1 Rosenkreuz… sweet Rosenkreuz…

by Yanagi-sen

Weiss Kreuz fanfic

Usual disclaimers apply. They're not mine to play with… but I'm going to anyway. We all learned how to share in Kindergarten, right?

Warnings: angst, POV switching… I'll try to make it as clear as possible

/character thoughts/

~mental thoughts~

2 Chapter 1: Welcome to Rosenkreuz

Why did Weiss have to show up and make everything so difficult? They had actually managed to betray Esset, something he'd been planning and plotting for years. They were on the brink of achieving all they had worked for… and then THEY had to arrive.

Even as Crawford moved to face off with Weiss's katana wielding leader, part of his concentration was still on his own team's redhead. He ducked and dodged, mocking the younger man, even as he watched Schu fight that blond playboy. He felt the building shake and shudder and with a sickening lurch… the floor beneath them gave way. He caught Schu's jade eyes with his own, just before they fell into darkness…

-10 years earlier-

The new recruits were being brought in. Individual talents might be brought to the training facility at Rosenkreuz throughout the year, but in general most of the new additions arrived after Esset's annual roundup of psis. The kids, ages ranging from as young as eight to around twelve, milled in the courtyard nervously. There were perhaps 20-30 youngsters; many would be weeded out within the first few days. A few more would disappear over the next several weeks. Of those that remained, most would be only minor talents, recruited to keep the massive organization functioning, getting desk jobs, maintenance, or other menial roles. But a few… only a handful, would be powerful… and THAT was the reason they were here. Questions and conversations in a dozen languages filled the air, as did the nearly overwhelming feeling of excitement, and fear. Many of the children didn't even know where they were or why there were there, having been taken forcefully from their homes and families. Others carried the hardened looks and jaded eyes of those who had already seen too much and suffered far more than any child should.

One of the latter stood off to the side of the crowd. Leaning casually against the wall, for all appearances uncaring of what was going on. He had hair the color of flame, and even from a distance the green of his eyes stood out in his thin, pale face. His clothes were a mismatched affair, ill fitting and in desperate need of repair, and yet he had an unconscious air about him that drew the eye.

At sixteen Brad Crawford was beginning his final year of training, and as such was involved with 'settling in' the new arrivals. His eyes roamed over the crowd again, but kept returning to the redhead. His powers may not be fully developed yet, but his instincts told him that the kid could be trouble. Trouble for good or trouble for ill, he couldn't say. But trouble nonetheless.

"Herr Crawford."

"Herr Schultz."

"I see you are already sizing up our 'crop' for this year. What do you think?" The American shrugged, not wishing to speak to the head trainer anymore than necessary. Image was very important here… he was trying to cultivate a fairly cold, calculating one that would get him left alone. "Hmm… true. It is too soon to tell. Well time to get the herd moving." He stepped away from Crawford and mounted the platform at one end of the small courtyard.

Bren wasn't a patient person at the best of times, and certainly not when he knew he was being toyed with. He snorted at the crowd of kids as they waited. Some tittered nervously, some cried, some like him, were trying to look as if nothing bothered them. He watched as one of the older girls loudly proclaimed that 'she wasn't scared'. /Poor saps… they have no clue what we're getting into. / Then again, neither did he really. But he was sure whatever it was couldn't be worse than what he was leaving. He just hated waiting out here in a mob… cooling his heels while that small group sized them up from the corner. Oh, he was very aware that they were there and what there were doing, even if the sheep around him hadn't caught on yet.

Feeling eyes focus solely on him, he glanced around. That black-haired guy was watching him again. He tried to observe the older teen without appearing to. The kid suddenly nodded deferentially to the older man who had spoken to him. Bren snorted. /And here I thought that guy had potential. / Well, HE wasn't going to be some whipped stooge! He was here to learn to control his 'curse' and then he was gone. He had no intentions of being a lackey-boy for some old farts.

At last, the older guy mounted the platform at one end and waited for the crowd to fall silent. He spoke, first in what Bren recognized as English, though he himself didn't understand more than a few words, then in French, then German. After that a younger Asian woman yammered at them, he assumed in various oriental languages. It appeared as though everyone had gotten the gist of the message, if not a full understanding.

He mused over the 'message' as they were herded into two lines, male and female, and started to slowly move into the complex. "Greetings. You have been brought here because you possess the potential of having a very powerful gift. You are different from the rest of society in that you have certain abilities that most do not. We at Rosenkreuz will help you to discover your potential. Keep in mind that everyone here is also likewise gifted. You will be sorted according to the nature of your gift. Later you will have smaller group briefings and have the opportunity to ask questions. If you will please form two lines, ladies to the right, lads to the left; we will begin the process."

After an interminable wait, Bren reached the door, just inside was a table, behind which sat an older man, asking questions and filling out forms, a middle aged woman, and that black-haired guy that had been watching him earlier.

The woman looked at him with icy-blue eyes. But it was the old man who spoke. "Nationality?"



"He is a telepath." The woman answered for him, as he hesitated, good thing, cause till that moment he didn't know WHAT his 'curse' was called.




He paused for a moment. Did he REALLY want to tell these people? A name was a powerful thing to know about someone. He was aware of the fact that all three were now staring at him. He swallowed and cleared his throat. "Schuldich… call me Schuldich."

"Very well… Schuldich." Her words carried no warmth. "Follow the corridor straight ahead, it will take you to the showers. You will clean up and receive your new clothing. They will tell you what to do from there." The older man handed him what looked like a dog tag though there was no printing and the metal was blue in color. Schuldich turned and walked down the hallway arriving at the showers to join yet another line.

A rather severe looking man waited beside another table piled high with drab gray uniforms. "Tag?" He looked at the piece of blue metal and then up and down Bren's body. He pointed to a pile. "Take one from there. Move along." The redhead took the bundle and moved ahead to the locker room area. A younger boy, in a gray uniform sporting red trim gestured him over to one side.

"That stall is free. Go in, take off what you are wearing and then drop it outside the curtain. Any personal effects you have, put in this bag. Shower and when you are done, put on the uniform you were given. Then take your bag of effects to the table at the other end of the hall." With that he turned toward the next kid coming in the door.

Bren entered the stall and set his new clothing on the bench inside beside a pile of towels. He took off the stained and torn rags he had been wearing and set them outside with a bit of relief, they were really starting to stink. He snagged a towel off the pile and ducked behind the second curtain. Bren showered quickly, but did stand under the spray for a moment, relishing the feel of the hot water; it had been a long time since he'd had the opportunity. Toweling off, he poked at the gray bundle. He found a pair of loose pants, with a drawstring, probably to make fitting easier, a drab blue tee-shirt, a heavier gray shirt that was almost like a jacket with blue trim, and underwear. No socks and no shoes. He dressed quickly, grabbed the comb waiting beside the towels and dragged it through his shoulder-length red hair. He bound it back from his face with the yellow scarf he always used and then took his tag and the empty effects bag and left the stall.

He noticed his old clothing was gone. Probably taken to be cleaned, or burned. That was the more likely of the two. The shower area was in a frenzy of activity, new kids entering, showering, changing and leaving again as fast as those in charge could push them. Bren walked to the table at the end. There was a crate of bags on the table and several more beneath it. He held up his tag and handed the young man his empty bag.

"Wait." He pointed toward Bren's scarf.


"You need to leave that here."

"But I need it, my hair."

"It won't matter in a few minutes, now put the scarf in the bag."


"Is there a problem?" Both boys turned to see another, older teen looking at them with a frown. It was the black-haired guy from before; his uniform had blue trim, like Bren's. His German was perfect… although he did have a trace of an accent.

"Eeh, no Herr Crawford. He just needs to put his scarf in the bag… he said he needed it for his hair… but…"

"Ah." Crawford turned his full attention to Bren. "Schuldich, I believe you said… first-years are not permitted personal effects. I realize the necessity of the item, but as your hair will be cut in a few minutes it will not matter. Your items will be returned to you at a later date. Please put it in the bag." His voice was cool and controlled, a voice to be obeyed, a voice Bren couldn't ignore.

"Ja." He removed the scarf, and his wild mop of hair instantly threatened his sight. The boy accepted the scarf and put it in the bag with a sigh of relief, writing 'Schuldich' on it and dropping it into the crate. Crawford nodded toward the door and the redhead left the locker room and it's frenetic activity, he was getting a major headache.

"Sit there." The old man flicked a cape over him with the ease of long practice and picked up a pair of scissors.

"Is it really necessary."

"Regulations state first-year hair length to be no longer than the top of your collar." He said as he simultaneously removed about four inches from Bren's hair. The man, dressed in brown, came around to the front and trimmed a bit off the sides and top, turning his face this way and that. "That'll do. Go that way." He removed the cape, adding the red hair to the pile on the floor, which a frantic young boy was trying to keep swept up, and nudged Bren out of the chair and toward the door.

"Wait here." After padding down a much quieter hallway, Bren was directed into what appeared to be a medical facility. He was waved toward a small room and told to remove his clothes, he really wished they would make up their minds, and told to wait and a doctor would be in. A younger, blushing boy, who's uniform had green trim, had entered and requested his tag before ducking out, leaving Bren alone again.

Suddenly an older man bustled in carrying a file from which he was reading. He glanced up at the redhead. "Schuldich?" Bren nodded. "All right." The doctor asked questions for several minutes, the last time he'd seen a doctor, any hospital stays, operations, shots, etc. Then he made Bren stand on the scales, measured height, poked and prodded him for a while, made notes, and in general was totally impersonal about the whole thing. "A nurse will be in to draw blood for tests and give you your shots." With that the man disappeared leaving Bren feeling more like a stray dog than a human being. A steely-eyed male nurse came in, drew the blood and administered the shots, not seeming to care about making the process any less painful. He ordered Bren to dress and left.

"Geesh… you'd think they'd be a little gentler. I hope they're nicer to the little kids." Somehow he doubted that was the case. The young boy returned and handed Bren his tag again, only now, it was stamped with a series of letters and numbers and underneath in smaller letters, 'Schuldich'.

"Go out of the infirmary and turn left, at the end of the hall turn right, you'll find a room where they will fit you with shoes." The boy's voice was very soft and he refused to meet Bren's eyes.

"Thanks." The boy looked up, surprise on his face and smiled slightly before dashing off again.

After receiving socks, shoes and more instructions, Bren found himself waiting with a group of nine other boys. Everyone's uniform had blue trim. They had been given a spartan meal and told their area head and mentor students would be with them as soon as possible. /Hmm, as soon as possible must mean something different where I'm from./ Bren mused from his corner away from the others. His headache was getting worse, the only thing he could do was try to distance himself from everyone and hope it would fade. /Let's see… so far all the kids I've seen have been wearing this gray uniform. So that must mean everyone in gray is a student. The clerks and servers have been in brown, maybe that indicates they are workers? The other adults were in street clothes; maybe they get to wear what they want. Now the students all seem to have trim on their uniforms in red, blue, or green. Everyone here is in blue. Maybe that indicates your 'area' I think they called it. They said we'd be divided according to the 'nature of our talents'. So does that mean everyone here is a telepath? Or does the blue mean something different. I just wish they'd get this show on the road, I'm sick of waiting./

~I'm sure most everyone here would agree with you.~

Bren gasped, as did most of the other first-years, at the voice that was suddenly in their heads. An older man, dark brown hair graying at the temples stared at them from the doorway. He wasn't very large… but there was something about him. A 'presence', that made him seem much more formidable than his appearance let on.

~I'm sure you all have many questions so let's get started. Everyone have a seat please.~ The man made his way toward a chair set to one side of the room. The students scrambled to get their chairs turned toward him, and then the room was dead silent. Several older students, Crawford among them entered and stood against the wall behind the man. ~My name is Harold Forbech. You will address me as Herr Forbech. For that matter, you will address everyone except for your fellow yearmates as Herr or Frau as they all outrank you. You may wonder how you can hear me since my mouth is not moving. My talent is called telepathy, the ability to speak within the mind. There are other applications of this talent, which you will learn about at a later date.~

~You have probably noticed the color on your uniforms. We divide all psychic talents, for you are all psis of one sort or another, into three areas. You wear blue, which identifies your talents as for the most part Mental in nature. You are all telepaths, telempaths, illusionists, clairvoyants, precognitives, or clairaudients. The people you see wearing red have Physical talents. They are telekinetics, transmuters, or pyrokinetics. The green indicates Healers. Many of these terms will be unfamiliar to you; do not be alarmed, you will learn all about these abilities and more in the coming years.~

~The next few months will no doubt be very stressing to you all. To ease your transition, we assign mentor students in their final year in your area to assist you. You go to them first with any problems you may have. You will begin testing tomorrow morning to determine what level of education you have, we stress the importance of 'normal' education in addition to our specialized programs. For tonight, you will be shown to your quarters. You will stay with your mentor student for the first semester, after which you will be moved into the dorms.~ Herr Forbech smiled… it wasn't a kind smile… cold and calculating… it sent a shiver down Bren's spine. ~Welcome to Rosenkreuz.~