It was close to midnight the next day when he arrived in Turin, New York. He was already inside the Temple, waiting on any word from his ancestor. The doors to the main chamber were obviously sealed.
With each passing hour, he felt more like his mind had just gone crazy and led him on a wild goose chase across the US to the place he’d died – during his travels, he’d sometimes seen random buildings appearing in place of the ones already there, or masses of people talking on smartphones, which was wrong because he was currently in 2003. Right?
He had fallen asleep at one point, since he woke violently when he heard a voice calling his name.
“Desmond, wake up now.”
He scanned around him, seeing the visions of Minerva, Jupiter (huh) and Altaϊr (huh) and the doors of the Temple were open.
Minerva gestured him to follow.
He trailed inside after them, scanning the chamber. The entire place was weird – there were some wires along on the floor and he swore he saw a piece of cloth in one corner. Those shouldn’t have been there – not during this time period. The Temple had been empty the first time the'y stepped foot inside it. He did not see anyone else around for that matter and no dead body near The Eye, where the other three had gathered around it. Altaϊr laid his hand on it and Jupiter called Desmond forth, but he stay glued to the spot, unwilling to trust the two Isu, shaking his head vigorously, a hair’s breadth away from bolting altogether.
“Dezmund.” His eyes turned to Altaϊr; he couldn’t see his eyes from under the hood. “Trust me.”
And, despite his better judgement, Desmond did.
“I do trust you, I do not trust them.”
Minerva looked at him sadly, while Jupiter’s expression was blank.
“What the fuck is going on? Please don’t tell me it didn’t work – do I have to die again?” he said, a tone of hysteria in his still high voice.
“You did not fail. You succeeded in saving the world. Juno, through my and Aquila’s actions, did not succeed, either. Your entire purpose was met.” Minerva informed him, Altaϊr’s mouth twisting in a sneer when she’d said Aquila. So that was her title for him, then. He didn’t seem to like it.
“Then what exactly is going on?” he gave a harsh laugh, the young voice sounding at odds with the sound. “Are you offering me a second chance? All to meet the same end in nine years’ time?”
“Of a sort.” Jupiter chimed in. “Minerva had a back-up plan in case something like you choosing to save the world happened.”
Desmond was a little floored by that, the guy seemed a little put upon that he’d chosen to save humanity and give them a chance to fight Juno, instead of let it burn if only to spite her.
“All that can be explained later, but we have managed to save your soul and put it into your younger body. Right now, the timelines are overlapping. If you are to stay in this world, the two timelines will clash and results in disastrous consequences for the world.”
“Then why did you save me? Why not let me die?” he said, voice choking on the last word.
He glanced at Altaϊr, who was staring at him, no expression discernible on his face.
“The only way you could have saved the world from the flare and stopped Juno was if you survived. Juno would have gained entry to this world through your death and the passage of your soul, while you would have left this world for eternity.” Minerva said. At least she was explaining stuff. “We saved your soul with the aid of Aquila at the last moment, but your present body was already burnt out – it could no longer house your life. So, we had to put it somewhere it would not be rejected.”
Having watched at least a few sci-fi films, Desmond paled. “Are you – am I – are you saying I killed my younger self? Or that he’s in here with me?”
“No. you are alone in the body. This world is both the present and the past right now, and your younger body had been uninhabited for nearly a decade in 2012 because it was no longer existing as it was; you had grown up. But the past imprint, the memory it had left in the Calculations was enough to put you into it.”
“So, then, what do I do now?” he was seriously going to ignore that abridged explanation, just trying to wrap his head around it made his brain hurt. It was far-fetched, even for a sci-fi movie. “you said if I stay here, I will make the entire world collapse. What am I supposed to do then?”
“You will go with him, in the past.” Jupiter said, nodding toward Altaϊr. His hand was still gripping the Eye, his entire posture tense.
“Hah.” He laughed. Then, “You’re not kidding” at seeing their serious visage.
Just then, as if to drive the direness of the situation home, the world shifted and he was able to see for a second, Abstergo staff cleaning up around the chamber and others exploring and writing down findings. One of them passed through Minerva and looked around weirdly, before they disappeared again.
“You must leave now, or the whole place will come down soon enough.”
“So, that’s it? My life is completely fucked up again by you people? Haven’t I done enough – why can’t I just kill myself right now and be done with it? Since Juno’s defeated and all.”
“Desmond.” The Isu said, her voice sounding almost guilty, almost. “You have a second chance at life. You have saved the world. I swear to you, you will not have to deal with us ever again.”
Desmond scoffed. Sure. “And what is me travelling back in time going to affect in this timeline, then?”
“Nothing. Everything has already happened, in a sense. You would live your life as you see fit, and not change anything in this future.”
Desmond stared, not even trying to read between Jupiter’s words, but noting his wording anyway.
“Dezmund. Come with me.” Altaϊr suddenly said. “I swear to you I will not leave you wanting in my time.”
Desmond stared at him for a few moments, turning after to glance at the two Isu. The three of them seemed to be patiently waiting for his next course of action, though he knew Altaϊr would not remain patient forever and, were he able to, would have come and dragged Desmond by force.
Around him, the world shifted again, and he heard Abstergo employees talking hurriedly in comms – there is something going on – weird readings – faint tremors like earthquakes – and Desmond sighed irritated.
“Oh, what the hell.” He said, walking over to The Eye and slapping his (bum) arm on it. “Let’s go, then.”
And the world exploded in brilliant, blinding, agonizing light.