Arc 1: Strangers and Friends
Chapter 1: The Gate
Disclaimer: I do not in any way or form own Gate: Thus the JSDF Fought There or RWBY. They belong to their respective owners, Takumi Yanai and RoosterTeeth Animations respectively.
Author's note: It's been a while, but I'm back. I've found a few RWBY X Gate stories around, but all of them were abandoned after just a few chapters. A shame, really, for I feel that this crossover has good potential. Hence, this story.
Also, if you haven't watched RWBY, go watch it. This story will contain serious spoilers. At the current time of writing, volume 6 is the most recent volume. When volume 7 comes out, I'll try to include whatever new lore they show, but I made a lot of assumptions when planning this out, so there will most likely be contradictions with RWBY canon.
Enough talk. On with the show! Or the story, I guess...
"The Vytal Festival Tournament is going smoothly. Half of the round one battles are complete, and now we're taking a break before the next half. Security reports no irregularities, though I still don't think that this amount of Knights is necessary, no matter what James may say. Apart from that... Ozpin, are you even listening to me?" Professor Glynda Goodwitch, the vice-headmaster of Beacon Academy, broke off her report to ask.
Headmaster Ozpin didn't reply, looking solemnly out of the window. The view from his office, at the very top of the Cross Continental Transmit Tower, on the cliff overlooking the city of Vale, was not only beautiful but allowed a good view over most of the said city. It was over this city that Ozpin gazed, unmoving, his hands resting on his cane.
"Ozpin?" Glynda prompted.
"Something is wrong, Glynda," Ozpin replied, so quietly that she almost missed it. Still, he didn't move.
Glynda stepped over to join him in looking out. The city of Vale was sprawled out before them, majestic, complicated... and peaceful. Ever since the Breach a few weeks ago, the city had known peace. The Grimm had been driven away and the breach repaired, Roman Torchwick had been locked up and even the White Fang had quietened down. Glynda saw no problems.
"What's the issue?"
Ozpin turned his head, just enough to look at her. The look in his eyes spoke volumes of his concern as he replied, "Magic. I sense powerful forces at work."
Glynda's brows furrowed, "Is it... her?"
"I do not know," Ozpin admitted, lowering his head, "It seems different from the usual. Like... like something alien trying to enter our world."
"That's... troubling," Glynda agreed, then fell silent for a moment. "Well, then I'll-"
Ozpin's scroll buzzed to life, interrupting her. He fished it out of the pocket, accepting the call.
"Qrow? You're back?" Ozpin asked, recognizing the number. Qrow Branwen, one of his trusted lieutenants, had been assigned to look around Remnant. If he was back, did he finish his objective, or was something bad about to happen?
"No shit, Oz. That's not why I called you. You seeing this thing?" Qrow asked. A video flickered to life on the screen, shot in real-time. It showed a massive stone gate in the center of the fairgrounds, unlike anything he had ever seen. It was built out of simple stone, without any sign of technology on it. "Any idea what it is? I hope you do because I'm not drunk enough for this."
Ozpin scanned the image, but it was impossible to identify anything of use from the low quality. As such, he decided, "Keep an eye on it, Qrow. I'm on my way." Then, as the video began to show curious people approaching it, he added, "And try to keep the civilians away."
Headmaster Ozpin was not the only person whose attention was drawn to the mysterious gate. From his flagship, the Hyperion, a metal fortress flying over the city, General Ironwood looked at the readings flooding in. He and his army were there for the protection of the people, after the disastrous Breach incident that had stuck the city a few weeks prior. They were supposed to be ensuring the safety of the Vytal Festival, and the mysterious gate could be a threat. He had thus set his ship's scanners upon it, trying to find out as much as he could.
"General, we're unable to identify the power source of this structure," a technician reported.
"It's made of solid stone. We can find no trace of technology at all."
"Yet it radiates such a field..." Ironwood muttered. He sighed. Knowing that speculation would get him nowhere, he decided to ask someone who might have a better idea of the situation. "Contact Ozpin."
The technicians did as ordered, and Ozpin's face soon appeared on a large screen in front of the general. From the background and shaking, James realized that Ozpin was heading straight for the gate.
"Ozpin! Do you know what's happening? Where did this... thing come from?" James demanded, getting straight to the point. He had been supervising the tournament, ensuring that nothing bad befell the kingdom while the first round took place. It was soon after the end of the first half that his soldiers saw and reported the presence of the gate. Whatever it was, it definitely was a possible threat to the safety of the citizens, and hence his responsibility.
Camera footage showed that the gate simply appeared, as though it simply phased into existence. Atlas was the most technologically advanced kingdom on Remnant - and the event still baffled his scientists.
"I have no idea, James," Ozpin responded, "Seeing as how you just called me, I'm assuming you had nothing to do with this either?"
Before James could reply, a technician called out, "Sir, we're detecting an energy spike. Whatever the gate's purpose, I think we're about to find out!"
"I suppose you heard that, Ozpin?"
"Yes. Monitor the situation, if you would. I can get there in maybe five minutes," Ozpin replied.
Nodding in agreement, James turned back to the image of the gate. It had changed. Now, the once empty center had turned into what seemed like a pathway, leading off into the unknown.
Before James' astonished eyes, the gate pulsed and disgorged its cargo. Hundreds of soldiers began marching out, wearing heavy armor and wielding swords and shields. Waves upon waves of them emerged, an endless tide of men. Then, without warning, they attacked.
The front lines charged forward, spreading out as they sought to kill. Civilians were cut down without mercy. Buildings and property were being destroyed and set ablaze. Anything that wasn't bolted down the invading army pillaged as if it were their right. Within moments, the fairgrounds had descended into chaos.
The emergency sirens blared to life, warning of danger. Fearing for their lives, the people began to flee in panic.
Ozpin reacted faster than Ironwood, "You brought your army to my kingdom, James. Use it."
Needing no further directive, Ironwood gazed resolutely into the chaos and began to command his forces. "All forces, this is General Ironwood. Converge on my location immediately. We have civilians under attack. Our primary objective is to evacuate all civilians and secure a perimeter. Move!" Ironwood grimaced as he watched another innocent get cut down. "All forces, you are cleared to use lethal force. Fire at will," he added.
The Atlas forces responded quickly. Every spare airship in Vale immediately began heading for the Gate, while those already on site began releasing their cargo. Hundreds of Atlesian Knights fell like metal meteors. Upon landing, they immediately opened fire, their rifles spitting metal that cut straight through the invaders' armor.
"Sir, the hostiles appear human but do not seem to have an aura," a technician reported.
Ironwood nodded to himself. While it was strange, it was good for them. The Knights were easily pushing back, drawing the invaders' attention while the civilians escaped.
"We're also seeing some strange kinds of faunus. Actually, they may not even be faunus at all. It's like nothing I've ever seen."
"Sir, should we bombard the Gate? Destroying it will end this assault."
"I'd recommend against that, Sir," another technician quickly added, "The Gate appears unstable. Destroying it could result in destructive backlash."
"Then we will not destroy it. All forces, take caution not to damage the Gate," Ironwood decided, "Hyperion weapons, you're clear to commence aerial bombardment, but ensure that there are zero friendly casualties. Zero."
"Yes, Sir!" the technician replied, forwarding the general's orders to the weaponmaster. Soon, the Hyperion's mighty guns thrummed to life, firing precise bolts of dust where the enemy was most clustered. As ordered, they kept the attack far from any friendly units or civilians.
"Huntsmen have arrived on the scene, General. Headmaster Ozpin himself is coordinating ground operations. The enemy is in full retreat," a technician reported.
Ironwood nodded in satisfaction. Watching the mysterious force retreat, he gave one more order, "All forces, capture as many as possible, but only if it is safe to do so." Looking grimly over the battlefield, which was a bustling fairground just minutes ago, James muttered under his breath, "Your move."
The soldiers had been in high spirits. A whole new land to conquer and pillage awaited them through the Gate. They had charged through, confident of overwhelming victory.
It had seemed that way at first. The Gate released them in a bustling marketplace, where dozens of people were gathered. The first wave charged out, baring their blades. With bloodthirsty cries, they struck down their foe. All the women and the exotic loot belonged to them, the victors.
And then he had arrived. An older man, with a messy mop of feathery black hair and crimson eyes. He wore a wrinkled gray dress shirt, collar folded down, and black dress pants and shoes beneath. A slight stubble shadowed his chin and sideburns, and he wore cheap rings on several of his fingers. His last defining detail was a tattered red cape around his neck that trailed down to his lower back.
The men took him for a drunkard at first. Laughing, they taunted and mocked him. All the while, he seemed to be yelling at them in some unknown language.
Then from behind his back, he drew forth a broadsword. That got the soldiers' attention. One strode forward, his steps full of swagger as he boasted of cutting this man down in a single strike.
Well, someone got cut down in a single strike.
The soldiers watched in horror and shock as their comrade collapsed in two pieces. The man's weapon had cut cleanly through the armor like it wasn't there. Gulping, they readied their blades.
"For the Empire!" one yelled, and the group charged forth to attack the mysterious man. It was a mistake.
Moving faster than thought possible, the man slew them all. Blades, shields, armor, bone, nothing could resist that blade. Standing among the bodies of his slain foes, the drunken man looked over with a dangerous glint within his eyes.
The other soldiers hesitated. "Apostle," one concluded, sending shivers of fear among the army. If this man was one of the immortal apostles, they were in trouble.
"Stand strong!" a rallying cry sounded out, "We will show them our might! For the Empire! Charge!"
A roar followed the command, more soldiers surging forth. The man spun and slashed, slaying all who approached, but there were too many soldiers for him. They flooded into the surrounding area, slaughtering and pillaging.
Overhead, a roar of some unknown being drew their attention. Looking up, the soldiers gasped in shock. Great flying ships passed overhead, metal glinting off the sun. They opened up their cargo holds, sending men falling out. The soldiers laughed at that, unable to believe their eyes. Did their enemy just send their forces to their death? Surely, no man could survive such a long fall.
The Atlesian Knights landed safely, the fall barely affecting them. The hundreds of them immediately locked on to the soldiers, ready to open fire.
Getting over their initial shock quickly, the soldiers quickly formed up, ready to attack. They held up a wall of shields, with spears pointing out in a defensive tortoise formation. As one, they marched toward their metal foes.
The Knights opened fire, the bullets ripping straight through the primitive shields and armor. Firing methodically, with pinpoint accuracy, the Knights cut down all opposition. Even the tough skin of the orcs was nothing to the invisible arrows that suddenly filled the air.
"What sort of magic is this?" a terrified soldier cried out, watching his allies get cut down.
"Hold fast, men!" a commander yelled, rallying his forces, "Our enemy is few. Strike them down! For the Empire!"
It was the hundred metal men against the thousands of the mighty Empire's soldiers. The soldiers roared their agreement, charging straight for their metal opponents. More reinforcements poured out of the Gate, adding to their numbers.
Archers lined up and fired, filling the air with arrows. They rained down upon the Knights, only to bounce harmlessly off their armored bodies. Only a few arrows, luckily enough to hit vulnerable joints, did any sort of damage.
The commander nodded in satisfaction, then looked once more to the sky. More of those flying ships were on the way, no doubt carrying reinforcements for the enemy. They had to destroyed.
"Wyvern riders, attack! Bring down those ships!" the commander ordered. In response, the wyvern riders, armed with spears, soared out of the Gate and into the sky. They darted towards the Atlesian airships, their mounts screeching.
The mounted gatling guns on the warships whirred to life, filling the sky with deadly fire. The unarmored wyvern riders stood no chance, the bullets tearing through them. Some managed to fling their spears, only for them to bounce harmlessly off the reinforced metal and glass of the warships. The wyvern riders fell like flies, and the Atlesian army reclaimed the skies.
With air superiority confirmed, the warships turned their gatling guns landward, spraying the invading army with bullets. They cut down entire swathes of soldiers, holding back the seemingly endless army while releasing more Knights to support their ground forces. The Hyperion added its considerable firepower to the bombardment, its heavy dust cannons blowing large groups of invaders apart.
Against such heavy fire, the army's morale was crumbling. The final straw was when the Huntsmen arrived.
Professor Goodwitch strode through the battle, casually tossing anyone that came at her aside with her telekinesis. She leveled her crop at the gathered army. As they let loose another wave of arrows, they began to glow purple as they soared through the air. With a flick of her wrist, Glynda sent the arrows flying back, raining them upon her foes.
Doctor Oobleck, Professor Port, Specialist Winter, and numerous other Huntsmen joined her in battle, each capable of battling hundreds of the invaders. Ice, fire and all kinds of dust were liberally unleashed, the Huntsmen effortlessly turning the tide.
"Are they all apostles?! Mages?! Demons?!"
"This must be the wrath of the gods!"
Enemy morale had completely crumbled. Their formation was staggered as confusion raged through their ranks. The front line was trying to desperately escape the slaughter they faced and the backline was trying to cross through the gate, unaware of what terrors existed on this side of the Gate.
With the enemy in full retreat, Ironwood gave his new orders: to capture if possible. The Knights immediately swapped to rubber bullets that were non-lethal but would stun anyone hit long enough for them to be detained.
Ozpin, the temporary ground commander, saw fit to do the same. The Huntsmen under his command switched to less-lethal methods of attack. Glynda simply used her telekinesis to lift the soldiers into the air until the Atlesian forces could arrive with proper equipment to detain them. Her glyphs propelling her to incredible speeds, Winter darted among the fleeing soldiers and froze them in place. Oobleck simply smashed them on the head with a club. The incapacitated soldiers were then disarmed, handcuffed and led away by Ironwood's Knights.
While most of the main body of the army was captured, smaller groups had scattered in the chaos, which would take a while to hunt down.
From the Hyperion overhead, General Ironwood watched the would-be invaders retreat. After the death of thousands of them, their corpses littered the streets of the city. It was clear that they had foolishly challenged a force far greater than themselves.
Now that the Gate had gone quiet, he was preparing for the future. Preliminary estimates put the number of prisoners in the thousands, and he had to find a suitable place to keep them. His flagship had a brig, but it could hold only about twenty. It was usually used for rowdy crew members, not containing an army. Furthermore, Roman was already there, and who knew what he would get up to with these strangers. Beacon Academy could handle the numbers, but Ozpin would never allow so many prisoners - and a corresponding number of his Knights and soldiers - so close to his students.
But perhaps more important was the Gate itself. The Knights had quarantined the area, clearing the fairgrounds of all civilians and students. His soldiers, Knights, Huntsmen and even a squad of the experimental Paladins were now clustered around the Gate, just in case another wave came.
But where did the Gate lead? What powered it? What were the faunus-like beings that his soldiers had captured? Questions kept piling up, but there were no answers to be found.
"Prepare the prisoners for interrogation," Ironwood ordered, "In the meantime, keep the Gate locked down. If so much as a rat comes through it, I want to know!"
Suddenly, the automated warning system sprang to life. In a monotonous voice, it warned, "Alert. Incoming Grimm Attack. Threat Level: Eight."
Then the Grimm attacked.
A/N: Yes, I named Ironwood's flagship after a particular Battlecruiser from Starcraft. It's a nice name. I like it.
How was the first chapter? I'll try to update once a week, but no guarantees. I have more exams coming up (hooray) and that'll definitely affect my writing schedule. Oh, and if this ever crosses into M (or any other rating) territory, do let me know.
All the best.