Author Notes

WARNINGS: Strong language, violence, angst and scenes some may find offensive.

CROSSOVER: Far Cry 3, Tomb Raider (2013)

PAIRING: Vaas Montenegro, Lara Croft

REFERENCES: The term dystopia refers to a community or society that is considered undesirable or frightening and is characterised by human misery and oppression – virtually, the opposite of utopia.

Breath of Life is a song by Florence + the Machine.

RATING: M

NOTES: I created a GIF set on Tumblr which featured Vaas and Lara. It acquired a lot more notes than I expected so it inspired me to actually write a fanfic. I just want to see if this gets remotely popular – if I get a decent amount of feedback, I may continue and complete it.

Lara Croft (2013) is different to any other Lara Croft that's been depicted before, so I'm going to put that out there. Her character may seem different, her past may have altered, but I'm going to keep true as I can to her character. She's still strong both physically and mentally, even if she doesn't realise it yet.

Chapter 1: Breath of Life

I awoke choking on the salty waters of the sea. Whilst being unconscious my body had probably managed to consume an unhealthy and dangerous amount of seawater. The notion of this danger I discarded quickly upon the realisation that I had far bigger, direr predicaments that I ought to be concerned with. It was vital that I figure out my priorities fast, for I would surely die if I to ponder my situation any longer.

First of all, I needed to gather my thoughts. Where was I? How did I get here? It was all very confusing, disorientating and most of all, exhausting. Nothing could have prepared me for what happened – nor was there any warning for the rest of my shipmates. A storm is both uncaring and unpredictable; those two together are bound to result in devastating destruction. It had caught everyone off guard and now they were all gone. How many actually resurfaced after the wreckage remained a mystery. It was a number I couldn't stomach, no doubt.

I fell to my knees, clutching my sides, as the conclusion that I was stranded dawned on me. My friends had been torn from me, some possibly dead. I was hopelessly dehydrated with no source of sustenance or ideal water supply. My uncontrollable thirst was almost driving me to resort to the seawater; it was taking all the strength I could muster within my weak mind and exhausted body to refrain from doing so. My brush with death made me realise how fragile a life was and how easily it could be taken away. I wasn't going to let it get taken away so easily by riskily drinking the potential poison in hopes that I'd survive. Many have tried before and many have died trying. That was one risk I wasn't willing to take.

Crepuscular rays began to shine down upon the shore as the dark grey clouds cracked. I looked up squinting at the sun. Without any proper or logical explanation, the clearing of the skies boosted my morale. Maybe the optimist within me saw the light as a symbol. It was a symbol to motivate me. The worst was over. I had hit rock bottom and now there was nowhere else to go but up. I picked myself back up on my feet with newfound energy and determination to find survivors from the capsized ship. I'm almost certain that there has to be at least someone else who survived. I couldn't be the only one. If so, why was I so lucky to have survived? There was a moment on the ship where I was sure that death was inevitable. Surviving it either meant I was extremely lucky or I was a lot stronger than I thought. Either way it had given me a lot more willpower to get through this disaster, with or without other survivors.

Despite my agonised state and despite my lack of physical energy, I loped towards a group of large boulders. I clambered to the top of the highest boulder, overexerting myself in the process. Once I had reached the top and stood stable upon the boulder, I let a worn-out sigh escape. From my perspective, I could see no sign of life, let alone one of my friends. Still, hope was not lost. Any survivors may have ventured into the depths of the jungle. Searching the jungle was my next plan of action, albeit the size of the jungle makes it a daunting task, but I highly doubt any survivors made it too deep into the wilderness.

I stared from my perch on the boulder at the vast woodland before me. It was almost intimidating. I am defenceless. What has an ill-prepared, unarmed, weak girl got against the harsh realities that lay within the jungle? Harsh realities meaning inevitable peril – for all that I had on my side was lady luck. In these desperate times, luck was all that I could depend on.

I sucked in to prepare myself for what lay ahead. Though, I knew nothing could fully prepare me.

As I readied myself to climb down the boulders, a gunshot echoed from within the trees. It caught me off guard, so my foot misplaced its step causing me to topple down the boulders and onto the sand with a thud. I let out a pained groan as I pushed my body up. The gunshot was followed shortly after by a scream, then a rumble something humane; it sounded like a large rabble of people. My eyebrows knitted together in confusion. I couldn't fathom what had just happened. The voices I heard all sounded masculine, that's for sure. I hopefully wondered whether the sounds came from my fellow shipmates. Maybe it was wishful thinking. At least it was some sign of life. They may have been hunters, considering there was a gunshot. The scream was a strange one. It sounded neither frightened nor hurt. It almost sounded gleeful.

As I brushed myself off standing up from the sand, I noticed very prominent puffs of black smoke coming from within the trees and leading up into the blue sky. It was smoke from a campfire. This was the perfect sign of life as it also leads me to the source. I now had something to track whilst in the midst of the trees. Hopefully, if I keep following the smoke, I'll reach the camp before nightfall. I set off quickly as the sun looked as if it was about to set soon. I did not want to be travelling through the forest at night. Darkness put an emphasis on any dangers that could possibly be lurking through the trees – whether those dangers are real or just a figment of your imagination.

So, off I set, naively underestimating the true ferocity that lay before me.

"In another moment down went Alice after it, never once considering how in the world she was to get out again." –Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland