I awoke, head throbbing, to find the lab almost completely turned to rubble. I scrambled across the floor, aware that I was covered in cuts and bruises. Karel's maimed body still lay on the floor, with the Tablet of Destiny clutched to his chest. I prized the slab from his deranged grasp, and began to study it. The Sumerian inscription had been etched to perfection. It was one of my weaker known tongues, but I could make out a few of the words. It told of Enlil addressing the other Anuna gods, and him telling them of the great palace they had built.
It was all perfectly fascinating, but I couldn't have such a powerful artifact in my possession: it became rather tiresome when countless mercenaries came to the manor demanding the treasures I had collected. I decided that to prevent the abuse of such an important treasure, the best thing would be to bury it in the manor's grounds: it was always expected by greedy parties that such an artifact would be on display. I slid the tablet carefully into my bag, and turned to find Kurtis.
He lay, still in his Nephilim state. I shook him gently, and his feline eyes opened slowly.
"Lara, you did it." He smiled weakly, then groaned heavily.
"How do I reverse you back to human form?"
"Well, my father told me of this practice when I began my training. He told me that if it ever happened to me, that the Nephilim is merely a casing. I think I just have to rip it off."
"Are you sure? Sounds bloody crazy, if you ask me."
"I'm sure, my father told me. I'm going to need your help. Peel from my feet, and work upwards."
"Ok, if you're sure."
I began to slowly tear the skin apart. I saw Kurtis bite his alien lips, and grunted, eager to conceal his pain. I realised that perhaps speed would be less painful, like when it came to removing a plaster. With one almighty tear, his cocoon fell away, and beneath, he was there.
My naked Kurtis.
I laughed. He looked down, reddening a little.
"Let me find you some clothes."
The manner in which I found the articles was rather disturbing. I left the lab, and began scanning the fortress. Sure enough, there were numerous corpses scattered in the corridors. Quickly, I stole shoes, trousers and a shirt. I drew the line at underwear, he would have to go commando. I wasn't having him wearing a dead man's boxers!
Besides, one doesn't know how long these corpses have been here for.
I returned to the lab, and Kurtis quickly dressed. Now that Karel was dead, it would be easier to escape than penetrate the fortress, however with no others aware of Karel's demise, they would be eager to remove unwanted guests.
We ran down various corridors, and passed the munitions quarters. Kurtis and I thought of the same thing simultaneously.
"Let them go out with a bang."
We retrieved a few plastic explosives, and noticed a sewer grate close by. We slipped down, and found that it was thankfully not too deep. At every corner, we fastened one of the explosives to the wall, and made our way to the surface. As we lifted the grate, light poured in. It was a glorious morning.
We pulled the coil back to a safe distance, and created a trigger.
"Are you sure you want to do this?"
"Yes, the Cabal, all this, has wreaked havoc and suffering over innocent people for too long. We need to get rid of them once and for all. Are you ready?"
With all my strength, I pushed down the handle, grasped Kurtis' hand, and then sprinted for all I was worth. Behind me, I heard an almighty rumble. The foundations had crumbled, and now fire was rising up into the fortress. We picked up the pace.
Sure enough, right on cue, a deafening explosion rocked the entire Strahov, just as the explosion of Croft Manor. With the flaming back drop, Kurtis and I ran, knowing that justice had been served.
And it felt amazing.