A cold night breeze whipped at Nighteagle’s cape as he stood on a rooftop vantage in Crowne Point’s most crime-ridden neighborhood. He had been fighting for years to turn back the predatory tide, yet he wondered if it was enough.
Nighteagle’s thoughts drifted back to the chain of events that brought him to adopt his vigilante mantle. Jackson Bryce Radley was born to wealthy parents, and in his early years was raised by his aunt while his parents travelled Europe. Both athletic and intellectually curious, Jackson excelled at school, eventually becoming starting quarterback for the Night Eagles, the school’s football team. He was devastated when his mother perished in a hit and run incident while in Monaco. The driver was never caught. Soon after his school performance declined. His father Bryce showed no warmth to his son when he finally returned from his travels, and almost immediately he sent Jackson to boarding school.
Jackson became had become increasingly rebellious at school, but thanks to a generous donation from his father was subsequently accepted into the prestigious Richmond College. At Richmond, Jackson felt like an outsider, despite the interest from many other students which he knew was purely driven by his family’s wealth. He made two friends there, Cindy Walker and Aaron Kyle. Cindy had little time for the social hierarchy among pupils, while Aaron was at the college purely on merit. Jackson soon understood that both were concerned with bettering the lot of communities ravaged by the plagues of inequality and crime.
Inspired by Cindy and Aaron, Jackson became more attentive to his education and again excelled in sports, carving an improving attainment through his college career. When commencement arrived, Jackson was delighted that his closest friends Aaron and Cindy were named joint valedictorians. He was less enthused when he learned that his father would be making the commencement speech.
A tranquil blue sky provided the perfect backdrop for the commencement ceremony in Richmond’s magnificent grounds. Aaron and Cindy were applauded to the stage, and by none more loudly than Jackson. Suddenly the air was filled with a roaring sound as jetpack wearing paramilitaries swopped down – HISS Sky Snakes!
The air was filled with ionic cracks as the ceremony’s main stage was rained upon with blaster fire. The gathered students and faculty fled in screaming terror and in less than a minute later the attackers had flown away. Jackson ran to the smoking, devastated stage to find his friends and his father all dead, murdered by the HISS agents. On that day, all the rage that had welled up within him since his mother’s death was expressed in a single roar.
In the days that followed Jackson brooded. News reports indicated that HISS had targeted the ceremony to murder Bryce Radley. Soaking this information in, Jackson sat in his room, staring at pictures of his mother, his father, his lost friends while trying to hold onto a lost past, gripping the only trophy he had won while captaining the Nighteagles. He soon learned that he would inherit sole ownership of Radley Industries. He made a vow as he brooded on what had happened that no others would suffer as he had if he could help it. He would be a bulwark against the threat of crime. He would use his new wealth to live up to the example of his friends and defend those unable to defend themselves. By day Radley Industries would set up the Radley Foundation to help poor communities in Crown Point, while by night the city would gain a new protector – Nighteagle.
“To the Eaglemobile, digital dog-wonder! The pernicious Punchline must be stopped!”
Nighteagle – Shadows of the Nighteagle #1