neo's look of annoyance turns to one of anger, before she picks up Satya and and drags her in to the ship. She then flies the ship out of the colosseum.
Lena and Penny flies back up to the platform, with Penny carrying Maria. She sets Maria down.
"Dad! Are you okay?" Penny said as she runs over to Pietro and kneels in front of him.
"The stabilizer was damaged. We've missed our window" Pietro said. Penny gets up and runs over to the computer, typing on the keyboard "At this rate, we're likely to drift until touching down just north of-".
The colosseum rumbles again. Lena looked worried. Was all that for nothing?
"I can fix this" Penny said.
"What?" Maria asked.
"Our message is only a few minutes long" Penny turns to them and continues talking with a smile "I can try and hold Amity in place until-".
"Absolutely not!" Pietro interrupted and Penny frowns in disappointment "You're in no condition to do something like this. Even just the temperature out there could-".
"It is our only option" Penny said.
"She is right, Pietro. We have to remember the big picture-" Maria began but Pietro becomes frustrated.
"I don't care about the big picture! I care about my daughter!" He slams his fist down onto the arm of his chair. He lowers his head and takes off his hat as he speaks "I lost you before. Are you asking me to go through that again? No. No. I want the chance to watch you live your life".
Penny walks over and gently lifts his head so he will look at her "But dad… I am trying to".
"I will go out there with her sir. If anything bad happens, I can pull her out" Lena said.
Pietro takes Penny's hand into both of his and then takes a moment to emotionally gather himself, nodding "Right".
Penny gently kisses the top of his head. He takes off his glasses and rubs his eyes, while Maria walks over to stand beside him, smiling at Penny. Maria puts her hand on his arm while he puts his glasses back on, and Penny flies outside through an opening in the roof with Lena following her. Penny takes a few moments to look down at Atlas, then up at a borealis in the sky, smiling to herself.
Penny flies down to the damaged stabilizer and begins pushing on it, using the jets in her feet. Pietro watches the computer screen as the image of Amity slowly rises up through the red dotted line representing the broadcast range. Lena tried to help the best she could. But the temperture and lack of air made it difficult.
"Lena... try to focus your maiden power in to me, just like you did with your weapons. I think I can use it to increase my thrusters" Penny said.
Lena hesitated by nods and puts her hands on Penny's back and using the same method she used to power her pistols, she managed to infuse Penny with some of her power. It worked and jet Penny is producing increases greatly in size and changes from green to cyan. The computer plays a noise as the tower reaches broadcast range.
All of the screens in the Atlas military base suddenly display a broadcast color pattern with the text "Atlas Emergency Broadcast System" displayed across the top, emitting a long tone. A large screen on a building in Mantle flickers on, displaying the same image for a moment before switching to a pre-recorded video of Ruby, with Blake voice coming from off-camera.
"Okay, go ahead" Blake said.
Ruby began to speak "Um, uh. Hi. My name is Ruby Rose. I'm a Huntress. And if we've done everything right, then I'm talking to all of Remnant right now. Dr. Polendina can explain more later, but right now you all need to know that the Kingdom of Atlas is under attack. Things are dire, and we need help. But please, try not to panic. This isn't some new enemy or invading Kingdom. This is a force we've faced before, for centuries… Salem. The White Fang, Atlesian drones, even the Grimm themselves have all been controlled and manipulated by her, in order to tear down the Huntsman Academies. I know the idea of the Maidens and Relics seems… well… crazy, but I promise Professor Goodwitch of Beacon and Headmaster Theodore of Shade can verify all of this. They might even be able to help organize a way to fight back. But sadly, General Ironwood can no longer be trusted".
People from all around the world could see the message. But no one knew what was about to happen next.
"We didn't have time to prepare for Salem. But now you do! Just because she can't be destroyed, doesn't mean she can't be beaten. If she really was unstoppable, she wouldn't have acted with such caution until now. She knows we're a threat. So even if we even if Atlas falls, you can't give up" Ruby continued.
Penny suddenly gasps as her eyes flicker red for a moment. She then cries out and grips her head. Her jets stop working, and she falls for a few seconds, before activating her jets again and flying back up to push on the stabilizer.
"Penny?" Lena asked in worry.
"Penny! What's going on out there?" Pietro asked.
"I… I do not know!" Penny said as she struggled with controlling herself.
And as Ruby was delivering her last words in the message, the broadcast is suddenly cut off, and the screen reverts to the Atlas Emergency Broadcast System screen.
"Penny, you've done enough, sweetheart. Get back inside! We can ride out on Amity together" Pietro said.
Penny struggles, her eyes flickering between red and their normal green color "No! I- I have to go! The Maiden! No! Dad!
Penny looks up at the tower, and her eyes become dull and lifeless. Her body goes limp, and she begins falling. Lena looked horrified by what she saw.
"PENNY!" She screams as she flies after her. As she falls through the atmosphere, Penny becomes engulfed in flames. Lena had to create an ice shield to protect herself from the heat, which melts away very quickly, forcing Lena to make more. She followed deterimed to help Penny.
In the tundra outpost, Genji, Yang, Ren and Jaune are looking at their Scrolls.
"That was the broadcast. Why did we lose signal?" Yang asked.
"Something must've happened to Amity..." Genji said, worried about what could've happened.
They hear a loud noise in the distance and are soon after running through the snow in pursuit of rumbling sounds.
"There's another one. I think it's just up ahead" Jaune said.
They suddenly stop and stare at something with wide eyes.
"What… is this?" Ren asked.
The ground has broken open, and black liquid is flowing inside the crack. The ground rumbles, and Yang takes a step forward. A piece of dirt with a small bush on it breaks off beneath her foot, and Jaune reaches out in case she falls. The dirt and bush fall into the liquid and instantly dissolve. Soon after, a Sabyr head floats to the surface.
"It's Grimm. A river of Grimm…" Yang said as she, Genji, Jaune and Ren look where the liquid is heading, while Monstra hovers in the distance in the opposite direction. They see that the river is snaking its way across the tundra toward Mantle "...Heading straight for the Kingdom".
"My god... Salem is going to attack them directly..." Genji realized. The situation went from very bad to even worse.
Elswhere, Lena is dragging a badly damaged Penny out of the snow... and Lena herself was nearing her limits.
"Come on Penny... we have to... have to..." Lena said as she fell in to the snow and looked at the Kingdom in the distance "We have to... make it... back...".
She lowers her head in to the snow...
Another tricky chapter to write. All thanks to Lena being the winter maiden.
Tell me what you think.