Chapter 1: Prologue: Tell Me A Story
“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’
Chapter 2: Chapter 1: Princess of Wakanda
“Again” Okoye called as she knocked Shuri into the dirt yet again.
Shuri stood, ignoring the aching of her sides, today, after all these days of getting beat, Shuri would win today. She took her stance again and lunged at the General. Shuri thrust her spear out and Okoye dodged effortlessly, knocking Shuri down again.
Shuri raised herself slightly and struck out with her foot, Okoye once again dodged and struck at Shuri. Shuri raised her spear and blocked the blow. Aiming to overpower her Okoye pushed against Shuri’s spear, Shuri then using her own, turned and managed to knock the general onto the ground.
Shuri raised herself to her feet keeping the point of her spear aimed at the General. A flash of white caught her eye and she allowed herself a glance in its direction. ‘Umama’ Shuri thought as she spotted her mother at the edge of the training ground the Queen dressed in her usual regal amour and her white hair braided immaculately and then half tied back into a bun while the rest flowed freely.
But that few seconds of distraction was all Okoye needed. Okoye stuck out at Shuri, managing to knock Shuri’s spear out of the young Princess’s hands.
“Never let your guard down!” Okoye fumed, striking out at Shuri
Shuri dodged blow after blow, driven backwards by the older woman.
“You expect the battle to be fair?” Okoye demanded “A battle will never be fair!”
Okoye launched a sonic blast at the young Princess, who jumped out to her left to avoid the hit. She made it. Barely.
Finding her own weapon, she again launched herself at the General, in a desperate move she grabbed the end of Okoye’s spear, locking the shaft of it under her arm as she raised her own, using the shaft whacked Okoye. Shuri had only meant to at least knock the breath out of her but the blow sent the General flying back and she crashed to the floor of the training ground hard.
“General!” Ayo, Okoye’s second in command, cried running to aid the older woman
Okoye was stunned but conscious; she tried to sit up but winced in pain.
“Lay still” Ayo insisted “You’re bleeding”
Shuri dropped the spears, taking the sight of the injured General and the faces of the Dora around her. She had no idea that her blow would be that harsh, she was smaller compared to the other woman but that force was way more than her body could have, should have.
“What have I done?” Shuri mumbled “I’m sorry”
Before she turned her back and ran.
She ran and ran, stopping only at the edge of a cliff. The Princess looked at her hands, the questions firing around her head. Shuri knew she was different than the average Wakandan that much became apparent as she grew up, but it hadn’t bothered her until now. She could have killed Okoye…
She could have killed Okoye…
Shuri shut her eyes trying to think of other things to distract her from that thought. She began to mentally list the periodic table, a habit that usually calmed her down.
A low humming made her scrunch her face in irritation.
Bor…. The thought halted as the humming grew louder. That’s not a bug!
Shuri opened her eyes and saw… a plane? Yes, it was an aeroplane, it managed to make it through the barrier, its tail was on fire and it was headed straight for a nearby lake… nose first.
Shuri knew by instinct that there was someone inside that plane. She looked down, the cliff was not that far up… she could make it. She ran back a couple of meters “Bast! This is stupid” she yelled before running full speed forward and launching herself off the cliff.
She landed on her knees and rolled over a couple of times before coming to a stop. That was painful! She definitely wouldn’t be doing that again. She picked herself off the ground silently sending a Thank you to Bast for keeping her from death. She ran towards the plane, it had already hit the lake and was slowly sinking into its murky depths.
Shuri dived as she reached the edge of the lake heading for the still sinking cockpit. In the water she managed to make out the shape of a person, she broke through the glass and wrenched out the… man? She lugged the man upwards, after breaking the surface swam them both to the shore of the lake.
Shuri stared at the unconscious figure in front of her. A man! A white man!
She studied his face, taking in his solid jawline, strong chin and full head of dark brown hair that was slick with water. Shuri reached out to touch him, see if he was alive when he began to move.
Bucky moved, coughing up a little water, he opened his eyes the bright light of the sun blinding him for a second. He shut them again turning to the side before opening them again. When his eyes adjusted he saw trees, feeling someone beside him, he propped himself onto his elbows and turned to see… a woman. All thoughts in his head seemed to freeze at the sight of the lovely dark skinned young woman in front of him, her dark eyes gazing at him in curiosity and wonder. He watched as her lips tilted slightly into a kind smile. Before he could stop it the word fell out of his mouth
Bucky stared at the beautiful young woman. Her dark eyes still gazing in that same wonder.
“You are a man” she breathed
Her surprise stunned the Sargent “Yeah… I mean…. Do I not look like one?” He asked
“Where are we?” Bucky questioned, taking in his surroundings and being able to recognise them.
“Wakanda” The young woman answered as a matter of factly
“Who are you?” The young woman asked, tilting her head to the side, still staring curiously at him
“Princess! Get back!” yelled a voice, cutting Bucky off
Bucky looked to the source of the sound and found a large group of fierce looking, dark skinned women. They all wore scarlet uniforms and were adorned in silver bracelets, their heads were also clean shaven. They were armed with spears all of which seemed to hum with some kind of energy.
Only one of the women was adorned in gold, the others seemed to rally behind her. Their leader no doubt. Bucky thought.
Wait… Princess? Came the thought just as the young woman who saved him rose to face the one adorned in gold.
“Okoye…” called the Princess
“Get back Princess! He could be dangerous” the other woman hissed
The Princess took a few steps away from him, Bucky tried to stand.
“Stay down trespasser! Are you armed?” Demanded the woman. Okoye, that was her name.
Before Bucky could answer Okoye ordered one of the other warriors to search him. The woman grabbed Bucky pulling him to his feet with a strength that shouldn’t have been possible for a woman her size. The warrior pulled out his gun, back up pistol and his army knife and showed them to Okoye.
Okoye’s expression was one of disgust as she looked at his weapons.
“Guns, so primitive” she scoffed
“Look Ma’am, I don’t know who you all are and I’m sorry for crash landing in your lake but if you could all just show me the way outta here and I’ll be gone” Bucky stated
“How did he get though the barrier?” Okoye asked the young woman. The Princess shook her head in answer.
“Look please just…” Bucky called making a move towards the Princess but before he could reach her he was blasted half a meter away. He hit the ground hard, the breath knocked out of him and he could feel a splitting pain in his head, the world began to blur a little the last thing he saw before the world went black was the Princess running to him.
There was music playing, not the usual swing slow blues he was used to but it was upbeat and consisted mainly of drum beats. This was what Bucky woke up to. He was lying on a table in a brightly lit room, he sat up all around him were screens but not the type he was used to these were more advanced… even more than what he’d seen in Howard Stark’s lab at the SSR. Bucky felt his head, he could have sworn it had been hurt, he placed a hand to his chest, nothing broken.
Bucky hopped off the table and took a few steps, gazing at the sights around him… Not even the HYDRA facility he was kept in was this high tech. He stopped when he saw the form of the young woman who had saved him. The Princess. She had changed her clothes and half her hair was in bun at the top of her head while the rest flowed freely down her back.
“Where am I” Bucky asked out of the blue shocking the Princess.
She turned to him with an annoyed expression on her face. “Don’t scare me like that colonizer!” she hissed
“I’m not…. I’m Sargent James Barnes” He introduced.
The Princess gazed at him, sizing him up for a moment before she replied “I’m Shuri Udaku”
“How long have I been out? I think that Okoye woman really got me” He asked
“You have been out for 2 hours and in that time our doctors managed to fix your head injury, Okoye gave you a nasty gash with that blast, your three broken ribs, removed any remaining water in your lungs and the bruising along your abdomen” Shuri stated
“There is no way all that was magically healed” Bucky argued lifting his shirt to find that the bruises were indeed gone.
“It is not magic, it is science” Shuri spoke rolling her eyes at the white man.
“Where are we?” Bucky questioned
“No I got that but where are we right now?”
“We are in the mound, the home of all technological advancements and where we mine the vibranium” Shuri answered
“Vibranium?” Bucky repeated, recognizing the name of the metal that had made up his best friends signature shield
“You mine it? I thought it was the rarest metal on earth?” Bucky inquired
“If you are not from Wakanda then it is” came Shuri’s reply
A bleep sounded and the beaded bracelet on Shuri’s hand began to glow. Bucky watched stunned as she touched the beads and a miniature image of Okoye formed itself out of sand like substance. Bucky was stunned it was like a film but there was no screen or projector
“Is the white man awake?” the image asked.
“Yes, Okoye, he is awake” Shuri answered
“I will send the Dora to retrieve him”
“General I am perfectly capable of handling the broken white boy” Shuri replied, the comment making Bucky raise his eyebrows at her.
“Very well bring him to the palace, the Queen and the council wish to question him”
“Ewe Ngokubanzi” Shuri spoke before tapping the bracelet again and making the image disappear.
“We must leave, my mother requests your presence” Shuri spoke turning to face Bucky
Bucky was about to reply when a sight outside the many high window of the Mound caught his eye.
‘Impossible!’ he thought as he went to the window. As unbelievable as it was, there it was in front of him. The trains or transports or whatever that had been carrying the mounds of what had to be Vibranium was zooming down the tracks at incredibly high speeds, but the thing that really caught his attention was the fact that those transports were not touching the tracks, they were suspended a few feet in the air.
“H-how did you…? How is it doing that?” Bucky stammered
“Doing what?” Shuri inquired moving to stand next to him
“How does it not touch the track?” Bucky asked.
“It’s called magnetic levitation”
“Flying trains” Bucky mumbled as he recalled Howard Stark’s demonstration of his flying car.
“I did say in a few years didn’t I?” the handsome inventor had told the crowd and yet here in from of him was a transport system that indeed did not touch the ground.
“Actually the flying trains as you called them are in the city” Shuri stated using finger quotes on the words ‘Flying train’ “This transport is only used for the extraction of Vibranium”
“So that’s vibranium on those trains?” Bucky questioned turning to face the young woman.
“There is Vibranium all around us, that is how we healed you” Shuri answered with a smile.
“Now come! My mother will not wait forever” Shuri remarked tapping him in the chest and walking ahead.
Bucky stared out of the windows watching the transports zoom by and smiled as the thought crossed his mind.
‘Eat your heart out Howard Stark’
Ewe Ngokubanzi- Trans.: Yes General
Bucky followed the Princess, silently marveling at how advanced the Wakandan technology was. The Princess found his astonishment to be particularly entertaining as she chuckled softly at his face when the Dragon Flyer they were on passed over the Capital city of Wakanda.
"Unbelievable" Bucky whispered as he took in the skyscrapers and other shining buildings. All light years ahead of any kind of architecture he'd ever seen but bearing the tell tale signs of their African heritage.
When they landed he followed the Princess out onto the tarmac and was greeted by a line of fierce looking women dressed in the same uniform as the one who had knocked him out. Upon seeing the Princess they crossed their arms in an "X" symbol before resuming their original position, all this done in such perfect unison he was sure Peggy Carter herself would have teared up at the sight of them.
"You know Sergeant Barnes you ought to be a little careful, you could catch flies with the way your mouth is hanging open right now" The Princess chuckled.
Bucky cleared his throat before straightening up. "It's Bucky" he corrected
The Princess turned to eye him curiously. "Everyone calls me Bucky"
"Well sorry to say Sergeant Barnes I am not everyone" She stated before continuing to lead him towards what could only be the palace.
They entered a room which could only be the throne room, as seated on an ornately carved throne was undoubtedly the Queen, dressed in fine white with her silver braids cascading down her shoulders, she exuded grace, power and royalty, so much so that Bucky felt that he should bow... and so he did, the act was only met with laughter, the women in the throne room laughed even the stone faced general who knocked him out cracked a smile at the act.
Bucky looked at the Princess in confusion, her pretty face was void of emotion but her eyes were full of mirth as she shook her head at him.
"We don't do that here" Said the Queen
"Oh, I... I'm sorry I've never met royalty before" Bucky replied straightening himself.
"State your name and reason for being here semzini" The General Okoye cut in
"Okay... my name is James Barnes and I'm here because my plane dived head first into your lake"
"How do we know you are not here to steal from us?" asked Okoye
"He lies like all men do!" spoke an older woman sitting in one of the other seats.
"Nakia!" the Queen called and one of the younger women dressed in green stepped forward "You know what to do"
Nakia nodded and approached Bucky strapping a band around his wrist. The silver band whirred then glowed blue before tightening itself around his hand.
"This device can detect lies semzini and should you chose to lie the result will be quite painful on your end" Nakia spoke.
"What do you know about Vibranium James Barnes?" the Queen questioned
"Nothing" James answered, the band then glowed red and he felt as though the air in his lungs had completely disappeared. He tried breathing but only felt a burning sensation in his throat. After half a minute the band loosened and he could breathe again.
"WHAT THE HELL?!" he yelled after recovering
"I told you not to lie" Nakia stated "Once again what do you know about Vibranium?"
"I only know that it's the rarest metal on earth and that it absorbs and reflects kinetic energy or something like that" The band glowed blue and loosened a little
"Where did you learn this?" Asked the Queen
"My" he felt the band tighten a little before continuing "My friend has a shield made of it"
"So he is the thief!" Okoye accused
"NO! It was made from the vibranium that was sent to the President of the United States as a gift, it was later given to the scientist Howard Stark then to my friend! He earned it after he rescued me and my infantry regiment from a Hydra facility! So don't you call him a goddamn thief!" Bucky ranted.
"How dare you!"
"Enough Okoye!" called the Queen "Who are you James Barnes?"
"I'm Sergeant James Buchanan Barnes, US Army 107th infantry regiment serial number 32557038, Special designation USSR, the Howling Commandos under Captain America" Bucky announced
"Why are you here soldier?"
"I am here because my plane was damaged when I was making my escape from the Germans and I crashed landed in the lake, I told you!" Bucky answered
"Why were these Germans pursing you?" Nakia asked
"B-because I have information on their Hydra facilities that they don't want getting into the hands of the allied forces"
"What allied forces?"
"The alliance between the US, UK, France and other countries" he answered
"Why have these countries become allies?"
"Because of the war" Bucky said
"What war?" asked the Princess, Bucky realized these were her first words since they got here.
"World War two, the worst our world has ever seen, millions of men women and children dead, homes destroyed and countries ransacked.... Do you all not know?"
"That is enough!" The Queen stood and approached Bucky, she grabbed his wrist and tapped something on her own headed bracelet and the band fell off showing the bruise it had left.
"Nakia will take you to the med hall for your bruise then you will be taken to the border and you can leave, but know this semzini if you ever breathe a word of what you have seen here you will be hunted down and killed, do you understand?"
Bucky nodded, before turning to follow Nakia out of the throne room. As they left he turned to glance at the princess realizing as he caught her eye one last time that he never got to thank her for saving him.
Chapter 7: Chapter 5: Warnings and Blessings
Shuri stood processing what James had said. A war... A World War... One that had taken the lives of millions and if was still going could threaten to take millions more. Surely... this was the work of Gaunab.
"Mother!" Shuri called. The Queen turned to face her daughter bracing herself for what she knew Shuri would say and ask.
"Is this true?" Shuri asked
"Leave us!" Ramonda commanded her voice echoing with the power and strength of the Panther Goddess they worshipped.
"I don't know"
"Don't lie to me mother I know Nakia has spies all over the world and something like this World War would not have slipped their notice" Shuri pushed her hands clenching into fists.
"It is Gaunab isn't it? He has poisoned the hearts of men once again and is forcing them to do this! Am I not correct?"
"That is just a story, intomba" Ramonda denied "These men have had wars before they are all the same"
"I know it is not just a story Umama" Shuri spoke "I know it is as real and as solid as the Vibranium around us and the heart shaped herb that our Priestesses grow!"
Ramonda sucked in a breath and turned away form her daughter again her thoughts flashed to the time she had been blessed with Shuri.
"Speak your mind, intomba.... What do you really want to say?" Ramonda asked her voice low and grave.
"Umama, we have to go, we have to help the world, with our skills and our technology, can we not help make the world a better place?"
"It's not our place my child"
"Then what is the point of us? What is the point of ME?"
Ramonda turned to Shuri in shock "What are you talking about?"
"I am no fool mother! I was the only child in this country, I am stronger, faster, smarter than anyone else and Olorun would not have given me life that night for no reason.... No matter how much you prayed to him" Shuri fired, finally voicing out the thoughts that had been haunting her for the most part of her childhood.
Shuri watched her Mother's shoulders drop a little, then the older woman ran her hand over face, Ramonda suddenly feeling as old as she was.
"You were always too clever for your own good, my child" Ramonda spoke
"Please... Umama... we have to help"
"Very well" Ramonda submitted, she couldn't have stopped her even if she tried, Shuri was too stubborn.
"You will take the semzini back to the war and begin your search for Gaunab, but understand this intomba... If you fail, you will doom this world to an eternity of war"
Shuri nodded her head, she knew how dangerous and far fetched this mission was.
"Then follow me" Ramonda called.
The Queen led her to one of the Dragon Flyers and took her to the sacred grove.
Where the Priestesses of Bast grew the Heart Shaped Herb which gave their people extra strength.
Shuri was surprised to see that Okoye and Nakia were already by the entrance waiting for her and her mother.
"I have told you the story of how you came to be, I carved you out of the Vibranium rich soil... But I never told you that Bast had demanded that in your chest I place one of these herbs" Ramonda spoke
Shuri's eyes widened in understanding. 'That would explain the extra strength' she thought to herself.
"Yes my child... both the vibranium and the sacred herb course through your veins" Ramonda finished cupping Shuri's face in her hands.
"After you were given life I was told that when you were ready I was to bring you here and give you the herb, though I was never told why but it was not my place to question when they had just bestowed me the most amazing gift "
Shuri smiled at her mother, the woman she had looked up to all her life and would continue to do so.
"Am I ready though?" she asked suddenly unsure
"You are more than ready Princess" Okoye answered
"I agree after all you did kick Okoye's a- I mean behind" Nakia said with a smirk, the comment earning her a glare from the General.
"My darling... You are ready" Ramonda smiled.
The Priestesses stripped Shuri down to her undergarments and told her to sit in a pool filled with red sand. Then Ramonda approached with herb that had been pounded to its liqiud form, Ramonda held the cup up to Shuri's mouth and Shuri drank.
The effect was instant, her entire body felt the herb course through it, mixing in with her own strength and stamina, her mother spoke words but she could not hear and then the world faded.
Shuri woke up in a plain she had never seen before, the sky was purple and there ground a shade of gold, the entire setting was ethereal.
She was in a white dress that ended at her knees then extended another few inches with a sort of netting material and she felt the same fabric from the above her chest and around her neck and her hair was no longer hanging down her back.
"Finally, I've been waiting for you" a voice exclaimed
Shuri turned to see a dark skinned woman with dark black hair with red tips, she was dressed as if for battle, with her black leather outfit. She sat under one of the nearby tress cleaning her nails with a silver dagger.
"Who are you?" Shuri asked although she had a very good idea who the strange woman was.
The woman smirked up at Shuri and answered "I am Bast"
"You've been waiting for me?"
"Yes... Yes I have" Bast answered, she discarded her dagger and walked to Shuri.
"Look at you" she smiled "Twenty already?" she continued cupping Shuri's face in her hands
"So beautiful" Bast smiled again
Shuri felt her face grow a little hot here she was in this strange place with her pateron Goddess and she had just called her beautiful
"This is the ancestral plain child and I am telling you you are beautiful because you are... When Olorun and I blessed your mother with you... I was happy" Bast continued
Shuri's eyes widened. Bast could hear her thoughts.
"Yes I can" Bast smirked before letting Shuri go
"Why am I here?"
"Because I have to warn you"
"About Gaunab" Bast answered her beautiful face darkening
"He will not go down easily, not when he hates mankind so much, he will hurt you in ways you cannot imagine"
A shiver ran down Shuri's spine as the Goddess continued
"I am also going to warn you about men... Their hearts are very easily corrupted and while Gaunab maybe evil incarnate, men are more than capable of being evil without him, so you must be careful"
Shuri nodded her understanding and the Goddess reached for her once again.
"Shuri... you must go now... Tell your mother she has done an amazing job of raising you"
Bast then reached over and pressed a kiss on Shuri's brow and then the world turned black.
Shuri burst out of the sand she had been buried under and gulped down mouthfuls of air. Her mother was by her side instantly and instructed her to breathe.
The world seemed a little different, clearer, her body felt lighter and more powerful than before and her thinking process seemed to have sped up more than it already was. If she thought she was powerful before that was nothing compared to now.
After she had cleaned up she returned to her mother and told her the message Bast had sent and Ramonda smiled. Ramonda then turned to Okoye and took a box from the General's hands.
The Queen opened it and pulled out a silver necklace, that Shuri knew well. Shuri dropped to her knees instantly and Ramonda placed it around her neck.
"Rise Princess Shuri, Protector of Wakanda, the Black Panther" Ramonda announced
Then Shuri rose to her feet as Nakia and Okoye crossed their hands in the Wakandan salute and yelled out "Wakanda Forever"
Chapter 8: Chapter 6: Leaving Wakanda
Bucky sat on the bed in the lab he had woken in. A few young women were reading through what had to be projected documents of his physical condition. They mumbled to each other in their language pointing at different points of the projection, sometimes they nodded, then looked curiously at him before commenting again in their tongue.
He tore his gaze away from them, looking instead at the floor. Their curious gazes bringing back memories he preferred to leave buried but they flashed through his mind anyway. The cold, dark room, him being strapped to the table as they poked and prodded and sometimes he would hear screaming only to realize it was him.
"Sergeant Barnes?" called a voice pulling him out of his thoughts.
He turned to see the young women were gone and the Princess was now in front of him.
"Hello again, Princess" he smiled
The Princess regarded him curiously, her eyes narrowing slightly as she replied "I called you a few times.... You didn't answer"
"Sorry..... I was.... thinking"
The Princess straightened, she cocked her head to the side, slowly, the movement almost feline. She looked as though he were a problem that needed to solved, a smirk flickered on her lips and he realized he was indeed just that.
"So Princess" he started tearing his eyes away from her lips
"What did your mother say"
"My mother did not want me to get involved in the affairs of men, she did not wish for me to help you"
"I can't blame her, with the way this war is going I wouldn't want anyone I care about near it"
"And yet you are taking part in it"
"I didn't really have a choice at first" Bucky admitted "Got drafted, got my orders and had to leave everything behind"
His mind flashed back to an alley behind a cinema. "You get your orders" Steve had asked him. Bucky had replied with such swagger, not letting his friend know that he wanted to enlist at all not when Steve had been trying so hard to.
"And now?" the Princess questioned
"And now... I have someone I need to help and protect" he answered
"Your friend... Steve Rogers? Otherwise known as Captain America?" Shuri asked
Bucky looked up to she that the Princess had pulled up documents on her bracelet and was looking at a clip of him and Steve laughing together.
"How do you have that?"
"Nakia, the leader of our intelligence division sent it to me" Shuri replied tapping her Kimoyo beads and closing the documents. "After all, if I am to help you must know who your allies are"
"What?" Bucky exclaimed
"I am coming with you Sageant Barnes, I will fight in your war"
"But I thought....?"
"Yes my mother did not agree, but the key word in that sentence was DID" Shuri smirked
"Are you insane? It's dangerous" Bucky pushed, rising to his feet
"I am aware of that fact Sargeant Barnes, else it would not be called a war" Shuri spoke her voice drippng in sarcasm.
"You cannot come with me I won't let you" he spoke taking a step towards her
The Princess's eyes flared at that "You are in no position to allow or disallow me to do anything" she said raising her chin defiantly
"So whether you like it or not Sageant, YOU are not leaving this country without me"
Bucky took a step back running a hand through his hair in frustration, Shuri tried her best not to think about how attractive the movement was.
"Good! We're leaving in ten minutes"
"According to our information the SSR as set up a post in London so we will be leaving in ten minutes"
Shuri rolled her eyes at the man and turned to leave the sound of heavy footsteps behind her told her he was following.
A ship was waiting for them at the entrance to the mound. Her mother, Okoye and Nakia were waiting by the ship.
Bucky watched as the Princess embraced her mother, there were no tears from either of them. He watched as the General and another woman dressed in green bid their goodbye's, then the women turned to him and nodded a gesture he returned.
He followed the Princess onto the transport he watched as she took her place behind the controls and started up the engines. He looked outside taking in the city that he was sure he would never see again, the wonderful city that to the rest of the world doesn't exist.
He took a seat as the Princess steered the ship through the the barrier, then watched as she tapped something and a voice sounded "Camouflage mode activated". She hummed to herself in approval and tapped another button and the voice spoke again "Auto-pilot engaged, destination London"
Bucky watched stunned as the Princess then turned away from the controls and turned to face him.
"We should be in London in a few hours" she said with a smile
Bucky nodded. "What are you going to do about the ship when we get to London?"
"It is programmed to return home once it has dropped us to our destination"
Bucky nodded again in understanding.
"Shuri" she interuppted "You can call me Shuri, we're going to be working together after all"
"Shuri" he said as if testing the name on his tongue.
"So Shuri, how did you convince your mother to let you come with me" he continued
"She knew it was what I was created for"
"You mean born right?"
"No, I mean created, there are no men in Wakanda"
Bucky looked at her confused. "So do you mean made in a lab or?"
Shuri laughed, the sound light and lovely. "No, my mother carved me out of the earth and Olorun and Bast gave me life" she answered her eyes still bright with mirth
"Wow..... that's... neat" Bucky said, not entirely sure how to deal with that information.
"So there aren't any men at all in Wakanda?"
"No, none, there were once thousands of years ago, but they were corrupted by Gaunab and fought each other until the land was drencheed in blood, so the pather Goddess Bast, gave power to the oppressed women of Wakanda and my mother led them to drive the men out of Wakanda and they built the barrier to keep men and Gaunab out" Shuri answered
"Wait, wait a minute you said thousands of years ago, but you also said your mother led the revolt"
"So your mother is....."
"Five thousand years old.... Give or take a few decades"
Bucky's jaw slackened, he cleared his throat before asking "And how old are you?"
"I'm seventy five"
Bucky stared at the young.... well not that young apparently, the woman in front of him.
"Well... um... Looking good" Bucky stuttered. 'Talk about an age gap' he thought to himself.
"So does that mean I'm the first man you've ever met?" He asked
Shuri nodded, she tilting her head to the side again and asked "Would you say you're a typical example of your sex?"
"I like to think I'm above average" he replied with a smirk
She hummed "I'm sure you do" Rolling her eyes at him.
Chapter 9: Chapter 7: Jolly Old London
I bullshitted my way through a little bit of Marvel science.... You'll know it when you see it. In my defense I am a Liberal Arts student and haven't taken science since 2015
After a few hours, they finally arrived in London, from above Shuri saw the gray buildings with rows upon rows of houses crumbling and those that were still standing had thick black smoke rising from their chimneys.
"Welcome to jolly old London" Bucky announced from behind her
"It looks terrible"
"Yeah well, it's had better days"
The ship landed in an empty park and Shuri followed Bucky out. She touched the necklace and took in the surrounding area.
"What happened here?" Shuri asked
"Germans! They bombed the city"
"Does the city not have a shield or any defenses"
"It has defenses but not like the kind you're used to... Your country.... Is far more advanced than anything I have ever seen and if..." He cut himself short but the rest was clear enough for her to understand.
'If they could share their technology they could have helped these people'
Shuri reached for Bucky, placing a hand on his shoulder making him stop in his tracks.
That's what she had wanted to say but the words seemed at little meaningless. She had done nothing, they all did as the world fell into ruin around them.
Gaunab had sunk his claws deep into the hearts of these men... these Germans. She was not here before but she was here now and she would make it count.
"Let us go to the SSR, Sergeant, then from there you will take me to the war"
"Look around you Princess, this is the war"
The SSR office was not what Shuri was expecting, she had known that the rest of the world was behind Wakanda technology wise but she had no idea it was this far behind.
They were centuries behind! They used wires for communication! They used Morse code for Bast's sake!
The whole scene had left her nearly in tears. They still had typewriters, paper maps, and burned fossil fuel for electricity, Bucky had told her that last bit. Primitive. So Primitive. Shuri felt as though she might as well have been in the Prehistoric times walking with dinosaurs.
Bucky knew that Shuri wouldn't be able to be let into the SSR without someone to back her up so he had called the only two people he knew would have sway with the Colonel. He had used a nearby phone booth to call them, much to the shock and horror of the Princess. He had hoped that Peggy Carter could also help Shuri with clothes.
He hadn't realized how out of place her beaded corset and leather garb would seem until they gathered the attention of many passing by them, he then promptly gave her his jacket to shield herself from the curious gazes of the Londoners.
Peggy Carter and Steve Rogers appeared not 30 minutes after his call. The beautiful, head strong English agent walking toward them as though the ground itself would yield to her command, and mind you it probably would have.
Behind her Steve Rogers followed his awed gaze trained on the woman in front of him. Indeed, Bucky thought, his best friend was whipped for the woman.
When his landed on Bucky however, he smiled, the two men moved towards each other and embraced each other.
"You had me scared for a second there Buck, I thought I'd have to come save you again" Steve chuckled pulling out of the hug
"Shut up! You owe me for all the times I had to save your ass over the last how many years" Bucky smiled.
"Steve, Peggy, this is Shuri Udaku, Princess of Wakanda... She... She saved my life" Bucky introduced
"Pleasure to meet you Agent Carter, Captain Rogers, Sergeant Barnes has told me quite a bit about you" Shuri spoke
"Wakanda... that sounds familiar" Steve wondered shaking the Princess's hand
"I should hope so, the vibranium that is your shield is from my country"
"Interesting story I'm sure but we'd best discuss this topic elsewhere" Peggy spoke.
They got into a vehicle and were taken to the underground SSR headquarters.
"The Colonel will want to talk to you and her" Peggy called as she led them through the halls
"Well where is he?"
"He's with Stark, trying to determine what they know about that piece of ammunition Steve brought back from the lab where he found you"
"Still? I thought Stark would have had that thing solved and trademarked by now" Bucky exclaimed
Peggy led them to the two men. The Colonel a sour faced, older man was arguing with a younger man, he looked as though he were in his late twenties to early thirties. The subject of their argument was undoubtedly the strange energy source that glowed a light bright blue behind them.
"I'm sorry Colonel I'm doing my best here but this beyond even me" The younger man spoke
"Well Goddamnit Stark if you can't figure out what that damn thing is what good are you?" the Colonel growled.
Shuri looked at the object, using her Kimoyo heads she scanned it.
"The energy source has a polymorphic structure, it is also appears to emit a unique signature of gamma radiation" Shuri spoke, pulling the attention of the two men towards her.
"Gamma radiation?" The younger man repeated
"Low levels, relatively harmless, but with the right calibration it is trackable"
"Who the hell is this?" The Colonel asked
"This is Shuri Udaku" Peggy introduced
"She a scientist?"
"Among other things, Yes I am" Shuri answered.
"Agent Carter, where the hell d'you find this one?"
"Actually sir, she found me" Bucky spoke
"Barnes you're alive? Good, I don't think I could handle having to write you name on another damn condolence letter"
Steve stiffened at that comment.
"You!" The Colonel called turning to face Shuri "You say this thing can be tracked?"
"Yes sir, I think it can" she answered
"Good you can work with Stark here since you apparently know more than he does"
"You" turning back to Barnes "My office and explain what the hell happened over the last few weeks"
"Howard Stark! Pleased to meet you" the young man introduced himself with a charming smile.
Out of the corner of her eye she could have sworn Barnes had stiffened a little.
Shuri nodded in reply. "Shall we get to work Mr Stark?"
"After you" he smirked gesturing towards the object.
Barnes had explained his story to the Colonel, Steve and Peggy. After Shuri had helped Stark with the energy source Peggy was waiting for her.
"So has Stark asked you on a date yet?" the woman asked
"He has questioned me about dinner but I don't recall him asking about dates" Shuri replied confused
"Yes well that was his sorry attempt at courting you, or well trying to slip into bed with you at least"
"Oh.... Well I turned him down"
"I had a feeling I'd like you" Peggy smiled "The boys will be out soon... oh there they are"
Over about two desks away was blond woman, she was dressed in a uniform and was extremely pretty. She had dropped her pen behind her desk and was attempting to move it to retrieve it. Then she spotted Captain Rogers and James.
"Captain! Sergeant! Sorry to bother you gentlemen but could you help a gal out, I dropped something behind the desk and I can't seem to get it" she said smilling flirtatiously at the two men.
Peggy rolled her eyes at the blond woman.
"I don't understand... Are you ill?" Shuri asked the young woman
"Excuse me?" the blond lady questioned her voice sickly sweet
"You don't appear to have any physical disabilities and appear to be in good health yet you say you cannot move the table?" Shuri continued confused
"Yes... well I am a woman and little old me can't......."
She stopped mid sentence when Shuri lifted the table with one hand, holding it steady before bending to pick the pen, then placed the desk in its place.
"Is this what you were looking for?" Shuri asked holding out the pen.
The woman nodded dumbly as Shuri placed the pen in her hand with a smile.
As they walked away from the still open mouthed woman Peggy nudged her in the ribs
"You.... I really like you" she smirked.
Peggy had taken Shuri to get whatever clothes they could find in any still open store.Bucky had been in and out of meetings with Steve all day when Peggy and Shuri returned.
Shuri was in high waisted navy blue slacks and a loose fitting white long sleeved blouse the silver necklace peaking slightly under the shirt and they had a trench coat to go with the outfit.
The whole ensemble was simple but on her it looked.... Damn how she looked.
"Wasn't the whole idea of this trip to make her look less... distracting?" Bucky asked Peggy
"No the point of this was to find her clothes" Peggy replied
Bucky looked around and grabbed a pair of specs off a shelf and placed them on her
"Really? Specs?" Peggy questioned placing a hand on her hip "And all of a sudden she's not one of the most beautiful women you've ever laid eyes on?"
Bucky narrowed his eyes at Peggy "It's better"
Peggy rolled her eyes at him "Sure" she huffed
Shuri gazed up at him, "It's better?" she asked
'No it's not, it doesn't make a damned difference'
"Yeah... I-it's better" he stuttered
"I offered her a skirt" Peggy called from beside them
"It was too tight how do you even fight in that?" Shuri asked turning away from Bucky
"With enormous difficulty" Peggy admitted with a wink
Shuri laughed and Bucky found himself wanting to see her laugh a little more.