This is a non-profit fan-based story based on the Final Fantasy video game series by Square Enix and the Tomb Raider video game series by Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix Europe. Please support the official release.
“Many centuries ago in an age long past, a group of thirteen otherworldly beings descended from the heavens unto the land of Egypt. Their bodies were as steel, and they possessed magical powers that potentially rivaled the Gods, which earned them the awe and respect of the citizens. The mysterious beings were known as the Kodaitrons, and their leader was called Oroboss Cobracon. The Kodaitrons coexisted with the ancient Egyptians for 300 years, and wanted to take their place among the Gods of Egypt, but one self-entitled Pharaoh felt they had more ulterior motives in mind. He openly decried the Kodaitrons, accusing them of wanting to usurp the Gods, not simply rule alongside them, and his actions angered Cobracon, starting a terrible war that lasted 20 years. In 980 B.C., the Kodaitrons obliterated the Pharaoh, his armies and all who sided with him, and then disappeared into legend. Some say the Kodaitrons went into a deep slumber in a holy chamber known only to themselves to recharge their energies, or became convinced that the rest of humanity would either turn on them, or already have. But whatever the reason for their disappearance, the Kodaitrons were forgotten by time, and so it seems that they might never return…”
The year of our Lord, 2020 A.D.
That’s what the hieroglyphs discovered by Lara Croft and her accomplice Lu Ren were trying to say, if not necessarily word-for-word. Lara and Lu were both survivors of what they call the Yamatai Incident, the beginning of Lara’s secret war on the shadowy organization calling itself “Trinity”. They had traced a Trinity branch in Egypt to a recently discovered circle formation of twelve pyramids surrounding another massive one, buried underneath the desert sands for many centuries, if not ten thousand years, with the maze of stone walls and masonry surrounding said pyramids arranged meticulously in a pattern which, when viewed from a satellite in space, closely resembles the Eye of Osiris. Lara and Lu expected these grounds to be teeming with Trinity operatives, but initially found only a small, empty camp where they found the parchments describing the legend of the Kodaitrons. Only a squadron of Trinity operatives, at most, would be occupying this area, it seemed, waiting for the opportune moment to strike, but all it took to subdue Lu and Lara both, swiftly, was one.
Hours later, Lara opened her eyes to find herself in a dank prison chamber, stripped to her white undergarments, and her wrists and ankles bound by wire ropes coming out of the wall. She saw Lu Ren hanging by his hands, bound to a chain attached to the ceiling.
Lara desperately called out to Ren and moved towards him, but the ropes pulled her right back into the wall, and she noticed more ropes wrapped across her chest, attached to a black circular device on her back which emitted a beeping sound, tightening the ropes’ grip on her chest like a strap harness. As Lara cried out in pain, she and Lu Ren saw an older, darker-skinned Egyptian woman step into the room, giggling in a sinister tone at her prisoners. It has to be the jail-mistress, no doubt, Lu thought to himself, perhaps even the same person who brought him and Lara here in the first place! She stood at a scintillating 5’8″ feet tall, scantily clad like a cross between a dominatrix and an Egyptian Queen, with the finest black latex and golden jewelry adorned sporadically across her curvaceous coffee-skinned body, purple eyeliner, lip gloss, fingernails, and toenails, and to top it all off, a hairstyle reminiscent of ancient Egyptian Royalty, like Queen Cleopatra, to name one. In fact, one might say this woman is either a reincarnation of Cleopatra, or an extremely obscure distant descendant of hers! One odd thing, of note, about her is that her accent sounds more Jamaican than Egyptian.
????: “And how are my guests enjoying demselves?”
Lu: “Guests? We’re your prisoners, you witch! Whaddaya you even want with us!?”
Lara: “Let us out, please!”
????: “‘Fraid not! You two are among Trinity’s most wanted after what you did to Mathias Vogel, one of our most decorated members!”
Lara: “Vogel was insane, and his actions could have destroyed millions of lives!”
The dark-skinned woman responded by smacking Lara across the face for speaking so ill of Mathias.
????: “And you deserve to suffer for causing his death!”
The Egyptian lady walked over to Lu Ren and lifted his head up with her index finger while brandishing a dagger in her left hand.
????: “I heard talk you love dis strapping young mon, no?”
Lara didn’t know what to say to keep the jailer from possibly hurting Lu, for it was too soon for either Lara or Lu to openly commit to such a relationship. The jailer held her dagger right next to Ren’s neck, facing Lara.
????: “You must, at de very least, care for him, don’t you?”
Lara: “Whatever you’re going to do, please don’t kill him!”
????: “And stop de torture short?”
The jailer moved the razor sharp blade of her dagger under the left strap of Lu Ren’s tank top and cuts it, tearing it down to expose the upper left side of his well-toned body. She placed the palm of her right hand on Lu’s bare chest, sensually feeling his body all over as she forcefully mouth-kissed him in a show of dominance, much to Lara’s displeasure.
????: “How’s dis for your first kiss, Lu Ren? You thought it would be from Lara, but it was from me; Zana, Leader of de Trinity branch of Egypt!”
Lu Ren’s heart raced, as the lecherous Zana tore off the rest of his shirt before continuing to pleasure herself to his half-naked, sweat drenched figure. And she enjoyed every second of it!
Lu: “What are you doing? Stop it!”
Lara: “Please! For God’s sake, just leave him alone!!”
About 3 hours earlier…
Today has not been a good day for Vaan; he had been abducted during one of his practice hunts by one of the late Vayne Solidor’s last remaining loyalists, a bald-headed former Archadian Judge by the name of Jaag Arnott, who begrudges the young man for his part in helping Ashelia B’nargin Dalmasca, now the Queen of Dalmasca, end Vayne’s bid for world domination. And now Jaag has brought Vaan to Zana’s Trinity base in Egypt, dragging him by the arm to his cell. The facility was more technologically advanced than any location Vaan had ever visited in his travels prior, almost like the fabled “Area 51”.
Vaan: “Hey, lemme go you creep!”
Jaag: “Shaddup, bitch! You’re gonna pay for what you did to me country, and I’m gonna make it great again!”
Jaag spoke with with a Cockney accent, his choice of words being more casual and informal compared to what Vaan would expect from the average law enforcer in Archades, or any high-profile individual in all of Ivalice, for that matter. As they walked down the hallway, Vaan caught a brief glimpse of Zana and her prisoners. He could tell they were in serious trouble and tried harder to break Arnott’s grip, but all he got was a punch in the face before he is thrown into his cell.
Jaag: “Let’s see ‘ow long you last in ‘ere, bitch-boy, hahaha!”
Arnott slams the door shut and locks it before leaving the youngster to rot, even as Vaan got to his feet and banged at the bars.
Jaag: “‘ope you like prison food!”
Inmate 1: “And penis!”
Vaan: “But this is all a huge mistake! I don’t belong here!”
Inmate 2: “I BELONG HERE!”
Vaan: “AARGH, let me OUTTA HERE!!! Somebody! ANYBODY!!”
The door wouldn’t budge, so Vaan opted to kick and punch at it until it breaks down. He couldn’t use any mist techniques to easily destroy the door, due his magic energy having been drained by Jaag Arnott as a precaution, but at this point, anything has to be better than nothing. Concentrating all his energy into his fist, Vaan struck fiercely at the opening with the metal bars, but couldn’t even put any cracks on the bars. He felt a jarring pain surging throughout his arm, up to his shoulder and started flailing his bruised hand about, blowing on it to try and ease the pain.
????: “Man, dat wuz some weak shit there, dawg! Yo’ ass ain’t never goin’ bust outta here dat way!”
The strange voice, as Vaan turned around to discover, belonged to a two-and-a-half foot tall robot with a humanoid frame for the most part. But this robot had big, googly anime-style eyes, a literally big mouth, a scalp designed like a miner’s helmet, and a triangle-shaped searchlight attached to the forehead, making him resemble something right out of a science fiction comedy movie or video game.
The human, or a hume, as they’re called in Ivalice, had never seen a living creature such as this before. For a brief moment, Vaan was at an awkward loss for words, but the small robot didn’t seem like he wanted to hurt him.
Vaan: “Uhhh… Vaan.”
Bass: “Vaan? Ain’t never heard dat name befo’!”
????: “What’s it short for, Fruity Von Fruitydorf? Guess it’s one of those days for dumbass names, heh!”
Over at the corner of the cell was a fat kid with curly ginger hair, a bit older than Vaan, and a millennial, by the look and attitude, laying on the bed. His manner of dress includes an orange t-shirt with a cartoonish looking bandicoot on the front, blue denim jeans extending a little past the knees, and maroon high-top shoes.
Bass: “Oh, like Majin800m is a better name, ya Jonah Hill-lookin’ fat mutha- OW!!”
Majin800m, as he’s called, responded to Bass’ snark by throwing his pillow at the robot’s face, knocking him on his rear end.
800m: “I’m not fat, I’m big boned! And that’s not my real name, that’s my username on PSN and XBox Live, case you’re wondering, fruitcake.”
Vaan had no idea what Majin800m meant by a username; in fact he had a buttload to learn about Earth, the planet he is currently on. But that was immaterial in light of the current situation. He wasn’t sure if he should tell them where he’s from yet, but maybe if he learned how his eccentric cellmates got in here, Vaan could figure some way to get out.
Vaan: “‘scuse me, but if you could cut the bickering for like, five minutes, could either one of you guys tell me how you got thrown in jail here?”
800m: “None of the other inmates bothered to ask us, so what gives you the right?”
Vaan: “Pretty sure I’m not the only one who wants out of here. Who doesn’t deserve to be trapped here.”
Bass and 800m could’ve wasted the whole day arguing about alot of things, but the point Vaan was trying to make was the first thing they ever agreed upon.
Bass: “A’ight, Aladdin, check it out: I wuz just rollin’ down da street on my ‘Bass-Mobile’ one day, minding my own goddamn beeswax, doin’ nuthin’. I was livin’ ghetto fabulous, man, I had five of my finest hoes, and at one point during our ride, we saw one a them Trinity dudes messin’ wit some Chinese girl in an alley. I head all about ’em and they sick-ass bullshit from one a my homies wit a part time job down at da black market, so naturally we wuz scared outta our shit to see them fools in town and one a my hoes told me to step on it!”
Majin800m had heard this story before, so he didn’t bother pay attention to it. He just took out his smartphone, which he cleverly smuggled into his shoe before he was brought in and started playing a game on it.
Bass: “But then da popo come pull me over, he had on da lights and everythang: ‘Get outta da car! Get outta da car!’, he said, but I ain’t getting out da car; I ain’t do nuthin’, I wuz just trying to get us as far away from dat Trinity asshole as we can. I remember my hoes in da car bein’ all scared, sayin’, ‘Bass-man, we scared!'”
800m: “Bass-man? You’re more like a little Bumblebee to me!”
Bass: “Whatchu talkin’ about, man? I ain’t no bumblebee, I ain’t even got no wings to fly around and shit! Much as I wish I got a jetpack or somethin’! Anyway, da popo reach inside da car for me, I say, ‘Hell naw, I ain’t stoppin’ ‘cuz I ain’t do nuthin’!’ Then he came up to da car and said, ‘Get outta da car!’, right, so then I get out da car and I say, “Whatchu callin’ backup fo’? There’s a bad man out there, he da one you should be stoppin’!’, but then he slapped me and got my license, my registration an’ everythang!”
Vaan at least had an easier time believing this story than Majin800m did, at least the important parts about Boratt having witnessed Trinity’s ruthlessness firsthand, so far.
Vaan: “You serious?”
Bass: “Yeah man, da popo been trippin’ ever since dat Trayvon Martin shit! He put his handcuffs on me and put me in da trunk of his car; then next thing I know, here I am wit you guys! Dat’s why I’m assuming dat da cop who nailed me is on Trinity’s payroll. I been trying to get outta here so I can go tell da real popo wuss happenin’ and everythang!”
Vaan: “So Trinity is the name of the person or organization that got us put in here, right?”
800m: “Damn straight!”
Vaan: “You said you’re called Majin Boom, didn’t you? How did you get here?”
800m: “Me; I was chillaxin’ in my room one day when my idiot dad came barging in, smashed my TV and dragged me all the way to the beach, THE BEACH, by my neck-rolls; I’m not joking! Then we got into a fight where I had to kick his ass, not to kill him, mind you, just humiliate him. Then later when I’m gaining the upper hand on him, he starts yelling, ‘HELP, HELP! My son is trying to ‘eff’ me!’ So the cops start coming after me and I get on a bike to try and outrun ’em, but I can’t! When they got me, they said I was going to juvie hall, but instead they brought me here! I mean, this is freakin’ bullshit!”
Vaan: “So, you ended up here because of your father; at least partly because of him? And he didn’t even check into where you were going? That’s terrible! …I never got to know my parents a whole lot, ’cause I lost them both when I was young, but I’m sure glad they didn’t treat me anything like that. And for a long time after they died, I had to steal to survive.”
For all their differing backgrounds and motives, Vaan, Bass Boratt, and Majin800m all had one thing in common: they were all imprisoned for fighting back against some form of oppression. Though Vaan is technically the most “innocent” of the three, he had no right to rub it in 800m or Bass’ faces in spite of their own moral dubiousness or the questionable credibility of their testimonies, because he understands what they are going through; and this isn’t even his first time being thrown in jail.
800m: “Damn. That must’ve sucked hard on you. …Did you have a monkey sidekick?”
Bass: “You get involved in Broadway-style musical numbas?”
Vaan: “Don’t even know what those are.”
800m: “Did you meet a smokin’ hot princess?”
Bass: “You dress up like a prince so you can put da moves on her?”
800m: “Did an evil royal advisor trick you and try to kill you?”
Vaan: “No, but other bad guys did try to kill me!”
Bass: “You find a magic lamp wit a genie dat grants you three wishes?”
Bass: “Then what da Sam Hill Jackson kinda street rat are you?”
Vaan: “I, well… It’s not that I don’t trust you two, it’s, actually kind of a long story. But if we ever find a way out of this, I suppose I can tell you, somewhere safe, that is.”
Bass: “Yeah, we gotta find a way out first. Besides, we don’t wanna let these guys know something we don’t want ’em to, ‘cuz they might got security cameras hidden in our cell fo’ all we know.”
Vaan: “So what are these people with Trinity doing here?”
800m: “You know, plotting to take over the world and stuff.”
Inmate 3: “OF COURSE!”
800m: “Also, I heard that some crazy-ass bitch named Zana trains criminals and other sorts of troublemakers taken here to become either new recruits for Trinity, or her own sexual playthings. Those who don’t qualify to be either stay trapped here for the inmates to do whatever the hell kind of horrible things they want with them.”
That gave Vaan such a shiver down his spine, he wasn’t sure he wanted to know what kind of brutal acts of torture the more dangerous and depraved prisoners would think to inflict on the small-time, weaker ones, but Bass gave a particularly disturbing example anyway.
Bass: “Like one time there wuz dis fat kid who got put on da skins team fo’ one a they prison games, and when his team lost, some big guy on steroids got a cheese grater and used it on da fat kid’s ass! I’m dead serious, man; I got a bucket of da literal ass-cheek shavings to prove it! You wanna see?”
Vaan: “EWW!! No, that’s disgusting!”
800m: “You do realize, Bumblebee, the fat kid you’re talkin’ about just so happens to be me!”
Bass: “Man, you should be lucky they ain’t chop yo’ arms and legs off and then slow cook yo’ fat ass rotisserie-style!”
Just then, the trio hear the warden’s footsteps as he began to approach their cell. 800m quickly put his smartphone back into his shoe before the door opened, but as the three are being led outside, 800m felt a vibration on his foot, accompanied by a ringtone set to Motorhead’s “You Better Run“; in his haste to hide his phone, he forgot to put it back on silent mode! The warden orders the group to stop and shoves 800m to the ground, taking his shoes off and confiscating the phone.
800m: “Hey, that’s a $900 iPhone, asshole! Give it back or I’m gonna whup your- AAAAAAAAHHHH!!!”
The warden responded by jamming a taser into 800m’s rear end, making him scream at about roughly the same pitch as a girl would.
Vaan: “Hey, cut it out!”
Vaan tried to stop the warden from harassing 800m, but he only gets tased as well. Bass was the only one who did nothing, supposedly because of his minuscule size, to name an excuse for his failure to intervene.
800m: “Why didn’t you stop him, brah?”
Bass: “You see any weapons on me? Do I look like Mega Man to you?”
The trio were led outside to a wide open area akin to a basketball court, sprawling with bandits, terrorists, fugitives, and other aggressive individuals rounded up from God knows where. Vaan, Bass, and 800m tried their best to stay clear of the intimidating lowlifes roaming the place, many of which look like they came right out of the classic movie Mad Max, or that Japanese anime series that drew heavily from the former. Bass finds himself accidentally bumping into one such lowlife, an unruly Mexican immigrant, at least three years older than Vaan, with tattoos all over his body.
Inmate 4: “Well if it ain’t little Bass Boratt? Come back to lose your other middle finger, pollo cobarde?”
Vaan probably didn’t notice earlier that Bass had the middle finger on his left hand chopped off after losing a bet with another prisoner.
Bass: “Hey man, I don’t want no mo’ trouble after what happened last time, so just back off, a’ight?”
Sheepishly, Bass turned his attention to Vaan to explain the nature of his injury.
Bass: “I flipped off some a these guys during one a my failed attempts to get outta dis nuthouse. Dat guy right there chopped it right off.”
Bass: “I told him, da bet was on my last joint of ‘seaweed’, which is like regular weed, but fo’ these guys right over there!”
Looking in the direction Boratt was pointing, Vaan notices that some of the prisoners are amphibious fish-humanoids called Sa’Naakians, who immigrated to Earth from their home planet many centuries ago. A particularly mean-looking one, who seems to know 800m, is seen flexing his muscles for some of the inmates when the trio walks by him.
Randy Orca: “Hey Majin Moobs! Who’s your new butt buddy?”
800m: “I told you, Randy, it’s Majin800m! Like, ‘boom, baby!’.”
Randy Orca: “Pfff… Whatever!”
800m: “And we’re NOT butt buddies!”
He’d spent only a few minutes out there in the open, but Vaan already had a gut feeling how nightmarish this place is: If anybody looked at any one of the more ruthless thugs and degenerates here in an undesired manner, they got their asses handed to them.
Inmate 5: “The hell you lookin’ at, crabcakes!?”
And just like that, a redneck prisoner sent the unwitting offender, a Sa’Naakian, hurtling at the group’s feet. They stepped over his motionless, likely mortally wounded body carefully.
800m: “Some of these Sa’Naakians are so rough and tough, they could eat an entire bowl of nails for breakfast, without any milk!”
Thinking about how menacing these prisoners are, Vaan’s mind quickly shifted to Lara Croft and Lu Ren. He couldn’t just leave them, or anybody else to suffer at the hands of these degenerates, as if Jaag and Zana weren’t bad enough!
Vaan: “I think I saw one or two more poor folks being tortured while I was being dragged in here. We gotta save them and everyone else before we can get out of here.”
800m: “I might have an idea on how to do that: You ever seen that movie Guardians of the Galaxy?”
Some moments later…
The ragtag trio waited anxiously and patiently for the next ‘prison games’, as Bass calls them, to plan their escape, as the prisoners and security would be too caught up in the ‘festivities’ to suspect anything. While two inmates fought each other in the first bracket of an underground mixed-martial-arts tournament style matchup, insulting and cursing at one another in languages Bass and 800m at least know of, but Vaan couldn’t understand, all while viciously hitting each other, Bass drew the layout of the complex in the dirt with a stick as he explained the escape plan to his companions in a corner. Bass pointed his finger to the location on the makeshift map indicating the master control room; Vaan was crouching on his feet, and so was 800m, locking his fingers in a steeple as they surveyed the map.
Bass: “Ok, so in dat room over there is da switch dat opens all da prison doors and all da entrances to dis place: I’m small enough to get through da vents and into places neither y’all can’t, so I’mma go in there, press dat switch and then blow up da controls wit some C4 I jacked from one a da guards, so nobody get ’em closed off again.”
800m: “Then we can free any other half-way decent people locked up in here and we all get the hell out, right?”
Vaan nodded his head, showing he understands the plan.
Vaan: “Bass, while you make your way to the control room, 800m and I will volunteer for the next match whenever possible and prolong it as much as we can. That should buy you some extra time.”
800m: “Wait, why me too? Do I look like I know martial arts to you? Huh, fruitcake?”
Vaan: “Look, the point is, we gotta make sure at least one of us gets into the tournament as early as possible so we can stall for valuable time! Every second counts, and we only got one shot at this!”
Bass: “Yeah, dis tournament is only gonna have 12 participants, wit 6 1-on-1 matches in the first tier, 2 triple threat matches on the semifinal tier, and then a 1-on-1 match in the last tier; so wit dat in mind, along wit my knowledge of da layout and some other calculations I did, I’d say we got a twelve percent chance of success.”
Bass: “Da hell should I know, man? I ain’t Kevin Feige!”
800m: “Let’s just get this over with, ok?
Bass: “A’ight man, now le’s do dis!”
The three put their hands together and quietly chant ‘Freedom!’ on the count of three. Bass crawls into a nearby ventilation shaft while Vaan and 800m join the spectators to await either one’s role in their escape plan.
Sa’Naakian 1: “Hey buddy, you just blew in from Tatooine?”
Vaan: “No, I don’t even really know where or what that is.”
Luckily, the Sa’Naakians, for more or less obvious reasons, are prohibited from entering the games; and Vaan, who has much more actual experience in battle, compared to Majin800m, was chosen for the second of six one-on-one brackets of the first tier, with his opponent being the same guy who harassed Bass Boratt earlier. Four steel fences rose up from under the prison grounds to encage the combatants after they step into the ring.
Commentator: “Now this whitewashed Aladdin wannabe, all the way from Rabanastre, Dalmasca, I’ve heard, is a mondegreening, amateur space pirate and the top-rated Captain Basch fon Ronsenburg cosplayer in Bhujerba! Please put yer hands together for Vaan Ratsbane!”
Vaan: “Look, I don’t wanna hurt you, so let’s just have a good, clean fight, ok?”
Inmate 4: “I’m gonna rip out your cojones and stomp them into dust, pendejo!”
Vaan’s goal here wasn’t necessarily to win the whole tournament, just the preliminaries and one of the triple-threat matches in the semifinals by enduring his opponent’s attacks as best as he can and hit back only when there’s an opening. As Rocky Balboa once said, “It ain’t about how hard you hit; It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward.”
Vaan: “Ha, you missed!”
Commentator: “Good god almighty, this young’un really wants to make that taco bender look like a fool here!”
Tako Bender: “Hey! That was gonna be MY online username! Sixty-two gil says the blondie wins!”
Whilst overseeing the tournament from a balcony on the upper level, Jaag was irritated to see that Vaan, a mere street rat, managed to get as far as he just did, but Zana was quickly taking interest in more than just his skill.
Jaag: “I tell you, that boy’s really makin’ me pissed!”
Zana: “Actually, he’s getting me quite… exhilarated.”
Of course, it was just a matter of time before Vaan wins the match.
Jaag: “‘ow in the blazes was ‘e able to beat Vayne Solidor in the first place? I mean, seriously, what do you even see in this worthless, scrawny little bloke?”
Zana leaned over, pressing her breasts onto the top railing, staring lustfully at Vaan as he caught his breath after defeating his opponent.
Zana: “Hmmm, I guess you could say… that sometimes scrawny is better in quality and… easier to ‘handle’…!”
Back inside the shafts, Bass was very fortunate to be a little more than halfway to the control room by the time the semifinals began, and more so that Vaan made it to that point, despite 800m failing miserably at the opening tier.
800m: “Aw, shitty shit!”
The fat gamer was put into a figure four leg lock in just the first few seconds of the fight, and if that weren’t enough, his opponent twisted at his neck rolls, forcing 800m to tap out, costing him the match!
800m: “Why did I even agree to this?”
As he bravely pressed on, Bass hoped to God the inmates wouldn’t kill his new acquaintances, until at least the tournament had concluded in it’s entirety. About ten minutes into his bracket of the semifinals, Vaan was being pummeled by his two opponents, one German, and the other Russian, taking turns landing blows on the young man.
Jaag: “Yes! YES!”
Commentator: “My god, look at ‘im go! Three shots to the skull!”
But Vaan didn’t back down; he didn’t forget what’s at stake here. If he backs out, the match, and by extension, the tournament would end prematurely, Bass would be caught by security, and he and his potential new friends would die for nothing. 800m, who was still allowed to watch the remainder of the tournament, called out to Vaan from the crowd.
Reinvigorated by those words and mental images of those whom he wants so badly to see again, Vaan got back up, removed his metal vest for a boost of speed and continued the fight, using his agility to trick the German into socking the Russian in the jaw, momentarily knocking him out.
Then Vaan connects a well timed punch to the German’s cheek, diorienting him barely long enough to get behind and put him in a sleeper hold.
Crabyoin: “Indeed mon! He is quite resilient like de pyramids of Egypt, which our ancestors built ages ago in honor of de Kodaitrons!”
The Russian gets back up lunges at Vaan and the German, but Vaan pulls the German’s underpants up and over his eyes, and pushes the German right into the Russian’s way, tripping them both onto the ground with a great thud!
800m: “BOOM, baby!”
Many female prisoners squealed with obsessive joy and pulled up their shirts, hoping Vaan would notice and be overcome with the same sexual infatuation they have for him. Very soon, with the German fighter knocked out and the Russian barely still standing, Bass had finally reached the control room and incapacitated the guard, stopping him from alerting the others and pilfered his AK-47. Looking through the window to see that Vaan had just barely made it to the finals, Boratt planted the C4 and some other explosives the guard happened to be carrying on his person onto the controls, and pressed the master release switch. Just as the final match had begun, between a still shirtless Vaan and some redneck, Jaag and Zana noticed, to their utter shock, the alarm going off as every door across the compound opened and all the security cameras went offline!
Zana: “Damn! Someone has triggered de master release mechanism!”
Arnott picked up a walkie talkie and wasted no time shouting orders at the staff, on the chance that Bass would somehow sabotage the communications as well.
Jaag: “Oi, guards! Barricade the doorways, and get security into the control room! Shut those doors back down, and let no one escape!!!”
As the klaxons blared and Vaan climbs out of the cage, dozens and dozens of guards blocked the exit, but they were mercilessly plowed over by the prisoners who began rushing to freedom outside, haphazardly trampling over those who can’t seem to make it out in time.
Sa’Naakian 2: “My leg!”
As for the squad ordered to get into the control room, they arrived far too late; Boratt had already detonated the C4, destroying the machinery that opens and closes all the doors across the base. The hardest part of the plan was over, but it’s still not time for respite. The squad captain saw what appeared to be the spitting image of Bass and opened fire, but it was actually a hologram, generated by a device Bass left on the floor, that turned into a big red exclamation mark! The squad was ordered to search the room for Boratt and repair the machinery as best as they could, while the captain stood watch outside. He failed to see Bass hanging onto the piping on the ceiling, and the robot kicks him into the control room before sealing it shut with the access panel outside.
Squad Captain: “Open the door you walking piece of scrap!”
Bass simply responded by flipping the bird at the captain before taking off.
Bass: “Yo homes, smell ya later!! Haha!”
Bass ran like hell down the halls, firing warning shots from his stolen weapon to keep any incoming guards away. Outside, Vaan and 800m take advantage of the ensuing chaos to get back inside the building and start freeing any friendlies they come across, be they humans or Sa’Naakians, since the cell doors are the only ones unaffected by the master control switch. In one corridor, Vaan uses a paper clip with his knowledge of lock-picking to free some hapless teenage girls, one of which thanked him with a peck on the cheek.
Inmate 6: “Nice moves there, sugar!”
In another corridor, 800m was leading a group of Sa’Naakian children outside when he bumps into a guard.
Guard: “Put your hands in the air, ham-shank! And you small fry, get back to your cells or I’ll shoot!”
Coralton Banks: “Uh-oh!”
Sa’Naakian 3: “Betta’ do what he says, or he goin’ cut off our fishsticks and sell them on da black market!”
800m: “Oh no he ain’t! WATAAA!!!”
800m resorts to kicking him between the legs, accompanied with uttering some fake Chinese and the kind of ‘turkey call’ noises the late and great Bruce Lee used to make; and though he fails to see another guard preparing to tackle him, Vaan was quick to save his skin with a sweep kick.
800m: “Thanks brah, I owe you one.”
Sa’Naakian 4: “You’re a good person!”
Unfortunately, elsewhere within the base, Bass is accosted by the Mexican inmate, brandishing an axe!
Inmate 4: “Where do ya think you’re going, tu pequeña mierda?”
Bass: “Hey, whatchu doin’ wit dat axe, man? We ain’t got time fo’ dis shit. We should be gettin’ our asses outta here!”Ignoring the little robot’s pleas to back down and let him go peacefully, the inmate swings his axe at Boratt.
Boratt barely dodged the attack, but not quickly enough to keep his already maimed left hand attached, as he notices to his horror.
Bass: “Wuss wrong witchu!? You don’t chop a brutha hand off, man!”
Realizing the difficulty, if not impossibility in reasoning with his attacker, Bass picked up his AK-47 back up and hauled ass. By this time, almost every other good person still alive had made it out. It didn’t take Vaan much longer to find Lara Croft in her cell and then free her from the wire ropes that bound her with a knife he just picked up, but he didn’t see Lu Ren anywhere!
Vaan: “Come on, we gotta get out of here! …Wait, where’s that other guy who was in here with you?”
Lara: “…L-Lu Ren…”
Vaan: “Yeah, what about him?”
Lara: “Zana; s-she tortured him… and then she-”
Vaan: “Where’s Lu Ren? We’re not leaving without him!”
Lara: “Lu Ren is dead…!”
Vaan: “No, he can’t be! He has to be help up somewhere in this place!”
Lara: “It’s true! I saw her kill him… with my own eyes! And I couldn’t stop her!”
Seeing the tears rolling down her face was enough to convince Vaan that Lara is telling the truth, so he slammed his fist into the wall and let out a sorrowful scream at the top of his lungs.
For the first time since the death of his older brother Reks, Vaan was in terrible anguish; angry at himself for not being able to save Lara Croft and Lu Ren both in time! If only he got here sooner! If only he’d been stronger! But this is no time to be grieving, for they still have to get out of the Trinity base. Vaan removed the strap-harness device from Lara’s back and helps retrieve her clothes and backpack with her handguns inside before leading her out to the now vacant area where the tournament was held, right before the prison break started. Spotting his earlier discarded vest, surprisingly none the worse for wear, Vaan retrieves it, puts it back on, and is immediately greeted by Bass and 800m.
800m: “Hey Vaan, you get those other two people out?”
Bass, who was clutching his arm where the hand was severed, noticed Vaan with a sad look on his face and tears running down his cheek, and, correctly assuming that one of the people he tried to save was dead, lowered his head in regret.
Vaan: “Not exactly, one of them didn’t make it…! I’m so sorry!”
800m: “It ain’t your fault, bro. We tried to save as many people as we can!”
Lara: “Wait, you are the ones who started the jail break?”
Bass: “Dat’s right, lady. My name is Bass Boratt, and da fat one over there is Majin800m.”
Vaan: “And I’m Vaan. Nice to meet you.”
Vaan extended his hand out for Lara to shake it, which she did after a brief moment of contemplation.
Lara: “My name is Lara. Lara Croft. Sorry I forgot to mention earlier.”
800m: “Whoa whoa whoa, hold the phone! You’re THE Lara Croft!?”
Lara: “You know about me?”
800m: “Know about you? You’re like, every male gamer’s wet dream come to life! Would you sign my-”
Vaan: “800m, focus!”
Lara: “We need to get out of here to inform the authorities of what Trinity has done here. They are an insane, demented organization bent on world domination!”
Vaan: “And there’s this former judge from where I come from who appears to be allied with them! If my memory’s correct, I think his name’s Jaag Arnott!”
Lara: “And where is it that you and this Jaag Arnot come from?”
Vaan: “We’re from another world called Ivalice, but there’s no time to explain the rest now! We gotta go!”
Jaag: “I don’t think so, lad!”
Zana: “Leaving so soon?”
Jaag Arnott and Zana stood in front of the exit, right between Vaan’s group and their freedom! Bass, shuddering with fear, lets out a girly squeak while hiding between Lara’s legs. With a fierce look in his eyes, Vaan dramatically pointed at Arnott in righteous anger.
Vaan: “That’s him! That’s Jaag!”
Lara: “And Zana, the one who killed Lu Ren!”
Zana: “You paid good attention back den, I’ll give you dat, Lara Croft!”
Zana lunges after Vaan, pinning him to the ground while Jaag sees to Croft.
Zana: “You needn’t rush, young mon. De fun’s just beginning.”
Trying to pry off the pendant keeping Vaan’s vest together, Zana does not notice Bass Boratt sneaking up on her.
Bass: “I don’t think so, Cleopatra!”
Bass Boratt jumps onto Zana’s back, pulling on her hair and slapping at her head with his bad arm. Lara Croft roundhouse kicks Jaag Arnott across the face, but before she can attack further, Jaag ensnares her in a bear hug to crush her bones, but Vaan and 800m get behind the judge and suplex him headfirst into the dirt, breaking his grip on Lara. Zana seizes Bass by the throat and hurls him into the wall, but then Vaan lifts up Bass and they make for the exit with Lara and 800m following suit.
Jaag: “After them!!”
Vaan’s group ran around the base as fast as they could, throwing trash cans and stuff down on the floor to obstruct the dastardly duo’s path, and eventually they manage to outrun their pursuers and leave them trapped in the all but abandoned Trinity facility. Now they needed a means of quick transport to escape!
800m: “Bass, you see any vehicles we can use?”
The group didn’t have to look far, as Bass spotted a group of humvees parked near the base entrance.
Bass: “Yeah man, we can use one a them humvees to get us da hell away from here!”
Lara: “Wait! We should split up into groups of two from here!”
Lara: “This base was established near what Jaag and Zana believe to be the resting place of a group of otherworldly beings called the Kodaitrons. Assuming they exist, I believe Jaag and Zana may want to harness the Kodaitrons’ powers for their and Trinity’s nefarious ends.”
Bass: “Goddamn! I’ve heard my share of crazy-ass shit in my time, but this is balls-off-da-walls crazy!”
800m had never heard of the legends surrounding the mysterious Kodaitrons, but he assumed correctly, from their name alone, that they were alien robots, possibly something like the Transformers.
Vaan: “Someone’s gotta go after Jaag and Zana, especially if these ‘cocaine drums’ aren’t just a myth, while the other group goes out to spread the word of what they and Trinity are up to, see if there’s anyone else who can help out! You understand, guys?”
800m: “Yeah man! I’ll go with Bass and we’ll get the word out together! FBI, CIA, we’ll get every government organization we can reach out to right on Trinity’s asses!”
Lara: “But don’t tell anyone in the government about the Kodaitrons, just in case they ARE real. That part’s between the four of us!”
Lara clearly doesn’t feel comfortable with the potential risk of a Trinity sleeper agent in the government, or even the government itself knowing about the Kodaitrons and wanting their powers to command. To abuse such powers for world domination or personal gain is a sentiment even Vaan would be firmly against, considering his experiences with the supernatural Occuria and Espers. And after what they’d been through together, Bass and 800m agreed to keep silent about the alien robots on the chance that they do exist.
Bass: “You and Lara go after Bonnie and Clyde. You don’t gotta worry ’bout us, dawg! Now le’s move it!”
Bass and 800m get in one of the humvees and fasten their seat belts.
800m: “I called shotgun!”
Bass: “You sure yo’ fat ass know how to drive dis thang, 800m?”
800m: “Yeah Bumblebee, it’s just like playing Grand Theft Auto!”
800m starts the engine and speeds off in the direction of the nearest city. Vaan seriously hoped at least Bass and 800m will survive to tell the tale. But before Lara and Vaan can start on back to where they left their dastardly foes to confront them, Lara spots a small aircraft, which Jaag and Zana just boarded after taking a secret passage, taking off toward the Pyramids of the Kodaitrons.
Lara: “Damn it! We have to move fast! Vaan, can you find any anti-aircraft firearms lying around?”
Vaan: “Antioch air-whats?”
Lara: “Just-just check inside the humvees!”
Vaan: “I don’t see any honeybees anywhere!”
Lara: “Ugh, those vehicles!”
As luck would have it, Vaan finds a rocket propelled grenade launcher sitting in the back seat of one of the abandoned humvees. Lara checks the weapon to make sure it has any ammunition left, and they get in the vehicle to pursue the jet.
Lara: “Hold on to your knickers!!”
Lara takes the wheel and slams on the gas, and when they have the enemy jet in their sights, Lara instructs Vaan to fire the grenade launcher at it.
Vaan had clearly never used such sophisticated weaponry before, but luckily, one of his misfired shots ends up hitting the jet where it was going to be, instead of where it was as he kinda stupidly assumed. The grenade struck the jet engine, causing it to lose altitude.
Jaag: “Bloody ‘ell! We’ve been hit!”
Jaag and Zana press their respective nearby eject buttons in the cockpit, flying out of the doomed jet before it crashes into the dunes below. Seeing the two villains deploy their parachutes gave Vaan some measure of relief, as he wasn’t trying to kill them, just stall them until he and Lara can hopefully debunk the legends of the Kodaitrons at best, or prevent them from reawakening indefinitely at worst. Afterwards, he would see to it that Zana and Jaag face justice for their crimes.
Lara: “Better those bastards died just now. My father and I sacrificed so much because of Trinity, perhaps too much…! And now Lu Ren…”
Lara pulls the humvee to a screeching halt and turns her face to meet Vaan’s, giving him a rather stern look.
Lara: “Vaan, you need to get away from here and get back with Bass and 800m. It’s MY responsibility to avenge Lu Ren, and I can’t have your death on my conscience.”
Vaan: “Those Trinity jerks made it my business too when they dragged me into this mess.”
Lara: “I dragged Lu into greater danger than he was capable of getting himself out of! Now he’s dead because of me!”
She broke down and wept quietly at the death of her friend. She was blaming herself, her openness to others and her dependency on them for what happened. It made Vaan’s heart bleed to see her like this, and it made him hate Trinity, the organization, it’s twisted ideology, and it’s goals, but not the individuals involved, even more. He puts his hand on her shoulder to comfort her and wipes her tears with a tissue.
Vaan: “No, not because of you; Trinity started it. They’re the ones responsible for all that’s happened in the long run. I, too, lost friends and family to people like them, so I understand how you feel. …I know you want justice for your friend, and there are some things you prefer to do on your own, but it doesn’t excuse pushing away or pushing around the ones who matter to you.”
Lara had a very similar situation, to what Vaan just described, with her father up until the end of the Yamatai Incident. He distanced himself from her, and most daughters would think such behavior selfish and just plain wrong, at least until they begin to understand the gravity of the real reason for it. Lord Richard Croft did not wish for Lara to be involved because he believed Lara couldn’t possibly stand up to Trinity. Back then, all she wanted was to see her father again, if only once more, to make up for lost time, and though he was happy to see her at first, he rebuked her for having used the only possible means she had at her disposal to find him on the island. Yet the sacrifices he was forced to make couldn’t justify such coldness toward his daughter, in a way; It wasn’t worth possibly destroying their love for one another, even if it was for the greater good. Maybe Vaan is trying to keep her from becoming anything like the vengeful late Judge Magister Gabranth, trying to remind her what she really needs to fight for. In fact, he’s recently gotten more mature than Lara thinks his age would suggest.
Vaan: “I can help you set things right: Just promise me you’re not gonna let this turn into some simple-minded grudge. Me and a good friend of mine made that mistake before, but because we were always there for each other, we never lost sight of what’s really important.”
If it was too soon to explicitly make such a promise, Lara would at least bear in mind Vaan’s words of encouragement. Miles later, they make it to the site of the central pyramid where the Kodaitron leader Cobracon is rumored to lie in wait, now uncovered by presumably Trinity. Lara took out the parchment still in her backpack to confirm the location.
Vaan: “You sure this is the place, Lara?”
Lara: “Yes, I’m very much sure! The parchments I discovered in these parts are evidence enough that the pyramids themselves exist, even if the Kodaitrons do not. But if Jaag and Zana are sparing no effort to get into the heart of this pyramid, then the legend must be true Vaan, and we have to stop them.”
Vaan: “Not just for Lu Ren’s sake, but for everyone else who’s died because of Trinity.”
Indeed, they would have to do all in their power to keep the Kodaitrons from potentially wreaking untold havoc unto the world, so Vaan and Lara began delving into the depths of the Pyramid of Oroboss Cobracon. What they don’t realize, is that Jaag and Zana have managed to land fairly close to the entrance, and are now following the heroes’ every move.