Emerald: I hate being kept in the dark like this...
Mercury: Yeah, Cinder was a pain, but at least she kept us filled in. (continues training)
Emerald: Can I ask you something?
Mercury: You're gonna.
Emerald: Why did you come with us, the night Cinder and I found you?
Mercury: Why are you asking--
Emerald: Just answer the question.
Mercury: Just made sense.
Emerald: It made sense?
Mercury: All my life, my father trained me to be a killer, an assassin like him. And then moments after I killed him, you two showed up looking for someone with my exact skills. Just felt like it was meant to be.
Emerald: (incredulous) That's it?
Mercury: Hey, what's your problem?
Emerald: I mean, there has to be something you want from this, right?
Mercury: Salem's promised us everything. We win this thing for her, we'll be top dogs in her new world. What more do you want?
Emerald: I just... (sighs) Cinder was the only family I ever had. She cared about me, taught me things... But without her here, I don't know if what we're doing--
Mercury: Wake up, already...
Emerald looks at him in shock upon hearing this.
Mercury: Cinder doesn't care about you! She doesn't care about either of us!
Emerald: You don't know what you're talking about!
Mercury: You're in denial. And if you're gonna start having a crisis of identity or some crap... keep me out of it.
At this, Emerald angrily jumps forward and starts to attack Mercury with punches and kicks, but he dodges them and catches her wrist.
Mercury: I'm sorry you didn't have a mommy that loved you, but I had a father who hated me!
Mercury shoves Emerald back a bit. She takes a defensive stance as he slowly approaches her.
Mercury: He never went easy on me! Every day of training was a beating. And when I unlocked my Semblance, he stole it with his! (throws a punch and a kick at Emerald, who dodges them, while he quotes his father's words) "This is a crutch!" "This makes you weak!" He told me I could have it back when I was strong. So I got strong, but I never got it back! I've had to work harder than anyone to get where I am. You may not like it here without Cinder, but I think I'm right where I'm supposed to be!
Suddenly, the two hear a certain laughter. Tyrian Callows steps out of the shadows with his new metallic scorpion tail.
Tyrian: (mocking) Oh yes, the world is mean, and I'm a big, bad man now just like the others. (laughs)
Mercury: (growls as he angrily walk over to Tyrian) How long have you been standing there?!
Tyrian: All you ever learned was pain and violence, and now you're too afraid to leave it. Such a tragedy.
Mercury: You don't know me!
Mercury tries to kick at Tyrian, but he dodges and kicks Mercury back. Tyrian holds him down to the ground by keeping his tail at a short distance away from Mercury's face.
Tyrian: Shh, shh, shh, shh, shh. I want to tell you both a little secret. Your question is all wrong. (laughs)
Tyrian: "What do you want from this?" Children, please, if you're not loving what you're doing, then you're in the wrong field.
Emerald: So, what? Are you saying we should just leave?
Tyrian: (gasps) Oh no, no, no, no. (chuckles) You can't do that!
Mercury: Then what did you come here for?
Tyrian: To say farewell. There's been a change in plans. Her Grace must act swiftly if we are to prevail. If General Ironwood comes to his senses and calls upon aid from Vacuo, all may be lost for us! And so the good doctor and I are being sent to Atlas... to prepare.
Emerald: Prepare for what?
Arthur Watts can be seen at the end of the hallway leading into the room.
Watts: It's time.
Tyrian steps off of Mercury, who gets back up on his feet.
Tyrian: Do what makes you happy children... please? I'm begging you... (smiles evilly)
Tyrian holds his new tail out threateningly, with purple liquid venom dripping from the stinger's tip. Tyrian walks away towards Watts letting out a little chuckle. Emerald and Mercury watch him leave with disgusted looks.
Meanwhile, in Argus...
Nora: (calling out) Oscar?
Ren: This city's enormous, he could've gone anywhere.
Jaune: This is all my fault... I overreacted.
Saphron: I still don't really understand what happened. Was it about the mission?
Nora: It's... kind of hard to talk about.
Saphron: I know, I know, "top secret". Did he... do something wrong?
Jaune: No... he didn't. We just got some new information and... it's going to be a lot harder than we thought.
Saphron: I mean, if it was easy, then it wouldn't be important. Right?
Ren: I think we're all just a bit unsure of what to do next.
Saphron: You could... stay in Mistral, get your licenses at Haven, and come back to Argus. There's a lot of good you can do here. I know your mission is important, but it's not like you're the only ones who can do it. It's not the only mission that needs doing.
Jaune: It's... not that simple.
Saphron lingers a bit behind while Jaune, Ren and Nora walk forward, before turning around to look back at her.
The three Team JNPR members watch Saphron leave before looking down sadly.
Nora: Hey, there's a cafe over there. Why don't we get something to warm up?
Jaune: I'm okay. You two go on ahead.
Ren and Nora watch Jaune walk away with sad looks on their faces. Jaune takes a seat on a nearby bench.
Nora: You don't want anything?
She and Ren then exchange a brief glance.
Ren: We'll be right back.
Ren and Nora walk away, leaving Jaune alone. Jaune keeps his head down while the wind blows, and a dried maple leaf flies in in front of Jaune. He notices this and follows the maple leaf as it flies in the wind. Jaune follows the leaf into a nearby park. Suddenly, Jaune stops in his tracks and notices something.
A statue of the late Pyrrha Nikos is standing solemnly on a stone pedestal, with her head down, eyes closed, and shield in her hands below her waist. Jaune slowly approaches the statue and looks up at his fallen friend and teammate. He then kneels down and notices a plaque with Pyrrha's respective symbol and words inscribed on it written:
IN HONOR OF PYRRHA NIKOS, ONE OF MANY STUDENTS WHO FOUGHT VALIANTLY AT THE FALL OF BEACON
Jaune sadly closes his eyes and stands back up to look at Pyrrha's statue again. He starts to walk away as footsteps are heard approaching.
Red-Haired Woman: It's really beautiful, isn't it?
Jaune stops and turns around upon hearing her voice. A woman with short, red hair and spectacled, green eyes in a brown coat reminiscint of Pyrrha's armor looks up at the statue with a bouquet of red flowers in her arms. Jaune also looks back up to the statue.
Jaune: Yeah... uh, why here?
Red-Haired Woman: She trained here, Sanctum Academy. Everyone was crushed when she chose Beacon over Haven. No one wanted to see her go, but... it was where she wanted to be. I'm just glad she was surrounded by such amazing people.
Jaune looks to the woman with a surprised look on his face. Tears start to well up in his eyes.
Jaune: She should be standing here...
Red-Haired Woman: She is.
Jaune looks back at her in confusion.
Red-Haired Woman: She understood that she had a responsibility... to try. I don't think she would regret her choice, because a Huntress would understand that there really wasn't a choice to make. And a Huntress is what she always wanted to be.
Jaune turns to face the woman.
Jaune: Pyrrha never got the chance to graduate... But she was a Huntress. (smiles)
The woman smiles as tears start to well up in her eyes.
Red-Haired Woman: (wiping a tear) Thank you.
Jaune smiles back at her.
Jaune looks away from the woman upon hearing his name called. He sees Ren and Nora looking for him while holding hot drinks in their hands. The two notice Jaune in the park and walk over to him. Jaune looks back over to the woman, but suddenly finds her gone. The flowers she was holding are left behind on the pedestal of Pyrrha's statue.
Nora: Jaune, why did you-- (gasps)
Nora and Ren look up and notice the statue of their old friend. Team JNPR stands together once more, only with Pyrrha immortalized by her statue.
Jaune: I'm sorry. I've been a terrible leader, and a terrible friend, and I--
Ren: Jaune, this has to stop.
Nora: We... heard what you said to Cinder, at Haven. You're not being fair to yourself. We love you, just like we loved Pyrrha. We're teammates, family.
Ren: We don't want to lose you too.
Jaune ponders his friends words before looking back up to Pyrrha's statue.
Jaune: I think... I think she knew she wasn't going to win. That she might not come out alive. But... she also knew she was the only one that could try.
Ren: So she did.
Nora: Maybe we should too.
Jaune: Yeah, we should.
The three smile as they look up at the statue together.
Nora: Pyrrha may not be by our side anymore, but we can fight like she is.
Jaune: And in a way... she will be.
Nora hands Jaune a hot drink.
Ren: We should check back in at the house. Come on.
Ren and Nora start to walk away. Jaune lingers for a bit to take one last look at Pyrrha.
Jaune: Thank you.
Jaune walks away and joins his teammates as they head off. A maple leaf can be seen blowing in the wind, passing by Pyrrha's statue.
Ruby Rose is looking down with a look of disapproval on her face. She lets out a disappointed sigh.
Yang: I've never seen him this bad.
Ruby: Come on, let's get him up.
The two sisters grab their uncle's arms and sit him up. Qrow groans and rubs his eyes.
Qrow: Why am I on the stairs?
Ruby: Probably because no one's home, Uncle Qrow. We've been out looking for Oscar.
The group hears footsteps. They turn to see Jaune, Ren, Nora, as well as Saphron and Terra, who is holding Adrian in her arm, walking towards them. The two mothers look at Qrow.
Terra: (sarcastic) I'm sure this looks great to the neighbors.
Saphron lightly elbows her wife while Jaune and his teammates walk up to the group.
Ren: No luck?
Blake: No, you?
Jaune: Don't worry, we aren't going to Atlas without him.
The three Team JNPR members share a smile.
Jaune: (to Saphron) Sorry we won't be staying.
Saphron: (smirking) No you're not.
Terra: How about we get out of the cold?
The door to the house is heard opening. Everyone gasps in shock as a familiar voice is heard.
Oscar: Oh, I was wondering when you'd get back.
Oscar Pine stands at the doorway, now wearing a fancy green coat.
Nora screams in joy as Oscar initially has a confused look on his face, and then one of comical terror as the seven students all leap forward and tackle hug him. Now inside the house, Ruby helps Oscar up as everyone shares a laugh.
Weiss: You had us worried sick!
Ruby: Are you okay?
Nora: (grinning) What are you wearing?
Oscar: (smiles and rubs the back of his head) Uh...
The rest of the group steps into the house.
Terra: Is something cooking?
Oscar: Oh, uh, yeah. I thought you guys would appreciate a hot meal after... spending all day looking for me, apparently.
Jaune: It's my fault we were all out there in the first place. Oscar, I am so sorry for earlier. I was way, way out of line, and what I said--
Oscar: No, it's okay. These past few days, I've been scared of the same things you were. I don't know how much longer I'm going to be... me. But I did some thinking, and I do know that I want to do everything I can to help with whatever time I have left.
Jaune: (smiles) Good. This team isn't the same without you, Oscar.
Everyone shares a smile. Suddenly, a smoke alarm goes off.
Oscar: (gasps) The casserole!
Saphron: (giggles) We're on it, chef.
Saphron and Terra step into the kitchen to take care of Oscar's cooking.
Ruby: Uh, combat gear looks good.
Ruby and Oscar share a smile. Then, the group notice Qrow walking up the stairs.
Ruby: (sternly) Where are you going now?
Qrow: I don't want to get in the way of your celebration.
Ruby: You've been gone all day! Just sit with us.
Qrow: (sighs) Look, Ruby, I'm glad you kids worked out, uh, whatever all that was. But the fact is, we're not a single step closer to Atlas.
Jaune: Actually, I think I have an idea. But... it's sort of a "no-going-back" kind of idea.
Ruby: Well, let's hear it.
Everyone gets shocked looks on their faces. Adrian giggles in Maria's arm.
Weiss: That's not just breaking the law. That's... that's definitely worse.
Yang: How would we even get onto the airfield?
Jaune: That part I haven't quite figured out yet. But I--
Qrow: Okay, stop. Just... stop! Look, if this thing goes south, it's not something we can just fight our way out of. This is the Atlas Military we're talking about. (sighs) For your sake, just drop this.
Everyone looks down with discouraged looks on their faces. Ruby notices this and turns back to Qrow with a determined look on her face.
Ruby: I want to hear him out.
Ruby: I want to hear him out! I know you're trying to protect us, that you're afraid we can't do it, but right now, I don't really care what you think!
Qrow gains a shocked expression upon hearing this.
Ruby: Just because you don't have an idea, doesn't mean we're out of options! Oz hasn't been here to tell us what to do, but we still managed to get this far anyway. We've been in bad situations before, and we don't need an adult to come save us or tell us what to do. We just did it our way! And I say we do it our way. (everyone smiles) And if you think you can keep up with us "kids"... we'd be happy to have you.
Qrow looks down sadly.
Maria: (laughs) Looks like you didn't give her enough credit either.
Qrow doesn't say anything, he looks back to Ruby while she looks back at him determined.