14. November 16th 2012 ~ New York, USA
They had led him here.
Those voices in his head, whispering, screaming from the distance - calling him a name that wasn't his and showing him places that weren't around him.
Daniel pressed his body against the cold concrete wall, just to catch a breath, just to pause a second, just to put his mangled thoughts in order.
A bottle that wasn't there smashed and he flinched at the sound, gasping as a headache stabbed behind his eyes. Hollow, white figures paced about angrily - they're movements jagged and sharp, like flashes of old memories - strutting this way and that, arguing in Russian.
“Over there!” one shouted, pointing wildly, “He's over there!”
The images dissipated. Daniel blinked a few times and closed his watery eyes, hoping that the world would stop spinning, the colours would stop churning, the sounds would stop echoing. He gagged and a threw up in his mouth, holding the wall for support. He spat on the floor and moved away slowly.
Thank God no-one else was in this passage-way.
Desmond was coming.
Daniel had heard one of the agents in Philadelphia mention that someone had hacked into the Abstergo database to look for a precursor artefact located in the building he had currently infiltrated. Daniel hadn't thought much on it at the time, until he realised.
Maybe he would have left the job to Laetitia England's agents - had the voices not called on him.
It was at night that the memories of his ancestors began to flash in his mind. They were irritating and they quite frankly freaked him out, but they served to guide him also. And in their own fractured, frustrating way - they had led him this far: their white, non-existent shadows showing him each step, each climb, each kill.
Daniel heard sounds up ahead - real sounds - and backed up around a corner. He peaked a look. A janitor in blue overalls walked up the corridor, whistling to himself and pushing his cart of cleaning items. Daniel pulled out his gun and searched for the silencer-attachment. He cursed himself, not finding it.
How could he have left it behind?
Daniel took another look. The janitor was tinkering with his things, his back to Daniel.
Daniel crept up behind him and got him in a sleeper hold, covering the man's mouth with his hand. The janitor struggled but he was weak and in shock, and Daniel considered killing him there.
But something bothered him about that thought.
He decided the poor guy didn't need to die tonight. As soon as he was unconscious, Daniel picked the lock to an office door and dragged the body into the empty room, propping the janitor in a seated position against a wall. He rolled the cart in after him and closed the door.
“Urgh...” Daniel gasped, holding his head. The world blurred again, and he saw a white figure run around the corner and up a flight of steps. Using the tilting walls for support, Daniel followed the figure, trying to ignore the nausea that all the distorted shapes and sounds caused. The figure waited for him impatiently, then ran up the stairs to another floor. Daniel walked with more caution. And he was right to do so - as the figure passed straight through a guard on duty. Daniel paused by the bend, waiting for reality to reconstruct itself in a way that didn't make him want to kill himself, and then felt for the thin loop of string at the base of his arm-brace. He found it with his pinky finger and he pulled. A soft snick sounded as a sharp, Hidden Blade slid out.
The guard heard it, and looked around.
“Hello?” he called, “Who's there?”
Daniel whistled and the guard flinched at the sound. He held his gun up and came peered around the bend.
It earned him a stab straight through the eye. After a little blood, a short jerk, the guard's body went limp and flopped onto the ground.
Daniel pulled him around to the steps - planning to dump him in the office with the janitor - but heard more footsteps so he paused. Holding his blade ready and watching from his position. A young man in jeans and a white hoodie - the hood covering his head - appeared, walking around in a cautious, hesitant fashion. It could have been the shadow cast by his hood, but Daniel thought the guy looked a tad bit dopey. The man in white stepped into the office, taking one last look around. Daniel came out of hiding, sliding his blade back in, and stood by the office door.
He wondered incredulously as to how the man hadn't heard him.
The artefact sat on the office desk, in a glass cube. The man touched the surface of the glass for a second, before he smashed through it with his elbow. He reached in and held the artefact in his hand - a glowing, blue object in the rough shape of a cube: chistled at odd angles, like the teeth on a key.
“That wasn't so bad,” he said to himself.
Daniel stepped in and raised his gun, “So,” he said.
The man turned around immediately.
Daniel smiled slightly, “You must be Desmond. Not exactly what I expected,” he stepped closer to Desmond, “but I guess your kind doesn't have many options these days.”
“Who are you?” Desmond asked.
Daniel had to resist the urge to say: 'Cross. Daniel Cross'.
“Ask your father,” Daniel replied, waving his gun dismissively and gesturing at the artefact, “Now give me that.”
Desmond looked at the thing in his hand and said, “I don't think so.”
“Look,” Daniel sighed, “I'm not supposed to kill you,” he stepped closer, “but the boss-man didn't say anything about fucking you up,” though his finger was steady on the trigger, he tried desperately to ignore the pain in his head, “So you've got until the count of-”
Desmond pulled Daniel's gun-hand away and smashed the artefact into his face.
Daniel only saw red before he hit the ground.