Saturday, December 24th 02:00,
Destiny. Some people swore by it and others were certain it was nothing more than a myth or an old wives’ tale. For Akira it was the core of his heart and soul. He had come through so much in his past, so many changes, and now he was on a date with what he believed in the most, destiny.
At the centre of his quest was the vision he had been given. A vision of what the world could be if he proved successful. Ever since his transformation into Akira, he was determined to rid the world of the cancer that held it in such a vice. The West had to be conquered, there was no way to save it. It was time to start over on a new journey and Akira would be at the forefront. Nothing and nobody would stand in his way, not after what he had endured in the past.
The December gloom of snow and icy winds didn’t affect him as the thick flakes fell from a darkened sky onto a silent Moscow. Dressed all in black, Akira continued to chase the MI6 agent he had pursued since midnight. For weeks he had been tracking his movements and on Christmas Eve he knew the time was right to attack. There would be no chance of anyone discovering his identity or his plans. It would end tonight.
Akira had always favoured Russia, every corner of the country brimmed with power. A power that needed to be harnessed if his vision were to become a reality.
Along the banks of the Moscow River, with the famous GUM department store in the distance, Akira lunged for the right boot of MI6 agent Martin Braga.
The two men rose to their feet and squared off against each other. Snow continued to fall and with it came eerie silence as the tiny flakes settled on the ground nearby.
Akira calmed his mind and his racing heart. There was no room for error, his first real test had begun and he was not about to fall at the first hurdle. With his hands outstretched, he made his first move in San Shou. Akira had always preferred the ancient Chinese hand-to-hand fighting style. With it came confidence, knowing that his opponents attack would be based around the fallible Savate style of fighting. Just like MI6 themselves, it was so one-dimensional.
That knowledge gave Akira all the confidence he needed. His past ensured he knew everything there was to know about Martin Braga and yet, to his opponent, he was an unknown quantity.
Akira moved forward and lashed out repeatedly. With his greater speed and power, he made sure his attacks did the damage from the start. The first blow struck hard into Braga’s neck, with the second breaking a cheekbone. Nothing could stop his relentless attacks. For Akira, it was as personal as it could ever be. In all the years that had passed, he had been biding his time in the background and this first move was only the beginning.
His mind was calm, his conscience clear, as the final deathblow finished the job and Akira watched his victim slump to the floor. Still the snow fell, and the silence gave him clarity on what he had done. It had been a necessary kill. There always had to be sacrifice for change.
As he pushed the body away, Akira didn’t look at the lifeless face that stared back at him. Many would call him a cold-blooded killer but was he? The West had betrayed him all those years ago. Had their failure forced him down this path? His memories of back then, in what seemed like someone else’s life, were inconsistent. Only fragments came back to him from time to time. Closing his eyes, he tried to remember the finer details but instead, images flashed by. Static and grainy pictures of former friends, those that should have helped him to the end rather than turn their back on him in his most desperate hour. The people he had once trusted with his life had betrayed him with devastating results. He had lost his soul mate and the only person who mattered, his beloved wife Madeline.
The more he thought about it, the greater the clarity and with it came the sounds of the machines that had been keeping Madeline alive and the smell of the hospital room. Pain surrounded every memory but Akira could still remember the faces of those he had trusted, knowing they could have done more but chosen not to. During those final moments, Madeline’s voice had been so weak, her smile so faint and the chest wrenching heartbreak had been too much to take. That day, Akira had been born but even he sometimes wondered whether his soul was still there in that hospital room waiting to take in what had happened.
Amidst such grief, Akira had no idea how it happened but somehow the voice of Madeline lived on inside his mind. When he needed her most he would hear her. In the years after her tragic death, he had become convinced they had both witnessed the vision they had been given and in some way, she could live on and help make it a reality.
Memories burned the remains of his heart and a single tear ran down his face. It didn’t matter how often he thought back to those dark times, he still felt the sorrow and the heartbreak. All he had wanted was a life of happiness with Madeline. Why had they not helped him when he needed it most? How could they betray him after everything he had done for-
Do not go back to that place my love. Time has passed and everything has changed. Our revenge starts now; do not doubt our vision of the future. They will pay the price for their betrayal.
Madeline. Whenever he needed support, she would come to him. Her voice sounded as clear as it always had. He closed his eyes and fought back more tears. ‘I wish you were with me. This is proving…difficult.’ His own voice broke for a moment.
Take control of your emotions and remember what they did to me, what they did to us! The West took away our future. They stole our happiness…
Akira nodded. Every word was true, but it was proving much harder than he had imagined to start the journey alone.
The vision my love, remember the vision. What we saw would change so much, do so much good. You must stay the course. Don’t forget what we lost, what we could have been!
He emerged from his vision and with it came a sense of hope and strength. The knowledge that only he and Madeline were aware of it somehow brought them closer together. That day had been unforgettable. The idea of a world without corrupt Governments and their deceitful foreign policies had given him a ray of light, in what had been the darkest days after losing his wife.
Show no mercy and do what must be done. I will always be with you.
In his mind he could feel her presence as if she were next to him. Seconds passed until he heard no more and he rose to his feet, leaving the body behind him. Within minutes, he had leapt from the riverbank into the nearby Alexandrovsky Gardens. Every inch was covered with snow and a cold wind rustled the branches of the trees. With each step, Akira made a silent promise to himself and his dead wife. His destiny was somewhere in the future and on that day, the West and its hypocritical Governments would fall; the world would change forever.
This was just the start…