A Survivor is Born

Disclaimer: I don't own Tomb Raider

Lara sat down beside a slowly dying campfire. The air around her was a bit cold, but the fire kept her warm. The small camp had been abandoned by, now deceased, Solarii men. Lara had killed the men without a speck of remorse. They died brutally yet Lara felt no regret. The embers of the fire burned brightly against the night, casting an eerie glow across her dirt and blood coated skin.

She stared at the blood that covered her hands and arms, not sure what amount of it was hers and what amount was her enemies.

What have I become? she asked herself.

Just a few days ago, Lara was a quiet girl. She enjoyed archeology, studying maps, and keeping to herself. She was afraid of the world, just out of college but eager for adventure. But the adventure she had found here was not what she had in mind.

A few days ago, people she knew were alive. A few days ago, she lived a sheltered life. Now, she's seen things no human should ever have to see. She's killed, mercilessly and impassively. She's been the cause of so many deaths, intentionally and unintentionally. Yet she continues. She fights and survives. They can't seem to kill her.

Lara would take death over living on this God-forsaken Hell of an island, but she had gotten everyone into this mess, and she was going to get them out. She had made a promise to her best friend; a promise that she would save her. A promise that she wouldn't leave her behind. Lara wouldn't let her down.

But right now, she just had to focus. That's what Roth always said. You got great instincts, girl. You just have to focus. Lara never took that seriously, not even when she was nervous about her calculations on Yamatai or even when she was studying charts so much that she could see them on the backs of her eyelids. But now, she understood.

She must fight and embrace who she is. Embrace what she can do. If she wanted to save them all, there was only way to do it. And if that meant taking down everyone that gets in her way, she was willing.

The static from Lara's radio crackled before letting out a monotone beep that meant no signal. She stared at it blankly, wondering whose voice would resonate from it next. Would it be Roth's? Asking her where she was and if she was alright? Would it Alex's? Reassuring her that everything would be fine and that they'd all be home by sundown? Or would it be Sam's? Warning her and worrying her half to death.

Instead, the radio went silent and Lara's eyes shifted back to the burning embers with little interest. She noticed the sun was to rise. I should keep moving, she told herself as she rose steadily to her feet. Lara's right hand immediately reached to the lower left part of her stomach to cradle it.

The wound there, from the piece of rebar, still hadn't healed nor had it stopped bleeding. Every time she fell or jostled it, which was an action quite hard to avoid, the barely formed scab would break and leave the wound open. The pain was still evident, but she pushed on, ignoring it. Pain didn't matter. Not anymore.

Lara's left hand, which was free of holding anything, reached for her red ice pick. Splatters of her enemies' blood decorated it and it fit perfectly into the palm of her hand. It was like it was made for her. She secured her bow across her chest before continuing forward, pausing to gaze out across the face of a cliff at the rising sun. The soft waves lapped at the rocks below her.

"No one leaves," she mused quietly to herself as her eyes squinted at the dark clouds that gathered in the distance. The words echoed through Lara's head. She had heard them so many times in the time she had been here. A soft rumble of thunder seemed to confirm her words.

"We'll see about that," she growled with narrowed eyes before turning on her heel to stalk off into the forest.

She wasn't quite sure what was waiting for her on the vast island but this was no time to be scared.

"I am Lara Croft and I will not back down in the face of danger. Because if I don't survive, none of us will."