Assassin's Creed 1: Desmond is the first volume of the Assassin's Creed comic series published by Les Deux Royaumes, originally released in French on 11 November 2009, alongside the release of Assassin's Creed II.
Assassin's Creed 1: Desmond is an alternate take on the story of Desmond Miles around the events of Assassin's Creed. The comic's story stands in heavy contradiction to that of the main installments in the series, and thus it is primarily considered non-canon - with the exception of Aquilus' story.
Supervisors at St. Erembert Psychiatric Hospital were rounding up patients at the end of the day and noticed someone missing; they shortly discovered the missing individual dead. As one supervisor panicked and called for help, he was assaulted by a man, later discovered to go by the name of "Subject 16". This Subject 16 then proceeded to climb over a wall and execute a Leap of Faith.
In the distant past, an Assassin was traveling to an ancient Roman camp on horseback, introducing himself as "Aquilus, son of Lucius", and spoke to the Roman general Gracchus about various matters. During the discussion, he was ambushed by Gracchus' men and stabbed in the shoulder. In the ensuing struggle, Aquilus was knocked out.
In the present day at Abstergo Industries's laboratories, Desmond emerged from Aquilus' memories — accessed via the Animus — as Warren Vidic and various Abstergo executives watched. Lucy Stillman interrupted, insisting that Desmond needed to take a rest, to which the executives unwillingly obliged.
While Desmond was resting, the Abstergo executives held a meeting inside the nearby conference room, discussing various items of business including the Animus Project. As the conference proceeded, they brought up the topic of Subject 16. On a screen, he was shown as a large, bald-headed man in a medical-like garment upon the Animus. Though the Animus seemed to be functioning normally, he screamed in terror and violently awoke from the virtual machine, ripping open his shirt and scratching down his face. He then attacked Lucy and Vidic, and it was apparently ten minutes before security sedated him.
In those ten minutes, 16 wrote the atomic structures of elements and other such inscriptions on the floors, using the blood pouring down his face. He was then sedated and strapped down to the bed in the adjoining room. For reasons unknown, 16 was found naked and bleeding on the floor in the morning, the cryptic messages having been drawn on the walls and floor. Despite this, it was mentioned that he had survived, as shown at the beginning of the comic.
Desmond later awoke in this room, apparently not long after his capture by Abstergo, to witness Lucy inserting a syringe of some kind into his arm. After a brief introduction and conversation, Lucy suggested to Desmond that he should get some sleep, and as he faded into unconsciousness, Desmond dreamt of his capture by Abstergo. In his recollection, Desmond saw Lucy at the bar "L' Horizon" where he worked, flirting and making conversation with him. After hours, they went back to an apartment for drinks, however, Lucy had slipped a sedative into Desmond's and he passed out.
Once Desmond awoke, he demanded answers from Lucy and Vidic, though Vidic, rather than answer, sedated him once more. Desmond was then put into the Animus, in which he relived Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad's assassination of Tamir, a brief friendly encounter with Malik Al-Sayf before the events at Solomon's Temple, and the final encounter with Al Mualim. Vidic was pleased to inspect a hologram of the world map which projected the locations of many Pieces of Eden, as it could be seen in the ending of Assassin's Creed, and left after a brief confrontation with Lucy. After this, Desmond woke up and was stunned to discover blood messages written all over the floors and walls of both the Abstergo laboratory and his room.
Lucy then found Desmond again, placed him into the Animus for a few minutes, and escaped with him via the parking lot. When they arrived at the seemingly identical warehouse, however, Desmond was introduced to an ally known as Tom by Lucy, of which the trio discussed plans. Not long after, a man in a leather jacket arrived, greeting them and announcing his escape from St. Erembert, who Lucy addressed as Michael. Lucy and Michael began to argue over whether he or Desmond deserved to be put into the Animus based on their heritage, which Michael claimed to be superior, much to the denial of Lucy and Tom.
When it was clear he was losing the argument, Michael produced a Hidden Blade and moved to attack Desmond, before being knocked out by Lucy. She then told Tom to find somewhere suitable for Michael, where he could neither harm others nor himself. Desmond then went into an Animus almost identical to Abstergo's, located in a dark, smoky lab, and began to relive Ezio Auditore da Firenze's memories as he was surrounded by Lucy and various scientists.
- ISBN 2918771007; 11 November 2009; Les Deux Royaumes; French hardcover
- ISBN 1781163405; 30 October 2012; Titan Books; US hardcover