Author: TRSteve PM
An adaptation of the upcoming game Tomb Raider. This story follows a young Lara Croft as she discovers a mysterious island. Desperately racing to uncover its secrets, Lara must also remember to watch her back as she's surrounded by horror and brutality.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Mystery - Lara Croft & Amanda Evert - Chapters: 5 - Words: 7,067 - Reviews: 10 - Favs: 10 - Follows: 12 - Updated: 04-06-12 - Published: 03-22-11 - id: 6842662
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
For a moment I was in heaven. My imagination was soaring, countless possibilities running through my head. Secluded forests, hidden caves, uncharted waters that would likely contain secrets of generations old. And somehow I feel like these are the places where I belong; that they are meant for me, and I am meant to explore them and uncover the tales they hold. Unfortunately, my parents feel otherwise. Running through caves and deep-sea diving for treasures and artifacts isn't their "cup of tea." The Croft family, to them, has some sort of reputation to maintain. And they don't exactly agree with my motivations, because they are apparently too un-ladylike. But what is ladylike? Sitting in a pretty dress drinking tea? I should think that would be quite boring. I'd much prefer to rip off that pretty pink dress, don some sporting gear, and get myself covered in grit, dirt, and blisters.
"Lara!" I heard my name whispered in my subconscious mind. I shook and removed my hand from my face. My classmate had nudged me awake, and nodded to the front of the lab room to the professor. I turned my attention to him as he said, "Please pay attention, Lara. I'm giving very important information about the upcoming excursion and I know you will not want to miss any of this."
I glanced down and the sheet that detailed the upcoming trip and then back up to the professor. "Of course, sir," I said politely.
"Right," said the professor. "As a reminder, know that our ship, The Endurance, will embark precisely at seven a.m. this Saturday, the 28th. We will be at sea for a month, where we are sure to encounter undiscovered ruins and artifacts worth studying, to bring back to our labs and examine. It will cost approximately £800 to cover room and board, as well as your meals." He looked at the clock and announced that the class session was over and we were free to go home. "Please remember to hand in your payments Friday, if you will be attending." We stood up to leave, and gathered our things.
As I headed out the door, my friend Amanda caught up to me and we made our way down the steps to the lot. Amanda was American, with nearly shoulder-length, extremely blonde hair, almost a white hue. "Aren't you excited for this trip?" she said eagerly.
"Well, I can tell you are," I said with a smile. "But it's not easy to be excited when I'm not certain I can attend."
Amanda frowned. "Aren't you, like, super rich? You could easily afford it."
"I'm not. I won't inherit that money until my parents have passed and honestly, I don't want their money. I only want them to support me for now, and they are the only ones who can pay for the expedition." We stopped as we reached our vehicles. Amanda opened her door stopped before getting in.
"I really, really hope you can go, Lara. Without you there I'm going to be surrounded by boys, and I'll probably die."
"I'm sure you would," I muttered after she closed her door and I had turned away. Ha, I thought. That's peculiar. Amanda has always been crazed about boys. Being alone with nearly 10 of them at her age is probably a life goal of hers. I swung my leg over the side of my motorcycle and started the ignition, then raced toward home.
I entered the foyer of the overly large and imposing Croft Manor. My father was on the sofa by the fireplace, reading a novel and drinking steaming tea out of a cup. I greeted Winston, our server, as he passed me to refill my father's cup. He acknowledged me with a nod, and proceeded to my father. Following behind Winston, I sat down on the sofa across from father and folded my hands together in my lap. I waited for a moment, and he placed the marker in his book to save his place, and closed it. "Hello, Lara," he said, folding his arms. "How was college?"
I wondered if he truly cared. I'm sure he would have been more interested in my education had I chosen to attend Oxford. I instead chose a lesser known college that focused on archaeology, an institute that would better suit my interests and career path. It was for this reason and this reason alone that my parents had not been supportive of me. Every person in the line of Croft descendents had attended Oxford, except for my grandfather. My father expected that of me, to attend that college, but I simply did not have the will to give up my passion. I have tried to convince my parents that my choice was beneficial to me, but for reasons I do not understand, they believe my decision has tarnished the Croft reputation in the public eye.
"It was fine, father," I said, looking down at my hands. I was nervous to ask about this, being almost positive that they would turn it down and disown me completely. I was surprised they hadn't at this point.
"What's on your mind, dear?" Said father with a concerned tone. I knew that although my father did not agree with my decisions, he still loved me, as I was his daughter after all.
I let out a sigh. I'd just ask and get it over with. What was the worst that could happen? They could say no. And there would be nothing I could do about that. "Well, you see, there's this upcoming event and…"
"Look up and make eye contact when you speak, Lara. And please, speak up."
I looked up at him. "… it involves my archaeology class taking a voyage out to the sea off the coast of Japan, and it is rather expensive, so I was hoping that you and mother would pay the expenses for me." His expression was firm. He shook his head slowly and sighed.
"I'm sorry, Lara. I just don't think that would be such a good idea."
I looked down at the floor again. Then I countered hopefully, "But maybe mother would say yes; do you think she would?" Just at that moment, footsteps from behind caused me to turn around to see my mother descending the stairwell and sit down on the couch across from me and my father. She joined the conversation. What I hoped would be support turned out to be yet another disappointment. Mother paused before she opened her mouth to speak. Then what came out was agreement with my father that sending me on the trip would just be encouragement for me to put myself right into the face of danger. They had never told me outright, but I had a strong feeling that they wanted to keep me away from exploration and relic-seeking so that their reputation would not be hindered farther. Because, of course, that was the last thing the Croft family needed - headlines spanning the globe reading, "Wealthy Croft Daughter Sets Sail in Low-Class Boat." In all honestly, I have no care in the world for money.
I looked to father, to mother, then to father again. My expression was pleading, though I knew that it would do nothing to change their decision. I knew that they wanted to keep me out of danger, but what danger could an educational voyage hold? None, unless you count the ship wrecking, which is an unlikely chance.
"Well, then," I said in a quiet tone that revealed my disappointment. "Thank you."
"No, thank you for asking, Lara," father said. He stood up and climbed the stairs to the upper level. My mother and I exchanged a stare for a moment. I could sense the tension between us. She almost looked regretful. She shook her head and then followed my father.
I wiped my bangs from my face and laid my face in my palms, my shoulders resting on my knees. I pulled out the paper from my coat pocket, the one detailing the trip. "If only…" I said in a daze. I imagined myself on that little research vessel, feeling the waves rock the ship gently beneath my feet. I smelled the salty sea air, felt it blowing my hair in tangles across my face. And then I realized I was daydreaming. Again.
"Ugh!" I shouted. I pulled the paper for the trip out of my pocket, reading it over. It's no use, I thought, then threw it onto the floor.
Why can't I be like my grandfather? My grandfather, though now retired, had been an archaeologist famous the world over. He'd made discoveries that were printed in pamphlets and tabloids. Books detailing his explorations sold with much success, giving him the funds to seek out more adventures and bring back a seemingly endless supply of discoveries.
"Wait…" I mumbled as I turned and flew up the steps to my bedroom. I threw open the door and closed it just as quickly. I ripped open the drawers of my dresser and dug my clothes out, throwing them behind me with haste. I pulled out a small leather journal that was closed with a buckle. Wiping away dust, I slowly peeled open the book. The inside cover was a note signed from my grandfather, dedicated to me: "My Lara - I hope with all my heart that this book inspires you to pursue your dreams. Never let anyone tell you no."
Pictures in black-and-white showed a man in his 30s with a group of other men, dressed for outdoor activity. They were holding what looked like a giant treasure chest, which had throngs on each side to lift it. I read the label: "Sir Edward Croft," I whispered, peaking over my shoulder to make sure I was alone. I flipped through several more pages, each of them displaying the man who was my grandfather, as he documented his travels across the globe. I read through his last entry that I could tell he scrawled quickly. "For twenty-five years I have searched for the artifact that holds the secrets of this island, and not once have I encountered anything that would lead me to it. I write this entry with apprehension, with hope that it will one day be found. I can sense foreboding here, an aura of danger surrounding me on this island."
My eyes drifted over to a drawing that was pasted in next to the entry. It was of a figure that resembled a skull. I traced my fingers over it, as if I could learn the secrets that it held by simply feeling it. Next to that picture was a photograph of the island my grandfather spent countless days on. I studied its name: "Miyakejima." I compared the name to the name written on the paper for my college's expedition. They were identical.
Closing the book, I whipped my coat from the rack and donned it. I searched for my backpack, placing the leather book inside, and then swung the backpack over my shoulders. I made my way down to the foyer. Pulling out a sheet of paper and pen, I scribbled: "Dear mother and father - I know you won't support me, so I'm going to find someone who will. Please don't worry. I'll miss you … - Lara." I folded the paper hastily and left it on a table near the sofa, then proceeded out to the garden in front of the manor. Pouring rain dampened my body and stuck in my eyelashes, making it hard to see. I kicked the power on my motorcycle and sped off through the front gate.