Clover Ebi looked down at the scene below, a strange curiosity causing him to hold up his hand, halting the approach of his team. The Ace-Ops obliged, although he could feel their annoyance and discontent in the air- still, they stayed their weapons, giving him time to survey the battlefield before rushing in.
Their reports that unauthorized Huntsmen were fighting after the crash-landing of the unauthorized airship seemed to have been correct. However, rather than engaging in illicit activities, this group of what he could only describe as motley, bedraggled teenagers and one older, more confident Huntsman were easily destroying the Grimm which were ravaging the streets of Mantle.
Marrow's whimpers aside, they followed the order, allowing him to focus on the battle below.
These children were skilled. Anyone watching them could peg them as professional, if not new, Huntsmen. Each of them seemed fairly aware of their own skills and weaknesses, complementing one another perfectly in battle. They had clearly seen more than their fair share of combat alongside one another.
The oddity which caught his attention the most, however, was the older Huntsman. The man fought with ease, his weapon- a longsword with a broad, segmented blade that transformed into both a gun and a giant, almost terrifying scythe- constantly flashing through the air, the silvery metal reflecting the reddish hues from the heat lamps above every street. He moved like liquid, fluidly spinning through the air and slicing through every creature of Grimm that came his way, all the while protecting the younger fighters with ease whenever they were overwhelmed. There was a glint in his eye- affectionate, subdued, powerful- as he tore through shadowy, rank flesh and bony white masks, all the while maintaining a cool manner and a, frankly, oddly alluring smile.
Clover was curious about this man. He had never seen anyone like him in the rigidity of Atlas.
To make things even stranger, once the Grimm had been destroyed in the district, Penny actually hugged some of the kids, talking to them all excitedly. She knew them- who were these people?
Still, orders were orders, and they had been ordered to take in the unauthorized travellers. "Let's go in," he murmured at last into their communication lines.
"Ugh, finally," Harriet groaned. And, just like that, his team immobilized the group and began using Atlesian Knights to collect their weapons. Even the older Huntsman was taken down, although he at least was able to draw his sword before they were able to throw their automatic bindings around his ankles and wrists.
Clover grinned, hopping off the rooftop and approaching the man. As he drew closer, he was pleasantly surprised to find clear crimson eyes glaring up at him from under thin brows, set amidst a surprisingly-handsome face. "Hey pal," the man spat, his voice hoarse and husky, "I'm a licensed Huntsman. Just helped save everyone?"
Clover kept his face neutral, ignoring the admission, trying not to show his interest. Who in the world was this man? Where had he come from?
And when was the last time a face like that had fallen right into his territory?
By the Huntsman's side was his fallen blade. Clover bent down to pick it up, examining the craftsmanship of it before handing it to another Knight. He issued his orders easily, loading up each of the warriors into a transport vessel in their cuffs. Originally, he would've put them into quarantine while they sorted out paperwork. However, as his eyes fell onto a shining blue and gold object by the side of one of the young women in their group, he changed his mind. He felt a powerful Aura coming from that object.
General Ironwood will know what to do. So, he relayed what needed to be done, and his team took care of it, allowing him to return to Atlas to speak with James about the situation.
It turned out that that was, indeed, the right thing to do. Vine only sighed wearily when they finally heard the identities of the intruders.
Marrow was both terrified and amazed. "Are you telling me that all of those guys will be our allies from now on?" he asked, eyes practically shining in excitement.
"Apparently," Elm sang, "the very pale one is the younger Schnee."
"This'll be interesting," Harriet murmured, crossing her arms as they headed out into the hall in front of General Ironwood's office. The group was in a meeting with James, giving him plenty of time to look over the files of the newcomers.
Qrow Branwen, huh?
Clover nodded silently at Harriet's assertion. If it was indeed true, and that Huntsman was the Qrow Branwen, then he would be seeing a lot more of that man. But, even if he didn't, the group deserved an apology.
After James' meeting with the newcomers ended, he and his team introduced themselves and apologized. Penny arrived to take the teens on a tour, since they had all been classmates for a time in Beacon. His teammates dispersed, but Clover hung back, leaning against the wall as he watched Qrow interact with James.
Clover almost laughed as James walked down the stairs, eventually giving Qrow the most awkward hug of all time. After a moment, he heard Qrow's light laughter, the man reaching up and patting James on the back. The two exchanged quick, quiet words, speaking comfortably after that until James' Scroll beeped, indicating he had to leave. "Clover!" the general called.
Clover stood at attention before approaching the two men. "Yessir?"
"This is Qrow Branwen. You've read his file?"
Clover nodded, smiling neutrally at Qrow when the man scowled, glaring at James. "You have a file on me?" Qrow growled.
"You're an ally, Qrow. We've run simulations on how to react to different scenarios depending on what manpower we might get- we never thought you'd actually find your way here, but now, I'm glad we made those just in case," James laughed, not understanding Qrow's distaste. "Thanks to those, I'm confident in saying that your skillset would be best suited for helping the Ace-Ops."
Clover held out his hand towards Qrow. "I look forward to working with you," he said.
Qrow sighed, then shook it hesitantly. "Sure, kid," Qrow replied.
A shiver rushed down his spine as the older man looked at him, those crimson eyes burning in weary skepticism. He seemed cynical and fatigued, but… Qrow was hiding something, Clover could tell. His intuition was always right about these things- blame it on the good luck, or just his own skills. He didn't seem like a threat, though.
Either way, he couldn't wait to see what Qrow Branwen could do.