- Shaun Hastings: "If you lot were tracking our movements all this time, couldn't you have stepped in?"
- Stephanie Chiu: "Our only goal was gathering knowledge. We made vows to stay neutral."
- ―Shaun asking about the Initiates' purpose, 30 May 2014.[src]
The Initiates are a clandestine collection of individuals, whose aim it is to discover and reveal illicit information about both the Assassin Brotherhood, and the Templar-led Abstergo Industries. Instead of the Internet, which is controlled by corporations and governments that intend to keep the populace unaware of the Assassin–Templar War, they post information on a separate network, dubbed the "Outernet" by Rebecca Crane, transmitted by a series of small, supposedly obsolete satellites.
They are led by four anonymous individuals, and are funded by a number of interested private citizens, and count among their supporters billionaires, those with military connections, and members of both Harvard University and MIT.
In 2012, a member of the Initiates leaked sensitive information from Abstergo's database. Since May 2013, two of their operatives, Eric Cooper and Stephanie Chiu, have recorded updates on the Assassins, having infiltrated the crew of the Altaïr II. They were discovered the following year, but the Assassin leaders William Miles and Gavin Banks chose to spare them, seeing the group as potential allies. Shaun Hastings soon managed to hack into the Initiates Database, leaving a message aimed at encouraging the Initiates to join the Assassins, rather than simply stand back and watch from afar.
In November 2014, William intended to hire the Initiates as support operatives and as trainees for the Assassins. He assigned Bishop to act as their handler. That same month, Bishop and Shaun, the latter going with the handle of "Deacon", contacted and assigned an Initiate to search and identify a Sage that was active during the French Revolution through Arno Dorian's memories. Eventually, the Initiate found out that the Sage was called François-Thomas Germain and that Arno had buried his remains in the Parisian Catacombs. This left Bishop satisfied with the result, as the bones would be too degraded for Abstergo to collect any DNA samples from them.
In November 2015, Bishop contacted the Initiate again, this time to locate a Piece of Eden in London through the memories of Jacob and Evie Frye. Later on, the Initiate discovered that the twins were looking for a Shroud of Eden, and that it was located underneath Buckingham Palace.
In December, Bishop gave the Initiates some additional memories sequences to keep the connection between them and Helix stable, before passing a directive from William Miles informing the drop out of all communications with the Initiates and the Assassins, to stop them from being targeted by Abstergo.