AN: This story was supposed to be a subplot in my first Assassins Creed x Transformers crossover, but I couldn't figure out the logistics of how to fit this story inside of that one like a Tur-duck-et. Originally, I was going to use this as a subplot, with Maya and Eric using the animus to try and find out some questions regarding their ancestors where they were supposedly involved with a Cybertronian artefact. But I kept it, tweaked it and figured it would a good time to post it while I finish the third Enemy of my Enemy. Hope you enjoy!
August 9th, 1860
The Hideout of the Assassins
Two figures on horseback galloped through the darkened city of Baltimore. The streets weren't entirely deserted, as the night was cool enough to offset the heat of the day.
The citizens that were crossing the street quickly dashed out of the way of the two figures.
The female of the two had to pull on the reins hard to stop her horse, sliding off the saddle in one movement. Her companion on the other hand, took his time. He slid off his saddle, grabbing the reins of his horse and his sister's.
"Head on in. I'm going to get these horses stabled. Tell them I'm coming as soon as I can." he ordered. The hooded woman nodded in agreement. With a single movement, she threw the doors open and strolled into the building. The massive ceiling loomed over her as she sashayed into the atrium. The building was partially empty, the old men who conducted business there darting out of the way of the hooded woman that stormed angrily past them. The woman strolled to the far end of the room where there was a door that led down to the basement.
She was greeted by the darkness, only illuminated by the archaic torches that lined the stone walls. The woman was halted by two guards that were stationed at the bottom of the steps.
The woman removed her hood, revealing a thirty-five-year-old woman with dark obsidian hair braided in a crown. She stared up at the guards with her silver-grey eyes.
"Margaret Abigail Lealan, daughter of Michael Philip Everts." She proclaimed to the guard.
While the guards did relax, they didn't back down. "Why have you come to the Assassins Headquarters?"
Margaret dug through her pocket and brought out a letter she had received only a few days ago in her home. "I received a message from the Mentor herself to come immediately without delay."
She handed the telegram to the guard's hand. Much to her annoyance, he took his precious time to open it and reading it. Just when she was about to shout in anger, the man nodded and stepped aside, letting her through their little check point. Margaret gave an annoyed huff as she hurriedly made her way past the guards. The woman wanted nothing more than to fall into bed after the long journey she had before receiving the telegram and the journey from her home in Upstate New York was exhausting all in itself.
And now she had to deal with guards that had this 'I'm an important person because I watch the secret entrance to the Assassin's Hideout' mentality.
She had been on an undercover mission to root out the location of the current Grand Master of the Templars when the news came from her home.
Even though her great-great-grandmother fought the Templars during the War for Independence with Ratonhnhaké:ton, despite their best efforts, the Templars still held ground in the North American continent.
And they had gotten smarter.
Much like in the earlier days of the Crusades, the Templars held positions of government in which they could easily implement their plans. Margaret had noticed that they were concentrated in the South, where Slavery was still very much alive and thriving. The Assassins had smaller operations, each beginning and ending with some groups of abolition all across the North as they worked to end the horrible institution. Margaret's husband worked for an abolitionist group in New York when he wasn't tending to the land, not really knowing what his wife was doing to end Slavery in the South.
Margaret hoped to tell her husband about the life she led when she returned home, but the telegram ordered her to Baltimore immediately.
She continued to walk until she came across a large oaken door with the insignia of the Assassins stamped into the wood. With a single movement, she pushed open the heavy wooden doors and entered.
The Assassin High Council was in the middle of a heated argument (no surprise), with the Mentor staring on with contempt and annoyance. As soon as the two women made eye contact with each other, the Mentor slammed the gavel on the chair's arm to silence the shouting. The five representatives immediately glanced around in confusion at the sudden order to quiet before their sneers landed on her.
"Ah, Mrs. Lealan. Thank you for coming so quickly." The Mentor glanced to the representatives. "We will reconvene tomorrow at dawn. I want all of you here tomorrow with cooler heads. Do I make myself clear?"
"Yes Mentor." They all chorused in unison.
As they filed out of the room, Margaret lingered, waiting for the moment that the room would be empty and the two would be able to continue their discussion. When the final person left, the Mentor sighed tiredly as she stood and made her way to embrace Margaret. Margaret happily returned the embrace initiated by her old friend. The woman, about ten years her senior, gently placed a hand on her back and led her out of the room.
"I appreciate you coming so soon, Maggy. Things are getting quite heated."
"Yes. I noticed." Margaret muttered. "What was that argument about?"
The Mentor just waved her hand. "Nothing too important. How was your mission?"
"Much too unsuccessful for my tastes, honestly." Margaret admitted. "But I came here as soon as I got your telegram."
The Mentor hummed in thought. "Yes. Things have gotten quite... how shall we say?...very volatile. I am going on the assumption that you haven't been able to keep up with the political situation?"
The raven-haired woman shrugged in a noncommittal movement.
"There has been a third party, the Republicans, that has been on the rise of late. Mr. Lincoln, the candidate for the Republican party, has been nominated for the Presidential election in November."
"Abraham Lincoln. A lawyer, supposedly, from Illinois." The Mentor sighed tiredly. "His stance on slavery has caused quite the stir. Yesterday, the Southern governments have made their opinions clear on the candidate."
"And what is that?"
"If Mr. Lincoln is elected as President, then they will separate from the Union to create a new country. One where the institution of Slavery is not only allowed, but legal."
Margaret couldn't help but scowl evilly. The Mentor nodded in agreement.
"Yes. We need to keep the country together. If the Southern States tear this country apart with war then the Templars could use it as an opportunity to seize control of the Federal Government."
"Surely even the Templars would see that war would be rather detrimental to the country as a whole." Margaret pointed out. The two had just arrived to the Mentor's private office. The raven-haired woman sat down on the spare chair while the older woman sat behind the desk. "Cotton is the only crop that the Southern States export. If War breaks out, then the south can't trade cotton. The Southern economy would collapse. Hundreds of young men would lose their lives. All over a pointless belief that a group of people deserve to be in bondage."
"The situation in the Kansas Territory will be the last thing that will ultimately lead us to ruin." The Mentor pointed out. "The Southern Government will not give up their hold on slavery easily. They will keep a tight iron grip on the practice until the voices of the people are raised up in opposition. And, as much as I hate to admit it, that will only happen until many young boys die."
Margaret lowered her head, shaking it in disappointment at where this conversation was headed. "You want this conflict to happen?"
"We will sit back and see where this situation goes." The Mentor stated with finality. "There are things that I need you to do if we do go down the path of war."
Margaret nodded but before the woman could continue, the door opened and Margaret's twin brother, Henry, strolled in. He was a bit out of breath, but managed to get his breathing down almost immediately upon seeing the seriousness of the two women.
"Mentor Kellan. Please, forgive me for being tardy. It took me a while to stable the horses."
"You are forgiven." The older woman gestured to the empty chair right next to Margaret. "Please sit. I will fill you in on what we are discussing."
The conversation dominated an hour of the siblings' time. It was intense for Margaret, hearing the difficult and winding plans that the Mentor had for the tenuous path they were heading down. She wanted, much to her annoyance, the twins to set up a separate home base in Baltimore, where they could easily use as a branching point in case they needed to get involved in the conflict that was sure to arise.
"I am sorry about this," Mentor Kellan stated with sincerity. "I know that you wished to be with your family, Mrs. Lealan. But we must be prepared for the worst."
Margaret sighed. "I know."
"Again, I appreciate you coming so quickly. There is no telling where this would lead and I wished for my best warriors to be ready for whatever will happen. I will give you two months to set up a base of operations in the city. Dismissed."
The two nodded in agreement before standing up and leaving the room. It was around midnight when the two gathered their horses.
"So, how's the family, sister?"
Margaret smirked at her brother. "I wouldn't know. I haven't seen them in almost a month."
Henry just nodded in agreement. "Speaking of living arrangements, I have a townhouse here in Baltimore. Would you like to use that as the base of operations?"
That had Margaret pausing. "Since when can you afford a townhouse?"
"Don't worry about it." Henry just waved off the question. "How about it? It's in a good neighborhood and inconspicuous."
"I'll think about it." Margaret sighed as she got situated on the saddle. "I'm going to visit Aunt Cordelia. Would you wish to join me?"
"No thank you. I have to investigate a Templar hideout before heading out to Kansas. There are rumors that I want to verify. But give my regards to our beloved relative."
Margaret watched as her brother steered his horse off towards the road before galloping off. She lingered for a moment before directing her mare in the opposite direction, gently kicking the creature's side. The streets were a little less full, only the vagabonds and those without a home were out and about. Some gave her sneers as she passed but Margaret just ignored them, holding her head up high as she rode past.
Exhausted and ready to fall into a bed, regardless of wherever it was, Margaret arrived at her aunt's house, a smallish mansion that was where her grandparents lived and where her father and aunt grew up.
It was here that her father and aunt discovered their legacy as an Assassin and trained until they were ready to join the ranks.
Margaret's aunt had long since retired but her father was still an active member, searching for the great-grandmother that had disappeared at the turn of the century. No one knew where she went, nor could they find anything that pointed to where she disappeared to.
No matter what happened, Margaret figured that whatever happened to her great-great-grandmother wouldn't be resolved in her father's lifetime.
She tied the horse to the front post, grabbing the overnight bag that she packed before walking up the stairs. Margaret knocked on the door gently, exhaustion settling deep into her bones. Thankfully, she didn't have to wait too long as her Aunt's caretaker, Miriam, answered the door. The former slave stared bleary eyed until recognition finally hit her and excitement lit up her face.
"Oh Mrs. Margaret!"
The woman smiled tiredly. "Hello Miriam. How are you?"
"Come here, child! Give me a hug." The older woman exclaimed. She embraced Margaret a moment later, much to the raven-haired surprise. When they separated, Miriam noticed how exhausted she looked and clicked her tongue. "Oh, come and lay down, dear. I'll let your aunt know that you've arrived."
"Don't worry about that until morning, Miriam. My aunt needs her sleep." Margaret smiled. "But I will take up that offer for some sleep."
Miriam directed her to the guest bedroom. Margaret thanked the older woman profusely as she was handed some spare sleep clothes. She didn't hesitate to take off her clothes and quickly changed into the sleep gown, quickly collapsing onto the bed. Exhaustion took hold and dragged her down.