Assassin's Creed: Recruits
A/N Hey guys, new story, this was written a couple of months ago, never got round to uploading it, sorry for any formatting errors, it was half two in the morning, literally, and I'm not perfect (and it was written on my iPod). So enjoy, dunno if it's long enough for you guys, but it's got some action, some dialogue and a blond woman, something for everybody ;).
"Silvino, you going to pay for this or what, hey, dozy!" Silvino stopped staring at the three guards walking through the market. Emilio, the fruit seller, gave Silvino a smile as he fumbled at his belt for his money pouch. "Dreaming of joining the guard, you'll get yourself killed by the Assassin. Being a guard used to be worth it, now it's a death sentence. Rome isn't what it was."
"Hmm, thanks for the advice Emilio, and those apples, my mum's going to love these."
"No problem, my young man, take care now." Silvino kept his head down as he walked through the market. The guards, dressed in their red Borgia livery, looked impressive in their armour. They carried very sharp-looking swords, and their helmets covered their faces. passers-by gave them dirty looks when they knew they weren't looking and their was no threat of retribution. Borgia Guards were notorious for their heavy-handed 'justice'. Silvino walked out of the market square.
He passed a stone building on the way back to his house. It was unremarkable, apart from the poster nailed to it. The poster showed a hooded figure, beneath it was the words 'wanted for crimes against the Borgia' he knew who it depicted, the Assassin. Rome's biggest threat, or it's saviour, depending on who you talked to. Silvino's mother believed that the Assassin would destroy Rome, she was a devout Christian. So her fifteen year old son thought that the Assassin was the best thing in the world.
Silvino was a rebel, but quietly, he didn't like the church, Father Adelfo constantly preached that the Assassin was the end of Rome, but all of Silvino's friends said that the Father was a madman and addicted to drink. Silvino was quietly thrilled by the stories about the Assassin, and believed he could never really be caught.
He was still looking at the poster when a man of medium height, dressed in a white robe with his hood up, walked up to the poster and tore it off the wall. Silvino was astounded, wondering who would defy the Borgia when their guards were only a few feet away. Then he realised, only one man. "Hey!" he called, "You, are you the Assassin? Tell me or I'll call the guards." It was a spur of the moment decision, Silvino had decided he was going to change his life in that moment. The hooded man turned to him, and he saw a young face with a proud nose and stormy-blue eyes, brown hair and eyebrows, and a average set of lips curved in a triumphant smile. "You would, would you?" Silvino nodded guardedly, "Well then, call them, I could be out of here in ten seconds, before they'd even draw their weapons, because I am an Assassin! But not the one you think." Silvino's look triumph fell, "Oh, well can you take me to him, I want to become an Assassin."
The man laughed, "So you want to be an Assassin, prove it, take this dagger and go kill a Borgia guard." Silvino glared, but caught the long knife that was tossed to him. He knew how to use it, but why would he do that. "Killing someone who has done nothing to harm me is not the Assassin's way I think, so no, I won't." The man was preparing a reply when the three guards from the market came out of it and into the street, and saw Silvino and the hooded man.
"Assassino!" The lead guard cried, and the three men drew their swords and began running towards the pair. Silvino turned, shot a grin at the Assassin, "Now I can prove myself to you, if we win, I will be a wanted man." The hooded man nodded "Then fight, young man!", then drew a sword from a slim sheath at his side, with his left hand he drew another, slimmer knife from a set of sheaths belted to his middle, he threw the small knife with a twisting motion, and it flew directly to the guard on the left. The knife, thrown so quickly, went through the guard's breastplate and lodged in his chest. The guard collapsed gurgling as blood dripped from his throat, but the other two charged on with cries of "Traditore!" and "You'll pay for all the death you've caused!"
The lead guard threw himself on the Assassin, and they began a fierce sword fight. Silvino ducked as the other guard swung a stroke with his sword which would have taken his head off. He thrust up instinctively with his dagger, but it slid off the guard's armour. The man laughed, then shoved Silvino backwards and the boy stumbled, falling down to land in the dust on his backside. The guard stabbed down, and Silvino rolled sideways, but the keen sword slashed a shallow cut on Silvino's arm. The boy cried out in pain, and the Assassin heard his plea for help, Silvino's enemy lifted him up and held him against the stone wall, drawing his sword back for the kill.
The Assassin saw, and reacted! He parried another thrust from his opponent, a bearded man of thirty five, and an experienced fighter. Then he feinted low, watched the guard block his intended strike a whipped his blade back up, holding the blade straight out in front of him and positioning the hilt by his ear. He rocked on his back foot to gain momentum, then ran forwards, bridging the gap between the fighters. His sword didn't waver, and it's deadly sharp point moved straight into the guard's unprotected neck. The blade emerged out the other side, covered in gore, and the Assassin flexed his arm, brought his other hand round and pressed a button on an intricate mechanism on his wrist. A gun's loud report shattered the relative quiet of the street, as a small crowd had gathered to watch the fight. The bullet, closely followed by a few wisps of smoke, shot through the dead guards suspended body, out the other side, and neatly into the back of the other guard.
To Silvino, his would-be killer just stopped, and his eyes glazed over as his grip faltered. The blood started pouring out of his back, and he crumpled on the ground. Dead. The Assassin seized the moment, he frisked the dead guards' corpses, took their bulging leather purses (full of money stolen from innocent civilians) and threw them to the crowd. "These men worked for the Borgia, and attacked me without any provocation, they deserved to die for their crimes against the people of Roma, so take their money, give up their corpses and tell the fresh guards that this is the work of an Assassin. for otherwise more guards will come, and if they think you guilty for the crime, they will murder you without reason. Looking for retribution among you."
The crowd started murmuring discontentedly, giving the two fugitives hard looks. The Assassin looked worried, "Let's go, I judged this wrong." He took Silvino's arm and started jogging away from the bodies. The crowd argued with itself, but settled for dragging the bodies away instead and grumbling about the deaths and the repercussions.
Silvino tried to digest all that had just happened as he was dragged through a maze of back alleys and streets, and up a pile of boxes onto the rooftops. He could see most of Rome, the huge bulk of the Castel Sant Angelo, the Pope's residence, and the crumbling- yet somehow mysterious, ruin of the Colosseum to the south.
Rome, Italy's jewel, it's heaven, but not now, not when the Borgia had their fingers in Rome, dividing it up like a pie. The Borgia, spawned from that murdering, incestuous bastard Rodrigo Borgia (Pope Alexander VI) and his son Cesare had cast their ambitious gazes over Rome and Italy. They had corrupted the nation, Rodrigo excommunicating his enemies while Cesare used his military forces to annex them into Rome's territory. All this meant that Silvino, in requesting to join the Assassin's Guild, was going to become a vital part of this conflict.
The Assassin led Silvino East, to an old military barracks inhabited by Mercenaries and Thieves. Out in the countryside part of Rome, inhabited by farmers, outlaws and heavily armed guards. In the centre of the courtyard stood a stone structure, about the height of a man, with hollow sides covered over with metal grates. "The Assassin's Guild is a hidden place, and while you have convinced me to let you be trialled for our order, I cannot reveal the direct location to you. Do you understand, this doctor will give you a mixture that aids sleep, and you will be carried to our headquarters." The Assassin spoke sternly, and Silvino detected that he cared greatly for the Assassin's Guild and it's occupants.
He accepted, partly because he couldn't wait to see what being an Assassin was like and because he could see no other rational way. The doctor gave him a foul-tasting mixture and chuckled when he retched after swallowing "Pray you never get poisoned, boy, for my antidotes taste even worse." Then, to the Assassin, "He will wake up in three hours, and fall asleep inside of two minutes. Buona fortuna, and give Messere Auditore my regards." The Assassin smiled, and nodded. As his heart slowed, Silvino made the link, Ezio Auditore was The Assassin, the first one, and the sworn enemy of the Borgia, he was the one spearheading the efforts to free Rome.
Silvino awoke comfortably, he was lying on a padded bench, it seemed. He was content to relax, but opened his eyes for a quick peek at where he was. Then he jumped, there was a woman standing over him, she was wearing a breastplate and several weapons, but she had pale blond hair that shimmered in the light of a lantern. She was wearing a white robe and hood under her armour. She laughed at his reaction, "He is awake, two hours and three minutes, either Dottore Cesare is getting old or this boy is heavier than he looks! The good Dottore must have got his dosage wrong" Several other people laughed at this, adult laughs. Silvino sat up, a questioning look on his face. He was in a large room, beautifully decorated with carpets and tapestries whose main colour was red or white.
He was in the middle of a group of men and women. He recognised the Assassin who brought him here, but apart from him there were two other men and the woman. One of the men, a nobleman, probably, wearing a long robe and sporting piercing eyes, cleared his throat. "Silvino, you were brought here by one of our Assassins after you showed promise in combat and a desire to become an Assassin, tell us why." Silvino was silent for a moment, still processing all that had happened and formulating a response. He hadn't really thought about why he wanted to join the Assassins, but it was better than his former life.
"Well, it's complicated, there are many reasons why I should want to, and many why I shouldn't, but in the end, I just wanted to become an Assassin because it's better than what my life would be otherwise. Firstly, my mother, she is a sour old bitch who never recovered my father joining the army after getting her pregnant. She has cared for me, but she never wanted a child, and tried to get rid of me a couple of times. Then there's the money, being an Assassin means killing people for money, and I'm perfectly fine with that, I've stolen and begged before. Killing is just another way to survive to me." At this, the man frowned and the first Assassin grimaced. The woman grinned and winked at Silvino, and the third man just stayed impassive.
Silvino continued, a little disconcerted by the reactions, "So being an Assassin is a way to survive, and it makes money, and it's something I always thought I'd enjoy, sneaking around on rooftops, bribing guards, hiding bodies, uncovering conspiracies. There are risks, but Ezio Auditore hasn't been caught yet, and he's most wanted man in Italy, since the Pope will do anything to get to him." The third man smiled and interrupted, his voice gentle, "Child, I am in danger every day of my life, it is my training and an acute sense of danger that keeps me walking, much to that pig Rodrigo's annoyance."
Silvino was shocked, here was Ezio Auditore, The One Assassin. "Are you him. The Assassin?" Ezio laughed, for it was him, and nodded. The noble man motioned for Silvino to sit back down, for he had risen to his feet in his surprise, he sat, embarrassed. The noble put his hands together, as if he was thinking, and fixed Silvino with a cold look. The man spoke "Silvino, you have told us your reasons. And now we, as the Higher Assassins, shall decide whether you should be accepted or not into the Assassin's Guild." Silvino nodded, it seemed likely that they would accept him. The three men left, but the woman stayed for a moment, "I like you, Silvino, I will argue for you, and so will Maestro Ezio, I think. Don't do anything while we are gone, I will have a drink sent to you." Her voice was like that of a songbird in the spring: Clear and beautiful. Silvino nodded dumbly, stumbling over his reply "Thank you, I will be in your debt." The woman laughed and left, leaving Silvino hot and nervous.
He waited for half an hour, it seemed to him. A servant came in, a silent woman, she had dark skin, and an Eastern look about her. She carried a tray with a jug of cooled water and a silver goblet, inlaid with jewels. She put the tray down next to Silvino and left, not saying a word. Silvino waited, staying sat down, thinking about the choice he had made, how his mother would feel. And how his friends would think of him. He caught himself thinking they would admire him becoming an Assassin, and stopped that thought. Everyone he knew would think he was a fugitive, and a killer, in league with the Assassins. Earlier he had said he was a wanted man, but now it hit him. He could never go back to that neighbourhood he had grown up in. Never.
His revelations came to an end when the door opened and the four Assassins walked in. They stayed standing, the men looked grim, but the woman winked at Silvino. The noble spoke, sincerely but quietly. "Silvino, after careful deliberation, we Assassins have decided that you will be accepted into the Guild. Depending on who your allegiance lies with, this is a cause for celebration. For the rest of today, you will be shown around the Guild by your Master, Maestro Rinaldo Rocca, the man who brought you here."
Silvino's worries evaporated, and he leapt up, "Thank you, Maestros, I will serve to the best of my ability." Ezio grinned, and slapped Rinaldo on the shoulder, "You have an apprentice, friend, train him well."
The Assassins dispersed, leaving Rinaldo and Silvino alone. The blue-eyed man looked sombre, "Silvino, I am you Maestro now, you must forget the ties to your old life and dedicate your life to the Assassins, you will fight evil where you find it. You will help the oppressed, the people and fight the Borgia, for this is our mission in Rome."
They talked for a long time, Rinaldo talking about the crimes of the Borgia, and Silvino remembering how the guards had made his life hell when it took their fancy, or how the priests stole money from the people and went to brothels. He talked about the thievery he saw on the streets, and the death that visited Rome so often. In the end, it was evening before Silvino actually saw the Guild.
He was shown the Recruits' dormitory, it had twelve beds, ten showed signs of occupation, but two were empty. Rinaldo smiled when he saw one of the empty beds, "Looks like you'll be having my old bed, Silvino. Until I was initiated into the Order, I slept in here with the other Recruits. You will have the bed, a chest for your clothes and several shelves for your possessions, this place is not private, and you will be encouraged to interact with your fellow Recruits. Any questions?"
Silvino looked over the room, he was fine with it, but several things Rinaldo had said had proved other questions he had. "Rinaldo, I have many questions, the first of which is; What do I address you, Signor Auditore, and the other Higher Assassins as? And what do I address my fellow recruits as?"
Rinaldo became serious, "Me, Maestro Ezio, Signore Machiavelli and Signorina Emiliana as Maestro. Also, you speak when spoken to around them, unless they say so."
Silvino caught on quickly, and grinned when he answered, "Of course, Maestro. Maestro Machiavelli, would that be the man in an expensive gown, instead of Assassin robes. And is Maestro Emiliana the woman that woke me."
His voice softened when he spoke of Emiliana, and Rinaldo noticed the change, "Yes, and yes. And a word of advice about Emiliana, she is more than a match for most men in their prime, let alone boys. The rest of your questions will hopefully be answered on the rest of this tour, then you can sleep in your bed and tomorrow we will start training."
And so the tour continued. Silvino, was shown the Armoury, the indoor training grounds and the stables. The Assassins' Guild was located on Tiber Island and the Guild, a converted warehouse for the Orsini family, made up of three stories above ground and three below, was the biggest building on it. They had a tunnel system that covered most of Rome,with eighteen different entrances to different strategic points. The island had several shops, but no church, which suited Silvino. The people on Tiber Island were hard-working, they respected what the Assassins were doing, and tried not to get in their way. Rinaldo ended the tour by showing Silvino the different rooms inside the Guild itself. The kitchens, the Meeting Room, the reception and the hall located far under the building where Assassins were initiated into the Guild.
Throughout the tour, Silvino saw the people who worked in the Guild, there were servants, mainly kitchen staff, and there was a farrier and the stable-boys. But mostly what he saw were other Recruits, he wasn't introduced to them, but he saw certain differences between them and him. When asked why all the other recruits were adult men and women, mostly men, Rinaldo smiled at Silvino's worry that he wouldn't fit in.
"You see, Silvino, when Maestro Ezio decided to form a Guild in Rome, he went out and helped citizens that he saw actively fighting the Borgia, I was his first recruit. I had got into an argument with a guard, he wanted to arrest my woman at the time. I disagreed, he got angry and made me watch while his men and him raped this girl and then murdered her. I didn't know her too well, we had only met a few days before but I had an attachment to her. Her death showed me the corruption in the world, and I wanted to start ridding it of evil. I hated that the Borgia guards thought they owned the common people like slaves. I took my revenge on that captain, I found who his wife was, and when I went to murder her I saw she was as bad as her husband, a born coward, but I wanted the captain to pay, so I killed her. She was no innocent, so don't judge me on that, and the captain came home to find his wife's stabbed body, and he did not cry, he shrugged and said 'I suppose I have to avenge her.' I was appalled at this lack of compassion, so I killed the captain, and I made him pay for his crimes. And as he died he sneered at me, and I ran, because those two were evil, and part of me was disgusted by my actions and part of me was proud that I'd made the world slightly better. Then the rest of the guard found me drunk, and I ran again, and Ezio found me, fighting with some guards and running for my life, and he saved me, and pledged my life to him there and then, and so I was recruited"
Rinaldo's story had taken a long time, but he continued and answered Silvino's original question, apologising for his distraction. "So that is normally how Maestro Ezio recruits his Assassins, he saves desperate people from the Borgia and gives them a life, you were the first Recruit to ask to come here, and the youngest. It shows that Assassins are showing people not to cower to the Borgia, but many still live under oppression. Emiliana was the next recruited, and the next initiated to Assassin rank. Three other Recruits are nearing the end of their training. judging by their progress, it will take about a year. But with you being so young, it might be faster for you to be fully trained."
Silvino went to bed that night excited and exhausted. When he had asked what he would be doing tomorrow, Rinaldo had remained cryptic, hut smiled at his eagerness. Silvino had no possessions, so he did not need to arrange his things, he just crept into bed and fell asleep. He was still clothed in the dirty homespun shirt and breeches he had worn for most of his life.