“Yes my child?”
“Tell me a story”
“Which one?” Ramonda asked
“The story of our home” Shuri pleaded
“Long ago, when history was new, a meteorite made of vibranium, the strongest substance in the universe struck the continent of Africa, affecting the plant life around it. When Olorun, the God of the sky created men, five tribes chose to settle on this land and called it Wakanda
“But Gaunab, the God of Evil grew envious of mankind and sought to corrupt Olorun’s creation. He poisoned men’s hearts with jealousy and suspicion. They turned on one another, the five tribes then lived in constant war with each other. Until one day a warrior priestess received a vision from the Panther Goddess Bast, who led her to the heart shaped herb, a plant that granted her super human strength, speed and instincts. She led a revolt and freed all the women from enslavement and torment
“The Priestess became Queen and the first Black Panther, the protector of Wakanda. The women of the five tribes agreed to live under the Queens rule but the men chose to leave Wakanda. The Wakandan’s used the vibranium to develop technology far more advanced than any other nation. But as Wakanda thrived, free from the corruption of Gaunab, the world around them sank further into chaos. So to keep the vibranium and the Wakandan’s safe, Olorun created a barrier around the nation, keeping it’s true strength hidden from the rest of the world”
“And what about Gaunab? Is there any way to stop him?” Shuri questioned
Ramonda nodded “When Olorun cast Gaunab out of the skies, he knew that Gaunab would continue his plans to corrupt mankind, to lure them into a war that would destroy themselves and the world. So he left us with a gift, a weapon powerful enough to destroy Gaunab and free the earth of his influence. We call it the God Killer”
“Can I see it? The God Killer” Shuri asked
“The God’s gave us many gifts intomba, one day you will know them all” Ramonda replied, slowly rising to leave
“And Umama” Shuri called, Ramonda turned to face her daughter
“Do we still hide?” Shuri inquired
Ramonda did not answer, instead she pressed a kiss on Shuri’s temple and bid her goodnight.
Once her mother left Shuri rolled over in bed and stared out the window, her eyes honed in on the one solitary building in the distance, “The Mound” they called it, where the vibranium was mined and it also housed the lab from which the most advanced technology was produced.
“I will be there!” she thought determinedly to herself as she gazed at it
“Just you wait”
And with that thought in mind the young Princess fell asleep.
Ramonda left Shuri’s bedchamber and went to the throne room where Okoye the General of the Dora Milaje, Wakanda’s greatest warriors, awaited her.
“My Queen” Okoye called in respect as Ramonda entered.
“Sorry I am late my friend, Shuri was a bit more inquisitive then usual tonight” Ramonda spoke
Okoye only nodded
“What is it you wished to speak to me about General?” Ramonda questioned
“Is it not time to begin Shuri’s training, my Queen?” Okoye replied
“Okoye, she is a child…. The only child among us…. I want to let her be so” Ramonda answered.
The Wakandan’s had been blessed with unusually long life as well as strength superior to that of any normal man. But there were no children within their borders. Ramonda had wanted a child so much she had carved one out of the vibranium rich soil and prayed to the Gods to give it life and Olorun answered.
“You know as well as I do that she is not just a child. She will need to learn to fight and defend herself should the day of reckoning arrive” Okoye stated
Ramonda turned away, refusing to look Okoye in the eyes as she responded “You speak of a day that may never come. He might never return. He could have died of his wounds”
Ramonda did not even believe the words as they left her mouth.
“Gaunab is alive! You feel it as we do, in your bones” spoke a different voice. Nakia, the head of the Intelligence division.
“You agree with Okoye as well Nakia?” asked Ramonda
“Yes, my Queen and forgive me but we believe you are neglecting your duty if she cannot fight” Nakia answered.
Ramonda let out a sigh, suddenly feeling as old as she was. She knew she was putting it off for too long. She knew she was shielding Shuri from what she really was. Ramonda thought back to the night Shuri was brought to life, Olorun had blessed her with the gift of life but Bast had also placed a blessing on the child. One that came with an enormous responsibility, not only to Wakanda but also to the rest of the world.
“We know you love her as do we” Okoye spoke “But this is the only way to truly protect her”
“You will both train her, mind and body!” Ramonda dictated finally turning to meet the gazes of the other two women.
“Harder than anyone before her… five times harder, ten times harder until she is better than even you… But she must never know the truth, about what she is or how she came to be”
The two women nodded both responding “Yes, My Queen” before crossing their arms in an “X”, the Wakandan salute, and leaving.
‘Shuri was indeed a gift’ Ramonda thought, resigned ‘But she was never only mine’