We emerged from the shadows, hands linked, and beaming with triumph.
Thor looked over, smiling.
“You have done well, Lara. I bless you with Kurtis’ freedom.”
I was so happy I could have burst, but I did what I always did. Stay completely emotionless, at least most of the time.
“Thank you for your kindness, Thor.” We turned to leave, but a small cough alerted us that there was more to be said.
Alistair, Kurtis, the doppelganger and I were all waiting expectantly.
“Now for your wishes to be completely fulfilled there is a small matter of my desire.”
I suddenly remembered, and was nervously anticipating what he would say. He indicated that I should speak.
“Yes, most powerful god Thor, what is your desire?”
“I want the companion of a mortal, such as you. I feel that although you are lesser beings, I have things to learn from your kind. I desire you, Lara Croft.”
Inside, I gasped. I was to be owned by a god? Lara Croft was subject to no one! I replayed Thor’s words in my head. I was not going to accept this. I was about to speak, to try and reason with him, when to my surprise the doppelganger stepped forward.
“Thor, you can see that she cannot fulfill your request. From the little time I have lived on this earth, I have only glimpsed this strange thing known as emotion. From what I can see, Lara has strong feelings for this other mortal,” she pointed at Kurtis, “and so you see, high god, she cannot fulfill your desire. I have thought about this only briefly, but it makes perfect sense. I am the reason she ever came to Avalon. If I hadn’t taken the life of her great companion, this whole thing would never have come about. So, great god Thor, I plead with you, that instead of her, you would take me instead.”
My eyes were transfixed on the doppelganger. Had she just done that, for me?
She looked over, seeing my feelings.
“It’s the least I can do.” I saw a smile creep into the corner of her mouth.
Thor stood proudly, taking in the doppelganger’s words. There was an awkward silence.
Eventually, Thor spoke to her.
“I can find no reason not to accept your proposal.”
Inside I exploded with happiness. I ran to my twin, and embraced her, like she was my true sister.
“Thank you, so much.” I felt a tear bead on my cheek, which I hurriedly swept away.
The doppelganger went and stood beside Thor. Suddenly her tight leathers transformed into a beautiful, flowing emerald dress.
Thor spoke again to the doppelganger.
“O nameless one, I give you the name, Ericka, meaning ‘eternal ruler’. You will stand beside me and govern forever.”
It was a perfect name. I embraced the doppelganger one more time. Then Alistair, Kurtis and I turned to leave.
I looked back to my twin.
I was ecstatic. It had all ended so perfectly. Ericka finally had a purpose to her life, I had rescued my friend, and the man I loved. Ericka and I exchanged final smiles, and then I departed with my two companions out through the gates of Avalon.