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Fanfic / The Gray Between Black and White

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The Gray Between Black and White is a RWBY fanfic by Masterdude21.

From the description: "We are Onyx. We watch. We serve. We protect." A young, kinesics-gifted Ruby Rose wants to become a symbol of hope in a world where monsters of Grimm are evolving and trust is far away. But a dark, merciless organization lurks in the shadows, the most ancient conspiracy of Remnant. Soon, she will have to make a choice. How far can you go?

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Tropes:

  • Adaptational Personality Change: Ironwood tends to be much more aggressive and paranoid then his canon self. Justified, though, because of Onyx constantly butting heads with him and Atlas apparently being worse off than it was in canon.
  • Alternate Universe: From canon RWBY. Among the changes:
    • The academies have only been in place for roughly three years, as opposed to several decades.
    • It's implied Atlas has less territory due to the Grimm being far more aggressive than normal.
  • Ancient Conspiracy: At times, Onyx comes off as this.
  • Darker and Edgier: Compared to canon, even after the events of Volume 3.
  • Death by Adaptation: While it can't really be considered alive, the CCT is destroyed far earlier in this fic than in canon, as Agent Frost blows it up to ensure Cinder cannot use it.
  • Gray and Grey Morality: A central theme of this fic: not everyone is purely good or evil, and those with noble goals will take questionable actions to achieve those goals.
  • Foil: Onyx can be considered this to the Academies: while the schools like Beacon are focused on preparing the next generation for the fight against the Grimm and bringing hope, Onyx is focused on defeating the Grimm and other threats to humanity without being noticed. While both use younger people to fight, the Academies prefer to try and give them normal lives as huntsmen, while Onyx is willing to use them as Child Soldiers and don't care what happens to them as long as they get results.
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    • Evil Counterpart: Ultimately, this is what the Academies and Onyx really are - Onyx is willing to do whatever it takes to win against the Grimm and will gladly trample over anyone who gets in their way. There willingness to experiment on live grimm and what they deal to Alessa really bring this point into focus.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Onyx's normal justification for what they do.
  • The Juggernaut:
    • Operative Blackstone. He's able to take being shot with bullets, blasted with rockets, being crushed in a metal ball, and even being thrown off a cliff. Apparently, he has Yang's semblance to thank for this.
    • Also the Regenerator and Juggernaught Grimm, who can shrug off most attacks and regenerate from their wounds.
  • Morality Kitchen Sink: It quickly becomes apparent that, besides the morally ambiguous characters, there are clear cut heroes and villains.
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  • Shut Up, Kirk!: Agent Yale sends a muted version of this at Professor Adamant when the later calls him out on his willingness to stoop to very questionable means to achieve his goals, calling the Professor by a title nobody knew he had: The Butcher of Atlas.
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