"Of Runaways and Stowaways" is the third episode of Volume 4 and the forty-third episode of RWBY. It premiered for Rooster Teeth sponsors on November 5th, 2016, was released for registered users of the Rooster Teeth site on November 6th, 2016, and was made public on November 12th, 2016.
Blake Belladonna watches the ocean water as she journeys on a passenger ship. As the trip continues she jumps at minor noises several times. The Captain of the ship approaches her, looking to befriend her and learn her story. He quickly realizes to his amusement that she would rather be left alone. After he departs, Blake removes her bow and lets the ribbon loose on the water. She turns, not seeing the hooded figure watching her, or the moving scales in the water.
At her home in Patch, Yang Xiao Long watches the news on television. Updates are provided on the lack of access to Vale, the efforts to restore the CCT, and that Adam Taurus was confirmed as present during the Grimm attack on Vale. Yang reacts to seeing Adam on the news and turns it off.
Taiyang Xiao Long returns home with several packages, including a new, state-of-the-art Atlesian arm for Yang that James Ironwood had ordered be made for her himself. Yang is not particularly enthusiastic about it, saying that she would try it on another time and goes about her chores in the house. While cleaning a glass, it slips out of her hand, breaking on the floor. The shattering glass triggers a flashback of Adam, and Yang staggers back. It takes her a moment or two to regain control. Her concerned father watches wordlessly.
Back on the ship, Blake is just realizing that someone has been watching her when a Sea Feilong Grimm attacks the boat. She immediately goes into action, as does the boat Captain. The hooded figure is revealed to be Sun Wukong when he tosses off his disguise to join in on the action. Blake is not happy to see him, but she accepts his help.
As the fight continues, the Sea Feilong reveals its hidden wings within its dorsal fin and attacks from the air, sending electric blasts at the ship and the two combatants. However, the Captain comes up with a plan, and together they take out the Grimm. Everyone onboard the ship celebrates. Blake, however, wants answers from Sun, after giving him a solid slap to the face.
Sun states that he had been following her ever since she left Vale the night Beacon Tower fell and he figured that she was on a one-woman mission to attack the White Fang and would need help. Blake reveals that she is actually just going home to Menagerie so that she can think things through. For better or worse, Sun is coming along.
In Evernight Castle in the Land of Darkness, Salem is coaching Cinder Fall, telling her not to let "it" sense her trepidation but to make it fear her. Cinder is clearly struggling with the effort to accomplish this. They are interrupted by the arrival of a Seer Grimm, which has a jellyfish-like appearance. It glides across the room, clearly unsettling Emerald Sustrai and Mercury Black who stand at the door.
After the Seer approaches Salem and she gives it her attention, Salem shifts her focus to Cinder. With a touch of temper, Salem demands that Cinder clearly tell her whether or not she did actually kill Ozpin. Cinder calls for Emerald, but Salem slams her hands down on the table and insists that she hear Cinder say it herself. Cinder manages to force out a choked "Yes".
After this, Salem orders the Seer to increase their forces at Beacon Academy. She is certain that the "relic" is there. Musing aloud, Salem wonders what an unknown person is planning.
Seagulls call as a ship moves over peaceful blue waters. A pan of the boat from bow to stern reveals... Passengers strolling across both the upper and mid decks.
Blake Belladonna rests her hands on the rail and stares out at the ocean. She blinks and looks over her right shoulder, somewhat startled. Two kids laugh over a joke. Blake almost smiles and turns to look back at the ocean.
Captain: Traveling alone?
Blake jumps and grips the hilt of Gambol Shroud. She halts her action when she sees the captain of the boat.
Captain: (holding up his hands in a reassuring manner) Now, now, no threat here. Just here to chat.
Blake hesitates before relaxing her posture with a roll of her eyes.
Blake: And why is that?
The Captain lowers his arms and then twists to lean idly onto the rail.
Captain: Well, not many people travel by boat on their own. It can be quite a lonely voyage. But I found those that do tend to have the more... interesting stories.
Blake turns away from the Captain.
Blake: Maybe it's just... better for some people to be alone.
The two kids run behind Blake laughing and she gasps again, not expecting the noise behind her. She turns and blinks at them trying to reset her calm.
Captain: (laughing) Maybe, but with your paranoia, I think a few friendly faces wouldn't hurt.
Blake: Who says I'm paranoid?!
Captain: (laughing again) No one, dear, no one. I'll leave you be.
The Captain turns and walks away, then stops.
Captain: But uh, fair warning: these trips can be awfully boring.
The Captain continues on his way and Blake stares after him. Once he's gone, she turns and looks at the ground for a few seconds before reaching up and undoing her bow.
She holds the ribbon out over the railing.
Blake: Won't be needing this.
Blake lets go and watches the ribbon swirl in the air once before landing on the water. She turns and walks away.
As she passes inside, a hooded figure is shown to be watching her from a distance.
Beside the ribbon on the ocean, the large scales of a sea creature are seen moving just above the surface. After they pass, the ribbon is gone.
The scene changes to Yang Xiao Long sitting on a green couch in her home on Patch. She looks at the stack of three books on her right and instead picks up the remote control to her left. With a click, the projected scene comes on, revealing a news segment from the VBC channel.
Reporter 01: "...with no end in sight. Try as they might, the local Huntsmen and Huntresses can't seem to get a hold of the situation at Beacon Academy."
Yang clicks the remote. As the next reporter speaks, the large lettering across the screen are slowly revealed backward, from the perspective of someone facing Yang. It reads: CCT Repairs "Underway". The subheading reads: Atlas officials working on solution, but not optimistic.
Reporter 02: "...though the fail-safes have supported wireless communication within the kingdom, the loss of the CCT Tower continues to prevent contact with the outside world. Talks with Atlas officials regarding repairs have so far—"
Yang clicks again, cutting off the reporter and bringing up yet another news segment. A horned anchorman speaks above the caption: Sending Citizens Home. The corner caption has the logo for VOX News.
Reporter 03: "...Vale council voted this week to continue to ban any air traffic that does not have a direct correlation with evacuation. The council has made it clear that they feel—"
Yang clicks again. Her eyes widen and she sits up.
Lisa Lavender: "While no one knows for sure, officials have confirmed that high-ranking White Fang member, Adam Taurus..."
Adam's image appears on the screen at his name being spoken.
Lisa Lavender: "...was present for the attack. Any and all attempts to bring him into custody have been met with brutal force—"
Yang turns the news off. She sits there holding the remote, and a door clicks open.
Taiyang Xiao Long: I'm home!
Yang sets the remote down and leans her head backward on the couch, looking up at the newcomer that way.
Yang: Hey, Dad.
Taiyang is shown upside-down at first, as he would appear to Yang, but the image promptly rights itself. He is carrying three boxes with two bags hanging from his forearms.
Taiyang: Guess what came in today!
The door shuts behind Taiyang as he walks into the living room.
Taiyang:: I can't wait for you to try this.
He walks into another room to unload, while on the couch Yang looks somewhat interested. Taiyang returns, carrying one long white box. He sets it on the coffee table in front of Yang, revealing the Kingdom of Atlas symbol on it. She looks at it and doesn't move.
Yang: It's... for me?
Taiyang: For you and you only.
Yang lifts the lid off the box to reveal a robotic right arm. Yang looks it over, somewhat wide-eyed while her father gushes. She blinks and her eyes droop a bit, revealing she's more distressed than pleased.
Taiyang: Brand new, state of the art Atlas tech. You know, I thought I was gonna have to pull some strings, call in a few favors, but you earned this one all on your own, kiddo.
Yang: (looking up) Huh?
Taiyang: Before I could even talk to him, General Ironwood already had one of his top scientists working on this, for you. He wanted me to tell you that you fought admirably. You should be proud of yourself.
Yang looks up at her father but says nothing.
Taiyang: Well? You going to try it on?
Yang: I uh... I'm not feeling too great right now. Maybe later?
Taiyang deflates a bit and puts his hand to the back of his neck as he sighs and considers how best to respond.
Taiyang: Well, alright.
Yang gets up and walks up the stairs, Taiyang giving her an encouraging smile as she passes in front of him. She pauses partway up the steps, turning in his direction.
Yang: Thanks, Dad.
Yang continues upstairs as a visibly disheartened Taiyang bows his head.
Later, Yang sweeps the porch, adept at it with one arm. She pauses to wipe her brow and sigh. The next scene shows her getting mail out of the mailbox at the end of their driveway. Lastly, she's in the kitchen, rinsing a glass. As she lifts it out of the sink, it slips out of her fingers and she gasps.
When it hits the floor and breaks, it triggers a flashback. Against the blackness there's a gray slash moving from upper left to bottom right and the red markings from Adam's mask glow while the sound of a sword loudly resonates. In the kitchen, Yang rears back with a cry.
She clings to the countertop and pants, out of breath due to fright.
Her fist comes down against the countertop, and Yang gets herself under control.
From the doorway, Taiyang watches with concern before turning away without saying a word.
It is dusk, and the boat continues its journey on the smooth water. There is still peaceful bird cry, and Blake is once again on the middle deck looking out at the ocean. A Faunus couple walk behind her and she watches them, slightly less twitchy than before.
It's when she's about to leave that she senses she is being watched by someone on the upper deck. It's the hooded figure, and she immediately takes out Gambol Shroud.
Blake: Who's there?!
The hooded figure turns and runs for it, blonde hair somewhat visible beneath the hood. Blake stares up at the deck, no longer watching the ocean. She does not notice the dorsal fins of a giant sea creature momentarily surface. However, she feels the boat rocking on the wake it created and lets out a grunt as she tries to keep her balance.
The creature's long-necked shadow looms over Blake as she turns around to face the water. Its shadow also falls on a member of the crew on duty in the crow's nest, who is looking up at it in horror.
Crew Member 01: RED ALERT!!
The alert immediately sounds. Two red lights next to a speaker pulse with the sound. The Captain and his First Mate come running out and look at the water from the upper deck, just above Blake. The Captain murmurs as the shadow falls over him.
Captain: By the gods...
The long-necked creature is revealed to be a large Sea Feilong. It has a pattern of glowing red lines along the scales of its neck, and its eyes glow yellow. The Grimm swings its head back and forth, roaring and spreading its short forearms outward.
Captain: (turning and calling out to the ship) All hands to battle stations!
First Mate: Sir, we've never fought a Grimm this big!
Captain: We've never seen something this big! But we'll give 'er a fight nonetheless!
Blake springs into action, running off the boat and into the air. She creates one of her clones to give her added upward momentum, flinging Gambol Shroud forward in its kusarigama form. Attached to the ribbon on her wrist, it embeds itself into the Grimm's neck.
Blake swings above the Grimm and shoots it in the back of its neck. It roars. Blake lands on the crow's nest while the Captain steers from the bridge.
He keeps the ship stabilized in the Grimm's wake and steps outside to get another look at it. Blake still shoots it while it arcs back into the water. The side of the ship opens up and the cannons come out.
Blake continues her assault on the sea creature, once again swinging and shooting. The ship's cannons fire but are mostly ineffective. Blake falls back onto the ship's deck, lands on her back, bounces, and quickly gets herself back onto her feet. She discovers that her left shoulder is hurt when she moves to stand.
Captain: (steering again) Hold steady men, it's not done with us yet! GET THE HEAVY CANNON LOADED!! (The First Mate changes from being nervous to battle-ready upon hearing this order.)
The largest cannon on the ship rises up through a trapdoor on the deck, extends itself, and aims at the Grimm. The Grimm's dorsal fin splits apart and extra bone unfolds, revealing two wings. The Sea Feilong lets out a roar as it flies, its beating wings sending a gush of air at the ship. Blake cries out as she hangs on with her hurt left arm.
Captain: Heavy cannon, OPEN FIRE!
The heavy cannon shoots, but the Grimm easily evades it. It opens its mouth and an electric ball forms.
Blake readies to launch herself at it, but the hooded figure lands on her head and uses her as a launch pad.
The figure grunts and the cloak falls back, revealing Sun Wukong. Midair, he activates his energy clones.
Sun and his clones land on the Grimm's head. The two clones pull on the topmost tendrils of the head while Sun grabs its upper lip.
Sun: Not today, pal!
When the Sea Feilong releases its electric blast, it goes harmlessly into the air, rather than at the ship.
Blake: What are you doing?!
From atop the enraged Grimm's snout, Sun answers her while holding onto the two tendrils his now-disappeared clones had grabbed.
Sun: Oh, uh, you know, just... hanging out!
The Grimm manages to get a small electrical charge around Sun and he lets go, shouting as he falls.
Blake gasps and immediately springs into action again. She jumps onto and off the railing, using Gambol Shroud's kusarigama form on the crow's nest to swing herself around and catch Sun midair. They land on nearby rocks, with her holding him bridal style.
Sun: (putting his hand to his heart) My hero!
Blake: You're not supposed to be here!
Sun: Yeah!? Well, it looks like you can use all the help you can get!
Blake glares at him and then rolls her eyes.
Blake: Ugh. (drops him) Just shut up and fight!
She runs toward the ship in the water, where the Grimm is firing electric blasts at it. Sun is on the ground, striking a pose on his side with his hand propping up his head.
Sun: Yes, ma'am!
On the ship, the Captain is steering while two of his crew are looking at displays.
First Mate: Starboard defenses are down, sir!
Captain: We still got the heavy cannon?
Crew Member 02: Aye, but it's moving too fast! We can't land a hit!
Captain: Argh. How about the engines?
First Mate: Fully functional, Captain!
Captain: Well alright, then!
On the deck, Blake is preparing to counter a hit from the Grimm's electric blast, but Sun jumps in between with a laugh of triumph. He uses Ruyi Bang and Jingu Bang to deflect it and lands on the heavy cannon, resting his staff on his shoulder with a crooked grin.
Sun and Blake turn to the man who has come out onto the upper deck calling them.
Captain: If you can clip its wings and draw it out towards the bow, we could take it!
Blake turns away from the Captain to look up at Sun.
Sun: I mean, you're the one with the swords.
Sun spins his weapon back into a holstered position and runs toward the Grimm.
Sun: Now or never!
Sun activates three clones and jumps into the air. The first clone springs Blake upward to the second clone, which does the same. The third clone swings her up. Sun waits, laughing and opening up his arms, but then loses his smile in confusion.
Blake, instead of heading toward him, directs herself above him and lands on his shoulders. They sink a few feet while he grunts and Blake leaps upward off of him. High above the Sea Feilong, she begins her descent, avoiding the electric blasts it shoots at her. She runs down its right wing, slicing through the thin membrane.
Sun smirks as he waits for her on the rock she's readying to land on and catches her. The impact causes the rock surface to crack around them while he's left holding her bridal style. Blake smiles at him until he speaks.
Sun: This is the part where you say it.
Blake: (turning her head away) Ugh.
The Grimm moves around them, causing the precarious rocky area to collapse. Blake is on the move again, leaving Sun behind.
Sun: Okay, maybe later!
Sun jumps off the collapsing rock. The Sea Feilong flies after them, knocking rocks down as he goes. The Captain watches from the bridge through a spyglass before throwing a handle and increasing the boat's speed. It sails beside the destructive Grimm, keeping apace.
Sun continues to hop around, avoiding the Grimm's attacks until one more move puts him directly in front of its open mouth. Blake swings in on her ribbon and gets him out of reach. The Grimm prepares a blast to get them both in one shot when it is impaled by the bowsprit of the boat.
The heavy cannon fires and hits the Grimm dead on. Its upper half is blasted to pieces, and it dies immediately. The Captain, the First Mate and Crew Member 02 all cheer. The cheer is upheld by the passengers on the ship who also join in with applause. On their rock, Sun celebrates while Blake smiles and lowers her head in relief.
Sun: Ha-ha! (lifting his hand for a high five) Up top!
Blake turns and glares at him.
Sun: (wiggles his hand with a grin) Eh?
With a cry, Blake swings her arm around to slap him in the face. He rears back in slow-motion and the screen goes black to the sound of her hand making contact with his flesh.
It is nighttime on the middle deck of the ship. Blake is at the railing again, only this time facing sideways.
Sun: Seriously, it was no big deal!
Sun is revealed to be talking to two of the Faunus passengers.
Sun: Just enjoy the rest of your trip and everything will be cool! We got this!
The two Faunus, a male with horns and a female with rabbit ears who we saw earlier, wave goodbye and turn away. Sun struts over to Blake.
Sun: You'd think they'd never seen a fight before.
Blake: What are you doing here, Sun?
Sun: Diggin' the new outfit, by the way! (pointing to her ears) Never did like the bow.
Blake: (slapping his hand away) Sun!
Blake: Have you been following me?!
Sun: (looking a touch abashed) I saw you run off. The night Beacon Tower fell. Once we landed in Vale, you made sure everyone was okay. And then you just took off, without saying anything.
Blake: I had to. You wouldn't understand.
Sun: No, I get it! The moment you left, I knew exactly what you were doing!
Blake smiles at him, pleased at feeling understood.
Sun: You're going on a one-woman rampage against the White Fang!
Blake's happy expression falls.
Blake: (a little bit in disbelief) What?
Sun: You always felt like the Fang was your fight. They show up, trash your school, hurt your friends. It makes perfect sense!
Blake: I can't believe you.
Sun: But there's no way I'm letting you do this alone! It's an honorable approach, for sure, but you're going to need someone to watch your back. And that's where I come in! (putting his arm around her) Us Faunus got to stick together, after all.
Blake: You're wrong, Sun. (pushing him off) You're so, so wrong.
Blake turns her back on him and walks away.
Sun: What are you...
Blake: I'm not going anywhere near the White Fang. Not yet.
Blake: I need to sort some things out.
Sun: Then why not do it with your team? Your friends?
Sun: You really think I could get Neptune on the ocean? They flew back to Mistral! I told them I'd catch up! It's not the first time I left them to take a boat! So, if you're not going after the White Fang, where are you going?
Blake: Home, to Menagerie.
Sun: Well, I'm coming with you. The Grimm are getting worse; you saw it yourself! And just because you're not going after the Fang doesn't mean they won't be coming for you! Besides, I'm... kind of already on the boat.
Blake: There's really no stopping you?
Sun: Nope! This is going to be great! Never been in Menagerie before! It'll be a regular journey to the east! Yeah, I like the sound of that.
Inside Salem's meeting room, Cinder Fall and Salem sit alone at the table. Mercury Black and Emerald Sustrai wait by the door. Cinder is breathing heavily with effort while Salem has her right hand casually held out.
Salem: Do you feel it? Don't fight it, girl. It can sense your trepidation. You must make it dread you.
A soft clicking sound makes Cinder turn toward the door. All is blackness but for a slowly moving forward yellow glow. It is revealed to be inside a jellyfish-based Grimm with long red tentacles and a black and white body.
Emerald and Mercury react fearfully to it and pull back as it enters. It glides its way over to Salem at the head of the table. Once the Seer Grimm reaches her side, she leans closer to it. After a moment, she puts her hands together.
Salem: Cinder, I am going to ask you this one more time, and I expect a clear answer. Did you kill Ozpin?
Cinder holds her arm out, about to call Emerald over to speak for her. Salem slams both hands onto the table, eyes glowing as she speaks.
Cinder lowers her arm.
Salem: I want to hear you say it.
Cinder: (rasping a few times first before speaking hoarsely) Yes.
Salem looks at her for a long moment before speaking.
Salem: (to the Seer Grimm) Reinforce our numbers at Beacon. The Relic is there.
The Seer Grimm glides away. At the door, Emerald and Mercury draw away from it just as they did before. Salem turns her head thoughtfully, looking in the direction away from Cinder and bringing her fingers to her chin.
Salem: What are you planning?
Fade to black.
- Blake Belladonna
- Captain (First Appearance)
- Sun Wukong
- First Mate (First Appearance)
- Crew Member 01
- Crew Member 02
- Yang Xiao Long
- Reporter 01
- Glynda Goodwitch (News Report)
- Reporter 02
- Reporter 03
- Lisa Lavender
- Adam Taurus (News Report)
- Taiyang Xiao Long
- Cinder Fall
- Emerald Sustrai
- Mercury Black
- Sun mentions leaving his team to go on a boat before. This is likely a reference to his first appearance in "The Stray".
- Sun also refers to accompanying Blake as a "journey to the east". This is a play on words referring to Journey to the West, the origin story of his namesake allusion.
- One of the pistons of the boat has the letters RT inscribed on it, a reference to Rooster Teeth.
- The music that plays while Blake is on the boat is called "Hey Guys — Turn the Boat Around, She Dropped Her Ribbon".
- While Yang watches television, a few news channels can be seen. They are based on the real American channels Fox News, ABC and CNN. Fox becomes Vox, ABC becomes VBC and CNN becomes VNN. Vox is also the name of a real channel in Germany, but not a news channel.
- This episode contains a clue in the form of a code that plays on the screen during Yang's TV scene that leads to Haywood File #13 for the interactive section of a Rooster Teeth show named Eleven Little Roosters.
- The fight againt the Sea Feilong took inspiration from the Bahamut fight in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children.
- Main article: Of Runaways and Stowaways/Image Gallery