Jaeger Battle Academy. The tall circular wall that enclosed the academy dominated the surrounding landscape. Spires jutted up into the sky from atop the wall like spikes, each spire growing taller and taller as they circled around to the back of the wall. There the tallest spire stood: a dominating, ornate tower that seemed to rise high enough to blot out the sun. The academy's physical presence was as big as its reputation and would make most Pokemon either cower in fear or run away in terror.
A Lucario stood at the large gate set into the wall; the giant metal doors already several times her size remained dwarfed in comparison to the wall they were set into. Yet the Lucario was neither cowering or running away. Indeed, a smirk crossed her face as she stood before the door.
"Jaeger Battle Academy, huh? I wonder who the hunters are," she said to herself, pausing a moment before shifting her weight back and thrusting outward with one leg, kicking the door with enough strength that the entire wall seemed to vibrate. The door didn't budge, but it was one hell of a knock. Students began to stick their heads out of windows that dotted the spires and upper half of the wall, looking down on the lone Lucario standing before the gates.
It was only a moment before they creaked open, swinging inwards just enough to allow an elderly male Delphox dressed in a butler's uniform to shuffle out and greet the Lucario. He bowed only slightly; a minor curtsey. "I apologize, mistress, but we are not--"
The Lucario cut him off, interjecting sharply. "My name is Rika," she said, projecting her voice so those watching from high above could hear. "You'd do well to remember it: I've come to face whoever runs this place."
"Miss Rika, I am afraid we cannot simply allow anyone to walk in and--" The elderly Delphox was cut off again as quickly as he had began, the Lucario delivering a sharp punch to his throat that sent the fox Pokemon flying backwards into the tunnel beyond the gate. Without a single hint of hesitation Rika stepped through the doors, passing through a darkened tunnel and into the broad courtyard that dominated the interior of the academy. Bleachers sat atop the walls that surrounded the courtyard while windows faced in from the spires and academy walls beyond. Rika looked up to the giant tower at the back of the academy, knowing whoever was at the head of the school would be watching her from there.
Rika reached a paw behind her waist, grabbing a hilt that protruded from a small sheath on her back. Smoothly she drew the hilt, spinning it around her paw as she swung it out in front of her; curiously, the sword hilt had no blade attached. It only took a moment more for one to appear: a surge of Aura energy protruding out from the hilt like a blue flame. A gasp seemed to rise from the towers, but not at the blade itself. Rather, all eyes were locked on the brilliantly white gem set in the end of the simple hilt just below the blade.
"I'm sure you've noticed by now: this Aura Blade, it has one of your Gems in it!" Rika yelled, loud enough for the entire academy to hear her. "This sword is all that's left of my father! He vanished with this as the only clue to his whereabouts! Seeing as the Gem came from here, I figured you may know something!"
It was like a meteorite struck the ground before her, a crater forming as dust and dirt blew up into the air. Rika grunted as she dug her feet into the ground to keep from being blown backwards, crossing the Aura Blade across her chest as she watched a dark shadow walk towards her amid the dust cloud. As the dust settled the shadow was revealed to be a Zoroark, radiant light seeming to shine down on her. Ornate silver and gold metal plates wrapped around her legs and arms while the bead most Zoroark work in their hair was replaced by another metal plate bent into a ring. Most prominent was the regal choker around her neck, set with a brilliant gem matching the one in Rika's Aura Blade.
"There you are," Rika grinned, not even waiting for the Zoroark to speak before running straight at it. Her feet pounded the ground, the Aura Blade held out before her. She screamed as she rushed in for the attack, swiping her blade at who could only be the head of the school with all the strength her body could muster.
Yet, the attack didn't hit. Rika had to blink and look down to realize what had happened: despite her speed, despite her strength, there was the Zoroark's claw grasped around her arm, holding the sword up and away from her face.
"You have this gem, yet don't know how to use it," the Zoroark said, twisting Rika's arm and eliciting a cry of pain from the Lucario. The gem set into the Zoroark's choker seemed to sparkle and light up as she spun to the side, throwing Rika across the empty courtyard. The Lucario continued to fly backwards until she hit the far wall with a deep thud, the stone cracking as she dropped down to the ground. The deactivated Aura Blade clatted to her side, Rika shakily reaching a paw out to grab it only to feel the Zoroark's foot slam down on her wrist.
"You are not fit for this Gem," the Zoroark said, examining the downed Lucario and the deactivated hilt besides her. "However..."
Rika quickly leapt up with renewed vigor as her second wind came, slamming a fist into the Zoroark's ankle to free her wrist and snatching at the Aura Blade before flipping backwards. She stood panting and bleeding from scratches that crossed through her fur, yet still the Aura sensors on her head rose into the air as she activated the sword's flame-like blade. Through sheer force of will she stopped her arms and legs from shaking as she gripped her blade with both paws, tip pointed at the Zoroark.
A grin crossed the Zoroark's face before it leapt into an attack, jumping forward with claws extended. Each time the dark type tried to slash her, Rika's blade was there to block and turn away the attacks. Still the Zoroark kept up the assault, pushing Rika back until the two stood in the middle of the courtyard. The Zoroark's claws were a red blur mashing against the blue blur of Rika's blade, until the dark type's tactics changed.
The claws of her right hand flexed and a sphere of dark energy appeared in front of them. She swung forward with the orb of energy, clashing it against Rika's blade and unleashing a wave of pressure as the sphere collapsed. Both Pokemon were blasted backwards, leaving Rika stunned until she snapped her focus back to the present. Taking the opening the Zoroark reached both arms above her, forming a crimson red orb of energy between her claws. Rika's eyes narrowed as she recognized it, swinging her sword down to plant it in the ground. A dark-type attack wouldn't be very damaging to her, surely she could endure it.
This was different. Dropping her arms down, the Zoroark hurled the crimson orb at the ground. Instead of collapsing as with the dark orb, it expanded rapidly. The crimson energy washed over both Pokemon, the Zoroark standing firm amid it. Rika, who had been so confident the attack would barely hurt, instantly collapsed to the ground and shook as pain washed through her nerves. She let out a scream as she twitched with violent seizures, again dropping the Aura Blade before ultimately collapsing onto her side.
Darkness clawed at the edges of Rika's vision as the Zoroark walked over to her, looking down at the defeated Lucario. "I am President Kurai, Head of Jaeger Battle Academy's Student Council. From this day on you are a Rank 0 student. Achieve rank 3 and we will meet again."
Rika passed out before Kurai could even walk away.
"My my, what a show you put on."
Rika groaned, trying to open her eyes. Her eyelids felt like bricks weighing down on her, though slowly she was able to slide them open. She found herself staring up at a ceiling, rolling her head to the side to see the source of the voice.
"After all that and you were only out a few hours..." a Simipour spoke slowly, the monkey sitting on a counter with one leg crossed over the other. "It's no wonder Lady Kurai accepted you. Still, you've got the whole school riled up now. Long live the status quo..."
Rika could hear the distant sound of fighting break out through an open window, the Lucario sitting up to find herself on a small bed in an equally small room. She tried to pull her feet over the edge to stand but could only let out a groan and wince of pain, her body shaking. The Simipour leapt to his feet and jumped to a stool next to Rika's bed, pushing her back down onto the plush mattress.
"No no, you need to stay in bed for a while longer. Your cuts have been tended to, but there is much internal healing that still must be done." He lifted up the sheet that had been covering her, exposing her bandage-covered body. Rika was silent as she looked over herself, before glancing at the window beside her bed. Sounds still came through it.
"What's going on out there?" she asked, her voice harsh and scratchy as she realized how dry her throat was. Picking up on it the Simipour grabbed a glass from a table beside her bed and held it out for her. Slowly she grabbed the glass, her arms just as shaky and weak as the rest of her body felt. She was determined not to look weak and spill the water though, managing to lift it to her head and drink it down without a drop spilled.
"You don't have to impress me," the Simipour said, taking the glass back with a nod. "My name is Junichi, I'll be your medical class instructor once you've recovered enough to start attending classes." He leaped off the chair to the ground, scurrying over to the window and flipping up onto the sill, settling down on it as he looked outside. "What you're hearing, well... As I said, the whole school is riled up. Everyone wants to prove themselves now, everyone wants to get stronger..." He turned away from the window, looking straight at Rika. "Get stronger, to fight you. You're the talk of the academy, missy. To take you down would boost anyone's rep. And here? Your rep might as well be currency."
"I've already been taken down," Rika muttered, closing her eyes and reliving the fight in her mind. She had been utterly crushed, not landing a single hit on that Zoroark, Kurai she called herself. Then, at the end…
"You were defeated by Lady Kurai, Rika," Junichi spoke before Rika could finish her thoughts. "Everyone at this academy would be defeated by her if they fought; she holds her position through power. The difference with you? She accepted you as a student instead of kicking you out and leaving you to die."
Rika barely heard him, concentrating in her memory again, forcibly dragging up the last seconds of the fight. She pressed her lips together and narrowed her eyes as it came to her. "Night Daze. She hit me with Night Daze."
"Yes, and you stood firm as if it would wash over you harmlessly," Junichi said, staring at her with intent eyes. She could tell he was reading her, judging her. "You've fought before?"
Rika nodded and let out a sigh. "Yes. But… This was different."
"Everything about this academy is different. Lesson one: Gems." The Simipour reached down to the table between the bed and window, picking up the hilt of Rika's Aura Blade that had been set on it. He hefted it in his hand to test its weight, looking over the deactivated weapon and examining its simple construction. To anyone who couldn't channel Aura it was just a long cylindrical paperweight wrapped in leather, with a weighted pommel on one end and a brilliant white gem set in a hole that ran through the hilt at the other. Junichi frowned slightly as if thinking about something, before letting out a chuckle and running a finger over the smooth surface of the gem set in Rika's sword hilt. "How much about these Gems do you know already?"
"I know they come from this academy," Rika slowly said, choosing her words carefully.
"Yes, from mines underneath the academy grounds. When a Gem is extracted, it goes through a purification and cutting process. The highest quality Gems are aptly named: Pure Gems." Junichi let out a whistle as he flipped the sword hilt over to see the other side of the spherical gem, giving a slight node. "This is an example of such a Pure Gem right here. Honestly I'm surprised they didn't take this from you; only Rank 3 students are permitted to have a Pure Gem, usually. I suppose your case is… Anything but usual."
"Kurai had one," Rika remarked, remembering back to their fight once more. The gold and silver choker the Zoroark wore, ornately designed around the radiant Gem. "It looked just like that one," she gave a nod at the hilt, holding a paw out and letting Junichi toss it at her. She wrapped both paws around it and pointed the end set with the Gem at empty air. Her eyes drifted closed as she focused on the Aura that surrounded them, attempting to channel it into the hilt. No more than a spark of flame came of her attempt before she gasped and panted from exertion.
"I told you, you still need to heal. I'll take that away if you keep trying to exert yourself," Junichi said, raising a brow. "You're right though, Lady Kurai does have a Pure Gem. All of the Student Council members have one, along with the other Rank 3 students."
"What about you?" Rika asked, setting the Aura Blade's hilt down next to her on the bed.
Junichi gave a sad smile and a slight nod, holding up an arm. A bracelet wrapped around his wrist, in it set a crudely cut gem much smaller than Rika's. More than just its smaller size it was duller in color and vibrance, lacking the smooth surface and instead cut with flat, jagged edges. "I am but a lowly Rank 1 instructor; which is why I am overseeing you, a rank 0 student. This is my Gem Fragment. If I am ever to achieve Rank 2, I will be granted a Gem Shard. The differences aren't merely cosmetic: each rank of gem carries greater power than the last."
Rika drew a long breath, pushing her head down deep into the feather-stuffed pillow. "When she threw me… She was using her gem's power then, wasn't she?"
Junichi tilted his head to the side. "It would appear so, but, that was not a fraction of the power a Pure Gem can provide. The Night Daze was also thanks to her Gem. Types mean nothing when fighting with a Gem; everyone is on an even playing field."
"Tch, and I was so looking forward to punching her lights out," Rika shrugged with a chuckle. "I suppose type matchups wouldn't matter anyway when it comes to cutting with a sword. So tell me, how do I get to this Rank 3 as fast as possible?"
The Simipour turned to look out the window at the courtyard again, Rika wishing she could see what was going on down below. Maybe even be down there and part of the fight. "For students, it's simple," Junichi said, his speech slowing down again. "Defeat an opponent ranked higher than you, and you get their rank. Lose to an opponent lower ranked than you, and you get theirs. An even swap. At least, it looks simple on paper." He turned to look at Rika and grinned, his eyes squinting. "I'll leave it to you to find out what it's like in practice."
"And for teachers?" Rika asked; she might as well get as much out of Junichi as she could.
"It depends on our field. As a medical instructor, I would have to heal someone faster than a higher ranked medical instructor. For a history instructor, it could be to reenact a famed event in history more accurately than a higher rank. For a fighting instructor, it would be much the same as a student: defeat a higher rank in combat. For a mathematics instructor..." He trailed off to laughter as Rika almost gagged, the Simipour shaking his head. "Don't worry, we don't teach math here."
"Thank god," Rika shuddered with a sigh of relief.
A moment in silence passed between the two before Junichi leapt off the windowsill, pulling the black curtains closed behind him and striding towards the door of the room. "Well, I'd say that's enough for your first lesson; as a medical instructor, I was wholly unqualified to teach it anyway. I recommend you try to get back to sleep: you have a long day ahead of you once you get back on your feet." Before Rika had a chance to speak he had already walked out and closed the door, leaving the Lucario to sigh and pull the sheet back over her. She hadn't realized how tired she had been: no more than a couple minutes could have passed before she was back to sleeping the day away.
"Your tea, m'lady."
Kurai sat in a large chair atop a tiered platform, at the rear of a darkened room. Her eyes were narrowed as she focused on a bank of computer monitors on the wall across from her, camera feeds from across the academy displayed on them. At the voice she glanced down to see the elderly Delphox that had greeted Rika standing on the tier beneath her chair, holding up a small saucer with a delicate teacup. Steam wafted up to her from the tea, the Zoroark letting out a heavy sigh and smiling as she took her drink.
"Thank you, Edgar," Kurai said. She took a sip of the tea and let the hot liquid soothe her throat before taking another look at the Delphox. His black and white butler uniform was freshly cleaned and pressed, unmarred from his encounter with Rika. "I trust the new student didn't hurt you?"
"Of course not," Edgar responded with a bow, much deeper than the one he had given Rika. Standing straight again he pulled on the gold chain of a pocket watch dangling from his vest pocket, revealing an ornate gold watch set with a brilliant gem. "I had drawn on my Gem's power in anticipation of her retaliation."
"So you only feigned your defeat so she could pass," another voice rose, a chair on the lowest level of the room spinning to reveal a Glaceon. A pair of headphones pressed against the base of his ears from which muffled electronic music could be heard, Kurai wondering how he could hear anything of their conversation over it. A book lay open in his lap with a paw marking his spot, the Glaceon reaching up with his other paw to press a button on his headphones to mute his music and adjust the blue-tinted rectangular glasses he wore. "Knowingly letting an outsider into the academy… It's already brought trouble."
"You're still young, Gavin; you should embrace trouble. You do not get to my age without facing it." Edgar's skin wrinkled as he smiled, the Delphox giving a slight nod. "I had a… Feeling, that our new student was needed here."
"Ah, now that's the way to go about it I say." The voice came from the open door into the room, a Sceptile stepping through as it silently slid closed behind him. He grabbed a leaf that had been hanging from the corner of his mouth and reached up to stick it in the brim of his hat, before crossing arms over the pocket-lined vest he wore. As he walked, a holster on each side of his hip rattled with the weight of the pistols they held. "Don't mean to interrupt, but I figured you'd like my report: the courtyard's hell, Lady. Ah figure we'll have to stop the students soon if only so we can move in and clean up the blood."
"Thank you for joining us, but no need for a report Maverick; I've been watching." Kurai nodded at her screens. The largest showed a video of the courtyard Rika and Kurai had fought in not more than hours before. Whereas it had then been clean with a flat surface of fine sand, it now more resembled the cracked surface of a desert. Blood splattered the ground and the walls, some splatters even reaching as high as the bleachers that looked down on the courtyard. A few scattered bodies even lay still amid piles of gore, Kurai sighing and setting her cup and saucer down on a tray by her chair as she saw them. "Hano?"
"Here." A Greninja stepped out of the shadows, giving a nod to Kurai before kneeling down before her and holding the pose. He was simply adorned, with just a belt around his waist and simple leather gauntlets covering his arms and the top of his hands.
"See to it that those student's murderers are brought to justice. I want them out of the academy by tomorrow morning, whether they cooperate or not." Kurai spoke firmly, her voice set and stern. Gavin, the Glaceon who had spoke previously, spun his chair around to face a terminal set in the wall beneath the monitors and tapped at a keyboard. Information began to overlap the security footage, identifying the dead before Gavin rewound the security footage and picked out the murderers.
"Hmm, figures," he said as he analyzed the data and looked up the murderers' past offenses. "All of them are repeat offenders. Past citations for ‘excessive use of force'."
Maverick couldn't help but laugh at that for a second, the Sceptile reaching up to straighten his hat as he quickly recovered. "Excessive use of force? Now that's a rule broken on a daily basis here."
"With all due respect, Battle Officer," Edgar, who had remained quiet so far, almost seemed to spit out Maverick's official title, "there is a difference between proper fights and senseless violence. I thought it was your job to know the difference."
Maverick took a step towards the Delphox, placing his hands on the grips of the pistols protruding from their holsters. "Now since when have you known anything about fighting, Teaching Officer?"
Gavin rolled his eyes, but all fell still and silent as Kurai stood up from her chair and took a step down. Now that she stood, the metal ring in her hair clacking against the ground, her presence in the room was heavy. Both the Delphox and Sceptile instantly turned to face her, kneeling in respect. "Edgar, Maverick. Back down," she commanded, her presence and words enough to instantly halt the developing argument. Next she turned to Gavin. "Provide Hano with the information he needs, then I need you to start monitoring everything our new student does. We need to keep our eyes on this one."
"You got it," the Glaceon nodded. Reluctantly he closed the book in his lap and set it in a bookshelf against the wall next to his station, turning back to fully work on his terminal. A piece of paper printed from a slot next to his monitor and he tore it out, holding his paw back behind him. Sure enough the Greninja was already standing there, taking the paper and examining the list of names on it. "You know, it's not polite to sneak up on people," Gavin chuckled, trying to lighten the heavy mood that had set over the room.
"These students will pose no problem," Hano quickly responded after memorizing the details and putting the paper in one of his belt pouches. He turned to Kurai again and bowed once more. "I will carry out your will."
"See to it that you do," Kurai nodded as she returned to her chair, easing herself into it and picking up the teacup once more. She raised it to her mouth and took a sip; by the time she had lowered it the Greninja was already gone from the room. "Cordelia, you've been rather silent."
The only Pokemon in the room who had yet to speak rose from her chair at a station much like Gavin's. A tall Leavanny, the sharp blade-like leaves that served as her arms sparkled as if they were edged with metal and a thin dress draped down to the ground around her legs. "I have been studying the information on Rika's Aura Blade that we were able to gather while she was unconscious. Its construction is… Fascinating."
"Have you determined the Gem it contains?" Kurai asked, pulling up the information from Cordelia's terminal to the wall monitors. A picture of the Aura Blade filled the center monitor, lines pointing to it and outlining important components and other information.
"Unfortunately I will not be able to do so without removing it from the hilt, and doing so would appear to… Irreparably break the blade generation mechanism. You see, the Gem acts as a focus for the Aura energy and…" she drifted off as she could tell from Kurai's expression that the Zoroark didn't care for the extra information, the Leavanny shifting and returning to the original question. "All I can tell is what anyone can: it's a Pure Gem, and appears to be one of the finest we have cut judging by its radiance."
Kurai rubbed her chin, before curling her claws and resting her head atop them. "Unfortunately I cannot allow the blade to be broken. We will have to do this the non-intrusive way: keep an eye on the powers it manifests and extrapolate the Gem from those."
Cordelia nodded and turned to her terminal again, quietly resuming her analysis of the data.
Kurai's frown deepened as she watched the information changing on the screen, before hitting a button on her chair to change the screens once more. This time they all displayed one large picture: Rika the Lucario, sleeping in the room her medical teacher had placed her in to recover. The Aura Blade's hilt was visible on the bed beside her, the glint of its gem the brightest point in the room.
"Edgar, begin arranging for her to incorporate into a normal class schedule. Her medical teacher was already assigned under emergency conditions; see to it that the rest of her schedule fits her. Maverick, issue a direct order to halt all fights and send in the cleanup crews. Have the bodies of the dead prepared to be returned to their families. Gavin, set up a full suite of monitoring bugs watching her, as I said; I want every move she makes accounted for. Cordelia, I want the data from our fight analyzed, see if you can detect any sign of her Gem activating." Kurai tipped her head back as she finished the last of her tea, before standing up once more and crossing her arms behind her back. "This meeting of the Student Council is adjourned."
Here we go, first chapter of my new story completed! Back when I wrote my old fanfics and posted them to the Serebii forums I had a habit of writing my notes on the chapter, and I think I’m going to carry that on to this.
So obviously this is very much inspired by Kill La Kill, as I really like its concept and over the top nature. When I realized I wanted to make a story set in a school for Pokemon, Kill La Kill seemed like a natural fit. Still, I hope you’ll see that there’s already a good number of details that differentiate JBA from KLK, and the differences will only grow as the plot advances.
That first battle scene there was the funnest fight I’ve probably ever written, and in the grand scheme of things it’s rather tame compared to the battles that will take place later on. For a sneak peak, here’s the power Maverick the gunslinger Sceptile can draw from his Gem:
"Gem Power: Battle Regalia, converts between Scatter Mode (lightly armored, emphasizes speed and attacking with his pistols from multiple positions quickly) and Burst Mode (heavily armored with pistols converting to arm cannons that can combine to a giant immobilizing cannon)"
The next chapter will be interesting and I believe the first time I’ll have to produce a censored version of one of the scenes for broad appeal, so stay tuned!