Jaune decided that JNPR and CFVY would leave a half hour before RWBY. The two teams would secure the building the meeting was going to be in as well as the route there. Thankfully that was a short route. Once secured, the teams would split to cover the four cardinal directions in pairs, and each pair would be perched on top of a building to give them the best vantage. Jaune and Pyrrha would take the east; Ren and Nora would take the south; Velvet and Yatsuhashi would be at the west; leaving Coco and Fox to take the north. Once there Jaune would contact Ruby through their coms to give her the all clear.
The eastern point was right over the hanger that the bus would be landing at, giving Pyrrha and Jaune a bird's eye view of the friends they were guarding. North and south would keep an eye on them from their vantage points; while west would keep an eye on everyone's six. Once RWBY was safely inside all four teams would turn their attention outward.
It wasn't perfect, but it was as close as Jaune could figure with their limited numbers and time constraints. The dramatically shortened travel route made this much possible; which he was thankful for beyond words. The logistics for a cross town trip was a nightmare.
The first part went without anything worth noting. The building was small with very few rooms. Something else for Jaune to be thankful for. They were thorough though. This enemy had proven both resourceful and sneaky. Floors, ceiling and walls were all checked for any form of hidden traps, most especially dust. Once cleared they followed the plan and exited in each direction. As they traveled to their nests they swept the exterior for more traps. Only then did Jaune send word to RWBY it was safe with forty-five minutes until the meeting would begin.
No sooner did he send word than Coco's voice came over the com. "Jaune, you made sure that your friends got the credit for defending Vale. You are smart enough to know who the better team was then, and is now," she said calmly. He knew that tone from her well enough and it never was good for the one she was talking too. He reacted as did Pyrrha. Both shields were instantly on their arms and pointed northwest.
A split second later the bullets started to fly. "RWBY, abort. I don't know what has happened but your bullhead is a sitting target for Coco. Fox, what's going on over there? Everyone else, converge on Coco's location under maximum cover." Everyone confirmed the change in orders, except for Fox.
Jaune didn't bother telling them all that Coco was going to hear his orders the same as they did. At least it wasn't all of team CFVY. Velvet had sounded just as surprised as everyone else.
Jaune felt Pyrrha start to retreat towards the stairs that would take her down. As if linked they had each anticipated what the other would do next. Jaune stayed put and continued to draw Coco's fire. Her rounds were no joke, and he was glad that Filo was still inside Timo so they were working in concert to deflect those shells.
Fox would be silent for only one reason; he was either on his way here, or on his way to intercept one of the other teams. He wasn't likely to go after his own teammates and Ren and Nora were the farthest away. Odds were good he was heading here. Pyrrha was going to prepare for that attack.
"Coco, what is this about?" he asked, hoping for some sense in the madness. If there had been hurt feelings about his plans it would have shown last year when it had happened, not now. It certainly wouldn't have been this violent. Coco had confidence bordering on cocky, but she was the definition of professional.
No reply came, and the bullets continued to hammer into Timo. He knew what she was doing. At this point he was locked into position. If Pyrrha failed to take down Fox he would be done for. The only alternative was for the other four to converge on her in time. With them needing to take cover the entire time that was a gamble he would rather avoid.
At this point Jaune really wished Ruby was here. Field battles were her forte, not his. He would make do though.
Then the next surprise came. Jaune thought that if Coco and Fox were compromised then it was possible for the other half of her team was as well. It was possible they had faked their response. In that situation at least Ren and Nora wouldn't have them at their backs from their approach.
Unfortunately he'd been wrong. Without warning an explosion of pink dust erupted from the other side of the building. "Don't worry Jaune; we got the other two traitors. You just worry about taking out Coco," Nora said in a cheerful blood thirsty voice she reserved for killing grimm.
"Nora, what are you two doing? Abort and converge on Coco!" This was madness!
"Nora is correct in her actions. Leave them to us," Ren affirmed in calm zen-like tones. Jaune spotted three more explosions in that direction.
"Call off your team!" Velvet screamed.
"Showing your true colors I see? You are not prepared," Coco said coolly.
Jaune did not want to take the offensive against friends, but he couldn't continue to be passive either. "Pyrrha."
"Ready." Individually neither Jaune nor Pyrrha were the best fighters in Beacon. In concert the two were better than any other pair known on Remnant. Even separated by two floors no further words were needed. Both were so in tune they knew what the other was about to do.
Jaune retreated while still using his shield to keep the bullets at bay. Once he reached the wall he stepped over the edge without a second thought. Pulling his shield in tight he braced it up against his shoulder and pointed it westward. A split second later he passed the second floor window as Pyrrha jumped out. Using her semblance she added force to both her leg armor and Jaune's shield. At one moment she used polarity to attract the two together, and as soon as her feet made contact she reversed it; flinging her forward rapidly. "Three," Jaune said as she kicked off.
Jaune put her out of his mind at that point. She would be okay. He had his own fight and it would find him soon. Converting Filo and Timo into an armored arm sword, he dug it into the wall in front of him at a forty-five degree angle. The angle pulled him towards the wall. When his feet made contact his weapons converted again into an armored fore-arm rifle. His feet touched the wall, and the rifle fired. The recoil combined with his kickoff sent him into the building across from him: the student garage.
Distance fighters would be at a disadvantage in the enclosed space, but both Fox and Jaune were melee fighters by preference. The sound of the gun fire would alert Fox to the change of Jaune's location. The blonde tactician wasn't happy with his chances against Fox in a solo fight, and worse he had to be quick about it. Now that he wasn't a target Coco would be on her way and against both he would be hamburger. His best option was a withdrawal that kept Fox chasing after him. That'll be tricky too since Fox was the faster of the two, but Coco was slower than both so it evened out. He just needed to stay ahead long enough for Pyrrha to take care of their teammates and then come for backup.
Speaking of, Jaune reached to the controls of his com and changed the channel to three. "With me?"
"I am Jaune," Pyrrha said immediately. "I haven't been able to reach the others yet, they're moving away from me."
That made sense Jaune reasoned. "Velvet and Yatsuhashi are doing the same thing I am; retreating to prevent a conflict. In their case it's probably because they don't want to kill our teammates, where I don't want to be killed. I'm going to circle in your direction." Putting word to action he ran away from where he expected Fox to be coming from and to the right. He used his gun's recoil, fired downwards, to help with each jump between buildings. He could have easily used his aura to boost his jumps, but that wasn't the true purpose of firing off a few rounds. He needed to be sure Fox knew which way to run.
Now if I can just stay ahead of him, he thought desperately.
Pyrrha prepared for the coming fight with Fox. She'd fought him any number of times in sparing matches, and they were evenly matched; at least when it wasn't life or death. The trouble was she didn't want to hurt him, and it was a safe bet that Fox had no such problems. She took in her surroundings to decide on a strategy. Awareness of where everything was could make the difference. It was too cramped to make using a spear or gun feasible. Sword and shield it would be then.
Next she prepared the field. She set the furniture so movement would be impaired. She wasn't sure if she could deal with a direct hit from that double-fisted attack of his. Making his footing unsure was her best chance to interrupt that. About half way through that everything changed when Nora announced her intent on fighting the wrong people and Ren backing her up. It was an easy decision. Of the two she was faster than Jaune.
She had already decided on the window she would use. "Ready." She figured on where Jaune would be and how long it would take him to get into position. She timed it and jumped at what she expected to be the right moment. As if practiced a hundred times it went flawlessly. Coco was one of the best, so flying out of the protection of the building and across the street didn't surprise her long. Before she was out of line of sight she fired a round or fifty in her direction. Shield work was her expertise though, and, with a semblance that allowed for her to pull it, the hits from the bullets didn't affect her trajectory at all. The vibrations from the impact were numbing her arm though.
She landed behind the building they were supposed to be protecting at a run as Coco's bullets ate at the corner. At the same time her fingers worked the com and changed it to channel three. Once the bullets stopped she listened closely. The explosions from Nora's grenade launcher were clear enough, as was Ren's twin machine guns. That meant they were fighting at a distance. She held her ground for a minute and listened further to see if she got any clues on what Coco was going to do next. No noises were made in that direction. Odds were good she was on her way to Jaune who seemed to be the person her anger was concentrating on. It was also possible she had changed targets to Pyrrha since she was the last one targeted. The only other possibility would be Ren and Nora. As focused as they seemed to be on their targets that would likely mean their quick deaths without ever knowing it was coming.
She took a calculated risk based on her emotional response. None of her teammates were going to die today. She focused again on Nora's blasts. They were the easiest to home in on. Running from the protection of her building, Pyrrha crossed the street and back to cover. Not a single shot was fired at her this time. It also quickly became clear that her quarry was moving away from her. That was going to take time away from her reaching them. The advantage of this was it meant they were also moving away from Coco's last known position.
"I am Jaune." Pyrrha anticipated Jaune's next question and said "I haven't been able to reach the others yet. They're moving away from me."
Jaune quickly outlined his plan and Pyrrha approved. Jaune was a highly trained Huntsman but Fox had the edge. She was biased, but she was also a realist. On Jaune's last word she heard Timo fire off a couple of rounds and smiled. He was clever. That would catch Coco's attention, and if she was as focused on him as she said she was there was only one direction she would be headed now. That only left catching up with her friends and disabling them.
Not having anything to hinder her progress now she moved without the need of stealth. It only took her a couple of minutes to reach them. What she saw made it clear the only reason her friends weren't dead was because Velvet and Yatsuhashi hadn't tried. Yatsuhashi was using his massive sword to stop Nora's blasts; while Velvet's speed and enhanced jumps were allowing her to spiral around Ren faster than he could keep up. Her teammates weren't completely outclassed. . They were able to prevent their targets from either getting too close or to retreat.
She was going to be the deciding factor. Without hesitation she came in at a run just loud enough to announce her approach, and switched Miló to her rifle form. All eyes had gone to her and a look of shock came to Velvet's face as Pyrrha aimed for the floppy eared faunus. Still running towards her teammates she fired off a couple of more rounds, purposely missing, and then stopped next to Nora.
"Why aren't you answering your com?" Nora asked.
"They're compromised. I couldn't risk CFVY knowing I was heading here to help..." Then Nora collapsed as a gut punch knocked the air out of her. The rifle butt to the back of her head knocked her out. The surprise of the attack had been so total that Nora's aura hadn't been up enough to stop any of the force. "Them," she finished.
Three on one now, it didn't take long to bring Ren down after that, safely. "We have succeeded," Pyrrha told Jaune. "We are currently located at Fourth and Peach Street."
"Good spot. I'll be there in under a minute. Fox is right behind me and I'm running out of breathe so be ready." The other two had changed their coms to three already and nodded in understanding.
"Same gambit in reverse?" Velvet asked.
Pyrrha nodded. "You're going to get knocked out Jaune," she said. "Be convincing." Then she hid. It was actually a bit more than a minute and Jaune looked horrible as he gasped for air and was soaked in sweat. It didn't take much to bring him down. Velvet smartly kicked him in the stomach just below his chest armor from around the corner. It wasn't an act when Jaune went down to his knees.
"Let's finish it then," Fox said as he readied his blade.
Then he fell as Yatsuhashi brought his hand down in a chopping motion on his shoulder. "Sorry my friend."
Only Coco remained, and all four looked around defensively; sure that at any moment her attack would be coming. It didn't. What did come was Alice walking around the corner with Coco over her shoulder.
Alice sat back and watched. She had never been caught for a reason. She was careful, and she studied a situation before entering the fray. In this case she had been here only fifteen minutes after Blake had called her for the meeting. She was as far away as she could be and still study the meeting spot through her binoculars. She accepted she was likely going to be watching with nothing to show for it for at least an hour. She was proven wrong fifteen minutes later as she saw two teams of Huntsmen and Huntresses arrive.
She couldn't see what they did inside the building, but she could guess and given the time they were in there it was a thorough search. Once they came out of the building she once again approved as they checked their perimeter before taking up positions on all four sides. If she was going to find any criticism it would be that they hadn't checked far enough beyond that perimeter. She could easily kill four of them before they knew there was an attack if she had a proper sniper rifle. Judging by their numbers and the short time till the meeting that likely couldn't be helped.
It was when all four pairs had settled that things got interesting. She had almost missed it, but a human shaped shadow was only a couple of buildings away from one of the pairs. Knowing what to look for she checked the other areas and found a matching shadow near the pair opposite them. She wrote off the shadow effect. Any number of things could cause it both magical and mundane in this lighting. What she didn't write off was the grimm masks. This was the group Blake had warned them of and ordered them to find as much information as they could.
How had they found out about the meeting? Under such short notice there was no likely way except an insider. That was disturbing.
Before she could react to the shadows presence both threw something at their nearest pair then disappeared. It was possible they had simply cloaked themselves, however it wasn't likely. If they had that ability they would have used it sooner to eliminate any chance of being spotted too early. The more likely answer was they teleported, which in itself was disturbing. It was a known ability, mainly associated to dust though a lucky few had the ability as their Semblance. The odds of both of them having that kind of Semblance was highly unlikely. As for dust, normally it required an action to activate. They hadn't moved.
Almost immediately the northern pair stood up with the female changing her bag to the mother of all guns. The eastern pair must have noticed too, because their shields were instantly out and taking fire. The time for waiting was over. Alice jumped into action. Saving time she simply dropped the binoculars and pulled out her pair of knives. She ran one of the routes she had marked in her head as soon as she knew for certain where everyone was going to be. When the sounds of explosions started she changed her knives into a pair of hand guns just in case.
Using the knowledge that any thief worth her salt would know she calculated how early a cop would be on the scene. She figured with this much commotion maybe fifteen minutes, at the earliest. Her opinion of the authorities wasn't very high. They were more reactionary and arriving after the fact. It was something she had always managed to work in her favor. In this case it meant they were not going to see any backup until the smoke settled.
She stopped a couple of buildings back to assess the situation and anything that might have changed. She hadn't been able to keep an eye on the fighting from the lower level she was running at, so was a bit surprised when the male was gone from sight. The explosions were happening more often now, and the gatlin gun had yet to stop firing. It was devolving into a war zone, and with the other heads likely to show up in the next ten minutes this could become really bad really quick. No time to over-analyze then. Moving as quietly as she could at a half run, which was surprisingly fast if you didn't take into account her training, she made it to the beret wearing woman's roof. Halfway there she changed her weapons into their last form; a pair of kali sticks with taser ends.
As soon as she touched the roof her opponent was aware of her. For anyone else that wouldn't have been possible. The amount of noise she was producing, and the recoil that negating any other vibrations in the area, should have kept her senses oblivious. Alice expected it though. The gun wielder pivoted on the front balls of her feet, bringing the gun of massive destruction around one-eighty to face Alice. It was Alice's turn to do a magic trick as she disappeared in a ripple of black energy.
Highly trained, Coco's actions were not slowed by confusion as her mouth said "Alice?" and her body kicked behind her where she expected the attack to be coming from. Seven years ago it would have. Alice had evolved since then. She had learned that anyone familiar with a teleporter would expect to be attacked from behind. Instead she reappeared in front and to the left of her and began using her kali sticks to great effect.
If it had just been the sticks or the tasers the attacks wouldn't have a great enough impact with someone of Coco's strength. Combining the two she didn't stand a chance. A rapid set of attacks came raining down on her with practiced skill. She didn't try knocking her out right away. The spots that would accomplish that were going to be the most protected with aura. Instead she went for the arms at the wrists and elbows, and the legs behind the knees.
She wanted that gun down before Coco had a chance to turn it into her handbag which would even the odds. It was half transformed when she got the strike she needed and it dropped to the ground. The surprise factor of her attacks had worn off, but it didn't matter. Two more shots, the last to her temple, and Coco was down.
"Well, that's not exactly how I thought we'd see each other again," she chuckled, and then listened for the sounds of battle. "Guess I can't just leave you here, but I can't move that heavy ass gun of yours. Honestly I'd be happier if it was away from you anyways until you're more yourself. I don't think I'll get that lucky again if you aren't surprised unless I have an edge."
Throwing Coco over her shoulder, Alice headed towards the fighting and heard the explosions stop. That made the machine guns rat-tat-tat's clear in the night air. By the time she drew near that had disappeared as well. Not knowing who had won or who was on what side at this point she hid and watched. She saw two people down, three standing. Both of the ones downed were still alive though, which was promising. There was more activity though so she waited some more, just in case surprise was needed. As it turned out it wasn't. Putting Coco back on her shoulder she came out of hiding around the corner and smiled at them.
"Alicia Greychild, head of the Black wing of Phoenix." She had identified herself right away to put them at ease. "I saw you needed some help so here I am. She's okay, though she'll be hurting till she heals up the bruises I just gave her."
Introductions were quickly made, though Alice kept her past with Coco to herself for now. She also relayed how she came to be there. "What did you see of the White Fang that attacked us?" Jaune asked first.
"Not much, but I can tell you this; they aren't White Fang."756Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡYIB76MkBAv