They kept walking up the stairs till they found themselves at a three way passage. Gandalf looked puzzled at it. “I remember it not being here before.” he whispered to himself as he sat down on the stone and gazed towards the three doors.
It was a long time as Gandalf kept muttering to himself while Boromir, Legolas, Gimli and Aragorn stood there waiting for him to reveal which path they will be taking. It was not too long after that they decided to sit down as the Hobbits sat around talking about what they would do when and if they got home.
Merry asked, “Would it be too much if we have a fire? I’m hungry for a nice warm meal right about now.”
“No, the light and the smell of the meat may draw attention to us and we do not need it,” whispered Solaris, as she pulled out her travel pack of food and started to hand them out to the Hobbits.
It was not long after they had all settled down on the stairs did Aragorn start his glare towards Solaris. Boromir knew Aragorn was staring or glaring towards Solaris, who didn’t mind that he was. Her aloofness towards Aragorn made him even angrier than ever.
Boromir knew this situation was not going to end good for either of the two Walkers. He got up from his spot and sat down next to Aragorn. “This hatred you carry towards Solaris must end, Aragorn.”
“What hatred, Boromir?” he snapped angrily, glancing towards him before resuming his glare towards Solaris.
“You hate Solaris. We can all see it,” said Boromir, as he stood up and sat blocking the view of Solaris from Aragorn. That move didn’t stop Aragorn from continuing his glare towards Solaris for he just moved enough to see where she was at. “Aragorn, look at yourself. No wonder you got thrown out of the Rangers.”
“I was not thrown out. I am still a Ranger, it is she who was thrown out.” snarled Aragorn.
“If you keep this up, the other Rangers might throw you out. The hate that you carry within your heart towards Solaris is eating you alive.” spoke Boromir.
“I do not carry hate in my heart, Boromir.” whispered Aragorn; his voice was harsh as it was cold.
“Yes you do. I see how you look at Solaris. You show her nothing but disgust and hatred. Why do you hold the hate for so long?” asked Boromir.
Aragorn was not going to speak about his hatred of Solaris, but he knew Boromir would not stop forcing the issue with him even though his voice was telling Boromir he would not speak of it. “You want to know?”
“Yes.” spoke Boromir.
“I trusted her, Boromir. I trusted her with my very life and I wanted the same from him…I mean her. I believed her to be a he but she lied to me breaking a code of honor in my eyes. That I can never forgive,” spoke Aragorn.
“Just drop the hate and accept her as who she is. A female elf who was once a Ranger, someone who you fought side by side with…who you trusted with keeping your back safe in a battle. Just let it go before it’s too late.”
Boromir looked at Aragorn and then left to join Gimli to discuss the bet that they had made as they walked towards Moria about Solaris.
Aragorn watched as he left before he turned his gaze towards Solaris, who was sitting with Legolas. ‘Maybe one day, I will forgive her but not now.’ Aragorn thought to himself.
Merry had nodded as he accepted the food from Solaris. She looked at Boromir who was speaking with Aragorn about her, as her ears told her. She turned towards Legolas and spoke in elven to him, “I don’t have much food left in my pack, Legolas. How much food do you have left?”
“Enough for another four days, but after that…we starve till one of us hunts or we find food,” spoke Legolas, as he looked within his pouch.
Aragorn had watched Solaris going to Legolas’s side and they both opened their food pouches and Legolas shake of his head. Something wasn’t right, Aragorn thought as he stood up and headed towards the pair. “Something wrong, Legolas?”
Legolas looked up and spoke, “We don’t have much food left. We should have hunted before we came into Moria. The food supply is low only four days and then we starve.”
Solaris noticed that Aragorn didn’t even look at her or said her name. “We really need to hurry through the mines. I do not like the darkness of these caves. I sense something evil within these caves.”
Aragorn turned to her and turned back to Legolas. “We’ll have to conserve the food. One meal a day for us all until you, Boromir or I will be able to get some fresher meat.” He then, turned and went up the stairs to where Frodo and Gandalf were to inform them of the low food supply.
Legolas turned towards Solaris. “What are you thinking of producing, Solaris?”
“I have with me a small flask, within it only a small mouthfull can fill a stomach. It is what I been using instead of the lembas as food, Legolas,” she whispered.
Legolas looked stern at her, “Solaris, we don’t have that long to go within these caves. We will be out soon I believe.”
“True and I can give to whoever I wish. It will give them enough strength to continue with one meal in their stomachs…the hobbits have never gone without second breakfast or lunch before for more than one day, Legolas.” whispered Solaris, as she looked towards them.
Legolas stood up and walked away from her as he removed his bow and quiver from his back. Boromir saw the chance to go and speak with her before they moved on. He wanted to know more about this female elf.
“Solaris, why does Aragorn really hate you?” asked Boromir, sitting next to her blocking any view of Aragorn from her.
“I really do not know why he would hate me so. I was able to kill more Orcs than many of my fellow Rangers with my bow alone when I ran out of arrows. The first time that they saw me fight in that fashion, they then started to call me…the Dark Elf. I was very lethal to any enemy who even dared to cross my path. I rarely took prisoners if it was possible to keep the Orc or Man alive.” said Solaris. She glanced over at the Man who sat next to her and for some reason her woman side started to examine him further. She quickly shook her head and tried to keep her thoughts and her eyes from drifting from what was being discussed.
“The day that you were revealed…did you try to tell Aragorn the truth?” asked Boromir.
“The truth about my gender?” asked Solaris, not really sure what he meant by that.
“Yes, did you try?”
“Yes, I tried to tell him that I needed to speak with him…”
“Aragorn, I need a word with you. It’s important,” spoke Solaris, as he approached the tall Ranger.
“Not now, Solaris. Get your weapons ready, we’re all going out. There are Orcs spotted heading towards the boarders of Rohan and Gondor.” snapped Aragorn, as he turned and headed for his horse and leapt upon his back and rode off in a different direction.
“Aragorn never gave me a chance to speak with him about what I wanted to tell him that day. Till he found out the truth about my real gender…”
“You lied to us! Lied about your own gender! Lied to me!” snarled Aragorn, his voice cold and angry.
“I tried….” pleaded Solaris, from the cot.
“Tried! Tried! You betrayed us! You betrayed your own gender! You are no longer a Ranger! As soon as you are able to stand and walk, pack your things and leave!” snapped Aragorn, turning on his heel and storming out of the tent.
Solaris heard his voice clearly outside, “Solaris is not a male elf but a female elf. She betrayed the Rangers by being a female elf! She is no longer a Ranger!”
A few days later, Solaris walked out of the healer’s tent to see disgust written over the faces of her fellow Rangers. She didn’t lower her head in shame or anything. She walked towards her tent and started to collect her things when her bunkmate asked her why, betray us like this? She told him she was attacked and needed to know how to fight to protect herself that’s why she joined posing as a male elf.
“I took my horse and left the camp with my head held high. I never allowed them to see me cry. I rarely allow any Man or Elf to see me cry. I just don’t let them see it,” said Solaris, as she looked at him right in the eyes.
“That’s when you returned to your home?” Boromir requested.
“No, I wandered around for another ten years and then returned. I then heard about a group of Assassin elves living in Mirkwood and so I went there to find them. I did and learned how to be better at my archery, bow and my daggers. We better get ready to go. Gandalf has found the right path,” said Solaris, as she quickly stood up and grabbed her things mainly to get away from this Man who was driving her female side into a very heated state.
Gandalf called out to them to rise and come for he had found the right path. He also told them about the low food supply and that if it comes down to it that the female elf will give food for them all to survive on for a while. Aragorn looked furious as he quietly yelled at Gandalf for suggesting such a thing.
“What food, Gandalf?” asked Pippin.
“Something that Solaris has with her, a flask of amber liquid,” spoke Gandalf, as he turned towards the tunnel and started to lead them on. “But that will not be necessary, for we are almost out of Moria. No more than another few hours of walking and we should get to the other side and to open air and sun.”
“What is the liquid?” asked Pippin, looking at Solaris.
“It is something that I brewed when I was with my villagers before I was kidnapped. But I do not need to share it as we will be out of here soon,” spoke Solaris, as they walked.
“Oh. I see,” said Pippin.
“Come now, we must move on with the others,” she said, as she looked at him.