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Place in Nature [RWBY/Monster Hunter]

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by Phantom General, Jan 15, 2019.

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  1. Threadmarks: Prologue: The Crossing
    Phantom General

    Phantom General Getting sticky.

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    Prologue: The Crossing


    It was a clear day in the wilderness of Vale, a pair of twin Huntsmen went through the motions of their patrol. “You know Lav, these patrols are getting kind of the same...” The female of the pair said, bored.

    “That’s because you spent your free time back when we were studying in Beacon fantasizing about the adventures we would have, Jade.” The man said, letting out an exasperated sigh.

    The Twins were brother and sister, Lav wore a simple lavender t-shirt, a black vest and a pair of denim jeans and a pair of sneakers, Jade was similarly dressed, albeit with a dark green shirt and an old jade necklace. The pair didn’t exactly stand out with their brown hair and hazel eyes and they liked it that way.

    The pair spotted some tracks, Lav quickly moving closer to investigate. “Cover me, sis.” He said, looking over the footprints. Jade began looking around warily, unfolding her broadsword. The tracks looked strange, like that of a horse but cloven and bigger, certainly nothing Lav had seen before, more noticeable was the stench of ozone in the air.

    Beowolves and ursai seemed to close in on the pair, eager for an easy kill. “Um, brother…” Jade said, ready to fight for her life.

    “What is- Oh, shit…” He cursed, reaching for his axes the moment he spotted the Grimm. This was a hopeless fight, were their auras not weakened from a prior fight, this would have been routine.

    “Brother, regarding all the crap I’ve given you through the years, I’m sorry.” She said resignedly. Lav simply grinned.

    “Yeah, I’m also sorry for all the crap I’ve put you through as well.” He sighed, if they were going to die there, might as well get that off his chest.

    The twins were ready to accept their fate, but not without making the Grimm pay dearly for it. The two struck first, Jade cleaving through a Beowolf while Lav drew the attention of an Ursa towards himself. This was a fight the two of them were used to, though the odds weren’t usually so against them. To their credit, they had managed to kill a good number of the Grimm, but their desperation and hate for the monsters had attracted more.

    As deathstalkers and Nevermore closed in for the kill, something strange happened. Lightning struck the monsters down, leaving the twins dumbfounded. Then… it emerged from the thick vegetation. The twins were in awe of the unknown creature, it looked like a large unicorn, though it’s hide was scaled and a glowing light blue with darker markings reminiscent of lightning, its white mane and hair stood up on end as its body crackled with lightning, giving the air of a spirit or phantom with it’s glowing red eyes.

    “What is it?” Lav asked, in awe of the beast before them.

    “Some sort of Forest spirit, maybe?” Jade asked, getting her scroll out. Much to her annoyance, it chose to die on her during the fight, it seemed.

    “It could be, but nothing from the old stories described forest spirits like this.” Lav answered, deciding to humour his sister. The pair were raised on those old fairy tales and she never really stopped believing them.

    The sound of more Grimm approaching was unmistakable, they would not survive another wave, not with their reserves of dust low as it was. The creature made sounds reminiscent of a horse, gesturing to the pair as best it could.

    “I think it wants us to run…” Jade said, still in awe.

    “No argument here, run!” Lav said, grabbing his sister by the arm and dragging her. “We need to tell this to Ozpin.” Lav said, still running. This wasn’t going to be the last sighting of a creature matching its description.

    In Atlas, a scouting party recovering a fallen knight bot was treated to a similar scene. In the deserts of Vacuo, a group of recent exiles received unexpected aid. In Mistral, a group of students sent to ostensibly die would return with a similar story. On Menagerie, Faunus sent to die in the jungles for their dissent against the White Fang would instead live. The winds of change had started blowing in Remnant.

    ________

    Well, I figured I should migrate this over here over time. Please bear in mind that the editor for this story is different than the one for my other fic. Otherwise, I hope you enjoy this product of me having way too much time on my hands.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2019
  2. Threadmarks: Chapter 1: Signs and Plans
    Phantom General

    Phantom General Getting sticky.

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    Chapter 1: Signs and Plans


    Ozpin sat in his office, looking through reports that had accumulated over the course of the last year. The twins had proven themselves a useful resource, enough that he had let them become his eyes and ears on the ground. Still this was a very rare occasion, his conspiracy of light needed to assemble, he had determined this was a crisis rather than an anomaly he could safely ignore.

    First to arrive that night was Glynda, punctual as ever. Next was Qrow, followed quickly by James. His contact in Vacuo couldn’t make it, citing a monster attack as their reason for not attending. Lionheart similarly couldn’t attend, citing his lack of appearance on the Brawnwen tribe stirring up major trouble. Overall there was an atmosphere of dread underscoring the meeting.

    “Alright then, you all know why I called you here.” Ozpin said, taking a swig of his coffee.

    “The monsters, I assume.” James chimed in, a grim expression on his face.

    Ozpin nodded. “As you all know, these monster sightings have only increased in number. About two months ago, the initiation ceremony here was… interrupted.” He said, queuing the relevant footage on his tablet.

    The footage was, for the lack of a better description, brutal. The entire group looked on in utter disbelief as what looked to be an oversized, bipedal and very angry and hungry looking pickle with several scars, too many teeth and undersized arms utterly dominate the Grimm rushing to fight it. Ursa, Beowolf, Deathstalker, Nevermore… It didn’t seem to matter once the titan got its jaws on it. The monster itself even seemed to favour beating a Grimm to death using one in its jaws as a bludgeon. It was pure luck, or at least that the Grimm seemed attracted to it like a lightning rod that every student was still alive, if traumatized by the experience.

    “I think you get the point.” Ozpin said, cutting the footage off. “After the fight, it decided to wander off, where it is now, I can’t say.” He said evenly, his point made.

    “Maybe the Grimm aren’t the number one threat anymore.” Qrow suggested, the footage certainly made a good argument for that in his eyes.

    “According to our sources on the ground, it’s only one of many new species.” Glynda said, adjusting her glasses.

    “This one looks similar in its build to one that was spotted on Menagerie.” The General chimed in, rubbing his chin. That got everyone’s attention. “A month ago, A team of specialists went in on one of their raids in Menagerie, I’ve seen the footage myself, what happened wasn’t pretty.” He warned, handing over the helmet cam footage.

    **************

    Specialist Casey Blackwall and her team made their way through the jungle of Menagerie, guided by her talent for tracking. “They went this way.” She said, waving her team in the direction the tracks pointed. She and her team went back to their time in Atlas Academy, the four of them inseparable since. The mission was simple; Infiltrate, ambush a few White Fang patrols then get out, simple wetwork really.

    As the group moved onward, they found the group they had been tracking, in pieces and scattered all over a small clearing. “Oh gods, what could have done this?” The team’s leader, Barry asked, trying to keep from losing his lunch.

    Casey had the hardest time of the group, needing to take a few moments to collect herself. “Blackwell, over here I need your tracking skills for a moment” Liam, the Heavy weapons specialist said, waving her over.

    Looking at the footprint, some of the remains and spotting some curious markings on some nearby rocks, she looked over the scene. “No Grimm I know of made these.” She said, looking over the footprint. The partially eaten remains curiously were slashed by something, almost like an oversized sword and one hot enough to cauterize it.

    “What’s your assessment?” Liam asked, cautiously holding his grenade launcher.

    “Whatever made this set of tracks, was big, could possibly breathe fire and could possibly do that.” Casey observed, pointing to the rocks.

    “Shit…” Liam swore. It wasn’t long until the owner of the footprints returned.

    The monster was bipedal and bulky, it’s forelimbs comparatively small relative to the rest of its body. The head sported specialized fangs, plates seemingly protecting its eyes. The beast’s shell was red and black. Reflexively, Casey readied her sniper rifle and fired a shot, spending some of her Aura to improve her accuracy. The beast blocked the shot with its long tail and let out a loud roar.

    Jumping into action, Barry charged it, readying his rocket-assisted warhammer, aiming to give it a good whack to its head… only for its throat to glow red, heralding the discharge of what looked to be a magma-like substance which he barely dodged. The fight went on for a few minutes, the first member of the team, Liam to fall to a strong tail swipe, cutting him in half nearly instantly, the blow landing hard enough to overwhelm his Aura. As the fight went on, another member Amaz, the demolitions expert, this time to a magma blast to his torso. It faced the remaining members, sharpening its tail with its mouth and charging forward.

    “Blackwall, get out of here now! I’ll hold him off!” Barry yelled, ready to charge..

    “But what about you!?” Casey yelled back, concern in her voice.

    “Come to your senses, soldier! That’s a fucking order, get back to the extraction point, high command needs to know about this!” Barry ordered, shortly before his charge.

    Casey ran, only to look back once to see that there were Grimm between her and the beast now, far too many for her to have a hope of fighting off alone. On her way, she called in for extraction. She knew she wouldn’t see her old friends again.

    **************

    The room was silent, everyone was staring at the blank tablet in quiet horror. Qrow had outright emptied his flask of its contents once it finished, finding a new thing he wanted his good friend alcohol to help him forget, though for what he encountered nine years ago, there was nothing strong enough in Remnant.

    Glynda had expected that fighting them would be like fighting Grimm only to have her expectations completely shattered. The monster fought nothing like a normal Grimm worse even, it seemed to hit hard enough that it overwhelmed their aura on impact.

    James had a hard time watching it himself, even though he saw it before. Those kids were relatively fresh from Atlas Academy as well. There had to be a reliable way of fighting them, there was no way that they couldn’t be defeated. Humans and particularly Atlesians were, after all the rightful rulers of Remnant.

    After a short break the meeting continued, with Ozpin going over what the twins reported. The monsters seemed to come in several varieties, usually reptilian but there were ones that seemed to share general traits but many had strange abilities. They even seemed to prey upon each other like normal animals.

    By the time the meeting ended, it was only Ozpin and Ironwood in the room, James had something to clear up outside of earshot of the other two. “Ozpin, do know that if it ever comes down to it, I will have the entire military might of Atlas wipe these things off the face of Remnant, with or without your approval.” The general said, a serious tone in his voice. Turning to leave, he made a mental note to give R&D more funds.

    “Noted, but do remember that for now, we will be keeping this under wraps, for the potential panic this can cause could result in disaster for all of the kingdoms.” Ozpin said calmly, watching his fellow headmaster leave. He had a lingering feeling that his plan was in danger.

    **************

    In the wilderness of Vale, Laurel Nightshade stalked among the trees and shrubbery. A cat Faunus, she had been in the White Fang for half a year now. At the moment, she was busy doing a little scouting in solitude. Her mission was simple; she was to investigate the rumours of non-Grimm monsters in the forest and if possible, steal their young to train as war beasts.

    As she was out of her uniform, she wore a basic, dark blue shirt and skirt combination with a ribbon tied in a bow hiding her ears. While there was no hiding her purple eyes, she found that few people seemed to pay attention or notice.

    Spotting what looked to be a strange, purple and blue bird-like lizard with strange stalks coming out of its head above its eyes. Engaging her semblance she followed it, careful to stay out of sight. The moment the monster encountered a Beowolf, however, the stalks unfurled, flashing the Grimm’s eyes and stunning it before running away.
     
  3. Threadmarks: Chapter 2: Initiations and Arrivals
    Phantom General

    Phantom General Getting sticky.

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    Chapter 2: Initiations and Arrivals


    Ozpin was not having a good year, to be perfectly honest. Sitting at his desk, he reviewed the new information he had been getting since that meeting. He was increasingly convinced that something seemed to be driving the monsters into Remnant. Looking over the incidents, it was like old myths were coming to life in many respects. A month prior, the island of Patch had suffered weeks of abnormal winds in and around the island. According to Qrow, they were tossing Grimm about like ragdolls. The entire thing had seemed to be caused by a steel-skinned dragon and only stopped when it left for gods only know where. To make things even more frustrating, he had just heard there are rumours of strange boat sightings just out of sight among merchant and other ships. Still, it was initiation day again, hopefully it wouldn’t go horribly wrong like last year.

    Ruby was scared, she along with the other students entering Beacon had just been shot into the Emerald Forest via man-cannon. With the monsters that have been appearing, no matter what uncle Qrow said to the contrary, she felt vulnerable. Looking around, she thought she saw some of them in the treeline. Still, she had to find her sister Yang. Instead she would crash into Weiss instead.

    Blake looked over a large footprint in the ground, she was particularly caught up in her thoughts when Yang arrived.

    “Well, whatcha lookin’ at?” Yang asked, looking at the footprint.

    “Well, whatever made this print was big, that’s for certain.“ Blake observed.

    “Sounds like it’ll make a good fight.” Yang said brightly, punching her fists together.

    “After we find the relic, we can see if we can get permission after that is done.” The faunus said evenly.

    Eventually, the kids gathered near the ruins, exchanging stories of what they encountered. Jaune was practically catatonic with fear after bearing witness to a pair of giant, spiked wolf monsters engage a pack of Grimm that threatened their young. Nora and Ren recounted encountering some sort of scaled lightning wolf that appeared to have numerous insects flying around it, they only lost it when it decided a Deathstalker was a bigger threat to its dominance. The reunion was interrupted by the appearance of a Nevermore swooping in on the attack, only to be intercepted by a strange flying reptile bearing a strong resemblance to old stories of wyverns. Not wasting time, the students grabbed the relics and ran back to Beacon rather than stick around.

    **************

    The Commander looked over the scouting reports in his office. The Wyverns were here alright, the felyne prowlers confirmed as much. Sailing around as they have for the last few months, they had managed to get a good read on what was in the waters. He was quite certain he had never heard so many experienced hunters groan in annoyance at once the moment they learned there were Plesioth around. What one of the few local recruits they had gotten told him about the local monsters, the Grimm as they were called had him concerned. Still though, it wasn’t all that bad, the ship had a Dragonator after all.

    Titus was below decks, fixing his brand new slinger to his left arm. He was one of the first recruits from Remnant and he loved every second of it. There was no hiding he was a rat Faunus, but in the Guild that didn’t matter. Wearing Tobi-kadachi armour with his charge blade, he was ready to hunt the moment they could. Looking around, his fellow hunters were keeping themselves busy eating, drinking, chatting, playing cards and arm wrestling.

    Of particular note at the moment was Duncan, an old hunter in Zorah Magdaros armour with a hunting horn currently engaged in a so far, six hour long card game with Ayden, a hunter from a different team in Deviljho armour, a greatsword on his back. Currently dealing was Anri, a Wyverian woman in Kirin armour with a hammer. While her pointed ears and black hair were obscured by her headdress, the fact her hands only had four fingers gave away that she wasn’t human while her eyes were a soft shade of blue.

    “So, think Duncan will win this time?” Aylia, a female human in Odogaron armour and a pair of dual blades asked, grinning. Her pink hair was tied back in a ponytail, but make no mistake, her piercing green eyes held an intense focus.

    “Of us, he’s the best at cards, much like Ayden there for you guys.” Connor, a hunter in Rathalos armour with an insect glaive answered. He watched the card game unfold, his helmet covering his brown hair.

    “With our luck, it’ll be another wyvern attack that ends it in a draw.” Maya, Connor’s sister quipped, though not unwelcoming the outcome. She was wearing Anjanath armour and used a switch axe as her weapon of choice. Her fiery red eyes was something she shared with her brother and of the two, she was the redhead.

    “If that were to happen, I will be sure to give it a most perfect demise.” Cassius, a longsword user in Xeno’Jiiva armour boasted, wiping dust off of his armour. The blonde haired, gold-eyed hunter was known to be a perfectionist.

    “Not if Sareth were to kick it’s ass first.” Aylia countered, a grin on her face.

    “Speaking of, where is he?” Connor asked curiously.

    “Up top, him and sea travel don’t agree with each other.” Anri answered as she dealt out the next hand.

    “Think you can beat me this hand, old timer? I’m in.” Ayden said, moving two hundred zenny into the pot, his brown eyes betraying a cocky expression under his half mask. His hair was jet black and always kept short.

    “Aye, An’ I’ll raise ye three.” The older hunter said, his thick accent showing through. The pair were mainly making small bets, partly because per guild regs, they had to pay for their own equipment and supplies and mostly because they preferred the banter over actually winning against each other.

    Duncan’s hair was very much greying, showing his old age, similarly he carried himself like he was held down by the weight of his old scars and he certainly didn’t lack them, his grey eyes often gave the impression that he had seen loss in his time.

    **************

    Up on the deck, Sareth wasn’t feeling too good it was something that always happened when he set foot on a boat. He was currently wearing his Diablos armour though currently his helmet was under his right arm. Between his calculating grey eyes and heavily scarred features, it was hard to think he wasn’t a veteran hunter. He kept his dark brown hair short to help avoid it getting caught in a fight. While he was good with pretty much the entire guild arsenal, he currently sported a sword and shield.

    “Still get seasick, Sareth?” Aki, a blue-haired Wyverian in pink rathian armour asked with amusement, her hazel eyes looking to her former student. She was also probably the oldest hunter on this expedition. Much like her student, she had gotten good with every weapon, though she had her bow at the moment.

    “Never got used to it Aki, I can bring down a Deviljho alone and blindfolded but sea travel still makes me queasy.” He replied with a grin.

    “Still, here we are together again after thirty years, investigating an unprecedented migration of Wyverns.” Aki enthused, her want for and sense of adventure still there after so long. She had honestly kind of regretted never taking up the chance to explore the New World, she was going to have to make up for that later.

    “No matter what happens here Aki, I appreciate your advice after… you know.” Sareth said, his mood souring a little.

    “Speak nothing of it, those you’re close to are only truly dead when they’re forgotten.” She said, smiling. It was a comforting thought nonetheless.

    After a few more hours of sailing, the lookout called out that they were approaching land. The commander grinned at the prospect of finally making formal contact with the locals.

    **************

    Vale’s port was abuzz with activity, word had spread like wildfire from a recently arrived merchant crew there was a foreign ship making for the docks at all speed. The ship itself was typical of the Hunter’s guild, made of wood with a reinforced keel of Wyvern bone while ribs strengthened the hull and was adorned with cannons and ballistae. It’s bow could turn from side to side and housed it’s Dragonator inside.

    The newly formed team RWBY had managed to squeeze their way to the forefront of the crowd. Ruby was excited, very excited, not only had the rumours of the boats been true, but to see one up close and in person was exciting.

    Weiss on the other hand, wasn’t impressed and showed it. “This is what the peasants have been getting excited over? I’ve seen merchant ships more grand than this.” She said dismissively.

    Blake meanwhile was curious, she had noticed that while it looked like an old wooden ship, the ones she had read about didn’t have a keel made of what looked to be some creature’s spine and ribs, thinking maybe it was made with parts from some of the monsters that had been rumoured to be showing up everywhere.

    Yang meanwhile was trying to keep her half-sister under control, just from seeing the ship she started to act like she had way too much sugar in her system which was also a possibility.

    **************

    The Commander and Titus disembarked from the ship first after a reminder to the hunters present to be on their best behavior. As soon as the pair left the docks, Ruby escaped her sister’s grip and ran forward, leaving a trail of rose petals in her wake and ended up crashing right into the Faunus hunter. “Hi, you one of the boat people?” She asked sweetly before helping Titus back up.

    “You could say that, yeah.” Titus answered as he got back to his feet. The assembled hunters took it in good humour. “Mind showing us to someone in charge? The Commander and I have a proposition for them.” He asked, looking to his superior.

    “Sure, I can do that!” Ruby exclaimed, dragging Titus behind her to beacon while the Commander followed.

    As the hunters filed out of the boat, Laurel observed the spectacle from afar. “Barbarians…” She thought to herself as more ape-things left the ship. Next she spotted what looked to be bipedal cats following them. Judging by their seemingly servile stance, she assumed them to be slaves. Lord Adam would need to know this as soon as possible.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2019
  4. NigerianSlapper

    NigerianSlapper Your first time is always over so quickly, isn't it?

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  5. Threadmarks: Chapter 3: Negotiations
    Phantom General

    Phantom General Getting sticky.

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    Chapter 3: Negotiations

    Qrow entered Ozpin’s office, having gone ahead to inform him. “Oz, they’re here.” He said, taking a swig from his flask.

    “The commotion outside is indication enough.” Ozpin replied, sipping his coffee.

    “Course of action?” Qrow asked, looking to the headmaster.

    “Wait and see” Ozpin answered.

    Soon the Commander and Titus entered led by Ruby. On seeing Qrow, Ruby tried to hug him only to be shoved away. “This is my uncle Qrow. He’s the coolest person I know!” she enthused, a smile on her face.

    “Yeah, he seems like a swell guy.” Titus said, his voice heavy with sarcasm.

    Qrow glared at the faunus. “Nobody asked for your opinion.” He replied, hostility in his voice.

    Titus’ eyes narrowed, getting a bad feeling about the man. “Too bad, you’re getting it.” He said, a touch of hostility in his voice as well.

    Seeing the mutual hostility, Ozpin cleared his throat loudly. “You came here to talk, yes?” He asked diplomatically.

    “Yes.” The Commander said, turning to Titus. “Okay kid, I got it from here. Dismissed.” He said, not quite an order but at the same time with authority.

    “And you’re free to take your leave as well, Miss Rose.” Ozpin said evenly.

    “Okay!” Ruby said energetically. A moment after she said that, she practically dragged Titus out of the room.

    **************

    Ozpin sipped his coffee, looking over the list of things the so-called ‘Hunter’s Guild’ required to function properly in Remnant. There were a few things that could be easily substituted with existing infrastructure. No need to build an entirely new arena when Amity Colosseum could be used to host matches against captured ‘Wyverns’. A major sticking point, apart from the issue of converting Zenny to Lien would be the appointment of a hunter to teach classes on the new monsters. He felt it would be a matter of time until enough huntsmen survive encounters without needing the Guild’s input. It would probably require a student critical to his plan almost dying to force it. “Alright then, Commander… Shall we begin?” He asked, opting not to tip his hand just yet.

    The Commander looked his opposite number over as he read over the terms. Truth be told, he was willing to compromise on a few points. Negotiation wasn’t even part of his normal job, that usually was the job of the Guild Knights but as far as he was aware, precious few came with them. “Yes, I imagine you have important responsibilities to attend to, so we best do this right the first time.” He said somewhat candidly.

    “Very well then, let’s start at the beginning, your proposition to disclose information on these ‘Wyverns’ could incite a mass panic within the public, we have been concealing information on them for the past two years to prevent such an event. Such a panic tends to attract Grimm in large numbers.” Ozpin explained evenly. He figured explaining it as a matter of survival would impress upon him the need to come over to his way of thinking.

    The Commander thought through his response carefully. “This is a nice city you have here…” He started calmly. “How many people would be in a panic should say, one of the more aggressive Wyverns were to break through the walls? Would you be able to fend off something you have no information on? What if someone angered one of the more aggressive species by accident and led it into the city?” He asked rhetorically.

    **************

    “And this is the commercial district.” Ruby said cheerfully.

    Having a look around, Titus noted that a few of the small businesses had a prominent ‘No Faunus allowed’ sign, a sight that sent a chill down his spine and reminded him too much of how things were back in Atlas. He decided not to spoil the mood of the moment.

    “So I gotta ask, where are ya from?” Ruby asked curiously.

    “Well, I’m from Atlas actually, I’m basically a freshly trained hunter compared to most who came over.” The faunus said, rubbing the back of his neck.

    “Oh cool, you’re kinda like my friend Weiss in a way.” Ruby said energetically, making a mental note to introduce Titus to her team. Then it hit her like a ton of bricks, she had forgotten to introduce herself. “I kinda forgot to give you my name in my excitement, I’m Ruby.” She said, a little embarrassed over her mistake.

    Titus chuckled at that. “Name’s Titus, pleased to meet you, Ruby.” He said happily.

    **************

    Ozpin looked at the Commander, an hour or two of speaking with the man revealed his own startling ignorance of what was happening over the past two years, still this was a chance to get more information. “You mentioned earlier about some which are called ‘Elder Dragons’, what does that category mean?” He asked curiously.

    “That category generally has the loosest criteria.” The Commander started. “Generally speaking, Elder dragons don’t fit into any of the other categories but at the same time, the appearance of one is essentially like a natural disaster hitting an area.” He said informatively.

    “How powerful can they in fact get?” Ozpin asked dispassionately.

    The Commander’s mood darkened significantly at that question. “In the Old World, there was a place known as the Kingdom of Schrade, once one of quite a few known to the guild. Now however, nothing remains of the kingdom but ruins, ash and bones. A single Elder entered the kingdom and reduced it to nothing but ruin.” He said, a look of dead seriousness on his face.

    An involuntary shudder shot down Ozpin’s spine. This was something beyond what he knew the Grimm to be capable of. “I see, shall we move on?” He asked evenly, taking all of his control to look unflappable.

    **************

    Titus and Ruby were having a good time together, pretty much despite the reminders of how his kind was treated here in Remnant. Him and Ruby even encountered Emily, a hunter in Kulve Taroth armour with her team and gave them directions back to the ship. He tried to partner up with them before only to hear their regular fourth was currently busy in the Old World. Still, things were fairly quiet in the upper-class district.

    “I admit, I’m not here very often.” Ruby said, rubbing her neck. Truth be told, Titus didn’t feel too comfortable here, partly due to everything he went through before the guild agreed to take him in.

    “So, where to next?” Titus asked, wanting to get his mind off of the past.

    Ruby thought for a moment. “Well, that leaves the industrial and agricultural districts for us to check out.” She said, smiling. She probably would need some directions, but given they were essentially mapping out the city for the guild, they would only have to do this once.

    **************

    The negotiations had gone on well into the evening. The Commander was fairly surprised he managed to secure an equal exchange rate between Zenny and Lien. Still, they could easily start operating in earnest the next day. All through the negotiations, he had ignored the off-putting feeling the headmaster’s presence gave him, like he shouldn’t fully trust him. “I believe that concludes everything.” The Commander said, maintaining his composure.

    “Indeed, it will take time to get what information we have on the Grimm together, but I suspect that you and your guild will be busy getting established.” Ozpin said, finishing his cup of coffee. He felt he was going to need to get the guild in on his plan and given he learned that reinforcements for the current fleet were a long way out, that gave him ideas.

    The Commander stood up. “On behalf of the Hunter’s Guild, thank you for your time.” He said before turning and leaving the office. He needed to notify the fleet.

    “What do you think, Oz? I have a feeling they’re going to be trouble.” Qrow observed.

    “Without a doubt they will, it would be a shame if their luck would turn for the worse in their fight against the Grimm, don’t you think?” The headmaster asked, looking at his subordinate.
     
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  6. Threadmarks: Chapter 4: The Hunt Begins
    Phantom General

    Phantom General Getting sticky.

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    Chapter 4: The Hunt Begins

    The Guild had gotten to work the next day. First by getting the required permits and purchasing an empty lot that best suited a new guildhall. By the afternoon, temporary facilities had gone up and quests had been posted as construction started in earnest. For the most part, they were survey missions, more than enough to get eager hunters tired of being cooped up out in the field.

    Returning from their latest excursion, Lav and Jade were confused. The pair didn’t have time to browse the CCT on their scrolls, partly because they were running away from a giant, angry pickle that wiped out their targets half the mission, thankfully it decided something bigger than them was more worth the effort. Looking around, they saw strange folks, wearing what looked to be the skin of the new monsters appearing. “Let’s… head to a park and see what we missed on the CCT before we report back.” Lav said, letting out a clueless sigh.

    Sareth and his team stopped at a park, stretching their limbs. “It feels so nice to finally be off the boat.” Anri said, stretching and letting her pointed ears out of her headdress.

    “I dunno Anri, I probably would’ve finally won that card game a few days ago if it wasn’t for that Lagiacrus attack.” Ayden said, grinning.

    “I bet you’ll say the same for the game before we arrived.” Aylia snarked, a grin on her face.

    Sareth was content, a rare feeling for him. Between the horrors he had witnessed in the Old World and the crisis he assisted with in the New World, he needed a break and so far, Remnant held much promise. He would take up a quest later, right now, he wanted to enjoy his life.

    The twins entered the park, still weirded out about what was going on. Spotting Sareth and his team, Jade couldn’t help but speak up. “Hey bro, that woman in white.” She said, elbowing her brother lightly.

    “Hmm?” Lav perked up, seeing where his sister was pointing. “Is it just me or is she wearing-”

    “Looks like it, she seems to be an elf too.” She said, in full fantasy mode.

    Lav grumbled to himself. Still, the weirdness aside, it seemed like his doubts about the two brothers were validated.

    **************

    Daniella and her team walked through the forest, heavy bowguns at the ready for Grimm attacks. She herself had silver hair and red eyes and wearing her Tzi tzi Ya-ku armour. “Keep wary team, according to the locals Grimm are everywhere.” She said, eyeing the treeline.

    “How do you think they’ll stack up, boss?” Allen, a hunter in Jaggi armour asked, watching their left.

    “Going by how the local huntsmen consider them, I’m expecting a decent fight at least.” Kenneth, a hunter clad in the hide of a Kulu ya-ku answered, cutting off their leader.

    Andre remained quiet, he was the only hunter in the team not wearing armour made from a bird wyvern.

    “We’ll see how they measure up in the coming weeks, a hundred zenny says they’re no more threatening than a Jaggi.” Dani said, grinning.

    “I’ll take that bet and raise you another hundred that they’re actually kind of threatening like a tempered Great Jagras.” Andre said, he could never resist a bet with the team’s leader. He usually felt that would a safe one, betting on the monster that made up his armour.

    “How are we going to resupply anyway? They don’t use gunpowder in their guns.” Allen asked, curious.

    “If need be, we can take the gunpowder from our barrel bombs and ask the locals use it to make more bullets.” Ken interjected, looking around.

    “And if it’s food we need, we’re hunters, it’s not like there aren’t any wyverns around anyway.” Andre said informatively.

    **************

    Emily and her team had departed Vale, like so many other hunters to survey what Wyverns made the trip and get as much information on the Grimm they could. She and her team were heading to a fairly recent ruin named Mountain Glenn by the locals. Her brown, shoulder length hair flowed in the breeze while her gold eyes scanned for threats. Her entire team were gunlance and explosive specialists, one of which had a gift for using alchemy style.

    “Hey Em, when are we gonna get our fourth back?” Ismael, a hunter wearing Dalamadur armour asked. He wouldn’t admit it directly, but he kinda had a crush on Emily’s twin sister.

    “When she’s done hunting down a Nakarkos, you know how Kat is when she sets her mind to a hunt.” Emily replied, letting out a sigh.

    “Yeah, she pursues her quarry to the ends of the world.” Liam, a hunter in Shagaru Magala armour added.

    The trek was long and mostly uneventful, apart from a strange encounter with what looked to be a pack of small Orugaron. Still, local fanged beasts aside, they arrived at their destination unscathed.

    “Here we are, Mountain Glenn.” Emily said, loading her gunlance. “Try not to destroy it anymore than it already is, we’re here to scout the place, not level it.” She said, feeling the need to remind her team.

    “Then we have the extra large bombs… why?” Liam asked.

    “Because Deviljho exists and nothing as petty and small as an ocean is a barrier to him.” Ismael remarked half serious.

    **************

    Connor and his team raced deep into the wilderness, following their scoutflies. They were at first quite alarmed when they turned blue. They hadn’t quite expected to not encounter any Grimm in the area, mostly Wyverns and even some local wildlife.

    The entire team stopped, finding what their scoutflies had caught on to, a group of several black spines imbedded into the ground, the signs of an elder dragon in the area.

    “Spines.” Connor said, looking closely. “Looks like at least one of the Elders made the trip.” He said, looking long and hard at them.

    “More than just one Bro, remember that Nerg feeds on other Elders.” Maya chimed in, her right hand resting on the handle of her switch-axe. While it was doubtful they would meet it, it payed to be cautious with the more aggressive monsters around.

    “Aye, that does raise a question.” Duncan said, holding one of the spines. “What exactly was it attacking?” He inquired, looking around.

    Cassius looked around, listening for any potential ambushes. Sure, their palicos were doing a good job as it was, but there was something bothering him. “We’re looking for these ‘Grimm’, right?” He asked, looking to his team.

    “Aye, what’s bothering ye, lad?” Duncan asked, deep in thought.

    “There were supposed to be Grimm here, but it seems that this area has Wyverns instead now.” The longsword user observed, recalling what a local huntress answered them in town.

    “That is true.” Connor said, rubbing his chin.

    “So where are the remains of the Grimm that used to be here?” Cassius asked his team.

    **************

    Sareth and his team entered the emerald forest, having taken a survey quest that was left open by the guild. As per the agreement reached, guild hunters had to notify Ozpin of the mission whenever they went into the areas surrounding Beacon.

    Sareth was still in his Diablos armour with his sword and shield, his nominal fallback when it came to unknown monsters. While Anri had her hammer at the ready, if need be she could fall back and swap for either a heavy or light bowgun as needed. Ayden swapped his favourite greatsword out for his secondary weapon, the gunlance in case of flyers. Aylia still had her dual blades, though she swapped her previous pair for one that had her preferred element, blast, her favoured backup weapon was the bow. Experienced hunters often had at least an alternative just in case their main weapon wasn’t up to the job.

    “Finally, we’re out in the field.” Aylia said, stretching. It felt like they were never going to leave that office to her.

    “I get where you’re coming from.” Sareth said, smiling. “It’s been too long since we had a good, honest hunt like this.” He said, fairly upbeat.

    “No ecological calamity to prevent, no random crisis to solve, no horrors to put down…” Ayden rattled off. “Just a good, honest ecological survey where at worst, either Jho might invite himself to ‘help’. I’m reminded of my earlier years of hunting.” He said wistfully.

    “Well, at least we now know there are Grimm and Wyverns present here.” Anri said, similarly in good spirits.
     
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  7. Threadmarks: Chapter 5: Expectations and Reality
    Phantom General

    Phantom General Getting sticky.

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    Chapter 5: Expectations and Reality


    The town of Moonbright was used to Grimm attacks, having been near three settlements lost during the great war eighty years prior to Grimm attacks. More recently however, the town found itself under siege for the past two months. Used to being cut off, it boasted a large stockpile of emergency food, ammunition, medical supplies and dust in case of a siege. The huntsmen and huntresses defending the town, however were getting worn down through sheer attrition more than anything. Something seemed to have been riling up the Grimm, or at least attracting them in large numbers.

    Daniella and her team made their way through the vegetation coming across the village in the middle of its most recent attack. “Fuck.” She swore, readying her heavy bowgun. “Not a single Grimm survives, conserve your good ammunition, otherwise weapons free.” She ordered, taking aim.

    The hunters advanced in a line, heavy bowguns barking as they rapidly advanced. They didn’t have to do much aiming into the black and white mass at first, though they quickly adapted once locals entered the fray. “Check your fire, no hitting the locals!” She ordered over the gunfire.

    As the chaos of the fighting subsided, the guild hunters readied their carving knives, only for the bodies of the Grimm to dissipate. “Well damn it.” Andre said, disappointed. He was looking forward to seeing what armour made of Grimm looked like.

    “Thank the gods for your help.” A battered huntsman said, clutching an injury he sustained during the fighting. At this point, he didn’t give a shit these folks looked like barbarians.

    “No problem, we’re just following the guild’s mandate.” Kenneth said, rubbing his neck.

    “Guild?” A huntress asked, helping brace her comrade.

    “We’re hunter’s guild, Ma’am, it’s our job to protect civilization from Wyverns and more recently, Grimm.” Andre said, smiling.

    The group headed into the town, the hunters looking around as they headed to the central square. “So what happened to provoke the Grimm?” Daniella asked curiously.

    “Provoke? Grimm are attracted to negative emotions, We’re not sure how, but they sense them and attack the source.” The huntsman answered. That got the hunters looking at each other, puzzled.

    The group sat near a fountain, the various local huntsmen and huntresses maintaining their weapons and reloading for the next attack. “How long has this been going on?” Allen asked, rummaging through his pack.

    “Two months, since that thing in the forest appeared.” The huntress answered.

    “Can you describe it?” Daniella asked, getting out a few potions with her team.

    “Well it was green, really big, looked both hungry and angry, walked on two legs, had way too many teeth and was very violent.” the huntress said, scared. “We sent four of our best and… they didn’t return.” She said sadly.

    Daniella took out an old sketch of a deviljho she drew on on the way to Remnant, she wasn’t a royal scrivener, but she was well-practiced and had a very good memory. “Did it look like this?” She asked, showing the sketch.

    “Yeah, that’s the big, angry pickle that’s been around for the last two months.” The huntress said, scared.

    “Team, you hear that?” Daniella asked, exchanging the magazine in her heavy bowgun. “Looks like We’re hunting Jho tonight.” She casually said, chambering a new round.

    The huntsmen were shocked, it sounded like this “Hunter’s Guild” dealt with things like it on a regular basis.

    Kenneth chuckled, loading his heavy bowgun. “Miss, you and your friends have done admirably well, hell I’d argue you guys have guild potential.” He started, loading a fresh magazine. “But know this, you no longer need to fight alone, for the Hunter’s Guild has arrived and be it Wyvern or Grimm, you can always count on our help. We’ll leave you a few potions for the wounded.” He said, chambering the first round.

    **************

    In the emerald forest, Sareth and his team observed their quarry under the cover of their ghillie mantles. They had been in the forest for a few days now. At most, they set up a temporary camp for as a point of retreat and rest before sneaking around.

    “What do you guys think?” Sareth asked, valuing the opinion of his team.

    “Well, they aren’t much of a challenge, I’d say about as hard to fight as regular Jagras.” Aylia said quietly. She was expecting a challenge from what she heard from the twins.

    “I’m gonna have to agree with her boss, it feels like we’re hunting Jagras.” Ayden whispered.

    Anri meanwhile was unsure of what to make of them, not a single Grimm they saw went to do any hunting or even sleep for that matter. “They seem very… outside of nature.” The Wyverian observed quietly. Grimm it seemed were very different from Wyverns, this warranted further study.

    “How so?” Sareth asked, trusting his teammate’s judgement.

    “They don’t seem to eat or sleep, they also haven’t attacked any Wyverns without prior provocation, given that they seem to only attack humans on sight leads me to think they’re specifically wired that way on a fundamental level.” Anri theorized. Most Wyverians in the Guild were support staff, usually researchers given their cultural disposition toward rational thinking. “I don’t think the Elders would like them very much.” She opined.

    “That does leave one question, though.” Sareth started, pausing to get his thoughts in order. “Why don’t they ever clear this place out regularly? Given the danger Grimm pose.”

    “Good question, though we might need to ask the great and mighty Ozpin.” Aylia snarked with a chuckle. She for one didn’t trust him, there was something off about him.

    **************

    Explosions echoed throughout the ruined city of Mountain Glenn as Emily and her team mapped out the ruins. Admittedly, they were probably the least appropriately armed team when it came to stealth, certainly one of the least subtle, rivalling Daniella’s team in that category.

    The entire team was fairly disappointed they wouldn’t be taking home Grimm parts for study and armour creation. The team soldiered on regardless, at least Ismael was sketching out the new Grimm they encountered between fights.

    After spending the entire day demonstrating the wonders of explosive shells and meowlotov cocktails to the Grimm, Emily decided it was time to call it a night as the sun went down. Finding a relatively intact building, did what they could to fortify the place and made camp.

    The next day proved to be more eventful. Around noon, the team found themselves overlooking a wasteland on a half-finished apartment block, looking through a spyglass at a herd of large Grimm, similar in build to a Gammoth.

    “What do you think, boss?” Liam asked, turning to Emily.

    “Well, that certainly would complicate attempts to reclaim this place.” The hunter in Kulve armour answered.

    “Agreed, they look kind of like a herd of adult Gammoth if you squint hard enough.” Liam joked. “But in all seriousness, we would probably need a siege to bring down the whole herd.”

    “Probably not going to be happening until reinforcements are sent, at the very least.” Ismael said, sketching out the new encounter.

    **************

    Aki headed through the wilderness, with Qrow not far behind her. She normally was a lone hunter, ever since her old team died. Qrow just seemed to decide to follow her for some reason. Still, she was on a mission. She wanted to test the effects of dragon element weapons on the Grimm.

    Qrow in the meantime had previously fought a few Wyverns before the guild arrived. So far, he had slain what he now knew to be called Jagras, needing to sharpen Harbinger, his weapon after that. He had also managed to bring down an Anjanath after, though he had to repair some of the more delicate mechanisms after. He didn’t see the big deal about Wyverns if he were to be honest.

    Reaching a good spot, the wyverian made camp and selected her weapon; a bow made with parts from a Deviljho. She honestly didn’t know why Qrow had decided to follow her. “So, why did you decide to follow me?” She asked, readying her bow with her close range coating.

    “Just wanted to see one of you hunters in action.” Qrow answered dismissively.

    “Fair enough I suppose.” She said, finishing getting ready.

    Later the pair ventured deeper into the forest, leaving the camp behind for now, it wasn’t long until they were engaging their first pack of Grimm.

    Aki let loose with her arrows, starting with a spread shot to grab their attention, the dragon element of the bow amplifying the damage they took significantly. Qrow only really entered the fray to defend himself, mindful of his mission.

    After about the fourth pack of Beowolves and the 13th Ursa that had been slain by the wyverian, Qrow amplified his semblance, assuming it would draw in more Grimm that sadly, the hunter wouldn’t be able to handle… instead of the familiar sound of Grimm that he expected, he heard the loud, angry roar of a Deviljho. “Shit…” He muttered to himself.

    “Oh, of course Jho decided to invite himself now…” Aki said, her voice dripping with sarcasm. Swapping to her supply of power coating, she got some distance from the brute wyvern, opening up with a fully charged shot to get it’s attention. “Qrow, go for the tail, slashing weapons work better there.” She advised, letting off another shot.

    Qrow nodded, taking a good swing at the monster’s tail, expecting it to be like fighting an Anjanath all over again. Instead of a good cut, his weapon bounced off of it’s thick hide. “Shit…” He swore, trying again, getting another bounce. “Fuck.” He swore, ducking a swipe of the Wyvern’s tail. Switching Harbinger to scythe mode and put all of his strength into hamstringing the beast’s legs. His weapon struck home, certainly but one little problem… It shattered beyond usability on impact.

    “Qrow, head back to camp and grab one of my weapons, I’ll cover your retreat!” Aki yelled, launching a flashpod into the Deviljho’s face, temporarily blinding it.

    Qrow did as he was instructed, she didn’t need to tell him twice. On his way back to camp, he decided that his little misadventure was best forgotten.

    **************

    Connor and his team had been up and down the area a few times now, deciding to list the Wyverns they encountered given that it lacked Grimm entirely.

    “I was kind of hoping to have a look at the local monsters.” Connor said, sighing.

    “I know, right? I really want to see how they compare to Wyverns.” Maya said eagerly.

    “I’m curious what armour made from them would look like.” Cassius chimed in.

    “This may not be glamorous work, but it’s needed, lass. The guild needs to know which Wyverns migrated here.” Duncan said sagely.

    Still, the group went on, noting a diverse mix of Wyverns from both the Old and New worlds, with Cassius sketching Wyverns they didn’t recognize.

    **************

    By the time Qrow returned to the scene of the fight, he saw that surprisingly, Aki was still alive and dodging like crazy and even shooting Grimm that seemed to have been drawn to the fight. The Deviljho however, somehow looked even more angry than before, its scars illuminated by an unknown fire within it.

    “Hate it when they get this angry.” Aki mumbled to herself, swapping to her poison coating after dodging a bite.

    Qrow busied himself with the monster’s tail, the greatsword he grabbed crackled with electricity and looked to be made of bones and scales of all things. It took some time to get used to the weapon’s balance and weight, but he managed it.

    “Shit, not again…” Aki said, watching her target get ready for another breath attack. Switching to Adept style, she readied herself for another dodge. When the Deviljho let loose it’s dragon energy breath, she timed her dodge into the attack almost perfectly.

    After the battle, both Qrow and Aki were tired. Starting on the way back to civilization the two remained quiet most of the way. They had taken care to clean up the broken shards.

    “So, what was that?” Qrow asked, wanting to at least get something out of this misadventure.

    “Deviljho, the most unpredictable Wyvern we know.” Aki answered.

    “That was one hell of a fight, pretty far removed from an Anjanath.” The huntsman commented.

    “I’ve never heard of an Anjanath being capable of standing toe to toe with an Elder and have a good shot at winning.” The Wyverian said simply. She had done a lot of reading on the trip to Remnant, to prepare herself for the monsters she could end up encountering.

    “Look, how about once we get back, I’ll buy you a meal and a drink from the ship once we get back.” Aki offered, wanting to cheer him up at least.

    “Yeah sure, just get me the strongest drink you guys have.” Qrow said, shrugging. A free meal was a free meal after all.

    **************

    Deep within her inner sanctum, Salem could feel a change, her link to every Grimm in existence made it impossible to not feel it. They were being pushed back, faster than two years ago. Were it not for her spy in Ozpin’s court and contacts in the criminal underworld, she would have assumed that her hated enemy was moving to expand again. The silver-eyed warrior’s progeny still lived. Her new allies performed far better than expected ten years prior.

    Mulling over the many ways she herself could kill the second silver-eyed girl, she reached out to a Goliath, ordering it to move. Yes, this was perfect… Not a single Goliath had died in centuries. Emboldened by her masterstroke, she moved a second Goliath to threaten a settlement that had stood strong against her pets for too long.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2019
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  8. Threadmarks: Chapter 6: Shadows
    Phantom General

    Phantom General Getting sticky.

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    Chapter 6: Shadows


    It had been a productive few weeks, the Commander thought to himself as he read through the reports. While he decided that the Guild had nothing to gain from excluding local huntsmen from taking on quests themselves and assisting where Grimm were involved, he was relieved to hear the decision had been supported by the guild knights that came with the expedition. While it was also already decided that Faunus were to be paid the same as everyone else, he knew it was a formality to make it official policy. He had sent a few of the support staff to look into local technologies and ways they could spread information quickly. Expansion was also on his mind, they needed footholds in the other kingdoms as well.

    Ozpin was in his office as normal, though right now he needed to give Qrow a debrief. “So Qrow, can you tell me what happened?” He asked, reaching for his coffee cup.

    “I’m not sure where to start Oz, that the hunter I was with tore through Beowolf packs like a hot knife through butter? That the mission went sideways pretty much the second the Wyvern showed up?” Qrow asked, bitterness in his voice. Sure, the shot of ‘Rathalos venom’ helped him cope with it, there was still a hole in his memory starting the moment he emptied the glass and waking up in one of the ship’s rooms with the mother of all hangovers and most hunters that were there that night couldn’t keep a straight face and tell him what happened. It was still the best sleep he’d had in ten years.

    “Start at the beginning, we have the time.” Ozpin said, drinking his coffee.

    **************

    In the headquarters on Menagerie, the various chapter heads of the White Fang convened with Sienna Khan presiding over the entire thing. “As per normal, state your name and your chapter.” Sienna said formally. Sure, she knew them already, but a formal routine for these meetings helped remind everyone involved they weren’t the animals the Ape-things considered them, that they were without their weapons served as a reminder of that.

    “Adam Taurus, Vale Chapter.” Adam said strongly, wearing his mask proudly.

    “Amber, Mistral Chapter.” The female anaconda faunus said from behind a mask that heavily resembled a Sea Feilong.

    “Slate, Vacuo Chapter.” The male Razorback faunus said, his mask resembling a boarbatusk.

    “Meral, Atlas Chapter.” The male Electric Eel Faunus said. He was the only one in the room save Sienna without a mask, his remaining eye looking around the room. In his opinion, his colleagues were only wearing them to distance themselves from their actions, he never needed to.

    The meeting went as normal, status reports, internal concerns, intel sharing, eventually the subject turned to the recently arrived barbarians, the so-called ‘Hunter’s Guild’ and the recent appearances of the ‘Wyverns’ as the Guild called them. “What do you know of the recently arrived barbarians, Adam?” Sienna asked.

    “Very little.” Adam said, honestly. “I can only attest to what members of my Chapter have seen.” He said simply. “They seem to have a connection to the newly arrived beasts, given they wear their skins as armour and use their bones to make weapons.” He said evenly. “Most of them are Ape-things but they have however brought a most intriguing race with them, most likely as their slaves.” He stated, passing around a picture of a Felyne palico. “This ‘Hunter’s Guild’ appears to be no better than the kingdoms.” Adam declared, anger in his voice.

    “There are more ways than just attacking them openly Adam, a better way would be to infiltrate their ranks and destroy them from the inside.” Amber chimed in condescendingly. Sure enough a heated argument started.

    “Enough!” Sienna screamed in anger, tired of the bickering the moment it started. “We need more information on this Guild before we can act accordingly.” She said, absolutely livid at this point.

    “What will we do if the ape-things decide to expand to Menagerie while we wait for more information?” Slate asked, his temper barely contained as it was.

    “We welcome them, of course.” Meral said, a smug look on his face.

    Everyone looked at the man as if he went insane in the time it took for the argument to run its course. “Explain your reasoning, Meral.” Sienna all but ordered.

    “Simple.” Meral started, a smug look on his face. “We let them in and send someone to join their ranks and learn their strengths and weaknesses before we can wipe them out.” He said matter-of-factly. It wasn’t like Menagerie wasn’t essentially under their rule anyway.

    Adam thought deeply for a moment. “I agree with that reasoning, I even have the perfect agent for this task.” He said, smiling.

    **************

    Roman Torchwick watched the news, kicking back in his hideout after his latest heist. It seemed the so-called ‘Hunter’s Guild’ had already started making a name for itself. What really caught his attention, however was the idea of the ‘Wyverns’. Thinking it over, he figured his friends in the White Fang would very much want to use them as weapons, which in turn gave him an idea. He just needed to get his hands on a few of their eggs.

    Gathering up some of his hirelings, he set out to steal himself some stock, seeking to corner the black market on Wyvern eggs.

    **************

    Off the northern coast of Menagerie, a small flotilla of warships from the Atlesian Navy went through their motions, they were mostly stationed there to harass the Faunus living there, usually in retaliation for White fang attacks.

    Today however, turned out to be less than typical. “Sir, we’ll be within shelling range in several minutes. In preparation I’ve had the gunners load the guns early, we just need to navigate this rock then we’ll be clear to fire.” The munitions officer said.

    “Rock? I don’t remember that being there last time I did this.” The older captain said, looking out the window. And then the rock moved.

    Emerging from the water looked to be some sort of massive mountain turtle, heading due north, toward the continent of Anima, paying little heed to everything in its path. “The fuck is that thing, some sort of Grimm!?” A younger crew member asked, fear in his voice.

    “That’s no Grimm, boy.” The captain answered, in awe of the monster before him. “Communications, make sure HQ knows about this thing!” He ordered.

    “Yes sir!” the comms officer said, transmitting on the radio. “Command, this is shoreman 1! We have encountered something huge off the coast of Menagerie, it’s heading toward Mistral.” The comms officer said into the radio, fear slipping into his voice. Later, there was a loud explosion in the air, heralding the arrival of what looked to be a dragon. “And he has a friend.” The officer added, fear in his voice.

    **************

    James was in his office, reading the latest reports. There were less attacks from the Grimm than usual in a few areas, as had been the norm for the last two years, those areas were apparently completely random.

    In addition, scouting parties had spotted Wyverns in those areas, fitting the category of ‘fanged beasts’ by the Guild’s system. The most ridiculous one in his mind was the giant bunny rabbit that threw snowballs in self-defense. Sometimes, he felt he should just give up and ask the Guild nicely for information, then remembered said information would probably come at a cost, be it political favours or simply a down payment.

    On the less stressful front, he had recently tasked a few scientists and engineers with developing a suitable counter to Wyverns and Elder Dragons in particular. Progress was so far slow, but promising.
     
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  9. Threadmarks: Chapter 7: Elders
    Phantom General

    Phantom General Getting sticky.

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    Chapter 7: Elders


    Titus ran through the forest on the island of patch, acting on some information provided by Ruby. Apparently an Elder had been spotted in the forest a month prior to the guild’s arrival. While Ruby herself was currently attending class at Beacon, he promised to check things out for her. “So it was this way?” He asked the squirrel on his shoulder. He had been warming up to his semblance after so long of feeling useless in a fight.

    “Yes, I think.” The squirrel answered holding its chin. On second thought, he probably should have asked a Kelbi rather than a squirrel.

    His scoutflies didn’t have much in the way of experience yet, so he had to rely on local guidance and his palico for the time being. Eventually his scoutflies turned blue, indicating the presence of a powerful monster. “Please don’t be Jho, please don’t be Jho.” He muttered to himself. He had heard numerous horror stories of the Old World devil.

    Following his scoutflies, he found something. Looking it over, it looked to be a hollowed out and rusted shell in the shape of a dragon. Consulting the handy field guide that was made for him and the very few other local recruits. “Looks like the abandoned exoskeleton of a Kushala Daora.” He said to his hunting partner, getting a nod in response. “Elder dragon confirmed it seems.” He said, shrugging.

    **************

    James was in his office, pouring himself a nice, cold glass of Atlesian whiskey. He wasn’t one to normally drink, much less so while on duty, but he needed it after the reports he had gotten.

    At first, he had scoffed at the idea the so-called ‘Elder Dragons’ were natural disasters made flesh. Now however, he was eating his words.

    At first he got a report that a supply dump had been raided by what looked to be a giant red lion with wings, when the scouts got there, they saw it was eating the fire dust, indifferent to the charred and in some cases, still burning buildings around it.

    The next report he got was footage of what he could only describe as a volcano that moved in the waters north of Menagerie. When he sent a representative to ask the Guild about it, they freely referred to the damn thing as ‘Zorah Magdaros’ as if monsters big enough to leave a trail of destruction behind and not notice it were fucking normal, that drove him to tap into his private stock of liquor he had reserved for major victories. At least the Guild didn’t ask for anything in return for the information, this time at least. It was like the world had decided to go insane all of a sudden.

    **************

    Ozpin looked out of his office’s window, observing something that, back when he was young was considered an ill omen; a red comet streaking across the sky, heading north by his judgement. He wondered what the hunters still in the emerald forest thought about it.

    “Hey, boss. You have to see this!” Ayden said, near the top of a tree.

    “On my way.” Sareth said, climbing up a different tree, leaving the girls and the palicos to examine the Nargacuga tracks they found in the emerald forest. Spotting the red trail across the night sky. “Valstrax, looks like he’s heading north.” He observed. Him and his team had been all over the old and new worlds, having all sorts of adventures together. Most of which he wished he could have shared with his old palico.

    “Looks like we’re going to have to cut this expedition short.” Aylia said, disappointed.

    “Not until we find and bring down a Nevermore.” Sareth said, grinning. “Not a long trip from here to Vale, we have some leeway.” He added. The flying Grimm had been, surprisingly elusive.

    **************

    “Are you sure about this?” The Commander asked the man next to him.

    “Yes, as the lead ecologist of this expedition it is my opinion that we should educate the population on how dangerous Wyverns can be if provoked.” The Wyverian elder insisted.

    The Commander sighed. “I tried to get one of our hunters teaching locally, but Ozpin wouldn’t have any of it.” He said, thinking.

    “There has to be a way, Commander.” The Wyverian stated plainly.

    “Going by the reports so far, their technologies have some promise, there’s a contract with a printing company in the works as we speak. It’s a start at least.” The Commander said informatively.

    “A good start.” The Old Wyverian commented. “How are you thinking of reaching out to the other people?” He asked.

    “With the resources we have currently, I’ve decided our main office will be here in Vale, with other major settlements getting an outpost, at least, then we spread out and expand them as needed, we’ll be spread a little thin at first, but I’m hoping cooperating with the locals will make up the difference.” The Commander answered.

    “And if the locals scoff at the idea?” The Wyverian asked.

    “Depends on the exact problem, but we’ll figure out something.” The Commander said, grinning.

    **************

    “So, why do these things vanish when they die?” Connor asked, watching the latest pack of dead Grimm vanish before their eyes.

    “Whatever the reason it is for the better, their mockery of natural creatures is abhorrent.” Cassius scoffed, his longsword at the ready for more. They had encountered some local wildlife after crossing into Grimm territory, not much but it was there.

    “Not much of a challenge either, it feels like we’re hunting Shamos.” Maya said, switching her weapon back to axe mode.

    “Aye, something feels off about them.” Duncan said, putting his hunting horn away.

    The team moved forward, staying aware of their surroundings. Eventually however, they came across some smoldering ruins that were overrun by Grimm, it looked fairly recent. “Did they do this?” Connor asked, unnerved, drawing his insect glaive.

    “Looks like it lad, this is…” Duncan started, old memories resurfacing.

    “Horrible.” Cassius finished, things he would rather forget coming to the surface.

    Maya looked at the ruins then the Grimm, rage swelling up within her. The next thing the team knew, she was charging ahead, screaming in rage, switch-axe drawn. It wasn’t long until she was cleaving through Grimm attracted by her rage, her team backing her up the moment they realized what had happened.
     
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  10. Threadmarks: Chapter 8: Setting the Board
    Phantom General

    Phantom General Getting sticky.

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    Chapter 8: Setting the Board



    Seeing off the ship bound for Menagerie, the Commander hoped they would be received well by the Faunus that lived there. It was mostly stocked with Felyne prowlers and palicos, the only humans he had sent were for non-combat roles such as clerks and researchers. A few hunters and one of the Guild Knights went along as well, both to act as translators for the Felyne, training up new recruits and as extra insurance. He had sent a ship back with the information they had right now. It was going to take time for the information and request for additional resources to travel, so he was doing his best to make do with what he had.

    Sitting in his office, Lionheart looked over the requests the Hunter’s Guild made. Admittedly, they were pretty generous all things considered. Consulting with Salem over it, it didn’t seem to threaten The Plan as written, if anything it gave them a way to learn more about this adversary. Asking Ozpin went similarly, though he encouraged him to take the offer, given the information that could be made available later. In the end, after a week of discussion and debate, the council reluctantly allowed the Guild to setup an outpost.

    “Absolutely not.” James said sternly to the ‘Guild Knight’ on the other side of his desk.

    “Do you truly value your kingdom’s well-being so little that you would deny them protection from the Wyverns?” The Guild Knight calmly countered, drinking his tea.

    “No, I value Atlas’ continued well-being and independence enough to not allow foreign spies on her soil.” The General growled. He knew it, there were always strings attached in the game of politics.

    “The Hunter’s Guild has no interest in meddling in your internal affairs, all we ask is that in matters relating to Wyverns, that we be taken seriously.” The Guild Knight stated simply.

    “The might of the Atlesian military is more than enough to protect its borders from a few oversized beasts.” Ironwood said, smugly.

    “What about an entire ecosystem? Back in the Old World, armies are fielded as well.” The Guild Knight said, sipping his tea.

    “What role do they play?” James asked, curiosity piqued.

    “They prod particularly dangerous monsters into designated hunting grounds, then the hunters are let loose. No point in killing each other when giants threaten everyone.” The Guild Knight said, finishing his tea.

    Ironwood thought that over for a moment. He hated to admit it, even to himself but he had a point, but his pride had won out. “Get out of my office, there will be no deal.” He snarled. The way armies were used where they were from was a huge waste in his opinion.

    “Very well then, General. If you truly wish it, we will take out business elsewhere.” The Guild Knight said, tipping his hat before leaving.

    **************

    It had taken some time, but the Guild had managed to secure a working relationship with Menagerie, the highlights of which included a near revolt when Ghira publicly refused to accept a shipment of Aptonoth meat in front of a crowd of hungry Faunus. While the Guild wouldn’t get much help in building the outpost, it took little over two weeks to finish.

    Laurel stepped off of the ship, carrying her bag. She was here, home for the first time in one and a half years. Sure, her orders were to infiltrate the Guild as soon as she got off of the boat, but she needed to do something else first. As a security measure, her uniform and mask were back in Vale and the only ones who knew about her mission were the chapter leaders and Supreme Leader Sienna. She was even given her own dead drop to receive orders and drop reports.

    Entering the settlement’s graveyard, her legs went on autopilot while old memories resurfaced, the reason she joined the White Fang. She remembered that day two years ago like it was yesterday, leaving her home after an argument with her parents, both her mom and dad had left the White Fang to raise her and when they turned violent, she wasn’t allowed to join them.

    The last thing she said to them before she left home was that she hated them… it was a lie, one made in the heat of the moment. Then the shelling started and she never saw them alive again. Snapping out of her thoughts, she saw she was at the right graves. “Hello Mother, Father.” She said quietly, looking at the headstones, tears running down her cheeks. The only other family she knew of was an Aunt on her father’s side who fought in the fort castle war and she was most likely dead.

    **************

    Roman made his way through the wilderness of Vale, incognito so as to deflect attention he didn’t want. Him and a few of his underlings were currently tailing a big, yellow lizard that looked like it had eaten an entire cow whole. Still, being one of the smaller ones they had seen, he figured it best to start small and work his way up.

    Making a small camp as a fallback point, he noticed that the mist had grown thick in this part of the forest really quickly. Worse yet, he couldn’t shake the feeling that he was being watched. Moving forward, leaving the camp him and his men happened across the creature’s nest. Sneaking around the monsters as best they could, they made for the eggs and the potential profit they represented.

    Grabbing an egg or two, the group carefully snuck around the sleeping monsters and headed back to camp. The mist was still there but they were by and large, home free all they had to do now was smuggle them into Vale and that was the easy part.

    **************

    Sareth and his team returned to the ship, heading into the Commander’s office for debriefing with the chief ecologist present. “So what’s your assessment?” The Commander asked, knowing this was one of the last teams to return.

    “Well, it was like hunting Jagras.” Aylia said, bluntly. She was still bitter over the lack of challenge the Grimm posed.

    “Add in how weird and unnatural they were during observation and I think we found something worth hunting into extinction.” Anri stated, letting out a sigh.

    “Care to explain?” The Commander asked, intrigued.

    “Well, we observed them for a few weeks and frankly, there was little to them.” Ayden said simply.

    “No predator-prey behavior, no unprovoked attacks on Wyverns, they only seemed to be interested in attacking us…” Sareth listed.

    “They don’t sleep, they don’t eat, when slain their bodies vanish in their entirety. What they contribute to the local ecosystem is effectively nothing.” Anri Added.

    “That sounds worrying.” The chief ecologist said, stroking his chin. “Did you find any non-Grimm wildlife?” He asked.

    “Some endemic life, but not quite as prolific as back home, mostly small animals eking out a living and arguably local fanged beasts.” Sareth said, placing a few sketches on the desk. “There’s a good argument for them not being monsters, if I were to be honest.” He added.

    “So what Wyverns have you spotted?” The Commander asked, wanting to change the subject to something other than a potential dragon war.

    **************

    Both Lav and Jade walked through the wilderness, looking about as they watched the Wyverns go about their business. From the herbivores to the apex predators, they observed in wonder. This was the first mission they had taken with the Guild. Unofficially, Ozpin wanted intel on exactly what the deal was with them.

    Lav was looking about, himself indulging in the wonder of it all. Non-Grimm wildlife as a general rule was rare, a side-effect of their presence. They tended to win when in conflict with normal animals. He had thought nothing of it for the most part, but now he wondered what a world without Grimm would be like.

    “Isn’t this awesome, bro? It’s like the old legends had come to life!” Jade enthused, fawning over the Wyverns.

    “Careful sis, a lot of them are dangerous, especially the bigger ones. We’re mostly here to do some scouting” Lav said firmly. Sure they mostly wouldn’t attack unless provoked or if you wandered into their territory, but most Wyverns weren’t pickle so it was mostly safe.

    Arriving at a river, the two came across an unusual sight; bubbles. “Okay, who the fuck thought it was funny to dump soap into the river?” Lav asked, more than a little angry. Fish was one of the few types of wildlife that was anything approaching common in Remnant. Strangely, however there didn’t seem to be any Grimm around.

    “I think that over there is the source.” Jade said, pointing to their left.

    Lav consulted the field guide they purchased before leaving Vale. “It’s not in the book,” He said, disappointed. They could only afford the one field guide for now, but it was already paying dividends.

    “They did say the first few runs would be incomplete. Maybe check the classifications?” Jade suggested. They at least left a few pages blank, a guide to their classifications and a standing bounty for info on Wyverns that weren’t in the field guide. It looked kind of like a fox in her opinion.

    “Looks to be a Leviathan.” Lav said, flipping to the blank pages before handing the book over to his sister. “What do you think it is?” He asked.

    “I dunno, some sort of Bubble-Fox Wyvern?” Jade guessed, sketching out the monster as it seemed to pose for her.
     
  11. Threadmarks: Chapter 9: Omens
    Phantom General

    Phantom General Getting sticky.

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    Chapter 9: Omens



    The twins sat at the river, near the particularly laidback Wyvern they had found, both observing it and having a rest. Lav was browsing the CCT on his phone, particularly browsing old myths for something that sounded familiar. “So, think he eats fish?” Jade asked, about halfway through her sketch.

    “Probably, given its near the river.” Lav responded, focused on his task. They had been out in the field for a few days now, wanting to give a full report on the goings-on in the area. So far, it had been interesting. A lot of the Wyverns were territorial to a certain extent, even flat out aggressive, which tended to be the apex wyverns. But overall, it seemed that not much happened in Wyvern held areas. Meat was eaten, bone was crunched and blood was sucked up dry. Even if the legends were revived, it seemed that they had at least changed drastically to more modern versions.

    It took some time, but Jade had finished her sketch. Sure, they could have used their scrolls to take a picture but the Guild had nothing like the CCT back home. Indeed, it seemed that they were good at making do with less high tech methods.

    Night eventually fell over the wilderness and their pink and purple friend turned in for the night, nestled in its bed of soap suds. The both of them stayed up for a little while longer, doing some stargazing. “Hey bro.” Jade started, looking up at the night sky, lying back at the top of a tree.

    “Yeah?” Lav asked, he had a good idea of where this conversation was going to go.

    “Do you ever wonder if the really old stories about the sapphire star were true?” She asked, spotting the night’s subject.

    “Yeah, sometimes.” Lav replied. Legend had held the two brothers created a paradise beyond the reach of any Grimm and marked it with the sapphire star to inspire hope in humanity shortly after their creation. There were times he wanted to know what lay beyond Remnant.

    **************

    The Commander took stock of the resources he had. The fleet he had sailed in with had brought the more adventurous bunch from both Astera and the old world. The core of the hunters were the A-listers, both from the 5th fleet and back home, even a few prowlers. He had a handful of Guild Knights who were busy making deals with the locals or performing other duties.

    Many of the scholars had come from the third fleet or directly from the Wycademy in Dundorma. The support staff, likewise were Felyne cooks, palicos, engineers, smiths and other support staff. He was thankful they had enough ex-palicos willing to head back into the field to help the new recruits they had picked up unexpectedly. He did notice a pattern however; most of them seemed to want a new life for reasons probably best not asked.

    The chief ecologist was looking through all of the information they had received on the Grimm and to be honest it had left him with more questions than answers. Still, from what he could see, both on the information here and what field observations they had, he went over the basics.

    The Grimm were all predators that exclusively attacked Humans, Faunus, Wyverians and Lynians unless provoked by animals such as Wyverns. They all seemed to share a collective weakness to the dragon element. Their mechanism for tracking ‘prey’ made no sense, but evidence for it was indeed there in the history books. But still, one had to wonder, what if anything preyed on Grimm? Everything had a place after all.

    **************

    Ruby rubbed her eyes, sitting across the library table from Blake who was asleep. “How long have we been here studying?” She asked, poking the faunus across the table to no response. “Blake?” She further asked, only to get snoring in response. “Guess she’s a heavy sleeper as well as being cranky.” She quietly said to herself.

    Then what appeared to be a Faunus in robes bearing the guild’s insignia headed toward her. “Hey again Red.” Titus said, smiling.

    “Oh, hi… Sorry if I sound tired, we’ve been studying for… a while.” Ruby responded, pointing to the still sleeping blake.

    Titus chuckled lightly. “I know how ya both feel. I had to peruse the Archives with the other trainee hunters.” He said wistfully. “Is this seat taken?” He asked, pointing to a seat next to Ruby.

    Ruby smiled. “Oh, no it’s fine. Weiss is in our dorm chasing out some sort of squirrel-thing-”

    “Shepard Hare?” Titus enquired, knowing exactly what had transpired.

    “I guess that’s what they’re called. Doesn’t look like any squirrel I’ve ever seen.” Ruby said simply.

    “Sounds like I’ll have to have a word with the old lady again. She’s always letting her critters loose.” Titus said, recalling an incident when he was still in training.

    Ruby let out a chuckle in amusement. “So, why are you wearing-”

    “If I came into your school in my armour, with tensions how they are, how do you think ‘Oz’ would react?” Titus asked simply.

    Ruby opened her mouth to speak for a moment before closing it the moment her brain caught up to her mouth. “You have a point.” She said thoughtfully. “So how did you get in here?” She asked curiously.

    “The school’s library is open to anyone, remember?” He asked rhetorically, getting a slow nod in response. “I can’t stay long but here.” He said, setting a book with the guild’s symbol on the cover on the desk near Ruby. “There’s some good info here. Share it with your friends, I imagine the bookworm would appreciate it.” He said, nodding to Blake as he said it. He had paid for the copy of the field guide’s latest revision out of his own pocket.

    “Thanks.” Ruby said appreciatively. “Now then, onto the next item on the docket-” She said, before suddenly planting her face into the pile of books, succumbing to the urge to fall asleep.

    Before leaving, Titus gently lifted the silver-eyed girl’s head and placed a cushion under it, doing the same for Blake before quickly leaving.

    **************

    Laurel struck the training post with her chosen longsword, falling to her knees in exhaustion. Damn these weapons were heavy, the weighted training clothes her instructor gave her didn’t help. Between the bookwork, the language lessons and now the physical training. She was surprised she was even accepted.

    “Good, it looks like you’re improving.” Sareth said, observing his pupil. Still, he couldn’t help but think something was wrong about her style. Training Kastya back in the old world didn’t have this problem. The rest of his team were currently helping the new hunters acclimate to guild life in Vale.

    “Are the weights even needed?” Laurel asked, panting heavily. None of the other recruits needed to do this as far as she saw, though the other hunters seemed to regard him as a workaholic.

    “Wyverns don’t hold back, nor do elder dragons, it’s my job to ensure you come back from the field.” Sareth said firmly. Of course, it soon hit him what he saw was wrong. “Let go of your hate.” He said calmly.

    “What?” The White Fang spy asked, an eyebrow raised. Shit, he must have figured her out.

    “An old timer I know once said that every swing of your weapon speaks of who you are.” He said sagely. “Right now, I watch you swing that sword and see anger and hate. Abandon them, lest they consume your very being.” He lectured sternly.

    “What do you know of hate? Faunus experience it everywhere we go.” Laurel argued, anger in her voice.

    “I have seen where unchecked hate leads and stared into the abyss itself.” Sareth said sternly. This was stirring unpleasant memories within him. “What do you know of the Fatalis?” He asked, a haunted expression on his face.

    **************

    James was in the council chambers, listening to the other officers that comprised Atlas’ governing body drone on. Sure, he personally held a seat by himself, but that didn’t mean all of the power was his.

    Certainly, a lot of the more conservative elements were essentially in his pocket, some were even hardline isolationists at that. The reformist camp believed that the military should be ruled by civilians among other things, the naive fools. They were always in the minority, so they had to court the officers who were usually neutral.

    Right now he was losing his patience for social politics, had the damned Wyverns not showed up this would be a typical session for him. Worse yet, the arrival of the Hunter’s Guild and the implications of places without Grimm, given their actions and lack of knowledge had promise. “And lastly on today’s docket, a significant group of nobles, including the Schnees have petitioned us to allow the Hunter’s Guild to setup a trading post within our borders.” General Grey said evenly. It had seemed that the ‘Guild Knight’ had indeed found a way to get the Guild’s foot in the door.

    The resulting discussion lasted for hours, the usual political bullshit and petty squabbling interspersed with the pros and cons of both sides if you looked through the transcripts with a fine-toothed comb. To add to his stress, Ozpin gave him a stern lecture after learning he scoffed at the Guild. When it came down to a vote, he reluctantly allowed the motion to pass, on the condition that tariffs be laid on items imported by the Guild. Still it could be worse, Vacuo seemed to be particularly unlucky when it came to Wyvern attacks.

    **************

    Zach walked through the streets of Vacuo, wearing a full set of Malfestio armour, remaining on his guard. He was a Guild Knight, one of the few out in the open. From what he surmised, the local government was effectively toothless, with the only respected source of law being Shade academy.

    The city itself had the atmosphere of a pirate’s haven and maybe some of the more lawless parts of the Old World. He could practically feel the lowlifes around him sizing him up, possibly considering the risks involved in trying to rob him, he kept his guard up regardless, ready to draw his charge blade at a moment’s notice. He had seen the black diablos skull adorning the front gate, suspecting it was from a prior attack. He had a hunch some idiot disturbed its cactus.

    His thoughts were interrupted when he heard a familiar sound, the roar of a Sand Barioth, it sounded like a young one if he wasn’t mistaken. This would not be easy for him, but he knew it could be worse… It could’ve been an Ahtal-ka for example.
     
  12. Threadmarks: Chapter 10: Bonds
    Phantom General

    Phantom General Getting sticky.

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    Chapter 10: Bonds



    Roman headed back to his camp, or rather what little was left of his camp, given someone ransacked it. “Spread out and see what’s left.” He ordered, his underlings carefully setting down their latest acquisitions. Due to high demand, he had decided to step up his egg stealing operation. Him and his men had to step up their thievery.

    Over the past few days they had gotten confident enough to steal from larger monsters. The White Fang asked for bigger monsters, even offering more cash for the eggs. So, they had moved up to the weird photobomb raptors that roamed the forest now.

    Searching through the camp the group found the getaway car had been trashed as well, the unusual footprints implying one of the larger monsters decided it was a rival. Looking through what was the camp however, revealed that there was something that was stolen outright. Roman was angry, whoever trashed his camp had also stolen his hat.

    **************

    “So how long have you guys been hunting with Sareth?” Titus asked, sitting with probably the one group of hunters he felt he owed the most.

    “Myself, I would say fifteen years, give or take a few months.” Ayden answered before taking a bite of his food.

    “Twenty five years, as of last week.” Anri said simply between helpings of her tea.

    “Ten years, I heard they were heading out to hunt a Diablos, I recently became qualified to hunt ‘em at the time, been with the team since.” Aylia said with a grin. Sure, she freely admitted that of the four, she was the least experienced, but that didn’t stop her from being one of the Guild’s finest.

    “So you guys have been through quite a lot it seems.” Titus observed between mouthfuls of food.

    “Really, name a place in the old or new world and we’ve been there, name a wyvern and we’ve likely hunted it at some point.” Ayden said grinning before taking a swig of his ale.

    “A lot of that is Sareth’s doing. Even from my observations, he’s very driven for a human.” Anri said evenly.

    “I noticed, what drives him to work like he does?” Titus asked innocently.

    The mood at the table darkened significantly, Ayden looking right in the Faunus’ eyes with a piercing stare.

    “Did I strike a sore spot? If so, I apologize.” He said, unnerved by the sudden shift in the mood.

    “Kid, I like you, but I’m only going to say this once.” Ayden started, steel in his voice. “Let Sareth share that on his terms, there are some things out there that even us hunters don’t want to talk about.” He said seriously.

    “I… understand.” Titus said, carefully.

    “Good.” Ayden said, dropping his serious mood. “So how are you adjusting to Guild life?” He asked, wanting to push that awkward moment into the past.

    **************

    “I don’t get it sir, something seems to be agitating the Wyverns in the forest.” Connor said, letting out a sigh.

    “Aye, haven’t seen it since the new world.” Duncan said simply. The kids were pretty sharp when they had to be.

    “Does it mean there’s an elder nearby?” Maya asked, almost hopeful.

    “Possibly, but right now we need to tread carefully, elder dragon or not we need to be particularly careful, given our limited information.” The Commander said. A lot of the hunters, particularly the more experienced ones already proposed an Elder was behind it, understandable given Xeno’jiiva was behind the phenomenon in the New World and one ‘Shagaru Magala’ behind something in the Old World. He had heard quite a few complaints concerning one of the A-listers not shutting up about it, a few of them from Kastya. He was surprised that she didn’t come over, given her attitude toward that A-lister, nevermind the incident with the paratoad.

    “Could we at least have someone check it out? It could be something we haven’t accounted for.” Cassius said, keeping a level head.

    “Sounds like a good start, I know just the hunter for the job.” The Commander said, shortly before dismissing the team. Now all he had to do was wait for Titus to return from talking with the local endemic life.

    **************

    Sareth watched as Laurel practiced with her longsword, accompanied by Brandon, the guild knight assigned to the Menagerie branch. “So, what do you think, sir?” The hunter quietly asked.

    “Honestly, if it was my call, I’d have kicked her out by now.” Brandon said, bitterly.

    “You need to learn to see potential, Brandon. Sure, she may harbour resentment and hate for now, but I see she has the potential to become a great hunter if properly handled.” Sareth advised evenly. “I imagine that it’s going to be mating season soon and we’re going to need as many recruits as possible to ensure settlements aren’t threatened by wyverns.” He added, watching his charge.

    Brandon let out a long sigh, his fairly recent failure still at the forefront of his mind. “Fine... I’ll let you indulge your optimism, but if I were to hear that she goes rogue at any point, I will hunt her down and execute her myself.” He said darkly, turning to check on the other recruits.

    Laurel kept attacking the training dummy with her sword. She hated to admit it, but her trainer was right about the training weights. Once she had gotten used to them, her sword ceased to feel heavy anymore, if anything it was lighter than she expected. Sareth’s training was harsh and often unforgiving, but now she saw why. The ‘Fatalis’ as he called it seemed to drive him to do this. The way it was described, it was like he was talking more about a natural disaster than a monster. Seeing her trainer looked satisfied with her progress, she imagined it would be time for her to choose her ‘palico’ soon.

    **************

    Qrow entered the Ozpin’s office. “I have some interesting news, Oz.” He said, happy to have his reborn Harbinger with him.

    “Do tell, how was Mountain Glenn?” Ozpin asked, setting aside some papers for the moment.

    “Full of Grimm as usual, though one odd thing...” The teacher at Signal started. “I saw a few of the Goliaths leave the area, one at a time. If anything it looked like they needed to be somewhere.” He added evenly.

    Ozpin remained mostly neutral, save for a slight twitch. Salem seemed to be up to something, just what was going on? “Is the Guild aware of this development?” He asked.

    “No, they seem more interested in something agitating the local Wyverns at the moment.” Qrow answered truthfully.

    Ozpin thought for a moment, considering his next move he needed more information before acting. “I’ll need to see if I can get the twins to get more information on the Guild’s activities.” He said, letting out a sigh. The Guild seemed to be harder to comprehend for him the more it did things.
     
  13. Threadmarks: Chapter 11: Embers
    Phantom General

    Phantom General Getting sticky.

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    Chapter 11: Embers



    Adam read the report he was sent. It was the first of many tidbits of information. From what his spy gathered, it seemed the Guild treated their slaves like favoured attendants, with hunters needing to choose one to serve them in the field.

    It looked like the Guild offered a choice of fourteen different weapons for a hunter to choose from. While hunters were free to try out weapons as they wished, most seemed to choose at least a primary and a second, backup weapon.

    The ones most similar to what huntsmen used were the switch-axe and the gunlance. Curiously, they seemed to have light and heavy variations of the sword and shield, probably for handling larger monsters. Add in that Guild weaponry tended to be made with either a steel or a bone base with other monster parts added later as hunters became more experienced was most curious for barbarians such as them.

    **************

    James gulped down his coffee as he read reports well into the night. “New” specialist teams had been formed to combat the Wyverns, consisting mostly of survivors of teams that suffered attacks by wyverns.

    He had been pulling all-nighters like this more frequently since the monsters had made themselves known. He had stepped up recon missions so he had as much information as possible on the new threat.

    To be frank were it not for the helmet camera footage, he wouldn’t believe a word of the reports that had been coming in. The first report of the day being a “shark with legs” seemed to set the tone of the reports. The weird lightning unicorn from two years ago appeared again, this time being chased by a “giant, angry monkey” that seemed to be hunting the damn thing.

    There was even a Wyvern equivalent to a Goliath that was far more territorial and seemed to really have it out for a striped flying wyvern whos wings half resembled forelegs, nearly trampling team CNDR as it charged the object of its hatred. That was even discounting the attacks from smaller monsters that had been on the rise as Grimm attacks fell. He had a feeling that he really would have to conduct a war on an ecosystem if things got worse.

    **************

    Ruby was excited, she had heard that the Guild’s workshop had finished being setup. Already the craftsmen were hard at work forging new weapons and armour for their new recruits. As the designer and forger of Crescent Rose, she was eager to watch how they worked their materials.

    She had learned in an article published in Weapons Monthly the Guild manufactured fourteen different weapon types for their hunters. As she watched the smiths work, she couldn’t help but think that something sounded off about the hammer blows and looked off about their technique as they shaped the red hot material.

    Still, she admired the pieces of machinery that had been setup for the forge. The man in charge didn’t mind her presence as he pounded the mystery material into shape. It took quite some time, but eventually it was finished. When it came time to quench the material, it was revealed to Ruby that they had been working with bone the whole time, most likely wyvern bone. A new greatsword had been finished.

    “Interested in watching us work, lass?” The forgemaster asked curiously.

    “Yeah, I wanted to see how you made things.” Ruby answered happily.

    “Feel free ta watch to yer heart’s content, but I cannae sell to non-hunters, Commander’s orders.” He explained, giving the newly created sword a good sharpening.

    **************

    Ozpin watched as events unfolded in the forests near beacon, he had been watching as he saw the Grimm within the forest gradually lost ground to the Wyverns.

    The process was aided along by the Guild’s hunters whenever he asked for a particularly dangerous monster to be removed from the forest. The one time he asked for a straight culling of the Wyverns in the forest was flatly rejected on the grounds that such an action could provoke the elder dragons.

    That a single elder dragon could annihilate a kingdom on its own was evidently cause for concern, considering how seriously the Commander took that claim.

    It seemed to be a predictable pattern as to how the Wyverns took ground. An apex predator that loses a fight for its territory had the chance the loser would move into Grimm occupied territory or in some cases a predator would end up chasing its prey into the area.

    The result was usually the same, the apex predator soon picked a fight with the largest Grimm it could find in its new feeding grounds and in most cases the Wyvern ended up winning and claiming the area for its own, it would eventually grow hungry and prey upon Grimm, trying to get sustenance.

    The seeming exception to that rule was the Brute Wyvern known as Deviljho, which seemed insatiably hungry and angry in equal measure. It even seemed to revel in the violence it caused. When he asked, the Guild admitted that even they couldn’t predict its movements, it was all they could do to simply kill it on sight considering the threat to ecosystems it presented.

    Letting out a long sigh, the headmaster couldn’t shake the feeling that his plans were being threatened, both directly by the Wyverns and indirectly by the increasing stress and frustration James was trying to hide with each passing report. He had grown good at reading people over the centuries, particularly those he had worked with over the course of his multiple lifetimes.

    He was honestly baffled as to where the Wyverns and the Guild fit in the grand scheme of the gods’ creation, considering a significant amount of the monsters seemed right out of legends that only he and Salem half-remembered at best but he passed them on as a way to keep some semblance of his distant past alive.

    **************

    The Commander looked at the report with a puzzled expression. This was his fifth reading and he was still confused. “Is this accurate?” He asked, looking at the faunus hunter before him.

    “Yeah, that’s what I can do, I honestly didn’t think it would work on Wyverns.” Titus answered, rubbing the back of his head.

    “Can other locals talk to animals like you?” The older man asked curiously. While he was still puzzled, there seemed to be more to aura than initially thought, he imagined that the researchers would be busy for decades on the subject.

    “As far as I know, only I can, most of my friends back in Atlas had combat semblances.” Titus answered plainly.

    “I’ll be honest, this is the first time I’ve heard anything like this.” The Commander said, organizing his desk. “I’ll need you to scout out Grimm territory later, but be aware that the researchers are going to be very curious as to what you folks can do.” He said, smiling softly. “But know that I have approved your request to share a mission with one of the huntsmen.” He said plainly.

    “Thank you sir, I won’t let you down.” Titus said, turning to leave the office.

    “I know you won’t.” The Commander said to himself. Still, he knew he’d have to assign a Guild Knight to the latest case. Someone had been stealing Wyvern eggs without their approval.

    **************

    Cinder, Mercury and Emerald entered the warehouse, walking past the various White Fang members shuffling supplies around, alongside Torchwick’s goons. They were hauling many things around. Guns, ammunition, dust, but those weren’t what they were there to address. Those were supplies needed for The Plan to be executed.

    And sure enough, there was Torchwick himself, fairly battered, singed and without his signature hat, but unloading the subject of today’s talk. “Oh, it’s you.” He said, particularly livid at the moment.

    “You’ve taken to stealing Wyvern eggs.” Cinder said plainly, it wasn’t a question.

    “You wouldn’t believe the money the Fang pays per egg.” Roman said, a smug grin on his face. “What kind of a black market would it be if I didn’t provide?” He smugly asked.

    “And what if you didn’t survive? Wyverns seem to be dangerous enough that they seem to regard Grimm as little more than prey.” Cinder said, frowning.

    “The Wyverns are not our concern.” Roman said, lighting up a cigar. “Sure, they may have a few tricks, but in the end they’re mindless beasts, they’re hardly worth paying heed.” He added, taking a puff of his cigar. He did however, plan on getting revenge on the oversized chameleon that stole his fucking hat again.

    Cinder’s eyes narrowed, her hands clenched into fists. She had half a mind to burn him to ash right then and there before she remembered that his services were needed to ensure the plan was successful.

    “Besides, what do you care what I do to make a little extra money? You know my services are essential.” Roman said, practically radiating smugness. He knew he was indispensable to everything and wasn’t afraid to rub it in.

    “Fine, but don’t come crying to me should the Guild turn its gaze on your operation.” Cinder said with considerable annoyance.

    “Is it wrong that I think he’s going to screw everything up?” Mercury asked as the group headed for the exit.

    “No, but hopefully the collateral damage would be easy to work around.” Cinder answered. As of right that moment, things were going as planned, even with the Guild’s presence. The denizens of Vale were so far unaware of what was to come. There was nothing that could threaten the plan to bring the city of Vale to its knees.

    ____________

    And we're now caught up to the finished chapters.
     
  14. Bobbot

    Bobbot Getting out there.

    Joined:
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    Can't wait intill they show the Pailco's i just hate that the white fang think there slaves. I hope they get there just desserts
     
  15. Threadmarks: Chapter 12: The Old World Devil
    Phantom General

    Phantom General Getting sticky.

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    Chapter 12: The Old World Devil



    Titus and Ruby got themselves settled in the classroom as Professor Oobleck handed them both a drink. “Alright then, what is it we needed to talk about?” The teacher asked, adjusting his glasses.

    Titus responded to the question by setting a chipped fang on the desk the two chose to sit at. “Well, I think we’ve just turned centuries of conventional wisdom on its head.” He said, pushing the memento ahead of him.

    Oobleck examined the fang. “Hmm, curious… I don’t think I recognize the creature this is from.” He said, rubbing his chin.

    “Well, its from a big, angry and violent pickle.” Ruby said, speaking up. What she had witnessed hours earlier had been equal parts terrifying and awesome at once.

    Oobleck raised an eyebrow at that. “I’m reasonably certain that Grimm don’t attack each other, miss Rose.” He said evenly.

    “It’s from a wyvern we found in Grimm territory, pretty much one of the most dangerous ones.” Titus explained.

    “What was it doing there?” Oobleck asked, curious.

    “Killing every Grimm it could find.” Titus answered. “Deviljho is one of the most aggressive ones the Guild knows of. If I wasn’t there, it might have seriously hurt Ruby.” He said, getting a nod from the student.

    “Tell me everything that happened, spare me no details.” Oobleck said, concerned.

    **************

    Titus and Ruby walked through the forest. The Guild had contracted a Bullhead and its pilot to take the pair over to the village of Moonbright to use as a springboard into areas known to be lousy with Grimm. The mission was simply to gather intel on what happened in such areas for a few days, then return home.

    “So, I see you’re using a bone weapon today.” Ruby said, eying up the charge blade.

    “Yeah, I’m seeing if I like the feel of it or not. The Guild’s big on letting hunters find their niche on their own.” Titus said, rubbing the back of his head.

    “How can you wield that? I don’t think I can pick it up, let alone use most Guild weapons.” Ruby asked, curiously.

    “Yeah, that’s the Guild training talking. Believe it or not, it used to feel heavier during my training, add in that Sareth used training weights…” He trailed off wistfully.

    “Training weights?” She asked, tilting her head. “Why would he use those?” She added, puzzled.

    “I dunno, when I asked, he said that it might save my life.” Titus answered, shrugging. “I’m pretty sure he has a good reason though.” He added.

    **************

    As time went on and Grimm encounters passed, Ruby noticed Titus’ weapon was more than just an oversized sword and shield, it could morph into an axe if he needed additional reach, which only seemed to happen when a Nevermore was just out of reach of his sword.

    “Ruby, get behind me!” Titus yelled, holding up his shield as yet another Nevermore threw its feathers at the pair.

    Ruby didn’t hesitate and not a moment too soon, she could hear the impacts on the shield fairly clearly. A curious thing though, his sword seemed to emit a yellow glow once the impacts stopped.

    “You take on the Nevermore, I have the deathstalker.” Titus said, grinning.

    Ruby nodded and launched herself into the air at the airborne Grimm while Titus went after the new arrival.

    Titus charged the scorpion-like Grimm, using his sword to open his combo, quickly following it up with a shield thrust. Seeing he needed to charge the phials, backing off for a moment to get some distance before doing so.

    Ruby was somewhat perplexed as to what her partner was doing, it seemed the weapon he used was more complex than she first thought.

    Titus remembered he needed to charge his shield first, so he dumped his charged phials into his shield, inadvertently blocking the Grimm’s stinger and causing a bit of damage in the process.

    Ruby was nearly done with her target when she noticed her partner’s shield was glowing red, even what looked to be electricity dancing over it. She was going to have to ask a lot of questions once this fight was over.

    Titus charged his sword next, he knew he didn’t have to, but it would help him ready his next big attack. Moving in, he aggressively assailed his foe until he needed to charge his phials again.

    Ruby watched, now his sword was glowing red as well. She let Titus fight it on his own. When she heard the distinctive sound she heard before the shield started glowing and saw the energy dancing across the axe head.

    Titus first opened up with a horizontal swing to his left, the shield rotating quickly. While he missed on the first swing, he fluidly changed to a strong, downward swing, impacting both Grimm and the ground, sending a shockwave ahead of him.

    Ruby’s eyes lit up in awe. “That, was awesome!” She exclaimed as Titus returned his weapon to sword mode. “How did you do that? What kind of dust did you use? How did they get bone to morph and change like that?” She asked in rapid succession. What little was left of the Deathstalker had already begun to dissolve.

    “Easy there, Ruby. How about we talk about it once we’re safe.” Titus said, smiling. Being in the middle of Grimm territory was hardly the best place to teach her how the charge blade worked.

    **************

    “I’m assuming that Miss Rose isn’t exaggerating?” Oobleck asked Titus, his right eyebrow raised.

    “Yeah, that’s just what the charge blade does.” Titus said plainly. “To answer the next question, the Guild doesn’t use dust, hell it seems that dust is a thing only in Remnant.” He said, preempting the professor.

    Oobleck blinked as he processed the information. “I find that to be a silly notion, I suppose it’s worth investigating.” He said, rubbing his chin, evidently he need to ask a few questions at the Guildhall.

    “Anyway, where were we? Ah yes, the mission.” Titus said, thinking for a moment.

    **************

    Titus and Ruby continued through the forest, their walk was oddly quiet given they were in Grimm territory, like something had killed its way through recently.

    Titus’ scoutflies went out of their container, settling over a few large Wyvern footprints, prompting the pair to have a look at them.

    “Recognize it, Titus?” Ruby asked, rubbing her chin.

    “Not particularly, though judging by the shape, I bet it’s a brute Wyvern.” Titus said plainly, though at the same time a shiver of dread went down his spine. That meant it was possibly the wyvern he heard horror stories of during his training. “It could be one we haven’t found here yet.” He said hopefully. The good news though was the footprint looked fairly old.

    The pair headed deeper into the forest, both ready for a confrontation with Grimm. “So why’d you join the Guild?” Ruby asked curiously.

    “Honestly, I felt I kind of owed them after they helped out my town.” Titus answered, not wanting to go into specifics.

    “That was nice of them to help complete strangers out.” Ruby said cheerfully.

    “Really though, the Guild folks seem to see that we’re all in this together, it might be the ecosystem that nurtures such things.” He said wistfully. He didn’t quite get the why, but this was a mindset he could get behind.

    After a bit more walking, Titus found a chipped fang and some what seemed to be saliva he decided to bottle, to ask the researchers what they made of it later. But still, that sense of dread remained with him, like he was forgetting about something.

    **************

    “Curious, what exactly are scoutflies anyway?” Oobleck asked, intrigued.

    “Basically, they’re a kind of insect the Guild trains them to assist in hunts and in return, gives them food and shelter.” Titus answered. “The specifics are kind of lost on me I’ll admit, but they do come in handy.”

    “Interesting.” The professor said, his academic curiosity piqued.

    **************

    “Must go faster, must go faster, must go faster!” Titus yelled, running for his life. There were a lot of things he expected to find here, what was behind him, not so much.

    Ruby was managing to keep pace with her partner, not wanting to lose sight of him. She didn’t know what kind of Grimm was chasing them, all she knew was it was big and and laughed at her attacks. “Just what is chasing us?” She asked, looking back at the elephant-like Grimm.

    “I think that’s a Goliath, an old type of Grimm.” Titus said, rummaging through his pack. All the signs pointed to them being too dangerous to hunt so the Guild refused to let hunters near them.

    “What are we gonna do? We can’t scratch it.” Ruby said, figuring Titus was getting another bottle of that liquid out.

    Titus fell behind a little, pulling out a bottle of dash juice. Wasting no time, he opened it and drank its contents as quickly as he could. Unfortunately, that was his last bottle of the stuff, needing to consume the other four having been used earlier in the chase.

    And then the scoutflies flew ahead, having picked up some tracks. He knew what they were now too, having picked up a dark green scale embedded in one previous. He knew they couldn’t keep running forever, but this gave the faunus an idea.

    “Ruby follow me, I have an idea.” He said, turning to follow the tracks.

    “Um, okay.” Ruby said in acknowledgement, it wasn’t like they had any better ideas.

    “Please be there, please be there.” Titus said to himself in hope this would work, he would appreciate the irony of this later.

    Ruby looked behind them. “Um, it’s not slowing down.” She said, scared out of her wits.

    “Oh shit, get down!” Titus yelled, tackling the huntress in training out of the way of the Goliath and just in time, too. Quick with his Semblance, he gave the Brute Wyvern the impression that it should focus on the Grimm rather than himself, his palico and Ruby.

    Ruby found herself on the ground. As she got back up, she spied a weird puff of black smoke laced with red electricity in the corner of her left eye, in the direction of the Grimm. “What… What was that?” She asked as Titus led her away.

    Titus let go of his partner, his palico had jumped with him without a scratch. “That should do it.” He said, recovering his energy.

    “Quick, we should run and regroup while it’s distracted. I don’t think it’s going to to do any-” She said, only for Titus to hold up his hand to interrupt her.

    “Just watch.” Titus said, reassuringly.

    Sure enough both the brute Wyvern and the Grimm squared off, both refusing to give ground. The two monsters charged each other, angry brute wyvern and centuries old Grimm moved to strike each other.

    The Deviljho managed to get a strong grip on the base of Grimm’s trunk, its body glowing red as its rage boiled over and scars reopened, driving it to greater heights of rage as it picked the Grimm off the ground for a few seconds and slammed it into the ground as hard as it could.

    Ruby was awestruck, She had grown up being told the Grimm were the biggest threat to humanity. That they would always plague settlements and it was the job of the Huntsmen to protect them.

    “Ruby, let’s get out of here. I don’t wanna be around pickle when he’s done.” Titus said, tapping on her shoulder.

    “Yeah, agreed…” She said, turning back to the village. If there was anything she learned today, it was that Wyverns were scary.

    **************

    “Miss Rose, I know you have gone through a harrowing experience but frankly, that’s ridiculous.” Oobleck said, adjusting his glasses. “What do you say, hunter?” He asked, figuring he would get a sane answer.

    “It’s all true.” Titus said, bluntly.

    Oobleck froze, dropping his thermos.”What.” He responded.

    “Jho is one of the most powerful apex Wyverns known, he’s been known to take on Elder dragons and win.” Titus said plainly.

    Oobleck remained still for a while, his mind having trouble processing what he just heard. An invincible Grimm, by all common wisdom, just up and destroyed by something he didn’t even know existed until now.

    “Um, Ruby?” Titus asked.

    “Yes?” Ruby responded.

    “I think we just… broke him.” Titus said, concern in his voice.
     
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