"Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly."
- Robert F. Kennedy
So, for anyone who's here, I rewrote the first chapter so it's more representative of the story.
Yeah, nothing else to say really.
It gets better, I hope.
Man, I'm a bad writer.
Oh yeah, I made a Discord. Feel free to join, or not.
Chapter One: Kicked Out, Depression, Profit?
Jaune Arc didn't know what to think going up to the headmaster's office.
A hand nervously tapped his thigh. This surely couldn't be about his transcripts, Cardin couldn't be so callous that he would betray him after he had saved his life. Could he? No, no way, not after he saved him. Cardin wasn't that dishonourable.
Still, these thoughts whirled through his head.
The elevator door opened, and his breath caught when he saw the expressions on Mrs. Goodwitch's and Ozpin's face. Furious and sad respectively. One struggled to maintain her composure, while the other was doing that just fine.
"Come sit down Mr. Arc, you might want to," sighed Ozpin.
With the look of a man on death row, Jaune glumly shuffled forward towards the chair presented to him.
Ozpin put his hands in front of himself, clasped onto each other, "I'll get to the point Mr. Arc, we've been told… about a discrepancy in your transcripts."
Jaune remained silent, looking down at his lap. Their gazes boring into him, accusing him, demanding from him the truth, and Jaune knew all that he had done wrong. Faking his transcripts? He tried to be angry at Cardin, but was he wrong to report him? Maybe, but he could have very well gotten himself or someone else killed. Stupid, stupid, stupid! How did he think he could get through Beacon with fake Transcripts? Even without Aura!
He was in the wrong here.
Someone could've died because of him.
"After further investigation by Ms. Goodwitch here," he nodded to the disciplinarian, "we found that you have no prior schooling in any Combat School, and that your transcripts are fake."
Still, Jaune remained silent.
"Unfortunately, we can't keep you here, in truth I wanted you to stay here, but my hands are tied in this case. The Council were quite adamant about this."
This time Jaune looked up sharply. Ozpin wanted to keep him?
"We still have to kick you out. So from now, you are no longer a student of Beacon Mr. Arc. I'm sorry, truly."
"Yeah..." Jaune mumbled, his former confidence turned to mush in front of them.
"I'll have Glynda here organize your transport back to Ansel," Ozpin nodded to Goodwitch. "Your parents have already been contacted, and you'll be given an opportunity to talk to them soon, and say goodbye to your team."
Goodwitch motioned for him to follow her. Jaune complied and got up from his chair. He made his way to the elevator, head in his hands. He couldn't just catch a break, could he? Not in school, not in life, not when asking his dad to train him, and not in Beacon!
He failed in everything. In civilian school, his grades were abysmal, and Beacon, he was kicked out. He was a failure.
"One last thing Mr. Arc," said Ozpin. Jaune turned back to look at him, tears threatening to spill out of his eyes. "I wish you all the best in all your endeavours, I do hope you find something beyond becoming a Huntsman, and dedicate as much effort as you had in Beacon towards it, and I have no doubt you'd succeed."
Jaune made an effort to straighten his back and look confident. It may have failed miserably, but at this point, he didn't care, "Thank you, sir."
He then stepped into the elevator with Goodwitch, disappointment radiating more than usual from her.
/ - /
The bar he was in was certainly one of the seedier ones, filled with rough men finishing their day of work, legal or not. By his side was Crocea Mors, only a reminder of his failure, his short bout as a pretender. A pretend knight. A pretend hero.
His flight back to Ansel was later that day, Goodwitch had escorted him around to say goodbye to his friends. His team tried to support him. No, they supported him. Pyrrha already knew, but Nora and Ren didn't. Maybe they didn't intend to act differently after they learned, but they still did.
It was like they treated him like glass, something to be babied. Something that needed to be wrapped in bubble wrap and stowed away.
RWBY? Well… Ruby and Blake just didn't care, thankfully. One from just herself, and the other just from pragmatism, or so she said. Yang… didn't take it too well, and neither did Weiss.
Weiss didn't take it too well.
He'd never admit it, but that was the breaking point, the point where he fled, dashing towards the Bullhead in tears.
They all were blowing up his Scroll with messages, asking him about if he was okay. He ignored it all, preferring to block out everything and drown in his misery.
Goodwitch had put him on the first Bullhead down to Vale, and told him he could spend his time however he liked until the flight to Ansel arrived. So he decided to spend it at a bar, his first time drinking. Perhaps a bit seedier than he would have liked, but he couldn't pick and choose, considering he wasn't of age yet.
Nursing his third beer, he discovered he could hold his alcohol surprisingly well, all things considered. He checked the time, three hours left. He supposed it might be time to catch a ride to the airport. Away from Beacon, and away from the joyful memories that Beacon held… from Initiation, to class, to just time with his friends…
Alcohol was supposed to wash away his pains, not bring them back.
Movement beside him caught his eye, and glancing over, a man had come to sit down next to him, when there was plenty of space down the line. Cropped, brown hair, and sharp eyes, constantly flicking from one thing to another. He wore normal clothes, just what you'd find any other citizen wearing day to day. The muscles were visible through the hoodie he wore, but no bulging like a body builder. But what caught his attention was the tattoo on the back of his hand. It was a symbol of some sort with crossed lightning bolts.
"There's plenty of room over there," he gestured weakly, glancing up at the man.
"I noticed," the older man grunted, "I noticed you sitting all alone over here, decided to keep you company." he motioned to the bartender, "Two beers! On me!"
Jaune shifted uncomfortably, who was this guy? "Um, can I help you?"
The man stared at him for a second, then burst out laughing, "Kid, I'm here to help you. Noticed the sword by your side, figured you might be one of those Huntsman hopefuls up in Beacon. Heard from some of my contacts that someone got kicked out."
Jaune started tapping the table, just a tinge of excitement at the back of his mind, but equal amounts of apprehension, "Yeah? What if I am?"
The man pulled out a card, "Well, I'm part of a Private Military Company, Striker Group, and we're always looking for some extra guys. Maybe being a Huntsman wasn't your cup of tea, eh?" the man tossed him the card, Jaune clumsily caught it. "We don't judge, so don't feel shy coming to the recruiting office."
Jaune studied the card. On it was a phone number, and address, and the sign insignia he'd seen on the man's hand. What did he have to come home to? A loving family, parents he knew that would accept him back. The text messages between them said so. But what after? Life as a normal person, never to be a hero?
The Striker turned to leave, "Think about it Jaune, you'll be trained, sent out to a detachment, and paid a shitton of money. We don't care where you come from, only what you do now."
Before the man left, Jaune asked him a question, "Hey, never did catch your name?"
The Striker Group man tossed a couple of lien on the table, "Alabaster, name's Alabaster. When you drop by the office tell them I sent you." then, he walked out.
Jaune noted Alabaster said when, not if. There wasn't all that much of a reason to not go at least see what they had to offer. So what if his friends, family, or community might look down on him because of it? His reputation couldn't get much worse than faking his way into Beacon/
So Jaune decided to give going to their office a shot.
/ - /
Two hours left until his flight back to Ansel, Jaune stepped into the Striker Group's office.
Inside was a desk and a man in a military uniform. Behind him was draped a flag with the same tattoo that he saw on Alabaster's hand, and the same one on the card. On the sides were photos of men and women posing with people with bags over their heads, famous CEOs, and destroyed Grimm lairs, along with an obscene amount of guns hung up on the walls.
"Hello? Can I help you?"
Jaune came back to reality, and replied, "Hi, I uh, was looking to join the Striker Group?"
The man reached over for some paperwork, "Well you came to the right place son, sit down would ya?"
So Jaune took a seat, and added quickly, "Also, Alabaster sent me."
The man behind the desk paused, "Oh that bastard? Man, he probably saw something in you then, not often he sends young kids to get recruited."
Jaune shifted around in his seat, "Wait, who is Alabaster?"
The man looked up from his papers, "Only the most badass dude around. Legend has it he stormed a Grimm nest all by himself and took out everything within, then the old bastard held off a Grimm assault on a town for something like five hours," he shook his head. "Crazy asshole."
"Anyways, so just fill out this form here, and we'll get you to training as soon as possible," said the recruiter.
Jaune picked up the pen and started filling it out line by line, "So, what jobs are there?"
The recruiter shrugged, "Not much, you're becoming a Contractor kid. You get posted to a detachment. Like, we working in detachments, such as Vale, Mistal, etcetera. Then you get sent to do things other people don't want to do. Though we are trying to stand up a new unit, or part of a new unit."
The recruiter leaned down to grab some stuff, "We're trying to get an Armoured Reconnaissance unit stood up, so we're eager to get some more personnel to put into these roles."
The recruiter slid two photos across the desk. One of a 4x4 car looking thing, and one that had eight wheels, and a turret, "These are the two possible vehicles you might operate in. One's a TARC, or Tactical Armoured Reconnaissance Car, or the LAV, Light Armoured Vehicle. Chances are that you'll operate the TARC, since the LAVs are pretty new and probably won't be given to you for a while."
The recruiter took the photos back, "The only changes to your training you get will be that you'll be shipped off to an extra school so you know how to operate these things. You'll also get a pay bump, mostly because you'll be doing more dangerous stuff as I'm told. You want to do it? I'll just attach a note to it and it'll be put in your packet."
"Yeah," Jaune paused before signing his name at the bottom. "When will I be sent for training?"
The recruiter checked his watch. "Bus actually leaves in a few hours, but we go-"
Jaune signed the page and handed it back.
The recruiter took it, "You sure about this kid? It might not be the military but the things we do are no jo-"
"I'm sure," he said. "Not like there's much to go back to for me."
Only his loving family, his village, and most likely a safe, new career at home.
"Well kid, if that's what you say..."
The recruiter looked at the page, "Former student at Beacon eh? Damn, kicked out. Not judging, but that means you passed their physical at least. Should mean I can just kick you off to the bus just fine. Though I'm going to have to do a quick physical just to make sure. Give me you hand."
He rolled his eyes, "Just do it."
So Jaune did, and the moment he did, he let out a gasp. There was this weird… forcefield? Barrier? Connection? Connection between the him and the recruiter. The next instant, the recruiter let go.
"Looks like you're good to go. Though you have a big ass Aura," The recruiter rubbed his hands, before noticing Jaune's confused expression. "My Semblance lets me know about a person's physical conduction if I touch them. Useful for this and medical stuff, which I was when I wasn't recruiting."
Jaune was feeling the regret of his decision already, had he made the right choice? Maybe it was better to have just gone back to Ansel. It was a bit late now either way.
The recruiter gave him directions to get to the bus, and told him to get out of here. Not giving him a second glance. Jaune was already outside and hailing a taxi. The driver barely bat an eye at the armour and sword he brought along. Standard fare to be ferrying around heavily armed people, oh well.
When Jaune made it to the pickup point, there were sixty other young men waiting there also. Some of them looked like they had worked out their entire life, with muscles bigger than his head, they were walking around joking around and acting like the top of the world.
His eyes passed over another lanky teen like him. Red headed, small, and wiry, a grim expression was on his face, neither boasting or talking to anyone else. Just standing around. Maybe he'd be a friend to make, but before he could, a man clothed in the same olive drab uniform as the recruiter stepped out from the bus, shouting at everyone to form a line to the bus.
Before he knew it, he was on the bus, on his way to wherever the hell he was headed, sitting next to people he didn't know.
He had made this decision on a whim, spurred on by a random man in a bar, desperation, and hope. Jaune didn't know what laid ahead, he just knew that he would try his best.
So, welcome new readers. This is a rewrite of the first chapter, and I'll be working my way through the beginning chapters to revamp and rewrite everything so it's more or less up to standards.
Not sure what else to say.
Leave a review? Sellout to RAID? Sellout to NordVPN?
Currently peacefully protesting by breaking windows.