'By the grace of a higher power favouring my foe, or by my own arrogance. I let myself be fooled by these creatures which we were originally purposed to fight. To think I would win against those who not of the blood in my veins, still fought for the same goals as I once did, with the greatest pride, a whole nation on my back. I let them lead me to where I stand now, I took down one of my greatest rivals, yes. ..But does it matter when you lose your honour, your pride? I think not... This is instead, quite a fitting end.' Bismarck thought to herself, her long blonde hair strewn about, reaching to the light above. The light of the sun and of the sky.
Her rivals, stood above, though the sea distorted her view on them, she could plainly read just two emotions which was emulated in their faces. Regret... And.. Sadness? A smile donned on Bismarck's lips as the sea got darker, and darker, and the light continued to fade away.
Bismarck extended her right hand extended out to the light which continued to dim, the silence of the sea awaited her. Though that's not what she heard in the back of her mind, an old song, she hadn't heard in a long time could just faintly be heard while her own sight grew darker. 'Deutschland... Deutschland, uber alles..' She could faintly hear with a tune matching it, though it didn't sound as joyous as she remembered.
Bismarck closed her eyes and pulled her right hand back in, knowing and accepting, this. This was her end. 'Admiral Lütjens... Captains Netzbandt, and Lindemann... I'm coming home.' Bismarck thought to herself as the music she heard, faded, and faded, the tune slowed as a requim for Bismarck.
Though other, disgraceful powers would have other ideas in mind, as Bismarck slowly succumbed, the light of life leaving her, the last thing she felt was something wrapping around her waist before she finally succumbed. Or so she would believe. It would seem as if an eternity had passed before finally, Bismarck awoke. The familiar sounds of the sea greeted her, above flew some type of seagull. She couldn't tell as the salt water around her washed into her eyes, causing them to burn, she shielded her eyes with whatever dry cloth remained on her uniform.
Bismarck still remained standing, somehow, though she knew. She knew she should be dead. Why wasn't she dead? Was she denied entry to Valhalla as she believed so many others before her had gone. She felt in pain, though that was natural. After all she'd been through, she sat up in the water and looked around, her rigging was still in quite a terrible shape, but not as terrible as it had been, looking around her she saw naught but ocean for miles but something inside of her told her.. "Head south. There will be help, South." Thus Bismarck trudged forward, slowly, before she realised, she hadn't the energy herself to do it.
Was this some cruel joke? Death wouldn't take her, yet she felt on the verge of it still. Was this some way of the universe, forcing her to suffer for her crimes? Bismarck continued, forward, trudging slowly before she realised there was only but one thing to do. Her rigging reformed from cubes to the giant beast of steel it would nominally become in port, but now she needed it to get her to safety as she slowly climbed aboard, Bismarck crawled on the deck, under cover she sat with her back to the darkened steel walls.
"I'm not dying here... I'm not dying here. I just need to rest..." Bismarck whispered to herself as he breath grew heavy, her vision again grew dim as she sat there, the cold steel to her back, tightly in her arms she clutched the red, white and black flag of Ironblood in her arms as she grew more and more tired. "Perhaps... Just a few minutes sleep.. And I'll be fine." Bismarck whispered as she fell unconsious.
Unknowing to Bismarck, a ship came over the horizon and came to the massive hulking warship which Bismarck's rigging had become. Over the next few days whilst she lay unconsious, ships would flock to the mysterious seemingly abandoned warship before finally the military had stepped in.
Overhead, large warships floated above the ship, deploying a few dropships, the craft descended to the deck of the ship and troops in strange armour left the crafts as they began to sieze the ship and search it. It didn't take long for these troops to discover Bismarck, laid under the rear of the second frontal turret, wrapped up in the Ironblood banner with her golden locks of hair strewn about. Others went about finding a way into the ship itself, however it seemed every door was locked and unable to be opened.
It was figured this was for good reason, was this woman responsable for that? In fact, who was she? It wouldn't be long before it would be decided that the ship was to be towed to the nearest port, and the woman taken into custody, however as soon as she was lifted, it was discovered she was quite badly battered, her breathing and pulse almost non-existant, just what happened to this woman, and this ship?
Bismarck would be taken aboard one of the overhead flying ships and taken to a medical bay while the ship would be towed to the nearest port. Which Bismarck would come to know as a new home. Vale.
Bismarck laid unconscious in bed, her blonde locks strewn about the bed, the cap she usually wore sat on a table next to the bed while her uniform was hung up and the tattered banner folded up, sat on a knee high table infront of the bed while a machine beeped every so often, an oxygen tube ran up to her nose, pumping oxygen inside as she breathed. The machine next to her bed continued beeping while she breathed.
Unaware to her, the door to the roop was opened and in came a tall, about 1.98 meters tall man, cleanly shaven, who wore a white suit, along with him was an older man who wore a typical white labcoat as most in his position would.
"So this is the only person that was found aboard that warship that was discovered, doctor?" The tall man asked as he approached the bed that Bismarck laid in bed, motionless.
"Yes, she's the only one, we found her with the clothes you see and the banner there, she was wrapped up in it and it took a good number of men to get her unwrapped then her changed into a gown." The doctor said as he also approached the bed.
"Any idea who she might be?" The tall man asked, picking up the hat that sat on the bedside table.
"No, other than a name written in the hat. "Bismarck". That's all. And we found that very same name painted on the lower portion of the outside of what we can assume to be the bridge of the ship she was found on." The doctor replied.
"I see... And, the outside? Has no one been inside of it?" The tall man asked with an eyebrow raised.
"There were attempts made but all were unsuccessful." The doctor replied plainly.
"Were there armed soldiers on the ship?" The tall man asked, hoping to figure out why no one had been inside.
"No, as I said, she was the only person aboard. The ship itself, it's impossible to enter." The doctor replied.
"How so?" The tall man asked now concerned about how it could be impossible to enter an almost abandoned ship.
"The doors simply won't open. And there's already apparently quite a bit of structural damage." The doctor answered.
"So then should we scuttle it?" The tall man asked, wondering what use it would be to tow a ship that was virtually a mystery and likely damaged beyond repair.
"N-no.." Bismarck said as she slowly awoke in the bed, feeling weak, still.
"No?" The tall man said with an eyebrow raised, now his attention focused on the blonde woman who looked worse for wear. The doctor on the other hand ran to get a nurse.
"I-I don't want to die again... No scuttling... Please." Bismarck said, as tears welled up in her eyes, the doctor returned with the nurse who adminstered a sedative, causing Bismarck to fall unconsious again.
The tall man was now absolutely at a loss for words, just what did this woman mean by "I don't want to die again"? The woman then fell fully unconscious as the nurse left, the doctor scratched the back of his neck, almost at a loss for words as the tall man.
"General Ironwood, I don't even know how she woke up, I've seen others in such a condition and they've been in a coma for years after they were found." The doctor said.
"You should've let her speak... Now we have a new mystery on our hands." The tall man, now referred to as "General Ironwood", said.
"What do you mean?" The doctor asked.
"She said, after you left. "I don't want to die again, no scuttling." ...I hate to say it but this mystery, whoever or whatever this woman is, just became one of my top priorities." General Ironwood said, looking down on Bismarck as he set her hat back on the bedside table.
"You mean... She implied, she would die if the ship were scuttled?" The doctor asked, now just completely and utterly confused.
"Precisely. So we'll tow the ship back to Vale, see about getting a drydock set up and see if any repairs can be done. If my theory is correct then you should see a slow but steady recovery after we reach Vale." General Ironwood said before he left.
"I..." The doctor said, looking to Bismarck then General Ironwood before he just shook his head and left with the General.
A few days later, a large crowd had gathered at the Vale port to watch the Atlesian Military bring the ship into port and moor it. The ship to the average civilian must've been a new warship belonging to Atlas, but one detail stood out, at the approach to the bow of the ship and it's stern, a red swath with a white cricle and a black x were painted on the deck, while atop the ship's mast, a tattered flag that was red, white and black, with the design mainly being that of some type of cross flew high up on the ship.
Soldiers of the Atlesian military stood on the deck of the ship just guarding it, no one could be seen going in and out of the ship, as guards were rotated out and in via dropships. At the docks, four girls would be seen staring at the ship, one in red just gobsmacked and amazed by this war machine, one in white who seemed less than impressed, one in black who also seemed less than impressed, and one in yellow, concerned with how much the one in red was obsessing over this ship.
"Ruby, it's really not that..." The taller girl in yellow started before she was interrupted by the one in red, identified as Ruby.
"Don't finish that sentence! Look at those cannons and tell me it's not cool! It's gotta be some new Atlesian military project!" Ruby yelled as she stared up at the ship's cannons.
"It's not." The girl in white and the one in black said in unison, almost looking at each other before shrugging it off, mentally.
"How isn't it? Only Atlas could produce something like this." Ruby said, trying to defend her point to the warship being Atlesian.
"Ruby, look up at the mast." The girl in white said, annoyed. Ruby did but then immediately looked back to the girl in white.
"Okay but that doesn't prove anything." Ruby said, almost denying what the girl in white was saying.
"Ruby, you dolt! That's not even a Atlesian flag!" The girl in white yelled.
"Oh don't try to lie to me, Weiss! It has to be!" Ruby yelled in defense.
"It's really not. That flag doesn't belong to Atlas and, look. It's heavily damaged. More than anything, all the evidence, save for the flag points to it being a battle trophy of some sort." The girl in black said, looking over to Ruby.
"Oh not you too, Blake..." Ruby said, officially defeated in the conversation.
"I gotta agree, but who does it belong to? Never seen a flag like that before." The girl in yellow pointed offhandedly up to the flag.
"I dunno. I guess we'll figure it out if they ever release any news on it." The girl in black, now identified as Blake said with a shrug before she turned and left.
"Yeah, we'll know soon enough." The girl in yellow said befor she left with Blake, Weiss followed and as did Ruby.
Back at Beacon, however a different discussion was ongoing.
"You mean to say, this warship, certainly doesn't belong to Atlas?" Ozpin asked, surprised at the news, from first sight, the ship seems like something in the realm of possibility for Atlas to construct.
"That is exactly what I'm saying. And what's more is when we found it, there was one occupant on board, in as terible condition as the ship is in." General Ironwood said.
"I don't think I need to say what we're all thinking, but explain?" Glynda asked, confused. One sole survivor on the ship? How long was it at sea for?
"She's a young woman, long blonde hair, blue eyes, she was found wrapped up in a flag not unlike the one that's on the ship's mast. And she wasn't found inside the ship, but under one of the gun turrets." General Ironwood explained.
"Why wasn't she found inside?" Ozpin asked.
"I don't know, perhaps under that turret is all she could manage to scramble to. The ship itself is in terrible condition but it's saveable." General Ironwood said.
"Saveable? You mean Atlas intends to commandeer the ship?" Ozpin asked, surprised, no one thus far had claimed ownership so Atlas claiming it wasn't a surprise in the least.
"It's not just that, there's something which doesn't add up about the woman and the ship." General Ironwood explained.
"Again, explain?" Glynda asked, wondering how just the woman and the ship alone couldn't add up.
"The woman's name, is the same as the ship. It was written on the inside of her hat, and it's written just below the bridge of the ship, or what we can assume to be from looking in on the windows." Ironwood explained.
"So, we've a woman whose name is that of the ship she was found on... I can see how that may be a bit concerning, but perhaps we're reading too much into it. Ships are named after people quite often." Glynda said, hoping to inject some sense into the conversation.
"That's true. But this isn't some old man's fishing trawler, and this isn't his life long sweetheart's name." Ironwood said, plainly, and it was true.
"You mean, there's a reason for the ship and this woman being named one and the same." Ozpin said with an eyebrow raised.
"Exactly. A warship like this, you don't name after your highschool sweetheart. You name it after a person of great importance, or a place of great importance, or something to strike fear into the hearts of your enemy." Ironwood said, explaining the obvious.
"Perhaps you're right, but what would this all mean?" Ozpin asked.
"I have a theory, and it requires Atlas to build a drydock, here, in Vale. And begin repairing the ship." Ironwood explained.
"How does this relate to the girl then?" Glynda asked.
"The girl, as I've been informed has injuries mirroring that of the damage on the ship. Her feet are badly broken, her legs are as well, her whole body is a mess. Frankly to my knowledge, from what I've been told, it's a miracle she's alive... And there's one thing that doesn't sit well with me. A brief conversation that I held with her." Ironwood said, remembering the quite uncomfortable conversation, however brief it was, and the fear, and the sadness that the girl had when she spoke.
"What was the conversation?" Ozpin asked.
"The doctor and I were discussing the idea of scuttling the ship... She woke up and said "No.".." General Ironwood said, reflecting on the conversation and what it could mean.
"I assume that's not all that was said." Ozpin suggested.
"You're right. She said "I don't want to die again, no scuttling." General Ironwood said. A chill almost ran up his spine and likely the spines of Glynda and Ozpin as well.
"You mean, she implied, she might die if you scuttled the ship?" Ozpin asked, somewhat concerned at this implication.
"That's right, that's exactly what she implied." General Ironwood confirmed, grimly.
"Just, how could that be possible?" Glynda asked. Ironwood looked to Ozpin, the two were of the same mind and this only made their concern more viable.
"You're thinking what I'm thinking, aren't you?" Ironwood asked with an eyebrow raised.
"I believe so. And it under normal circumstances, makes no sense what so ever.. Yet in our world, as small as it is, there's many questions which remain unanswered and more of them every day." Ozpin said.
"Then I'll begin having the drydock constructed. And, one more thing.." General Ironwood said before he went to leave.
"Yes?" Ozpin asked.
"I'll have her brought down to Beacon, so we can keep an eye on her, it's best to not make her feel like a prisoner, but maybe a guest." General Ironwood said before he then left.
"I see.." Ozpin said. It should be perfectly fine. And it may help figure out just what and who she is.
"It seems the Atlesian military just rolled in and they brought with them something real interesting." Mercury said while he and Emerald made their way into an abandoned warehouse on the sketchier side of Vale, to a man hunched over a map with a white coat and bowler hat on
"You mean the giant warship? Please tell me something I don't know. It just makes our jobs 10x easier since they'll be busy covering security for it." Roman said, mildly annoyed.
"I don't think so, seems like they're building something under the ship." Emerald said with her arms crossed.
"Then they're gonna dry dock it, try to use your head, hun." Roman said, more so annoyed.
"What's going on?" A woman's voice was heard and from above, on a catwalk, coming down on a cargo lift, it was Cinder.
"Atlas brought in a big toy of theirs, we'll we think it's theirs anyway. It looks like something they'd build... But not so impressive." Mercury explained as he and Emerald approached Cinder.
"What is it?" Cinder asked, somewhat curious about this discovery.
"It's some type of warship, but it doesn't fly. It's stuck in the water and it's from what we've been able to see, seen better days." Mercury said.
"I don't think it's Atlas' though. They can't seem to get into the ship and their guards are being rotated out by dropships. Also, the flag on the mast isn't Atlas, nor any of the other kingdoms." Emerald explained.
"So we're dealing with something unknown but apparently claimed by Atlas?" Cinder said, holding her chin in thought, just wondering what was going on.
"Yeah that seems about the gist of it." Mercury confirmed.
"Let them do whatever they plan on with it, it's of no concern to us and may not even be of any use, so ignoring it will be of no consequence. Let them flash their apparent trophy, wherever they got it from, and let them do whatever they desire to try to fix it, it'll just make it more fun to sink it when the time comes." Cinder said, with a smirk donning on her face...