Overview Image Gallery
The Atlas Bomb, also referred to as the Payload, was a bomb developed by Atlesian scientists in an attempt to destroy Monstra, and later Mantle. The bomb was detonated by Arthur Watts in "The Final Word", but the blast was safely contained by Vine Zeki after he sacrificed himself.
The Atlas Bomb had a somewhat cylindrical shape with larger, more flat cylinders on the sides and thinner cylinders extended from those, similar to the bombs used by the White Fang. It was much bigger than those bombs, and had a lighter gray color. It had glowing red highlights across the bomb, which likely came from the Dust stored inside of it.
It had an interface made of Hard-Light Dust, similar to that of a Scroll, in which the bomb could be armed and the timer set. It was able to be activated remotely through the Atlas CCT Network, as seen by Arthur Watts activating it with his access in “The Final Word”. The blast radius seems to be quite large, since it was stated it could destroy all of Mantle.
After Monstra landed on Atlas and began attacking its army with hordes of Grimm, workers in Atlas Central Command began working on a way to stop the conflict. After they were unable to restart the Hard-Light shields around Atlas nor damage the giant Grimm from the outside, they suggested the idea of blowing it up from the inside, and a team of Atlas scientists began working on the bomb in "War".
The Ace Operatives and Atlas Soldiers continued to hold the line against the Grimm to prepare for the payload to arrive. As of "Witch", the payload was completed and ready to be dropped off. A Cargo Airship was sent into the battlefield containing the payload, and landed close to Monstra.
Winter Schnee and the other Ace-Ops were tasked with bringing the bomb aboard Monstra, but before they could, a massive explosion from the stored-up power in The Long Memory destroyed Monstra and most of the Grimm surrounding it. They brought it back to Atlas Academy and reported to the General, in which he realized he could use it to his advantage. He broadcasted a message, stating that if Penny Polendina doesn't comply with his orders, he would use the bomb to destroy Mantle.
In "Creation", Qrow Branwen and Robyn Hill went to intercept the bomb, and they destroyed the Atlesian Knight-200s loading the bomb back onto a Cargo Airship. The remaining Ace-Ops went to stop them, but were frozen by Marrow's Semblance.
Watts navigated a hacked AK-200 over to them in "Worthy", which then exploded and broke Marrow's Aura, freeing the Ace-Ops from his Semblance. Harriet Bree used her Semblance to board the airship holding the bomb, and Vine Zeki followed with the use of his own Semblance.
Vine tried to convince her not to use the bomb, but Harriet argued that she should go through with her orders. Vine failed to get through to her before Robyn piloted another airship into theirs, and Harriet armed the bomb. Watts hacked the airship to fly it towards Mantle, while Qrow broke into the ship to stop her from activating it. In "The Final Word", he also tried to convince Harriet to stop, and succeeded with the help of Elm Ederne. However, it was too late, as Watts remotely set the timer for the bomb. Vine got the others to leave the ship as he used his Semblance to extend his aura over the entire ship in order to contain the blast. The bomb exploded, killing Vine.
- The bomb has a similar design to a bomb encountered by Team RWBY in Mountain Glenn's caverns during the fourth chapter of RWBY: Grimm Eclipse, which was attached to a cart that Team RWBY had to drive into a chasm in order to prevent it from destroying the entire underground city.
- During the Volume 8 Director's Commentary, Eddy Rivas referred to the bomb as "Chekov's Nuke".
- RWBY Volume 8 Directors' and Writers' Commentary