Playing the role of a courier, Ezio Auditore disguised himself as a Borgia guard and transported a chest along with other guards to predetermined destination. He took care not to draw any attention to himself and followed the guard leader, who was oblivious to the Assassin's presence.
Dressed as the courier he had just killed, Ezio attempted to check on the artifact contained inside, though he was interrupted by another guard.
- Ezio: Yes sir?
- Guard: This is a moment of great importance. Stay in formation.
Make this right.
Ezio followed the guard, and were soon joined by a couple more. As Ezio maintained his cover along the way, all four reached the location where Rodrigo was waiting for them.
- Rodrigo: Do you really have it? You were not followed?
- Guard: Absolutely. Everything went perfectly. We have followed your orders exactly as specified. The mission to Cyprus was more difficult than expected. There were complications, but we have returned with the artifact. And have carefully transported it to you, as instructed. We look forward to be generously compensated, as I am sure you've already considered... AHEM... what are you waiting for, Courier?
Ezio killed the guard from behind with his Hidden Blade, surprising Rodrigo.
- Rodrigo: Ezio. It's been some time.
The two guards beside Ezio reacted to this and drew their weapons, but the Assassin was too fast for them. They fell dead as his blades slit their throats.
- Ezio: Rodrigo.
So, where is he?
- Rodrigo: Hmmm? Who?
- Ezio: Your prophet!? Doesn't seem like anybody showed up, Rodrigo!
How many people have died for this? For what's in this box?! And look– There's NOBODY here!
- Rodrigo: You claim not to be a believer. And yet, here you are... Don't you see him? The Prophet is already here...
I AM the Prophet. Now give me the Apple.
- Ezio: Come and take it from me.
Rodrigo accepted Ezio's challenge and they fought each other. Halfway into the fight, Rodrigo taunted Ezio.
- Rodrigo: Is this all you have? Where's the rest of your people?
- Ezio: What people?
- Rodrigo: You really have no idea, do you? Guards!
- Ezio: Uncle?
- Mario: Don't worry, nipote (nephew)! You are not alone.
- Ezio: Volpe! What are you doing here?
- Volpe: We could very well ask you the same thing!
- Ezio: We?
- Antonio: Save your questions, brother. Don't let Borgia leave with that box!
- Bartolomeo: Avanti! (Forward!)
- Rodrigo: Now, you all shall die.
- Antonio: Take him down, Ezio. We are right behind you.
- Bartolomeo: Come at me, codardi (cowards)! All of you! My Bianca hungers for more skulls to crush!
- Rodrigo: This is pathetic. You cannot stop what is written.
What lies in the vault shall be mine!
- Volpe: Look, my friends. Our Ezio has become quite a guerriero (warrior).
A guard advanced towards Volpe.
- Volpe: A cuccia, tu (Down, boy.) You mess with the fox, you get the sword.
- Mario: What FUN! We should do this more often!
- Rodrigo: This is a losing battle for you, hombrecito (boy). You will die by my hand, just like your father...
This war has been going on far longer than either of us have played a role.
- Bartolomeo: Isn't this magnifico (wonderful), Ezio?! All of us smashing these Templar heads together!
- Mario: Notevole, nipote! (Impressive, nephew!) You have improved since the last time we fought together.
- Antonio: Ah, bravissimo. We should do this more often.
- Rodrigo: Your brothers didn't need to die, I just killed them to make a point. There is no mercy when you cross the Templars.
Ezio managed to slow Rodrigo and attempted to kill him.
- Ezio: This is for my father you–
Before he could react, Rodrigo kicked Ezio and fled. Knocked down, Ezio looked around to find Paola standing in front of him.
- Ezio: Paola?!
- Paola: He's gone, but we have what we came for...
- Ezio: No! I need to go after him–
- Teodora: Do you really, now? Or are you here for another reason, my son?
- Ezio: Teodora–? What–?! What are you all doing here?!
Machiavelli entered the group and addressed Ezio.
- Machiavelli: Perhaps the same thing you are, Ezio. Hoping to see the Prophet appear.
- Ezio: I came here to kill the Spaniard. I couldn't care less about your prophet. – He never showed up!
- Machiavelli: No...? But, you did.
- Ezio: What?!
- Machiavelli: A prophet's arrival was foretold...
And, unbeknownst to us – here you are. Perhaps all along, you were the one we sought.
- Ezio: Cosa? (What?) Who are you?
- Machiavelli: Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli. I am an Assassin – trained in the ancient ways to safeguard mankind's evolution. Just like you, and each one of us here.
Ezio was astonished by the new information.
- Ezio: You are all Assassins? Paola...? Volpe...?
- Mario: It's true, nipote. We have all been guiding you, for years, teaching you the skills you need to join our ranks... I think it's time...
- Antonio: We have our prize, but there is much to be done. Come meet us here at sunset.
Antonio handed Ezio a map, before the group moved on, leaving Ezio to his thoughts. Ezio reached the location mentioned by Antonio, a tower near to the Rialto bridge. The Assassins waited for him at the top of the tower, while a brazier burned in a corner.
- Mario: Laa shay'a waqi'un moutlaq bale kouloun moumkine.
These are the words spoken by our ancestors – that lay at the heart of our Creed.
- Machiavelli: Where other men blindly follow the truth, remember...
- Ezio: ...Nothing is true.
- Machiavelli: Where other men are limited, by morality or law, remember...
- Ezio: ...Everything is permitted.
- Machiavelli: We work in the dark to serve the light. We are Assassins.
With this, the Assassins spoke in unison.
- Assassins: Nothing is true. Everything is permitted.
- Mario: It is time Ezio...
In this modern age, we may not be as literal as our ancestors. But our seal is no less permanent. Are you ready to join us?
- Ezio: I am.
Ezio extended the ring finger of his left, while Antonio removed a pair of heated metal tongs from the brazier, before he approached Ezio.
- Antonio: This only hurts for a while, brother. Like so many things.
Antonio branded Ezio's finger.
- Machiavelli: Benvenuto (Welcome), Ezio. You are one of us now. Come! We have much to do!
With Ezio newly initiated, the Assassin group performed a Leap of Faith from the tower, and Ezio followed them shortly after. From there, accompanied by Mario and Machiavelli, Ezio took the artifact to Leonardo da Vinci's workshop, and once there, Leonardo closely examined it.
- Leonardo: Fascinating! Absolutely fascinating!
- Ezio: What is it, Leonardo? What does it do?
- Leonardo: I could no more explain this than explain to you why the Earth goes around the Sun.
- Mario: You mean the Sun around the Earth.
- Leonardo: It's fabricated with materials that shouldn't exist and yet this is clearly a very ancient artifact.
- Mario: The Codex refers to it as a Piece of Eden.
- Ezio: The Spaniard. He called it the Apple.
- Leonardo: Like Eve's apple of forbidden knowledge. Are you then suggesting that this thing...
Ezio touched the Apple and light erupted from it to display many unknown images and designs. As Leonardo watched fervently, Mario, Ezio and Machiavelli covered their eyes due to glow's intensity, before Ezio touched the artifact once more to subdue the light it was emitting.
- Leonardo: This must never fall into the wrong hands. It would drive weaker minds insane.
- Ezio: No doubt the Spaniard will be relentless in his desire to gain it back.
Machiavelli covered the Apple with a bag and handed it to Ezio.
- Machiavelli: Ezio. You must protect this with all the skills we have taught you.
- Mario: Take it to Forlì. The citadel's walls are protected by cannons and our ally controls it.
- Ezio: Who is this ally?
- Mario: Her name is Caterina Sforza.
- Ezio: You don't say. I think I may enjoy this mission.
Ezio approached Leonardo.
- Ezio: Thank you for everything, my oldest friend.
- Mario: Leonardo! Ezio tells me that you travel often to Milano. I have a grand villa in Tuscana. You must come visit me there.
Ezio met Machiavelli for the first time, and the Assassins acquired the Apple of Eden, shortly before inducting Ezio as an official member to the Order. They also planned the protection of the Apple and decided it would remain safe and out of Rodrigo's reach at Forlì.
- Ezio's courier disguise is not perfect because the bracelet with the Assassin mark is exposed. In spite of this, the guards do not notice.
- The brand that Ezio receives on his finger is present for the rest of the Assassin's Creed II. However, it is missing in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood and Assassin's Creed: Revelations despite Mario's claim that it is permanent.
- The Animus map shows the scene in Leonardo's workshop taking place in Romagna.
- An alternate scene is present in this memory if Ezio chooses not to kill the two guards: sparing them will prompt Rodrigo to tell the guards to "leave [Ezio] to [him]".
- Although Ezio assassinates an Agile so he can disguise himself as a guard, his outfit becomes that of a Leader instead.