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Alekseï Gavrani (died 1964) was a former Soviet hitman recruited by the CIA during the Vietnam War. He was also a member of the Assassin Brotherhood, operating first under the leadership of the rogue Assassin Boris Pash, before turning on Pash in an effort to prevent his corruption of the Creed.

Biography

First mission

After his life as a hitman, Gavrani joined the ranks of the Assassins. In 1957 he began operating under the orders of Boris Pash. On 8 February, both men traveled to Walter Reed Medical Center, where John von Neumann was. Although the colonel did not give many details, Gavrani knew he needed privacy and so deemed it necessary to get rid of the guards.[1]

After successfully not killing the guards, Gavrani left them unconscious instead. Meanwhile, Pash exited the chamber with an Apple of Eden in hand. Von Neumann had died, apparently by his years in Los Alamos. Gavrani left with Pash but felt uneasy, knowing that something wasn't right.[1]

Bloodstone Unit

ACBs - Vietnam War

Members of Bloodstone Unit in South Vietnam

On 2 January 1963, a group of Assassins boarded a helicopter at Tân Hiệp US military base. Their mission was to pick up Pash north of Ấp Bắc. Despite the expertise of their pilot, Zenia, the cell was forced to perform an emergency landing when troops of the Viet Cong began firing. While Julia Gorm dispatched soldiers outside, Gavrani and others were interrogating Cooper, a Templar who had infiltrated the US military. However, the door suddenly opened and Julia threw a straight knife to the neck of Muller, another Templar agent. The unnecessary violence angered Gavrani.[1]

Later, back at homebase, Gavrani and Zenia walked together, the cries of Cooper resonated the base. Gavrani not tolerate Pash's methods of interrogation, since it made them no better than their enemies. Worse still, even they knew what he did with the Colonel, and was at a loss comprehending Julia's brutal acts of violence despite being only twenty years-old with no prior experience.[1]

For him there was only one thing clear, they were disrespecting and corrupting the Creed. Suddenly, Pash interrupted Gavrani and ordered him to go home because he would not tolerate men of little faith. According to him, they could only liberate humanity leaving aside the dogmas of the brotherhood itself.[1]

Arresting Pash

ACBs - Greer holding Apple

Greer holding the president's Apple

On 22 November 1963, despite being discharged from Bloodstone Unit, Alekseï refused to abandon the Brotherhood. He vowed to stop the rogue unit from corrupting the Creed any further than it had. In Dallas, Texas, after the Assassination of John F. Kennedy, Gavrani confronted William Greer after the latter had retrieved the president's Apple of Eden.[1]

His former teammate stated that he was taking the Apple to a secure location. Gavrani, clearly not believing him, slammed his head into Greer's nose – breaking it. Taking the Apple, Alekseï demanded to know why Pash was collecting so many Apples and for what purpose. An enraged Greer tried to attack Gavrani with his Hidden Blade, but Alekseï effortlessly broke his arm. However Greer remained silent still, insulting Alekseï instead.[1]

ACBs - Aleksei giving Apple to Bill

Gavrani entrusting the Apple to Bill

Some time later, at a cafe, Gavrani handed the Piece of Eden over to a hooded associate, Bill. Surmising that Pash was up to something, Gavrani planned his next move. Although each cell was independent and only the Mentor could order an internal punishment. However, the actions of Pash and his unit were waving the international climate, much more after the death of Ngô Đình Diệm. Therefore he let them act even without the permission of Brotherhood, and in direct violation of their Creed's tenants. Bill then told Gavrani he should take up the mantle of the QJ/WIN agent again.[1]

Later life

Gavrani later married and fathered a son before his death in 1964. In the 1980s, his son was kidnapped by Warren Vidic as part of the Surrogate Initiative, an early experimentation of the Animus Project.[1]

Behind the scenes

Alekseï Gavrani is a character introduced in the 2019 graphic novel Assassin's Creed: Bloodstone. In it he is revealed to be the QJ/WIN agent working for the CIA, Historically the identity of the QJ/WIN agent remains subject to debate. The most likely candidate was Jose Marie Andre Mankel.[2]

Alekseï is the Russian form of Alexios, an Ancient Greek name meaning 'defender', while Gavrani is derived from the Slavic word for 'raven'.

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