From: Dr. Warren Vidic
CC: Lucy Stillman
Subject: Animus Functionality & New Subject
We’ve recently acquired a new subject for the Animus – make sure to change all passwords on our computers. We can’t have him exploring the net and reading his mail from our system, now can we? Also, I’ve received news of a new security employee starting today. Make sure he doesn’t forget to record our sessions and every move the subject makes. Unless, of course, pressing a key when indicated is simply too complex a task. Lucy – with the new subject arriving, I’ll need your latest document on the Animus functionality.
Desmond Miles takes a while to adjust to the Animus. He is a bartender, but somehow the poor man ends up being held against his will by a conglomerate named Abstergo because of his ancestry. The Animus is a device that permits its operators to look into ‘genetic memory’, which Dr. Warren Vidic discovered as being the memory that is passed on from parent to child through the genes. Desmond, who is the experiment’s Subject 17, is the descendant of an assassin named Altaïr, which suddenly makes him an important man for the company. He first experiences Altaïr’s memory whilst searching for the Ark of the Covenant, which incidentally the Knights Templar also want to find.
Altaïr’s first mission is to find out who was the traitor that let the Templars get inside the fortress. By pick-pocketing a letter from a basket weaver he finds out that a man named Masun has opened the gate before the attack, so Altaïr follows him until they reach a quiet place, where he beats a confession out of him. The Assassin also learns that there is a whole underground network helped by the Knights Templar that are trying to dispose of Al Mualim. So Altaïr takes Masun to his master, who quickly kills the traitor and gives the bloody sword to his apprentice, telling him that he has earned the right to wield it once again.
Al Mualim tells Altaïr that he has a list of nine names of people that need to be eliminated. The first one on this list is Tamir, a black-market merchant in Damascus. Altaïr hurries down the fortress path and mounts upon a horse, then rides on the long road towards Damascus. Occasionally the assassin encounters guard posts where he sometimes fights his way on and sometimes walks his horse stealthily past them. Once in the big city, Altaïr makes his way to the assassin’s bureau, where he is briefed about his mission. In the streets around the market, Altaïr learns that Tamir, who is also a trusted supplier of the great Salahaddin, has been asked to provide weapons for an army of a thousand men. The merchant has set up a large meeting with the other merchants, and Altaïr finds this as an opportunity to strike. The merchant’s guards try to stop the intruder, but the fight ends with the death of Tamir and his protectors.
<Memory Block 3>Back in Masyaf, Al Mualim grants Altaïr the use of his short sword again and gives him a choice of whether to look for the next target in Acre or Jerusalem. Altaïr rides his horse towards Acre, where he must resort to his assassin’s trickery to even get inside the city. There seems to be some problem amongst the guards as some of them are absent from their duty. However, his target Garnier de Napleuse is hidden well inside the Hospitalier fortress, for which Order he is the Grand Master of. Altaïr discovers a connection between Tamir, Garnier, and another person in Jerusalem, but he cannot quite make out what it is yet.
Most importantly, the assassin learns that Garnier gets lost in his work whilst working with his patients, and takes advantage of the fact that scholars are allowed to roam freely inside the fortress in order to strike his target. With his dying breath, Garnier says that his deeds were noble, and Altaïr starts to doubt why he is being sent to kill people who are apparently doing good deeds. Al Mualim convinces him that he is being deceived and sends him towards his next target in Jerusalem.
Talal is preparing more slaves to be sent to Acre. He is apparently the third piece of the mosaic connected to the previous assassination targets in Damascus and Acre. Talal knows that he can count on his followers to protect him while he flees from a possible assassination attack, but Altaïr just happens to be planning to strike him. The slave trader tries to lure Altaïr into a trap, but Al Mualim’s man first kills his henchmen and then runs after Talal, avoiding his arrows until he lands the fatal blow.
Talal says that his death does not matter to the success of his brotherhood, and manages to put more doubt inside the assassin’s mind. At this point, the Animus heats up and Desmond has to get out while it is being repaired. After that Vidic goes out of the room, yelling at Lucy on his way out, the hapless woman tells Desmond that she puts up with the doctor because she owes her life to him. The next morning they are back to their task.
<Memory Block 4>Al Mualim identifies three new targets that are controlling the three cities whilst their leaders King Richard and Salahaddin are mobilising their troops for war. The first one on the list is Abu’l Nuquod, merchant king of Damas. Altaïr enters the city to start gathering information about how he is to be eliminated. Interestingly, the merchant king is soon going to throw one of his extravagant parties and the stealthy assassin intends to participate. He overhears a worried man telling a lady that he forgot to remove the scaffolding outside the Abu’l Nuquod’s quarters, and it is from there that Altaïr plans to join the party.
As soon as Altaïr gets permission to strike his target, he is in the merchant king’s courtyard hiding among the crowd. Abu’l comes out in the balcony to address them. Wine starts flowing from the fountain that stands in the middle of the courtyard and the citizens happily toast to their leader who suddenly starts accusing them of betraying him. He tells them that he has had enough of this life and wants the war to end. A while later the people are either lying on the ground poisoned by the wine, or running around in panic. Altaïr takes the opportunity to strike, but the guards help Abu’l to run away. His death is just a guard tower away however as the assassin catches up with him. And again the dying victim spreads more doubt into Altaïr’s mind.
Al Mualim gives his apprentice a choice for two more targets, and Altaïr chooses to travel to Acre’s harbour and face William of Montferrat. William is the typical coward who constantly bullies his most loyal men who are now secretly plotting against him. King Richard is visiting William today, and their meeting will certainly end in a quarrel. Later William shuts himself in his citadel to scold his men. By then Altaïr is ready to strike him before escaping through the city’s rooftops. However William’s words that he was planning to kill King Richard in order to free his people remain etched in Altaïr’s mind.
Again Al Mualim has answers for every question that is troubling Altaïr’s mind, although he reveals that the men that he is sending him to kill are in fact Templars and their mastermind is Robert de Sable. With this knowledge the young assassin hops onto a horse and rides towards Jerusalem with a man’s name on his list. Majd Addin is apparently killing innocent people and is much feared in the city. Today he is preparing a public execution near Solomon’s temple. The Rafiq of Jerusalem tells Altaïr to hurry and stop Majd Addin as one of the men to be executed is an assassin. By this time Altaïr has already decided how to disable the guards and proceed to eliminate his target. He is quick and decisive in completing his task and return to Masyaf.
At this point Lucy takes Desmond out of the Animus. Dr. Vidic receives a phone call and is told to go somewhere. Apparently the modern day assassins are coming to take Desmond away. Lucy explains to Desmond that he is being held by the Templars who are the owners of Abstergo, but she cannot reveal any further right now. She is also called away. The following morning it’s business as usual, with Desmond in the Animus and Altaïr in Masyaf.
Al Mualim tells Altaïr that the Templars cannot succeed in conquering the Holy Land unless they are in possession of their treasure, the Piece of Eden. The master assassin says that this treasure cast Adam and Eve out of Eden, and gave its power to a number of men throughout history. And Al Mualim is holding it right in his own hand, thus preventing Robert de Sable from achieving his success. With this knowledge, Altaïr is then sent to claim the lives of two more men.
<Memory Block 5>Altaïr is in Damascus. His target is Jubair Al Hakim, Salahaddin’s chief scholar, who is gathering people to spread his message across the city. However he wants only his message to be spread, and is collecting all the books in the city in order to burn them. An informer also warns Altaïr that Jubair knows that he is coming for him, yet he can be found at the Madrasah Al-Kallasah.
When Altaïr arrives in the Madrasah, he finds Jubair arguing with one of his men. Jubair says that all the books are filled with false words, but the scholar insists that the books must not be burned. When Jubair has had enough he throws him in the fire. Then he sends the other scholars to find more books to burn. Altaïr follows each one of them in order to save the books. Then he goes for the chief and stops his wrongdoing once and for all.
Altaïr now starts to understand Al Mualim’s motives and proceeds to Acre to eliminate the last man standing between them and Robert de Sable. The Rafiq in Acre tells him that Sibrand is the newly appointed leader of the Teutonic knights, and runs the port of Acre. During his investigation, the assassin learns that Sibrand is trying to install a naval blockade that will prevent his King Richard to receive reinforcements whilst fighting the Saracens.
Sibrand suspects that he is a possible target, so he is preparing for his ship to come and take him away to a safe place. In the meantime he has sent his most loyal men to patrol the docks so that no one may approach his ship. Altaïr obtains a threatening letter addressed to a man that has barred Sibrand’s men entry to the northern docks thus leaving this side exposed. Overcome with fear, Sibrand provides a public show on the docks by accusing a scholar to be an assassin before killing him. The coward then retreats to his boat and starts firing arrows to a seemingly invisible enemy. Altaïr is ready to pounce and take his life away.
Desmond gets out of the animus again. Vidic says that they are getting close to their goal and leaves the room. At this point, Lucy starts telling her prisoner that the Templar knights must be stopped, and the only way that they can do it is by preventing Altaïr from showing them where the Piece of Eden lies hidden. But how can this be done?
<Memory Block 6>The following morning, Desmond lies down inside the Animus to take Altaïr on his final mission in Jerusalem. Here the Templar knights are preparing for the funeral of Majd Addin. During his investigations, Altaïr finds out that Robert de Sable will also be at the funeral, and starts planning his assassination. After a long talk with the local Rafiq Malik, both reflecting on their past and present, Altaïr gets his permission to strike.
As Altaïr joins the mourners in the cemetery, it looks like Robert was waiting for him since just as soon as the assassin approaches the front of the crowd he gets exposed and mayhem ensues. The people start running around in fear, the city guards and Templar knights surround him as arrows fly from all directions. Altaïr is quick to approach Robert, grabs him, and takes off the knight’s helmet before preparing his hidden blade to strike.
Altaïr is surprised to find a woman in Robert’s stead. She tells him that Robert is somewhere else. In fact he is heading towards Arsuf in order to convince the Saracen and Crusader leaders to unite their armies against the assassins. She concludes by telling Altaïr that he is already too late. However, back in the bureau Altaïr tells Malik that he is going after Robert. Malik prefers that Altaïr would go to Masyaf and report his findings to Al Mualim, but Altaïr just says that he has to act fast and rides towards Arsuf.
On the road towards Arsuf, Altaïr leaves a pile of Muslim and Christian soldiers who try to bar him from reaching King Richard. Robert is in front of the King, preparing his knights for a meeting with Salahaddin, where he will try to convince him to join their forces against the assassins. Altaïr is allowed to speak with King Richard, and tells him what he has learnt about de Sable’s plans. Undecided on who to believe, the King leaves Robert and Altaïr to fight it out. Although outnumbered, Altaïr manages to kill every single Templar until only Robert is left. The assassin takes him out, but is surprised with Robert’s dying words, who tells him that there is one more Templar left. His name is Al Mualim!
Desmond is hurried out of the Animus as gunfire is heard in the Abstergo complex. The assassins have come to his aid. Alas, they are soon eliminated and Dr. Vidic leaves for the night. While Desmond realises that his only chance of escape is gone, Lucy makes the sign of the assassins to indicate that she is a friend. The next morning, Vidic is smiling again as he sees that his objective is very close now.
<Memory Block 7>Altaïr runs up the path towards the assassins fortress, whilst smoke comes out from all over the place. The few villagers that he meets are shambling around like mindless zombies. Soon Altaïr is attacked by fellow assassins who are intent on eliminating him under the master’s orders. Altaïr slays them, but another wave of assassins is soon on the spot. Just at this time, Malik comes to his rescue, with a bunch of his followers.
Malik tells Altaïr that he went back to the temple of the Ark and obtained information about Al Mualim's deceit from Robert's diary. He agrees to storm the back side of the fortress to hold Al Mualim’s men, whilst Altaïr goes for the man himself. Taking care not to hurt innocent people, the apprentice proceeds in the courtyard to face his master, who in turn is quick to use his power to stop Altaïr from even moving a muscle. With the Piece of Eden in his hand, the evil man summons all the nine Templar leaders to attack their killer, but Altaïr manages to send them back to their death once again.
After seeing his ethereal knights fall down on the floor, Al Mualim decides to step into the fight himself, this time projecting eight images of himself against the young assassin. Again Altaïr has the upper hand, and again Al Mualim stops him from moving. The old fool reveals that the Piece of Eden has the power to create illusions and thus control people’s beliefs, but regretfully reveals that Altaïr is able to see through these illusions. The fight starts once again, with Al Mualim resorting to his tricks, and Altaïr getting ready to deliver his final blow which arrives shortly after.
As soon as Altaïr has the Piece of Eden in his grasp, which he is mesmerised by, an image of the earth is projected and several locations are marked on it. Vidic pulls Desmond out of the Animus. A voice comes through the speaker, asking the scientist for information. Vidic triumphantly replies that he has found the location of six subjects, and gets ordered to dispose of the captive. Lucy steps in and negotiates for Desmon’s life at least until they are sure that they don’t need him anymore. The assassin is safe in his prison, at least for now.