|“||We are the last bastion of civility in a cynical, confused age. We've chased them out of their dens and sent them scurrying. Now it's time to wipe them out.||„|
|~ Cross to Templar recruits.|
Daniel Cross is the secondary antagonist in the modern day sections of Assassin's Creed III. While also being the protagonist of the Assassin's Creed comic stories, he is still evil in that he was a Templar who sought to kill the Assassin leader, succeeding. He was a member of the Templar Order who subconsciously infiltrated the Assassin Order as a sleeper agent to kill their Mentor. An ex-convict and recovering drug and alcohol addict, Daniel was the great-grandson of Nikolai Orelov, a prominent member of the Russian Assassin Brotherhood, and the grandson of Innokenti Orelov.
Following a heavy night of drinking, Daniel was spirited away by Hannah Mueller, a member of the Assassins, and introduced to a new way of life. Curious about his constant visions of a past life, Daniel made it his mission to confront the Mentor of the Order, and find some meaning to his life. For two years, Daniel searched the globe, visiting every major Assassin camp in his quest to meet the Mentor, before he was finally granted an audience. It was during this meeting that a long-dormant trigger, implanted in his mind during his childhood, activated.
Daniel killed the Mentor, and fled the Assassins, returning to the only people he knew would accept him, Abstergo Industries. There, he joined the Templar ranks, becoming a Master Templar and a member of the Inner Sanctum by 2012. In mid-2012, Daniel captured former-Assassin Desmond Miles and brought him to Abstergo for participation in Warren Vidic's Animus Project. Following Desmond's escape and the failure of Project Siren, Daniel tracked down and confronted him numerous times around the world in an attempt to retrieve his Apple of Eden for Vidic. Ultimately, Desmond assassinated Daniel at an encounter in Abstergo's Rome facility.
- "Я хочу домой. (I want to go home.)"
- ―A young Daniel, 1983.
His birth name unknown, the young boy was kidnapped by Abstergo Industries in 1983, and subjected to at least one bout of surgery.
Dubbing him Subject 4 of the Animus Project, Abstergo explored his genetic memories, and caused him to experience the Bleeding Effect later in his life. Using a replicated Piece of Eden, Warren Vidic inserted a hidden impulse that would drive him to kill the Mentor were he ever presented with the opportunity.
Having been given the new name "Daniel Cross", the young boy was thrown out onto the street. He wandered the countryside alone, until he was happened upon by a couple driving by. When they asked his name, he merely said that he wanted to go home, but in Russian, the language of the ancestor whose memories he had relived.
Daniel grew up to become a petty criminal, though he suffered constantly from vivid hallucinations, and often mistook himself to be his great-grandfather, the Assassin Nikolai Orelov.
As a result of being unable to comprehend the hallucinations, Daniel turned to drugs and alcohol. Eventually, his drug addiction led to the death of his girlfriend, Kelly. Daniel was convicted, and upon being released, became court-ordered to take medication to suppress his hallucinations.
On 23 April 1998, after it became apparent that Daniel was not taking his prescription drugs, his court-ordered psychiatrist reminded him that he was required to do so by law. Daniel simply threw away the prescription he had been given, and chose instead to visit a local bar.
There, he drank heavily, and tried unsuccessfully to proposition several women; before vomiting into a toilet. He began to have another hallucination, this time about Nikolai's assassination attempt on Tsar Alexander III, before he stumbled out the back door of the bar.
Outside, Daniel was stopped by a man, who asked if he was feeling okay. As Daniel was still suffering from his hallucinations, he accused the man of being a Templar, and very nearly stabbed him with a knife. Before he was able to do so however, Daniel was stopped by Hannah Mueller, who - assuming he was a fellow Assassin - reprimanded him and pushed him into a car to take him back to her camp.
Introduction to the Assassins
- "Are you a field operative? Communications? You don't show up on any of our personnel records."
- ―Paul Bellamy to Daniel, 1998.
The next day, Daniel awoke in a strange location, and learned that Hannah had taken him to an Assassin camp near Philadelphia. She remarked that they had been unable to find his cabin, and that nobody from the camp recognized him.
Shortly afterward, they met with Paul Bellamy, the director of the camp. Paul brought up the fact that there was no record of Daniel anywhere in the Order's personnel records. Daniel continued to protest that he knew nothing of the Assassins or the Templars, and was aghast when shown that a tattoo he had gotten was actually the symbol of the Assassin Order.
At that moment, Daniel had another vision, and said aloud the words Nikolai had spoken in one of his memories. When questioned on this by Paul, and on what "Tunguska" meant, Daniel got up to leave, but was intercepted by two other Assassins. The three broke into a fight, with Daniel quickly disabling his attackers. From there on, Paul was forced to put his Hidden Blade to Daniel's neck to prevent him from killing either, and Daniel was returned to one of the cabins.
That night, in a fit of anger, Daniel overturned the furniture in his room, which drew the attention of Hannah. Fearing his uncontrollable hallucinations, Daniel told her that he had left his medication in his apartment, and that he needed to get it back.
Although Hannah at first refused to help him, she pitied him, and so she handed him a white hooded-jacket, to allow him to blend in as they left. The pair arrived at the apartment, but Daniel realized that he had no medication left, as he had thrown the last of it away. Daniel quickly sunk into a state of despair, while Hannah suggested that it might be best for him to release whatever was locked up in his mind.
Finding his purpose
- "Hannah... it's okay... I saw everything... I saw the shape of time. I know my purpose, I understand what I have to do... I have to find the Mentor."
- ―Daniel Cross, after his hallucination, 1998.
After a brief discussion about her role in the Order and the rigging of the upcoming election, Hannah asked if there was anything about Daniel's hallucinations that he remembered. Rising to his feet, Daniel walked up to the window and drew the figure of a Staff into the condensation; though he was unsure what it meant.
At that moment, Paul Bellamy burst into the room. Paul approached them, and said that he had just gotten off the phone with William "Bill" Miles, whose records had mentioned a small team of Assassins who had been sent to Tunguska in 1908, though only one survived the mission. The survivor, Daniel's great-grandfather, had eventually journeyed to America.
After hearing the name Nikolai Orelov, Daniel began to hallucinate about the Assassin's mission to retrieve the Staff from Tunguska. Paul urged Daniel to let them know what was going through his head, only to receive a right-hook from Daniel.
Daniel fled the apartment and made his way onto the rooftops, all while continuing to see the events of 1908 transpire in his mind. He was pursued by both Paul and Hannah, who implored him to come down with them. As his vision reached its climax, Daniel's mind was flooded with a wide array of images; an Apple, Nikola Tesla, Eden, and his own birth. He then collapsed to the floor, but was hurriedly cradled by Hannah. Daniel assured her that he was all right, saying that he had finally found his purpose, that he had to find the Mentor.
Meeting with the Mentor
- "Some of the others tried to tell me I was wasting my time, but I knew I couldn't give up the search."
- ―Daniel, upon meeting the Mentor, 2000.
Over the next two years, Daniel searched the globe for clues to the Mentor's whereabouts, visiting several Assassin camps in the process. At each location, he appealed to his fellow Assassins for their support and guidance, and on November 5, 2000, Daniel finally got his wish.
While refreshing himself in his room, Daniel was accosted by at least two masked individuals who, after a brief struggle, managed to inject a sedative into Daniel's neck. The following day, he awoke to find himself in the Mentor's facility in Dubai.
Although firstly unsure to where he was, Daniel quickly worked out the identity of the man was he was speaking with. Daniel learned that his progress had been watched carefully by the Mentor, who knew about Daniel's visions, and saw him as a unique asset to the Order.
The Mentor then explained how the title of "Mentor", as well as the sum total of the Mentors' knowledge, was passed on from each predecessor. He further went on to explain how the Order itself had changed its way of operating, and no longer simply killed those who had become too powerful or greedy.
The Mentor then passed on his own Hidden Blade to Daniel, commenting on how the weapons were mostly ceremonial in the modern era, but still in working condition. As soon as the blade was given to him, Daniel felt as if he was made to use it. Putting it upon his forearm, Daniel suddenly recalled the impulse that had been embedded into his subconscious by Warren Vidic during his time at Abstergo.
In a split moment, Daniel acted upon this impulse and murdered the Mentor. He immediately regretted his actions, unsure of why exactly he had done such a thing. Upon hearing voices from outside the room and driven by guilt and confusion, Daniel leapt through the glass windows of the building, and into the sea below. He then began to make his way to the only place he felt would welcome him and keep him safe, Abstergo.
Return to Abstergo
- "I admit, I felt a certain sense of almost fatherly pride, seeing our boy grown and carrying on our work. Indeed, any lingering attachment to his deceased parents has dissolved and he has come to regard Abstergo as his home."
- ―An email to Alan Rikkin from Warren Vidic, 2000.
On November 21, Daniel eventually made his way back to the Abstergo research facility in Philadelphia. As soon as he arrived there, Daniel demanded that he be returned to the Animus; though it was only after an attack on an unfortunate secretary that Warren Vidic became convinced of his urgency. Daniel was placed into the Animus to freely explore the memories of his ancestor, Nikolai Orelov, which had a calming effect on Daniel himself.
Daniel was soon taken out of the Animus and tied to a medical bed. Under the supervision of Stearns and other high ranking Abstergo employees, Dr. Sung was forced to extract information from Daniel by administering SK-345 into him. Daniel subconsciously revealed the locations and secrets of the Assassin hideouts he had visited over the past two years, allowing Abstergo to initiate the "Great Purge", which nearly annihilated the entire Assassin Order.
For the next fourteen months, Daniel continued with his Animus sessions and relived the memories of his next ancestor Innokenti Orelov in uninterrupted real time. He was disconnected from the Animus in 2002 by Dr. Sung when his brain activity went haywire, and she introduced herself to him. She also informed him of the time that had passed and also explained that he was seen as a hero by the other Templars for having killed the Mentor. Daniel, feeling remorse, was led to his new apartment inside the Abstergo facility in Philadelphia, where he soon suffered from the Bleeding Effect once more and slipped into the memories of Innokenti.
Daniel found Dr. Sung when she was about the leave the facility, but as soon as he looked at her, the Bleeding Effect caused him to confuse her with Anna Orelov, Nikolai's wife. He implored her to allow him to go back in the Animus, which she denied, saying that he was going through a form of withdrawal. She then told him that she had to go, though Daniel had already stolen her key card, with which he entered the facility's new Animi room.
He walked past several Animi used to relive the memories of captured Assassins, and was shocked when he saw Paul Bellamy laying on one of the Animi, but chose to ignore him. He then lay down on one of the Animi, noticing its renewed appearance, and relived more of his ancestor's memories.
He was again woken by Dr. Sung, who expressed her disappointment in him and pointed out that his Animus was not even turned on. Daniel apologized, and asked Sung if they had a file on him and his connection to Orelov. After admitting that they had, she told him that he didn't need to go into his past to be with his family, because everyone at Abstergo cared about him, and that he could consider Abstergo his second family. Once Daniel woke up that night from reliving more of his ancestor's memories, which showed Nikolai's ruthlessness to his son Innokenti, Daniel looked at Nikolai's picture in his files and begrudgingly scrunched it.
Early Templar assignments
- "We are the last bastion of civility in a cynical, confused age. We've chased them out of their dens and sent them scurrying. Now it's time to wipe them out. And I'm going to show you how to do it."
- ―Daniel, while training his recruits, 2002.
Daniel joined the ranks of the Templars some time afterwards, entrusted with the training of Abstergo employees and new recruits to fight the remnants of the Assassin Order. By taking new medication and having weekly appointments with Dr. Sung, Daniel began to cope with the Bleeding Effect. Accompanying this, he had the Hidden Blade that he received from the Mentor modified and upgraded by Abstergo.
Daniel then met with Vidic and several other high-ranking Templars in a meeting room of the Abstergo facility, where they told him that he was put on a new assignment and that Rothschild would be taking over his duties as a trainer.
Vidic sent Daniel the specifics of his assignment via email, and Daniel soon traveled to Moscow, Russia to find the "Prophet's Codex" in the library of Ivan the Terrible hidden beneath the Bolshoi Theatre. On 19 October, he attended a play at the theatre, and quietly made his way through it to find a hidden door to a tunnel, which led to the library. Upon entering it, he was spooked by an Assassin sentry who intended to greet him, causing Daniel to retract his Hidden Blade. However, Daniel pretended to be the Assassin's replacement as a sentry, and the man eagerly told Daniel about the location of the codex when Daniel inquired.
When the sentry left Daniel alone, Daniel opened the Prophet's Codex, written by Ezio Auditore da Firenze. He read out Minerva's speech to Vidic via his earpiece, noticing the name "Desmond". Afterwards, Daniel took the box holding the codex with him and killed the sentry, before calling in the clean-up team and leaving the library.
Later, Daniel remained in Moscow to visit a local church, where he went to sit next to an elderly lady. Unbeknownst to her, she was actually his great-aunt Nadya Orelov, but she did notice his resemblance to her own son. Communicating in Russian, she told him that she knew he was not from Russia by looking at the difference in the cross Daniel wore around his neck. Before Daniel left, Nadya told him that it would be nice if he came by again.
As a Master Templar
- Vidic: "Listen, Daniel, and listen well. You know how important this training program is to us. We identified a few promising recruits and–"
- Daniel: "Promising recruits my–"
- Vidic: "Listen! Right now, you're the best man for the job. The only man, really. You're our top operative and you've been training agents for a decade."
- —Vidic to Daniel after he had arrived in Rome, 2012.
Daniel subsequently rose to become a member of the Inner Sanctum of the Templar Order, and was bestowed the rank of Master Templar as a result.
In 2011, Daniel led a group of Templars in a raid on an Assassin hideout. Once there, the group found nobody but Hannah Mueller, who had stayed behind to slow down the Templars and try to return Daniel to the Assassins. However, her attempt failed, as Daniel killed her.
In late 2012, Daniel was involved in an incident in Denver, which left him traumatized to the point that he would later refuse to go on assignment there.
Around this time, Daniel was also responsible for finding Desmond Miles, and allowed his capture by Daniel's fellow Abstergo employees. When Desmond escaped from Abstergo, Daniel was notably frustrated, not being aware that Vidic had planned it all out as part of Project Siren.
On September 12, Daniel led a Templar attack on an Assassin hideout in Whistler, British Columbia in Canada, though one Assassin managed to escape the attack.
Just over a month later, on October 13, Daniel telephoned Dr. Sung in a state of great uneasiness, to express his concern following the news of Project Siren's collapse and the death of Lucy Stillman. Despite his panic, Daniel eventually agreed to meet with her in person at Rittenhouse Square to share his worries.
Later on, Daniel called Vidic in anger to show his dissatisfaction for having lost Desmond and his team again, and told him that he had found out about Project Siren. He expressed his desire to join him in Rome, to which Vidic agreed, saying he could use Daniel's expertise. When Daniel arrived there however, he was assigned byTheodore Rizzo to coach more recruits in their training program. Despite insisting that he should be going after Desmond, Vidic told Daniel that he was the only man who could train the recruits properly and told him that it would only be for two days. To this, Daniel reluctantly agreed, though he still pushed towards being involved in retrieving Desmond.
On October 22, Daniel physically assaulted three recruits in the mess hall of the Abstergo facility. An entire squad was needed to neutralize him, and it resulted in seven people being hospitalized, composing of three recruits and four Abstergo agents. Following this, Rizzo sent an email to Vidic, noting that he was aware of Daniel's status in the Order, but requested permission to put him off duty. Despite this, Vidic denied his request, and told Rizzo to continue having Daniel train the recruits.
The next day, Daniel left the Abstergo campus without reporting for duty. When prompted, Vidic told Rizzo that they had the means to track Daniel down and that he would lead them to Desmond and his team, and therefore assigned Rizzo to prepare backup for Daniel.
Three days later, on October 26, Rizzo's Delta 1 team made contact with Daniel in Florence. Rizzo called Vidic to inform him that Daniel was on their targets' trail, and Vidic told Rizzo to obey Daniel's command. The next day, Daniel and Delta teams 1 to 10 prepared to ambush Desmond Miles and his team at Florence's airport. Unbeknownst to them, they were ambushed by a group of Assassins under the command of Harlan T. Cunningham, and a gunfight ensued. Daniel made a run for Desmond's team, though they used their Apple of Eden on Daniel, causing him to fall to his knees and hold his head in pain. Following this, Daniel attacked his own men, taking out Delta 3, Delta 2 and Rizzo.
Tracking Desmond Miles
Frustrated at Abstergo losing Desmond Miles, Daniel was able to track Desmond and his cell to New York. When Desmond attempted to steal a First Civilization battery from an office in Manhattan, Daniel cornered him at gunpoint. However, Desmond easily disarmed Daniel, and knocked him out with the battery before escaping.
Some time later, Daniel tracked Desmond to a martial arts tournament in Brazil, where a woman held another battery that Desmond needed. Daniel reached the woman first, and shot both her and her husband to death as Desmond arrived. Daniel attempted to flee with the battery, but was caught by Desmond, who once again knocked him out in a fight and escaped with the battery.
- "Let's not draw this out. You've got nowhere to go and I've got a gun. Speaking of which... it's the 21st century and you're still running around with only a tiny knife for protection? It's stupid. Alright, Desmond. Game's over."
- ―Daniel to Desmond, during the Assassin's raid on Abstergo Industries, 2012.
Soon after the confrontation in Brazil, Daniel traveled to Abstergo's Rome facility, where Warren Vidic held Desmond's father William hostage in hopes of obtaining Desmond's Apple of Eden as an exchange. After Desmond arrived at the facility, Daniel confronted him once more in Vidic's Animus room and demanded he hand over the Apple.
Before he could shoot Desmond, Daniel began to suffer from the Bleeding Effect, causing him to suddenly speak in Russian. Daniel panicked and fled, running through the facility, chased closely behind by Desmond. Eventually, Desmond caught up to Daniel and assassinated him with his Hidden Blade in the Animi Training Program room.
Vidic witnessed the entire scene. Enraged by Daniel's loss, he vowed revenge on Desmond but never got the chance, as Desmond soon used the Apple to kill him, before rescuing William.
At 4:19 P.M. on 17 December 2012, Daniel Cross was buried in Rome, Italy.
- "He's a gift, Miss Clarke. A wonderful gift, delivered to us by Lineage Discovery and Acquisition. And now we're going to open him up and see what's inside."
- ―Warren Vidic talking about Daniel, before experimenting on him in the Animus, 1983.
Daniel's unique genealogy caught the attention of Abstergo Industries, and resulted in his capture by the company's Lineage Discovery and Acquisition division.
Daniel's only direct known ancestors were the Orelovs, a family closely tied with the Assassin Order. Daniel's great-great-grandfather, Andrei Orelov, migrated to Russia and joined the Narodnaya Volya, in order to help rid the country of Imperialism. His son, Nikolai, was forced to follow in his footsteps, and although dedicated, Nikolai was not so passionate in his devotion to the Assassins as his father was.
Nikolai eventually married Anna, a Russian woman, with whom he had a daughter, Nadya, while the couple resided in the country. Following this, in 1917, Nikolai and Anna emigrated to the United States to start a new life, where their son Innokenti, who would become the grandfather of Daniel Cross, was born.
Personality and characteristics
- "I hear voices, but I don't understand what they're saying. It's all in European or something. [...] It's not always a vision... sometimes it just feels like I'm remembering how things used to be."
- ―Daniel to his psychiatrist, 1998.
During his formative years, Daniel suffered greatly from his perceived "hallucinations", none of which he understood; in actuality, these were a manifestation of the Bleeding Effect. From his arising confusion, Daniel became mentally and emotionally unstable, which often led him to be rude and anti-social, sometimes even going so far to have him resort to violence. Following his time with the Templars, Daniel often spent prolonged periods of time within the Animus so as to stymie his condition's effects.
As the years progressed, Daniel's hallucinations largely subsided, though he would enter into an intense relapse upon close proximity to a Piece of Eden, such as in late October 2012; when one was used upon him by the Assassins, and once again in December 2012, indirectly leading to his death.
Upon learning of the Mentor, Daniel became incredibly determined to meet him, traveling the world and refusing to listen to others' insistence that his goal was impossible. After the murder of the Mentor, Daniel was shocked at his own actions.
Knowing that he could not return to the Assassins, he ran in desperation to Abstergo. Initially, Daniel felt a longing for connection to something he could call family, and would often use the Animus to relive the memories of his ancestors, claiming it was "the closest thing to [one]" he had ever known. However, Daniel eventually grew to fit into his new home, as well as into the Templar Order.
Despite his eventual rise to the rank of Master Templar, Daniel continued to suffer from the symptoms of the Bleeding Effect. Unable, or unwilling, to help him, his fellow Templars learned to simply deal with it. By mid-November 2012, Dr. Sung had resorted to keeping Daniel inside the Animus for periods of 72 hours at a time, in the hopes that it might help his condition, though all medical reports filed suggested otherwise. William Miles later told Desmond that by 2012, Daniel was simply a symbol to Abstergo, rather than an asset.
- "Daniel" is derived from Hebrew name Daniyyel, meaning "God is my judge".
- Daniel was given the surname "Cross" in reference to the Templar insignia.
- Daniel was one of eight known Assassins to be converted to the Templar cause, with the others being Haras, Harash, Masun, Jamal, Vali cel Tradat, Shay Cormac, and Lucy Stillman. However, Daniel was the only one to have held a connection to the Templars before ever joining the Assassins, albeit unknowingly.
- Daniel was the fourth known Templar to perform the Leap of Faith, the others being Francesco de' Pazzi, Vali cel Tradat, Haytham Kenway, and Shay Cormac.
- Daniel Cross was originally meant to have some dying words, pleading with Desmond to end his life after catching him, explaining that the pain of the Bleeding Effect had overwhelmed him.