80% RWBY: Havoc on Remnant / Chapter 4: The Calculative Mind

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Chapter 4: The Calculative Mind

A famous general once said, "Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake."

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It was a beautiful day in the kingdom of Vale. The birds were chirping. The sky was clear with only a few clouds scattered throughout the blue sky. The entire scene gave off a sense of peace and serenity.

However, the tranquil skies were home to far more than just clouds...

Several miles out from the coastline of Vale, an airship had recently been the site of conflict. This particular airship had originally been hijacked by bandits while leaving the kingdom of Mistral's airspace. Little did the bandits know that they had company aboard their stolen vessel.

Their unwanted company: three young men—two seventeen year olds and one sixteen year old. The youngest of the three boys had raven black hair and eyes as red as rubies. He wore no shoes and was dressed in a type of grey firefighter's attire with glowing blue stripes. The first of the older boys had messy, dirty-blonde hair and green eyes. He wore a pair of dark brown slacks, metallic grey combat boots, a white button-up collared shirt and a dark blue coat with gold accents. The third young man in the group had spiky, dark brown hair, and golden eyes. He was dressed in black slacks, a leather belt, a black button-up shirt with the collar turned up, and a dark brown trench coat with white fleece around the collar. He also carried a small pack a cigarettes and a lighter with him.

But, these were not like ordinary teenage boys. Oh no, they were far from average. All three were huntsmen-in-training. And each one was armed to the teeth and incredibly skilled at fighting. They were the Slater Brothers. Heath Slater was the youngest, and his two older brothers were the fraternal twins, Anthony and Christopher. Now, imagine the level of irritation the trio of teens felt upon realizing they had accidentally gotten on a hijacked airship.

The blonde teen, Anthony, was mixture of confused and frustrated, "Ok, what in the rooti-tutti fresh-and-fruity Fuck is going on here!?" Christopher gave a blunt answer to his twin, "Well Anthony, it looks like we've been aboard a hijacked airship since we left Mistral." Unlike his green-eyed counterpart, Chris seemed rather disinterested in the situation.

"And how in the blue hell did none of us figure this out before now, Chris?" Anthony stopped ranting when he remembered a crucial detail. "Heath! Wasn't it your job to find the airship we needed to board for our flight to Vale?" With an irritated look, the green-eyed teen his gaze from Chris to face his red-eyed younger brother, Heath.

Heath stared blankly at his elder brother before replying, "Ummmmm... Maybe?" Anthony sighed in frustration, "Oh for crying out loud..."

Luckily, Christopher came up with the perfect distraction. "Well, there's nothing we can do about it now. We might as well make the most of our situation. Besides, look on the bright side, Anthony. If we take down these bums, we get a new airship!" Chris jumped to his feet, ready for action.

Anthony got up and stretched. "I guess you're right bro. Let's do this shit!" He cracked his knuckles, ready to roll.

"I can't fight them! I've got souvenirs!" Heath spoke dramatically as he pulled out several souvenirs out of nowhere.

Anthony facepalmed, "Ugh...fine, Heath. I guess Chris and I will take care of these morons. So Chris, you're the master strategist. What's our plan here?"

Chris smirked confidently as he responded, "I'm so glad you asked, Anthony. It's pretty simple really. I'd say there are roughly twenty bandits on this airship, give or take a few. With that in mind, I was thinking we use the old, 'divide and conquer' method. You take on one half, and I'll take the on other half. And just to make this somewhat of a challenge, how about we agree to only use hand-to-hand combat? Sound good?"

Anthony's eyes lit up with excitement at the idea of a good fight, "Sounds like a plan to me, bro. Besides, we wouldn't want to use our weapons on the airship and risk damaging something important, would we? Now, let's get this party started!"

With their plan agreed upon, the Slater twins set to work clearing out bandits from the airship. Throughout the battle, the brothers looked like the Yin and Yang of fighting forms.

Anthony had a style that made him seem like a tank. His fighting style was focused primarily on strength and defense. This made his strikes slower. But, it also made them hit with the force of a truck. Anthony's strikes also seemed more like reactions rather than planned attacks. He would wait for his opponents to attack before countering.

Christopher's style was on the opposite end of the spectrum. He was fast and agile, though the majority of his strikes were less damaging. His fighting stye resembled hit-and-run tactics designed to keep his enemies guessing. His form was that of a drunken master. Even still, it was obvious that every movement Chris made, no matter how small, was planned several steps in advance. It was almost like a human-chess game to him.

As his brothers fought through the airship, Heath followed behind and watched. He was eating popcorn—which seemingly pulled from thin air—as enjoyed the spectacle.

With incredible teamwork, Anthony and Christopher used their different fighting styles to shore up each other's weak points. They made quick work of the wannabe hijackers.

"Well, Anthony, I think that's the last of 'em." Chis dusted his hands off as he spoke—an amused grin set on his face. Anthony had a similar expression as he rested his hands on his hips. "Sure seems that way, bro."

Now that the fighting was done, Chris pulled out a cigarette. But when he went to light it, he found that his lighter was out of fluid, "Dammit!" Chris turned to Heath held out his cigarette. "Hey, Heath, can I get a light?"

Heath pinched the bridge of his nose and grumbled, "What am I, a walking cigarette lighter now?" But, Heath begrudgingly complied and Chris took a drag from the cigarette. It was Christopher's tradition to unwind after a fight with a smoke.

Heath struck up a conversation as Chris smoked. "Hey, Chris, I just thought about something."

Christopher finished taking another drag before he responded, "And what would that be, Heath?"

"I was just curious. If these are all the hijackers, and you, Anthony, and I are all here too...then who's piloting this airship?" Heath mused on the thought, resting a had on his chin.

Christopher's eyes went wide with shock. "Ah Dick! I don't think anyone IS piloting this hunk of junk."

Anthony chimed in on the conversation, "Then what do you recommend we do, oh strategic one?" His question was laced with sarcasm.

Chris gave a snide response, "Well Anthony, you're the only one here with a license to drive... anything really. I guess the job of making sure we don't crash falls to you—pun very much intended."

Anthony grumbled, "Fine... I'll go take a look at the controls and see what I can do."

With that, Anthony furrowed his brow before wandering off to find the airship's control room. Hopefully, he'd be able to land this airship without it crashing first. Luckily, Anthony was able to find the airship's control room and hurriedly began learning what he could. This was a good start, but it was not yet time to rest.

While Anthony was learning the controls, Heath and Chris were walking around the airship and talking. "So what are we gonna do with this airship once we get back to Vale, Chris?"

"Oh, I just kinda figured we'd keep it. No sense trying to return it to Mistral." Chris acted like his statement was perfectly normal.

"Seriously!" Heath was thrilled by the idea of keeping the airship.

"Yep. I say we consider it our reward for taking care of those wannabe hijackers." Chris

With the realization that they would be keeping this airship, Heath became completely overjoyed. The youngest Slater sibling couldn't help but imagine all the amazing upgrades he and his brothers could make to the airship in the future. He just loved weapons and upgrades so much.

However...

A few minutes of fantasizing about upgrades later, Heath was brought back to reality as he looked out a window at the rear of the airship. "Uhhhh, Chris! You may want to come see this!"

Chris looked quizzically at his younger brother, "What's out there, Heath?"

Heath pointed out the window, "See for yourself."

Heath then stepped back from the window, so Chris could have a better view. What Chris saw out that window would have made any normal person shake in their boots. A flock of around 20-30 Nevermores—each one the size of small fighter plane—was quickly approaching the ship from the rear. However, this did not scare Chris, far from it. He was actually excited by the prospect of a challenging fight.

Without hesitation, Chris removed his coat and threw it to Heath. This action revealed the white and blue frame of a high-tech backpack he had been wearing underneath his coat. He then rolled up the sleeves of his shirt and grabbed the twin handguns that went with the backpack. With everything in place, he began to make his way to the rear hatch of the airship.

Heath, still holding the coat, called out in confusion, "What are you doing, Chris?"

"What does it look like? I'm gonna go out there and have some fun by kicking some Grimm ass." Chris was calm as he spoke, smiling all the while.

Heath stopped in his tracks. "And here I thought Anthony and I were the crazy ones. Well, I know there's no stopping you, so I guess I'll just have to trust that you have a plan." The ruby-eyed teen shook his head and chuckled.

"You should know that I always have a plan. And even if I don't, I'll just make one up on the fly." Chris had a confident smirk as he turned and dove out of the rear hatch of the airship. An instant later, a set of wings made from hard-light dust extended from the high-tech backpack before Chris shot into sky.

Chris hovered in place for a moment after leaving the airship. Using this time, he was able to asses the situation more clearly and make a strategy, quite literally, on the fly.

Chris: Let's see what we've got here. I'd say about twenty Nevermores in total—nineteen standard ones, and one Alpha. Guess I'll just treat this like a video game. Take out the minions first, then it's straight to the boss!

Chris then took off at an incredible speed heading directly towards the flock of Nevermores. Just as he was about to crash heading with a Nevermore, Chris made a sharp nosedive going into a cloud below the flock. Seeing their pray suddenly vanish, the flock of Nevermores began to fly in place, looking for any sign of their target.

This single action would be the cause of their destruction.

Chris shot out of the cloud and sliced the heads off of two Nevermores. Before the flock could react, he vanished again. Now infuriated, some of bird Grimm began flying through surrounding clouds, attempting to find and kill their target.

This was strike two. As soon as a Nevermore would enter a cloud, a volley of rapid-fire dust rounds would hit from its blind side—shredding them to bits.

Chris continued his guerrilla tactics until only the Alpha Nevermore remained in the airborne. However, the Alpha was not as foolish as the rest. This avian Grimm was very old. It was a master of aerial combat and adapting. And it planned to do just that.

The young man and the Grimm silently hovered in place, starring each other down for what felt like eternity. Their staring contest was broken when the Alpha flew directly towards Chris, who responded by flying upwards.

Banking right, the Alpha Nevermore began its second approach. This time, however, it stopped for a split second to let loose a large volley of arrow-like feathers. Without missing a beat, Chris skillfully dodged the feathers by pulling in his wings and doing barrel-roles and flips.

Chris pauses for a moment to catch his breath, "For a supposedly mindless Grimm, that was a decent plan of attack. But, you'll need a hell of a lot better plan to take me down!"

Having now learned the Alpha's tactics and way of fighting, Chris began his own assault on the massive bird Grimm. His brain working like a supercomputer, Chris was able to see his enemy's most glaring flaw. The Alpha Nevermore always stopped for a split second when launching a volley of feathers. This was his opening. Now he just had to take advantage of it.

With breakneck speed, Chris took off towards his foe. Thinking it had outsmarted The human boy, the Alpha Nevermore began launching a second volley of arrow-like feathers.

Chris held his ground—like coiled snake waiting for the perfect moment to strike. "Now!!!"

In an incredibly risky move, Chris pulled his cyber-wings so close that they almost wrapped around him. He just barely threaded the needle as he flew head-first through the volley of feathers. As he passed through the barrage, he began to rapid-fire his handguns directly at the Alpha's chest while simultaneously spinning around like a drill. This tactic effectively carved a hole through the center of the massive bird Grimm, eviscerating it.

With the threat dealt with, Chris returned to the airship and re-boarded it. He was immediately greeted by a starry-eyed Heath, "THAT WAS SO FREAKING AWESOME!!!"

Chris chuckled at the younger teen's excitement. "Yeah, It sure was. I'll admit; I never thought I'd see the day that a Nevermore was more tactical than most huntsmen I've fought. I guess the world really is full of crazy things. Wonder if I'll find any good challenges while we're at beacon?"

Suddenly Anthony's voice crackled through the airship's intercom, "Let's try to make it there in one piece, first. And you two think I'm the crazy one."

Heath and Christopher erupted in hardy laughter at how flabbergasted Anthony was. But none of them could ever have guessed what trials fate had planned.


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