|A Song of Ringing Steel|
|Author||Shingeki no Kyojin|
|Perspective||Third person, some first person|
|Fan-made Characters||Team GRAY|
Description: A fanfic about the teams of GRAY, TEAR, SNOW and HALO. It follows the RWBY show quite closely, so expect the chapters to follow the show.
A team of four people, each with a sad past, come to Beacon to become the warriors that will eventually smite the evil around them, and resolve their solemn memories.
NOTE: Undergoing redraft.
A New Dawn
Panting, she ran towards the city lights, growing ever darker as it was slowly, but surely, being swallowed up. The girl in question had blonde hair that was held up by a ponytail. Her denim pants swished as she ran desperately away from her horror. After what seemed to be the longest while, the last of the light finally vanished, and she was alone with the horror that was the darkness. Growls sounded all around the girl, who brought out a curved katana and took a fighting stance. As she looked around, panicked, one pair of red eyes emerged from the void and lunged at her.
Annie Celeste woke up to the sound of her alarm beeping rather loudly, signaling the start of another day. She got up slowly, groaning as she shook off multiple hours of sleep. Beside her bed lay her Scroll.
Annie was a well-built slender Caucasian female, 5’8” in height. Her usual hairdo consisted of a ribbon holding up part of her hair in a large ponytail. Beside her lay her Huntress clothes: denim jeans, shoulder armor, and a clean white hunting tunic. Annie’s weapon, a Ranged Impact Combat Bow named Nebula Halo, rested on the wall alongside her quiver, which was full of arrows.
As the recent Signal graduate put her regular attire on, the Scroll notified Annie of a call. She rushed for the device and picked it up.
“Hello?” she said.
“It’s Yara,” replied another female voice. “We’re at the port.”
“Already?!” Annie checked her clock. “It’ll be another hour ‘till the airship arrives!”
“Exactly. It’s going to be incredibly crowded, with the amount of new students applying for Beacon. Better get here fast.”
Annie sighed, then answered. “Are Reina and Roger with you?”
“Of course. Why wouldn’t I bring them?” she replied curtly.
“’Kay, then. I’ll be there in about 25 minutes,” Annie estimated.
She closed the Scroll and tucked it into her pocket. Sighing at her friend’s obvious but hidden excitement, she got out some breakfast and started to eat rather quickly.
The morning sun shone brilliantly over Vale as Annie walked the streets of the city, the light hitting the brick buildings of the shops that had just opened up for the new day. She held up her hand to catch the sun’s rays and smiled at the prospect of going to Beacon. I’m really going to Beacon! she thought enthusiastically. Thinking about it sent a flurry of butterflies in her stomach as she began to run towards the place which would take her to a new home.
As she ran, she saw something up ahead. Police tape surrounded grounded up asphalt while officers were talking to the shop owner, who seemed distressed. A crowd of Vale denizens surrounded the area. Annie slowed down to a trot as her excitement turned to concern.
“Um, would you mind asking me what happened here?” Annie said to a young teen.
“Apparently, Roman struck again,” came the answer. The teen, female and a bit taller than her interrogator, turned to Annie. “The thing was, though, he was interrupted this time. By someone from Signal, I hear. Speaking of which, you don’t happen to attend there, do you?”
“Yes, I do.”
The female grinned. “I’m Thymeria Lilac. I’m a Signal graduate going to Beacon.” She held out a hand for Annie to shake. “What’s yours?”
“Annie Celeste. I’m also going to Beacon.” She took the hand and shook it.
Thymeria was wearing a bit more armor than Annie was, donning shin guards, forearm guards, and a chest plate to complete the set. Long, thin pigtails hung from the top of her head and hung down to her hips. Violet eyes shone cheerfully in the sunlight. A fairly large sword, which she later named as Evening Star, lay inactive in its sheath.
The two began to walk towards their shared destination while talking to each other.
“So what weapon do you have?” asked a curious Annie. The teenage girl pulled out her enormous sword and answered her question.
“It’s officially called the Rotational Jet Propulsive Broadsword, but I like to call it…” Here Thymeria paused for dramatic effect. “...Evening Star,” she said as she swung the blade once. “It actually has Dust-powered jets on it to speed up my attacks. It also rotates with controlled actuators on the handle,” Thymeria explained, pointing out the various features of Evening Star. “It’s pretty good, if I do say so myself. Oh, and did I mention it can turn into a flamethrower?” she added in.
Annie was impressed and unconsciously compared it to her own weapon. Thus, she was taken off guard when Thymeria asked her about her own weapon.
“Oh! U-uh…” Annie hastily took out her own sword. “It’s actually a Ranged Impact Combat Bow,” she said as she turned the weapon into a tall longbow made of steel. The Dust drawstring formed while Annie further explained. “It actually can shoot quite far…”
“Oh? How far?” inquired Thymeria.
“W-well, I haven’t measured exactly, but I think… 1.2 miles?”
“Woah. That’s farther than I could ever shoot with Evening Star,” replied an amazed Thymeria.
“Really?” Annie had expected her newfound friend to be a bit more experienced in combat.
“Yeah. Mine can only go out to four meters. A bow’s bound to be better than a flamethrower when it comes to range. Stupid safety reasons.”
“I guess so… By the way, I heard that students were being recruited directly into Beacon.”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean not from Signal, Sanctum, or any other schools. Just directly from training into Beacon,” Annie said.
“Oh, yeah! I heard that the student who stopped Roman is only 15, and she’s going to Beacon as well.”
“Wait. You’re not kidding, right? That young?”
“Yeah. I don’t know why Ozpin would do something like that, but it happened anyways, so yeah.” Thymeria shrugged.
The airport was in sight now, and the street that Thymeria and Annie were walking on was slowly starting to hold even more new Huntsmen and Huntresses, eager to start their education at Beacon Academy. Teenagers of many colors, weapons, attire, and background were all gathering to await the glorious entry of the airships that would take them to the prestigious establishment. The two female Huntresses arrived at the edge of the crowd of graduates that had gathered.
Annie sighed in dismay. “Looks like Yara was right…”
Yara was a short, girl with black hair usually clad in blue, with a blue long-sleeved overcoat over her cyan tunic and denim pants to match. She also wore shined boots and a satchel on her waist. On her back lay her weapons, Dual Wielding Carbine Cutlasses named Whisper Stream, in two sheaths.
Beside her, Roger’s dark, huge form dwarfed Yara, yet gave off an air of friendliness and warmth. His outfit, themed with red, was a crimson, ragged vest with a worn red shirt under it. His weapons, the Serrated Dust Combustion Chains called Soul Singe, hung menacingly at his belt. Below his waist, he wore worn, blood-red cargo pants and brown, scarred boots. His red irises gave Annie a bit of comfort.
Reina was to the left of Yara, a bit taller than Annie, but having the same color of hair as Yara. She wore gleaming yellow armor on most of her joints and her chest. Underneath the metal, she donned a war dress, designed for combat scenarios. Slung on her back was her weapon, a Rapid Assault Automatic Chainstaff, which she called Raiken.
“Yara, we’ve got five minutes until the airship arrives. We’ve got time,” reassured Roger in a deep voice.
“Five damn minutes to wait, and then another 30 minutes-”
“Ten minutes,” corrected Reina. Nevertheless, Yara continued on.
“-to arrive at Beacon. Guys, we’re going to Beacon. Aren’t you excited?” The blue Huntress could not hold back her enthusiasm. “We actually learn to fight. We actually get to fight! New students, new teams, new- just new everything!” By the end of her sentence, she was jumping up with anticipation.
“Sure, we’re excited. Just holding it back,” said Reina, a touch of amusement creeping into her voice. “And who’s that you’ve got with you, Annie?” She gestured to Thymeria.
Annie quickly introduced the purple Huntress. “She’s Thymeria Lilac, also a Signal graduate. She’s coming with us to Beacon.” Thymeria waved cheerfully at the threesome.
“Cool,” said Roger. “Another to add to our list of friends.”
“So what kind of weapon do you have?” asked Yara, trying to have a peek at Evening Star.
“Yara, be patient, please. She’ll show you in time,” said Annie.
“Actually, I’ll just introduce my weapon now.” Thymeria acquiesced to Yara’s demands and demonstrated her weapon. While the four were occupied, Annie took a look around the crowd.
We’ve led hard lives, she thought. Signal gave a new life to each of us. Reina, Yara, Roger, and me. Even though we might’ve given up at times, we always had each other to look after. Each person has a part of their past that they want to forget so bitterly, yet also have a good part of their lives that they want to keep. Being with my friends has made me realize that. Do I want to forget my past for my friends? Long ago, I would’ve said yes. But now? Not now, not ever. Because those good memories are worth a thousand times more than the bad ones. And I’m glad for that. Annie smiled.
“The ships will be arriving in 60 seconds. Please stay behind the yellow lines,” announced a female attendant as the roar of engines approached from above. The roar of excitement that followed was deafening.
All five Hunters grinned in anticipation, as did many others. The airships touched down, one by one, creating gentle gusts of wind as the air blew back the hair of those near the landing zones. The crowd began to leak slowly into the ships. Annie and a mysterious green-cloaked Huntsman were the last to board.
Here comes our new future, Annie thought hopefully. The door closed on the asphalt ground of yesterday, as the airship lifted upwards for the skies of tomorrow.
At the same time, the Huntsman next to Annie thought the same thing, but with a different tone.
Here comes my new future, Grayson thought with a little less hope. He had a feeling of weariness of what his future would hold.
The Huntsman’s name was Grayson Terra. And he faced death - and survived - three times.
He knew the reality of what Beacon held. A future of endless fighting and cruelty.
The vehicle’s engines hummed softly inside the cabin as they flew over Vale, which was overlapped by the sound of excited chatter as the ship approached Beacon Academy.
“So what weapons do you guys have?” asked Thymeria.
“Huh? Oh, yeah. I have Whisper Stream right here,” said Yara, pointing to her two swords on her back. “They’re cutlasses that can also turn into carbines. The bullets produce ice upon impact.”
“As for me,” Roger interjected, grinning, “I have my chains, Soul Singe. The thing is, they can beat Yara’s weapons any day.” Roger demonstrated by lighting Soul Singe on fire. The flames flickered dangerously close to his palms.
“That’s not true, and you know it,” scolded Yara. “And put that out before you light the whole ship on fire!”
Reina sighed. “As for me, I have my Raiken. It’s a staff that can split into multiple sections connected by chains. It’s also electrified, so I wouldn’t advise touching it,” she added quickly, seeing Thymeria nearly touch her weapon. “It can also turn into an automatic crossbow.”
While the three were showing their weapons (and Yara and Roger arguing), Annie wandered about the ship, enjoying the view from up high. Suddenly, a gust rocked the ship, knocking her backwards into another person.
“Oh, sorry!” Annie immediately apologized to the fellow graduate.
He laughed. “No worries. Looks like even the latest in Dust technology can’t stop wind.”
“Yeah…” She looked out the window to see Signal Academy passing by below.
“By the way, I’m Hans Raum. Nice to meet you.” He extended a hand out, and Annie shook it.
“You’re from Signal? I saw you looking down at it.”
Hans was a moderately tall boy with blonde hair and , his polo shirt sticking out among the crowd. Annie noticed two high-tech bracelets on his wrists as she replied.
“Yes. I think I’ve actually seen your name somewhere…”
Suddenly, she was grabbed by an incredibly thick arm from behind. An arrogant voice sounded behind her.
“Looks like I got a hottie!” The voice snickered.
Hans looked at the person behind Annie, then scowled. “Hello, Eli.”
“Oh, if it isn’t the overachiever. If you don’t mind, I’ll be taking your date, since you don’t seem to be getting it off with her.”
“Who said I was dating her? We only just met. Now take your hands off of her.”
Annie herself was quite annoyed as well as Hans was. She tried to struggle out of the hold, but was overwhelmed by his strength.
“Let her go, man.” Another student, this time a wolf Faunus, appeared besides Hans and glared at the man holding onto Annie. “She’s not yours.”
“Oh? Who said, Faunus?” He spit the word “Faunus” out like it was dirt.
“Her.” The wolf Faunus’ tail flicked angrily at the emphasis.
“She knows she wants me.”
The air around the four new students turned tense as Hans, the Wolf faunus, and the teenager holding onto Annie held a standoff.
Grayson Terra was observing the fight.
How stupid can one get… the new Huntsman thought. Time to end this.
“Eli, was it?” Grayson suddenly stood up. By this time, everyone in the airship was watching the standoff. Eli turned towards the new challenger.
“Oh? And what do you want?” Eli asked, sneering.
Grayson pulled back his hood to reveal an intimidating face. His eyebrows were tipped down in anger, and his eyes were brimming with fury.
“It’s not about what you want. It’s not about what they want. It’s about what she wants.” Grayson pointed to Annie. “And right now, she doesn’t look too happy about your hands on her.”
As everybody turned their attention to Annie, they could see Grayson was right. The young Huntress was struggling to get out of Eli’s hold, all the while holding a furious and indignant face.
By now, Annie had had enough. Releasing some Dust, she slightly shocked her assailant.
“Jesus!” Eli let go of his quarry. “You’ll pay for-”
A glare from Grayson silenced him quickly. Eli returned the glare, then turned away haughtily, striding away quickly from the group.
Satisfied with his victory, Grayson slunk away from the incident.
“You okay, Annie?” said Roger as they quickly walked to Annie’s side.
“Yeah… Thanks for that, Hans.”
“No prob. There were also two other guys that helped me.” He gestured to the wolf Faunus, who shuffled uncomfortably.
“Heh. I only said some stuff…” the Faunus muttered shyly.
“Well, at least you stood up to him,” said Hans. “Your name?”
“I-it’s Azura. Azura Noire.”
“Nice to meet you. I’m Hans.”
Azura was a Faunus of medium height, and his tail brought proof of his heritage. On his forearms lay thick gauntlets, along with various body armor parts. On his shoulder armor plates lay engravings of slash marks.
“So, Hans, you knew that guy?” said Annie. “It sounded like it.”
Hans made an unpleasant face. “Yeah. That was Eli Ferrus. Believe it or not, he’s actually quite skilled. He nearly beat me in battle many times.”
“Seriously? That guy?” Azura had a look of disbelief on his face.
“Yeah. Don’t underestimate him.”
Suddenly, the TVs, which were on a news network, switched to a face of Glynda Goodwitch, who introduced the new students to Beacon.
"Hello, and welcome to Beacon!"
“Uh, who’s that?” said Roger. Yara sighed and quickly explained. Meanwhile, Glynda continued.
"My name is Glynda Goodwitch. You are among a privileged few who have received the honor of being selected to attend this prestigious academy! Our world is experiencing an incredible time of peace, and as future Huntsmen and Huntresses, it is your duty to uphold it. You have demonstrated the courage needed for such a task, and now it is our turn to provide you with the knowledge and the training to protect our world.”
The excitement among the new students overwhelmed the tense atmosphere of the incident before. The tall glorious towers of the academy approached fast in the windows, heralding a new life. The ships began to slow down as they approached the ports in front of the school.
As Annie and the others began to walk over the ramps, she suddenly remembered something.
Hans mentioned two people helping him. If Azura was one of them, then who was the other?...
The view of Beacon was colossally impressive, the tall, pointed towers dominating the skies of the campus and the stone paths criss-crossing the many pools of still, reflective water. Arches ringed the circular designs of the academy. Ahead, the high wooden doors marked the entrance. The bright white of the marble served to accent the vegetation planted around the campus.
Overall, Beacon was a sight to behold.
Annie, Thymeria, Roger, Yara, Reina, Hans, and Azura stood still for a moment, drinking it all in.
“Wow,” Azura finally said. “Never thought I’d see the place in person.”
Yara breathed in deeply. “Oh, the sweet, sweet smell of an educational institution.” At this, Roger rolled his eyes.
“You always think about your academics?” asked Roger.
“You’ve known me for 4 years, Roger. What do you think?”
“Weapons, Yara. You always think about weapons.”
“Oh, shut up.”
Annie sighed. “Guys, we’re at Beacon. That’s all that matters.”
“Oh, yeah. How exactly are we going to be getting into Beacon?” Thymeria asked. “I’ve heard something about teams, but other than that, there’s nothing much else I’ve heard.”
“Perhaps I could help you with that!” A high-pitched voice sounded from behind the group of Hunters as they turned around to find a small girl in a pink sailor uniform. Her pink eyes shined with excitement as she resumed speaking.
“Sabrina’s the name. What I was told was that we’re going to be sent into the Emerald Forest with our weapons and equipment.”
“The Emerald Forest? Isn’t there a lot of Grimm there?” Hans asked.
“Yeah. That’s why we’re being sent in with our weapons. We’re also going to be retrieving something, but I’m not sure as to what that is. Whatever it is we’re retrieving, that will also determine our team setups. Then we’ll be in those teams for the rest of our time at Beacon.”
“Hmm. Sounds random to me,” said Reina. Her eyebrows came together. “I don’t like it.”
“Less than a one percent chance of being on the same team together,” Yara remarked.
“Well, at least we’ll see each other in our classes if that happens, if it comes to that,” said Annie.
Roger sighed, then suddenly tensed up. He glared at a girl with white hair, his jaw muscles tight and his fists clenched.
The others noticed this and looked over at Weiss Schnee, the heir of the Schnee Dust Company, scolding a young girl in a red cloak.
“Oh! That’s her!” Thymeria suddenly exclaimed.
“Who now?” said Reina.
“The girl who stopped Roman! I remember now! That’s Ruby Rose!”
“She certainly does look like she’s fifteen,” Annie said as she observed the young girl. She frowned. “Weiss is being a little harsh, don’t you think?”
Roger suddenly started towards the red and white duo, only to be pulled back by Annie and Yara. “We know how you feel, Roger, but now isn’t the time,” Annie said.
Roger glared back at them. “Then when is the time, Annie? When do I get to have my revenge?”
Annie didn’t know how to answer Roger at the time, and didn’t get a chance to, for a slender, raven-haired girl replied.
“I know how you feel.” The girl proceeded to introduce herself as Blake. “Her grandfather’s company is horrible.”
“Very questionable employment methods and safety conditions,” Yara added in. “Not the best place to look for a job. Unlike some other companies…”
“You thinking about that again, Yara?” said Annie. A slow nod was her reply as the blue Huntress began to remember.
“Aeriver Industries…” she whispered in a wistful breath of air. Blake must’ve heard her, for she answered.
“I’ve heard of that company, but didn’t it go down a long time ago?”
“It did.” Roger had finally turned his attention away from Weiss, who was still scolding Ruby. “Yara was to be the heir of it. Until the accident.”
Blake looked at Yara incredulously. “You’re the…?!”
“Could we not talk about it, please.” The blue Huntress’ voice was painfully taut with an aura of grief.
Annie hastily changed the subject. ”Guys, we should probably get going. Opening ceremony’s in two minutes.” She began a slight trot and prompted the others to follow.
As Azura began to follow Annie’s lead, the touch of a hand, gentle but tugging, caused him to stop and look at the person next to him.
The person holding his hand was a stunning female wearing a long, silver dress. Her thin amber eyes indicated an Asian heritage, but the long, shining silver hair seemed to tell another story. On her back was a large staff of some sort.
She spoke in a soft whisper. “Umm…. Where’s the entrance ceremony?”
Azura, still looking at the beauty, managed to get out a few words. “U-uh… it’s right ahead, in the doors.” He gestured to the colossal oaken doors. The girl let go of his hand and was about to walk away when Azura asked something else.
“What’s your name?”
The silver hair whipped back as the girl turned around to face him.