We've got girl power, and she doesn't... despite the fact that she's a girl! vs. Tomb Raider

by Cloud Volpe

(Morning breaks over the home of famed Australian archaeologist and adventurer Lara Croft. Wearily, the voluptuous computer-enhanced woman crawls out of her bed wearing what can only be described as the skimpiest nightgown CGI can provide.)

Lara (holding her head): Ugh… that fall I took while dodging that mechanical dinosaur controlled by an ancient demon still hurts!

(Jeeves, Lara’s faithful stereotype of a butler, walks into her bedroom.)

Jeeves (eyeing Lara up and down): Good morning, Ms. Croft.

Lara (covering up her near-naked body with a sheet): Jeeves! Can’t you see I’m half-naked?!

Jeeves: Yes, I noticed!

(There is a long pause.)

Lara: Well get the fuck out of my room, then!

Jeeves: Oh… right. (He turns and walks out.) Damn.

(Lara hops into a pair of short shorts, a tanktop, and some boots. Ironically, she is showing off the same amount of skin as the nightgown, but she doesn’t seem to notice.)

Lara (leaving her room): Now then, Jeeves, what is it?

Jeeves: Well Lara, you received a phone call yesterday morning while you were battling the lava monster in Hawaii. We have a bit of a situation…

Lara: Don’t tell me… it’s Chang again.

(Ominous music cues from out of nowhere.)

(Meanwhile, in Florida...)

(A group of shady-looking criminals is seated around a dimly-lit table in a nondescript back room of a commonplace business establishment. A large man with a business suit and unshaven face stands before them. He speaks with an accent that is, for purposes of political correctness, not native to any known country.)

Chang: And that is why, my friends, we must make sure to get John Tesh’s autograph the next time he goes on a world tour!

(A man with a cowboy hat and a Texan drawl raises his voice.)

Tex: Pardon me, Mr. Chang, but I think me an’ the boys here want to know about the real plan.

Chang: How dare you question me?! I did not become Hans Carlos Chang, the most powerful stereotype in the world of organized crime, by listening to filth such as yourself! (He reaches into his jacket and produces a .45. He glares at the Texan, then speaks in a sinister, questioning voice.) WHO is your daddy?

Tex: I’m sor… (He is taken aback by the question, obviously not the rebuttal he expected.) HUH?

Chang: Wrong answer! (He shoots the Texan through the chest. He keels over and hits the floor.) Anyone else? (He looks around the table.)

(An Asian martial arts expert raises his hand.)

Martial Artist: Actually, I just wanted to…

(He is shot through the chest with a loud bang.)

German Demolitions Expert: Now just a second here…


Disgruntled Former IRA Terrorist: Hey! You can’t just…


(As the seconds fly by, various other cliché criminals are shot by their own boss. At long last, no one dares to question his authority.)

Chang (sitting down): Now then, onto business. We have a very important relic to transport to our hideout in Brazil. We discovered it during a routine village slaying two months ago, hidden in the basement of a shrine. It is of the utmost importance we take care of this immediately, for it is very delicate and very valuable! (He pauses.) Do I have a volunteer to drive it to Panama for shipping?

(He glances around the table, which is now entirely empty. All of the former occupants of the chairs are lying dead on the floor.)

Chang: Shit.

(The next day, in Panama City...)

(The five Spice Girls are walking down a heavily forested dirt road. They are nursing various bruises and scrapes across their entire bodies.)

Scary: I still can’t believe they tipped our bus!

Posh: With us in it, no less.

Sporty: That was nothing compared to when the firemen decided to put out our hotel fire with their urine.

Baby: Duh!

Ginger: I’m just happy we’re all alive.

Scary: You should be happy that we’re too sore to smack the shit out of you. This is all your fault!

Ginger: Was not! It was a simple geographical blunder!

Posh: You bloody harlot! You called them an American territory! And the riots wouldn’t have even started if you hadn’t begun the political humor!

Ginger: And yet somehow, I recall you suggesting that someone burn the country’s flag because it looked too tacky!

Posh: Up yours!

Ginger: Go to hell!

(The two make a sorry attempt to lunge at each other, but both end up reaching for areas of throbbing pain on their own backs instead.)

Posh: You’re lucky these crowbar bruises haven’t healed yet!

Ginger (moaning): Ugh… same to you!

(As the two girls trade the lamest insults their damaged heads can muster, a white truck with a blue eagle painted on its side rolls by. The truck comes to a screeching stop and a man in a blue uniform steps out. The side of the truck is clearly labeled: "United States Postal Service." The driver is cross-eyed, has a chipped front tooth, and speaks with all the elegance of Forrest Gump.)

Mailman: Uh… I think I’m lost or something. Would you girls happen to know where Oklahoma is?

Ginger: No… but if you turn Posh onto her back, she can tell you where Brooklyn, New York is.

Posh: Stuff it, tramp!

Sporty: Oklahoma’s quite a ways back in the other direction. I remember that state clearly, being booed off the stage after five minutes and all.

Scary: Wow… solo gig’s not going too well with the crowds, huh?

Sporty: What, are you kidding? That was the best night I had on tour!

(Meanwhile, Baby is conversing with the mailman in a slightly hushed voice, explaining where he is.)

Mailman: Wow, we’re in Panama? And here I heard they hadn’t built a bridge over the ocean yet!

(Baby smacks her head in frustration. After all, it’s not often she meets someone who makes her look like a genius comparatively.)

Scary: Um, sir? Where exactly are you headed?

Mailman: Well… (He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a folded piece of paper. He begins reading.) I gotta deliver a package to Brazil. (He looks up and scratches his head.) Darn, I hate having to drive through Canada.

Ginger: Well, Canada is… uh… right down this road!

(Scary pulls her aside before she can continue.)

Scary: What are you talking about? Canada’s at least 100 miles east of here!

Ginger: I know that, but if we help him, he can at least give us a free ride in the back of the truck to the next town. Hopefully, news about us hasn’t reached there yet and we’ll be able to get a hotel room.

Sporty: Good idea!

Ginger (turning back around to the mailman): Uh, sir? Would you mind if we hitched a ride on the back of your truck?

Mailman: Ma’am, I am an employee of the United States government. The material I carry in my truck is of the most sensitive and private nature. Were I to allow complete strangers to ride in the back, it would constitute a violation of the morals, civil liberties, and traditions upon which the postal service was founded. (He pauses for a bit.) So it’ll cost ya twenty bucks.

(After tipping the man from Scary’s "stash money," the girls climb in the back of the mail truck and sit down upon the floor. The only other occupant of this storage area is a small parcel, bent beyond recognition as a geometric shape, with only three letters of its "Fragile – Handle With Care" label still visible.)

Posh: Ah… at last we can sit down. My legs were killing me.

Sporty: Really? I can massage them for you if you want.

Posh: Try it and you’re dead.

Ginger (under her breath): "Dead." Heh. Well at least she doesn’t look like a walking, pouting corpse half the time.

Posh: Excuse you?

Ginger: You heard me!

(In anger, Posh grabs the package from the floor and brings it down hard upon Ginger’s head. It produces at least two distinct cracking noises, and Ginger’s body slumps limply to the floor.)

Scary: You idiot! Look what you’ve gone and done!

Sporty: Yeah, you broke the hell out of whatever was in that package!

Scary: You’d better open it up and see if you can duct tape it back together before that mailman notices!

Posh: Good idea. (She steps over Ginger’s limp body and sits down.) Now then, let’s see here… (She looks at her right hand. With a flick of her wrist, five razor-sharp press-on nails pop out of her fingertips like the claws of a cat.)

Baby: Duh?

Posh: What, these? About two months. Never had a chance to use them before.

(With a few swipes of her hand, the packing tape is off and the package is open. From inside, Posh pulls out the pieces of a broken vase. She callously dumps the smaller pieces onto Ginger’s body.)

Sporty: Bloody brilliant! You broke it beyond repair.

(As Posh is about to discard the largest fragment, something catches her eye. She peers inside the piece, which is an enclosed, circular chunk of the vase’s middle.)

Posh: Hang on, something appears to be stuck in here.

Ginger (regaining consciousness): Oh… my head… I thought I was dead for su…

(Posh smashes the fragment over Ginger’s skull, drawing blood and sending her to the floor.)

Posh: There, that got it.

Scary: What is it?

(Posh pulls a small, folded piece of old paper from the debris and unfolds it. It is clearly some sort of old map.)

Posh: Oh damn. It’s some filthy old children’s drawing.

(Scary’s eyes light up.)

Scary: No, you moron! It’s a map! An old treasure map!

Posh: You mean…

Scary: …We’re going to be rich…

Sporty: Again!

Baby: Tee hee!

(Back at the Croft residence…)

(Lara Croft hangs up her phone angrily.)

Lara: Damn it! (She begins pacing.) Chang had the relic all this time! And now he’s shipping it to his base of operations where no one official can get to it. And to top it off, the flight doesn’t leave until… (She looks around the room.) I seem to be talking to myself. (She pauses.) Jeeves! (No answer.) Jeeves, where the hell are you? I need to explain the situation to someone!

(She walks out of the room and down the hallway. She turns to glance at her bedroom door, and notices that it is oddly closed. From inside, there are a few muffled moans and groans.)

Lara: Jeeves? Are you tidying up the… (She pushes the door open and gasps.) JEEVES!

Jeeves (grabbing a blanket and quickly covering up his lower half): Lara! Why… I was… just… cleaning the…

Lara: Those were my panties, weren’t they?

Jeeves (sweating): I… they… I was just…

Lara: I’m never going to be able to get stains like those out!

(Chang’s headquarters…)

(A henchman in a red shirt runs up to Chang with a telegram in his hand.)

Henchman: Sir! An urgent message from our border patrol!

Chang: What is it?!

Henchman: Our postal delivery truck was found in a river, with our driver babbling something about crossing the Pacific. The package was gone, and there was a comatose whore in the back.

(Chang’s eyes light up in anger.)

Chang: You incompetent fool!

Henchman: Uh, but sir, all I did was read you the telegram…

Chang: Silence! (He pulls out his gun and shoots the henchman.) I only know one person who would want to get that vase from me… and have the audacity to leave a dead prostitute in its wake. Lara Croft!

(The airport, the next day…)

Airport Voice: Flight 110 to South America, now boarding.

(Lara grabs her luggage and heads to her plane. Suddenly, three ninjas with guns crash through the airport windows and charge at Lara.)

Lara: Not again! (She reaches for her gun holsters at her hips, and grabs thin air.) Fuck! Lousy metal detectors!

(With the speed of a cat, Lara grabs her suitcase and hurls it at the lead ninja. It clobbers him across the chin with the might of a cinderblock. Lara leaps through the air at superhuman heights, lands next to his body, and grabs his gun.)

Ninja #2: Crap! Now she has a gun as well!

Ninja #3: Why didn’t we shoot her when we had the chance?

Ninja #2: What, and waste a perfectly good pair of…

(His final words are cut off by the sting of a bullet from his teammate’s gun. The remaining ninja turns to run, but Lara nails him with a shot in his left buttock.)

Lara (tackling him and grabbing him by the hair): Now… who do you work for?

Ninja #3: Urff... screw you!

Lara: That’s not the answer I was looking for.

Ninja #2: No, that’s not what I meant!

(The local police quickly run up to the fallen ninja and pick him up.)

Lara: Last chance! I hear the new Turkish bath area of the local prison is quite nice.

Ninja #3: Ack! Okay, I’ll tell, I’ll tell!

(Meanwhile, on a tall mountain range somewhere in South America…)

(Inside an old log cabin, two local guides of unknown ethnic origin are playing Rock, Scissors, Paper.)

Guide #1: Ha ha! You’ll never win this time!

Guide#2: We shall see about that!

(The first guide pulls a rock, while the second guide pulls a piece of paper.)

Guide #2: Damn!

Guide #1: Mwa ha ha! My rock crushes your flimsy piece of paper!

Guide #2: I can’t believe I lost again. Your rock is unstoppable!

Guide #1: So that means you’re getting stuck with the next people seeking guides who come through that door.

(As if on cue, the door slams open, and Posh, Scary, Sporty, and Baby step through the door, tracking snow inside. All are wearing various sorts of fur to protect themselves from the cold.)

Guide #2: Women!

Guide #1: I’ll handle them!

Guide #2: But I lost the…

Guide #1: Do not argue with me! (He turns to the girls.) How may I help you?

Scary: We need someone to guide us through these mountains to a location on this map.

Sporty: This NON-TREASURE map.

Baby: Duh!

Guide #1: I’m sure we can take you there soon. For now, if you wish, you can warm yourselves by the fire.

Posh (tearing off her fur, tossing it aside, and falling into a chair near the fire): Ah, that’s so much better. (She turns to the guides.) Be a dear and get me some mineral water.

(Before the guides can protest, the door swings open, and Hans Carlos Chang, the king of all bad guy stereotypes, bursts through the door!)

Chang: I require a guide!

Guide #2: I remember you! You came in here looking for a guide earlier, and we sent you out with Maurice. What happened to him?!

Chang: He… accidentally walked into some bullets while I was shooting at him.

Guide #2: He… what? You’re insane!

Chang: I am not insane! (He shoots the second guide to prove he is not insane.)

Guide #1: Hey! That was one of…

(Chang shoots him as well.)

Posh (still reclining in her chair while the other girls stare in horror): Good riddance. They had a strange odor about them anyway.

Chang: I’ll strange odor you! (He shoots Posh.) Anyone else?

(The three remaining girls stand perfectly still, lest the slightest indication of movement tell Chang that they are opposed to him in some way as well.)

Chang (putting his gun away): Good. Now, as I was saying, I need a guide… (He glances at the bodies and realizes he has just shot them.) Shit.

Scary: Uh, sir?

Chang (pulling out his gun on instinct and aiming it at Scary): What?

Scary: Umm… maybe we can work something out here… something that doesn’t involve you shooting the rest of us.

Baby: Tee hee!

Chang (lowering his gun slightly): Oh. What did you have in mind?

Scary: Well, you see, we have this map here, and we think it leads to some sort of treasure, and we don’t have anyone to help us find where it is… er… anymore.

Chang: And you want me to help you?

Sporty: Well, you were out with a guide longer than we were… and we’d be willing to share the treasure with you.

(Chang holds up his gun again and shoots Sporty… in the arm.)

Chang: Good idea! (He shoots a glass on the table.) Let's go!

(Chang storms out the door, leaving the three remaining girls to follow him.)

Baby (to Scary): Duh! Duh!

Sporty (clutching her arm, which is leaking ink): She's right! What have you gotten us into?!

Scary: Don't worry! All we have to do is use the map, get the treasure, and somehow ditch him without him killing us!

Sporty: Oh. Well, when you put it like that…

Scary: Let's go!

(The three girls triumphantly walk out of the cabin door and begin following Chang.)

(Three minutes later…)

Lara (walking into the cabin): Hello? Anyone here?

(A muffled groan escapes the lips of Posh Spice, slumped in the chair by the fire, blood oozing from the bullet holes in her chest.)

Posh: …water…

Lara: Oh my God! (Lara, aghast at the sight of Posh dying, runs to a cooler and fills a paper cup with water. She brings it to Posh.) Here you go.

Posh: Need… glass…

Lara (looking at the paper cup): Oh. Right. I suppose that would be easier if it was in a solid container, eh?

(She dashes to a cabinet, searches for a few moments, and produces a glass, which she fills with fresh water.)

Lara: Here you go!

Posh: …wedge… of… lemon…

Lara: What?!

Posh: Fetch… lemon… wedge… for… water…

Lara: Demanding bitch! You're dying! Take what you can get! (She sets the glass down next to Posh's hand.) Now, who did this to you?

Posh: A… man…

Lara: Chang! I knew it!

Posh: Huh?

Lara: Well, it had to be Chang! He fits your description perfectly.

Posh: But…

Lara: Your death won't be in vain!

(Lara dashes out of the cabin, pistols blazing, ready to kill whatever she sees.)

(Posh reaches for the glass of water next to her, and accidentally knocks it on the floor. It shatters, sending glass and water everywhere.)

Posh: Shit. (She dies.)

(A few miles away, the three remaining Spices and Chang are standing at the mouth of a deep cavern.)

Sporty: Well, this must be the place. The map leads here.

Scary: And not a moment too soon. All this white, powdery snow around here is making me think of a party in Amsterdam.

Chang: Do you think the cave is safe?

Sporty: Well, the map doesn't really say…

(At that, Chang shoves Baby into the cave. The girls and Chang listen as she tumbles down, finally landing with a dull thud.)

Chang: Safe enough. You two next!

Scary (frantic): Er… or we could use this rope! (She pulls a piece of rope from her backpack.)

Chang (reaching for his gun, then pausing): Oh, wait. That's not a bad idea either.

(They secure the rope to the mouth of the cavern and climb down. Baby's body is nowhere to be found.)

Sporty: That's odd.

Scary: Indeed…

Chang: No time to worry about that! There's treasure to be had! (He shoots the rope with deadly accuracy, cutting it loose mere inches from the top.)

(They press on deeper into the cavern.)

(Moments later, Lara arrives at the mouth of the cavern.)

Lara (huffing and puffing, and musing to herself): Who knew there were so many wolves for me to shoot?

(She spies the few inches of rope left dangling from the entrance.)

Lara: So, this is where he went. (She notices a small, triangular hole in the wall near the opening.) Ah ha! (Reaching into her backpack, Lara pulls out a small, triangular emblem.) I knew it was a good idea not to give this priceless, ancient key to a museum!

(She places the emblem delicately into the hole. It fits perfectly. An instant rumbling noise begins. And stops abruptly.)

Lara: Lousy foreign technology… (She kicks the cave wall. The rumbling starts up again. Soon, a set of steps leading down into the cave has appeared in front of Lara, allowing her to follow Chang without need of a rope.)

(Running quickly, pausing only to shoot the occasional endangered species with her pistols, Lara quickly makes her way to a large chamber, where three figures are discussing the treasure they are about to get. Lara ducks behind a pillar to listen.)

Scary: No, I say we split it three ways! It's only fair!

Sporty: Yes, three-ways are always good!

Chang: Never! The treasure is mine! (Chang produces his trademark .45 and aims it menacingly.)

Sporty: Oh no! Who will save us now?!

(There is no response.)

Sporty (clearing her throat): Ahem! I said… who will save us now?!

(Behind the pillar, Lara is busy with problems of her own…)

Lara (adjusting herself): Blasted shorts always ride up on me at the worst times…

Sporty: Oh well, we're fucked.

(Suddenly, Baby Spice charges into the fray, riding the back of a large grizzly bear! The bear roars menacingly at Chang.)

Scary: Baby! Yay! She's befriended a bear and come to save us!

Baby: Teeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee-haw!

Chang: Ack! A two-headed bear demon!

(He shoots the bear and Baby repeatedly. They drop to the ground.)

Sporty: How… anticlimactic.

(Fortunately, the distraction is enough time for Lara, free from her wardrobe problems, to rush out into the open, spraying bullets randomly.)

Sporty (her hips convulsing violently at the sight of Lara): Oh. Oh my. Are those real?

Lara: Chang! You and your henchwomen are going to pay for defiling the sanctity of this ancient place!

Chang: Croft! What are you talking about? You've killed more wild animals and robbed more ancient burial sites than I've ever dreamt of!

Lara (pausing, while Sporty and Scary realize seeking cover might be a good idea): …That's beside the point! Your henchwomen won't escape that easily!

(Lara shoots Scary.)

Sporty: No! Wait! We're not Chang's henchwomen!

(Chang shoots Sporty.)

(The battlefield is now quiet, as Lara and Chang are the only ones left standing.)

Chang: We meet at last, Chang.

Lara: You mean, "We meet again."

Chang: What?

Lara: You said, "We meet at least." Well, we've met several times before, so you should have said, "We meet again."

Chang: …

Lara: Get it?

Chang: You've corrected my grammar for the last time, Croft!

(As they are about to shoot each other, a low growling noise coupled with a low rumbling noise shakes the chamber. From behind a shroud of darkness, a great, fiery demon emerges. It has the head of… Ginger Spice!)

Ginger Demon: Beware my wrath, mortals!

Lara: What the hell are you?

Ginger Demon: Well, I used to be one of them. (She gestures toward Sporty and Scary's corpses.) You see, one of the dumb bitches hit me over the noggin with a priceless vase that contained a treasure map inside.

Chang: My vase! You mean there was a map inside?! And here I was going to use it to decorate my sister's apartment… but I thought Lara stole it, so I had to shoot my sister instead!

Ginger Demon: When I awoke in the hospital that night, part of the vase was still imprinted in my forehead, which was lucky because the vase was actually part of the map too!

Chang: D'oh!

Ginger Demon: So I ran to this cave before anyone else could arrive, and I bonded with the demon that guarded the treasure lair located on the secret part of the map, so that none may now take my treasure!

Lara: And where is this treasure now?

Ginger Demon: Oh… I sent it to a Swiss bank account. (Lara and Chang stare blankly at her.) What?? My album sales are shit! I need the interest! (She hovers closer to Chang and Lara.) But enough talk… now, you must die!

(Before she can spray Lara and Chang with her fire breath, both humans produce their guns and begin shooting Ginger.)

Ginger Demon (being riddled with bullets): Ouch! Ow! Hey, wait a minute! Bullets shouldn't be able to hurt a dem… (She dies, only seconds away from pointing out the flaw in the logic behind 99% of the action video games available today.)

Chang: Swiss bank account that! (He laughs.) You know, Croft, we make a pretty good team.

Croft: You're right, Chang, we do.

(That night, back in Lara's house, Lara is talking to Jeeves, who is massaging her feet.)

Lara: So then, he said we made a pretty good team, and I agreed with him.

Jeeves: Fascinating. Then what?

Lara: I shot him. Son of a bitch sent ninjas after me. Ninjas, Jeeves! I mean, bikers, okay. Eco-terrorists, fine. Even if they were former Marines, I would have only wounded him. But you just don't forgive ninjas, Jeeves.

Jeeves: Mmm.

Lara: Jeeves?

Jeeves: Mmf?

Lara: Why are my toes in your mouth?


Trademark and copyright 2000, CloudVader Productions. Do not reproduce without giving the author, Cloud Volpe, due credit.

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