T’challa, as far back as he could remember, knew that he had always detested western education, but unfortunately, here he stood, in the centre of Oxford University, England to pursue a (in his opinion) useless doctorate degree in Physics. In Wakanda, his hometown, it was no open secret that they were practically miles ahead than these silly western nations in science and technology. He particularly remembered one evening, where he listened to a supposed expert on cryogenics state that he is hopeful that cryonics will become fully possible in about 200 years, T’challa mused on how funny that was, considering that his relatively unknown nation had been carrying out cryonics successfully for a number of decades now.
This was probably the cause of his irritation, the fact that they were so advanced than the Europeans and Americans and he had to attend their third rate academic institutions to please his ailing father, King T’chaka, Ruler of Wakanda, coupled with the fact that these nations were clueless, yet, they were considered world powers. He secretly blamed his father and ancestors for the present reality, for he had never seemed to understand why Wakanda had to pretend to be less than they are, hide the source of their power – the vibranium, that fell off the sky in an asteroid, that mysterious element that practically runs the nation, from electricity, to vehicles and rail roads, to the production of the Black Panther suit, that symbol and embodiment of power entitled to the current ruler of the nation alone. T’challa consoled himself that one day, he would take that mantle and make things right.
One afternoon, as he was strolling to his school through the market, he saw a young lady, like him, also in her mid-twenties. She was trying to steal from a fruit basket in broad day light, she was so skillful and would have gotten away with it, had not a young boy started shouting, “thief! That nigger is stealing!” this made her take to her heels. T’challa was still recovering from the whole scene when he noticed an irate mob was already running after her, there was something about the young girl, something enchanting, a certain vulnerability, he could not place his finger on it but he wasn’t about to sit and watch her get injured just for trying to survive. He quickly went through a shortcut and cut up with the mob, he deftly landed a blow on the face of the closest man and kicked the other in the gut, a third one wanted to kick him but he swiftly parried the kick and knocked the man off his feet, this made the others scatter in different directions.
The young prince found the girl at the street corner, cuddled under a stall. Suddenly, she looked up, stretched out her hands and from them came strong blasts of cold air, they hit his chest and took him off the ground, the air was knocked out of his lungs. T’challa staggered back up to his feet and leapt away to the nearest ledge ever so lightly, as though he were a cat, the sharp movement surprised the lady and she spoke up with a look akin to hope on her ebony face, “Are you one of us?”, he didn’t know how to respond, on one hand, he was scared for the life of him for the girl he was trying to protect was a mutant, and not just any mutant, but a powerful one at that for very few things could knock him off his feet, on the other hand, he was intrigued, she was powerful yet vulnerable. “Who are you?” she gazed at him with questions in her eyes, he took her outstretched hands which were miraculously not cold, “I’m T’challa,” he said, “and who are you?”. “I’m Ororo,” as he looked into the depth of her black eyes, he wondered if…