After the opening, the scene shows the darkened corridor of the Vault under Beacon. Only flashes of green and vermilion are illuminated in the darkness. More flashes are shown as Ozpin and Cinder Fall clash weapons against each other. After a clash, Cinder slides back, using her hand to melt the floor below her, and summons ice crystals from the newly-formed substance, hurling them towards Ozpin. Ozpin deflects them all by moving at superhuman speed, and then darts forward and delivers a bunch of strikes at Cinder with his cane, with the last blow launching her back. Cinder then floats mid air by unleashing her Maiden power. Ozpin then slams his cane into the floor, forming a spherical force-field around him. Cinder then unleashes a powerful fire blast, with Ozpin leaping into the attack with the barrier protecting him. As he closes in on her, the screen fades to white.
Port: That's it! Everybody on board! This is a mandatory evacuation!
Ruby: Oh, I found you!
Weiss: Ruby, where have you-
Ruby: Don't worry, I'm fine! What's going on?
Unsure of what to say, Weiss lowers her gaze sadly.
Ruby: Weiss? What is it?
Weiss steps aside, giving Ruby a clear view of Blake Belladonna and Yang Xiao Long lying on the ground. Both girls have bandages wrapped around their wounds, and the latter is unconscious. Behind them sit Nora Valkyrie and Lie Ren, who are too battered and bruised to fight. Blake reaches over and places her hand on Yang's.
Blake: I'm sorry. (She gets tears in her eyes)
Ruby reaches out and opens her mouth to say something, but in her emotional state, she doesn't know what to say.
Blake: (Curls up, closing her eyes) I'm so sorry.
Nora attempts to stand, but she quickly sits back down, groaning and holding her side.
Sun: Look, guys, that giant Grimm is circling the school! Even the White Fang are pulling out! We all have to go, now!
Ren: We're not... leaving! (He stands up, but then falls to his knees) Ugh!
Sun turns and casts a worried look at Blake.
Ruby: I'll find them... I'll find them, and I'll bring them back.
Weiss: No! We will find them. (She turns to Nora and Ren) Watch after Blake and Yang. We'll be back.
Ruby and Weiss run back toward Beacon Academy, while Sun watches them go.
Sun: You better be! Idiots.
The camera pans down the front of Beacon Tower as Jaune and Pyrrha run out of the front door. The muffled sounds of Ozpin and Cinder's fight can be heard.
Pyrrha turns and stares silently at Beacon Tower. Jaune's voice soon breaks her concentration.
Jaune: Pyrrha? What was all of that?
Pyrrha: (She turns to look at Jaune) I...
Their conversation is interrupted by an explosion, followed by Cinder using fire to fly up through the elevator shaft. The two teens stare at the tower in surprise.
Jaune: But... Ozpin...
Pyrrha: There's no time. (She shakes her head, then looks at Jaune, quickly adopting a determined tone) Go. Get to Vale and call for help.
Jaune: Huh? What are you gonna do?
Pyrrha slowly turns her head to stare up at the top of Beacon Tower. Following her gaze, Jaune realizes what she plans to do.
Jaune: No... no, Pyrrha, you can't. You saw how powerful she is! Pyrrha, I won't let you do-
Suddenly, Pyrrha grabs Jaune's head in both hands and silences him with a long kiss on the lips. After a moment of hesitation, he gently pulls her in and returns the kiss, while Pyrrha slightly raises her foot behind her. She then pulls away, ending the kiss, and stares into his eyes, one hand on his cheek and the other on his chest.
Pyrrha: (Sadly) I'm sorry.
She then uses her Semblance on his armor, pushing him directly into a nearby locker, which slams shut from the impact.
Jaune: Hey! Wait! Stop, stop! Pyrrha, please don't do this!
While Jaune pleads, Pyrrha walks over to the locker and begins typing coordinates into it. She looks him in the eyes one last time, before stepping back and watching the locker fly away. Once it vanishes into the distance, she clenches her fists and, once again, adopts a determined demeanor as she walks toward the tower.
Once she steps through the entrance, she runs to the nearest elevator and uses her Semblance to force the doors open. Inside, she finds that Cinder has left a large hole in the floor and roof of the elevator on her way up. Pyrrha steps inside the elevator, closes her eyes, and begins mustering all of her strength. The elevator begins shaking. She focuses even harder, straining herself, until the elevator begins a quick ascent toward the top.
Meanwhile, Ruby and Weiss are on their way back to Beacon campus, when Weiss' Scroll begins ringing.
Weiss: It's Jaune! (She answers) Where are you?
Jaune: (In the street somewhere in Vale. There's panic in his voice) Weiss! Please, you have to stop her!
Jaune: Pyrrha! She's going after that woman at the top of the tower! She doesn't stand a chance!
Weiss: Jaune, what are you talking about!? Where are you?
Jaune: (He shouts into the Scroll's speaker) Don't worry about me! (He leans against a wall and speaks at a normal volume, his voice full of sadness now) Please, you have to save Pyrrha.
Weiss: We will. Are you okay?
With one last flare of emotion, Jaune screams and throws his Scroll onto the ground, breaking it. He collapses onto his hands and knees, crying.
Weiss: Jaune? Jaune!
The ground shakes, alerting Ruby and Weiss to the danger that approaches them. The Wyvern flies into view, circling Beacon Tower with black ooze dripping from it. It perches on one of the arches stemming from the tower and utters a screech. Ruby draws Crescent Rose, shifting it into its scythe form in preparation for the Grimm spawning from the ooze.
Ruby: I have a plan.
Weiss: (Draws Myrtenaster) You always do.
At the top of the tower, in Ozpin's office, a large amount of smoke flows out from the elevator, masking the entrance of Cinder Fall. She confidently strides to the window across the room, a smirk on her face. As if sensing her presence, the Wyvern climbs up to the top, peers at her through the window, and screeches.
Cinder: (With a gentle, comforting tone) Shhhh... This is your home now.
The Wyvern stares at her and utters a shorter, quieter screech. Cinder backs away from the window and holds her hand out to the side, creating a fireball in her palm. The sound of sparks distracts her, and she looks over her shoulder at the elevator, her fireball dissipating. After a few moments, the sparks come to a stop, and immediately upon the elevator doors' opening, Pyrrha's spear flies toward Cinder, who casually leans to her right to dodge with a smirk on her face.
The spear is soon followed by Pyrrha's shield, backed by Pyrrha herself, and Cinder puts her arms up, blocking it and pushing it away. While Cinder uses fire to hover in the air, Pyrrha calls her spear and shield back to her with polarity, staring down her opponent. Cinder gains a fiery glow around her eyes and swipes her hand through the air, attacking Pyrrha with an arc of fire. She then shoots a stream of fire, which Pyrrha dives over.
Six small fireballs form in a circle behind Cinder, and she sends another streak of fire toward Pyrrha, who barely avoids it. Once again, the Maiden sends a stream of fire the young redhead's way, but this time, Pyrrha blocks it with her shield. She leaps toward Cinder, powering through the flame, and as soon as the fire stops, she spins around and slashes Cinder's arm with her spear. However, Cinder catches the blade and pulls, turning Pyrrha around. Cinder slams her palm into Pyrrha's stomach, and fire bursts forth, blasting Pyrrha away.
Pyrrha slams into a wall and falls to her hands and knees. She then stands back up and faces Cinder with determination still in her eyes. Cinder propels herself forward with flames jetting from her hands, smirking once again. She attempts to slam into Pyrrha's abdomen, but Pyrrha leaps into the air above her and wraps her arm around Cinder's. As Cinder slows to a stop, Pyrrha positions herself to place her feet on the wall behind her and pushes off, flipping herself over Cinder. She uses the momentum to flip and toss Cinder across the floor.
Cinder lands on her front and, as she slides, she pushes off the floor to get back on her feet and perform a back-handspring. Her smirk turns into a look of slight concern upon the sight of Pyrrha charging forward to slam her shield into Cinder's abdomen and push her over. As Cinder stumbles backwards, Pyrrha hits Cinder's right hand with the blunt end of her spear, then slashes Cinder's left hand with the spear's blade. She then spins around and slashes across Cinder's abdomen and legs.
Pyrrha spins around to attack again, but Cinder performs a backflip whilst kicking Pyrrha, with flames trailing behind her foot. The kick knocks Pyrrha into the air, and Pyrrha quickly rights herself. She flips her spear in her grip, holds it back, and then tosses it toward Cinder while firing the gun mechanism. Six fireballs appear around Cinder again, but they dissipate when Cinder backhands the spear away. Pyrrha's shield then flies toward her, and she hits it away, as well. After being momentarily distracted by the shield, Cinder returns her attention to Pyrrha and gains a look of slight surprise, then annoyance.
Pyrrha launches herself toward Cinder and puts her arms around her, tackling her. The two turn each other in mid-air, fighting to be the one on top. Upon their landing, the room fills with a white cloud. When the dust settles, Pyrrha has Cinder in a choke hold, and Cinder is barely managing to hold Pyrrha's spear away from her neck. The Wyvern flies away, and Cinder's eyes begin glowing as she applies heat to the spear in her hands. Her grip tightens as she heats the spear more and more, staring over her shoulder at Pyrrha.
Upon hearing a loud screech, Cinder turns her gaze ahead and smirks, while Pyrrha gains a look of fear. While Pyrrha sets her focus on the Wyvern that is flying toward the tower, Cinder finally snaps the spear's melted blade into pieces. Just before the Wyvern slams its wing into the roof of Ozpin's office, Cinder elbows Pyrrha in the abdomen. The room fills with a green glow as the windows shatter and Pyrrha goes flying across the room. Giant cogs and debris come crashing down in the office, and the structure containing the CCT's transmitter falls to the ground outside, in pieces.
Pyrrha crawls toward her shield, while Cinder watches on from her position levitating off the floor with flame jetting from her feet. While looking for a way to distract Cinder, Pyrrha notices Ozpin's collapsed metal desk and uses her polarity to throw it at the corrupt Maiden, knocking her to the floor. She then quickly grabs her shield and rolls across the floor, sitting up on her knees and holding the shield up. With a burst of flame, Cinder throws the desk off of herself and levitates in the air.
Pyrrha rolls out of the way of two streams of fire that Cinder sends her way and attempts to block a third. However, the force of the third sends Pyrrha tumbling backward, and the floor momentarily catches fire while Pyrrha rolls to her feet. From behind the wall of flame, Pyrrha throws her shield at Cinder, who confidently backhands it away. She then looks up in surprise to see a multitude of giant cogs floating in the air around her. Using her polarity, Pyrrha directs her shield to knock Cinder's feet from beneath her and then slams a cog down on Cinder's abdomen to pin her to the floor. She calls her shield back to her arm, then brings the cogs together into a pile on top of Cinder. However, Cinder blasts them away with a powerful burst of fire, sending them in all directions. One of the cogs flies toward Pyrrha, who raises her shield to block, in vain. The force of the impact slams her into the remains of a wall, taking away the last of her Aura.
On the ground below, Ruby and Weiss fight off Grimm.
Ruby: We've gotta hurry!
Weiss looks around for a moment, before casting a series of glyphs up the side of the tower.
Weiss: You can do this.
Ruby runs forward, then uses her Semblance to propel herself up to the first glyph. She then sprints up the wall, the glyphs propelling her forward and keeping her from falling off.
Cinder forms an obsidian bow in her hand. As she raises it up and draws back an obsidian arrow, Pyrrha charges forward, spins, and throws her shield at her. Cinder looses the arrow, which shatters upon impact with the side of the shield. However, as the fragments part ways above and below the shield, they glow orange and rejoin each other on the other side. The fragments melt into each other and cool into the shape of an arrow, which continues on its path directly into Pyrrha's ankle. Pyrrha collapses in pain. She attempts to pull herself to her feet, but the pain is too much. Both ends of the arrow break off, making removal impossible. She turns over onto her hands and knees as Cinder moves to stand in front of her.
Cinder: It's unfortunate you were promised a power that was never truly yours. (She kneels down and lifts Pyrrha's chin, staring into her eyes and smiling) But take comfort in knowing that I will use it in ways you could never have imagined.
Pyrrha: (She pulls away, sitting up and matching Cinder's stare) Do you believe in destiny?
Cinder: (Frowns, narrowing her eyes) Yes.
Cinder stands back up and forms an obsidian bow and arrow again. She pulls back the arrow, lowering the bow to aim at her weakened opponent. Nearby, Ruby finally reaches the top of the tower, landing in a kneeling position. She looks upon the scene, seeing Pyrrha sitting with her eyes closed, accepting the fate that awaits her. Cinder looses the arrow, which plants itself directly in the center of Pyrrha's chest. Ruby watches in horror as Pyrrha gasps in pain, the wound in her chest emitting a red glow. Cinder approaches her fallen foe and places a hand on Pyrrha's head, using her Maiden powers to flash incinerate her.
Pyrrha instantly ceases all movement and sound, her body glowing orange and then scattering as embers. Her headdress remains in Cinder's hand, and the villain drops it on the floor. This scene is reflected in Ruby's silver eyes, which widen in despair and become filled with tears. Ruby clenches her fists, curls her arms to her body, and then suddenly flings her arms out to the sides, beginning to levitate slightly off the ground. Brilliant white light flows from her eyes as she screams out the name of her dear friend.
The white light envelopes her, spreading out to the Wyvern and Cinder.
Cinder: (In complete shock) WHAT?!
The screen goes white, with a whistle noise playing for several seconds. A pair of voices echo from nearby.
Qrow: It's alright. I got ya, kiddo. I got ya.
Pause. Radio static can be heard in the background.
Taiyang: (Sigh) Nothing.
Qrow: Just turn it off. Without the CCT, there's no point.
Taiyang: Communication down across the entire Kingdom, no way to contact the outside world... and Ozpin's still missing.
Taiyang: This is bad, Qrow.
Qrow: Yeah, this is bad.
The scene cuts to Ruby asleep in an unfamiliar bed, wearing gray pajamas. Birds are tweeting and sunlight is streaming onto the wall behind the bed's headboard. After a few seconds, she wakes up and looks over to see her father asleep in a chair. She sits up and sighs quietly, causing Taiyang to stir awake.
Taiyang: Ruby! (He gets up and runs to kneel by her bed) You're awake!
Ruby: Ugh... what happened?
Taiyang: Your uncle Qrow found you, unconscious. He got you out of there, though, and brought you home safe.
Ruby: (Looks down in thought for a split second, then looks at Taiyang) Wait! Yang! Is she alright!?
Taiyang: Uh... She's uh... she's gonna be alright. I think she's just... I think it's just gonna take some time for her to get used to things. She's too strong to let this stop her. (He covers his eyes for a moment, sniffling, then looks up, smiling) I'm just glad to have my girls back at home.
Ruby: What happened to the school?! And Vale?! Were they able to clear out the Grimm?
Taiyang: Things at Vale are under control, but the school... It's... it's not that simple. That thing, whatever it is, doesn't seem to be dead. Don't get me wrong, you did a number on it. But it's not disappearing. It's... kind of... frozen. I know that doesn't sound too bad, but it keeps attracting more Grimm to the school.
Ruby: (She tilts her head) I did... what?
Ruby: You said I did a number on it. What do you mean?
Taiyang: I... Look that's not important right now. We can talk about it later. Things are just... kind of a mess.
Qrow: It's always a mess.
Ruby and Taiyang look to see Qrow suddenly standing in the room, near the door. He finishes off the contents of his flask before continuing.
Qrow: Mind if we have a minute?
Taiyang: What, I can't stay here?!
Qrow: Tai. Please.
Taiyang stands up, sighs, and then leans in to kiss Ruby on the forehead.
Taiyang: I'm glad you're alright. (He starts walking away) I'll go make us some tea.
Taiyang glares at Qrow on the way out, but the latter doesn't appear to care. As Qrow approaches Ruby's bed, he grabs the chair and drags it with him. He then spins it around to face the bed and sits in it with a significant slouch, crossing one leg over the other.
Qrow: So, how you feeling?
Ruby: Um... I kind of hurt... all over.
Qrow: (Chuckles) That makes sense, after what you did. (He crosses his arms)
Ruby: You guys keep saying that! That I did something! What are you talking about?!
Qrow: (He uncrosses his arms and legs, leaning forward in the chair) What's the last thing you remember?
Ruby: I ran up the side of the tower, and when I got to the top, I... (She gasps, sadness in her eyes) Pyrrha! Is she...?
Qrow: (He looks down) She's gone.
Ruby: I... (Tears fill her eyes) I... I got to the top... (She begins crying) and I saw Pyrrha... (She looks angry) and Cinder... (She grips her blanket, tears falling onto it) and then everything went white!
Qrow: Anything else?
Ruby: I remember... (Wiping the tears from her eyes) my head hurting.
Qrow: The night you met Ozpin, what was the first thing he said to you?
Ruby: I... I don't know. I think it was something about...
Qrow: Silver eyes. That's an extremely rare trait.
Qrow: You're special, Ruby. And not in the "Daddy loves his special angel" kind of way. You're special the same way your mom was. Remnant's full of legends and stories, some of them true, some made up. But there's one Oz told me from a very long time ago. Back before Huntsmen, before Kingdoms, it was said that those born with silver eyes were destined to lead the life of a warrior. You see, the creatures of Grimm, the most fearsome monsters mankind had ever encountered, were afraid of those silver-eyed warriors. They were the best of the best. It was said that even a single look from one of these fighters could strike a Grimm down. Heh. It's a ridiculous story.
Ruby: But... you think that I might be...
Qrow: (Chuckles) Well, a giant monster is currently frozen on top of Beacon Tower. And you're here, safe in bed.
He gets to his feet and walks over to a window, leaning on the sill and staring outside.
Ruby: Wait, wait, how did you know what Ozpin said to me... the night we met?
Qrow: All those missions I go on... all the times I'm away in some far-off place... it's been for Ozpin. But he's missing now. Something's been set in motion. With Oz gone, I'll have to pick up where he left off.
Ruby: Then what can I do? If I'm so special, then I can help, right?
Qrow: You really wanna help? Get some rest. You're in no condition to go anywhere right now. (He starts heading to the door) Besides, our enemy's trail leads all the way to Haven. That'd be quite a trip for a pipsqueak like you. (Winks) Catch ya later, kiddo. (He leaves)
Ruby sits alone for a while. She looks at the window that Qrow looked out of, then stares at herself in a mirror hanging on the wall across from her bed.
Yang sits alone in a spare bedroom, staring out a window. Her remaining piece of Ember Celica rests on the nightstand next to the bed. Ruby stands in the doorway.
She waits for a moment, but when she receives no response from Yang, she turns to leave.
Ruby turns back around, and Yang turns her head to look at her younger sister, tears now in her eyes. Ruby runs over and hugs her.
Ruby: I'm so glad you're okay!
Yang: But I'm not.
Ruby frowns and releases the hug.
Yang: It's all gone - the school, Penny, Pyrrha, and... (She looks at her severed arm)
Ruby: Yang, where are Weiss and Blake?
Yang: Weiss' father... came for her.
Ruby: What? What do you mean?
Yang: No one outside of Vale knows what happened here. Before the tower fell, the last thing people saw was Atlas attacking innocent people and Grimm destroying the city. Everyone's scared. No one knows who to trust. So, Weiss' father came to take her back to Atlas, where he thinks it's safe. She's gone.
Ruby: Well, what about-
Yang: And Blake ran! Sun saw her go. After we got to the city, she just... ran!
Ruby: But... why!?
Yang: I don't know... and I don't care.
Ruby: There has to be a reason she-
Yang: No, there doesn't! Sometimes bad things just happen, Ruby!
Ruby: So, what do we do now?
Yang: You can do whatever you want. I'm gonna lie here.
Yang: Just leave me alone.
Ruby slowly leaves the room, but she pauses in the doorway, looking over her shoulder to say one last thing.
Ruby: I love you.
A leaf falls from the tree outside Yang's window and slowly drifts to the ground. Over time, the ground becomes covered in snow.
Ruby steps outside, wearing a backpack, and quietly shuts the front door.
Ruby: Hey, Jaune. Haven's a long way to go.
Jaune: I know. It's the only way we have.
Ruby: Are you sure you want to come along?
Ren: The journey will be perilous, and whether we'll find answers at the end is entirely uncertain.
Nora: But we wouldn't be here if we weren't up for it.
Ruby: Then let's get started.
The four begin their long trek, down the road leading away from Taiyang's home.
Salem: A smaller, more honest soul... It's true that a simple spark can ignite hope, breathe fire into the hearts of the weary. The ability to derive strength from hope is undoubtedly mankind's greatest attribute. Which is why I will focus all of my power... to snuff it out.
As the above is spoken, Taiyang is seen bringing breakfast to Ruby's bedroom, but suddenly drops it when he sees she's not there. The concerned father then runs out of the room, unaware of the note Ruby left behind on her bed. As Taiyang runs past Yang's bedroom, she notices a crow perched on a branch, before watching it fly off
Salem: How does it feel, knowing that all of your time and effort has been for nothing? That your guardians have failed you? That everything you've built will be torn down before your very eyes? Your faith in mankind was not misplaced. When banded together, unified by a common enemy, they are a noticeable threat. But divide them, place doubt into their minds, and any semblance of power they once had will wash away.
As the above is spoken, Grimm are seen marching toward the ruins of Beacon. In Vale, Glynda is seen trying to repair a shop with her telekinesis, but fails to hold it together. Elsewhere, Blake is seen running across rooftops. She stops to notice Beacon in the distance before continuing onward. Weiss is then shown sitting in a passenger plane with her father.
Salem: Of course, they won't realize it at first. Like you, they'll cling to their fleeting hope, their aspirations. But this is merely the first move.
As the above is spoken, Ruby is seen visiting her mother's gravestone again, before turning to join Jaune, Nora, and Ren.
Salem: So you send your guardians, your Huntsmen and Huntresses, and when they fail and you turn to your smaller soul, know that you send her to the same pitiful demise.
As the above is spoken, the scene then shifts revealing an ominous-looking stone stairway lined with dark, purple crystals. The camera pans up revealing a figure in black overlooking a barren wasteland.
Salem: This is the beginning of the end, Ozpin... (she turns her head towards the audience) And I can't wait to watch you burn.
Her eyes glow ominously as she makes an evil grin, before the screen cuts to black and the end credits roll.
After the credits, Qrow is seen watching Ruby and her friends continuing on their journey. He then holds up Ozpin's cane, before jumping from the cliff. A crow takes his place and flies towards Ruby's group.