- "Truth is neutral, both Freedom and Control, as well as neither, as well as the only successfully ending philosophy. If the people know the truth of anything, they can think together and as a whole do what they believe is best with the knowledge they have learned. It is a freedom that allows control, but in the greater opinion of the people, being fair and TRUE."
- ―The Erudito Collective's road to peace - NonCanon
Prometheus is a non-canon story about the ever-mysterious Erudito Collective, specifically a field agent named Isaac Morrow. I try to stay as close to the universe as possible, as well as the ideas of the real-world, evident in my attempts to stay historically accurate with real events. In Part 1 of this planned series, Isaac learns that his deceased grandfather may have learned something that the others hadn't. On a quest of discovery, he trains to become a true member of the Collective, learning what he stands for and what his goals are to accomplish, while finding the missing clues to Jacob Morrow's secret in order to learn the truth.
Prologue Part 1 - The Airlift
The buzzing of the engines was a calm one, if slightly annoying, but the remainder of the atmosphere was greatly the opposite. This drop was key, if the timing was just slightly off, then the efforts would reveal the truth, one that needed to stay hidden for future endeavors. They weren't far out, but they still hadn't gotten the 'OK' from the rest of the team. A voice called out from the cargo-hold, echoing the sound emitting from the pilot's headset. "They had better hurry up."
"They will, don't worry," replied the pilot through his microphone, words dropping dryly through his trembling lips, not truly sure himself. He could see the clock before him, four in the morning, 1948. If they weren't done by sunrise, they were dead.
The monitor before him suddenly released a click, and then several more, dots and lines etching their way across the dashboard, a signal in Morse Code. 'Go for the drop, Hawk.' With a deep breath, he flicked a few switches, and pressed one of the hundreds of buttons before him. A flickering crackle waved throughout the plane, muffling his British accent, but still allowing the team to hear the order through the intercom. "Ten minutes, aim the barrel,' the speaker sounded.
Immediately, the men situated in the cargo-hold went to work, pushing the crates around to their designated points, fixing the harnesses of the supplies' parachutes. Hawk, the pilot, altered the course slightly, heading for the city. After the nine minute wait, he rose his hand up for the serviceman to see, the fist signaling that it was time. Glancing down below, he watched as his plane flew over the wall, heading closer to the grayed zone of the city while he controlled the flight. Red light...Yellow light...Green. The latches holding the back of the plane up pulled out, lowering the ramp down quickly while the men in the back pulled the ropes from the crates and watched as the parachutes tore them out through the opening. When the responding 'air-fist' signal was sent to the cockpit moments later, Hawk clicked the buttons once more to force the ramp closed, and he carefully turned the plane out of West Berlin over the Brandenburg Gate.
As the plane exited the boundaries of the city, Hawk gave the thumbs up to allow his team to speak again, just as another layer of coding etched over the dashboard. 'Good, now to the Main,' the binary translated, the landing point established. They were to land in Frankfurt, the city atop the Main river, disguised as one of the American cargo planes landing in the airbase during the night. Using the muffled speakers once more, Hawk ordered his men to change into the Allied uniforms.
Near to the runway, the Airspace Navigator organized their descent to the base, Morse Code etchings providing the passcode he was to use for entry. The crew-members all went to their seats, strapping themselves back in a bracing attempt. Hawk, carefully lowering evenly, went into a perfect landing, and was formally escorted to the drop-off point by the ground team.
Exiting the plane down the staircase provided, Hawk met with a Captain that had come up, who quickly began asking several questions about the plane's origins and the shipments. At the same time, Hawk' s plane-team began assisting to unload the supplie onto the jeeps that had parked behind the airship.
"Shipment from East Berlin, mostly food and clothing, one or two with some classified cargo," Hawk said.
"Who are you, pilot?" the captain interrogated.
Using his American alias and fake accent, he responded carefully, most of the information whispered to him through his un-noticed earpiece. "First Lieutenant Jonathon Stone, anything else is classified," Hawk said firmly to the man, voice displying his irritation with the wasted-time. "Who are you?"
"Captain Rikkin's my name, Lieutenant Stone, be sure to remember it when you are getting a talk with whoever you work for concerning your attitude to higher-ranking officers," Rikkin said.
"Of course," Hawk said calmly. "As for asking questions about my crew, they have classified records as well, they will help you unload and prepare the plane for the flight back, but they won't do anything else." Hawk then walked past the captain, a grin on his face as the voice in his earpiece provided the known data on Charles Rikkin. By the time Hawk arrived at the vehicle rental building, he had all the information he needed to use Rikkin's name for the car. Choosing one, he left the airbase and made his way to a relatively distant farm, and sat on a bench in the shade of a tree.
"The journalists are already submitting their stories, you did good Jacob. Listen to this: 'Amerikanischen Versorgung West-Berlins (Americans Supply West-Berlin) '," a figure said as it escaped the shadows, taking the empty space beside Hawk as he addressed him with his real name. "Good timing too, Morrow, I know that Echo didn't get your 'OK' in fast. It's a surprise you weren't shot down by the Soviets."
"It's alright, the governments will probably be doing the work now, it'll give us a break to monitor our enemies or something..." Jacob said, words falling almost desperately.
"Cheer up, Jacob, this is a real accomplishment, considering you're only 18. Most of us don't do this major of work in the teams at an age like that," the man waited a bit, before picking back up in German. "Ich denke, es verdient eine Pause für Sie besonders. Vielleicht können Sie unseren Datenbanken, dass Mädchen, das du gejagt habe finden. Der Rest ist bis zu Ihrem Vorgesetzten, Jacob (I think it earns you a break. Maybe you can use the database to find that girl you have been looking for. The rest is up to your superiors, Jacob)."
"Ich könnte genau das zu tun (I might just do that)," Jacob responded. "Ich könnte genau das zu tun..."
Prologue Part 2 - Memories
"If only Dad was here to see this!" a voice shot out in a heavy British tone, the exhilaration burning brightly along with the happy screams that echoed in the crowds. A man, he was, ebony hair and pale skin, running about within the thousands that dashed forward. The sky was empty as it could possibly be, or it was clouded beyond belief, it mattered little, not to the swarms of people. They hadn't even cared whether it was dawn or dusk, they probably didn't even know.
They were running for the gates, pushing and shoving to reach the walls...the boundaries. Most of them were unsure if they should go on beyond the layers of graffiti and barbed wire, most of them were waiting. The others opposite the wall weren't though, they knew exactly what they were doing. Jumping, climbing, pulling, pushing, falling, screaming, hugs...it was all so hard to track. Thousands of them all passing over the walls and jumping into those who were foreign to them, everyone happy and cheerful. They were stepping into freedom, all of them.
The man, darkened hair, was still visible to a watchful eye, jumping around in his youth, helping people off from the wall's top, hugging them, happy. The man gave his grey jacket to one of the younger jumpers, keeping the boy warm before the kid ran to join his family that quickly followed.
Announcements sounding from the checkpoints were completely disregarded, unheard in full with the consideration of the people. It was as if they hadn't experienced happiness before, like they were formerly depressed. Some of them probably were, but none now. All were cheering, clapping, laughing, whistling, most of them were even helping out the others that had yet to join them. This was their miracle.
Eventually, the man came from the swarms, escaping their grasp as they paraded the new foundations. The white of his teeth shined in the shadows, the shine of his azure eyes assuring peace.
"Daniel! Come on over here!" ordered the voice of a woman, her accent more German, her voice more melodic than the others. The man, Daniel, dashed over immediately, smile still etched across his face. Other men were coming around as well, clapping him on the shoulder with their beers in hand.
"Daniel Morrow," one of the men drew out dramatically with his slight slur, cheerful attitude bursting from his drunken appearance. "Ne'er thought you'd finish your ol' man's work!"
The other men burst out in laughter, patting Daniel's shoulder a couple times in approval. "He'd be a proud feller, mate, truly would," another of the men called out, giving him a nod. "Look at all these PEOPLE! BERLIN IS FREE!"
Again, the small crowd burst out into cheerful gasps of air, spreading out their arms to grab hold of each other. Daniel, taking a glance at the woman, gave her a plea-filled glare, lip pouting and eyes widening. "Yeah, yeah, go ahead!" the woman said as she chuckled and wove her hand at him. "I'll be taking care of Isaac, so don't you dare be late."
Daniel brushed back his blackened locks so he could see better, allowing a faint nod before he hugged the woman tight. "I'll try my best!" he called out as he began walking to the bar with his friends, smiling back and waving before going through the doors.
The screen fell black, then, all fuzzed bits of the old video's quality dying off in the television's glass. A boy, laying back against the wall, quickly turned it off, a tear sliding down his paled cheek. A speaker on the stool beside him released a muffled crackle, beeping a few times to catch his attention. Wiping the tear from his face, he walked toward it to hear it better.
"Isaac, practice in the Computer room." a monotonous voice called out, ordering the child to get dressed up for his training. Quickly he tugged a sweater over his head and slid on some shoes after buttoning his pants. Pulling the hood up, he covered his shadowy hair and went to the Television set. Pulling the tape from the player, he admired his father's writing from the years ago, reading over the title, 'Berlin Wall'. Isaac wiped another tear from his face before putting the tape down with the others in his 'Memory' closet, where he kept the tapes of his dad.
When he finally made it to the secured doorway, he put in his voice recognition for his name and security question's answer. "Isaac Morrow. My father was Daniel Morrow," his soft young voice sounded, the green light flashing to allow his entry.
Sitting down at his designated computer console, he opened the programs to learn he was writing a paper today, about himself. Isaac determined that it was one of the psychiatric tests to see if he was still 'OK' for his training. Sometimes the superiors were simply too obvious with lessons, and Isaac could pick up on that quickly. Opening up a document, he typed up the date, October 8, 1995, and began writing about himself. He spoke of his birth in 1988, his father's death attempting to convince the Soviets to stay out of Lithuania before his third birthday, and all the effects it was having on him. When he finished, he saved the assignment to the console and carefully trudged the trail back to his room, hesitantly starting the movie recording on the television once more, replaying the image of his father's cheerful face on the lifeless screen.
Chapter One - The Test
"Begin," the voice of the instructor ordered, waving his hand between the two trainees before him and stepping back off of the mat, observing them. They stood their a moment, dressed in the dark work-out attire of gym shorts and a muscle shirt, positioning themselves to strike.
The first, a fair-haired blonde male, shot his arm forward toward the other's chest, thick knuckles flying toward his central cavity. The other arched back, staring as the fist flew over his curling form through his auburn glare. Held back on his hands, he used his dropping momentum to pull his legs up, wrapping them tightly around the now aimless blow. Hopping up with his arms, the boy twisted to his feet and brought the other to the floor, forcing his face hard into the mat.
The boy yelped, unable to move in the fear his stressed joint would snap between his superior's knees. Isaac, from his dominating position, flashed a smile down at his foe, easily brushing the ebony locks from his sight-line. Eric, azure eyes clenched shut, lay pressed against the padding, completely pinned in the simple practice spar.
"Yield," the examiner said to end the warm-up, pressing weakly against Isaac's chest to move him away from his defeated opponent. Leaning over, the training mentor assisted the boy to his feet, stepping back so that they could bow.
"Every time, Morrow, every time you have something to counter whatever move I throw," Eric chuckled, lowering deeply in his form of honor.
"Only for you, Williams, only for you," Isaac replied, a smile stretching his strong facial features as he bowed in return before raising to welcome the next opponent. Just as the next boy began to rise though, the mechanical doors slid apart, welcoming in the Transitions Director, who took trainees around to certain areas when necessary.
"Isaac Morrow, Eric Williams, Alexander Rommel, Elizabeth Louis, Michaela Williams, and Cynthia Macklebee?" the formally clothed director asked, eyes searching around the room for the six individuals he called out.
Each of the six glanced over to the man, already beginning their walk toward him for wherever they were going. Isaac, the last to reach the man, looked around at the others to see who he was going with. He new Eric and Alex well, both being his practice partners for physical and mental assignments respectively. He also knew the women by name, but not very much by who they were, other than the fact that they were all master hackers in the age-group.
Turning around as if it were a scripted motion, the Director began walking, the six following closely. Isaac, who memorized the trails, quickly discovered where it was they were headed, not saying anything about it though.
"Each of you are being tested for your next tier, exceeding the levels of your ordinary peers," the man said as he lead them forward. "For the next few days, you will each go through a series of computer-based tests concerning hacking, stealth, and problem management. You are not to speak to the others around you, nor your Mentors, who will be observing you."
Following their arrival to the lab, each of them hastily spread out to their seats throughout the room, starting their consoles as they prepared for the next few hours. Isaac, sitting back, quickly typed the date at the head of his assignment, 9-01-01, reading over his instructions. He couldn't help but grin at the work he was told to do, not even caring about his test. There were better things he thought he could work on.
Tabbing up a few programs, he clicked several keys in a way to act as if he were hacking them up to learn their properties and false secrets, while he was simultaneously altering the settings of the computer to make it seem he were working to one that was viewing the screen. When that was over, he decided it was time for a tour of a random site. Connecting to the internet, he typed several random letters into the search-bar, and clicked the first link.
It was some pharmaceutical company, several advertisements and images plaguing the page's home-plate. Isaac wondered if any breakthroughs were in the making, so he worked around with his soft-wares and went to the employee page, which concluded in a huge pop-up concerning log-ins. Sliding the image back to his command-program, he suddenly began a wave of seemingly random letters and numbers, as well as orders and symbols.
Another screenshot from the browser, walls of numerical coding blasting across the screen, Isaac had hit a firewall that within itself held several more firewalls. Huge protection that was poorly located and an obvious clue that something was hiding, something important to someone. Pulling out of the system, he searched through the page for the contact section, hoping to find a way to access the core. Digging through to the company's email network, Isaac began what he knew would take the next few days of his testing time.
Pulling up several applications, he began to use them with a coding system to search for the main firewall's vulnerabilities, while simultaneously searching through the student databases for information regarding this 'Company'. When there was nothing left for the trainee's permission to know, which was a surprisingly small amount, Isaac fell back to altering the unsuccessful codes to assist his programs.
A few days later, Isaac's connections found the system's weak point, updates flashing across his screen with a couple holes in the numerical data. Responding with a wall of commands and computer coding, he processed his way through the first wall of security, breaching to the next point. Working with his applications again, Isaac attempted to quickly pass over the next few barriers.
On September 10, Isaac had finally reached the email's core database network, under an anonymous user that would trace back to the company themselves. For the next few hours, he surfed through the higher-ranked messages, and read through some of the written plans.
This was obviously not a normal company of medicine, there were hundreds of mentions of religion and history, as well as several emails through the system regarding a 'plan'. Reading through some of the private messages and historical entries, the boy grew in his shock.
'...it happens tomorrow.'
'The democracy hangs by the thread of economy, the security to manage it all being its wall. Behind that, the leaders are nothing.'
'...flights have been chartered in Logan Airport, Dulls International Airport, and Newark National Airport, you know where they are going.'
'After the sweep, the Brotherhood will be too wide-spread to fight back, we will have them on a string.'
Isaac, looked up at the wall, not daring to turn around but too dumbstruck to do anything for a few minutes. The last few messages had all concerned Democracy and flights, and after a run-through of all the acquired information, the flights chartered all left the next day, and the mentions of something occurring then were alarming. Isaac was unsure what to think about the 'sweep', but he had some idea of what to look for next.
Whatever the sweep was, Isaac hadn't liked the idea, everything sounded too suspicious as a whole. Pulling back from his connection, a new screen was opened to access the several flight-plans for the next day. It was most presumed that the flights would be early, if the plan had to occur by tomorrow. Searching aimlessly through the records, the boy was distraught to learn that all of the seats had been occupied.
Still unsure of what he should do, Isaac brushed the ebony hair from his eyes, in a hope that he could see something on the screen he hadn't before, to no avail. Going back to the previous screen, he began surfing through the files that had been sent through the servers, copying them under the code of the system to make it appear that the network was simply saving the information.
Glancing over the maps and pages, Isaac attempted to find a way to stop the flights from leaving the port. He saw mentions of a Brotherhood that the company was irritated by, but that was his only lead. Just as he was going to commit himself to another search though, the Mentor of the room called out to the students.
"Testing is over, return to your rooms."
The next morning, Isaac awoke to the screeching of the building's alarm, which was sounding demonically in a state of crisis. His room's television set was on, images sliding across it and videos playing that tore away comprehension. Two planes from Logan Airport had crashed into the World Trade Center. One plane from Dulls International Airport had crashed into the Pentagon. Another plane had crashed somewhere in Pennsylvania, and had been leaving from Newark.
Suddenly, Isaac's door opened wide, the Transitions Director waving him to come along and follow. Tugging his sweat-shirt on, he quickly met the strangely quickened pace of the man before him. Following their entry to a room he had yet to come across, Isaac noticed several men sitting about an auditorium, curled around a center point. Hesitantly sliding to the center of the room, he stared up through his still tired auburn eyes.
"We watched everything yesterday, we were monitoring with a new filter, and so your little trick failed to bi-pass the code, Isaac Morrow," one of the higher-seated members stated firmly toward him. "You are not in trouble though. Your work is the reason that the Newark plane crashed into Pennsylvania, and not a major center of work. It was headed for the White House."
Isaac was unsure of what to say, simply staring blankly at the men around him, expression empty other than the confused appearance.
"We know that you have many questions, and everything will be explained soon," another of the fancily-situated elders remarked. "But we congratulate you on your success in surpassing the next tier and becoming a true recruit. Your training begins with lessons in an hour, situated within the archive-chamber. Welcome to the Erudito Collective."
Chapter 2 - New Perspective
This room was much more elaborate than Isaac had imagined it would be, the computers so much nicer, all sorts of technology scattered about. The walls were tinted glass, and beyond them were layers upon layers of wiring pressed incredibly tightly and with unbelievable organization. The room itself was massive, scattered with probably hundreds of computer systems and various additions, huge memory cores and hard-drives, internet connections for each individual system, and even multiple monitors for single seats.
Scattered around the room were a much older variety of workers, each of them having surpassed the entire tier-system already. Some of them were even adults, and Isaac was definitely a stand-out with the crowd, considering that only a few of his age-group were in the room. Escorted by his new Transitions Director to his seat, he was hesitant to fall back into the chair, overwhelmed by the entire environment.
His region, while being nearly the same as everyone else's, had four different monitors. Isaac had only ever worked with one, and had no idea how complex something would be that he would need to complications of four separate screens.
'At least I have a comfortable chair..' he thought to himself as he fell into the black leather. Above him was also a sort of fan, it was as if everything was planned out. Suddenly, one of the mechanical entrances swung back, a cloaked figure slid into view, pulling his hood back from his head. Staring through practically golden eyes, he glanced through at the students, squinting seriously before scratching at his beard.
"As all of you should know from the alarm earlier today, we are in a moment of red-alert..." he said powerfully, glaring around at us. "Four planes have crashed in the last few hours, each relatively close to the capital area of the United States. Two of them collided with the towers of the World Trade Center, and there is a confirmed 2000 dead already. Another went into the United States' Security Structure, the Pentagon. The fourth hit the ground, thanks to some work we were able to arrange. It was aimed for the U.S. Capital Building, but was brought down."
Isaac trembled in his seat, jaw practically twitching and his mind blank beyond comprehension. The others around the room seemed fine though, paying attention intently, their faces neither scared nor calm. Attempting to be like those around him, Isaac sat straight up, expressing a serious glare as he attempted to follow what he was hearing as those around him.
"In case you are wondering, it was a plan by the Templar Order, this much has been confirmed since last night, when someone was snooping in Abstergo's Email," the Mentor followed with. "Oh, and he is also our new trainee, Isaac Morrow." Pointing with his eyes, the man led the turn of the entire room toward Isaac, some people smiling, but leaving him feeling awkward. "Which by the way, needs to come to my office for his formal lesson. The rest of you, Sir William will present your assignments," the man said, turning around immediately and beginning to walk to the door.
As another man, much older in his appearance, stepped into the room, Isaac began to rise. Seeing that the other man was already leaving off, he rushed over the stair-railing to catch him, dashing past Sir William to meet the other at his side. Flicking his ebony hair, he straightened out his sweater and pants for a more presentable appearance. "Eh...Who are you?" Isaac allowed through his lips curiously.
"The Farmer, which is to say I am the Mentor of the Berlin Facility, which you know is this one," the man said as he pulled his black hood over his bronze hair. "My name to the students is Grey, or any variety of that. Mr. Grey, Sir Grey, Herr Grey, simply Grey, even the Mentor are the names the trainees call me. Oh, here we are, mind your step."
Another door sliding apart revealed a twirling staircase, the rise to Grey's office. Following him up, Isaac was left in awe to see the man's quarters, everything so elegant and rich. He had yet to see such wonders before, models of many kinds, and such fine woodwork and threads. Taking a seat in front of Grey's desk, Isaac practically sank in the rich cushioning, not even noticing that the Mentor had sat down.
"The...Ranchers would have had you training today, but I believe you would have been too far behind, and ahead," Grey said, his voice traveling well in the room. "You would be equal in hacking, yes, but your physical abilities statistically are remarkable. The only thing you are a step-back on consists of technological advancements to your original tier's access. I've decided you will be doing technological lessons with the others, but physical training will be in the field-agent grouping. In the meantime, there is a lot you should know to catch up."
Isaac stared blankly at the man, nodding at times to present that he was following, but not catching the words well as a whole. "What did I see yesterday?"
"That is no ordinary pharmaceutical company, it is the stronghold of the Templar Order," Grey said slowly. "Abstergo Industries is a relatively recent addition to their strength, only a couple decades old now. Oh, but there is still much to say before we speak of Abstergo."
Isaac gave a puzzled look, not sure what to say, but curiosity rising past his former stress of the destruction in the United States. "Tell me about the Templars, I thought that they were destroyed during the Crusades."
"That is what they would wish you to think, boy, they are masters of false words," Grey said in a way that evidenced his disgust. "How familiar are you with Adam and Eve?"
"Eve stole an apple from the tree, and shared it with Adam, leading to them being kicked out of the Garden of Eden," Isaac said calmly, recalling the religious information he had read so long ago. "They had two sons, Cain and Abel. What does that have to do with the Knight's Teutonic?"
Grey smiled, pulling some papers from his desk and setting them down on the table before looking back at Isaac. "Well, let's just say that you have a lot to learn, then, a lot indeed," he said, glaring seriously down at the boy before him. "Let's step back then...Eden was actually a city more modern and advanced than we have today, and like the rest of the world, was run by people called The First Civilization, or the Ones That Came Before. These were beings that created the humans, advanced in the way that they had a sixth sense. We know little about them, besides the fact that the Humans didn't really like them. The Apple Eve stole, was an Apple of Eden, one of several creations of the First Civilization that displayed powers beyond belief. More on that later though, because the truth is that Eve and Adam had led the rebellion of the humans against their creators."
Isaac simply stared while his body fell more and more limp within his seat. He wasn't sure what to think of what he was hearing; in fact, he thought that Grey might be insane for a few moments. "What..?"
"I'm going to have to work harder to open your eyes, aren't I?" Grey questioned without expectation of an answer, irritation etching through his voice. "I suppose it's only expected that you would feel confused, you may just have to see for yourself. Perhaps I will show you our records on the information, but first we need to move on to get you caught up on other things."
Isaac, shaking his head, rose back up in his seat and stared into Grey's golden eyes. After a few moments though, he nodded, scratching at the back of his head in the continuing confusion. "The Templars then."
"Of course, the 'Knight's Teutonic', this one might be a bit more believable," Grey responded, squinting his eyes to see reaction. "Well, simply put to manage time, the Templars actually started with Cain, using his mark as their symbol. They believe in piece through control, wishing to advance the world to a better future no matter the consequences. They are responsible for the attack that occurred today, and they are the creators of Abstergo Industries. We will go into more detail about them in another instance, but there is one more thing. Opposing them since their beginnings are the Assassin Brotherhood, who believe in peace through Freedom. The never-ending war between them is the reasoning behind every conquest and major event throughout all of history. At the moment the Assassins-"
Suddenly the bell rang, sounding as if it were in the back of the room, cutting off Grey's words and influencing him to rise. Walking back, he pressed down on something on his table while Isaac began to stand himself. "Time flies, you should get some sleep, your actual training starts tomorrow, Isaac," Grey said with his back facing the boy.
Isaac, nodding, turned and slowly forced his way down the staircase, nothing he was just told making a remote bit of sense to what he had been taught. Hesitantly reaching his room, he went straight toward his bed, siting down upon it and combing his hands through his onyx hair. Eventually laying back in his attempt at sleep, he began staring up at the ceiling trying to process all he had been told, without success. In fact, the thoughts kept him awake through the entire night.