Tomb Raider: War and Peace

Chapter 3

Your body moves on its own and it seems that your foggy brain functions separately. You have no idea what you’re doing but you’re doing it. What is happening? Your body jumps off of a cliff and you land on your feet. For a second you think that the floor underneath you will collapse but it doesn’t, you’re on solid ground. Your brain then reminds you that James Whitman has just been killed and you sigh. Even though Whitman was a bastard for betraying everyone like that and lying, he didn’t deserve to die like this. No one deserves to die a horrible death like this. But what can you say, he got star struck and his own damn foolishness (even naivety) had led him to his inevitable doom. Your body moves while your mind briefly prays for Whitman. Let his soul rest in peace.

“Lara” Sam has noticed you and yells your name and struggles to get out of Mathias grasp.

“Sam” you yell as if your lungs are on fire. Then you fall, you struggle to get up, but you do. “Sam” you keep repeating her name. Mathias stops to look at you for a second, laughing at your struggle. Then he continues on dragging Sam forward, to the monastery, to Himiko, to Sam’s death.
What was once a bridge, now such thing exists no more. The winds tore it apart and now there’s a huge hole in its place, making it even more difficult for you to get on the other side. And though great distance separates you from Sam, you feel lighter just from seeing her. Your whole body is now burning just from the sight of Sam, you feel like your heart will jump out of your chest any second and then run to Sam, because that’s to whom it belongs.

But then you snap out of your thoughts. You need to figure a way out, how to get to the monastery, how to stop Mathias, how to help Sam. But for a while, your mind is as blank as a piece of paper. You never stopped to think about what is going on but really – what is happening? Why us? Why it has to be Sam? There is that weird feeling in your gut again, the feeling that always resurrects whenever you see Sam’s face. The thing that people call love. They also said that love is weird and love hurts and it’s difficult. But it’s not, you just simply have to stop thinking and love from all of your heart. You love Sam and she loves you, it’s always been there, you both just needed time to realize it. You guess that Sam figured it out faster than you, sometimes she would grasp your hand too tight, or hug you for too long. Sometimes she had that painful look whenever she looked at you but you could never figure it out. But now you understand – Sam was waiting for you.

You sneak past the Oni, past the Stormguards and pray to whatever entity there is that they won’t notice you just yet. You have to climb again, be strong again and even though you’re tired as hell, you don’t let the fatigue get to you. Because then it would be over. You have to defeat the demons in your head to keep on going. The fight is not over yet, it hasn’t even started. Remember, the most important thing is to keep moving. And you do. You run forward decisively, there’s no way back (literally too) as the floor is falling under your feet, being licked by the nasty and hot tongues of flames. Now is not the time to be weak, Lara. As you say these words to encourage yourself, you fall, again. The number of how many times you have fallen doesn’t interest you at all, the more important thing is that you get up every time, you have to. You carry on and it gets even more difficult to move, the winds get harsher, harder, colder. You try to protect your eyes from the sand and the wind and then you fall and as you do. A strange sound is coming from somewhere. A bell? Then this means that… And they’re all here in a matter of moments, the Oni, the Stormguards, in the distance they look like little ants but you know better than to underestimate them, they are the deadly warriors, the guards of the Sun Queen. You hear the battle cries, the screams as their footsteps get closer and closer. Emotions take over you, you get scared, you get frightened.

There’s too many of them” you think. You fought against the Solarii, but these, these demons are completely different, better prepared and better equipped. They have been guarding the Sun Queen all this time, killing anyone who’s in their way. They don’t hesitate.

“Alright you bastards, let’s see what you got” you hear yourself shout. But it came out more from panic than courage. You’re in panic, your hands are shaking and you can barely hold the weapons you carry. They’re fast, one wrong move and you’re dead. They don’t feel nor mercy, nor sympathy. Kill the intruder, that’s all. Maybe… maybe this is it? Maybe this is the place where you die? They’ll kill you swiftly; you don’t have to worry about it. Your body will rot here and the winds will scatter your bones all over the island. Just like many people’s bones you have seen all over the Yamatai. People who lost their lives here, many of them not understanding why. All the poor souls, this island has taken too many of them. But wait, there will be no winds, there will be no storms. The Sun Queen will be back, and that means that Sam will be… dead. You shake your head, you can’t let this happen. You love Sam, you need her, you want her and you didn’t even have the chance to tell her that. You have to tell her, she needs to know this. Finally, you have found happiness you never thought existed, you can’t let it be taken away from you so easily. Not now, not while you still can change things. With the rifle in your hands, you think that it’s high time you put those bastards to rest.

You somehow make it to he ritual chamber (you barely made it). You see all the Sun Queens, lined up in here, in front of the mightiest of them – Himiko. When you take a look at the imagery below, a painful realization hits you. Your head is spinning and it feels like you’ll get sick. No, no, no. This… this is… You look around, they are not the other Sun Queens, they are her, Himiko, the original Sun Queen. The Ascension ritual just transfers her soul into a different body, thus making her immortal. All these poor souls, Himiko had snatched their bodies and let their souls wander around this place angry, sad, lost and forgotten. Poor girls, most of them died during the fire ritual and even those, who for a second thought they were lucky and lived, were still forced to die, just in another way. Selfish Sun Queen, was one lifetime not enough for you?

“And now you want Sam” you say as you turn to the statue. You will never let this happen, you can’t. “Well, you’re not getting her” you say angrily and storm off. Sam is yours, yours only, you won’t let some Sun Queen take her body and get rid of Sam’s soul. Because Sam’s soul is what matters the most, it is a light in the sea of darkness.

Whenever Sam walks into the room, you can say that everyone suddenly feels better, she lifts up everyone’s mood, even if you’re sad, just one look from her and you find yourself grinning like an idiot. People like being around Sam, she’s funny, smart, cute, she never pretends to be someone she’s not. Sam is sociable but she never says more than she should, maybe it’s because of the way she was raised, she never wasted words. Sam’s presence has an even stronger effect on you. When she watches you or is nearby, your breath hitches, your palms get all sweaty and you mutter incoherent sentences. And when she hugs you, or takes your hand, you feel as if you’re going to burst into a million pieces, like multicolored confetti. So no, you’re not letting anyone take her soul, it’s too precious, Sam is too precious.

You turn around and walk away; you need to find Mathias and Sam. Before you lost her forever.

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