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Ratonhnhaké:ton had been beyond suspicious about the man waiting for him in the basement.

He had avoided Achilles by waiting until the old man went to bed and then let himself into the manor, hoping to get down to the basement to mark off his most recent target and sit and think for a while about what to do next.

Instead, there had been someone waiting for him. No Assassin, certainly no Templar. A soft spoken, self assured man who held his hands up to prove he was unarmed as Ratonhnhaké:ton flipped his blades out.

"I mean no harm," the man had said. "I've come to speak to you about a unique opportunity. I represent the city of Eudio, and we have an offer for you..."

The blades didn't go away, but he listened to what the man had to say. It made little sense to him. Another world, very different from this one, powered by physical contact. He almost wanted to laugh at the idea that someone thought he was a good choice for that. Even his own father had been surprised at the level of hostility he felt when being touched, uninvited, by anyone.

There was far too much to do here to even think about accepting the offer to go to some spirit land. But then the man made the real offer.

"Of course, we understand the inconvenience we ask and we offer, as compensation for your commitment, anything which you may desire."

And that made him pay attention again. "What do you mean, 'anything'?"

"Freedom of loved ones, supernatural powers, ah, spirit powers, as you may see it. An end to this war you are currently embroiled in? Or, perhaps, you would have someone lost returned to you? Someone you love?"

"Ista," he heard himself whisper.

"Yes," the man agreed. "We could return your mother to you, in exchange for your service."

Everything in Ratonhnhaké:ton told him he couldn't do this. He had obligations, to his trainees, to the Creed, to his people, to the colonists, fighting for their own freedom from the crown.

Even to Haytham, a strange and uncomfortable ally. The only family he had left, and barely knew.

"You can bring her back? Truly? As she was, no tricks, no other cost than my service in your city?"

The man nodded. "We can bring her back."

Connor, the Assassin he'd been raised to become, knew his duties. Knew better than to trust anything too good to be true. It was insanity to think they could bring her back to him, in exchange for him learning to deal with his mistrust of being touched and allowing himself to be used to make this city of theirs flourish again. Only a fool would do it.

"I accept your terms," Ratonhnhaké:ton said. "My service to your city for my mother, restored and alive."

For the chance of saving Ista, he'd risk begin a fool.

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Ratonhnhaké:ton

July 2016

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