Beacon Academy. Where young warriors gather to hone their craft. When they are done they will be named Hunters. Their duty, to safeguard mankind from the soulless creatures of Grimm. The twins Rita and Nathan Lovell are two such warriors. Together and with new found comrades they will strive to prove themselves worthy. But darkness gathers, and nothing is certain.
Chapter 1 - Arrival
"How can you be can be such an idiot!?" Rita Lovell hisses through her teeth as she clobbers the back of her twin brother's head with a gloved fist. Her auburn braid swings over her shoulder as she sets her piercing onyx eyes on her male counterpart.
Nathan Lovell chuckles nervously as he nurses the lump rising steadily through his close cropped hair "come on sis, it was an honest mistake! Yesterday was crazy, you know with everyone wanting to congratulate us. Not to mention all the gifts, it must have gotten lost in the shuffle. I'll just buy some more from the local weapon shop"
Rita sighs at her brother's customary devil-may-care attitude "That's not the point and you know it!" she says as she checks her gear again. The airship begins to descend and Rita wants to be presentable when they arrive at Beacon Academy for the first time. Their family had given them new gear just after their graduation ceremony and Rita is still getting used to the feel of it. She readjusts her armored breastplate and tightens her matching bracers over the sleeves of a white coat. The coat itself fits perfectly since their mother made it by hand. It's sturdy, weather resistant and has the family emblem stitched into the shoulder, an image of two stags set back to back on an orange field. Her black combat pants adhere perfectly to her skin and her padded leather boots cover her legs up to just below the knee. "I can't believe you forgot to pack spare ammo. This isn't like back at Sanctum you know, we're going to fight real monsters here. What if we were on an actual mission? What would you do then?"
Nathan snorts and crosses his arms over his chest. He's dressed in nearly identical clothes and outfitted with similar armor, the only differences being that his pants are looser and each piece of armor made slightly heavier; to better match his fighting style. "Well even if we were, there's nothing to worry about. My Crimson Vipers can do more than shoot bullets." He touches the bladed Tonfas fastened upon his belt with pride. Each one is tinted a deep shade of red and made out of the most advanced materials available making them nearly indestructible. "They'll cut through anything that gets in my way!"
"Not this again…" Rita rolls her eyes. "Ever since dad gave us our new weapons you've been bragging about how amazing you'll be in battle. It's not like I don't get the tactical advantage of having a weapon with multiple functions. But sometimes I just don't understand the reasoning behind it. I mean why does someone who always fights close up like you even need high caliber pistols?
"Well not everyone can make do with something simple like a bow and arrows the way you can"
"Hey there's nothing simple about Blackfyre!" She reaches over her shoulder and the automated quiver deploys her jet black compound bow. She grabs the bow by its grip and holds it's still compact form straight out in front of her. She hits a switch causing the bow to unfold to its full length. "Blackfyre's got an adjustable scope and can hit a target accurately from 200 meters away. Not to mention this!" She flips open a panel on Blackfyre's side revealing several buttons each of which has a corresponding number. Rita pushes one with her thumb causing it to light up while the number next to it goes from 25 to 24. The mechanized quiver on her back spins into life, drawing a few interested stares from those nearby.
A moment later the quiver stops spinning and Rita pulls out an arrow. She holds it up to Nathan's face causing him to go cross eyed as he stares down at it "An arrow. So what?"
"Look closely at the tip"Rita says, pulling back slightly. Nathan refocuses his gaze and finally notices a glint of red. Rita smirks "That my dear brother is an arrowhead filled with Fire Dust and that's just the start. I can set Blackfyre to shoot any kind of arrow imaginable."
Nathan's face stretches into a sly grin "Now who's bragging"
Rita's brow twitches in irritation, and just as the pilot announces their arrival she snaps "you know what, never mind! Do whatever you want. Just don't come crying to me when a pack of Beowolves is tearing you limb from limb." The airship comes to a stop at the docks and the door opens, allowing the passengers to disembark. Rita holsters Blackfyre, picks up her suitcase, and strides quickly down the gangplank.
Nathan, stunned by her sudden departure is unable to react in time to avoid the other first years as they shove past him. "Hey watch it!" he says as he scrambles for his luggage. He's just able to gather his things before being swept up by the tide of moving bodies. He makes his way blindly through the mire of chattering students until he emerges on the side of the path, near a line of well kept shrubs. "Jeez, it's not like Beacon's going somewhe..." He trails off as he takes in the sight laid out before him. Tall shining towers reach toward the sky, their majestic peaks disappearing into the clouds. He follows the towers down until he spots more buildings each one grand enough to make even Nathan's memories of Sanctum seem insignificant by comparison. "Wow" is all he can say as he beholds his new home. It takes a few more seconds for Nathan to come to his senses but when he does he notices that Rita is standing nearby, tapping her foot impatiently.
"Well are you done gawking yet?" She says as she sidles up to him "The opening ceremony is going to start any minute."
Nathan frowns at her "That's pretty harsh sis. First you abandon me then you get mad at me for being too slow? What's up with you today? You're not usually this crabby."
"It's because you're always such an irresponsible jackass!" she says with an edge in her voice. Nathan simply stares at her until she clicks her tongue and turns away. "Oh alright It's not really about you" She looks down at her feet in a melancholy manner before mumbling "I guess I'm just kind off… tense"
Nathan continues to stare for a moment more before smiling and walking up to her. He throws his arm over her shoulders and gives her a little squeeze "Don't sweat it. Anyway let's get going. We can't keep our glorious future waiting."
Rita looks into her twin's eyes, calmed by his steadfast support. She chuckles a little before ducking out from under his arm "Alright hotshot let's go"
The two of them continue toward the school, following in the wake of the main group. Just before turning a corner the sound of a distant explosion reaches them, followed by indistinct yelling. Rita looks around with raised eyebrows "What's that all about?"
Nathan shrugs "well this is a school for Hunters. I'll bet it's just an intense sparring match or something."
"You're probably right."
Chapter 2 - Realization
Rita and Nathan walk through the arching front gates of Beacon's main assembly hall. The other new students fill up most of the room as they radiate outward from the stage. The twins follow the curve of the wall until they find a less crowded place to stand, and wait for further instructions. Nathan glances over the throng of chattering students, waving as he spots his friends from Sanctum. He sets his luggage down at the base of a pillar and turns to his sister "Hey Rita I'll be right back, watch my stuff will you?"
Rita rolls her eyes before answering "fine, just be quick about it. I'm not your personal handmaid."
Nathan grins "for the record, I think you'd look great in a maid outfit. And you'd probably have better luck finding a boyfriend if you gussied yourself up every once in a while." He ducks Rita's lightning quick punch then begins to weave through the crowd with a mischievous spring in his step.
"I swear if he wasn't my brother…" Rita grumbles under her breath. She crosses her arms haughtily and glances at a nearby window. The stained glass reflects a multicolored yet still undistorted image of her. Rita Lovell is not unattractive; on the contrary some might say that her olive complexion and high cheekbones make her a natural beauty. However she almost never bothers to apply makeup and her clothes are usually geared towards function rather than fashion. She has also built up a reputation for having somewhat of a short fuse. Even when she was younger she had had little patience for nonsense, and her tendency to get physical usually put people off. "Who said anything about wanting a boyfriend anyway?" She sighs then glances up at the rest of the tall window. Beams of sunlight stream through, illuminating an epic battle scene between Hunters and their eternal adversaries, the creatures of Grimm.
"It has quite the artistic flare doesn't it" says a female voice to Rita's side.
Rita pivots on her heel and the corner of her mouth curves up as she recognizes the newcomer "Pyrrha, I was wondering when you'd show up" The two prospective Huntresses had been close friends for many years so the mere sight of her instantly helps Rita let go of her gloomy thoughts.
The tall red haired woman returns Rita's smile before going in for a hug. Unlike Rita, Pyrrha Nikos is an avatar of feminine beauty and strength. Her armor is stylish yet functional and her makeup is flawless. Her cheeks painted with a subtle blush and her vivid green eyes highlighted by a matching shade of eye shadow. "I'm sorry for making you wait. I got held up by some of our new classmates."
As they step away from one another Rita stifles a giggle "Well you are the almighty mascot of Pumpkin Pete's Marshmallow Flakes. A little hero worship is to be expected."
Pyrrha folds her hands on her skirt. Humble as always, despite mention of even her most superficial accomplishment "I don't know if that's exactly the case but thank you anyway." They continue to chat until the room echoes with the sound of a microphone's feedback.
Professor Ozpin the headmaster of Beacon Academy stands in the center of the stage with Glynda Goodwitch at his back. The silver haired headmaster gazes out at the newly arrived initiates then reaches forward and taps the receiver again. When the last of the students falls silent he clears his throat and begins to speak "I'll keep this brief…" He says readjusting his crooked spectacles "you have traveled here today in search of knowledge. To hone your craft and acquire new skills, and when you have finished you plan to dedicate your life to the protection of the people." Many nod their heads and some even began to puff themselves up a bit. Rita covers her eyes, embarrassed, as she notices that her brother is one such individual. The headmaster's next statement puts an end to all shows of bravado, and even causes the atmosphere of the room to grow somewhat somber "But I look amongst you and all I see is wasted energy, in need of purpose… direction. You assume knowledge will free you of this, but your time at this school will prove that knowledge will only carry you so far. It is up to you to take the first step." As the Headmaster makes his way slowly off the stage an uncomfortable murmuring begins to spread through the hall. Rita herself begins to feel a sense of sober realization. Although all of them had trained for years before coming here, countless challenges still await them.
As she and Pyrrha glance at one another Glynda Goodwitch steps up and says "You will gather in the ballroom tonight. Tomorrow your initiation begins. Be ready. You are dismissed."
The crowd begins to break into smaller groups and each one starts to make its way out. Rita picks her luggage up along with Nathan's and turns to Pyrrha "Did you get a campus map yet?"
Pyrrha unclasps a pouch on her hip and produces a folded directory. "Yes, I thought that we might look around before it gets dark."
Rita nods and begins to respond when suddenly she feels a hand grasp her left shoulder. She turns her head slightly, and is greeted by her brother's cheerful face "Hey sis thanks for looking after my stuff." Nathan leans over and grabs his suitcase from Rita then levels his gaze on Pyrrha "Ah a pleasure as always my dear." Quick as a flash he falls to one knee and grabs Pyrrha's free hand, gently planting a kiss upon her knuckles. "Your beauty knows no bounds Ms. Nikos. Please tell me, what are you wearing underneath your-"
His next word gets shoved back down his throat as Rita sends a swift kick to his face. Nathan tumbles end over end for a few seconds before being caught by his friends. They grab his luggage, lift his limp form into the air, and ferry him to safety as Rita's flushed face scowls after them "You absolute jackass! Just wait until tonight. I'll give you a beating you'll never forget!"
Pyrrha only giggles as Rita storms out of the room. Her fury palpable enough to send other people scurrying out of the way. Grabbing her own bag Pyrrha follows close behind saying "Don't be too hard on him. He's been that way ever since we first met. I'm used to it by now."
"That doesn't make it any better you know!" Pyrrha shrugs "I suppose not." She unfolds the directory and scans its surface "Let's drop our luggage at the ballroom before exploring. It's that big building across from the locker rooms."
Chapter 3 - S
"Damn. Sometimes I forget how hard she can hit." Nathan says as he puts his briefcase down and lays his back against the wall.
"I don't see how. She smacks you around almost every day." says Peter Bison as he hands Nathan an icepack. "Why do you always have to mess with your sister anyway?" Nathan thanks his stout red haired friend as he accepts the pack, pressing it to his swollen cheek and sliding down the wall in relief.
Before he can answer Nathan's other friend Isaac Cross cuts in "Didn't you know? He was born with a serious case of masochism, compounded by his lack of common sense. Isn't that right Mr. Lovell?" He leans his elbow on the squatting twin's head with a smirk.
Nathan shoves the lanky brunette away as he gets to his feet "This coming from the guy who landed himself in the hospital after peeking into the girl's locker room." Isaac stiffens slightly, going pale as painful memories resurface. Meanwhile the twin leans in close and whispers into the stunned boy's ear "Rita told me all about how she-"
"Whoa, whoa, whoa! There's no need to bring that up." Isaac says, waving his hands in front of himself frantically "I'm sorry, alright?"
Nathan snorts as he starts walking away "Sure, whatever." his stomach lets loose a feral growl "Anyway let's find the food court. I haven't eaten since we took off."
The three of them begin moving down the deserted garden path. As they walk they quietly admire the elegantly arching structures and ample display of nature that Beacon's architects were able to bring to the school. However after half an hour of aimless wandering they still don't notice anything that can tell them where to go or even where they are. Eventually Peter breaks the silence "I think we're lost…"
"Oh be quiet Pete. We're not lost" Isaac retorts.
The three grind to a halt and after an awkward pause, in which the three of them exchange a few brief glances, they breathe a collective sigh of submission. Nathan admits total defeat as he says "We should have probably grabbed one of those directories before heading out." He laces his fingers behind his head "But come on! No one told me that Beacon was this huge." The other two agree so it's decided that they will seek guidance from the next people they see. They continue on their way and decide to cut through a wide alley. Nathan spots a group of older students huddled next to a wall mounted air conditioning unit "Perfect! Let's ask those guys."
As the three of them get closer they hear one of the students say something in a heated tone "I don't care what you say mongrel. Your kind doesn't belong here, so I suggest you take the next flight home before things get messy." Nathan stops a few yards away, motioning for his friends to do the same. He narrows his eyes as he studies the situation carefully. The four uniformed upperclassmen are standing shoulder to shoulder with their backs turned outward. This forms a barricade around a lone figure, trapping him between the wall and the air conditioner. Nathan tries to identify the cornered individual, but from his position he can only see the man's lower half. The fact that he's dressed in a long purple robe over loose black pants helps him determine that it's a fellow initiate.
A confident male voice responds "While you are free to believe what you will, I have no intention of leaving" The voice is calm and polite despite its owner's predicament. "I have earned this opportunity and I will see it through to the end."
The apparent leader of the gang scoffs and moves as if to grab something from inside his school jacket. "cover me!" Nathan hisses before dashing forward, ramming into the leader's side and sending both of them toppling to the ground.
The other three aggressors freeze as they watch their leader fall. When he regains his feet the irate man scowls at the twin and spits "You have a problem kid!?"
"Whoops sorry about that" Nathan says cheerily as he rises to his feet "I'm just a little excited is all. Beacon's such an amazing place, I guess I got carried away."
As the gang puzzles over Nathan's behavior Peter and Isaac quickly step forward, standing to either side of their friend. Isaac grins and throws his arm over Nathan's shoulders "We should apologize too. This guy's always been such a klutz, I swear we can't take our eyes off him for a second!"
Peter nods his head steadily "Oh yeah. He's constantly tripping over his own feet even when we're sparing with real weapons" He taps the axe handle sticking up over his shoulder "This one time I almost cut his hand off."
Nathan taps Peter's armored ribs causing a soft clang to echo up and down the alley "Come on! The ground was slick that day so it wasn't really my fault."As Isaac and Peter continue the charade he looks over at the man in purple as if noticing him for the first time. To his immense surprise he realizes that the man is not just any new student. Most of him looks fairly normal. He has pale white skin, with long black hair tied neatly into a loose top knot. His clothes are a little odd looking but it's the rest of his features that set him apart from every other student Nathan's seen thus far. His eyes are like thin slits of amethyst embedded in orbs of ivory and his ears are pointed like those of a fox. The student is a Faunus. Recovering from his shock Nathan casually says "Oh, did we interrupt something? I'm sorry, we were just trying to find someone who could give us directions. You know like a groundskeeper or..." he leans back on his heels "a teacher."
The three followers all look at one another nervously and begin to shuffle about uncomfortably. The leader sees them then turns and squints at Nathan with burning hatred. After a tense pause he chuckles and shrugs "Don't worry about it, we were just stopping to give a new student some advice. But we've actually got to get to class, so…" He motions for his lackeys to move and starts walking down the other side of the alley. Just before turning the corner he stops and throws one last comment over his shoulder "Oh yeah, watch what you say to people. You wouldn't want to get yourselves into trouble especially before initiation" and with that he disappears.
An oppressive silence stretches on for several minutes before Isaac lets loose a frustrated groan "What an asshole!" He runs his hand over the bladed revolver holstered on his thigh "I'll show him trouble."
Peter wipes a thin film of sweat from his brow and sighs "Did you really have to tackle him Nate?" He sighs "I was convinced that they were going to jump us the moment you took that guy to the ground."
Nathan shrugs with a little smile tugging at the corners of his mouth "Well like Rita always says, I'm a reckless jackass."
"On the contrary, I believe that it was they who were insufficiently prepared for a fight." They spin around to look at the Faunus as he continues to speak "Unlike those upperclassmen, you have your gear. It would have been quite easy to subdue them even if they had concealed weapons" He bows slightly at the waist "Nevertheless I thank you for your assistance." He straitens then nods down meaningfully at a folded metal fan tucked into a sash "Although it may not have been necessary" He locks a cold calculating stare on Nathan "I am more than capable of defending myself."
Nathan considers the young man's composed yet wary demeanor. He smiles fully as he comprehends the Faunus' veiled insinuation. He holds out his hand confidently "Whatever you say man. I'm Nathan by the way" he tilts his head "and these two are Isaac and Peter."
The Faunus blinks several times as if fascinated by his friendliness. He tentatively returns the greeting, gripping Nathan's hand and shaking it firmly "Suzuki… Suzuki Murasaki."