Bird Of The Sea

4 The Assassin And The Templar

They clambered up building after building in an attempt to loose them, skipping across the rooftops. Soon, they could no longer hear the cries of the soldiers and risking a look over his shoulder, Thomas found that they had lost them.

"Kenway, they're gone." He said, slowing down.

"Ah, that's good." He nodded. "Now let's get back to Bonnet."

They made their way back, cautiously, to the docks, where they found Bonnet sitting alone on a crate, his back to them.

"Sorry about the swift exit." Kenway said. "Bit of a misunderstanding."

"One heaped upon another." Bonnet said, and as Kenway and Thomas stood in front of him, they could see his wounds, his face bruised and bloody.

"Ah, Jaysus, I'm sorry, mate, this is my doing." Kenway apologised. "I'm only trying to keep these Spanish eyes off me."

"Oh, it's no bother." Bonnet waved him off, pawing at his swollen eye. "Regrettably, these soldiers confiscated my sugar. And your dispatches."

"Damn!" Kenway cursed.

"Where've they gone?" Thomas asked.

"I haven't the foggiest idea, I'm afraid. I suspect those chaps might but my Spanish is (very evil), so I'd- I'd rather not ask."

"Shit." Kenway spat. "Alright. Come on, let's follow 'em and recover my maps."

"And my sugar?"

"What, in my drawers? We'll see what happens."

Kenway went on ahead, subtly tailing the two Spanish guards. Thomas followed behind, the enthusiastic Bonnet at his heel.

"You don't mind me tagging along, do you?" He asked.

"Not if you keep quiet and stay out of sight." Thomas said in a hushed voice.

"I think they're onto us!" Bonnet blurted, alarmed as one of them merely scanned the area. "We should split up, to confuse them."

"Best idea you've had today." Hissed Thomas.

The soldiers spoke amongst themselves, blissfully unaware of the pirate, the assassin and the bumbling merchant that followed them. As the soldiers broke into a run, Kenway and Thomas did the same, still keeping to the shade and hidden areas. Finally, they stopped.

"We need to get closer, lad. To hear what they're saying."

Thomas nodded and they blended in with a group of dancers, moving provocatively around the young men. After Kenway gave them some Reales from his pocket, they smiled and kept by his side as they stalked the soldiers.

"How long will the hanging take, man?" One of them said. "I don't mean to hang about all day for the captain."

"Quick as anything, sir. Captain Mendoza needs only to hang the man, then he will deliver your payment."

"I don't want Reales, mind. I want goods. Things I can sell. Tobacco. Rum. Sugar."

"(Yes, Yes). We have much fine sugar. Crates we took off a fat Englishman last night."

"That'd be Bonnet then." Thomas whispered and Edward nodded.

"Englishman?"

"(Yes). Sugar from Barbados. Very fine. We hold it in the Castillo after the man started to fight last night. He ran, left his sugar behind. Very fine."

The reached the hanging and with the four women following close by, they blended into the spectators easily. The conversation continued, its contents of little interest as people flocked to the hanging of one lone man, swinging gently in the breeze.

"There, that's the captain." Kenway hissed, pointing to a man descending the steps of the gallows.

To confirm it, Thomas blinked, changing his sight. Sure enough, the man glowed gold. A target.

They continued to follow him, the dancers in tow, careful not to be sighted by an suspicious guards.

"Watch my back." Kenway said and stepped towards the captain, cautiously searching pickpockets for a key.

Then, with a smile, Kenway flashed the prize and put a good distance between the captain before anyone suspected him of theft.

"What now?" Thomas asked as he stepped back into invisibility, hidden by the dancers.

"We need to get into the fort."

"We?"

"Two heads are better than one."

"Not if they're on a chopping block."

Ah, come on, lad. I could use a hand."

"Fine. Lead the way."

Kenway scaled a tree beside the high walled fort, using its branches to jump onto the wall, using uneven bricks and metal hoops to pull himself up. Thomas followed, using the pirate's technique. Together, they edged along the wall, climbing further up to a tower, overlooking the fort.

"Will you look at that." Kenway breathed, taking in the view.

The fort was surrounded with water, appearing to float. Soldiers patrolled the perimeter, like ants, scurrying around the stone floor.

Thomas jumped first, bending his knees on impact so as to not break them. With Kenway in pursuit, he ducked behind a stack of crates, hiding from a guard, before leaping over the inner wall, hanging onto the edge. He lead Kenway to the other side of the fort, always out of sight.

"Wait!" Thomas hissed as Kenway began to pull himself up. Silently, he pointed to a soldier, rifle in his arms, standing above them on the roof.

"Good lad." He nodded and as the soldier turned around, the two climbed up, and keeping to the shadows, moved on.

"In here." Kenway tapped Thomas's shoulder, disappearing into an inconspicuous room.

Instantly, Kenway went to the table where Walpole's bag rested. He lifted it, checked its contents and satisfied it was still there, he turned, facing the crates.

"This looks like Bonnets." Thomas observed, poking a finger in the sugar granules.

"Aye." Kenway said, making for the door.

"We're not going to take it with us?"

"I don't know about you, but I can't carry that and climb, lad."

Thomas shrugged.

"Fair enough."

Kenway burst out of the door, ignoring the soldiers, leaping from the wall and diving into the waters below.

"Ah, hell." Thomas cursed as the soldiers, alerted, turned to the young man, still dressed as a sailor, stood in the doorway.

They raised their guns, shouting something in Spanish.

"Not today mate." He grinned and bolted, shoving them out of the way as he followed Kenway over the edge.

He kept low for a while, holding his breath as the soldiers above searched the waters. Once they had given up, turning away from the wall, Thomas resurfaced, gulping air as he swam after Kenway.

As Thomas reached the docks, Kenway was already up and so offered a hand to the young assassin. Then, they ran along the wooden structure, making their way to Bonnet's ship, and himself.

"Sorry about the sugar." Kenway said, "we've only two pairs of hands between us."

"Oh, it's no great loss." Bonnet assured him. "Uh, I've got a... plenty of cargo here to make a profit of my trip."

"Will you stay here long?"

"For a few weeks, yes. Then back to Barbados, to the tedium of domesticity."

"Don't settle for tedium. Sail for Nassau. Live life as you see fit."

Bonnet laughed.

"Haven't I heard that Nassau is crawling with pirates? Seems a very tawdry place."

"Not tawdry. Liberated."

"Oh, God, that would be an adventure." Bonnet sighed, a sparkle of excitement in his eyes. "But no, no... I'm a husband and a father. I have responsibilities. Life can't be all pleasure and distraction, Duncan."

Kenway bit his lip.

"Hey, ah, Bonnet. The name's Edward in truth. Duncan's only a handle."

"Ah..." He grinned. "A secret name for your secret meeting with the governor. And I suppose your real name isn't Thomas Young either?"

"No, no." Thomas shook his head. "My real name is Thomas Young, I assure you."

"Oh." Bonnet frowned, the answer dulling his excitement of mystery.

"The governor, right." Kenway nodded. "I think I've kept him waiting long enough."

Bonnet waved as the two young men turned away, approaching the island again.

"You coming?" Kenway asked and Thomas shook his head.

"I've got to report back to the Brotherhood in England. I'll meet you later."

"Aye, see you later then." Kenway flipped up his hood, masking his face and set off at a sprint in the opposite direction.

Thomas made his way for the post office, pushing open the door. It creaked horrendously, the few people that occupied the room turning his way, with dark looks.

"Filthy sailor." One muttered.

"Probably one for fights, just look at the blood."

Thomas looked down, his shirt dirty and bloodied. It seemed a tailor would be the next port of call.

He took paper, an envelope and a pen from the desk and sat down, ignoring the hushed voices around him.

'To the Master Assassin,

I have followed Walpole to as far as Cape Bonavista where our ship became involved in conflict with another. Both ships sunk however Walpole survived, washing up on the island with myself and one other. I followed him further where the pirate that survived with us, killed him. The pirate took his identity and is now with me in Havana, currently meeting the Templar governor who believes the man he is with is Duncan Walpole. I will send another report with further information once it comes about.

Thomas Young.'

He folded up the note and stuffed it into the envelope.

"To London," he said to the post man as he scrawled the exact address down.

"Writing home to your girl?" He asked.

"Nah, just to friends."

"You gotta girl then?"

Thomas shook his head.

The post man nodded his thanks as he was passed coin for the letters postage and Thomas left the post office.

He breathed in, painful memories resurfacing. He did have a girl, not to long ago. She was a beautiful girl, long blonde hair and bright blue eyes with a wicked smile that could steal your heart. And that's just what she did.

"You alright, lad?" The tailor asked, concerned as the young man stood still, unblinking as he stared at the fabrics.

Thomas jumped, awoken from his daydream.

"Yeah, I'm fine." He sniffed, rubbing his eyes.

The young assassin bought a fresh shirt, royal blue in colour, with tan coloured trousers. He also took a scrap of fabric, tying it into a head band to push his sandy brown hair out of his face.

"Cheers, mate." Thomas thanked the tailor, passing him the Reales he had received from Bonnet.

His steps heavy and his head in the clouds, Thomas slowly clumped along the ground, arriving at an inn. Before he paid for a room, he slumped down at a table by the bar, head in hands, staring blankly at the wood.

He had gone through his whole voyage without a thought of his lost sweetheart, but now that she'd been brought up, he couldn't get her off his mind. Her dainty laugh, the way her hair shone in the sunlight, that playful wink, it plagued him. Even though he knew she didn't love him, he couldn't stop imagining scenarios, various way where they would reunite and their love rekindled. He dreamt of arriving home in England and there, waiting for him at the docks, was her. She'd give him that pretty smile, kiss him and tell him she loved him all along.

"Thought I'd find you in here." Kenway sat heavily down in the chair opposite him, startling the young man. "Something got you down, lad?"

"No, it's nothing. How did the meeting go?"

"They believe I'm Walpole, although, unknowingly, Mrs Woodes Rogers nearly gave me away."

"What did she say?"

"She wasn't there. Rogers said that Walpole and her had met before, describing him as 'devilishly handsome.' He obviously has a very different idea of what handsome looks like." Kenway grumbled.

"Anything else?"

"I met the Grand Master, Torres. That clear cube, still don't know what it's used for, Walpole stole it from the Assassins in England, to bring to Torres."

"And you just gave it to him?!" Thomas exclaimed, throwing his hands up in the air.

"What else was I going to do? Say, 'sorry, my mate is an assassin and wants to send this back'?"

Thomas sighed, squeezing his hands into his eyes.

"Are you seeing him again?" He asked.

"Aye. Tomorrow morning, by the Castillo. Care to join us?"

"From a distance. I'd like to see first hand the dealings you Templars meddle in."

"'You Templars'? I'm no-" Kenway started, but Thomas snatched his hand, showing the ring on his finger.

"You wear the Templar ring, you've been initiated into the Order, you're a Templar."

"Ah, what does it matter." Kenway laughed, leaning back. "You know I'm only in it for the gold, mate."

"It's your greed that's going to bring you to your doom, Kenway." Thomas said, standing.

"Oh, don't be like that!" Kenway called as Thomas paid for a room, took the key, and stomped up the stairs.

With a clouded mind, he slumped down onto the dusty mattress and Thomas fell into a disjointed sleep, images of a blonde haired girl and a greedy Templar plaguing his dreams.

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