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A famous explorer once said that the extraordinary is in what we do, not who we are. I'd finally set out to make my mark - to find adventure. But instead, adventure found me.
— Lara Croft

Fresh from education and in search of lost relics, a 21-year-old Lara Croft journeys to an island off the coast of Japan aboard the Endurance, a salvage vessel helmed by Captain Conrad Roth. The crew had begun their long journey to find the lost Japanese kingdom of Yamatai. While venturing through the Dragon's Triangle, the Endurance is struck by a violent storm and splits in two, stranding everyone on an isolated island. Lara then found herself separated from the rest of the crew. She was then kidnapped by a savage native but escaped. She then had to start surviving on her own, taking up arms and making use of her incredible agility and instincts. Her time on the Island had transformed her from a naïve, vulnerable girl into a deadly, hardened survivor, willing to take a life when need be and pass any obstacle in her way.

Battle vs. Jason Brody (by WanderingSkull)[]

TBW

Winner: Jason Bordy

Expert's Opinion[]

TBD

To see the original battle, weapons, and votes, click here.

Battle vs. Joel Miller (by WanderingSkull and Cfp3157)[]

Chapter 21: The Dusty Road Ahead 

Two companions walk slowly down the road, heading esstward into the dark night. One of them, a middle-aged man with black hair laced with dots of greying strands and crisp snowflakes, adjusts his backpack into a more comfortable position. Trudging loudly to the crunch of thick snow, the man sighs as his fellow traveller- a teenage girl with light brown hair- starts to break the silence. 

"I still can't believe you wanted to be a singer." 

Joel chuckles slightly, turning backward to his companion. 

"It's all true, Ellie. I'm actually not that bad with an acoustic." 

Elllie raises her eyebrow at Joel, who merely nods in response. "No fucking way!" 

"Yeah; Johnny Cash, Conway Twitty- I could see myself up there with the country legends." Joel comments, beginning to hum to himself. 

Ellie laughs, keeping the conversation going. "Why country? Thought Michael Jackson was, like, the biggest star in the whole goddamn world back then." 

Joel shrugs. "I don't really know, to be quite honest. My friends were big fans, but I wasn't that into him myself."

"I think a big reason was because I liked guitar. Back when I was, about...probably thirteen or fourteen years old, my old man got me a guitar. A Gibson L-4, damn nice instrument. I swear, I probably drove my little brother mad with how long I'd play that sucker every day. 

Ellie laughs, and it's Joel's turn to raise an eyebrow. "What's so funnny now?" 

"I can just see you now, sitting in your room. Rocking some ugly mullet while jammin' away to "Amarillo by Morning" or some shit like that." 

"Hey, I could rock a damn good mullet." 

"When we get to Tommy's, I'll ask for his opinion." 

The two then continue walking in silence, for a brief moment. Finally, Ellie decided to continue the subject. "Sing me a song." 

Joel thought for a moment, then replied. "I'll sing any song- you just gotta whistle the tune." 

Ellie tried a simple melody, but broughtout a series of small, raspy spits. 

"Fuck you." 


Prologue: Welcome Back

How long had it been? 

These thoughts raced through the young woman’s mind as she ran through the streets of the once bustling city. The past twenty years had taken its toll upon the urban environment and what was once urban sprawl was completely abandoned. 

Vines had steadily climbed their way upside apartment buildings, moss littered the ground but most shocking of all was the eerie silence of streets minus the crunching of snow as the woman’s boots crushed the fresh powder beneath her feet. The snowfall of an impending winter only further fueled the woman’s feelings of isolation. 

How long had it been? 

Her thoughts now shifted to her friends that had struggled and survived with for so long on that rotting island. And yet the moment they reached their perceived civilization and then....those things came out and attacked their boat. 

First went Jonah, the crew had been working together to hold off the creatures, but it soon became apparent that there were simply too many for them to handle. Jonah had given his life to allow them to escape as the creatures broke through the door. She could still hear Jonah’s roars of anger and later agony before all returned to silence. 

Then came Joslin, who went looking for extra parts to fix up an escape vehicle. That was four weeks ago and a week later before Joslin never returned and Sam and Lara were forced to move on. They had later found her corpse in a local garage with a bullet having gone through her head and several dead bandits nearby.

Finally there was Sam, Lara had to personally put her down. The events had happened about a week ago during a typical supply run. Lara had lowered her guard and all too soon everything came crashing down as the creatures came bursting through. Among them was a particularly large one which had kept Lara distracted as Sam held off the others. Once the monstrosities had fallen, Lara had learned the true cost of her carelessness.

During the ensuing battle Sam had been bitten and both understood the consequences of such an injury. This was the point of no return and with a few parting words, Lara raised her firearm, her arm still shaking. 

I’ll see you around, Lara.  Sam smiled with tears going down her face.

And with that the sound of a round had broken her thoughts and ended the life of her final companion. And yet as she continued on through the storm, just looking for shelter and a place to lie down, her thoughts shifted once more.

How long had it been?

As she stumbled into the grocery store for a brief respite from the storm, she would find out.


More rice, I guess.

Joel begrudgingly backpacked three boxes of Uncle Ben's rice- but the rolling wheels of a crashed grocery cart interrupted his train of thought.

Becoming cautious of the sudden noise, Joel's hand reached for his piece and gently lifted the weapon. Moving as quietly as he could muster, not wanting to alert the possible foe.

Lara cursed as the cart smacked against the small fridge, in her haste in gain her next meal- several cans of beans and a several jars of rather questionable origin, she had neglected her surroundings.

These thoughts fell to the back of her mind as she looked up- before her stood a man who had aged well into his 40s, his graying beard, hair and dirty appearance kept her instantly on guard. Quickly reaching for her rifle and aiming it as the man spoke.

"Just lower the weapon. And we'll talk."

For a moment, Lara's face softened, she'd be running all this time and yet this was the first person she'd met in what seemed to be like years to not emit hostility upon meeting her. Lowering her rifle, Lara examined the man once more as he also began lowering his weapon, gaining a sense of relief that she didn't also want any trouble.

But then once more her mind drifted to the thoughts of the island and the men who at first seemed peaceful, but then would immediately pull a gun on her the moment she turned her back. All those who had died just because she was not strong enough to fight back in the first place and now she was alone.

"Look, me and my friend were heading towards a place that I know. A safe place, you can tag along."

Joel continued walking towards the girl, but suddenly she seemed off, like her mind had just stopped processing the current situation. Looking at her hands, he noticed the grip tighten and her eyes emit the same look he had for so long. His eyes opened and he spouted a curse.

"Oh, shit."

A burst of automatic fire rained upon Joel managing to nick his shoulder as he jumped out of the way. Hiding behind his cover, Joel blindly fired two rounds towards the young girl. Both missed, but caused the girl to fall back and find her own cover.

Have to get out of here and back to Ellie. Were the first things that crossed Joel's mind as he began looking for the nearest exit. After a few moments of search, he spotted one not so far away, but path left him wide open to retaliation. Look in a shattered piece of glass he noticed the woman moving towards, rifle still raised. Sighing, Joel tucked his sidearm back into his jeans and unlatched his next weapon. Now or never.

And in one swift motion, Joel launched himself above the cover let loose a stream of hot flames and from his perspective engulfed the young girl as he dropped the weapon and made his escape. As he did so, a sharp pain ripped through his leg and caused him to stumble.

"Sonuvabitch!" He shouted looking back seeing that the woman still stood, but her burning coat having fallen only a few feet behind her. There was no more time to worry about his wound, Joel pushed himself to continue his trek, only taking a moment to draw his sidearm and fire several more shots at the young girl, this time he got lucky as one of the wild rounds nailed the rifle forcing her to discard her now useless weapon.

TBC

Winner: Joel

Expert's Opinion[]

TBW

To see the original battle, weapons, and votes, click here.

Battle vs. Kazuo Kiriyama (by WraithOfWaffle)[]

Lara Croft: Red

Kazuo Kiriyama: White

An Island Off the Coast of Japan, Present Day

The sound of a campfire crackling fills the air, the warmth of the fire accomponying it too as the bright orange flames dance on the darkening wood. A hand holding a stick pushes into the ash, moving the charred remains of firewood to a preferable status. The silent, dusk caped itself over the empty island with predators on the loose, looking for an easy hunt. A young woman inches her hands to the fire, avoiding burns but trying to get as much warmth as she can in the damp cave she took shelter in.

"Lara... are you there?" a small walkie talkie next to her spoke out, the frequency being rather poor. She grabs the device, pushing a button and speaking into it.

"Yes I am here, Rick where are you right now?" she spoke out, her elegant voice echoing deeper into the cave.

"I should be coming soon, get ready in a bit. Air traffic's been a mess lately and honest I want to get back to land in a bit. I keep hearing Japanese on these comms so something is definitely up." The pilot said with concern in his voice.

"Yeah... about that."

"Huh?"

"Would now be a good time to tell you I don't exactly have permits to be here?"

"What?! Lara you know the Japanese don't exactly play nice nowadays. You've heard the stories and if we're captured I don't want to be executed."

"Don't worry, we should be out soon. I'll pack up my bags. Good haul today, I knew there was definitely something worth checking out. Ancient Japanese relics, trinkets, and idols from shrines the world hasn't seen in maybe hundreds of years."

"Well nice, I expect to be paid handsomely....BZRTZthe communication device bleeted out, static noise leaving the speaker.

"Rick? Rick? Ah damn." the British explorer said as she tried to communicate with her pilot, with her efforts in vain. She puts away her walkie talkie and grabs her ice axe. She grabs her bags, full of hundreds of dollars worth of items a nice museum may pay good money for. She also checks her holsters, inspecting her two pistols and analyzing her bow. After all, she may not know what she'll find on her way to the beach where he pilot is supposed to meet her.

****

Meanwhile, Off the Shore of the Island

A young man wakes up from a long slumber, slowly opening his eyes as he saw the orange-lavender sky, some gray clouds spread across but by no means ruining the visual. Looking up with his dull, brown eyes he begins to reflect on what has happened for the past few days.

"Fujiyoshi, I said no whispering!" 

...

"Why? What did I ever do to you?"

...

"Die!"

...

Then the explosion. Whatever happened, it caused the collars to go off. He was a free man and any other who survived. Then the military came and swept the island, aiming and successfully killing the remainder of the class, maybe even Nanahara and his friends. But he was lucky and found a boat near the lighthouse, sailing away from the island and drifting into a slumber.

After reflecting, the high school student sat up and reached for his dufflebag, scrounging for some food and water. Scarfing the plasticky dough Kitano and his men had the balls to call bread and the bottled water he picked off one of the corpses of his former classmates, he checked out his stock. A pistol, a revolver from another previous owner, his machine gun, a pair of grenades, and his blood soaked sword. He should be covered for now, where ever he may go. 

Scoping the area, Boy #6 tried to look for another island, squinting and hoping to see whatever land he can retire at. He spots an island in the darkening light, barely making it out. He took out a paddle and started pushing to his destination.

****

Lara hiked down the cavern, playing her MP3 and unwinding before she spots something in the water. Halting and taking her binoculars out, it was someone with frizzy hair and a black and white outfit. She thinks she sees a metal collar around his neck barely shining but that could be her imagination. She tries calling out to the mysterious figure but with no reaction. This man must be lost and seeing that he's directioned towards the small village remains near the water, she decides to quickly make it over there. 

After a few minutes.

Lara makes it to what little remains of human presence are left in this village, searching for the man. 

Meanwhile, the man she's looking for is leaving his vessel, hoping to find a stable house to hold out in until tomorrow. He grabs his bag but being unsure of what may be on this island, he takes out his PPK and puts it in his jacket pocket. He hoists the bag over his shoulder and walks towards the village.

He hears a faint female voice in the distance, catching him off guard and nearly taking out his weapon. He is on guard, watching each corner before he sees a woman. She was a few inches below him but well built in a grey tank top and green khakis. She was carrying a few heavy looking bags but didn't seem to struggle doing so and she had guns on her, at least two. But one thing really stook out to him: she is Westerner in fact, the first he has ever seen. He thinks he knows what she's speaking... English. He rarely hears English but learned a few words and may be able to decipher her foreign tongue.

"Do you need help?" the woman asks, hoping to get a response. "What is your name?"

"Kazuo Kiriyama..." the boy spoke with little volume.

"What happened to you? Why is there blood on your head?" she asked, with Kazuo wondering why the hell she's interrogating him.

"Many people died, I killed them." is what he says next, with his eyes void of emotion.

Lara's pupils dilated and she grew a cold sweat. Who was this mysterious person and who did he kill? What is that collar on his neck?

She found herself slowly reaching for her Beretta, even if she didn't realize it. The slight gesture made caught Kiriyama's attention, his heart beat slighting raise and making his eyes dart back at Lara's.

"Tell me. What happened? Who did you kill and why did you kill?"  Lara is growing more nervous, her hands are clamy and her fingers are jittery. This is like the island all over again, she doesn't want to hurt anyone. She knows what it means to be a survivor but please, not again.

In a swift move, Kazuo pulls out his pistol from his suit jacket and fires three shots. Lara shows a shocked expression before rushing to protection, unholstering her own pistol on the way there.

"For a game!" he continues firing his pistol and rushes to cover too.

Lara hides behind a house, looking at a small, bleeding wound on her arm, cursing but double checking to confirm it was just a graze. She quickly drops her cargo and holds her Beretta, taking potshots towards the rocks Kazuo hid behind.

"You can do this Lara... think."

Lara peeks around her cover and looks for the whites in Kiriyama's eyes, seeing his hair behind a wagon as he tries to duck as far down as he could. Lara fires towards the wagon, making small craters into the aging wood with scalding hot casings dropping at her feet. She continues until she runs out of ammo in her clip, then Kiriyama does the same with is own pistol. He then stops to see his own empty gun but Lara hasn't retaliated. Taking a risk, Kiriyama takes out another clip and loads it, walking to the house. He scopes around the corner of the small livings quarters of the people who previously inhabited the island but sees nothing besides the spent shell casings and tracks from her boots continuing around the house.

Meanwhile Lara is trying to stall as much as she can until her getaway arrives, running as fast as she can with the heavy weight of her treasures holding her back. She goes into the outskirts of the town and takes cover behind a tree, leaving the bag in a safe area where she can pick it up when this is over. She reloads another clip into her pistol but sees a muzzle flare pointed her way. She narrowly avoids it and blindfires back to the source. She fires more and more, landing a hit on Kiriyama's left shoulder.

Kiriyama grabs his shoulder to see a bullet lodged deep in there, not severing a major vessel but manageable. His empty PPK prompts him to take out his Uzi, where he proceeds to leave his cover and spray like he did on the Island.

"Oh God!" Lara screams as she hears the metallic rattling of the Uzi and the sparks that hit the ground near her and the tree protecting her.

"What do I do?" Lara repeatedly asks herself as she needs to come up with a plan before he comes and finishes the job. She draws her Deagle and peeks around the tree to see Kiriyama reloading and still coming towards her. She panics but sees a small shack to her left. Kiriyama finishes reloading and Lara charges the cabin, emptying her gun towards him and dives into the shack through the window. She protects herself behind the counter and looks for anything to use. She sees a corpse in a uniform on the ground, facing up with a helmet and olive drab backpack under him. Right next to him is a Type-100 she takes, hoping to God the thing still fires. She cocks it and fires at Kiriyama, who just evades the shots but throws something into the shack.

"Oh crap!" Lara leaps out the door with her SMG and flies out the explosion, shrapnel hitting her elbow. She grabs it in pain and screams, but the noise attracts Kiriyama and he shoots. Lara rolls with the machine gun in her embrace and another firing at her, going behind some barrels. She takes shots at Kiriyama before hearing the dreaded click, signalling that her gun would no longer fire the rounds that could save her life. She discards the gun but sees that Kazuo has done the same with his own signature gun. She takes out her Deagle and manages to barely hit Kazuo's leg, making him fall down and grasp the injured limb. Lara intends to finish him off but her gun does what her SMG did and clicks. Kazuo takes out his .357 and fires back at Lara, who only has her axe and bow left. Kiriyama struggles to get up but manages to limp towards his prey and reloads all six of his last rounds into the cylinder.

Lara runs deeper into the forest of the island before it suddenly starts pouring hard rain and thunder as it roars across the sky. Lara continues running but she falls on a branch, hitting her leg on a rock in the process. She sees blood seeping out of it and takes out a bandage to halt the flow of the crimson liquid, also popping in a few painkillers to help with the pain. But as she tries to regain her balance, Kazuo fires at her but his leg throws off his balance and thus his aim, forcing his gun to be emptied out with no hits. Kazuo unsheathes his sword as he picks up the pace and slashes at Lara's back, forcing blood out. Lara turns around as she strikes with her axe, trying to disarm him. Lara slashes at Kiriyama but he leans back weakly and strikes at her shoulder, scoring another hit. Lara falls back and hits a tree, where Kiriyama gives one last slash but gets his sword stuck in the tree and Lara falls down as her leg gives up on her.

"This is it... isn't it? Lara... don't do this..." Lara thinks as she falls down out of exhaustion, from the blood loss and the injuries she's sustained. She sees Kazuo trying to pull his sword out of the thick tree, too focused on it but he thinks he's still safe. She's out of reach from her axe but sees to her right her bow and quiver of arrows.

"Oh thank God, I must've dropped them when I fell."

She crawls to her last weapon and grabs a round for it out of its pouch, pulling back the string and taking aim at a safe distance. Kiriyama decides to finish her off another way, she's pretty much dead at this point. He pulls out a grenade and pulls the pin but sees the barely alive adventurer preparing to fire a bow his way.

SCHOOO

An arrow pierces Kiriyama's jugular, making him try to cover the wound spraying with blood with both his hands, not even thinking about the live grenade in his hand. It explodes before it even hits the ground. Lara looks at the charred corpse of her opponent as she slowly closes her eyes. She hears helicopter blades in the distance before passing out.White

****

CNN Newsroom

"In other news, young adventurer fights for her life against mentally insane student from a government death game. Lara Croft, the daughter of famed archaeologist Richard Croft, is in stable condition after entering a firefight on a southeastern Asian island with a young man known as Kazuo Kiriyama. Kiriyama was a participant of the infamous BR Program, condemned by the United States Government and United Nations who escaped the island the "game" took place on after the mutiny on the island we covered earlier in the week. The Japanese government haven't released an official statement on neither the BR Program incident, the death of Kiriyama, or the potential escapees from the island. Croft was on the island on the trail of treasure when she saw the young man and thought he needed help. He fired upon her with military grade weaponry before he died from a grenade explosion. An investigation will be launched and we will let you know when we get word of any updates."

"Thanks Jeff, next up: there are reports of The Strate​gic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division and the Strategic Defense Coalition entering a skirmish in the wreckage of a military base in Guam. More on that after the break."

WINNER: LARA CROFT

Expert's Opinion[]

In a total stomp in the favor of Lara, she won due to her better experience in combat and the better use of her weaponry. Kazuo had the advantage in that his Uzi was a more robust design and his grenades would be more damaging compared to a bow, but his spray and pray style was no match for the control Lara brought, which allowed her to think on the fly rather than just use brute force. Lara was able to also dominate the X-Factors and took the major ones such as training, experience, and endurance. Kazuo's experience has only come from spraying down his classmates with an Uzi and although he's portrayed as a formidable combatant, he's never fought anyone like Lara who's fought waves of cult members armed to the teeth and the other threats of Yamatai island.

To see the original battle, weapons, and votes, click here.

Battle vs. Nathan Drake (by Nautical Rapscallion)[]

TBW

Expert's Opinion[]

TBW

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