Hello everyone, and welcome to Black Knight, the rewrite of my fanfiction Revenant from a few years back. I'm so so sorry for dropping Revenant as it stood and that this took so damn long to get out, and I'd get into why I've dropped Revenant and why it took so long, but that's a long story and honestly not one I'd like to get into detail about.

This is going to be a similar story at first, but not the same, and as things go the further it'll get from the previous version.

Without me rambling further... Enjoy!

...

...

...

Blood. Blood was the first thing she noticed as she returned to something resembling full consciousness. It dripped from the blade of the sword in the Knight's left hand, ran in thin streams from the claws jutting out from the fingers of her right. It decorated the interior of the Archon's bridge in streaks and splashes, formed puddles under bodies, not all intact. It warmed her face and matted her red-black hair, gave her Knight's Armor a grisly pattern.

She slowly looked around, retracting her weapons into her fingers with a wet metal sound. Everything had fallen silent, and she stood alone, everyone and everything else dead. At least, she hoped so.

Her left hand, revealed by damage to her Armor, came up to rub at the bare metal of her right arm, also revealed, the metal on metal sound snapping her completely into the present, and she doubled over, fighting to keep from vomiting, moving the hand to her mouth. Some of the bodies around her were her friends, her comrades, men and women she'd worked with almost intimately for months at the absolute shortest, some she'd known for nearly a decade, more than half her still-young life. And some, slowly liquefying into black puddles, were the monsters who'd butchered them, who'd made her become the Black Princess again.

"Focus, master." Her Intelligent Device's soft, feminine voice sounded in her head. "I don't mean to sound cold or rude, but there are more incoming. You have minutes at most."

She just continued to look around, stunned and overwhelmed.

"Focus. Stand firm, and focus. Now is not the time. You must mourn them later." Another voice -one she hated so much- in her mind snapped her out of the near-catatonia, and she felt herself detaching from the situation as it slipped partially back into wakefulness inside her.

"Yeah… Yeah. Okay." She spoke aloud, her voice shaking as she straightened up. "I.."

"Center command console is still functional. FTL Communications are still online." Her Device spoke up again. She staggered over to it, leaning on the console for support.

"Just… Tell me what I need to do."

"Already working… Done. Channel open, urgent distress frequency." She straightened up again, noticing the holograms spring into being above the console. Directly in front of her, they read [Channel Open - Transmitting].

A deep breath, then;

"This is TSAB Battleship Archon to anyone on this frequency, over." She didn't know what else to say. Her training hadn't covered this. None of the things she'd been taught applied here and now.

The reply took several seconds.

"Archon, this is Admiral Harlaown of the TSAB Claudia. Authenticate, your vessel is flagged as lost, presumed destroyed." A familiar voice responded. She latched onto it, needing the stability familiarity provided.

"Chrono, it's me, it's Ruby. I don't… I don't have the codes. Everyone's dead, it's just me left." She partially collapsed onto the console, causing the holograms to flicker. Her voice was hollow, she noticed in her detached state.

"Ruby!?" There was a bref moment of shock in Chrono's voice before he recovered. "I thought you were dead, we all did... Where are you, where's the Archon?"

"I don't…" "Rosenkreuz, where are we?" The question was addressed to her Device, still in her claymore configuration.

"Unknown. While I have determined our location in our current system, I do not recognize the system, nor am I aware of precisely where this system is. General coordinates only, sending now."

"Data's-" Chrono was cut off by an explosion behind Ruby. "What was that?"

"Mariage units encountering a few obstacles of the explosive sort." Rosenkreuz spoke up, aloud this time. "We're running out of time."

"Mariage? Ah, shit." Chrono, quite uncharacteristically, swore. "Here, too…"

"Yeah, I guessed that..." Ruby pushed herself off the console and tapped a few of the holographic buttons, attempting to open up a visual communication line. The computer beeped at her, informing her the equipment was too damaged to do so. "We were attacked from… I don't know where. Engineering went silent, then the Living Quarters, and then they hit the Bridge. Captain and XO died quick, those of us who survived took what we could from the Armory and what was left of the LQ, then barricaded ourselves in Medical about the same time the ship made a Dimensional Jump. After we felt the ship drop out of the Sea, we made an attempt to take back the Bridge. Given I'm talking to you right now…"

"You succeeded. But there's still Mariage onboard." Chrono's tone indicated that he didn't like where this was going.

"Yeah. And I can't fight them all off on my own. Not Sealed like this." -It rumbled in agreement and anger in the back of her mind-

"Ruby?" Chrono sounded both worried and confused. "What are you-" Ruby cut him off. She knew what she needed to do.

"Admiral Harlaown, as the last living member of the Archon's crew, I'm requesting permission to scuttle the ship."

A few seconds of silence passed, before another explosion sounded, closer this time.

"How?" Chrono's voice dropped to a near whisper.

"There's a planet nearby that seems to possess a natural AMF, and I'm going to crash the Archon into it. Hopefully the impact'll kill the all the Mariage, and even if not, there won't be a ship for them to take anymore."

"Ruby, you do realize that means-"

"I know." There was a brief pause.

"Saint King protect you." Chrono told her, sighed, and spoke again. "You know the system won't allow non-officers to helm the ship under lockdown and I can't release them from here?"

"I was about to ask you how to deactivate it." Ruby admitted, voice shaking for a moment -before lingering remnants smoothed her emotions as It prepared to sleep again-.

"You'd have to be a Lieutenant Commander or higher to do so. No, I've got a better idea."

"Chrono?"

"Knight Ruby Yagami of the Saint Church of Belka." Chrono stated, using her full name and rank. "I am here by field commissioning you as an officer of the Time-Space Administration Bureau Dimensional Navy, at the Rank of Second Lieutenant. The command codes appropriate to your rank are being uploaded to your Device through this terminal now."

"Received." Rosenkreuz's red 'eye' at the top of her shaft flashed twice as the Device spoke aloud for the first time.

"Thank you, Admiral..." Ruby turned as a third explosion sounded, very close this time. She pushed herself off of the console, staggered over to and then sat in the Captain's chair, pulling up the holographic controls and setting a course onto the planet. The ship rumbled deeply as the engines activated. "Do me one last favor, please?"

"Name it." Came the immediate response.

"Say goodbye to everyone for me. And tell Cinque… Tell her…" Ruby trailed off, hoping Chrono would understand what she was trying to say.

"I will. I promise."

"Thank you." Ruby took a deep breath, steeling herself. "This is goodbye, then. I'll see you in the next life."

"Godspeed, Ruby-"

The comm cut out as the Archon entered the planet's AMF, the wards damaged from the battles onboard and unable to protect the ship. The sound of straining metal reached Ruby's ears as the damaged sections of the ship began to fail under the stress of orbital reentry. She reinforced her Knight's Armor, repairing the damaged sections and replacing destroyed layers.

"Sorry, Rosenkreuz. Didn't think we'd go out like this."

"I don't regret a thing, Master."

Ruby smiled, and converted Rosenkreuz to her storage form: a tiny metal cross with a single round, blood red gem in the center of where the arms met. Hopefully, the more compact form would cause the Device to be damaged less by the impact. She clipped Rosenkreuz to her armor, and looked back up, setting her hands in her lap.

She didn't have long to wait.

The impact threw her from the Captain's chair into the bloodstained ceiling, and everything went black.

...

...

"Hey, Oz, I'm at the crash site, and if there's one thing I'm not seein' it's Atlas markings. Pretty sure this isn't one of Jimmy's." Qrow Branwen told the man on the other end of the call as he picked his way through the metal debris that had once been a corridor.

About an hour ago -almost dinnertime-, he'd been his way back to civilization from another fruitless hunt when, rather suddenly, a rather massive airship of a design he didn't recognize had flown from absolutely nowhere and slammed into a mountain, creating a rather spectacular sight, and rather surprisingly staying mostly intact afterwards.

Qrow being a curious but cautious sort, he'd immediately dialed up his friend, mentor, and boss Ozpin, and asked if Atlas, the only kingdom he could think of that'd build an airship this big, had any ships passing through Vale territory at the moment. Ozpin had told him no, and asked him to investigate. Qrow being Qrow, he'd wanted answers and wouldn't tell Ozpin no, so he'd said yes and gone to check it out.

So far, though, he'd seen nothing but a lot of wreckage and bodies, some in varying states of dismemberment, some burnt, which bothered him a bit, but was to be expected in such a crash. It's what he hadn't seen that unnerved him; no identifying markings of any sort he could recognize. And he couldn't even identify the language on a few intact signs and labels on the walls. Considering that he was trilingual, fluently speaking all commonly used languages of Remnant save Atlesian, which he could at least order a drink in, that was a distinctly unnerving detail.

He shook his thoughts out of his head as Ozpin replied.

"I am unaware of any other Kingdom what would build something like this ship, let alone conceal it."

"Yeah, true, but there's a few things not adding up. Anyway, there's a more intact section up ahead, I'll keep you posted." He clipped the scroll to his belt, keeping the call open.

Normally, he'd have shapeshifted into his crow form, but he didn't want to run the risk of others showing up and seeing that, so he settled for exploring normally.

It took several minutes of picking his way through the damaged but remarkably intact airship before he came to a large blast door, mostly intact, though stuck partly open. He pulled his scroll off his belt.

"Think I'm at the ship's Bridge. Door's open, and I'm going in."

He pulled Harbinger from it's position on his lower back one-handed, extended the blade, and slipped between the doors.

This is the Bridge, I was right.

He glanced around, slowly, notice the very large amount of bodies, and that most of them weren't burnt, but were all dismembered or disemboweled to varying degrees.

"Lot of bodies in here." He quietly told Oz, carefully picking his way through the corpses and mechanical debris.

He was nearing the most intact console when his instincts told him to freeze.

And as he did so, sometime moved behind him. Several sharp metal edges pressed against the front of his throat, and he immediately tried to turn before light pressure convinced him not to. Or rather, to consider his options first. He could-

"Nicht bewegen. Wer bist du?" The-person, apparently- behind him asked him something. What he'd been asked, he had no clue. The voice, on the other hand, sounded quite familiar. For half a second, he thought it was Summer, and nearly turned despite the metal blades on his throat. No. It's not her. Too high pitched, too young.

"Ich sagte, beweg dich nicht. Wo bin ich und wer bist du?" The voice asked him.

"I can't understand you." Qrow told the voice, not moving. "Do you speak Valian?"

"Valian? Ich verstehe dich nicht wirklich."

"Mistralian? Vacuo?"

"Sind diese Sprachen, Vogelmann?" Several moments passed, Qrow frozen with the blades at his throat, the woman behind him not moving, before the blades came away from his throat, and a wet metal sound announced that they'd probably slid back into housings of some sort.

Qrow spun around rapidly as the girl spoke again.

"Ich würde mich vorstellen, aber ich glaube nicht, dass du mich verstehen würdest." She stated, folding her arms and sounding annoyed.

The girl was the spitting image of Summer Rose, save for clothes (damaged black and red armor of some sort, bloodstained as well) and hair length (down past her shoulders, he couldn't see more), but apart from those she looked the exact same as Summer had been the day they'd met. It wasn't just an uncanny resemblance, it was as if an old photograph had suddenly come alive.

"Qrow?" Ozpin's voice caught his attention, and he turned half-away, taking his scroll from his belt. He held it up so he could see the screen, see Ozpin sitting as dignified as always in his chair.

"Y-yeah?" Though he was loath to admit it, the girl's appearance had him shaken. Very shaken.

"If you can, please get the girl to come with you. I'd like to speak to her in person, as seeing that this strange ship is mostly likely hers. Or rather, that she was part of its crew." Ozpin said, stating the obvious, as was his occasional habit when Qrow was shaken by something. It was his way of getting the younger man to focus. "I know her appearance is startling, but please, try to focus." He added as he glanced off to Qrow's side.

"Yeah… Yeah. I get it. You wanna talk to her about this weird ship. Even if we don't even speak the same language..." Qrow took a deep breath, and closed his eyes for a few seconds before returning his gaze to his scroll. "Alright, I'll get her out of here. Was going to anyway."

"Knew I-" There was indistinct noise in the background from Ozpin's side, interrupting him as he looked over to the side, then sighed. "I need to go. Never a dull moment as the headmaster of a Hunter Academy." Ozpin said with resignation, and cut the call. Qrow began to ponder possibilities for communicating with the girl, given that neither spoke the other's language. Her appearance was really, really, really bothering him, and it made it a bit difficult to concentrate...

"I think I can understand you now." The girl's voice derailed his train of thought, the strange language she spoke still audible, but drowned out by a louder version of her own voice that spoke Valian. Qrow glanced over at her. Problem solved, apparently.

She'd taken the cross off of her belt, which now hovered in front of her, above which were bright red holographic screens.

"Well, I could understand that." Qrow told her, mouth twitching at a smile. He heard his own voice, in the same language she spoke.

"And I could understand that. Please allow me to reintroduce myself." She said, and straightened up. "Knight Ruby Yagami of the Saint Church of Belka, and I presume that-"

What.

"Okay, okay, slow down. First off, my name's Qrow, Qrow Branwen, and second, what the hell are you talking about?" Qrow was, to put it mildly, confused. And what kind of a name is Yagami?

"I am Knight Ruby Yagami of the Saint Church of Belka. I don't know what of that is hard to interpret."

"Knight?" Qrow asked. "Of a church?"

"Correct." Ruby nodded. "The Saint Church has a small number of combat personnel, and in keeping in with Belkan traditions, we are called Knights." As she spoke, the girl slowly began to walk to the side, circling him. It was slightly unnerving, the way she moved, in a way he couldn't exactly put his finger on.

"Okay, so does that mean you're basically a heavily-armed nun or something?" Qrow had to ask, and in response the corner of Ruby's mouth turned up slightly.

"Not quite, as I chose not to become a nun, but close enough."

"Alright. Next question: what the hell's a 'Belka'?"

"That's a long story." Ruby said, folding her arms across her chest, the metal-on-metal sound partially catching Qrow's attention, but not enough to distract him for her comment.

"Explain, please." He asked.

"I would if we had time, but..." She glanced off to the side. "Look, can we get out of here? I don't want to be here any longer, and we can talk elsewhere."

Qrow followed her gaze, and noticed that she was staring with obvious distress at a few of the corpses almost littering the floor.

"Yeah… Yeah, let's go." He agreed. I don't want to run into whatever killed them...

...

...

"So basically, you're some kind of heavily-armed paladin or something, and you work with a military you refuse to talk about, from a kingdom you refuse to talk about, with technology you refuse to talk about." Qrow remarked a few minutes later. "You're frustrating, you know that?"

"I am a knight of the church, not a 'paladin', though that term doesn't appear to translate properly." Ruby remarked, tapping two fingers against the metal cross, now clipped to her belt, still translating everything both of them said for the other's benefit.

"Right." Qrow said, then frowned. "You still haven't told me why-"

Abruptly, he stopped. Something was wrong, and Ruby seemed to feel it too, as she stopped just as suddenly.

The door on their right side was ripped from its tracks with a screech of straining metal, and hurled towards Qrow, who barely managed to dodge in time, the metal slab embedding itself in the wall behind him.

"Umkommen." The voice, left untranslated by the device Ruby carried, was metallic, synthesized, but still carried such an air of menace in its utterly chilling tone that it gave him pause. What truly made his stop, however, was what had spoken. A woman stood there, moderately tall, short brown hair, wearing an odd short robe or dress of some kind, armored but lacking sleeves, armored gloves making up for part of that lack. A strange visor covered the upper part of her face, concealing her eyes, but that was not what nearly stopped him cold. No, it was her injuries that did so; horrific as they were. The right side of her face had been torn away up to the bottom of the mask, revealing bloody flesh and bone. Her right arm had lost all skin, revealing gleaming metal and black muscle, and a gaping hole through her chest shown broken wires, ripped metal, and tattered flesh in equal measure. The fuck?

As he stared, her gaze swing around to Ruby, who was currently nearly doubled over, her head in her hands and whimpering.

"Umkommen." The strange woman repeated, and as Qrow watched, her right arm from the elbow on down morphed into a blade, before she swing the sword-arm at Ruby.

Qrow moved, drawing Harbinger as fast as he possibly could-

There was a resounding clang are Ruby's left hand shot out to block the blade, catching it with the inside of her hand. From as close as he was, Qrow could see that the glove she wore had disappeared, revealing bare metal.

Ruby's head jerked up, and he heard the same metal sound from when Ruby had held him at knife-point earlier, before she slashed her right hand up and across the woman's face, spraying blood in streaks and shredding the strange mask. The woman did not stagger or give any response other than drawing back her blade, as if to wind up for another swing. This proved to be a mistake.

With her now-free left hand, Ruby reached into the hole in the woman's chest, and plunged her fingers into the side of the hole, ripping something mechanical and blood-covered out as her right hand stabbed into the woman's throat.

Now the woman staggered back, ripping Ruby's fingers from her body, shredding her throat and chest worse.

The young knight stepped forward as the woman staggered, and plunged both hands into her already-torn-open throat, before tearing in opposite directions, decapitating the woman.

Qrow stood in place, before slowly unfurling Harbinger into its sword configuration, then lowering the blade to point to the floor.

"So... What the fuck was that thing?" Ruby turned to him, looking rather shaken, but not nearly as much as he expected.

"That was a Mariage. A dead thing made for the purpose of killing." Ruby told him, her expression slowly returning to the blank, neutral expression she'd had earlier as she slowly seemed to calm down. "The things that hijacked this ship. I had to crash the Archon to try and kill them." She looked down at the floor a brief moment, then glanced up again. "The things that murdered my friends."

Qrow looked from her to the now-dead woman for a few seconds, before shaking his head as he came to a realization. What does that mean, 'a dead thing made for killing'? Wait… So, these 'Mariage' are what killed everyone else here and left all the bodies all over the place. No wonder Ruby ripped it apart.

"Yeah, that I understand." He then came to a second realization. "Wait, how did you…" He gestured at the corpse. "Do that without a weapon?" He did not expect Ruby to give him a small smile in response.

"Who says I didn't use a weapon?" Qrow cocked his head in confusion, and Ruby brought her hands up, palms facing upwards. As he looked close at her hands in confusion, he saw the weapon she had used on the 'Mariage'. Or rather, weapons.

Thin blades ran down the inside of every finger, extending to a full inch afterwards, meeting blades projecting from her fingertips, lengthening them as well by another inch. The knife-edges gleamed dark with blood, running in thin rivulets down the blades and around her fingers to drip from the backs of her hands.

The blades weren't the only things he noticed. Her hands were metal, not flesh, quite obviously cybernetic replacements. It reminded him of Ironwood's right hand in a way, save that Ruby's hands somehow seemed more advanced, though that may have been influenced by the technology he'd seen on the ship.

Out of curiosity, he gently prodded one of the blades, and was rewarded with a light slice across his finger, even through his Aura, and despite the fact that Ruby's hand hadn't moved at all.

"The hell?" Qrow drew is hand back, sticking the cut finger into his mouth, and returned his gaze to Ruby's face, noting the edge of her mouth twitching in amusement. "Okay, two things; One, what happened to your hands; and Two; What the hell is with your finger blades? I just cut myself through my Aura on that, and that's not supposed to be possible."

Ruby let out a snort of something approaching amusement, and she dropped her hands to her sides before responding.

"In answer to your first question, I was caught in a terrorist attack, a bombing, about two years ago. Having nearly completed my training as a Knight, I chose to help over my own personal safety, and ran in to help, thinking my Knight's Clothing would be enough to protect me. When the second wave of explosives went off, I learned it was not. At least, not when you are standing directly next to one of the bombs, anyway." She stated, as if it didn't particularly matter, and began to walk down the hallway again. "It took nearly a month to put me back together again, and that was by a premier expert in cybernetics, a man named Jail Scaglietti and his daughter Uno. Don't bother asking after him, by the way. Everything related to him beyond that is classified." She added.

"Alright… And the second question?" Qrow asked asked, catching up and keeping pace easily. Need to look up known bombings within the last two years... And what kind of a name is Jail? Guy's parents must have been assholes.

"That ties into the first, actually. When Jail and Uno were putting me back together, Jail, for reasons beyond me, decided I needed some kind of built-in weapon. When Uno asked me, during one of my brief instances of regaining consciousness, if I would like such a weapon installed within my cybernetics, I said yes. I did not anticipate the weapon in question being claws of a sort… Or that the Butcher's Nails, as these are called, would be so deadly." Ruby told him, again raising her hands to show him that she still hadn't retracted the blades, now named as the 'Butcher's Nails'.

"That wasn't my question." Qrow clarified, not bothering to touch the subject of the blades' ominous name. "I was asking how I cut myself through my Aura on them."

"If by Aura you mean the crude Mana shield you're covered with, the answer to that's simple. The Butcher's Nails have a natural Anti-Magilink effect, and an incredibly strong one at that."

"Mana shield? Anti-Magilink?"

Ruby gave him a very slow, measured look.

"I think I need to stop talking." She said after a moment, and fell silent, no further attempts from Qrow able get her to talk again.

...

...

"A'right, we're clear of the wreck, wave g'bye!" The odd tiltjet VTOL pilot's cheery voice rang out, translated by Rosenkreuz.

Ruby snorted. Some hell of a goodbye, coming up.

Ruby, during the walk out of the Archon, discovered that she and Rosenkreuz had, at some point, regained control over the battleship's weaponry.

I can't risk any of the Mariage leaving intact. Not after… Not after that.

"Rosenkreuz, are you still connected to the Archon's fire control systems?" She asked her Device, thanking the Kaiser that telepathy was not affected by the planet's AMF, allowing her to communicate with her Device without a risk of being overheard. While she was confident that neither the Guardian Beast who called himself 'Qrow' nor the pilot knew Belkan or Midchildan, she was very unwilling to risk being recorded and translated.

"Yes, Master. Links to secondary weapons batteries still active. Actually, the secondary batteries are still remarkably intact, and the main gun is almost completely undamaged!" The Device sounded quite happy with this fact.

"Can you trigger a feedback loop in the power supply for the main gun?"

"Yes, I can! And we're outside the potential blast radius, too. Tell me when!" If anything, the exuberance in Rosenkreuz's 'voice' increased.

"As soon as possible." Ruby told her Device, glancing out the window at the remains of the Archon.

"I thought you might say that, so I've been holding the system on the edge of destabilization! Detonation in five! Four! Three!"

Ruby turned completely, gazing out the window. She couldn't help it, she liked explosions. She liked them a lot, in fact. To the extent it occasionally worried her trainers, Knight Carim in particular. Captain Takamachi, on the other hand, often encouraged her. And her mother... Well, destruction on a massive scale was her specialty.

"Two! One! Detonation!"

...

...

"That was disappointing. A bright and flashy disintegration more than anything, just an iridescent sphere of light that didn't leave much behind. I wanted a fireball..."

"Oh, well. Maybe next time we cause an explosion, Master!"

...

...

"Ich nehme an, du bist Ozpin?" Ruby spoke aloud again as she entered the office at the top of Vale's Cross-Continental Communication Tower, her question directed to Ozpin, standing behind his desk and staring out the window at the last fading remains of the sunset, as if waiting for the two.

Qrow had been frustrated repeatedly during the bullhead ride to Beacon after the ship had blown up, and during the walk to the CCT. Even during the elevator ride up, she'd said nothing, simple gazed down at the holographic screens projected above her strange ornate cross, evidently her society's equivalent of scrolls. She'd even switched off the translation system. Though, at least she cleaned the blood off her face...

Ozpin turned and gestured to a chair in front of his desk, and as Ruby sat down, took his own seat. Qrow leaned against a wall, arms crossed and ready to watch as Ozpin was frustrated by the girl's language.

"Ich entschuldige mich nicht dafür, dass ich den Archon gesprengt habe. Vorschriften hindern mich daran, die Überreste des Schiffes in unbefugte Hände fallen zu lassen." Ruby told him immediately after sitting. Ozpin chuckled, then turned to Qrow. "I know some of the language, it's a long story why. She just said, roughly, that she's not apologizing for blowing up the ship." The headmaster then turned back to Ruby. "Ich würde... Mich sehr freuen, wenn... Sie Ihren Übersetzer reaktivieren... könnten?" He said next, haltingly, the language pretty obviously not familiar to him.

Ruby sighed, but reached down to the cross on her belt, taking the metal device and setting it on the desk.

"Very well." She didn't sound too happy about it, but had apparently complied with whatever Ozpin had asked.

"Thank you." Ozpin said with a small smile. "Now, to introductions, I think. I am Professor Ozpin, headmaster of Beacon Academy." He said, folding his hands on his desk, before gesturing to Qrow. "This is Qrow Branwen, one of my most trusted Huntsmen." Qrow nodded to Ruby, and the girl nodded back.

"I am Ruby Yagami, Knight of the Saint Church of Belka." Ruby stated her name and 'rank' again, then fell silent, as if waiting for Ozpin to continue, which he did.

...

...

"I have no idea how you convinced him to hire you." Qrow admitted flatly as he and Ruby walked through the Beacon Academy grounds towards the airdock. At some point Ruby had somehow managed to remove sections of her armor, and Qrow had no idea where they'd went, or when she'd done so. He fully admitted he'd spaced out while Ruby had been talking to Ozpin, thinking about other things, mostly about the strange ship. The only remaining plates were her breastplate, gauntlets, and armored metal boots. The rest was simply black and red cloth, arranged in a pattern that combined a robe and a dress. She'd also donned gloves as well, to cover her metal hands.

"He offered." Ruby gave Qrow a look as flat as her voice. "He is aware I do not plan to stay too long. Auditing the classes for a year would not take too much."

"You sound like you expect to stay for a year." Qrow observed, to which the knight shrugged.

"I don't know how long I'll be here. It all depends." *Ruby gave a vague reply, before falling silent again.

"We're here." Qrow spoke up a few minutes later, the two having reached the airdock. A single Bullhead VTOL waited on a landing pad off to the left, the pilot leaning against the side of his craft helmet under his arm. He threw up an arm as Qrow and Ruby approached, to which Qrow waved back at his friend, though Ruby just nodded.

"Hey, Flavius. One more trip for today, we're headin' home to Patch." Qrow told the blonde man, who nodded, canine ears twitching a bit as he did so.

"Alright, jus' so long as th're's no sudden lightshow this time." The man chuckled. "Load up yer stuff." Ruby nodded at him, and climbed into the tiltjet. "So, you ever goin' to tell me what the hell that was about?" Flavius Titus asked Qrow.

"I wish I could, Flav, but I don't really a whole lot know myself."

"Oof."

Qrow just shrugged and spread his hands in a 'I have no idea' gesture. Flavius was one of his friends in the world, one of a handful of people who knew nearly every secret he had. Hell, this was the guy who'd flown Amber to Beacon after That Bitch had taken half her soul. This was the guy who'd brought over from Atlas all the pieces of Ironwood's Aura Transfer machine. This was a man who had been brought into a conspiracy numbering barely under a dozen people across Remnant. If Qrow had understood a damn thing, he'd have told Flav. Well, except for one part of it, but that he'd been expressly warned off of telling almost anyone. He'd make up lying to Flav about that part later.

"So it's more 'weird crap Ozzie's involved in'?" Flavius asked, grinning. "Well, a' leas' we're in tha' same boat." The faunus man clapped him on the shoulder, and slipped his helmet on. "Now, get in. I've been ready fer takeoff since we got here, 'cause I thought I might have to take you guys somewhere. Get in back an' we'll be off, and I'll drop you off in yer backyard."

"Alright, thanks Flav." Qrow did as Flavius told him to, pulling out his scroll at the same time. "Have to make a call." He explained as Ruby, sitting in the corner and staring at the holographic screens above her scroll-equivalent, tilted her head to the side.

"Ah." She nodded, and returned her attention to her odd device, tapping a few things on the holographic screens. She then glanced up and spoke again.

"Kannst du mich noch verstehen?"

Qrow gazed down at her blankly, and she nodded, seemingly satisfied, before returning again to the odd scroll-equivalent. He shook his head, and took out his own scroll as he felt the engines start up. Alright, then.

Qrow flipped through his scroll's screens to his speed dial, and called the second number on the list.

Taiyang Xiao Long answered on the first ring.

"Qrow. What's up, you usually don't call this early at night." Taiyang said. "I'm kinda currently looking after a busload of kids at Signal, waiting for parents to come pick them up, can I call you back?"

"No, you can't, this is kinda urgent. Do we still have that spare guest room set up?"

"Qrow, that sort of thing isn't very urgent. Besides, my class can hear you, and now they're all giggling. Except Yang, she's laughing." Taiyang's voice conveyed his disapproval very easily.

"Wer ist er? Wen rufst du an?" Ruby asked from where she sat in the corner of the Bullhead. The blood red holograms in front of her face gave her a bit of a sinister air, Qrow had to admit.

"Who's that? Qrow?" Now Taiyang sounded confused.

"I have no idea what she's saying." Qrow told him. "That said, take your scroll off speaker, Tai. This is actually important for once." There was a click on the other end of the line.

"Alright, I have, and I even walked around the corner of the building. Now, what's going on, Qrow?"

"Er kling wütend, Wätcherbeist. Was hast du gesagt, um ihn so kuzer Zeit zu verärgern?" Ruby added to her previous statement.

"Okay, short version; some kinda weird airship crashed out at the northern edge of Forever Fall, and Ozzie sent me to take a look. Ended up picking up the only survivor of the crew, and it turns out she's actually some kinda alien. No, I'm not joking, before you laugh at me, Ozzie backed up her story about being from space, said she's not the only one to show up on Remnant." Qrow added, as he heard Taiyang start to snort in disbelief. "Take it up with him if you don't believe me."

"I will. What's this have to do with our guest room, though? Wait, don't tell me..." Taiyang sighed.

"Yep, she's staying with us." Qrow confirmed. "So, yeah. We're gonna be hosting an alien for a while. Ozzie's offered her a job at Beacon auditing classes until her people come to get her, but that'll be a while yet. Ozzie's at least gonna reimburse costs of looking after her, though."

Taiyang just sighed. "Life never is simple, is it? Yes, the guest room is set up, and yes she can stay there." Qrow could practically hear Tai shake his head in exasperation.

"Thanks, Tai. Seriously."

"What I signed up for all those years ago. I gotta get back to herding kids, catch you when we get home."

"If you could understand me, I'd say 'Welcome to my home', but I don't think you currently can." Qrow told Ruby, waving back at the VTOL as it receded into the distance, the last of the sunset long gone, the shattered moon in clear view. "Can you?" He glanced back at her.

"Hmm?" She glanced over at him, and turned back towards the house they'd been dropped off behind. "Ich nehme an, das ist dein Haus?"

"I still can't understand you without your translator." Qrow told her, starting to get a bit frustrated with the language barrier. "Really wish you'd keep that thing on..."

Qrow was prevented from continuing by the sound of a pair of engines pulling up to the front of the house.

"That's probably them." He noted aloud, not particularly caring that Ruby probably couldn't understand him. "They got here earlier than expected. Come on." He made a 'follow me' gesture, and set off to the front of the house.

About halfway there, the two met a pair of tall blondes, one tanned and male, the other a girl in her late teens.

"Hey, Uncle Qrow! So, who's the girl?" Yang asked, sauntering towards Qrow and Ruby, before doing a double take. "She looks like-" Yang was interrupted by Ruby speaking up, tapping her cross-scroll-thing at the same time.

"Translator online." Ruby stated, looking between Yang and Taiyang. "I take it these two are your... Housemates?"

Qrow shrugged. "In a manner of speaking, I guess. Tai's my brother-in-law, and his daughter there is Yang."

Tai shot Qrow a mildly annoyed look, before walking forwards.

"Taiyang Xiao Long." He held out his hand to Ruby, apparently hoping handshakes were universal. Ruby tilted her head, before taking his hand and shaking. Tai, to his credit, seemed to not be letting the fact the girl was the spitting image of Summer bother him too much, and just gave her a friendly nod. "This is my daughter Yang," He said, gesturing to the other blonde, who nodded, raised a hand in greeting, and went 'Yo', "And it looks like we're going to be your hosts for a while?"

"It would seem so." Ruby nodded in response. "Ruby Yagami."

"Nice to meet you." Tai said, before breaking the handshake and glancing at his watch. "Let's all head inside, it's about time to start on dinner. Yang, please show Ruby to the guest room."

...

...

"So, what's with the metal gloves?" Yang asked Ruby, curious. The two of them sat in the workshop of the Xiao Long house, Ruby at the main worktable, running some kind of diagnostic on her odd scroll/cross, Yang next to her, arms resting on the back of her chair. They were alone, Taiyang having gone to make dinner, and Uncle Qrow had wandered off to his room to be Uncle Qrow and probably get drunk. Ruby had asked to be taken to a workshop of some sort after being brought to her room, and Yang had obliged, showing her around the house first.

Truth be told, she was having a very hard time restraining her curiosity. She knew nothing about this girl, or why she was staying with them, or anything like that, and neither dad nor Uncle Qrow seemed to care to explain to her.

"Metal gloves?" Ruby asked in confusion, and Yang could hear the strange language she spoke faintly, but mainly overlaid by her own voice speaking Valian. She'd asked earlier how she was doing that, and had been told that it was a translator she had to rely on, as she didn't speak any of the four Kingdoms' Languages, which was interesting and made Yang even more curious. But Yang was getting off on a mental tangent, and she refocused herself on the strange girl.

"I'm not- Oh. You mean my hands." Wait, what?

"Your hands? Yang asked, confused.

"My hands are cybernetic replacements." Ruby informed her, turning in her chair to show Yang what she had thought were gloves. Yang stopped and looked closer, fascinated.

"Why cybernetic replacements?" She asked, curious and interested, mentally comparing the girl's hands to the hands of Atlas's robots. Hers seemed to be much more advanced, far smoother and natural-looking, if you didn't count that they were made out of metal and what was probably some kind of polymer.

"I was blown up," Ruby casually stated. "Over seventy percent of my body is cybernetic." She shrugged, continuing on, as Yang started, then stared at her. "It's a long story I don't want to get into right now."

Yang nodded, somewhat wide-eyed. "Fair enough." She said after a moment. She'd not want to talk about things like that much either. "Soooo… Are you in training to be a Huntress or something, 'cause that's about the only reason I can think of for Uncle Qrow to bring you here, if you're some kinda huntress-in-training who needs a place to stay while she gets ready to attend the Academy."

"No." Ruby said, her tone flat. "I am not in training anymore, and I am not a Huntress. Who and what I am is classified..." Ruby trailed off for a moment, then shrugged. "But given you will be stuck with me for a significant amount of time, I will tell you to avoid... Issues down the line. Please allow me to reintroduce myself." Ruby turned in her chair to face Yang, her dress shimmering with red light, then snap-forming into a suit of armor. "I am Knight Ruby Yagami of the Saint Church of Belka."

"What?" Yang blinked. She'd never heard of any such church, nor any 'knights' of any church.

"She's an alien paladin." Qrow's voice sounded from the doorway, where he stood with his arms folded, surprisingly not holding his flask. Yang blinked again.

"What?" Yang just looked over at her uncle in utter confusion. What?

Ruby chuckled from her seat, shifting her weight as she turned back to the device on the table, also making the chair creak in the same way as when she had sat down.

"An alien." Yang repeated flatly, now raising an eyebrow in disbelief. "Riiight, where's she really from, Atlas?" She asked rhetorically, gesturing to the smaller woman, who just chuckled in response. A flare of reddish light pulled her gaze away from Qrow, and as she turned back to the workbench, she found herself staring at a holographically-projected photograph of Ruby in a strange nun's-habit-like outfit, leaning against a railing with one arm around another woman, this one in a trench coat and a blue uniform. The other girl in the picture was pretty cute, especially her one visible golden-yellow eye, ouch about that eyepatch though, wonder what happened, but what really caught Yang's attention was the pair of moons in the background. Two fully-intact moons, and a cityscape looking more at home in Atlas than anywhere else on Remnant, but very obviously not the city of Atlas.

Yang's thought process ground to a halt as Ruby flipped though more photos almost casually, showing off more of that city, a few other cities going by the different skylines (one with her standing in front of a sign in what she guessed was an airport that said "Welcome to JAPAN"), and even one picture of a younger Ruby in the sanctuary of a church, apparently conducting a religious service.

"Wha...?" Yang just stared at the photographs as Ruby flipped though her album, occasionally lingering on one photo or another (one that set Ruby off chuckling was of a blue-haired woman hanging by one ankle from a rope, arms crossed, wearing rollerblades, and looking supremely bored).

"Dinner's ready!" Taiyang's call from the kitchen snapped Yang out of her semi-trance, and she turned automatically and headed for the dining room, eyes wide and blinking repeatedly. Behind her. she heard the chair groan again as the alien cyborg stood up and followed her, Qrow having already wandered in the direction of food.

...

...

...

{End, Prologue: Part 1}