Aliana's Destiny - Chapter Fifteen
Legolas ran to catch up to Aragorn, and the two of them went back to the Armory to find Gimli. Gimli was the only one left and he was standing there wearing a chain mail shirt that flowed past his feet. "It's a little tight around the waist." The three of them laughed.
All of a sudden a horn was heard. "That is no orc horn!", Legolas exclaimed, and the three of them ran to find the origin. As they made their way outside, they found Haldir of Lothriel addressing the king. "As our fathers did many years ago, we have come to stand beside you in this time of need," Haldir proudly presented to King Theoden. Aragorn ran up and embraced his shoulder. "You are most welcome here!" At this, Haldir embraced Aragorn's shoulder. Aragorn threw aside Haldir's arm and heartlily embraced him. Surprised at the secondborn's showing of affection, Haldir returned the embrace. Aragorn withdrew and Legolas walked up to Haldir. "Thankyou", was all that Legolas could find himself to say. The two elves embraced each other's shoulders. As Legolas finally stepped back, Haldir turned and ordered his men to move to the walkway. Every man in Helm's Deep let out a cheer as they watched the army of 300 elves march past them. They made their way to the walkway and readied themselves. The men followed suit and made their way to their stations.
Aliana found herself standing by herself by the cave door. She looked down into the cave and saw hundreds of frightened women and children. She didn't want to die like this. The vision of her brother falling from his horse in battle came to her. In her vision she had been riding behind him. She knew she was not meant to be locked in here. She was supposed to be by his side. Maybe she could change the outcome if she was present. She urgently needed to get out of this room.
Lady Eowyn saw her standing there and walked over to her. She could tell what was on Aliana's mind but was unsure how to put it into words. She knew that Aliana had the same wish she had....to fight along side the men that meant so much to her. But being that they had both been born of the female persuasion it would never be permitted. And Aliana had become a good friend. The thought of losing her in battle was more than she could bear. Looking at her, Eowyn finally decided that the only way to bring it out into the open was to be blunt.
"I know what you are thinking. Your brother wishes you to be here."
"I know he does. But if he doesn't realize that I am not here, he can not worry about me, can he?"
Eowyn looked around the massive darkened cavern. The shadows that were cast by the randomly placed torches threw an eerie feeling about them. Many were crying quite loudly, old and young alike. Those that were not crying outwardly were crying inwardly. Looking back at Aliana she realized that this was not the way for her friend's life to end. There were more inside Aliana than to be locked in a morgue to await the oncoming, inevitable fate that was awaiting them all.
"I know you must do what needs to be done. Be careful, my friend", Eowyn said to her, her voice full of compassion.
At that moment the door opened and a guard led a young girl thru. A woman cried out and ran forward, catching the scared girl's attention. The girl ran into her mother's arms, sobbing loudly. The guard cast them a pititful glance, as if he also knew what their fate would be. As he turned and left, Aliana grabbed the door so that it would not shut all the way. She waited a moment, giving the guard a chance to disappear, nodded at her friend, and made her way through the door, making sure that it shut securely behind her.
Aliana made her way to the Armory, making sure she was not seen. Once inside she closed the door and made her way to the armor. There she found a helmet her size. It would hide her identify quite well. Next she found a chain mail shirt that was too big, but she was sure it would hide her figure. Once she was satisfied that her identity would not be detected, she made her way outside. She needed to find her brother and stay as close as possible to him. It had started raining and the orcs had already marched into the valley. As she looked around, the orcs let out a battle cry. The sound was deafening. Aliana vaguely heard Aragorn cry out "Hold your fire!" As she looked up to where he was everything went quiet. After a few terrifying moments of silence, the orcs cried out once again and started their advance.
Aliana could see arrows flying from and over the walkway. She looked around for a good place to protect herself and still be able to keep an eye on her brother. She made her way into the shadows against the wall by the doors to the king's chambers. There she stayed for what felt like forever, watching her brother walk back and forth, commanding his troops. From her standpoint she could also see the king up above shouting out orders. The top of a ladder came into view on the walkway and orcs started climbing over. She longed to run to aid the men fighting them off, but she knew it was not the time. She forced herself to stay where she was.
All of a sudden, a large blast was heard and the area of the walkway that had been holding her brother disappeared. Aliana cried out in despair and ran from her hiding place. As she made her way to the area that had at one time been the east side of the courtyard she saw a huge gaping hold in the wall, with many orcs coming thru. She ran toward them with her sword drawn. As she reached the first orc, she ducked to be missed by his sword and with an upswing, she found her mark in his throat which sent the orc to his death. Aliana found herself surrounded. She dodged and parried, swinging her blade with the accuracy that had been taught to her by the elves. One by one her attackers fell. Aliana was knocked to the ground, rolling to get out of the way of what she knew would be behind her. As Aliana came around on her feet to defend herself, she found Aragorn running his blade thru her attacker. Looking at him she realized that he did not recognize her. Hiding her identify had worked! Relieved, she turned to help ward off the oncoming orcs.
Aliana helped fight off the ever flowing attack, but soon it was apparent that it was becoming a lost battle. "Aragorn, pull your men back!" Theoden screamed down at them. Aragorn grabbed her arm. "Fall back to the keep", he told her as he ran past to pull the rest of them back. She started back, but lingered long enough to make sure Aragorn was able to pull back himself. Legolas ran up to Aragorn, and they both made their way back together. Once she knew they would make it, she also started making her way back, but she found herself cutoff from the safety of the keep. She found herself engaged in battle with an orc twice her size. She lunged at him and found herself parrying to miss his blow. The orc's blade nicked her helmet, sending it flying thru the air. As the helmet whizzed past Legolas, he turned to see where it had come from. To his horror, his eyes found Aliana fighting against the huge orc. He ran as fast as he could, readying an arrow and letting it fly before he reached them. The arrow found its mark in the orc's back. As the orc had its sword raised to strike Aliana who had been knocked to the ground, she watched the arrow instantly appear thru it's stomach. It stood there for a moment not moving, just looking down at her. It fell to the side and Legolas was left standing in it's place. He reached down and took her hand, helping her to her feet. Together they made their way back inside.
The two of them made their way down the hallway into the inner chamber. Once inside with the door barred, Legolas finally turned to Aliana. He started to speak but was cut off as Aragorn ran and grabbed his sister by her shoulders. "Aliana! I told you to stay in the caves!" Aragorn yelled at her. The king grabbed Aragorn's arm. "Do not be hard on her. She fought well and saved many of the men. But it does look as if it was in vain." King Theoden had a look of total despair on his face.
Aragorn thought quickly, having his thoughts now taken away from his sister. He needed to do something to bring hope to these men that were left, that had fought so valiantly. Looking up at the window he could see daylight streaming thru. They had made it thru the night! All of a sudden Aragorn heard Gandalf's words in his head. "Looking to the east on the fifth day. At dawn you will find me".
"My king," he started. "Ride out with me. Let us make a stand together."
"Yes! We will ride out together and make our last stand." Theoden sent several men to the stables to fetch their horses. Legolas grabbed Aliana's hand and turned to her. He knew there was nothing he could do to save her from their fate. She looked up at him and smiled. Things were falling into place as she had seen. She had a calmness about her that filled Legolas with a confidence that he had not expected. As the horses arrived, Aliana called to Farion. Her horse came to her side and she jumped on his back. She looked over at her brother who was also mounted on his horse.
"Please, forgive me, my brother. I could not bring myself to leave your side."
"All is forgiven, my sister. I am honored to have you by my side," he replied.
King Theoden and Aragorn sat side by side, getting ready to burst thru the doors. Aliana and Legolas rode side by side behind them. "Please, stay by my side, my lady", Legolas pleaded to her. She didn't have time to answer as the doors were shattered in front of them. King Theoden cried out a war call and the party made their last stand against the impeding army.