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5 November, 1828
Assassin's Creed: Cinders
Assassin's Creed: Re-Ignition
Mihai Acvila, more commonly known by his adopted name of Michael Humphrey, was an American Assassin of Romanian descent.
He had reached the rank of Assassin by 1849, at the age of twenty, and was largely responsible for preventing the Templar James Wilson Marshall from acquiring an Apple of Eden.
Following an accident within a hidden bunker, Mihai gained a set of Armor of Eden, which protected him from bullets in a manner similar to that of a Shard of Eden.
After the gold rush had ended and Mihai believed his work was done, he settled down with his wife, a female Assassin named Beatrice Knight, and after several years had two children. His peace was shattered, however, upon the start of America's Civil War.
Throughout the 10 years Mihai spent living peacefully with his family, he suffered from regular lapses of the bleeding effect, seeing the memories of the Greek demigod Achilles due to his Armor of Eden. While traversing the united states during the civil war, he collected artifacts that Achilles had come int contact with during his life. By doing this, he triggered full memories, while also preventing himself from seeing each relived memory a second time. Once he had completed all of Achilles memories, Mihai's armor began working to it's full extent, protecting him from up to 30% of the bullets fired at him.
Mihai possessed a rare form of extra sensory perception known as Eagle Vision. His genetic memories would eventually be relived by his descendant, Phoenix Monroe, through use of an Animus.
"I would be lying if I said that I felt no regret for all that has happened in my life. But I do believe this is how it was all meant to turn out."'
-- Mihai to his wife about his life.
Mihai was born on the 5th of November, 1828, in a small Romanian town. His mother died in childbirth, and, feeling that he had nothing left to loose, his father stowed away on a boat to America. Over the course of a few years, Mihai's father acquired enough money to by a small house in upper California.
In order to avoid conspicuousness, Mihai's father took up the surname Humphrey, though the accent he and his son spoke with, coupled with their distinct faces and bright eyes, made them stick out among a crowd.
Throughout his childhood, Mihai was constantly disrespected and tormented by the largely Spanish population of his home, to the point where an attempt was made to take his life. At the age of 16, when he fought back against his assailants, one of the boys came at him with an axe. Mihai managed to counter this, knocking the attacker unconscious.
When Mihai returned home and told his father about the encounter, his father gave him comfort and told him that it did not matter if someone attacked him, so long as he could defend himself properly. Upon saying this, Mihai's father gave the boy the Bowie knife and sheath from his own belt.
Attacked by the Templars
"I still often wonder, what if he hadn't given me his knife? Perhaps then I would have died, while he could have begun anew. But these thoughts break a man, and I try hard to push them from my mind."
--Mihai on his father's murder.
Several days later, Mihai was attacked by a small group of armed men, who he assumed the fathers of the boys he he fought previously. One of the men carried a gun, which he used in an attempt to shoot the young foreigner. Mihai blocked the bullet, however, using another man as a human shield.
When Mihai returned home, he found his door open, the lock having been shot out. He ran inside to find two dead bodies, one stabbed, the other bludgeoned to death with a candle stick, and a trail of blood drops leading into the other room. Distraught, Mihai followed the trail into his father's bedroom. He found the man slumped against the wall, several slash wounds across his arms and stomach, and two bullet holes in his chest.
Mihai shook his father violently, screaming for him to wake up, even though he knew he never would. He then heard voices coming toward him, drawn to the sound of his screams. Fearing for his life, Mihai grabbed the hat from his father's head and climbed out the window, running for the woods.
Captured by slavers
"The right person will pay handsomely for a pretty little boy like you, and that's just what I look for in a slave!"
--David O'Donnell to Mihai.
For several days Mihai camped in the forest, using snares stolen from the back of a caravan to catch hares a squirrels to eat, but this was put to a stop when, while he slept, Mihai was captured by slavers. Though he tried to fight back as they grabbed him, he was at a disadvantage, and they managed to tie him up and knock him unconscious. When he awoke, his knife had been taken, and he was trapped in a facility filled with other children, most of them African. Shortly after, a man came up to him and lead him into a small office area. There he was introduced to David O'Donnell, the slaver running the operation.
O'Donnell explained that some people were willing to pay even more than usual for slaves if they found them attractive, and that a pale-skinned boy like Mihai fit the description.
Powerless, Mihai gave in, just waiting to be bought by whoever wanted to make a slave out of him. After several days, a young girl approached Mihai, and asked him if he could fight. He told her he could, and once she had heard that, she told him to spread word that the children would soon be free.
"What?! An assassin? You? I should've known... I should've killed you!"
"Be silent, slaver, regrets will do you no good. (If you were a better man, perhaps you still would live. I suppose I will meet you in hell.)"
-- Mihai gives O'Donnell his last rites.
Though he was confused about the encounter, he never the less did what the girl had told him to do. The next day she approached him again, asking if he had done as she had said. When he told her he had, she smiled and thanked him, before telling him that she would need his help. She explained that she knew a way in and out of the building, and was going to break the chain that held the doors together from the outside of the building. She told him that the commotion of kids running out would draw the slavers. She told him he would need to keep their attention on him so that the kids could escape while she dealt with O'Donnell.
The girl brought Mihai to the mat she slept on, and gave him a hatchet she had been hiding beneath it to fight with. She told him not to attack until she opened the doors of the building before leaving. The girl broke through the chain with an axe, and the kids began rushing through the doors.
The girl got caught on the side of the crowd opposite to the path to O'Donnell, and told Mihai to kill O'Donnell for her before getting caught in a fight with a slaver. Mihai ran down the hall to O'Donnell's office, and found the man loading a revolver. He climbed onto O'Donnell's desk as the man prepared his gun to fire, and assassinated him with the hatchet before he could shoot.
Joining the Assassins
"You work in the dark to serve the light, as did my father, and I wish to train in your art."
--Mihai, accepting the mentor's request to recruit him.
When Mihai returned to the main room, he found that the girl had waited for him, even though the other children had all escaped. She told him he was glad he had been able to assassinate the slaver without getting hurt. He asked her why she had helped the kids instead of just saving herself, and she replied that she couldn't tell him, but if he could follow her she would show him. Though this seemed easy at first, Mihai was surprised when she began free-running. Though she was far more advanced than him, Mihai still managed to follow her.
They eventually reached a relatively large house, were a man in a white hood stood waiting for the girl. The man had an argument with the girl over bringing Mihai, and eventually decided he would have to recruit the boy. They brought Mihai inside, where the assassin explained himself to be the Mentor of the Alta Californian Assassins. He told Mihai about the creed, and goal and ideals of the order. Shortly after this, while Mihai was considering the offer, Mihai put on his father's hat, and was surprised to discover that it possessed a beaked tip. Now knowing that his father had been an assassin, Mihai accepted the Mentor's offer to receive training.
Mihai's training was rushed due to a conflict beginning in his area soon after his recruitment. Due to the Mexican-American war, Mihai was still only a beginner at free-running and blending when he was trained in combat. Once he could hold his own in a battle, the Mentor suggested he take on an alias before enlisting in the Mexican army. He chose the name 'Micheal Humphrey', and gave this name when he enlisted. Soon after, he became a Mexican soldier, though his only true allegiance was to the brotherhood. Though he tried to be cautious, his experience proved to be to little, as his identity was soon discovered by the Templar Gabriel Valencia. The Templar confronted him with a sword, and while Mihai and the Templar talked, the soldiers loaded their guns, and ran to attack Mihai. He stabbed the Templar with his hidden blade, and killed a few of the men before escaping by performing a Leap of Faith over the wall of their encampment, into the sea below.
Joining the American army
"You waltz in here, tell me your with some group of murderers I've never heard of, and expect my men to welcome you with open arms? Just who the hell do you think you are!?"
-- Winfield Scott upon meeting Mihai.
Several days later, he walked straight into an American encampment, threw the hat he had worn in the Mexican army at the feet of the Major General Winfield Scott. Not wanting to risk any trouble, Mihai told Scott that he represented the Assassin Brotherhood, and wished to align himself with the American military. Scott replied to this with hostility, asking who Mihai was to "waltz in," and, "expect [his] men to welcome [Mihai] with open arms," to which Mihai simply replied that he was their saving grace. Before Scott could retaliate, one of his troops, who Mihai would later come to know as Ulysses S. Grant , whispered something into Scott's ear. Scott bitterly agreed to Mihai's request to join the Americans, though he was quick to mention that the assassin would need to change out of his Mexican uniform. Mihai later asked Grant what he had said to change Scott's mind. Grant explained that Scott trusted him, and all he had told him was that the assassin's words rung true.
It took several weeks before 'Old Fuss and Feathers' began to trust Mihai, but by that time, the assassin had become friends with Ulysses, who kept him well informed. During the Siege of Veracruz, Mihai gained Scott's respect by taking the wheel of a ship after it's captain had been killed, and, after sailing a short distance out to sea, leading a group of reinforcements to the beachhead. Not long after, Mihai learned that Gabriel Valencia had survived his attack, and Mihai began putting together a strategy of how to kill him once and for all.
Assassinating Gabriel Valencia
"(In Spanish) Why would you do this to your own commander? If you wish to take my position, you will have to kill many more men than just me!"
"I do not want your position, Templar. Only your life. (You sought to create unrest to make your false peace more alurring, but you've only doomed yourself. I'll see you in hell.)
--Mihai gives Gabriel Valencia last rites
Later that year, he met with an assassin from the Mexican side, López de Santa Anna. Mihai asked why a Templar would fight on the Mexican side, and Santa Anna explained that they were trying to drag the war out as long as they could, in order to reduce the amount of soldiers who could oppose them. He gave Mihai a Mexican uniform and gun, and sent him into a large group of soldiers. Valencia, who lead the group, brought his soldiers farther than the position assigned to them by Santa Anna. Scott's forces attacked them, and Valencia was wounded. He and the few men who still stood retreated back into the city, and later that night, when the soldiers were sleeping, Mihai took the bayonet off of the end of a musket, sat beside Valencia in front of the fire, and stabbed the bayonet into his chest. Valencia accused Mihai of trying to steal his position, and died shortly after being told the truth.
Upon killing the Templar, Mihai fled the camp and returned to Santa Anna, who assured him it would be made to look as though Valencia had merely succumbed to previously inflicted wounds.
The California Gold Rush
Mihai, now a master Assassin, had grown into a rather brash individual, disliking civilians as they, "[Were] weak and overly trusting, unwilling to raise a gun to anyone who claims to be more powerful". Though he did consider them to be a nuisance, he would begrudgingly protect them should they be threatened.
In late 1848, the Templar James Wilson Marshall discovered a small amount of gold at his mill, and his superiors urged him to spread tales of riches across the state. Though their initial plan was to distract the public from their efforts to locate an Apple of Eden, soon word began spreading, not only to other states, but to other countries as well, and by 1849, it had grown into a full-blown gold rush .