Paint the seconds

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Paint the seconds

Luca Habicht
Rank 2
Joined: September 2nd, 2011, 9:50 pm

November 22nd, 2011, 9:37 pm #1


The buildings around him vanished in a whirlwind of light, sound and compressed data. Sky and pavement bent in an unreal way as they dragged him out the way they went, and his eyes opened. The same white spot on the wooden ceiling. He was back.

Luca, that was very good! Better than the last run...
Well, thank you very much...-he let his head hang low for a moment and faced the floor. It was always the same every time he got out of the Animus: for a couple of minutes, it was difficult to crawl back into reality. He felt dizzy, and needed time to adjust. And that was mentally. Physically, he also was somewhat sore because he stayed so much time in the same position, and not truly sleeping.-No, don't worry-he started, for Naomi was already making her curious-yet-worried face-Just the normal dizziness, that's all.

Naomi eyed him intently for a moment before finally nodding and taking one of her clipboards to take notes. She took a lot of notes. Now she was surely registering her conclusions on the test run. Today she had showed him a part of her free roam program for the Animus: “just a tiny little beta” and a smile was how she had described it before asking for permission for this first try. It had been...weird. Even if the Abstergo Animus had been less perfect than Naomi's, this program visibly showed...bugs. Sometimes the terrain would shift unexpectedly under him in a ripple of code, or the sky, if it could be called sky, froze, just like in a bugged videogame. But he could walk, jump,run, all the same. “Just wait until I polish it”, she had said.

She had a pretty smile, that went well with her pretty face. But he had also seen her harden her face against a rebuke, and knew it was she who killed all those guards when they escaped, pressing a couple of keys on a keyboard. A killer smile. She looked up from her papers then. He suspected she kept much more information hidden in her computers, apart from the stack of notebooks she carried around.

You should go for a walk now, you have earned it! Don't worry, I'll stay here for a while, you know, cleaning up, shutting down... we can meet for dinner later.

“Cleaning up” made him look at his seat in the Animus. There was a Luca-sized silhouette made of wetness on it. Of course, the machine did what it could to cool itself, but it did give out heat, and summer in sun-bathed Tuscany was not so merciful. He reached back to touch his t-shirt and found it also wet. Ma che palle. He was gonna need a shower. Preferably a cool one. But yeah, taking a walk after a couple of hours laying down on the Animus seemed like a good idea. He said his goodbyes to the busy technician and left the room.

Once he'd had time to explore it, he'd discovered the building was bigger than it looked like from the outside, and not half as ruinous. This was no improvised hideout, someone had left it prepared for future visitors. There were stores of food, hidden lockers with weapons, a generator...and more rooms. Underground rooms. He'd been able to glimpse a couple of them, but others were barred to him, or so Thomas had said. Not that he stayed in them a lot too. There was a tiny kitchen with a table where they ate together, when they wanted to. Luca and Naomi were the ones that stayed in mostly, but Aaliyah disappeared from time to time (probably in that van of hers) and Thomas had gone twice to a nearby town (he guessed) when they needed to buy something.

Oh, a doorway. A threat awaited before him. He had to be alert... he took a step forward, letting the noise announce his passage, then quickly jumped back.

And not a second too soon. A bat padded with styrofoam slashed downwards, cutting the air where he would have been standing. He kicked it, hard, and it fell, rolling out of sight. A mane of wild yet straight blond hair peeked out of the doorway, followed by a flustered face.

Damn, you did avoid it this time.
It's the fourth time, I kind of expect it by now- he couldn't help but smile awkwardly at Aaliyah's methods for honing his caution. Since they had arrived and he'd started his physical training, she took every chance she could find to set up an ambush for him and catch him unawares. She'd done it brilliantly the first time: being whacked on the head with one of the training swords hadn't hurt much, but he'd ended up biting his own tongue in surprise, and it had been pretty annoying. Then, the second time, Aaliyah thought it would be good to teach him that no place was ever really safe...namely, the bathroom. That made for a really awkward moment. Good thing he'd only had time to lower his trousers and had his underwear still on...
Are you finished for today?
Yeah, Naomi said we were done, and that I could take a walk around here.
Really?-she smiled and patted his back, before kneeling to get her stick back-Thomas is also outside now, in one of his brooding leader moods. Mind stingy Brits!

It was still sunny outside, but it was late already. Luca had no watch, but he could guess it was around seven in the evening. The sun was already low, but not low enough to be dark. It was not so warm outside, though, and a cool breeze made the stalks in the fields rustle and whisper. This hideout was not such a bad place if you forgot about the all-powerful company trying to hunt you down because of your genes.

After spending the last two hours climbing...well, scratch that: thinking, or dreaming, or imagining that he climbed, he decided to give it a rest. Not that there was much to climb on anyway. He had already figured his way onto the roof of the house, and he wasn't in the mood right now to climb a tree. So he'd stick to the ground and just take a walk. He had already been warned. He couldn't go very far. “Not that you risk that much being captured by Abstergo here. You're more likely to get lost before getting anywhere.

Those had been Thomas' exact words. Luca had chosen to trust him, but he wasn't sure of whether he should like him or not. The leader of the team had turned out to be a quiet and down-to-earth person who meant what he said and had little tolerance for failure. And Luca wasn't really sure of one thing: Did Thomas trust him? He was beginning to think that Thomas always being nearby every time he got out of the house was a measure taken to prevent his escape. Pffffft. As if. He did miss his mother and grandparents, but he knew better than to go running for them.

You are still angry with me, aren't you?

Well, Thomas sure had worked on his stealth skills more han him, he hadn't heard him approach from behind. He turned around and faced the boss, who right now looked quite silly in a short-sleeved t-shirt. A black t-shirt with one of thos little green mushrooms that meant lives in Super Mario. 1up. A “typical” product of Italy's souvenir industry, sold in t-shirt shops in any city that got enough tourism each year, like Firenze. Luca himself and his friends had once bought a big lot of them and took to wearing them nearly for any ocassion, kind of a joke. On Thomas, it looked most out of place, maybe because everytime he'd met with Luca he'd worn sober, long-sleeved clothing, or because of the cartoony videogame reference. He doesn't need to know that, though.

I don't know.
Don't lie to me. It's plain that you are not confortable anytime I'm nearby.
And what do you know?
More than you think. Care to walk with me?

Luca shrugged. He really hadn't anything better to do. He followed Thomas around the corner of the house, and he started to talk as they descended the slope of the hill the hideout was on.

I'd like to know what is it that you don't like of me. I thought you had already gotten over the Abstergo affair, but if there is something else I want to know. I won't have you sulking around.
Hey! Look who's talking. Look, I have enough with trying to assimilate once and for all this mess...
Is that the problem? I got over it. Do you think you're the only person in the world whose life has changed because of this war? It happened to me, and also to Suss and Naomi. It isn't such a big deal. It really isn't. Forgive me if it seems it's easy for me to say when I don't care about it anymore, but that's how it is.
Look, I don't want to continue this conversation... -it didn't help that Thomas, just because of being Thomas, unsettled him. He never felt safe when talking to him, as if he could read his every move.

Thomas stopped abruptly, turning to him.

Ah, that's it! This is about your family again! I told you it would be better for you if you didn't think of them. It will save you all the worrying.

Porco Dio, again. How does he do it? How does he read my mind that easily? Suddenly Luca wanted to get away and say no more. He suddenly didn't want Thomas knowing anything else about him.

Basta! I'm out of this conversation.

Luca turned to leave, but Thomas blocked his way, and still didn't let him pass when he tried to sidestep him. That eroded the last remnants of Luca's patience, and the anger he'd been holding within from the very moment he was seized by Abstergo had to came out. But it wasn't a fit of rage with screaming and flailing around, no. Luca just narrowed his eyes and said it in the coldest way he could, keeping his voice even.

You think you are so smooth, but you are a rompecoglioni who can only get near someone through lies. You know what? YOU are the joke, the lie here, Thomas.

That looked like it had stung, Thomas' face turned all red and cold anger very fast. All of a sudden, his right hand was moving in a blur towards Luca's face. Luca twisted his body and his head quickly to dodge, and Thomas' nails only brushed lightly against his cheek before failing to hit him. But the Italian boy also had an attack of his own: as part of the same dodging movement, he tried to hit Thomas too. His hand now was, open and with its fingers slightly curled, mere centimeters from the English's ear.

Cazzo. I don't even know how to punch properly. he thought, while his heart beat like crazy due to the sudden influx of adrenaline.

They stayed like that, unmoving, looking each other to the eye, Luca looking silly in his awkward position and the team leader looking silly in that short-sleeved t-shirt of his But Thomas did no longer look half as angry as before. He seemed quite surprised. He eyed Luca's arm before his lips finally parted to speak.


The path gave way under Luca's feet, making him suddenly lose his balance. It seemed they had been standing on a bend of the path, right at the edge of a small terrace on the hill. Luca's right foot went first, dragging the rest of his body behind him. He tried to plant his other foot firmly on the soil, and to grab on to something, but the weeds on the edge were ripped by his hands, and he fell. He felt a tug on his t-shirt (Is he reaching for me?), but Thomas' hand also lost its grip and Luca continued to fall. He hit the ground on his side, narrowly missing hitting a rock with his shoulder. But he didn't stop there, gravity wouldn't have it, yes? He started to roll down the slope, in a tumble of pebbles, twigs and limbs.

The way everything spun around him made him dizzy as he took the pounding. No sharp pain got to him, though, the terrace was grassy and there weren't many stones on it that could seriously harm him. He rolled to a halt once he reached flat ground, bumping face first onto a plant. Green filled his vision.

Magnifico. Let it not be nettle or poison ivy... no thorns though, and no woody stems...I'll probably not be a pincushion when I get up.

If it were that easy to get up. The last tumble had taken the breath out of him, and he felt still as if the world kept spinning around him. His arms wouldn't gather the strength necessary to put himself up... what the heck, he wouldn't even try, he knew for certain that trying to get up would only start the rolling once again.

A rustling sound, pebbles prickling him in the arm. Someone shaking him.

Hey, you allright? Can you hear me?

Luca whimpered and tried to turn around his head while not letting any leaves into his mouth. A hand helped him turn around, not too fast, he was pleased to realize. It was Thomas, kneeling beside him and trying to help him up with another hand on his back. There was a tree above them, its leaves whispering with the slow evening wind.

You have no problem seeing me, right? It isn't a big fall, but I've seen people die of less... answer me!
I'm alright, alright! Just feel...a bit shaken.
Let me see...

Luca sat up and let Thomas examine him. He didn't feel so much pain, just mainly the uncomfortable and annoying sensation of having his breath knocked out of him, and now that he saw, he hadn't even cut himself, though he had a small tear on the left side of his t-shirt and a lot of dirt on his clothes. No bleeding, just a sore feeling and probably a small addition to the collection of bruises he was getting in his sparring sessions. No big deal at all. And now he could breathe better, the weight on his chest was disappearing.

You look good. Any problem standing up?

And there, the row they've almost had seemed to have deflated completely. Thomas didn't even look angry anymore. He seemed to acknowledge the look Luca was giving him and turned his head away for a second.

Look, I apologize -he said, and if that was acting, he did look properly abashed, but not too much. He was Thomas, after all- I know this is hard, and that probably I'm not making any easier, but I swear I do try to not be harder on you than it's strictly necessary. None of us are. I am sorry you had to be dragged into this war, but the most we could do after Abstergo had targeted you was rescuing you and then doing what we do now: we train you so you can defend yourself, or actually strike back if you actually want to do it. If we didn't want you to be here, we'd abandon you on the road and let you to fend for yourself. Well, that's it -he sighed- thank you for not interrupting. Do you understand what I've just told you?

Luca nodded.

I also know you are still worried about your family.-he continued- I'd like to say we were able to to ensure their safety, but I can't. If it makes you feel better, I think that Abstergo doesn't have anything to win by getting rid of them, since they have no links to the Order, and making them all disappear would raise too many questions. It has been easier for them to make you disappear and make people stop asking about you...
What? How would they do that?
Not that difficult. Get a body, scar it or damage it enough after dressing it with the clothes they took from you when they captured you and then place samples of your DNA on it. With agents in the forensic departments they can easily shrug you off as an unresolved murder while giving something to your family to mourn. Just faking a disappearance every few months is bound to arouse suspicion after some time. Better make it so everyone but them stop searching... can we stand up? I feel uncomfortable with you practically on my lap...

Luca managed to get up without falling again, to his relief, and so did his British... friend? How could their relationship be defined?

Why do you tell me all of this, Thomas? I didn't see you as the type of person who blurts out this kind of things just to make someone feel better... -that seemed to amuse Thomas, for he chuckled.
And you know me that well, don't you? Don't be ridiculous. I'm saying this because we won't get anywhere if you think you have to be against us. So what do you say... will you work with us? -he held his hand out for the taking. Luca was oddly reminded then of the Abstergo escape, and how he'd been asked if he stood by the Assassins.

Heh. I thought I meant it then. Whatever.

Vabbè. I'm in. But only if...
If what?
If you ask me again while looking at me straight in the eye. -that was kind of mean, but it was the least he could ask from someone who presumed to be his friend, or whatever he wanted to be. Thomas' half smile wavered for a moment, but he finally did what was asked of him and gazed straight into Luca's eyes.
Very well... will you work with us? No resentments.
No resentments -Luca shook his hand and thought he deserved some thanking for the effort it had surely taken him to gather those words- I should also say “thank you”, you know, for getting me out of Abstergo in one piece, and for taking me with you, and giving me shelter, and food... -now that he'd said it, he felt like he had not been thankful enough. Could he do something else to thank Thomas, Aaliyah nad Naomi?
It's settled then-said Thomas, letting go-I think we should go back inside. You are in need of some cleaning, I don't know if you've realized it.
Yeah...hey, wait a minute -something tickled his neck when he moved his head. He fumbled with the rim of his t-shirt and touched something. A leaf. It had probably stuck there when he landed on that plant, but... Wait a minute. This leaf is familiar to me. Only then he felt the aroma coming from it, a sweet and fresh odor that brought him memories of family, countryside and sun. He took the tiny, crushed leaf in his hand and inhaled.
What?- Thomas seemed puzzled by his current behavior. No wonder, he was grinning like a fool right now.
It's basilico!
Ba-what? Sorry, I didn't understand that, could you say it again, please?
Basilico... oh, cazzo, I don't know its English name... this- he said, pointing at the leaf he held inside his hand, and turning around to also point at the poor plant he had crushed with his body- here, smell it. Its name is basilico.

Their argument had led them to a small grove on one side of the hill, probably planted by the people who had last used the hideout for their eating needs. It was filled with fines herbes, excellent for cooking, just like the garden Luca's grandmother kept in her small house near Orvieto. Some, like basilico and the most used among the others he did recognize but there were some he would have to smell or taste in order to know which they were.

Thomas was finished with his sampling, and his face revealed he'd recognized the aroma-this smells like...basil. Is it?

That's it, basil! It gives me an idea...
What idea?
It's a surprise! Now let's go back-he said beginning to push Thomas away from the grove- I need a shower...

More than an hour later, a cleaner Luca arrived to the house carrying a small basket stuffed with leaves and smiling from ear to ear. He went straight to the kitchen, and small glimpse of him was all that took to make Aaliyah and Naomi stop their conversation and follow him. He paid them no heed as he put the basket down in the kitchen counter and started rummaging the drawers for everything he'd need. He already had an idea of how well equipped their little kitchen was, and knew it would be enough. He just needed to find everything.

What are you doing, Luca?-said Naomi as soon as she could no longer hold her curiosity (which was never very long)- What is that for?- she eyed the leaves, which were beginning to transfer their smell to the air.
C'mon, Naomi, don't be a dummy. Don't you see? He's making some poison for us, so that we get the death we'd all like: dying while having nice meal and making funny faces.
Right-answered Luca, getting the grater out and opening the small fridge they kept in a corner- I'll feed you this nice veleno and then laugh as you die... nah, just kidding. I'm cooking for you. You've been making all the meals here, so I think it's time I return the favor... and teach you a couple of things about homemade Italian cooking.
Really? When?
Tonight. This is easy to make and can be eaten right after it's done, so we'll have it for dinner.

Naomi was visibly excited by the prospect of having someone cook for them, maybe too excited. The only time Luca had seen here more delighted had been when she had processed his genotype and bloodlines in one of her Animus apps and found out he had Japanese ancestors. Precisely, Japanese Assassin ancestors. It had taken a stern talking down by Thomas to get her out of trying to convince Luca to let her explore just a bit, oh just a little bit please of the life of that people instead of sticking to the normal and boring european family memebers. She'd looked downcast for a while, but she'd eventually gotten over it and back to her cheerful self. Maybe he'd need to distract her with something to protect himself from her enthusiastic attempts at helping.

Hey, -Thomas was peeking from the door leading to the common area- I didn't see Italian blokes as the kind of people who know their cooking!
And you know us that well, don't you? -it felt good to throw Thomas' comeback right at his own face. It felt good to be able to joke again with someone. He missed his friends, but know he had other people to live with, and he could get along nicely with them. It was a relief. -No I don't know that much. I know the basics and some recipes, because my mother likes to cook herself. Or my grandmother.
I set the table while you cook? I feel bad if I don't do nothing -Aaliyah smiled at Luca, she also seemed pleased by having the chance to eat homemade Italian food. And who wouldn't?
Yeah, that would be helpful. And please, no offense, but could you go and do what you have to do while I make dinner? I get nervous if someone is watching me.
You heard him, out! I'm not going to let you spoil dinner!

Once alone, Luca gathered the ingredients. He had already washed the basil leaves plucked from the plant and still fresh. Luckily, he'd asked Thomas on his last groceries trip two days ago to buy some Parmigiano cheese for pasta, and he had used few of it, so there was still enough for what he wanted to do. He took the grater and started grating away, trying to imagine it was Warren Vidic face to do it quickly and more forcefully till he rubbed the smile off his face. Of course, he abandoned that thought as soon as he imagined himself eating grated Vidic...

With the grating done, he raided the cupboard. The were more than enough normal nuts, but not so many pine nuts. It will have to do. He crushed some of them and put them with the leaves and a decent amount of olive oil. At the last moment, he remembered to cut a garlic clove into tiny pieces and add it to the contents of the bowl.

Then, he grabbed the mixer he'd found and took to blend the leaves with the rest, keeping in mind that he had to add the grated cheese and more nuts later...

Good, that ruckus has finally stopped-said Thomas. They had moved the table outside, near the garage door, when Aaliyah said a nice susnset was going on and it would be a shame to miss it while having dinner. They had also set some plates and glasses, and there had been a moment of doubt while choosing the cutlery, since they didn't know what they were going to eat. They had settled for forks and knives, as it was the most probable option.
Don't complain, that mixer has to be older than us, that's why it makes so much noise- Naomi kept toying with napkins while she waited, as if she folded origami- if we weren't what we were, we'd be able to go shopping properly and get new things whenever we wanted.
And why don't you fix it? That thing can't be that different from your machines.
Suss, I fix complex machines that have the processing power to store, browse and render your entire genetic code, not kitchen equipment.
Do you two always have to be like this?
Look who's talking, the most mature of the bunch. As if you weren't even worse than us ten times over, o glorious leader.
Give it a rest...

When Luca finally came out he brought a big bowl of pasta coated with a green, thick sauce. The three others hunched over it, as if trying to see if there was some kind of bad thing hidden in there waiting to crawl onto their mouths.

What is this, Luca? -asked Naomi as he served the food on each plate- I've never seen anything like it, every time I've eaten pasta the sauce was reddish. This is green -she poked the spaghetti on her plate with a fork- and it smells like...well, I have no idea what it tastes like.
This is my thanks for everything you've done for me this far. I hope it's tasty. And about the different sauces for pasta in Italy, that's a whole universe to speak of, the food would be cold by when I'm finished explaining. Want to try it?

Thomas, looking wary, got his fork and took the spaghetti as they should be taken: spinning the fork in their midst and letting them roll around it. Luca knew they could have also used spoons to make it easier, but they hadn't got any out. The leader smelled carefully what he had picked up and then put it into his mouth, taking his time to taste it. Despite himself, he made a funny face which indicated he liked it, something between surprise and pleasure, that made everyone else laugh at him.

This is very good. Really, try it!-he told the other two and turned to Luca- you made it with basil, right?
Yes, this is pesto, pesto genovese. It's one of my favourite pasta sauces.

Aaliyah and Naomi also had blissful faces in no time.

I made it with basil, grated Parmigiano, garlic, olive oil, nuts and pine nuts. It's not so difficult. You liked it too, didn't you?
Stupid question-answered Aaliyah- it's awesome! Your officially cooking for me every day!
Yeah, whatever you say.-Luca sat down too, and took his own fork.
Excuse me, Luca, how do you wish for a good meal in Italian?- said Naomi, smiling at everyone- I'd like to say it before we eat.
Of course, but you must also teach me how to say it in Japanese too! And I have no problem with you using chopsticks, you know.

And so, with cries of Buon appetito! and Itadakimasu!, they had dinner watching the gorgeous sunset.

WARNING: until here, the story's had a good ending. From here on, however, the epilogue gives a darker finish to it. I usually say nothing, but if you prefer this nice ending you can stop here if you want :P

It had been such a good dinner: they had been eating, telling tales and laughing for hours, which made them forget for a time that they were on the run, or that they fought a war in the losing side, without most of humanity even knowing. And many jokes were made about Luca's arrival, Thomas' t-shirt and Naomi eating pasta in Italy with chopsticks. Aaliyah had even managed to strike a deal with Luca: for every match against her that he lost, he'd cook her dinner, and she'd do the same for him. Thomas had to facepalm at that.

But of course, all good things have an end, and it came the time to stop and pick up everything for the clean up. Of course, at first Luca had tried to help with doing the dishes and all that stuff, but the others were adamant and sent him to sleep right away. And he was so tired because of all that had happened that day, he fell asleep in no time when they managed to make him lie on his hay bed, his dirty blond hair tangling with the straws as his chest rose and sunk with his steady breathing.

Thomas watched him from outside the barn, vigilant. It had also been a long day for him, and he'd like nothing more than having his own sleep, but the first guard shift was on him. He had 3 more hours before he'd be relieved from his duty by Naomi.

The night sky was ablaze with stars here. He'd lived most of his life in cities, and very few times had he been able to enjoy such a sight away from light pollution. He had been the farthest from civilization and its lights on missions and training asignments, the worst situations in which one could gaze up and watch the stars.

Pretty, aren't they?-Aaliyah emerged from the barn, closely followed by Naomi- When I was younger my friends would sail off Hilo into the open sea at night just to see the stars.
And you checked the storm forecast for wherever that was everytime, didn't you?
You're such a spoilsport sometimes, Thomas, we should call you “Sad Tom”... well, what do you want anyway? You told us to meet you and here we are.
Yeah-Naomi twirled a strand of her hair around her fingers-Is there something wrong? Do we have to move again?
No, nothing of that. Did you make sure he's asleep?
Yes, “pokeproof asleep”
I poked him thrice and he didn't even stir.-Suss shrugged-Don't worry, he'll sleep like a baby tonight.
Good, because this has to do with him and I don't want him knowing we've had this conversation, understood?-he checked on Luca over Naomi's shoulder, peeking through the door-Him and me, we had a problem today...
Oh, you mean your little fight?
Wait, you mean that you know?

Naomi grinned at him and fished a small controller out of her pocket.

Big Sister sees everything, remember?

Oh, well, bugger me. Thomas had anticipated that and tried to go outside the range of Naomi's security camera array before talking to Luca, but it had turned out to be not far enough, it seemed. But on a new light, that could help him explain what he was about to say.

All right, you saw. Stop smiling, please, this is serious. It is what I wanted to talk to you two about right now. Did you see it well?
Yes!-Suss answered in her sometimes annoyingly cheerful way-When Naomi showed me the replay, she had zoomed on it and everything! You looked so angry, if only we'd had also a good audio... But it was no big deal until he fell out of sight, right? He made a nice dodge, but he missed you? It's probably my fault, maybe I don't hit him hard enough yet...
No.-Thomas went deadly serious-I missed. He didn't.
What? -that puzzled them- but he didn't even touch your face!!
No...-he extended his right arm and put his hand right beside Naomi's ear-Don't you see it? I punched him, but he didn't even punch me. We haven't given him one yet, but he...he reacted on pure instinct. That is how a Hidden Blade is used -he repeated the motion- and he stabbed me.

That got to their heads quick enough. Suss lost her smile immediately and, well, it was dark and it couldn't be seen well with the lights out and just moonlight, but she seemed paler. Naomi put a hand to her mouth and took a couple of steps back.

It was as if he'd been training with it for quite a while, as in real life! We are not that fast! If he'd been wearing a blade and really wanted to use it on me, he'd slashed my neck open to the ear, he'd... kill me.

Naomi and Suss turned around to face Luca, who looked as blissfully asleep as when he'd got into bed. For a moment, nothing but his breathing could be heard.

I need you to tell me something, Naomi. And I want a good explanation. No ramblings. -Thomas crossed his arms over his chest, looking at her in the eye- Do you really know what this...this bloody effect of yours is?
In the last e-mail Lucy sent us, she said Abstergo has named it “bleeding effect”. It's like... well, we place someone in the Animus and make him or her relive memories stored in their genetic code, inherited from ancestors. But it looks like there is a “barrier” separating the stored memories from the normal ones. When we use the Animus for too long, a hole is made in that barrier and the memories leak out into that person's consciousness, along with past experiences and abilities. I thought we could use Luca's already present Bleeding Effect to speed up his training, but...
Hey-Suss interrupted-Are we risking Luca's life with that?
I thought we weren't, that's the point! But it works beyond what I expected... I need more data. Luca was their Subject 14, maybe they've already got themselves a 15 or a 16 by now! Maybe I could get some info from them...
Enough-Thomas clapped his hands, demanding silence- it's too soon to go digging in their databanks again, they will be too alert. For now, we'll have to stick with what we have, and await more instructions: W will know what we can do. So go to bed now, and let me have the watch, we'll talk about it tomorrow. And we must take better care of Luca. He's willing to cooperate with us... but we can't be so sure about the person, or people, that we're trying to get out of him.


INSPIRATION: Real life, AC:R Main Theme

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