A Shadowy Past: The Story of Shadow
A small child lay in a crib in the town of Nikheah. Outside a gale raged. Nearby a wife and husband talked. Little did the child know that they were discussing his future.
"We can't care for him dear. You know that."
"I know! But we can't just abandon him!"
"I'll just drop him in the Serpent Trench and that'll be the end of it."
"Are you sure that's the only way?"
Through this discussion the child remained strangely quiet. His pale gray eyes alertly looking at his surroundings.
Walking to the crib the man sighed and lifted the infant. Wrapping him in an old sheet the man opened the door. Leaning against the storm he struggled to the pier. Taking one last look at the silent child he dropped it into to the raging waters. As he watched it float away he suddenly spoke the words that had appeared in his head. His mouth was not his own as he said,
"Babe born on a day of Shadow, Washed away by the raging water, He will become the Silent One, No one, not even he, knows his name, No one sees his face ..... He will free the world."
Shuddering at his words the man struggled back to his house. The gale raged on.
15 years later
"Clyde come on!" yelled Baram.
Jarred out of his thoughts the young man yelled to his friend "One sec I'm doin something!"
Deftly he snatched the bag of gold on the table. Looking around he climbed out of the window. Landing on the ground he turned. "What is it Baram?"
"The guards have figured out that something's up. We need to leave."
Frowning, the young man looked around. "Dang. I liked South Figaro. So what do we do? Hitch a ride on the ship? To Tzen?"
"No" said Baram, "Were gonna go to Jidoor! That's where the real dough is!"
"How're we supposed to get there?" Asked the young man.
Baram said "A ships leaving for a special cruise to Jidoor. I won us some tickets playing Triple Triad.
The young man whistled "Whoooo! A cruise. Well what are we waiting for? Let's go!
As the two friends raced down the streets a boy appeared from the shadows. Letting out a strange laugh he said to himself "Those two fools! Uncle Gestahl has been looking for them ever since they stole his scepter. Won't he be pleased?" letting out that strange laugh again he strode down the street.
Sailing on the ship the young man was lost in thought again. As usual he was thinking of his past. He remembered nothing of his parents all he could remember was waves of water and lightning. From there he was found on the beach near Mobliz. There he was raised by the townspeople.
He had never had parents that he could remember but he knew they were out their somewhere. The people of Mobliz named him Clyde. He left in search of his real parents. He then met his friend Baram in Doma. Baram was running from the law. Clyde helped him escape and the two had been inseparable since then. They were thieves. Good ones too he thought. They were always talking of going for the "big one" a payoff so large that they could retire for good. Maybe they would find it in Jidoor. Looking at the waves he tried to remember something, anything of his parents.
Three Weeks Later
Clyde and Baram stepped off the boat. Looking at the sprawling town before them they gave a sigh. This was a place where only the rich lived. Therefore there would be lots of money to be had. They walked to the inn and bought a room. A little pricey but they would be able to afford better before long. They sought out their first target. They were not starting small. They headed towards the largest house they could find. Learning that is belonged to the richest man in town Owzer they took precautions. They found a loose window and greased it with some chocobo fat. Sliding it open they snuck inside. They gaped in awe at the sight that greeted their eyes. They were looking at a gallery of art. They realized that all this art was priceless. This was the big one. They looked at each other as this thought sunk in. This would be all they needed to live comfortable for the rest of their lives. They began taking the smaller paintings off first. They would have to stash these somewhere and come back for the larger one. They moved quick knowing that anyone could be here at any time. Clyde was having difficulty with a picture of a lovely lady. He tugged but it wouldn't come free. Just as he was about to try again the whole painting flow back to reveal an open door and Owzer staring at Clyde. Owzer didn't stare long. Pushing pash Clyde he rushed out the door screaming "Guards! Guards! Thieves in my gallery!!"
Baram groaned "The gigs up! Let's beat it Clyde!"
Dashing out of the house they ran right into the guards. The Imperial Guards weren't taking chances. They glanced at each other realizing that these were the two that they had orders to kill. They had received word by pigeon this morning from Gestahl being hinted by his student Kefka. The commander swung at Clyde. Clyde managed to barely duck. Somehow he managed to grab the commander's hand. Wrenching the sword from his grasp he swung as hard as he could slay the commander.
As the guards stared at their fallen commander the two young men pushed pass them. They ran to the chocobo stables. Clyde threw some gold at the owner screaming "Yes we know how to ride them! Sorry for the rush!"
Hopping on they rode their mounts out of town. Looking behind them they groaned. A trooper in the towns Magitek Armor was rushing after them. Clyde in desperation threw his sword at it. As the trooper in the suit readied his weapons he looked up to see a spiraling sword rushing at his head. It was the last thing he saw. As the trooper's head fell from his body, Baram stared at Clyde "How in the World of Balance did you do that!?"
Clyde shook his head. "I really don't know. Guess I have a knack for throwing things. But now's not the time let's ride!" As the two friends dashed off a boy stared after them. "Vwoohahahah. Those idiots! Now their heads will be wanted wherever they go!" Laughing hysterically to himself the boy walked to the carrier pigeon office.
Walking towards the distant town (their Chocobos had died of exhaustion) Clyde and Baram were thirsty, hungry, and wounded from all the monster fights on the way. Clyde was guiding Baram who was still confused from being on the wrong end of an attack from a Mind Candy. As the entered the town they collapsed with exhaustion. A kindly man took them to the Inn and paid for their room. They slept deeply.
Clyde was standing by a well. Looking around he saw a house and a merchant on a chocobo nearby. He felt a nudge and looked down seeing a dog by his feet. A hand touched his shoulder and he spun around. A man dressed in purple with large muscles asked him "Hey how do you get to Narshe from here?"
Puzzled Clyde looked at himself. He was wearing black clothes, his face was covered with a black mask. Looking at the man he asked where am I? The man smiled and started laughing. It wasn't a happy laugh either. It was demented. The man transformed. His clothes changed to red and green as his face became cruel. "Vwhahahaha!" he laughed, "Where are you!? You don't even know where you are!? Vwahahahaha!" The man started walking away. "Wait!" cried Clyde. The man merely said "
Wait he says! Do I look like a waiter?"
A loud sound came from above. He looked up to see an island floating in the air. "A floating island!" he thought. He saw ghosts, and trains, and a river of poison around a castle. He awoke with a start with the mans laughter ringing in his ears.
Gasping and in a cold sweat Clyde sat up in bed. Looking around he saw Baram sitting at a table by him. He slid out of the bed and walked over to him. "Hey! You're finally awake! I thought you were a goner there for a sec!".
"Where are we" asked Clyde.
"We're in Kohlingen. We need to leave soon. I'm sure the Imps will be looking for us." Baram replied. Clyde grumbled "We sure did it this time didn't we?"
"Yeah." agreed Baram, then he got a look on his face "By the way how in the world did you do that thing with the sword and the Imp?"
"I'm not sure," said Clyde, "Let's see if I can do it again."
Walking out of the Inn the two friends walked over to a tree. Baram took a leaf and stuck it to the tree with a pin. Clyde pulled his dagger and took his time aiming. He suddenly reared his arm and threw the dagger with all his might. It didn't even hit the tree. Frowning he retrieved it. Baram gave a suggestion, "Don't think about it so much. When we were running from the Imp you didn't even aim."
Clyde came back to in front of the tree. Not even fully stopping he flung the dagger at the tree. Before they could blink the dagger was lodged in the tree and the leaf was floating to the ground. Both men laughed and Clyde retrieved his dagger, proud of his new skill. As they walked away Clyde suddenly spun and loosed the dagger again for fun. Both stood stunned. The dagger was lodged in exactly the same space.
Both friends left Kohlingen early the next day. They were bound for Narshe. They knew that Figaro ferried people to the Narshe Desert every other week. They caught the Castle and entered Narshe where they knew they could hide for a while.
Two years passed
Baram rushed into the apartment that he and Clyde had rented. He gasped breathlessly "I found it!"
Clyde looked at Baram like he'd lost his mind "Found what?"
Baram smiled "The big one. 1 Million GP!"
Clyde inhaled sharply "Where!"
Baram gestured "A train leaving tonight. It's full of rich people. Including the famous swordsman Siegfried."
Clyde looked at Baram then smiled widely "Let's do it."
After making their plans Clyde pulled on his brown cape and wandered out into the streets of Narshe. It was cold as usual. He had to pick something up to help them in their scheme. As he walked he thought he saw a person following him. Every time he looked back though no one was there.
The two friends stood on a hill waiting for the train. As it came around the bend Clyde picked up a Fire Skean that he had bought that morning. Waiting until the train was almost level with them he threw it. it impacted right on the engine igniting in a wave of fire. The train immediately ground to a halt, rushing down the hill the two burst into the first class cabin. Most of the people were lying on the floor after the impact. They shoved their way into a specific cabin. There the great Swordmaster Seigfreid lay on the floor, dead.
Not stopping they kicked open a chest and grabbed the gold inside. Still moving the ran out of the train into the dark night.
After running for a while the two stopped for a rest. Exhilarated Clyde said "1 million GP! We did it!"
"Yeah" said Baram; "Now that we'll be famous I've got a perfect name for us! Shadow!"
"Great train robbers of the century" Clyde said, "Shadow?"
Just then an immense flash of light illuminated the night. A searing beam of fire sliced through the night striking Baram. Clyde yelled, "It's the Imps! They found us!"
Picking up Baram who had fallen he ran into the night.
A young man walked out of the darkness followed by a soldier in Magitek Armor. "Well I think we got one of them. Vwahahahaha won't Gestahl be pleased!"
Clyde finally collapsed after carrying Baram for miles. Baram was gasping. Clyde said to him "Don't worry Baram you'll be okay."
Baram gasped out "No. They got me good this time.... Clyde...your sword... use it."
"What are you talking about?!" Yelled Clyde.
Baram wheezed "Don't let them find me..... you know what they'll do to me... please as my friend."
Clyde started walking backwards as he said, "I can't Baram! I can't just kill my friend!" as he started leaving Baram called out to him "You coward! I'm your friend! Come back here! Don't leave me to them!"
Clyde hesitated he turned and saw a Magitek Trooper come out of the forest. He started running, hesitated, then he pulled out his dagger, turned, and threw it at Baram. The blade hit him dead on. As he died he smiled.
Gasping in horror at what he just did Clyde ran. The trooper followed him relentlessly. He finally halted at the edge of a cliff overlooking the ocean. Looking down he was almost hit by an Ice Beam blasting overhead. Taking one last look behind him he jumped. Right before he hit the water and blacked out he thought "This seems familiar some how."
A young woman was out picking flowers in her hometown of Thasama. She heard a noise and looked up. Gasping in shock she saw a soaking wet man walking towards her. She ran to him and saw he was barely breathing. She grasped him and said "Don't worry. You'll be okay. You're in the town of Thasama." then the man blacked out.
One Week Later
Clyde woke up in bed to see a beautiful woman looking at him with a concerned face. Next to her was a man looking concerned as well. The woman smiled and said "You're awake! Well, it was touch and go for a while there. Oh! I forgot to introduce myself. I'm Lily and this is my father Strago. Your in the town of Thasama. We found you in a horrible state."
Clyde said in a hoarse voice "Thank you..."
The woman said "Your welcome. What's your name?"
Over the next few months the two got to know each other better. Clyde never got over Baram and would sometimes be found crying. After a while the two fell in love and married. Soon they had a child which they named Relm. Good years passed. Then trouble came
Clyde rushed in to the house, "Where is she!?" he yelled at Strago.
Strago was stunned from a blow over the head. He mumbled "She went to stop the Imperials..."
Fearing the worse Clyde rushed out. He soon found Lily slumped over her favorite flowers. Dead. Kneeling down in front of her Clyde was strangly quit. After long minutes he said "Baram first.... now Lily..... anyone I become close to is killed..... I must not allow myself to become close to anyone again.... I must leave before more are hurt.
Walking slowly to his house he stayed locked inside for many days. Finally he emerged. Dressed totally in black with a black mask he started walking for the town entrance. Strago approached him and said "Clyde! Where are you going the Imperials are gone! You can stay!"
Clyde responded "I am no longer Clyde. Strago take care of Relm. Don't let her know what happened to me. I left her mothers favorite ring in a pot by the beds. Give it to her when she is old enough. Now I must leave."
"Clyde!" shouted Strago.
"Not Clyde" said Clyde "Shadow".
And then he left.
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