This idea has been in my head for about a week now. This is not a true SI, but someone with decent knowledge of the RWBYverse dumped into it. The knowledge our displaced protagonist has is everything up to and including season six.
Now this chapter is going to be a little odd, and I apologise for that, but I hope you enjoy regardless.
You know the times in your life that you wonder whether or not the Gods hate you or not? I'm having one of those moments right now.
In hindsight, mouthing off Death or the local equivalent deity was not exactly the smartest idea I'd ever had. Although in my defense, I had just been told I had died out of the blue, so being 'punished' for being upset about being dead was a little harsh in my opinion. But being that Death was Death and I was just some random schmuck that died as he walked to work, I was hardly in any position whatsoever to argue. Frankly I would have thought that there would be at least some leeway.
Death obviously doesn't take kindly to impoliteness. The indescribable entity had let out a hiss, and in a move that dashed my hopes for a Pratchett-esque psychopomp, made a gesture with one of Its 'appendages' and sent me careening through the endless gloom of what one assumes is the space between one life and the next.
Light filled my vision, and the constant, clinical beep of a monitor filled my ears, mixing with muffled, distant conversations.
"..Do you know where you are?" A neutral voice filled my ears. I blinked a few times, the light irritating my eyes as I tried to sit up. A plain looking doctor was looking over the top of a clipboard
"I see." The man sighed. "..I will note it down. You are in the Atlesian General Medical Facility. Don't worry, son. We're the finest medical facility on Remnant. You'll be back to normal in no time."
Atlas. Remnant. Fuck.
"Oh." There was little else I could say to that frankly."I see."
"We also don't appear to have any records pertaining to you, I'm afraid." The doctor continued. "Nothing. No medical, military, financial or work records. It's almost as though you came into existence just before you were found in that snowbank!"
The man let out a laugh at his own statement, which didn't help the growing feeling in my gut. They didn't call anyone, how could they? I had no one. Hell, I didn't even have a believable name. The doctor soon saw my steadily faltering expression, and his smile vanished.
"...Oh." He said. "That is a bit of an embuggerance, isn't it?"
It is surprisingly easy, almost scarily so, to create a new identity here, especially if it was merely a 'temporary' one for medical purposes. My old name did not fit the 'modern' naming conventions and I really didn't want to draw attention to myself. I settled on Casper Schwartz. Unimaginative perhaps, but that was the point (And having a name that effectively means 'Dark Treasurer' was admittedly a little bit awesome.). A 'normal' name, one that would not attract attention of Salem or Ozpin...or worse, canon.
Without money, a home, or anything but the clothes on my back I did the only thing I could in my situation. I joined the army. Admittedly, the Atlesian Military Archive is not the first branch of the military someone might want to join up with when dumped in a fantasy world, but given I know next to nothing about how Remnant actually works, as the show doesn't actually get into the complexities of how the world functions for the people that live in it, joining the one branch of the military that won't actually question my reading of historical documents and deeper research makes a hell of a lot of sense. It was not the most interesting of work, perhaps. But it was safe, paid reasonably well, and wasn't exactly taxing, and only required field work every so often. It let me keep my head down, and get used to my new life, as I don't know whether or not it's possible to get home.
However, whilst all of this seems to have gone in my favour, there is a very large complication: I hadn't arrived at the time of canon. Oh no, that would be too easy. No no no. Thanks to the Vytal festival of all things, I have managed to figure out that I'm over a decade before the start of the series. Which wasn't good to say the least. I don't even know what events happened when in canon. It might have been unimportant narratively, but it's pretty fucking important now!
And with that whistle stop tour, we are brought up to now, two years later, the year 68AW (Or Sixty-Eight years after the Great War). In a random ruined temple about two hundred miles outside Atlas, closer to the literal middle of nowhere than civilisation. The AMA had been sent to investigate why the temple appeared to repel Grimm, and to see if it could be replicated. They had sent myself and a number of other agents, plus a considerable military team to defend us. Say what you will about Atlas, they defended their own. I roamed the empty, and deathly silent halls with little else to defend myself than the standard military sidearm and body armour. I was the first to reach the main chamber..and discovered that I was no longer alone.
Because there was a little girl currently sat on the altar of the temple, who was sobbing her eyes out. Her hair was black, and she was dressed in rags.
And, as if Death was laughing at me, shockingly familiar golden eyes.
"..What are you doing here, little one?" I hear myself ask her before my thoughts had stopped screaming loudly in my head.
"Mama left!" The girl wailed. "Mama left!"
She continued to cry loudly, and I slowly moved closer. There was an envelope placed next to the girl, and Probably-Cinder didn't stop me from picking it up and openning it. I quickly glanced over letter inside.
I know not when you will read this, or even if our lady will allow it. I pray she does.
This was not abandonment, but a blessing, my sweet one. Always remember that. To serve our Goddess in person is the ultimate honour in this world. I pray that I shall see you rise to glory before I die.
Oh. Oh fuck. This isn't good. I eyed Probably-Cinder over the top of the letter in my hands, and flinched at the sight of the still sniffling child. Letting out a faintly annoyed sigh, I folded up the letter and pocketed it. Kneeling down, I opened my arms out to offer the girl a hug, but the child all but threw herself into them, embracing me as tightly as she could.
How starved for affection is she?!
"What is your name, little one?"
"..Mama says I'm not 'posed to speak to strangers."
I smiled warmly at the child, at least that rule is a thing here. "I see. Wise advice. Well, I am Casper, Casper Schwartz. Now you know my name, I'm not as much of a stranger anymore, see?"
"...C-Cinder. 'M Cinder."
That answers that one.
"Well Cinder...did your Mother tell you why you were here?"
The child shook her head, and hugged me tighter.
The age old advice of not fucking up canon to ensure the usefulness of ones knowledge is decidedly more difficult when it forces you to be an asshole. Abandoning Cinder just so she grows up to be the murderous, if sometimes generic villain I know seems...wrong. It wasn't right that I had, even for a moment, honestly considered leaving her here. Alone and abandoned. Again.
….Well fuck it, if canon really wants me to interfere that much, I might well have a go at making the world a better place. Especially given it seems Cinder is a few years younger than she's supposed to be ...unless she's malnourished. I'm..not certain what would be worse, actually.
Letting out another sigh, I shifted my arms, and lifted the girl up. Cinder blinked as I did so, and looked at me questioningly.
"Come on, little Cinder. You can come and wait for your mother at our camp. It will be far more safe than this old ruin, not to mention warm. She will be able to find us there."
The child's golden eyes widened a little at what she didn't know was a colossal tempting of fate, but nodded in agreement with a quiet: "Alwight."
My life just got even more complicated than it already was, didn't it?