So this story isn't dead, sorry for the long wait. Finished half the chapter about 3 months ago but then school got in the way and well you know. So I finished the chapter last night so here it is.
Chapter 5: The Hunt
Neo navigated through the alley that was littered with the bodies of White Fang members. She gave each one a kick to see if they were still alive. Dead….dead…..unconscious…..dead…..dead. Killing people no longer bothered Neo in the least. You couldn't afford to have a conscience if you hoped to survive in her line of work. In this case, however, a little restraint might have been useful. Her intent was merely to mitigate the 'threat' they posed to her so that she could interrogate some of them. The task of keeping them alive while she neutralized them had proven more difficult than expected. She was an enforcer. Keeping your opponent alive was not something she had to concern herself with very often. Sure, she had been known to toy with her opponents from time to time but that required the opponent to be somewhat competent and none of the White Fang members that had been sent after her had their aura unlocked. Surely whoever sent these guys should have known they would be no match for her. They actually thought they were being inconspicuous. The thought was laughable. Chances were that if you could see her it was only because she was allowing it. It had been rather easy to lure them into a desolate alley on the outskirts of Mistral. From there she had little trouble taking them by surprise. Now she just needed to find one of them that could talk. Finally, she got a reaction from one of them after poking his neck with her umbrella. She used the umbrella to flip him over onto his back and placed her hill on his neck. From what she could tell he seemed to be some kind of bird faunus. An eagle or a falcon perhaps, it didn't really matter. She reached into her pocket and took out her scroll and began typing on it. She turned it around and showed it to the incapacitated faunus.
Who sent you?
"I'm not saying anything!" The faunus replied defiantly.
Neo rolled her eyes. Of course, he would have to be stubborn about this. It was probably foolish of her to expect him to make this easy on her. After all, if you had the conviction to join a terrorist group you probably believe you'd be willing to die for the cause. However, she had enough experience to know that it was one thing to make such a claim but another thing entirely to carry it out. She pressed a button on the handle of her umbrella and a knife came out the other end. She slid the flat part of the blade across his face then shook the scroll in front of his face to see if his answer had changed. The faunus gulped. It was clear that he was nervous but to her disappointment, he held to his conviction. She pushed her hill down harder on his throat and stuck her blade into the palm of his hand. He tried to scream but her hill prevented anything but the faintest of cries from coming out. Again, she waved the scroll in front his face and again she was met by silence. She would have to hand it to him, he seemed determined to take what he knew to the grave. Unfortunately for him, after working with Roman for so long, she knew how to make something like this last. He remained steadfast against another 5 stabs. However, on her seventh attempt, she cut into the wing appendage under his arms. That seemed to be too much for him to handle and he finally begged her to stop.
"Our sergeant told us to follow you. He gave us your picture and said you had been spotted in this area."
That was not the answer she was looking for. She wanted to know if this was done on Cider's orders or Adam's. But of course, some low-level grunt wouldn't know that.
Where is your sergeant?
Hesitation crossed the faunus's face. It was clear that giving that kind of information away was something that was punished with a slow death. She rewarded his hesitation by twisting the knife into his wing.
Tell me where your cell is located and I promise the pain will stop
She watched as the faunus contemplated who he was more scared of. Her or his sergeant. Usually, the monster in front of you was more terrifying than a hypothetical one.
"Where located in an abandoned hotel on the south side of Mistral. It's called the Oracle."
A smile formed on her face at his confession. She gently pulled the knife out of his wing and with one clean stab, stuck it through his neck.
She spent the rest of the night scouting out her target. From the outside, it seemed to merely be and abandoned hotel. The White Fang members that would approach and enter through the back every now and then, proved that it was something more. She noticed that a large group entered around 3 and an equally large group exited the building 10 minutes later. It was obvious that was when they changed shifts. She figured that would be the best time to sneak in. In a large group, it would be easy to dismiss an unfamiliar face as a new recruit. Neo returned to her apartment as the sun was rising and slept most of the day. Around midnight she awoke to grab a quick bite. As she approached the south side of Mistral she transformed her appearance to that of a cat Faunus with black hair. She figured a cat faunus would be the least likely to stand out but at the same time make it obvious that she was a faunus. It was child's play for her to sneak into the back of the crowd and enter the building without anyone giving her a second thought. As all of entering members headed to a locker room to change into their uniforms, Neo detached from the group. As she walked through the empty hallway her clothes transformed into that of a White Fang member. She entered a massive room with dust and weapon crates nearly stacked to the ceiling. To avoid anyone asking her to do something, she picked up an empty crate and began walking as if she had already been assigned a task. It took about 10 minutes for the previous shift to leave the building. She quickly began to eliminate White Fang members one by one. Any member that strayed out of sight she quietly cut down with expert precision. She had just finished her tenth kill when she was finally caught.
"Hey what are you doing!" A faunus yelled out.
Well, I suppose they were going to catch on eventually. A smile formed on her face as she pulled her blade out of her previous kill and turned to face the person who had spotted her. Now she would no longer need to worry about being quiet or careful.
"D-don't move!" He stuttered as he aimed his gun at her.
Really, this was the type of people that made up the White Fang. Beacon deserved to fall if these idiots managed to bring it to its knees.
"Stop…I'll shoot." He yelled as he tightened his finger around the trigger of his gun
True to his word he began firing at her but it was already too late. Neo ran under the clumsy spray of bullets and slashed through his throat. She cut down a score of White Fang grunts with minimal effort. The sergeant, however, put up more of a fight than she had expected. He was a wolf faunus who fought with a massive two-handed sword. Given the circumstances of his weapon, it should have been child's play to defeat the faunus. His weapon relied on slow powerful swings and was difficult to adjust mid attack. Both these traits made him incredibly vulnerable to her quick acrobatic strikes...or at least it should have but fighting the pathetic excuse for fighters she had been used to over the last couple of months breed complacency and she was caught off guard when the man's sword broke into two smaller swords. She had nearly been decapitated but was able to bring the fight back under her control.
For someone as skilled as he was Neo fully expected to pull out all the stops to get him to 'open up'. She worried he would take his secrets to the grave. So, when he began telling her what she wanted with her even needing to pierce his skin she was caught off guard.
"The lady Adam was working with asked him to find you. He told me to have a team track you for a while and eventually, we were going to gather a stronger team together to take you out."
Neo watched as the White Fang sergeant spoke. Though she had her blade on his throat he didn't seem scared. He looked at her angrily as he spoke the words. And where is Adam? She typed on her scroll.
"He's in a warehouse on the docks."
She cut his throat as soon as the words left his mouth.
The spent the rest of the night surveying the warehouse. The number of White Fang members that she saw going in and out of the warehouse made it easy to spot. The warehouse, however, was rather strange looking. All the windows had been sealed up. She assumed that it was to keep people from seeing what went on inside but she couldn't help but think it made the building look ten times more suspicious. Might as well have a sign that says "nothing to see here" on top of that building. There didn't seem to be a massive shift change at this location like there had been at the last. The meant it would be more difficult to sneak in undetected. Though with her skill it wouldn't be too much of a problem. She went back to her apartment to rest and prepared to assault the complex at night.
When the time came, she waited until she found someone who was clearly heading to the warehouse. She knocked them out and took on their appearance. She was surprised when she found that there was no one monitoring who entered the warehouse. She had never meant Adam but from what Emerald had told her she would have assumed someone like that would have been more cautious. The inside of this warehouse was about what she expected. There mountains of crates, which were most likely stolen Dust and weapons, piled to the ceiling. What she did find odd was the lack of light in the building, thought she supposed for people who could see in the dark it didn't really matter much to them. The narrow aisles made it rather easy for her to stay hidden. She quietly climbed to the tower of crates. She heard a group of faunus talking at the other end of the hallway so she went to investigate. As she had hoped she found the leader of the White Fang, Adam Taurus, looking over a map of Mistral and talking to his subordinates. She didn't think he looked all that tough but then again people would probably think the same about her to their detriment. There were 5 other White Fang members around the table, nothing she couldn't handle but she thought it would be wiser to even out the odds.
She was examining the layout of the building, trying to figure the best way to cause a diversion, when Adam's voice broke her train of thought.
"So, it looks like you came after all."
Neo didn't understand who he was addressing until it was too late. She felt and object wrap around her leg and throw her off the stack of crates. She landed on her back and just barely managed the roll out of the way for the incoming strike. A blade sliced into the ground she had been laying on, merely a second ago. She got to her feet as quickly as possible only to realize she was surrounded.
Adam walked out from the group to address her. "I will give you this one chance to stand down. Cider preferred we take you alive but if you cause I struggle I won't hesitate to end you."
Neo gave a smirk as her only reply. Like she was going to be handed over to that bitch. She would die first. She gripped the end of her umbrella and charged at the faunus closest to her.
Neo struggled to breathe as she assessed her situation. One on one she could take on nearly anyone, save for someone on Cinder's level but there was just too many of them for her to handle. She had gone through dozens of grunts, which Adam had thrown at her like cannon fodder. All just to wear her down. She had even managed to kill several of the more competent fighters. A tiger faunus who used twin katanas, and a bull faunus who wielded a massive hammer. All must have been sergeants in the White Fang and all of them now laid died on the floor along with the nameless grunts they commanded. But none of that mattered now. She was almost completely drained and had yet to land a single hit on Adam. The two remaining sergeants and that asshole with the chainsaw continued to guard him.
Okay, time to cut my loses. She held her Umbrella out and activated her semblance then she merely ran towards the exit undetected. She heard a loud smash behind her several seconds later, no doubt one of the sergeants attacking an image that no longer existed. It dawned on her, once she had reached the exit, why the windows at the top had been sealed. This was a cage. And no illusion was going to get her out of it. The doors must have been locked as soon as the fight broke out and the metal on the windows would be impossible to get through without explosives.
She quickly ran back towards the aisles and hid between the crates of Dust and weapons. She slowed her breathing and managed to get her heart rate under control. Even without looking at her scroll she knew that her aura was near the red. She had 1 maybe two uses of her semblance left and that was it. If it was anyone of the sergeants by themselves, she felt could have taken them, but she didn't have enough left to deal with all of them combined.
So I'm completely surrounded, I have zero backup, and I'm horribly outnumbered. I suppose it could be worst, I could be bleeding out. She thought as she was reminding of a deal that had gone bad for her and Roman.
The memory almost brought a smile to her face. Compared to the massive heists her and Roman had been doing for Cinder this one seemed rather low level, thought at the time she had just graduated from pickpocketing so she could hardly imagine such a big score. They had gotten their hands on half a million counterfeit lien. They were supposed to get a tenth of the face value for them but instead the buyers and decided to just kill them and keep both the real and counterfeit lien. Most of Roman's men had been killed, she had been shot in the throat, and the both of them had been pinned down behind a car. At the time she knew that Roman could have gotten out of there if he had left her to die but he didn't. He remained by her side. She was so certain that was going to be her final night on Remnant…but Roman had found a way. It was without a doubt the craziest idea she had ever heard of and one she knew she would never have thought of in a million years. He called the police.
After the 15 longest minutes of her life, the police had arrived and the ensuing gun fight had given her and Roman the chance they had needed to escape. She had lost the use of her voice that day but considered the trade well worth. She had formed her first real bond with someone. Her whole life people had used her for her abilities and then thrown her by the wayside when it was convenient. For the first time, someone had risked their life for her and asked nothing in return. Roman had never mentioned the ordeal, never lorded it over her, or made her feel like she owed him for what he had done. She loved him for that. And he deserved revenge for what Cinder had put him through.
Well if it worked once why not try it again. She quickly took out her scroll. She went through the settings and turned off the program that prevented her location for being tracked. She then called the police, muted the microphone, and set the phone face down on top of a crate.
Now I just need to wait them out.
Almost as if the Univers was punishing her fo daring to hope, one of the faunus landed on top of the shelf she was hiding in.
Maybe he doesn't actually know I'm here.
"I know what your thinking. Your thinking that the darkness or even your semblance can hide you from us." The faunus on top of the shelve proclaimed.
"Put your wrong." Another faunus, who was rounding the corner, added.
"Some of us can hear your heart racing."
"Some of us can smell your stink"
"And some of us can EVEN SEE YOU!" The Monkey faunus yelled as he grabbed her by the throat and pulled her out into the open. The look on his face suggested that he believed he had ended it then and there. That was the last mistake he ever made as Neo stuck the blade of her Umbrella into his foot. He screamed out in pain as he released her. She pulled the blade out of the faunus' foot and into his open mouth. She had barely pulled the blade out in time to dodge the chainsaw that attempted to cut her in half.
"You just lost your chance to surrender!" The man screamed as he made to strike her.
Neo was able to dodge the heavy swing easily enough but she could feel herself getting slower. On the fifth swing, she sidestepped the swing fast enough but didn't see the kick coming and was knocked back against the wall. She quickly rolled out of the way of the following up strike and ran towards another aisle.
As she turned the corner she was met by a swing blade that she was barely able to duck under. The strike missed her but cut through the shelf behind her dropping dozens of Dust filled crates on both of them.
The other sergeant approached to find a pile of broken crates. He prepared his chainsaw to strike the second the small girl appeared from the mess. She emerged from the mountain of crate brandishing his comrade's weapon. He raised his chainsaw up and brought it down on the girl.
"Wait no." The girl cried out. As the chainsaw cut through her the illusion faded and the sergeant realized he had just killed his fellow White Fang member.
Just as he realized what he had done the tiny girl emerged from the crates brandishing a smug grin.
"You'll pay for that."
"Yes, she will," Adam added angrily.
As Neo turned her head to see the source of the voice a red blade cut into her leg. Neo let out a silent cry as the blade was violently yanked out of her. She fell to the ground and struggled to crawl away.
"What should we do with her boss? You said Cinder wanted her alive." The sergeant asked.
"Cinder will just have to settle for her head," Adam replied. "Where do you think you're going?" He asked as he saw Neo crawling to the wall.
Neo turned around and saw the two men staring at her. The faunus with the chainsaw wore a sadistic grin but Adam's face remained like stoic. It was clear that neither of them thought she was much of a threat anymore. A small smile formed on her face as she saw where they stood.
"What's so funny. You do realize you're in for a very long and very painful death." The Sergent said.
Neo pulled a lighter from her jacket. With the exception of Roman's cane, this was the last thing she had of his. She quickly lit it up and through it on the pile of crates. Adam was fast enough to realize what was happening but his comrade was not so lucky. A huge explosion engulfed him.
Ok, this is defiantly the worst situation I've ever been in. This beats out a hole in my throat by far. She thought as she limped off towards the police cars that were coming. She used her umbrella as a cane as she struggled to stand. When the police arrived they instantly assumed the petite woman was no threat and escorted her into the police car while the other officers went to investigate the explosion.
"Hang on little lady, we'll get you to a hospital, just hang in there." The officer said in an attempt to comfort her. Which made what she did next seem all the worst.
When they reached their first red light she made her move. Her first instinct was to kill the man. It would have been safer that way. But since the universe had seen fit to let her make it out of that little trap with her life, she felt it was only right to pay the kindness forward. She knocked him out and thought him out on the side of the road.
So right off the bat, if anyone has an idea for a better title I'm opened to suggestions. I tried to come up with some kind of ice cream related title but couldn't think of anything. In an earlier chapter, I stated that I planned on making the story more action-centric. I realize now that wasn't really the right way to phrase that. I just meant the story wouldn't really be a romance story but it's still going to be very character driven. There will be a lot of fights in the story but as you can tell from this chapter I don't have a lot of experience writing fight scenes so they're not going to be incredibly detailed. You might have realized that when I just skipped over the beginning of her fight with Adam.
So if you read a lot of RWBY fanfiction you may have realized I borrowed some elements from other stories. For the example blowing yourself up in order to get out of a situation where your outnumbered and outmatched, totally got that from Not this time, Fate by Coeur Al'Aran. It's probably my favorite story right now and I recommend it to anyone who hasn't read it yet. Also, the idea of a criminal calling the police is from Batman Begins. So I'm interested to know what yall thought about the story.
So I'm interested to know what yall thought about the first Neo chapter. I haven't really decided what Neo and Roman's relationship was, only that she loved him. When I was writing the flashback scene I just saw the opportunity to cram in explanation for Neo being mute, so I took it. Originally I just assumed she was born like that but this worked well with the story. Do you'll like it or is it a bit too cliche? Last note, I never realized how annoying little details could be. For example, I wanted to say they got 10 cents on the dollar for the counterfeit but they don't use dollars they use Lien and I don't know what part of a single Lien is called.