Saturday, February 9, 2008


Revenge Of the Aztec Gods
© By Katie Fleming

"Two pistols, one shotgun with shells, three medi-packs, a water bottle, and last but not least, my journal." Lara Croft was packing all of her equipment in her backpack. Today was a very exciting day for her, because she was going to Mexico where an Aztec pyramid just rose from the ground! Lara wanted to get there right away to be the first one to explore it, so she telephoned her friend Albert who was a pilot to take her there immediately.
Lara went downstairs and opened the front door. There, right outside of the front gates was an enormous plane waiting for her. Lara smiled and ran towards it. Albert was standing beside the plane waiting for Lara with a huge smile on his face.
"HELLO LARA! ARE YOU READY TO GO?" he yelled, trying to raise his voice over the loud engine.
"WHAT?" Lara yelled back. "I CAN'T HEAR YOU!"
"NEVER MIND!" He yelled and gestured for Lara to get in. She looked back towards her mansion, and saw Winston riding around on her quad bike with a wild smile on his old, dried lips. She waved to him and got into the plane.
Moments later they were flying above the treetops. Lara watched as her mansion slowly faded away.
"Have you heard the story of this new pyramid?" Albert questioned.
"No, I haven't heard 'anything!' I was hoping you could fill me in?" Albert nodded his head. Lara took out her journal and flipped to a fresh page. She didn't want to miss anything important.
"Well Lara," he began. "A long time ago there were two pyramids in Mexico that were of great importance, a sun and a moon pyramid. Every twenty years the people who lived there would choose someone who would be the new ruler of the sun and moon. That person would have to sacrifice his life to turn into the new god by a blazing sacrificial. A man named Tecuciztecatl was chosen to be the sun god, and was told to walk into the fire. He refused though, he did not want to sacrifice 'his' life! At that moment an older and wiser man named Nanahuatzin stepped up. Without any hesitation he walked into the fire and became the new god. Tecuciztecatl was furious! As a result of his anger, the people made him the moon god. However, he 'still' wasn't happy. For many nights the moon god refused to travel across the sky. The people were very angry and concerned. Tecuciztecatl told the people that he would only move across the sky if they sacrificed they're lives for him…and they did. They had to have their hearts cut out to give to the moon. A man named Quetzalcoatl was ordered by Tecuciztecatl to remove the people's hearts and give it to him. Afterwards, Tecuciztecatl started to travel the sky again, however he warned the people that if they stopped giving him what he wanted, he would stop moving as well. This went on for years, until there was hardly anyone left. The people decided that no more sacrifices could be made. So they stopped. The moon stopped as well. Pretty soon the moon discoloured and disintegrated away into nothingness. The people who remained after this misfortune were relieved that the sacrifices had stopped but to their horror the sun god, Nanahuatzin could not stay either. For many days the people were in complete darkness until just a few days ago when a sun came back to them, which was un-ruled. Everyone was delighted to have light back. They were horrified though, a new pyramid had risen up from the ground! Hieroglyphics had been engraved on the outside of the pyramid. No one has dared to read it, or enter though." Albert continued. "Because the people believe it will bring them misfortune." He sighed. "That's the story."
"Interesting." Lara replied. "Once I get there I'll translate the message. Maybe it will explain why the pyramid rose?" Lara sat back in her seat and put her journal away. She had no idea what to expect…
A few hours later Lara awoke from her restful sleep. She yawned and looked out the window. Albert told her that they were drawing near the pyramid. Lara was suddenly alert and full of energy! She could hardly wait to explore the pyramid. She put on her backpack and got ready for the landing.
Beep, beep, beep rrr, rrr, rrr, beep, beep, rrr, rrr, rrr. All of the lights in the plane were flashing red. Signs lit up everywhere saying DANGER! DANGER! The plane shook violently as Albert struggled to keep in control. Lara tried to hold onto her seat as the plane jerked her from side to side. The beeping was getting louder and the pressure increased.
"WE'RE GOING DOWN LARA!" Albert yelled, his voice full of worry. "YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO JUMP. GRAB A PARACHUTE NOW!" Lara did as she was told. She fumbled to open the small compartment, which held the parachutes. She pulled one out and secured it to herself. She saw Albert doing the same. The plane was now starting to shut down, and the back of the plane was on fire. Lara took in a quick breath and flung herself out the door. At first she fell at an incredible speed. Then, to her relief her parachute opened and dropped her safely on the ground. Lara stood up and extracted her parachute, tossing it onto the ground. She shaded her eyes from the sun while looking for Albert. She didn't see him anywhere nearby. Lara watched as the plane plunged to the ground. It erupted into thick roaring flames and a moment later it exploded into the air sending pieces scattering all around. An object was flying towards Lara so she quickly moved out of the way. It landed in a big heap, and was covered in blood. Lara walked towards it and discovered that it was Albert. His right arm had been severed off, and his face a torn mess. His legs were cut and bleeding. He opened his eyes and took in a staggered breath. Albert looked at Lara with watery eyes and struggled to speak.
"L-Lara." He gasped. She could tell it hurt him. "In-side my r-right pocket," he paused for a moment. "Is a r-rock. Take it p-please." And that was it. His eyes rolled to the back of his head and he was still. Lara closed her eyes and bowed her head.
"Goodbye Albert. Thanks for everything." She knelt down beside the lifeless body and reached into his pocket. Her hand grasped a hold of a small rock. It was in the shape of a star. Lara put it in her backpack and turned towards the pyramid…
"Hmm…" Lara said as she skimmed over the hieroglyphics. She took out her journal and started to translate the message, In the afterlife Tecuciztecatl tried to kill me, Nanahuatzin. Tecuciztecatl was still very angry about not becoming the sun god. He was so angry that he wanted revenge. I was forced to come back from the afterlife with him as one pyramid. Quetzalcoatl also came back making a promise to Tecuciztecatl, that whoever entered the tomb would have their hearts ripped out and he would give it to the moon god. This would then give him the power to become the sun god, and I would be powerless. Tecuciztecatl would then rip out my heart and burn my body. If anyone is strong and is fearless, please help me kill them both. Then I can go back to being the sun god. Enter with caution, and please take this rock with you…
Lara took the rock from the bottom of the message and put it in her backpack. This sounded even worse than she had expected…god's wanting revenge! She knew how powerful they could be. Lara pushed the heavy door open and stepped inside.
Ooh, eee, drip, drip, mmm…Lara heard strange sounds as she closed the door behind her. It smelled horrible, a decaying smell mixed with other foul odours. Lara picked up a torch that was on the wall. She looked above her and saw the ceiling covered with bats - Lara shuddered. She looked ahead and saw a dimly lit room, and to her right a door with hieroglyphics. Lara decided to go read the message on the door. A moment later, she was finally finished translating the strange symbols. The writing read, beyond the door lay a spot where only mummies can walk. If anyone enters you will die, and only the mummies will be able to hear you cry. Lara's body trembled at the warning. Should she enter? Lara walked towards the door, and noticed a small lever. She pulled it, and watched as the door slowly opened. Inside, blue mist travelled through the air. Lara walked inside and found herself standing on a long narrow platform, elevated far above the ground. She looked downwards and saw three large sarcophagi in the center of the room. Four torches surrounded them casting eerie shadows across the floor. Lara could see a large door on the other side of the room. Two statues of snakes guarded the doors. They had jewels for eyes that twinkled a peculiar red. Lara walked further over towards the right on the ledge. She could see even more of the room now. Strange pictures were drawn on all of the walls, people dressed in robes with jewels and gold. There were also hieroglyphics that surrounded each picture. More torches lined the floor. Lara was absorbed in her mysterious surroundings, and was not aware of a dark shadow approaching her…
"Erraaah! Cu, cu, erraah!" Lara jerked her head to the side. Two mummies were coming towards her! "Erraah! Cu, cu, erraah!" They were making sickening noises. Lara had to think quickly. She grabbed her pistols and began to fire at them, a wild expression on her face. The mummies kept approaching though, the bullets bouncing off their ugly bodies. Lara gasped. What was she going to do? She put her pistols away and crouched low to the ground, her hands held stiffly in front of her body, tensed… ready for attack. The first mummy sprang forward, it's hands aimed at Lara. "Erraah!" Lara lunged forward, her hands outstretched in front of her.
"Ooof!" Lara grunted as she slammed into the mummy. She gripped into its body, her fingers newly wet. Then, with all of her strength she hurled the mummy over the ledge. Lara watched it fall, a bewildered look on her face.
"Erraah! Erraah!" The second mummy shrieked. Lara plunged her small body into it, her nails ripping through its wrappings. She then heaved the mummy over, almost loosing her footing. Lara sighed as she walked over to the ledge. She glanced over and saw the mummies scattered across the ground. Grey liquid oozed from each body, a sickening odour wafted throughout the room. Lara gasped for a breath and dashed for the door…
"Well," Lara said aloud. "I guess I'm right back where I started!" She looked towards the dimly lit room and wondered what could be inside. Lara walked towards the room and stopped at the doorway. Her eyes darted around. Huge blades swung wildly about making Lara think twice about entering…the blades swung close to Lara's body as she crawled along the floor. One sudden jerk upwards could cost Lara her life. She continued on, her body pressed firmly to the ground. WOOSH! One of the blades just missed her. Lara reached the other side of the room, and shakily got up. She wiped the dust from herself and glanced around for an evacuation. No doors were visible, so Lara turned to go back the way she had come…however something caught her eye. A rope was dangling from the ceiling. Lara saw a small opening in the wall just at the top of a wall across the room. The only way Lara could get to it would be to swing across on the rope…dodging the deadly blades. Should she risk it? "No." Lara thought. "It would be too dangerous." A smile spread across her face. "But…I love danger!"
"Erraah!" Lara swung around, just in time to see the knife plunge into her hand.
"Ow!" Lara screamed. She turned back around, jumped for the rope and swung forward towards the blades. WOOSH, WOOSH…the horrifying blades swung all around Lara, just missing her.
"Erraah! Erraah! Ah…ouh…huh. Lara made it safely across the room, grabbed the opening, and hoisted herself up and collapsed…
Moments later, Lara awoke. Her hand was throbbing and blood was gushing out of her open wound where the mummy had cut her. Lara used her good hand to reach inside her backpack for a medi-pack. When she had completed wrapping her hand Lara looked out into the deadly room she had come from. The razor sharp blades still swung violently around, thrashing anywhere and everywhere. Just then Lara remembered the mummy. She viewed the room but did not see it. She looked down at the floor and saw a trail of grey slime. Lara followed the tracks with her eyes…and found herself looking at a severed mummy! The blades had divided the mummy's body into nice little pieces on the floor. Lara snickered, and turned to continue on down the narrow passage. She emerged from the end of the tunnel into a small room…with no exits, except a small staircase. Lara sat on the dirty floor, suddenly out of breath. Her fingers played with the sand on the floor, and grasped a small skinny rock. She picked it up and examined it.
Rrrr, rarh! Lara looked up and saw a black dog charging right at her! Without hesitating Lara took the rock that was in her hand and jabbed it into the dog's eye. Water like liquid squirted out, forcing Lara to retrieve her steps. The dog fell to the found, motionless. Lara breathed heavily still startled from the sudden attack.
"I better hang onto this!" Lara said aloud. She put the rock in her backpack.
Rrrr, rrr, rrr…Lara looked over her shoulder, stunned to see a whole pack of dogs approaching her! Carefully, step - by - step Lara backed up the stairs. Trying to be careful not to lose her footing. BANG, BANG, BANG! Lara shot wildly at the dogs, her pistols firing like crazy at the beasts. A moment later the room was silent once again. Blood splattered the walls, dripping down to the floor. The disgusting odour made Lara's stomach churn, making her gag and had to struggle for a breath.
"Pueeeh, pueeh, ehhhh." Lara vomited onto the ground, the smell causing Lara to be sick again. A few moments later she felt a little better. Her stomach still hurt, but she was ready to move on! She climbed higher up the stairs, each step got narrower as she ascended. Then, Lara crawled through a small hole, and ended up wedged into a small rectangular box. Lara could not sit up, but found she was only able to lay on her back.
"Errr…mmm…ugh!" Lara's feet were pressed firmly on the ceiling. She was pushing upwards, and the ceiling was rising off! With one last push, Lara was able to get out…out of a sarcophagus! Lara surveyed her surroundings and soon discovered that she had emerged from the first sarcophagus from the room she had entered before from an above ledge! Lara looked on the floor, amazed to see the mummies she had fought. Now that she could examine the bodies up close, Lara noticed that the mummies eyes were a grey colour, except for a single black dot in the centre of each eye. It seemed as if they were looking right at Lara! She wondered what was in the other sarcophagi? Lara walked over to the middle sarcophagus. A great amount of work had been put into the lid. There were several small squares, and on each of them were hand painted pictures. The majority of the images were of a man who held a heart in his hand. He had a malicious smile on his face. Lara grabbed the lid and pulled upwards. It's weight making Lara strain to hold on tighter. Carefully Lara set the lid on the ground. The inside of the sarcophagus revealed a small staircase leading downwards into the dark. Lara grasped a hold of a nearby torch, her arm outstretched in front of her as she carefully descended down the old crumbly steps. Fewww…fewww…drip, drip. Lara saw pools filled with blood as she entered the room. She noticed a body, which lay on a table in the center of the room. Its blood was draining out into a narrow channel, which ran into three large pools. Some of the blood overflowed the channel, dripping onto the sandy floor. Lara walked closer to the body and saw that it was completely wrapped up in cloth held together by rope. Its wrist had been bound above the head with shackles, and its feet tied down to the rock table. A large knife had been thrust into the body's chest causing the flow of blood. Lara noticed a small pocket, which had been sewn in the body's wrappings. Lara reached inside, and grasped a hold of a small whistle. Lara put it into her backpack and turned around. She walked over to one of the pools and stared blankly into the red liquid.
"Whoever the person is," thought Lara "must have had a horrible death."
"Err…ahhh!" Lara spun around. A man was charging at her with a sword! BANG, BANG, BANG!
"Errr! Ahh…ouh…errr." The man was hit in his stomach three times. He staggered around the room for a moment before slowly reaching down for the floor.
"W-Who are you?" He stuttered.
"My name's Lara Croft…and you are?"
"Quetzalcoatl." the man replied. Lara gasped. He was the man who was supposed to rip out a person's heart and give it to Tecuciztecatl, the moon god! The picture on the sarcophagus was of him! Lara grasped her pistol even tighter. She didn't want her heart ripped out! He staggered towards Lara, grasping his open wound.
"You-you read the message on the outside of the pyramids…didn't you?" He asked.
"As a matter of fact I did. I know what you're supposed to do. I bet right now your planning on ripping out my heart and give it to Tecuciztecatl?" She questioned. "Believe me, you wont be getting mine." She declared.
"W-Well I'm going to try, and guess what L-Lara? I'm going to win." He staggered forwards again with one hand on his wound, the other hanging loosely onto the sword.
"We'll just see about that." BANG, BANG! Lara fired at Quetzalcoatl several times.
"Argh! Nooo, mmmph, arh." Silence. SPLASH! Puh, puh, puh. Lara watched as he had staggered forwards towards a pool of blood. His eyes rolled to the back of his head while he fell into the pool. Puh, puh. Lara could hear small bubbles breaking on the surface, and watched as his body floated upwards. His blood poured out of him causing the pool to overflow even more onto the sandy floor.
"No Quetzalcoatl." Lara spoke, "I always win." And with that Lara climbed back up the stairs…
Lara felt a cold draft of air as she descended down the third sarcophagus. When she arrived at the bottom, she found herself in a fairly large room that was brightly lit with many torches on each wall. A red carpet had been laid on the dusty floor. In the center of the room a tall statue of a man stood, who was surrounded by various burning essences. The aroma made the room smell sweet, and almost full of life. Lara looked around the room some more. Small tunnels had been carved into the walls, but weren't big enough for a person to crawl through. Lara took a last glimpse of the room and turned back towards the steps. Siwww, siwww, siwww. Lara looked all around the room. Piles of sand were flowing out of all the tunnels! Siwww, siwww. The level of the sand was at Lara's knees. She had to get out! Lara used all of her strength to move through the sand. It was now at her waist, and it was hard to move her feet. Lara glanced around. There had to be a rope somewhere, but there was nothing. Lara leaned on one of the walls. A hard bump made Lara turn her head to see what it was…a ring! It had been nailed to the wall, and there were more leading up past the stairs! Lara grabbed the ring and pulled herself forwards. Then, she reached out towards the next. The sand was now at shoulder height. Lara pushed on further. Her hand throbbed from when she had hurt it. She continued on though, determined to survive. When Lara was half way up the stairs, the sand slowly rose over her mouth. She struggled to move faster, her hands stretching out for the upcoming rings. Lara grabbed for the second last ring, and strained to pull her body towards it. The sand was now rising over her nose. She took in a slow steady breath. Her hand struggled to reach for the last ring, but she couldn't find it. Her hands desperately searched the wall. The sand rose over her head. Her body was held tightly in the sand. Lara still held her breath, aware she could not hold it for much longer. With one last effort she forced her arm forward through the rough sand…desperately wishing for one more chance. Nothing, no ring. Lara's right hand slipped off the ring she had been grasping. Her body drifted helplessly away in the sand. Her lungs screamed for air, and Lara knew there was no hope…
"Mmm!" Lara screamed in her throat. Something just ran into her. It was hard…"The statue!" Lara thought. The sand was pushing it up! The statue continued to rise, forcing Lara upwards. Now she was out of breath. She saw stars and was beginning to loose consciousness. The statue pushed one last time, forcing Lara's body out of the sarcophagus onto the floor.
"Uh huh, uh huh, uh huh." Lara breathed in and out. Air! Her lungs ached. A moment later Lara stood up. Her legs were sore from pushing so hard. Her bandage had come off her hand, the sand stung her wound. Out of the corner of her eye, Lara saw the statue rise out of the sarcophagus. It fell to the ground and cracked open. Green mist poured out into the room, and collected on the ground in a small pile. Lara watched as it began to rise, forming a human like shape. The green mist suddenly turned transparent, and then slowly started to change colour. After a few seconds, the body was finished forming. It was a man…and he did 'not' look happy at all!
"Who are you?" The man asked.
"I'm Lara Croft, and you are?"
"Tecuciztecatl." Lara gasped. "You’re the moon god, aren't you?"
"Yes, I am. But soon I will be the sun god!" he roared, then paused for a second.
"Where's Quetzalcoatl?" He asked.
"I killed him." Lara replied, softly snickering to herself. "You're going to be the sun god? Don't you need someone's heart though?"
"Yes, and that darn Quetzalcoatl was supposed to get it for me…but you killed him."
"I sure did!" Lara smiled. Tecuciztecatl ignored her.
"Then you must be a pretty good fighter…oh well I guess I'll just have to kill you myself." He charged forwards, holding a spear in his hand. Lara grabbed her shotgun and began firing at him. The gun didn't seem to be doing any good though. He kept coming closer to Lara. Around the whole room they went. Lara paused for a moment. Shooting constantly can get tired on your finger! She shouldn't have paused…Tecuciztecatl lunged forwards, his spear aimed at Lara.
"Erraah!" he yelled as he plunged forward. She quickly jumped over top of Tecuciztecatl and grabbed the back of his spear. She landed on the ground and did a reverse roll, just letting go of the spear for a split second before grabbing it again. Tecuciztecatl didn't even have a chance to turn around before Lara thrust the spear into the back of his head.
"Argh!" He yelled as he fell to the floor, motionless.
"Thanks Tecuciztecatl." Lara spoke. "I guess I am a pretty good fighter!" she laughed aloud to herself. What was she going to do with him? She pondered for a moment and then decided to rip out his heart, find Nanahuatzin and give it to him. Lara pulled the spear out of Tecuciztecatl's head and began to dig out his heart. Then she plunged the spear into the center of his heart and pulled it out. She held it high in the air to celebrate her victory as she walked towards the large door guarded by the snakes. Lara pushed open the heavy door and found herself face to face with another man! Lara dropped the spear to the ground and grabbed her pistols.
"No, don't shoot!" the man yelled. "Please, put down your weapons! My name is Nanahuatzin. I am the sun god." Lara put her pistols away and smiled.
"My names Lara Croft. I read your message on the outside of the pyramid. You don't have to worry. Quetzalcoatl and Tecuciztecatl are dead! I disposed of them myself." Lara said with triumph. "And I have Tecuciztecatl's heart to prove it!" She smiled and picked up the spear. Nanahuatzin smiled and took it from her.
"Thank you Lara!" He spoke. "You have done so much for me. Without you I would have been killed! But thanks to you I am still the sun god. There's just one more thing I ask of you though." He continued.
"What's that?" Lara asked.
"To kill me. Take out my heart, and rip it open. Inside is a key. Use it to unlock this door." He pointed across the room.
"I can't do that!" Lara replied.
"Don't worry Lara. I will still be alive…in the afterlife with all the other gods. I will remain the sun god for a very long time. Please Lara. Don't think of it as killing me. Think of it as sending me back to the afterlife." He smiled again and handed Lara a new spear. "Go on. It won't hurt me." Lara walked forwards and took the spear from him. Reluctantly she speared Nanahuatzin. No blood emerged from his new wound. Instead, misty air did. It filled the room, and it smelled sweet as Lara took in a deep breath. She looked at the man's face, and on his lips was a gentle smile. Lara instantly felt much better. She knew he was back in the afterlife just as he had said. She removed his heart and carefully opened it up. Inside was a key. It had a few symbols on it which read, The Treasure Room. Just what Lara had been waiting for! She silently said goodbye to Nanahuatzin and then ran over to the huge door. Lara put the key in, and turned it. Phew, phewww. Huge amounts of pressure were released, which caused the huge doors to open. Lara stepped inside and instantly burst into happiness. She had finally reached the treasure room! Lara wore a huge smile on her face as she looked around. The floor was covered in gold, and jewellery. There were gold cups, small statues, and a beautiful water fountain in the center of the room. Lara walked over to the fountain, and saw a large gold cup in the middle. It had paintings on it of people, and brilliant jewels surrounded the rim.
"Winston would love this!" she exclaimed. She carried it in her hands as she took a handful of gold and tossed it into the air. Lara walked around the room again, and noticed a strange cut out in the wall. It looked like a snake. Lara's throat was suddenly dry and she longed for water. She reached into her backpack for her water bottle and grasped something else. It was the rock she had found and used to protect herself with against the dogs! She dug deeper and located the other half she had gotten from the message on the outside of the pyramid. Lara smiled and put the two pieces of rock into the wall. Perfect fit! Then, the middle part of the floor began to separate…revealing a small staircase. Lara walked cautiously down the steps and found herself in a room full of mist. Lara walked a bit further on. Something was in the sand, but Lara couldn't tell what it was. She quickened her steps to go see it.
"Ahhh! Yes!" Lara screamed. It was a solid gold lama! It had dazzling rubies for eyes! Jewels completely covered its body. Lara picked it up and carried it over to a built up pile of sand where she sat down. She admired her new treasure for quite awhile. She took off her backpack and looked inside. She took out her water bottle and took a sip. Lara also took out her journal and began to write about her thrilling adventure. She put her journal in her bag when she was finished and noticed the whistle she had taken from the dead man, as well as the rock that Albert had given her. She looked at the rock and noticed a small latch on it. Lara lifted the latch, and the rock opened. It was a compass! The rock was filled with water, and had a small pin floating in the middle. Lara smiled. She was glad she now had something to navigate with. She picked up the whistle and blew into it. TWEET, TWEET, TWEET! Lara laughed at the horrible sound it made. TWEET, TWEET, TWEET! She blew it again and again until she was out of air. Lara stood up and walked to the other side of the room where a small stone door stood. She pushed open the heavy door and emerged out of the back of the pyramid. Then, she heard something coming. She strained to hear what it was. Lara looked up and saw a camel running towards her. It stopped when it was in front of her and looked at Lara.
"Where'd you come from?!" She asked, quite shocked at the appearance of him. He looked at Lara and spat on the ground.
"Eww!" Lara exclaimed, then started to laugh. Lara had been thinking of how she was going to get home, now she had a ride! Lara strapped her lama to the camel and hopped on. She then took one last look at the pyramid before riding off into the desert, night slowly approaching.
Lara arrived back home at midnight. Winston was asleep in the kitchen. Lara placed the gold cup beside him then went to bed.
The next day…
It was an early Thursday morning. Lara's alarm clock did not go off at 5:18 AM…today she was sleeping in!

Revenge of The Aztec Gods is ©Katie Fleming 2001. Tomb Raider and Lara Croft are © Core Design and Eidos Interactive

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