This is the chapter that turns this fic from T to M. Those sharp claws are gonna be put to good use.
On the news
Lisa Lavender was in an interview room with the Chief of Police, Mason Stone, who looked noticeably solemn.
"Thank you for accepting our invitation. We thought you were going to hold a gathering and announce what happened?"
"That was the plan, lass." He spoke with a thick accent. "But plans have changed, and now here I am."
"So, can you tell us what happened two days ago with the explosion?" Chief Stone took his hat off and rubbed his forehead, clearly stressed.
"We had received an anonymous tip that there was something suspicious going on in one of the abandoned houses. We sent team RWBY and a squad of Knights due to both the danger and the fact one of their teammates was suspected to have been captured. When they arrived, they discovered that Richard Murdoch him-fucking-self had a massive lab built just under the surface."
"What happened afterward?"
"Using the footage recovered from one of the bots, we discovered the girls took the Knights and charged in. One of them accidentally took out a powerline with a stray bullet. The second bang that was reported before the explosion was the line overloading and cutting the power to the lab. Freak accident. The place was full of thugs, but before they could get to the important parts of the facility, Murdoch spoke over the PA system. He yelled about how blind they were and that he would have helped them all. Then he said he would 'Give them a fucking monster' before activating the self destruct."
"Did anyone survive?"
"The girls did, thank Ohm. But they're in bad shape, and I wouldn't count on them getting out of the hospital anytime soon."
"Was Dr. Murdoch among the casualties? There's no way he could've escaped."
"Well, we haven't been able to find a body, but the blast may have just destroyed him completely. It's unlikely, but possible."
"Well, thank you Chief Stone. This has been very informative."
"One last thing." He turned to address the camera. "If any of you find any Grimm that won't attack you, report it to the authorities. We don't know how many people the sick bastard turned into Grimm, but we need to find a way to turn them back."
Downtown Vale, 3 months later, midnight
Murdoch stalked the streets of the city, silently leaping from rooftop to rooftop looking for people who were foolish enough to be out and about this late to kill. He was being blinded by anger and hatred, and he knew this, but he didn't care. He was going to make them suffer for what they did. He had become the local boogeyman, a scary story people would tell each other to scare them, and try to make him seem less real. His black and slender figure allowed him to be very stealthy, but there was a downside to his evolution that he hadn't expected. He had a strong aversion to sunlight, of all things, to the point that direct contact caused burning pain. It didn't actually damage him, but it did hurt enough to cause him to avoid going out during the day.
He had discovered RWBY had survived the explosion, and that angered him to the point he emerged from his home in the sewers to slaughter an entire household, painting the walls with blood and filling it with gas. He didn't have any plans beyond killing as many people as possible before being killed himself. How could he rebuild from this? He couldn't. Not without outside help.
He heard grunts coming from a nearby alley, and looked down from his perch to see a man looting a dead man's pockets. The man was facing him, but didn't see him crouched on the rooftop. He noticed the murderer was wearing a pendant, a golden circle with a silver teardrop in the center. This type of jewelry was the result of another rumor, that he had an aversion to these symbols and couldn't harm those wearing them. He had almost had a laughing fit when he first heard people discussing that. It was hilarious.
He leapt to the building beside him before silently creeping into the alley. He accidentally knocked a can as he descended, and the man whipped around, sweating and holding out the symbol like his life depended on it. He didn't see the black death waiting just out of his field of view, and turned around to walk out and into the street. Then he grabbed the man's leg and pulled him into the alley and into a manhole, before tearing his insides out and smashing the pendant.
He tossed the body and the pendant shards back into the alley, and went about roaming the vast tunnel system. The sun was going to come out soon, and when that happened, there was sure to be a news story about the murder. Whereas some people, mainly the ones in the poorer places of Vale, thought it was a monster, most thought it was a crazed killer. He had set up a T.V. in one of the more secluded areas of the tunnels, and would watch the news and laugh as they tried to figure out who was killing people. The fools would eventually catch him, but not before he carved a bloody path through the damned city.
When he arrived at his den, it wasn't really a den with the only object there being a battery powered T.V., he was surprised to see evidence of someone else having been here. There were drag marks on the ground that lead in, around the main area, then back out. He was considering taking his T.V. and fleeing when he sensed something behind him. He whipped around, ready to whatever or whoever it was to pieces, but he didn't expect to see what he did. It appeared to be some type of Grimm, but it wasn't one he'd ever seen. It consisted of a red orb atop a bone platform, with red, barbed tendrils sprouting from the bottom. It was dragging a struggling, burly man with a bag over his head.
The red mist swirling through the orb began to clear, revealing the face of a woman. Her skin was whiter than paper, and covered in black veins, and her piecing red eyes seemed to gaze into what was left of his soul.
"You must be the disgraced Dr. Richard Murdoch." She said with a slight smirk.
"And who might you be?" He spoke with a voice deeper than his human one, and it seemed to echo itself.
"I am someone who wished to help get revenge on humanity. We seem to share a special hatred of them."
"Humanity is foolish and not worthy of existing. But if you want me to help you, I need something in return."
The woman chuckled. "I had a feeling you might say that." The Grimm dragged the still struggling man forward and pulled the bag off, revealing the man's identity. It was Junior.
"You!" He roared before grabbing his neck and slamming him into the wall. "You caused all of this!" If Junior hadn't used the Grimm for such a stupid thing, the investigation would never have been launched, and RWBY would never have looked into him.
"What the hell are you?!" He screamed in terror. Murdoch could smell his fear. He didn't respond, he only gutted him like a fish and dropped him to rot in the filth.
"I should've tortured him." he said with slight regret.
"And if you work for me, you will have free reign to hunt all over Remnant. To hunt those who have wronged you."
"I will ask again, who are you?" He asked, not turning away from the corpse.
"I am Salem, Queen of the Grimm." She said with a bigger smirk.
"Well then Salem," He turned to face her, his mask covered in blood. "What would you have me do?"
Vale Hospital, 2:00 AM
Murdoch had been given a role. There were more people in Salem's group, but he wouldn't be introduced to them until later. For now, he was to be one of her Hunters. And the first of his prey was team RWBY. They were currently residing in one of Vale's hospitals. He was to sneak in and kill them all, except Ruby Rose. She didn't explain why, she only said to bring her to a certain area alive and in one piece. From there he would be brought to their base and introduced to the others.
He climbed up the back wall of the building before entering through a vent. He was extremely flexible despite his large size. His extreme thinness also helped a great deal with that. As he silently crawled through the vents, he took the opportunity to peek through the grates. He was searching for the room in which the girls were contained. They were sure to be asleep.
He was very much tempted to just kill everyone in the hospital, but that would bring too much attention. Eventually he couldn't go any further. The vent cut off, and he had to go into the hall. He quietly removed the grate and peeked inside. There was a guard outside one of the rooms. When he turned his head to look the other way, Murdoch quickly swiped at the lightbulb, destroying it and casting the room into darkness.
The guard whipped around and pointed his rifle at the disturbance. He was terrified. He slowly started making his way across the hall, shaking like a leaf, though his aim never wavered. As he passed beneath the vent, he didn't hear it open until it was too late. Murdoch snatched him, quickly placing a claw over his mouth to muffle his cries. He dragged him up into the vent and tore his head off. He crawled over the man's corpse and slunk into the hallway.
Attached to the roof, he climbed over to the door the guard had been protecting. Reaching down, he grasped the handle and slowly opened the door. He peeked inside, and saw four beds, each one holding a member of RWBY. From the left to the right, there was Weiss Schnee, Blake Belladonna, Yang Xiou Long, and finally Ruby Rose herself. They were all fast asleep, as none of them noticed his entry. He closed and locked the door, then crawled along the floor towards Ruby's bed. She still had some bandages on, so none of them had fully recovered. The self-destruct really did a number on them.
He picked her up and slung her over his shoulders, using the blanket to tie a knot between her hands before wrapping it around his neck to make sure she didn't fall off, and also making her comfortable to ensure she didn't wake. He then positioned himself in the center of the room, and began releasing gas. He was careful and made sure Ruby wouldn't breathe any of it, for her teammates were the ones who were supposed to die. As he was slowly filling the room with gas, there was a knock at the door.
"Is everything alright in there? The door's not supposed to be locked." A female voice came through the door. Right at that moment, a wisp of gas went through the gap between the door and the floor. After a moment, he heard a scream of pain. It was time for him to go. He leapt out of the nearest window causing a loud crash and garnering the attention of everyone who heard it. He landed on a building and started sprinting away on all fours, bounding from rooftop to rooftop.
"Mmm, wha-?" Ruby stirred. He quickly punched her in the head to knock her out. It was inefficient, but it would work until he got to the sewers where he could restrain her. Then he would steal some drugs to knock her out for longer before delivering her to the location. He jumped into a manhole, tearing through the cover. When he landed, it was with only the slightest splash, and then he was off again.
He arrived at his hideout. He immediately went about tying Ruby to a pipe with some thick rope he had gotten before going to the hospital. He scolded himself for not getting some drugs to put her under, but that didn't matter. After securing the bindings, he left the hideout through a nearby manhole cover. He crawled to the top of a building and gazed over the city, searching for a clinic or drugstore.
He spotted one not far from his perch, a drugstore if the big, neon pill on the front was any indication. He traversed the buildings on his way forward. When he arrived at the building adjacent to the clinic, it looked like the place was closed. The lights were off and there didn't seem to be anybody there. After looking both ways to ensure there was nobody there, he jumped onto the street and walked to the entrance. The door was locked, so he climbed to the roof and climbed in through a vent.
He emerged in what appeared to be the back office. He exited the room and began searching the shelves. When he didn't find what he needed, he went to the storeroom. He searched the rows of shelves full of cardboard boxes, each with a different label. Eventually, he found what he was looking for.
"Benzodiazepine. This should work perfectly." He grabbed a few bottles from the box and was about to leave when he heard the door open.
"VPD! Come out with your hands up!" Someone shouted, a hint of fear in their voice. The police were here. Someone must've seen him. Then he noticed a faint red LED above the storeroom door. He had triggered a silent alarm. He had never seen a drugstore that rigged their storeroom. It was clever, though. Very clever.
Judging by the footsteps, there was only one officer. His partner must've been waiting in the car should he not return. Still holding the bottles, Murdoch climbed onto the ceiling and scuttled to the door. He knocked a nearby box to the ground, making a loud crash and spilling pills everywhere. The officer started to rapidly make his way to the room. He kicked the door open, and was met with a large clawed hand that cut his head to ribbons with a single swipe.
Murdoch fell from the ceiling and quickly made his way to the air vent. He climbed inside and made his way to the roof. He peeked over the edge and saw a police cruiser sitting outside, another officer, as he predicted. Though he was tempted to kill him, he was stressed for time, and had to leave. He jumped into the manhole behind the drugstore, just in time to hear the sirens start up.
He sprinted through the sewers, before arriving at his home. Ruby was ,surprisingly, still out cold. He hoped he hadn't given her brain damage with that punch. He opened a bottle and took out a pill. He put it in Ruby's mouth, her automatically swallowing it.
"That should knock you out until we arrive at the pickup spot."
He picked her up the same way he did when kidnapping her from the hospital, and left his home.
Holy shit, this was fun. Murdoch is working for Salem now, and Ruby's been kidnapped. But did he succeed in his mission to kill RWBY? I don't know, stop asking. Anyway, onto reviews.
KHARAKI TAKAN: Who knows, maybe it will.
Haxourus knight: That's a possibility.
Guest: Your review actually inspired me to write this chapter the way I did. I figured the sewers would make more sense, considering Murdoch's aversion to sunlight. And now the madman is working for Salem. Ozpin's gonna have a helluva time dealing with this.
And that's all, thanks for reading!