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The reunited couple settled into life at Croft Manor easily and enjoyed a simple routine of eating breakfast, studying in the library, lunch, internet searches and enjoying themselves at the pool. Unfortunately, Zip had been hired by MI6 to crack terrorist codes and was forced to leave the Abingdon Estate. Nowadays, Winston and Lara's adopted 12 year old son, Alexander, had to attend to the servers, which were prone to overheating if the fans malfunctioned and Alexander prove a natural. Born to British parents, he spent the first 4 years of his life in Hong Kong, achieving amazing literacy in Mandarin and English. On his fifth birthday, he was adopted by a Spanish tourist. On return to Spain, Alexander ran away and became a street urchin when at the age of 10 he stowed away on a ferry to England and settled in a small care home in Hastings. Lara was helping a university dig at Battle when the boy was watching from behind a berm. Lara beckoned him over and they became good friends. Together they found a vault beneath the battlefield containing a similar piece to the Bayeux Tapestry perfectly preserved. On that day, Lara promised that she would come back for him. A week earlier than the present, Lara and Kurtis adopted Alexander into the Croft family. Lara and Kurtis were now planning their wedding, to be held at the restored Cleopatra’s Palaces, now a major tourist attraction since Lara’s unfortunate exploits at the turn of the millennium involving the ancient Egyptian god of evil, Set. Since then Lara has tried to be careful but recently she nearly doomed the world to the resurrected Sophia Leigh and Natla in the ancient Helheim fortress in the Arctic Ocean. Alexander was now officially Lara’s heir and upon her death would become the 39th Count of Abingdon and it’s parishes.
It was a normal day, when Alexander rushed into the pool area holding a printed off sheet. His acquired Chino-Spanish accent thick, he shouted “Mother, civil war broken out in Egypt between the Egyptian government and a group called the Pharaoh’s Respite.” Lara climbed out of the pool and dried herself off.
Lara walked over to an intercom and called Winston and Kurtis down from the library. When they arrived, Lara and Alexander explained the situation, Alex having to take over after Lara burst into tears when she realised that the Pharaoh’s Respite were based in the Coastal Ruins complex, meaning the wedding would be postponed until after the crisis. Alex then pulled another sheet from his pocket revealing an article about the Gold Camel of Jabbar, a golden amulet that if worn by someone, would cause a fatal heart attack in all your enemies. It is mythologically kept in the Vault of Sands, a location never documented. The Pharaoh’s Respite must be after this, Lara thought. Lara knew that the only solution would be to find the Gold Camel and give it to the Egyptian Authorities to defeat the Respite. Lara decided that the whole family will be needed to complete this task. Lara picked up the phone, pressed 9 for exterior calls and called her helicopter pilot, and told him they were carrying 3 and took Kurtis and Alexander upstairs to pack. Lara packed desert camo clothes, khaki shorts with a khaki t-shirt, this colour-scheme imitated by her companions. Lara packed her pistols and her crossbow, something she collected in the old Coastal Ruins site when she last been there. Kurtis packed his customised handgun and a grenade launcher. Alexander packed a dart-pipe (all that Lara allowed him to use) and he carried the med kits. Lara picked up her grapple, binoculars and PDA and packed them also. When they finished packing their backpacks, the group walked out into the grounds, towards the field where Lara parked a VTOL jet after a spectacular escape from the Nova Complex, a site where artefacts were experimented on and stored. The US had a similar facility at Area 51, but Lara had only caught a glimpse of it on her route the Roswell Storage Facility. In the field was the private helicopter that Lara treasured so much. It meant no customs, no baggage queues, no check in, just A to B transport. The Croft-Trent family climbed into the helicopter and flew into the horizon.
The helicopter flight was long and Lara spent the time considering where they would set up their HQ camp. Kurtis suggested somewhere near Cairo, but Alex pointed out that Cairo was practically a war zone. Alex then suggested the temple of Abu Simbel, but Kurtis argued it was too far from Alexandria. “Karnak! We can set up camp at Karnak!” Lara shouted. In turn, the party agreed and Lara informed the pilot, who swerved southwards. Landing on a section of roof over the hypostle hall, the Croft-Trent family left the chopper and climbed down the side of a pillar and they exited into the obelisk courtyard. They opened a reinforced plastic chest para-dropped by the helicopter, which contained the equipment they needed to set up camp. When the small command centre was completed, Kurtis and Alex went to sleep while Lara communicated with the Egyptian Emergency Military Command (EEMC). Lara had now secured unlimited help from the Egyptian Military. Lara joined the group in slumber.
When Lara awoke, Kurtis was preparing breakfast and Alex was studying the hieroglyphs on the obelisk. When they sat up to eat, Alex cheerfully chimed, “The obelisk refers to the Vault of Sands as a location to the south of Giza, but it is protected by the dead. Lara contemplated this, protected by the dead, reminding her of the eitr that stole away her mother, earlier this year the resurrection accident that brought Sophia Leigh back to life. Lara wept slightly before continuing to eat her meal. Kurtis lit a smoke flare and threw it out onto the sand. A large helicopter with the Egyptian flag emblazoned on the side. It lowered down a jeep from it’s cargo hold and released the winch. The vehicle bounced on it’s suspension as it landed and the helicopter flew back towards Cairo. The party climbed into the jeep and drove to the location only known as Lacunaria, a Macedon fortress built by Romans under command of Marc Antony to impress Cleopatra.
When they arrived at Lacunaria, Lara, Kurtis and Alexander all scanned the area, but only a thick stone trapdoor was evident. This far into the desert, no one would know it existed. The control to open the trapdoor was right in the middle of the door. They all walked over to the small switch but as they approached, something clicked and the doors fell open. Three tunnels was the last thing the Croft-Trent family saw in the darkness…


Created by Uzilara on 14.11.09

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