~Then There Were Ten~ Chapter #19~ To Gondor, and The Pass of Cirth Ungol~
Turuna looked up at Frodo, and shook her head. “No, I don’t want any Lembas, Frodo. I am not hungry.” She slowly stood, and wrapped her cloak more tightly about her. The day was dark, and a chill was in the air. And, as much as she hated to admit it, she was hungry, and her stomach screamed for some food to fill the empty void in her gut. But she refused food, Frodo and Sam needed it more then she.
Frodo stood, and stepped up next to her. “Turuna, you must eat. You need the strength as well. I know we are running short, but you need your share as well. Wither you be Elf kinder or not, you are immune to hunger.”
“I said I am not hungry, Master Frodo.” Turuna stated in her low tone as she stared at the sky. “Come, it is nearly mid-morning…We should be off as soon as possible. Wake Sam, and go find Gollum.”
Gollum suddenly leapt down in front of her. “Come on! Come on! Mordor’s is very close, yes, very close! We should get moving!”
“Tell us something we don’t know.” Turuna said, crossing her arms in front of her chest. “Where did you run off to?” She heard Same and Frodo murmuring behind her, but paid no heed to their voices.
“Does no matter! Come!” Gollum began to leap away. Turuna started after him, but the ground shook violently under her feet, throwing her off her feet. She fell backwards, slamming into the stone slab behind her,
Turuna quickly regained her feet, and turned to the Hobbits. “Come on, for each minute we lag another person could be falling to the will of Sauron.” She turned, and began to follow Gollum, the Hobbits right on her heels.
Mica looked up again as Theoden finished his speech. She was still shaky from Helm’s Deep. Her true identify had almost been discovered by Haldir and his men. She was grateful that she had awaken just in time to keep Haldir from undoing her armor, and uncovering who she truly was.
Theoden raised his goblet. “Hail the victorious dead.”
“Hail!” Was the reply everyone, including Mica, gave as they raised their own goblet’s. Slowly, Mica raised her goblet to her lips, and took a large mouthful of the Ale that was in it.
Mica slowly sat the goblet down, and turned to walk away. Haldir stepped into her way, blocking her escape from the room. He slowly bowed to her with his head.”I am glad to see that you are well now, Lord Lome.”
Mica bowed her head back. “Same to you, Lord Haldir. How goes your evening?”
“Very well, and your own?”
“Like any other, I am afraid I have to admit. I think I shall retire for this night.”
“Because I am weary still, the war drained much of my energy. I will be of no use to anyone while only half of me is alive, that I will not.”
“Well, if this be the case, then off to bed you should go. Namarie.”
Mica bowed her head again, and walked past him. She weaved through the large crowd, and walked down a dark, silent corridor. It was empty, which made Mica slightly happy for the moment.
Eowyn silently walked up behind Lord Lome. She looked at the back of this great Elven Lord. His hair was pulled back in the Elvish style. His robings were the same that he had worn at Helm’s Deep not too long ago. She slowly raised her head, and sat it on his shoulder.
Lome slowly turned to her, and took her hand off his shoulder, and rested it in his hand. “Why have you come, Lady Eowyn?”
“You should know why. You survived Helm’s Deep, and yet I have not had a chance to come to you…Please tell me that there is still hope for us. Please hold me in your arms, and tell me that you love me.”
Lome sighed, and took both her hands in his. “Lady Eowyn… there never was any hope. All I am is a shadow and a thought in your mind, nothing more. I am a shiny rock in muddy water that none can see through. Lady Eowyn, I can not give you anything that you seek.”
“But why?!” Tears began to form on the rims of her eyes. “What is it that keeps you and me from being one?! I want to be with you. What force keeps you from loving me? Do you already have a Lady back in Lothlorien? Is it because you are an immortal Lord and I a mortal Lady? Why?”
Lome raised a hand, silencing her. “I am not what you think I am, Lady Eowyn. Like I said, I am a shinning rock in muddy water. In time, the mud will settle, and all questions shall be answered. Do me a favor, and push me out of your fantasy’s. My end shall come soon, or so my belief’s tell me. You will understand…soon enough…” He brought her right hand up to his lips, and kissed it. “Go now, and shed no more tears over me. There is no use in crying over that which was lost long before you were even born. Good night, M;Lady, dream not of me tonight.” He bowed his head, turned, and disappeared into the darkness of the hallway.
Mica awoke to the sounds of crying from on of the Hobbits. She sat up straight, and leapt from her bed when she saw Pippin holding onto a sphere that was glowing as though lit with flames. She saw Aragorn come in through the doors. “No!” He yelled, taking the sphere from Pippins hands. Aragorn fell to his knees, slowly letting that sphere drop, and roll across the floor. Gandalf was up as well, and threw a cloak onto the sphere.
“Fool of a Took!!” He yelled, as he turned to face Pippin. Pippin lie on him back, white as a sheet, and staring at the ceiling. Gandalf kneeled down, and examined Pippin. He put his hand on his brow, and began to chant words in a whisper.
Aragorn turned to Mica, and pointed to the door. “Go rise Theadon, he must learn of what has happened.”
“Aye Aragorn.” Mica turned and ran out of the room.
“A fool, but an honest fool he remains. He told Sauron nothing of Frodo or the Ring.” Gandalf said, shaking his head ever so slightly.
Mica sat at a small table, listening intently, acting as though she knew little of what they were talking about. Theadon turned to her. “What do you think of the matters, Lord Lome?”
“How am I suppose to think anything when I know nothing about what is being talked about? The fact that he told Sauron nothing about the…ring, and this Frodo character I think everything is fine…Except for one thing. Sauron might think our little fool here has the ring now.” She slowly looked over a Pippin.
“Indeed,” Gandalf said, as he continued to pace back and forth. He slowly turned to Theadon. “War is on the doorsteps of Gondor now. If the beacons are lit Rohan must be ready to answer.”
“Tell me…why should we ride the aid of those who did not ride to ours?” Theadon slowly looked over at Aragorn. “Or do we owe Gondor.”
Aragorn slowly stood, “I will go.”
“No, you must take another path…” Gandalf stepped in closer to Aragorn, and whispered to him in a low tone that even Mica’s ears could not caught. Gandalf then turned and looked everyone in the eye. “Understand that things are now in motion that cannot be undone. I ride for Minas Tirith.” He slowly looked to Pippin, “and I won’t be going alone.”
Mica stood on the wall, watching Gandalf ride off on Shadowfax, Pippin sitting in front of him. She had asked if she could go along, but he had forbidden it, stating that she would have to ride with the Rohirrim to war.
Haldir walked up to Mica, and slowly nodded his head. “Mae govannen, Lord Lome.”
Mica sighed lightly. “Haldir, please drop the formal title.” Haldir slowly nodded, and stepped up next to her. He looked out to where Gandalf and Pippin now were. They looked like specks in the distance now. Mica sighed again, and turned to him. “Haldir, why are you going back to Lorien when you know you are needed here?”
Haldir sighed, and stared at the sun that was high in the sky by this point. “Because I can ask the men to do no more then what they have. You must understand, seeing how you are an elf.”
“So you will run to our ships, and sail to Valinor without feeling guilt for leaving men to defend themselves?”
“Lome…none of the men want to do that. But we all have someone to return to…You, being and elf, should understand that we have to go now. Even I have someone waiting in Valinor for me…”
Mica sighed, and went quiet. She could not bring herself to tell him the truth, not yet at least. She slowly turns, and makes her way off of the wall. “Forgive me, I must propare myself for the future battles up ahead. Flew to the ships if you must, but I am one of the few elves left willing to fight. Farewell Haldir, Caption of the Lothlorien Guard. Do what is required of yourself for you men, for none can honor anything less from a caption.” She then disappeared down the steps.
Turuna slowly shuddered again, as they continued down the trail. She felt cold, almost as though she was frozen underneath the skin, and sick. Her stomach was eating her from the inside out with hungry, she had not touched a piece of Lembas in nearly four days. She was growing weaker with each passing hour of not consuming food, but she had to remain strong for Frodo and Sam. She had to save the food for them for when they’re need for it was dire.
Frodo stopped again, and took out his water bottle. “How much further Smeagol?”
“Much further yet! Come, come!”
Turuna closed her eyes, despair wallowing in her stomach. She wanted this to end, she wanted her stomach to stop eating her from the inside out.
She wanted to go home.
Turuna slowly opened her eyes, and continued after them. It did not matter how much she wished she could go home, nor how much she wanted to eat to satisfy her stomach, she had to do this. She had to help Frodo destroy the One Ring and bring Suaron’s power down.
Turuna smiled lightly to herself, and knew that this choice she had made since day one, since before the Battle of the Last Alliance. She was going to help Frodo do this, or die trying.
Mica looked up again at the night sky, looking towards Mordor, knowing that her foster mother Turuna was over there somewhere. It had been three days now since Gandalf had left for Gondor with Pippin, and just yesterday Haldir left her. She was all alone, no one to talk to, no one to trust with her feelings.
Mica turned, and nearly jumped out of her skin when she saw Legolas standing next to her, staring her in the eyes. “L-Legolas, forgive me, I knew not that you were there.”
Legolas nodded, and looked out towards Mordor, his eyes holding a strong longing look. “You know, I know someone that is over there…somewhere, getting ready to walk into Mordor…”
“Why would anyone want to walk in there?” Mica asked, trying to make it seem like she knew nothing of what he was talking about.
Legolas looked down, and kicked a rock. His eyes then followed it, as it landed about ten meters away. “The woman that I love, Turuna Laime, is accompanying two young Hobbits into Mordor to destroy Isuldur’s Bane…There is little hope in my mind that they will return alive. It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do…I let her go once before, for I had no choice but to. And now…I had to let her go again, without telling her once more my feelings for her…So she may die in those unfriendly lands without knowing my true feelings for her…”
Mica sat her hand on his shoulder, and began to speak in a soothing voice. “Legolas, I am sure she knows. Do not give up hope on her coming back to you. There is always hope, even when it all seems to be lost.”
“Sounds like something Turuna would say to me.”
“Then learn to listen to her words, for most of the time they hold truth. Even in the darkest pit of the world they lies a light of hope. Hope is something that even the Dark Lord himself could not drive from ones heart.”
Legolas sighed, and looked back towards Mordor. “I hope you are right…I really hope that you are right.”
Turuna slowly picked Sam up, and sat him up on the higher rock, her eyes still locked onto the tower of Minas Morgal. She felt so uneasy about this place it wasn’t even funny. She then turned around to pick up Frodo, but found that he was not there. Panicked, she turned in a full circle on her heel, and saw Frodo walking towards the tower, as though something was pulling him in.
Quickly, Turuna leapt off the rock that she had been balancing on, and ran towards him, panic in her eyes. She ran up to Frodo and picked him up. She began to run back with him when she heard a loud blast, and was nearly knocked over by a strong wind force. For a brief moment she looked back and say a large green column of light shoot up from the tower.
Knowing full well what was going to happen, Turuna ran back up to the rock, and began to climb, while Frodo hung onto her. She got near the top, picked him up, and sat him down, then climbed up herself. She hid herself and the Hobbits behind a large rock, and looked out from behind as she heard the scraping of claws again rock.
There, on the tower itself, sat a Nazgul, with a Ringwraith on it. It was him, the Lord of the Nazgul, the leader of the nine. She slumped back, the pain in her shoulder coming back to her. It hurt, it hurt so bad. She had taken the full hit of that blade on Weather top, and it was twice as painful as Frodo’s wound.
Just then, the Nazgul screeched, and Turuna shriveled to the ground, the pain in her shoulder paralyzing her. Frodo started to shiver, and a light whisper came from his lips. “I can feel his blade…”
The screech stopped, and Turuna heard the all too familiar sound of stone scraping stone. She looked out from behind the rock again, and saw the doors to the tower were opening, and that many Orcs were marching out. The Nazgul flapped it’s wings, and a foul scent filled Turuna’s nostrils. The Nazgul lifted from the ground, and took off, flying away.
Turuna sighed out of relief, and turned to the Hobbits and Gollum. Gollum began to slump away. “Come, come.” He whispered, and began to drag them up the cliff towards the secret stairs.
Mica’s eyes widened slightly, why she did not know. She turned to Legolas, and knew by the look in his eye that something was wrong. “What is it?”
“Turuna…and the Hobbits are in grave danger.” He slowly turned to her, and fear was in his eyes.
Mica bit her lip, and looked out over towards Mordor once more. “There is nothing we can give to them except prayer…”