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I Am.


Do you know who I am?

That is what I ask you. All I want to ask you. It is the only thing that comes to mind as you stand here before me, trapped like a rat as you are. The sole thing I think of as you fall to your knees, with nowhere to run or hide. In the darkness of this dead end, cut off from any form of salvation, it is this and this alone that I want to know of you.

I wonder if you ask yourself the same thing. If you think about it with every fearful step across the cobblestone, if it haunts you with every panicked breath you take. While I watch as you cry out for mercy, I am curious to see if you even want to know. I still assume you do. After all, like all men who walk this earth, you want a reason when harm befalls you. It is human nature and I truly contemplate giving you the answer.

I might as well. Though once I may have been cruel, I now believe that even you have the right to certain things. We are equals, after all. Not under God or under kings or queens, perhaps, but simply because the laws that protect mankind are born from reason rather than the divine. Therefore, I, in my own way, will be respectful to you.

Despite all you did, I shall not repay your misdeeds. I shall not beat you to make you feel my pain. I shall not put my hand around your throat to watch your fear take the better of you. I shall not mock you or taunt you for the way you wrong those around you at every chance you get. I shall not prolong your suffering nor shall I become you. That what you never gave, you shall now receive and you will go with honor as you will be given the mercy of a quick, clean passing.  

The way the Master taught me and countless others before me, I set about my task in a dignified manner. This thing I do is no longer an act of vengeance, though once I could only regard it as such. It is an act of which the purpose goes beyond my own needs, a service performed for the greater good. These are the laws I live by now, as do all my Brothers and Sisters with me.

Therefore, I feel nothing. Nothing at all as I do what was asked of me. Not a flicker of emotion as the steel of my blade slices through your skin. Not a twinge of feeling as the crimson blood spills out of your throat. No anger, no hatred, no sadness or even bitterness… As you sink onto the cold, hard stones of the street, it is perhaps only the gravity of the deed that weighs on me.

I simply watch as you succumb, struggling against the inevitable. Hands at your neck, trying to stop the blood from flowing and air from escaping, you look up at me. For the very first time, I can read fear in your eyes. What for, I wonder? Death? Why do you fear it? Is the thought of no longer existing so frightening to you? Do you have unfinished business? Are there loved ones you will leave behind? Or is it simply that you cannot believe someone such as yourself will meet his end this way?

It matters little now. Your life is rapidly fading and you realize that. You finally understand that it is useless to fight it, merely a delay of the inevitable. I can see how you slowly come to terms with it, but as you do, your swiftly fading eyes turn towards me again. With great effort, your lips part and you finally speak three words that I knew you would say.

You ask me who I am.

It is an easy question, isn't it? Simple, a standard inquiry, something you often ask when you first meet a new person. Still, seeing our current situation, it is probably the most misguided thing you could have asked.

You know me. Or at least, knew who I was. You know it all too well. After all, it is because of you that I stand here, watching over you as you give up on life. And yet, you still want to know who I am? It is hard to fathom that the very thing you already know shall be your last request, but it is not one that I shall deny you. I will honor your last wish, but first, I will tell you who I was.

I was the son of the noble family that you ruthlessly murdered because we spoke out against you.

I was the daughter of the farmers you burned in their own house to take possession of their land.  

I was the artist who didn't portray history the way you wanted others to see it.

I was the laborer who questioned if there was not more to life than serving the Borgia.

I was the husband whose wife was drowned because we could no longer pay the taxes.

I was the wife whose husband was hanged because he had the courage to resist when you tried to take what was ours.

I was the boy that was begging on the streets because you took away everyone he could have turned to.

I was the girl that you and your friends violated and left to die.

I was the man of whom you took everything.

I was the woman whom you would give everything as long as she bowed down to you.

I was the beggar. The outcast. The vigilante. The outlaw. The rebel. The victim…  

I was all of these people, in a past that is still as clear as day. I was every single person that you broke, beat, spat on, tortured or humiliated. Every last one whose life was shattered and dreams were snapped by your hands. But at the same time, I was also something else.

I was also the one who survived the tragedy you inflicted upon me.

The one who decided to keep on going rather than give up and wait for the end.

The one who realized that I didn't deserve what had happened to me.

The one who found salvation in my inner sense of justice and the edge of a blade.

The one who, in my darkest hour, looked up and found your greatest foe standing over me, extending the helpful, compassionate hand that I had so far been denied.

The one who took that hand and felt the unmistakable truth when that hooded man told me that, at last, the liberation of Rome had begun…

I remain frozen as I look at you now. Or rather, I look at what's left of you. It is not a beautiful sight. Your body has gone limp, your eyes have glazed over. Dirt is starting to soil your expensive robes. The gaping hole in your throat no longer releases blood to add to that which has seeped onto the stones. Any sign of life is gone now, leaving nothing but an empty shell that will soon crumble to dust.

It tells me what I already suspected. You are no longer with me now. That what kept you in this world has been taken away and nothing will wait for you as you pass to the other side. My work here is finished and it is better that I leave before anyone finds your remains. Our kind rarely gets caught, elusive as we are, and it is a trait that I proudly uphold.

I do not look back as I turn away. I have no need to. All I am concerned with as of this moment is to report back to the hooded man, my Master. I am eager to tell him that I have succeeded and performed well. I have followed every tenet of his Creed and I gave you your final request as I did.

You asked who I am. I admit I couldn't tell you that in time. The eternal sleep is not a patient fellow and he did not wait for the words to leave my mouth. Nonetheless, I think you know. I am certain you do. I could tell that when you fought to stay in the realm of the living a little longer, the answer finally dawned on you and as I closed your eyes and told you to rest in peace, you finally understood who I am.

So who am I? I will tell you. I will tell you the truth you have tried to run from. The revelation that you tried to deny until your last painful breath. All that you never wanted to face up to in your lifetime, I will lay out before you now, so you and those of your kind will no longer disregard it.

I am the living evidence that what goes around comes around and that everything you do has its price. I am the one thing you would now like to forget. I am the crime that you thought was without consequences. The wrongdoing you thought no one would see. The sin of which you thought the priest could absolve you. I was the one you convicted, but now, I am your judge, jury and executioner.

I am your opposition.

Your sworn enemy.

Your inescapable curse.

Your most fatal mistake.

After all you and your fellow Templars put me through, I am now your worst nightmare come to life.

I am an Assassin.
For the :iconvisionaryassassins: contest. The theme is "You're Hired".

The idea for this contest was to write about Ezio's recruits in Brotherhood. Who are they? What is their story? Why did they want to join Ezio?

This, of course, gives you a lot of freedom, but as I tried to think of a good story, I realized that, whatever their gender, age, life view or background is, all recruits have one thing in common: they suffered from the Borgia and those who served them. This, to me, seemed really interesting and I decided to continue working along those lines.

EDIT: Holy shit, I got first place! :jawdrop: Thank you so much to anyone who voted for me!

All random Assassin recruits belong to Ubisoft.
Add a Comment:
 
:iconloveydovey101:
loveydovey101 Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2011
this is amazing
Reply
:iconladyve:
LadyVe Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2011
I am glad you think so. Thanks for faving too. :)
Reply
:iconstringbeanie:
stringbeanie Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
I have cold sweat now. I really, really love the way you put everything to words. You inspire me. Great job and congrats! :)
Reply
:iconladyve:
LadyVe Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2011
Well, I'm very happy to hear such a compliment. :)
Reply
:iconkvm2011:
kvm2011 Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2011
Goosebumps. Teary eyes.
Beautifully written.
Reply
:iconladyve:
LadyVe Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2011
Well, I'm happy to know that you have enjoyed it so much. :)
Reply
:iconreddistantsun:
reddistantsun Featured By Owner May 11, 2011
I definitely won't hesitate to add to this to my favs.

A brilliant and creative piece. I always have held a soft soft for the recruits.

Truly you have outdone yourself and well done. :thumbsup: :clap:
Reply
:iconladyve:
LadyVe Featured By Owner May 11, 2011
Thanks. I had never written in this style before, so I was taking a gamble. I'm glad it turned out so well. :)
Reply
:iconcounterkill:
Counterkill Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2011
This... ISSSSS... AWWWESOME! :iconlawooplz:
Reply
:iconladyve:
LadyVe Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2011
I'm glad that you think so. :)
Reply
:icondranzerga:
dranzerga Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2011
wow........that would put the biggest grin on ezio's face
Reply
:iconladyve:
LadyVe Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2011
He'd be proud of his little recruits. :)
Reply
:icondranzerga:
dranzerga Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2013
Edward: a little melodramatic don't you think?
Reply
:iconladyve:
LadyVe Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2013
Edward doesn't do recruits: he's too cool for that.
Reply
:icondranzerga:
dranzerga Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2013
Point taken
Reply
:iconpikolove:
PikoLove Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2011
oh my god! this was fantastic! the style was spectacular and gave me chills! :love:
revel in that first place feeling; you've most certainly earned it! :D
Reply
:iconladyve:
LadyVe Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2011
Well, I'm glad that you enjoyed it so much! I had never written in this style before, so it was a real gamble to me. :) Never expected a first place either. Thanks for faving and commenting. :D
Reply
:iconpikolove:
PikoLove Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2011
It was really something to read, I really enjoyed it a lot! :D
Reply
:iconlycandre:
Lycandre Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2011
This fic is completely amazing! Wonderful to see that you delved into the recruits' character so artfully and in such a way that I was so emotionally moved by it. Very well done, and congrats on first place! (Even though I'm commenting on this quite a bit later, lol.)
Reply
:iconladyve:
LadyVe Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2011
Thank you for the huge compliment. This was an experiment for me too: I had never really written a story in this style. I was kind of surprised it was so well-received. Thanks for faving it too: it's appreciated. :)
Reply
:iconboomsheika:
Boomsheika Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
that was purely amazing in every way
Reply
:iconladyve:
LadyVe Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2011
Well, I'm glad you think so! :)
Reply
:iconlialice:
Lialice Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2011  Student General Artist
This is beautifully written. I wish I could make use of the English language like that... Maybe Ihave to start writing fanfic in German... :(
Reply
:iconladyve:
LadyVe Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2011
I'm happy that you think it's good. :) And if German works for you, then write in that language. :)
Reply
:iconcrmsndragonwngs:
crmsndragonwngs Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
I love the build up. Beautifully written, well done :)
Reply
:iconladyve:
LadyVe Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2011
Thanks. I hope it'll go over well in the contest.
Reply
:iconwaterlilly1307:
waterlilly1307 Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2010
It's awesome!
Beautiful written! Great style! And interesting concept!
Well Done!
Reply
:iconladyve:
LadyVe Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2010
Glad you think so. I realzied that no matter how different all the Assassins are, they have this one thing in common: they are the ones wronged by the Borgia, but also the ones who survibed and thought back. It just seemed nice to work with that idea. :) Thanks for the watch too. :) :hug:
Reply
:iconwaterlilly1307:
waterlilly1307 Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2010
Of course its nice idea. They indeed have this in common and I'm intenidng to write something involving that idea. Like how Ezio can acts like their leader or smth (as far as I know it's just barely shown Ezio as leader in the game) so...
And you're welcome, I like your stuff a lot..
Thanks for the watch as well :hug:
Reply
:iconkarun09:
KARUN09 Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
A pure piece of art :iconrlytearplz:
Reply
:iconladyve:
LadyVe Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2010
Glad you think it's good. Thank you so much for the fave too! :glomp:
Reply
:iconkarun09:
KARUN09 Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
ur welcome!! :icongwompplz:
Reply
:iconyarngirl:
yarngirl Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2010  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
This is... this is... gorgeous. Beautifully written, so evocative and visual. I think I'll have to re-read this a few times to make sure I didn't miss anything.

Brava!
Reply
:iconladyve:
LadyVe Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2010
And thank you so much for the kind comment and the fave. :hug:
Reply
:iconreleveemysweet:
ReleveeMySweet Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Wow, this is amazing. Very, very well written. :D
Reply
:iconladyve:
LadyVe Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2010
Glad you think so. :)
Reply
:iconarithusa:
Arithusa Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2010  Student General Artist
Oh my goodness.. this was absolutely remarkable.
The way you used your words and the way the reader is so easily able to empathize with the tragedies you wrote out.
Absolutely remarkable.
Gave me a few drawing ideas too.
Reply
:iconladyve:
LadyVe Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2010
Whoa, I'm just happy to know you like it so much. :D Thanks!
Reply
:iconarithusa:
Arithusa Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2010  Student General Artist
Yay. ouo
But yeah, this was awesome to read. Now it'll allow me to better empathize with my little recruits whenever I play Brotherhood. I've always liked them, but now I like them even more. :meow:
Reply
:iconmagicallycapricious:
MagicallyCapricious Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm speechless oAo this is just awesome!
Reply
:iconladyve:
LadyVe Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2010
Gald you think so. thanks for faving! :glomp:
Reply
:iconmarywesker:
MaryWesker Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
That was absolutely beautiful! I loved it! Words can't describe my feelings as I read this; and as a writer myself I can only hope to produce something so incredible someday. :heart:
Reply
:iconladyve:
LadyVe Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2010
Glad to know you enjoyed it and thanks for faving! :hug: I've never written in this style before, so it's ncie to see taht otehrs like it.
Reply
:iconmarywesker:
MaryWesker Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh you're very welcome! Thank you for sharing that wonderful piece of art! Oh, you should try that more often, you've got a knack for it!
Reply
:icontreskift:
treskift Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2010
This is written so perfectly that I have no words:heart:
I started writing on a fic about a recruit just yesterday and now you've given me new inspiration!

So thank you for this amazing piece of art!
Reply
:iconladyve:
LadyVe Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2010
Well, I'm so happy that you enjoyed it. This was an experiment for me because I usually don't write in this style. It's nice to see it's well-received. Thanks a bunch for the fave and comment! :hug:
Reply
:icontreskift:
treskift Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2010
You're very welcome!
Reply
:iconseige-ay:
Seige-ay Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
Amazing ~ I've no words to explain how lovely this is :)
Reply
:iconladyve:
LadyVe Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2010
No problem! Thank YOU for faving! :)
Reply
:iconseige-ay:
Seige-ay Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
It's my pleasure! :hug:
Reply
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