I shook my head, trying to shake away my thoughts. So much had happened to me in the last few weeks that my head could hardly contain it all. I had discovered that my mother, Amelia Croft, had been dead for years, but had been preserved with poison from the Midgard Serpent. She had been a deranged zombie-like creature.
I was forced to shoot her.
My own mother.
I told myself that the poor skeletal woman that had stumbled towards me wasn't her, and the distorted, suffering creature I had shot had stolen her precious body. If this was not something of concerning enough gravity to deal with, the doppelganger had since returned after Alistair's death. I realised that the poor unfortunate beast of Natla's creation was not evil at all. In fact, it had been obedient to all of Natla's wishes. I demanded that it stop following orders. I think it did. I told it to make sure Natla suffered, and I yearned that these desires had been fulfilled. And on top of everything, Croft Manor had been consumed by fire. I don't know how but a large number of my father's books had been preserved. Little else had. I had lost most of my findings from all my various adventures, which saddened me still. The manor was in the process of restoration, but it would never again be the place I grew up, the memories have been destroyed in the tragic blaze. My thoughts were interrupted by Winston, my ever faithful man servant, who always assisted me in my times of need.
"Lady Croft, could I interest you in some coffee? You have been sat here for hours, and I think you are in need of refreshment."
"Yes Winston, thank you."
His footsteps died away, leaving me again in solitude. I felt as though I needed guidance. I hurriedly looked over my desk, and reached for a book, worn at the edges from hours of reading. My father's journal. I missed my father, he had always guided me, loved me. And I felt he was the only person I had ever met that had understood me completely. Winston always nodded politely at my schemes and ideas, but my father had been the only one to take real interest.
I began to flick through the old pages, when one line caught my eye. It was written with his findings on his first trip to Peru, when one of the men on the expedition had taken the bullet for my father from an enemy racing to the same artifact, The Gemstone of Hicona. In my father's familiar spidery writing, were the words:
'Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."
My father had never been a man of God, but I realised how true that saying was to everyone, whether they believed in God or not. It sparked something within me. I realised, that even if I had to battle yetis or defeat undead panthers, that Alistair Fletcher had better be ready.
Because I was returning to Avalon.
One last time.