Shadow of the Panther
“What are you doing out here?” T’Challa asked.
The lights from the Jabari Tribe’s fastness were blinking on behind his sloped shoulders, winking bright against the snow and stone, too far away for definition. T’Challa was wrapped in a red patterned shawl over black robes, apparently impervious to the cold. M’Baku knew better. The fanged necklace T’Challa wore. His bracelet, his shoes. Rampant technology. M’Baku looked away.
“I come here to think.” M’Baku waved a hand over the ice.
T’Challa looked from the light globe at M’Baku’s hip to the small cave beyond, hollowed out by hand into an uneven dome, at the bedding, the books. At the staff hung over the doorway, a tooth of vibranium cut along the seam, unadorned. “Alone?”
“I don’t need guards to feel confident. Your Highness.” Besides, M’Baku was wearing his armour, his staff close by.
- Part 1 of Shadow of the Panther
When M’Baku was eighteen and had grown taller than his father and his father’s father, he saw the golden city of Birnin Zana for the first time. The sun was setting over the mountain’s teeth, drawing harsh lines over the huge sculpture of a panther, prowling out of the rock.
“What do you see?” his grandmother had asked.
Even in the twilight of her life, Ngozi stood light-footed on the narrow stone ledge outside the tunnel inset to the sheer cliff. She wore a longbow strapped to her back and no other weapon. In all eighty years of her life no one had ever gotten close enough to her in battle to scratch her.
“The city of our enemies.”
- Part 2 of Shadow of the Panther