Sixteen years and nine months (give or take a few days) ago:
A crimson haired woman cried in her lover's arms. He held her for dear life and knew that he did not act now he would never leave.
"Please don't leave," the woman pleads as she cried, holding him tightly. "If you go back, I just know that you'll never return."
"I wish I could Ma-hal, but I gave my brother my word that I would return should I find a suitable place to evacuate our doomed world," he said. "I swear my heart and soul to you Ma-hal. I promise to return. I look forward to seeing Ra-El upon my return.
"You knew," The crimson haired woman said in surprise. "I did not wish news to burden you or make you feel trapped..."
She was cut off when her lover kissed her with a kiss that touched the very core of soul.
"You are my world, my family, and my greatest reason to return. I want to grow old with you and raise Ra-El like good father should. I will return to you," he said.
The man removed a thin chain around his neck that held a small crystal and gave to his lover.
"Take this and give to him when he's old enough, I want him to keep this till I return to him. Just make sure to tell him not to get it wet until he's of age," he said with a smile.
The lovers parted from their embrace and the woman watched as her lover entered his crystalline ship with tears spilling from her eyes. His ship ascended to the heavens, as he watched his lover and the planet he grew to love vanished into the vastness of space. From Earth-side the woman clutched on the small crystal still weeping for her lost love.
Six Years later:
A crimson haired woman knelt in front of a crying boy comforting him before he leaves with his father on a training journey.
"My son, please do not despair. When you return to me you'll be a strong warrior. I look forward to that day. Will you do me that honor," she asked.
With quivering lips and streaming tears the boy said, "I don't wish to go mother, I will miss you too much. But I will, for us. For the honor of our family, I will be strong. When I return I will be able to protect you. I swear."
The woman threw her arms around the little boy. His words pierced her heart as she was saying good-bye again to a piece of him that left so long ago. She opened his palm and in it she placed a crystal in his small hand.
"A gift my son," she said. "To keep you safe. Keep it away from your father and whatever you do, keep it from getting wet. Promise?"
The boy nodded, when a portly man in dirty gi came by and said it was time to go. One last hug and the mother and son clung for dear life and one last look as they disappeared from each other's lives.
Four months later:
"Please father! Don't do this," the boy yelled.
With his body covered in fish products, he was repeatedly flung into hole filled with staving cats of various species. Try as he might, he couldn't get out of the pit. He was being skinned alive as claw after claw tore through him. He called to very deity he could yell to take away the pain or quick death; but something happened there at that moment, in that pit. His eyes burned and stung, but not from the blood that covered his body. A final scream of agony and all the clawing stopped. The lid to the pit was blown off and the smell of burnt flesh and hair came pouring out. When the portly man came to check on the boy, he found him there in the fetal position, barely clothed, covered in blood and weeping.
Ten years later:
Somewhere China an adventuring father and son entered the mist-covered valley of Jusenkyo. A Chinaman came from the mist and welcomed the pair to what he described as the "Valley of the Cursed Springs, Jusenkyo." The father looked on in awe as the mist slowly cleared and revealed the valley full of various sized springs with varying bamboo poles erected form the springs.
"So this must me the legendary training grounds of Jusenkyo I heard about," the father thought as leapt on one of the bamboo poles.
"C'mon boy lets get started," the father yelled at boy that stood near the Chinaman.
"I'm come'n old man," the boy said as he leaps to an adjacent pole.
Neither heard the warning the Chinaman called out. The pair began an aerial combat dance that spanned from pole to pole, neither giving in to defeat. The boy with an unearthly grace executed kicks, punches, and various maneuvers. He weaved through the air as if he could fly. This dance was soon finished when the boy sent his father falling in a spring with roundhouse kick. The spring began to bubble where the father fell and then something came out and landed on pole near the boy.
A soaking wet panda wearing a gi and glasses on its head and was balancing on a pole next the boy.
"What the hell is that?" The boy yelled at the Chinaman shocked at what happened.
"No head warning sirs, now he fall in spring of Drowned Panda. Very tragic tale of panda that drowned in spring 800 year ago. Now who ever fall in spring take body of panda bear," the Chinaman yelled.
The panda let a growl as it attacked the distracted boy. Fate however had greater plans for the boy, as the sudden attack sent him flying over the spring of "Drowned Girl" and crashing into a well near a hut that might be the Chinaman's domicile. As the boy's body sank in the well his pigtail came undone and from it came a small plastic wrapped object was released. The plastic unraveled and in it a small crystal sank closer to the boy. The crystal immediately reacted to the water and began to expand at an alarming rate and engulfed the boy, before settling down at the bottom of the well. Out side, the Chinaman and panda peered down the well hoping that boy would soon surface. The ground shook violently knocking the two onto the ground. The stones that made up the well began to collapse in itself sealing it and any hopes of retrieving the boy.
"Oh sir, that not good, yes?" The Chinaman asked the panda.
"Gwoff," was the only response the panda said.
Deep within the sealed well the boy in the giant crystal began his transformation. His eyes opened revealing only darkness. A figure took form from a distance and came closer. It was a tall man in strange clothes that seemed to be designed for fighting. Long black hair hung loosely past his broad shoulders, his deep blue eyes seeming familiar and his very being exuded power and confidence. The boy could not move as he came near, yet he felt no threat. In fact, the man before him made him feel at ease and safe. When the man came near, he drew his hand and gently placed it on the boy's cheek, but the boy did not feel his touch. The boy felt saddened at this and empty, though not knowing why. This man felt familiar, almost apart of him. A smile formed from the man's lips as he began to speak.
"Hello my son."
Mahal Fillipino word for beloved.