Chapter 1: Prologue

PROLOGUE

THROUGH THE THORNS

i'm going to say this once, and only once. i don't own Kung Fu Panda.

PART 1: REMEMBER

He remembered his home. He remembered what it was like before They took him. The sound of his family's voices, the smell of his home, the colors of the mortal world. He remembered his friends, and their voices. The laughs they had shared. He remembered the fun they'd had running through the woods, the exhilarating feeling of freedom. Even after the blinding glories and pitiless wastes of Faerie, of Arcadia, he remembered. His memories were a beacon, guiding him through the dark Half-light of the Thorns.

PART 2: ESCAPE

Nu paused, listening to the garbled whisperings that were shreds of his memories, torn from him when he was taken. He knew that if he stopped before he was out of the hedge, he would be caught by his Keeper and dragged back through the thorns, and back to his Keeper's realm for punishment. He ducked the higher brambles, and jumped over the lower ones. In general, he kept moving with a single-minded determination, found only in those whose utmost desire is to escape. He was slashed by the thorns, but he kept moving. He dimly noticed that the thorns were growing thicker, and harder to navigate.

Faerie wouldn't give it's prize up easily, he surmised.

He could hear the baying of the briarwolves his Keeper had set after him. They were close. Much too close. If they caught him, they would drag him back screaming, to his Keeper. However, he knew that the goblins wouldn't follow him through the hedge. He paused only for a moment, when a particularly long, knifelike thorn went straight through his severely thin shoulder. He broke it off the bramble and kept moving, desperate to escape Arcadia, and the Fae. He ran, ran as if his life depended on it. It didn't, but his sanity surely did. Faerie was maddening to all but it's native inhabitants.

He spied the door, the portal. It was little more than a shimmer, but as he drew closer, it became more apparent, a glowing doorway back to the realm of mortals. It was a doorway home. As he drew closure, he heard the briarwolves howling again, and felt the dread coiled within his heart quicken, blooming into full-fledged terror.

He lunged forward, and through the portal. And, in a flash of light, he was gone.

He crawled out of the portal, and found himself in a broken mirror. Fighting the pain, he crawled out, falling to the floor, now splattered with fresh blood.

Digging bits of glass out of his arms and legs, Nu reviewed his surroundings. He was in an old building, that looked almost like a series of shacks had been brought together, with some of the walls removed, to make a larger house. It appeared to be abandoned.

Nu made his way to one of the windows, which were boarded up, and peered outside. He saw an empty alley, with a young couple off into the shadows, who did not appear to be aware of the fact that they were being observed by something not entirely mortal.

But what caught in Nu's heart was the snow. It fell clean, and white, blanketing the ground. It reminded him of The Winter Lady's realm, but this snow didn't scream. It was silent, natural. The silence helped him think.

Nu considered his situation. He knew he was home, but if he had been taken so easily the first time, what was to stop The Winter Lady from finding him again, and taking him back? He needed friends, allies, and a way to defend himself if he didn't have the former.

But most importantly, Nu needed to find his mother.

(Author's notes)

Well, Nu has made it out of Faerie and is finally home. Or is he? What will he find changed?

Now, i wanted to make this longer, but i decided to give it to you one step at a time. Patience is a virtue after all.

Next time, we will learn the depth's of Nu's tragedy, and more importantly, how he deals with it, and , most importantly, how the rest of the Kung Fu Cast deals with it.

Till next time,

Heir-to-the-throne.