The Butterfly Effect, conceived by Edward N. Lorenz, is a concept that states that 'small causes can have larger effects', with the term itself being derived from the metaphorical example that a tornado can be caused by a butterfly flapping its wings elsewhere in the world.
Remnant, the planet with the shattered moon. Home to the human and Faunus races, plagued by the soulless monsters known as the Creatures of Grimm. Said to be created by two brothers. A world where victories can be found in the simplest of souls.
In the city of Vale, located in the kingdom of Vale, it was a quiet night. For the most part. It was on a street devoid of bystanders that a teenaged boy appears in a burst of smoke and flame. He stood at a fairly average height with a decently athletic build. He had fair skin with freckles, blonde hair, and glasses that framed eyes that glowed yellow, like fire. His outfit consisted of combat boots, jeans with tattered knees, and a black sweatshirt with a skull on the front and a large golden pocket watch on the back. His name was Ace.
"Remnant… I can't help but wonder…" he mused to himself, "What is it about this place that always seems to draw me here?" Ace held a deep love for Remnant. He held a deep love for it ever since that day on his own world that he discovered the web series known as RWBY. He knew that dark times would fall upon the world, and that defenders would rise. Whether or not they would succeed, or at least how many would live to see that ending, remained to be seen. Sighing to himself, the interdimensional teen put his hands in his sweatshirt pocket and strolled down the street.
"I always want to save this place, prevent the disasters that befall its inhabitants." He continued to speak aloud to no one in particular, "But multiverse theory is a bitch in that regard. For every timeline I save Remnant, there's a timeline where I don't." Ace kept walking, lost in thought. At least until a voice snapped him out of his reverie,
"-You deaf or something?! I asked you a question!" demanded a voice. Looking over towards the source, Ace saw a sight he was pretty familiar with. Five figures wearing porcelain masks and black hoods with black pants and boots. On top of the hoods were white tunics, and Ace knew that on the backs of those tunics would be a symbol consisting of three red scratches and a snarling wolf head. He was looking at a small group of White Fang members.
"I'm sorry, what? I was spacing out." asked Ace.
"I asked what you think you're doing here, human." spat a White Fang member with a cat tail, "This is White Fang territory. Your kind isn't welcome here." Ace shrugged in response.
"Like I said, I was spaced out. I didn't know this was apparently WF territory."
"Come on man. Leave him alone, he's just a kid." said another WF member, this one had a monkey tail.
"No, he wandered onto our turf. He needs to be taught a lesson." insisted a WF with rat ears poking out of holes in his hood. The WF with the cat tail smirked.
"Pete's got the right idea. God, I can't wait until you humans are all dead." The monkey tailed Faunus frowned at that.
"You seriously buy into that 'kill all humans' stuff Adam's always spouting?"
"So what if I do? You got a problem with that?" asked Cat Tail, "Or maybe you sympathize with the humans."
"No, I just…" Monkey Tail trailed off, "I hate the humans for how they've treated our people, and I have no problem fighting back. I just think that genocide is a little… extreme."
"You should listen to your friend." said Ace, "For a number of reasons."
"What the hell is that supposed to mean?" asked a fourth White Fang grunt, this one with patches of scales on his neck, face, and arms. Ace shrugged again.
"I'm just saying that the union of a human and a Faunus-"
"Don't make me think about something so disgusting." Cat Tail snapped.
"Will usually result in a Faunus. So eventually there will indeed be no more humans." Ace continued, ignoring the interruption, "That, along with the threat of the Grimm, having a race war just doesn't seem like a good idea when both Faunus and humans have a common enemy. Like, the Grimm don't discriminate, so why should-"
"Alright, that's enough." Cat Tail interrupted again, "I was just going to let you off with a beating, but you talk too much. Hope you've made peace with yourself." Before anyone could say anything in response, Cat Tail pulled out a handgun, pressed it to Ace's forehead, and squeezed the trigger. Obviously, this resulted in blood and bits of brain spraying out the back of Ace's head. For a few seconds there was no noise except for the echoing of the gunshot and the thud of Ace's body falling to the ground.
"H-holy fuck man, you didn't have to kill him!" cried Monkey Tail. "He was just a kid!"
"SHUT UP!" roared Cat Tail, "If he didn't want to die then he shouldn't have wandered into our territory, and he shouldn't have ran his mouth!" The two Faunus continued to argue until a voice that, for all intents and purposes, they shouldn't be hearing anymore spoke up.
"Now that was just rude. Both shooting me, and what you just said to your friend. Like, I was talking, man." Every present member of the White Fang proceeded to nearly jump out of their skin as the body of Ace sat up. Standing up and facing them, the Faunus could see what was left of a bullet hole rapidly closing while Ace wiped away the blood that had run down his forehead.
"What the hell are you?" Rat Ears, or 'Pete' going by what Cat Tail called him earlier, asked dumbly. This question caused Ace to adopt a thoughtful expression.
"'What am I?' you ask. Well, to be completely honest, that question has a lot of different answers."
"He's some kind of freak is what he is." said Scales, causing Ace to sigh and shake his head.
"Again, with the rudeness. If y'all didn't want to talk you could have just said so and I would have just been on my way."
"Whatever you are, you still smell and look like a human, so we'll just have to keep killing you until you don't grow back." Cat Tail said angrily. Taking that as their cue, the other WF members pulled out their own weapons, except for Monkey Tail. Ace looked from person to person before raising an eyebrow.
"Are you sure about this?" he asked, "This is the only warning you all are gonna get; put away the weapons and we can all just walk away and forget this happened." Monkey Tail stepped one foot back, his expression making it clear that he was considering his options, before turning around and running.
"Coward." spat Cat Tail as he watched his comrade's escape.
"Anyone else?" asked Ace, looking between the four remaining White Fang, when he received no answer he sighed and shook his head once more, "Honestly? That guy was the smartest among you." Deciding that he too had heard enough from the blonde boy, Pete charged while swinging a knife at Ace. Ace reacted by simply leaning back and letting the blade fly past his face. Angered by how easily the human had avoided his attack, combined with how unimpressed he looked, Pete swung his knife at Ace again and again. Ace, meanwhile, had a bored expression on his face and his hands in his sweatshirt pocket as he continued to dodge the knife.
"Hold still!" Pete shouted as he lunged forward with a stab.
"Okay." Ace responded simply, and indeed he stopped moving his feet. Instead, opting to catch Pete's hand by the wrist, halting the blade a few inches from his face. The rat Faunus struggled a few seconds before reaching behind his back with his right hand and bringing out another knife and then trying to stab Ace with that knife instead. Reacting quickly, Ace brought up his left hand and letting it get pierced by the blade without even flinching. While Pete was wide eyed at the boy's willingness to take a hit like that, Ace threw his hands out to the sides, which caused the WF member's arms to do the same and leave him open for a vicious headbutt. The blow was not only enough to knock out the Faunus instantly, causing him to let go of the knife in his right hand, but enough to send him flying past his White Fang buddies when Ace let go of the Faunus' left hand at the same time. Ace then calmly pulled the knife out of his palm, tossed it away, and wiped the blood from his palm on his pants while the wound closed up, only looking up when he heard someone approaching.
"I'll show you what happens when you mess with the White Fang!" Scales shouted angrily as he swung a section of pipe like a club.
"Geez, are you guys just going to come at me one at a time like generic thugs from a movie?" Ace asked as he ducked the swing before punching the reptilian Faunus in the stomach, sending him sliding back, "I know I said your friend with the monkey tail was smarter than you lot, but I didn't realize it was by that much."
Growling at Ace's remark, Scales charged again and swung the pipe downwards. Ace dodged by jumping backwards and performing a quick handspring. No one noticed that the ground underneath his hands glowed red for a split second.
"You sure love to dance around, human." Scales said as he walked towards the human teenager, "But you can't dodge forever."
"You should really watch your step." Ace said out of the blue, "I mean, you just stepped into my trap." he pointed towards the Faunus' feet.
"Huh?" looking down at the ground, the White Fang member saw a glowing red pentagram about three feet wide. And he was standing right in the middle of it.
"The hell-?!" he cried as Ace raised a hand and smirked.
"Well, you're not too far off. Oh, and by the way, my name's not 'human'. It's Ace. Remember it." he said as he snapped his fingers. Before he could process what was happening, Scales was engulfed in a column of flame. Ace silently watched the sight before him while the reptilian WF couldn't bring himself to do anything but scream in terror.
"That should do it." he said, snapping his fingers again. Just as soon as it started, the fire vanished, leaving Scales standing covered head to toe in ash and soot. Letting out an almost comical wheeze, the Faunus slumped over, unconscious, and let the pipe in his hand fall to the ground with a clatter.
"So, who's next- Whoa!" Ace didn't even have time to finish his one-liner before having to dodge an attack from the fifth WF member who, up until now, had been content to stay in the background. This fifth WF member was apparently another feline Faunus, if the retractable claws were anything to go by. The two stared at each other for a moment before Ace spoke.
"You know, I just realized that I don't know any of your names. Well, except for that Pete guy…" Rather than answer, Claws simply dashed forward with surprising speed and tried to claw the boy's face. Ace tilted his head to the side, but Claws was just fast enough that the claw on his thumb grazed Ace's cheek, leaving a cut. Ace responded with a kick to the chest that both sent the WF grunt backwards, and launched himself several feet back.
"Run out of tricks?" asked Claws.
"So you can talk after all." joked Ace, "In all seriousness, I haven't even shown you a fraction of what I can do." the strange boy then smiled "Like this for example." As soon as he said those words, his torso was engulfed in a quick burst of smoke and flame. When it cleared, it revealed that he now wore a strap with a sheath holding a pair of dual blades on his back. Unsheathing them gave Claws a better view.
They seemed to be a pair of daggers, slightly mismatched, but obviously still meant to be a pair. Both possessed handguards like you would see on a rapier or saber that seemed to be made of some sort of animal skin that was very pale. The one in Ace's left hand had two red lines on the handguard, as well as two bolts extending slightly, and the blade was triangular. There was also an identical blade on the bottom, albeit much smaller. The one in his right hand was slightly smaller, with no red lines or bolts on the handguard. In addition, the blades were somewhat reversed, with the larger one on the bottom and the smaller on top. One other thing Claws noted, with his eyes narrowed under his mask, is that the blades seemed to emit a slight hum. Ace then smirked and clashed the blades together twice, and Claws' suspicions were confirmed when this resulted in sparks of electricity.
"Let's dance." said Ace. Claws simply replied with a tch as the two then charged at each other. Both went in for a slash, the Faunus with his claws and Ace with his blades. Both struck each other in the chest and passed each other, taking a moment to observe the trade off. Ace had five gashes on his chest that were already starting to heal, and while Claws was rubbing his chest a little, he had no actual wound.
So he has his Aura unlocked, thought Ace, he handles himself in a fight well enough, but doesn't seem to have formal training. Probably hasn't even discovered his Semblance. The two then went in for another clash, Claws managed to duck Ace's initial horizontal swipe, but wasn't prepared for a knee to the stomach. While he was clutching his abdomen, Ace slashed him in the face and chest while also shocking the Faunus with electricity, before jumping up a bit, twisting in midair and hitting him with a downward slash from both blades, forcing Claws to take a knee. He was about to continue rushing the Faunus, but gunshots forced both of them to spring back and away from each other. Looking for the source, the two were greeted with the sight of Cat Tail pointing his gun at where they had just been standing.
"Oh, so now you people are going to come at me all at once." grumbled Ace, "Y'know, I was actually starting to have a little fun, why'd you have to go and ruin it?"
"You could have hit me you jackass!" Claws snarled.
"You were taking too long." was the only answer Cat Tail offered.
"So, what? You thought just because he wasn't paying attention to you when you shot him, he'd stay dead?" Caught up in their argument, the two White Fang members didn't notice that Ace was just standing there awkwardly, trying to decide if he should take advantage of the distraction and leave, or get their focus back on the fight that they started (or at least Cat Tail started). He was in the middle of taking a step back when he felt his foot bump into something, looking down he saw Scales' pipe, and an idea occurred to him.
"Hey." he said as he sheathed his weapons, calling the attention of the two Faunus. He then pointed at Claws. "What's your name? You never gave it to me earlier."
"Why do you care?" Claws asked, confused. Ace shrugged at the question.
"Well, you see, you're a pretty good fighter. You probably could have become a Huntsman if you wanted. And since you managed to impress me, I at least wanted to know your name. Regardless, we need to end this quick. I don't want to deal with the police." Indeed, they could all easily hear the wail of sirens, no doubt responding to calls regarding the multiple gunshots heard.
"Sorry to disappoint you, then." Claws replied, readying his claws once more.
"Well then, to be fair, I'm sorry too." said Ace, "Sorry for the headache you're about to have." Before Claws could ask what the boy meant by that, Ace quickly stomped on the pipe, sending it spinning up into the air. Extending an arm and holding his thumb up for reference, Ace caught the pipe in his free hand before throwing it at Claws like a javelin. The pipe shot through the air and hit Claws right smack in the forehead with enough force to shatter his mask and knock him out.
"Lousy human! You'll pay for making us look like fools!" Cat Tail shouted as he raised his gun.
"Give the guy with the claws a little credit, and the dude with the monkey tail too." Ace replied, "Those two were reasonably competent and intelligent. On the other hand; you, Pete, and the one with the scales didn't need me to make you look like fools. You do a fine job on your own."
"WHY YOU-!" Cat Tail bellowed as he unloaded his handgun at the human. Ace avoided the bullets with ease by running around the lone remaining White Fang member in a wide circle. Cat Tail kept firing until the slide lock activated, signaling that he had run out of ammo. When this happened, Ace happened to be near the side of a building, and seeing that his opponent's gun was empty he jumped up and kicked off the side of the building. Doing this launched the teen towards the White Fang grunt, and while he was still in the air, he continued to shock the Faunus. His clothes seemed to melt into his skin, while black fur grew out of every inch of his body. Loud and disgusting cracking noises could be heard as his bones shifted and changed. His face grew into a muzzle, and his hands curled into paws. His eyes ceased having their fiery glow and changed from yellow to a vicious gold, a tail grew out from the base of his spine, and his human ears disappeared, instead being replaced by a new pair of canine ears on the top of his head.
"What the- WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU-GACK!" Cat Tail tried to shout, only to be cut off by Ace, now transformed into a large black wolf, landing in front of him. Without losing momentum, Ace lunged at the Faunus, biting into his throat with his sharp teeth. He then used his weight and momentum to slam Cat Tail's head into the pavement. Releasing his grip on the man's throat, Ace observed the damage.
Well, the cops are almost here, so he should live. Provided the cops aren't racist and deny him medical attention. Ace thought to himself. Cat Tail was bleeding from the neck, but it didn't look too severe. He had done all he could in the heat of the moment to make sure to minimize the damage, but there was no doubt that unless the Faunus got some bandages, and maybe a trip to the hospital, he would bleed out.
I'm really not in the mood to deal with the cops, so this will be where I take my leave. Ace thought as he turned and ran down the street, away from the now very close sirens, taking the first turn he saw. The cops were a minor inconvenience compared to other problems that Ace would have to deal with.
The most prominent being Ace's very depleted magic reserves. Yes, you heard me. Most of the feats Ace performed up to, and during, his fight were thanks to magic. With how low his reserves were right then, Ace had two options. One was to remain a wolf until his stores replenished, but this idea was the least favorable option. For one, people would get pretty worried about a large, ominous-looking wolf running around the streets, and he didn't want to risk some idiot mistaking him for a Grimm that somehow got past the city's defenses. His second option, was to try and turn back into his human form, and in doing so gambling that he had enough magic left to complete the transformation. The downside to that plan was that he wasn't confident he had enough magic left in the tank.
Screw it, he thought, sometimes you gotta risk it for the biscuit. As he continued to run, he began changing back. Most of his fur receded back into his body, and was replaced by his clothes. Once more, his bones made gross cracking noises as his bone structure changed back from a quadrupedal one, to one more suited for running on two legs. As this happened, he felt the last drops of magic drain until there was nothing left. Stopping his run, Ace looked at the street around him. Thankfully, it was still completely empty due to how late it was. Sighing, the magical teenager put his hands into his sweatshirt pocket and started moving again. This time at a relaxed walk.
"When will I learn to be more careful?" he berated himself, "I've been using a lot of magic recently, I'm surprised I hadn't run out sooner. No matter, I'll just find someplace to rest until I recharge." Finishing his musing, Ace stopped, realizing that something didn't feel right. His glasses were on his face, but for some reason it felt like they were impeding his vision more than helping. Now that he thought about it, his hearing and sense of smell also felt a lot sharper than usual. As he stood there on the sidewalk and tried to figure out what was wrong, he saw something out of the corner of his eye. Turning to look, he realized that it was just his reflection in a store window. A window that belonged to a mirror store, conveniently enough. He also realized that he had, in fact, not had enough magic to complete the transformation.
Instead of his usual self looking back at him he saw what could easily pass for a Faunus teenager. His human ears had come back, but he also still possessed a pair of wolf ears on top of his head, nestled in a shaggy mane of hair. Speaking of his hair, during the transition from black to blonde it had somehow gotten stuck on a shade of brown, and his eyes were still gold in place of blue (his normal eye color, the yellow burning glow is a side effect of his magic). Ace nervously ran his tongue over his teeth and realized they too were not completely back to normal, pulling his lips back he revealed saw he still possessed wolven fangs.
"…Well this is unfortunate." he said after a minute, "It's unfortunate, but not unmanageable, at least." The predicament Ace was in only had him slightly irked more than anything. He was irritated at himself that after 5 years of traveling to different universes and timelines, he still was so shit at managing his magic levels that he didn't have enough to complete a simple transformation spell. But like he said, the situation was still manageable. The transformation had progressed far enough that people would just think he was a Faunus and not give him a second glance. This in turn would allow him to lie low until he could replenish enough magic to finish transforming and leave this world so that he could attend other business.
"Maybe I can find a bench to sleep on somewhere." he sighed as he took off his glasses, putting them in his sweatshirt pocket, before continuing down the street.
Don't know what I'm gonna do about food though, it would certainly help my magic come back a little quicker. Maybe I could- CRASH! - The fuck? For the second time that evening, Ace had his thoughts interrupted. This time by a large red and black blur smashing through the display window of a shop he was about to pass. Looking at the blur, he saw a familiar girl wearing a long red cloak, and wielding an equally familiar sniper-scythe that was easily twice her size. From inside the the shop, that he now recognized as From Dust til Dawn, he heard an equally familiar voice drawl out.
"Okaaaaaayyyy… Get her." The command was followed by a bunch of generic looking thugs, all wearing the same combination of black suits with red ties and sunglasses, charge at one Ruby Rose.
Okay Ace thought, as Ruby wasted no time in dispatching the rent-a-thugs, None of them have seen me, but I can't just leave without doing anything… Unless…! Using the gunshots from Crescent Rose to mask his entrance, Ace entered From Dust til Dawn and snuck up behind Roman Torchwick, grabbing a discarded case of Dust along the way.
Hopefully I can pull this off without setting off any dust that might be in here.
Torchwick, meanwhile, was very disappointed in the quality of his hired help.
"Worth every cent. Truly, you were." he muttered sarcastically to the unconscious grunt at his feet while he used his cane to crush his cigar, before turning his attention to the source of his budding migraine.
"Well, Red," he began, "I'm sure we can all agree this has been an eventful evening. But, unfortunately," he raised his cane and pointed it at her, the end flipping open to form a crosshair, "this is where-"
"This is where you say goodnight." came a voice from directly behind him. Before Torchwick could even began to turn around, something slammed into the back of his head and everything went dark.
"This is where you say goodnight." Ace quipped as he swung the case at Torchwick's head, hard. There was a satisfying SMACK, and the bowler hat wearing criminal dropped like a sack of concrete.
"Awww, I could have taken him!" complained Ruby. Ace smiled and shook his head, one of his wolf ears twitching.
"I'm sure you could have, Red. Buuuut, the opportunity presented itself, so I took it."
"Thank you! Thank you both!" the old man running the shop cried happily. Ace just shrugged while Ruby beamed.
"Don't mention it."
"Yeah, we're a Huntsman and Huntress in training, after all. It's our job to help people!"
"No, seriously, don't mention it. You two would be doing me a big favor if both of you said you never saw me." Ignoring Ace's last remark, the old man continued to sing praises.
"How can I repay you two?"
"I'm serious," Ruby replied, "You don't need to-" the crimsonette cut off as she heard approaching sirens in the distance.
"Well, I need to get going sooooooo…" Ace started to edge away, only to be cut off by the shop owner.
"No, I insist. If it wasn't for you two, those men would have taken everything I had!"
"I mean it!" said Ruby, "You don't need to reward us-"
"Actually," Ace cut in, an idea occurring to him, "If you insist on rewarding us, then I might take you up on that." Setting the case in his hands on the ground, he opened it and removed two empty dust containers.
"I need these filled with the finest quality Burn Dust you have." he explained. The shopkeep nodded and set to work, while Ruby re-entered the store. Ace was about to turn to her until he heard her squealing. It kind of hurt, thanks to his heightened hearing.
"Oh! Oh! Aretheseyourweapons?! Whatdotheydo? Dotheycombineintoagun? Dotheyextendintowhips? Dothey-"
"Whoa! Calm down, Red!" Ace said, wincing while reaching up and lightly touching his wolf ears, "And quiet down, these ears aren't just for show."
"Sorry." Ruby said sheepishly, tapping the tips of her fingers together.
"Don't worry about it. To answer your question, they're just a pair of dual blades. Normally they just emit electricity, but I can infuse them with dust to use other elements." he replied.
Any Monster Hunter fan reading this probably recognized these blades as the Khezu Skards, and may or may not be having an aneurysm thanks to that lie he added mentally. Turning back to the old man as he placed the, now full, dust containers on the counter, another thought occurred to him.
"Oh, and sir? Maybe throw in some sniper rounds for the lady. With magazines if you have any."
Nodding at the request, the old man turned back away while Ruby started waving her hands.
"Nonono! I've already said you don't-"
"Consider them a gift from both of us, Red." Ace interrupted.
"Here you go." said the old man, plopping several magazines onto the counter.
"Thanks." said Ace, before giving Ruby a smirk, "Now to give you my part of this gift."
Unsheathing one of his blades, Ace picked up the magazines one by one and carved a symbol onto the bottoms. Both Ruby and the store owner watched with confusion while Ace quickly carved the symbols with practiced ease. Then setting them back on the counter.
Ruby walked over to the counter and picked up one of the magazines. She didn't recognize the symbol, and each of the magazines had the same one. Raising her head to look at Ace, he answered the question on her lips.
"Where I come from, that symbol is one of luck and good fortune. Make sure you reuse these magazines, and use them if you ever find yourself in a crisis, or just a tough spot. I guarantee that you won't regret it." he explained.
"Thanks." Ruby said warmly.
"Don't mention it." replied Ace, before realizing that the sirens had gotten pretty close.
"Oh, the police are almost here!" Ruby exclaimed.
"Yeah…" Ace said slowly, picking up his reward of Dust and inching towards the smashed window, "Well, like I said, I have places to be. So, uh, later!" he jumped out the window and started jogging down the street, and away from the sound of sirens.
"Wait!" Ruby called, confused, "Where are you going? The police are gonna want a statement, or something!"
"Uh, I don't really wanna deal with that, though!" Ace called back, turning around and jogging backwards, "Just remember what I said, neither of you saw me!"
"Then how do we explain why this guy" Ruby pointed to Torchwick's unconscious form "Is knocked out?"
"Just say the old man did it! Look, I really gotta go, so, uh, bye Ruby!" Ace turned back around and broke into a full sprint. In less than a minute, he was gone.
"Oh, uh, bye!" Ruby called out after him, before a confused expression appeared on her face, "Wait, how did he know my name?"
The police would arrive, take Torchwick into custody, and the night would progress how it usually would, as per the series. With Ruby being approached by Ozpin about being moved ahead two years and attending Beacon with her sister. The magazines given to her by the strange wolf Faunus would serve her well in her career as a future Huntress. Anytime she found herself and her friends in a tough spot, she would bust them out. The bullets fired from these magazines would never miss their mark. Even if the initial shot missed, the bullet would then inexplicably ricochet off of something in the environment, or even seemingly curve in midair, giving Ruby a reputation as someone who could always hit her target when it mattered most.
Such as during the Vytal Festival, when everything went to shit, and she was just about to witness her friend, Pyrrha Nikos, be murdered in front of her. Acting almost on instinct, Ruby Rose would reach into her magazine pouch, pull out one of the marked magazines, load it into Crescent Rose, and shoot Cinder's arrow out of the air just before it could pierce Pyrrha's sternum. The stress caused by the whole situation, her sister's arm being cut off, her other friend, Penny, getting fucking mutilated while she was unable to do anything but watch, and now this bitch who almost caused her to lose another friend, and was responsible for the city of Vale being invaded by Grimm, still resulted in Miss Rose awakening to her Silver Eyes power.
Now that's all fine and dandy, but it's also beside the point. Everything happening in this timeline doesn't matter, because it's not the main focus of this story. The rest of this story isn't even going to take place in this timeline. So let's get back to the stuff that matters, so that this Prologue chapter can end and the author can get to the actual story.
Ace ran, and ran. He kept running until the sirens were out of earshot, which was pretty far when you take his heightened hearing into account. He finally came to a stop and looked around, finding himself to be in a pretty run-down section of Vale. The streets were still empty, but he had a feeling that even if it was the middle of the day there wouldn't be a ton of pedestrians. Noticing a fire escape on the side of a building, he carefully climbed up, after he put one of the dust canisters in his sweatshirt pocket, and carried the other in his mouth. It wasn't easy, or fun, and probably wasn't safe. For normal people at least. And if you've learned anything so far, it's that Ace was far from normal, even by Remnant's standards.
"Okay," he said, taking the dust canister out of his mouth once he was on the roof, "Let's get this set up." Setting down the canister in his hand, he took out the other one, opened it, set it down, picked up the other one and opened it as well, and then picked up the first one. Meaning he was now standing on a rooftop with two open dust canisters filled with Burn Dust.
And then he poured the contents of both canisters onto himself, coating himself in the bright red Dust.
"Time to do something really, really stupid." Ace muttered to himself as he unsheathed the Khezu Skards, "I'm just glad I've seen Fairy Tail, otherwise I probably would've never learned to do this." Ace then stabbed both blades into his chest.
The resulting arcs of electricity coursed through his body, and set off the Burn Dust he was covered in, setting off a massive fiery explosion. At least, until the explosion seemed to be sucked back in on itself. Within the blast, Ace was absorbing the flames and electricity, and in doing so he felt his magic stores surge with fresh magical energy. Just to clarify, by no means was he using Fairy Tail-style Dragon Slayer Magic, but it was a similar spell. With practice, a user of this spell could absorb a variety of substances and forms of energy to replenish their magic. It did not, however, grant them draconic qualities.
"That should do it." the magical teen said to himself as the last of the explosion was absorbed. He wasn't back to full, but the amount he had was good enough. Removing the Khezu Skards from his chest, he took a deep breath as his self-inflicted wounds quickly healed. While this happened, his hair receded to its normal length, and changed from brown back to blonde. His fangs made slight cracking noises as they returned to more human shapes. His wolf ears disappeared from his head, and his eyes went from fierce gold to blue. The blue orbs then flickered for a moment with magical light, going from a normal blue color to glowing-embers red. This red quickly brightened, transitioning from red, to red-orange, to orange, to yellow-orange, until his eyes once again glowed a fiery yellow. Taking his glasses back out, Ace grinned.
"Not that there was anything wrong with being a Faunus for a short while, but damn, it's good to be back!" he exclaimed as he sheathed his blades. Ace then took another deep breath through his nose, and let it out before developing a pondering expression.
Holding out his hand, a screen appeared, like he was holding a tablet. On this screen, he saw a third-person view of himself, like he was watching a Youtube video. Or, more accurately, a livestream. He located the progress bar and pressed a finger to it, then he slid it back. This rewound the image he was seeing until he saw himself back in his pseudo-Faunus form running down the street. Pressing five fingers from one hand to the image of himself, Ace seemed to pick the figure up off the screen. He then flicked it away from himself, conjuring what was basically a life-size holographic copy.
"I wonder…" he murmured, thinking back to when he was contemplating the fate of this world back when he first arrived. He then thought of the fight he had with the White Fang, and the role he played in stopping the robbery of From Dust til Dawn. As he recounted these events, another idea occurred to him. This resulted in Ace grinning a wide, toothy grin, a grin where his teeth would appear razor sharp for a second to onlookers, if there had been any present.
"Oh, this is gonna be fun." Dispersing the screen in his hand, Ace then summons a touch phone in a small plume of fire and smoke. Unlocking the phone and thumbing through the contacts, Ace finds the name he's looking for and hits 'call'. Holding the phone up to his ear, it rings a few times before being answered.
"Hello?" said a voice that sounded identical to Ace's, "Y'know, this isn't the best time…"
"Hey, Ivan." replied Ace, "I need a favor."
Ten minutes later, Ace and the holographic copy were still on the rooftop. It was because of this that there was someone present to witness another newcomer. On one spot on the roof, ice began to form. The ice quickly grew upwards, forming a humanoid shape before shattering to reveal Ace's contact, Ivan.
"Hey Ivan." said Ace, "So-"
"Of all the stupid" growled Ivan, "Asinine-"
"Now, I know you're probably mad-" Ace tried to appease him, raising his hands in what was supposed to be a calming gesture.
"'MAD' DOESN'T EVEN BEGIN TO COVER IT!" yelled Ivan, "When you said that you 'needed a favor' I expected something… I don't know what I expected, but it sure as hell wasn't this!" Ivan took a deep breath while Ace lowered his hands.
In terms of appearance, Ivan looked near identical to Ace. They were the same height, their hair was the same length, their skin was the same shade, even their freckles were placed exactly the same. Heck, they even had the same facial structure and physique. The difference was that Ivan had black hair in place of blonde. That, and his eyes were red instead of blue. Although his eyes didn't glow red the same way Ace's eyes were normally blue and just glowed like fire, red was their natural color.
That isn't to say Ivan's eyes weren't currently glowing. Sure, on the surface he looked calm and collected after his outburst. But, to those who knew him, the bright red glowing of his eyes was a sure sign of his barely contained anger.
Their outfits were slightly different as well. Both wore combat boots and glasses, but Ivan didn't have holes in his jeans. His sweatshirt had an inverted color scheme compared to Ace's, meaning it was mostly white with a black skull on the front, and while you couldn't see the back, it displayed a swirling nebula in place of a pocket watch. The reason you wouldn't be able to see the back is because Ivan was wearing an article of clothing Ace wasn't, a prince's cape that looked like it was ripped straight from a fairytale.
"I'm sorry?" offered Ace.
"You're not supposed to end that kind of apology with a question mark." Ivan replied, lifting his glasses and pinching the bridge of his nose.
"Sorry…" Ace said, scratching the back of his head, "I promise I'll make this up to you."
"I don't doubt it." said Ivan, "Let's just get this over with. This is the 'new player', I'm guessing?" Prompted by his question, the two turned to look at the hologram.
Ace had made a few edits, nothing major. He got rid of the freckles, as well as the clothes, which meant that the subject of Ivan's purpose here was completely featureless from the neck down. In terms of the actual body, it was now standing in a 'T' pose, and Ace had made it slightly more muscular.
"Yeah," answered Ace, "This is the one I want to introduce to the RWBY-verse."
"What's up with his face?" Ivan asked, causing Ace to wince.
"That's his neutral face, I didn't do that on purpose." he answered. Ace knew that Ivan was referring to the fact that the hologram's neutral face made him look angry, and possibly slightly intimidating.
"Regardless, you know that for what you're asking, he'll have to be sent to a different timeline than this one, right?" asked Ivan. Ace nodded in response.
"I know. Oh, and there's one other thing I want to ask, if it's not too much trouble."
"What is it?" Ivan sighed.
"I want him to have these." Ace answered, showing his friend the Khezu Skards.
"Seriously?" asked Ivan, "Monster Hunter weapons?"
"Well, I mean, he's gonna be going to a school where its sole purpose is to train people to fight-" Ace tried to retort before Ivan cut him off.
"You know what I meant." he said, muttering under his breath that Ace always had to make stuff more complicated before glancing at the hologram again, "So, he's going to be one of those Faunus people?"
"Yeah." responded Ace, "Is that a problem?"
"No, just making sure that's what you wanted. Are you sure about this though?" Ivan inquired, turning back to Ace, "You are aware of what this ritual entails, right? What you'll be required to do?"
"Yes, now are we going to do this or not?" he replied. Ivan sighed and stared at the hologram for a minute before answering.
"Give me fifteen minutes."
Fifteen minutes later, the preparations were complete. Both Ace and the hologram were each standing in the middle of a large pentagram. Unlike the one Ace used earlier, these ones had to be drawn by hand. Ivan stood up as he finished the last one and backed up a few steps.
"Okay," he began, "Let's review what's about to happen. We are using a very rare, not to mention ancient, ritual to give life to him." Ivan pointed at the body of the wolf Faunus.
As part of the ritual, the hologram had been turned into what could only be called a flesh doll. It now possessed physical flesh, skin, organs, the whole deal. It also now wore a pair of white shorts to keep all this from getting X-rated.
"In addition to that," Ivan continued, "He will essentially be reduced to what is basically an abstract concept, sent to a different timeline, and thus be born into that world. Now, in order to do any of that, you will need to what?"
"Give him some of my soul so that he is able to come to life at all." Ace responded to Ivan's prompt, "The universe will take it from there, and once he's been conceived by his parents, the soul fragment I gave him will mix with the beginning of his own soul." Ivan nodded.
"Ultimately, this will still result in a completely separate soul from yours, while still bearing some similarities. Another thing you have to remember, is that these similarities won't result in this kid acting like some kind of horcrux for you. As we said before, despite bearing similarities, his soul will be a completely different entity of yours. If either of you die, you won't be able to come back to life just because the other still lives."
"I get all that." said Ace, "I'm not trying to live forever or anything like that. I just want to try and make Remnant a better place."
"Okay, now go over to the doll, as part of the ritual you have to choose a few characteristics that it will develop." said Ivan.
"Gotcha." responded Ace, walking over to the pentagram with the doll, being careful not to scuff any lines.
"Okay, where do I begin?" Ace asked himself, "I guess to start, you'll care deeply for those who have earned your friendship. You'll be able to recognize when a situation calls for being serious and focused, but you're not gonna have a stick up your ass. Lastly, you'll be willing to go to any lengths to protect the people you care about." Ivan smiled at the characteristics Ace listed.
"Sounds like he's going to be like you." he commented, "Or at the least he's going to have what you think of as ideal traits."
"Yeah…" Ace trailed off, the blonde then realized something and turned to Ivan, "Wait, I'm giving him part of my soul, is my magic going to be affected?" Ivan shook his head at the question.
"No, in the records of people performing this ritual, no one has reported their magical capabilities taking a hit."
"Is he going to inherit some of my magic?" This question made Ivan pause.
"I don't know." he admitted, "The brand of magic we use is typically soul-bound. Your magic might simply stick with the larger section of soul, your section, or maybe your 'new player' will have some magic capabilities. I don't know how to make sure he won't, as this kind of thing has never been an issue. We'll just have to gamble that it won't be."
"Well, I plan on keeping tabs on him. I'm sure nothing bad could come of it if he does have some magic." Ace mused, "Anyway, what else do I have to do?"
"Name him." Ivan replied simply. Ace looked surprised at the requirement, but nodded. He leaned in close and whispered a name into the Faunus' ear.
"Now go back to your pentagram." instructed Ivan. Nodding again, Ace did as he was told.
Taking a deep breath, Ivan raised his hands and prepared himself to begin. Closing his eyes, he began to focus and mutter an incantation. Although there was no wind, his cape began to flap behind him. The pentagrams began to glow brightly, as did Ace and the doll. A link appeared, connecting the two, and something came out of Ace's body, traveled down the link, and entered the doll's. The link then severed, and the doll rose up into the air. Glowing, it became incorporeal and compressed into a glowing ball of magical energy. A swirling portal appeared next to it, and the ball spiraled in the air before shooting through it. Ace stood and watched with sad, but hopeful eyes.
"Good luck." he whispered, "You have part of my soul, so I guess I almost think of you as a son. Despite that, I don't expect you to go out of your way to make me proud." he gave a small smile, "Not that it'll be hard. If you become anything like me, then I know that if it means protecting your friends, the people you care about, you'll kick and scream and fight like hell. And that's all I'll ask of you."
Roughly Twelve years before Volume 1: Chapter 1, Ruby Rose
It was on a dark night, in the forests a fair ways outside the city of Vale that one could see a caravan traveling. This caravan was full of people, both human and Faunus, that had decided to take a gamble and try to start a life outside the natural barriers of the city. This caravan was run by a man known as Meili Blár.
Meili Blár was an older man, who came from a family of caravaneers. He was forty-seven years old, with dark blue hair and a beard that were starting to gray. He wore a traveler's cloak over top a black sweater and tan cargo pants. On his feet he wore brown travel boots that had seen a lot of use, and in his hand he carried a walking stick that he didn't seem to actually need to walk around.
Currently, he was checking on all the wagons of his caravan. He made sure that all the cargo was secure, and that none of the passengers had any complaints. So far, there had been no trouble. He hoped this streak would continue as he approached the last one, hopped up onto it, and lifted the canvas flap.
The last wagon, which was lit by dust lamps like all the others, was mostly empty, this one was only being used because all the others were filled with luggage and passengers.
"Everything alright in here?" he asked. He received a few nods and was about to leave it at that before something caught his attention. That 'something' was a small Faunus family talking to each other.
"This is quite the adventure isn't it, Romulus?" asked the wife good-naturedly.
"I suppose it is, Morri." replied the husband, apparently Romulus.
"Then why do you seem so worried?" inquired 'Morri'.
"I just…" Romulus sighed, "I just want to be sure that this is the right decision for us."
"Anything wrong?" offered Meili, drawing the attention of the two and getting a good look at them.
The husband, Romulus, was a tall, slightly intimidating man with brown hair that looked like it had to be constantly tamed. For clothes, he wore a white button-up shirt with the sleeves rolled up, blue jeans, and brown shoes. Now, this description might not sound intimidating, but that's because we haven't gotten to his Faunus features. If you didn't get a good look at him, he could easily pass for human, until you saw his eyes, which were a fierce gold color, like a wolf's. That, combined with the fact that his neutral expression made it look like he was constantly scowling is what could scare people off without too much trouble.
"No, sir. Thank you." he replied. Meilie nodded.
"I see, just making sure." he said, climbing into the wagon and offering his hand, "Meili Blár, at your service." Seeing the man offer a handshake, Romulus' expression melted from the scowl to a genuinely friendly expression.
"Romulus Lobo, a pleasure to meet you." Romulus said with a smile, and in doing so, revealed wolven fangs, which actually didn't detract from the friendliness of his smile. Romulus then noticed that Meili was looking at him with a slightly confused look. "What?"
"Huh?" said Meili, snapping out of his small stupor, "Oh, I was just thinking about how your expression changed so drastically. You're smiling now, but a second ago you looked upset about something." Romulus let out a small chuckle at this.
"Yeah, I get that a lot. Back in Vale, my friends liked to joke that I suffered from a condition where my neutral expression makes me look like an angry serial killer."
"I see," Meili laughed, "It makes me worried what you'd look like if you actually were angry."
"I get that a lot too." said Romulus, "Oh! But where are my manners, this is my wife, Morrigan." he gestured to the woman he was with.
"Evening, ma'am." Meili said with a nod.
"And to you as well, thank you for transporting us." she replied.
"No thanks required, I'm just doing my job."
Morrigan Lobo was a beautiful Faunus woman with blue eyes and red hair done in a braid that she kept over her shoulder. She wore a green wool sweater, cream colored pants, and black shoes. Poking out from her red hair was a pair of wolf ears and a red wolf tail could be seen coming out from behind her. Something that surprised Meili was that, for a second, there was a second pair of wolf ears peeking out from around her, before quickly hiding away again.
"And who's this?" asked Meili as he walked around Morrigan to get a better look. Doing this, he was greeted with the sight of a small Faunus child, who couldn't have been more than five.
"This is our son, Daire," she answered warmly, laughing when the boy snuggled closer to her, trying to hide from the caravaneer, "He's going through a bit of a shy phase."
He had short brown hair that he clearly inherited from his father. He wore a white shirt with a big, brown paw print on the front, gray sweatpants, and little purple shoes. On top of his head he had wolf ears like his mother. He had also inherited his father's gold eyes, and his scowling neutral expression, although on the kid it looked more cute than intimidating. The cuteness was furthered by the boy yawning and blinking sleepily.
"Say hello, Daire." his mother gently prompted. Meili smiled as the boy waved shyly, clutching a stuffed robot plushy in his tiny hands.
"Cute kid." Meili commented.
"Yes, he is." Romulus agreed, "He's pretty smart for his age, too. Although his shyness makes it a little hard for him to make friends-" Romulus stopped suddenly and frowned, "Are we stopping?" Meili frowned too, he had felt it as well.
"We are." he said, "But that doesn't make sense, we were supposed to make it to a town to rest for the night." he moved towards the front of the wagon and lifted the flap, "Hey, what's the hold up? Why are we stopping?"
"I don't know," answered the driver, "I only stopped because the guys ahead of us stopped. Not sure what the problem is, though…" Meili frowned at this, something wasn't right.
"Wait here." he told everyone as he hopped out of the wagon. Then the wind changed and blew towards them. Morrigan's ears twitched and Romulus sniffed the air, both went wide eyed and shouted the same thing just as screaming from the wagons ahead could be heard.
"GRIMM!" As if on cue, Grimm indeed came from out of the woods around them as Meili cursed.
"Lift the seats of the benches!" he shouted, "There are weapons in there, if you know how to fight, use them!" He then twisted a section of his walking stick, this caused it to extend into a long staff and a spear head to pop out. Pressing a button, the spear head began to crackle and hum with electricity.
Seeing this, a few of the Grimm, three Beowolves to be exact, growled and charged the caravaneer. Just as one made to pounce on him, Meili made his move. His eyes crackled with arcs of electricity for a brief moment before he disappeared and reappeared behind the Beowolf with a bright flash. Using his spear, he pole vaulted up into the air and stabbed the Grim through the back of the head, killing it instantly. Upon landing, he spun his weapon in a large arc and slashed the throat of another approaching Beowolf, before stabbing it through the chest of the third. Hearing something off to the side, Meili glanced over to see another Beowolf try and charge him. Only for it to be mowed down by bullets. Looking for the source, Meili spotted the caravan crew and passengers fighting back against the Grimm. Or at least, the ones that hadn't been killed and eaten were.
"Blár!" Romulus called, running over to him with an assault rifle in hand, "You said there was a town we were supposed to stop at for the night-" the wolf Faunus cut himself off to take the time to fill an Ursa with dust rounds, "Where is it? Which direction?" Meili caught on to his meaning immediately.
"That direction!" he pointed off into the woods, through the Grimm horde.
"Are you sure?" asked Romulus.
"I've been navigating the wilds of Sanus for years." the caravaneer assured him, "I know every inch of it." Meili threw his spear forward and impaled an Ursa, charging forward he jumped and grabbed the handle. His weight and momentum drove the spear further into the bear Grimm and knocked it on its back, he then spun on the pole and kicked away an approaching Creep. The lizard-esque Grimm was quickly dispatched by Romulus.
"ALL PASSENGERS" Meili cried, "HEAD IN THAT DIRECTION TO SAFETY! MY CARAVAN AND I WILL HOLD OFF THE GRIMM! GO!" Any remaining passengers ran in the direction Meili indicated, with the caravan employees fighting harder to keep the Grimm's attention on themselves. Word quickly spread to the other wagons and the passengers and employees from those wagons followed suit.
"Morri!" Romulus shouted, "Take Daire and go!"
"What about you?!" Morrigan cried back.
"I'll be fine, I promise. Now go! I'll protect the two of you!" Romulus replied.
"Men, a few of you go with the passengers, protect them from any Grimm that follow!" Meili ordered.
Morrigan looked for her son, and saw him on the floor of the wagon. During the chaos he had dropped his robot plush and had gone to pick it up. Running towards him the mother wolf snatched up her son and grabbed the stuffed robot. Holding him tight she jumped out of the wagon and ran in the same direction as the other passengers. Unfortunately, she didn't make it too far before a Beowolf swung a claw at her. The claw bit deep and raked down the back of the red head Faunus, making her cry in pain and fall to the ground, nearly dropping Daire.
"Morri!" Romulus cried, before either could do anything an Ursa took advantage of the situation and sank its teeth into the Faunus woman's left arm and Creep did the same with her right leg. Morrigan let out a howl as she nearly blacked out from the pain.
"GET AWAY FROM HER!" Romulus bellowed, spraying the Beowolf and Creep with bullets. One of the caravan employees who was near Morrigan saw what happened, he took the sword he was holding, turned it into a shotgun that he pumped once, and blew the Ursa's brains out. Meili's eyes crackled again and he appeared next to the downed woman. With the help of another employee who had a spear of their own, the two pried open the jaws of the Ursa, allowing Morrigan to get up. She made sure that Daire, who was now crying, was okay before running off. The damage to her leg wasn't the worst, she could still walk, but she didn't even need to look at her arm to know that, even though it too still worked, the only things keeping it attached were a few strips of flesh. Despite this, she ignored her injuries and ignored her pain. She only had one thing on her mind: get her son to safety.
Morrigan Lobo nee Dearg ran as fast as she could on an injured leg. She had no idea how long she had been running. It could have been minutes, it could have been hours. She didn't care. She didn't care as she saw, out of the corner of her eye, the caravan employees and the other passengers start to fall victim to Grimm that had followed them. She didn't care as branches whipped and scratched her face, only holding a hand protectively over Daire's head so that he would not suffer the same cuts. It was then that she saw the figurative, and in this case almost literal, light at the end of the tunnel.
In front of her was a wall made of concrete and steel, with a gate being patrolled by some guards. One of them spotted her through the trees.
"Who's there?" he demanded as Morrigan burst through the trees, "Holy shit…" he murmured upon seeing her wounds.
"Grimm…" She said weakly, panting as she pointed back at the direction she came from, "Grimm… our caravan… my husband… back there…" she began to feel woozy as exhaustion and blood loss finally began to take their toll, "Please… help…" she fell forward onto her knees.
"Send out a call to the other guards, and see if Searchlight can spare any of its teachers." the guard captain immediately began firing orders, "We have to find the caravan and save anyone still alive. Get the ATVs and Jeeps ready, we need to get there yesterday. Now MOVE!"
"Yes, sir!" the other guards went to carry out the commands, until one of them was stopped by the captain.
"And you, get this woman and her kid some medical attention". The guard inwardly groaned, he didn't want to deal with some stupid Faunus and her brat, but he also wasn't about to defy his captain's orders.
Meili, Romulus, and a few remaining employees stood panting amongst the fallen corpses of of human, Faunus, and disintegrating Grimm. They were still standing, but only barely. They had all taken their fair share of injuries. Meili was the least injured, but that was only because he had his Aura unlocked. Not that it mattered, said Aura was extremely low, low enough that attacks from the Grimm had actually gotten through, such as the Alpha Beowolf who had just barely landed a lucky hit. Meili had avoided the worst of it, but one claw still managed to take out his left eye, leaving an empty socket leaking blood and a few last bits of jelly.
Unfortunately for the lot of them, their ordeal wasn't over just yet.
"Well, well, well, what do we have here?" asked the leader of a small group of bandits.
"Looks like easy pickings to me, boss." answered one of his cronies. Meili sighed inwardly, logic dictated that Grimm attacking a caravan would attract bandits looking for an easy score.
"There's nothing for you here." Meili told them, fighting to keep the exhaustion out of his voice. And it was true, to a degree. During the chaos there had been enough time to arrange the wagons into what could almost pass for a fort. There had been nine wagons in total, but they had only been able to use seven because during the fight someone broke a Dust lantern and as a result, the first two wagons caught fire. Of the seven wagons used, only three and part of a fourth had any actual luggage.
"Yeah, well, I don't believe you." the bandit leader retorted, "Even if you don't have much in the way of customer's luggage, I'm sure you at least have food and first aid supplies. I mean, you clearly have weapons we can use." he gestured towards the various blades and firearms Meili's group held.
"They're certainly better quality than what we have." one of the bandits muttered under their breath. No doubt referring to the fact that the weapons the bandits had were pretty poor quality. The best they had were a few crummy swords, two poorly maintained pistols with knifes tied to them, and some bows. Meili stepped forward.
"I don't care what you want. The passengers of my caravan entrusted me to transport them and their belongings to their destination safely. I failed to do the first part, but I'll be damned if I let you bandit scum take what was theirs." he brandished his spear, "I don't know how many, if any, made it to that town. Regardless, I will not let you bandits sully their memories by stealing what was theirs, dooming them to never be remembered. You want this cargo? Come and take it, if you dare!" Meili bellowed as he readied his spear, his remaining eye crackling with electricity as strongly as ever.
Fifteen minutes later, two jeeps and several ATVs arrived on the scene. By this time, all of the Grimm corpses had dissipated, and there were also fresher corpses of humans and Faunus.
"By Oum…" the guard captain said softly as he exited one of the jeeps and surveyed the scene before him.
"Captain!" one of the guards called out, "Over here!" Looking over to see what they had found, the captain was greeted by a hell of a sight. There stood a man with graying dark blue hair, a spear in hand, standing guard over the only other person left alive, a brown haired man with golden eyes sitting at the base of a tree and leaning his back against the trunk. Both were covered in wounds. The man with the spear noticed them and readied himself to fight.
"Who are you?" he asked, narrowing his eyes. Or rather, eye, singular, if the bleeding socket was anything to go by. Before the captain or any of the guards could answer, a look of recognition dawned on the spearwielder's face.
"You…" he began, "You are from Murkwell, are you not? Someone sent you to help us?"
"Y-yes." answered one of the guards. The one eyed man lowered his spear and broke into a grin.
"Thank Oum!" he cried happily as he turned to the man at the base of the tree, "Hang on just a little longer Mr. Lobo, help has arrived!" Now that he wasn't going to try and attack them, the Murkwell guards got a clearer look at his injuries. He had several gashes that had come from either the claws of Grimm, or the swords of bandits, and a couple bullet wounds. There were two snapped arrow shafts in his body, one in his thigh and the other in his shoulder. There were also several arrows sticking out his back through a tattered traveler's cloak, and he even had a knife sticking out of his stomach.
"My family…" the man under the tree said with labored breathing, "Morrigan… Daire…" This one had even more injuries of similar nature, claw marks, cuts, and some bullet wounds. The bluenette nodded in apparent understanding and turned back to the guards.
"The people who told you about us, was one of them a red haired Faunus woman? She would have had a small child with her." The captain nodded slowly.
"Yes, we saw a woman matching that description." This caused the blue haired man to smile and turn back to the brown haired man, who was also smiling.
"Did you hear that, Mr. Lobo? Your family is safe! These men will take us to town where you can get better-!" He was cut off by the brown haired man shaking his head.
"No, Blár. I… I'm not going to make it." he coughed loudly, coughing up blood in the process, "But…. At least I know they made it to safety… I'm so sorry, Morri… I promised you I would be alright…"
"Lobo, don't say such things! Just hold on a bit longer and you can see your family again!" Blár begged, but it was too late. The last bit of light had already faded from the eyes of Romulus Lobo.
"Sir," one of the guards said gently, "Please, come with us. You're injured, we'll take care of the bodies and make sure they get proper burials." Blár nodded.
"Please." was all he could manage before collapsing.
"Shit!" exclaimed most of the guards as they rushed forward. One of them checked his pulse.
"He's alive, but barely. If we hurry he'll probably make it."
"Got to give this guy props." one of them muttered, "He looks like he went through hell and back and he's still breathing. That is some Huntsman level endurance."
Doctor Conner Lavendera had just finished putting on his shoes. Where was he going to go? Why, he was going to where everyone in town was going, to see the town guards bring back the aftermath of Grimm attacking a caravan. Now, do not misunderstand his intentions. Unlike everyone else, he wasn't going to sate some morbid curiosity. He was going because he had heard that there had been two survivors. One was the owner of the caravan, a well-known caravaneer by the name of Meili Blár according to his identification, but that wasn't who had caught his attention.
In Murkwell, word of these kinds of incidents traveled fast, and word had it that the only other survivor had been a young Faunus boy. Now, Dr. Lavendera wasn't worried about Meili Blár, and he was well aware of the man's injuries, but it was because of those injuries that he wasn't worried. Meili Blár would be admitted to the local hospital and would be cared for. The Faunus boy, on the other hand? That poor boy seemingly had no one left, and Dr. Conner Lavendera was going to see if there was something, anything, that he could do about the boy's situation.
Standing up, Dr. Lavendera felt the cybernetic brace on his right leg whirring away, and sighed as he couldn't help but remember the day he learned that he would need it.
"Well, Mr. Lavendera-"
"Oh, come on Marianne, how long have we been friends for? Just call me Conner."
"Longer than I care to remember. And unlike you, I actually prefer to uphold a certain level of professionalism. So it's Dr. Ultra to you."
"Well, if you're going to insist on formalities, then I feel the need to remind you that I'm a doctor as well. So it's Doctor Lavendera to you." Dr. Ultra sighed and ran her hand through her hair. Doctor Marianne Ultra was a shapely, dark-skinned woman in her mid-thirties. She wore a white coat with a penguin pin on the lapel over top dark blue scrubs. On her feet were a pair of white shoes. She had blue eyes and long black hair that almost looked feathery, until you got a closer look and realized that there actually were black feathers mixed in with her hair, giving away Faunus heritage.
"The only one of us who can be called 'Doctor' in this situation is me because medicine is my expertise, not yours."
"Hey, just because I didn't go into medicine doesn't make my PhD any less credible than your-"
"MOVING ON to the actual reason for this visit, I can safely say that while I've seen worse cartilage in knees, I've also seen much better."
"Why do I feel like a 'but' is coming?"
"But that is because those people actually had cartilage in their knees. See the difference between your right and left legs?" Dr. Ultra asked, pointing at the X-ray on the wall.
"Yes, I see. So what am I supposed to do?"
"Well, you have a couple of options. One is to not do anything, do this and you will be in constant pain every time you try and walk until you just get used to it. This will also result in you eventually not knowing what being completely pain-free is like unless you take a ridiculous amount of painkillers. Your other options involve relying on the use of a walker, cane, or wheelchair, but none of those are absolutely necessary just yet."
"Well, I'd rather avoid being in constant pain if I can help it. I'm also not going to go with the walker, I'm not that old yet. The wheelchair seems a little much, and I don't know how I feel about using a cane."
"You do have two other options, one is to get a cybernetic brace."
"And the other?"
"We take off your right leg above the knee and replace it with a prosthetic, which may also become necessary in the future if you want to be able to move around freely."
"… I think I'll take the leg brace."
Back to the present, Dr. Lavendera opened his door a little and stuck his hand out to test the temperature.
It's a cold night he thought, I wonder if anyone has thought to give the boy a coat, poor thing in probably freezing…
Daire Lobo sat on a crate that someone put him on and played with his robot plushie. He didn't know all of what happened, all he knew was that he and his mommy and daddy were going somewhere and monsters had attacked them. Daddy had stayed behind while Mommy had picked him up and ran really fast and really far. When they found some people she fell over. A man he didn't know started shouting at the other strangers and they ran around and started doing stuff, then one came back with people who took Mommy away. He didn't know how long all this had taken, all he knew was that he was tired, scared, cold, and missed his parents. He wanted to know when they would come back. He was about to try and ask someone when he heard a strange whirring sound coming closer, causing his wolf ears to perk up as he looked around for the source.
"Are you okay, kid?" asked a voice. Daire turned around and saw a new stranger. This one was tall with hair that was a light shade of purple at one point, but was currently turning gray. The man had pale skin, stubble, and gray eyes. He wore a long white coat that was unbuttoned over a purple sweatshirt and jeans. In his hand was a gray jacket and he had a white thing on his right leg that was making the whirring noise.
"Do you- do you know w-where my mommy and daddy are?" Daire asked nervously, stuttering half because of the cold and half because of shyness.
"No, I don't." admitted the man, there was a pause before he spoke again, "Are you cold?" he asked. Daire said nothing, but nodded in response.
"Here." the man put the coat in his hand around Daire's shoulders. Daire pulled the coat around him, grateful for the warmth.
"Thank you." the young Faunus said quietly. The man nodded silently in response, and once again neither said a thing for a moment.
"What's your name?" the man asked.
"D-Daire." replied Daire.
"Well, Daire," the man said, "I'm Conner, Conner Lavendera."
Both Daire and Dr. Lavendera noticed someone approach them, it was the guard captain.
"Dr. Lavendera, I see you've met the little tyke from the caravan." he commented. Dr. Lavendera nodded.
"Yes, I was actually looking for you as well, Captain. I have some questions."
"Well, I'll see if I can answer them." the captain replied. Dr. Lavendera nodded again and stood up, he was about to walk off with the captain before he turned back to Daire.
"I'll be right back, kid. I just need to talk to the Captain for a sec." and with that, the guard captain and the scientist walked a small distance away, while still keeping Daire in sight.
"So what did you want to ask me?" asked the captain.
"Mostly about what's going to happen to the kid, his parents were part of the caravan too, right?" Dr. Lavendera responded. The guard captain nodded, but his face was one of sadness.
"That's right," he said, "But unfortunately, both got hurt pretty bad and neither of them had their Auras unlocked. We've gone through all the identification papers we could find from the caravan. The father was barely alive when my men and I got to the scene, and died before we could even try to get him back here for medical attention. His mother was the only passenger to arrive at the town alive, but her injuries were too severe, she died in the hospital."
"What were their names?" asked Lavendera.
"The mother was Morrigan Lobo, formerly Morrigan Dearg before she married Romulus Lobo, the father." answered the captain.
"What's going to happen to the boy?" Lavendera questioned, starting to get worried.
"Well, on site medical personnel said that all he had were a few scrapes and cuts-"
"And probably lifelong trauma." interjected a passing guard.
"Shut the fuck up, Ross." groaned the captain before Lavendera snapped his fingers to get his attention back.
"That's not what I asked, I meant what's going to happen to him now that his parents are dead?" the scientist asked.
"Who cares?" the passing guard, Ross, said "He's just some Faunus brat, just toss him in the orphanage." The captain and scientist both glared at him.
"Oum dammit, Ross…" the captain muttered.
"Absolutely not." Lavendera said with finality, drawing surprised looks from both captain and guard.
"Well, then what do you suggest?" asked Ross.
"I'll take care of him." Lavendera said simply. Now the captain and guard were looking at him with unsure expressions.
"Dr. Lavendera," the captain began slowly, "Do you even know how to take care of a child?"
"No," Lavendera admitted, "but I'm not going to let him just get thrown into an orphanage or whatever. He's a Faunus, he's going to be facing discrimination probably his whole life, and I'm not even going to touch the can of worms that is the foster care system. I may not know much about raising a kid, but that Daire kid deserves better, and I'll do anything I can to make sure he gets it." Ross was not impressed by what Lavendera said, but the captain was.
"Well, if you're going to be so insistent, I'll see if I can get my hands on adoption papers for you." he chuckled, "Meanwhile, why don't you go see what the kid thinks of the idea?" with that, the captain walked off to get the papers. Which left Dr. Lavendera with a predicament: How was he supposed to explain this to the kid?
Fuck it, Lavendera thought I'll just wing the explanation, that's a good skill to have for parenting. Right? He figured that it was a good skill to have, being able to improvise difficult explanations in a way young children could understand. Keeping that in mind, Conner Lavendera walked back towards the boy who was, potentially, his future son.
Daire looked up as the Lavender man with the whirring leg came back. Dr. Lavendera walked up to the boy and went down on one knee, the one without the brace.
"Alright, Daire, here's the thing…" he began slowly before stopping, unsure what to say.
"Did you find out what happened to my mommy and daddy?" asked the brunette Faunus. This question caused the doctor to wince slightly.
"Yes." he answered after a minute, "You see, um, they… won't be able to take care of you. They, uh… had to go to sleep for a while." Daire mulled over this answer for a bit before asking another question.
"They're…" he hugged his robot plush tightly, "They're not gonna wake up, are they?" Dr. Lavendera blinked in surprise. He hadn't expected the boy to have any sort of understanding of the concept of death, but apparently this kid was smart for someone so young. Unable to give an audible answer, the scientist instead opted to nod silently. Seeing the confirmation caused Daire's lip to start trembling, tears filling his golden eyes.
"M-mommy… Daddy…" the Faunus began to sob, hugging his toy harder than ever. Conner Lavendera felt his eyes getting misty as well, he never could stand to see kids cry, especially in situations like this.
"It'll be okay." he said softly, pulling the crying boy into a hug, "It's okay, I'll take care of you. It's okay. Just let it out." Daire cried harder, and Dr. Lavendera picked him up.
"Let's get you home." said Lavendera. The guard from before, Ross, walked up. He had been watching the whole time.
"I thought you were from Atlas?" he asked.
"I am." Lavendera confirmed.
"Then why are you going through with this?" Ross pressed further, "I thought Atlesians didn't really like the Faunus." By this time Conner Lavendera had started to slowly walk back towards his house.
"I am well aware that a lot of Atlesians are rich, racist idiots." he said over his shoulder, "Why do you think I left?"
*Vanoss voice* ALRIGHT! *normal voice* everyone, this is the prologue of a RWBY Fanfic involving OCs. Ace and Ivan are most likely never going to appear in this again. Daire will be the only one going to Beacon, but there will be more in the future. I will say this right now, this will not be a Harem fic, and Daire is not going to be a Gary Stu. The reasoning for no Harem is that I'm just not a fan of it. As for Gary Stu, well, that's just bad writing if there isn't a good reason. I'll also point out that this Fic will become AU, and this will be very prominent once we get to Volume 3 stuff. That's all I can think of right now. So, as always, if you like the idea of this Fic be sure to favorite it and follow it so you can keep up to date. If you like my writing, be sure to follow me so that you can be updated when I put a new Fic out. While you're at it, be sure to check out my other fics:
Pokemon Avatar Mode Adventure: The Four Paths
I play four Pokemon games while doing the Avatar challenges and turn them into Fanfiction, once I am done with it there will be a sequel where it crosses over with RWBY.
And more prominently:
Freelancers React to Red vs Blue
Self-explanatory title, the Freelancers (specifically the ones that have died) are brought together to watch a series revolving around everyone's favorite fuck up soldiers.
With that out of the way, be sure to follow me if you like my writing and want more, and be sure to let me know what you think or provide constructive criticism. PEACE!