Journal of General Ozaki
It was a mistake, allowing the Earth Union to run amok. First they make a cyborg out of the most powerful kaiju known at the time. Then, they bring back Dimension Tide. Now, with the return of King Ghidorah’s creators and the appearance of Bagan, the damned fools are making their own kaiju using Dust. What’s worse, it seems to be working. The cost has been high: the more enraged Bagan becomes by these kaiju, these “Grimm” as the Earth Union is calling them, the more he destroys in his rampages. Not too surprising, I should think, considering the damned thing is a hybrid of Godzilla, Ghidorah, and god only knows what else.
Bagan has enough power to shatter tectonic plates: Asia and Africa are already starting to look like a jigsaw puzzle on the satellite feeds, and Europe isn’t too far behind. Mothra and Battra are dead, and it’s looking like the Grimm are our only hope. That wouldn’t be so bad if they were less aggressive against people… and if they weren’t breeding. The Grimm start off small enough to crush under your boot, but they become man-sized quite quickly, and at least one of the giant Grimm we’re tracking was born rather than created. The early generations looked more-or-less like regular animals, but each generation keeps looking more and more demonic. After what the crystals did to Godzilla back in 1995, I can’t believe anyone thought corrupting an animal on purpose was a good idea… but there it is, I suppose.
I’ve relocated EDF headquarters to Area G in Antarctica. Not a very long trip, seeing as it’s right off the coast of Japan now thanks to Bagan; well, I suppose we technically met in the middle. I have to say, it was definitely a little jarring to both be in Tokyo and the southern hemisphere at the same time. Although with both Antarctica and Japan being in the tropics now, that does present a problem in terms of keeping Godzilla 4’s heart frozen.
Resurrecting Ghost Godzilla is not an option. Even if he did regrow in time, and even if he did manage to defeat Bagan and the Grimm, he would probably try to destroy humanity again. Though it goes against my better judgement, we will probably need to use Dust, and machines powered by Dust, in order to keep him on ice.
Bagan is going to be killed by the Grimm, of this I have little doubt; but I suspect we’re next. The Earth Union may have been strong when it had MKG, but they have nothing with which to combat their own creations. Arnold Schnee is going to have a lot to answer for when this is over. I just hope for Ms. Kano’s sake that there’s still a world for her to return to wherever in time she gets dropped off.
Winter Schnee watched from a distance as Emi Kano was shown around the hanger. Hiding MKG here had been no small task, but Winter controlled enough people to keep it quiet. Hers was an unusual semblance; not mind control, exactly, but influence. To Winter, a person’s brain was like a set of dials: turn one this way, and you had a loyal servant for life. Turn another that way, and you had a savant. There were limits, of course. Her target could not be aware of what she was doing; that left family and close friends out of the question. Faunus were difficult due to their heritage, and she had only secured a key few such as Adam Taurus because of this. Grimm were rarely if ever vulnerable, as their Dust corruption was much too fargone.
Emi was quite possibly the easiest target Winter had ever worked on. They had yet to meet face to face, but she had made sure that among the things Emi was made aware of, the fact that the Schnee family still existed was one of them. The Schnee Dust Company was a far cry from what it had been as part of the Earth Union, so many centuries ago.
Right now she was making small adjustments to Emi’s character. If this long-running scheme of hers were to succeed, absolute loyalty to the Company would not do. Emi needed to be loyal to a few specific members, namely herself and…
If anyone ever gave Winter doubts about what she was trying to do, it was her twin sister. She held no ill will against Weiss for being the heiress to the company; she preferred to be behind the scenes, and in any case she loved her sister far too much. And that was the problem: would this ultimately do Weiss more harm than good?
Like Weiss, Winter recognized the terrible things their father and their company had done. But Winter, unlike her twin, was not so naive as to think a simple change of administration was going to solve anything. Humanity as a whole would never really accept the Faunus; Emi seemed to accept them for now out of ignorance, but if she ever learned of their heritage… Winter made a note to adjust Emi’s prejudices down to the lowest healthy degree when the main alterations were finished.
Her thoughts were interrupted by the sound of someone clearing their throat. Winter turned around to see Adam standing behind her, this time without Cinder; the latter had returned to Beacon upon being briefed on her new objectives. Adam nodded toward Emi. “Admiring your new toy?” From behind, Winter would have appeared to be looking at MKG; like everyone else she had adjusted, Adam was not aware of Winter’s semblance. Indeed, as far as anyone within the White Fang -or any of her associates- knew, Winter had very little training in the use of aura. This was partly true: Winter was not a fighter, but like any member of high society she had some basic aura training. When people existed who wanted nothing more than to put a bullet in your brain, such skills were a necessity.
“Actually, I was peeking in on my newest employee. She’s been on quite the time-traveling adventure, after all.”
Adam snorted, then looked up at the cyborg. MKG’s armor was mostly prepared, but now also had some modifications: namely, Dust storage. Much of what it now carried came from the stock that Roman Torchwick had stolen. It was not the original plan, but having a kaiju cyborg crash in your backyard had a way of changing one’s priorities. “You’re not actually planning to use that thing, are you? Kind of goes against the whole subtlety angle we’ve been working on.”
“Plan’s changed,” Winter said. “The kingdoms are never going to fracture as long as Godzilla’s alive; and nothing they have can kill him. That and the fact that this,” she gestured toward the comatose cyborg, “has already made nations submit, first to my forefathers, and now to us.” She allowed herself a smirk. “Besides, I thought you didn’t care about collateral damage.”
“Only when humans are involved,” the Faunus retorted.
“You are human, after a fashion.”
“Tell that to the ones who enslaved us.” His tone was not threatening -Winter had spent far too much time adjusting Adam to allow hostility toward herself- but his words had a ring of truth to them. The Faunus genome had mostly stabilized over the centuries: interbreeding with humans was no longer necessary to avoid producing monsters. Memories of their origins and heritage were still fresh in the minds of some, though. It didn’t take a huge stretch of the imagination to see the Faunus as Grimm, and those who thought so were not entirely incorrect.
“Do you remember what I told you about the Earth Union, and why you decided to help me reform it?” Before Adam could answer, Winter went on. “The EDF would only protect people, which meant leaving alive many threats that were never properly dealt with. The Earth Union protected humanity, sometimes even from itself. That’s we’re here to do. No glorious revolutions, no mass slaughters: just hurting those who need to be hurt in order to better humanity as a whole. Faunus included.”
Adam just sighed. He had heard this a million times. He knew Winter was right -Winter had programmed him to think so, after all- but elements of his old self still peeked through at times. He would be due for adjustment soon. “So when are you launching it?”
Winter turned back toward Emi Kano, who was still speaking with SDC personnel she had adjusted. “They are making pre-launch preparations down there as we speak.”
It felt good to be back in the dorm. The doctors had wanted her to remain at the hospital for at least another two days, but Ruby would have none of it. Yang often skipped classes to come visit her, and her other two teammates had already been released. Ruby was a leader, and her place was with her team.
Her wounds had basically healed. Light scarring remained on her cheeks, would that, too, would pass. It made her wonder for a moment why Weiss still had a scar, until she remembered the heiress had acquired that before her aura was awakened. It was something Weiss had told her privately once, a rare sign of trust.
The only downside to being back was that now, despite her best efforts, Ruby could not prevent her sister from mommy-ing her at every opportunity. It wasn’t totally unjustified, granted, and Ruby would probably have done the same were their positions reversed. But this… this was just getting to be too much.
Right at this moment, her mind was focused on Professor Oobleck’s lecture. It was obvious by his demeanor that the professor was trying hard to set everyone’s mind at ease by not addressing current issues; routine had a way of calming people even in the most dire circumstances. Even so, the proverbial elephant in the living room wasn’t getting off anyone’s minds soon, and Ruby could see it on all the student’s faces. All except Weiss…
Come to think of it, Ruby couldn’t recall if Weiss had so much as heard from her family since their brief hospitalization. She assumed that was the case, but given Weiss’ sullen look she wasn’t as certain. Weiss and her father were not on the best of terms, of course, but were things really that bad between them?
The bell rang, and Ruby prepared to execute plan “Escape From Mamma Yang.” Though Ruby did not have full use of her semblance back, she was pretty confident she could manage two or three speed bursts without hurting herself. One burst down the hall, another down the better portion of the stairwell, and one more out to the courtyard. From there it was just a hop, skip, and short flight to town, and a couple hours of privacy.
Ruby no sooner left the classroom before encountering the first hitch in this plan: a huge crowd of students was between her and her goal. With Yang fast approaching, Ruby panicked and used her speed to fling herself in the other direction. Second problem: Ruby was now quite winded, much more than she had anticipated. Though her aura was functioning again -and by extension her semblance- Ruby’s body was still suffering from minor radiation sickness and likely would be for many more days until her aura could finally fix all the underlying problems. This meant, among other things, that any exertion would drain her much faster than normal; exertions such as moving yourself a couple hundred feet in less than the time it took to blink.
Ruby had no time to regret this plan, as Yang had begun to give chase, leaving Weiss and Blake standing bemused outside the lecture hall. Her face showed a mix of worry, confusion, and perhaps a bit of anger. The redhead chose not to dwell on this, instead taking off once again toward the nearest stairwell she could see. The good news was, it was out of Yang’s sight, and Ruby could hear her sister sailing past a few moments later. Mission partially accomplished! The bad news was that these stairs only went to the roof, and as she wasn’t particularly inclined to skydive off the roof with only her half-functioning aura to protect her, Ruby was no longer getting out of Beacon today; at least not without getting caught. Nowhere to go but up, she figured, and did just that.
Blake and Weiss paused halfway up this hallway. They had lost track of Yang now, and Ruby was too fast to have any hope of catching up. “Well, so much for that,” Blake muttered.
“Yeah,” Weiss said meekly.
Blake turned to face her teammate. “Are you all right?”
Weiss scrunched up her eyebrows. “Of course I am!”
“You don’t act like it. Ever since Godzilla showed up, you haven’t been yourself. You spaced out at least four times when we were evacuating people, you haven’t so much as left your family a message-”
“How would you even know that?” Weiss asked indignantly.
“I’m a terrorist, remember? Intel-gathering is kind of something I’m good at.”
“Right,” the heiress observed, dryly. “Well in any case, I don’t see how it’s any of your business.”
Blake just stared at her for a moment, then said, “Seriously, princess, what’s wrong?”
“N-” Weiss began before stopping herself. She sighed. “I’ll… I’ll tell you the next time the four of us are together. In private. Right now we should probably split up and find our teammates.”
“Sure thing,” Blake nodded. “I’ll take Ruby, you go after Yang.”
“Why do I have to get Yang? She’s your partner!”
“She’s also royally pissed off, might have to be restrained, and if that’s the case,” Blake pointed at Gambol Shroud, “I don’t really feel like playing rodeo with someone who could probably snap me like a twig. At least you have the option of putting her on ice. Besides, Ruby obviously doesn’t want to be found, and I’m better at tracking people than you are.”
“Right.” Weiss frowned. “Okay, but you owe me for this.”
“Blueberry frozen yogurt,” Blake offered. When Weiss didn’t budge she added, “Homemade and whenever you want it until the end of the semester.”
“Deal,” the heiress said before heading down the hallway, weapon drawn. Blake headed in the other direction. She could smell Ruby’s trail, which headed up toward the roof. Problem solved, the Faunus thought. Now I just have to learn how to make frozen yogurt. Can’t be that hard, can it?
Ruby had spent five minutes trudging up the stairs, exhausted. Maybe Yang was right to act like a caregiver, if this was all she had to show for her recovery.
Upon reaching the roof itself she was surprised to find Jaune. She knew the blonde often trained up here with Pyrrha -and honestly, with all the loud banging metal who wouldn’t have known by now?- but usually at night… and usually with Pyrrha actually here to do the training. Instead, Jaune was sitting by himself at the edge of the roof. He probably wasn’t in any danger, what with his extra-strong aura, but Ruby decided it would be best not to spook him anyway. Causing someone to fall four stories didn’t strike her as the best way to maintain a friendship.
Her thoughts were interrupted when Jaune turned his head to look over his shoulder. “Oh, hey Ruby.”
“How’d you beat me up here?” Ruby wondered aloud.
“Didn’t have a class this period. Instructor was dead.”
That caught Ruby off-guard. “Dead?”
Jaune furrowed his brow. “You mean you didn’t hear yet? Oh, right, you’ve been in the hospital… Godzilla torched a whole forest full of Grimm the other day. Took out a team of 3rd-years whose assignment was running long.”
The news stuck Ruby as she sat down next to the boy. “Was it Godzilla that killed them, or the Grimm he was fighting?”
“Doesn’t really matter,” Jaune said. “I don’t think something that big can get into a fight without someone dying.” He looked at the girl next to him. “You’re looking a lot better than when I last saw you.”
That got a laugh out of Ruby. “Not that hard.” Then her expression grew dark. “Last time you saw me, I didn’t even have a face.” Seeing the questioning look on Jaune’s face she added, “Yang told me.”
“How are you doing now?”
Ruby cast her eyes down. Physically, she was fine aside from the minor damage that was still healing internally. Mentally… She thought back to Sheriff Huxley’s story about the hunter who committed suicide. You can heal pretty serious wounds with Aura and Dust therapy, even regrow body parts if you can stabilize the person in time. Those memories, though… Godzilla was no Grimm, but the mental scars cut deep all the same. Skin completely sloughed off, bone and muscle exposed to the world, flesh bonded to her own clothing, by all rights she should have been… Ruby started to cry. “I shouldn’t be alive.”
And she continued to cry. Jaune wasn’t very good with girls -wasn’t very good with people- but even he knew what to do when someone he knew well was in pain. So he put an arm around Ruby’s shoulder, pulled her close, and held her. Ruby continued to cry into the boy’s shoulder, and Jaune become aware of said shoulder getting very wet and a little sticky. When people cry -really cry- a lot of snot can get involved. They don’t generally show you that part in the movies, much to Jaune’s current chagrin.
When Ruby finally calmed down and noticed where she was, she blushed. “S-sorry,” Jaune stammered as he broke the hug. “I just thought-”
“No it’s fine,” Ruby said. “Actually, I might have to hug you more often. You’re surprisingly soft.”
“AHEM.” They turned around to see Blake leaning against the door. “If you two lovebirds are about done,” Ruby and Jaune both looked like they were about to object, but Blake continued, “your sister is looking for you, Ruby.” A loud boom from within the school drew all three teens’ attention. “And Weiss is keeping your sister from tearing the place apart looking for you.”
Ruby groaned as she got up, Jaune soon following. “Guess we’d better go save her.”
Blake was about to open the door for them when they heard another loud boom. This one was definitely not from within the school. “What was that?”
Ruby slowly turned around, toward the source of the sound.