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Database: 11. Reconnaissance Report

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RECONNAISSANCE REPORT
Filed by: Otso Berg

*23 May, 2014. Flight into Kingston was smooth. Customs a breeze. No hassles. Calling G.M. to confirm expedition on the 25th is a go. UPDATE: We are on schedule.

*24 May. Traveled from Kingston overland to Montego Bay, travel time 5 hours, multiple stops. Met G.M. at his home. Dinner @ 19h30. Discussed plans, heading for bed, just before midnight.

*25 May. Set out this morning at 10:30am in three separate trucks to site location. Based on geo-tagged data taken from multiple Sample 17 archive files, we fixed on a position within 20 meters of LAT: 18.446846, LONG: -78.004086. The area is lush with vegetation and trees, with a few well-maintained roads nearby. The site we have settled on is a few hundred meters from the nearest road.

*11h43. After 1 hour of searching we have located an earthen mound whose layout bears some resemblance to the structures observed in the Kenway footage provided to us. Digging will commence at 1pm.

*18h46. We have made visual confirmation that this site bears traces of First Civilization|Precursor architecture. However, we have also come to the conclusion that the magnitude of our task is too immense for manual tools and have made arrangements for two backhoe loaders. Delivery is expected tomorrow morning no later than 10h.

*26 May: Backhoe loaders have arrived late following a confrontation with the proprietor of the rental company: our scanners found active GPS devices on the vehicles, a safeguard against theft, no doubt. When we requested that the devices be turned off - citing "sensitive archeological concerns," the man refused. A decent quantity of cash reversed his objections. Digging began just after lunch.

*27 May. We have located what appears to be the entrance to one of the false rooms of the compound. Nothing of import was located here, save a small glass bottle dating from the late seventeenth or early eighteenth century. The bottle was empty.

We will refocus our efforts tomorrow. In the meantime however, we dwell on this: Based on our examination of the accumulated vegetation and various soil samples, we have come to the conclusion that this site was deliberately buried between 200 and 230 years ago. None of the accumulated earth here is natural. This may suggest a radical shift in the Assassins' "Stewardship" strategy or a necessary response to increased Templar interest in the site.

*28 May. Multiple setbacks. One backhoe in need of repairs this morning, then heavy rains for a brief spell. Mud everywhere.

*29 May. Progress at last. We have located the primary entrance to the Observatory a dozen or so meters to the west of the first false entrance. Unfortunately we were not able to proceed farther than five meters, as an impenetrable mound of rubble and stone has blocked our progress.

*30 May. Ten straight hours of moving rubble, and no end in sight. My preliminary diagnosis is dire. Based on the lay of the land west of our dig site - uneven, yet with a distinct declivity averaging 4 degrees for almost 100 meters - I have come to suspect that most if not all of the Observatory suffered a catastrophic collapse at some point in the 18th century. This may account for its burial, and why no further mention of it is made in our own archives past the beginning of the nineteenth century. More excavations will be necessary, but on a scale this skeleton crew is not equipped to handle. Arrangements are being made as I write.

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