We start our journey in the 1950s when five men serving under the French Foreign Legion become friends after the Legion disbands. Those men later end up being terrorists, killers and crime lords, but they once again start working together on a project when an idea of creating an army of perfect men is shared by the German scientist Otto Wolfgang Ort-Meyer.
The Five Fathers all donate their DNA to the project hoping to receive men that would follow any order they gave them without hesitation. They also fund the project letting the scientist open up a research facility in a Romanian mental hospital. Ort-Meyer decides on creating a superhuman speciment for each one of them, yet after realizing the importance of the 47th chromosome (and how wasteful it is to spend it on hair) he leaves the best clone for himself. That clone ends up with a serial number of 640509-040147 and is born on September 5th, 1964. Shortly after, Ort-Meyer starts a diary documenting the growth of his favorite “son” and said diary is the main source of this section.
It is April 1970, 47 is 6. He is learning fast, but is very quiet and withdrawn. He is also known for carefully observing his surroundings. After a white rabbit escapes from the lab, 47 finds the animal and shows signs of affection towards it. The staff lets him keep it.
47 starts to become violent towards the medical staff. In particular, he dislikes needles. The staff is surprised how strong he is when the two of the biggest men have to restrain him just to administer the vaccine.
So, I should probably mention now that there are some flashbacks 47 has in the Hitman Damnation novel. They are written from his own perspective and there are a lot of circumstances which deem them not entirely reliable. They also don’t fit the image of a quiet, withdrawn boy 47 supposed to be. In one of those flashbacks, 47 has to swim through a lake in winter when Ort-Meyer watches him. In the other, he violently kills a snake by crushing him with his hands. It should now be pretty obvious as to why I’m not talking about them in detail… Let’s just go back to Ort-Meyer’s diary.
May, 1972 – the rabbit 47’s been taking care of dies. The staff lets the boy have a funeral for his pet during which it’s being noted that 47 sheds a tear.
1975 – the barcodes are added to the clones in addition to the already tattoo’d serial number on the back of the head. The scanner are also being installed in the facility to help distinguish the boys and keep track of them.
47 is 14 when Ort-Meyer realizes how different the clones are in terms of personality and skill. 47 still is very quiet and observant, but proves to be an amazing marksman and student. The staff finds hand-made slingshots and other weapons and confiscates them from 47 on multiple occasions.
We now venture into the realm of Enemy Within – the first Hitman novel, published in 2007. We will be discussing it more later, but for now this is all you get. This information might not be canon and the time frame isn’t specified, but personally, I think it fits here pretty well. Let’s get to it.
Ort-Meyer invites his friends and associates for a showdown of skill and strength of his sons. That showdown is a kickboxing match held in the facility’s gymnasium. 47’s records are above average, but his introversion pales in comparison to the character of 6 – a boy that constantly taunts and insults everyone else. The clones are set to fight on the ring which results in 47 losing to 6, being injured and removed from the ring by the staff. After months of abuse, a night in the infirmary finally gives 47 determination to take matters into his own hands. He observes 6 and finds out about his habits, then uses this knowledge to kill him using a hand-made fibre wire during his morning visits to the restroom. Having murdered the boy, 47 escapes the asylum and wonders around in a city of Brașov where he is found by Headmaster Lazlow. (There is a discrepancy here. In the Ort-Meyer letter in Codename 47, his location is the town of Satu Mare. Brașov isn’t even close to Satu Mare, but I guess if Enemy Within is canon than we might assume Ort-Meyer was traveling?) Lazlow tells him that both himself and Ort-Meyer are proud of 47’s first kill. The boy is then brought back to the facility.
Back in Ort-Meyer’s diary, 47 is 20 when one of the members of the medical staff is found heavily wounded and unconscious with several needles in his arm during the clones’ routine blood sample test. 47 is calm after the incident and the team realizes that from now on, every medical procedure has to be done with a guard accompanying the doctor.
1987. One of the other Five Fathers shows up for 47’s shooting practice. He comments that the targets seem too easy for the clone as he is starting to create smiley patterns on the cardboard. Ort-Meyer states that “47’s skills seem perfect, but his mind has his own ways”.
September 5th, 1989 marks 47’s 25th birthday. The clone is unaware of it, but Ort-Meyer finds interest in the fact that 47 became more mature. The scientist also dubs him perfect for his upcoming ideas.
Every Father is now a major figure in their respective organizations and in war with their enemies. They need men power, yet Ort-Meyer replies with a vague message about having to move the lab as the staff is getting intimidated with the project’s implications. He again reminds them that 47 belongs only to himself, but he will share his work with the others. Whatever he means by that is to be seen…