“Pip? You alright?”
“Of course I am,” Pippin said a little dazed trying to stand up. “Who are you?”
“What do you mean who am I? It’s your brother you idiot!” Merry laughed.
“Come along little hobbits. We are now separated. We must look for Legolas. So stop fooling around,” Gimli ordered.
“Merry,” Pippin said. “Your sword. Pull it out. Sting will come in handy if we are being tracked by orcs.”
“True,” Merry said taking his sword out.
There was a faint blue glow in Sting. Orcs were everywhere in Angband. They would have to move silently with stealth.
“We will not rest until we have tried every chamber and cell here,” Gimli said. “But I can hardly see anything. Merry, come guide us. Sting brings some light.”
“Why must I guide you? I don’t want to go first,” Merry objected.
“Oh quit complaining and stay ahead of me,” the dwarf shoved the hobbit.
“I can see more stairs leading down into a tunnel. There are more passageways to our right and to our left. Which shall we take? The tunnel, or shall we go to the right or to the left?” Merry asked.
“This is harder than I though,” Gimli said. “Let us go right. No left, no straight. Straight. Let us go straight.”
Suddenly, as they began to walk down the stairs, they heard two thick voices talking. It was two Uruk Hai coming up the stairs. Merry sheathed his sword as Gimli pulled him and his brother to the side of the wall so they wouldn’t be seen. They listened in on the Uruk’s conversation.
“So when will we strike?” the first asked.
“Not until he has obtained the jewel.”
“When will that be? Hundred years no doubt. I hear that the girl said she would never join him.”
“Be careful what you hear. Our master has finally condemned the elf to the pits of despair. He shall be tortured there. But not now. We will go down in the tunnel later. Right now our path leads to the surface. We shall return to the tunnel later. He’s not going anywhere. Our guard is watching him now, and he has iron shackles on. Only the dark elf carried the key to the shackles. Come.”
“I’m not sure I really trust that Morquiendi. I saw pity in his eyes when he looked at the girl.”
“She is no concern of ours. Neither is the dark elf. The pretty elf in the tunnel is our concern. We shall have a good time with him.”
“I can’t wait.”
The voices died away as they moved up to the surface.
“It seems the Valar are smiling upon us hobbits,” Gimli said. “Come. To the tunnel.”
“We will search each of these cells,” Eldarion said. “She must be in one of them.”
“But what about the stairs? Shouldn’t we go down them?” Elerrina asked.
“No, Gimli and the hobbits are handling that or trying to at least. I don’t know if it was wise to keep them together. Two clumsy hobbits and a stubborn stiff-necked dwarf.”
“It is a frightening thought,” she smiled.
“Come. There are three paths we may take. To the right, straight, or to the left. You choose.”
“Let us go to the left. I sense a presence there. I know she is here. I can feel her. She will not let me down.”
“Are your senses that keen?” Eldarion asked.
“She can speak to me. I know she can. But I fear something is happening to her right now. Something awful. We must hurry.”
“Unsheathe your sword. We may meet with a surprise.”
Suddenly Eldarion felt the point of a sword upon his chest. A voice rang out, “You already have. Do not move!”
It was not the voice of an orc or an Uruk Hai but an elf. Elerrina’s eyes became used to the darkness and she made out a figure standing in front of Eldarion. She reached for her sword.
“Don’t even think about it, elf,” he said. “I know why you are here. You wish to see the girl. Well then come little Prince. I will show you the way.”
“Who are you? Speak!” Eldarion said. “I am Eldarion son of Aragorn the King. Who are you?”
“In your language they call me the dark elf.”
“A Morquiendi,” Elerrina said.
“How do we know you are not leading us into a trap?” Eldarion asked.
“You don’t. But you have my word. My master wishes to speak with you, elf,” he said to Elerrina. “He has been waiting for you.”
“Who is this master?”
“You shall behold him soon.”
She was placed upon the bed in his private chamber. He undid his cape but still veiled his face. He sat down beside her. Ever he wooed her and spoke kindly to her. He enticed her and set trays of food before her. The only response she gave was a cold long glare.
“You have not eaten in days. You must keep up your strength.”
She did not speak. He brushed a cold hand across her cheek and moved to her neck. She did not flinch but remained strong. He trawled his hand to her chest and rested it on her necklace.
“I know you are enraged,” he said. “But you shall forget him. Soon you shall appreciate me. Please, you must eat.”
“Your words are poison. Everything you have said is a lie. I shall never forget him. Never! I hate you! Do you hear?” she screamed and stood up. “I hate you!”
She hit the tray of food he had set before her. It collided to the floor. He looked at the food and then to her. Suddenly, he gripped her neck and squeezed tightly. She lay against the bed trying to wrench his hands away struggling for breath. Swiftly he let go and stood up. He spoke in the black tongue. She understood not a word.
“This is impossible, master.”
Suddenly, a voice arose out of the darkness. It echoed throughout Angband. It was menacing and evil. More evil than anything she had ever heard before. More evil than orcs, or Uruk Hai, wargs, or even the dark lord Sauron himself. It stung her piercing her very heart and soul. It spoke in the black speech.
“What must I do master?” she heard the one in the room speak. “She will never turn.”
The evil voice echoed, “Agroth, she shall turn. Hurt her not, but go after her heart. Suffer her Prince and her friends before her very eyes. Let her see them tortured and tormenting. Make her lover curse her with all his might. Let her hear his curse. GO!”
Elenya did not understand a word for it was the black speech. But she knew it was something terrible. She lay against the bed. The master turned toward her again looking at her with his red eyes. He walked again to her side. He raised his hand and stood her up.
“Come. It is time,” he said.
“Time for what?” she asked bravely.
“Time to see your friends suffer.”
“What do you mean?”
He turned to the mirror and waved his hand. Suddenly, she saw a picture of her Prince in the Pit of Despair. Then she saw Gimli and two hobbits walking through a tunnel in Angband. It turned finally to Eldarion and Elerrina being led by the dark elf.
“What does this mean? What are you going to do?” she asked afraid.
“You shall behold them soon. And then your heart shall turn to me.”
“How can you so easily expect me to forget my Prince? I am bound to him. I’ll never lose him. He shall always have my heart even if you do kill him. Even if you torture my friends and torment them, it will simply make me hate you more. I will never be yours. Even if you surrender my body to your machines and instruments, never will I crack.”
“Oh you will. You will. You will give into your hate and become mine. Soon.”