Assassin's Creed III: Compromise
Author: Feael Silmarien
Genre: Drama, Adventure, Romance
Disclaimer: Assassin's Creed belongs to Ubisoft, and I don't earn money with this fan fiction.
Summary: 1784: The Revolutionary War didn't result in the outcome Connor had expected. In the new country he feels like an alien, betrayed and abandoned by those whom he trusted. And on top of that his fellow Assassins suddenly start to disappear. - A new Templar threat? Trying to uncover this mystery and save the Brotherhood he meets an unexpected ally who unfortunately happens to be a morality-denying killer with markedly bad manners. However, Connor is eager to believe that it's not only her obsession with his cheekbones which makes her remember her Assassin roots.
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Chapter 1: The Last Mohawk
"Vat mean you he has not returned?" Wihelmina Zenger said with her heavy German accent.
"He did not contact me yet," Connor answered, trying to sound as sober as possible. The mountainlike wife of the Assassin Jacob Zenger was looking too weirdly at her frying pan.
"He has said he vould be avay a month," she said. "Now are it two. No letter, no note, nozing. You know also nozing. Vat has zis to mean? Vere is he?"
Connor didn't like the way she checked the frying pan's weight ... Poor Wihelmina with her puffy, red eyes!
"Normally, he would have sent me a note if any problems occurred," he tried to explain. "So something must have happened. I hoped you might have an idea."
"Vere. Is. My. Husband?" Wihelmina repeated, lowering her voice. "I have him for years not seen. Years! Understand you zis? And now is he disappeared. Because of your mission. I am ill for vorry!"
"I am sure we ... I will find him soon." Connor couldn't believe that the sight of kitchenware made him swallow. And yet, he understood Mrs. Zenger very well. In a way, it was her right.
"If not ..." Wihelmina's stare was piercing him, and she jittered. "Zen give it no missions more. Zen has Connor a big problem. Give me meinen lieben Jacob back ... And until zen ... Dare. It. Not. To enter. My house. Again!"
Connor shut the door not a moment too soon, for something very heavy crushed against it on the other side right when he stepped out on the street. Then he heard sobbing inside.
He leaned against the wall for a few moments, regathering his thoughts. Nothing. Nothing again.
'Give me meinen lieben Jacob back ...'
It couldn't be helped. He headed for the Aquila.
A pale sun was rising. Its pastel rays glided down onto the stones and the tree tops like a thin veil. The light of the new day was weak. Fragile ...
There was this strange feeling again when Connor stepped on the shore. Some kind of fear he couldn't understand. He knew that something was about to happen, that something had already happened. He hadn't heard anything of the other Assassins ever since he sent them away to their missions in the south. He had looked for them. Asked their friends and families in Boston and New York if they had returned. But the answer had always been 'no'. Everyone was worried. Stephane Chapheau, Duncan Little, Deborah Carter, Clipper Wilkinson, Jacob Zenger, Jamie Colley. Everyone was gone. Like fallen off the face of the world.
"Any orders, captain?"
Connor turned to Mr. Faulkner, paused, then commanded: "We will leave again soon. Be prepared."
Connor was thankful that his first mate didn't ask unnecessary questions. He wouldn't have been able to answer them. He wasn't even sure what to do himself, why he came back to the Davenport Homestead instead of continuing the investigation in South Carolina where the last Assassin, Clipper, had disappeared. Maybe he just needed a pause to think properly and to make some kind of a plan.
It felt strange to follow only his feelings this time. There weren't any rational arguments anymore, no one to give him advice, no one to argue with since Achilles had passed. He couldn't find out anything in Boston and New York, so he indeed had only his intuition and the vague plan to set off for Charleston the next morning. As well as the slight, little thought, this feeling that ... All six Assassins had disappeared. So it actually had something to do with the Brotherhood. It could be a strike against it. But Templars? It wasn't long ago since he put an end to their order in North America. Not forever, of course, he understood that perfectly. But was it possible that the enemy had recovered so quickly? The last British troops had left six months ago, so only one and a half year had passed since he killed Charles Lee. Had it been enough? His father had told him that what the Templars really wanted was peace. Yet after freeing themselves from the British rule the main connecting consent of the Colonies was gone. Debates were held about constitution, debts and slavery. Many different ideas, fears and desires. Everything somewhere between morality and feasibility.
His father had foreseen it: 'There will never be a consensus, son, among those you have helped to ascend. They differ in their views of what it means to be free. The peace you so desperately seek does not exist. Even when your kind appears to triumph ... still, we rise again. And do you know why? It is because the Order is born of a realization. We require no creed! No indoctrination by desperate, old men. All we need is that the world be as it is. And this is why the Templars will never be destroyed!'
Realization ... For the Iroquois Confederacy the American Revolution had been a civil war with the Mohawk, Seneca, Onondaga and Cayuga siding with the British and the Tuscarora and Oneida partly allied with the Colonists. So much slaughter. Bloodshed. His own people had not only betrayed their former allies but also participated in massacres against settlers, arousing hatred and speeding up the loss of their land after the war. The Colonists and the Militia also had been slaughtering Natives. Everyone slaughtering each other. Leaving behind nothing but hostility.
Had he understood this whole war back then? When he started it? When be believed in it? Now, as the war had ended, the facts started speaking to him with a clearer voice than ever: many facts, many incidents, many massacres, many controversies. And the fact that he probably was the last Mohawk in this lands which weren't even the Mohawk Valley. As well as the fact that he probably didn't count since he was only a half one.
Was his decision an error then? Was everything he had done wrong? He had never felt that being an Assassin was wrong. Maybe it was even the only decision he didn't question now. And this - not only the fact that he actually had to find his lost friends - made him so determined about saving the Brotherhood.
If the disappearance of his brothers had anything to do with the Templars, then sooner or later they would come to the Davenport Manor. They would come for him. Connor's intuition told him to give them a chance, to wait for them. His mind told him that this was the only way to find a trail. So he would stay in the manor for this night. Being the cheese in the mousetrap.
The pillars at the portal shone mildly in the morning sun like covered with golden silk. The ornament-like shadows on the brick wall, casted by tree crowns, moved slowly with a late May's breeze. Peacefully. As always.
And still, there was one thing that felt like a blow into his face. A strong smell of rum stung in his nose just when he reached the door. He spun around and found himself at the pointed end of a blade.
"Well, well, look who's here," sounded the voice of a youngster in the middle of his voice break.
Connor stayed calm. He tried to identify the bad smelling figure with ginger hair leaning against the white column and to grasp why he didn't notice this person earlier. After all, usually it wasn't difficult to spot a faltering man wearing a shabby uniform, holding a bottle of rum and reeking about ten miles ahead.
"Holy shit!" continued the rough mumbling. "Just what have you done to your hair?!" The sword pointed now at the single hair strip on his head. "This looks awful! But at least ..." The young veteran paused and a grin spread on his face. "At least you still have your cute cheekbones. You can't shave them off after all, can you?"
He seemed to find his joke incredibly funny as he burst in a drunken giggle. Connor just looked at him in deepest bewilderment about the 'cute cheekbones', lowering his eyes at the level of the young man's chest and realizing that if he would have bound something tightly around it he - or rather she - would have looked like a young man indeed. Yet like this it was clearly a woman, and definitely not a youth anymore. Just what had she done to her voice? And what did her visit portend? At least she seemed to know him while he hadn't any idea of who she was.
"Who are you, and how do you know me?" he finally asked.
"How I know you?" She burst out laughing. "Well, there was that crossbreed in a funny hood running suicidally across the battlefield of Bunker Hill in order to kill Major John Pitcairn. Can I be blamed for my curiosity?
"As for your other question ..." She suddenly put her sword away and made a deep bow. "Margaret Tyler at your service. Or Lieutenant Jacob Henderson. Call me as you please."
So she knew about Pitcairn ... Connor wasn't sure what to think about this unexpected encounter. On the one hand he had more important things to do than talking to a dunk woman, yet on the other hand he obviously had been watched for years without noticing it. Margaret Tyler definitely wasn't an ordinary woman. She seemed pretty comfortable with wearing men's clothing, having her unkempt, shoulder-length hair tied to a little ponytail and carrying a sword, a dagger and two pistols with her. Her originally blue uniform was covered in old blood, and the little and ring finger of her left hand were missing. Everything about her appearance seemed troubling.
However, maybe he was too suspicious. Maybe she didn't know too much about him - and, he hoped, about the Assassin Order. But it would be very unwise not to investigate this. Apparently, there were people who had learned more about him than it was acceptable. And it could have something to do with the missing Assassins.
"Why did you come here?" he continued questioning.
She gave him another grin. "To see how you are, of course! Since there is still one thing I don't understand about you: How can a crazy idealist like you run from one suicidal mission to another and survive each fucking time, while George and Peter who didn't believe any less in the ideas of the Revolution died so quickly? And now that you see the Patriots are just the same human beings caring only for their own asses as the British ... Oh, I've heard about the selling of the land your people used to live on. I was wondering how you deal with it. Betrayed ... Abused ... Quite an outsider in this oh so free country."
That. Hit. Home. This woman definitely knew where to strike.
"There is still hope," he replied, clenching his teeth and frantically trying to prevent his hands from doing something inconsiderate. "Just look around you! This settlement! We manage to live brotherly in peace and harmony."
"Yes, of course." She didn't seem to let his speech make any impression on her. "But for how long?"
"For as long as I can protect this peace. I and others who believe in a better future."
Margaret didn't answer at first. Instead, she raised her green eyes and pierced him with a strange stare. Not cold, but still hostile and with a remarkable amount of sorrow in it.
"You sound just like George and Peter," she said finally with her voice suddenly becoming calmer and less reminding of a voice break, though still strangely rough and deep for a woman, like swelling from beneath the earth. "You survived many times, but one day fortune will abandon you. Men like you don't live long. You are doomed."
And having said this she fainted. Just fainted. He didn't even have time to notice how unnatural it was, since his first reflex was to catch her as she collapsed. He had to do something. Yes, she was suspicious. But she needed help. A bed at first.
He saw no other option but to carry her into the manor, hoping that Achilles - wherever his soul might be now - wouldn't mind if he placed Margaret down on the old man's bed. Now with her tricorn lying next to her and giving a free sight on her face, for a moment, he marvelled at the piglet pink colour of her skin and the many freckles on her cheeks. Even compared to other Colonial people her appearance was extreme.
There wasn't much time for analyzing her skin, though. He had to think and to prepare. And to ask Diana if she could look after Margaret. Just in case.
Since thinking and walking to Diana's house could be combined he decided to do it right now. Then, as he stepped out the manor and overlooked the land lying under the thin, golden veil he suddenly remembered the last words of Achilles:
'I trust you now know this place has become something of great significance. A community to serve as an example of what this would-be-nation could become. But the larger and stronger it grows, the more fragile and difficult to defend it becomes.'
With everything Connor had seen of this would-be-nation and the Assassins being in a new conflict ... Never have these words been so true. And it was up to him to protect the Brotherhood and the homestead from sharing the fate of his people. He couldn't afford ... He wouldn't fail this time. 'For at my side walks hope. In the face of all that insists I turn back, I carry on: This - this is my compromise.'
To be contunued ...
Hello everyone! I hope you liked the first chapter. In case you want to read more, here's some information: This story consists of 15 chapters, and each Thursday a new chapter will be uploaded. If you liked the first one and want to give some feedback - don't be shy. If you want to criticise, don't hesitate as well. As long as it's not insulting I'll appreciate it.