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Last Descendants PDF Free Download

Last Descendants

  • Author : Matthew J. Kirby
  • Publisher : Scholastic Paperbacks
  • Release Date : 2016-08-30
  • Genre: Juvenile Fiction
  • Pages : 308
  • ISBN 10 : 0545855519
GET BOOKLast Descendants Book Description :

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An all-new series based on the hit video game franchise Assassin's Creed! Nothing in Owen's life has been right since his father died in prison, accused of a crime Owen is certain he didn't commit. Monroe, the IT guy at school, might finally bring Owen the means to clear his father's name by letting him use an Animus-a device that lets users explore genetic memories buried within their own DNA. During a simulation, Owen comes uncovers the existence of a powerful relic long considered a legend-the Trident of Eden. Now two secret organizations will stop at nothing to take possession of this artifact-the Brotherhood of Assassins and the Templar Order. It becomes clear the only way to save himself is to find the Trident first. Under the guidance of Monroe, Owen and a group of other teenagers go into a memory they all share within their DNA: the 1863 Draft Riots in New York City. Owen and his companions will find themselves tested on the violent streets of New York, and their experiences in the past will have far-reaching consequences in the present.

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A short while and more fruitless searching later, his mom came home from her job at the copy center. Owen heard the front door, her muffled voice out in the living room talking with his grandma, and then a few moments later, a knock on his bedroom door.
Owen shut his browser. “Come in.”
The doorknob rattled. “It’s locked.”
“Oh, sorry.” Owen bounced out of his chair to the door, and opened it. “Forgot.”
“Everything okay?” His mom stood in the hallway wearing her blue polo uniform shirt, her hair pulled back, maybe a few more gray hairs than the day before.
“Yeah, fine,” he said. “Why?”
“Grandma mentioned you and Grandpa had a talk.”
Owen shrugged. “Wasn’t really different from any other talk we have once or twice a week.”
“I guess seeing Javier really rattled him.”
Owen rolled his eyes. “He’s not in a gang.”
“Okay.” She held up her hands, crossed with the short, red lines of a few fresh paper cuts. “If you say so. But it’s a good thing your grandparents worry, you know.”
“Is it?”
“It means they care.”
Owen turned away from the open door and went to fall onto his bed, lying on his back, hands behind his head. “That’s not exactly how I’d put it.”
She stepped into the room. “How would you put it, then?”
“I’d say they care that I don’t go out and rob a bank like my dad.”
His mom stood up straight, as if she’d run into an invisible wall. “Don’t say that.”
“But that’s what they’re thinking.”
“That’s not what I mean. Just … don’t say that.”
“Why not? You believe it, too. Or at least, you don’t deny it anymore when they bring it up.”
“Owen, please. I can’t …” She glanced toward the door.
“Whatever.” He closed his eyes. “It is what it is.”
His mom stood there a minute longer, and he listened as she crossed the room, wading through his clothes, stepping on food wrappers, and shut the door behind her on her way out.
Later that night, after dinner and dishwashing, Owen heard his mom go to bed in the room next to his, and shortly after that he heard his grandpa shuffle down the hall. It was another couple of hours before his grandma switched off the laughter and saxophone-heavy music of her late-night talk shows and went to bed. That was when Owen got up, still in his clothes, pulled on a hoodie, and crept from his room. The front door made too much noise, so he went out the back way, careful not to let the screen door bang behind him.
It was a cool night, with a wind that flapped a few newspaper pages down the street. Whereas his grandparents kept their yard and house in postcard condition, many of their neighbors did not. Those that watered their lawns had mostly weeds. Those that didn’t had mostly dirt. The sidewalk had cracked and buckled before Owen had moved there, but no one had repaired it since then, and it could trip someone in the dark who didn’t know its topography.
Owen had to run to catch the last bus on the route near his grandparents’ house, but he made it, and was soon staring through his reflection in the window at the passing streets, heading toward the address Monroe had given him. Although it wasn’t an address so much as a location near some factories and warehouses at the edge of the city. He transferred buses twice, fortunately to lines that ran all night, and then walked another mile or so to get there, past graffitied apartment complexes and darkened, gated storefronts.
The section of the industrial park he eventually reached seemed abandoned, with padlocked doors, broken windows, and weeds choking the narrow spaces between the buildings. Infrequent streetlamps smeared the ground with yellow light the color of vomit. Owen was beginning to wonder if Monroe had played him for an idiot, but then he saw the bus parked in the shadows.
It wasn’t a vehicle like the ones he’d taken to get there. This bus was old, with distended wheel wells, and between them, a rounded, bulging hood with a wide, angled grill across the front, the kind of model a collector of classic buses would want, if there were actually people out there who collected classic buses. It was painted brown, and the windows were all blacked out, but somehow it didn’t seem quite as forsaken as its surroundings.
Footsteps crunched in the gravel behind him, and Owen spun around.
“Relax,” Javier said. “It’s me.” He wore a white hoodie, hands buried deep in the pockets.
Owen let out a breath. “You came.”
“I thought about it,” Javier said.
“Thanks.” Owen nodded toward the bus. “This is it.”
“You sure about this?” Javier asked. “Messing around with your DNA? Your brain?”
“I’m sure,” Owen said. “I need to know. Besides, other kids have done it.”
“That’s what I’ve heard. And Monroe told you this would work?”
“We didn’t have time to get into it. He just told me to meet him here.”
Javier shrugged. “Then let’s go find out.”
Owen walked up to the front-side door of the bus and rapped on it with his knuckles. Then he put his hands in his pockets while he waited, Javier standing behind him. When the door finally squealed open, a cold light that was the blue of a hotel swimming pool poured out around a silhouetted figure in the doorway.
“Glad you could make it, Owen,” Monroe said, his voice deep and resonant as a slapped bass guitar. “I see you brought a friend. Come on in, then.”
The figure turned away and retreated into the bus. Everyone at school knew Monroe, the network IT guy. Almost everyone liked him, except for maybe some of the teachers. Owen and Javier climbed the narrow stairs into the bus and followed after him.
The vehicle’s interior was the opposite of its exterior, completely retrofitted with sleek white paneling, strip lighting, and an array of computer monitors, and it smelled of heated plastic and ozone. An ergonomic padded chair reclined at the rear of the bus. Monroe had gone back to stand to the left of it; he had shoulder-length brown hair and a goatee and wore the same clothes he somehow got away with wearing to work at the school: faded jeans, Converse sneakers, and a flannel shirt over a concert T-shirt for a band Owen didn’t know. Owen couldn’t quite tell how old he was. Forties, maybe? Early fifties?
“Javier, right?” Monroe asked as Javier came up the stairs behind Owen.
“How’d you know that?” Javier asked.
Monroe snapped his fingers and tapped his temple. “Eidetic memory, man.”
“What, is that like photographic memory?” Owen asked.
“No,” Javier said behind him. “It isn’t. And that still doesn’t explain how you know me.”
“I spend a lot of my time managing the student database,” Monroe said. “I would probably recognize almost any kid from the school.”
That answer didn’t seem to appease Javier, who folded his arms and looked around the bus. “So what is all this?”
“This?” Monroe spread his arms. “This is you.”
“Wow, man,” Javier said, his voice flat. “That’s deep.”
“Relax,” Monroe said. “What I mean is, all of this is to get inside you.” He pointed a finger at Owen’s chest. “Your DNA.”
“Yeah,” Javier said. “About that. What are you running here? This doesn’t look like the Animus entertainment consoles I’ve seen online.”
Owen appreciated that Javier had done some digging of his own before coming here.
“That’s because you won’t find anything about this model online or in stores,” Monroe said. “Abstergo has suppressed it all. This machine is based on the first Animus. But I’ve made several critical modifications to it.”
“So this is the real deal?” Javier stepped forward, suddenly more interested.
“What do you mean ‘suppressed’?” Owen asked, remembering how hard it had been to find much in his own search. “What, like trade secrets or something?”
“Something like that,” Monroe said. “Publicly, Abstergo markets the Animus as a research tool. Or even a device for entertainment. A very expensive one.”
“So what does this one do?” Javier asked.
“In the most basic sense, it’s the same,” Monroe said. “I take a sample of your DNA, analyze it, and unlock the genetic memories of all your ancestors stored there. Once we have that, we can create simulations of those memories for you to explore.” As he spoke, he sometimes looked away, to the side or over Owen’s shoulder, not in a way that seemed to be avoiding eye contact, but more that his mind was partially elsewhere.
“So how is this one different?” Javier asked.
Monroe frowned. “Other models can access the memories of anyone with DNA stored in the Abstergo Cloud—”
“But I read that those simulations have been manipulated,” Javier said, “by Abstergo.”
“Manipulated how?” Owen asked.
“They’re more like a reality show,” Javier said. “They edit the crap out of them so you don’t get the whole story.”
“Exactly,” Monroe said. “The newer models of the Animus serve the purposes of entertainment and Abstergo’s own self-interest. People see and experience history the way Abstergo wants them to. There’s no truth to be found there. This model”—he laid his hand on the recliner’s headrest—“can only access your memories. Uncorrupted. That’s the only way to find whatever truth it is you’re looking for.”
“How’d you get it?” Javier asked.
“I worked for Abstergo,” Monroe said. “A long time ago. Any other questions?”
Owen glanced back at Javier, who nodded and said, “Yeah, one more. Why are you doing this?”
“Why are you doing this?” Monroe said. “I invited Owen, not you.”
“I’m here because Owen’s a friend and I owe it to him.”
Owen didn’t think of himself as sentimental, but he had to admit he liked hearing that.
“Good,” Monroe said. “The truth is … I’m doing this because I owe someone, too.”
By the heavy tone in his voice, Owen knew Monroe wasn’t going to elaborate on that, but Javier asked no more questions, and Monroe turned to Owen. “So what truth are you looking for? We didn’t have time to go into detail back at the school. Whose memories do you want to explore, again?”
Owen inhaled deeply. “My father’s.”
“Oh, right. Fathers are important.” Monroe nodded. “Anything specific?”
“I need to know what happened to him on a particular night. December eighteenth. Five years ago.”
“Oh.” Monroe shook his head. “I wish I’d known. In that case, I can’t help you.”
Owen took a step toward him. “What do you mean? That’s the whole reason I came here. You said—”
“You asked if I could get you inside your dad’s memories, and I said yes. Which is true. You didn’t tell me you wanted to go into your dad’s experiences from just five years ago.”
“It’s simply not possible,” Monroe said. “Your DNA will only contain your father’s memories up to the point when you were conceived, not after. You don’t have his genetic memories from when you were, what, ten?”
“He’s right,” Javier said. “I wondered about that, but I thought maybe he had some kind of new tech.”
The bus around Owen seemed to be shrinking, becoming cramped, as his frustration and anger grew. “Then what am I supposed to do? How can I get into his memories from that night?”
“You need a different kind of Animus,” Monroe said. “And a sample of his DNA from after that night. That’s the only way it will be encoded in his genetic memory.”
Owen’s muscles tensed to the point where they quivered. “But he was arrested that night. They took him away, and he never came home again. I don’t have his DNA.”
Monroe sighed. “Then I’m truly sorry, man.”
Owen wanted to put his fist through one of the nearby monitors. He’d come here because this was the only way. The only way to prove his father innocent. The only way to make things right. But it wasn’t a way at all. Owen had no way, and he’d only now realized it. He was trapped in this life, listening to his grandparents trash his father, watching his mom surrender her memories of him without a fight.
“If he could get his father’s DNA,” Javier said, “then could you do it?”
“Absolutely,” Monroe said. “With a different kind of Animus, and a sample of DNA from after that night.”
Owen felt Javier’s hand on his shoulder. “Maybe your mom saved something. Something with his DNA on it. An old shirt, maybe?”
“We don’t have anything,” Owen said. “We needed money. My mom sold everything to try to keep the house. But we lost the house anyway.”
The bus went quiet, except for the gentle whirring of the computer fans, the clicks and whines of hard drives. Owen didn’t want to leave, because that would be admitting he had failed, so instead he just stood there amid all that useless machinery.
“Listen,” Monroe said. “I’ve been doing this for a while. Different cities. Different schools. Some kids come to me for the thrill. Other kids, like you, come to me because they want answers. But the thing is, they rarely find the answer they’re looking for, and it almost never solves anything. I think you’d do better to ask yourself why the question is so important to you.”
“What does that even mean?” Owen said. “My dad went away to prison. For something he didn’t do. I think it’s pretty obvious why that’s important to me.”
“Let’s just get out of here,” Javier said. “This guy doesn’t have anything for you.”
“What about you?” Monroe asked, looking at Javier.
Javier narrowed his eyes. “What about me?”
Monroe nodded toward the recliner. “You want to give it a try?”
“What about your big speech?” Javier said. “It won’t solve anything.”
“You’re not going into the Animus with a question,” Monroe said. “But I know you’re curious.”
“Don’t pretend like you know me,” Javier said.
“I’ve seen your STEM scores,” Monroe said. “Pretty impressive. If that’s really who you are. That guy would be all over this.”
A moment passed without Javier denying it.
“Look,” Monroe said, “I’m not trying to force you. Do whatever you want. But you’re here, and it really is a hell of a ride to be someone else for a little while.”
Javier looked at Owen, and Owen saw a familiar expression there, one that he hadn’t seen in a long time. Monroe was right. Back when they’d been best friends, when Javier saw something that made him curious, he got this look of determined excitement, a furrowed brow with a grin. He had that look now, and Owen wondered if that was the real reason Javier had come that night.
“Okay,” Javier said. “I’ll do it.”
“Right on,” Monroe said. “Come up and have a seat.” Then he turned to some of the consoles and blinking lights.
Javier slipped by Owen and moved past the computer equipment to the recliner, and as he lowered himself slowly into it, Owen felt a surge of anger and resentment. Somehow, his former best friend was doing what Owen had come here to do. Javier was supposed to help him, not take his place.
Javier lay back, his hands up on the recliner’s armrests. Monroe sat down on a swivel chair next to him, and brought out a kind of plastic gauntlet connected to the main computer terminal with a tangle of wires.
“Hold out your right arm, please.” Monroe opened the gauntlet like a clamshell.
“What’s that?” Javier asked.
“This is a scanner,” Monroe said. “It sends the genetic reading to the Animus core for analysis. Just hold out your forearm.”
Javier pulled up the sleeve on his hoodie, and Monroe closed the gauntlet around his exposed arm.
“You’ll feel a pinch,” Monroe said, “from the blood draw.”
; But Javier didn’t flinch.
“Good.” Monroe spun in the chair to face a computer monitor, and typed away at the keyboard.
Owen moved to where he could see the screen, but none of the windows or text scrolling by made any sense to him.
“Hey,” Javier said, his voice low. “Owen.”
Owen turned to look at him.
“You okay with this?”
Owen shrugged. “Yeah.”
“You sure?”
“Does it matter?”
Javier didn’t answer.
Monroe tapped at the keyboard for another few moments. “Excellent,” he said. “Very promising.”
“What is?” Javier asked.
“Give me a minute,” Monroe said. More tapping. More screen flashes. Then he looked up from the terminal toward Owen. “Let’s check something.”
“What?” Owen asked.
“Genetic Memory Concordance.” Monroe pulled out a second gauntlet. “Give me your arm.”
Owen folded his arms instead. “I thought you said—”
“This isn’t about your dad,” Monroe said. “I want to analyze your compatibility with Javier.”
“What does that mean?” Javier asked.
“If you both had an ancestor present at the same event,” Monroe said, “then your genetic memories will sort of … overlap. You can share a simulation. The combined data actually makes the rendering more robust.”
“You mean we both go into the simulation?” Owen asked. “Together?”
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