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FAN FICTION SECTION


Other Fanficiton - page 1

By April Croft

The Coin of Faith

-- Chapter 1 --

“It’s okay, honestly. It’s for the best. Lara, you must save the coin! It’s vital! Whatever happens now, I forgive you. Really.”

Those were the last words I heard from a very dear friend of mine, Deborah Vickerly. We have been searching for the Coin of Faith, an old myth, or so we thought, for many a year. We first heard of it at Secondary school, in fact, when our History teacher had told us that:
“The tribe believed that many things held secrets, such as the five ornamental vases that had been passed down from their ancestors, and the Coin of Faith. There is no evidence, however, to prove this coin exists, but many archaeologists refuse to believe otherwise…”
And no wonder, because we found it, Deborah and I, in the ruins in South America, which, strangely enough, aren’t at all protected or looked after. We were just digging a few of the sites at the bottom of the cliffs, and we came across it once some of the bedrock had been removed. I couldn’t be sure of its authenticity. But, I was proven to be correct, by a rather familiar woman. I wasn’t quite sure where I had seen her before; she had long, straight blonde hair, and piercing blue eyes. She seemed to remember me well enough though.
“Lara Croft, how fitting. Sorry, but I found the artifact this time.”
“Is that why I’m holding it then, dear?” I asked sarcastically. Deborah couldn’t help but laugh. The woman tried to snatch it but I pulled away from her and drew my guns. She drew hers too. Brilliant.
“Well, this is different. A woman fighting single handed without the help of many employed henchmen.” I backed away from her, still aiming in her direction.
“You fight on your own don’t you Lara?” It concerned me that she knew my name. “Who are you?”
“You didn’t answer my question; do you nor do you not fight alone?” I took a while to think of my answer, but replied:
“Oh I fight alone, but I’m one of few who win.”
With that she scowled and tried to grasp the coin once more. I punched her and ran and Deborah did the same.
She got up and chased after us, a flurry of bullets in our direction. I shot back. She was down to her last two bullets, and she shot Debbie in the stomach.
“Now Lara.” she asked with spite, “Give me the coin, or you give me your friend’s life.” My gaze quickly shifted to Deborah, who was clasping her hands over her wound. I leaned forward to give the woman the coin, and knocked her over. I kneeled next to her.
“Just remember that one of us is out of bullets, and it isn’t me.”
She got to her feet and dropped her guns to the floor.
“Well Lara, you gave me Debbie’s life. Thank you.” Then she fled. How did she know who Deborah was too? I didn’t have time to think about this, Deborah was badly hurt. I crouched over her and tried to remove the bullets. “Did you recognise her?” She asked me quietly.
“Not at all, did you?” She nodded. I stopped for a moment.
“Sandra Edwards, from our history class in secondary school.”
Of course! How could I have not recognised her?
“She was always jealous of you Lara, and she caught on in that lesson about the coin that it really wasn’t myth at all, she saw us discussing it.”
She was right. Sandra had always asked me about the coin, but I had always told her it was mythical, just like the teacher had done. She had obviously realised that this was a lie when she heard Deborah and I discussing it further. If it was a myth, why would we have done? After piecing all of this together, I turned my attention back to Deborah. I had removed both of the bullets, but her wound was too bad for it to be healed by me alone.
“Come on; let me get you to the nearest hospital. We’ll have to hurry.”
As I said that, a black jeep drove past. Two men started shooting at us. Deborah couldn’t move. As I tried to lift her, she was shot again by one of the men. That’s when she pleaded for me to leave her.

A week later, the scene replays itself in my head. Could I have done anything more to try to help Deborah? The men had machine guns, all I had were my standard pistols, and I’d used up most of the bullets on Sandra. I tried to persuade myself that there was nothing more I could have done.

to be continued...

 

By Melanie Hanson

Lara Croft Tomb Raider and Melanie Hansen Relic Raider in Raiders Together

Part One

                                           Prelude

Lara’s Estate; Surrey, England

Lara Croft was in her study working on the background of an artifact that she was planning on finding soon.  Lara heard an knock on the Study door, she looked up from her work and saw her faithful butler Hillary standing and holding an letter attached on a mid-sized package on his silver tray.

“Were you expecting anything?” he asked politely.

“Not really, what is the return address?” asked Lara.
“It appears it doesn’t have one, as I believe there isn’t anything ticking in it, Bryce just x-rayed it for safety concerns.  All he saw was some kind of circular like figures nothing mechanic or electronic.”
Lara’s face froze, ‘Could it be? . . . Nah-h, Alex West and I broke up long ago.’ she thought as she got up and took the package and placed it on her desk.  She then took her knife out of her left boot and carefully cut the paper off the box, opening the lid she then saw an letter addressed to her, using her knife again she opened the envelope and read it to herself.

“Dear Lady Lara Croft,
It appears your ex. A.K.A. Alex West isn’t the only one who stolen an artifact from you.  Originally I was trying to find relics that belonged to my ancestor that of which one was stolen, as I was on the hunt to recover it, with (almost) every means necessary.  I initially never expected to find them when I did, before recovering the artifact of my ancestor.  I hope you understand I returned this to you to not only honor my ancestor but to honor you as well for being a great influence on my life to be the best I can be.
Ms. Croft I hope you accept this as a token of appreciation, and no hard feelings.  
I just hope some day I'll have the opportunity to meet you in person sometime in the near future.  However, I have gotten an really important matter to work on as I have to arrive there as soon as possible.
Sincerely yours,
A Loyal Admirer.”


Lara looked up at Hillary, “The sender only left ‘A Loyal Admirer’ for a signature.  Besides that I do know the sender is a she.”
“How can you tell it’s female?”
“First off, the writing on the letter is written neatly, it looks like this person had put a lot of thought into this, plus she didn’t want to make any mistakes.”
“What about the signature?”
“That I am not certain whoever this or they; ‘Admirer’ is I’ll see to it that I find her before she does.”
Lara then took out the stuffing out of the box, then removed bubble wrap, then velvet cloth covering the circular shaped artifacts to which was her prayer wheels.  Lara was astonished.
“Looks like she knew this was my most cherished possession, I must be highly admired by her if she knew this.”
* * *
Somewhere in London
I had just arrived back to my hotel room.  I sat down on the bed as I knew exactly how I felt . . . Like an complete Canadian idiot.  Why did I go through all the secrecy just to deliver an package to the one person I had admired greatly, that I could-.  No, should have got the chance to meet.  I wasn’t sure what I was thinking then but it defiantly seamed stupid now.  
‘No,’ I thought knowing ‘she’d rather find it herself than someone finding it for her.  Heck I would do the same too.’  I knew I could be wrong, really, really wrong, not like I have been wrong about myself before.  I took off the UPS uniform I wore as I changed into my regular clothes.  Then I heard an knock at the door.

“Hello?  Who is it?” I called using the British accent in my voice.

“Milady, come on I know it’s you!” called my new assistant Marx, “I just returned the Truck.”
“Sorry, Marx.” I said in my regular voice as I grabbed a housecoat then opened the door, “You knew me since I started being the main enemy of mine was your Ex- Master.”
“Ah yes he who put pain and suffering onto you and your family.”
“You know there is more to that.”
“True Milady Melanie, but it is the best thing for both you and your Idol.”
“Don’t remind me that you were the one who convinced me to do it at last minute.” I said with an sigh as he knew I was having second thoughts.  “And one more thing, don’t call me ‘Milady’, yet please and thank you.”

                                                * * *
Lara struggled as she searched for the person whom sent her the package, returning to her what was rightfully hers.  Her next clue was the paper, it’s texture felt odd to her in a way, she had an friend who worked in the Forensics Unit at the London Police station.  It was traced to an hotel not too far from her current location.
Once approaching the Manager he told her that she was out of the country, the lady was under an Alias as ‘Anne Shirley’ and had tattoo on her left arm, one being some sort Celtic knot circle with two animals facing each other.  The Manager remembered that she came with strict security from Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and the Queen herself was with her for tea twice, the bad news according to him was that she didn‘t say where she was from plus he couldn‘t remember what she looked like besides the tattoo.  Yet he knew she wasn’t an American, and very well educated in many fields.
Lara didn’t know what to do now, Buckingham Palace was denying that the Manager’s statement about the visit and the Lady too.   Through the more recent events Lara had nearly forgotten about her search to thank the person who sent her prayer wheels back.  Yet she didn’t realise the answer might be right under her nose; staring right at her.


Chapter 1- Dr. James Newrick
July- The Lost Temple of Artemis, Greece

James Hansen wasn’t sure if he could do this alone, yet he knew he had went through worst as he used his G.P.S. as he got closer to the co-ordinates to the Lost Temple of Artemis the Goddess of the Moon, and Hunting.  He knew it had been a while since the last time he was here, and he knew what exactly happened on that last mission, he had to get one person out of an tomb that was stabbed through the torso then bomb bombarded by an Landslide.
His only regret was about this one person who happened to be his protégé because he blamed himself for not telling that person that the artifact had the power to change the person’s life purpose, he never thought it would turn out to be true.  Now he does it on his own, but he would never tell or confirm who his protégé was, for some believed his protégé was dead because the last time he was here in Greece there was an horrible landslide and the protégé was in the middle of it.
Yet not far from his position a pair of binoculars hidden high up by the limbs and leaves from the trees.  They watched him sharply like a hawk as he headed deeper into the land of Legend where the temple once or could still be standing.  
“James, do you know what your doing?” said an female British voice from his Watcher, as the binoculars lowered as a pair of brown eyes blink, as an smile appears on the Watcher’s face, “Well, I hope you don’t mind company, then.”
The Watcher jumps out of the tree as she heads for her all train vehicle an Land Rover Jeep, modified for her adventure purposes; and the first thing she grabbed was her gun belt with twin pistols fully loaded and ready, it was none other than Lara Croft Tomb Raider.
Lara then caught up with him.  She exited out of her jeep and peeked out of the Bushes carefully.  ‘That’s odd, he knows where he’s going, like he’s been here before, why didn’t he tell that to me?’ Thought Lara as she observed James as he explored the terrain around him then headed into the Temple.
James had a feeling he was being followed, yet when he turned he saw nothing.  He scanned the area carefully, he still saw nothing, he knew he had to be careful.  He knew whoever it was, that was after ‘The Silver Star’ one of the sacred symbols of the Goddess Artemis.  Like the rest of the Family; James hated surprises, then like both Lara and his Former Protégé which hated; certain Secret Societies, yet both he and the Protégé hated most of all was Private Collectors with an passion.  James didn’t always work alone, he sometimes had a friend (being her) or a family member with him during his travels.  He always mentioned his family but she was never introduced to them, the fact is she was either to busy to meet up with him or what he said ‘vice versa on my side’.
Lara sighed as she turned slowly from her hiding place in the shadows to see James had turned his back.  She knew he was always hiding something, mainly personal, yet he had been there for her as an best friend.  Not because his birthday was the 15th of May, she sensed it was his nature to act as an younger or older brother.  He seamed very much like her Father in a few ways, and one of them was how he inspired her to never forget who she was and to keep her dreams/goals alive.  James had almost have been there for her ever since they first met in University long ago.
Lara then noticed something new, James was armed with an hunting rifle with an optic scope attached.  Lara knew James hated guns, but why did he have one with him this time?  Lara then hid again as he was about to turned around.  She waited ten seconds, then she turned around to observe James as he threw a stone to activate the trap to see spears flying from most directions.  James then knelt down took the rifle, looked around with the scope then he snipped and defused the trap with one bullet.
Lara was both impressed and surprised as she watched his back as she followed James further into the Tomb’s hallway.  ‘Not bad James.  Not bad at all.’ she thought as they continued on in the tomb.


* * *

August- Kadahar, Afghanistan; US/ Canadian Military Air field
I wish I was home to help Celebrate my Parent’s 24th Wedding Anniversary on the 4th, then Dad’s Birthday two days later, but here I am in Kadahar, Afghanistan, it’s hotter than the hell I’ve been to long, long ago.
I was in my tent doing work on my Laptop Computer on one of the transcripts of artifacts that I had an team record for me on my Digital Camcorder earlier.  I took a break to check my emails, I only check them once a day here, twice when at home.  I found one from James, I smiled as I clicked it then saw a picture of him at an tent entrance holding an Silver anulk with the ‘Eye of Isis’ inside the loop.
“Hi.” said his voice.  I turned and saw him smiling and holding the Anulk.  I got up and gave him a big hug.  “How are you doing Sissy?” He asked.
“Oh you know me; Finding artifacts and discovering their history then their Mythological secrets, kicking bad butts, Flying fast over the sound barrier in the F-18’s.  Not like it’s the usual Raid routine.” I said as I let go.
“Oh yeah. Locating artifacts, stopping evil, and saving the world; that usual?”
“I’m still technically new to the ‘Saving the World’ part, and you should add promoting justice to that too.  You said The Tomb Raider’s description, mine’s more complex, I’d guess.”
“See, you always know what I missed in anything we done.”
“Relax could yah?  So what are you doing here, Bro?” I asked, changing the subject for his sake.
“Well since I was the Middle East I thought I’d stop by and visit my Sister like Cousin.  I found this I though I’d give it for you for luck since you are in the hell- hole of Terrorism.” he said as he gave me the Anulk of Isis.
James sat on my bunk as I sat down at my desk chair.  It wasn’t much to live in an cramp Military tent, but I made it home for the while I got here.  I placed the Anulk beside my laptop, he knew what I could be thinking.
“James, you know I wouldn’t accept an artifact as a gift, but that is how you got me into this.” I said, a bit tired.
“Yah I know; you‘d ‘rather earn it than receive it’.” he quoted to something I had said long ago, “How about having it for Safe Keeping then?”
“Well, no body would suspect it to be here in my custody while in the War Zone.  I guess that should be something to consider.” I said.  
Yet, I had a strange feeling that there was something he knew about the Anulk.  That he wanted me to find out, but he never let on what the bigger picture was or could be.  “Why don’t I show you around the place?” I offered.
“You mean your research on Afghan artifacts Sector?” he corrected me as I burst into laughter.


Chapter 2- James’s last chats?
October- Castle Manor; Moncton, New Brunswick Canada.
In the Manor we shared, James was in the Library doing research on a project on his laptop computer.  He had been working at this for an long time, yet he was looking for flaws in his so called research, something he’s never done before in an long while since his divorce during the winter at the beginning of this year.
Humphrey came in as he had given him an cup of coffee and an snack to help him fight fatigue for the time being.  James nodded his head thanking the old man as he left him to continue his project.  It was getting late in the evening, he knew that, yet he was positive that what he was being watched somehow and he wasn’t sure why.  Within seconds he notices the phone ringing, he picks it up.
“Hello?” said James.
“Hello James.” said the familiar British accented female voice whom was in her home in Surrey, England.  James didn’t need to narrow it down, her voice said it all.
“Ah, Lara nice to hear you again.  How long was it- oh yes it was a few months ago when you beat me to that Stupid Silver Star in Greece.”
“Oh James, you are quite amusing when you're mad.” she giggled, as she went on to tease him “And I hear your taking it pretty well.”
“Awe Lara. . .” James quickly looked around  the room, “Drat! Me without my thesaurus!  I guess there are no words to describe how my reaction was when you went under my nose and snatched it from me.”
Lara puts her hand on the phone then she laughs, she stops as she returns the phone to her ear, “Sorry James, I couldn't help it.  Besides I was getting back at you, I suppose you forgotten April Fool’s day in Sudan?”
“Yeah, as if I never knew what makes you laugh, now.” said James sarcastically, “But on the bright side, it still didn’t top on of the tricks my protégé pulled.” as he attached the head set to his cell and placed it on his head, as he returned to his work.
“Really?  Competition was never my favorite thing, yet I do make a few exceptions.” began Lara as she heard his fingers tapping on his keyboard, “So James, what are you working on?”
“Would you please promise me that you wouldn't get this before I do?  I know your concerned about me but I want to do this one alone.”
“Alright just this once James, for good time sake you can have the glory.”
“Thanks Lara, I've been researching this one since University.” he said relieved.
“So that's what you've been working on before our old study hours.”
“Well there were others but I have been researching this one the longest. I'm almost done researching possible traps.”
“I know you hate surprises.”
“Yeah especially when you come out of nowhere and take what I'm after when I'm only an millimetre away!”
“Oh James I was just watching your back, making sure it wouldn‘t possess you in case if it did.  So I ask again what is it you’re looking for this time?”
“Oh just the Idol of the Falcon God Horus, so far some of the legends say that this Idol has the double crown of Egypt being his father's Osiris, they then go into detail of description and says some kind of mumbo jumbo that the crown possesses some kind of power to rule the world.  However they all say only one can wear the crown, that I think must be by head size I guess.”  he explained.
“You guess?”
“Like I said the legends only say that one can wear it Lara.  Although the God used it for good, it’s said some pharaohs and their enemies used it for evil purposes.  I was making and educated guess based on the facts.  Look, I've got a few calls to make, why don't I call you later?  I promised the Toronto Museum that I'd bring it.”
“Sure, hear you later.” she said as she hung up her phone.
“Bye Lara.” said James as he reached for his cell again and dialled the number at the main office at the Toronto Museum.

                                                  * * *
At the Toronto Museum; Dr. McDonald the curator in the museum who is in his late 50’s picks up the phone. Behind him are three men with face masks on their faces and they all have hand guns with silencers attached.  His office phone rings and he immediately picks it up on the second ring.

“Hello?” he said in a shaken voice.
“Hey Mac, are you alright?” asked James, he suddenly got the sinking feeling something wasn‘t right.
“I’m fine,” he said as one man pressed his gun to his head, “How are you doing on the crown?”
James then realised what was going on over there.
“Uh, I think I’ll call back.” was his reply as he immediately hung up.  
He knew told no-body but Lara, and Mac about the Crown, but he knew it could be one of many people who would want capture the Crown to use for evil Purposes.  ‘How would anyone find out?  I didn’t tell anyone but Lara, Mel and my son; Timmy.’ He thought as he stood there for one second, he began to suspect his ex-wife she’d do anything for money and drugs, but he knew he had soul custody on Timmy.  He knew whoever it was, was very smart, but he knew it couldn’t be anyone of his or employees.
James shouted to Humphrey to bring his suitcase that he had already packed that was lying on his bed.   James then makes another call which would be his last.
“Operator get me the Canadian Military base in Kadahar, Afghanistan its an emergency.” he paused and waited. “Thanks..... Hello General.  Yes, I know this is going to cost me a bundle!  Look I don’t have much time to explain this, I need you to contact my cousin Commander Hansen to check her email account.  It’s Urgent!”
Outside the house 10 men armed and dangerous surround the house, inside James hangs up the phone and quickly sends an email of information to mhansenrr@relicraider.com, then destroys his floppy disks in the blazing fire in the fire place.
He grabs his loaded handgun and starts firing as he tries to make an escape, after killing two bad guys he gets shot with a tranquilizer in the back.  James collapsed as Humphrey watched the remaining men take James unconscious in into their van and drive off into the darkness of the night. Whoever these men were, Humphrey knew just by observing that they wanted him alive . . . For now.


Chapter 3- James’s mystery Kidnapper and Lara’s ‘Dead’ Discovery
Location Unknown
It was in dark an large, empty warehouse James painfully wakes up slowly, he knows that he is tied up tightly into a wooden chair.  James then hears the flapping propellers of a helicopter coming from an distance outside.  The light suddenly turn on over his head, James squints his eyes, footsteps are heard, they get louder and closer.  James’s eyes finally adjusts to the light and he growls when sees the Leader’s face, then the Leader quickly steps back into the shadows to hide once again.
“You are not going to get away with this!” growled James to the Present Leader hiding in the shadows.

“Oh I don’t think so, Dr. Hansen.  Even thought your little Sister isn’t here to save you.” said The Leader in the shadows.
“Oh the Gals can surprise you.”
“Oh I doubt it.  I know you have it all memorized off by heart Dr. Hansen, you may think you have fooled me once and for all but I’m taking a different approach than my master once did years ago.”
“Your still forgetting something….” said James as the leader knocked him out… again.

                                                     * * *
Castle Manor
The Local RCMP and Forensic units are combing for clues for evidence and possible clues that James is alive finally plus clues on his whereabouts.  A family friend Constable Terry Kennedy was calmly questioning Humphrey in the kitchen.  They were at the table drinking tea/coffee.  Poor Humphrey was still in shock, tried to drink his tea with shaky hands.  Kennedy pitied the old man, ‘How can he do this to himself? Oh well He’ll be glad when this is over I guess.’ he thought, ‘but how in blazes, is that going to happen?’
“James seamed to know what he was doing I just wish I could of helped him some more . . .” said Humphrey sadly.

“Don’t worry, Humphrey.  James is a good man, he’s hard to kill.” said Con. Kennedy.
“Only when Miss Melanie is around, but I can be wrong he knows many people.”
“Well I wish she was here, she’d solve this within seconds.” muttered Kennedy as he heard the phone then rang, “I’ll get it for you Humphrey,” Offered Kennedy.
“Thank you, Kennedy.”
“You’re welcome, Humphrey.”

                                                     * * *
Lara’s Estate
Lara had just finished looking in her photo album, inside there were pictures of their memories as students in University, mostly the pictures of them goofing off, and the end results of their bets on each other.  ‘He’s defiantly a good sport.’ she thought, then she looked to see what time it was, it was getting late, what was taking him so long?  Lara decided to call James again.

“Hello?” said an unfamiliar man’s voice.  She lifted an eyebrow as she looked at the caller display on her phone as the number she had dialled as she saw was the right number.
“Hello, May I ask where is Dr. James Hansen?” asked Lara.
“May I please ask who am I talking to?” asked the man, politely.
“Lady Lara Croft, and I ask the same of you.”
“I’m Constable Kennedy from the Moncton-Codiac RCMP.  I’m an friend of Dr. James Hansen’s extended family. Can you give me a minute, please and thank you?”
“Certainly.” she said, ‘Now what would the RCMP want with James?’ she thought as she waited.
“Humphrey can one of these people be Lara Croft?” asked Kennedy to Humphrey whom was still at the table.
“Lady Lara Croft, yes of course.  They were friends since University.  I have met her briefly in England right before I started work here.” explained Humphrey claming down quickly.
Kennedy returned to the phone “Lady Croft, I really hate to say this but Dr. Newrick has been kidnapped just an hour ago.  Do you have any Idea why Ms. Croft?”
Lara paused for a second as nothing came to her mind, “I’m not to sure at the moment Constable Kennedy.”
“Well, Thank you anyway we’re hitting dead ends here.”

After chatting with Constable Kennedy, she hung up her phone.  She wished she could help in some way, suddenly she then realised everything. ‘Dead? Oh No!  Not the Crown of Osirus! How can I be so stupid?’ she thought.
“Lara is there a problem?” asked Hillary who had her snack on his tray.
“Hillary you remember Dr. James Hansen right?”
“He’s like a brother to you, yet less adventurous than you are though.”
“He’s in trouble and I know what the kidnappers want.”
“What is it?”
“I can’t tell you I promised James.”
“Are you alright? You’re almost in a panic Lara.  I haven’t seen you panic in a long time.”
“The artifact is in Egypt.”
“Well It’s better of to face it Lara, than to stay here while the fate of mankind is in the hands of evil and let a good friend die.”
“Thanks Hillary, I guess I’m going to Egypt.” she said as she went to pack up, “Hillary can you give me another good reason why I should return to Egypt?”
“Well, who knows what power that artifact can do.”
“I have an theory but I’m going to make sure they don’t get too far.” said Lara as she went to her phone to make a favor call.  After the call she got everything in order as she got ready, to face the place she swore she would never return.  Lara had an gut feeling that something else besides surprises; was going to show up in her path.


Chapter 4- A Dream and Back to Life in the war zone
I was walking in the halls of Castle Manor my present home, outside I saw the rain pouring hard as the thunder and lightening cracked, as some lit the house as if someone turned them all on for a split second.  It was dark as I tried to turn on an light switch as I saw there was a power failure, I turned around to see Humphrey behind me then I saw his face change as it went white.  I turned as I saw an wall mirror (6 feet tall by 2.5 feet) with an figure replacing mine as I drew closer to it I saw it was . . . Wasn’t my ancestor, nor my mysterious partner Prophet or my dead sibling, but the person was My Idol . . .

                                               * * *

October 6- Kadahar, Afghanistan; US/ Canadian Military Air field
The alarming, extremely loud, annoying music of the trumpet playing woke up the whole base, Americans, Germans, Brits, and Us . . .  The Canadians; the Peacekeepers of the UN.  “Thanks to Lester B. Pearson.  If it wasn’t for you we’d never be here.’ I thought sarcastically as I began my morning and the Day.
I was tired and I missed my family and friends back home in the Maritimes in Canada.  I have been so busy I didn’t get a chance to contact anyone for a while now.  Although I was having an great time here I knew it wasn’t going to last long, even through this so called war.  I was glad Canada decided to stick with the UN on the issue of Iraq, I’ve been there, it wasn‘t all an good experience but I did learn a lot there.
I had lost a lot of weight here too, I was 125 pounds now 115 and if I stay longer I wouldn’t be able to fly F-18’s anymore until I gain my weight back, but I also might come home like an walking skeleton.  On a good side my hair is longer (even my bangs), I have a tan although it takes almost forever for my skin to tan up.
I left the tent as I went to the Locker room, everyone was reading their mail, and so was I but not for long it was making me home sick.  I’ve been here for longer than I should have.  Normally I know I don’t like staying some places less than one week but why was I here, there were an odd number of small artifacts found and I was asked to investigate it further.  I have also located and retrieved all the artifacts, had fun taking some Taliban soldiers prisoner.  Besides I have a great flying/combat profile, and have a great reputation here too.  However, I and others knew I couldn’t stay here forever, I wanted to go back to my regular duty as the Relic Raider.

“Commander Hansen, come with me I think we should talk.” I turned to see the General Johnson behind me, I saluted to him then I forced a smile onto my face as we went to his office not far from the air field. “Please take a seat.” he offered as he sat in his chair behind the cheep desk covered with maps, papers, and disks which surrounded his laptop computer.
“This isn’t easy to say this, but the Prime Minister thinks you should go back to doing what you do best Relic Raider.” ‘Was he reading my mind or did Prophet tell him?’ I thought.
“Sir you know I want to serve my country.” said I calmly.
“Hansen, but you had a choice and we needed your expertise over here.  I should have said this earlier but your Brother called, he says it’s urgent he wants you to check your email immediately.”  He and I went to the Computer Access centre as I read was the email.

“Sissy;
This isn’t easy for me to say but I’m being held hostage by an Secret Society which they are forcing me to take them to the ‘Crown of Osiris’, and I want you to stop them from getting the crown, if they kill me, you know what to do.  Sis I fear this might be the last time you hear from me.  I want you to know I’ll always be your big brother and you will always be my sister, tell your Mom and Dad I love them for me, same for A and G, I hope everything goes well for them.  
Your Cousin and Brother;
Bye X 5,
James
PS: Take good care of Timothy if anything happens to me.”


I looked at the General, he saw that I was now determined as the  information that I had downloaded and printed off.
“Now that’s the girl I know, pack up and you will be taking a flight to Egypt in 30 minutes.”
“Sir?”
“Yes, Relic Raider?”
“Your right I do need some time off over here.”
“How about never coming back?  Since you have done your part over here.”
“I can live with that.” said I as I left heading to my tent.  

“Hey where yah heading Hansen?” It was Tony my co-pilot standing with a few friends and fans at the tent‘s entrance.  All of them had concerned looks on their faces and I knew they were worried for me.
“Prime Minister’s orders, and my big Brother got into some trouble with a Secret Society, . . . again.” I briefly explained as I packed my clothes and gear.

“How bad is it this time?” asked Kelly, Tony’s sister.
“I’m not sure yet, but I have to go A.S.A.P.”
“How long will you be gone?” asked Tony.
“Well I‘ll come for a visit, the Prime Minister thinks I should go back to doing my unusual life occupation.”

“I guess I think you need it Melanie,” said my roommate Jessica, “You’ve had fun here, but your used to being on your own Relic Raider.”
“I’m going to miss everyone here, but I’ll write letter or an email to you guys if that’s ok.” I said as I continued packing.
I had only limited gear compared to what I usually have, and I didn’t have any of my high tech gadgets, but I know what I have right now would be put to good use.  I know this wouldn’t be easy, unless I steal (or in my case, borrow) what I find on my on coming evil foes.  I stopped to think a while, I was happy that I was re-assigned, and that I was going to see my family again, but why did I have a feeling that was something or someone else was coming the same direction?
Later after I was all packed I saw all my friends and Fans from North America all united as they stood at attention in a line at my ride.  I smiled at them all and they saluted to me as I walked up the ramp into the Hercules.  Although I knew the war wasn’t getting close to an end, it was over for me as an different adventure was starting.  I didn’t know how different, yet I knew I was ready to welcome what comes for me or at me.


Chapter 5- The Relic Raider Meets her Idol 4 Real: THE Tomb Raider
Egypt, Sahara Desert- The Temple of Horus

Lara dove her custom Jeep quickly as she found the entrance of the temple.  The large temple in ruins looked deserted, but she knew otherwise, there was more than one entrance to enter a nearly forgotten temple, especially when there was a tomb of the real temple underneath.  Whoever built this temple thought well, but how well was the only question on her mind.
Looking up in the sky she saw a Hercules circle around the area where another part of the temple was.  She knew she had to hurry as she quickly turned the ignition off as she gathered her gear as she ran to the underground entrance.
Once inside the whole temple was dark, she kept her guard up as she observed her surroundings as she was sure she heard company around her.  Lara silently took her pistols as she found a place to take cover behind a pillar in the chamber.

                                               * * *

The Hercules was getting closer to the coordinates that James had given to me in his notes.  It was in an remote area in the middle of the Sahara desert.  I can’t believe most of my adventures started here when I was 16, the last time I was here was on the long weekend in August before I started University when I was 18.  Since then I’ve found myself in exotic countries with a hidden history, and a challenge that would leave me grinning ear to ear.
“We’re almost there.” said Tony’s voice as he opened the hatch.
“Yah I’ll take it from here.” I said as I approached.
“Godspeed.”
“Yah, just keep your stick on the ice.” I called as I then jumped off and soared in the sky.  I practiced my sky diving skills with some graceful moves that I worked with many times before, I was doing my favorite thing Sky Diving Ballet my style.  Usually I did it in an Sky Diving Cylinder at home to relax, but at times like this, it helped me focus and to feel the wind around my body as I soared in the sky. Ahh the feeling of flying, very thrilling and relaxing at the end.
I pulled the rip cord as drew close to 1000 meters, I tried to steer the chute but as I looked up I saw holes in the fabric, big ones and a sentence saying ‘Have fun’.  ‘Just my luck.’ I thought as I pressed the release cord again as I ripped the emergency cord to release my emergency cute.  More bad news, there wasn’t another chute.
Quickly I looked as I saw an temple of ruins.  I knew I only had one shot as I pulled my flight suit zipper down as my flight suit tore off my body.  I grabbed my bullwhip, cracked it fast as it attached onto a support beam for the roof of the ruins.  I swung down as my whip let go as I flew in the air again as I quickly did it again as it wrapped around a pillar as I made a rough landing into the Sahara sands.  ‘Geeze, I can land my plane better than this!  Well, maybe not in that recent situation.’ I thought, as I cleaned the sand off my clothes and gear as I checked then triple checked everything.
The sunny, hot desert heat made me wish I had worn a tank top and pair of shorts instead of standard army desert combat clothes.  I knew I was usually the first one in as usually the last one out was James, but now I was spending my time carefully and I knew James would do whatever it takes to stay alive.  I then saw that my company had arrived one minute and 30 seconds ago, in the opposite direction, just by telling how fresh the tire tracks were.
I walked up to the temple, a trap door swung open down underneath my feet then as I began to fall I quickly grabbed the edge then did a handstand plus a somersault jump landing onto my feet two feet away from the ancient trap.  I then overheard gunshots, I couldn't tell where the noise was coming from, I had a hot shot idea that all the noise had to be coming from underground.
“Great, just my luck someone’s having all the fun.” I muttered angrily as I ran.
When I then found the entrance, or at least one of them.  I made my way to the corridor then to a great hall with pillars.  Observing from afar I could hear it was suddenly quiet in there, correction it got too quiet and then dark in there too.  Seamed odd for an lost Ancient Egyptian Temple.   Without hesitating, I went in as I took off my shades while sticking them in my hair tie elastic then taking a flashlight out of my pack as I quickly studied the wall.  I backed up as I continued studding, as I thought I heard an echo of my footsteps.
Suddenly, out of nowhere I bumped into someone as I turned my head to quickly as my eyes widened as I saw, Lady Lara Croft Tomb Raider looking over her shoulder at me.  I swear she could have killed me, reacting fast I quickly dove onto the floor then flipped 3 times quickly and cart wheeled as I hid behind a pillar while her pistols’s were shooting those flying bullets where I once was seconds ago.  I knew she was the best, her skills always growing and she was always looking for ways of improvement.  Even I could say the same for myself, but I knew she had more experience than I did in the Glory part.  ‘I’m defiantly not dreaming!  That’s her alright!’ I thought as tried to catch my breath.
“Get out of there, come out right where I can see you.” Lara Croft growled.  I sighed with relief as I got up.  I then nervously gulped hard as I walked up to her with my arms up, then she and I were staring into each other’s eyes.  I knew that look she made anywhere on anyone’s faces, she didn’t look too pleased to see me here.

She was wearing the usual signature attire, tank top, the shorts, backpack, her gun belt with holsters, twin pistols, and combat boots I even noticed a knife in one of her boots.  She was even wearing her sunglasses over her dark eyes as her long brown hair was tied away from her face in the usual braid.  It seamed odd to wear sunglasses in the shadows of the dark temple, but I knew she never like her actions to being questioned.
Her icy glare sent a cooling chill up my spine as she looked at me from head to foot.  It looked as if she wanted to remember whom she was dealing with.  She looked straight into my blue/green eyes.  ‘What is she thinking?’ I thought.  Finally she put her pistols down, I sighed as I put my arms down.  Suddenly Lara takes her pistols and pointed them at me again.  Knowing on what I knew about Lady Lara Croft, it was not over until SHE said it was.
“Who are you? And what are you doing here?” she demanded.
“I'm Commander Melanie Hansen.  I came to save my cousin whom is also my adopted big brother Dr. James Hansen, which he was kidnapped hours ago while he was researching on the Idol of the Flying Falcon god; Horus but he was more concerned about the unknown powers of the combined Crown of Osiris that it wears.” I said.  She looked surprised, her shades slipped to the edge of her nose as she stared me in the eyes as she saw I was telling the truth.
“I didn't know James had a Sister.” said she surprised.
“My brother knows you?” I spoke in astonishment.
She looked at me, head to foot.  My attire it was not completely similar to her attire, but I wore a short sleeve shirt, small cargo vest and cargo pants were all in uniform standard combat desert camouflage, as for my pack, gun belt with the holsters and the lacings on my thighs and my combat boots were black.  As for my long, wavy ash blond hair majority of it was all tied up in a ponytail at the back of my head with my sporty sunglasses was hanging from the hair tie elastic, while my bangs were long, messed up scattered everywhere around my face.  She noticed my skin was tanned, and I had lost some of weight, I don’t think she couldn’t tell how old I was.
“How old are you?”
“I’m Twenty three.”
“Any experience in this field?”
“Yes, well I was sixteen when I went into my first tomb, kilometres away from the Valley of the Kings.”
“So your this Relic Raider I have been hearing about!” she scolded.
“That me alright, Tomb Raider.  Um, can you please be kind enough to put your 9 mm pistols down?” I asked politely.
“Oh, Sorry.” she apologized as she clamed down, “I wasn’t sure if you could be trusted.”
“Thank you very much Lady Croft.” I said as I lowered my arms, “All is forgiven.”



Chapter 6- James’s Last Words,
Working Together
She and I split up but we met again at the end of the hall.  We both hid in the shadows, stayed low, and quiet.  She and I didn't realize who each other were at first once we bumped right into each other again this time we both had our pistols pointed at each others heads.
“We are going to try to not to kill each other, alright?” Lara said as we lowered our pistols.
“Well I was thinking we can't meet like this all the time.” I joked, with a smile as I returned my pistols to the holsters.  When I wasn’t looking Lara made a quick smile, then she returned to a straight face as she and I quickly studied the walls.
Looking at the floor I saw shotgun shells, 9mm shells and shells that looked to be from sub machine guns.  “I take it you had a few shots at them?”
“It was a lovely warm up.”
“I thought you weren’t going to come back to Egypt?”
“I had no other choice, I had no idea someone else would come.”
“Allow me to agree.”
The further we went into underground temple the darker and colder it got.  Now I was glad I had my cargos instead of shorts.  I stopped for  minute as I studied the tracks ahead of us as Lara climbed up the ruins to the hole in the wall above us.
“Well, what are you waiting for?”  she yelled.
“They took a short cut,” I said as I followed the tracks to a small hole hidden behind some ruins of the chamber we were in, as I then looked behind myself to see a few bodies of lions.  “Besides that they also killed a few lions for us.”
“And what does that mean?”
“They are playing for keeps.  From here, our trip gets challenging.” I concluded.
She looked at me suddenly interested, “By how challenging are you talking about?”
“Beats me, I didn‘t get a chance to read all the info he sent me.  James would know, they had a clue, I guess your guess is as good as my first guess.”

                                                        * * *

Meanwhile further into the tomb James tried to fight his way out away from The Secret Society’s Soldiers whom had their eyes on him sharply.  The Leader whom was loosing his patience, got up to him and started to beat him up badly, then kicked hard James causing him to fall to the ground.
“You’re good but I know two that are both better.” he groaned as he gritted his teeth, ignoring the pain from his injuries as he tasted the mixture of sand, sweat and the blood coming into his mouth.
“You are an waste of time Dr. Hansen.” said the Leader pointing his gun at him.  James watched the gun shining in the sun’s rays, “Any Last words?”
James sat up as he placed his back against the wall, glaring at the Leader as he said; “Yeah the Gals are going to kick you and your former Master’s ass.”

                                                   * * *

Gunshots then echoed the tomb, Lara and I ran through the traps to find James’s dead body with two bullets in his torso.  I gasped as I looked at his bleeding body, for the first time in a long time I didn’t know how to act, but I knew this was no time for crying.  ‘Oh, No!’ I thought as I looked at his dead body.  I noticed one that has killed him instantly it was straight on directly through his heart.  
Memories filled my head, as I stared at his dead body while my knees collapsed onto the floor, fighting my own tears as two had finally escaped.  We’ve have been through a lot, he got me into this, and now that he was actually gone, what was I going to do now?  I felt a hand on my shoulder, I looked to see Lara she to let a tear escape her eyes.
“Save your emotions for later we must finish what he has started in the honor of his memory.” she spoke softly, “James wouldn’t want to see us fail.”
I knew she was right, I nodded my head and followed her into a shortcut into the Main Chamber.  I followed her into the shadows ahead of  the soldiers, and diggers who just happened to entered in.  ‘I got to get the crown. Only God knows what the heck is going to happen.’ I thought with an determined expression on my face.  I was about to make my move when Lara stopped me.
“Wait, I’ve have a better idea.”
“And that is?” I whispered.
“I’m going to distract them, you stay in the shadows go for the crown.” Lara was defiantly risking allot, I felt my galloping spirit finally calming down, not because of the heat, or the humidly, it’s just that I never thought she cared about certain stuff.
“What if they get you?” I asked her.
“Don’t worry about me, if they do I’ll get out once I figure out what is going on here.”
“Ok, sounds good.” I said nervously as I watched her closely as she and I got position.
I got as close as I could to the Idol displaying the Crown of Osirus, although I was still far away I had a crazy feeling that something wasn’t right, I knew whatever that feeling was about I has to be careful, extremely careful.  I saw Lara is in the shadows behind the men who are keeping the area secure, I got closer to the statue without being seen by them.  
Lara then appeared to them and she started having some fun with the surprised soldiers.  I took my whip from the back of my belt to grab the crown, then I too made a run for it staying in the shadows with bullets flying closer behind and in front of me barley missing me by an inch or two.
In the corner of my eye, I saw Lara get hit in the back of the right side of her ribs with a tranquilizer dart, I stopped as I retreated into the shadows again, this time behind a pillar as I watched her drop onto the floor within seconds she fell into a deep sleep.  I then noticed their Leader had the tranquilizer gun, his face I couldn’t see his face because he was in the darkest part of the chamber and at my only way out.
I gulped as I quietly put the crown into my pack, and scanned the area for another way out. ‘Common Mel, there has to be another way out, Everyone is counting on you!’ I thought to myself.  I then saw a way out, it was a small hole but it was on the other side of the room in the light.
It was a risk I knew I had to take.  I ran for it, as I ran I can hear the bullets missing me by a millimetre behind me.  I was only few feet from the hole in the wall when suddenly I felt a pinch hit me in the back of my neck, I then felt the fatigue kicking in suddenly as my body was feeling heavy like lead, my joints went stiff, then I collapsed as I closed my heavy eye lids.
The last thing I heard was some man with an deep European accent saying: “Tie them up, we might be needing them.  Don’t forget to bag the body back there and send it to the Canadian embassy in Cairo.” And whoever he was he took the crown out of my pack.  All I saw next was darkness.


Chapter 7-Time 2 get out of here!
October 7- Location Unknown
Darkness something I’ve faced it before, and now here I am again surrounded by it, this is no surprise, but I will Never surrender to the Darkness again.  I wasn’t sure what was going to happen but I felt hope struggling to survive in the wind.  
It was hours ago, I found myself involved with my brother’s plea for help, then meeting the person I had idolized; Lara Croft Tomb Raider unexpectedly, then realizing that James knew her and vice versa.
She and I didn’t have a choice but to work together, to stop the existing, and the remaining Secret Society known as the Illuminati, Lara and I have both faced them, but never together.  Now the only questions I have is who is their Leader now, what are they up to, why do they need us and the Crown for?  I have to be dreaming . . . That Hot as Hell Afghanistan heat must have got to my brain besides my body. . . ‘Somebody please, kick me.’ I thought as I was waking up slowly.
“Wake up Melanie Hansen Relic Raider.” said a female British accented voice, as I then felt her boot push me in my waist.  ‘Well, I guess I’m not dreaming then.’ I thought as I struggled to get my heavy-as-lead-body in gear.  I then opened my eyes very slowly, to find behind out that we were tied back to back together with ropes on our wrists with handcuffs that attached us together as we were facing the walls centimetres from our feet and faces.
“Oh-h-h! I feel like I have hit by a Seven forty-seven.” I groaned tiredly as I tried to move my heavy, stiff, body again, “I think they gave me a bigger dosage.”
“Come-on. Wake up,… please.” she said as she gave me another pushing kick.
I finally woke up completely to find that we were in some kind of dark narrow room with a musky odd sent; like an old, wet wood smell and another sent that smelled like paint that was either a day or hours old.  What ever it was it was giving my sinuses an huge headache behind my eyebrows.
“Where in the bloody world are we?” I asked, as I looked around in the dark room to only see what they have removed, “Awe… they have the nerve to take my gear?” I groaned, “That’s it I’m getting that high tech secure-gear system!”
“I’m not sure by where we are but whoever their leader is, wanted us alive.”
“Well the last thing I remember hearing; was that some guy which might be their new leader said that they will be needing us and they sent James’s body to the Canadian embassy in Cairo.  I guess that confirms your theory.”
“Let’s just concentrate on getting out of here, find our belongings and then the crown.”
“I can live with that.”
“So how long have you known James?” Lara asked.
“You know this is not the time and place to get personal.” I said as I played with my ropes, I’ve never liked getting personal much, even when facing the face of danger.  As I concentrated carefully on my ropes, although I can sense and even feel the frustration coming from Lara’s ropes behind me.  I could tell this was slowing her down, and she probably wanted me to give her another reason to trust me.
“In case if you haven’t noticed this is James we are doing this for.” she reminded me, I then knew there was no way out of this situation.
“Alright fine, you win.” I said with a huge sigh, “He was 6 when I was born, I was 7 when my parents took him in so in a way it was most of my life, he was an big influence to me and as well as a big Brother to me and my younger twin brothers.”
“What about in this field?”
“Well I fell in love with history and mythology as a child as far as I can remember, but when James started showing me artifacts I got hooked even on the dig sites.”
Lara froze as she asked, “You’re his Protégé?”
“I am who you say I am.”  I replied as I said my old line, “Our last mission was a few years ago in Greece I had an accident there that came close to killing me while retrieving the Idol of Three Fates.  So since you asked me, how about you.”
“Not as long as you have, since University long ago, he and I were in the same class taking the same courses, we‘ve stayed in touch since then and had 2 or 3 adventures together for good times sake.”
Now it was my turn to freeze, now I too couldn’t believe my ears, he knew her long before I even have heard of her, but why didn’t he tell me?  My guess he wanted it to be an surprise, some surprise it came to be.  
I forced myself to return my concentration to my ropes as I slipped my wrists out of my ropes with no problem.  Lara stopped, looked over her shoulder as she saw that I was free from my ropes.
“Ms. Hansen help me out here!” she called.
“Help? I thought you don't ask for help.”
“Only when I need it.  Now can you please help me out here?”
“Ok, one sec.”
I had a hunch as I was sure they missed something as I searched my cargo pockets, I found nothing at first but then I found my mini jackknife in a hidden pocket that was a slot behind the pocket cover in my Cargos.  I then took the last sharp blade out and used it to cut her ropes.  I have to get a new jackknife or get it sharpened, I used it a lot in many occasions.
“Looks like they didn’t take everything.” said I once she saw my knife.  
“Looks like they under estimated you.”
“That happens more than you think.” I said as I cut her ropes, “Darn blade’s a bit dull but it should do.”
She and I then felt the walls in the narrow room to find the a way out.  Then I realised that this wasn‘t no ordinary room, and I know all the 5 W’s about it, but none of them were about the Illuminati.  
“Looks like we’re in a First class luxury car made in the 1900’s.  Yet this also pass as the Conductor’s quarters too.”
“How can you tell that?”  Lara asked as we searched for a way out in the extremely dark, small, narrowed room.
“My Father works for the Canadian National Railway, I was in one of these a few years ago.  I can tell by the black paint painted over the stained glass and the smell of the old rotting and dusty wood always makes the same reaction with my sinuses, it drives me nuts.”
“I have found the door.  Do you think you can pick the lock?” She said as I  then followed her voice, and found the knob.
“Well,” I began as I then found the keyhole, “It wouldn’t hurt to find out.”  
I took out the metal tooth pick and the scissors out of my knife as I used them to carefully picked the lock, once I unlocked it I then opened the door a few inches.  Lara looked over my shoulder there in the next room was a middle-aged, and over-weight man, dressed sloppily, snoring and sleeping comfortably with his feet on the desk.  Not too far from him I noticed out belongings and gear in a broken glass China cabinet.
“A slob for a guard? This is too easy.” I heard Lara say as she shake her head in disgust.
I then saw a security camera in the corner opposite to us, I then threw my jackknife into the lens. Lara and I exited out the door quietly, she went to gather her gear at the cabinet.
“If he wakes up he’s mine.” I spoke as I went to the Camera to get my jackknife out of the lens, then I joined her at the cabinet to gather my gear.
“Let me guess the fellow that comes in next is mine?”
“You call it, you get it.”
“I’m liking it.”
“That’s weird.  I used say that cliché.”
She and I had just finished putting our gear on, when we saw the guard waking up; reacting fast I ran up as I putting my arm under his neck as I pinned his fat back to the wall hard.
“Sorry but we need some answers, NOW!” I growled, fiercely.

“I’m surprised you’re stronger than you look, sweet cheeks.” said the Slob.
I felt a bit ticked as I pressed harder, “Where are we?”
“Somewhere in the Sahara?” he guessed, as I squeezed harder.
“What do you know?” asked Lara.
“They’re doing some kind of ritual to raise the previous guy from the dead, you two are supposed to be the two sacrifices, I think.”
I let go of the Slob, “You know if we put him in our cell chances are they’ll kill him anyway afterwards.”
“Agreed.” she said.
“Can I go back to sleep?”
“Sure and I’ll help,” I said as I knocked him out with a swift kick. “So much for interrogating him.”
“You don’t like those kind of so called gentlemen, don’t you?” she teased.
“I’m going to say this once and once to you only.  I hate perverts, all of them.”



Chapter 8- The Temple of the Afterlife
Lara and I exited off the Passenger’s car and found ourselves still in the Sahara desert staring at a massive Black Marble Ancient Egyptian temple.  There were a lot of statues of Gods of the underworld, Pharaohs, animals, slaves, adults and children.  All of them were made out of Black Marble too, I’d never seen anything like this and I wouldn’t be sure what is going on either.  This place gave me that creepy feeling that I had months ago, it was an feeling that I wasn’t alone, wasn’t being watched or I wasn’t thinking twice before doing something stupid.
“Whoa!  Is this what I think it is?” said I, Lara turned and looked right at me.
“I beg your pardon?” she asked.
“We’re at The Temple of The Afterlife.”
“And I thought the Temple of Horus was worst.”
“Yah, I can relate to that. Except I was in the Tomb of the Fate." I spoke as we went inside, “The crown can be used to resurrect people, only on holy grounds.”
Lara then understood quickly, then we went inside the temple.  Lara lead the way and I stayed as close behind her, looking behind every once in a while for company.  I wasn’t surprised that there wasn’t any traps here, anyone would be nuts besides the Illuminati to come here.  Every corner, then along the walls there were skeletons all lined up by size tallest to shortest regardless of gender, by what it looked at an quick glance.  Every step we took the atmosphere was getting darker, and a bit colder.  I looked for my flashlight yet I didn’t find it in my pack or anywhere else, I knew it could be exactly where all this mess started.
“Ah, um, Ms. Croft, do you have one, err an extra one of those florescent light things?” I asked.
“Lost your electric torch?”
“My flashlight?  Oh … Bloody Hell Yes.” I grumbled sarcastically, I then asked her politely “Any chance my I can borrow one I promise to return it to you, please and thank you.”  She smiled as she gave me one as she then got one for herself too out from her back pack.  I thanked her and we continued onwards going deeper into the Creepy Temple.  And I thought the Temple of the Three Furies was bad in the end, guess not.
Lara lead the way as we further inside, I stayed close, but I looked behind me every few steps to make sure that there wasn’t any company coming behind us.  We then found a door and opened it together, and we gasped in awe as we gazed at the main chamber amazing, but, dark architecture.  The room was really an ancient funeral room, with Egyptian artifacts and Murals on the walls the room the only light in the room is coming from the torches which are evenly spaced apart between the pillars, there ahead of us we saw the crown on the alter meters away from the entrance.  I turned to Lara as she turned to me.
“Alright I’d admit you were right about the temple.” she said.
“Yeah, but I thought you knew about this place.”
“Not really, I’m just learning as I go.”
“That happens a lot on my side, like some days like today.”
“How did you find out about this?”
“James emailed me the information to me while I was at base in Kadahar, Afghanistan.”
“Ah I see- ‘Kadahar, Afghanistan’? That’s the war zone!”
“Well I did tell you my rank, I’m in the Royal Canadian Air Force, I’m the best fighter pilot in the country, also to mention a UN Peacekeeper too.  And since I’m an archaeologist I was asked to retrieve and study a sum of artifacts located in the caves that tunnelled into the mountains over there.  I had my hands full there.”  I explained.
“What else can you fly?”
“You name it I can fly it, even in a different language it’s all the same to me.”
“Hansen.”
“Yes, Ms. Croft?”
“Call me Lara.”
“Ok, Lara, you call me Melanie or better yet even Mel.” said I smiled knowing that she now trusts me, an idea popped into my head as I then asked “Why don’t we wait for them then pop out when they least expect it?”  
She looked at me as she said sarcastically, “Where would we hide then?”
“Well,” I then pointed at the ledge above us “I was thinking up there on that ledge in the columns, under the roof.  In my experiences not many people look up anyway.  Besides we could get our questions answered faster that way.”
“Out of sight out of mind?”
“Right on Raider!”
I took my whip, un rolled it, wrapped the tip around my left wrist as I threw the handle side around the nearest column and grabbed it with my right, as I began to climb up.  I figured Lara would think this was a waste of time, but I didn’t always use fancy devices that she uses most of the time.  I knew this was the quiet but also a work out in a way.
As I was climbing, half way up the column I heard footsteps then a small springing bang, then a clinging noise, I wasn’t sure what it was so I froze with my feet against the column.  I suddenly felt a hand grab my belt from behind, as I felt myself going backwards then upwards, I looked up to see the hand belonged to Lara.
“Hey what’s the big idea?” I asked as I looked up to her.
“Hush . . . We’ve got company coming.” she whispered.
“Oh, well next time could yah at least warn me please.” I muttered.



Chapter 9- Rituals
October 7- The Temple of The Afterlife, Egypt
Lara and I hid into the shadows above and we listen carefully to the footsteps coming from below.  We then watched eight men come in with a plastic covered stretcher with a large cube of ice, the block of ice six feet long, two and a half feet width and thickness too.  
I noticed there in the dark silhouette was really a man’s dead body frozen in it.  I noticed the left hand was the only part of the body that was defrosted, it looked more like a wet shiny rubber glove that resembled a human male hand.  The Men stopped, and stood there waiting only feet away from the main door where we were hiding meters above them.  I hate it when I get a bad feeling about this but I wasn’t sure if I was right or wrong.
“Looks like the ‘Slob’ wasn’t lying about the part that they are going to use the crown to resurrect their friend.” observed Lara.
“Yeah but Who?  I can’t think of anyone who would want to kill both you and I, right off the top of my head.” Said I as I navigated the area.  Lara looked to her left, as she watched a hidden door open out from the walls and three men were walking into the room.
“Looks like were going to find out a lot sooner.” she spoke softly.  I looked in the direction where she was looking.
“Well, this better be good.” I said.
The first pair of men entered the main chamber.  They wore the attire of the ancient Egyptian High Priests of the Pharaoh, with the insignia of the ‘All Seeing Eye’ that had been freshly tattooed on their left breast side on their chests.  ‘Ok, Lara is right about the resurrecting part, and I’m still clueless about their leader.’ I thought.
Then I saw the last person I expected to be their current leader, Manfred Powell’s personal assistant, Pimms, and he had the same tattoo at the back of his neck which was mark of the All seeing eye.  His blond hair was now shortened, brushed back tightly away from his face, he had drastically changed somehow, either way, I’m not enjoying this at all.  Had he touched the Idol of the Furies too?  Remembering that idol sent a chill up my spine, I remembered someone else was after it too…  It finally made perfect sense.
“No wonder,” I muttered.
“No it can’t be.” said Lara surprised.
“Agh, this gets even better and better.” I said sarcastically, adding a small sarcastic laugh.  Lara looked at me and saw I wasn’t happy to see him, either.
“You know them too?”
“Manfred Powell, and their friends tried to steal the Oracle’s Eye from me years ago thinking it was connected with this ‘Clock of Ages’ or this ‘Triangle of Light’ thing I kept hearing about.”
“Don’t worry about that those artifacts you kept hearing about, I taken care of them.” replied Lara.
“Well that’s good to hear.  Anyway, Pimms was there as Powell’s Men tried to steal it.  Boy, did I ever show them whose boss, they lost around 50% of their top men in 5 or less minutes, then once they got the clue that they weren’t gonna get it- They got their bloody derrieres out of there.”
“I can say I finished the other 50 in that same amount of time.” she said with an smile.  “You sure it was his elete men?"
"Well thinking of it now, I'm sure he saved the best for you."
"So what happened?”
“You really want me to tell it to you, now?”
“The ceremony might take a while.”
She did have a good point there.
* * *
Delphi, Greece, February 11, 2000
I have been eighteen for 5 days, and have been working with James (who would be soon 24 in May 15) on the artifact called the ‘Oracle’s eye’.  The legends actually claim that it originally was the tear of Apollo that had fell into the eye socket of an woman he loved that lost her eye in an terrible accident.  Whoever the woman was, she became the first Oracle in Delphi’s holy temples.  Another was that she didn’t need to inhale the smoke of the burning olive branches to see the future.  She was also seen as an figure of justice because could see the past to determine if a criminal is lying or not, just by using the eye she was given.
According to the text she had other abilities, but none weren’t specific by what the other two or three abilities were.  James and I decided that we should be careful when it came to retrieving it for the Athens’s Museum of Ancient Greek History, and keep this as quiet as we could, or better yet we have to keep it quiet.
For the last two nights someone or some ones has been snooping around the campsite and I had the sinking feeling that we weren’t alone since we had arrived here.  During the night James and I took turns keeping watch on the camp just in case if an ambush happens to come out of nowhere.  Yesterday night, James had fell asleep and I woke up when someone entered the tent trying to steal one of the recent artifacts that we had found.  I attacked the guy, he was a good fighter yet I was faster and smaller than he was, a piece of cloth ripped from his vest as I hit him with an tent pole that he tried to use as an bow, the man got away, so I put the pole back in it’s place.  
I was about to get back in the sleeping bag, when I noticed the ripped cloth.  I knelt down and picked it up, on it was the ancient symbol of an triangle as inside there were ‘fleur du leis’ as they were surrounding an eye.
I didn’t understand why it seamed familiar, yet I had that feeling again that someone or some ones might pop up and try to take it from us once we found it.  It then popped up as I remembered I had read in a book in the archives somewhere about an ancient yet possibility still existing Secret Society that were waiting for an huge solar eclipse of all the planets and to the some ancient artifact that had the power to control time forever.  I figured whoever is behind it wants to use the eye to see who gets it first, or where some ancient clock/key is right now and maybe when this eclipse is going to happen.
“James.” I said as I went up to him, “Wake up!” Which that didn’t work cause he was still asleep, I grabbed him and shock him until he woke up.
“Ok, I’m up.  Melanie, what’s the matter with you?” he said then he noticed the mess and the cloth I found.  “Let me guess ‘They’ the so called Illuminati found out?”
“I would have to presume so.  We have to get the tomb and find the Oracle’s Eye now!”
We dug fast as we found the tomb of the underground temple.  I went in first, as James went in after me cautiously.  We were only 10 feet underground when I heard and felt vibrations coming from the ground within.  I knew it could only be one thing company is coming behind us, lots of it and I didn’t have to guess who they are.
“Sissy I don’t like that look on your face, what is it?”
“We got company coming, run and follow me.”
Running into the shadows, I took out my zip line shot it, as James and I held on and flew over a big pit.  Once we landed onto the other side I took my knife to cut the line as we then  saw to see our competitors on the other side.

“I believe we haven’t met yet young Lady.” Called the Leader in chief.
“I know you’ve had a spy watching our camp!  And I know you and your friends are from the Illuminati Mr-.”
“Powell, Manfred Powell.” he said as he introduced himself.
“I’m Mr. Pimms.” said the man behind him trying to make an entrance, yet I saw him and guys with guns lots of them.
“Charmed under the circumstances, I’m Dr. James Hansen.”
“And I’m Melanie Hansen Relic Raider!”
“What’s the difference between you and the Tomb Raider?” asked Pimms.
“Don’t tempt me!” I yelled, “Or you will find out the hard way!”
“Let’s get straight to the point Ms. Hansen, we need the Oracle’s eye.  To finding the Clock of Ages.”
“Yah well, better luck next time.  As long as I’m around you’re not getting it!” I yelled but then I seen sees that they were getting their zip lines ready.  “AWE, NUTS!” I added as I grabbed James by the sleeve as we ran farther through the tunnels.
“Sis, I hate it when you do that.”
“Don't remind me!  Here we go again!” We ran with Powell's guys after us close behind.  “Bro you get the Oracle's Eye I'll distract them.” I said as I took out my knife then hid in the shadows again.
“You better distract them!” he said as he ran for it.  I distracted them with combat moves, a couple of kicks, punches, and giving them a wound to remember me by, a reminder not to get into my way.  “Melanie, we have another problem here.” called James again.
“Oh, really?” I said in disbelief as I kicked a big burly African European who happened to be their commander that I somewhat felt sorry for, “We already have ‘A’ problem.”
“No, the Illuminati are the least of our problems now.”
“What the heck are you talking about?”
“Turn around!”
I did as I saw an battalion of stone Hoplites moving not just in our way, the way of The Illuminati too.  “Holy Cripes ahoy.”  I heard myself say as I grabbed my pistols.  “Duck!”  James ducked as I destroyed as many Hoplites as I could as we went inside to get the Eye.  “How many more are out there?”
“I first saw seven or there could be more.”
“Looks like some things are bound to change.”
Getting out proved it wasn’t going to get easy or be easy.  The Alive possessed Stone Statues of Hoplites and the Illuminati together made problem of escaping even more trickier.  Two groups of threats and only two siblings as one of them was trying think of an idea to get out of this nasty situation from getting worst.  This was not fun.  We managed to outsmart them all by staying low as we crawled in the shadows as we let the Illuminati fight the growing number of Possessed Stone Hoplites attacking.  Once out James and I grabbed all our belongings that we had repacked and borrowed one of their Land Rovers.  As we were escaping I realised there was something I had to say.
“James.”
“Yeah?”
“I think it's time for me to do the dirty work, instead of the both of us.”
“Sis you aren't ready.”
“I don't care what you say Bro! I don't want to see you hurt!” and that was the truth.  Not long later he found out he was going to be a father, and after Timothy was born he thanked me because of that.



Chapter 10- Confessions and Surprises
The Temple of The Afterlife, Egypt
Back to the present, Lara and I watched the eight men take the body blocked in ice off the stretcher then held it as an stone alter raised out from the floor, then gently the eight men placed the ice sarcophagus onto the alter.  As the Eight men then walked away from the body, then stood near the columns as the two Priests went into position one at the head the other at the feet of Powell’s ice sarcophagus.
“I have a theory of how Pimms changed.” I said.
“How, he was just a innocent idiot?”
“Our last mission that nearly killed me, as I recall there were a few people after it the Idol of the Three Furies, too.”
“So,” began Lara, “You knowing nothing, wasn’t sure what to do at first correct?”
“If I known then what I know now, I should have destroyed the ruins and the idol.”
I then looked up and saw Pimms heading for the Crown on the main Alter, then he stood at Powell’s left side.  Pimms nodded and the two priests began to chant an ancient ritual to the Sun God, Ra.   A ray of light appeared from the north east end of the chamber opposite to where we were hiding, the we noticed that the ice sarcophagus was melting faster than usual.  I listened carefully to their chanting, then I translated it out loud softly enough for Lara to hear me.
“ ‘Oh Ra god of sun send you rays of warmth to free our Pharaoh from his solid water crystal sarcophagus’.”
“Looks like their spell is working well on the ice, however Powell wasn’t considered a Pharaoh.” muttered Lara.
“But a Pharaoh is still the people’s leader.” I then paused for a second then added, “To them at least.”
The Priest at Powell’s head then walked to join the other priest at Powell’s feet  I then saw Pimms lift the Crown over his head then he looked around, but he did not look up where we were hiding in the dark shadows.
“I Call upon you Osiris the God of the Underworld to awaken the Master laid before me and his followers so that he may raise to kill those who have overpowered Us many moons ago.”  said Pimms.
I looked to Lara, as she looked at me, both of us were not disappointed.
“I guessed that had to be coming, sooner or later.” I muttered.
“I saw that coming too.”
“Had enough now, eh?” I asked.
“Absolutely!” she growled.

She jumped off first I jumped down after her as we then landed onto the floor, within seconds a shoot out.  Lara shot two men down on one shot as I flipped in the air shooting my fair share down below, ran up the wall cracked my whip went up side down and sniped another two down as I swung to the opposite side of the room flipped back landing onto the floor.
I landed as I looked to see Lara, our work wasn’t finished yet.  Pimms was still alive and unhurt had placed the crown on Powell’s completely defrosted head.
Powell’s flew eyes open, and as he got up quickly ice exploded as they flew to all directions, Lara and I quickly took cover behind two pillars to our left side, lastly we then saw Powell’s wounds heal as he looked around his new surroundings.
“You have a habit of speaking too soon, don’t you?” asked Lara to me.
“Hey!  I wasn’t born on Friday the Thirteenth.” I replied, “But I have jinxed myself sometimes when I was negative about a situation.”
“Why are you being honest to me?” Lara asked.
After hearing that I gulped nervously, “Can I answer that later?”
“No, I’d rather know now.”
“Alright! Alright, Already!!!!  Lady Croft, you’re my Idol.” I confessed finally, I felt ashamed that I didn‘t say it earlier.
“Well I’m flattered to hear that.” was her response.
Powell then turned as he saw the changed Pimms smiling and kneeled before him.  For a few seconds Powell couldn’t recognize him.
“Brother Powell; my Master it has been too long.” Pimms said as he stood up.
“Pimms?? Where am I?  The Last thing I remember was; Lady Croft giving me a beating while the Temple of Ten Thousand Shadows was falling apart.” said Powell.

Lara hearing this got up then went out of the shadows to face them.  I then took out a tape recorder from my pack as I taped the so called conversation hoping for an confession from the someone who killed James, for evidence.
“You defiantly deserved that Powell!” Lara yelled out as her voice echoed through the main chamber.
“Croft? Here? Pimms fill me in.” Ordered Powell.
“We forced Dr. James Hansen to take us to the location of the Crown of Osiris,” Pimms began as he further explained, “I then killed him to slow down the Raiders, and we are still in Egypt, we are in the sacred temple of Osiris, and Anubis, otherwise known as the Temple of the Afterlife.”
I turned off the tape recorder returning it to my pack.  It then it became my turn to come out of the shadows into the light of the temple.
“Thanks for confession Pimms!” I then growled as I glared at Powell, “Hi Powell, no time no see!”  
Powell smiled evilly as he looked at Pimms “I suppose I can use the power to destroy them?”
“Yes.” spoke Pimms.  Powell then held up his hands palms up as fireballs suddenly appeared.  I had a bad feeling things were going to get more unexpected.
“Uh oh, I don’t like the look of this.” said I nervously.
“I don’t expect you to get used to this quickly Ladies.  You don’t know how long I’ve been waiting for this.” He said.
“Actually I do.” said Lara and I together, we then quickly glanced at each other then ran as we saw him throw the fireballs at us.  We dodged, rolled, and took cover behind a pillar at opposite sides.

I looked were we once stood, two holes flaming in the stone walls.  I got up, ran as I shot to wound Pimms in the spine, and dodged more fireballs.  Lara and I had our share of shooting Powell several of times which times like this nothing but the world and our lives matters.
Only one problem we had both discovered, every time we shot him the bullets didn’t kill him, he just healed and got stronger by power.  ‘Looks like Da-ja-Vu all over again.’ I thought as he threw more fireballs at us, I was still running, with fireballs coming closer only inches from me.
“Ok, This is Bad.” I said as I then took cover behind a pillar, then suddenly another fireball exploded thorough the pillar nest to me, then I added “Ok, forget that last remark! This is worst!”  I then ran out and started doing it all over again.

Lara knew pistols weren’t going to work but how was she going to stop Powell now?  Lara dodged another fireball and rolled behind one of the four undamaged pillars.  She then looked over her shoulder, She saw me running and Powell’s aim was getting better but she didn’t see Pimms anywhere.
“Now where did that dirty rascal Pimms go?”  she muttered. As she watched me take cover at the pillar at her right side.
“I have seen many strange things in my career but that is nothing compared to this!” I panted.
“I can’t think of anything to top this either!  Where is Pimms?”
“I shot that bloody dimwit in the spine as I was running from Powell’s fireballs!”
“Get up and run he’s getting ready again.” Lara said as she checked Powell.
“Ah-h!  No, not again.” I grumbled my complaint as we got up.



Chapter 11- A Raider Saves the Raider
She and I ran out together in separate directions in the chamber.  Powell formed another fireball, but he made it small as a baseball for an easy throw.  The only question is, who was he going to throw it to kill?
He then saw Lara, smiling he then threw it as he aimed at her heart.  ‘NO!!’ I thought as my face went pale for half a second, time slowed down as I then ran my fastest as I jumped high in front of her as I pushed her away as I took the fireball as it hit in my abdomen.
“AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!” I screamed, in agony as the forcing thrust of impact threw me into the wall hard, landing roughly onto the stone tilled floor.  James had already died I wasn’t going to let them Kill anyone else when I was around.

Lara then grabbed my foot as she dragged me behind a pillar as Powell tried to conserve power, I cried in pain as she carefully placed my back to the wall.  I stubbornly tried to tell her I will be ok, but she knew as I did that I wasn’t.
“Stay still Melanie!  Let me see it and try to stay alive!” Cried Lara as she grabbed me by my shoulders and forced me to stay still as she stared into my eyes.
“Ok, I’ll do my best.” I panted painfully.  I watched Lara inspected my wound, I saw sorrow on her face, it wasn’t good.
“You’re going to need medical attention immediately.  If James were here he’d know what to do about the Crown.”
“Oh, come-on, he always forgets about something important.” I said as I gathered my strength, and fought the pain as I took out the artifact that James had given me in Afghanistan, it was a silver anulk with the ‘Eye of Isis’ inside, I then gave it to her.  
“James asked me to hold onto this for safe keeping.” I explained, “I want you to throw this at the crown that should make him powerless and send Powell soul back to hell.  I’m not sure what else it can do.”
“What about you?”
“You already asked me to stay alive.” I spoke weakly while fighting the agony of the injury.
“Good enough.” she replied as she got up to face Powell waiting for us to show ourselves.

Lara walked in calmly into the Temple’s Light as she stared Powell in the eyes hiding the anulk behind her back.  He formed a fireball, she threw the anulk at him as he threw the fireball at her.
She dodged to the right as it flew past her only by one inch from her body as it then crashed and exploded into the wall, as the Anulk hit the crown on Powell’s head.  Powell began to weaken slowly, then his wounds reappeared, then bullet wounds bleed out of his body as the crown then fell off his head as he fell down onto the floor and died again as his body returned to an Human icicle.
I relaxed then focused, and slowly fought the pain as I meditated, however I heard reality in the background.  Lara then grabbed the artifacts and placed them in her pack as he ran to check on me.  She didn’t realise I was meditating, thinking of the worst the took my arm  pulled it over her shoulder and carried me to the stretcher, tore off the plastic, and placed my body on it.
She then heard many pairs of running footsteps coming our way, she took her left pistol, pushed the stretcher with her right as she ran through the hall shooting every bad guy in the way.  After that my meditation closed the sounds of reality as I let my fate rest with Lara, until my injuries in my body have settled.

October 7- Sahara Desert, Egypt
I don’t know how we got back to tomb where we first met, but as I was waking up slowly, I felt Lara carrying me to her jeep.  She opened the door and I heard her grunt as she lifted me into the passenger seat.  
‘Ouch,’ I thought as I felt a small sharp pain where my wound is, ‘I think I need another half hour of meditation to get that spot.’ She then closed the passenger door, then ran around and jumped into the driver’s seat, she took off her pack, then mine, and buckled her seat belt.  She was about to do mine when I woke up and grabbed her wrist.
“Lara, please I don’t like being babied!” I said weakly.
“I thought you were dieing.” Lara said astonished.
“I refuse to be killed by anyone and anything.” I sighed, “When you were facing Powell I fell in deep meditation, it’s an ancient Spiritual Healing method I learned and mastered in a Hindu monastery in Indonesia months ago.”
Lara inspected my wound under the dressing she had placed over it.  Two/thirds of it was healed, it didn’t hurt much now, and I was getting my strength back fast.  Still I knew I knew my condition concerned her, but she was surprised by how much healed in such a short time.
“Your wound is still serious Melanie.” she said as she let me buckle myself in.
“Tell me something that I don’t know!” I said adding a chuckle as she started the jeep as we drove away from the tomb.  Lara stopped the jeep, reached for her pack took out the anulk and placed it over my wound.
“First things first.” she said as I watched my wound heal completely, and painlessly.  Lara then giggled at me when she saw the surprised expression frozen on my face.
“I think this is the cue to play the music.” I said as we headed off with the sunset beside us.
“I can’t disagree to that.” Lara agreed as she turned on the mp3 player in the Jeep’s sound system.  As I listened to the techno/rock music I was surprised again. “What is it now?” she asked as she drove.
“I never thought you had a good taste in music, I was expecting, well something classical.”
“Well, only on certain occasions, yes, but never in the cars and for adventure purposes in the jeep.”



Chapter 12- Before we go
Cairo, Egypt
Once we arrived in Cairo, right in front of the Cairo museum I knew I had three good reasons not to go in.  One of them was obvious, that would happen once we entered and I wasn’t sure how Lara would take it.  The second reason was well an ex-crush of mine works in there, once I found out what kind of man he really was it was clear (to me) it was not going to work at all.  And to this day, he still adores me although he’s married to another woman, if only he paid more attention to her be better for the both of us ladies.  The third another obvious one…
“Mel are you alright?” asked Lara breaking the silence between us.
I was about to speak when my stomach spoke for me once it growled, loudly, as Lara smiled.  “I’d guess some food wouldn’t hurt.” I replied as I got out of her Land Rover.  “Anywhere you like to go to while we’re here?”
“Not really, Melanie.  I’ve haven’t been here in an long time.”
“Last time I was here it wasn’t that long ago…ok maybe it was about the same time I‘d think.” I said as we spotted an outdoor burger kiosk with some sheep tables and umbrellas.  I ordered the Pharaoh’s Burger with a pop can of Iced Tea, as Lara ordered the same.
“I’ll pay for our orders.” she offered, as her took my wrist as I got my wallet.
“Lara I have enough money to pay.”
“I have a feeling you’ll be needing it for an second helping.”
I instantly understood what she was talking about, so I didn’t argue with her, I knew arguing with anyone was pointless.  I sat down at a table as I waited for our order.  It wasn’t that the food in Afghanistan wasn’t bad, it was good but I’ve well been too absorbed with my work I didn’t realize it was loosing weight.  That ten pound lost caused me to become temporary grounded from flying f-18’s.  There was another reason for once in my life I got homesick for once in a long time…
When our order arrived I ate silently and slow.  I was trying to think what to say to her about that I get paid for this for an living.  I wanted her to understand why too, that’s why I was thinking carefully…
“Why being so silent?”
“Well,” I began, “Lara remember when I mentioned my dad?”
“Yes, he works for the CNR.”
“Well, that wasn’t his only job, almost every family member in my family history either had one of a few other jobs in their lives, the worked hard and harder to overcome their struggles…  Me,… well I was pressured because for the longest time we were lead to believe that no one graduated or completed high school or any other higher level of education.  James showed me a way to me to make history in my family tree, it wasn’t going to be easy, but I did it.  I did Relic Raiding at first to pay my education, once I graduated things changed, I changed to this day I still don’t know what I want.”
“So you don’t sell your findings to the highest bidder?”
“No, to the museums and not at the highest price.  I’m not that greedy.”
“Ah I see, but you do keep them for a while.”
“There has been occasions that the museums asked me to make a reproduction of the artifact and for me to keep the original, but it’s rare.  There’s times I don‘t even want to keep them and that‘s very rare.  Um Lara?  I have a proposition.”
“Oh?” she asked, “and what would that be?”
“Well if you ever get an assignment for here in Egypt I’ll do it for you-.” I began.
“Is there a catch?”
“I was getting to it,” I sighed, “In exchange for any of the assignments I get…”
“Any of them?” she asked with interest.
“I’m not ready to set foot in Greece, Lara.” I said finally.
“Why is that?”
“What happened to you the last time you were here happened to me in Greece, almost like yours.”
“Ah I see,” she said as she put some thought to it, “well it’s an win- win situation… I don’t see why not.”

“Ms. Croft? And Ms. Hansen?” said an museum employee as we both entered (with our guns tucked away in our packs).  Lara and I glanced at each other as we laughed together as the media then approached us as we showed the world our discoveries.

“Ms. Hansen is it true your grounded from flying?” asked a reporter.
“Let’s just say I’m looking forward to having mom’s chocolate chip cookies once I get home.” I replied as everyone laughed.  But in the back of my mind as I was sure Lara knew I was really thinking of James…

As if the day could get any odder, it did happen…  Lara and I were in the curator’s office as I had made some calls into finding James’ body.  Apparently no body has received his remains and I was getting frustrated.  He wasn’t at embassy nor at any morgues I’ve called in both hospitals, police departments and funeral homes.
“Any luck?”
“As the expression goes… No…” I muttered, “Maybe we should head back-.”
“Mel I’ve already checked he wasn’t there.”
Now I surprised myself here, as I was calm, “Really?  How long was I out?”
“Alright almost three hours.”
“So much happened in so little time, wow. What did you find?”
“Nothing that can help us there was a small sandstorm, it covered the tracks outside the temple.”
“So in other words you didn’t find anything out of place?”
“I’m afraid not.”
“Another dead end, pun not attended.” I muttered.
“Mel we did everything we could.”
“I know, but even still…” I spoke with a sigh, “I hate feeling helpless…”
“Hmm…  You know, I have just the thing that will cheer us up.”



Chapter13- The Greatest Thrill
October 8- Lara’s Estate; Surrey, England
Lara and I were trying a simulation together at her house.  Both of us were in similar outfits: short sleeve tee-shirt, shorts, the usual accessories, with our own personal twist.  
The simulation tomb was an Egyptian reproduction of an actual temple.  It was complete with statues of pharaohs, recognizable gods and goddesses, pillars, obelisks, a sarcophagus, in front of it was an pillar like alter with the prize inside a plastic jeweled styled case.  
It was impressive alright, maybe someday I should invite her to my house and try my simulation, giving me an excuse to reinvade it.  Just thinking about that sounds like fun, lots of fun, challenging and un-resistible.  This looked easy, too easy, but I could be wrong, that Droid A.K.A. Simon was unpredictable to what I heard from her friend Bryce observing the monitors in the control room.
“Are you sure Simon is programmed to try and kill both of us?” I asked.
“Want to find out?” Lara joked as we ducked as Simon appeared and attacked us.
“Never mind.” I yelled as Simon threw me onto the floor then attacked Lara but she back flipped over the sarcophagus.  I gave Simon a few bullets, dodged a few attacks then took cover behind the obelisk.  Lara appeared as she attacked Simon, I recharged my pistols  then got out from my hiding place as I attacked Simon from behind.  He then charged after me, I ran and jumped flipped over the sarcophagus landed on my feet beside Lara who was now was recharging her pistols.
“So what do you think?” She asked.
“I think I need a new Droid.” I replied.

“CRASH!!!!!” Simon’s arm burst out of the sarcophagus between our heads.  Lara and I then got up as we fired bullets at him, she then ran I then returned my left pistol to the holsters as I took out my whip, faced him, cracked it, flew over him giving him a headache of bullets returned my pistol to the holster and jumped onto his back as my whip let wrapped itself around his neck and then I held on tightly as he started bucking, I held on tighter as I tried to get closer to his head, he then circled and started bucking around, as he jumped, he was going crazy, as for me I was laughing and giggling my head off.
“Now this is Bronco riding.” I yelled, excitedly as flipped off Simon’s back and gave him a few bullets, then my pistols clicked . . . empty, “Uh-oh, I’m out of ammo period!”  
Simon was about to attack me when Lara came out and shot him from behind.  Simon then turned to attack her, I sighed with relief then ran and jumped onto his back, forced the hatch to open, grabbed a fist full of wires, pulled and then he finally shut down.
“Looks like we make a great team Melanie.” said Lara as I jumped down off Simon.
“Well two is better than one.”
Lara then took the prize and placed the microchip in Simon, then we listened to Lara’s Party Mix, then we took Simon by the arms and dragged him out to the Control room.  
“Hmm, Bronco Riding?  Never tried that before.  Sounds like fun.”
“Lara, you don’t know what you are missing!”
Bryce, Lara’s technical expert went fanatical when he saw the damage.  Lara and I laughed at him as he was cursing at the mess we made out of Simon.  We then exited the control room still giggling at Bryce complaining to himself behind us.
“Hi gals.” said a very familiar voice.  She and I then froze once we heard that familiar voice then clear his through.  We turned, there was James, alive and smiling in the hall.
“James!” we cried.
“I should hand it to you Melanie that Meditation trick worked.” he chuckled.
“We thought you were dead.” said Lara.
“James I didn’t teach you that.” I said, which I knew I didn’t teach him that, yet I knew I should have taught it to him.
“You two assume too much.  Now if you can excuse me I have to go home to pick up Timothy.”
Lara and I stood there stunned as we watched James leave the room, and the house.
“You better teach it to me.” said Lara breaking the silence.
“Ah yeah sure.” I stuttered then paused and added, “Lara I don’t mean to be rude but I have a sinking feeling this isn’t over yet.”  I followed her to her study’s doors, she then turned to me and said “Well it is now.”
“That doesn’t make me feel better.” I sighed as we entered the study.
“Is it possible for someone to come back to life using that Meditation thing you learned in Indonesia?”
“I guess it does now, but I’m sure I didn’t- AAAAhhhh-h!  Humphrey!”
“Ah yes the loyal and true Butler.” she said as she took a box off her shelf.
“Yah, right, Raider.  Ah, . . .What yah doin’?”
Lara opened the box and showed me what was inside I gasped there inside was the Prayer Wheels.  I looked up at her as she saw my face become pale-paler.
“I had them first, he stole them from me, gave them to you know who, you returned the favor by getting even, and returned them rightfully to me.  Am I right?” Lara theorized.
“Yes, I did Lara, I didn’t have much time left to put my initials on the letter to save time so I can go home, something urgent that needed my expertise.  Sorry if I-.”
“Oh Melanie relax could you!”
“Okay.” I smiled.
“So what’s the deal I’ve been hearing about you and her Majesty the Queen?”
“I’m getting knighted sometime after my 26th birthday.” I replied, “Let’s just say I had to finish something that another Idol asked me to do that her Majesty’s Father had assigned during the Second World War.”
“Interesting, I could think of something relate to that in a way.  Yet I‘m not sure if I know you well enough to tell you yet.”
“Take your time, it‘s the same story over here.”  I said as I looked at the bright side, “Well it looks like we don’t have to go to a funeral.”
“Mel?” Lara asked as she took something else from her desk, “can I ask you another question?”
“Yah?”
Lara then held up as I saw a McLean’s magazine with me on the front page as I looked like I had my foot on a big bag net with something in it as the caption above said ‘Sacking Sasquatch, and secrets of it’s survival.  The exclusive from Melanie Hansen Relic Raider.’  “What’s the difference between Bigfoot and Sasquatch?”
I found myself smiling as I knew that was a story worth telling.


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