Author's Note: There will be characters and elements from Apex Legends, Code Geass, Gears of War, Halo, Red Vs Blue, etc.
( Beacon - Ozpin's Office )
"I'm expelled?" replied Jaune Arc, hearing the words coming out of his mouth, but having a hard time actually believing them.
A stone faced Ozpin nods while Glynda stands beside Headmaster, glaring daggers at Jaune. "Mr. Arc, it has come to my attention-"
Glynda coughs into her fist, pointing an accusing glare at Ozpin.
Ozpin sighs. "To our attention that you have cheated on your enrollment by providing Beacon with fake transcripts. Do you deny this?"
Feeling his chest tighten, Jaune looks down at his feet and shakes his head. "N-No, I don't." Jaune can't deny what the Headmaster already knows. He just hasn't been expecting to be caught after spending a whole month as a student in Beacon Academy.
Although, he didn't expect for Cardin Winchester to find out about his fake transcripts either, but that didn't stop his bully from finding out and using that knowledge to blackmail him into doing his assignments and homework for the past week. Not only did he hate every second of doing everything Cardin asked him to, but it put a heavy strain on his relationship with his team, especially his partner.
And then, that moment came in Forever Fall where Cardin was attacked by an Alpha Ursa. The Grimm would have killed him, if not for Jaune coming in to save his bully from being Grimm chow. Afterwards, he had thought that they patched things up, but seeing as he's currently being expelled, he guesses that Cardin didn't patch up anything.
Ozpin doesn't look any bit surprised, but Glynda looks like she's attempting to set Jaune on fire with her glare alone. "I see. Therefore, I have no other choice but to expel you from Beacon Academy and ask you to leave the premises immediately. Can you please hand over your student identification."
Refusing to look either the Headmaster or Vice Headmistress in the eyes, Jaune slowly takes out his wallet so he can retrieve his student ID from it. Reluctantly, the former pupil places the ID card onto Ozpin's desk. Turning around, Jaune heads towards the elevator that will take him away from the Headmaster's office, as well as his dreams to becoming a Huntsman.
However, Glynda isn't finished with Jaune yet. "If it was up to me, I would have pressed all charges on you and see that you spend a number of your years behind bars, young man."
Jaune stops just as he's about to enter the elevator. While he doesn't turn around, Jaune does move his head slightly to his left shoulder. "Is it wrong... wanting to save lives?"
Before Ozpin can speak, Glynda does so in his behalf. "How can we trust the lives of anyone to those who cheat and lie?"
Jaune doesn't react to Glynda's statement, but does slowly turn his head and walks into the elevator. It's only when the elevator door is about to fully close does he turn around.
And that brief second of eye contact between Ozpin and Jaune has left an everlasting impression on the Headmaster.
For Ozpin can't recall the last time he has ever seen someone with eyes that burn so bright.
( Ten Years Later - Ozpin's Office )
Looking out the window from his office, Ozpin can't help but feel exhausted over everything that has happened recently. In the past ten years, everything has only gotten worse for Remnant as a whole.
Terrorist attacks have risen to an all new high. The White Fang have been causing death and mayhem all across Remnant and their numbers seem to swell with new recruits. Not like the Kingdoms do anything to halt the unfair treatment of Faunus, even going so far as to accuse Faunus altogether for the White Fang attacks. That has not only worsen the views of Faunus in general, but has likely increased recruitment for the terrorist organization.
With the negativity increasing because of the terrorist attacks, it's no surprise that Grimm activity has been increasing over the past few years. With the increase of negativity, more and more frontier towns have fallen from Grimm attacks. This has also increased the Grimm activity outside the walls of each Kingdom, meaning that the Hunters are working overtime to make sure the Grimm don't manage to breach the walls. Sadly, the knowledge that the Grimm are lurking so close to the city has only upset the citizens of Vale and further increased negativity.
With the increased attacks of terrorists and Grimm, it's no surprise that bandits have been increasing their own attacks as well. Whatever frontier towns that aren't being attacked by Grimm, they're being raided and plundered by malicious bandits who take anything they want before leaving the ransacked towns for the Grimm to feast on.
However, a viscous blow came to Ozpin five years ago when word from Shade Academy's Headmistress informed him that the Summer Maiden had ran off from her responsibilities. He has had Qrow and James search for the Maiden for the past five years and so far, there has been no sign of her. He fears that Salem may have gotten to her before he can, but he has no evidence to prove this.
Ozpin can't help but feel like he has failed the world. The death toll is only getting bigger and it'll only get worse now that Salem is practically as his doorstep.
Hearing the elevator open, Ozpin closes his eyes to straighten his thoughts before turning around to face Team RWBY.
In the end of their fourth year, he had informed the entire team of the knowledge of Salem, as well as the Maidens and Relics. After informing them of the threat out there in Remnant, he offered them to join his inner circle and just like he expected, they all agreed to join him.
In the past ten years, Team RWBY have all changed in more ways than one.
Ruby Rose looks so much like Summer that if not for her hood being red and not white, Ozpin could mistaken the pair as such. Over the years, the Huntress's skill with Crescent Rose has grown so far that she has come to match, if not surpass Qrow. As well as that, Ruby has been learning to harness the powers of her Silver Eyes. While the first three years were slow going, they were lucky to meet another member of the Silver Eye Clan, Maria Calavera or what she was famously known as, the Grimm Reaper. With Maria's guidance, Ruby has managed to learn on how to use her Silver Eyes. While she hasn't mastered the ability, she can turn a small army of Grimm into stone with a powerful glance, making her very beneficial in the fight against Salem.
Just like her sister, Yang has come to inherit her own mother's appearance, although with blonde hair instead of black. Yang has grown quite well in the past few years, having surpassed her father in hand-to-hand combat, although Ozpin can guess that Taiyang's lack of going on missions anymore has made his skills grow lax over the years. Still Yang has managed to grow even stronger over the years and while her temper may still get the better of her, she has learned to channel it so her enemies can't use her rage to their advantage.
Honestly, Ozpin believes that Weiss Schnee hasn't changed any bit, appearance-wise anyway. She remains prim and proper, but there's a strong steel in her eyes that shows she isn't a princess like her appearance may make others believe her to be. Under the guidance of her older sister, Weiss has managed to increase her knowledge and skill of her family's Semblance, now fully capable of summoning foes that she has previously defeated. It is a skill she has shown to use with great efficiency when dealing with both Grimm and White Fang. Due to recent events, she has taken more missions than any other on her team and while it is good to see less Grimm in Remnant, Ozpin knows that it isn't healthy. He'll need to have a chat with her before something irreversible happens.
While she has grown in both skill and strength, Ozpin can agree that Blake remains to be the most complicated member among Team RWBY. Just like the rest of her team, Ozpin knows all about Blake's past with the White Fang and hasn't judged her for it. Just like every other child, she has made mistakes and he understands that. However, Blake believes that the White Fang is a problem that she must deal with herself. Much to Ozpin's chagrin, she holds a hope that she can somehow change the White Fang for the better, something that Ozpin knows will be impossible to achieve. While her attire may have changed, she remains wearing her black bow, something that Ozpin doesn't fully agree with. Where she could be using her position as a Huntress to improve the image of Faunus, she continues to hide her heritage. He can somewhat understand, since the treatment of Faunus has only gotten worse over the years, but it's still disheartening to see.
( Team RWBY - Season 4 Outfits )
"Headmaster, you wanted to see us?" asked Weiss, acting as the voice for the team.
"I have" nodded Ozpin as he takes his seat behind the desk. "As I'm sure you're all aware of, the Vytal Festival will be taking place in Vale this year."
"I know and I can't wait!" cheered Ruby with stars in her eyes. She has been shaking in excitement over the thought of watching this year's Vytal Festival in person instead of on a television. While she likes the funfairs and the stalls, it's the tournament that always brings out the most joy in her. "You think they're going to have that cookie pizza I recommended?"
"Don't interrupt the Headmaster while he's speaking!"
Ozpin chuckles over Ruby's excitement and Weiss's rebuttal. "As I was saying, the Vytal Festival will be taking place in Vale this year, but with the lack of security and the constant threat of Grimm and the White Fang, there is talk from the Council that the event may be cancelled this year."
All of Team RWBY look surprised to hear that. "No Vytal Festival this year?" asked Weiss in disbelief.
"I can understand why they might want to cancel it, but if the Council hasn't noticed, everyone isn't exactly in high spirits outside" pointed out Yang. On her way to Beacon after finishing her latest mission, she saw a lot of anxious and depressed faces on the streets of Vale. "If the Vytal Festival gets cancelled, that will only worsen everybody's mood and that's the last thing we need right now."
"I know that and I did explain that to the Council, but they aren't risking the chance of the White Fang causing trouble while we lack the security to repel them" answered Ozpin.
"What of General Ironwood? Can he not spare some men to act as security?" asked Weiss, believing that the General can help.
Ozpin shakes his head. "I've already tried asking him, but James can't spare any men at the moment. The Atlesian forces are spread too thin with protecting their own Kingdom's borders from Grimm, as well as the occasional White Fang attack."
"So he's letting us out to dry?" deadpanned Blake.
"Not entirely. He has promised to bring along an army with him for when he arrives for the Vytal Festival. However, that won't be until the fighting tournament begins."
"That isn't going to convince the Council, is it?" asked Weiss, knowing the answer already.
"No" answered Ozpin. "However, what we can do is prove to them that there is no threat to the Vytal Festival."
"And how do we do that?" asked Ruby, tilting her head to the side.
"There has been word that the White Fang have been using Mountain Glenn as a possible hideout."
Blake widens her eyes as her ears twitch madly under her bow. "Mountain Glenn? The White Fang have never been brave enough to stay so close to any of the Kingdoms."
"Hopefully, that remains true. I can't guarantee if the rumour is true, which is why I want you to scout the mountain and see if the White Fang are really there or not."
Ruby nods with a bright smile on her face. "Yes sir! We'll be back before you even know it."
Three hours later, Ruby finds herself pinned down near the edge of the mountain as White Fang members continue their onslaught against her. Thankfully, she has managed to find cover behind a broken piece of rubble to protect her from the constant gunfire. Unfortunately, she has also been separated from her team. She can still see them fighting in the distance, but she can't regroup with them since every attempt has been met with gunfire and explosives from the terrorists who seem to be focusing on her more than anyone else on her team.
Ruby manages to duck in time to avoid a sniper round that pierces through the wall of rubble that makes up her defence. "If I don't move soon, I'll be mince meat!" she thought, trying to think of a plan. She has already tried to shoot at them with Crescent Rose, but there are far too many White Fang terrorists firing at her for her to get a good shot. After the third attempt, she gave up since her Aura won't be able to protect her from their bullets forever. She can't push back either, since she is literally fighting on the edge of Mountain Glenn. The last thing she wants is to go jumping off the mountain.
Trying to think of a plan, Ruby doesn't see one of the White Fang grunts step out with a rocket launcher on hand. Ruby only gets taken out of her thoughts when she hears her sister shout out her name.
"Ruby, watch out!"
Turning her head, Ruby can only widen her eyes when she sees a rocket flying at her only a few feet away before it collides with her wall of rubble and explodes. The explosion completely destroys Ruby's defence and launches the Huntress backwards. Being on the edge of Mountain Glenn, Ruby has no option but to fly straight off the mountain, much to the horror of her entire team.
The first thing Ruby notices when waking up is the unbearable pain she's feels all over her body. Never before has she felt her bones and muscles ache so much in all her life.
Slowly opening her eyes, Ruby stares up at the bright blue sky, realizing that her vision has gone blurry. Raising her right arm, Ruby can see a red outline cover her blurry appendance before dissipating. She guesses that outline is her Aura breaking, leaving her defenseless. Free-falling off a mountain will tend to put a very large amount of strain on someone's Aura. She at least knows the reason why her Aura isn't healing her injuries.
Ruby's rapidly beating heart skips a beat when she hears the sound of crunching grass nearby. "Something's nearby!" she thought, hoping that it isn't a Grimm who has found her injured and defenseless body, although the White Fang isn't any better. Turning to her left, she sees a blurry red object near her body. Knowing the outline of Crescent Rose anywhere, she weakly reaches towards it, hoping to defend herself from whatever or whoever is here with her. Stretching her aching arm, Ruby misses Crescent Rose by a couple of millimeters.
As she's about to try again, a boot kicks her weapon away. "Ah, ah, ah. We can't let you do that" spoke an arrogant voice.
"She's injured." Ruby can't help but notice that the other person sounds a lot like an android.
"Really? And here I thought Huntresses landed on their feet when falling off mountains."
"She needs medical treatment."
"And? Your point being?"
"We're taking her back to the ship for medical attention."
Ruby tries to stay awake but the pain in starting to be too much for her. As everything fades to black, the last thing Ruby sees are two blurry figures arguing with each other.
( One Week Later - Ozpin's Office )
"And I told you to extend the search!" shouted Yang, punching her fist on top of Ozpin's desk.
"Ms. Xiao-Long!" admonished Glynda from beside the sitting Ozpin. "As Ozpin explained, we have had search parties look all over Mountain Glenn and the surrounding area. There has been no sightings of Ms. Rose anywhere."
"Did you find a body?" asked Weiss, staring at Glynda with a noticeable cold steel.
"Not that I'm aware of-"
"Then the search continues" spoke Weiss, uncaring that she just interrupted Glynda. "If there is no body, than it's obvious my partner is still alive."
"If so, where could Ms. Rose have gone?" asked Glynda, glaring at Weiss.
"There could have been a chance someone found her and got her to safety" answered Blake, coming to her teammate's defence.
"Or the White Fang may have found her and are holding her captive." Glynda's blunt response only seems to anger the rest of Team RWBY.
Ozpin closes his eyes to control his emotions. He knew the rumour of the White Fang being in Mount Glenn had to come from somewhere, but he didn't expect them to actually be there, or to be in such high numbers. It's only by luck did the rest of Team RWBY escape on a Bullhead, but that luck didn't extend to Ruby Rose who was blown off the mountain by a rocket. Wither she survived or not is a mystery to Ozpin since after the rest of Team RWBY arrived, he sent several more teams of Hunters to Mountain Glenn to expunge the White Fang and to search for Ruby Rose.
Yet, once the Hunters arrived at Mountain Glenn, there was no sign of the White Fang at all. They searched high and low for the terrorists, but couldn't find anything. The same can be said about Ruby Rose as the search parties could only find the crater in which was made from Ruby's landing. The small pool of blood didn't help ease everyone's worries, but they could at least test it to prove that the blood is from Ruby Rose.
"Ms. Rose, where are you?"
Returning back to consciousness, Ruby slowly opens her eyes, only for them to close so she can block out the annoying light that's hanging over her bed. "Stupid infirmaries for hanging their lights over their patients beds" cursed Ruby, being familiar with the infirmary setting. She may be one of the best Hunters out there, but even she makes a mistake or two in battle which requires her to visit the infirmary for treatment.
Opening her eyes and making sure she doesn't look at the light, Ruby notices that the infirmary she's in doesn't look like the one she's use to in Beacon. There are a lot more beds than she remembers and she doesn't recognize the few men and women who are occupying them. Ruby widens her eyes when she remembers the reason she got injured. "I got hit by a rocket and flew off Mountain Glenn. Some guys found me afterwards, but..."
"Ah good, you're awake."
Startled by the unfamiliar voice, Ruby turns to her left to see a purple-haired woman in a white lab coat and a clipboard in her hand. "Good afternoon, Ms. Rose. I am Dr. Emily Grey, but you can just call me Emily" greeted the doctor with a cheerful smile on her face.
( Dr. Emily Grey - Red Vs Blue )
"H-Hi" replied Ruby with a short wave before wincing in pain.
"Don't worry kiddo, all that no good pain will subside in around... two to three days" laughed Emily, seemingly uncaring to her patient's pain.
"Two to three days!?" replied Ruby in shock.
"Yep!" giggled Emily. "What? You thought your Aura can reset all those broken bones of yours and stitch back all of your torn muscles? I don't think so~"
Ruby looks over her doctor, realizing that she might be under the care of someone who isn't too right in the head. "She's way too joyful!" she inwardly cried, wishing to have a different doctor. Looking around the infirmary, Ruby decides to get some answers. "Umm, if you don't mind me asking, how do you know my name?"
Emily points towards a small red and black purse resting by the desktop on Ruby's bedside. "We looked at your Hunter's ID so we could find out your blood type. With how you were bleeding like a faucet, it would be bad luck if we filled you back up with the wrong blood" she giggled.
"She doesn't sound like she's treating me like a patient at all!" thought Ruby, feeling a chill run down her spine. "Where are we?" she asked, hoping to change the subject.
"In the infirmary silly" giggled Emily before figuring out what her patient actually means. "Oh! You mean where are you in general?" To her patient's nod, Emily decides to answer. "You are currently inside the medical bay of the Mother of Invention."
"Mother of Invention?" repeated Ruby, scrunching her nose in thought over the strange name. "What's the Mother of Invention?"
"Why, it's the head airship for the Freelancers and is run by none other than the General himself!" answered Emily, sounding very excited when mentioning the General.
( Mother of Invention - Red Vs Blue )
"The Freelancers? Aren't they a mercenary group?" asked Ruby, having heard a small bit about the group. From what she does know, they're a mercenary group that hangs around in the Grimmlands, preferably near frontier towns.
"We prefer the term, private military" remarked Emily, placing her clipboard on the small desk beside Ruby's bed.
"Sorry" apologized the bedridden Huntress, hoping to not insult the people who are taking care of her.
"Don't you worry, sweety. No harm done" said Emily in her cheerful manner. That cheerful manner fades as a serious expression appears on her face. "However, I must warn you that while the pain will fade in two or three days, you will have to remain resting for the next two weeks."
"Why~" moaned Ruby, puffing her cheeks out in annoyance. She may be twenty-five, but she still acts like a child at most times. "Won't my Aura heal up my wounds?"
"Nope! As I said, your Aura can't do all the work for you. With so many broken bones, you should be thankful that it's only two weeks and not two months. Speaking of, no more walking for you for at least a week" spoke Emily, pointing a warning finger at the bedridden Huntress.
"Fine~" pouted Ruby.
"Good girl!" exclaimed Emily, clapping her hands. "Now then, I think it's about time I introduce you to the Commander."
Emily walks away while Ruby wonders who the Commander is. "Commander?"
"In here, Commander. Just like you asked, I put her all~ back together. Most of her at least."
"I'm not a jigsaw puzzle!" thought Ruby, finding the way the doctor speaks very creepy. When the doctor returns, she sees another person who she guesses to be the Commander.
Admittedly, she finds the Commander pretty handsome with his sharp features, well trimmed moustache and beard and she likes his all dark attire most of all, although she admits he can use some red to mix in with the black. She can't see his eyes, since he's wearing a pair of strange sunglasses. Why he's wearing sunglasses indoors, she doesn't know, but finds herself too afraid to ask him why. His most noticable features are his black prosthetic arms and Ruby can't help but wonder how he lost his regular arms in the first place.
"I am Adam Jensen, Commander of the Freelancers" informed the Commander, looking stone faced.
( Adam Jensen - Deus Ex Mankind Divided )
Ruby can't help but feel nervous when under the Commander's scrutinizing stare. "R-Ruby Rose, Huntress of Vale and lover of cookies."
Adam's lips twitch upwards for a brief second while Dr. Emily Grey giggles. Realizing what she just said, Ruby fumbles for a moment before sighing in defeat.
"Well, Ruby Rose, Huntress of Vale and lover of cookies..." Ruby lifts her blanket to cover her blushing cheeks. "I welcome you to the Mother of Invention. I hope you realize how lucky you are that you got here in time."
"You were almost dead!" exclaimed Emily in her cheerful manner.
"Quite" nodded Adam, seemingly use to Emily's strange behaviour. "If not for Felix and Locus finding you, you'd have bled out or be Grimm chow by now."
"Thank you, Dr. Grey" sighed Adam. "Anyway, I just wanted to come by and welcome you to the ship, seeing as you'll be staying here for the next two weeks."
"Staying here? But I have friends at home who are out there looking for me! I can't stay here." Ruby attempts to get out of bed, but a sudden increase of pain stops her efforts.
Dr. Grey shakes her head. "Yea~, that's not happening. You have fallen off a literal mountain and suffered serious injuries. You are not allowed to leave this bed for any reason."
Ruby moans in both pain and annoyance. "Can you at least send word to my team, or even Beacon's Headmaster about me being alive. Maybe they can pick me up?"
"We would, but seeing as we are miles away from any nearby CCT, we can't" answered Adam.
Ruby drops her head on her pillow, realizing that she really is stuck on the airship that belongs to a private military. "I'm guessing I can't even take a Bullhead to Beacon?"
Emily finds her question funny for some reason. "Honey, you're body is as brittle as cracked glass right now. Too much movement or gods forgive, a Grimm attack can shatter your entire body like a Beowolf in a window shop."
Ruby groans even louder and it appears to entertain Adam who smirks. "Can I at least ask where we are?"
"North of Mistral."
Ruby blinks, having a hard time believing that she has travelled all the way from Mountain Glenn to north of Mistral. Instead of overreacting, she sighs in acceptance. "Fine."
"Good girl" praised Emily, patting Ruby on the head, much to the Huntress's embarrassment.
"Now that the introductions are out of the way, I have a lot of work to do. Dr. Grey, I leave her in your care" said Adam before turning towards the door.
Emily playfully salutes the Commander as he leave the medical bay. "Yes sir! You can count on me!"
Crocodile tears drip down Ruby's face when she realizes she's going to be stuck in unknown territory with a crazed doctor for the next two weeks.
"Yang, Blake, Weiss, save me!"
Once he leave the medical bay, Adam makes his way towards the General's office, nodding to the men and women who salute him as he walks by. Once arriving by the General's door, Adam knocks and awaits for permission to enter.
The doors slide open, revealing the General's office behind them. Adam steps inside, ignoring the doors closing behind him and walks up to the front of the General's desk. The man himself isn't sitting in his chair, preferring to stand in front of the window behind it so he can gaze out at the Mistral forestry while the Mother of Invention flies past. What could be going through the General's mind, Adam will never fully know and even if he did, he probably wouldn't be able to fully comprehend it either.
"What can I do for you, Commander?"
Adam nods, knowing that even though the General's back is facing him, the man can still see him through the reflection off the window. "Sir, I thought I would inform you that the Huntress has awakened."
The General hums. "Good. I take it she'll make a fully recovery?" he asked, slightly turning his head to his left.
"With Dr. Grey treating her, it's pretty much a guarentee."
The General chuckles. "Dr. Grey is treating her? Well then, let's give our prayers for the unlucky Huntress."
Dr. Grey is the Freelancer's very best doctor, but her way of treatment is very different when compared to modern medical science. In her own words, she 'takes her patients apart and puts them back together again'. None of her patients have died as of yet, so whatever she's doing, it's working. How she does it, nobody knows, but it has given her a lot of respect among the medical staff in the Mother of Invention. However, her eccentric medical practice is also the very reason why her medical degree was taken off her by Atlas, but where it's their lost, it's the Freelancers gain.
"And the Huntress who is in our care. What was her name?" asked the General, curious over who could have fallen off Mountain Glenn and survived, even with broken bones and bruises all over their body.
"Ruby Rose, sir."
"Ruby Rose? That's quite a famous person to have on the ship."
Adam nods in agreement. It's no secret that Ruby Rose is one of the best Hunters in her generation and she has quite a reputation going for her. She's known to be always smiling, even when dealing with the threats of Grimm, in order to inspire hope into the hearts of the people. People believe her to be an inspiration to Hunters everywhere.
Adam finds it naive, but that's his own opinion.
"Any word on our targets?" asked the General, changing the subject.
"Bloodhound is following their tracks as we speak. He'll keep us informed once they make camp" answered Adam. "As long as she isn't there, we shouldn't have any trouble when going on the offensive."
The General nods. "Good. Make sure to send me an update once Bloodhound calls in. Once he does, have Alpha squad and Beta squad prepped and ready."
"Yes sir" nodded Adam before leaving the office to inform the two teams about their upcoming mission. It'll probably take Bloodhound a couple of days to send the message, but that doesn't mean he can't have Alpha and Beta squad ready at all times.
Once Adam leaves, the General turns around and takes a seat behind his desk. Alone in his office, the man begins to chuckle.
"Ruby, huh. Doesn't that bring back some memories."
( Mother of Invention - Medical Bay )
Five days have passed since her admittance into the Freelancer's care and Ruby is fully prepared to jump ship right now, uncaring if she's injured or not. "I'm bored~. There's nothing to do here" she internally moaned, having nothing to do but lay down and rest. Either that or listen to the lunacy that pours you of her doctor's mouth.
However, she can admit that her injuries have definitely gotten better in the past five days and not just because of her Aura. True to Dr. Grey's word, the pain disappeared two days ago, but the occasional flash of pain because of quick movement reminds her that her body hasn't fully healed yet. Where a lot of her bones were broken, they are now mostly healed, but still in need of mending. Thankfully, her Aura can do most of that work so she isn't required to be hooked up to all the noisy machines anymore.
Still, there is a lack of entertainment in the medical bay of the airship and it's driving the Huntress mad. She has read all of their available magazines and even reread them again, just to keep her somewhat entertained for another day. She isn't even allowed to look over Crescent Rose! Not because it could hamper her recovery, even though it will, but because her having a weapon in a room with sick and injured Freelancers isn't the best safety reason.
"There's my favourite little patient" said Dr. Grey, walking up to Ruby's bed while pushing a wheelchair.
"What's that for?" asked Ruby, referring to the wheelchair.
"It's for you, silly. Since you're not allowed to walk for another three days, I thought I could at least get you out of this boring old room and take in the sights" answered Emily, smiling at the Huntress.
Ruby's mood brightens up at the thought of moving around. She has also been curious about the rest of the ship, as well as its occupants so a trip around could really help.
"And since you're not actually a Freelancer, you'll be required to have an escort with you at all times" said Emily, waving a hand towards the doorway. "And wouldn't you know it, I've found you two escorts. Aren't you lucky!"
"Thanks, doc. We'll take it from here."
"Do we seriously have to do this?"
"It's our orders."
"Who the hell ordered us to be the crippled Huntress's guide anyway?"
Ruby blinks, remembering the same two voices belonging to the two guys who found her at the bottom of Mountain Glenn. "It was you, wasn't it? Who found me by Mount Glenn."
The dark-skinned and muscular man with an X scar across his face nods, even more stone faced than the Commander. "Affirmative."
( Locus - Red Vs Blue )
The other man lacks the other's rippling muscles, but makes up for it with toned ones. Where the other is stone faced, he is currently looking quite annoyed over the situation. "Can we just get this over with so I can get a nap in?"
( Felix - Red Vs Blue )
"Felix, play nice" chastised Emily, playfully before turning to the confused and slightly insulted Huntress. "The grumpy one is Felix and the robot is Locus. No, those are not their real names and no, Locus isn't really a robot. I checked. But don't let their personalities fool you, they are some of the best soldiers that the Freelancers have to offer. Which, now that I think about it, isn't exactly a good thing."
Deciding that she has had enough crazy in the past few days, Ruby gets on the wheelchair, thanking Dr. Grey for the help before Locus pushes Ruby out of the medical bay.
With a smile on her face, Ruby hums a tune as Felix and Locus guide her down one of the many hallways in the airship. "So~, where are we going?"
"We'll start off at the hanger and move inwards from there" answered Locus.
After a moment of silence between the three, Ruby decides to speak up. "I wanna say... thank you. For saving me back at Mountain Glenn."
"Yes, I am great, please hold your applause" answered Felix, showing a smirk full of prideful smugness as he brushes a hand through his hair.
Ruby deadpans at the arrogant Freelancer. "I was talking to Locus. From what I remember, you didn't seem too inclined to help me."
For once, Locus shows a little emotion by lightly smirking once his partner stumbles over the Huntress's truthful words. "It's no problem."
Ruby opens her mouth to speak, but the trio walks through a set a sliding metal doors that leads them into the hanger bay. What Ruby sees has her leaving her mouth agape as she takes in her surroundings. "Wow~."
Ruby has been in a few airships before, including Atlesian military airships, but going by the size of the hanger bay, they all pale in comparison. As far as she can see, there are Bullheads of different shapes and sizes with a few being worked on by mechanics. Some look to be more heavily armoured while others look to have more firepower. However, she can see that there is a symbol painted in white on the sides of each of the Bullheads. She guesses that the symbol is the logo for the Freelancer military.
( Freelancer Logo - Red Vs Blue )
Before Ruby can ask about the symbol, her eyes catch sight of something incredible and very beautiful. It looks like a bulky blue suit of armour that is somehow holding up a crate that is nearly four times the size of itself. "What. is. that!" she asked, pointing towards the large suit of armour.
Lazily, Felix glances at the suit of armour and scoffs. "It's just a Gen 2 Mjolnir Powered Assault Armour. It's nothing special. My suit is way better."
Ruby turns her head towards Felix so fast that Locus is almost afraid she got whiplash. "You have one as well?"
Felix shrugs his shoulders. "Every Freelancer has a suit of armour. It comes with the job" he answered, following after Ruby and Locus once the pair starts moving throughout the hanger.
( Mjolnir Powered Assault Armour - Halo Series )
"A Mjolnir is one of those suits of armour, right?" asked Ruby, finding herself very interested on the subject. If it can kill Grimm in style, Ruby can't help but be very interested.
"They're so advanced" gushed Ruby as she looks around the hanger, noticing more people wearing suits of advanced armour the deeper they go in the hanger. What she finds even more amazing is how each one looks to be designed and painted more differently than the last. Some are more bulky while others are slimmer in design. "What are those! What are those!" she squealed, pointing at more suits of Mjolnir Power Armour.
Felix raises a brow at the Huntress. "How old are you again?"
Ruby ignores the Freelancer and looks around the hanger in awe, but notices a pair of Freelancers lift up a metal beam from both sides before taking flight into the air, much to Ruby's increasing awe. "They can fly!" She knows that Atlas has been trying to improve the armour for their soldiers, but they can't even hope to match the Freelancer's suits of armour. Maybe they can give some to General Ironwood once she's fit enough to return to Beacon. With Atlas's help, they could mass produce Mjolnirs in no time!
Felix winces and digs a pinkie into his ear. "Yes, they can fly. Can you hold back on the screeching please?"
"Can all of them fly? Even the bulky ones? How much can a Mjolnir lift? What weapons do you use for each suit? Can you attach weapons to them?"
Felix and Locus look at each other, wondering which one of them should tell her to stop or in Felix's case, shut the fuck up. Luckily, someone comes over to relieve them of their enquiry.
"I hope you haven't been torturing my men with all your questions, Ms. Rose" said a stone face Adam, walking over to the two Freelancers and Huntress.
"Kill... me..." moaned Felix in an over dramatic fashion, showcasing how he feels.
Adam's stone expression fades as he smirks at the pair. "I'll take it from here boys" ordered Adam, taking the reigns of Ruby's wheelchair.
Locus nods and salutes to his higher officer. "Yes, Commander."
Felix is already walking away and waving a hand over his shoulder. "Later. I'm going to take a nap."
"They're... nice?" said Ruby once the two Freelancers are out of listening distance.
Adam lightly chuckles over Ruby's awkward statement of the pair. "Would you believe me if I told you they aren't the most eccentric duo we have?"
"I wouldn't call Locus eccentric. Felix is arrogant and mean, but isn't Locus just doing his job?" asked Ruby, looking at Adam from over her shoulder.
"The Freelancers may be a private military, but we aren't strict like Atlas. We allow the men and women to have emotions. Locus... is a special case" answered Adam, looking uncomfortable for a moment.
Ruby frowns, but nods in understanding. She has been a Huntress long enough to know that many frightening things happen out in the world and a lot of it is not just done by Grimm, but also by bad people. "I take it that it's a long story?"
Adam stops pushing the wheelchair and sighs while looking around the hanger bay or rather, at the people in it. "We all have a story, Ms. Rose. Some are better told than others. In the end, it's our troubles that brings us all together. For we are the outcasts of Remnant, in some shape or form."
Ruby looks up at the Freelancer Commander and realizes that the Freelancers might not be like any of the other private militaries in Remnant.
"Did you know that the General saved my life eight years ago" Adam suddenly said, pushing Ruby's wheelchair again. "I use to live in a frontier town, a small place in Mistral. Of course, it didn't last long after the Grimm attacked. Killed everyone, including my parents. I survived, but as I'm sure you've already noticed, I wasn't left unscathed."
Ruby rubs her hands together, refusing to look back at Adam's prosthetic arms, fearing it to be rude right now.
"General found me outside my burning town, bleeding out with two missing arms. Most would have pegged me as a lost cause. Not the General. Not only did he save my life, he gave me a chance to relive it."
Ruby can almost hear Adam smile from how he speaks. "He sounds like a good man" she offered. Ruby can't deny that. The General sounds like an amazing person and she can't wait to meet him.
"A great man. A man who I will follow to hell and back. Just like the rest of the men and women among the Freelancers."
This time, Ruby does turn around to look up at Adam's covered eyes. "What do you mean?"
"The General didn't just save my life, but also saved those you see before you" spoke Adam, waving a mechanical arm around to showcase everyone in the hanger, or rather, the entire airship. "He has done good for every Freelancer here, which is why we will follow him into any battlefield."
Deciding to give the Huntress an example, he points at a white armoured Freelancer sitting on a crate, sharpening his weapon which looks like a mix between a short sword and a grenade launcher. "See Maine? While you can't tell because of his helmet, he's actually a Faunus that use to work in a Schnee Dust Mine two years ago. That Dust Mine was run by a nasty bastard who didn't exactly treat his Faunus workers as good as he should have." Ruby isn't liking where the story is going. "Being a Lion Faunus, the bastard thought he could help Maine by cutting off his ears and slicing his throat. Obviously, it didn't kill him, but he can no longer speak. Can you imagine the pain he endured?"
( Maine - Red Vs Blue )
Ruby can't, for she isn't a Faunus. Being friends with Blake, she does understand that a Faunus's animal traits are a lot more sensitive than their human parts. Having his lion ears cut off must have brought a great deal of pain to Maine. A great deal of pain Ruby can't even imagine to feeling. Yes, she broke a majority of her bones after falling off a mountain, but they will heal. Maine's ears and throat won't.
"Knowing what the bastard was doing, the General sent a few Freelancers to save the miners from that kind of treatment. Most of those miners are now members of the Freelancers."
"And the employer?"
"Maine got to him before we did. Can't say I pitied him, but Maine made sure his death wasn't quick or clean."
Ruby winces, hoping not to make Maine mad in the future. From the strain in Adam's voice, she can tell the employer's death hasn't been a easy one. "That bad?"
"Nobody could identify the body after he was done with him. The only reason we knew it was him was because of his ID card."
Ruby can feel somewhat safer once Adam pushes her wheelchair farther away from the white armoured Freelancer.
"We are all brothers and sisters to one another, Ms. Rose. We don't care about your history, your gender or your race. We are all equal." Adam chuckles lightly. "And in a way, the General is our Father."
"Sounds like something Blake would like" thought Ruby, finding her excitement over all the advanced technology around her diminish. She thought she had a good grasp on how the world worked, but obviously, she's still only learning.
"Do you like them?"
Ruby's shaken out of her thoughts when she hears Adam speak up. "Huh?" Is Ruby's intelligible response.
"Do you like the Mjolnirs? I overheard Felix telling you about them."
"Shouldn't he have?" asked Ruby, feeling a small bit worried.
"You can tell the Mjolnirs aren't exactly common suits of armour, can't you?" continued Adam, pushing Ruby's wheelchair around a Bullhead.
"They're very advanced."
Adam chuckles. "That's putting it lightly. Those Mjolnirs were actually designed by the General himself. He's quite proud of them."
"And he should be. I've never seen armour like them, even in Atlas."
"The General is a brilliant man, not just on the battlefield, but in his lab as well. Seeing him work... it's truly something to behold."
Ruby smiles, finding herself very impressed with how much respect Adam has for the General. "I bet it is. I'd really like to meet him."
"That's good because you're meeting him for dinner this afternoon."
"Don't worry, don't worry. You've had dinner with a General before. Just not with a General who you have never seen before and has never interacted with." These are the thoughts of Ruby Rose as Dr. Emily Grey wheels her in front of the door that leads to the General's office.
"Having dinner with the General. How you've moved up in the world" giggled Emily, loving how her patient blushes from the teasing.
"D-Don't say it like that. Besides, he's probably twice my age" stuttered Ruby, blushing in embarrassment.
"Nope! Actually, he's only two years older than you."
"He's only twenty seven!?" Ruby shouted in a whisper once they arrive in front of the General's office door.
"Yep. Have fun~" Dr. Grey leaves Ruby to her faith after waving her goodbye.
"You're evil" Ruby internally cried as she glares daggers into Emily's back. She doesn't get much time to do it once the door slides open.
"Come on in, Ms. Rose."
Gulping, Ruby rolls her wheelchair through the doorway and nearly jumps when the doors close behind her. Looking around the office, Ruby notices that unlike General Ironwood's bland office, the Freelancer General's is full of colour, mostly a deep blue with a mixture of white. What catches Ruby's attention is the pieces of odd gadgets that are either resting in glass cases or hanging on shelves all over the room. Ruby's eyes turn towards to what looks to be a sniper rifle that looks to be glowing internally with Fire Dust.
"It's called the Z-750 Special Application Sniper Rifle, but we prefer to call it a Binary Rifle. It can only hold two rounds, but will disintegrate anything it touches."
( Z-750 Special Application Sniper Rifle - Halo )
Ruby turns away from the weapon to look towards the desk on the other side of the room. Standing behind the office chair is who Ruby suspects to be the General himself. Looking the man over, Ruby swallows some saliva that has been pooling up in her throat.
The General looks to be over six feet tall and has the build to make himself look even bigger than he actually is. In comparison, his body type matches with Locus's, if not slightly more toned. For attire, he adorns a plain black muscle shirt that highlights the muscles underneath, a pair of black pants with militaristic boots and a brown heavy padded leather coat with fur lining and the Freelancer insignia on the right shoulder.
Just like Adam, the General is pretty handsome with his short trimmed heard, short blonde hair and hardened features. What Ruby also notices is the large scar going across the General's right eye. Being an experienced Huntress, she knows a Grimm injury when she sees one and can tell that the General's scar was made from a Grimm's claw, likely a Beowolf. "That scar is far too deep to have missed his eye. So how does he...?"
Ruby's thoughts come to a halt when she gets a closer look at the General's blue eyes or rather, the right one which looks to be glowing slightly brighter than the other. Another closer look has the Huntress see small pieces of tech in the pupil. "An artificial eye!"
Ruby knows that technology has advanced so far that anyone can have any of their body parts replaced with a mechanical one, just like General Ironwood's own mechanical prosthetics. Her deceased trainer, Maria had prosthetics to replace her destroyed eyes, but they were bulky and tended to malfunction if not given their weekly maintenance. However, Ruby has never seen a mechanical eye as realistic as the General's own one.
Now that she looks over the General in his entirety, Ruby can't help but feels like she recognizes him from somewhere.
"It's quite an honour to meet a Huntress of your caliber, Ms. Rose" greeted the General, feeling quite amused over the woman's fascination of the weapon. "You haven't changed."
Ruby rolls her wheelchair towards the General who steps out from behind his desk. "It's an honour to meet you as well, General. You have quite an impressive system going on here."
The General smirks and offers his left hand towards the Huntress who takes it without a second glance. The moment she feels cold metal greet her fingers, Ruby involuntarily pulls her hand back and gasps. Looking at the hand she just touched, Ruby is surprised to see a mechanical one, just like Adam's own arm prosthetics, but the General's is pure white in colour with hints of blue.
"Apologies, I should've warned you of that" apologized the General, pulling his arm away from the startled Huntress.
Realizing what she has just done, Ruby blushes a full red in embarrassment. "Great first impression, Ruby!" She's at least thankful that Weiss isn't here, since the Schnee would have scolded her for hours about disrespecting a General like she just did. "No, I should apologize. I shouldn't have reacted like that."
The General chuckles and waves his mechanical arm towards the front of his desk. "Shall we talk before dinner arrives?"
Nodding in agreement, Ruby rolls her wheelchair in front of the General's desk which is thankfully low enough where she doesn't have to strain herself to look over it. "I'd like to thank you for helping me in my time of need, General. If not for you, I would've likely died out there."
Taking a seat on his chair, the General slowly shakes his head. "No need to thank me. It was Locus and Felix who found you and brought you back, although I have a hunch that it was more Locus's decision than Felix."
"That hunch would be correct" deadpanned Ruby, getting the General to chuckle. "May I ask, what were Felix and Locus doing there anyway?"
The General hides his smirk, knowing what the Huntress is doing. "She's fishing for information." He also has a good idea on who she's fishing the information for.
Seeing no reason why he couldn't give her a few answers, he decides to placate her curiosity. "Both Felix and Locus were scouting out Mountain Glenn, seeing as there are rumors of White Fang activity in the area."
"What do the Freelancers want with the White Fang?" asked Ruby, finding herself suspicious.
"We want they're complete and utter annihilation of course."
Ruby's eyes widens, not only because of the General's answer, but because of how calmly he answers it. "What?!"
The General raises his arms to calm the Huntress down. "Don't mistaken my words. I am in no way racist, seeing as over sixty percent of my Freelancers are Faunus, but the White Fang are a problem that need to be dealt with, swiftly and without mercy."
"But that doesn't have anything to do with the Freelancers. The White Fang should be dealt with by the Hunters" exclaimed Ruby, only for the General to lightly scoff.
"Apologies, Ms. Rose, but the White Fang are a bit too much for Hunters to deal with at the moment. I'm not misinformed of the going ons of the Kingdoms and with the constant terrorist, Grimm and bandit attacks, the Hunters are spread too thin as it is" explained the General.
As much as Ruby want to deny that, she knows she can't. With everything going on lately, Hunters have been breaking their backs going on mission after mission and some of them don't even come back. "Still, that gives you no right to chase after the White Fang, especially without orders from any of the Councils."
The General smiles in a good-natured way. "Ah, but there are no rules here in the Grimmlands, Ms. Rose. As long as we stay out of Kingdom territory, the Freelancers can do whatever they want. Not as hard as you might think, seeing as Grimm own 95% of the planet. Even Vale has lost all right to Mountain Glenn after its loss."
Ruby bites her lips, knowing that she can't give a good enough rebuttal. While the Council might peg themselves as powerful, their power only ranges to one of the four Kingdoms which only make up around five percent of the entire planet and every year, that percentage is slowly starting to decrease. The other ninety five percent is under the control of Grimm, meaning that the Council has absolutely no power in them.
While a lot of people probably wouldn't mind letting the Freelancers take care of the White Fang for them, Ruby can't allow that. Not only because of the body count that would rise from such a war, but Blake would be disheartened to find out what the Freelancers plan to do. And with their numbers and advanced technology, Ruby can't help but believe they can actually do it.
"Still, it isn't right."
The General leans forward and interlocks his fingers. "It might not be right, but neither is terrorism. We Freelancers protect forty four different frontier towns in the Grimmlands and many attacks from the White Fang have been attempted on them. If they continue their attacks, more innocent lives will be lost and as General, I can't allow that."
Ruby widens her eyes at the General. "You protect forty four frontier towns?" repeated Ruby in disbelief. Are the Freelancers numbers really that high that they can protect that many frontier towns at the same time? "Why?"
The General quirks a brow. "Why? Why not? With the decrease of Hunters patrolling through frontier towns, all those people were left defenseless. If not for my Freelancers protecting them from bandits, Grimm and terrorists, then who would?"
Ruby winces, feeling ashamed over knowing about how Hunters have been being called away from frontier towns by the Council. With the increase of Grimm surrounding Vale's walls, they've been tasked with fighting them back, leaving the frontier towns with no defence from Remnant's many threats. Obviously, many frontier towns have fallen, but she didn't actually think there were others protecting the towns.
Knowing that the Freelancers are protecting and saving so many people makes Ruby feel so... small.
"Still..." muttered Ruby, trying and failing to think of a way to change the General's mind. She's taken out of her thoughts when the General starts chuckling in obvious amusement. "What?"
"You haven't changed, Ruby. Always ready to be the hero. I've honestly missed that" sighed the General with a smile.
Ruby raises both brows up high. "Have we... met before?"
Where some people might be offended, the General smiles and sighs almost whimsically. "I guess you wouldn't remember me. I only attended Beacon for more or less a month."
"He attended Beacon?" wondered Ruby, trying to remember the General by face alone. Just as she's about to give up, a glint of light catches Ruby in the eyes, causing her to raise her hand up to block out the light. Looking at the source of the light, she sees that the sunlight from the window is hitting off a blade that's hanging on the wall on the left side of the room. Being a weapon expert and fanatic, Ruby has learned to never forget a weapon when she sees one.
Looking over the sword, Ruby's eyes slowly widens in realization when she recognizes the blade. "Crocea Mors? But then that would mean..." she exclaimed, turning to look at the smiling General.
"It has been while, Ruby."