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RWBY Book 1: Senior Year
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RWBY Book 1: Senior Year
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#25
Reversal of Fortune
Polydragons
Dec 7, 2015
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16 Mins Read
No Plagiarism!jXo3005hXDPFDCwJRbBWposted on PENANA

"They have Alice." Blake said, noticeably shaken.copyright protection52PENANAU9P0V5mpHg

Everyone else stared at her, trying to process the news. Jaune came out of it first. "I got about five different questions right now, all of them starting with 'how?' Let's start with the most obvious. How does Thompson even know that?"copyright protection52PENANAm0eK4eL9vI

"All I got was a quick message, so I don't know the details. He said they were at a White Fang cell on the east side. The exact address is 315 Pine road."copyright protection52PENANANkoqWUaO5L

"That's close to Beacon," Jaune said, his boyish charms washed away as his tactical mind came to the fore. "It makes sense if they're keeping tabs on RWBY. It's also not far from where we were ambushed last night. All right, no point asking the rest of my questions, you aren't going to know any more than we do." He looked thoughtful for a moment, everyone watching him process the information.copyright protection52PENANAK0UA0QFnfm

Everyone except Ruby. "We're going to ambush them for once!" she said with a bit of bloodlust that was unheard of in her. They wanted to 'break her' Yang had told her. They wanted to utterly destroy everything that made her who she is, and to hurt her friends to reach that goal. Angry didn't begin to cover the emotions that ran through her, and the thought of finally having the upper hand was bringing that anger to the fore.copyright protection52PENANAECnTmr77BC

That was short circuited by Jaune's negative head shake. "No, we can't do that. Not yet at least. First, we don't know if these grimm have intercepted the call. They have in the past. If that's the case they will either not be there by the time we are on the Bullhead, or have made themselves ready for us. Secondly this is a hostage situation. If we do this wrong Alice will be dead before we have a chance to start. Last is we don't know their numbers or positioning which will make planning an ambush impossible."copyright protection52PENANAPoXdPU8ZIe

He paused for a second and looked at Blake. "You said the Black wing has twelve members ready for the field. Mobilize them and have them get us that information. They'll need the plans for the building so they can be effective. We'll get that and send it to them. We'll use a scroll from an underclassman. They may be monitoring our scrolls, but I doubt they're monitoring every student's in Beacon. Does that sound feasible?"copyright protection52PENANALteG3fxJDN

Ruby felt crushed as she was denied her revenge, but she consoled herself with the fact they did still have a chance. It just wasn't going to be as quick as she wanted.copyright protection52PENANA6iptbLViSw

While she wrestled with those feelings, Blake answered the question. "Twelve is overkill for that small of an area and would increase the odds of them being caught or noticed. I'll send in three instead. I'll start with Alice's number one, and then go down her list of the most competent. Not all of them are going to be able to come so quickly, and that's what we need most."copyright protection52PENANAVIVSWKN4Kv

"Exactly. That will work perfectly. While they're doing that, we can get our teams in order and ready for a fight. We're going to head there without using a bullhead. If they have anyone watching we don't want to tip our hand that we're in town." He paused again for thought. This time everyone gave him time including Ruby. "We can't make any solid plans till we have confirmation and numbers. I'll work on preliminaries though." He looked at Coco. "I'm going to use RWBY as the lead team. Will you be okay with that?" Ruby had heard about the battle between the two and the resentment that appeared to be the root cause.copyright protection52PENANAivZxc2NJMr

Coco didn't appear to have any reservations in his decision this time. "They're the ones that have the biggest axe to grind, they should get first crack at them."copyright protection52PENANAwSJVlUGhdz

"It's more than that. These Reapers appear to be focused on them more than the rest of us. It makes them the better distraction while we extract Alice." That was Jaune nicely saying they were bait, but Ruby didn't care. First crack sounded good to her.copyright protection52PENANAO8hJ1duPie

"I see that expression Ruby, and I need you to suppress that anger during this operation, along with the rest of your team," Jaune said sharply. "I only have guesses on the reasons why they want that anger, but we know for sure that you're giving it to them like this."copyright protection52PENANAkBKk8WnWG9

She knew that, but it didn't mean she could simply shut it off. She had never been prone to anger towards anyone before, even the grimm. They were mindless predators that needed put down for the safety of humanity. In her life there was nothing that had shown her how someone simply stopped being angry. Even if she did manage to find how Ruby knew the Reapers would provoke it back out of her. It was impossible. She tried to at least give the outward impression of calm. The look on Jaune's face told her she'd failed. "I'll work on it."copyright protection52PENANAnc168n1OEe

"Work quickly." He looked at everyone a last time. "Take care of your ends and meet me at the base of the cliff in an hour."copyright protection52PENANAosnGcpUGec


"It's what?" Yang asked again, vainly hoping for a different answer.copyright protection52PENANAVzNGTWDgSj

"It's dust inside your eyes. It's similar to what we was used on Weiss yesterday. In fact if we hadn't gotten that sample we probably would never have found out what was going on. It's a very small amount, but even a small amount when exposed with enough aura will cause intense pain. From your records I know you have Crimson Eyes. When that's active most of your aura is magnified from your eyes."copyright protection52PENANAqgvrnDOost

Yang did the math quickly enough. When she got angry she'd be brought to her knees in pain just as she had last night. "So what do we do about it?"copyright protection52PENANADRV1x7rrOF

"Short of surgery there isn't much we can do except wait," the Doctor said with resignation. "Your body will eventually remove it as a foreign substance. It's just going to take time."copyright protection52PENANAEKfrq9o3qh

That wasn't the answer she wanted to hear. "How long?"copyright protection52PENANAmQxShVw6jY

He sounded frustrated when he admitted "I'm really not sure. We haven't seen anything like this before."copyright protection52PENANAzXQuZnCqPr

It didn't matter. In an hour she was going to be in combat. She already had known she would need to keep her temper in check during the fight. She hated to admit it but her 'classes' with Glynda had helped with that. She'd learned several meditation techniques to center her, along with visualization training.copyright protection52PENANA6tblVBujEU

With this handicap she wouldn't be able to use her eyes at all now, including consciously activating them. She was going to be limited, but at least now she wouldn't be a liability in battle. "Okay, at least now I know what not to do. It's more than we had. So, am I released then?" Not that it mattered. She was leaving whether she was or wasn't. Not being with her team wasn't an option.copyright protection52PENANAB1K8T23p8n

"Yes, I see no reason to keep you now," he told her, his voice conveying he knew he really didn't have a say in the matter.copyright protection52PENANAoHleckCOLr

Yang wasn't going to waste time meeting up with the rest of her team, except for one stop. She headed to Neptune's room to tell him and Sun what was going to happen. Neither had been told yet and she could predict Sun's reaction. That's why she had waited until now.copyright protection52PENANAgRUrcP2H9H

Now that Neptune was conscious he made short work of healing up the wounds on his face. Without the bandages she got a clear view of the wreckage, and it wasn't as bad as she had feared; though it was more than the vein peacock could take. The scars were straight, wide, and left the surface of his skin pitted along their length. They went downwards from his hairline to his chin. The patch of hair he had lost showed no sign of growing back, and his ear was never going to look like an ear again. Predictably he had gone into a deep depression as soon as he saw himself in a mirror.copyright protection52PENANACKJnTCpX2x

Yang felt sorry for him, but not pity. He needed this in a very real way. She knew it was going to make him a stronger man when he came out the other side. She would make sure of it.copyright protection52PENANAkrfGGr1igM

Both looked up when she entered, though Neptune looked down and away almost immediately afterwards. "We know where they're at," she said simply. "I'm going to go get some payback for all three of us."copyright protection52PENANAKxEEYRu1yD

She had hoped putting it that way would forestall any attempt of Sun trying to go with her. His back was healed enough not to require a brace anymore, but not well enough to take any hits or allow him to move freely. She knew how much he wanted to avenge his friend. She felt it too, but he was only going to be a liability in a fight right now. "Really? Good, I've been itching for a rematch."copyright protection52PENANAIboryh4Xe7

Well, it had been expected. "You aren't up for a fight, and you know it."copyright protection52PENANAvzzLffdhyt

Sun got instantly defensive which told Yang he knew she was right, but he was going to dig his heals in anyway. "I'm well enough, and you need everybody you can get for this."copyright protection52PENANA4i0IXZzr08

"We need every able body we can get," she said, knowing that arguing the point wasn't going to do any good. She thought about saying something about how he wasn't able to even beat her in his current condition, but decided it wouldn't work.copyright protection52PENANA5JjubRLgP0

He was going to break up with her, she already knew that. She also suspected part of the reason he hadn't already was to save Neptune any guilt. Her next move was calculated to take care of both problems at once. He would have the excuse he needed to do it in a way that Neptune couldn't attach to himself.copyright protection52PENANAnkzW5Pci7K

All of his aura was focused inward towards his spine. It made the knockout blow easier, and as a sucker punch he wasn't able to block it. Knowing that, she held back most of her strength so all it would do is knock him out. She quickly caught his limp form before it hit the floor, preventing any additional bruising. "Tell him I'm sorry, but we don't have time to argue right now," she told him as she put him in one of the semi-comfortable chairs in the room.copyright protection52PENANAMb3NT0NssN

From all appearances Neptune hadn't been paying any attention to anything after Yang's entrance into the room. Being talked to directly didn't seem to change that. Yang couldn't leave it at that. With a sway of her hips she walked up to his bed, grabbed his chin, and forced him to look up to her as she came quickly down and kissed him. "I may not return, so I'm not going to leave without giving you something to remember me by," she told him softly. She hoped that it would help him understand she was still attracted to him. He did look surprised but didn't say anything, just returning to look at his covers.copyright protection52PENANAByxU2ILOYB

If she had any more time she would have done more, but she didn't, and she really was afraid she might not return. She sincerely hoped that show of affection would bury itself in his subconscious and start the healing process if that was the case.copyright protection52PENANAOmVoj1evkl

Leaving she gave one last look at both of them, then headed towards her room to get armed and ready. She consciously removed both from her thoughts. Thinking of them would make keeping her emotions in check harder, as these beasts were responsible for their wounds.copyright protection52PENANAg7wkVpkISN


Blake sat at the docs at the base of the cliffs. Getting a scroll to call out had been simple. As soon as she explained that Alice was in trouble they had dropped everything. To all appearances their mission in life became getting her any information they could. The Phoenix leader was impressed with their loyalty considering the short time they had been serving under Alice, and very grateful.copyright protection52PENANAwtm3ooL9dK

That left her here, waiting. All of CFVY, Ren, and Nora were with her. The docks were rarely used for more than a bit of fun in the water during the hot days of summer. Boats were slower than the bus was and took about the same amount of dust to make the trip to the city.copyright protection52PENANAL26GqpIEV3

She contemplated Thompson and his quick message. He'd kept his voice hushed when he talked, and spoke as quickly as he could. That made her suspect he was inside the building somewhere. He also didn't offer to meet up with them which added to her suspicion, and she suspected that wherever he was he couldn't get out. He wasn't a captive though or he wouldn't have had a scroll in the first place.copyright protection52PENANA0bawv6WQOP

Jaune had pulled her aside before she headed down asking if he could have been a plant. She had very few doubts he wasn't.copyright protection52PENANAElj0oHpaRC

First, he had been running a group before Blake had even thought of becoming a player in White Fang's organization. She'd studied him once she had. While strict in a near drill sergeant sort of way, he'd been fair and he hadn't looked to get the message out in the same way as Adam.copyright protection52PENANAUCE0j5q2Kl

Secondly she'd put more thought into how her heads were chosen than had been obvious. Aside from avoiding the question of bias, which she was, the fact that each member had to choose a leader, other than their own, made the odds of a mole getting through unlikely. There had been a lot of strife between the different factions. It was the reason they hadn't reformed on their own. They would only choose the ones they had the fewest reservations for.copyright protection52PENANA5Kwgh2neTc

So if her suspicions were right, and she was as close to positive they were as possible, why was he there and how? He was looking for the White Fang, true, but he was also to keep his distance. He was safe at least, which eased a bit of Blake's tension. Before the day was over the nightmare would end, and all of them would return safely. She forced herself to believe that.copyright protection52PENANA3xxnxV4W5V

Ruby and Weiss were the next to show up. These days it was unusual for them to be apart. Ah young love's first bloom; so romantic. They had looked a bit grim around each other after the recent battles. Blake assumed it was from the outside stress, and was relieved to see that they looked more at peace with each other once again. She sincerely hoped so.copyright protection52PENANAzZye0SjqU3

By contrast Yang looked haunted when she came down. Another love life unnecessarily strained by these Reapers, or was it a bit of unaccustomed fear after the last two times she had faced off against them? It was hard to say for sure, but whatever it was Blake was confident she would shake it off before they crossed the lake. They met each other's eyes and Blake gave a questioning look. Yang's response was the bright smile she usually wore before a fight. She would be alright today.copyright protection52PENANAL0Oig5lDje

The last two was Pyrrha and Jaune. They were more tied to the hip than Ruby and Weiss, and had been so for longer. Both had their game faces on as Pyrrha looked at the gathering and Jaune studied his scroll one last time. "I tried to get a hold of Ozpin to see if he could be any help," he said to everyone, "But I couldn't find him. I did get the floor plans for the building and got them to your operatives Blake. It's a two story building with no basement. Depending on what the Black Wing finds we're going to..."copyright protection52PENANAQnLnKjiPgo

Jaune kept describing plans in detail as they boarded the boat and headed out. He didn't finish until they got within five blocks of their target, and finding Blake's people waiting for them there. To say he had contingencies for just about anything was putting it mildly. Depending on what the black ops had discovered several of those would be discarded, and a few new ones added. She was glad it wasn't on her to come up with them. These kinds of tactics aren't for her beyond executing them.copyright protection52PENANALPoj4pbnP6

After getting final numbers and positioning, the plans were set and the twelve warriors headed out to do their part. If things went to plan the fight would be over in minutes with no casualties except for the Reapers. If they didn't go to plan they'd switch to a new plan and the fight would be over in minutes with no casualties except for the Reapers. If everything went to hell in a hand basket they would switch to their exit strategy, the fight would be over in minutes, and they'd be able to get out alive and possibly take out a Reaper on the way. It wasn't air tight, no plan ever was, but it was as close as they were going to get.copyright protection52PENANArB6gUnlf1F

Once everyone was comfortable with their parts in the operation, coms were turned on and checked. Jaune looked over the plans one last time to be sure he wasn't missing anything. Unsurprisingly none of the black ops were able to get inside the building, so there was going to be surprises in there he couldn't account for. They also didn't have a firm idea of where Alice was inside. Looking over the schematics there was two likely locations, one on each floor. Luckily there was no basement. It would be impossible to reach it in the twenty seconds he hoped to secure Alice by.copyright protection52PENANAtR3feNzxCP

As for enemy forces, there were a total of ten White Fang on the bottom story. Assuming the cloaked figures were Reapers there were two of them downstairs as well. The second story had one Reaper and five White Fang. Of course the numbers were approximates. It was entirely possible that some had been. It was equally possible that they would switch floors. This couldn't be helped.copyright protection52PENANAWnFkHJKT7z

Human casualties had to be avoided if at all possible. They were not the authorities. As huntsmen their jobs were to take out grimm, not humans. The last fight it had been clear that RWBY was attacked and had defended themselves. This time they were the aggressors. A death on their hands could have serious consequences.copyright protection52PENANAZzb5P5sbku

The general plan was simple. They were going to use a bit of stealth to get into position. Luckily for them there were no sentries of any form except look outs at the windows. Sneaking in without notice had a high probability of success. They obviously were relying heavily on their belief that no one knew their location. It was a mistake they were going to pay for.copyright protection52PENANAROlU4zID7l

Once there it would be time for some shock and awe as they raided the building. They had to get to Alice before the enemy had collected themselves to prevent a potential hostage situation. Their best wildcard was the enemy's own defenses: the traps set on every window and door. Not only will it be the biggest part of the shock and awe, it'll be a perfect bit of misdirection.copyright protection52PENANAt3J9orS8k0

The wrinkle is that they didn't want the grimm to escape while they tried to grab Alice. When they ran across one a member of each team was to engage a grimm, and keep them busy until the primary objective was complete. Who took on which grimm depended on what they found. There were plans for each combination, including the frightening possibility of one team running into all three.copyright protection52PENANAIjzTppYSAj

The worse possibility was that this was a giant trap. He didn't think so, but it wasn't something to rule out. Traps were the Reapers preferred M.O. That was why he made the exit strategy as strong as possible. There was no question they were going in. With visual confirmation that the Reapers were inside the rewards easily outweighed the risks.copyright protection52PENANAmr7Hmch5Po

Looking over the contingency plans one last time to be sure he hadn't missed anything, he nodded his readiness to Ruby and they moved out.56Please respect copyright.PENANAlGfVAEkyxV
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