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Old 16-10-19, 01:07   #1
Rai
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Default Unfinished Business - Fan-fics that got away

So, I've been getting back into writing and this included Tomb Raider fan-fiction. Donkeys years ago, this forum held fan fiction competitions and I participated. If I can find the links, I will post them so you can see some of my really early work. Plus also stories by members some of you won't know. Some of the comps, I didn't write stories for, so now I'm going to see if I can change that. I'm going to try really hard to keep this thread going.

To start though, I'll post a story I wrote in 2014 and posted on the Square Enix Forums for a competition they did.

It's a bit early for a Christmas story, but never mind, eh? It's a reboot story, so be warned if you're not a fan of reboot Lara or Sam. It's also close to 2,000 words, so I forgive you if you don't get through it.

**

Lara’s Santastic Surprise!

12th December

As rugged and mountainous that it was Gemiler Island was still beautiful to Lara. The many remains of Byzantine and Christian churches were an archaeologist’s dream. The highest point haloed by the setting sun was a breathtaking sight to behold. The quant crescent bay was deserted this time of year. Sailors wouldn’t be mooring their boats here at least until the spring.

Lara moored her hired boat in a little known cove out of sight from the bay. Even in the winter light, the sea was still turquoise; frothy waves like miniature dancers performed their shore ballet gently against the sand.
Lara stood still taking in the quiet, breathing in the salty air. The wind whipped her ponytail behind her and her cheeks blushed red from the cold winds. For the first time in months, Lara felt at peace on this quaint little island rich with history. Lara let her thoughts wander as she took in the island’s picturesque view. She’d visited her friend before setting off and Sam had been distracted and alarmingly hostile when Lara had told her where she was going. Lara sighed. She wouldn’t be exploring the ruins today. Not topside at any rate. No, tonight, Lara was seeking out the hidden, those dark dank places proving so elusive to the usual sightseer.

This archaeologist wasn’t interested in gravestones. Even the arches of the processional walk couldn’t temp t her. Lara snapped the viewer of her camera shut, packed it back into her backpack and headed west.
Initially, her research had turned up nothing unusual about the island; all the usual data was instantly available. She’d found several references to the churches that were visible and easy to access. Gradually as she’d dug deeper, little hints that there was more here than met the eye became bigger, more substantial. Finally she found what she was looking for. Now all she had to do was find physical evidence of the written clues she’d followed...

“There has to be something!” she said aloud in frustration, slinging her backpack down. A rabbit scuttled past her feet and toward a burrow and just a few feet away to the right...”A cave!” Lara slung her pack back over her shoulders and ran toward the dark entrance. Unhooking a torch from her belt, Lara stepped gingerly inside. She jumped at a scuttling sound but the beam of light revealed it only to be a crab. With one hand holding the torch tight, she kept the other loose hovering over her pistol holster. She wasn’t going to be taken by surprise by any wolves or other menacing enemy this time.

“Aaaah!” Lara screamed as the floor gave way from under her feet and she found herself half sliding, half falling down a steep slope. Her free hand instinctively reached out for solid ground; she could feel the rough rock beneath her palm and a stinging sensation as skin was grazed and torn. Finally the fall ended and she fell forward, but managed to correct her balance before she landed on her face. The heal of her hand was bleeding slightly, but she had no time to worry about trivial wounds. Instead Lara aimed the torch beam all around her to gauge her surroundings. Three narrow paths lined with jagged walls lay ahead and left and right, like an oversized rabbit warren.

“Mustn’t be late now” Lara whispered into the darkness, thinking bizarrely of Wonderland’s White rabbit. The archaeologist took an educated guess and followed the path to the left. The torch only lit two feet in front of her. Keeping the light concentrated on the floor, Lara used her hand on the wall, partly as a guide and partly for support. Progress was slow as it felt that every step was a step to the unknown. The floor beneath her was uneven and rocky. Her fingertips brushed at cobwebs and once or twice, she came face to face with a large web, which she had to brush aside, making the intrepid explorer squirm. She hated spiders. She squealed and swore out loud when a spider crawled across her hand.

The light beam picked up a change in the floor’s texture. What was that, a puddle? No, it was too defined to be water. Even though the air was cold and damp, it would be unlikely a large puddle could form down here. As she inched forward, it became apparent that this was a gap, and a sizeable one. “That’s fine. “ Lara reasoned, “I can jump that.” She was developing the habit of talking to herself, she realised. Well it was preferable to the dense quiet. Reaching the edge, Lara trained the torch light downwards. “****,” she let out the swear almost involuntarily. The gap was more of a very deep pit, with what was easily a 20ft drop... onto several spikes. This was going to be a leap of faith if ever there was one. Hooking the torch back onto her belt, Lara backed up and then took a run and leaped high and long, making a silent prayer as her feet left the ground. Her body flew forward and automatically arched to the other side. Instinctively her arm reached out and Lara prepared to roll if necessary upon landing. Her booted foot left the edge and then she was falling. She managed to grab a rock with her fingertips. She forced her legs forwards so her toes were resting against the wall of the pit, her other hand grabbed at another hand hold. Slowly, carefully, Lara climbed up the pit and hauled herself up and over the edge. She remained on all fours for a minute as she caught her breath. That had been close.

Her near miss scared her a little. She sighed heavily with relief as she stood up and made herself stable. Maybe this wasn’t such a good plan after all. This trip had meant to be easy: Travel to Turkey, take a boat to the island, find the artefact and go, then continue to part two. It would be proof that adventuring could be fun and rewarding and, most importantly, safe. She needed to be able to prove it, to herself and to others. Especially to Sam. Sam who taken to depression after the trip and who had screamed at Lara when she’d learned of her plans. And here she was slipping at the first hurdle. She closed her eyes, took in a deep breath and took the next step forward.

The path twisted and turned until after what seemed like hours, it opened up to a chamber. There was an atmosphere of a church in this room. The walls were bare of stained windows, but there was a tapestry hung on the back wall and on both side walls ornately carved crosses hung large and proud. The stone coffin was plain but for a stone plaque containing a Latin inscription and a single cross carved into the lid.
The archaeologist had her find. There was no doubt that this was the long lost and true tomb of Saint Nicholas. Somewhere in this room, Lara was certain she’d find his wooden staff. References claimed it was carved to look like a simple shepherd’s staff. What descriptions often missed though, was the sapphire embedded in its neck.

Situated strategically around the wall, were several alcoves. Square niches made for the use of holding candles, perhaps. On closer inspection, Lara noticed that each contained a small pad inside, with a druidic symbol etched on the surface.

“How curious. I wonder....a puzzle perhaps?” Lara studied the alcoves and the etchings for several minutes. After a while she seemed to have come to a decision for she reached inside each little cubby hole in an order she seemed to have deduced for herself. Seconds after pressing the last one the plaque on the coffin slid open. And inside, in the spotlight of an eternally lit candle, was Saint Nicholas’s staff. Lara let out a gasp of surprise and pleasure. It was an exquisite piece.
“I hope you can forgive me, Nicholas...or should I say Santa. I wouldn’t take it if I didn’t need it so. Now all I have to do is get out of here.”

**
24th December:

Had Lara booked a tour via a proper travel agent, she and Sam would have been greeted by their guides and transport provided to a hotel in Rovaniemi, Lapland and an itinerary of activities organised for them. Far too easy and cosy. No, this wasn’t a special holiday to visit Santa in his grotto. What Lara had in mind was far more daring and special.

“We missed our tour guide,” Lara had explained awkwardly in Finish to the taxi driver when he’d picked them up at the airport. He hadn’t looked in the least interested.

“He probably just wants to finish his shift and go home to his family,” Sam had said trying to be reasonably as Lara had grumbled under her breath at poor service. Half an hour later and he’d parked outside Santa’s village, leaving the two women with their sparse luggage.

“What are we doing here, Lara? It’s nearly midnight on Christmas Eve; the Grotto will be closed to visitors. And in case you hadn’t noticed, I’ve outgrown Santa Clause.” Sam’s words stung. Lara was so annoyed at her she could have slapped her. She kept her calm, however and explained in a gentle tone that contained an air of mystery, “We’re not here to see Santa Clause. We’re going to be Santa Clause. Now wait here, I’ll be back shortly.”
Sam was stamping her feet in the snow furiously. She was cold and tired and she had no idea why her best friend had practically forced her all the way out to Finland of all places. “It’ll be fun!” Lara had explained. “You used to be so full of excitement and fun, Sam. I just want my old friend back.” Lara had seemed so lost, so sad, that her words had pulled on Sam’s heart-strings. So she’d agreed...but now she was here, she was annoyed at being left alone in the dark and it was freezing out here, waiting like a child. The jingle of bells made her look up in surprise. Lara was riding a sleigh pulled by reindeer. “No way!” Sam managed to breathe out.

Lara had a massive grin on her face. She looked so at ease in the driver’s seat. “Hop in,” she said patting the seat beside her.
“We’ll get caught...and go to jail, or...or something!” But despite her misgivings, Sam laughed, her breath steaming in the cold air. She flung their bags into the back where Santa’s sack would normally be and hopped in beside Lara, her beaming smile reaching her eyes. Lara gently coached the reindeers into motion once more. “Now watch this.” Sam watched in alarm as Lara looped the reigns to a hook by the door. She then picked up a shepherd’s staff and raised it up and banged its bottom on the floor of the sleigh. The sapphire decorating the staff glowed a brilliant crimson. First the leading Reindeer rose up followed by the sleigh in a slight diagonal motion. Up and up they went, slowly and smoothly, they may still be on the ground. Sam’s eyes widened.

“Lara!” she squealed excitedly, “We’re flying. Really really flying.”
“You don’t say,” said Lara with a wink. They flew over the town of Rovaniemi, where the Christmas lights twinkled mischievously as if they were fairies joining in their secret fun.

“We’re so getting into huge trouble for this.”
“Oh don’t worry. I left a note.” The two girls began to giggle. Sam felt happier than she had for a long time. Lara was just pleased to have her old friend back, at least for tonight. She glanced at her watch. It was Midnight. The church bells rang in Christmas day.
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Old 20-10-19, 03:19   #2
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Cute. I like it. Has some passive voice in the first part. Simple search, and simple reward.
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Old 20-10-19, 21:04   #3
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Thank you for your kind comment.
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Old 21-10-19, 01:25   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rai View Post
Thank you for your kind comment.
Certainly
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