RWBY: Simple Souls (IC)

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Razilin, Feb 17, 2016.

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    Spring was just beginning to give way to fall, with the air still warm, but touched by a cooler breeze. Amidst the bustle of students, a tall, lean young man with stark-white hair and dark spectacles made his way to Beacon Academy's outdoor observatory. Ozpin, a recent graduate of the Academy, kept an eager pace. For this was his first assignment as a full-fledged Huntsman.

    He could scarcely believe it. Four years of study, training, and hard work had finally paid off. As was customary at Beacon, Huntsmen and Huntresses - the elite guardians of humanity trained to defeat the monstrous beasts known as the Grimm - lived and studied together in tightly-knit groups of four. Upon graduation, some stayed together as the closest of friends-turned-family. Others went their separate ways.

    For Ozpin, the latter had happened. He would always cherish the bonds he made with Glynda Goodwitch, Peter Port, and Bartholomew Oobleck, but four years and much hardship found the members of Team POGO pursuing different destinies.

    Ozpin arrived at the observatory and made his way to its open-air deck. There, the aging Headmaster of Beacon Academy waited patiently for him, watching the younger students mill about from on high. "Headmaster," Ozpin greeted with a nod of his head.

    "Ozpin," the older man returned. He gestured to the view below with a sweep of his hand. "Tell me what you see." All the white-haired Huntsman saw were students. He recognized the sophomore, junior, and senior students, but the brand-new freshmen were obviously strangers to him. The headmaster continued, "All of this...may yet burn."

    Ozpin turned his head quizzically at the headmaster's grim pronouncement. "Sir?"

    The older man sighed tiredly. "The Grimm are growing stronger and more numerous every year, Ozpin. There is a large contingent of them near Haven."

    "We have Grimm attacks all the time," Ozpin said. "Surely that is not cause for such a gloomy prediction."

    "There is more to this than you believe," the headmaster replied enigmatically. "Something stirs in Haven. I need you to go there. You may take a team, if you wish. But I need this investigated."

    Ozpin briefly wondered how the headmaster knew there was more to the situation. But he also knew that the older man was a master of secrets, and kept his own counsel. So instead, Ozpin inquired, "Why me? If things are so dire, why send a green graduate?"

    "Because unlike others I could have sent," the headmaster began, "you took the time to study the history of our world in depth. I have reason to believe that such knowledge will prove critical in unraveling the mystery of the Grimm presence in Haven." The two faced one another, eye to eye. "Go and learn what you can, Ozpin."
    #1 Razilin, Feb 17, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2016
  2. It was midday and the Sun shined high in the sky. Rick stepped off a transport along with a few stragglers. He was here because frostbite had sustained damage in a fight. Fixing it required tools he did not have. Usually, he would have gone to Haven for such an errand but they were much more expensive right now. And there was no where better than Beacon to acquire unique weapons parts.

    His Frostbite gaunlet hung from a hook on his belt. The upper jaw of the left gauntlet was bent to the side. The damage was a result of him getting into a fight he couldn't win. There were large grimm assembling in the swamps outside Haven. It was very mysterious behavior. He frowned and made his way to the schools armory.
  3. Ozpin left the headmaster's side with a thoughtful countenance. Grimm attacks were the norm on Remnant, yet the headmaster seemed so grim and perturbed. The implications left a dark taste in his mouth. So the white-haired Huntsman made his way through Beacon's campus to the armory to collect some supplies for his journey. In short order, he had a travel kit ready to complement his weapon of choice, a smooth, black cane topped with gears. The quartermaster commented to him, "Maps for Haven, Ozpin? Guess you're planning a trip."

    Ozpin tucked said maps into his coat. "Well, the headmaster wanted me to investigate some dealings down there."

    He was too engrossed in his conversation to notice the newcomer with the toothed gauntlets....
  4. Elaine shifted, getting a better footing on the tree she was perched in. It was an ideal vantage point, really, letting her see much of the entrance courtyard. All the better, since she'd get a first-hand glance of the upcoming spectacle.
    Fishing her scroll out of a pocket in her uniform, she tapped her way through various menus until she found the activation sequence she'd prepared earlier. Upon a couple button presses, she'd theoretically be able to activate the paint nozzles she'd hidden around the area. Emphasis on theoretically. She was somewhat hopeless with technology. If everything worked as planned, though... Oh, yes. It would be legendary.

    Adjusting her peaked cap on her head, she grinned. It was time- the crowds of unsuspecting vict- err, students, would be at their thickest now. Counting down in her head, Elaine stared intently at the masses below her. 3... 2... 1... Her finger hovered over the scroll for a moment before decisively coming down.

    At first, all was quiet. Well, as quiet as a milling crowd of people could be. Then, a shocked yelp cut through the air. One could almost see the ripple in the crowd as heads turned towards the commotion. Another cry, from a different direction. And yet another, then a fourth and fifth. Elaine breathed a sigh of relief. Everything had worked as planned, so far. Even now, one could already see the effects of her work: faces, clothing, hair; coated in splotches of neon paint of various colours. Upon a second button-press, the paint guns began turning back and forth, sending jets of colour in every direction.
    Chaos. Tumult. Bright, cheerful swathes of paint. It was a beautiful scene, truth be told. Even so, it would probably be best to leave before anyone caught her lurking in her tree. Concentrating for a moment, she willed her frame to lose its mass. The branch she'd been standing on rose noticeably as its burden faded.
    Pushing off with a powerful jump, Elaine rocketed into the air, arms outstretched, landing lightly on a nearby building and breaking into a run. She would hide out somewhere and do her level best to avoid any investigations. But where to go? Probably the armoury- it was nearly on the other side of campus, so it would take a little while for any news to reach there.
    Eventually, Elaine strode into the building, pushing the door open wide, trying her best to appear nonchalant. Trying her best, in this case, was hardly a statement with much weight, as she was unable to keep a broad smirk from showing on her face. Looking around, her eyes settled first on a black-haired man she didn't quite recognise, and then on a white-haired one she most certainly did.
    "Ozzy! I nearly forgot to tell you, congrats on graduating!"
  5. Rick walked up to the nearest available clerk. He tossed the broken gauntlet onto the counter. The jaw of the broken weapon was, unlike its twin, off center and loose. A number of its "teeth" were bent in various directions. "Got anything that can fix this?" He told the clerk, getting straight to the point. The clerk said that he would see what he could do and walked to the back to retrieve a set of tools. Rick waited patiently.

    He over heard the white haired individuals conversation with the quartermaster. He decided to warn the kid. "Hey, you say you're going to Haven? You takin' a team with you, right?" Rick gestured to the damage done to his gauntlet. "Nevermore did that just to me just 10 kilometers outside the school. The grimm are getting pretty wild out there."
  6. The air transport connected to the docking bay and its doors opened, allowing the newest batch of students to step off onto the grounds of Beacon academy. Nostalgia filled him as he followed the others, smiling to himself as he noticed a number of the newbies wore the same expression he had so long ago. His turn to emerge from the transport came and he was embraced by the warmth of the summer sun and the gentle winds that hinted of autumn's eventuality. Despite the joy he felt of finally being back after spending so much time in hospitals and rehabilitation centers, he couldn't help but feel a bit hollow. Team LIVE was no more: Leonide had dropped out after what had happened, Ignasi had transferred back to Shade academy, and last time he had heard, Vi was still in recovery. That just left him, all by his lonesome, and while he wasn't starting entirely back to square one, he had a lot of ground to make up.

    Shaking off his depression, he slowly grew aware that several of the other students were looking at him. He was pretty used to the stares, considering he was a faunus, but now he wasn't entirely sure if it was that or the mass of robotics and steel that made up his arms now.
  7. "Ozzy! I nearly forgot to tell you, congrats on graduating!"

    Ozpin turned, only to find a diminutive and irrepressible bundle of trouble hurling herself at him in a cheerful hug. "Oof!" he grunted, not unpleasantly. He absently noted that there was a bit of a raucous outside the armory, with sounds of indignity. "Elaine Sparrow. I take it those cries of terror outside are your doing?" The short, slender student was notorious among teachers and older students as a bit of a nuisance, prone to playing all sorts of pranks. However, with her beaming face and cheery personality, it was also difficult to stay mad at her for long.

    Their little reunion was interrupted by the newcomer with the toothed gauntlets. "Hey, you say you're going to Haven? You takin' a team with you, right?" The newcomer gestured to his damaged gauntlet. "Nevermore did that just to me just 10 kilometers outside the school. The grimm are getting pretty wild out there."

    Ozpin frowned. "Grimm that big haven't been seen that close to the civilized parts of Vale in some time." It would there were was some measure of credence to the headmaster's concern. "My name is Ozpin. This is Elaine Sparrow. And yes, I intended to gather a team of Huntsmen and Huntresses to investigate the recent spike in Grimm attacks in Haven."
  8. "Hey!" Approaching the tiny gathering with a cheerful demeanor, the faunus inserted himself into their conversation as if they were childhood friends. "The name's Ehrgeiz." He started with before continuing, "What's this about Grimm in Haven?"

    It might have been too early for him to take part in such a mission, but he had a grudge to bury with the Grimm and was all to eager to speed up the process.
  9. Ozpin vaguely recognized Ehrgeiz as one of Beacon's students, though he seemed to recall the faunus taking a medical leave of absence; Ozpin didn't know the exact details. He answered the faunus' question, "The headmaster assigned me the task of looking into the recent spike in Grimm activity in that area. I figured I'd recruit a team to help me out." He glanced around at Ehrgeiz, Elaine, and the stranger from Haven. "It seems I might have inadvertently recruited one already...."
  10. The laboratory was abuzz with activity. Titus barked orders to his army of assistants, working nonstop to prepare their next experiment. It was sure to be the most pivotal moment in history since the discovery of Dust, on the off chance that it actually worked. In the center of the large, open room was a humongous glass cylinder, completely hollow on the inside, and designed to be indestructible. What was more fascinating, however, was the structure's contents. Titus had employed the services of three Huntsmen to catch the ungodly beast alive. A Boarbatusk was the test subject of the week. It snarled and charged at the glass, slamming ruthlessly and yet making no noise on the other side. Titus looked at the creature intently, knowing full well that captured Grimm died in abnormally short amounts of time.

    That was something he wanted to change.

    Few scientists dared study the Grimm any more than one would study a ticking time bomb. Titus was imbued with a drive for knowledge that met no conventional barrier. His loving wife, Amara, watched alongside him in her modest wheelchair, though she had more reservations for this experiment. She watched in muted disgust, for her career as a Huntress was cut short by the Grimm. Frequently she lambasted Titus for moving into Vale, and did the same for this twisted laboratory. But Amara was compelled to see it through. She was dedicated, and sincerely hoped that some good would come from it eventually. The Boarbatusk rammed its abominable face into the glass wall again. Previous experience told the researchers that heightened aggression in a captive Grimm signaled approaching death.

    The youngest lab assistant pranced over to a massive switch in the corner of the room. Warning labels nearly hid the object from sight entirely. Not a single Faunus was in sight, a detail which Amara thought peculiar. She had no knowledge that Titus had ordered their removal. He hated the Faunus as a general rule, always refusing to work with one in the laboratory, unless they specifically volunteered as a test subject. "Pull the switch, young man! NOW!" Titus dictated to the kid. The order was followed, and sparks of electricity burst from the computer consoles throughout the room. The Boarbatusk growled and scratched the glass with its tusks, madly charging again and again until it finally died.

    "Quick, open the chamber before it---" Alas, the experiment was yet another failure. Puffs of black smoke arose in the cylinder before the Grimm disintegrated. Titus was red with fury. "Whoever tampered with the central computer is getting discharged! Now clean up this mess immediately!"
    #10 Uncle Legens Legentis, Feb 20, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2016
  11. The clerk came back with the tools Rick needed, a hammer and wrench. He took them and began working on his weapon while listening to these other young hunters. It almost made him wish he had gone to combat school. "I live in the area and I know the lay of the land. Not to mention, the habits of the local grimm. If you want I can act as a sort of guide. But just FYI, I am not a hunter." Rick offered as he began aligning the jaws of the weapon with eachother, before tightening the nuts that held them in place.
  12. "Awesome, because, between you and me, I was going to go anyway and this makes it a lot less awkward, yanno?" He said cheerfully before studying Ozpin, finding him familiar, but not entirely enough to put a name to the face. At the risk of making things weird, he glanced away and turned his gaze to the surroundings.
  13. "Terror? Oh dearie, something must've happened." Putting on the most angelic look she could muster, Elaine continued. "Nothing I have anything to do with, mind you!"
    Of course, it was an unlikely proposition at best that Ozpin would actually believe her claim. Given her previous... track record, and the fact that Ozzy was likely brighter than Elaine could ever hope to be, it wouldn't be particularly hard to put two and two together. Nevertheless! Frankly admitting guilt wasn't exactly her style, so to speak.

    And now the conversation turned, as the newcomer joined in. Truly, she wasn't certain what to make of the man, having seen so little of him. However, the mention of a team headed out to Haven piqued her interest. A team headed by a good friend of hers, no less. Thus, she would continue to listen with care, or at least the semblance thereof.

    Wait. That last thing that Ozzy had said. He'd inadvertently recruited a team? Was he really giving her a perfect opportunity to visit new places? Eyes shining, she responded. "I'd be honoured to join you! It would be a shame to let a friend of mine run off into a group of Grimm alone, after all."
    It would also give her an opportunity to stay away from Beacon until people had forgotten her latest mischief, but that went without saying...
  14. Ozpin reached over and ruffled Elaine's hair at her exuberance. "I appreciate your concern, Elaine." Then he quipped, "Not that leaving Beacon for a time spares you the repercussions of any...extracurricular may be party to."

    The relaxation that came over Ozpin's visage revealed his relief at having another Team under his belt, albeit one that included non-Huntsmen. After introductions were made, the white-haired Huntsman stroked his chin thoughtfully and murmured, "Elaine, Rick, Ehrgeiz, and Ozpin...Team EREO certainly has a nice ring to it, no?"

    He took out his map of the nearby kingdoms, unfolding it before the others. "The village the headmaster wants us to investigate is called Lonelywood. Its quite a bit out of the way in terms to nearby settlements or means of public transportation. We can take an airship from Beacon to Haven Academy, but then its about a week's journey through the southern forest to get to Lonelywood. If you know anything about the area, please, let me know; I'm not much of a cartographer."
  15. "Lonelywood...not too familiar with that place in particular, but I've had a few missions around that area." Ehrgeiz replied, although his tone seemed to be a bit more serious than previously cheerful demeanor. Of course, little did the others know that this location was pretty close to where he had lost his arms...and the Death Stalker that took them.

    "The region, especially the forest, is rife with older Grimm. Like, some seriously old-school Grimm." That would obviously explain what he had eavesdropped from Ozpin about the large Grimm being there, but something did seem to bug him about the situation. "Usually Grimm like that don't really bother with attacks like that...which means something or someone is forcing them out of the forests...I think."
  16. Titus' personal office was dark, unrelentingly so. Papers were scattered across his desk, some on the floor, and the shades were closed so tightly that no one could dream of peering in. A large, bulky tape recorder sat on the mahogany table. The quartz clock on the wall ticked uninterruptedly. What little light glowed throughout came from a single candle, and years of practice enabled Titus to read somewhat decently under these conditions. No one, not even Amara, was granted access to the morbid secrets lying behind that door. It was for the good of the kingdom - no - the world. The stress was visible in the scientist's eyes, the way the circles darkened in each passing day. No other man alive, Titus thought, was fit to know the things he knew, to do the things he did, and to think the things he thought.

    "Entry #462. It is with great disappointment that the Rising Tide experiment has failed yet again. The central computers were somehow contaminated with Dust, however, the engineers have yet to find an explanation. The Boarbatusk we captured died from blunt trauma as a result of repeated physical blows to the head. The remains, as expected, dissipated before we could conduct any examination. I suspect that a Faunus troublemaker is sabotaging our progress. As the head of Rising Tide, I will request additional security to keep everything safe from public exposure. My fellow researchers and other Rising Tide associates have taken an oath of secrecy. Thus far we've taken many precautions to distract Ozpin from all activity within this station."

    Titus took a sip of water before continuing.

    "Truly I worry over the fate of this experiment. Many years have gone by, and this is the closest humanity has ever come to studying the Grimm closely. Countless deaths have been covered up for the integrity of Rising Tide. A breakthrough is fast approaching, I can feel it. Amara has proven invaluable to my research as well, due to her background on Grimm behavioral studies. Concentrating Dust unto fresh Grimm corpses shows no current signs of preserving the body. Soon I will be proceeding with Phase Two. God help us."
    #16 Uncle Legens Legentis, Feb 21, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2016
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  17. "The region, especially the forest, is rife with older Grimm. Like, some seriously old-school Grimm. Usually Grimm like that don't really bother with attacks like that...which means something or someone is forcing them out of the forests...I think."

    Ehrgeiz's assessment left Ozpin with a grim feeling in the pit of his stomach. From what he had read on various Grimm and infamous Grimm attacks across Remnant's history, the truly old beasts only struck when calamity was on the rise. Unlike the more feral Beowolves and Boarbatusks, the ancient Grimm were hauntingly patient when it came to preying upon mankind. They only acted when they were sure of victory.

    "Our path is clear," Ozpin said to the gathered group. "We shouldn't waste time. Shall we make for the airships?"

    He led the way to Beacon's dockyard, where various airships of both civilian and paramilitary origin were refueling and re-supplying. Ozpin made arrangements at the ticket counter for everyone's flight, putting the tab against Beacon Academy's coffers for missions. In short order, the group were situated in a private cabin and flying out to their sister academy, Haven.

    Ozpin looked out the window and into the verdant woodlands stretching out below. It looked so peaceful and serene, yet he knew that monsters of the worst ilk roamed its shadowy boughs. It was, as with many things in Remnant, a striking dichotomy. "I've never been to Haven," he said absently. "I wonder what its like?"
  18. Amara sat alone in her bed, contemplating a number of things, some more urgent than others, all very troubling nonetheless. The absence of her husband upset the former Huntress to no end. The reason for Titus' absence was more upsetting, however. She was the official second-in-command of Rising Tide, yet she held no real power over the experiment, let alone the men and women pursuing it. Amara was homesick. Titus was homesick. They both resented Vale, they both resented Beacon. But unlike Amara, Titus was uncompromising. He spoke of 'a solution to mankind's problems' to no full end. He preached of saving the four kingdoms from destruction, and all that talk festered in Amara's mind. She couldn't argue with Titus, she couldn't deny that the ends justified the means.

    But the means were completely twisted. Dozens of Rising Tide facilities and outposts were scattered across Vale, some underground, some buried into mountainsides, others looking no different than the common office building. The heart of the project was code-named Platinum 5. It was the largest of the stations, seated deep within Forever Fall. From time to time funds had to be diverted from Beacon Academy, but no price was too high for progress! The previous Platinum outposts (one through four to be exact) were destroyed by Grimm raids, to no one's surprise. Hesitatingly, Amara reached out her arm to the phone that seemed to look at her from the nightstand. She felt compelled to call someone and reveal the entire operation. Maybe Ozpin. However, no such action was carried out, and Titus lumbered into the bedroom with his eyes half-shut. "Finally, you make it back. How was your day?" Amara smiled warmly, masking her dismay.

    Titus was swift in his reply. "Coming here was a mistake. On the bright side, Phase 2 begins tomorrow."
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