The Shadow of Fire
Chapter 1: The Bringer of Destruction
"Welcome to Vale my friends, welcome to your doom."
The group of girls that made up team RWBY of the legendary Beacon Academy, were enjoying their week off from all of the text books, tests, and quizzes, allowing them to finally sit back and relax.
The gang had decided to take a quick stop at their favourite café in Vale, the Shadow of Intent, a simple yet elegant café that was spoken throughout the kingdom of Vale as a 5 star dining establishment, being a half restaurant and half café.
However, on this simple Monday afternoon, the high rating establishment was unusually light on customers. Due to this, the only sounds that were present in the café was the sound of the talk between the four girls, the cooks and waiters that were at the counter, and a large television that adorned the dark purple brick walls of the fine dining café. A news reporter, the intro speaker for Lisa Lavender, was talking about the rise in Dust shipments coming in from Atlas and how it will affect Vale.
The group of girls had a menu placed in the center of the table for each of them to see, pointing out the various items available for lunch.
"How about the Beowulf style hamburger? It comes with eight miniature sandwiches topped with your choice of toppings and various sauces." Yang read off the lunch section. "It sounds pretty good, more than enough for all of us." She added, tapping her finger on a picture of the burger.
Weiss shook her head in disagreement, her own slender finger pointing to the price. "That costs more then we currently have Yang, since you forgot to get my purse before we left when I asked you to grab it. We can order that another time, it does sound good though." Weiss commented, shifting her finger towards another picture. "How about the Nevermore skull soup? It contains various vegetables along with a healthy amount of chicken and it includes free drinks." Weiss finished, gesturing to its price. "And It's cheap."
Blake nodded in approval. "That sounds good to me, although I hope they make it hot. This weather has been bizarre for the past few days, and I need something to warm me up." Blake said with a hopeful voice, her golden eyes looking towards their leader. "Are you feeling okay Ruby?"
Ruby looked towards the Faunus. "Yeah? What?" She asked in a confused tone, her silver orbs darting towards her other teammates who had turned to face the red head.
"You haven't said a word since we arrived. Are you getting sick or something?" Weiss asked in a concerned voice, her own icy blue orbs looking into Ruby's for any sort of clue as to what was bothering the cloaked teen.
"Nope, I was just thinking about the snow that's coming soon." She said and looked out the window. "I can't wait for Christmas." Ruby said with a happy sigh.
"Remind me what Christmas is Blake." Weiss asked her cat-like teammate.
"A holiday based upon the birth of Jesus, a religious figure that is mainly worshipped in Atlas. During the time, upon the 25th of December that is, one would awake to a tree in their house with presents under it, delivered by spiritual man known as Santa Claus." Blake answered, taking a sip of her water bottle, not use to speaking that much at once.
"Ah, that makes sense considering Ruby is from Atlas." Weiss stated, taking off her pair of white winter gloves, placing them on the end of their table.
"Well if it has free stuff then I like it!" Yang called out, enthusiastic as always, waving her fist in the air.
Blake gave a small smile towards her friend. "So have we decided on our order?" She asked the group.
"Well I know Ruby will want a milkshake with a cookie." Weiss said, causing the scythe wielders head to fling to face Weiss. Ruby's silver eyes sparkled with excitement.
"Really!" She chirped, her voice filled with happiness and joy.
Weiss had to smile at that, the young brunette was starting to grow on the ice queen, her overall friendship with her was somewhat progressing for the better. And even with her prim and proper personality, Weiss couldn't help but smile at Ruby's exuberance every now and then.
"As long as you eat all of your soup, then yes you can have it." Weiss said, sounding very similar to the way a mother would care for a child's consumption of sweats.
Yang smiled and looked around. "With that we are ready! MARK! WE'RE READY!" Yang called out in a mix of a scream and a sing-song voice.
A waiter in a black t-shirt and black jeans quickly approached the table. "How are my favorite girls?" He asked, pulling out a note pad. "Ready to order I assume?"
Weiss nodded. "We will have four Nevermore skull soups with four glasses of hot chocolate and one medium... actually large chocolate milk shake with a cookie. That will be it I guess." Weiss told Mark as he wrote down the groups order.
"I assume you want your hot chocolate with a side of milk Miss Blake?" He asked, pointing to the top of his head, trying to gesture to her cat ears.
"Yes Mr. Shadow, that would be great." Blake said with a small smile, her ears twitching a little due to the rise in temperature as the heater roared to life inside the massive café.
Mark Shadow was the co-owner of the Shadow of Intent and, rather than the other owner David Intent, actually socialized with his customers. Ever since the girls fought off a group of robbers from his café, he had become attached to the group.
"You know what," Mark said, putting his pen back in his pocket. "I'll make this meal free because you all are such a great group of people. In the spirit of the holidays." He said, giving the girls a warm smile before heading off into the kitchen.
"Well that was nice of him." Yang said, leaning back in her chair, two of its legs off the floor.
"We do come here a lot so that would explain it. He is such a good person." Blake added to Yang's statement.
"Oh my God." One of the waiters said off behind the counter, starring at the TV across the room. He grasped the remote under the marble counter and turned the volume up, attracting the attention of the girls.
"As of late, several bodies have been found in the course of the past week. Each individual case connects to the next, all involving the use of a high caliber sniper rifle. These murders have been taking place along a multitude of hotels and business's across Vale. If you have any information, please contact the Vale City Police Department." Lisa Lavender spoke before the video cut off into a commercial.
"In one week... Wow, Ozpin needs to do something about this." Yang muttered.
Weiss's eyes flew to Yang. "We have no authority to investigate anything that doesn't directly involve Beacon in any way. Only if the Police Department asked for help or if a Hunter was a victim would we be able to act." The heiress explained to the brawler.
"Don't jinx it Weiss, you could have put us all at risk by saying that!" Yang warned.
Weiss rolled her blue eyes. "There is no such thing as a jinx Yang, just dumb luck." She told the blonde as Mark came over with the soups on a large circular disk.
"Careful, they are hot. Here is the coco, the shake, and here's your milk Blake. Enjoy." Mark said in his cheerful voice before walking back towards his fellow workers.
"Well let's have a toast to Weiss! Who thought of coming here for lunch!" Yang said, holding up her cup.
The group all raised their glasses and knocked them together. "To Weiss!" They all said happily to the slightly embarrassed heiress before beginning to devour their meals.
Ruby finished her soup a few moments later in record time. "Weiss? Can I have my milk shake now? Please?" She asked, showing the heiress the bowl.
A few streets away upon a three story apartment building stood a well built man in a large gray suit. His left eye was locked shut, not been open in so many years. "Ah! Here we go." The man spoke in a harsh and deep voice. He could easily see his favourite café from up here. That was the only good part about the whole situation.
The man reached the end of the roof and placed a sliver brief case down with a large red rose marked on the top. The man snapped the lock on the front of the case and opened it up. Inside were pieces of equipment, a scope, and a box containing four Dust filled bullets.
As the man began to put the pieces together, he noticed a letter in the pocket of the case. He picked it up with his gray gloves and tore the seal, reaching inside and pulling out four photographs. He knew what they were.
He was about to examine the photos to try and spot the sad individuals that he needed to purge from the planet when a cold breeze blew by, sending three of the four images soaring into the sky before he could react.
"Damnit... Well at least I can get some of the job done." He muttered to himself as he attached the scope onto the top of the massive weapon.
A high caliber sniper rifle, freshly polished.
He loading in one of the four bullets and pulled back the lever on the side to chamber the round. He looked at the picture and gave a sad frown.
According the writing on the picture, she is only 15.
She wouldn't be able to have her sweet 16 party, or her first lessons in driving a car, or her first drink once she is 21, or even her first kiss for all he knew.
Oh well. Best not to think about it too much.
The gray suited man looked down into the scope, searching the surrounding buildings until... there she is.
'Found you my little friend. Nothing personal, it's just business.' He thought.
He zoomed in on the scope and held his index finger to the trigger.
Weiss gave a small smile to her cloaked leader. "Are you hiding any?"
Ruby shook her head quickly, her body jumping with joy as to what awaited her.
"Well okay, here you go." Weiss said and handed the teen the large sugar filled drink.
"Thanks Weiss! You're the best!" She said with a happy smile before putting the straw in her mouth.
A loud "bang" was heard along with the sound a small piece of glass breaking. The group jumped in shock, looking around in all directions.
"What was that?! Ruby, do you see anything that broke?" Weiss asked, looking at the floor for a broken plate or something.
Weiss looked up at her leader. "Ruby, start looking for someth-" Weiss said before her voice froze in shock.
On Ruby's chest was a two inch hole, blood red as the liquid began to seep out of the wound onto the black fabric of her dress.
"Ruby?" Weiss asked, moving closer to her leader.
Ruby suddenly dropped the milkshake on the table, causing the glass to shatter and its brown liquid to cover the white table and drip onto the floor. Her eyes were open but not moving at all, her face showed no emotion besides the look of confusion, her mouth open slightly.
Ruby brought a shaky hand to the hole, pulling her hand away slowly before looking at it as blood dripped down her slender fingers. Ruby's eyes then rolled to the back of her head and she fell forward into the table, blood flowing slowly out of her mouth.
"RUBY!" Yang called out, rushing around the table as fast as possible, grabbing her sister, trying to see what was wrong with her.
"Mark! Call for help!" Blake yelled before helping Yang lift Ruby on to another table to see the wound.
Weiss could do nothing but sit in absolute shock, time slowing down around her as she realized what just happened.
Ruby had been shot, she had jinxed it.
Weiss snapped out of her daze and looked around the room as employees darted around the room, a few cooks with various weapons that they had bought after the robbery. Weiss looked at the table and saw a sliver object, no bigger than her index finger. She quickly grabbed it and slid it into her skirts back pocket before rushing over towards Ruby.
"Is she okay?!" Weiss yelled at the blonde brawler as she grabbed a first aid kit from Mark, who had just returned from calling the police. The brawler began digging through the bright red box. "Grab a cloth and keep pressure on the wound!" Yang yelled towards Weiss, shoving a plain white cloth into the heiress's hands.
Weiss located the center of the wound and quickly placed the cloth over the bloody area, applying as much pressure as she could without hurting the petite teen.
"Keep pressure on the wound!" Yang commanded as the sound of an ambulance was distantly heard by the young Schnee.
"I'm trying!" Weiss retorted back to the blonde brawler as she pushed harder and harder. 'Come on Ruby, don't you dare leave us!' The heiress thought.
A second shot was heard, causing everyone to dive to the ground as a large oval window shattered, the bullet missing Blake's skull by a few centimeters. Blake turned to face the location of the shot and she could somewhat see the outline of a person on a building.
"I'm going after them!" Blake called out as she ran out of the front doors, sprinting up the side of an apartment building before disappearing on the roof.
"Weiss stay here, she's gonna need back up!" She yelled to the pale girl as the ambulance pulled up into the parking lot.
"But Yang! She's your sister!"
Yang turned to face the heiress. "I trust you with her life Weiss, don't make me regret this." She said and with a wink of her eye, she shot off out the window and into the sky with the aid of Ember Celica.
Paramedics raced into the building as Weiss continued to push down on the wound, her white sleeves were coaxed in blood as the paramedics pulled a gurney up next to the table. The two medics lifted Ruby onto the rolling lift and ran with them out of the building. Weiss could faintly hear Yang yelling in joy while the sound of Ember Celica being fired off was distant in her eardrums. The two men lifted Ruby into the large white vehicle before reaching to shut the door. Weiss slammed her hands on the door in an attempt to keep them open. "I am coming with you." She said in a cold voice, not recalling the last time it had been this cold.
"Ma'am, this is a emergency and we can't just have any..." He trailed off as Weiss starred right into his eyes, her orbs filled with anger. "Get in, I'll need the help." He finally admitted defeat, letting the white haired teen enter the vehicle. The medic slammed the doors shut just as the driver began to speed down the road as the sirens went off.
"Now ma'am, I need you to keep pressure on the wound like you were before, but I am going to inject her with some Dust. It's your job to keep her awake or she could enter a coma." He said and reached for a large needle filled with a blue Dust shard in a liquid form. Weiss pressed her hands down on the wound as the man counted down.
"3, 2, 1, now!" He roared out and jabbed the needle into her wrist.
The effects were not instant and it took a few moments to take effect. Ruby's eyes slowly opened as the new substance filled her body. She blinked a few times, her eyes adjusting to the light inside the vehicle. Her sliver orbs slowly moved around the room, weakly and painfully until her eyes rested upon Weiss.
"H-hey W-Weiss... W-what are y-you doing?" Ruby asked as her eyesight shifted from the heiress's face to her chest as Weiss pushed down, trying to keep the blood from leaving.
"Shhh... It doesn't matter Ruby, just keep looking at me." Weiss said as gently as possible, causing Ruby's eyes to meet her again. Weiss could feel every sort of emotion exploding inside of her very core, all fighting for control over the Schnee daughter.
"D-did I get shot?" Ruby asked, looking back at the wound that Weiss was pushing on to.
"Ruby! I said look at me." Weiss commanded, once again said as Ruby's eyes meet her own icy orbs. Ruby's own eye lids were closing slightly, her body struggling to keep itself awake. Weiss knew that the Dust was loosing its effect on the smaller girl, she knew that she had to act quick.
"Ruby, don't you dare close your eyes." Weiss said, her blue eyes watering up slightly, this wasn't the Ruby that she was used to; this was a weak and vulnerable girl.
"B-but I'm tired Weiss." Ruby groaned as her blinking slowed down, her sliver orbs growing distant.
The ambulance made a sudden and wide turn, sending medical gear and the medic flying around the interior of the emergency vehicle. Weiss somehow stood her ground, her feet firmly planted on the steel floor of the speeding car.
"No. If you fall asleep then I won't be your friend anymore." The heiress threatened, knowing that she couldn't go through with that threat.
"B-but... That's n-not fair." Ruby complained.
"I don't care if its fair Ruby, you're not sleeping." Weiss spoke in a harsh voice, hell bent on getting the message into Ruby's cookie filled head.
"Y-you don't m-mean that, do you?" Ruby asked in a heart breaking voice. "E-even if you say t-that I know that y-you're still my f-friend."
"You need to stay awake Ruby, I'm asking you as your friend, not as your teammate." Weiss said, a last ditch effort to keep the complaining girl awake. The ambulance swung into a parking lot, stopping almost instantly, with no warning at all.
Weiss couldn't keep her ground due to the sudden stop, sending her flying towards the wall, slamming her head into a shelf. Luckily for the heiress, her Aura activated just in time for the injury to keep her from getting hurt.
Ruby let out a harsh whimper as the sudden change in pressure on her wound was felt. Blood was now flowing out, the color from Ruby's face was draining.
Weiss tried to get up from her daze, but the ground wouldn't stop moving. The impact had left her without injury but with mild dizziness.
Once the heiress regained her composure and ability to stand, she was greeted with the sight of Ruby being hauled off on the stretcher with two doctors that were awaiting their arrival. The white haired teen bolted out of the medical vehicle to join the group, running along the side of the medical cart. The small group entered the hospital and Weiss soon found a quite large number of nurses and doctors swarming the cart.
"W-Weiss... Don't leave..." Ruby said, grasping Weiss's hand tightly as more and more people ran to the cart.
"I won't, I promise." Weiss spoke in a forced smile, tears slowly reaching her eyes, beginning to fall down her pale cheeks.
"T-thanks Weiss, you're a good friend..." And with that, Ruby's arm went slack.
Before Weiss could even register what just happened, a doctor shoved her out of the way, knocking her on to the cold white floor. Weiss attempted to run after them but as soon as she was standing up, they were all already gone.
Weiss was alone, and she had broken her promise.