Featured: Cosplay Lara Croft (Tomb Raider: Underwold)
Chapter 14: Loanna's Sacrifice
The images rushed before him and the scene changed. This time it was a small dark room. The Grand Master and Loanna were talking, while she lit up the darkness with a torch.
“The expedition we sent to Cappadocia has succeeded,” said the old man, this time dressed in armour. “The Nephilim were destroyed.”
“But how's that possible?”
“They were mired in a kind of lethargy. It was easy to annihilate them.”
“Then the only one left is Drakul!” She said, crossing herself to protect from the evil the very act of pronouncing that name evoked.
The Grand Master frowned. “I wish it was that simple, child. One of them ran away. We found his hole empty. Anyway, this is not the issue that worries me now.” He went to a chest in the corner and pulled out a velvet pouch containing a spherical object, a beautiful blue crystal sphere, carved with strange symbols.
“We call it the Periapt,” he said. “Actually, we a
Chapter 13: The Amazon's Tomb
Giselle approached the patient, a seventeen-year-old boy who was hurting himself as he struggled desperately against the straps that tied him to the stretcher. “Keep still,” she advised, tapping the syringe a few times. “The less you resist, the less it’ll hurt.”
The boy kept squirming. Of course, Giselle knew he didn’t understand German, for he was a recent victim, an Italian kidnapped during a class trip. She also knew he couldn't hear at all anymore. The last dose she administered had left him completely deaf. But it was necessary to sacrifice some patients for the cause.
She injected the serum and left the room, ignoring the crying teenager. “Close the door,” she ordered to Friedrich, the guard. “The inmates are unbearable this morning.” And it was true. Through the white painted halls all sorts of moans, cries, and laments filled the air.
“Did you know the Meister has returned from Romania?” Friedrich said, lo
Chapter 11: The Egyptologist
Lara met Kurtis sometime later and they sat in the hotel café. All televisions and radios were broadcasting the events of last night: Bran castle had suffered serious fire damage and the police had arrested the suspects Marten Gunderson and some of his accomplices. On the television Professor Ivanoff was giving a statement: “...a great loss for our national patrimony...this terrorist has struck a hard blow to our castle conservation efforts...”
“Do you think others could be implicated?” Asked the reporter. “The suspect in custody has stated there were more participants, one of them a woman...”
“Nonsense.” Ivanoff said. “I saw no one apart from that crazy man and his gang...”
Kurtis lit a cigarette and said: “Well, at least that big mouth of his is helpful for once.”
“In any case, we're not safe here. The sooner we leave, the better.” Lara said. “What did you want to tell me?”
Chapter 10: The Amazon Story
Ivanoff rose and led his "guests" to a slide projector. He switched it on and placed several transparencies on the panel. They showed a Latin text with shakey handwriting, small and difficult to read.
“Loanna knew how to speak, read, and write in Latin,” he began to explain. “A very educated woman, she was the daughter of a Croatian feudal lord, so she was raised in a convent. When she reached the age of sixteen she was meant to be married, but Loanna refused, and since she was her father's favourite child, he allowed her to remain unwed. Here she tells how she learned to ride, fight, and handle all sorts of weapons. She was very skilled with the bow and the sword, similar to Joan of Arc.”
“That’s unusual.” Lara said, “It was more likely she would have returned to the convent, as happened to women who refused to get married.”
“Loanna was special. Unfortunately, I've not been able to find references to her in archives or other
Chapter 15: Putai
It was getting dark when they left the stronghold. The return trip had been easy, with the skeletons leading the way, though Lara felt awkward about following a bunch of bones who treated Kurtis with great respect, and was mostly miffed when she noticed the traps didn't react to his presence. She commented about taking Kurtis everywhere from then on to avoid booby-traps and also something about her work no longer having any intrigue or passion.
The sunlight blinded their eyes when they came out. Jean, who was there leading the excavators, ran towards them: “How did it go? Sacré bleu!” He said, looking at Kurtis. “What happened, Monsieur Trent?” Kurtis had half of his face black with clotted blood.
“Occupational hazards,” said Lara. “Is the infirmary already set up?”
“Yes, by there.”
Upon entering the stronghold, they had left behind a wasteland devastated by the sirocco, but now there was a real camp.
Kurtis refused help