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Subject: Departure

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Date Posted: 15:27:32 02/02/03 Sun

Aragorn slipped into the huge vaulted chamber. As he had expected the throne room was completely deserted as it always was before noon. Some thoughtful person had placed an ornate chair next to the tree that had previously been his throne but Aragorn did not sit in it. In his hands he clasped the palantír, its midnight mists swirling. Bending his will upon it the king hoped ferverantly that what he was going to do was going to work rather than just make him look like a fool. There were records from antiquity that described the seeing stones being used in this way, what worried Aragorn was whether he would have the strength of mind to ultilise the forgotten powers of the Palantíri.

He felt it yeild and pushed the stone quickly into his pocket before exiting and making for the stairs up the tower of Ecthelion. At its summit he stopped and removed the seeing stone once more.
He took a deep breath and was about to speak when a mild voice commented "it won't work you know," from behind him.
He spun rapidly, scanning the top of the tower he had thought deserted. Sitting, his back to the king, was an old man staring out over the city, white hair glinting in the late morning sun. The man took another drag on his pipe, turned around and smiled at the baffled monarch.
"It cannot be," Aragorn breathed. "You cannot return twice."
The old man's kindly face creased in mirth.
"Elessar, I'm not Mithrandir." Blue smoke billowed from the lit pipe, the same colour as his robes which swished as he rose and moved closer to the king. "My name is Alator," he explained. "We met last night." Birds feet appeared around his eyes as he laughed, "don't worry I don't begrudge you for not remembering me. The meeting was brief and you appeared a bit, shall we say, preoccupied."
"Times are troubled," Aragorn muttered by way of apology, hope dying in his heart; at every time of crisis Gandalf had appeared, but not now. Even after they had all thought him dead the wizard had appeared to save them once more, was it so unreasonable to hope that this would be no different.
Alator had obviously sensed this change in his mood and inclined his head toward the palantir in the king's hands. "I know what you're planning, it won't work. No one beyond the first tier of the city will hear your proclamation."
"How do you..." Aragorn started before interupting himself "why won't it work?"
"Your soul is no longer complete," the elderly gentleman answered simply.

Whatever Elessar had been expecting it was not this. "My soul isn't complete?" he asked incredulously.
"The other half awaits you in Imladris."
The wizard's face grew serious. "In every moment you remain part of you dies. It is the same for her except she dies faster, her fragile elven spirit crushed by your rejection of the love she gave everything to share."
He sighed. "That is the reason the Althelas failed to save Deollyn and it is why as sound as the theory behind it is, your voice will never reach the whole city."

Aragorn's face assumed an expression of desparation. "But I have to leave," he enthused.
"Indeed you do, which is why I'm here." The king reguarded him quizzically. "I may not be as powerful as Gandalf the White," the istari explained "but I can certainly amplify your voice enough for this." His eyes closed in concentration before opening them again and nodding encouragment to the king. "Just speak normally."

Aragorn looked uncertainly at the palantir in his hands then back out over his city and began to speak.
"People of Minas Tirith, please listen to me."
From high in the White Tower he could see peoples heads turn down in the city's streets. "I realise that my timing is unfortunate but I must leave the city immediately. I realise that by now everyone must have heard the threat of war will soon be upon us but there can be no delaying my absense. Though they do not know it yet I leave the care of Minas Tirith in the capeable hands of the Lord Faramir and Master Samwise of the Shire. Respect them in the way you treat me for their word is now law."

Alator broke off the amplification. "Everything is taken care of," he said quietly. "And now you have to go, Estel."

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