The Vale Airship lands at Beacon Academy, and the students of Beacon quickly leave the ship. Jaune Arc empties his uneasy stomach at a nearby garbage bin, while Ruby Rose and Yang Xiao Long gaze at Beacon Academy in awe.
Ruby shows reluctance to meet new people, preferring to see new weapons instead. Yang encourages her to make new friends, and when Ruby points out that she could hang out with her, Yang reveals that she was actually planning to hang out with her own friends. Yang hurries off with her friends in such a rush that she leaves Ruby spinning.
Having grown dizzy, Ruby falls over on top of luggage belonging to Weiss Schnee, who scolds her, due to said luggage containing vials of potentially volatile powdered Dust. Weiss checks the contents of one of the suitcases, removes a leaking vial of red Dust and snaps the suitcase shut, causing blue and yellow Dust to puff out from the sides of the case. As she scolds Ruby and accuses her of being too young to attend a real Huntsman Academy, she shakes the Dust vial, and the resulting cloud of Dust in the air causes Ruby to sneeze, triggering an explosion of fire, ice and lightning.
The explosion causes the vial to go flying from Weiss' hand to then roll across the ground to Blake Belladonna. The Schnee snowflake emblem on the vial causes her to divert her attention from her book to Weiss and Ruby. She approaches the pair and explains to Ruby that Weiss is the heiress to the Schnee Dust Company, which is one of the biggest providers of Dust in the world and is also known for its "controversial labor forces and questionable business partners". Weiss stutters in anger and storms away, and Ruby calls after her, promising to make up for the trouble she caused. The latter then turns to talk to Blake, who is already walking away.
Alone again, Ruby drops to the ground, lamenting her terrible first day of school. Soon after, she is approached and helped to her feet by Jaune, whom she identifies as "Vomit Boy". The two take a walk around campus and talk, with Ruby attempting to break the awkwardness by showing off her scythe, which she designed and built herself at Signal Academy. In response, Jaune shows her his family's heirloom, Crocea Mors, which is a simple sword with a sheath that transforms into a shield. The pair realize that they are lost, having believed that the other knew where they were going and followed suit.
The opening ends to a view of several ships carrying students and docking at the entrance of the school. As soon as one lands, Jaune Arc emerges and goes over to the nearest trash can, hunching over it as he loses his lunch.
Ruby and Yang: (as they take in the entirety of Beacon Academy) "Wow..."
Yang: "The view from Vale's got nothing on this!"
Ruby: (getting so excited she becomes a 2-D, starry-eyed, floating chibi) "Ohmygosh, sis! That kid's got a collapsible staff! And she's got a fire sword!" (she tries getting closer, but Yang pulls her sister by the hood back into realistic proportions) "Ow! Ooww!"
Yang: "Easy there, little sister. They're just weapons!"
Ruby: "'Just weapons'? They're an extension of ourselves! They're a part of us! Oh, they're so cool!"
Yang: "Well, why can't you swoon over your own weapon? Aren't you happy with it?"
Ruby: (transforming her weapon into its scythe form) "Of course I'm happy with Crescent Rose! I just really like seeing new ones. It's like meeting new people, but better..."
Yang: (playfully pushing her sister's hood down over her face) "Ruby, come on, why don't you go try and make some friends of your own?"
Ruby: (taking off her hood) "But... why would I need friends if I have you?"
Yang: "Well..." (in a flash, a group of other students surround Yang and they all dash down the road) "Actually, my friends are here. Gotta go catch up. 'Kay, see ya, bye!"
Ruby: (spinning and dizzy-eyed from Yang's sudden leaving) "Wait, where are you going?! Are we supposed to go to our dorms? Where are our dorms? Do we have dorms?" (stopping for a moment, still reeling) "I don't know what I'm doing..."
Ruby falls backwards into a luggage cart, sending cases flying. Someone is standing over her.
Weiss: "What are you doing?!"
Ruby: (getting up on her hands) "Uh, sorry!"
Weiss: "Sorry?! Do you have any idea of the damage you could have caused?"
Ruby: (holding a case) "Uuhhh..."
Weiss: "What are you, brain-dead?" (holding out a vial of red Dust and shutting the case) "Dust! Fire, water, lightning, energy!"
Ruby: "I... I know..." (starts coughing from the Dust pouring into her face)
Weiss: "Are you even listening to me? Is any of this sinking in? What do you have to say for yourself?!"
Ruby, who had been receiving more and more Dust to her face, finally sneezes, which erupts into a full-blown explosion of flame, snowflakes, and electricity right onto Weiss. The bottle she had been holding flies over the courtyard and at the feet of Blake Belladonna, who picks it up and notices the Schnee Dust Company logo on the side as she reads from a book and looks over at the scene.
Weiss: (now covered in soot, though it quickly disappears) "Unbelievable! This is exactly the kind of thing I was talking about!"
Ruby: (apologetic and embarrassed) "I'm really, really sorry!"
Weiss: "Ugh, you complete dolt! What are you even doing here? Aren't you a little young to be attending Beacon?"
Ruby: "Well, I-I..."
Weiss: "This isn't your ordinary combat school. It's not just sparring and practice, you know! We're here to fight monsters, so... watch where you're going!"
Ruby: (finally fed up) "Hey, I said I was sorry, princess!"
Blake: (off screen, entering the conversation) "It's heiress, actually." (Ruby and Weiss look over as Blake approaches with the bottle) "Weiss Schnee, heiress to the Schnee Dust Company, one of the largest producers of energy propellant in the world."
Weiss: (smiling smugly) "Finally! Some recognition!"
Blake: "The same company infamous for its controversial labor forces and questionable business partners."
Weiss: (getting angry again as Ruby chuckles) "Wha- How dare- The nerve of... Ugh!" (gets up in Blake's face and takes the bottle from her, walking off in a huff as her helpers gather the luggage and follow)
Ruby: (to the storming Weiss, still sorry) "I promise I'll make this up to you!" (sighs) "I guess I'm not the only one having a rough first day... So, what's..." (sees Blake walking off as well, then collapses to the ground on her back) "Welcome to Beacon..." (she remains this way until a shadow comes over her)
Jaune: (holding out his hand) "Hey... I'm Jaune."
Ruby: (taking his hand) "Ruby." (stands up) "Aren't you the guy that threw up on the ship?"
Beacon inside the walls are filled with scenic trees, arching architecture, and a winding road alongside a river, down which Ruby and Jaune are walking.
Jaune: "All I'm saying is that motion sickness is a much more common problem than people let on!"
Ruby: (laughing) "Look, I'm sorry! Vomit Boy was the first thing that came to mind."
Jaune: "Oh, yeah? What if I called you Crater Face?"
Ruby: "Hey, that explosion was an accident!"
Jaune: "Well, the name's Jaune Arc! Short, sweet, rolls off the tongue - ladies love it!"
Ruby: (skeptic) "Do they?"
Jaune: "They will! Well, I-I hope they will. My mom always says that... Never mind."
Ruby: (giggles before a short, awkward silence falls) "So... I got this thing!" (she pulls out Crescent Rose and stabs it into the ground)
Jaune: "Whoa! Is that a scythe?"
Ruby: "It's also a customizable high-impact sniper rifle!"
Ruby: (cocks it, smiling) "It's also a gun."
Jaune: "Oh. That's cool!"
Ruby: "So what've you got?"
Jaune: "Oh! I, uh..." (unsheathes a blade) "I got this sword!"
Jaune: "Yeah, and I've got a shield, too!" (he gets his scabbard, raises his arm and expands the metal into his defense)
Ruby: (touching the shield) "So, what do they do?"
Jaune: (fumbling with the shield as it retracts off his arm, expands, and retracts again before putting it back in place and finally shrinking it down for good, placing it on his belt) "The shield gets smaller, so when I get tired of carrying it, I can just... put it away..."
Ruby: "But... wouldn't it weigh the same?"
Jaune: (dejectedly) "Yeah, it does..."
Ruby: (giggling) "Well, I'm kind of a dork when it comes to weapons, sooo... I guess I did go a little overboard when designing it."
Jaune: "Wait - you made that?!"
Ruby: "Of course! All students at Signal forge their own weapons! Didn't you make yours?"
Jaune: "It's a hand-me-down. My great-great-grandfather used it to fight in the war."
Ruby: "Sounds more like a family heirloom to me!" (laughs) "Well, I like it! Not many people have an appreciation for the classics these days."
Jaune: (sheathing his sword) "Yeah, the classics..."
Ruby: (moving on again) "So why'd you help me out back there? In the courtyard?"
Jaune: (walking alongside her) "Eh, why not? My mom always says, 'Strangers are just friends you haven't met yet.'"
Ruby: "Hmm." (looks around) "Hey, where are we going?"
Jaune: "Oh, I don't know! I was following you." (as the scene fades to black) "Y-You think there might be a directory? Maybe a food court? Some sort of recognizable landmark? Is, uh... Is that a 'no'?"
Ruby: (laughing) "That's a 'no'."
The ending credits play.
- Ruby Rose".
- During RTX 2013, the scene where Ruby sneezes on Weiss lacks the explosion and Dust effects and has a cameo appearance by RWBY Rex along with the captions "VFX missing" and "KA BOOM".
- In the DVD version, this episode cuts off after Jaune says, "I don't know, I was following you", and then quickly transitions into the upcoming portion of the series.
- The event of "The Shining Beacon" are re-told in Chapter 1 from RWBY: The Official Manga.
- In a nod to anime, before Rose show reluctance to new people, she's excited to see people's weapon in a cartoon fashion before Yang pulls her back into her normal self.
- Main article: The Shining Beacon/Image Gallery