Stormcaller

1

A Warlock in the Bar/The Girl in Red/ Beacon Academy Initiation

Destiny= Bungie

RWBY= Rooster Teeth

Let's get this show on the road. Originally this little thing was just revolving around my head. I just felt like getting this out. Purity is still being worked on of course. But things are going to be a bit rough since I have a part time job.


"Mayday, mayday! This is Guardian Kevin Holden requesting immediate assistance!"

Another blast from the Fallen Skiff rocked his ship. "Ah, damnit!" He hit the control readout politely informing him that a section of armor on his ship was close to failing and shut it off. He was getting shot at. Of course his ship was being damaged. He didn't need that right now.

"Five seconds until Warp Jump!" Sparky informed him.

"Just get us out of here!" Kevin snapped, as he jerked the controls. "I'll try to buy us more time!"

Five seconds was an eternity when a Fallen Ketch was firing shit at you. He just hoped his piloting skills were enough to buy them five seconds, because nothing ever took five seconds.

He swore repeatedly as the words 'Warp Drive Malfunction' flashed on screen.

There was a blinding light...and all was calm in the void of space.

/

City of Vale

The Warlock blinked before realizing that he had been sitting at the bar for a while now.

Kevin flexed his fingers as he massaged his temples with one hand. Twelve months, seven days. Sparky wanted to tell him the hours and seconds he had spent on the planet his ship had made landfall in but decided against it. The Warlock was not in the happiest mood right now. Remnant was untouched by the Darkness, surprising really but its problems were its own people. Intrigue, a bloody revolution known as the White Fang, and the creatures of the Grimm. Give or take, he'd rather take on the Grimm. Politics angered him greatly and he had enough of that in the Tower.

Still, the Warlock needed Lien since his stash of Glimmer was now useless. So he spent most of his time doing odd jobs or the occasional mercenary work that popped up in clubs like this. He got the job done and most clients didn't look at him twice.

Kevin could understand, if someone was capable of flaying you alive with a flick of the wrist then he'd be careful too.

"Hey buddy, you gonna drink or what?" The bartender Hei Xiong, or "Junior", scowled at the Warlock. Kevin just looked right back at him impassively. Inwardly, he was annoyed because someone interrupted his thoughts.

"I'm done." He said quietly. His perpetual thousand yard stare made Junior nervous. The man mumbled something about being busy before going off to bother another patron. The Warlock rolled his eyes in irritation. If Junior wanted more customers then maybe he should stop scowling like an asshole. The last idiot who scowled at Kevin ended up with a black eye.

"You know, Kevin. It helps to be a bit nicer."

Sparky.

"Sorry Sparky." Kevin replied mentally. "I'm really not in the mood right now."

The Ghost said nothing. Hidden from unwanted eyes, the construct was using light bending camouflage. He was Kevin's closest friend.

The Warlock yawned before fishing out some Lien. He paid for his drink and went back home.

/

The flat was cheap and the surrounding area certainly made it clear that it was saturated with tears and despair. But he did suppose that it suited his purposes. No one was going to find him here. His ship was devastated in his crash landing on Remnant but Sparky knew where it was, having it mapped out in an area known as the Forever Fall.

"Hey buddy, need a smoke?" A rather disheveled looking guy approached only to raise his hands and back off as he realized that Kevin was glaring at him. That and he was packing some heat, a JabberHakke Side Arm was mag locked to his back. The Warlock kept going, going up a staircase to find Room 343, home sweet home.

He opened the door to a small single occupant flat. It wasn't his quarters in the Tower but it would do. It was quiet, at least until 2100 at night. He had Sparky sterilize the place after he found a dead rat in the bathroom. After that little incident Kevin had walked down to the owner of the complex and threatened to kill him personally if he found another dead rat, needless to say Mister Brown had been cowed enough to lower the rent for the duration of his stay.

Kevin locked the door to his flat before deciding to take a shower. Sparky appeared and the construct looked at him with his single photoreceptor.

"So...what's the plan for tomorrow?" He asked. "That last job got us a pretty substantial amount of Lien to spend. Should we buy stuff?"

"Ammo probably." Kevin answered his Ghost. "Thank the Traveler that you managed to learn how to make Ammo Synthesis Sparky."

"I try my best." The Ghost's tone was haughty. Kevin smiled, a rare occurrence these days but Sparky was relieved. His friend was still there even after everything he had gone through. The Ghost watched as the Warlock looked at his reflection in the mirror. The sight that greeted him back was a young man with a perpetual thousand yard stare with unkempt black hair. Streaks of grey were present, a sign of extreme stress and fatigue. His eyes were a dark green, lifeless. Cold. He looked like he was machined from steel. The years had changed him even if the Traveler's Light would keep him from aging physically.

After a quick shower Kevin went to sleep. He had a bit of a long day tomorrow. While he was a warrior first and a scholar second, no Warlock worth his salt would object to gathering information. As Commander Zavala once said, no enemy is as harsh and unforgiving as miles of unexplored terrain.

Not knowing enough got Guardians killed.

/

The next day was sunny and a comforting breeze blew through the air. Kevin sat in the Vale Public Library reading a newspaper while his Ghost went off to hack one of the Library's computers for more information.

More White Fang attacks, and the beginning of a new school year for Beacon Academy. Kevin was admittedly curious about the Academy, hearing that it was one of the most famous Hunter Academies in the world of Remnant. These people were sending their children to fend off the Grimm. He idly wondered if this was compulsory or voluntary and decided that worrying about child soldiers was enough to worry about and forced the subject out of his mind.

Kevin folded up the newspaper before looking at the books he picked out from the shelves. One was an encyclopedia on all of the known creatures of the Grimm. The Warlock opened the large encyclopedia and began to read. He'd compile his notes with Sparky later, he'd best leave the Ghost to his hacking spree. He went back to the page that he was reading.

According to historical texts, the humans of Remnant were regularly threatened by the Grimm until the discovery of Dust. Dust was a potent source of energy, an incredibly useful substance that was used in every facet of society on Remnant, much like Glimmer was used in the Last City on Earth. Using Dust in their weapons, Humanity managed to push back against the creatures of the Grimm and established the kingdoms that humans and Faunus lived in today. Kevin's research did not find any connection between the Grimm and the Darkness. But he had Sparky keep an eye out for anything alarming. So far there was nothing but the Warlock had a gut feeling that things were going to be complicated as time passed.

He looked at the time. 1730 hours...He got here at noon. Closing time was in 0200 hours. He'd best get started on his grocery shopping. Which meant weapon parts and ammo for Sparky to synthesize. Weapon parts were harder to get so Kevin made a note to head into the more unscrupulous sections of Vale after getting some Dust and ammo. Criminals usually worked around the docks, so that meant that he had to go in there and grab as many weapons as possible. He'd been doing this for a year and had thus far not had any difficulties.

Kevin picked up the books to put back on the shelves before heading out of the library. Time to finish up his day.

/

From Dust till Dawn.

A bit cheesy, but clever nonetheless. Kevin shrugged his shoulders as he entered the shop. The Warlock was reminded a bit of home. Vials of various colored Dust were everywhere. The more stable crystalline forms were shown on shelves. The old man behind the counter did a double take at seeing the Warlock enter. Kevin just gave an awkward wave before deciding to go browsing.

He passed by a girl with earphones as she took a gander at the magazines. Kevin shrugged while Sparky, invisible to the naked eye, looked over her shoulder briefly before floating over to the other aisles. The Warlock walked over to the Dust canisters and began to grab some, studying their contents with a curious eye. Dust was volatile in both forms but the crystals were far more stable. How in the Traveler's good Light has this shop not blown up yet? Then again the canisters were probably foolproof.

He heard the bell ringing and someone grouse about having a hard time finding Dust shops.

"Hey, you!" A man in a black suit pointed a gun at him. "Hands up!"

Kevin stared him down. The man was holding a rather cheap looking semi automatic pistol, nothing like what the Reef guards had. The thug stepped closer and jabbed his pistol at Kevin. Big mistake.

"Hey! I said hands up-"

The Warlock stepped forward and grabbed the man's wrist. Twisting it painfully counterclockwise the man let go of his pistol. Kevin dropped his goods and caught the pistol with his off hand. With a deft motion he pistol whipped the man in the face with a vertical strike. Blood sprayed as the thug's nose broke. The Warlock dropped the thug nonchalantly, he took the magazine out of the handgun and dropped it on the floor. Great. It was going to be a long night.

Another goon went at him with what looked like a red bladed machete. He caught the man's wrist as he went in for an overhead swing. Kevin knocked the man out of the fight by punching him in the solar plexus, he went down in a heaving heap as the Warlock walked past him. The last goon to come at Kevin had his pistol raised. Kevin rushed him, the thug's shot went wild and his eyes widened under his shades as Kevin's boot made hard contact with his crotch.

Kevin was a bit surprised that a man's voice could reach that high an octave.

"Sparky, prep the Monte Carlo." Kevin told his Ghost through their mental link.

Done.

Kevin felt the familiar weight of the rifle on his back. He reached behind him and readied his rifle just as another goon was sent flying out the window. His eyebrow raised as the girl in the red cloak was handling her massive weapon. It looked like the lovechild of a sniper rifle and a scythe. How in the Traveler's good name she could even use the damn thing properly, let alone for it to even function flawlessly, was beyond him.

Whatever.

Kevin pointed his weapon at the leader, the man in the bowler hat. His finger was tensed on the trigger.

/

Roman Torchwick was not having a good night. First his hired guns were taken out, now he had what looked like a psychopath pointing a gun at him. Dude looked serious too. He considered blasting him first with Melodic Cudgel but he didn't know if the guy's clothes were capable of blocking his shots. The girl was good, but not too good.

The master criminal did the one thing he was very good at. He bolted.

"Hey!" He heard the scandalized shriek of the girl.

/

Kevin was not surprised the criminal had chosen to run. The girl in the red cloak tore after him with haste born of determination. Kevin simply followed, Monte Carlo at the ready. He saw the criminal going up a ladder. Kevin took aim and fired a warning burst which went unheeded.

"Well, he's rather brave to ignore a Guardian." Sparky quipped.

"Not now, Sparky." Kevin admonished the Ghost. He saw a blur of red pass him by. Kevin tensed his legs and jumped up, using his Glide ability to float high enough to grab the roof ledge and pull himself up.

He saw Bowler Hat being covered by some woman who was using flames to keep the girl in the red cloak away. Kevin raised the Monte Carlo and charged, firing full auto from the hip. He saw the flame wreathed woman bring up a barrier to stop his rounds. Kevin kept up the fire, this time using short controlled bursts.

He was forced to roll to the side as there was an explosion in the spot he had just occupied a few seconds ago. The Warlock heard engines as an aircraft bore down on the roof. Kevin aimed his rifle as the craft spun around and let its rear ramp down. Bowler Hat and the mysterious woman boarded the craft. Kevin opened fire but his rounds again were stopped by another conjured barrier. He heard gunshots and saw the girl firing her weapon at the airship. They didn't seem to be doing any good though as the aircraft had already taken off.

Kevin lowered his Auto Rifle, loading a fresh magazine home. He exhaled. "Sparky. Stay hidden." He told his Ghost as he mag-locked his rifle onto his back. The girl in the red cloak was walking up to him. The Warlock watched her cautiously.

"Wow!" She chirped. "You're good at fighting!"

The Warlock blinked. "It's not something I enjoy." He muttered looking to the side.

"Well, thanks for the help...um...What's your name?"

"It's-" Kevin started but he noted the other woman standing on the roof with her arms crossed. She was blonde, a bit older than he was. She had a scowl on her face as she pushed her glasses up the bridge of her nose.

"It seems my intervention was unnecessary. However I must ask the both of you to come with me at once." The woman's tone was stern.

Kevin clenched his fist. Great, a year of solitude and staying off the radar wasted. This was going to bite him in the ass, he knew it.

Red Cloak had nothing but stars were in her eyes when the Warlock took a glance at her. "You're a Huntress..." She murmured then squealed excitedly at the blonde woman. "Can I have your autograph?"

"Well...at least she has her priorities straight." Sparky quipped in Kevin's head.

The Warlock didn't even bother trying to think of a reply.

/

The monsters started coming out just as he saw the small ball of fire disappear. His comms started crapping out but he knew what the sound of gunfire was. There were so many of them. Taken. He kept shooting because he wasn't going to end up like the Cabal or the Vex who died here. He was going to survive this.

No way was he going to let some Hive monstrosity-

YOU! YOU TOOK MY SON!

Kevin turned around as more Taken began to warp in, their twitching bodies filling up the corridor of the base.

NOW I... WILL TAKE YOU!

"Young man? Are you alright? You look rather pale."

Kevin blinked. The man with the shaded spectacles looked a bit concerned. The Warlock kept his mouth shut but nodded. He realized that he had spaced out while Red Cloak, Ruby Rose was her name, was being interviewed. She was looking at him now, with those silver eyes of hers. She had a look of concern on her face.

Why does she care so much about a stranger?

The man with the spectacles cleared his throat. "I apologize for pressing but I have to speak to you concerning the events of this robbery. The Vale Police Department is considering you a suspect. I can understand their concern but I believe that you were a victim of circumstance."

"I was grocery shopping." Kevin deadpanned. "And who are you? You don't look like a cop to me."

"Indeed I am not an officer of the law." Was the answer. "I am Ozpin, Headmaster of Beacon Academy."

The Warlock said nothing, but inwardly he wondered what the Headmaster of the famous Huntsman Academy wanted with him. Beacon was a prestigious school from what he had read and they didn't take just anybody. That plus he wasn't planning on attending Beacon as it was detrimental to his plans to repair his ship and leave.

It seemed that fate was conspiring against him however.

"I'd consider whatever he's offering, Kevin."Sparky suggested. "Who knows? He may have a spare Warp Drive we can haggle for."

Kevin kept his opinions to himself. If Headmaster Ozpin tried anything funny then all bets were off. Guns would be drawn and people will get hurt. Then again, Sparky had a good point. The Headmaster may have connections. Connections that could theoretically give him the material he needed.

"I can understand that you don't trust me." Ozpin said stoically. "But I assure you, I have no malicious intent whatsoever and I am merely trying to aid you. You are not a criminal as I understand it...but, I have no information whatsoever on who you are and where you came from. Your robes, and armaments, are not something I've seen in any of the Kingdoms of Remnant."

Kevin's eyes narrowed. "Yeah, I'm not from around here." His tone was cold.

Ozpin frowned. "I see that you are not very forthcoming with your information." He commented.

"Like you said, I don't trust you." Kevin answered curtly.

At the edge of his vision he saw the blonde woman scowl at him at the blatant disrespect he was giving the Headmaster. Ruby Rose looked saddened as though she had just lost a new friend. This was not his problem. Ozpin just...rubbed him the wrong way.

"Again, I understand. I did not mean any offense. I can see that you have seen your fair share of troubles." Ozpin said. "So...I will make an offer: You may attend my academy."

"What for?" Kevin asked. "And how does this help me with the Vale Police Department."

"Simple. The police will be a bit more...lenient now that you have identified yourself as a potential student of Beacon." Ozpin said. "Of course if you'd like to try your chances with an attorney then by all means you may use that door behind you and walk away."

The Headmaster smiled. "All I need is your answer. This is your choice after all, young man."

Kevin wanted to laugh at the fact that the Headmaster thought that a police force could arrest him. The Warlock didn't mind being on the run again. It'd be a big inconvenience but suffering was something he was used to. Still, the police thought that he was involved with criminal activity. Decisions, decisions...

"I'd take him up on his offer, Kevin." Sparky spoke up suddenly, still hidden.

"I'm pretty sure I graduated high school Sparky." Kevin retorted with a quiet annoyance. "I'm not in the mood to go through school. Again."

"Well, you're still in your teens. Eighteen isn't that old." Sparky said over their mental link. "And don't bring up the fact that I brought you back from the dead and more than enough centuries had already passed since your death. You know that stuff gets complicated."

Kevin grumbled to himself before looking at Ozpin. "I'm gonna get pressured into this anyway, so I might as well accept." He said resigned to his fate.

The Headmaster gave a smile. "Excellent." He said and extended his hand. "Pardon, I forgot to ask you your name."

Kevin didn't return his smile. But he did shake the guy's hand for politeness' sake. "Kevin Holden."

/

Glynda Goodwitch was not amused. Then again she had been Ozpin's right hand for many years, and yet she still could not understand his reasoning for enrolling these two into the academy. Ruby Rose, first of all, was far too young. Her inexperience showed in the fight against that criminal Roman Torchwick.

The second, the young man in the strange robes, was another matter entirely. There was something...off about him. Yes Kevin Holden was experienced in combat, talented even, but it was his somewhat callous demeanor that set off alarms in her head.

"I hope you know what you're doing, Ozpin." Glynda commented. "And that your hunch isn't wrong."

"It won't be." Ozpin stated serenely.

"I don't trust that young man." Glynda said sternly. "What if he decides to just cut and run?"

"Then that is his choice." Ozpin answered calmly. "But I'm sure he'll come around. The young man is talented. Extremely so."

"And the fact that he does not come from any known kingdoms on Remnant does not factor in with your judgment?" Glynda asked. "He also distrusts you, Ozpin. His demeanor is highly aggressive."

"It does, admittedly. And I am well aware of his animosity towards me. It is not something I hope to change in a day, Glynda." Ozpin said. "In any case, he is quite elusive. My contacts have heard nothing about him except for this..." He pulled out his Scroll, an admirably tough device that did almost everything except make a good cup of coffee. He tapped an icon and showed Glynda a camera feed of their new applicant, Kevin Holden, embattled with what looked like several gang members.

He was outnumbered but even then it didn't matter. He took down all of those criminals in twenty seconds flat. Barehanded. He wasn't showy, every strike was made for one objective: the annihilation of his enemies.

"That was taken a few months ago." Ozpin said. "And I have reason to believe that he is talented enough to thrive in Beacon."

Glynda looked unconvinced. But she'd follow along with Ozpin. For now. Still, she was apprehensive. The boy was dangerous. Extremely so. "And the gangsters?"

"Two ended up in the hospital for cracked vertebrae. Another had broken floating ribs and one I believe had a broken neck and severe internal bleeding in the kidneys." Ozpin answered her question. "Then again, I suppose he was trained in the use of his Aura..."

"It was overwhelmingly powerful." Glynda agreed with that statement. Kevin Holden knew how to hold back his power. "Which concerns me."

"Understandable." Ozpin nodded. "Which is why I must ask you to observe him a bit more."

"Humph." Glynda shook her head. "Throwing me to the wolves already?"

"You may learn something interesting, Glynda." Ozpin said. "Just keep an open mind, I have a hunch this will be an extremely interesting year."

/

The next day...

Kevin was oddly sad when he left the miserable flat and headed off towards the airport where the airships were waiting to take the aspiring students to Beacon. He'd been living here for a year after all, maybe he was being a bit too sentimental. The Warlock exhaled through his nose before closing the door to the flat and heading out. He'd have to take the bus, because using his Sparrow was probably not a good idea.

The Warlock kept his helmet on, the black faceplate of the Light Beyond Nemesis kept his face hidden. Problem is everyone kept glancing at him, especially his helmet. Kevin endured it with quiet dignity. Sparky kept his weapons at the ready just in case he needed it.

"Ready for your first day of school?"Sparky quipped, invisible.

"Sparky, seriously. I will throw you out of this bus if you don't stop."Kevin replied. "And you'd better hope Ozpin has a warp drive."

"You do realize I was joking right?"Sparky answered.

Kevin just huffed and rolled his eyes. Thank the Traveler he could put up some private COMs so he could talk to Sparky without the mental link. "Like you said, Sparky. We might have to haggle."

The Ghost just made a noise that sounded like approval. Kevin just relaxed as best he could.

"Mommy, mommy is that guy a superhero?"

The Warlock gave a sad smile. Hero...that's a word he hadn't heard in a long time.

/

Vault of Glass, years ago...

They did it.

Atheon, Time's Conflux, a Vex monstrosity, sinks to its knees seemingly burning as the last of the Guardians' heavy weapons fire punched into its body. Kevin lowered his weapon as he and the remaining members of Fireteam Avalanche watched in silence as the Vex Axis Mind died. Six went down into the Vault of Glass. Four remained.

He heard a yelp as Camilla, leader of Avalanche, ripped her helmet off and pulled Warlock David into her arms. The sound of smooching was inaudible over the laughter of Avalanche's Titan Havel. Victory was sweet for Avalanche.

Not so for the other Warlock in their midst.

Kevin, again, was one of the last. The other Warlock, Marla, had dropped to her knees sobbing uncontrollably before she died, Atheon had simply erased her from existence. He could still hear Steele screaming in agony as he was cut down by the Harpies that Atheon had thrown against them. Kevin had been too late, having just exited the Time stream Atheon had sent him to. Kevin couldn't muster the energy to grieve. He was numb, neither happy or sad. Just...numb.

How did he get out alive? Why was it always him?

"Kevin?" He heard Camilla say. "Kevin...I'm sorry about the other two. Kevin?"

Buzzing. All he heard was buzzing. Kevin walked over to one of the stone pillars and began to punch it. He kept punching it over and over, asking himself why he didn't save the other two Guardians, why wasn't he stronger? Why wasn't he faster?

Why did he let them die? Kevin started screaming at himself and it took all of Avalanche to calm him down.

He was catatonic by the time he made it out of the Vault. But they still called him a hero among Guardians. The guilt would eat at him for the rest of his days. The only thing that held him together was his twin brother, John, his Ghost Jingles, and Sparky.

/

Kevin pushed the Vault of Glass out of his mind as he got off the bus and headed towards the Vale airstrip to where the Beacon hopefuls were waiting to get on the airships. There were a lot. The Warlock wasn't the only one there dressed in armor at least, thank the Traveler. That meant he was less conspicuous. Except for the helmet.

"Competition seems pretty good." Sparky quipped.

"It doesn't matter, Sparky." Kevin retorted. "We're not here to compete, we're here to look for a chance to repair my ship and get home." Kevin sighed. "Even if it is an unorthodox way of doing things."

The Vanguard were what the Guardians looked to for leadership and were the ones responsible for assignments. He'd seen some crazy stuff, but going to school to learn how to kill monsters was probably going to take the cake. He was sure not even Zavala had gone through something like this.

"Hey, you're here!"

Kevin cringed slightly underneath his helmet. Oh, right. Red Cloak was going to be here too.

Red Cloak walked up to him, the biggest smile on her face. She then tilted her head. "Uh, nice helmet." She said. "You're not gonna wear it the whole time here are you?"

Kevin was considering it. "...No." He told her quietly. He looked around. "Quite a crowd."

She agreed. "Yeah, it's...nerve wracking." She looked up at him. "Um...you said your name was Kevin right?"

"Yeah." His answer was stoic.

"Well, I'm Ruby!" The girl introduced herself. "Ruby Rose. Nice to meet you Kevin!"

The Warlock nodded. "Uh, yeah. Nice to meet you too." His tone was polite, if a bit distant. He wasn't too used to talking to girls. It was hard enough talking to female Guardians in the field of battle.

An announcement came over the intercom, saying that the flight to Beacon was embarking in ten minutes. "I guess we should get going huh?" Ruby asked the Warlock.

Kevin nodded and started heading towards the airship. He noted that Ruby Rose was following him closely. Huh. He made a new friend today.

/

"I can't believe my little sister is going to Beacon with me this year!"

Yang Xiao Long had said little sister in a headlock. She was taller and far more brazen than her sister. Ruby struggled against her very strong grip. "Look, Yang can you keep it down...?" She asked timidly. "I don't want anyone to think I'm special since...you know..."

While they were catching up, Kevin looked out from the window. The Warlock was certainly impressed with the view...but he still missed the sight of the Traveler floating serenely over the Last City, the one bastion humanity had left in the universe.

The Warlock exhaled, feeling slightly homesick. Sure, they had Fallen pirates and Hive incursions to worry about but Earth was Earth. It was his home.

"Hey Kevin?"

He looked up to see Ruby and her sister. "Yeah?"

"You alright?" Ruby asked.

"Fine."

The blonde grinned. "So...you and Ruby huh?" She asked looking at her sister who rolled her eyes.

Kevin's eyes narrowed behind his faceplate. He was not liking her tone at all.

"Sis. Come on," Ruby shook her head. "Stop bothering Kevin."

"Kevin..." Yang murmured. "Nice to meet ya! I'm Yang, Ruby is my adorable little sister."

The Warlock nodded. "I...see." He said. But you don't look alike at all.

"She could be adopted, Kevin." Sparky replied.

Kevin decided to keep that info to himself and Sparky. He felt Yang reach for his helmet. Instinctively he started to reach for a weapon before realizing where he was. "Don't do that." He said quietly.

"Why wear a helmet then?" Yang asked tilting her head curiously.

"Because Beacon is a combat school?" Kevin returned. "We're learning how to kill monsters?"

"Well...yeah!" Yang nodded. "But you have to take a break once in a while don't ya?"

Taking a break...Kevin would have laughed out loud. A Guardian's life was combat, momentary pauses were rare and fleeting. He had been fighting for a while now, each day punctuated with harsh combat against nightmarish foes which alternated with Crucible matches against his own fellow Guardians. Combat was a constant in the life of a Guardian. Death, pain and misery were nothing compared to the weight of failure.

"I've been in combat for a while now." Kevin answered.

"Kevin." Sparky said sternly in his head.

"Oh." Yang looked surprised. "So uh, what academy did you come from?"

Kevin was about to answer when a news broadcast popped up. The Warlock paid close attention as the woman on screen described the series of events that got him into Beacon Academy. The burglary on the shop, From Dust till Dawn, was led by an infamous criminal Roman Torchwick. He was the guy with the Bowler Hat. Kevin burned the man's appearance into his memory.

Perhaps they'd meet again.

The next set of news was on a Faunus Civil Rights Protest which turned violent after members of the White Fang group interrupted the proceedings with gunfire. Kevin wanted to scoff at their antics. Pathetic. His eyes narrowed behind his helmet. Undirected violence solved nothing. He had met members of the White Fang before. He wanted to ask so many questions. Did their deaths further the cause? Were their families now celebrating their sons' or daughters' deaths? No, they were grieving. The White Fang would murder itself as surely as it murdered the people that stood in the way of their cause.

"Was that the guy you two busted in Vale?" Yang started asking Ruby.

"Well, he got away..." Ruby said.

"Ah, so did Kevin swoop in to save the day?" Yang grinned looking at the Warlock who tilted his head. "Did he sweep you off your feet?"

"He broke a guy's nose." Ruby said frowning at Kevin.

"You threw someone out the window." Kevin quipped. "And he probably has a concussion."

Yang chuckled as Ruby blanched. "W-Well, he did pull a blade on me."

In the background someone was trying to hold in their lunch with no success. He promptly vomited all over the floor near Kevin's boots. The Warlock and his two new acquaintances looked at the mess. Ruby looked at Kevin slightly apprehensive as the boy with the motion sickness paled before muttering a quick apology.

The Warlock inched away from the puddle of vomit and checked his boots.

/

Beacon Academy. The aspirants were dropped off on a long avenue, eventually leading up to a large amphitheatre which was one of the campus buildings. Kevin stood behind the sisters, Ruby gushing over the various weapons the other students had.

"Nice place." Kevin commented. "Alright Sparky,"He switched to mental link. "Think you can map out the general area?"

"I say we wait a bit Kevin," Sparky suggested. "Maybe at night. Less people to bump into, in case you know someone freaks out at the floating miniature ball shaped talking construct?"

Kevin had to admit that he conceded to the Ghost's point quite quickly. He heard something crash and turned around, his fist clenched. He saw Ruby getting yelled at by some rich girl in white...well everything about her was white except for her icy blue eyes.

The Warlock walked over, just wondering what the hell was going on. Snow White was already leaving in a huff while Ruby tried to call out to her before she laid back on the ground sighing. His gait steady, he didn't realize that someone was heading in the same direction.

"Oof!" The Warlock felt the young man bump into him. "Oh...uh, sorry."

He was a blonde young man, rather timid too. He was just a year younger than the Warlock. The other guy looked to the side and down. Kevin was in full gear, the faceless helmet was not helping things at all but the Warlock was not concerned about others' discomfort.

"Apologies. I should have been paying attention." Kevin's tone was polite. That was when he recognized the kid. Ruby did too.

"Hey, aren't you the guy who nearly vomited all over Kevin's shoes?"

/

The boy's name was Jaune Arc. And Kevin could practically see the insecurity roiling off of him in waves. Mister Arc was hiding a whole slew of problems, ones that Kevin could not discern, the Warlock ceased his observation for now as he entered the amphitheatre with the crowd of aspirants.

They stood in rows, Kevin was stuck with Jaune Arc as he stood by Ruby and Yang. Snow White was there too and she was regarding his appearance with a critical eye. He tilted his head slightly towards her direction. He felt eyes on the back of his head and noted that a lot of people were staring at him.

Kevin ignored the stares as Headmaster Ozpin walked to the microphone. He cleared his throat and all chatter stopped.

"I'll...keep this brief." He spoke solemnly. "You have travelled far in search of knowledge. To hone your craft and to prove yourselves as warriors. And when you have finally graduated from these halls, you will commit yourself to the protection of the people."

"He seems...off." Sparky commented.

"I would be if I had to repeat the same lines over and over again." Kevin answered over the private link.

"But all I see here, gathered in this room, is wasted potential. Wasted energy that is looking for purpose. Direction. You all assume that knowledge will free you of this, but you will find that knowledge will only carry you so far."

Glynda Goodwitch then took his place. "You will gather here in the ballroom tonight. Tomorrow your initiation will begin." She announced looking over the crowd of hopefuls. She frowned slightly as she saw Kevin's helmet, an inhuman faceplate covering his features.

Kevin locked eyes with her and did not understand why she was frowning. Was it the helmet? He could have decided to wear the Stag. That would have freaked people out.

"He was out of it." Yang commented. "So...Kevin, you wanna explore?"

The Warlock shrugged. "Sure. I got nothing else to do." He told her.

Ruby grinned. "Yay! Exploring!"

Yang nodded sagely. "We will, Ruby...IF Kevin takes off his helmet."

Kevin just grumbled as he reached up to his helmet and took it off.

/

Yang was honestly surprised. Kevin was...cute. His features were sharp, but strong. His hair was an unkempt mess of black and grey. It was his eyes however that saddened her somewhat. A deep shade of green with no life in them. She had seen that look before, sometimes Dad would have that look from time to time whenever he reminisced about Mom.

"What?" Kevin asked as his helmet disappeared into small particles of light, going back to his inventory thanks to his Ghost.

"Um...Did your helmet just disappear?" Ruby asked. "That was pretty cool!"

"How'd you do it?" Yang asked.

At that Kevin smiled. It was a rather terrifying expression.

"Magic." He answered vaguely. "Space Magic."

Yang and Ruby looked at him blankly.

"...What?" Yang asked looking confused.

"Space Magic." Kevin tilted his head. "I was taught to do that by using Space Magic."

When Yang didn't respond Kevin smiled inwardly at his little joke. The duplicity was necessary of course, but hey who said anything about not having fun in the meantime?

/

"Space Magic?" Sparky laughed. "Is that what Warlocks are calling it nowadays?"

"It was either that or tell them the truth of who we are and what we're capable of."Kevin replied, watching the other students prep their sleeping bags. It was around 2130 hours. They all had a big day tomorrow...

Kevin had chosen a rather secluded spot so he could meditate. He could also check on his inventory. Monte Carlo, The Last Word, The First Curse, a Hakke Pulse Rifle known as the Lyudmila-D, a Suros ARI-41 Auto Rifle and a Zhalo Supercell. His shotgun, Conspiracy Theory, was also there on the list alongside the Fusion Rifle Susanoo, a Void JabberHakke side arm and the Black Spindle sniper rifle. As for a heavy weapon, he was going to have to rely on his rocket launcher Truth, a Ruin Wake Machine Gun and his sword, Raze Lighter.

He was pretty much set for tomorrow's initiation. Whatever it was. He leaned his head back and let out a breath. "Sparky, how are we doing on mapping the general area?"He contacted his Ghost over a private link.

"Almost done...just a few finishing touches...Oh."

Kevin restrained himself from jumping to his feet. "Shit, what is it? You got made?"

"Nearly did...That blonde professor nearly saw me."Sparky replied. His voice got quieter. "I'll be going dark for a bit. Don't worry I got this."

Kevin sighed. Sparky was going to get a stern talking to when he got back.

/

"Glynda? Are you alright?" Ozpin asked as the professor once again looked out the window.

"It's nothing Professor Ozpin." Glynda answered as she glared slightly out the window. "I could have sworn I saw something."

"That would be quite odd if someone was standing out the window, Glynda." Ozpin deadpanned. "Unless of course, they could fly."

/

Morning.

The initiation was beginning in an hour.

Kevin was in the locker room, where he had supposedly stored most of his gear as per the rules given to him by the Headmaster and Professor Goodwitch. Then again if you could just materialize your weapons into your hands having a locker was a pretty moot point. So what was he going to use it for?

Research materials, spare weapon parts and other things would be the first few items. The next? Maybe a spare weapon or two.

Maybe. Guardians were a bit paranoid with leaving their weapons behind.

Kevin set his Monte Carlo inside the locker, choosing to take the Lyudmila for a spin. The Black Spindle was already mag-locked to his back. Ruin Wake was on standby in case things...happened. The Warlock loaded a full magazine into the pulse rifle.

Locked, stocked and ready to go.

Kevin held his rifle one handed just as Ruby and her elder sister turned a corner, her massive scythe-rifle hybrid stowed at her back. Yang was grinning as she inspected her bracelets, which promptly unfolded into gauntlets that fired shotgun shells, judging from the red cased shells she carried on her belt. Impressive, a Titan would have been curious to see what they could do.

"Hey! You changed your stuff again!" Ruby pointed at him.

The Warlock looked down at his current armor, a full Halliaetus II set save for his gauntlets. The Claws of Ahamkara were exotic grade. Said to be carved from parts of the now extinct Ahamkara, they were powerful pieces of armor indeed.

The whispers in his head were indicative of that...Oh Bearer Mine...

Kevin immediately clamped down on his thoughts as the sinister voice went away. "Yeah, different armor for different situations." He told her.

"Let me guess." Yang said looking a bit miffed. "Space Magic?"

Kevin shrugged. "Maybe." He answered her question. Sort of.

Yang's brow twitched as Ruby looked at her tilting her head.

"She's been thinking about Space Magic for a whole hour last night." Ruby explained to Kevin. The small smile on her face told him that she knew what he was doing.

Inwardly Kevin smiled to himself. This was fun, he had to admit.

"We should get going." Yang spoke up. She then pointed at Kevin. "As for you buster, if we make it back from the initiation you definitely owe me a straight answer."

"As you wish." Kevin said. "I will be glad to teach you the glories of Space Magic."

Ruby laughed all the way to the Beacon Cliffs.

/

Beacon Cliffs

Kevin took a look at the stone pads that they were all asked to stand on, realizing that they were launch pads of some sort.

"Well, shoot." Sparky quipped. "Looks like we're going in hot."

"Great."Kevin looked dejected underneath his helmet. "I would have preferred walking to getting dropped into combat."

"You can't always get what you want in life I suppose."

Kevin and Sparky listened as Ozpin began to speak.

"You all have been training for years to become warriors." Ozpin's voice was calm and collected as he and Miss Goodwitch observed the initiates. "Today, your skills will be evaluated in the Emerald Forest."

Kevin relaxed slightly. If the initiation was at the Forest of Forever Fall then he and Ozpin were going to have some problems.

Professor Goodwitch spoke up next. "Many of you, I am sure, have heard about the assignment of teams. Today, those teammates will be assigned to you."

Kevin heard someone whine and was not surprised that it was Ruby.

"Your teammates will be with you during the duration of your education here at Beacon." Professor Goodwitch continued. "I would advise pairing up with someone you are comfortable with."

Kevin was used to working alone, he was one of those Guardians who were constantly being shifted from Fireteam to Fireteam. He had useful skills true but he just didn't mesh well with some of the others. His twin brother John had been the only partner he was willing to work with, even if he got all the crazy shit the Vanguard saddled him with. He had saved the Last City time and time again.

The Warlock clenched his fists. No matter what happened to John, Kevin would still worry about his twin brother. He would never stop trying to take care of him.

"Now, your initiation is simple." Ozpin gestured to the North with his mug. "There is a temple north of these cliffs. Once you have arrived there you will be tasked with collecting a relic with your teammate. You will guard that relic and return to the cliffs." He looked at the initiates seriously. "Undoubtedly, you will face opposition. Do not hesitate to destroy everything in your path or you will die."

Kevin idly took a glance at everyone before breaking eye contact. If people wanted to team up then they'd better be able to keep pace with a Guardian. He can't slow down for the weak or foolish. That was how he worked.

"Now, take your positions please. You will be using a landing strategy to get down into the forest." Ozpin said. Everyone tensed up except for Jaune Arc who was raising his hand.

Kevin heard one part of the question before he was launched into the air. The initial surprise already faded away to the confident, glacial calm as the Warlock's mind considered every tactical option at his disposal.

"Sparky, give me a good position. I want to head north relatively quickly." He said over the private link. He was beginning to descend. If he timed this right, all he had to do was slow himself down...

"On it!" Sparky replied.

A navigation marker appeared on Kevin's HUD. Kevin activated Glide and let himself slow down to a reasonable speed as the marker got closer and closer. He swerved to avoid a tree before his touchdown rolling to a complete stop into a crouch, his Pulse Rifle raised.

Kevin let out a breath as he observed the area through his rifle's sights. So far so good, no Grimm, no one trying to kill him. Yet.

This was just like the Crucible, if they had let wild animals out alongside the Guardians. Kevin wondered if Lord Shaxx had thought about the idea and made a reminder for himself to tell the Crucible Handler.

"On your six." Sparky alerted him. "Grimm approaching."

Kevin turned just as the Beowolf began lunging at him. Its mask gleamed white briefly before the Lyudmila's four round burst punched into its head. The Warlock kept up the fire, the Beowolf howling in pain as high caliber rounds punched into its body.

Kevin watched the damn thing flop down onto the ground, dead as a doornail. "Contact down." He whispered to himself.

"That's not the only one, Kevin it looks like he brought all of his cousins."

The Warlock turned to his right and raised his rifle as a pack of Beowolves emerged from the bushes. His Lyudmila sung in the morning air as he pulled the trigger. He mowed down the Beowolves with efficiency in mind. Every burst was walked from torso to head. That was how a Pulse Rifle should be handled, according to Hestia. Torso to head.

Kevin waited, seeing if there were any more surprises left for him. "Spark, you see anything?" He asked.

"Nothing." Sparky answered. "We're clear. Let's head up north and get those relics Guardian."

Kevin reloaded before heading off North. Idly he wondered what was going to happen today.

"Contact! Contact!" Sparky warned him.

Beacon Cliffs

"All pairs have been made." Glynda said as she consulted her Scroll. "Lie Ren and Nora Valkyrie, I feel sorry for Mister Ren if he is stuck with that girl."

"I wouldn't be so sure of that, Miss Goodwitch." Ozpin commented as he took a sip from his mug. "Any other pairs?"

"Miss Schnee and Miss Rose don't seem to get along with each other." Glynda answered. "And Miss Belladonna and Miss Xiao Long have met up, I am unsure as to what to think of them."

"Hmm. I see." Ozpin held the head of his cane.

"As for Jaune Arc, I am quite certain he is not ready for this level of combat. I don't care what his transcripts say." Glynda spoke with a disapproving tone. "I most certainly feel for Pyrrha Nikos at this moment."

"And what of Kevin Holden?" Ozpin asked.

"He has declined to pair up with someone." Glynda said. "But he is moving at an alarming pace towards the objective, even with all the Grimm he has encountered. He has bypassed Miss Schnee and Miss Rose completely and is making a beeline to the temple."

To be honest she was both impressed and concerned about Holden's progress in the initiation. The boy was combat trained, skilled enough to match a veteran Hunter. What concerned her was how he learned such skills at a young age.

"I see." Ozpin said. "We seem to have found quite a skilled Huntsman. Have your contacts found anything on him in the meantime?"

Glynda answered. "He has interviewed several prisoners at Vale City Penitentiary." She frowned. "He has been attacking arms dealers and their goons for weapon parts and Lien. He has no friendly contact with any known syndicates."

"Not even the Fang?" Ozpin asked.

"Not even the Fang, it's like he's...foraging." Glynda observed.

"For survival." Ozpin finished for her. "Which means that he truly isn't from Remnant."

Glynda considered the ramifications. The fact that their Academy was playing host to an interplanetary, or interdimensional, visitor was a bit worrying.

"Should we...confront him about it?" Glynda asked. "Sorry, confront is the wrong term. But are you sure we should keep it a secret that we know some things about his origins?"

"We will have to discuss it inevitably, but for now we should continue to feign ignorance." Ozpin answered.

/

Emerald Forest

"Hey, do you hear that?"

Weiss Schnee scowled at the girl she was saddled with. Ruby Rose did not impress her at all but she wasn't wrong. Weiss heard the steady crack-crack-crack of gunfire ahead. The sound was familiar, she was the heiress to the Schnee dynasty after all and the SDC was more than capable of producing military hardware. The sound of gunfire was something she was used to, but not to this extent.

"It's coming from over there." Weiss pointed to the north.

"Then someone might need our help! Come on let's go!" Ruby grabbed her Scythe and rushed to the sound of gunfire.

"Hey! Wait!" Weiss gritted her teeth. "Ugh! Why did I get stuck with such a stupid child!?"

/

Kevin ducked under the Beowolf's haphazard swing which had every right to take his head off. He had dropped his Lyudmila and now this big, furry bastard was in his way. No matter, the greatest weapon a Warlock possessed was his mind.

As the Beowolf roared at him, Kevin rushed forward his hands sparking and crackling with Arc energy. He thrust both palms into the Beowolf's chest and let loose with a Thunderstrike. Uncountable voltages of Arc energy rushed through the Beowolf's form, burning whatever organs and ending whatever miserable existence the beast had.

It vaporized instantly and all that was left blew away in the wind.

"That's for scratching my gun you miserable piece of shit." Kevin muttered as he picked up his fallen Lyudmila. He checked the Pulse Rifle and loaded a fresh clip of ammunition. There was a large scratch on the casing but like all weapons made from the City's Foundries the gun was still perfectly fine. Hakke guns were tough. Function over Form, which was what Kevin liked in a gun.

He exhaled as he kept an eye on his motion tracker.

"We're clear." Sparky said. "Good job, Guardian."

Kevin didn't speak. He just kept going north to his objective. He was wasting too much time with these Grimm and too little with getting to the temple. The Warlock kept an eye on his motion tracker as he kept going, ignoring the brush.

If anything, or anyone, got in his way it would suck to be them.

/

He finally reached a clearing and saw the temple looming up ahead. It was mainly the broken ruins of a circular structure. Three of the supporting columns lay in heaps on the forest floor. Placed on pedestals, Kevin caught sight of several chess pieces spaced evenly from each other. These must be the relics the Headmaster was talking about.

"Looks like some are already missing." Sparky said as he floated over to one and began scans. "They're just ordinary chess pieces, Kevin. Just so we're clear that they might be booby trapped."

"I doubt the Headmaster would do that." Kevin answered. "Still, you can never go wrong with being careful. Now here is our current problem, what piece to pick."

The Warlock studied each one, pawns, rooks, knights, kings and queens. Was there a subtle symbolism to the pieces? A deeper meaning? Did a Pawn mean that his ranking in the academy was low? Did a King or Queen represent the high ranks?

Kevin reached for one of the pieces before hearing the rustle of bushes behind him. He turned around and brought up his Lyudmila in a smooth, practiced motion. He chambered a round as Yang Xiao Long and another girl, one with black hair and a bow, approached.

"Hey-whoa buddy!" Yang raised her hands. "Take it easy, we're not Grimm!"

Kevin relaxed...slightly, but he did lower his weapon...slightly. "Oh. Hey." He said. "I guess you both are looking for relics too."

"Yeah!" Yang was seemingly oblivious to the Warlock deciding on whether she was hostile or not. "...You didn't team up with anyone?"

"I went straight here," Kevin said. He was technically telling the truth. "I didn't see anybody."

"You went through initiation by yourself?" The girl with the bow asked looking at him with piercing golden eyes.

"I did." Kevin answered, not liking how she was looking at him. "Is that going to be a problem?"

"Hey!" Yang interjected. "No one's asking for a fight here, so you two say sorry to each other!"

The Warlock kept silent as the girl bowed her head. "Sorry."

He still kept quiet and just went for one of the relics. "Anyone else make it?" He asked Yang.

"Not yet, no." Yang answered. "Did you see Ruby?"

Kevin shook his head. "She can handle herself." He told her. "Your sister's pretty good at fighting."

"That she is!" Was the enthusiastic response. But Kevin could see that Yang truly cared for her sister and how worried she was. He gave a wry smile and kept it to himself. He looked at the chess piece he had chosen. A black King piece. The white pieces were all taken, the black pieces were still there. So Ozpin was right, people have died during the initiation. Or maybe they were evacuated before problems happened. He was sure that parents would probably object to the Academy letting their kids get eaten alive by the Grimm.

He was a bit too cynical about the happier option.

"Look out below!" Kevin heard someone yelling from above.

"What the..." Sparky started as Kevin looked up.

Ruby Rose was heading towards them at a rather concerning speed. Kevin noted the black shape now circling the area.

And the white blur falling off of it.

"I'm pretty sure one of those is human. The other one is a bit of trouble, a Nevermore." Sparky told Kevin. "How are we going to handle this?"

The Warlock narrowed his eyes. "Simple. We shoot it until it dies."

That was when the Ursa stumbled through the trees. Then promptly died as it swerved to the left, but not before a girl with orange hair had jumped off its back.

"Aww..." She sounded disappointed. "It broke!"

Kevin sighed.

/

"Ruby!" Yang hugged her sister around the neck as some of the initiates began to gather around. "What was that about!? Why were you falling off that Nevermore!?"

"Uh...well, I had this kind of idea that...me and Weiss would use it for...transport?" Ruby tried looking sheepishly at Yang.

She started laughing and ruffled Ruby's hair. Behind them Nora Valkyrie was staring up at Kevin's silver faceplate with undisguised awe. Lie Ren had asked her, several times, not to bother the Warlock. It seemed to have failed to stick but that was Nora Valkyrie for you.

"Hello!" She chirped.

"Hi." Kevin's answer was...serene. Ruby winced. While she really didn't know much about Kevin, his posture and the fact that his fists were clenched meant that he was getting irritated.

"Um..." Ruby started walking over to the Warlock to try and calm him down a bit.

A girl with red hair and bronze armor was currently running from the largest Deathstalker that Ruby had ever seen. Before she could even speak, Kevin had already switched to his Black Spindle.

The Warlock took aim, steadied his breathing and slowly squeezed the trigger.

/

Pyrrha Nikos was having a really bad day. Deathstalkers were notoriously lethal to inexperienced Hunters, they were armored and easily enraged.

She looked back to see that something had punched into its armor. A second shot whizzed by her head and the giant scorpion shrieked as it was wounded.

She looked forward to see a young man in strange robes, wielding a sniper rifle. He had just loaded a new magazine into his weapon. He resumed firing at the Grimm without hesitation, allowing her to rejoin Jaune and the others.

"Kevin!" Ruby yelled as everyone began to head north. "Kevin, come on!"

Well, at least she knew her savior's name.

/

Kevin lowered his rifle as the Deathstalker thrashed around in pain. He turned and ran, switching back to Lyudmila in the process. Loading a fresh magazine of ammunition into the weapon, he chambered the round.

"I hope one of them has an idea!" Kevin said to his Ghost.

"Think of it this way, at least you made some new friends." Sparky answered him. "That means more back up right?"

"Yeah." Kevin said with a slight smile. He could have left them all and headed up the cliffs himself, he really should have. But to do that he would have to throw away everything that made him a Guardian.

Guardians protected everyone that fell under their protection. That was what John had told him, and he would not disappoint his brother. Kevin saw a large shadow pass over him. He saw Ruby was faltering slightly, for a kid who was quite fast she didn't seem to have that much stamina. He quickened his pace, only stopping to pick her up bridal style as the Nevermore shot some of its feathers at them.

"Ruby!" Yang screamed as Kevin shielded Ruby from the flying dirt and debris as he kept moving, even as he felt the feathers just barely missing his heels.

The sound of an angry Deathstalker alerted Kevin to a more serious problem. He looked down at Ruby and said one word.

"Go!"

He tossed Ruby to the side, out of harm's way as the Deathstalker advanced. Its armor was cracked. The Warlock raised his rifle and kept firing at it.

"Come on you piece of shit!" He screamed as the creature turned its attention on him. "COME ON!"

/

"Yang!" Ruby ran up to her sister who was watching Kevin take on a Deathstalker on his lonesome. He dodged a claw swipe and its stinger, firing his gun at it.

"He can't take that thing on his own!" Weiss Schnee shouted at Ruby and Yang.

"That's not our only problem." Blake Belladonna pointed at the Nevermore which was perched on the ruined tower. It gave a loud screech as it spread its wings wide.

"Crap, we're going to have to take them out." Ruby held Crescent Rose.

Jaune seemed to have made a decision. "Alright, I'll...I'll help that guy out!" He spoke up loud enough for everyone to hear him.

He winced as he heard the sound of an angry Deathstalker attempting to kill a Warlock, who was also doing his damndest to eliminate the Grimm.

"I'll go with you Jaune." Pyrrha said and looked at Ruby. "Are you sure you can handle the Nevermore?"

Ruby nodded.

/

Kevin stepped to the side as the stinger punched into the ground where he had occupied a few seconds ago. He kept shooting at the damn thing, it seemed to be the only weakness the Deathstalker had.

The Warlock held his fire as the Deathstalker clicked and clacked its claws before it lunged again, trying to crush him with its massive claws. Kevin jumped backwards throwing a Pulse Grenade as he did so. The giant creature screeched as it was electrocuted by the arc grenade.

Kevin fired a series of bursts into the cracks on its armor. The Deathstalker countered with its stinger but not before something disc shaped slammed into it and promptly returned to its owner. The Deathstalker reared backwards in pain. The Warlock turned his head slightly back to see Jaune Arc and the two other students waving weapons around.

The orange haired chick with the grenade launcher gave a grin as she stood next to him. On the opposite side was the guy with pink eyes.

"Hello again!" The orange haired girl was chipper as she gave a salute. "I'm Nora and this is my friend Ren!"

Pink Eye nodded at Kevin. "We were asked to assist you."

Kevin pointed at the Deathstalker. "Good. Let's kill it then."

/

Beacon Cliffs

"Well, now." Ozpin observed the Scroll as he and Professor Goodwitch watched the ensuing battle unfold. "To think that Mister Holden would have the guts to take on a Deathstalker on his own..."

"An extremely reckless action that could cause him trouble." Glynda did not approve of Kevin Holden's decision. "But he did save Miss Rose's life in the process." They watched as the Deathstalker was attacked on all sides.

Glynda frowned as she saw Jaune get thrown to the side by an offhand swipe of one of the Deathstalker's claws. As the boy tried to get back onto his feet, Kevin Holden unwaveringly stood in between Jaune and the creature, firing burst after burst of bullets at the wounded Deathstalker.

"Get up!"

She saw Kevin haul Jaune up to his feet. The others were headed back, Nora was hauling Lie Ren back with her as Pyrrha covered their retreat with her weapon.

"It's too heavily armored, none of my shots are getting through." Professor Goodwitch heard Kevin say.

"What about your other weapon? The Sniper Rifle?" Pyrrha asked.

"Too close for me to set up a good shot." Was the answer. "Any ideas?"

It irked Glynda somewhat that he could talk so calmly even as a raging Deathstalker was coming towards them.

"Why don't we try get it to sting itself?" Nora Valkyrie suggested.

"Uh..." Jaune started but he looked extremely hesitant. Then, his face lit up. "Yeah, we can do that. It's just going to take some timing is all."

/

Kevin stood on the bridge alongside Jaune's impromptu team, holding Ruin Wake in his hands. The Machine Gun was already loaded. The Warlock watched as the Deathstalker began its advance.

"Get ready." Jaune said handling his sword and shield nervously.

Kevin slipped a shell into Ruin Wake's Barrel. "FIRING!" He roared as he pulled the trigger. A torrent of Void infused rounds punched into the Deathstalker's face before it shielded itself with its claws. On cue, Nora started firing her grenade launcher as the Warlock advanced with his heavy weapon. She then did something, hit a button Kevin didn't know, but her grenade launcher unfolded and turned into a giant war hammer. Which she then promptly used to launch herself at the Deathstalker, hammering the poor thing in the head.

"Ouch." Sparky remarked.

Kevin watched as Nora nimbly jumped back off the Deathstalker when it tried to impale her with its stinger.

Big Mistake.

The Deathstalker screeched as its stinger punched into its back before dying rather anticlimactically. It began to smolder.

Kevin made sure to keep his filters on before unloading the rest of Ruin Wake's ammo box into the corpse.

"What was that for?" Jaune asked the Warlock when he crouched to load a fresh ammo box into the heavy weapon.

"Double tap." Was his answer.

/

All said and done, it was a rather hectic day of combat.

Kevin stood waiting in line as the newly formed Team CRDL marched off stage in order to give him some space.

"Now, unfortunately due to an accident in the Emerald Forest which has deprived him of a team, Mr. Holden will be attending Beacon by himself." Professor Ozpin announced. There was some murmuring but it died down after a few seconds. "However, because he has shown incredible bravery and immense skill in the fires of battle I do not doubt Kevin Holden's capability of holding his own."

The Headmaster turned to Kevin and gestured. "Step forward please Mister Holden."

Kevin walked into the spotlight in full gear except for his helmet which was tucked into the crook of his arm. His Lyudmila was mag locked to his back. He felt..awkward, tired and a bit hungry. What, was he going to be showed off?

"You will be training alongside your fellow classmates but you will do so alone." Ozpin said. "Are you capable of bearing this burden?"

"I do what I must." Kevin answered, not even hesitating. A Guardian shouldered his own burdens. It's what he was meant to do, simple as that. "And I will do what I can."

"Very well." Ozpin nodded with a wry smile. "Welcome to Beacon Academy, young man."