|In Bocca Al Lupo|
Infiltrate the Sistine Chapel and assassinate Rodrigo Borgia, the Spaniard.
28 December 1499
After discovering the Vault's location in Rome from the Codex Wall, Ezio Auditore travelled to the city to assassinate Rodrigo Borgia and retrieve the Staff of Eden. Arriving at the base of the Castel Sant'Angelo, he promptly climbed it, making his way onto the Passetto di Borgo, where he was confronted by many guards.
After Ezio dispatched them, he continued to make his way towards the Vatican on horseback. Upon reaching the Basilica di San Pietro, he entered it, by using the groups of monks nearby to blend and hide from the guards. Moving as such, he managed to enter the Cappella Sistina, where Rodrigo was reciting the Nicene Creed.
Ezio then used the scaffolding suspended over the chapel to make his way towards Rodrigo, before leaping from above to assassinate him. As he began to give him his last rites, as he had done with all of his previous targets, Rodrigo opened his eyes and used the Staff to push Ezio away, subduing everyone else in the hall.
However, Ezio was immune to the effects of the Staff, due to his possession of the Apple of Eden. Following this, Ezio created clones of himself with the artifact, just as Al Mualim had done against Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad, in order to assist him in his fight against Rodrigo. After the battle, Rodrigo was able to snatch the Apple from Ezio's grasp, before he lifted the Assassin into the air with the Staff.
Withdrawing a dagger from his robes, Rodrigo stabbed Ezio in the stomach, and left him to seek out the Vault. However, Ezio was able to regain his footing, as he was not seriously wounded, and used his Eagle Vision to find the secret entrance to the Vault.
Entering the Vault, Ezio saw Rodrigo desperately trying to open the door to its inner chamber. Making his survival known to the Grand Master of the Templar Order, Ezio then challenged him to a fist-fight, one without trickery, weapons, or ancient artifacts, to which Rodrigo agreed. After Ezio defeated Rodrigo in this duel, he spared him, as "killing him would not bring his family back." Then, using the Staff and Apple in conjunction, Ezio opened the Vault, declaring that Rodrigo was not the "Prophet," and that he had never been. From there, he entered the Vault and received a message from the hologram of Minerva, a member of the First Civilization.
- Mario: Roma beckons, Ezio. Let me know when you are ready to depart.
Ezio prepared to leap onto a horse from a tower.
- Guard 1: Assassino! Assassino! (Assassin! Assassin!)
- Guard 2: Close the gates! Stop the intruder!
Ezio stabbed Rodrigo with his Hidden Blade.
- Ezio: I thought... I thought I was beyond this. But I'm not. I've waited too long... lost too much... Requiescat in pace, you bastard.
- Rodrigo: I don't think so.
Rodrigo uses the Staff on everyone present, causing all but Ezio to collapse.
- Rodrigo: How is it you resist? I see... Kind of you to bring me the Apple. Now give it here!
- Ezio: Vai a farti fottere. (Go fuck yourself.)
- Rodrigo: Ahh, always the fighter. Just like your father. Well - rejoice, my child - for you will see him again SOON! You WILL give it to me!
- Ezio: As you wish.
Ezio used the artifact to create the illusion of splitting into five duplicates of himself.
- Rodrigo: Fascinating! An impressive power, this. But if you think it's going to save you, you've another thing coming!
Ezio defeated Rodrigo in their first fight.
- Rodrigo: No! You will not take this from me...
- Ezio: It's finished, Rodrigo. Lay down your arms and I'll make sure the end comes swiftly.
- Rodrigo: Really, Ezio? And would you give up so easily were it the other way around?
Rodrigo used the Staff, causing Ezio to fall.
- Rodrigo: Why don't we find out!
Rodrigo used the Staff to become invisible. Ezio pulled out the Apple in an attempt to defend himself. Rodrigo stepped on Ezio's arm, causing him to drop the Apple.
- Rodrigo: At last!
Rodrigo picked up the Apple and attached it to the Staff.
- Rodrigo: And now to deal with you.
Rodrigo suspended Ezio into the air with the Staff and stabbed him in the stomach with a dagger, before taking the Apple and disappearing. After Ezio recovered from his stab wound, the Assassin made his way down the secret entrance to the Vault after finding two switches nearby with his sixth sense.
- Ezio: What is this place...?
Ezio dropped down into the antechamber to the Vault.
- Rodrigo: Open, damn you! OPEN!
- Ezio: It's over, Rodrigo. No more tricks. No more ancient artifacts. No more weapons. Let us see what you are made of old man.
- Rodrigo: Alright then, if that's how you want to play it.
Ezio and Rodrigo engaged in a fist-fight.
- Ezio: What do you even want with the Vault, Rodrigo?
- Rodrigo: Don't you know what lies within? Or do you mean to tell me the great and powerful Assassins didn't figure it out?
- Ezio: Figure what out?
- Rodrigo: God! It's God that dwells within!
- Ezio: You expect me to believe that God lives beneath il Vaticano?
- Rodrigo: A more logical location than a kingdom on a cloud, don't you think? Surrounded by singing angels and cherubim. Makes for a lovely image - but the TRUTH is far more interesting.
- Ezio: Let's say I was to believe you—what do you think he'll do when you open that door?
- Rodrigo: I don't care. It's not approval I'm after. Just power.
- Ezio: And you think he'll give it up?
- Rodrigo: Whatever lies beyond that wall won't be able to resist the staff and apple. They were MADE for felling Gods.
- Ezio: God is meant to be all knowing. All powerful. You think a couple of ancient relics can harm him.
- Rodrigo: You know nothing, boy. You take your image of the creators from an ancient book - a book, mind you, written by MEN.
- Ezio: You are the Pope! And yet you dismiss the central text of your Faith?
- Rodrigo: Are you so naïve? I became Pope because it gave me ACCESS. It gave me POWER. Do you think I believe a single god-damned word of that ridiculous book? It's all lies and superstition. Just like every OTHER religious tract written over the past ten thousand years.
Ezio grabbed Rodrigo by the throat and choked him, before throwing him to the ground.
- Rodrigo: You can't! You can't! It's MY destiny! MINE! I am the prophet!
- Ezio: You never were...
- Rodrigo: Get it over with then.
- Ezio: No. Killing you won't bring my family back... I'm done.
Nulla è reale, tutto è lecito. Requiescat in Pace.
(Nothing is true, everything is permitted. Rest in Peace.)
- Minerva: Greetings prophet. It is good you have come. Let us see it. To give thanks.
Ezio held out the Apple of Eden for Minerva to see, and she touched it in response.
- Minerva: We must speak.
- Ezio: Who are you?
- Minerva: Many names. When I died, it was Minerva. Before that Merva and Mera. And on and on. The others, too: Juno, who was before called Uni. Jupiter, who was before called Tinia...
- Ezio: You are... gods.
- Minerva: No. Not gods. We simply came... before. Even when we walked the world, your kind struggled to understand our existence. We were more... advanced in time. Your minds were not yet ready. Still... not. Maybe never. No matter. You may not comprehend us. But you will comprehend our warning. You must.
- Ezio: None of what you are saying makes sense...
- Minerva: Our words are not meant for you.
Ezio looked around the room as Minerva looked away from him, seemingly at someone else.
- Ezio: What are you talking about? There's no one else here!
- Minerva: Enough! I do not wish to speak with you but through you. You are the prophet. You've played your part. You anchor him, but please be silent! That we may commune.
Ezio remained silent as Minerva disappeared and conveyed the message.
- Minerva: Listen: When we were still flesh and our home still whole, your kind betrayed us. We who made you. We, who gave you life! We were strong. But you were many. And both of us craved war. So busy were we with earthly concerns, we failed to notice the heavens. And by the time we did... The world burned until naught remained but ash. It should have ended then and there. But we built you in our own image. We built you to survive. And so we did. Few were our numbers. Your kind and mine. It took sacrifice. Strength. Compassion. But we rebuilt. And as life returned to the world... We endeavored to ensure this tragedy would not be repeated. But now we are dying... And time will work against us. Truth turned into myth and legend. What we built, misunderstood. Let my words preserve the message and make a record of our loss. But let my words also bring hope. You must find the other temples. Built by those who knew to turn away from war. They worked to protect us - to save us from the fire. If you can find them... If their work can be saved... so too might this world. Be quick! For time grows short. And guard against the cross - for there are many who will stand in your way.
Minerva appeared before Ezio once again.
- Minerva: It is done. The message is delivered. We are gone now from this world. All of us. We can do no more. The rest is up to you, Desmond.
- Ezio: What? Who is Desmond? I don't understand... Please, wait! I have so many questions!
Minerva disappeared, leaving Ezio in the Vault.
Rodrigo Borgia was spared, Ezio spoke to Minerva in the Vault and learned of her people, along with a great tragedy that would befall mankind being revealed to him. In response to the message, Ezio was left with many questions unanswered as the hologram disappeared.
- "In bocca al lupo" means "Into the mouth of a wolf," which is an Italian saying for good luck, being the equivalent of "break a leg."
- When Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood picked up from where Assassin's Creed II left off, with Ezio just having talked with Minerva, Ezio had a more ornate cape, rather than a plain brown one seen in Assassin's Creed II. He also had his weapons by his side, despite the fact that he never picked them up after fighting Rodrigo.
- Even though Ezio had the Apple taken from him, he still had the pouch which held it by his side while battling Rodrigo.