Fishing After Dark

July 27, 2018:

After recovering an item of importance from a dying man Lara finds herself in another reality… (emits by Ripclaw)


NPCs: None.


Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

There are well over twenty five known visions of Hell and it's various layers, levels, realms, domains and tiers. It takes one with some knowledge to know which land of punishment beyond they've arrived in off of a simple glance alone or touch down in to a pile of blood and brown murk. Murk that hides broken bones and all manner of unpleasantries beneath.
Just moments ago Lara Croft was in an old mine shaft from the 1800s. Hearing the dying warnings of a man once known as the Geomancer. Now shes somewhere and even somewhen else. Detached from the physical realm she once knew.

The skies are grey on black laced with an orange, a sideways lightningbolt trickles along heavy clouds and disappears, never touching down. All around the Tomb Raider is a vast expanse of putrid colored marshland, what looks like it would be debris is actually bones, not floating but piled high enough to stand above the water, in some points these boney clusters form up little islands and land masses.

Great dead trees rise up in a haunted and eerie forest, no leaves, just spiny deceased branches reaching upwards, gnarled wood vanishing in to the wasteland. The thing that pulled Lara through the dimensions from the Reservation in Oklahoma to this nightmare nowhere to be seen, the only lasting memory of it ever being present is her taxi ride here and the claw marks left in it's grapple to pull her through.

Lara's brown eyes watch the lightning bolt spread across the horizon and then takes a second just to breath… and look out at the landscape ahead of her. She was only lightly injured from her transition back here, it wasn't anything bad. Her clothing was in fairly good shape still and she has whats most important, her backpack and gear.

"Fine." Lara mutters quietly. She proceeds down a ledge toward a set of old dead trees and she takes a moment to perch herself down onto one of the black tree trunks that lays across the ground, her backpack comes to her lap and she begins to rummage through it. Within moments the two swords that Magdalena had given her are on her back with their leather straps criss-crossing over her chest, and she's moving on to strapping her holster with loaded gun to her hip, then finally her climbing axe is set into the buckle beside her hip and she breathes a sigh.

"I have food… not a lot, but enough. I can ration." Lara mutters to herself, a trait common amongst only-children.

She stands up then and her backpack is put on her shoulders and held over the sheathed swords (Deadpool-style) on her spine. "I'll find shelter, then… wait for a spell. Robert will come. I'm sure of it."

She looks further down the ridge and starts toward what looks like a leafless forest of black trees and marshland. "There's got to be a cave or a ruin here, something. This place has seen more life than seems."
The swamp of bone is treacherous for footing. Several times over Lara will find herself struggling to stay above the mess itself, under the reflective surface shes also learning its just as bad, worse yet because it cannot be seen. Pockets that are deeper than others full or jagged outcroppings and things stir beneath.
The sun doesn't appear to exist here just that Hellfire sky and while starting towards the denser forest she hears it. A cry out. "HELP ME!"
"Help me please… some one help me!" A pitiful sound, a man or woman it is hard to tell. Ahead and to her east, shy of the thickening dead forest wher the water appears widest, deepest and the most treacherous due to the lack of footing.

"Someone help me!"

Lara is at leaset as nimble as a human can possibly get. She isn't put off by bones either… bones are a lot better than fresh corpses. With heavy exhales and no small amount of annoyed grunts or exhales, she navigates the terrain. Along the way she manages to gather up a long femur bone from 'something' and she uses it as as a guide stick to measure the depth of the sludge and mud to make sure she steps forth into the easiest of places and if something seems to be moving within it? Obviously avoided.

The cries of a voice get her attention though and she draws in a breath. "Fantastic…" She starts toward it, but hesitates. "It could be a trap." She rubs her lips together for a second in quick thought, her eyes darting right to left. "But it might be some poor fool like me… Damnit."

Her heart is just too big and it pushes her to try to get to the voice, to try to help whomever needs it. Lara walks across a pile of bones, stepping lightly over the ribcage of a long dead 'thing' a hundred times her size… beneath it is a dark watery muck that would likely swallow her forever if she were to fall through the ribs.

There in the water as she meets the edge of the large watery spill something thrashes. The water ripples and there is a garbled sound, like someone trying to scream through bubbles. The will hear it, it breaks the surface, "HELP ME!" That cry again, louder, shrill. A face appears, jaw to top of head outlined in the water, mouth agape with wide eyes, rolling around from left to right as if trying to see who is around. A human, a man in early twenties or late teens. Waxy skinned but definitely skin.

Once Lara finds the source of the voice she feels her heart rate go up further, the person is drowning… seemingly. She quickly makes her way to the endge of the spine sticking up out of the wet sludge and she starts to quickly reach for the bundle of rope on her thigh… her climbing gear thanfkully still partly with her… one last bundle of rope at least.

"Hold on." Lara tells the man in peril. She ties the bone she'd been holding/using to the rope in its center, a criss-crossing tie that is securely knotted and then she lifts it up. "Here." She says to the man. "Grab this and I'll pull you out!"

The large femur is shoved forward through the air and splashes down into the muck in front of the man's nearly submerged head, it splashes down and starts to sink.

A gulp at the air and a slow turn, the face in the water looks at Lara or tries to. Its eyes still in a somewhat maddened swirl, "Help?" He questions. "Help me." A murmur. Then it moves through the water, towards Lara but there is no signs of arms or legs kicking, just motion. Perhaps he is doggy paddling or the ground is at his feet.
The knot is not reached for. No hands come up.
Another cry from nearby and Lara will see a second face come free of the murky surface, a dark skinned woman, mouth open, whispering, "Help." Then screaming it, "HELP!"

Then a third, nearer, a child, round cheeks, dark eyes, pale lips, "Help mommy. Help." it cries. There are more burbling to the surface, soon it is getting hard to count them.

Lara assumed the man had grabbed on to the bone beneath the sludge and was using it to pull on, or waiting for her to pull so she did, but all that happened was the bone shoots back up and out of the water only to splash down again and she falls backward onto her backside on the spine of the giant skeleton she's standing on.

And thats when all the faces start to appear and all the calls for help come out, cries really… and unsettling isn't even remotely the right word. "Jesus Christ." Lara mutters, her eyes darting around. "What in the Hell is this."

She quickly starts to pull on her rope to get it back, drawing the bone back from the water that its attached to, sitting down on the spine now with her booted feet out in front of her while she draws the line back in and looks around at the faces as they moan out the words.

As the line recoils at Lara's actions there is a turbulence in the water, it begins to thrash around the rope and it is jerked forward, there is a white wash of blurry things under the murk. Violently dashing around, one by one those faces start to dip and turn, looking her direction with those wild eyes. "HELP." It is a chrous. The first on a plea, they do it again and it is louder, not just a plea but they are starting to shout. Their faces twisting, contorting in to rage filled masks. Yelling 'Help' harshly at her, even the children. The eyes stop moving and go black, lips pull back as sharp teeth push out and they gnash at the air, the lack of Lara coming to them has a new surge through the rows of 'faces' she sees it now, each of them below the surface has fish like bodies, large fins that end in small near fingers, curled in to claws and frog-like legs. In a swarm theyre now wriggling through the water, bones and smaller inlets around the outcropping to try and reach her. "HELP US!" They shriek, roar even. Sounds a heavy metal band would worship.
They begin to climb atop one another, over eachother and out of the water in clumsy pulls of their fishy, disgusting bodies, those heads bobbing, teeth chomping at the air.

This certainly wasn't what Lara was looking to do in this place. Error Number 1: Only Worry About Yourself Here. She won't make this mistake again if she can get out of THIS horrid mess.

With the fish hybrid creatures coming up for her, bounding ontop of one another. Lara reaches over her right should and sweeps one of the Magdalena's swords out of its sheath, she swipes it downward in one quick stroke— not to cleave one of the creatures, no—but to severe what was left of her rope in the water and then salvage the rest that was already in her lap.

As the monsters begin to rally and grow closer up the old spinal column toward her, the Tomb Raider raises up to her feet just as one of the wet scaley beasts lands where her boots had been. She starts back stepping, expertly moving backward with the sword in her right hand and the rope in her left all balled up. Lara watches them for a moment before she turns to make a break for it back the way she'd come!

Lara's escape from the murk leads further in to those deadwoods, they begin to cluster together tighter. Hugging at the bases for some, forming in to one another as sstrange hands reaching towards the garish heavens and the humidity remains. Then it's a pathway through the center of the forest she'll see the first signs of possible civilization, a road sign. Half covered in gray dirt and so marred it is hard to make out what it once said. At least shes found a trail, overgrown, cut through by some bizarre animal like a deer path and under it a once road of drab ground. Through the forest… if only she was wearing some red.

Lara is so foolish as to rush into a town in this setting though. She remember the party, she remembers the slave pit… and nwo the bone yard and this marsh of fishpeople. So no, when she sees the road sign she darts off of the pathway and tries to make her way toward the village or settlement from a direction that wouldn't be quite so obvious.

"God, what horrors lie around the next turn in this awful place." She quietly tells herself as she places her hands on the trunk of one of the old trees and peers around it. She darts through the darkwood and leaps over a hollowed out treetrunk, then comes to the perimeter of the place that the street sign had been pointing toward.

"I need shelter… a place to hide, to wait." To figure out what to do next… she tells herself. But for now, she's observing the location, to see if there's any movement or signs of life.

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