I am soooo sorry for the year-long wait! but, well, block's a bitch, and I turned 21 last month so i've been living it up. So, to make it up to all of you, this chapter's all action, yes, just one big verb of a chapter. R&R and enjoy!
Lara tossed her camera on the bed of her room as she removed the memory card from its housing. She pulled her laptop out of her suitcase with the card reader and set it up. Once the program was running the video she skipped over the first ten minutes, which were mostly just the prattling on of the old American who kept switching between hitting on her and giving false information about the site as if to impress her. Why was it that everyone in the country seemed to either be stupid or just...well, mostly just that. Although he was charming in his own way.
The Tomb Raider reversed the video several times to read more of the scratchings on the walls she had missed. "I know De Leon went to Africa, but what part?" She thought aloud to herself as she pulled up her internet browser and pulled up a map of Africa. "The only place he could have landed would have been Rio Muni, assuming that he went for the heart of Africa..."
She groaned and pulled the tie out of her hair, letting it fall free, "Then that's where we're headed." Lara reached for her bag to retrieve the contact info she needed to pass along her findings to Ms. Sommers, per their arrangement.
As she typed in the e-mail, she heard the sound of creaking floorboard from outside her door alerted her. She would have written it off as the steeling of the building, had it not been for the nearly unnoticeable click of the door lock. Lara reached back into her bag and pulled out one of her custom pistols and set it in her lap, moving to look unaware as her would-be assailant crept into the room. He was skilled, she had to give him that, anyone else would never have noticed him.
Quickly she pivoted out of her chair, bringing her gun around. The assassin was closer than she had thought and delivered a precision strike to knock the gun out of her hand and onto the bed. She blocked the punch-blade aimed at her throat and delivered a solid kick to his abdomen, knocking him back a few steps. The assailant recovered and came at her with more vigor than before, throwing punch after strike after kick, and even landing a few glancing blows. This man was skilled.
Lara side stepped another strike with the punch-blade and grabbed his arm, twisting her body and threw him over her shoulder. Lara held his arm behind his back and dug the heel of her boot into the back of his neck, "Who sent you?" she growled at him while panting to catch her breath. The assassin didn't respond.
She twisted his arm to the bring of breaking and shouted again. The man looked up at her and smirked as foam began to creep out the side of his mouth. Lara made a grab to stop him from swallowing the poison, but was too late as his body began to spasm. "Damn!" she cursed as she noticed Zip and Winston appear in the doorway.
"What the hell happened?" Zip asked as he looked at the corpse on the floor.
"I assume someone felt I shouldn't be going any further in my search." Lara sat on the bed.
"Do you know who sent him?" Winston asked as he examined the body.
"No, but I have an idea."
All three heads snapped up as they heard three gunshots coming from somewhere nearby. Lara snatched up her stray pistol as well as the one still in her bag and dashed down the hall towards the commotion. She found another open door at the end of the hallway and darted around the corner, guns aimed.
She saw another assassin, dead on the floor, with two holes in his chest, as well as the man who had stayed behind the group at the Fountain, his gun aimed at the her.
"So, what, lady? You want a piece too?" He was panting heavily, blood leaked from the side of his mouth, he had several cuts along his torso, and several bruises starting to form.
Lara eyed the dead assassin, "Is he..."
"Dead?" he cut her off, "He better be. The Sonovabitch was tough. I gotta shoot you too?"
She eyed him warily for a moment before lowering her guns. Thankfully he did the same.
"Who are you?" she asked, glancing between the man and the corpse.
He eyed her just at warily, stopping a little too long on her chest, "Name's Drake."
Lara stepped into the room, "You should have left him alive." she said as Zip and Winston appeared.
"Are you nuts? I make it a policy not to try and leave people who are trying to kill me alive."
"If you had, we could've found out why they were sent to kill us. The man who tried to kill me took a cyanide capsule before I could question him."
"Wait, you got one of these bozos too?" Drake looked at her incredulously, "Ok, my turn to ask, who the hell are you?"
"Lara Croft, and I think that..."
"Wait, wait," he cut her off again, "The Lara Croft? The Tomb Raider?"
"Yes, and from what I can gather, you are a freelance treasure hunter?" She cocked an eye at him.
"What makes you think that?" He leaned against the wall and shrugged his shoulders.
"Your presence at the Fountain, and the chap on the floor there. I think we may be on the same hunt. Same benefactor, who I would assume wants us dead."
Lara turned as she heard the telltale cock of a magnum revolver. She saw the old man from the fountain standing in the doorway with his gun switching between her, Zip, and Winston.
"Drop the guns, sweetheart." he growled over the cigar in his mouth.
"Sully, it's ok, they're clean." Drake stated as he moved over to the window.
Sully lowered his gun and eyed them.
"Shit." Drake stated from the window, "Well, Lara, if your theory about where the assasin's came from is correct, we'd better get the hell outta here."
"Why?" Lara asked as she stepped over the body and saw three black cars pull up and four men stepped out in total, followed by two women. The men were clearly armed.
"Sully, you in the mood for a shootout?" Drake asked.
"No," Lara stated, "There are too many people around. Zip, Winston, get the bags, quickly, and get somewhere safe, I'll draw their attention. We'll meet outside the city and charter a plane to Africa."
"No," Drake stopped them, "Sully, take 'em to the harbor, get the boat ready, we'll use that as our getaway. Just be ready to go."
Drake looked at her, "We'll draw their attention, they're after both of us." Zip and Winston looked at Lara, who nodded to them.
"And break!" Drake clapped his hands as he grabbed a shoulder holster from a back and slung it over his shoulders and slid his pistol into its housing.
Lara and Drake left the room and climbed into the elevator after making a quick stop for Lara to grab her holsters. "I assume you have a plan, Mr. Drake?" Lara asked as she put her hair back into its ponytail.
"Do you?" he asked as he replaced his magazine. "Well, I was thinking that..."
"Great," he cut her off yet again, "Me neither." The ding of the elevator signaled their arrival.
The two treasure hunters stepped off the lift. They got several looks from patrons as they walked by, who became visibly worried as they saw their weapons. As the two walked into the lobby they saw the men in suits at the reception desk, demanding their room numbers from the sobbing receptionist. It was odd considering that it was Ms. Sommers, who was with them, who had set up the rooms.
"Hey, Sommers!" Drake shouted, much to Lara's surprise. The six of them looked back, "Next time try not to get someone from Killers R Us!" As the men drew their guns, Drake drew his and shot two glancing shots missing entirely.
"What do you think you're doing?" Lara shouted as the ducked behind a couple of pillars as the gunfire rained, "Making a distraction." Drake replied, "Now shoot!"
They both wheeled out and opened fire. Lara killed two, and Drake the other two, leaving only the two women.
"Now we run." Drake said with a wink to the women, who had gotten out of the way when the shooting started. They darted out the door and looked around, they saw two more black cars roll into the parking lot.
"Here." Drake said as he shot the lock off of a bicycle with a seat big enough for the two of them and climbed on.
"Are you serious? We need something faster!" Lara shouted, wanting something preferably with more protection, or at least speed.
"We don't have time to hotwire, now get on, princess!"
She groaned and climbed on, holing on as Drake turned and began to ride through the planters around the cars that were now shooting at them. Lara glanced back as the first car followed them into the foliage. She drew one of her pistols and turned to shoot, and was almost knocked off when Drake hit a bump as the moved onto the street.
"Sorry!" he shouted back.
The car was gaining, they only had a second. Drake made a hard turn and went down an alley. The car screeched as it tried to follow them. It was back momentarily.
"Lift your arms!" Lara shouted and expertly pivoted around so she was sitting on Drake's lap facing backward.
"What the hell are you doing?" he shouted.
Lara didn't respond, she began to fire at the car, hitting the driver, which caused the car to crash and flip. The second car immediately took its place as they went back onto the main road. It was then that Lara felt something poking her, she glanced down and the glared at Drake.
"What? You're the hot one sitting on my lap, don't blame me."
Lara began to fire at the second car, trying to place her shots so she wouldn't hit any innocents.
"Hold on!" Drake warned as they came to a hill. Lara glanced back to see that it led to the harbor, a mile away. "Keep 'em off us!"
Lara shot again hitting the driver and causing another wreck. Just when Lara was about to relax, red and blue lights showed up behind them as a police car took up the pursuit. Lara holstered her guns as the officer came on over the PA. "Pull the bike over! Do it now!"
"Drake, pull over, we..."
"Hell no!" he shouted, "I've spent enough time locked up, we're almost there!"
"What?" Lara began to rattle and shake as the bike hit the boardwalk. Drake heaved and grunted as he petaled toward the boat at the end, which was already pulling away with Zip, Winston, and Sully aboard.
"Could you get those things out of my face?" he shouted as he rode for a makeshift ramp at the end. "You're not going to..." Lara asked just as they hit the ramp and went soaring at just the right angle to crash on the deck of the fishing boat.
The two tumbled from the bike, Lara landing gracefully on her feet and Drake rolling and hitting the side, his breath coming in long dry heaves.
"Did you just outrun the cops and those guys on a bike?" Zip asked as he stared at the sweating, heaving man on the deck, "Yeah," Drake panted, "It was easy."
"Nate, you ok?" Sully called back from the helm.
"Yeah, totally, just... need to get the feeling back in my legs. Have we got a wheelchair?"
Lara looked down at him as he sat up, "Wild ride, huh?"
"I don't know what you were thinking back there, but we were almost killed! And now we're fugitives! God, what were you thinking?"
"Something along the lines of 'Holy crap they're shooting at me'" Drake stood up, "Look, it may not have been the best, but we made it. Sully," he called, "Take us somewhere where we can get a plane to Africa."
"What are you doing?" Lara asked as she walked after him.
"Whoever this guy is that hired us obviously wants something with the Fountain of Youth. And I intend to find out what. Plus, I don't like when people try to kill me. So don't worry, we'll get you on a plane back home in time for the big cricket match."
Lara huffed at him, "I'm not dropping out now. I'm curious about the Fountain as well. I set out to do a job, and I intend to see it done."
"So, what, we're doing like a partnership or something?"
Lara thought for a moment. "Yes," she held out her hand, "We find the Fountain, and our benefactor, and figure out what the bloody mess is about. So, Partners?" Drake looked at her before cocking a smirk and slapping his hand into hers, "Yeah, sure. Partners."