Startracer, Starchild - The fate of the world rests in the outcome of the next decisive battle between good and evil. Who will you choose to succeed?
In the grand scheme of life, each being is born with a purpose that they are fated to accomplish. Sometimes that purpose is little more than what it is with the beasts--to be sustenance for others.
Sometimes, a being is born with a destiny bigger than anyone could imagine. The fate of the world rests in their hands and often they are blissfully unaware of this predetermination until some cataclysmic event brings the soul's dormant knowledge to the fore and thus explains the being's meaning for existence.
. . . But what if that did not happen?
What if even the soul was ignorant of its importance? If it was rather happily oblivious to the pending calamity that would test its power, dexterity, and will? If it became aware of this so abruptly that it refused all possible claims to the truth? If it took far greater measures to convince the being of the magnitude and urgency of its mission?
How would the being know that everything rested on them?
They were gathered in a circle, watching the world below them curiously. It was their nature to observe instead of interfere, and observe they did. As the race of Men fell further into the darkness, They looked among each other thoughtfully, but made no move to stop it.
There was no danger yet.
But as They watched the centuries and then the millennia pass by and noted the advance of the darkness toward Valinor, They grew concerned. This was not a normal darkness as They had first believed. It was an all-consuming darkness and would spare no being, even those protected within Valinor. If something was not done, the barrier between Valinor and the world of Men would be broken . . .
Not only would there be utter pandemonium at the clash of the worlds, a veritable Pandora's Box, but Men would not understand Valinor's sacred beauty. The destructive race would overtake it and destroy it as they had other such places that had been open to them. Valinor would be corrupt and dark . . . that could not be allowed to happen.
It was decided then; They had to intervene.
He found himself floating a distance above the ocean, staring at Valinor. It did not strike him as particularly odd, for many of his dreams began this way and seemed to always end with him in a cradle of comfort. He sensed such dreams even if he did not experience them in his mind's eye and after the very first one, none of the rest of them had been unpredictable.
Until this one.
Off to the northeast, a shadow was rising, like an ominous storm cloud. But Valinor never received such dreadful clouds . . . What was happening?
There was a flash of what seemed to be lightning and suddenly everything around him went dark. The shadow spread, blotting out the sun's light and settling over Valinor like a cloak of black fog. The life on Valinor began to wither and die and he watched helplessly as it became little more than a barren isle of blackened sand to tell of its demise.
[This is what will happen,] voices whispered around him, a unification of vocalization though each was clearly different. [This is what will happen. Valinor will die.]
[What must I do?!] he shouted in reply. [Please! Tell me!]
[Are you willing to accept this task? Once you begin it, you can never turn from it. You must complete it.]
[I will do what you will of me!] he cried to the heavens, instinctively aware that he was in the presence of the Valar.
[It is your choice.]
There did not seem to be a need to consider it. [I agree! What must I do?]
He was abruptly propelled into the heart of the land, where the last of the island's life was dying. A man and woman fought, oblivious to his presence. They were both very attractive, despite being from the race of Men, but were quite obviously not related though they were about the same height and had long, straight hair. The man, like an Elf, had golden blond hair to the middle of his back and startling blue eyes and was dressed wholly in white--the woman had shiny black hair to her waist and dark brown eyes and wore only black.
It seemed plain to him which was good and which was evil, but the Valar warned him anyway. [Let no appearance deceive you. In this, evil is as fair and exquisite as good. We have already sent our chosen soul to the world of Men seventeen years in the past. It will be safe there until it matures and learns to control the powers we have gifted to it. You must find it and guard it, for once it realizes its power, it will not be safe alone. When it is fully prepared, you must let it perform its own task.]
[I will do this!] he replied. [But what if I should meet the evil?]
[You are no match for it. Do not let it become aware of your presence until you have found our chosen soul.]
He watched the two clash a moment longer. They seemed evenly matched for the battle and he wondered which of them would give first, but he was jerked from the scene before it ended and he woke in his bed in his house in Valinor. He sat upright and immediately tried to slow his panting breaths to tame his wildly pounding heart, which seemed prepared to burst.
Glancing out the window, letting the breeze cool his fevered skin, he wondered briefly if he had made the right decision. The Valar had chosen him, but was he truly up for the task? It had not seemed hard, but he did not know if it would become harder as he went along.
The door to his room opened a bit. [Legolas?]
[Dirnees, what are you doing awake?]
The younger Elf entered his brother's room and sat on the edge of the bed. [I just had the most peculiar dream.]
Legolas shook his head. He knew, somehow, that his brother had seen what he had. [I think it was a vision rather than a dream.]
Dirnees' eyes were wide in understanding. [Then the Valar really did ask us to aid them?] his voice was full of awe.
[I believe so.]
[Are you going?]
[Of course! Someone has to make sure you do not get yourself killed!]
[When are we leaving?] came the excited inquiry.
[As soon as we can. I sensed urgency in their words.]
[What will we tell Mother and Father?]
[The truth. We have no reason to say anything else.]
[What if they will not let us go?]
[Then we will either sneak out or the Valar will help us. Now go back to bed and sleep. You will need it.]
Morning found him already awake though still in bed, contemplating his agreement to help the Valar. As the sun's rays streamed across his room, he rose and dressed, planning to dicuss the matter with his parents. It did not really matter what they said because he had chosen to go as it was, but since they were his parents, they deserved at least some sort of explanation for his, as well as his brother's, sudden departure from Valinor.
He sat outside in the garden while he waited; his parents always rose to watch the sun rise and usually took their time emerging afterward. Dirnees joined him a bit later, a tad more jittery and high-strung than usual.
[And what, may I ask, is the matter with you?]
[What if we are simply going mad?] Dirnees fretted, plucking at the grass beneath him. [What if we did not hear the Valar at all---]
[Dirnees, if it were such, why would we both share the same delusion? Besides, I am more than sure my faculties are in order.]
His brother frowned. [But . . . Legolas, I am not certain I should have accepted the Valar's proposal. I am hardly---]
[Dirnees,] was Legolas' patient response, [the Valar would not have chosen to contact you if they did not have faith in your abilities.]
[Shh!] Dirnees fell silent as Legolas tilted his head to catch the voices he had heard a moment ago. They came again, a bit clearer, as though the owners were walking toward him.
[What should we tell Mother and Father? Do you really believe they will simply allow us to go?]
[The Valar are nothing to be denied, Elrohir. They will let us go or we will go without their blessing. I do not wish to do it, but if it is what we had agreed to do--what we must do--then we cannot go back on it.]
Legolas rose, Dirnees behind him, and went to the edge of the garden and looked up the path. [Elladan? Elrohir?]
The twins lifted their heads simultaneously, their faces clearly revealing the fear that they had been found out. Their expressions relaxed upon seeing Legolas; they knew they could trust the Mirkwood prince to not tell their secret to the rest of Valinor. In fact, the other Elf may just have some advice for them . . .
However, Legolas had a question for them as they drew near. [Did the Valar speak to you as well?]
They froze in their tracks and glanced at each other before saying in return, [`As well'?]
Legolas motioned them into the garden and the four Elves sat in a loose circle, discussing their options.
[We already promised we would not give up,] Elrohir said finally. [But what are we to tell our parents?]
Legolas replied with what he had told Dirnees. [The truth. We have no reason to deceive them.]
[But why us?] Dirnees murmured, once more pulling at the grass beside him in his anxiety. [What is it we have done to prove ourselves better than any other Elf here? I can think of nothing.]
[Perhaps the Valar may not have been judging what we have already done,] Elladan answered, [but what they are certain we are yet capable of. We have honestly had no need to improve ourselves living here in safety and have not tried. It may be that this quest will bring out strengths we were previously unaware of and must now conquer.]
[It is going to be a task to find that soul,] Elrohir agreed. [So many of the race of Men look alike!]
[The Valar will guide us,] was Legolas' unwavering and very sage comment. [They will not merely leave us with no lead to follow.]
Dirnees glanced up at the sun and heaved a deep, nervous sigh. [We should speak to Mother and Father now.]
The four split up to do so. Expectedly, the Lord and Lady of Imladris were just as shocked as the King and Queen of Eryn Lasgalen. They feared that their children had been dreaming it, though one did not simply dream of the Valar, and were putting themselves in needless danger by going to the world of Men.
Eventually, however, they decided to allow the four to go. All of them were grown and considered adults and each had his strength with a weapon as well as battle experience (even if Dirnees' was little more than shooting individual orcs in the forest in his brother's absence, he had had some close encounters). It would be folly to keep them back because they truly believed the Valar had spoken to them and it would be pointless to try to restrain them from this.
Worse, if the Valar had spoken to them, who were they to foil what had been previously arranged? It was better to let the four go. They had proven they could take care of themselves and there seemed no valid reason to stop them from doing this . . . task. They found it hard to believe that Valinor was in danger, but they supposed it was still a possibility.
So the four were furnished with a boat and all the supplies they would need for a trip away and then home again. In between, while they were on the search for and protecting the soul, they could find other sources of nourishment from inns or whatever was common in the world of Men.
The food could not have changed that much, could it?
And as they set sail on their quest, seventeen years in the past at that very moment two lives were being brought forth at the exact same time at opposite ends of America. Both would grow to be extremely beautiful and turn heads wherever they went. But they would be oblivious to each other, unknowing of the other's existence and of their own abilities until they came to full adulthood.
The only difference between them was that one was the unknowing carrier of the salvation of the race of Men, the other the embodiment of evil.
The world of Men was about to become a battlefield.
There it is, folks! Thanks again for all your patience and just as an update: many of my original scenes for ROTK are already or will be written soon, so when that time comes, the wait won't be long!!