A/N: Hello everyone.
So there is Halo Mass Effect crossover fic called "Mass Effect: Clash of Civilizations" by Eterna1Soldier. Its actually the most followed and faved story in that category. It covers what a more realist first contact would be like (and at a time where most fics at the time handled it with immediate war *some times absurdly one sided*).
It was very well written and thought out and it inspired me to do something similar with Mass Effect and RWBY.
So here's the first chapter, which is basically a World of Remnant episode.
A beautiful and diverse world overrun by the creatures of your deepest nightmares, the creatures of Grimm. For us humans and faunus, its home. A home overrun by monsters, but a beautiful home nonetheless. Many accepted that this was a good as it was going to get, but others weren't as convinced and looked elsewhere.
They looked up to the stars, to the vast reaches of space. Remnant surely couldn't be the only world out there, right? If the theory that the cosmos was indeed limitless, then there had to be other places we could call home, places where we didn't have to constantly fight for survival against the Grimm.
It was a fools dream and everyone knew it, and it ironically was because of one reason: dust.
Dust is a naturally occurring crystallized energy propellant. Seemingly limitless in supply, dust powers everything for humanity, from traffic lights to household appliances, fuel, and even as weapons against the never-ending tide of darkness. It was our greatest resource, but it was also our weakness when it came to space.
Dust doesn't function once it exits the atmosphere, and since it's our source of power, everything stops dead immediately and falls back to the surface. Atlas has tried and experimented for years on different technology to allow even an unmanned drone into space. It all ended in failure, nothing worked. If the most technologically advanced kingdom couldn't do it, then who could?
Atlas soon abandoned all attempts and projects. The idea of traversing the stars was to remain as an impossibility… for a while.
Eventually, either by luck or as many say was a gift from the gods, we got the key to travel through space. One day, a meteor crashed into Atlas's territory. When they quickly secured and examined the wreckage, they found what is now known as element zero, or Eezo.
After years upon years of researching the new, mysterious element, Atlas believed they had the answer. The rest of the world was skeptical, ignored the news, or outright mocked and laughed at Atlas for wasting resources. Everyone held their tongue and glued their eyes to their tv's when Atlas broadcasted the footage live.
Everyone was shocked when the spaceship continued to function outside of the atmosphere. Everyone was stunned when they saw the view of Remnant from space. Everyone was amazed when we saw the ship fly once around the shattered moon. Everyone cheered when the shuttle safely landed back on Remnant, all on the same day.
Suddenly traversing the stars didn't seem like a fools dream after all.
Progress was slow, we had to ration our limited reserves of eezo, but it was astonishing whenever we got results. Pretty soon, the image of four astronauts, one from each kingdom, standing proud next to the Vytal flag on the moon became the poster image our human and faunus cooperation. The interkingdom space station and satellites came next, allowing us to observe the cosmos and the rest of Remnant like never before, even helping us spot Grimm hordes before they get anywhere close to a village.
But the crowning moment of our early space age was when we established our first colony.
Astronomers observing a nearby star found several planets orbiting around it. After some time and sending probes for observation, it was confirmed to be like Remnant, and the idea of colonization was proposed and quickly became popular. All across the world, people donated manpower, materials, and finances to the cause. For once, all of Remnant had the same dream, and we all worked together to achieve it.
All of the work and effort paid off and then some. The colony ships took off, and thanks to the magic of eezo, traveled several light years in a single day and started to set up shop. It took a few weeks for the colonists to set up their CCT tower (soon renamed the Cross Spacial Transmit system), but when they did and sent a message back to Remnant, it became a time of great celebration. That day even ended up being a national holiday to celebrate the day we established a foothold in the new frontier.
Hopes were ever higher with the increasing amount of good news from the colony, later named Undying Hope. It was a paradise there. Beautiful weather, mild and warm temperatures, and no Grimm. But even more amazing as unexpected, prospectors found stockpiles of dust on the surface and within the soil, a well as a few small deposits of eezo. Undying Hope was everything we dreamed of and then some.
Everyone flocked at the chance to call Undying Hope home, but limited eezo supplies and slow ship production meant that we could only ship very few off at a time. This frustrated many, but it was the best we could do at the time. Plus in the long run, it meant that Remnant's population didn't fluctuate too much, something that would be important in the long run.
Over several decades, we discovered and colonized four new worlds. New Vacuo, New Mistral, New Vale, and New Atlas. You can tell we were really creative with names at the time, but this was mainly because each colony mainly had colonists from each Kingdom respectively, and thus each colony adopted the traditions and ideas of their old homes. Each colony also ended up having its own natural reserves of dust and eezo.
Now at this point, I know you're asking yourself this: If we could look and find new homes lightyears away, and have spaceships, why couldn't we find Salem? Why didn't we bring the fight to her or bomb her back to hell from orbit?
The thing is, we tried. But she wasn't here. We scoured all over Remnant, through every forest, mountain, and even her own domain (which yielded heavy casualties) but we couldn't find her. Salem just simply vanished. No sooner had we made this discovery did disaster struck.
All contact with the colonies has been lost, rather suddenly and quickly. After several days, just as we're about to send scout ships to the colonies received a transmission from Undying Hope. Even though we feared the worst, we weren't prepared for the news to come.
It was the Grimm.
They just suddenly appeared and were everywhere. The colony was taking heavy casualties and they were being overrun. The transmission was lost soon after. It was safe to assume that the other colonies were being overrun as well. It was made worse with the revelation that none of the colonies had huntsmen or huntresses, there were no Grimm there so there was no point to having them there.
Worse still, the transmission was accidentally broadcasted all across Remnant. The resulting fear and panic created many Grimm incursions. It took blood and time to take them down, but the moment we did, we brought in every ship we could and filled them to the brim with as many supplies, droids, soldiers, and huntsmen as we could and sent them out to the colonies on a crusade to save our people.
New Vale, New Mistral, New Vacuo, and New Atlas were saved within several bloody days. Though most of the planets' territory now belonged to Grimm, most of the settled territory and colonists were saved. The same could not be said for Undying Hope. The colony was lost long before the relief force arrived. When they did arrive, they found a world completely overrun by the Grimm, and all attempts to establish a foothold were in vain. Even with reinforcements from the other relief teams, we were pushed back again and again. Undying Hope was soon abandoned and later classified as a "Grimm World."
The whole event, later called "The Early Grimm Resurgent" in the history books, was the lowest point in our early colonization era. The whole dream of finding a home among the stars was born from the idea of finally escaping from the monsters that plagued Remnant, but they managed to follow us and continue to plague our nightmares and homes.
We still don't know how the Grimm came to those worlds. We later even conducted an experiment. We found a small barren moon and conducted many observations on it and saw that nothing was there. We then set up a small outpost of a few soldiers and many mechs on the moon. Weeks later, the Grimm just appeared there out of nowhere, none of our equipment picked them up until they attacked. The soldiers were able to evacuate safely. However, no matter how anyone looked at it or whatever theory anyone came up with to explain the phenomenon, only one thing was certain: No matter where we went, the Grimm would follow. It was a morale killer that swept all human and faunus kind.
But, we continued to seek new homes and establish new colonies between the stars. Maybe we just no longer cared or learned to deal with it like we did Decades ago but on a larger scale, but for better or for worse we were too stubborn to just roll over and die. Hope may have been gone (literally), but our spirits weren't crushed. We were too stubborn to lay down and give up, so we persevered.
We continued to expand among the stars. Dozens of new colonies of all sizes were founded. The lessons we learned from The Early Resurgent made sure we didn't lose them and kept our people safe. Each colony had several huntsman academies and mobilized armies to protect its inhabitants from the Grimm, as well as several CST and CCT systems scattered across the planets to further avoid the potential of communication loss. Subsequently, like the four before them, each colony adopted the personality and quirks of one of the four kingdoms in all but name. The Grimm still remained a constant threat, one we couldn't fully push back, but one we could still effectively fight and hold back.
It wasn't all just Grimm however. Some of the colonies eventually had a problem with bandits, just like we did on Remnant. Though it got a bit complicated when some of them managed to steal ships and become marauders, setting up outposts on asteroids and isolated moons.
Technological advancements were few and small to the point of near stagnation. Thanks to the Grimm, it was hard to get access to excess resources that could be spared for research. Eezo itself was proving to be one of the rarest. All eezo found was immediately reserved for ship production and use. Only in the rarest of circumstances did we have spare eezo to experiment with.
And before you ask: Yes we did try using the ships to orbital bombard large areas of Grimm, but all it accomplished, in the long run, was ruining the land. Boots on the ground was still the best method to weed out the Grimm.
We did make a few amazing advances. The first involving our faster than light travel. It was an accidental discovery. If we mix gravity and steam dust, eezo and a few other compounds, we get a super fuel for reactors. This allowed us to travel at least ten times faster than we were previously.
The second involved shielding and weaponry. We were able to use dust to create energy-type shields, but due to their expense, only a few were made for important locations like the Amity Colosseum. But with eezo, scientists were able to make a kinetic-like shield. This shield was more flexible and was able to be used on our ships. It couldn't beat our energy shields in terms of durability, but it was something we could easily and actually make for our ships.
The idea of personal shields was tossed around a few times, but so far no could figure out how to make eezo cores that small yet.
So overall, life was as good as it was going to get and we were thriving.
Maybe that's what provoked Salem to finally make a move.
All was quiet on the outer colonies when suddenly almost everyone transmitted a distress signal for help, they were under attack. From the reaches of uncharted space, armadas of space-faring Grimm the size of our own ships, if not bigger, appeared. While they, for whatever thankful reason, couldn't enter far into the atmosphere, they could get close enough for them to unleash horde after horde of Grimm.
Our navy and militaries and huntsmen did everything they could to hold back the tides of darkness. We fought hard and made them pay for every inch. But the Grimm always vastly outnumbered us. It mattered not how many we have slain, we were being crushed and overrun everywhere.
And Salem didn't just send the Grimm after us. While the outer colonies crumbled at the full force of the horde, everywhere else faced sabotage and attack from within. In addition to the Grimm all ready on the other worlds, Salem had followers, lots of them right under our noses. Insurgencies, terrorist attacks, and marauder attacks by those who pledged loyalty to her, the Cult of Salem we later called them, made it hell to try and respond and defend ourselves properly, made only worse by the Grimm these acts drew in.
Nightmare couldn't do justice to describe the early weeks of the war. The enemy was everywhere, the panic drew in the Grimm, and the body count rose so fast it quickly outdid the Great War and the Early Grim Resurgence. It was a massacre…
No, that would imply that we didn't put up a fighting chance. We didn't just lay over and die, we're too stubborn to do that. We resisted and fought even when the world we were on was declared lost. We tracked down and attacked the cultists, terrorists, and marauders. We made Salem's forces pay for every advancement she made. We didn't just defend, we went on the attack to meet Salem's offensive and somehow managed to destroy her momentum. A win here, a loss there. The line held there, the lines collapsed here. A world saved here, a world completely lost there. It became a stalemate, but it was still in her favor.
During the war, certain pieces of information we desperately want to keep hidden soon came out and became public knowledge.
First and most obviously: Salem, and everything she is and stands for.
Second: Ozpin, his reincarnations, and his centuries if not near millennia struggle against Salem.
Such information shook humanity to its core. Fear and power struggles threatened to break out, much to Salem's delight in trying to divide us. Though… to ours, and hopefully to her shock, it didn't, at least not as bad as we feared. Salem's presence gripped everyone in fear for a while, it slowly died down and was replaced with hope with Ozpin, a man who has been around and fighting for our protection and survival seemingly since the beginning of time. If she couldn't beat him and kill us all when we were still stuck on Remnant, what better are her chances now? He sort of became an inspirational and our poster boy for continuing the fight, though some few gave up hope and joined Salem's ranks.
The war continued on for several long, bloody decades. Millions would perish and many worlds would be rendered uninhabitable. But, it finally came to an end in the Nova Prospect campaign.
We managed to drive a wedge in Salem's lines and found out that she was present on the colony Nova Prospect. Ozpin quick gathered the largest army in our history and lead the charge onto the planet. It's even on record that as soon as they entered the atmosphere, Ozpin jumped out of his ship, slashing airborne Grimm along the way to slow his decent before using a Goliath to break his fall.
He was a crazy bastard back then.
The ground campaign lasted over a week. Ozpin lead humanity's army against Salem's best. Spirits were high, and the highly unusual weather patterns for the planet seemed to be in our favor (thanks to four individuals, whose true nature is still thankfully hidden from the public). It wasn't lost to many how such an event was similar to the end of the Great War, but they all wrote it off as a coincidence or Ozpin's 'magic'.
When all was said and done, and the fog of war finally cleared, it was a cause for celebration. Though the planet was all but destroyed and we later found out the Salem managed to escape despite how mortally wounded she was, we won. The space Grimm were all but seemingly extinct, Salem's followers were either killed or imprisoned, and we were still standing mostly intact. Although we won, our forces we battered and fatigued and much fewer in number, so Ozpin ordered a retreat before we were overrun by the Grimm still plaguing the planet. After that, we took what R&R we could, mourn our dead, and headed home to rebuild.
We won the war (later called Salem's First Crusade), but at a heavy cost. Tens if not hundreds of millions of people were dead, most of our worlds including Remnant suffered severe damage, and at least a dozen worlds became Grimm Worlds or suffered so much damage that we didn't bother to try and retake and rebuild them. It was a tedious process. It would take decades before we recovered agriculturally and infrastructurally, and even then we never fully recovered to our former glory.
Despite everything that has happened, and the occasional marauder attack or extremely rare space Grimm sighting, we honestly have never been more united than ever before. Petty squabbles were swept aside, at least for a while, as we all worked towards a common goal of survival and rebuilding. Though it was more because we were more afraid of what was still out there and the fear that Salem would return, which was practically a guarantee to happen. It was just a matter of when.
The fallen Grimm worlds weren't really truly abandoned. We installed manned orbital stations above them as sort of a monitoring and early warning system should Salem use them to stage another war. Some of the worlds that didn't have too high of a Grimm presences were used for survival training by the huntsmen academies. This wasn't as dangerous as it sounds (to many's shock) and proved to be a valuable learning experience for the students.
Ozpin ended up becoming the figurehead of our cooperation, despite many being displeased at his 'body snatching'. He practically was looked upon as a god. He didn't particularly like this and was quick to shut down any church or cult that popped up in his name, but it didn't stop a select few from worshiping him. He let that bit slide since it somewhat helped with humanities unity, with many leaders respecting him and looking to him for guidance.
Under his guidance, things started to look bright ahead of us and we began to feel like we could handle anything the universe threw at us.
At least we hoped so.
Contact with alien life never really figured into those thought.
A/N: And there we have it.
So what did you guys think? Love it? Hate it? Think improvements can be made? Leave a review, I like to know how wel I'm doing/how I can improve.
Thanks again for reading, have a great day :)