A/N: This is something I was originally going to set as a single oneshot, but then my fingers decided to type more than expected, which got my brain to pumping ideas for a bunch of stuff!
I apologize NOW if my updating patterns are not to your standards, but, hey, gotta live with what ya got, right?
So, here you go!
Desmond grasped the concept of it all, yet his head literally throbbed simply thinking of said concept. It wasn't too confusing or elaborate; it just fucking hurt.
The Bleeding Effect was something that no one wanted to experience. It brought confusion and delusional thinking to its victims, and apparently he was one of them.
Ever since he had been abducted by Abstergo and forced to relive the life of his ancestor, Altaïr Ibn La'Ahad, he had the same ability to tap into a unique sixth sense called Eagle Vision. This vision allowed him to see the "unseen," so to speak. It enabled him to know the whole truth without anyone else knowing so, and Desmond had his kicks with this little fact.
It also creeped him the fuck out.
He would simply walk down a hallway or something, and suddenly, a phantom horse would be staring into his eyes as if it were really directly in front of him. Of course, it did look real. Desmond could actually feel the presence of something there with him, but as he would reach out in an attempt to check his sanity—or insanity—it would disappear, which didn't help matters in the slightest.
This was referred to as the Bleeding Effect. Then mass delusions and confusion that had become a part of a healthy breakfast—only for him that was. Since no one else went into the Animus—and he knew of no other Subjects that were even alive—he was the only one that suffered from the apparitions. Well, technically, the apparitions never exactly bothered him; they just appeared at the weirdest times.
Like, for instance, one time when he just wanted to take a damn piss in the bathroom in privacy, some woman dressed in rags from Acre decided to beg for money. Needless to say, that scared the piss right out of him. Literally.
But Desmond didn't always suffer from them. Sometimes they did help. For instance, when he and Lucy were attempting to find a way into the Auditore Villa without using the front gates, he witnessed the passing of townspeople when the Templars attacked Ezio after he returned from Rome's Vault. Desmond was even fortunate enough to see the Florentine Eagle himself, for he apparently came back later in life.
Desmond knew that this unintentional gift was fortunate to have, but it also fucking sucked. People looked at you crazy, and it wasn't something to take lightly.
And at the moment, it hurt for him to breathe, blink, and even think.
He didn't know why; it hurt to think of possibly why he hurt. He wasn't about to risk having a stroke or hemorrhaging from it all. He knew that it stemmed from the Bleeding Effect—or it could even be from Juno's influence a while back.
Whatever the case may have been, he knew that he usually didn't experience it, and he really wanted it to stop.
"Fuck," he muttered as he slowly rolled to his side.
"Desmond?" Rebecca Crane asked, kneeling down beside the fellow Assassin. "Are you okay?"
He couldn't answer. It hurt to damn much.
"Uh, Shaun?" the woman called, panic rising in her voice. "Something's wrong with Desmond. I had to pull him out of the Animus because his vitals were fluctuating frantically, and he might be on the verge knocking himself into another coma."
The British Assassin crossed his arms as he paced the floor beside her. "What do you think it is?" he asked as Desmond's father, William Miles, approached them.
William stroked his chin in thought as he watched Desmond's vital signs on the monitor beside the Animus.
The numbers on the screen were spiraling upwards, then downwards with absolutely no pattern to them. His heart rate sped as his respirations declined. Then they reversed. His blood pressure would rise, dangerously close that of a heart attack, and then it would decline as he seemed to run a fever. It all had no rhyme, and none of them knew a definite reason.
Desmond moaned as his brain seemed to rip in two. His head pounded as if he was being assassinated by a shitty novice who kept missing the Goddamn kill spot. "Shit!" he hissed in agony as the others merely stared at him.
They couldn't possibly know what to do.
Desmond tried to tell them all what was wrong, but the words just could not form. They only passed through his teeth in growls, snarls, and moans of agonizing pain, as if it was some poor creature dying.
"What do we need to do?" Rebecca questioned to no in particular as she ran diagnostics. "His vitals aren't stabilizing, and if we just sit here, he could stroke, knock himself out, or have a heart attack."
"What's behind curtain number four?" Shaun Hastings inquired, his voice thick with his signature sarcasm.
"Shaun!" Rebecca snapped. "This is serious!"
"We could put him back into the Animus, perhaps?" William proposed without the slightest emotion.
"N—o," Desmond whispered through his gritted teeth. "N—ot th—at."
"Well, son," his father began with a hint of condescension, "it's not like we have a lot of options here. It looks to me that you'd survive that way. We've tested the theory of—"
The man in pain tuned out his father's useless words. Sure, they'd put him under before—right after he killed Lucy through Juno's influence to be precise—but he was out cold then. He wasn't in pain. He was dead to the world around him and was living the life of a middle-aged Ezio in Constantinople—one that was toned down from previous sessions at that. No sessions of whores or drunken fights for him that time, no siree Bob.
His body seemed to be ripping in half as he laid there in the Animus. The skin felt as if it was peeling from his muscles and being discarded by Buffalo Bill or something. His forehead broke into a sweat, and the sweat felt like the blood from the gash in his brain. It slowly ran down his face and soaked his hoodie, and the arguing in the background among the three Assassins faded into nothingness.
Everything suddenly became quiet, and his head began to calm down.
Desmond sighed in relief as the pressure in his head melted away. He stood from his reclining poison and he deemed it safe enough to open his eyes, expecting to see three familiar faces.
And, boy, did he.
"Desmond!" a deep Italian voice greeted warmly. "I am glad to see that your pain has subsided!"
Arching his brow, Desmond slowly nodded. "Uh, yeah. Me too."
The man, who appeared to be in his late thirties, wrapped his arms around him in a brotherly embrace. "It is wonderful to have you back, brother."
"Great to be back, I guess?" he replied, eyeing the other two men, who stood rather awkwardly behind the Italian.
"So you are the 'Desmond' of whom Ezio spoke," one acknowledged as he twiddled his thumbs. "I figured the man spoke of a friend who had passed earlier in his youth."
The Italian pulled away from the embrace and turned to the young man who spoke. "Ah, Connor," he began placing his hand on the Native's shoulder, "Desmond is the man the spirit spoke of in the Vault."
The Native narrowed his eyes at Ezio's hand and shrugged it away. He crossed his arms as he shifted his weight from on leg to the other, adding nothing more to his end of the conversation.
"Why has his existence been unknown to me until this moment?" the third inquired with all seriousness.
"Altaïr," Ezio began with a charming smile, "that is something that even I do not know."
"It is obvious that your 'extensive' knowledge upon his presence—nay his existence—is lacking." The man stepped forward quickly, shoving the Italian out of his path. He peered at the youngest Assassin and narrowed his eyes. "What is your purpose? Why have you appeared?"
Desmond cleared his throat as he slowly stepped away from the Syrian Eagle. "I'm not sure, exactly. Uh, my purpose, I suppose, would be to rid the world of Templars, and I have appeared because, uh…"
The Syrian closed the gap between them, his nose practically touching Desmond's. "If your alibi of eradicating Templars is true, then why are you here? Why are you not doing as you say you do?"
"Altaïr," Ezio warned, "There is no reason to frighten him. I believe he speaks the truth."
Altaïr loomed over the new arrival and snarled, which was more dramatic than his appearance in the Animus. He stepped away and stood from the others.
Connor, who simply watched and observed, said nothing as Ezio stepped toward the strange newcomer.
"I honestly don't know why I was brought he—wait. Where am I in the first place?" Desmond looked around and saw nothing but white surrounding him.
Surely this was the work of the bleeding effect. It had tobe.
But if he were experiencing that, he'd still be in tune to his reality, not his ancestors.
Surely he wasn't in the Animus, was he? It sure didn't look like he was on Animus Island again, but then, where was he? Where did the pain in his head run off to? Where did the three quibbling modern-day Assassins hide?
For all he knew, his three ancestors that stood in front of him—and whaddaya know, they were quibbling—were Rebecca, Shaun, and his own father in… robes?
That didn't sound plausible.
Yet, how did any of this sound even remotely plausible? He was conversing with Altaïr Ibn La'Ahad, Ezio Auditore da Firenze, and Ratonhnhaké:ton, AKA Connor Kenway.
Desmond scratched his head in confusion as he repeated his question to the three elder Assassins. "Where the fuck am I?"
Ezio cocked his brow. "You are with us."
"But where is that? Sure, I'm here with you, but where are we?"
"You are all in the Animus Mainframe," a voice echoed matter-of-factly.
The four Assassins quickly whipped around, expecting to find an owner to the voice. Instead, they found nothing except more questions.
"Who are you? What is it that you want with us?" Connor demanded the voice, a tic working through his jaw.
Clearly, he was determined to find answers whether anyone liked it or not.
"I am merely a voice in all this—am I right? I am simply a mere person to help you four—a guide—if you will." The voice chuckled. "I presume you all are confused upon why you have been called forth, correct?"
"Thank you ever so much for pointing that out, Captain Obvious," Desmond remarked, his voice thick with sarcasm. "You deserve a gold star for your achievement in obvious observance!"
The voice seemed to find the sarcasm amusing. "Oh, now, Desmond, that's no way to speak to the only person that knows what the hell's going on here, now is it? I figured that you'd mix whatever drink was possible from the alcohol available, not order a new shipment." The voice gave a long sigh. "I guess I'll just keep my information to myself and let you all figure it out together."
Desmond emitted a low growl in his throat. "Clay? Are you shitting me? Get the fuck out here and explain what the fuck is going on!"
The voice clicked in derision. "Oh, Desmond, you have always amused me. You realize Clay's been dead for a while, right? I'm not Clay, Subject 16, or anyone of the sort. As I have explained before, I am merely your guide out of here, and I expect that you will all play nicely."
"And if all goes awry?" Altaïr questioned, anger slightly rising in his voice.
"Well," the voice began, a smile of sinister intentions audibly heard, "I guess you four would love to become permanent residents of this never-ending plane on the border between fantasy and reality."
Connor stepped forward, as if speaking for the group. "What would you have us do?"
"You four really want to get out? Go back to your lives as if everything is normal? If I helped you all get out of here, you could all have the life that you should have led. Your lives could be how everything should have been.
"Altaïr, your father could be saved. You wouldn't have to join the Order at the young age of eleven.
"Ezio, your father and brothers could be cleared of all false accusations and be set free. You wouldn't have to suffer the loss of your family.
"Connor—or I should say Ratonhnhaké:ton—your village could never burn. Your mother would never be ripped from your practically infantile life.
"And Desmond, you could have the parents that you've always dreamed of. You could live life outside The Farm. Go to school like a normal child of the world. You would never be abducted by Abstergo, and you wouldn't have to know about Assassins or Templars.
"None of you would ever have to lay your hands on another soul for peace between the two organizations. You would never have to rip a soul from the body of a betraying man again. You would know nothing of the pain you hold in your very souls at this moment.
"Your lives would be as they were meant to be," the voice concluded.
The Assassins fell silent.
They would all be free. No Templars. No Assassins. Their lives would be normal. They would never have to kill anyone for any reason.
Connor shook his head, turning to the others. "No, I do not think it wise."
The three other men's mouths dropped. They allowed their jaws to hang open, and their eyes widened.
Ezio closed his mouth and dragged his hands across his face. He then placed his index and middle fingers on each hand on his temples. His brow cocked, he worked a tic through his jaw. "How is that not wise? Are you mad? Do you enjoy the feeling of a man's blood in your hands? The sound of his last fleeting breath withering away at your feet? The derogatory insults in your face as you simply walk the streets? The constant lookout for guards as you infiltrate a Templar lair? Do you truly enjoy the life of a ruthless killer, Connor?"
The young man in question shook his head, his arms crossed at his chest. "No, I do not. I loathe the work I endure. I loathe the burden of countless lost souls from my hands and blade. I loathe the simple truth that I am notorious in my ruthlessness." Connor grimaced. "But if I were not at blame, some other poor soul would be in my position. It is one not for the light of heart. I could easily be the unintentional target of another's blade! You seem to let this truth slip thought as you carry on fantasy of what could have been. If it hadn't been for the burning of my village, I would not be the man I am today."
Desmond couldn't help but see his point. It was true, none of them would have to live this life, but someone else would have to. And who knows? Each one of them might have been the common casualty from the Templar invasions. They would not be alive as they were now—well, as close to it at the moment.
The voice found Connor's realization somewhat amusing. "I must say, Connor," it began with a note of surprise, "I am impressed. You are much more intelligent that the Templars give you credit. And here I sat, thinking that no one would ever pick up on that." It seemed to ponder for a moment. "The path that I lead you all down is one of unity. The blood from each of you all stems from the same source, and you all need to realize that. You all must complete objectives that concern with one another.
"Ezio and Connor, you two will learn from each other first then Desmond and Altaïr. Then you will all pair up with someone else and so on and so forth." The voice explained. "By the end of this ordeal, you will all see differently."
And with that, one by one, the Assassins collapsed to the ground, dozing into a forced sleep by whatever ran the show.
A/N: And there's chapter one! I hope you enjoyed the sarcasm that I implemented! Also, if you understood the couple of references, I love you. Feel proud.
If there are any questions, comments, concerns, you can drop a review by typing your opinions in the little box below! Feel free to PM me if your opinions are something you want only me to see!
Thank you for flying Phantom Nini Airlines! Have a great and smiley day! :3