Aliana awoke to find herself lying in darkness. She did not move as she waited for her eyes to come into focus. A few moments later she realized that where ever she was, there would be no light. She reached as out far as she could but did not feel anything but a cold stone floor. She could not tell if she was alone and that thought filled her with terror. She curled up in a fetal position and focused on stilling her heartbeat. She did not move for what felt like forever. While she lay there, she focused on the blackness in her mind. She could feel her heart beating strongly. And then she felt him. She could feel his heart beating with hers. She could feel his inner strength. Relief washed over her as she heard his voice.
“Aliana, are you safe?”
“I do not know. I can not tell where I am. It is total darkness. I do not know if someone is here with me.” Tears streamed down her face, wetting the cold stone beneath her face.
“Be strong, Aliana. We will defeat him and bring you back to the light.”
“I can not find my way out of the darkness…..please Legolas, don’t leave me here,” she implored.
“Aliana, do you trust me?” Legolas simply asked.
Aliana could hear Galadriel’s words “Always trust Legolas….he will not lead you astray.”
“Yes,” she finally answered.
“Be strong, Aliana. Use the link and stay with me as much as you can. I am coming for you. I will bring you back into the light.”
Something touched her leg, bringing her back to her surroundings. She opened her eyes and could still see nothing. Something grabbed her leg and started dragging her. She screamed into the darkness and kicked whatever it was with her other leg, sending it sprawling. She heard it call out in a different tongue and something else came toward her from the other direction. A moment later something grabbed her arms while the other captor grabbed her feet and lifted her off the ground. They moved as quickly as they could with her fighting with all her might. They carried her in that position for a long time. They walked around several corners and down a long sloping stretch. Finally light started to filter through the air, growing stronger as they grew closer to the light’s origin. She focused in on her surroundings and saw that she was in a long corridor that led down into the mountain. Two huge Uruk Hai were her captors. The site of them made her struggle even harder as she felt a knot grow in the pit of her stomach. They spat at each other in what she figured must be their black speech. Finally they reached the bottom and entered into a huge room lit with torches. On the other end of the room was a black iron door.
An Uruk-hai stood on either side of the door with axes drawn. As their eyes fell on Aliana, a sneering smile came across their faces.
“So this is what the master has been searching for? All this trouble for such an insignificant human!” The Uruk-hai to the right of the door spat in the common tongue.
“Our orders are to escort her to the lower chamber and leave her there until Master comes for her.” Aliana looked up at the captor holding her hands as he spoke to the guards.
The outspoken guard removed several braces that were placed on the massive door. Slowly he opened it, putting much effort into it for the door was a solid block of iron, looking to be fashioned by the dwarves themselves. As her captors started forward, Aliana resumed her struggle, feeling that she would never be found if she entered. The Uruk-hai were losing their grip and she fell hard to the floor. Instantly she found herself surrounded by many of the creatures. She instinctively reached behind her for her own sword, but grabbed nothing but air. As she sat there kneeling upon the cold hard ground, she readied herself to make one more attempt at freedom. Aliana decided to succeed or die, but she would not stop. She would not let them win. She would not let Sauron win. As she started bringing herself to her feet, two Uruk-hai parted, leaving a gap in the circle around her. As she decided to lunge for the gap, it disappeared by the appearance of the witch king himself.
As she stared up at him, she saw a vision of the same battlefield she had seen before. Only this time the witch king was kneeling on the ground with her friend Eowyn standing before him. With the words “I am no man”, Eowyn ran her sword into the black rider’s faceless void.
It instantly disappeared, but it left Aliana standing with a smile on her face. She realized that her journey had not been in vain. She had set out to save the prince and succeeded by placing the witch king somewhere else. She would not go through eternity with the heartache of losing the man she loved. It was quite possible now that she would not see eternity. And hopefully there would be another couple that would fulfill the prophecy. She knew it had been too good to be true. She had always felt so insignificant until recently. After everything that she had seen lately she was beginning to believe in her destiny. How foolish she had been. This thought wiped the smile from her face and left her solemnly facing the witch king.
He stood directly in front of her now, his face above hers facing down at her. As she looked up to confront him, a strange orange mist came out of his hood, engulfing Aliana’s face. She held her breath as long as possible. She closed her eyes and focused on the blackness.
“Tell my brother I love him.”
“Hold on Aliana, do not give up hope!” Legolas implored.
“I love you my prince.”
As she finally took a breath, she felt sleep come quickly over her. The last thing she heard was Legolas crying out her name.
“Can you see her?”
“Something is wrong. I can not feel her,” Legolas’ words carried on the water.
“Could you tell where she is,” asked Aragorn, feeling the heavy weight upon his heart.
Legolas tried to focus on her, but found he was now alone in the void he had learned to share with her.
“When she comes back to the darkness, I will be able to track her.” He didn’t have the heart to use the word `if’. Legolas had to keep hope that she was alive. But he knew inside that something was terribly wrong.
“She did have a message for you Aragorn.” Legolas hesitated. After a moment, Aragorn could not take the silence.
“What was the message?”
“She wants you to know that she loves you.”