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Subject: A return to Moria

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Date Posted: 21:51:38 10/15/02 Tue

It is dark, so dark. A stone tomb, leeching the life from his veins and shrouding his senses. He can’t hear the trees here, or see the stars. Everything that reminds him that he is alive is gone, to be replaced by damp, stale air and the constant drip, drip, drip of stagnant water from far-off caves. Silent as the dead themselves, the Fellowship travel the rocky passes that have become the final resting place of the Dwarf’s kin. It has been days now.

He is dangerously close to cracking. Despite the mask of ice he wears to shield the terror from the others, his burning fear rages inside. Already, he is beginning to lose control. The normally smooth voice is brittle, the delicate elven hands that clutch his bow white at the knuckles. He doesn’t know why. He can remember doing this journey before; he can remember how much he hated being underground. But this, this is new. Last time he overcame his fears; this time, it seems they will conquer him.

There are nine of them still, unchanged, yet changed. It is no longer the heavy tread of Boromir he hears beside him, but that of his brother. And ahead, Sam, Merry and Pippin cluster protectively around Gondor’s weary queen. Arwen. It is for her that they are here, Legolas recalls. It is she they must protect. She carries something of great importance, although his heart knows not what. Aragorn fears for her. The ever-increasing lines of care on his face are furrowed, and he watches her apprehensively, a part of his soul seeming to die if she so much as stumbles on a loose rock. No longer is he the stern, alert ranger, and this worries Legolas even further, for without him, all hope is lost.

Far, far to the rear, his sharp Elven ears catch the faintest of sounds. He turns and his eyes pick out a shadowy figure lurking far back in the gloom. Vomyr. He has been following them for days now, a malevolent shadow. Legolas has tried to warn the others that he cannot be trusted, but they will not listen.
Finally, his eyes come to rest on the head of their company, at the one who lights the way and leads them forward into territory darker than night. The wisest of them all, the one they all trust without question. Lómódë.
Deep inside him, something stirs. A warning. He ignores it. Lómódë knows what she is doing. She will keep them safe…

… “They are coming!”
The shout rings out, piercing over the steady drum beat that rings from the bowels of the earth. They are coming! They are coming, and there will be no escape! They will be overpowered, and he will die here, away from his family, in the dark, where not even the trees can sing his departure. He is afraid.

Faramir barricades the door, then falls back to stand with him and Aragorn. Legolas readies his bow as they begin to tear at the wood. He can remember this- any moment now, one of the goblins will tear a hole in the door, and he will loose an arrow through into its heart. But it’s different this time. His hands are shaking, and the arrow goes wide. They break through.

Aragorn kills the first. His sword takes the creature low in the abdomen, yet as the blow strikes home, Legolas sees something else. A girl with wild black hair and golden skin crumples under the blade, her dark eyes opened wide in fear and confusion. He tries to call out to Aragorn and stop him, but it is too late. She’s dead.

And then the battle rage takes him. He takes his fear, and channels it, releasing it the only way he can- through violence. The elven bow sings it’s distorted cry as arrow after arrow leaves it, sped to their mark on a killing wing. He is out of control. Foe after foe falls to the ground. From the corner of his eye he sees one of the creatures bear down on Faramir and he looses a shot after it. But at the last moment, the Steward of Gondor makes a blow that spins his opponent from it’s path, and Faramir takes the arrow in its place. He falls to the ground, lashing out with a final, desparate stroke at his enemy.

The troll bursts in, its wild club smashing a path towards Arwen. She is backed into a corner, unable to flee. They all rush to her defence. It is one of Legolas’ own arrows that finally makes the killing blow, and the redheaded witch-girl falls lifeless to the ground.


When it is over, the battle madness lifts from his mind. And with it comes the illusion- no longer do his eyes see enemies. Slumped over Faramir’s body is Eowyn, bound to her husband even in this semblance of death. Aryante lies where Gimli’s axe felled her, and her eyes are glassy. There are so many bodies- Laeriel, Rhylin, Arracus and Derrion amongst them. The beautiful faeries were not suited for war, he reflects. They are creatures of light and happiness, much like the elves.
He recognises warriors; comrades of his. Their general, pierced in the side by a spear, lies by the battered body of Keth, while Madjael is curled near the cold form of Namün. There are people here he has never seen before- commoners, women, even children. People who should never have to fight. He has killed them, and he could not see.

Grief-stricken, he turns to Lómódë. Her features are near as cold as the dead- still and unfeeling as a marble statue. He reaches out a hand for her, and she turns away. She does not care. Sam weeps over the body of his child, and his friends for those they cared for who have been lost, but she remains impassive, and brushes him aside.

And she does not even move when Vomyr appears behind Aragorn and slits his throat. The king falls wordlessly to the floor, as the she-elf passes him by, walking through her halls of the dead.

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