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Saya looked across at Blake. The moonlight streamed through the slats installed in the window, sending shafts of pale light streaming across the features of the girl opposite her. The room wasn’t huge but it wasn’t particularly small either, allowing both girls some space. Blake’s amber eyes glowed in the shadow that the window cast across the top of her face, and they were directed at Saya’s own glowing red orbs. If the redhead wasn’t holding out for that overconfident half-pint Yuu she would go over there and screw the glow right out of those eyes. Blake’s head turned to look out of the window at the streets below, and Saya found herself following every move. There was just this… allure that the other girl gave off. A calm and aloof essence that only made Saya want to find out more. You could, you know. Black Gold Saw’s voice purred in her ear. Forget Plain Jane. This one is so much more interesting. Pin her to the bed and take her right now. Show her what it means to be a real woman. No. It… it wouldn’t be right. I don’t- Don’t what? Don’t want to see what that girl’s really made of? Don’t want to find out what you can do to her? What she could do to you? What she’ll do is break both my legs and leave me in an alley. Saya retorted. Gold Saw laughed. You’re stronger than that, honey. You wouldn’t let her. And hey, once you show her what I’ve taught you, who knows? Maybe she’ll like the way you’ll whisper in her ear, promise her everything and deliver it too- Saya forced her back with great effort as Blake’s cool, calm voice reached her. “The airship to Beacon ships out tomorrow. Will you be coming with me?” Saya closed her eyes and shook her head. “I’ve got my orders, Blake. I was supposed to see you to Beacon and that’s that.” Blake nodded. “Very well. I shall miss your company.” Saya shrugged. “Eh, you’ll see me around, I’m sure. We should get some sleep.” Blake nodded and settled down. After a long moment of observing her relaxing form, Saya stood silently and quietly ripped a hole in the world. It’s for the best that we part ways. Blake might be alluring, but she wasn’t always ready for a laugh. She wasn’t always there with a kind word and a joke. She didn’t have a borderline addiction to soda. She wasn’t Yuu. And Gold Saw would do well to remember that.

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Not too far away, Mato and Ruby caught up with Yomi at a Dust shop. The Japanese girls took their time looking around at the various crystals on offer after a very affectionate reunion on Mato’s part. “So, where’d Weiss go?” Was the blue-eyed girl’s question. “She’s at her mansion. She’ll be at Beacon tomorrow.” “OK.” Mato’s eyes alighted on a particularly striking Dust crystal that was so green as to almost glow. Yomi’s attention was drawn to one that was a familiar deep blue that she had gotten lost in more than once. They glanced at each other and managed not to slip up. “Ah, I’m gonna go over and, eh, see what Ruby-kun is reading.” Mato was very proud of herself. She actually managed a steady, outwardly nonchalant walk over to Ruby. Never mind that Rock had basically taken over her entire lower body to do it… Yomi took a glance to make sure her short attention span had been captured for the moment, then silently tapped a finger over the crystal she wanted. The man behind the counter bagged it up with a smile and a wink, and was hard pressed to hold back a laugh when Mato came over and bought her choice of crystal. The girls had their purchases tucked away, attention solidly on either the walls or the floor, and Mato was wondering if she might make the first move when Yuu entered the shop. Mato looked over. “Yuu, hey! Where’s Yang?” Yuu shrugged. “Oh, she’s somewhere. So what are you guys doing?” Yomi came forward, but stopped suddenly. Several presences were headed right for them, and she didn’t like the vibe they were giving off. The other two met her eye and everyone dispersed to the corners of the store. Yuu had seen some crazy stuff in her time, but seeing a girl who was three years her junior kick the ever-loving crap out of a gang of mobsters with the aid of a scythe comparable to an Otherworld weapon was definitely up there. The short one grabbed Mato’s arm. “Yang and I saw those thugs back when you met up with us! This guy must’ve hired ‘em from Junior!” Mato raised a fist and grinned dangerously. “Let’s get after him!” The three girls ran out into the street and followed Ruby as she shot herself up a building. Mato crouched right down and jumped straight up. Yomi took one of her skulls and Yuu hitched a ride on the other one. The man who had orchestrated this whole debacle was escaping in a jet, and he had a friend. A fire-shooting, bullet blocking lady friend. Mato was impressed. She actually managed to disperse the fireballs that the Rock Cannon spat at her. Impressive or not, the woman would have blown everyone to bits if not for the intervention of a second, blonde woman. Five minutes later, Ruby was stuck inside a mobile base for whatever secret organisation Ozpin worked for with the rest of the girls peeking in through the door. All three of them, plus their Otherselves, were surprised when Ozpin offered to let Ruby into his school, thanked her for her time and let her go. “You ladies can come in now.” The three filed in, and all of them got a shock when Saya dropped down from the ceiling. Ozpin, as usual, was unfazed. “Your next assignment is in two days time. I want you to go to the forest outside of Beacon and await further instructions. Until then, you are free to do as you wish.” The four walked out and down the street that the mobile base was stationed on. Mato folded her arms behind her head. “I’m thinking we should get a bed for the night. What do you girls think?” Yomi smiled. “I’m in favour of that plan.” Yuu gave a thumbs up. “You know it!” Saya just said “There’s a good hotel a couple of streets over.”

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Roman Torchwick looked over his maps of Vale and the surrounds. Cinder Fall was at another table, looking over the Dust he had managed to acquire. The redhead muttered under his breath. “Well that could have gone a lot better...what was up with those kids, though?” The woman looked over at him. “They’re Black Paradoxes, Roman. Or most f them, anyway.” Roman nodded and lit up a cigar. “Uh-huh. I’ll think about that after you tell me what the hell a Black Paradox is, Cindy.” Cinder took a deep breath, reminding herself that Roman did not have an affinity for the more mystical aspects of the world, and as such was entirely ignorant. “A Black Paradox is a person, usually a female, who has forged a bond with their Otherself. The resulting fusion has abilities ten times stronger than those of a human.” Roman raised a brow. “Sounds like one of those crazy Japanese anime things.” Cinder shrugged lightly. “Well, the legends do originate in Japan. Regardless, they are a serious threat to our plans. They aren’t like normal warriors; you can’t match them in one-on-one combat.”

“But we can.” Both villains looked up and over at a shadowy corner of the warehouse. A collection of figures were standing in the shadows so all that could be made out were their outlines. One of them stepped forward, a shaft of moonlight glinting off one blood-red eye and the strange thornlike structure running down that side of his face. Roman whipped around and pointed his cane at them. “Who are you? How did you get in here?” The man bowed to the two of them. “We are here on behalf of our master. Our purpose is simply to offer our services.” Cinder stepped forward. “Who is your master, and why is he interested in us?” A second figure stepped up beside the first one, standing in such a way that the moonlight made his white hair glow and shadowed his eyes. Roman wasn’t a poet, but he thought this made the second man seem almost otherworldly. “You both survived an encounter with four of the most powerful Black Paradoxes in the universe. The Master admires people with that kind of power.” Roman raised a brow. “Your boss likes people who run away?” The first man chuckled. “Oh, I like you. In all seriousness, the troops you have are woefully insufficient to deal with them. But we have gone against their kind before and emerged victorious.” Cinder placed her hands on her hips and smiled wickedly. “I like where this is headed.” Roman held up a hand. “Wait. I’ve been in this business long enough to know there’s always a catch. What do you want?” The two figures stepped backwards and a third one took their place, dressed in form fitting yet slightly bulky armour. “Our Master is interested in this energy source you call Dust. He depends on a complex life-support system to survive, and is always looking for energy to sustain it. It is capable of operating indefinitely on solar and geothermal energy, but he is always open to new forms of power.” Roman put a hand to his chin. “We get extra muscle, and your boss gets extra juice. Alright, I’m liking this deal.” Cinder nodded and walked forward. “Tell your master that we accept his offer, and take this.” She held out a bottle of red Dust powder. The armoured figure took it and held it up to her face to study it. “Is this Dust?” Cinder nodded. “Red Dust is primarily used as a fuel source when mixed with other compounds in powder form. It is also highly combustible, so be careful. I’ve heard of sneezes setting that stuff off.” The figure nodded and tucked the bottle away. “We will see what we can do with it.” She stepped backwards to her original place and the three simply faded from sight. Roman looked over at Cinder. “Well. That was a thing.” Cinder laughed. “Oh, this is going to be interesting.”

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Elsewhere, a motorcycle roared along an empty road. It’s rider spotted a sign and slowed to read it:

Vale 3 km

The bike rocketed onwards, powerful headlights lighting up the road ahead. The rider’s eyes were on the road, but her ears were focused away to her left. Three Beowolf leapt from the shadows, claws extended to strike. The rider heaved backwards, lifting the bike’s nose into the air and bringing it down on the first one. The second jerked to a halt in midair, a bullet hole visible on it’s head for a brief moment before the wolf was left behind. The last one was caught on a toothed sword that had seemingly appeared from nowhere to stab the wolf in the face. A flick of the wrist and the Beowolf was gone. The entire operation had taken five seconds.

Nana Grey sheathed her sword, holstered her gun and rode on.
Filler, but I'm happy with it. The action should pick up next chapter.

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November 15, 2014
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