Breaking The Code - Part 3
Markuz, March 22nd, 2018

You can find the second part of this series at this link: Breaking the Code – Part 2

Welcome back to our in-depth analysis dedicated to the Isu messages in Assassin’s Creed Origins! We left off a while ago with the third message and its potential Capitoline Triad designs, the theory of the Tree of Life / Knowledge and especially the Isu’s hope for Layla to alter the Code of time.

Why should Layla alter the course of time, then? We’ll find out in Segment 4.

Segment 4 - Eeyoo Sekedoo Aat

Location: Tomb of Smenkhkare – Haueris Nome

Main theme: A way to understand time for humans, a new impending doom for Earth

Dialog by: Khnum and Hequet Narrator (Source: Kristian Petersen)

Click here to read the message once again

4. Eeyoo Sekedoo Aat

Retransmission. Segment 4. Acquiring Contemporaneity. It has been 99 days since the Great Catastrophe. The messenger speaks.

On the 21st day of December 2012, Desmond activated the global aurora borealis device and protected the earth from the sun's deadly coronal mass ejection.

On the 21st day of December 2012, humanity carried on without a care in the world. People went to work. People went to school, and people went to the well for water.

On the night of December 21st 2012, as the sun set on their days, humankind went to bed.

Then, on the morning of December 22nd 2012, humankind was graced with yet another morning. They never knew that on the previous day, the world almost ended.

We thought that would have been enough. And it was, until it wasn't.

Time is unyielding. It always corrects itself.

The language of time works in many ways. Two of which you can understand... as you are now.

Linear continuity is a simulation that allows for variations. Within the linear continuity, there are nodes. Choke points.

Moments where algorithms converge the flows of superposed possibilities to a single moment where only one absolute truth is possible.

Paths are fluid, continuous. Nodes are static, changeless.

And the wave function collapses the paths into nodes which branch out. Again, and again, and again.

And so I wonder. Can you feel the wave collapsing, trying to course correct Desmond's act of defiance?

The incoming node needs for the world to end. The algorithms have been carving the flow of possibilities towards that end for over a 100 years now.

[...] [Collapse the wave]

A labyrinth of trenches, filled with mud and mustard gas. Families cowering in fear as V2'S vaporize their dwellings.

Fire born from the bellows of the Los Alamos Laboratory, fuelling global catastrophes.

The Serpukhov-15 incident of 1983.

The Doomsday clock, tucked away in an office of the University of Chicago. Its needle moving as the years go.

The node is near.

Perhaps you knew. Perhaps you felt it too. That the world is closing in on you.

Analysis of the message

The messenger this time is once again a double named narrator called Khnum and Hequet Narrator. As it was the case for the Amun and Amunet narrator in Segment 1, Khnum and Hequet are the names of two Egyptian deities. More specifically, Khnum was originally the god of the source of the river Nile and was believed to be the creator of the bodies of the human children while Hequet or Heqet was the Egyptian goddess of fertility and was represented as a frog, a symbol of fertility itself related to the annual flooding of the Nile. Khnum’s and Heqet’s names are coupled here because Heqet was originally the female counterpart of Khnum or, according to other sources, his wife. It’s interesting to see that, much like Amun and Amunet, we are seeing here the name of two Egyptian gods that are a couple.

The message itself – dated 99 days after the Toba Catastrophe - is very interesting because it starts with some nostalgia for the fans but at the same time it’s very direct towards Layla, with a huge flow of information that she probably doesn’t know about – and to which she doesn’t seem to react at all. In fact, the narrator mentions Desmond Miles and says that on December 21st, 2012, he activated the “Aurora Borealis device” and protected the Earth from the Sun’s mass coronal ejection, thus allowing people all over the world to carry on with their lives not knowing about his sacrifice for them.
The Global Aurora Borealis device and… the global aurora borealis

What we see here is common knowledge for the AC fans since 2012, apart from a tiny detail: the Aurora Borealis device. Of course it’s a reference to the pedestal with the ‘glowing ball’ and the biometric device that Desmond activated at the end of AC3 sacrificing himself. Its name is actually new although it kind of makes sense listening to the radio / tv reporter that appears in the game after Desmond’s sacrifice:

“… It’s some sort of global aurora borealis… Never seen anything like this before… eyewitnesses describe electrical storms and erratic displays of unusual weather…”

Thus the name of the device probably suggests what it could cause after or while protecting the Earth (the device even has the shape of the planet, after all).

So, after remembering Desmond’s sacrifice, the Isu narrator says that they thought that his actions would have been enough to save humanity and the Earth… but they weren’t.

Before the narrator gets into this new threat, and possibly to better explain it, she digresses to talk about Time. As mentioned in Segment 2, time can be interpreted and described in many ways, but humans can only see it as a cause-effect kind of sequence, with paths and nodes. Here the narrator actually says that humans can understand and describe time in two ways.

The first one is defined as “linear continuity” by the narrator. It basically is what the Segment 2 narrator described. The continuity is made up of paths and nodes, where the paths are all the possible ways in which any event could happen (the “superposed possibilities” in the message) while the nodes, that the narrator calls “choke points” are the moments where such possibilities converge to create an actual truth or, to better put it, to make the event actually happen with no different possibilities. As it sounds complicated, I’ve made a graph to try and summarize my interpretation of the message.

You can see the black dots and the paths as all the possibilities and variables through which the algorithm that defines time (the Code) can move. As the narrator says, “algorithms converge the flows of superposed possibilities to a single moment (the red dots in my example) where only one absolute truth is possible” and “the wave function collapses the paths into nodes which branch out. Again, and again, and again.”.

It’s actually more complicated than what I showed in my graph, though. Words like “superposed possibilities”, “wave function” and “wave function collapse” actually come from quantum mechanics, the theory in physics which describes nature at the smallest scales of energy levels of atoms and subatomic particles. I’ll try and explain it very briefly through Wikipedia, and going concept by concept, even though it’s very complicated (at least for me :P). You’re allowed to skim through it if it gets too difficult!

In physics, a quantum is the minimum amount of any physical property (like velocity, volume, density etc.). A physical property can be defined as “quantic entity” if it can be "quantized", meaning that the magnitude of such physical property can take on only values consisting of integer multiples of one quantum. For example, a photon is a single quantum of light (or of any other form of electromagnetic radiation), and can be referred to as a "light quantum".

Illustration that shows the dual
nature of light, which acts like both
particles and waves (Source:
At this point we need to know three main concepts: the wave-particle duality, the quantum system and the observable.
In quantum mechanics the wave-particle duality is a concept which basically states that the behavior of a particle or
a quantic entity cannot be described only in terms of particles, but also of waves.
A quantum system is a portion of the universe which is analyzed in terms of quantum mechanics pertaining to the wave-particle duality in that system.
Lastly, an observable is a dynamic variable that can be measured such as position and momentum.

I hope I haven’t lost you here, because it gets more complicated, but we’re getting there :P So, knowing these three concepts, we can define the so called “quantum state”. A quantum state is the state of an isolated quantum system. Basically, a quantum state provides a probability distribution for the value of each observable in such system, and thus a probability distribution for the outcome of each possible measurement on the system. As mentioned by Wikipedia, knowing the quantum state together with the rules for the system's evolution in time exhausts all that can be predicted about the system's behavior (I hope you are starting to see where I’m getting – the rules for the evolution of “the system” in time are the Code in the AC lore).

Now this is where we get to the juicy – and uber complicated – stuff. In quantum physics, a wave function is a mathematical description of the quantum state of a system. The wave function is a complex-valued probability amplitude, and from it it’s possible to derive the probabilities for the possible results of measurements made on the system. The most common symbols for a wave function are the Greek letters or (this will come in handy at the end of the article).

Ok, we’re almost there, but we still need two more concepts.

In physics the superposition principle states that, for all linear systems, the net response caused by two or more stimuli is the sum of the responses that would have been caused by each stimulus individually.
In quantum mechanics, as we kind of touched upon earlier, one of the main tasks is to calculate and understand how a certain type of wave / particle / quantum behaves in time. A primary approach to computing the behavior of a wave function is to write it as a superposition (called "quantum superposition") of possibly infinite other wave functions of quantum states where all the observables are independent of time (also called stationary states).

Example of the wave function collapse
after a measurement of the “position in space”
observable. When that happens the particle is said to
exist at that point and nowhere else
Alright we’re here… The wave function collapse. As we said, quantum systems exist in “superpositions” of countless basis / stationary states, each with its probability distribution of the possible results of measurements on the system. When a measurement in the system is actually made, the observer gets to finally “acquire information” about a specific property, making it so that only one of the basis states (the one that contained the value of the property) is actually “true” from his / her perspective. In quantum physics this “reduction” is called wave function collapse as, indeed, the wave function from several “possible” quantum states collapses to a single basis state after a measurement.

So now we can have a better idea of how all of this applies to the speech by the Isu narrator. She describes time as paths and nodes, as mentioned before, but “paths are fluid” while “nodes are static”. Basically the paths are all the possible and superposed states that we talked about earlier, where every state is possible (the flow of possibilities) until a measurement is made. Following the analogy, when a “measurement” is made, the wave function of time collapses to a single node / state which actually represents an event that actually and truthfully happens (a single moment where only one absolute truth is possible).

Still, there is a difference between actual quantum physics and what the narrator is saying: in the narrator’s speech there is no measurement that causes the wave function of time to collapse on the single nodes. In fact, the description of the narrator seems much more deterministic as it’s like the function of the algorithm itself that actually forces the possibilities to some specific events that are meant to happen, before branching out to new possible paths that will have to forcefully reach another “choke point” and again and again, as the narrator said.

And that’s where we get to the main point of Segment 4. The next node, the next choke point that time is forcefully trying to get to is another catastrophe. “The incoming node needs for the world to end”.
More specifically, though, it’s trying to have the catastrophe that Desmond averted by sacrificing himself happen again (in the same way or in another shape or form, we don’t know).

The Toba Catastrophe, concept art by Martin Deschambault
Can that really happen in the modern day? (Source:

And thus, “Time is unyielding, it always corrects itself”, and according to the narrator, Desmond’s sacrifice is actually considered as an “act of defiance” against time, so much so that it’s actually trying to course correct the events to the end of the world despite what Desmond did.

It’s kind of like the Final Destination movies, in which “Death” had a plan to kill the protagonists in a specific order and when one of them was able to save his / her life, “Death” would course correct its plan onto the next target, and come back for the character that got saved at a later stage.
In the same fashion, Desmond changed what was meant to happen and so time had to follow a new path to reach the end of the world node.

I have to say that while this may seem an interesting concept that is also consistent with the AC lore (because if Desmond hadn’t sacrificed himself
How important was this gesture?
the Second Catastrophe would have happened as planned by the algorithms), it basically makes Desmond’s sacrifice - and the time that the fans invested in it - possibly useless. In fact, Desmond’s sacrifice is described as a choice through which he defies time (which implies that to a degree the path of the algorithms can be changed) but eventually the algorithms would have found a way to go back to where they were intended to go anyway. Because of that Desmond’s impact is eliminated… or severely reduced. As a matter of fact, if this interpretation is correct, Desmond’s sacrifice would not be in vain only if Layla managed to avert the new catastrophe, and even in that case Desmond’s choice would actually only be a “fake choice” that only helped freeing Juno but didn’t actually save humanity: it only postponed its destiny until someone else – Layla – could actually do something about it.

I’ll let that sink in… and you can guess how that can hurt for a hardcore fan.

At this point you might ask yourself what’s the second way through which humans can understand time? The narrator did say “The language of time works in many ways. Two of which you can understand...” but she doesn’t explain the second one. Well, if I did my research right, I might have an answer for that as well and it involves quantum physics again… Can you feel the happiness growing in you?

Basically in quantum mechanics there are two processes by which quantum systems evolve in time. The wave function collapse “by measurement” is the first one while the second one is called “continuous time evolution” through something called the Schrödinger equation. And no, I won’t go into this second process… yet. There will be time for it in the next article of this series. You’re spared for now.

Going back to the revelation of the new impending catastrophe , the narrator adds that the algorithms of time have been following the path to the end of the world node for a hundred of years now, and lists several events as proof for that. Let’s go briefly through all of them as they are interesting elements to prove the narrator’s point.

The first event is described by “trenches filled with mud and mustard gas” and “V2’s vaporizing villages”. While trenches were used in a lot of wars, the narrator is focusing on the wars where mustard gas and the V-2 guided missiles were used (so we are looking at wars from the Twenties and Fourties onwards, which is consistent with the time algorithms working for a century to reach the end of the world node).

Replica of a V-2 rocket from the Historical
Technical Museum in Peenemünde, Germany
(Source: Wikipedia)
Sulfur mustard or mustard gas is one of the major agents used in chemical warfare and has / had the ability to form large blisters on exposed skin and in the lungs. According to Wikipedia it was possibly developed in 1822 by César-Mansuète Despretz but was first used in World War I by the German army against British and Canadian soldiers near Ypres, Belgium, in 1917 (hence one of the other names that the gas has, Yperite).

As for the “V2’s vaporizing villages”, it’s probably a reference to the V-2 rockets, the world’s first long-range guided ballistic missiles which were developed during the Second World War in Germany as a "vengeance weapon" with the purpose of attacking Allied cities as retaliation for the Allied bombings against German cities.

The idea here is that this kind of weapons was already a sign of time getting closer to a catastrophe and it kind of reminded me of glyph #4 in Assassin’s Creed 2, where it was shown that weapons (defined as “monster”) were not invented by men but they were created through the use of the Apples of Eden. The glyph also implied (and that’s where I see a common theme with the Segment 3 message) how monstrous is / was the use of weapons to harm other men, with suffering that these generate and the enormous quantities of lives ended because of them.

The second event mentioned by the Khnum and Hequet Narrator is the “Fire born from the bellows of the Los Alamos Laboratory, fuelling global catastrophes.”.
Aerial view of the Los Alamos National
Laboratory (Source:
What we are talking about here is the Los AlamosNational Laboratory , a United States laboratory working under the Department of Energy that was initially created during World War II as the top secret location used for the design of nuclear weapons as part of the Manhattan Project, with J. Robert Oppenheimer working as director.

The laboratory worked to create several atomic devices, one of which, codenamed "Trinity", was used in the first nuclear test near Alamogordo, New Mexico on July 16, 1945. The other two and sadly more famous devices were actual weapons, codnamed "Little Boy" and "Fat Man", which were used in the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6th and 9th, 1945. In the years following the 1940s, Los Alamos was also responsible for the development of the so called hydrogen bomb and other variants of existing nuclear weapons.

Thus, you can understand what the narrator meant by the global catastrophes created by the laboratory.

As a footnote, I’d like to mention that Los Alamos, Alamogordo and the Manhattan Project have already appeared in the AC Lore. The first two appeared on Assassin’s Creed Initiates, as you can see from this link coming from our Database. Apart from the historical information, that entry in the Initiates database mentioned that the atomic tests in Alamogordo were made possible by the influence of Abstergo Industries. The Manhattan Project and Oppenheimer, instead, appeared on glyph #13 of Assassin’s Creed 2, which basically showed how the Templars gave “O” (Oppenheimer) the authorization to launch the aforementioned tests, but also that they were behind the actual launch of the atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

It’s funny how in the glyph the Templars indirectly say that such actions would be done with “global security and prosperity” in mind while the Isu narrator defines the same actions as “fuelling global catastrophes”.

The third event mentioned by the narrator is the “Serpukhov-15 incident of 1983”. Serpukhov-15 is a military townlet built in 1982 in the Kaluga Oblast in Russia which acts as the location of the western control centre for Russia's Oko satellites which are designed to give early warning of ballistic missile launches, mainly from the continental United States. As mentioned by Wikipedia, the site is part of the Russian Main Centre for Missile Attack Warning and information from here is processed at the Russian Aerospace Defence Forces centre.

Stanislav Petrov (Source: Wikipedia)
On 26 September 1983 the system suffered a major malfunction when it mistakenly identified a launch of five ballistic missiles from different bases in the United States. Apparently the system misidentified a particular set of circumstances including high clouds and the autumn equinox. Thankfully the warnings sent by the system were correctly identified as false alarms by Lt. Colonel Stanislav Petrov, the officer on duty in the bunker at the time. As mentioned on Wikipedia, this decision is seen as having prevented a retaliatory nuclear attack by Russia, which would have probably resulted in an immediate escalation that might have led to a nuclear war.
It’s also interesting to see how inadvertently topical Assassin’s Creed can be, as false alarms that scare people and risk to provoke wars are a current theme right now, considering the very recent 38 minutes of panic caused by a “ballistic missile threat” false alarm in Hawaii and the false alarm about a missile launch by North Korea issued in Japan merely days after the Hawaii one.

Cover of the 1947 Bulletin of the
Atomic Scientists issue, featuring the
Doomsday Clock at "seven minutes
to midnight". (Source:
The last element that the Narrator uses as an example is possibly the most interesting: the Doomsday Clock, “tucked away in an office of the University of Chicago. Its needle moving as the years go.”.
The Doomsday Clock is an analogy, a symbol that represents how close humanity is to a man-made global catastrophe. It has been created in 1947 by the members of the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, an academic journal founded in 1945 by a group of researchers called the Chicago Atomic Scientists who had participated in the Manhattan Project. The journal has been published continuously ever since, covering the dangers posed by nuclear threats, weapons of mass destruction, and biological hazards among other things and its records are kept at the Special Collections Research Center of the University of Chicago Library (hence the mention of the University of Chicago by the narrator).

Back to the Doomsday Clock, as I said, it’s a symbol that represents how close we are to a global catastrophe caused by man. More specifically the Clock represents the hypothetical global catastrophe as "midnight" and the Bulletin's opinion on how close the world is to a global catastrophe as a number of "minutes" to midnight. Its original setting in 1947 was seven minutes to midnight and over the years it has been set backward and forward 22 times since then, reaching in 2017 a setting of two and a half minutes to midnight due, according to Wikipedia, to United States President Donald Trump's comments over North Korea, Russia, and nuclear weapons. To put things in perspective, this is the Clock's second-closest approach to midnight since its introduction. What’s even more shocking, at least for me, is that very recently, on January 25th, 2018, the Bulletin updated the setting of the clock to two minutes to midnight, because “world leaders failed to respond effectively to the looming threats of nuclear war and climate change, making the world security situation more dangerous than it was a year ago—and as dangerous as it has been since World War II”. Thus the Clock reached its joint-closest approach to midnight since its introduction, only matched by that of 1953. And we’re talking about the real world here, not a videogame.

Anyway actually talking about AC, the narrator mentions the Doomsday Clock as it’s the perfect example of estimate that can prove how close humanity is getting to a global catastrophe (even though the one mentioned by the Isu is not necessarily caused by men) which, in turn, is very consistent with the “new catastrophe” narrative that Segment 4 is introducing.

All in all, then, the narrator is using all these examples (war weapons, nuclear catastrophes, false alarms that might cause wars and an estimate of an impending global cataclysm) to prove that “the node is near” and to tell Layla that “the world is closing on you”. What are the Isu asking of Layla though? It seems pretty obvious that they want her to stop this new catastrophe. After all they asked her to “break the node” in Segment 3, didn’t they?

In the reversed audio of this message they also ask Layla to “Collapse the wave”, possibly meaning that they want her to have the wave function collapse to events that she can cause, reach or maybe even change instead of events predetermined by time itself. Another act of defiance if you will, but like I said in the second article of this series, it worries me because it may imply changes of established events of the franchise.

Analysis of the picture

This picture is… something. Even a few months after release I can’t totally decipher all of its details. In my opinion what we are seeing here is a magnetic field, and more specifically Earth’s magnetic field. In fact, you can see the “classic” visual depiction of the arrows / vectors that represent the direction of the field itself and of the electric charges and magnetic dipoles that move through it and around the world from the south magnetic pole to the north magnetic pole.

Why is this of any interest to us? Well, using Lucy Stillman’s words in Assassin’s Creed II, “There's been some speculation that the Earth's magnetic field is weakening... A sufficiently strong flare could flip the poles and cause geomagnetic reversal. It's all theoretical. But if it happens – the planet could become geologically unstable. Very unstable.

The Earth's magnetic field, magnetic poles and geographic poles (Source:

To put it easily, the Earth's magnetic field is the field that extends from the Earth's interior out into space, where it meets the so called “solar wind”, a stream of charged particles emanating from the Sun. It basically serves to deflect most of the solar wind, whose charged particles would otherwise strip away the ozone layer that protects the Earth from ultraviolet radiations.

One of the most significant and potentially dangerous releases of particles and magnetic field from the Sun is the “coronal mass ejection” (CME), which most of you will recognize as the phenomenon behind the catastrophes in the Assassin’s Creed franchise.

When the ejection reaches Earth (and doesn’t roast it like in the Revelations finale), the shock wave of the traveling mass causes a geomagnetic storm that can disrupt the planet's magnetosphere, compressing it on the day side and extending it on its night side.
The Coronal Mass Ejection as seen
in Assassin's Creed Revelations
This can possibly cause particularly strong Northern Lights (aurora borealis) and Southern Lights (aurora australis) in specific regions around Earth's magnetic poles. CMEs can also disrupt radio transmissions and cause damage to satellites and electrical transmission line facilities, resulting in potentially massive and long-lasting power outages. Basically what happened in AC3 when the Second Catastrophe reached Earth but was dispelled.

Thus you can see why the Earth and its magnetic field (if my interpretation is correct) appear in the Segment 4 picture: they are interconnected with the main topic of the speech by the narrator, which is the new impending catastrophe that is going to hit the Earth.

The picture contains more details, though. The – presumed - Earth is depicted as a series of concentric circles.

The outer one is basically made up of two symbols repeating themselves all around their circle. They are the Abstergo and the inverted triangle symbols that have already appeared in the Minerva message in Assassin’s Creed II and that we mentioned in our Segment 3 article.

The middle one is possibly the most complicated and for now I haven’t found a full explanation for it. It’s made up of 12 symbols (plus maybe a missing 13th one on the left) which, if I’m correct, are not similar to any known symbol unless maybe to those of the zodiac.

Still, not all zodiac symbols match (and even these don’t really…), so – after discussing this with our Hephaestus - we believe it’s more likely for these symbols to be part of some sort of First Civilization language. Or maybe we missed something? Let us know what you think about these symbols in the comments!

The third and inner circle is made up of the classic design of the Apple of Eden with four triangles at its four extremities. This whole design is not new and should be familiar to some of the most hardcore fans among you. It’s indeed the design that can be found on the Memory Seals in Assassin’s Creed Revelations , in the message by Minerva in Assassin’s Creed II, in the Voynich Manuscript page of Assassin’s Creed Brahman and even in the very recent “Lights among the Dunes” in Assassin’s Creed Origins.

Sources: Assassin's Creed Wiki and Martin Deschambault

… So why would the Memory Seal design is used at the center of the – presumed – Earth? I don’t have a clue for now. Possibly it’s another way for the Isu to say that some recorded messages are hidden in the depths of Earth for people / Layla to find to avert the catastrophe?

Tinia and Minerva did leave some Memory Seals in the depths of the Grand Temple for Desmond, after all, although Juno threw them in the abyss of the temple itself: “There were discs here, once. I threw them into the abyss when I still could. I think they were meant for you. Filled with lies. You don't need such things.”
(I wonder if the Assassins or Abstergo will ever try to go back and find them…)

There’s also a chance that this specific design has another meaning or that maybe it was just added in the Segment 4 picture with no specific reference. I guess we’ll probably never know (I hope I’m proven wrong though!)


The fourth Isu message in Origins describes in deeper details how the Code and Time work. It shows how deterministic time can be, to the point where if anything changes from the “original plan” it can course correct events so that it can inevitably reach what had been planned. In this case what had been planned was the Second Catastrophe of 2012, what changed was Desmond’s sacrifice and now the events have been course corrected to make so that another catastrophe reaches the Earth to destroy it. More specifically and according to my interpretation, such catastrophe may be in the form of another coronal mass ejection which will hit Earth’s magnetic field, as shown in the Segment 4 picture.

Thus, “the world is closing on” Layla, so what can she do about it?

Sadly that’s the topic of the next article of this series so once again, stay synchronized with us as we’re getting closer and closer to the final Isu messages in Assassin’s Creed Origins! And don’t forget to let us know what you think about the article and the opinions and interpretations that it contains in the comments below!

comments powered by Disqus