CHAPTER (1) The enemy December 2004 - A Gredal fortress on the outskirts of Siberia, Russia Lara slammed against the stone wall. She bit her lip trying to keep the expiration of pain inside and slid to the floor. A large booted foot smashed against her jaw, throwing her head back violently. Lara glared at her huge grinning attacker and then at the thug's employer Lara's greedy capturer bent near. The man's voice was thin and reedy. He looked at Lara with a hatetred that sent a chill over Lara's body. "I will ask you again. Why have you come to the Gredal fortress, what do you want?" His shinney black eyes seemed to go right though to what Lara was thinking. Sweat began to trickle down her face as she gave him a week cocky smile. He grabbed the side of Lara's hair and pushed her head firmly back to the wall. "Answer me, or I will have your lims broken, one by one!" Lara spat blood on his face to disorient him while she kicked him back then clambered to her feet. "I don't think that's any of your business " "She has come for the Itasca artifact, Sir," a familiar voice interrupted. Lara turned her attention from Gerpatkath' and glanced at the familiar looking man that was hidden in the shadows. A fist plunged into Lara's chest sending her falling back to the ground. She felt her head throbbing while a stream of blood dripped to the ground. The man in the shadows pointed to Lara. "This is Lara Croft. She killed my father two years ago, and my brother! She is a worthless grave-robber and deserves no respect!" The sargent looked at the man "I need not know your family history Slave. Gaurds get him out of here" Then he looked back at Lara. "So, you are the famous Lara Croft?." Sargent Gerpatkath' smiled and moved forward. He stood taller than most of his men - and at least a foot above Lara. His face was narrow and cruel, and on the few occasions when he smiled it was like being favored with a grin from a snake. The enormously huge Thug slung him self back in the darkly lit room and slammed the bottom of his staff to the ground, easily showing his disliking of Lara. He moved with Gerpatkath like a shadow wile he consciously snared at Lara. Gerpatkath leaned nearer "I was convinced that our paths would cross, Ms. Croft. I did not think, however, that you would be so foolish as to come to a Gredal fortress. In many ways I am deeply honored and amused by your presence". Lara closed her eyes, slouching over for here head to rest in her hands. He reached in to his black leather trench coat and pulled out a jagged cruel looking knife. "Unfortunately this visit just might be cut short Miss. Croft". "I think I know why youre here Miss Croft, You have come for the Itasca artifact, no?" Lara tilted her head "And why is this so important to you, Mr Gerpatkath?". "Croft!, You fool..." enraged he slung around and signaled for his Thug. "You will regret this Miss. Croft" Flipping his knife in the air as Lara tried get away while he was turned around, but there was nowhere to go. Suddenly he turned around then held the knife to Lara's thought "You WILL tell me!, Now! " Lara gave him a smirk and in a cocky voice simply said "No" "Fine then!" he started to cut into Lara's skin, for once there was nothing that Lara could do but squirm while Gerpatkath's men healed her down. "This is your last chance Croft" The last thing that she saw was a blurry fist then jabbing pain in her stomach, then every thing went black.... When Lara woke up she was facing a sealing of bright lights shinning into her eyes. She tried to move then she saw straps all over her legs, arms, neck and every were else on her body. Peering over to a rich, glossy wooden box with a dragon carving on the top of it, Lara wondered if she had been brought to China for the Russian's would not have a Chinese box...or would they? Struggling for any possible way to get free, the leather straps had sharp metal rims cutting into Lara's skin. It was almost as if they knew what her next move would be and prevented her from slipping out of this situation. Then suddenly a loud screeching noise ripped through Lara's mind, She began to cry out in pain. But there was no one in sight to be casing such pain to her, in the confusion of what was going on Lara held it all back telling her self it was all a dream as tears folded her eyes. She kept her eyes open hoping that the tears would go back in. rather then letting them pour down her face. Thirty minuets later... Foot steps came near, Lara could hear faint voices but very subtle at that. Hopeing it was not Gerpatkath'. Wondering if she was really in china or even home after three days of being tortured. Tired, cold, wet and starved she gave one more desperate low pitched cry for help. The foot steps became louder and louder till the door slowly open with a high screech. She looked hopelessly at the man who approached her, he had a dark cruel looking robe covering his face and his entre body. Lara open her mouth to speak "H..e..l..p...Me" The man reached his hand near then quickly pulled it back turning around swiftly to only find him self being watched by Gerpatkath' and his Thugs. Gerpatkath' reached for the man in the dark robe and began to strangle him slamming him against the wall again and again. The man's hood dropped down to his shoulders reveling his sleek jet black hair and dark blue eyes. "Wait!" he cryed in a faint voice hoping that Gerpatkath would stop to hear his offer. Gerpatkath' let go of his strong grip of the man's neck as he watched him slide to ground. "If you did'ent come for death then why are you here, Slave?" Choking on the blood from his through he tried to speak but nothing came out. "Ms. Croft is not allowed visitors..." Gerpatkath' said curesly looking deeply into the man's ocean blue eyes waiting for one wrong reply so he could have a reason to kill him. The man was still breathing hard "I..I know how..to...." Gerpatkath's eye's narrowed. "Wrong answer!" He pulled out his Knife and turned his back on the man, flipping the knife in the air. He turned around swiftly, the knife flying out from him grip strait through the robe then firmly stopped in the chest of the man laying on the floor. "Aaa!" he threw his head back looking towards the sealing in excruciating pain. Gerpatkath' turned towards Lara with an evil grin. She could remember somewhere seeing the man that was on the floor helplessly bleeding to death. "He's the slave that barged into the shadows of the room that I was in earlier. But who was he? I know I've seen him before...but were? Were have I met him before?" She asked her self but never taking her eye's off of what Gerpatkath' was doing. He move like a shadow towards the Chinese box reaching out his hand to it and ran his long crocked fingers across the top of it. "Do you know what is in this box Ms Croft?" "I don't think I want to find out" she muttered to her self. The Slave pushed up from the floor clambering to Gerpatkath', "My...name is...Kurtis...Trent.. I know this woman... I...I.. might be of some use" Holding the his wound then slowly puling out the knife from his chest. Gerpatkath tilted his head but did not look at him instead he stared at Lara. "Well then, tell me what you know and I... might, let you live." Kurtis hesitated for a moment, then in a week voice spoke "Wwwell...I'll need something in return" Gerpatkath' tuned his attention to Kurtis but still holding his hand on top of the box. "I don't believe you are any use to me or my employer" Gerpatkath' Slowly opened the box half way, reaching for something that was deep in the box, Kurtis backed away trying to see the what Gerpatkath was about to pull out. Lara wanted to help Kurtis, but there was nothing that she could do other then try to distract Gerpatkath' "Employer, I thought you were the Employer Mr Gerpatkath'?" Lara fantily said, while slowly sliping her arm out. Gerpatkath' kept his heins snake like, black eyes on his prey. Kurtis held the bloody knife that was in his chest, behind his back waiting for the right moment to strike. Gerpatkath' lifted a wicked dagger that had a slite hook at the end to rip into one's flesh. Kurtis griped the knife firmly in his hand as Gerpatkath' came near with the Dagger not realizing that Kurtis had a knife. Witch gave Kurtis the element of surprise. Swiftly Kurtis jabbed the knife into Gerpatkath's stomach, he staggered backwards reaching into the wooden box with his left hand and grabbed a needle while still having the Dagger in the other. Gerpatkath' Lunged forward with the needle, Kurtis dauged it barely as he kicked Gerpatkath' onto a stretching board. Lara, still desperately trying to get free she slid her legs out from the leather straps and began wiggling her way out. Kurtis took a hard blow to the head. Gerpatkath' Stabbed Kurtis in his open wound with the needle as Lara got free of the straps that held her down. Kurtis throws his head forward to headbutt Gerpatkath but could not from the intense pain going through all of his nerves. "What is in that needle?!" Lara said in her head as green glopy ose came pouring down Kurtis's chest. Gerpatkath stared at Kurtis then gave an evil grin when blood began to chock up Kurtis's throught. Lara reached into the box and grabbed a small device that unfolds into a long metal poll. Gerpatkath turned around only to see the front end of the poll that Lara was holding go right through his right eye and kept going till it reached the other side of his head... Suddenly the feeling of great silence peace and victory came over Lara, but the feeling did not last long. She bent near Kurtis and placed her hand on his wound then with her other hand checked his pulse. A slow hart beat thumped, just Kurtis was out cold. Lara looked over her shoulder hopeing to see a med pack or anti-virus, though there was nothing but bright wight walls, touchier equipment and Gerpatkath' lying dead on the floor. She ripped off a peace Gerpatkath's black leather coat and firmly set it on Kurtis open wound. "Well it looks like your on your own..." Lara got up and snuck out the left door into a dark wet hallway, she could feel electricity in the air snapping with power. "Ah maybe a way out, or maybe a way into more trouble..." She perred over into the next room. "Lab, no, not a way out... But what about Kurtis? The antidoubt might be in there. Why do I even care? and I don't even know if it has an antidoubt or what in the world is in him" Lara said in her head, undecided of what to do she just stayed looking into the laboratory. She snuck closer to over hear what was going on between the two people in lab suits that were turned away from Lara. "Sir, Were trying to fix the problem but I think well have to take it back to formula" "Back to formula!?" The second man said in a low thickly spoken words as he lifted a gun to the other man's head and pulled the trigger without a doubt in his mind. "Friendly people here, I doubt I'll stay for dinner" Lara started to back away then froze... The man started to walk towards Lara, her heart thumping in her chest as if it were to throb out of her chest. Then a cold hand griped her shoulder from behind, chills sent spilling over here body. The man in suit started getting closer, Lara was yanked back by the person in behind her as the man walked by not realizing her presence. Lara shoved her elbow into the person in behind her then turned around forseing her hand into the person's face. "Lara!" The man said reaching for her again. She struggled into the light trying to get him to follow so she could see him. He stepped out of the shadows into the light "Lara it's me...Kurtis" He was perfectly fine, not even a scratch, there was not a singe thing that looked like he had been injured. "But how?" Lara got up from the floor while rubbing her swore battered head waiting for a reply. "I can't talk here, we need to leave, NOW!" "What's hurry, Mr Kurtis?" Suddenly a loud machancal nosie ripped through the air, than BBBOOOOOMMMMMMMMM!!!!! Rumbles sent and cracks began to flow across the floor. "Your blowing up the fortress!?" Lara yelled over the noise staring at Kurtis as if he were the biggest dope. "Let's go girl!" They ran out of the fortress as fast as they could go, explosions set off as they neared the exit. Lara made it out closely followed by Kurtis as they made it into Siberia's freezing wonderland. The last final blow took and the fortress collapsed sending shrapnel flying everywhere making the sky look of darkness. Explosions continued in the sky as peace's flue into each other, Kurtis shoved Lara into the snow then covered him self over her. END OF CHAPTER (1) The Enemy Second and third chapter coming January 10 2003!