Some things change, and yet others stay the same. The wheel of destiny always has its game set, but sometimes it can be played with different pieces in different positions. The game and its rules never change, but sometimes small events do.
How will the future change when these small details are mixed and matched, and the world as some know it is flipped on its head?
Cinder Fall sighed as she walked around Vale streets as the sun went down on the horizon, more content than she had been for as long as she could remember. In a few days she would be receiving her reply to the request letter send to Beacon, a school that would train her to be the best of the best, a Huntress who could defend humanity from the terrible force of the Grimm and finally begin to use her abilities for true good. But before that she would need to stop in and pick up some Dust for school supplies, after all even if she didn't make it in she could use the Dust for around the house purposes.. Her family wasn't quite poor enough for the academy to cover the costs of all the stuff she would need to attend, so that meant the Dust she got would have to be paid for out of pocket. Of course it was already rather late and there weren't too many places open at this time of night. She mentally cursed Emerald for making her sit through a second movie, though she would admit that the movie was one of the better ones she had seen in a while. Finally she came to a pause in front of a small store, which not only seemed to be open but actually had both powder and crystal Dust. Hm… From Dust Till Dawn? She would admit that the stores name was a bit hokey, but who was she to complain at the time? Cinder entered the store and was quickly greeted by the old man behind the counter.
"Can I help you today miss?" his voice was rather kind, albeit a bit worn with age.
Cinder nodded a bit, reaching into her purse and pulling out a few Lien to show him that she was a paying costumer. "Yeah, I was wondering if maybe I could get a few tubes of Burn and maybe a crystal, uncut if you have them." the young huntress to be was an adept Dust user, able to challenge it at an advanced stage and manipulate them into powerful attacks. Sometimes a bit too powerful, but the intricate seals weaved into her clothing and hidden along her arms provided a bit more control.
"We are having a sale on Burn actually, bit of a fire sale you might say." the old man laughed at his little joke before getting out some storage containers. "It will take me a bit too get your order together, why don't you check out our selection of magazines from the back?"
The young woman gave the storekeeper a bow before moving past the shelves and too the magazines in the back. A few of them were just catalogues for different weapon mods or new Torchwick brand Dust mixes. Cinder picked up a new 'Strange Tales of Hunters' from the rack. The magazine had quite an old run, telling strange stories that Hunters and Huntresses saw in battle against the Grimm. Some of them had liberties taken to make the story flow better, but she still got a kick out of it. Before she got well and started reading through she brought her headphones up to her ears, deciding to listen to a song or two while she read.
While the young huntress listened to her music and read another figure entered the store, backed by four men in rather nice suits and wearing hats, an outfit commonly worn by those of the Three Bears gang. Three carried blades at their sides, and the fourth carried a small pistol. The fifth person to enter was a rather tall woman; she had long flowing blonde hair and two golden gauntlets that covered both of her arms. The look in her eyes was filled with dark fire, a look that could burn a person's soul if they looked into it for too long. Too put it lightly, she had the eyes of a killer. "Hey there old guy" the woman waved toward the shopkeeper and one of the men put a gun to his head. "Any chance you are having a sale today?"
The man's hands quickly shot above his head, not wanting to die in defense of his modest shop. "Please don't kill me, just take the Lien and let me be." his words were desperate as he pleaded with the woman, who he recognized straight away. Yang Xiao Long of the Blood Rose gang, one of the most notorious and deadly people in the city. She was known for going on huge killing sprees with little to no reason, and it was said that the only thing that controlled her was her sister, the leader of her gang.
Yang went "Tsk-tsk" and wagged a finger at the old man. "Come on now, I am not gonna take your money." she turned her eyes toward the four men. "Grab the Dust and let's go." The four men nodded and grabbed their Dust containment jars, ready to drain the place as fast as possible. "Hey how about you give me some Freeze, one of my friends has been dying to get her hands on it." The man nodded and quickly handed it over. "Hm… craftsmanship is spotty at best, many if I wasn't stealing this I would be offended." Yang balanced it on one finger and smirked.
As one of the men was draining the Dust from its container he noticed a girl at the very back of the store, reading a magazine and listening to a pair of headphones. He sighed a bit, obviously not really wanting to scare some young girl but also having a job to do. He pulled out his blade and walked toward her. "Put your hands in the air, this is a robbery!" The girl didn't seem to hear him, focusing more on her music and reading than the world around her. The man took another step and put a hand on her shoulder, turning her around and pointing toward his ear.
Cinder blinked in surprise and embarrassment, expecting to see the shopkeeper having come to inform her that her stuff was ready and instead finding some man she had never seen before. She pulled down her headphones and the music she had been listening to bleed out into the world around her. "Yes?" she asked politely.
"Put your hands in the air." the man gave her a threatening look and raised his blade.
The young woman took a moment to process the situation, wondering just how exactly she had gotten into this situation. "Are you robbing me?"
The man let out a sigh and nodded. "Yes."
"Oh, well then." she put up her hand and let out a massive ball of fire directly into the man's stomach, sending him flying backward out the window of the business. He probably wasn't dead, but with burns like that and the broken bones that came from the impact he certainly wasn't going to be feeling good.
Yang raised an eyebrow as one of her men went flying out the window, landing quite unflatteringly on his back. "Huh?" she asked in confusion. She pointed toward the man with the gun to go see what was happening.
The man turned the corner and raised his weapon at Cinder. "Freeze!"
The huntress to be smirked and raised her finger. "No." she snapped and the gun melted in his hands, drawing a scream from him as the molten metal bit through his gloves and burned his skin. Before he could react to this through Cinder was moving forward, slamming a burning palm into his face and using the momentum to carry them through the shattered window and tossing him into a nearby building. Her music clicked off as she turned back to look at those who had been inside of the building, deciding that she would probably have an easier time getting them to surrender if she could scare them. With a deep breath Cinder drew in her power, setting the runes along her dress on fire and cutting a terrifying figure against the mostly black night, like a pure fire in human form.
Yang crossed her arms and took a good look at the young girl, unable to believe that some brat had managed to take down two hardened criminals like they were nothing. "Huh?" she shook her head and pointed at her. "What are you idiots waiting for, get her!" the men nodded and ran outside to attack Cinder.
The girl let out a sigh and stepped back, drawing her power toward her hands and creating two new fireballs. These people weren't about to back off, and that meant that she couldn't either. She aimed her palms down and launched her flames at the ground, and when they hit a circular wall of flames surrounded her, forcing the two standing men too retreat from their heat. Before they could think of dodging two whips made of fire lashed out and grabbed their weapons, pulling them away from their grasps and tossing them aside. Before they could even process this through the ground under their feet suddenly rose to massive temperatures, melting their shoes and causing them to fall over. Cinder killed the flames and looked toward the leader of the group, who was giving her an odd stare from the window of the shop.
"Well crap, those guys weren't worth half of what my sister paid for." Yang shook her head and stepped out of the shop, craning her neck from one side to the other and drawing free some fresh pops from it. "Now normally I would kill you, but I would hate to be late so….." the woman lashed out and sent a bullet straight at Cinder, which exploded in a cloud of smoke in front of her face. "Later!" Yang rushed past the girl and toward a building in the distance.
The shopkeeper came out of the building, looking afraid but unharmed. Cinder turned toward him and smiled a bit. "I am going to go after her, do you mind?" the man shook his head and tossed her the Burn crystal she had asked for, showing support for her efforts, probably believing that she was an actual Huntress. Cinder quickly gave chase after Yang, seeing that despite the short amount of time the woman had managed to get rather far. Cinder drew energy from the crystal and began to run quickly, getting to the ladder that Yang had climbed up and using the force from her flames to rocket her to the roof of the building, looking at Yang.
"Man you kids just don't know when to stop do you?" she turned around and looked at Cinder as a light airship rose up behind her. "Sadly I don't have much time to waste on you… So…" Yang jumped up into the open door of the ship and tossed out the Freeze crystal, having it bounce right next to Cinder's feet. "Bye-bye" she launched a shot from her gauntlets, expecting the explosion of cold to freeze the young girl.
Before it could however a figure descended from the sky and formed a shield around the Cinder and itself. When the ice cleared the figure was revealed to be none other than Glynda Goodwitch, one of the bigger thorns in the Bloody Rose's plans. The woman gave a glance toward Cinder before refocusing on Yang.
"Oh come on, this was supposed to be a quick hit!" Yang discarded her current shells from the gauntlets that covered her arms and loaded in a number of bright yellow shells. She quickly launched it out, trying to hit the Beacon professor, only to have her dodge and have a massive explosion shake the rooftop. However Glynda didn't pause for a moment, creating a spiral of destruction form the broken bits of roof the blast had created. Yang fired down with her explosive bullets at the stream, but it didn't seem to make much of a difference as no matter what blew up it kept coming straight at them. The blow hit the ship hard, but thankfully the lackey behind the wheel was more competent than the four that had been with Yang on the ground, and most of the damage was to noncritical systems. Before the best blow could hit Yang gathered together all of her energy and forced it out, creating a wave of pure fire that surrounded the ship and burning the debris.
Cinder looked at Glynda and up too Yang, launching out a few blasts of fire from her hard up at the criminal. However her attacks proved useless, and the response was a number of powerful and destructive shots from Yang's gauntlet, nine shots that would have destroyed the building they were standing on with ease. Before they could land Glynda focused all of her energy into a shield, causing them to detonate harmlessly in the air. This however gave the pilot enough time to carry them away into the air and out of her range.
Cinder let out a sigh and looked toward Glynda. "Are you… Are you a Huntress?" the woman turned toward Cinder with a look that was hard to read. "C-can I have your autograph?" she asked meekly with a bright and hopeful smile on her face.
The next hour or so was a blur for Cinder as the Huntress took her down to the police station to be questioned before sitting her in a small room with just Glynda and Cinder in it. "In all my years I have never seen anyone do something so very foolish… and also very brave." Glynda gave Cinder a look that showed that she disapproved but respected Cinder. "I am tempted to let you go home with a pat on the back…" she brought down her crop on the table near Cinder, causing her to jump. "And a slap on the wrist" the woman sighed and pinched the bridge of her nose. "But that's not really up to me, there is…someone who would like to see you."
Almost as if on cue a white-haired man entered into the room carrying a plate of chocolate biscuits and a cup of tea. He got a bit close to her, examining her for a moment. "You have… golden eyes"
Cinder blinked for a moment and nodded a bit self-consciously. Her odd eye color had been the interest of a number of people, not all of them kind. "Excuse me?"
The man seemed to shake off the thought and put the biscuits and tea on the table, setting them down in front of Cinder and nodding at her to eat her fill. Cinder did so happily, being a huge fan of sweets and tea. "So then," the man lifted up a holoscroll that had a display of her fight on it. "Tell me what weapon you used in to do this." he pointed toward the screen to show where Cinder had created the massive fire barrier.
Cinder tried to speak but almost choked on one of the biscuits, causing a small blush to rise from her face before taking a sip of the tea in order to wash down the food. "I um… I didn't sir."
The man seemed surprised by this. "You mean you controlled this much power without using an apparatus to focus it in?"
She nodded a bit, playing with the hem of her skirt. "It's something I have always been able to do."
The man looked toward the woman and nodded his head toward her. "Have you thought about what you want to do with this power of yours young lady?"
Cinder smiled and looked up, confident in answering this question. "Yes, I want to be a Huntress."
"You want to fight monsters?" the man added.
"Yes, I feel like I was gifted with these powers for a reason, and while I understand that the police help people too I feel like I am better suited to help battle against the endless hoard, you know fighting to advance humanities standing and creating a better future for us all… It's something my mother used to always say, 'if we sit back and don't fight for tomorrow than who will', so yeah…" Cinder clammed up again after realizing that she had been speaking rather rapidly.
This answer seemed to satisfy the man. "Tell me, do you know who I am?"
"You're Professor Ozpin, right?" Cinder looked up at the man, recognizing the headmaster of Beacon, the school she so desired to go to, from his global fame.
The man nodded and smiled. "Hello there."
"Hi." she gave an awkward wave.
"So you want to come to my school?" he asked, through it sounded like he already knew the answer to that question.
"More than anything." Cinder confirmed.
Ozpin reached into his coat, pulling out a letter and placing it on the table. Stamped over the front of it was the word 'accepted' in bright red letters. "Well, all right then."
In that moment it felt like Cinder could have died from happiness, the pure joy of knowing that her dreams were coming true just seemed unreal.
And now it just felt like she was actually going to die. "Oh man I can't believe we both got accepted oh man this is just way too awesome!" Cinder's best friend and current squeezing death trap went by the name Emerald. Her skin was tinted a light tan color, and her mint green hair ran down her back in two small strands. "And especially after last night, man people are going to think you are awesome." she finally let go of Cinder, allowing the air to flow back into her lungs.
"It's not all that great," Cinder rubbed her arm a bit, biting her lip and looking down. "I am just like anyone else."
Emerald punched Cinder in the arm gently. "Nope, none of that you were amazing and you just need to accept that for the plain fact that it is."
Cinder let out a chuckle at her friends antics and looked down at the city they were leaving. She had lived all her life in Vale, and watching it now it was amazing to see just how large it really was. "It's beautiful." she said mostly to herself.
"Yeah, it really is…" Emerald wasn't looking at the city, but rather at a boy among the crowds.
Cinder raised an eyebrow at her friend. "Careful who your eyes fall on, you will need to actually focus this time around in class."
Emerald huffed up and poked Cinder in the cheek. "You need to start getting interested in boys miss bookworm, like maybe…" she pointed into the crowd, her finger aiming at a blonde boy who appeared to be clutching his stomach and running toward a trash can. "Okay maybe not him…" she scratched the back of her head and chuckled.
Cinder rolled her eyes and turned toward the holoscreen on the TV. "If everything went your way then I would already have twenty boyfriends and two husbands." She raised a hand to pause Emeralds response as a news report began to play.
"Yesterday members of the once peaceful Faunus civil rights group the Black Fang committed another act of corporate sabotage by blowing up a number of factories with unconfirmed cases of labor abuse. Seen on the sight of the bombings was notorious leader of the Black Fang, Blake Belladonna. Just as fast as they appeared they were gone again."
The news was handed over back to the main desk.
"In other news, infamous murderess Yang Xiao Long of the Bloody Rose crime family was seen robbing a Dust store last night, attempting to gather Dust but choosing to leave the Lien. More news on this story as it develops."
Cinder tightened her hand into a fist as she saw the face of the woman she had gone against the previous night and cursed inside of her head, wishing that there was some way to go back and stop her. Before the thought could develop through the holoscreen was replaced by the floating figure of Professor Goodwitch.
"Who's that?" Emerald asked as she nudged Cinder in the side.
"Hello students, my name is Glynda Goodwitch." the hologram started.
"Oh." Emerald quieted down to listen to the message.
"The world we live in is going through a wonderful time of peace at the moment, free from some of the dangers our ancestors faced. However in order to keep this peace people must be trained in order to defend it, those who have the will to protect this world. You have been chosen because of your skill, bravery, and power. We have been tasked with giving you the knowledge of the world in order to allow you to most effectively defend this world, may you prove yourselves to not only yourselves, but the entire world" the hologram faded and students began to gather at the windows, looking at the approaching school.
"Here we go." Cinder whispered under her breath, putting a hand on the glass.
"Uh Cinder, might want to move your foot." Emerald pointed down and Cinder jumped up.
"Gross, gross, gross, gross, gross, gross, gross!"
Well, not every story starts off as heroically as the legends would have you believe.
And that about wraps up the first chapter in this new little AU idea I had. Feel free to leave a comment to tell me what you guys like and what I can do better.
Hey guys, I beta'd this! –Shattered Spectre