The glass fogged expectantly as the hard lumps of ice, clinked happily on the bottom and stacked chaotically one on top of the other. It stood alone, no other to keep it company as from the dark a hand clutching a bottle poured in some whisky and watched as the cooling crystals drowned under a thick, dark wave of malt. This is what it had all come down to, Elliot Norton sat alone behind a desk and sipping on whisky almost as dark as the days he found himself in. He flashed back to times before this, before the raids, before the end and before their leader Edward Miles decided it was okay to abandon his post in order to chase after his son. Norton’s grip on the glass tightened as he thought about Miles.
The two of them together had spent equal time and achieved equal things within the Assassin Brotherhood; they were friends once and although Elliot sometimes found it hard to believe that Edward was his friend, he had often enjoyed his company whilst drinking. Although he missed their conversations about family and friends and whatever else came to mind at the time, there was something within Elliot that churned whenever he thought about these conversations now. Maybe it was the present circumstances. For all that talk of family or even remembering those talks of family made him miss his own, his wife and daughter whom were now in more danger than he could even fathom at this point. He knew that if he went home that they would die along with him, that’s how the Templars were unfortunately. They were merciless. But even so, there was nothing that could make him stop wanting to return to the one’s he loved. Maybe it was those present circumstances that made Elliot Norton de facto Commander in Chief of the Assassin Brotherhood resent his old and trusted friend.
Sitting back on his chair, Elliot’s head lolled to one side and brought his eyes to the closed blinds. He could only bring his free hand to his grizzled chin and then make it work its way to his temples. Stress didn’t even cut it when it came to describing Elliot’s current situation. When the fate of the free world rested on your shoulders after someone else had dumped it at your feet, it was hard to cope. But Norton was trying even if it meant drinking more whisky than usual and sending out a call to arms to a force as deadly as it was in tatters. The future seemed bleak at that point. “Edward…” he whispered out towards the darkness “You’re a bastard…”
The blinds were closed on the day Edward left too but even then it seemed as though the days were brighter, Norton and Miles together thought that they could bring about a comeback, even after their near extinction there was nothing that Norton and Miles couldn’t do together. But then Abstergo got a hold of his son: Desmond. Desmond had run away from the responsibility of being an Assassin to become a bartender, to waste his life whilst a never ending war that could have benefitted from someone of his lineage taking part raged on. So it wasn’t easy for Elliot to understand when his friend and leader of the Brotherhood decided it was about time that he made an appearance to save his son. They stood in this very room actually, arguing about it…
“Edward! You’re being selfish!” Norton yelled rising to his feet and slamming his hands on the desk “We need you here, now. You’re our leader!” Edward simply folded his arms and shook his head; even though he usually wore a somewhat cold and harsh demeanour there wasn’t much that could be done to change his mind on this course of action. It was just something he had to do. Desmond was his son. “I am sorry Elliot,” He replied sternly “But this is important.”
“What because he’s your son!”
“People are dying Edward! Dying! Do you understand that? Sons, Daughters, Mothers and Fathers what gives you more of a right than them to go chasing after your family?” Elliot couldn’t help but grit his teeth; he’d wanted to go home for days now. If not just to check that his wife and children were still alive. He’d be back within days or a week at most but Edward had forbidden it and with good reason to. But this, to Elliot, just seemed unfair. He would have to deal with everything on his own whilst Edward was out repairing the broken relationship he had with his wayward son. And as Elliot had already said, people were dying every single day and they were supposed to be under his care. They were his sheep and Edward was meant to shepherd them to safety rather than go off gallivanting across the world. Norton once again banged his hand against the table, whilst Miles just sat there as calm and collected as ever. “What gives you the right?”
Mothers would never see their sons again. Daughters would now have a hole in their lives where their Father once stood. It made Elliot sick to think that he would just be abandoned with the same sort of responsibility. Edward was their leader for a reason, even though they were almost equal in everything else; Edward was a natural leader and Elliot was anything but. “My old friend,” Edward began still sat down and looking Elliot dead in the eyes “This is about a little more than me and my son,” he stopped unfolding his arms for a second and running his hands through the sides of his greying hair “Abstergo targeted Desmond for a reason and the intelligence that they have gathered from him is rather worrying. I couldn’t give a damn about if you think I’m selfish. I have to do this; the world is at stake here.”
“And while you’re doing this I’m supposed to what? Sit here and fight off the Templars and Anonymous at the same time alone?”
“The distress signal has been sent worldwide. Someone will answer the call.” With that Edward got up and prepared to leave. He walked passed Elliot without even looking at him but when Norton grabbed his arm and barred his retreat Edward could only sigh. “And if no one heeds the call? If there’s no one left?” Elliot asked.
“Then hope me and my son can do something…”
Edward left after that and it had been about three months with no answer to their calls. The Assassins, it seemed, were done. Norton had locked himself away in this safe house, he was probably presumed dead by now, maybe his wife had moved on. He flicked open his phone, took a sip of the cold and bitter whisky. He looked at the screen. There were no messages and soon he hovered over his wife’s number deciding whether or not to call her. Could he take the heartache? He’d taken bullets, broken bones and he’d never been scared once. Now though, he could be destroyed by something as insignificant as a phone call. His thumb rose to press the call button.
His phone buzzed to life before it could land though and shocked, Norton jumped in his seat. This phone hadn’t rung for weeks and the number one the screen was withheld. Picking out his gun from the desk’s top draw, Elliot Norton answered the phone sombrely. They had found him. His time was up now and now h could either fight his way out or he could die like the cornered rat he was at the moment. Those were his options and he’d rather indulge in the former if anything.
“Hello? Who is this?”
“Well, that’s rude after you called.” The person on the other end was British, from the Midlands. His dialect gave it away, that strange mix of the London and countryside accent spelt out that the stranger was obviously from somewhere that was subject to the London overspill. Elliot made his way to the front door warily and pointed the gun towards the door ready to fire, his eyes slipping to the peep hole as he kept the phone to his ear. Outside, stood a young man, no older than his early 20’s wearing a tweed jacket and a phone to his ear too; it was the man on the other end of the line. “Well, you asked for the cavalry didn’t you mate?”
Elliot was soon amazed that the man wasn’t really alone, next to him were five others adorned in many different types of clothing but the tweed jacketed man with the phone laughed, as the door opened in Elliot’s face and the hidden blade he’d used to pick the lock slipped back up his sleeve.
He hung up the phone.
“So, where do we start?”