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Chapter 15: Eve
She was ready when they arrived, but she’d have never expected to meet Lara. Seeing her enter after Kurtis, she paled and involuntarily retreated in the chair. She stared for a moment at the imposing female figure, then looked down, unable to bear her gaze, which burned like fire.
“Well.” Lara muttered between her teeth. “Indeed, the devil looks after his own.”
“That’s fitting for you as well, Lara Croft.” She just left out without thinking. The flesh could be weak, and the body hurt, but the pride was still intact. She retreated again as she heard the British explorer take a deep breath.
“I promised to cooperate, so I’ll cooperate.” Lara said, addressing Kurtis. “But if she jabs at me, I’ll strike her pretty face, and I'll turn it inside out.”
“It’ll help a little if you don’t provoke her.” Kurtis sighed, but then gestured to the woman sitting in the chair. “You heard her.
Chapter 14: Return
Every return is sad in some way. Lara was more than used to it. The only one jumping in excitement was Jean, since for the first time, he had access to Loanna’s underground tomb, now finally unwarded, with nothing blocking his way. Apparently, the function of that sacred sanctuary had definitely ended. No more messages. No more secrets. It was wide and ready for human plunder.
The French Egyptologist made the arrangements at full speed. In just a few hours he contacted the medievalists that would cooperate, gave away the dig’s rights to a specialist in Middle-Ages Egypt, and was reassured in contenting himself with the merits of the discovery. Not for a moment thought about Kurtis' opinion on it, nor did he bother to ask about the message that Loanna had delivered or why Anna and Lara seemed so downcast.
Not because he was a bad person, though. Simply, the man had many things in his head at that time, and he overflowed with enthusiasm.
Yes, the return to Cairo hotel was sad
Chapter 13: Fate
It was like walking in a dream.
She could be fourteen years old and considered herself, in many aspects, already a woman, but truth be told, she was still a child. Children rarely doubt their parents, they trust them, believe in their words. She wasn’t different at all and the ties that bound her to Lara and Kurtis were even tighter, as she’d been instructed to trust, to obey, to act fast, both alone and as a team, because her safety depended on it when traveling with them around the world.
But to have before her eyes the realization of what they had told her was real, that it actually happened, even though she’d believed them blindly regardless of whether she saw it or not, was a rewarding, euphoric sensation.
There was Loanna's tomb, and it was just as they had described it. The circular, large chamber, with traces of soot and scorched stone where Karel's powers had impacted. The beautiful white sarcophagus in the centre, with the reclining lady, delicate, beautiful
Chapter 12: Chosen
The flight to Egypt was sad, despite Jean Yves being excited about their arrival, an enthusiasm born of interest, of course, but honest, after all.
Usually Anna would annoy Lara on flights – which were rarely short-timed, in her case – with lots of mindless chattering, moving around in her seat, strolling along the corridor or bothering the cabin crew with insightful questions. Now, the girl sitting next to her remained silent and motionless, at times looking out the window, at times dozing slightly. She didn’t eat, she didn’t sleep, and she answered everything in monosyllables.
Lara had no intention of pressuring her to speak. Anyway, she already knew everything she needed to know. Anna was angry with her, angry at him and, being in her teens, she didn’t know how to manage that anger. For the first time, none of her requests and protests were answered – neither good nor bad. She just didn’t know how to react.
As for herself, Lara took advantag
Chapter 19: The Supreme Temptation
At that moment, Dr. Boaz, extremely pale and twisting her fingers, asked to see Karel.
“What do you want?” He said, looking up from Rouzic’s notes about the Periapt’s symbolism.
“The woman is under treatment, as commanded, Meister.” She said. “If we continue the dose for some days we’ll have her docile and completely at your mercy.”
Karel looked at Giselle and smiled with amusement at seeing her overwhelmed look and her clenched teeth. “You can barely hide your hatred and loathing for Lara Croft.”
The scientist bit her lower lip. “That woman's hateful and despicable! She's spent two days tied up and under treatment, yet still she dares to challenge me.”
“Well, be grateful at least she didn't bite you.” Karel chuckled.
“You can’t negotiate with that bitch. She hates you, mein Meister, and she’ll do anything to damage you.”
The Nephilim shrugged and added: “That will on
Chapter 18: Giselle Boaz
Lara wondered if it was worth opening her eyes. She already knew what she was going to see: nothing. The Laboratory’s rooms were locked and bolted, leaving the patients in darkness, bound to stretchers and without any chance to move.
She silently reviewed all similar situations she’d been in, and came to the sad conclusion that this was by far the worst. Her ankles and wrists hurt when trying in vain to remove the straps. The slightest movement was torture.
Darkness had sharpened her hearing, so she could hear murmuring, far-off crying, and the occasional scream or screeching metal. So at least she wasn't totally isolated.
But where was she? That place resembled the Strahov Sanitarium, which she knew by Kurtis’ descriptions. As to what they would do to her, Lara guessed it, and while not harbouring any hope of getting rid of that, she resolutely decided not to give the enemy the satisfaction of seeing her desperation.
The door opened with a clang and a pulsing yellow
Chapter 15: Putai
It was getting dark when they left the stronghold. The return trip had been easy, with the skeletons leading the way, though Lara felt awkward about following a bunch of bones who treated Kurtis with great respect, and was mostly miffed when she noticed the traps didn't react to his presence. She commented about taking Kurtis everywhere from then on to avoid booby-traps and also something about her work no longer having any intrigue or passion.
The sunlight blinded their eyes when they came out. Jean, who was there leading the excavators, ran towards them: “How did it go? Sacré bleu!” He said, looking at Kurtis. “What happened, Monsieur Trent?” Kurtis had half of his face black with clotted blood.
“Occupational hazards,” said Lara. “Is the infirmary already set up?”
“Yes, by there.”
Upon entering the stronghold, they had left behind a wasteland devastated by the sirocco, but now there was a real camp.
Kurtis refused help
Chapter 16: Bloodstained Sand
Screams and gunfire woke her up. Lara jumped out of bed and took the shotgun from under the bundle of clothes she was using as her pillow, then she decided she couldn’t go out in her underwear and hurriedly put on some clothes. She secured the Periapt in her backpack and left the tent.
“What the…?” She exclaimed... and then she saw it. Several Jeeps were arriving, from which men were jumping off and invading the camp, armed with submachine guns, led by... “Gunderson!” Lara cursed a thousand times for not having killed him when she had the chance.
Chaos erupted. The terrified excavators fled to the only place that seemed safe: the stronghold. The Bedouin, who felt war as if it were in their own blood, took up arms with savage cries and rushed to meet the invaders. The result was one group bumping into the other and forming a maze of terrified and angry people, all yelling amidst the fuss.
“Oh, c'mon.” Lara muttered, annoyed.