Chapter 4: New Friends
"I've been wondering, how do I understand the language of Remnant? I mean before it just sounded like gibberish to me." Silver asked, nodding to Gray as he left his apartment. "Not that I'm complaining….just curious."
"Despite what you think, you are speaking English," Sig responded as Silver made his way through the crowds, noticing that there were quite a bit of younger people around, "I assume that is what was spoken before the brothers left and what Salem and Ozma spread when they assumed the role of gods."
"Well at least they were good for something," he said, dodging a rowdy group of guys, "And I thought the city was packed before,"
"The increase in activity is most likely due to the Vytal Festival and the fact Beacon is on winter break...that group was team CRDL,"
"I knew that group looked familiar," Silver said, pausing to look back, only to feel someone collide with him, knocking him to the ground.
"Apologies, I was not scann...paying attention, " said a female voice, looking up Silver found himself looking at Atlas's residential robot with a soul, Penny.
Quickly letting out a cough, Silver rubbed the back of his neck before responding, "No problem, " he said with a chuckle taking her offered hand and pulling himself up.
"Friend Ruby said that the best way to apologize is by offering food and or drink," the girl said with a smile before tilting her head, "however I am without either," her smile widened as she looked at something behind Silver, "Salutations! I have come up with a solution!"
Silver opened his mouth to say it wasn't necessary only to find himself being pulled by the scruff of his black hoodie by the energetic girl. Deciding it wasn't worth the effort to explain why it wasn't necessary, he found himself sitting across from her in a small dinner.
After ordering just a milkshake, Silver looked at the orange-haired girl, humor in his eyes, "So whenever you apologize you give someone food or drink?" He asked, getting an enthusiastic nod.
"Of course friend Ruby was very clear that if I ever had to apologize to her, to give her milk and cookies," she said with a smile.
"How often do you have to apologize to people?"
"Only twice so far!" She said, "Now and to the general when he asked me to test my self-defense protocols, " she said, making Silver raise an eyebrow at that.
"What happened when you tested your self-defense protocols?" Silver asked, drinking from his milkshake and looking at Penny with unrestrained curiosity.
"Specialist Schnee informed me of the best method to get rid of pesky crows is by consecutive hits to the weakest point if male anatomy," she said, though there was a hint of embarrassment in her tone as Silver just stared.
"...I think you're one of my favorite people now," he said with barely restrained humor, breaking the silence.
"Does that mean we can be friends?" She said, eyes glowing filled with innocence.
"Sure," Silver said before Penny leaped over the table pulling him into a very tight hug, making Silver grateful for how durable he was, "I'm Silver," he said as he pulled himself from her grasp, giving her a little push on the shoulder to get her back into her seat.
"I'm Penny!" She said, "Having friends is so much fun," she said almost vibrating in her seat before she seemed to stiffen her eyes widening as she looked out the window, the smile on her face fading somewhat.
Looking out the window himself, Silver found himself staring at two armored men, who appeared to be searching for something. Looking between them and Penny, Silver smiled before dropping some lien on the table and grabbing a startled Penny, making their way out the back of the small diner. Hearing a small commotion as the backdoor closed behind them in an alley he blocked it with a nearby dumpster before, chuckling at the surprised look in Penny's eyes he tilted his head, his Silver hair falling in front of one of his eyes.
"Well, we can wait for them to get through or we can keep hanging out...which do you want?" he asked, watching as Penny seemed to be lost in thought for a couple of seconds, eyes flicking back and forth between him and the barricaded door before coming to a decision.
"I would like to continue to hang out friend Silver," she said, getting a smile and response. Nodding his head Silver gestured to the rooftops and with a couple jumps they were making their way across the rooftops and a smirk on Silver's face and a wide smile on Pennys. "So Friend Silver when will we talk about cute boys and do our hair?" she asked, almost making Silver stumble at the unexpected question.
"How about we shelve that and I show you something cool instead?" Silver asked, before changing their directions and picking up speed, Penny easily following behind.
"It's impressive how she was created as a machine, but capable of such human responses," Sig said, sounding somewhat intrigued as the orange-haired girl was looking at the scenery below one of Vale's walls with wonder.
"Atlas and Mantle import most of their agricultural resources right?" Silver asked, smiling at Penny's reaction to the agriculture sector of Vale, vast farmland filled with fields and cattle spread out below them. "I figured you've never seen anything like this...so do you like it?" he asked, only to fall onto his ass as Penny all but teleported in front of him a wide smile on her face.
"Thank you friend Silver!" she said excitedly, "I've never seen a place like this before." she said eyes glowing, "My father said I would be able to meet nice people and see new things in Vale and he was right," her smile widened as she continued to look at the farmland.
"...we are not keeping her," Sig said, getting a playful pout from Silver as he watched Penny enjoy the view.
"You're no fun," Silver thought, "But, now we have to stop Cinder," Penny's eyes flickered back and forth as she watched farmers work and cattle graze.
"You've grown attached in the short amount of time you've been together," Sig stated.
"Well, we are currently using her form...even with the changes we made its basis is her..it's hard not to care about someone who made it possible for me to be somewhat human again," Silver replied, "Plus, minus the alien nature of myself we are in a similar situation,"
"A girl created from the soul of another to take on the mantle of a maiden and protect humanity and a machine born from a human soul sent to this world to save it," Sig said, making Silver raise a brow.
"What do you mean to save the world?" Silver asked, only to be pulled from the conversation as Penny pulled on the sleeve of his hoodie. Looking at her, he found himself looking into twin pools of green.
"Can we get a closer look?" she asked, hands behind her back as she gave him a puppy dog look.
"Ruby teach you that?" Silver asked, only to get a head shake in return.
"Specialist Winter taught me," she said with a wide smile before her eyes widened and she covered her mouth," I mean yes, Ruby -hiccup- taught me," she said, making Silver chuckle and give her a nod.
"Sure," he said and jumped from the wall they were on, Penny quickly followed him as they made their way through the grassland in the directions of the farms, Penny looking at him with curiosity.
"Do you know the farmers?" she asked, "You seem quite familiar with this area."
"My...friend?" Silver said, pausing before continuing, "Gray introduced me to them about a month ago," getting an even more curious look from Penny he shrugged, "I went without food for a while and now I kinda made a hobby out of trying new things...so I buy ingredients from them and in return, I take care of any grimm that leaves Forever Falls."
"Doesn't Beacon take care of any grimm that escapes the forest?" Penny asked as they passed some cows, Penny's attention becoming split between Silver and a baby calf.
"The big ones yes, but some still get through the cracks, and while there hasn't been a death during Ozpin's time as headmaster they still destroy fields and frighten the animals so I thin out as many as I can every time I visit," Silver explained, smiling softly as he saw a faunus child helping with the animals. "And I got to help out some people...so it's a win, win," he said.
"Were you planning on doing this today?" Penny asked.
"Not really, I was gonna visit an associate," he said with a wince, knowing that he'd put off visiting Tuskon for too long. Chuckling and sheepishly rubbing his neck as they passed some barns he shook his head, "But, showing someone around isn't too bad of a way to spend my day," he said, getting a radiant smile in response.
Penny seemed to pause before speaking, "Would you like some help with the grimm?" she asked, head tilted, "I am combat-ready,"
"If you want," he responded before pausing with a grin on his face, "How about we make a game of it?" he asked, getting a curious look from Penny," Once we reach the forest edge we spit up for about thirty minutes, and in that time we kill as many grimm as we can, one with the most kills wins,"
"Sure," Penny said, excitement audible in her tone, "I've never played a game with a friend before," she said, almost skipping as they made their way. Looking at Penny with a sad smile Silver made a note to kick Ironwood with his full strength, and make sure to spend time with Penny when the opportunity arises.
"You know I should have expected something like this," Silver said with the sun now high in the sky, looking at the sheer destruction caused by Penny, trees overturned, some burned, and rocked melted.
"Did I do something wrong?" Penny asked a small frown forming on her face as she ripped through a beowolf with ease, splitting it down the middle with one of the many swords that circled her.," Sixty-two," she said shortly.
"Nah, if anything I'm gonna have a tough time finding any grimm in the forest to thin it out," he said with a shrug, dodging a claw heading for his face with a snap of his wrist his sword segmented into its chain form, wrapping around the neck of the grimm, and with a twitch, it ignited the metal melting through the grimms neck with ease. With a well-practiced movement, the chain sword was returned to its sword form. "Fifty-Seven," he said, studying their surroundings only to find the clearing empty." Guess we could end the game here," he said.
"Does this mean I won?" she asked, getting a nod from Silver as he sheathed his sword.
"Yep," he said, popping the 'p' before looking at her with curiosity. "So what do you want as a prize?" he asked, getting a confused look from Penny before it was replaced with a look of contemplation.
"...would you be willing to 'hang out' again?" she asked.
Silver chuckled, "Of course," he said with a smirk, "You're the first friend I've made here, why wouldn't I want to?" he said, getting a wide smile from Penny before there was a beeping sound, a blush appearing on Penny's face.
"Excuse me for a moment," she said before heading deeper into the forest for some privacy.
"I'm guessing the soldiers finally reported that they lost her," Sig said, getting a nod from Silver.
"I'm surprised it took this long for Ironwood to find out she was missing," he said, frowning a little bit, "...Do you think he sees her as a real person?" he asked racking his brain for any sign from the show that he cared for her as anything beyond a maiden candidate.
"There is an element of caution from the General ...but I believe that in the end, she is simply a solution to the maiden problem," Sig said, Silver's frown depending before being replaced with a wry smile.
"I wonder how he'd react to something like me," he muttered before Penny returned her smile smaller.
"I apologize Silver, but I have been ordered to return," she said, a sad look in her eyes.
Reaching into his pocket Silver pulled out his scroll and handed it to her, getting a curious look.
"If you want you can add your number, then we can plan the next time we can hang out," he said, before being pulled into another one of Penny's hugs, making him grateful once again that he was made of sturdy stuff.
"Thank you!" she said, a wide smile on her face as she entered her information before rushing off, with what Silver could swear was a skip in her step leaving him alone in the forest, looking at the sky with a sigh once Penny was out of sight.
"Guess it's time," he, muttered checking his scroll before nodding to himself," Hopefully Tuskon't willing to listen," he said, pulling the hood of his hoodie up, before heading back towards downtown Vale.