Modern times refers to the period from the start of the 20th century through the 21st century CE. This era saw the overall decline of the Assassin Order and the ascendance of the Templar Order, including Desmond Miles' capture for use in the Animus Project and the commercialization of genetic memory technologies.
The Templar Order recovered several Pieces of Eden during the modern age. Among the victims of the search were Harry Houdini, Mahatma Gandhi and John F. Kennedy. Although not a victim, Nikola Tesla lost his Apple of Eden to the Templars, an incident which motivated him to help the Assassins in destroying the Imperial Sceptre, one of the Staves of Eden. Additionally, the Apollo 11 mission to the Moon was in fact a Templar expedition to recover an Apple of Eden that was on the lunar surface.
At some point before June 1908, Grigori Rasputin stole the Imperial Sceptre from Tsar Nicholas II of Russia. Without the Staff of Eden, Nicholas could not control his people, ultimately leading to the Russian Revolution. It was unclear if Rasputin himself was a Templar, but by June 1908, the Staff had been taken to a Templar research station in Tunguska.
Before the Templars could take advantage of the artifact, however, a team of Russian Assassins led by Nikolai Orelov and their ally Nikola Tesla destroyed the facility. Only Nikolai survived the explosion, during which he experienced a vision from the First Civilization.
In 1917 during the Russian Revolution, Nikolai was tasked by Vladimir Lenin to assassinate Tsar Nicholas II. Nikolai infiltrated the palace but spared the Tsar, he only wanted to be sure that the staff was destroyed. Nicholas revealed that a shard of the staff had been kept as a necklace worn by Rasputin. Seeking more information, the Assassin went to Krasnoyarsk and freed Rasputin's former disciple Khioniya Guseva from the asylum.
She informed him that she tried to kill Rasputin but he was protected by the shard he wore and with it obliged her to mutilating herself. At her request, Nikolai ended her life to stop her suffering. Nikolai later recovered the shard from Rasputin's grave, but chose not inform the Brotherhood of his actions. In December 1917, the Brotherhood, with the help of Soviet government, installed a Assassin and scientific community at Protvino. Among their number was the Assassin Sergei and his wife.
In July 1918, Nikolai accepted a last mission for the Assassins before leaving Russia: recovering a Precursor box once held by Ezio Auditore which was in possession of the Tsar's family, who were imprisoned by the Bolsheviks. In Yekaterinburg, Nikolai discovered that the Templars also sought the box and had executed the Tsar's entire family except for Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna, who had the box. When Nikolai found her, his shard from the Sceptre and the box came into contact, causing a Bleeding Effect on Anastasia, who believed she was the Chinese Assassin Shao Jun, the box's owner in the 16th century during the Ming dynasty. Nikolai decided to bring her to the Assassins in Moscow to cure her.
The pair fled by train to Kasan to escape the Templars. There, Nikolai was betrayed by Leon Trotsky, who said that Anastasia's continued existence as a symbol of the Tsar's power ran against the revolution's ideas and could only be resolved by killing her, but the young woman saved Nikolai from the Templars and they escaped by boat. In Moscow, Nikolai entrusted Anastasia and the box to Sergei. In the Assassins bureau, Nikolai learned that the Assassins planned to use Anastasia as a test subject to recover Shao Jun's memories, despite knowing the process would likely kill her. Nikolai decided to betray the Brotherhood and save her from their laboratory. Furious that Nikolai had impeded their plans by rescuing Anastasia from the facility, the Assassins sent a tank to kill him. Instructing Anastasia to run and wait for him at the Bolshoi Theatre, the former Assassin eventually destroyed the tank. As he had promised, Nikolai went to the theater and gave a false passport to Anastasia, who took the name of Anna Anderson. Nikolai then bid farewell to "Anna", who went to Germany.
Abandoning the Assassins, he emigrated to the United States with his family. During the Palmer Raids, his wife Anna and daughter Nadya were deported back to Russia, but Nikolai evaded arrest with his infant son Innokenti and subsequently raised him in a secluded cabin. When the Assassin Sergei found them, he threatened Innokenti to make Nikolai hand over the shard. Nikolai killed Sergei and trained his son to fight, anticipating the return of subsequent Assassins.
Eventually, a group of American Assassins who worked for the FBI attempted to explain to Nikolai that they had provided his family safe return to Russia, claiming to only want information about his vision. Nikolai refused to believe them and initiated a struggle which left Innokenti the sole survivor.
With the beginning of World War I, the Assassins were sent all across Europe to be at every theatre of war. Many British Assassins enlisted in the British Army. During the Christmas truce of 1914, one of their Assassins undercover as a medic killed the Templar Erich Albert, a General in the German Army. In 1916, the Templars had installed a spy ring in London lead by a figure known as the "Master Spy". In truth, he was a Sage, a reincarnation of the member of the Isu Aita. Lydia Frye, who was the last Assassin in the city, killed him and his followers.
The Templars orchestrated Adolf Hitler's rise to power by granting him an Apple of Eden. Secretly, however, the war had been instigated to spread the Templar economic system of capitalism throughout a war-torn Europe, keeping the populace under the control of corporations, such as Abstergo Industries, which became the public front of Templar Order in 1937. Although the aim of Templar hegemony was accomplished, Hitler himself was killed by the Assassins in 1945 after he killed his double and left his bunker in Berlin. Hitler's Apple was lost, however, and its fate remained unresolved.
In 1943, Abstergo had an unclear involvement in the Philadelphia Project, as they gained data from the Animus Project's twelfth subject that confirmed USS Eldridge was briefly thrust into a future timeline. Fearful of temporal paradoxes, the company contained the artifact responsible to a secured location.
In 1944, the Templar agent Keith Scipione claimed the original Shroud of Eden for Abstergo Industries. The same year, Barthel Schink, an Assassin ally and member of the Edelweiss Pirates, was captured by the Gestapo. In prison he met a fellow Edelweiss Pirate, Miriam Kurtz, and tasked her to recover a Piece of Eden from the spire of the Cologne Cathedral and bring it back to the French Assassins stationed in Paris. She succeeded but the Third Reich reclaimed it.
The Great Purge and the Prophet's Codex
In November 2000, the Templars successfully planted a sleeper agent named Daniel Cross among the Assassins, who plunged them into disarray by assassinating the Mentor of the Order. By September 2012, the Templars had managed to locate and destroy virtually every Assassin encampment around the world during an operation titled the Great Purge.
Sometime in 2002, Daniel Cross was officially inducted into the Inner Sanctum of the Templar Order and given an assignment by Dr. Warren Vidic through e-mail. Daniel traveled to Moscow, Russia to find the "Prophet's Codex" in the library of Ivan the Terrible hidden beneath the Bolshoi Theatre. Attending a play there, Daniel quietly made his way through the theatre to find a hidden door which led to the library.
Upon entering it, he was spooked by an Assassin sentry who intended to greet him, causing Daniel to loosen his Hidden Blade. However, Daniel pretended to be the Assassin's replacement as sentry, and the man eagerly told Daniel about the location of the Codex when Daniel inquired. When the sentry left, Daniel opened the Prophet's Codex, written by Ezio Auditore. He read Minerva's speech to Vidic via his earpiece and noted the name "Desmond". Afterward, Daniel took the box containing the Codex and killed the sentry, before calling a clean-up team and leaving the library.
Early 21st century
In September or October 2006, a virus dubbed L-11 broke out in Africa. After three months, 96% of the continent's population had died, and even after six years, Africa remained essentially empty. This story was later alleged by Abstergo Industries to be a falsified account reported by Erudito, a hacking collective.
On 9 December 2010, junior professor Shaun Hastings released confidential information on Abstergo Industries to WikiLeaks; Abstergo quickly had the letter pulled, and Shaun abducted for interrogation. The next day, while he was being transferred, Rebecca Crane hacked the onboard computer of Abstergo's van to show that it was low on fuel. When the van pulled over to rectify this, Rebecca helped Shaun escape, and introduced him to the Assassin Order.
In March 2012, violence erupted between Mexican border guards and undocumented immigrants from the United States. Despite hundreds of American refugees being killed and thousands more wounded, record numbers of Americans still continued to cross the border. On 3 September, the Global Weather Association abandoned the phrase "North Atlantic Hurricane Season", since occurrences of the natural phenomenon in the North Atlantic had become so powerful and frequent that coastal cities in the East Coast lived in constant fear of the storms. Three days later, the last American film studio permanently closed down, as rampant film piracy and competition from the video game industry had rendered the American cinema industry nonviable. Meanwhile, the USA and European Union continued to build jointly-owned oil platforms in the Weddell Sea, despite protests that the platforms violated the Antarctic Treaty System.
In 2010, William Miles gave Clay Kaczmarek the task of infiltrating Abstergo Industries. His job was to access the personal computer of Alan Rikkin, the company's CEO, and uncover the details surrounding the secretive "Animus Project". Clay's efforts yielded information on the project's research funding, the name of its lead, and the location of the new facility in Italy. Thereafter, the Assassins decided to plant Clay deeper into Abstergo as a test subject of the program. He was informed that there was a mole already inside Abstergo by the name of Lucy Stillman, who would aid him in his escape when the time came.
On 1 February 2011, Clay was captured by the Lineage Discovery and Acquisition team and inducted into the Animus Project as Subject 16. He was forced to relive the memories of his ancestors, particularly Ezio Auditore, for long periods of time. Though Vidic kept the true purpose of their genetic explorations a secret, Clay realized that their efforts were focused on locating a mythical "Apple of Eden"; when Clay inquired about the Apple, Vidic threatened that Clay could not reasonably expect to be released if he knew what they truly sought. Later, William contacted Clay and assured him that when the time came, Lucy would rescue him, as they were a team.
Eventually, Clay discovered the true purpose of the Animus Project—the release of the Eye-Abstergo satellite—and decided that it was time for him to escape. However, his over-exposure to the Animus caused him to suffer from extreme bouts of the Bleeding Effect. In addition, after conversing with Juno, Clay discovered Lucy's true allegiance to the Templars.
Following this revelation, Clay was convinced by Juno to deliver a message to his eventual successor, Desmond Miles. As he plotted his suicide, Clay created an artificially intelligent construct of himself inside the Animus by hacking the machine throughout the night. After sending one final e-mail to his father, Clay slit his wrists and used his blood to paint cryptic messages for his eventual successor to find.
On 6 September 2012, the media announced that Abstergo Industries was being investigated for manipulating a small town's water supply in order to test a synthetic drug referred to as "New Fluoride". This pressured Abstergo to launch their Eye-Abstergo satellite by 21 December 2012, which was secretly a mind control device powered by a Piece of Eden. The Piece of Eden originally intended to power the satellite was destroyed in the DIA satellite accident, and Abstergo did not have another available.
To that end, Abstergo kidnapped Desmond Miles and took him to their facility in Rome. Desmond relived the memories of his ancestor, Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad, so that Abstergo could obtain a map showing the approximate locations of the Pieces of Eden on Earth. Shortly after, Desmond escaped Abstergo with the help of Lucy Stillman, who claimed to be an undercover Assassin to gain Desmond's trust. However, the escape was actually a part of Project Siren, a plan devised by Vidic to facilitate a quicker recovery of Desmond's genetic memories.
Lucy brought Desmond to an Assassin hideout and rendezvoused with Shaun Hastings and Rebecca Crane. With the Assassins losing the war against the Templars, the decision was made to train Desmond as a true Assassin in the fastest possible way: through the use of the Animus 2.0, which was made from copied Abstergo blueprints. As such, the Assassins intended to take advantage of the Bleeding Effect by having Desmond relive the memories of an ancestor to take on his skills, this ancestor being Ezio Auditore. While reliving Ezio's memories, Desmond encountered Minerva, who warned of a natural disaster that would soon recur. In order to avert planet-wide decimation, the Pieces of Eden needed to be brought to a series of temples built by the First Civilization.
Soon after, Desmond and his companions were located by a team of Templars led by Vidic himself, though they were able to escape once more. The group fled to Monteriggioni, where Desmond continued to relive Ezio's life in order to locate the Apple of Eden that had come into his possession. Meanwhile, Lucy stashed a recorded copy of Desmond's sessions in the Animus at the hideout, which Vidic later retrieved.
The search led Desmond to the Colosseum Vault in Rome, which contained a secret passage leading to Santa Maria in Aracoeli. Here, the Assassins located the Apple of Eden within a hidden vault, and Desmond attempted to retrieve it through performing a short freerunning course. When Desmond touched the Apple, his body was possessed by Juno, and he was forced to stab Lucy in the stomach, killing her. Desmond then went into shock and slipped into unconsciousness.
After Desmond blacked out, William Miles' team arrived and had him placed him into the Animus. During this time, Desmond relived the memories of Ezio during the search for Leonardo da Vinci, where he subsequently discovered the Pythagorean Vault and receivied the coordinates that would direct the Assassin Order to the Grand Temple. However, as a result of this strain on his weakened psychological state, Desmond slipped into a coma.
As Desmond's coma bound him to the Animus, he was left to try and piece his subconscious mind together. After burying Lucy outside Rome, the Assassins flew to the United States while posing as a medical team from State University . When Desmond had fully synchronized with Ezio's remaining memories with the help of Subject 16's virtual construct, he entered into a Synch Nexus and awoke outside the Grand Temple, claiming that he knew what they had to do to prevent the impending solar coronal mass ejection.
After the Assassins entered the temple and restored a power source, Juno's voice commanded Desmond to find "the key". To that end, Desmond began reliving the memories of Haytham Kenway, a British Templar during the French and Indian War who came into possession of an amulet that would grant access to the Grand Temple after passing its initial barrier. While taking a break, Shaun informed Desmond that they needed more power cores to boost the Temple back to functionality, and the team resolved to find them. Meanwhile, Desmond continued viewing his genetic memory, this time reliving the memories of the American Assassin Ratonhnhaké:ton, Haytham's son with a Kanien'kehá:ka woman named Kaniehtí:io.
By 16 November, Shaun located another power source in an Abstergo office in Manhattan. The team traveled there, and Desmond climbed the unfinished Freedom Tower to parachute into the office. He was confronted by Daniel Cross, but knocked him unconscious with the battery and escaped.
On 2 December, Desmond infiltrated a stadium in São Paulo, Brazil to recover another power source, which was being worn as a necklace by a business tycoon's trophy wife. Abstergo guards were present and searching for Desmond, so he blended with the crowd and stealthily made it to her balcony. However, Cross had already killed the woman and taken the artifact. Spurred into action, Desmond chased Cross, beat him and escaped with the power source via train.
Upon their return to the Grand Temple, Shaun immediately located another power source in Egypt. William volunteered to retrieve it, and told Desmond to stay behind and learn the location of the key from Connor's memories. Desmond was concerned for his father's safety, and his fears were realized when Abstergo captured William after he recovered the power source.
Vidic sent a message offering to trade William for the Apple, and Desmond returned to the Abstergo facility in Rome. However, he refused to bargain, killing Cross and any Abstergo guards who stood in his way. He used the Apple to compel the guards into killing Vidic and then themselves, then left with William and the power source. Without the Apple of Eden in their possession, Abstergo put off the Eye-Abstergo satellite launch.
Desmond eventually found the memory he was looking for, discovering that Connor had buried the key on the Davenport Homestead near the grave of Connor Davenport, the Colonial Assassin's namesake. After digging it up, the Assassins returned to open the door inside the Grand Temple. Behind it lay an orb which Juno commanded Desmond to touch in order to prevent the Second Disaster. However, Minerva appeared and revealed they had been misled: Juno had sought to conquer the world and as punishment, her consciousness was imprisoned.
While activating the global aurora borealis device would save the world, it would also free Juno and end Desmond's life. At Juno and Desmond's urging, Minerva revealed that if he did not touch the orb, humanity would survive the disaster and Desmond would be hailed as the next messiah. However, his words would eventually be twisted to serve wicked purposes, justifying abuse and oppression.
With only hours before cataclysm struck, Desmond chose to touch the orb, believing it to be the better choice and claiming the Assassins would stop Juno. Telling the others to leave, he activated the device, dying to protect Earth from the solar flare. That afternoon, Abstergo found the Temple and recovered Desmond's body, leaving his bag and broken Hidden Blade behind.
By the end of 2012, Abstergo began selling the Animus as a game console to the public through their entertainment branch, alongside various other items such as the Angelus implant, Bodyband, and Herne+. They also extended into the international market, particularly with Brahman V.R. consoles across India via their subsidiary, MysoreTech.
On 14 May 2013, Shaun, Rebecca, and William broke a six-month "silence" following Desmond's death, and a week later the three arrived in a coastal region of Peru awaiting interception by Gavin Banks. Gavin welcomed the trio aboard the Altaïr II, only to be informed that William was stepping down from his position of Assassin leader and naming Gavin as his replacement. William also gave Gavin a book that contained everything he knew about the Order, tasking Gavin with rebuilding the Brotherhood.
By 25 May, the Altaïr II docked in Acapulco, Mexico, with Rebecca helping to devise version 2.0 of the Hephaestus Email Network. Two days later, Gavin discovered a clue in William's book containing a poem and a set of numbers written in different directions. Gavin gave orders to Shaun and Rebecca to return to the United States, as he needed some "eyes and ears on America". On 10 June, Rebecca sent a message to Gavin remarking that Texas "is awesome"—confirming their redeployment in the United States had been successful—and bidding him good luck. On the same day, an unknown person reacted to a magazine article that the Tunguska explosion was caused by the Assassins, not a meteorite as per the official story. They also remarked that Nikolai Orelov knew about the event.
In September 2013, Abstergo Entertainment's Montreal branch put out an ad to hire five new employees, one each in Product Development, Technical Support, Customer Contact, Office Support, and Management. After Abstergo released the postings, Rebecca sent a text message to Gavin, claiming she wanted to investigate. Three days later, en route to Montreal, Shaun and Rebecca traveled to the Farm and found it destroyed. By 11 September, the Assassin team composed of Gavin, Susan Drayton and Eric Cooper discussed potential happenings in Osaka, Japan, as Gavin's informant there had gone "silent". Gavin then announced he would be heading to the Philippines to do some "shopping".
On 1 October, Emmanuel Barraza inspected the guns Gavin bought from the Philippine gun makers in preparation for a possible fight in Osaka. On 11 October, the day Abstergo Entertainment celebrated its one year anniversary in Montreal, Rebecca sent Gavin a text message asking about Abstergo Entertainment CCO Olivier Garneau and what he knew about Templars and Assassins. Rebecca and Shaun arrived in Montreal on 24 October and quickly heard rumors of a vial contained within the facility. Rebecca informed Gavin on 28 October that they had a mole within Abstergo helping them search, and they would find the vial in time. Meanwhile, two of the company's employees, Jennifer Tam and Philippe Chartrand, exchanged emails about a new Abstergo employee and the employee's involvement in the Sample 17 Project.
On 2 November, an unknown Initiate recovered the blood vial from Abstergo. Jennifer and Philippe continued to exchange emails about the memories of Bernard and Edward Kenway, and Jennifer mentioned that she had a crush on the new barista working in the lobby. Over several days, they continued to discuss the barista and the "Noob", but their conversations eventually turned to a string of hackings on Abstergo Entertainment's servers.
The hackings, perpetuated by the new research analyst at the behest of IT specialist John Standish, began as a means to retrieve information pertinent to Desmond; the data was then delivered to Shaun and Rebecca, posing as the lobby's barista and courier respectively. The hacking soon turned to data on Abstergo's internal workings, culminating with information about a board meeting in Chicago. Olivier subsequently disappeared en route to the meeting, putting Abstergo on high alert.
As the hacking escalated, several employees were moved to containment cells in the basement of the Abstergo building, including the new research analyst. John gave the new research analyst the proper clearance to leave their cell, and instructed them to access the company's main server to remove all record of their activities. However, John's ultimate plan was for Juno—currently existing on the digital network—to possess the employee's body and take physical form. However, Juno was too weak to manifest and vanished, inciting John's rage.
In an attempt to make the employee a more suitable host, John snuck into their cell and poisoned them. However, Abstergo guards broke in and killed John before he could carry out his plans. John was subsequently blamed for the employee's hacking activities, clearing their name. On 2 December, Rebecca informed Gavin that their informant had been killed, and that she and Shaun would be leaving Montreal. However, the two then contacted the new research analyst, saying that they would be happy for the help if the analyst chose to keep hacking Abstergo Entertainment's servers.
Search for the Koh-i-Noor
In November 2013, Abstergo Industries launched the Brahman V.R. in India in an effort to access the genetic memories of Arbaaz Mir and Pyara Kaur, which they believed would lead to a Piece of Eden known as the Koh-i-Noor. Jot Soora, an employee of MysoreTech, was found to be a descendant of Raza Soora, Arbaaz Mir's servant who accompanied his master on many adventures.
One day Jot brought a console home, and upon using it, his fiancée Monima Das learned that she was a descendant of Arbaaz Mir and Pyara Kaur. Jot later discovered that the machine extracted memories from the operator's DNA and uploaded them to the Abstergo Cloud server, and relived some of Arbaaz Mir's genetic memories himself. Jot later spoke to his colleague, Siobhan Dhami, about the device, but claimed to be the descendant of Arbaaz Mir out of embarrassment about his heritage. He then traveled to Mumbai to see his fiancée at her film studio, but was followed and abducted by Siobhan and her brother Jasdip.
Revealing themselves to be Assassins, Siobhan and Jasdip forced Jot into the Brahman V.R., believing his genetic memories would lead them to the Koh-i-Noor. However, upon placing Jot in the device, they realized he had lied about his heritage. Just then, the Templar agent Juhani Otso Berg crashed the Assassin hideout to recover Jot Soora, attacking and killing Siobhan. In the chaos, Jot retrieved the Brahman device and plunged out of the hideout into the slums below. He then fled for the studio, where he and Monima were apprehended by Templar agents in a black van.
Jasdip attempted to free the couple as they sped down the highway, but caused the driver to lose control of the vehicle, which plummeted into the Bay of Mumbai. Jasdip managed to save Jot but Monima was lost to the bay's depths. Jasdip escorted Jot to the Assassin hideout in the Chor Bazaar, where Jot met another Assassin called Dinesh. Devastated by the death of his fiancée, Jot decided to relive Monima's memories in the Brahman V.R., even at the risk of exposing himself to the Templars. He revealed that Monima's ancestor was Pyara Kaur, which Dinesh realized could lead them to the Koh-i-Noor. Dinesh then downloaded Monima's ancestry data from the Abstergo servers onto Jot's mobile phone.
The Templars soon reached the hideout and Dinesh was killed in the ensuing conflict. While Jasdip fought the Templar attackers, Jot escaped with his phone into the crowded streets, where he eventually returned to the scene of the accident. He then played a video on his phone, showing his marriage proposal to Monima through her eyes.
On 3 December, another Initiate spy aboard the Altaïr II updated their database after successfully rigging the Hephaestus 2.0, and reported that they could now upload full reports to the Initiates database. The next day, the spy reported that Gavin and Emmanuel had found the Osaka Brotherhood's ruined compound. Using his Eagle Vision, Gavin determined that the yakuza, rather than Abstergo, were behind the attack. They then found the remains of Gavin's contact and former mentor, Kenichi Mochizuki; Gavin ordered his men to scout the area for survivors and begin searching out the yakuza perpetrators.
On 6 December, the Initiate spy reported that Emmett Leary discovered a ruthless branch of the yakuza, the Onmoraki-Gumi, had recently been wiped out by gang warfare. Six days later, the spy reported that even though the Onmoraki-Gumi was gone, it was still somehow running its front-end companies. Susan tried her luck at finding the location of their new headquarters in a yakuza-controlled gambling den but failed at her attempt. Emmanuel was more successful, both winning and tracking down the new headquarters.
The next day, the spy reported that the identity of the Onmoraki-Gumi's new leader was unknown, and crew members began placing bets on what the leader looked like. Gavin claimed that the only way to move forward was to confront the yakuza group directly. Meanwhile, on 16 December, an Initiate spy in Philadelphia uploaded an Abstergo file concerning the ancestry of Milton Jones, showing the latter's connection to the Assassin Adéwalé.
On 17 December, the Initiate spy aboard the Altaïr II reported that Gavin and Emmanuel visited the Onmoraki-Gumi's headquarters and requested an audience with their leader. The Onmoraki sentry, Kiyoshi Takakura, initially refused and fought with Gavin. However, when Emmanuel overheard other gang members mention the Brotherhood and saw that Kiyoshi bore a Hidden Blade, he stepped forward to intervene, injuring himself on Kiyoshi's weapon. He then asked Kiyoshi to recite the first tenet of the Creed, which he did successfully, and Emmanuel revealed the Assassin insignia on his dog tags. Kiyoshi offered a sincere apology before allowing them inside.
The spy reported that Osaka's new Mentor was a 78-year-old woman, Saeko Mochizuki or "Osoroshii Baba", who took over the Brotherhood when the yakuza attacked their compound and killed her husband. In retaliation, she led the Assassins to attack and destroy the yakuza, subsequently taking over the gang. She also told Gavin that she used the Onmoraki-Gumi to blend her Assassins into the city, noting that the Assassins and the yakuza had similar ways of working in the dark to serve the light.
Saeko was happy to be reunited with Gavin, but warned that the Osaka Brotherhood was still recovering from its battles with Abstergo and the yakuza. She also noted that Japan's restrictive gun laws kept them at a disadvantage against Abstergo's unlimited resources. As a tribute to the new Osaka Brotherhood, Gavin offered the guns his team had purchased in the Philippines and gave Saeko the contact details of their supplier. In return, Saeko gave him a new Animus headset that the Brotherhood had recovered from an Abstergo facility in Japan, believing that the war between Assassins and Templars had escalated into a new dimension.
On New Year's Eve 2013, the spy reported on the Assassins' holiday activities, such as cleaning the Altaïr II at Saeko's behest and partaking in homemade toshikoshi soba. Meanwhile, Kiyoshi and Emmanuel sparred for three hours before going to a karaoke bar. Stephanie Chiu filmed Emmanuel singing with her phone and he swore that he would renounce his stance on killing if she ever showed it to anyone.
By 15 January 2014, Gavin was satisfied with the Assassin presence in Japan and made the call to move on. Again, the team took their direction from William's book. Emmett asked Gavin why they didn't contact William for the answer, to which Gavin replied that it was their mission to find it out for themselves. He also told Emmett that while William was back in the Order, Gavin did not know where he was or how to get in touch with him.
On 19 February, the Assassin team aboard the Altaïr II solved the next puzzle in William's journal which led them to Moscow. The Initiate spy remarked that a new puzzle would help them narrow down their target within the city. Emmanuel and Emmett traveled to Moscow via the Trans-Siberian Railway, while the crew of the Altaïr II sailed to Saint Petersburg. With Emmett away, the spy accessed his computers and discovered a backdoor through an old Abstergo server to an Assassin lab in Protvino, just outside of Moscow. Abstergo appeared not to be monitoring the lab, or even know of its existence.
By 16 March, Gavin's team had made contact with an Assassin in Moscow named Galina Voronina. During their meeting, Galina requested that Gavin's team assassinate her mother, an Assassin scientist who was driven insane through the Bleeding Effect. Galina further explained that her mother had created her own Animus and forced the other members of her cell into it, and Gavin's team would have to fight through the mad survivors to gain access to the lab. Lastly, she told them that her mother claimed to be talking to Eve while in the Animus. Emmett explained that it was impossible to talk to anyone inside the Animus as it is a one-way experience, and that there were few documented cases of encounters with anyone from the First Civilization, but Galina ignored him. She eventually agreed to help and believed Emmett could solve the problem using words, not violence.
On 20 March, Gavin's team and Galina went to the Assassin lab in Protvino, and Galina single-handedly put down the crazed Assassins. Gavin's team pushed their way inside the laboratory and found Galina's mother in the Animus, babbling about her "lost husband" and the color grey. Emmett looked at the wall-mounted monitors and saw Juno's face in the static; when Galina killed her mother, the spy saw Juno scream before disappearing.
Six days later, Gavin's team reboarded the Altaïr II in St. Petersburg and brought Galina along. Since she was the last of the Russian Assassins, Gavin asked her to join his team and act as his enforcer. Meanwhile, Akaki and Nodar Ninidze sent word to their contacts in Georgia, who would be armed by Saeko funneling weapons from the Philippines.
Search for William Miles
On 10 April, the spy noted that Gavin had been in a foul mood since they left Russia due to the Brotherhood's losses in Brisbane, Whistler, Florence, Denver, Moscow, and São Paulo. Even though William had returned from hiding the year before, he had not reached out to the crew of the Altaïr II. Taking the silence personally, Gavin soon brought his team together and demanded that they find William. Their efforts bore fruit a week later, when they located William, Shaun and Rebecca in a secret bunker in Norway. While Rebecca and Shaun were enthused at the reunion, William and Gavin were less so, and Gavin asked to speak with the former leader immediately.
Some days later, Gavin and William argued about the latter's recent behavior; Gavin asserted that William had been using him like a pawn, distracting him with solving the cryptic journal, while William reiterated that Desmond's death had put him in an unfit state to lead the Assassins. Rebecca cut the argument short by informing the crew that she had discovered coded messages sent from the ship's computer systems to the Initiates Database. Her discovery quickly led to a crew-wide manhunt to uncover the spy.
After William interrogated the ship's crew, excluding Gavin and Galina, inside his "White Room", he discovered that Dr. Chiu was the spy and ordered Galina to kill her. However, Eric jumped to her defense, claiming he wrote the reports and Chiu simply uploaded them to the database. William, however, spared their lives, claiming that the Initiates seemed like a reasonable group, and the interviews had been useful in determining the character of the Altaïr II's crew.
In February 2014, the Assassins Harlan Cunningham and Arend Schut entered a facility in Rotterdam and stole the Precursor box once owned by Shay Cormac, an Assassin who became a Templar during the Seven Years' War. Berg and Sigma Team fought to reclaim the artifact but the Assassins escaped. In May, Berg was tasked to find the Ankh of Isis and went to Essen. He rapidly gave up, as his colleague Violet da Costa suggested that the Ankh was only a legend created by the Assassins to waste the Templars' time searching for a fake Piece of Eden. Later, Berg went to Long Bay to find the Observatory, but discovered that the Assassins had buried it two centuries before. The Templar decided to return later with an excavating group.
Working with Initiates
After uncovering the Initiates' moles, William planned to use the Initiates' Outernet and their people to transform the into support operatives and trainees of the Assassins. Shaun then entered in contact with the Initiates to recruit them in the Brotherhood under William's commands, and became their co-handler alongside the Assassin know as Bishop On October 13, Shaun and Galina infiltrated Abstergo's Phoenix Project laboratory in Paris, destroying the facility and all the research and study on the Precursor DNA, as well as stealing data and melting their servers.
During the attack, Galina mortally wounded doctor Álvaro Gramática, the Phoenix Project leader, with a grenade, but the Templar was healed by the Shroud of Eden which was destroyed in the process. Sigma Team members Berg and Sorkin tried to arrest the two Assassins but Galina stabbed Sorkin multiple times and fled with Shaun. After this event, Laetitia England authorized the reformation of Sigma Team and Berg went to Montreal to help Violet with the combined attacks by Erudito, the Assassins, and the Instruments of the First Will.
In November, Bishop began to recruit new Initiates through the Helix server. One of them was tasked to relive the memories of Arno Dorian, an Assassin who had encountered François-Thomas Germain, a Sage who lived during the French Revolution. Arno's memories were sent to the Assassins by Robert Fraser and Victoria Bibeau, two Assassins working in Abstergo Entertainment who had recently destroyed Abstergo's progress on Arno's memories. The Assassins wanted to find Germain's remains before the Templars could in order to slow down the Phoenix Project's progress. The Initiate discovered that Arno had hidden the Sage's body in the catacombs of Paris and the Assassins decided not to continue the research since Abstergo wouldn't be able to recover a DNA sample. However, the Initiate continued reliving Arno's memories and discovered that the French Assassin had found an Apple of Eden in Saint-Denis and that he had sent it to Egypt.
That same month, Juno attacked Abstergo Entertainment's server with a virus hidden in the memories of Shay Cormac during his time as an Assassin. The employee who relived his memory and had unintentionally released the virus was tasked by Templars Violet da Costa and Berg to fix the server and to continue his research on Shay's past. Berg used the footage of Shay's memories to send a message to the Assassins, to show them their weaknesses and to warn them on the forthcoming hunt that Berg was going lead. However, the video ended up being a decoy used by Berg to make the Assassins run from Montreal, revealing their locations. After that, the employee was threatened with either joining the Templars or being killed for refusing, though they were also given time to think it over.
Search for the Shroud
After the destruction of the original Shroud of Eden, the Templars searched for another artefact. On 25 September 2015, Abstergo discovered a new Shroud in London through the memories of Arbaaz Mir's son, Jayadeep Mir. However, the Assassins tasked the Helix Initiate with finding the Shroud before the Templars by reliving the memories of the Master Assassins and twins Evie and Jacob Frye. Shaun and Rebecca infiltrated Isabelle Ardant's office in London to steal the twin memories and decided to wait for the return of the Templar, but they were ambushed by Berg and Violet. The Assassins managed to escape from the office and find an hideout in London. Because of Sigma Team's presence in London, Bishop sent reinforcements for the couple; Galina joined the two Assassins to protect them.
The two factions discovered that the Shroud was hidden beneath the Buckingham Palace. The Abstergo team retrieved the precursor artifact but the Assassins decided to attack. Galina entered a hand-to-hand combat with Berg, defeating the Master Templar. Shaun killed Ardant but Violet escaped with the Shroud and wounded Rebecca, who had jumped in front of Shaun, taking the bullet meant for him. The duo was saved by Galina, who used a smoke bomb to eliminate the rest of Sigma Team and the group fled from the vault. Later, Bishop revealed a footage from Gramática's new secret Phoenix Project Laboratory where it was shown that Violet had delivered the Shroud to Gramática, who pretended to use it to create an Isu body from scratch. The next part of the footage featured Violet talking to Juno through a screen, where it was revealed that Violet was an Instrument of the First Will and that the recovery of the Shroud was part of her plan.
The Initiate continued reliving the memories of the Frye twin during the Autumn of Terror and discovered the identity of Jack the Ripper. During this time, several Assassins demonstrated their disapproval of using the civilian-run Initiates, mainly Eric Cooper, a former Initiate, and Jasdip Dhami. Heeding their advice, William Miles decided to stop using the Initiates' support in the future.