Il Coraggio e La MorteHe knew he would be too late. He knew he'd lose him. Rage and impotent guilt soured his mouth as he cut down a chain mail clad Templar swordsman. He ducked under a wild swing of a longsword, then pushed the man with his shoulder. The man staggered back with the Assassin's hidden blade scoring a gash across his neck. The Assassin ran on, aware of the swift passage of time, aware of Estefano's betrayal but running and cutting men down all the same. Estefano had led the Templar troop right to their camp the Assassin had never thought something could frighten that of all men so badly.
The sun coming through the tall dark trees made careful vigilance difficult as his eyes constantly shifted from light to dark and back again. This wood had made his skin crawl since the time they'd beached the boats on the bank of the wide river. He had felt eyes watching them from both banks. God, just when did Estefano have the time to place them so well? He shrugged the thought aside as more
Connor: Of Heart and SoulHis breath rattled in his throat. His father held him easily by the front of his torn bloodied robes. They were soaked in thick dark blood that gently seeped from the gunshot wound to his side and sword cut to his chest. His body was a ruin of bruises and injuries and scars. He had not seen thirty summers – and now it appeared would not see any more.
“The Assassins are finished,” Haytham hissed, shaking him and then letting him go. Connor crumpled bonelessly to the ground, his cheek pressed against the cool earth. He could not move. Did not want to move. Had no will. No strength to defend himself when his father’s boot kicked him over onto his side. The bitterness of defeat, of his immanent death, roiled in his mouth mixed with the blood that he could no longer summon energy to spit. It simply slid from the corner of his closed mouth in a red rivulet, slow like lava down a volcano. Haytham’s hand on his gasping chest was a distant, disembodied sensation.
Connor: The Stuff of LifeHe walked right into it. He grunted, confronted with five men. They were a hard faced sort, smudged skin and clothes. Their chins had not seen a razor in weeks, probably. Not that he was worried about their appearance. At least not in the hygienic sense. It was what they held in their hands that drew his attention. Pistols. Swords. One of them had a rifle but no bayonet. The long barrel was pointed at his chest.
With his feet in a wide stance, Connor stood, assessing. Retreat was still possible. He did not sense anything behind his back. He had never been one to fall back, however. Not from battle. Threats did not frighten him.
"And just where do you think you are going, friend?" one of the cutthroats asked, his dark eyes glinting dangerously.
Connor did not answer, just fixed him with a long hard stare. He held his hands carefully away from his weapons. Perhaps this was a mistake, possibly it was not him they really were waiting for. But then, he'd never believed in coincidence. There
Connor: Lessons of Compassion 3He sighed deeply and opened his eyes. The smell of something cooking grabbed his attention immediately. His mind was amazingly clear his body lethargic as he tried to shift about. He could not remember most of his dreams for they were dark. He remembered running on four paws as opposed to legs. He blinked, the dreamscape swirling just beyond his awareness.
His stomach rumbled in response to the wafting smell of food. His mouth watered recognising meat and potatoes with a few herbs. A very familiar smell
He started. Another familiar thing on top the ravishing cooking smells. A voice with a French burr that put emphasis on the last syllable of his name, making it sound exotic. His active mind put the face to the voice before his head could gather the strength to turn towards the sound.
A Gallic face swam into his field of vision, thin mouth split into a welcoming smile tinged with relief. A jacket of green wool hung somewhat loose across the Frenchman
Connor: Out in the ColdHe lunged forward, defiant. And missed his mark. His feet slid out from under him on the powdery snow as he was pushed back. He fell onto his back with a dry grunt and rolled over or tried to. He was rolling. Just not aside but down. Along the snow that whispered dryly under him, his fingers gouging tracks in a futile attempt to stop.
He slid right out over the precipice in a white cloud of white powder, his hands scraped raw red by the coldness of the snow. He dangled the abyss, snow slowly floating past him with a deceptive ease. He panted, chest constricted by the press of the cliff edge.
Only the leather strap around his wrist stopped his free fall. He risked a quick glance over his shoulder down. It was a long way down, a very long way. His heart pounded in his heaving chest. It hurt to breathe. His wrist pulsed with every heart throb.
A shadow fell over him. Reflex took over. He glanced up, fast. To see the black barrel of a gun pointing at his face, the hammer drawn back.