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DIMENTIA - OUTSIDE VALORA - AFTERNOON With barbaric yells and blades waving berserk in the air, the pack of royal Dimentian guards tending to Sabre rush forward. Like a mutated, rabid canine on numerous leashes, Sabre follows them, feet shattering the cement pathway with each booming step. The path is clear for the bestial enforcer to exact his merciless destruction... until Donnovan races out of his hiding spot and stuns Luther and his forces by standing in Sabre's way, sword drawn. Time stands still as wide eyes and confused looks attempt to deal with the arrival of this courageous, reckless, armed warrior crazy enough to block Sabre's course. No one speaks. Luther steps forward, still ignoring the annoyed roaring of his pet. Donnovan looks into the eyes trapped underneath the ominous mask with passionate hatred. His weapon gleams with desire to tear through the flesh of the man who's haunted its master's nightmares all his life. LUTHER (calmly) Who are you? Donnovan's features tighten with a careless pride. DONNOVAN I am Donnovan. We see Luther's surprise in the darkness cloaking his face. DONNOVAN (CONT'D) I am the leader of a rebellious coalition of Dimentia's best warriors. The power of your pending doom, you wretched vermin! Serpen Kia steps up beside the petrified emperor. SERPEN KIA It's him, my lord! The one responsible for the newest traitors on death row! Let me tear him limb from limb now for his treason! Luther takes one step closer to Donnovan, who does the same, despite being one against many. LUTHER You are a pitiful imbecile to show your face here, rebel. Yet how fitting that the worms of this earth will feast on your corpse in the same location as the people you so foolishly defend.
Luther's yellow eyes descend to Donnovan's hands, which are clutching the handle of his sword with readiness to swing in a split second. LUTHER (CONT'D) Calm yourself. I will not strike you down here and now. To dirty my hands with traitorous blood is an act I'd like to avoid. I will let my generals bring you an inch from death, and then I will deal the final blow. An enraging smile of raw sadism. LUTHER (CONT'D) (louder, to his forces) The one of you who brings me the rebel's bloodied body will reside in the palatial quarters of the fortress. (to Donnovan) Good luck. He steps aside, and every breathing organism behind Luther charges at Donnovan, Sabre and his undying brutality included. Donnovan cuts down the first few guards, then feels his stomach practically cave in when it is struck by a black-and green orb. His body soars through the entrance of Valora and he falls, hard on his back, inside his home city's walls.
EXT. DIMENTIA - VALORA - CONTINUOUS Savage yelling continues to sound through the frightened community. Luther's forces fully infiltrate its grounds. LUTHER I want this city wiped off the face of my world, with decaying bodies of man, woman, and child decorating the landscape! Donnovan stands in time to see Sabre's chains being released, and the beast throwing himself into the nearest home instantly. No! DONNOVAN
He goes after the towering creature, slicing away at any particular guard who tries and stop him. We follow him with a third-person-view. Every sentry who
steps forth with a blade gets Donnovan's own punishing their various limbs. Bodies fly left and right, with Donnovan receiving little more than occasional clouts to the face and body. Through the mess of falling enemies, we see Maverick waiting for Donnovan up ahead. The dark sorcerer's hands dance in a set sequence as Donnovan closes in, never stopping, bloody blade set to kill. The stones of the flooring in front of Donnovan's boots fly off from the ground, leaving gaping holes where they once were. Various bulky, lengthy SERPENTS rise from the darkness with a unified hiss, baring their fangs and lunging for Donnovan's throat. Two snake heads whirl through the air with a swipe from the rebel's sword, but Donnovan finds no other alternative to retreating when even more wretched reptiles spring forth. Maverick laughs loudly with enjoyment. Then, the ground directly behind him opens up as well. Hearing a rumbling noise, he turns to look at the new breach... and gets a gigantic WAVE OF CRYSTAL-CLEAR LIQUID to the body. Donnovan leaps aside and makes way for the stabilized mini title wave to carry Maverick away, picking up a few of Luther's guards on the way. The camera follows the unexpected and violent accumulation of water; it finally deposits Maverick and its other victims in the FLAMES that have risen from the sand near a house. Maverick and the guards shout in panic, their bodies dominated by fire. A green essence issues from the necromancer's body and extinguishes the element. The others are not so lucky, and soon succumb to the ground.
EXT. DIMENTIA - VALORA - CONTINUOUS Outside the community's walls, far from the eyes of the imperial Dimentian forces, Pyrros hovers many feet above the ground, eyes blank, water flowing from his left hand, and his right one on fire. Elandra is with him, admiring the spectacle. PYRROS If I am seen by Luther, our goals will be forfeit. You must help Donnovan. I will stay here and protect your lives as much as I can.
Without another word, Elandra takes off for Valora.
EXT. DIMENTIA - VALORA - CONTINUOUS Donnovan's sword does battle with Serpen Kia's fanged dual weapons. Each collision of the blades emits a callous sound. Serpen Kia spins in a full circle, a knifed twister, his weapons extended. Donnovan stoops below the high attack and smashes the reptilian's snout with a powerful right fist. Serpen Kia snarls in pain and retaliates by sliding down on the ground and landing a rising kick to Donnovan's midsection, knocking him back. When he opens his eyes a second later, a female guard brings the point of her lance down toward his face. Donnovan rolls sideways, hops up, and knees the guard's jawline, making sure to swipe her lance when she is hit. Now armed with two weapons, he is ready for Serpen Kia's return. The humanoid shows no fear, however, and more than willingly entangles himself in a second clash of blades. Donnovan skillfully manipulates his two items and, when Serpen Kia attempts to simultaneously impale the sides of his neck, Donnovan knocks his scaly forearms away with the sword and lance, digs the two on the ground, and holds onto them while completely twirling his body in a vertical 360 and booting Serpen Kia into two incoming guards. The camera rapidly pans further on. Elandra has thrown herself into the horde of guards. She takes full evasive action against the many edges and blows coming at her from all sides. Ducking, reeling, and leaping over sudden low swipes, she remains unscratched long enough take down two of them with subsequent slashes from her Sais. As soon as she brings the second victim down, one of the guards grabs a hold of her left wrist and hurls her backward. She begins to fall inches away from a waiting guard and, midair, places him in a headlock and uses his body to break her fall and put him out of commission for the time being. Two still-standing sentry charge. Elandra picks up the fallen guard and, with a high kick to the back of his head, uses him as a hindering tool by sending him tumbling forward and sharing the effect with the looming attackers. Elandra runs in the opposite direction, takes care of two more guards with a sequence of duck-and-slash, and finally reaches Donnovan. ELANDRA He's outside. I thought you'd like
an extra pair of blades. Elandra is presented with a quick beam and nod from Donnovan that makes more than obvious his gratitude; but there is no time for verbal thanks when Sabre uses a new home as his punching bag, panicky civilians running for their lives.
EXT. DIMENTIA - MOUNT FALCAR - AFTERNOON The stands are nearly empty; two fighters dressed in Egyptian like attires leave their seats, talking to one another, and leaving Lara as the only life form still there. The spy's sapphire eyes take in the sight before her. On the far right, near the remains of a fallen mountain wall, Mace continues to withstand the praises of his fellow Earthlings. In the opposite region, a hover-car has arrived to take away the loser of the latest fight as his Heiligian comrades express their concern and condolences. More to Lara's interest, Logan is among them. Like a spy itself, the screen captures a seductive smile by Miss Dalton before she struts off in the direction of the next target of her hazardous appeal. During her lonesome journey through the fragments of Mount Falcar, Lara does not think twice about purposively catching Mace's attention from a distance and dazzling him with a show of her pearly-whites. Yet she continues on without a second gesture of congratulations and takes a new seat in the stands closer to the Heiligians. The hover-car takes off with Zale. Logan and Millena watch with a frown. Always quick to take advantage of small chances, Lara motions to Logan with a fragile wave of her left fingers. MILLENA Just pretend you didn't see anything. LOGAN How can I not? Millena angrily gives up on the discussion before it begins. MILLENA You know what, just do whatever you want! You wanna go drink poison, be my guest. Logan gladly obliges. MILLENA (CONT'D) (to the Heiligians) Let's get back to the Dwelling.
Nothing else that matters here. Lara watches as Logan strides forth confidently, with a slacker demeanor that boasts little fret. He sits beside her. Yeah? LOGAN
LARA Is that seriously how you're gonna greet me? LOGAN (chuckling) I don't have much time, that's why. LARA You have as much time as you want! You're a grown little boy. She manages to draw a larger grin on the "prince's" face. LARA (CONT'D) But let's leave playful discussions for another time. I have something to discuss with you... something that plays very much to your interests. Logan's grin becomes suspicious and inquisitive. Lara leans closer to him ever so slightly. LARA (CONT'D) How thankful would you be if I handed you Viro on a silver platter? Master Akio drags his former pupil away for an interim and much-deserved interval from the slowly-diminishing crowd. MASTER AKIO Mace, I ask that we return to the Dwelling at once. I must have an honest conversation with you before Pyrros announces your leave. MACE Sure... alright. The once-playful aspect of Logan darkens. LOGAN How do you know about Viro's existence? LARA That freak attempted to break into the Dimentian Fortress. I had him
imprisoned and questioned. He is at my mercy as we speak. LOGAN Why would he want to break into that bastard's fortress? The not-so-subtle insult hinders Lara's reply as she blinks thrice and cringes her lips as if suppressing an unrelated retort. LARA The fortress is filled with the best weaponry Dimentia has to offer. Obviously, he wanted such advantage to himself. Maybe you'd also like to know what information I was able to draw from the creature? Logan leaves his seat. LOGAN I'm not the least bit interested in any kind of information. I already know all I should about Viro. The only remaining step is his death. Lead me to him. Lara's serene complexion never falters. Her reaction to Logan's passionate anticipation is a perceptive nod. LARA What of your sister? I'm sure she'd love to tear one of the freak's limbs herself. LOGAN (scoffing) You're wrong. Millena's kindness is exaggerated beyond belief. She'd much rather help Viro than put an end to his life like he deserves. LARA I see... well, we can't just walk off without your sister's consent, otherwise she'd be after you in a heartbeat. Why don't you announce your leave to her? I'll wait here.
EXT. DIMENTIA - VALORA - AFTERNOON Two jets of green light tear past the shoulders of three Dimentian guards and rush forward at Donnovan. He hops out of harm's way with two fluid sidesteps, but Maverick leaps
closer and the third jet comes into view too shortly after the second; Donnovan's torso is shrouded in green and he is flung into the wood pillar of a small, one-story house. The column's core begins to shatter and threaten to fall apart. Dropping out of the sky now is Serpen Kia with a frenetic glare in his eyes. His mouth parts to form a depth of pointed teeth that pelt with the sole purpose of penetrating Donnovan's flesh. Serpen Kia's rebellious opposition rolls out of the way, and the mystical monster chomps down on the pillar instead. As he spits out chunks of wood, the structure falls apart and, consequently, the house caves in. Donnovan looks on with gaping eyes that are alert for signs of a life lost, but the moment of waiting is shortened when Serpen Kia goes in for the kill again with three, speedy high kicks. Donnovan bounds back and returns with a two-legged sweep. His boots fail to knock the claw-filled feet off the floor, and a green fist is soon enough being thrown. Donnovan's right cheek reddens with the collision, as his left one would had he not cocked his head to evade Serpen Kia's other fist and caught it with both hands. Donnovan's right leg flies up and wallops Serpen Kia's snout. The latter is now sent falling face-first to the ground, Donnovan having pulled his arm back while jumping overhead. The attacker assumes his fighting stance and prepares for the reptilian to redo the same... until he is unexpectedly clouted in the side of his neck by a magenta-toned footwear. Donnovan falls on top of the rubble belonging to the destroyed home. As the dust clears, he looks up at Bianca's scowl, being backed up equally by Serpen Kia's. Donnovan and Bianca seem to share a moment of realization, halted by Maverick, who forces his way into a spot closest to the fallen warrior. MAVERICK (to Donnovan) Like all the 'heroes' before, you are destined to fall. Surrender yourself now and perhaps your ruler will have pity on you. Donnovan stands and grips his sword intensely, courageously defying the presence of the three generals. MAVERICK (CONT'D) Fool! You deem yourself capable of defeating two of Dimentia's top fighters and the world's most renowned sorcerer with that sharp toy? Maverick's declaiming utterances are blurred out of existence when Donnovan looks past the necromancer and sees a woman and
her child sneaking their way past and out of direct view of the sea of guards, then entering an abandoned house. MAVERICK (CONT'D) Buying yourself time with silence? The guards in Donnovan's sight scatter when yet another terrible roar, louder than usual, sounds through Valora. With stomping footsteps, Sabre invades the scene with towering monstrosity and tackles the house harboring the woman and son. Donnovan is horrified. MAVERICK (CONT'D) I grow tired of this. (to Bianca and Serpen Kia) Kill him! The second Bianca and Serpen Kia reach for their respective weapons, a persistent shout fuels Donnovan's charge. The two generals attack together. Donnovan attentively obstructs his adversaries' sharpened swipes, but is pushed further and further back while Sabre continues his rampage. We now see Bianca and Serpen Kia drive their weapons forward with a similar movement. Donnovan avoids the slashing advance, sets his sword's blade above the other two's weapons, then thrusts it down into the rubble, thus disabling the generals for a single instant. He then turns his back to them and performs a reverse roll on the debris, synchronically kicking Bianca and Serpen Kia away. The two fall, and Donnovan goes after his last big obstacle: Maverick. As soon as the necromancer realizes what is going on before him, he summons his serpent staff. Inside the silver snake's jaws, a black-and-green beacon takes shape and grows larger and larger. But when it is shot, Donnovan's sword nudges the staff. The projectile flies off, haywire, while Donnovan cuts Maverick's abdomen and flings him away. Not staying for the continuation of the three-on-one struggle, Donnovan now goes after the literally bigger target: Luther's hellish "pet". He reaches Sabre (after taking down the two guards who become aware of his presence) and drives his blade over the monster's ankle. Sabre bellows and spins around, popping two guards into the air as he does so. Donnovan stands facing looming death plastered in the shape of the giant. Sabre's right arm, resembling something close to a tree trunk, comes crashing down to squash the monster's disturber.
Donnovan takes off into a frantic run to his right; the wind whipping past his body gathers a greenish hue and his speed increases so that Sabre's open palm meets nothing but sandy soil, with such impact that the royal fighters standing nearby are blown away. Before Sabre can dig his ample claws out of the earth, Donnovan rushes back into action; the camera rises with him as he jumps atop the back of Sabre's hand and nimble steps take him across its arms as if it were a staircase. He has reached its upper arm when Sabre retains control of the limb, knocking Donnovan off-balance instantly. A gradual pace of time shows us the spectacle that is Donnovan, falling to the ground below, but at the same time, swinging his blade with undying hope of stopping the mountainous threat. The salvager blade opens a gash over the hard skin of Sabre's chest and midsection. The beast's explosive voicing is followed by Donnovan being pounded by what feels like a truck in the form of Sabre's fist. Cutting through invisible gases is Donnovan, helpless to save himself and stop the eventual wreck with a rock-made monument, which breaks into pieces just as Donnovan's bones come close to doing. He gets to his knees and groans, left hand clutching his back and face straining with cutting pain. He catches stammering breaths while leaning on his sword, reveling in this short while when none of Luther's forces have taken full notice of him. Then, a green flash. Donnovan lurches his weapon and defends himself from Maverick's projectile using his blade. The projectile denies obliteration: it wraps itself over Donnovan's blade and takes the form of a living, breathing, angry serpent. Donnovan slams his blade down, slicing the serpent in half before it lunges. And sure enough, here comes Maverick not longer after his tricky spell, Serpen Kia following a couple steps behind. Though aching all over, Donnovan gets to his feet and prepares to handle being outnumbered a second time. That is when a Sai glides past the screen and forces Serpen Kia to stop dead in his tracks and perform a desperate motion of his blade to block contact with the incoming weapon. Not a second following this movement, Elandra catches him with a dropkick. Maverick mutters a low incantation. From beneath Elandra's feet rises a black mass that levitates her into the air, then piles up above her and descends onto her body with extraordinary force. The Earth guide's back SLAMS against the hard terrain, defacing it. The next thing Elandra sees when the blur leaves her eyes is a silver snake looking down at her and preparing a projectile. Out of Maverick's staff it shoots, barely missing her when she pounces away from the collision and flies
forward from the minute explosion. She falls on her palms, but even before they touch the earth, Serpen Kia's kick nails her chin and flips her back into a fallen position. Elandra uses her Sai to drive Serpen Kia's blades away from her chest, then proceeds to sweep him and commence a weapon-based round of battle. Maverick faces Donnovan again... and sees no one. MAVERICK (CONT'D) He can't be allowed to recover! We had him! The camera pans over a small house on the parallel street. It seems intact for the most part, with the exception of a wide hole on its front wall. Donnovan climbs through it with much effort. About four seconds later, so does Bianca. We look over her shoulder to see Donnovan on the far side of a dusty, highly-damaged room, leaning on his sword and laboring to regain his breath. BIANCA Looks like I'm gonna be the only one responsible for your downfall. Donnovan turns and glares at her. DONNOVAN I'm sure your master would be very pleased with his cowardly slave for such an accomplishment. He might even remember your full name. BIANCA You insolent little-- I am one of his most revered fighters! I am as far from being a slave as I am from being a coward-DONNOVAN (voice rising) You are the most pitiful coward I have ever laid my eyes on! Were you to stand beside a pile of verminridden trash, I would not know the difference! Bianca steps closer menacingly. BIANCA How dare you refer to me with such words, you blabbering idiot! Donnovan snickers.
DONNOVAN You don't think I remember you? The girl's mad features soften. DONNOVAN (CONT'D) Years ago you wandered these very streets, looking for the next man with enough gold in his pocket to give your body up to... BIANCA It was how I survived... DONNOVAN Yet that is not why you are the worst type of coward Dimentia has ever been home to. You struggled like everyone else in this world... yet rather than upholding your honor and fighting to better your existence in the face of Luther's rule, you sold yourself to him in exchange for riches. How does it feel... deep down... to never have stopped being a whore! BIANCA YOU BASTARD! Bianca goes into a frenzy unlike we have ever witnessed before. She dodges Donnovan's blade and kicks his wrist, hard, so that it flies from his control, then follows it up with a straight punch and a reverse hopping kick. Donnovan blocks the punch, but his chest falls victim to the final strike and he is sent sliding across the unkept floorboard. Bianca flips forward. Donnovan rolls sideways and evades the descent of her heels, crossing his forearms to stop the next trio of kicks from fully landing while he stands back up. She throws her right fist. He falls back and grapples her closed hand. Bianca hurls her body upwards and, once up-side-down, kicks the air so as to propel herself toward the flooring and bring Donnovan (who is still holding her hand hostage) along for the decline. She is successful in smashing Donnovan against the plywood, and is agile enough to jump over his body before he can hand sweep her, but cannot stop him from quickly rolling forward and taking off with a flying knee to her back. Once she crashes down, Bianca sends both of her fans flying at Donnovan. He leaps onward, gyrating his body so that he cuts through the small gap of freedom in-between the two knife-like items, allowing them to zip past and sink into the wall. Bianca rises with an instantaneous axe-kick. Donnovan cups
his hands to cushion the momentum of the kick, then becomes fully defensive when Bianca unleashes a series of wayward punches. He catches one and counters with a swinging elbow, but Bianca has her payback when she wraps her left hand over Donnovan's forearm and flips him. She prepares to throw another punch while he's down, but Donnovan unpredictably knocks her into the spot right beside him with by swiping at her legs with his right arm. Following this move, Donnovan sits up, spins in place as if readying a break-dance, and nails Bianca with a two-legged kick that transfers the dancer to the other side of the room and into the opposite wall. There would be more to the encounter had there not sounded a deafening blow, and had Sabre not pummeled the roof of the house that exact moment. Seeing the enormous fists break through the already-fragile roofing, Donnovan runs into the nearest window and dives through the glass. By the time Bianca stands, the roof has already collapsed, and a sea of rock and concrete is coming to bash her skull. The countless remains reach her, flattening her into pink toned smoke. It seeps through the cracks of the rubble and gathers on top of them; Bianca embodies safely. She yelps and runs away when Sabre deals his final blow to the house before leaving for the next target of his destruction. BIANCA (CONT'D) (looking around) Damn it! Where the hell is he? Elandra arrives. ELANDRA Donnovan! Can you hear me? BIANCA Well, look who we have here. You really do butt into everything, don't you? Elandra finally takes notice of who is standing in the distance. ELANDRA What's the matter? Still sore over the beating and maybe even disappointed that you also failed to take down Donnovan? BIANCA I'd gulp down my words if I were you. There are no trees here to help you run away this time. ELANDRA Bring it on, eyesore.
Bianca growls furiously; the unfriendly vocalization is followed by something vibrating beneath the litter behind Elandra. Soon enough, her enchanted fans break free of their prison and spring forth at Donnovan's aid. When Elandra spins around, the fans are already mere inches from her. Nevertheless, she escapes them with a back-flip that comes not a moment too soon. Bianca snatches her fans midair, and lands a double-kick to Elandra, not giving her the chance to bounce back from the evasion. Elandra smashes against a particularly jagged remnant, but briskly retains her battle-ready posture. When she looks to Bianca, nothing but portions of a pink, gaseous substance remains; Bianca reappears behind Elandra with a low and high kick combo, failing to unbalance Elandra but managing to connect the final hit. Again, as Elandra's flight comes to an end, Bianca teleports behind her. Elandra stops Bianca's double-fisted clobber from reaching its end point this time, then uses her right leg to hurl Bianca overhead and into a pile of broken wood. Elandra withdraws the pair of Sais from her belt and plunges, blades-fist, at her foe. Bianca jumps out of the way in the nick of time, but Elandra hangs onto the offensive by kicking off from the protruding fragments and attaining enough propulsion to bang her right heel against Bianca's left cheek and repeat with her left heel to knock Luther's general down. Elandra lands on her feet and hurls a Sai at Bianca, who hastily opens up her fan when the blade nears and creates an effective shield. Donnovan nears the whimpering trio of a woman, her husband, and a small girl, all three who are looking at Sabre with heart-wrenching fear and cowering amid a fallen pub. DONNOVAN You must leave the community at once! It's not safe here anymore! Tell anyone you see to leave Valora's grounds and make west for Zalman! SMALL GIRL (sobbing) But the monster's gonna eat us if he sees us! DONNOVAN Run in the opposite direction and don't look back! I promise I won't let him get you... Go, go! HUSBAND Thank you...
The tear-smeared family takes off as far from Sabre's path as possible. In contrast, Donnovan heads for the beast again. Luther's guards set fire to the garden to his left, but he pays no mind; his path is set. Suddenly, his legs glue together and he falls over, chest smacking against the rough terrain high miles per hour. He looks at his bound feet; a longish, pink tongue has coiled around his boots, stemming from the open jaws of Serpen Kia, standing on a rooftop. Serpen Kia's hands sway in a complex succession and, taking a page out of Maverick's book, a foggy, translucent green projectile forms amid his dancing limbs and is shot like a demonic missile at the vulnerable mark. Donnovan is released, but only so that he may skid further when swatted by Serpen Kia's magic. Sabre stops cutting down a group of trees halfway through the job and looks to the left... sniffs... we notice he has seen the refugees trying to make it out of Valora alive in the near horizon. Glad to trade chunks of wood and leaf for fresh meat, he begins his stampede toward the runaways. DONNOVAN No! Stop! Donnovan runs after Sabre a second time. Still alert, Serpen Kia's elastic tongue flies out yet again with a loud SNAP and knocks Donnovan down a second time by trapping his feet. An enraged Donnovan raises his sword as Serpen Kia prepares a second spell and, anon, divides his hinderer's tongue in two. Serpen Kia lets out a high-pitched, abhorrent scream of burning pain as green liquid and smoke jet out like a fountain from his severed tongue. He falls back. Maverick spurts on the rooftop beside Serpen Kia by stepping out of a small, lime-green portal. He looks down at his creation, a bit queasy. MAVERICK Calm yourself. You're fine. The missing half of Serpen Kia's tongue regenerates with many last drops of blood and verdant smoke. SERPEN KIA Master, we must leave Valora. It has been almost entirely destroyed, and there are more important things at hand than extending the suffering of whoever is still alive. MAVERICK What "things" could you possibly be
referring to? SERPEN KIA An odd discovery. But should we stay amid the chaotic rampage of the beast, it is unlikely I will be able to share it with you.
INT. DIMENTIA - ABANDONED BUILDING - AFTERNOON Though the slow-sinking sun can still be seen through a small window of the abandoned building, it sheds little light in the gloomy interior in which nothing resides but a weakened Viro. The humanoid is slumped against the furthest wall, oxygen mask partially shattered and muffling, with little effectiveness, his labored breathing. The front door opens, allowing some extra light inside. Viro can do little more than guide his eyes to the threshold. Lara enters. LARA Should I let you get some sunlight? Viro answers with more raspy inhales and exhales. Lara leaves the door open and walks further into the room. LARA (CONT'D) You don't look so happy for someone who is still alive after staring death in the face. VIRO What is the difference... when I am... dying slowly... Lara's left eyebrow arches as a result of her lacking concern. VIRO (CONT'D) In my lair I had... everything I needed to survive... but in here... I have nothing. I am beyond feeble. If you leave me again... I will die... LARA Well, I am not sorry to say that, as promised, your lair has been completely "cleaned out". Even if you did return to it, you'd find little scraps of what once was. But if it makes you feel any better, I am putting your incredible technology to great use. I wouldn't
be surprised if I managed to increase my already-far-reaching abilities when my researchers finish their jobs. VIRO Damn you... you soulless witch... LARA (false surprise)
VIRO You exploit everything I have worked... so hard to achieve in secrecy... while I lie here... inches away from death... because of YOU! Viro jumps into a standing position and falls, hard, against the wall. LARA Ugh, you're like a bad circus act. Have a seat. She paces around the spacious, vacant room while Viro returns to his horrid condition. LARA (CONT'D) This "soulless witch" has some good news to alleviate your suffering. You will be returning to Heilig very soon. I'm sure you'll manage to survive there. VIRO I will not return to Heilig... until Logan and Millena are dead... or I die first. LARA Well, that's the good news, buddy! We can see a tiny glimpse of intrigue in Viro's powerless (but still disturbing) face. LARA (CONT'D) I have located and led Logan to the small clearing not far from this building. VIRO How can I defeat that so-called prince when it would take little to kill ME! LARA
(sternly) If you let me finish my fucking good news, you won't need to interrupt me with stupidity again! VIRO You mean... LARA I've done half of your job for you. Logan is beaten. He stains the leaves scattered on the earth with his blood as we speak, just waiting for YOU to deal the final blow. Viro struggles to stand, but does not break down this time. VIRO You've defeated Logan! I... don't know what to say. But why? Why would you want me to return... to Heilig now that... I have become a puppet in your hands? LARA No offense, but you're the worst servant I have ever had in my lifetime. You're irritating, you're rebellious, and you're not the best guy to look at everytime I give out an order. Not to mention that I've already taken from you every useful thing you could ever give me. With all honesty, I think you're better off far, far away from my world. VIRO Makes sense. I think it's safe to say that we're both... very content with this finality. LARA And how. Now walk. We have little time to reach Logan before he regains conscience, and I am sure as hell not carrying you.
EXT. DIMENTIA - CLEARING - CONTINUOUS Lara steps through a skyward, amber-toned plant and onto a clearing. LARA Hurry up! Viro hangs onto the ascending axis of the plant and walks
into our view. He limps ahead of Lara and surveys the clearing inquisitively. VIRO Where is Logan's body? Lara smiles wickedly. It is none other than Logan himself who now enters the scene, stepping up beside Lara, a walking example of perfect health. He taps Viro on the shoulder and batters his face with a firm haymaker. Viro topples over. LOGAN You're mine now, bastard! Nowhere to run to this time! VIRO What? But... how? Logan fills his palms with the front of Viro's attire and raises him to his eye-level. Viro groans in pain. LARA Did you really think I'd help a despicable creature like you? You should never have told me you were after Logan and his sister, Viro. Don't you know how much I hate treacherous people like you? She grins and winks at Viro from behind Logan. VIRO (to Lara) You... backstabbing... she-devil! LARA I'm doing you a favor, really. A quick death in the place of rotting in the Fortress dungeons for your invasion! VIRO Invasion? Dungeons? What? Logan hurls Viro into the nearest trunk of a tree. As if the wood had dug into an open wound, the latter howls. Logan readies his fists and permits gradual, threatening steps to guide him toward Viro. VIRO (CONT'D) (to Logan) I am weak! I am in no condition... to defend myself! You will kill me with such... lack of honor? Without a fair fight? LOGAN We already had our fair fight,
remember? I'm just doing now what you stopped me from doing last time. Viro pushes himself up, grabs his syringe, and (with much work) raises it above his head and prepares to impale Logan. The moment he drives the weapon forward, Logan ably breaks his attack and counteracts with a bone-crushing uppercut that pops Viro up. Logan flips backward and nails his victim's back with a bicycle kick, boosting Viro mask-first into the center of the clearing. Viro lands mere feet away from Lara. He can hear her resounding laughter as his body is dominated by deathwelcoming pain. VIRO You... I'll kill you... if it's the last thing I do! He crawls after Lara, roaring with fury. Lara continues giggling like a schoolgirl during playtime with a friend, and simply hops backwards to escape Viro's reach. LARA Oh, my, getting feisty even in his last moments! (lowering her voice) Stay the hell away from me, Viro, or I'll crack your skull with my boot! Logan has now reached Viro, and flings him away from Lara as if taking out the trash. VIRO Listen to me! She's my aid! She's the one who gave me the lair you broke into, the one who's been helping me plot your death since I arrived in this forsaken world! Lara scoffs. LARA (to Logan) I told you he'd pin something like that on me out of desperation. He's obviously hateful since I led him to the one person whose blood he wanted to spill, and because I made sure his stay in my dungeons was as unpleasant as it could be. VIRO Don't trust that lying traitor! She feigns any affection for you or your sister!
Logan picks Viro up by the collar again. LOGAN All that matters to me is that she brought you here, and now I can do whatever I damn well please! VIRO NO! SHE IS THE EPITOME OF DECEPTION! SHE WAS MY AID! SHE DESERVES TO DIE WITH ME! LOGAN Will you shut up! Logan smacks his right hand against Viro's midsection. An emerald flash of light, and Viro creates a shallow hole on the ground with the force with which he drops. Logan withdraws his blade. VIRO (shouting to Lara) Traitor! The time will come when you will pay for this! She unsuccessfully stifles laughter. VIRO (CONT'D) You hear me? May you die a thousand deaths for this! LARA Logan, finish him! Rid us both of his pitiful threats! Viro attempts to stand back up, but with a swift kick to the chest, Logan clouts him back down and raises his sword for the final blow. MILLENA (O.S.) Stop! Millena runs into the clearing and immediately guides Logan's armed hand down. A number of Heiligian guards follow. MILLENA (CONT'D) Logan, don't do this. You don't know who you're killing. LOGAN Of course I do! It's the son of a bitch who wants to do the same to the both of us! MILLENA We know nothing about him, Logan. There is something about his past
that's driven him to act this way, and we must find out what. LOGAN Are you asking me to let him live and give him the chance to attack us again? MILLENA He will not attack anyone ever again. He will be apprehended here and now, and brought back to Heilig. His fate will be decided by father, as is the fate of all Heiligians who stray from the law! LOGAN He deserves death. MILLENA Everyone deserves justice. She gently takes the weapon from her brother's hand and puts it away while looking deep in his eyes with sincerity and certainty. MILLENA (CONT'D) (to the guards) This... man... is to be taken and brought to the prison in the territory of Ilona in Melchior, where he will await trial. The guards get right to it. Viro refuses to put up the slightest fight or defiance, head bowed with the air of someone who is already half-dead. Lara does not look one bit happy as she watches Viro being taken away. Millena gapes at her curiously, but suspiciously. LOGAN Give it a rest, Millena. She's the one who led Viro here under my request. MILLENA And how did this kind and helpful soul come across Viro? LARA Like I told your brother, he broke into the Dimentian Fortress and was incarcerated and questioned. I could've left him there, but instead decided to put him to good use.
MILLENA How generous of you. It relieves me to know that you are, indeed, not the "secret aid" Viro once mentioned. The two girls share the same angry stare; eyes of cautious luminosity glaring into a pair of deceptive voids. In the form of a catalyst, Lara taps the air beside Millena's right shoulder without making contact, signaling for the Heiligian to step aside in the same manner as one would shoo a pesky fly. Millena does so and leaves with an unpleasant expression to give further orders to her guards. Lara approaches Logan. LARA My work here is done, and I refuse to stay a second longer and give your gracious sister the chance to verbally assault me further. Viro is now at your mercy. What is done with him from hereon is none of my concern. She leans closer and her dialogue becomes grave. LARA (CONT'D) I just hope, whatever his fate is, it takes him very far away from myself and Dimentia. I'd hate to have released this creature only to have it return in freedom. LOGAN Viro is done for, one way or another. Millena won't say this, but I will: thank you. LARA I'll see you around... She looks to Millena and finds the latter looking right back. In a mocking gesture, Lara blows her a kiss goodbye, taunting Millena into a furious head shake. Turning back to Logan, Lara plants her kissed fingers on his cheek with a gentle caress before strutting off.
INT. EARTH DWELLING - MACE'S HOUSING - NIGHT The sky visible through the open kitchen window has gone from orange to navy blue. Oversized constellations watch over Master Akio, who is taking the flask sent to him by Pyrros
from the cabinet above the refrigerator. He leaves the kitchen, concoction in hand, and walks into the much-brighter living room, where Mace and Leona sit opposite each other. MASTER AKIO I deem this as good a time as any to savor this miraculous drink so kindly given to me by Pyrros. I hope you won't mind me not sharing it; the effects of it on anyone but myself are negatively unpredictable. MACE So that little blue water is the key to your immortality. MASTER AKIO I dislike referring to myself as immortal, Mace. The master takes the empty couch to himself. MASTER AKIO (CONT'D) This concoction simply keeps my mind and my combat skills at their peak as the years go by, rendering time unable to do with me as it wishes. I am happy to live such a life and serve a purpose in this amazing tournament until I am no longer needed and my soul may ascend. He takes a lengthy sip from the undulating flask. Through its translucent bottom he notices the foreboding eyes of Leona watching him in guarded wonder. He flashes her a big smile. Leona slowly looks away and to the door. As if on cue, it opens. Drake steps in. DRAKE Sorry to bother you, but... He stops and gapes at the item in Master Akio's hands. DRAKE (CONT'D) ...I just came to... He blinks and changes gaze to Mace. DRAKE (CONT'D) ...congratulate you properly! You were surrounded by fans back at the arena and I didn't get a chance to let you know how great of a fight
that was. A precedent to be followed by the rest of us, if I may say so myself. MACE That's nice of you. Thanks... MASTER AKIO (to Drake) Forgive me, but I must speak in private with Mace. Would you be so understanding as to allow us the chance? DRAKE Sure... why not? I'll talk to you some other time, Mace. Drake glances at Leona and sees nothing but her left cheek as she chooses to watch a painting rather than allow him the chance for a formal goodbye. DRAKE (CONT'D) Okay... He steps back through the doorway he once came through and closes it with a light push. Leona studies the door for five full seconds, then rises from her seat, walks over, and reopens it. LEONA Will you be done admiring the frame anytime soon? Mace's and Master Akio's clueless casts disappear when Drake responds to Leona from directly behind the door. DRAKE Yeah, I'm already gone. The door closes again.
EXT. EARTH DWELLING - CONTINUOUS DRAKE (to himself) Unbelievable... He shakes his head in annoyed disbelief and leaves the scene.
INT. EARTH DWELLING - MACE'S HOUSING - CONTINUOUS Leona climbs up the steps to the second floor of the housing.
LEONA I'll assume the "private conversation" has nothing to do with me and leave you two. I'll make sure everything's set for our little excursion. She almost glides up the rest of the stairs with silent steps. The disappearance of Leona into the second landing and the minute SNAP of Akio's flask hitting the glass coffee table indicates a solemn exchange of words is about to take place. Master Akio focuses on Mace with a grave air about him. MACE Suddenly, you don't look too happy. Are you still worried about the trip into Heilig? MASTER AKIO My trust and confidence in you leaves no place for worry as you undertake your selfless mission. MACE Then what's going on? You're starting to make ME worried. What could you possibly be so down about? I just won my first tournament fight, we should be still celebrating, not sulking. MASTER AKIO Mace, I want to give you a warning. Master Akio's grim countenance is finally reflected on his former pupil. MACE Warning? Against what? MASTER AKIO There is a shadow looming and prowling around you. It clearly plots your downfall while you remain blind to see it. MACE Master Akio, I've always found your philosophies to be very insightful, but I think this is a good time to cut down on it. MASTER AKIO Then allow me to be specific. I speak of the Dimentian I
encountered in your housing. Mace unexpectedly grins and relaxes in his cushioned seating. MACE I think you're exaggerating a bit, honestly. She's just a friend I made among this... insane part of my life I got dragged into. MASTER AKIO How I wish it was this simple. I believe she has done more than simply offer you friendship; spoken to you about things no average "friend" would speak of, which is what drew you into her web in the first place. Beat. MASTER AKIO (CONT'D) What words has she whispered to you that blinded you to deception? Mace swallows uncomfortably. He takes long to reply. MACE She met my father during the last tournament. Lara helped me find out how he died. MASTER AKIO And how was that? MACE She... found out by overhearing her emperor's private conversations that... my father was killed by someone hired to do so. Someone from Heilig. MASTER AKIO You, stunningly enough, underestimate your father's capabilities. Someone as skilled and aware as he was would not be taken down so easily by a simple sneak-attack from an unknown. MACE Are you saying she lied to me about everything? MASTER AKIO Mace, you came into this world with nothing on your mind but uncovering the details of Jonathan's death.
You were so starving for any information that you almost unintentionally believed the first story someone was willing to feed you. It is not your fault. But if you continue to play the puppet in her deceitful hands... then you will have no one to blame but yourself.
SLOW ZOOM INTO MACE Master Akio's words hit him like icy projectiles that freeze him in place, leaving him unmoving despite his slacking posture. MACE How do you know she's lying? You don't know how my father died, either. MASTER AKIO You have never doubted my sagaciousness before, and neither have I ever given you reason not to. Mace's indecisive eyes drift along the surfaces of the furniture. MASTER AKIO (CONT'D) When that woman approached me that day, I felt something unlike I have ever felt in my innumerable years of life. This very room vanished and was replaced by intense and evil darkness that followed in her stride. I felt a void in my very soul when she looked into my eyes. Her beauty is enchanting, but those eyes... they are a portal to hell itself, Mace. That woman is driven by malevolence and deadly selfishness. She will allow you to sink further and further into the abyss of her trickery as long as she is drawing something from it. Master Akio makes unswerving eye contact with Mace. His expression is sad... pleading. MASTER AKIO (CONT'D) I beg of you as a friend... perhaps as a second father if you so accept it: take this evil out of your life, Mace. Surround yourself only
by your true allies. Beat. MASTER AKIO (CONT'D) You will discover everything about Jonathan's death if your destiny allows it, and in time. I have never been so desperate in begging that you listen to me... and trust me. The weight of an indiscernible something weighs heavy on Mace's mind. He is left in an almost brain-shattering, pensive state of mind.
EXT. DIMENTIA - VALORA - NIGHT A woman dressed in a torn sundress faces the screen with terror and tear-inducing horror written all over her body language. She lets out a frightened scream and runs off. A group of Valora's citizens of all ages follow, none looking even the slightest bit better. It is not hard to see why: behind them comes Sabre, enjoying himself with each structure he tears down and each innocent life he takes. Sabre plunges his talon-like nails into the nearest man and raises him into the air, the victim's blood creating a small river on the cracked pavement. The man utters his last scream as he stares into the monstrous face of Luther's pet. The destructive giant opens his mouth, where at least four more victims would fit. Then it happens: the pavement beneath Sabre's elongated feet separates down the middle and opens up to reveal a fresh-made tunnel in the earth. It grows larger before Sabre can leave the spot, and he falls into the unforeseen hole. The earth closes up again, surrounding Sabre on all sides and locking the beast in place from his chest down. In the commotion, the man's limp and bloody corpse falls to the concrete. Donnovan races into the scene. Seeing the man's perforated body on fuels his animosity. Sabre swings his huge arms at Donnovan. The latter aptly avoids impact with the oversized limbs and claws through nimble jumps and swift rolls. He finally kicks off the pavement and springs forth at Sabre, dealing two deep gashes to the hide. We can almost see the air gushing from Sabre's flaring nostrils in a physical show of his growing fury, right before he releases a roar so vociferous that it might tear the skin from a human's very flesh. Donnovan is unfortunate enough to not be far from Sabre's gaping jaws; the intensity is enough to knock the rebel off his feet until
he slams into the half-shredded brick wall across from a headless rock statue. In the blink of an eye, the camera pans many yards away to find Luther watching Sabre from afar and drowning in his own anger. I knew it! LUTHER
He revolves in place, slowly, yelling out in a thunderous voice that carries out into the night sky effortlessly. LUTHER (CONT'D) (shouting) Reveal yourself, Spirit! You will cower in the shadows, aiding the criminal, rather than opposing MY will with honor? Face me and then face the wrath of your comrades, who will purge you from your existence for your insolent interference! Pyrros gives Luther no visible proof of his presence. LUTHER (CONT'D) To hell with this! He calls out to his men and women, scattered across Valora, the once-upholding community, now ruins of what once was. LUTHER (shouting) This attack has come to an end! Valora is no more, and all of Dimentia will soon know the extent of my power! I order you all to return to the Fortress at once... but bring Donnovan and the Earthling's head with you! In reply, the Dimentian soldiers send Luther a barbaric cry and begin their search for Donnovan and Elandra. Donnovan is back at the sight of one of the first homes Sabre crushed with brutal ease. He is on his knees, freeing a trapdoor on the dusty ground from large bricks and chunks of wood, while someone frantically raps at it from underground. Soon enough, the trapdoor opens. Out comes the woman and her young child (crying incessantly), both of whom we'd previously seen fleeing into this very home. Donnovan takes the child in his arms so that the woman may climb out. DONNOVAN Come! I will lead you to the group heading west for Zalman!
Elandra rushes into view. She is bruised all over what can be seen of her skin, with a few simple cuts on the upper region of her neck and left arm. ELANDRA Donnovan, we have to get out of here! Luther just ordered every one of his men to forget Valora and take us down! They'll all try to kill us on sight! All of a sudden, we hear a swishing sound growing louder. Elandra ducks just as a feathery, bladed fan travels above her head. DONNOVAN Look out! He takes the refugee woman's arm and tugs, pulling her away; the fan slices many strands of her hair, but she is otherwise unharmed, and the fan simply meets a hunk of wall and ceases flight. WOMAN Thank you! Thank you so much! ELANDRA Oh, damn it! Elandra and Donnovan have noticed that Bianca is the first of Luther's generals who is going to give killing them a go; she is running full speed at them, preparing her second blade for a throw. ELANDRA (CONT'D) (to Donnovan) Get the woman and the kid out of here! I'll hold her off! DONNOVAN Come on! Donnovan takes the woman's hand, her child still in his arms, and leads the two away not a moment too soon. Elandra bounds when Bianca's fallen fan returns to its owner, making another attempt at wounding the target it missed a few seconds ago. The Earthling lands and instantly readies her Sais, Bianca jointly retaining her own weapon. Elandra puts her left Sai through Bianca's right fan, then does the same to the remaining fan when Bianca attacks with it. A kick to the Dimentian's gut disentangles the four objects. Elandra keeps going with an unproductive leg sweep and a hopping heel that is ducked under. Bianca's dual side-jabs are thwarted by Elandra's defense,
but when Elandra throws her own hook, Bianca grabs her opposition's hand and regressively capers her body so that Elandra flips through air and gains enough speed to crash, hard and stomach-down, on the wall fragments. Bianca jogs after her, intending to dig her deeper into the countless pieces with a falling heel to the back. Elandra escapes with a twirl and sends a Sai to Bianca, which is knocked away with a showy movement of a fan. Elandra sends the second Sai not long after; with a simple step to the right, Bianca positions herself to successfully catch it as well... yet she doesn't count on what comes flying her way next, and receives a feet-first hit to the torso, granted she has control over her attacker's Sais. Bianca falls on her back, but gets right back up and is more then ready for Elandra as she comes her way. The dancer goes into a defensive stance, but is hit by something before Elandra is even within a leg's distance: a dominant gust of wind like a brewing cyclone that takes her away until she has become an angry, shouting pink speck in the horizon. Elandra looks around, bewildered. Pyrros takes form alongside her. His body is almost entirely hidden by an extremely strong, heavenly light; if he was not so close, Elandra might have mistaken him for a supernatural apparition. PYRROS Even I might not be able to save you when Luther's servants close in at once. Leave the fighting aside. It is time to leave. Every moment you stay is another chance to die. The celestial aura spreads and forms what could be seen as a shield to conceal Elandra from view. PYRROS (CONT'D) Hurry! I will help as I can. Elandra takes off. Pyrros sinks into the light, which resumes the guide's safekeeping.
INT. DIMENTIAN FORTRESS - BIANCA'S BEDROOM - THE NEXT MORNING Bianca cools off on the stool in front of the large, oval mirror on the wall. She nonchalantly smooths her fingernails with a nail file while occasionally glancing at her reflection. Her struggles during Luther's attack on Valora had left their mark on her cheeks and other parts of her body, though these reminders of her efforts were clearing up nicely.
She blows on her nails and admires the results of her actions, from the straight ridges of the nails to the vibrant purple painted on the topsides. She smiles proudly and wipes off some of the excess over the cloth laid out on the ebony desk. Then her ears pick up on a strange sound coming from her right, near the door of the bedroom; a sound like uncommon, powerful zephyrs blowing against one another in a low-toned hum, almost like a fire being started and picking up speed. She looks over. A group of ghostly black and silver mists are seeping into the room from the keyhole and the opening on the top and bottom of the door. BIANCA What in the hell... She puts down her nail file, gets off the stool, and almost reluctantly walks over to the door, squinting at the growing mists as they intertwined. She leans closer... Boo! LARA
Bianca practically swoops down onto her bed like a magnet, heart pounding from the scare. She only realizes that Lara had materialized within the foggy phenomena when she hears the distinct, derisive laughter she knew so well. She growls and hurls two pillows at Lara, which only powers up the spy's giggles. LARA (CONT'D) Oh, God... I'm already regretting having to send your ass back to whatever crappy hole you crawled out of. Bianca takes two deep breaths and straightens her hair, part of which had become wiry and fallen over her eyes during her sudden leap. BIANCA (gritted teeth) You won't have to! I did what you wanted, okay? LARA Really? She sits down on Bianca's bed and becomes immobile. Bounces on top of it once. Makes a disgusted face. LARA (CONT'D) What is this mattress made out of? Wood?
BIANCA Please stop with the jokes! Do you want to know what Vice is hiding from you or not? LARA This better be good. Another sigh from Bianca. BIANCA Vice says that IS someone conspiring against Luther. LARA I already knew that. Shall I start thrashing your now-useless bedroom right away? BIANCA That's not all! Hell, you don't miss one chance to beat people down, do you? Vice also said that whomever is conspiring against Luther is after some "keys". Lara's lips part slightly in the moment of enlightenment. LARA (in disbelief) No... BIANCA What? What do these "keys" mean? Rather than clarification, Bianca receives a very haughty up and-down stare of repugnance. LARA What would I tell YOU for? You need to go back to being some random Dimentian and stop trying to act like you're important in this place! She stands, gently taps her proportioned rear as if sitting on the bed dirtied her outfit, throws her flowing hair behind her shoulders, and walks out of the room. Bianca rolls her eyes and sinks into the sheets of her bed as if mortally wounded. BIANCA Unbelievable...
INT. DIMENTIAN FORTRESS - CONTINUOUS
Lara turns the Fortress halls into her own private catwalk, pacing through them with full-bodied movements that habitually catch the attention of the more daring guards patrolling the place. A few even stop and keep their eyes glued to her back as she walks past them, then quickly turning around and returning to their affairs when it seems the soon-to-be-empress might turn and see them. The two guards standing on either side of an entrance roam Lara's body with their hungry eyes as she walks by. GUARD #1 I'd risk a public beheading to get inside those curves just once. GUARD #2 She'd castrate you with her blades here and now if she heard you talk about her like that. You know how snooty she is, could fool anyone into thinking she's still an innocent virgin after all this time. The two laugh. GUARD #1 That is one lucky ruler of the world. Son of a bitch... GUARD #2 Hey, take it from me: don't even speak to Lara if she doesn't speak to you first. She'll emasculate you with nothing but words, and I speak from experience. If it's "fun" that you want, you're better off chasing the other female general of Luther's. Unlike the emperor's "babe", she might give it up rather than slice you in half if you try to flirt. Lara arrives on the landing atop the grand staircase of the entrance foyer. FOYER GUARD Excuse me, Miss Dalton. She stops and addresses the speaking guard. LARA Be quick about it. FOYER GUARD There is an outsider who wishes to speak with you. I will show him in
with your permission. Lara bites her lower lip cheerfully. LARA Mace. Sure, send him in. She descends the lavish, crimson, carpeted steps of the grand staircase as the Foyer Guard opens up the towering double doors. Lara's luminous smile goes out... Master Akio steps into the luxurious foyer. MASTER AKIO I am sorry to disappoint you, "your highness", but I am not who you clearly were expecting. LARA I can see that. You're much too aged and not half as handsome as Mace. Akio just smiles. MASTER AKIO True. Like most Earthlings, I age, and I am quick to admit any good looks I once had have been diminished over the decades. Lara's lips tilt in distaste for Akio's reaction to her comments. LARA Make it quick. MASTER AKIO I will not take up much of your time... Lara, is it? LARA Miss Dalton to you. MASTER AKIO Of course. I would like to request that our brief conversation be kept private. LARA Ugh, whatever. (to the Foyer Guard) Return to your post, and tell the others to stay put for now. FOYER GUARD
Yes, ma'am. He leaves. Lara peers at Master Akio with impatience. MASTER AKIO Miss Dalton, I am here simply with a message. Mace has been fully alerted to your evil. Impatience becomes fearful dubiety. MASTER AKIO (CONT'D) I have spoken to my former pupil and, wise as he is, he has listened to my words carefully and seen the truth behind them. I ask that you do not set foot in the Earth Dwelling again. It is a place of heroes and of kind-hearted souls, not to be tainted by your treachery or your temptress ways. LARA And who are you to tell a grown man like Mace what he should or should not do? As far as I know, his father kicked the bucket a long time ago. She says that last sentence with an evil smile. For the first time, Master Akio does not look one bit happy; one could even say there was an air of danger in his eyes. MASTER AKIO Mace considers me a second father. And don't you dare speak of Jonathan with such lack of respect. He was one of the most memorable champions to ever grace this tournament, and I will not have you insult his memory with your superior tone. Lara bursts into laughter, even holding her stomach as if she couldn't take the humor. LARA There is not an inch of me that fears a limp wretch such as yourself. The only thing I could possibly feel for you is pity to have to shatter your skull if you so much as dare stand in my way. MASTER AKIO Do not underestimate me, "Miss
Dalton". I have more years of training in the art of combat than you have of life. I avoid violence whenever possible, but will rely on my skills to protect those around me. LARA Well, let me tell you something, old man. Hands to her hips, she lazily steps closer and closer to Akio. LARA (CONT'D) YOU underestimate ME! I was champion of this whole damn tournament when I first started fighting in it, and the only reason your "star student" stole the title was because I was away from the competition at the time per request of the emperor. MASTER AKIO Last I remember, you DID face my "star student" in the tournament in which he died. And unless my mind falters, you lost. Lara looks ready to bite a chunk from Master Akio's throat. LARA A damn ring-out is no proof that that idiot Ryder is better than me. MASTER AKIO And I guess we will never know whether he WAS better or not, for he was murdered not long after his bout with you. Lara chuckles. LARA Are you implying that I had something to do with his death? MASTER AKIO I imply nothing, though you have a reputation around this world for being extremely self-absorbed. Perhaps losing, regardless of how, got to you more than it should. Her hand is a blur as it flies at Master Akio's collar and grabs it choking-tight. Akio's features remain unemotional as Lara glares at him with fire in her eyes.
LARA I grow tired of your pathetic assumptions, you decaying trash! She pushes him away. Akio regains balance with a single step. LARA (CONT'D) Leave my Fortress before I have you locked up. MASTER AKIO I will leave, my message is given. He shakes his head in disappointment. MASTER AKIO (CONT'D) I am surprised you don't feel sad with the way you are. LARA Why the frozen-over-hell would I feel sad? Lara runs her fingers through her hair from down to up, so that the lustrous, gold, and never-ending strands pop into the air and fall graciously back over her shoulders while she continues speaking in a ridiculing voice. LARA (CONT'D) I'm fucking beautiful, I'm the richest girl in this entire forsaken world, not to mention the most skilled fighter these poor people have ever had the honor of serving! I'm the most successful and happiest being you'll meet in all existence, old man, and rightfully so! MASTER AKIO It disheartens me to see someone with a dark soul... but it disheartens me even more when the soul is content in being dark. Lara raises her eyebrows while showing off a wide, taunting grin. Master Akio turns to leave. LARA Oh, and one more thing. He looks over his shoulder. LARA (CONT'D) Mace will continue to be drawn to
me, whether you like it or not. He is fully seduced, a fly in my web, and I will manipulate him as I please until he is nothing but a toy in my hands for me to do whatever I wish to. Akio finally smiles again. MASTER AKIO That is where you're wrong. Mace is beginning to find true companionship in another soul, and as I already mentioned, his eyes are finally open to who you really are. Whatever it is you were planning... it's all over. All over. It's he who now has the last smile, for when he turns his back on Lara, she is awe-struck. Master Akio reaches for the handle of the colossal double doors. A snake-like black whip severs the flesh of the back of his hand, drops of blood flying into the air from the clean cut. Master Akio swallows a groan of pain and clutches his injured hand. He turns to Lara, breathing hard. Her sapphire eyes are deadly. LARA No one defies me and walks away unharmed. Prepare for the worst and maybe last time of your miserable life.
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