Important Note: This is Emma saying that the original author gave the rights of the story to me. So I am continuing where she left off. From this point on it is written by me. Thank you.
Shafts of sun flooded the skylight of the Croft manor’s library. On the very spot, the beams played is where Lara chose to put her desk. This is where she had clarity. There was something about the sun and the way it always made her feel awake, alert and vibrant. It was already noon and Lara had been pouring over several books on ancient spheres and symbols. She spent her days buried in research of this nature ever since the last mission to the dreadful underworld. Each day proved nothing. Each day was a dead end that sent her into more grief.
It was as if she had something to find. Yet, it was elusive, and she could not name it or the drive that was maddening to find the something that compelled her each day. She lifted her eyes from the page of the text she was reading deep in thought. Her mind played more images of her mother the thrall. She could not stop seeing her. The flashbacks were closer now, and she sat frozen in her seat as if watching a movie unfold before her. She watched her mother from the back and then as she turned, and then as she approached her. Her focus was broken suddenly when she gasped and tried to catch her breath. As if opening a floodgate, Lara began to see more memories unfold. The wall that Natla opened knowing Lara was watching her in the underworld. How the face on it looked like her mother as a thrall and half like her mother.
‘My mother was the pawn in all of this. Natla baited us as she said; only it was deeper than we thought, and it would seem she used her image to get to me and possibly my father. She didn’t care about my mother, was that thing really her? Her interest was to get inside the underworld to control the serpent machine. She needed to generate passion in me to get her into it. She used my mother or her image to make me think I was saving her. Did I really shoot my mother? Am I losing my mind?!’ she screamed. She screamed the same line repeatedly: ‘Am I losing my mind?!!’ The words came from deep in her stomach and bellowed out in a tone that sent shivers down one’s soul. It stirred her butler enough to call Bronte, but he was already at the front door. Lara stood from her seat and hurled a heavy leather-bounded book to the floor in a rage. Swift footsteps echoed off the walls, as Bronte ran toward her. She stood in her form-fitting brown pants and her green tank top with her arms crossed and her eyes tightly shut. Her long, braided brown hair spilled over her right shoulder dusting her waist. It was all too clear she was breathing hard as if she’d run a race.
Bronte took cautious steps toward Lara. His hand was ready to ward off any evasive actions from the tall woman. He was close enough to grab her hands and that is what he did. She complied and he guided her to he seat at the desk and hoped to speak to her rationally. He pulled a chair up beside her in order to conduct his session easier.
‘What were you doing, Lara? Why didn’t you take my advice and sleep?’
Her eyes lifted from her hands, which she rested on the desk, to his lovely enquiring eyes.
‘I was thinking of my mother again. Only this time it was little different.’
‘I am beginning to feel like the entire idea was Natla’s.’
‘We both know it was. You said she told you that much.’
‘No, not from what she said, I know what she said; it is everything and the way she played my mother into it all. It was her use of my mother I question. It was how she put a picture on a wall that led into the underworld of my mother half thrall and half herself that bothers me. Amanda told me about Avalon. She was also working with Natla all along when I thought she was dead. Amanda found a stone in Peru, which had a frightening power. She learned to control the beast it contained and used it to control Natla. She found Natla apparently after I left the island of our last encounter. I thought Natla was dead, but she lived and by the hands of Amanda at that.’
‘So, Lara, what does this have to do with anything?’ Bronte feared the worse was coming.
‘She needed to get into that world; she knew I had something that could accomplish her mission. I had the gauntlets and belt and hammer of Thor. She could have used my mother, or it could have been a thrall she created to look like my mother. Then she would make me think I killed her. What better way to get even with me, the daughter of her enemy, my father?’
His eyes became two slits as his brow furrowed. He slipped his hand into hers and took a deep breath.
‘You sound like you are going deeper into denial. You are refusing to accept your mother is dead. You need to snap out of it.’
‘So, you think I am crackers! I may be, but this is my mother, and I keep seeing the events from the past like a movie reel. I think I am blocking something. I never think incessantly about something unless something needs figuring out, I have missed something. I think what I am saying is …’
‘You think that Natla could have used anything to play your mother’s part. She was a lure. It was not important to use the real Amelia; she could have created another type of thrall?’
Lara sat stone still; her eyes were focused on him, but she couldn’t look him in the eyes. She nodded yes, but said nothing. For a short time, the two only stared into each other’s faces. Bronte looked as if he saw a train wreck, and Lara appeared emotionless.
‘Lara, I cannot argue with any of this. A) I was not with you when any of this happened. I am only here to help you with the present. B) You are either certifiable, or a genius, and I have heard both about you, so that is up for debate!’
‘Then don’t argue with me. I am trying to work through this. My mind won’t let go, and it prods me along to find something. I want to let go of the images I saw, the feeling of killing my dear mother! I have been reduced to a shell of who I was. I am afraid if I do not find answers I will go quite mad.’
Bronte’s keen searching eyes seemed to answer her. He lowered his stare to his lap in defeat. He knew he would never convince her to let go of this. There was something she needed. At least for her there was, and she was going to find the underlying cause of this; he knew nothing would likely stop her. Bronte had never known the real Lara. The shell of a woman she was now, appeared frail and uninspired. She wore a mask of fear, and torment, her stance was held back, as if she worried about what lurked around every corner. The old Lara was courageous and could fight with the best commandos on the planted, for she was highly skilled in combat due to her many adventurous exploits around the world. What was left was her intellect, and that was telling her there was more. Not to give up. He knew it, and so did all her friends, and most of all she knew it, too.
After Bronte returned home, and after Lara had her supper, she went back to the library and picked up the heavy old leather-bound book from the floor where she’d thrown it down in rage earlier. Then she gazed at the desktop sweeping her vision over the five other books on its lofty surface. He heart skipped as she stood still with a chill.
‘Of course,’ she whispered to herself whilst she slowly walked to her seat and sat down never taking her focus from the five leather books. Sitting in her desk chair with the high straight back, her father’s old chair, she sighed. Lara felt as if something was taking shape. A something that held a sense of comfort, because, for the first time she had a small piece to the puzzle. This entire time, for over a year since the whole ordeal, Lara had been desperately searching every book she could lay hands on about Greek mythos, chiefly the whole idea of Atlantis.
‘why would I only pick on ideas from Greek mythology? Why all the books on Atlantis? I didn’t set out to choose these. It must have been a subconscious choice, but why? Is this the key?’
It wasn’t until she looked at the 2000 page book on ancient Greek philosophers that her eyes fell on something significant.
Yes, on the cover of this book were the initials of Lara’s father. They were carved into the leather cover possibly by knife blade she thought. These bold letters lived in the bottom left corner, yet they might have well been in none. She dragged the book in front of her and caressed the fine-grained leather under her hand while she slid her probing hand over the gullies that were the letters for her father’s name. They were small but significant.
Lara opened the large cover and thumbed through its starter pages. She’d examined the book completely, and decided a good place to begin was the dog-eared part. She noticed the continuity of the pages appeared dented hence brushing its gold off the edges of each page. he fingers felt thick and useless for a few seconds, as she turned to the dog-eared pages. On the first page, she found ”The Pillars of Heracles’ jotted in black ink on the top of the page. Then on the bottom: ‘ Many great and wonderful deeds are recorded of your state in our histories. But one of them exceeds all the rest in greatness and valor. For these histories tell of a mighty power which unprovoked made an expedition against the whole of Europe and Asia, and to which your city put an end.’
Lara took a breath and let it out slowly. ‘ Timaeus,’ she said softly. ‘One of Plato’s dialogues. Why would father write it in here, when it is already in this book of famous philosophers?’ she questioned. ‘It’s speaking about Atlantis, specifically on these lines. Father must have found something. I hope.’
She turned the page and found more words that aroused curiosity scribbled on the side of this page.
“Every generation needs regeneration” – Charles H. Spurgeon
The regeneration of society is the regeneration of society by individual education.”
Jean de la Bruyere
The essence of a tragedy, or even of a serious play, is the spiritual awakening, or regeneration, of the hero.
Lara’s eyes widened with each word they fell on. What was it about these three quotes that were so significant? What made them so important to be written down in the pages of this book? Her hand slid over the wide pages of this ancient tome; her slender fingers traced the lines from start to finish. The troubled woman pondered everything for hours. Before she knew it, her head rested on her hands upon her desk. In her dreams, she saw images flash in fast fragments. However, in the background echoed her father’s voice. Like a comforting hug during a tempest’s rage, his voice was there repeating the quotes. His words rested on one word, the one word that they all contained. The one word that held a key. Stirred awake, as if prodded by a swift punch Lara gasped to alertness.
‘That word! Of course, ‘regenerate’! Father found something. But what? He wrote this in fragments to hide it. He must have feared being found out. Who else but Natla could make him fear so much as to bury this? He wants me to think about Atlantis, and about regeneration. So vague but so clear at the same time!’
Lara looked at the grandfather clock chiming the hour. Three in the morning and she now felt like doing some positive research. This was like old times when she had something to anchor her hopes on. She felt warmth flood her body as if the sun warmed her soul. Hope had returned to Lara Croft this early morning. The game was at hand. …