Oh good grief. So, like, I haven't played Assassin's Creed at all, but here I am, getting plunnies for it anyway. orz
So, you all get to suffer with me.
The figure stood, shadows hiding his features as he drew one finger over the sleek lines of the machine. It looked like a cross between a chair and a chaise, obviously meant to hold a supine person. It was like nothing he'd ever encountered before. But then, almost everything here was.
Ezio Auditore had woken up with a pounding headache, a stranger in a strange land, everything foreign and unfamiliar from the windows to the floors. He absolutely could not understand where he was or how he'd gotten there, and yet there seemed to be an air of familiarity about things. He'd seriously considered that he'd somehow gone insane.
Outside the impossibly fine glass windows, there had been bright lights in the night-shrouded town around him. Lights that did not flicker, burning like stars or tiny suns brought to earth. Buildings hunched dark and squat, for all that they towered far higher than many of the structures in Florence.
He wanted Leonardo with an aching heart – someone to make sense of this madness, a friend to watch his back. Driven by that lonely urge, he ventured out into the building. He found three people, all sleeping, all completely unknown to him. But all a strong, steady blue to his Eagle Vision. Allies, some part of him whispered.
He declined to leave the building, fearing he might not be able to find it again. Instead, he roamed. The nagging sense of familiarity grew stronger as he poked through rooms and hallways. Though at first alarmed by the captive stars that glowed in some rooms, he came to accept them as normal, or at least not threatening.
And then he'd found the chair. The sense of familiarity whispered loudly now, letting him know that this thing, this object, this… machine, was important. Concentrating fiercely, Ezio narrowed his eyes and stared at the machine. The answer was right there, he could feelit-
Blinding pain brought him to his knees, and he strangled back a yell. Memories not his own played before him like flickers of fire, bringing him knowledge of a man, one Desmond Miles. Fragmented as these were, when the images, the memoriesat last released him, he had at least some of the answers he sought.
These people were Assassins, and they sought what he did, the Apple. They did this by seeing through other people's eyes, which the machine, the Animus, allowed them to do. The world had also (fortunately!) resolved into a more mundane place – vague concepts flitting through his mind that outlined the underlying principles behind the impossibly smooth glass, the captive stars, and a myriad of other things. Dazed, he wandered back to his room, staring at the 'electric lights' in fascination.
He lay down on the bed where he'd woken, still struggling to sort out the memories he'd gained. Perhaps when he woke, he thought hopefully, this would all have been a dream. And he and Leonardo could have a good laugh over his wild imagination.
No such luck. When he woke, it was to sunlight streaming into his room and a man saying something dry and biting. Ezio blinked at the short-haired man. Hastings.
"Well, we haven't got all day," Hastings said irritably. Ezio understood him, but strangely. It was as if he both understood the language and didn't.
"You are recovered from that little fit you had yesterday, right? Or are you seeing horses running through the walls again?"
"I'm fine," Ezio said sharply. He knew somehow that the man had questioned his sanity, and right now he was far too unsure of that himself.
Rolling out of bed, he got dressed mechanically, hands seeking out 'his' usual garb. 'Autopilot' a part of him whispered, with attending strange concepts.
Ezio shook his head to dispel the unneeded intrusion.
Ezio walked into the kitchen just in time to hear Hastings say to the blond woman. "Oh, Lucy? Mr. Ancestor here is still speaking with an Italian accent. Just thought you'd like to know"
It was a combination of Desmond's sense of urgency and Ezio's own sense of bruised competence that made the words slip out. "Just a bit of Bleeding Effect. I'm fine. Are we going to do this or not?"
After a brief argument, almost mild enough as Ezio knew such things to be called a discussion, they did indeed get started. And as the day wore on, more and more of Desmond's memories and understanding started to return. The first time Ezio was pulled from the Animus, he just lay there for a moment. He understood now that he was looking at his own memories that had happened several centuries ago.
"Wow," Rebecca said, sounding stunned. "What the hell, Desmond, your synchronization rate is completely through the roof!"
"That's good, right?" Ezio said dazedly.
Lucy cleared her throat.
"Um. Unless it's a sign that the Bleeding Effect is getting worse," Rebecca added sheepishly.
Yes. The ones before Miles had gone insane, Ezio remembered. "Well, let's make the most of it while it lasts, then."
Ezio had finished up the day having apparently made more progress than usual, and then retreated as quickly as he dared to 'his' room.
He was insane. Or Desmond Miles was. On the one hand, Ezio was deeply disturbed at the thought of strangers seeing his life play out, but on the other hand, was he even Ezio? Sitting down, he held his head in his hands and sighed - a huge, frustrated heave of breath. He missed his blades fiercely, and Leonardo even worse. Everything was so alien here, several centuries in the future.
Well, there were three possibilities as he saw it. One, he, Ezio, had gone completely insane and was sitting somewhere in an alley drooling on himself. Two, Desmond Miles had gone completely over the edge and was experiencing one fuck up of a Bleeding Effect episode. Three, he, Ezio, really was somehow in the future possessing his own descendant's body.
He was reasonably sure it was the second or third option, since he just wasn't up to imagining a world this strange all by himself.
Giving it up as a bad job that wouldn't change anything anyway, he went to bed early.
Desmond woke up early the next morning, locked himself in his bathroom, and quietly freaked the fuck out for an hour straight.