Chapter 13

Qrow opened the front door of the apartment complex. Ciel Soleil, Karen, and Mina all stood waiting for him.

"Where have you been?" Mina asked as the older man stepped through the threshold but instead of answering he simply sniffed and scratched his nose.

"Qrow." Mina said as she stepped in front of him, making sure to get in his vision. She sighed when she realized what he was doing.

"Hello Qrow." She said and the older man smiled giving a wink towards Karen who just laughed.

"Why Mina, I didn't see you there. How are you?" Qrow asked cheerfully.

"Where have you been? Ciel said you got called out for a meeting with someone important." She pressed but Qrow just shrugged.

"Importance is all relative. I find sleeping to be far more important than doing paperwork from a crime scene but I still take both of them seriously." He said as he leaned one hand against a wall on his right but Mina crossed her arms. He took great pleasure in seeing the twitch of annoyance in her face but he knew he shouldn't mess around for too long.

"Welp, to answer your question I went to go talk with Winter Schnee." He explained.

"A Schnee?" Mina repeated wrinkling her brow at that.

"Shocking I know."

"A little, why do you know a Schnee?"

"Well she knows her little sister is here so she came by to check on her."

"Sure, then why didn't she actually come in?"

"Well I told her that Weiss was doing fine and she took my word for it. Since, you know, I'm a responsible adult."

"Riiight. Then why did you just now come back inside?"

"Because she had a favor to ask of me."

"And what favor could Winter Schnee ask of you?"

"I don't know what you're trying to insinuate and it's kind of annoying so let's get this over with. She asked if we could watch over someone for her." This got their attention.

"Who?" Qrow shrugged as he gestured over his shoulder with a thumb.

"The kiddo is still out there for some reason, I told her to come in with me but I guess she's a bit shy." Qrow turned away from them then headed out the door. Mina exchanged looks with Karen and Ciel as they could hear Qrow speaking with someone outside.

"Alright, no need to be shy now kid. They're all good people, well, expect for the blonde ones but don't tell them I said that." Mina could hear a soft laugh at that. The door opened wide and Mina was surprised to see a young girl standing in front of her. Qrow, who was standing behind her, put a hand on the younger girl's shoulder.

"It's alright." Mina couldn't help but notice the parental tone in the older man's voice. This didn't come to much of a surprise considering what she heard about Ruby and Yang's home life.

"Hi there, my name's Mina Arc." She said as she took a few steps forward with her hand held out as she noticed the look of apprehension in the girl's green eyes, the girl took her hand.

"My name's Penny Polendina."

10 Minutes Later…

Everyone was seated in the living room of the apartment. Qrow had finished explaining why he brought this new girl at the behest of Winter Schnee; Weiss was the first to speak up.

"So I get it why my sister would want us to take you in but I'm confused why she felt like it was supposed to be some big secret." She said turning to look at the orange hair girl.

"I can't say as well but I'm still grateful that Ms. Schnee has helped me." Penny said.

"Well I think it's great, we've got a new member to our group." Ruby said flashing a bright smile at the young girl.

"Well who wants to explain this to Jaune when he comes back?" Blake asked.

"Who?" Penny asked.

"Jaune, he's our group leader and technically I guess he's also a Captain." Karen said looking at Ciel who nodded.

"That's right, Jaune Arc is considered to be the Captain of the 1st Auxiliary Combat Group. Right now he's currently on a scouting mission with three other members of the group and he'll need to know as it's required in the contract that he's signed to notify the Government on the updated roster of additional members recruited or gained."

"Speaking of Jaune, when do you think he and the others will be back?" Yang asked from the back.

"I'd imagine that he should be finishing up his mission right about now." Ciel said as she pulled back her sleeve to look at a wristwatch.

"What was his mission?" Helena asked.

"I think he was supposed to scout out a rest station and Observatory." Karen spoke up, Sun snorted.

"Man that's so easy."


Jaune, Ren and Brad sprinted down the hallway as the sounds of conflict raged ahead of them. As Jaune turned the corner to reach the main lobby he could feel his heart hammering against his ribs at the thought of Nora or Pyrrha getting hurt.

As he reached the flight of his he looked over to see Pyrrha, Arslan, Nora, and one of the other security guards firing their weapons.

"Brad take you guy then make sure the people get out safely! Ren, you're with me!" Jaune shouted as he thudded down the steps two at a time. He didn't hear any of their answers as he ran up to stand to Pyrrha's right. He raised his rifle and saw the oncoming mass of dead people charging at them.

He braced as he squeeze the trigger, the rifle bucked hard as he pour multiple rounds in the wall of flesh. Bullets stitched paths of misty blood as they ripping into the bodies.

Some of the dead bodies that they shot didn't immediately fall down; the press of bodies behind them seemed to carry them much further than they should. This was also a bad thing as those bodies acted as a sort of barrier that slowed or stopped the bullets.

The rifle bolt clicked, Jaune pulled the magazine out then let it drop as he pulled a fresh one out then slammed it into the magazine well before hitting the bolt release. Normally he would have tucked the empty magazine into a pouch as they could just put new rounds into it but he didn't have the time as the undead got closer.

"We're gonna start pulling back one by one!" Jaune shouted over the roar of gun fire.

"Arslan! You go first!" He shouted glancing at the dark skin girl who was struggling to load new shells into her shotgun. She didn't look like she heard him as she finally brought the shotgun up to her shoulder then fired twice then she stood up and fired three more times before turning around to run.

"Nora! You're next! Empty then move!" Jaune ordered as he started switching back and forth firing quick bursts. Nora got up and left leaving but the undead were now too close as well, he couldn't pull back one by one.

"Everyone start moving, Pyrrha go first, Ren you'll follow and cover me." Jaune called out and they started pulling back slowly.

"Jaune come on!" Ren called out from behind him and he began back stepping as he loaded a new magazine with his weapon. The undead finally reached the threshold and began to spill in every direction. Jaune could see a few breaking off to the sides; they were going to get overwhelmed in here.

"You guys hurry up!" Nora's voice called out from further back, Jaune didn't dare look back however as he fired several more short bursts. The bloody mist blossomed from the bodies of multiple people as the rifle rounds struck them.

"Jaune run!" Pyrrha shouted and he finally looked over his shoulder as he fired wildly from the hip. The others were by the front door firing their weapons as well. His rifle clicked dry and he looked forward to see a woman with a bloody shirt and torn skin from bite marks on her shoulder reaching out for him.

He let go of his rifle, it tugged at him from his leash as it hanged at his side. He drew his Glock and pulled the trigger as quick as he could. The flurry of nine millimeter rounds ripped into her torso and she fell forward but not entirely dead as she twisted violently on the ground.

More of them were closing in and Jaune stumbled back slipping on the marble floor then turned to start sprinting towards the front door.

"Come on!" Ren shouted as he finished reloading his own rifle then fired a long burst into a pair of teens that had the skin and flesh torn from their arms. Jaune ran past him towards the outside, Ren and Brad closed the door while the other security guard quickly locked it.

Jaune looked at the parking lot and could see most of the people were piling into cars then taking speeding off down the road. A few of them crashed or skimmed off other cars as whoever was driving them moved with reckless abandoned. Even one of the buses was also being filled up with far more people than it could seat.

"This door won't hold." Ren said from behind him and Jaune turned to see it was already looking strained at the bodies on the other side piled against it.

"We need to get out of here as fast as possible." Arslan said.

"Not yet." Jaune interjected as he finished loading a fresh magazine into both of his weapons.

"Why not?"

"Cause we need to make sure no one is left behind."

"So we're leaving last then?" Pyrrha asked.

"Yup but I think Bolin, Reese, and Nadir can go on ahead to get the cars then come back here to pick us up. The last of the survivors should be gone by the time they get back up here." Jaune said as he looked towards the front entrance of the observatory. He couldn't help but feel like it was straining at the hinges.

"That makes sense." Arslan said as she fished out the keys to their SUV then handed it to Reese while Jaune gave his to Bolin.

"Alright, Arslan and Nora you two need to direct the traffic make sure everyone keeps moving smoothly. Pyrrha, Ren we're watching the entrance if you see opening for the zombies to come out of then call it out." He looked around at all of them.

"Well? What are you waiting for? Go!" He said gesturing them away with a wave of a hand. He walked towards the center of the parking lot; a few cars pulled out then drove past him. In the corner of his eye he could see them watching him as they left.

He smiled; it was strange to see those looks. For they weren't the normal looks of pity he had received most of his life, no they were the looks of shame. It was the shame in watching a teenager that hadn't even graduated High School who was now keeping them safe as the undead came for them.

Jaune glanced at Pyrrha and Ren who began taking up spots at the far end of the parking lot. Their weapons were pointed towards the large building. He wondered if they saw what he saw, he shook his head; of course not it was all in his head.

Looking back up he continued to watch the entrance of the building but nothing came out, minutes passed and it became obvious that for the time being that they were safe. He kneeled down; unslinging his backpack then quickly pulled his notebook out as he set the rifle on the ground beside him.

"Jaune what are you doing?" Pyrrha asked as she walked over to see him writing something.

"I'm making a note for the report that I'm going to have to make after this, the Observatory is not clear of undead and that we were unable to clear them out."

"Do you think they'll have us come back here to clean it out?" Pyrrha asked as she kept a wary eye on the building.

"I'm not sure; but I doubt that's what's going to happen though since we piled a bunch of mechanic supplies down at the rest station. If anything they might just have a squad or two come here to clear them out or if anything just torch the building." Jaune said as he finished writing.

"I hope not." Pyrrha said and Jaune glanced up at her.

"Why not?"

"I guess it probably has to do with this being a place of learning. Knowledge is kept here and Humanity is dependent on the knowledge it has now without it we'd go back in time."

"True but some might say that this knowledge and technology has only changed the look of what we were but it hasn't changed what we are."

"Maybe but I still think it would be best to avoid destroying places like this."

"I agree, if we ever the longer it takes to rebuild the longer it will take for things to go back to relative normal." The two of them looked over to see that Nora was jogging up to them.

"All the cars are on the move." She said and Jaune nodded as he stood up slinging his backing onto his back again.

"Alright, we'll continue watching the building in case any of them manage to get out but other than that I think we're done here."


Neo sat in a lawn chair on the roof of the motel, below her the soldiers and civilians that had come back from their successful attack were celebrating.

She found it tiresome to be around people like that so she decided to grab some stuff then find a nice place to relax. Now she was enjoying a good drink and cigar which she had graciously taken from Roman's stock.

At the same time she there was something that bothered her about everything. It had to do with the night she had first encountered the marauder group.

There was a woman who had nearly killed her. She, as far as Neo was aware, was the leader of this group. She had asked Roman if she asked spotted someone like her during the attack but he hadn't seen anyone that would have matched that role of leader.

This meant that she wasn't present at the attack which left bad taste in her mouth at that thought of a job incomplete. Alas she couldn't devote the time to hunting this woman down.

Roman was planning on moving the group back north in hopes of assessing the situation going with the main Valean Army. Neo wasn't sure what he was planning after that but it didn't really seem like a big concern for her at the moment so she'll continue to follow him.

In the distance Neo could see nothing but lifeless land, all that stirred was the glass or trees under the pressure of wind. Now that she thought about it, she didn't remember the last time she actually saw wildlife, there weren't even any birds around.

Sighing, she unscrewed the cap of her bottle then took a long swig from it. The burn of the alcohol sent a nice warmth throughout her body.

"I see you're enjoying yourself." A familiar voiced asked from behind her, she didn't answer as she already knew who it was.

"Come on, not even going to say hi?" Roman asked as he appeared in her vision, she smiled a little as he already knew the answer to that question.

"I guess it was silly of me to ask." She raised an eyebrow at him.

"Yes, yes, whatever." He said as he walked further away to sit on the ledge of the rooftop looking out at the distant lands surrounding them.

"I've been thinking." He started before lighting up a cigar then taking a quick puff.

"I've been thinking that something went wrong when we hit that bandit group." Neo cocked her head to the side.

"You're gonna think I'm an idiot but I feel like it was a mistake rising to the challenge in attacking them. We should have just packed up and left when we beat them back the first time. We've lost more than a dozen men with nearly twenty wounded along with a lot of supplies used up." Roman took another puff from his cigar as he thought.

"Something's coming." Roman said as he stood up and tossed his cigar over the side of the building. Neo stood up as well and followed his gaze.

From the south a black SUV was speeding towards them. Neo gritted her teeth as she set down her bottle then ran to find her rifle.

"Listen up! We got an unknown coming! Look alive down there!" Roman yelled as he leaned over the side. His people began scattering as they prepared themselves, he looked up to see the SUV beginning to slow down.

He wasn't sure if it was a scout or messenger but he wasn't going to go in unprepared. He turned around to see Neo carrying her M110 rifle then began to set it up on the ledge. Turning away from her he headed towards the roof access to go and meet whoever was coming.

A Few Minutes Later…

Roman walked slowly to the street outside the motel. Several of the soldiers who had been on patrol were standing behind him. The others were either still getting ready or taken up positions to cut off any escape for the SUV if things went badly.

The mysterious vehicle came close then began to slow down before stopping in the middle of the street. Roman waited patiently as the doors opened and four people came out it.

All of them wore grey fatigues with black tactical vests and carried IWI Tavor bullpup rifles along with thigh holstered handguns. One of them however, a short green hair girl, carried a second handgun on her left thigh as well.

Roman pursed his lips a little at that as they didn't look like soldiers but two of them carried an air about them that suggested past time in the service. However the lead two were nothing but simple brats as far as he was aware.

"What can I help you with?" Roman called out.

"I think the real question you should be asking is. How can we help you?" The short girl responded.

"Look I'm no mood to be these childish games you're probably so fond of. So spit it out, who are you and what do you want." The person next to her, a silver hair teen with a look on his face that either suggested he was constipated or angry, stepped forward.

"Listen old man, you better watch that tone or something is going to happen that you'll regret." He said and Roman just chuckled as he relighted his cigar then took a deep puff before exhaling cloud of smoke.

"Look kid, I don't know if you're blind or just stupid but whatever threat you think you'll be able to carry about against me you'll never live to find out. Now step back say sorry and tell me what you want." Roman said and the silver hair teen snarled but stepped back.

"Our leader wants to propose a deal; in exchange of information we will provide free manpower along with a selected amount of supplies." The girl hair girl said as she stepped forward pulling out a sheet of paper from the inside of her vest. Roman took it from her and stepped back as he had the sinking feeling that letting her too close wouldn't be a smart idea.

"My, my, a little nervous aren't you?" She said but Roman scoffed as he brushes his shoulders.

"I just did my laundry; I rather not get the stench of something rotten on them so soon." She frowned slightly at that but Roman waved her away.

"Begone." He said simply as he turned to walk away leaving the four of them there. He could hear them grumble as he walked away, something's not right here.

He wasn't sure what the plan was here and he didn't like it. If whoever this leader was is willing to go out of their way just to set up a connection then that meant they were looking for something or someone. The question however remained.

To what end are they willing to keep their side of this near benevolent deal?

He opened the letter. The handwriting showed signs of a meticulous and controlled person. Most people never took Graphology serious but when he was in college he found that it was quite a useful tool. The more he looked at it the more he had a hard time understanding the person.

Though to be fair he could just be very rusty at it as being in the Army meant there wasn't that much of a need to keep the skill. If he had to guess though, whoever this person was they were highly intelligent, calm, calculating with underlying brutality.

He hoped he never had to meet them.


Jaune pulled into the now crowded parking lot of the rest station. All around him he could see people cheering and laughing amongst each other at the fact they finally made it outside again.

He stopped back a grey sedan where Brad was leaning against the trunk. The older man was smoking a cigarette and looked to be enjoying it.

"Hey kid, nice to see you made it back down as well." The older man called out as Jaune and the others got out of the Grand Cherokee.

"Well we had to make sure that none of the zombies got out while your people escaped. Though I'm surprised your still here I figured your people would be already heading towards Mountain Glenn." The older man shrugged.

"And leave behind the people who risked their necks to save us? I can only speak for myself really but I think most of us wouldn't leave you guys behind." The man said as he stuck out a hand which Jaune took.

"Thanks kid, I mean it."

"It's not a problem; I know you would have done the same thing if things were reversed." The man shrugged, Jaune let go of his hand and pulled out his walkie talkie then held it out for him.

"What's this for?" Brad asked as he furrowed his eyebrows to look at it.

"Like I said you'll be leading your people but when it's time to switch we'll need you to contact us when you see we're close to Mountain Glenn. You can talk to any of my teammates on this and I'll probably be close enough to respond then as well." Jaune explained and the man nodded as he took the device then tucked it into his shirt pocket. Jaune looked up at the sky, shielding his eyes with one arm. The sun was starting to dip even lower; he wanted to get back to the city before nightfall.

"Well I guess we should start heading out, can you get your people ready to leave?" The man nodded and Jaune turned away and saw Pyrrha who had two guys chatting animatedly with her. Jaune felt a frown grow as his face a little at that then walked over.

"Hey Pyrrha." He called out as he stood to her right, one arm cradling the Stag rifle which was redundant since he had a strap that allowed it to hang on his torso giving him the ability to use both hands. The message he was wanted to convey however was noticed as the two teens excused themselves.

He felt a small smile touch his face as he watched the two of them retreat. Both of whom were giving him interesting looks at having done what he had. Pyrrha however was staring at him with a raised eyebrow at the display.

"What was that?" She asked a half amused and bemused tone lacing her voice.

"Uh, I wanted to ask if you can call Ren and Nora back as we should be getting ready to leave. I gave my radio to Brad so he can talk with us during the trip." Jaune explained hoping to cover up his actions.

"That's interesting since Ren and Nora are right there." Pyrrha said pointing over his shoulder and he looked to see the two of them smiling at him.

"What's this Nora, I think little Jauney here is jealous of the attention Pyrrha got." Ren said in a loud conspiratorial whisper.

"My I think you're right Ren but I would say he's also being very protective which Mama Nora likes." The shorter girl said with an ever growing grin on her face.

"Just, get ready to move." Jaune said as he covered his eyes with one hand. Ren and Nora walked away both laughing. Nora was obviously much louder in her joy of the current situation that Jaune was in.

"Soooo, were you really jealous?" Pyrrha asked with a knowing smile as she walked into his vision with her hands behind her back. Jaune wanted to be annoyed at the question but seeing Pyrrha smile was enough to make him smile.

"Okay, okay, fine. Maybe I was a tad bit annoyed that those two guys were talking to you." He said and Pyrrha surprisingly giggled at hearing that before stepping closer to him. He swore a fire was burning in her eyes as she quickly kissed his cheek.

Jaune was sure that his face was as red as Pyrrha's hair while she had bright pink cheeks at what she just did.

"I'm happy to know you were jealous." She said softly as a warm smile blossomed on her face before she turned to head towards the Grand Cherokee.

"What does that even mean?" He whispered to himself then headed towards the vehicle. He opened the passenger door and climbed in as did the others. Jaune pulled the magazine out of his Stag rifle then cleared the weapon of its chambered round. The others did so as well though Nora just locked the slide and hit her safety while going through the effort of pulling the shells out.

"Alright, we're all good?" Jaune asked looking at everyone.

"I'm good." Nora reported.

"Clear." Ren said as he pulled back the charging handle three times before tucking the unloaded rifle to the right hand side of his seat.

"I'm clear as well." Pyrrha reported and Jaune nodded before looking at Ren.

"Alright Ren you can start but if you wanna switch spots during the drive then let me know and I'll switch with you." Jaune said and Ren nodded as he started the jeep. In front of them Jaune could see the other cars pulling out to begin their trip to Mountain Glenn. As they all settled in for the drive Jaune couldn't help but feel heaviness in his eyelids as he struggled to keep them open.

It had had been an exhausting day and all of his adrenaline from earlier was now gone. When he had been running to join Pyrrha and the others he had felt a mix of emotions along with the adrenaline of the fight. It had warmed his body and seemed to have given him extra strength to fight against the undead. Now his body was cold and stiff as it yearned for rest.

"Jaune you can go to sleep if you want." Ren said from the driver seat.

"Hmm I guess I should." Jaune said slowly as he rubbed one eye with the back of his hand then leaned his head against the passenger window. The cool glass felt surprisingly pleasant as he finally closed his eyes, drifting slowly to sleep.


"WATCH OUT!" Someone screamed and Jaune was flung forward into the airbags as they exploded towards him. Pain vibrated through his body and he started to yell as an unseen force pulled him hard against the seatbelt as the Grand Cherokee flipped over.

Jaune opened his eyes to see them flipping over as they headed towards the side of the road. His seatbelt, which had locked him in place as it was the only thing that kept him from bouncing around the inside of the jeep.

As they hit something else, Jaune's head snapped sideways and there was a painful explosion as his head struck the window cracking it.

Everything went dark.

Sometime Later…

Pain radiated from his head as a seemingly loud steady beat pulsed in his skull. Jaune forced his eyes open and felt bile rise up but he forced it down as he looked around.

The Grand Cherokee was on its right side and he was lying against broken sharp glass that pressed painful against him.

"Guys?" Jaune croaked out as he did another look around him but he was surprised to see that no one else was in there with him. Shoving the deflated airbag aside he undid his seatbelt then began to pat himself down for any significant injury.

Aside from a sore and tender body he didn't think anything was truly wrong with him. However he noticed that a number of pouches on his vest were empty.

Looking down he could see that it all the remaining Stag rifle magazines were missing. Admittedly he didn't have a lot of them to begin with as he spent almost half of his magazines in the brief fight in the Observatory.

Pursing his lips he couldn't see his rifle as well, so he had to assume that someone had taken the stuff off him. Which brought a startling question, where did the others go?

He needed to get out of the jeep and see what was going on. In the distance he swore he could hear the sound of fighting, the occasional bursts or rattle of small arms fire echoed.

The windshield in front of him was thoroughly cracked so Jaune tucked his legs in and kicked out with both feet. The windshield bent at the force but didn't come off immediately so he continued to kick at it for a minute or so before it finally fell away.

He crawled forward out wincing as his hands touched more broken glass as he got out of the jeep. Standing up Jaune stretched his back as he looked around; the jeep was off the round and technically on the shoulder of the road.

Slowly walking around the jeep he looked towards the road and winced. Numerous cars were abandoned on the road stretching in front and behind him.

He also could see that there were a few bodies lying on the road, seeing this Jaune felt panic rise as he didn't see any other living person.

"Ren!? Nora!? Pyrrha!?" Jaune started to yell but forced himself from yelling anymore. It wasn't helping and it was just adding onto the rising sense of panic he was feeling.

He forced himself to calm down and ran a hand through his hair before setting off to the nearest car. A grey sedan that had its windows all rolled down. He pulled his Glock out and aimed it at the car as he got closer to it.

Looking inside however he could see that no one was in it. Sighing he holstered his handgun then pulled the door handle, the sedan's door opened and Jaune looked in to see that the whoever had left had taken their stuff with them.

Empty bottles and snack bags littered the floor. Sighing he pushed them aside to find anything useful but there wasn't anything. He looked at the ignition slot but it was empty, he frowned, if they had taken their keys then why leave the car behind?

Sighing he turned away from the sedan then jogged down the road to the next car, this one had apparently flipped like the Grand Cherokee and now as on its roof. Jaune got on his hands and knees and looked inside but he couldn't see anything useful as well.

"Shit." He said as he climbed back to his feet. Taking a deep breath as he ran a dirty hand through his hair he noticed a particular smell. Looking up he could see the sky was abnormally dark, sure it was getting late when they left the rest station but this was different.

Looking in the direction of Mountain Glenn he realized why the sky looked so dark.

In the distance, Mountain Glenn was on fire.

An Hour Later…

Jaune stopped a few hundred yards from the newly constructed outer perimeter of Mountain Glenn. Concrete and chain linked fences that were layered to protect the city now stood battered in the gloom of the darkened sky.

Before them however was the signs of a battle, dozens upon dozens if not hundreds of bodies were scattered on the ground. Dark blood pooled on parts of the road unable to be absorbed into the earth like the aftermath of heavy rainfall.

As Jaune continued walking forward, he pulled out his Glock which he felt lucky to still have on him. It proved to be difficult to get closer as he had to step over a number of bodies but he had to step on them more often than not.

As he made his way closer to the fence he could see that the Army had a number of its vehicles park in front of the gate to the city. Raising his Glock he turned on the flashlight attachment then proceeded forward.

There however he could see numerous empty casings scattered on the ground with periodic splashes or puddles of blood. He didn't see that many bodies however and of those that he did see none of them were soldiers.

Jaune headed over to the first Humvee he found, aiming his Glock at it he whistled loudly. Nothing stirred and he released a slow breath before moving forward again.

He pulled one of the doors open and looked inside but it was empty. Climbing in he looked around to see if he could find a spare rifle or weapon but he realized that was pointless as even if he did find a rifle he had no spare magazines for it.

Sighing he climbed back out then looked towards the main gate. It was bent inward; a number of bodies were lying on or before it. An Army APC was situated behind it but the undead must have still gotten over if the position was abandoned.

"I need to get back to the others." Jaune whispered as he holstered his handgun then jogged towards the fence. He could see blood dropping from the chain link fence from the bodies that were still on it.

He grimaced as he reached out to pull a dead body aside before gripping the cold fence. As he climbed up on the fence he made careful movements to avoid the dead bodies.

Not because he wanted to respect the dead but to avoid the chance one of them might somehow still be alive then take a chunk out of him before he could fight.

Jaune finally reached the top then slowly stood up, legs shaking as he tried to keep his balance on the fence then leapt forward to avoid getting caught in the razor wire.

He landed with a thud on the asphalt then slowly stood up as he drew his Glock once more as he looked to his left and right. Thankfully nothing came at him; sadly there still wasn't anyone alive.

Looking once more towards the city, he could see that it wasn't on fire entirely but it did appear that there were more than a few uncontained fires that ate at the city.

Shifting his vest back and forth a little Jaune took off at a jog. He wanted to find a live human being and most importantly he needed to see if the others were alive of them that he wanted to find the most was Pyrrha.

Though he didn't know that they were actually in the city but it was the only idea that he could think of. If they didn't head to the city then where did they go and what didn't they take him with them?

He had so many questions yet the only answers he could think of were bad to really bad.

And that scared him.


Jaune ducked behind a burnt car, in the distance the rattle and crack of small arms fire could be heard. What had him worried however was the screams that accompanied them.

Turning the flashlight attachment off he peered over the blackened body of the car, in the distance he could see a group of soldiers making a desperate stand at an intersection.

However the dead were steadily overrunning their position, the bodies of the undead threw themselves heedless of a few rounds to strike their bodies. Only the ones that took multiple hits went down for good as the others tore at the front rank of soldiers.

In the center was a pair of Armored Personnel Carrier. The gunners on the M2 machine guns had been pulled out of their seats by the swarming undead that dove into the blood bath. Though how the crew inside will deal with the situation he had no idea nor did he plan on sticking around to find out.

Looking to his right, he could see an alleyway that lay in the general direction of the apartment. Checking behind him and the slaughter up the street from him he made sure that nothing saw him as he ran in a crouch towards it.

As he entered the dark alleyway, he turned on his flashlight attachment again then held his Glock up as he slowly proceeded down it. If he was lucky he might actually be able to make it through the various streets by taking the alleyways without coming into too much contact with the undead.

Behind him the sounds of fighting slowly died away. A small wave of anxiety passed over him as he quickly turned the light off then kneeled in the darkness as he looked back the way he came.

A part of him felt that soon the mauled bodies of the undead would appear at the entrance to chase him down but nothing appeared. He wasn't sure how long he stayed there but after a while he decided to start moving again.

He looked up when something flashed; briefly illuminating the alleyway the dark sky had started to rain. For some reason Jaune couldn't help but feel that something strange was going on but he didn't understand it.

Jaune stood up then walked slowly forward, he kept the Glock pointed downward prevent the light from alerting anyone ahead of him but still illuminating his immediate surroundings.

As Jaune neared the end of the alleyway he could hear screaming. He broke into a jog then stopped at the opening. The street before him was littered with the dead and dying.

He could see zombies pulling down people before sinking their teeth into their flesh. Close to the sidewalk where he was he could see a woman look at him as two men with the flesh stripped from their faces and torso begin ripping open her clothes to get to her skin to devour.

She screamed loudly as tears streamed from her face as she cried out for him to help her, her screams didn't last long as the two dead men ripped open her stomach. Jaune slinked back into the shadows, his mind replaying the images of her frightened face as the life drained from it.

He needed to move, the smell of blood and death lingered too greatly in the air. He peered around the corner and could see that some of the undead were now wondering off as their prey was taken care off.

Down the street however he could see a small group crowding around the entrance of a shop or building. They clawed and moaned loudly at whatever it was that had their attention.

Yet none of them were in such an agitated state that they would throw themselves at the building so he had to wonder if there were other people in there.

"H-H-Help me." A voice whispered from nearby and Jaune felt a wave of fear run down his spine as he spun around. Only to find him pointing his Glock at the face of a young girl, one that didn't look to be older than ten years old and on top of that she reminded Jaune a lot of Nessa.

Jaune felt a lump in his throat as the girl was illuminated by the light of his Glock's attachment, she was covered in blood. He kneeled down and he girl seemed to shrink a little as he gestured for her to come towards him with his left hand.

"Come little one, I won't hurt you." She shook her head; Jaune tilted his head then decided to set the Glock on the ground but pointed towards the brick wall to his right. That way the light didn't shine in her face but still enough to let them see each other a little.

"I promise I won't hurt you little one, I just want to help but I need to make sure you're not hurt." Jaune said softly putting on as much warmth in his voice as he could. The young girl seemed a little hesitant as she shuffled back and forth on her feet before finally nodding.

"Alright then, are you hurt?" Jaune asked and the little girl shook her head.

"That's good and will you promise to tell me if you ever do get hurt?" She seemed to hesitate at that but nodded anyways.

"Do you know where your mommy and daddy are?" He asked and regretted that as she gingerly stepped past him towards the street then pointed. Jaune stood up then followed where she pointed and felt regret wash over him as she pointed to the woman he had let die earlier.

She was almost unrecognizable as the flesh had been ripped or eaten away from her face and torso. Blood oozed out onto the street as she lay there with a few lingering twitches in her hands and feet.

"Come away from there." Jaune said softly as he gripped her shoulders then guided her back into the alleyway then kneeled down in front of her.

"Do you know where your dad is?" He asked but she shook her head, Jaune sighed then looked up as he swore he heard movement but there wasn't anything there nor did anything come to attack them.

"Alright little one, would you like to come with me for the time being? I have to go find my loved ones as well then we can look for your father together." She nodded and Jaune smiled a little.

"What's your name little one?"


"That's a pretty name, mine's Jaune Arc." Jaune turned around and walked back to the street. The zombies were almost entirely gone save for those that were still trying to get into a building; he turned to face the girl.

"We're gonna get to the other side of this street, stay close behind me and try not to make any unnecessary noises, alright?" She nodded as she stepped up beside him but he could see the terror in her eyes as she looked down at the street. It occurred to him that having her walk behind him at the moment might be a bad thing. He turned then knelt down before wrapping his left arm around her then lifted her up.

"We'll move like this for now but I'm gonna need your help to watch my back cause I don't have eyes in the back of my head." Jaune said before rubbing the back of his head then smiled.

"Yup, no eyes there." He said and the girl looked at him confused before reaching out to touch his head but she pulled away.

"You can check if you want, I don't mind." She touched the back of his head and for some reason it felt like she relaxed a little as if she really expected to find eyes in the back of his head.

"Ready?" She nodded and Jaune knelt down to pick up his Glock before fumbling to turn the light off with one hand. He took a few deep breaths before stepping forward out of the alleyway onto the street.

Bodies, blood and guts covered the street in the aftermath of the undead attack. Jaune made sure to step over anything that might give him away to the oblivious undead. Some of the bodies seemed to twitch and he supposed those must have been zombies that had been fended off but not killed entirely.

As much as he wanted to put a bullet in their heads to end them permanently he knew that would just get him and the girl killed. Looking up and surveying the street he reckoned that he wasn't even close to their apartment building.

They made it to the other side of the street and Jaune looked for the closest alleyway before heading into it. He had to fumble with his flashlight again before heading further into its dark depths.

The next few streets were of similar as before. Bodies and carnage as far as Jaune could see in every direction with the dead standing above the living.

Occasionally he would fin Army and Law Enforcement positions overwhelmed and destroyed in the flood of ravenous dead bodies. The few armored units that were sent out looked like islands in the sea of decaying flesh, how the people inside were killed Jaune had no clear idea.

Though he did suspect that many of them did try to flee in their armored personnel carriers or tanks but maybe they had panicked at some point then tried leaving their vehicles. Which Jaune found to be ridiculous as a tank or armored personnel carrier would be valuable in at least escaping the city.

Alas he did not know nor did he have the time to properly shit and think about it. As a fresh wave of small arms fire mixed with the echoing thumps like someone hitting a drum really hard could be heard.

"How are you holding up Sileas?" Jaune asked softly, the young girl had yet to say anything since they had first gotten together.

"Fine." The young girl whispered as Jaune carefully stepped over a pile of trash in an alleyway before coming out of it to see a slightly familiar park. He felt a small wave of elation at seeing it was a clear indicator that he was close to the apartment.

Nearby however he could see a small corner shop, something grumbled near his ear. He looked at the girl but she decided to bury her face into his shoulder, was it embarrassment?

"Why don't we go find someplace to take a break, you okay with that?" He asked and could feel her nodding on his shoulder. He looked to his left and right but didn't see any signs of movement so he took off jogging towards the shop.

The front doors were wide open and Jaune gingerly stepped over a splatter of blood with three empty shotgun shells that lay in front of it.

Inside the shop he could see that more than a few shelves were empty, their contents dumped on the floor or just missing. He set the girl down then gestured her to follow him as he went to go check behind the counter of the store.

The fluorescent lights above them flickered a little but otherwise bathe the room in a pale glow. Nothing was behind the counter so he turned back to the young girl, in the corner of his eye he could see a sign indicating a bathroom. So he kneeled in front of the young girl.

"Is there anything you need to do, like use the bathroom?" He asked and she nodded obviously shy. Jaune was glad that he did stop then as he didn't want to deal with a situation like that on the move.

"Well then, I'll check it out then you can use it, alright? He asked and she nodded. Now that he looked he could see her shifting her weight back and forth on her feet.

Jaune turned towards the bathroom then held his Glock up as he closed in on it. Before opening it he leaned in then pressed his ear against the door then held his breath for a few moments but he didn't hear anything inside.

Though that didn't mean that something wasn't inside, so he knocked on the door. The girl made a small sound of anxiety at that so Jaune smiled at her reassuringly before pressing his ear against the door again but still no sound.

He gripped the handle with his left hand then pulled. The door opened with a squeak, inside was a simple toilet with a sink, mirror and hand dryer.

"Alright little one, you can go in now. I'll stay out here and see if I can't find anything for us to snack on." Jaune said as he holstered his Glock then gestured into the bathroom but the girl shook her head.

"What's the matter? Don't need to go? You shouldn't try holding it in, it's best for you to do your business." Jaune said keeping a patient tone in his voice.

"I'm scared." She said softly and Jaune blinked unsure of what to say at the question.

"There's nothing to be afraid of little one, I checked and there are no monsters in there." The girl shook her head and Jaune contemplated in his head as to what she was thinking.

"Don't go." She whispered again and realization dawned on him.

"Alright I'll stand outside the entire time while you're in there." She looked up at him and Jaune felt a twinge of guilt as at first he saw his little sister Nessa looking at him. Was he only helping this girl out of a sense of guilt at not being there for his own little sister? He banished that thought as Sileas entered the bathroom then closed the door behind her.

"Are you still there?" She called out and Jaune smiled as he leaned against the wall next to the door.

"I'm right here."

"Good!" She said before going quiet, Jaune made sure to hum a little in his head as he stood looking around the small shop. He noted in amusement that the liquor section was almost entirely cleared out. The snacks and other odd items that shops like this collected were scattered on the floor.

He couldn't help but actually wonder a little if the condition of the shop was new or had it been like this since the first day?

Speaking of which Jaune honestly didn't remember what day it was or how long it had been. If he had to guess it couldn't have been more than a week, could it? It wasn't long before the young girl came out of the bathroom.

"Did you wash your hands?" He asked and she nodded her head vigorously.

"Did you use soap?" Jaune asked as he crossed his arms and could see her hesitate at that.

"Come on little one, you gotta keep your hands clean especially now since germs will be everywhere." She nodded reluctantly and Jaune opened the bathroom door again.

"Come on, we can wash our hands together." He said as he led her back in and the two of them washed their hands together. Jaune was able to get a life from the child as he flicked a few droplets of water at her which she gladly did to him as well.

Afterwards he led her back out towards the main room, he gestured towards the selves filled with candy and snacks.

"Have what you want but don't eat too much because we'll be moving soon." Jaune said as he picked up a peanut butter filled chocolate sweet, opening the packet then popped one into his mouth. For some reason it felt like he couldn't actually taste it, he could feel it in his mouth but it was like there wasn't any taste to it.

After a while Jaune could hear helicopters in the distance, he tossed aside the third wrapper of a candy bar, slightly concerned at the lack of taste. Maybe there was something that was wrong with him after the accident, though as far as he was aware it's almost impossible to completely lose a sense of taste.

"Mr. Arc?" Sileas asked and Jaune looked down at her then smiled.

"You don't need to call me that; I said you can call me Jaune Sileas." The girl nodded.

"Are we leaving now?" Jaune nodded as he knelt down and extended his left arm out. Sileas reached out and wrapped her small arms around his neck. Jaune stood up then pulled his Glock out of its, taking a deep breath he walked out of the shop.

The sky was still dark and the horizon had a reddish gold look to it as fires continued to burn unchecked. He could still hear the occasional crackle or pops of gunfire, he had to question at how much of the city was still in human hands.

Shaking his head he turned in the direction of the apartment then jogged across the street towards the park. He could see a few discarded personal items and even a few abandoned cars but there wasn't any sign of people living or dead.

Sileas seemed surprisingly excited in the park; he could see her looking around with a smile. Though he could see that there was something else that lingered on her face, it was knowledge.

She may be young and still naïve to a great deal of things but he could see that when it came to the undead she was aware as anyone else. The way her eyes flicked to behind him with a level of distrust was evidence of that.

"There's someone there." She whispered and Jaune stopped in his tracks. Fear gripped him as he slowly turned around raising his arm to aim his Glock. In the distance he could see a group of people moving slowly towards the park.

The way they moved was unnatural, sluggish and jerky at the same time like a zombie that had yet to be agitated. He narrowed his eyes before turning back around to break into a jog.

"They're coming!" Sileas whimpered as Jaune hopping over a cluster of rocks as he veered off the path. In the distance he could in fact hear the moans and rasping of the undead as they started to move towards them.

"Hold on!" Jaune grunted as he leapt over a park bench, nearly falling over as he cleared it. He turned around to see at least two dozen mutilated bodies running through the park towards them.

He quickly turned back around then continued running. As the sound of the undead grew louder as they got slowly closer he could feel Sileas's grip around his neck tighten a little.

"Sileas you don't have to look right now!" Jaune said loudly as he took deep breathes. He finally reached the other side of the park then headed across the street towards an alleyway but he skidded to a halt. It was a dead end, he turned around, and while he couldn't see the zombies he could still hear them.

To his right however was a wooden door, Jaune stepped in front of it then holstered his Glock before stepping back. With a grunt he stepped forward kicking next to the door handle like he saw in an online video.

What he didn't expect was for the door to come open easily as his foot made contact with it. He stumbled forward through the door and nearly fell on his face but managed to pull back to land on his knees instead.

"Ow." Jaune groaned as he picked himself up, he pushed the door closed with his foot as he drew his Glock then turned around half expecting a zombie to be in front of him but there was nothing as far as he could see in the darkness.

"Are you okay?" Sileas asked and Jaune chuckled.

"I'm fine, just did something that wasn't very smart."


"Never mind, let's find a way out of here before they come looking for us." Jaune said as he awkwardly switched the flashlight attachment on his Glock on. A small pale light shined at the far end of the hallway illuminating a picture that hanged over a small chair.

Jaune stepped forward, careful of the creaks that the wooden floor emitted whenever he stepped forward. He tried listening for any sounds of movement but aside from his and Sileas breathing he didn't hear anything.

Jaune wasn't sure what kind of building he was in, as he walked down the hallway he could shined his light into a couple of rooms that looked to be offices of sorts. None of them though looked like anyone had been in them for a while, probably since this all started.

It wasn't long till they reached a glass door that appeared to be the front door of the building. Jaune turned off his flashlight. Looking to his left and right he couldn't see anything else so he headed towards the door.

Opening it, the smell of smoke hit his nostrils and he stepped out onto the stone porch. He looked around till he saw a fire in the distance however this fire also lay in the same direction as the apartment.

"No." He whispered before taking off at a run down the street.

Some Time later…

Jaune rounded the corner of the street where the apartment building was. The scent of smoke and blood filled Jaune's nose. Sileas seemed to whimper as well as she looked to see where they were.

It was a scene of carnage.

Several black SUVs were parked on the street. Two of them however were on fire, while the apartment building, excluding a large amount of pocket marks from gun fire, shattered windows and front door it was almost untouched.

Jaune aimed his Glock towards the black SUVs as he got closer. He could see that a number of them were riddle with bullet holes as well, there were even bodies.

As he got close to a body, it reminded him of the thugs that were under the command of Cinder. He snapped his head up towards the apartment as fear gripped him.

"Pyrrha!" He shouted, startling Sileas as he ran towards the front door. Ascending the steps two at a time he came upon a body.

It was Ciel Soleil.

She was lying dead in front of the door. Her chest had been blown open, revealing a mess of blood, bone fragments and torn flesh. Looking around Jaune could spot several spent shotgun casings which meant that someone had been up close to her when they killed her.

Jaune stepped inside then set Sileas down, the young girl looked frightened as they looked around. The inside of the entryway had been torn up by gunfire. Four members of Cinder's group lay dead on or at the foot of the staircase.

"Pyrrha!" Jaune shouted then started running up the stairs. Sileas called out for him to wait for her but he ignored her as fear took control of him.

"Pyrrha!" He called out again as he reached the second floor. There another three bodies of Cinder's group were sprawled on the floor but so was Karen and Mina.

"Mina!?" He cried out as he ran over to her but she was dead, her eyes open as they stared blankly at the wood floors that were covered in blood and bullet casings. He felt for a pulse but wasn't able to find anything, he didn't need to check Karen as half of her face was missing.

"Ren!? Nora!? Pyrrha!? Anyone!?" Jaune shouted as he went to each door opening them up to see if he could find any of them but there was no one in them. Jaune ran towards the staircase where Sileas was standing frightened but Jaune still paid no heed to her as he ran up the next flight.

Here there were far more bodies, at least a dozen people from of Cinder's group. He also spotted Emerald lying face down in a pool of her own blood, as he walked past he spat on her before going to the far end of the floor.

There a make shift barricade had been built blocking the staircase leading to the final floor. It had been broken apart though, wood chips and fragments were scattered all over the place.

Here however were also the bodies of Qrow, Sun, Ruby, Yang, and Blake. Qrow's throat was a mess of torn fleshing suggesting that he had been hit in the neck.

Sun and Blake were side by side as they held hands. Jaune kneeled down next to them checking for a pulse but there was nothing. He sighed; at least they were with each other in the end.

Yang had Ruby's head in her lap; Yang looked as if she had been shot from behind. If he had to guess the older girl had broken down at the death of Ruby thus allowing for one of Cinder's people to come up and execute her.

Jaune felt nothing but despair as he fell to his knees; his heart felt like it was being squeezed painfully hard. His eyes stung as tears began to whelm up before he looked up at the stairs, there he could see a few more bodies leading up to it.

"Guys?" He called out weakly as he crawled forward before standing up.

"Please answer me, someone? Anyone?" Jaune called out but nothing could be heard upstairs. Taking a shaky breath he walked up the stairs. At the top of the stairs Cinder's people were piled on each other, one of them had silver hair, it was that asshole Mercury.

Looking around he could see two more distinct bodies near to him Ren and Nora none of them stirred as he climbed over the bodies.

He could feel tears streaming down his face as he kneeled next to them began to shake them.

"Guys, please don't do this to me. Please." He whispered before slamming a fist into the crowd screaming in rage and despair. He snapped his head up, there was still a chance, there had to be.

"Pyrrha!" He screamed as he stood up then stumbled towards their apartment. Opening it he could see Weiss and Helena holding onto each other. As he drew close he realized that those smiles were the last things they did before someone shot them in the back of their heads.

Though there was no one in the room, he looked around but couldn't find Pyrrha. Was she safe, was she still alive? Hope flickered to life in his chest as he scrambled back out into the hallway then checked the other rooms but couldn't find anyone else.

"The roof." He whispered then ran towards the roof access; there he found two more bodies of Cinder's group. Each had a neat hole planted in their foreheads.

"Pyrrha!?" He called out as he opened the rooftop door then stepped out there.

What he saw broke his heart.

Cinder was lying on one side of the rooftop; she had a knife sticking out from her left eye. The look on her face spoke of the rage she felt of her death.

What truly had his attention was Pyrrha leaning against the ledge of the roof. In the exact same spot where they had shared that kiss a few nights ago, she gave a shaky smile to him.

"H-Hi Jaune." She said with obvious effort, blood flecked her chin and stained her shirt from what appeared to be a gunshot. Jaune was by her side in seconds, stripping his vest off then tossing it aside before ripping a strip from his shirt to press against the wound. Pyrrha looked up at his eyes, he could see the fear and pain in them.

"I-I-I knew you'd c-come." She said but Jaune shook his head.

"Shush Pyrrha, don't talk you've got to preserve your strength." Pyrrha felt so cold and she was trembling all over.

"I-I-I wanted to take you w-with us but Ren said you can make it on your own." Pyrrha said as she reached out with her right hand and Jaune took it without a second obviously to the blood that covered it.

"I understand Pyrrha its okay, everything will be okay." He whispered.

"I-I h-h-had to put Helena d-down, to spa-spare her." She said blinkingly slowly and Jaune nodded.

"I understand Pyrrha I know she was happy that you showed her that mercy." Jaune said.

"I-I'm tired Jaune, s-so very tired." She said with a smile on her much paler face.

"I'm here Pyrrha, I'm here just don't close your eyes." He said in a hoarse whisper as his voice caught on the fear that bumbled out of him.

"Y-Y-You have wonderful eyes." She said with a strained smile. Jaune could feel the tears brimming at his eyes again before falling.

"D-Don't be sad Jaune, you k-k-kept your promise." She said but Jaune wasn't able to say anything.

"You didn't let me die alone." She said her voice trailing off as she began to close her eyes.

"P-Pyrrha no. Pyrrha wake up please, I can't lose you Pyrrha." He whispered but she didn't respond, tears continued to fall as his emotions spilled over. He pulled Pyrrha's limp body into his lap cradling her cooling face to his as he cried rocking back and forth slowly.

He had lost everything and everyone he ever loved.

Jaune Arc was finally broken.

My oh my, things have taken a turn haven't they?

Anyways this chapter took a while to do as I've been busy studying for Finals and trying to get my shit together to try Transferring lately. Though I may have also gotten distracted working on the outline for The Lost Son but that's a story for another day.

So feel free to leave an honest review of the chapter whether you liked it or not. Hell you can just leave random thoughts as well or PM me if that's what you want.

Or if you really feel inclined to do so, go ahead and suggest this Fanfic to anyone else you know that would be interested in reading.

Now if you excuse me I have another Final to head off too then I have to get drunk to celebrate my birthday today.