You are a hitman.

But then again, so is everyone else in this poorly lit, over-crowded office. “HITman” is an acronym that stands for Human Intelligence Task … man, coined last June by the company’s Community Motivation Monitor, a volunteer brown-noser named Jerry, who you’re fairly certain isn’t being paid any extra for taking on the responsibility.

At some point in the 90s, your employer discovered that, despite the obvious advantages of modern computers, there are still certain tasks that human brains are more adept at performing — things like recognizing simple colors, converting images of business cards into text, and listing objects in a photograph. When giant corporations need these small tasks done, they assign them to your employer for pennies, and your employer, in turn, assigns them to you for even less. It’s the equivalent of doing CAPTCHAs for a living, and it’s definitively awful.

Having just arrived, you sit down with a large mocha bravo latte, the one small joy able to propel you through a working week. It cost the same as you earn in an hour, so you better start making it up.

You turn on your computer. A message reads: “Identify the most common name of this color.”

Task1


Type “blue”.


Type “orange”.

“Nice work,” you say to yourself patronizingly. You hit “next”, and another task appears on screen. It reads: “Type the name and title of the person represented on this business card in plain text, name and position separated by a comma.”


Type “John Smith, marketing manager”.


Type “Furly Wrinkleface, pet taxidermist”.

It’s not like anyone is double-checking this stuff anyway, you think as you randomly choose an answer. You hit “next”, and another task appears on screen: “Type the name and title of the person represented on this business card in plain text, name and position separated by a comma.”


Type “John Smith, marketing manager”.


Type “Furly Wrinkleface, pet taxidermist”.

This has got to be what it feels like for NASA employees when they recover astronauts from dangerous situations!, you think sarcastically. You hit “next”, and another task appears on screen. It reads: “Identify the objects in this photo, separated by a comma.”


You type, “lamp, table”.


You type, “Your mom, your mom”. Hilarious.

You’re too focused on the mocha-flavored caffeine swirling over your tongue to give a damn about the photo. By day’s end, you’ll have done over a thousand of these, and the accuracy will level out to a clean 95% or higher. Exactly what you need to avoid being canned. You hit “next”, and another task appears on screen. It reads: “Identify the objects in this photo, separated by a comma.”


You type, “lamp, table”.


You type, “Your mom, your mom”. Hilarious.

As you select the right answer, a strange chat window appears on your screen. The username is “Trinitus” and the message reads: “You are a lock. Discover the key at sunset.” Soon, an address appears beneath it. A quick Google Maps search shows a small parking lot behind the abandoned gas station a few blocks from your apartment.


“I’m not about to show up in some vacant lot after dark because someone figured out my AOL Instant Messenger handle. Who is this?”


“Sure. I’ve got nothing else going on tonight … or any night.”


It’s a creative scam, sure, but it’s a scam. Close the window and go back to work like this never happened.

As you try to make this job look harder than it actually is by purposely tanking an answer, a strange chat window appears on your screen. The username is “Trinitus” and the message reads: “You are a lock. Discover the key in fifteen minutes.” Soon, an address appears beneath it. A quick Google Maps search shows a small parking lot behind an abandoned gas station about ten minutes away. Leaving work will probably get you fired, and the rent is just about due.


“I’m not about to show up in some vacant lot because someone figured out my AOL Instant Messenger handle. Who is this?”


“Sure. I’ve got nothing else going on tonight … or any night.”


It’s a creative scam, sure, but it’s a scam. Close the window and go back to work like this never happened.

You angrily type the reply and wait. A few seconds pass, and this “Trinitus” character still hasn’t written you back. It looks like whoever was messaging you has either signed off or decided to ignore your question.


If they can’t be bothered replying, then you can’t bother being bothered. It was probably just a bad joke anyway. Close the window.


Stand up from your desk and make for the parking lot. You are a lock! Well, your mom always said you had potential, anyway.

You stand up hurriedly, smashing the tops of your thighs into the bottom of your desk as you rise from the uncomfortable chair that’s been your butt’s best friend for far too long. The noise of your keyboard rattling against the corkboard attracts the attention of your coworkers.

“Woah-ho-ho!” Jerry yells excitedly from a cubicle across the small room. “Someone is excited to do Human Intelligence Tasks this morning! We should all learn from–“

“Go munch on someone’s beard, Jerry!” you yell as you stomp out of the room. You were never very good at insults.

Soon, you find yourself on the street where you left your car parked beside a meter not ten minutes ago. You won’t be getting a refund for the prepaid time, but that $3.25 doesn’t matter now. Oh no, you’ve got a destiny waiting for you, a big, stinking, important destiny that no one can take away from you. And you know that it’s true because it was, uh, implied by some … random … person … on the internet. Oh boy. Your enthusiasm drains out of you, but seeing as how you already told Jerry to munch on a beard, you decide to drive to the lot anyway.

You arrive to find the old gas station even more abandoned than you remember, if that’s even possible. Stepping quietly, you trace its border cautiously, looking for something, anything that may have been left for you. Suddenly, you hear footsteps approaching quickly behind you from the adjoining trees.


It’s a trap! Run for your life!


It’s a trap! Muster those karate lessons you took from age 5 – 11 and turn to face your attacker.


It’s a trap! You’re good at neither running, nor fighting. Probably best to just stand here dumbly and hope it’s a squirrel.

TheEnd

You close the chat window and laugh. “A lock,” you say quietly. “What a crock.” Oh look, you’ve made a rhyme! And that’s probably the most impressive thing you accomplished in the forty-three years between five seconds ago and your eventual congestive heart failure.

The end … (my friend).


Go back to last checkpoint.

TheEnd

You coil your fingers around the grip and let her spin off of you, leaving the gun in your hand.

“Ha!” you exclaim proudly, as you begin to stand. “You weren’t expecting–“

Before you can finish the sentence, the pointed heel of her left boot connects sharply with your wrist. The gun flies into the air. As your eyes follow the gun, you don’t see the woman’s shoulder violently rushing your collarbone, knocking you back down to the pavement.

As she catches the gun, it discharges, and its flash is the last thing you’ll see.

The end.


Go back to last checkpoint.

Blackness

You coil your fingers around the grip and let her spin off of you, leaving the gun in your hand. As you stand you discard it into the woods behind you.

“You would not defend yourself?” she asks from the shadow of her hood.

“I don’t need a gun to–“

Before you can finish the sentence, she’s darted beside you. Your eyes catch a swift flash of metal being raised to your neck before your vision goes blurry. Your knees wobble, and a moment later your cheek is flat against the ground.

The world goes black. You do not dream.

A gentle hand is on your shoulder, shaking it. The air is suddenly chilled, and the ground below you has changed to what feels like a thin layer of cotton.


Open your eyes.

“Remember your training,” your old instructor seems to breathe across the wind. You take a deep breath and pivot quickly to confront this aggressor head on. Turning reveals a tall woman dressed in a black hoodie and jeans coming at you. Her hands are fists, and she’s moving faster than anyone you’ve ever seen. You slowly point your toes toward her, and shift your weight to your front leg.

This sudden movement, if you could call it a movement, seems to surprise her. She probably expected you to run or dodge – anything but just stand there in a half-cocked Zenkutsu Dachi stance – but you didn’t. You did the only thing you could remember from the only martial training you’ve ever received. It’s too late for her to slow down. She barrels into you at speed.

The impact hurts, and is followed by a roll across the asphalt. Soon, the momentum wanes and your arm is caught beneath her. You feel the shape of a gun holstered in the waist of her pants.


This is a life or death scenario. Attempt to grab the gun.


A gun? It’s better if neither of us have the chance to use it. Attempt to subdue her with hand-to-hand combat.

Blackness

Frozen by a familiar cocktail of fear, indecision, and general droopiness you remain still and close your eyes. The footsteps suddenly slow as they approach, made cautious, perhaps, by your strange lack of response to the assault. You continue your strategy and the footsteps silence.

A lengthy twenty seconds goes by and, for a moment, you allow yourself to think that whoever was coming after you has left. The bag placed over your head directly afterwards implies otherwise, and the needle that enters your neck confirms it.

The world goes black. You do not dream.

A gentle hand is on your shoulder, shaking it. The air is suddenly chilled, and the ground below you has changed to what feels like a thin layer of cotton.


Open your eyes.

Blackness

You look around frantically, and see a set of old scaffolding running up the side of the adjacent building. As you run toward it, the sound of your pursuer’s footsteps are lost amidst the sound of your own, leaving you blind to his or her whereabouts.

You reach the scaffolding and attempt to climb it, suddenly realizing that this sort of physical activity is much, much harder in real life than it is in videogames and movies. Every bar up is like doing a pull up, and you’ve never been able to do even one of those. A bag is soon pulled over your head from behind, and a needle to your neck is quick to follow.

The world goes black. You do not dream.

A gentle hand is on your shoulder, shaking it. The air is suddenly chilled, and the ground below you has changed to what feels like a thin layer of cotton.


Open your eyes.

Animus

Your vision is still blurry, and the all-white, over-lit room you’ve woken up in isn’t helping things. The voice of man speaks from near by. “Do you believe in fate?” it asks.

“No,” you reply groggily.

“Why not?” it asks.

“Because I don’t like the idea that I’m not in control of my life,” you answer, trying to sit up. You find your wrists and ankles bound by straps.

“I know exactly what you mean,” he responds. “Let me tell you why you are here. You have come because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your whole life, felt that something is wrong with the world. You don’t know what, but it’s there like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad. It is this feeling that brought you to me. Do you know what I’m talking about?”

“The… Matrix?” you reply. “Are you reading the script of The Matrix?” You turn your head to the side and finally see the man speaking, seated behind a laptop. He smiles and closes it.

“Yes,” he says chuckling. “But enough fantasy. I’m here to talk to you about a space apple that your genetic ancestors have sought since the dawn of recorded history. That’s why you’re here. We’re going to upload your brain into a machine called the Animus, which will allow you to sort of memory-time-travel into the body of your assassin great-great blah blah blah yadda yadda granddad. Once inside you need to find this space apple, and come back here to tell us where to find it. We don’t know what it is or what it looks like – there is, like, nothing about it on Google – but we really, really, want to get a hold of it. In return, you get to not have the worst job of all time for a spell. Got all that? Good, let’s get started.”

“I … uh, well … huh?” you manage. Either the drugs that were injected into your blood still haven’t worn off, or your kidnappers are talking about time-travelling, fruit-fueled killers.

“The machine is just calibrating, so please bear with us. There’s no manual for these things online, you know? Oh, and I’m Danny, by the way. But people who know me well call me Handsome Danny because, well, you can see for yourself. Over there on the main console is Greta, and that woman looming in the corner is Penelope – I believe you two have already met.”


Ask Handsome Danny about where you’re going.


Ask Greta about the machine, and the identity of the group.


Ask Penelope about the space apple.

Animus

“Danny– ” you start.

“Handsome Danny,” he replies off-handedly, back behind his laptop.

Between his small gut and silly orange vest, he’s really not that handsome, but you can tell the label is important to him. “Handsome Danny,” you begin again. “Were you serious about all of that time travel stuff?”

“Absolutely.”

“So where are you, uh, trying to send me exactly?” you ask.

“1492: The court of Isabella I of Castile and her husband, Ferdinand II of Aragon. Queen and king of a newly united Spain,” he replies.

“You said I was entering the body of my ancestor, right? So, I’m royalty? I always knew I was more– “

“Nope,” he interrupts. “You’ll be inhabiting the body of one Rodrigo de Escobedo, secretary of the fleet of Christopher Columbus.”

The Christopher Columbus? Wow. But ‘secretary’ seems a bit– “

“Lame?”

“Yes,” you reply meekly.

“Don’t worry,” he replies. “You come from a long line of assassins, men and women born with near superhuman powers. You may be inhabiting a simple secretary on the outside, but on the inside, you’re a natural-born thief, killer, diplomat, and hero in waiting. It’s in your blood.”

“Really?” you ask suspiciously. “Because I feel like I would have noticed all that before now…”

“We know the apple is on one of the many islands Columbus visited on his voyage to ‘discover’ America – apparently no one in Isabella’s court ever bothered visiting Leif Ericson’s Wikipedia page – but we don’t know which one. Find the apple, and you’ll find your potential. I’m probably sure of it.”


Ask Greta about the machine, and the identity of the group.


Ask Penelope about the space apple.


I’m done asking important questions that will probably help contextualize my experience. Prepare to be Animusized.

Animus

“It’s Greta, right?” you ask the young woman standing across the room. She’s diminutive in everything but her eyes, which seem almost too large for her face. Unlike the other two, she’s dressed like a teenager, all the way up to her high-seated black ponytail.

The girl shyly leans her head to the side of the screen and smiles at you. “That’s me,” she says quietly.

“So, who are you guys?” you ask. “And what is this thing I’m strapped to?”

She lightly steps over to you and speaks quietly. “Danny is our resident Wikipedia Expert — Harvard educated, of course,” she says. “If you need to know anything about historical events while in the machine, he’ll be able to quickly look them up in Wikipedia for you, and read facts as if he knew them off the top of his head. I’m just IT, more or less. I work the machine. And Penelope, well, not really sure what her story is. She just sort of showed up one day and offered to help Danny and me. We were weirded out at first, but even though we know nothing of her motives or history, it turns out she has unbelievable strength, speed, agility and fighting skills, so we figured, why not? Welcome aboard!”

“Well that’s … a bit disconcerting,” you reply. She looks at you quizzically. “Never mind. So, ‘welcome aboard’, huh? ‘Welcome aboard’ to what exactly?”

“Danny and I were interns at a company called Abstergo,” she answers. “They invented the machine, but things didn’t go, uh, so well for us over there, so we stole the Animus prototype, and … well, anyway, enough about that.”

“A prototype?” you ask. “So, it’s not even a fully-functional genetic memory time travel device?”

“It has its little quirks,” she replies merrily. “But I know what I’m doing.”

“Thanks, Greta,” you say. “You’ve actually made me feel a bit better about all of this.”

Greta blushes. “Thanks, but there’s only so much I can do, of course. Remember, if you die in your memories, you die in real life, too!”

“What, what?!” you exclaim.

“Good thing you’re an assassin!” she says happily, returning to her work.


Ask Handsome Danny about where you’re going.


Ask Penelope about the space apple.


I’m done asking important questions that will probably help contextualize my experience. Prepare to be Animusized.

Animus

Penelope leans against a nearby corner, tall and muscular. She’s dressed all in black between a hoodie, t-shirt, and jeans. Her face is twisted into a scowl beneath a mop of long, brown hair.

“Nice to see you again, Penelope,” you say sarcastically.

Penelope casually lifts a large knife from its belt holster, and lowers it again without meeting your eyes.

“So, uh, what do you know about this space apple thing?” you ask awkwardly, trying to spark a conversation.

She runs to the side of your bed and speaks through quick and passionate words. “The Piece of — the Space Apple thing that we know nothing about is an incredible piece of transdimensional power in physical form. We must find the apple, and your genetic code contains the key to all of it. If you fail, I will spin up your esophagus with a fork and spoon like overcooked spaghetti before offering it as food to your family as they wither inside of my dungeon. And it will be a choice between lunching on your gullet or a slow, agonizing starvation for each and every one of them before the end!”

“Okay,” you reply. “So, uh, who are you again?”

Penelope walks back toward the corner and ignores further questions.


Ask Greta about the machine, and the identity of the group.


Ask Handsome Danny about where you’re going.


I’m done asking important questions that will probably help contextualize my experience. Prepare to be Animusized.

“Okay, I think this is the button,” you hear Greta say. “Wait, no, it’s this one.”

As you turn to look at her, your body is suddenly upright and free of restraints. The silent room grows noisy with the sound of ten different conversations that slowly fade from Spanish to English, the only language in which you’re fluent. You pat yourself to make sure it’s all real. Your fingers find a doublet over your chest, and raise to find a thick beard across your chin, and what feels like an extremely silly hat on top of your black, curly hair.

“Stop fondling yourself, and pay attention,” a man says quietly into your ear. “This affects you, too.”

You turn to him, as he turns his attention to a man and woman seated in large, ornate chairs ahead of him. This must be the king and queen that Danny was talking about.

“But your majesty,” the man beside you pleads, “this expense is but a pittance compared the vast riches that discovering a sea passage to the West Indies would bring Spain.”

“We agree, Mister Columbus, but cannot give what we do not possess. If you find your funding, you will have our support,” the woman – presumably Isabella – replies. “Now, leave us.”

Columbus bows politely to the queen and turns, grabbing you harshly by the arm and dragging you alongside of him as he walks toward the back of the court.

“Fix it,” he says, releasing you harshly against the wall.

“But I– ” you say in an unfamiliar voice. As Columbus storms off, another man approaches you.

That’s Rodrigo Sanchez, you hear Danny’s voice narrate to you.

You look around frantically for the source of the words. They seem to be projecting from all around you, and no one else in the room seems to have noticed.

“Do not look so worried, my friend,” Rodrigo laughs, strongly patting your shoulder. “There are ways to find the money if you only know where to look.”

If you ever hope to find this apple, or even meet your potential as an assassin, you’re going to have to get this ship on the water.

“One moment, Rodrigo,” you say through a wide smile before ducking out into the hall to collect your thoughts.


Call Handsome Danny with your … brain? He probably as more information about Rodrigo and how this voyage was funded.


Speak with Rodrigo before consulting with Handsome Danny.

Handsome Danny, you think loudly. Nothing happens. “Hey, Handsome Danny,” you say in a stage-whisper. “Is this thing on?”

I’m observing your memories as you control them, if that’s what you’re asking, you hear his voice project.

“What do I do now?” you ask. “I thought I was supposed to be some sort of assassin, not an accountant!”

Actually, Rodrigo is Columbus’s accountant, Danny replies. Well, comptroller technically, but it’s basically the same thing. Anyway, according to the Abstergo database we found on a thumb drive, he’s also an assassin. You can trust him.

“Is he going to suggest some sort investment IRA 401k type of solution?” you ask. “I’d rather be, you know, fulfilling my destiny and stuff. With swords, if possible.”

I don’t know, he replies. This stuff isn’t on Wikipedia. But a quick Google search does mention that hunting hides was very profitable in the late 15th century. You might sate your apparent bloodlust while still getting the money together. I don’t know, that’s as far as my expertise on this matter goes.


Work with the accountant.


Depart for the woods outside of the city.

You decide to speak with Rodrigo about the funds, and find him at the back of Isabella’s court.

“Rodrigo! My closest friend and confidant!” you say, hugging him.

“I didn’t realize you thought us so close,” he says, lightly removing you from his torso, “but … I thank you.”

Cool it, Danny chimes in.

“So, you had some ideas about the money,” you say. “Please, I’m anxious to hear them, regardless of how boring they may be.”

Rodrigo pulls you close. “There is no time for boring accounting, my friend. If you want to find that money, and quickly, you’ll need a method beyond good bookkeeping. You may have heard Isabella claiming that the Spanish crown does not have the funds for our master, however, that simply isn’t true. The coffers are low, yes, but the money is there. You simply need to choose how best to extract it.”

“Then what are my options?”

“Did you see the red and white pearl necklace hanging proudly around Isabella’s throat? Rumor has it that such jewels are valued far beyond the price of an expedition such as ours. And speaking of rumors, there’s another that whispers certain … unloyalties of good Ferdinand to his dear wife. He may be willing to part with much for such a rumor to remain a rumor. Now, if you’re feeling conflicted about doing harm to the monarchs, you could always attempt to remove an obstacle standing in their way. War with Granada draws near, and her sultan’s expedient disappearance might, shall we say, lubricate the funding process of our voyage. I leave the path, and the details, to you.” He steps back and smiles.

“Thank you,” you reply. “You’ve given me much to consider.”

“Consider this also,” he replies. “I will be watching. And if you do well, there may be other opportunities we can discuss.”

With that, Rodrigo disappears into the crowd.


Get more information from Handsome Danny.


Attempt to steal the queen’s necklace.


Attempt to blackmail the king.


Travel to Granada and attempt to assassinate the sultan.

WolvesInWoods

You decide to jump right into the action, and test out the genetic assassin skills you were promised on some valuable animal butts. Your new duds came complete with a dueling sword, so as far as you’re concerned, you’re completely good to go.

Travelling by foot, you arrive in the woods near sunset and immediately happen upon a large pack of nine wolves travelling over a hill in the near distance. What luck! Those creatures are sure to provide a challenge worthy of your heritage and their pelts should sell for a fine coin.

Attacking the full pack successfully should yield nine pelts at once, but is a great risk to your person. On the other hand, baiting one wolf to branch off before attacking it will be safer, but risk taking too long for Columbus’s voyage.


Attack the pack.


Wait and bait.

“Handsome Danny, what do you think?” you ask once you’re alone.

One sec, he replies. You can hear the sound of typing while you wait. Alright, it says here that Isabella’s necklace is indeed worth a great deal of money, but it’s not under special guard. She wears it during the day, and leaves it in an unlocked jewelry box at night. Historically speaking, she’ll eventually pawn it to finance a war. As for Ferdinand, I’m not seeing anything here but the fact that he was deeply in love with Isabella – a rare thing for royal marriages – but that doesn’t necessarily mean he didn’t also have someone on the side that historians never discovered.

“All the better for a blackmailing,” you reply.

Maybe, he says. As for this assassination, things are looking grim on that front. Seems the Sultan that Rodrigo was referring to is one Muhammad XII of Granada, and this guy does not look like a pushover. And, don’t forget: Granada is not exactly next door. No offense – really – but from what I’ve seen so far, I’m not seeing this as your best option.

“What are you saying?”

I’m saying that if were me, I’d go for that necklace. Blackmail can get messy fast, but it could still work if there’s evidence behind it. This assassination is out of your reach, and remember, Rodrigo is watching. You need to do this right to get his attention. He’s our best lead right now.


Work on a plan to steal the necklace.


Work on a plan to blackmail the king.


Work on a plan to assassinate the sultan.

You decide to steal the necklace. After all, you know it exists, you know it’s worth as much money as Columbus needs, and you know that there’s got to be someone around this city willing to fence it for a nice cut of the profits.

Walking back into court, you get a better view: a simple thing, clasped around the back with a twist of gold wire. Pearls are light enough, and based on how long she’s been wearing it, her neck probably won’t feel any differently if someone were to remove it.

The trouble, of course, is getting close enough to pocket it. Making an attempt during the day would be the most unexpected, and if she allows you close enough, then her guards won’t see any cause for alarm. It’s a brazen move.

Another option is to wait for nightfall and steal it from her jewelry box. The container may not be locked, but there will surely be patrols of guards, and two people in bed to potentially disturb and awaken. The cloak of night may feel safer, but such a theft would be far from child’s play.


Use your dashing charms to flirt with Isabella and get close enough for the grab.


Wait for nightfall and sneak into her room.

Blackmail is an ancient and respected art. Well, ancient, anyway. And proven. Yeah, you convince yourself, this is my move.

Your play depends on Ferdinand being unfaithful — no room for doubts now — making the question, “When?” There are two ways to go about exploiting this man for his sinful lust: observation or agitation.

Observation is waiting, following the king until what you believe is the inevitable outcome: two naked people, only one of them royalty. Catching him in this manner would involve stealth and cunning, but you gain the chance of uncovering a meaningful affair, one that’s ongoing, and therefore ultimately more profitable.

The other route would be to simply hire a comely young Spanish maiden to seduce him. If his libido is as vigorous as you are led to believe, you should have no problem luring him into the trap. The blackmail could also be performed by the woman, keeping you farther from the transaction.


Observation


Agitation

4

You spend the rest of the day making travel plans, booking passage with a travelling merchant, and visiting the blacksmith to sharpen your sword. While there, you make sure to purchase a few throwing knives just in case things get messy.

The following morning, the merchant departs with you seated near the back of his cheese wagon. You choose a comfortable wheel of Gouda to sit on, and fall asleep waiting to arrive in Granada.

Later, you find yourself awoken as the cart slows to a stop. You stand and look past the driver to the road ahead, spying four armed men blocking the road. One of them approaches the back of the wagon, as you step to the dirt, knocking a few packages of cheese to the ground as you go.

“And who are you to stop this merchant?” you ask him.

“Asking about Granada,” the man replies casually. “Even sharpening your sword … ” He brings a gloved hand against the blade holstered at your side and flicks the steel. “Did you think we had no presence in Spain with war so close?”

“I don’t know what you’re–” you try.

“Please,” the man says, stepping back from you. “Spare me the lies. They won’t spare your life.” He draws his blade and charges forward. Just before he cuts you, his boot catches a discarded wheel of cheese. He tumbles onto his sword, and impales himself. The three men accompanying him begin to run in your direction.


Drop your sword and submit. These three men’s boots are unlikely to meet such a serendipitous wheel of cheese as their comrade’s.


Stand and fight. You are an assassin. You knew it might come to this.

Wolf

What’s the point in being a master of death if you can’t flay a few hounds against the edge of your blade? Drawing your steel, you rush the hill, waving your weapon out ahead of you in wild, inaccurate flails. For a moment, the wolves look at you, perhaps with a sense of utter bewilderment.

Before you can inflict the slightest wound, one wolf has your leg. Once on the ground, there’s nothing that can stop the smorgasbord that is you.

The end.


Go back to last checkpoint.

Without the proper supplies for baiting wolves – if proper supplies for baiting wolves is even a thing – you decide that you’ll need to use your sharp, assassin cunning. Hiding behind a tree near the pack, you grab a small stone and throw it at the nearest wolf. You miss, but hit another instead. It lifts its head and looks around.

You lift another stone and aim at the wolf you hit, but miss and hit the one for which you’d been aiming the first time. This wolf seems much more interested in discovering who’s throwing rocks at him than his pack mate, and begins to sniff the wind. Soon, he is heading in your direction.

With your scent now in his nose, you move farther away from the hill, drawing him further and further away from the safety of his pack. Seeing your moment, you leap from behind a tree, sword aimed at the beast’s maw. He jumps to the side easily, and tears at your side. The pain is immense.

You wave your sword, trying to fight it off, and barely scrape the side of its hide. It whines, and runs back toward the hill. Soon, he will return with the pack.

You run back toward the town, eventually running out of breath near a brook. Sitting behind a rock, you spy a group of beavers. Nice fur, large leathery tails? These could be just as good as the wolves, and far less dangerous.


Attack the pack of beavers.


Attempt to lure a single beaver to the rock.


Forget this hunting stuff, go back and talk to the accountant.

Sword drawn and pride hurt, you rush the beavers. Expecting at least some of them to flee, they instead turn to face you like ranks of a tiny brown militia. You’re able to cut the tail from one poor animal before the others descend upon you with their teeth, teeth sharp and strong enough to fell might trees. You fare significantly less well against them.

Though you may never have helped to discover the New World, your bones did go on to become a vital component of a nearby dam for thirteen months, and some would argue that’s just as important.

The end.


Go back to last checkpoint.

You’re even less sure about attracting beavers than you were about attracting wolves, so you simply begin to tap the water noisily with your fingers as if trying to get the attention of a dog. Eventually, a single beaver looks up at you and cocks its head.

“Come on, little guy,” you coo, sword drawn and waiting.

The beaver inches closer and you swing down at it, grossly miscalculating your blade’s reach. Your eyes follow your weapon down, and notice a small group of baby beaver kits playing with a nearby twig. You barely missed them.

You look back toward the beaver you initially attacked and, based on its suddenly nasty facial expression, can safely assume it to be the mother. Before you can lift your sword, it’s dug its large two front teeth into the side of your arm. You shake the mamma beaver from your limb, and recover your blade. Your attacker lies dazed at your feet.


These dam beavers are going down.


Enough blood has been shed this day. Cut your losses and head back to meet with the accountant.

“My, my, my, Queen!” you exclaim loudly across the small court. “Why, you look ravishing, my modern model of a monarch.” Applying your most scintillating strut, you stride down center court and approach the thrones.

“And who are you to approach us?” Ferdinand asks sternly.

“Just an admirer of your most wonderful wife, my liege,” you reply, putting a careful foot forward toward the royal platform, keeping your eyes locked to Isabella’s.

“And –” the king begins.

“Let him speak,” Isabella interrupts. “His brazen actions have me curious as to his intent.” She smiles at you. “Well, speak such intent if you will, sir.”

“I have heard about your troubles with Granada,” you say, keeping your tone as honeyed as possible. “May I?” You nod toward her throne. She shrugs, and you step upon the platform, circling behind her.

“And I was thinking that if you were to send your main force here” – you carefully place a hand on her shoulder – “and sweep south into the city this way … ” – you trace the hand down the side of her arm while the other sneaks toward her necklace. You feel its latch between your fingers. One small movement and the necklace drops into your palm.

“Enough!” the king bellows. “How dare you approach and touch my wife, your Queen, in such a manner?”

All eyes fixate upon you.


Backtalk the king as further distraction while you swipe the jewels.


Abort! Abort! Back off and consider options of blackmail.

Sneaking your way into the kitchen, you find a particularly large tureen and curl yourself inside. Hours pass like days until finally the sun drops from the sky, and the last member of the cooking staff has left. You creak from your hiding place out into the hall, and quietly make your way toward Isabella’s quarters.

Moving up the stairs and past a heavy blue curtain, you see a corridor with three large wooden doors: one close and two in the far distance. The one nearest has two guards on either side of the entrance; this must be their bedchamber.

You run to the guards in a flurry, pretending to be out of breath. “Assassin … Granada … East Garden … ” you pant with your hands against your thighs. Both guards stiffen, and noisily run down the stairs you just climbed.

Earning your chance, you ease open the door and sneak inside. You can see Ferdinand lying nude above the sheets, and the shape of Isabella under cover beside him. A cursory glance around the rest of the room finds it barely furnished. A small, plain wooden box rests on the nightstand. It’s not as ornate as you’d imagined, but there’s nowhere else the necklace could be.

You approach the box and carefully lift its lid. There is, indeed, a necklace inside, but not the string of pearls you expected. In its place is a golden choker encrusted with what look like rubies. You turn toward the bed and are alarmed to see that the woman beside Ferdinand is not Isabella at all, but a young lady you don’t recognize! That explains the lack of decor and the guards: this isn’t the royal bedchamber at all.

The sound of heavy footsteps approach from the far end of the hall outside.


A ruby necklace is still of great value. Take what you came here for.


Bail immediately. Knowing there is a truth to the king’s infidelity leaves him open to a stratagem of blackmail.

“Cannot such a wife and queen speak for herself, good king, or do you think this regal lady an incapable mute?” you ask.

The king stutters, trying to find words to match his fury. Isabella turns toward him, and as she does, you flick the latch and her necklace drops softly into your hand. You hold your breath waiting for her to notice. She doesn’t.

“Well?” Isabella asks him. “Do you find me an incapable mute?”

You use the resulting argument to slip quietly from the court.

The following day you await a fence arranged by Rodrigo. You arrive five minutes early, excited to reap the benefits of your gambit.

Suddenly, a blade appears before your throat, and a voice whispers in your ear. “The king sends his regards,” it says.

“He saw the necklace?” you gasp.

“Necklace?” the man asks curiously as he slices his dagger across your Adam’s apple.

The end.


Return to last checkpoint.

TheEnd

Worried about the guards, you hastily snatch the choker, accidentally knocking the wooden box onto the stone ground below it. Ferdinand stands erect, pointing at you.

“Who are you?!” he yells. “Guards. Guards!

You stumble back, and lose your footing briefly as you reach for the door behind you. It slams open anyway, its frame filled by the body of two large men.

“Well?” Ferdinand yells at them. “Thief. Royal justice, you know the drill. Come on, come on, my wife will be alerted soon!”

The left guard shrugs and slides his sword through your neck.

“Now get her out of here,” you hear the king say, as you drift into death.

The end.


Return to last checkpoint.

You tackle Columbus as he attempts to open the door. A moment later it opens anyway, and on its other side are the two assassins you’d seen following you.

“We came as soon as we saw him headed this way, we knew you might need help,” one says, helping Columbus up as the other holds you by your arms. “We overheard him say he was on his way to murder you. Looks like we arrived just in time.”

“They’re lying!” you yell.

“Do you mind?” one of them asks, raising a sword.

“No, not at all,” Columbus remarks.

He runs it across your throat. You bleed out as they drink a toast to foiling your schemes.

The end.


Return to the last checkpoint.

TheEnd

You die within moments, but at least it wasn’t as embarrassing as the guy who tripped over the cheese. What a doofus.

The end.


Return to the last checkpoint.

TheEnd

“Take me to the sultan,” you say. “My secrets are for his ears alone.”

The inquisitor laughs. “I don’t believe you have any secrets, my boy,” he says. “I’ve kept you locked here just long enough to discover your identity. You’re not even Spanish. I do wonder what brought you here, but not enough to bother asking.”

The man nods to a nearby guard as he leaves. The guard thrusts his pike below your ribs, into your lung. You cough once. It hurts. Then you die.

The end.


Return to last checkpoint.

“I surrender,” you say loudly, dropping your sword. “Do not kill me! I have information your sultan would wish to hear. I am no threat to you.”

The men look at their fallen leader, and back to you. There’s a few minutes of arguing, but eventually, it’s decided that you travel back with them to Granada, where you believe you will stand before the sultan’s judgment. If you can think of something, this could be your chance.

You arrive four days later, and are placed in a dungeon cell. You are never visited by the sultan, only his inquisitor.


Pretend you have secrets to feign cooperation.


Refuse to speak to anyone but the sultan.

“I know Isabella’s plans,” you say to him. “Now draw me a bath, roast me a chicken, gather a bottle of whatever passes for wine in these lands, and we can talk like civilized men.”

The inquisitor laughs. “I don’t believe you have any secrets, my boy,” he says. “I’ve kept you locked here just long enough to discover your identity. You’re not even Spanish. I do wonder what brought you here, but not enough to bother asking.”

The man nods to a nearby guard as he leaves. The guard thrusts his pike below your ribs, into your lung. You cough once. It hurts. Then you die.

The end.


Return to last checkpoint.

TwoWomen

Considering that the majority of your hands’ life experience involves little more than mouse-clicking, you choose to keep them as far out of this process as possible. No need to sneak about when you can simply point to a pretty girl and watch the money arrive a few days later.

You inform Rodrigo of your plan, and he seems skeptical, though willing to help. He arranges an interview with two willing ladies from the village.

The first you meet is Joan, a dashing, dark-haired beauty with an easy smile. She seems sharp, ambitious, and quick with a suggestion of her own for each step in your plan. The second is Julia, a sweet-mannered farmer’s daughter whose heart brims with innocence. She’s here because she’s been told it’s a matter of national loyalty, and agrees to each of your proposals with a determined, yet heavy heart.


Hire Joan. For this sort of work, you need someone who can think on their feet.


Hire Julia. For this sort of work, you need someone to do the job, and not overthink it.

There’s no need to bring anyone else into this mess. More people means more liability, and you do not want to risk this situation to chance. You’re sure he’s sleeping around, and so all you need to do is confront him about – preferably at the most uncomfortable time imaginable.

You begin to shadow the king, and cozy up to his guards. Between your tail, and the loose lips of guards with too much free wine in their bellies, you discover the king’s schedule. Each Tuesday he sleeps apart from Isabella, under the guise of some “rejuvenation program” nonsense endorsed by a charlatan physician on his personal payroll. Tomorrow will be your best shot without waiting an additional week.

There’s no decent way of doing this – it’s dirty blackmail, after all – but plans must be made.


Hide beneath the bed, and pop out mid-act. It’s somewhat disgusting to be sure, but there’s no way he could possibly deflect the accusation or easily summon his guards.


Wait in the hallway, and throw open the door after the deed is done. They won’t be caught red-handed, but a naked woman is a naked woman, and the open door will do much to amplify his feeling of vulnerability.

DarkWoman

You hire Joan, and she nods to you stonily as if there was never a question. Confident in your decision, you part ways with the woman, and attend to your own sleep, anxious for good news in the morning.

Morning comes, but good news does not. Joan meets behind the smith’s shop as planned, with a smirk.

“Well?” you ask. “Did you, uh … “

“Yes,” she replies smugly. “I ‘uh’ed.”

“Fantastic,” you reply. “Will he deliver the full amount?”

“Yes,” she answers. “To me.”

“But that wasn’t–” you say.

“Now it is,” she replies. “Why would I need a middleman to take the majority of the cut, when I also have nothing to lose by the exposure of the information?”

“Treacherous wench!” you yell.

“You don’t know the half of it,” she says. “I’m also now blackmailing you, as the architect of this foul scheme. Your estates in Castille, and 40% of whatever earnings you derive from this shipping route you discover, will buy my silence. A fair price to avoid the king’s justice, I might say.”

You stutter to find a response, and end in silence. There is nothing to say that she hasn’t already considered. She’s won, and your time is up. The expedition must be funded by the next morning.


Return to Rodrigo with the bad news.

BlondeWoman

You decide to hire Julia, whose sweet demeanor should be easily manipulated at the first sign of trouble. She frowns when you tell her that she’s been selected, but nods in understanding, like a soldier summoned to the front.

The next morning you meet with her again, and are immediately suspicious of her newfound grin.

“Julia … ” you say, “You’re looking rather well this morning. Productive night?”

“Oh yes!” she exclaims giddily. “And thank you so much for orchestrating my meet with the king. We had an incredible night filled with discussions of everything from what makes the stars to modern philosophy. He is a great man, a noble man–“

“But is he a … well … fulfilled man?” you ask impatiently. “Did you arrange the payments?”

“The payments?” she asked. “Oh, no, I’m sorry. We did not share a bed. What we shared was so much more valuable. We’ve found a love, he and I, and he’s agreed to provide me with lands, a title, and income. It is the best that could have come of this, and I thank you for it.”

She kisses your cheek, and skips away before you can formulate a response. Perhaps there is opportunity to blackmail him with this new knowledge, but your time is up. The expedition must be funded by the next morning.


Return to Rodrigo with the bad news.

You decide that you’d rather avoid the risk of being accidentally knighted by the royal saber, and instead plot a significantly more modest approach. That night, you walk the hallway, your station and newfound friendship with the guards enough to keep your stroll free of suspicion.

Upon your third pass of the door shielding Ferdinand’s infidelity, you finally hear a quiet sigh – a far cry from the howling raucous escaping the room on your first two laps around the quarters. This is your moment.

“Ah-ha!” you yell, as you slam open the door. As predicted, Ferdinand is beneath the sheets, startled from a newly found sleep with his arm around the shoulders of another woman. “You, King, are a caught king,” you say proudly, the words somewhat less cool than they’d sounded in your head.

“What do you want?” he asks quickly. “Please, close the door. I can pay–“

As the king pleas, two guards appear behind you.

“What’s this, then?” one yells. “The king sleeping with not the queen?”

“Yes, yes,” he says worriedly. “Please, come in, all of you.”

“What’s going on here?” A woman yells from near the guards. It’s Marta, the kitchen head. “Is that the king?”

“Please–“

“Oh, lord and savior!” yet another voice cries out. You turn to find a group of six nuns crowded near the door, struggling for a look into the room.

An hour later, you find yourself in a large, 28-person group seated on the floor of the king’s bedroom. Ferdinand’s “date” lies beside him, mortified, as he offers each a small reward for their silence. Bargaining anything more than a small handful of gold would be near impossible with so many other witnesses. You agree to a measure of silence about the affair, and slink off to find your quarters.


Return to Rodrigo with the bad news.

You sneak into the king’s room during the feasting hour, and plant yourself quietly beneath his bed. The curled, ornate dust ruffle surrounding the frame does much to keep you safely hidden.

Hours pass, and soon you hear the voice of both the king, and an unfamiliar young girl who seems capable of little more than nervous giggles. It isn’t long before they begin to exercise above you.

You quickly roll out from under the bed and jump to your feet.

“Ah ha!” you yell.

The girl screams, clutches her chest, and then collapses.

“Who–what–I–huh?” the king mutters.

“Um, miss?” you ask kindly, poking at the girl with your finger.

“Good God, have you killed her with your bizarre prank?” the king asks.

Embarrassed, you say nothing, and instead continue to poke at her body.

“You just … wait here,” the king says. He moves to the door and calls in one of his personal guards. The man walks inside with the king, looks at the dead girl and sighs.

“We’ve got a serious situation here,” the king says to his guard. “My wife cannot find a dead girl in my bed.”

“If she did,” the guard replies, “what do you think would happen?”

“Did you hear me?” the king yells.

“I’m just contemplating the ifs,” he replies.

“I don’t want to hear about no ‘ifs’,” the king says nervously. “All I want to hear from you is, ‘You don’t have a problem, king. I’m on it. Go back to your own bedroom, chill out, and wait for the cavalry, which should be coming directly.'”

“‘You don’t have a problem, king,” the guard repeats. “I’m on it. Go back to your own bedroom, chill out, and wait for the El Lobo, who should be coming directly.”

“You’re sending El Lobo?” the king says. “Well that’s all you had to say. Alright, as for you,” he says, turning his attention back to you. “I don’t why you came tonight, but I have one enormous mess to clean up because of you. I’ll make you a deal. I’ll forget this ever happened, in exchange for you forgetting this ever happened, alright?”

You nod.

“Now get out before El Lobo arrives to dispose of the body.”


Return to Rodrigo with the bad news.

CourtofIsabella

You make your way back to Rodrigo to explain the situation. You’ve been thoroughly unable to acquire funding and, frankly, have done little to prove your prowess as a potential assassin.

He looks at you judgmentally as you enter, shaking his head. “You’ve been thoroughly unable to acquire funding,” he says in an admonishing tone. “And, frankly, have done little to prove your prowess as a potential assassin.”

“I know,” you say quietly. “What happens now that we don’t have the money to sail?”

“Oh, we have the money,” he says angrily. “Unlike you, I leave nothing to chance. I took it upon myself to arrange private financing from Italian investors. I even gave you the credit, when asked by Columbus.”

“You did?” you ask excitedly.

“Not that it means a thing,” he chides. “That man recognizes no achievements but his own. But at least it should save you from becoming suddenly unemployed.”

“You have my thanks,” you say earnestly.

“Thank me by getting better,” he says gruffly. “Now come, the preparations are underway.”


Three days pass.

AUGUST: 1492

“Catch!” Rodrigo says, lobbing a rapier across the cabin. It spins slowly in the air, and you reach out a hand to catch its haft, only to be cut by its blade instead. Rodrigo hangs his head and sighs.

The Niña, Pinta, and Santa María departed from Spain three days ago. Ever since, you’ve been trailing below deck on Columbus’s personal ship, the Santa María, under the mentorship of Rodrigo, who’s shown Herculean patience with your lack of advancement, though his facial expressions and harsh words imply the opposite. The first days were theory; how to hide, how to find disguise, when to strike, when to stay concealed in shadow. You didn’t much understand it, but the old assassin seems to have advanced you to weapons training anyway, as if he knew something you didn’t.

You pick up the rapier from the ground and do you best to hold it as Rodrigo holds his.

“Now,” your teacher says. “We begin with the most basic maneuvers. I will swing this weapon at you, and you simply move out of the way. We assassins call this art a ‘dodge’.” He swings toward you slowly. “Just move out of the way.”


Attempt to swing at him instead.


Attempt to counter his attack.

You lift your sword and drive it toward him. He’s surprised by your response, but deflects it easily.

“No!” he yells. “Just move out of the– ah, forget it. Alright, you want to work on coming back at your victim with a counter attack, then so be it. Let’s try that again. Now, just do what you did before when I attack, and watch my reaction as your opponent.”

He slowly moves his weapon toward your body.


Impress him with an agile dodge.


Distract him with a complex flourish.

You whack at his sword with yours, and shout, “Ho ho!”

“What are you do– I said to just … dodge– oh, never mind. Alright, you wish to work on counters, let’s work on counters. Now, do what you did again, and observe my reaction to it.”


Impress him with an agile dodge.


Distract him with a complex flourish.

You jump wildly to the side, attempting to dodge his attack. As you land, you turn your foot the wrong way and trip over yourself, tumbling to the ground. Your cape lands above your head.

“Why did you–” Rodrigo begins. Suddenly, a loud creaking wail drifts below deck from the outside, interrupting him. You feel the ship shudder beneath you. People are yelling outside of the cabin.


Travel above deck to discover the cause of commotion.


Remain, and continue to work on your training.

You swish your sword wildly in front you, attempting to look as impressive as possible. You even slow down a bit to pass the weapon behind your back – if a bit clumsily – before finishing with a helicopter above your head.

“What are you–” Rodrigo begins. Suddenly, a loud creaking wail drifts below deck from the outside, interrupting him. You feel the ship shudder beneath you. People are yelling outside of the cabin.


Travel above deck to discover the cause of commotion.


Remain, and continue to work on your training.

There’s no time to waste. You lift your sword and stab toward the killer. Your strike is easily deflected into the wood paneling of the wall, where it sticks.

You hear footsteps outside. You only need to survive long enough for help to arrive. Your attacker swings, and you stumble back, catching the sword’s edge across your calf. You look down to your wound and back up at what you presume is to be a killing blow.

Surprisingly, such a blow does not follow. The door is kicked open, and in its frame stand two men, one of whom you recognize as the boson. The other is dressed as a common seaman. The man who cut you has mysteriously vanished. The escape was impossible.

The boson looks at Rodrigo’s body and then back to you. “You must be a man of considerable skill, Templar, but is it enough to fight back two of the Assassin’s order at once? Let us see.”

“It was not me!” you protest, rising painfully to your feet. “I’m one of you. There was another.”

“Another?” the man says quizzically. “I see no other exit than this door.”

“Then he must have passed through you,” you say, moving to the door and looking outside of it.

“Templar tricks!” the seaman shouts, lunging toward you. By some magic, you actually avoid the blow and run past him. You can climb the stairs above deck, or continue running below. You can see no obvious advantage to either. Like your earlier dodge, this is dumb luck. You must rely on your genetic, assassin instincts.


Continue below deck.


Climb the stairs.

TheEnd

You run past the killer, and to your surprise, he does nothing to stop you. As you open the door, two passing seamen look past your frantic face to the dead body you’re leaving behind.

“Please help,” you say, “there’s been a murder.”

“Yes,” one says, “and it looks like we’ve caught the culprit.”

“You mean me?” you ask incredulously. “No, it was hi–” You look back into the room and see no trace of the killer. It makes no sense; there was no other way out than this door.

“Who?” one of the men asks, craning his neck into the room. “The dead guy killed himself? Likely story considering this cut across your leg.”

You’re hauled off, and brought to Columbus for judgment. It turns out that he was rather attached to his accountant, and orders your body rigged to the bowsprit.

Days pass. You’re not sure which stings worse, the water or the hunger. You’re also not sure which was ultimately responsible for your death.

The end.


Reload last checkpoint.

Nothing is more important than your training. After all, why else are you hooked up to this machine, looking for space fruit? Whatever’s going on out there can be handled by whomever’s job it is to handle things out there. You’re not sure who, exactly, has such a job, but you know that it’s the secretary.

“Listen to me,” Rodrigo says frantically. “I am not the only one of our order aboard this ship. You need to–“

“Yes, yes,” you interrupt. “I’m sorry I wasn’t following your instruction to the letter. Come, let us continue and I promise to make a greater effort.”

As you finish the sentence, a shadowy figure enters the room. Rodrigo turns to see the intruder, leaving his back to you. A long, sharp, steel blade suddenly appears in red between his shoulders. It’s retracted quickly, and the body of your trainer slumps onto the floorboards.

The figure in front of you is a man with everything but his eyes wrapped in dark cloth. He stands a foot in front the cabin’s only door.


Attempt to escape the room by running past him.


Raise your sword, and attempt to avenge your master without wasting a precious moment.


Ask Handsome Danny to connect you with Penelope, and have her give you live combat tips to defeat this assassin … assassin.

Ship

“I’m going to see what’s going on,” you say, holstering your sword.

“Wait, there’s something we need to talk about,” Rodrigo says. “I’m not the only member of our order aboard this ship. If anything happens to me, you must seek them out. I–“

“Dude, you’re like a jedi!” you exclaim as you leave. “What’s going to happen to you?”

“A what?” he asks, as you make your way above deck.

The crew has gathered near the bow. A man soaked head to foot quiets them, and explains that the rudder has been sabotaged. The crowd erupts into yelling and finger-pointing.

Sabotage? you think. I should tell Rodrigo.


Return to Rodrigo, to whom you are sure nothing at all bad happened while you were gone.

You enter the cabin, and discover a dead Rodrigo sprawled across the floor, another man you don’t recognize standing above him, dripping sword in hand.

“Who are you?” you yell.

The killer looks up at you, all but his eyes wrapped in dark cloth. He runs toward you and slices at your leg, cutting open your calf. You collapse to the floor as you hear the sound of heavy footsteps approaching from outside of the room.

Suddenly, the door is kicked open, and in its frame stand two men, one of whom you recognize as the boson. The other is dressed as a common seaman. The man who cut you has mysteriously vanished.

The boson looks at Rodrigo’s body and then back to you. “You must be a man of considerable skill, Templar, but is it enough to fight back two of the Assassin’s order at once? Let us see.”

“It was not me!” you protest, rising painfully to your feet. “I’m one of you. There was another.”

“Another?” the man says quizzically. “I see no other exit than this door.”

“Then he must have passed through you,” you say, moving to the door and looking outside of it.

“Templar tricks!” the seaman shouts, lunging toward you. By some magic, you actually avoid the blow and run past him. You can climb the stairs above deck, or continue running below. You can see no obvious advantage to either. Like your earlier dodge, this is dumb luck. You must rely on your genetic, assassin instincts.


Continue below deck.


Climb the stairs.

“Danny! I mean, Handsome Danny!” you yell. “I need help. Where’s Penelope; can she talk me through this fight?”

I’m sorry, he says frantically, she left to get lunch or something! I can look up the Wikipedia article on Kung Fu it would help. Systema, Krav Maga, anything you want!

Before you can tell Danny how stupid an idea that is, the killer rushes toward you and slices at your leg, cutting open your calf. You collapse to the floor as you hear the sound of heavy footsteps approaching from outside of the room.

Suddenly, the door is kicked open, and in its frame stand two men, one of whom you recognize as the boson. The other is dressed as a common seaman. The man who cut you has mysteriously vanished.

The boson looks at Rodrigo’s body and then back to you. “You must be a man of considerable skill, Templar, but is it enough to fight back two of the Assassin’s order at once? Let us see.”

“It was not me!” you protest, rising painfully to your feet. “I’m one of you. There was another.”

“Another?” the man says quizzically. “I ain’t see no other exit than this here door.”

“Then he must have passed through you,” you say, moving to the door and looking outside of it.

“Templar tricks!” the seaman shouts, lunging toward you. By some magic, you actually avoid the blow and run past him. You can climb the stairs above deck, or continue running below. You can see no obvious advantage to either. Like your earlier dodge, this is dumb luck. You must rely on your genetic, assassin instincts.


Continue below deck.


Climb the stairs.

You continue below, spilling blood from your wound as you travel the narrow, swaying corridor. The men aren’t far behind you.

“Just pull me out, Danny, I know you’re watching!” you yell.

We’ll start the procedure, but it takes half an hour to do safely. You’ll need to just survive as long as you can.

Hooking a random left lands you in the galley. There’s no way out other than the door you entered through, but the galley is large and filled with diners, supplies, and livestock. You think back on the few lessons that Rodrigo taught you about being an assassin. Lessons of disguise, and of losing unwanted pursuers. They never seemed to make much sense to you, but it’s all you’ve got.


Your white doublet looks marginally like the chef’s white uniform. Run near the stove, and begin behaving like a cook.


Jump into the hay pile near the livestock.

ShipAboveDeck

You rush up the stairs, adrenaline numbing the pain of your wound. The assassins aren’t far behind you.

“Just pull me out, Danny, I know you’re watching!” you yell.

We’ll start the procedure, but it takes half an hour. You’ll just need to survive as long as you can!

Arriving top deck would have been a wonderful sight at any other moment, sapphire sky, salt on the wind, sails ripping back and forth above you. It’s a magical place, and also where you will die very shortly if you don’t come up with a plan. You think back on the few lessons that Rodrigo taught you about being an assassin. Lessons of disguise, and of losing unwanted pursuers. They never seemed to make much sense to you, but it’s all you’ve got.


There’s a bench near by. Sit on it.


Walk into a group of roaming seamen and match their gait and general candor.

Animus

You quickly run near the stove and begin lifting and lowering various pots, spices, and hunks of salted meat. You can see your pursuers enter through the corner of your eye. They begin to look around the room, oddly not giving any individual particular scrutiny. The men seem stumped, as confused as you were by the sudden disappearance of Rodrigo’s killer. It’s as if you’ve gone invisible. You continue to play cook for thirty minutes more, and are eventually jarred back into your body at home, strapped to the Animus.

Greta peeks out over her console, happy, it seems, to see you back in one piece. Penelope enters through a door near the front.


Ask Greta for help with your leg.


Ask Penelope about her lunch.

Animus

You quick leap into the near pile of hay, and somehow sink into its center. Funny, you thought you’ve have just landed on top. Rodrigo truly was a wise mentor. You can hear your pursuers enter the room.

Five minutes go by, and then ten. You still haven’t been discovered. You’re not sure why this is working; you feel like the first place you would have looked in a small room was the innocuous pile of hay in the corner. Maybe that’s why you’re an assassin with a destiny, and these two clowns faded with history.

Another twenty minutes go by, and eventually you’re jarred back into your body at home, strapped to the Animus.

Greta peeks out over her console, happy, it seems, to see you back in one piece. Penelope enters through a door near the front.


Ask Greta for help with your leg.


Ask Penelope about her lunch.

Animus

You run to the nearest bench and sit between two resting seamen. You do not move, you do not feed the seagulls, you simply sit and bow your head slightly forward. Soon, you see your pursuers approach through the corner of your eye. They begin to look scour the deck, oddly not giving any individual particular scrutiny. The men seem stumped, as confused as you were by the sudden disappearance of Rodrigo’s killer. It’s as if you’ve gone invisible. You continue to sit there doing nothing for thirty minutes more, and are eventually jarred back into your body at home, strapped to the Animus.

Greta peeks out over her console, happy, it seems, to see you back in one piece. Penelope enters through a door near the front.


Ask Greta for help with your leg.


Ask Penelope about her lunch.

Animus

You run to the nearest group of sailors and walk at their center. It’s far from concealing you, and your garb is significantly different than those around you. Soon, you see your pursuers approach through the corner of your eye. They begin to look scour the deck, oddly not giving any individual particular scrutiny. The men seem stumped, as confused as you were by the sudden disappearance of Rodrigo’s killer. It’s as if you’ve gone invisible. You continue to sit there doing nothing for thirty minutes more, and are eventually jarred back into your body at home, strapped to the Animus.

Greta peeks out over her console, happy, it seems, to see you back in one piece. Penelope enters through a door near the front.


Ask Greta for help with your leg.


Ask Penelope about her lunch.

Animus

“Greta,” you say, “God, that was close. Thanks for pressing the right button.” She smiles and nods happily. “Do you have anything here that could help with my leg? It seems I’ve somehow carried my injury back to reality with me.”

“Yes,” she says merrily, “I told you the machine was a bit quirky.”

She leans down into a cabinet and returns with a small first aid kit, which she brings to your bedside. Slowly and carefully, she applies some white goo to your cut, and begins wrapping it in gauze.

“Is there major damage?” you ask her.

“No,” she says easily.

“Do you have medical training?” you ask.

She laughs. “I don’t know,” she replies. “Are you an assassin?”

You realize that her response brings you no closer to an answer about your leg.

She finishes. “Thanks, Greta,” you say.

“Any time.”


Talk to Penelope.

Animus

“Hey Penelope,” you say loudly. “Nice lunch?”

She spits a sesame seed at you. It sticks to your cheek. With your hands bound, it’s impossible to remove.

“Could have used you,” you say. “Weird timing for a lunch break.”

“At lunch time, you mean?” she asks, pointing to a wall clock with her knife. It’s 1:00 P.M.


Ask Greta for help with your leg.

Animus

“Handsome Danny,” you say. “Let me out of this thing.”

Danny moves his head from behind his laptop and arches an eyebrow at you. His lips are covered in Cheetos dust. “I didn’t see you find anything about a space apple,” he says, swallowing. “Nor did I see you unlock your potential as an assassin.”

“Then at least tell me what this apple is,” you say. “At least tell me what we’re doing here! And at least … give me some of those Cheetos. Man, I’m hungry.”

Danny walks to the bed and hands you the rest of his bag. You can’t do much with it, seeing as how your hands are strapped in place. “Okay, look,” he says. ” Both Greta and I answered an Abstergo ad for temporary employment, assuming that meant it was a paid gig. I mean, it says ’employment’, right? Anyway, our manager wasn’t aware of the situation – her name was Beth, by the way, pretty cool person, neat car, green, manual transmission, anyway, she thinks it’s some hold up with HR, right? ‘Just wait, I’m sure the check is coming, etc. etc.’ But see, the real problem was that whoever’s in marketing over there just worded the ad funny. They were never expecting to pay anyone. It was supposed to say ‘intern.’ Meanwhile, Greta and I are like ‘we just did a bunch of complicated smart person work for you’ and they’re all like ‘if you try to sue us we’ll have you assassinated’ so, to Greta, I’m like ‘let’s steal the broken Animus from storage, make off with the database, and find whatever the hell this apple thing is before they do, and random them for it!'”

“Hold on,” you say. “Let me get this straight. You have no idea what we’re looking for, and we’re doing this for … some sort of disputed back pay?”

“If you want to put it like that sure. But that’s about us. Unlocking your assassin genes or whatever is about you. We’re not entirely sure when or how it happens, but we saw it work with other people who used the Animus. Our goals are intertwined.”

“The assassins want to kill me,” you point out.

“Nah,” he saws casually. “You pulled out. When you go back in, it will be a clean version of history. You’re back to secretary of the fleet as he was in the books. Which is not very much, by the way. No offense. Now lay back. Greta? We’re on again.”

“Wait!” you yell. Suddenly, you’re upright again, standing in a crowd of very angry-sounding seamen. You seem to have accidentally gotten their attention instead of Danny’s. The crowd quiets.

Hey, Danny says quickly. Sorry, should have told you. There’s a mutiny thing going on. I put you back in about two months later–the crew’s a bit mad that there’s been no sign of land. They, of course, don’t yet know they’ll be reaching it in two day’s time.

Somehow you’ve been dropped into the middle of a pivotal point in this voyage.

“Well?” Columbus asks loudly. He’s poised at the front of the mob.


Speak up for Columbus, and try to sway the mob to calm.


Columbus be damned. Do nothing.

Animus

“Hey Penelope,” you say loudly. “Nice lunch?”

She spits a sesame seed at you. It sticks to your cheek. With your hands bound, it’s impossible to remove.

“Could have used you,” you say. “Weird timing for a lunch break.”

“At lunch time, you mean?” she asks, pointing to a wall clock with her knife. It’s 1:00 P.M.


Ask Danny about what’s next.

Animus

“Greta,” you say, “God, that was close. Thanks for pressing the right button.” She smiles and nods happily. “Do you have anything here that could help with my leg? It seems I’ve somehow carried my injury back to reality with me.”

“Yes,” she says merrily, “I told you the machine was a bit quirky.”

She leans down into a cabinet and returns with a small first aid kit, which she brings to your bedside. Slowly and carefully, she applies some white goo to your cut, and begins wrapping it in gauze.

“Is there major damage?” you ask her.

“No,” she says easily.

“Do you have medical training?” you ask.

She laughs. “I don’t know,” she replies. “Are you an assassin?”

You realize that her response brings you no closer to an answer about your leg.

She finishes. “Thanks, Greta,” you say.

“Any time.”


Talk to Danny about what comes next.

TheEnd

You decide to keep fighting, grabbing the dagger nearby for protection.

As you stand up, you find yourself face to face with a fat, drunken crewman. “Hey, you,” he stutters. “Where’d you get that dagger? That’s my dagger!”

“Uh,” you say, “this dagger almost stabbed me, so, I took because it was, you know, almost about to kill me, so … “

“You damn thief!” the man exclaims, pulling a dagger from his belt and thrusting it into your neck. “Oh wait!” he exclaims happily, as you slide off the blade to the floor. “That’s my dagger!”

The end.


Return to previous checkpoint.

ShipAboveDeck

You turn around and punch the man directly behind you, as a chair flies over your head. Mob justice. Another man jumps into you, tackling you to the ground, as you see another flying haphazardly across the air above you.

You roll to the side, and your attacker falls off, your sword’s sheathe in his hand. You quickly place your exposed blade back into your belt as a dagger stabs into the deck just inches from your face.

Knives now? This is getting dangerous.


Keep fighting it out. You’re actually doing pretty well so far.


Time to duck out. The party’s over when something that can accidentally disembowel you shows up at the door uninvited.

You follow Columbus, avoiding the fight in favor of what should be the safety of the lower cabins. Behind you, you notice the two assassins who’d chased you during your last visit here walking a few hundred paces behind. Hopefully, it’s a coincidence.

You arrive at Columbus’s quarters just after him, and he looks at you quizzically, just noticing that you’ve followed him.

“Can the Admiral help you with something?” he asks. “Or have you come to give him a further lesson in the physics of sea travel?”

You enter his room and close the door behind you. “Listen,” you tell him kindly. “They’re fighting up there. Not you, but each other. Let these troublemakers get it out of their system. They’ve been at sea too long. They will wake up in the morning and forget this whole mess. Better to let them vent in this manner, then attempting to reason with them.”

“Hmmm,” Columbus sounds, scratching his chin. “Well, I do make a good point.”

Suddenly, there’s a knock at the door. Columbus reaches past you to open it. It wouldn’t make sense, but you can’t help but worry it’s those assassins come to finish what they started.


Quickly move to the side of the door and prepare for the worst.


Tackle Columbus before he can open it.

CaveEntrance

You leap forward at Penelope. She easily dodges, causing you to land flat on your chest. She’s quick to mount your torso. For the corner of your eye, you see her lifting a large, dripping needle.

Suddenly, Greta shouts and grabs at Penelope’s neck. “This is for Danny!” she says, as she attempts to choke your assailant.

Penelope laughs despite the hold on her before finally removing it with a single arm. “You, I don’t need,” she says, casually using her other hand to drive a knife into Greta’s chest. You see a small amount of blood escape Greta’s mouth as she collapses, then feel a prick against the back of your neck.

You wake up sometime later in the back of a helicopter. Penelope is at the controls. You decide not to speak. There’s nothing to say, anyway. You’ve failed as an assassin. The only thing you were ever good at was being a hitman.

It’s not long before the chopper descends into a familiar jungle. You recognize the cave near her landing site, too.

“Alright,” Penelope says as the blades wind down. “Let’s go get that apple. This place is an assassin safe house–if there’s anything dangerous in there, it’s better you than me, so ladies first.”

You step off the chopper and make your way into the cave with Penelope a few steps behind you. The chamber is shallow, as you remember, and it isn’t long before the altar is in sight.

The years don’t seem to have done much to change this place, but there is one thing you immediately recognize as new: a skeleton with a bone necklace, similar to the ones you saw the people of the nearby village wearing during your visit. You wonder what happened to him, but even more so wonder if those weapons in his decaying hands still work. Penelope made it pretty clear that you’re here for little more than risk aversion, so once she’s got that apple, you’re pretty much dead.

“The apple,” she mutters. “It’s unprotected after all.”

It’s time to make a stand, as unlikely as winning may be.


Grab the man’s rudimentary spear.


Grab the man’s rudimentary bow.


These weapons look time-trashed. Try to break off a stalagmite instead.

Columbus opens the door. You were right, both assassins stand in the frame, eying the room. They followed you here. There’s no time to ask Danny about this. Something’s gone wrong. All that matters now is your survival.

Without waiting for whatever feeble excuse they were sure to spout for arriving at the cabin, you circle around from the side of the door, and dash back toward the main deck. You’re not surprised to see them running out behind you not a minute later.

Just ahead you see a pile of hay that’s been left to dry on the upper deck. You quickly turn the corner of the cabin and leap into the pile, confident that you’ve disappeared from sight. Soon, an assassin’s blade pokes inside just next to you, causing you to jump back out onto the deck.

You see a nearby bench, and quickly sit at its center. Before you can even slightly lower your head to blend in, your pursuer has seen you again. You narrowly escape one of his jabs as you run to a nearby group of sailors. You do your best to match their gait, but the assassin is not fooled. Nothing is working.

As you leave the group, you spot a strange shimmer in the distance, a bright line across the horizon. A moment later, it’s gone.

You can’t be sure, but you may have just spotted North America. It’s now your only play.


Make for a rowboat. You have zero experience piloting a craft of even that size, but perhaps you can make it to shore.


Climb the crow’s nest, and confirm your discovery. It might make for a good distraction.

ShipAboveDeck

As you carefully extract yourself from the scrum, you notice that two men follow – the assassins from your last trip into the Animus. You walk faster without looking behind you, hoping this is a coincidence. Danny said they wouldn’t remember. They can’t have remembered.

Suddenly, a man grabs you from behind. You whirl around, causing your unsheathed sword to accidentally slice him across the belly. He drops to the floor as his friend begins to give chase.

Just ahead, you see a pile of hay that’s been left out to dry. You quickly turn the corner of the cabin and leap into the pile, confident that you’ve disappeared from sight. Soon, an assassin’s blade pokes inside just next to you, causing you to jump back out onto the deck.

You see a nearby bench, and quickly sit at its center. Before you can even slightly lower your head to blend in, your pursuer has seen you again. You narrowly escape one of his jabs as you run to a nearby group of sailors. You do your best to match their gait, but the assassin is not fooled. Nothing is working.

As you leave the group, you spot a strange shimmer in the distance, a bright line across the horizon. A moment later, it’s gone.

You can’t be sure, but you may have just spotted North America. It’s now your only play.


Make for a rowboat. You have zero experience piloting a craft of even that size, but perhaps you can make it to shore.


Climb the crow’s nest, and confirm your discovery. It might make for a good distraction.

TheEnd

You make for the ship’s edge, and drop ten feet into one of rowboats hanging its side. You slice the rope holding it, and drop down, uncontrolled into the water. The impact is crushing, and your right leg isn’t moving. You see blood begin to pour down from near your ear, and realize that your neck won’t go straight. Everything hurts.

You try to peer back up at the ship, but slowly lose the ability to move near anything below your neck. The fall must have injured your spine. The paralysis could not have come at a worse time. You slip into the ocean, motionless, and begin to drown. You close your eyes.

Wait, something’s moving beside you! Help, perhaps? Maybe you won’t die after all! You open your left eye. Actually it’s a shark. Still gonna die. Yup.

The end.


Return to last checkpoint.

CrowsNest

You run for the crow’s nest, climbing peg by peg toward the top. It’s exhausting and dangerous. Looking below, you see that the assassins have not followed. You suppose they know there’s nowhere for you to go from here, and perhaps you’ll just slip and save them the trouble of murdering you.

Finally arriving in the small, wooden basket, you take hold of the mounted spyglass at its side and confirm your suspicion. In the distance, you see it: land!

Whatever else has gone wrong, whatever broken promises you’ve heard, and whatever assassin’s genes you seem to be missing don’t matter for this single, beautiful moment. Not because you’re one of the first Europeans to see North America, no, but because you actually get to shout:

“Land hoooooooooooooo!”

The crew is quick to gather around the base of the mast. “Those two men were right!” you yell down. “They told me that if I climbed up here, I would see it, and so I did! These men have found our land, boys!”

The crowd erupts into raucous cheers, and the assassins are quickly hoisted onto the shoulders of a new mob, this one made of happiness and relief.

You look down and see that pile of hay from before, conveniently placed below the crow’s nest. It’s a long way down.


Jump into it.


Climb down normally.

ShipAboveDeck

“I don’t–” you stutter.

“You’re not about to say no, are you?” the man asks. “That would be very insulting. And right when the crew calmed down, too.” He casually places a hand on the haft of his sword.


Decline.


Best to just grab that drink.

TheEnd

“I really shouldn’t,” you say, turning your back to them.

Now if we’re going to land in two days, then – You feel something strange, and look down. Oh hey, look at that. There’s a sword sticking out of your belly.

One of the men spits on you before walking away.

So that’s why that guy had his hand on his sword! It all makes so much sense now! You experience a brief moment of personal pride in your discovery before slipping into the darkness.

The end.


Return to previous checkpoint.

TableDrinks

“Alright,” you say, “I guess we’re getting a drink, then.”

“Great!” one of them says, wrapping an arm around your shoulders. The two walk with you below deck to the galley, where you sit at a small, square table. “I’ll go get us some drinks.”

“I’ve got to use the privy,” the other says.

Soon, the first assassin returns with three dirty glasses, two in one hand, one in the other, each filled halfway with a dark brown liquid. He gives the one to you, and sets the pair down on the other side of the table. “Ah, should get some peanuts as well,” he says. “I hate drinking on an empty stomach, you know?”

Maybe it was the way he was holding those glasses separate, or maybe it’s the fact that you were brought here at all, but suddenly your instincts are screaming, “Poison!” You have a moment to act, if you wish to act at all, before the pair return.


Exchange your glass with one of the two others.


Pour out your glass, and pretend to have finished it while they were gone.


Your instincts are usually terrible. Do nothing.

TableDrinks

You swiftly tilt the cup to its side, pouring the whiskey harmlessly to the floor. The liquor slips between the cracks in the damp planks out of sight. The assassins soon return.

“That was fast!” one of them says merrily. “Thirsty, weren’t ya?”

Both of them drink their glass, and just sit there, looking at you. At first they’re smiling, but soon, the silence becomes awkward, and their smiles drop for scowls of impatience. Finally one of them sighs and then speaks.

“You didn’t drink it, did you?” he asks.

“No … ” you answer quietly.

“Well, it would have been less messy,” he says.

“I know,” you say. “But I was sort of hoping I might have been wrong, or that the poison wasn’t the immediate-effect kind.”

“Ah, I see,” he says. “Right. That makes sense.” Then he stabs you.

The end.


Return to last checkpoint.

TheEnd

Your instincts have never gotten you anywhere, so why should they suddenly start helping out now? You wait for the men to return, and then down your glass in a single swig.

“Thirsty, eh?” one of them says.

Suddenly you feel a deep fire burning in your stomach. For a moment, you hope it’s just the rotgut whiskey they have aboard this ship playing with your historically delicate digestive system. Then you vomit blood.

As you collapse and begin to die, you wonder how this is possible. Your instincts are terrible! Then, you realize the mistake. Yes, your instincts are bad, but feeling like you couldn’t trust them was also an instinct, which is why you ended up not listening to the good idea.

“Oh!” you say happily. “I get it!” No one but you will ever know why those were your last words.

The end.


Return to last checkpoint.

TableDrinks

You swap out one of the glasses and wait nervously for the pair to return.

“Peanuts!” one yells. “I found some! Isn’t that great?” The other returns from the bathroom, and the three of you clink your glasses and drink. A few moments later, the man who was so excited for peanuts has begun vomiting blood. Soon, he collapses dead.

“You idiot,” the other says. “You put it in the wrong glass.”

As he admonishes his dead comrade, you take the opportunity to get up from the table and run. He’s on his feet to chase you nearly as quick.

“I thought this wasn’t going to happen, Danny!” you yell angrily, as you move above deck.

It shouldn’t have, he says. It doesn’t make any sense … I don’t – I’m sorry.

There’s no time to figure it out now. You got away from the assassins before, and now there’s just one of them. Don’t panic.

Just ahead you see a pile of hay that’s been left to dry on the upper deck. You quickly turn the corner of the cabin and leap into the pile, confident that you’ve disappeared from sight. Soon, an assassin’s blade pokes inside just next to you, causing you to jump back out onto the deck.

You see a nearby bench, and quickly sit at its center. Before you can even slightly lower your head to blend in, your pursuer has seen you again. You narrowly escape one of his jabs as you run to a nearby group of sailors. You do your best to match their gait, but the assassin is not fooled. Nothing is working.

As you leave the group, you spot a strange shimmer in the distance, a bright line across the horizon. A moment later, it’s gone.

You can’t be sure, but you may have just spotted North America. It’s now your only play.


Make for a rowboat. You have zero experience piloting a craft of even that size, but perhaps you can make it to shore.


Climb the crow’s nest, and confirm your discovery. It might make for a good distraction.

CrowsNest

You lift your arms and leap. A nearby eagle suddenly cries out as you sail toward the hay. You gracefully collide with it, shattering your body upon impact. You’re not sure why you thought this was a good idea. Or, at least you’d probably be unsure, if you weren’t quite so dead.

The end.


Return to last checkpoint.

Rowboat

You carefully climb down just as Columbus reappears from his cabin. For some reason, he seems to have tied two pillows to the sides of his head with a thin rope.

“Quiet, quiet, the lot of you!” he yells. “The Admiral would have a word.” The crew does as bid, and turns to see him. “Not that I could hear anything anyone has said in the last few minutes, because I was just plugging my ears to take a nap, you see.”

He removes the pillows and continues speaking before anyone can interject. “Now, fellows, I have some wonderful news. While readying to lie down for a quick rest, I had a sudden, inexplicable urge to see the ocean. Looking from out my porthole, I spied a glistening mass on the horizon. Yes, my friends. That mass was land. And also this was fifteen minutes ago. Now, as you know, Queen Isabella has offered a massive, massive reward to whomever was to spot land first on this voyage, so as I have just explained, that was obviously me. Now – ahem – what were you all cheering about that I couldn’t hear any details of at all before now?”

You can tell from the looks on the crew’s faces that they’re not happy with Columbus’s assertion, and you don’t want to risk another mutiny.

Can you believe Columbus, like, actual factual did that? Danny says in passing. What a dick.

“To the boats!” you yell suddenly, and the crowd erupts into cheering once more, happy for the excuse, perhaps, to avoid another ugly turn so close to their goal. You quickly jump into one of the rowboats hanging from the side of the ship, and it immediately fills with 15 other men. None of them, thankfully, are the men trying to kill you.

Other crewmen still on deck carefully lower your boat into the ocean. As it touches down, the man at the oars turns to you. “You saw the land, right?” he asks. “Which way?” You look up and see a flock of seagulls flying northeast. You think you remembered seeing it to the northwest.


Follow your memory.


Follow the flock.

Rowboat

Your brain can get stuffed. Where are these birds going if not back to land? You point in their direction, and the men at oars begin their work, rowing you across the waves to a new world.

Half an hour later, you see land – not a glint, but a place: rocks, sand, trees, people. Wait, people?! A small gathering stands on the shore, many holding handmade weapons. As you turn back to your small crew, you see another rowboat behind you, gaining speed. Soon you can make out its captain’s face: the assassin! You’re not far from shore, but you doubt you’ll have a chance to do more than grab a handful of sand before an “accident” befalls you. You’re going to need some help.


Call Handsome Danny and ask him for information about the Natives. Perhaps they can save you.


Call Penelope and ask her for advice on ship-to-ship combat. Perhaps you can sink them before landfall.


Call Greta to pull you out. You don’t have the full thirty minutes, but this is an emergency.

TheEnd

You point in the direction where you think saw land. Those birds are probably just out feeding, or something. The crew begins to row, and before you know it, an hour passes with no sign of the shore. The crew seems antsy. Eventually, one of them, a large bearded man, speaks.

“I don’t know how to tell you this,” he says, “but your short captainship of this vessel has come to an end. We’ve voted on it, and decided to mutiny. We realize we’re not so far off course or anything, but frankly, we were all really excited about the whole land thing, and you sending us further away is just sort of a major deflation, you know?”

“You voted?” you exclaim. “When?”

“In the past ten minutes,” he answers. “See, we had this note that we passed about quietly.”

He hands you a small piece of parchment. It reads: “Should we mutiny? Check here for yes. Check here for no.” Everyone checked yes, but one.

“Well, who said no?” you ask.

“That was me,” the bearded man continues. “I didn’t think we should mutiny, but I also thought the situation was such that we should vote on whether or not we should mutiny, you know?”

“I guess … ” you reply.

“Anyway, fare thee well.”

He cracks you across the forehead with an oar, and you fall out of the boat, unconscious.

The end.


Return to last checkpoint.

Rowboat

“Penelope!” you yell. “You’ve got to know something about ship combat. You’re an Amazon warrior queen, or whatever. Danny, put her on!”

What do you want? I was just stepping out for dinner, she replies tiredly.

“I need your help,” you say. “Do you know anything about 15th century naval combat?”

Sure, she replies. Okay, so a canon is what we call a muzzle loader –

“Uh–” you start.

Don’t interrupt, she says without losing a beat. Guns have three basic components: the tube, the carriage, and the chassis. The tube sits on tops of the carriage, which lends firing support while controlling recoil. Your tubes are likely made of cast iron. Now beneath that is a chassis, which permits the movement of the cannon. All together, this weapon is called a piece. Now, take the piece –

“Dammit, Penelope, you know I don’t have a canon on a damn rowboat!” you say.

Oh, she replies. Then what do you expect me to say? Anyway, I’m late. Have the best of luck.

When the assassin’s craft catches up with yours, you don’t.


Reload last checkpoint.

Shore

“Danny. Handsome Danny,” you say. “I need you to find some information about these people ahead on the shore.”

Alright, he says, clicking away. Let’s see here … according to Wikipedia, those are most likely members of the Taino, who were native to the area. They are reportedly extremely friendly, unless provoked or insulted.

“Do they speak English? Or I guess, Spanish?” you ask frantically.

How would that even sort of make sense? he asks.

“Come on, Danny, I’m going to get killed!” you yell.

Alright, don’t get your doublet in a doughnut, I’m looking up an online dictionary of their language. I doubt we’ll able to formulate an actual sentence, but why don’t you try yelling the word ‘ari’ while pointing at your pursuer. It means ‘enemy’ or ‘invader’.

“Perfect,” you say. “You’re the handsomest, Danny.”

As you approach the shore, you begin yelling “Ari!” over and over again while gesturing to the men in the boat behind you. You even somehow convince the people sharing the boat with you, an impressive feat, considering they probably think you’re insane after listening you shout random nonsense at the air for the last five minutes.

Once you’re close enough for the Taino to hear, they become immediately alarmed, helping you from your ship, and readying defensive weaponry for the berth of your pursuer. Soon he lands, and in the face of twenty Taino spearmen he seems to be, for the first time, at a complete disadvantage.


Explain yourself to him.


Order the man’s death.

TheEnd

“Greta!” you yell. “You have to get me out of here!”

30 minutes, she answers.

“No, Greta, now!” you say.

It’s not built for that, she says haughtily.

“Come on, Greta,” you say. “I have complete faith in you. I know you can do anything you put your mind to, and if anyone can get me out of this mess, it’s you.”

Really? she says. Okay! Changing the neural capacitor to 57 over 90. Danny, swap the converter from zero positive to a converse negative. Now I just need to amplify the power somehow … wait, I know! I can interface the capacitor with the auxiliary reactor! Just about there, hang on!

You look back and see the assassin drawing near. It won’t be long now. “Come on, Greta,” you say encouragingly. “You can do this!”

Okay, she says excitedly. [/i]This is going to work. Get ready! 3 … 2 … 1 …[/i]

You fall into a deep, dreamless coma until the end of your days. Which, as it happens, is Tuesday of the following week.

The end.


Return to last checkpoint.

Shore

“Listen,” you say. “There has been a massive, massive misunderstanding. You are a…” – you look around at the various seamen who’ve landed with you – “brother, and so am I. What you saw, was a deception. I know you think I’m working with the temple or whatever, but I am just, like, not religious or anything, and was awesome friends with Rodrigo. In fact, he was training me when it happened, and that cut I got was from his killer.”

The assassin takes a short step out of the boat. “And why should I believe you?” he asks.

“Because for some reason, these fine tribesmen are listening to me right now, and I haven’t had you killed yet.”

“Fair point,” the man says. “Perhaps you tell the truth, brother. I apologize for – ” Before he can finish, his entire body goes limp, and is caught by a large man in a tight green doublet. You can see a large iron needle in the man’s hand, with a spot of blood on its end. Poison?

“Oh, Gomez, you’ve fainted at the sight of land, I see,” he says loudly. “And you were working with him, yes?” he asks, looking toward you. He drops the assassin’s body into the sand. “As a man with such similar passions, might you faint as well?” You see him palm the needle carefully as he takes a step toward you.

“Everyone, everyone,” a voice suddenly yells. “Move back so I can get a good look.” You lean past the man in green to see Columbus’s rowboat just approaching. “Back, back, back,” he continues as the rowboat arrives on shore. The few men already on the beach obey, and step back nearer the ocean.

“You too, Diego, my man,” Columbus says.

The man in green flashes a smile at you before turning and pocketing the large needle. “Of course, my admiral,” he says.

“And drag that sleeping one back here as well,” Columbus says as he steps onto the sand. He takes a few steps forward, holding his arms out from his sides, palms out, as if he can feel the wind speaking to him. He closes his eyes for a moment, then takes a deep breath that takes much too long to exhale. “The first man to step foot on – oh, pardon me, please,” he says to a Taino tribesman as he shoulders him out of his way, “on this new piece of Earth. Imagine, I, Christopher Columbus, am the very first man. I deserve a holiday. See you men with your boots so far back from the shore that the water is still lapping at them should have taken but a few steps forward from the sea and been the first yourselves, but I can understand that you may not have had the vision–“

Suddenly, you’re lying down again. The world goes black.


Open your eyes.

Shore

“Ari!” you cry, running one finger across your throat, while wildly pointing toward the assassin with the other. One of the tribesmen steps forward and thrusts a spear into the assassin’s neck. He collapses to the sand.

You smile at the Taino and give them a thumbs up. They shrug at you.

“Well played,” a voice says from behind you. “Such prowess.”

You turn to see a large man in a green doublet behind you. He must have been on the assassin’s boat.

“With such skills, would it be safe to assume, that like I, you are a … ” he looks around back and forth between the scattered crew, “brother?” He winks.

“Why, yes I am. It’s the genes, I can’t take all the credit,” you say.

“Indeed,” he says stepping in close. He takes you by the back of the head and brings his mouth in close to your ear. “You should be careful who you admit that to, boy,” he says. You look down to see a dagger in the man’s hand, concealed from sight from the others by his body. “Just the tip. It’s covered in a powerful poison. One touch and–“

“Everyone, everyone,” a voice suddenly yells. “Move back so I can get a good look.” You lean past the man in green to see Columbus’s rowboat just approaching. “Back, back, back,” he continues as the rowboat arrives on shore. The few men already on the beach obey, and step back nearer the ocean.

“You too, Diego, my man,” Columbus says.

The man in green flashes a smile at you before turning and pocketing the knife. “Of course, my admiral,” he says.

“And drag that sleeping one back here as well,” Columbus says, looking at the bloody remains of the assassin. He takes a few steps forward, holding his arms out from his sides, palms out, as if he can feel the wind speaking to him. He closes his eyes for a moment, then takes a deep breath that takes much too long to exhale. “The first man to step foot on – oh, pardon me, please,” he says to a Taino tribesman as he shoulders him out of his way, “on this new piece of Earth. Imagine, I, Christopher Columbus, am the very first man. I deserve a holiday. See you men with your boots so far back from the shore that the water is still lapping at them should have taken but a few steps forward from the sea and been the first yourselves, but I can understand that you may not have had the vision–“

Suddenly, you’re lying down again. The world goes black.


Open your eyes.

Animus

“You made it!” Greta yells. “I’ve been trying to pull you back ever since we put you back in.”

“What happened?” you ask. “I thought it was a reset. Another glitch in the machine?”

“I don’t think so,” Greta answers. “That’s not really controlled by the Animus. It’s just a memory, it shouldn’t even exist when you’re not inside of it.”

“Where’s Penelope?” you ask, suddenly noticing her absence.

“To dinner? I think?” Danny answers. “Anyway, don’t get too comfy. We’re sending you right back in. We’re so close now that you’ve hit land.”

“Wait, I just have one question,” you say.


Bring up your concerns with Penelope.


Bring up your concerns about the memory.

Animus

“Don’t you think there’s something suspicious about her?” you say.

“With who, Penelope?” Danny asks.

“Yeah. How she’s gone all of the time? And what is she even doing here? You and Greta I understand, but has Penelope asked you for anything in exchange for her help?”

“No, but we were very clear that this was an unpaid, intern position. If I had to guess, she’s just curious about the space apple. I even heard her call it ‘Eden’ once. She named it. Isn’t that cute?”

“No, I think–“

“Alright, now listen carefully,” Danny says. “Last time we sent you back in, we didn’t give you enough warning about what was going on. This time, you should have more of a heads up. We’re putting you back on Christmas, about a two-month jump. This really hilarious thing happens, right? So, according to Wikipedia, it’s the holiday, so everyone is drinking aboard the main ship, laughing it up, having a good time. But there is so much booze, that everyone starts falling asleep, see? One by one, the crewmen pass off responsibility of steering the Santa Maria to someone else, until it’s literally happened so many times that the only left to take charge is some kid who barely knows his way around a mop! So the kid has no idea how to steer the ship, and crashes it into an island! History is hilarious.”

“Why are you sending me back to a ship that’s about to crash because everyone’s had too much to–“

You’re suddenly back on your feet. “–drink!” you shout. You’re back aboard the Santa Maria. Three seamen sit in the corner playing a lute, accordion, and flute. The rest of the crew is busy dancing and drinking, and managing both actions poorly.

“Did you, uhhhh, say, ummm, drink?” a man asks beside you. He holds a flagon of ale to your hand and begins hiccoughing profusely.


Accept the drink.


Decline the drink.

Animus

“So, Danny,” you ask, “if this glitch happened before, where those assassins remembered who I was … does that mean this creepy Diego guy will be ready to kill me as well?”

“Definitely,” Danny says without hesitance.

“Jeez, thanks for the optimism,” you say. “What do you think is wrong with this memory anyway?”

“I don’t know,” he answers. “Maybe it’s because instead of using actual ‘source’ memories like Abstergo did, we’re actually – well, never mind.”

“No,” you say, “not never mind. Not never mind, Danny!”

“Alright, now listen carefully,” Danny says. “Last time we sent you back in, we didn’t give you enough warning about what was going on. This time, you should have more of a heads up. We’re putting you back on Christmas, about a two-month jump. This really hilarious thing happens, right? So, according to Wikipedia, it’s the holiday, so everyone is drinking aboard the main ship, laughing it up, having a good time. But there is so much booze, that everyone starts falling asleep, see? One by one, the crewmen pass off responsibility of steering the Santa Maria to someone else, until it’s literally happened so many times that the only left to take charge is some kid who barely knows his way around a mop! So the kid has no idea how to steer the ship, and crashes it into an island! History is hilarious.”

“Wait, what about the memory? And why are you sending me back to a ship that’s about to crash because everyone’s had too much to–“

You’re suddenly back on your feet. “–drink!” you shout. You’re back aboard the Santa Maria. Three seamen sit in the corner playing a lute, accordion, and flute. The rest of the crew is busy dancing and drinking, and managing both actions poorly.

“Did you, uhhhh, say, ummm, drink?” a man asks beside you. He holds a flagon of ale to your hand and begins hiccoughing profusely.


Accept the drink.


Decline the drink.

Shore

“Don’t mind if I do!” you exclaim. “I could use a drink after all of this.”

You chug the ale, and the man cheers. Soon, that ale becomes two ales, and those become six ales. After a while, you’re hoping to make it seven ales, but you’re having trouble finding a server.

You wander the deck for a time before eventually seeing a figure near the helm. “Hey, you,” you say, swaying as you speak. “You got any ale?” Moving closer, you make the silhouette out as a young boy with a mop.

“Sure thing, mister,” he says. “But I’ll have to go get it from the bar. You mind watching the wheel for me while I go?”

“Of course!” you exclaim. “Ha-ha, history,” you laugh while he’s gone. “That was the kid who sinks this here floataboat, and now I’ve made sure he’s not at the, um, wheel.” You see land for the second time in your voyage, though this time it seems much, much closer. “Ah, crap.”

The next morning you wake upon a beach, surrounded by what once was the Santa Maria. “Get up, you degenerate slobs!” you hear Columbus command. “Look at the Admiral’s ship! What have you done to it?”

You look around and see the rest of the crew, groggy, but mostly uninjured. It’s a miracle more of them aren’t dead, let alone hurt.

“Oh, well,” Columbus continues. “At least we’ve got the Nina and the Pinta. Only bad news is that there’s not enough room for the lot of you. We’ll need to leave about 30 of you behind while the rest of us complete the voyage aboard one of the other ships. Those who stay can found a new city in my name! We shall it Columbia! No, to hell with that; I want countries, not cities … hmmm … I know! La Navidad. The city of Christmas, so all of you morons will always remember the night you wrecked my freaking ship! We’ll build it from what’s left of my poor Santa Maria. I’ll need volunteers to stay behind.”


Raise your hand.


Stay silent.

Shore

“No, I don’t think I will,” you say. “But maybe you can help me with something else. I’m looking for a young boy. Maybe, a janitor of sorts. Swabs the poop deck, or what have you.”

The man looks at you blankly.

“Maybe the only other sober one on this boat other than myself.”

“Ah, you mean Juan. Yeah, we don’t let that little potato–” the man trails off.

“What was that about a potato?” you ask. The man merely drools. “Damn it, you fool, I’m trying to avoid a wreck, here. Now tell me where to find the little potato person!”

The man points toward the helm. You run toward the ship’s wheel, and find Juan standing there before it, wide-eyed. “Juan,” you say. “Is that right?”

“Yes, sir,” he says meekly.

“Alright, now listen. You don’t have to steer. I am a secretary of fleet, I am an adult, I am sober,” you say.

“The Admiral is sober too,” the boy says. “He could definitely steer. Though someone was bringing him a drink … “

“We must stop them!” you yell. “Follow me!”

You run down to the cabin and thrust open the door. His quarters are empty. You turn back and see Juan laughing manically. “Swab it Juan! Clean this Juan! Get me ale, Juan! Well, no more! I am now Commander Juan, and I shall lad us safely at port to prove my worth! BAHAHAHAHA!” He slams the door, and slides his mop across the handle. You are trapped. An hour later, you hear a deafening crash, and then lose consciousness.

The next morning you wake upon a beach, surrounded by what once was the Santa Maria. “Get up, you degenerate slobs!” you hear Columbus command. “Look at the Admiral’s ship! What have you done to it?”

You look around and see the rest of the crew, groggy, but mostly uninjured. It’s a miracle more of them aren’t dead, let alone hurt.

“Oh well,” Columbus continues. “At least we’ve got the Nina and the Pinta. Only bad news is that there’s not enough room for the lot of you. We’ll need to leave about 30 of you behind while the rest of us complete the voyage aboard one of the other ships. Those who stay can found a new city in my name! We shall it Columbia! No, to hell with that; I want countries, not cities … hmmm … I know! La Navidad. The city of Christmas, so all of you morons will always remember the night you wrecked my freaking ship! We’ll build it from what’s left of my poor Santa Maria. I’ll need volunteers to stay behind.”


Raise your hand.


Stay silent.

Shore

“I’ll stay,” you say.

“Very good,” Columbus replies. “Very good. Anyone else?”

“I as well,” you hear a familiar voice say. You turn to find the man who nearly killed you on the last beach you shared.

“Of course, Diego!” Columbus explains. “Who else could I leave in charge, if not my Master at Arms! Now, who else will join them?”

“Um, Danny,” you say quietly. “What do I do? That man is going to kill me. Pull me out!”

We can’t keep pulling you out at every sign of trouble. Look, you have some options here, so let’s not be hasty. Maybe you could talk to the guy, maybe you can work together. I heard a lot about these ‘temple people’ back at Abstergo. They hate assassins and want that sweet space apple for themselves. If he’s one of them, you have a common goal. Get him to play nice, and then stab him in the back and get us the fruit.

“I’m sure it’ll be as easy as all that,” you say.

Otherwise, you just run for it. Head out into the jungle. This is where Columbus sets up base. Based on every piece of research we have – which isn’t much, but still – there is a great chance the apple is here, on this island. You’re going to have to go exploring anyway, so why not get away from this crazy person at the same time?


Talk it out.


Run for the jungle.

Shore

“I’ll stay,” you hear a familiar voice say. You turn to find the man who nearly killed you on the last beach you shared.

“Of course, Diego!” Columbus explains. “Who else could I leave in charge, if not my Master at Arms! Now, who else will join him?”

“I’d like to request the Secretary, if I might,” Diego says. “I feel like his skills will come in handy founding a new township.”

“Request granted,” Columbus says. “Now, who else?”

“Um, Danny,” you say quietly. “What do I do? That man is going to kill me. Pull me out!”

We can’t keep pulling you out at every sign of trouble. Look, you have some options here, so let’s not be hasty. Maybe you could talk to the guy, maybe you can work together. I heard a lot about these ‘temple people’ back at Abstergo. They hate assassins and want that sweet space apple for themselves. If he’s one of them, you have a common goal. Get him to play nice, and then stab him in the back and get us the fruit.

“I’m sure it’ll be as easy as all that,” you say.

Otherwise, you just run for it. Head out into the jungle. This is where Columbus sets up base. Based on every piece of research we have – which isn’t much, but still – there is a great chance the apple is here, on this island. You’re going to have to go exploring anyway, so why not get away from this crazy person at the same time?


Talk it out.


Run for the jungle.

Shore

You wait for Columbus to leave before pulling Diego aside privately. “I’m not going to pretend to know why you want me dead, other than some old blood feud thing, but if you’ll not try to stab me for a minute I have a deal I’d like to offer you.”

Diego smiles. “It better be a good deal for you to risk approaching me, when you had ample time to try and escape my reach. Sure, I’ll hear you out.”

You feel a slight stir near your belly, and look down to find a knife’s edge being carefully removed from its center. You’d never even noticed it was there.

“Well?” he asks.


Do as I command, or I’ll order the other ten assassins still hidden here to murder you.


We should work as a team. We can help each other achieve our goals.

Jungle

You don’t wait for Columbus to leave. You don’t wait for it to not look like you’ve gone mad. You run. You run for the jungle, and you do not look behind you. After fifteen minutes, you finally slow your pace. You’re safe.

Wait.

You hear rapid footstep crunch leaves in the near distance. Diego – he’s coming for you. If he’s caught up this much, he can clearly outpace you. Your option is to hide.

You look around. There is nothing remotely similar to anything Rodrigo taught you how to use, no hay, no groups of sex workers, no benches. You’ll have to come up with something on your own.


Draw inspiration from the trees.


Draw inspiration from the leaves.


Draw inspiration from a nearby sloth.

Shore

“The deal is: You do as I say,” you say menacingly. “There are ten more assassins you’ve yet to uncover among the crew, and I’ve made sure all of them volunteered to stay behind. You lay a finger on me, you die. You don’t do as I say? You die. Sense a pattern?”

Diego lays a finger on your chest. “Tell me more about these assassins in my midst,” he says.


He’s not buying it. Crank up the crazy. Tell him of the future.


Continue your bluff. He just needs more convincing.

TheEnd

“You may find this impossible to believe with your puny 15th century brain, but I’m a time traveler. Xbox One, World War II, Three, uh, Amigos. We have all that stuff,” you say. “I’m here because I’m plugged into a machine that’s projecting me here. That’s right, advanced technology. We have gunpowder, alright?”

“We have gunpowder,” Diego says.

“Yeah, well, we have a lot of it,” you recover.

Diego steps close to you, and jams his blade deep into your belly. “The funny thing is,” he says. “I know you’re telling the truth. Maybe not about the other assassins, but about that machine. But the truth will not save you.” He twists the knife as hard as he twisted the plot.

The end.


Return to last checkpoint.

Shore

“Look, we’re equals. I don’t have any other men, and I cannot stop you from killing me,” you say.

“I thought you said we were equals,” he remarks.

You ignore the jab. “I can help you get what you want. What matters more to you, that I am dead or that you achieve your goals?”

“What if my goal is to kill you?” he asks through a smile.

“It’s not,” you reply firmly.

“Alright, I’ll bite,” he says. “How can you help me?”


Be honest. Tell him about the Animus.


Tell him you know much about the space apple.

Shore

You look past him and shake your head. “See that?” you ask. “I just told them to not kill you for putting a finger on me. You have no idea how close you just brushed with death, amigo.”

“I saw you running from those assassins,” Diego replies. “And if you had more allies aboard, you had the chance to contact them. So, I know you’re lying, why should I not kill you where you stand, let alone help you?”


Invent something about the creed of assassins.


Change tactics. Tell him you should work together as equals.

TheEnd

“Something you temple folk never learned about us assassins, is that we assassins follow a specific creed. And the first tenant of that creed is: ‘The illusion of weakness is the strength of reality.'”

“That doesn’t make any sense,” he replies.

“Of course it wouldn’t to someone like you, who lives in the realm of the illusion of–“

“Alright, alright, enough of this,” he says, slicing open your throat.

The end.


Return to last checkpoint.

“I know what you seek,” you say. “Assassin scholars have passed information about the space apple from disciple to disciple for generations. We are space apple experts. I know its secrets, and I know how to find it.”

“Great,” Diego says, sheathing his weapon. “Lead the way.”

“I just need to, uh, pee, first. Over there,” you say, ducking behind a tree.

“Danny,” you say quietly. You hear no response. “Handsome Danny, then. Hey, you there?”

I’m here, he says.

“What do I do now? Where do I start?”

Well, if the island is really home to something like this, you should probably ask the people who live on the island. I’d say, find the Natives, see what they say.”

You return to Diego, and wave him forward. He follows you into the jungle. Both of you march for miles, before discovering a small village hidden in the trees near a large river. You approach the inhabitants carefully, but they flee. All but one.

“Pardon me,” you say, already knowing he doesn’t speak the language.

The man spins around twice, and flaps his arms like wings before making strange cooing noises.

“What an odd culture,” you remark.

“I don’t think that’s the product of culture,” Diego replies. “I’m fairly certain that’s ‘crazy’ in any language.”

“You may be right,” you say. The man has begun to cross his eyes and slap at his cheeks. You lift a nearby stick from the ground and draw the shape of an apple in the sand. He doesn’t respond. You add stars. Suddenly, he looks excited. You place a hand over your eyes, and make a searching motion.

The man grabs the stick and begins to draw in the sand. You look at the shape, and for the first time since arriving here, feel confident.

Drawing1

“You look sure of yourself,” Diego says, looking puzzled by the man’s drawing. “Is this another ‘assassin’ thing?”

“No,” you say proudly. “It’s a HITman thing.”


Nod to the man to continue his drawing.

“You might not believe me,” you say, “but I’m going to be honest with you. I’m from the future. Right now, my future self is hooked up into a machine run by a mysterious organization that allows me to tap into my genetic memories in order to search out this inexplicable space apple by tapping into the experiences of my ancestors.”

“You people! Wouldn’t it be easier if you were just you, and we didn’t have to worry about the rest of that garbage? Why can’t assassins just kill people, and not need to have some crazy, overly complicated narrative that invariably makes people lose interest or get confused? See, this is why I dislike your whole order. This is why I joined the other side of this fight. But, I still believe you.”

“You do?” you ask.

“Sure,” Diego says, sheathing his weapon. “I’ve heard weirder stuff. Now lead the way.”

“I just need to, uh, pee, first. Over there,” you say, ducking behind a tree.

“Danny,” you say quietly. You hear no response. “Handsome Danny, then. Hey, you there?”

I’m here, he says.

“What do I do now? Where do I start?”

Well, if the island is really home to something like this, you should probably ask the people who live on the island. I’d say, find the natives, see what they say.

You return to Diego, and wave him forward. He follows you into the jungle. Both of you march for miles, before discovering a small village hidden in the trees near a large river. You approach the inhabitants carefully, but they flee. All but one.

“Pardon me,” you say, already knowing he doesn’t speak the language.

The man spins around twice, and flaps his arms like wings before making strange cooing noises.

“What an odd culture,” you remark.

“I don’t think that’s the product of culture,” Diego replies. “I’m fairly certain that’s ‘crazy’ in any language.”

“You may be right,” you say. The man has begun to cross his eyes and slap at his cheeks. You lift a nearby stick from the ground and draw the shape of an apple in the sand. He doesn’t respond. You add stars. Suddenly, he looks excited. You place a hand over your eyes, and make a searching motion.

The man grabs the stick and begins to draw in the sand. You look at the shape, and for the first time since arriving here, feel confident.

Drawing1

“You look sure of yourself,” Diego says, looking puzzled by the man’s drawing. “Is this another ‘assassin’ thing?”

“No,” you say proudly. “It’s a HITman thing.”

[a href=”http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/columns/pickyourpath/10672-Pick-Your-Path-Assassin-s-Creed.109″ target=”_self”]Nod to the man to continue his drawing.</a

???

He erases the drawing, and creates a new one.

Drawing3


“Interesting,” you say. Nod your head.

He erases the drawing, and creates a new one.

Drawing4


“Got it.” You nod.

TheEnd

You embark on your journey, but with no sense of distance between landmarks, you do not know how far to go before turning around. This is especially troublesome when you remembered the information incorrectly to begin with.

It’s not long before Diego loses patience with you, stabs you in the back, and continues alone.

The end.


Return to last checkpoint

TheEnd

You embark on your journey, but with no sense of distance between landmarks, you do not know how far to go before turning around. This is especially troublesome when you remembered the information incorrectly to begin with.

It’s not long before Diego loses patience with you, stabs you in the back, and continues alone.

The end.


Return to last checkpoint.

CaveEntrance

You follow the directions with amazing precision, and it’s not long before you approach a cave similar to the drawing. As you approach, you realize that it’s been a while since you last heard Diego’s voice or footsteps. You stop and turn around. He’s disappeared.


Head back into the jungle and search for him.


Call Handsome Danny. Maybe he saw where he went.

Jungle

You retreat into the jungle, and find yourself more and more lost as time goes by. Eventually, you attempt to give up and just get back to the cave, but all of these trees and vines just look so similar! Hours later, it’s so bad that you call on Danny to pull you out of the machine.

“Danny?” you say. There’s no reply. “Handsome Danny,” you sigh. Surprisingly, there’s still no answer. “Danny, stop fooling around. I need to get out of here before nightfall. Danny? Greta? Penelope? Anyone?” Nothing.

Soon, night falls, and jungle goes dark. You lean against a tree and hug your knees. Suddenly, you hear footsteps approaching from behind the trunk. You lean head around the side and come face to face with a jaguar.

You find yourself wondering why you wanted to find Diego anyway, as you’re dragged into the darkness of the trees by your neck.

The end.


Return to previous checkpoint.

CaveEntrance

“Danny,” you say. There’s no response. “Okay, okay, Handsome Danny,” you try. Still nothing. “Danny, come on, stop playing around. I need help, we’re finally close to this thing.” Silence.

“That’s not good … ” you say. There is nowhere to go now but onward.


Enter the cave of the space apple.

InsideCave

Summoning what little courage you possess, you walk into the cave, ready to finally confront your destiny. As you travel deeper inside, the walls suddenly illuminate in flame. A series of twenty torches on either side burst to life, revealing the cave in light. You look around for what may have lit the torches, but find nothing.

Spread across the rocks just ahead of you is a strange white outfit, laid out flat and undisturbed in a human shape. Beside it are a collection of weapons: a few swords, throwing daggers, and even a spring-loaded blade that seems to attach at the wrist. There is a symbol carved in the rock beside them, the same you’d seen across Rodrigo’s tunic. This must be assassin gear. Real deal assassin gear.

As you reach for it, a loud, female voice fills the room, different from when Danny has spoken to you in the past. This voice feels somehow more present, more real.

“Bury the gear,” it says.

“Why?” you ask. “Who is this?” No one answers.


Bury the gear. Fulfill the voice’s wishes


Equip the gear. Fulfill your destiny.

Animus

You slip the robe over your head, and equip the gear. You’re not sure if anything more than your appearance has changed, but you certainly feel badass with all of this cool stuff on you.

Stepping deeper into the cave, you see an altar. At its center sits something small, round, and glowing. Could this be the apple you’ve been searching for?

As you take a quick step forward, you’re suddenly prostrate. The world goes black for a moment, and when you open your eyes, you find Greta scrambling to unbuckle the leather straps around your body.

“Greta,” you say, “what’s going on?”

“It’s Penelope!” she exclaims frantically. “She’s crazy–Danny tried to escape into the building–she went after him–I don’t know what’s happening–” As she releases your final strap, you see a throwing knife land in the side of her arm. It spins her around and knocks her over. Behind her, you see Penelope in the doorway, a bloody Danny slumped over her shoulder. She discards the body to the floor as she slowly approaches.

“Making sense yet?” she asks, her voice barely louder than Greta’s cries.

“You being a psycho hose-beast, sure,” you say. “The rest of it never has, and your betrayal doesn’t change that.” You stand and coil your hands into fists.

“Oh, please,” she laughs. “You’re no assassin. Not in the memory, and certainly not here.”

“But–“

“That can’t be much of a surprise, can it?” she asks. “You’re not good at any of it, you know.”

“Danny said it was my memory, though. Why else would–“

“Danny told you a half truth. Yes, you were on Abstergo’s initial watch list, but no, like thousands of others, you’re not an assassin. You may have some percent of a percent ancestor who once knew an assassin, but no genes. Danny pulled the reject list, when he fled, and found you along with a hundred others to try and lure here.”

“What about my memory?” you ask.

“It’s not yours. It’s a cloud save from someone else who was an assassin. That’s why your avatar is in the right place, but with no skills to back up his actions. And that’s also why a second person from the present was able to jointly upload into the session.”

“You!”

“Diego de Arana, at your service,” she says with flourish. “Now come with me. I do have a final use for you.”


Attempt to fight her. There’s no way you aren’t an assassin.


Go peacefully. Everything she said adds up, and you have no hope of fighting.

Animus

It seems a massive waste, but you figure you should follow the ominous voice’s advice. Maybe it’s some sort of test of will power to see if you’re worthy of recovering the space apple. These mysterious artifacts always have some nonsense like that surrounding them.

It takes some time, but you bury the robes, and the weapons in the dirt near the stone. As you rise, you see an altar in the distance. At its center sits something small, round, and glowing. Could this be the apple you’ve been searching for? Maybe it was a test after all! (Though alarmingly easy, if so.)

As you take a quick step forward, you’re suddenly prostrate. The world goes black for a moment, and when you open your eyes, you find Greta scrambling to unbuckle the leather straps around your body.

“Greta,” you say, “what’s going on?”

“It’s Penelope!” she exclaims frantically. “She’s crazy–Danny tried to escape into the building–she went after him–I don’t know what’s happening–” As she releases your final strap, you see a throwing knife land in the side of her arm. It spins her around and knocks her over. Behind her, you see Penelope in the doorway, a bloody Danny slumped over her shoulder. She discards the body to the floor as she slowly approaches.

“Making sense yet?” she asks, her voice barely louder than Greta’s cries.

“You being a psycho hose-beast, sure,” you say. “The rest of it never has, and your betrayal doesn’t change that.” You stand and coil your hands into fists.

“Oh, please,” she laughs. “You’re no assassin. Not in the memory, and certainly not here.”

“But–“

“That can’t be much of a surprise, can it?” she asks. “You’re not good at any of it, you know.”

“Danny said it was my memory, though. Why else would–“

“Danny told you a half truth. Yes, you were on Abstergo’s initial watch list, but no, like thousands of others, you’re not an assassin. You may have some percent of a percent ancestor who once knew an assassin, but no genes. Danny pulled the reject list, when he fled, and found you along with a hundred others to try and lure here.”

“What about my memory?” you ask.

“It’s not yours. It’s a cloud save from someone else who was an assassin. That’s why your avatar is in the right place, but with no skills to back up his actions. And that’s also why a second person from the present was able to jointly upload into the session.”

“You!”

“Diego de Arana, at your service,” she says with flourish. “Now come with me. I do have a final use for you.”


Attempt to fight her. There’s no way you aren’t an assassin.


Go peacefully. Everything she said adds up, and you have no hope of fighting.

Jungle

It’s not what most (or any) would come up with when thinking about disguises, but trees are the most prevalent thing around you. You step into the brush, hold out your arms, and pretend to be a tree.

It’s not long before Diego appears. He runs directly past you.

You allow yourself to breathe again, and lower your arms. You can’t understand why that just worked, but you never understood why just sitting on a bench did anything either.

With Diego gone, you continue along your way. A few hours later, you discover a small village hidden in the trees near a large river. You approach carefully, but the inhabitants still seem frightened.

While obviously scared, they still show signs of curiosity. A circle quickly forms around you. Not sure of what to say, you grab a nearby stick and draw an apple in the sand. The villagers seem confused. You add stars, and the crowd gasps. A small teen runs into a nearby, ornate-looking hut and returns with a small piece of paper. He hands it to a large man – perhaps the chieftain by the look of his unique garb – who swats at the boy and points him back to the hut. The teen returns the paper, then rejoins the group empty-handed.

You’re not sure what that paper was, but it had something to do with the apple. You’re going to need to find a way to clear the people out of this village if you’re going to get it.


A fire would do nicely.


Bribe the kid with hut access.


Wait until the chief is busy, and just sneak in there yourself.

Jungle

It’s not exactly hay, but leaves are the most prevalent thing around you. You lie on the ground, grab a quick handful of leaves, and then drop them on your chest.

It’s not long before Diego appears. To your surprise, he runs directly past you.

You allow yourself to breathe again, and stand up. You can’t understand why that just worked, but you never really understood why things like just sitting on a bench did anything to hide yourself either.

With Diego gone, you continue along your way. A few hours later, you discover a small village hidden in the trees near a large river. You approach carefully, but the inhabitants still seem frightened.

While obviously scared, they still show signs of curiosity. A circle quickly forms around you. Not sure of what to say, you grab a nearby stick and draw an apple in the sand. The villagers seem confused. You add stars, and the crowd gasps. A small teen runs into a nearby, ornate-looking hut and returns with a small piece of paper. He hands it to a large man – perhaps the chieftain by the look of his unique garb – who swats at the boy and points him back to the hut. The teen returns the paper, then rejoins the group empty-handed.

You’re not sure what that paper was, but it had something to do with the apple. You’re going to need to find a way to clear the people out of this village if you’re going to get it.


A fire would do nicely.


Bribe the kid with hut access.


Wait until the chief is busy, and just sneak in there yourself.

Sloth

During one of your lessons, Rodrigo had mentioned grabbing hold of a nearby pedestrian, and flinging him or her at a pursuer as a means of distraction. With no denizens of the forest in sight but a nearby sloth, you grab it carefully by its back and hide behind the nearest tree.

It’s not long before Diego appears. As he approaches, you jump out from behind the tree, and Frisbee the poor sloth by its leg at Diego’s head. The sloth’s large, hook-like feet wrap around his ears, as Diego stumbles over a log. You use the opportunity to run in a new direction, hopefully losing the man for good.

A few hours later, you discover a small village hidden in the trees near a large river. You approach carefully, but the inhabitants still seem frightened.

While obviously scared, they still show signs of curiosity. A circle quickly forms around you. Not sure of what to say, you grab a nearby stick and draw an apple in the sand. The villagers seem confused. You add stars, and the crowd gasps. A small teen runs into a nearby, ornate-looking hut and returns with a small piece of paper. He hands it to a large man – perhaps the chieftain by the look of his unique garb – who swats at the boy and points him back to the hut. The teen returns the paper, then rejoins the group empty-handed.

You’re not sure what that paper was, but it had something to do with the apple. You’re going to need to find a way to clear the people out of this village if you’re going to get it.


A fire would do nicely.


Bribe the kid with hut access.


Wait until the chief is busy, and just sneak in there yourself.

CaveEntrance

It’s difficult to shake the tribe’s attention for long enough to get alone, but eventually you manage it. Sneaking around the perimeter of the village, eventually you come upon a small pyramid torch built upon a stone. Taking a handful of brush, you borrow the fire, and redistribute it along the backside of the Eastern huts.

As men, women, and children run screaming and crying from their homes, it occurs to you that you might be a terrible, terrible human being. Then you remember, that this is simply a memory, technically making none of these people real. Then you feel better about yourself. Sort of.

You make your way around the huts to the chieftain’s residence, dismayed to find that it’s also caught the blaze. Dashing bravely inside, you see a small, ornate wooden box smoldering near the burning straw bed. Singing the tips of your fingers, you recover it, and run back outside, where you bury it temporarily in the dirt.

With the flames extinguished, you empty the box. Thankfully, the small piece of paper you’d come for was barely touched by the fire. Unfolding it, you see what it is: A map!

Wasting no time, you follow the simple pictures to a site only half a mile from the village … well … ex-village, anyway. Before you stands an intimidating cave. If this map is to be believed, you’ve found the home of the space apple.


Check in with Danny.


Head straight into the cave.

???

CaveEntrance

As the tribe begins to lose interest in you, you seek out the young man who’d brought the paper to the chief. He seems excited to have your attention, but can’t understand a word.

You grab a stick and draw the apple again. For a moment, he seems excited, but it has short effect. His happiness drains and he sadly shakes his head “no.”

Next to the apple, you draw a small piece of paper being held by a stick figure standing outside of a hut. The teen looks hesitant. You add yourself, holding out a chicken to the figure of the boy. He’s not impressed. You erase the chicken and try a cow. He shakes his head and grabs the stick. He scribbles out the cow and draws in a sword. He looks up to you with eager eyes.

“Ah, what the hell,” you say, unsheathing your sword. You place it on the ground, then point to the picture of the boy with the paper. The deal is struck, and it’s not long before the boy returns with the paper. You trade treasures and open what he’s brought you. It’s a map!

Suddenly, the paper is ripped from your hands. It’s the chief. He slaps the sword out of the hands of the teen, and grabs him by the wrist before looking at you disapprovingly. The two disappear back into the village.

You recover your sword and head out into the jungle before you forget the map. It was easy enough–just a few pictures of landmarks. It takes less than twenty minutes to arrive at the destination: a large, foreboding cave.


Call Danny to check in.


Head directly into the cave.

TheEnd

It takes some time to shake the interest of the villagers, but eventually they move on from gawking at you, finally giving you the privacy to rob them. Sneaking around the huts is easier than you’d thought, and soon you find yourself undetected by the door of the chieftain’s residence.

The door is locked, but the lock is made of reeds, so no trouble there. Walking inside, your eyes immediately fall to a small ornate box. You quickly lift it and open the lid. The small paper you’d seen is resting inside. As you lift the note, you feel a small prick on the back of your hand. Standing aggressively beneath the paper is a large, black scorpion. You quickly drop the box, and open the note: It’s a map!

Before you can even hope to follow it, you begin to feel dizzy as the venom takes effect. You make it two steps past the door before collapsing into the dirt, dead.

The end.


Return to last checkpoint.

???

GoodEnding

You throw the dagger, hoping to strike Penelope. But with aim as bad of yours, the stone flies off course and destroys the apple in her hands. She turns to you, furious.

“Do you know what you’ve done?” she says as approaches you.

“No,” you answer honestly.

As Penelope lifts a large above your head in what feels like slow motion, you think about that answer. You don’t know what you’ve done. What was the point of any of this? At least Penelope and the temple people won’t have the apple. It’s not like you realistically had a shot at getting it for yourself anyway.

Maybe you never had a destiny.

Time returns to normal, and the rock crashes down.

The end.

Ten out of ten, would choose again? You can check out more of Mike Kayatta’s Pick Your Path with Pick Your Path: Skyrim> and Pick Your Path: Mass Effect, or follow him on Twitter @mikekayatta for all of your non-interactive needs.

GoodEnding

You throw the stone at the apple, but with your aim, miss and hit Penelope in the neck. Blood flies from the cut. Holding the wound with one hand, and the apple with the other, she runs from the cave. You’re too wounded to do much about it.

Outside, you can hear the chopper spinning up. By the time you crawl to where it had been, it’s gone from sight, along with Penelope, Greta, and the apple. You pass out.

By some miracle, your found eighteen hours later by a group of college kids on a hike trying to find themselves.” They get you to medical help, and eventually, on a plane back home.

A week later, you’ve somehow managed to get your job back by agreeing to be Jerry’s Assistant Community Motivational Manager … in training.

You sit at your desk, expensive coffee in hand, in front of a task a monkey could do, and wonder if Penelope made it back to her people with the apple. You wonder if she let Greta die. You wonder if Penelope will someday come back to finish you off. You wonder what horrible evil Penelope is about to release with her newfound power. You wonder when she’ll release it. You sit at your desk, and you wonder.

The end.

Ten out of ten, would choose again? You can check out more of Mike Kayatta’s Pick Your Path with Pick Your Path: Skyrim> and Pick Your Path: Mass Effect, or follow him on Twitter @mikekayatta for all of your non-interactive needs.

ImAssassin1

“Alright, Penelope,” you say, defeated. “I won’t figh–” You feel a prick against the back of your neck.

You wake up sometime later in the back of a helicopter. Penelope is at the controls, and Greta is tied up and gagged next to you. You decide not to speak. There’s nothing to say, anyway. You’ve failed as an assassin. The only thing you were ever good at was being a hitman.

It’s not long before the chopper descends into a familiar jungle. You recognize the cave near her landing site, too.

“Alright,” Penelope says as the blades wind down. “Let’s go get that apple. This place is an assassin safe house–if there’s anything dangerous in there, it’s better you than me, so ladies first.”

You step off the chopper, and turn to see if Penelope is following. Before she does, she removes a knife from her belt, and shoves it quickly into Greta’s stomach. The girl screams beneath her gag. “I guess we’d better hurry, huh?” Penelope says. “Wouldn’t want her bleeding out from delays.”

You swallow your horror and make your way into the cave. Penelope stays a few steps behind you. The chamber is shallow, as you remember, and it isn’t long before the altar is in sight.

“The apple,” she mutters. “It’s unprotected after all.”

Penelope made it pretty clear that you’re here for little more than risk aversion, so once she’s got that apple, you’re pretty much dead. You step back from her path and nearly trip over a large stone. You recognize it as the stone where the assassin gear had been stretched out in the memory, and realize you’re standing over the patch of dirt where you buried it.

The apple begins to glow, and so the does the ground beneath you. Penelope turns and watches in alarm as an assassin’s tunic and weapons begin to lift magically from the ground and circle your body. Soon, you’re engulfed in a brilliant blue light, and as it fades, you find yourself wearing the gear. You feel a strength within you that’s not your own, as if you’ve been possessed.


Draw your sword.


Prepare your hidden blade.

ImAssassin1

“Alright, Penelope,” you say, defeated. “I won’t figh–” You feel a prick against the back of your neck.

You wake up sometime later in the back of a helicopter. Penelope is at the controls, and Greta is tied up and gagged next to you. You decide not to speak. There’s nothing to say, anyway. You’ve failed as an assassin. The only thing you were ever good at was being a hitman.

It’s not long before the chopper descends into a familiar jungle. You recognize the cave near her landing site, too.

“Alright,” Penelope says as the blades wind down. “Let’s go get that apple. This place is an assassin safe house–if there’s anything dangerous in there, it’s better you than me, so ladies first.”

You step off the chopper, and turn to see if Penelope is following. Before she does, she removes a knife from her belt, and shoves it quickly into Greta’s stomach. The girl screams beneath her gag. “I guess we’d better hurry, huh?” Penelope says. “Wouldn’t want her bleeding out from delays.”

You swallow your horror and make your way into the cave. Penelope stays a few steps behind you. The chamber is shallow, as you remember, and it isn’t long before the altar is in sight.

“The apple,” she mutters. “It’s unprotected after all.”

Penelope made it pretty clear that you’re here for little more than risk aversion, so once she’s got that apple, you’re pretty much dead. You step back from her path and nearly trip over a large stone. You recognize it as the stone where the assassin gear had been stretched out in the memory, and realize you’re standing over the patch of dirt where you buried it.

The apple begins to glow, and so the does the ground beneath you. Penelope turns and watches in alarm as an assassin’s tunic and weapons begin to lift magically from the ground and circle your body. Soon, you’re engulfed in a brilliant blue light, and as it fades, you find yourself wearing the gear. You feel a strength within you that’s not your own, as if you’ve been possessed.


Draw your sword.


Prepare your hidden blade.

???

???

ImAssassin2

Imbued with a power you don’t understand, you move toward her like a snake, easily dodging the quick strikes she throws at you. Finally, she performs an impressive high kick aimed at your jam. With astounding reflex, you duck beneath her leg and curl around to her back where you jab her side.

She cries from the pain, but doesn’t realize the worst is to follow. You release your hidden blade and the strike becomes a stab. She falls forward before stumbling back to her feet.

“How?” she pants. “How are you doing this?”


Fall back into the shadows, and strike unexpectedly.


Run up the wall to perform a circle kick.

ImAssassin2

You draw your sword, and she responds by bringing her large hunting knife into a defensive position in front of her face. You circle each other for a moment before she finally strikes at you. You easily deflect the blow, sending her right arm to the side while you reveal a second sword in your other hand that turns sharply into the opening you’ve just created, slicing through her side.

The assault spins her to the ground. A few moments later she stumbles back to her feet.

“How?” she pants. “How are you doing this?”


Fall back into the shadows, and strike unexpectedly.


Run up the wall to perform a circle kick.

ImAssassin3

You leap back into the shadows and complete disappear from sight. Wounded, she looks frantically around the cave, failing to see you.

“Where are you?” she screams in a shrill voice. “Show yourself!”

Taking her advice you leap down on her from the stalactite hanging above her. Revealing a small pistol from your left sleeve, you drive the barrel into her shoulder and pull the trigger. The small blast shifts your momentum from her, and you land easily on your feet a few meters back.

A large hole beside her neck begins to leak blood. She swivels on her feet, realizing that the fight has brought her close to the apple. “If I can only touch it .. ” she strains to say, lifting her arms toward it.

It’s time to finish this.


Do it cold as ice.


Do it honorably.


Do it bad action movie style.

ImAssassin3

You turn from her as if you retreat, but instead run directly up the stone wall beside you. As your flips around, you thrust a foot into Penelope’s shoulder. The impact automatically releases a small blade projectile from the sole that fires into her body.

A large hole beside her neck begins to leak blood. She swivels on her feet, realizing that the fight has brought her close to the apple. “If I can only touch it .. ” she strains to say, lifting her arms toward it.

It’s time to finish this.


Do it cold as ice.


Do it honorably.


Do it bad action movie style.

PieceofEden

You slowly walk behind the apple, and lean down on the altar, innocently cradling your head in your hands. Penelope continues to drag herself forward with outstretched arms. As she reaches the altar, she struggles to lift her arms high enough to take her prize. You watch her labor with a gentle smile, and just before the very tip of her finger makes contact with the side of the apple, you spin your knife across her wrist at frightening speed. Both her hands fall to the ground below, completely freed from her arms.

She cries out, but only for a moment. You’re quick to sail behind her and drag your sword across her neck, cleanly decapitating her. Her body begins to flail, her handless arms waving wildly like blood-spurting hoses, while the center fountain, her neck, shoots more blood into the air than you knew was in a body. A minute later, the grotesque hose beast goes limp, and flops against the stone.

You casually ignore the sight and lift the apple into your hands. Your mind is returned to you. A familiar voice calls out through the air.

“Well done,” it says. “You have recovered a priceless treasure. It has many abilities: the power to heal, the power to give power like the power I recently gave to you, and the power to save this world from utter destruction.”

“Save the world … ” you whisper. “So I did have a destiny. I am important.”

“Yes,” the voice says. “You have played a role.”

“So what must I do?” you ask. “To save this fragile world of ours?”

“A great solar flare is coming,” she answers.

“Really?” you ask. “That’s the big thing? Not like sea monsters, or zombies, or–“

“Hey!” she interjects. “Meteorological phenomenon can be really cool, and scary, and destructive, okay? Stopping one should be just as exciting as, you know, having a mech battle, or fighting off aliens.”

“Okay, okay, I get it,” you say apologetically. “End of the world is end of the world. So how do I save it and become a hero?”

“Wellllllll,” she says. “Actually, I just need you to leave that right where you found it. She, there’s this other hero who’s like, actually an assassin who’s going to need that in 218 years.”

“What?!”

“Yeah, well, you still made sure it be here for him. I mean, who knows what that Penelop chick was going to do with it, am I right?”

“What happens to these cool powers?” you ask.

“Gone,” she replies decisively.

“And Greta? She’s bleeding to death outside! You said this can heal, right?”

“It’s sort of a one-shot type of deal. We can’t waste the energy. Now just put it back, and be the hero the world needs in 2013, so that the hero the world needs in 2231 will know where to find it.”

You may not be as powerful as you wished, but you do have the power to determine many fates. Choose wisely.


Save Greta. She doesn’t deserve to die.


Make your assassin powers permanent.


Put the apple back where you found it, and save the world quietly.

PieceofEden

You slowly walk behind Penelope, and place a gentle hand on her shoulder. It’s enough to stop her from reaching the apple.

“Penelope,” you say kindly. “You have fought well, and now you have earn a soldier’s death. It will be dignified and painless, if you let it be.”

She stops moving, and turns to you. After meeting your eyes for a moment, she nods. You nod back to her. With one swift movement, you cleanly move you sword in and out of her neck. She dies instantly. You slowly lower her body to the floor, and retract your blade.

Turning your attention back to the apple, you finally lift it into your hands. Your mind is returned to you, and a familiar voice calls out through the air.

“Well done,” it says. “You have recovered a priceless treasure. It has many abilities: the power to heal, the power to give power like the power I recently gave to you, and the power to save this world from utter destruction.”

“Save the world … ” you whisper. “So I did have a destiny. I am important.”

“Yes,” the voice says. “You have played a role.”

“So what must I do?” you ask. “To save this fragile world of ours?”

“A great solar flare is coming,” she answers.

“Really?” you ask. “That’s the big thing? Not like sea monsters, or zombies, or–“

“Hey!” she interjects. “Meteorological phenomenon can be really cool, and scary, and destructive, okay? Stopping one should be just as exciting as, you know, having a mech battle, or fighting off aliens.”

“Okay, okay, I get it,” you say apologetically. “End of the world is end of the world. So how do I save it and become a hero?”

“Wellllllll,” she says. “Actually, I just need you to leave that right where you found it. She, there’s this other hero who’s like, actually an assassin who’s going to need that in 218 years.”

“What?!”

“Yeah, well, you still made sure it be here for him. I mean, who knows what that Penelop chick was going to do with it, am I right?”

“What happens to these cool powers?” you ask.

“Gone,” she replies decisively.

“And Greta? She’s bleeding to death outside! You said this can heal, right?”

“It’s sort of a one-shot type of deal. We can’t waste the energy. Now just put it back, and be the hero the world needs in 2013, so that the hero the world needs in 2231 will know where to find it.”

You may not be as powerful as you wished, but you do have the power to determine many fates. Choose wisely.


Save Greta. She doesn’t deserve to die.


Make your assassin powers permanent.


Put the apple back where you found it, and save the world quietly.

PieceofEden

v

You slowly walk in front of Penelope, and stare her down. “You planned and you plotted, girl,” you say. “But you failed to see that evil would ever triumph over goodness. You failed to see that I have a destiny that you could never take away from me. And you failed to see that even if you’d gotten past me, and even if you’d gotten this apple you’d do anything for, someone, somewhere, would have stopped you. You failed to see each of these points, but I know you won’t fail to see this one.”

You quickly draw your blade and plunge it into her eye. She recoils back from you, spinning her head wildly, with your sword still caught in her skull. Eventually, she collapses, and you can turn your attention back to the apple. Approaching the altar, you finally lift the small treasure into your hands. Your mind is returned to you, and a familiar voice calls out through the air.

“Well done,” it says. “You have recovered a priceless treasure. It has many abilities: the power to heal, the power to give power like the power I recently gave to you, and the power to save this world from utter destruction.”

“Save the world … ” you whisper. “So I did have a destiny. I am important.”

“Yes,” the voice says. “You have played a role.”

“So what must I do?” you ask. “To save this fragile world of ours?”

“A great solar flare is coming,” she answers.

“Really?” you ask. “That’s the big thing? Not like sea monsters, or zombies, or–“

“Hey!” she interjects. “Meteorological phenomenon can be really cool, and scary, and destructive, okay? Stopping one should be just as exciting as, you know, having a mech battle, or fighting off aliens.”

“Okay, okay, I get it,” you say apologetically. “End of the world is end of the world. So how do I save it and become a hero?”

“Wellllllll,” she says. “Actually, I just need you to leave that right where you found it. She, there’s this other hero who’s like, actually an assassin who’s going to need that in 218 years.”

“What?!”

“Yeah, well, you still made sure it be here for him. I mean, who knows what that Penelop chick was going to do with it, am I right?”

“What happens to these cool powers?” you ask.

“Gone,” she replies decisively.

“And Greta? She’s bleeding to death outside! You said this can heal, right?”

“It’s sort of a one-shot type of deal. We can’t waste the energy. Now just put it back, and be the hero the world needs in 2013, so that the hero the world needs in 2231 will know where to find it.”

You may not be as powerful as you wished, but you do have the power to determine many fates. Choose wisely.


Save Greta. She doesn’t deserve to die.


Make your assassin powers permanent.


Put the apple back where you found it, and save the world quietly.

GoodEnding

“I’m not sacrificing Greta for the lives of people who haven’t even been born yet,” you say as you run for the helicopter.

“But it’s like 7 billion lives!” the voice cries out. “And in 200 years that’s going to be like 35 billion! You’re seriously trading one–“

The voice fades as you leave the cave and return to Greta. She looks weak but alive.

“Here,” you say, placing the apple against her wound. The artifact begins to glow, and amazingly, Greta’s wounds begin to heal before you eyes.

“Huh?” she says. “Did you save me?”

“Yes,” you say proudly. “I used the space apple. You’re better now.”

She nods and sits up. After a few minutes of silently digesting what’s happened, she throws her arms around you and hugs your body.

“You ready to get out of here?” she eventually asks.

“Sure,” you say, “but how?”

“The helicopter, I guess,” she says, hopping into the pilot’s seat.

“You have flight training?”

She turns back to you and smiles. “I don’t know,” she says, “you have assassin training?” She laughs.

“Yeah, I don’t know whether that means you–” you start.

“Buckle up!” she shouts.

The end.

Ten out of ten, would choose again? You can check out more of Mike Kayatta’s Pick Your Path with Pick Your Path: Skyrim> and Pick Your Path: Mass Effect, or follow him on Twitter @mikekayatta for all of your non-interactive needs.

GoodEnding

“I came here for a reason,” you tell the voice. “And that was not to let some unborn hero save a bunch of unborn people after I’m dead. I have been through way too much for this. I’m keeping this apple, and keeping these powers.”

“Wait, that accomplishes nothing!” the voice yells.

“It accomplishes what I came here to do,” you reply. “And who are you anyway?”

“I am Jun–” she begins.

“Just shut up,” you say, interrupting her. “I’m keeping this thing. I discovered America, okay? I deserve to be able to stab people efficiently. I’m sure that’s maritime law, or something.”

“Wait!” the voice yells, fading as you exit the cave. You find Greta outside, and join her for her last minutes. You show her the apple, and tell her she won. She, Danny, you … you all won. She smiles and dies in your arms.

Six months later, you’re back at your desk. It seems a mysterious man dressed in white appeared to Jerry in his home, and told him that if he didn’t hire you back, he’d have his esophagus fed to his family members.

Surprised to find yourself back at work as a hitman after everything you went through? Not really. Just because you’re extremely agile and able to hide yourself from people more efficiently, doesn’t mean you have anything new to add to your resume.

But things are different now, you think, drinking your large mocha bravo latte. For one thing, you no longer drive here, you jump across rooftops. That saves you like $15 a week in parking fees! You put down the coffee, and turn on your computer.

The end.

Ten out of ten, would choose again? You can check out more of Mike Kayatta’s Pick Your Path with Pick Your Path: Skyrim> and Pick Your Path: Mass Effect, or follow him on Twitter @mikekayatta for all of your non-interactive needs.

GoodEnding

“I’ll do it,” you say.

“Of course you will,” she replies.

You find Greta outside, and join her for her last minutes. You tell her about the apple, and tell her she won. She, Handsome Danny, you … you all won. She smiles and dies in your arms.

Six months later you’re back at your office. It was hard to get your old job back–Jerry only agreed, when you told him you’d be the Assistant Community Motivation Monitor–but you did what you had to.

Not much has changed, and you never quite feel like the savior you know you are. Or, will be. Or something. Anyway, a bunch of people who aren’t born yet won’t die when they’re born, and they’re going to have long-dead you to thank for that … if for some reason they ever find out what you did … which was sort of nothing. Man, being a hero is complicated.

Maybe the biggest difference you find is how you feel on Columbus Day each year. It used to be your favorite paid holiday–I mean hell, Columbus didn’t even discover America, and you don’t have to go to work because of it? Great.–but now it’s more of a memorial. You miss Greta. You feel guilty about her death. The uncertainty fills you with a question that will never truly fade before you die.

Did you do the right thing?

You turn on your computer.

The end.

Ten out of ten, would choose again? You can check out more of Mike Kayatta’s Pick Your Path with Pick Your Path: Skyrim> and Pick Your Path: Mass Effect, or follow him on Twitter @mikekayatta for all of your non-interactive needs.

ShipAboveDeck

“I … was just going to say, that I … propose a deal!” you exclaim.

“Yes?” Columbus replies impatiently.

“As secretary of the fleet, I’ve been keeping a log of distance traveled and trajectory and astrolabes, and things like that,” you say. “Basically, what I’ve discovered is that while this feels like it’s taken twice as long as it was supposed to, we’re actually on course to hit land in maybe two days.”

“Ha!” yells a man. “That’s awful convenient, isn’t it?”

“That doesn’t mean it’s not true,” you say. “Look, let’s go two more days, and if we don’t see land, Columbus will agree to”–the scowls at you–“I mean, the Admiral will agree to turn the ship around and compensate you for the wasted time.”

The man who’d looked doubtful, nods his head and grunts.

“Alright you lot, disperse now, go on,” Columbus says, waving his hand at them. “The Admiral has spoken, via his proxy.” He nods at you and walks back toward his cabin.

As the crowd dissipates, the two assassins once trying to kill you approach with a smile. “Quite a move,” one says. “Ingenious, really.”

“If it works,” the other says with a laugh, patting you strongly on the back. “Let us take you for a whiskey.”

According to Danny, these men should have no recollection of you, or your association with Rodrigo’s demise. Still, this seems an odd coincidence.


Join them for a drink.


Decline the invitation.

ShipAboveDeck

“Nothing,” you say. “I just meant, um, weight. The ship, uh, might have too much weight and that’s why we’re not going as fast and have not found the land because weight.”

Columbus makes a sound of disgust at your contribution.

“He’s right!” one of the crewmen yells. “Look at the size of this ship! It’s massive! I bet it’s incredibly heavy!”

“Yeah!” yells someone else.

“Rabble rabble!” yells another.

As the crew begins to stir, you look back to Columbus, who’s already begun to make a hasty exit toward his personal cabin. A seaman is pushed in front of you, and you hear a bottle break nearby.


Turn around and punch the man behind you. You started this mosh pit, and you may as well be a contributing member.


Follow Columbus to his quarters. They’re probably a safe place to hole up.

TheEnd

You run for the nearest stalagmite, and bear hug it. The stone doesn’t budge. You’re not sure what’s made you think you’ve suddenly gained Hulk-like powers, but you’re sorta committed at this point. You summon all of your strength and keep on trying.

Penelope turns and watches you try to rip stone from the ground with your bare hands, and laughs at you profusely before kindly ending your embarrassment with a large, serrated hunting knife.

The end.


Reload last checkpoint.

InsideCave

You quickly grab the bow, and a handful of what look like small flat stones with sharpened edges. As you go for the quiver, Penelope is on you, presumably leaving the apple for once you’ve been dealt with. A swift flying kick snaps your new bow in half before you could even load it.


Retreat into the shadowy wall of the cave and try for an ambush.


Run up the wall, and attempt a circle kick.

InsideCave

You quickly grab the spear, and a handful of what look like small flat stones with sharpened edges. You swing the shaft around to aim, but only serve to connect its middle with the sole of Penelope’s boot. Her kick shatters the front half of the weapon.


Continue to fight with what remains of the spear.


Retreat into the shadowy wall of the cave and try for an ambush.


Run up the wall, and attempt a circle kick.

TheEnd

Not deterred by the kick, you continue to jab with the broken pole. It may no longer have a sharpened head, but the splintery wooden shards at its end will still be sure to cause a significant amount of pain.

And you’re right, as you find out first hand when she disarms you, then stabs you through the eye with it.

The end.


Return to previous checkpoint.

PieceofEden

You retreat into the darkness, and quietly move along the wall as Penelope gets back on her feet. She steps quietly as she searches the small cave for you, and you take the first advantageous moment afforded you. Leaping from the wall, you plant a poorly made fist into the side of her jaw. She catches your fist as it leaves her face, and uses the momentum to throw you across the cave.

As you land, you lose her attention. You hadn’t realized it until now, but you’d lured her to the altar. You can see the space apple perfectly now. It’s so small, so fragile, so trivial.

“This is it,” she says, entranced. “All these years of looking–” She raises her arms to take it.

Nearly helpless, you remember the small, sharpened stones you’d taken from the dead warrior. Placing into you hand, you take a deep breath, and release it.

What were you aiming for?


Penelope.


The apple.

PieceofEden

You run straight up the wall by four whole steps, and bring your foot around in a fluid circle as you flip around. Your shoe connects perfectly with the side of her face. Even you’re shocked it actually worked. Unfortunately, she catches your foot as it leaves her face, and uses the momentum to throw you across the cave.

As you land, you lose her attention. You hadn’t realized it until now, but you’d lured her to the altar. You can see the space apple perfectly now. It’s so small, so fragile, so trivial.

“This is it,” she says, entranced. “All these years of looking–” She raises her arms to take it.

Nearly helpless, you remember the small, sharpened stones you’d taken from the dead warrior. Placing into you hand, you take a deep breath, and release it.

What were you aiming for?


Penelope.


The apple.

InsideCave

“Aright, Penelope,” you say, defeated. “I won’t figh–” You feel a prick against the back of your neck.

You wake up sometime later in the back of a helicopter. Penelope is at the controls, and Greta is tied up and gagged next to you. You decide not to speak. There’s nothing to say, anyway. You’ve failed as an assassin. The only thing you were ever good at was being a hitman.

It’s not long before the chopper descends into a familiar jungle. You recognize the cave near her landing site, too.

“Alright,” Penelope says as the blades wind down. “Let’s go get that apple. This place is an assassin safe house–if there’s anything dangerous in there, it’s better you than me, so ladies first.”

You step off the chopper, and Penelope follows. She leave Great in the chopper–you’re not sure of her future plans for the poor girl. You make your way into the cave and Penelope stays a few steps behind you. The chamber is shallow, as you remember, and it isn’t long before the altar is in sight.

The years don’t seem to have done much to change this place, but there is one thing you immediately recognize as new: a skeleton with a bone necklace, similar to the ones you saw the people of the nearby village wearing during your visit. You wonder what happened to him, but even more so wonder if those weapons in his decaying hands still work. Penelope made it pretty clear that you’re here for little more than risk aversion, so once she’s got that apple, you’re pretty much dead.

“The apple,” she mutters. “It’s unprotected after all.”

It’s time to make a stand, as unlikely as winning may be.


Grab the man’s rudimentary spear.


Grab the man’s rudimentary bow.


These weapons look time-trashed. Try to break off a stalagmite instead.

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