As expected, Shaun was furious and bewildered. He insisted that Amanda leave the caravan, and she did. Truth be told, she had expected much worse, so she was relieved that the penalty for expressing her thoughts and feelings (on a matter she had been so afraid to reveal) was relatively light. She found a bench nailed into the pavement, leaning against a brick wall and sat there with her head back. Her mind felt light and clear - it was bliss after all the episodes and seizures she had gone through. She closed her eyes and felt the chilling air blow against her skin.
Amanda was glad the shadows of her ancestors residing in the crevices of her mind were satisfied. She could still hear them, murmuring and muttering as they did, but in a muted way, in a way that Amanda could ignore.
She looked at the people milling around, going about their daily lives and tried to remember what that was like. The word 'lonely' came to mind, but 'safe' and 'normal' also. She missed safe and normal.
It was much better than dangerous and insane.
Amanda put her hands into her pockets and sighed. She felt a folded sheet of paper and took it out, unfolded it and read:
TRANSCRIPT ~ ORDER. PURPOSE. DIRECTION.
A conversation between Haytham Kenway (a Templar) and Ratonhnké:ton or Connor Kenway (Haytham's son, an Assassin).
CONNOR: Tell me something... You could have killed me when we first met, what stayed your hand?
HAYTHAM: Curiosity. Any other questions?
CONNOR: What is it the Templars truly seek?
HAYTHAM: Order. Purpose. Direction. No more than that. It's your lot that means to confound with this nonsense talk of freedom. Time was, the Assassins professed a more sensible goal - that of peace.
CONNOR: Freedom is peace.
HAYTHAM: Oh, no. It's an invitation to chaos. Just look at this little revolution [the American Revolution] your friends have started. I have stood before the Continental Congress and listened to them stamp and shout - all in the name of Liberty. But it is just noise.
CONNOR: And this is why you favour [Charles] Lee?
HAYTHAM: He understands the needs of this would-be nation far better than the jobbernowls who profess to represent it.
CONNOR: It seems your tongue has tasted sour grapes. The people have made their choice - and it was Washington!
HAYTHAM: The people chose nothing. It was done by a group of privileged cowards seeking to only enrich themselves. They convened in private and made a decision that would benefit them! Oh, they might have dressed it up with pretty words, but that does not make it true. The only difference, Connor - the only difference between myself and those you aid - is that I do not feign affection!
“So, you pulled the cork, huh?”
Amanda looked up and smiled, “John! We have to stop meeting like this,” she said, putting the sheet of paper away and moving up.
“You look happy,” he said, sitting down next to her.
“It was a lot to get off my chest and my head feels empty now,” she replied, “It feels good. Wait... We are talking about my confessing about Templar ideas, right? How did you know about that? You weren't in the van.”
John chuckled, “What do you think?”
“Did you get an earful from Shaun?”
“Trust me, sweetheart, you don't want to hear it,” John laughed, “That gentleman-Brit knows a bunch of dirty, disgusting words.”
Amanda frowned, “He's really worked up, huh?”
“I'd say so,” John nodded, “What? You're not worried, are you?”
“Should I be?”
“Nah,” John replied, “Shaun's a bit out of it, he isn't used to being outsmarted, but he's not about to throw you to the wolves for it. He'll come around.”
“And the whole Templar thing?”
“Oh, that, that he'll be pissed off about that for the rest of your living days. But he'll still keep you around, see if he can bend you backwards into an Assassin.”
“He won't tell her. I don't know if you've noticed, but he undermines her. A lot.”
“And what about you? Why aren't you at all fazed by this?”
“I told you. I don't care.”
“Shouldn't you care, though?”
John shrugged, “I think it's good you're being honest about it. Better a complete outer, than a half-inner.”
“John...” Amanda said, “You're really weird, do you know that?”
“Aren't we all?”
“Of course, except... You're extra, really weird.”
“Why did you even join the Assassins?”
John got up and looked over at the caravan, “Because they take who they can get,” he pointed a thumb in the caravan's direction, “I'm gonna go see if Shaun's done throwing his tantrum, then I'll come get you.”
Amanda nodded, “Thanks, John.”
He walked off and Amanda watched him go.
She didn't trust him and she didn't like the apparent nice-ness he showed her. From what Amanda had seen of John, it was against his nature. Which meant John knew something she didn't - perhaps something even Shaun and Rebecca didn't - and it had to do with Amanda.
Amanda sighed and leaned back. She began to think about both ideologies again, and she began to question: Was she taking the Templar side because of Daniel? So she could justify all that he had done, and the people he had done them for? She took her scrap of paper back out.
TRANSCRIPT ~ JOHN PITCAIRN
A conversation between Ratonhnké:ton or Connor Kenway (an Assassin) and John Pitcairn (a Templar). John is dying.
PITCAIRN: Why? Why did you do this?
CONNOR: You meant to kill Adams and Hancock.
PITCAIRN: Kill them? Are you mad? I only wanted to parlay. There was so much to say, so much to discuss. You've put an end to that now.
CONNOR: If you speak true, I will carry your last words to them.
PITCAIRN: They must lay down their arms. They must stop this war.
CONNOR: Why them and not the Redcoats?
PITCAIRN: Do you not think we ask the same of the British? These things take time. And I would have succeeded, had you let me play my part-
CONNOR: The part of the puppeteer!
PITCAIRN: Better that we hold the strings-
CONNOR: No, the strings should be severed, all should be free.
PITCAIRN: And we should all live forever on castles in the sky. You wield your blade like a man, but your mouth like a child. And more will die now, because of it.
TRANSCRIPT ~ HAYTHAM KENWAY
A conversation between Ratonhnké:ton or Connor Kenway (an Assassin) and Haytham Kenway.
CONNOR: Come to check up on [Benjamin] Church, see if he'd stolen enough for your British brothers?
HAYTHAM: Benjamin Church is no brother of mine, nor the Redcoats or their idiot king! Uh, I expected naivete, but this! The Templars do not fight for the Crown. We want the same as you, boy - freedom, justice, independence.
HAYTHAM: Hmm, but what?
CONNOR: Johnson. Pitcairn. Hickey. You sought to steal land, sack towns, to murder George Washington.
HAYTHAM: Johnson sought to own the land that we might keep it safe. Pitcairn aimed to encourage diplomacy - which you cocked up thoroughly enough to start a goddamned war. And Hickey? George Washington is a wretched leader. He’s lost nearly every battle in which he’s taken part. The man’s wracked by uncertainty and insecurity. Only look at Valley Forge and you know my words are true. We’d all be better off without him.
TRANSCRIPT ~ EDWARD BRADDOCK
A conversation between Edward Braddock (a Templar who had diverted from Templar ways) and Haytham Kenway. Braddock is dying.
BRADDOCK: Why, Haytham...?
HAYTHAM: Your death opens a door, it's nothing personal. Well... Maybe it's a little personal, you've been a pain in my arse after all.
BRADDOCK: But we are brothers in arms.
HAYTHAM: Once, perhaps. No longer. Do you think I’ve forgotten what you did? All those innocents slaughtered without a second thought. And for what? It does not engender peace to cut your way to resolution.
BRADDOCK: Wrong. Were we to apply the sword more liberally and more often, the world would be a better place.
HAYTHAM: In this instance [he stabs Edward Braddock], I concur. Farewell, Edward.
TRANSCRIPT ~ FINAL WORDS
Haytham Kenway's dying words.
HAYTHAM: You act as though you have some right to judge. To declare me and mine wrong for the world. And yet everything I’ve shown you - all I’ve said and done - should clearly demonstrate otherwise. But we didn’t harm your people. We didn’t support the Crown. We worked to see this land united and at peace. Under our rule, all would be equal. Do the patriots promise the same?
CONNOR: They offer freedom.
HAYTHAM: Freedom? I’ve told you - time and time again - it’s dangerous. There will never be a consensus, son, among those you have helped to ascend. They will differ in their views of what it means to be free. The peace you so desperately seek does not exist.
CONNOR: No. Together they will forge something new - better than what came before.
HAYTHAM: These men are united now by a common cause. But when this battle is finished they will fall to fighting among themselves about how best to ensure control. In time, it will lead to war. You’ll see.
CONNOR: The patriot leaders do not seek to control. There will be no monarch here. The people will have the power - as they should.
HAYTHAM: The people never have the power, only the illusion of it. And here’s the real secret: they don’t want it. The responsibility is too great to bear. It’s why they’re so quick to fall in line as soon as someone takes charge. They want to be told what to do. They yearn for it. Little wonder, that, since all mankind was built to serve.
CONNOR: So because we are inclined by nature to be controlled, who better than the Templars? It is a poor offer.
HAYTHAM: It is truth. Principle and practice are two very different beasts. I see the world the way it is - not as I wish it would be.
CONNOR: Surrender, and I will spare you.
HAYTHAM: Brave words from a man about to die.
CONNOR: You fare no better.
HAYTHAM: Ah, but I am not alone. Even when your kind appears to triumph... still we rise again. Do you know why? It is because the Order is born of a realization. We require no creed. No indoctrination by desperate old men. All we need is that the world be as it is. This is why the Templars can never be destroyed.
Amanda put the sheet down. No, this wasn't about Daniel. This was about something bigger, this was about doing what she thought was right. Though, it was hard to be unbiased from where she was - sitting in a den of Assassins.
Which meant one thing.
If she wanted to get Templar information from Templar mouths - she needed to get into Abstergo's Montreal building and she needed to get caught.