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China Blonde

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This story is No. 6 in the series "Red Raider". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Lara Croft meets another slayer during working hours (Takes place before 'Girl in a Bar' Epilogue)

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Games > Other Genre > Tomb Raider(Moderator)acsFR1845,894069,43123 Apr 044 May 04Yes

Vampires?

Disclaimer: This is a derivative work using characters and intellectual property belonging to Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, Fox Television, and Eidos and probably others.
When/Spoilers: Post BtVS Season 7 / Tomb Raider (post AoD and CoL)
Rating: Some Action Violence
Distribution: TtH, atbvs.creative, my blog fanfic pages. Otherwise-ask.
AN: See end of chapter

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The low growl behind her didn't give Lara enough warning to do more than duck. And that wasn't good enough as a massive blow to her back sent her flying into one of the terra cotta statues lining the immense burial chamber. Scrambling to keep her balance among the falling clay warriors as her torch flew out of her hand, she felt something tearing at her back, grabbing for her pack. Turning and kicking behind her in a fluid motion, graceful even on the rapidly shifting floor, the sound of crunching bone echoed in the room as Lara's foot connected with something large and solid that howled in surprise.

Instinctively turning her kick into a sideways roll away from the growling creature, Lara found herself in a small, dark, enclosed space that even the non-claustrophobic would have found daunting. In a well practiced move, Lara reached behind her back and grabbed a flare from her pack with one hand while pulling a pistol out of its holster with the other. Striking it on the wall to light it and throwing it in front of her, she waited, the sharp white light from the flare driving her assailants back into the dark.

Surrounding her was a small group of growling creatures, with their ridged foreheads, yellow eyes glinting in the low light, and fangs setting them apart from normal humans. Cursing under her breath Lara looked for a way out. Her pistol wasn't going to do her much good, As satisfying as it would be to use it, with the memory of the vibration and smell of her favorite weapon in action bringing her comfort, and she thought about how it had extracted her from numerous past impossible situations, it would only make them angry if she missed. And even if she didn't miss only a lucky hit would slow a vampire down. Other things would actually be more effective but she would have to get a lot closer to the vampires than she liked for her flares to be useful. She swore again, this time in frustration.

Reviewing in her head the path she'd taken to get into this part of the tomb, she prepared for her next move. She had to get out into the open where she had a better chance. Out of the tomb before her flares ran out.

Tensing slightly, she picked out the vampires she would have to get through if she expected to have any hope of surviving the next few minutes. Grabbing another flare out of her pack, Lara lit it and started shooting and running towards her targets.

Things were going in her favor as she jumped over the two surprised vampires she'd crippled with her first shots, lying there howling and clutching the remains of their knees. She swung the flare in her other hand, connecting with another vampire as it made a grab for her, setting it on fire. She couldn't run for long but for now she had a good lead on the creatures chasing her. And some times that was all she needed.

Her lead was gone faster than she expected. Fifty meters down the passageway to the surface and they were already breathing down her neck. There was no time to think. She needed breathing room. Instinctively she headed down a side tunnel towards one of the traps she'd successfully navigated earlier in the day while exploring the caverns in search of the main chamber of the emperor's tomb. If she could draw her pursuers into a trap and further reduce their numbers it would improve her chances of surviving.

Without pausing, Lara launched herself across a break in the passageway floor. On the other side of the gap she stomped on the floor trigger and dove to her right, out of the way of the large stone balls that came rushing down the tunnel, crushing everything in their path. Grabbing a low hanging vine, Lara pulled herself up through a hole in the ceiling into the next tomb level, hopefully unobserved by her pursuers.

It wasn't fear that kept her moving as she reached the limits of her endurance. She was no longer breathing easily. Her legs ached and her throat was raw. Her few friends would have said she was too stubborn to give in. Her many enemies would say she was too mean. If asked she would have told all of them that they were wrong. From the moment she began her mad dash to the surface, Lara focused all of her attention on surviving, with no room left over for fear or doubt. She'd faced worse odds in her long career.

Reaching the end of the current tunnel, Lara cautiously inched her head out into a small chamber with two other exits. It was deceptively quiet. Just as she was about to move forward something slammed into her from behind, knocking her to the ground in an agonizing heap.

Hanging desperately onto her flare, Lara rolled to her feet with her back to the chamber. Standing in the small tunnel she'd just been propelled from was a small vampire in a ragged People's Army uniform. It smiled, baring its fangs, as several larger vampires joined it in blocking Lara's escape route. Surrounding her, they stood just out of reach of her now sputtering flare.

Reacting quickly, before it went out, Lara swung the flare at the closest vampire. Turning her forward motion into a spinning side kick, she knocked over the vampire next to the one that had dodged out of her way giving herself a little more room to maneuver in the center of the chamber.

Dropping the flare several feet in front of her position, Lara pulled her long knife from its sheath and lit another flare, her last. Growling, the closest of the five creatures in front of her stepped back. She didn't know how long she could hold them off but it was clear that running was not an option unless she could reduce their numbers.

In an unfamiliar dialect, the uniformed vampire, still standing back in the small tunnel facing Lara, encouraged the vampires surrounding her to attack.

Within seconds Lara became the center of a small maelstrom. Kicking and slashing at everything in range. Connecting occasionally. Ducking and weaving between her foes. Getting lucky. Pulling loose from grasping claws. Setting fire to several of them. Grimacing as the rest of the vampires joined the fight.

Concentrating on the feel of her knife as it sliced through the neck of a creature that came too close, she slipped into that mental place where she became the embodiment of her actions. No thought, just emotion guided by instinct. Training driving her to the edge of endurance. Attacking whichever creature was within range. Tasting blood when a fist connected with her face. Being thrown into the rock wall and fighting back with the ingrained fury of desperation.

The fight lasted both an eternity and less than five minutes. When it was over all that remained was dust hanging in the still air of the passageway, illuminated with a redish glow by her flares, still burning, the smell of lingering death, and the scowling, uniformed vampire.

She started as clapping echoed in the chamber. The exhausted tomb raider kept her eyes on the creature in front of her. She tensed when a small arrow sprouted from its chest and it turned to dust in obvious surprise.

"As amazing as that performance was, it would probably be a good idea to leave now." said a light voice behind her.

Lara turned towards the voice. Standing in the tunnel that led towards the surface was the unexpected sight of a small, young blonde woman dressed entirely in dark leather, flanked on both sides by two even younger, similarly dressed women.

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Continued in "Blondes and Apocalypses"
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Author's Notes:
AN-1: This is a short experiment in writing Lara Croft in several action scenes. This one came together very slowly. Action really isn't my thing. The fact that it works at all is due to action-writing advice I received over at alt.fan.lara-croft from several excellent 'Croftian Chroniclers'
AN-2: Takes place between Part 7 and the Epilogue to Girl in a Bar
AN-3: Feedback appreciated as always.
AN-4: Although I don't have an official beta, 'thecynic1' kept me on my toes during the gestation of this fic on my blog. Thanks :-).
AN-5:Curious about the location of this fic? There is at least one documentary about the area that occasionally shows up on cable: "Lost Treasures of the Yangtze Valley"
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