In loving memory of my cousin, Xander Carver. 2003-2020
Chapter 2, The Messenger
Air Tower, Arthumore Air base.
A small button was blinking over the control panel. The crew member stationed there turned in his seat, glancing back at his superior.
"Sir, we're receiving a transmission from the Phoenix," He said.
The commanding officer turned forward.
"Patch it through." He order.
The transmission came through as an image of the captain of the Phoenix appeared over the window screen.
"This is Captain Willard Minutte of the Phoenix to tower Arthurmore," The captain said.
"This is Tower Arthurmore," The Officer said.
"We read you, Phoenix."
"We are in route to the air field," Captain Willard said.
"Requesting permission to dock."
"Copy that, Captain Willard," The tower commander said.
"Your right on schedule. Proceed to docking bay 1."
Captain Willard nodded his head.
"Copy that." he said.
"Welcome home." The officer said.
Captain Willard clicked off the transmission. He then turned back to General Lukas and Zak, who continued peering out the view port. He came up behind them.
"General," he said.
Lukas and Zak glanced back to the captain.
"We are approaching the air field and are about to commence with the landing sequence."
Lukas nodded his head.
"Understood, Captain." he said.
Lukas glanced back to the view port, peering ahead to Arthamore.
"Arthamore," Zak said in awe.
"I feels like I haven't seen it in years."
Lukas nodded his head. Zak placed his his hands over his hips.
"We're finally home." he said.
Lukas glanced back over their home town ahead. He felt a sudden sense of awe and excitement to finally be home again. And after so long, to be given the chance to see Amara and Pyrrha again. Lukas narrowed his head. He didn't realize how much he wanted to see them until now.
To hold his daughter in his arms. To touch Amara's face.
He glanced to Zak, setting his hand over his shoulder.
"Come," he said.
"We should join the others below."
The then turned and began walking toward the lift.
As the Phoenix flew over the walls of Artamore, Pyrrha and Juane came up through the secret tunnel under the wall. She peered up and saw the Phoenix flying ahead overhead. She gasped in excitement. She glanced back at Juane.
"Hurry, Juane!" she said.
"I'm coming, I'm coming!" he said as she climbed up.
She came up to the hole below. She crouched down and grabbed his hand, helping him out. Juane came up out of the hole. He glanced to to Pyrrha, smiling.
"Thanks." he said.
Pyrrha smiled, nodding her hand. She then turned back up at the Phoenix and saw it flying ahead. She smiled. Pyrrha glanced back to Juane and took his hand.
"Come on, lets go!" she said
She then turned and ran ahead, pulling him along.
"Hey, wait," He said, following after her.
Everyone gathered in the courtyard of Arthurmore. They peered to the Beacon ship which soured above them. Damaged from battle. Yet still cruised along with the rest of Beacon's fleet. Driving Salem's forces from this realms. The cheers of the citizens filled the square below as their hero's returned from war.
The Phoenix flew over the landing docks, turning in mid air. Slowly the ship began to descend over the landing pad below.
"Commencing docking ports!" a crew member in the tower said.
Several boarding ports extended from the structure next to the landing port. As the ship set down over the landing port, the boarding ports connected to the many entrances along the ships side.
Lukas and Zak walked through the hanger. The intercom came over above.
"Boarding Ports now ready for use."
They came up to one of the gunships, where the rest of team AAZC and Team ELSA were celebrating. Leaning against the gunship, Flint Carter, a tall browned haired man with tiger-like ears and tail glanced up to them.
"There you guys are," he said, standing up off the gunship.
"We were just about to leave without you."
"Sorry, we're late." Zak said, scratching the back of his head.
Massua, the leader of Team ELSA, a dark skin woman with long black hair, a small red dot on her forehead, wearing a dark blue vest and white pants, turned at attention to the general.
"General Lukas." She greeted, nodding her head.
"Messua." He said back.
"Where have you been?" Flint asked, curiously.
"Missed a hell of a celebration."
"There was some... business I had to attend to." He insisted as he walked into the gunship.
Flint smirked, rolling his eyes.
"I've known you long enough to know when speaking bullshit, Lukas," Flint said, following them into the gunship.
"I get you're preoccupied with the war and all. But come on, we won. We deserve this."
"But for how long, Flint," Lukas insisted, glancing back to his team mate.
"Especially now since they've taken Ataria. We may have defeated the Grimm. But now there's no telling how long before they come back from this defeat."
"You've been hanging around Ozpin too much." Flint commented.
"That's what I said." Zak said.
The Gunship lifted off the hanger floor and flew out toward the town along with the other transports.
"Still, Lukas does have a point," Massua insisted.
"These attacks have gotten harder to deal with. And with the Grimm taking Ataria, there's no telling how much Salem's power has grown."
"Salem has always had the advantage over us," Lukas said.
"With every Grimm we've managed to put down, she's able to replenish her ranks more quickly."
"Then we'll deal with it then," Flint insisted.
"We handled everything Salem's had to throw at us. We can do it again."
"Yeah, for now, let's just live in the moment," Zak insisted.
"We're not gonna get a chance like this."
Lukas glanced back, hearing the cheers of the people below.
Pyrrha and Juane came out through the crowd, peering into the town square. Where they saw three gunships landing. She glanced up in awe as she saw her father and Zak, standing in the opening along the ships side.
"Father!" she said, waving up to him.
"Dad!" Juane called.
The ship set down in the middle of the square. Lukas and the rest of team AAZC and ELSA came off the ship. They looked out over the crowd of people, who let out a great cheer to their hero's.
"Well this quite the welcome home party," Zak said, glancing to Lukas.
Lukas nodded his head. He looked out over the crowd, hoping to see Amara or Pyrrha.
Suddenly, he heard a familiar voice of to his right.
"Father!" He said.
Lukas and Zak glanced to the right. He saw a small red haired girl and a light blond boy rushing up to them.
"Pyrrha!" he said, turning to her.
"Juane!" Zak said.
Lukas kneel down as Pyrrha leaped into his arms. Juane ran up to Zak, who crouched down and caught boy, hoisting him up into his arms.
"It's good to see you," He said, before they departed from each other.
"Look at you. You've gotten so big."
Pyrrha smiled at her father.
"Thanks you, father." she said.
Lukas glanced up to the crowd behind her.
"Where's your mother?" he asked, looking back down to her.
"She's at home." Pyrrha said.
Lukas then stood up.
"What do you say we go surprise her?" He asked.
Pyrrha shook her head.
"Okay," she said, smiling.
Pyrrha and Luka turned started walking back toward the crowd. He glanced back to Zak, who turned to him and etched his head. Gesturing him to follow. Lukas smirked and turned forward as he continued following his daughter.
Amara was watering her flowers in her garden out front. She kneel down to a small red flower and poured water over the soil. She then heard the gate opening. She turned and saw Pyrrha and Lukas walk through the front gate. Lukas paused there, looking back at her.
Amara stood up, gazing in awe at the sight of her husband returning from the war. She walked out of the garden and came up to him.
trail. "Lukas." she said.
"Amara." he said, taking her into his arms.
The two embraced each other. The months away from each had finally come to end.
There was the sound of a running motor in the forests outside of Arthamore. Driving along the trail, a tall man with black spiky hair, wearing a white and grey shirt and black pants, rode a black and red motorbike through the forest. He stepped over the exaggerator, hunching forward over the bike as he sped up.
He then came out of the woods and came along the basis of the cliff. The man squeezed the brakes over the handle and slid to a stop. He then glanced up and saw Arthamore in the distance.
"Arthamore," he said.
"Looks like I'm not too late."
The man glanced toward the gate. He then sat down over his bike and rev the engine. Spiraling around to face the trail before driving ahead.
Lukas, Amara and Pyrrha were catching up. Sitting together on the porch, Pyrrha was telling her father of the adventures she had with Juane.
"There was this great beast in the pond." Pyrrha said.
"Oh really?" Lukas said.
Pyrrha nodded her head.
"Ahuh!" she said.
"It was about to swallow up mother. But me and Juane jumped in and saved her."
Amara smiled and glanced to Lukas, who chuckled.
"And then we slayed the beast and saved all of Arthamore!" Pyrrha cheered.
"It sounds like I left Arthamore in good hands." Lukas said.
Pyrrha smiled at her father.
"Speaking of which," he said, turning back to his daughter.
"Have you been keeping up with our lessons?"
Pyrrha nodded her head.
"She's gotten better." Amara insisted.
"I did all the moves you said I should work on," Pyrrha said.
"I was hoping I could do some of the moves you do."
"Pyrrha, we've talked about this." Amara said.
"I'm sorry," Pyrrha insisted.
Lukas raised an eye brow, smirking.
"Really?" Lukas said.
Pyrrha has been working on the lessons she's been given. And it would only be a few more years before she would attend the academy at Beacon. Maybe it was time for something a little more advanced. He stood up from his seat and walked into the yard.
"I suppose we could try something more advanced." He insisted.
"Really?" she asked.
Amara glanced up to Lukas.
Are you sure about this?" she asked, curiously.
He glanced down at his daughter.
"I think she's ready." Lukas insisted.
Lukas walked into the middle of the yard. He reached down to his side and drew his sword. It was a long blade with a curved end. He then reached back as the shield over his back flew off and stuck to his arm. He held his shield in front of him.
"A warrior's shield is their only defense," He said, glancing to Pyrrha.
"It can be your best friend when on the battle field. The key is speed and timing. You must be able to predict your opponents moves."
Lukas held up his shield and sword, taking a step back. Pyrrha turned and copied his stance, pretending to hold a sword and shield.
"Now, thrust." he said.
Lukas then thrust his sword forward. First straight. But as he pulled his sword back, he then thrusts it up. Then down.
Pyrrha turned forward. She thrusts her imaginary sword forward. First forward. Then up. Then down. Lukas peered down at his daughter, smiling. She was a quick learner like her mother. She seemed to have the technique down. With more practice.
"Good," he said, nodding to her.
Pyrrha thrust her sword forward. First straight. Then up. Then down.
"Again!" Her father said.
Pyrrha thrust her sword again.
"Again." she said.
There were few jobs more tedious in the army of Beacon then guarding the gate of Arthimore. Day to day, watching a large metal door with the occasional local driving in from one of the many settlements. Those that were stationed would be lucky to get a rare encounter with a Grimm.
Along the wall, two Beacon soldiers were standing guard. Peering out over the open field beyond the wall. One of them turned, glancing to the other.
"Hey." The soldier said.
The other glanced to him.
"Yeah?" He said.
"You ever wonder why we're here?" The soldier asked.
The soldier smirked.
"Only every time we're stationed here at the gate," he said, glancing back over the wall.
"I mean, what do they expect we'll see out here? There's hasn't been a Grimm sighting in Arthimore since the war started."
"Tell me about it," His fellow soldier said.
"i'm getting sick and tired of dealing with every local that drives through here. You remember the last group of people that passed through here."
The soldier chuckled.
"Oh, yeah," He said.
"That guy knocked you flat."
"Don't remind me." He said.
"It's bad enough we have to memorize all those regulations. But getting people to follow them is such a hassle."
"Well you did take his beer." The other pointed out.
"He was under the influence." His fellow Guard insisted.
"Yeah, but he wasn't the one operating the vehicle." The soldier insisted.
"Still, I didn't sign on to the military just so I can stand watch over a gate," The soldier insisted.
"i mean whats with that. Seven years at the academy and we get stationed here in Arthimore."
"Yeah, no shit," He said.
"We should be out in the field, blasting Grimm."
There was a strange vrooming sound in the distance. Like the engine of a motorbike. The soldiers turned and glanced over the wall and noticed a gust of dirt rising into the air. Along the trail, the saw someone on a motorbike driving toward them.
"Now what?" the soldier sighed, glancing to his fellow soldier.
The man pulled his motorcycle along the station structure next to the gate. The two soldiers came out of the station and came up to the man on bike. He turned to them.
"Hey!" he said.
"Identify yourself!" One of the soldiers instructed.
The man smirked.
"Qrow Branwen, official Knight of Ataria," The man said.
"I.D? The soldier said.
"Uh," Qrow said, glancing down to his shirt.
He reached down and padded his shirt pocket all the way down to his pants pockets. But still he felt nothing.
"Uh... it seems that I misplaced it," he said, glancing back to the soldier.
"Then we're going to ask you to turn around and go back the way you came." The soldier instructed.
"Look, its important that I speak with the General," Qrow said.
"I have an important message from Queen Lara."
The two soldiers glanced to one another, curiously. He then looked back to Qrow.
"Stand by," He said.
"I've got to run this up with command."
The soldier then turned and walked back to the outpost. Qrow leaned back in his seat. He reached down to his side and pulled out a small hip frask. He unscrewed the lid and took a drink. The other soldier turned and saw him drinking.
"Sir, is that alcohol?" He asked, curiously.
Qrow glanced to the soldier. Slowly he lowered his frask.
"Want a drink?" He offered him.
"Have you've been driving under the influence?" The soldier asked, curiously.
Qrow glanced to his frask and back up at the soldier.
"Sir, I'm going to have to ask you to get off the bike," the soldier said,
"Hey, come on," Qrow said.
"I said step off the bike." the soldier said.
"Okay, okay." Qrow said as he got off the bike.
"Put your hands in the air." The soldier said.
He turned to the soldier, raising his hands into the air. The solider took cuffs from his side and approached Qrow, who then glanced up and smirked.
Pyrrha slashed her staff at her father, who blocked it with his own. She kept slashing her staff like a sword, only for each attack to be blocked by her father. Their staffs clacked together before Pyrrha pressed her staff against her father. The two pressed hard against one another.
Finally, Luka smirked and stood up from his daughter.
"Good," he said, nodding his head.
Pyrrha smiled and stood up.
"Did I do it?" she asked.
Lukas nodded his head.
"Yeah, my little star," he said.
"But you might need a bit more training."
"How much more?" Pyrrha asked, curiously.
"Training is an ongoing thing, Pyrrha," Lukas explained.
"A knight must always train to improve your skill. It's how we become stronger and it's something you must do when you go off to the academy."
The mention of attending the academy caused Pyrrha to frown and narrow her head. Lukas squinted his eyes, curiously.
"Pyrrha, whats wrong?" Lukas asked, curiously.
Pyrrha glanced to the side.
"I..." She said, trying to find the right words to say.
Lukas came up came down over one knee, before his daughter.
"You can tell me, Pyrrha," he insisted to his daughter.
"I won't be mad."
Pyrrha glanced up to his father.
"I- I don't want to go to the academy." she stated to her father.
"But I thought you wanted to be a knight?" he asked, curiously.
"I do," Pyrrha insisted.
She then turned and walked to the patio. She turned and sat down over the patio steps, bring her legs up to her chest. Lukas stood up and walked over to his daughter. He sat down next to her.
"It's just what?" He asked, curiously.
Pyrrha turned and glanced sullenly up to her father.
"It's just that... your always away all the time," Pyrrha explained.
"And mothers always been on her own. And when I go to the academy, she's gonna be all alone."
Lukas narrowed his eyes, nodding his head.
"I don't want leave mother." Pyrrha stated, shaking her head
Lukas smirked. He turned, nodding his head. She sounded just like her mother. While Amara skills in battle were something to admire for sure. It was her heart that he was something to behold. The day Pyrrha was born, Amara had given up everything for her. She said that she would stay with their daughter while he carried on with his duties of being a General.
"You know, your mother said the same thing the day you were born." he said, glancing to Pyrrha.
Pyrrha turned and glanced up to her father.
"She did?" she asked, curiously.
Lukas nodded his head.
"Yes," he said.
"When we had you, your mother wanted nothing more then to be with you. She gave up everything. So that you could be given the same chances we did."
Pyrrha glanced down as she pondered. Her mother did that for her?
"She would want you to go," Lukas insisted.
"It's her dream to see you become a knight. I know it feels hard, I felt the same when I left home to attend Beacon academy. But wouldn't it be better to make her dream a reality?"
Pyrrha glanced up at her father. She narrowed her eyes. After all her mother did for her. Sacrificed her knight ship for her. It seemed only fair that she give something back to her.
"I know you thinking of your mother," Lukas said.
"But sometimes, we need to put aside the things we want for the sake of others. A true knight knows this. And I can already tell, you already have the heart of one."
Pyrrha smiled up at her father. She stood up and wrapped her arms around him, holding him close. Lukas in turn hugged her back. He glanced up to Amara, who was watching them from the doorway. She smiled at her husband.
Lukas smiled back.
Lukas and Pyrrha departed. They glanced to the fence and saw Zak and Jaune standing at the gate.
"Zake, what is it?" He asked, curiously.
"There was a situation at the front gate," Zak explained.
"Some drunk just knocked out two of our guards at the front gate. We got him in custody at command. He's asking for you."
Luka and Amara glanced curiously to each other. He then turned back to Zak.
"I'll be right there." He said.
Lukas stood up from the patio steps.
"I should probably take care of this." he said.
"Your leaving again?" Pyrrha asked, curiously.
"No, honey," He reassured her.
"I'm just going up to command. I'll be back later, I promise."
Lukas kissed her forehead before he turned and walked to the front gate. Zak turned to Jaune.
"Jaune, why don't stay here with Pyrrha, till I get back, okay?" He said.
Jaune nodded his head.
"Okay," he said.
He turned and walked into the yard as he came over to Pyrrha. Amara came out onto the patio. She came up to Pyrrha and took her hand.
"Come on, you two," she said.
"Lets go inside."
She then turned and walked them back into the house.
Flint and Messua were standing in the strategy room. Hearing the door slid open, they glanced and saw Lukas and Zak.
"Bout time." Flint said, leaning off the holo-table.
Lukas walked into the room.
"Where is he?" Lukas asked, curiously.
"They are bringing him up from the brig." Messua said.
"Apparently, he's a knight of Ataria." Flint said.
"Ataria?" Zak asked, curiously.
Flint nodded his head.
"Yeah," he said.
"Said's he's got a message from the queen."
Lukas and Zak glanced to one another.
The door behind them slid open behind them. They glanced back and saw Qrow, escorted by an officer and two soldiers. Lukas and Zak turned to back in awe.
"Qrow!" he said.
"Lukas," he said, walking into the room.
"Been a while."
"What are you doing here?" Zak asked.
"I could ask you the same thing." Qrow said.
The officer came from behind Qrow.
"We caught him trying to enter Arthamore," The officer said, handing Lukas his frask.
"Operating a vehicle while under the influence. He put two of our soldiers in the infirmary."
Lukas glanced to Qrow.
"Under the influence?" He said.
Qrow shrugged, smirking. Causing Lukas to sigh, shaking his head.
"Leave us." He ordered.
The officer nodded. He then turned and walked out of the room along with his soldiers. After the door slid shut, Lukas glanced up at Qrow.
"This better be important, Qrow." he said, turning to the holo-table,
"Because I have half the mind of throwing you in the Brig for assaulting two soldiers of Beacon."
"I wouldn't have come if it wasn't impotent." Qrow insisted.
"So the what is it?" Flint asked, curiously.
There was a moment of silence as Qrow glanced to the side. Lukas glanced back to him.
"Salem's forces have overrun Ataria," Qrow said, glancing up to him.
"They've taken the queen prisoner. What ever's left of our forces are pulling back to Vallencia."
"We already know," Lukas said, turning to him.
"Oh, you know," Qrow said, sarcastically.
"Because we sent several transmissions for reinforcements from Beacon and didn't hear anything back."
"In case you haven't noticed, but your realm wasn't the only one under attack." Flint stated, bluntly.
"We couldn't exactly spare any forces."
"Yeah and here you are celebrating while our realm falls to the Grimm." Qrow pointed out.
"And here I thought the purpose of the Kingdom's alliance was to protect each other."
Flint growled at Qrow.
"That's enough," Lukas said, glancing back to Flint.
He turned back to Qrow.
"Is that what you came all this way to tell us?" Lukas asked, curiously.
Qrow shook his head.
"No," He answered.
"Just before she was captured, the queen told me to bring you a message. Apparently, the fates have given her a vision of the future."
Lukas squinted his eyes, curiously. He glanced back to Zak and Messua, who looked back at him.
"What is it?" He asked, turning to him.
"The Prodigy of the Realms." Qrow answered.