A/N: Summary comes from a later chapter (because I couldn't think of one off the top of my head and because I am lazy). Starting chapter is quite short, while later chapters get a little longer. My intention is to have a regular update schedule set, perhaps Tuesday/Friday, memory willing, and provided I can maintain a buffer until this thing is finished.

Best when viewed at ½ width (it makes the story look longer than it is, which is crucial).

This is my first fic, and of course, I can only take credit for the words, not for what inspired them, lest Ubisoft should smite me with almighty righteousness and wrathful vengeance.

Enjoy. (Or don't.)


2007

Shaun Hastings picked his way through the tangled jumble of cords and components littering the floor, pushing his glasses up us nose unconsciously. In five minutes they will have slipped enough that he will have to push them up again. Rebecca had noticed two years ago that it ran like clockwork, the frames gradually sliding down his nose over the course of those five minutes to perch precariously at the tip, his automatic correction of their progress restarting the process anew. He leaned against the wall once mostly clear of the rubble, crossing his arms over his chest. His brow creased as he mulled over what Rebecca had told him about . . . this. Whatever it was. It didn't really make sense to him; or rather, it did, it made perfect sense, as much as these things can make sense, but it was more interesting to pretend otherwise. At least conversationally.

"Just. Remind me---again---what exactly we're supposed to accomplish with all of this?" British vowels fell from his tongue in thorny tones, echoing in the near-empty room. Sarcasm also made conversations more interesting. He waved a hand over the detritus, doubt written across his features.

"Come on, Shaun, you saw Lucy's report. This thing Abstergo has is dangerous and powerful. Naturally, we have to have one." The dark-haired woman scanned the room from where she knelt on the floor for the next necessary component as she began making adjustments on the blueprints spread out before her. He hummed to himself, a bit disgruntled. Sure, he'd seen the report, seen the plans, heard the theory behind it, but . . . Well.

"Seems a bit far-fetched, doesn't it?" Shaun ignored her sharp look and carried on. "Have they even tested it? We could be wasting our time here."

Rebecca tutted. "Don't tell me you'd rather be out with the other teams, Shaun." She knew full well he wouldn't, but he opened his mouth to argue on principle. She overrode his protests smoothly, not looking up from her work. "Anyway, big history buff like you? I figured you'd be all over this."

"Get back to me if it actually works. Then I'll get excited. In the meantime--"

"In the meantime," she interrupted, "you can help me put this thing together. Get me my laptop." Shaun pursed his lips at her command, but knew it was best not to argue. He did owe her his life, after all. Sighing, he deftly maneuvered through the maze once more, temporarily forgotten as Rebecca lost herself in the mess of parts and pieces scattered helter-skelter.

This had better not be a tremendous waste of time, he thought, hand on Rebecca's computer. He paused. "Just what is this thing called, anyway?" he asked, breaking her reverie. For all that he'd given the reports a once-over, that one little detail had managed to escape him. She scowled and jerked at the cable between her fingers until it clicked into place before passing a hand across her brow and replying.

"The Animus."