This Will Be the Day 3.4
Sabah looked at the airship which would take her and the only people on this planet she knew to a place where, maybe, she could find some shred of normalcy. It wouldn't be anything like studying fashion at Brockton U and doing a little masquerade on the side, like she did before Leviathan, but at least she wouldn't have to worry about parahuman monsters or white-masked terrorists or anything like that killing and destroying everything she cared about.
That's over. Time to focus on now.
Sabah looked again at the airship. At least, that was what everyone said it was. To Sabah, it looked more like a long barge turned into a cruise ship with some long, pointed wings, hanging off of a dock on the side of a building. Think of it as tinker-tech, Sabah told herself, and don't look down.
Sabah shifted her bag from one shoulder to the other. She had only a few things—some cloth and thread and a couple needles, a couple spare sets of clothes, the sword and smartphone-thing Ozpin had given her, a handful of trinkets she had found in the White Fang's warehouse—and none of the other Undersiders had much more. They hadn't come to Remnant with much and didn't find or buy much there (aside from the White Fang's stuff, but there wasn't much there they wanted to bring with). Each of them carried just their weapon and a small bag, and some had stuck their weapons into their bags.
Sabah glanced around at the loose line of students who were coming to Beacon, waiting for their turn to load their luggage. Most of the students were hauling at least one big suitcase to the airship's cargo compartment, sometimes more, often with some kind of weapon or another strapped to the outside or tucked a side pocket. Most were white, or at least pale-skinned; they had a wide variety of hair and eye colors, some of which didn't look natural. And their clothes...Sabah saw elements of every style that she'd heard of, and some weird elements which looked more like something you'd see in a cartoon or a wild fashion show than anything she'd ever expect someone to actually wear. It all made Sabah feel tiny and normal, even more than she did when she was just around the Undersiders.
As the crowd of students shifted, Sabah saw someone vaguely familiar—a short girl with black-and-red hair, wearing a black outfit with a knee-length skirt and a red hooded cloak. Is that the girl from the robbery? Well, of course she'd get accepted to Beacon if we were...
The girl in red and black apparently noticed Sabah looking at her, because she looked back and waved. Sabah glanced away, then glanced back and waved a little. Another girl—a tall one with tangled blonde hair all down her back and a leather jacket which was too small for her—asked something. The first girl said something in response, and then the tall one started dragging her through the crowd towards Sabah, shoving aside other students. If the Undersiders hadn't noticed the girls earlier, they did now.
"He-lo!" the blonde sang.
"Hey," Lisa replied cheerfully.
The blonde continued. "I believe y'all might know—?"
"Hold on," Lisa interrupted, "let me guess." She looked up and down the girl in red and black, as if she hadn't recognized her from across the crowd. "Hold on, are you that girl from the Dust store robbery?"
"Um, yup." The girl nodded stiffly. "My name's Ruby." Ruby stuck her arm forward, and Lisa grabbed and shook it.
"Nice to meet you! Properly, I mean. My name's Lisa, and I'm sure my friends would be glad to introduce themselves?"
Lily glanced at Lisa, before turning back to Ruby and her friend. "I am Lily, and this is Sabah. It's a pleasure to meet you." Sabah waved.
"I'm Brian, and thi—my sister, Aisha, is around here somewhere." Brian sighed. "Well, I'm sure she'd be glad to meet you, too."
"Hi, I'm Taylor."
"Alec. I'm the one you knocked off a building. So, nice to see you again.."
The blonde snorted. "You did what?"
"There were explosions!" Ruby protested.
"There were," Alec said. "Still."
"Rachel," Rachel grunted.
"She doesn't talk too much," Alec said.
"He does," Lisa quipped. "So, Ruby, mind introducing us to your friend?"
"Oh! Sure. This is my big sister, Yang."
"Hey!" Yang said with a grin. "Nice to meet y'all. Ruby didn't say you were Huntsmen-in-training like us."
"We weren't," Lisa said.
Yang's grin vanished. "...Then why are you here?"
"The same reason I bet your little sister is," Lisa said. "Something we did impressed Ozpin, and he decided to let us into his school."
"Oh!" Yang's grin was back. "Well, that's great! What did your parents think?"
Sabah stared at her feet and tried to look downcast. She couldn't remember what the story Lisa made up to answer those kinds of questions, but she remembered that it involved everyone they knew dying. Which, unfortunately, isn't hard to imagine.
"...I shouldn't have asked that, huh?"
"It...it's okay," Lisa said. "It's just…"
"We aren't from Vale," Brian said.
"Oh, and you're sad because you can't see your parents?" Yang guessed.
"Not exactly," Taylor muttered. "It's...we were living in a village outside the civilized zone. And, well…"
"Ah." Sabah heard Lisa grunt, and glanced up to see her trying to squirm out of Yang's embrace. "It's alright. You're not alone."
"Yes," Lisa squeaked, "but I'd like to be just a bit more alone right now…"
Yang let go. "Sorry. I was just—"
"I appreciate it," Lisa shot back. "But I'm not a touchy-feely kind of person, okay?"
"Sure, my bad. Ruby's the same way." Yang tousled her sister's hair.
Ruby shot off to the side in a burst of rose petals, just missing a pair of similar-looking girls with green and blue hair. A second later she was back, and glaring at Yang. "Why do you do this to me?"
"She's your sister," Aisha said. "Siblings do that."
Ruby jerked around to look at Aisha. "Where did you come from?"
"This is my sister, Aisha," Brian said. "She does that."
"It's, uh, nice to meet you," Ruby said.
"Same. I think. You haven't been talking much—it's mostly been Lisa and Yang."
"Yeah—well—you weren't even here!"
"Aisha brings up a good point," Lisa said. "Enough about ourselves, let's talk about you two! How'd you get to be Huntresses?"
"In training," Yang corrected. "And...well, our parents were all Huntsmen, so it just came naturally I guess."
Alec snorted. "My old man was a dick, does that mean I need to be one, too?"
"...I'm going to let that one slide," Lisa said. "But he brings up a good point. Why did you decide you had to follow in your folks' footsteps?"
Yang shrugged. "It seems like it'll be fun. And I'll get to travel the world and help people."
"That's why you want to become a Huntress?" Taylor asked. "To have fun?"
Yang sighed. "And help people. Why do people always focus on the other part?"
"It's just so...frivolous. If you just want to have fun, you could do...anything else, and have fun on the side."
"I don't have to explain myself," Yang muttered. "If you have a problem with why I'm going to be a Huntress, fine. Why are you a Huntress?"
"I'm not going to stand by and let other people go through the same shit I've had to," Taylor said as the bugs in the area started to buzz. "If I can do something to make the world a better place, I'm going to do it—even if it means I can't have as much f—"
"Hey," the blue-haired girl said. "I—I don't mean to interrupt, but the line's moving forward now."
Ruby and Yang grabbed their suitcases and followed the Undersiders forward. Soon, the line got stuck again.
"...So," Brian said. "Ruby, do you want to talk about why you want to be a Huntress?"
"My parents always taught me to help others," Ruby said. "So, um, it made sense. I could have been a police officer or something, but...well…" Ruby glanced nervously at Taylor. "Huntsmen do bigger things, you know? I mean, police officers stop burglars and pickpockets and...um...murderers, but Huntsmen fight Grimm, the scourge of humanity! You know what I mean?"
"And she likes the weapons," Yang added.
"That explains why she's so interested in my rifle," Lisa said.
Ruby looked at her feet. Lisa chuckled and leaned her rifle in Ruby's direction. She glanced up and carefully reached out to grab it. When Lisa let go, Ruby guided the weapon down and looked over it. "Mind if I—"
"Go ahead. You probably know what you're doing better than me."
Ruby nodded, and pulled back the bolt and checked where the bullets would go. "What do you mean?"
"I just got that weapon."
"What," Ruby said, clearly distracted by trying to figure out how Lisa's weapon folded.
"We didn't have weapons before yesterday. So the Headmaster got us some."
Ruby folded the rifle into its telescope form. "Ooh, neat. He has good taste. Is this Atlesian? Custom-made, that's for sure. They make great weapons."
Lisa shrugged. "I think it's a military weapon?"
"Military or militia?"
Lisa shrugged again. "You're the weapon geek."
Ruby picked up the back of the telescope and let it slide smoothly into the polearm form. "It'd have to be military. Militias don't have sniper rifles. So it's pretty much definitely Atlesian, even if it wasn't obvious from the—"
"Neat," Aisha said. "Do mine."
Ruby nearly dropped Lisa's rifle. "How do you do that?"
"I'd tell you, but then I'd have to kill you."
Ruby stared at Aisha, horrified.
"God, it's a joke."
Ruby continued to stare at Aisha as she folded Lisa's weapon back into its folded-rifle form and handed it to her. Then she took Aisha's knives and examined them. "Hm. This one's a simple pistol-knife. Oh, with Dust. And this one...huh. Why does it have two Dust chambers? Does it...huh, it looks like it mixes them in the ignition chamber? Weird. Cool, though."
"That's it? Nothing about where they're from?"
Ruby held out one dagger to Aisha handle-first. "They're not from any of the really big manufacturers. You've got it?"
"I grabbed it, so yeah."
"Hey, I'm trying to practice decent weapon safety here. Here. Most of the big-name weapon manufacturers don't do quirky little projects like that double-chambered Dust knife, and their simple little self-defense weapons are outweighed by the stuff little individual smiths make."
"Out of curiosity," Lily said, "where was your weapon made? You seem to like the Atlesian stuff."
"Oh, I made it myself." Ruby unfolded a red rectangle at her hip into an oversized, overcomplicated scythe-gun. "This is Crescent Rose, a high-caliber sniper scythe."
"Neat," Lisa said.
Ruby glanced away. "Well—I mean, I guess, yeah. I mean, it's not that great—it's powerful and all, but the rate of fire leaves a—"
"Look," Lisa said. "You beat up a bunch of thugs on your own, with a weapon you made yourself. And you're, what? Twelve, thirteen?"
Ruby frowned. "Fifteen."
"Ah, my bad. Still, fifteen. That's still pretty young. And you're a good fighter and a good weaponsmith. With such a complicated weapon!"
Ruby blushed. "Well—I mean, I was terrible before my—"
"Line's moving again," the green-haired girl said. "You'll still have weapons at Beacon."
This time, the Undersiders got to the cargo compartment. They found room for anything they didn't want to carry on the airship, before moving so Ruby and Yang and others could load their belongings.
"See you guys at Beacon?" Lisa asked.
"Sure," Yang grunted, trying to squeeze her suitcase into a space which was probably half an inch narrower.
"Great." Lisa lead the Undersiders into the airship. The inside was a surprisingly wide, open space with some people strolling around and a couple of television screens on the wall, playing news reports.
"Where do we sit?" Alec asked.
Lisa looked around. "...Looks like we don't? We can check the upper decks, though. Should be less crowded up there. No one to bother us...or listen."
Brian sighed. "Lisa, you don't think those girls are plotting anything, do you?"
"Maybe not, but they might be dangerous. Yang's the blonde from the nightclub."
"You're joking," Alec said.
"Would I joke about this?" Lisa glanced around and lowered her voice. "There are a few possibilities. She could just be a rogue Huntress-in-training, but...that doesn't feel right. Yang seems mostly straightforward, and I don't think she'd do anything she thought was wrong."
"Neither did Armsmaster," Taylor pointed out.
Lisa nodded. "But what he did was sanctioned by the PRT. So either Yang's suspicious of us for some reason and playing dumb—"
"Like you did," Aisha said. "And she looked kinda like you."
"...I don't see the resemblance. Anyways, either she's playing dumb or the Huntsmen are fine with attacking nightclubs."
"Nightclubs run by criminals," Brian said.
"Subtle criminals," Lisa replied. "Quiet criminals. Enough so that anyone who knew about Junior would have almost certainly known about criminals who did much worse things. Why not deal with them? Heck, why not see if Junior wouldn't sell out some of said crooks? He'd do that before he let someone smash up his club. Heck, there are a couple he might sell out for free."
"The people here don't...think like we do," Sabah said quietly. "That's obvious. They live in a different world."
"A world full of Armsmasters and Glory Girls," Alec grumbled. "No wonder Cauldron sent us here after we pissed them off."