The Justice Academy

After the justice league discovers that villains have their own schools for creating villains, they decide to start their own school for heroes. This year, one Barbara Gordon is forced to enrol by her father and she really, really doesn’t want to be there.

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12. Chapter Twelve

In three weeks Barbara had gotten used to the Academy and was settling in nicely. She’d not made any enemies, her investigation was going well and she discovered she actually really enjoyed the Friday sessions they had with the schools other sponsored students.
Hence her eagerness to get to this one, Kara and Roy were with her and the three of them were gaining quite the reputation amongst the student body.
The entered the Sponsor hall (which they had nicknamed ‘Paradise’ for their own amusement) and fell into place at the lower end of the line, as it went up in years. First to fifth.
Strangely, there were no second year sponsors, meaning it went first, third, fourth, fifth. She stood between Kara and Roy, and to Roy’s right were the third years, Kaldur’ahm, Hal and Aisha.
Barbara hadn’t been allowed to train one-on-one with Aisha since the start of term when they’d clashed heads, but there was always the chance someone would forget or not pay enough attention and the two of them could sneak a sparring match.
Barbara wouldn’t call them friends, but they weren’t enemies either.
“Frenemies.” Kara had told her, nodding firmly and Barbara had run with it.
“Alright, I am Aquaman, Kadlur’ahms sponsor. I’ll be taking your morning session this week.” Aquaman greeted kindly enough, but Barbara sensed the formality in what he was saying.
Aquaman…huh, I don’t think Pops has worked with him…
“Wonderwoman will be with you for the afternoon session, but enough of that, lets get down to business.” He span his trident adeptly “Weapon training.”
He brought them to a selection of weapons and let them each choose one. Barbara stared at them and scowled, okay, so she was at a bit of a loss here. Roy had taken the bow and arrows, actually he’d almost snatched them off the display before anyone had the chance to, Aisha had delicately selected a short sword that she was tossing from hand to hand to test the balance.
Kara had picked up a thick baton looking object, Kaldur’ahm had picked two strange curved objects, they lit up when he held them and became swords made of water.
Any chance you’ve got a chain or a broken bottle?
Aquaman came over to her as she scowled at the selection, and she tried to ignore his presence, tried to make it look like she was deciding. She failed.
“If you haven’t used a weapon, start with something small…like a dagger.”
She looked at the three daggers and chose one of them and held it tightly. She’d avoided knives where she could, but she knew her way around one, daggers were like knives after all. They were thinner, longer, and had better balance than a pocket knife.
She joined Kara and Roy, glancing at Hal’s weapon. It was just a staff. She glared at him, now that would have been ideal for her, she’d have loved to have that staff. She glanced at the weapons rack, but there wasn’t another one for her to grab.
“Alright, Roy, Aisha, Hal and Kaldur’ahm all know their way around a weapon so Kara, Barbara, lets start you two on the basics.”
So he showed them how to hold their weapons, explained about bio-electric weapons, like the bio-electric blades Kaldur’ahm used. Then he showed them a few parries, strikes and slashes in her case. Barbara wanted a chain, a bottle, something you just swung.
“Alright Roy, can you climb up there for me?” Aquaman asked and Roy looked up at one of the many surrounding balconies.
Barbara noted the cameras around the hall, and when she studied the structure of the hall she realised it was built like a Greek stadium. Did they come and watch them whenever the mood struck them? Eh, who knew.
“Roy, I want you to shoot arrows down. Non-lethal of course, dodge them or deflect that’s up to you. Just take it easy and get used to your weapons. We’ll swap later and try some one-on-one stuff.”
He took a few steps back and they all turned their attention to Roy who was notching an arrow ready, and when Aquaman gave the signal they began.
Barbara realised almost straight away that this was where Roy excelled, he’d obviously spent a lot of time learning how to use a bow and arrow and it showed. His form was perfect, his shots almost never missed and when they did, Barbara suspected he did it on purpose.
Dodging for her wasn’t too hard, but deflecting was another thing entirely. She barely managed to keep a soft ended arrow from catching her between the eyes.
She heard Hal snicker to her left, and flicked the next arrow towards him. She smiled when he squawked.
“Very nice Barbara, try not to antagonise each other though.” Aquaman called and she caught Kaldur’ahm out of the corner of her eye. He looked graceful compared to her, as did Aisha and Hal. She and Kara looked clumsy.
After half an hour or dodging and deflecting Aquaman called for a halt.
“Alright, I want you all to pick up a bio-weapon.” He told them all and they all placed their weapons down.
Barbara found a nice pair of nun-chucks and spun them loosely. These, she knew how to use these.
“Bio-weapons are a little different from normal weapons obviously, they are powered by you. As you can see those-” he pointed to Kaldur’ahm and Hal “are water based.”
Barbara looked at hers carefully, examining the intricate carvings that covered them completely. They were pretty, she wondered what they were based with, not water of course or Aquaman would have told them.
“Try and figure them out by yourself, pair up and take it slowly. They’re hard to master, so don’t worry if it takes you some time to get them to work.”
Aisha grabbed her arm and Barbara let her drag her onto the mats, she was holding what looked like the hilt of a dagger but she brandished it like a sword. Barbara span the nun-chucks, they were short, shorter than any nun-chucks she’d ever held and they felt strange in her grip.
They were too small, too light, she didn’t know how to compensate.
Aisha lunged with her hilt and Barbara span her chucks to defend, twisting them around her body and trying not to let them get away from her. The hilt Aisha held was sparking, hot red energy spreading down and changing it from a hilt to a flaming sword.
“Very nice Aisha, take it easy now Barbara hasn’t used these before.”
Barbara scowled, she didn’t like being second best. She certainly didn’t like knowing that she had the weaker weapon here. Something tingled along her arm as she moved around the flaming sword, feeling the heat on every strike.
She hissed when the blade got a little too close, she could feel her skin burning but she ignored it to twist around and swing the chucks at Aisha’s face. They missed, swishing past her blue eyes as Barbara forgot to compensate.
She ducked back under a wide arc of fire and rolled, twisting so that the blade came across but didn’t touch her skin. Her face was red and she was sweating, Aisha was covering ground now, Barbara really needed these things to work.
The third years were finding this easy, Barbara knew they had used them before, had spent three years learning the feel of bio-weapons that Barbara had never touched.
Her arm tingled.
Kara yelled as her bio-weapon came alive, vines flying from the end and wrapping around Hal’s arm. He just laughed and congratulated her whilst she panicked and apologise.
“Focus Red.” Aisha smirked and Barbara froze.
“You’ve got two years Red,”
The sword flashed upwards and she yelled, it was too close to her face, too close to her eyes. White flashed and she was blind, she swung the chucks on instinct and heard the weapons clash, heard something knock Aisha backwards and staggered.
She was blind, her heart was racing and when something touched her shoulder she reacted by swinging her chucks. She felt the contact and lurched backwards, she heard someone yelling in pain.
Kaldur’ahm, you just hit Kaldur’ahm.
She still couldn’t see, there was a white glare instead of the other sponsors and she kept her eyes screwed up tight, breathing hard. Her fists clenched tight, the nun-chucks were crackling with energy in her hand.
“Barbara? Barbara I need you to calm down, everything is fine.”
Aquaman…why isn’t he helping Kaldur’ahm?
Kara, she could hear Kara fussing over Kaldur’ahm with Roy. Could hear Hal talking to Aisha, could hear Kaldur’ahm.
“I’m fine, she only grazed me-”
He was okay, her eyes were starting to clear. Her face stung, she could still feel the heat on her eyelids but it was fading, slowly fading.
“Barbara, can you let go of the nun-chucks for me?” Aquaman asked, she opened her eyes, he was a blurred shape but she wasn’t blind anymore.
She relaxed her grip but didn’t let them go, they were still crackling with energy. A blue electricity in her hand, it was bright but she didn’t look too long. She didn’t need blue crowding her vision now the white was fading and Aquaman was coming into focus.
He was holding out his hands to her, he didn’t seem angry but…she looked at Kaldur’ahm, his arm was smoking lightly. So was Aisha’s hand.
“I’m so dead.”

 

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