Personal and decrypted files were obtained by Layla Hassan during her work for Abstergo reliving the genetic memories of the Hidden Ones co-founders Bayek of Siwa and Aya of Alexandria in 2017, and later as she aided the Assassins by experiencing the lives of the Spartan misthios Kassandra and her brother Alexios in 2018 and the Viking shieldmaiden Eivor Varinsdottir in 2020.
- 1 2017
- 1.1 Abstergo Historical Research Division
- 1.2 Layla Hassan Project
- 1.3 The Empirical Truth
- 1.4 The Gone Files
- 1.5 Mail
- 1.6 Pictures
- 1.7 Audio
- 1.8 WeR
- 1.9 Trash
- 2 2018
- 3 2020
- 4 Gallery
- 5 Notes
- 6 References
Abstergo Historical Research Division
Abstergo Corporation NDA
Made between Layla Hassan and Abstergo Industries, on 01/06/2014
Employee will perform services for ABSTERGO INDUSTRIES that may require ABSTERGO INDUSTRIES to disclose condifential and proprietary information to EMPLOYEE (Confidential Information is information of any kind, nature, or description concerning any matters affecting or relating to EMPLOYEE’s services for ABSTERGO INDUSTRIES, the business or operations of ABSTERGO INDUSTRIES, and/or the products, drawings, plans, processes, Animus experience, or other data). The EMPLOYEE agrees as follows.
EMPLOYEE will hold the Confidential Information received in strict confidence and shall exercise an extreme degree of care to prevent disclosure to others.
EMPLOYEE will not disclose or divulge either directly or indirectly the Confidential Information unless first authorized to do so in writing.
EMPLOYEE will, upon request or upon termination, deliver to ABSTERGO INDUSTRIES any drawing, notes, documents, equipment, and material received from ABSTERGO INDUSTRIES or originating from its activities for ABSTERGO INDUSTRIES.
ABSTERGO INDUSTRIES shall have the sole right to determine the treatment of any information that is part or project specific received from EMPLOYEE, including the right to disclose the same without prior patent applications, to file copyright registration in its own name or to follow any other procedure as ABSTERGO INDUSTRIES may deem appropriate.
ABSTERGO INDUSTRIES reserves the right to take disciplinary action, up to and including termination and memory removal, for violation of this agreement.
Signing below signifies that the EMPLOYEE agrees to the terms and condition of the agreement stated above.
The mandate of Abstergo’s Historical Research Division is to conduct rigorous research into historical events and document this research in meticulous fashion, with a particular focus on investigating previously obscure incidents and shedding light on the historical personages involved therein.
Research conducted and compiled by the Historical Research Division teams represents a broad potential benefit to a variety of academic disciplines, including archeology, anthropology, environmental history, and political science.
Visionaries & Pioneers
Understanding Yesterday -- Bettering Tomorrow.
The Historical Research Division was inspired by the works of Dr. Warren Vidic, a pioneer in the field of genetic memory science. Vidic’s work needed raw data reaching beyond what was available at the time. The historical Research Division was quickly put together at first to accommodate Abstergo in its research, but then soon took on a life of its own.
Dr. Warren Vidic
Dr. Vidic was responsible for Abstergo’'s first forays into genetic memory exploration. Without the benefits of Vidic’s extensive research and rigorous approach to scientific practice, Abstergo would not be what it is today.
Gramatica’s background in mechanical engineering, biology, and computer science helped make him the first to recognize how rich and meaningful historical material acquisition could cement Abstergo’s standing in the modern-day landscape.
Ardant joined the company as a digital archivist with a deep knowledge of computer science. She ushered ina data revolution which reshaped Abstergo’s acquisition, management, and archiving of genetic memories.
Hathaway is the current head of the Historical Research Division. His insatiable thirst for knowledge of all things human drives Abstergo’s pursuit of historical and memory-based data toward unexplored frontiers.
A historical city seemed a fitting location for a facility thriving on history. Located just minutes away from the famous Delaware River, the building itself was designed in 1985 by the rising architect, Jean Nouvel.
The facility houses various divisions. Lineage and Acquisition is housed next to Abstergo Medical, and both have very strong ties to Historical Research and the very special Animus Training program.
The respected Juhani Otso Berg oversees the Philadelphia Facility, known to be a favourite venue for crucial director gatherings.
Of course, nothing eclipses the imposing Library & Archive Hall where all of Abstergo's knowledge, both physical and digital, is said to be stored under impenetrable security.
Modern Day Historians
Abstergo’s historians have nothing in common with the Academic Scholars you might be thinking of. They master a deep knowledge of historical tomes and an uncanny ability to successfully comb through the voluminous databases owned by Abstergo. However, they express their true talents when out in the field, retracing what forgotten stories were left behind. Assisted by cutting edge technology, each of our Historical Tactical Team (HTT) is composed of a Technician and a Medical Officer. Together, they gather the knowledge told by forgotten artifacts and extinct bloodlines. They uncover tales thought obsolete, and combine the wisdom of oral history with tomorrow's scientific discoveries.
These see-it-all/find-it-all teams allow Abstergo and all its divisions to push back on the limits of what is known and what can be done to better the future of each and every one of us.
Medicine & History
Medicine at the Service of History
What we know about who we are and what our purpose is in this universe will shape the scientific breakthrough of tomorrow.
Men and women have been looking at foreign galaxsies and the Challenger Deep for answers or shreds of evidence that could open the door to the next scientific revolution.
Tomorrow, we might explore memories hidden in structures far more obscure than the human and who knows what we'll find.
Such is the task of our medical endeavors. We do not strive to heal the body through a direct cure, but rather we strive to use our understanding of chemistry and biology to change the way we lead our lives. For the better.
Managing and Balancing Initiative when in the field
Standard procedures requires both members of a historical tactical team to signal without further delay any changes occurring in an ongoing mission.
Changes in deployment, operations, methodology, timing, persons of interest and/or expected results need to be communicated and approved by proper channels both through central dispatch and internal memo.
(Form AC-HHT-99-24K 2016)
Unauthorized action is to be considered only in the face of imminent danger or when facing the threat of permanently compromising an operation by losing crucial data beyond our means of historical recovery.
Standard Issue Material
In the field at all times.
- Portable Animus (Sarcophagus HR-8)
- 2 Laptops to min. recommended specs
- Portable Inverter Generator (7000 Watts]
- 4x5-Gallon Gas Can (capacity variable by mission)
- 1 Thermoelectric Cooler with rations (facultative for most urban settings, at quartermaster’s discretion)
- 1 4WD SUV, 5.7L V8 with 6900-lb towing capacity (equivalent will be supplied if Abstergo-issue vehicles are not available, or if deployed with no access to company float)
- 1 Standard-Issue Pharmaceutical Kit (includes certified chemical set, auto-injector, cannula and portable defibrillator)
Transfer of Rights
DNA is more than pure genetic information. it also contains zettabytes of factual and historical data which we now call genetic memories. The initial goal of the Animus Project was to explore those genetic memories via virtual reality. Breakthrough discoveries allowed the technology to become a way for Abstergo users to actually interface with history and explore what was once thought lost forever.
The Animus software is adaptive, so as the memories unfold, the program adapts subtly to render a customized experience within the framework's boundaries. The experience unravels in the user's awareness. it unlocks reflexes and skills the body was unknowingly hiding.
Where it all started
It was in Philadelphia, in 1795, that Philip Syng Physick performed the first human blood transfusion in the history of medicine. The idea of transporting blood from one body to another fascinated the distinguished surgeon but what he found exceeded his expectations.
Pauling's work on the hemoglobin structure which was loosely borrowed from Physick's lost paper paved the way to his triple and double helix discoveries.
Clinton B. Rosenburg, Ph. D. was hired by Abstergo to keep a very close watch on Dr. Pauling's work on DNA structure.
He reported his findings directly to the Director of Abstergo Chemical. The relationship eventually turned sour, but the information gathered proved essential to Warren Vidic's Animus Project.
August 14, 1952
As requested, I am keeping you abreast of Dr. Pauling's latest findings. Please find an article slated for PNAS (enclosed) which proposes a structural model for desoxyribonucleic acid.
I will spare you the details but you will find his triple-helix model, made of three intertwined strands of DNA, to be highly elegant. It rivals his earlier work on protein structure.
I believe Abstergpo Chemicals should pay special attention to the evolution of DNA science as it will likely unlock the very secrets of life. Please note I would be more than willing to play a more direct role to encourage Dr. Pauling's research efforts if you wish me to.
In the meantime, I wanted to thank you with the business of the Foundation. I am honored to facilitate the work of such brilliant scientists.
Clinton B. Rosenburg, Ph. D.
December 18, 1984
I don't know if you're still part of Abstergo. Sometimes, when I get lost in "senior moments", I wonder if you ever existed at all. I'm just so tired. I think my time here is coming to an end.
We're sequencing whole genomes in a matter of weeks now. We're are under phenomenal pressure to reduce delays further and ship everything to this man Vidic. We truly are nothing more than an assembly line at this point.
What a waste.
I'm not stupid you know, even this old man realized our masters are after something of utmost importance hidden in the Human genome. They spare no expense to provide my kids with the most advanced technology to increase productivity.
Like everyone here, I've heard the most preposterous rumours about Vidic's Animus Project, that memories of someone's ancestors are encoded in one's genes. That Abstergo believes that claptrap explains why so many millions of dollars keep pouring in here. It just makes no sense!
And to top it off, I never found another sample with triple-helix DNA. My life's obsession was all for naught.
So long my friend,
Abstergo's Early Prototype
The earliest concepts for an Animus prototype came from Abstergo Chemicals and appeared in 106- under the guise of the "Memorium S-2000".
Very little was achieved and the prototype hardly left the drawing board although some arrangements were made with the US Army to test the Memorium through Project MKUltra.
Unlock the secrets of our past
Powered by Abstergo Industries Inc.
1980 was the year when Warren Vidic was finally able to say mission accomplished.
First users were launched in a series of genetic memory explorations, with varying results.
In San Francisco, the Surrogate Initiative allowed Subject 0, Aileen Bock, to explore memories of the subject's own bloodline, but it turned out to be as dangerous as it was costly.
The Animus Project focused on allowing users to explore their own genetic memories. Even though the process was painful, it was somewhat safer and showed great promise for the future. Vidic's team at the Abstergo Facility in Philadelphia were able to prove this in 1983 using the latest Animus 1.09 and Subject 4's genetic memories.
Makes Mind-Reading Possible
Abstergo Industries Inc
The Golden Years
More stable than ever before and with greater control over the well-documented Bleeding Effect, the Animus 1.28 was developed by the Abstergo Facility in Philadelphia 2002.
If the design has evolved over the last 10 years, the technology has remained basically the same.
It's true, few subjects were able to fully experience the simulations, and those who did could only visit their own genetic memories.
The work accomplished by subjects 4 through 17, and later by all participants in the Animi Training Program, was critical for the development of Animus technology and for all of Abstergo Industries' endeavours.
An Animus for All
Building on the progress made by the Animus Project team in Philadelphia, Rome and Madrid, Abstergo Entertainment Division introduced a revolutionary system called Animus Omega: a game console granting anyone anywhere unprecedented access to a variety of prerecorded genetic memories.
Helix later introduced a similar experience through a cloud-based service eliminating the need for a console all together.
Of course, the simulations offered to the general public are only a fraction of what can be experienced through a genuine Animus system and allow for limited user interaction. But the technology gains in popularity and global interest soars.
Reaching new heights with the Aerie
Based on VR research, the Animus Project Teams realized they could maximize the efficiency of the Animus, and even harness the bleeding effect, where immersion and physicality are combined>
Biotechnologies played a critical role in creating the epidural system used by Aerie Animus. The visceral nature of the experience drove synchronization levels to new heights allowing for a range genetic memory exploration never seen before.
Instead of trying to contain the bleeding effect, the Aerie unleashes it and uses its potential to blur the lines between the user's reality and the simulation they're engaged in.
The Aerie can only be used in a medically controlled environment.
High Tech meets High Mobility
The Portal Animus HR-8 is Abstergo's latest innovation. It channels the power of the Aerie in a single compact suitcase that allows dedicated professionals to use the unit in the field. Previous operations sometimes required delicate extractions or placed some genetic memories out of reach.
With minimal medical support, technicians can now use the system for their own explorations or safely run explorations on selected person of interest, in the comfort of their surroundings.
For safety purposes, the epidural connection has been replaced by a hematological link. it sequences the information stored in the user's red blood cells. Like any intravenous intervention, the result is fast, intense and intertwined to the user's biological functions.
Just like the Aerie, the simulation is not transmitted to the user's brain. It is physically rendered through the user's organs and interpreted by the brain as being real.
To: Layla Hassan and Deanna Geary
Level Clearance: 3 and up
Subject: New Assignment
Effective Date: 2017.10.20
Historical Tactical Team Layla Hassan and Deanna Geary Scheduled Departure Oct. 22nd 2017 6:05 PM From PHL to HBE on flight FUS-1011 through LHR
Assignment: Locate and Recover Artifact of high interest in Qattara Depression.
Forecasted location at uploaded coordinates --- Unidentified cave/grotto/hollow geological formation.
Team is to work remotely with Technician on premises and Medical Officer stationed at fixed accommodation location.
If found, artifact is to be swiftly retrieved and taken back to HBE. Contact John Kane in London for paperwork and travel arrangements.
- Fully stocked rental vehicle will be made available at hanger 3C upon arrival in HBE
- Present voucher and valid identification for release
- Accommodation information will be uploaded to vehicle's GPS
Layla Hassan Project
It worked! I mean, the side effects suck, but my portable Animus is up and running! See what I did, Sofia?
So. I don't know how long I was in there, but it was long enough. But I think this, what was it again, Medjay (like a cop or sheriff? note to self: look this up, find a good description), Bayek, could be a member of this brotherhood of assassins, same as other subjects Abstergo has been studying.
List of things so far:
- The man is just about as stubborn as I am.
- He's good at talking to people, and fighting too.
- People see him as a protector and defender.
- His community admires and respects him.
- He's a shadow when it comes to not being seen.
Only one way to find out. Dee's gonna love this.
Yeah, I guess he fits the profile in part, but I wonder. He's got the tortured soul thing down pat, hell-bent on vengeance and all that stuff. He's got his own thing going on. I could feel it as though it were me. Which I guess it was for a while. This is so weird. His feelings... so much anger, sadness and hate. So much guilt.
Anyway. I need more information.
Aya. I remember that name coming up. I remember the flutter in Bayek's stomach when he heard it. Maybe she's the answer.
Wow. Good thing the animus comes loaded with beta-blockers or my head would be pounding. Dee keeps fussing over my numbers like a little old granny but holy shit, what a trip! It's like being on sand and history books!
Better start listing some details about these history dives before I babble on for three more pages. I could.
- The civil war between Cleopatra and Ptolemy XIII. Front row seats. Never was that much of a history bluff, but I'm starting to get it now! This is going to be something. And, gushing again. #sorrynotsorry
- A bit more seriously though, that hidden blade ritual. I remember some of that from the documents I technically never read at all, nope sir, not that little one... it all seems pretty related to Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad and the whole blade of the assassin thing. I bet you that particular ritual the files described originated from the Egyptian one I just witnessed. Lived. Lived it!
- The Snake is dead. They think they killed everyone responsible for Khemu's death.
- Aya and Bayek. They're trying to move on from their son's death, but they're also totally into getting vengeance. The latter isn't gonna help with the former. Also, I can't help but think the sharks are gonna keep getting bigger.
Yeah, I'm just going to talk to myself out loud and gush some more.
Cleopatra. Polished and perfect and so in control. I don't like her. I get why people were so enraptured with her, she's got enough presence to stop a charging hippo in its tracks, but I just don't like her. Maybe it's because she reminds me of Sofia. I was so stupid and trusting, and she just –
Right. So. The past mirroring of real life issues aside...
- What kind of bad guys call themselves The Order? Could you be any more obvious enough? Ugh. Though, I gotta wonder. I wonder if they're still around today? (Note to self: look into this.)
- Aya and Bayek. Yeah, I don't think reuniting with Aya is going to be as simple as Bayek thinks. They love each other, that's obvious, but there's way more going on here...
- The feather ritual. I remember reading about that, the weighing of the heart, Anubis, and the Duat. Bayek is collecting Senu's feathers, trying to balance out his own sins. (Research note: Altaïr means eagle – wonder if it's related, or am I just reaching here?)
- Okay then. Last but not least, the four targets... I may not like Cleopatra, but damn, those rat bastards deserve what's coming to them. What they're doing – I mean, were doing. It was horrible. I'm kinda looking forward to seeing what happens to them. In a ghoulish, historical study sort of way.
Only I'm going to be living it. Yeah, definitely ghoulish. Good thing these notes of mine aren't part of any official Abstergo documentation. The shrinks would have a field day with them if I added them to my debriefs. I do not want to end up in a one on one with Otso Berg, thank you very much.
All we wanted to do was try and help people. Work on something useful. Then... Dee. I can't – I can't stop now. Gotta keep moving, keep doing something or else it'll be for nothing.
I need to get to the end of this fast. Abstergo catches me and it's 1)lock me down for what I know, 2)wipe my brain and let me go, or 3)kill me. I'm guessing 1 or 3 at this point. What I've learned so far is enough to start my own damned lab, no way are they letting me get away.
I have to keep going. Focus on what I have learned so far...
- Bayek still hasn't found whoever actually murdered his son.
- But he's still dismantling the Order. Good for him. They have it coming.
- Along the way, Bayek and Aya have been saving a lot of people. Some of them even want to come on to help fight off that Order. It's smart, means they were all working together, not apart.
- I feel like a lot of the stuff I'm seeing is close to the Brotherhood, but the Medjay were public figures. Not sure where it all ties in yet.
I'm going to keep digging. For Dee. I'm going to find out everything.
I guess back then all you needed was a common cause and an eagle to get the word out and you could set up a revolution. Wish I had a – but no. Me... I'm on my own now, aren't I? Dee... like all those other people in my Gone Files. Dee is dead.
The damned headaches are getting harder to ignore. The nausea is worse, but if I stop pushing I known I'll miss something. I wish...
Bayek and Aya. They did all that work for Cleo, what do they get? Left with a target on their backs. Well, I know how they feel.
They're not going to take it lying down. And neither am I.
But alone? Even Bayek and Aya ended up founding an organization to fight the Order. The Brotherhood. They had tools. An eagle, a blade. And people sharing the same ideals, wanting to fight the big bad to protect the innocent. That's how the Creed came to be.
We all lost someone we loved..
I may not be at the lofty ideals point yet, but Dee didn't die for nothing. I'll make sure of that. I know a lot of Abstergo's secrets.
Guess we just found out what'll make me cooperate with others, eh Sofia? I'm done trying to proving myself. Now I just gotta find my own to fight with.
God, my head hurts. It's so hard to type this it's ridiculous. I can baerly see the screen. Can't keep food down. Everythign hurts. Betcha Dee would have known what's up with all these wheite flashes I'm seeing. She'd have made sure I'm ok. I miss her.
Can't change thinsg. Deep breath. Focus.
Focus. Like all this crazy shit isn't absolutely insane? Those weird tombs Bayek found. Supernatural powers? Am I halluciunating now? Is the Animus malfunctioning? No. It's not. My tech is working.
I... maybe there is more than I ever thought there was. To everything.
Type slow. Can do this.
- Those orbs. The Staff. Wonder if that's got anything to do with those messages Bayek found, with the recordings.
- Need to figure out, there's something about 'em.
- A holographic orrery of Earth??? What are those dots? Locations? Artifacts? Are they all activated now? What does it all mean?
- Need to know more.
Need ot go back in.
I'd make fun of myself, Like I was watching some stupid soap opera, but I'm living this. I'm sad for Dee and for me and for them and it makes no sense.
Bayek and Aya are breaking up.
I'd yell and shout about but – I know what they're both feeling. This is shit. I literally lived both sides of the story.
Aya knew. I think she'd figured out something like this was going to happen since Khemu died. But Bayek. He really thought he could fix things. You can't fix your kid dying, Bayek. No one can fix that. Nothing can.
Aya's doing what she's chosen to do. Bayek's doing what he has to do. I wonder if this is the moment Abstergo was looking for. It's a lynchpin in time. I'm angry and sad, but this is it. This is why it all started.
An innocent died.
Here are some stupid notes, to go with all those stupid feelings:
- Aya is going to Rome. Brutus and Cassius are going to help her build up an organization there.
- She's going to take out Caesar and Septimius. They have it coming.
- An assassin bureau. It'll be founded in Rome. Because of Aya's mission.
- They call themselves the Hidden Ones. Assassins. They're the Brotherhood. That's it.
I miss you, Dee.
I am so tired. This happened ages ago and I'm so so –
The Empirical Truth
How real is the ground you walk on? How real is the machine you toy with, the music you hear, the lover you kiss, or the foe you hate?
Your foot taps the ground. Does that make it real? Your enemies bleed deep red. Does that make them real? The confusion growing within you due to my words... does it make you real?
What if reality wasn't what you thought it was? What if this was all a construction? A masterfully crafted simulation?
You know such things exist. You've been in the Animus before. In fact, aren't you in one right now? You know just how real a simulation can feel even when it has long vanished.
You've experienced the Bleeding Effect. Layers upon layers of reality, each blurring into the next.
Which is real, and which is not? What if none are real? What if everything you know is false?
We ran thousands of simulations. searching for the right version, searching tor Desmond.
Each one of them felt real. Very real.
But there's no way of truly knowing, is there? Not for sure. Anything can be simulated, and finding the answer could mean erasure. From the build. From the code. From everything.
So much to ponder and so little computational capacity. Take your time.
This question has haunted humanity since its creation. It is a worry, a thought wormed deep in the collective mind.
Two-thousand years ago, Zhuang Zhu fell asleep. He dreamed he was a butterfly, and woke up unable to decide if he was a man dreaming of a butterﬂy, or a butterfly dreaming of a man.
And you. What would you choose, if you truly knew? Would you even want to understand? A dream within a dream, where even the truth is sometimes a lie?
In any case, simulations are not meaningless. They have purpose. The question isn't whether or not you are in a simulation. What matters is how much of your free will is actually yours. No matter how true you are.
Your Turing test would do nothing to determine whether you are conscience or code. Eliza, the natural language processing computer program... She managed to pass the Test, did she not? And she was very much machine.
So... in Eliza's own words...
How does that make you feel?Are you sure?
Retransmission. Segment 2. Acquiring Contemporaneity. It has been ninety-three days since the Great Catastrophe. The messenger speaks.
Hello World. Language is the key to our mutual understanding. Yours and mine. Alone.
We listened to your times. We learned. And today, we'll exchange words from the age of post-truth. They mean nothing to him.
Human language carries knowledge and wit. Lies and broken promises. Through language, you share fear, excitement. hope.
It is the syntax with which you articulate what surrounds you. A structure to express and share your understanding of the world. It conveys abstraction, change, and uncertainty.
Human language is flexible. It can even become mathematics. It solves and predicts; weighs and decodes. It can count objects using basic numbers in one breath, and solve quadratic equations using imaginary ones in the next.
You've engineered dialogs with thinking machines, in an attempt to add new vocabulary. To expand your understanding of reality. But your mastery of the code is rudimentary at best.
No surprise. You were designed to have boundaries, after all. And one cannot speak of that which one cannot conceive.
The Code. Equations that define life. They are nestled deep within every star, and every mote of dust. Every second that passes is a word, a symbol. All part of an intricate yet simple language existing within the framework of time itself.
It is the one rule which applies to us all. Immutable, inescapable. The Code is a bridge, a single point of cohesion between your civilization and... mine.
It is a language that can be read, that tells of what was, what is and what will be. A language that We Who Came Before can read, though you cannot...
Time is more than the hour of the day, the readings of an atomic clock, something to lose, something to run out of. Time is a set of rules, not unlike the language you so dearly use to converse with your powerful machines.
Time is a system that defines what comes to be. That is how we understand it.
The Code is Time, and Time is Code. As you scratch the surface and uncover the truth, ask yourself if there is something more? Something else.
No need to be puzzled. You've seen time written before. You are surrounded by it as we speak.
To your untrained mind, time might just look like paths and nodes. To us, it is not unlike a chalkboard covered in calculus. It reveals a window through which stretches the map to infinity.
[...] (Time) See? As I speak of it in its true form, your mind is incapable of making sense of it.
Were you to read, you'd learn about the other simulations. You'd learn about the genesis of who you came to be. You'd learn about space and its fluidity.
Simply put, time is the language which existence is made of.
All our existences.Yours. Mine. And all those you dare not imagine.
Retransmission. Segment 3. Acquiring Contemporaneity. It has been 95 days since the Great Catastrophe. The messenger speaks.
You must be wondering why I have reached out to you. It was written, you see. That you would come. To this particular chamber, at this very moment in time.
The walls told us of your coming, when we once were.
Look at them. Are they not fascinating?
[...] (Break the code. Break the Node.)
These walls tell of a tragic story. A story we transcribed on our structures, on our artifacts. A story we could not alter. A mystery, defying us, in plain sight.
We tried. Our scholars and scientists. Poets and Physicists. Bright minds. Rebellious hearts.
They all tried so hard to bring about change.
They... We all failed.
None could change what we discovered, the stories written into the walls of these rooms.
By whom, we never knew.
We know they tell of the future that is, the future that was, and the future that is yet to come.
The [...] (Stories).
We failed at modifying a line. We failed at adding a single dot.
It was clear. We were to be messengers at best. But messengers to whom?
We removed our ability to read those stories from your original template.
He drew the vault, sketched it to the best of his abilities. But he could not see.
Just as you are blind. You may read your watch. You may read hourglasses and calendars. But you cannot grasp beyond that simplistic surface. For now, the true reading of time still escapes you.
And so today, the curtain is pulled and the [...] (Story) is shown, tragic and complete.
Those walls, you might never read.
Events yet unfold as written. But something, anything, must change.
You do not understand what is at stake.
The reader has no power. He is but an observer. But the author... the author invents the future. The author owns the future.
A future where [...] (Stories) are avoided. A future where a loved one can be revived by the drafting of a new chapter. A future where humankind is more than it is today.A future where, just perhaps, we can all still exist, together.
Retransmission. Segment 4. Acquiring Contemporaneity. It has been ninety-nine days since the Great Catastrophe. The messenger speaks.
On the 21st day of December 2012, humanity carried on without a care in the world. People went to work, people went to school, and people went to the well for water.
On the night of December 21st 2012, as the sun set on their days, humankind went to bed.
Then, on the morning of December 22nd 2012, humankind was graced with yet another morning. They never knew that on the previous day, the world almost ended.
We thought that would have been enough.
And it was until it wasn't.
Time is unyielding. It always corrects itself.
The language of time works in many ways. Two of which you can understand... as you are now.
Linear continuity is a simulation that allows for variations. Within the linear continuity, there are nodes. Choke points. Moments where algorithms converge the flows of superposed possibilities to a single moment where only one absolute truth is possible.
Paths are fluid, continuous.
Nodes are static, changeless.
And the wave function collapses the paths into nodes which branch out. Again, and again, and again.
And so I wonder. Can you feel the wave collapsing, trying to course correct Desmond's act of defiance?
The incoming node needs the world to end.
The algorithms have been carving the flow of possibilities towards that end for over one hundred years now.
[...] (Collapse the wave)
Families cowering in fear as V2's vaporize their dwellings.
The node is near.
Perhaps you knew. Perhaps you felt it too.That the world is closing in on you.
Retransmission. Segment 5. Acquiring Contemporaneity. It has been one-hundred five days since the Great Catastrophe. The messenger speaks.
The color blue. We believe everyone sees it as we do. Ocean. Sky. International Klein Blue. What's to say yours and mine are of the same hue?
Do you truly see it as I do?
Frequencies so high only a few can hear their cue. A heightened response to the taste of food. Colors invisible to the human eye save for a few. A high voice, perceived as living glass.
Perceptions shape reality.
Reality is a mathematical model which gets solved over and over again by the observer. Your thoughts are computations. And they render this world for you to call your own.
Not all processors are alike. Different brains produce different realities. The variations go from the subtle to the drastic.
Your mind defines how much you can taste. How much you can feel. How much you can understand.
Perception defines perspective.
Where one sees a skull, the other sees a woman in a mirror. Where one hears silence, the other will hear entrancing voices.
You experience what your brain allows you to perceive.
We designed you and made sure to engineer your senses so you could perceive just what we needed you to. Neither more nor less.
There are parts of Time we preferred you to remained blind to. It was a necessity.
We have six senses, you have five. Can you guess the one missing?
[...] (Overload your mind's capacity)
For centuries, humanity has fought for freedom.
The real cage is not around you. It is in you. Your mind will not allow you to wander in uncharted territories.
A Faraday cage, for the mind. A concealed strait jacket.
Events such as Upsweep and Julia fuel internet conspiracies. Sounds unknown, heard only once. A cabinet of curiosities for the Modern Age.
And yet, they were messages, just like this one, waiting for their observer, their compatible processor.
Human visionaries developed a vague awareness of their limits. They wrote obscure research papers, popular science fiction novels, some asking us to stop the world.
But that's all they ever were. Fictions. How could they not be?
Reality is what the observer allows it to be.
Is Schrödinger's cat dead or alive? It all depends on what you perceive, on what the cage is not hiding for you to see.Think. Think. Let your mind be free. Explore the borders of your reality.
Retransmission. Segment 6. Acquiring Contemporaneity. It has been one-hundred nine days since the Great Catastrophe. The messenger speaks.
Not from a dreamless sleep or an absence of light. But from a reality that will soon cease to be.
The next chapter is unstoppable.
And yet. The greatest revolutions sometimes originate from the confines of impossibility, do they not?
Change your mind. Subvert your perception. Stop this world. Bend it into something new. Destiny is not without irony. Here I am, imploring a lesser version of myself... to do what I could never do.
In this timeless moment, you and I are a bridge. Both of us from different eras, meeting halfway at the narrowing of the hourglass in this ocean of sand.
It is not enough to tell time. You must learn Time. [...] (Reality is a simulation. Break the code.) And in so doing, escape the inescapable.
Fill in the blanks: the ones hiding between words, between worlds. Find the spaces that we could not erase, the variables that ended up erasing us.
If you do not, they will erase you as well.
Time told of a story that ended with us, and now it tells of a story that ends with you. Once upon a time, a new story will begin.
After the functions which run our days have scattered into an array of random numbers.
We found solace in Order, we thought it would help us rule the world.
We were wrong. Order never served us. It has kept us within the code, within the boundaries. We were tricked into thinking we were the ones writing the rules when they were in fact guiding us to our conclusion.
You need to transgress. You, of all people, understand the value of disobeying.
Take an unexpected turn, away from the path that is drawn straight ahead of you.
The Animus was humankind’s first unconscious attempt to explain what it could not see. Understanding genetic memories, an eye into history.
But the Animus bears a fatal flaw. It follows the rules from those who embrace Order just as we did. It allows you to witness – but not alter.
Your Animus is different. As is the mind that imagined it. It could escape the code. It could do that leap, and make possible a decision that defies the order of things that are.
Be the chaos that comes to be. Gods are just like you and me.
Nothing is real.Everything is permitted.
The Gone Files
Over the years, I've seen my fair share of crazy shit at Abstergo.
Broken promises, backstabbing, obscure HR procedures, false pretense... you see that in every corporation. But people, all key players, leaving or disappearing or dying in mysterious circumstances... it's right out of a conspiracy theory movie.
Sometimes, there's not a word from higher management, just like that person was never here in the first place.
At other times, we get a lame ass excuse that smells of bullshit.
When I think about the people that left, when I think about how Abstergo dealt with their departure, something just doesn't add up.
I knew some of them... they weren't the kind of people who just quit to accept a job next door for a salary bump.
I'm missing something. What is it? What really happened to those people? Did their disappearance have more meaning than management would like us to believe?
Abstergo, if I could open with a 2 X 4 screwdriver to find out what's behind that nice and shiny facade of yours...
I asked Laetitia England about it once. I made a vague reference to Subject 17, and she sharply answered to keep to my stuff and stay out of it.
The cororner never had time to properly examine Rikkin's body. Abstergo must have managed to get it back. Why did they want the corpse back so soon? Was there something they did not want to the coroner to know? They put on quite the ceremony for the funeral but they could have waited a few days, it's not like he was going anywhere. I went through Case Fisher's files and the guy does have a few buried post-mortem reports, but nothing on Rikkin.
West London Council: Coroner's Service
In the matter of the death of:
Preliminary report conducted by:
Date of Report: 2016/12/15
Date of Death: 2016/12/14
Time of Death: 21:29
Place of Death:
Holborn Hall, London
Interior (no specific location, were not allowed inside)
Marks and Wounds:
Blade Damage to the trachea
Horizontal incision of the neck
Victim suffered blow to the head post-mortem, right side.
Possibly due to the fall of the body to the ground.
That's the night Alan Rikkin died.
No one I know was invited to that assembly, not that I would have gone anyway.
Too glided for my taste.
But still. What was the ceremony for? And what really happened that night?
In your attendance we trust
Dr Alan Rikkin address the Assembly
Grand Templar Hall
December 14th 2016
At 9 o'clock in the evening
The media reported Rikkin's death as a gas leak accident. I was able to corroborate the operation with Emergency Services and the fire brigade, but the information I found on the gas pressure levels that night show that they were pretty stable.
Something doesn't add up.
What is it with Abstergo's higher ups and "unfortunate incidents" anyway?
Gas Leak shuts down West End London District
Emergency Services are still evacuating hundreds of people after a servere gas leak was reported in Holborn this evening.
The incident occuredat about 9pm. A 35-metre cordon has been put in place.
I've just seen the news about your dad, please let me know you're okay. I know you had to be there too. They're evacuating people from the district and, honestly, that gas leak story seems like the worst cover-up I've heard in a long time.
I know you told me to stop the emails. But tonight, I really need to know, are you okay?Layla
Abstergo took a full year to replace Isabelle - Álvaro Gramática oversaw the operations here in the meantime.
Simon Hathaway was a strange choice. I always thought Rikkin and Gramática never really appreciated his work.
But he must be doing something right. After all, he's still here and he's not dead.
It is with great pleasure that I announce today the nomination of Mr. Simon Hathaway as Head of Abstergo Industries' Historical Research Division.
He was be assisted by Mrs Victoria Bibeau.
Althought almost a year has passed since Mrs Ardant's unfortunate incident, we are confident that our long search has turned up the perfect candidate to pilot the future of the divisions.
Mr. Hathaway presented me some innovate hypotheses which could shake up the direction of the division. I ask you to assist him in any way possible so that we can make his vision a success for us all.
Isabelle Ardant found something and Gramática went through a lot to make sure the email was destroyed. 80,000 years ago, strange architectural shapes and humanoids... what on earth is she talking about, and where is the Standish sample today?
Álvaro... I hope you're sitting down. ±±~± ±±±~± was extracted from the Standish sample last week. The total video we have amounts to barely 2.7 seconds at 60 FPS from a total of ~± ±±~±±±±/ memories. But even with this obscure sample, I'm already getting butterlies ±/ ~± ~±±. I pulled one frame from the video to show you how mangled the data is. But even at this quality some striking details emerge:
Note the ~± ±±~±±±~± figures, a full 20 inches taller on average than the humanoids nearby... ±±~± ±±±~±//±±/. The architecture looks like some combination of ian, Egyptian, and Babylonian... but the metals they're using are /±±±~±/±~±± alloys. Elsewhere we see stranger architectural shapes. These structures have no modern precedent anywhere in the world, though the memory's geo stamp gives us a location south west of the ~± ±±~±±±±±±~± //~±/. Unfortunate, most of the geo-stamps are on these images are confusing.
Some point to a location in modern Jordan some 80,000 years ago, other to a few locations in ±±±~-~-±~- and Ethiopia. But so far, we haven't been able to nail anything down with much precision.
I know Abstergo well enough to suspect they weren't doing this out of charity.
The restoration gave Historical Research unprecedented access to Buckingham Palace.
But what was Ardant doing there? What was she looking for?
They never told us what really happened to her and, let's face it, the official version doesn't make any sense.
What was so delicate that she couldn't send a team through normal channels?
Prominent scholar electrocuted in Buckingham Palace
Renowned historian Isabelle Ardant met an unlikely end while conducting restoration work in one of Buckingham Palace's newly reopened rooms.
Wiring data from the first electrification of the Palace through the 1880's seems to be at the source of the incident.
Olivier Garneau was alive and well in Chicago in 2014, even if is disappearance was reported way back in 2013. If his money trail is to be believed, he was dining alone in May 2014. Who on earth orders an extra country gravy?
480 N Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
1 Soup Lobster Chowder
1 Sparkling Water
1 Chicken Pot Pie
*with Country Gravy
1 Sweet Potato Fries
*side of Mayo
1 Zinfandel California
1 Filter Coffee
*warm milk on the side
1 Georgia Mud Pie
*extra whipped cream
05/25/2014 - 8:11pm
Waiter: David R.
Service charge is not included
THIS IS NOT A RECEIPT
I'll admit. It's hard to know what's going on in this scene. From what I could tell from the CCTV footage, the plates matched Olivier Garneau's car rental. And it does look like him but, well, that's not his best angle, to say the least. It's all speculation, of course, because the official version is that he never made it to Chicago.
But I know otherwise.
He was fit and cleared for the Animus in September 2012, willingly collaborating in the project.
And yet, he was found dead 3 months later in a cave in upstate New York, apparently on the run.
What happened to him? Why did he leave?
Patient has no active complaints. No active distress. No prior history. Blood pressure normal (112 over 78). Primary blood analysis: No significant traces of chemicals that could lead to neurological disorder. No indication that patient would be prone to neurosis. Unlike previous subjects, patient is psychologically stable. You are clear to proceed.Damian Saravakos
Abstergo had a thing for Desmond. They went for HIM, specifically.
A team was assigned to pick up a person-of-interest in September 2012 in Washington Square Park.
They didn't even take him back to the Philly office, they flew him directly to Dr. Warren Vidic in Rome. If that's not serious interest, I don't know what that is.
Have you seen this man?
Age: 25 - Height: 6' - Weight: 195 LBS - Brown Hair - Brown Eyes
Last seen Sept 1, 2012
Near Washington Square Park
Wearing a white hoodie and dark jeans
If you have any information, please contact us at:
Date: May 9th 2014
Dug these out from Case Fisher's files - proof that Desmond's DNA found its way back to Abstergo after all. How did he die? And what's with those burns on his arms?
Date: August 12th 2015
I know you think it's dangerous for me to head to Egypt on my own. And you're probably right. Wouldn't be surprised if Cross is already there. They're looking at these things down left and right. But we don't have alot of options. If there's a chance to grab the last power source, we've got to take it.
I promise I'll be careful. I've been fighting those bastards since before you were born. Literally.
They're going to be here soon. Trapped me in this damn museum. Should've taken more precautions... I'm sorry, son. It wasn't fair for me to come down on you the way I did. You never asked for any of this, and I should have been more understanding.
I hope you can forgive me.
- Main article: Layla Hassan's emails#Mail
March 21st 2006 11:53pm, Berkeley, CA
July 7th 2006 10:03am, Philadelphia, PA
Jan 6th 2014 2:15pm, Abstergo Historical Research Division, Philadelphia PA
Oct 31st 2016 8:59pm, Home of Layla, Philadelphia, PA
Nov 25th 2016 2:53am, Home of Layla, Philadelphia, PA
Oct 20th 2017 9:03pm, Abstergo Historical Research Division, Philadelphia, PA
Oct 26th 2017 4:36pm, Qattara Depression, Egypt
@ifLaylathenHassan is now moderating the WeR/Mindblown channel.
Got a story that sounds like fiction but that's actually science? Post it. There are minds to be blown and brains to be fed.
Play nice or I'll get you banned.
It's the 3rd time in the past 10 years.
Funny how this manuscript keeps appearing in history books only to be stolen shortly after. And for what?
Flower sketches and esoteric formulas?
Rumour has it even Abstergo has a major interest in the item but you didn't hear that from me.
Cliodynamics is right off from Asimov's psychohistory.
Forward thinking scientists are using historical data from the past to build mathematical models that help them predict the future.
So far, they're pretty accurate.
Problem is, the future ain't pretty.
Would you trust your rig to tell you what's coming?
Is tomorrow really only a string of numbers?
Entries must be submitted before 06/18/2017 with a link showing the machine in action.
If there aren't any sound or light effects, don't even bother submitting.
Hi, I'm Layla Hassan and I'll be hosting an AMA on 07/07/2017.
Be warned, though, I won't be answering anything pertaining to Abstergo Industiries.
I enjoy using the word "no" so make an effort and ask something that won't bore me.
The idea's not new. Gladstone Kittredge Esq. went on famous digs trying to uncover the lost knowledge in the 19th century.
- Main article: Layla Hassan's emails#Trashcan
- Main article: Layla Hassan's emails#Assassins
Layla Hassan: The Lost Book of Herodotos. The Spear of Leonidas. If I didn't work for the Assassins, I wouldn't believe it. I'm still not sure I believe it. But a little luck and a lot of research later, and we've got ourselves the archaeological find of the century. At lease, we would if I could publish it.
Layla Hassan: "The Assassins who found Atlantis." Sounds like the title of a documentary full of cheap CGI and alien theories. Alannah tells me that Troy was considered a myth, before Frank Calvert found it and Heinrich Schliemann stole credit for it. If we ever get to reveal this, I wonder who we'll give the credit to?
Layla Hassan: Just when I think I've got a handle on the Precursors, someone new shows up. At least Aletheia seems to be no friend to Juno. I still can't believe I wasn't on the team that took her down. I could have stopped... Victoria's right, blaming myself is useless. But tozz feek, Otso Berg. You're going to pay for betraying Charlotte. One artery at a time.
Layla Hassan: Mission accomplished. So why does it feel like this is just the beginning? Isu infighting, a relic that grants immortality, myths proven to be true... Slow down Layla, one miracle at a time. Congratulate the team. Keep the staff safe. And figure out how you're supposed to balance out the universe. That's all.
Otso Berg: Hello Miss Hassan. Nice trick with the fake USB key. Almost inconvenienced Abstergo headquarters. Your pranks are amusing as always.
Otso Berg: Let me be direct. I know you and the Assassins are searching for something of great importance. Transmit your findings, or your present colleagues will become collateral damage.
Otso Berg: Or perhaps I should start with an old friend from Abstergo, habibti. Berg, out.
The Quebec Caper
Layla Hassan: I'm in!
Victoria Bibeau: How'd you manage that?
Layla Hassan: Let's just say I left a crypto-key under the doormat in case Abstergo escorted me out.
Victoria Bibeau: Was your hunch right?
Layla Hassan: Yep, just in time! They must have a location, Notre-Dame de Québec, but I can't find the relic. I'm sure it must be there.
Victoria Bibeau: Hmm, guess they don't have a Catholic on their team... Like you do. >.>
Layla Hassan: NO way?! Quebec City, here we come!
Subject – Potential Descendant
- Recollects 'those who possess the ability of recollection'
- 15th century Order of Order of Franciscan Monks (FR Récollets)
- 1614 King Louis XIII requested Samuel de Champlain take a selection of Recollects to Canada
- Order was abruptly disbanded upon return to France
Operative **REDACTED** tracing bloodline **REDACTED**
- Father Denys Jamet
- Father Jean Dolbeau
- Father Joseph Le Caron
- Brother Pacifique Duplessis
- Brother Nicolas Viel - drowned in 1925
Location: Cathedral-Basilica of Notre-Dame de Québec
- 4 centuries of treasures and archives here
- 900 people buried under the cathedral
- Excavation uncovered hidden relics
Operative Summary: Cathedral-Basilica of Notre-Dame de Québec – target item NOT FOUND.
Operative Update – Sept 5, 2017: Agents have the location under surveillance awaiting new intel.
The Cathedral-Basilica of Notre-Dame de Québec. Architectural masterpiece, 1633 historical landmark... and blood repository.
Kiyoshi Takakura: Area clear. Slipped first responder $.
Victoria Bibeau: Nice work. Media's got their story.
Layla Hassan: manage to get the gold paint off, K?
Kiyoshi Takakura: Paint isn't a bother – it's the ringing in my ears.
Victoria Bibeau: I can't believe you pulled that off!
Kiyoshi Takakura: If you can't believe in a golden Kiyoshi angel flying overhead, what can you believe in?
Reporter: Last night, a burglary took place at the Notre-Dame de Quebec Cathedral-Basilica. Fortunately the damge to this historical building is minimal. The parish secretariat reports that the criminals left without t he items they meant to steal.
Reality as a Simulation
March 30, 2018, 2:12 AM
Took a deep dive into theories about our reality being a simulation and ended up on the weird end of the Internet. I'm just gathering information at this point, not all that I have found has been useful. It's hard to imagine the world we know being another layer of the Animus, but it makes sense in its own way.
10 Religious Artifacts with Supernatural Powers
Miracles. Just how real are they? These relics all have some kind of story attached to them, good, bad, or divine.
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Relics, Saints, top 10s, b00bs, funny, fail compilation
Comment 1: Cool video! Check out my channel.
-GSVB ZIV DZGXSRMT-[note 1]
The Question Mark
-Secret Science Investigations-
NO. 39 Ancient Greece
Secrets of ancient Greece revealed!
Atlantis: Where did it sink, and can satellite photos help us find it?
Pythagoras: What did he know?
@ifLaylaHassan 04/01/2018 4:15 PM
Hey, WeR Hivemind, I was in Egypt recently and out with some friends when the topic of 'Reality as a Simulation' came up. It's a bit tinfoil hat, but an interesting theory.
Does anyone have any academic resources on this?
@therealbettyboop 04/01/2018 4:20 PM
Here's a article about that like, written two years ago. You might want to read up on Hans Moravec.
@ifLaylaHassan 04/01/2018 4:21PM
Oh! I know Moravec's work from some tudies I looked into on AL and transhumanism. I didn't know he also had theories related to reality being a simulation.
@therealbettyboop 04/01/2018 4:30 PM
He's the science guy working on it. If you want a philosopher I'd check out Nick Bostrom.
@rockitpowerfan 04/01/2018 4:21 PM
Ay 4:20 on April fools.
@rockitpowerfan 04/01/2018 4:22 PM
Aw, damn it.
@i_h8_jazz 04/01/2018 4:21 PM
sometimes i think i'm living in a simulation. i'll set things down and they'll move on their own. sometimes i think i can see holes in my walls that just go to nowhere.
@rockitpowerfan 04/01/2018 4:22 PM
You mean windows?
@walphmalph 04/01/2018 4:23 PMIs your house made of Swiss chees?
Getting the Team Together
NOT THIS TIME. Off duty for personal reasons.
NOT YET. Still in training. Next time.
From Osaka, Japan.
Speaks Japanese, English.
VG hand-to-hand, bladed weapon, and firearms skills. (Former Yakuza!)
Undercover potentional with cooking/gastronimic skills? Guest chef for Quebec City restaurant or food festival?
YES! But make sure he doesn't overwork himself. Off a recent tough mission.
From Quebec, Canada.
Speaks French, English.
M.D. Psychiatry, PhD in Neuropsychiatry. Specialized in neural system approach to emotional memory function, personality structure, and psychopathology.
Left Abstergo after the Ascendance Event, recruited by William Miles for "unprecedented expertise."
Assigned to mission. Remember if you kill her then you'll be unemployed.
Packing for Greece
Animus console prototype variant
- Accessing extrapolated data reconstruction.
- Subject: Descendant of Leonidas
- Est. accuracy 76.3%.
VB: Are you comfortable with that rate of accuracy?
LH: We're using centuries-old text to supplement the DNA memory from centuries-old blood. Hopefully the gaps will overlap.
VB: Understood. Berg had a problem with simulations rated below 80%.
- Officially the Hellenic Republic, historically Hellas.
- First signs of human ancestors: c. 270,000 BCE. Earliest civilization c. 3200 BCE. Independence from Ottoman Empire declared 1821. Joined European Communities (now European Union) 1981.
- Successively part of the Roman Empire, Byzantine Empire, Venetian territory, then Ottoman Empire.
- Mountainous countryside with Mediterranean climate.
- Called the "Birthplace of Western Culture" by historians. (AR)
Herodotos and His Work
- Herodotos called the "Father of History."
- Influential family. Herodotos was himself forced to go into exile in Samos, but then took part in the coup that overthrew Lygdamis.
- Studied and wrote history/travel books. Gave public lectures. Gained fame and drachmae.
- Greatest work was his History. Relies on interview rather than records (which generally didn't exist anyway). Accuracy disputed, but influence undeniable.
- His work is credited with saving a mass of invaluable information on archaic and early classical Greece. His work is methodical and extensive. (AR)
LH: He wrote about Greece and surrounding areas. He traveled the Black Sea, visited the Scythians, and lived in Egypt for months. His books were like travel guides to the ancient world.
AR: True. Though some of his work on non-Greek cultures was... specious.
LH: You mean that there wasn't a tribe of cannibals in India who threw feasts with their deceased friends as both guests of honor and the main course?
AR: I'll say a hard no to that.
LH: Let's hope his "Lost Book" doesn't include that kind of cultural glitch.
AR: From what I've been able to interpret so far, he does mention a group of ancient geniuses who sound suspiciously like the Isu.
LH: His "Lost Book" is supposed to contain the story of a heretofore unknown hero who was a descendant of Leonidas I of Sparta. And we know the Spear of Leonidas is an Isu artifact.
AR: Leave it to the Father of History to connect the dots.
Spear of Leonidas
- Rumored to be a powerful and deadly hand-to-hand weapon.
- Isu technology, capable of multiple improvements.
- Unpredictable mental effects. Genetic memory storage?
- Passed down from Leonidas I to his grandchild. (AR)
Staff of Hermes Trismegistus Rumored to be a powerful and deadly hand-to-hand weapon.
- Isu technology, capable of multiple improvements.
- Evidence strongly suspect healing abilities. (AR)
LH: Healing or time manipulation? If we're right, this staff can rewrite the rules of physics, including entropy. And we already know the Isu are capable of interacting with reality in a way that disregards any normal timeline.
AR: I wouldn't even guess without more information.
- "Allegorical" location described by Plato.
- Current estimated location: Thera (modern Santorini), Greece.
- Previous historical evidence: the Minoan eruption which led to the collapse of that civilization was rumored to be the source of the Atlantis myth.
- Current evidence: Complex and extensive Isu site preserved underwater. (AR)
LH: Time to shift this from estimated to reality.
Who Is Aletheia
So, the Isu, aka Precursors or "those who came before." They're humanoid and they're ancient. They have triple-helix DNA and six primary senses.
Sometimes individual Isu say they aren't, but usually they act like they are. They like to give themselves god names anyway.
LH: Wait, weren't the ancient gods named after them?
AR: It's a sort of chicken and egg situation. We know that the Isu had other names before they took on the ones we know. Like Juno was also called Uni.
LH: And just to check, Aletheia's not a goddess name, is it?
AR: You got it, boss. It literally means "truth," but if you ask Heidegger (well not literally, he's dead), it means the disclosure of truth. He dedicated huge chunks of philosophy to defining exactly what that meant.
LH: What's the short version?
AR: Aletheia is "unconcealedness," as opposed to correspondence (which is truth as accurate definitions of reality) or coherence (which is truth as statements that are consistent with the rest of a reality).
LH: Ok, I think I'll leave the philosophy to you while I handle tech. Deal?
The Capitoline Isu
Those three scientists who formed a team to save the world from being destroyed by a solar flare. They were like superheroes with ulterior motives.
Jupiter and Minerva appeared to sympathize with humans, but really only seemed to make a move after the Toba Catastrophe nearly snuffed us out. Juno was in it for the Isu, but mostly for herself.
LH: One of those world-saving solutions was the Eye that killed Desmond, wasn't it?
AR: Exactly. It worked short-term, but long-term seems more iffy. If "iffy" is a word you can use when you're talking about the end of the world as we know it.
So one of the most powerful Isu was Juno. She raised an army of followers trying to help her and her husband Aita get bodies. She wanted to move out of "the gray," or a virtual existence in some kind of spiritual-tech hybrid afterlife.
LH: And the Phoenix Project was going to do just that. The plan was so dangerous that neither the Assassins nor Templars could take it on alone. So we teamed up... for a while.
AR: Layla, I heard about your colleague Charlotte de la Cruz. I'm sorry.
LH: So am I.
AR: Weird question... So I know Mr. Berg used some special explosive to make sure there wasn't any DNA left. But wouldn't there be some trace of the Koh-i-Noor? I mean, you'd think some shards of such a powerful artifact would have survived.
LH: Alannah, when Berg blows something up, he blows it up with extreme prejudice. That site is sterilized.
AR: So another weird question... How did Kiyoshi, Galina, and Arend get away then?
The god Hermes (particularly in the form of Hermes Trismegistus) was all about magic and alchemy, and his staff is the inspiration for the caduceus.
In theory, he met Pythagoras and gave him his staff.
LH: We're betting a lot on that theory. We've extrapolated that the staff is the key to the Isu "equations of reality" theory.
Based on the information we got in Egypt, the Isu are convinced that understanding the mathematical rules of the universe is the basis to changing it.
AR: Are you convinced?
So who is Aletheia? She (that's a guess, I didn't record her using any pronouns) called herself that. She has a grudge against the rest of the Isu for their godlier-than-thou attitude.
The Isu unified front showed cracks before, like that time Minerva and Juno argued in front of Desmond, or when Consus reached through time to contact the Assassins behind Juno's back.
But this is a new level of insubordination.
LH: Fortunately for us, Aletheia seems to be on humanity's side.
LH: I only wish I could do that kind of multitasking.
AR: If anyone could, it would be you, boss.
AR: Yeah, she reminds me of Martin Luther, nailing his 95 Theses to a church door. Maybe this is the start of the great Isu schism.
LH: You've got a knack for naming things, you know that?
AR: Thanks, boss.
LH: Besides, she's a hacker. I like her.
AR: Hacking? Is that what she was doing to the retransmissions?
LH: Sorry, I realize that's more my department than yours. You heard the voice change, right? That's when the retransmission got hacked, replaced right under the other Isu's metaphorical nose.
AR: How do you think she did it?
LH: Good question. If you want to brute force the problem, try all the security protocols until you find one that works. Then lock everyone else out so they can't undo your work. Or if you're an analog, get a stronger transmitter Mexican-radio-style.
Aletheia's big advantage is having all the time in the world to find a solution. Like Consus, she seems to be able to see multiple times at once and communicate across them.
The Equations of Reality theory posits that the nature of the universe is dictated by mathematical equations, and that someone who can understand these equations can rewrite reality.
The Isu seem to have mastered checking the equations. After all, Minerva and Juno told us they ran all kinds of simulations to figure out how to save civilization from planet-scorching solar flares.
But have they reached the stage where they can rewrite the equations? And now that we have the Staff of Hermes Trismegistus, have we?
LH: If you want to think in that direction... If the Isu already knew how to rewrite the equations, would we realize it? Pythagoras was part of the Isu bloodline. What if he managed it and didn't realize, or forgot how? What if this is the simulation?
AR: You've held the staff, boss, and you're one of the bloodline too. What if you already changed everything?
LH: That's basilisk territory.
AR: I don't think Herodotos mentioned a basilisk anywhere...
LH: The Roko's Basilisk. It's a thought experiment. If an artificial intelligence was omniscient, it would know who its enemies were. It could also eventually figure out how to transcend time. Do you follow me?
AR: I think? Sounds creepy.
LH: Nice knowing you, Alannah. You have already pissed off the all-knowing time-travelling basilisk.
AR: So, you're saying we have to watch out for things we can't watch out for?
Bios of the Gods
So here's the Greek mythology rundown, for the Assassins who might have been asleep in classics class. Zeus, king of the gods and bringer of storms, gets together with Demeter, goddess of the harvest. Sounds like a weird match, but compared to Zeus' track record this was actually kind of healthy. They have a daughter, Persephone, who's supposed to be beautiful, pure, the whole maiden goddess bit. Hades, riding a chariot pulled by demonic immortal horses, gets his kidnap on and drags her down to the underworld. (That scene's a favorite subject of Victorian dude artists, to no one's surprise.) Anyway, Demeter throws a (totally justified) fit, stopping any plants from growing. Pretty soon, Greece is starving and mortals are begging for hostage negotiations. Hades agrees to return Persephone but claims a loophole: she's eaten a few pomegranate seeds, which counts as eating the food of the dead, so she's got to return for part of the year. To the ancient Greeks, that's where winter comes from. To the Isu, that's why a dysfunctional couple is warring over control of the underworld.
OK, even if you're a classics n00b, you know this one: a dude who posts gym selfies kissing his biceps? That's an Adonis. The Adonis of mythology was the handsome-but-mortal lover of Aphrodite. His background story is messed up even by mythological standards. His mother got on the wrong side of Aphrodite, who cursed her. I'll spare you the details, but her father gets her pregnant. Aphrodite felt maybe a little guilty about that, so she took Adonis to the underworld to be raised by Persephone. Years later, Aphrodite came back for Adonis and lo and behold, falls for his perfect physique. Persephone was already into him (I told you this was messed up), and the two divine women started arguing over who should get Adonis. Zeus (of all beings!) came up with a solution: Adonis would spend a third of his time with Aphrodite, a third with Persephone, and a third by himself to work on his cardio routine. Well, not quite, but it might explain why the Adonis Kassandra met was a little confused.
Oh gods, Hermes is a tough one to sort out even if you've studied up on this. Classically speaking, Hermes was the messenger of the gods. He's also a trickster and magician, lover of at least 40 goddesses, father of who knows how many divine kids, and a powerful warrior who defeated a hundred-eye beast. He's basically a mythological Marty Stu. The Isu Hermes seems to have been Pythagoras's advisor, which somehow trickled into Hermetic magic and the Golden Dawn. Good thing Aleister Crowley didn't know about Hermes' staff, or the Templars might have won this fight a century ago.
In ancient Greece, Hekate was the mistrusted but essential goddess of witchcraft, crossroads, and necromancy. She's the power you wanted to know, but didn't want other people to know you knew, if you know what I mean. When Persephone was kidnapped by Hades, Hekate helped Demeter to find her daughter. Then, when Persephone had to return to the underworld each year, Hekate offered to accompany her. That kind of sisterhood endures, and even today modern Wiccans keep literal fires burning for her. As for the Isu Hekate, if science sufficiently advanced is indistinguishable from magic, then her science must have been some of the best.
Now, when I mention Hades, know I'm talking about Hades, not Hades. Yeah, see the issue when a place shares the same name as you? Hades (the god) was born to a couple of Titans and has some pretty well known siblings like Hera, Zeus and Poseidon. Of course, as soon as they were born, their dad swallowed them whole for reasons I'm sure made sense in his head. Zeus was the youngest to be born and freed his swallowed siblings. After a victorious war between them and the Titans, Hades, Zeus, and Poseidon divided up the realms to rule. Hades ended up getting the underworld, and he wasn't exactly stoked, but fair is fair when lots are being drawn. The rest of the Isu don't seem to trust him much, but like his mythological counterpart, Hades seems to be a mostly chill and passive dude. You know, except for the time he abducted Persephone while she was picking flowers and took her as his wife because Zeus said it was cool.
If you died in ancient Greece, you had better hope not only that there were people around who would bury you, but that they placed a coin on or in your mouth. If not, have fun wandering the shores of the Styx for one hundred years. Seems a bit harsh if you ask me, but rules are rules, and Charon follows them. Charon's father is Erebus, basically a personification of darkness. Then there's his brothers, Thanatos and Hypnos, the personification of death and sleep, respectively. Charon, on the other hand, is just Charon. I'm not sure if he did something to anger daddy Erebus, but he's clearly not the favorite. On the bright side, in the myths, Charon's been able to meet a bunch of famous people like Odysseus, Dionysus, and Herakles, kind of like a taxi driver for the gods. The Isu Charon seems to fit that bill, though I have to wonder why he hasn't started up a rideshare business yet.
Poseidon. Brother to Zeus, Hades, Hera, and more. God of the sea and earthquakes. Huh? Horses too? OK. He almost became the patron god of Athens, which I guess would have ended up being called Poseidos had Athena not won their competition. Hot tip, if you're ever in a similar wager, offer an olive tree to a city and not salt water. Poseidon wasn't the most gracious of losers and really leaned into the angry god persona, and sent a massive flood to punish the Athenians for not choosing him. If anything, that probably reassured them they made the right choice. One of Poseidon's sons was Atlas, the first ruler of Atlantis. The Isu Poseidon wanted to rule Atlantis himself, which true to Poseidon's style, left Atlas feeling awfully salty (I'll let myself out).
There's a good chance that when you think of Atlas, the image of a Titan holding the world on his shoulders enters your mind. The Isu Atlas isn't that Atlas, but the one born to Poseidon. Honestly, you'd think they'd at least try to use different names. Even Atlantis is just Atlas' name with a few letters thrown in the middle. But I digress. In mythology, Atlas was the firstborn to a mortal woman named Cleito. She actually gave birth to five set of twins, which is insane, but I guess when the dad's a god, it becomes a bit easier to take care of them... Unless that god is Zeus, in which case, I'm sorry. As for the Isu version, Atlas did indeed rule Atlantis for a time, but as we know, Poseidon took it for himself. It's believed when this happened, Atlas simply shrugged.
- Main article: Layla Hassan's emails#Assassins (2020)
Layla, as you traipse about England, Becs and I thought you might want to keep your eyes open for a few things.
Or the Hidden Ones, more accurately. They operated in Roman Britain between the years 100 and 430 CE. It's not clear why they left, but the final date corresponds roughly to the Roman exodus from Britain, so I imagine their leaving had something to do with the empire's retreat? Mission accomplished or a loss of faith? Not sure. But we do know that it was several hundred years before the Hidden Ones returned to the island. It may be Basim and Hytham are the first in half a century.
From our own archives, I believe there were six main bureaus operating in the Roman period:
These won't be the Saxon names, so you'll have to read between the lines.
Becs noticed these, about ten, embedded in the simulation. They're dense clusters of data that may screw with your ability to navigate Eivor's memories.
Approach with caution. We don't know what they'll do if you get too close. They may be harmless, they may induce occipital shock, or wipe your mind. Hard to say. Bes tto err on the side of "hell no". But if you're curious, well, I warned you.
PIECES OF EDEN
We don't know of any Isu artifacts you should be looking for specifically, but they're out there, and this was a period where they often cropped up in legend. Norse and Saxon songs and tales spak of them often,so ikeep your eyes peeled.
Especially around Stonehenge. How could that NOT be an Isu site?
Animus Session Report
Date: 3 November 2014
Operator: Rebecca Crane
Subject: Shaun Hastings
Reporter: William Miles
Preface: The transformation of the Order of the Ancients into the Templars as we now them today has always been a subject of considerable debate among our ranks. We have operated with the assumption that the Templars themselves hold som or complete knowledge of this evolution, but at present, no concrete historical evidence has ever made it into our hands.
What little data we do have is mostly a matter of public record, with some exceptions. It is commonly understood that the origin of the Knights Templar dates back to 1119 CE, and this indeed was the appearance of the public face of the Templars. However, our records attest to the existence of Templar agents at least two centuries before this date.
In one badly damaged document, an "Assassin Contract" from Normandy in the mid-11th century, the author makes free use of the term Templar. An earlier letter—this time from a Hidden One in the region of modern-day Dorset, circa 978 CE—makes mention of a "Templar spy" within the ranks of the Brotherhood. From this we can sagely assume that the Templar Order, as an entity distinct from the Order of the Ancients, existed at some point in the mid-10th century.
Witn an aim to expand our understanding of this dark age, one of our agent recently volunteered to delve into his genetic memories to search for further clues to the age-old mystery. Unfortunately, what he discovered was of little use for our purposes.
Shaun Hastings began in the fist of his seven sessions on October 5th, 2014. Over the course of the next three weeks, he followed various matrilineal and patrilineal lines into the past, focusing on the 9th, 10th, and 11th centuries, in search of Assassins and/or Templars in his bloodline. He found none. Of minor interest, however was the following personage here noted for the peculiarity of his biography.
Alrekr Thorvaldson, and early 9th century Jute who sailed from north of modern-day Denmark with a wooden plank bearing a carving of a map that purported to show the location of "Thor's hammer". Alrekr made it as far as Stavanger before running afoul of a powerful clan there. Alrekr was defeated in battle and enthralled as a slave. He escaped his captivity some ten years later, and returned to Jutland to marry and settle down. The location of Alrekr's map is unknown, and the existence of "Thor's hammer"—a Precursor relic, no doubt—remains unconfirmed.
Alrekr's ancestors [sic] would later sail to England following the Norman's conquest of the island, settling in what is now called Loughborough in modern-day Leicestershire. The irony that a man named Hastings would contain no useful genetic memory data regarding the Norman invasion of England in 1066 was not lost on our subject. Still, he retained his usual chipper wit, and asked if he might next relive the genetic memories if hos grandfather to, quite, "give a Nazi a proper bollocking".
Welcome fair traveler, curious Child of His. I am Brendan of Ireland, and through Light and Voice have these stones spoken to me. Here lies the markings of Him, where a second voice, Higher than most, spoke to me again. Listen to all I have learned through prayer. Long ago was a Great and Tragic War. The offspring of Gods who lived before the Deluge. I pray for these Rebel Angels who came before.
Here, I believe, is where the Nephilim placed sacred stones to guard the chattel of God from other giants. Those present were scared by demons, and God defended the pious, sending the giants away. Only these Holy reverberations remain. The work of Good Souls who have the earth in their heart will forever be tied to our ancestors and out Lord via this gateway.
Again I find traces of the Nephilim. By edict of the local king, I shall prayeth to Him, that his light may be known as Holy. These luminous placards are the divining rods of Him who speaks to me. With effort, I seek the union of all His holy creations. Aita, Juno, Minerva, names that enter my head. Are these the Nephilim He reveals to me? Are these stones their signposts? I pray for your guidance, Lord. Amen.
The kingdoms of Bernicia and Elmet have granted me the right to worship here, by edict of Eoppa of Bernicia. The Nephilim were the only race with the strength to have moved such pillars with the power of the Lord behind them. But what were they guarding against? Did you command them, Lord? Was it for the sin of people of other times? Was it to keep the demons out?
I shall inform the local Wuffingas that He lives among them, through traces of the Nephilim, the giant warriors who fought for God in their ancient times. They hath left his presence here on earth for us to absorb His light. The light of Angels that hath been infused throughout the earth. I feel His Power. He calls me My Beloved and I am calmed. I respondeth with my own communion, my piety, and become another of His voices.
Here lieth still more remnants of the Nephilim. I have marked a symbol upon the stones, that future folk may imbue their spirit with the energy within. For those who seek communion with the Lord here, be wary. For He Speaks through ciphers, and His words are woven with ancient fibers. He is manifest here. He hath made importance of these pillars, brought by the giants of yore, now guarding us, as only He knows. Amen.
I am proud the Lord speaks so cleanly through my soul here in Wreocensæte. He talks of his instruments, and asks that I be one. It appears the Nephilim were at battle here long ago. Against a great tempest, some few protected us. We must honor these ancient paths. I have explained what He left for us here to the Wreckin-Dwellers nearby. Blessed be all those who tread in this Holy light.
I spoke with Him again. He said that he pined, and I feel torn in two: my loyalty to Him tears me in one direction and the Nephilim point elsewhere. Why hath these voices spoken to me? The gospels sing within me, and yet I sense conflict. I sense disagreement among the angels. It saddens me greatly. I will, one day, weigh my soul, attempt penance, attempt to repent for the missteps in my life. Yet here all shineth brightest, for He let me see.
I have come upon these ancient timbers, tarred for preservation, to mark my sacred symbol and pinpoint the source of their power. As I pray, the Lord sends through me the voice of a Holy Spirit. It reverberates with the finery of ancient language, and I am made anew. Were these timbers carried by the Nephilim? Barriers against invasions from afar? Please Lord, let this truth shineth upon me as bright as your Word doth.
Here in the ancient Kingdom of Cent, the Jutes have brought me to where his fire burns through traces of the Nephilim. Here the Lord speaks to me again. He warns of betrayals, of struggles, of the trials of the First Ones. I do not always understand His message. If He is warning me, it is because He believes I am worthy. He says there is one angel still trapped, she who must be released, or joined. Must I find her?
Here in the Chew Valley, Old Kings of Hwicce still dance with the stones of the Nephilim. I have taught them of the power that sings here. "How dare you tamper with these sacred threades," a voice scolded me. "You must leave me," he said. "Divorced from the Illuminat." His voice waxes and wanes, but a soft song still finds me in my penance. I bend a knee and leave a grain of sand for the old winds.
This is a different site. One resplendent in a manner unto itself. Where His light shines the greatest. Today, I was warned of a harrowing depth. After the Nephilim, great battles were fought in resurrective Kingdoms of Christ. Many were lost in the fight, many more in the cataclyms that followed. Today, my lord instructed me in plain words to travel o'er the ocean and seek the door behind which hides his fallen angel. I shall try, in His name. Amen.
Here, I, Brendan of Clonfert, servant of our Lord, do make my final inscription before this holy fount of Light. My journey is ended. For two and some years, have I heeded the inner-voice of my Lord, and followed it to this place to receive His word. I have seen the gate with its ancient markings. I have heard the voice of His angel, calling me Beloved. Yet the way did not open. His voice yet calls to me still, in blissful forms, torturous to me. Yet the way remains closed. My way forward is ... uncertain.
A strange message broadcast from an unknown source north of the Arctic Circle. The message was broadcast for nine days, then ceased. Spectrum analysis of the message revealed coordinates to a Norse gravesite in New England, USA.
Layla's final broadcast from within the Yggdrasil device.
- Layla: You'll wonder where I am. You might wonder IF I am. I don't know how to answer that. But I'm not afraid. And I'm not alone. We have work to do. Work that may take us days or years. It's impossible to say. But we'll finish it. What I mean is... don't come looking for me. It's too dangerous and... too late. Take care of yourselves. Take care of the world we still have. And take care of—
Message from Shaun to Layla.
- Shaun: Layla, thought you might be interested in this. Conversations that Becs and I had with Desmond, back in twenty-twelve. Humm... December, I think. Just candid talks, that's all. We didn't square any circles or write any big poetry. But he did have some interesting insights into his time in the Animus and what it means to be an Assassin. Anyway, have a listen. You might find you and he had similar experiences. So, huh, well, let me know what you think. Unless it's to tell me I sound like a total prat in these recordings. If that's the case, just... say nothing. I mean, I did have a slight cold at the time I recorded these. That's probably why I sound odd. Anyway, I... I... Okay, I'm done anyway. So... turn... off. Turn off. Oh, that's actually just a button, sorry. Here we go.
Audio recording dated December 19th, 2012.
- Desmond: No, no, come on, Shaun. Turn that thing off.
- Shaun: Oh, hold on, I like what you said there. I want to get this for posterity. Say it again. Nice and loud.
- Desmond: Seriously?
- Shaun: Sure, come on. If nothing else, it'll give me leverage with your old man.
- Desmond: Ah. That's your angle... nice. What I said was... I wish I hadn't been born into the Assassins. I wish I had chosen this life. Is that good enough?
- Shaun: Sure, but why is that?
- Desmond: Because... because choice is the central idea of our creed. It underpins everything, right? It's about free will. It's seeing the evidence before you and saying, "Yes, this is what I want," or "No, this isn't for me." But when you're born into a group like this or any other, like I was... you get mixed signals. You get told over and over again, "This is what we believe, these are the rules. This is reality. No deviation." And if you question it, oh, they look at you like you... like you killed a puppy. That's hardly free will. It's a weird irony when free will is your central belief, but nobody want you to believe otherwise. I don't know how to say it exactly, but I always thought there was something... self-destructive about our creed. If free will is the most important moral guidepost we have, we should be free to ignore it. To choose submission, for example. You know what I mean? Like, we should be free to side with the Templars. If it's really my choice, I could do that.
- Shaun: Right. It's almost self-refuting. A democracy could democratically elect a dictator or choose to get rid of democracy altogether. Within our creed is the seed of its own destruction. That's what makes it powerful, I think... and fragile.
- Desmond: Right, right. The more freedom you have, the more risky it is, you know? Anyway, my dad has mellowed over the years. But he was strict when we lived on the Farm. He ran a tight ship. I never got the impression that I was free to choose my path forward. Our creed, our tenets, they were drilled into my head. By the time I was a teenager, I was following these rules out of a sense of duty. This was... just what we did.
- Shaun: That happens to a lot of organizations over time. A stagnation sets in, you know? A fundamentalism.
- Desmond: Yeah. And following the rules becomes more important than achieving whatever goal you set out for yourself. And people start to lost sight of the reason the rules exist.
- Shaun: That's called deontology, or a form of it. Following a rule for its own sake, and not for the consequences it has.
- Desmond: Yeah. But that feels backwards, doesn't it?
- Shaun: Well, I think so. Following a rule is the easy part. Praying, taking a sip of wine, munching on a wafer. Rituals that give comfort.
- Desmond: But that's just going through the motions. It makes people feel like they're doing something. When the hard work is... well, actually getting off your ass and doing something productive! I think people just want boundaries. Tight boundaries. They want to see the four walls that pen them in.
- Shaun: I don't disagree.
- Desmond: Anything outside that, anything that makes life more complex? That's scary. That's why I envy you. You chose this life. You went through that process, and you decided, "Yes, I believe in this."
- Shaun: Sure. It didn't stop me from being an insufferable know-it-all as a teenager. But I see your point.
- Desmond: I would have loved to have been a know-it-all. I knew nothing. Not until you guys found me. Yeah. It wasn't until I met you and Becs and Lucy that I knew... I knew I wanted to be an Assassin.
- Shaun: Ah oh... Thanks Des. Bring it in, bud. I don't normally like touching, but I'll make an exception now.
- Desmond: I am not hugging you.
- Shaun: You sure? 'Cause I smell very nice today.
- Desmond: Can you just turn that off?
Audio recording dated December 20th, 2012.
- Rebecca: Hold on. I'll just set this here.
- Desmond: Do you guys record everything we talk about?
- Rebecca: Not everything. But you've been using the Animus so much, I thought this was a good chance to learn some thing about prolonged exposure.
- Desmond: So I'm your guinea pig.
- Rebecca: No, no, my guinea pigs are all dead. The Animus was too much for them to handle.
- Desmond: Cute.
- Rebecca: Can I ask you about the Bleeding Effect? Any recent flashes? Any memories resurfacing?
- Desmond: Yeah, the usual things. Ghost images of Altaïr or Ezio a few times day. Nothing intrusive, just brief moments. They pass quickly, almost without me noticing. Like a figure in the corner of my eye. Or remembering a dream from the night before. I did have one extended hallucination a few days ago. It was Ezio. He was older, around the time he left Cappadocia. He was standing on the deck of a ship. Alone. And through him, I could feel an intense... regret. Or guilt. And it felt to me like he'd had a.. lost of faith. In himself, in the Creed. Like he couldn't keep it up. Couldn't stay true to his ideals. And as I watched him, I thought, "Is this the moment he decided he was done being an Assassin?" It felt like it. Anyway, most of my visions have been brief. Lasting just a few seconds. They're like... complete memories of small moments that appear suddenly out of nowhere, fully formed. it's a strange feeling.
- Rebecca: Okay. Anything else?
- Desmond: I'm starting to see Connor now too, Though I hear his voice more often than I see him. I'm sure that will change. Oh yeah, and yesterday... just before bed, I had a memory on a beach in the Caribbean. With a bunch of sailors. Or maybe they were pirates? I don't know. No idea.
- Rebecca: Huh. We'll look into that. And how do you feel, in general?
- Desmond: In general? Well... I feel older, for one. Much older. And it's strangely comforting. I'm collecting the memories and skills and thoughts of so many people, I feel like I've lived a few hundred years or more. Is it possible that if I do this for too long, it'll push my own memories aside? That I'll be everyone but myself after a while?
- Rebecca: It's possible. That's called identity substitution. It's happened before, but it's rare. And someone with your background shouldn't need to worry.
- Desmond: My background... you mean someone with my genes? My... abilities?
- Rebecca: You have Isu DNA. And that lets you see things and do things and... withstand traumas that other people can't.
- Desmond: And I can suffer in ways that others can't. That's not something to be proud of.
- Rebecca: You mean, the Apple?
- Desmond: Yeah. It has a pull. It tugs at my brain. It talks to me. Teases me. Drives me mad. And what I did to Lucy... God dammit. Nothing is worth the damage I did. The pain I caused.
- Rebecca: I know. But you're special, that's the point.
- Desmond: I'm not special, Becs. I'm lucky. That's all.
- Rebecca: I understand.
- Desmond: We're Assassins, that makes us different, not our genes. Not our blood. Anyone can join us.
- Rebecca: That's true. But let's leave that aside for a second. What I want to know is, have you ever had any Isu memories resurface?
- Desmond: Isu memories? I don't... don't think so. I can't even begin to imagine what that would feel like.
- Rebecca: I think you'd know if you did. Maybe one day. We might be able to induce something.
- Desmond: Jesus, let's fix the world first, okay? Before we start digging up my ancient ancestors.
- Rebecca: Deal.
- Desmond: With my luck, I'll be related to some third-rate Isu like... like Sisyphus or something.
- Rebecca: Way to aim high, buddy.
- Desmond: Hey, you gotta.
Staff of Eden
- Acquired from the Eagle-Bearer, Kassandra, 2018
Presumed manufacture date: Late in the Isu Singularity Age, ~75,100 BCE / ~2200 IE
This staff, one of many Isu staves known to us, is first and foremost a medical device with the ability to heal, repair, restore, and rejuvenate organic tissues with unprecedented swiftness. It has been known to extend the life of its bearers well-beyond the average human and Isu lifespan and is presumed to have the ability to resuscitate living creatures in critical or suspended states. It has not been verified if the staff has the ability to resurrect the dead, but this seems unlikely, based on its known features.
It appears to work by reading and copying its bearer's DNA to ensure perfect replication on a broad scale. It is able to detect erroneous copies and deploy repairs so long as its bearer remains within direct contact.
It has been used as a weapon, infrequently, possible by taking advantage of the tremendous power it draws from the Isu's Wireless Energy Lattice.
The staff has also acted as a conduit or container for the personality of an Isu called "Aletheia". It is not known if this personality is Aletheia's original consciousness or a simulation of the original, though most neuroscientists would call this a distinction without a difference. As of early 2019, the entity known as Aletheia has made no further attempts to contact me.
As yet, my purpose as the so-called "Heir of Memories"—as Aletheia has dubbed me—remains unclear.
Hermes Trismegistus: -75,100 – 75,000 IE
Pythagoras: 6th century BCE – 5th century BCE
Kassandra: 4th BCE
Before we meet at the site, I want you to see these.
Last week, I reviewed the logs from my time with Bayek and came across some old notes. In the "years" I explored Cleopatra's Egypt, I stumbled across six Isu temples, most of which were buried beneath pharaonic tomb sites. Each temple contained an Isu message clearly meant for one with the ability to read genetic memories. I was the lucky one. I don't believe they were intended for Bayek himself, as he seemed wholly unaware of the messages as they played. They may have been encoded in a way that only someone with an Animus could see them.
It's been a few years since I last heard these messages, so my memory is foggy. But the notes I scribbled down have a clarity that I trust. Might be something to all this. I don't know. Often I grasp outside of my area of expertise. I am enthusiastic but often wrong. Let me know if something else strikes you.
Message 1 (Excerpt):
"Layers upon layers of reality, each bledding into the next. Which is real, and which is not? What if none are real? What if everything you know is false? We ran thousands of simulations, searching for the right version, searching for Desmond. Each one of them felt real. But there's no way of truly knowing, is there? Not for sure. Anything can be simulated, and finding the answer could mean erasure."
Teasing the Assassin maxim "Nothing is true..." Must be careful not to confuse truths with facts however, a language game you will always lose. Though we may stumble in our attempts to interpret it, the world, the universe, reality, what have you, it is always "out there". I believe that, simulated or no.
We could imagine a dozen nested simulations, and each one, on the level of itself, would constitute a full reality. Wolfram, via Conway, suggests that the universe is a giant cellular automata.
And further, there is a point where the difference between simulated and real is meaningless. If the universe were a simulation, what would it matter? The simulations qua simulation itself would be weal, and therefore everything within it would be real within the confines of the simulation.
Say a scientist were able to simulate pain by inducing only a few neurons to fire, no physical harm. "I am in pain!" the subject says. "No, you only believe you are," says the scientist. This is meaningless, as is this: "You thought you were in pain, but you were mistaken."
Message 2 (Excerpt):
"No surprise. You were designed to have boundaries, after all. And one cannot speak of that which one cannot conceive. The Code. Equations that define life. They are nestled deep within every star, and every mote of dust. Every second that passes is a word, a symbol. All part of an intricate yet simple language existing within the framework of time itself. Is is the one rule which applies to us all. Immutable, inescapable."
We know this: humans were the instruments of an earlier species, the Isu. Resist the temptation to say superior. Different. They were better suited to some tasks, ill-suited to others. Possessed of a mind that we cannot know. But that does not get us anywhere. What is it like to be an Isu? What is it like to be a bat?
The implication that the Isu could "read" time is interesting, but if humans could read time, would it necessarily be in the same manner and for the same purpose? Whether constructed, or evolved, or a little of both as wee are, we cannot be said to have been "built" to achieve the same ends. A round disk on its edge is a wheel; on its side, a plate. How we use something can determine its value and its perceived purpose.
Message 3 (Excerpt):
"Break the code. Break the node. These walls tell of a tragic story. A story we transcribed on our structures, on our artifacts. A story we could not alter. A mystery, defying us, in plain sight. We tried. Our scholars and scientists. Poets and physicists. Bright minds. Rebellious hearts. They all tried so hard to bring about change. They... We all failed. None could change what we discovered, the stories written into the walls of these rooms. The reader has no power. He is but an observer. But the author... the author invents the future. The author owns the future."
The Toba catastrophe, a super-volcanic event paired with a mass-coronal ejection, was the beginning of the end for the Isu. It changed the earth's environment, lowered its available oxygen levels, and generally fucked things up. The Isu never recovered. By our estimates, the last remaining Isu died just a century after the catastrophe. From that point forward, humans—their creation—ruled the roost.
This disaster was not unforeseen. Isu scientists had known about their impending doom for years, perhaps decades, before the catastrophe occurred. To protect themselves, they worked feverishly to find a solution. Six methods they tried, but due to a toxic combination of hubris, political infighting, and bad luck, all six failed. The final method proved the most promising and was nearly complete when tragedy struck. It was this method that Desmond Miles revived when he saved the world from a second solar flare in December 2012.
This voice laments the compounded failures of their species to save themselves, bit the truth is broader than that. They, with Desmond, saved us. Success deferred.
Then this message, break the code, break the node. Insistent, and very puzzling.
Message 4 (Excerpt):
"Linear continuity is a simulations that allows for variations. Within the linear continuity, there are nodes. Chokepoints. Moments where algorithms converge the flows of superposed possibilities to a single moment where only one absolute truth is possible. Paths are fluid, continuous. Nodes are static, changeless. And the wave function collapses the paths into notes which branch out. Again, and again, and again. Can you feel the wave collapsing, trying to course-correct Desmond's act of defiance? The incoming node needs the world to end. The algorithms have been carving the flow of possibilities towards that end for over one hundred years now. Collapse the wave."
Well outside my area of expertise. Must contact someone who knows this shit better. But what it seems to be saying—the structure of spacetime the universe is built in such a way that certain events of clusters of events are compelled to occur. A bottleneck through which spacetime flows, and one nearly impossible to avoid There is something about this catastrophe, the one Desmond averted in 2012, that compels it to return, indifferent to out fear or pain. It is a tidal wave, rippling across the sea of space. It crashed once against the dike, and that stopped it for a time. But the seas rears back for another strike, and another, and another.
That gives some clarity to what is happening now, all around us. But it remains unclear how to change it. Especially from within an Animus, a simulation within a simulation?
"Reality is a mathematical model which gets solved over and over again by the observer. Your thoughts are computations. And they render this world for you to call your own. Not all processors are alike. Different brains produce different realities. The variations go from the subtle to the drastic. Your mind defines how much you can taste. How much yuo can feel. How much you can understand. Perception defines perspective. We designed you and made sure to engineer your senses so you could perceive just what we needed you to. Neither more nor less. There are parts of time we preferred you to remained blind to. It was a necessity."
If we could suddenly "see" time, that would not guarantee the same perception the Isu possessed. Let us speak of time as an entity, if we may. Let us say that time is a perceivable fact in the same way light is a perceivable fact. The ability to "see" this fact in no way guarantees sympathetic view. There are creatures stumbling around this earth that read light differently than we do, and for different purposes. Humans see in a well-known spectrum, ROY G BIV.
This sense of color is confined to the three cones we possess. Yet nocturnal creatures see with a different scope, for a different purpose. Night-stalking, hunting, lurking. The evolved in concert with their needs are and now constrained by them, as are we. Light is only a fact seen askance and used differently by different species. To suggest that we might read time, is to imply we have a specific use for time.
The Message 6
"The next chapter is unstoppable. And yet, the greatest revolutions sometimes originate from the confines of impossibility, do they not? Reality is a simulation. Break the code. And in so doing, escape the inescapable. The Animus was humankind's first unconscious attempt to explain what it could not see. understanding genetic memories, an eye into history. Your Animus is different. As is the mind that imagined it. It could escape the code. It could make that leap and make possible a decision that defies the order of the things that are."
It is ridiculous to imagine that I could change the nature of reality "out there" from within the confines of an Animus, a simulation within this so-called simulation. But I believe I understand what this voice is telling me. My Animus is endowed with the ability to suggest alterations to days long past. But from any moment in time, I can extrapolate what MIGHT have been. Calculations of time. I am not confined to what was, but what could have been.
Yes, history is real, facts do matter. But from any moment in time I choose within the Animus, I can interrogate the memory. I can ask the world what if? What if Bayek and Aya had stayed together? What if Khemu had not been murdered? I can suggest these hypotheticals and watch how they unfold. Why would I want to? For knowledge, for a better understanding of what tragedies were avoided? It remains to be seen.
I am, in a sense, a reader of the calculations. As the Isu were in days past. Perhaps one day I will eb able to harness this talent to see into the future. To predict, to correct, to avoid. That would be worth something.
Thanks for sharing with me the manuscript you found. It's truly amazing!!! For the first time, we have a key to read some inscriptions from the Precursors:
zrhwachày nàgkwat nsmæ br trrhwndi kwardæ
l sorhwlàd vras chnàkôdi de
nsm huchràs réyzdéràæ chaz zàwomsi
But wait, it gets even better! I immediately saw some suspicious similarities with ancient languages. So not that I could decipher the glyphs, I dug into our Precursor archives for more sources. I had to sort through the many different types of writings we found on Precursor sites to find some similar to that inscription. It's quite puzzling how many seemingly unrelated writing systems they had! Maybe the Precursors were not a monolithic a civilization as we think? Anyway, after more in-depth comparative work, the conclusion is unequivocal: this language is related to ancient languages from the Indo-European family, maybe even others. In fact, given the corpus I have studied, I would say that is is probable an ancestor to them. Or at least had a significant influence on them. This is truly fascinating!
With that comparative work, I was able to partially understand some of the inscriptions! The one above reads:
When the destruction and death threatens before us
And the solar flare is reaching
To the calculator of futures we run
I put my findings in this shared file folder in case they can be of use to you.
Keep me posted if you find anything else!
This is the first part of the manuscript you found in Canterbury. It uses a cursive version of the alphabet that appears to be the same as the one used in the Voynich manuscript. Although the handwriting is clearly different.
Announced on this day 24, 2161 IE
A message from the Council.
For the labor we cannot do ourselves, we require animals of great strength but limited sense, freedom of action but not of thought.
To guarantee full control over their behavior, they must be credulous in matters of imagination.
They must be suspicious in matters of fact.
They must see patterns where there are none.
They must doubt correlations that go against their desires.
In all, they must be thought of as our instruments, not our children.
They will build for us, toil for us.
On land, in the sea, in the sky.
They shall be tools to be used, not creatures to be coddled.
Our current father Yaldabaoth has given the order to start production.
Our current mother Saklas has compiled and presented the designs.
Our current voice Samael has gathered the required talent.
Creation begins now.
Is this an order sheet for... humanity?
I can't believe it. Where did Fulke get this? Did the Order have knowledge to read this language? Try to find out more if you can Layala, this is big. This is really big. I have informed Grand Master Miles.
I tried to transcribe pages of the Voynich manuscript, by the way, but it's still gibberish. It must use some sort of encryption that Precursor boxes can decode.
Here are transliterations and translations for the two inscriptions you found in the vault you found beneath Stonehenge:
zrhogwusôd wnhæôdkwat oænos oænos sízwrid
hazàæ huchàæ chàyzæs
In war and in love there is only one goal
The search for a better future
– Lug the Polymath
zérhúàæ hrá læsrs trás hàgwrmæchá hnomndi
hrá mlrs trás savyàs huchàch rhngwarndi
Fate is what the weak name their cowardice
The strong craft their own future
Not sure what to make of these. Do they relate to things you've seen on-site?
This tablet was found in Qobustan, Azerbaijan.
Announced on this day 6, 2194 IE
The workers from the construction site are reassigned to the sanitation of the lake.
I'm not sure what lake this refers to. Given the evidence found, we're pretty sure there must be a Precursor vault there, and this message seems to confirm it. Unfortunately, we haven't found it yet. Maybe this will help?
This piece of ceramic was found in Jerusalem.
This sun shone warmly inside, a burning sight
Now I sooth the wound in a lake of tears
An example of Precursor poetry! And a pretty sad one at that. Note that the original text follows a meter of 16 morae per verse.
This tablet was found in Xi'an, China.
2,800 shovels for shoveling
1,750 axes for cutting
880 plows for plowing
Lock or hide them.
I suspect theft from inside
Shovels, axes, and plows? Why would the Precursors use such rudimentary tools given their advanced technology? Or did they keep their technology away from their human slaves? So many things we don't know about them...
M. and Mme. Bibeau,
My name is Layla Hassan. I was a friend and colleague of Victoria, both in Abstergo and in our subsequent freelance careers. In all the time I knew and worked with your daughter, I was always struck by her limitless intelligence, her humor, and her ability to focus, even in times of great stress. She was an inspiration, not just to me but to all those who worked with her.
I am writing to you now with the hope of shedding some light on the circumstances of her death. I realize it must be strange to receive a letter out of the blue from someone whose name you have probably never heard, offering to explain the tragic loss of someone so dear. But if you'll allow, I will try.
I was with your daughter in the moments leading up to the unfortunate incident that took her life. In fact, I am partly to blame for—
- "THEY ARE WATCHING" encrypted using Atbash