Being a Bullhead pilot was the best job in the world!
Provided you enjoyed activities such as Anti air craft fire and heights.
Oh and the massive pitch black hell spawn that attacks anything that moves.
Not to say that aviation is the hardest form of transportation, captaining a boat over the open waves of the massive blue ocean had a similar job description. If you enjoy avoiding old sea mines left over from the war that the kingdoms can't be arsed to remove and the smell of fish. Oh and not to forget the massive terrifying sea creatures of Grimm that sometimes look like they belong in hentai rather then a fucking cruise.
And traveling over land had many more threats. But back to flying in the world of remanent, we're gonna have a quick history lesson.
In the early days, only some Faunus could ascend to the heavens. Then the war between Faunus and humans started and both sides needed an advantage over the other.
Humans had numbers while Faunus had animalistic traits like night vision or claws and strength.
Then someone (history still heavily debated which side as the documents were destroyed so the enemy couldn't posses them) presented what they called the aeroplane, which could- when designed in various ways- be used in various forms of combat and normal life. And for the whole war that's how things were, thousands losing their lives in metal bombs with wings that actually had to use a runway to take off. The reason they are nowadays referred to as bombs by modern pilots because they ran on fire dust. Now at first that doesn't sound bad, I mean most modern aircraft fuel is a chemical mix of gravity and fire dust and some other science shit.
However they ran on crude dust, unrefined and mainly unstable. The aeroplane could sometimes catch fire or explode in midair with no warning.
Then the war drew to a close with a peace treaty, and as commercial airlines didn't really take off with the public, literally in both senses, alternative fuels were researched.
The bullhead was the standard military transport, named after its ability to literally ram its way through most enemy fire and its bullheadedness in keeping going no matter what. The military didn't see much need to improve upon the design and simply kept producing them along with flying machines based upon the bullhead to be used for airlines and general transportation services.
The huntsman academies often employed many bullhead pilots to ship off huntsmen/huntresses to hell, and then take them back.
Military bullhead pilots typically have a stick up their ass and a case of depression. But when a military bullheads life expectancy is anywhere from 10 minutes to 1 year, you have a gloomy view on things. But huntsmen bullhead pilots were far more cheery and cavalier in there attitude, usually the opposite of the military, the only thing the two groups have in common is there ability to be blunt if the situation called for it. Most huntsman pilots are very attached to their machines giving them names, painting and modifying them.
Tanith was a young bullhead pilot who loved to fly, but the military made piloting a bullhead as fun as shoving a Nevermore quill up your ass. Flight paths, controlled speed, autopilots, delays for no fucking reason, snobbish generals who think they know better despite being relics from the days where flying advice was 'treat your Bullhead how you treat your woman, get in her five times a day and take her to heaven and back' at least back then they actually did something fun like shoot at Grimm.
Enrolling at the Atlas aviation school and passing after two years (The way you graduated the school was by completing an exam you can take at anytime, if you pass then you get your flying license and are automatically enlisted into the Atlas military) Tanith wondered if she had made the right career choice.
Tanith stared down into the amber liquid in front of her. Her career path was supposed to be full of excitement, adventure and meeting interesting people! But all she did was transport cargo and talk to men with sticks up their asses. It didn't help that apparently individuality wasn't allowed in the business, the amounts of times someone had lectured her about her hairstyle choice.
Her hair was in a short purple Mohawk style that ended in a braid at her neck, her electric blue eyes and pale skin made her stand out, her hair had been a problem considering the helmet that most pilots wore, but she found the solution in an old head set that she could easily part her hair for to use and a tactical visor that gave her a readout of her ships statistics.
She swirled the liquid and watched as the ice cubes swirled around the glass making clinking noises as it went, she was like those ice cubes, forced to go with the flow of the military, she raised it and downed the remaining liquid in one- the familiar sting going down her throat. The other pilots weren't much better often giving curt replies to her conversation attempts. She hadn't really seen many female pilots and the few she did meet were just like the men with sticks up their asses.
She scowled as she remembered why she was drinking her sorrows away in the bar and not sleeping or doing her fucking job.
They were told not to deviate from the flight path for anything. Then as she was flying over an endless forest, her radio picked up the distress call of a huntsman team that needed extraction. She remembered when she looked down at the joystick in front of her and thought on it for a few seconds. The only time she grabbed the stick was to land and take off, because the military relied on 'highly advanced computer shit' to fly better then the human brain.
She had grabbed the stick and immediately deviated from the path towards the hunter team.
She remembered slowly approaching the smoke and seeing a clearing in the tree's that looked like no man's land, blackened, some fires and craters everywhere, as she started to lower to the ground she saw the team in the centre, one was being supported by another and weakly firing off their pistol into the tree line, the other three were shooting into the trees as well. As she finally got close to ground level she saw them.
Of course she had seen Grimm before, in simulations and on the news, they were practically a staple of all cultures. But nothing compares to staring into those red soulless eyes that simply oozed malice and ill intentions. Not hesitating she brought up the gun controls- which was the standard bullhead attachment- and fired wildly into the trees, watching as black smoke rose from the canopies. Seeing no immediate danger she set down
The hunter team had loaded on quickly and she flew off into the sky and punched the bullhead to the max to get to away from the clearing and to her destination on time.
When she had gotten back into comms range she was immediately signalled by the bases flight monitor and her radio crackled to life.
"Bullhead 359 please state your confirmation code or you will be fired upon" Came the monotone voice of someone in the military, she couldn't tell the difference anymore.
The man on the other side remained silent for a few seconds then "roger 359, please state your purpose for diversion"
"Picked up a distress from a hunter team, so I deviated to assist them"
"359 you were told to not deviate from the-"
"Sorry, guess the next time someone is about to be eaten alive by Grimm I'll just shrug my shoulders and turn my head" she said sarcastically.
"359 you will not interrupt a superior officer when they are speak-"
"Sorry- tsch- your braking up- ch- we have wounded- shhh- be there in 10 minu- tsch" And she turned off her comms device. Admittedly, the control tower would know she had simply turned off her comms device, but she didn't care. She had landed at base and the team had been taken to the infirmary after thanking her several times, then the CO had dragged her off and lectured her for several hours and then.
They grounded her for a week like some fucking child!
It was absolute bull-
"Hey" a voice said from behind her, she turned from her stewing to see a man in a grey shirt with a torn red cape and black smart trousers, a massive metal contraption behind him pointed out his profession "are you the pilot that rescued the hunter team, uggggh Tanith? Right?" He said as he looked her over, as if inspecting her.
She huffed and turned around raising her empty glass in a form of greeting and to signal the man behind the bar, the bar man came over and filled her glass again "You here to tell me I shouldn't of saved those hunters? Cause they had wounded and if I didn't act they-"
"I actually came her to say thank you on behalf of a busy friend of mine, the names Qrow" the man said as he slipped onto the stool beside her and ordered a drink for himself.
"Who's the friend, one of the huntsman I saved? Because they thanked me non-stop" She asked as she took a sip of her drink
"Actually it's headmaster Ozpin of beacon" Tanith almost spat out her drink
Ozpin! He was the most famous of famous huntsman.
"Fucking Christ" she coughed out "haven't you got a flare for the dramatic"
Qrow chuckled as he took a swig of his drink
"So, just come out here to have a drink with a grounded pilot? Or here trying to get something else out of me?" she asked as she stretched her arms.
"Well not that I wouldn't mind something else" he said winking "but I'm here on business"
Tanith rolled her eyes "men, what's the business?" She said as she began to raise the glass.
"You're the business"
She paused then looked at him with a deadpan look "that was either the worst or the best pickup line I've ever heard, and honestly, I'm not drunk enough to decide" she said shaking her head.
The man gave a laugh as she took another swig of her drink "no, seriously I'm here to offer you a job on behalf of Ozpin"
"Gods, maybe I've drunk too much" She sighed as she looked down at her glass "I'm a pilot, not a huntsman or-"
"The job involves flying" Qrow interrupted "you'll be transporting students, and huntsmen, who need transport to and fro a wild variety of places, you'll be given accommodation and free food"
Tanith let out a bitter laugh "that sounds like the dream job and a wet dream all in one, what's the downside?"
"I dunno, pretty sure you get your accommodation on the academy grounds and get free food from a fully stocked cafeteria" shrugged Qrow "only downside might be the students"
"So it's just like going back to school?"
"Well you won't have to teach or attend lessons, maybe assist in training huntsmen how to fly a bullhead as part of their training, that whole health and sextet spiel that I didn't pay attention to"
Tanith nodded frowning
"So why does he want me?"
Qrow shrugged "Ozpin's always had good judgment, so if this was from him it might be all according to Ozpins plan" he said grandly.
Tanith sat with her thoughts for a few minutes.
"Fuck it" she raised her glass and downed the contents in one and stood up "the military sucks and I'm grounded for a week, so I accept"
"Good, tomorrow a cruiser comes into the local station and is headed to Vale, You should find that your booked in and just need to show some ID" he stood up "better go pack"
Tanith stepped off the airship as she looked up at the massive tower, castle, academy complex around her. Dorms the size of apartment buildings were behind a massive black tower with a green glow at the top, in front of that was a massive path that lead to the landing pads.
"Tanith, Miss Tanith Mort?" Came a harsh voice from behind her.
Tanith turned to look at the voice and saw a blond woman with a purple cape (what the fuck is this cape fetish huntsman have?) a white blouse and a black skirt with matching tights. She had blonde hair and harsh green eyes behind a pair of glasses and she had a riding crop on her waist.
"Sup, that's me" Tanith said in her cheery tone as she held her hand out to the woman.
The woman looked a bit surprised at the… informal greeting but took Tanith's hand and shook it "I'm Glynda Goodwitch, assistant to headmaster Ozpin, I'm going to show you to your quarters then the hangar and your new ship"
Tanith nodded as she looked around the campus again seeing no obvious signs of a hangar.
"Follow me" Said Glynda as she turned and walked down the long path towards the campus. After several minutes they approached one of the apartment like dorm buildings "This is the staff sleeping quarters, teachers, janitors and other staff along with pilots like yourself sleep here" She then walked into the building and lead her up a few flights of stairs. After the third stair case they walked off down a corridor and came to a stop outside a room.
"This room is unoccupied, please hand me your scroll" after quickly pulling out her scroll Tanith handed it to Glynda who waved it in front of a device next to the door, after a second gave a beep and two green flashes. "The room now only excepts your scroll" Glynda said, then frowned "so don't lose it"
After dumping her stuff in the room- a spacious accommodation with a nice view of the city, but nothing truly notable other then the en suite attached to it- She was lead to an elevator at the base of the main tower which they stepped in and pressed a green button labelled 'hangar'.
As the lift descended Tanith wondered why they were going down, the ground and flight don't really work together in her trained opinion. Then the lift stopped and the doors opened to reveal a large space. The ceiling was rock and the walls were rock with one metal wall opposite he elevator, in the space were various Bullheads and people walking about as they either did maintenance or simply walked off to who knows where.
She looked over the corner and saw the biggest aircraft in the hanger, It's was large and wide and took up a lot of space with six powerful jets on either side, the cockpit was wide and probably had multiple controllers. Underneath it were several cables that were attached to a bullhead hull that was beaten up badly, a wing was missing and it was covered in claw marks and bullet holes. It was being placed amongst some men with tools, around them were other scrap parts from bullheads that probably suffered the same fate.
"When you bring back students land on one of the various landing pads up top to drop them off, then take off and fly to the cliff face, it will open to reveal this hangar where you can re-fuel and do maintenance to your craft" as Glynda explained this as a bullhead took off and approached the massive wall of metal which split apart surprisingly quick to reveal the outside world as the bullhead left the the hangar, doors shutting and closing off the sunlight.
Glynda began walking between various colourful bullhead's as they went deeper into the hangar, eventually coming to a stop in front of a bullhead which looked generic compared to the colourful ones around them.
"This is the standard model VT-3 bullhead, all diagnostics have shown nothing wrong and it should be as tough as any other bullhead. It is now yours" she held out an object which she dropped into Tanith's open hand, looking at it showed it to be an ignition key for the bullhead "you can customise and… add to it as much as you like... to a degree. The paints and other parts are over there" she pointed to a room going off the main hangar "but please remember this is a school so nothing vulgar please. Any question's?"
"Two, what sort of armaments does it have and what's my callsign?" Asked Tanith as she walked around, doing a visual inspection of the bullhead she would be piloting for the foreseeable future.
"It's doesn't have any armaments but those can be obtained by requesting the field marshal in his office, your callsign is assigned to you by the field marshal in his office. So I suggest that you go see the field marshal in his office and report for duty" Said Glynda smiling slightly while still frowning, an incredible feat in Tanith's opinion.
"Right" Said Tanith as she looked over to where Glynda was pointing. Above the door to the elevator was an office with windows showing a man standing and looking over the hangar.
"Enter" Came a gravely voice from the other side of the door.
Tanith took a deep breath and opened the door to see a well lit office space with a desk and papers spread over it. Sitting in a chair behind it was a man in his late forties, black but slowly grey hair, brown eyes and lots of stubble.
"Sup" Said Tanith in her usual greeting.
To her surprise instead of a tongue lashing like she would receive in the military the man simply smiled.
"I was going to give a speech about how you can take the stick out of your ass, but it seems you don't need it" he said smiling as he looked over her hair "the only formalities here are as follows, I am Sir, so instead of 'sup' it's 'sup, sir'" he chuckled "and when your in the air you use your call sign and not your name and swearing... is highly encouraged" he shrugged "relieves stress ya see"
"I don't need an evaluation of you because if Ozpin sought you out then your skilled enough, but you are required to attach a gun to your Bullhead, what do ya want? The first armaments are on the house"
Tanith smirked slightly "I want a mini gun"
The man nodded as he made a note.
"Now you don't need to really know my name and no one will use it, but all the other pilots call me 'God', some sort of joke that's just stuck" he shrugged
"Now, you were noticed by Ozpin because you rescued a hunter team in urgent need of rescue, correct?"
"Yes, sir. They were in serious trouble so I deviated from the military flight path to pick them up, I got grounded for a week because of it"
The man nodded
"Yes the military do love a good flight path, well call signs are based off what got you noticed by the Academy so well done Tanith, your call sign is Hunter, now you won't receive a job for a week or two so you can get to know your Bullhead, and by extension the academy, customisation is allowed and highly recommended, helps you stand out and also" he turned to look at the hangar behind him "helps you find the damn thing"
Tanith looked out the window as well and groaned. Not all the bullheads had a customisation yet and hers was… somewhere. Maybe between the red and yellow ones?
Tanith lowered the spray can and removed the mouth mask, stepping back to admire her work.
She had spent the last week and a half learning her bullhead and painting it black, then covering the front in white with red, and then tinting the windows red.
Grimm have heavily inspired art and culture in all of history, it was hard not to when they had been around from the beginning of everything.
Her bullhead was now black like the shade of a Grimm and the white and red mask on the front looked like a Grimm skull mask they wear as natural armor, while the cockpit window looks like the eye of a grimm with it's red color.
The wings were black too but the jets on the end were white, then the cover that shielded personnel from the flames were painted red. The back tail fins were also painted white with the red symbols of Grimm on them. Obviously however, it didn't look like any Grimm known, so she wasn't about to get shot by some hot shot huntsman or anything.
She quickly stretched as she continued to admire her handiwork.
"Nice, definitely noticeable" came a voice from behind her.
She turned to see a man with orange hair and purple eyes, he was wearing a blue jacket and black cargo pants, the pockets making interesting noises as he walked over and looked over her bullhead as well.
"Well, it's definitely easier to find now" she replied.
"Yeah, that's the hardest part starting up" he said smiling then stuck out a hand "the names Tyler, call sign is Oak"
"Oak?" She repeated raising her eye brow
He turned slightly pink "Yeah, well I worked for a lumber company and saved some workers from some Grimm by dropping an oak tree on them. I'm a great bomber, but I can't say I've seen you around here before" he said as he looked her up and down in her white vest and orange tracksuit.
"Yeah, I got here a week and a bit ago. Names Tanith but my callsign is hunter" she said
"What did you do to get that name, sounds really fucking sinister compared to the others" he looked at her bullhead "but it does fit with the style you've got going on"
"I saved a hunter team from being devoured by Grimm" she said "But the standard weapon they put on the military variant just doesn't feel as satisfying as firing an endless stream of destruction, so that's why I'm going to be attaching this" she said as she walked over and patted the M134 mini gun sitting on the bench. It was big and at least her height if stood up on its barrel end, it had a drum for the the rounds it would be carrying, and it was mostly orange.
"That looks good, need some help setting it up or can you handle it?" He Asked as he also looked over the gun.
"I could use some help with moving it around and some of the more… advanced wiring stuff" she admitted.
"Ah, I'm great with setting up targeting system and all the technical shizzle" he said as he looked at the various wire. He then shook his head "but to get it in position someone's gonna have to hold it up for a bit, but I know just the man!"
He then ran off through the maze of bullheads and maintenance crew. After a minute or two he came back his arm looped through a man's and dragging him along. He was clearly being willing dragged because the man was enormous, almost 7 feet tall and muscled with a grizzly beard and could of easily stopped dead if he wanted.
Tyler stopped in front of her and presented him to her.
"This here is Hilbert, my boyfriend, his call sign is Ursa"
Tanith slowly looked up to the face of the man, because of their natural height difference he cast a shadow over her and even seemed to loom over her, and looking at his exposed arms from his rolled up sleeves of his blue jumpsuit he could easily over power an Ursa Major with his bare fists.
Then suddenly he hunched over slightly and delicately took her hand and shook it "Hello, I'm hilbert, What is your name?" He said in a deep accented voice
Tanith was surprised at his voice, it wasn't stereotypically loud and shouting and booming or comically high pitch and squeaky, it was normal and fit him well.
"Tanith, callsign Hunter" She said smiling back
"Ah!, the new one" he said as he placed his hands on his hips "Welcome to The Vale huntsman transport association!"
"No one calls it that" interjected Tyler
"That is because it does not have a witty acronym" Said Hilbert frowning and shaking his head sadly "we are usually called the Air bus service, sometimes angels, sometimes 'loud mouthed assholes who don't follow military protocol' or whatever else others call us" he chuckled as if remembering a joke then stood up straight "so you needed my help with something?"
"Oh!, right, Yeah" she gestured to the weapon behind her "can you help me attach this to my ship?"
"I see you have good taste" he said as he rubbed his beard and looked over the gun, then he looked at the ship and his stormy blue eyes widened "and impressive art skills"
Tanith blushed under the praise.
"When do you want us to do it?" Asked Tyler as he looked over the guns many wires once again.
"Well considering I don't know when I'll be going out into the world, as soon as possible" Said Tanith as she looked at her bullhead.
"I can assist in half an hour" Said Hilbert as he frowned at Tyler "Puppy over here decided to drag me away from maintenance work that needs to be done"
Tyler blushed slightly but shrugged "Well you needed to meet her anyway" he then rested his head on the man's arm "plus you love me for it" then he looked at Tanith "guess I'll come by in half an hour and we can get this thing done"
"That sounds good" nodded Tanith
"Okay try out the gun controls, see if it moves"
Tanith grabbed onto the weapon joystick and slowly tilted it around in a circle.
"Perfect, it's all set up correctly now" Came the voice of Tyler over the radio, "I mean it won't shoot backwards but that probably doesn't matter much" as he talked his voice got louder until it was coming from right behind her.
She leaned over the side of her seat and looked back with a grin "if I can hit things in front of me then everything will be fine"
"Whatever you say" Tyler said shaking his head
"Hey, first off I have the majority of the bullhead between me and bullets or feathers, and second you have literally no defense from airborne enemies at all" pointed out Tanith.
"Fair" said Tyler chuckling
"Ahh, my friends isn't it glorious" Came Hilbert's voice from behind them they turned to see his hands were covered in large amounts of oil "I cannot wait to see you use that in combat, Oh! That reminds me, standard protocol for this is to give it a quick test fire" he picked up the bullheads radio and handed it to Tanith "tell them you need a weapons test"
Tanith nodded as she turned on the radio to the Beacon air control comms "this is Bullhead designation Hunter are you receiving me control?" she spoke into the microphone
"Helllllooo and welcome to beacon Hunter!" Came a cheery female voice on the other end "We have excellent weather today and not a Grimm in sight, what can I do for you today?" Tanith was a bit taken aback by the chirpiness of the woman's voice.
"Please just call me Castle"
"Yup, much less sinister then control"
"Okay… Castle can I request a weapons check?"
"You may certainly do so" Came the happy response "let me just check the schedule and I'll see what I can do"
The radio was silent for a few seconds then "the technicians can have the range set up in 10 minutes, I'll guide you on what to do" then the radio shut off.
"Well… that was… different" Said Tanith uncertainly.
"Castles a great girl, she's always been cheerful… sometimes unnaturally so, but I think the sound of another female voice has her bouncing in her seat" said Tyler
"Isn't it a bit risky to have just one air traffic controller for an entire region?" Asked Tanith
"Normally yes" Said Hilbert "But Castle also has her aura unlocked and her semblance allows her to make copies of herself" he chuckled "it's always funny watching someone walk into the control room, then walk out with a look of severe confusion on their face"
"Why does she have her semblance unlocked?" Asked Tanith confused.
The reason that not everyone had their aura unlocked was because the creatures of Grimm have a slight pull towards those with unlocked aura, so a city of billions all with an unlocked aura would give off a massive lure for the creatures and the city would be sieged 24/7. Another reason was personal choice, because while an aura was great your semblance was always a gambol. A bit like genes a semblance could be great and really useful but it could also be terrible and cause harm to others. Like the man who had a semblance that made people hate him for no reason, or that girl who could turn people inside out.
"I don't know, she doesn't talk about it"
"Right well I'm not gonna be on the ship when you do the test fire" said Hilbert as he began to walk to the open side hatch of the ship.
"Why not?" Asked Tanith confused.
"Dude, these things can go disastrously wrong if they fuck up" said Tyler encouragingly as he quickly followed Hilbert out,
"Thanks for the support" she called out sarcastically as she shut the door to the bullhead and started the engine. With a deep growl the engine came to life giving the ship more credibility as an actual creature of Grimm.
"Alright Hunter they're ready for you, which one are you on the hanger floor" Said Castle over the radio.
"I'm about to raise up" she said as she gently eased the ship upwards out of the dock.
"Ah there you are" She was silent as Tanith made the bullhead do a quick spin to check if there were any problems "I like the style, very threatening"
"Thanks, I think it works well, now where am I headed?" Asked Tanith.
"You wanna Head down to the corner where there is an open space, should be all white" said Castle as a heads up display appeared on Tanith's glasses "So, what do you think of Beacon so far?"
"It's so much better than in the military, everyone talks without sticks up there asses" she paused then added "and your voice is very pretty" then she blushed. Did she seriously just say that out loud! Who the fuck just says that?
She heard Castle giggle and say in a slightly embarrassed voice "thank you, I hear that often from pilots but never that sincere, now you'll want to lower the bullhead into that docking cradle"
Tanith gave a sound of confirmation still too embarrassed to talk as she carefully docked the craft into the docking cradle.
"Okay the technicians are just checking if your secured" Tanith heard the sounds of several people scurrying about below her "Alright your ready to go, you can begin now"
Tanith flicked a switch on the dashboard and headed the mechanical whirling as the mini gun was lowered from the bullhead through the metal doors.
"Firing main cannon" Tanith Said into the radio as she pressed the red trigger on the joystick.
The target itself was a concrete block about a meter thick and two meters tall.
The mini gun quickly began to spin, then a defaming roar like that of an Ursa Major boomed out from the cannon as it launched a stream of death and destruction at the concrete block.
After one second the block was okay. After five It began to crumble, after 7 the block completely collapsed into a pile of rubble. Tanith let go of the button and was grinning manically.
"Weapon test successful" Came the voice of Castle who she could tell was also grinning "Welcome to beacon"