As the head of the IT department at Abstergo Entertainment's Montreal facility, John had access to all of the building's security and infrastructure systems. However, even with this access, he used other employees to retrieve sensitive information for him, as a way to mask his involvement.
John Standish was born in 1975, as a Sage, a human being with Isu DNA and Aita's essence. John grew up with a lonely childhood, being seen by children his age as an outsider due to his personality. Though initially affected by this treatment, in later years John remarked that it would not matter to him at all.
Utilizing the Assassins
John was, at some point, approached by Shaun Hastings and Rebecca Crane, in order to infiltrate Abstergo Entertainment and gain access to its servers, in the hopes of uncovering information regarding the fate of Desmond Miles' body following the events that took place in the Grand Temple.
John took advantage of this opportunity and eagerly set about using the Assassins to gain access to the building, in order to effect his own plan to reincarnate Juno, the former wife of his past incarnation.
Over the first few weeks of his employment John asked a number of different researchers for favors, but was repeatedly turned down by them. Eventually, on 29 October, a new research analyst joined the company, and became the first to agree to help John.
He first spoke with the analyst over the company-issued earpiece, giving the employee varying levels of security clearance in order to access the Abstergo mainframe and download files. John then tasked the analyst with delivering the files to Rebecca Crane, who would be waiting in the building's main lobby disguised as a courier.
Eventually, after several repeated hackings, Abstergo began to suspect the research analyst and placed the entire research team under isolation. John, not wanting to lose his proxy and risk exposing himself, promised Melanie Lemay, the acting head of the Sample 17 Project, that he would identify the hacker with his team within a week, while at the same time directing the analyst to Abstergo's cloud server, ostensibly in order to wipe away any evidence of their wrongdoing.
Listening in over the earpiece, John waited patiently as his plan for Juno to possess the analyst's body failed; Juno was not yet strong enough to possess a living host, existing only in a state capable of occupying various information networks across the globe. Realizing his plan had failed, John became enraged, screaming and cursing repeatedly down the comlink as the analyst returned to the Animus.
Shortly thereafter, as the analyst finished their research of Edward Kenway's memories, John entered their security bunker and injected a poison into their bloodstream, in the hopes of weakening them enough to allow Juno to assume control of their body. Meeting face to face with the analyst for the first time, he revealed himself to be a Sage, a reincarnation of Aita, one of the members of the First Civilization. He even spoke with an inflection similar to that of his predecessor, the pirate Bartholomew Roberts.
By this time, Abstergo had come to take the research analyst into custody, but found themselves locked out of the room by John. As he revealed his motives to the research analyst, the security team managed to force their way in. After he attempted to fire upon the security guards, they were forced to kill him in the process. John's actions and the evidence found on his computer subsequently convinced Melanie that he had been solely responsible for the hacks. John's body was taken by Abstergo, and his death was covered up with him leaving Abstergo Entertainment.
Abstergo subsequently discovered First Civilization DNA in John's genetic makeup, and upon realization that he was one of the Sages, kept his body in cryogenic suspension in a research facility in Paris. Subsequently, the Phoenix Project was created with the aim of locating other Sages and using their DNA to sequence a complete Precursor genome, and use the genetic memories within to unlock secrets of the Pieces of Eden. However, in October 2014 an Assassin team led by Gavin Banks destroyed the facility.
Personality and traits
Much like Aita his original incarnation, John held strong misanthropic views and even showed disgust towards what humanity had become. He even belived that it was always the Isu's right to shepherd the human race back into servitude to the Isu. He also seemed to be fearless and borderline nihilistic when viewing his own life. When he was about to be gunned down by Abstergo Security, he faced them with a delusional form of fearlessness, believing that his death would not be his end as his consciousness will be guided into the grey - a type of spiritual-tech hybrid afterlife.
Aside from him having Aita's memories, John was also a masterful manipulator and impersonator, being able to mask his true personality from even the Templars and Assassin's themselves. He manipulated them both in order to benefit his own plan to try to physically revive Juno, even though it ultimately proved to be futile. He was also an expert at computer technology. As the head of Abstergo Entertainment's IT department, he had access to all of Abstergo's security systems and codes.
- John could be seen wearing a portrait necklace, depicting a visage of a woman, identical to the one worn by Bartholomew Roberts, one of Aita's previous reincarnations.
- There were 20 digital sticky notes spread throughout the Abstergo Entertainment building that contained pieces of a document known as the Manifesto of the Instruments of the First Will, a discourse on the role of humanity set against the backdrop of the will of the First Civilization. It can be inferred that the Manifesto was written and distributed by John.
- An audio message from John can be extracted from the game's files, taunting the analyst, and by extension the player, for having spent their time looking for the additional Easter egg.
- Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag (first appearance)}
- Assassin's Creed: Unity (mentioned only)
- Assassin's Creed: Syndicate (mentioned in Database entry only)