This is an untitled speculative short fiction set in the world of Assassin’s Creed
Part 5 – Remembrance
A curse passed her lips. Farah remembered the woman’s name; it was not her memory alone but one she shared with her ancestor. It was her ancestor.
“Excuse me?” Naomi blinked. The dark-haired woman and Farah both lay in a tangle of sensor wires at the feet of the toppled animus frame. The once illuminated bed she lay in was dark. The air was thick with the sour smell of burnt copper.
Farah repeated the name to blank stares.
“The astronomer?” Nadji asked, surprised. “Not a pirate?”
“Yes,” Farah replied. “But also, a pirate,” she corrected herself.
Ray sprung into action. “Hell, she has her own Wikipedia page with verified dates of life events.” There was a long, grim silence as the page loaded before them nearly as quickly as Farah realized she was about to read how she dies.
How she died.
Children. Grand Children. Died peacefully. Farah openly wept.
No one spoke.
One by one the computer monitors went dark, after each another fan that was silent. The broken animus bed and associated equipment was loaded into an empty freight elevator. She was told the rest would be collected by an asset recovery and destruction crew after they had disappeared. Farah’s thoughts returned to home and her Nana. She looked at her phone, thinking about how often no one cared to check the phone at home when it rang and how often Nana refused to clear or even pay mind to app notifications on her mobile. Pages of unanswered text messages lit Farah’s face as she sent another. She called and there was no answer.
“Good news!” Nadji exclaimed out of nowhere with the joy of someone who had just picked up a pizza. Farah stared. He had her suitcases.
“How?” Farah stammered.
“The police,” Nadji answered with a wicked grin. “You caused a wreck.” Nadji paused to consider his next words. “I told them you were hurt and went to the hospital and they believed me. They let me have the bags.”
“They have you on record?” Naomi’s voice went from calm to urgent. Nadji hesitated.
“That reminds me,” Nadji pivoted suddenly. “We have another bed!” Everyone blinked.
“That reminds you?” Naomi was hot.
“Yeah,” Nadji’s expression became his game face. “We have a plane to catch.”
“I just figured you had met someone,” Nana laughed. “I’m fine thank you. Your Babu’s boat though has a new leak.” Earlier in the phone call Nana had also mentioned it was raining, which Farah could hear was accompanied by some wind. Nana wrapped up the call with a kind word, reassuring Farah slightly. Farah had kept to the story Nadji invented and did not mention her new friends. The hospital, a wreck, her found luggage.
Farah and Nadji sat at the small airport terminal, one in a partition out near where sea planes took off. It was the only one capable of transporting both them and the damaged bed within the time frame they had available. Naomi had produced a flawless fake passport and associated visa papers out thin air, congratulating her on her attached college recommendation with a flourish. The praise in the letter was almost excessive. Farah worried it would draw attention and was still juggling the arithmetic of how she was already a legal resident before she even arrived. Harder still to process is how going to America was going to get them closer to locating something lost in the South Asian Sea.
The animus bed, obviously. Nadji’s contact had come through in spades, and although Farah did not hear the whole of the conversation it sounded like the bed was not even in the U.S. yet. It was en route from London.
While in confidence earlier Nadji had explained to Farah that Abstergo was so close to the trail of the team that did the other hack that they were accidentally ahead of themselves when they tracked her down. Abstergo was after the other team; the other team was after her. The men she had seen were Abstergo contracted private military who believed Farah was already in-network. It was sheer luck, the span of one night, that they ruled her a false positive match outside the job faire.
Nadji had procured the hacked animus bed, which the second group of London-based hackers now needed to get rid of. Abstergo was certain to notice the bed they had pinned to the bug bounty showing up connected to the network, no matter from where. A move so risky it may work. Naomi and Ray each disappeared separate ways. Farah would not meet them again.
Unprompted, Farah began laughing quietly. “They took one look at me with lamb masala kebab on my face and knew I was not a threat.” Farah wiped away a tear as she retold the story of the night at the job faire as Nadji doubled over laughing.
Next stop, Miami.