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RWBY Book 1: Senior Year
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RWBY Book 1: Senior Year
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#23
A Nightmare Disected
Polydragons
Dec 7, 2015
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14 Mins Read
No Plagiarism!c6wm3BMJ8KA6hMNDY4qRposted on PENANA

Ruby's mind tried desperately to grasp what she saw. It stood a head taller than her, but just as narrow at the shoulders as she was. Its skin was black, and that smiling grimm mask was still looking down at her. The glowing red eyes somehow portrayed amusement at her shock. The white pieces of armor were familiar yet oddly new on his black skin. It wasn't possible. None of her classes, none of the field reports, not even a hint of a rumor, had indicated this was possible, yet here it was right before her: a human formed Grimm.copyright protection72PENANA1vMgbEZcBK

"Like what you see?" the abomination asked.copyright protection72PENANA3NRz9UbWEj

It wasn't possible. Grimm were soulless, mindless creatures. They didn't plan; they attacked out of pure instinct. They certainly didn't hide effectively. The only time you saw them in the city was nevermores who were easily seen from above and quickly picked off.copyright protection72PENANAHeqY0dBZi2

This wasn't possible.copyright protection72PENANAQjxDAIhAUT

"I guess not," it said as it reached to pick her scythe out of fingers her mind was no longer controlling. Muscle memory took over. As if it had a mind of its own she felt Crescent Rose react under her fingertips performing a one-two attack at first his arm and then his head. "Still some fight in you? Good. I like that," he laughed as he avoided both strikes.copyright protection72PENANAkXGcxP6IML

Whatever this was, it was no longer blood she was aiming for. A grimm didn't get any form of mercy. Nothing was held back. Death was all they would ever find when before her. Her mind went back into action, and she kicked the fight into a new gear that her opponent had not expected from her. For the first time she had the upper hand in the fight and was pushing him back.copyright protection72PENANA2tZsrZG3YZ

It was time to bring the rest of the team in on the loop. She ran at him and swung downwards with Crescent Rose. It forced him to dodge as she dug her scythe into the ground. She kept moving forward using the point as a pivot to feint a two footed kick at his head which he ducked. His partner didn't fare as well as she looked up and pulled the trigger. A look at the other fight and she knew which to kill first. The shot hit him in the back of the head with deadly effect.copyright protection72PENANA5PjCsUlKug

The red that came out the other side was not expected.copyright protection72PENANADPej1M98uV

"Oh, you assumed none of us were human, didn't you? Too bad." No remorse was in his voice at the loss of his comrade, just satisfaction.copyright protection72PENANATxoS0QSHTR

She had never fought with true anger and uncontrolled hatred. The adrenaline rush was totally different, as was the mindset as her field of vision narrowed to just the monster before her. He was going to die, and she was going to be the one to do it. That was her only concern. Combining semblance with skill, she used the walls of the surrounding buildings like horizontal trampolines. With each horizontal jump she made rapid strikes at her enemy. She dug the end of her scythe into the ground to change trajectory quickly and throw in an unexpected shot. The vacuum of her passing was causing an artificial windstorm, and items off the street were being pulled around and buffeted him from every side. It was an attack she had learned after seeing Weiss do something similar with her glyphs years ago. Rarely using it, few knew it was coming or how protect themselves from it.copyright protection72PENANAGYG0B8UXTo

He wasn't prepared. Not at first at least. The first two attacks put him off balance and finally shut him up. Her third attack she took his arm off above the elbow. Like most Grimm it didn't bleed and the severed appendage simply disappeared like smoke.copyright protection72PENANAdwerQfdZnI

She wasn't done. She had the next five attacks already planned in her head when he faded again into smoke and disappeared. She recognized this use of dust and wall jumped upwards to see where he had disappeared to.copyright protection72PENANAVhgk9hb2Y4

She found nothing, and then a small cry broke through the rage at last. Looking down she saw two of her teammates down: Yang and Weiss. Weiss's enemies were nowhere to be seen and Blake was working on her injuries. Ruby was torn wanting to be there for both at the same time, but put her trust in Blake as she went to her sister's side. Yang was conscious, and still moaning in pain. A quick look at her face horrified Ruby as she appeared to have bled tears. "Yang, what happened?"copyright protection72PENANATF3zGFIACC

"My eyes..." was all her sister said listlessly before falling unconscious.copyright protection72PENANAZP8dhZtvZR

Weiss saw the smiling maniacal eyes of the man who was going to kill her. She had nothing left and Blake was too busy keeping herself alive against her two attackers to help. Then those eyes unexpectedly disappeared, along with the majority of his head, as she was sprayed with his blood. The sound of Ruby's rifle came a split second later. Ruby had killed. Her innocent Ruby, untouched by all the evil about her, who fought with an innocence that belied her skill, had killed for her.copyright protection72PENANAdU8ufhLqjK

No time for that thought and the tangle of emotions it caused. With no one to block her attempt she rolled towards her sword which had been out of reach. She was having trouble seeing, and her hands shook, but she had just enough aura left to direct her dust rounds. The surprise made Blake's opponents back off, giving her a chance to collect herself. The surprise had not guaranteed victory though, just a chance to catch their breath. The two remaining were still unhurt, and Weiss was still unable to do much of anything. Blake took up a position over her to provide protection, and Weiss backed her up as best she could from her prone position.copyright protection72PENANAvdqyM6dvHQ

If she had just a bit more aura she could use a couple of glyphs that would enhance Blake's fighting ability, but what she had was holding her side together. If she let it go she knew she'd bleed out in minutes. In all likelihood she would pass before she could even make the glyph she was sacrificing herself for.copyright protection72PENANA7GFgUXfnse

One moment later she realized they were going to die either way. It was best if it was just her if there was a possibility of saving Blake. Bracing for the pain she let go and with a speed born of desperation used the time glyph. It would only last for five seconds, but in those five seconds Blake performed more attacks than she had the entire fight before then.copyright protection72PENANAeG9maoEWPY

Weiss didn't see any of it though as consciousness left her immediately after the glyph was done.copyright protection72PENANAGkb6TYd7uU

The meal had been divine. The best he could remember in the last eighteen years in fact. He looked down at his severed arm. That would take a couple days to grow back. It had been worth it. All the fight had cost him was a grimm masked pretender who believed a simple lie: he would be made into one like himself if he served. As if doing that was possible. Tomorrow he'll find a group of this 'white fang' and give them the same offer. He would not just replace the underling, but increase their numbers.copyright protection72PENANAXCADSvA8T2

The new found ferocity in his quarry had been unexpected, and that last attack of hers was a complete unknown. Her rage was all he could have hoped for, but he would need to be careful of that attack in the future. If not for the strength he'd gotten from the former, the latter would have been his defeat. He wasn't ready for that yet.copyright protection72PENANAm7IwuTV9PK

The two remaining underlings had left combat as soon as he had. They'd sensed his use of dust and used theirs at the same time to disappear, leave the area, and returned to the preplanned rendezvous point. Like him both had taken minor damage. The worse was a foot. It would regrow overnight.copyright protection72PENANA8v5jCZiP6M

His quarry lived still, which he was happy with. Their existence had been a complete unknown. Only two huntsmen had survived and escaped captivity in their history. One of them had been a thousand years ago by mortal estimates, and he'd never uttered a word. The other had been more recent. She was so mentally destroyed that her stories were written off as those of a madwoman.copyright protection72PENANAK4pkHhQhpJ

The mortals were getting stronger though, and their discovery was inevitable. If RWBY was the first then that would just add to their disorder and feed him further.copyright protection72PENANAkMR2jlVevL

For a few moments he contemplated leaving. He could come back in a few years so they could relax and grow complacent again, but rejected it. He doubted they would ever grow lax and stop looking for him. Also he may have all the time he could want, their emotions had become a drug, and like any addict he couldn't walk away.copyright protection72PENANAZDh4XT4gJb

Instead he would take his time and prepare. His new men would need to be trained, and future gambits would need to be planned in more detail.copyright protection72PENANA3ufsPXJFf9

Greater risk leads to greater reward. His food had hope now. Crushing that hope, again, would lead to a complete destruction of their emotions.copyright protection72PENANAozWfCfByt7

A couple of weeks would suffice he decided.copyright protection72PENANAjtLAyIuCZe

A post conflict briefing was fairly standard, normally. In this case it was anything but.copyright protection72PENANAN2I2uxZedf

"What's going on with Yang's eyes?" Jaune asked from the comfort of their room. It was the only comfort to be had among those there.copyright protection72PENANAoBOlRrAtZ4

"The doctor is looking at them," Ruby said, worried and obviously wanted to be somewhere else. "So far there is no reason they can find for what happened. Yang said she actually could see, but the pain was so bad she could barely think. She's being kept until they figure it out, which is making her cranky."copyright protection72PENANAAixlT54oH3

Pyrrha's hand went to Jaune's shoulder in comfort and support. Ruby knew he was going to ask the really hard question next. "How is Weiss?"copyright protection72PENANADu6lxBTxQ7

Ruby teared up a little, unable to hold back the emotions, or the memory of Weiss lying on the ground with her white dress soaked red. "I'm tired of my team being in that hospital. I'm tired of being unable to protect them, to stop these monsters from putting them there. I know they want that. That they want me to obsess on how helpless we are, and I can't stop it." She was working herself up and the two people best suited to stopping it were the two people causing it. "I'm failing them in a fight we can't lose."copyright protection72PENANAMeIBzA2a31

She remembered more that she couldn't say, like the look in Weiss's eyes when Ruby saw her at the hospital. A look only brought on because of the faunus blood she had soaked her fiancé in. Blood on her hands she would never wash off. A part of her had died with that shot.copyright protection72PENANAeEkL0eR4Cy

They weren't the best suited, but they were as close as was possible at that point. Four arms wrapped around her, Pyrrha on one side, Nora on the other. Ruby went silent and leaned into the twin embrace. After a minute the tears stopped and her breathing went back to normal.copyright protection72PENANA8g3fCBQv9G

"So, uh, are you going to start making out yet, cause I'm all for that," Jaune said. It was the most inappropriate thing possible, and utterly ridiculous. It could have gone very badly. A few years ago he wouldn't have had the confidence to say it. He probably wouldn't even think it. Now it came out with a mix of perverted male innuendo and boyish charm and Ruby laughed despite herself.copyright protection72PENANACWVlxvWzF0

"You wish."copyright protection72PENANABUEWGEaxJN

"Very much so," he grinned back.copyright protection72PENANA6S4a8GLYcV

Ruby sighed, happy that the mood had broken at least for the moment. "She'll be okay. There were only two real injuries; one to her side, and one through her foot. The one on her foot was the worse. It damaged several tendons. It'll heal in a few days. The damage to the ribs had to of been planned. Under the skin they found several different types of dust. Together it was a cocktail that awoke every nerve in the area. She had to of felt like she was dying. Any Aura she sent to heal only fed into the dust making the pain worse and doing nothing to heal it."copyright protection72PENANAFPRBao77YM

She hated it, but she saw the doctors take careful samples of the dust for analysis and cataloging. From there the military was likely to get a sample. It didn't take much to know what would happen after that.copyright protection72PENANA7AHLwnqHVa

"Once they removed the dust her aura healed her side in less than a minute. It had actually only been scratches."copyright protection72PENANAv13zbbfXar

That left the next question which everyone was thinking. "How is a Grimm using dust?" Jaune asked. "It takes Aura to manipulate dust, and it takes a soul to have an Aura."copyright protection72PENANASQgJsr8zy7

"Not necessarily, unless you think Athen's robots have a soul," Ren pointed out. "Aura is only absolutely required to have a semblance."copyright protection72PENANAmGH3serSWm

Ruby groaned. "Which they also have!" She thought about it for a second, "But I didn't sense a soul or an Aura. There was something else though, something I haven't sensed before from anything." She shook her head realizing it was like describing purple to them if she had been blind and working from a memory. It had been so alien, yet familiar. "Why is it every answer only leads to ten more questions?"copyright protection72PENANA3so71zjhxu

Sage and Scarlett had delivered the information they had gotten from Ozpin before returning to the rest of their team in the hospital. Ozpin had said nothing more to them, but Glynda had. Whether if that was with the Headmaster's knowledge wasn't clear, but what was clear is they were no longer welcome. They would be leaving that night.copyright protection72PENANAJqk09Msil1

The file had been depressingly short and hadn't told them much. These grimm were designated as "Reapers." There was a picture of one in combat against a huntsman. There was also a record of an unknown huntress escaping them. It was where the information had come from, including the picture. She appeared to be the only source of information. Presumably it was because they were very good at killing.copyright protection72PENANAqHH7L9mc2j

The last note on the huntress indicated she was in an asylum having been tortured to the breaking point. That made the rest of the information sketchy at best. It also made it clear that attacking their emotions was their main thrust. Being grimm it was easy to assume that they did it because of the negative emotions that resulted.copyright protection72PENANAz6LXdMxw44

Ruby looked at the picture one more time. She recognized this grimm. Her hate burned and she knew she would kill him the next time they met.copyright protection72PENANA0NulOE8gXt

"We can also add that not only are they able to use dust, but they understand how to use it better than we do," Jaune added into the silence. "We still don't know what they used last night, but it was definitely dust based and, luckily, temporary."copyright protection72PENANAhnbZvW8S9a

Nora visibly shivered. "That was weird. I wasn't being controlled. I mean not like a puppet type of controlled. I really wanted to kill Velvet and Yatsuhashi. All I could think of was their traitorous acts and killing them seemed a natural solution. Thinking back on it those feelings still felt like they were mine."copyright protection72PENANAbIgWFuJd1N

Jaune picked up where he left off. "The only other solid information from the file is they don't normally use physical weapons, and when they do it isn't bonded to them like ours are. They do have several natural weapons however. Claws and some sort of spikes are the two we know of for sure. They also seem to be able to blend in to their surroundings when they want, though that has only been seen at night."copyright protection72PENANAi2BNnqrvGp

"So, the ten million dollar question: Why RWBY?" Jaune asked at a complete loss.copyright protection72PENANAZYMbXi76ah

To that no one had an answer or even a guess.copyright protection72PENANAhlZyhF21S3


While sitting in her hospital room, bored, the tip of a disembodied sword appeared in the middle of the room, and then sliced a hole in reality. Walking out, Raven left the hole open behind her, so Yang knew this visit would not be for long. "Me and Junior had a talk like you asked. He was very forthcoming of the information after being properly motivated."copyright protection72PENANAOb5qYtQqYx

Yang had gotten used to this routine. How Raven knew when she was alone Yang had yet to figure out, but inevitably when she wanted to talk to her Yang would be enjoying some peace and quiet, alone. Well, today you could take out the 'enjoy,' but close enough.copyright protection72PENANAPYvC9tVgA5

She knew that she didn't want to know what Raven meant by "motivated." It was why Yang had called her, but that didn't mean she was easy with it. Pushing the thoughts away she looked at her Mother. "If it wasn't because of the results from your help they'd think you were an imaginary friend at best, or a hallucination at worse," Yang joked.copyright protection72PENANAyRrxpJdrK6

Raven ignored it and moved on with business. Whatever she had been through in their years of separation had destroyed any sense of humor she had. "He was approached by a member of white fang to setup the trap and, as you expected, it was in return for leaving him alone." She didn't quite sneer at the cowardice. "Why they wanted him dead is because he found out about that member's new employer: reapers. Ruby is in a lot of trouble, and I'm not sure I'm enough to protect her from it. They will not stop until they've broken her mind, her heart, and her spirit."76Please respect copyright.PENANAmv0R89l3qV
copyright protection72PENANAvyhAYf3PG2

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