Arc One: Welcome to Signal
This story is written in third person limited, which means any thoughts you see, are being thought by the person in the title of that chapter. For ejamplo, the words in italics in the Verda chapter, are all his thoughts.
Chapter 1: POV Jr. Azulon
It was a chilly, gloomy, pre-dawn morning. The citizens of Vale were peacefully sleeping in their beds. Resting, dreaming of future events, terrifying creatures of old legends filled the nightmares of children. Not a sound was heard in the usually bustling city. None, except for in The Miles Grenice Boy's Home, where chaos and confusion filled the worried voices of children.
Jr snapped awake, tumbling out of his bed, crashing onto the floor. He attempted to stand, only to slip on a floor covered in ice. Rojor Granate stood over him, holding an empty bucket.
"Oi! Jr, you lazy slag! I told you to wake up!" The red haired boy had a glazed expression in his eyes. As usual, Thought Jr bitterly, He never takes anything seriously. Jr glanced over at his alarm clock. His eyes widened.
"Why are we getting up so early! It's two in the morning!" Jr raged, he disliked being woken period, much less at two o'clock. Rojor's lazy expression quickly melted off of his face. He seemed to be fighting off tears, "Ro? What's happening?" Rojor, the same boy who didn't shed a tear as he was separated from his sister, began to sob.
"They're closing the orphanages, Jr. All of them." He bent down on his knees, slamming his fits into the ground. The half melted ice blocks around him cracked. "They're kicking us out of our homes! To mine the most excessive resource on the planet! Who does that?!" Rojor's face began to twist. "Jr, do you know where they are sending us?"
Jr trembled, his throat began to crack, the feeling of fear grasped his body" Ro, calm down. Ro, we can get through this." His best friend, his only companion for three years, began to violently shake.
"They're sending us to Signal! To learn to hunt monsters! 100 inner city boys, only lifting we've ever done is to sweep the floors! They're sending us to die!" His breathing began to slow. "Jr., I am leaving"
"Well duh, we all are." He did not understand his friends pain. It's been my dream to fight monsters! Doesn't he see? This is a golden opportunity.
"No, Jr., leave as in going away. I am going to look for Dorada. I heard she was adopted a few years back. I am going to find her, and move in with her family."
"Ro, you can't do that, they wont just let you run away. Think about it Ro, we would never get this opportunity otherwise." He is losing his mind, he can't leave me. Tears began to well up in his eyes "Ro, you are my best friend, my only friend, I can't go with you! I can't escape! I have no family to go to."
"You can come wi-" A sharp, brisk, thump on the door interrupted them. A voice like sandpaper shrieked at them from the other side."Any kids still in there?" The voice sounded threatening, suspicion dripping in the tone.
"Um... No sir!" Jr. called. Oh wait, that was counterproductive. A thundering crash shook the room as a door was blasted off of its hinges. A large burly man with stark grey hair and a t-shirt reading "Grenice Dust Corp; Security" kicked the remains of the door into splinters.
"Damn kids! We said to be in the airships by 2:15 AM sharp! What time is it now?!" The man's face burned a bright red, a blue-green vein pulsed rapidly on his forehead.
"Um, sir, it is only two sixteen. I thi-" The ending of his sentence was replaced with a sharp yelp of pain, as the back of the man's hand connected with Jr's face. He thrashed violently on the floor, sobbing, blood pouring from his lips. "I-I'm sorry."
"Stand up! Get up now!" He began to grab the boy by the collar of his jacket. A sharp, bone snapping, CRACK, similar to the one heard when the door snapped,echoed throughout the hall. When the security gaurd looked at his hand a second time, there was a piece of white bone poking out of the flesh.
"I never gave you permission to touch him." A shadow, darker than the gloom of the pre-dawn morn, fell over Rojor's face. "If you do it again, I will snap more than a wrist-bone." He let the man go, expecting him to reel back in pain.
"This is why I hate kids." With his good hand, the man raised his fire-enhanced dust shooter, and steadily aimed it at the chest of the red haired boy who dared to challenge him. "Fuck. You. Goodbye." He puncuated every word with another blast into the boy's chest. The force of the last round knocked him into the only window in the room, crashing through it on impact, his burned body tumbling out onto the street. The man quickly placed a fistful of Jr's hair into his hand, and dragged him out of the room.
Jr made no sound, as he was forcefully dragged onto the airship.
"Don't worry, grunt. Neither those shots, nor that fall would kill him, but lying on the street with two broken legs and third degree burns might."
Chapter 2: POV Verdantos Grenice
For the first time in weeks, the sky over Vale was cloudless. There wasn't a blemish in the sky, except for twenty identical jet black airships, like a flock of birds streaking towards Signal Academy. The only hint of color in the sky was a bright silver airship, one fourth the size of the others, Grenice Corp emblazoned in golden lettering on the side.
The pilot of this airship looked tiredly out the widow. He scratched his grey beard vigourusly. His white pilot's headset blared "There has been a shift in the wind patterns, expect some minor turbelence."
"Roger that." His short, swirled, grey beard brushed against the microphone, making his words hard to understand.
Inside his private ship, Vedantos Grenice swirled a glass of thin green liquid, which promptly spilled onto the floor as they hit some turbulence. "Hey! Alberto! Get me another mojito!" His metallic silver hair shifted to the side as he craned his neck to see his pilot.
"Then who would fly the ship sir? No one else is on board." The butler sighed. "Remember? You fired all the flight attendants for buffing your shoes incorrectly."
" Well, no one flying would be multitudes better than your mediocre skills." Verdantos sneered. "Are you paid to ask questions anyway?" Oi, you can never find any good help these days. Always with the questions! "Aren't you too young to be drinking Verdantos?" Or, "Don't feed the cats vodka Verdantos."
"Yes, Master Grenice. Today is my last day on the job, by the way." He spoke those words with less excitement than Verdantos expected. The butler reluctantly put on autopilot mode. "After I leave today, I hope you will grow to become a great man, just like your father."
"Which one?" The boy inquired. "I've had like, six." He closed his eyes as the butler finished pouring his glass. "How far are we from our destination Alberto? Actually, what is our destination?" Mother never told me that. The butler looked at him with sad eyes. Verdantos took a sip of the drink, a bitter, sour flavor washed over his tongue. "Alberto! You know i hate green apple!"
A hologram buzzed to life in front of the boy. It was the image of a beautiful woman, obsidian colored hair stretched to the small of her back. Rectangular, black rimmed glasses rested on her nose, covering her pale green eyes. She wore a short, black dress, stopping just above her knees.
"Mother." Verdantos spoke with extreme distaste. This can only be bad news, Lauren Grenice never comes with good tidings.
"Verda, is that any tone to be used with your mom?" She glanced at the glass in his hands. "Are you drinking that filth again? Put it down! You are fourteen years old! Drink something normal." She snorted, "You remind me of your classless slob of a father."
He ignored that comment, "Why did you call me? I know it wasn't to chastise my drinking habits, which i have no plans to cease." He took another sip of the mojito, cringing at the taste.
"Do you know why there are so many ships out today? And why they are all headed to the same place?" She smiled, a smile she only used when she was scheming.
"I don't know, planning to take over Vale today? I would expect something more discreet from you, mother." He smirked, knowing she would take that badly. He tilted his pirate hat so that it covered his eyes. "Mother, I am tired. Make haste to the point, if you please."
"We shut down all of the orphanages today." She grinned, "We have no resources to waste on stuffing anymore beasts into our struggling city."
"Oh, and where are you planning to send them?" He didn't much care for the orphans, they were probably abandoned for good reason. "Not that it matters to me."
"Oh Verda, it should matter. You are all headed to the same place." She grinned the largest grin Verdantos had seen in years.
Verdantos twitched, he slowly placed his hat on the seat next to him. " I'm sorry, I must have misheard, did you say you are sending me to spend a year with a bunch of lower class malcontents?"
"Oh, Verda-" She began, in an impossibly belittling tone.
"Don't call me that, ever again." He growled. His tone would be mistaken as murderous, if he was speaking to anyone else.
"Verda," She continued, "You wont be spending a year with them, you will be spending four." She smiled. "You need shaping up. You are rude, easily angered, and an overall unlikable person."
"I see we have much in common, mother." He took a sip of his drink. I think I will need a few more of these.
" If you interrupt me again, Verdantos, I will land this ship and put you on the next train to the mining caverns." She showed the first signs that she was angry. " I am sending you to Signal Academy. They will teach you discipline, and hopefully shape you up to be more like your fathers... the good ones, anyway." She smiled, "And you will learn how to fight! So when you abuse the help, you can do it verbally, and physically." She smiled sadly, "You look just like him."
"Oh, and I bet you are so proud of that." He sneered.
"No, I am not. You should dye your hair, try purple." The hologram began to flicker, "Verdantos, try not to embarrass me, unless you want want your inheritance cut further."
Verdantos twitched, his eyes closed to slits. He threw his glass at the quickly fading hologram. It phased through his mother's head, crashing against the cockpit door. The thin glass cracked on impact. "Alberto! Turn this ship around!"
"I'm so sorry, Master Grenice. It is my last day until retirement, which in itself is a bad omen, and crossing your mother would be a seal on my fate." Alberto discreetly wiped a tear from his cheek. " I hope to see you again, Master Grenice."
"Just leave me be, Bert." Verdantos put his hat completely over his face, slipped on his green overcoat, and attempted to fall asleep. I feel sorry for those poor orphans. If they think they have faced hardships in life, wait 'till they get a load of me.
Chapter 3: POV Rolan Gaira
Rolan jogged through the lavishly decorated hallway. The heads of beowolves attached to shields decorated the walls. Purple drapes covered all of the windows. SIgnal: Combat Training Academy covered the double doors that led into the cafeteria. The red lettering always irritated the boy’s eyes.His red hair immediately caught the attention of some second year girls. They began giggling. Gaah, ignore them Gears, come on, you have a mission.Crystals, crystals, come on, why don’t they have any crystals here? You know, for a combat school, this inventory is really lacking. The boy let out a long breath. Sweat beaded his brow from constant moving. Three hours! Three! I need a break. A pasty young man brushed past him brusquely. Extending an arm, he threw Rolan into the ground.The wild tuft of violet hair flipped over his eyes as he spun around.
“Watch where you’re walking first year!” The purple stubble on his chin made it obvious he was close to graduation. His violent gray eyes made him look even more threatening. His long gray overcoat brushed the tip of his solid onyx shoes.
“Sorry about that! Heh heh, I bet exams are really stressful, huh?” The boy propped himself of of the blue tiled floor. “I’m Rolan Gaira! My friends call me Gears!” He gave the broadest smile he could muster.
The harsh glare from the tall windows bent around the boy’s hair, causing a shadow to fall over his thin face. He gave a belittling grin, flashing filed molars. “Oh, I see the first year thinks he can run with the big league’s.” The boy’s body vanished, leaving nothing but a haze. He promptly appeared before Gears, his knees raised into the smaller boy’s chest. Rolan slammed into the back wall. Chipping the white paint, cracking the cement blocks. " I know this is supposed to be done in the arena, but I have heard things about you that make this meeting a priority.
“Kuff!” He made a desperate sound as the breath escaped his lungs. He gasped sharply inward, struggling to horde any air he got. His lungs felt like they were being filled with nails. Gaah, i know the Fourth years are testing my strength, I just wish they would test it after lunch. He promptly activated his mechanical wings. Sharp, sky blue tips sprouted from his backpack. I am so glad Model III has a collapsable mode, doors were such a pain to get through. The pack swiftly launched his small frame twenty feet into the air. As he reached the ceiling he flipped upside down, so that his feet rested firmly on the ceiling. The wing pack rotated accordingly, so that the boy could stay planted on the skylight ceiling.
The glass panes began to give way underneath the pressure of his pack's boosters. There was a ear piercing crack, as the pane began to separate. He reached into his holster, presenting a standard Fire Dust launcher. He hastily fired six rounds at the violet haired teen, who was smiling cockily from his position on the ground. Rolan knew he was outmatched, this guy was better than most Beacon students.
The older boy reached for the collar of his overcoat, violently ripping it off. Silver runes glowed on both of his forearms, violent energy ready to be unleashed. As Gears’ projectiles neared their mark, a shifting wall of gray matter appeared in front of his assailant. The shots detonated on impact, causing a shockwave to ripple through the cafeteria. Plates scattered from the explosion.
The already thinning lunch crowd rushed towards the exit. The runes began to glow again, and the already loud cracking sounds reached a crescendo, as part of the ceiling was completely demolished. A roaring sound, like violent tsunami waves, swirled around Rolan's head. He was temporarily blinded, as a gale force wind rushed by his face. He instinctively crossed his arms over his face.
The winds that blasted through the ceiling began to swirl over the fallen glass. Pieces of the cracked pane were scattered over tables, and covered the floor like a deadly blanket of snow. The glass began to slowly form into two swirling masses, both about the height of Rolan, and about twice the the width of his forearm. The boy below slowly brought the two masses together. He brought together his index and middle finger so that they touched and thrusted them towards the boy. "Gale Force Spear!"
Gears quickly willed his pack to veer to the left. He narrowly avoided the rotating volley, receiving a small cut across his cheek. He prepared to launch towards the senior, when he was met with a nasty coughing sound. Ahh, no! I'm out of fuel. He quickly spiraled towards the cafeteria floor, leaving a trail of black smoke in his wake. He landed on his right shoulder, with a muffled thump!
"Hey! You numbnuts! All battles should be taken to the Arena! Look what you did to the cafeteria." A tall, wide faced supervisor began to chastise the older teen. " This mess! You will personally clean this up! By yourself, the first year you assaulted, gets no punishment, and free lunch!" He turned towards the exit, his wide jowls rumbling as he took his steps.
"You're not quite as good as they sold you up to be." The older student frowned at him. "That jetpack, try using powder dust, it is a lot more potent, so you won't run out of fuel in the middle of a battle." He stretched out his hand, helping the boy up, "There is a huge batch of newbies coming in on the airships, a bunch of orphans, and that one Dust Company heir."
"Weiss Schnee?" Rolan's eyes widened in shock, Her parents are sending her to a combat school?!
"Nah, but I heard that this guy has a similar personality." He suddenly burst into a fit of laughter. "I'm sorry about attacking you, but I am always looking for a new challenger." He inspected him up and down. "I think a few girls have taken a liking to you, probably should go talk to them. I'll get started on this basted floor. Oh, and the name's Obsidios Bowler, but my freinds call me Sid."
Gears slowlt left the cafeteria, checking over his shoulder every few steps. 'That guy was weird, to say the least. He is an amazing fighter though. I can't wait until we build custom weapons! This shooter is fun and all, but it lacks creativity.
"- has gone missing. We have no current leads, except that the primary suspect has a history of Grimm experimentation. Back to you Sirrum." A news report blared over the speakers. The uncertain mood Gears had suddenly became depressed. I can't believe that there are sick people that kidnap children on this planet.
He stepped out onto the pavillion.' I wish these stupid wings didn't die on me. How would that be for a first impression? "Woah! Did you see that kid? He can totally like fly!" , "I want what that dude's having!" or "He must be some kind of angel!". But for now, I am confined to the primitive transportation methods of the men before Dust. Walking. He stepped onto the railing, taking a deep breath.
"Hello new years! Welcome to Signal:Combat Training Academy! I see a lot of beautiful people out here!" His eyes fell upon a kid with flame colored hair, staring into his blue overcoat. "Hey you! With the headphones!? Aren't you a bit young to be attending Signal?"
The boy hastily looked up, "Huh? You talkin' to me?" His eyebrows furrowed, "I'm thirteen! Why do you ask?"
Gears' face flushed red in embarrassment,"Well, i dunno, you just seemed a bit, umm, short." He raised his hand at his sternum, to emphasize the height difference." Sorry about the confusion."
The boy's eyes widened, his nostrils flared. "Oi! You red-haired, ginger faced pixie! Fight me! Fight me now!" He pulled a broadsword from his back, pointing the tip at Gears. The sword slipped from his hands, impaling itself into the concrete. The boy began to struggle, trying to wrench the blade from the ground.
"Hah, not right now, come in, you're going to be late for orientation!" Gears sped towards the entrance, an army of recruits rushing behind him. That kid, I don't know if I am going to like him.
Chapter 4: POV Messer Danam
Messer quickly followed the boy into the auditorium. His elbows were pressed deep into someone's ribcage. This is a really tight fit.Oof! He coughed as he was jostled around by the massive crowd. Ok, I think I would appreciate a better view anyway. He bent low to the ground, knees pressed against his chest. Breathing deeply inward, he launched himself up off of the balls of his feet, landing on someone's head.
"Oops, heh heh." He pressed off, and aimed towards one of the lights hanging on on the ceiling. He reached for the metal frame that surrounded the lights. His jet black hair flew in front of his face, blocking his view. Shoot! I came in too fast. He blindly grabbed for the frame, frantically searching, when his fingertips scraped something metal. He grabbed on with all of his might, bending the frame. Phew! He wiped off the sweat that had collected on his brow. He launched himself upwards, spinning 180 degrees in the air, so that he landed in a sitting position.
He slowly took in the scenery. Black marble tiles covered the entire floor. Teenagers scrambling for positions filled the hallway with sound. The boy who had yelled at them by the entrance stood on one of the white window panels. He gave a wide smile, irritating the scar on his chin. He quickly scratched it. A film of ice began to cover his chin. Whoops, i forgot to turn these off. He hit a button on the bottom of his gauntlets.
A tall, muscular, man walked onto the stage. His chin was completely covered by a long black beard. He folded his arms over his chest, covering the breast piece of his pitch black armor. A jet black set of armored leggings completed the warrior look.
"Stage, close!" He boomed, in a voice that should have come from a drill sergeant. The wide, half circle, stage began to violently fold in on itself, it created a booming noise, like gunshots. When it was finished, he stood on a platform as wide and long as he was. HE stepped up to the microphone, clearing his throat. "I know you came to this auditorium, expecting a speech. You expected me to laud this school, to say that it is only rivaled by Sanctum in Graduate Skill. You expected me to give you an overview of our courses, you wanted a tour of our campus." He scanned over the confused faces with his beady purple eyes. "Well, today i will relieve you of your foolish expectations. Instead I will simply say one word from here on out."
Messer was beyond confused. Um, is this guy losing it? I am actually pretty terrified right now. He looked at the friendly guy from the pavillion. He was giving the most suspicious smirk. "Pause for effect." Messer heard him say. The boy then jumped off the window pane, hitting the ground, he broke off into a mad dash for the doors. "Have fun! Try not to drool on yourself." Messer began to question the sanity of this school, when a loud clicking sound was heard, followed closely by a Pop! and a whir.
"Dodge." The man bellowed, then gave a heavy chuckle. The walls slid apart, revealing dozens of triple barreled cannons. The silver gleamed in the sun. The rays caught Messer in his eyes, stunning him. He began to lose balance on the light, wobbling it left and right. He heard one of the cannons go off, like an amplified laser shot. Then, a soft groan filled the auditorium, followed by the thud of a boy hitting the ground. Yells of panic and confusion filled the hall.
"They're killing us!" and "It was a trap!" and "Stop panicking Akbar!". There was another thud, as the one named Akbar hit the ground, a steaming hole appeared in his shirt. Messer attempted to regain his sight. Slipping on the metal framing he descended towards the ground, landing with a loud thud. The plasma shots began to increase in tempo. More and more bodies struck the ground, more and more students began to cry out in confusion, before being suddenly silenced. This chaos increased in magnitude, until all the cannons went off in unison. Multiple people went down at once.
Messer crawled off the ground, finally regaining the ability to see. What he saw made him wish he was still struggling on the ground. Bodies littered the floor. Plasma shots rang through the air. Continuously hitting students. Two came tumbling towards him, he quickly did a sideways roll, feet never hitting the ground, the two balls came rumbling under his arched back. They promptly struck another student in the face. HE began to face the oncoming barrage, bobbing and weaving through volley after volley. Only a few other students seemed to be holding their own, a guy in a green hat, who was using other students bodies as shields and a short kid with orange hair, hiding behind a sword much too large for his body. The others were an older kid, with a robotic arm, and a taller girl, with blonde hair and white accents. Her white t-shirt seemed strange on her figure.
HE activated his ice gauntlets, punching the balls of fizzling purple plasma away. He hoped they didn't short out. The microphone made a loud booming sound, then a crackling one, signaling that the giant of a man in front of them had something to say. HE took a long, sighing breath, "Since none of you will figure this out on your own, you might want to try destroying the turrets."
Messer smiled, those years of circus training will sure come useful here. He leaped onto a turret right above him, activating his ice gauntlets, he began freezing the cannon's rotating mechanism, when the machine tried to move, it began to give off a loud whirring sound, then a pop as it died. He did this to the others that were on this level, before going to the ground. The boy in the green hat dropped his meatshields and reached into his pockets, producing two long, silver daggers. He threw one into the barrel of a turret, causing it to jam, thus blowing up on itself. The boy with the fire-colored hair and the headphones, attempted to swing his sword at a cannon, instead the blade slipped from his grip, flying right over the other boy's head. A piece of green cloth floated to the ground.
"Who, the hell, threw that fucking blade!" The boy in green turned red in the face with rage. His nostrils flared, he jerked his finger towards the assaulter. "You! You tried to kill me with that shitty excuse for a sword!"
"Don't call it shitty! It's an heirloom!" The other boy tensed up, obviously preparing for a fight.
"I'll call your shitty, poor man's flamberg whatever i want!" The silver haired teenager pointed his dagger towards the boy. The owner of the sword, insulted and embarrassed, rushed toward him, getting a hard knee to the stomach for his trouble. The shape of the boy's knee left an imprint in orange hair's blue overcoat. Orange buttons flew all over the floor. The boy on the ground coughed up blood. The boy with the dagger turned a dark shade of red, "This'll teach you lower class malcontents the fucking code!" He rushed towards the boy, as the other boy struggled to his feet, the larger boy round kicked him sideways, pushing him into the line of fire, he was struck in the chest, crying in pain before collapsing.
"Stop the test!" Bellowed the man from the podium. He rushed towards the fallen boy. Mumbling a few words, he pushed into his chest, a white tinted blue glow surrounded the boy's body.The cut on his eye began to heal, becoming nothing more than a brown colored slash. "I am sorry I couldn't fix it further than that." He turned towards the other boy, shaking his head, "You! We do not, attack fellow students outside of the arena! Verdantos, you wont get many warnings here." He turned and walked towards the exit. "Test over, the last 10 contestants standing can head to your dorms, then meet me at the forge, the rest of you will get to go through the ever so fun, basic training."
Messer looked around at the one named Verdantos in pure shock and fury. He grinded his teeth, holding back the words of pure malice and contempt he wanted to say.Then the bloke had to go and open his mouth.
"Do i fucking interest you fancy jumps? Huh?" He grinned arrogantly.
"Yes, you do." Messer jumped towards Verda, spinning sideways he landed on the boys chest, he pressed off, sending Verdantos flying towards the small stage. "Don't do that, again, I have already been trained in half of the stuff you are about to go through." He turned towards the boy, who was slowly climbing off of the floor."Let's head to the practice arena, after you feel better, you obviously need some training."
The boy frowned, "I don't need your help! But I'll come anyway, since it's either you or that jerk. Also, I'm really hungry." He pointed towards the boy climbing onto the podium, pulling himself off of the ground. "Ha, funny, I still can't seem to hate him."