Definition of umbra
1a: a conical shadow excluding all light from a given source
specifically : the conical part of the shadow of a celestial body excluding all light from the primary source
b: the central dark part of a sunspot
2: a shaded area
"I can't....I can't stop him, anymore." Ozzy Winters defeatedly.....spoke? No, not spoke, thought. That's all he could do now as he metaphysically and subconsciously watched his body do things against his own will. Oz found himself floating in eternal darkness, as he watched a far away version of his former point of view go throughout its programmed, mechanized day. It was like watching a movie, a first person, point of view movie. He couldn't see himself, except for when his eyes just happened to glance at a reflection. In that reflection he saw cold, dead eyes staring back. Was there a glimmer of agony in those eyes? He liked to think so, but that may have just been the insanity calling. Sometimes he could see his own hands, the flesh one and robotic, but that wasn't a good thing when you considered what they were doing. So Ronin gave up and tried his best to slip away in the darkness. The Darkness he began to call The Umbra.
5AM: The Shinobi Avenger's mind tried its best to keep himself busy with his thoughts as his body woke up, ate a perfectly rationed out breakfast, and worked out for 4 hours, as it did every day in this broken down abandoned building. Ronin thought of his friends, his teammates, and he thought of Keira. She was his light and she was guiding him to become his greatest self. The exact opposite of what he saw in his reflection now. It was easier to preoccupy himself in the beginning of the day, easier to forget that he was not in control of his body anymore when it was doing regiment like tasks. It was much harder to distract himself later in the day, during the blood shed.
When Ronin thought about memories, they actually appeared before him. Ronin found himself reaching out to his Children of the Damned teammates, who were laughing on the couch of their old HQ. He reached for Keira, her beautiful, piercing blue eyes hiding behind those glasses she liked to wear as a disguise, those eyes that looked at him gleefully and said "you're so much more than you think you are". She was sitting at the same table they were at on their first date. Ronin reached out to his parents, who had been dead more than two decades.
10AM: Oz watches as the Umbra Soldier, the former "personality" which he thought he had finally shed, threw on a baseball cap and hoodie, a simple way of hiding his identity. He stepped out of what Ronin believed to be a closed down LinkTech homeless shelter. The hood covered most of his vision, but it didn't matter. He was going to the same place he went to every day, a disheveled park across the street from Saint Peytons Church. Ronin tried his best to remember all the nights he spent perched on that church, beginning his nightly patrol of the streets. The Umbra Soldier took a seat on the same bench he found himself on every morning. An older lady, who had been feeding the pigeons while sitting on the same bench, looked up at him nervously and hurriedly picked up her things and fled. the assassin reached down under the wooden planks, peeling off a note that had been recently placed there. Like every other day, the note was a dossier detailing everything he needed to know about his next target. Ronin couldn't read the words when he was in The Umbra, so the target was always a surprise until the end. The Umbra Soldier stood up and continued on with his day.
11AM: Downtown Gothic City, in the business district, the city was already coming alive. People were crossing back and forth amongst themselves, weaving around each other like their schedules allowed them to do every other day. Cars honking, birds chirping, music playing from open windows, the city was pulsing and moving like the living organism it was. The Umbra Soldier was the only still piece in the puzzle. He was standing across the street from a well guarded building that seemed to have an endless supply of armed men in and out of the building.
Ronin's inner self did his best to distract himself from the sight, but Oz couldn't help but piece together about a dozen ways to get into the building, which he knew was the same thing his dark counterpart was doing. All he could really do was pray, pray to a god he didn't believe in, that there would be minimal casualties. Would his prayers be answered? No. Ronin learned from a very young age, that there was no one listening to his prayers.
10:59PM: The rest of the day was a blur. Watching as his hands took apart all of his weapons, examined them, replaced them, cleaned them, then put them back together. Trying to distract himself as his body practiced fighting style after fighting style, striking with only deadly attacks. Ronin felt every strike as his fists vibrated off of the wooden dummies littered around him. His knuckles were bloody, the first, but not last, bit of blood that would be spilled tonight. Ronin's mind was in a fog, he gave up trying to break free and instead became an exhausted bystander. He used to scream when all this had began, hours and hours he'd scream, the worst part being that his metaphysical throat would never get hoarse.
Whatever passed for sleeping in the Umbra is what Ronin did, until he realized he was staring at the same building as before, but this time much higher. Ronin was now on top of the building across from the heavily armed one. The humming of an old air condition unit filled the air as he could feel his own eyes scanning the area. Ronin saw the perfect entrance point, as did the Umbra Soldier. Ronin tried to consume as much of the night sky as possible, the smell of the fresh hair, the horizon with Gothic's famously bright moon, but since the assassin cared not for these things, Oz only got a small taste of them. He felt his fingers wrap around his bow, such a familiar and surprisingly soothingly feeling. He reminisced on when the bow was used for good, to help people, not hurt like it would now.
11PM: The Umbra Soldier raised his vibranium compound bow, a thick arrow placed in front of the string. He pressed a button on the lower part of the bow, causing a suspension cable to shoot from the back of the arrow and impale into the brick wall of the rooftop exit. He then released the arrow, watching as it flew through the night sky, the cable following behind. The arrow pierced right above his entrance point, the cable went to taut as he hooked his compound bow onto the cable and rode down it. The Umbra Shinobi rode the dark horizon, illuminated by the full moon. Grabbing onto the ledge above his entrance point, the assassin tore the first arrow out of stone, causing the cable to momentarily go slack. He then swung his lower half back, causing his body to go into a gymnastic L-sit form and swinging back down into the glass and landed in the room.
This was the first time Ronin would be able to try and figure out where they were located, he tried to absorb as much of the surrounding area as he could, in the split second before battle. They seemed to be in some sort of corridor, maybe a scientific base or a safe house for a politician? Eight men in cheap black suits with the standard modular sig sauer handguns on their side. Were they military men? Was this a military hit? One surveillance camera encompassed the entire room. An Elevator on one end of the hall, a metal door with a finger print scanner on the the other. The assassin drew two special arrows, all before the glass even hit the ground.
"What the hell!" One of the men screamed. Both arrows were shot, one at the elevator controls and another at the sprinkler system above them. Ronin's body charged at the first man, breaking his jaw in three pieces with a ruthless swing. The first arrow released a EMT surge, shutting down the elevator so no one else would join the party, the second arrow released smoke, causing the sprinklers to go off. "PUT HIM DOWN WITH DEADLY FORCE!" The second guard roared. Sadly enough for the first guard, all the others complied as Ronin's body used the broken jawed combatant as a human shield. Whatever bullets that found their way through the smoke and falling water, riddled the first man's body. The assassin rolled forward, wrapping his bow around the neck of another guard and snapping it with ease. He rolled to the side, three arrows drawn at the same time as he released each one and found their home in three separate guards gaping mouths. Because of the Umbra Soldiers rhythmic actions, he found himself crouched down across the room, facing away from two guards with their guns drawn on him, he slung his bow on his back. "Put...put your hands up. It's over. Well take you in alive, so do what's smart and give up!" One guard spoke as the other slowly followed. Did Ronin feel a slight smile spread across his lips as the guards stepped right into his trap? Unknown to the men in black, their attacker still had the first arrow in his hand, which was attached to a cable wire that had been ran around the room. Both guards had stepped into two circular snares that the assassin had strategically created as he killed the others. He swung around, causing the arrows cable to tighten around their ankles and pull them to the ground. Ronin did a front flip towards the two prone guards, smashing his boot heels in their chest. They both simultaneous spit up blood, both dying soon of pierced lungs.
The assassin turned around towards the final guard standing in front of the door with the scanner. The man he was sure had the finger print to get him through that door, thanks to his dossier. Without saying a word Ronin threw two knives at the guard, one piercing his throat and the other piercing his palm and causing his hand to fly back and press his thumb into the scanner. He walked towards the guard as he gargled and coughed up blood, a look of complete terror in his eyes. Ronin's heart broke to see this, but his body didn't even seem to notice as it waited for the door to click open.
The scanner light turned green and the door slid open to reveal a...a..family room. What.....what is this? Ozzy questioned, but the assassin had no questions of his own. He stepped forward into the warm room. The carpeted floor being covered by the blood on his boots. A couch for three in the center, in front of a fire place and kids toys littered all around it. "Please...please don't hurt my family." An older man, with graying hair and a tightly groomed goaty begged in the corner. He was wearing a lab coat and to the horror of Oz, pinning together in a tight hug was his wife and young daughter. No..no..no! Oz tried to yell, but the Umbra Soldier did not flinch, striding over to the huddled family and wrapping his metallic fingers around the man's throat, raising him up above the special women in his life. The four screamed, Ronin included, as he felt the snap of the man's neck. He was then thrown at the fire, the smell of burning flesh encompassing the room. The Umbra assassin then looked at the other two. The look of complete sorrow and terror on the mother and daughter's faces mirrored that of Ronin's subconscious, as he watched his shadow rise above the screaming wife and children.
Ronin began to scream as well, his screams echoed through out the Umbra darkness for days to come.