Firen Lhain: Chapter 612: Tin Woodsman: Part II/III
The group filed themselves into the CIC. Ironwood looked over and pointed his arm at a room, and they all filed in. Ironwood was second to last, with Winter as the last. She closed the door, and typed onto a keypad.
"This room is under the highest levels of secrecy." Ironwood stated. "Nothing said in this room will leave this room, and not only will there be no records or recording, your scrolls will not be able to connect. Most of the people checked their scrolls, proving it was true. "For those have not met me in person, I am General James Ironwood, Headmaster of Atlas Academy."
Oscar slowly raised his hand, "Um... a General... AND a headmaster?"
"I hold both seats on the Atlas Council." Ironwood stated.
"The first one ever." Winter stated.
"Un-precedented." Weiss quipped. Winter developed a sour look and the sisters briefly glared at each other.
"This is Specialist Winter Schnee." James stated. "Yes, older sister to Weiss Schnee."
Nora raised her hand, "Special what?"
"ASOCU", (pronounced Ask), "Atlas Special Operations Command Unit."
"Ah-sok-u?" Nora asked, causing Ironwood to break an extremely mild smile.
"Huntresses." Blake said.
"Enslaved to the military." Jaune grumbled.
"Mr. Arc?" James asked him, "I can assure you..."
Jaune grumbled again, and Ironwood paused. "I suppose," Jaune said, "that in the name of full disclosure, I suppose I should tell you my story. I'm from a former knightly house." he said, and paused.
"But?.." Ironwood asked, "the knightly houses haven't exist since?.."
"The Great War." Jaune stated. "Do you know who ASKED us to disarm?"
"That would be the good king?" Ironwood asked.
"We called him Oz." Jaune said, and Ironwood looked at him with shock. "That's... basically how I acted when I found it out, too. Now, why were the knightly houses shuttered?" James Ironwood just stared at him. The look said he knew exactly what Jaune was talking about. "He felt that armies always lead to war. That's why the Huntsmen Academies were created, and why Huntsmen were... what now?"
"Traditionally?," Ironwood asked, "independant."
"This is why I'm so against The ASOCUs." he grumbled, and then looked at Winter, "It even put sister against sister."
"Me and Ruby fight all the time?" Yang asked.
"I'm going to guess," Jaune said, and looked at Weiss, "that the Schnee sisters don't fight."
"Rarely." Weiss stated, "Though when we do, it's not a pretty sight."
"It would be pretty cool." Nora said, and Ruby let out and affirmative huff.
"I can assure you..." James said, but Jaune held up his hand.
"I know you mean well." Jaune said, and Ironwood stopped in his tracks. "You might be one of the only people that does. And while I can certainly criticize some of the things you've been doing, I just brought this up so we know what page I'm on."
"Oh, well, thank you, Mr. Arc." Ironwood said to him, "It's good to get the air clear."
Jaune then looked around, seeing no one else wanting to say anything. He then looked to Ironwood and Winter. "I guess I'll do our introductions. I am Jaune Arc, this is Lie Ren and Nora Valkyrie, the survivors of team JNPR. This is Ruby Rose, Weiss Schnee, Blake Belladonna, and Yang Xiao Long, team RWBY. Next we have Aurora Ainsley, personal assistant to Weiss schnee. Ilia Amitola, a... friend?.. of Blake's from Menagerie. RWBY and JNPR received our letters-patent as Huntsmen and Huntresses." Each of them had voiced or voiceless affirmations after he said their name. "This is Qrow Branwen... who's as shifty as he looks."
"Hey?!" Qrow stated, "Don't forget I'm also a drunk!"
"Which," Weiss quipped, "seems to be happening less frequently..." and Qrow just glared at her.
"I've never gotten along with Schnees." Qrow voiced.
"Last by certainly not least," Jaune stated, "Oscar Pines." Oscar's eyes began to glow green, "The newest incarnation of the Great and Powerful Oz."
Oscar/Ozpin spun his cane about before leaning on it, "Sadly, the Great and Powerful part has not been true since before I was king. As it is, right now, I put tremendous strain on young Oscar's body at the battle of Haven, and am trying to limit my time. We will have to talk, James."
"I can explain!" Ironwood said to the boy, and Oscar/Ozpin just warmly smiled at him.
"I - know very well, that you can explain." Oscar/Ozpin said warmly. "But, I have gotten quite used to waiting, and we have a long journey ahead of us, so I believe I will allow beauty before age for the time being." Oscar's eyes reverted to normal, his stance weakened, and nearly toppled himself over.
"uh... hi?" Oscar weakly said.
"I'm so sorry about pulling you into this." Ironwood said to him, "If there was any other way?.."
Oscar then did his bet to mimic Ozpin, "These are the circumstances we have."
Nora then raised her hand, "Are you sorry about us?"
Ironwood rolled his eyes and smiled at her, "I gave you all a choice. While I was against involving your before your graduation, you have done everything you can to involve yourselves."
"What the hell was that?!" Qrow asked.
Ironwood shook his head and looked at Qrow, "What was what?" Ironwood asked.
"Are we sure it's not that green-haired girl?" Qrow asked, and reached for his weapon, and the air in the room suddenly tensed up. Qrow then pulled his fingers forward like a pistol and pointed them at Ironwood, pretending to drop the hammer and fire, "He actually smiled."
Ironwood looked around for a moment before looking back at Qrow, "This is hardly the time to..." he tried to say, but Ruby, Yang, Nora, and Taiyang were all laughing out loud. Blake was chuckling. Jaune and Ren were smiling. Weiss, Winter, and Raven were doing their best to not smile. "Apparently it is." Ironwood said and sighed.
"Alright, enough fun and games." Taiyang stated, "It's time for dad to say something."
"Dad?" Nora asked.
"Well," Taiyang stated, "I am dad to like five of you, so I invoke my right to dad taxes."
Weiss looked scared whereas Blake looked confused.
Ruby angrily pointed her finger, "Dad tax only applies to Dark Eventide!" Causing Weiss to look embarassed and confused.
"I think we're a bit old for a dad tax." Yang stated.
"What's a dad tax?" Nora asked.
"And married." Yang added.
"Dad taxes," Ruby said to Nora, "are an evil tradition where dads get to claim a portion of your candy."
"Do we have to pay dad taxes?" Nora asked. "I mean, he is our glorious leader. So, we're like his minions or something."
With this Taiyang sighed, "I'm so sorry you had to grew up without someone to explain the dad tax code you to. I'll do my best to make sure you don't get left behind any more."
"No one is paying dad taxes!" Yang shouted at her father, eyes and hair aflame.
"Still unbalanced." Taiyang said to her, and stepped towards his daughter. RWB_ and _NR around her stepped back to clear room for them to fight. Jaune then stepped in front.
"What the hell?" Yang asked.
"You're the one who taught her to be afraid of her emotions, aren't you?"
"And who are you?" Taiyang semi-jokingly asked him.
"Not everyone has to fight like you." Jaune said to him.
"And what do you know about how I fight?" Taiyang asked.
"I fought Yang." Jaune said.
"Fought?" Raven asked.
"Sparred." Yang said to her mother.
"I can see the direction you were pushing her," Jaune said, and then looked at Ren, "and so does Ren."
"You seemed to be pushing her to a soft style, when Yang's entire karma is about hard styles."
"It doesn't hurt to train in different styles."
"It does," Ren stated, "if it requires you to compromise your primary style."
"Alright, alright," Yang said, stepping between Jaune and Tai, "enought talking about me like I'm not here."
Jaune looked at Taiyang, "I'm sorry if I came off..."
"It's fine." Taiyang said. "It just proves how much you care about her, and how much she cares about you. If you want to make me happy, though?.."
"Dad..." Yang admonished.
"Just take care of her." Taiyang said, and Yang's scales flushed orange as she looked about nervously.
"In the spirit of?.." Raven asked, and paused, "I really don't know. I'm Raven Branwen, Yang's mother, and Qrow's older sister."
"We're not sure about one of those." Yang stated, and looked Raven in the eyes.
"She's still your mother." Taiyang said to Yang. "Even if you have... issues... with her... She's your mother, and you can at least show her respect."
"So long as she doesn't try to bake me cookies, or something." Yang said.
"That's my job." Aurora said with glee.
"Aren't you like... a banker... or something?" Yang asked.
"Being an executive assistant requires you to be a bit of a polymath." Aurora said with glee.
Ironwood took a step foward, and everyone looked towards him.