AlterOne Chapter 2
His plan is to go to the house of district leader in his neighborhood; the wealthiest man in the district and also a known Aduri. Akko had never fully understood how that worked; there were many well-known Org members in Alter City and throughout Elemark, but the long standing law that has declared it unlawful to arrest someone without visibly witnessing the crime take place. In essence, the police could not apprehend a criminal for a murder unless they were there at the time of the murder, in which case they have the right to apprehend the person by any means. To counteract this, the police are constantly watching known Org members. The particular Aduri in question is a frequent to the arena by the name of Nikita Vikaeli. He lives not far from the arena, so Akko decides it best to walk; sure that Ulrich will need the car later as Sineca usually rides with him after his matches.
As he is walking up to the gated entrance to the estate, he glances across the street and sees a pair of policemen standing outside their car, shooting daggers at the Aduri guards across from them. He turns to the entrance, looking beyond the two men in front of him; he sees a large three story home. The two guards step forward.
"Name?" asks the first guard
"Akko of the First House of Namor," Akko replies
He looks to his fellow guard, "You heard of them?"
"We are only one family," Akko informs
The second guard looks at Akko as if trying to figure something out, before pointing his finger and exclaiming, "Wait, I know this guy!" he says, "it's Akko, the pro fighter!"
The first looks at him again, "Well I'll be, it is," he slaps Akko on the back, "Why didn't you say that at first? Here come on in."
The men direct Akko through the door and call on an escort to bring him into the house. The escort comes forward, the look of a refined attendant, he bows slightly.
"Right this way sir," he says
"Wait, Mr. Namor!"
Akko turns back to the guards, the second fumbling in his pocket before pulling out a piece of crumbled paper and a pen.
"Can you sign this—for my son," he says, "a big fan of yours."
"Sure, why not." Akko signs it and follows the escort inside
"You don't have a son." the first guard remarks
Once in the mansion, the escort turns to Akko, "What's your business with Mr. Vikaeli?"
"One of his people came by the arena yesterday; I've come concerning the matter."
"Ah," he turns away from Akko, "This way then."
He is led through a large corridor and a series of hallways, passing perhaps a dozen men and women as he went, all glancing at him as he walked by. Akko assessed that there was probably a mix of family members and hired members in the ranks of the gang, as he knew Mr. Vikaeli's family was not this numerous, though what he didn't know what the position Vikaeli held in the Aduri, perhaps he was the Head of his House, Akko was not sure. They stopped at a large wooden door on the second floor.
"One moment please," says the attendant
He steps into the room and out again a few seconds later.
"Mr. Vikaeli will see you now."
Akko lets out a deep breathe, and walks into the room and sees Nikita Vikaeli sitting behind a large wooden desk in front of a paneled wall to ceiling window. Nikita is sporting a beaming smile on his face as he gestures to the seat across from him.
"Take a seat, take a seat," he bids, "It's not very often that I entertain a renowned fighter as yourself." Akko takes the seat, "Now tell me, what brings you to honor my home?"
"I'm sure you've full aware of the message I received," Akko states
A look of confusion crossed Nikita's face, "Message? What mess—
"Don't play coy with me Mr. Vikaeli," Akko says, "I've given your people my answer and no amount of scare tactics is going to change it. If the Aduri come at me with this," removing the letter from his pocket and flinging it across the desk to Vikaeli, "again, I'll be back, and conversation won't be so pleasant."
As Akko gets to his feet to leave, so does Nikita, flicking the folded paper to the floor; the smile gone from his face now, replaced with an angered frown.
"Is that a threat Mr. Namor?" he asks
"Take it as you may," Akko replies
Nikita puts his hands behind his back, walking around the desk to Akko, "I welcome you into my home as a guest," he says, "In return I receive idle words and empty threats."
As he steps in front of Akko, the two stare into the others eyes.
"Tell me something Mr. Namor," he says, "How many men have you killed? Have you ever felt death's blade at your throat?" Akko starts to speak, "I'll answer that for you, none and never. Yet you come into my home with the threat of death. Make no mistake Mr. Namor, I'm not a man you should care to lose your tongue with…least something unfortunate befall you before leaving my home."
Akko reaches out to grab Nikita by the collar but Nikita knocks Akko's hand out of the way and dives forward with his own, flames swirling around it, just as Akko does the same. Both men grab the other's arm, their hands covered in flames. The two men glare at each other, struggling against the other's grip. Akko's hand is getting closer to Nikita's face, whose eyes are growing wide as Akko begins to overpower him, his arm trembling as he tries to keep Akko's hand at bay, while still extending his own. Beads of sweat begin sliding down his face as the flames get ever closer.
His son Nikki walks into the room and stops midsentence upon seeing the scene, but only for a second as he leaps forward, bringing his hands forward, releasing a fiery blast that hits Akko in the side, sending him flying over the desk and through the window, tumbling to the ground below amid a shower of shattered glass fragments.
"Are you alright father?" he asks
Nikita fixes his clothing, "Yes."
"I'll alert the guards, we'll catch him" he says, looking down out the window as Akko gets to his feet and looks up at them before running to the wall, leaping over.
"No, let him go." Nikita says, walking from the window
Nikki turns to the window again, glances in the direction his father was looking, the two policemen staring back up at him…
Akko finishes bandaging his arm as Pietro comes into the room, "How'd it go?"
"Well." Akko replies, putting away the bandage wrappings
Pietro takes notice of the bandaged left arm and the shirt on the floor, burned and bloody.
"You okay?" he asks
His tone showing he did not want to continue the matter; he begins rubbing his injured arm.
Pietro got the hint, "Akko…Bern's dead."
Akko's head snaps up, his full attention on Pietro now; a water visart, Bern was not a close friend of Akko's but a friend all the same, just as any other fighter in the Alter City arena.
"He was found dead this morning," Pietro continues, "from the looks of it murder. The house was trashed; he must have put up one hell of a fight."
"Any leads on a killer?" Akko asks
Pietro shakes his head, "Police are more concerned about the Org's at the moment," he says, "They're only getting stronger."
"The police or the Orgs?"
"Both." Pietro flops on the couch beside Akko, his hands behind his head "We need to take a break. With all the rioting, Org threats, and fangirls, it's best that we take a night and enjoy ourselves."
"Alright, what do you have in mind?"
"The ex-pro fighter Malko, is having a party in the Mayor's honor tomorrow night," he replies
"The fighter turned actor turned politico?" Akko asks
"He's just a lobbyist; guy doesn't know what he wants to do," Pietro remarks, "But yeah him. Invited me and my sis to the party, you and your brother should come."
"And you're going?"
"I'm trying to become a politico myself one day, maybe even a district leader," Pietro replies, "Why else would I keep up with all the news? Pro fighting isn't going to pay the bills forever ya know."
"Um sure, why not," Akko says, "Though I don't see how this is going to be any of the things you named."
Pietro jumps to his feet, clasping his hands together, "Great!" he says, "Oh and this is kind of a big deal, so dress nicely."
The Namor brothers exit the car, walking over to meet Pietro and Sineca, both finely dressed in matching white attire; the suit complimenting Pietro's short white hair as well as Sin's blue.
"I just don't see why I was dragged on your date with Pietro," Ulrich grumbles, "Sin and I could have been off doing other things than this."
"Quiet." Akko shushed as they neared the other two
"What took you so long?" Pietro says smiling
"Oh look you took the car this time," Akko says, with mock shock
"Even Deva rode a horse sometimes," Pietro says
"Highly doubt it," Akko replies, "Come on, we going in or not?"
"May I?" Ulrich extends an arm to Seneca
Sin giggles, "Why certainly good sir."
"Come on you two," calls Pietro, he and Akko having continued on to the entrance
As they neared the entrance, the cameras start flashing as reporters frantically try to get questions and pictures with the pro fighters while fans call their names. The security on hand holds them at bay while Akko and the others wave politely here and there.
"I forgot that we were semi-famous here in Alter City," Akko remarks
"That, and the fact that this party is full of some of the most well-known actors and politico in the city," Pietro informs him
The group makes their way into the building, the party already looking like a who's who in Alter City. They look around for a table just as a long haired man rushes forward with open arms.
"Pietro, Sin!" he exclaims
"Malko," Pietro extends his arms to embrace; Malko hugs Seneca instead
"I'm glad you came," Malko says turning to Pietro, then looking to Akko, "You must me Akko correct?"
Malko puts his hand on his chin, "H'm I remember you now," he says, "You arrived into the pros just as I went into acting. Now that I think about it, I've heard a bit about you as well."
"And this is my brother, Ulrich," Akko gestures
"Oh yes, Sin's love muffin," Malko says, "She mentioned you a time or ten."
"Now that you mention it, I've never really heard much of you," Akko says, turning to Pietro
Pietro shrugs, hands in pocket, "He comes over for dinner sometimes."
Malko shakes his head, "Either way I'm glad you guys are here; the acting crowd is too fake and the politico is pretty dead."
"Speaking of which, that guy looks like he's gonna drop any minute now." Ulrich points to a wispy haired ancient looking old man
"Mr. Yama, District 7 Leader," Malko states, "Come on, let's get seats, follow me."
Once seated, Pietro turns to Malko.
"Have you heard about Bern?"
Malko sighs, "The police were asking me questions earlier, seeing as I trained him just before I left they wanted look for any clues or connections."
"Good, they're doing something at least," Pietro says
"The mayor's got some big announcement, don't know what it is," Malko says, getting to his feet "it's my party so I have to go announce her, be back soon."
He makes his way to the stage; stepping up to the microphone, he clears his throat loudly; the chatter dies down as the crowd turns to the stage.
"I made this party today, partly because I wanted to look good for the Mayor, partly because I wanted the entrance fee that all the people I didn't like had to pay to get in here…which was all of you," there was laughter throughout the audience, "I'm serious. Anyways, without further ado, will the real Mayor slash Princess please stand up, please stand up," Malko says, looking around comically
The mayor stands up from a table in the corner, the spotlight shining down as she walks to the stage, Malko bowing away as she took to the podium.
"Thank you for the introduction Malko," the says
"I love you too Mayor!"
"I'm here today because as most of you may know, there have been an increase in violence in such a short time here in Alter City," she begins, "My police force is already stretched thin, we cannot handle it all. Our recent appointment of Nol-Wun as Chief of Police has been a major step in reshaping our force…"
The spotlight shines back at the Mayor's table, now on a young man with a smug look on his face.
"He's such a sleaze."
Malko says, having returned to his seat at the table, remarking on the Chief of Police.
"Do you know that guy?" asks Akko
"No, he just has that look."
"Ah, okay." Akko says, turning back to the Mayor's speech in progress
"…with us needing a stronger force in our fight. That's why I would like to introduce my special guests here tonight; this special task force will be working alongside Chief Nol-Wun in our war on crime, helping to rid the city of the Orgs."
The doors on both sides of the stage open; three cloaked figures in masks coming from each. The room goes abuzz with murmurs at the sight, while the six masked figures form a line behind the mayor. Akko takes note to their masks; white with blacks slanted holes for eyes and a thin slit for a mouth with abstract markings at various places on them. Just then, another hooded figure walks out, this one maskless, though his features not any more distinguishable; his gloved hands behind his back as he ascends the steps onto the stage, turning to the audience.
"My name, is Orojin…and I am the leader of the Order of the Veldt."
Silence…everyone in the audience is left open mouthed and wide eyed…
Adreark: the former western nation of the magik users of Elemark
Magikos: magic based users, most but not all are now part of New Veldt Order
The Veldt: [velt]; the secret Veldt Order of Adreark or the Order of the Veldt, was an elite magiko force loyal to the current leader of Adreark at the time. Formally but a special ops group, the agents began to replace conventional magiko fighters as wars became less prevalently fought on battlefields but in cities and forests in small skirmishes, as a result of the effectiveness of their mass range attacks ending frontal confrontation between elemental countries. After the fall of their nation, the Veldt were thought to be all but extinct in the thousands of years that followed.
Politico: can be used as singularly or plural, used to describe anyone regularly involved in politics, including lobbyists
Districts: Alter City, as are most other cities in Elemark, is split into multiple districts, each administered by an elected District Leader, acting as the district's voice to the Mayor. There are 52 districts in Alter City.
Ferviscutere: [fur-v-skew-tear], the move used by Nikki Vikaeli, a simple flaming blast of power, though the temperature is variable