Some say he never had been real, just a figment of the imagination. Others said he was, a true hero come to save them all. The superstitious among them trembled when his name was mentioned, for they weren't sure if he was a man, or a ghost. In any case, those who ran the huge, dirty city lived in secret fear of him, while the laborers, the common people, lived in hope that he would come and save them. They believed in him, hoping above all things, that at last, the strange rumor was true. A saviour had come at last. This is the Legend of Shadow.
In a time in the future, where everything was strangely primitive, people lived and died. They lived in huge, towering megacities, built out of steel and stone. In these cities, remained few working street lights, and as these lights blinked out, no one ever changed them. At night, these cities were dark, and dangerous, for during this time, predators lurked, seeking to destroy anything they could. For after the fourth, world-wracking war, people all over the world looked at the torn earth.
Greenland no longer existed, having been completely vaporized by several hydrobombs. Australia was divided into two, war-torn pieces, and the Americas were nearly non-habitable, being wastelands of dirt. The Main Continent was where the population thrived. And even though all weapons of war were destroyed by the devastated leaders of this sad world, people turned back to the only weapons that weren't outlawed.
First, they started with primitive knives, and these knifes slowly, but steadily grew into long, wicked swords. An era of metal blades had taken over the earth. At night, men roamed the mega cities, swords in hands, looking for victims. Death and crime were everywhere. No city was secure. No body was safe. It became a struggle to survive. It was into this bleak world of despair that the Shadow was born.
The sky was heaving with black and blue clouds, which were sending down torrents of rain, blown by the wind and lashing angrily at the huge stone mansion at the sea's edge. The waves were twenty feet high, cresting over, and falling back into the sea. The fury of the storm was terrible, and it attacked the mansion with all its terrible powers, trying to break it down into pieces. But the castle, solidly built, did not move, did not break, carefully protecting those inside, providing a safe shelter.
Inside, another kind of storm was taking place. In a darkened room, a beautiful woman was in labour. She clenched her teeth in agony, but did not scream, as she hadn't for the past five and a half hours. At her side was a young Indian woman, who was trying her best to help her mistress. They were all alone in the castle, while miles away, her husband was bravely fighting against hordes of pirates, who were bent on taking the coastal city, which was rich with wealth and supplies. The woman on the bed wasn't aware that her husband had fallen with a mortal wound. Even so, she was growing weaker and weaker with each passing moment. Two more hours later, at last the baby was born. There was such silence in the room, that the exhausted mother feared the worst.
"Is. . .?" She managed to gasp out.
The Indian woman wrapped the baby in several sheets, than carefully handed it to the mother. She didn't speak a word of English, so she let the mother see for herself.
The young woman slowly pulled back part of the sheet with a trembling hand, revealing a red, wrinkled face. Then the tiny eyelids opened, and big, dark gray eyes stared back at her. They were almost black, but not quite. They were a beautiful, deep gray colour. The mother gasped in joy and pride. Then the tiny mouth opened and a loud wail came forth. The baby boy was letting his entry into this world be known. The mother smiled weakly, then with a great sigh, her hold on the bundle loosened, and her eyes closed. Sensing its mother had fled from this world, the babe cried only harder.
Without a word, the Indian woman took the screaming bundle, held it close to her, and began to singing a quiet song in the Indian tongue. Soothed, the little one's cries stopped, the eyes closed, and he dropped off to sleep.
Once the Indian woman, Shakira, found out that the father had been killed in the battle, she took the babe to her tribe, and raised it as her own son. She named him Tiega, and he grew up like any other Indian boy. He spoke the Indian language, he could ride and tame any wild horse, he could hunt down any animal, and he could move silently like the wind the through the forest. His white skin grew a deep brown from the sun, his black hair grew wild and long, and the only thing that separated him from other Indians was his eyes. They were a deep, dark, smokey gray. An unusual colour, and his friends nicknamed him Smoke. He ran, played, and hunted with other boys, and as they grew older together, they learned how to fight with knifes and bows and arrows. Tiega had a natural balance and agility, and he became very skillful with hand-to-hand combat. With practice, he became a very good shot with the bow and arrow, and a very good horseman. But despite his skill, he didn't grow proud. He had many friends in the tribe, and no enemies.
His best friend was Kikohominochi, Kiko for short. Kiko was tall, lean boy, who could fight and run with the best of them, but his real talent was drawing pictures. He was quiet, patient, and steady, the exact opposite of Tiega. He had a quiet wisdom and calm, and was always trying to talk his friend out of doing foolish things. They were very close and loved each other as themselves.
For twelve years, Tiega lived happily among the Indians, with his adopted mother, Shakira. Everything was well until the pirates came.
They came suddenly with no warning, and they swept swiftly threw the coastal regions, destroying and plundering as they went. They reached the Indian village abruptly, taking them all completely by surprise. With the cruel grins and sharp swords they attacked. Everyone put up a good fight, but they were easily overtaken by the sheer numbers of the tribe. Kiko and some others charged them, but they were knocked to the side. Even Tiega stood bravely before his mother's tent, holding a knife in either hand, and a determined, fierce expression on his young face. When a handful of pirates came, the captain among them, Tiega stood his ground. With a sneering grin, one pirate lurched forward to move the boy out of the way. But to his astonishment, as well as the others, the boy moved like lightening, and planted a blade right in his stomach. Eyes wide, the unshaved man stumbled back, then collapsed on the ground in utter shock.
Tiega stood in front of the tent with one knife left, his young eyes fierce. The captain himself frowned, then strode forward. The boy tired to impale him, but the captain caught his wrist and forced the boy to drop it. He grabbed the boys long hair, and pulled, forcing Tiega to look up at his face.
"This one is no Indian," the captain exclaimed in surprise, noting the strange gray eyes. On impulse, he threw the boy to another pirate, a big, burly man that was bald and had a ragged, jet-black beard. "Take him."
The big man threw the struggling heap over his shoulder and held him easily, smiling a toothless smile as the mad boy pounded fiercely on his captor's back. He yelled and shouted in Indian, growing louder as they entered his mother's tent. When they pulled out the Indian woman, who stood silent and dignified, the captain frowned, glancing at the captive boy, putting two and two together. This obviously was the one who had raised him.
"Leave her," he said suddenly. The pirates protested, but the captain's word was law. So they left the Indian woman untouched, and took the boy with them.
As it turned out, Tiega was the only one taken. Once on the big pirate ship, he was thrown into the captain's room, and the door was locked. Left alone, Tiega tried everything in attempt to escape, but the room was solidly built, the door unmoveable. Furious, he sat on the floor and stewed. He wasn't scared, he was angry. Angry at them for attacking his village, angry at them for taking him. And he wanted revenge.
A/N: Let me know what you think. Thanks for reading.