The Story of a Rafiq
Ezio walked forward stepping inside a room that had not been entered in many years. The first thing he saw was darkness, and then when his eyes adjusted to the light helped by his torch he saw him. Altair, the man he had been living through when he relived his memories. The man that led him to this point. He stepped inside further, his throat choking up slightly as he covered his mouth, staring at the man who held the last and final key that glowed brightly in his grasp. The room was full of ancient bookshelves, of which hardly had anything on them at all other than cobwebs and ages of dust.
"No books... No wisdom..." the old assassin stated, looking down at the mentor, "Just you, fratello mio." He leaned down, peering up at the man, "Requiescat in pace, Altair," he whispered, leaning forward and taking the last disc in his hand, his surroundings changed to listening to the sound of another voice, before he could see again.
"You have seen to my books?" an old Altair asked, looking to Darim a container containing the apple in hand.
"Yes. Some we sent with the Polos. The rest will go with me to Alexandria," the middle aged man answered, looking troubled.
"Good, very good," Altair stated, smiling very slightly.
"Father, I do not understand..." he trailed off slightly, his brows furrowed, "Why did you build a library if you did not intend to keep your books?"
"You should go. Collect Malik, Tazim, your families and leave quickly. Masyaf must be empty..." he stated.
"I see," a sudden realization came across Darim's face, "This is not a library at all. It is a vault."
"It must stay hidden, Darim. Far from eager hands," he looked down at the container in his hand, then to his son again,"At least until it has passed on the secret it contains."
Darim stepped forward, not catching his fathers glimpse down at his hands, or taking it at anything worth noting, "What secret?"
"Go, son. Go be with your family, and live well."
Darim walked forward, hugging his father for the last time. The boy who was once emotional, and crying because of seeing his father for the first time had to hold back his tears this time. He needed to be strong. He had to, "All that is good in me, began with you, father."
"And Malik," the older man stated, pulling back lightly, looking almost torn. "Take care of him. See that he passes well. See that he knows... I love him."
Darim nodded, his eyes glazing over as his father stepped backwards, hand pressing to the side of the doors. The two stared at each other a moment, the door lowering down, till Darim turned, walking away, unable to hide his tears any longer.
Altair made his way down the passage that Ezio had just walked down. He extinguished the lights as if he was putting out the fires that the still alive assassin had just lit. His steps became heavy as it became harder and harder to walk forward. He finally made it into the main room, looking at the empty book shelves and chairs standing tall. He stepped past a single chair in the middle, and walking to a vault in the back.
Ezo frowned. That was it? He looked around Altair's body and tilted his head. Where was the Apple? He stood upright, and looked about curiously, the disc still in his hand as he looked about the empty room. And then something else caught his eye. He paused from where he stood and looked off to the side, seeing another skeleton. But Altair had not come with anyone else. Did this person enter after? But how?
He stepped closer, bending down and staring at the clothes a moment, before his brows furrowed. He knew those robes. He knew them from seeing the things Altair wanted him to see, "Malik," he stated softly, then looked over in the direction the skeleton was staring at seeing the remains of the once great assassin, "You stayed with him until the very end... But how?"
He reached out and touched his shoulder, opening his mouth to say something else, but pausing. The key lit up, he glanced down it, and suddenly he was in another scene looking around from a pillar at Altair and Darim walking.
"If you are asked, say that I sent the apple away," Altair stated, leaning against his son as they moved towards the passage to the library. Malik had stopped to watch them long ago, curious as to what they were up to. They did not see him, he was hidden too well behind the pillar as they slowly made their way down the passage, "Tell them I sent it to Cyprus, or Cipango, or that I dropped it into the sea. Tell them anything to keep men away from this place. This Apple must not be found, not until the time is right."
What did that mean? The Library? Was Altair putting it there for safe keeping like he said he eventually would do? He made sure to stay hidden, rushing down the hall as quickly as his legs would take him. He was not quick in his old age, but certainly was faster than Altair. He rushed inside, making sure not to be seen as he made his way down the Library hall and stopped at the mouth of the room. Where had all the books gone? The maps? Everything? He heard footsteps and began to look about frantically. He saw a spot in a corner and hid, walking to the spot that Ezio had found his body in.
He pressed against one of the shelves, and watched as Altair was staggering forward, making his way to the back. He hesitated for a moment, before placing the apple down in it's place on a pedestal in the very back. He pressed against a stone, two stone slabs pushing together to make a wall that was easily mistaken for just another plain part of the room. He stared at the assassin symbol a moment, before turning, and making his way to a single chair in the middle. The younger of the two looked as if he wanted to say something, but just continued to watch, not wanting to seem like he was spying or anything.
It was hard for him to watch, watching as the man felt the back of the chair, and felt his way till he sat roughly in the object. He slowly reached into his pocket, and pulled out a single glowing disc, that Malik had known that he had kept after he gave the others to Niccolo and Maffeo. He stared at it almost fondly, before he set it in his lap, his head falling limp. Everything was still. The Ex-Rafiq was slow, but finally stepped forward, looking to the dark hallway, frowning, then to Altair. He looked confused for a moment, before walking over to the other. He spoke his name twice, putting his hand to his shoulder, and shook. But he was gone. He no longer breathed.
He fell to his knees, letting out a sob as he clutched his heart. "You told me you'd tell me one day..." he stated through erratic gasps of breath. "And this is it? You built this as a tomb? And for what?" He clutched his front harder as he staggered back to his hiding place, thumping his back against the wall and slowly sliding down. He looked to be in pain, staring at the dead man in the center of the room. Tears fell from his eyes as he stared, and slowly, his hand dropped from his chest to rest gently on his leg, "I will see you again soon my friend... my brother... my l... my lover," he whispered out, his eyes going still as he breathed out his last breath.
Ezio stared as the scene faded away. He felt his own chest, and felt a single tear roll from his eyes. They died together. They lived their lives out, they loved, they cared, they fought for the cause that he, himself was still fighting, but still they had each other. He walked to Altair again, and smiled lightly, looking between the two of them "The brotherhood will still be strong, my mentors. We will continue to fight," he stated confidently.
He looked back at the wall that held the Assassin Symbol on it, and the Apple behind it. He stood as confidently as he could muster, and nodded once, "Nothing is true; Everything is permitted," he whispered softly.
So yeah, I altered Revelations to suit my needs for the ending. I hope you guys enjoyed it, I certainly felt the ending needed to end there with Ezio even though the story had nothing to do with him, and felt it was one of the best endings I've written in a while.
So, it took a year to complete, but I thank each and every one of you for sticking with me for this long. I sincerely hope you enjoyed your time reading the story, and I am honestly sad to say that it is over. It's the longest internet based project I've worked on ever, and quite possibly one of the stories I will always hold dear to myself, and hopefully you will too!
Until we meet again my friends~