(A/N: I know I keep saying that I will post chapters at a faster rate due to being stuck at home in this pandemic time we live in, but I am going to be honest and say that I am battling boredom mixed with depression over the fact that I am essentially a prisoner in my own home with no end in sight. Sure there are things starting to open up, but I wonder if they will close again shortly after and remain as such until a proper vaccine is made for the public. This whole thing makes it hard to write sometimes since I am just not feeling the urge to do so, but even though that may be the case, I hope you like this chapter. Not gonna lie… not much advancement in the story, it's more of the two sides coming to understand each other and agreeing to work with each other since their goals are similar. Next chapter will be better, this I promise, mainly since it deals with the Emerald Forest, and there will be plenty of advancement there! So I hope you enjoy. Stay safe and healthy out there!)
Overwatch Operative # 0352 - Elizabeth Caledonia "Calamity" Ashe, Ashe for short
Codename - Outlaw
Ashe was the only member of the Overwatch program who came from a First Class household. Her family had died in the first attack of the Verelsi before they were stopped by the combined military forces sent to deal with them, with only her and her brother who was nine years older surviving the destruction of their home and run the family company due to their parent's untimely deaths. Her brother had done all that he possibly could do in his power to keep her safe, but she had felt the need to avenge their parents by fighting the forces that had killed them. She had inherited the stubbornness that her mother was infamous for the world over, and so she got her way in the end against his wishes.
Her brother had forbidden it to the very end since he told her that they were First Class and that was the reason that the Second and Third Class citizens existed, to protect the elite like them since that was all they were good for. But Ashe knew that those creatures did not care what class one was and simply sought to kill them all. Because of that mindset she had trained how to fight for years and got really good using a modified Winchester Rifle. Her brother found out about it and told her to stop immediately, since he was the eldest and he was in charge. But Ashe was not one to be controlled like that and left their family home. On her way out he threatened her, stating that if she left that he would make sure that she was no longer a First Class Citizen. Yet she did not turn back, and her brother was true to his word.
She made do as the leader of a gang, which became infamous in the surrounding areas, when she saw Reaper take on the army of Verelsi by himself she knew that the time to fight back was finally here. So when the Overwatch program became public knowledge she joined up to finally avenge her family against the Verelsi as she so wished to do for years…
Side Note for future study: If Project Overlord 2.0 is ever Green lit by the proper authorities, Ashe has shown affection to operative Reaper and should be considered for breeding purposes to breed new soldiers with his powers as well as her skills. She along with several others would make perfect candidates for such a thing, and the paperwork has been filed for review. The combination might prove useful enough for their continued survival instead of immediate termination upon end of the Verelsi conflict.
Sinbad sat in the chair on the opposite side of Ozpin's desk, where the three people that were in the room when he arrived were now standing, looking at him with analytical eyes. He recognized the look since he had seen it many a time while the scientists were experimenting on the lot of them. The only difference here was that they were not injecting him with so many different experimental concoctions or watching him in a brightly lit room to weaken him.
"So you have questions," said Sinbad simply as he looked Ozpin in the eye. The man was well known all over the place, but he was not afraid since he had faced far worse. "And I have the answers you seek. But if I am to divulge such information, then I ask for answers to my own questions as well."
"Well," said Ozpin with a smirk, "that seems fair enough. So what is it exactly that you wish to know?"
"My main question is why?" said Sinbad with a quizzical look on his face since for the life of him he had no idea as to why this man would do as he did and recruit him out of the blue like he had done out in the middle of the woods. "Why would a man such as you, who is well known throughout Remnant, seek to recruit me?"
"I did so since you have potential," said Ozpin simply.
"One thing I learned over the years," said Sinbad with a quick shake of his head, "was that things are never as simple as that. If you wish for me to open up to you, you must do the same for me."
"Very well," said Ozpin with a slight chuckle. The boy was far more intelligent than he had expected, which was a good thing in his own mind. "I sought you out since you are a variable in the equation that is life here."
"Uh…" said Sinbad, not sure how to take that since it was a strange answer to his question.
"Allow me to elaborate," said Ozpin, understanding the look of confusion on the boy's face since it was a random thing to say out of context, "Since I have a story to tell."
"By all means," said Sinbad who gestured with his hand for the man to continue.
"Once upon a time, a callous old man who refused to leave his home was visited by four traveling sisters. The first understood his reclusive nature and urged him to use his time in solitude to reflect and meditate. The second brought him fruits and flowers, tended to his crops and revitalized his garden. The third warmed the man's heart, convincing him to step outside and embrace the world around him. And the fourth and final sister begged him to look at all that he had and be thankful. In return for his kindness, the man granted the maidens incredible powers, so that they may continue to help others all over the world. They graciously accepted, and promised to share their gifts with the people of Remnant until the end of days. Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. They were known as the Four Maidens, and their story has been told to this day."
"While I admit that your story was good," said Sinbad in thought, "but I fail to see what this has to do with the current situation at hand."
"Would you believe me if I told you that the story I told you has been around since I myself was a boy?" asked Ozpin as he took a sip out of his mug to wetten his throat.
"I believe it," said Sinbad, "but you don't really look that old so it's no surprise to me."
"Well then," said Ozpin with a serious look on his face this time, "would you believe me if I told you it was true?"
"To be honest," said Sinbad with a grin on his face, "I would have been more shocked if it turned out it wasn't. I have seen things with my own eyes, the like that I highly doubt even you or your associates standing beside you have seen. So four women powered by an external force like they were is no surprise to me really."
"Well that's good to know," said Ozpin with a laugh, "since now I don't have to try and convince you otherwise. But back to the point here. There exist four maidens, each with the power that has been passed down from one host to another over the years. When one passes away, another takes her place as the power inhabits their new host. It empowers them with strength and abilities that go beyond what is considered the norm here. And why I have recruited you is that you somehow have power akin to their own which should not be possible."
"How so?" asked Sinbad simply. He wanted to hear the full explanation before he said anything else.
"The maiden's power is only usable by women, and to see a man with such power is… as I said, an anomaly. Your power though, while theirs is full of light, yours is so very dark in nature. This was the reason I had you observed, since we feared for the worst. Yet you surprised us since you only used your power to aid others. At first we assumed you had some sort of agenda of your own and were only aiding the people to fulfill it without people hindering you. Yet once I myself observed you, I could no longer think such things about you. I honestly believe that you are just a man who was given this burden and is using it to help. That is why I sought you out, to allow you to continue to do so in a more nurturing environment while also observing you more efficiently as you do. But even though I think such a thing, the one question I, as well as the other members of our group cannot seem to fully understand is how? How did you come by such power in the first place?"
"I should be pissed about you watching me like that, but given what I am and what I can do I can't really blame you. Though out of pure curiosity," asked Sinbad, "I have to know. What were your thoughts on how I got this power you are so interested in understanding? I'll tell you if you guess right, it's more for shits and giggles really."
"I guessed some sort of cursed object," said Qrow with a shrug of his shoulders, "I have heard of such things via myths and rumors. While not one to usually believe such things, the Four Maidens were just supposed to be a story, yet they are real."
"Wrong," said Sinbad with a shake of his head before he pointed at Glynda, "your thoughts?"
"I assumed it was due to a woman… breeding," started Glynda with her face going green at the thought of such a disgusting thing happening, "with some species of Grimm."
"No…" said Sinbad as he looked at her strangely. Her guess was far out of left field there and he was disgusted by it as well, "that is wrong on so many levels. And I can only thank whatever gods that be that your guess is wrong completely. Ozpin…"
"My guess was that the storm that we felt that day somehow gifted you such power," said
Ozpin simply, "and if I am right I would wish to know how exactly it happened."
"While you are wrong in your guess," said Sinbad with a sigh, "you aren't fully. You told me a story to explain, or at least scratched the surface of the power these maidens possess, so allow me to explain my own story. But be warned, it is not one for the faint of heart, and it will require you to keep an open mind. Can you do that?"
"I shall certainly try," said Ozpin as he looked at Qrow and Glynda, who nodded their heads to show they would do the same.
"Well then, before I start," started Sinbad, who realized he had to say this otherwise it would cause an issue later, "please leave all questions until the end. This is a long story and I don't want to lose my place."
"Very well," said Ozpin, who motioned for him to continue like Sinbad had done to him when he told the Four Maidens story.
"I am going to start off by saying the one thing that I believe is the hardest to fathom out of everything I will tell you," said Sinbad with a sigh. He honestly had no idea as to how they would take it, but here he goes. "I am not from this world. And before you think that I am an alien or something from another planet, let me tell you that I am not."
Sinbad was surprised to see them listening to him calmly, and if they were surprised about what he had said, they weren't really showing it and he had no idea as to whether to take that as a good or bad sign. But he had so much more of the story to tell so he continued onwards with it.
"I am from another dimension altogether, and to be frank I have no idea what the hell that makes me except for an anomaly of your world. The storm you felt was me entering this dimension, and before I continue on I want to assure you that I am neither some sort of scout for an invading army or here to conquer the world or the like, I am simply here to find peace. Peace that I was denied my entire life. Are you following so far?"
"I am," said Ozpin, "please continue."
"Allow me to paint a picture of my own world, and I will try to simplify it so that it can be understood well enough. My home was made up of multiple countries, all with their own religions, political views, and the works. My world fought for the dumbest of reasons do to opposing views on various things such as race or religion and had been that way since the beginning of recorded history. But I'm not going to go into a full history lesson on that. The main thing that needs to be said was that one country grew not only greedy, but powerful as well as technologically advanced enough to overpower every other country on the planet. From there they essentially enslaved the world, with them implementing a three party system of citizenship. The First Class were the few, yet rich and powerful who could literally get away with murder of a lower class with no repercussions. The Second Class lived better lives than the Third, which was saying something. Third Class citizens made up the majority of the world, and were the slave force that none of the higher classes cared about. While they were far outnumbered by the lower class, they had the weapons to keep them in line."
Sinbad took a minute to collect his thoughts since now he was getting to the point where he himself became a part of the story.
"For hundreds of years, this was the way the world worked, and in time the world began to run out of resources. So the means to travel and colonize other worlds were made. Yet even there the Three party system was kept, and the Third Class Citizens were still slaves. But one day, the prince of an actual alien race found one of our colonies and with his group observed our people to see how we lived. He was disgusted by the manner that our Third Class citizens were treated and tried to help them rise up and overthrow their oppressors. But in the end it didn't work since the Second and First Class citizens would not allow their slaves to change since they liked the world the way it was. So they used the weapons made to stop that exact form of uprising and managed to put down the revolts all over as well as killed the prince. The problem was that the king of their race was not pleased about it and used technology we were never able to counter to trap our race on our planet while he slaughtered those who were off our world. Our world was still low on resources, and since we could not leave our world anymore, the brightest minds found a means to travel to other dimensions to mine them for resources."
Sinbad felt a bit of anger the closer he got to his portion of the story, since even though he was no longer under the thumb of such people, the things they forced him to endure still haunted him to this day. He was not sure if he would ever get past it, but only time would tell.
"Our world built what we called the Nexus," said Sinbad, "which was like a long hallway with each large door leading into another dimension, and we closed off any that had sentient life since we didn't want a war on our hands and have a repeat of what happened with the aliens that massacred so many of our race. Yet in time we found a race of beings, ones we dubbed the Verelsi, who managed to get a few of their own through the gateway before we closed it. Those few slaughtered so many, with the news of such showing the world that we were seriously outgunned here. But through the sacrifice of so many soldiers, they were finally killed off. Fearing another attack by this race or something as strong as them, the government started what became known as Project Overwatch, and it is at this point of the story that I become a part of it. Yet before I continue on further, do you have any questions of what I have said so far?"
"So you are saying that you came here through a portal of sorts," said Ozpin as he rubbed his forehead as he took all this in. While it all seemed so hard to believe to him, or anyone who heard such a thing really, this young man had power that should not be possible. Plus the tone of voice the boy used, his body language itself told him that this young man was telling him the truth. And it made him only question things more now than he had ever questioned things in his life. "And that the storm was your… entering of our world."
"Yes," said Sinbad with a nod.
"So what's to stop others from coming here as well?" Asked Qrow, who wanted to throw his own question into the mix.
"There is no chance of that," said Sinbad with a frown, "since I destroyed the Nexus as I passed through it. The energy you felt was the Nexus collapsing as it was destroyed."
"So you are sure that no one else can travel via the same means," asked Glynda in thought, "since if one person made such a device that means it can be remade if given enough time."
"I assure you," said Sinbad sadly since he knew for a fact that they wouldn't be able to after what he had done in his final moments in that dimension, "they will never be able to recreate it."
"What makes you so sure of that," asked Qrow.
"Allow me to continue on with my story," said Sinbad, "and by the end you will understand. That I can assure you."
"Please do carry on," said Ozpin as he took another sip out of his mug, "since your story interests me. To think that such a world exists is by far the most shocking thing I have ever heard in my entire life. I want to hear how it ends."
"Be careful what you wish for," said Sinbad with a shake of his head, "since this tale does not have a happy ending."
"Not all stories do," stated Ozpin.
"True. But allow me to continue. When Project Overwatch came into fruition, in secret of course for reasons that will become clear later, I was only five years old. I was born a Third Class citizen, and I had a mother and father. I was out playing at the park, which by the way allow me to paint the picture here so you understand exactly how we lived. Third Class citizens lived in the worst sort of poverty. Our homes were essentially multi roomed shacks, and that was if you were lucky. Our parks were old and rusty. Barely anything worked right, with constant power outages, or pipes leaking. Roaches everywhere… I'm sure you get the picture, it sucked. But as I was at the park, I was kidnapped by men who drugged me and threw me into a van. I was then put on a plane where I was shipped off with others, a thousand children of the ages of five or six, to a facility where we were handled like cattle. We were stripped down and branded…"
It was at this point that Sinbad pulled down his shirt and showed them the number thirteen that was there… a constant reminder that for the majority of his life he was thought of as not even a person, but a number to experiment on until he passed away like the rest of the children had over the course of the five years.
"And from there we were experimented on. We were forced to endure a variety of things and to make matters worse they put shock collars on us that they could use if we refused to obey. In the time I was there, they had to replace mine at least a dozen times since they used mine on me so damn much. They put us through the most extreme of tortures, many that ended with the deaths of the others. And little by little, over the course of five years, they all perished except for me and one other. They then forced me and the other to fight to the death yet I was still defiant, unbroken like the others had become even after five years of the hell they put us through. They used the collar on me, yet I grew only angry, immune to the pain after knowing nothing but it most of my life, and used the knife they gave me to kill the other to instead slit the throat of the man pushing the button to shock me. The collars also had explosives in them, which I did not know, and in a near death state the man tried to activate the one in my collar, yet pushed the wrong button and killed the other kid, leaving me the last one out of the thousand. I wasn't allowed to rest after that happened, and was instead taken into a room and strapped down to a table that I could not escape. There they used a machine to extract the power of the one and only Verelsi they managed to capture and detain from the initial attack for study, and fused us together. I can't even begin to describe the pain I felt since it was my very being, my soul that was lit ablaze in fiery agony. Yet in the end, I kept my mind, and had powers unlike I knew to boot."
"So that was how you gained such power," said Qrow with a slight chuckle, "I was way off with the cursed item guess."
"Once I came too after my transformation into, well I was never given a proper name for a species, but I like to call myself a Shade given the dark nature of my abilities. They learned that light was my weakness, and used that to detain me, as well as crafted special bullets to kill me if need be. And for the next three years I was trained as a weapon, and I just finished my training when our world's fears became a reality. The Verelsi managed to force their way into our world, but their portals were small and not as long lasting so that only a few could come out at a time, but it took a while for the portals to fully open, and it was that fact that gave us the advantage since we knew where they were coming from. So I alone stood against the first wave of invaders, with weapons designed for me to strike against them. And the world watched as I slaughtered them all. Once the world saw how one young man could stand up to them, Overwatch was then made known to the public, and people from around the world enlisted to become members and protect our world. If only they knew of the mortality rate… Since the scientists tried many different experiments to enhance their soldiers. The machine they used on me broke, and the means to build another was lost since the man who made it died with all his notes on the thing being lost with him. Out of tens of thousands of people who joined the program willingly… Only thirty, including myself, survived to fight..."
"That's…" said Glynda, who was unable to even finish her sentence. To hear that so many people were lost just to make a handful of soldiers was horrifying to the maximum extent. Ozpin and Qrow were with her in her line of thought since it was inhumane to sacrifice so many like that.
"As the others were trained, I kept the Verelsi at bay as best as I could, but they grew stronger as well as smarter to how I fought. In the end I succeeded in fending them off and eliminating them, but the damage they would do made it a hollow victory. Yet the upper citizens didn't care since it was only Third Class people who died in the attacks that I failed to stop quickly. And the few times that a Second Classer died, they were the only ones mentioned in the news. Yet as I fought them, scientists sought out the source of their race and in time found it. With the help of the other members of the Overwatch Project, we were able to fend off the enemy far better without too much collateral damage, as well as captured multiple Verelsi for testing. We learned they were like insects that lived on a hive mind. Kill the one in charge and they would all fall. And in time they finally managed to track down where the Queen was, and we were sent through a portal to fight it off and end the war once and for all. As we fought through literal endless hordes of the things, with our teamwork being flawless to the point we were in perfect sync and survived with no casualties in the end, the one thing that went through our minds was the one thing that we had been promised… Freedom…"
Sinbad remembered that speech fully. He remembered when Cartmen had told him as well as the others that lie, and he had only wished that he had seen it for what it was sooner, but they had nothing else to hold onto anymore so he clung onto the hope of it being true.
"We were told that upon the end of the War that we would all be made into Second Class Citizens, far better lives than what most of us had before enlisting. And in the end we won. I killed the Queen, thus the Verelsi stopped. They didn't die, but they just stopped entirely and floated there without movement of any sort. We returned home through the portal, and were told to head to the briefing room for our reassignment into Second Classers…"
It was at this point that Sinbad could not hold back the tears… He would always remember that day most of all, the day were everything went to literal hell…
"Once there, we waited for someone to arrive to talk with us, but they never did… instead all that happened was automated turrets opened fire and slaughtered the members of Overwatch until once more only I remained. I held the dying, bleeding body of one member who I saw as a little sister as her life gave out. It was then that one man came into the room, a gun pointed at my head loaded with the bullets they made to kill me, and he smirked as I looked up and pulled the trigger…"
"How are you alive then," asked Qrow, who did not understand how Sinbad could still be alive after that. Sure he felt sorry for the kid after all he had been through, but it still did not make sense.
"The way I killed the Queen of the Verelsi," said Sinbad as he wiped the tears from his eyes, "was that I devoured her shadow. She was technically immortal, yet upon devouring that, she died and my weakness to light was no longer a factor. I didn't know this, but it is the reason I am alive today. And after seeing that everything we fought for was a lie, I lost it and began to rampage through the facility. I slaughtered so many people that day, yet I felt no remorse over the deaths of people who turned me into what I am to fight their battles only to kill me off when my mission was complete. But even though I killed all the people in that place, I knew there were more, so I hacked into the computer storing all their files on us and found out where the others were hiding. Each member of the project had a chip in them that kept track of where they were as well as their status. If they were dead, the computer would be alerted to this, and it was with that program I was able to find them all down to the last person and killed them. Now while I know that doing that and stating that I did so without remorse makes me seem like a monster, but after I learned what they had planned, I had to do it."
"Okay," said Qrow, who had actually thought that Sinbad might be a monster with his actions, but he was willing to listen fully before he made his full decision on the matter. "I'll bite. Explain what would make you kill so many people like that."
"I learned of something called Operation Overlord 2.0," said Sinbad with a growl, "the operation was essentially invasion plans of a grand scale. For years our world had avoided sentient races so as to not go to war, and only fought one since they were forced to once the Verelsi came into the picture by invading us. Their plans were to continue to make more soldiers, generation after generation of Third Classers being turned into weapons, and once they were made into what they were supposed to be they would have been put into pods that put you to sleep and halted the process of aging we called Cryo pods. Once the numbers were enough, my world planned to invade others, regardless of the presence of sentient life or not. The First Classers wanted more power and more people to rule over, and their greed would never stop. I made the toughest decision of my life the day I left my dimension, and I truly wished there had been a better way, yet there was not."
"What did you do?" asked Ozpin, who was genuinely curious. He saw the boy was hesitant to tell them, since whatever it was that he did was painful for him to recall.
"When the Verelsi Queen was killed by me," said Sinbad, "I assumed control over all of them. In a sense I became the king of their race, but I didn't know this until the end. When I had killed all the members who were planning to go through with Operation Overlord 2.0, I had found an island far away from everyone else and decided to live there for the rest of my life since I had earned that at least. It wasn't perfect, but it was a life. Yet the government didn't like their weapon being free and no longer under their control, so they sent out soldiers and weapons to attack me and wiped my island of the face of the planet in their attempts to kill me. As I survived their attack, my rage grew since I knew they would never allow me to live and in my rage the connection I had with the Verelsi awoke. So I made my way to the Nexus facility, killed all who worked there to stop them from doing so, and then opened up the portal to the Verelsi dimension. They are a race that does not die unless killed for they require no form of sustenance and only live to destroy any source of light they come across. So with the portal opened once more, I called out for them and they heeded my call. Thousands of them poured out of the portal, and under my order, they resumed their attacks on my world…"
"But… that's…" said Glynda in horror. She was at a loss for words at this point since this boy had basically committed genocide on a global scale with his actions.
"I know what I did was wrong," said Sinbad, "and I get to live with that fact every day, but my world could only survive by invading others, and so I picked the lesser of two evils and eliminated the invading force before they got started. By doing so, I saved countless worlds and dimensions since our world would never stop. They would just keep making more slaves to send out to die so that the First and Second Classers could live in luxury."
"So you came to our world to finally live a life worth living," said Ozpin, more to himself than anything.
"Sir," stated Glynda, who saw Sinbad as a monster for his actions, "we can't have such a person around the students."
"Glynda," said Ozpin calmly, "I fully agree with Sinbad's reasoning as well as his actions."
"Wha…" was all she was able to say since she did not expect that.
"Given the extreme circumstances that he found himself in," said Ozpin with a frown since the manner that Sinbad had lived most his life was indeed horrific, and he could only wonder how the boy remained sane through all that he went through. "I would have done the exact same thing."
"I am with you on that one," said Qrow, "since the lengths they went to survive at the expense of so many people needed to end once and for all. At least this young man has the guilty conscience for having to do as he did, which shows he is not truly a monster."
"What's to stop this boy from bringing those things to our world?!"
"That is indeed a very good question," said Ozpin in thought, "can they come here?"
"Don't look at me," said Sinbad with hands held up in surrender, "since I had to open the Nexus portal to bring them to my dimension. Since the thing is destroyed, and the world it existed on is more than likely destroyed as well in the two years I have been here, there is no means to bring them here, nor do I want to. As I said before, I simply wanted to find peace."
"And you considered a world filled with monsters as a form of peace?"
"Actually yes," said Sinbad, "since I was trained all my life to fight monsters to protect the people. Here I get to do that and am not hated for it or having people try to kill me."
"So you said you could consume shadows," said Ozpin as he wanted this meeting to get back on track, "can you explain how that works?"
"It's exactly how it sounds," said Sinbad, "since I can eat shadows with my own. When I do so, their powers as well as the knowledge they possessed become mine to use, but they don't survive. But I can also take small snippets of them, so there are no ramifications to it, to find out Intel. This is how I learned about your world since when I first got here I didn't know how to speak your language or your customs. But in time I did and I hunted Grimm since. I don't really plan to eat shadows since the only ones I have are the Queen as well as those that belonged to my dead friends from the Overwatch Unit. This way, they live on through me, as I wield their weapons as my own and live the life we were promised for so long."
"Very well," said Ozpin as he got up out of his seat, "I have made my decision on the matter."
"What decision are you talking about," asked Sinbad with a raised eyebrow since he was confused right now.
"I would like you to join our group." Said Ozpin as he walked towards the door to the elevator, all while motioning for Sinbad to follow him since he had something he wanted to show him.
"What group is that?"
"Despite what the world thinks, we're not just teachers or generals or headmasters. The people in this room, the leaders of the other three academies, we're the ones that keep the world safe from the evils no one even knows about. We are like you in the sense that we do what we must to protect the people from a great evil that seeks only to destroy them all."
"Does this group have a name at all?" asked Sinbad as he followed Ozpin to the elevator as well as Qrow. Glynda remained behind to do… whatever she was doing.
"Not officially," said Ozpin with a chuckle.
"How about Overwatch," said Sinbad simply, "since it seems to fit this group perfectly if you are doing as I did in my own world."
"I must admit," said Ozpin as he stroked his chin in thought, "it does have a nice ring to it when you think about it. Well then, we shall do so from here on. I thank you for the suggestion. Barely a member of our group for five minutes and already you are greatly contributing to our cause."
This remark cause him as well as Qrow to laugh since they never really thought about a name for their group at all, and to hear one be made for them so easily was quite humorous to them. They rode the elevator down to what appeared to be a basement level far underground. The doors opened and the three of them walked out of the elevator and began to walk down a long hallway towards a destination that only two of them knew what was at the end of it.
"I'm sure you have questions," said Qrow.
"I have a few," said Sinbad in response. "I still don't understand why you brought me down here of all places really."
"The maidens have existed for thousands of years," said Ozpin so as to explain matters, "and when one dies, another takes her place. Yet the problem lies in the process of transference."
"How so," asked Sinbad, who wanted to hear this.
"In time," said Qrow with a sigh since he found the means that the power transferred was strange, "we began to understand that when a Maiden dies, the one who was in her final thoughts is the first candidate to inherit her power. That is unless it's some dude or some old hag which then means the power goes to someone random, and our jobs get a lot harder since we then have to find out who they are."
"Why do you care so much about them," asked Sinbad.
"We only seek to protect them from the dark forces at work that seek to obtain that power for themselves really," said Ozpin, "we do nothing more than keep them safe when they need it, and let them live their own lives since they are not slaves or the like."
"Fair enough," said Sinbad, "but why did you bring me down here?"
"Because of this," said Qrow as they made it to their destination. There before them were two pods, one that was occupied while the other was vacant. In the occupied one was a young woman who had a light brown complexion, with shoulder-length, straight brown hair. She had a beauty mark below her left eye, but facial scarring that messed with the beauty she once had. "This is Amber, the Fall Maiden."
"What happened to her," asked Sinbad in genuine concern.
"Agents of the dark forces defeated her and used methods that we didn't even know existed to extract a portion of her power from her. Qrow here was able to cut her loose before the process was complete, but she is in a bad state of health and has been in this pod ever since."
"So she has been here since then," said Sinbad sadly. This was no way for someone to live, but then a light went on in his head, "but I might have the means to heal her."
"You do?" asked Ozpin with a quizzical look on his face since that was not something he expected. He had recruited Sinbad, who he now knew was capable of great power as well as the desire to protect others so as to spy and carry out 'errands' to keep the dark forces at bay. Judging by the man's actions, he would do so gladly if it meant the people were safe.
"I believe I do," said Sinbad as he ejected the Caduceus Staff once wielded by the best medic they had in Overwatch, codenamed 'Mercy' and grabbed it with his hands. "You might want to stand back though."
"What is that?" asked Qrow as he took a step back.
"This belonged to a member of Overwatch," said Sinbad, "it heals some of the worst wounds you could imagine through means that I could explain, yet I don't want to since its complex and we would be here all day talking about it." He then fired a beam at the pod where Amber laid. The pod lit up as the energy soaked into it, and within a minute, they heard her begin to breathe heavily as she woke up from her comatose state. This caused Ozpin as well as Qrow to look at Sinbad with shocked eyes since they did not expect this. This boy had the power over life and death apparently and were so glad they saw past his past actions to his world and brought him aboard to aid them in their fight against the dark forces at work. Sinbad then cut the power, which made the energy beam stop. Ozpin quickly opened the pod where Amber was looking around frantically, and to even more of their surprise, the scars she had on her face was gone. The stress as well as the shock of the situation proved too much for her though, and she feinted in his arms.
"I am at a loss for words right now," said Ozpin.
"I second that," said Qrow. They now no longer had to go with the plans they had originally made to find and recruit a strong young maiden to take the place of Amber so as to fight of the woman who stole the other portion of her power. This changed so much, and they would have to reevaluate the situation before they made plans.
"So is there anything else I could help with here," asked Sinbad, "or can I return to the main hall. I am a bit sleepy and we have a big day ahead of us tomorrow with the forest and all."
"No," said Ozpin as he held onto Amber, "by all means please do go back. You have done far more than I expected of you by aiding this woman. For that you have our thanks."
"Well," said Sinbad with a genuine smile on his face, "I always liked to help people. It was just too bad the people of my own world didn't care. So I take the same elevator we used to get back up?"
"Yes," said Ozpin, "just hit one on the panel and it will bring you to the main area."
"Well thanks," said Sinbad, "not only for allowing me the chance to help people on such a grand scale, but for understanding why I had to do as I did."
"As I said before," said Ozpin, "I would have done the same given the circumstances really."
"Well then," said Sinbad as he began to walk away towards the elevator, "feel free to call on me when needed."
"Will do," was all Ozpin said as Sinbad finally reached the distance that he was out of earshot. He as well as Qrow then each took an arm of Amber's over their shoulders and began to walk towards the elevator as well since they would need to have a trained medical professional look her over to make sure she was alright in the end…
(The Next day)
Sinbad woke up easily enough, since he didn't need much sleep really. This was how he had been trained to sleep, and at this point it was just hardwired into his brain and he couldn't really help himself on that matter. When he got up, he went and took a shower, and it was as he was leaving the bathroom that others began to walk in to take their own. Once he was fully clean after brushing his teeth and the like, he went to the cafeteria to see if there was breakfast. He didn't know if there was since none had been mentioned by Glynda during orientation since all she really told them was to head to a specific location at a certain time that was still about an hour and a half away.
Luckily, the cafeteria had cereal for the newcomers, which while he would have liked something cooked or the like, he was not going to complain since he enjoyed the sugary substance. He sat down and ate a bowl of the stuff and watched as the others came in and quickly ate their own before they headed out towards the location they were told to go. Sinbad didn't see anyone he knew, and he was just about to head to the location himself before he remembered his project he worked on that was still in his locker.
He made it there easily enough, but as he closed the door he saw Juane there, putting on his sword in preparation of whatever test they were going to be subjected to.
"Hey Juane," said Sinbad as he took out his cylindrical container that housed his project. "Nervous about what we will have to do?"
"A bit yes," said Juane with a bit of a sweat drop, "how about you?"
"Not really," said Sinbad honestly, "since I have faced far worse things in life and welcome the challenge of facing more."
"Well, that's a… rather unique way of thinking about it. But I have to ask, what is in that container?"
"Oh this," said Sinbad, "well let me show you. Prepare to have your mind blown."
Sinbad grabbed the top part of the container, which the handle was connected to, and twisted the handle before he pushed it inwards. They heard a loud hissing sound as multiple locks and gears moved on the inside of the thing. It took a minute of this, but eventually, the container opened up like a flower does, with four poles still sticking upwards. In between these thin poles was a greenish yellow orb, which Juane saw had lines on it to show that it had inner parts and it was from these points that they came out.
Sinbad lifted up what remained of the top part and removed the orb from its case. He whipped out his Scroll, which he had a program redesign internally, and pushed a button. As he did, the orb sprouted wings that began to move fast like a humming bird. Not only that, the size of the thing began to expand, which made Juane question how it did that, but the reasoning was simply due to the fact that the machine was packaged in a compact manner as it programming was being installed overnight. Now that it was free of the container, it could finally expand itself into its immediate full size, which was about the size of a standard backpack, so not too big really. It was circular, but with a black screen for a mouth and eyes so that it could convey emotions in a way.
"Juane," said Sinbad with a smirk, "allow me to introduce you to my mechanical friend Bastion. Say hello Bastion."
Bastion beeped a bit to say hello, since he did not speak at all. Sinbad wanted to add that, but there was just no room for it once everything else was added.
"This is amazing," said Juane as tried to touch Bastion. He got a nasty shock the moment his finger made contact though.
"Sorry about that," said Sinbad with a laugh, "Bastion does not recognize you as a friend yet, mainly since he has just been booted up for the first time. This is what happens to none friends who try and touch him."
"Ow," said Juane as he shook his hand in pain. His arm had gone numb from the shock.
"Bastion," said Sinbad, "Juane is a friend. Confirm?"
Bastion looked at Juane for a second and then beeped in confirmation that Juane was classified as a friend.
"Good. Now run a systems check on yourself. Need to make sure everything is fully functional if I am to take you into the field."
"So what does he do," asked Juane as Bastion's face went dark as he internally checked his systems as ordered.
"He is my mechanical assistant," said Sinbad with a quick wave of his hand, "and for now I will leave it at that since to be honest, there is too much stuff to name at the top of my head and we are on a tight deadline here to get to our destination."
"Oh crap," said Juane as he looked at his watch and saw they were cutting it close, "we have to leave now if we are going to make it in time!"
"You go on ahead," said Sinbad, "I have to wait a few minutes for my robotic friend here to fully function. Don't worry about me, I'll probably beat you there even with your head start."
"And you think this why?"
"I'm very fast," said Sinbad with a raised eyebrow. Juane simply looked at him for a second before he set out towards their destination. A few minutes later, Bastion came back fully online with a happy face and a beep. "Good to see everything is fully functional. High five!" Sinbad held up his hand, and as he did, Bastion summoned up a robotic hand that returned it. Sinbad simply laughed as he then began to rush out the door himself with Bastion following behind. Sinbad had been telling the truth when he mentioned he had speed, and it didn't take long for him to not only pass Juane, but Ruby, Yang, and just about everyone else as he full on sprinted to their destination.
Their destination was on a cliff, one that overlooked a rich as well as vast forest that went on for miles. Sinbad saw that Ozpin as well as Glynda were there already. Ozpin simply smiled at him, but Glynda… he really couldn't read her. He had a feeling they would never get along, but that was the harsh reality of life, you can't make friends with everyone. Sinbad was instructed to stand on top of one of the multiple squares that were on the cliff, which he looked at for three seconds before he knew exactly what they were going to do. Eventually everyone else arrived for the test as well, and like he thought, there were many stares at Bastion, since mainly he was new.
"For years," said Ozpin as he addressed the crowd, "you have been trained to become warriors. And today your abilities will be evaluated in the Emerald Forest."
"Now," said Glynda, taking over for Ozpin, "I'm sure many of you have heard rumors about the assignment of teams. Well, allow us to put an end to your confusion. Each of you will be given teammates, with the exception of one of you due to having an odd number of new students, today."
"What," whimpered Ruby, who wasn't quite ready to pick a teammate so soon since she had wanted to weigh her options out first.
"These teammates will be with you for the rest of your time here at Beacon," said Ozpin in a serious tone of voice that let them know the decision was final. "So it is in your best interest to be paired up with someone whom you can work well with."
Sinbad heard Ruby whimper even more since she knew next to nobody in this group of people so her options were even harder to choose from.
"That being said," said Ozpin, "the first person you make eye contact with after landing will be your partner for the next four years."
Sinbad couldn't help but chuckle as he saw Ruby loose it after hearing that statement alone. To Sinbad, anyone would do since you learn to work with who you have. The various members of Overwatch all came from different backgrounds, yet they all worked well together in the end after much training as well as cooperation in the fight against the Verelsi.
"After you have partnered up," continued Ozpin, "make your way to the northern end of the forest. You will meet opposition along the way. Do not hesitate to destroy everything in your path, or you will die."
Juane nervously laughed a bit as he heard Ozpin say that, and it ended with a scared gulp since he was having a bit of a change of heart here.
"You will be monitored and graded for the duration of your initiation. But our instructors will not intervene. You will find an abandoned temple at the end of the path containing several relics. But there is an added one that is different than the rest. The one who picks this one does so at their own peril since that person will be without a partner for the next four years of their attendance here. Each pair must pick choose one of these relics, and then return back here with said relic. We will regard that item, as well as your standing, and grade you appropriately."
Ozpin paused for a moment to let all this sink in before he continued.
"Now," said Ozpin with a smile, "are there any questions?"
"I have one," said Sinbad with a raise of his hand.
"Yes Mr. Williams?" said Ozpin, acknowledging him.
"Can we start now, or do we have to wait?"
"By all means," said Ozpin with a chuckle since he had a feeling that the young man would impress him even further than he had already. "Start as soon as you wish."
"Well then," said Sinbad as he pulled out some very stylish as well as heavy duty goggles and put them on so that they properly covered his eyes. He saw the HUD activate upon putting them on and it was now locked onto the destination set for them all. "Good luck Juane." Said Sinbad as he pat the man on the shoulder, "but I'm gonna do this quickly."
The looks of shock he saw from the people were priceless as he channeled power to activate the jetpack he had on his person, yet his power kept it melded into his shadow space for quick use like this. He got a few yards off the ground; double finger saluted the lot of them, and then blasted off in the direction of temple…
Ozpin couldn't help but laugh, since this year would be an interesting one indeed to see play out…
New Abilities Shown:
Caduceus Staff – does exactly what it did in the game, which was healing people.
Bastion – Sinbad remade Bastion in a new body since his subconscious was made into an AI program. Sinbad simply downloaded it and gave him a new body to use in the new world, but with many major alterations such as transformations and various weapons that will be known later on.
Jetpack – Using the mix of Mercy's wings as well as Pharah's jetpack, Sinbad made a fully functional one that has a large fuel tank that can easily be refilled using his own energy or other sources if need be. The downside though is that he must turn the thing off to refuel or else the thing would explode, a problem he tried to work out but so far, no luck there…
Soldier 76 Visor – Sinbad reverse engineered the Visor that he once wore and made them into goggles since as he knew he would need them from time to time, more often than not when he used the jetpack so as to protect his eyes from the winds and various things in the air as he flew through it.