Chapter 5: Imperial Dragons
As the doors to the container were closed and the voice of one of the kids captured pleaded for death was everyone pushed out of the past and back into the present sewer tunnel they once left. Shadow was back to her present self and was still unconscious from earlier. Leo and Raph helped carry Shadow into her room. April helped get Shadow out of the armor she wore into her night shirt and pants. Slowly and gently placing the sheets over her April placed her glasses and turned on the lamp near Shadow’s bed so that when she woke up it won’t be in darkness and would be to see once she knew she was home.
April went and joined everyone downstairs in the common room where nothing but the dripping noise of the water leaking from the pipes and the water that flew through the pipes were the sounds that could be heard. No one knew what to say nor do about what they just saw. All they knew was what happened to Shadow and her parents and the man that took her and eight other kids to God knows where. Also if eight other kids were with Shadow then where were the rest? Too many questions with too little answers, nothing could be answered without Shadow but with the reaction of just seeing the logo on the uniform, everyone knew that trying to get answers out of her could push her over the edge.
~Inside Shadow’s room~
Shadow was rolling from side to side in her bed, her eyes were tightly shut she tried to sleep but all that came were nightmares. Ones that she long thought to be hidden deep within her mind resurfaced. Shadow shot up quickly from her bed but the screams and cries for help still rung in her ears. Shadow looked at her lamp and saw her glasses, when she put them on her hands automatically moved to her neck, though the marks from where the collar she wore for most of her life were very faint they still sent shivers up her spine when they were touched. Shadow moved down and grasped her locket in her hands.
Carefully removing the locket off, Shadow opened the locket and stared at the picture of her parents inside it, on the left side was a picture of her parents when they first got married and her mother was pregnant with her. The picture on the right was when Shadow was born with her mother cradling her in her arms while her father was holding the both of them in his arms. Shadow closed the locket and turned it on its back, her father inscribed the back on the locket with a saying he picked up when he traveled for work,
‘Mon bonheur n’ a qu’ un seul prenom et ton visage’
Shadow’s father would always recite this saying to her mother every time he would have to leave for work. One day Shadow asked her mother and father what it meant after he returned from work.
Shadow’s father and mother smiled at her and said,
‘My happiness is your existence’
Shadow placed the locket back around her neck and under her shirt again. She took a deep breath and walked out the door to talk to her family. Swearing that what happened to her would never happen to them.
‘No matter what happens to me, they will leave. My family will stay together and go on without me if this becomes like before.’
Shadow looked around as she left her room and found everyone was in the living room staring at the ripped uniform.
Shadow cleared her throat so that the others would notice her. When everyone turned to see Shadow standing above them, Donnie quickly hid the uniform under the table.
“I guess you guys want some answers.” Shadow said as she walked over to everyone.
“No, you can tell us another time Shadow. We can wait.” Splinter said casting an eye towards everyone.
Shadow shook her head.
“No I can’t tell you everything but I can answer some of your questions.” Shadow slowly removed her locket and handed it to April.
“Everything you need to know it locked in there. The locket can hold my memories also like a computer does. All you have to do is listen to my voice and clear your minds. When you finish it will either push you out of the memory and back into the real world or you will have to recite the words that are inscribed on the back. Either way I will guide to the memory but never in it.” Shadow stated.
“Now are you ready?”
Every nodded their heads and closed their eyes. Shadow started chanting in an ancient language until everyone was developed into a bright light. When everyone awoke they were surround by nothing but white and portal doors all around them.
“Where do you want to start?” Everyone turned around to see Shadow standing behind them.
“Um I guess where we left off.” Donnie said.
Shadow nodded and pointed to a portal that was clear. The portal descended from the where it was to in front of everyone, images appeared on the portal.
“Go now but remember there's no turning back” Shadow said pushing everyone through the portal.
Everyone had to cover their eyes but when they opened them they saw that they were in an old underground factory. When they looked down they saw soldiers with the same symbol as the ones that attacked them throwing Shadow and the eight other kids into a cell.
They all floated down when the final kid was thrown in and the bars to the cell were slammed shut. Looking inside they could see that the cell was made of concrete and the bars were made of titanium. No windows were visible and the only light source was an overhead lamp that flickered on and off. The room was bare and cold when the kids woke up one of the older boys went and touched the bars only to have electrical sent coursing through his body. The other kids pushed the older boy away from the bars, he was panting heavily and clutching his chest.
A laughter from an above proved to everyone that the same man that kidnapped them was the same man behind everything. All the kids could do was sit and rest in the cell waiting to see what was in store for them the next day. By then everyone knew that no one was going to say them and they had to stick together as a family.
The oldest boy had short brown hair and blue eyes, he had a brown shirt with a white undershirt, black pants and shoes. Kai bore a scar across his right cheek. He said his name was Kai and just like Shadow and most of the other kids in the room his parents were murdered by the very man that kidnapped him. Kai said that he had the ability to shape shift into any animal that existed and copy their abilities and power.
Next was the oldest girl with dirty blonde hair that fell to her shoulders and green eyes, she wore a ripped flower printed dress and Mary Jane shoes. Her name was Akane and she said that she could control fire; just like Shadow. Akane came with her younger brother Kyoga who was hiding behind her. Kyoga had short brown hair and green eyes and had a green shirt and black pants and shoes. Kyoga could control fire too but he could also draw out the future if he came in contact with certain objects. Akane said that they were kidnapped from an orphanage.
Then came to the identical twins Riku and Riki they both had black hair and grey eyes but Riki had a short hair while Riku had slightly longer hair. They both had tattered blue shirts and black pants and shoes. Together they both could control electricity and together they could send a powerful blast of electricity out of their hands. From their explanation their parents were killed when they were out of the house but what killed the twins more was that their mother was pregnant with their little sister when she was killed. They both blame themselves for not being able to save them or protect their sister.
Finally came to the last two, the youngest boy Kenji who was around the same age as Shadow and youngest girl who was no more than four, her name was Sora.
Kenji had black hair and amber eyes but just like Kai he bore a scar but only this scar was not on his cheek but was across his right eye. Kenji was able to master any martial art just by watching and reading about it; making him a black belt in almost every martial known to man. Kenji was with his mother when they were attack, his mother shielded him from an attack which cost her life.
Sora had short red hair and blue eyes, she had a dirty white shirt, brown pants and shoes on. Sora could control water like Shadow but she was still too young to know how to use it for healing. Just like Akane and Kyoga, Sora was living in an orphanage when she was kidnapped but at the time of her kidnap she was with the mother nun. The mother nun took Sora and told her to run but by the time Sora escaped she was to watch as the orphanage that she lived in was being consumed by fire and everyone in the orphanage was bring burned alive.
After everyone recanted who they were and what happened to them they all stared at the bars that were holding them.
Time Skipped forward as the Hamato family, Casey and April watched the next two weeks past, the kids were given little food and water that they all shared. Sora, Kyoga, Kenji and Shadow were the youngest so they were given the bigger portions and when it came down to the wire Sora and Kenji were the ones to eat while everyone else hoped and prayed that there would be food for them. While water was changed every other day food was only given out twice a week. Then came the real reason they were taken which scare not only the kids but everyone that watched.
It was the end of the second week, everyone had gotten their food, and the older kids were figuring out who and when would get food while the younger kids were left to guard and take notice of what was happening.
Suddenly the man in the gas mask stepped out of the dark room and moved towards the cell with the kids. The older kids step forward and hid the younger kids behind them. The man in the gas mask laughed at this.
“So you think that you can protect them when you should be looking after yourself after what I have to tell you” The man laughed.
Kai and Akane growled at this.
“Let me explain why your nine are here.”
“My name is Yasha and I am the lord and master of your lives now. Just in case you think you will be living here alive, think again. I don’t intend for my toys to be living even after I break them. You nine will be pitted against my creations and one by one you all will fall, I just down know how. All you need to know is that every day I will call upon one of you randomly by the number inscribed on your collar. Another thing if you try and use any of your powers in there I will punish not just you but others as well. So unless you want the others to be punished for your actions you better listen to me and give me what I want. Don’t try and disobey me, shocking you will be the best part of my day as I watch you plead for your lives and even if you didn’t I will enjoy our screams. I can’t wait until I see the first of you fight for your lives.”
Yasha left the kids in the cell to think over what just happened.
Time skipped to the next day.
Yasha appeared dressed in royal robes with the wendigo symbol embroider in the middle, he was surround by soldiers with staff that conducted electricity.
“Oh boy the day is here, now who do I pick to fight in the battle arena.” Yasha chuckled. Yasha took out a remote and closed his eyes saying,
“Whoever’s collar goes off will be my contestant. Ine mine miney mo, who will be my player, who will put on a show?” By the press of the button a scream from the cell the time for the battle or ‘game’ as Yasha calls it began. Yasha opened his eyes as everyone turned to see who was scream.
“Ah, I see the last one to be caught now what was your name?” Yasha said in a mocking voice. Yasha released the button as the other kids ran over to Shadow who was panting heavily on the ground grasping her neck.
“Get my prize” Yasha commanded. The doors to the cell were opened and the soldiers marched in with their staffs pointed at the kids. While Kai, Riki, and Riku tried to fight off the soldiers Akane grabbed the younger kids and Shadow from the soldiers. But all was in vain, for Yasha was getting impatient and active everyone’s collars. This forced everyone to their knees as they screamed out in pain and clutched their necks. While the other kids were falling to the ground clutching their necks the soldiers were able to take Shadow away and lock up the kids once again. When Yasha ended their suffering it was too late for any of the kids to try and save Shadow.
The Hamato family, April, and Casey moved over to the battle arena. The arena was filled with rocks and boulders with two large doors for in and out at each end of the room, it was lit with stadium arena overhead lights. A cage with spikes all across the inside and outside covered the entire room. The only thing outside of the cage was a box seat for Yasha to watch the battle.
Shadow was dragged into the arena and when Yasha saw that she had nowhere to go he signaled for them to leave. All Shadow had to battle with was a rusty kunai knife that looked like it would fall apart as the slights impact. Shadow looked over the room to see Yasha was presiding over event.
“Now let the games begin. One monstrous child enters the battle and if this ‘thing’ wins then it will be able to leave alive, but if the ‘thing’ loses then it will its life that will be lost. Now you will either die here or live whichever I really don’t care. Battle my gladiator robots and let me see a show”
Soon after Yasha speech did the door near him open and soon an army of gladiator robots poured into the room. Shadow quickly dived for the rusty kunai and clutched it close to her chest.
Everyone could tell that Shadow was scared but there was nothing for them to do. As the gladiator robots surrounded Shadow, Yasha added a few more words to his speech.
“After you lose, I’ll go after your new friends maybe the next fighter will be one of the younglings”
When Yasha finished he took another look at Shadow whose hold demeanor changed when he threaten her new friends. Shadow glared at Yasha she readied both herself and her kunai.
I will protect them
In the memory portal the Hamato family, April, and Casey could hear her thoughts. When Yasha went after those close to her but not herself Shadow decided that she would do anything to protect them rather than herself. Making them wonder what happened after this. Everyone turn back to the battle as Shadow began fighting for her life. Shadow was able to take most of them down using the rocks, boulders, and earth around her but at times she did get hurt; badly. By the time the last gladiator was down Shadow was covered in small cuts, bruises, and dirt but when Shadow turned her back one last gladiator used the last of its strength and slash Shadow in the back with its sword then kicked her towards the other side of the arena. Shadow tumbled and rolled into rocks until finally landing on her left side. Blood started to pour off her back onto her shirt and then staining the ground. The sword left a mark from the top of her right shoulder across her back to her left hip in a diagonal line; something that she would have to live with the rest of her life.
The Hamato family, April, and Casey stared with wide eyes at Shadow’s back but what shocked them more was the uncontrollable laughter from Yasha. It pissed everyone off that he was getting off at this and was proud of what happened to Shadow. Yasha then had Shadow dragged out of the arena and back into her cell without giving her any medical attention. The soldiers picked Shadow up under her shoulders and dragged her out and back to her ell. When they arrived back the cell the other kids gathered around and gasped at what they saw. The soldiers threw Shadow back into the cell and left them to take care of her.
Akane held Shadow in her arms while Kai took off his shirt and with the help of Riki and Riku they were able to stop the bleeding and wrap up Shadow’s wound. Though Shadow had the power to heal her wounds, this was one of those that she would have to bare for the rest of her life.
“What are we going to do?” Sora choked out. Sora and Kenji were crying over Shadow’s unconscious body.
“We fight” Kai said with determination. Kai held Shadow’s hand and with everyone they vowed to be with each other until the end. No more backing down, no more cowering in fear because of Yasha. They were not fighting for themselves they were fighting for each other.
“Should we call ourselves something?” Kenji asked.
The older kids chuckled at this, Kenji was trying to get their minds off of all the bad things.
“Yeah, you guys can pick the name Kenji.” Kai said looking at Sora, Kenji and Shadow.
“I would like something to do with dragons, you know because they are tough and strong. They never back down and I know if we call ourselves something to do with them then we’ll all get out of this.” Sora said. Kenji nodded at this adding
“Yeah and dragons are cool looking and each of us are kind of like dragons anyway. No longer will we be called, ‘things’ ‘monsters’ or anything of that sort. If Shadow was awake maybe she would agree with me on the name something dragons.”
Everyone turned towards Shadow, she cracked her eyes slightly to everyone.
“Well this is like an empire and you just said that we are all like dragons also so I thought being an empire of dragons would be a good name.” Shadow said with a smirk.
The older kids could tell Shadow was putting on a brave face for the younger kids but they didn’t argue with the name. The younger kids jumped up with glee and started chanting their name.
“Let me say something first guys.” Shadow said with a serious look.
Shadow readjusted herself in Akanes’s arms, wincing slightly at each breath and movement she did.
Everyone became quiet and listened.
“That place is a hell hole and from what happened to me you need to know that you can never let your guard down for even the slightly second. I was lucky just to leave with this cut on my back. I don’t want any of my new brothers and sisters to die in this place. No matter what happens; fight even at your dying breath. Punch death in the face but try to come back to us. I rather have my sibling dying in my arms around people that love them than in their there. Hell try and die with a smile because if I’m going down I’ll take down as many as those things as I can so my siblings don’t have to deal with them.” Shadow took a deep breath and looked at her new family once again with a new resolution.
“I am an Imperial Dragon and I state on this day that I will protect those that I call my family and those that cannot protect themselves. If I die I want it to be with my family and friends and I will go not sad or crying at the world but with a smile. Because I will know that I took down one less enemy for my family to deal. So said I, Shadow Hatake.”
Shadow placed her hand out and each of the other kids joined her.
Taking the rusty kunai each of the kids craved into the wall behind them with their new resolution, names, ages at the time of the pledge and a reminder of their humanity and lastly where they lived with their families or people they could call families at the time before their abduction.
Protector of Those That Cannot Protect Themselves Plead Their Lives This Day No Matter How Much Time Pass We Will Always Be Watching Each Other. God Have Mercy On Our Souls For The Lives We Take In Order To Protect Those That Need Us And Those That We Cherish.
Kai Goto (Age 10) Osaka
Akane Kirisawa (Age 9) Nigata
Kyoga Kirisawa (Age 6) Nigata
Riki Nomura (Age 8) Oita
Riku Nomura (Age 8) Oita
Shadow Hatake (Age 5) Hokkaido
Kenji Katsugari (Age 5) Kochi
Sora Ishigami (Age 4) Hiroshima