"Necessary Sacrifice" is the fifth episode of Volume 5 and the fifty-seventh episode of RWBY. It premiered for Rooster Teeth FIRST members on November 11th, 2017 and was released for non-FIRST registered users of the Rooster Teeth site on November 14th, 2017. It was made public on November 18th, 2017.
In Menagerie, Blake Belladonna and Sun Wukong go around Kuo Kuana to gather people to help defend Haven Academy, but no one wants to. After an unsuccessful morning, Blake and Sun have a drink together, where Blake decides to talk about Adam Taurus and Ilia Amitola to Sun. Blake then resolves that she wants to help Ilia the way Sun helped her.
In Mistral, Ruby Rose tells Oscar Pine that he is improving with his combat abilities. However, Oscar admits to Ruby that he is scared of what happens next, and confronts her on how she can handle the current situation. Ruby confides in him over the loss of her friends Penny Polendina and Pyrrha Nikos, admitting that she is scared too. Despite all odds, Ruby says that she has to keep moving forward, as it would be what Pyrrha and Penny would do if Ruby was the one to lose her life. After she leaves, Ozpin converses with Oscar, noting that Ruby is remarkable and has a "spark" to inspire others.
Back in Menagerie, at a hidden White Fang hideout, Corsac and Fennec Albain summon Ilia. They tell her the news of Sienna Khan's death as well as her next mission: to "silence" the Belladonnas, with the exception of Blake who is to be captured and brought to Adam. Ilia shows hesitance over this as she leaves. Fennec questions if Adam is the right one to lead the White Fang, but Corsac says that they do what is best for their kind. Another Faunus, Yuma, enters the room, reporting to the Albains that he has prevented Ghira's messenger from reaching Mistral.
Blake: Okay. Are you ready?
Sun: I beat up on giant monsters and robots more than once, I think I can handle getting a few signatures.
Blake gives a small smile at Sun.
Blake stands on a platform in front of a crowd of Faunus, holding her scroll up in front of her.
The Faunus just stare back at Blake.
Elsewhere, Sun tries to recruit a Faunus with ram horns.
Sun: Are you kidding me? We'd love to have someone with your skills on our side!
The Faunus nervously rubs the back of his head, before his mother calls out to him.
Worried Mother: Mata! Get back inside.
Worried Mother: You're not going anywhere!
Sun sighs in disappointment.
Back to Blake, she holds out her scroll to two Faunus girls asking them to sign up, but the two leave.
Elsewhere, Sun hangs upside down by his tail from a tree, getting the attention of a couple of Faunus cutting logs and gathering wood. He gestures to his scroll, but the Faunus simply exchange confused looks with each other. Sun sighs until another Faunus tries to cut down the tree that Sun is hanging on.
At the docks, Blake converses with an aquatic Faunus as two more swim up to her. The Faunus Blake is conversing with leaves, and she turns to the two female aquatic Faunus that have just swam up, before they too swim away. Blake, unsatisfied with the lack of progress, walks up to a nearby fruit stand where Sun happens to be present at also. The two of them share disappointed glances.
After that, the two of them are sitting at a nearby table drinking from coconut cups.
Sun: (slamming his cup down) I don't get it! How can they just sit around and do nothing with the White Fang getting ready to attack?!
Blake: Because not everyone is like you and me. The Faunus here in Menagerie - the ones that weren't born on the island - moved here because they were tired of fighting, of having to struggle constantly. Menagerie is filled with people that just want to be left alone, (scoffs) and here we are, asking them to put the rest of the world before themselves.
Sun: I guess I never really thought about it like that.
Blake: The problem is, whatever happens at Haven is going to affect them whether they like it or not. If Adam gets his way and Haven falls, it's only going to make things worse for the Faunus. Everywhere.
Sun: Adam... He's the guy you used to... work with?
Blake: (sighs) Yes.
Sun: (seeing Blake's discomfort) Sorry, forget I brought it up.
Blake: No, it's okay. (silent for a moment) Have you ever met someone and thought to yourself, "They are the personification of this word."
Sun: (rubbing his head) Uh...
Sun: What am I?
Blake: (smiling) Jury's still out on that one, but I'm leaning towards "earnest".
At this, Sun wraps his tail around his cup and takes a sip from it, before leaning on his hand affectionately. Blake giggles and smiles for bit, before frowning as she continues.
Blake: At first I thought Adam was "justice", then I thought he was "passion". But over time, I realized I was wrong. He wasn't any of those things. He was "spite". Not "hatred", not "rage", "spite". He won't accept equality, only suffering for what he feels the world did to him, and his way of thinking is dangerously contagious. That's what worries me about Ilia. She's not like Adam, not yet at least, but I don't know how long that will last.
Sun: She was your friend, huh?
Blake: She was. Her chameleon traits meant she could pass as human. She could've lived a normal life if she wanted, but she didn't. I always admired that. She lost her family in a mining accident when she was young, then she joined the White Fang. Like me, she was more or less trained on the road alongside other Faunus. She learned to survive, to defend herself, but as people like Sienna and Adam started to gain a following, she became more dangerous. I guess I did too. My parents tried to get me to leave with them, but I refused. I had Adam and Ilia, after all.
Sun: You know we're gonna have to face her eventually.
Blake: I know.
Sun: So, what are you gonna do?
Blake: I'm going to try and help her the way you helped me.
Sun is surprised at her response.
Blake: You showed me that sometimes you need to be there for a friend even when they don't want you to be. I was drowning in guilt and fear, I tried to push you away, but you didn't give up on me. And I can't give up on Ilia. It's about time I saved my friends for once.
Sun smiles at her response.
Ruby: You're really getting better, huh? (Ruby is seen walking down the stairs into the room) Are you hungry? It's almost dinnertime.
Oscar: Uh, yeah. That sounds good. I was about to call it a night anyway.
Ruby: So, you've never fought before?
Oscar: Just the occasional small Grimm. Nothing like this, though.
Ruby: Wow. (giggles) You look like a natural.
Oscar: It's strange, I have only had this cane for a few weeks, but... I feel like I've had it for a lifetime. Longer, even. (pause) I sound like a crazy person.
Ruby: I mean, uh, yeah just a little. But at this pace, you'll be combat ready in no time!
Suddenly, Ruby frowns upon mentioning her last phrase. Oscar notices this and tries to ask a question before Ruby interrupts him.
Ruby: Well, see you upstairs.
Oscar: How do you handle all of this?
Ruby: What do you mean?
Oscar: I'm... scared. (his voice starts to crack) I'm more scared than I've ever been in my life, than I ever thought was possible. (he walks over to a weapon rack) I always knew that I wanted to be more than a farmhand, but this? (he places the cane in the rack) Who would ask for this?
He glances down at the floor as a tear drips from his eye. He sniffles before kneeling to the floor to reach his backpack. He grabs the cane off the rack and pulls the lever on the handle to compact it before putting it in his backpack.
Ruby: We all went to Beacon because we wanted to help people. But, you're right. None of us asked for this either. We just have to press on and--
Oscar: How can you be so confident?! People have tried to kill you! The world's about to go to war all over again! How are you okay with any of this?!!
Ruby is taken aback by Oscar's question. She frowns as she says her response.
Ruby: When Beacon fell, I lost two of my friends: Penny Polendina and Pyrrha Nikos. I didn't know them for very long, but that doesn't change the fact that they were two of the most kind-hearted people I have ever met. But that didn't save them. Pyrrha thought that if there was even the smallest chance of helping someone, then it was a chance worth taking. And because of that, she died fighting a battle she knew she couldn't win. And Penny... was killed... just to make a statement.
Oscar: I'm... sorry.
Ruby: I am scared, but not just for me. What happened at Beacon shows that Salem doesn't care if you're standing against her or not. She'll kill anybody, and that scares me most of all. Pyrrha... Penny... I'd be lying if I said that it didn't hurt, that I didn't think about them every day since I lost them, that I didn't wish I had spent more time with them. If it had been me instead, I know they would have kept fighting too, no matter how dangerous it was. So that's what I choose to do - to keep moving forward.
Oscar walks up next to Ruby, and they both share a smile. Ruby wipes tears coming from her eyes with her arm.
Ruby: (putting a hand on Oscar's shoulder) C'mon, if we don't hurry, Nora's gonna eat everything. It wouldn't be the first time.
Ruby begins to leave the room as Oscar lingers for a bit.
Ruby: Hey, Oscar? This isn't gonna be easy, but the fact that you're even trying says a lot about you. You're braver than you think.
Ruby proceeds up the stairs while Oscar watches.
Ozpin: (mentally) She really is remarkable, isn't she?
Oscar: Yeah. She must've been one of the best Huntresses at Beacon, huh?
Ozpin: (chuckles) In some ways, yes. But in many others... no. She has her quirks, her faults, just like everyone else. But she also possesses something unquantifiable: a spark, that can inspire others even in the darkest of times.
Oscar: This must be really hard on her too.
Ozpin: It most assuredly is.
In an ominous looking room, a small device projecting a blue hologram with the text "MESSAGE END" deactivates. The room is candlelit, and there are White Fang banners hanging along the walls. Corsac and Fennec Albain stand in front of a painting.
Fennec: Your thoughts?
Corsac: Are of no significance. If this is how High Leader Taurus wishes to proceed, then we shall make it so.
Fennec: Of course, brother. Still...
A knock on the door is heard behind them.
Corsac: Come in.
Ilia Amitola enters the room.
Fennec: Sister Ilia, thank you for meeting with us.
Ilia: (kneeling) How may I be of assistance?
Corsac: Please, stand.
Ilia does so.
Corsac: We have wonderful news.
Ilia: What is it?
Fennec: We finally received a message from the Mistral brotherhood: the operation was a success. Adam Taurus has claimed his place as the High Leader of the White Fang.
Ilia: Good. And... Sienna?
Corsac: Buried... with honor. The other branches of the Fang have been given the story that was agreed upon.
Ilia: (sighs) A necessary sacrifice. We won't forget everything she did for us.
The Albains bow at Ilia.
Corsac: Your maturity and understanding in regards to this matter is appreciated, and it is why we've summoned you here this evening.
Fennec: The White Fang is experiencing... a transitional period.
Corsac: Growth requires change.
Fennec: And change can be painful.
Ilia: If it's for the betterment of the Faunus, then... it's a pain we can endure. What's our next mission?
Corsac: Containment. With the CCT towers still inoperable, we have the luxury of control over the flow of information.
Fennec: News of Adam's ascension has yet to reach Menagerie, but when it does, the citizens of Kuo Kuana will undoubtedly react poorly now that the chieftain has spoken out against us.
Ilia: (sighs) It's my fault the Belladonnas had any ground to stand on.
Corsac: Do not concern yourself with past failures, Ilia. Focus on the future. We have an opportunity for redemption.
Ilia: What do you need me to do?
Fennec: The Belladonnas are the only remaining threat to Adam's assault on Haven Academy.
Corsac: And so, they must be silenced...
Ilia: (visibly taken aback) S-silenced?
Corsac: Like Sienna. They stand in the way of true progress for our people.
Fennec: We would never put such a burden on you alone, of course. Your brothers and sisters will be at your side, but your relationship with their daughter makes you an intrical part of this operation.
Corsac: We know how close you are with young Blake. Rest assured, High Leader Taurus has requested she be taken alive, but we cannot risk having her present to defend her family.
Ilia: But, the people of Menagerie--
Corsac: Will come to understand what happens to those who speak out against the White Fang.
Fennec: And will be left without a leader until our victory is complete.
Corsac puts a hand on Ilia's shoulder.
Corsac: A necessary sacrifice, Sister Ilia.
Ilia briefly thinks on this, before leaving the room.
Fennec: She's right to worry about the citizens. It's possible they may come to see Ghira as a martyr.
Corsac: It is a risk we must take for our High Leader.
Corsac reactivates the device from earlier, showing a blue life-sized hologram of Adam and his message.
Adam: I will not allow them to ruin this! The Belladonna name has brought me nothing but grief! (visibly upset, Adam brings his hand to face to compose himself) You've done well in finding the deserter. Bring her to me, alive. But not before you've slaughtered her family. I have a promise to keep.
The hologram deactivates.
Fennec: He seems... unwell.
Corsac: He carries with him a tremendous burden.
Fennec: Are we sure he is the one to lead us?
Corsac: For now. We must do what is best for the Faunus.
A knock at the door is heard again.
A Faunus with bat wings enters the room.
Corsac: Brother Yuma. Did you see to Ghira's messenger?
Yuma: He rests beneath the waves... along with his warning.
Corsac: Then all is well.
The Albains give ominous smiles before the screen cuts to black.
- When Ruby tells Oscar that he will be "combat ready in no time" and then frowns at her choice of phrase, she is (seemingly unintentionally) referencing one of Penny Polendina's signature quotes (first said in the episodes "The Stray" and "Black and White"): "I'm combat ready!" When Oscar asks how Ruby seems to be handling their current situation so calmly, Ruby recalls Penny's apparent death in the episode "PvP" and Pyrrha Nikos' subsequent death in the Volume 3 finale "End of the Beginning".
- When Adam says that he has a promise to keep, it is a callback to "Heroes and Monsters" when he told Blake, "I will make it my mission to destroy everything you love."
- When Ruby says "to keep moving forward", it is a callback to Monty Oum's signature quote: "Keep moving forward", somewhat of a second memorial to his passing in 2015.
- Main article: Necessary Sacrifice/Image Gallery