AN: I couldn't decide what to call the Drill Sergeant at first, so I decided to have some fun with it and used my top two choices, one for the Boot Camp leader and one for the Prep Academy headmaster.
AN2: Just a heads up for those wanting a pre-Beacon timeline. I'm thinking maybe five chapters before he heads to Beacon (including this one) but that may increase depending on how things need to be fleshed. So at least five, maybe more. I'm glad so many of you are enjoying the thought of his training days.
AN3: Here, it's mentioned that some people are at the Boot Camp for years and that's actually not uncommon. There are teen correctional facilities in the real world for attitude and behavioral problems from big to small, from video game addictions to acting out with drugs and booze, where the teenagers live at the facility until they come of age, graduate or get pulled and have to do both regular schoolwork plus the extra stuff for their behavior.
A Personal Favor
"Ah Payne, thank you for coming." Sergeant Slaughter grinned, shaking hands with his old Squad Mate from back in his Army days, the man having gotten a job at the Atlas Prep Academy while he opened up his Boot Camp.
"Glad to be here you old bastard." Major Payne grinned back, grasping his arm and slapping him hard on the back "Although you were rather vague in your message. You forget how to write a damn report in your old age?"
"I'm younger than you, asshole." Slaughter snorted, gesturing for the man to follow him as they entered the bootcamp, one of the older groups closer to graduation doing laps around the camp border, most of them having been here long enough that the angry rebellion died out a while back.
"Point stands, you didn't mention why I'm here." Payne nodded to some of the employees, nearly everyone working at the camp having served in the Atlesian Forces at some point "Or are you trying to tell me you finally found someone to join the Prep Academy?"
"As a matter of fact, I did." Slaughter was smugly proud at that as they entered his office, wanting to show his old friend the Arc kid's file before he took him to the kid's class.
"You've got to be shitting me." Payne raised an eyebrow "I know I agreed to let good students into the academy but almost every brat that gets sent here is from one of the other kingdoms since they see Atlas as a frozen wasteland of misery."
"Which it is." Slaughter interrupted, riffling through his cabinets for the dossier.
"Well yes but the other nations tend to be soft." Payne didn't even bat an eye at the old joke "You don't tend to get Atlesian recruits and those who can enter an academy will usually do one of the ones closer to their own homes. So, what made this one different?"
"Jaune Luna Arc." The Dossier slapped onto the desk "He's Mistralian born and raised. Kid wants to be a huntsman, his daddy hates the Council and the Academy Headmasters and sent him here to break his spirit. Kid didn't agree and every time we kick him down, he gets back up and tells us we hit like a bitch." He glanced at Payne as he began pouring a couple drinks "And that's not a joke either, he told that to one of the older members of his squad when they punched him."
"Kid's got balls." Payne flipped through the dossier that showed Arc's old records and how he was doing at the Boot Camp, including grades since his institution acted as a regular school for those sent here so they weren't getting behind on their schooling if they were here for a couple years.
"Yeah, he's a scrappy little shit." Slaughter grinned proudly as he slid Payne his drink "I made him Squad Captain day one."
"Kid this young? That's just cruel." Payne scoffed as he flipped a page in the file.
"His group is progressing the fastest I've seen in awhile for the correctional program." Slaughter's grin was full of teeth "Don't know what he did but the kid started turning the rest of the brats to his side one by one. Couple weeks in, one of the older members tried knocking Arc down to steal the kid's food during Mess and a quarter of the Squad jumped the guy for it."
"So, he's charismatic?" Payne was getting interested judging by his tone.
"Like I said, I don't know what he did. Could be charisma, could be reverse psychology, or he could just have some of them too afraid to piss him off." Slaughter didn't really care either "But I think he's earned a slot at the Prep Academy. Do you want to observe him first?"
"Yes." Payne tucked the file under his arm as they dropped the smiles and put on their game faces, didn't want the uppity brats to see them as friendly after all.
"Time!" Jaune shouted, snapping to attention as he finished stripping his rifle. Around him, the members of the squad he'd managed to get the support of were doing better than the ones that were still being stubborn, that lot not even bothering to try.
"Two steps back Private!" the instructor shouted at him as Jaune did so, the instructor checking his work to make sure he didn't miss any parts or damage them. "Passable. NOW PUT IT BACK TOGETHER!"
"Sir!" Jaune's hands flew as he began reassembling the weapon, having memorized their manual on doing so while in 'down time' at his bunk instead of playing cards or whatever else the others did to pass time. He wasn't against down time, but he was trying to earn that prep academy slot and, if he was honest, there wasn't a lot of reading material that wasn't academic to some degree around here.
"ESCLADOS!" the familiar voice of Sergeant Slaughter shouted, apparently angry at one of the lazier, more rebellious, Squad Mates Jaune had been stuck with, "What's that half ass shit I'm seeing here?!" as the older teenager, one who kept bragging about getting out of this place as soon as he could to work for his sister in Vacuo, got torn a new one Jaune kept working in his rifle.
"Time Sir!" Jaune snapped to attention once again.
"Impressive work." A voice he didn't recognize spoke up, taking the rifle to inspect it.
"Thank you, sir." Jaune was curious but kept himself at attention, not wanting to risk fucking up his chances, especially with the Sergeant in the room.
"At ease young man." The older Atlesian nodded to him, "Are you aware of who I am?"
"No sir." Jaune shook his head, noting that the rest of the squad was paying attention.
"My name is Major Alexander Payne, Headmaster of the Atlesian Prep Academy." The now identified man smirked as Jaune felt a spark of hope ignite in his chest, "I'm here to offer you a place at my school."
"Fucking what?!" Conrad Esclados snarled, trying to step over angrily even as Sergeant Slaughter shoved the angry teenager back, "I'm ten times the fighter that useless brat is! The fuck are you letting him into the school for?!"
"He was recommended for one." Payne shook his head with a disgusted sneer at Esclados "Not to mention I've taken the time to observe him, and I feel he warrants a shot at the School. Although your point about combat is a valid one." The man turned to Jaune, "Care to prove your grit soldier?"
"Like I told the Sergeant when I first got here sir…. fucking bring it!" Jaune's grin was downright vicious.
"Whelp kiddies, looks like you all get a little field trip." Sergeant Slaughter gave his usual derisive laugh "Saturday work for you Payne? We can let these two beat the shit out of each other in your school's arena. Maybe let the guppies you teach watch the rookie hour show if they want."
"Saturday." Jaune's soon to be Headmaster nodded in agreement before looking Jaune dead in the eye "Be sure to impress me boy."
AN: So next Chapter we have Jaune prove his current combat level to get into the academy. If there's any interest, I can work on a one-shot for Jaune's time at the boot camp itself, but I wasn't sure how it would work as an actual chapter, didn't want it too long, too short, or split up and feeling like it was dragging.