Friday, September 29, 2017

RWBY: The Novelization: The Badge and the Burden

The next morning, Weiss woke up contented as could be as just the right amount of sunlight brushed her eyes. She stretched and felt very refreshed. Everything in the world was pleasant, until Ruby blew a loud whistle in her ear causing her to fall to the ground.
“Good morning, Team RWBY!”
“What in the world is wrong with you?” asked Weiss from the floor.
After yesterday’s events, they were moved onto campus and shown to their dorm. They had been fairly exhausted and decided to sleep off the rest of the day and into the next morning.
Weiss looked around and was astonished to find that she was the only one still a-bed. The other three were already dressed in their three piece uniforms consisting of a vest and suit coat matched with a red-and-black plaid skirt.
“Now, that you’re awake, we can officially begin our first order of business.”
“Excuse me?”
“Decorating!” said Yang with an armful of stuff.
“We still have to unpack,” added Blake, holding her suitcase before it burst open and dumped its contents on the floor. “And… clean.”
Ruby blew her whistle again. “All right! Weiss! Blake! Yang! And their fearless leader Ruby, have begun their first mission.” Ruby threw her fist in the air. “Banzai!”
Blake and Yang did the same. “Banzai!”
Simultaneously, all three girls bent at the hip and tilted to the left. Weiss was not-so-secretly irritated. But, there was nothing she could do other than get dressed and help.
When she came out of the bathroom, Yang had already hung a poster of the boy band, The Achieve Men. Their members were split into two smaller fan groups called the Lads and the Gents.  The Lads were composed of Browny, Nosey, and Ruby’s favorite, Ragey—he made her laugh. Yang however was a fan of Nosey; his big nose and funny voice was endearing to her. The Gents were composed of Beardy, Crazy, and Drinky. Ruby and Yang’s Uncle Qrow always said he liked Drinky best, but would never say why.
 To balance out the pop poster, Weiss hung one of her favorite art pieces from home. It depicted the Forest of Forever Fall as it looked in every season. Funnily enough, there was only one image and not four.
Blake meanwhile organized their books. It was going well, until Blake was shocked to discover she had brought one of her more scandalous tales Ninjas of Love with her. She slinked away and tried to hide it.
Ruby used her scythe to hang a curtain over the window by Weiss’ bed. Weiss gave her a dirty look when she finished.
The four girls stepped back and were shocked to find that in the effort to decorate their room, their beds, tables, and chairs had been thrown around and piled precariously.
“This isn’t going to work,” said Weiss.
Blake noted, “It is a bit cramped.”
“Maybe we should ditch some of our stuff,” suggested Yang.
“Or!” began Ruby, “And hear me out! What if we ditched our beds and replaced them with bunk beds?!”
Weiss looked at the beds. Several problems flew through her head as well as a certain memory of something her older sister once said to her. “That sounds incredibly dangerous.”
“And super awesome,” said Yang.
“It does seem efficient,” Blake added.
Weiss grabbed at straws. “Well, we should put it to a vote.”
“I think we just did,” said Ruby.
Three for and one against. Again, Weiss was not-so-secretly irritated, but could not fight the democratic system.
Team RWBY set to work and made their bunk beds in the fastest and most efficient way they could. Blake’s and Yang’s beds were on one side of the room and stacked on top of each other. Four separate stacks of books were placed on top of each of the four posts on Blake’s bed supporting Yang’s. Ruby however was more creative and secured ropes to the ceiling, wrapping them around her bed and suspending it above Weiss’.
“Objective complete,” said Ruby.
Weiss worried that her own mortality rate had just dropped by several decades and hoped Ruby used strong ropes.
“All right. Our second order of business is… classes.” Ruby checked their schedule. “Now, we have a few classes together today. At nine, we’ve got—”
“What?!” shrieked Weiss. “Did you say nine-o-clock?!”
Ruby faltered.
“It’s 8:55, you dunce!”
“Uh… to class!”
Team RWBY dashed out of their room and was quickly followed by Team JNPR who had the dorm across from them. All eight of them were seen streaking across campus in a mad dash passing Glynda and Ozpin. Glynda frowned while Ozpin sipped from his mug.
Just in the nick of time, both teams made it to Professor Peter Port’s class. He was an older huntsman with grey hair, eyebrows, and a mustache. He was also a little wide in the waist band. But he was best known for his bombastic storytelling which in his mind amounted to teaching. He was known among the student body as the Mad Tale-King.
“Monsters!” he began in his deep voice. “Demons! Prowlers of the night! Yes, the creatures of Grimm have many names.” He referred to the wall behind him which bore several sketches of known Grimm including the King Taijitu, Deathstalker, Beowolf, Boarbatusk, Nevermore, and Ursa.
“But I merely refer to them… as prey!” Port laughed, shaking Ruby out of a tired daze. “And you shall too upon graduating from this prestigious academy.
“Now, as I was saying, Vale, as well as the other three kingdoms, are safe havens in an otherwise treacherous world. Remnant is absolutely teeming with creatures that would love nothing more than to tear you to pieces. And that’s where we come in.
“Huntsmen! Huntresses!” he said, making a suggestive clicking sound in Yang’s direction.
She giggled nervously and felt nauseous. Sometimes she cursed her great curves and golden locks.
“Individuals who have sworn to protect those who cannot protect themselves. From what you ask? Why, the very world! That is what you’re training to become. But first, a story. The tale of a young, handsome man… Me! When I was a boy…”
Port continued to ramble on about his past including some strange anecdote involving his grandfather.
Weiss nodded. She was bored, but played the dutiful student taking down any notes she thought might be helpful. She heard snickering from her left and looked at Ruby who had been doodling.
Ruby passed an irreverent picture of Port she had drawn down to Yang and Blake. It was complete with stink lines. Weiss was a little disgusted and a little more than disgusted when Ruby made a bodily noise with her tongue. Yang and Blake were beset by giggles.
Weiss clenched her pen, feeling the heat swell in her face. This was hardly appropriate behavior for the leader of a team of huntresses.
“The moral of this story,” said Port, his voice coming back into the foreground, “a true huntsman must be honorable…”
Weiss looked at Ruby as she balanced an apple on her binder on a pen and all on her finger while making a strange face.
“A true huntsman must be dependable…”
Ruby yawned and seemed to nod off slightly.
“A true huntsman must be strategic, well-educated, and wise…”
Ruby was now picking her nose.
The heat in Weiss had now grown into a full rage. She began grinding her teeth and started to shake. Ruby wasn’t fit for the position of team leader. She was just a child. And a very immature one at that. Weiss should have been team leader, not her.
“So, who among you believes themselves to be the embodiment of these traits?”
Weiss raised her hand and with a little more force than she meant, she said, “I do, sir!”
“Well then, let’s find out.”
A teacher’s aide rolled in a cage containing an ornery Boarbatusk.
“Step forward, and face your opponent!”
Weiss marched up to the front of the class and drew Myrtenaster.
“Go, Weiss!” cheered Yang.
“Fight well!” called Blake.
“Yeah! Represent Team RWBY!” added Ruby.
“Ruby!” scolded Weiss. “I’m trying to focus.”
“Oh,” Ruby said in a tiny voice. “Sorry…”
But the fact that Weiss hadn’t said anything to Yang or Blake hadn’t escaped her.
“All right,” said Port, wielding his double-bitted axe-musket. “Let the match begin!” he said, cutting the cage open.
The Boarbatusk charged Weiss. She rolled to the side and slashed at its flank—it had no effect as the Boarbatusk was covered in bone-like protrusions giving it a decent set of armor.
“Ha-ha!” said Port. “Weren’t expecting that were you?”
Ruby looked a little worried. “Hang in there, Weiss!”
Weiss charged, but the Grimm’s bone armor turned her blade. She lost her balance and Myrtenaster became entangled in the two giant tusks that gave the creature its name.
“Come on, Weiss!” cheered Ruby. “Show it who’s boss!”
Weiss looked back at her. Her grip loosened, and the Boarbatusk managed to disarm her, throwing the rapier to the other side of the room. It knocked her backward.
Port seemed to be enjoying himself. “Oh-ho! Now what will you do without your weapon?”
The Grimm charged Weiss and she managed to dodge it. The Boarbatusk ran into its cage and knocked itself somewhat senseless giving Weiss enough time to collect her sword.
“Weiss!” called Ruby. “Go for its belly. There’s no armor—!”
“Stop telling me what to do!” Weiss already knew what she had to do. She knew where to hit it. She didn’t need Ruby’s assistance. And she’d be damned if she took any from Ruby.
Ruby shrunk into her seat as much as she could. Several others were also uncomfortable.
The Boarbatusk turned itself into a ball and spun-dash at Weiss. She produced a glyph before her, which the Grimm ricocheted off, landing on its back. Weiss backflipped up and launched herself from another glyph giving her the vantage point necessary to thrust Myrtenaster into the beast’s gut. Weiss withdrew her rapier and stabbed it again. It wasn’t necessary, but it sure felt good.
“Bravo! Bravo!” called Port. “It appears we are indeed in the presence of a true huntress in training.”
The bell chimed.
“I’m afraid that’s all the time we have for today. Be sure to cover the assigned readings and stay vigilant. Class dismissed.”
Weiss collected her books and stomped off without her team.
Ruby ran after her and caught her in the hallway. “Weiss.”
“What’s wrong with you? Why are you being—”
“What’s wrong with me? What’s wrong with you?! You’re supposed to be a leader. And all you’ve been so far is a nuisance.”
 “What did I do?”
“That’s just it! You’ve done nothing to earn your position. Back in the forest, you acted like a child, and you’ve only continued to do so.”
Ruby shrank under Weiss’ smoldering words. “Weiss… where is this coming from? What happened to all the talk about working together? I thought you believed in acting as a team.”
“Not a team led by you. I’ve studied. And trained! And quite frankly, I deserve better. Ozpin made a mistake.” Weiss stormed off.
Ruby slumped.
Weiss walked outside onto Beacon’s ramparts. Standing at the far end was Professor Port. Weiss saw him and thought she might be able to plead her case of Ozpin’s mistake to someone sensible.
“Professor Port.”
Port turned. “Ah! Miss Schnee. And to what do I owe this fine pleasure?”
“I…” Weiss faltered. How to begin? Maybe a little white lie wouldn’t hurt. “I enjoyed your lecture.”
“Of course you did, child. You have the blood of a true huntress in you.”
That was good to hear. “You really think so?”
“Most surely.”
Weiss looked away for a second; a calculated measure.
“Hmm. Something’s troubling you.”
“Yes, sir.”
“Dear girl! Confess to me your strife!”
“Well… I think I should have been the leader of Team RWBY.”
Port was quiet for a second. Then, with a bit of a laugh, “That’s preposterous!”
Irritation rose in her voice. “Excuse me?!”
“I have believed in Professor Ozpin for many years, and the man has never once led me astray.”
“So, you would blindly accept his decision even after seeing how exceptional I am?”
“With all due respect, your exceptional skill on the battlefield is matched only by your poor attitude.”
“How dare you!”
“My point exactly. I see a girl before me who has spent her entire life getting exactly what she wanted.”
Weiss folded her arms. “That’s not even remotely true.”
She fell under Port’s gentle scrutiny and began to crumble beneath its weight.
“Well, not entirely true.”
Port decided to try to appeal to her high-esteemed sense of reason. “So, the outcome did not fall in your favor. Do you really believe that acting in such a manner would cause those in power to reconsider their decision?”
Weiss seemed to have heard him—she defrosted a little.
“I suggest that instead of fretting over what you don’t have, savor what you do. Hone your skills. Perfect every technique. And be not the best leader, but the best person you can be.”
Weiss gave a helpless shrug, but wouldn’t meet Port’s gaze. He knew that even that much was a big concession for her and walked away satisfied.
Back in the hallway, Ruby turned and ran into Ozpin.
“Hmm. Now that didn’t seem to go very well,” he noted.
Ruby couldn’t help the doubt from welling up inside her. “Is she right? Did you make a mistake?”
“That remains to be seen,” he said with a half-laugh.
“What do you mean?”
“I mean it’s only been one day. Ruby, I’ve made more mistakes than any man, woman, and child on Remnant. But at this moment, I would not consider your appointment to leader to be one of them. Do you?”
Ruby looked unsure.
“Being a team leader isn’t just a title that you carry into battle but a badge you wear constantly. If you are not always performing at your absolute best, then what reason do you give others to follow you?
“You’ve been burdened with a daunting responsibility, Ruby. I advise you take some time to think about how you will uphold it.” Ozpin walked away.
Ruby considered what he said. What was the best way to show Weiss that she could be at her best and uphold her responsibility as team leader? She thought back to her antics in the classroom. Perhaps some of the things she had done were childish and immature. Perhaps Yang and her father were both right: a part of growing up meant working well with others. It would mean needing to give up many of the childish antics she enjoyed, but her relationship with Weiss was more important.
It turned out, growing up required more than just drinking milk.

Keep writing, my friends.

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RWBY: The Novelization is not endorsed by Rooster Teeth in any way. Views, opinions, and thoughts are all my own. Rooster Teeth and RWBY are trade names or registered trademarks of Rooster Teeth Productions, LLC. © Rooster Teeth Productions, LLC.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

RWBY Speculation: Is Penny Really Dead?

Hey, everyone.

So, I'm moving from Blake to take a look at another tragic character from RWBY, and it's Penny. Now, while I've kicked the idea around of trying to figure out what the hell PENNY stands for, I said screw it because it's too hard, and there's something about Penny that's more interesting to me. It is...

This likely sounds odd to many of you because we all saw Pyrrha turn Penny into quarters. So, what doubt could there be? Well, first I want to look at Penny's death from the philosophic angle of because Penny was a robot, was she ever alive to begin with? From there, I'll be looking at Penny's death in a more literal light. Basically, because Penny's a robot, can't she be fixed? So, let's take a look at Penny.

"I'm combat ready!"

1. Was Penny Ever Alive to Begin With?

The first issue with claiming Penny is dead is that first it has to be proven she was alive. I'm taking this stance because robots are objects and therefore not alive, ergo they can't literally die. Maybe break, but not die. Even if we could classify Penny as an android, we have the same issue. But, Penny does have something going for her that other robots and androids don't.

"I'm the first synthetic person capable of generating an aura."

Penny calls herself the "first synthetic person capable of generating an aura." And as we know, aura is a manifestation of one's soul. While the "soul" hasn't been objectively defined in the RWBY-verse, many world religions and philosophies believe all human beings have a soul, and that is what separates us from other life on the planet such as animals and plants. The presence of her aura suggests Penny has a soul which means yes, she was actually alive, and not in the way animals and plants are. But, this raises another question: how did Penny get the soul?

We know from what Ironwood said in Volume 3 that Atlas has been experimenting with aura including its transference. So that Pyrrha could gain Amber's powers, Amber's soul had to be transferred into her. And if you're following along, then you what I'm going to ask next: where did Penny get her soul? From whom was it transferred? Is it possible there was a real girl named Penny somewhere in Atlas? Another possibility is that Penny is actually an animal as we know from Zwei's antics in Vol 2 and Pyrrha's explanation to Jaune on aura, animals also have souls. And if Penny was originally a dog or a cat, that might explain why she's so weird, trusting, and enthusiastic.


But going back to Penny, there is another defense for the case of Penny being actually alive. It comes from when she first met Ruby and the girls. When Ruby said she was Penny's friend, Penny responded with "We can paint our nails, try on clothes, and talk about cute boys!" Now, if you know Penny's a robot, then this whole exchange is a little weird. Why would a synthetic lifeform be interested in painting her nails and trying on clothes? True, she could be programmed to act that way, but the part that really gets me is the talking "about cute boys." If Penny's a robot, how does she know what makes a boy cute? Is she affected by pheromones and hormones? This then raises a few other, uncomfortable questions: does she have an interest in procreating, and how anatomically correct is she? This helps defend the claim she was actually living because robots and androids shouldn't care about propagation, or at least, propagation of the human species, and they wouldn't have an opinion on cute boys.


But, again, Penny could be programmed to act like this. But, because she has an aura and therefore, a soul, she's likely very familiar with what it's like to be a girl. Regardless, there is a decent argument for the fact that Penny was indeed alive and therefore she could die. But, she's still a robot, and that brings us to our next question.

2. Can't Penny Be Repaired?

Unlike regular meat people, Penny's body was made of metal. And the thing about things made out of metal, such as cars, is that they can be repaired. Another thing to consider is that just because Penny's material body was destroyed, that doesn't mean her soul went to wherever souls go to on Remnant. I mean, look at Ozpin: he's most likely dead, and yet he now shares a body with Oscar. As for Penny, it's entirely possible her body and programming had a fail-safe in case of an emergency. It's quite possible she only shut down. Her body could've been recovered from the stadium and all her files transferred into another body along with her soul. Add to all this, when Penny was destroyed, we got to see her "father" in the episode.

Now, from a writing stand point, why would someone make the effort to show us Penny's father unless it wasn't important somewhere down the line? True, Miles and Kerry may have shown us Penny's father so that we know what to look out for while moving ahead with the show, but did you note his reaction at Penny's destruction? He wasn't exactly crushed. He looked more irritated than anything else as if to say yes, he's angry that Penny was destroyed, but not to the point where he actually lost something dear.

This is not outrage or woe.

Yeah, no, I don't believe Penny is dead dead. I think her body was destroyed, but I think her programming can be saved. I sense we will see her again in the future, but I'm not sure in what capacity. It's possible we may see an android that looks exactly like Penny but has a different name and a different soul attached to her, or Penny will be back right as rain except for her memories. Her soul survived, sure, but maybe her CPU was wiped. I think that's most likely possibility because it goes with what we know, plus it would give Miles and Kerry another opportunity to rip our hearts out. As if we need our hearts ripped out anymore from Vol. 3.

Anyway, that'll be it for now. I think for next week I'm going to look into the mystery and importance of the silver eyes. It could finally be my triumphant return to RWBY Theory. Or, maybe not. We'll see. Until then...

Keep writing, my friends.

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This blog is not endorsed by Rooster Teeth in any way. Views, opinions, and thoughts are all my own. Rooster Teeth and RWBY are trade names or registered trademarks of Rooster Teeth Productions, LLC. © Rooster Teeth Productions, LLC.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

INTJ's and Politics

Hey, everyone.

I know I was supposed to write something this week about the INTJ mystique, but I had a weird week that threw my mystique off. As a result, I'm not feeling it, and INTJ's don't like feeling things. Maybe I'll save it for next week, but I think I may have just given myself a great book idea instead. We'll see.

So, instead of the INTJ mystique, this week I'll be covering...

That's right; INTJ's and politics, specifically political alignments and why INTJ's have the political alignments they do. This post was inspired by our country's current turbulent political atmosphere and this image I found on Pinterest:

As you can tell from the image, INTJ's tend to align themselves with either Republicans or independently. To be honest, I'm shocked there are any INTJ's out there who affiliate themselves with the Democratic party, but I can think of a couple of reasons why. For now though, let's start at the top and work our way down.

INTJ's As Independents

If you know anything about INTJ's, you're probably well aware of their very individualistic and independent nature. INTJ's don't like being someone else and they don't like being told to be like someone else because most people kind of suck and INTJ's think themselves the best people in the world. They also don't like to rely on others because it isn't unusual for people to let them down. Not to mention, the more people there are in a situation, the more things there are that can go wrong. As a result, INTJ's prefer not to get involved in politics. The only reason they do is because if they didn't, someone else would try to tell them what they need and what they don't need, and INTJ's don't like that at all.

So, an INTJ is loyal first and foremost to himself. No one knows his business better than him, and no one is as interested in his business as him. As a result, INTJ's aren't likely to align themselves with a political party because they can easily be let down by the people in the party, and the political ideals that make up the party may be too limiting for some INTJ's. INTJ's have an overwhelming desire for freedom from just about everything, so they don't like being nailed down so long as they can avoid it. And, because their loyalty is to themselves, they do have a knack for acting unilaterally or going "rogue" when they think their freedoms, sensibilities, or ideals are being violated. Hence, it makes the most sense for INTJ's to belong to a one-man party of themselves.

Sort of like a one-man band.

INTJ's As Republicans

Now, wait a second, I just said INTJ's are huge individuals and hugely independent. Why is there only a 1% between INTJ's as Independents and INTJ's as Republicans? Well, there is a very good explanation for this.

While INTJ's are indeed very independent, maverick, and iconoclast, they don't actively seek rebellion. They just want to be left alone. In doing so, INTJ's leave everyone else alone. And with they're high ideals and immutable principles, they're some of the very few people in the world who can act according to righteousness for the sake of righteousness. In theory, this means INTJ's can live in anarchy, but something that INTJ's realize is that not everyone can live in anarchy. They don't possess the maturity, character, or moral fiber to live in a system without rules. INTJ's may always have their heads in the clouds, but they can be very practical when necessary, and in difficult situations, they may even morph into ISTJ's to ensure their survival.

INTJ's soak up all kinds of knowledge like a sponge.
They can amaze you with what they know and about what.
Just don't expect them to drink their own piss.

But, looking specifically at the Republican party, why would INTJ's join them instead of say the Democrats who actually call themselves "liberals" when they get far enough to the left? Well, because the Republican platform tends to follow the ideals that this country were built on: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Plus, Republicans believe in a smaller government that looks after the big issues and doesn't try to get involved in the lives of citizens. Republicans believe in a laissez-faire system where citizens look after their own interests. And this is very appealing to INTJ's because it means as long as Republicans are in control, they'll stay out of the business of INTJ's. And the fact that Republicans believe in money and indisputably beating the rat race also helps because INTJ's despise the rat race and the constant need to have money talk so bullsh*t walks. Not to mention, Republicans don't get tied down with feelings. Something's either right or wrong, works or doesn't. And once it's right and fixed, who gives a crap who it might hurt? If you're being hurt by a system that is right and works well, you were probably doing something wrong or lazy to begin with in which case INTJ's have no sympathy for you.

I don't know why I bothered censoring it.

INTJ's As Democrats

So, why wouldn't INTJ's be Democrats when the political left believes in a liberal society? Well, according to the chart, 19% of INTJ's do consider themselves Democrats, and it may have something to do the liberal perspective of everyone is free to do what they want so long as it doesn't hurt anyone else. It may also go back to what I was talking on how INTJ's recognize that they can take care of themselves, but other people need a system of rules or a structure. Some people need a very firm structure, and some INTJ's see this in the light of that since some people aren't as independent as them, they need someone to take care of them, so INTJ's vote Democrat so these people are looked after. While that does seem noble and caring, but only 19% of INTJ's call themselves Democratic whereas 40%+ call themselves Republican and Independent. Why is that?

Well, while some Democrats may call themselves liberal, which should mean they believe in liberty for all, many liberals' actions are actually quite contradictory or they believe in selective liberty. Take ANTIFA for example, they're all apart of the political left and don't believe in the freedom of speech, and anyone who doesn't agree with them instantly becomes a target for a beatdown. Looking further into the liberal stance, they believe that Muslims shouldn't be judged by the actions of a few, but they're willing to persecute all Christians and prevent them from worshipping in peace. Add to that, Democrats believe in big governments that do get involved in the lives of the people like a parent handling children. None of this is appealing to INTJ's, a group of people who believe in "live and let live," and who don't want people butting into their business. And as if that weren't all bad enough, it's left wing politics that gave rise to socialism and communism, two systems where the root words are "social" and "commune," meaning a system where everyone is dependent on everyone else. And don't even get me started on their objections to unions.

Like I said, knowing what I know about INTJ's and knowing what I know about the Democratic platform, I don't know why any INTJ vote Democrat. At its best, it forces people to be dependent on each other, and at its worst, it's highly contradictory and hypocritical, two things that are sure to immediately burn any INTJ's ass.

What really burns my ass is a fire about 3' tall.

So, that was a brief look at the political views of INTJ's. Hopefully, it gave a little insight into their actions and political beliefs. Next week, I hope to write a small piece of the INTJ mystique. It'll sort of be a freehand essay on why INTJ's are awesome and why everyone needs an INTJ in their life. Or, I could look over a list of people who are considered INTJ's and talk about why they are or are not actually INTJ's based on the perspective of a true INTJ, moi. Basically, I'm just trying to put some room between my next ten ways I'm totally an INTJ and five more ways I buck the INTJ stereotype. Read the originals here and here. Writing those two articles made me think of a few things I forgot to mention.

Anyway, that's it from me this week. If you'd like to know more about INTJ's you can look us up the website or you can check out the book The True INTJ on Amazon. See you later.

Keep writing, my friends.

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Monday, September 25, 2017

There's Too Much Writing Advice On The Internet!

Hey, everyone.

So, in my last post for Cryptids and the Paranormal, I wrote a rant about something that bothers me about the paranormal community. And recently, I got the raw end of a business deal, so I'm feeling a little fired up this week. As a result, I've decided to rant about something that burns my ass when it comes to the world of writing, and that is...

That's right; there is too much writing advice out on the Internet. Whether you're a new writer starting out or you've been at this a while and you're looking for tips on current writing styles, there's a lot of information out there. It can especially get confusing if you think you knew everything or you had a style already worked out, and then suddenly, you start seeing tips that suggest just the opposite. So, what the hell are you supposed to do?

At first glance, the answer seems obvious: change your style to fit the recommendations. But, when professional and world renowned authors like Stephen King say that "he said, she said" is king when it comes to dialogue tags, but several pins on Pinterest have titles saying "Said is Dead," it gets quite frustrating.

Why would you use "asked" if you have
a question mark in the line?

I noticed something rather irritating about my own writing recently as well. See, I signed up to be a tutor for a local company. The first student they tried to set me up with wanted a crash course in grammar and punctuation. (I say tried, because I couldn't schedule a first meeting with her, and to my knowledge, neither have they.) Anyway, to make sure I was up to snuff on punctuation, I went looking for copies of Strunk and White's Elements of Style. Turns out you can download the whole book for free as a PDF. Anyway, as I was brushing up on the punctuation, I noticed a mistake I've been making with my commas. Apparently, I've been running my sentences on, when actually there's more than one sentence there and they need to be separated by a comma. Here's the example from Strunk and White.

I met them on a Cunard liner many years ago. Coming home from Liverpool to New York.

Strunk and White say it should look like this:

I met them on a Cunard liner many years ago, coming home from Liverpool to New York.

Looking at my last finished novel, I noticed quite a few places where I don't do that. To add to my confusion, I noticed places where I can't justify the rule; perhaps because they aren't two separate sentences. But the real chagrin came when I realized there were probably dozens or even hundreds of places where I've made this mistake in my first novel. Does this mean I have to go back and re-edit both books in their entirety even though I'm so close to self-publishing both of them?

No. While I admit I'm a perfectionist, something I realized was that no one had caught this error and called me out on. I'm sure I've made this mistake in my book Tales of Horror: Macabre Monsters of Michigan, and like I said, I've likely done this everywhere in ROCCO. But, no one on Inkitt, not even my beta reader, caught it. Does that mean that Strunk and White's comma is superfluous? Well, it could be. Strunk and White are only two "experts" of the rules of writing. Something that you must realize is that writing isn't a science. There are basic rules that everyone accepts as being the rules on how to write, but they're not immutable laws of the universe. They are subject to change as evidenced by the fact that there are multiple editions of Elements of Style, and some writers just straight up ignore them. I heard of an Indie author who doesn't use quotation marks at all. And, some of the rules for writing in Britain are completely different from those here in America. So, where does that leave me?

Well, being so close to self-publishing both books, I'm not going to go back and re-edit them. I probably will re-edit them some day, but not this day. Like I said, no one seems to have caught my blunder, so most people must either not care or don't notice. But, moving forward, I will be a little more careful. Coming back to "he said, she said" versus "Said is Dead," what does one do moving on from here?

I suggest you do what's natural for you and make up your own style as necessary. After all, unless you're an English teacher yourself, you're not likely to know all the writing rules, and there will still be times when you'll forget them or you'll be unsure of what to do yourself. So, follow the rules for the most part, but deviate when necessary. Something I've discovered while editing some pieces is that in order to obey certain rules and styles, I've had to make a sentence quite awkward. Instead of doing that, I say screw it, and just do it in the simplest way possible, even if that means adding words when you're trying to cut back, and even if that means using the abominable adverb.

Next week, I don't know what I'm going to cover, but I hope to have something a little more focused.

Keep writing, my friends.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

God & Bigfoot: Why Don't People Believe In Both?

Hey, everyone.

Before I begin with this week's topic, I wanted to let you all know that the re-writes for my book Tales of Horror: Macabre Monsters of Michigan are done, and the new version is uploaded. And, good news, I didn't increase the prices like I threatened to do. I did some research, and I thought better of the whole thing. But, I did update the copyright info. That alone makes Tales of Horror: Macabre Monsters of Michigan a worthy purchase.

Anyway, onto tonight's topic, I would like to vent a little about something that bothers me about the whole paranormal community. I know I said I was going to do something about ghosties this week, but I completely forgot what it was. So, instead I'm going to focus on...

That's right. How come people don't believe in both God and Bigfoot? It's drive me nuts to be honest. Therefore, I'm going to vent about people who believe in God, but not ghosts or cryptids, and vice versa, people who believe in the paranormal, but not God. This is something that really burns my ass besides a fire about three feet tall. So, let's talk about it.

I have a friend who's a Christian--I'm a practicing Christian myself--but, she doesn't believe in cryptids and the paranormal. I've talked about her before, but once when she and I were talking about the Mothman, she said something to the effect of it not being real, to which I responded that over a hundred witnesses over a period of 13 months would disagree with her. She then said that they should all get their heads checked--I didn't speak to her for a year.

But, there was another time when we were texting back and forth. Somehow, Bigfoot came into the conversation. I think she said something to the effect of not believing in Bigfoot, at which point I said something like, "You believe in Jesus, but not Sasquatch?" She said she was surprised to hear me compare Jesus to Sasquatch, but the comparison doesn't seem all that surprising to me. Think about it: how many people alive today have seen Jesus? Even if you count visions, and not drug or psychosis induced visions, the number is still pretty slim. Now, if you ask how many people have seen Bigfoot, the number gets quite a bit more substantial.

If we extended our search wider, say physical evidence, I'd say we have about as much evidence for the existence of Bigfoot as we do Jesus. And if we think of the Bible as being equivalent to footage or pictures, the effect of both the Bible and the footage is about as believable and controversial as each other. Some may argue that Jesus has a lot more believers, but remember, Jesus was big long before Sasquatch was a thing. Give Bigfoot some time, and maybe he'd be just as big.

"Bigfoot is not bigger than Jesus."
John Lennon
(True quote that.)

And, you have to ask yourself: what's more believable: an extent, upright walking creature, stomping around the world's badlands, scaring the hell out of hikers, or a carpenter who lived 2,000 years ago, called himself the Son of God, died for our sins, resurrected, and then ascended to Heaven? I think Bigfoot takes that round. But in my mind, the two don't have to be mutually exclusive. Even in the case of Bigfoot being an extent version of Gigantopithecus, why should that cause anyone to disbelieve that Jesus wasn't the son of God?

Another thing that often irritates me is people who claim that if word got out about aliens being real, all the world's religions and governments would be up to their noses in sh*t, and my question is why? If aliens exist as true ET's, then maybe they already know about Jesus, or maybe they're just the next great challenge for missionaries. And just because flying saucers buzz through our atmosphere doesn't mean your taxes aren't due. And especially when dealing with the American IRS; do you think they're going to care you saw Gray? No. The country has expenses. Pay up! Even if Trump walked on stage tomorrow, and said, "My fellow Americans, aliens are real. And, we have one here with us today. Come on up here, Gary!" do you know what I'd do? I'd go, "Someone had better pick up that phone... because I f*cking called it!" And then, I'd go back to work.

Another thing to think about is how do you think Jesus worked all those miracles? How did he turn the water into wine? How did he raise Lazarus from the dead? How did he multiply the fishes and loaves? How did he walk on water? Some will say it's because he's the son of God. But do you know what that means? That means God is paranormal phenomenon! And if God's paranormal, why can't other paranormal phenomenon exist? If Jesus can rise from the dead, why can't Dogman and Bigfoot walk the earth? If Moses could split the Red Sea, why can't aliens be real? Because your pastor told you one existed and the other didn't? Come on, now; is that any basis of reasoning?

It's just amazing to me what sort of limits people put on their beliefs or even their perceptions of the world. It's either all science, or all religion, or all magic. (I'm not endorsing practices of magic.) There's no middle ground where everything could exist. Skeptics are one thing, but people who can see the unbelievable one way and can't see it another way, it's just kind of frustrating. I think all the phenomenon could be linked, unfortunately, I'm not a field researcher, so I don't know a lot of what other people know.

Generally, I don't tell people to keep an open mind because there are some things you should definitely close your mind to, but for the people who are out there, for the people who are getting to the bottom of the phenomenon whether it's God, Dogman, ghosts, or aliens, keep an open mind and maybe you'll uncover something truly mind blowing.

Sorry about the rant. I'll try to keep it together better next week. And, I'm sorry this is two days late. I've had a couple issues occur in my life recently. If you're the praying sort, send a few Hail Mary's this way. I'd greatly appreciate it.

Keep writing, my friends.

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Friday, September 22, 2017

RWBY: The Novelization: Players and Pieces

Back on the cliff overlooking the forest, both Glynda and Ozpin held full-sized Scrolls, monitoring the students.
“Our last pair has been formed, sir,” said Glynda. “Nora Valkyrie and Lie Ren. Poor boy. I can’t possibly imagine those two getting along. Still… he’s probably better off than Miss Nikos.”
“I don’t care what his transcriptions say, that Jaune fellow is not ready for this level of combat. But, I guess we’ll find out soon enough. At their current pace, they should reach the temple in just a few minutes. Speaking of which, what did you use as relics this year?”
Ozpin didn’t reply. He was busy watching footage of Ruby and Weiss.
Ruby sat on the ground tearing up grass and picking up leaves while Weiss paced back and forth.
“It’s definitely this way,” said Weiss. Then a little later, walking in the opposite direction, “I mean, this way. It’s definitely this way.” Weiss returned and stood in front of Ruby. “It’s official; we passed it.”
Ruby stood, fed up. “Ugh! Why can’t you just admit you have no idea where we’re going?”
“Because I know exactly where we’re going. We’re going to… the forest temple!”
“Oh, stop it! You don’t know where we are, either.”
“Well, at least I’m not pretending like I know everything.”
“What is that supposed to mean?”
“It means you’re a big, stupid jerk, and I hate you!”
Weiss groaned this time. “Just keep moving.”
Ruby mocked her. “‘Oh, just keep moving. Hurry up. Wah. Watch where you’re going.’ Why are you so bossy?!”
“I’m not bossy! Don’t say things like that.”
“Stop treating me like a kid.”
“Stop acting like a kid.”
“Well, stop acting like you’re perfect!”
“I’m! Not! Perfect!” Then in a lower and more sinister tone, “Not yet anyway. But I’m still leagues better than you.” Weiss walked off.
Ruby was on the verge of tears. “You don’t even know me…”
Deeper in the forest, Yang and Blake crested a hill overlooking some ruins. Within the ruins, there seemed to be several pedestals arranged in a semi-circle with some sort of tiny object on each one.
Yang turned to Blake. “Think this is it?”
Blake gave Yang an indescribable look before heading down the hill. Yang couldn’t tell if Blake was criticizing her or just didn’t care.
They descended the hill and walked into the ruins examining the relics on the stone pedestals.
“Chess pieces…?” said Blake.
Yang observed, “Some of them are missing. Looks like we weren’t the first ones here.”
“Well, I guess we should pick one.”
Yang grabbed a white knight. “How about a cute little pony?!”
“Sure,” said Blake with a blasé shrug.
“That wasn’t too hard.”
“Well, it’s not like this place is very difficult to find.”
Elsewhere in the forest, Jaune and Pyrrha were having a difficult time finding the temple. They came to a cave face which had some strange paintings on the outside of it. They depicted a large scorpion and several human looking figures.
“Think this is it?” asked Jaune.
Pyrrha shrugged.
“Well, let’s try it anyway.”
Jaune found a stick and made a rudimentary, but reliable torch. Pyrrha was impressed.
As they walked through the cavern, Pyrrha started having her doubts. The cave’s painting had seemed like a warning to her. In her adventures, Pyrrha had come across a creature of Grimm that looked like a scorpion, but could there be one in the cave? And what’s more, could it be as big as the cave painting suggested?
Pyrrha’s doubts surfaced. “I don’t think this is it.”
Jaune sighed. “Pyrrha. I made the torch. Could you at least humor me for five more feet?” Taking his eyes off the ground, Jaune tripped and dropped the torch in a puddle, plunging them into darkness. Jaune looked at her sideways before getting up.
Pyrrha’s eyes shifted. “Do you feel that?”
“Soul-crushing regret?”
“No. It’s… warm.”
“Think we should keep going?”
“I don’t think—”
But Jaune had already started walking away. Pyrrha followed.
They soon came across a floating, glowing object. It was spiked on one end and bulbous on the other.
“That’s the relic!” said Jaune.
He went to grab it and it moved.
“Hey! Bad relic.”
Jaune went to grab it again and again it moved back.
Jaune jumped on it. “Gotcha!”
But the relic seemed to be moving upward and taking Jaune with it.
“Jaune…” said Pyrrha warningly.
Suddenly, the red face and eyes of a Deathstalker, a giant scorpion Grimm, appeared. Jaune screamed like a little girl.
Pyrrha dashed out of the cave with the Deathstalker hot on her heels. She turned, drawing her sword and shield, Miló and Akoúo̱.
Jaune whined, “Pyrrha! This is not the relic! It’s not!” he sobbed.
“Jaune! Whatever you do, just don’t let…”
The Deathstalker whipped the end of its tail and Jaune was sent flying.
Pyrrha considered the Grimm for a second and decided to flee.
Back at the temple, Yang had heard a scream. “Blake! Did you hear that? Some girl is in trouble. What do we do?”
But, Blake’s head was craned up to the sky.
“Blake! Did you hear me?”
Blake turned to Yang, and for a split second, Yang thought she saw Blake’s bow twitch. But that didn’t make sense; she wrote it off as the wind.
Blake pointed up to the sky as a cry of “Heads up!” was quickly descending. Yang looked up and saw what she thought was Ruby coming right at her. But then something else, or rather, someone else, collided with Ruby and they both landed in a tree.
“Ow!” said Ruby. “What was that?” she said, dazed from both impacts.
Jaune cleared his throat. “Hey, Ruby.” He was comically stuck upside down in some of the tree’s brambles.
On the ground, Blake asked, “Did your sister just fall from the sky?”
They heard an explosion from the far side of the clearing and jumped when they saw several trees fall as a giant Grimm lumbered out of the forest before dying. A girl in pink with bobbed orange hair rolled out from behind it.
“Aw…” said Nora. “It’s broken.”
Ren popped out from behind the bear-like monster. “Nora,” he said, out of breath.
But when he looked up, Nora wasn’t there. She had already sped away into the ruins and was examining a white rook piece. She picked it up with enthusiasm and balanced it on her head. “I’m queen of the castle!” she sung. “I’m queen of the castle!”
“Nora!” shouted Ren.
Nora giggled and tilted her head so the rook fell into her hand. “Coming, Ren!”
Blake and Yang were bewildered.
“Did that girl just ride in on an Ursa?” asked Blake.
Then they heard another crash and saw Pyrrha barreling out of the forest with a Deathstalker hot on her tail, knocking over trees in its way.
“Jaune!” she called.
“Pyrrha!” he answered. He then looked at Ruby for some help. “Ruby!” he called after her as she dove out of the tree.
“Ruby!” said Yang.
“Yang!” said Ruby.
They went to hug.
But then, “Nora!” said Nora, popping up between them.
Blake looked at Pyrrha. “Did she just run all the way here with a Deathstalker on her tail?”
Yang was frustrated and decided to the let the world know it. “I can’t take it anymore! Could everyone just chill out for two seconds before something crazy happens again?!”
Two seconds passed. Only Ren running up happened.
“Um, Yang?” said Ruby. She pointed into the sky.
Weiss was still in the air, clutching to the talon of the giant Nevermore that both she and Ruby had “ridden” to that part of the forest.
“How could you leave me?!”
“I said jump,” replied Ruby.
“She can’t hear you from here,” noted Blake. “And, she’s going to fall.”
“She’ll be fine.”
“She’s falling,” Ren said.
Jaune, who had managed to get himself out of the brambles, saw Weiss fall, and he saw his opportunity to be her dashing hero.
He jumped from the branch and caught her. “Just dropping in?” he said as smoothly as he could. Unfortunately, he didn’t have a landing strategy prepared and started freaking out again as the ground came closer.
The two hit the ground with Jaune under Weiss.
“My hero…” she quipped, checking her nails.
He wailed, “My back…”
Pyrrha suffered a blow from the Deathstalker and landed face first before everyone else.
“Great!” said Yang. “The gang’s all here. Now we can die together.”
“Not if I can help it!” said Ruby, charging the Deathstalker. She took out her scythe and shot forward.
The monster merely whacked her back with one of its pincers. Seeing that it was stronger than she had figured, Ruby retreated back to the group.
“Ruby!” called Yang, dashing to defend her.
Ruby was still feeling the effects of her crash into Jaune and the tree. As a result, she couldn’t focus on using her speed to reach Yang and she didn’t see the giant Nevermore begin to overtake her.
The Nevermore closed in, and flapped its wings so hard, feathers shot out of them landing quill first into the ground. One impaled Ruby’s cape to the ground and stopped her.
Yang was forced to stop also as the Nevermore’s attack filled the field with giant feathers. “Ruby! Get out there!”
“I’m trying!” Ruby pulled on her cape, but it wouldn’t come loose or even tear.
The Deathstalker closed in and raised its tail. It struck when a flash of white and a chill wind blew past Ruby.
“You are so childish!”
Weiss stood and a sheet of ice grew where her sword touched the ground, stopping the Deathstalker’s stinger.
“And dim-witted! And hyperactive! And don’t even get me started on your fighting style. And I suppose, I can be a bit… difficult. But if we’re going to do this, we’re going to have to do this together. So, if you quit trying to show off, I’ll be…” Weiss inhaled sharply, “nicer.”
“I’m not trying to show off,” said Ruby. “I want you to know that I can do this.”
“You’re fine,” said Weiss, walking back to the ruins.
Ruby sighed and prayed, “Normal knees, please.”
She managed to pull her cape free and rose just in time to be smothered in another one of Yang’s beastly hugs. The other problem with those hugs was that Yang was superbly well-endowed and Ruby’s face barely cleared her chest.
“I’m so happy you’re okay!” said Yang.
The Nevermore cawed from the sky.
“Guys!” said Jaune with a quake in his voice. “That thing’s circling back. What are we going to do?”
“Look,” said Weiss, “there’s no sense in dilly-dallying. Our objective is right in front of us.” She motioned toward the Chess pieces.
“She’s right,” said Ruby. “Our mission is to grab an artifact and make it back to the cliffs. There’s no point in fighting these things.”
“Run and live,” said Jaune. “That is a plan I can get behind.”
Ruby looked at the artifacts and picked up a white knight as Jaune grabbed a white rook. They looked at each other and smiled confidently.
“Time we left,” said Ren, after seeing the Deathstalker was beginning to free itself from the ice wall.
“Right. Let’s go!” said Ruby, leading the charge back to the cliffs.
Yang remained where she was, watching her sister.
Blake asked, “What is it?”
“Nothing,” she said with a contented sigh.
The group of eight rushed on. Ruins of an ancient structure, either an amphitheater or of some sort of city were on either side of them. And ahead of them, before the cliff they had been catapulted off, was another set of ruins that included a tower and a complex of multiple pillars and bridges crossing a deep expanse.
The Nevermore overtook them and perched atop the tower. They split up on either side of the ruined street and took cover.
“Well, that’s great,” quipped Yang.
There was a crash from behind. The Deathstalker had released its stinger and was charging straight for them.
“Oh, man!” said Jaune. “Run!”
They fled the ruins and made their way toward the tower.
Ren said, “Nora! Distract it.”
Nora dove from out of cover and took out her Magnhild, a giant hammer that could transform into a grenade launcher. She dodged giant quills and started bombarding the Nevermore. One grenade hit it, and it took to flight, leaving the tower behind.
The Deathstalker approached from behind, but Blake and Ren dashed across it, striking it with their blades, distracting it long enough for Weiss to grab Nora and use one of her glyphs to propel them into a powerful enough jump to escape.
Upon reaching the first ruined bridge, Pyrrha urged them to advance while taking out her sword and transforming it into its rifle form. She kneeled and laid down suppressive fire at the scorpion.
Ren, Blake, and Nora caught up, but as the entire group began crossing the first bridge, the Nevermore came back and crashed into the already severely weakened pillars holding it up. The bridge broke apart and the group split into two: Jaune, Weiss, Nora, Ruby, and Yang on the tower side, and Blake, Ren, and Pyrrha on the other, facing the Deathstalker.
Jaune looked at the others fighting the Deathstalker. “Man! We have to get over there!” he told Nora. “They need help!”
“Let’s do this!”
Jaune looked at the empty space where the bridge had been. “Yeah, but… I can’t make that jump.”
Nora gave him a sinister smile. She whacked him backward with her grenade launcher, transformed it into her mighty hammer with a haft as tall as her and a head the size of a man’s. She turned and jumped, hitting the end of the bridge with all her might. The bridge broke, and Jaune was catapulted across the way. Nora took care of herself, pulling a trigger on the hammer and blasting her way over to the other side.
Jaune and Nora flew over the heads of the others.
Nora brought her hammer down on the Deathstalker’s head with an enthusiastic “Ka-smash!” She pulled the trigger at the same time and the Deathstalker’s head was pounded into the ground.
Nora leapt backward to dodge its stinger and accidentally knocked Blake off the end of the bridge.
As Blake fell, she transformed her Gambol Shroud from its katana form into its firearm-kusarigama state and fired it. The blade was embedded into a section of bridge and the long ribbon attached to it allowed Blake to swing down and around.
The Nevermore came across her path. She unhooked her blade and used her Semblance to create a shadow copy of herself to gain some distance and move into attack position. She appeared in front of the Nevermore, and started hacking and slashing with both katana and sheath, but neither seemed to make a difference.
She ran down its back, slashing as she went, and jumped. She landed on the ruined tower alongside Weiss, Ruby, and Yang.
“It’s tougher than it looks,” Blake said as it circled around.
“Then let’s hit it with everything we got!” urged Yang, pumping her Ember Celica.
The Nevermore circled around for another pass. The four girls, Ruby, Weiss, Blake, and Yang, unleashed a salvo of Dust energies and projectiles at the incoming bird. It took some damage, but still came right at them. It collided with the tower, destroying it and forcing the girls to fight their way up the crumbling wreckage before they could plummet into the chasm below.
“None of this is working,” said Weiss as she and Ruby landed on a bridge.
Ruby looked around. She took in the numerous pillars, Blake’s Gambol Shroud, and saw Yang fire repeatedly at the Nevermore from atop one of the pillars. Something began to tick in her head.
“I have a plan.”
Meanwhile, Jaune, Nora, Pyrrha, and Ren continued to fight the Deathstalker. It struck at the bridge segment on which they stood. It crumbled and began to teeter in their direction. They ran to the other side where it would rest on solid ground, but still had the Deathstalker to contend with. Their only hope was a desperate charge straight through.
Pyrrha reached it first, and it struck with its pincer. She blocked and transformed her gun into a sword, striking the pincer away. The scorpion countered with its other pincer, but Jaune jumped in the way and defended Pyrrha with his shield.
Ren advanced, firing his Storm Flower. The Deathstalker lashed out with its stinger which Ren lithely dodged and grabbed onto. As the beast brought its tail back up, Ren went with it. He fired at the joint attaching the stinger to the tail.
Nora decided this would be a good time to fire her grenade launcher at the monster. It shielded itself with its pincers, but Pyrrha transformed her sword into a javelin and threw it into one of the monster’s eyes. The Deathstalker screamed and did a full body jerk, throwing Ren off the end of its tail.
Jaune looked up and saw the stinger dangling. He looked at Pyrrha and she nodded. She threw her shield at it and cut the stinger off having it land in the Grimm’s head, but not with enough force to kill it. Pyrrha’s shield ricocheted off a ruin, and she caught it.
Jaune looked back at Nora. “Nail it!”
“Heads up!” said Nora to Pyrrha as she jumped into the air. Pyrrha caught both her and her hammer on top of her shield.
There was a second’s anticipation as Pyrrha squatted before jumping, and Nora blasting off herself. She flew into the air and giggled at her apex. She fell and fired her hammer again on the way down and drove the Deathstalker’s stinger through its head. She hit it with such force that the last bit of bridge catapulted both Jaune and Pyrrha to safety past the Deathstalker.
Nora fired her hammer one last time simultaneously launching herself in their wake and sending the Deathstalker to the chasm below.
They each landed on terra firma in their own way: Jaune on his back, Nora on her behind, and Pyrrha kneeling. Ren ran up to them and couldn’t stop from passing out.
They looked back at the cliff and saw the Nevermore still aflight, circling Yang. She kept up her bombardment only managing to hit it a few times. One shot hit its head and it went directly for her, beak open.
Yang jumped into its mouth. Using one hand to hold it open, she started firing with the other. “I! Hope! You’re! Hun! Gry!”
The Nevermore cawed in pain, and Yang thought she felt its body droop. It began to lose air as Yang glanced back and saw the cliff wall quickly closing. She jumped out of the monster’s beak and let the Nevermore crash into the cliff.
The Nevermore fell onto another set of ruins and screeched. It flapped its wings to take off, but something white flashed by Yang and leapt into the air. With a graceful spin and a well aimed thrust, Weiss grew another wall of ice, freezing the Nevermore’s tail feathers to the ruins. She back flipped away.
Back along the bridge, Blake grabbed onto one pillar near the top and fired her Gambol Shroud across to another where Yang caught it, and they pulled the ribbon taut. Ruby jumped onto the blade of her scythe and into the center of the ribbon, pushing it back as Weiss created a black glyph to catch the ribbon and store its kinetic energy.
“Of course, you would come up with this idea,” said Weiss.
“Think you can make the shot?” Ruby asked.
Weiss gave a confident nod. “Can I?”
Ruby looked worried for a second. “Can you—?”
“Of course, I can!”
Ruby charged her rifle, and Weiss transformed the glyph to red, releasing the ribbon.
Ruby shot forward with incredible speed, firing Crescent Rose to keep her speed. She caught the Nevermore by the neck and forced it back onto the cliff side where a series of white glyphs had appeared allowing Ruby to stick to the wall and then defy gravity as she ran up the cliff with all her might, still firing her scythe and yelling at the top of her lungs.
Ruby made it to the top of the cliff where the bird’s head caught on an outcrop of rocks. Ruby fired her scythe and savagely decapitated it. With a flip and a flourish, she landed on the cliff on her knee and her scythe balanced along her shoulders.
“That was for you, Mom,” she whispered. “Nothing ever takes the place of you.”
Much later in the day, the eight combatants returned to Beacon’s auditorium. The ceremony for forming teams had already started, and they were fashionably late. But even still, there was a great buzz about them. Someone had witnessed their battle at the cliffs, and rumors were beginning to spread like wildfire.
“Is that them? The guys who defeated a gigantic Nevermore and Deathstalker?!”
“It is?”
“No wonder they succeeded. They have Pyrrha Nikos.”
“Dolt. I heard she had a bit part. It’s the cute one in red you should be looking at.”
Yang twisted her head around. She saw someone point at Ruby, but Ruby hadn’t taken notice. Yang just smiled.
Ozpin was on the stage as a monitor above showed the names and faces of each team as it was created. Four boys were up there now.
“Russell Thrush. Cardin Winchester. Dove Bronzewing. Sky Lark. The four of you retrieved the black bishop pieces. From this day forward you will work together as Team Cardinal.”
The letters C, R, D, and L showed up on the screen.
“Led by… Cardin Winchester.”
Everyone in the auditorium applauded.
Then Ozpin called out, “Jaune Arc. Lie Ren. Pyrrha Nikos. Nora Valkyrie.”
They joined Ozpin onstage.
“The four of you retrieved the white rook pieces. From this day forward you will work together as Team Juniper.”
J, N, P, and R appeared on the screen.
“Led by… Jaune Arc.”
Jaune jumped. “Led by?”
“Congratulations, young man.”
Pyrrha gave Jaune a punch of solidarity in the arm.
“Hey! Don’t hit me.”
Pyrrha giggled.
“And finally, Blake Belladonna, Ruby Rose, Weiss Schnee, and Yang Xiao Long.”
The girls took the place of Team JNPR.
“The four of you retrieved the white knight pieces. From this day forward, you will work together as Team Ruby.”
R, W, B, and Y appeared on the screen.
“Led by… Ruby Rose.”
Weiss gave a small start while Ruby seemed surprised herself.
Yang crushed Ruby in another hug. “I’m so proud of you!”
Ozpin remarked, “Looks like things are shaping up to be an interesting year.”
 RWBY: The Novelization is not endorsed by Rooster Teeth in any way. Views, opinions, and thoughts are all my own. Rooster Teeth and RWBY are trade names or registered trademarks of Rooster Teeth Productions, LLC. © Rooster Teeth Productions, LLC.


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