Vatican City, Papal Residence.
"Ah, François, it is good to see you my friend, how is the King doing?" François smiled to his 'friend' and walked forward. "Quite good your holiness, quite good." As he advanced, François saw the Borgia before him slightly rise its arm. He knew what the gesture meant and grind his teeth. So much for being friends. François knelled before the pope and kissed his ring, a sign of devotion from a true christian. To say that he thought for a moment his relation with this filthy Italian was good enough to skip this. "Good to hear. And how are our other friends doing? I'm glad they sent me the help I requested so fast the situation in Rome is quickly becoming... Unbearable. The Assassino are everywhere and talks of rebellion are spreading everywhere."
François got up, still smiling. "Of course your holiness, you are an important master of our order and the supreme leader of our Catholic Church as well, most certainly we will use all resources we can to help you through your hard times. Be sure that this situation is now only temporary since I got here, I've pacified Milan and negotiated with Turks, Rome will be back in order in mere months." The pope stopped smiling and turned around, walking toward the balcony and its view on Rome, François followed him. "I would not be so sure. The assassins are resourceful and have known some success, they will be stopped, of course, but at the moment they use the momentum they gained to push even more." François walked next to him to look at the city as well, crossing his hands behind his back. "I have my ways, your holiness, and I am quite confident that with only the carrot that shall be our wealth and the stick that shall be our soldiers, we shall be able to drive a wedge between the Assassins and the rebels. People may not realize it, but they crave for order, someone to lead them. These ideas of liberty, while admirable, are childish and without meaning."
"At the moment, I believe the assassins shall be victim of their own success however, after all, an assassin which is well known among the population sounds to me like quite the bad assassin indeed. This collaboration with the rebels shall be their downfall, hiding was their strength but now that they are in the open they are vulnerable. It was always our great weakness, we cannot hide, we can only add layer upon layer of defense to protect ourselves and our interests, a thing which the assassins have become expert in going through... The assassins will now know this weakness, to lead, you must show yourself and when you lead the mass, traitors can infiltrate the large groups. Quite hilarious this reversal of role. This time, we are the predators who will strike at them."
Streets of Rome
Erika looked at her pocket watch. It was an elegant thing of gold, visibly extremely well taken care of, on the casting was a Fleur-de-lis with other designs with the words;
"Reims - 1497
Pour mon autre moitier (For my other half)."
engraved on it. It seemed an item out of character for a girl in the streets of Rome where she was now, but so seemed her blond germanic hairs, she was obviously a foreigner and this item obviously had an history behind it, but she found that 'Honest people have nothing to hide from the view of the world', as such, she openly displayed herself to the world, despite the high amount of assassins around her. She clicked on the button which made the locket spring open. Inside was roman numerals clicking away, two needles in a quadrant indicating hours and minutes, tiny black marks on the side for better precision, inside this was another smaller quadrant with a needle turning even faster indicating the seconds. On the other part of the watch, a message could be read.
"Derrière chaque grand homme se trouve une femme.
Merci pour tout.
"Behind every great man there is a woman.
Thank you for everything.
Erika closed the watch and looked up on the assassin talking. So this was their leader. How easy it had been, just walk around a known rebel hideout and when the pope's guard came, be taken captive like everyone else just for being at the wrong place at the wrong time. If she knew this location only 2 days after coming into town, you could bet the guards knew too and it was even more certain the assassins were aware as well. And if she knew the guards were going to come down to the place, same thing was true. Any minutes now. She cursed internally as Ezio Auditor left the scene leaving the group with his Cousin. Good enough, it would have to do for today. Now if only Jean could be punctual for once.
There was a rumbling sound in the distance, some people turned toward the source and the assassins frowned: Horses. Good, Jean was indeed punctual this time around. From a corner of the street, multiple mounted knights in full plate armor, showing the armories of the Duke of Orlean and the kingdom of France showed up. The one on the head reached for his pocket and pulled a time piece. It was similar to Erika's except his was of silver rather than gold and showed a Templar Cross rather than a Fleur-de-Lis. "HAHAHA! Right on time! And right on the money too, you rebellious scum! In the name of François d'Orléan-Valois and his holiness the Pope, I command you all to surrender!"
There was movement in the crowd, some people went toward an alley close by. Smart move, a cavalry charge would be devastating in a street, but cavalry didn't go well in alleys. Some more acrobatic members of the crowd decided to scale the wall nearby. "Vous, Primori Auditore! Pour crime commis contre la France, je vous arrête! (You Primori Auditore, for crimes against France, I arrest you!)" Seemed like Captain Jean was familiar with the man on the stage, probably templar business back in France. No matter, this was as good a distraction Erika would get.
"Excuse me miss." Stepping forward the action, Erika gave a pat on the back of a woman to get through. When the woman turned around, Erika quickly took notice that she was a gypsy but didn't really care for it. She calmly patted on her wrist and raised her arm toward Primori. A gun, similar to that of Assassin design, showed. Erika took her aim, ready to kill the man while the attention was focused on the french cavalry.