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star girl
14th Jan 2006, 18:06
Whilst going through a series of profiles to find some good piece of fiction, I stumbled across this one-shot. Really emotional though. It is about the change of plan; from Core to Crystal Dynamics. How does LARA feel about that??? A farewell one-shot, as the author describes.

A Sudden Change of Plans

A Tomb Raider farewell fiction

By Sarah Crisman

scrisman@juno.com



* * * * *



“So that’s it then? You really are leaving England?”

Lara turned away from the window and the panoramic view of the Derby countryside it provided. “I’m afraid so.”

The man Lara spoke to was sitting not behind his desk but rather on one corner of it. Theirs was a friendship that had developed from being simply business-related to a more personal nature. He remembered talking with her years ago when she was first discovered by Toby, another friend of his. How they had worked to get her to where she was today! So many memories…

“It’s strange,” she continued, walking away from the window, hips swaying but the holsters slung on them uncharacteristically empty. “But I almost feel like the decision was made for me. Like some other person was controlling me. I get that feeling from time to time, you know.”

“Understandable,” he nodded. “Sometimes, life moves us to places and areas we would rather not go. We get backed into a corner and suddenly it’s like ‘fight-or-flight’ and we’re out of ammunition.”

She paused, hands still held aristocratically behind her back, and looked down at the floor. “I don’t like to run, Jeremy. I’d like to think I’m beyond that. After all I’ve done, the person I’ve become in the years since 1996.”

Jeremy looked at the wall at the mention of the year. A small frame there held a single white tear-off calendar page dated October 31, 1996. Scrawled underneath in nearly illegible handwriting were the words, “We did it! -Toby” and ranged beneath that, five more letters forming a question that had come to signify everything about Lara Croft: “H.F.C.I.T.?”

“It’s not really running, you know,” he said. “And it’s really not that far in this day and age. San Francisco is relatively close to here, depending on how you look at it. Just a stone’s throw across the pond, really.”

“It’s not that I mind California, you understand,” Lara continued. “It’s a nice place to visit, and it will probably be a nice place to live ‘til it falls into the ocean. It’s just the unexpected journey. And it isn’t like there are a whole lot of ancient burial grounds to explore over there. I’m afraid I’ll get…bored.”

“I wouldn’t worry about that,” Jeremy said, though the tone of his voice indicated that he wasn’t being honest. “You’ll see. Before long, there’ll be another adventure for you to embark on. And to be honest, after this last bit about von Croy and the Monstrum, I think you could use a vacation. California isn’t the worst choice you could make.”

“That’s what’s eating me though,” Lara said. “I don’t feel like I made this choice. I think it got dumped in my lap by somebody higher-up who doesn’t seem to care that this is my home.”

“Lara, you’re being superstitious,” said Jeremy. But it was a lie.

“If you’d seen half the things I’ve been through, you’d be understandably superstitious as well.”

“Point taken.”

She walked away from the desk and looked at the wall. Photographs of people who looked like her adorned it. She had never understood why Jeremy never let her do her own photo shoots, meet her own fans. But, she had to admit, Rhona, Jill, Nell, Nathalie…they had all been remarkably well-cast. They had even found another girl named Lara to play her. That had been very cute. Easy to sign the autographs too, since you didn’t have to worry about signing your own name by mistake.

There were a few other things on the wall, various awards for other people, other things that hadn’t involved her at all. Some framed letters here and there. Trinkets and trophies handed out for different things over the years. It was a nice office. The thought of not stepping foot into it again after today was a bit troubling.

She wondered what would become of everything? Jeremy had told her that he would be leaving as well. A few other people had been mumbling about changing jobs or trying to find work. It seemed so odd that she could so easily find a new home and a new job while these other people had to work so hard for it.

Not that she hadn’t worked hard to get to where she was today. Running through centuries-old caverns and dodging the bullets and rockets of her fellow explorers were things most people couldn’t put on their resumes. And she had only just recently managed to clear her name after the Paris police accused her of murdering Werner von Croy, her old mentor. But still…sometimes it seemed like things went too easy for her. Like this, now.

California. There were so many questions. Would it make her soft? How long would her vacation be? And there were so many loose ends from the last bit of work she did. Would they be tied up, or would she find herself forgetting about them as the months slipped by. Maybe before long, they wouldn’t seem important anymore.

She felt a hand on her shoulder, and then Jeremy was beside her, staring out the window with her. “You know, no matter where you go on this planet, we’re always just an e-mail or a phone call away, right? And don’t try to deny it, because I know you always carry around one of those satellite uplinks for your laptop.”

She smiled. Jeremy seemed to know everything about her. And for the longest time, he had known about what was going to happen to her even before she herself had known. It was like he had some kind of direct input into her life, what it would be, where she would go. He denied it, of course, saying that he just tried to be prepared for anything that could possibly happen to her. She wondered sometimes, though. Especially now. Because it didn’t seem like Jeremy was as confident anymore.

He looked…older to her. Worn out. Defeated? No, she decided. Not defeated. Nobody in the offices outside had looked defeated. Downtrodden and worried, perhaps. Uncertain about the future. But never defeated.

“Jeremy…what happens next?”

“I don’t know, Lara.” He shrugged. “I simply don’t know. I don’t think anybody does.”

“California won’t change me, will it?”

“You’re sounding like a schoolgirl. You survived a plane crash, God-only-knows how many attempts on your life, a Swiss finishing school and an assortment of dinosaurs and you’re worried about California?”

“You didn’t answer my question.”

There was a long silence.

“Lara…I just don’t have the answers anymore. Things change. People change. The world changes. All of us do. Sometimes we’re better for it, other times it puts us in a bad spot. But change happens. And we can’t fight it.”

“I can. I can do anything.”

Jeremy tried to hide the smile. “Lara, if there is one person in this world who can do anything, I know it’s you.”

Another quiet pause. “I suppose, though, that whether or not I can do something shouldn’t be the indicator of whether or not I should.”

“That sounds like the Lara I know.”

She sighed. “I suppose I should get packed. I’m leaving on the first flight out tomorrow morning. The movers said I should only pack a few personal belongings. They’ll see that everything else I need will be shipped later. I wonder if they’ll move the entire mansion or if I’ll have to build a new one…”

Jeremy turned away from her and walked back over to his desk. There were papers on it that should have been important to him, but they weren’t. Not right now.

“Hey, listen,” Lara said, walking up behind him. “I want you to have something to remember me by, just in case…in case I don’t see you again.”

He turned. “Lara, I don’t think that-”

Lara hushed him. “No, I’ve just got this feeling somehow that I may not see you again. Or if I do see you, that you won’t recognize me or I won’t recognize you. So I want you to have this.” She placed the object in his open hand, then closed his fingers around it. “Keep it. Maybe it will help you find your new direction in life. I don’t need it any longer; mine’s been chosen for me, it would appear.”

She shook his hand with one gloved hand, the other remaining behind her back. “Ta, Jeremy. If we ever meet again, don’t hesitate to ask me to tea.”

“Same goes for you, Lara.”

She opened the door. “I’ll be gone in a little while. There are still a few people in the offices down here that I need to talk to. I’ve got some things I need to square up with Adrian. There’s also the matter of finding this Jonelle girl who has been going around impersonating my voice; I need to have a talk with her about that. And I need to find Susie too…somebody said she opened up a restaurant and I’ll need a good meal before I get on the airplane. And there’s Rich and Mark and Andrea, Chris, Neil…” Still talking to herself, Lara walked out of the office and closed the door behind her.

As the door closed, Jeremy moved over to the PC sitting on his desk that had been whirring away quietly the whole time Lara had been in his office. He pressed the button on the CD drive, and ejected the disc. He slid it into the jewel case lying in front of him and closed it, his fingers tracing the image of Lara on the instruction sheet. The words Angel of Darkness decorated the spine. “Goodbye, Ms. Croft. And good journey, wherever you go.”

Jeremy opened his hand and gazed at the object Lara had pressed into it just before she left. It looked like a small gold stopwatch, battered, beaten and abused from being slammed into rocks, bitten by wolves, dunked in water, dragged across seven continents and weathered by time. “Find my new direction in life?” he murmured, then flipped it open. For a moment, he stared at it in silence. Then he began to laugh, held the compass up in his outstretched arm, looked at the needle, and loudly declared, “North!”



* * * * *



Dedicated to the crew at Core Design, Ltd. who have given their hearts and souls to Tomb Raider and to Lara Croft since 1996. I didn’t know what else to do for you, so I figured it might be nice if Lara gave a bit of herself back. Forgive all the names I haven’t mentioned here. There are too many of you to name individually, but I thank and respect all of you for sharing Miss Croft with us. Best of luck in your future endeavours. It’s not much, but know that you and Lara made an impact on one silly young girl from Muncie, Indiana who thinks she can write stories.



Sincerely yours,

Sarah A. Crisman

Chris-Craig Michaels
14th Jan 2006, 20:50
That is quite poignant, and well written. Thank you for posting it so that we can read it. Lara's personality comes across very well.

Sophia Leigh
16th Jan 2006, 04:08
Thanks for posting that star girl :) . Half way through reading I kind of got angry that Lara had been taken from Core :o

star girl
17th Jan 2006, 14:22
No problem! It's really great, that's why I found that you'd might like it.

Johnny
17th Jan 2006, 20:07
Thanks for posting that star girl :) . Half way through reading I kind of got angry that Lara had been taken from Core :o

I thought the same thing at first, but Lara's move to the US has proven to be one heck of a SMART move on Eidos' part. Now that I've seen screenshots and trailers of TR: Legend, I've come to the realization that Core Design really was digging Lara Croft and the TR series into a watery grave. Cheers to Eidos and Crystal Dynamics!!! :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Sophia Leigh
18th Jan 2006, 00:24
I thought the same thing at first, but Lara's move to the US has proven to be one heck of a SMART move on Eidos' part. Now that I've seen screenshots and trailers of TR: Legend, I've come to the realization that Core Design really was digging Lara Croft and the TR series into a watery grave. Cheers to Eidos and Crystal Dynamics!!! :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

I see your point but I'll still reserve judgement until I've played the game, for example I'm sure that people thought AOD was going to be alot better than it was before they played it. Just take that music video that someone posted a link to a few days ago - it made AOD look like the best game ever.

(don't get me wrong, I personally loved AOD)