We are the Chorus.
To Live Is To Fear, I Am Alive, I Am Afraid, I Am Afraid, I am Afraid
"The galaxy will bleed, and its blood will be the color of Ruby's own."
-Eldar Legend. Circa Unknown.
/Aight' so, I'm guessing that most of you might be pretty fuckin' confused as to what this is, you may be askin' yourself: "This bitch-ass-nigga's got Another fucking story going?" Yeah- Yeah, I know, but shut your trap 'for I hunt you down and kiss you on the lips and call you the gay, I gots' an explanation. You see, managing all those other fuckers is getting tiresome, and a lotta y'all are confused by the fuckin' 'Ours Is' timeline, so, instead, I'ma gonna mash them bitches all together into one solid fuckin' mess. Also, I'ma gonna be fixin' a bunch of inconstancies and focussing more on the RWBY characters instead of my shitty OC's. 'Aight'? You get it now? I'ma gonna keep the other stories up, shit's gon' be fine. It's all just gonna be taking place in here now. We're all gon' make it, brah./
'There is nothing more aptly human than trauma. Suffering is the sweetest release of innocence. To purge away all hope, and replace it with hate and apathy, that is Human, more-so than that, it is humanity at its finest- without doubt, without concern, without remorse, and without hesitation.'
Is it tragic, or is it inevitable, that war becomes the answer in all things concerning life? Perhaps, the tragedy lies in the inevitability therein, that in the Forty-third millennium of mankind's existence, there exists only war. The Imperium of Mankind is a beast that exists only for the sake of itself, a perpetual machine who's sole purpose has become one of penultimate annihilation.
In all aspects, does the Imperium dominate the realm of warfare. Total warfare, complete and utter war on every level from the lowliest peasant to the highest lord of the adeptus. All things serve the imperium and that imperium serves War. War eternal, war without end.
The vast planet-sized factories, the countless trillions of men and women who these factories arm, the endless systems that these men and women defend, the systems themselves bent to the production and training of these men and women so as to protect or conquer yet further systems to then be turned towards that same goal and so on and so on-
War, only war for endless war a war eternal forever more unto war.
There can only be war for mankind, because the price is too great otherwise. The Tau would see mankind as little more than drooling servants to their ethereal's. The Eldar would see mankind eradicated so as to fix their folly eons ago, their Dark Kin would see mankind as slaves and toys. The Necrons would annihilate mankind and all other living things. The Orks would slaughter mankind, the Tyranids would devour the galaxy, and then there are the countless Xenos species beyond that would see the Imperium crumble, and its peoples enslaved.
And for the Chaos Gods and their dark servants? Their plans for humanity are yet darker still.
So Mankind wages war. A war of survival at all costs, a war without concept of an end for the enemies of man are without number, and mankind, even in its innumerable trillions, is yet too few.
With the shattering of the imperium at the thirteenth and final black crusade of the Abbaddon the despoiler, the Imperium stands at the brink of collapse. The death of Abbaddon was a price too high in the end. To bring the full might of the imperium for one single battle, led to a cataclysm unseen since the darkness of the Horus Heresy.
Countless systems were lost, the Ultima Segmentum collapsed in its entirety, and the Segmentum Pacificus stands at the brink. Tyranid incursions threaten worlds once thought safe, and the Necrons awaken in ever greater numbers. Dark Eldar raids have become common place, and Ork Waaaghs seek to threaten the system of Sol itself.
And the color of that blood will be as red as Ruby's own.
Ruby Rose woke from her nightmare with a silent gasp.
She didn't scream, she didn't cry, she simply opened her eyes and held her breath, her heart hammered in her breast, and her mouth was dry. She didn't scream, that was what was important, and she took a small measure of pride in that fact. Huntress's didn't scream, and she was a Huntress now, not a little girl.
She wondered, then, if Hunters were supposed to have bad dreams?
It was night, the shattered moon high in the sky, and deep shadows were cast about the humble campsite by a meagre fire. Ruby could see Rin and Nora in their bags, still soundly in the depths of their dreams, and then there was Jaune, by the fire, cross-legged on a log, he stared out into the black, adding a bundle of sticks to the flames whenever they dipped low.
Ruby sat up, fighting against the urge to snuggle back down into her sleeping bag and its toasty warmth. She looked to the side, at Crescent Rose, and pulled it closer. Her heart was beating too fast, she wouldn't be able to go back to sleep like this.
Jaune glanced up, his hand twitches towards Coreca Mors and then he relaxes when he sees that it's only her. He was high strung, on edge ever since Beacon.
"Hey," He whispers. "Cant sleep?"
Ruby nods, rubbing her eyes she squirms out of her bag and tip-toes barefoot over to Jaune, she takes a seat on her bag next to him by the fire.
"Same dream?" He asks. She nods again. "Damn." He sighs. "That makes it the third time, right?"
It made no sense.
Vale burns, and Ruby watches from atop a hill.
Below her, a horde of men with bloodied faces rip each other apart.
On the horizon to the west, she watches an army of doomed soldiers march into the desert only to be buried beneath the sands.
She looks to the north and there stands the soot-stained skeleton of a young Faunus girl holding a burning axe, she's waiting for an answer- one that Ruby refuses to give her.
A hand on her shoulder turns her around, and she faces now to the south, and she sees a man holding a staff made of starlight.
He stares down at her impatiently, he needs her to say yes.
She turns again, the west, and she see's Raven and Qrow, desperately trying to escape from a horned giant covered in chains that pull him back towards an abyss, the giant begs them to stop.
Ruby looks to the heavens, and for a moment terror fills her mind, as she feels the impossible gaze of countless unknowable intellects turn to stare back at her.
She buries her head in her arms.
"I don't get it." Ruby sinks. "I don't suppose you can make any sense of it?"
Jaune laughs softly. "I don't have a dang clue, Ruby."
"You think it means something?"
"What, like a vision?"
"Maybe, I don't know… Maybe I'm just being stupid." She sighs, brushing a lock of hair out of her face, and staring into the fire.
"We're all shaken up." Jaune sighs. "Beacon…" He stops himself, he mulls his words and then continues. "After Beacon, being a Hunter… It has a different meaning now. It's more than just about fighting the grimm."
"Salem." Ruby says, Jaune dips his head.
A moment of quiet respite passes between them. The crackle of the fire, and the low rustle of the wind through the trees. The fire, Ruby stares into the embers, the conflagration is peaceful, warming.
A face in the flame-
-then it was gone.
The afterimage of a skull. Grinning. Charred black. Empty eyes the selfsame pit that all daemons lurked inside.
She didn't scream. She was a Huntress. So she didn't scream.
She ducks her head back into her arms.
Ruby wishes things were simple again. She wishes she never heard of Salem, the white fang, Maidens, and Artifacts. She wishes she never met Ozpin.
She wishes that she could just be a Hunter, and with her sister Yang, they could go defeat the Grimm and save the world from Monsters, and not have to fight People.
But, she was young, and so only now, was she beginning to learn, that more often than not, it is people, who have the capacity to be the true monsters.
Dawn was not far off, when the storm suddenly hit, and fire rained from the heavens.