Legal Disclaimer: I do not own Ubisoft and its respective co-companies, Assassin's Creed, Konami, Kojima Productions, and Metal Gear Solid. I do, however, own this story and the rights, thereof, belong to me.
It was the dawn of the sixteenth century, in Italy. A cloaked man was walking calmly through an ocean of people. Unknown to the crowd, the man had recently killed four guards, soldiers of the Borgia family, who were harassing an anonymous citizen. That man was Ezio Auditore of Firenze.
Ezio had recently recruited another member into the Brotherhood, a group of Assassins determined to liberate the city of Rome from the Borgia's power and influence. After an hour of ripping posters, bribing heralds, and killing officers, Ezio decided to take some time and relax, maybe sit on a bench and listen to the hustle and bustle of Rome's markets. He oddly found it soothing after a day's events.
As he neared a bench, one he was particularly fond of because of its location beside the Tiber River, the cool breeze, and the relaxing shade, a sound caught his ears.
"Psst. Ezio, over here," said the unmistakable voice of a man. It was near the bench he wanted to unwind on, a voice he had never heard before. It was gruff but strangely calming.
As he walked nearer the bench, he checked his surroundings. "Come here, Ezio," the voice said again. Getting closer to the seat, he eventually found the source of the sound: a box near a wall.
It wasn't like any box or crate that Ezio had ever seen. It seemed to be made out of a hard kind of paper. And most of all, his gut feeling told him that there was something odd and wonderful about this box.
As Ezio opened the box, he found a crouching man roughly in his 50's, his hair and beard certainly gruff, but Ezio definitely noticed the man's astonishing blue left eye. He was wearing a tattered bandana on his forehead, an eye-patch on his right eye, and a green suit that made the stranger not quite look like he was from Rome, or even Italy. He is a foreigner, perhaps? thought Ezio. His strange garb tells me so.
"So I finally get to see Ezio Auditore in person," the man said, slowly getting to his feet. As the stranger rose, Ezio noticed that the man was carrying what it seemed to be a strange black rifle. Reflexively, Ezio immediately took out a shiv and readily brandished it, gleaming amidst the clouds blotting out the sun.
"Woah, slow down sparky," said the man, raising his hands up. The rifle simply slung limp on a strap strewn across his neck. "I'm not here for a scuffle."
Reluctantly, the Assassin lowered his dagger but was still wary enough to keep it unsheathed.
"What is your name, stranger?" Ezio asked, dagger hanging in his limp right hand.
"The name's Snake," said the man, relaxing as soon as he saw Ezio ease up. "But you can call me Big Boss. I don't mind you calling me either way."
"Vic Boss?" said Ezio with confusion evidently slapped on his face. "That is a strange name."
"Indeed," said Boss, his rough voice cracking in the cool wind. "People from my government gave me that code name."
"So, Vic Boss, how do you know me?" Ezio paced back and forth. "And where did you come from?"
"This might sound hard to believe," Big Boss started, "but… I'm from the future, from a country that won't exist until a few hundred years later."
Pausing to take all of this in, Ezio processed the facts then said, "I believe you." It's hard not to, he thought. I've seen goddesses talk to me from the past. What of men from the future?
"Well, that makes everything easier," said Boss, taking out a cigar from his front pocket, a lighter in another, and started to smoke. Ezio coughed and fanned the smoke away with his hands, unaccustomed to the odd smell of burnt tobacco. Big Boss started to relax a bit, resting his arms on the rifle.
"So," Ezio started, still trying to stifle his cough, "what brings you here to my time, to Roma?"
"To meet you!" Big Boss said, almost loud enough for random pedestrians to hear. "I couldn't resist. I had to meet you in person, to see one of the heroes of stealth in person! I'm a big fan, you know. I fashioned a type of box based on your guild's undertakings."
"And speaking of boxes, what is that box you have behind you?" Ezio asked again, curiosity still keeping a firm hold of him.
"This box?" Big Boss asked. "It's state-of-the-art technology."
"You see," he continued, "I have a Research and Development team back home that helps me get what I need. My group doesn't have a country; we don't have any boundaries. Not even for our research.
"This box is made out of a material called 'cardboard'," Big Boss said, while Ezio was stroking his beard and nodding away. "Cardboard's a little bit like paper, which means it's extremely lightweight and portable, except it's harder, corrugated and layered.
"I'm not sure if you've noticed, but I use cardboard boxes to hide," Big Boss said, beaming with pride. "I feel really safe when I'm inside one. Not really sure why, though.
"I've got plenty of boxes that look like these back home. But this one's special. It's got time-space technology embedded inside, which pretty much means that I can go from one timeframe to another. Huey made it for me, our main researcher."
The information registered into Ezio's brain boggled his mind. The expression on his face made it evident.
Some silence ensued, and Big Boss had to break it. He thought he was humiliating himself "I know all of this sounds really far-fetched and stupid, but…–"
"It is the most amazing device I have ever seen!" Ezio said in a voice full of excitement and loudness, which was almost too careless for him, too out-of-character, in fact. "It's lightweight and compact form make it easy to walk around in. It blends in with Rome's environment. No one would expect anything from under here! And best of all, it can travel through time! It's almost like a Piece of Eden. Magnifico!"
"Uhh… Yeah," muttered Big Boss, himself confused from the Assassin's reply, not even understanding what a Piece of Eden was. A little morsel from the legendary garden itself? "It's a piece of work, isn't it?" he continued.
"It is, it is!" Ezio said happily. "Leonardo would love to see one of these."
"Woah, woah, woah…!" Big Boss cautioned. "No one should know of our meeting here. Major Zero would flip again. Just getting here is a risk for a time paradox."
"Oh, right," Ezio said, some of the excitement dying in his voice.
"I'm pretty sure you can keep a secret, right?" Big Boss said, his voice growling with a bit of worry.
"Non preoccuparti, amico (Don't worry, friend)," Ezio said with a smile. "I can keep secrets."
Big Boss couldn't help but smile along with him. The next thing they knew, they were squatting against the wall, talking for what seemed like an eternity. Smiling. Laughing.
Ezio wanted to show off his awesome gear to Big Boss. No one was going to know how some of it worked anyway, which meant he wasn't compromising his weapons and tech.
"Hey Vic Boss, what kinds of weapons do you have on you?" he asked. "I'll gladly show mine first."
"Well, sure," Boss said, keeping squat while Ezio started to stand up.
"First of all, I use a sword to defend myself. Very basic." Ezio unsheathed a rapier. "Of course, I can use my hands to fight." He plainly showed his metal and leather gauntlets. "Then I have a dagger, which I can use paired with throwing knives to take out anyone, far or near." He took out his shiv in his right hand and skillfully fanned out five small knives with his left. "Next, I have a crossbow. Pretty self-explanatory, don't you think?" Big Boss saw it sticking above Ezio's right shoulder. "Finally, I have blades hidden within my gauntlet cuffs," he revealed them discreetly, "and the gauntlet in my left hand also doubles as a pistole. What do you have?"
"Well," Big Boss started, "I've got this stun rod, I can use it to shock people," and as he said that, his long black rifle disappeared, "then I have my Mk22," the small knife-like device disappeared as well, replaced by a pistol with a more angled design than the ones Ezio has seen, "then my M1911," yet another angled pistol, "then my EZ guns," a smaller pistol, "then my M16s," he showed multiple designs, "and then…"
"And then my grenades, and my mines. I have four types, you know," Big Boss finally stopped.
Ezio's mouth was gaping open.
"How do you keep everything with you!" he asked, shocked with his inventory space.
"Easy. Infinite bag space," Big Boss said, pointing at his bandana with his thumb.
"So you are saying that he started talking about some Japanese god of some sort?" Ezio asked, again sitting against the wall.
"Yeah," Big Boss said, "and he weirded me out."
"Haha! That's a good one," Ezio laughed.
The laughter subsided, soon replaced by the hustle and bustle of Rome's marketplace. They could hear vendors crying out to potential buyers.
"You know, you and I are a lot alike," Ezio thought out loud. "We are both leaders of a group of secret forces that wish to topple corrupt sectors of our government. We both do so in ways that are discreet and subtle. We are both shunned in our ways of performing our acts, but we both believe that how we do it is the only way, and that how we do it is right."
"Come to think of it, we do have a lot in common," said Big Boss. "I guess we're the unknown branch of the Assassin's guild in the future."
"Maybe," Ezio said, pondering on whether the Assassin's influence would really last that long and spread so far.
Silence soon fell like a blanket, a comforting quietness that relaxed the two men. It was something that they couldn't do in the next days of their lives; they would be too busy and strained, changing history as their respective moments in time came along.
"You know, I probably wasted too much of your time already," Big Boss said, getting to his feet.
"Don't worry too much about it," Ezio said, also starting to stand. "I guess we should be going back to our lavoro (work)." The Assassin started walking back to the marketplace, eager to find a pigeon coop to give out orders to the other Assassin hopefuls.
"Wait up," Boss said, "I've got a better idea."
Snake motioned Ezio to get inside the cardboard box. "We'll save loads of time with this."
"Are you sure about this? It might feel weird for me," Ezio said with a little worry.
"I'm definitely sure! I use this thing all the time to cheat the clock. Plus, going back in time somehow makes sure that this moment never happened."
"If you say so," Ezio said, reluctantly getting into the box. Big Boss sat in front.
The cardboard box wasn't too small, but it was big enough to fit in two grown men inside. It was slightly dark and the smell of paper was strong, but Ezio didn't mind. After his eyes adjusted to the darkness, Ezio saw that there was nothing special within except a little device in front that seemed to be used for the ears. Big Boss started to wear it, plugging little wires into his ears, and then spoke a few somewhat audible words into it that sounded like "30 minutes ago."
Suddenly, something like a jerking feeling of falling and moving forward at the same time consumed Ezio. It wasn't unlike falling from the great heights that he was used to, but he couldn't see where he was going. Slowly, he could see a blue circular light in the box's front, eventually developing into a spiral of white and blue. Like when he touched his first Piece of Eden, something spoke to him in his head. Ubisoft, it softly said.
After a dizzying and odd time travel experience, Big Boss suddenly removed the box from their crouched bodies. "We're here," he said. "I'm staying here though. I can't waste too much time with farewells."
"Alright then," Ezio replied. "Goodbye."
Ezio Auditore stood up and walked away. But as he turned to check the cardboard box one more time, someone held his shoulder with a firm hand. He turned around. It was Leonardo da Vinci, his old friend.
He knew that he should never tell Leonardo what had just happened. But he also knew that if ever Leo could know his story, he would probably flip out and start making blueprints of things he could've known from the future. Like the cardboard box tank Big Boss was talking about earlier.
Outtakes (i.e. You Can Read These If You're Bored):
Ezio: So, Vic Boss, you come from a country called the United States of America, right?
Big Boss: Yeah, but I pretty much defected.
Ezio: And you speak another language called English, right?
Big Boss: Yeah. Where's this all going?
Ezio: I was wondering: how come you can speak Italian fluently and why does our English-speaking audience understand?
Big Boss: *chuckle* Mr. Kojima said you would ask that. First of all, I speak six languages fluently, Italian included.
Ezio: But that still doesn't explain how the audience understands.
Big Boss: It's kind of hard to explain... I guess it's probably how the developers dub the audio. Like when I speak Russian, the audience still hears English.
Ezio: I still find it confusing...
Big Boss: (Russian) You don't understand me, do you?
Ezio: What are you saying? Does the audience understand you?
Big Boss: I've decided to stay here.
Ezio poses in front, going to a semi-crouched state. Big Boss poses from behind, with the camera zooming into his face, aiming with his M16 rifle somewhere behind the camera.
The words "Metal Gear's Creed: Assassin Walker" appear violently into the screen, with the two seen in the same poses side by side behind the words.
Without warning, the words melt into nothing and both men look around, confused.
"Snake, you did it again!" the disembodied voice of Major Campbell suddenly materializes into the air. "You've made another Time Paradox!"
The title is slowly replaced by the words "Time Paradox" and the environment turns sepia. Metal Gear Solid "Game Over" music is playing in the background.
Hidden Mantis: The effects of boredom on my mind produced this short story. R and R please, and tell me what you think. 'Cause personally, I don't think I did a good job.
I hope Kojima Productions and the Assassin's Creed Team continue their awesome friendship with each other, and maybe make more easter eggs of each other in their games.