The "Volume 5 Blake Character Short" was released on September 4th, 2017 via Entertainment Weekly. A work-in-progress version was shown at the Crunchyroll Expo RWBY panel.
Somewhere on Menagerie, Blake Belladonna is walking through a busy street looking for an associate of Ilia Amitola. As Blake looks for the associate, she remembers a conversation she had with Ilia on why the latter joined the White Fang, despite the fact that Ilia could pass for a Human. Sun Wukong joins Blake in finding the Faunus who is currently buying a switch knife at a stall as Ilia's voiceover tells Blake about her former life in Atlas.
As they approach the associate Blake draws her weapon. The associate, however, notices Blake and proceeds to shoot at her twice with his revolver. Blake blocks one of the shots and a chase ensues. The Faunus tries to escape and manages to cut the rope connecting a trailer to a car. Sun conjures two clones to stop the trailer from hurtling down the street and urges Blake to continue the pursuit.
Just as Blake manages to trip the associate, Ilia arrives and frees him. The one-time friends look at each other before Ilia makes her getaway. Sun asks Blake what happened, but she simply says the associate got away.
A lively, crowded town in Menagerie has Faunus going about their everyday business. Blake Belladonna pauses to look at a vendor's flower display. Her thoughts clearly going elsewhere as her gaze slides to the side.
Blake: (voiceover) Can I ask you something?
Blake, wearing her older outfit, stands on a rooftop while Ilia Amitola sits cross-legged nearby.
Blake: Why... why'd you join the White Fang?
Ilia: Same reason as you.
Ilia: But why fight when I pass for Human?
Blake looks over at her friend and Ilia smiles at her.
In current day Menagerie, Blake looks around at the people in the crowd. Sun Wukong comes up to her and places a reassuring hand on her right shoulder. Throughout all this, Ilia tells her story.
Ilia: (voiceover) It's okay. You're not the first person to ask. I know I look just like any other Human girl.
Blake spots a scaly-skinned Faunus male twirling a switchblade at a stand, checking out the merchandise. Blake narrows her eyes and reaches behind her.
Ilia: (voiceover) And for years, that's how I was raised.
Blake takes out a Scroll and looks up the person in front of her. He appears under the label "ILIA ASSOCIATES". With a tap of the screen, the photograph of the man enlarges and small text appears beneath it.
Ilia: (voiceover) We lived in Mantle with the other Faunus working the mines.
Sun and Blake nod at each other and separate, moving forward and maneuvering their way through the crowd.
Ilia: (voiceover) But my parents wanted something better for me. They managed to enroll me in an Atlas prep school. Imagine that - a little Faunus girl from Mantle going to the city of dreams. (sighs) I felt like a princess.
The Faunus identified as Ilia's associate pays for the switchblade and tucks it into his back pocket, smiling and satisfied with the transaction. The shopkeeper behind the booth suddenly looks toward Blake and Sun. Noticing this, Ilia's associate follows his gaze, and his expression changes as he spots Blake.
Ilia: But I had to follow a set of rules.
Blake takes out Gambol Shroud and her jaw drops a bit when she realizes that they have been made. The male Faunus grunts and immediately draws his revolver and shoots at Blake twice. One shot is blocked by the wide side of Blake's sheath while the second one misses, going over Sun's head. The associate flees while Blake and Sun give chase. Around them, as they run, other Faunus are drawing back in alarm at the unexpected fight happening in their midst.
Ilia: (voiceover) No bringing friends home, no talking about my parents...
On the rooftop, Ilia is counting off the rules with the fingers on her left hand.
Ilia: ...and absolutely, under no circumstances, was I allowed to change colors. No one could know I was a Faunus.
Blake: That... sounds terrible.
Ilia: It wasn't.
Blake and Sun continue chasing the associate, who turns around and fires two more shots before running out of ammo. He looks at his revolver, then quickly tucks it away in his sash and runs down another street.
Ilia: (voiceover) It was confusing at first, but it wasn't hard... especially if it meant being in Atlas.
The chase leads to a less populated area, down an alley where someone is under their tractor doing some maintenance or repairs.
Ilia: (voiceover) Sometimes, the other girls would say things about the Faunus. That they were animals, that they were dirty, or they lied, and... I'd say these things with them... because I felt like I was one of them. And then, one day, there was a cave-in at the mines.
The fleeing Faunus takes out the switchblade he had just purchased. With a flip, he uses it to detach the tractor from its hitched-on wagon. The wagon goes rolling downhill toward Blake and Sun, while the associate continues down another alley.
Blake is watching her friend with increasing empathy and concern as Ilia tells about the day of the cave-in.
Ilia: I was at school, when the news broke. Apparently, one of the workers there tripped while handling some agitated Dust crystals. The explosion caused a chain reaction. And my... friends... (looking away, her eyes turning blue) snickered.
Pedestrians jump out of the way of the runaway wagon while Blake stops and tensely assesses how to handle it. Before she can do anything, Sun uses her shoulders as a springboard to leapfrog over her and activate two clones while he holds his meditative position midair. The clones run forward on all fours, rising up on either side of the wagon to slow its inertia. Once his clones stop actively moving, Sun, who is now standing on the ground, is free to move.
Sun rushes forward to help his clones hold back the wagon, while Blake leaps into the air and tosses the kusarigama form of Gambol Shroud at the crates on the wagon.
Ilia: (voiceover) I lost control. Every inch of me turned blue as I wept.
Once it sinks into the wood, she swings herself through the air, runs along a wall to keep up her speed, and slings herself into the alley that her target retreated into.
Ilia: (voiceover) And suddenly...
As she chases the associate, Blake tosses Gambol Shroud forward and wraps it around his ankle, tripping him.
Ilia: (voiceover) ...all the girls that I'd laughed and played with...
Blake pulls on the ribbon to reel her target in, only for Gambol Shroud's ribbon to suddenly be cut, leaving her to collapse to the ground.
Ilia: (voiceover) ...were scared of me.
Blake's face is surprised at first before it hardens.
On the rooftop, Blake is still looking with concern at her friend.
Blake: I'm sorry.
Ilia's eyes turn yellow, and as she rises to her feet, her skin gradually turns red while her hair turns yellow.
Ilia: Don't be.
Ilia strikes a pose, proud, fists by her sides.
Ilia: I broke their teeth.
Ilia takes on the same pose in the present moment, revealed to be the reason why the ribbon was cut. Ilia's right hand is grasping her weapon as she stares down at Blake. As Blake stands up to square off with Ilia, the downed Faunus also rises to his feet, staggering slightly. Ilia removes her White Fang mask and turns her head to once again look upon Blake. She raises her weapon and Blake steps forward, angry and undaunted.
Ilia gasps and directs her gun to shoot at the counterweight of the pulley in the alley that was raising a large wooden platform. The rope, no longer taut, loosens rapidly and loudly while Ilia's associate makes a run for it. The platform and several boxes crash to the ground, the splintering wood and resulting dust cloud causing Blake to shield her eyes.
When the crash is over, Blake turns to glare at Ilia but finds that her opponent is leaping up over the buildings and out of reach. Sun comes rushing up at the moment and stops beside her, looking at the wreckage before turning to her.
Sun: What happened?!
Blake: He got away.
She turns and walks off, not giving Sun any further explanation. Though not looking back, Blake lowers her face and briefly speaks over her shoulder.
Blake: I'm sorry.
Sun looks around suspiciously before deciding to follow Blake. Once he's gone, Ilia looks down from the roof. Her expression is sad before becoming resolved. Ilia puts on the mask again before leaping and flipping out of sight.
- A large part of the short takes place before the "Black" Trailer, as indicated by Blake's Beacon Arc outfit and her relationship with Ilia.
- Main article: Image Gallery