Protagonist: Giovanni Borgia
Setting: Rome, Italy
Time Period: 1503 CE

Introduction video of the chapter: "The DDS is going to try to synchronize you with the memories of a child. This may be confusing for you at first, as you will lose your ability to convey complex thought, but your mind should quickly adapt.
"The truth behind the real parents of Giovanni Borgia, the "Child of Rome," has long baffled historians. But even more perplexing is Giovanni's insignificant life that followed. How does one stand right in the center of the hurricane and remain untouched? Your task is to learn what history has hidden from us."

First memory group – NATURE VERSUS NURTURE

Papā tells me that Roma is not safe for me. He says people want to hurt me. They want to hurt our family. When I ask him why, he says because they know we are better than they are. He says our family must stay together. They will teach me to be strong.

Memory 1 – MIGHT
Papā teaches me how to fight with a wooden sword. He says one day I will use a real one and I need to be good at it. He plays too rough! Sometimes I think he will hurt me.

Papā yells at me for dragging the sword on the ground. I tell him I am sorry but he tells me to pay attention, not to be sorry.

He tells me to hold up my sword. I hold it up and he hits it with his. My sword flies out of my hand. He is angry again.

I pick up my sword. Papā taps my head with the side of his blade. It stings! He pokes me in the shoulder. I tell him to stop! He says my enemies will not stop.

I swing hard, trying to hit Papā's knee! He moves out of the way!

I start to cry and he laughs at me! I run towards him and try to stab his belly. He blocks my swing! I swing again and again. I scream at him. I cannot hit him!

Papā tells me to calm myself. He says I have done good today. That if I need to cry and get angry before I can fight, then he will make me cry and get angry again tomorrow. He says I am learning.

Memory 2 – AMBITION
Today I am playing with Papā's sister, Zia Lucrezia. She is sad most the time, but spending time with me makes her happy. She says today she will teach me about the world. She promises not to talk to me like a child. I promise not to talk to her like an adult and she laughs. I laugh too.

Zia asks me what I would do if someone said they would hurt my family. I ask her why anyone would hurt my family. She says everyone wants to hurt us.

I tell her I would hit bad people with a sword. She asks me what I mean by bad people. I tell her those people who would hurt others. Those who do not play nice. She looks sad.

She tells me there are ways to kill people without anyone knowing. A poison in their food or drink. I ask her if Papā tried to poison Fiora. She does not answer.

I ask Zia about my Mamma, if she knew her. She says she did. My Mamma was young. Too young to know what she was doing. I ask where my Mamma is now. Can I meet her? She says she does not know, but she does know my Mamma loves me.

I ask Zia why people do not like us. She says because we are strong. Because we are rich. People are jealous. I ask her why we cannot make them strong and rich too. She laughs.

Zia tells me not to trust anyone. Not Papā. Not Nonno. I ask if I can trust her. She begins to cry, so I leave her alone.

Memory 3 – RELIGION
Nonno is going to let me play with the Apple today! He says it is not a toy, but I think it is a toy. It glows. It makes noises. Sometimes it talks to me like Consus does.

Nonno asks me about Consus. He asks if he can talk to him. Consus is not here. He does not play when Nonno is around.

Nonno asks if the Apple is speaking. It is. He asks what it is saying. It says COME CLOSER. It says CLEAR YOUR MIND. Nonno asks me to pick it up.

I pick up the Apple. The room looks funny. The walls are bending. It looks like they are breathing. Nonno yells for me to stop! He is scared. I put the Apple down and he apologizes.

He asks me to take the Apple again. To make a bird. I ask what he means. He tells me again. Make a bird.

I think about a bird. An eagle! I see a bird's shadow on the wall. It's not right. I think harder. It begins to fly!

Nonno cheers as my eagle flies around the library! He sees it too! I begin to laugh and it disappears. Nonno writes in his book and tells me we have done enough for today.

Memory 4 – HUMILITY
Papā has asked his friend Micheletto to teach me today. I do not like him. He is mean. He does not like me either, even though I am nice.

Micheletto asks me if I know where to kick somebody. I tell him I would kick somebody in the knee. He says a knee hurts, but there is a better place that hurts more, even for a woman. I ask him if he has ever kicked a woman and he says he has kicked many!

Micheletto pushes me to the ground and tells me to get up! I try to stand, but he steps on me! He tells me that I will be dead before I reach ten. He says he is wasting his time!

I bite his ankle! He picks me up by my shirt and holds me over his head! I cry for my Papā, but nobody answers!

Micheletto tells me biting is good if somebody is holding you, but asks me what I'll do when he smashes out my teeth. I beg him not to smash out my teeth!

He pretends to throw me at the wall, but stops. He asks me if I wet my pants. I tell him I did not.

Micheletto asks if I have learned anything. I tell him no, but I am lying. I have learned to hate him.

Second memory group – HAUNTED

In my dreams I am older. I speak words I do not understand in my waking life, yet in this phantom life, they are clear. I do not know who I am but I have flashes of what I have done. I have travelled far and I have taken lives. I am a messenger and a deceiver.

What did the Shroud do to this poor kid? He should be dreaming about the Renaissance equivalent of sunshine and lollipops, not murder and politics! I've never seen anything like this! -Erudito

The Brothers stand before me. I am not one of them yet, but I soon will be. Tonight, I ascend.

Where other men blindly follow the truth, remember ... nothing is true.

Where other men are limited by morality or law, remember ... everything is permitted.

They leave their mark upon me. A symbolic sacrifice. Searing iron burns the flesh of my hand!

All that is left — the leap of faith. They lead, each Brother plummeting from the tower and landing safely below in a bail of hay. They are like eagles. Truly free. I do not hesitate. The fall feels like a flight. Exhilarating!

Perotto. Giovanni dreamed as Perotto! That means he must have had Lucrezia memories in there that would make Oedipus blush! This is bad, bad stuff, but you need to dig deeper. I will work on preventing this from reaching any Abstergo reports. -Erudito

Memory 6 – MENTOR
My Brothers have placed a child into my care. His family has long served us, but he is still a pup. I am to teach him the ways of our Order as I was taught at his age.

He is a scrawny child, bone thin and tall for his age. He will have some difficulty at first, but his body will adapt to the training.

Francesco is eager as well as thorough. He repeats his questions. He asks me to repeat my demonstrations as he studies. He will not move on with a lesson unless he is satisfied with his results. At times I grow frustrated because he is a perfectionist.

Francesco is quick to anger. He charges me without purpose, sword flailing. I lightly tap him on the side to show how my blade easily passed his uncontrolled attack. I encourage him to calm himself. In battle, emotion is a weakness.

I riposte and knock Francesco's sword from his grip. He takes it poorly, slumping his shoulders and insulting himself. I pick it up for him and tell him to try again, explaining how to keep a better grip on a weapon.

It is important to let a child be a child. I leave Francesco with a group of children his age in a nearby village. They put together a small parade and Francesco takes the lead. I cheer for him in his toy armor!

I believe Francesco will make an exceptional addition to our Order. The boy is strong, despite his physical limitations. Speaking with him is like speaking to an adult at times. He is wise beyond his years.

Memory 7 – MADNESS
I am tangled in nightmares. I have never felt love. I have felt love so strongly it strangles me. I am Borgia. The Borgia are my enemies. I am Assassin. The Assassins are my enemies. Cesare is my father. Perotto is my father. Perotto. I am Perotto. I am Giovanni. I am lost.

I am drowning in a sea of letters. I must write. I have not learned how. Words I cannot understand cover every surface in blood red ink. I try to write over them with my quill. The blackness of my ink is lost in the scarlet pools.

Papā strikes me with his blade! Cesare stabs me in the back! I cry. I fall. I want to be free of him. I want to kill him. I will get into trouble. I will cause trouble for Lucrezia. I must run to Zia. Everything for Lucrezia.

Men in white hoods surround me. Am I here to teach them? How? I am a child. Are they here to teach me? My students. My executioners. My future?

I know too much but I know nothing. I am innocent, yet wracked by guilt.

I chase an object of power. I have no faith that it will work. I know how it works. It will heal him. It will heal me. It will remake me.

My dream threatens to burst. It is too much. Will I ever wake? Will I ever sleep again?

I am a baby again. Sick. Dying. I carry my baby. I have the Shroud. He wraps me in a blanket. The blanket hums. The Shroud hums.


Damn you! Heal him. Who is talking? Who is yelling? COME CLOSER.



So warm! So cold. It draws the life from me. It makes me feel alive. Is it done? YES. Did it work? Answer me! Did it work?

Consus? Are you there, Consus? SLEEP, CHILD. FORGET THESE DREAMS.

Third memory group – TOO FAR

Papā says I am too soft. He does not want to look at me. He makes me cry I tell him I can be stronger. I can be like him. He makes me promise.

Papā has sent me out with Micheletto again. I begged him not to. He said it is for my own good. He said I need to see the real world. I have brought something in my pack. Nonno would be very angry if he knew.

Micheletto does not talk to me. He walks fast. Almost too fast for me to keep up.

Micheletto stops to talk to an old man. He is poor and dirty. I wonder if Micheletto will give him money. Micheletto tells me the man's name and asks me to greet him.

The old man is nice. He tells me I remind him of his own son. He asks how old I am. I tell him I am five.

Micheletto puts a finger to his mouth. I stay quiet as the old man talks. Micheletto takes out a rope and wraps it around the old man's neck!

Micheletto lifts the old man by his neck! He is choking! He kicks and swats his arms! I beg Micheletto to stop. He just smiles!

The man is dead! Micheletto asks me if I had fun. I tell him no! He says it will be more fun after I have done it a few times.

I run from Micheletto! He swears and chases me! He is too fast! I try to run into an alley, but he follows me!

Micheletto takes out his rope again! He pulls it tight between his fists!

I take the Apple out of my pack! Micheletto looks shocked! He tries to grab me!


I try to picture something. Anything! I am too scared!

Papā! Help me! Papā!

Papā walks into the alley! He turns towards Micheletto and draws his sword! Micheletto apologizes and drops his rope! I run to Papā, but he disappears! Micheletto runs away!

Fourth memory group – FINDING CLARITY

I hate Papā. Nonno only cares about the Apple. Zia is always sad. I want to run away from them! I want to live somewhere else.

Memory 11 – BREAD CRUMBS
A pigeon flies into my room! He has a note tied to his foot! I pull it off and he flies away. I stare at the note, but I cannot read it.

Consus tells me what it says. It wants me to come to the fountain square. A game! I love games!

Nobody watches me. It is easy to sneak out if I am quiet. Nonno is reading a book. He doesn't see me.

Zia is crying again. She will cry more if I go see her. I walk past her room.

Papā is not in Roma. He would not notice me anyway.

The guards are at their post. They are close to the doors. Somebody shouts at them and they chase after him! I run through the doors!

I run to the fountain. One of the statues has another note in his hand! I take it. It tells me to find my way. It says to use my other eyes.

Memory 12 – MY OWN EYES
The note told me to use my other eyes. Sometimes I see things that are not there. Drawings, or waves. I look around the fountain for drawings. I like this game!

I look for an arrow or footprints. I do not see anything. The note did not say what to look for. There! A man who is brighter than the rest. I run after him!

I run into an alley. The man is not here. Where did he go? I look up. There! He is up there! I laugh at him. He waves at me to follow.

He is fast! He jumps from roof to roof. I stay on the streets and try to keep up!

We reach another alley. The man puts up his hand. He wants me to stop. He puts a finger to his mouth. He wants me to be quiet.

Two dirty men see me. One has no teeth. The other one has a knife! They ask why my clothes are so fancy. They ask if I have any coins!

The man drops from above! It is so high. I think he will hurt himself. No! He lands on the other men. He pulls away his hands. Their necks are bleeding!

Memory 13 – REUNION
He says his name is Francesco. His clothes are strange, like a magician. He says not to be scared. I am not scared. I tell him I want to go with him.

He asks me about the Apple. Do I know where it is? I tell him Papā hid it from me when he found out I took it outside. They do not let me play with it anymore.

Consus tells me to trust Francesco. He says he can help me.

I do not know why, but I tell him I forgive him. He asks me to repeat myself. I do not remember what I said.

He tells me he can take me to live with his Brothers. Only if that is what I want. It is! I ask him if he is a Sassin. He makes a funny face.

Francesco takes the dirty clothes from one of the men he killed. He wraps it around me. It stinks! We walk fast through the crowd. He has a horse waiting. He helps me climb up.

We are riding fast! I ask Francesco if I will ever see Zia again. He tells me it is my choice, but I have to keep secrets. Big secrets.

Fifth (hidden) memory group – ET TU, BRUTE?


(Hidden) Memory 14 – CAVERNS OF THE MIND
Dreams of the cavern again! I run my phantom hands along its walls and recognize every flaw. There is writing here, but I cannot read it. Carved into texture. Burned into shadow. Answers unreachable within my slumber.

I am flying without form! I am the wind. No, I am upon the wind, pulled away from the city. Across field and forest. Once again, I study my path though I know it will be lost when I wake.

I hear them. Warnings. Prophecy. Doom. Nightmares! I am needed. I need.

I see a face. It is my own and then it is my father's. My Caesar. The flesh upon his skull picked apart by carrion birds!

Cleopatra and Caesar kiss while Roma burns! I shout to Caesar! Turn around! Turn and save your people!

Twenty three blades. Twenty three keys.


(Hidden) Memory 15 – INTERVENTION
We drop to our knees, our breaths catching in our throats as we try to grasp the spectacle before us. Giovanni is dreaming. Brutus is awake. This same cavern has haunted our dreams. We have spent countless nights exploring it in our sleep. We were compelled to find it.

It is here that we will hold council. Here we will plot the downfall of our enemy, our friend, our Papā, our dictator perpetuo. Forty of us, each a senator. One child, a dreamer. Each a Liberatore. Each an Assassin.

The first council has ended. Our problem is clear, our response undetermined. Caesar moves away from the Senate, placing his trust in foreign rulers, adopting the ego and pomp of his Egyptian whore. Cesare moves away from his family, leaving Giovanni at the mercy of his mad dog.

Caesar refuses to rise when he addresses us and scoffs at our concerns. He has created his own private senate, filled with deceivers, manipulators, people who have no business in Roman affairs. Papā works with monsters and killers who do not care about Roma's people.

My brothers are eager for blood, but I am not certain I can spill it. Roma will not be free until Papā is dead.

We have found traces of whatever pulled us towards this place. Whispers. Lights flickering through cracks in the earth. A doorway that is also a puzzle. We must find the solution.

YOU HAVE LOST FOCUS. No, I have found purpose. YOU ONLY SEE THE PAST. No, I see the future.

(Hidden) Memory 16 – SLEEPWALKER
WAKE UP, CHILD. I am awake! Look, my eyes are open. I must find a blade. I must stab Caesar twenty three times.

I find a dagger in the room where Caesar and I practice with wooden swords. It hangs high on a wall, but I climb up a chair. He does not let me use the real blades yet, but it feels right in my hand.

Today. The Ides of March. Caesar will be in the Theatre of Pompey. I sneak down the hallway. Cleopatra is asleep in her room.


The other senators are not here! We had a plan! They must be afraid. I will go alone!

Caesar is snoring. I am small, but I can kill him in his sleep if I am quiet. I lift the dagger and look at his face. Papā?

Micheletto grabs my arm and pulls me from the room! I try to cry out but he covers my mouth! I did not mean it! Please, just let me go! PAIN IS TEMPORARY.