Tomb Raider: The Next Generation: Tela's Tales

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SlickRick69
~This is going to be a multi-author carry-on story about Lara Croft's little girl, Tela, and how she picks up going on crazy adventures, like her mother did...~

#1 TELA AND THE TEMPLE OF GLOOM

Tela woke up and yawned, stretching and climbing out of her 4-poster bed, padding across her bedroom in her black thong and pink lace baby-doll nightie. She stood before a full-length mirror and made some slight adjustments to her thong and top, smiling at how good she looked, all tight and ripped and firm, after working out so hard for months.

She was ready to take on the world, after she took a shower and had some breakfast that is! She shrugged off the thong and slipped from the nightie, strutting to the bath and cranking the lever hard to the left, steaming hot water pulsing down over her hard body.

Even as she relaxed and washed off the night, her mind drifted to the package she had received last afternoon. A map and a letter from her friend in Tibet, asking for her help finding an ancient temple filled with gold and treasures unimaginable. THAT stuff excited her almost more than sex... almost... the excitement, the danger, the adventure, so tantilizing. She couldn't wait to get to Tibet to see what she would see!

DIBWILLPAY!
Tela stood. After washing off the soap suds she changed into a lack tank top and a pair of olive green shorts just in time, before her butler knocked.

"Come in."

Mr. Grooms qalked in holding her backpack out. He waited patiently as Tela slipped her socks and boots on. "ANother treasure hunt?" he asks.

Tela turns and smiles. "You know me. The thrill of the hunt." she says with a half-smile.

Grooms nodded and handed her the pack. "Do be careful."

Tela smiles before heading down the stairs and out the front door of Croft Manor. Going to the garage, Tela spots her favorite ride. Her blue bike(motorcycle). The trip to the airport should have een quiet, ut it is never quiet in the life of a Croft.

DIBWILLPAY!
Tela swerved into the lane just barely getting missed by a bullet. After whipping around obviously to fast for her attacker, Tela speeds in the other direction. This was definately not good.

Mai cursed. He had missed her by a millimeter. Turning around his car. It's reaks squealed as he barely misses the other cars. The drivers honk and yell at him, but Mai didn't care. He had his mark.

SlickRick69
Tela's helmet-linked cell-phone buzzed in her ears, and she answered, even as she tore ass down the crowded street on her motorcycle, chased by Mai in his big black Caddy convertible.

"Croft... go!"

"Tela, it's Rico..." the caller replied. "I'm at the airport, the plane's gassed, engine gunned, flight plans faked and set, we're ready to roll. There's just one thing missing, sweets..."

"Caught in traffic, babe." Tela explained, swerving around a big rig. "Take off without me, I'll catch up!"

"Uh oh, Tela... you're not--" she switched off before Rico could do his usual 'stay out of trouble' routine, and gunned the accelerator, heading across town toward the bridge over the river.

From behind, Mai's caddy gained on Tela's bike. Mai pressed a button and the sun roof opened. Mai crawling up and looking out at Tela ahead on the street.

"Goodbye, Tela Croft..." he laughed, fishing a rocket launcher from the seat next to him and taking aim.

-VvVvVvoooooooshh!=KABOOOOOOMM!= the rocket roared toward Tela's speeding bike, but she saw it coming in her rear-view, and veered to one side, just in time! But, the rocket struck the bridge, and the bridge exploded, with Tela too close to stop!!

The motorcycle shot through the flaming rubble at the end of the road, Tela falling away from the bike, as Mai's caddy screeched to a stop at the edge of the road.

Mai smiled as Tela fell to certain death, but a small plane skimmed along the river, rising up and over the collapsing bridge and rubble, a length of rope dangling from the passenger door as the plane arced up over the area.

Tela Croft free-fell and swooped her arms at her side, like a bird, guiding herself to the waiting rope, grabbing hold and climbing as the plane soared up and away.

"Caught ya!" Tela smirked at her pilot, Rico, as she crawled inside the plane and sealed the hatch. "Told you I'd catch up!"

"HA! Croft!' Rico laughed, "I caught YOU!" they both smiled and laughed, Tela crawling into the co-pilot seat as the plane zoomed over the horizon, out of Mai's sight.

"I'LL GET YOU, TELA CROFT!" Mai seethed, sitting back down in his Cadillac and instructing hi driver to get out of the area fast...

DIBWILLPAY!
Tela laughed. "Well, that could have gone worse." she said. "But then it wouldn't e fun if it had een better."

Rico laughed. He watched as she fell silent watching the water. The calm rolling of the waves.

Tela took off her backpack and pulled out a map. She sat back more comfortable and began looking over Tibet's cities. "You know this would a lot more fun, if we did it lindly." she joked.

As she got bored, she stuffed the map back in her pack and zipped it. "So no pit stops?"

DIBWILLPAY!
Rico chuckled. "Impatient aren't we?"

Tela laughed. "Maybe"

Rico smiled. She was playing her usual game. "So is this just another treasure hunt or is there more to this adventure?"

Tela glanced back from the window. She had seen a small fishing boat in the water. "You know me. Treasure hunt at first, than it will turn into more."

Rico nodded. he knew she was right. Tela had inherited that from her mom too...the sense of adventure...Danger always following...and near-death escapes.

SlickRick69
"Well, speaking of pit stops..." Rico was reminded, checking their course, "We have to refuel in HAWAII, if you want to see some sights or what not? maybe check out a luau, or 2 wow! get a little freak on with the natives..."

Tela smiled. She hadn't had a real get-away-from-it-all vacation in about 3 years, ever since her first run in with Mai Chan, Yakuza Triad bounty hunter extraordinaire. MAybe she never should have gone after that diamond Ming dragon, but she had to! It's eye was the Key to the Chamber of Lost Souls, and she had to free them in order to break the gypsy curse! Surely the Triad should have understood that!

... but they didn't...

"My, my Mai..." Tela sighed, frowned and shook her head. "Our old Yak friend will be tracking us... he will know we will refuel in Oahu. We won't have time to see the sites this trip. Maybe next time, luv..."

Rico huffed but shrugged, making light of it. She always said that 'sorry, luv... maybe next time..." what was she afraid of? surely not some wack-job hitman with an over-developed sense of duty and an under-developed appreciation for irony; destroying the priceless Ming Diamond dragon to release the captured souls of long dead religious leaders, it was a simple trade, one sort of wealth and power for another! There was an ironic balance! Surely the Yakuza wouldn't hold a grudge FOREVER! Wasn't 3 years long enough??

"It's been so long, Tel..." Rico sighed again. "What about me? What about my needs?"

"Hey!" Tela snapped, then smiled and reached over, squeezing his hand gently but firmly. "You make out OK in the end.. better than OK, I loooooove the way you make out, babe! she leaned out of her seat and kissed him on the cheek. "You're a good friend, and a great lover, Rico... I will not forget that! and we WILL have a proper vacation soon, I promise!"

Rico smiled slightly and continued flying. Her kisses and tender touch always made him feel at ease; she was such a master... and he was such an easy mark!

SlickRick69
The trans-Pacific flight was smooth as could be, Tela didn't expect much action in the air. It wasn't as though Mai Chan could have been tracking them as they flew!

"Uh oh..." Rico warned, almost as if on cue. "We got a bogey, incoming at 12 o'clock low, barely registering on radar it's so close to the water..."

"Shit!" Tela cursed, uncharacteristically for her usually demure and proper self.

The attacking vessel was a Japanese built assault helicopter; with Mia Chan's Yakuza mates at the helm, no doubt.

"Missiles away!" Rico cried. "I'm tracking 2 incoming, sidewinders, Tela... Banking around, evasive maneuvers, deploying counter-measure..."

"MeasuRES, you mean?!" Tela corrected. "As in, the plural?"

"Uhh.." Rico laughed. " Wasn't expecting company, luv... we were supposed to be save until landing in Oahu, remember? Counter meaSURE away... banking right... grab on to something, QUICK!"

Rico released a burst of silvery dust-particles from a special pocket on the belly of the plane, the cloud of silver sparklies dispersed and hung in the air behind and beneath the plane as Rico banked sharply away and rose in altitude.

One of the missiles was turned away, locking on to the magnetic and metallic, super-heated cloud of gas and dust, and the explosion occurred a harmless hundred feet away from the plane.

Unfortunately, the second missile soared past the cloud and explosion, locked tightly upon the small plane, and would not be shaken loose!

"Oh, shit!" Rico screamed, trying one last maneuver in his bag of tricks; he arched the plane into a steep suicide dive toward the ocean, and yelled to Tela to blow the escape hatch and bail out. Tela was way ahead, already shouldering and strapping into her SCUBA gear, tank, mask and fins, and was standing at the hatch when the plane began its dive. The hatch tore away and Tela was sucked out an instant later, without even waiting for Rico!

Rico bounced back from the pilot chair, toward the escape hatch, tripping and stumbling back to the flight deck, jamming the control stick into an even steeper, harder dive!!


=VVVVEEEERRRRRRRRRRRRR-KAAAAAAAAABBBOOOOOOOMMMMM!!!!=

The plane crashed hard, and exploded along with the missile on the surface of the water, concealing Tela's plunge into the sub-tropical depths from the watching eyes of the Yakuza helicopter hit-squad.

After the flames had died down, the Yak helicopter cir led around the area a few more times, waiting and watching for survivors, before streaking off into the distance, satisfied that both Tela and Rico were dead.

Fortunately, Tela knew they were at least only half-right...
Unfortunately...

"Rico??" Tela gasped as she resurfaced, having been watching the Yakuza hit-squad circle and finally depart. She glanced all around the area of the crash, desperately longing to see Rico clinging to some bit of the wreckage, but no such luck...

"I love you, Rico..." she sobbed, a tear rolling down her cheek.



"Well, say it like you mean it, girly!" Rico swooped up from directly below Tela, exploding from the water and splashing her playfully. HE was holding on to his SCUBA tank against his chest, for dear life, although it must have been hell to swim while carrying that weight in front like that, at least...

"You're alive!" Tela cheered, wrapping her arms around Rico's neck, almost drowning the man under her weight and the weight of the tank in his arms.

"Careful, luv, you'll drown me!!" Rico gagged.

"Shh... just hold your breath..." she kissed him long and hard on the mouth, and he kissed her back, surrendering to her again, as he always had, allowing them both to drift under the water, embracing and kissing as they sunk deeper and deeper in love...

DIBWILLPAY!
Tela felt a tinge of pain in her side as she recoiled from Rico. She looked at apologetically at Rico. She knew it was a cut from a piece of debree that had caught her on the way up. Blood had started to trickle unnoticed until now.

Tela looked at Rico. The salt water stung it a little, but she was use to it. pain was of know consequence unless it was Rico pained. She forced a half-smile as she swam to the surface. If she didn't get out of the water soon, a shark would get her and Rico.

Once her head was above the water, Tela began to catch her breath. This was not good. Had she lost enough blood to attract the carnivors attention? She didn't know.

SlickRick69
Rico shrugged on his SCUBA tank and pulled at Tela unwittingly stretching her wound, spilling more blood. Tela cringed and shuddered from the tearing flesh, and Rico looked at her, concerned.

"We can't stay on the surface or in the area long... Mai's salvage teams will be here soon, to recover your head as proof of your death... we have to dive, and swim as far as possible out of here! The islands are just over the horizon, we are close to safety! Let's get wet, babe!"

He smiled and flipped into the water, kicking and splashing as he dove under. Tela was hurt and tired, but followed just the same, a trail of red in her wake as she swam, the gash in her back spewing blood into the ocean...

DIBWILLPAY!
Tela followed Rico. Her blood mixed with the salt water. She watched Rico's movement and tried to catch up with him. It worked for a while, but then she started to feel light-headed. Slowly she started to stop swimming. Her arms and legs gave and she couldn't move them much. She wouldn't give in that easy.

Tela knew she had to keep swimming. Rico was right. Facing Mai's scavenging parties was the last thing she needed.

SlickRick69
Rico looked back and had to smile as he gained so much ground on the superior athlete, the woman, the godess, Tela... she would never live it down if he actually beat her to the shore, he would see to that! HE would be mocking her right now if he could!

He looked back at her again, and his triumphant beaming turned instantly to terrified gaping; several sharks were circling closer and closer to her, all around them both! She was bleeding very very badly, attracting the sharks like flies! Rico did all he could do, turned and swam hard back to Tela, and grabbed her hand pulling her to him, as the sharks circled ever near...

Rico clipped Tela's belt to his own, and tried to swim out of the area as fast as his arms and legs could carry them, but it wasn't fast enough! The first few times a shark nipped at their heels, Rico was able to bat them away with his feet and fists, but, he knew, as their fury and frenzy grew, they would swarm and soon would be unavoidable!

This was NOT good!

This, and at best, they had 2 hors of air left any way... they were dead either way!

Again, Rico did the only thing he could do; shrugged off his SCUBA tank and inverted it, holding it close to his chest and spitting out his mouthpiece, pulling the airhose assembly free from the tank. He held Tela close as 3 sharks made a beeline for the feeding area, then he twisted the release valve on the tank wide open. The rapid release of oxygen from the tank launched the tank like a rocket, under the water, pulling the pair of swimmers along in its wake, as long as Rico held the tank they would shoot away from the sharks...

Fortunately, they escaped the immediate area before the air ran out.
Unfortunately, the air DID run out, and the sharks still loomed too close for comfort, Tela still bleeding profusely, and now Rico was out of oxygen! Rico dropped the spent tanks from his chest, still holding the heavy weights allowing them to drag the duo to the ocean floor, holding Tela close with his other arm, as he struggled to hold his breath.

Tela saw his struggle and pulled her mouthpiece from her lips, offering him a fresh snort of oxygen, which he swallowed with a healthy gulp.

Just then, a shadow passed overhead; a boat skimmed the surface!
Rico released the heavy tank and kicked with all his might, and Tela helped, and soon they were on the surface again. They had to get out of the water before the sharks moved in again.

"Come aboard, quickly my friends... or you will be feast for the frenzy!" the captain chuckled from his place in the boat.

"Mai Chan..." Tela frowned, considering her options; one way or the other, they would be in the company of deadly predators....

DIBWILLPAY!
Tela sighed as she and Rico let Mai help them aoard the oat. Tela groaned as she was pulled over the side. It hurt a little. She clenched her teeth as she was immediately jerked to her feet. Looking to Rico she saw that his hands were being bound. She knew immediately that her pain would be tripled in just a few seconds.

Sure enough Mai's body guard pulled her arms behind her back and bound her wrists. Tela bit her lip. There was no way in hell she would let Mai have the satisfaction of her screaming in pain.

Mai growled. She was being difficult. He could see the pain in her eyes and in her grimace. He wallked over to her and made her look him in the eye. Smirking he said, "I will enjoy ending your sherades."

DIBWILLPAY!
Tela involuntarily blacked out. Her body went limp slumping to the floor.

Mai sneered. He couldn't gloat with her unconscious. "Damn. take them elow deck."

DIBWILLPAY!
The bodyguard shoved Tela through the door. Her knees immediately buckled and she fell down the steps slamming into the wall. she slumped to the ground.

Rico was next shoved through the door. He carefully walked down the steps. When his eyes focused on Tela's limp figure. He walked over to her and kneeled beside her.

Trickster
Good story guys! Keep going!

SlickRick69
Rico rushed the door, but it was slammed and locked secure. This was no cheap rowboat, so Rico could only assume the door would be solid and water-tight, so the cabin could be a last respite in case of capsize. they were quite trapped, but, more important at that moment, Tela was quite injured!!

"OH, Tela!" Rico swooped down to her, and gently tore her tank top away from her wound, exposing a great deal more of her torso than he had intended. The wound was on her back and side, so he let her lay with the gash exposed on top, where he could tend to the bleeding using his own shirt as a pressure bandage. As he applied pressure, Rico leaned in and kissed her bared shoulder softly.

"I love you too, Tela..." he whispered as she slept, in response to her quiet claims after the plane crash earlier. He didn't know how they were going to get out of this mess, but he didn't want another moment to go by without telling her again how much he cared.

Mai Chan's boat careened over the waters and back to port; the next time Tela and Rico saw the light of day, they were in Honolulu!!

DIBWILLPAY!
The sun streamed in through the port hole and the beams showered Tela's face. As the light hit her eyes, she woke. Squinting her eyes, she stirred lightly in Rico's lap. He was so comfortale. Looking up she reached out to caress his cheek only to recoil when the cabin door sung open.

"Well, well, well, the lovebirds are awake." Mai said strutting down the stairs. The door closed behind him.

Tela sneered from her weak position on the floor. She couldn't stand this guy's smug smile. She'd wipe it and him off the face of the earth.

Mai chuckled. "Come on, Croft. You seem off guard. Are you scared?"

"If I were, I sure as hell wouldn't tell you."

"Such brave words from one who's about to be sleeping with the fishes."

"Seems such a pity to loose such a perfect boat."

"With my money, Croft, I can buy a million just like it."

SlickRick69
Rico glared at Mai Chan too, while Tela did all the big talking.

"If you wanted us dead, you wouldn't have fished us out of that shark-tank feeding frenzy back there! Hell, you woulda sat and watched, and fished my remains out of the ocean to bring back to your boss!"

Rico nodded, speaking up. "How is old Vinny, any way, MiMi??"

"WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?!" Tela demanded, glaring back at Rico's interruption of her rant; she hated when he did that, because he was also so sarcastic and droll, if witty and wry with his retorts.

Mai Chan also ignored Tela, for the moment, and faced Rico, to answer his questions. "Master VINH Sung is doing quite well, Mr. Rico.. please show the proper respect, or I will CUT OUT YOUR TONGUE and wear it as a charm around my neck!"

"No $hit, Ric!" Tela muttered. "Shut the hell up!"

Mai turned back to Tela, still mellow and calm after his lashing out at Rico, and continued. "Master Sung has a proposition for you, Tela Croft... before you venture to Tibet, he wishes to have a word with you... he waits at the Palms Hotel on the beach just off this port... penthouse suite, of course..."

"Of course..." Tela sighed, favoring her wounded and exposed backside.

"I should have that injury cleaned and tended to before your audience with Master Sung..." Mai promised, making arrangements to have his 'guests' cleaned up.

Out of the frying pan, into the fire...

DIBWILLPAY!
Tela growled, "I won't let your doctor near me. I don't trust you not them."

Mai sighed. "Croft, you are one hard cookie to cumble."

She rolled her eyes at Mai. Like he cared. Well actually he did. His boss wanted something from her, but what? He must want something out of the temple, but there was no way she would help him get whatever he wanted. But in her current situation, Tela had no choice.

"I take it we'll be escorted there." she said sneering. She groaned as Mai's 'friend' came in with medical supplies. He stepped closer to Tela. "Go away" she told him refusing to let him prod her with a needle..

DIBWILLPAY!
Mai chukled. "Of course." he said. He glared at the affectionate help Rico was showing Tela. Didn't he know what the Crofts were famous for. Their lovers normally end up dead due to them. . .normally they are the ones to kill their lovers. Obviously this would be no different.

Tela leant into Rico's touch. "Just leave it alone." she told Mai's friend. She kept struggling seemingly shrinking into Rico everytime they came close. it wasn't that she was scared of needles. She just didn't trust the bountyhunter nor his friends.

SlickRick69
"Oh don't worry, Tela Croft..." Mai calmed her with his smooth Oriental accent and grace. "Master Chu is a master of medicine... but, unfortunately, the needle is not for you!"

The medicine man was close enough to get to Tela, who flinched and cringed and gripped Rico's arms tightly, which made Rico's veins to bulge, and the medicine man struck his target, pressing the plunger on the needle, injecting Rico before being swatted forcefully away by Rico's backhand.

Mai Chan giggled with obvious glee, and clapped his hands like a queer little school girl. "Ohhh Tela Croft! You fall for it so easy that time! I cannot believe it! You will help my Master recover the lost treasures he seeks now, or your friend Rico's heart will explode in 72 hours!! -hee hee hee hee hee hee hee!- "

UH OH!!!

DIBWILLPAY!
Tela gasped. Jumping up in a blind fit of rage, she charged at Mai. How could he!

Mai giggled as he shut the door just ehind him and the medicine man. There was a loud thud thad made even Mai cringe.

Tela hadn't had time to stop. she laid on thr floor holding her head. Tears streamed down her cheeks. She would skin Mai after she delivered the treasure. Damn treasure! It always ruined her mother's life, now it ruined hers! She couldn't loose Rico!

After shaking off the slight headache, Tela ran to Rico and fell into his waiting arms. "Oh Rico!" she sobbed.

Rico pushed some bangs out of her eyes. "Shhh, everything will be fine. You know that you'll find a way out of this."

"With you. You are going to be fine. I promise."

SlickRick69
"We've got 72 hours... that's 3 days..." Rico smiled, looking into Tela's amazing eyes, as they welled up with tears. "We have made love longer than THAT! Surely we can bust into some ancient temple and steal Vinny and Mini-Vinny some treasures and $hit before we break a sweat and my heart explodes... or whatever... We'll be fine, baby! I promise!" he lied, and Tela cried some more.

In a few moments, 4 no-neck muscle-heads with sub-machine guns came to 'escort' the troubled twosome to Vinh Sung's penthouse by the bay, at the Palms Hotel. It best be a short visit, Tela thought to herself; no dramatics or whining or bitching this time, no witty banter or wishful barter... quick in and out, get the dirt on the loot and get going to Tibet, save enough time to get Rico cured, and get out of this nightmare!

She hoped things went so smoothly, but she had to wonder if they would, upon the slow-a$$ elevator ride to the penthouse at the Palms...
not a good start to the last days of Rico's life!!

DIBWILLPAY!
Tela sighed. How long could an elevator take? She tried to keep alll the emotion that coursed threw her surpressed. She also tried to keep a level head. She had to come up with a way out of this. There had to be one, although she didn't see it.

While still favoring her injury a little, Tela thought back to the phonecall from tibet. Her contact had listed a few thing they wanted her to find, but nothing that Mai's boss would be interested in. Damn, she needed to think. What could Vinh want?

while trying to figure out the mystery, she looked at Rico. why was he paying for her galavanting gloetrotting? Why was he going to die just because she was the est at what she could do? Damn, Tela hated being a Croft at the moment. She really did.

She tried to imagine being at Croft Manor, waking to a hot breakfast and a cold shower. There was nothing like a cold shower. Just the thought relaxed Tela. She glanced dazedly at the numbers as they lit. Wow, she had to admit, this place was kick-ass. Vinh's job had its perks and then again. Tela didn't have longer to think as a small sudden *ding* told her they'd arrived on the right floor.

SlickRick69
The muscle-bound goons with the hardware grabbed Tela gruffly from behind, clenching a fistful of shirt, as they had when the group made way from the docks. The goons grip twisted the torn shirt over her deep wound, and Tela winced and struggled against the man's force, in obvious agony, though she never shouted out.

Rico was forcefully shoved from the elevator car, behind Tela. The elevator emptied directly into the penthouse parlor, and Tela shoved hard across the parlor then too. The goon with the grip held on to her torn shirt though, and tore the whole thing from her torso, leaving her to sprawl to the floor topless into the living room beyond the parlor.

Vinh Sung sat comfortably on the fine Oriental-crafted sofa as Tela and Rico arrived; he was wearing the finest suit, silk shirt and pants, and smiled as Tela grimaced up at him, her beautiful but bloodied body bouncing and bobbing for all to see.

"Ahh, Croft..." Vinh greeted. "I pay good money for my girls to lap dance for me, and here you are, doing it FOR FREE! I always knew that about you Tela Croft... that you come real cheap... and for all the low-class losers you can befriend..." he was speaking of Rico, of course, but...

"Yeah, that's right..." Tela sneered, standing up boldly, baring her breast and hard body with no sign of shame. "And here you are, my friend, all this fortune, yet still bottom-feeding... " she pulled the silk table cloth from the coffee table in front of the sofa, and fashioned it into a wrap around tube-top, though it was immediately stained by her own blood.

"Still renting-out muscle from No-Necks 'R' Us, Vinny?" Rico grinned, though Tela glared at him; there was no time for this!!!

"Disgraceful!" Vinh Sung snapped, standing and pulling the fine silk away from Tela's torso.

"You sure are!" Rico snarled, but further banter was cut short by a sharp strike from a big boot by one of the no-necks. -oof!-

"What do you want, Vinh?" Tela demanded, covering her bulbous assets now that Sung and a goon stood so close.

"Not what you might think, Croft..." Vinh took a moment to admire her boldness and beauty, something which Rico found himself doing more often than not; she was truly striking there, facing death and indecent indignity to save a friend. "No... I need you to NOT steal anything from the Temple of Shi'tih Panhs... the dig which uncovered the temple was unsanctioned by any government, and the history of the place demands that nothing be disturbed, or 10,000 years of darkness will fall upon the Earth... this is why the Temple of Shi'tih Panhs is also known as the Temple of Gloom... if so much as a coin or trinket is taken, it will be disastrous!!!"

"What do you need me for?" Tela was confused. "Why threaten my friend's life, and give us only 72 hours to not go some place?"

"Oh, you MUST go there, Tela Croft..." Sung was as mysterious as ever. "And bring Mister Rico with you, and others, if you have resources available and a team at the ready... there are 2 other insidious and greedy gold-digging grave-robber expeditions already enroute to desecrate the temple for all its riches... unscrupulous sorts who do not believe in superstition and curse as you and I do... they will bring about the end of the world as we know it unless you stop them by sealing the fissure in the earth and collapsing the entrance to the temple..."

"I have a jet and the explosives you will need, along with the usual gear and equipment we steal from you every time we encounter you in your travels... heh heh... it is a 2 hour flight to the region, so you have approximately 65 hours to find the temple and seal it shut and return here to administer Mr. Rico the antidote, or he dies... and we all plunge into darkness..."

Tela scowled, and looked to Rico, who was still wheezing and recovering from the kick to his ribs.

"Stitch me up!" she demanded, turning her back to her captor, and pulling down her pants some, baring more of her sweet natural beauty to expose the horrible wound in her back side...

"Nice gash, Croft..." Vinh joked, poking the wound tenderly. "None of my mens' work, I hope?" he snapped his fingers and a few female 'nursemaid' type Oriental women moved from elsewhere in the house to tend to Tela's injuries.

"Oh no..." Tela admitted, in dead-pan. "Your goons were loving and gentle, as always..." she folded her arms, covering her breasts and the bruises on her arms from being man-handled by Sung's 'gentle' soldiers...

"Yeah..." Rico huffed, squatting on the floor on his knees. "What's a few busted ribs between 'low-class losers'?!" a glance from Vinh was all it took for the goon behind Rico to lash out and kick him again. -AUGH!-

"You are already dead, Mister Rico..." Vinh Sung sounded so smug. "I can make it quick and painless, if you prefer..."

"Suck my--"

"RICO!" Tela cried, while the nursemaids stitched and bandaged her wounds. "I need you..."

That was all he needed to hear; Rico cowered to the floor, biting his tongue and keeping quiet...

DIBWILLPAY!
Tela grimanced as one of the nurses finished her work. She led the others out. "Glad you took your time." she shouted after them.

Vinh laughed. "They did do their job though." he said advancing.

Tela's eyes narrowed. She recrossed her arms, ut didn't back away. She couldn't show her weakness. "You know, Croft, I don't get why you slum."

Tela tried her best to not retort. She felt his eyes roaming over her body. "If you get me a shirt, I'll save the world again and your ass." she said.

Vinh frowned. "Of course." he said snapping his fingers again.

Tela glanced at Rico. She had never been so embarrassed in her life. The oriental jackass mind as well as just bedded her. She shivered.

Seeing the small petite woman walk in with a shirt that seemed to be the right size. Tela took it and thanked her. She slipped it on. Amazingly it fit perfectly! "How the hell?!" she asked.

Vinh chuckled. "I do my research. Now go!"

SlickRick69
Rico was watching the servants and Vinh the whole time, even as the muscle-head machine-gunners hefted him from the floor and tossed him toward the elevator again.

"I do my research too, Vinny..." Rico snapped, rubbing his sore arm where the needle had poked him. "Trust me, you'll see us again, real soon, you son of a---"

the doors to the elevator closed on Tela and Rico before he finished his insult. Tela looked at Rico angrily.

"Why do you do that every time??" she snapped. "This is YOUR life on the line this time, Rico! Not just... 'the world'... you know?"

Rico was calm, surprisingly calm, standing in silence as the elevator descended. "I'm not going to die..." he finally said, stepping off the elevator before he was shoved off.

Tela was forcefully removed, if only so the goons could exert some force and control over the situation, and Mai Chan waited in the parking garage beneath the hotel.

"Greetings Tela Croft..." Mai smiled wide. "I do hope Master Sung was gentle with you, delicate flower... and YOU, Mister Rico... I see they were justifiably appropriate for your ilk as well... shall we be off? The Leer jet is waiting..."

Tela glared and Rico snarled at Mai Chan, as they were escorted to the waiting limo.

"Wait for it, sweets..." Rico whispered as they were shoved into the car. "Follow my lead and we'll be on our way..."

Tela could only look and wonder what Rico was plotting this time...

DIBWILLPAY!
Tela stared at Rico. He had that look in his eye. the look that foretold of death defying antics and just barely escaping. She wasn't exactly sure if she liked this. "Rico, luv, what are you planning." she whispered as she layed her head on his chest.

Closing her eyes she imagined everything was alright. She and Rico were back at her mansion enjoying a nice leisure swim. She was only waken from her dream when she heard one of Mai chan's sarcastic remark.

FŽanor
The lone mansion was dark except for one lone light that shone dimly through a curtained window. The dark figure gracefully scaled the high wall and crouched motionless at the top. A soft hiss could be heard as his night enhancing vision lens came into play. He saw the unmistakable red of the laser light that criss-cross the perimeter of the wall. Beneath his mask he smiled. From his lightweight pack he took out a small black object. It had a small sqaure LCD screen and three buttons: red, amber, green. He depressed the amber button and the LCD screen came to life with lines and words that no human eye could discern.

The information was sent via IR to his headpiece. Within moments, the laser light went dead.

Tela
(Heh, I would reply to that but I don't know hot to exactly.)

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