Lara Croft Quest for the AnkhbySean Renaud©
It was a black night, the lone source of light came from two neon green lights seemingly floating across the field. The lights weren't floating though, they were walking mounted to the head of if not the world's most famous "archeologist" certainly it's most lusted after. She normally didn't care much in the way of equipment, a pair of pistols and enough ammunition to declare war on a small country was usually enough, and when it wasn't it was her wits, not her gizmos that managed to get her out of a pharaoh's tomb or away from animals that had long since gone extinct everywhere else on the planet.
Tonight was a different case all together. She wasn't recovering the lost treasure of Imotep from his sunken palace. She was recovering a priceless, and stolen, piece of history from an undeserving piece of human refuse. The busty brunette felt a little like Batman, or Batgirl rather, with all the equipment she had strapped to sash. Aerosol sprays to detect laser grids, night vision, infrared and UV lights built into her custom made goggles, several different grapples and climbing tools. A PDA with the entire lay out of Wonderland.
Wonderland was the private estate of the most popular rapper perhaps of all time if judged purely on income. The Mad Hatter though he preferred the insane, MaDD hAtTA, spelling, or wherever the capitals managed to fall this time around. It was just one more infuriating thing for Lara that he seemed intentionally mangled the English language.
Rappers. She thought angrily watching as she passed by an opulent statue of the man himself wearing an absurd top hat to soft to keep its shape entirely it was cocked slightly to the side. Gaudy. She thought continuing to move on.
The mansion was came into view over a hill spilling enough light for Lara to turn off her night vision and instead let her lovely brown eyes take in her environment. So far the security had been lax, almost embarrassingly so, a few guards lazily roaming the grounds. It she'd been wearing her signature blue top and khaki shorts she might have been spotted. Probably not the guards were driving along in their golf carts, as long as she wasn't in the way she would probably have been overlooked. She wasn't wearing her standard outfit though.
Lara had traded in her khaki shorts for black spandex that clung to her legendary curves like a lover. Her top was a made of dull black cotton again outlining her curves and squeezing her breasts tightly together. The only parts of her normal outfit she was currently wearing were twin pistols hanging from her hips and her nearly waist length braid which was currently wrapped around her shoulder to keep it out of her way. In that outfit they could have stared right at her they would probably never notice her. She was like a ghost hovering through the grounds.
The other security measures were a little harder to get around and for an average thief probably enough of a deterrent to go hit an easier softer target. Lara had spent nearly near entire adult life learning to avoid security measures that had been in place for thousands of years without a single person getting past them. Places so old that they were forgotten to most and while her body had the scars to remind her that she didn't get everything right the first time that was when she was making it up as she went along. Given the choice between raptors and security cameras it was a no brainer what Lara would prefer to be attempting to avoid.
There was a moment before the next camera gap so Lara had time to stop and stare at the opulent manor again still feeling that disgust she'd felt before. It was just money for money's sake. There was no class to lining a driveway with statues of yourself or to a golden fountain with nude women carved around it. The only thing that she found even slightly attractive about the house were the doors, sixteen foot tall double doors in a black lacquer. They reminded her of some of the gothic castles she'd excavated but everything else just turned her stomach.
Five. Four. Lara felt the familiar tension coil in her belly. It was always there when she was about to be in danger. The danger was part of why she did this, the incredible rush she got. She'd made enough money by the time she was twenty one to have lived modestly for the rest of her life and by the time she was twenty five she could have lived well for the rest of her life. Now at just the far side of thirty she couldn't conceivably spend all of her money before she died. It wasn't greed that motivated her at this point. Even though she planned on donating the piece she was on the trail of tonight it wasn't some philanthropic urge in her either. She loved facing danger.
Three. Two. That last second she had to wait, possibly the last second in her life that she wasn't in danger she spent checking her equipment one last time. The grapple was still in place and secured, her PDA was locked in place, every pouch was secured as were her pistols. Nothing was going to fall off or rattle to give her position away. Everything metal was covered, there was nothing to catch the light and alert the guards.
One. She exhaled all the air in her body then dragged in one last breath. Go! She thought and sprinted across the football field sized clearing where the majority of the cameras were. It would have looked to the casual observer like she was practicing football maneuvers as she sprinted up, cut left, fell back and darted diagonally but it wasn't practice. The practice had come in the weeks before when she'd identified the best way to cross the clearing without alerting the cameras to her presence.
The fact that the tomb raiding beauty could easily have been an Olympic level gymnast was obvious as she approached the front of the house and easily somersaulted over the railing then kick flipped off a wall to grab the banister of the second story. From there she quickly shimmied up a column reached around to grab the roof and flipped onto the rooftop.
Up until that moment Lara had managed to keep herself from audibly criticizing the audacity of Wonderland but this was simply too much. It didn't even serve a purpose aside from sheer vanity. The roof itself was painted into a combination of rap artists wearing various Alice in Wonderland style outfits. Lara herself was standing on Lil' Kim in an indecent recreation of the blue dress white frock Alice and they were posed like the Sistine Chapel with God handing down a bowler cap with the price tag 10/9 on it to Mad Hatta. That drew a disgusted groan from the treasure hunter.
Lara, thankfully, couldn't hear the lyrics to the song playing in side. She couldn't even hear the music yet but she could feel the vibrations through the ceiling and that was enough to remind her why she was on this particular job when normally she would have taken a pass ancient Egyptian artifact or not. There was something about rap music that just boiled the blood in her veins. She jogged across the roof to its center where a skylight served as her planned entry point. It was designed to be shatter proof and cut resistant but acid was apparently not in the specs certainly not for the screws that held the massive piece of glass in place. Lara had to wait patiently for the acid to do its work, she needed to use the exact right amount and not a drop more because one drop too many would leak into the house and she risked setting off an alarm if that happened. It didn't. Five minutes after she'd cracked the glass vials she was carefully lifting and moving the hefty glass cover out of her way.
It took her only a few second to secure her harness to the ceiling and drop down into the room. Just like the outside of the mansion the inside reeked of wasted money just the most ridiculous things that money could buy. She could smell the chlorine from the in door pool in the next room. The room she was in was lined with posters an platinum and gold records yet another thing for Lara to be upset by. Mad Hatta was a very successful. . .entertainer. Lara refused to use the term artist for him but what he did sold well enough over the last decade and a half to fund this palace.
As soon as she was on the floor she checked her PDA again. She didn't want to spend a single moment longer in this place than she had to. Lara trotted quickly down the halls, most of the hard work was done at this point, somewhere in the mansion Mad Hatta was asleep, or possibly passed out, there was the slight hint of marijuana in the air, which grew stronger as she made her wait to his vault.
Idiot. It wasn't that Lara had any problem with smoking marijuana. She didn't and found the American laws to be idiotic in the extreme when it came to marijuana. It was the fact that someone who had as much as Mad Hatta had would be willing to risk it all for a high. A high he could legally purchase as absinth.
She could hear the lyrics as well at this point. The song was titled, or at least the most commonly repeated lyrics in it, Smackin' Hos. It wasn't the lyrics that offended Lara, they were offensive but it was just music. It was something intangible about the garbled grouping of words that upset her.
Lara had been prepared to break into the safe, amongst other things she'd researched before coming here were the most likely combinations to his safe. His birthday, childhood address, first single, she had them all programmed into her PDA for quick reference but that wasn't going to be the answer to her problem. Instead she got lucky and Hatta had left the door to the safe open and she was able to walk right in.
The safe wasn't at all what she was expecting. The walk in vault bore more than a slight resemblance to the Batcave of comic lore. There was a dinosaur, an authentic raptor from the movie Jurassic Park, and a red headed doll I overalls with a scared face. A jersey worn by Michal Jordan in the Olympics and signed by the entire Dream Team and the football used in the kick off of AFC vs. NFC. Lara wasn't a fan of American Football, very few Europeans are so she didn't know that was what they called the Super Bowl before calling it the Super Bowl. She did know that it would be difficult to put a price some of the paintings he had lining the walls and that the tapestry hanging near the center of the room dated to the Ming Dynasty and if not a one of a kind, certainly one of few surviving copies.
It only took a few moments for it to become obvious that the lay out wasn't entirely aesthetic. The more valuable pieces were towards the back and center. So searching for her artifact, a golden jewel encrusted ankh believed to have been used by Ramses II & III. If the rumors it could be used grant a man immortality. Mad Hatta had bought it at an auction because quote. "This shit was bling for the king nigga of all time. I reckon it belongs to me now." Considering the amount of money he'd paid for it, just shy of a billion dollars, easily the total value of everything else in the vault Lara expected it to be at the room's center where a bright spot light shone. Her guess was wrong. The thing held beneath the spotlight was a diploma naming Dayshaun Crow a doctor of psychology. The ankh was next to it.
It had taken her spreading a little money around but she had managed to learn the exact design of the security system he was using to protect the Ankh. It was a combination pressure plate and temperature gauge. Very difficult to trick. Not only did she have to pull off the sleight of hand trick to get the trinket and replace it with the dummy of roughly equal weight, but she had to get them to the same temperature. Fortunately she'd known this heading in and had her own ankh, and two special tools that looked like guns to the casual observer. The first was microwave emitter, it would basically heat the metal to her chosen temperature, she could probably melt it if she had enough time but she didn't want to melt it she wanted to steal it. The second was a laser thermometer, allowing her to know with in one hundredth of a degree the temperature of both the Ankh and her replacement.
Lara was so engrossed in making the switch that she didn't notice the man sneaking up behind her at all. When he gave away his position it was on purpose chambering a shell into his twelve gauge shotgun. No human being ever forgets the sound shotgun makes when a round is chambered and the gun aimed at their skull. It's a sharp click followed by a thud. "Drop them or I drop you honey."
Normally Lara's decision would have been made before he'd even finished the sentence. Either he was going to hesitate and she was going to have a chance to escape or he wasn't going to hesitate and her head would be blown off before could drop her tools and reach for her real guns. This time she wasn't certain what he was capable of. "I said."
"I heard you." She spat in her thick English accent dropping both of her tools.
"Good honey, now kick them away." Lara obeyed without hesitation. "Down on your knees, hands behind your head fingers interlaced." Lara paused slightly. Of course he knew the drill, this was probably the first time he'd been on this end of the situation though. Lara dropped to one knee then to both obeying his commands.
"Now I don't know who you are-"
"Lara. Lara Croft." She answered before he even asked.
Apparently he knew her name from the pause. "You must be shittin me. Head down." Lara pressed her head to the cool tile. With a practiced precision Mad Hatta stepped up and pulled both of her pistols from their holders, dropped the cartridges out and tossed them to opposite ends of vault. "Come in here like mufucking Batman." He commented pulling her utility belt and sash off again tossing them away from her then backing up.
"You caught me. What are you going to do with me?" Lara asked. She was fairly certain he wasn't going to kill her at this point. At least not as long as she didn't give him a good excuse.
"I'm fixin ta call the po-leece. But then I'm scopin on yo fine ass and I think maybe I don't need to pigs down at my pad in the middle of the night." He said. Lara could almost feel the near on his lips boring through her flesh. "So whatha think?"
He could turn her over to the police, it wasn't the charges that really scared her. She had enough money that she could probably beat whatever charges were put against her even with the evidence of her actually being inside his house at night, uninvited with a few thousand dollars of equipment that was only useful to thieves. That was of course if it didn't become an international incident which was the last thing she needed.
The really scary part about being arrested and booked would be how many people would know her whereabouts and that she was unarmed. Mad Hatta wasn't the only man she'd ever robbed for an artifact they didn't deserve, he might have been the first to have acquired the object completely legally that she didn't at least ask or try to buy it from first but far from the first. If they found her they would come for her. "What do you want?"
"We can start by getting you undressed honey. I need to make sure you don't have any more concealed weapons." Lara looked over her shoulder at him wondering if he was serious. "Let's get out of here."
"No." Lara responded.
"I said no." Lara turned back to look over her shoulder at him. "The only reason you haven't shot me yet is because the things in this room are too valuable. If leave this room you'll kill me."
"I ain't gonna kill you. Get naked." Lara smirked to herself as she slowly stood back up then leaned at the waist unzipping her calf high boots and setting them aside. It was a good thing that he'd been paranoid, if paranoia was his problem. She did have a throwing knife concealed in each boot. She made certain he saw them before she tossed them away to join the rest of her weapons, well out of reach. Lara had to peel the spandex from her thighs turning the material inside out as she did, her heart shaped rump pushed up towards him.
There was a bit of a thrill to stripping at gun point. This man wanted her, she could feel him staring at her ass and waiting excitedly for the rest of her clothing to be removed. Lara crossed her arms over chest lifting her top up. The snug material snagged at her breasts lifting them up and dropping the all natural d cups back into place. "Goddamn girl." Hatta commented. Hatta suddenly lifted the shotgun to his shoulder aiming at her skull the racked sending an unfired shell onto the ground. He did it again and again. "Just one left. You get out of my vault. Don't want no mess in here but I'm ain't gonna shoot you girl."
"No I reckon you won't." The British babe replied trying her best to imitate his country grammar. If he was insulted she couldn't tell. What she could tell as she turned to face him fully finally getting to see more than a brief glimpse of him from the corner of her eye was that he was wearing a red and gold silk robe and she was the only thing he was thinking about. The black shotgun now aimed at her impressive chest wasn't the only thing primed to be fired. There was also his personal firearm pushing the flaps open.
It wasn't Lara's first time with a black man. It was her first time that she didn't consent to sex with a black man but it wasn't her first time with one. It was going to be her first time that something that big had been inside her. Mad Hatta looked to be packing a solid pound of flesh between his legs, an unrealistically monstrous ten to twelve inch slab of horseflesh to heavy to completely point upward even as hard as it was. Lara couldn't hide her awe as she looked at it.
The rest of him wasn't hard on the eyes either. It certainly wasn't a lack of food or fighting just to survive that kept the rapper in shape. Anybody who truly fought for food had a different leaner build. Mad Hatta had the kind of build that came direct from a personal trainer who was an expert at chiseling bodies and he'd formed this one into six feet of chocolate decadence. The robe he wore did nothing to conceal his buff arms and it was too short to really to much to cover his well defined quads.
He even had a handsome face. Much better than she'd expected but she'd only seen pictures of him performing and part of his routine was to be as garish as possible. He often had his lips painted black and a black spade etched onto his left cheek and there was always a crazy hat and a jacket to match. What a shame. Lara thought as she visualized him all covered up instead of on display.
"Hurry up girl." Hatta insisted motioning with the gun. Lara snapped free of her temporary rapture and followed instructions walking out of the vault. A pang of excitement bubbled in her belly as soon as her bare feet sank into the plush carpeting and she realized her predicament. Just moments before she'd been worth nearly a billion dollars, at any moment through the vault she was worth at the least several thousand dollars. Right now she was a few hundred dollars of carpet cleaning. Lara's knees were wobbling with a uniquely feminine combination of lust and fear. She heard him cock the shotgun again ejecting the final round onto the carpet and set the shotgun down inside the vault.
Lara knew instinctively this was her last chance to move. She could probably drop him without making a sound, retrieve her weapons and equipment and slip out just as easily as she'd gotten in. She'd have to kill him and she had never murdered a man before but she'd never been raped before either and if anything warranted a murder it was rape. He was closing the vault though and without her equipment it was unlikely she'd be able to get off the ground before she was spotted. Anything that he did to her past that point, past the moment he set down the shotgun was her fault and was done with her consent. It would have been easy, despite his size he didn't carry himself like a martial artist, by the time he realized that she was moving she could punch him in the throat. There wasn't a man alive that wouldn't stop, quick roundhouse to the head would knock him out. She'd dress, lock him in the vault and be long gone before he woke up. Lara remained still as he closed the door.