Assassin's Creed: Exodus is a novel that takes place in between the time of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood and Assassin's Creed: Revelations. It features Ezio thinking about the brotherhood after he retires, and eventually, meets his death.
Chapter 1- Returning to Roma
"Claudia!" Ezio exclaimed, walking towards his sister in joy.
"Ezio! How were your travels? Is Cesare... did you..." she asked, stumbling slightly.
"No..." he started.
"WHAT!?!" Niccolò exclaimed, entering the room.
"...I left him to the fate of gravity. I doubt he still lives. The fall from a castle doesn't seem like a very pleasant place to fall from." Ezio chuckled.
Niccolò looked down at the ground. "You had me frightened, Mentore. After our incident with Rodrigo, I was not sure of your actions." Niccolò placed his hand on Ezio's shoulder.
"There are things he said, 'no man can murder me', 'chains will not hold me', they still frighten me, even after his piombino to Earth," Ezio remarked, glancing down at the ground.
Claudia stepped towards Ezio. "And the Apple? Do you still..."
"No," he replied, shaking his head abruptly. "I locked it away. May no one find it."
"Where?" Niccoló asked, immediately after Ezio finished explaining. Ezio shot a look at him.
"I'm sorry, amico mio, but that is for only me to know. Even with the great trust I have with you, it is too powerful."
The door to the Hideout opened with force. Ezio, Claudia, and Machiavelli all drew their swords.
"Cazzo! I thought you would be expecting me." Bartolomeo stepped down the stairs. The assassins sheathed their weapons.
"Bartolomeo, it is done," Ezio said, grinning lightly.
"So Cesare finally felt the hammer of giustizia, eh? It was about dio di tempo maledetto."
"But, brother," Claudia started, "what will you do now?" They all looked at Ezio. He glanced at each one quickly.
"I will travel back to Monteriggioni. Salvage what I can. Now that Templar influence has been removed from Italia, it should be safe."
"Well then let me come with you," Claudia said, without her usual delicacy.
"No. If the Templars still roam those streets I want you far away from there. I've lost everything. I can't lose you too."
"But Ezio, it is my home too. It is not fair," she said, her eyes starting to water.
"Claudia, I am sorry, but it is too dangerous."
"Stop treating my like a child! I'm not the same little girl whom's boyfriend you beat up! I'm an adult now, and I want to be treated as such."
"Ezio, she is right," Bartolomeo started. "Why should she be kept from her casa if you aren't?"
"Because it is not safe. If the Templars remain inhabiting Monteriggioni then she needs to stay away."
"Ezio, you have seen her in battle," Machiavelli said. "She can hold her own."
Ezio thought for a moment before being interrupted by Claudia. "YOU are the one who inducted me into this order. No Niccoló, not Mario, you." Mario. Mario Auditore. Ezio's uncle and brother in arms. Mario was more like a father to Ezio than Giovanni was, after living with him for many more years than he lived with the latter.
Ezio thought harder. After Claudia brought up Mario, there was one thing that echoed in Ezio's mind. What would Mario say? And Ezio knew. Mario would let her go with him.
"Fine. But if you come with me, you will need more suitable robes."
"Va bene. I will leave for the sarto immediately." She turned to walk away, but Niccoló grabbed her shoulder.
"If you are traveling all the way to Toscana, you will require munitions. Visit the maniscalco. Ask for Alessandro. He is a friend." Claudia smiled with gratitude. As she left the hideout Ezio walked into his quarters, and sat down on the bed. Finally resting, he untied his boots and lay back. With his head finally on the pillow, he shut his eyes, and immediately lost consciousness.
"Ezio!" Claudia ran faster and faster away from the soldiers. Ezio wanted to help her, but couldn't, as he could not move. Even when he tried to force out words nothing came out. 'Claudia!' he thought. He stood there, helpless, and watched as the Templars grabbed her. They threw her down to the ground, and grabbed her feet. As they pulled her away into Monteriggioni, she looked at Ezio.
"Why? Why aren't you helping me?! I thought you loved me!" She was bawling, and did not try to hide it. Ezio held back the lump in his throat as she cried. She clawed relentlessly at the ground, trying to save herself. Right as she was about to give up, one of the guards fell dead on the ground. Then the other, and the last. Claudia smiled, and stood up. She turned around, and there he stood, Cesare Borgia.
She ran towards him, put her hand on his chest, and looked up at him. He pulled her in close and put his lips to hers. Ezio blinked, and Claudia appeared in front of him, except something was different. Her smile was malevolent. She raised her arm, and revealed a hidden blade. It extended out, and she laughed. Finally able to squeeze out words, Ezio said, "Demon! What have to done to Claudia?!" He struggled harder.
In a shrill voice, she said, "I am no demon. I am the one you love most." She tensed her arm, and slammed it up against her own stomach.
"NO!" Ezio yelled, no longer holding back his tears. She put her hand on Ezio's cheek, and he was able to move again. The emotion fell from her face, and she dropped down. Ezio caught her before she hit the ground, but he knew. She was gone.
Ezio stood up, and looked around for Cesare, but he was not there. They were no longer in Monteriggioni, and when he looked back, Claudia was no longer there. He blinked again, and suddenly he was on one knee, holding Christina in his arms.
"Ezio? What are you doing?!" she yelled, crying. Ezio looked at his own arm, which had the hidden blade extended, and pointed towards Christina. It pulled back a bit, and Ezio teared once more.
"No!" he yelled, and looked back at Christina. She put her hand on Ezio's cheek, and her head fell back as the hidden blade pierced her stomach. He lay her down on the ground, and stood up. He ran off into the depths of Firenze, and once more appeared in a different location. Once again it was Firenze, but in a different place.
He looked around anxiously, trying to find out where he was. When he looked to his left, he saw his father and brothers standing on a scaffold. He involuntarily pulled the lever in front of them, and all at the same time, they hung from the gallows. Ezio fell to the ground with a burning headache. He stood up, and through the cheering crowd, he saw him. Not just anybody, but himself.
The doppelganger smiled, and ran off into the dark alleys of Firenze. Ezio followed, running as fast as he could. As he turned the corner, he saw one of the things he feared most. Ezio saw himself using the Apple to control every single person in sight. Soldiers bowed down to him, merchants provided him with gifts, and courtesans worked for free. Ezio dared not to blink once more, but his eyes burned, and he had to. Without blinking he could not see.
He stood right in front of Ezio in the dark square that was his original home. Ezio looked around, and he saw all the people he loved stand lifelessly, staring at him, smiling, and watching.
"Everyone you love will die. Everyone you love will die. Everyone you love will die," they all said in monotone. Ezio looked at his doppelganger, and he was now dressed in all black, with red blood stains covering his robes. Ezio unleashed the power of his hidden blade upon his evil twin, and felt the pain. He pulled the blade out, and there was no wound, but when he looked down at his own stomach, he saw the open gash. In his most desperate hour, Ezio loaded his pistol, held it to his own throat, and shot.
Chapter 2- Casa Dolce Casa
"Ezio! Ezio wake up!" Claudia yelled. Ezio opened his eyes slowly. Everything was blurry, and all he saw was a white figure standing at the doorway. He rubbed his eyes, and through his clear vision, he saw Claudia. With her new clothes and weaponry, she looked like a true assassin.
"Perfetto," he said, smiling.
"I knew you would like them. I felt like an idiota asking for a point on my cappuccio. The woman looked at me as if I was pazzo."
"I'm sure all of us did," Ezio said, chuckling slightly.
"Well actually," said Machiavelli as he entered the room, "you have never been forced to ask for abiti. Your first robes were made for your padre, and I gifted you with your current ones."
"Yes well, while you were purchasing the robes," Ezio started, "I was out fighting the Borgia."
"Credo di sì, but where would you be without us?"
"I'd be King of Italia," Ezio said, closing his eyes to picture his fantasy.
"Is that so? Let us forget whom it was that did your finanza for twenty years."
Ezio stood up, got dressed, and headed out the door. In the hideout was a beautiful woman, and from his true nature, Ezio could not resist.
"Salve Madonna. Is there anything I may be able to assist you with?"
"You? I doint think so nonno." Ezio stood there, offended.
"Forgive her," Machiavelli started. "She does not know who she's talking to."
"And who may that be?" she asked, unimpressed.
"Signore Ezio Auditore da Firenze," Ezio said conceitedly.
"Oh forgive me, master. I have only just arrived. A pleasure. Truly," she said, embarrassed.
"E 'abbastanza bene."