All the thrones turned to face me simultaneously.

All of the occupants were male, save the woman that had brought me here. They all wore armour, typical of the Crusades. One of the thrones remained empty.

I guessed that one had belonged to Taras.

The central orb glowed, beginning to swell.

The woman breathed in deeply, slowly raising her hands into the air.

"It is almost time. The seventh hour is nearly upon us."

The rest of the party arose from their thrones, muttering in Hebrew. The orb swelled more and more, and began to hum.

Suddenly, it stopped. One man quickly drew in his arms, and his eyes snapped open.

"Guene, we cannot carry on with this intruder present."

"Yes, that is true."

She walked slowly over to me, trying to scare me. She didn't. She looked right into my eyes.

"I know what you're thinking, you want to know about us, what we are doing, and how long you are going to survive!"

"No, actually. But I have one question. If you require the Cup of Jamshid to be immortal, 

then how the hell have you remained alive all these years?"

"Our forefathers and mothers were the original twelve, but they did not have the means to discover the cup. We will now finish the almighty work they began, and rule the world for eternity!!"

"Oh, that old chestnut. It's so unoriginal."

"Do not mock us, lesser being. It will get you into trouble someday."

One man looked irritated

"Guene, the hour is here..."

"That can wait, Bernhard. I'm having fun."

"Well, you obviously don't get out much."

"Silence! I have a proposition, Miss Croft. If you can complete a little task for me, then you can claim the immortality that would have been Taras'. If you fail, then you will be dead, and that will save me a job."

I had no interest in immortality, all I wanted was to take the bloody Cup of Jamshid and escape. But I would have to play along.

"Try me."

Guene snapped her fingers, and two guards lifted an ancient grate. A strange, two headed horse-like creature emerged. Fire flared from its nostrils, and its eyes glowed red. It was huge. Withdrawing my pistols, I quickly and routinely reloaded, sighing.

"It's always the same, defeat the weird beast then defeat us."

There was such a lack of creativity in the world.

"Your task, Miss Croft, is to kill this creature! If you can, then you will claim the prize of immortality. If you fail, it will cost you your life."

I breathed, and began to focus.

It was time to get trigger happy.

The End

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