Author: Sunburned-Stickperson PM
Ezio returns to Masyaf to find what Desmond will need. He may not know who Desmond is, but he's willing to get to the lighted tower to get his ancestor what he needs-despite how spooky the ruins are. Request inspired by TSO's "Night Castle."Rated: Fiction T - English - Horror/Angst - Ezio A. & Altaïr - Words: 2,277 - Reviews: 6 - Favs: 21 - Published: 07-21-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7204596
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Like, seriously, I'm pissing myself off every time I do a mass update to this thing. T.T
"Don't make me go back," Desmond murmured as they plugged him in.
"Belt up and get in."
The screen flickered as he appeared inside the halls of Masyaf. The walls were covered in cobwebs, the torches unlit. A storm was brewing outside. It was night. Rats scurried across the halls, and Ezio exhaled loudly. There was a light glowing softly in the far tower.
"I'm doing this for you, Desmond," he murmured softly, his fingers on the wall curling as he looked at the dust gathered on the stones. "God help me, this is spooky."
A brief flash of white from the corner of his eye, and all he saw was a rat scurrying across the floor. The uneven stones on the floor made the hallway seem longer as thunder rumbled softly in the distance. He forced himself to cross the hallway, the stones pressing into the leather into his foot. His fingers, cold as he looked at the well-worn iron handle. A small path was carved into the handle, the trail wet with rainwater.
He tugged open the door—its old age breaking down the hinges and creaking and moaning, and Ezio froze, looking over his shoulder for any sign something heard him. The clouds glowed purple with the distant heat lightning, and he thought he saw a white blur walking slowly closer. He panicked and forced the door open, stepping inside and closing the door. He peeked out, watching, as the white blob moved closer. It looked like an old man hobbling on a cane. Slowly, slowly, the figure grew closer, and he could feel the temperature dropping the closer it got. He closed the door when he thought that the creature saw him.
There was a groan from behind him, and he turned around stiffly, exhaling slowly. The thunder rumbled in the distance. There was a blob writhing on a mat. White, and the temperature dropped sharply. It groaned again.
"Injusticccccccce," it hiss-groaned. "Injustice in the future."
He swallowed thickly as the form took shape. It had one arm, and it was reaching toward him. "Injustice—put us to rest—reveal the truth."
It writhed again, looking at him with maddened eyes.
"Free us from our bonds, Desmond."
Ezio groped blindly for the door handle as the figure groaned and rose. He gasped as the door gave way behind him and he tumbled out, straightening quickly and running down the hall. He was taking the first staircase he found: up. Steps three by three, up and up, the sky glowing purple with the lightning in the distance.
A loose stone, a slip, a strangled scream when something brushed his foot, he scrambled up and finished the staircase, running to the end of the hallway and pressing into the corner. No rooms—he didn't want any more ghosts. The wind whistled in through the windows, the beginning of the rain landing with a spooky and soft pitter-patter on the uneven stones that hurt his feet as he ran. The dust mixed with the rain and created a thick fluid that oozed down the stones, drawing ghostly patterns in the dusty halls.
Lightning ripped through the sky nearby, and Ezio stood there, watching, waiting. His muscles were tense: he was ready to run. The dark shadows crawled across the halls, and he could imagine them hissing when the lightning tore the sky—tore the shadows and forced them to retreat.
"For Desmond," he whispered to himself. "For Desmond. Set them free from here."
He licked his lips once, curling his fingers and forcing himself to walk to the window and look out. The rain was warm and caressing as he looked at the tower. He was still no closer than before. He nearly jumped out of skin when he saw a hawk circle, watching. It stared at him, intensely, with the same maddened eyes as the ghost before. It weaved in the lightning, highlighted in the brief flashes of light.
With a screech, it flew in through the window, and Ezio turned as it grazed his ear, and he watched it vanish through a wall. He stared at it, the warm rain hitting the back of his head and trickling down the back of his neck.
"Injustice!" screeched the wind, and Ezio inhaled sharply and hurried to the area the hawk vanished.
He walked through the wall, a cloth hanging in front of the hidden stairway. The sound of the storm was trickling in through the thick cloth, and without a second thought, he followed the hawk on its path. He pushed cobwebs out of his way as he walked. Rats squeaked farther ahead, and the uneven stones pressed into his feet. After a few minutes of walking, he started jogging up the stairs—then running—then sprinting—then stopping, bewildered. The stairs never seemed to end.
"Well now, Desmond, if you hear me, remember this. God, you're lucky I love my ancestors."
He walked up the rest of the stairs to find a rotting wood door. He grabbed the wrought-iron handle and pulled it open. This was the room with the light. A desk sat in the middle—the only other thing in the room—and a figure stood by the window, a stack of documents in his hands. With a heavy sigh, he opened the window and dropped them into the winds of the storms. The ghost turned around. Ezio was frozen where he stood. The ghost was Altair. He padded over to the desk and stood by the chair. A woman appeared in it.
"This is the end, Altair," she murmured.
"The last of the novices are out. I saw them pass through the ranks of the Mongols."
He jumped and stepped to the side as the ghost from earlier stepped through, looking somber.
"So it is time," Altair whispered.
There was a period of silence as the three stood there, staring at the ground.
"The Mongols have broken the doors of Masyaf," the one-armed man said.
"How did it come to this?" the woman muttered.
"We have seen too much. The Apple is safely buried, but we grow old," Altair murmured.
"In our old age, our minds loosen," the other man said quietly. "It is for the safety of all."
"Could we not have escaped with the others?"
"They would have discovered us, and I would hate to sacrifice the Brotherhood," Altair said. "I have shared too many secrets of the Apple with you two."
"I am prepared," the other man said with determination. "I have lived a good life, hard, but good. My partners are the two best I could've hoped for, and my children are safe."
"They will no doubt be delayed when they find us," Altair murmured. "A chance to pillage the castle and plan furiously to find the maps. With us here, they will not think to continue. They know we are the only ones who know where the Apple is."
"You have destroyed them, then?" the woman murmured.
"Hidden safely, for future generations."
The one-armed man had filled three goblets and sat on the floor. "Are you ready?"
Altair looked determined. "Thus is our lives."
The other man chuckled. "If Masyaf had not been surrounded by water, we may have escaped."
"I would rather die, though, in the presence of those who loved me, then risked trying to go through the Mongol forces for freedom. Come, my husband and my wife, let us drink."
Altair pursed his lips and walked over after helping the woman up. They sat in a triangle as the other man pulled out a small vial and pulled the cork out with his teeth. He tapped it and watched the powder fall into the goblet. It was filled with wine. The vial passed between the three in silence, and their legs stretched out, overlapping with one another.
"And why do we do this?"
"To calm our minds," Altair said.
"Let us face it: all three of us are being driven to madness by the Apple, and it is no longer in our possession."
"Let us put our minds to rest," Altair murmured. "You do not have to drink, Maria, for I know that Malik has seen far more than you."
"You both wake with nightmares continually," Maria whispered. She looked sad for a moment, then steeled her gaze and looked determined. "No, I know where the Apple is located, and the Mongols will not pry it from me in old age. I will drink with you, Malik, Altair. Our children are strong: they will do well without us."
They picked up the goblets as the storm raged outside.
"Listen, even Mother Nature rages at the loss," Malik said.
They twined their arms together, and their white hair and wrinkles were only amplified in the closeness of the bodies.
"To a better future for the Assassins," Altair murmured.
"To a better future," the other two echoed, and they all tipped back the goblets, finishing it quickly.
They were silent a time after that, then Malik dropped his cup, coughing. Red trickled down the side of his mouth.
"So we are done," Malik whispered, coughing, "to protect our future."
The red spread as he coughed into his arm, none of them letting go. Altair cleared his throat, swallowing thickly as his breath grew ragged.
"May our ancestors find a love as strong as ours," Maria muttered before gagging and letting the blood dribbled down her chin.
She spat to the side and leaned forward. Altair and Malik leaned forward as well, touching foreheads together as the toxin worked through them quickly. They were silent except for coughing. First, Malik went with a ragged breath and a closing of eyes. Maria followed soon after, her eyes fluttering closed as she breathed her last. Altair's closed last, the look of sadness and grief etched into every line in his body.
"I love you," he whispered as his eyes shut.
The wind blew the candle on the desk out, and Ezio found himself back in the dark, the cold air biting as cold rain seeped further into his clothes. The room was in shambles, and the cobwebs glistened as the wind and the rain howled in through the open window. The desk was decayed and on its side, the remnants of all its contents scattered. In the middle of the room was a pile of bones: three skulls all facing one another.
His breath caught in his throat when he saw the three of them standing there, watching him. He caught Altair's pointed gaze at something beside him, and he turned to look. A flag from Masyaf hung on the wall, and he looked back to the ghosts, only to find them vanished. He turned back to the tapestry and pushed it aside to be met with a solid stone wall.
He flicked on his Eagle Vision, noticing a brick that glowed yellow. He pulled it out, only for a different brick to shine gold. He frowned. These stones were huge. He pulled it out, and another glowed. When he got that one free, he heard a clicking noise, and he watched as the three holes filled with another stone.
His Eagle Vision off, he turned to see another brick in the doorway a few inches above the rest. He walked over and pulled it out, seeing animal skin stuffed into the area below. Carefully, he pulled it out and unwrapped it, walking back into the room and standing near the open window.
"I found the locations of the missing Pieces… They move? Ah—one vanished? Two? A second? What?"
It was a world map, the little golden figures moving across the page before settling in different locations.
"Are these… future locations?" he wondered out loud. "Desmond, do you understand?"
"So you found them for me."
He looked to see the bald man from earlier. "These documents are not for our time."
Look back at the map. Memorize these, Desmond, he thought. He could hear the other man step in again, and he glanced up before hopping in the windowsill and throwing the papers behind him.
"You fool!" the man shouted.
"They were not for us," he shouted above the roaring of the winds.
The man stepped forward, but both froze when the fire lit in the ledge that protruded from the ceiling. Ezio saw Altair standing there, his gaze commanding him to jump. With a second's hesitation, he did so, and as he fell from the castle, the tower exploded.
"To a better future," Ezio murmured.
Desmond woke with scream, ripping the cord from his arm and gripping his head.
He screamed when Shaun touched his arm, and he punched Lucy in the jaw when she tried to reach him. He fell from the chair and rose quickly, staggering over to the corner of the room and falling on his knees, violently heaving everything in his stomach. Tears ran down his cheeks as everything came out, and just to get rid of the horrid feelings, he beat his head against the wall several times.
After the seventh or eighth hit, he sobbed, leaning his head against the wall of wherever the fuck they were. Lucy was rubbing his back as he cried, and he could hear Shaun making him something to calm his nerves. Rebecca was hovering worriedly.
"To a better future," he sobbed, "let your lives not be in vain."