Chapter 1: Prologue
“We are who we are, and there is no reason to hide our scars.” — Calix to Naveen Singh.
Chapter 2: The Eagle
*Insert dramatic music*
Years...have passed since the Lion last walked in this land....
Hi guys, I'M BACK!
I just wanna start out by saying happy 2018 ppl, so glad all of you are still here. Is been a while since I posted something non related to the Legends of KSHMR series - completely not my fault! (●*∩_∩*●), I just got WAY too invested on that series (its getting to juice action part finally!), but just like TIWWS, I WILL FINISH IT! Since I will be back for a little while, I decided to give a go to Piku0318's request for a modern day Assassin's Creed Fic, that is a little styled like the comics - so here we are, after a couple months/weeks of writing I'm proud to present this work to you.
I hope you guys like it 【ツ】and like always - EVERYTHING, FROM COMMENTS TO DEATH THREATS TO THE INBOX!
P.s: Thank you for all the support guys ♡. - Lion.
Chapter 1: The Eagle
The night was cold and rainy in Northern California. A small group of people walked around the UC Stanford Campus, on their way home, while the rest were very likely already holed up for the night.
This was the case for Naveen Singh, a second year Computer Science student and Kung Fu assistant instructor, at a nearby Martial Arts Dojo. After his shift at the dojo, he was on his way home to finish his homework for the day —a whole lot of troubleshooting emails, for Professor Al-Sayf.
He was extremely strict, and most students hated him. Some dropped his class, others... he'd strong armed into leaving. Al-Sayf wanted kids with a natural aptitude for coding, a good work ethic...but most importantly discipline.
As the young man thought about his professor’s antics on his way home, he barely even registered another young man…was calling his name.
“Hey Singh!” The other man called, from behind Naveen “Wait up!” Naveen knew who it was...and more importantly, he wanted to avoid that certain person. But, it was all for naught.
“I told you to wait up” The voice continued, gripping his shoulder hard. Forcing him to stop.
“What do you want, Matt?” Naveen asked, turning around to face the biggest bully at Stanford.
“You know, just the usual” Matt replied, with a stupid grin. “Checking you for bombs” he finished.
Naveen rolled his eyes, and have him a hard look. “Look, for the last time. I'm not a terrorist” he said, “ I'm not even Muslim!” he finished, starting to feel exasperated.
“Yeah, well Kumar Smith was half white and soon as he got to Afghanistan...he joined ISIS” Matt answered, raising an eyebrow. “You on the other hand, aren't even a full American citizen, only a resident. So excuse me if I exercise my Civic duty” The bully finished, taking the book bag from Naveen.
The young Indian man watched in despair, as Matt disparaged his papers all over the wet ground. So many times….this had happened, and he'd just wanted to go all Kali Ma: Temple of Doom on him. But, in an aspect, Matt was right. He wasn't an American —not fully anyway, and in fact the only way he’d been admitted to Stanford was because he'd busted his ass to have good grades and with Kung Fu, all four years of highschool.
“Are you happy now?” Naveen asked after a few minutes had passed. Thinking about how fucked he was going to be if his papers for English were wet. Matt picked up a folder, without answering, and rifled through the papers. Naveen held his breath.
“Please, not the English report….please” He thought, while Matt kept rifling.
“Yeah, now I'm done” Matt replied, as he started to walk away. Shoving the folder and book bag into him.
“Keep on being a good guy, and I might petition for your citizenship” Matt called behind his shoulder, once he was saying couple meters away.
“Fucking asshole" Naveen cursed under his breath. He fumed the rest of the way to his apartment, thinking about one day kicking Matt’s ass... for good.
It was nearly 9:30 by the time he'd gotten to the room he shared with Professor’s Al-Sayf son, Kabir. Sometimes he swore the Professor only mildly liked him because he was the only decent friend his son had.
Which Naveen thought, debatable. Kabir was a bit of a wizkid and a jack of all trades, playing everything from football to soccer. Therefore, also the constant target of all kind of pranks by jocks who were jealous a kid with middle eastern ancestry, was better than them.
As he made his way to their room, he texted his friend. Never been the one to jumping into situations without previous knowledge.
“Kabir, are you home?”
“Yeah. Playin’ COD. Wanna play?”
Kabir replied, with his usual affection for slang.
“Right” Naveen said under his breath, as he approached the door and fumbled with the keys. Once inside he found Naveen in the middle of a intense Call Of Duty match.
“Oh shit” The wizkid quipped, surprised. “Whoa man, did you turn into the Flash?” he asked.
“I wish” Naveen replied, taking off his hoodie. Which was more of a soaked rag, than anything. He looked like a ridiculous wet cat.
“Matt?” Kabir asked, leaving the match.
“Yeah, just usual shit” Naveen replied, taking out his laptop out of his book bag and placing it in his desk.
“My dad?” The wizkid, questioned. Flopping down in his bed.
“No. He was….”Naveen began, remembering how Professor Al-Sayf had been so damn cryptic earlier that day…
“Yo” Kabir brought him to the present, snapping his fingers by his ear. “Earth to Naveen”
“Yeah, shit sorry” The Indian replied, shaking his head.
“Yeah, you seemed lost there” Kabir replied, studying him. “A girl maybe?” the middle eastern boy asked with a smirk.
“Wha...NO!” Naveen answered, laughing “Kabir what the hell...there’s not a single girl in this college that wants to date me” The Indian finished.
“Okay, okay man.” Kabir replied backing off and raising his hands, in mock defensiveness. “I mean... there's gotta be a slight silver lining to being my only decent friend” The Syrian finished with a silly grin.
“Now that I think about it...” Naveen replied, mock thinking. “Well, your dad cuts me some slack” the Indian finished with a smile.
Kabir laughed, throwing a nearby pillow to his friend. Naveen caught it easily, that was perhaps the most interesting thing about him…..as Kabir had once described it, his reflexes were out of this world.
“Wow...” Kabir answered, throwing an arm over his face. “I guess there is a small silver lining to all” he finished.
“I suppose as well” The Indian affirmed, before getting up and throwing the pillow back to Kabir and once again.
“Oi! Mate where you going?” Kabir asked him after being hit square in the face by the pillow. Faking a British accent.
“Unlike you, Mr. Wizkid, I'm not a genius with a 4.8 GPA.” Naveen began, “Therefore, I need to do my homework —and study.” He paused, “which I believe is a foreign term for you” he finished with raised eyebrow, and the tone a grandfather probably used on his children to express disapproval.
Kabir laughed, rolling in the bed. Naveen watched before rolling his eyes and sitting down to finish his work.
A couple of hours later, Naveen was done with his homework and studying. He joined Kabir to watch a trailer of a new upcoming game by Abstergo Industries, Uncharted 6: The Maharaja's Sword.
He had not the slightest idea, that his life was going to change….in the blink of an eye.
Chapter 3: Calix
Enjoy! （のワの）- Lion.
Chapter 2: Calix
Morning came a little too early for Naveen, he'd gone to sleep late the night before. Especially, as he was the biggest sucker for the Uncharted Franchise, and had stayed up until 2 AM debating possible plots with Kabir.
He had slept through his 7:45 and 8:10 alarms. By the time he'd finally decided having an education mattered, he was going to be late….as hell. But apparently all angels were looking out for him, as he was able to get to Professor Al-Sayf's class just in the nick of time.
The group of 20 students in the room, waited for the Professor, whom an Italian boy named Luca; had nicknamed “El Botafogo.” After an inside joke he had with Marcelo David, a Brazilian student, and whom they called “El Zancudo” in the soccer field. Naveen had never been the type of kid that fit in any kind of friend group, hence why he was in the room’s corner. Reading a book, about the American Revolution.
“For a guy who's this good looking, it is truly a shame that you haven't got a girl” someone suddenly commented, making Naveen almost fall off the chair.
“What the hell??!?!” Naveen hissed, surprised about Luca's sudden appearance at his side.“How the hell did you get so close to me” He asked, moving away from a grinning Luca. “How did not feel you?” Naveen finished, feeling a little scared.
“Well, you see...I was trained by Ra’s Al Ghul” Luca replied winking, a goofy grin in his face.
“Haha, you're not funny” Naveen shot back, he was pissed. “Now stop being such a creep”
“Ha! I'm not a creep” The Italian replied with a chuckle, while propping his feet up. Naveen grumbled something under his breath, and pushed the boy’s feet from the table.
“Man... someone stepped out from the wrong side of bed” The Italian commented, wondering what was going on in Naveen's head.
“Where the hell is Al-Sayf” Naveen asked after sitting down beside Luca.
“Probably helping Kabir, after one of Michael's senseless pranks” The Italian answered, propping his feet back up and throwing his head back.
About fifteen minutes passed before an announcement from the Dean came in, which Naveen completely ignored...he was way too focused into reading his book.
“Hey. Dean said we can leave” A Native American boy, about his age told them, as he packed up his stuff. “Al-Sayf is got a family emergency.”
“Thank you, Karontase” Naveen replied with a nod. The native boy smiled, and set to pack his laptop and books. “Do you know which family emergency is this about?” The young Indian man asked, worried about Kabir. Karontase shook his head.
“Well, you heard Money McClain. Gotta ditch, 'cause Al-Sayf ain't coming, bro” Luca said after Karontase left. While getting to his feet. “See ya when I see ya, Nav” He finished before stepping out the door.
Naveen was finally alone, he thought about his professor's crypticness the day before.
Something didn't add up.
“That's him?” A hooded man asked his companion, pointing at retreating young man in a dark blue sweatshirt, amidst the crowds.
“Yeah” A young woman replied, eyes narrowing. Just like his, her hood was up, but in addition, she wore a kensei styled mouth mask.
“So it's true then, Calix” The young man commented, keeping track of the boy. “He’s Amber’s brother”
“Yeah, he is” The girl —Calix, replied. “The templars have been going ape shit trying to find him” she smirked.
“We should just take him now” The man commented, slightly annoyed.
“Can’t do that, Ollie” Calix told her male companion —Ollie. “Miles is still ‘in charge’ and so is Asav. I do one thing without telling them, and I can kiss goodbye to my captaincy in the Ghost Squadron” the girl explained.
Ollie groaned, he hated the whole: Inform your elders procedure...especially because half the time, Asav didn't give a flying fuck and the other half, William was too busy hunting for Bayek’s or Amunet’s descendants.
“The Templars are far more likely to catch him” Ollie argued hoping Calix would budge, much to his surprise, she smirked
“Why do you think I had Luca and Karontase befriend our target?” She asked, with a smile. Ollie frowned for one second, before finally getting it.
“Harshi knows about it?” Ollie asked, still disbelieving. “He authorized this, didn't he?”
“Yup” Calix answered, turning away from her spot beside Ollie and moving towards the shadows. “There gotta be a silver lining to dating Dev” she finished saucily.
Ollie stood there for a couple more seconds, processing the foreign and new information. Before he realized Calix would leave him behind if he wasn't in her car when she left.
Naveen was on his way home from the last of his classes, when he felt someone was tailing him...he walked faster in hopes of out-walking whoever the hell decided this was a “funny joke”.
It was all for nothing, as he sped up, his pursuer sped up as well. A couple more meters away, was his building. He would take the bend, lose his pursuer and probably knock him out for being “funny”. The young man continued walking towards the building, taking the curve sharply. The pursuer was wearing a grey hoodie, but there was nothing more to him than that. Naveen waited for him to move to search the wall where he was flattened against, just as predicted, the pursuer did just that…Naveen grabbed the individual by the front of his jacket, and pinned him against the wall. Before he noticed it was Luca, looking back at him with a smirk.
“Damn man, remind me to hire you as my bodyguard” Luca commented with a grin, Naveen frowned, and let go off him.
“Sorry” The young Indian apologized, Luca just grinned and threw his hands up.
“Nothing to worry about, fratello” He replied with a earnest smile. “Anyway, I was here to ask you if you wanted to come to the party” the Italian finished.
“Party?” Naveen asked, he hadn't heard about any upcoming parties. But then again, he was the guy that preferred to stay home in a Friday and play games.
“Yeah man” Luca replied with a smirk, “Now I know you aren't the kind of guy that like parties much, but I’m sure as hell it beats being bored in a Friday night” The Italian continued, walking around Naveen.
“Umm...I'm not sure” Naveen replied, after all he had a exam Monday. “I have to study” he explained.
“Nav, I’m sure studying for English can wait till Saturday” Luca argued, “besides Kabir is coming” he added, hoping the young Indian would accept. Naveen thought about it for a moment.
“Well then, sure” Naveen answered, “I’ll be there”
“Great!” Luca quipped, “Party starts at 8:00 Don't be late” the Italian finished, before pulling his hoodie up. Naveen was about to ask where the party was, only to find Luca was already gone.
Fifteen minutes later, Luca finally got to his shared room with Karontase. The native was already there....along with Ollie, James and Nisa.
“So how that go?” James asked, he was Australian. Tall with shabby dark brown hair.
“Yeah, what happened?” Nisa asked, she was one of the few Middle Eastern Assassins left. Middle height with big expressive caramel eyes and long black hair.
“All went well” Luca answered, putting his book bag down and fishing for a soda inside his mini fridge. “He’s in. Iron Dragon knows the plan” the Italian continued after gulping down a can of Pepsi.
“Naveen is going to be passed as hell for the roofie” Karontase joined in, trying to reason. Maybe they should just talk to him.
“Not to mention the obvious mate” James replied, the Brit of the group. Tall with green eyes with raven black hair, cut like Will, from the Shannara Chronicles. “But the Templars are nearly breaking down doors to find him” he added, “this is our only chance”
“Indeed” Nisa replied, joining in. “Calix wants a heads up before dropping in with Dev and Galina” she finished, after checking her phone.
“Alright then” Luca answered with a grin, “let's have a true Auditore party”
Chapter 4: Iron Dragon
Chapter 3: Iron Dragon
Zhan Yong, or Iron Dragon to the Assassins, waited outside his dojo, for his protegee who was uncharacteristically late...
Iron Dragon, was in his mid forties to early fifties, with close cropped raven black hair, chocolate brown hooded eyes and a small balbo beard.
Ever since Calix had come to his home in the middle of the night, the prior week, and given him the news… he’d thought a lot, about Naveen’s parents, Dharmin and Kyara. He’d also thought about the last time he’d ever seen them alive…
Gunfire kept them pinned to a wall, shouts and the sounds of bullets bitting adobe filled the air. The supposed 'mission' was a bloody ambush, many of their teammates had been killed within the first two minutes; their bodies thrown haphazardly like rag dolls, their blood watering the parched earth.
“We have to move and cover Kyara and Kabir!” Zhan shouted over the gunfire. Dharmin , didn't respond, there only was a look in his eye.
“Zhan, promise that whatever happens you'll care for my little boy and Amber.” Dharmin began, voice breaking slightly.
“What?! No!” Zhan shot back, flattening himself against the wall, as more bullets whizzed by his side. “You and Kyara will pull through, like always” he finished, before dropping his automatic rifle to the ground and drawing his Green Dragon sword.
“No” Dharmin replied, “Go...go and get Kabir and Kyara out of here” he finished, grabbing a couple of smoke bombs. “I'll take care of them”
Zhan stood there, petrified, the Tiger Escuadron motto replaying in his head like a broken record….”Leave no brother behind”
“Go!” Dharmin shouted before, throwing the smoke bombs and disappearing inside of inferno.
Zhan ran as fast as his legs would move, to get Kyara and Kabir out of the infernal place.
But, as the story had unfolded… he wasn't able to save any of them. An Assassin Hunter named Nandu, shot Kabir in the back and killed Kyara with his hidden blade. Then a Templar Master executed Dharmin in front of him and a dying Kabir, by plunging his Rajput sword through his friend’s heart. That day, Iron Dragon had watched the friends, brothers and sisters that he'd trained with for years. Die...by the hand of the same man, Rishabh Deva. A day later after hours of surgery to save his life….Kyara’s brother, Kabir, breathed for the last time.
After that, he'd tried to fulfil his promise, only to learn a group of Assassins from Mumbai had separated Dharmin’s children to keep them safe. He'd then taken Amber to Harshi Khatri, in New Delhi, where she would grow up with a loving family. Weeks later, he found out the Assassin team tasked with moving Naveen to Amritsar had been brutally murdered. No mention of a baby boy. Years, he'd spent searching for him, in every orphanage...all to avail. He'd almost given up, when Maurice Calix sent him a message, detailing that he'd found the boy and using his contacts, friends of him had been able to adopt the boy in the United States. Civilians who had no bloody idea, about the Shadow War between the Assassins and Templars.
Perhaps the kind of life, that both, Dharmin and Kyara would have wanted for their children. A life away from the violence, solitude, darkness and loss, begin an Assassin carried brought to a person's life.
Just as he thought of the past, he almost missed his friend’s son climbing up the steps to the dojo.
“You're late, Naveen” Zhan said, easily hiding his pain at the memories.
“Uh...I'm sorry, Sensei” Naveen replied, rubbing the back of his neck. Clearly embarrassed.
“I can sense something is wrong” The Sensei said with the tone a parent would sue to coax their child into telling them.
“Oh...what? No, I’m fine” Naveen replied with a smile, he was clearly distracted.
“Mhm Hmm” Zhan assented, “If think a few rounds with the training dummy will do you good” the master paused, before adding. “Now shoo, you and I still have classes to teach”
Naveen grinned goofily, before zooming past his Sensei and running inside the dojo. Zhan smiled, thinking once again, about his long dead friends.
Two hours had passed, since he’d gotten the jump of freaking Luca Rizzo and slammed him into a wall. During that time, he’d had practiced with some high schoolers. It reminded him of the time he’d been a skinny defenseless freshman in high school...
Not exactly the greatest place, especially as the guys in the football team weighed twice as him and just had a knack for bullying him…After what it seemed like the 160th time he’d gotten pushed around by Charles and his buddies, Naveen had finally gotten tired of that jock's bullshit. Long story short, he got his ass handed to him and suspended for a week as he the “instigator.” The day after, his adoptive dad, Saroo Singh, dropped him off at Zhan’s dojo and the rest —was just history.
Naveen smiled, as he reminiscenced, in the particular circumstances that had put him there….he still got ‘somewhat bullied’ but now he had enough self control not to send Matt or his cronies to the hospital in the blink of an eye.He'd very nearly forgotten he was supposed to be arbitering a fight between a young exchange student from China, and a slightly older hispanic boy. Until he felt his Sensei tap his shoulder with a bamboo staff.
“He has guts” Naveen commented, as he watched his mentor sit beside him.
“Reminds me of you actually” Iron Dragon commented, with a smile. “Of course less impatient and more strategic than you will ever be” he teased.
Naveen smiled at that, watching as the young Chinese boy caught his opponent's blow with his hands, quickly delivering a resounding Tiger Strike to the side of his opponent's face, before pushing him back with a palm strike to the chest. Nothing too lethal.
“He's talented” Zhan observed, watching raptly. Like an eagle.
“Aww, don't tell me you want another protege” Naveen teased his Sensei, who just smiled.
“In all cases he'll be your problem, not mine” Zhan replied, with a grin. Naveen laughed.
“How's that fair?” He questioned, shaking his head in mock disappointment.
“It's not” Zhan answered, with a small laugh. Naveen laughed as well.
“So now child, will you tell me what has you so distracted? Hmm?” The Sensei asked, poking Naveen in the ribs with the staff.
“Ouch, ow. Okay fine!” Naveen answered, blocking the well placed pokes. “I’ll tell you”
“I'm listening” Iron Dragon replied,setting the staff by right hand.
“Luca invited me to a party” Naveen replied, accommodating himself to better watch the fight.
“Ah….The Rizzo boy” Zhan commented, slightly disproving. “Heard he’s quite the partier” the master added.
“If you don't think is a good idea I won't go” Naveen replied, picking up on the man’s tone.
“Oh no boy, you should go” Zhan answered, with a smile. “Just don't make it a habit, I would hate to have to involve Saroo and Aisha on this” Iron Dragon added, with a grin.
Naveen smiled back, while he did want to go and see what all the buzz over Rizzo's parties were about, Zhan’s opinion counted for quite a lot.
“I won't make it a habit, I promise”Naveen replied, holding his hand over his heart. Zhan nodded.
He did know of Calix’s machinations, and their purpose to keep Naveen safe. Yet a part of him, the same that kept his own son from applying to join Captain Calix’s Assassin Black Ops team: Ghost Squadron, and Captain Voronina’s team: the Zodiac Division. He didn't want Naveen to get caught into the world he was a part off.
Naveen was a little late for the party, getting to Rizzo’s house fifteen minutes after 8. He’d gotten perfectly lost, as Karontase had texted him the wrong address after he’d gotten out of the shower.
After parking his 1998 Kawasaki ZX -10 bike a little way away from Luca’s house, the young Indian man made his way to the front door. Other partiers, probably freshman, had parked their 2017 rides in the driveway. Little did they know they were pretty much in for the worst of the worst, especially as some incredibly drunk college students were playing around with paint guns. After some ducking, and avoiding he finally made it to the door and knocked.
Naveen nearly had a fucking heart attack, when the door finally opened. He’d expected Luca or his older sister, Maria Eduarda, or literally anyone else to open the door; except for her.
It was a girl, about his age. She had long black hair that fell about her waist, light brown skin and big caramel colored eyes; she was wearing a red bomber jacket with a white top, black jeans and boots.
“Cat got your tongue?” The girl teased, leaning against the door frame. A light middle eastern accent lacing her words.Watching Naveen with an amused glint of her eyes.
“Wha...Um, No.” The young man immediately replied, attempting to save face. “I’m just waiting for Luca to come out here”
Nisa studied Naveen, he was cute. Incredibly so….especially because he looked like the kind of guy that could have any girl fall at his feet, yet he was so awkward.
“I'm sure” Nisa replied mockingly. Naveen gave her a ‘I don't know what you mean look’ but said nothing else. He was wearing a navy blue shirt, underneath a leather jacket, black jeans and high cut Puma shoes.
Not even a full five minutes filled with some awkwardness in Naveen’s part passed, when Luca finally popped his head by the door.
“Yo is that my man Naveen?” The Italian asked, with a grin. Standing beside the girl.
“For fuck’s sake Luca, can you stop claiming any guy you see as ‘your man’?”Nisa teased, rolling her eyes. “Leave something for the rest” she finished, before walking back in.
“Oh man, that one….uff, watch out” Luca commented after Nisa was out of earshot. “Glad you could make it” the Italian finished.
“Yeah, I'm glad too” Naveen replied, rubbing the back of his neck. “Karontase gave m...”
“Gave you the wrong address, yeah I know” Luca finished, interrupting the Kung Fu athlete. “Now come on, I'm getting old out here and we have a Rizzo party to enjoy” the Italian said, dragging Naveen inside.
Once he was in, Luca guided his friend through the ranks of people to the bar, there he grabbed a bear for himself and Naveen.
“Nearly twenty one, right?” Luca asked, as he handed him the beer.
“Yeah, more or less” Naveen replied, before opening the canned beer. “Cheers” The young Indian said, clinking his can against Luca's. Not that long after, the Italian had already downed his.
“I hope you ready to kick some serious ass in FIFA 18.” Luca said with a wink, “Told Nisa you're a gamer, she wants to see how good you are”the Italian finished with a ridiculous eyebrow wiggle. Naveen pretended not to notice it.
“Lead the way” Naveen said, getting up. The Italian grinned, getting on their way soon.
James was getting his ass kicked severely on FIFA by a blindfolded Nisa. Probably that was the most embarrassing part.
The reasonable part of him, had told him not to try her patience, but the idiot one —or Jacob Frye one— had schemed for him to do it anyway.
“Man, what a beating mate” Ollie commented, ever the Australian, “You going to let her? Unchallenged?” He teased.
James growled under his breath, before attempting to cut of Nisa’s attack, but she was quicker, making the pass before James slide tackled her winger. James’ defense lead by Ter Stegen, did their best against Nisa’s powerhouse attack. Composed of Ronaldo as a winger, Messi as CF and Neymar as Forward.
“Uff, I think that's enough for you Jim” Nisa teased, after scoring the final goal “or you think you can cough up the cash to play me once more?” she asked cockily. The Brit mumbled something, before throwing her the sixty bucks for his losses.
“Play nice, boys and girls” Luca began, ever the gracious host, “Now I have a new challenger for you, tesoro ” He told Nisa in a honey-like voice.
Nisa raised an eyebrow, curious. Until Luca pushed Naveen out into the circle…..it was so on...if Luca was going to play like that.
“Sure you got what it takes?” Nisa asked, settling on her seat.
“I can try” Naveen replied with a chuckle. “You're pretty good, so I won't be furious if I lose” he finished.
“We’ll see” She replied, with a smug smirk.
“Damn right” Naveen accepted.
At some point, half of whom Naveen assumed to be Luca’s friends had stopped by to watch them play. Apparently, he was faring better than James had. As the score still was 0-0 nearly at the end of the second half.
“Oh shit, I think he might actually have a chance” Luca commented, leaning in, purposely blocking Naveen’s view of his beer. Though at that point, the young Indian, could barely even notice Ollie slipped something to Luca, who dropped it in his drink.
“Luca, get out of my way” Naveen snapped at the Italian, moving his head around to see the screen. “You're blocking my view”
“Oh shit. My apologies, fratello” Luca answered smiling like a fox, before moving back to his place. Naveen mumbled something.
With a nod, Luca signaled the young man at the other side of the room. It was Dev Khatri, he was early. Or perhaps, Calix was in a bit more of a hurry, especially since the Templars were very nearly lighting a fire under their ass.
“Meet me upstairs in 5” Luca whispered, Ollie nodded his agreement, before cautiously leaving the room.
Luca settled back to watching the game. Naveen and Nisa had finally made it to the penalty shootout, which seemed to be just as equally matched as the game itself.
“Don't start smiling. You haven't beaten me, yet” The Middle Eastern girl commented with a grin, “Because, I’m so going to kick your ass” she finished saucily. Naveen’s mouth curved into the smallest of smiles, but he didn't say anything back.
Luca watched as the two went through the customary 5 shots, before moving to ones. It was getting intense…. Naveen missed his first shot, by the smallest of margins, but it could have spelled his end. Especially, since Nisa still had one left. The Middle Eastern Assassin moved to take the shot, she was using Neymar.
“I hope you brought money” Nisa commented, this time with a wink. “Because I’m making this shot”
“We’ll see” Naveen replied, watching the screen. Nisa took a deep breath….it actually didn't matter for jack shit if she won or not, but the competitive part of her, wasn't taking “No” as an answer.
Luca watched, as Neymar’s avatar took the characteristic steps back. Nisa aimed for an extremely precise place, just under the 90° left corner. A hell of a tricky shot…Naveen readied his goalkeeper, the referee blew the whistle in the game and a couple of seconds later, Neymar took off. The forward hit the ball with such force that not even Naveen’s well positioned goalkeeper was able to stop it….
Nisa’s shot had to be the cleanest shot he’d ever seen anyone make, in FIFA 18. Seconds later, the referee blew the whistle again, signaling the end. Her team celebrated while Naveen’s moped.
“Uff, shit man…” Luca commented, watching the replay frame by frame. “She totally smoked you with that last shot, Nav”he added.
“Yeah...it was a good game” The young Indian replied,with a goofy grin. He wasn't mad….just surprised as hell that the girl whose name he still didn't know….was that good.
“Oh man.” James commented, “Nisa will get so big headed, she’s going to be impossible to deal with” The Brit finished, rubbing his face. Probably speaking from experience.
The girl —Nisa, smiled sweetly at the brit. Before flinging her empty cup at him.
“Ouch!” James yelped, after the red cup had hit him square in the head. “What the hell Nisa?” he asked, raising an eyebrow.
“I’m not big headed” Nisa replied, sassing the man. “If anyone is, that has to be you. Mr-I-Wanna-Be-A-Gangster” she finished, before getting up. James chuckled.
“I think that is the closest anyone has come to beating me” Nisa told Naveen, who was still seated. “What's your name?” She asked, though already knew.
“Naveen. Naveen Singh” Naveen replied, with a smile.
“Oh for fuck’s sake man, get your ass up out of there” James teased, helping Naveen up and out of the couch. Before flopping down on it.
“Come on, I really want to know how a guy that has won three Kung Fu state championships for UC Stanford is that good at FIFA” Nisa began, dragging him away. Luca nodded as if congratulating him.
Once they were far enough away, Luca slipped away. To the meeting room upstairs.
Chapter 5: Parade
Chapter 4: Parade
Luca nearly fled up the stairs, Calix had just sent him a text. It was fairly worrying.
“ Templars are coming. Tipped by informant”
Followed by another, even more worrying message. As he was halfway up the stairs.
“Get out, now. Take Naveen.”
The Italian ran faster up the stairs, before flinging his father's studio door open. Calix, Dev, Galina and his sister were there.
“Luca” Calix greeted, before motioning for him to close the door.
“What happened?” He asked, worried.
“Templars are coming, apparently one of their guys saw Naveen here.” Galina replied, her Russian accent lacing her words. “They are definitely going to break up your party”
“Damn it” Luca replied, pacing. The drugs he'd put in Naveen took a little while to kick off, but moved fast afterwards. “Could you buy me 20 minutes?” He asked.
“We have to move, now” Dev answered, “they will start killing this kids to draw us out.” He continued.
“Just intercept them, they will send a regular kill squad.” Luca pleaded to all, then to Calix “Perhaps one Assassin Hunter, and then again you love to murder those”
“We can buy you top 10 minutes” Calix answered, face serious. Eyes cold and calculating. “No more than that”
Galina and Dev nodded, it was the most they could do. Otherwise they might as well be offering themselves to the Templars in a silver platter.
“Good, good” Luca replied, breathing out in relief. “Nisa is with him now. Probably subtly inducing him in an alcohol coma” he finished, still the joker, even with a fire under their ass.
“Get her to move faster, we'll be back in 10” Calix replied, “and pray that fucking Rishabh Deva is not with them” she finished, before pulling her hood up. Luca nodded, and stepped off the room.
The Italian fled down the stairs as well, almost falling. As he tripped in the last one. But James and Ollie were able to catch him, before he ended up splattered on the ground, like Humpty Dumpty.
“Thanks guys” The Italian replied, as he got to his feet.
“What's going on?” James asked, narrowing his eyes.
“Mole” Luca replied, “should be a bright golden color in our second sight” he finished, before activating it.
As the three Assassins scanned the room, Naveen had beaten Nisa’s record of four beers in a minute thirty seconds.
“Impressive” Nisa commented, watching him set down the fourth can. Half hoping he'd pass out already….but apparently he was made of tougher steel than she thought.
“Where you learn to drink like that?” She asked genuinely curious, but also buying time.
“Um...well, you see I had this friend in highschool. His name was Marcos” Naveen began, “so this one time, we were at his sister's 15th birthday party. His uncle's were doing this thing with their beer, and it was insane” the young Indian paused, he shook his head.
“You okay?” Nisa asked, hoping he'd say yes.
“Oh yeah, I'm alright. Just got a bit light-headed” Naveen answered. Nisa nodded.
“So, his older cousins made fun of me, until I ended up drinking like 5 or 6 beers and nearly passed the fuck out.” Naveen finished.
“Your parents weren't pissed?” Nisa asked, genuinely curious.
“They never found out.” Naveen replied, trying to get up. He wobbled a little. Nisa got up and held his arm. “Had a sleepover with my dude, Marcos” The young Indian finished, going quiet.
“Naveen, are you okay?” Nisa asked, a little concerned. She knew Luca was more or less an expert 'drug mixologist’ but it didn't mean his mixes had no adverse effects.
“Umm….actually, no” Naveen answered, the his vision was going black at the corners. Before the Kung Fu athlete could get another word out, he was out like a light.
“I'm sorry, Naveen” Nisa told his sleeping form, while flicking some hair out of his eyes.
Calix cleaned their bloodied hidden blades using one of the spare uniforms, that were at the back of the Templars van. While Galina rigged the car with explosives, Dev and Maria disposed of the bodies.
“All good to go, Calix” Galina announced, popping her head at the end of the van.
“Right, I'll be out” Calix replied, getting out of the van. Once out, she handed Galina her hidden blade.
“Damn, who taught you to clean blades like that?” The Russian Assassin commented, as she studied the blade's shine.
“Just some Hispanic tricks, with Incan luck” The hispanic team captain replied, pulling out an Incan charm out of her jeans pocket.
“All done” Dev commented, as he approached them. Getting his hidden blade from Calix.
“Some were rather heavy” Maria Eduarda joined in as well, getting her blade back
“Well, let's go.” Calix replied, “won't be long before they send the actual kill squad” the team captain finished.
“Right” Galina answered, “setting the fireworks to trigger on response arrival” the blond Russian replied, wiring something else. As they waited for Galina to finish, Nisa sent Calix a coded message.
“The guys are up, package is ready” She commented, Galina nodded. Before going back on her wire, two more minutes passed, before she got up.
“It's ready” The Russian replied, “Sons of bitches will arrive to hell in pieces” she commented.
“They deserve no less” Calix replied, before pulling her mask up.
Not long after the group of assassins, were driving away in Rebecca Crane's new bike model. The Samurai ZXC.
Fifteen minutes and two more explosions later, the Abstergo operatives finally arrived at the place were the first Kill Squad fell.
Rishabh Deva lead the team, and with him two new Assassin Hunter protegees.
“What happened mentor?” One of them asked. He was a young man, probably in his late twenties, he had shaggy black hair, and caramel colored skin. He wore a suit and raybans.
“Assassins.” Rishabh answered, “That is what happened here, Kumar” The Master Hunter answered.
“Are we going after them?” The other asked, a girl. In her early twenties. Short and petite, with jet black hair and brown eyes. Just like her partner, she wore a suit and raybans.
“Yes, you are.” Rishabh answered, “Find me the one they call, Calix and the boy —Naveen Singh” he finished, before handing each one a folder..
The two nodded, after quickly rifling through the files. Before leaving. Rishabh watched them, for a few seconds later they left.
“There's nothing more to see here” The Master Hunter announced, as he stared at the Assassin’s symbol burned in the ground. “Pack up” he barked, sending all teams packing. Before entering his limo.
“It was Calix” Rishabh reported, to a cloaked figure. “We'll find her” he reassured.
“You better pray and hope to God you do” The man replied, leaning forward in his seat. “or you two children will pay that price instead of you” he finished.
He was light skinned, a scar crisscrossing his face. Light amber —almost golden, eyes looked back at Rishabh without an ounce of empathy. The man...he meant it.
He was the Grandmaster, of the Global Templar Order.
Calix paced like a caged lioness, as the Ghost Squadron waited for Karontase's father, Táwit. He was captain of the Aquila, the second Assassin ship in service —after the Altair II, which was led by Gavin Banks.
Táwit, just like his ancestors, Edward and Connor Kenway...carried the sea in his blood.
“Your dad is late” Calix told an increasingly annoyed Karontase.
“He's not, it's barely even been ten minutes” Karontase replied calmly, Calix stopped her pacing and moved to stand by her bike. Tapping her foot instead.
“Can you cut it out?” Karontase snapped at his team captain. “Please” he finished, with a gentler tone. Calix mouthed a yeah and stopped, though she was still nervous.
“He'll be here” Dev reassured her, after moving beside her. “Unlike your dad, he's never fashionably late” the Indian Assassin finished with a grin.
“I know, I'm just…”
“Worrying for nearest thing to nothing?” Dev finished for the Team Captain.
“Uh, I guess” Calix replied, raising an eyebrow. Was she that easy to read?
“It'll be fine” Dev answered with a smile, bumping her shoulder. Calix smiled back.
Not before long, the Aquila appeared just over the nightly horizon, the ship's lights were on and soon the whistle followed. The Aquila —just like the Altair II, was an old and beaten WWII aircraft carrier which the Assassins had taken possession of in December 1946. Táwit's grandfather, Kanatase had taken command of the ship and with the help of most of the Californian brotherhood and some Kanien'keha Assassins, they got it back to top shape. Calix's parents, Maurice and Alejandra, took it upon themselves to keep modernizing and strengthening the ship. Which, after her mother's death, had become Calix’s sole responsibility.
“See?” Karontase shouted, “They are here!” He finished, before howling like a wolf. The Kanien'keha Assassins on board howled back.
“I told you so” Dev commented with a sly grin. Calix rolled her eyes, before shouting orders for her people to move out.
Rebecca, Shaun and Layla Hassan joined the team last minute, as they had finally gotten off Miles’ world trip to join them. Calix shouted orders in both English, and Mohawk for the Assassins to load in Rebecca's equipment first, and then Shaun's….which the Brit was deeply “hurt” over.
“Listen Calix, I know you love your tech and all being an MIT graduate.” Shaun protested, “but paper maps and historical documents are still priceless” the Brit concluded. Calix smiled sweetly at his words.
“Listen, love.” The Team Captain began, recalling her fake Australian accent. “I can still very well drop all your beloved maps and papers in the bay, so don't test me” she finished, eyes narrowing.
Shaun slowly backed away, and started shouting at Karontase's cousins to be careful with the documents. Some minutes had passed, between Calix watching the horizon through the scope of her sniper rifle and shouting orders from her spot atop some jagged rocks, when Táwit finally made it off his ship.
“Little Jaguar” Táwit called Calix, prompting her to turn around.
“Táwit” Calix acknowledged with a smile, before hugging the bear-like man. He was over 6 feet, which always made the team captain feel like that….a little jaguar.
“So you're not so little anymore, eh?” Táwit teased, giving her a once over. “The last time I saw you, you were ten and the sauciest thing I'd ever seen in my entire life” the Kanien'keha commented.
“If you're worried busting my ass in Spain for ten years and four at MIT have taken my sauciness...your in for a world of trouble” Calix replied back, watching as Dev and the other moved things to the boat. She held the sniper rifle, being the team’s best shot.
“No, it seemed nothing has changed then” Táwit answered with a grin. Calix grinned back. A few minutes passed filled with the noise from moving boxes and equipment, Calix kept her eyes glued to the horizon.
“Your dad, um… he wanted me to ask you if you wanted to talk to him” Táwit said at last what his friend, Maurice had been wanting to tell his daughter for twelve long years.
Unconsciously, Calix's hands around the rifle tightened. She remembered her mother's death, and the circumstances around it….the “Strange Brain Hemorrhage” and the poison that Rishabh Deva had used to kill her the day of her grandmother's birthday.
The day her childhood died.
“I haven't talked to him in ten years, Táwit.” Calix began, “Hell...I don't even remember what he used to look like”
“Then maybe, you should” The Kanien'keha Assassin replied, placing a hand in her shoulder.
“I...I don't know, Táwit. After my mother died, is like he didn't even see me anymore.” Calix replied, thinking back to her empty and dark childhood days. “He sent me away. I called, I wrote….. in every occasion, until I just gave up” she finished in a quiet tone, only Galina and Dev knew of her true past.
Not the promotional bullshit Miles spewed about her, being an orphan raised by Assassins —Which in a way…..was somehow right.
“I know this, but then again, you now know he wasn't in a great mental state” The Mohawk commented, watching his nephews and nieces help.
“I know.” Calix replied, “But, I did give him 14 years to clean up his act” she explained, “Is not like we were a family after my mother’s death”
“Perhaps talking to Maurice; might be for the better, Calix” Táwit commented.
“I hope, you're right” Calix replied, before eyeing the operation below. Dev was no longer with them, Calix tensed immediately.
Someone was coming up the rocks, and before Dev could utter a word, he found himself at the wrong end of a high power sniper rifle.
“I was just coming to say we're done” Dev explained his sudden disappearance “Nisa and Karontase are taking Naveen inside the Aquila now.” The young man held his hands up, part of him still thinking Calix would fill him with lead.
“Damn it, Dev” Calix replied, putting the rifle down. “Right. Thank you” she finished, before the boy left to board the ship.
“You're still Dev’s girl, right?” Táwit asked with a raised eyebrow...suddenly very curious.
“If you and by extent —my father, must know, then yes. I'm still Dev's girlfriend.” Calix replied, with a grin. Before strapping the rifle to her back and motioning for the Captain to lead the way.
Táwit smiled, things never seemed to change for the Little Jaguar.
Once inside, the Ghost Squadron were received by the Assassins on board like heroes. But while all indulged in the modest celebration; Dev, Galina, Maria, Nisa, Karontase and Calix planned.
“We need a plan to enter Mumbai without any issues” Calix began, as she sat between Galina and Karontase. Spreading a map of the city.
“Right” Galina replied, “As much as I love kicking Templar ass, this might be a bit too over kill” she elaborated.
“Indeed” The bear-like native agreed, frowning at the map. “Have we made contact with Devesh yet?” Karontase asked about the son of the Mumbai Mentor.
“No, he is still MIA. But we know he was with Amber, when Rishabh smoked them out.” Maria explained, “we don't know anything from that point onwards” she finished.
Calix made a face, she didn't like those odds. Even though, just like Galina, kicking Templar ass was one of her main hobbies….Mumbai was guarded up the ass.
“We might need to try a variation of Tactic 94” Nisa spoke up after a minute passed.
“Wait? Are you…”
“Let her talk, Dev” Calix commanded, cutting off the Indian Assassin.
“So, we know Rishabh has been trying to nail you...for like I don't know? Three? Four years?” Nisa began, “the point is, he hates you, and if he suddenly captures you, we can slip in, find Amber and Devesh and get them out” she finished.
“Yeah, it works” Dev commented, “but what about Calix? They won't keep her around because she hindered her own usefulness to be harvested for the Animus project, and she won't give us up either. They will kill her.” The Indian finished, a small frown on his face.
“Not exactly, because that is when Calix's four year Computer Science degree comes in” Nisa explained, getting up in a flash.
“How?” Maria asked, suddenly interested.
“Yeah, how?” Galina questioned, curious and doubtful.
“She goes in there, we plant a dead man’s switch on the plate in the back of her skull” Nisa answered, “they won't be able to remove it or brute force deactivate it, without killing her and losing potential information. But, in any case, we'll be at ready to trigger a city wide server blackout” The Middle Eastern girl explained.
“What if they shoot her?” Maria asked out of morbid curiosity. Dev shot her a poisonous look. The Italian just raised her hands in a small “what” motion. Nisa smiled.
“So me and this guy, we had this bet last year, he's DedSec —but that's irrelevant.” Nisa began, “he challenged me to build a biological dead man switch, poor asshole got busted in a bank heist before I could kick his ass” she explained.
Dev shot a look at Calix, who seemed deep in thought. Probably going over how utterly stupid the whole things was.
“How does it work?” The Team Captain finally asked, making the Indian Assassin's jaw drop.
“Well, it's simple. The switch only needs to be in contact with live tissue” Nisa answered, “like the aluminum plate is” she finished.
“Alright then, that is how I'm getting in” Calix answered, “and that is how you guys find Devesh and Amber” she finished.
“How will you get out?” Dev asked, thinking he was the only one who hadn't lost his damn mind all the sudden.
“Raising hell, and through the front door” Calix replied with a smile, Galina said something in Russian before pulling Calix in a hug. Dev smiled as well, but he was worried.
If their history was anything to go by, half the time….shit didn't go their way.
Chapter 6: Echoes
Chapter 5: Echoes
Soft morning light slowly made its way into Naveen's room from the outside, waking him up. He turned away, covering his head with the pillow. Currently, he was experiencing a raging headache….and was definitely the most hungover he'd ever been.
“Fuck’s sake” Naveen groaned, he had the feeling he was late. Like….really fucking late.
Naveen cursed, as he slowly sat up in the bed. Blinking his eyes to adjust to the light. Not before long...he noticed he wasn't in his room at the uni.
“I'm probably at Rizzo's” The Kung Fu athlete thought, as he got up slowly. Falling was going to do him no good after all. Just then, he realized he still had the same clothes from yesterday, which could either be a good….or a really bad sign.
The only thing he didn't see anywhere, was his leather jacket...now, where the hell was it? After a few minutes of searching around the room, he finally found the jacket in a hanger. Inside the room’s closet.
“Right” Naveen commented, pulling on the jacket. “At least you're back” Shortly after, Naveen tried to turn on his phone to call Kabir, as the guy had a car, and he could barely even see things straight. It was dead.
“Shit” The young man cursed, nearly flinging the phone across the room. Just then, he “noticed” the window. While searching he'd seen it, but hadn't approached it.
Seeing as he had absolutely nothing to do, and hoping to find his bike still outside...more or less safe, he walked towards it and pulled the blue curtain covering it aside. Just that he wasn't were he expected to be…. at all.
He was in a bloody ship! Probably in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and with an unknown course.
The ship itself, seemed to have come out of a late 90’s WWII movie. But he was certain, he wasn't in a prop. Just as he stood there, still processing the fact he was about in the middle of nowhere, someone opened the door. Giving him zero time to make a plan or anything of the sort.
It was a boy, about 14 or 15. Close cut black hair, almond skinned, wearing a white shirt and black jeans. He was carrying a tray in his hands.
“You're awake” He commented, with a slight Spanish accent to his English.
“Where the hell am I?” Naveen asked, now sure that either Luca or Nisa drugged him last night.
“It's okay, you're safe.” The boy replied, setting down the tray. “Calix will explain it all, later” he finished.
“Calix?” Naveen asked, barely eyeing the food. Though he was quite hungry. “Who the hell is Calix?”
“Our leader” The boy replied, while pulling out a necklace from under his white shirt. It was a bit of an odd symbol. One Naveen had seen before, painted in the buildings near Zhan’s dojo.
“Who are you?” He asked, confused at the sight of the symbol.
“Just some friends” The boy replied, “but, my name is Alec” soon after, he added “Eat. Then I'll take you to Calix”
Naveen still stared at the boy as if he had grown another head, then looked at the food, as if it had deeply offended him in some way….was this boy serious? Trust him? After his kidnapping?
“It's not poisoned” The boy —Alec, replied. Naveen still didn't move, in fact, he refused.
Alec rolled his eyes at the level of distrust, and shoved a spoonful of oatmeal on his mouth. It was pretty good, but then again, Karontase's mother was an excellent cook.
“See?” Alec said, after swallowing down the oatmeal. “We usually use really fast acting poisons, if this would have been poisoned….I would have died already” the boy explained.
Naveen still looked at the young man with some distrust, but moved towards the table. Alec smiled, and turned his back to Naveen, just as the young Indian approached the table. He saw the knife, it was a butter knife, comparatively a lot less sharp than any other blade in the universe —but it would have to do. Alec was nearly out, the door, when Naveen grabbed his shoulder from behind and then put a knife to his throat.
“Seriously?” The young Assassin asked, “that thing won't even make a nick” he finished.
“Believe it or not” Naveen answered, “my Sensei Zhan Yong, once killed a man with a dull blade. He taught me how” The young Indian finished, hoping he'd scared the younger boy some.
“Fine” Alec answered, he knew Zhan Yong was one of the deadliest men alive and how much that man loved Naveen like a son. “What do you want?” He asked.
“Take me to your leader” Naveen replied, not even sure as to why he wanted to meet their leader.
“Alright” Alec replied, already hearing Calix's jibes at being bested by a guy with a butter knife. “Right this way” he finished, before motioning to the right of the hallway with his left hand.
“Good choice, Alec” Naveen commented “Now move” he pushed Alec forward.
Alec led Naveen through several hallways and stairways, some Assassin Initiates they encountered on the way to the Command Center, looked both surprised and horrified, but let Naveen pass unchagelled. As that was the policy, with the “packages.”
“When I get you there, it will be better if you put the knife down.” Alec gave Naveen some unsolicited advice, “Calix is not one to be patient with loose cannons” he finished.
“I'm not a loose cannon” Naveen answered, “but you did cross the fucking line when you drugged and kidnapped me” the young man finished, forcing Alec to keep on moving.
“I'm telling you, man. Calix is going to fill you with lead if you're not as important as she deems you” Alec continued giving his advice.
“We'll see” Naveen answered, “You seem to her pretty well, so I think she'll reconsider” the Indian continued, pushing Alec forward.
The young Assassin shut his mouth and kept on walking, half-hoping that Calix would at least put a tranq dart in Naveen for making his life difficult. After all, there had to be a silver lining to being related to the First Captain of the Ghost Squadron.
Not before long, the two stood in front of a beautifully designed wooden door. The Assassin Insignia engraved in the middle of it, each corner and side engraved with icons representing each of the cultures and ethnicities that made up the American brotherhood. The top corners bore engravings of an eagle, a wolf, two different mesoamerican idols, a bow and a tomahawk. The bottom corners bore a Samurai mask, a crossbow and a long katana, all growing from a bonsai tree. The left side bore a Rajput sword, a tiger and a lion, springing from the petals of a Jasmine flower, at its center stood a man with 6 arms and a bow in his hands. Finally, the right side bore the engravings of a couple horsemen, a long curved sword and a word written in Arabic in the sword's blade.
“We're here” Alec announced to an stunned Naveen, he was looking at the door as if it were the Mona Lisa. Which Alec thought was the closest to it they had.
The younger man’s words snapped Naveen back into focus, no sense on admiring pretty things until he got answers.
“Right” Naveen answered, “Tell them to open the door” he commanded, Alec rolled his eyes, before shouting in Spanish for his brothers to open the door.
Once the door opened, Naveen pushed Alec inside and he followed closely. Suddenly, several pairs of eyes turned to them. Before the Indian had a chance to explain anything, all Assassins flocked around a young woman. Her head and face were concealed by a hood and a mask. The group of hooded men and women used their own bodies as shields, while aiming a wide range of weapons at Alec and Naveen. Ranging from knives to compact hunting bows.
“Weapons down” Calix ordered, all Assassins still kept their weapons at ready.“Excuse me, did I stutter?” Calix asked her people, “I said, weapons down! Now!” She shouted scaring her people.
The hooded mob slowly put their weapons down, hesitantly, as Naveen was... somewhat armed.
“Now, anyone who is not part of the Ghost Squadron. Please leave” Calix commanded, there was no need to worry or involve anyone else. At this command, many of the Assassins who had just been shielding her turned to shoot her worried looks.
“Get out of here, guys” Another of the hooded individuals told the group. He was tall, maybe even taller than Naveen. Just like Calix, he wore a mask that covered his mouth.
Some of the Assassins mumbled, something along the lines of “Fucking Ghost Squadron” before leaving the room, through a back door which the tall young man who’d asked them to leave, opened. Naveen still held Alec at knife point, waiting patiently.
Not before long, the room had been nearly emptied. With the exemption of four of the hooded people, whom Naveen still had no idea were and much less what they wanted with him.
“Right” The leader —who Naveen knew they called Calix, began. “Let my cousin go” she continued, shortly after Naveen had made his observation. He nodded, and let go off Alec. Shoving him towards the Assassins. However, he still held onto the knife.
“Who are you?” He asked, hoping to receive a straight answer. “What do you want with me?”
Calix shot the others at the table a look, some shook their heads. Revealing themselves so early on, wasn't a good idea. Before doing or saying anything, she signaled for Alec to leave the room as well. The young man complied, as he had chores to do.
“Take off your hoods and masks” Calix ordered, she needed him to trust them. “Now”
The people gathered around the table, looked at one another once more; before taking their hoods off. One by one, Naveen watched as some of the people at the party —including Karontase and Luca’s sister, started to appear among them. Soon after, Nisa, Dev and Calix followed.
“You?” Naveen asked, surprised as hell, when he saw Nisa took off her hood. “You're with them?” He gaped.
“I think we owe you...an explanation” The young man to Nisa’s right, said to him.
“An explanation?” Naveen snapped at him, “a fucking explanation?” He asked, “you owe me an apology” he finished, holding the knife tighter.
Dev shot Nisa and Calix an uneasy look, usually, the “packages” we're glad to be taken out of the lives they lived in….but then again, Naveen was a bit of a special case.
“Listen kid, if you're asking we apologize for saving your life . Then you're not getting one” Calix cut in, saving Dev from further onslaught.
It was just then that Naveen noticed the Assassin Leader. She was about 5’9, with dark brown hair, black eyes and scar that cut through her eyebrow and down to her left eye. Even though she was a lot shorter than the young man to her left, her overall appearance, combined with the scowl gave her the look of someone to never be trifled with.
“Saved my life?” Naveen asked, “I had a good life. A great life. In fact!” The young man grumbled.
“A life that would have been taken from you, hadn't we intervened!” Calix snapped back, she wasn't in the mood.
“By whom?” The young man questioned, “You? An early death?” He asked mockingly.
“You don't know a damn thing, do you?” Calix asked, smirking. Naveen frowned, wondering what in the seven hells was she talking about.
“What do you mean?” Naveen questioned, “I don't know anything about what?” Calix smirked and shook her head.
“I told you, we should have kept him knocked out until we got to Amber” Calix glanced at Nisa and Maria, who looked away from their leader.
“Who's Amber?” Naveen asked, feeling as if he'd missed school for two days and lost out on so much information.
“Explain it to him, will you” Calix said to the Assassins, “I don't have time for the historical recap, as the dead man switch won't build itself” the team captain explained, before walking out of the room.
Once she was out of earshot, Dev began talking. After all, Naveen had a right to know why things were happening to him.
“What Calix meant that just like us, you are the son of 'Legacy Assassins’” Dev explained, looking straight at Naveen with his grey eyes. “And therefore, there are people hunting you down...for your DNA —and genetic memories” the Indian Assassin finished.
“Assassins?” Naveen asked, in an incredulous tone. “As in….I don't know, Abraham Lincoln's Assassin?” He asked confused.
“That's all you got from that?” Nisa asked, now understanding Calix’s frustration.
“Not quite” Karontase joined in, “My great-great-great granddad did warn the guy not to go to the theater that evening” The young native american commented.
Naveen shot him an even more confused look, he felt like he was being dragged back to his 11th grade AP Government class….in which he had no idea what the holy hell was going on.
“Anyway, as I was saying” Dev picked up a couple seconds later, “Your parents were Assassins and you would have been one too….luckily or maybe not, life panned out differently for you” The Indian Assassin continued.
“My parents?” Naveen scoffed, “My dad is a doctor and my mom a lawyer….they aren't Assassins” he finished with a raised eyebrow.
“We don't mean the Singhs, Naveen….we mean your real parents” Nisa cut in, as the explanation was not going exactly well.
“My real parents?” The young asked, “Haha cute, I was 4 years old when my parents adopted me. I had lived my first four years of life in an orphanage in New Delhi” he explained.
“That was solely our fault” Dev cut in, “My father was supposed to lead the team that would take you to your adoptive family in Amritsar” the Indian Assassin explained.
“Wait what?” Naveen asked, a confused look in his face. Dev, Karontase, Maria and Nisa looked at each other. This was going rather poorly.
“Are you going to tell me….or should I just jump off the ship and swim back to California?” The young Indian asked, half joking of course, as he was sure to drown as soon as he hit the water.
“Um..” Maria began, not sure of what she wanted to say. “Well...Naveen you are special, in a lot of ways that you don't understand yet” She paused, looking at her teammates, “We can't let you leave, if you go back, the guys that have been looking for you since the day your real parents died...they will catch and probably kill you” The Italian Assassin finished.
“Great” Naveen replied sarcastically, “I can't leave, but your leader sure as hell wants to rip my head off...for God knows what” he finished.
“She doesn't” Dev replied, coming to his girlfriend’s defense. “There is just a lot in everyone's plates at the moment, and the fact that you absolutely nothing….well. It complicates things “
“Then explain it to me” The young Indian shot back, tired of hearing their cryptic riddles. “Maybe I'll understand”
They looked between themselves again, before turning to him. Dev nodded towards Karontase, the young native nodded back; before digging inside his jacket pockets for a flash drive.
“This has everything you need to know” Karontase began, before sliding the drive down to Naveen's end of the table. “About us….and your parents” the bear like native finished, rubbing the back of his neck.
Naveen picked it up, it was a black drive with white flower designs. It had a few words scribbled in the back of it, they looked like Sanskrit or some other Indian dialect he'd seen before but wasn't familiar with.
“How the hell am I supposed to watch —or see whatever the hell is in here?” He asked, looking at Dev. Who seemed to be the one in charge.
“Rebecca Crane, our tech specialist, will issue you a computer” The Second team captain replied, before pulling out his phone and sending a quick text to the hacker.
“Right….so after I'm done watching, the hell am I supposed to do?” Naveen asked, desperately trying to keep the dry and awkward conversation afloat.
“Nisa will give you a tour of the ship” Dev answered shortly after the words had left Naveen’s mouth.
“What?! Me?” Nisa whispered back harashly, she sure as hell wasn't doing that.
“Yes, you” Dev whispered back, “Unless you want to trade with Karontase and fish our next meal.”
Nisa made a face at the last part of the Indian Assassin’s reply, even though she was rather good at fishing….it didn't mean she liked to gut them.
“Then it's decided” Dev commented, before turning to the others. All of them nodded, except Nisah...but she had no choice.
“Karontase, take him to see Becs” The Indian Assassin ordered, before exiting the room going off to God knows where on the ship.
The native man nodded, before turning to Naveen. Nisah and Maria returned to their pouring over maps.
“The knife” Karontase asked, extending his hand. “Hand it over”
“Not happening” Naveen shot back, glaring at the bear like man.
“Have it your way then” Karontase answered back, “but do know I can take it from you in 100 different ways...and you wouldn't even know where to stab me” he finished.
Just then, Naveen noticed the native was wearing something that looked like a protective vest of sorts, under his light grey hoodie. It made him seem slightly more buff.
“Still like my odds better” The young Indian countered, before stepping out the room. Karontase following in his heels.
The walk to Rebecca's lab, was every bit as awkward as Karontase had expected it to be.
Especially, because he could tell Naveen was dying to ask him something...but was too prideful to do it. Which had only gotten even more awkward, as they had to take an elevator down to the second level of the ship. During the whole of the trip down in the elevator, Naveen kept on glancing at the bear-like Native….a guy he could have called “friend” but at that particular moment….the offer was off the table. Furthermore to his annoyance, he couldn't see a place where he could stab the native, if push came to shove. As the vest was literally like a turtle shell around the man’s upper body.
“We're here” Karontase told Naveen after a couple of minutes had passed, he's just about fed up with Naveen’s side eye looks.
“Finally” The young Indian muttered under his breath, holding the knife a bit tight her. Though he knows is for absolutely nothing.
Karontase rolled his eyes, if he were to hurt Naveen now; Calix wouldn't be above to tying him to the highest part of the ship’s main mast and all be damned.
“This way” The Native motioned with his head, once Naveen was out of the elevator. Before going down a winding hallway, Naveen followed, a little intimidated by the place.
After all, it looked like one of those scary ass places the developers of Evil Within created to scare the fuck out of the players.
The two young men walked down the long and white walled hallway, for couple of minutes —which seem absolute eternal, before coming to a stop in front of a room’s door. The only one with a lit up green light, in the entire hall, as if it needed to be any more spooky.
“In here” Karontase commented, once Naveen made it by his side. The young Indian started at the door, and then the hall…..this is how every horror movie began.
“Not going in there until you do” Naveen replied, motioning towards the door. “Not giving you a chance to jump me” he finished.
Karontase rolled his eyes again, before muttering something that sounded distinctively like a curse towards Naveen, under his breath. Shortly after, the native punched in a 4-digit number by the door's keypad, before stepping inside. Naveen followed him, a couple minutes after being totally sure there weren't any Predator Aliens waiting for him inside the room.
Once inside, his eyes took some time getting used to the low light of the room. But once they did; he was able to see a couple of bookshelves, desks, and a odd looking machine. A girl with a beanie, and short black hair that reached about the nape of neck seemed to be reading a book; she was sitting near the machine.
“Someone home?” Karontase asked, after seeing Rebecca hadn't even noticed him. It was just then the girl turned.
“Karontase!” She quipped, obviously glad to see the native. “Been a while, bear” she finished with a goofy grin.
“Yeah, it has” Karontase replied, before moving into the light casted by some of the white light lamps.
“Shaun not in the house, eh?” He asked, after glancing around a bit.
“Nope” Rebecca replied, setting the book down on top of a cardboard box. “He's off to yell at Calix. Apparently, Sak, might have damage some “artifacts of incalculable value”” the brunette finished, making quotation marks with her hands.
“Right” Karontase replied with a grin, “he's always going off on Calix for something… I think he's jealous a ‘kid’ is running a worldwide op, and he’s still stuck babysitting you and Layla.” The Native finished with a grin, Rebecca stuck her tongue out at him.
“Now, have you come to belittle me as well?” The girl teased, “or do you actually have something to do?”
“Sadly, I do” Karontase replied, before turning back to the darkness where he'd stepped out of….and where Naveen was still standing in.
“Come out, Naveen” The native called the young man. Naveen moved forwards cautiously, before coming to a stop beside Karontase.
“Dev sent us down here” Karontase explained to his friend, “he's got the flash drive”
Rebecca looked at Naveen as if he was some sort of weird chimera, something he found both a little amusing and unsettling.
“Right…” The back haired girl replied, “I'll wake Layla and set up the laptop” she said, before moving away from her spot, and disappearing behind some dark grey curtains.
“So...that's Rebecca?” Naveen asked the bear-like man. He had to talk about something, or was going to lose his head.
“Yeah, MIT girl that one. Just like Calix, actually….I think they were rivals all four years” Karontase replied, before moving away from Naveen, and towards a mini fridge by a neatly organized desk.
“Want a cold one?” The Native asked, hoping to make some conversation.
“Not accepting any drinks” Naveen replied, still feeling sore over being drugged.
“Suit yourself” The bear-like man replied, before grabbing one can of Budweiser and opening it.
Not two minutes later, Rebecca came back, a Middle Eastern girl by her side. The hacker was holding a somewhat beaten up laptop in her hands.
“We're set” She announced, before setting it down in the desk beside the mini fridge.
“Thank you, Becs” Karontase replied raising the can of bear towards her. “Don't know what we would do without you” he finished.
“Piss off Calix, maybe?” Rebecca replied with a cheeky grin, Karontase smiled back.
The Middle Eastern girl by Rebecca's side narrowed her eyes at the subtle flirting between the two Assassins.
“Any reason to wake me up?” She asked, not feeling in the mood.
“Actually yes, Layla” Rebecca replies, “I don't know your laptop's password….so, yeah.” the hacker finished.
“I'm going to murder you both” Layla shot back, before typing in her password. Completely ignoring Naveen. Once it was unlocked, the girl —Layla, moved to the mini fridge to get herself a can of Red Bull, then to stand beside Karontase.
“You can plug that in now” Rebecca told Naveen, once the laptop was up and running. The young Indian looked down at the drive he was holding his hand….
Whatever was in there, he had the feeling —was going to change his life...forever. But then again, he owed it, to whoever his real parents were, to see it through.
“Right” Naveen answered, before moving towards the laptop and plugging in the drive.
Upstairs, things were going a little better. Yet Calix did not feel the same sense of ease and peacefulness her fellow Assassins did….and Galina could tell.
“You're jumpy, today” The Russian commented, as she tightened the tiny bolts that were supposed to hold the dead man switch together.
“I'm not jumpy, Galina” Calix replied, without looking up from her wiring. “Just I don't have the luxury to be relaxed, that's all” she finished.
The Russian sighed, before setting her work down. She had known Calix, since the Assassin Captain was 11 years old. Despite the age difference, they had become friends rather quickly.
“You're worried” Galina commented, “and all suffer, when you are worried” she finished, before flicking off some specks of dirt off her hidden blade.
“Meaning?” Calix asked with a scoff, looking up briefly.
“Have you seen yourself when you're cranky?” The Russian questioned, “you act like an angry black bear” The blonde finished, before looking back at the younger woman. Calix looked up, eyes locking on Galina's. She didn't appreciate being mocked….by anyone.
“Cute” Calix replied, with a stern expression. “But I don't have time for cute, at the moment” she finished, before going back to her wiring.
“Dev does have heaven —or his ticket to Moksha, assured...just for being your boyfriend” The Russian teased, hoping to get a reaction of the Hispanic.
“You're not wrong” Calix replied without looking up, she knew it. She knew she wasn't someone easy to deal with.
“Aw come on” Galina groaned, “what do I have to do, so you actually tell what's going on”
“How about work?” Calix replied with a slight smirk. Knowing Galina loved drama just as much as the next Russian.
The Russian Assassin groaned, and went back to arming the tiny sensor. Not before long, Calix began to talk.
“I’m worried yeah, but not only that” The Hispanic admitted, still wiring. “I'm pissed as hell too”
“Why?” Galina asked, briefly looking up.
“I just keep think about, how I played God in someone's life, and fucked it up” Calix answered, stopping shortly. “also I'm thinking —and this is completely unrelated, how much of an asshole my dad has always been.” The Hispanic Assassin finished, setting the complex wiring down.
“The Singh boy, eh?” Galina questioned, grabbing a small screwdriver. “You didn't have to promise Amber anything, you know”
“I do” Calix replied, sighing, “But, in a way, I’m glad I did. Because what would the point of being an Assassin, if I can't help people.”
“Hmm, that's right” The Russian commented, a beat of silence passing before the Russian spoke again. “But that's not all, is it?”
“No.” Calix replied, not even surprised Galina was belt of pick up on that. “By Friday, next week, I'll be walking inside one of India's most secure buildings….in a Templar owned city.” she paused, “and once again, I'm so close to my mother's and grandfather's killer….but I just can't reach him.
“Vidit oko, da zub neymyot.” Galina commented in her mother tongue, before translating. “Your eye can see it, but your tooth can't bite it”
“I know that.” Calix replied, “It feels wrong every time I just let him walk, because of the “greater good”” the Hispanic finished, shaking her head.
“Sacrifices are always a part of our lives, Calix” Galina commented, “I know, it might feel wrong, but in the end...maybe your not the one destined to kill him” she finished.
Calix stilled for a moment, thinking. “I've never been one to believe, in fate —or whatever the hell it's called.”
“The present is a good time, as any” Galina replied. She'd always been a firm believer of fate and destiny.
“Perhaps” Calix replied, “Maybe one day I'll finally start to believe on it as well”
“Good” Galina answered, her Russian accent coming out. “That's a good start”
“For now, I’d like to see this work” The Ghost Squadron leader commented, motioning at the dead man switch. “otherwise, Amber and Devesh are fucked”
“It'll work” The Russian Assassin replied, “you, Nisa and Rebecca are the smarts ones after all.” She paused, “If it doesn't work….then this world has some serious problems.”
Calix smirked, and shook her head. Galina had always been the one that was good with people, and she was fine with it.
“So, I heard something” Calix began after a couple of minutes, “actually, it a bit of a rumor”
“What did you hear?” Galina asked, setting her work down once more.
“You and Dmitri Galatas” Calix answered, looking up at her friend. Galina blinked several times, processing the information —half wondering, how the hell Calix knew.
“How did you know?” Galina asked after a few moments, a little disconcerted.
“Dmitri told Gavin” Calix answered, “and well, the guy's a lightweight. Four beers and he'll start telling you shit, that you have no business knowing” The Hispanic finished with a grin.
“I'm going to murder you, both” Galina replied, before going back to her work. Calix laughed a little….it felt good unnerving Galina.
Naveen had just plugged in the drive, when a video started to play. He hadn't clicked on any of the files, so he supposed it was set up that way.
A couple of minutes of watching black screen passed by, before the audio began. Some rustling sounds, and the sound of a door opening and the closing followed. Almost out of nowhere, the black screen disappeared. Whoever was in the video was in a low ceiling room, brightly lit. It sort of looked like a room at a mental asylum. Just then a young man entered the room, his face was covered by his hood. A theme that seemed to be a norm with these people.
Without saying a word, the young man in the video, sat down in the chair in front of the camera and pulled his hood down. Revealing his face. Naveen’s eyes widened... the man’s face, it was just.....so much like his own.
“My name is Dharmin Mir, and I am an Assassin.” The young man —Dharmin, began. “I'm a direct descendant to Evie Frye and Jayadeep Mir, mentors to the Indian and London brotherhoods.” Dharmin chuckled.“This is supposed to be a message for my baby son, Naveen.” Dharmin began once again, “you were just born six months ago, and I think that ever since you and Amber were born, I've become a better man...than I was before” he paused, “now you might be wondering who's Amber”
Before saying anything else, Naveen watched as his father dug inside his jacket pocket for something. It was a picture of a little girl, she was smiling.
“Amber, she's your older sister. Right now she's four and all she wants to do, is play with you….but all you want to do is sleep” Dharmin commented, with a chuckle. Before putting the picture of the little girl closer to the camera’s lenses. “If you're watching this now —whenever now is, then you're probably very confused and feel lost or even alone.” Dharmin said, putting the picture back in his pocket. “But you're not, never will be. The Brotherhood, they'll always find a way to...um, look out after you. If anything happens to me, or your mom, Kyara” he continued, “anyway, I'll try to answer most— if not all— the questions you might have” he finished, letting a beat of silence slink by.
“The Brotherhood, it was started by Bayek of Siwa, and Aya of Alexandria; in the early years of Cleopatra's reign. After it's genesis, well, it spread around the world.” Dharmin began retelling the brotherhood's story, “Back then we were the Hidden Ones, but after Darius assassinated Xerxes. We were called Assassins.” The Assassin paused, “Our Creed spread far and wide, from Spain to India….to well the Americas. Literally everywhere. Our objective was to protect people, and their right to make their own choices —their free will” Dharmin continued, “Our Nemesis, are the Templars, though nowadays...they masquerade as a Global Corporation.”
“The things they do, are terrible. But we are always there to either stop them or foil their plans” The Assassin went on, “Um...Templars, are after things from before any civilization in the earth. Artifacts known as Pieces of Eden, which in their hands would cause mass domination” Dharmin rubbed his face, he was tired. “And to achieve that, they take people whose ancestors were Assassins; who came in contact with POE’s. Like Amber, you or me. You're always going to be in danger, Naveen….you and your big sister. But either I or the Brotherhood will protect you.”
The young man quieted, he seemed to be struggling with something.
“I know the Assassins are bit scary, right now” Dharmin began, looking away from the camera. “But trust them...they do want to protect you, from the Templars and the slave like existence they put you under….after you enter their machine, the Animus” he paused, rubbing the bridge of her nose “If I never get to meet you, I just want you to know that...that….I love you so much more than you'll ever know, and well, that I'm so damn proud of you”
“I love you, Naveen...and always remember...you're so special” Dharmin said, before the screen went black once again. Karontase, Rebecca and Layla watched. As the young Indian stood still in from of the laptop, breathing hard.
“Should we see if he's okay?” Layla asked in a whisper.
“He'll be fine” Karontase whispered back, “he just needs time to come to grips….with the truth”
Layla nodded, she understood it well. Even more than Karontase knew, especially after she'd lost her best friend —Deanna.
“We should leave” The native suggested, to Rebecca and Layla. The Egyptian-American nodded.
“You guys go, I'll stay here” Rebecca replied, Karontase frowned, but the hacker nodded. She would be fine.
Karontase and Layla left the room, shortly after, so silently….Naveen couldn't even tell they were gone. But then again he couldn't tell much….let alone think. Once they left, Naveen finally found the strength to close the laptop.
“Did….did my mother… leave a message..for me?” The young Indian asked, forcing himself to speak the words.
“She might have” Rebecca replied, “but truth is, no one ever found it” the hacker explained, she didn’t know. The young Indian nodded, before turning to the hacker.
“I need to talk to Calix, I have to see my mother’s message” He began, not even sure as to why he wanted to see it that badly.
“Calix doesn't have it...not even a copy of it, Naveen.” Rebecca reiterated.
“I know that” Naveen answered, “I just need her to tell me who could possibly have it” he finished, feeling both dread and anticipation grow in the pit of his stomach.
“I'm not sure she knows” Rebecca replied, pulling the beanie over he ears. “but I'll go with you” she finished, before picking up some headphones off the nearby table and putting them around her neck.
“Thank you” The young Indian replied, before they were on their way to find Calix.
Chapter 6: Parnassia
Rebecca and Naveen, surprisingly took less time to find their way back up to the second level of the ship. Which was a bit of a record time for the hacker, as she usually made the trek in at least 20 minutes instead of 10.
The entirety of her work was based around the animus, and because of issues with funding, Calix hadn't been able to get her team and equipment moved to the upper levels. Also, because she technically was part of Gavin Bank’s crew….and a bit of a stowaway in that sense.
“You have any idea where Calix might be?” Naveen asked, as he walked beside Rebecca with a brisk pace.
“Probably in the deck, beating the shit out of the initiates….those poor kids” Rebecca replied, slightly grimacing at the last part.
Calix was the one Assassin, that no Templar ever wanted to face by himself or herself...as the Team Captain literally could take down anyone, just as she'd done to the Sigma team that Abstergo sent after Layla the year before.
“Which martial arts does she practice?” The young Indian asked, as they walked. Calling Rebecca back to the future.
“I believe her grandfather taught her Krav Maga, but her fighting style takes on Kung Fu and Capoeira moves, as well” The hacker replied, as they turned another corner into a stairwell.
“Huh, now I see why you feel bad about those kids” Naveen commented, realizing why she combined some of the most destructive fighting disciplines in the world.
“Yeah, but then again, those kids do chose to get their assess kicked” The hacker replied, “I don't see why so many Assassin’s are obsessed with the Hunter Class anyway”
“Hunter Class?” The young Indian asked after a few seconds. Curious as ever.
“It's like an Assassin subcategory, if you will” Rebecca replied, fiddling with her phone for a second. “There are three classes, Hunter, Warrior and Seer. Each Assassin is specialized in each one...and well Calix is the best hunter the American Brotherhood has.” The hacker explained, feeling a little out of breath and discouraged at the sight of another set of stairs.
“What class do you belong to, then?” Naveen questioned, desperate to talk.
“Seer.” Crane replied, “not the most combat worthy class, but Seers are valuable medics and hackers in our teams.” she finished in a high note.
“You sound rather proud of being a Seer” Naveen replied with a tiny smile.
“Yeah, I am” Rebecca replied with a wide grin, “Most wouldn't be, especially because we are always more involved with behind the scenes work, but we are just as important”
“I can tell” Naveen replied, nodding. Despite being a perfect stranger to the Assassin's system, he admired how flawlessly it worked and how it brought people from all ethnicities and cultures together.
A bit of a comfortable silence settled between the Assassin and the college student, as they walked. Soon, they were in the first level of the ship, a stairway away from the deck.
“Just one more to go” Rebecca commented, taking a deep breath. Naveen following in her heels.
A couple of minutes later, they were standing in the deck. Naveen had to shield his eyes at the bright midday sun. Once he was used to that amount of light, he noticed Calix was training a batch of initiates….just like Rebecca had predicted, she was kicking some serious ass.
Two kids, somewhere between 18 and 22 were down in the deck. Holding their stomachs, or shins. Groaning in pain.
The two approached quietly, watching the fight between two of the leftover —aspiring Hunters against Calix. They seemed to be having a hard time against the older Assassin, especially since all of them —Calix included were blindfolded.
“Do you guys usually train...um, blindfolded?” Naveen asked, it was a bit of an unorthodox technique.
“Calix's idea, learning to fight in spaces with minimal light sources” Rebecca replied, “a bit of a genius idea, as the Templars have HUD’s and I'm a bit stuck trying to create infrared and low light contact lenses” the hacker explained.
“I see now” Naveen replied, finally seeing the genius behind Calix's idea.
The older Assassin was wearing a white shirt with black lines at the back, which formed a springing puma, besides the white tee, she wore dark grey jeans and black combat boots. An olive green bomber jacket was neatly folded atop a chair at the edge of the mat.
“Does she always dress...like that?” Naveen asked in a whisper, “I mean no offense….but jeans in a fight?” He questioned.
Rebecca turned, grinning widely.
“Yeah, as Calix says, “Look sharp in every occasion”” the hacker commented, before returning her eyes to the fight.
The two watched as Calix, who was blindfolded shifted her stance minimally. Moving her head sideways...away from racket the wind was making. Possibly attempting to listen for her opponents.
Not before long, both Initiates charged the older Assassin. Calix smirked, both centered their attacks around her chest and lower stomach, the older Assassin countered them easily. Before delivering a heck of a tiger strike to the young man, causing him to reel back a couple of steps. Now it was just the girl, and Calix. Just like her teammate, she charged the older Assassin with speed and accuracy. This time including kicks into her sequence of punches and strikes. But things weren't going very well, for her either, Rebecca could tell Calix was holding back. Probably worried about the situation in Mumbai.
So much so, that when the unnamed girl managed to deliver a vicious punch to Calix’s jaw; Rebecca and the rest of the Initiates all gasped in surprise. The older Assassin groaned, staggering back a bit. She could feel the taste of iron in her mouth.
A split lip….
“That's all you got?” The Older Assassin taunted.
The girl grit her teeth, after helping her partner. A nod passed between them, likely the beginning of a coordinated attack. Before Naveen even had to register what had just happened, they charged again, they were rather fast. But once again, Calix proved to be faster….
She dodged the girl’s roundhouse kick, before delivering a vicious chain attack; consisting of a palm strike to her stomach and a punch to the throat. Before Calix could so much as turn, she was forced to block the young man’s attacks from behind her, one barely brushing her temple. Angered at his near miss, the young man charged at her with a closed hand strike; which the assassin caught easily. Using his own momentum to twist his arm behind him painfully, before pushing him down to his knees and into the mat.
Not one of the Initiates said so much as peep, they had all been stunned into silence. They just watched, some in open mouthed shock...at how much they still had to learn.
A couple of minutes after, Calix used her left hand to take off her blindfold; firmly keeping her right on the man's arm.
“Fight's over” One of the Assassin Lieutenants, announced.
Calix let go off the young man's arm, before helping him up, giving him a pat in the back. The girl she’d just put in the ground got up on her own accord, before shaking the older Assassin’s hand.
“That was a good fight, there” Calix told the Initiates, “Just like Tomás and Maya, don't be afraid to use numeric advantages against a more skilled —or better armed opponent” The Assassin explained, highlighting the important parts.
“Continue practicing” Calix commanded, “Jack, get them into teams of four” she told the Lieutenant, before moving to pick up her jacket.
Just then, she noticed Rebecca and Naveen standing a little way away from the edge of the ring. From her place, she couldn't tell if Naveen had a weapon….but then again if it made him feel better about being in a ship full of dangerous strangers, she was all for it.
After pulling the olive green bomber jacket on, and fixing her wavy black hair, she approached the hacker and her companion.
“No knives this time?” Calix asked, as soon as she was close enough to either of them.
“I can tell it's pretty much useless against you” Naveen replied, “and so is my Kung Fu” he added.
Calix smirked a little at the last part, she knew Zhang would roll in pain if he heard such thing coming from his star pupil.
“I don't think you came to watch me beat some kids senseless, did you?” The Assassin asked, crossing her arms over her chest.
“No, we actually came here t…”
“I want to see my mother's recorded message” Naveen rudely interrupted the MIT graduate, finishing for her. Calix chuckled, rubbing the bridge of her nose.
“What's so funny?” The young Indian asked hastily interpreting Calix's small laugh, as mockery.
“Nothing...you're just like Amber” Calix replied, with the smallest of smiles in her face. Naveen didn't reply, just waited for the Assassin Captain to answer him. Calix realized that, and the smile was gone quicker than any of them could blink.
“I don't have it” The Assassin Captain replied, casting Rebecca a look. She knew.
“So I have been told” Naveen replied, “but there must be someone who has it —or perhaps even found it by accident” Calix listened to the young man’s claims, before shooting the Hacker a look.
“Yeah, of course someone found it.” Calix replied in a bit of a condescending tone, making Naveen narrow his eyes. “But sadly, who found it plays for the “other team””
“Where is it?” The young Indian asked, desperate to know.
“Its in Mumbai, Naveen” Rebecca replied for the team captain.
“What about it?” The Indian asked, in curious tone. So that’s where they were going.
“You watched the video right?” Calix asked shortly after.
“Yeah, so how's that relevant to getting my mother's part of the message?” Naveen asked with a raised eyebrow.
Calix shook her head and cursed internally, was he mentally slow. Or just an idiot…?
“It’s a Templar controlled city, we —the Assassins, lost it after Monima Das’ death in 2013.” Calix explained, her voice grew distant with the last part.
“Monima Das?” Naveen asked, “as in one of the most popular Indian Actresses of the decade?”
“Yeah” Calix replied, “A group of Assassins, were sent to get her. But her fiancée, Jot Soora, mucked things up” she paused, “Monima drowned after the Templars crashed the car were she was being transported to New Delhi”
“You were there?” Rebecca asked, suddenly curious. As it seemed Calix was speaking from personal recollection.
“No, I arrived three days later” Calix replied, answering Naveen’s unasked question. “By then Asav and Miles were in charge of the Ghost Squadron. Our main objective was to identify her body and bury her with her ancestors” the Assassin Captain finished.
“She had Assassin ancestors?” Naveen asked, “Like….me?”
“Yeah, not just any Assassin ancestors” Calix replied, “ yours” she finished, looking him square in the eye.
“Mine? How?!!” Naveen asked, more confused than ever.
“That is something....that I’ll let your sister explain” Calix answered dismissively, “But that is where your mother's message is….and luckily, that's where we are going”
“What for?” The young Indian asked.
“Your sister, and well her boyfriend —I suppose— are in a bit of a pickle” Calix replied, uncrossing her arms. “The templar that ordered your parents’ death and committed my mother's murder, forced them into hiding, about a week prior....we don't know where they are”
Calix waited for the young man to ask another series of questions, but much to her surprise, he was quiet.
“That's why you're building it, isn’t it….the Dead Man trigger?” Naveen asked, suddenly connecting all dots. Calix shot a look at Rebecca who shrugged, she hadn't said a damn thing about it.
“Yeah, that is why.” Calix replied, “I make for some pretty attractive bait” she finished in a light tone, soothing the mood slightly. “Is that all you wanted to ask?” She asked, hoping he'd say yes.
“Yes, that's all” Naveen replied.
“Good, that's good” Calix replied, “Becs, drop him off with Nisa for a fresh change of clothes. Please and Thank you.” she asked the hacker, Rebecca nodded before placing a hand in Naveen’s shoulder.
Calix had just turned to walk away, when Naveen spoke up once more.
“I want to help”
The heat was almost stifling, as he walked the overly crowded streets of Mumbai.
Staying under Rishabh Deva’s radar was proving increasingly more difficult, especially since she was injured...and because of the Templar’s constant sweeps of the slum.
Dharavi was the second largest slum in the Indian Continent, after Orangi Town in Pakistan and likely the best place to hide out in a Templar controlled city. The sheer size of it, often discouraged templars from moving further in. Which was just fine with him, if truth was to be said.
Luckily for him, he looked like every other “slum dog”. His dark hair and caramel colored skin, helping him stay camouflaged among the people….yet, he knew that if Rishabh was smart and more importantly….knew his face.
Surely, he would have sent pictures to his kill squads. The Sigma Team, and the Parnassia Kill Squad.
As he rounded the corner with a rather large group of people, and though about a plan…
He saw them...
Not just regular Abstergo guards, or the lowly templar. But the Kill Squad, that he'd been hoping to avoid…. as the badges in their shoulders marked them as the “ Parnassia Squadron ”. Highly trained men and women —some even rumored to be genetically modified, that rooted out and killed Assassins in the spot.
Even though he felt like a rabbit walking into the lion's den —his heart threatening to rip his chest open and fly away. He continued to move with the crowd, his head down. He'd used his white hoodie to staunch the bleeding from Amber’s wound. Making him less obvious to the Parnassia Kill Squad, he looked as inconspicuous as any other slum dog.
Not before long, he’d made it past the kill squad. He was safe —for the moment.
“Live to fight another day” He said under his breath, as he walked inside a nearby alley, after turning the corner. Before flattening himself against the wall.
After checking both ways for any curious passersby, or any Templars; and seeing none, he finally walked further inside the alley way. Disappearing into the shadows casted by the buildings. 15 minutes later, he was standing outside of the place where he'd holed up with Amber; to wait out Rishabh’s manhunt. After some more checking, he knocked the door. A couple of minutes passed, before the slit in the door was pulled back; revealing a set of onyx eyes. Soon after, the door was unlocked.
With the agility of a leopard, he slipped in, unnoticed.
“How is she, Kai?” He asked, Kai —the young man who'd opened the door for him. Before taking off his scarf and shaking out some sand from his hair.
Kai was dark haired, with light brown skin and greyish-black eyes.
“She's burning up right now, Devesh” Kai answered, before taking the bag of supplies from his friend.
“Did you get the bullet out at least?” The dark haired man —Devesh, asked. Worried.
“Yeah” Kai replied, as he began making his way upstairs to the room where they had Amber in. Devesh followed on his heels.
“But I'm no trained medic, Devesh. She could get blood poisoning or something else” Kai finished, his voice dipping slightly into despair.
“She'll be fine” Devesh replied, grabbing Kai’s shoulder, forcing the young man to face him. “You might not be a full fledged Medic, but I'm a 100 percent certain that you did great”
Kai nodded, feeling a little better. Devesh had that effect on people...he built them up, soon after the slightly older boy removed his hand from Kai’s arm.
“Let's go” Kai said, before turning around and taking off, up the stairs.
“Right behind you, bhai” Devesh replied, going up the stairs as well.
“I want to help” Naveen told Calix, stopping the Assassin. She turned around to face him.
“Excuse me?” She asked, thinking she'd heard it wrong.
“I. Want. To. Help.” Naveen replied, with the tone used by parents on small children, while stepping closer to Calix.
The older Assassin chuckled a bit. He really did have no idea..
“You have no idea —much less any training, to actually be of any help” Calix answered after a moment, “You want to help? Then stay in the damn ship” she finished, with a deadly glare.
Naveen scoffed, “She's my sister” he argued.
“A sister you had no idea existed until 3 hours ago” Calix countered, “like I said, your best chance at helping: Don't get in my way ”
“You think I'm scared?” Naveen asked, feeling his anger flare up. Calix narrowed her eyes. Rebecca’s eyes widened, it was never good to set off Calix.
“You think just because you can fight, that you already have this in the bag, don't you?” She asked rhetorically, “Well you're wrong, per usual, the Templars don't even need you alive for the Animus” The Assassin Captain explained, “ To them you are only a shell —a mere vessel, that contains the DNA they need! ”
Naveen back off slightly at the last part, calming down a bit. Calix was right...he'd over valued his life, from the get go.
“Exactly” The Assassin Captain commented, “now you get it, welcome to our world .” She finished before walking away, leaving the young Indian standing there.
“You okay?” Rebecca asked, shortly after Calix was out of earshot.
“Yeah, I'm fine” Naveen replied, still watching Calix walk away. “Was she telling the truth about….the Animus?” He asked, in a quieter tone.
“Yeah, Calix is never one to sugar coat things” Rebecca replied, “Come on, Nisa must be wondering where you are” the hacker said, before walking away.
Naveen stood there for a few more minutes, before following Rebecca back down to the first level of the ship. Five minutes later, they were back at the Command Center. Nisa waited for them, leaning against the right side of the door.
“You made it” She commented with a small smile. While she wasn't exactly happy about having to deal with Naveen after she'd helped drug him….perhaps it was for the best.
“Yeah, just ran into some issues” Rebecca replied, barely even giving Naveen a chance to answer. The young Indian just glanced away from Nisa.
“So, I'm supposed to show you...um, your room” The Middle Eastern Assassin told Naveen, tucking a rebellious lock of hair behind her ear.
“Sure, lead the way” He replied, shoving his hands on his jean’s pockets; still refusing to look at her. Making it unbelievably awkward…
Nisa smiled, at him once more, before taking the lead...she was so going to murder Dev…..Calix or not.
The Assassin Captain watched the sun and the endless blue sea stretch as far as the eye could see, from the helm of the ship.
An hour or two had passed, since she'd seen the look of horror in Naveen's face, at her revelation of how very little the Templars actually valued his life….She could have been less blunt about it...but then again, he would have found that out after being strapped to the Animus, and forced to re-live his Ancestors’ memories.
But it wasn't the only thing in her mind, his words were too.
“I want to help…”
“She's my sister!”
Kid had courage, that much she could admit. But as she'd learned...courage wasn't everything, not against their enemies anyway.
A few more moments passed, before the Assassin Captain was brought back down to reality. She was out there to attempt establishing communication with Devesh, Amber —or even Kai.
“Phoenix to Baagh. If you can hear me, answer this transmission” The Assassin said into a small microphone embedded in the Assassin pin in the cuff of her jacket.
Her only connection to other members of the Silhouettes Project —an elite team, composed of the best of the best Assassins from each brotherhood.
No answer came from her earpiece…
The Assassin Captain took it off in frustration, almost chucking it into the sea. Managing not to in the last second. She sighed, before slumping against the railing.
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over….and expecting different results…” Calix said to herself, while rubbing the bridge of her nose.
She didn't like the idea of having to go in blind….it went against everything she'd ever been trained to do. After all, she hadn't become an Assassin Captain by putting people at risk….but by keeping them safe.
Which seemed to be the opposite of what she was doing at the moment.
“God damnit” Calix cursed, grinding her teeth. Before speaking into the microphone once more.
“If you're there, please answer….I need to know if I you guys are fine”
So, as you saw, I decided to add the Assassin's Creed Origins skill set/tree in here; as it would make more sense to have different kinds of specialized Assassin's running around.
Hunters: Stealth masters. Strategists. Long range weapons specialists. Hand to hand combat proficient. Usually achieve the rank of captain or higher.
Warriors: Skilled Fighters. Mastery in hand to hand combat. Blades, melee weapons, and dynamite experts. Usually achieve the ranks of Captain, Liutenant, and Sargent.
Seers: Espionage and Medical mastery. Preferred for long distance reckon and assassinations. Mostly medics, hackers, strategists, and information brokers. Usually achieve the ranks for Liutenant, Sargent, and other minor officer ranks.
Thanks for reading! - Lion.
Chapter 8: Baagh
Chapter 7: Baagh
Devesh watched over Amber as she slept, the medicine he'd bought from a “doctor” had done the trick. According to Kai.
But, it still wasn't an ideal situation by any means. During the safe house storming, he'd lost any means he had to contact Calix —Gavin Banks...or anyone else.
“She'll be fine, Devesh” Kai commented, after seeing the worry etched in his friend's face. “Amber is the strongest girl I've ever met” the young Seer-In-Training continued.
“Don't I know that" Devesh replied, with a small smile as he glanced towards her. Her face was framed by her luscious raven hair, gold-amber eyes closed.
“Then what is it?” Kai asked, stretching his arms...he was starving.
“The day Rishabh stormed the safe house...well, I lost my only means of talking to Calix —or anyone from the Silhouettes Project , my dad included” Devesh answered, shaking his head.
“I see” Kai replied, looking down.
A couple of beats passed, before the untrained Seer spoke again.
“But Calix must know right?” He asked, “you guys have some sort of signing in system?”
“Yeah...we do” The Warrior replied, “I missed it, several times...and that is what worries me”
“Calix won't just barge in” Kai replied, “she cares more for her people, than herself at times.” He finished, grimacing a bit.
He remembered the one time….
It was midday, the sun was up and sweltering.
Most of the Initiates were laying around in the shade, as they weren't allowed inside the building. But that was not Kai’s case….
He'd busted his ass for the grand total of three months, to be a part of rebuilding the Assassins base that had been known as the Darkness during the 1800’s. Even though some older —and higher ranked Assassins were the one actually renovating the place, and he was just an errand boy, he was more than happy to help. Such as he did know.
He carried a bucket of grey paint in his hands, it was heavy, but not so much he wouldn't be able to carry it by himself. All was going great, until someone pushed him….making him stumble, the paint bucket landing centimeters away from Amir Hassan.
The biggest bully amongst the Initiates. Yet many in the Brotherhood praised him for his skills.
“You little shit” Amir cursed, unluckily for him, the paint had completely splattered on his black kurta. The only thing his father had left him before he died.
“Amir...I-I-I didn't meant to" Kai replied, backing away from the enraged older boy. Still on the ground.
“I don't care” He roared, before signaling for his cronies to get him. Kai’s fight-or-flight instinct kicked in, he got up and started to run.
But it was all for nothing, two boys caught him. Everyone was watching. Not doing anything... perhaps even glad he was the one to get beat, and not them. Not before long, he down in the ground, getting completely overwhelmed by Amir and his groupies. He just took it, curling into a fetal position...he was no match for them; as he was too skinny and weak to hold his own. Suddenly, all blows stopped. But he still didn't move...he’d seen Amir beat other kids up, it lasted a lot longer than. That, was the point where things got out of hand... Not satisfied with the beat down he'd already dished out; Amir pulled out his pocket knife, with all the intention of hurting the younger boy. Some of the initiates, ran off to get someone to stop things. But the rest just watched...mute.
“Lift him up” The bully ordered, raking a hand through his hair. The two boys who'd caught him, did without any hesitation, forcing him to his feet.
“You shouldn't have done that, sand monkey” The older boy spat, with a dark grin on his face. He pulled his arm back, still holding the knife, Kai closed his eyes.
But the pain never came, neither did the feeling of blood dribbling down his stomach. Surprised, he opened his eyes... someone was shielding him from Amir's blade…
About 5’9, or so….her face and head covered by a black hoodie. That's when he saw the knife. It had gone through her right hand. The blood falling to the ground silently...
“Didn't your mom teach you to play nice?” She asked, in a condescending tone.
“Get. Out. Of. My. Way” Amir growled, pushing the knife further. He saw the girl grimace a bit, before she smirked.
“Fine” She replied.
All that happened next was more or less of a blur, as the girl, took it upon herself to put down every one of Amir's groupies, before pulling the knife out her hand and shoving the bully against a wall...knife against his jugular.
“You're not an Assassin” She spat, venom in her eyes. “You're nothing more than a little scared boy, who hurts other to feel better” she paused. Before glancing over her shoulder to the gaping initiates.
“You think yourself Assassins?” She asked, waiting for an answer.
“Well let me tell you...you're the farthest thing from it” The girl shouted, “you're cowards with no honor—and no sense of what being a Protector means!” she paused, “you see someone getting hurts and think…”Glad is not me!””
“If you ever hurt anyone again...I will slit your throat and watch you bleed like a pig” The girl threatened, turning back to look at Amir. He was so scared his knees were knocking together.
Not long after, she let go off him. Throwing his pocket knife down in the earth with such force it lodged into the soft earth. Amir ran, like the devil was on his heels, not even bothering about his kurta any longer. Once she was sure he wouldn't come back, she turned to the Initiates, completely ignoring them. Making her way to him. The group divided, letting her pass, as they were completely terrified of her.
“Are you okay?” She asked him, before helping him off the ground with her left arm.
“I'm fine” Kai replied, wiping away some blood from the corner of his mouth. “But you're hurt” he remarked, pointing at her hand.
“It's nothing” She replied with a grin, her black hood hiding her face. But the grin was clear as day. “I just can't stand bullies” she finished.
Some of the Initiates around them whispered about her….they seemed to know who she was.
“Who are you?” He asked, still struggling to stand tall. As his ribs were rather bruised.
“Name is Phoenix” She replied with her code name, “but my friends call me Calix”
That had been the day he'd met her —Calix, the very same day she'd saved his life.
“Trust me” Kai continued, “Calix will find a way to get us all to safety” he grinned.
Devesh looked at him, and smiled a little as well. It was always Kai, who watched the world in a better light.
“Yeah, you're right” Devesh answered after a moment.
Night had finally arrived to signal the end of another fruitless day for Calix.
She still couldn't get in contact with Baagh, or anyone —from the Mumbai brotherhood— for that matter.
“Damn it” The Assassin Captain breathed out, as she watched the sun set. Leaning against the railing.
Someone asked from behind, she knew the voice. It was Layla.
“More like pointless” Calix replied, without turning around. Layla sighed and moved to stand beside Calix, her back towards the setting sun.
“So...no contact” Layla asked, though she knew the answer from just looking at Calix.
“Yeah, still waiting” The Assassin replied, frowning like there was no tomorrow. Her bomber jacket fluttering in the wind, ever so slightly.
“They'll turn up” Layla answered, casting a look over her shoulder. “You guys got me out of Egypt in one piece, after all.”
Calix chuckled, shaking her head.
Getting Layla and Miles out of Egypt had been the most dangerous mission she'd ever done…..and taking out the whole of the Sigma team with her own —her greatest accomplishment.
“It was a rough” Calix replied, her eyes still watching the sun slowly disappear. “Getting you and Miles out of there was….well, the most nerve racking mission I'd ever gone to”
Layla smiled, before placing a hand in Calix’s shoulder. “You'll get them out, I'm sure of that” The Egyptian-American said with a grin, before walking away.
“I hope so, Layla” Calix answered, once she was out of earshot.
The Assassin Captain turned her eyes away from the sea, and up to the sky above….
Not even realizing they were being followed.
Morning arrived slowly in Mumbai.
The slum where Devesh, Kai and Amber were hiding out from Rishabh’s ongoing manhunt; was as active as a bee hive, even as early as four in the morning.
None of them had eaten anything for the past two days, as it was too unsafe to even go out, since the Parnassia Kill Squad just seemed to keep on moving closer to the heart of the slum….besides they were far too easy to spot.
At the moment, Kai had finally drifted off. Surely dreaming about food…..not that Devesh blamed him, he was starving too.
“You should rest”
A voice suddenly spoke out from the darkness of the room, startling the Assassin.
“Amber?” Devesh half asked, half called.
“Of course it's me, you silly” The girl—Amber, replied. A rustling sound followed.
“Don't get up!” Devesh whispered harshly. Cursing Amber's inability to listen to anyone.
Within a few seconds, he was by her side. She was sitting up in the makeshift bed, holding her stomach —not in pain...thankfully. Her long black hair gathered on her left shoulder.
“You're so goddamn stubborn” Devesh chastised, kneeling in front of her.
“You like it” Amber shot back, Devesh suspected with a sly grin. But he couldn't tell as it was dark.
“I beg to differ, priy ” Devesh shot back, frowning. While it was true….he did like her stubbornness, but it was incredibly inconvenient at times like these.
A moment of silence passed.
“I'm sorry” Amber began, her eyes focusing on his silhouette. “If I hadn't gotten hurt then…you would have been able to save him”
Suddenly, the images of the stormed safehouse flooded his mind... at the center of it all...his little brother being dragged out by one of Rishabh's dogs.
He had to glance away from her.
“If I had to make the same choice again, I would, Amber.” Devesh answered, “I love you”
A sigh escaped Amber's lips….it was all her fault. If anything ever happened to Sahil….she wouldn't be able to live with herself.
“I….my injuries, they should have never been the reason for you to chose me over your family, Devesh” Amber replied after a quiet moment.
The only sound, was that of the cars and trucks moving about, and people shouting.
After getting a fresh set of clothes and a shower Naveen felt a lot better than he had earlier that day...even more so, after Karontase's mother gave him a concoction to drink…had ended the drug induced headache and grogginess in the snap of his fingers.
Currently, he walking beside Layla, their destination the canteen. In minutes they arrived. The Egyptian-American walked in, like she owned the place, Naveen following closely behind —in the likes of a kicked puppy.
Once they were both inside, all eyes were on him. It was like being back in middle school...Dev noticed that, all the way from the Officer’s tables. While he knew the Kanien'keha Assassins were curious and candid by nature —he also knew Naveen hated being at the center attention.
“Leave him be” The Assassin Captain ordered —in English, from the other side of the canteen. Shortly after, Karontase shouted the same in Mohawk.
The Kanien'keha Assassins stopped, their eyes immediately going back to their own conversations and food. Allowing Naveen to breathe a little better.
“You want to eat?” Layla asked the college student.
“Um...no, thanks” He replied, a little uncomfortable. Even though he was starving, he still had some trust issues.
Layla nodded —understanding, after all, it had taken her months and entire weeks of pissing Calix off to finally trust the Assassins.
“Dev is over there” Layla told him, pointing at the other side of the canteen. “Those are the officer’s tables” The Egyptian finished with a grin, before going to get her food.
Naveen went his own way, towards the “Officer's Tables”. At least in that place, nobody seemed to care who he was; after a little looking, he found Dev sitting in the table closest to the window. His stare lost in a book.
“You can stop standing there like a pillar of salt and sit down” Dev answered his unspoken question, after watching him —from the corner of his eye— awkwardly stand there.
Naveen nodded, and took the seat across from him. He seemed to like quiet, so the college student stayed quiet.
A few minutes passed, before the Indian Assassin closed his book with a sigh.
“What do you want?” Dev asked Naveen, his hazel eyes boring holes in him.
“N-Nothing!” Naveen replied, rubbing the back of his neck.
Devesh made a face, before rubbing the bridge of his nose. Calix had already prohibited them from involving Naveen with anything from the Mumbai Infiltration.
“If you're here to try and convince me that you can help , then forget it kid” The Indian Assassin replied, “Calix said no and her word is final”
Naveen groaned annoyed, before leaning forward. “She's my sister” he argued.
“A sister you had no idea existed, until yesterday” Dev shot back, as he leaned into his chair. Naveen scoffed, these people were certainly testing his patience.
“Still, you have your reasons for going to Mumbai and poking the bear with a stick—well, so do I” The college student replied, reviving the half dead argument. Dev barely resisted the urge of banging his head against the wall….that kid was sure stubborn.
“Listen kid, and listen well. Yes, it's true we have our reason —their names are Devesh, Kai and Amber.” The Assassin Captain replied watching the student closely. “Yours? Is only a flash drive”
Naveen glanced away, embarrassed, as the Assassin had seen through his ploy so easily. But then again, he'd never been very good at lying.
“They are our people —and therefore, one of our top priorities” Dev explained, “your mother's video, it can wait. They can't ”
Before Naveen could even as so much nod, all the lights went out. Some of the Kanien'keha —the children especially, shouted in fear. Dev and the other Assassin Officers got up, slowly and calmly. Naveen did too, just less gracefully.
“What's going on?” He asked Dev in a whisper.
“Something is wrong” The Indian Assassin replied, “Not sure what it is, but this isn't the result of an operator error”
Not before long, the other Assassin Officers, armed themselves with some low light flash lights, glowing sticks —and the rare few, with HUD’s. Some of the Assassins left the canteen, while the others stayed, posting themselves at the entrances, or helped the mothers calm their children.
“Could it be a shot fuse?” Naveen asked, suddenly his engineering knowledge jumping to the forefront of his mind.
“It's not that” Dev replied, pulling his hood up, before unholstering his desert sniper pistol. Naveen shot him a quizzical look in the dark.
“It was an EMP”
Calix had been with Táwit, at the helm of the ship. When the lights had flickered off, in the main section of the ship and the bow. The helm kept it's electricity for a little longer before going completely offline as well.
“EMP attack” Calix thought out loud, before moving to the window. It was dark...but the moon gave off some light, making it easy to pick out the silhouettes of two speedboats.
“Calix, who are they?” Táwit asked, still holding the wheel.
“Templars —or pirates, I'm not sure” Calix replied, as she watched them move about. Before they boarded the ship.
“Go and organize your team” Táwit told Calix, she shook her head. “They won't find me, Calix, I promise” he reassured her.
The Assassin Captain was torn between leaving Táwit endangered, —or endangering the lives of the people below deck.
“Be safe” Calix replied a few seconds after, “No heroics alright?”
The native nodded, before crouching down behind the door and taking out his silenced pistol. Calix cursed internally at his stubbornness...not before long —she had left the helm. With the swiftness of a Jaguar, she moved about in the shadows. Closely following the intruders that had just boarded the ship, most wore high end military suits and rifles.
“I can't see anything, boss” One of the men shouted as he walked about, looking for signs of life...he was too close to Calix’s cover.
“Keep it down” Another voice replied —whom Calix suspected to be one they referred to as boss.
“Yes ma’am” The man replied in a quieter tone, as he continued searching.
Not before long, the man moved away from Calix’s hiding spot. It was not an ideal situation by any means….especially after she’d seen the Templar badge with her eagle vision.
They were smack in the middle of the Pacific Ocean…..stuck with the “reformed” Sigma Team.
Chapter 9: Trouble In Paradise
Chapter 8: Trouble In Paradise
The Assassin Captain waited like a silent shadow, until the team had moved towards the bow; before dashing to one of the many “escape routes” and dropping in.
The Assassin Captain landed nimbly on her feet, like a cat. She was in the first level of the ship —just like in deck, all lights were out. Meaning, that whatever EMP charge the Templars had used….it was pretty powerful.
After a couple of seconds passed in the darkness, Calix activated her eagle vision, going in search of the people inside the canteen. Making sure not to alert any Templars in deck that there were people moving about in the floor below them.
The Assassin moved gracefully, avoiding chairs, tables and other pieces of furniture; as she made her way. Minutes passed by, filled with silence —and nothing more than the blue outline of objects to keep her company….until she found the maintenance ladder that led to the back of the canteen in the second level.Without much thought, she dashed for it, completely unaware of the fact the Templars had already found their way down to the first level. Just as she dashed, a spray of bullets flew above her head, forcing her to drop to the ground as soon as she had made around the corner.
“I got movement in level 1” The man, clicked back on his comm. Informing the Templar leader above. Calix moved to stand slowly, still flattened against the wall. Hearing for the man.
A couple of seconds, passed before she heard the click of his AK-47 and shortly after the sound of a metal light being opened. Unlucky for her, one of the bullets had grazed her arm —which meant she was currently bleeding, leaving a trail to follow.
“Report, Sigma 4” The voice from the comm crackled back to life, demanding updates.
“Following the trail, boss” The man replied, pointing at the ground with his flashlight. As he noticed it seemed darker in one spot than another. “She’s injured” he finished, referring to Calix.
“Good” The voice replied, it was distorted —but it sounded like a woman's. “Find her. She will either give her friends up, or she'll die”
“Yes ma'am” The man replied, clicking off comms once again. After a bit of glancing around, he dropped the cigarette, and stomped on it.
“I'm going to root you out, you sons of bitches” He said under his breath, fumbling with the settings of his HUD’s settings to detect heat signatures.
Just as he attempted to find the right setting, he saw someone charge at him—from the corner of his eye, in the last second.
The last thing he ever saw, was a glint of silver in the dark.
Naveen awkwardly waited for Dev and the other Assassin Officers to finish laying out their plan by the door.
Beside him, Karontase paced about….
If Naveen and Dev were right about the shot fuse, and the EMP attack. Then whatever charge they used to take their systems out could have even reached the helm, which was scary as hell….as his father was there.
“Could you stop?” Naveen asked, a little annoyed —but mostly nervous.
“We're moving out, Bear” Dev told Karontase, as he approached them.
“Alright” Karontase replied, completely ignoring the college student. “Right behind you”
“Where are you guys going?” Naveen asked, as soon as the Native started walking. Suddenly curious.
“To find Calix, Galina and Táwit” Dev replied, “ you're not coming with us” The Assassin added, once he saw a flicker in Naveen's gold-amber eyes.
The college student scoffed, as he leaned into the wall further. Dev turned away. The kid did have courage, but also spadefuls of stupidity and recklessness.
'Better keep him and Ollie at opposite sides of the ship’ The Assassin Captain thought as he walked back to the officer’s tables, to gather his equipment.
Just as he approached the table, he saw Paolo —one of the Seer officers, fumbling around with some cables that ran to the main electric circuitry.
“Paolo, what are you doing?” Dev asked the Seer, as it seemed all the other Officers were preparing.
“Just some minor adjustments” The engineer replied, “should allow us to close the canteen doors and keep the people safe”
“Good thinking” Dev replied, nodding. “Just be careful”
Paolo nodded back, putting the flashlight between his teeth once again. A couple of minutes passed, the 4 man teams were ready to depart, but Dev’s was still incomplete as Paolo was trying to hack the circuitry.
“Ha! I'm done!” Paolo commented, with a sigh.
“Try it” Amir Tazim replied, as he loaded his pistol. He was one of the Assassin Captains of the Zodiac Division.
Paolo nodded, before putting the board back on and bolting it. After making sure all was secured, he pressed the button that enabled the canteen to go into lockdown during emergencies.
Confused, Paolo pressed the button again; just as before nothing occurred. The Italian engineer cursed under his breath, smashing the button...This time, before any of the Assassins could blink; Paolo was thrown back —by a small electric explosion— against the wall with such force, that as soon as his head made contact….he was out like a light, Dev and the others barely had any time to duck.
Being the closest to the injured Assassin, Naveen dashed for Paolo. Getting there before Dev. As he checked for signs of life, he prayed that poor guy would be okay...after all, his adoptive uncle —Suraj, had once been in accident like this one...and been in the hospital for a while.
“Is he alive?” Dev asked, kneeling beside Naveen. Karontase positioned himself as a barrier in case Naveen or Dev needed to start CPR.
“Yeah, he's...um breathing” Naveen replied, “Only unconscious for the moment”
Dev looked up to Karontase. The Native nodded back, before leaving Jack in charge of keeping the other Assassin Officers away from Paolo.
“Where the hell is he going?” Naveen asked, checking the Seer’s pulse.
“To get his mother, she's the best healer in the ship” Dev replied, looking down at Paolo. “Has patched us all up, more time than anyone wants to admit”
Jack was doing a marvelous job of keeping the rest of the Assassin Officers in task, proceeding with Dev’s plan —sending out small squads to clean the levels of Templars and report back. When Calix finally made it inside the canteen.
“I leave you guys alone for 20 minutes and you manage to make a mess of it” The Assassin Captain commented, as she approached Jack and the others.
Her arm was bleeding, but there was a tiny smirk in her face…which disappeared she saw the grim expression in Jack’s face; with a little more looking, she saw Paolo in the ground a couple meters behind him.
“What happened?” She asked, moving faster.
“He was trying to find a way to keep the canteen locked….but instead the whole thing blew up in his face —literally” Dev replied, before adding. “He's alive”
Calix checked the Seer for his vital signs again. Just like Dev had told her, Paolo was alive….hanging in there.
“Karontase?” Calix asked, after noticing the Native's absence “Where is he?
“Went to get his mother” Naveen replied, inserting himself in the conversation.
Calix cursed, shit never ever went their way. The Assassin Captain stayed quiet for a few seconds, thinking about next move; while some of Seers under Paolo got cracking to set up some lights.
“Okay, new plan people” Calix called out, getting up from Paolo’s side and walking to the center of the canteen. As she was a little shorter than most of her officers, she climbed up the table.
“The Sigma team is responsible for this attacks on our house ” The Assassin Captain began, addressing all. “They are mostly in the first level of the ship and the top deck. I just killed one of them on my way down.” Her eyes were focused, “ New Plan is this, I'm going to put on that Sigma’s uniform and take Dev and another of you up there. The second, any one of those fuckers tries to call it in or anything like that, Amir and Jack —you guys will rain hell on them” The Captain finished.
People murmured, some for and some against the plan. Jack nodded from his spot, he was ready for it...his officers not so much— as they discussed things among themselves.
“I'm with you” Jack said after a moment, though Calix already knew.
“So are we” Amir replied from his corner, his team nodding.
One by one, more and more Assassins joined. Even some of the Kanien'keha aboard attempted to, but as they had little to no training —Calix rejected their assistance, honoring the Creed.
“Good” Calix commented after a moment, looking at each one of them. “Is the plan clear?”
Came back the reply of the Assassins, who went back to readying themselves for the ambush. Without further ado, Calix jumped down from the table; and approached Dev.
“You ready Dev?” The Assassin Captain asked, worry freely dancing in her eyes. Illuminated by the lights the team of Seers had just set up.
Dev smiled, Calix was very good at masking her thoughts and emotions around others —that weren't Galina, him or the Ghost Squadron.
“I'm ready” The Indian Assassin replied, with a grin. Which seemed to do nothing as the worry was still there. “We'll be fine” he reassured.
“I hope” Calix replied, before looking back at a waiting Jack and Amir.
“So, who's going up there with Dev?” Naveen asked, trying to act as disinterested as possible.
“Well, I suppose I could take Bear when he gets back” Calix replied, still firm in keeping Naveen out of the front lines.
“Can you give us a second?” Dev asked a waiting Naveen, the boy nodded and walked away.
“No. For even think about it” Calix told Dev, as soon as Naveen was out of earshot.
“We need all the help we can get” Dev argued, “I know he's not trained, but I'm sure he can hold his own.”
“Are you hearing yourself, Dev?” Calix asked, unbelieving of his words. “I won't put him in front of a trigger happy squad of goons”
“Then what?” Dev asked, “If you take Karontase to them, they'll put a bullet in his head —you know who leads the Sigma Team, Calix”
“Yes, I'm well aware!” The Assassin Captain shot back, shaking her head. “But I promised Amber, that I'd find her baby brother and bring back in one piece.” The Assassin paused. “ I won't break that oath”
“I'm not asking you to” Dev replied, softly. He hated arguing with her. “But if Prisha Deva is here, then you must be aware she wants to kill Karontase —badly.”
Calix didn't reply, just kept quiet, processing the information and coming up with a plan. Always the strategist.
“Fine” She replied after few minutes of thought, “We go up there, but once all hell breaks loose; you keep that kid safe, okay?”
“I will” Dev replied with a nod, “I promise”
“You better” Calix whispered back, before approaching the other team captains.
“So?” Naveen asked, “who are you guys taking?”
“You know the answer” Dev replied, before leaving a shocked Naveen behind.
In the span of minutes, all Assassins were ready—including Naveen and Calix.
The latter, was already in the Sigma suit. While Naveen was just finishing strapping a hidden blade to his right arm with Dev’s help.
“Right” Dev commented, as he made sure all straps were tightened. “Flex your wrist” He told the younger boy, Naveen looked at the blade, it was like Dev’s —perhaps a bit of an older model. Black, with a carbon bracer that covered the entirety of his forearm —what he'd come to know as the Assassin's insignia was engraved in its middle, with a silver color.
“Right” The college student replied, mimicking Dev’s movement. Much to his surprise the blade shot up, with great speed. “Holy shit” Naveen cursed, admiring the blade.
“Now, do what you just did again” The Indian commanded, following the instructions, Naveen watched as the blade retracted.
“Use that when you are in close quarters” Dev advised, “Only if you needed it” he cautioned. Naveen nodded, making mental notes of that.
Just as he was approaching Calix, another Assassin dropped in; right in from of him. His hand immediately moving to engage the blade.
“God dammit! That's not a toy!” The Assassin in front of him cried, her own hidden blade blocking his. It was Nisa.
“Sorry” Naveen answered, “You scared me” he explained, immediately retracting his blade. “Also, who the hell told you dropping out of the sky unannounced, is remotely okay?!?!”
“Is not my fault you're so blind!”
“Blind? I'm sorry but I can't see in the dark…”
“So...” Dev commented, shaking his head all the while. Calix rubbed the bridge of her nose….why did she always have some fire to put out?
“Can you two hash out your shit, in your own fucking time? Please?” Calix asked, interrupting them. “We have bigger problems at the moment”
The two stopped, —but it was clear the argument would continue later on, especially as Naveen was still pissed over the roofie.
“Put these on” The Assassin Captain ordered Dev, Naveen and Nisa; as she handed them zip ties. “To break these, just trigger your blades” Calix explained, mostly for Naveen’s benefit. The young man nodded.
“Now, let's haul ass” The Captain told all the Assassins present, the group nodded and clicked on their comms.
One by one, the Assassins belonging to Amir’s team moved out of the canteen; their objective to take out any of the Sigmas —in case they had it to the lower levels.
“We're clear Captain. We are on the first level, waiting for instructions” The reply came from one of Amir's lieutenants, a couple of minutes later, Calix nodded putting on the helmet.
“Ragok’s team is moving your way.” Amir replied, “once they are in position, make your way to the main deck and wait for Phoenix"
“Copy that, sir. Mendoza out” The lieutenant clicked off the comm.
“Let’s move” Amir told the rest of his people, before leaving the canteen as well. Once the rest of Amir's team was on the move, Calix looked at her group.
“Ready?” She asked, even though she knew the answer for Dev and Nisa. The three nodded, even though she could see a slight shaking in Naveen's right hand.
“Let's move” The Assassin Captain motioned to the door, as they walked out, she put the helmet and mask on her head.
Without a glance back, the last team walked out. Ready to rain hell on the Sigma team.
Calix and Dev walked ahead, guns out, possibly using their eagle vision in order to catch the Templars unaware. Forcing Naveen to walk besides Nisa…..
In that moment, he was seriously questioning why the hell he'd wanted to be a part of that. Especially since his right hand, the one where Dev had strapped the blade to, was shaking.
“You're scared” Nisa commented, glancing in his direction for a couple seconds.
“I'm not” Naveen replied, still moving forward, thankfully his voice was even.
“Your right hand is shaking” The Middle Eastern Assassin commented, eyes firmly planted on Calix's back.
“Trust me, it's not" Naveen replied, following Calix's faint outline. Immediately clenching his hand.
A few beats passed.
“It's okay to be scared, you know” Nisa began, “even someone like Calix —or me, get scared when it comes to fighting the Templars”
“Yeah, well I can't tell” Naveen snapped back, he was still salty about the roofie. Not that Nisa blamed him.
“You just get better at not showing it” The Middle Eastern Assassin replied.
“Cut the chatter back there” Calix joined in, ending the conversation. “We're almost there”
After a few minutes, the four Assassins were standing beneath a hatch that lead to the deck. Which was crawling with Templars.
“Take off your comms” Calix told them, while taking hers off as well. After discarding of the comms, Calix used the butt of her empty AK-47 to open the hatch.
“Ma'am. We have some movement!” One of the Sigmas shouted, possibly the one closest to the hatch.
“Don't worry, it's one of us” The Sigma Captain —Prisha Deva, assured her goons.
Few minutes later, the hatch finally opened with a great groan. From it, Dev, Nisa and Naveen climbed out. Calix on their tail...holding the AK 47 at the same level as their kidneys. For all purposes, Naveen was given one of Luca’s jackets, and one of Calix's face masks.
Being at the forefront, Dev watched as Deva smiled. Looking rather pleased with herself.
“See, Lieutenant, I told you it was one of us” The Templar Captain commented, as she circled the Assassins one by one.
“Is such a tragedy, when such good looks are ruined because of an illogical ideology” Prisha commented, as she flicked some hair off Dev’s eyes.
Calix barely resisted the urge to stab that bitch with her hidden blade, but instead, forced herself to keep a stony calm demeanor. Her only sign of anger, a tightly held gun.
“So, I will ask this once.” The Templar Captain began, standing in front of them.“Where's Singh?”
“Tough crowd, eh?” Prisha wondered, once again circling them.
“Let's loosen up some tongues, shall we?” The Templar continued, before motioning for one of her goons to punch Dev in the stomach, aiming for his solar plexus.
“I'm not telling you shit” The Indian Assassin replied, before spitting in her general direction.
“Better communication already, hmm.” The Captain assessed, “The other now, corporal” Deva ordered Calix, referring to Nisa.
The Assassin Captain swore internally, she hadn't expected this to happen. With heavy steps, she approached her friend and after mentally apologizing; she hit Nisa in the stomach with the butt of her 'borrowed’ weapon.
Now, both Nisa and Dev were short of breath, as to make it convincing; Calix had had to hit Nisa pretty hard. More blows followed, this time not even Naveen was safe. As he let himself be overpowered by two other corporals. After a while; Dev, Naveen and Nisa took the blows without putting up a fight. Prisha was deadly sure Naveen was in the ship, but little did she know he was being beat up as well.
“Loyal” Prisha commented, looking down at them. “Lift them up” she ordered one of her goons.
“Now, I didn't want it to come to this, but if I must; then I will” She continued.
A young man holding a box stepped forward, certainly a of Pakistani ancestry. Prisha smirked before moving towards the young man. Calix grit her teeth, she knew what was coming. Taking as much time as she humanely could, Prisha opened the box and strapped the Hidden Blade to the inside of her arm. She approached the three of them, more interested in Nisa than the boys. Dev’s eyes widened, as the Indian realized what she was going to do...it was a common form of torture that Templars put Assassins under….
It consisted of making one of the Assassins watch as the other was dismembered and gutted…. until one broke.Those bastards had discovered that by accident, during the 1800’s. When they tortured Kulpreet and Ajay —the Darkness custodians. Shortly after Kulpreet had killed herself to keep Jayadeep Mir’s location a secret, Ajay broke.
Dev knew he had to stay calm, and avoid looking at Calix too much. He knew she'd never let things get that far….
Slowly, Prisha walked towards Nisa. Relishing on the fear in the Assassin's eyes.
“Corporal Knight. Please take this one” Prisha ordered Calix, thankfully, she knew the corporal’s name after checking his dog tags.
“Yes ma'am” Calix replied, recalling her southern states accent as best she could.
Without showing any hesitation or fear, Calix took the kukri that Prisha offered her. Amir and Jack were in position, ready to jump in.
Calix smirked…. that bitch, was going to pay.
“Go ahead, corporal” Prisha consented, watching “Knight” closely.
Calix stood in front of Nisa, she was more than able to see the fear in the other Assassin's eyes. The Assassin Captain smirked again, still holding the kukri but refusing to move.
“We haven't got all day, Corporal” Prisha commented, exasperated with the man.
“I didn't know everyone of you, was this much of an idiot” Calix replied, still smirking. Dev’s eyes widened, what the hell was Calix doing?
“Beg your pardon?” Prisha asked, half wondering when the hell had Knight grown a spine.
“Apologize to your superior, soldier” One of Prisha’s captains called out, pulling out his gun.
“How about, fuck off?” The Assassin answered, before turning around, shielding her teammates.
Prisha looked at her Corporal critically, before she finally noticed the bloodstain near the neck. However, before she could call it, Calix dropped to the ground and in one swift motion, sweeped her feet from underneath her.
Chaos and Mayhem followed, once Prisha was down in the ground stunned.
Calix kicked up, and sliced the Lieutenant’s neck; before throwing the knife towards the sniper opsite of her. Amir and Jack followed, dropping in, most Templars didn't even have time to call out, as within seconds they were down in the ground bleeding out. Before anyone could even so much as blink, the Templar’s scrammed for cover. The initial attack took out a little over half of the Sigma team; but all too soon, a spray of bullets followed forcing the incoming reinforces to scram for cover. Calix pushed Dev, Naveen and Nisa down, before dropping down as well.
“Go, get out of here” Calix ordered, as she triggered her hidden blade and helped Naveen get rid of the zip tie. As his blade had gotten stuck.
“What about you?” Naveen asked, suddenly worried. Finally seeing how far Templars were willing to go to get him.
“Don't get soft on me kid” Calix replied, pulling up her hood. “I've been in worse situations and made it through”
“Get him out” The Assassin Captain ordered Nisa before dashing between covers towards the rest of the Sigma team.
A look passed between Dev and Nisa.
“Go now, I'll cover you” Dev answered the unspoken question. Before getting up and taking out two incoming Sigmas with the calmness of a gunslinger.
“Let's go” Nisa said, before dashing off, Naveen following on her trail. More bullets sprays followed, intent on killing them.
As they ran away from the battlefield, the deck had become in the matter of seconds; Naveen felt something in the pit of his stomach; something was off. Before he could even think he grabbed Nisa’s wrist and pulled her back away from the corner, managing to shield her with his body...just seconds before a grenade went off in the direction she had been heading to.
“Are you okay?” He asked, rattled.
How the hell had he known that was coming?
“Yeah, yeah... I'm fine” Nisa replied, attempting to ignore the awkwardness of the situation. Realizing this, Naveen stepped away from her.
“How did you know?” The Middle Eastern Assassin asked, blowing a strand of hair from her eyes.
“I...have no idea” Naveen answered, still a bit shaky. Not from the explosion, but from the fact he'd been able to feel it before it happened.
“We need to get going” Nisa replied after a moment of catching her breath.
Bullets flew every which way, hitting Assassins and Templars alike.
As the Assassin Captain dashed towards cover, when she spotted one of Jack’s boys. He was injured, shot in the leg. Without an ounce of care for her own well being, the Captain changed her route. Vaulting over railings and boxes.
“How bad is it, Zack?” Calix asked the young man, as she crouched beside him. She was no medic, but could tell it wasn't fatal.
“It's not that bad” Zack replied, “it's lodged in my thigh”
“Stay here and don't move, I'll have one of the Seers in Amir’s team come here” Calix ordered the young man, before handing him her pistol.
Zack nodded before wishing her luck, once again Calix took off; but just as she stepped out of cover….a spray of bullets forced her back. Calix waited for the Sigma to reload, before moving out of her cover.
“Damn it!” The man cursed, once he heard the click of the empty gun.
With the speed of a leopard, Calix sprung up, and landed steps in from of the man. The Sigma didn't even have time to free his knife from his belt, before Calix had already put the hidden blade through his neck. He was dead before hitting the ground.
“Amir, send one of you boys here.” Calix shouted in her comm, as the sounds were very nearly deafening. “One of Jack's boys needs help”
“I’ll fire the flare” Calix continued, after the reply came from Amir's side. Seconds after she clicked off with Amir, Calix pulled a flare out from her belt and lighted it.
The orange glow cutting through the dark like a beacon, alerting all —Templars and Assassins near.
“How good of a shot are you kid?” Calix asked over her shoulder, keeping her head in a swivel.
“Pretty good, Cap” Zack replied, reloading the gun, before taking aim.
Not before long, Calix and Zack were pinned by fraction of the Sigma squad.
Nisa kept running towards the ladders that lead down to the lower levels of the ship. Naveen following in her heels.
The Middle Eastern Assassin was still rattled from her near death experience, from which a certain amber eyed boy had saved her.
'Not the time to think about this!’ Nisa chidded herself, as she ran. Looking over her shoulder every once in a while to make sure Naveen was still there.
“Where are we going?” The college student asked, as he ran. Grateful, that Zhan had gone out of his way to make him run the trails over the summer.
“I'm getting you to the first level” Nisa replied, “find your way down to the canteen”
“What about them?” He asked, referring to Calix and the others.
“It doesn't matter, just worry about yourself.” Nisa replied, looking over he shoulder at him. “Stay safe. That's an order”
Just as the Middle Eastern Assassin rounded a corner, a spray of bullets forced her back. Much to her embarrassment, she ended up running into Naveen's chest.
Nisa backed away from him, making sure to still stay within cover.
“Are you ok?” Naveen asked, his eyes moving quickly over her frame. Checking for wounds.
“I'm fine” Nisa replied, flattening herself against the metal container they had been running parallel to. Thankful about the fact the night was dark, and that Naveen probably didn't have eagle vision.
Her breath was shaky, as she was just now realizing how close she'd come to being skewered…
“Those fuckers...they are right there” Nisa replied, as she attempted to steady her breathing.
“We need to go around” The college student suggested, his voice nearly drowned by the sound of rounds being fired into the metal.
Nisa nodded, as she knew Naveen wouldn't be able to hear her reply. Moments later, the gunfire ceased, and the tell tale reloading click followed.
“How well can you climb?” Nisa asked, as she looked around for an alternate route.
“If my life depends on it, I think I might be able to fly” Naveen replied with a small grin. Humor had always been his way to deal with stressful situations.
“Good” Nisa replied, before moving closer to edge of the cover. Taking a peek, she discovered the four man team was still reloading their AK's.
“At the count of three, we are going to dash to that side” Nisa explained to Naveen, “I'll climb first, then I want you to try to run up the wall. I'll be there to help you get up”
Naveen nodded, having at least a slight idea of what to do.
“Alright” Nisa replied, concentrating in lowering her heart rate. Just like her older brother, the first recruit of the Zodiac Division had taught her.
“One, two….three!” Nisa counted, dashing off as soon as the word three left her mouth.
The Middle Eastern Assassin paid little mind to the Sigmas and their shouting for them to freeze, she was only concentrated on getting up the container. Naveen ran a couple paces behind her —Damn she was fast.
In seconds time, Nisa ran up the wall easily, and grabbed onto the ledge; clearing the container in one attempt.
“Come on, Naveen” Nisa shouted, moving to the ledge, right arm held out.
Naveen looked back, the Sigma's were running as well. It was a simple choice….one that was hinged on the fact, that he'd never down this before.
“Get them!” The Sigma Lieutenant shouted, before firing a few rounds that managed to make it near his feet.
Naveen took a deep breath, before taking a couple of steps back….he could do this.
“Get those sons of bitches!” The same man shouted, still firing.
Naveen took off, and managed to clear most of the wall on his own. Even went as far as grabbing on to the ledge by himself, but in the end Nisa had to help him up.
“Fuck!” The Sigma Lieutenant shouted, before firing a couple if rounds into the container, out of anger.
“The grill and her companion are gone, Ma'am” The Lieutenant spoke into his comm, informing Prisha.
Prisha's reply seemed to return within seconds, but as the Sigmas were too far and Naveen was too fed up with them….he didn't bother to make out what they were saying.
“Yes ma'am, moving on to plan B” The Lieutenant replied, before clicking off his comm.
“Let's go” The man ordered, before jogging away.
“We're fine” Nisa commented, once again slowing her heart rate.
“Please tell me, I won't have to that again” Naveen pleaded from his spot, he was laying on his back, looking up at the starless sky.
“Thankfully not” Nisa replied giving him a small smile. “But I'd say, for someone who's never been shot at —you handled yourself rather well.”
“Yeah...well, I'm not eager to do it again” Naveen replied, taking off Calix's mask. As it sort of suffocating him...how the hell did Calix fight and run with that thing and not die of asphyxiation.
“We have to go” She commented before getting up and offering him her hand.
He took it.
By the time Luca finally joined the party with his team, Dev had the situation in the bag. Shooting the last few stragglers that attempted to get back into the speed boats; was an easy task.
“You're late, Auditore!” Dev commented on Luca's appearance, as he shot another escaping straggler.
“Well, I had a bit of a hold up” Luca replied before pulling out his gun, and shooting the Templar Dev had his eye on.
“Jackass” Dev replied with a grin.
“Now that you're up here, come and help me!” Luca reeled back, at Calix's shouting. Not that he blamed her.
“Right, I'll be there in three” The Italian answered after he spotted the flickering of yellow.
“What's do you think sis?” He asked, turning. Only to find Maria was already gone.
“Where the hell did she go?” The Italian asked blinking.
“Umm...she took off to help Calix” Dev replied, rubbing his face.
“Fuck. My. Life” The Italian cursed before taking off, Rebecca and Karontase following in his heels.
Naveen and Nisa slowly made their way atop The containers in the ship.
The Middle Eastern Assassin led them, as for some reason she knew exactly where to walk. Naveen wondered how…. it was like she had an extra sense of some sort.
“So, earlier I wanted to apologize.” Nisa began, as she walked in front of him.
“What for?” Naveen asked, absentmindedly, as he walked eyes glued on her silhouette.
“The whole roofie business” Nisa replied, turning to look at him.
“I'm not mad about that anymore” Naveen replied, honestly —how was he supposed to be mad at that, when Calix and her team had really saved his life.
“That's...good to know” Nisa replied, a small smile in her face. Which obviously Naveen couldn't see.
“Who mixed that stuff anyway?” The college student asked, running a hand through his raven hair.
“Luca” Nisa replied with a chuckle. “Be careful there” she added, as she skirted around a depression in the container.
“Huh, no wonder” Naveen replied, following her lead in avoiding the obstacle.
After that, a comfortable silence settled between them. Much to Nisa's happiness, and not before long; they were already close to their objective.
Naveen watched as Nisa moved closer to the edge of the container.
“There it is” She commented, blinking a couple of times until her second sight took control.
It seemed to be clear, but Nisa knew better. The Templars were tricky and after all that time, they had picked up some trick about hiding from the Assassin’s sight.
Naveen crouched beside her, he could just about make out the outline of the hatch. The place seemed to be clear, but then again...he was so insanely bad for that kind of stuff it hurt.
“Are we good?” He asked her, hoping she'd say yes. As he was in no mood to be chased by trigger happy goons again.
“It would seem” Nisa replied, with a frown. Something was off...she could sense it.
There she had quite the paradox, she could risk them going down there or she could stay up there like a sitting ducks.
“So?” Naveen asked again, worrying a little.
“We're going down there” Nisa replied after a minute of thought —she was probably overreacting…
“Alright” Naveen replied, pulling the hood back up.
A couple of minutes, later, Nisa and Naveen made their way down to the deck using a few of the smaller stacked containers as a staircase of sorts.
Once the soles of their shoes hit the ground, they waited for a couple of seconds for anything that could tell theater someone else was there as well.
Nothing came forth.
“I think we are good” Nisa whispered, the crouch was putting some strain in her bruised ribs.
“Alright” Naveen replied, breathing in and out slowly. Calming himself.
After a few minutes of staying there in a crouch, the two moved forward silently —or as silently as they could, given the fact, that it was now raining….and puddles were forming.
Just as the two had made it a meter or two, away from the hatch. All turned to hell.
Before either of them could react, two bright beams of light blinded them. Forcing them to shield their eyes, and leaving them exposed to whatever attack was coming next. They didn't have to wait long, just like the beams of light, the swift kicks to the back of their legs came pretty much unexpectedly. Just as Naveen thought he would end up face first of the floor, they're grabbed him by the shoulders and forced him up.
Whoever was holding him, was pretty strong and probably weighed twice as much as he did —that was as much as he could tell, especially as he could barely make out anything now that the light blinded him, and the hoodie was soaked. In turn soaking his hair and making it stick to his forehead and eyes.
“It seems your plan paid off, Corporal” Prisha commented as she eyed the two Assassins.
“Take off their hoods” Prisha ordered, before adjusting her hidden blade.
The man holding Nisa yanked her hood off easily as the Assassin made no move to stop him, Naveen followed her lead.
But he wished he'd done a bit more fighting over the hood a couple of seconds later, when he saw the look in Prisha's eyes.
Maria Eduarda had already wiped out the men pinning Calix and Zack, by the time her brother and the rest of the squad arrived.
“Showoff” Luca commented on his sister's performance, as he approached. All bodies had clean shots through the head.
“Oh shut it, Luca” Maria shot back, “you're slow as ever, in the time it took to get here; Calix could have died” The Italian sniper finished with a dramatic tone, enough that even Karontase rolled his eyes.
After all, Maria did have the undisputed title of Drama Queen in the team.
“Well thank you for showing, anyway” Calix commented, finally joining in the conversation. “Now, if I could please have a medic come here and help with this; I'd be very grateful” the Assassin Captain continued, looking at Karontase and Rebecca.
The two nodded, before kneeling beside the injured Zach. Who seemed more than relieved to finally get the bullet out, Calix patted his shoulder and got up moments later; before walking towards Maria and Luca.
“You okay?” The sniper asked, eyeing Calix for any possible injuries.
“Yeah, I'm fine.” The Captain replied, “The bullet just grazed my arm. I can take of that after everyone is accounted for”
Maria nodded, before she got a call in her comm. Suddenly her face paled, something was off.
“Sorella, what's wrong?” Luca asked her, putting his hand atop her shoulder. Maria motioned for him to shut it.
Moments later, still looking as pale as if she'd seen Ezio Auditore's ghost; Maria finally turned to a mildly worried Calix.
“It was Ezra” Maria told Calix and her brother. “Prisha….she has Nisa and Naveen”
Chapter 10: We Rise
Chapter 9: We Rise
“Where?” Calix asked, immediately sobering up. Her eyes focusing once again
“He said, near the hatch at the Helm.” Maria replied, recalling Ezra’s directions. “Prisha has a four man squad with her —they are armed, and….knows for a fact, Naveen is Jayadeep Mir's descendant”
“Fuck” Calix cursed, shaking her head. “Okay, okay...we can still use this”
“How?” Luca asked, crossing his arms.
“I think, that Rishabh just gave me the perfect chess piece to beat him with” The Captain replied, as she reloaded her gun.
“Care to share more than that?” Luca asked, feeling like he was being cheated out of vital information.
“I'll explain all later” Calix answered, as she began to walk away, “I gotta save those two idiots first”
“Right there with you!” Maria commented, taking off after Calix; sniper rifle in hand.
“Oh, for fuck's sake” Luca cursed, before going after his sister and the team captain
The three Assassins moved through the ship with surprising speed, finding little to no resistance —as most Templars had already been taken off the board, the few that reminded were made quick work of.
“What's the plan?” Luca asked, as he guarded their backs.
“Mari will find a good vantage point where she can make a clean shot from, you'll cover Prisha's escape routes” Calix explained, as they moved, “I will disable her, before she gets a chance to get a shot off”
Luca nodded, he was more than ready to beat some Templar ass. Especially after he'd been late to the main event.
“Sounds great” Maria commented, as she moved beside the Assassin Captain.
“Indeed, sorella ” Luca replied with a grin. Rubbing his hands together.
“Good” Calix commented, “let's get her”
“Well, well well...Calix must really be shorthanded if she has you out here risking your life.” Prisha told Naveen, as she circled him.
Naveen gulped, terrified. The hell was he doing?
“Cuff him, and take him to the boat” Prisha ordered the two Corporals by her side.Naveen stayed as still as a mouse.
Even though she acted like she was confident on her plan, Nisa could see her hands were shaking, certainly because she was still in Calix’s territory; instead of her speed boat, as she would have much preferred. Naveen knew he needed to stall her some more, enough for Calix to find them —or perhaps for him to find a way to get them both out of there without getting killed.
Calix, Luca and Maria arrived at the place Nisa had mentioned just in the nick of time. As Nisa seemed just about ready to pass out, from the lack of oxygen and Naveen was stuck between a gun and a wall.
“Shit” Luca cursed under his breath, as he spied the subtly from their hiding spot; behind some barrels.
“Indeed” Calix replied, frowning. “Mari, get your spot. Then signal for Luca to take his”
Maria nodded, before moving away from their hiding spot. Sticking to the shadows.Calix and Luca waited for Maria to get to her position, each minute moving slower than the last. Apparently Naveen was doing a good job stalling Prisha, as she hadn't heard the gun go off yet.
“Eagle 1 in position” Maria clicked her comms on, signaling her teammates.
“Harbinger ready to move out” Luca replied, loading his gun, “cover me, dear sister”
“Copy that” Maria replied, before putting her eye in the scope of her rifle.
Within a minute or two, she watched as her brother moved away from the hiding spot; using the cover around him to keep himself anonymous. A couple of minutes later, he was in place.
“In position now” Luca confirmed in his comm. “You're clear to move Cap”
“Alright, guys.” Calix replied, checking her gun was ready. “Let's light this bitch up”
Calix moved with ease of a panther in the prowl, her black hoodie blending in with the night. A perfect shadow. In minutes, the Assassin Captain found the perfect spot to take out the man holding Nisa.
“Get ready, Nisa”Calix whispered into the comm, she was aware Nisa could hear her.
Calix slowed her heart rate, breathing in and out. Focusing on one spot behind the Templar's head. A smirk followed.
Before anyone could so much as blink, Calix fired her shot and hit the Templar in the back of the head. The man let go off Nisa, his limp body falling to the ground. Prisha barely even had time to call out any instructions, when Calix vaulted over the gas barrels and with the calm of a gunslinger dispatched two more of her men.
Just like Calix, Maria took her aim calmly form her spot. Time slowed down for her, as she aimed, her eyes focusing on one spot in the Templar's body, the sound of a bullet ripping through flesh followed next; barely a second later, a another man dropped. Calix fired another shot; time it hit one of the Templars right in the jugular, a second slinked by, before another bullet found its target — Maria had made a near impossible shot. Route clear, Calix moved forward running low and keeping her head in swivel. Before long she shot the man holding Naveen in the left kidney before finishing him off.
“Make a dash for it, kid” Calix shouted, as she pushed him into cover. Her breath making a cloud.
The rain cold and unforgiving.
Naveen nodded, before dashing off, dodging bullets. Having near death experiences every few meters, just as he had made it to the hatch he caught a flicker of movement to his left. Nisa was fighting Prisha —and losing badly.
Naveen couldn't just let Prisha kill her, he cursed —the sounds of the fighting fading into white noise. He had to help her…Without an ounce of care for his well being, Naveen dashed towards her. Somehow getting there seemed eternal.
Nisa knew she was nowhere near as experienced as Calix was. Especially against someone like Prisha, she stood no chance. But that didn't matter —Naveen couldn't fall into the Templar's hands.
“You can't even put up a decent fight”
Prisha taunted, as she caught her punch and twisted her arm behind her back painfully, before putting her knee in the back of her neck, pinning her down against a puddle of water.
“Let her go” Naveen shouted, standing behind Prisha. Much to his relief Calix had handed him a gun in case he needed it.
The Templar let go off the Assassin and turned around. Naveen was standing there holding a gun.
“You won't shot me kid” Prisha replied getting up, Naveen could see that Nisa had taken quite the beating.
“Just stop this” Naveen pleaded, still holding the gun tightly. “You want me, then fine —I’ll go with you”
Prisha frowned, it seemed so easy. Just grabbing him and making a run for it, yet she felt the moment she did —Calix would come after her in full force no holding back. There was a reason why they called her The Phoenix .
“Hand me the gun” The Templar demanded, watching him closely.
“Let her go” Naveen shot back, holding the gun tightly. Forcing himself to slow down his breathing.
Prisha scoffed, and grabbed Nisa by the hood. Before flinging her across the space separating them. Nisa came to a stop near Naveen's feet, he crouched down to talk to her.
“Don't” Nisa pleaded, she could barely stand. Sure as hell that Prisha had cracked at least a couple of her ribs.
“Don't worry” Naveen replied, getting up. He took out the gun’s magazine —but was sly enough to keep the knife he'd found in his borrowed jacket.
“Good choice” Prisha commented, quickly picking up the gun and assembling it again. Making sure it was loaded.
Nisa slowly stood up behind him, she could take her out —as long as she could throw one of her knifes.
“You won” Naveen told Prisha putting his hands behind his head. “Just stop this” he pleaded.
Not that far away, he watched as Calix took a Sigma's rifle; then filled him with bullets.
“Alright” The Templar replied, lowering the gun. Naveen breathed out in relief, it was working.
“But I don't need her” Prisha replied, before firing in Nisa's direction. Naveen moved before his mind could catch up with his body, he pushed Nisa out of the way.
Saving her from a fatal shot, and becoming the pin cushion. Naveen didn't even feel pain the moment the bullet went through him, but he knew he'd been hit. He was still standing...watching in silence, as Calix moved forward and shot the Templar several times, the first four taking out her arms and the last two buried themselves into her bulletproof vest.
“Nisa, call Becs and Galina!” Calix shouted as she moved towards Prisha.
The middle eastern Assassin called the Hacker and Assassin Captain; as soon as the words had left Calix's mouth.
“I'm not shorthanded” Calix replied to Prisha's earlier taunt ”The reason he's out here —with us, is because this is who he's meant to be” The Captain elaborated before knocking the Templar out with a powerful and merciless right hook.
The last thing the college student saw, before his world went black —was a man in white robes with gold stitching in them, walking away.
Not before too long, Rebecca, Dev and Galina; announced they were on their way. In the meantime, Calix and a shaky Nisa had kept Naveen from bleeding out, while Maria and Luca watched their surroundings. Luckily for them, the bullet was holding back most of the blood.
Naveen was gasping and shaking —clearly in pain, and making things all the more difficult for Calix.
“He's going into shock!” Nisa exclaimed, her hands shaking. Wondering how the hell Calix was so calm and focused.
“Is okay” Calix replied, the smallest of frowns in her face. “Talk to him. Hold his hand and tell him to calm down”
“Alright…” Nisa replied, steadying her breathing. Remembering her brother's words. She knew the shock was far more likely to kill him, before he bled out.
Nisa looked down at Naveen’s bleeding form, and the pool of blood that was forming under his back….for a second —before grabbing his left hand.
“Naveen, listen to me... you're fine” Nisa began gripping the boy's hand tightly. “You are going to be fine”
Naveen attempted to stop his shaking. Succeeding some.
“You are going to be fine” Nisa continued, as she watched Calix rip the shirt open to check if bits of cloth were inside the wound. “But you need to calm down”
“You're doing it Nisa” Calix commented as she checked. The Middle Eastern girl nodded, and continued to talk to Naveen.
A couple of minutes later, Dev arrived, Rebecca and Galina in toll; the hacker moved to restrain the unconscious Templar with zip ties, while Galina took over for Calix. Letting Nisa work on stitching the wound.
Dev got in contact with Amir and Jack —whose teams were attempting to regain power for the ship, to send over their healers and call Karontase.
Ten minutes later, Karontase arrived with a team of healers; carrying a stretcher. With some effort and chiding from Galina, the Bear-like native was finally able to place Naveen's unconscious form in the stretcher. Seconds later, Dev and Karontase were walking away, carrying the stretcher.
Calix stayed back, sniper rifle in hand. To the careless eyes —she would have appeared detached...but such was not the case.
There were only three words bounced around in her head, like ping pongs.
“Make it, kid”
Naveen felt completely out of place, as he looked around the lush garden.
It felt oddly familiar to him, though. Suddenly, he felt compelled to look behind him —he didn't know why.
When he did, he saw a little boy —who couldn't have been older than 4 or 5.
He had a dense mane of wavy raven hair, olive complexion, and an angelic oval face. The young boy was dressed a bright red kurta, black plants and a pair of brown sandals.
Completely oblivious to the world around him, reading from a red dog eared. Naveen sat beside the boy, who didn't even notice his presence...not to that he'd expected him to. It was just then he noticed, the boy's stunning blue-grey eyes.
“Kashyap” A voice called suddenly. Snapping the boy out of the book. Naveen looked up as well; it was a man, around his early thirties..
The man he'd seen before passing out...
His robes, were a white cream with gold stitching. The stitching wrapped itself around his left arm—where his hidden blade rested, and gold colored bands adorned the edges of his robes. Just like the little boy, he had a black mane of hair,and the same oval face. The only features setting him apart, were the stubble adoring his face, and the pendant around his neck —which carried an unnatural glow.
“Dad!” The little boy shouted, as he made the small jump from the bench. The red book forgotten.
Naveen followed after the boy, stopping a few paces back. He watched as the man crouched, and wrapped the little boy in a hug.
“You’re so big now, Kash!” The man commented as he lifted up the boy. The young boy laughed. Making Naveen smile.
“Mom said you wouldn't be back for while” The little boy commented, as he hugged his father tightly.
“Ah, yes. I told her that” The man replied, with a chuckle, “but, Ishika and your mom love surprises. Don't they?”
“Yes! They do!” The boy replied giving his dad a wide smile.
“Go and tell them to come here, then” The man commented, putting his son down.
The boy smiled once more and soon was off, dashing away, between the trees. Naveen smiled. He'd been just like that boy...but now, even that life, seemed so far away and foreign.
Consumed in his thoughts, as he was, he almost missed the man was standing in front of him. Naveen wondered if he could see him. Before he could learn anything, the man smiled, and placed his right hand on Naveen's shoulder.
“Wake up, Naveen”
Morning had arrived for the Assassins a lot sooner than Calix would have liked it to, especially after she'd stayed up the rest of the night; making sure Prisha was secured, all Templar bodies were disposed of, and worrying about Naveen's condition.
Currently, the Captain, was leaning into a railing in the helm. Looking down at the deck, which the initiates were cleaning. Afterall, spilled blood and guts, wasn't exactly pleasing nor did it make for a safe training environment.
“He's awake, Captain” A young man of African ancestry told his captain, as he stood beside her.
“Good” Calix replied, her eyes shifting from the deck towards him. The young African nodded, before turning around, going back to the deck.
“Baku” Calix called his name.
“Yes Captain?” The African man answered, turning back.
“Once we get to Mumbai, I'm going to send that boy with you" Calix continued still looking at him.
“Captain Kathri said you were against involving him on anything mission related.” Baku replied, “Not that I am saying you're wrong”
“No, you're right” Calix replied, turning to look at the African. Hand gripping the railing. “It's just that after what he did yesterday, I'm beginning to think —that he does have what it takes to survive the Templars.”
“I see” Baku replied, rubbing his chin. Long braids fluttering in the wind.
“You have about a week to train him” Calix continued, “He won't be very experienced in our kind of fighting, by the time we get to Mumbai. But at least, he will have enough knowledge to hold his own”
“Indeed, Captain” Baku replied nodding, his face ever serious.
“Tell Becs and Bear that I will be down in a little while” Calix told her second Lieutenant, before going back to her sightseeing.
Baku nodded, then walked away.
Naveen slowly opened his eyes, blinking to adjust to the light in the room. It was early morning.
Last night seemed like a blur —a distant memory, the only thing he felt was real was the dream he had. But as heartwarming the dream had been...it also gave rise to more questions.
Who was that man? Why had he seen him last night?
“Good you're awake” A voice commented disrupting his train of thought. It was a smiling Rebecca, beside her, a worried Karontase.
“Where am I?” Naveen asked, trying to sit up. Karontase noticed and quickly moved to push him back down, as gently as he could.
“Don't try to move, yet” Rebecca explained, upon seeing his confused expression.
“What happened?” The college student asked, rubbing his face to chase away the grogginess.
“You don't remember?” Karontase asked, frowning.
“Remember what?” Naveen asked, rubbing his eye.
“You don't remember?!” Karontase exclaimed, a shocked expression adorning his face.
“Go easy on the kid, Bear” Another voice joined in, to his left. Naveen turned his head slightly and soon found himself looking at Dev’s hazel eyes.
“What happened?” Naveen asked, now curious.
“You were shot, Naveen” Dev replied, before giving the boy some time to process. As he was completely out of it.
“... Really?... That's um, what was I doing?” Naveen asked, his head turning back to Rebecca and Karontase.
“You saved Nisa's life” Rebecca replied with an approving look in her eye —some would even classify that as pride.
Naveen frowned, slowly trying to piece things together. It was all coming back to him slowly…
“I'm starting to remember now” Naveen replied, shifting a little in the bed. He wasn't exactly comfortable.
“Good. You don't have any lasting damage” Dev replied, before getting up from his chair. “I'm really glad you made it, kid” the Indian Assassin replied, smiling a little.
“Yeah...I'm glad too" Naveen replied grinning a little. He couldn't exactly feel any pain, so he assumed he was dosed up in painkillers.
“You guys keep an eye on him” Dev ordered his teammates, “I'll go see Prisha is guarded”
Karontase and Rebecca nodded, before moving some chairs closer to Naveen's bed, settling down in the chairs to watch him.
Not before long, Naveen drifted off again.
Dev was quick to make his way to the third level of the ship, the cells.
It was the only place of the ship, that only few Assassins —himself included, had high enough clearance to go to.
“Captain Kathri” The man at the side of the double iron doors greeted him. He was one of the Assassins that belonged to the “Nightingales”.
A unit created by Calix’s grandfather, Antonio. The Nightingales were trained to extract information from people —not by the use of force or torture, but through asking questions that severely worn down people...until they spilled their secrets. Mind games of the highest level.
“I'm here to see the prisoner” Dev replied watching the man curiously, the man to his left nodded.
“Go ahead Captain” The man replied, before punching the code into the keypad behind him. A few seconds later, the doors opened with a metallic click.
Dev nodded his thanks before walking inside, once he was in. The door automatically closed behind him, the light on the room was low. But enough for his to make out the outline of a couple of things, some chairs, a table, a window and a water fountain —among many others.
The room was furnished in the fashion of most police precincts.
“Captain Kathri” A man greeted him, his eyes shifting towards his frame.
“Commander Villarreal" Dev greeted back.
“Captain Calix told me she would check on the prisoner later today” The Commander informed the Captain.
Dev nodded, he was aware, mostly because he'd overheard talking from Baku and Karina. Without much waiting the Assassin Captain moved beside the Nightingale Commander, his eyes moving to Prisha.
“Has she given up anything?” Dev asked after a few minutes of silent observation.
“Nothing useful” Villarreal answered, looking at the Templar with what only could be described as disdain. His hands linking behind his back.
“Nothing useful?” Dev questioned, knowing the Templars were avid in hiding information.
“She says she won't talk to anyone but Captain Calix” Villarreal replied, his lip curling down. He was clearly puzzled.
“That's all she's saying?” Dev asked, watching Prisa attentively.
“Repeating it like a broken record” The Nightingale Commander answered.
A couple of minutes of silence followed, Dev watched the Nightingale interrogator try different approaches and angles to get information out of the Templar.
“I'll tell Calix” Dev offered after a few minutes of careful observation. “Your man seems to have hit a wall” The Indian remarked, once he saw Villareal’s man walk out the room.
“I'll make sure she is watched, at all times ” The Nightingale Commander replied, glancing at him for a couple of seconds. Before moving back to watch the prisoner.
Dev nodded and soon was on his way, he seriously doubted Calix would be in the greatest of moods. Especially because of the lack of sleep and the way some of the Assassins had handled things the night before.
Night had nearly fallen, by the time Calix found Nisa. The Assassin was watching the sunset.
“They told you at least two days of rest. That means no walking around” Calix commented on Nisa's state as she stood beside her.
“Calix” Nisa greeted with a smile. It meant one thing —her brother Rahim was fine.
“Does Rahim knows you got your ass seriously handed to you?” Calix asked leaning into the railing.
“What he doesn't know —can't hurt him” Nisa replied with a shrug.
“Naveen made it through” Calix commented a couple of minutes later.
“He did?!” Nisa asked, taking a hold of Calix's left arm.
“Yeah, the kid is made of tougher stuff than I gave him credit for” Calix replied, as she chuckled; head lowering a bit. “He's Amber's baby brother”
Nisa smiled, she was relieved that he was okay. He didn't have to have saved her —but he did, and for that she was thankful.
“Baku told me, he'll be training Naveen as soon as he can get up without spilling his guts” Nisa commented.
“I specifically told Baku that information was classified” Calix replied with a small smile. There were no secrets between the Assassins in her team.
“Tough luck” Nisa shot back, sticking her tongue out.
“Childish much?” Calix asked shaking her head. That was the one thing she loved about the Dhanial siblings —they had just the right amount of childishness, to make things more bearable.
“So, are you going to interrogate Prisha —or do the Nightingales finally get to do their work in peace?” Nisa asked mockingly.
“Oh, no.” Calix replied “You see, they need my help, this time”
“I'm sure" Nisa replied, before her features took on a mischievous light
“What if I tag with you?” The Middle Eastern Assassin asked, an evil look in her eyes.
“Sure” Calix replied, “but I'm asking the questions”
Shortly after, Calix and Nisa were on their way to the third level of the ship. The sun's dying light casting a shadow over her features.
He was underground.
It was dark, and cool. Drafts of air moving around him; despite the dark atmosphere of the place —it was peaceful. Without much hesitation, Naveen walked down the underground hallway. It was dark, but no so much he couldn't make out the shapes around him.
In a couple of minutes, as he rounded a corner —guided by the wall. He saw them.
A boy and girl.
It was the boy he'd seen before, but much more older —closer to his age perhaps. He was tall, with a lean frame, his hair still the same messy mane of raven hair...except that now, his face carried a light stubble. The girl beside him was obviously closely related to him. She had long wavy black hair that fell about the middle of her back, and a set of large golden amber eyes that seemed to shine brighter with the glow from the lamps. Just like her blue eyes companion, she had an athletic and lean build.
“Bhai, we have to go!” The girl urged her companion. Which Naveen now knew to be her brother.
“We can't, Ishika” The boy, replied. Shaking his head. “I'm not leaving Dad behind”
“He told us to run, Kashyap” Ishika replied, pleading with her eyes.
“I know, Ishika…” Kashyap replied, his eyes closing. “But, what are supposed to tell Mom?”
“Dad is going to make it, Kash” Ishika assured her older brother, “He taught us everything, made us who we are”
Naveen watched as the boy nodded, just then noticing his necklace. It carried a ring...the same one his father had in the last dream.
Within minutes, Naveen found himself running after the two Assassins. For once, he was glad, that he wasn't there in his physical form. Especially as the two vaulted over objects with such ease. In the stretch of time, that seemed like hours, the two Assassins and Naveen arrived to another chamber underground.
It was spacious, and shaped like an amphitheater. It was old, the ground and stairs around it were broken with age; weeds growing out of them.
“Glad you could join us” A man shouted from the center of the amphitheater. He carried a long wicked sword in one hand. The man with the white robes, was kneeling at his feet. Hands bound behind his back.
Angered at the fact he received no reaction from the two. He drove the hilt of the sword into the man's stomach.
Naveen watched the boy grit his teeth in rage, angered by the man’s disrespectful attitude.
“Not now, Bhai” Ishika pleaded again, grabbing his right arm forcefully.
“I'm not letting that son of a bitch do that to our father” Kashyap replied, as he unsheathed the sword at his hip. An equally wicked sword —which Naveen recognized as a Kashmiri Shamsir, with a golden hilt that carried a detailed lion made in silver.
“Bhai, Dad told us to run” Ishika argued back. “He took down —by himself, half the guardians in the Darkness”
The girl's words seemed to still Kasyap for a moment. He was considering his odds.
“Aw, come the fuck on” The man at the center of the amphitheater shouted. Breaking Kashyap out of his thoughts. “Are you going to let me hurt your old man, this way?”
Kashyap grit his teeth, and gazed away for a second. Ishika put a hand on his shoulder, it was so goddamn hard... especially because their father was willing to lose his life to save theirs.
“He's just as weak-willed as you” The man told, the older man as he pulled him back up. Before he gazed at Kashyap.
“He's now going to watch you die” The man whispered to the master Assassin at his feet.
Kashyap looked at his father, torn.
“I love you both” The Assassin told his children.
Before anyone of them could blink, the Templar's sword had already gone through the Assassin’s chest —right through his heart. The bloodstain growing around the offending damascus blade.
Naveen suddenly felt it, the pain in his chest —when he looked down, he was bleeding as well; but unlike the Assassin, he was invisible and mute.
Kashyap shouted, but Naveen could not hear the scream —it was as if was drowning.
He watched silent and forgotten as the boy charged the Templar, who fled before the boy had a chance to harm him. Explosives going off after he left.
The last he saw, was a explosion of white light and the flicker of golden symbols in a strange language he didn't know…
Naveen woke up with a start, scaring the living hell out of Rebecca and Karontase who'd been playing cards for the past hour or so.
“Naveen, what's wrong?!” Rebecca asked him, jumping out of her chair.
The young man didn't reply, he was breathing hard —the image of the dying Assassin burned in his retinas. He just couldn't stop seeing it.
“Hey, hey man...calm down” Karontase urged Naveen, placing a hand in his shoulder gently. “You're okay, you're okay”
Little by little, Naveen calmed down. He was still breathing hard, but he was much calmer than when he'd woken up. It was just then he noticed Rebecca and Karontase standing there, worried looks in his eyes.
“Guys?” Naveen asked, half confused.
“Yeah, we're here” Rebecca replied, eyes filled with worry “what's going on?” she asked.
“I… I-I think I” Naveen began, slowing his breathing. His mind was jumbled…
“Its okay, man” Karontase joined, still holding his shoulder, “Take your time”
Naveen stopped himself and breathed in and out deeply for a couple of minutes, the same way he did before he faced anyone in a Kung Fu match.
“Better now?” The bear-like native asked, as she moved about, arranging the pillows so he could sit up more comfortably.
Specially because he knew his mom had spent nearly 9 hours putting Naveen's intestines back in his body.
“Yeah, I am” Naveen replied, a little more fluidly than before.
“What happened?” Rebecca asked, sitting at the foot of the bed. “What did you see?”
“I had a dream” Naveen replied, trying to recall as many details as he could. “But… it felt, like a memory —a distant one too”
“Can you be little more specific?” Karontase asked, frowning. “Who —or what did you see?”
“Well, I had two dreams —actually” Naveen began “the first, I think it began when I was being operated —the second, I'm not sure when it started”
Rebecca frowned analyzing the information, it was peculiar.
“Did you see someone familiar?” Karontase asked, “you know —mom, dad, brother's, sister's?”
“No, I didn't see someone that was part of my family” Naveen replied, “But...I did see a man —he was somewhat familiar”
Karontase nodded, things were...somehow making sense.
“Familiar how?” The hacker asked, raising an eyebrow. “Have you seen him before?” She continued.
“Never in my life” Naveen replied shaking his head, “its weird to even explain how I felt like I knew him” the college student elaborated.
“Try us” Rebecca replied with a smile, “we've seen some pretty weird shit” she explained.
“Yeah...like bat shit crazy” Karontase added with a grin.
Naveen nodded, glad to know those guys would hear what he had to say without calling him insane —or making fun.
“Alright” Naveen replied, running a hand through his mane of dark hair.
“Anytime you're ready” Karontase replied, as he settled down at the foot of his bed.
A couple of minutes passed before Naveen decided it was wise to speak.
“I felt like I knew him —because it was like staring into a mirror and well… seeing as if he'd always been a part of my reflection”
Calix had been closely watching as the Nightingale's Commander —Ernesto Villarreal slowly began to chip away at Prisha's silent tactics.
“He's good” Nisa commented from her spot on the couch, as she yawned. It was probably some ridiculous hour of the night
“He was trained by my abuelo ” Calix replied nodding, “he’s better than good”
Nisa nodded and yawned again, there was a reason why Calix was captain and she was a chimera.
“I'll be out” Nisa replied, as she pulled her hood over her head.
“Alright” Calix answered, before turning back to watching Prisha. She'd never been fond of mind games —it wasn't her style, therefore she'd founded the Ghost Squadron based on honesty and transparency.
“You're not drifting off are you?” A voice commented from behind her, Calix knew who it was.
“No. That's why I have you here after all, Dev" Calix replied, as she glanced over her shoulder. He was leaning against one of the walls near the front of the room.
“Right” Dev replied with a chuckle.
Before they could continue with their playful banter, Villarreal walked out of the room ready for his due break.
“She's down” Ernesto commented, as he sat at the opposite side of the couch where Nisa was sleeping like a log.
“Right” Calix replied, pulling her hood up. ”let's get this bitch”
Chapter 11: Belong
Chapter 10: Belong
Calix walked inside the interrogation room silently, her footfalls barely making a sound. Prisha was sitting with her back to her...it would have been so easy —taking her revenge on Rishabh for her mother's murder.
But sadly, she was necessary. Just as silently as she had arrived, Calix walked around her and took her seat.
“Let me make one thing clear before you even run your mouth” Calix began, watching Prisha closely. “ In here, I ask the questions”
Prisha looked back at her with same intensity. But for the smallest of seconds —she saw a flicker of fear in her dark brown eyes.
“Good, now with in the clear let's begin” Calix continued, as she propped up her feet on the table.
“What is project S.H.I.V.A. and how does it relate to the Parnassia Kill Squad?” Calix asked, watching Prisha closely.
It was almost imperceptible her little jump —but it gave Calix enough context.
“So, what's wrong with me?” Naveen asked, as he eyed Karontase and Rebecca —in the likes of a scared puppy.
“Nothing is wrong with you” Rebecca replied, placing her hand atop of his.
“Then why am I seeing this?” Naveen asked, confused and a little angry.
“It's called Residual Genetic Memory” Karontase replied, “it's very rare among people of Assassin ancestry”
“What is that —Residual Memory thing?” Naveen asked, sitting up a little straighter.
“It's what you just experienced” Rebecca replied, “you see fragments of your ancestor's lives in a dream...or through some other mediums” Naveen nodded, he was beginning to comprehend —but the picture wasn't clear yet.
“Why is it so rare?” The college student asked, grimacing a bit as he laid back.
“Residual Genetic Memories are usually tied to a Piece of Eden —it's like the P.O.E absorbs part of the memories of it's users or handlers” The hacker explained.
“So that's what I saw” Naveen replied blinking slowly.
“What did you see?” Karontase asked, curious.
“Um...the boy —and his father, they both had this necklace.” Naveen began wringing his hands, as he recalled details. “The pendant was this ring —it glowed unnaturally”
“Unnaturally how?” Rebecca asked, frowning. She was about 95% sure it was a P.O.E; but she was a “scientist” —and didn't jump to conclusions.
“Like...it had light of it's own” Naveen replied, eyes shifting between the two Assassins. “Was it a P.O.E?” He asked after a second.
“I'm pretty sure” Rebecca replied, “you said it was a ring? Right?” She asked.
“Yeah, I'm sure it was” Naveen replied. Wondering why something so small could be so important.
Rebecca nodded, before getting up. The hacker crossed the room silently, and rummaged through her bag for her tablet —Naveen watching her every move. Soon enough she was back.
Karontase and Naveen waited in silence as the hacker, swiped right and left. Moving quickly through databases and files...before stopping on one.
“Did it look like this?” The hacker asked him, as she handed him the tablet.
Naveen took the tablet in his hands gently, Rebecca seemed to have accessed some sort of Assassin database. It was the ring. Besides a picture of it, a small description was written to the right of it.
- 19th century ring.
- Found in Kashmir, Northern India. During the excavation of Jayadeep Mir's tomb — mentor of the Indian Brotherhood (1843 - 1889)
- Originally belonged to Pyara Kaur, daughter to the Maharaja Kharak Singh.
“Yes! This is the ring” Naveen replied after he'd looked over at the ring, but not before he'd read the information. It felt strange learning about a part of his past from a database.
“Maurice was right then” Rebecca commented, face shifting into her signature thinking pout .
“Who's Maurice?” Naveen asked, confused as ever.
“Um, that's Calix's estranged father” Karontase replied, he knew Calix hated people talking about her father —and how “she'd been born with a silver spoon””.
She'd always fought and worked for the things she had. Nothing had ever come easy for her….but as always people thought they knew better. That, all the Assassins in the ship knew.
“Uh, sorry I asked” Naveen replied shortly after seeing the expression in Karontase's face.
“Huh? No, it's not you” Karontase replied with chuckle. “It's just Calix will throw hands if her father gets wind of this”
“Oh.” Naveen replied, realizing why.
It was still a bit of a shock to him —learning the past of the Assassins and their families were so twisted and fractured. In a way, he was still the same naive boy he'd been before —completely unaware that out there, somewhere he had a sister searching for him.
“Yeah, things are a tiny bit complex with Calix” Rebecca continued, as she took of her beanie. Revealing her short black hair.
“So, Kharak Singh?” Naveen asked, still unbelieving that an ancestor of him could have been a Maharaja —had he not become an Assassin.
“Yes! Isn't it amazing?” Rebecca quipped, “you come from a long line of Royal blooded Assassins”
“Not the word I'd use…” Naveen replied, suddenly feeling so insignificant when compared to his ancestors.
“Welcome to the club” Karontase replied moving his hand for a fist bump, he could relate to how Naveen was feeling at that moment. Naveen answered by bumping back.
“So who's your ancestor?” The young college student asked, now curious.
“Connor —freaking— Kenway” Karontase replied with a grin “He single handedly rebuilt the American Brotherhood” Bear paused, “so don't feel bad — we are being measured against a ridiculously high bar”
Naveen smiled, soon enough the conversation changed topic to Rebeca, who was the descendant of a 19th century american engineer —and one of the first Seers of the American Brotherhood. Who helped the Union win the Civil War against the Confederacy, by using Assassin Spies in the South.
All of his life, he'd felt like an outsider —except when his adoptive parents had taken him under their wing. He'd thought back then, that he belonged with them.
But truth was, that he belonged here… as much as he wanted to fight it— his place was here, with Calix's people.
“Why should I tell you?” Prisha asked, sizing up the Assassin Captain. Calix dropped her feet to the ground and moved closer to the edge of her chair.
“Tell me, do you believe in God —or Gods?” Calix asked her eyes cold and calculating. Like a snake stalking out a particularly plump rabbit for dinner.
“I fail to see how that is relevant” Prisha replied crossing her hands atop the table.
“It's relevant, because I don't give the smallest fuck about who you pray to —in here they can do nothing.” Calix replied tilting her head slightly, “you do well to remember that —so tell me Project S.H.I.V.A, what is it about?”
Prisha’s eyes shifted towards the window, she knew there had to be at least two or three Assassins standing there —after the fight last night, she was in piss poor shape that Middle Eastern girl sure packed a punch despite being rather inexperienced.
“Oh, don't bother with them” Calix continued, “they won't stop me when I actually drop the act” she explained, “only way they do, is you standing with a foot inside the grave.”
Prisha leaned back in her seat, watching Calix like a predator —but it was all in vain, the Assassin had already seen and taken note of her tangible weaknesses.
“I usually don't like to leave a mess in the Nightingale’s space —but seems I will have to” Calix continued, making sure to apply every ounce of dramatism she had, to convince Prisha she wasn't playing.
The Templar gulped, she'd been in middle of her third phase training when Calix and Co. had taken Singh…. and at the rate that was going, it wasn't going to end well for her.
“Project S.H.I.V.A. what is the deal with that, how are the Parnassia Kill Squad and Naveen tied with that?” Calix asked again, this time adding more details into the questions —just like any other Nightingale, she could play.
“I’ll play ball” Prisha replied, before leaning further into the chair.
Calix smirked, that was her true weaknesses. Overconfidence on her skills… and she was going to teach that punk, a lesson she wouldn't forget.
It was nearly 11:00 PM when Karontse found his way back to Naveen’s room. He was currently carrying two square take out boxes of food, one of Naveen and own for Rebecca.
The hacker had stayed back, in hopes that Naveen could recall and would be willing to share more of his dreams with her….as she had so much evidence to piece together still.
As he walked back, Karontase heard two people —Assassins— talking nearby. With the ease of a wolf, he snuck about until he was close enough to hear them. By their clothes, he could tell they were rookies.
“Dude, we are so fucked right now” One of the initiates commented, as he paced about. Clearly stressed.
“Is okay man, look if Rishabh does have your family —then we can ask Calix for help, I'm a 100% sure that she will help” The other young man commented, making an spot on assessment.
Calix would throw some hands —and threaten to throw him overboard, but ultimately help him. After all, when she'd created the Ghost Squadron and brought them together with the Zodiac divisions —a family like bond had been formed.
“No, no, no, no” The first man replied, stopping his pacing. He grabbed his companion by the shoulders, and shook him. “If I involve Calix, Rishabh will send me my family in pieces”
The second man made a tsking sound, his home boy was in a bind —and he had no way to help.
“Well, for now we just have to pray and wait” The man commented, shaking his head.
“I have to do more than just hope” The first man answered, before walking back to the wall and dropping down.
Silence followed, Karontase silently waited —he was livid, yet he felt sympathy towards the poor bastard that Rishabh had already sank his claws into. But, there was nothing he could do at that moment anyway. Karontase cursed as he got up, as he walked towards Naveen’s room. He didn't want to admit it, but he did feel a little less safe knowing someone in their house was in cahoots with Rishabh —voluntarily or not.
After he checked around to make sure nothing and no one was out of place, he walked inside.
Rebecca was still sitting at the foot of the bed, hunched over her laptop. Which she seemed to have brought, Naveen had the tablet in his hands; he was reading.
“Got your food, guys” Karontase announced, making himself known in the room.
Rebecca turned turned around, her eyes landing on the food Karontase was carrying. In a blink, the Hacker vaulted over the bed and grabbed the food from the Native.
“Here” Rebecca told Naveen, making him look up. Before handing him the food.
“Thanks” Naveen replied, he was hungry —but still a little suspicious of the food.
Karontase rolled his eyes, and took the laptop from Rebecca. Knowing she wouldn't eat unless the laptop was somewhere else.
“Hey! Give it back!” Rebecca exclaimed, lunging for the laptop; just as Karontase pulled it out of reach.
“Eat first, Becs” Karontase replied, putting the computer on the night table.
The hacker huffed, but began eating soon after. She was starving. Luckily, today Alec’s mother —Mariana, had cooked a simple but healthy meal. It consisted of beans and rice with a side of broccoli and meat. Mariana had always been someone who paid attention to detail, and much to Rebecca's surprise —she had noticed she was vegetarian after one time.
“I don't have to police you too, do I?” Karontase asked Naveen, shortly after Rebecca began eating.
“Haha, no” Naveen replied with a smile. “I can police myself just fine” he answered, as he turned off the tablet's screen and set it atop the night table as well.
“Good” Karontase replied with a nod. Looking half relieved. “Um, I didn't know what to get you...so, I tried.” The native added after Naveen opened his box.
“Ah, you mean...because” Naveen began, realizing his confusion.
“Yeah” Karontase replied, with a small chuckle.
“That's my fault” Naveen argued with a grin. “But, yeah...my adoptive Dad is a Kashmiri Muslim and my mom is a Hindu Christian. The only thing I don't eat is pork, mostly out of respect for my dad” The college student replied, as he ripped the bag that contained the plastic silverware.
A comfortable silence settled between them as Rebecca and Naveen ate. He was too hungry to refuse food, let alone try to think if it was laced... he'd probably deal with it later. —One crisis at the time, as Marcus used to say.
“Wait...so what's your religion?” Rebecca asked a little while after.
“Uh...undecided, I guess” Naveen replied, “Neither of my parents imposses a religion on me"
“Meaning?” Rebecca prodded, Karontase was just about to tell her to back off. When Naveen replied.
“Well, my parents have different religions, so they left me to figure my own.” Naveen replied with a smile, for some reason it felt nice talking to them. “All in the sake of avoiding conflicts.”
“Ah, I see” Rebecca replied with a nod.
“Excuse her, Naveen” Karontase joined in after a second. “She's just nosey”
“I'm not nosey, you oversized bear!” Rebecca replied, sticking her tongue out.
“...and childish" The Native continued, before Rebecca smacked him.
Naveen laughed, he'd never really had many friends. In middle school, he'd been bullied because of the way he looked like and for his adoptive dad’s religion. In high school, not a single guy —except Marcos, had wanted to be his friend; because accordingly to the guy, he had one hell of a glo up since the 8th grade. College had just been more of the same….
“So, did you guys find anything else?” Karontase asked, all of the had called down.
“Um, we found out Jayadeep Mir had a son, a boy named Kashyap” Rebecca replied, “and a daughter, Ishika”
“So which one is your ancestor?” The Native asked Naveen, half hoping his dreams came with labels of some sort.
“I... actually don't know” Naveen replied, as he stopped eating for a moment. “Calix mentioned an Indian Actress, named Monima Das had similar ancestors to mine” he continued, thinking.
“Huh...that is, wow” Karontase commanted, sitting beside Rebecca. “She was totally not my type, but I have to admit —she was hot”
“Yeah, worst of all….I used to have a bit of a crush on her” Naveen replied, rubbing his face.
“OMG! Seriously?!” Rebecca asked, dropping her fork loudly on the box.
“Yes….and don't tell Calix, please” Naveen replied, blushing. Rebecca laughed...it was too good, Karontase was doing his best to stop his laughter.
“I can't even" Rebecca replied, dramatically falling into Karontase.
“I knew I should have kept my mouth shut” Naveen replied, rubbing his face.
Karontase sat there, somewhere between wanting to laugh...and feeling sorry for Naveen.
Calix watched Prisha as she waited for answers. After she'd knocked her out, she'd take all the files she'd been keeping on the speedboats that helped them reach the ship.That combined with some well timed hacking, had gotten her Prisha's psych evaluation from Abstergo, and much more.
It was through the files, she learned that Prisha was claustrophobic and impatient, and also combined with a God Complex. Which in Calix’s opinion was not a healthy mix.
Calix just waited for time to do it's thing. She could wait —in fact, that had been all she'd done her entire life. She was used to it. Prisha’s mouth pulled into a nasty grimace, she was getting impatient. Much to her dismay, the flesh wounds in her arms stopped her from doing much with her arms. As they were rather painful…Calix knew exactly where to place her shots.
“If you're trying to wear me out, it's not working” Prisha commented, eyeing Calix.
“Never said I was” Calix replied, leaning into the chair. Putting on a relaxed attitude. She could tell it unnerved Prisha.
That was another fact she'd learned after reading the files —she could withstand physical pain very well...but couldn't endure mind games.
The perfect weapon.
Calix smirked, a small sign for Dev and Villarreal out there. It was going great so far.
“I gotta hand it to her” Villarreal commented from the other side of the one-way glass. “She really broke the mold with this stuff, even though this runs in the family”
“Really?” Dev asked, curious. Calix didn't talk much about her family. But in several occasions had told him she was envious of him, because he had good people.
“Aye” Ernesto replied, with a nod. “Her grandfather, and mother —they were so good at this.”
“I see” Dev replied, as he turned his eyes back to the ongoing interrogation.
Calix waited, watching the Templar closely. Analyzing gestures, eye movement and the myriad of things she’d learned to look for. There she discovered something else. Prisha had traitor eyes, shifty —always giving her away... definitely interesting.
“Fine, I'll bite” Prisha told Calix after a couple more silent minutes.
“Good” The Assassin Captain replied, her relaxed attitude evaporating. As she sat closer to the edge of her seat.
“Project S.H.I.V.A, is a new initiative the Templars are taking to create a breed of enhanced soldiers —using the DNA from modern day Assassin descendants.” Prisha replied, Calix tilted her head. Placing her head on her left hand.
Prisha prayed the blade would trigger and kill her. But no such luck, the blade stayed put. Calix analized her response.
It had come too quickly, her eyes shifted to a place behind her and she'd unconsciously clenched her right hand. Besides that, she knew for a fact, that it had been Project Atlas —the one that made a piss poor attempt at enhanced Templar Soldiers.
“You're lying” Calix replied with a sigh a couple of seconds later. Sitting back straight.
“You're good” Prisha complimented, as she studied Calix. Not even a flicker of emotion passing through her eyes.
“No, I'm not “good”” Calix replied with a sly grin. Just like a coyote's. “You're just piss poor at playing Cloak-and-Dagger”
The Templar clenched her right hand harder, she was getting riled up. Good.
“Fine” Prisha replied a few seconds later, slowly unclenching her hand.
“Two can play that game”
A moment of silence followed, before Prisha spoke again. She needed to get under Calix’s skin...in some way.
“You seem to have read my file” She began, hoping to turn the tables. “But I have read yours too”
“Have you now?” Calix asked, mockingly.
“Yes, and I know that you have quite a lot of traumas from your childhood” Prisha continued, watching Calix. Who was as still and silent as the grave itself. “For example, your mother's death”
“What about it?” Calix asked, as if they were talking about the weather.
“She died when you were four right?” Prisha asked rhetorically. “When visiting your grandmother at a nursing home in LA”
Calix remained silent. At the other side of the glass, Dev clenched his fists —hard enough for his nails to break skin, and for the pain to stop himself from going in there and hurting that bitch. How dare she bring that up?
“You see, my father —he told me, that killing your mother...felt right” The Templar continued trying to get under Calix’s skin. “But that watching you, her daughter, try to wake her up —after she'd been dead for full four minutes, was even more satisfying. The only thing he regrets, was not killing you then.”
Calix shifted in her seat, Prisha smirked.
'Got her’ She thought, as she watched Calix move to the edge of her seat.
“You know, when the Assassins cremated my mother's ashes and I traveled to Barcelona to spread them. I realized one thing.” Calix replied, tired of her stunts.
“And what was that?” Prisha asked, frowning. She hadn't expected that.
“The day I watched as her ashes sank to the bottom of the sea, I realized that one day —no matter what, I'd make that cowardly father of yours pay” Calix replied, “but I also realized, that I wouldn't hurt him...not physically and not directly”
Prisha gulped, she didn't like where the conversation was going.
“That day, I made myself a promise —that before I put two in his brain” Calix continued, “I'd take the things he loves the most, from him”
Prisha scoffed, shaking her head. Before speaking with a condescending tone.
“Do pray tell what would that be?”
“You and your brother, Kumar” Calix replied, her eyes as cold as a viper's. The Assassin Captain watched as Prisha gulped, a flicker of fear in her eyes.
“He doesn't care” The Templar replied after a couple of seconds. “The Order is greater than any man or woman, son or daughter ”
“That might very well be” Calix replied. “But if there's one thing I was taught, is to never underestimate a father's or mother's love —for their child.” The Assassin paused, “because if my mother died that day, it wasn't because her blade wasn't sharp enough to kill your father —but because she knew, her death would have been enough for him. She made the ultimate sacrifice for me”
Eerie silence followed.
“Now, I really want to know, if your father would do the same for you” Calix continued, before getting up, heading for the door.Prisha felt a cold shiver running down her back.
Just as Calix placed her hand on the door knob, she looked back over her shoulder.
“I also learnt, that people don't give you what you need when in pain” The Assassin commented, as if remembering all the sudden .
“So when?” Prisha asked, breathing in and out. She could outlast her.
“When they are faced with their greatest fear” Cakix answered, “that is why I'm such a paradox to you and everyone else who works for Abstergo.” She paused, “Because the day my mother died, your father made my biggest fear come true….and now, I'll do the same for him”
The Assassin finished in a matter of fact tone, before walking out of the room. Closing the door with a silent click.
“Calix, are you alright?” Dev asked her as soon as she made it into their line of sight. Approaching her in a flash.
“I'm fine, Dev” Calix replied. “My mother's death is always going to be a defining moment in my life —but I've come to accept that it happened...but most importantly why it did”
Dev nodded —between the two of them, Calix had always been the thoughtful one.
“What should we do with her?” Villarreal asked, breaking the moment.
“Nothing” Calix replied, as she looked back at the room. “Keep her here” The Assassin replied before walking towards Nisa’s sleeping form
“If you don't mind me asking, then what was this for?” Villarreal questioned, crossing his arms over his chest. Dev was about to open his mouth, but Calix stopped him —placing a hand in his chest.
“This was to weaken Rishabh, and her brother” Calix replied. “The Intel about project S.H.I.V.A I already have, and I will share with everyone in a couple of days”
Villarreal nodded, before going his own way. Leaving Calix and Dev to wake Nisa.
It was nearly three in the morning by the time Naveen had finally dropped off. Leaving Rebecca and Karontase by themselves.
“I like this kid” Rebecca commented after a few moments had passed. “He's funny, smart and has a great heart”
“Sounds like Nisa is got some competition” Karontase teased, Rebecca shoved him playfully.
“Cute” She replied, sticking her tongue out.
“But being serious, what do you think of him?” She asked, Karontase gave the sleeping boy a hard, long look.
“He's a good egg, this one” The Native replied, “It makes me wonder, what kind of person would he have been if he'd grown up with Amber and his parents”
“Yeah, me too…” Rebecca replied.
“But it's also worrying” The Native continued, “as long as he's with us or with our people in India —he’ll be fine, but just like the rest of us, if not more...he deserves a normal, happy life”
“True, but that is what we —Assassins, sacrifice so others might have it” Rebecca replied, her eyes watering a little.
As she remembered Desmond, and all the good times they had.
“Don't cry, Becs” Karontase told the hacker, as he hugged her. “Des, he was a hero. Saved us all, so we give mankind a fighting chance against Juno...and we will.”
“With him, and Calix”
Chapter 11: Still Standin’
Morning arrived far too quickly for Naveen, it felt like he'd just gone to sleep….and woken up 2 minutes later. He was tired.
It didn't help that Rebecca was hyped up over God's knows what, and even Karontase was smiling left and right.
Something good must have happened.
“Is there a reason why all of you are so happy?” Naveen asked, as he shielded his eyes from the nearly blinding light that streamed inside the room.
“Yes, and a very good one too” Karontase replied with a grin, as he pulled the second set of curtains open.
“Ack!” Naveen groaned, pulling the covers over his head. “What is it?” He asked, voice muffled.
“Calix finally got in contact with your sister!” Rebecca replied, ripping the covers off him. Naveen groaned as he threw an arm over his eyes.
He was wearing a pair of grey sweatpants, and one of Karontase’s shirt; which looked all too big on him, as he had been unconscious and unable to tell anyone he was a large...Not an Extra Large, like the Native.
“Becs you go and wake up Shaun, I'll get Naveen ready” Karontase told the hacker, who nodded and left smiling.
“You alright kid?” The Native asked Naveen, as he took a seat at the foot of the bed.
“Yeah...I'm fine, all things considered” Naveen replied, as he began to sit up. Arm moving away from his eyes.
“But?” Karontase asked, reading him like a book.
“It's just that yesterday, after you guys made fun of my crush on Monima Das —you said we'd be arriving in Mumbai in a little over a week” Naveen replied, ruffling his hair.
“What about it?” The Native asked, stretching his arms.
“What if I'm not the brother, that Amber —my sister has been expecting?” Naveen asked, he felt silly. Telling Karontase about something so personal.
Karontase chuckled, that guy was really something else.
“This isn't funny!!!!” Naveen shouted, grabbing a pillow and hitting Karontase in the head with all his might.
The first hit landed, but did nothing to stop his laughing. Just as Naveen was about to land the second, the Native wrestled the pillow from him and hit him back.
“Ouch!” Naveen yelped, rubbing his face.
“Now, it's not funny that way” Karontase replied, looking at the boy. “It's funny in the sense you're worried about what your sister will think of you”
“How is that funny?” The young Indian asked, frowning. “That is dead serious. ” He commented.
“I’m a 100% sure that Amber will find you to be the man she's always dreamt —and expected her brother to be” Karontase replied with a smile, before leaving the room.
Naveen smiled, as he ran his hand through his hair. Maybe Karontase was right…
It was just the he realized, that he didn't have the slightest idea of where his clothes were. Getting up in a panic, he headed for the door. Only to glimpse a small pile of clothes, and a note.
Naveen stopped, and instead moved towards the clothes. They seemed to be around his size, clearly a but of LA street style —which is how he dressed most days. The note was written in cursive, a girl’s handwriting from what Naveen could tell.
“I dropped these off with Karontase, before he went to wake you up. I hope they fit —I wasn't really sure what size you are, so I took the best guess...as my brother is about your height and build - Nisa”
Naveen wasn't even aware of the small smile that snuck up on his face, as he read the note. Once he finished, he turned the note; as he'd learned from the Assassins on the last few days, they hid things in plain sight.
“P.s: I'm sorry that I couldn't come see you, but I'm glad to know you're fine. Thank you, for saving my life”
Once, again Naveen smiled and chuckled. Setting down the note, he went to take a shower and get ready.
About 15 minutes later, he was dressed in white washed black skinny jeans, a blue navy shirt with white tribal designs and his high cut black Puma shoes. He had to admit...the clothes did look good.
“Let's see what happens” Naveen told himself, as he walked out the room. Closing the door behind him.
Karontase and Rebecca we're already there, the two we're leaning against the same wall. The hacker was playing a game on her phone; while Karontase was resting, eyes closed as he listened to his music.
Clearing his throat, he made his presence known. Karontase was the first one to realize this, taking off his earbuds and patting Rebecca in the arm. Before approaching him.
“Huh, I suppose Nisa has a better eye for this than me” The Native commented as he eyed Naveen, who looked a bit uncomfortable.
“Aww. Leave that poor kid alone, Bear.” Rebecca joined in, walking towards him. “You look fly as hell, rookie”
“Rookie?” Naveen asked, confused.
Rebecca looked at him for a moment, before cracking a smile. As she'd expected, Calix hadn't had time to drop by.
“I'll let Calix explain” The Hacker replied with a silly grin.
“Right” Karontase added, “The Ghost Squadron and the Zodiac Division are meeting in the canteen”
“Uh...right” Naveen replied, shoving his hands in the jeans pockets. Karontase nodded, before turning around and begin walking.
The hacker moved to walk beside him, still playing in her phone. Making Naveen wonder how the hell was she that good of a multi-tasker.
Just then, it occurred to him….that he hadn't even had breakfast yet.
“Uh, guys?” He began, wondering how to say it.
“Yeah, what's up?” Karontase asked from the front.
“I haven't eaten anything yet” Naveen replied, feeling a bit embarrassed.
“Yeah, we know" The Native replied, still walking.
“That is why we're meeting in the canteen” The Bear-like native replied, turning around. “No one from the two teams has eaten yet, it is only 7 after all” he finished, before turning back.
Naveen sighed, he really still had much to learn about these people.
“Any news from your daughter yet?” The golden eyed man asked, as he leaned into the chair. Swirling the whiskey around his glass.
“None, Grandmaster” Rishabh replied, as he stood in front of the Grandmaster of the Templar Order.
The Grandmaster sighed, and leaned further back into the leather chair. Glass in hand.
“So, tell me again…” The Grandmaster began, as he stood up and moved towards the window that overlooked the Nhava Sheva port.
“I sent my daughter to recover the vessel and take out Calix” Rishabh replied, acceding to his master's request.
The Grandmaster didn't make a sound, instead he slowly took a sip from his glass. Eyes roaming over the port, just like most things in Mumbai —this also belonged to the Order, to him.
After a couple of minutes, he spoke.
“So you thought your daughter had enough experience to take on Calix — The Phoenix ? ” The man asked, in a condescending tone.
Rishabh stayed quiet, he had known it was a bad idea to send Prisha. Especially because Calix could take down —by herself, more Templars than the entire Sigma team could take down Assassins. She was ruthless and a logical leader, and still somehow, managed to inspire loyalty and call to the better angels of others.
“I will let this mistake go” The Grandmaster replied, turning back to glance at Rishabh with his golden eyes. Freezing him on the spot.
“One more, and Calix won't be the only thing you have to worry about” The Grandmaster replied, before turning back.
“After all, she has been the only one that was ever capable of fighting at my level” The Templar continued, grinning like a mad dog. “The only one who's ever injured me in a fight” he finished, before turning back to set down his glass. A ray of light illuminating the scar that criss crossed his face.
“Don't underestimate, Calix” He told Rishabh, “She's got more balls than you”
“Yes, sir” Rishabh replied, before walking out the office.
Once he was out the office, he flattened himself against the wall. Not many things terrified him in the world, unfortunately —The Templar Grandmaster was one of those things.
When Karontase, Rebecca and Naveen entered the canteen; they found Capix already discussing plans and strategies with a sleepy eyed Dev.
“You're late” Calix commented, as she stood up. Tearing her eyes away from the map she was pointing at.
“Sorry” Karontase replied, rubbing the back of his neck. “Got a bit of a hold up”
Which was true, as Sak —Karontase’s cousin, had needed their help to move some heavy equipment boxes.
“Right” Calix replied, “Get to your places….and get that kid something to eat” the Assassin commanded, before turning to address Amir.
“Uff, I thought that would have been much worse” Rebecca commented, as she moved to the kitchen. Naveen following her.
“So, Calix isn't someone who likes delays?” Naveen asked, as he grabbed a plate.
“Yeah, she's strict.” Rebecca replied, as she grabbed a few fruits, and reached for some biscuits. “Was raised like a soldier, so it's easy for her to forget others were not”
“Ah, I see” Naveen replied, immediately understanding. Just like the hacker, he got ahold of two biscuits.
“Yeah. Just remember, don't interrupt her —if you have a part to play, then she will tell you.” Rebecca cautioned, as she grabbed, a glass of orange juice. Naveen gulped and the nodded.
If the truth was said, then he was terrified of Calix. Especially after seeing her kick some major ass a couple of days before, without mercy….She definitely was someone that took no shit from anyone.
“Ready?” The hacker asked after a couple of minutes had passed. Naveen nodded and followed her to the table.
Rebecca sat with the Seers, leaving Naveen to sit beside Amir Tazim. Who was the hyperactive hedgehog of the group...but also the most friendly looking of the bunch.
As many had attitudes and looks, that scared the living out of the college student. Despite their good looks, they looked utterly ferocious.
“So a Stanford boy?” Amir began, as he leaned closer to Naveen. Invading his personal space.
“Let him eat, Amir” Calix chided from the other side of the table, watching the two over her bowl of oatmeal. Not giving the young Indian a chance to answer.
“You're no fun, Calix” Amir replied, before getting back to his food. They waited for Karontase to sit down.
Once the Native sat down, with a plate of fruits and some venison meat —which caused Rebecca to gag a bit. The Assassins started eating. A couple of minutes passed, before some of the Assassin's were engaged in lively but quiet conversations, the Seers particularly. The others, Hunters and Warriors, stayed quiet. The mood was full with expectations….for reasons unknown to Naveen.
Quickly after, the silence ended. Calix swallowed her last scoop of oatmeal and drained down her apple juice. Before getting up….
The meeting had started. Immediately, the Assassins looked up.
“As some of you —if not most, know. I received an encrypted message from Mumbai, yesterday” Calix began, silence and open ears greeted her voice. “It was our people's, they are fine….mildly injured, but otherwise alright”
The Assassin explained, giving rise to murmurs and whispers amongst the Assassins.
“Where are they?” Amir asked, as he set down his fork on the napkin.
“Dharavi, the largest slum in Mumbai” Calix answered, as she eyed the people around the table.
Karontase had told her about the two Assassins yesterday, shortly after she'd gotten the message from Kai; through an old Cold War Assassin channel.
“So, we need to organize large search parties to find them” Luca joined, mind already churning. “and ask our assets in Mumbai —maybe even enlist Harshi’s help”
“Indeed” Maria joined in, backing her brother. “But, at the same time we need to get the Templars to focus on something for the time being”
“That's won't be necessary” Calix replied, as she unfurled the map at the side of her plates.“I put out APB’s to all our people in the area, they must be searching the slum for them as we speak. They have others to find them and keep them safe until our arrival” The Assassin finished, as she smoothed out the map.
It was an old and beaten map of Mumbai, it looked to be over 100 years old...maybe even more. Probably drawn around the 1800’s. The ink had faded and ineligible in some spots, the corners seemed to have been chewed on by a clever or desperate rat.
“What is this for?” Nisa asked, as she eyed the map. Making a mental note of as many features as she could. The African at her side sat up straighter, he seemed to know.
“This was a map of Mumbai drawn by Assassins, during the time that Jayadeep Mir was mentor to the Indian Brotherhood” Calix explained, the name sparking Naveen’s interest. His eyes leaving the plate in an instant.
Calix unconsciously smiled a little. So... Rebecca and Naveen had been talking.
“How does it help?” Ollie asked, as he reached for the butter. Before applying a hearty coating to his biscuit.
“Jayadeep Mir made Mumbai an Assassin Stronghold before his death in 1889.” Calix continued, “Unlike his predecessors, Hamid and Malik Al’Hiza. He had a progressive mindset, which allowed to make many deals with The Calix family.” The Assassin paused, “My great-great-great grandfather, was just a young man, when he met Jayadeep. His sharp wit and innovative ideas put him in charge of creating a series of underground tunnels and bases that ran under Mumbai—which still stand today” Calix finished, answering Ollie's question.
“So, the tunnels, they are our way in —and out?” Naveen asked suddenly, causing all the Assassins at the table to turn and look at him.
“They are” Calix answered with a nod, “but to get to the tunnels, I need to contact my longtime treasure hunting friends.”
“And who is that?” Jack asked, as he leaned closer to the table. Curious as always.
“Jin and Ahmed Dhanial” Calix replied a small grin lingering in her features. Like if she was making a joke. Naveen looked around confused, until his eyes landed on Nisa. Who clearly looked pissed. He quickly snapped his eyes away from her.
“Seriously?” The Middle Eastern Assassin asked, with a huff. Of all people Calix could have befriended and called upon….why the hell had she bothered to run with Jin and Ahmed.
“They are our best trackers” Calix replied, as always an expert in putting professionalism first. “Besides, I can't take Joey or Shiva underground. Being down there makes them anxious and overly agressive."
“Who's Joey?” Naveen asked Amir in a whisper.
“You'll meet her soon” Amir replied with a silly grin. “ I have a feeling that she will like you.” He commented before turning back to the discussion.
“Fine” Nisa replied, giving in. The responsible party of her was screaming at her for letting Calix drag her cousins in the mess...but at the same time, she was more than ready to raise hell with them.
“So after, we get your friends, then what?” Naveen asked, surprising himself yet again. Calix smiled.
“Then, I'm going to arrange a face to face meeting with Rishabh” Calix replied, and raised her hand to request for silence. “There I will propose a trade, his daughter for three days in Mumbai —completely unmonitored”
Just as the words left the Assassin's mouth, chaos followed. People started talking, some even shouting to be heard among the crowd.
“Is this normal?” Naveen asked Amir, suddenly worried that all meetings ended like this one.
“Nah, it's just Calix is one of the best leaders we have had in a long while” Amir replied, calmly sipping his juice. “Naturally, we're terrified to lose her”
“I...see” Naveen replied, he was still new to their world, but from the few snippets he'd heard from Rebecca; Calix was a good Assassin, but an even better person.
“Okay, that's it” Amir told Naveen, before he set down the glass on the table. Getting up in a flash. Before anyone could so much as blink. Three quick shots were fired, shutting everyone up.
“Sağol” Amir said to all present, before seating back down.
“Thank you, Amir”
“No problem, Cap” Amir replied, before leaning into the chair.
“As I was saying” Calix resumed, her expression as calm as a pond. “I will go there, with Maria and Luca as my support. The rest, I want you to follow Nisa and her cousins”
The Assassins around the table nodded, Naveen included. Even though he was still in the dark as to what team he was supposed to be a part —if he was going to be doing anything.
“Alright” Calix continued, “Finish your breakfast, and start to prepare” Once more the Assassins nodded, and got back to eating. Naveen was just about to put a spoonful of oatmeal in his mouth, when Amir put a hand on his shoulder.
“Calix wants to talk to you” He said, before pointing at the door. Naveen nodded —unconsciously gulping, before he got up to meet the Assassin.
Walking outside was the easy part, Naveen admitted. Facing Calix….that was a challenge of it's own. Once Naveen had made it outside the canteen, he found the Assassin standing by a window he hadn't even realized was there.
“Amir said you wanted to talk to me” Naveen began, still standing by the door. Calix grinned a bit as she looked out to the sea.
“Yeah” The Assassin Captain replied, turning to see him. “Come on, let's take a walk”
Naveen nodded, and soon found himself following Calix. Some initiatives that passed them by greeted Calix with smiles, which the Assassin returned. In the light of day, the Assassin didn't seem quite as frightening...yet Naveen knew that it was true.
He was quiet, thinking about all the good deeds his ancestor had done in the name of the Assassins —and as Rebecca had explained, in the name of freedom….and about the fact that no matter how much he tried he would never even come close.
“You alright there kid?” Calix asked Naveen, pulling him out of his thoughts.
“Y-yeah…” Naveen replied, startled by her voice.
Calix nodded, and kept on walking. Naveen walked beside her….wondering what she was thinking about.
A couple of minutes later, they were put in the deck. But Calix didn't have any intention to stop, instead, she kept on walking. Heading for the helm of the ship. Once again Naveen followed her —almost mindlessly, just putting one foot in front of the other.
Until he was standing atop the helm… Looking out to the most beautiful of sights, an expanse of blue —so great, it reached beyond what the eye could see. Sparkling under the soft morning sun.
“It's beautiful” Naveen commented, the words slipping out of his mouth without thought.
“Quite true” Calix replied with a grin, looking out at the ocean as well.
“Come on, get over here” The Assassin continued; as she watched his stare in awe. “I won't bite” she finished with another grin.
Naveen smiled back, a little uncomfortable. But followed her instructions. In a couple of seconds, he was standing by the railing.
“I brought you out here to talk” Calix began, as she placed her hands in the railing. Naveen gulped, his mind already running wild….after all—it was a great place to commit murder.
“You're not planning to throw me overboard?” Naveen asked, interrupting Calix mid sentence. “Are you?”
The Assassin chuckled, her eyes crinkling at the corners. Hands tightening around the railing to keep her balance.
“As much as I'd like to” Calix answered between laughs, “Sadly, I can't" the Assassin clarified when she saw his panicked expression.
“Okay” Naveen replied putting a hand over his heart, Calix was by far the most intimidating of the bunch...despite her height. “So if you're not here to throw me overboard, then what we here for?” He asked, as he calmed down slowly.
“To talk” Calix replied, laughter dying. “Simple as that”
“About?” Naveen asked ever as curious.
“You know, in the beginning...I thought of you as this reckless and selfish punk” Calix began, looking at him.
“Ouch... that's hurtful” Naveen replied, wincing a bit.
“Never been one to bullshit people” Calix replied with a shrug, before resuming her assessment. “As I was saying, a selfish punk that was only going to make my life more of a mess for a couple of months” She paused, when she saw his reaction, “But, after you saved Nisa —twice... I’m willing to admit I was wrong” The Assassin finished.
“So...am I still on the frying pan?” Naveen asked, suddenly he felt a great urge to laugh...but kept quiet.
“I guess not” Calix replied, turning to look at the sparkling waters.
“Thank God…” Naveen mumbled under his breath, making Calix smirk.
“You know, not everyone that is born in the Assassin Brotherhood is born to be an Assassin” Calix began, roping Naveen in. He didn't want to admit —but he was desperate to know more of this part of his tale.
“Only those who prove to have the qualities to become Protectors —rather than killers . Become Assassins” The Assassin replied, “just like being a soldier in the US army, or an MI6 Agent —not everything is about knowing how to take punches, shoot a gun or taking people out.”
“Is about standing up for others and protecting people?” Naveen replied his eyes shifting downwards, interrupting Calix for the second time. “Isn't it?”
“Damn right” The Captain replied, with a grin. “It is all about that”
Naveen nodded, he understood that. Even wondered if the part of him, the one that had always made him so angry —that he wanted to get back at bullies….had been innate or just something he'd developed after years of getting pushed around.
“That is why, I will offer you a choice” The Captain began once again, turning to look him in the eye.
“...and that is?” He asked curious, eager to find out.
“To train you as an Assassin” Calix replied, surprising Naveen. “At this point, it's pretty much useless to keep you caged in the ship, when we go to Mumbai. Because you deserve to be the first person your sister sees, when we get her out of there”
The young man looked at her with wide eyes… his jaw in the verge of dropping. He tried to talk —to form an answer for it to come out like wheezing.
“Wait?!” Naveen replied, a couple of minutes later; after regaining his speech, but still just as shocked. “Are you being serious right now?!” He half shouted.
“A 100 percent” Calix replied, smiling at his reaction.
“I don't know how to answer” Naveen replied after a few seconds of letting the news soak his brain.
“Bullshit” Calix replied, scowling. “The question you should be asking yourself is, do you want to be there when we get your sister out? Or be stuck in here?” She asked, arms crossing over her chest.
Naveen struggled with the question for a couple of minutes….thinking and overthinking it. It was true, he wanted to be there...but at the same time —he wondered if he had the strength to go through with it.
A few minutes passed, before Calix watched, as Naveen’s features hardened with determination.
“I'm in” He said, not a single ounce of doubt lingering in his voice.
“That's good, kid” Calix replied, with a nod. “It won't be easy—”
“I can do it” The boy replied, cutting her off.
“Good then, you start tomorrow…” Calix began, “Amir and Baku, they will be in charge of training you.”
Naveen nodded, he'd heard it from Rebecca. Calix wanted people who were willing to go above and beyond the call of duty and all sacrifices to be on her team. He would do it.
“Amir will test and refine your hand to hand combat” Calix explained, giving him a short version “Baku will teach you to free run, use long range weapons and to arm and disarm automatic weapons during a fight”
“Um...Becs —I mean, Rebecca, told me about the Assassin Classes” Naveen interjected.
“Ah, I see” Calix replied, “and don't worry, she's not going to mind if your call her Becs” Naveen nodded, making a mental note of that.
“Well, I suppose that's up to you” Calox replied after she thought about the best possible fits for someone like him. “Pick the one you want, and after Mumbai —I’ll see if can send anyone that can train you”
Naveen stilled for a moment, thinking. Before he asked yet again, another question.
“What class did my parents belong to?”
“Your father was a hunter, your mother belonged to a now extinct class —known as the protectors” Calix replied recalling the information.
“A... Protector?” Naveen asked puzzled. Rebecca hadn't mentioned anything of the sort.
“Yeah, I suppose Becs is still rather chicken headed” Calix commented, “but a Protector, just like the name suggest is the fusion of two or more Assassin Classes”
“I...see” Naveen replied, feeling silly.
“The classes your mother belonged to, were the Hunters and the Seers” Calix replied, “She was one of the best Seers the Project Storm ever had.”
“She...was a medic?” Naveen asked, surprised.
“Not a medic” The Assassin replied, “she was the only 'Tech Specialist’ her team had back then”
“I-I...see” Naveen replied, his neck burning in embarrassment. He needed to stop making assumptions.
“No worries” Calix reassured him, “most people assume that. Do you have any more questions?” She asked.
“No, I’m good” Naveen replied.
“Right, then go and rest” Calix commanded, “Amir and Baku are going to work you to death”
Naveen nodded, before he headed back to his room. Part of him was excited...while another was terrified beyond reasonable belief.
It had been over 14 hours since Kai had finally found a way to get in contact with Calix and her people….
That was after he'd been chased by a group of thugs sent after him, by a Pakistani drug lord known as Tall Safwan, for stealing his walkie talkies. As he'd been trading drugs with another gang, whne Kai had pinched the walkies.
When he’d finally made it back to their “base” he'd found Devesh passed out, Amber asleep in his arms. Making as little noise as possible, he set about modifying the radio to contact Calix. Six hours later, he'd finally heard his friend’s voice at the other end and almost wept in joy.
After all the orderals of the previous night, he wondered how the hell was he still alive, breathing and in one piece. Maria was so going to kill him —once he debriefed to Calix. But that could happen anytime she wanted, just as long as they were in route to meet Harshi and the others in New Delhi.
“Kai?” A voice called his name, bringing him out of his thoughts. It was Amber.
“Amber, are you okay?” Kai asked, moving towards her. The raven haired girl nodded as she wiggled away from Devesh’s arms.
“I'm fine” Amber replied, once she was sitting beside her boyfriend.
“No pain?” Kai asked, concerned.
“Kai, I said I'm fine” She snapped, annoyed at him.
“O...okay, geez” Kai replied, backing away from her. Arms raised, guarding his face. Just like him, Amber was tired and worn out from hiding and running.
He didn't blame her at all for being overly cranky. No one could have expected Rishabh to find their safe house. The young seer waited in silence for Amber to fully wake up, a little way away from her.
“Did you steal that?” The Mir girl asked, pointing at the walkies.
“Huh...uh, yeah” Kai replied rubbing the back of his neck.
“Well…” She began, moving into a comfortable position.
“Well what?” Kai asked, confused.
“What happened?” Amber asked, rolling her eyes as if her question was obvious “Who did you steal it from?” She asked, curious.
Kai sighed…he was going to be fucked either way, might as well tell her.
“Tall Safwan” Kai replied, before sighing once again.
He trusted Amber like a sister —but when it came down to him and Devesh….well, he was screwed. Because he would know either way.
“Holy shit...no way” Amber replied, moving closer to the Afghan boy. “Did he catch you?” She asked.
“Yeah...and he sent four thugs after me, but I managed to beat their asses and get back here on one piece” Kai replied, grimacing. “Which is going to be irrelevant, as Maria is so going to murder me once I give Calix and Rebecca a full report.” He finished, air going out of him.
“Tough luck, bhai” Amber replied grinning. Before he could stop her, the raven haired girl used her longer arms to reach for the walkies and within seconds they were in her grasp.
“Please tell me you managed to get Calix in the other side” Amber half-pleaded, half asked. After she'd looked at the contraption at length.
“Yeah, I managed” Kai replied with a grin, before leaning against the wall. “She knows we’re in Dharavi and its coming to get us”
“That's great” Amber replied, her face a little sad.
“You don't look happy” Kai observed, frowning.
“Huh….uh, its nothing” Amber replied, waving her hand. “Honestly it's fine”
“If you say so” Kai relented, before closing his eyes.
A couple of minutes passed, just as Kai was starting to drift off; Amber threw him her hoodie. Waking him up.
“Amber, what the fuck?” The Afghan boy cursed, throwing her the hoodie back.
“You're still in your shift” Amber argued, catching the hoodie effortlessly. “So, no sleeping till Devesh wakes up”
“Are you kidding me, right now?” The Seer asked, outraged.
“If you want me to stay quiet about the stolen walkies then let Devesh sleep, he needs it” Amber replied, grinning. Kai groaned, cursing internally.
There was a reason why he didn't make deals with Amber.
Morning arrived far too quickly for Naveen’s taste. But he didn't protest much, he quickly got up and readied for his first training session with Amir.
The night before, Karontase had dropped off another pair of jeans a black T-shirt for him, along with “his” hidden blade and a pair of short staffs
Once the college student was ready, he left the room and slowly made his way to the training mats in the deck of the ship. As he approached, he realized Amir was already there, sparring with Nisa while Baku watched and analyzed from the sidelines.
“Stay on the balls of your feet” Amir commented, as he blocked Nisas’s attack easily with his stick.
The Middle Eastern girl nodded, and corrected her stance just in time; as the older boy moved to unbalance her with a low kick. Nisa got away from him in the last second with an elegant back flip.
“That's some good dodging right there” Baku commented, nodding as he spoke. His braids fluttering in the wind.
Naveen watched closely, wondering if he was half as capable as she was. It was just then the African Assassin noticed him, standing at the edge of the mats.
“So, you're the rookie” Baku began as he approached Naveen.
“Huh…yeah” Naveen replied before his eyes shifted away from the bigger man. He looked very intimidating.
“I was nervous on my first day too, kid” Baku replied, looking at Amir as he showed Nisa a quick move to disable an opponent.
“Why does everyone call me kid in this ship?” Naveen asked, honestly, he didn't mind so much. But he didn't need this stranger making him feel better, or try to relate —he’d chosen to do this.
“I'll stop” Baku replied, rubbing the back of his neck.
“...ugh, no...it's not” Naveen began, trying to find a way to explain he hadn't meant to come off as rude.
“Hey! Rookie!” Amir shouted, interrupting Naveen. “Get your ass over here!” He finished, before crossing his arms over his chest.
Naveen gulped, and walked towards the Hunter. It wasn't even 8 AM, and he was already pissing off his instructor.
-Sağol: Thank you.
Chapter 13: Mortals
All translations are in the End Notes.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Chapter 12: Mortals
The week went by quickly for Naveen, between training with Amir and Baku; he barely even had a moment to himself...the first few days had been the absolute worst, Amir had kicked his ass so many times he'd lost count —and it didn't help the Hunter knew exactly how to rile him up.
With Baku, things had gone a little better. Except when they didn't, which had been the case in four different times. He'd ended up slamming his ribs into a railing, or epically failing to vault over barrels —all in front of Nisa...much to his dismay.
Calix had come to watch a couple of times, certainly thinking that she really had fucked up on that decision. But she never said anything, only watched.
Once again, he was facing Amir in the mat. Just like the times before; he was already bleeding…
This time, it came from a vicious hit the Assassin had managed to land on him with his short staff. Amir had come at him, full speed and landed the hit at the side of his face...hard enough that he could have a stress fracture or two.
His head was ringing, and he was starting to see double ….not good.
“Get back in here, k-i-d ” Amir taunted, stressing the syllables in the last word.
Naveen clenched his teeth, before wiping the side of his mouth. He knew the Assassin was just trying to rule him up —like all those times before….
“Put him on his ass” A boy named Jae told him, as he handed him back the short staffs that he'd dropped. A slight Korean Accent lingering in his words. Naveen nodded, Jae was right. He could take Amir down.
Once again, Calix was watching beside her Nisa and Galina. Among the many that had come out to see the fight, as it was a Friday —and things were slow.
“I'm getting old, sand monkey ” Amir tauned again, as he paced up and down his side of the mat impatiently.
Naveen turned, and spat some of the blood from his split lip, before he stood in the mat again. His resilience surprising the Assassin.
Amir smirked, just like Calix had said not to: he'd truly underestimated that kid. He was made of tougher stuff than he made himself out to be. Before the Assassin could do some much as blink, Naveen lighted the distance between them with great speed. Amir could barely keep blocking Naveen’s strikes. They were lighting fast…
Calix nodded, analyzing the fight closely. Naveen had made quite a lot of progress from the looks of it.
Naveen blocked a backhanded strike, just as he dodged another aimed for his head. He kept low to the ground, staying in the balls of his feet, before using all his momentum to deliver a vicious low kick to Amir’s right ankle. The Assassin yelped in pain, but managed to roll away just in the nick of time, as he barely managed to avoid another lighting fast swing, surprised at the fact that Naveen had gone as far as pulling a Muay Thai move on him.
Things were getting interesting…
Amir casted a glance towards Calix, he was still holding back, the Captain nodded back. A sign for him to let loose —after all, it would take a while before Naveen could hold his own against a full fledged Hunter; but Calix just wanted to see if he was mission ready.
“Not holding back anymore, kid”
Amir shifted in the balls of his feet, if Naveen was going to use Must Thai —then he'd use some of his Krav Maga too.
Calix leaned forward from her spot, and watched smirking.
Things were definitely interesting now…
Night had just fallen in Mumbai, when the three Assassins moved out of their “base” and set course for a safehouse in the district.
The three had stopped in the commercial district of the slum to take care of some pressing business. The guys left Amber to meet with an informant.
Amber was buying some food and medical supplies, when two men —likely thugs or gangsters from what she could tell, approached her. One was tall with dark eyes and a small beard, the other was shorter and had the looks of a kicked puppy. Both wore red shemaghs around their necks.
“Oi, what's a pretty little bird like you doing here all on your own?” The tall one asked, his eyes roaming all over her body. Amber grit her teeth, she had always hated this.
Despite the fact that she knew was very likely to break his nose, for even looking at her the wrong way in a good day. Which reminded her all too soon reminded that today was not a good day.
“I'm not alone” The Assassin replied calmly, instinctively touching the Assassin necklace under her “borrowed” hoodie.
“Huh, I don't see anyone with you though…” The man replied as he smirked, moving closer to her, she could smell the alcohol on his breath. The female assassin stepped back.
Where the hell were Kai and Devesh? preferably the latter —when she needed them.
“Just let me be” Amber continued, trying not to cause a scene. Her eyes shifting to her right every few seconds…this was going to end badly if they didn't hurry up.
“Aw, don't be like that priy ” The man replied, a mock hurt look in his face. He clearly knew that Amber was on her own.
“Didn't you hear the girl, mate?” A voice called from the street. It was another young man.
He was tall, with dark hair and solemn brown eyes. Dressed in gray camo pants and a black kurta with white stitching, a red shemagh tied around his neck and a shoulder pistol holster. He looked as out of place as Amber did, maybe even more.
“Not your problem, moorkh ” The tall man cursed at him. The second man smirked.
“Not very gentlemanly of you, is it?” He began, “cursing in front of a girl and all”
Soon, he was standing beside Amber, who had just about enough time to realize how much taller he was.
“Did you mother not teach you that, dost ?” He kept on taunting the other man, with a relaxed stance. He wasn't going to throw a punch….or he wanted the gangster to believe that.
In the blink of an eye, he shifted his feet slightly. Amber recognized the stance, Muay Thai —she’d seen Calix take the same stance countless times.A crowd was starting to gather, big enough to unnerve Amber, if a Sigma or a Parnassia saw her now —she'd be in a hell of a lot more trouble than just a drunk gangster.
“I think is about high time you leave” The man with the patterned shemagh continued, pointing somewhere behind his back. The sound of whistles following right after.
“This is not over, you mutt” The gangster replied, his face twisting in anger “When I get my hands on you, you're dead meat ”
“Whatever you say” The man shot back, smiling. Making Amber wonder if he was stupid or had a death wish.
The gangster’s mouth shifted into a nasty sneer, before he took off running as the police whistles came closer. The other one followed closely.
“What is your deal?” Amber asked, exasperated.
“I saved you, didn't I?” He asked, grinning like a fool.
“Idiot” She hissed back, frowning. “You attracted too much attention”
The man shrugged, uncaring. Amber frowned even more. Before she half-stormed to the vendor and paid for the supplies, hoping the wannabe Robin Hood, was gone once she walked back.
Much to her dismay...he was still standing there, waiting for her.
The fight had been a close one, Naveen had gotten pinned down by Amir at least twice, but fought back until he was free.
His attacks were so fast, that a couple managed to land on the older Assassin. Splitting his lip, and the others probably bruising a couple of his ribs.
In the end, however —sheer experience won the fight.
Amir used Naveen’s explosive speed against him, and managed to disarm him, he then delivering a series of chained punches to his stomach. Before ending it all with a merciless left jab to the side of his head.
The Assassins on deck cheered and some clapped Amir on the back, barely paying any attention to Naveen —all but a couple.
“He did good” Baku commented, as Calix got up and studied the scene.
“Yeah, I've seen kids give up after getting pinned down once” Calix replied, a pleased look in her eye. “He's a good one”
Naveen had somehow managed to sit up, head down; brooding over his loss.
He'd just gotten his ass handed to him —in front of Calix, and the rest of the Assassins. Who would certainly think him a joke….and the Assassin Captain wouldn't even let him join the mission.
“Damn it” Naveen cursed low. His fist connecting with the mat, a dull thud following.
“You know, I've seen worse” Calix commented, as she watched Amir get the praise from the other younger Assassins. She was standing beside him.
“Yeah, I probably take that trophy” Naveen replied sarcastically, he'd worked so hard to be in the mission.
It wasn't fair. It wasn't right.
“Actually no” Calix continued, looking at his brooding form. “Not many people have lasted in a fight against Amir”
Naveen looked up at the Captain, curious about her words. Calix grinned.
“Then, if you knew that he would beat me, was it necessary to humiliate me; in front of all those people?” Naveen asked bitterly, Captain or not —how dare she smile.
“When you're an Assassin, you're going to lose more times than you'll ever win” Calix replied, a small smile lingering in her face. “Losing shows us what we did wrong the first time around”
“What use is that?” Naveen asked, shaking his head.
“You'll see that sometime” The Captain replied, before dropping a middle sized box beside him. The thump of it against the mat, grabbed Naveen’s attention. It was a simple black box.
“Go and get yourself together, come and see me and the rest of the team in the command room once you're done” The Assassin ordered, before walking away.
Naveen stayed there for a couple more minutes, before he got up. Picking up the box as he went.
Maybe...just maybe, he still had a chance.
Amber was just about fed up with the man in the patterned shemagh.
He'd been following her for over twenty minutes or so. All the while, without saying a word...which and it even more unnerving and unbearable.
Just as they crossed yet another street, she finally snapped. Without warning, she grabbed him by the front of his kurta and dragged into the nearest back alley. Amber dropped the bag with supplies easily.
“Woah, hey! Watch it!” The man cautioned, as she slammed him against the side of a building. Before he could even blink, he had a blade pressed against his throat.
“You're going to tell who the hell you are, how did you find me and who you work for….or I swear to Shiva, if you're lying I'll kill you where you stand” Amber threatened, pressing the blade closer. Her right hand still holding his shirt.
“Um...can - can we talk about...this, like civilized people?” He began, trying to weasel away from the blade.
Amber didn't reply, just moved to fully press her blade against the tender skin of his neck, hard enough that it drew a few beads of blood.
“Whoa, just...relax” The man continued, gulping hard.
“Talk” Amber ordered, her eyes burning. He had to admit, this had never supposed to happen like this…
“Okay, okay... I'll tell you everything” The man replied, finally giving in. As there was no other way.
“Good.” The raven haired girl replied, “I'm listening”
The young man sighed...this situation was honestly bad. A couple of minutes passed, along with another myriad of threats from Amber —before he began to talk.
“My name is Ajinahd Dhanial, just like you, I'm an Assassin” The man, Ajinahd, began talking. “I'm Nisa’s cousin and part of Calix’s crew. Now, she put APB’s on all of you guys —with specific instructions if we found any of you”
“What are those instructions?” Amber asked, blade still pressing against the man’s apple. Even though the name checked out, as did the APB’s —she didn't trust him, yet.
“To take you to our safe house” Ajinahd replied, half wheezing, desperately hoping she would start to trust him. “and keep the three of you there, until Calix gets here” he finished.
Amber stayed still, mulling over his words for a few seconds; before she let go off him, and moved her blade away from his neck. Leaving a thin crimson line behind.
“Thank you” Ajinahd replied, his right hand going immediately to his neck. Checking his injuries.
“Don't celebrate yet” Amber shot back, eyes just as fierce as when she'd had him pinned to the wall. “ I still don't trust you ” she finished, before picking up the bag she'd dropped.
Ajinahd watched as the raven haired girl picked up the bags in silence. Wondering if she was going to skewer him, if he so much as moved. Not before long, a pair of unsettling —and unusual— dark amber eyes landed on him.
“You're starring” Amber stated, her eyes cold as a snake's.
“...do...you-need...help?” The young man stuttered just time for him to avoid her wrath.
“I'm fine” The golden eyed girl answered, before turning back around and walking out the alley.
Leaving Ajinahd behind in the alley.
Harshi patiently waited for his communications network to crackle alive, as he looked over the New Delhi city sky. Lights from neon signs and crossings, dare to outshine the stars themselves.
It had been two days since Calix had sent out the last coded message, which had been a little less than a paragraph. She'd quickly explained her plan and reassured him that everyone was fine.
“That child is always neck deep trouble” The man commented absentmindedly, as he looked at the sky, before a crunching sound brought his attention back from the celestial plane to earth.
“Wouldn't you day say, Coaly Bear?” Harshi asked, as he looked down at the dog by his feet.
It was a young dog, no older than a year old. The perfect mix between a German shepherd and a Husky, with a silky brown blackish coat that formed rings around his eyes, and the most enthralling blue eyes he'd ever seen.
The dog in question stopped his vicious attack on the bone, and looked up; before barking two times and wagging it's bushy tail at the Indian mentor. The man smiled, and scratched behind the dog's ears.
“Of course she is” Harshi finished the thought himself. Not before long, the network came online.
An insertion point began blinking at the beginning of the text screen, in a light green color, a series of dots and long dashes followed. Quickly changing to letters in the Greek Alphabet, before ending with numbers.
A message from Calix.
“Seems like you will be seeing Calix soon, Joey” Harshi told the dog, who shot up like a bolt at the mention of his human’s name.
The Indian Mentor smiled, upon seeing the dog’s reaction. After all, it had been almost a year since Calix had left Joey with him to keep him safe —as she'd given herself the mission to find Amber's young brother.
Two short barks and a long howl broke the man out of his thoughts. It was Joey, who looked at him with a smile.
“Indeed, little one” The Mentor told the dog, as he sat straighter in his chair, all in the name of petting the dog.
Joey happily wagged his tail, and barked once again.
Once Naveen had patched himself up as best as he could. He'd decided to open the box…
It had taken him several tries to even to even get near the harmless looking box, even more to even lift the lid a little. He was curious...yet, he now knew the Assassins better.
And, he knew Calix had a penchant for playing jokes on her teammates; in the most merciless of way. Just like the time she'd hidden a harmless look alike of a very poisonous snake inside of Maria’s sleeping bag, during one of their missions in Afghanistan.
He'd heard those stories and more from Baku and Nisa. After that, he wasn't half as inclined to open the box. But now, here he was, holding an edge of the lid; ready to jump away from the box the moment he opened it.
“I've done things that are scarier than this” Naveen said to himself as he lifted the lip slowly.
He breathed in and out to steady himself, before flinging the box open, and ducking instectively…
A couple of seconds passed, before Naveen cautiously approached the box; as he didn't hear any hissing. Soon enough he peered into the box to find a hidden blade, a fresh set of clothes and a piece of paper that was folded.The young man sighed, glad to know Calix hadn't sent him a snake —poisonous or not. Before too long, he picked up the box and moved towards his bed; there he set it down and started to take out the items inside.
Two dark hoodies and two pairs of grey camo combat pants were the first items he set out in his neatly made bed, after that the hidden blade steel came next, finally he took out the piece of paper. Naveen studied it closely, it seemed to be just that —a regular piece of paper.
Without much hesitation, he unfolded it, to find a letter addressed to him in neat cursive handwriting. It was from Calix.
Pardon for the irregular method of delivery, rookie. I just wanted to let you know, that despite the result of today's match against Amir —you're more than ready to be on my team. I know, that it might not feel quite like it; but, you have progressed a lot and you should be damn proud of that.
Anyway, I digress, the sets of clothes in the box are for you. As you might have guessed, Assassins don't shop for clothes frequently and have quite a few outfits in our wardrobes. So these should start you off just fine.
The hidden blade was made by Rebecca, it's a new prototype she’s been running herself ragged to finish. It has more features, such as a grappling hook, back up comms, video and audio recording devices, and finally a non-lethal option for the blade —an electric shock strong enough to knock someone out. Finally, the blade itself is made of iron coated in chromium (honestly, ask Rebecca for the actual specs, if you want to know more.) —C .
Naveen raised his eyebrows at the last few lines, wondering where the hell they had gotten the chromium...but even more at the fact he was getting a prototype that possibly, not even Calix had yet.
“Well, I guess I can just ask them” Naveen said to himself after a couple of minutes of idle wondering.
Before going off to change into his other clothes.
Amber walked behind Ajinahd, as he guided the two of them through the alleys of the slum.
The Assassin kept glancing back at her every few seconds, to make sure she was still following —and not trying to bury a knife in his very exposed back.
Everytime he did, he found Amber's pointed and distrustful stare…He didn't blame her, after all, not many people would stop and cause a scene to defend a girl —Assassin or not, from thugs like those. Not in Dharavi at least, that sort of thing only happened in books and movies.
“Um...could you, uh, stop the glaring?” Ajinahd asked as he walked on.
“Nope” Amber replied nonchalantly, as she followed. “I told you, I don't trust you ”
“Haven't I erased a bit of gratitude?” The young man asked, sighing deeply. “I did help you” he added, in a low whisper.
“You could have gotten me in more trouble!” Amber snapped, seething at the last part. Which she'd most definitely heard. Ajinahd cringed and kept on walking.
A couple of minutes later, the two were standing in front of a warehouse in the “better off” part of the slum.
“Why are we stopping?” Amber asked, immediately triggering her hidden blade and pressing the tip to the small of his back.
Ajinahd jumped at her sudden approach, putting some distance between them.
“...Yeah! It's here!” The Assassin answered, as he subtly edged away from her.
Damn, Calix hadn't been lying in the slightest when she'd told them: “never give Amber a reason to distrust you.” That had been the first thing his idiot self had done.
“Then bring out whoever is in charge of this circus out here” Amber demanded, glaring at Ajinahd. The young man sighed, before whistling a short tune —which the female Assassin recognized as the Lowlands Away tune.
A couple of seconds passed, before the keypad controlled door opened with a hiss of air; another young man stepping out. Much like Ajinahd, he had dark clothes on and a matching red shemagh. Before Ajinahd had so much as a second to blink, Amber grabbed him but the back of his shirt and pulled him to her. Hidden blade pressed against his neck.
“Don't come any closer” Amber cautioned the man, “or I swear— I’ll skewer him!” She threatened before pressing the blade closer to Ajinahd’s jugular.
The second man halted, heeding Amber's words. Staying as still as death itself.
“Who are you?” The female assassin asked, still keeping Ajinahd close to her blade.
“My name is Ahmed Dhanial” The man replied, putting his hands up in surrender. “I'm Nisa’s cousin” he added, hoping she'd let go of his brother.
Amber stilled for a moment, the names— they checked out. The year before she'd met the Middle Eastern Assassin, unlike she'd previously thought; they became fast friends. And that was how she learned that Nisa had two cousins in Mumbai, whose day job was treasure hunting and had brushed with the likes of Nathan Drake and Chloe Frazer before.
“What's the name of Nisa’s boyfriend then?” Amber asked, testing the man in front of her.
“She doesn't have one” Ahmed replied with a huff, before crossing his arms over his broad chest. “She's shot down every guy that has ever asked her out” he added, cringing a bit at the last part.
Amber waited for a couple of seconds, before retracting her blade and swiftly stepping away from Ajinahd.
“That's right” The raven haired girl replied, “I still have to meet the guy that meets her standards”
Ahmed nodded in agreement from his side, as Ajinahd moved to stand beside him.
“So, are we good now?” The younger brother asked, rubbing his neck.
“Yeah” Amber replied, “sorry” she added, now she really felt silly about threatening him... twice.
“All’s good” Ajinahd replied, before walking inside the building.
“After you” Ahmed motioned for her to go first, which Amber did without much of a fight.
Once inside Ahmed led them further in, then opened a hatch in the ground after going down the ladder. They were somewhere under the warehouse, probably the brothers’ hideout, as she could see the many ammunition crates, ancient trinkets and maps ordered about a long table. At the end of it, she saw Kai and her boyfriend.
“Amber!” Devesh called her name, as soon as he saw her. Immediately he got up the chair and ran to hug her.
Amber smiled as Devesh hugged her tight. The only indication he'd been worried sick about her.
“Don't misplace your girl again” A voice commented from behind the couple, getting Devesh's attention.
It was Ajinahd.
“She's a hell of a problem” The young treasure hunter commented, while rubbing his neck. The few beads of fresh blood smearing a little.
Devesh nodded, yet a part of him was amused at the fact Amber had gone as far as causing minor injury to the treasure hunter.
“Let's get that looked at, brother” Ahmed prompted his brother to face him. Carefully, the older Assassin checked the slash in his brother's neck.
“You'll be fine” Ahmed concluded after a few minutes, “Just put a bandage on that”
Ajinahd nodded, and soon was off to look for some bandages. Leaving Kai, Devesh and Amber with his older brother.
“Thank you, for sending your brother to get Amber” Devesh thanked the man with the red shemagh. He looked like a shadow.
“It's no problem” Ahmed replied with a little nod, “just helping out Calix, that's all” he finished in a polite tone.
Devesh nodded, he was fairly sure that Ahmed was pissed —even if he didn't show it. After all, he'd sent his little brother to fetch Amber and Ajinahd had returned with an injury….which Amber had caused. Also, he was sure that Calix’s APB had put a bit of a halt in their machinations with Chloe Frazer; whom he'd seen a couple seconds after he'd arrived.
“Is there anything I can help with?” Kai asked suddenly, surprising the man in the red shemagh.
“Nothing you can do, kid” Ahmed replied, turning around to face the Seer. “Just stay here, recover and don't try anything stupid” he finished, stressing the last few words.
Kai nodded, a bit down from being shut down so quickly. It was just then, the treasure hunter walked out of the room.
Naveen had spent staring at the handle of the door in the command room for a full ten minutes.
Deciding what to do.
He was happy to know that Calix was still putting him on her team, despite the fact that he'd been thoroughly humiliated in front of all the Assassins by Amir.
“It isn't going to bite, you know” A voice commented from somewhere behind him, making the college student jump a little.
Before he could ask who was there, Nisa stepped out of the shadows easily. Like she was a part of them. The female assassin was dressed in a dark blue top and black jeans. Her long hair fluttering in the wind.
“...yeah, I'm sure there's nothing more dangerous that you guys in the ship” Naveen replied with a goofy grin.
“And the sharks” Nisa replied smiling, as she approached him.
“Right” The college student acknowledged. He full on knew he was stalling.
Calix had taken a hell of a leap of faith, by trusting in his abilities, and he couldn't even get past turning the knob.
“So, are you going in there….or?” Nisa asked, pulling him out of his thoughts. She was standing right in front of him.
Nisa watched the shift in Naveen’s features, he wasn't sure.
“Uh...I don't know” The college student finally replied, looking down at the ground. Nisa smiled and before he had a chance to argue she opened the door and dragged him inside.
Once inside, the college student came dangerously close to falling, as the female assassin had completely caught him off guard. But he managed to stay upright by some miracle.
“About damn time you showed up” Calix commented on his arrival time, from her spot at the head of the table, Galina smirked at her side.
“Yeah...I had...some door trouble” Naveen replied sheepishly. Hoping Nisa wouldn't tattle on him. The female assassin grinned slyly, the only indication that she knew he was lying.
“Right” Calix replied, letting it go. Even though she'd seen Naveen standing outside the door for the past ten minutes with her eagle vision.
Naveen nodded, gulping visibly, happy to know that he was in the clear. Without a word, Calix spread a map over the oak table. It was the same one he'd seen a week before.
“Alright, boys and girls” The Assassin Captain began, glancing around the table. “Our people in Mumbai are searching for your sister and her people” she pointed at the college student with her pen.
“Now, the plan is this” She continued, “We'll divide in two ground teams —Amir’s and mine. My team will be lead by Galina, while Dev and Rebecca will move a third team to the Abstergo Industries via the underground tunnels when I meet Rishabh”
The three of them nodded, the plan beginning to take shape.
“I will see up a meeting with Rishabh in a very open and very public place.” The Captain continued, as she jabbed at a lot in the map. It was a Baazar.
“Who's your backup?” Nisa asked, quickly realizing that Calix was going in there unarmed and blind.
“Maria and Luca will keep an eye on me, from an abandoned building near the meeting point” Calix explained, “they will have their sniper rifles trained on my back”
“Why?” Naveen asked, not even bothering to hide the shock in his face.
“If all goes to shit, I don't want the Templars to force me to sell any of you out” Calix answered, looking at Naveen closely. “I believe in what we are doing, and trying to achieve. We might not always win, but I'd rather have someone I know cares about me, put two in my brain than let become a traitor”
Naveen glanced away from the Captain and quickly shut his mouth. He'd never met anyone that committed to a cause.
“Like I was saying” Calix continued, glancing around. “Maria and Luca will be the insurance policy”
“And what about us, then?” Galina asked, as she tied her blonde hair in a ponytail.
“Your team is going to go and get our people out of whatever safe house they are in” Calix replied, rubbing her jaw. “You take them under the tunnels, it should take you and Dev’s team about the same time”
Galina nodded, making mental notes.
“Which team are we going to be on?” Nisa asked, after a couple of seconds had slinked by.
“Galina's” Calix replied immediately. “I promised Naveen that he'd see his sister”
Nisa nodded, before glancing at the college student standing across from her. He didn't even notice the exchange.
“That's all” Calix said after a moment, “I've already briefed the plan and possible escape routes to Dev, Amir and Rebecca” she stopped, “all you can do now, is prepare and rest. We'll arrive in Mumbai in two days”
Nisa, Galina and Naveen nodded, though the last one seemed a lot less enthusiastic than he had at the start.
“You're free to go” The Captain told the Assassin's, before turning back to look at the map.
Nisa and Galina began to walk out immediately, but Naveen lingered. It didn't feel right…
“How can you be so willing to die for this?” The college student asked the Captain, just as his hands tightened around the door knob.
Calix sighed, a chuckle following right after.
“Because, I know that even though my story might end before it even begins —it only matters that many others will make their mark in the world; important or not.”
A moment of silence passed between the two before Naveen spoke again.
“I suppose... that's something worth dying over”
“It is kid, it is”
- priy: sweetheart
- moorkh: mutt
- dost: mate, friend
I've recently finished playing FarCry5 and I fell in love with the fact you can take animals and their are your companions. The same kind of mechanic will be applied for Calix's dog —Joey.
Joey is a Gerberian Shepsky.
Chapter 14: Princess St.
So I'm back, and I wanna start by apologizing by being such an awful writer and updating so little. But in my defense, I have a couple of good reasons most of which are exams, crazy State competitions and last but not least a huge strike of writer's block....
Also, people are just abusing my Tumblr ask box (cough *Pryanka* cough *Neeraj*) and just sending me in all sorts of tangents with new ideas for Assassin's Creed fics.
But in other news, since Assassin's Creed Odyssey is now officially announced I have the need to add some Greek modern day descendants to this fic *wink wink*
Anyway. Enjoy! As always all things (death threats included lol) go to my inbox.
Chapter 13: Princess St.
Two days had never gone by —no, zipped by that fast. Before any of the Assassin’s on board of the Aquila knew it, they were in Mumbai.
The Aquila arrived in Mumbai at 4 AM. As all the ports in the city are Templar controlled, the Assassin teams had to take smaller speedboats down to the docks, before converging in a nearby empty warehouse that was still "Assassin owned" under a shell corporation.
“Alright, let's do this” Calix said to herself as she walked towards the middle of the room, all the while looking for something to stand on as her height wasn't exactly helping.
The respective Assassin teams were huddled together going over the plan in low voices. Naveen was with Galina's team, looking like a lost deer among wolves. Calix felt a bit worried about him, after all, she'd promised Amber that if she was able to find her baby brother —that he'd be alright.
“Ready for your insane suicidal mission, fratella?” Maria asked Calix as she seemingly appeared out of nowhere, placing a hand on her friend's shoulder as she did. As expected Calix didn't even flinch.
“Never thought I'd say this, but yes...I am” Calix replied glancing over at her friend. “You?” She asked.
“Ready as one can be” The Italian replied, with a stiff nod. No one liked Calix’s plan all that much, after all, it was the number one rule of military operations.
Never jeopardize a General, when a soldier can do the job.
But then again, Calix had never really done things the way they were outlined in a tactics book; and that made her a great leader.
“Good” Calix answered, nodding back. Before pulled down her hood, finally reaching the middle of the warehouse; where Karontase had hauled a large wooden box for her to stand on.
As soon as she was standing up in the box all conversation and planning stopped, several sets of eyes snapping up to the Captain.
“Well boys and girls, you have your orders and your own plans —so get out there and stay safe, I'm not going to carry any dead bodies home” Calix said to the teams, glancing around at each member.
Even though her tone was playful and light hearted, her demeanor said otherwise and it worried Naveen...and he was worried enough as it was. Without a word, the teams began to disperse and head out the warehouse in complete silence —leaving Calix, Maria and Luca standing in the now empty warehouse; watching them disappear into the still sleepy Indian city.
“Let's go” Calix said after a moment, turning to look at her two best friends. “Rishabh is waiting” she finished with a small smirk.
Just like Calix had ordered, Naveen was on Galina’s team. The Russian Assassin’s team had by far the “easiest” mission, getting their people out, but if Naveen had learnt anything from getting his ass handed to him by Amir and training with Baku —then things wouldn't be “easy” at all.
The team made its way through the silent and deserted street for a while, when Galina signaled for them to climb up the nearest building.
“Alright team, bring it in” Galina said to her 8 man team once she climbed up the face of an old two floor hotel.
The group moved closer forming a tight circle, trying to blend in with the still dark environment.
“Our mission, to get Amber, Kai and Devesh out of Mumbai safely while Calix goes and gives us a cover” Galina began, outlining their mission again. “I don't want to see any unnecessary involvement, now most of you I've known and worked with for a couple of years —but we have a Rookie here, so I want you guys to set a good example for him” The blond continued, glancing at Jae and the other veteran members of her team.
“Here are your weapons” Nisa told the team, as she opened a duffel bag she'd been carrying since they left the ship.
The Middle Eastern Assassin handed an AK-9 and AK-5 to Jae and Marty, then a couple of pistols with all kinds of accessories to the rest, before handing Naveen a Desert Sniper pistol with a scope.
“Since we're in a zero involvement mission, the guns are just precautions— if you need to take someone out, either put them to sleep or use your hidden blades” Nisa explained, as she loaded her gun.
Naveen glanced around, at the others, who were testing their guns were alright and loading them. He'd gone over basic weapon training with Baku and he sucked with guns —he was a little better with a knife, but much much better with a crossbow….for some odd reason. But in the end, he decided not to open his mouth —after all he just was the rookie.
“Everyone ready?” Galina asked glancing around, everyone nodded, included Naveen. “Now, we are a fifteen minutes out from Dharavi. So we'll be taking the rooftops to get there, if Calix is right —then the Parnassia team is running surveillance with drones. Don't take them out , just hide” The Russian explained. “Alright, Jae and Marty, sweep the east of Dharavi for Sigmas or Parnassias. Jax you're with me, Nisa and Naveen —head to this address” Galina told them, handing a folded slip of paper to Naveen.
He nodded, minutes later the groups divided and headed for different routes. Leaving Naveen and Nisa still crouching in the rooftop, taking a dependent breath Naveen opened the folded slip of paper.
Goat Alcove. Commercial district, last warehouse on the right.
That's was where his sister was….
Without a word, he closed the slip of paper and put it inside the many pockets sewed inside his hoodie —one of Calix’s ideas to make carrying extra knifes and ammunition more easily.
“Let's go” Naveen told Nisa, as he got up from the crouch and looked down at the rooftops around them.
With a smile, she joined him.
The sun was almost rising.
Calix, Mari and Luca took their time to pick a location that was both very open and very public —eventually, they decided on a bazaar near Princess St.
The two Auditore siblings left to get in position, carrying their rifles in a black duffle bag; along with smoke bombs —should Rishabh try to take Calix, something they didn't mention to the Captain.
Mari set up watch at the top floor of as small Awadhi Biryani restaurant, after Calix showed the owner the dragon tattoo in her arm. A gift from Ajinahd, that assured the help of anyone in the slum; as the duo of treasure hunting brothers always made sure to share a very generous portion of the money they made from trading old and unwanted trinkets in the black markets to American and Russian buyers. While Luca set up across the street, atop an abandoned clinic.
“We're in position Cap, make the call” Luca said into his earpiece alerting Calix and Mari. The three had decided to use a frequency connected to Rebecca's tactical team.
“Alright, Luca” Calix replied, glancing over at his building. She couldn't see him or the reflection of the muzzle —a good sign.
After some glancing around, Calix pulled out the burner phone she brought with her and phoned Rishabh’s private number —which she had found laying around in what she assumed were Prisha’s quarters in the boat.
A couple of rings went by without response, but not before long Rishabh answered it.
“Who is this and how did you get this number?” He asked, the sound of a gun cocking in the background.
“Long time no see, Rishabh —how long has it been? Four, five years?” Calix replied after a moment.
“Calix” Rishabh replied with venom, as if her name somehow left a bad taste in his mouth. “Where is my daughter?” He asked, with barely contained anger.
“Still alive, but not for long —now, I want you to come and meet me here, in Princess St and agree to my deal” Calix explained stopping right after, leaving the Templar at the other side hanging.
“Or what?” He asked, the sound of glass shattering following seconds later; making the Captain smirk.
“Or I'll have my people throw her overboard with a weight tied around her ankles to become shark food —in the middle of the Indian Ocean” Calix finished, cooly.
Mari had to stifle her laughter at that. She very much doubted any shark —or decent marine predator would risk indigestion for eating such an unsavory character.
A couple of minutes passed in silence before Rishabh spoke up again. “How do I even know she's still alive?”
“I'll have my specialist send you a real time video of her” The Assassin replied, giving Rebecca the cue to hack into the system and send the video.
Not two seconds later, Calix heard the characteristic notification sound of a MacBook Air.
“You might wanna check that” Calix continued, “and you might wanna consider if you really want to see a video of your daughter getting dragged down to the bottom of the ocean” with this, she ended the call.
All that was left, was to wait for the mouse to itch for the cheese...and waiting —Calix could do just fine.
After Galina's team split to neutralize Sigmas and clear out the way for Naveen and Nisa, it took the bother of them longer than they had originally planned, especially because Naveen was completely out of it and kept miscalculating the depth of certain jumps.
He'd just missed another and was in terrible risk of falling to his death, when Nisa grabbed him by the wrist and pulled him up to the rooftop.
“You okay, Naveen?” Nisa asked looking him over. He replied with a nod….enough was enough.
“What's going on?” Nisa asked him, “and you better not say “it’s nothing””
Naveen made a bit of a face and considered saying that he was just nervous...but in the end decided not to.
“Okay, alright, you got me” He began, rising his hands in surrender. “I'm worried that...I'm nothing like the brother Amber imagined—I mean look at me, I'm just another kid trying to be something he's not” the rookie Assassin explained, staring up at the sky in hopes of receiving some form of enlightment.
The sun was slowly rising. Orange and pink light bleeding out from the sky.
“Look, I've known your sister for a while —and it's safe to say, she wasn't looking for you to become an Assassin like her.” Nisa began, with a slight shake of the head, thinking back to all her conversations with Amber. “All she wanted to do was meet you, meet the baby brother she remembers playing with”
Naveen seemed to consider that for a moment, but before he was able to reply —a scuffle in the street made them look down from their vantage point.
It was a Parnassia Squad —a Kill Squad, and they were heading the same way as them.
“We have to go, now ” Nisa told Naveen, if they ran like their lives depended on it —they would be able to get there first.
Naveen nodded and followed Nisa's route through the rooftops. From the roof rent were on, they jump onto a lower one, rollingas they hit the roof; before grabbing onto the lip of the next building and pulling themselves up. Little by little, the Assassins began to gain distance from the Kill Squad until Naveen couldn't see but a couple of drama grey blurs moving forward.
However, the momentary relief Naveen felt soon came to an abrupt end, when Nisa stopped dead on her track ahead of him. By some miracle, he managed not to run into her.
“What's going on?” He asked her, noticing she was standing there —frozen.
“That” The Middle Eastern girl replied, pointing at the collapsed building ahead of them. It looked as if thunder had struck the building, burning right through some colums and collapsing it partially. “We can't make that jump” Nisa explained turning to look at him.
Naveen glanced back, the Kill Squad was still moving forward —still behind them; but not for long. While they were so close.
“We can make that jump” Naveen said, after taking a long hard look to the distance. His brain was screaming at him not to try. “It's not far” he continued, giving her a small smile.
“Are you insane?” Nisa asked bluntly, giving him a hard look. “We are 6 stories above the ground, if you miscalculate and fall you're going to die” The weapons specialist tried to reason with him.
Once again Naveen glanced back, they were coming closer.
“I really don't want to meet my sister in a coffin, so unless you have any better ideas —I’m jumping.” Naveen replied, before walking to the end of the roof. He was going to need at the momentum he could have.
“Damnit” Nisa cursed, before jogging back to join him. “If we somehow I die, I'm making damn sure you never get to heaven” she threatened.
“I really hope neither of us dies” Naveen replied, after taking a few deep breaths he took off.
He was running like he'd seen Calix run during his training with Baku, apparently, Calix had some sort of technique that allowed her to clear some insane distances with a jump. Just as he was at the lip of the roof, he jumped and reached forward —making sure to propel himsleh forward as much as he could.
By some miracle or the next, he managed to grab onto the half burned part of the fifth floor of the building, and so did Nisa. He smiled like an idiot and thanked everything for making the jump, but all too soon the a snapping sound followed and Nisa fell —he had half a second to catch her before she plummeted to her death.
“I got you” Naveen said to her with a smile, straining a bit —as he held onto her.
“Don’t you dare drop me” Nisa cautioned, looking down at the chasm beneath, breathing hard.
“It would help if you weren't so heavy” Naveen replied thoughtlessly, as he tried to pull her up. He didn't realize he'd said something terribly wrong until Nisa punched him in the stomach—with her free hand.
“I'm not fat, if that's what you're implying!” The female assassin replied with a hard stare, which Naveen didn't need to see to know was there.
A couple of tries later, Naveen managed to pull her all the way up beside him. She only gave him another disapproving look —as she held onto to the ledge. Naveen only sighed, damn him and his brain to mouth filter…
“We'll have a conversation about commenting on a girl's weight later —but for now, we have to jump down.” Nisa said as she shifted a bit on her side of the ledge. “Once we jump down, we should be able to slide down by this angle and go through the windows of the next building —the top floors are empty, so no one will notice. Then it's a straight shot to the warehouse.”
Naveen nodded and followed her, knowing that perhaps it was best to let her go first, as he's seen first-hand that the building wasn't capable of handling the weight of two people at the same time. Just like Nisa said it would, she dropped down and slid down the angled building, and went through the open window —the thump of her landing in the other building following a couple of seconds later.
“It's safe to go” Nisa told Naveen through their comms, before clicking off again.
Just then he followed, a minute later, he was standing in another old floor. Filled with cabinets and chairs —almost like a newspapers editorial.
“Wow...this place is been empty a long time” Naveen commented, looking around. “The dust here is probably older than I am” he added, the last part making Nisa smile against her better judgement.
“Come on, we still have to get to your sister” The female assassin said, leaving the empty floor behind —as she stepped out a window and onto a railing.
Ajinahd and Ahmed were playing cards, when the oldest's phone rang. With the nimbleness of a cat, Ahmed got up and walked over to the table where his phone was and picked it up, unlocking the phone he answered.
“Templars coming in hot” The voice at the other end said, whoever it was— he or she was running and fast.
“Who is this?” The treasure Hunter asked, earning a curious glance from his little brother. Who took the chance to look at his brother's cards.
“Seriously? I don't see you for a year, and you don't even recognize my voice anymore?” The voice at the other end asked sounding slightly indignant. Ahmed glanced back at his brother, who shrugged he couldn't hear anything anyway.
“I have no idea who this is and it better not be you, Calix” Ahmed replied, rolling his eyes.
“Is not….you know what, forget it” The other person said before hanging up without half a warning.
Ahmed stood there holding the phone to his ear for a few more moments before walking back to his brother, phone in hand.
“What's the hell was that about?” Ajinahd asked as he looked through his cards again, coming up with a strategy to counter his brother's hand.
“Not entirely sure….” Ahmed replied, settling back in his place. Whatever that had been about, it was probably Calix pulling his leg…
Nothing to fret over….