The First Eight Episodes - Trannied
Rufus: red-headed stranger
Fontaine: white-suited woman
Galen: violet-caped magician
Vermilion: red-shirted man
Ozma: green-clad headmistress
Lane: blonde brawling cowboy
Jeanne: blonde swordswoman
Rinen: white-haired magic fencer
Drake: formally dressed ninja
Pyrrhus: the guy that looks like Achilles
Norris: the excitable hammer-toting... guy
Rei: the calm cool girl clad in green
Fontaine and some of June's girls wander through an alley before approaching a Dust shop. There they harass the shopkeep, pulling out a gun and pointing it at her face.
"Please." The old woman cries. "Please don't hurt me. Take the money, just don't hurt me."
Fontaine chuffs. "We don't want your money." She looks at the girls who move to fill canisters with Dust from filling stations. "You know, it's really difficult locating a Dust shop in a place like this."
One of Fontaine's girls spots a crimson-cloaked redhead in the back and approaches. When he doesn't respond to her threats, she shoves him to the ground.
"Cheeses!" The redhead looks up at her from the ground. "Well, hello, pretty. Did you just fall out of heaven or was that deliberate?"
The redhead obliges.
"Put your hands up."
Again, he obliges. "Like this..?" He raises his hands up above his head.
The girl gets closer, keeping her gun trained on his head. He smacks her gun down, grabs her, and with a swift headbutt, knocks her unconscious. He then picks her up and tosses her out the shop window. He retrieves a large item he had stashed near the magazines, points the large gun at another henchwoman and fires, knocking the goon through the other window. He then points it at Fontaine.
Fontaine groans. "Who are you, kid?"
"Name's Rufus. Who the hell are you?"
"Someone you've irritated."
Rufus smirks. "Yeah, I have a habit of that."
More of Fontaine's girls move to attack Rufus as Fontaine steps out of the shop. "You're a cornered rat, boy."
"I think you forget, grandma, I've got a big gun."
The girls move in and Rufus swats one with his gun, knocking her to the floor as another girl tries to wrestle his gun away from him from behind. He manages to hunch over enough that the girl is lifted off of her feet. Despite her being heavier due to being obviously older than him, he manages to jump slightly into the air. He then angles his gun down at the ground. The girl below sees his gun pointed at her and screams before he fires, the resulting recoil sending himself and the girl attached to him into the ceiling. As they are about to drop, he angles his gun slightly to the side and fires again, causing them to rotate until he lands on top of her. He stands up, ready to face more goons. They are gone. He looks at the shopkeep. "Sorry about all the damage."
"Just finish it. I think they went up to the roof."
"Sure thing, ma'am."
Rufus climbs a ladder to the roof where more of Fontaine's girls are waiting for him. He does his best to hold them off as he watches Fontaine climb aboard an airship. He tries to get clear long enough to fire a shot at Fontaine, but is too distracted.
Fontaine tosses a Dust crystal nearby and takes aim with her cane. A single shot detonates the crystal, taking out all of Fontaine's henchmen in a single blast. Rufus is very surprised not to be in pain. He looks around. A man in a black suit and a purple cape now stands before him with a riding crop aimed at the airship.
Rufus looks up to see a dark-haired man in a red shirt with glowing yellow lines appear in the opening of the airship. He also wears black pants and crystal shoes. He carries a string of glass beads wrapped around one hand. He raises a hand, the lines on his shirt and the beads glowing, and ignites a fire spell that the duo narrowly manages to dodge.
Rufus watches in amazement as the man in black launches a spell of his own. Soon, the two spell lords are batting elements back and forth until the airship manages to finally pull away. Rufus tries to shoot after the plane, but cannot hit it from this distance. He then turns to the man in black.
"That was so totally awesome! We're a helluva a team, right? High five!"
Rufus blinks and notices the man in black is staring at him grimly.
"You're only lucky that you're a minor." The man in black lectures Rufus in a claustrophobic darkroom wherein Rufus sits before a single table lit by an insignificant lamp. "Otherwise, you'd be imprisoned for owning such a dangerous weapon, much less engaging in vigilantism in broad daylight."
"Erm... it was night."
The man in black slaps the table with his riding crop. "Lucky again that there is someone interested in talking to you, young man." He leans in and whispers. "I advise you to be cautious. Your luck will burn out eventually."
"Calm down, Galen." A woman in a green dress appears behind him.
"Professor Ozma!" Rufus blurts out.
"I see you recognize me."
"Of course! You're the headmistress of Beacon, the most famous training academy for Huntsmen."
"You seem to know a lot about it."
"Well, you see. I want to be a Hunter. It's been my dream for as long as I can remember."
"I see. So then I assume you plan to attend my school."
"I do. I only have two more years at Signal and then..."
"Why not enroll now?"
"I will be able to qualify and then... wha? What? Really?"
Ozma grins cheerfully. Rufus' eyes widen in excitement.
"Just remember, kid." Rufus and his blonde brother talk aboard an airship as it takes them to Beacon. "Just because you got yourself shimmied into this school two years early don't mean I can't still kick your keister."
"Yeah right, Lane. I got it. I'm pretty sure I'm gonna be getting my butt kicked a lot at this school."
"Hey, what's that attitude about? I thought you wanted to come to this school."
"But you're not the only one who's gonna be looking at me funny for getting in two years early. I'm gonna seem like some big fake."
"Ah, come on, kid. You know I was just hazing you. You got in because Ozma saw something special in you. Don't worry. You'll prove yourself. You've just gotta show a bit of that confidence you have so much of in combat."
"Yeah, well fighting's easy. All the other stuff... I don't know."
The pair hears moaning and groaning nearby and watch as a blonde girl collapses dizzily into Rufus' arms.
"Are... you okay?"
"Ugh... I might throw up on you."
Rufus shrieks and drops her to the floor.
"What? I panicked."
Lane helps her to her feet and she pushes past him to find a trash can and the pair can hear her throwing up.
"Yeah, that's attractive."
An announcement begins via hologram showing Galen.
"Hey, that's Galen."
"The guy that stuffed you in that hot room..?"
"Hello, Beacon initiates. I am Galen Warlock. You are in the midst of a privileged selection who have received the honor of attending this prestigious academy! This is an incredible time of peace and, as future Huntsmen and Huntresses, it is your duty to uphold it. You are here because you have demonstrated the courage needed for such a task and now it is our turn to provide you with the knowledge and the training to protect our world."
"Wow, that guy can talk."
The airship arrives at Beacon and Rufus and Lane look around at the students.
"Well..!" Lane slaps Rufus on the back. "Now that we're here, why don't you go and try to make some friends? Check it out! That guy's got a fire sword!"
"Sweet! Wait... Hold on. I think I better just stick with you for now."
"Actually, I kinda gotta get going." A bunch of people show up around Lane. "My friends and I gotta get situated. Catch up, Rufus!" Lane and the others leave Rufus behind.
"Hey!" Rufus shouts after his brother. "Where am I supposed to go?"
"Hey, dunce." A voice calls Rufus' attention behind him. A white-haired young man in a white suit stares coldly at him. "You're in my way."
"Say what? Who the hell do you think you are?"
Another voice draws their attention to a third party. A dark-haired young man approaches them as he closes a book he was reading.
"Heir to the renown Frost Corporation responsible for the production of Dust worldwide."
"Hmm. Good to know there's someone at this school who knows what they're talking about."
"The Frost Corporation is also the nexus for a whirlwind of rumors regarding questionable business partners and controversial labor forces."
Rinen approaches the stranger and glares at him. "I can see we're gonna be butting heads at this school." He pushes past him and walks away.
Rufus stares after Rinen. "Well, I can see this is gonna be a lot of fun..." Rufus looks over to where the stranger was standing to find him gone. His shoulders droop and he sighs in defeat.
Someone bumps into him from behind. He turns to find the blonde girl from the airship.
"I'm sorry. I didn't see you there."
Rufus looks around. "I'm the only one here."
"Yeah... I'm still a little dizzy from the motion sickness."
Rufus hesitates. "You're not gonna throw up on me, are you?"
"No, no. No. Just dizzy." She offers her hand. "I'm Jeanne Arc."
"Erm, Rufus. I mean, I'm Garnet Rose. But my friends call me Rufus. That is if I had friends. My brother calls me Rufus. It means red-haired. Am I talking too much? I feel like I'm talking too much. Stop me if I'm talking too much."
"I'm really not used to... people."
"Wow. Well, what are you used to?"
"Well, this..." Rufus produces his scythe.
"Whoa, holy crap! Where did that come from?"
"This scythe is a fully-customizable high-calibur sniper rifle."
"It's a gun."
"Of course it is. That's what Gesundheit means."
"Of course it does..."
"That's a pretty epic weapon. Meanwhile, I've got this." Jeanne produces a sword and shield.
"Pretty... what's it do?"
"Well, the sword cuts things."
"And the shield shrinks into a sheath so I can put both away on my belt."
"Yeah... it's a hand-me-down."
"My great-great-grandmother used it in the war."
"Wow. In that case it sounds more like a relic. Are you sure it won't break?"
"I... no... I'm not sure actually."
"You haven't used it..?"
"Hey, were we supposed to all meet somewhere?"
"Oh, right!" Rufus looks around. "Erm, lead the way!"
Jeanne smiles nervously. "Actually, I was hoping you knew the way."
Rufus scratches his head. "Oh boy."
Rufus and Jeanne arrive at the auditorium where Ozma is set to address the students.
"Oh! I see my brother. I gotta go. I'll see you after, right? Right!" Rufus rushes to stand beside Lane.
"Right. Great... just my luck. Meet a nice boy and the first chance he gets, he runs away from me. Where am I supposed to find another cute guy to talk to?"
Jeanne walks away. Meanwhile there is another taller redhead eyeing her thoughtfully.
"Thanks a lot for ditching me back there, Lane!"
"Hey, sink or swim, you know what I'm saying?"
"Oh my god, not you again."
Rufus turns to see Rinen standing nearby.
"Oh, well hey there, Lord Frost."
"Don't you ever call me that."
"Wow. I thought you'd like the title, Mr. Heir-to-the-throne of the Frost Corporation."
"Call me one more name, you little brat. I dare you to test me."
"How about if I call you Ice? It matches your complexion."
"Oh! That's it!" As Rinen moves, he is blocked by Lane who bumps knuckles and glares down at him.
"Have you got a problem with my little brother?"
Rinen glares back at Lane unflinching. "Not as long as he stays out of my way."
"I'll... keep this brief." Ozma says as she stares out from the stage. "You're here today in search of knowledge - to hone your skills and, when you have finished, to dedicate your lives to the protection of the people. However, all that I see when I look amongst you is wasted energy, in need of purpose, direction." The students begin to whisper among themselves. "You assume knowledge will free you of this, but your time at this school will prove that knowledge can only carry you so far. It is up to you to take the first step."
Ozma steps aside Galen approaches the microphone. "You will spend your first night in the ballroom together. Tomorrow morning, we begin your initiation and team assignment. Rest up until then. Dismissed."
"That was a little weird." Lane points out.
"Was she really even there?" Rufus asks honestly.
"Mm-mmm, baby, make me howl..." Lane is looking around at a bunch of girls in their night clothes as he sits near Rufus who is writing a letter.
"Way to perpetuate the male stereotype."
"Heh, perpetuate is a big word..."
Rufus rolls his eyes.
"What are you doing over there anyway?"
"Writing a letter to my friends back home. Unlike you, I couldn't bring my friends along with me."
"Aw, ain't that precious."
Rufus throws a pillow at Lane's face.
"I feel so awkward here. I don't know what I'm doing. I don't know anybody..."
"You know Dizzy."
Lane points over at Jeanne.
"She's a friend, isn't she?"
"I guess. But what about that Ice-creep. How could I make an enemy so fast? He doesn't even know me."
"Don't worry about him. You'll have plenty of chances to make friends around here, you've just gotta keep a weather eye."
Rufus looks around and sees the strange dark-haired young man from his encounter with Rinen Frost.
"Eh? What about him?"
"He knew all about Rinen. That's how I found out the Ice-creep was an heir. They didn't seem to like each other either."
"You know what they say: the enemy of my enemy is my friend."
"Where did you get that from a fortune a cookie?"
Lane stands up and drags Rufus over to the stranger.
The young man looks up at Lane. "Can I help you?"
"I believe you've met my brother!"
"You two are really outgoing, aren't you?"
"Didn't I see you reading that book earlier?"
"What's it about?"
"It's about a man named Jelus who is fighting for control of his soul."
"What happens if he loses?"
The young man seems impressed at the question. "Well, he becomes a monster."
"Wow. That's horrible."
"Yes, it is."
"You know... stories about heroes and monsters. They're one of the reasons I want to become a Hunter."
"Yeah, well, you know, I just figured the world has a lot of problems. It can't become perfect on its own. We have to fight for it. Protect it from the darkness."
"Sadly, the real world is harder to fight for than one would think from a fairytale."
"Right." Rufus hesitates, then makes a decision. "By the way, what's your name? I mean, my name is Rufus and this is my brother Lane. It's nice to meet you."
"Likewise... you can call me Drake."
The next morning, Rufus and Lane are at a locker and watch as a chuckling ginger and a demure girl walk by.
"What is that guy laughing about?"
"Who cares? You seem to be in a better mood this morning."
"That's because today I can let my precious do the talking. No more awkward fumbling for a topic of conversation, just good ol' fashion waa! Wah! Oooowha!"
"O-okay! But you realize you can't fight every battle on your own. You're gonna have to learn team work."
"Ugh... whatever. If I have to be on a team, then, well, I'll just be on yours."
"Yeah, well, maybe you should try teaming with someone else."
"What I'm not good enough to be on your team?"
"I didn't say that. I just think you need to break out of your shell."
"Oh that is just so... completely... incredulous."
"Incredulous... is that like incredible and ridiculous mixed together?"
On the other side of the locker room, Rinen is chatting up another student.
"So Pyrrhus... One has to wonder if you've given due consideration as to whose team you should like to be on. It seems likely that most every first-year would be eager to enlist a strong candidate as yourself."
"Of course, with my excellence in studies, I've no doubt caught the eye of quite a few students here as well. But why settle for second-rate? I bet if you and I combine forces, we could tame this school."
"Well... that sounds great."
"Indeed it does." Rinen turns and thinks to himself. Yes. We truly are the definition of the best and the brightest. The two of us together will be unstoppable.
"Hello there." Jeanne Arc appears.
Rinen blinks at her. "Who are you?"
"I'm Jeanne Arc. You know bouncy, beautiful, buxom, blonde, and... bold..."
Rinen stares unimpressed. "I had already forgotten these were unisex locker rooms."
"Well, they are used primarily for equipment storage." Pyrrhus chimes in.
"Yeah, that's interesting." Jeanne leans in and stares into Rinen's eyes. "And so are you..."
"What are you doing?"
"Hypnotizing you with my entrancing stare."
"How typical for a girl's primary concern to be attaining a male partner... understandable, it's not as if an all-girl team would be able to compete formidably at this school."
"Hey! Number one: I'm not looking for a team mate... I mean, I am... but I just thought you were cute so... I mean..."
"And..?" Jeanne seems confused.
"Was there more or do you typically mark your responses with the phrase "number one."?"
"Oh! Well, I was gonna say something but..."
Galen's voice comes over a speaker. "All first-years report to Beacon Cliff for initiation. I repeat: All first-years report to Beacon Cliff for initiation."
Rinen walks away, ignoring Jeanne.
"Good luck." Pyrrhus says smiling as he also passes Jeanne.
Rufus and Lane approach Jeanne.
"That Ice-creep is pretty brutal, isn't he?"
"Ice..?" Jeanne thinks about it. "Yeah. He really is."
Ozma addresses the students. "For years, you have trained to become warriors, and today, your abilities will be evaluated in the Emerald Forest."
"Now..." Galen says, taking the reins. "I'm sure many of you have heard rumors about the assignment of 'teams'. Well, allow us to put an end to your confusion. Each of you will be given teammates... today."
"These teammates will be with you for the rest of your time here at Beacon. So it is in your best interest to be paired with someone with whom you can work well." Ozma looks around at the group. "That being said, the first person you make eye contact with after landing will be your partner for the next four years."
This takes Rufus completely off-guard. "Whaaaat?!"
"See?" The cackling ginger addresses his dark-haired friend. "I told you-!"
"After you've partnered up, make your way to the northern end of the forest." Ozma takes on a serious tone. "You will encounter opposition along the way. Do not hesitate to destroy everything in your path... or you will die."
Jeanne laughs nervously, then gulps loudly.
"You will be monitored and graded through the duration of your initiation, but our instructors will not intervene." Ozma stares at Rufus and Jeanne. "You will find an abandoned temple at the end of the path containing several relics. Each pair must choose one and return to the top of the cliff. You will guard that item, as well as your standing, and you'll be graded appropriately. Are there any questions?"
Jeanne raises her hand. "Yeah, um, Professor?"
"Good! Now, take your positions."
Everyone strikes a pose on their tile. Jeanne is still raising her hand.
"Professor? Question... are we being dropped off or something?"
"No. You will be falling."
"So, did you, like, hand out parachutes for us?"
"No. You will be using your own 'landing strategy'."
Lane winks at Rufus, puts on a pair of aviators, and flies off with a "Yeah-haaaaaaa!" a second before Rufus is launched.
Jeanne is still unclear on how to survive this. "So, what exactly is a landing strategYYY!.." she screams upon being launched after the others.
Jeanne is falling from the sky screaming in a wild panic. "Ohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygod! WhatdoIdowhatdoIdowhatdoIdowhatdoIdo?"
Repeated gunfire precedes the appearance of Pyrrhus darting toward her. He launches his spear into a tree and Jeanne realizes that if she lands on it, she might just break in half. She shrieks and closes her eyes.
Jeanne opens her eyes to see she is in the arms of her rescuer Pyrrhus. "It's you..!"
As he holds her, Pyrrhus stands on the outcropping formed from his spear still impaled in the tree. He smiles. "So I guess this means we're teammates."
Jeanne breathes a sigh of relief and smiles.
The dark-haired girl vanishes into a tree then dives out and, upon touching down, rolls to her feet.
The girl's attention is drawn to a crater off to her side where the hyperactive ginger boy lands having clubbed a powerful hammer strike into the ground.
"Must you always make so much noise, Norris?"
Norris simply giggles.
Upon landing, Rufus contemplates how he will go about finding a partner. "Gotta find Lane. Gotta find Lane. Gotta find Lane. LANE! LANE!" He then considers that he may not find Lane. "Okay, if not Lane, then Jeanne? Oh boy... I don't think she could survive out here any better than I could. Maybe Drake? Oh yeah right Rufus. Who else have I met?"
Rufus comes face to face with Rinen in the midst of sliding to a stop.
Rinen simply stares at him. He then balls his fists before walking past and dragging Rufus with him. "By no means does this make us friends."
"Helloooo!" Lane wanders around the forest. "Yo! I'm not yelling for my health. Somebody answer me! I'm getting bored."
Growls draw his attention to the bushes.
"Hmmm. That can't be good."
Giant bear Grimm pour out of the bushes and charge at Lane. He soundly defeats one of them before watching the other merely collapse. Behind it, Drake retrieves a weapon lodged in its back.
"Well... that was quick..."
Rinen finds himself surrounded by wolf Grimm. "All right, Rinen... this is fine. It's nothing you can't handle. You've been trained... sufficiently. Just... be confident." Rinen looks around. "Ugh... that useless brat." He rears with his rapier and charges one of the wolves.
Rufus spontaneously appears and chops down the wolf.
"Ah! Idiot!" Rinen yells as he slams into Rufus.
"What are you doing?"
"What are YOU doing?"
The wolves start to crowd in around them. Rinen grabs Rufus and drags him away, stopping long enough to gouge his sword in the ground and create a wall of ice.
Rinen glares at Rufus. "Move..."
Jeanne and Pyrrhus make their way through the forest. Pyrrhus looks around as gunfire echoes.
"It seems some of our comrades have encountered that opposition Ozma mentioned."
"Is that what that was?" Jeanne looks back as she continues to walk forward. She trips over a root and falls on her face. "Ouch..."
"Jeanne..! Are you all right?" Pyrrhus helps her to her feet.
"Only my ego."
Pyrrhus looks into Jeanne's eyes. "Jeanne..."
Pyrrhus starts to glow.
Jeanne panics. "You... you're glowing... why are you glowing? Are you a ghost?"
"This is aura."
"Aura is the manifestation of the soul. It bears our burdens and shields our hearts."
"You should have had your aura unlocked before you began attendance at Beacon."
Pyrrhus places a hand on Jeanne's chest.
"Hey! What are you--?"
Pyrrhus shushes her. "I unlock your soul and, by my shoulder, protect you."
Pyrrhus watches Jeanne's bruises instantly heal.
"You've got a lot of aura."
"I can't believe you dragged me away like that. We could've wiped out all of those wimpy wolves. Why didn't you tell me you could just whip up a huge wall of ice like that? Why didn't you lead off with that?"
"Shut... up... the reason I don't lead off with an ice spell is because it takes more stamina to properly aim. I can't completely control the density so it emerges en masse and would have possibly encased you in a solid block of it had I used it in your vicinity which is simply another reason why it was so dangerous not knowing where
you had disappeared to. The point: never do that again." Rinen finishes his lecture and walks away leaving Rufus feeling a little ashamed.
Norris leaps through the air, spinning his hammer, and whacks a giant snake on the chin, sending it sprawling. A second giant snake approaches him from behind, when it opens its mouth, it seems to be missing one of its fangs.
"Ha!" The girl drops in from above and sticks the missing fang into the snake's eye. It collapses momentarily and tries to recover but she strikes it, sending the fang through the snake's head.
Norris leans on his hammer as he watches. He giggles. "Hey Rei. Which color should I use to make myself a pair of snakeskin boots?"
Rei shakes her head.
"You're right. I'll just make 'em checkered
Galen looks over a viewer displaying various formed teams. "The last pair has been formed, madam." Galen watches the interaction between Rei and Norris. "I can't possibly imagine those two getting along."
"Her transcripts are very impressive, but I honestly don't see Miss Arc being very useful to her partner. If anything Pyrrhus Victor will have to carry her throughout the trial. Professor Ozma..?"
"Why can't you just admit you don't know where you're going?" Rufus demands.
"I know exactly where we're going. We're going... to the forest temple."
"And do you know where that is?"
"Argh! No! But neither do you, so shut up!"
"You shut up! Mr.-Know-it-all. You know, I didn't ask to be on your team."
"No. You forced yourself onto my team... and what did I tell you about those names."
"Oh so sorry, Mr. PERFECT!"
"I'm NOT perfect. But I'm still better you, that's for sure."
"You don't know a damned thing about me."
Rinen walks away. "That's true. And I don't want to know."
Jeanne and Pyrrhus are walking through a dark cave with a single torch.
"Jeanne, I don't think this is it."
"Aww. Is widdle Pyrrhus afraid of the dark, cold... wet cave." Jeanne begins to seem more nervous. She trips and the torch is doused.
"Do you feel that?"
"Of course. I landed in it."
"No. It's... warm."
Pyrrhus and Jeanne bolt out of the dark cave followed quickly by a giant scorpion Grimm which smashes open the originally narrow opening.
"This isn't the temple, Pyrrhus. That's not a relic. I'm not ready to die!"
Drake and Lane arrive at the temple together.
"That wasn't too hard!" Lane brags.
"Well it's not as if this place is hard to find."
They hear a scream in the distance.
"Some girl is in trouble!"
"A girl... or a guy who screams like a girl..?" Drake wonders.
Lane thinks about that. "Nope. Definitely a girl this time." He winks at Drake.
THE PLAYERS, THE PIECES
Lane and Drake look up at a wailing from the sky. Rufus comes into view falling from somewhere high up.
"What the hell? Rufus?"
Rufus whips his scythe out and points it at the ground, rapidly opening fire in a desperate attempt to slow his fall.
Without question, Drake leaps onto Lane's shoulders and Lane jumps, using his gauntlets to propel him farther up. Drake then leaps and catches Rufus in the air, deftly landing on his feet near a tree.
Rufus's eyes are tightly shut a moment before he realizes he's saved. He looks at Drake and laughs. "Ah. Hi Drake."
"Hi." Drake sets Rufus on his feet and stands back, allowing him to compose himself.
Just when Rufus feels normal again, he is suddenly crushed in a bear hug by Lane. "Ahhhh! Lane... stop... my back!"
"What?" Lane loosens his grip.
"I need to breathe!"
Lane lets him go. "Oh, right, sorry. I just thought you were a goner. Happy to see you safe is all."
Rufus coughs a bit.
The group turns to see Norris crashing through the forest on the back of a giant bear Grimm. It closes in on the group and then suddenly collapses at their feet. Rei finally catches up, having been apparently running behind Norris the whole way. She appears exasperated.
"Whoops. I guess I broke it." Norris leaps to the ground in the middle of the trio before Rei joins the group.
"Are you some kind of maniac?" Drake asks Norris simply.
Norris merely shrugs.
"RUFUS, YOU DUNCE! How could you just leave me up here?"
The group looks up to see Rinen hanging from a giant bird Grimm.
"Is that Rinen?" Lane asks.
"Is he your partner?" Norris asks.
"He's gonna fall." Rei thinks aloud.
"Yeah... I mean, no! I'm sure he'll be fine." Rufus reassures them.
"He's falling." Drake points out.
Rinen draws his rapier and begins casting runes, bouncing off of glyphs hovering in the air until he is near enough to the ground that he simply darts off to the side and rolls along the ground.
Rufus rushes to him. "Are you okay Ice-?"
"Do not..." Rinen breathes heavily. "Call me... Ice-creep."
Rufus looks back at the others. "I told you he'd be fine." He helps Rinen to his feet.
A familiar shriek draws the group's attention to some trees nearby.
"It's that girl." Lane says.
"What girl?" Rufus watches as Pyrrhus rushes out from the trees, followed quickly by the giant scorpion Grimm crushing the trees in its path with Jeanne dangling on its stinger.
"Somebody help me!"
The Grimm draws back its stinger and whips it forward, sending Jeanne sprawling into Pyrrhus from behind.
"Jeanne!" Rufus shouts and moves to intercept the scorpion.
"Pyrrhus!" Rinen follows.
As it closes in on Jeanne and Pyrrhus, the Grimm raises its tail to strike.
"Rufus!" Rinen gets the redhead's attention as he prepares a spell. "Get out of my way!"
Rufus panics and ducks out of the way. Rinen launches a spell that raises a wall of ice as the scorpion strikes. Its tail becomes trapped in the ice.
"Whoa!" Rufus watches the scorpion as it struggles to free itself. A shriek from the bird above warns them to its incoming attack, it flaps its wings and unleashes a barrage of feathers that impale themselves into the ground by the quill. Jeanne grabs Rinen and raises her shield to protect them while Pyrrhus uses his shield to protect himself and Rufus.
As the bird flies overhead, Rufus starts to freak out. "What the hell was that?"
"We should get out of here." Rinen suggests.
Rufus thinks about it and looks over at the temple. "Right. You're right. The relics are right over there. We get those and go and we'll pass our initiation. There's no reason to fight."
"I'm all for running away." Jeanne agrees.
Having grabbed the relics, the group runs past some more standing stone structures before they realize the giant bird is going to be blocking their path.
"Oh great." Jeanne complains.
"Nor, blast it." Rei suggests.
Norris transforms his hammer into a rocket launcher and fires a few rounds at the bird's massive beak.
The group runs across a bridge but the massive bird takes it out with its durable body.
Rei, Pyrrhus, and Rinen are trapped on one side of the bridge being encroached upon by the giant scorpion.
"Oh, god, Pyrrhus, Rinen." Jeanne worries aloud.
"You want to help them?" Norris asks.
Jeanne looks at the gap. "Well, yeah, but I can't jump that."
Norris laughs. "Leave that to me!"
With that, Norris restores his hammer form and leaps off of the bridge, rotating enough to slam the hammer into the stone work and in the process, catapult Jeanne to the other side.
"Are you crazy?" Jeanne screams.
Norris is catapulted over as well and he slams his hammer into the scorpion's head. He is knocked back and accidentally knocks Rinen off of the bridge.
Rinen uses his spell runes to launch himself up onto one of the stone columns. He huffs, catching his breath. He catches up to the others who have gathered near the opposite end of the bridge. He watches as Drake, Lane, and Rufus try to blast the bird from a distance.
"That obviously isn't working."
Rufus nods his agreement and looks around. He sees two high-reaching columns and takes note of Drake and his whip-style weapon. "I've got a plan."
Jeanne is whimpering at the continuous attacks of the scorpion. Pyrrhus whispers to her. "Jeanne... have you ever heard that some materials can only be pierced by the same material?"
"What? How does that help us?"
Before Pyrrhus can elaborate, the scorpion digs its stinger into the bridge and it starts to fall apart.
"We gotta get out of here!" Jeanne shouts.
"To where? How?" Rei wonders.
"We go through that!" She points at the scorpion.
The group charges the scorpion in one last effort to bypass the Grimm and escape.
"Pyrrhus! Blind it!" Jeanne shouts.
Pyrrhus flings his spear into one of the scorpion's eyes.
"Great! Seven more to go." Rei fires her dual submachine guns in an effort to hit the scorpion's other eyes, but it blocks with its claws, removing the spear.
"Now's our chance." Pyrrhus suggests.
Norris rushes up and fires at the monster's claws and it retaliates trying to strike him with its tail.
"Cut it off!" Jeanne shouts again.
"What?" Norris looks back at her, narrowly avoiding the stinger as Pyrrhus pulls him aside. Pyrrhus retrieves his spear from afar and slashes at the stinger. Rei leaps onto it and fires at it repeatedly. She slides off when the tail rears back and lands behind the scorpion.
Jeanne notices the stinger is dangling loosely now. She turns to the others. "Norris! Get some air!"
"Sounds fun! Pyrrhus!"
Norris jumps onto Pyrrhus' shield as he raises it overhead and jumps into the air. Norris uses his hammer's recoil to boost himself further up.
"Pyrrhus, now!" Jeanne orders.
"Done!" Pyrrhus launches his shield at the scorpion's stinger and slices it off, the shield returning to his hand as the stinger embeds itself into the scorpion's head.
"Look out below!" Norris slams his hammer down into the scorpion's stinger, driving it further into its head. The resulting shockwave throws Jeanne and Pyrrhus forward enough to land on the scorpion and they run across its body to the other side as it falls off of the cliff's edge. Norris uses his hammer's recoil again to propel himself onto the cliff with the others.
Lane is drawing the bird beast's attention with a flurry of fiery blasts. It heads right for him and he jumps into its mouth as it tries to bite him. Using his own strength to keep the bird's beak from crushing him, Lane fires a few blasts down its throat causing it to shriek and drop him to the ground. Dizzied by the attack, the bird crashes into a cliff side and lands perched on the roof of a ruins. Lane looks back to see Rinen approaching and moves in the opposite direction. Rinen leaps and launches a spell to freeze the Grimm's tail in place, preventing it flying away. Drake, positioned on a column, throws his weapon to Lane on an adjacent column, holding onto the strap as he does. Rinen arrives at the base between the columns and activates a spell rune as Rufus launches himself onto the strap and down toward the rune.
"Had to put yourself in the spot light again, didn't you?"
"Just don't blow it, Rin."
"I told you-!" Rinen pauses.
Rufus looks at him.
"Just... call me Ice."
Rufus smiles and looks back at the Grimm. Rinen releases the rune and the outstretched strap snaps him up and out, lobbing him like a mortar toward the shrieking giant raven. He fires his weapon multiple times to help him close the gap then catches the raven around the neck with his scythe-blade and plants his feet on the cliff wall behind it.
Rinen generates a series of glyphs on the cliff face and Rufus begins to charge up the wall dragging the raven by the neck behind him. Upon reaching the top, the scythe-blade snags on the raven's neck and Rufus fires one last round to pull the blade through, decapitating the massive creature.
As Jeanne and the others watch from afar, Jeanne is clearly amazed at Rufus's exploits. "Oh my god..."
Back at the Beacon Auditorium, Ozma is naming the teams and their leaders. "Robin Winchester, Oriole Osprey, Dove Bronzewing, Nuttall Shrike. You retrieved the Red Queen pieces. Henceforth you will be known as: Team Robin. Led by Robin Winchester."
Team Robin steps aside and Jeanne approaches Ozma with her team.
"Jeanne Arc, Pyrrhus Victor, Rei Shi, Norris Vyk. You retrieved the White Knight pieces. From now on, you shall be known as: Team Juniper. Led by Jeanne Arc."
Jeanne seems totally surprised by this revelation.
"Congratulations, young lady."
Jeanne's team steps aside, allowing Rufus and the others to step into the spotlight.
"Finally, we have Garnet Rose, Rinen Frost, Noire Nightshade, and Tang Taehung. You retrieved the White Pawn pieces. From this day forward, you shall be known as: Team Garnet. Led by Garnet Rose."
"Eh, call me Rufus. If you don't mind... ma'am."
Ozma smiles as Rufus is punched in the shoulder by his brother.