The elevator started to ascend and he just quietly stood inside, leaning against the wall. He breathed a few times before bringing up his TACPAD and looking through it, seeing the various cameras, stopping when he saw Cinder sitting in her chair. She shivered visibly and he stared for a few seconds before hitting the button on the lower level again, feeling the elevator go down once more. Ozpin kept her down here for a reason and he decided to get her out.
He was the reason she was in this state.
"Why are we going back down?" The Monitor asked.
"I'm getting that woman out." He answered.
"Any particular reason?" She asked.
"Ozpin tortured her for possibly years and I'm the reason for that. Had I known she would be kept as a toy for him, then I would have killed her back then." He said. She gave a brief hum before going silent and floating next to him. He felt the jerk of the elevator stopping and the doors opened shortly after. In the distance, he could see the strung up corpse and the shells and casings littering the ground. The next few minutes were spent picking them up and placing them in his bag. He didn't want anything left that he was here. Even the smallest thing could give his enemies an edge.
After he was done, he looked at the fool's corpse and shook his head before making his way to the cell. The Monitor unlocked it and he opened it with a loud creak, staring down at Cinder. She carefully looked up at him and he stared back before looking around and seeing the used tools of torture on a table. He walked over to it and saw each one still had dried blood on it, making him shake his head.
He turned around to see Cinder panic in her chair and she seemed to realize who he was after looking at his DMR. She made a few incoherent noises as he stepped closer and closed her eyes tightly when he knelt down and stared at her hand. He looked at one of her fingers and saw it was bent at an odd angle then looked up at her.
"This will hurt for a second." He warned, watching her eyes widen when he gently gripped the dislocated finger and roll it back into place. A scream tore through the room and she sobbed at the sudden flare of pain. He undid her bindings on her wrists and feet before backing up. She sobbed in place for a few minutes as the pain died down a bit while he sifted through his bag. Some bandages and alcohol were brought out as well as some healing balm.
When her cried died down, she froze when he approached her and kept her eyes shut. She shakily opened them when he gently wiped the areas with cuts on them with the alcohol before rubbing the healing balm on the bandages and placing them over her wounds. Nothing was said and the only sound was her sniffling or wincing at the pain. The minutes passed and Six had gone through a couple rolls of bandages and half of the jar of balm.
"Why?" She asked painfully. She hadn't spoken in months and her throat was scratchy from the constant screaming.
"You should not be down here." He answered.
"Y-You were the one who put me down here..." She swallowed painfully. Turning away from his gaze and tensed when it lingered on her for a few seconds.
"I didn't know this is what you would be exposed to. If I knew you'd be tortured for years then I would have killed you when I first encountered you." He answered truthfully. It was quiet for a few minutes as she sat there, not looking at him.
"Are you going to kill me now?" She asked quietly.
"I would not waste my supplies on you if I was." He shook his head. She flinched at his tone and he sighed before standing up, helping her up. Her legs shook horribly and she fell forwards, only to be caught by him. When he looked at her some more, he noticed how skinny she really was. He just carried her in his arms and walked out of the cell, moving back to the elevator. He was done with killing for now, there wasn't a reason to kill her.
Her legs dangled limply and her arms were tucked into her torso, doing their best to preserve what little heat they had. She kept her eyes shut but opened them and saw a puddle of blood. Her gaze trailed up to see Ozpin's suspended corpse in the air. Chains and meat hooks spreading his flesh and the closer they got to the elevator, she saw the bastard's exposed torso. His ribs had been hacked away from his backbone while his lungs and heart were ripped out and thrown to the side. She felt a wave of terror when she realized Six had been the one to kill monster the torturing her for years.
"You killed him..." She said distantly, staring at the mutilated corpse get smaller and smaller as they got closer to the elevator.
"I did." He nodded.
"..." She just gulped and went silent as they entered the elevator. When they got inside, the Monitor pushed the button to the ground level and floated next to him, scanning Cinder.
"Why was the fool keeping you down there?" Auspicious asked. She noticed Cinder flinch at the sudden voice before tearing up a bit.
"I... I was one of Salem's pawns..." She answered fearfully, not bothering to look at Six when he looked at her.
"You were?" Auspicious asked.
"..." Cinder nodded shamefully, as if the mere mention of it hurt her soul.
"Then I want some answers to my questions." Six said. He wouldn't hurt her so long as she answered what he asked then he'd figure out what to do with her afterwards.
"..." She gulped and nodded again.
"Where is her current location?" He asked.
"In a place called the Deadlands. I... I don't know exactly where it is. My face was always covered when I was stuck on a Bullhead." She answered.
"Who all is left in her circle?" He asked.
"A-A man named Hazel and Watts... Ozpin told me you killed Tyrian..." She said. He went quiet for a few seconds and she tried to utter an apology when she felt she opened an old wound, but nothing came out but stutters. In the past, she would have tried to manipulate the person in front of her, but now she was terrified to even say the wrong thing to him. This was the man who mutilated Tyrian, someone she actually feared in the past. She remembered the time that psycho strangled her in her bed when she was younger; feeling himself get all giddy as she pitifully tried to get him to stop. He was a sicko through and through, finding different ways to get off on her suffering.
Ozpin wasn't much better, considering he would torture her in more ways than one. Even Salem had harmed her in some type of way. By the time she was down in that cell for a month, she realized that Salem had manipulated her into her perfect little pawn.
She wasn't going to take that chance with the person who killed two of the most dangerous people on Remnant. If he killed her then she at least hoped it would be quick and not like them. At this point in time, she was done with Salem and Ozpin's little shadow war. She didn't even want to associate with the pale witch in the first place, but she didn't have a choice back then.
"Why did you join Salem?" He asked, waiting for her to answer after a few tense seconds.
"I-I didn't want to in the beginning... but she promised me somewhere safe if I followed her." She started.
"..." He just listened to her as she collected herself.
"She gave me a warm place to stay and promised me a lot of things if I just did what she asked. Pretty soon I started to tell her what I wanted and she promised me it." She confessed tiredly.
"Do you want to associate with her anymore?" He asked after a minute.
"No. I'm nothing but an idiot for joining her in the first place. I was never going to be a part of her little circle in the first place. I... I just want to belong somewhere and be strong..." She said somberly.
"You are a fool for joining her, I won't lie to you about that." He said, ignoring the violent flinch from her.
"I know... I just wanted to belong somewhere." She whispered. Her eyes felt heavy and she started to close them. She didn't know if she should feel relieved or terrified that she was in the arms of possibly the most dangerous entity on Remnant, but she couldn't care less.
"There is nothing wrong with wanting to belong somewhere or strength. Strength isn't the power to control others or be feared, it's to overcome your hardships and be better. How you use that strength defines what kind of person you are." He said.
"..." She was silent, mulling over his words for a minute. The minute eventually turned to tens of minutes and she felt the change in temperature and cracked her eye open to see that she was outside. How long had it been since she's felt the fresh air on her skin? She missed this feeling so much that she couldn't help the tears that escaped her eye. It had been so long since she's breathed in fresh air.
The air changed temperature once more and she cracked her eye open to see that she was being covered in a soft blanket. There were multiple figures surrounding her and she felt something soft underneath her head. Her "savior's" voice was talking to multiple people but she couldn't process it half the time. Their words were muffled and she fell asleep. The seat she was lying on was so soft and it was almost like heaven compared to that chair in her cell.
How long had it been since she's felt something this nice?
Everyone was asleep with the exception of Six and Maaya. The latter was still wrapped in his cloak and she shuffled around in her seat every so often while he just flew the ship. It would be a while before they reached the settlement, but it was enough to calm down. She said a few things about the person he brought back, but neither of them were in the mood for talking until Six broke the silence.
"I'm sorry." He apologized.
"It's okay." She said, he could see the sad smile on her face. She didn't blame him, she really didn't but she understood why he felt it was his fault. A lot of people were after his head and he kept himself at an arm's length from everyone.
"It's not." He responded.
She stood up and went over to him, hugging his neck and staying there for a minute. He didn't flinch or tense up, he just patted her arm after a minute and gestured for her to sit down.
"There's no reason to apologize. Neither one of us knew this would happen." She said.
"I should have prepared for something like this." He said.
"Not everything can be expected. You know that." She said gently. He shook his head and they went quiet. She opened his bag and saw Myne's stuffed bunny at the top, along with some books she drew. A small gasp escaped her when she saw how much of Myne's stuff he kept with him. The pictures, the letters, a few books, and her toy. He didn't show it that well, but she could tell he genuinely cared for Myne.
"She must be so scared right now..." Maaya teared up a bit.
"..." He squeezed the controls tightly before releasing them. One thing at a time.
"You kept this?" She picked up the picture book and carefully went through each page.
"I read it from time to time." He answered truthfully.
"She's growing up so fast." She laughed softly. He looked at her and she began to tell him how Myne was doing; how smart and clever she was becoming. Nearly every day was filled with positive energy and laughs. The end of the day was usually a cartoon or two then bed time with a story right before bed. The next day started off with a bath, breakfast, then getting ready for work. The more he heard, the more he wanted to see her little face. They truly made him feel human again...
As time passed on, she started getting quieter and quieter before she eventually fell asleep in her seat. It was just him and the Monitor now and he simply flew the ship, getting as far away from Beacon as possible. There would be consequences to his actions, there always was, but he'd deal with them in time. Fatigue started to set in after staying up for the past couple of days, four at most. In the past, he's stayed up for longer, but those times were rare.
A tired sigh escaped his lips and he shook his head a bit before continuing to fly the ship. The Monitor popped up and floated next to him before looking at him and shaking her chassis. He ignored her and shook his head, getting rid of some of the fatigue and continued to fly. This certainly beat walking and the sooner he got them back to the settlement, the sooner he could look for Myne.
"Reclaimer." She called out to him.
"..." He just nodded and kept his eyes forward.
"You need to rest." She suggested.
"I'm fine..." He shook his head. It was quiet for a while and the only sound was the dull hum of the ship. He looked back to see everyone sleeping peacefully before his eyes rested on Cinder. He wasn't lying when he said that he would have killed her had he known Ozpin would torture her for years. Six would have just interrogated her for whatever information she knew before cutting her lose, not using her as a toy.
"You are not, you've been up for the last few days and shouldn't even be piloting this ship." She countered.
"I-" He stopped when he processed her words. She was right, he shouldn't even be doing anything like this if he couldn't stay up. He didn't fight to get Maaya back just so she could get killed because he was being prideful. It was reckless of him to even consider such a thing and he was a fool for going through with it.
He watched her wedge herself in a small compartment in the console and looked at her for a few seconds. With some hesitance, he let go of the controls and allowed himself to relax. It was peaceful to say the least, and he felt a small wave of tension leave his body when he remembered Ozpin's agonized face. Aside from Tyrian, the manipulative wizard was one of the only people he truly felt hate for. He'd kill Salem in the end, or seal her off if she wasn't able to be killed instantly. If she couldn't die, then he'd leave her with a fate worse than death.
Gripping the sides of his helmet, he took it off and flipped it around. His cold, dead eyes reflected off the visor and stared back at him. The light gone from them was gone, and they had been for decades. When he looked to his right and saw Maaya sleeping peacefully with Myne's stuffed bunny, some of the light returned. He looked away and put his helmet back on before standing up and going towards the back, seeing the others sleeping as well.
Nora snored and was lying sprawled out on the floor. One of her legs was slung across Ren's torso and her hand was on his cheek; the boy just slept with his hands clasped together and seemed to ignore the constant contact in his sleep. He didn't pay too much attention to the others and went back to his seat, looking at the Monitor.
"Something on your mind, Reclaimer?" She asked.
"No... just thinking." He shook his head.
"You do that a lot. A little talking would help." She suggested.
"No, you do enough of that as it is." He responded calmly.
"I've spent the last one-hundred thousand years thinking. I think I'm done with it for a while." She said lightly. He nodded and looked up at the sky, seeing the countless stars litter the cosmos. It's been so long since he's been up there and he wondered what things were like now. Did they win? Was his sacrifice worth it in the end? These questions constantly plagued his mind as the years droned on. He hasn't sent a signal in a while and sometimes he pondered if it was worth it. Would they send all these resources just to pick up one Spartan, especially if he's been labeled a casualty?
He didn't know and he almost didn't want to know. If they did come and pick him up, he hoped that Remnant would be sensible enough not to openly attack the UNSC, seeing how advanced they were. He had a hunch that the outer settlements would be skeptical of them, but eventually come to some sort of common ground. It was the cities that he was worried about. They were too prideful and arrogant to back down, especially Atlas.
He's been with the UNSC long enough to know that they wouldn't come down with force in the beginning. They were too smart for that. Should Remnant hold anything valuable, then they'd want to strike some sort of deal. Diplomacy was usually the first course of action, then violence was the next should they be pushed far enough. Worst case scenario, they'd just leave if nothing was of value here and Remnant would continue to be a backwater planet.
If he had to leave, then he hoped he could bring the people he cared about with him. He promised Maaya that he'd bring her up there to see the stars one day. It was a promise that he intended to keep. He always saw Myne looking up there and he remembered her telling him she wanted to meet someone from space; only to realize that the second person she saw as a father figure originated from space.
His eyes closed and he let the last of his thoughts run for a while before he fell asleep. The Monitor looked at him before continuing to fly the ship back to the settlement. The silence felt nice for once.
They arrived at the settlement early in the morning. His ship had caused somewhat of a commotion as he went to an open landing pad inside and landed it. People flooded near it and the guards had to keep everyone back while the guild members stepped closer to it. The doors opened and they went an alert as some of the civilians backed up and were shielded. Some of the guild members shouted a few orders and Six appeared, throwing a majority of people into silence. A few didn't know who he was and sent him distrustful stares, to which he ignored.
Nobody said anything when he looked back and they all saw Maaya slowly walk down the ramp with his cloak on. It hung loosely off her shoulders as she went next to him. She closed her eyes and smiled a bit. A large amount of people swarmed around them and were continuously asking her questions. She did her best to answer each one while giving her trademark smile, but she eased her way closer to Six. More and more people started to get closer and her eyes tried to keep up with everyone. He just stood over everyone, silently watching over them like a sentinel.
A sharp whistle was heard from his helmet and everyone backed off quickly. Some sheepishly rubbed the back of their heads when they realized that they were overcrowding her and apologized. She just waved it off and watched as he went back to the ship and disappeared for a minute. Some more people asked her questions, being mindful not to swarm her like before. When they asked about Myne, they noticed she went quiet and teared up a bit. A couple of them shuffled around uncomfortably when she tearfully told them.
The crowd reacted poorly and she could see countless people angry, not at her, but at Ozpin and Ironwood. Six walked out carrying Cinder in a swaddle of blankets while Ren, Nora, Jaune, and Pyrrha followed him. The last two shrunk a bit at the sudden shift of attention towards them. Ranging from curiosity to open distrust, while Ren and Nora either ignored it or waved. Six saw Maaya crying and rubbing the tears away and let her grip his arm before walking forward. The crowd made a path for them as they all made their way towards the clinic and followed them. He looked back and stopped, seeing the countless people follow him before shaking his head and turning back around.
"They're uh... they seem kind of mad at us." Jaune gulped.
"Huntsmen and Huntresses are not well liked in this settlement." Six said.
"Is it because we're former students?" Pyrrha asked.
"It is because Huntsmen and Huntresses in the past have denied assistance for this settlement. A majority of them claimed it wasn't worth coming out here for a simple horde of Grimm." He answered, looking down when Cinder slightly stirred. His gaze went back to the road ahead and he saw the large white building in the distance.
"That's stupid. It shouldn't matter if it was a large group of Grimm or not, they should have still came. People needed help." Nora commented.
"Not everyone shares your viewpoint, Nora. Some are only in it for the fame and the ones who genuinely want to help are spread thin. Guild members usually take up that duty to go out and defend the settlement." Maaya said.
"That's not what they told us in Beacon." Ren said.
"What did they tell you all?" Six asked.
"That the outer settlements rejected out help because they were too prideful and that they never wanted help from the start." Ren said.
"Who told you that?! They're fucking lying!" Someone from the back yelled, causing a small uproar. Six looked over the crowd and it went quiet soon after.
"The individual who said that is right. Beacon lied to you all, claiming it was because the settlement was too prideful. Countless times this settlement has requested help and never received it. The council, along with Ozpin, pulled strings to jeopardize the safety of the outer settlements. They don't seem to realize that doing that places them further in the hole with the frontier." Six explained.
"Something never really seemed right." Ren commented.
"It never has been right. The outer settlements are independent, distrustful of outsiders but are willing to cooperate if it means bettering their conditions." Six said.
"So what do we do to better the conditions?" Nora asked.
"We do what we can. If it means hunting a Grimm for several days at a time or simply going out with a hunting party, then so be it." He said. She nodded in understanding and they all walked to the clinic. The doors opened and the seven of them entered. The staff stopped and Maaya sent a sheepish wave before some of them crowded around her. After she gave him back his cloak, a nurse hauled her off to one of the rooms, a few doctors took Cinder off of his hands. She briefly opened her eye and saw him before closing them once more as they wheeled her off.
The lobby area was quiet as the five remaining occupants were stuck in an uncomfortable silence.
"So what do we do from here?" Jaune asked.
"Wait for Maaya, then after that... I don't know. It wasn't my original plan to bring you two along." Six answered truthfully.
"O-Oh..." Jaune winced at the blunt answer.
"We could do a bounty." Nora suggested.
"We need to wait for Maaya. Not to mention I need to get Myne back." Six answered.
"Where is she?" Ren asked.
"I'm waiting for the information on that. Ozpin gave her to Ironwood." Six answered, and the four could hear the subtle anger building up in his voice. The weight of the room suddenly increased and it made them gulp thickly. Just before any of them could open their mouths, a growl from their stomachs was heard. He sighed and told them to go to the guild, getting set up and to get something in their stomachs. Hesitance flashed across their faces and he could understand why, they were still technically outsiders and there was no telling what the denizens would do.
He had them follow him as they walked out of the clinic and towards the guild. Each one asked him a question or two and he responded calmly, the same as he's ever done. A person followed them and he told them to ignore it, they'd get that for a while. Ren and Nora had no problem, but Jaune and Pyrrha seemed to get more and more uncomfortable the closer the group got.
He sped up a bit and they had a bit of trouble matching his walking speed. Glancing over his shoulder, he noticed the woman do the same and his mood soured a bit.
His eyes narrowed and he stopped at the door to the guild and let them inside first. Turning around, he shut the door and stared at the person flatly. The group did the same and neither party were going to back down. A minute of silence was broken when one of them spoke up.
"Who are they?" She asked.
"You know who they are." He responded, he's seen her in the guild before. She was always one of the ones who constantly questioned why he was so adored. Her purple eyes seemed to gleam in the morning sun while he long blonde hair flowed gently in the wind. It was tied into a long braid halfway down and hung loosely. Bits and pieces of metal armor were seen on her attire and she wore a purple cape, covering her to her calves. A long sword hung from her hip and gleamed while the handle had gold highlights to it.
"Then why are they here?" She asked.
"They left Beacon and need a place to stay." He answered.
"So you thought bringing some Huntsmen and Huntresses here was a good idea?" She asked.
"Where else were they supposed to go?" He asked back.
"Somewhere else. We're already dealing with enough as it is." She said.
"I'm aware." He said.
"Are you sure? You've been gone for who knows how long doing gods know what." She said. It was quiet and she slightly shook when he stepped closer and stared down at her. She's never really stood in front of him before and only seen him across the room; but now she truly saw how tall he was... and intimidating.
"What I do in my travels is my personal business and it shouldn't concern you. I brought them here because they didn't want to stay at Beacon anymore, seeing how it's a breeding grounds for glory hounds. Your personal issues with me doesn't phase me in the slightest because I'm used to the whispers, but they are not. They are young and inexperienced, but their hearts are in the right place. I shouldn't need to tell you of the consequences should you harm them..." He trailed off.
Some of the color drained from her face and she nodded quickly. Gravity seemed to become heavier in the surrounding area and the temperature seemed to drop a bit. She didn't know why she was even trying to challenge someone like him; nearly everyone in the settlement knew of Six's exploits. He had earned many names, both good and bad. He was a savior as much as he was a ruthless killer. A majority of the settlement had even heard what he did over in Mistral, cleaning up the scum of the streets and the White Fang. Although his killings were... violent.
"Your reason for asking... what is it?" He asked calmly.
"I-I don't trust them." She shook in place.
"I don't expect you to. They're outsiders, much like I was; but if they know better and have a good head on their shoulders, then they'll fit in here." He said. She found herself agreeing with him but backed up a little. The sound of the door opening and she found herself breathing in relief when she saw her partner come out.
His jet black hair and chiseled face always made her smile and like her, he also wore a cape. It wrapped around his neck though and would offer some sort of protection against the elements when the situation called for it. He stood next to her and looked up at Six before looking at his partner.
"I'm sorry if she was causing trouble." He apologized sincerely.
"Wha-" She sputtered.
"It's fine." Six shook his head.
It didn't bother him as much as it should have, seeing how both of them were young. Possibly in their early twenties, but it was clear they knew Six didn't take any shit from anyone. Although they wouldn't admit it, they've always looked up to him in some sort of way. Tales of a mysterious individual going around helping people and getting rid of bad guys was something out of a children's tale. When they first became guild members, they had somewhat adopted his look with their capes and were enthusiastic like any other beginner.
In the five years they've been guild members, they realized that the world was a dark and cruel place. Sometimes people were more dangerous than the Grimm and both of them had the displeasure of experiencing it firsthand. They also realized that Six wasn't one to shy away from dirty deeds. Whenever there was a bandit problem, he would come and deal with them. Any threat to innocents was enough to give him a reason to put the person or Grimm six feet under.
If the news was telling the truth, then his kill count ranged into the hundreds, possibly a thousand or more. There's also the fact that the settlement used to have a rogue Huntsman problem, until Six had found out. They didn't hear much of the Huntsman after that, and the two could only assume the worst.
"Again, sorry." The man apologized and dragged his partner away by the ear.
"Ow! Stop! I didn't even say anything that bad!" She whispered while being dragged.
"I told you not to mess with him! Now he probably thinks we're some spoiled brats!" He whispered back.
"..." Six just watched them go and shook his head before entering the guild. It felt different since Maaya wasn't there and Myne wasn't underneath the desk, reading her little book. To hear her little voice squeal with excitement when she saw him and rush over to hug him. How he missed that...
He looked around and saw some members looking at him, making him nod at them before going to the back. He saw JNPR eating their food and Nora shot up before rushing over to him like an excited puppy.
"Six! Look! We're porcelain ranks!" She cheered. A few of the guild members chuckled and shook their heads in amusement, never seeing someone so excited at being the lowest rank.
"That's nice, Nora." He nodded.
"Mhmm!" She beamed and gripped his hand, trying to drag him over to the bench. He just let himself be dragged before standing near the bench, watching them eat. Ren and Nora offered him food, but he just shook his head. He just listened to the two ramble on about how they were doing and he just listened quietly. It was a nice feeling to be honest, seeing the light in their eyes was like seeing an oasis in a dry desert. Ren didn't show it all that much, but Six could tell that he was happy with him. Nora on the other hand... was more vibrant with her emotions. She was basically a puppy with them, always excited.
He listened to them for a bit longer before bidding them a farewell and going back towards the clinic. Maaya was most likely done and he needed to see if he could get some answers from Cinder.
He knocked on the apartment door and waited patiently in the hall. His motion tracker picked up a yellow blip and the sound of the door unlocking met his ears. It opened and he walked inside, shutting it after him and he saw her going towards the couch. She quietly lied down on it and stared at the black screen of the TV, wrapped in her blankets. It was quiet with the exception of the ticking of a clock. He didn't move for a few minutes before quietly walking up to the living room and spreading his cloak out. His bag was set near the coffee table and he sat down.
When he looked at her, he saw the tired look on her face. It didn't suite her well and he didn't like it in the slightest. In front of everyone, she put on a brave face so they wouldn't worry, but now she looked so hurt and tired. He understood why though.
"Have you eaten?" He asked.
"No." She shook her head. He nodded before fishing through his bag and bringing out some meat and some other sides. Her eyes trailed up to him and she watched as he brought out a pan. She closed her eyes when she heard the sound of sizzling and some spices assaulted her nostrils, making her rub her nose briefly. The minutes droned on to tens of minutes and a plate was slid in front of her, making her open her eyes.
A hot plate of meat, vegetables, and some fruit was on the side. She looked up at him to see him holding another plate and he sat down. He gestured for her to eat and she nodded before doing so. The meat was tender and it was clear that he knew how to season it just right as were the veggies. When she noticed that she was the only one eating, she stopped and looked at him.
His hands were on his helmet and he seemed hesitant before sighing and twisting it. She watched as he took it off and set it to the side before digging into his food. The first thing she noticed was that his skin looked a bit pale, not overly pale, but just enough for someone to notice. His hair hung over his eyes a bit and he continued to stare at his food and avoid looking at her. He looked like he was her age, maybe a year older. She could have guessed that judging by his voice though.
When he finally turned to look at her, she noticed his eyes. The lack of light in them and a wave of pity flashed through her system. Those eyes held a thousand stories that no one would ever know, regardless if he was willing to tell them or not. She saw a soul who had been hurt for so long that it matched the darkness it was thrown into. She smiled warmly and she saw a small flicker of light make itself known in his eyes. That begged the question of how long it's been since he's had something good in his life?
Her knowledge of his exploits weren't just limited to the frontier, it extended to the city as well. She had known him long enough to know that it was him in Vale and Mistral city, purging the place of any evil that stuck to the foundation. She was disturbed, there was no use in lying about that. How one person could kill over a thousand people and escape without a trace. The way he killed was also terrifying, each kill grew more and more gruesome as time passed.
Yet... she couldn't bring herself to be afraid of him. No matter how much she wanted to, she just wasn't. He could kill her in an instant but she knew deep down that he wouldn't. Just as she wouldn't reveal any information about him, he wouldn't harm her in any way. It was the unspoken agreement between the two. Neither would dare break that agreement either.
Her hand shakily raised and it approached his face. He made no move to stop her as it brushed against his cheek, his left eye closed as her hand roamed the side of his face. This what he was in her eyes, a hurt creature that had fought tooth and nail for its place in this cruel world. The universe chewed him up and spit him out on numerous occasions, and each time he came back stronger. It wasn't a surprise as to why he was so distrustful and always on guard, because there was no telling what the next person would do to him.
"You've been hurt for so long, haven't you?" She asked quietly.
"..." He just stared blankly at the coffee table. Her hand never the side of his face and it was alright. She was talking to him as if he was some damaged machine, and he was in some cases. He had been broken down to the point where there was nothing to do but rebuild him. His past was a mere prototype to building something greater and it paid off after years.
This went on for a while before her hand left and they continued to eat. Their food had grown somewhat cold but neither of them cared too much. After several seconds, his bag moved and his eyes snapped to it.
The Monitor floated up and stared at them before her center glowed a gentle purple color.
"Six?" Maaya asked, seeing him focus on the construct.
"What are you doing?" He asked.
"I'm sorry to be interrupting, but I believe I've found her." The Monitor said.
"Found who?" Maaya asked.
"Myne?" He asked, making Maaya look at him in alarm.
"Yes. I have her location." The Monitor said. He looked when Maaya went stiff and she covered her mouth, tears started to build up in the corner of her eyes.
"Where is she?" She asked.
"An uncharted island. It is currently run by an individual known as Dr. Merlot." The Monitor said.
"How long will it take to get there? Is she okay? Is there any way we can see her?" Maaya asked quickly, scrambling forward and getting closer to the Monitor. Right before the Monitor could answer, she was scrambling up and going towards the room. He stood up and put his helmet on, grabbing the dirty plates and putting them into the sink before walking towards the bedroom. Inside the room, he saw her bringing clothes out and putting them in a bag, quickly shoving whatever she needed into it.
"Maaya..." He said.
"..." She didn't hear him and continued to grab supplies.
"What are you doing?" He asked.
"Getting... my... things." She grunted, shoving more supplies into the bag.
"Why?" He asked calmly.
"I'm going to get her-" She started.
"No, you're not." He interrupted. It went quiet altogether and she quickly looked at him.
"What?" She blinked in surprise.
"You're not going." He told her.
"Yes I am." She said.
"No. It's too dangerous for you." He clarified.
"I don't care. I'm going to get Myne." She said, throwing something onto the bed.
"You're not going." He said, his voice having an unfamiliar edge to it.
"Yes, I am. I don't care if it's dangerous. Myne needs help and I-I know that-" She started.
"No!" He shouted coldly at her. She jumped at his sudden tone and stared at him in fear. His shout was like a gunshot went off and it silenced everything. All he did was stare down at her in the dark room and neither one was willing to move. The silence wasn't the one that they always had when there nothing to be said. It suffocated them and even he felt uncomfortable. The ticking of the clock in the background was loud at this point and she saw his fists clenched tightly.
"..." She rubbed her hands together anxiously and continued to stare at him. The seconds turned to minutes and she continued to stare at him with the same expression, it pained him to see her look at him like that.
"Maaya..." He said slowly, stepping closer with one of his hands raised. She took a step back and he stopped before dropping his hand. It was one of the reasons he didn't raise his voice, because he always scared the other person. To make matters worse, it was Maaya. His tone was never harsh with her and she never heard him yell before, raise the volume in his tone a bit, yes, but never shout.
"You can't do everything alone..." She teared up a bit.
"..." He looked away from her. Why couldn't she understand that she was a civilian? It was his duty to put himself first in front of danger so that she would never feel burden of whatever was thrown at them.
"I'm sorry... I don't know what I was thinking." She choked out, rubbing some of her tears away. The sudden news of Myne's whereabouts had put so much joy into her that she wasn't thinking about the dangers. She heard him sigh before sitting down on the edge of the bed, keeping enough of his weight off so he wouldn't break it underneath his weight.
"I won't allow you to come because that would be putting you in danger. Unless you stayed in the ship the whole time with something or someone protecting you, then there is nothing you could do. I apologize if this sounds harsh, but it's the truth." He explained as gently as he could.
"..." She nodded shakily as tears dripped onto her hand as she sat down next to him. Chances were that she would do something reckless if was going in with her current attitude. She didn't know what to do though. On one hand, she didn't want to just sit around; but on the other hand, she knew she'd get in his way if she came along. It was quiet once more and neither of them wanted to break it, feeling it as the perfect time to calm down.
A familiar purple glow entered the room and he looked up at the Monitor with an annoyed expression.
"I apologize for my sudden intrusion and instigating an argument." She apologized.
"It's... alright. I was just so caught up that I wasn't thinking straight." Maaya shook her head.
"..." He just shook his head.
"Allow me to introduce myself. I am 046 Auspicious Spark. Monitor of the Remnant Installation." She greeted politely.
"Nice to meet you. I'd like to know more, but now really isn't the time." Maaya smiled sadly.
"We might, if the Reclaimer is willing to hear me out." Auspicious said, making Maaya look at him curiously.
"Reclaimer?" She asked.
"..." He just stared at the Monitor.
"I have modified the ship to withstand damage from conventional means, which means it would take something to the equivalent of a Sentinel laser to breach the hull if the shielding is compromised. Should she stay in the ship, then she would be safe from all harm. A cloaking drive had been installed as well, concealing the vehicle." Auspicious explained.
"What about defense? I'm not there to defend her should a threat appear." He said.
"Sentinels will be nearby eliminating any threats." She countered.
"Food, water, entertainment?" He listed.
"All those will be accommodated, although the last one she will have to find multiple sources to keep herself entertained." She said.
"..." He just stared at her.
"If it makes you feel better, I can have multiple frames. One for her and one for you for assistance." She said.
"This isn't a good idea." He said.
"Not everything is, Reclaimer. She is right in some regards though, you can't do everything alone. Even if she isn't fighting alongside you, she does provide a different way of assisting you. She is effectively the rock that keeps you grounded." She said. It was quiet for a while and he just stared forward before standing up and walking towards the door. He stopped at he doorway and glanced over his shoulder.
"I'll think about it." He said after a while then left the room.
"He'll consider it. Even if he declines, the fact that he considered bringing you along instead of denying you like before says something." Auspicious said before turning to Maaya, seeing her clench her sheets.
"Why?" She asked.
"Why what?" Auspicious tilted her chassis.
"Why are you helping us?" Maaya asked.
"I made a promise to the Reclaimer that I would assist him in any way possible. He has helped me in the past and I intend to do the same. Despite his less than stellar personality, he is a noble person. He always puts civilians in front of himself and considers their safety first. His words may have hurt you in some way, but they were for your best interest." Auspicious reasoned.
"I know, I know." Maaya wiped away her tears.
"If he does bring you along though, I will take the necessary precautions in order to maintain your safety." Auspicious said, floating out of the room.
"Thank you." Maaya smiled.
"You're most welcome. It it means anything, I'm glad the Reclaimer has someone he genuinely cares about. With the world against him, having someone like you would do him some good." Auspicious said then floated out of the room.
Maaya breathed and calmed herself before wiping away the last of her tears and neatly organizing her belongings. With a clear mind, she could see his side and scolded herself for recklessly throwing herself into that situation. She wanted to be there with him when he rescued Myne, but she also understood if he didn't take her along.
She decided to sleep on the couch and saw a note on it. There was a time and back at the ship making her smile a bit before folding it neatly and getting everything ready. Even if she was doing nothing but staying on the ship, it was better than just sitting around acting as if nothing happened. She wanted her daughter back more than anything in the world.
She just hoped Myne was doing okay.
Myne gasped as she startled awake and sat up. She looked around and saw that she was in a dark room, it looked more like a large bedroom with a lot of beds. There was a tiny light in the center that did a horrible job of illuminating the room. There were dozens of beds, but a majority of them were empty. She blinked the tiredness away and rubbed her eyes before feeling something on her neck. Her tiny hands felt the cold metal collar around her neck and she saw it was connected to a chain on the railing of the bed.
The other children that remained in the room were sleeping quietly. A shiver racked her body as the cold air bit into her skin and she wrapped her arms around herself after finding out there was no blanket. The metal clinked audibly as she tugged at it before giving up and looking around the room. There were boxes underneath the beds and she looked at hers and noticed there was one too. Although, she didn't want to jump off seeing how high up she was. The chain would snap her neck like a twig and she was almost scared to move.
She heard the sound of the door opening and lied back down, closing her eyes tightly when she heard someone walk inside. Heavy breathing echoed throughout the room and she heard mumbling along with large footsteps. Each step seemed to get closer to her and she held her breath when they were right in front of her bed. Fear gripped her heart and she didn't dare to open her eyes. There was no telling what the person would do to her if she was caught being awake.
After what felt like eternity, the person lumbered away and slammed the door shut. It stirred some of the other children awake and they sat up while she shakily opened her eyes and did the same. There were over a dozen kids around her age, some older while some were younger. Each one had a metal collar on their neck along with a chain. Some were skinny and sick looking while others looked moderately healthy.
They looked around and they settled on her for a second before stretching a bit. A sudden series of clicks met their ears and she felt the collar pop open and she wasted no time in throwing it to the side. She rubbed her neck and tried to get some of the pain to fade from her neck. The other kids slid off their beds and she looked at them before doing the same, her little legs kicking the air before plopping onto the ground.
Her bare feet met the icy ground and she winced at the feeling before looking around timidly.
"Psst. Hey." A small male voice whispered. She looked around and saw a boy peeking at her from the corner of his bed. He wore a paper bag over his head, he waved at her with a bit of enthusiasm and she looked around before shuffling towards him. Some of the other children saw her and made room for her while she sat down in the little group at the center.
"Hi..." She whispered timidly.
"Hello!" The paper bag boy waved at her. The others gave their own form of greeting as well before doing their own activities.
"Where... where are we?" Myne asked.
"We don't really know. We just woke up here. Same as you." A girl answered quietly.
"Oh... how long have you been here?" Myne whispered. Each one gave their own little answer; some had been here for a few months to a couple of years, while others have been here their whole life. She could tell by the more feral ones. After they answered, they were thrown into an awkward atmosphere. The silence was overwhelming and the door opened, illuminating the room and blinding the children. They all shielded their eyes as a few figures walked inside and spread out, staring at them. Myne balled her fists tightly as she stared at the guards with the guns. She was terrified of them as were the others.
They all heard the sound of dress shoes walking against the ground and saw a figure enter. His face was hidden by the light, but a gleaming red eye seemed to flash at them with glee.
"Good morning, children. I am Doctor Merlot and I will be the one taking care of you from now on." He smirked at them. He gave a small laugh and each of the children found themselves shaking in fear. They cried out when the guards rounded them up and had them follow the doctor out the door and into the light.
Myne clutched her pendants tightly and followed the ones in front of her. She wanted her parents now more than ever.
So I've had some people ask about me since my last author's note. I'm alright, you guys. That was my first time drinking in about four months, I don't do it on the fly or when I'm stressed. Last part might be a bit of a lie, but it's not that bad, I promise. Also I'd like to thank you all for worrying about me and sticking with me so far.
Nothing really big happens in this chapter all that much, it's more of a "transition into the next arc" kind of chapter. Did it feel kind of rushed, possibly... but I already had it written and forgot about it for a minute. Plus, I'm focusing on school so it's better than nothing. I'd also like to clear up some things that may have seemed confusing to a few people.
One is that Six doesn't feel guilty about the people he's killed. He's more realizing how brutal he's become and saw that some of it wasn't necessary against regular enemies. That's not to say that he won't be brutal, just not excessively violent against the regular terrorist or bandit. Unless they truly deserve it. I don't know where I'm going with this, it's kind of a hard thing to describe.
Second thing, this isn't going to suddenly turn into a K-rated story all of a sudden. It's rated M for a reason and I intend to keep it that way for the most part. Just because there might be a chapter or two that isn't action or has a bit of fluff, doesn't mean I'm changing the rating. Some people don't realize or seem to forget that it's a dark fanfiction and half the themes here are going to make people uncomfortable.
Not every chapter needs to have action in it, because I sometimes want to take a break from that. For the life of me, I don't want action after action for every chapter. It bugs me and kills my mood to write more scenes like it. Some chapters may give a little world building while others may build a character a little. Little by little is how I add stuff and characters to the story. I'm not going to add forty characters all of a sudden then forget about them, I've learned in the past that's a lot to keep up with.
Third thing... shipping. You guys can do it all you want in your heads, be my guest. I don't care at this point, but I'm not just going to ship for the hell of it. I'm possibly not going to do it at all since I've seen what it does. If your headcanon involves all that... go wild, not like I can stop you anyways. Enough said so let's move on.
Fourth thing. The TV tropes page. Someone asked me about updating it. I don't know how to because I didn't make it, I honestly keep forgetting about it half the time. Shoutout to whoever made it though, you have my appreciation because I didn't even know what it was in the past.
Final thing... about time. About the fame thing, you guys are right about it. I just have to learn how to deal with it like an adult. For the most part, just stay humble like how I've been in the past and keep going.
Anyways, thank you all so much and see ya later.