King: And we're back again.
Knox: So, what are we doing this time?
King: We're having some fun on the waves again. But this time, it's a Remnant version and possible world for our cast. And I have a surprise at the end. Now, let's do this! I hope you all enjoy as usual.
As things settled down again, the screen started to glow again. It seemed there was little time between viewings.
"Alright!" Yang was still running off the hype from the previous reality. "What's next?!"
The scene opened to a foggy visage of the sea, waves rolling over the horizon beneath a blanket of visibility-obscuring vapor.
Neptune seized up, but this time, Weiss was aware and helped ground him in reality with a hand on his shoulder. It didn't make it all go away, but it helped.
Letters at the lower left appeared in bright green.
[Far-Bound Sea: 1721 miles off the coast of Vale]
Most of the more worldly and/or studied knew what a Far-Bound Sea was. Rather than being a name, a Far-Bound Sea was the name given to waters beyond naming regions. True, they could give it a name, but no one ever really cared to. As such, one would simply refer to it as 'Far-Bound' and would give distance to the nearest Kingdom.
Coasting on the waves was a caravan of vessels: the Wildling, the Far Truth, the Dire Hound, and the Firestar. All four were stolen military vessels taken and repurposed as White Fang Destroyers intent on sinking any boat that dares to approach their caravan. After all, no one had reason to be this far out from port unless they wanted to avoid detection.
Ironwood's face set in an annoyed expression. It was a real blind spot for everyone at this point for one big reason. There wasn't enough resources to track the Far-Bound Seas. It would be impossible to know about a caravan like this until they were closer to shore.
The Firestar was set as the flagship. On the bridge of the Firestar was the Faunas Captain Ulfric Riener, previously a Navy officer for Vacuo before falling in with the Fang.
That actually made Ironwood's blood boil. He hated the idea of a military man/woman betraying their comrades and oaths to protect the citizens. He hated when they fell in with the very thing that was threatening those citizens.
Captain Ulfric tapped his foot on the ground as he waited. A trip through the Far-Bound Seas wasn't exactly a quick one. But he wanted to get it over with. The Far-Bound Seas are dangerous as they are and they have no one to call on if anything happens. He wanted to get out of here fast. These were Leviathan waters, and last thing he needed was a giant Grimm that could crack their ship in half.
One the sailors at a sonar station kept eyes glued to the screen before. His eyes were locked on that green line as it swung around the center. There was never anything worth commenting on. Until now. "Contact!"
Ulfric turned his head to the sonar station, "Report!"
"Two readings! Wait. One of the readings is shrinking."
Port nodded in understanding. "A Grimm then. Or perhaps what's left of it."
"Which direction?" Ulfric grabbed a pair of binoculars from the wall as he moved for the windows of the bridge.
"Thirty-Two degrees North Northwest. 25 Klicks."
Ulfric looked over the ocean toward the area in question. Sure enough, there was a mass of black sludge forming at the top of the waters. It was a sign of a Grimm disintegrating from under water. They would seemingly melt and float upward before being able to disintegrate properly.
Port laughed as the students looked toward him surprised. "It was to be a lesson in the next module for Aquatic Grimm. Lucky you, you have a headstart moving forward!"
Ulfric turned back to the sonar table, "And the other one?"
"It seems to be backing off."
"Eyes on the waves!" Someone from outside shouted.
Ulfric turned back to the window in time to see something that put the fear of gods in him. The water's surface broke as a metal protrusion rose from the deep. Soon, the rest of the vessel crested the waves and settled halfway into the water. The design was sleek and purposefully set for ease of movement underwater.
Nora gasped, "A submarine! A real submarine!"
To be fair, it was the first time most of them had ever seen a submarine, much less one in action. Save for one. After all, when your military has a division dedicated to subs alone, it was hard not to see one when it dropped by on shore.
A symbol on the side showed a golden arc with a shark's head silhouette pointed in the same direction as the sub. Lettering on the side read out, [ARV Whiskey].
Nora's head tilted slightly, "ARV? What's that mean?"
Jaune, if you couldn't guess, had the answer. "Arcadian Royal Vessel. Specifically the Whiskey."
Qrow raised an eyebrow, "Whiskey? Like the Military Alphabet or…"
"No. Like the drink. Arcadian Submarines are named after drinks." Jaune counted a few off on his fingers, "Whiskey, Brandy, Cola, Cocktail. The most famous in Arcadia is the Rum Runner. Yes, really."
Nora snickered, "That's hilarious."
The Whiskey's top hatch opened up as someone appeared with what looked like a large flare gun. With a trigger pull, he launched a capule toward the Firestar before dipping back into the Sub. As the Whiskey began to descend again, the capsule popped a flag of Parley.
Ulfric lowered his binoculars before swinging an arm to point toward one of his subordinated, "Get me that capsule!"
"Sir! What if it's a bomb or something?!"
"That's a flag of Parley. They want to open communications. So, I'll repeat, get me that capsule!" Ulfric would often find himself getting fed up with some of the 'sailors' under his command, if they could be called that. Anyone with even half a day's understanding of military codes would tell that using a flag of Parley as an attack would be like shooting at an ambulance. You just don't do that! But, some of the Fang on land seem to think that's a good idea…
Ironwood folded his arms and nodded. He can give Ulfric that much, he seemed more like a military man than a terrorist.
After a moment, the capsule was brought to the bridge and popped open. Within was a Scroll with a blinking light. Ulfric placed it down as the screen expanded to a full holoscreen.
On the other side of the screen was a man dressed in a whie coat with golden accenting common for Navy officers. His blond hair was controlled, slicked back slightly out of and away from his sapphire colored eyes.
Cue another Nora gasp, "It's Jaune!"
"In the Navy this time, it seems." Velvet smiled. She wasn't going to say it out loud, but she liked the look. A Jaune in uniform was a good look to her.
Jaune stood in the usual military rigidness, "I thank you for accepting this Parley."
Ulfric gave a quick nod. "Though, I'd feel better knowing which faction I've parleyed with. I don't recognize your vessel's callsign."
"You are currently speaking with the acting Lord Admiral of the Arcadian Fifth Legion."
"Acting Admiral?" Ulfric raised an eyebrow.
"The current Fleet Admiral is away from command as of now."
"I'm aware of the concept of an Acting position."
"I would assume as much. Captain Ulfric, formerly of the Vacuo Defence Fleet. You were supposed to be defending the ocean regions around the continent. And yet when we meet, you've fallen in with the Fang."
"I was wondering about that." Ruby tapped her chair a bit, "Vacuo is supposed to be landlocked, so why have a Navy?"
"Protection of island regions, mostly." Sun explained. "You join up and hop around island to island in order to make sure everything is still okay and to keep shipping lanes safe before they can reach land."
Ulfric didn't seem too affected by Jaune's words, "What I do is for all Faunas kind. But that's neither here nor there. Why have you called this meeting?"
Jaune practically forced eye contact just by the way he was standing, "I'll be frank then. Each of your ships has an on-sight order to sink. I'd like to avoid unnecessary conflict if possible. As such, I request your immediate surrender."
Qrow let out an impressed whistle, "Damn. Kid's got some balls to just demand that."
Ulfric chuckled and smirked up toward the holoscreen, "I'll have to refuse. I apologize, but we have a mission to do. And we won't give that up because you ask us to."
Jaune was silent before he sighed. "I understand. In a way, I understand. I wish it didn't have to come to this, but we are at an impasse. We will be sure to fish you out of the waters as we arrive. Have at you." The screen shut down and the scroll short circuited to ensure it couldn't be used again.
Winter nodded, rather impressed, "I admit, that's actually rather smart in a way. It ensures you aren't just giving your enemies free technology that could track back to you or be used against you."
Ulfric turned to the sea again. He had five minutes before the rules of Parley came to an end and their battle with this Arcadian force began. If he could, he'd prefer to avoid the conflict altogether and reach his destination without issue. "Prepare for combat. I want all sailors ready for whatever comes at us!"
The crew all shouted, "Sir! Yes Sir!" It was one of the few things Ulfric was able to bring with him from his military background.
Five minutes passes far too quickly. And so war was on. Ulfric was on edge, uncertain of what was to follow. He knew that modern radar and sonar technologies coupled with thermal scopes rendered the cover of fog useless. More than anything, he wanted to hope that there was some way out of what was to come.
But luck had no place in this battle.
The submarine had returned.
"Looks like the Whiskey is going to bring them all down." Roman laughed. "Sounds like a Tuesday back at the bar."
Most of the audience was just concerned about the idea of being attacked by something they couldn't actually see.
The Sub surfaced, revealing an altered pattern and the name [ARV Sangria]. After the launch of its torpedoes, it sank back down to a chorus of shells impacting the waves. The torpedoes struck the Dire Hound's armor belt, dealing little in the way of damage but rattling everyone on board. Another Sub popped out of the ocean, the ARV Vodka, complete with a set of torpedoes to strike the Wildling. This set did a bit more damage. As the Vodka sank again, the ARV Champagne raised from the depths and fired against the Far Truth to knock out its propulsion.
Ironwood took in a sharp inhale, "This is unnervingly effective."
"Pack tactics at its finest right there." King nodded.
"It's a story and a half. Short version is, this is a tactic used in what were called Wolf Packs. Submarines would surround the enemy, appear, shoot, and sink again before the next Sub followed suit. It's based on actual pack tactics to keep a target distracted."
As the Far Truth fell behind the others, they saw the crew scramble to find a way to fix things or abandon ship. As they ran about, Ulfric could hear something with his canine ears. It was a sharp sound, something most people couldn't hear. It was descending. Until, suddenly, the Far Truth erupted as shells rained down from above. The Subs dove again and disappeared as the Far Truth was torn asunder by plunging fire.
"To be fair, that doesn't happen in a Pack."
"I get it." Winter tapped her finger on her chair, a bit unnerved. "The Submarines cripple the enemy vessel as a battleship nearby destroys whatever is left."
The three remaining White Fang ships were full speed ahead to escape the attack, using whatever depth charges they had to get the Subs off their trail. To their credit, the Whiskey was true to Admiral Arc's word, picking the White Fang's survivors out of the water and into a series of rafts tied to the back. Ulfric had a certain respect for that, but he had to press on.
The harassment by Submarine continued, but the three left were Valen, built to be tougher than their Mistali counterpart. But that didn't mean it was easy. Repairs were often necessary, but supplies were starting to run out. Eventually, the Dire Hound met the same fate as the Far Truth. Crippled and unable to move, its crew immediately jumped to avoid what was to come. Plunging fire turned the Dire Hound into scraps and flames as it began to sink into the water.
Ulfric cursed, knowing this was falling apart. It would be best to surrender, but he knew the Fang would refuse to accept that. His subordinates would mutiny at the first sign of surrender. He had to press on and hope to complete the mission.
That didn't make Sienna feel any better about what happened to the Fang.
The Firestar found a tough hit to her port side.
"Okay, which side is the port side?" Nora called out, "That always confused me."
"Port side is the left of the ship. An easy way to remember that is that they both have four letters." Neptune explained. "The Starboard is the right, Stern is the back, and Bow is the front. So, when someone says to the Port side, everyone knows it's on the ship's left side instead of people getting confused when you say to the left."
The Wildling did not fair as well as it didn't even get the honor of the plunging fire. A torpedo hit the hull just right and burst the fuel tanks to rip the vessel in two. As it sank,, the Subs backed off for the Whiskey to pick up the survivors for capture. When no plunging fire appeared, it confirmed Ulfric's suspicions that at least one of the Subs was calling out when and where to fire. But that didn't really matter now. The Firestar was alone in the water and surrounded on all sides by an enemy they couldn't see. Then, it was as good as over. An explosion rocked the ship from its stern. Its rudder was shot and propulsion was offline. She was dead in the water. Ulfric knew it was over. He could hear it in the air. And then… Black out.
"Oh, that can't be good." Kali shrunk a little in her chair.
Ulfric's eyes opened after an unknown amount of time. He found himself lying on his back and looking up toward the sky. The pain in his head and torso told him enough of why that was. He glanced around to find many of his fellow Fang sailors gathered together on a series of liferafts. They'd been captured by the Arcadian forces at sea. And this far out from shore, there was no escape. They could easily jump into the water and swim for it, but Grimm were everywhere and even if they weren't the closest civilization was more than a thousand miles away.
"They're lucky to be alive." Ironwood noted somberly. "That far out from shore usually guarantees total death for the crew if the ship is lost. They're lucky the Arcadian ships were willing to follow the rules despite the Fang's reputation and outlook. Most people would have let them drown."
"The Fang are still people, general." Sienna glared toward the Atlassian.
"They are, yes. I agree with you completely on this point. Now we just need the Fang as a whole to agree that humans are people as well; and not monsters to be slaughtered."
Sienna grit her teeth, but failed to dispute him. Despite her better efforts, more than a few in the Fang seem to be falling under the same mindset Adam had. If she just kept better control… If she could have kept them in line… If she hadn't have started this war on humanity. That was a sobering thought that she knew would only make her feel worse. The past is the past. She would spend her present and future to atone for how far she allowed the Fang to fall.
Ulfric started to sit up, "How long was I out?"
"I don't know." The sonar operator was sitting next to him. "Most of us blacked out. When the shells hit. They said we're being tugged along to their flagship. The Admiral wanted to meet with you after the battle."
One of the other Fang members, a weapon's specialist from the Wildling, "They're probably planning to turn us into slaves or something. Humans can't be trusted!"
That actually made Gira pained. Equality was his greatest goal, and this outlook wasn't helping anyone.
The helmsman from the Far Truth leaned into the small group around him, "I have an idea." He kept his voice low enough to ensure only the men around him heard. "We can take over their battleship. There's enough of us here that we can hijack the ship and run it to shore. We've done it before, we can do it again."
The sonar operator sighed, "We could, but it would be a skeleton crew at best. If something goes wrong, we're shit out of luck."
"Then we make sure it doesn't. It's simple."
"Not as simple as you make it sound." The Firestar's communications officer was looking out on the sea, eyes wide in shock and awe. This made the rest of the Fang turn to see what he was referencing, and many wished they hadn't.
The vessel before them, still some ways away, was gigantic. Easily 1000 feet long, 150 feet tall, and 40 feet wide at its largest. It was fitted with quad-turrets, a group of torpedo emplacements, multiple anti-air flak cannons, and even a small VTOL pad near the stern. It dwarfed everything the Fang had ever seen. And it had a name to match its size and firepower. [ARV Leviathan]
Tai shivered, "Apt. Apt name. What the hell?"
Jaune blinked, "I don't recognize that one. I don't think that's a thing. Yet…" He knew his Uncle Vincent always wanted to create a capital ship that could fight the larger Grimm of the Far-Bound Seas. He guessed that would be a possible result.
The Fang felt their plans go up in smoke. The crew necessary to run a ship like that was far more than what they had left. They were brought to the side of the ship and told to climb a ladder that lowered next to them. Once they were all onboard, they were lined up with hands cuffed behind them. They waited as the vessel continued its path along the waves.
After a moment, Jaune was seen walking the hull with his arms set behind his back.
"Why are his arms behind his back?" Nora asked. "Is he in trouble?"
"No." Jaune, having grown up with an Admiral and Generals for Uncles, knew in a way. "It's a power stance. People who hold themselves with that stance don't expect to have their orders challenged."
He stopped to look over the Fang brought before him. "Is this everyone?"
One of the officers from the Sub nodded with a salute, "Yes sir! This is everyone we could find after the appropriate sweeps."
Jaune nodded, "It is unfortunate for those lost. But we have to continue moving. You'll all be going to the brig for now, and when we arrive you will be transported to an appropriate prison complex, as is customary." He started to walk about as if addressing the troops. "But I know what has made you take this path in life. You're all angry for one reason or another. But, it's made you all worse because you lack the discipline in life or that you were never taken seriously among your peers despite your skills." Jaune stopped in front of Ulfric, looking him in the eye. "And that tragedy is what made you the way you are now."
Adam nodded in understanding, "That explains why he joined then. Many faunas aren't taken seriously by their human counterparts."
Ilia tapped her finger on her chair "But didn't it say he was from Vacuo? I'd understand it if it was in Mistral or Mantle, but Vacuo is fairly open to Faunas."
"It's the same idea as why you said Mantle." Adam folded his arms, "Mantle and the Kingdom of Atlas are against Faunas, but the Atlas Military has been shown to be fairly equal."
This actually got Sienna to double take.
Adam continued, "My issue has always been with the SDC, never the military."
Jaune's eyes narrowed, "Or maybe you're an old military man who fell for the rhetoric."
Gira sighed, "That explains it."
Jaune started to walk again, "I want to offer the chance of redemption. When your time is up, I hope we can meet on better terms." He turned back to his officers, "Take them below and get them dry. Full speed for Arcadia!"
So ends the Battle of the Far-Bound. After all, these are Leviathan's Waters.
"Another Legion down, I guess." Neptune remarked.
"That was insane!" Sun was still freaking out a bit. He grew up in a desert and never saw large ships before, much less a Capital ship like the Leviathan.
"But why call it Leviathan?" Ruby asked. "That's the name of a Grimm, isn't it?"
"It's not too odd." An as of yet unheard voice chimed in. People spun around in shock to find a white haired boy about the same age of Ruby. He dressed in somewhat formal attire, all in cooler or pale colors. "Naming things after monsters gives off the idea that you create a monster to fight a monster. But I can't say for certain."
"Whitely?!" Weiss was instantly on her feet and confused by his appearance.
"Weiss. Winter." He nodded to both of his older sisters. "Can either of you possibly explain where I am and what I'm doing here?"