Not many people have heard the myth of the Darkened. The Darkened are shadowy beings that thrive in the dark. No one knows who or what exactly they are. Maybe they are an interdimensional being, perhaps they are a different species of ghosts, or maybe just energy that was created from a person's thoughts and emotions. In recent years, they have not caused anyone any harm... until recently. This is the story of the Darkened and this is how they have impacted the world.
Mourning City, a city 126km North of Saint John's, Newfoundland. It's been a busy city that had its up's and downs just like any other city. There's been the occasional car accident, and rarely a child run away from home because they thought life was unfair. Crime was fair as well. Over the past 12 years it was at a record low. The population has been slowly growing over the years with over 460,000 inhabitants living within its borders, since being discovered back in 1852.
Sciaphobia (Sigh-ah-phobia. The fear of shadows), many people were going to get acquainted with the name quite quickly. It was an appropriate name that the media called this dark unknown vigilante. He was a young man clad in black clothing, along with a cape and shadowy mask that covered his face with white eyes.
His real name was Alaster Poe, a 27 year old who led a relatively boring life up until 7 months ago. Alaster liked the name the media gave him for his alter ego, although, he generally liked his friends to call him Scia. It gave not only the Darkened something to fear, but also the occassional criminals, as well. The things Scia did to evil beings, the terrifying thoughts that no one was safe around any shadows, especially their own. It was unsettling to most to say the least...
Everyone thought it was a hoax at first. Someone being able to manipulate shadows at will? The thought was impossible, ludicrous. The citizens started to see first hand that it wasn't a prank, but that it was indeed a real, untold power.
Scia landed on the roof of the Gas Unlimited Corp in the middle of downtown. The wind flowing past his skin midair was cold, yet somehow it felt soothing. It was still an uncommon feeling to jump from one building to the other, even if it was 462 feet away. He developed this uncanny ability for being able to judge the distance between buildings, and to be able to successfully leap from rooftop to rooftop. It was his way of getting around. He enjoyed blinking through shadows, like teleporting, but this unnatural ability to jump hundreds of feet through the sky felt more rewarding. The night air, the lights illuminating from the buildings throughout Mourning City, the feeling of flying, almost, it all felt great.
The night was quiet. There was very few people stumbling around, especially at this hour. Scia looked at the clock tower that was attached to city hall. The time read "3:45am." He had hoped it was gonna be a peaceful night for once. He took another leap to an adjacent building.
Mid air, something caught Sciaphobia's attention. He could feel the evil intentions of the Darkened that clung to the night air. He landed right were he wanted to on the building across from the Gas Unlimited Corp. He perched himself on the rooftops edge. It was quiet.
A man far below was stumbling around on the sidewalk. He looked a bit intoxicated. He had just come out of a dive bar called "Piggies Booze." It wasn't uncommon for business men to come out of the Piggies Booze almost completely wasted, talking complete nonsense. It was a semi-decent place to drink away the problems of the day, especially during happy hour.
Scia couldn't make out what he was saying, but he seemed to be having a good time. The unsettling feeling to Scia grew stronger. He felt the presence of a Darkened. It was near. Sciaphobia entered the nearby darkness, as if melting into it. He did so to avoid being potential detected by the Darkened the lurked somewhere close by. This was one of the few ways he could hunt them without being noticed.
The Darkened had a habit of stalking and trapping people when they least expected it. The weren't ordinary predators. The always tried to catch their target off guard and try to fuse with their victim. This was a unconventional way for the creatures to survive, especially during the day.
The man continued to stumble towards a large alleyway, unaware of the danger that lurked in the darkness. A lone street light at the alleys entrance flickered. The drunk noticed a set of red eyes starring at them belonging to a silhouette. It was the Darkend.
"Who's there?" the man said in a shaky, unconfident voice. The blood red eyes continued to stare as a pair of tendrils emerged from the darkness grabbing the man by the ankle.
The man was at a huge disadvantage during the struggle. The man was screaming. No one was around. Surly this wasn't the effects of the alcohol. The Darkened grew tired of the game that transpired. It drew the man closer, only inches away from it. He picked him up by the throat with another tendril and pulled him close to the malevolent red eyes and began to fuse with the man's shadow. After a moment of violent movements from the man, the Darkened successfully fused with him. Once a caring, individual, now a dark, expressionless shell of a man. The alley grew silent...
A pair of glowing white eyes belonging to another silhouette emerged from the darkness of the alley. It was Sciaphobia. The Darkened shot an incriminating look towards him. It wasn't the first time he fought one of the Darkened before. They always put up a good fight and left a few cuts and scrapes, but never enough to overpower him. Scia quickly blinked over to the Darkened. With its tendrils wrapped firmly around Scia's neck, the Darkened quickly hurled him towards a wall. A shape pain shot up his back and rippled throughout the rest of his body. Any normal person would have had their back broken and a few other bones, as well, considering the force left part of the alley wall crumbling. Scia fell to the ground next to a pile of trash.
Sciaphobia grew tired of the violence. He crouched down, trying to catch his breath. Even having a very high pain tolerance, almost being through a wall hurt. His powers gave him the ability to heal and resistance to damage when he was in the darkness or shadows. After a moment of vulnerability, Sciaphobia got back up.
A giant pair of shadowy claws mimicking Scia's hand's movements emerged from the alley's shadows on the ground. It was an unusual feeling, trying to control a newly conjured limb. With the claws, he launched them directly at the Darkened. The giant claws hit their mark. Quickly, Sciaphobia bolted after the trapped Darkened within his gripping claws.
Scia reached into the man's shadow, viciously ripping the Darkened out from within it. The blood red eyes subsided from the man. All signs of the possessive Darkened appeared to be gone. The Darkened squirmed with Sciaphobia's hand wrapped tight around its neck.
"Sorry, bud. You're done."
"** *** **** **** * *** * **!"
("I'm not done till I say I am!") the Darkened replied.
"Fine," Sciaphobia replied "I hope you enjoy what comes next..."
There man was starting to recover from the attack. He began to listen to the conversation, but only Sciaphobia was speaking clearly. The Darkened was talking in shadow speak, a language understood only by those tainted by the darkness. When the Darkened spoke, it seemed to make quiet breath sounds, almost like a gentle wind.
Scia revealed a small device, it had a small glass dome attached to a flat base. He switched it on. It whirled into action with a steady humming sound and shone a bright, blinding ray of light. Even for Scia, the light was hurting his eyes.
"**** ** **** *****?!""
(What is that thing?!)" the Darkened asked nervously.
"Just a device. I had a friend make up to trap and imprison the Darkened. It's called the Con-trap-tion. Harmless to humans, but for those of us that are tainted by the darkness, it's almost impossible to escape once you're sealed inside."
The Con-trap-tion hummed, emitting a bright white light, like as if the sun was in the palm of Scia's hand. The Darkened dramatically squirmed even more as the Con-trap-tion's light grew brighter and more blinding.
The moment for talking had passed as Sciaphobia activated the capture sequence of the Con-trap-tion. It hummed even louder. The Darkened seemingly melted through Scia's fingers, screaming and roaring as it swirled into the orb of the Con-trap-tion. The device powered down. He tucked it away on his utility belt, and breathed a sigh of relief.
"One less of you to deal with" Sciaphobia said grinning beneath his shadowy mask before taking a leap back to the rooftops, leaving the alley and the drunken man behind. Landing on the rooftop of the build, Scia looked down one last time at the alleyway and the drunk. "He'll be alright" he thought. "Hell, with how much he's had to drink, he may not even remember tonight."
Scia decided to call it a night. It was getting closer to dawn and his powers would become weaker from the inevitable rising sun. Today was a victory. Scia took the Con-trap-tion off his belt, holding it in his hand and began to sommon his power of transformation. His shadow ran up this entire body. He was a 2D, pitch black figure, like a shadow. A moment passed. The shadow crept down his entire body and returned to its normal position on the ground. His clothes changed from black back to a smoke grey fleece lined hoodie and blue jeans. The shadowy mask disappeared. His glowing white eyes reverted back to dark blue. His utility belt and gloves, gone. He was no longer Sciaphobia, the hunter of the Darkened, but Alaster Poe, the average, middle class folk of Mourning City. Alaster tucked the Con-trap-tion into his jeans pocket.
Alaster found a fire escape on the building he jumped too. He was quiet getting down to the ground level with very little clanging of the metal steps. The last thing he wanted to do was wake up some old lady. He hopped down off the remaining ladder attached to the side of the building. Alaster checked his phone, the time reading 4:28AM. He made good time capturing the Darkened before the sun rose. He started to walk down the street, passing by Joey's diner. "Some late night french toast, bacon and scrambled eggs sounds good right about now." He looked again at his phone for a reminder of the hour. "Maybe next time..."
He continued to make his way towards his car. It was a cheap 2006 Toyota Camery. He really didn't need a car, especially since he could jump and blink his way towards his destination as Sciaphobia. It was given to him from his dad a few years back. He kept it to blend in with the rest of the folk. To feel normal.
He liked it at this hour. There was no traffic and the world around him was quiet. It was calming, relaxing, in fact. The cool night air, the silence of the world and solitary walks were somehow therapeutic. He would sleep better knowing that their was one less Darkened on the streets to prey on innocent people.
Alaster finally arrived at his car which was only a few blocks away from where the fight witg the Darkened happened. Alaster opened the door and turned over the engine. "It's gonna feel good to go home and rest." He pulled the Con-trap-tion out of his jeans pocket, placing it on the front passenger seat. Alaster pulled out of the parking spot. He put the dark downtown buildings and shops in his rear view mirror and out of his mind and began to make his way home.