Chapter 1: It started one night with a girl.

There are three sides to every story. Mine, yours and the truth ~ Joe Massino


After I spilled the truth to Pyrrha like an idiot I slept very uneasily. Cardin had apparently overheard my little outburst and had wasted no time in turning the truth into blackmail. The next day after breakfast however I soon discovered that was the least of my worries.

The minute I stepped into Goodwitche's class to get my ass publicly kicked she called me out and told me to report to the headmaster's office. I should have known something was up the way Pyrrha hadn't even looked at me that morning, I assumed she was just mad at me.

Walking to take the elevator up to the tower I felt like my feet were lead weights and the elevator seemed so slow. When I got up there and entered his office I had a moment where I thought it might not be serious. He sat behind his desk with a steaming cup of coffee next to him, he didn't look angry or threatening so I thought there had to be some other reason he had suddenly called me up here.

"Good morning Mr. Arc, please take a seat," he told me motioning to a chair.

I sat myself down and tried to look like I wasn't sweating bullets. "Good morning sir," I said, trying to be as casual as I could.

"Last night Miss Nikos came to me and suggested I take a closer look at your transcripts," he explained. "I think you can guess what I found."

It felt like I had just been struck by lighting. I wished I had been so I wouldn't have to listen to the rest and watch as my dreams were slaughtered before my very eyes. I nodded feeling dead inside.

"She explained everything to me," Ozpin continued on, "please do not be upset with her Mr. Arc she is only concerned with your well being, the life of a huntsmen is dangerous and even learning here can be risky."

"I understand," I told him. I honestly wasn't mad at Pyrrha, she had every right to do what she did. "I'll be gone before lunch."

"Not so fast young man, I want to discuss your future," he said.

"What future?" I asked him, "You're expelling me aren't you?"

"Yes I am, but I must admit Mr. Arc despite your false transcripts you have managed to adapt yourself well. You survived initiation and despite your lack of experience you have managed to get through two months of classes with passable grades." He picked up his coffee cup and took a long sip taking a long hard look at me, sizing me up.

"I'm last in my combat class," I told him.

"Maybe but worse have passed through these halls Mr. Arc, you have potential young man and I am not in the habit of letting potential go to waste." He explained to me folding his hands.

"So you're not going to expel me?" I asked him, feeling a glimmer of hope that I might be able to salvage this somehow and keep my dream alive.

"I'm afraid I must," Ozpin said, "but I have a proposition for you Mr. Arc, I want to put your potential to use and if things go according to plan I could welcome you back to Beacon. Plenty of other students who go through my academy are self taught like your teammates Miss Valkyrie and Mr. Lie. If you can do this for me Mr. Arc, I'll be sure to make your qualifications official and I would happily welcome you back into Beacon."

I felt like a starving man offered a juicy steak listening to this. You know me, I wanted to be a huntsman so bad for so long that I hardly even considered what Ozpin might be asking. "Yes, I'll do whatever you want," I said too fast, "What is it?"

Ozpin stared at me, "Are you sure you want to do this Mr. Arc? I know you want to become a huntsman but I warn you that what I am asking you to do will not be easy and it will be extremely dangerous."

"I already went through initiation," I told him, "I faced a deathstalker and a crap load of other grimm, I'm willing to face danger for this, being a huntsmen is dangerous. I don't think I'd be much of one if I turned away right now."

He smiled at me, "spoken like a true huntsmen."

"So what do I need to do?" I asked him.

He folded his hands on his desk. "I trust you've heard about the dust robberies that have been happening all over Vale?"

I nodded.

"Dust shops have been sacked, entire shipments have disappeared and it's only getting worse," he explained to me, "there are of course the rumors that the White Fang is responsible but I believe they are being assisted by the cities organized criminals."

"So uh, what do you want me to do about that?" I asked him. "I'm not a cop, or a detective."

"No," he agreed with me, "but you showed yourself to be very skilled in deception Mr. Arc, if Miss Nikos hadn't come to me I wouldn't have assumed that you faked your way through my academy, and I think your skills there can be put to use, I want you to get close with these criminals, infiltrate their organization and feed me information about the dust robberies."

"You want me to be a spy!?" I asked, finding the idea ridiculous. I had no idea what Ozpin was going to ask me to do but that was probably the furthest thing in my mind. "I have no idea how to be a criminal," I told him.

"You had no idea how to be a huntsmen either," Ozpin explained to me, "according to Miss Nikos you did not even know what aura was when you began your initiation, yet you managed to get this far."

"Where would I even begin?" I asked him, "I can't just walk up to every thug I see on the street and ask them "hey what do you know about all these dust robberies?" I'll stick out like a sore thumb."

"I'm not planning on sending you in blind Mr. Arc," he explained to me, "I happen to know of some legal businesses owned by some unsavory characters, you could get a job and rub elbows with them, I can help you get set up in an apartment in one of the poorer neighborhoods as well. I hope given time you can earn the trust of these criminals and provide valuable information for me."

I nodded to him. Getting a job and pretending to be friendly with some crooks? It sounded easy, I was an idiot to think so but I had no idea what I was in for. That moment it sounded reasonable.

"If you don't think you can go through with this Mr. Arc now is the time to tell me," he said, giving me an out.

If I could go back in time to that very moment I don't think I'd change anything. I had no idea how much my life would change, how much I would change. But the way it all turned out I'd do it all over again, I have my regrets sure but I'd go through those all over again too just to end up here.

"I'll do it," I told him, "I'm your guy."

So that's how it all started. Ozpin explained a little more to me, he told me about the night he had met Ruby, about how she stopped a dust shop from getting robbed by Roman Torchwick and some hired muscle. Apparently that hired muscle belonged to a guy called Junior, he was a boss for Mistral's crime syndicate and that's where Ozpin wanted me to start.

I packed up what I could while classes were still going so I wouldn't need to face my friends and explain my situation to them. They weren't supposed to know about my mission. Ozpin had made it very clear that what I was going to do was to stay between the two of us. Plus I didn't want to tell the rest of them that I had faked my way into Beacon, I was way too ashamed and cowardly to go through that.

I never really had much with me to begin with. Mostly clothes, a few odds and ends and Crocea Mors. The minute I had seen Ozpin again he handed me a list with a number of job openings that he believed could get me closer to the Mistral criminals who operated around town as well as some suggestions for an apartment.

"I think you should leave that with me for safe keeping," Ozpin told me, taking a look at Crocea Mors on my hip. "A distinctive blade like that would only lead to questions."

"But shouldn't I be armed if I'm going to be around a bunch of dangerous criminals?" I asked him.

"I don't expect you to fight Mr. Arc, your job will be to collect information on illegal dealings not to sword fight thieves." He explained to me, "I'll keep it safe for you."

I sighed but relented. I handed the family sword over to him and I truly felt like I was losing a part of myself. That humble little sword and shield wasn't much compared to the rest of the weapons I'd seen in Beacon Academy, but it was mine, it was a symbol of my family's legacy that I wanted to live up to. But a valuable antique sword wouldn't be helping me spy on a bunch of dust thieves.

He also took my scroll. He didn't want to chance anyone seeing my contacts and knowing that I was friends with a bunch of Academy students. He gave me two back, one for general use and the second was a cheap burner scroll. Ozpin told me to hide the burner in my apartment and to only use it to contact him and make my reports on my findings and progress. He expected me to call every week.

He also gave me a wad of cash to handle getting an apartment and other necessities while I started out. So with a backpack full of clothes, two scrolls and a wallet stuffed with lien I caught the first Bullhead into Vale.

I really should have talked to my team. I should have at least swallowed my shame and self pity enough to say goodbye to them. I should have taken the chance to tell Pyrrha there were no hard feelings, I should have told Ren and Nora that I appreciated everything they did for me. I should have thanked Ruby for being such a good friend to me. But I was a coward, so instead I turned my back to all of them to chase my one hope of being a huntsman.

After spending the Bullhead ride trying not to lose my breakfast and redownloading my favorite scroll games I decided that I should probably start by finding a roof to go over my head. I stopped for some fast food and walked into Little Mistral where Ozpin had suggested I look for apartments. Since Ozpin wanted me to get close to the Mistral mob I guess he figured it'd be better if I lived as close as possible to them.

I spent most of the afternoon walking from apartment to apartment. It got me somewhat better acquainted with the neighborhood walking around. I looked through the shops finding more than a few thrift stores I could get stuff for my apartment. I noticed more than a few stands were selling what was almost definitely fake or junk jewelry, some guys were selling TVs out of the back of a van. I had never really gone to this part of Vale before. It was a little run down and dirty, garbage was in the streets and the homeless took shelter in the alleyways.

After going to maybe half a dozen different places I actually managed to find a place. This super nice old lady from Mistral named Hana put out an add. She owned and lived above a laundromat and had a room she sublet to whoever would take it. The minute I walked in and explained I was looking for a place to live she practically shoved me into the place.

It was a cramped little studio apartment that looked so worn down that I almost considered trying my luck elsewhere and getting a motel for the night. But it wasn't like I was planning on actually living here for very long, this was just supposed to be temporary and what's more the previous occupant had left behind a mattress and a couch so I was at least set with basic furniture.

Hana was thrilled when I handed over the cash for a month along with the deposit and that night she insisted I take some stir fry she cooked up as a housewarming gift. The first thing I did was look for a place to hide the burner scroll Ozpin had given me. Looking around the place I discovered that half the electrical outlets didn't even work so I managed to remove the plastic cover off of one and hide the scroll in the wall before moving the couch to cover it.

I ate the food Hana had given me discovering that she was a pretty decent cook and steamed some movies and played some games on my new scroll. I tried sleeping as best I could. The noise of the laundromat downstairs running at all hours, the streets and the lumpy old mattress made comfort an impossibility but I'm sure even a five star hotel wouldn't have been able to keep me from worrying about my mission.

I hadn't really done anything and I already felt out of my depth. It felt just like going through Beacon initiation all over again, except this time there wasn't Pyrrha to save me from falling to death or to unlock my aura. I was going to go through this all alone, or at least I thought I was.

The first night of my mission I spent alone thinking about how I was going to convince a bunch of criminals I was one of them. I decided that I was probably going to play things mostly honest. It'd worked in Beacon before I spilled the truth out of Pyrrha, I wasn't going to pretend that I was some kind of hardened criminal, anyone would be able to see through that, I decided that I'd just pretend that I moved to Vale and was down on my luck and that I wasn't above breaking a few laws to get ahead. I sort of realized that in many ways that was in fact true, I'd just keep the truth of being an academy student to myself.

The next day I woke up beat tired and decided to take my chances with that list of jobs Ozpin gave me. It wasn't a big list but it kept me busy all day, most of them involved working at some restaurants that Junior's guys frequented and others were things like pawn shops and some small stores that obviously were selling stolen goods at a discounted price.

Hardly anything stuck. Ozpin should have realized that a white Vale teen showing up for a job in a Mistral run neighborhood wasn't exactly going to be anybody's first pick. They wanted to hire others of their own kind and no crook wants an outsider they never met or never heard of sticking around. As I came to learn I was and outsider here. I was gaijin as some would call me, so my first day looking for a job gave me nothing but rude glances and a lot of being turned down. More than a few suggested I go elsewhere to look for employment. Others I didn't even bother applying for since I had no skills. I didn't know the first thing about being a mechanic or repairing TVs.

That was how I spent the last four days. Ozpin had given me more than enough money to cover another two months of rent and meals. I usually ate cheap fast food and my prehistoric fridge became filled with leftovers. I bought a cheap microwave that I was more than certain had been stolen but I wasn't about to argue with the price. I came to see that many of the things for sale in this neighborhood had been stolen at one point or another, it was how most people in Little Mistral put food on the table.

On the fifth day after finishing some ramen from a stand I decided to head over to another business Ozpin had listed thinking that if it was a bust I'd treat myself to a movie for a moral boost, see the new Spruce Willis flick and feel like a normal guy for an hour or two.

It was a tiny little office with the sign simply reading Rickshaw Taxi Co. It looked well enough and when I went inside I asked the guy working the front desk about the help wanted sign out front and he just gave me a funny look before jerking his thumb to the door behind him.

I opened the door and saw one of the biggest Mistral women I'd ever seen. She wore a black suit with a red tie. Her coat hung on a rack behind her and I could see twin long barreled revolvers resting in a pair of shoulder holsters. This was the first time I had actually shown up for a job and seen someone armed and my first instinct was to make up an excuse and leave before I was considered a threat and had to look down those revolver barrels.

She was talking on the phone but gave me one look before motioning for me to sit. I hadn't expected to see such a finely furnished office in this little run down office for a cab company. I took my seat and looked around while listening to her half of the conversation over the phone. It wasn't anything special, she was only ordering a pizza.

Behind her on one wall a red bladed katana and wakizashi hung on a rack and decorating her desk was a rusty old clawed hammer. I thought that was a strange form of decoration before I realized that a hardened criminal might have a ton of unconventional uses for a hammer.

After giving the pizza place the address and making it painfully clear that she wanted extra mushrooms she set the phone down and looked me up and down like a predator sizing up its prey.

"What do you want?" she asked me, picking a pack of cigarettes up off the table and shaking one out and lighting it.

"I uh, I heard you were looking for cab drivers and I want to apply," I said trying to repress my nervousness.

She raised an eyebrow at me and took a drag off her cigarette. "You want a job?" She asked me, "here?"

I nodded, "I need one and I'm a hard worker," I told her trying to give my best interview speech.

"So you're the Vale kid I heard about," she said, releasing a cloud of smoke over her desk that gently wafted my way.

I felt like I had just been shot, I didn't even consider that word of me looking for a job in Little Mistral would be getting around. I felt like an idiot, they were a group of organized criminals, of course they would be talking about some Vale kid trying to find work in the wrong neighborhood. "I didn't know I earned a reputation," I said way more calmly that I felt, part of me still cannot believe I kept my cool instead of booking it for the door.

"A white kid trying to find work in this neighborhood sticks out like a sore thumb," she told me with a grin, "why are you looking for work here?"

"I live here," I told her, "I was hoping to find a job that doesn't involve a large commute, especially since I don't have a car."

"How long have you been here?" She asked me. "Where did you move?"

"Few days," I told her, "I moved into a room above this laundromat on Cherry street."

"Hana's place?" She asked me.

"That's the one," I said, "you know Hana?"

She nodded and flicked a bit of ash off her cigarette and into a tray. "I'm acquainted with her, why did you rent a place in Little Mistal?"

I shrugged, "the rent was cheap and I don't have a job yet," I told her, "plus she didn't ask me to sign a lease and was willing to let me move in within the hour," I chuckled, "plus it came with a bed."

She chuckled a little at that, "drivers license?"

I pulled my wallet out and presented it to her, I'd gotten last year on my sixteenth birthday, even though I didn't really have a car of my own. She gave it a little glance and handed it back to me. "Are you willing to work nights?"

"I'm desperate for a paycheck so yeah," I told her.

"When can you start working?"

"I'm desperate, remember? I can start whenever you want."

"Tonight?"

I nodded to her and she reached her hand across the desk. I shook her hand and it was sealed.

"Jaune Arc," I introduced myself.

"Name's O-Ushi and I think I'm gonna give you a shot kid," she said, giving my hand a tight squeeze, "welcome to the Rickshaw Taxi Company," she said, releasing my hand.

"Thank you," I said flexing my fingers, O-Ushi had a grip that could rival Nora's. I was pleased that after several days of getting shut down I finally had gotten my foot in the door for one of the jobs Ozpin wanted. But I realized then that I was also stepping foot into the lions den, it really hit mere there just how much danger I was potentially in.

She must have noticed that my eyes glanced over her revolvers once more and she laight. "Oh don't worry about these," she said with a cocky grin, "we occasionally get some rough customers around here, it's just to scare them."

I nodded, "I can imagine," I told her, burying my fears as she got me started. I had expected to fill out some paperwork but instead she just took a copy of my license and that was that.

She had me download an app so I could begin picking up passengers and showed me out back where the cabs were. They were classic yellow antiques, at first look I had my doubts that they would even drive and the interiors were hardly clean.

"If you need gas take it to Tonen," she explained to me, "he runs a station just down the road you can't miss it, he also runs repairs so if there's any problems he'll put it on my tab."

"Anything else I should know?" I asked climbing into the driver's seat and taking a whiff of the interior, years of smoking almost made me gag and I wondered why anyone would even use this cab service.

"If someone with a diamond next to their names wants a ride take it," she explained to me.

"Who are they?" I asked her.

"Let's just say they're VIPs," O-Ushi told me, "friends of the business that don't need to pay, Tonen is one and we got more, they're top priority so drop whatever you're doing and pick them up, be nice and they might tip you."

With that I started the cab up and began my first shift driving cabs for O-Ushi. After getting used to the stale stench of tobacco I set my scroll up and picked up my first customer, it was just some guys wanting to head to the bar for some after work drinks.

For the most part my first night continued on just like that staring at my scroll screen and driving around people wanting a cheap and easy ride home or to a bar or someplace. Most of my business stayed in Little Mistral but now and then I'd get a call some place downtown or elsewhere. Thankfully the app used GPS or I would have been completely lost driving my way around.

I stopped for some fast food and as it got later and later some coffee so I could stay awake as I kept working past midnight. I started to understand why cab drivers were so cranky after dealing with some less than polite customers and several drunks that I worried would leave me with a mess to clean up.

I felt like the world's dullest spy listening to this one drunk cry about how he embarrassed himself trying to pick up this girl at the bar. From the pick up lines he told me he used I was surprised that he even considered the possibility of going home with anyone. I hated listening to it but I was trying to come off as a good employee and the app allowed them to rate me.

It was three in the morning and I only had a couple of hours left on my shift. I stopped at an old gas station to use the bathroom, the coffee had gone straight through me and I was desperate for a chance to stretch my legs.

When I got back I checked my scroll and saw I had another pickup. A diamond next to the name showed that it was a VIP pickup, the first one of the night wanting a pickup downtown.

I started the cab up and drove straight there fearing that I would have to deal with some belligerent drunk who couldn't even enunciate his words and just babble at me. My worries eased however when I saw that the scroll had led me to a nicer part of downtown, some shopping district with windows displaying nice clothes that I'd have to bankrupt myself to buy.

I reached my destination and parked alongside the curb next to a jewelry store. I waited for a little bit scanning the empty streets and spotting no one. I had no idea what I was supposed to do so I just waited, this was one of O-Ushi's VIPs after all so losing my patience and leaving seemed out of the question.

After maybe waiting ten minutes I saw her. A blonde woman in a fur coat stepped out of the alley carrying a purse walked briskly my way. My first question was; why was a woman like her going to take a ride in my dirty cab of all things? Her heels clicked on the concrete and she opened the passenger door and slipped in sitting next to me. So far all my customers had chosen to ride in the back and I was fine with that.

"Evening ma'am," I greeted trying not to let the hours of fatigue sully my disposition. "Where to?"

She didn't say a word, instead she pulled her scroll out and shined the bright screen in my face. Drive, it said.

"Alright but where are you going?" I asked her.

The silence of the street was shattered as an alarm from the jewelry store erupted and made me jump. An electric siren echoed from inside the store and down the street. The woman shoved the brightly lit screen in my face a second time to empathize her point. Drive!

Not about to argue I put the cab into gear and stepped on the gas. The taxi went flying down the street, the light ahead turned red and before I could even consider stopping the woman next to me flashed her scroll right in my face. Run it, she ordered.

I didn't protest and did just that flying straight through the intersection dodging a few cars as I violated numerous traffic laws. I was hoping that would be the end of it but I was not that lucky. The sound of a siren and flashing lights behind me made my heart skip a beat. What would O-Ushi do if I was arrested? What would Ozpin do? I had no idea what to expect should I get some put into cuffs.

Lose them! The message on the screen flashed to me again and I took a breath. This was what I had signed up for after all. I turned down a street earning a few angry beeps from other drivers. Behind me what little late night traffic cleared out of the path of the cop that chased me. I had no idea what I would do if they caught up, I wasn't exactly a great driver, I had only been pretty good at following the rules of the road so far.

I tried the best I could weaving in and out of traffic and going down roads at random fearing that I would crash. I kept my foot on the gas and tried to stay at a fast but manageable speed, I wish I could say that I floored it and drove like a bat out of hell, but that was hardly the case. I only drove as fast as I needed to outrun the cop chasing me and to keep my motion sickness in check. Usually cars never got me too nauseous but that night as I winded through the maze of streets my stomach was practically doing backflips, it's a miracle that I didn't ralph up my last meal. I was determined to leave the name Vomit Boy behind me.

It was bad enough having one cop chasing me but as I passed a side street a second rocketed out and almost T-boned me. I managed to swerve and avoid it and speed away for the both to chase me. I have no idea how that rusty old cab managed to stay ahead of those two cops but it did and I tried every little trick my frantic brain could think of to keep them gaining on me.

The woman who had remained eerily quiet next to me showed the screen once more and pointed. Go down the alley, it ordered me. Trying not to slam into the side of the wall I turned down as she told me to.

As I sped down the narrow canyon between two buildings the car before me mysteriously began to change. It was as if another car was being formed over the cab replacing it with some nicer grey sedan. I turned to the woman in the passenger seat and saw that she too was changing, the blonde facade disintegrating before me. It clearly some form of semblance that was allowing her to form an illusion over the cab.

The blonde in the fur coat disappeared before my eyes, it was like watching a mirror shatter and the pieces fall away revealing a beautiful pink and brown haired woman. Emerging from the alley in what now looked like a completely different car she flashed the scroll once more telling me to stop the car.

I pulled up to the side of the road and put it in park just as the two cops emerged from the alley behind me.

I was panicked. I was sure this wouldn't work and those cops had gotten a look at me. I almost certainly had a guilty look on my face but before the cops even got close the girl next to me grabbed my face and pulled it close to hers.

For a second I stupidly thought she was going to kiss me. She pulled me close and held me a hair's breadth away from her own face, to anyone else it probably looked like we were making out and I quickly realized that was the point. My heart was hammering in my chest, both from having been in a high speed chase and from the way this girl was holding me close. I stared into her eyes, one was a rich chocolate brown and the other an intriguing shade of pink.

Despite everything that was going on, despite the lights of the cop cars casting shadows in the interior and knowing that if they recognized me this was over I actually got distracted looking into her eyes. There was a curious intensity to her gaze, as if she was somehow looking through my soul with those mismatched eyes, it completely drew my attention.

Her breath was sweet smelling. Who had sweet breath? Somehow I calmed down staring back into her fascinating eyes and taking in the look of her. By her allure I somehow managed to find my cool and almost completely forgot about the cops outside. For a second I was almost tempted to actually try kissing her, but I was sure that I wouldn't live to see the sun rise if I did.

A knock came at the window and she released my face. I turned to see a cop shining his light through the window. I rolled the window down and mustered up all the confidence I could. "Evening officer," I greeted him.

"Evening sir," he said in that firm tone of authority that all cops use, "did you happen to see a yellow cab speeding down this road?"

"Uh no," I answered him, "I was… a little busy," I answered him, flashing him a cocky smile.

"Did you see anything ma'am?" He asked, pointing the light at my passenger.

She only shook her head at the cop. Keeping a hand on my shoulder in a way that I found both comforting and threatening, as if one wrong move and she would open my throat with her nails.

"She doesn't really speak," I told the officer as he gave her a look.

"Why not?" he pressed.

"I didn't ask," I said with a chuckle, "we weren't exactly interested too much in talking if you know what I mean."

The girl flashed the cop a sinful little smirk as if to confirm my boast. He gave the both of us another look over before giving a nod. "Have a good night you two, drive safe and maybe think about finding a hotel room."

I laughed, "will do officer."

And with that he got back into his squad car and left. I waited for him to leave before starting up the car and putting it into drive. I released a breath I hadn't known I had been holding, the girl next to me crossed her arms beneath her breasts wearing a satisfied smirk as we drove.

She showed me her scroll and the text told me to drive around a bit more just to be safe. I did so and thankfully I didn't have a break anymore traffic laws or run from cops.

"Believe it or not this is my first night driving," I said trying to get a hold of my nerves. She didn't say anything just gave me an approving look as I drove around randomly.

"So what was that about?" I asked her, trying to make conversation.

She reached down beneath her seat and pulled up the purse she had with her when she entered and opened it for me to see. Piles of jewelry and gemstones glittered from the streetlights outside. I was now officially an accomplice to a jewelry heist. I had just gotten this job hours ago and already I had gotten into a chase with the cops and helped this woman rob the store. That's when it hit me that O-Ushi's VIP clients were probably all criminals of some fashion.

"Why did you call a cab for a getaway?" I asked her, "I'm not exactly used to outrunning cops."

She typed away on her scroll for a second before showing me.

I didn't mean to trip the alarm, it read.

"Oh," I said. She hadn't exactly been planning on gaining some attention from the cops. If things had gone right she probably would have kept looking like that blonde she had disguised herself as and had me take her away. She typed another message on her scroll.

You did good though. She told me, giving me a wink. I wondered if her eyes had changed looking at her, I had sworn the left was pink and the right was brown but it seemed that they had changed.

"Thanks," I told her with a nervous chuckle.

We drove around for maybe an hour in silence. I kept looking at her, I certainly looked frayed after everything but she kept this aura of confidence and ease to her that was certainly alluring in its own way. I wanted to ask her a million questions but I figured that too many questions to a thief would look bad so I just kept driving until she told me the address she wanted me to drop her off at.

I drove to the edge of town near the docks as she instructed me. I pulled up behind a warehouse and she got out.

"Have a good night," I told her.

She opened the purse and pulled a ring out. She tossed it to me and I stumbled a bit before catching it. She gave me another wink before closing the door and walking off. She opened a parasol and I watched her walk away, watching the enticing way her hips swayed and the way the wind fluttered her hair and coattails.

Once she disappeared into the warehouse I drove away. The sun was rising over Vale and my first shift driving this rusty old cab was over. It hadn't gone anything like I had expected. I looked at the ring she had tipped me while I waited at a red light. The price tag said it was worth over twenty grand and considering the size of that rock on the platinum band I believed it.

I checked my scroll for that girl's name. Neo it read. I couldn't believe that after one night of ferrying drunks around town it ended with me helping a beautiful woman rob a jewelry store and I held in my hand more money than I could hope to make in a year.

Meeting Neo was where it all began changing for me. That night I got my first real taste of crime, it wasn't what I expected but I actually liked it. I had been terrified sure but driving back to O-Ushi's I couldn't deny the high all that excitement had left me with.

I didn't know it then but I was about to get very familiar with that feeling.


I wasn't just going to leave you all with a prologue on the first day, I wanted to really start this story off right. After this I will get into my habit of posting a new chapter once every Sunday night. This is the first time I've ever tried writing a story from a first person perspective so I'm interested in everyone's thoughts and opinions on how I've done so far. I look forward to hearing your thoughts in the reviews on this, especially as the story progresses. How did you like Jaune's first meeting with Neo? I spent so long trying to figure out a perfect meeting between the two and the idea of Jaune unwittingly becoming a part of a heist seemed perfect way to show that their fates have suddenly become intertwined.

I tried basing Junior's Mistral family loosely off the Chinese Tongs and the Japanese Yakuza. I even gave them a history that will later be brought up in the story. The criminal syndicates are in a way characters in their own right and I wanted to help make them distinct in their own little ways.

As usual I would like to personally thank Firefly25, MajorBrony95, MidknightMoonglow99, and DrknssRules1 for all their help in making this fic possible. This story has been in the works for months while I was still in the middle of writing Jaune and the Real Girl so it's wonderful to finally be posting it.


I thought I'd tell you that this chapter has now been adapted into a dramatic reading on YouTube by Fan x Fiction. Check it out, they read it off with nice visuals and music and sound effects that really set the mood.