A/N: Hedwig here! What's that? You all thought I was dead? –pinches self- Welp, either we're all in hell at the moment, or I really am alive! Amazing I know, I haven't updated in ages.
But anyway, as you noticed, this is an Assassin's Creed one shot, and my first posted attempt at an Assassin's Creed fiction, so you have my apologies if I suck. I've been having this horrible obsession over the game and have read most every AC fanfic out here already to try to quench it after finishing the game and having to return it (we rented it).
So then, this idea popped into my head when I had finished playing around again on AC, and actually watched the news for once. You'll notice that the idea of the fic is similar to a news story of a fire in Germany. I'll say no more since it'll spoil it, but I'm sure most of you already know what I'm talking about. So with all that in mind, I sat down and just started writing, and this is how it came out—So I hope you enjoy it!
Summary: An Assassin should just be another face in the crowd. Even when he saves a baby from a deadly attack, he asks for only one thing in return.
Cala means 'castle'
(1)Maimun means 'lucky'
Disclaimer: I don't own Assassin's Creed. If I did, I'd have kept the book idea and movie idea going.
Hedwig the MilleniumOwl
Screams rang through the city, cries of pain and terror echoing off the stone buildings and mountains, carried off in the wind to become haunting sounds to people of distant lands. Flames raged through houses and barns while dark billowing black smoke rose up into the sky, making the chaotic afternoon seem almost like night to the citizens below.
The loud rumble of hooves were encouraged by loud shouts and whooping of the robed men atop strong steeds, waving large sticks of flames around and setting anything in reach on fire while seeing how many people they could run into to add to the turmoil.
Disarrayed people crowded the streets, shoving their way through: Mothers clinging to their children in fright, trying to usher them to safety while babies and young children cried in fear, faces red from the heat of the flames and the force of crying, men rushing around to either get out of the mess or try to save their things.
Above all the rooftops, beyond all the chaotic sounds of the streets below, one man watched as the attack on the town played out. He had not been expecting an attack to take place during his mission, and so his plans were put to a halt as the citizens tried to save their possessions and get to safer ground. A rush of wind blew past, bringing with it dark smoke that clouded the man's vision, though he took care to cover his nose and mouth so not to inhale the harmful smoke.
For once, the Master Assassin was unsure of what to do. The attack had come so quick, even he had not had time to do much more then finish climbing the tower. Yet he knew he could not stay here, it was dangerous if the flames managed to find a way to climb up the tall point as well. Creeping out to the edge of the pole, the man looked down for a haystack, preferably one that was not on fire. Luckily, he spotted one that was not yet engulfed in flames, and quickly took his leap of faith into the chaos below.
Climbing out of the stack of hay, the man winced slightly with the sudden impact that bombarded his senses. Heat greater then the sun at it's highest point threatened his skin, the wind making it worse by blowing the heat as well as smoke right into his face, stinging his eyes. The harsh smell of burning bit into his nostrils, while the cries of agony and fear screamed in his ear, much louder then it had been when he was above all of this mess.
"Mercy mercy! Oh god, please spare us- mercy!" Someone cried out.
"My leg! Please someone help! I cannot move! Please!" Another one shouted in a pained and worried voice.
Grumbling curses, the assassin pulled his white hood over his head tighter, making care to shield his stinging eyes from the smoke and heat, as well as pulling up material over his mouth and nose to save his lungs from the smoke that started to fill the streets- all the while trying to ignore the shouts of people near and far. He quickly made off to get out of the city as the others were, deciding to return to Masyaf with news of the sudden attack. Maybe if they were lucky, their target would be eaten by the fire itself.
The assassin walked quickly, pushing past citizens who ran around in panic, or continued to shout, while still others even grabbed to his white robes and begged for help. Some of the sights were not pretty at all, for many were already half burned with charcoaled skin and almost indefinable features, or being burned alive before everyone's eyes, screaming in agony, while others were merely moaning in pain on the ground, unable to move and simply waiting for death to embrace them. The man shoved every hand off, pushed past the terrified people, his only goal to get onto his horse and out of the attack.
Buildings fell all around him, causing many more painful shrieks that he tried not to think of the people they belonged to, for they were probably now trapped under burning debris. And still others attempted to escape the flames by jumping off the top of buildings or out of windows, only resulting in their own death, the sickening crack of their body hitting the ground and dieing scream now implanted in the man's mind.
"Mommy!" A child cried, being shoved aside by the still rushing crowd, "Mommy! Where are you? Mommy!" She continued to cry and scream, trying to move to find her mother but only resulting in being pushed back by the crowd, closer and closer to awaiting flames and men armed with swords.
The assassin frowned and shut his eyes tight for a moment, trying to keep his objective in mind. It was not his place to save anyone now, these were not his people. He had to keep a low profile and return to his master to inform him of the attack before there would be one on his own brotherhood. But the sobs and cries of children and mothers pierced through him, despite his muttered cursing to try to block them out.
"Please! Someone! Up here, please!" Despite his try to block everything out and move towards the exit of the city, the assassin looked up and followed the desperate cries of a woman. His eagle-like eyes rested on a woman leaning half out of a window about three stories above the ground, dark smoke billowing out, almost engulfing the woman. Yet what caught the assassin's eyes was the small form the woman held out the window, trying to keep it from the deadly smoke. It was a baby, not even a year old, causing the man to pause and watch what the mother was doing, slowly walking closer.
The mother caught sight of him and immediately continued, "Sir! Please!" She held the baby out farther. He started to catch her drift and came closer to the smoking building. "Sh-Should I throw him?" The mother asked worriedly. The assassin paused for a moment, but nodded and held his arms out, really not sure if he was controlling his arms or not. Idly he assumed the woman had thought he was one of the priests who would be more willing to help then an assassin, usually. Though the desperateness of the situation gave the possibility that even if she knew he was an assassin, she would probably make the same decision. Even from levels below, the man could make out the worried creases on the mother's face as she wondered if this was the best thing, if she wasn't really sending her child plummeting to his death. Yet when fire bit at her heels from within the building, the woman gave her child up to god and let the baby fall from her arms.
The assassin's face went tight, but he kept his arms out, wondering if it was really possible to catch such a tiny babe from a drop that far with only one hope of safety. The mother watched earnestly as the moment seemed to stretch for ever, the small infant crying and flailing slightly in mid air, until everything sped up once more as the baby plummeted to the ground.
By what some deemed divine intervention, the babe had miraculously landed safely within the assassin's arms. He caught him with some unease, careful to cradle him in what seemed to be correct, and made sure to cushion the impact by bending slightly, careful his hidden blade would not harm the small child. The babe was silent for a moment, bright, shimmering eyes wide with confusion, face darkened with ash and smoke and red from the heat, until he burst out with another cry. The assassin stared at the fragile thing uneasily, gently pulling him closer against him in a safer hold. He had never held a baby before- let alone catch one from a three story fall- and he seemed enticed by the moment, yet still unsure the whole time. Was he holding him correctly? Were baby's supposed to cry so much? Was he supposed to do something to ease him?
Hearing another cry that did not belong to the child in his arms, the assassin looked up once more to see the mother weeping with joy. "Thank you!" She said, repeating the word over and over again, "Please, find him somewhere safe to stay.." She called down in a begging manner, and the assassin knew that the mother did not plan on surviving the attack. Yet a look of contentment was still on her face, despite the fire that urged closer and the smoke slowing engulfing her, for now she knew her son was safe. "My sister," The woman quickly added, though beginning to cough, "Find her, she'll recognize him and take care of him! Tell her.. tell her I love her." Tears were supposed to roll down her cheeks, yet the heat dried them up before they managed to fall.
The assassin backed away slowly, before nodding slightly and holding the crying babe closer, once again making his way out of the city, wondering what he was supposed to do with the baby, how he was supposed to find this "sister" of hers.
He sprinted off, the baby crying into his shoulder as the man dodged the falling debris and still screaming people, as well as some of the attacking men were now out to send the citizens to their god with their blade.
Finally, the master assassin came out of the city's walls, along with a large group of people; many of which who were burned and injured, most of whom were coughing as well. Many were crying, others were moving around to everyone and asking of their friends and/or families, most were not answered. The crowd gathered farther from the city, finding seclusion along side the path that lead into the kingdom and other cities, bordered by the cliffs. The assassin looked around, his height giving him the advantage over the crowd to look for his horse. Giving a long whistle, he was responded with a neigh that sounded not too far off, and soon his great black steed trotted up behind him, the people parting from the horse's path.
Patting the side of his horse's strong arched neck, he looked around once more now only needing to find what to do with the babe balanced in his arms, and then he could be off. He could easily toss it into a waterway, easily put a blade through its defenseless form, or merely leave it somewhere for someone else to find. Yet all of these threatened his conscience, making him wonder where his conscience came from anyway. He could have sworn he had done away with that annoying little voice years ago.
Wandering around aimlessly for a moment, his horse following obediently behind, the assassin's eagle eyes pierced through the crowd, though luckily his silent prayers were answered.
"Maimun!" A female voice cried, "Cala! Cala where are you! Maimun? Sir, have you seen my sister? She's about this high, not much older then me, and has a little baby-- no don't leave! Please! Anyone!" A woman cried, looking from person to person desperately.
The assassin followed the voice, and came up behind the frantic looking woman. "Looking for someone?" He asked in a low tone, causing the woman to jump and look at him with fright.
"Y-Yes! Have you see—" She cut herself off when the assassin moved the child in his arms slightly, letting his face become exposed, his cries once again very loud, causing the man to frown since it was right in his ear. "Maimun!" The woman cried, the assassin handing over the child with gentleness he did not know he had. "Oh Maimun," The woman said, her eyes full of tears as she held the little boy close. "Thank you, thank you sir." She said, finally looking up at the man who hid his face. "Do- Do you know of my sister?" She asked in a frightened tone, afraid of the answer she would get.
"That child's mother?" The assassin asked in his deep, stern voice, void of much emotion. When the woman nodded, he continued, "I am sorry. She perished in the fire." The woman gasped and sucked up a wet cry, covering her mouth with one of her hands, the other arm cradling the sniffling infant.
"Cala…" The woman said quietly, looking down into the baby's face, who ceased his tears to stare up at the familiar woman with misunderstanding.
The assassin shifted uneasily, "She… told me to tell you… that she loves you." He added awkwardly, tender words as such not custom to pass his lips. Several tears started to fall down the woman's face but she nodded, cradling the baby lovingly. "The child has a fitting name."(1) He commented, staring at the baby with feelings he could not place.
"He certainly does." The woman nodded with a sad smile, "Thank you sir, thank you." She said, looking up at him, eyes shimmering with tears and gratefulness, but the man waved it off and turned to mount his horse, before starting him away from the burning town.
"W-Wait!" The woman called, taking a step towards him. After a few more steps, the man tugged his steed to a halt and he glanced at the woman who quickly continued. "H-How can I repay you?" She asked, taking another earnest step forwards.
The Master Assassin stared at her for a moment, his face betraying no emotion and eyes hidden by his hood, before he turned around and urged his horse forward, with one swift, stern answer.