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"So, do I have to be all unlady-like and ask, or are you going to be a gentleman and offer us the chance to have some fun and kill the little dirtbags?"
Yang Xiao Long
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XCOM: RWBY Within is a crossover Fanfic by DrAmishMD, combining universes of Rooster Teeth's RWBY and Firaxis Games' XCOM: Enemy Unknownnote .

On a routine mission, the team RWBY found a mysterious portal to an unknown place. After Yang dashed through it, causing rest of the team to follow her, young Huntresses found themselves in a base of the XCOM unit, a multinational organization protecting the planet from Alien Invasion. Stuck in a different world with seemingly no way of returning home, the team decides to lend their skills to end the war as soon as possible - but without their Aura and with unknown technology surrounding them, it will be much harder than they think...

The fic has a sequel, XCOM: Remnant Unknown, taking place on Remnant after the war.

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There's also Tales from the Anthill, a collection of tales which take place in-between various chapters of RWBY Within. It also has Tales from the Avenger which presents various stories set between the chapters of Remnant Unknown. However, these stories aren't written by Dr Amish MD but by other authors from his Discord server.

It has also spawned a Recursive Fanfiction that has gained the approval of the original fanfic's author, that is a continuation of Things XCOM Operatives Are No Longer Allowed to Do that can be accessed here.


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XCOM: RWBY Within contains examples of following tropes:

  • Abnormal Ammo: After given an opportunity to study Dust, Doctor Vahlen manages to invent a new type of Dust that uses Elerium as an essence. The result is a weapon that's capable of reducing both aliens and grimm into Ludicrous Gibs.
  • Action Girl: Technically any female XCOM operative, but special mention goes to Annette Durand, whom even the aliens start to regard as pulbic enemy number one. And of course, there's Team RWBY themselves, as well as Nora and Pyrrha when Team JNPR arrives.
  • Adult Fear: One for both Taiyang and Dr. Shen. For Taiyang, seeing Yang reveal she lost her limbs and having been unable to do anything about it. For Shen, being separated from Lily during the Battle of Beacon, with none of the XCOM strike team able to find her for the duration of the fighting.
    • During the St. Louis Terror mission, Ruby encounters a little boy who's wondering where his mother is. She guesses what happened almost immediately.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Everyone that stayed aboard Amity to keep it from crashing into Vale, which includes Tygan, MacAuley, Beagle, and Jane Kelly. Chapter 25 reveals they survived. Averted with the operatives aboard the Altesian flagship, who are revealed to have survived a crash landing in chapter 24.
  • Anyone Can Die: Which shouldn't be surprising, considering difficulty of the source material. RWBY's first mission ends with a soldier killed, and it only goes downhill from there.
  • An Arm and a Leg: In addition to having Yang and her having their limbs removed and replaced when becoming MEC troopers, Blake has one of her cybernetic arms cut off by Adam. It barely phases her, and the shock it causes Adam allows her to defeat him.
  • Ascended Meme: During the Battle of Menagerie, XCOM's reinforcements play what they call "XCOM's anthem". It's "X Gonna Give It To Ya" by DMX.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Strike One coming to the rescue near the end of Base Defense, saving Ruby from getting blasted to bits by Sectopod.
    • XCOM does this numerous times during the Battle of Beacon.
  • Blatant Lies: In the sequel, after a bartender points out that the members of team RWBY are all obviously underage, they decide to have Bradford order five drinks. Four of which are "recommended" to him by team RWBY.
  • Brought Down to Badass: They might not have access to their Auras or Semblances, but Team RWBY still have their skills and training. Once they get used to wearing proper armour and adapt their individual fighting styles to local weaponry they go right back to kicking ass. In fact, if anything they get even more badass because they have to compensate for their lack of Nigh-Invulnerability and various individual superpowers by learning better tactics, which also leads into some Character Development.
  • The Captain: Following Jaune's promotion to lieutenant, Ruby is promoted to captain.
  • Colonel Badass: Colonel Shaojie 'Chilong' Zhang, who is the only operative able to resist the Ethereal's psychic assault during the England base mission, and successfully defends the labs with a group of rookies during the final Base Defense mission, while still recovering from the wounds said Ethereal gave him.
  • Colony Drop: During the Battle of Beacon, Amity Colosseum ends up being destabilized and put on a crash course collision with the city of Vale. It's only thanks to the efforts of Vahlen, and with Tygan and MacAuley staying onboard Amity, does XCOM manage to divert the path away from the city.
  • Cool Airship: The Avenger, a salvaged Atlesian cruiser that Torchwick was on during the Battle of Beacon. XCOM secured it while rescuing the team that was on-board when it crashed, got Ironwood's permission to keep it, repaired and modified it, and are currently using it as the headquarters of the XCOM forces stranded on Remnant.
  • Cool, But Inefficient: Synthetic Dust created with elerium. Weiss realises that XCOM does not possess a way to make more elerium yet, and their current stocks wouldn't be enough to meet the demand on Remnant for an extended period of time.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • The "Aura Run", when RWBY and JNPR were able to devastate the aliens after regaining use of their auras but before the Grimm showed up.
    • The fight between RWBY and Team ABRN in the sequel, which happens in the appropriately titled chapter "Overpowered".
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The Reapers have the ability to use the essence of the Grimm against them, with the idea of "not fearing the shadows" being brought up a lot when this is introduced.
  • Death by Adaptation: During the battle of Vale, Blake manages to mortally wound Adam.
  • Deployable Cover: Thanks to the engineering expertise of both Ruby and Shen, the Titan Armor is eventually upgrafed with a collapsible blast shield that can (barely) withstand the full volley from a mechtoid. ME Cs get a similar upgrade in the form of Juggernaut plating, which can also shield other operatives.
  • Determinator: Jaune. He quickly realizes how serious the Aura issue is and how dangerous and painful the experiments to find a solution are. He still marches to Vahlen's labs to essentially get tortured in an effort to speed the research. Ultimately, he successfully activates his Aura and gives Vahlen the necessary breakthrough.
  • Door Stopper: With RWBY Within finishing at nearly 237k words and Remnant Unknown nowhere close to being finished at 300k words, be prepared to be reading for a while.
  • Double Tap: This becomes a compulsion for Weiss after Site Recon, even if the alien is clearly dead.
    Jaune: Even when your shotgun already blasted a giant hole through its chest?
    Blake: Ouch, even Jaune noticed. That's how you know you're being obvious about it.
  • Drama-Preserving Handicap: As mentioned in a description, team RWBY can't use their Auras and Semblances on Earth. According to the author, having them curb-stomp everything like they do in a show, "while hilariously awesome for a chapter or two, would not make for a very interesting story in long term." However, later chapters have Vahlen experimenting with various solutions and finally unlocking their Auras.
  • Drop the Hammer: After applying a little "Remnant magic," the Plasma Dragon gets an upgrade allowing it to transform into a giant hammer. Zhang is particularly fond of using this to fight Berserkers.
    • Later on, after the huntsmen's auras are restored, Nora does not hesitate in using Magnhild in the field again.
  • Emergency Transformation: During events of Site Recon, Blake got gravely wounded by a Chryssalid. Her Aura wasn't strong enough to heal multiple wounds, so Ruby decided that the only way to save her is to amputate her limbs and turn her into MEC Trooper.
  • Everyone Knows Morse: Inverted. After going to great lengths to encrypt and hide a transmission (see Gag Penis), it turned out to be a message in morse code, specifically noted as a "communication protocol that the people of Remnant have never heard of".
  • Five-Man Band: The original main members of Strike Eight:
    • The Leader: Ruby. Starting off as Headstrong and Charismatic, later combines all four types, inspiring the team and coming up with tactics.
    • The Lancer: Weiss. In addition to their contrasting personalities, she takes the role of Assault, fighting in close range as opposed to Sniper-trained Ruby.
    • The Big Gal: Yang. Thanks to Rocketeer training, she wields the biggest firepower on the team and is probably the most fight-happy of them.
    • The Smart Guy: Vance. The only veteran member of the team, he helps girls in dealing with new reality and supports them from range in combat.
    • The Chick: Blake. As a Scout, she specializes more in recon and support than direct combat.
  • Four-Star Badass: Field Commander Peter Van Doorn, former United Nations official rescued by XCOM who decided to join the team that saved his life. Doubles as Frontline General, since he personally leads Strike One, the most elite team in the organization.
  • Gag Penis: When an XCOM squad separated from the main force in the sequel try to regain contact with the organization, they notice an oddity in the radio patterns. To quote a squad member explaining it to his officer: "It looks like a cock and balls, sir. Centered on the 69 MHz bandwidth". Turned out, another squad has gone dark and tried to pass a secret message that people familiar with a squad member's dick jokes will notice and has even further encrypted the transmission. Upon learning that, the officer asks if the comm specialist can "look for another Johnson".
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: In XCOM: Long War, psychic soldiers cannot be promoted to officers, but here, Annette reached the rank of captain prior to the start of the story, and later reaches the rank of major.
    • The game and the story end up taking pretty different directions once XCOM starts getting Remnant-style tech.
  • Good Shepherd: While he doesn't actually appear, Vahlen talks to Pyrrha about Pope Francis, and makes it clear that she views him as this. His actions are part of why Vahlen not only doesn't mind helping wash, feed, and exercise the paralysed Pyrrha, but actually looks forward to it, since she feels better knowing she's helping others.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: Vance's death nearly broke Ruby, causing her to cut herself off from her team and completely disregard her duties. It took JNPR's arrival to knock her out of it.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Contains all three types.
    • Corporal Biggs dies on Strike 8's first mission in order to fire a crucial rocket.
    • The first PennySHIV, Elim "Bolts" Gustavo, and Major Vance all die in order to hold off the Chryssalids on the Site Recon mission.
    • Colonel Zhang dies during the final Base Defense mission after fighting his way from the med bay to the laboratory and organizing a final defense that ends up pushing the aliens back
  • Hidden Elf Village: The Viper settlement on Remnant is this.
  • Hold the Line: XCOM Base Defense mission, with Ruby's team protecting the engineering section and Doctor Shen.
  • Hot Blade: Blake gets a combat knife with a low-power laser in the handle, which heats the blade and allows it to more effectively penetrate armor and hardened skin. note 
    • Later on, an upgrade to the Plasma Pistol allows it to form-shift into one of these, complete with plasma washing over the blade.
  • I Call It "Vera": In addition to team RWBY's normal weapons, Ruby names Zhang's Hand Cannon from when he was in the Triads Aureate Mercy.
    • In the sequel, Durand names her shotgun-sword La Voie et la Volonténote .
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: (almost) each chapter of RWBY Within is named after a long war skill, officer training school perk, achievement from the XCOM game. Names for the sequel episodes, Remnant Unknown, are similarly derived from XCOM2 skills and achievements.
  • I Never Told You My Name: Everyone of import at XCOM knows Weiss's last name despite her never saying it.
  • Innocently Insensitive: When they meet up after the Battle of Beacon, Yang jokes that, just because she's his "princess" now, doesn't mean Jaune has to carry her around like one. She then realises that Pyrrha is actually paralysed and unable to walk.
  • Intergenerational Friendship:
    • Ruby and Shen are close friends, bonding over their love of engineering.
    • Weiss and Vahlen are also close friends, bonding when Weiss helps her deal with her reputation and lack of social skills, with Weiss becoming her closest friend outside of the Command Staff and developing an interest in science and research, and Vahlen being the one who gives Weiss her Nom de Guerre.
  • Internal Reveal:
    • In chapter 9 of Remnant Unknown, Ozpin and Ironwood bring Bradford and Winter in on the Maidens, and the attack on Amber.
    • Chapter 26 of Remnant Unknown sees Bradford reveal the truth behind the "Valean Recon Division" to Ironwood.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Jaune with his undergoing what amounted to torture in order for Vahlen to learn how to allow the Remnants to use their aura.
  • I'm a Doctor, Not a Placeholder: Inverted, one XCOM operative comments while treating Pyrrha and Jaune after the Battle of Beacon that he's an engineer, not a doctor.
  • It Never Gets Any Easier: An XCOM operative tells Coco this after the Battle of Beacon, help her deal with the guilt of accidentally causing the fall of Beacon.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: In the sequel, Bradford eventually admits that the Council is completely justified in wanting to inspect the Temple Ship in person, and that he has been just as hostile as they are. He agrees to let them inspect the ship in exchange for the Council Spokesman revealing who he is, and both agree to put their disagreements in the past and start trusting each other.
  • Lensman Arms Race: Given the source material, especially the Long War mod, this is far from surprising, but is advanced even further when XCOM reverse engineers Remnant Technology and the aliens start to use the Grimm
  • Like a Son to Me: Zhang tells an Ethereal that he views Ruby this way, right before shooting it several times for mocking her.
  • Little Bit Beastly: With her permission, XCOM reverse-engineers Blake's genetics, allowing some soldiers to effectively be turned into Faunus'.
  • Majorly Awesome: Major Xander "Claymore" Vance, a veteran sniper of XCOM and the mentor of the team RWBY - especially Ruby.
    • Major Annette Durande counts as well. Even more so after she has her aura unlocked.
  • Meaningful Name: The codenames of the two XCOM operatives working with Junior are Omerta and Ochoa. Omertà is the name of the Mafia's code of honour and silence, while Ochoa is the family name of the Ochoa brothers, three important founding members of Pablo Escobar's Medellín Cartel.
  • Mini-Mecha: In addition to the MEC suits from the game and the Atlesian mechs from the show, there's Odin, a MEC suit that is specially built to be piloted by XCOM!Penny and Gidjit the friendly Cyberdisk, with the option to also have a normal MEC trooper join in.
  • Monumental Damage: Commander Van Doorn has a Firestorm pilot blow up the Old St. Louis County Courthouse, due to it being the site of the Dred Scott v. Sanford case.
  • Mutually Exclusive Magic: The Reapers' Grimm-essence manipulation requires them to make a choice that damages their souls, preventing them from using aura.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Coco in the sequel, after realizing that she's accidentally fired into the audience and killed people, is barely able to respond, and has trouble using her gun until Jaune steps in and takes it. Continues after the Battle of Beacon is over, where an XCOM operative has to talk to her to keep her from spiraling.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Jaune jokingly asks Vahlen if the chip she's putting in him will "enslave me to your every whim until someone notices and yanks it out twenty years later".
    • During the sequel, the Councilman's last name is revealed to be Baileynote , the leader of his security escort is Jane Kelly, and his scientific advisor is Dr.Richard Tygan.
    • One of the Albatross pilots is Firebrand, the dropship pilot from the sequel
      • As of Chapter 31, she's become the pilot of XCOM's Bullhead, which is acting as their dropship after they got cutoff from Earth.
    • Dr.Shen apparently tried to make an AI sibling to keep Lily company after her mother's death. His name was Julian, and Lily thought he was creepy.
    • Once again, Adam manages to cut off the arm of a member of RWBY. Except this time it's one of Blake's artificial arms, meaning she just keeps fighting and manages defeat Adam while he's still getting over the shock.
    • As of Chapter 27 of Remnant Unknown, XCOM is using a salvaged flying ship taken from someone else as a mobile HQ, and have named it the Avenger. The difference is that, instead of being an alien cargo ship, it's Atlas' downed cruiser.
    • In Chapter 28, during her speech, Cinder says that they are on "The ADVENT of a new tomorrow", with the word ADVENT capitalized (and not italicized, unlike the rest of her speech).
      • Those two chapters, XCOM's situation on Remnant is becoming more and more reminiscent of their situation in XCOM2, though with more allies.
    • In Chapter 31, the Alien Rulers and the Reapers from the Alien Hunters and War of the Chosen DLCs appear. In a twist, the Alien Rulers are actually good guys, and the Reapers are made up of humans they've rescued from Mountain Glenn.
  • Nom de Guerre: Like in the game, RWBY eventually gets nicknames based on their exploits.
    • Ruby: No-Scope, due to her near-impossible sniping precision.
    • Weiss: Elsa, coined by Vahlen as a nicer replacement for her standard "Ice Queen" nickname.
    • Blake: Sabretooth, both after saber-toothed catnote  and the X-Men character.
      • After she becomes a MEC Trooper, MacAuley tries to get people to call her Wolverine, but it doesn't catch on.
    • Yang: BFG, due to her love of explosions.
    • JNPR similarly get their own nicknames eventually after they arrive.
    • Jaune: Dakka, because as gunner, you can never have too much Dakka.
    • Pyrrha: Ares, given her armor's similarity to Greco-Roman armor and her impressive fighting skills.
    • Nora: Hammertime, because her weapon is a hammer.
    • Ren: Shrike, because of his agile fighting style and Stormflower's ability to impale Ren's foes.
  • No Indoor Voice: Gidjit, the friendly cyberdisk, always speaks in all-caps.
  • Noodle Incident: In the sequel fic when Weiss goes to show Winter her progress with her semblance, she summons a small ordinary sparrow. Considering how it's only supposed to summon enemies she's slain...
  • Opposing Combat Philosophies: As Bradford has noted, RWBY and JNPR are completely opposites of one another which he uses to great effect on deployments once they regain their auras.
    • Ruby and Weiss excel at Terror missions where speed is essential which contrasts Jaune and Pyrrha's slow and methodical pushes during Landed UFO missions.
    • Blake and Yang due to being turned into MEC troopers and their own auras and semblances enhancing their new mechanical bodies excel at facing off against the stronger mechanical enemies of XCOM. This is contrasted by Nora and Lie Ren being very adept at facing off against the psionic enemies of XCOM due to their personalities.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Junior in the sequel. He may just be interested in expanding his operations, but he agrees to help Bradford and Vale, realizing that, if Vale doesn't recover, there'll be nobody with enough money to go to his club or buy his goods.
  • Properly Paranoid: Ruby notices that Emerald is acting a bit odd while asking team RWBY who they're sending to the next round, and suspects she may be plotting something. She is correct.
  • Power Incontinence/Rage Breaking Point: During Cinder's speech in Chapter 28 of Remnant Unknown, her pretending to be the good guy angers Pyrrha so much that she starts using her semblance. Despite the scene being from Bradford's point-of-view, and him being in a completely different part of the ship, we know this because she starts making the entire Avenger shake, which is followed by Vahlen broadcasting a message across the ship informing everyone that Pyrrha is the cause... while Pyrrha can be heard in the background shouting "YOU BITCH. YOU LYING, FUCKING BITCH"
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Blake has trouble balancing after Adam manages to cut off one of her artificial limbs.
    • Despite Cinder's speech, Chapter 29 reveals that the claims of some woman they've never met hasn't tarnished the people of Patch's view of Taiyang, the hunter who has spent years defending them, and that most of them still support XCOM, especially since they know XCOM lost people evacuating and defending civilians from Amity and Beacon, and has spent their time at Patch helping repair machines and setting up an early warning system for the town, with some even doubting Cinder's claims of being responsible for bringing the CCTS back online and having the power of a Maiden. Same goes for many of the hunter trainees who fought alongside them, and Junior, who does have some suspicions, but knows that XCOM hasn't lied to him, and that the operatives they've lent him have done excellent work.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: In the sequel, Ruby gives one to Team ABRN after they say that losing a tournament match to Team RWBY has left them wondering what they're doing with their lives.
    • Annette Durand gives their team lead another speech for sulking about the first one: Feeling humiliated after your team gets a thrashing has nothing on seeing your friends and comrades killed.
  • Relationship Upgrade: Jaune and Pyrrha, after she finds out about his work with Vahlen.
  • Retcon: RWBY Within established that Blake was an orphan who grew up on the streets. Remnant Unknown, and Word of God, has established that this is no longer true, with at least Ghira still being alive in the story.
  • Sadistic Choice: In Chapter 29 of Remnant Unknown, the Schnee Mansion security has captured the XCOM operatives sent (with her knowledge and permission) to keep an eye on Weiss. With Jacques firmly convinced that XCOM are terrorists, he plans on having them executed. Weiss has to choose between denouncing them and keeping the façade of being the dutiful daughter, or trying to save them and losing any chance of using the SDC's resources to help XCOM. The operatives make the choice for her, deciding to act like she had just been using them to help the SDC, though to fully sell the deception, Weiss is forced to personally execute them, with the operatives telling her in private that it has to be done, and that access to the SDC's resources is more important than their lives.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Most of the team RWBY, to a degree. In the sequel, in addition to both RWBY and JNPR having trouble with being overly brutal, Blake has developed a severe case of PTSD, to the point that Ruby needs to tackle Blake to stop her from killing Reese after she imagines Reese is a Chryssalid during the match with Team ABRN. Ruby herself nearly ends up blowing Cardin's head off when he unexpectedly puts his hand on her shoulder.
  • Shout-Out:
    • When traveling to their first AO, Corporal Biggs jokingly refers to Huntresses as Imperial Guardsmen.
    • Bolts begins his battle with the Greater Hive Queen by coating his Kinetic Strike module in flames and yelling Falcon...
    • Captain Beagle, leader of Strike Five team, is a reference to XCOM Let's Player and streamer Beaglerush. His squad also features sniper nicknamed "3-13", after infamously competent NPC unit from Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn.
    • Things XCOM Operatives Are No Longer Allowed to Do are actual part of the fic's universe.
    • Blake's reaction to being turned into a MEC Trooper?
    • Yang once prepares her guns with a grenade-themed variation of the Unlimited Blade Works invocation.
    • During the epilogue:
      • "You expected a gift from RWBY's resident pyro, BUT IT WAS ME, NORA.
      • Beagle says that Jaune is "basically an Assault Marine" after revealing that the XCOM staff had attached modified Archangel jump jets to Jaune's armor as a Christmas present.
      • After receiving her gift, Yang tells Bradford:
    Yang: "As my uncle, Ben once said, with great power comes great responsibility."
    • In the author's notes, Vahlen and Tygan are jokingly referred to as Science Bros.
    • Lily Shen thinks that the huntsman Coco faces in her disastrous match looks like he thinks he's "Remnant's version of Ezio Auditore"
    • Bradford notes that he needs to show the hunters working for XCOM an episode or two of Star Trek, since all the Avenger is missing is people wearing blue, yellow, and red uniform shirts.
    • XCOM, after capturing Roman, start calling him a droog. Unsurprising, considering that Roman is based on Alex de Large.
  • Super Empowering: During Temple Ship assault, RWBY and JNPR unlocked Annette's Aura to give her the strength she needed to prevent ship from blowing up.
  • Sleep Cute: Jaune and Pyrrha, after their argument when she finds out about his work with Vahlen
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Both Penny and Pyrrha end up surviving the Battle of Beacon, however Pyrrha ended up paralyzed from the neck down after the fight with Cinder, and the original Penny is highjacked by Cinder's virus, requiring the intervention of XCOM!Penny to shut her down
    • Torchwick isn't eaten by a Grimm, and survives his fall off the Atlesian cruiser, only to be captured by Taiyang.
  • They Would Cut You Up: Subverted. Despite first impressions, Vahlen simply interviews the Huntresses and performs a couple of non-invasive medical tests. Even after discovering Blake is a Faunus, she only implores Blake to give permission to use her genetics.
  • There's No Kill Like Overkill: When XCOM realized that the aliens are using corpses to deploy Grimm, Ruby notices that those from the corpses that Weiss Double Tapped tend to come out weaker.
    • Deconstructed in the sequel. During the fight with team ABRN, Weiss decides to make sure that Arslan stays down by hitting her with a Boarbatusk after she had already been beaten down so thoroughly that she was driven to tears. Afterward, when Ruby asks if it was necessary, Weiss admits that it was not, and Ozpin scolds the team for being overly aggressive in a tournament fight.
  • Token Heroic Orc: Gidjit, a Cyberdisk reprogramed and activated by XCOM!Penny, who also acts as one of the pilots for the Odin.
    • Not necessarily token, but the Aliens on Remnant are not only not hostile, but end up becoming allies with XCOM soon after they meet, and were already not hostile to humans (so long as they were left alone).
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: The Council acts quite a bit more paranoid and hostile in the sequel, though Bradford eventually admits that they are right about his refusal to let them inspect the Temple Ship being very suspicious, and that he hadn't done much to make the situation better. Eventually, Bradford and the Council agree to work things out, with Bradford agreeing to let them inspect the Ship, and the Council Spokesman agreeing to reveal who he is.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Ruby keeps the dog tags of everyone who has ever died under her command. In the epilogue, she also receives Zhang's personal handgun.
  • Training from Hell: Jaune's training with Zhang and his experiment sessions with Vahlen, which she describes as torture.
  • Training Montage: Several chapters are devoted to describing the training routines of cast members or research performed by them. Lampshaded in chapter 33, where Bradford officially bans playing several songs used in these montages...
  • Trauma Button: In the sequel, Cardin grabbing Ruby's shoulder from behind causes her to put Aureate Mercy to his throat, as she thinks it was a Seeker.
  • Uncertain Doom: Unlike in RWBY, Torchwick ends up being knocked off the Atlas airship by the XCOM strike team sent to recover it, leaving his fate unknown.
    • Chapter 27 reveals that he survived, and was captured by Taiyang.
    • No one is quite certain if Ozpin is dead or has just been captured.
  • Waxing Lyrical: ...and despite that, he ends his speech quoting "I'll Make A Man Out Of You".
  • Wham Episode: The entire Site Recon arc. Major Vance dies, Blake has to be turned into MEC Trooper to survive, Yang joins her of her own will, and Ruby falls into Heroic B.S.O.D..
    • Chapter 26 also serves as one, thanks to this line:
    "It's... Grimm, sir. We've got eyes on the Grimm."
    • In the sequel, Chapters 14, 15 and 16. The Councilman appears in person for the first time, Remnant's existence is revealed to him, and he visits it himself. Vahlen discovers the Black Queen just as it causes the shield protecting the arena's audience to drop during the middle of a match, resulting in Coco accidentally firing on the crowd, and Bradford activates the REMCOM Project.
    • Chapter 22 of the sequel concludes with XCOM stranded in Remnant after narrowly holding off the Grimm in the Battle of Beacon.
    • Chapter 23 reveals that Jaune and Pyrrha survived their fall, but she's currently paralysed from the neck down and ends with Ironwood revealing that he examined Penny's data feeds after the fight and learned a bit more about XCOM, who decided to let him in on their secrets.
    • Chapter 28 ends with Cinder turning the CCTS back on, making a speech claiming that she is the good guy, revealing the Maidens are real, denouncing Ozpin, the Hunters, and XCOM, calling the other maidens to join her and her new order, and claiming that they are on the cusp of a new era, the ADVENT of a tomorrow that nobody thought possible. And then Bradford is informed that the citizens of Patch are gathering outside of the landed Avenger...
    • Chapter 30 ends with this line, mirroring the Wham Line in Chapter 26 of RWBY Within:
    "Looks like the signature of a Harvester-class alien ship. Coming from what I'm assuming are the ruins of Mountain Glenn"
    • In Chapter 31, the Alien Rulers and the Remnant version of the Reapers from the Alien Hunters and War of the Chosen DLCs appear. In a twist, the Alien Rulers are actually good guys, and the Reapers are humans and Faunus who live in their colony.
  • What the Hell Are You?: Adam is stunned after he cuts off one of Blake's arms, only to find out it's a cybernetic. It gives Blake enough time to force him in the path of a collapsing building, and even after it crushes him, the only response he can muster to seeing her calmly pick her severed arm up is "What... what the fuck?".
  • Workaholic: Vahlen. This is the reason why she has a reputation as a mad scientist among the members of XCOM
    Ruby: Dr. Vahlen? I understand the lack of professionalism is unwarranted, but if when you're trying to make a good impression on strangers, maaaaaaaybe you shouldn't lead off with 'Can I please analyze the subjects'.
    • In the sequel, she apparently always carries syringes, even while off-duty on Remnant.


The Recursive Fanfiction continued list of Things XCOM Operatives Are No Longer Allowed To Do contains examples of following tropes:

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