I looked over to my right to see an older man sitting in a chair next to the bed I was laying on. For a moment, my vision was hazy and I couldn’t quite see him clearly. As it cleared, I could see a smug smile on his lips.
“Never you mind,” was his response, interrupting me. “How are you feeling?”
I opened my mouth to spit out “I’m fine,” but I hesitated, taking a second to actually assess how I felt. I dropped my head into my hands, wincing at how bright the room still appeared.
“Everything hurts,” I muttered. “What happened?”
“You have a marvelous gift,” the man chuckled, though it held little humor, “Something we had thought was gone. You have a sixth sense, if you want to call it that. Our ancestors once called it ‘eagle vision’; the ability to see what others cannot.”
“Which can cause a bleeding effect, bringing the past crashing down around my ears,” I sighed heavily. “I have read up on it. Several times.”
“And you thought you could ignore it?” The man frowned, raising an eyebrow. “Pretend it wasn’t happening and hope it would go away?”
“I had it under control!” I snarled, “I was fine.”
A cup was shoved into my hands and I stared at it. “Tea” was the response I was given and I sipped it slowly. The man moved away from the side of the bed, towards the window and source of the light.
“This is not the last of it, Jorden,” he murmured. His words were so soft that I almost had to strain to hear them. “And, if you’re unlucky, not the worst either. You’re the first I’ve seen in many years with this skill and you need training, soon, or else—.”
“Training? How long?”
“Depends on how quickly you learn to control it.”
I grit my teeth and stared at the cup in my hands. “Where?”
“I’ll consider it.”
He turned and scowled at me. “Jorden, this is not—.”
“I said I’ll consider it.” I glared in return. “I appreciate your assistance, however, I have work to do and cannot be tied down at the moment with training, no matter how important it may be.”
A flicker of a smile crossed his face as he stood there. It disappeared quickly as he straightened. He moved through the room, stopping at in the door way to look at me over his shoulder.
“Fine. But when you return to me, I will not let you out of my sight a second time.”
I dropped my gaze and continued to drink the tea, lukewarm now that I’d ignored it long enough. I did not respond to his words nor to the angry shouting that came from outside of the door. It seemed my parents were still around, then, which should have surprised me more than it did.
“What the hell are you thinking?”
“Good,” I paused to gauge the time from the sunlight streaming through the window, “afternoon, Father.”
“You’re going to stay here and get the training you need!”
I blinked slowly as he ranted, ignoring most of what he said. I turned my gaze to my tea, eventually, drinking the last and wondering when he decided that now would be a good time to pretend to be my father. I’d done well enough under Carter’s supervision and guidance, why would I listen to him?
“Jo,” Jillian’s voice startled me and I glanced over to find her sitting next to me on the bed. “Why are you running this time?”
I frowned. “I’m not running. I’ve never run.”
“And what was that, at the compound, when you took off with Elijah?” Victor’s voice was loud in the near silence.
“Arrêtez cela, maintenant. Vous n'êtes pas aider. Allez attendre à l'extérieur de la porte.” Jillian’s eyes snapped to Victor. “Now, Victor.”
“I can understand you,” I muttered as Victor snarled before stalking out of the room, slamming the door closed behind him. “I may not know the language well or be able to speak as easily as the two of you, but I do know it.”
“Oh, ma fille, je sais.” She sighed. “I know, which is why we speak other languages when we are upset, always have. It is something I fall back on in anger, excitement, or others. Carter, Victor, it does not matter, hm? But you are running, mon coeur. Why?”
“Because I can figure this out on my own,” I huffed, running a hand through my hair. It was getting long again, nearly to my shoulders this time. I needed to cut it. “Because I don’t want to be stuck here ‘training’ for gods only know how long. Because I need to find a place to belong and this isn’t it.”
“How do you know? L’Assassin Máedóc is a very skilled tutor and may be able to help you find a place to feel…”
I shook my head and she sighed, wrapping me a hug. I set the mug down and curled up into her lap, sliding my arms around her and squeezing tightly. We sat like this for several minutes and I closed my eyes, willing the pain from the past few days away and enjoying the comfort I had given up a long time ago, pretending I’d grown.
“Oh, Jorden,” my mother murmured into my hair. “I wish there was a way I could settle your heart, but I know that you have to find it on your own. Victor and I did the same for many, many years.”
“Then why make me stay?” I countered.
“Because this could very well kill you, Jo.” She pulled back, hands on my shoulders and looking me in the eye. “We were very lucky to see you when you fell, but we may not be so lucky next time. Even luckier that your neighbor knew enough to send us here. The next time…”
I dropped my gaze and nodded. The next time I could very well be alone, without anyone who knew about this particular Assassin and his skills. I toyed with the hem of my shirt for a moment before sighing.
“If it becomes more than I can handle, more than a brief moment of disorientation, dizziness, blackout, whatever, I promise to come back.” I looked back up and gave a terse smile. “I’ll even inform whatever branch of the Order I’m with about Assassin Máedóc and my special ‘condition’.”
“Brief being what, child?”
“More than,” I paused, chewing my lip for a moment, “More than thirty seconds.”
Jillian stared at me, concern flitting across her face. I was afraid she wouldn’t agree to my terms, though she couldn’t argue one way or the other. I would do as I pleased, being an adult and all. But, after several seconds, she nodded.
“Oui,” she sighed. “Victor will not be happy, but it is the best we can hope for, non? You, however, will inform l’Assassin himself. He will also be displeased, but I will speak to him about your need for travel. We can agree to this, oui?”
“Oui.” It would have to be enough.
I informed Master Máedóc about my decisions and, while my mother had been correct about how unhappy this made him, he also agreed to my terms. He warned me once more that I would not be allowed to leave a second time, should he come to my rescue once again. I agreed to this as well, promising to be as careful as I could.
I was nearly on my way out, trying to figure out where I was exactly, when I was stopped a final time by Victor. I tensed as he grasped my shoulder and spinning me around. I waited for a storm of angry words, demands to return and be taught, or something along those lines, but nothing came.
“Jo.” He snorted, dropping his hand. “The journal I left, you still have it?”
“The one from the museum?” I raised an eyebrow. “Yes.”
“Read it. It might…” He frowned. “It might be helpful. And, be careful. I know you hate me, but…”
“Hate is a strong word for a man who brought me to life,” I smirked. “I can’t hate my father, no matter how irrationally angry I may be. Time, remember? All I ask is time.”
Victor nodded briefly and we parted ways. Irrationally angry was an apt description and I was still sorting it all out. Maybe this new part of my life would give me insight into my life as a whole.
A girl can dream, right?
Ireland. I traveled back to the edge of Paris, where I now lived, from Ireland. It made sense, in a way, but it was unexpected. As soon as I had returned home, I made sure to stop by my neighbor’s and thank her for her assistance.
“Oh, it was nothing, kleintje.” She smiled at me over tea cup. “But know that while you live next door, I will refuse you entrance through my library unless there is no helping it, ja?”
I nodded, “Oui, Grand-mère. I understand.”
As promised, I made my way to the Order’s headquarters and stood before the Elders and Mentor, outlining my condition in brief tones with as little detail as I could get away with.
“You have the Sight?” Rhodri hummed as he looked at me.
I grit my teeth, but nodded. “Yes sir.”
“Untrained, it can be very dangerous, young one. Are you positive you will not see guidance until there is no helping it?”
“No sir,” I bit back a snarl. “I plan to do what I can until I reach the point of no return. My neighbor, Esmée, promises to keep an eye on me when I am home and promises to send word to you if my requirements have been met.”
“At which time we are to seek out a Master Máedóc who will be able to fetch you?” Rhodri seemed hesitant at this. Either the thought of yet another Assassin traipsing through his territory unattached or at the thought that a potentially dangerous woman was living here.
“Yes.” My answer was clipped. “Esmée has promised that she will keep you informed of everything she can, despite being unattached, and I know that l’Assassin will not bother you or your Order. He will take me back to his dwelling.”
“Which is where, Miss Vivek?”
“I cannot say, but it is out of country.” I refused to tell him about the hideaway in Ireland. It was not my secret to give.
Rhodri frowned at me, hard, but seemed to take my word and dismissed me, demanding to keep him updated on my progress and to inform him if anything seemed off to me. I gave him a grim smile and vague promises, but did not wholly agree to his decrees. I was not part of his and he was not part of mine. I owed him nothing.
Good on my promise to all parties, I practiced working with the Sight as much as I could, but I realized shortly how little I knew about the workings of a nearly lost talent. Every time I felt faint or saw strange shapes on the edge of my vision, I pulled out my phone and monitored the length of each experience, though none lasted over a handful of seconds. Not long enough for me to return to Ireland.
The book that Victor had spoken of lay on my desk, my coffee table, my kitchen table, following me around my small home, haunting me. I was afraid of what it would say, what I would find, but I knew I’d have to open it sooner or later. So I did, turning it to the last few pages with writing on it, hoping to gain some insight there.
The piece is in a museum. Stupid civilians, holding onto a piece of Eden, unknowing of the power it holds…
Hopefully this will be enough. Enough proof to shatter the heart of the Order she resides in. Leo will fall, he must fall. Too many of our brothers and sisters have died at his hand already and we cannot lose any more to his foolish betrayal.
Jill, mon amour, I am coming for you. You will not see me as such any more, I am certain, but I know that it will do my heart good to see you…
I frowned, wrinkling my nose at the half-sentimental nonsense written by Victor and decided to go back, further, to see if there were other words from other authors within the journal. I hesitated at one, eyes glued to the page.
The Sight, our gift handed down through the ages, is diminishing. Very few have it any more. Kenway, Ezio, so many of their bloodlines have been brought to near extension. And those who do live are not guaranteed to gain its power.
It is a fickle master, one that likes to play tricks on its’ pets. I personally have seen fleeting images of those from days gone by. I often entertain the thought of seeing Haythem now and again when I stand here, in the places where the colonies used to be. My ancestor, hated yes, but…
I digress. For those reading this, know that it is hard to control. Should another have this power, seek their help. It is the only way to master this sense in all its forms. If you are seeing ghosts, hearing voices, it may be too late for you. Please, seek help.
The writer had no name and only wrote briefly, their words becoming nonsense in the end. Babbling and crazy ravings of a madman. I was tempted to run to Ireland, to seek out Máedóc and demand his help, showing him this entry, but I stayed in place, staring unseeingly at the empty fireplace.
Was it too late for me? Máedóc had sworn to keep me hostage the next time we met, perhaps it was. I chewed my lip, missing the sound of my front door opening and the entrance of my neighbor, so deep was I in my thoughts.
“Oh, kleintje,” Esmée’s voice brought me back to the present. “You have been reading that silly thing.”
“Not silly,” I murmured absently, tilting the book towards her, open to the pages that begged me to seek assistance. “Should I leave, Grand-mère?”
She hummed as she read, shaking her head. “I should have had you leave long ago, child. Even this nameless one begs you to go.”
“Perhaps I should, then.” I sighed, closing my eyes and leaning my head back against the back of my chair. “Soon, I promise.”
“Never soon enough.”