- "I question the sense of it all sometimes. Across centuries, my family has survived against all odds, just so I could be here today. Why? Why of all people must I live, when so many others have died? I can't promise I'll find all the answers. But I can promise you this. I won't stop searching."
- ―Matthew reflecting on his journey in the Grand Temple.
Assassin's Creed: Ascension
Matthew Knight (1990-) was an Assassin with numerous familial ties to the Assassin Order throughout history, including individuals such as Imran Al-Fadi, Vincenzo Rosetti da Roma, Gabriel North, and Henry North. By Mcspark100
Having been raised as an Assassin from birth, Matthew was inducted into the order by the age of 18. However, due to the decline of the Assassin Order, he was forced to work in an underground training facility in Geneva, Switzerland. August 2012, four years later, Matthew was called back into field work by William Miles. He was assigned as a test subject for the Assassin's Animus 2.0 project.
- "I will not be weak."
- ―Matthew as a child.
Matthew was born to Marcus Knight, a British Assassin, and Olivia Knight (nee` Stanton), an American Assassin in an Assassin stronghold in New York city. It was there that he spent most of his childhood, learning the ways of the Assassins. He spent most of his life apart from his father, as he was a field Assassin, the two growing increasingly more distant as time grew on. He was, for the most part, raised by his mother. As he heard of his father's exploits on his missions, Matthew's admiration of his father soon grew into spite. Spite that was born of the belief that his father would rather be an Assassin than a father. Matthew grew determined at the age of seven, to best his father one day, and become a better Assassin than he ever was.
By the time he became a teenager, Matthew's spite of his father dissipated into cold discontent. No longer caring for what affect his father had on his life. By this age, not only had he excelled above the norm of his age group in his training, it was by this time that he had grown a malicious hate for the Templars. This most likely due to maternal grandfather's suspicious death by Templar hands in 2000, and his paternal aunt Vanessa's kidnapping in 2003. His determination to aspire to be an Assassin was stronger than ever before. At the end of his training in 2008, he was sent to William Miles, an old friend of his father, to complete his training. Matthew was inducted into the Order later that year.
- "Innocence is a luxury people like you and I can't afford to keep, not like I ever had it to begin with."
- ―Matthew to William Miles in 2012.
With the Assassins currently in hiding, Imran was assigned to a teaching position in an underground facility in Geneva, Switzerland. Much to his dismay. After four years of dismaying teaching, William Miles finally pulled him out to participate in a field mission on September 1, 2012. Though he was excited, Matthew was again disappointed to finds out no actual field work would be involved, just the testing of a machine called the Animus 2.0. Unsatisfied, Matthew decided to take what he could get and accepted the assignment. Matthew traveled to Italy and was introduced to Rebecca Crane and Shaun Hastings, where he immediately began reliving the memories of his Palestinian ancestor from the Middle Ages, Imran Al-Fadi.
As he began to live Imran's life and experience his troubles. He began to have doubts about the his Assassin resolve. But as he came to reliving Imran's elevation to Master Assassin, the test was completed and was registered as a success. Matthew felt a connection to Imran's life, knowing what it was like to be abandoned by a father. Matthew wanted to continue reliving his memories, but was denied, out of fear of him suffering from the Bleeding Effect. Matthew chose not to care and decided to sneak access into the Animus in the middle of the night. Once he did he began to continue reliving Imran's life and intervals every night he could. This eventually culminated in Imran's final memory of his obtainment of Ezio's Apple of Eden. Though once the Apple imprinted knowledge of the future on Imran, that knowledge bled into Matthew. This caused the Animus to go into sensory overload and forced ejected Matthew from the memory. Luckily Matthew's mind wasn't able to comprehend the information he had witness and he had no recollection of any of it. Though scarred all the same, Matthew ceased all use of the Animus. On September 6, his father had contacted Matthew with further orders. The time had come to take action against the Templars, the liberation of William Miles' son Desmond. The Assassins had received intelligence that five days prior Desmond, designated Subject 17, had been kidnapped and taken to a laboratory in Rome. They had him detained there and used him as a means to discover the location of all Pieces of Eden left on earth. His father had admitted that the mission was not officially sanctioned as it was deemed "to high risk," by William himself. But was never the less necessary. Plan A was an attempt at a frontal assault, involving an infiltration and extraction from the local Abstergo facility, where Desmond was being held. Due to, once again, short hands, Matthew volunteered to be part of the small team of Assassins being sent to infiltrate the complex, intending to prove to his father and to himself that his resolve was not weakened. His father granted his request.
The day was September 7, and Matthew was prepared to face the coming storm of his first field mission. He was part of a team of six Assassin's, all specialized and far more qualified than he was to participate in this mission. He was given the designation, Alpha Six while the other's retained the code names Alpha One, Two, Three, Four, and Five. Matthew arrogantly felt no need to learn anyone's name, and just remained in the background as they planned the mission. The parameters were as follows. Step one, infiltrate the main lobby posing as civilians. Step two, wait for the their tech specialist to disable the security measures in the lower facility. Step three, clear the lobby. Step four, make their way up the stairwell to the upper laboratory security checkpoint. Step five, hold out until their contact,Lucy Stillman can access the security doors from the inside and let them in. Step seven, extract Subject 17 from the facility and make their way down to the parking garage, making their escape. The plan was sound enough, Matthew just hoped sounding enough, was enough.
Assault on Abstergo
- "Eagle's Nest, this is Alpha Six! We have been compromised, I repeat, we have been compromised! The mission has failed! Alphas One through Five are . . . God . . . there all dead! I'm pinned down on the fourth floor of the facility! Taking . . . taking heavy fire from all sides! I'm the only one left . . . oh God! Oh God, I'm gonna die! . . . I'm gonna die here! . . . For nothing! . . . I'm-I'm gonna hang up now! Alpha Six, out. And Bill . . . I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. You were right . . . you're always right . . ."
- ―Matthew's final transmission during the assault on Abstergo.
The operation began well enough, no complication as he and Alphas One, Two, Four, and Five awaited Alpha Three's signal. But as soon as the power shut off in the lobby, all hell broke lose. Alpha One order a full attack. Matthew immediately drew his rifle from his brief case and began to fire on the reception desk. The moment the bullets broke their skin, he felt a rush of nausea engulf him, remembering the feeling of Imran's murder of Jamal and the shame it brought him. Matthew choked down his doubts and pressed on with the attack. With every guard taken down it became increasingly easier. In no time at all Alpha Team had completed cleared the lobby and joined back up with Alpha Three who lead them up the stairwell. They made it to the fourth floor of the facility and cleared out the security checkpoint as planned. Alpha One ordered them to bunker down and await their contact's access of the security doors. Within seconds, guards had them pinned down in the hallway, but they returned fire regardless. The mission became more and more dire as the minutes went by and the doors remained shut. Soon even more men were poring in from the opposite hallway and it was by then that they began losing men. Alpha Three was the first to take a bullet to the head, then it was Alpha Five with a chest wound. Seconds later Alpha One and Alpha Two received a face full of a grenade explosion and still the doors did not open. Finally, Alpha Four decided to make a push past the enemy line but was gunned down on the spot, leaving only a frightened Matthew to contend with the enemy. Matthew immediately gave up all hope of salvation. And preached his last words into Alpha One's radio. With that he stared into his death at the end of the hall, but in doing so saw something he didn't think possible. A faded image of Imran looking out a busted glass window, the guards around him all oblivious to his existence. The image turned to Matthew, beckoning him with his eyes, and performed aLeap of Faith out the window. Hypnotized by the encounter, Matthew renewed his resolve and lobbed flash bangs down both ends of the hallway, dazing the guards.
Seeing this as his only chance, he made a break for the window and leaped out. Plummeting into a dumpster at the very bottom and hitting his head. Matthew waited a few moments to have the guards, think disappeared. After which he crawled out of the dumpster dazed and confused. He bandaged his head with his torn off sleeve and slipped into unconsciousness. As he entered his sleep he found himself experiencing a familiar sensation, and found himself experiencing the childhood memories of an Italian from the Renaissance, Vincenzo Rosetti da Roma.
Returning to the Assassins
- "You know I can't even remember their names, didn't care enough to learn them. And I don't want to learn them, not now at any rate, I don't deserve to. I was just so damn arrogant! And you know, the Animus gave me every reason not to be and I was just too stupid understand. Too damn stupid! . . . I can't forgive you Lucy. Believe me I want too. You were just doing your duty, protecting your cover, and I understand that. But after all I've seen . . . I just can't. I'm sorry. . . Now do me a favor and just leave me alone."
- ―Matthew confronting Lucy Stillman.
Matthew awoke from his strange dreams of Vincenzo, from what appeared to be days later. Weak and confused, Matthew began to slowly trek his way back to the Assassin hideout. It took him almost an entire days worth of trekking, but finally arrived at the hideout on September 10. After breaching the hideout and taking notice of his fellow Assassin's, to there obvious shock, he collapsed in unconsciousness, once again experiencing Animus-like visions of Vincenzo Rosetti's life, but this time during his adolescence.
Matthew awoke once again after a depressing vision of Vincenzo's adolescent life on September 11. He found himself once again in the Assassin hideout, and was greeted by the welcoming sights of Rebecca and Shaun. Along with the apparently freed Desmond Miles and much to his surprise, Lucy Stillman. Upon his first glance, he couldn't help but get the most unnerving knot in his stomach. He was, all in all, warmly welcomed back from the dead with open arms, though Lucy did have and unease about her. It was explained that he had and his team had been pronounced KIA since the attack. With that clearly disproved, Matthew thought it best that he made his report to the higher-ups. Rebecca was already way ahead of him, as usual, and handed him a cell phone with a secure line to file his report. Matthew thanked her and took his call out into the hall while Shaun and Rebecca got back to work and Desmond and Lucy took a break in the garage. Matthew waited until they were out of ear shot and dialed William. Upon picking up, he was over joyed to know that he was up and about. Matthew appreciated his concern, and wished to be debriefed on the situation. William spent the next few minutes explaining their need to use the Animus to train Desmond as well as uncover the secrets of his ancestor Ezio's involvement with the First Civilization. Though shocked to hear the name Ezio, he hid it so from William. After finishing his debrief, William attempted to apologize for what he had found himself in, that their would have been no issue had William been on top of the situation more diligently, but was soon stopped by Matthew. He had justified that he had made the choice to defy William's orders and paid the price, but was no worse for wear, the last part being almost a complete lie. Matthew then elected to stay with the team in Italy as part of a security detail. Though William claimed Lucy had been enough thus far, Matthew was silently unconvinced. Verbally he justified that he "needed this" in the most serious tone possible. William complied and allowed him to remain. Though just before he hung up, Matthew asked him if he could speak to his father, but William explained that Arthur was on a flight to Canada and would have to go dark while. Matthew said he understood and hung up, the last part being a complete and utter lie.
Lucy emerged from the hallway leading to the garage just as the call ended. Before Matthew went back in to Rebecca and Shaun, Lucy stopped him. She asked how he was holding up, but Matthew cut to the chase and said that he was fine and did in fact remember her quite clearly, because that was no doubt what she was so hung up over. Though caught off guard by his forwardness, she too attempted to cut to the chase apologized for all that she wrought upon him. Despite understanding why she did what she did, after all that he had seen, Matthew could not forgive her and asked to be alone. Before he left she offered him a new set of clothes that were in the trunk of her car, it was after all the least she could do. Slightly softened, but the knot in his stomach ever present, he thanked her and started for the garage. Just as he turned the corridor, he found Desmond collapsed in the hallway. He panicked, but Lucy reassured that he was just exhausted from all the work he'd been doing in the Animus. Though unconvinced, he withheld his suspicion and helped Lucy carrying him into bed. He then got the spare clothes out from Lucy's car, changed, and began his first shift. He stood at the warehouse window for hours until he fell asleep well into the night and once again found himself experiencing the visions of Vincenzo Rosetti's continued adolescent life and well into his young adult life.
- "Buongiorno a tutti. Come vanno le cose? (Good morning everyone. How is everything?)"
- ―Matthew's continuing symptoms of the Bleeding effect.
After a night filled with continual visions of the Italian's life, he awoke the morning of September 12. The rest of the team had already begun the day's work, he greeted them all. Shaun stated that he didn't have to be stingy about knowing Italian. Bewildered, he asked Shaun what he meant. Shaun told him that he just spoke to them in Italian. Feeling the awkward in the room, he chuckled and said that he didn't notice. Everyone wrote it off as a joke and went back to their business, though Matthew was still perplexed. He knew a variety of languages and dialects, but Italian was not one of them. He tried occupying his time with work, even fashioning a set of hidden blades from what supplies they had around the hideout, but even that didn't work. By the time night came around, he waited for Lucy to fall asleep and struck up a conversation with Shaun and Rebecca, he asked them if either could explain the visions he had been having. They explained that they sound like affects of the Bleeding Effect, a psychological side effect of prolonged use of the Animus. The result being symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia and multiple personality disorder. His heart skipped a beat. They inquired what his dreams were about. He told them of Vincenzo and his exploits. By the end of his tale, they both noticed how strikingly similar his tales were to a real life Assassin named Ezio Auditore, whom Desmond was currently in the process of reliving the memories of. Though it confused that he even knew of what had happened to Ezio after having no knowledge of what they had been working on the past few days. Curious, Rebecca and Shaun promised to look into this person he had been dreaming of and whether or not he was real. Matthew was slightly put at ease and went to bed for the night. Just as he did, he picked up where he left off in Vincenzo's life.
Matthew woke up early into the evening three days later to the ridicule of his co-workers as being the worst body guard of all time. Though he paid them no attention, considering all that he had seen. He had lived Vincenzo's life straight through to his catharsis and supposed redemption of his family name. He was now even more confused then he was before. What was the purpose of these visions? He decided to go outside to clear his head. Once out there in the night air, Matthew noticed shadowed figures encompassing the Hideout. He recognized the formation and movement patterns, a scouting party. He sprinted inside, sounded the alarm, and told everyone of the situation. As Desmond was pulled from the Animus and all the equipment was packed up, Matthew armed himself, went outside, and secured their moving truck from the Templars. Once doing so, he drove it around and picked everyone up before more Templars arrived. Their destination was the Swiss Alps, where a cabin awaited to finish Desmond's synchronization with Ezio. He gave Lucy the wheel and was soon caught up on the situation with Minerva. Suddenly, Matthew's problems didn't seem too big a deal. They drove for hours with Desmond and the Animus in tow. Matthew refused to allow himself to sleep and dream of Vincenzo any longer. They came to Grosseto, Italy where a roadblock awaited them. They were quickly forced to change destination and soon found themselves in Monteriggioni, the Auditore Villa, on September 16. Matthew was in awe, aside from the modernization, it was exactly as he had seen it in his visions.
As Desmond and Lucy searched for a way inside the Sanctuary, Shaun and Rebecca had some words with him. They had investigated Vincenzo Rosetti da Roma as they promised and Shaun discovered in the database that he was an actual person of blood relation to him. However, when Rebecca searched through the Animus archives, she found no trace of him. So she dug deeper and found that even in memories of Ezio where his presence should be obvious, he wasn't there. In fact, any ancestor of Matthews was completely wiped from the Animus system. This included his sessions with Imran, which she discovered were more then they remembered having. Caught, Matthew admitted to his extra night sessions with the Animus. Shaun asked what he did, because somehow, he was now literally erased from history. He explained his encounter with the Keeper and the other Apple and how he hadn't touched the Animus since, and yet somehow he was having these visions. They both had to guess that he was suffering from some kind of advanced version of the Bleeding Effect caused by the Animus overload, inducing him with some kind of psychological access to random genetic imprints in his DNA. Which was practically a scientific miracle, considering he wasn't in the Animus too long, he was not showing any signs of multiple personality disorder, and wasn't "dead from some massive brain aneurysm," as Shaun put it. In short, he had a miniature, uncontrollable, Animus in his head on autopilot. With the sanctuary now open and the search for Ezio's Apple of Eden begun, Matthew felt the most unnerving sense of urgency with his visions. As if they were somehow attempting to tell him something. What Imran saw in that Temple in Westminster Abbey must have meant something. He now knew what he was, now all there was, was to make sense of it. After entering the sanctuary and helping unload the Animus' equipment, he began to sleep again, and dream all the same.
Finding the Grand Temple
- "You know every now and again I get this thought in the back of my head. I put it out of my mind as soon as it comes. But, for a brief moment it's right there. If a fight has lasted so long, that neither side can tell you how it started, is it even worth it to keep going?"
- ―Matthew after the recovery of the Apple of Eden.
Over the course of the two months they spent in Monteriggioni, Matthew continue to secure and monitor the area, watching for Templar activity, while continuing to experience Vincenzo's memories. The memories he experienced experiences while asleep showed up in fewer and fewer doses, and lead up right to the fall of the Borgia in 1509, which was right about the time the Assassin's finally found the Apple's location, the Colosseum, on the morning of October 10, 2012. With Desmond leading the way, the group entered into The Temple of Juno beneath Santa Maria In Aracoeli, but as they descended deeper into First Civilization Temple, Matthew couldn't help but get the eerie feeling that something was wrong. It was as if his entire body didn't want him there. He powered through it of course, despite protests from the group that he should wait outside. Matthew wouldn't miss what was about to take place.
As they finally came to the main vault where the Apple was housed, a host of symbols flashed before them. The symbols disoriented him for a moment, as through them he heard a voice of a woman tell him that he wasn't welcome there. He asked the others if they heard that, to which they had no idea what he was talking about. He was confused for a moment before his thoughts were interrupted by the glowing figure of Hercle, The Keeper from the Temple beneath Westminster that Imran had encountered. Without a moment's notion, he begged him to stop Desmond before he took up the Apple. In that instant his mind became clear and subservient. He did not know why, but he could tell that danger would come if Desmond picked up the Apple, he reached out and shouted for him to wait, but was to late. Before anyone could tell, Lucy was on the ground, bleeding, having been stabbed by Desmond who lay unconscious next to her. Hysteria broke out amongst them, as Matthew attempted to stop Lucy from bleeding to death, to no avail. With little time to spare, as he had heard the footsteps of what sounded like Templar assault teams coming down the hall, he told Shaun and Rebecca, jarred as they were, to grab Desmond while he grabbed Lucy. Shaun argued that they were trapped, but on a whim he asked Hercle, The Keeper, for help, and he showed him a secret passage way out through the other side of the Vault.
After a few touch and go moments fleeing the Templars, the group emerged on the street level. By then, Lucy had lost a lot of blood and with her dying breath she apologized ambiguously. They were all shocked, drained, and wanted to grieve, but Matthew knew they had little time and contacted William Miles for extraction. The group was picked up by a van and taken back to Monteriggioni, where William ordered a comatose Desmond be put into the Animus. As dawn came, Rebecca immediately went to work reworking the Animus 2.0 as a makeshift life support machine to sustain him. With everyone newly situated with the radical change in circumstances. Matthew flagged down a bitterly grieving Shaun, expressing his panic. The Bleeding Effect and blackouts were one thing, now he was having hallucinations about the First Civilization. The last thing he wanted was to be was another Subject 16. Shaun was unsympathetic and preoccupied with Lucy's funeral arrangements, telling him that if he was genuinely concerned to take it up with William. Failing that, sorting out the Animus Cipher in his head on his own, as fighting it seemed to only send him further down the rabbit hole. Seeing few options in the matter, Matthew went with the latter, to try and fathom what exactly this Hercle was, delving deeper into Vincenzo's memories to see if The Keeper made an appearance like in Imran's memories.