Author's Note/Disclaimer: I do not claim ownership to Assassin's Creed, Ubisoft, or any other part of this work of fiction that may be copy-written by someone else. I do, however, claim all Original Characters that appear in this fiction as well as the story itself.
Hida is pronounced Hee-Dah, FYI.
The full moon cast a faint glow through the tiny, barred window of Hida's cell. It was enough light that she could see all four corners of the small room easily, as she had grown accustomed to the darkness that surrounded her for the many months of her stay. She didn't know how long it had been, exactly, since her capture by the invading Crusaders, but she did know that they had a plan for her, or they would have killed her. She sighed and moved closer to the window, trying to catch a glimpse of the land where she had once roamed free.
The usually bustling port city of Acre was silent under the calm eye of the moon. She shifted her arms in her shackles, wincing as the open sores met the harsh metal as her fingers reached out to absentmindedly touch the rags that covered her body. Perhaps she would be sold into slavery, she thought dimly as her gaze traced the faraway rooftops in her sight. She was in a tower somewhere on the south end of the city, an area that she was not as familiar with, having grown up in the North. She gave up gazing at the city before her, out of reach as always, and instead let herself slide down the wall, resting her head on her knees, the chain connected to her wrists rattling with the movement.
She must have fallen into a dreamless slumber, for she was startled awake suddenly by the gruff voice of one of the guards. She didn't hear exactly what was said. He was standing in her cell, fists on his hips, gazing menacingly at the prisoner before him. "Get up," he repeated, stepping forward and pulling his charge up by the hair.
Hida let out a cry of pain, but was silenced by a hard backhanded slap to her face, the armoured glove cutting into her soft cheek. She bit her tongue, hard, in an effort to stifle another yelp. The guard let her hair go, and she stumbled forward towards the open door. He unchained her shackled wrists from the wall, then placed his large hand on her shoulder, guiding her roughly through the door of her cell. Another guard was waiting just outside, and they led her down the dingy hall to her fate.
After a long and winding trek through the tower, the trio stood before a large wooden door. A long white flag with a red cross adorned each side of the door, indicating the room within belonged to Templar Knights. Hida's heart began to pound in her malnourished chest as she wondered what lay beyond the door.
Freedom, or perhaps death? She sighed inwardly, not wanting to be assaulted by the guards again. Her cheek still stung from where she had been slapped previously.
The door opened with a menacing creak, sending a shiver down Hida's spine. She was shoved through the doorway roughly, her shackles grating on the open sores of her wrists. For a moment, she stopped and stared, taking in her surroundings. She was in a large room, deep within the tower. The warm glow of candles illuminated the expansive space. At the far end was an ornate desk covered in papers and open books. Behind the desk stood a well armoured man, pouring over the contents of the desk intensely. He wore the same white tunic and red cross as the guards standing behind her, however his armour was far more decorated than his counterparts.
The soldier looked up from his work suddenly, glancing at Hida then looking past her at the guards. He said something in a foreign language and she found herself shoved forward once more, her bare feet slapping against the stone floor as she tried to maintain balance. The man strode towards her, running a hand through his short blonde hair subconsciously. He circled her once, Hida staring at the ground to avoid eye contact. She had learned the hard way that by showing any form of insubordination would result in punishment. Her mind drifted to the many scars that adorned her body before it was snapped back by the grating sound of the foreign language.
Briskly, she was ushered out of the room and back to her cell. Once alone, Hida sighed. The heavy chain that connected her manacles to the wall pulled considerably on her sore wrists. Shuffling slowly, she made her way back to the window that looked over the faraway rooftops. She could hear the faint shouts of merchants below, beckoning passers by in the high-noon sun.
The click of her cell door caught her attention and she whirled around from her place at the small window, ragged hair covering half her face. She gazed at her dirty feet, not wanting to make eye contact with whomever it was who entered her cell. The figure walked over to her purposefully, her downcast eyes watching heavy boots enter her field of vision through her matted hair.
The man, as the boots had told her that much about the person standing in font of her, reached out and grabbed her chin with his strong hand, pulling her face up into the dim light of her cell. He turned her face from side to side as she worked to avoid eye contact, examining the woman. Gently he brushed a finger over the scabbed cut that had been delivered that morning and, releasing her face, turned back to the guards at the door, saying something in the foreign language.
"You are to come with me," he said, addressing Hida as he turned back to her. She looked up at his face, surprised, before he added coolly, "We have a use for you after all." A shudder ran down her spine at his words, mind racing as she tried to decipher what he meant.
The four months of recovery from the vile conditions of the prison had done Hida wonders. No longer did she have the figure of a skeleton and her hair was a lustrous dark brown once more. She had been given beautifully dyed linens to wear, as well as a roof over her head and two square meals a day. Her freedom was conditional however, as she had to agree to perform an act so dangerous that it had never actually been successfully completed before. She agreed tentatively, but she knew that even at the risk of death, nothing could deter her from the gift of freedom.
Shaking herself from a daydream, Hida found herself within reach of the boarders of Jerusalem. Her target, she knew, was somewhere within the high walls of the city. She sighed and looked over nonchalantly to the Templar guard escorting her as she slowed her horse to a canter. It had been a long journey from Acre.
As they neared the city's stable near the front gates, the man accompanying her spoke up. "Remember your objective," he said in a hushed voice, "And don't even think of running away. We are always watching," he added, malice weaving into his words.
Hida would have laughed or at least rolled her eyes were it not for the deathly glare that accompanied his words. Running away was the last thing on her mind. She would rather diethan live in the constant threat of being recaptured by the Crusaders.
"Understood," she said quietly as she slid off her horse, guiding it to a waiting stable hand. Without another word, her escort rode off, back to Acre she presumed, leaving her at the gates of Jerusalem.