Tomb Raider: Mythos

Lara Croft sets out to find one thing and stumbles upon something much more interesting.
On the west coast of Eire a myth is about to rise...





Author's note: (I wrote this story for the Gaming Fan Fic comp)"I know the blurb might not be very inviting but I'm still not sure where the story will go, so please bare with me."

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2. Hello Isabelle

 Two burly men lead Lara down a brightly lit hall. The walls are smooth white plastic and the lights a bright white blue, they glare harshly into Lara’s eyes and she tries her best not to squint. Her arms ache slightly where the two guards grip them just above the elbow. There had been no contest when twenty men-her estimation had been right- had levelled their machine guns at her, she had had to surrender.   

 Then again this was probably the quickest way to reach the man in command of this operation. The hall finally comes to an end in two large double doors; these are made of dark mahogany in sharp contrast to the white plastic of the hall wall. Two more guards stand facing them. A code word is written on a piece of card and exchanged quickly between the guards. The doors are opened, no guards stand inside this room.

 Lara has to keep herself from gasping in awe. The ceiling of the room arches up on all sides of the large round room coming too met at a point at least ten meters above their heads. The entire ceiling is covered with crystals. A million different gems glitter in the light of a single chandelier that hangs from the highest point. Jades, rubies, quarts, moonstones, tiger’s eye, amethysts, topaz, garnets, rose quarts and sapphires create a storm of colour, Lara finds her eyes dazzled unable to focus on anyone thing. But what makes her gasp are the objects that circle the perimeter of the room. One is a life size tiger made completely of the tiger’s eyes stone so that it seems to ripple and move as the light moves across it, the eyes are made of bright green emeralds that seem to glow. Opposite the tiger on the far side of the room is a stag, this statue is made of rainbow quarts so it seems to made of living colours as the light reflects in its smooth coat, diamonds stud the antlers and bring life to its eyes.

 These two statues are by far the most dramatic but there are many more creatures of crystal in the room.

 At last brown eyes met grey ones. In the centre if the room is a large desk made of the same dark mahogany as the doors, a small laptop sits on it in the centre. Behind the desk is a large leather swivel chair. Sitting in the chair is a woman. She is small in stature with a mane of brown curls cascading over her shoulders, her skin is fair but not pale, her face small and oval with fine features. She rises and walks around the desk speaking as she moves, “Lara Croft.” She smiles warmly.  “Hello Isabelle.” Lara’s posture relaxes slightly.  “Kiruna is not so far away.” “Neither is the past.” Lara replies her tone warm.  Isabelle waves a hand at the guards holding Lara, they let go of her and leave silently. The tomb raider rolls her shoulders loosening the stiffness gathered there.

 Isabelle leans against the desk crossing her jean clad legs at the ankle.

 “What have you been doing with yourself then?”  Lara asks wandering over the stag statue for a closer look.

 “Can’t you tell?”  Isabelle walks over to another statue, this one a dragon made out of jade; she runs a hand lightly over the dragon’s scaled body not quiet touching the surface.

 “Well if I had to guess I’d say your mining semi-precious gems illegally.”  

 Lara turns from the statue and looks across the room at the other woman.

 Isabelle reaches into the breast pocket of her shirt and producing a box of cigarettes proceeds to light one with a lighter from her jeans pocket.

 Speaking in an exhalation of smoke she says, “You guessed it.”

 Folding her arms Lara leans back against the wall.

 “What’s the profit?”  The tomb raider asks.

 “Oh, you know a couple a-hundred thousand of bucks here and there.” “I’ve heard about you though.”

 “Oh?” Lara raises a brow.

 “I’ve got my sources.” “But back to you, I do hope you’re not planning to out me to the authorities, because that would be very unfortunate.”

 Isabelle has changed since Lara knew her years ago at a dig in Arvika.    

 Isabelle had not come to the dig not as an archaeologist but as a crystal miner. A large cave of peridoit had been found and Isabelle had gotten wind of it.

 The Isabelle that stands before Lara now seems… hardened.

 “I won’t tell on you if you’ll give me some information.”

They grey eyed woman grins. “You haven’t changed a bit.”

 “Well except for the outfit, sorry but I’m not sure if grey is your colour.”  

 “The occasion required it.”

 “Ah, of course, breaking into my facility.” 

 “But back to the point.” Lara walks to the desk and leans on it, looking across the length at her friend.

 Isabelle stubs out her cigarette in a quarts ash tray. “Yes?”

 Lara glances at the door before continuing. “I heard that this place produced counterfeit money, but I know you and I’m pretty sure you’re not producing it.” “But whoever was or is was up to something else, I’m not really sure what exactly but it wasn’t making dirty money.”

 “So what do you want from me?” Isabelle’s dark eyebrows crease in puzzlement.  “That person was in this area at some point.” Lara turns and paces across the room and stops before another statue staring at it unseeing.

 “Someone else did own this place before me.”

 “Who?” Lara turns abruptly towards her.

 “Some guy, I don’t know what he did here just that he was selling this place cheap and that I wanted to buy it.” Isabelle moves back to her chair, sitting down she crosses her legs and sliding her chair forward rests her elbows on the desk, fingers interlaced under her chin.

 Coming to lean her hands on the desk, Lara asks, “It probably wouldn’t be his real one but do you know his name?”

 Isabelle stares at the shining surface of the desk, brows furrowed “It was years ago now, but I think it might have been something like Lian Strider.”

 “Lian Strider.” Lara mummers to herself, her eyes narrowing.

 “It could have been Liam but I remember making that mistake and being corrected, here I’ll look it up for you.” Isabelle opens the laptop and her fingers start tapping out a blur on the keys. Lara moves around the desk and looks over Isabelle’s shoulder. A picture of a man in his early thirties looks out at them, black hair, blue eyes and strong brows, Lara commits his face to memory so if she should see him she would recognize him, even if he isn’t the guy she’s looking for, he may know who is.

 “Only one result?” Lara asks.

 “Only one and all it says, is that he last lived in the Burren area in Ireland.” comes the reply. “If you want you can stay here tonight.” Isabelle shuts the laptop gently. 

 “Thanks, I’ll fly out tomorrow.”

 

 Lara follows Isabelle back down the white hall and up a stairs on the right near the far end.

 “I thought you’d have lifts in a place like this.”

 Looking over her shoulder Isabelle replies, “We do, but using the stairs keeps me fit.”

 Five flights later they turn down a short hallway with only three doors opening off it. Each door had a card scanner. Isabelle swipes a card fished from her pocket into the scanner on the second door.

 The room is luxurious; a four poster bed with heavy blue velvet drapes, against the right wall is a double wardrobe and in the opposite wall a door, no doubt leading to an en-suite.

 “There should be some women’s clothes in the wardrobe and just knock on my door if you want something.” “Goodnight Lara.”

 “Goodnight.” Lara smiles and closes her door.  Turning she tosses her mini rucksack and night goggles on the bed and proceeds to the wardrobe. Opening the doors she finds an assortment of men and women’s clothes, men’s on the right, women’s on the left. Unbuckling her pistol holster she lays it gently on the covers then she unzips her grey body suit and pulls on a black dressing gown. Then she opens the door to the en-suite.

 

 Feeling refreshed from a long hot shower she dresses in the closest thing she can find to bed clothes, a black pair of loose sweats and a black long sleeved t-shirt. The building is well insulated so that even here in Aqureyri in Iceland it can’t be less the eleven degrees indoors.  Once her pistols are laid out under her pillow she switches off the light and climbs under the covers.

 

 

 

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