Trail Of A Dead Man


Tom and Susan Malloy

The golden grains of sand flowed through the scorching breeze baking in the fiery unforgiving sun. For miles laid mounds of sand as far as the eye could see. And in the center on the top of a hill, a camel pushed his way up with his legs and let out a grunt. On his back were several packs and a person draped in cloth. The persons face and head were completely covered and only there sharp brown eyes were in view. They pushed across the endless sands of the desert and were a tiny flea compared to its size.

The camel and the person on its back came to a small village consisting of tents that were waving in the desert breeze. The camel stopped in front of a tent and the person climbed off and pushed the cloth out of there way and stepped inside. The tent was dark, and the light shining in illuminated only the few feet in front of them. The person stepped forward, and approached a table. A women wrapped in black cloth sat in a chair casually. Her old wrinkled fingers with her sharp nails held onto a golden pendent. “please..sit” the women said in a cold and rough voice with her piercing green eyes staring down the person. The person sat down slowly. The women turned, her eyes like small crystals and the exposed dark silky hair ran down past the charm on her forehead.

“you have come for your desired item?” she said.

The person nodded

“how do you know it even exists?” she said sounding intrigued

“I have my sources, and they tell me you hold it.”

The women was silent then her eyes became less aggressive. “your sources were right” she said pulling out a small edged silver piece.

The person pulled down there mask to reveal a ponytail and a smooth face. “they always are.” The women folded her hands “it was a pleasure to speak with you Lara” she said.

Lara walked toward the door holding the piece. “Hurry, before the storm arrives” the women said softly and mysteriously. Lara looked outside. A large golden wall loomed on the horizon and came charging toward the village. Lara jumped on board the camel and clicked her tongue to order it to get running. They raced out of the village, the sand storm came closer and seemed unavoidable. Lara’s eyes spotted a small tomb ahead and snapped the reins to charge inside the tomb. Lara jumped off and covered her head against a wall. The sand splashed over the tomb like a tornado and came blasting in through the openings. It sounded like millions of screams, and became dark. Suddenly light shined again and it became silent. The camel grunted, shaking off the sand on his head. Lara stepped outside into the blinding sun. The village had been washed away by the sand storm, Lara put her head down in grief for a moment then looked at her acquired piece and cupped it in her hand.

Lara turned a tattered page in a journal on her fathers desk in the crypt under the Croft manor that is still in construction. Lara placed her fingers on the metal headset. “Zip can you here me?” asked Lara. “loud an clear” said Zip sounding excited. The room was dusty and becoming cold.

“So what was the whole reason you traveled to Egypt anyway?” asked Zip.

Lara pondered before answering. “to collect an item of my fathers that a women was holding.” said Lara digging through files. “And you traveled half way around the world all for that!?” said Zip.

Lara took out the silver piece. “The piece is of Norse mythology by the inscriptions carved into it. But nothing in the desk or any of his files even mention it or even describes what it is, all it said was that the women in Egypt was keeping it as a favor before he died.” Lara closed on of the book she was looking over. “ which doesn’t make sense at all, father always kept records of his findings. I’m hoping the answer or a clue lies within his journals possibly.”

Lara flipped open a book and flipped through it quickly and a piece of paper flew out. Lara unfolded it and found a diary entry.

“what do we have here?” asked Lara intrigued.

“A lost journal entry? About what?” said Zip uninterested.

“Its about the Norse god Loki, It says here that Loki was a giant, but he became a member of the gods when Odin made Loki his blood brother. He is the god of mischief, a trickster, and very cunning. Loki possessed the ability to shapshift into anything or anyone he desires. Loki was one day he was bound by the gods until the great battle of Ragnarok for causing the death of the god Balder. He is the father of the wolf fenrir, and the world serpent Jörmungandr. In the battle of Ragnarok, Loki and the god Heimdall were destined to slay each other. Father must have studied this god when he was searching for thor’s treasures.” Lara read aloud.

Lara then heard a noise from behind her. She quickly turned to the entrance. Zip walked in casually. Lara sighed in relief.

“Zip, I thought I told you to..”

Static came over the head set. “Lara, you ok? I lost signal.” said Zip over the headset. Lara became confused and then looked at the Zip standing in front of her. Lara pulled out her pistols. He smiled, then something grasped Lara from behind like a snake constricting her body. Lara fought to shake it off and the constrictor knocked her guns across the room past the desk against a pillar. Lara settled down and started at who was holding her. It was a women, she had very short golden blonde hair above her ears and styled side ways above her eyebrows. She wore a light baby blue suit and her facial features were flawless, like an android.

“Don’t try and fight Lara” she said with her cold voice.

A sharp sword came to her neck, it was beautiful to look at with its design and looked incredibly sharp. Lara looked over at the zip imposture. He clapped as he walked toward Lara and his skin, clothes, and features changed form. The form was now of a man. The man was dressed formally and had a short stubby beard and short sharp hair with brown eyes and yellow crooked teeth. He held a gold ring on his finger.

“The heavens have blessed this day to meet the beautiful Lara Croft.” said the man in his smooth voice.

“What are you and what the hell are you doing here!?” said Lara fiercely.

The man walked right up to Lara’s face with his cold breath.

“Me and my colleague behind you Madame Jone are trying to find your fathers artifacts and treasures he found, Like these.”

Lara examined them with a closer look and a memory popped in the front of her mind. “The Andvarinaunt ring and the skofnung sword, my father had those pieces!?” asked Lara in disbelief.

“How ironic is it that the daughter of one of the greatest man on earth knows so little about him. And these are only the beginning of the artifacts your father found. And this pointless book.”

The man threw the book on the floor and the dust blew off of it at it hit the cold rock. The man began to walk out of the room and the women raised the sword about to strike. Lara thrusted her elbow into the women’s chest and then punched her in the jaw releasing her grip on Lara and collapsing on the floor like a crash test dummy. Lara ran toward one of her guns. She dove and rolled toward it and picked it up and held it firmly in her hand. She saw the book the man had thrown on the floor and picked it up and placed it unnoticeably in her backpack. The women got up and the man turned with a pistol in his hand. He fired at Lara and the bullet brushed by a lock of Lara’s hair. She ran behind a pillar next to the crates of artifacts from Bhogavati. She hid behind the pillar with her gun firmly in hand keeping an eye on them. The women struggled to her feet and picked up the sword. “Running like a coward!” she grunted as she swung the sword. The sword let out a bolt of white energy, almost like lightning behind the pillar. But Lara was not behind it. The man looked up to see Lara on a beam above waving and then jump into the corridor above.

Lara ran through the halls of the old manor. The burn marks and left over pieces of rubble still remained on the floor and construction equipment laid scattered as well. The smell of ashes still remained in the air. Lara ran through her room and the hallway into the main hall. Construction equipment was scattered around and the repair beams glimmered in the sunlight that shined in the burn holes in the ceiling into the main hall. “Seems you don’t know your manor well either” said a voice. Lara turned to the hallway on the second floor and saw the man and jone standing with a grin. Lara knew she couldn’t fight them with those weapons and one pistol and little stock on bullets. She ran toward the door and out into the main courtyard toward the street. The man and women were close behind. Lara jumped in the back of Zips van. “start the car” she said as Zip zoomed down the street . The manor slowly disappeared behind the hills and Lara closed the back doors of the van and wiped the sweat from her forehead.

The van pulled into a circle drive in front of a towering and wide mansion. Towers and huge detailed windows decorated the home. Roses and yellow buds flooded the garden. A stone angel child spilled water into the fountain in the center. The black van stopped in front of the two large doors. Lara got out and Zip followed behind. Lara banged the large lion knocker and a man answered.

“Hello, may I help you?” said an old man in a suit.

“Were here to see Professor Eddington. Is he available?” asked Lara.

Eddington came up from behind the butler. “Lara! Please come in, it would be my honor.”

Lara and Zip stepped into the large foyer with marble beneath them and a large staircase to the side. They sat down on the leather couch with a view of the gardens outside from the large window. “comfy” said Zip relaxing on the couch.

“May I offer you a drink, some shampane, a glass of water?” asked Eddington. “No, we just came to talk” Eddington sat down and Lara pulled out the book.

“This book contains fathers last notes to date talking about an unrecorded trip to the North Pole.” Eddington started at the book. “Your father did write about his explorations in his journals.” Lara leaned closer. “Yes, but in this he talks about going on this trip at the same time he was to travel to Cambodia where he soon passed away. Now why would he schedule two explorations on the same day in two different parts of the world?” asked Lara.

Eddington looked puzzled, he started touching the neck of his sweater vest.

“This is a mystery indeed, especially since there was no records of even traveling to that location before.”

“And we have another problem.” said Zip.

“what is it?” asked Eddington closing the book.

“My old manor was raided for my fathers artifacts this morning by two unknown individuals. One of them however had the ability to change from Zip to a man right in front of my eyes.” said Lara.

Eddington became concerned. “My god. Did you contact the authorities?”

“I don’t think that authorities are much help here, especially against a shape shifter and the fact that both of them packing several supernatural weapons.” said Zip casually.

“How can someone do this, to the honor of your father and the utter disrespect to those artifacts.”

“took the words right out of my mouth.” said Zip with a smirk.

“Then you better take these” said Eddigntion walking to a drawer.

He placed a key in the hole and pulled it open. He pulled out a pocket watch and other various items. “what are those?” asked Lara.

“These are some of your fathers valuables. He left these few items to me in his will.” said Eddigntion putting them in Lara’s hands.

“If those thieves are after your fathers valuables then I think that they’ll be safer in your hands then mine.”

Lara opened the pocket watch. A picture of Lara and her parents in a family photo on one side and a clock with a heart holding the big and small hand together and “Love is what keeps a man going” engraved on the bottom. Lara closed it and was lost in a mixture of thought and emotion.

The pocket watch began to tick louder and Lara opened it. The hands were pointing at noon time. Lara held it side to side and no matter what it still pointed in that direction.

“This isn’t a pocket watch Eddington its actually a compass.” Eddington peaked over her shoulder.

“It must be pointing to wherever has a heavy amount of magnetism that this tool is picking up” said Lara staring into the distance. Eddington walked up to Lara and put his hand on her shoulder. “We’ll figure this out Lara, I promise.” said Eddington sounding reassuring. Lara was silent looking at the pocket watch when she saw a shadow out of the corner of her eye. She turned and saw a man run from the back court yard. Lara took off running and Zip and Eddington chased after her wondering what she was doing. Lara ran out through the back doors and into the garden. She saw the shadow again running through the bushes. Lara gave chase, her boots tearing up the flowers with her great speed. “Lara wait up, stop” yelled Eddington and Zip chasing after her. The shadow ran into the green house. Lara knew she had him cornered. She ran through the glass doors into the large sea of plants. The moist hair cleaned her face and the sprinklers activated providing nutrients to the several containers of plants. Lara pulled out her pistols, she stepped slowly thought the green house and she saw the shadow in the corner. “who are you!” order Lara pointing the pistols. The man turned, his face was like stepping back in time. It was the face of Lara’s father. Lara hesitated. And suddenly something grasped her shoulder. Lara turned quickly to see Zip and Eddington.

“what are you doing!?” asked Zip.

Lara turned and the shadow was gone.

“Did you see the man!?” asked Lara.

“we didn’t see anyone Lara” said Zip concerned. Lara gathered herself still confused and thought she was just seeing things. “thank you for your time Eddington. I apologize for my little chase of shadows I gave there.” said Lara shaking Eddingtons hand still with questions in her mind.

The tires skidded against the leaves and dirt on the ground and the motor came to a stop as Lara put the lever down. The jungle was thick and teaming with birds and snakes. Lara stepped off her motorcycle and her feet touched the soft grass as she started off the cliff into the sea of trees and hills. Lara took out her binoculars and stared into the distance and a large structure covered in moss and vines. Lara took out the pocket watch and the hands pointed in the direction of the structure. Static came over the headset. “So the Amazon rain forest holds the next clue to your fathers hidden voyage.” said Zip in excitement. Lara put her binoculars back on her belt. “Looks like it, and those ruins must contain it.” A Macaw flew by Lara’s head. “I’ll inform you if it leads anywhere Zip. So please, I need to do this on my own.” Lara turned off the headset and revved up her bike. The tires blasted down the cliff and into the thick trees and brush ahead. Plants smacked Lara in the arms and face as they sped by. And then suddenly an opening appeared. And a large building towered above her.

Lara left her bike behind and stepped up to the large temple. The markings were of Peruvian culture. “They must have spread off into the Amazon” Lara said to herself. She noticed a smalls device on the side of the wall. She pressed it in and the door rose upward. Dust blew in Lara’s face and cooled off the sweat on her forehead from the humid forest. She stepped inside and saw a long hallway into darkness. She took a step in and continued forward. She turned on her utility light to illuminate the way. She then heard a rumble from behind her. The floor beneath her began to split open up and spikes started to rise out of it. Lara ran for her life, and her feet were running out of room to keep moving. She could feel the needles against her knees. A statue overlooked her from above. Lara got an idea, she pulled out her grapple and attached it to the statue and swung to the other side. She loved the thrill that it gave her and then saw a light up ahead. The light was coming from the ceiling and shining down in a huge room with a large statue of the goddess Freyja. Lara approached the beautiful statue and stood admiring its beauty. “The Norse Goddess Freyja, In the Eddas, Freya is portrayed as a goddess of love, beauty, and fertility. Blonde, blue-eyed, and beautiful, Freyja is described as the fairest of all goddesses, and people prayed to her for happiness in love. She was also called on to assist childbirths and prayed to for good seasons.” Lara said to herself. “Looks like the Norse settled here as well. The pocket watch’s hands began to spin. “This must be the source of the specific magnetism that it was picking up.” Lara walked over to the statue and noticed it was made out of a strange type of rock. “This material must be giving it off.” Lara said stroking the sharp stone. She then noticed a carving in the statue. It was in her fathers handwriting. “Like your mothers symbol of our love, she embraces it with her gentle touch.”

Lara then noticed something, a device in front of the statue. Lara walked up to it and studied it. “these must be ancient controls” Lara touched one of the switches and the statue began to move. Lara then moved another switch and the other arm began to move and she figured out each section controls different parts of the arm. Lara then spotted a stone necklace carved onto the statue. “That must be Freyja’s necklace, said that when she wore it not even the gods could resist her charms. It was also her prized possession.” Lara said to herself in the quiet room. Lara then remembered her fathers carving. She then thought of what it meant. “The pendent? That you gave mother. And she touches it with her gentle hands” Lara repeated and trying to decode it. Lara then figured it out. She fiddled with the controls and moved the wrist and the arm so then moved toward the necklace. Lara positioned the hands so they both touched the necklace. Suddenly a door opened below the statue and revealed an entrance. “Looks like once again you give me a clue that only I would be able to figure out.” said Lara walking in the new room. But it was small and empty. Only a light stand stood in the middle. “Not like father to leave his equipment in a sight like this.” Her finger activated a switch and the light turned on. It barely had any power and tried to shine through the dust. Lara moved it shining it on the wall and more writing revealed itself. Lara approached it and read it allowed trying to make it out. . “There coordinates” Lara said after a moment of trying to decipher it. “Zip, where do these coordinates lead?” asked Lara to Zip over the headset putting the coordinates up to the camera on the headset. Lara looked down and saw a shiny sleek medal piece that was the same shape of the piece she recovered from the women. Lara worried about it later and placed it inside her backpack. She pulled back the zipper when she heard a noise from behind her. “Lara” said a voice that sounded exactly like her fathers. Lara zoomed around. She saw a figure again standing in the entrance in a suit like her father used to wear. “father?” asked Lara. She stepped closer. The shadow backed up. Lara ran after it and reached out her hand. As soon as she came in contact, it faded away. Lara was overwhelmed with emotion including anger and confusion. “Zip did you figure out the coordinates?” asked Lara getting back to work “I-t looks like, the north pole.” said Zip. Lara stood up. I need to first see something first hand, and then I’m In the mood for a little cold” she said.

The black clouds dripped rain on England with several flashes of lighting. The streets were dark and wet and deserted. Lighting illuminated the alleyways for a minor second before going back to pitch black. Lara pulled up in her motorcycle in front of the gates in the cemetery. She took her helmet off and the rain slid off her black leather jacket and boots. She then picked up the shovel from the back. Lara pushed open the cold metal gates and it opened with a screech. Lara stepped through the grass that was running with mud underneath it. For miles Lara passed an endless amount of tomb stones in all directions, she was surrounded. Lara’s eyes searched from side to side looking for something, she then saw something in the distance and walked toward it. Lighting exploded in the heavens above her, and there Lara saw a large statue of a man, her father. Lara approached the statue and the dozens of flowers and decorations around the memorial.

She took a moment of silence pondering over her father. The rain drops slid down her face masking few tears. “A great Archeologist, An extraordinary man” was engraved on the statue and “Husband, Father, Legend” and his time of birth to time of death was written on the tomb stone next to it. Lara rubbed her hand against the grave. “I’m sorry father, but I must know this” said Lara. Lara stood looking emotionless. She stabbed the shovel into the dirt and began flinging it backwards and repeating the process. Wet mud flew through the air. After moments of flinging dirt, Lara’s shovel hit something hard. She looked down and saw a Large black casket. She dropped the shovel to the wet mud. Lara pulled it up close to the surface. She ran her hand down the edge wondering if she was about to do the right thing and if she had the courage to do it even. She placed her hand on the latch and unhooked it. She placed her fingers In the position and barely lifted. The lid slowly began to rise. The space inside grew larger as it rose. Thoughts ran through Lara’s head. Her fingers began to shake. Blood rushed through her veins. The lid was almost completely lifted. Lara couldn’t bare the sight. She closed her eyes and turned her head. The lid hit the top and wouldn’t move anymore. Lara was too scared to open her eyes and see. She knew she had too, she slowly lifted one eye lid and then another and creaked her neck over to the sight. A skeleton in a ripped dusty suit with dead flowers in his hand laid still in the casket. Lara could barely stare at the sight. Her lips trembled, and she backed up slowly. “My father is dead, he’s right here, my father is not alive” Lara said to herself over and over.

Lara had accomplished what she had come for. She approached the casket and was prepared to close it shut. She then hesitated and stared at her father one last time. She reached out her hand to touch it. Her fingers touched the ripped and torn suit. As her finger contacted the suit. A bright blue light came from the casket. Lara jerked back and covered her eyes from the bright light. When the light vanished she turned back to see the skeleton was different. The bone structure was in a completely different size then before aswell. Lara thought nothing of it, just more hallucinations she thought to her self. She accomplished what she had come for. Lara closed the casket and pushed it back in the dirt and showered the mud back on top of it. Lara swung the shovel over her shoulder. And headed back toward the bike. “Lara” said a voice in her fathers tone. Lara turned and searched the graveyard again. She then looked at a grave and above it stood Richard. He was smiling and waved to Lara. She stepped forward slowly. Realizing that digging up her father didn’t help. “Who are you? What are you? My father is dead!” Lara shouted to the figure. Richard laughed and stepped back into the shadows again. “Sometimes things aren’t always what they seem Lara” said the figure. Lara charged at the figure. The figure ran through he endless rows of graves and Lara charged close behind. The figure got to the gate and was about to run into the street. Lara almost had him, he was in reach when suddenly something appeared in front of her and grabbed her by the wrists. Lara squirmed to get free. “What are you doing!?” said a voice, it was Zip. Lara tried desperately to break free of his grip but he wouldn’t let go. “Are you chasing after an imaginary figure of your dad again!?” yelled Zip with the rain pouring from his face. “Let go of me Zip!” order Lara. Zip shook her so she would stop squirming. “Its not real Lara! Its all in your head! Your insane! You have to let this go!” Lara whipped her hand out from his grip and pulled out a pistol and aimed it at him. Zip backed up from the gun and the rain dripping off of it. “I’m not crazy Zip, now if you don’t get out of my way I’ll make you!” said Lara with a cold look on her face and pointed the gun directly at Zip with her finger tight on the trigger. “Look at yourself Lara, your obsessed with this, you’ve lost it” said Zip. Lara looked at what she was doing and came to terms that she was seeing things and realized what she has done. Lara lowered her pistol and fell to her knees in the wet mud. And thought over the last events. Zip walked over to her. “I’m going to end this now, and maybe my head will finally be at peace.” said Lara. She walked over to her motorcycle and put on her helmet and the headlight came on and the engine roared. She took off down the road and Zip looked on in concern.

A polar bear roared into the icy wind with its large thick silky white coat. The ice began to wither away in the burning sun that was piercing the below freezing temperatures like a knife. The ice began to crack and split apart like reproducing germs leaving some animals stranded on the ice.

A helicopter sped by above. Lara stood in the seat in her thick coat keeping her warm and the pilot steering next to her. Lara read over the coordinates that Zip deciphered from the temple and more of her fathers journal. The helicopter loomed over the endless sea of cracking ice as far as the eye could see until they came to a stable area. The machine started going off. “The coordinates say were here. I’ll get ready” said Lara moving in the back of the helicopter and opening the side door letting the freezing snow blow inside. Lara put on her parachute and then pushed her snowmobile off as well. It fell to the ground and then the parachute opened catching it. Lara signaled the pilot and jumped as well. The wind blew against her face as she plummeted toward the ice. The ground was approaching fast and Lara pulled the cord. The sheet flew up in the air and revealed It had a large rip inside of it. Lara panicked and had to act quickly. She steered her body toward a small body of water in between two colliding pieces of ice. Lara took the chance and she crashed into the dark, freezing ocean. Her bones were becoming numb, she pushed her self to the surface and filled her lungs back up with air. She climbed up ontop of the ice and saw her snowmobile next to her. The pilot saw her climb out of the water and grunted. His skin changed color and his facial and bone structure suddenly took shape to the man from before who raided Lara’s home. “Stubborn little peasant isn’t the women” the man said to himself. Lara started up at the helicopter and unhooked the parachutes. The helicopter came rushing toward her as if to ram her. She saw the man inside, she hopped aboard her snowmobile and kicked snow up in the air and ice dust and sped off. The helicopter kept on her trail through the snow hills. Lara pulled out her pistol and fired backward. Cracking the windshield but the rest didn’t leave a mark, they just bounced off like they were nothing.

A large crack in the ice appeared up ahead. Lara saw a snow bank she could use as a ramp. She sped up the engine and charged up the ramp and then glided in mid air over the crack. The vehicle came plummeting down. Lara knew she couldn’t lose him. She saw a dead end up ahead. She skidded trying not to crash into the snow and faced the helicopter. She stepped off her bike and took out her pistols. She fired multiple shots but they were doing anything. She then noticed the rotor spinning on the back. She aimed her pistols. The cold steel firmly in her hands. She pulled the trigger launching two bullets in the air. They flew toward the rotor and hit it dead on. The rotor shattered like glass and flames irrupted from it. The helicopter began to spin like a tornado and then fell to the ground like a ton of bricks. A large explosion accrued as it slammed into the ground. Flaming pieces of metal shot in the air. Lara put her guns back in the holsters then noticed the large blades spinning right toward her. Lara dived out of the way as the blades sliced into the snow behind her. Lara gathered her breath as it became quite and only the sound of metal burning was heard. Lara got to her feet and went back to the coordinates.

The censors indicated Lara was right ontop of it. She examine the snow mound in front of her and the large sheet of ice around it. Lara looked closer in the ice and saw Nordic writing. She knew she was in the right spot. Lara grabbed the large pick axe from her snowmobile and started pounding away at the ice. With each swing more and more chips began to fall. Lara’s breath became shortened as she repeatedly chipped away. She took on last final swing and stood back. The ice began to crack like glass and then it all fell away to reveal an icy corridor leading down. “Now that’s worth all that work” said Lara. She stepped down into the corridor and then her feet touched stone. The rest of the path was straight ahead and was all rock and Norse symbols. Lara continued down the path passing by small puddles of eitr on the side of the hall way. The room got colder with every step. Her breath almost became ice instantly. The hallway ended and Lara came to a large door. It had the same symbols as the ones she’s seen before. Lara pondered for a slight moment. “Better to come prepared” she said pulling out one of Thor’s gauntlets. She put it on her right hand and it began to glow. It still had some charge in it from the last time she used it. She placed her hand on the door and pulled slightly and the door opened with ease. The room behind it blinded Lara with light. She stepped in and saw herself on a platform and several more around her with giant snake statues around her, and way down below lied a large pool of eitr.

Lara peered over at a large door, bigger then the ones she seen before. It had a hole in it in a shape of a symbol. Almost like a key hole. Lara began to move when she heard a voice. Across on the far platform in front of the door Madame Jone and the man from before walked in front of Lara’s view with a smile on there faces. “You should know by now Lara that it will take a lot more then that to kill someone like me” said the man. Lara was confused and stayed quiet. “Hm, for being Lara Croft she sure doesn’t know a lot.” said Jone. Lara pulled out a pistol.

“What Is your purpose!?” asked Lara.

The man laughed. “to get back the power and control that I had and always wanted. And your father found and studied the artifacts that we need to get that” said the man.

“First tell me who the hell are you!” order Lara with her pistol aimed at him.

The man laughed and began walking. “I can be anyone! And I am anyone!” His form turned into a variety of different people as he walked. His shape then turned from a random man to Lara’s father.

“I could even be your very own father” he said in Richards own voice. Lara became angry. Her eyes were filled with fury, trying to resist going mad with the pistol.

“But if you really must know who I am, I am the god of mischief, the god of tricks and outsmarting men.” His shape turned to a man with long blonde hair with perfect features.

“I am Loki”

“Impossible, I want my answer now!” said Lara refusing to accept what he said and her gun still locked on him.

“Your surrounded by impossibility Lara. You’re the last human I would expect to say that, even after everything you’ve seen.” said Loki. Lara thought over his words and then relaxed her arm and the gun ceased to point directly at him.

“How are you still alive, you were killed by Heimdall in Ragnarok.” Lara calmly asked.

“I believe Jone can give you the answer you desire”

Jone stepped in front of Loki, she walked with perfect posture. “Your father and I met each other at Harvard University. He told me of a trip to the artic region. So being the curious women that I was, I followed him here and upon my arrival I came across a set of Norse ruins much like the one were standing in right now. In my excavation I came to a set of hieroglyphs telling the story of a ritual and a machine that could bring the gods back here to earth. And in the tomb we recovered Loki’s helmet. When we came to the machine we placed the helmet inside and followed the instructions and preformed the ritual perfectly and soon enough Loki was back among us. The second time however, it took much more effort.”

Lara was puzzled by her explanation. “What do you mean the second time?”

Loki’s face was soon flooded with the emotion of anger and frustration.

“I can tell you, but I’m afraid your ears wont like what there about to hear.” said Loki forcing a smirk.

“I think I can live with it” said Lara serious. Loki put his hands together and paced casually. “The first time I was resurrected, I did not know the whereabouts of Thor’s or any of the Gods weapons since they were scattered to the four corners of the globe after my first death. I heard of your father, and after learning through a source that he was given a clue of the whereabouts of Thors treasures, I was intrigued. But his search was going to slow for my tastes and I seemed to have lost track of him so I took the form of your father and searched for it myself. Me and some of your fathers colleges traveled to Cambodia which I thought would be the location of one of Thors gauntlets. But some wretched harpie mistook me for your foolish father and killed me, leaving me in that tomb to die and make it look like an accident.”

Lara’s bones became limp, a wave of emotions fell over her head. “Natla killed the wrong man. And that would explain the unknown body in the casket after I touched it, it was Loki‘s.” Lara thought to herself.

Lara was quiet, she just stood like a statue. “So, father could still be alive?” Lara asked herself. “Then he’s only disappeared, where is he hiding?” Lara thought. Loki stepped to the large door. “We would also like to thank you for leading us here” said Jone. Lara knew she had to snap out of it and focus on stopping them from whatever there purpose was. “What is it that you both want here, you’ve already obtained all the Norse weapons my father owns.”

Loki touched the large door. “Your father came across a lot of things before ever finding Thors hammer. He believed that behind this door lies the very power of Odin. And with that kind of power, I can do or make anything I wanted. I could make reality mine.” said Loki. Lara raised her guns. “That’s not going to happen” she said intently. Loki made an expression almost like a child laughing. “Then we’ll just have to kill you wont we?” Jone ran to a treasure box that they kept there artifacts in and pulled out there weapons. Lara took action and ran to a safe position behind a statue of Jörmungandr. Loki pulled out Freyr’s sword. The sword began to glow then it flew out of his hands and shot toward Lara. In mid air it began slashing at Lara. She ducked and dodged each swipe at her and one cut a centimeter off her ponytail. Lara was cornered by the hovering sword. She noticed a sword on the wall next to her and she quickly grabbed it and blocked on of the swords blows. Lara and the sword clashed several times almost like a dance. Lara was about to swing when the magic sword quickly disarmed her. It raised it self about to crash down like a meteor but Lara rolled out of the way and the sword drove itself into a statue like a nail. It was stuck and couldn’t escape. Lara was relieved and looked back up at Loki. “The spear of the Valkyries” said Loki as he held it in his hand. The tip of it suddenly was engulfed in fire. He tossed it toward Lara like a bullet. Lara jumped out of the way as it exploded on impact behind her life a wave of fire. Lara returned fire with a barrage of bullets that flung by Loki’s head. Jone grabbed the sword and started shooting energy blasts. Lara jumped on the middle platform with all the statues and took cover there. Her hand touched the snake statue behind her and the platform activated. The snakes starting shooting eitr from there mouths, spewing It around and toward Jone and Loki. The eitr splashed by Jone and the sword fell out of her hands as she tripped and fell off the edge. She grasped the edge quickly and dangled over the large pool of eitr. Loki tried to pick him self up around the puddles of eitr and Lara knew she had to finish this now. She walked over to the edge that looked out across the pool and pulled out the tablet that she found under her manor a while back. She held it in her hands and read the word over to herself. She then placed it down and spoke over the pool of eitr. “okh eshivar!” she yelled.

Thralls raised from the eitr with there chains and armor dangling from them. There rotted skin and bones tried to move and they stood staring at Lara, waiting for her commands. Lara stared at Jone trying to climb back up. “Kill them!” Lara commanded without hesitation. The thralls understood with what little brain they had left and moved there ancient bones over to the side of the room of Jone and Loki. They started to climb up the side of the cliff from where Jone was hanging like a leaf. Jone stared down at the dozens of thralls coming toward her thirsty for her blood. Jone started to panic, her hands growing tired from supporting her weight. A part of the rock slipped and one of Jones hands came loose and now only her left hand was supporting her. Loki stepped toward her. “Loki! Help me please!” she begged franticly. Loki just smiled at her.

“No, actually I like you just where you are” he said.

“what!?” said Jone her hand in agonizing pain.

“you mean nothing to me anymore, your just another peasant.”

Jone almost broke in tears. “ Loki! I thought we were going to rule this world together, and make it our own as gods!” Jone said explaining her beliefs.

Loki kneeled down in her face. “I’m already a god, you’ve served your purpose by bringing me back and now your purpose has expired. Maybe next time you should learn to never trust the god of trickery and mischief. But think of it this way, now you do have a purpose, guarding this tomb as a thrall for all eternity.” he walked off toward the door. The thralls grabbed Jones legs and body pulling her down. Her hand couldn’t resist, her nails shattered against the rock and her fingers let go. The thralls pulled her down and splashed into the freezing steaming eitr. She fought to get out but the thralls kept pulling her under. Her hand was held up as if for someone to grab it, but noone did and it with the rest of her body sank into the eitr.

Loki ran to the door and cast a spell under his breath and tried to open the door. Thralls limped toward him. Suddenly Lara appeared behind the army of thralls. “stop!” she commanded. The thralls stopped in there tracks. Loki continued casting his spell. Lara pushed her way through the crowed with her pistols in hand. She stood staring at Loki. “If you were brought back with Norse technology, then you should have eitr in you somewhere, so then this should work.” Lara said. Loki ignored her. “okh eshivar” Lara said clearly to Loki. Loki stopped his spell and he faced Lara frozen stiff. Lara walked toward him. Keeping her eyes locked on him. “there are many questions that I wish to ask you, but I don’t have the time for them sadly. But there is one that you will answer.” Lara got close to Loki’s face, her eyes locked on his. “Do you know where my father is? And is he still alive somewhere in this world?” asked Lara in a stern voice.

“No, I have no idea where your father may be or if he has moved on to the next world.” said Loki in a slightly frightened voice. Lara pulled her face back, unsatisfied with his answer but expected nothing more. “I command you to turn your shape into a thrall.” Loki morphed his skin into the rotting form of a Viking thrall. “and I command you to guard this tomb with the other thralls and make sure noone ever disturbs this place again and do nothing else other then that.” Lara said. Loki and the other thralls limped off across the tomb and left Lara alone with the door. Lara then saw on the floor near the edge a small silver piece like the two she found before. She slowly put her backpack down and pulled out the other two pieces. Lara approached the door and read the Nordic inscription carved into the front. “Those who disturb this sanctuary without the three keys must guard the power of Odin for the rest of there days.” The three silver pieces fit together into a tri symbol like shape and Lara plugged it into the door. The door lit up blue with Norse symbols and the locks unlatched themselves. Lara slowly opened the door and saw that there was grass and dozens of trees full of fruit in the small room. Lara stepped in and felt the warm air. And saw a light in the center ontop of an altar. She then saw a man walking in the distance. The man turned his head, Lara dropped her pistols to the ground and her eyes grew large. “father….”


NOTICE: This story is a work of fiction. Lara Croft, her likeness, and the Tomb Raider games are all copyright of EIDOS Interactive. There is no challenge to these copyrights intended by this story, as it is a non-sanctioned, unofficial work of the author's own. Entry for the 4th Village of Tokakeriby Tomb Raider Story Competition, 2009.