Author’s Note: I know that some of the upcoming scenes between Krystine and Jonathan might not be particularly realistic, but I have tried my best to explain why their relationship as enemies differs from that of normal enemies. I hope I succeeded and if not, forgive a hopeless romantic for her stupidity.
Oh, and I just made up that date for Elendil’s account based on Isildur’s account of the One Ring, so if the date clashes with something else imprtant, I’m sorry. I just plucked it from the air without consuting any timelines.
Important! It’s not described, just implied, but if you don’t like the idea of premarital sex, no matter what the circumstances or what the feelings of those involved might be, then there are parts of the next two Tales that you probably won’t want to read.
You have been warned.
Recap of Tale 9 . . .
“They would never have let you out of their sight otherwise. And since you arrived on Wraith, whom they would have shot, you had certainly left them behind.” He humphed a laugh. “But that doesn’t matter now. I have you.”
She shuddered and drew back. “What . . . do you mean?”
He nodded at the window. “Ghoul is an emperor, Wraith is an empress. He is biding his time, for she will be ready to mate very soon. And then, Omega, you will truly be mine.”
[How is he?]
[Not well. Marie has taken him back to his bed and done everything she possibly could, but he still tosses and turns. He clutches that stuffed animal and calls for Krystine, but obviously she will not answer him.]
[Will he be all right?]
[As of this instant, no. He has gone without food and sleep for far too long. He is deteriorating quickly.]
Elladan and Elrohir looked at each other and sighed heavily. They had to find Krystine, but where were they to look? Marie had no idea where the girl would have gone and Haldir, who knew her best, became extremely agitated when Krystine was mentioned around him.
[What do we do?] Elladan asked finally.
[Let us search for her!] Dirnees cried enthusiastically. [We will be able to sense her power!]
[What can we do?] Elrohir replied to his brother. To Dirnees, he said, [We do not have the resources for such a large-scale endeavor.]
[We must wait,] Legolas decided, [and hope that Krystine returns to us.]
Krystine frowned. “. . . Mate? How does that include me?”
Jonathan frowned in return, then realized what she meant. “Obviously, if you have forgotten why you were sent here, you have no idea how much of an impact the dragons’ passion will have on you. They are bound to our minds; what we feel they feel and vice-versa. Can you not perceive it already? It is almost time.”
She panicked, realizing he was telling the truth. “H . . . How can I stop it?! How can I not lose myself?!”
He smirked. “Ah, now what fun would it be if I told you that?” He held out his hand. “Come, Omega. Throw aside your fears, I will not hurt you.”
She pulled away, shaking her head as tears rushed over her cheeks. “No, please do not . . . do not make me do this.”
He narrowed his eyes for a brief instant, watching her. “. . . What has been done to you?”
She stared back at him, slightly surprised at the protectively furious tone of his voice. “. . . Men . . . kidnapped me . . . hurt me . . .”
He approached her cautiously and tenderly caressed her face. She shied away from him, but she was against the wall and could not go far. He drew her into a careful embrace and she automatically clutched at him, sobbing into his chest. He kissed the top of her head lightly. “I am sorry that you suffered so.”
“But why did it have to be me?!” she wailed. “Why did they have to take me?! There were a hundred other women there!”
“As a woman you are the closest to the Valar and are the ultimate Good on this earth,” he explained gently. “Naturally, those of Evil will have a penchant for you.”
“Like you?” she sniffled.
“Hardly. I am far above that petty existence–even evil can love. Omega, I am attracted to you because we are twin souls. We are each half of the same whole. We were preordained to find and treasure each other. Are you saying you do not feel something for me?”
She wiped her eyes on the warm, velvety leather of his well-worn snowy white trenchcoat and looked up at him, admitting softly, “. . . No.”
He smiled and kissed her. There was a cry of triumph and he looked out the window to see Wraith landing in the yard, Ghoul inches behind. He turned back to her, stepping away and holding out his hand. Quietly, he pleaded, “Come, Omega. Allow me to show you. Let me teach you what love is.”
“They will not wait for us,” he warned, “and my realm is the body, not the mind as yours is. I do not have the necessary power to bar their emotions as you do. If you do not agree to this I shall have to take you by force and that is something I do not wish to resort to.”
Krystine continued to consider it, refusing to be rushed. She was afraid of Alpha, as he was all that she feared facing. She had blindly–foolishly–let him corner her in this place so far from safety and now she had no escape. No matter what he did to her, she had no chance of flight or rescue.
Yet even through her fear she felt something. Something odd. Was it love? She had always considered the idea of love at first sight wholly ridiculous, but was she perhaps wrong? Even though he was her exact opposite and she was repulsed by him, she was also just as strongly attracted to him. She wished desperately for time to sort her thoughts, but knew that was not possible now. Not with Wraith’s eagerness hovering in the back of her mind.
She had to choose.
She closed her eyes tightly and reached out, placing her hand reluctantly in his. When she opened her eyes, he was smiling gently at her. “You may not believe me now, but you have truly made the best choice.”
Haldir squeezed the stuffie viciously. [Krystine . . .]
Marie rested the back of her hand against his forehead and frowned.
He suddenly sat up. [That is how she did it!] He started to rise from the bed, but Marie turned to the other four Elves pleadingly. They stepped forward and very carefully forced Haldir back down onto the bed. [It was the dragon! That is how she got away!]
[What is he talking about?] Dirnees asked.
[I do not know,] Legolas answered thoughtfully. [But I think . . .] He turned to Marie. “. . . L-Lee . . . Lee-bray.”
Marie thought for a moment. “Oh! The Library!” She gestured that he should follow her. “Yes, come this way!”
He trailed her into the den, where she carefully opened the glass door to the grandfather clock there and reached into the back. Her fingers found a nondescript knot in the wood and pushed it. The back of the clock opened to reveal a long, dark stone stairway. She indicated that he should wait and went to get a flashlight. When she returned, he was gone.
Sure he had ignored her command, she turned the flashlight on and slipped past the pendulum as it swung away from her, aiming the beam down the pitch black spiral stairway. When she reached the Library, she found that she had been correct; he was shuffling through the parchments, though she had no idea how he could see in such darkness.
In fact, Legolas was relying on his memory of seeing it when lanterns were all around the room and was fumbling through the papers, unable to make out anything in a room where even the light reflected from the room upstairs was too dim to be of any use to his superior eyes.
The circle of white light that suddenly shone on the parchments gave him quite a fright. He let out a yelp and leapt into the wall, scattering a small stack of parchments nearby.
Marie hurried over to where he was and made soothing noises. Calming, he reached for the thing causing the light and waved his hand in front of it curiously. Then he turned it to look down into the light. However, its power was too concentrated and he jerked away with a curse, his eyes aching.
Once the pain had abated he turned it on the shelves, devising the use of the object quickly. He tried to read the Gondorian labels, but he had known little of the language as it was. Thankfully, Haldir had spent time deciphering the words and providing translations in Elvish.
Legolas quickly found `Dragons’ and grabbed the entire stack of parchments. They were arranged from the oldest at the bottom to the newest at the top, but that would not help him because–besides having not seen this one Haldir mentioned–dragons were like Elves in one respect; it was impossible to tell their age merely by looking at them. They generally looked as though they had just reached their full maturity right up until their deaths. Occasionally the hue on one would dull slightly with age, but that was rare, since few were of bright color.
He perused the parchments quickly, scanning the attached notes Haldir had made. Finally, he ran across what he searched for. It was a note that was first made by someone unnamed who had witnessed the War of Wrath and then once more by Elendil sometime during the Last Alliance.
There was one thing, however, that he found strange.
The accounts of the battle were practically identical.
Now it was possible that Elendil had merely copied it and modified it to fit his situation, but Legolas severely doubted it. He sensed nothing false about either retelling of the battle between two dragons and their masters. One clothed in black, one in white. Even the dragons were opposed so . . .
Curious, he began to read Elendil’s version to himself.
August sixth in the year thirty-four thirty-one of the Second
Age. Herein is the account of Elendil and the War of Arda . . .
War of Arda? Legolas stared at the torn paper. He had never heard of such a thing before. He turned and ran back upstairs, barely slipping past the pendulum in his rush to reach the others.
[Have any of you ever heard of the War of Arda?]
Dirnees shook his head, but Elladan and Elrohir were thoughtful. [Father did mention it once,] Elrohir murmured. Elladan nodded. [But very little. Only that Gil-Galad had been extremely concerned when they witnessed it. Why?]
[I was looking through a section on dragons and found this `War of Arda’.]
[Well read it!] Elladan prodded.
August sixth in the year thirty-four thirty-one of the Second
Age. Herein is the account of Elendil and the War of Arda . . .
It began on a moonless night, when only the stars showed us
our path. We soon stopped to rest and I had barely laid down
my head when there was a burst of light in the sky, like a
breath of flame being released. I left my tent to calm my
men and assure them that all was well.
However, that was not true. The Elves were calling to each
other and pointing to the sky, where the stars shone off the
hide of a brilliant white dragon. It was in mortal combat with
something that devoured the light of the stars it passed
before–a black dragon. I went to find Gil-Galad, for he was
wise in lore, and asked of him what this was.
He said it was the War of Arda and meant that our state with
the Dark Lord Sauron was reaching a critical point. If we did
not win against him, all of Arda would be lost.
Then the black dragon drew in its wings and swooped so low to the land that the wind of its passing–as well as the white
dragon that followed directly after it–collapsed all the tents
and extinguished the fires as well as stirred the horses into a
frenzy so that they broke their ties and ran from the camp
into the trees in their blind terror.
It was only when I focused on the sky again that I saw the
two beings battling in the air. Neither had wings, but both
were suspended far above the ground and seemed to be
participating in an odd sort of battle. The struggle was
between a woman and a man; as her left hand met his right
there was a flash of light at the meeting of power.
And then they began to sink toward the earth, the dragons
still warring around them. The woman was dressed all in
black, the man all in white. Their fight seemed to be an even
match with no possibility of a winner, their power on an even
level. Neither had a hope of winning, unless they happened
to kill each other, but they continued to war nonetheless.
I was finally beginning to understand the true significance of
the battle when I noticed dozens of arrows were being loosed
at them from the earth. Gil-Galad cried for my men to cease
fire and I was only an instant behind him.
However, it was too late. The woman had been struck. She
froze in place, her body arched away from the arrow, and
then fell silently down to the earth. The man seemed to be
horrified at the turn of events and dove after her, catching
her just before she struck the ground and cradling her as one
might a lover.
He called to her–called her `Omega’–and begged her to live.
He was, unbelievably, weeping over her. She eventually died
in his arms and he held her body, rocking back and forth, for
the rest of the night.
Then, as morning began to show, he rose and addressed
both my army as well as Gil-Galad’s, the woman still in his
arms. “This will not be forgotten,” he shouted to us. “You
have slain that which is the epitome of what you supposedly
represent and that is a crime that cannot be forgiven.”
Frightened, one of my men loosed a new arrow at him. We
tried to save him from death, but failed ultimately. His last
words were a chilling promise to us.
“For her I will have my revenge upon this world.”
Okay, just a note to everyone. While he’s reading the two accounts of the War of Arda, Legolas notes how similar they are. However, in Elendil’s account I left out most of the battle description, as I’m bad at describing fights and it wasn’t necessary to the story anyway. The rest, however, was. So no, the Good has not died both times before–that was an event unique to the Last Alliance (though it would make a fun plot twist, wouldn’t it? Hm . . .).