Layla Hassan (Arabic: ليلى حسن; born 1984) is a member of the Assassin Brotherhood and former employee of Abstergo Industries. Forced to leave the company in 2017, she was offered a position with the Assassins by their leader William Miles.
Though initially reluctant, she became an important member of the Brotherhood, rising to the position of cell leader by 2018. That year, her exploration of the memories of the Greek mercenary Kassandra led her to the ancient First Civilization complex of Atlantis, where she received the Staff of Hermes from Kassandra.
Born in Cairo to parents Ashraf and Zeniab Hassan, Layla and her family emigrated to the United States at some point prior to 1989, before finally settling in Queens, New York. It was there that Layla grew up alongside her two younger brothers, Rami and Kaden. She was granted American citizenship through a process known as naturalization.
A college dropout from UC Berkeley, Layla was discovered in 2006 through Abstergo Industries' Young Innovators Program by Sofia Rikkin, who helped her land a career at Abstergo. Over the years, Abstergo used several of her ideas to make adjustments to the Animus, though she was never made aware of the company's Templar affiliations. Although Layla worked for Abstergo for eleven years, the one thing she wanted more than anything else was a promotion to work on the Animus Project. However, she was denied this offer due to her numerous transgressions of Abstergo protocols.
Target of Abstergo
In 2017, as part of a Historical Tactical Team, Layla and her co-worker and best friend, Deanna Geary, were assigned by Simon Hathaway to find and retrieve an important historical artifact from the Qattara Depression in Egypt. During this expediton, Layla found the mummies of the ancient Assassins Bayek and Aya. Without informing her superiors, she used her own portable Animus to relive their memories from around the year 48 BCE in order to prove her worth to the Animus Project.
Layla's refusal to check in with Abstergo led to the company deploying a Sigma Team to find her and Deanna. While Deanna was assaulted in her hotel, Layla made use of the skills she'd obtained through the Bleeding Effect to dispatch her attackers.
She was later found by William Miles, Mentor of the Assassins, after he had caught wind of her situation and offered her a position with the Brotherhood. Faced with no other option, Layla agreed to work with the him, but refused to actually join as a member.
Working with the Assassins
By 2018 she not only became a member of the Assassins, but befriended several members, including Charlotte de la Cruz, Arend Schut-Cunningham, and Harlan Cunningham, and became a leader of her own Assassin cell.
Sometime in early August, Layla and Kiyoshi Takakura went on a mission to Quebec. Things went sideways when they were confronted by Abstergo, Kiyoshi's ex-yakuza skills came in handy when he saved Layla from danger.
Book of Herodotus
In the midst of her quest for Isu artifacts, Layla discovered a lost book of Herodotus, the earliest known Greek historian. Within it, she learned of a Spartan mercenary Kassandra who wielded an Isu weapon, the Spear of Leonidas. Layla went out searching for the broken spear, after finding it she was then able to relive Kassandra's memories with the help of ex-Abstergo employee Dr. Victoria Bibeau.
After reliving Kassandra's memory of discovering Atlantis for the first time, Layla and her crew sailed from London to the coast of Santorini aboard the Altaïr II, hoping to find the secret underwater entrance to the ancient city. Layla, having found the entrance and the city, further explored Atlantis, looking for a way to open it. Not finding anything then, she decided to further relive Kassandra's memories to find out how she opened the city.
Once Layla had the necessary knowledge to open the city, she realigned the mirrors reflecting the light beam and the city was opened. It was then that she met with Kassandra herself and was given the Staff of Hermes Trismegistus. Once the staff had been passed on to Layla, Kassandra passed away – Layla held her in her arms as she died.
Personality and traits
During her early years, Layla Hassan was noted by her colleagues for her strict adherence to policy and protocol. On the occasions in which she was forced to act outside of these boundaries, she often took on an apologetic tone; this was shown on at least one occasion when she emailed Juhani Otso Berg regarding his use of her allocated parking space at Abstergo's offices. Eventually, however, Layla's frustration at the perceived lack of respect from her colleagues convinced her to act outside of the company protocol and attempt to "prove herself" by undertaking the mission to sequence Bayek's genetic memories, alone, save for Deanna on the other end of a phone.
Equipment and skills
After reliving the memories of the Medjay Bayek, Layla experienced the Bleeding Effect and was able to perform freerunning, leaps of faith and assassinations flawlessly. Layla has also shown to be an adequate swimmer, being able to dive underwater to find the hidden city of Atlantis, albeit with the assistance of scuba gear.
Once Layla had found Aya's hidden blade she taped it to her forearm as a make-shift hidden blade. With it she was able to dispatch the members of Sigma Team sent to find her without much effort.
- Layla is a feminine Arabic name meaning 'night', while Hassan is a common Arabic surname meaning 'strong' and 'good'.
- Layla's father, Ashraf Hassan, shares his birth name with Ashraf Ismail, the game director for Assassin's Creed: Origins.
- Around Layla's equipment are a Moogle doll, a Cactuar statuette, and a Chocobo sticker. All are Easter eggs towards the Final Fantasy series, particularly Final Fantasy XV.