A strong wind blows snow across the cloudy sky while three Mantas fly together.
Clover: All right, gather 'round. Our mission today is to secure the launch site for the Amity Communications Tower.
Sometime prior to flying in the Mantas, Clover stands in front of the central table in James Ironwood's office, looking at a hologram screen that displays mission details.
The screen displays a mission overview, a photograph of Huntsmen battling a Geist, a menu, a map of an area in the Kingdom of Atlas, a list of Active Huntsmen and a list of Ace Operatives. The mission overview says:
"Reported Petra Gigas near Huntsman Post North. Huntsmen secured area but were unable to eliminate Petra Gigas. The Grimm was seen retreating to abandoned SDC Mines No. 2 located in Zone 3. No casualties were reported, three Huntsmen suffered minor injuries.
Recommended Course of Action: Send in ACE Operatives to clear SDC mine No. 2."
The menu options are "Open Case Reports", "Mission Board", "Personnel Files", "Zoning Details", "Ace Operatives" and "Atlas Huntsmen".
The map displays that "Zone 1", in the very south of the map, is cleared. "Zone 2" is in the southwestern portion of the map, with "Huntsman Post West" located in its northeastern area. "Zone 3" is the northern section of the map. "Huntsman Post North" is located slightly southeast from "SDC Mines 2", and to the northeast of the mines is "Aurora Pass".
Clover: The good news is all that untouched Dust is still down there, too. Science team says they'll need it for the first phase of their launch.
Pietro enters a laboratory, followed by Teams RWBY and JNR.
Pietro: The upgrades you requested were, uh… well, they were more than I anticipated. (laughs)
Clover: Atlas military Huntsmen are already hard at work clearing out the surrounding tundra. But recon has identified a powerful Geist that's managed to evade destruction and take several lives.
Uniformed Huntsmen are seen gunning down Grimm while the three Mantas fly past overhead.
Clover: After we increased our numbers, the Geist was smart enough to retreat into the mine itself, meaning it's old and extremely dangerous.
Clover withdraws a compact Scroll and presses a button, causing the photograph of Huntsmen battling the Petra Gigas to take up the entirety of each screen.
Clover: This is our target.
Pietro: Your new weapons and armor should be as requested, but I also took the liberty of reviewing your combat footage from the Vytal Festival Tournament.
Teams RWBY and JNR stand in front of a series of narrow shelves, each of which have cases on them. Nora Valkyrie shifts eagerly on her feet, letting out an excited giggle as she snatches up her case. Everyone else calmly picks up their cases.
Pietro: There's some additional enhancements I'd like to suggest. Oh, but for now, these should serve you well enough.
Ruby opens her case and smiles. Nora opens her case and looks amazed, pupils dilating and eyes shimmering from her excitement. Jaune opens his case, and his eyes widen.
The hologram screens above Ironwood's table have been replaced with a 3D hologram map displaying the SDC mine.
Clover: The mine was a labyrinth back in the day. There's all sorts of tunnels and chambers the Geist can move between, so if we're gonna kill this thing, we'll have to split up and corner it.
Jaune sits on a bed, looking at his open case before sadly looking down at a scrap of red fabric in his hands. He caresses the fabric with his thumb and sighs. As he hangs his head, a few locks of hair move in front of his eye, and he brushes them away with a frown.
Clover: General Ironwood says you've seen your fair share of combat.
Blake Belladonna runs her hand through her hair.
Clover: I trust that man with my life, so tomorrow, I'll be trusting you all, too.
Inside Ruby's case is a neatly folded outfit. She happily pulls out the new cloak that rests on top of the stack. As she does so, Oscar Pine enters the dorm room.
Oscar: Hey… Ruby?
Team RWBY's Manta soars through a cloud and opens its side door, with Team RWBY standing in the doorway wearing their new outfits.
Clover: Let's make it happen, people.
Team RWBY look at each other, smiling. Yang chuckles, and Ruby nods. The four leap from the Manta, with Ruby immediately using her Semblance, laughing as she falls. She draws Crescent Rose, changes it to scythe form, stands on it and begins firing it, using the recoil to slow her fall. Weiss Schnee makes her way downward while leaping back and forth between glyphs, before launching herself toward the mine and summoning her Arma Gigas' arm and sword. She then uses a glyph to send herself onto the sword and slides down the blade.
Blake draws her newly-repaired katana, shifts it into sickle form and throws it, hooking it onto one of the metal structures outside the mine entrance. She then uses it to swing from building to building. Yang freefalls, laughing as she does so, before firing at the ground and flipping to land on her feet. She slides across the snow between two minecart tracks and is joined by Ruby, Weiss and Blake when she comes to a stop. Harriet Bree lands nearby with a slight bounce, tucking and rolling. Marrow Amin lands on his boomerang, rides it across the snow and leaps off of it, causing it to fly through the air and then return to him. The boomerang shifts into rifle mode when he catches it.
Elm: This is my favorite part!
Vine steps out of the ship, while Elm leaps backwards. Lie Ren hops out, followed by a laughing Nora. Jaune takes a deep breath, gets a small running start and leaps out. He dives for a moment, then deploys his shield while activating its new Hard-Light Dust upgrade. The shield begins acting as a hang glider, with the sudden slow in momentum causing Jaune to yelp. He then drifts over to the cliff, before turning his shield downward and using another Dust upgrade to create an outward burst that cushions his landing. Standing alongside Nora and Ren, Jaune draws his sword.
Elm: Ha ha! Perhaps you kids won't get yourselves killed after all!
Elm enters a tunnel, while Jaune looks disappointed and Nora pouts.
Vine: She meant that as a compliment.
Qrow and Clover slide down a sheer icy incline, landing on a cliff just outside of a tunnel opening. Clover activates a communication device in his ear while Qrow brushes off his new outfit.
Clover: This is Alpha squad. LZ's clear. Proceeding on foot.
At the bottom of the mountain, Team RWBY rest their fingers against their own communicators, listening to Clover.
Clover: You've all got fancy new Scrolls, so don't forget to use 'em. Keep your eyes and ears open. I want an update if you encounter the target. Alpha out.
While Clover speaks, Blake brings out her new Scroll, deploying the hologram screen from the small device. She taps on an icon with a mugshot of Yang, which brings up a screen showing her teammates' Aura levels. Weiss has 96% Aura, Yang has 97% and Ruby has 98%. She taps the hologram again, making it recede into the device, which she turns horizontally in her hand. The built-in screen displays four small meters - one on top and three on bottom. The top meter is labeled B, while the other three are labeled R, W and Y. The B meter is completely full. Once Clover finishes speaking, Blake's left cat ear twitches, and she looks ahead of her.
Yang, who was staring at Blake, looks side to side. Realizing that she is the one Blake is looking at, Yang poses awkwardly and waves.
Yang: Uh, sorry, just not used to the new hair yet.
Blake blushes and self-consciously brushes her hair back.
Blake: Is it… bad?
Yang: No! No. It's good. Great, even!
Marrow and Harriet watch the awkwardness from nearby.
Marrow: Man, I did not sign up to be a babysitter.
Harriet: Yeah, well, the rest of us babysit you all the time.
Harriet walks away, and Marrow crosses his arms and pouts, following her.
Weiss wipes snow off of a piece of metal, revealing the Schnee Dust Company logo. She looks down at it with a frown and lets out a small, sad groan. Harriet and Marrow head into the mine entrance, with Team RWBY following at a distance. Ruby comes to a stop, shivering with her arms crossed across her chest.
Ruby: Oh, it's freezing out here!
Weiss stops, and Blake and Yang soon stop, as well.
Weiss: Without heating or projected Aura, the cold of Solitas can kill you in a matter of hours.
Blake: I suddenly don't feel as bad about leaving Oscar behind.
Yang: (sighs) Can we talk about that again?
Ruby glances over at Harriet and Marrow, who have gone ahead to the opening of the mine.
Ruby: What about it?
Ruby: We are. (small sigh) We will. But you saw how things looked when we flew into Atlas.
Blake: The General's heart seems to be in the right place, but that doesn't mean we should trust him yet.
Weiss: We need to play along for a while before we make any major decisions.
Yang: Okay. How did Oscar feel about that?
As she asks her question, Yang looks over at Ruby, raising an eyebrow. Ruby lowers her eyes a little, thinking back to her conversation with Oscar.
Ruby: Er, probably shouldn't keep running around with an ancient Relic on a keychain… you know?
She hands the Relic of Knowledge to Oscar, who looks at it and then at Ruby.
Ruby: (smiling) I know you'll keep it safe in Atlas.
Oscar: Ruby, hiding things from Ironwood, doesn't that feel like what Ozpin did to us?
While Oscar speaks, Ruby's smile turns into a frown. She turns her eyes away from him in silence.
Qrow and Clover walk through a long tunnel with different colors of Dust veins in the walls.
Qrow: Gotta say, I'm still not really used to working with other Huntsmen in the field.
Clover: But you were on a team before, weren't you?
Qrow: (sighs) Long time ago. I just found working alone tends to be for the best.
Clover: Well, I think that's a shame.
Qrow slips and falls forward, but Clover catches his arm and pulls him back up. Qrow frowns, while Clover walks away, using his communicator.
Clover: Alpha here. Give me an update.
Vine: The connecting ice tunnels seem clear. We should be approaching the actual mine any minute now.
Vine, Elm, Jaune, Nora and Ren walk through an ice tunnel, which has metal arches supporting it. While Nora and Jaune are smiling, Ren is frowning.
Nora: This is so exciting! It feels like we're an actual Huntsman team!
Nora fidgets with her hands a little, then looks at Ren with her hands clasped beside her face.
Nora: I, um… like what you did with your outfit, Ren.
Ren: (frowning) We should probably stay focused on the mission.
Nora stops, her smile fading, while Ren continues walking forward.
Nora: (saddened) Oh. Okay.
Jaune stops next to Nora, smiling cluelessly at her.
Jaune: I like your outfit, too.
She looks at him with an annoyed expression.
Nora walks away, and Jaune adopts a confused frown and follows her.
Harriet: (over communication device) Bravo checking in. Hit a bit of a snag.
Harriet, Marrow and Team RWBY arrive at a wall of boulders in the main mine tunnel.
Harriet: There's been a cave-in in the main entrance. Not sure if it's recent or was caused by the original accident.
Blake suddenly pauses, her ears perking up and eyes widening. She looks all around her.
Harriet: Either way, we'll have to do a little problem solving.
Clover: Understood. Let us know if you need anything.
Yang looks at Blake and uncrosses her arms.
Yang: You okay?
Blake: (looking away sadly) I just realized where we are. This mine was closed after an explosion.
Weiss: I remember this disaster. Or rather, I remember how furious it made my father.
Blake and Yang look at Weiss, who grips her wrist, looking away. She then approaches Blake.
Weiss: (sighs) I wish I could take back the years of pain my family has caused the Faunus and all of my complacency in it.
She crosses her arms, and Blake rests her hands on Weiss' shoulder, giving a small smile. Marrow approaches the two.
Marrow: This society is set up for Faunus to be at the bottom, and humans are willing participants. They benefit from doing nothing to help us.
Blake looks past Marrow at a large case labeled "SDC"
Marrow: But there are still those who actively abuse us. Anyway, I didn't come over here looking to solve systemic societal issues. Harriet found a gap in the rubble we think one of you could fit through, ideally someone with a knack for seeing in the dark.
He looks at Blake, who seems lost in thought. She soon snaps back to reality and looks at Marrow.
Blake: O-oh. Of course.
Yang looks around and then frowns.
Yang walks forward. Blake makes her way through a crevice between boulders, drawing her katana once she has room.
Marrow: All right, Blake. Take a look around.
She shifts her katana into sickle form, ready to fire her gun.
Marrow: Is there any Dust in the immediate area?
Blake looks around her.
Blake: Mine carts… debris… no Dust, though.
Marrow: Great, then it should be safe to blast our way through.
Blake: Okay. Heading ba--
Blake yelps as a Geist suddenly swoops down and reaches for her. She reflexively uses her Semblance and then jumps into a back handspring while the Geist swipes its claws at her clone. Immediately upon landing on her feet, she begins firing at the Geist. Harriet, Marrow and Blake's teammates look at the boulder pile with widened eyes.
Harriet: Damn it. Blake, stand back.
Harriet deploys her weapon onto her arms and blasts through the boulder. As soon as the rock is cleared, Ruby, Weiss and Yang run forward, weapons drawn. The Geist moves back and looks, then flies away down a tunnel while Blake continues to shoot at it.
Yang: Don't let it get away!
Team RWBY run after the Geist but are soon stopped by a Centinel burrowing its way out of the ground in front of them.
The four stare at the Grimm as it makes its way up from the ground and looks at them. The Centinel lunges at Yang, who yelps and shoots it directly in the mouth. It throws its head back with a pained squeal, then looks at Yang with a hiss, its wound dripping with green fluid. It recedes into the ground, and more Centinels come out from the floor and walls all around them, hissing and screeching. Team RWBY watch with wide eyes.
Yang: That's disgusting.
Team RWBY get into battle-ready positions. Ruby zooms away with her Semblance, while Weiss and Blake charge forward. Ruby slams into a Centinel, while Blake and Weiss slash at more of the Grimm. Harriet punches, and Marrow and Yang shoot. Two Centinels get ready to attack Yang, who readies her weapons and repeatedly punches them each in the head. A slight "beep"-like noise is emitted with each hit, as she attaches small devices to the Grimm. She hops away while firing two more devices at the Grimm and then thrusts her arms backwards, causing all of the devices to beep rapidly and then explode.
Weiss uses Myrtenaster to send an ice crystal at a Centinel, while Ruby beheads another with her scythe. However, the Centinel head, which still has a few legs attached, is still alive. Ruby smirks and engages Crescent Rose's upgrade, which makes the scythe head rotate 180 degrees. She fires the rifle component while swinging her weapon, slashing and finally killing the Centinel head. She then rotates the scythe head again and slams it down to the ground, steadying her weapon to be parallel with the ground, and begins firing the rifle component. Ruby gasps as Marrow jumps ahead of her.
Marrow guns down a pair of Centinels, then shifts his weapon into boomerang form and throws it. The boomerang bounces off a wall and flies against the back of a Centinel, before returning to Marrow, who has leapt into the air. He slams the boomerang's blade down on the Centinel, cutting it in two and killing it. Ahead of Marrow, a pair of Centinels twist around each other and head for him. He holds out his hand and snaps his fingers with a smirk.
The two Centinels suddenly slow to a stop. Marrow holds his pose, while Harriet speeds over to the Grimm, trailing electricity. She brushes her nose with her thumb and smirks before grabbing the two Grimm and slamming them to the ground. She then straightens up and uses her communicator.
Harriet: This is Bravo! We found the target, but it fled deeper into the mine. Engaging Centinels!
In the ice tunnels, Elm, Vine and Team JNR listen to Harriet's report.
Elm: Let's pick up the pace!
The group runs over to a decline in the tunnel, and Elm, Vine and Jaune jump, sliding along the ice. Nora smacks Ren, sending him down the decline with a small shout, and then follows, laughing. Below, the ice tunnel gives way to the Dust mine, and three Centinels begin burrowing out of the rock.
Vine deploys his Semblance to grab onto the walls of the ice tunnel, stopping himself. Elm stomps on the ice, deploying her own Semblance to root herself to the spot. Jaune, Nora and Ren continue sliding past the two, Nora laughing with her hands in the air.
As they approach the bottom, Jaune deploys his shield's Hard-Light barrier and stabs the ice with his sword to slow himself. He then slams his shield down, using Dust to send out a blast that knocks the Centinels back. Catching up to Jaune, Ren leaps into the air and activates his weapons' upgrade - his guns fire their blades at one of the Centinels, with wires keeping the blades tethered to the guns. He pulls himself to the Centinel and slams his feet into it to knock it down and fires his guns at it. Another Centinel rises up behind him, only for Nora to slam Magnhild down on its head. The hammer emits a blast, allowing her to swing it backwards onto the remaining Centinel's head. With all three Centinels dead, Vine and Elm slide down the ice to meet up with Team JNR.
Vine: A very… head-first approach.
Vine and Elm begin walking past Team JNR, who try to act confident.
Jaune: Yeah, well, that's just kind of our style.
As soon as the two Ace Operatives pass them, JNR relax their shoulders and sigh with relief.
Team RWBY, Harriet and Marrow have whittled down the pack of Centinels to one remaining. Weiss raises Myrtenaster and prepares to charge.
Weiss: One left!
Ruby: I got it!
Harriet speeds past both of them and plunges her fist straight through the Centinel, killing it. Ruby rises up from nowhere beside her, eyes filled with amazement.
Ruby: Whoa! Your Semblance makes you super fast, just like me!
Harriet: Very cool. Though, based on your reaction time, I'd say I'm a little faster. (winking)
Clover calls in over their communicators.
Clover: This is Alpha! We've engaged the target!
Qrow fires repeatedly at the Geist, which swerves and spirals around in the tunnel, avoiding the bullets.
Clover: All squads head toward our position!
Clover deploys his fishing rod and sends the hook out at the Geist, just barely missing it. The Geist swoops into a giant chunk of ice with a minecart imbedded in it and rises up, gathering more ice, rocks and metal to form its body. Clover runs forward to combat it, while Qrow stands back and observes. Qrow notices a chunk of ice pressing against a metal support beam, steadily pushing the beam off of the tunnel wall.
Qrow: Wait, stop!
Clover turns to look at Qrow, then notices the beam, which falls and lands between Clover and the Geist. The impact creates a large cloud of dust, and when the cloud settles, it is revealed that the ground beneath the Geist collapsed. Clover looks down the hole, frowning, while Qrow runs up beside him.
Clover: Darn it. (using his communicator) Target escaped, last seen headed east. (to Qrow) Thanks for the call-out. That could have been bad.
Qrow: (sighs) I wouldn't thank me. My Semblance brings misfortune. Sometimes I can't keep it under control.
Clover: That so?
Qrow looks at Clover, who is looking at him with a slight smile. Clover checks his Scroll, then looks up at a bent support beam next to the hole in the ground.
Clover: Well, hey, don't beat yourself up about it.
He casts his line to wrap around the beam and jerks it down, and the beam pulls a large amount of rock down with it. He then turns to Qrow with a smile.
Clover: My Semblance is good fortune. Lucky you, huh? (winking)
Clover walks on ahead, using his communicator, while Qrow stares at him.
Clover: Charlie, Bravo, you should be able to cut off the target at the heart of the mine. Qrow and I won't be far behind.
Qrow looks away, then hurries after Clover.
Team JNR, Elm and Vine exit their tunnel onto a raised walkway in a giant mine chamber filled with Dust veins and huge Dust crystals. Raised minecart rails, walkways and stone arches span across and around the edges of the chamber. As Ren comes to a stop, his foot slides across the ground, and the dust particles he kicks up drift slowly into the air. A bead of sweat drips from Jaune's forehead and evaporates upon hitting the ground. Team RWBY, Harriet and Marrow arrive in the same chamber at the bottom level. Ruby looks up toward JNR.
Vine: (over communicator) Everyone use caution. This room is highly active with Dust energy. Triggering it could ruin the launch site.
Marrow: (over communicator) And vaporize us. How is that always second with you?
Nora: (looking around) I thought the target was supposed to be in here.
A low rumbling noise from above causes everyone to look up. The Petra Gigas Geist is clinging to a chunk of ice on the ceiling. It turns to look down at everyone, showing purple Dust crystals embedded in its body. It jumps down from the ceiling, crashing through a stone arch on its way to the ground in front of Team RWBY.
Ruby: It added Dust to its body? How are we supposed to--
Harriet speeds past her, and Marrow follows suit. Elm jumps down from the cliff and runs toward the Petra Gigas, as well.
Vine reaches out with his Semblance, wrapping an Aura arm around one of the Petra Gigas' legs. With his other Aura arm, he reaches behind him, grabs onto a support beam and pulls. Elm runs over to the leg, stomps to root herself in place with her Semblance and grabs onto the leg.
Vine lets go, leaps off the cliff and uses his Semblance to swing onto a minecart bridge. He then uses his Semblance to grab onto one of the Petra Gigas' arms and pull.
Marrow throws his boomerang at the exposed Geist arm between pieces of ice and rubble, severing it. A Dust crystal flies out from the released rubble, and Marrow's eyes widen.
The crystal falls toward the ground, and Marrow catches his boomerang.
Harriet charges her Semblance and then speeds after the crystal, maneuvering around falling rocks. She runs up a rock, jumps off the side of a raised walkway and catches the crystal in mid-air, landing on another walkway. Teams JNR and RWBY watch the Ace-Ops in amazement as they continue fighting. Marrow cuts off the Geist's other arm, sending another Dust crystal flying through the air.
The crystal is caught by Clover, who just arrived with Qrow.
Clover: (chuckles) What would you guys do without me?
He tosses the crystal to Qrow, who looks at him with an eyebrow raised. Clover salutes to Qrow and jumps backward off the cliff. Harriet speeds around the Petra Gigas' feet, while Vine swings himself around and punches the Petra Gigas in the chest. Harriet speeds to the middle of the room, whistles and waves at the Petra Gigas, then speeds away when it tries to hit her. Elm takes this opportunity to slam her hammer onto the rock composing part of the Petra Gigas' arm. The rock becomes stuck, and as the Petra Gigas struggles to pull it up, Marrow severs its arm once again.
Clover lands on the ground, deploys his fishing rod, and runs over to the Petra Gigas. He jumps off its leg, launching himself into the air. He bumps his clover pin with his thumb, swings his pole and pulls on the fishing line, directing it to wrap around the Geist's mask and hook onto it. Team RWBY's eyes widen in amazement, and Clover pulls, forcing the Geist out of the ice block. Harriet runs into position and uses her Semblance to launch straight up into the air, punching the Geist with her weapon, killing it. As purple Dust crystals begin raining down, the Ace-Ops catch them. One crystal is sent flying through the air on the other side of the chamber.
Harriet uses her Semblance to speed across the room, but she has to maneuver around the falling ice and rocks. The crystal comes close to hitting the ground, and with Harriet mere feet away. Suddenly, a red blur flies past, taking the crystal with it. Surprised, Harriet tumbles and stops. Ruby deactivates her Semblance and falls to the ground in a sitting position, hugging the large crystal tight. She opens her eyes and laughs. Harriet walks over and pulls her to her feet.
Harriet: Thought you said your Semblance was like mine.
Ruby: (confused) It… is?
Harriet: I've seen other speed Semblances before, but that was different. I think there's more going on than you think.
Yang: Wait until she sees what she can do with her eyes.
Blake laughs. Qrow jumps down to the ground next to Clover, who puts his weapon away.
Qrow: Lucky catch, huh?
Clover: Hm. No. I'd chalk that one up to talent.
Ruby and Nora begin celebrating on the other side of the chamber, with Elm holding Ruby up on her shoulder.
Clover: Atlas Control, this is Clover. Mission accomplished.
Down in Mantle, a police airship drops off Forest and flies away.
Forest: (annoyed) Yeah, thanks for the lift!
He walks into an alley, kicking a rock and muttering angrily to himself, heading toward a door. A sound behind him causes him to stop and turn around.
He looks around and back up toward the door. As he nears the door, Tyrian Callows appears in front of it, smiling menacingly. Forest turns around, sees Tyrian and stumbles back against a dumpster, startled.
Forest: Whoa! Who are you?
Tyrian: Me? Oh, well, I'm… someone just like you.
As he speaks, Tyrian approaches Forest.
Tyrian: Someone who… wants to mix things up around here.
Tyrian's eyes turn purple, and he begins laughing darkly as he lowers his tail, its needle coming out. Forest looks down at the tail, then at Tyrian. He screams as Tyrian swings his tail forward to stab him.