June 23, 2016
Oakland, CA, USA, Earth (Core Reality); Late 21st century
Power Rating: 1 – 100
POWERS, ABILITIES, WEAPONS & TOOLS
Shadow can use umbrakinesis, which is the ability to create and manipulate darkness. He can use this ability to teleport short distances between shadows. He can also move objects using their shadows. Additionally, he is very skilled in combat, using a bo staff as weapon.
Lamont Tally was always a night owl. He loved staying up late as a kid, would stay out until sunrise as a teen, and after dropping out of college in freshman year, he went to work at a local bar to immerse himself in the night life. This lasted for a few years, until he finally found a place in which he could settle: the secret dojo of Wong Lao Pi.
One night, while Lamont was breaking up a bar fight, a student of Master Wong happened to be present. He was impressed by Lamont’s heart and scrappiness. He also noticed Lamont had very quick hands, especially for someone who was untrained. So, after the scuffle, the student went up to Lamont and told him that when he got tired of taking lumps fighting drunks for a living, go to the address on the card he handed him. Lamont was perplexed as the stranger walked away, but he held onto the card nonetheless. For days, he contemplated the offer, until finally he decided to go, and check out the address.
WEIGHT: 218 lbs.
When Lamont arrived, he stood in front of an old building deep in the heart of Oakland. It wasn’t much to look at from the outside, but he buzzed the ringer anyway. A voice crackled over the speaker, saying to present the card given to him. Lamont pressed it against the window, and after a few seconds a trap door underneath him opened, dropping him down a chute, which slid him into an empty room!
Lamont dusted himself off, and stood up. He was more than a little upset. He looked around for someone to take his anger out on, but saw nothing. The room was empty. Only a few rays of fading sunlight from the evening sky illuminated the surroundings. It was then someone emerged from the shadows and attacked.
The assailant relentlessly pushed forward with a variety of strikes. Lamont was on his heels, back-peddling, and throwing his arms up in defense the best he could. At first, he felt overwhelmed, but he soon turned the tables, and started fighting back. He let his hands fly, and unleashed a flurry of punches. They were fast and precise. The assailant moved back for a moment, as two sticks were suddenly thrown in-between them. They were bo staffs. They each grabbed one, and the fight continued. Lamont had used a pool stick in numerous bar fights, so he was actually able to wield the staff with a degree of skill. However, his assailant was much more skilled, and began landing crushing blows. It did not look good for Lamont.
He grew desperate. So, when he refused to take any more strikes from his opponent’s bo staff, Lamont unleashed his secret weapon – a hyper-ability called umbrakinesis. Lamont utilized all the darkness in the room to teleport himself on demand. He would pop up behind his attacker, and blast him with strikes using the bo staff. He would manipulate and pull the darkness in front of him and before the eyes of his opponent, to conceal his position and blind his attacker, allowing him to land more hits. Then, the lights came on, signifying the end of the fight, and above them in a balcony stood an old Chinese man. It was Wong Lao Pi. He told Lamont that just when he was about to end the session and send him away, he saw the display of powers and realized he had much promise. From that day forth, Lamont Tally assumed the name “Shadow”, and trained under the intense tutelage of Master Wong.
For many years, the young Shadow honed his skills. He mastered the martial art of Kung Fu, and became extremely efficient at wielding the bo staff. Combined with his umbrakinesis, he grew into Maser Wong’s top student. Then, once he mastered all he could learn, Shadow began running errands for the Chinese Triad criminal organization of the Bay Area. At first, the Triad were extremely reluctant to work with a non-Chinese person. They carried a particular disdain for black people, due to historic prejudices, and long-time tensions with the street gangs of the area. However, Master Wong never held the same discriminatory beliefs. He only cared about fighting ability, spirit and loyalty, all of which Shadow had in abundance. Thus, at the urging of Master Wong the Triad took him in.
For a while, they had Shadow do mundane tasks, such as driving Triad bosses around and handling pickups. They would often have him represent the Triad at meetings with street gangs, too. That was, until an attack on a Triad boss left all the bodyguards dead, except Shadow. He used his skills and umbrakinesis to kill the assassins, despite being outnumbered five to one. From that day forth, Shadow became one of the most respected members in the Triad, and he was promoted to a high ranking enforcer and bodyguard position.
It was not long, before Shadow’s reputation as an incredible asset spread, and his services were desired by the most prominent Triad branch in America – that of the New China section in Platinum City. He was promptly transferred to work for the boss in PC and, of course, he immediately excelled. However, Shadow was also on the radar of an even bigger boss – the ruthless business mogul and international criminal, Edgar Lockhart.
As he did with most things he wanted, Edgar simply took Shadow into his organization. He was nice enough to compensate the New China Triad boss, but the deal was non-negotiable. From there, Shadow was teamed up with another employee of Lockhart’s by the name of Traverse, and both were stationed in the Amazon forest at a secret compound, in which Edgar’s sister, London Lockhart, was often held captive for periods of time. It was believed that London was the one person who could serve as a weakness for Edgar, so he kept her locked away, in secret from the world. It was up to Traverse and Shadow to command the contingent of guards who patrolled the compound, and, of course, destroy anyone who attempted to free London from her cell.
Shadow had been stationed at the post for little more than a year, when the compound was attacked by members of the elite superhero squad, The Alpha Initiative. Liberty Star, Black Jag, Encore and Orenda had already overcome the AI force-field which enveloped the facility, and they defeated Traverse in a hard-fought battle. After, they headed Shadow’s way. He was the last line of defense between the charging heroes and London’s cell.
As they entered his chamber – a room filled with pillars, and one singular flood-light in the far opposite corner – he prepared to engage. The room was dark, and had many shadows cast from the concrete columns throughout. The heroes slowly proceeded through in formation. Suddenly, Orenda was taken down with a vicious blow to the chest. A few seconds later, Encore was felled as well. Then, Black Jag and Liberty Star, too. They got back to their feet, tightened their formation, and scanned the room, but they could see no one. Soon after, a second wave of attacks came, and then a third – with all of the heroes being bashed and dropped to the ground, over and over. It was Encore who finally had a realization, and yelled out to the rest of the crew that they were battling a teleporter.
Encore – a teleporter herself – kept a keen eye, and soon deduced Shadow would only attack when he was close to a pillar, and must be using the shadows to move about. So, she stood on the dark side of a concrete column, and waited. When she felt a disturbance behind her, she immediately teleported herself to another pillar. That was when they all saw a man emerge from the dark, swinging his bo-staff! Shadow had finally been discovered.
Liberty Star quickly fired a particle arrow at him, but Shadow blocked it, and jumped back into the darkness. Encore yelled for everyone to stay in the illuminated areas of the room. Hearing her strategy, Shadow then shifted the darkness with his umbrakinesis. Before they knew it, the heroes were in the shadows again, getting struck down. This continued for a while, before Black Jag came up with another idea. He yelled to Orenda, and told her to run towards the light with him, and to start smashing pillars in the far opposite corner. Liberty Star followed, and Encore teleported herself into position. It was a brilliant plan, for as the two crushed a group of concrete columns, they created a huge open space filled with light. Shadow had nowhere to hide near the heroes anymore, so he countered by shifting the darkness. In response, Black Jag and Orenda just demolished more columns and alas, with nowhere left to hide, Shadow was forced to face them.
The villain emerged from a nearby shadow, and stood some yards away from the heroes. After a quick moment of silence, the two sides engaged. Black Jag swung with his weapons, but they were met by Shadow’s bo staff. Liberty Star fired arrows from afar, but the villain dodged those with fluidity. Orenda and Encore’s attacks were parried as well. The entire time, Shadow was countering with deadly blows of his own. Both sides landed strikes, hurting one another greatly.
Switching up strategies, Shadow began taking the black shadows cast by the heroes’ bodies, and manipulated them to form a big area of darkness, which he could teleport through. This allowed him to gain the upper hand over the heroes once again. The bo staff strikes were taking their toll, and the heroes were clearly being overmatched. In the hopes of countering his advantage, the heroes decided to break formation and stand separately, which prompted Shadow to engage the heroes one-on-one. His Kung Fu skills were superior to their fighting abilities, though, and it was quickly apparent they could not handle Shadow solo. The heroes were at a loss once again, as they continued to get brutally beat down.
Pressed for an answer, Encore realized that if Shadow could teleport through darkness, he must be using his umbrakinesis to open portals of some kind, allowing his body to travel from one point to another. She theorized that if she times it right, maybe she could follow him through that portal with her own teleportation powers. It was a great gamble, for if she could failed, she would be teleporting herself into the ground below them, and essentially sending herself to a concrete grave. But it was a chance she had to take. So, when Shadow made his next jump, she made a jump as well. Both disappeared for a while, and her teammates became alarmed. A few moments later, they both ended up flying out of a shadow nearby. It worked! Encore was able to chase the villain through his portals!
Shadow kept trying to move about the room, but Encore stayed with him. As they emerged from dark areas, the two would stumble and roll from fighting between portals, and stand to exchange strikes, before hopping back into another shadow. Liberty Star knew Encore was no match for Shadow in a one-on-one tactical situation, and eventually the villain would gain the upper hand. So, she drew an arrow, and watched attentively as Encore and Shadow jumped in and out of portals.
Within a few moments she had her opening – as the two fell hard to the floor from a portal, Encore hit Shadow with a powerful Muy Thai elbow to the jaw, causing the villain to be dazed for just enough time to allow Liberty Star to fire an arrow through his thigh. The villain screamed out in pain; then, realizing he’d been defeated, disappeared into the shadows, and retreated.
The heroes all breathed an enormous sigh of relief, then regrouped, and tended to their injuries. The fight with Traverse was taxing, and the battle with Shadow pushed them to their limit. The Alpha Initiative was not going to give up, though. Thus, after everyone was ready, they opened the door, and moved on to find London Lockhart.