Darkness surrounded them, suffocating and blinding their senses. Still they pressed on, reaching for the sunlight which beckoned at the end of the tunnel. Debris crashed down around them as Lara and Kurtis emerged, still hand-in-hand, running at a speed lent by pure instinct.
Beneath their feet rock shook and splintered; the ground was swallowed up at their heels. Lara's explosives had destroyed the city's foundations, and everything on top was simply falling down to meet it. A dull roar echoed from the catacombs below as a plume of dust exploded from the tunnel entrance behind them. Heedless they raced on, never slowing or looking back. Both came to a shuddering halt when they felt the ground beneath them grow stable.
They turned to find themselves clear of the abyss of rock and sand that had swallowed the underground city. The excavation site was gone; all that remained was the end of the long transport road. Beyond that yawned an immense crater still smoking with dust.
Slowly the echoes of the implosion faded as they climbed a gentle slope in the midst of the desert. When they reached its summit Kurtis came to a standstill, resting his bloodied hands upon his knees and gasping for breath. With some effort Lara stepped up beside him. The afternoon sun shone hard across the Cappadocian landscape, causing the desert air to shimmer with heat. She raised a hand to shield her sight against the glare.
Unearthly howls carried across on the desert breeze. Lara squinted her eyes against the desert sun. She could just make out three dark forms receding into the distance, silhouetted against the sky. The Nephilim were free to pray on an unsuspecting world.
Lara sensed Kurtis straighten up beside her. Quietly she turned to look at him, taking in his bloody and battered appearance. Now that the adrenaline was fading in her veins she was starting to feel the effects of battle too; her legs felt as if they might buckle beneath her own weight. Before them the sun hovered on the edge of the sandy horizon, as if tottering on the verge of existence.
Without a word the two began to descend the rocky plateau. Loose stones clattered in their wake as they slowly picked their way down to the ground. It did not take them long to reach the place where Lara had hidden the motorbike. The keys were still in her backpack, and soon the engine came to life with a roar. Carefully Lara swung a leg across the bike and settled down behind Kurtis in the driver's seat. Then she knocked the kickstand back as Kurtis brought the motorbike around with a tremendous screech of the tyres.
They roared after the Nephilim.
It felt •so• good typing those last two words :) I kept this part back because I wanted to get it perfect. As E.P.O put it, AoD's ending was 'oddly unhappy-yet-somewhat-hopeful'. I wanted to try and give that impression again. After all, AoD was originally meant to be a three-part story. This was my interpretation of the second part of the story; the third part is to follow. This is the first full-length story I have ever finished, so I am very happy but also eager to start on the sequel! Any unresolved issues or unanswered questions will be addressed in the next story. I haven't come up with a title for it yet: everyone will simply have to keep their eyes peeled when looking at the stories list.
I would like to thank everyone who has ever read, reviewed or simply lurked around this story. This was my first posted fanfic and I am so thankful for everyone's comments and input. They really do help me improve my writing, and spur me on to update faster :D A special thanks to Acid-Rush and Lady Lara Croft in particular, who have read and reviewed this story right from the beginning! •hugs everyone suffocatingly tight•
Hmm, well I best get started on the sequel now. I promise there will be cliffhangers and angst galore! •stares around at angry readers• Okay… I think I'm gonna run away now. See everyone soon!