So hey, this is the first chapter, or maybe rather a prelude of a new story, one that I hope will end up being pretty long. I'm probably way over my head here, since I'm not an experienced writer by any means, but I do have a few chapters planned ahead, so maybe something will come out of this. Who knows. It would obviously be great if you voiced your thoughts in the reviews or followed the story if you're interested, so that I know if there is at least one person interested.
Trigger warning: This story is bound to go over some dark themes. I'm not planning on getting graphic with violence and certainly not with sex, but topics like racism or slavery will be present, so you read at your own risk.
Also, please don't kill me for my portrayal of the characters. This is an AU; The characters in the show are different to their counterparts here and I don't mean to suggest they would act like portrayed by me in any situation.
All of that said, I hope you enjoy.
They walked in silence.
Blake wasn't sure how she was supposed to feel. They managed to successfully intercept cargo containing millions of lien worth of dust - enough to supply their branch of White Fang for years to come. And there was no doubt that Schnee Dust Company would feel that loss. Whether they decided to give in to Fang's demands or to strike back, they would never be able to ignore the group. They would never be able to ignore the faunus. On those grounds, Blake should have felt proud.
But all those people... how many crewmates were on that train? A couple dozen, probably. So many lives ended by their hands. So many families that would be grieving once the news of the attack came out. This knowledge was flooding Blake with guilt; Was that really what she was in for? Was that what she wanted when she left her parents, what she fought for ever since?
Yes. Yes it was. That's why, despite having her doubts, Blake didn't stop Adam from blowing up that train. It would had been so easy to just detach his carriage off or maybe just shoot him in the back of a head... but that would be a betrayal. Not just of Adam, but of everything she believed in. For what so many have fought, bled and died for.
Eventually, they arrived at the camp. Several recruits ran over to meet her and Adam, to congratulate them or to ask about the raid, even though they already knew how it went. They were sent a message confirming that the mission was a success, and a few people already came to the crash site to recover the containers. Blake paid no attention to questions, let alone bothered to answer them - she was currently just stuck in her thoughts. Adam was a little more talkative; He answered some of the questions, though mostly with nods and singular words, and even threw some line about how 'the faunus have achieved a great victory this day'. When they finally reached their tent and their little crowd dispersed, he turned to Blake and broke the silence that was stretched between them for the last hour or so.
"You should get some rest. I'll wait until the dust arrives, and maybe give some sort of speech."
Blake simply nodded. She did need rest, if not to get all those thoughts out of her head, then just to regain her energy after that fight. However, before she could enter the tent, Adam grabbed her by the wrist. Uncharacteristically for him, he seemed unsure of what to say. Amber eyes looked at him expectantly.
"I just... I know it was hard for you. To make that choice." he was met with a surprised look in his partner's eyes "It was your first serious operation. I've seen you hesitated. I just want you to know that you will not regret that" he stepped a little closer to her "Trust me, Blake. We can achieve great things together."
"I trust you" she muttered these words without even thinking about them. And while it sounded like an automatic response, it was an honest one. Obviously, she trusted Adam. If she did not, if she wasn't sure that he knew what he's doing, that he is leading her in the right direction... that would mean she was just a monster that kills people for no good reason.
And she had a reason. A good reason. A righteous cause, one that she would not abandon.
Adam seemed satisfied with that answer. She couldn't see his eyes through the mask, but she could still somehow perceive the emotion that passed onto them. Relief.
"Good" he simply replied and went his way a moment later. Blake was a little bit disappointed, as this would be a perfect moment for a kiss or really any other show of affection. But then again, that was just the way it was between the two of them. Neither was he the most touchy of people, so whenever they got to spend time together outside of combat or training it was quiet and awkward for the most part.
Still, thought Blake as she entered the tent, I think I'll be able to put up with him.
Over two weeks have passed since the raid. Ironically, now that they had all the armament they could ask for, there wasn't really a good way for them to use it. SDC wasn't going to send any transports through this part of Vale anytime soon it seemed and there weren't really any targets nearby worth their attention. Sure, they could sniff around the villages for some minor gangs or racist shopkeepers to beat up, but Adam had bigger plans than that. The best option for them seemed to be going back to Mistral - there was much more to do back there, especially now, since their branch was now stronger both in men and resources since they departed to Vale.
In that moment, however, Blake wasn't thinking about any strategic maneuvers. She was sitting on the edge of her bed and was just starting to read a new book. 'A man with two souls'. No point for guessing what that one was about. And honestly, the beginning was sort of weak, almost like the author wasn't sure what they were doing. Still, Blake was willing to give it a chance. You don't judge the book by its cover, even if it is almost completely black and uninformative.
She was just about to turn the page when her ears picked some sound that didn't seem to belong. Like one of a blade being quickly unsheathed. This, much more unnervingly, was quickly followed by multiple gunshots and various sounds of struggle and combat. This was more than enough to prompt Blake to stand up, drop the book, grab the Gambol Shroud and sprint out of the tent, towards the source of the noises.
She arrived just in time to witness an unsettling scene. Multiple White Fang members were lying on the ground, all of them likely severely wounded or worse. Only two were standing - Adam and his lieutenant, or 'Banesaw' as he liked to be called. Before them stood a figure of a tall, black haired woman in a dress that seemed to glow like embers in some places. Two other people kneeled behind her, one on each side. They both held suitcases before them for some reason. Blake paid little attention to them; Though unarmed, the tall woman was obviously the threat here, judging from how she stood there facing Adam and somehow showing no signs of fear.
The faunus bent herself slightly, preparing to jump into the scene and strike the apparent intruder down. Her partner must have noticed it, for he showed her the open palm. Do not attack yet. Blake had no idea why she wasn't supposed to engage, or why neither of the other two faunus didn't attack for that matter, but she stayed her hand. In her mind she was already running scenarios for an incoming fight. There were two blades lying on the ground before the woman's feet. She was certainly some sort of fighter, but that shouldn't matter; Regardless of how strong she was, she couldn't realistically survive a three on one attack from experienced aura-users.
The intruder paid Blake absolutely no attention. She had her sight focused solely on two man, or maybe just Adam.
"Our plan will be beneficial for both of us" She spoke, her voice soft and not really raised, yet carrying tremendous confidence. As she talked, she raised her hand upwards. Suddenly, and probably not coincidentally, the ground between her and Adam was engulfed by flames. All three faunus unwittingly flinched at that. "Or one of us" she finished.
As if that was some sort of signal, the two kneeling people - both young, one male and one female as Blake just cared to notice - opened their suitcases. One of them appeared to contain dust crystals, while the other was stacked with lien bills. This confused Blake a fair bit - was she threatening them, or making an offer?
Both, she realized a second later.
"So... which will it be?"
It was an ultimatum. She needed them, the Fang, for something. She was willing to pay them for it, or maybe just provide them with resources, but just as willing to kill them all on the spot. But was she really able to do that? She apparently was strong enough to deal with regular recruits even in great number, but Blake was not just an average recruit. Nor was Banesaw, and certainly not Adam. With him, it would probably be a battle of a single strike... if he only managed to make that strike. There was something about that woman that made her look like somebody way above all of them in terms of power. Like some incredibly powerful witch from the legends. Almost like a goddess.
Right now, Blake wasn't sure if they could make it. But if the fight broke out, she would take a part in it. If they would end up allying with those people, she would comply. Right now, Adam Taurus was staring in the woman's only visible eye. He likely considered different options, only he no doubt understood the situation better than Blake. The mysterious woman stared back, waiting for his decision.
No matter what that decision ended up being, Blake would follow. She had a good reason to.
She trusted Adam Taurus.