Written by Tanith 12-05-2002 01:43 PM
The next morning of the victory upon the Pelennor fields, the forces of Gondor and its allies set forth once more, intending to assail the realm of Sauron itself. They moved quickly into position for all the ponderous bulk of many men, their paths shortened for them by the careful aid of The Watcher and Metaphysician, allowing them to move over in a single morning the same distances that would otherwise taken days to complete.
With this shortening of their work, and with a long night's work on the part of Mg, no forces of Mordor remained by late morning to waylay their path. Similarly, with full memory of the deaths of his former eight companions at the hands of mere mortals, the one remaining Black Rider did not meet the army upon its path; and thus no reign of terror was there to turn back the less strong-hearted of the great host.
Faramir had remained behind, not yet healed enough to don armor and sword. Upon his own insistence, he had moved within the walls of the House of Healing, to await the news of the battle with the two others that shared his plight. By some it was said that he came to the House of Healing not to escape the mercurial moods of his father, but upon the sight of the White Lady of Rohan that walked in its walls.
As the noon day sun rose high above the earth, the amassed forces of Gondor and it's allies gathered within the Morgul Vale, where loomed the great rampart of Cirith Gorgor, and the Black Gate amidmost, with the two Towers of the Teeth tall and dark upon either side. Companies had been named and placed, and all were in the positions given to them by Aragorn and Gandalf, who lead over all.
When all was ordered, the Captains rode forth towards the Black Gate with a great guard of horsemen and the banner, heralds and trumpeters. There was Gandalf as chief herald, and Aragorn under the proud banner of Elendil. The sons of Elrond rode beside him, and Eomer of Rohan and Imrahil. The offworld strangers all were bidden to go also, so that all the enemies of Mordor should have a witness.
They came within cry of the Morannon, and unfurled the banner, and blew upon their trumpets; and the heralds stood out and sent their voices up over the battlement of Mordor.
"Come forth!" they cried. "Let the Lord of the Black Land come forth! Justice shall be done upon him. For wrongfully he has made war upon Gondor and wrested its lands. Therefore the King of Gondor demands that he should atone for his evils, and depart then forever. Come forth!"
There was along silence, and from wall and gate no cry or sound was heard in answer. The, the silence was broken suddenly, and there came a long rolling of great drums and then a braying or horns. And thereupon the middle door of the Black Gate was thrown open with a great clan, and out of it there came an embassy from the Dark Tower.
At their head was a evil shape, a vast red dragon with furled wings. His soft belly was covered by morgul steel, and a thin stream of flame rose from his nostrils. Not since the days of Smaug the Great was such an awesome beast been seen in Middle Earth. With him upon the flank trod two lesser dragons of the wingless breed, their gazes none he less cruel and cutting as the Messenger.
Behind the three beasts, there came only a small company of black harnessed soldiery, and a single banner, black but bearing on it in red the Evil Eye. Now halting a few paces before the Captains of the West, the great dragon looked them up and down and laughed.
"Is there anyone in this rout with authority to treat with me?" he asked. "Or indeed with wit to understand me? Not thou at least!" he mocked, turning to Aragorn with scorn. "It needs more to make a king than a piece of elvish glass, or a rabble such as this. Why, any brigand of the hills can show as good a following!"
Aragorn said naught in answer, but Gandalf spoke for him. "Memory fades fast, oh dragon, if you be so quick to dismiss the blood of he whose forefather Eärendil the Blessed once slew Ancalagon the Black, mightiest of all winged dragons."
The dragon looked upon Aragorn once more, and he looked upon the twin sons of Elrond. Then he his gaze lingered on Metaphysician, who rode there behind the other outworlders with a secret smile upon his face, and the cruel draconic eyes widened in recognition and fear. The Messenger quailed and gave back as if menaced with a blow. "I am a herald and ambassador, and may not be assailed!" he cried.
"Where such laws hold," said Gandalf, "it is also the custom for ambassadors to use less insolence. But you have naught to fear from us, until your errand is done. Come, deliver unto us Sauron's terms, so that all would hear of it."
"So!" said the Messenger, having his bravado and arrogance once more. "Then thou art the spokesman, old greybeard? Then here thou the terms, and these beside you: The rabble of Gondor and its deluded allies shall withdraw at once beyond the Anduin, first taking oaths never again to assail Sauron the Great in arms, open or secret. All lands east of Anduin shall he his forever, solely. West of the Anduin as far as the Misty Mountains and the Gap of Rohan shall be tributary to Mordor, and men there shall bear no weapons, but shall have leave to govern their own affairs."
There was a short silence as all heard these terms. But The Watcher, who had been looking elsewhere into the East with his far-seeing Sight, suddenly smirked as he caught an image of raging volcanic fire. "Deluded allies indeed," he muttered, only loud enough for his own party to hear, "won't he be surprised when Mt. Doom goes up in flames any moment now."
Then Gandalf suddenly cast aside his cloak and a white light shone forth like a sword in that black place. Before his upraised hand the great Messenger recoiled, and Gandalf cried: "As for your terms, we reject them utterly. Get you gone, for your embassy is over and death is near to you. We did not come hither to waste words in treating with Sauron, faithless and accursed; still less with one of his slaves. Begone!"
Then the Messenger of Mordor laughed no more. His face was twisted with amazement and anger of some wild beast. He gave a great cry, and shuffled back toward the Black Gate. Drums rolled and fires leaped up. The great doors of the Black Gate swung back wide. Out of it streamed a great host as swiftly as swirling waters when a sluice is lifted.
The Captains mounted again and rode back, and from the host of Mordor there went up a jeering yell. Dust rose smothering the air, as from nearby there marched up an army or Easterlings that had waited for the signal in the shadows of Ered Lithui beyond the further Tower. Down from the hills on either side of the Morannon poured orcs innumerable. Another pair of great winged dragons alighted atop the hills, one upon each side.
The wind blew, and the trumpets sang, and arrows whined; but the sun now climbing towards the South was veiled in the reeks of Mordor. And out of the gathering mirk the last Nazgul came with his cold voice crying words of death.
Through the ranks of the orcs there came striding up, roaring like beasts, a great company of hill-trolls out of Gorgoroth. Taller and broader than Men they were, and they were clad only in close-fitting mesh of horny scales, or maybe that was their hideous hide; but they bore round bucklers huge and black and wielded heavy hammers in their knotted hands.
From the skies several bolts of lightning rained down on the rear forces of Mordor, slaying those that were not too close to the armies of men, as the Andromeda too lent a hand to the battle. A message arrived then, through the communicators of the four YvtW'ers. "The teleportation block is down. All except around Mt. Doom. Use this advantage well."
And then, the Battle of the Black Gate was joined.
Written by Tanith 12-05-2002 02:54 PM
They stood upon the brink of a chasm, at the very Crack of Doom. The harsh red glow of the lava beneath them filled the cavernous chamber with a harsh light. There, heedless of the ash and sulfur that whipped through the air, stood the company, all focusing on their final task.
Lavan the Magmar stood furthest upon the edge of outcropping that led to the chasm, his fiery hide blending in subtly with the fires of the depths. In his palm still gleamed the golden band that had caused them all to come hither.
Tanith stood before him, her two pokemon by her side. Behind here Gimli stood guard over the still form of Z-man, though his eyes were fixed upon the tableau before him. Legolas also watched with wary eyes, though he was also preoccupied in holding back the ever more desperate struggles of Gollum.
"Lavan," Tanith commanded the Magmar calmly, "please toss the ring down into the lava."
Silence fell as all eyes fixed on the volcano pokemon. Lavan stared at his owner, and then, almost unwillingly, turned his gaze down upon the seeming innocuous Ring. The silence stretched on.
"Lavan," Tanith repeated, this time with a stronger voice, demanding obedience. "Throw. The Ring. IN."
More silence. The muscles in Magmar's arm seemed to bunch, and his hands trembled as if the pokemon was at war with itself. And still, it stared at the Ring.
Impatient, and spurred by thoughts not wholly their own, Tachi the Scizor and Eos in his Jolteon form began to move toward Lavan, leaving their mistress' side. Their eyes, too, were fixed upon the One Ring.
Taking in a sharp breath, Tanith took out two pokeballs. Without a word, she hit the recall buttons that sealed the two wayward pokemon away. She would apologize for her brusqueness later, but for now, there were bigger problems for her to deal with. Cautiously, she took a single step toward the Magmar. Her hand unconsciously strayed to the place where her Medallion lay under her clothes, as a whispy intangible voice seemed to call to her once more on the sulfurous winds.
Ignoring the call of the ring as best as she could, Tanith bit out the order one last time, coming just short of an Word of Command. "Lavan. Throw it. Now!"
Slowly, Lavan picked up the Ring with his other hand. He held it between thumb and forefinger, almost delicately, and then looked toward the fires below. Everyone held their breaths. And unnoticed, it was then that Z-man roused to consciousness from his toxin-induced stupor.
Written by WriterBoy 12-05-2002 03:57 PM
The Great Dragon who had acted as Sauron's messenger heard him, and roared with laughter. "You? An unarmed human? Not since the days of Bard of the Dale has a human slain a Great Dragon, and he had at least one arrow. You, little man, have not even that."
WriterBoy raised himself above the battlefield. "That may be, Dragon, but I still have the power within me to slay you in single combat." I hope. "I challenge you, Dragon, to battle my champion, here above the Black Plains. And if you should refuse, then before this day is out, every house in Middle-Earth shall know the tale of the Great Dragon, mighty Messenger of Sauron, who cowered in fear before a human!"
The lesser Dragons bristled, and moved forward, but their elder cut them off with a mighty snarl. "So be it, human! I will slay both you and your champion, and before this day is out, I will feast on both your bones!"
WriterBoy steeled himself and withdrew a Pokeball. Within, his champion, whom he had raised from infancy, somehow knowing that a day like this would come. Strains of the old Game Boy battle theme, enhanced by electric guitar, picked at his mind. "Like to battle like. Dragonite, I choose you!"
"DRAGONITE." The mighy Pokemon sprang forth from its ball, loosing its cry across the plains. For a moment, the combatants hung in midair. Then the Great Dragon dived at its foe, and the battle was joined.
"Dragonite, Smash attack!"
Dragonite threw itself at the Great Dragon, but the beast dodged, and flung its massive tail at Dragonite's head. Dragonite siezed the tail in its mighty jaws, and bit down. The Dragon roared in pain and yanked its taila cross the sky, pulling Dragonite with it. Dragonite released the tail and pulled itself around, just in time to dodge a massive flame that shot its way.
"So that's how he wants to play, eh? Dragonite, Ice Beam!" Dragonite's horn glowed a bright blue, and the air in front of it crackled. In midair, the Great Dragon became encased in a mighty block of ice. It did not stay that way long, as its flame breath and powerful muscles cracked the ice in twain. By then, though, Dragonite had followed up with another Smash, which this time connected. Great claws rent scales, and the Dragon howled in anger!
"Kill the human, my brothers! Kill him now!"
Cheater. The two Dragons took to the air and headed straight for WriterBoy."Dragonite, let him go! Charizard, go! Tag Team 'em, boys!"
The Mouth of Sauron laughed as its opponent flew of to defend its Master. It didn't notice the human figure making his way across the battlefield...
Written by The Watcher 12-05-2002 04:26 PM
Watcher: We just have to stop bumping into each other like this. Ah, how nice, a hellbat built for two.
Nazgul: Jump to your death or you shall suffer a worse fate! For I am one you can not fight!
Watcher: Oh, I wouldn't say that. I think I did pretty well the last time I went up against your breathren. I figure one of you should be a cinch.
Nazgul: Bah! It was Mithandir who dispatched my brothers, by imbuing that fire blossom with cleansing power. Without the wizard you can not slay me. Begone, foolish moral, for you only court your doom!
Watcher: You still don't know me very well. You got two things wrong. Number one, I'm not mortal. And number two...
The Watcher ignited his lightsaber.
Watcher: It's not my doom I'm courting.
And with that he plunged his glowing azure blade into the winged mount's head, causing it and its two passengers to go into a death dive into the battle below.
Written by Mg_knt 12-05-2002 04:58 PM
Snarling the Dragon swooped and at the last second pulled up letting loose a full mouth of flame. Circling around again the Dragon was confident that the strange man was dead. Suddenly, another Fireball burst againist the Mouth's underbelly. The Dragon couldn't believe that the man was still alive but it swooped down and saw that the man had somehow raised a Wall of Lava to shield himself from the Dragon's flame.
Knowing that the same tactic wouldn't work again the Dragon landed prepared to finish the man with his claws and teeth. The Mouth reared back and swiped a claw through the wall, the wall scorched the Mouth but it roared in joy when it felt the body of the wizard in it's claw. The Mouth brung the claw up to it't face and spoke "You have fought well for a man but now you are mine, but I want to enjoy my victory alone." The great Dragon spread it's wings and climbed into the air. After a few minutes the Dragon spotted a large hill about a hundred yards away. Swooping down and landing gracefully the Dragon once again brought the man to it's face intending to eat him.
The Dragon only heard the words "Kaervek's Torch" and a stream of searing flame shot toward the Mouth's eye. Howling in rage and pain the Dragon dropped the man and clutched it's eye.
"The forces of heat and fire are mine to command you overfed wyrm. Now, feel the power that flows beneth this very land, the power used to forge your masters trinket" the man shouted up at the wounded Dragon.
The Dragon watched as the man placed his hands upon the ground. "Lava Burst" the man spoke and with those very words and the earth started to rumble,a geyser of the molten rock exploded beneth the stunned Mouth and guickly grew into a wide fountain consuming the Mouth within it.*
Written by WriterBoy 12-05-2002 04:59 PM
WriterBoy was sweating bullets. He knew his Pokemon's capabilities, and while he was confident the two could pull off a victory, it could only be with the Dragons momentarily paralyzed. He had an idea, but the cost...
There was no other way. Grimly, he withdrew another Pokeball. His call came in a harsh whisper. "Venusaur... I choose you."
WriterBoy stared down at his Pokemon, Venusaur had been the first he had trained, and was still the most loyal, the most brave. His heart broke as he spoke the word, "Tangle."
Vines shot up from Venusaur's flower, and wrapped around the two Dragons, which roared in anger.
"Charizard, Dragonite, Twin Hyper Beams, NOW!"
The energy flew from the two Pokemon, engulfing the Dragons and melting the Morgul armor, but too late. Before the beams connected, each Dragon let loose a jet of flame down the vines to Venusaur. The Pokemon's howl of pain covered the entire battlefield.
"Blastoise, go, put him out! Dragonite, Charizard, finish those two bastards, now!" Dragonite and Charizard, enraged at the brutal attack on their friend, flew at the unarmored Dragons. Dragonite's horn ripped through the belly of one, while Charizard's claws rent the other. The mighty beasts fell on the battlefield, dead.
But WriterBoy neither noticed nor cared. He knelt by the gasping, charred form of Venusaur, as Alakazam tried its best to heal it. After several tense minutes, Alakazam removed its hands, and shook its head sadly. "Al... Alakazam."
Tears ran down WriterBoy's face as he felt inside Venusaur's mind for something, anything. Only the faintest spark of life remained. Venusaur felt the familiar touch of its Master's mind, and opened its eyes. It smiled. Its Master was safe, and its friends had won the battle. Its vines curled inward, and planted a soft pat on WriterBoy's shoulder. It opened its mouth and let out one last, soft "Saur."
On the Morgul Plains, within a telekinetic bubble, as the Great Battle for Middle-Earth raged on around it, Venusaur died.
Written by The Watcher 12-05-2002 06:13 PM
The Watcher, the Ringwraith, and the Hellbat all fell from the sky, smashing into a throng of charging orcs near the frontlines. The Hellbat smashed a bunch of them into pulp and then tore apart others with its death throes, while The Watcher and the Nazgul tumbled further into the advancing hordes.
Finally, they rolled to a stop in the midst of the forces of Mordor. The Ringwraith rose to an upright position, the waves of hate and rage radiating from it so palpable that the orcs instinctively gave it a wide berth. Meanwhile, the Watcher stood up from his landing spot, immediately summoning his lightsaber to his hand to strike down the orcs which sprang to attack him. After the first three fell to his blows the others stayed away, recognizing by sight or tale the figure of Death which slaughtered orcs with impunity at the Pelenor Fields.
The two implacable opponents advanced toward each other, ignoring the orcs who swerved to avoid their path. Once they got within melee range their blades met with a clash of sparks, as azure blue met ebon black again and again in a whirl of swift strikes and parries.
Nazgul: Again you attack me in futility! Though the burning blade brings me pain it can not extinguish the dark fire of my spirit! You will fall before me, and be dragged into the never-ending Darkness.
Watcher: That's where your wrong, Ring slave! You are the one who's going to be dragged into the harsh light of day!
And as the Watcher spoke he used his uncanny senses to see beyond the corporeal plane, into the realm of Shadow that was the Wraith's true home. He saw the Nazgul as he truly was, a ghostly white king wielding a jet black sword. In the distance a great fiery eye could be seen looking down upon all on the field.
The Watcher ignored the Eye of Sauron, focusing the bulk of his attention on the pale figure before him.
Watcher: You see, funny thing about you Nazgul. You became what you are because your rings slowly caused you to fade away into the Shadow World, thus transforming you into your undying wraithly self.
The Watcher then stopped parrying, ignoring the Nazgul's ineffectual blows as he focused all his effort at the task at hand.
Watcher: So it stands to reason that if you were dragged back to the land of the living, you'd just be another man again, with all of a man's weaknesses and frailities. And of course, with dimensional manipulation I can do just that.
Suddenly the Ringwraith let loose an unearthly shriek, as it felt a painful tugging on the link which tied it to his Master. A great pain ran through its essence, and then it suddenly felt a tearing. It screamed in unbearable agony as the Watcher finally managed to pull it loose from the anchor that tied it to Shadow and dragged it back into the physical realm. Where once a dark and sinister Nazgul once stood now was an old and feeble king.
Watcher: Welcome back to the mortal coil! Too bad you won't be staying!
And with that the Watcher struck him down, killing the mortal man before him and sending his soul where souls are meant to go.
Written by Metaphysician 12-05-2002 08:15 PM
*100 miles above. . .*
Meta: "I took a beating from one of your kin when I first arrived, but now, I'm used to ME metaphysics. Its my turn," he says, as the two wingless dragons begin accelerating towards Middle Earth, from which they had suddenly been plucked.
*75 miles down*
*Metaphysician clenches his firsts as he twists and rends space itself around the two wyrms, as they screamed in terror and rage, and the horrible pain from the spatial backlashes. Down, down, they speeded, faster than they ought, longer than they should. . .*
A few of the troops on both sides noticed a black dot in the sky. Soon, they grow larger. And larger. Before anybody can determine what they are. . .
The two wyrms land directly on the Black Gate, accelerated to such speeds that their impact brings the entire Gate crashing down. . . on much of the forces of Mordor.
Written by Tanith 12-05-2002 08:27 PM
Slowly, almost reluctantly, Lavan closed his fist around the Ring once more. He raised his eyes to meet that of Tanith's. It spoke in a clear voice, a clearer and more powerful voice than she had ever heard a pokemon use before, a voice that rose above the throb and turmoil of Mount Doom, ringing in the roof and walls.
Tanith heard a gasp behind her from Legolas, for the elf too could understand the speech of pokemon. Herself, she had been half expecting this to occur. The power of the the Ring was great indeed. With a pained look, she briefly closed her eyes.
"Then I have no choice," she whispered, both to herself and to Lavan. "Forgive me."
She gathered her Will, and spoke the Word to release it. Her eyes opened just in time to see Lavan slip the One Ring on to one bulky red finger.
And at that moment, the Power in Barad-dur was shaken, and the Tower trembled from its foundations to its proud and bitter crown. The Dark Lord was suddenly aware of the Ring, and his Eye pierceing all shadows looked across the plain to the door that he had made; and the magnitude of his own folly was revealed to him in a blinding flash. Then his wrath blazed in consuming flame, but his fear rose like a vast black smoke to choke him. For he knoew his deadly peril and the thread upon which his doom now hung.
From all his policies and webs of fear and treachery, from all his stratagems and wars his mind shook free; and throughout his realm a tremor ran, his slaves quailed, and his armies halted, and his captains suddenly steerless, bereft of will, wavered and desparied. For they were forgotten.
The whole mind and purpose of the Power that wielded them a was now bent with overwhelming force upon the Mountain. At his summons, wheeling with a rending cry, in a last desperate race there flew the last two winged dragons of Mordor's forces that had not been sent forth to meet the army at the Gates, hurtling southwards to Mount Doom.
But they were far too late. For the outcropping before Tanith suddenly cracked, and a sheer wall of air and force flew back from her outstretched hands, colliding with the now-invisible form of Lavan the Magmar.
"NO!!" the cry came from Z-man, his eyes wide with madness as he threw himself past the others toward the brink.
"Z! Stop!" Tanith called to her friend, her latter command a Word of Power. It surged out toward the stricken man, and held him in midair ere he could thrown himself into the fiery chasm below.
Pulling him back to safety once more, Tanith looked closely at her friend's face. His expression was one of madness and horror, of guilt and pain. With a pitying look, she gently laid her hand upon his brow.
"Sleep," she commanded him; and Z-man's eyes slowly closed as he drifted off into a dreamless slumber.
So they fell, Ring and pokemon, though only the faintly trailing cries of the pokemon told the others of his fall. Down they fell into the Crack of Doom. And then they were gone.
There was a roar and a great confusion of noise. Fires leaped up and licked the roof. The throbbing grew to a great tumult, and the Mountain shook. The company ran out the door, and there upon the dark threshold of the Sammath Naur, high above the plains of Mordor, they gaze out upon what they had wrought.
A brief vision they had of swirling cloud, and in the midst of it towers and battlements, tall as hills, and all the great and terrible keeps of Mordor. And then all passed. Towers fell and mountains slid; walls crumbled and melted, crashing down. The earth shook, the plain heaved and cracked, and Orodruin reeled. And into the heart of the storm, tearing the clouds asunder, came two great dragons.
Tanith spoke into her communicator once more. "Little help here, Rommie. We've got two dragons incoming." Then, her tone lightened from its seriousness. "We did it, Rommie. It's gone. You can send out the... ah... call now."
Even as she spoke, a great blast of white fire rained down from the sky, no longer disguised as natural lightning. The Andromeda's main effectors struck each dragon true and sound, burning them from the very heavens, leaving naught but ash.
Tanith, meanwhile, turned to go into the threshold once more. Gimli looked at her curiously.
"What do you mean to do, Lady Tanith?" he asked her.
She gave him a wry smile as she replied. "Lavan is a pokemon that was borne in the fires of the earth. The heat of Mount Doom is not fatal to him. By now, we can see that the Ring must have already been unmade down there in the fires of Orodruin. Now I shall go and recall my errant pokemon, for I surely do not mean to leave him here."
The dward chuckled at this realization, for it meant that no more of their company would fall upon this quest. And so Tanith went once more to the brink of the pit, and peering in, she could see the upper body of Lavan as he resurfaced from beneath the lava. The pokemon looked forlornedly about him, as if searching for the golden trinket that he had briefly carried, before the red flash of the recall beam claimed him.
"Eagles! I see Eagles!"
The exhuberant cry of the elven prince called Tanith back outside the threshold once more after she collected her wayward pokemon. There, in the distance, where her unaided eyes could only see faint dots, the keen eyes of Legolas had recognized the Great Eagles of Middle Earth.
"Praise Manwe! They come this way!" cried Legolas, before yelping in pain as Gollum attempted to bite him once more. "Damnable creature!" He said to it, though his mood was too light to scold it further.
Tanith giggled. "Let me help you with your burden, your Higness," she teased. Raising her hand to Gollum's brow, she put him into the same slumber as she had Z-man.
Legolas raised an eyebrow at her. "Thank you, my lady," he replied graciously, before turning toward the approaching eagles once more. "Something tells me, lady," he teased back, "that the coming of the eagles bears was to thee a thing foreseen."
"Mayhap," Tanith replied. "Lord Gwaihir was certainly thankful for our aid in his near fall at Isengard. And his brother Lord Landroval likewise."
Legolas just shook his head in amusement, while Gimli gave a soft snort. And the three of them watched the coming of the eagles.
Written by Tanith 12-05-2002 08:28 PM
All about the hills the hosts of Mordor raged. The Captains of the West were foundering in a gathering sea. The sun gleamed red, and the fallen bodies of the five great dragons lay dead upon the earth. The onslaught of Mordor broke like a wave on the beleaguered hills, voices roaring like a tide amid the wreck and crash of arms.
Aragorn stood beneath his banner, silent and stern, as one lost in thought of things long past or far away. But his eyes gleamed like stars that shine the brighter as the night deepens.
Upon the hill-top stood Gandalf, who stirred as if to his eyes some sudden vision had been given. He turned, looking back north where the skies were pale and clear. Then he lifted up his hands and cried in a loud voice ringning above the din: "The Eagles are coming!"
And many voiced answered crying: "The Eagles are coming!"
The hosts of Mordor looked up and wondered what this sign might mean.
There came Gwairhir the Windlord, and Landroval his brother, greatest of all the Eagles of the North, mightiest of the descendants of old Thorondor, who built his eyries in the inaccessible peaks of the Encircling Mountains when Middle-earth was young. Behind them in long swift lines came all their vassals from the northern moutains, speeding on a gathering wind.
A sudden terrible call came out of the Dark Tower, and at that moment all the hosts of Mordor trembled. The Power that drove them on and filled them with hate and fury was wavering. Its will was removed from them. And now looking in the eyes of their enemies they saw a deadly light and were afraid.
All the Captains of the West cried aloud, for their hearts were filled with a new hope in the midst of darkness. Gandalf lifted up his arms and called once more in a clear voice: "Stand, Men of the West! Stand and wait! This is the hour of doom."
Even as he spoke the earth rocked beneath their feet. Then rising swiftly up, far above the Towers of the Black Gate, high above the mountains, a vast soaring darkness sprang into the sky. The Towers of the Teeth swayed, tottered, and fell down. The mighty rampart crumbled.
"The realm of Sauron is ended!" cried Gandalf. "The One Ring is destroyed!"
As the Captains gazed south to the Land of Mordor, it seemed to them that, black against the pall of cloud, there rose a huge shape of shadow, filling the sky. It stretched out towards them a vast threatening hand, terrible but impotent: for even as it leaned over them, a great wind took it, and it was all blown away. A hush fell.
The Captains bowed their heads; and when they looked up again, behold! their enemies were flying and the power of Mordor was scattering like dust in the wind. The creatures of Sauron, orc and troll and beast spell-enslaved, ran hither and thither mindless. Some slew themselves, or cast themselves into pits, or fled wailing back to hide in holes and dark lightless places far from hope.
But the Men of Rhyn and of Harad, Easterling and Southron -- those that were deepest and longest in evil servitude, hating the West, and yet were men proud and bold, in their turn now gathered themselves for a last stand of desperate battle. But the most part fled eastward as they could, and some cast down their weapons and sued for mercy.
Then Gandalf, leaving all such matters of battle and command to Aragorn and the other lords, stood upon the hilltop and called; and down to him came the great eagles, Gwaihir the Windlord, and Landroval his brother, and they stood before him.
"Fancy meeting you here, Gandalf!" the playful voice greeted the wizard from Gwaihir's back. With careful use of her sorcerous skills, Tanith lowered herself and Z-man's unconscious form down from the great Eagle's back. Legolas and Gimli similarly slid down from aback Landroval, carrying the comatose form of Gollum with them.
Gandalf laughed. "Aye! Indeed 'tis a miracle," he said, though the twinkle in his eyes told her that he spoke of a different miracle than their presence.
Together, the group looked down from the hilltop to watch the battle that would be the last roused against the hand of Sauron. The eagles once more took flight, winging westward with glad tidings for the folk of Minas Tirith and the West.
Sing now, ye people of the Tower of Anor,
for the Realm of Sauron is ended forever,
and the Dark Tower is thrown down.
Sing and rejoice, ye people of the Tower of the Guard,
for your watch hath not been in vain,
and the Black Gate is broken,
and your King hath passed through,
and he is victorious.
Written by Tanith 12-05-2002 09:00 PM
As quick as they had set out, so the victorious hosts of Gondor returned to Minas Tirith. Denethor met them at the great gates, and with him was Theoden and Faramir, and the Lady Eowyn. There, in the tradition of Gondor, Aragorn was crowned King of Gondor, and all the city rejoiced. The celebrations lasted well into the night and for the next several days.
But not all spent their days in joy. For many had fallen to the Shadow of Mordor ere the victory of the Light. Writerboy mourned deeply for his lost companion Venusaur, and Tanith sadly relayed the news of CBY's death and his last request to the regents of Terra Mars.
"I'm sorry, J'Onn," she had told the shapechanged Martian, "and if you ever need any help with poor Christine..."
"I understand," the image of Owen had replied sadly, still holding the small datacard she had transmitted over. "Terra Mars will endure. That's what he would have wanted."
Meanwhile, Gollum, Lavan, and Z-man and his pokemon had been transported up to the Andromeda. There, Tanith hoped that they would begin their recovery from their ordeal, in body and in mind. She had already checked Eos and Tachi, and found them free of affliction from the Ring, for their exposure to its evil had been short and indirect.
From the latest reports she had received from Rommie, Kasumi and Mei had taken Gollum into their care, as they would care for an injured creature of any kind. Gollum, though long despairing from the loss of the Ring, and ailing physically from the loss of its life-lengthening power, had begun to recover under the care of the two women and from the healing techologies on board.
Lavan, too, had recovered quickly. To control him at the brink of its doom, the One Ring had used force rather than subtlety to affect his mind. As thus, the black magic was easily cleared under the care of Serra the white planeswalker. And he had since returned to his duties at PaDT, after being cleared by her in both body and mind.
Z-man, however, had a more difficult journey before him. The evil of the Ring still lay heavily upon him, and also the guilt of all he had done under its influence. Of all his pokemon, only Kadabra had been afflicted with the same darkness, and the psychic pokemon often shared in his sessions with Silverfox, who was counsellor on board the Andromeda.
His other pokemon had endured less of the Ring's presence, and once cleared of their health by Serra, had insisted upon helping their master through his difficulties. Upon Silverfox's council, Tanith ordered that none of Z-man's peers from the YvtW worlds should approach him until he was recovered well enough in mind. For some of them had lost friends in this journey, and some had a fondness for the hobbits of Middle Earth, and it would go hard upon the hearts of both side should a confrontation come too soon.
By the dawn of the second day, Theoden decided that it was time for the Riders of the Mark to return to Edoras. Gandalf, too, made to depart for Rohan, for he still had one last care to put to order -- that of Saruman, who used to be called the Wise. The sons of Elrond rode with them, for they intended to travel north from Rohan for the Golden Wood. Tanith also decided to accompany the party, and Mg with her, intending to see to the end that which Mg and CBY had begun.
Watcher agreed to stay behind in Gondor, to record the first days of the reign of Elessar Telcontar with the best that technology could offer. Their journey had been bitter, at times, but the ending was bittersweet. And PaDT would be foolish indeed not to partake of the good tidings of these times, despite the hardships that won it.
Written by Yeoman 12-06-2002 10:34 AM
As he turned off the monitor Owen turned to Christine.
Owen: It's off.
With that the ghostly form of the Chaos bringer appeared in front of his daughter, wearing a white suit, turned a light blue by his current state.
Owen: Are you sure about this?
CBY: Yes, I think so. And there is little need for disguises now, Terra-Mars needs you in other capacities, we;ll just have to find someone else to take care of Christine.
Owen's form began to shift that, growing bulkier and greener to reveal the aged Martian Manhunter.
J'onn: Why not just lead yourself, you are obviously still capable of guidance in this form.
CBY: Not really, few can see me in this state. And besides, I THink I deserve a vacation.
The Chao Bringer smiled as J'onn left to inform Terra-Mars of their leader's final descision.
Written by Mg_knt 12-05-2002 10:52 PM
Mg:"Tanith, after this is over I would like to talk to you in private."
Written by Tanith
They stood around the Tower of Orthanc. Theoden and Eomer were present with a small company of men. Behind them were arrayed the various Serra Angels and Elizabeth. Tanith and Mg stood closer up, upon the steps of the tower, and with them were the sons of Elrond.
Gandalf stood before the door of Orthanc and beat on it with his staff. It rang with a hollow sound. "Saruman, Saruman!" he cried in a loud commanding voice. "Saruman. Come forth!"
For some time there was no answer. At last the window above the door was unbarred, and there Saruman spoke. His voice was low and melodious, its very sound an enchantment. Those who listened unwarily to that voice could seldom report the words that they heard.
Once his voice brought counsel and comfort to those who sought his aid, and all he said was wise and reasonable. Now, the wisdom had fled but his power of speech remained, making all that he said seem trustworthy and good; his voice was a fair concealment of the dark ambition and creeping madness which resided behind those black, black eyes.
"Well?" it said now with gentle question. "Why must you disturb my rest? Will you give me no peace at all by night or day?" Its tone was that of a kindly heart aggrieved by injuries undeserved. And in spite of the malice they bore for him, shame and confusion were forced into the hearts of the company who stood there.
Most of the company. Tanith was fairly sure that neither of the Imladris elves were affected anymore than Legolas had been in the story. And for herself, her gelsuit had been set to mut all verbal speech, replacing it instead with synthesized text upon her visor. There would be no chance of Saruman's enchanted voice reaching her. And what little magical compulsion that remained of his spell outside of hearing she could easily shrug off on her own.
She looked sideways at Mg, who was likely unaffected through his earmuffs. She didn't know how he could understand Saruman's words without hearing them, but he probably wasn't listening at all. She was fairly sure that Mg was just waiting for the scene from the story where Gandalf would depower his counterpart... and then perhaps shoot Saruman.
"Come now," Saruman purred. "Gandalf I know too well to have much hope that he seeks help or counsel here. But you, Theoden son of Thengel, Lord of the Mark of Rohan... long have I desired to speak with you, mightiest king of western lands, to help you and see you through the darkness of the days you have lived, and the days which have yet to come."
Looking upon the Rohirrim behind her, Tanith found them all riveted to the sight of the old man above them. And she watched as Theoden unconsciously straightened with pride in response to Saruman's sycophancy.
"Is it yet too late?" Saruman ventured. "Grievious has been your war against me, though verily I wished not for it. And yet despite the injuries that have been done to me, in which the men of Rohan, alas! have had some part, still I would save you and deliver you from the ruin that draws nigh--"
Tanith couldn't help it, and she snickered. Raising her voice, she called out to the wizard. "The loss of your palantir must have made you blind, Saruman. Or have you not yet heard of the news of the Dark Lord's downfall? There is no ruin that draws nigh, only peace and celebration." Irony slipped into her tone. "Of course, if you have not even the wit to tell of that, then perhaps you're not so wise after all, and then whyfor should anyone come seek council with you?"
Saruman frowned as if he had noticed her presence for the first time. His eyes flashed in anger as they alighted on Mg, who stood there also with a mocking grin. But he kept his composure, and lifted his hand. "Peace!" he said, and for a fleeting moment, his voice was less suave, less composed. "I have no quarrel with you, my lady, nor your lands. I perceive it was not by design of your own that you became embroiled in this affair, and so I will not blame such part as you have played. You have been deceived by the lies of those who would see me destroyed, and would place blame upon me for incidents which were out of my hands."
Tanith ignored his words to her, as well as his subsequent altercation of words with the Rohirrim, the hotheaded Eomer in particular, who bore little love for the fallen wizard. But despite Saruman's best efforts, Theoden proved too strong for his power, and the King denounced the wizard.
Saruman then turned his attention to Gandalf "I offered you power, Gandalf. A chance to aid me, to right the wrongs of the world and truly make your mark, and you return to me in the company of the violent and the ignorant. They cannot understand that all is not as simple as their simple minds would have it be. You understand, Gandalf...." His voice grew subtle and absorbing. "Reconsider...." he said. "Join with me, and leave these lesser folk to their little lives. You need them not."
"No." Again, Tanith found herself speaking up again. A stray thought had crossed her mind, a wild thought perhaps, one born of too many nights spent over fanfics back home. But the words seemed right, and so she went with it.
"They don't understand what this hour means, Saruman. Nor do you. To them this meeting is but an opportunity to face a foe who has wronged them. They don't understand what is at stake, what it is that you once were... what it is that Middle Earth shall lose. What it means to be an Istari."
Gandalf nodded then, as he seemed to understand what the she was trying to say. He took up her words, and his voice grew mighty. As he spoke, power too was in his voice. But it was not a power to beguil, not a power of words. Rather, the power came from some higher source, and all could feel its presence.
"Have you forgotten wholly your place and purpose, Curunir?" he asked. "In your madness, you have hurt those who placed their trust in you to protect them. And in your greed and blindness, you have brought upon yourself a doom none should be made to bear. You are Istari, Curunir, and servant of the West... and beloved still, though you would not see it."
Saruman stared at him for a long moment, and his expression was one of confusion... then disbelief. The light prodded at his mind, and to him came vague images of... of Valinor, and Eldamar... an unbearable sound rose within him as of the eternal roar of the sea, or the rush of his heart, or both.
He looked upon Gandalf with almost hope, with remembrance. He was Saruman the White again, wisest and strongest of the Istari, and those gathered below him caught the briefest glimpse of what he had once been, indeed, what they had all but lost, and they grieved for him.
But darkness still waged within him; darkness that threatened to drown out the light. His face twisted with obdurate pride and he cried in a strangled voice, "Servant! Servant I was, but no longer! My life to waste upon those who crawl and live and die upon this wretched earth? I will not be made to grovel and obey the beck and call of the pitiful beings about me. I would have more... MORE THAN JUST THIS!"
"More?" Gandalf answered with disappointment. "Once you had all, though you did not perceive it. There is no shame in serving, if you serve a just cause. But you have sought base conquest and domination for fleeting, hollow triumphs, and betrayed the divine trust given to you. Your black master has fallen, and if you do not turn back, then never again shall you see the light of the Undying Shore, nor hear the blessed Voice of Arda."
Saruman staggered back as a man struck a mortal blow. His mouth moved but no sound came forth. The hard, black glass of his eyes cracked, and they saw the tormented soul within, frightened and alone, caught in a trap of his own devising and unable to find escape. His mind filled with anguish and doubt and the sound of the vast sea, and he was visibly torn. Saruman the Wise, for the first time in his existence, was utterly speechless.
"Yes, you are a fool, Saruman, or perhaps so deceived yourself that you cannot understand. Such is the blindness of evil. Saruman. Your power is gone. I cast you from the order, and from the Council. You have no color." Gandalf's spoke clearly and with no remorse. "Saruman, your staff is broken."
There was a sickening splintering sound as of bone breaking and the staff split asunder in Saruman's hand. It was echoed by another sharp crack, but this time of a gun going off. Saruman staggered as a bloody hole suddenly blossomed over his heart, and he fell back into the Tower, dead before he hit the ground.
Tanith whirled to stare at Mg next to her, who stood with his gun still pointing high. He met her shocked look with an emotionless shrug, pulling off his earmuffs as he spoke. "What? It's not like he can be trusted alive anyways. Better kill him now before he tries to pull something else on us."
Tanith sighed, and shook her head resignedly. Already, the Rohirrim were moving out, intent upon returning to Edoras. She motioned to Mg to precede her out of Orthanc, as she waited for Gandalf to draw nigh.
"He almost..." she began hesistently, turning the previous conversation over and over in her mind, "that is... at the end..."
Gandalf nodded, his eyes sorrowful. "There was still some good in him, buried deep beneath the corruption that Sauron wrought," he murmured. "If only I had seen it earlier..."
"I almost thought that he could be turned," said Tanith softly, glancing back one last time upon the window where the former head of the Istari had stood, "that he could redeem himself. What with Sauron gone, and the Eye no longer bearing down on him... it was more than just possible, wasn't it, Gandalf."
"It was," he agreed. "And it may have been, or it may have not. I know not, for the darkness still laid heavily upon him, even as his light strove to return to him. But what is done is done. We cannot change the past."
"No. We can't," murmured Tanith. "Still... somehow... I don't feel any satisfaction at his death, Gandalf. Nor relief at the permanent closure of this loose end. It seems to me that it's rather sad. As if we lost a great man this day. A great potential."
"And so we have," said Gandalf. "And so we have. But perchance his spirit would still find in it enough light to pass into Mandos. And there... that is between him and Mandos to decide."
Falling silent, the two followed the rest of the men out of Orthanc.
(Note: some of the dialogue has been shameless ripped off from fanfic.)
Written by Mg_knt 12-06-2002 12:32 AM
Mg:" I don't know where to begin so this isn't going to make much sense. Tanith.....I love you but I wasn't able to say it until now. I have loved you for years but I didn't consider myself good enough for you and well I still don't. I have to much blood on my hands and the scars run deeper then I imagined."
*Mg sighed then continued on.*
Mg:"There is one more enemy on Middle Earth for me. I must confront it alone and I most likely won't be seeing you ever again. Please if you are my friend do not follow me for I will be at my lowest and I would rather your last memory of me be at least semisweet. As for my position, I would like you to have Elizabeth step into that role. She is more then qualifed and will serve you well though my passing will be hard on her as she will have no one left. Finally, my will is in my quarters on board of the Andromeda. Please accomplish as much of it has you can."
*With that Mg turned and headed out into what was left of the forest around Isengard.*
Written by Tanith 12-06-2002 12:43 AM
Tanith's eyes narrowed as she stared at Mg's retreating back.
I'm *not* about to lose another one on this trip. One was one too many.
But how? Who to send in my stead?
She grimaced as her mind went through her choices.
Silverfox has his hands full with Z and Kadabra. Kasumi and Mei aren't suited for this. Serra? Perhaps... though her presence on Middle-earth might have unforeseen problems. Writerboy? I don't know him well. And he's in mourning anyways. Meta? Not the right person for this kind of thing either. Watcher? Perhaps. At least to keep an eye on him.
Elizabeth then. Yes, she'd do.
Scanning the people around her, she called for Elizabeth where the young woman was organizing the Serra Angels for transport back to the Andromeda.
I'll have Pallas go with her. The Hoot-oot can keep up with her in flight, and put an illusion over her to give her stealth. And if neccessary... Pallas has always been quick with her psybeams.
Somehow, I have a feeling that I'll definitely need to have Serra on call...
Written by Mg_knt 12-06-2002 12:54 AM
After he got his vest off he started to run. He ran as for as long as he could but it didn't take him long to tire. Lack of sleep and an almost constantly spending his waking hours in combat had definetly taken their toll on him.
Mg slowed to a walk and soon came to a small clearing. "This is as good a place as anywhere" Mg thought. Dropping to his knee's Mg pulled out his pistol and set the end of the barrel to the bridge of his nose.
"Goodbye, you bastard." Mg said as he saw the demon try and persude him againist this action.*
Written by Tanith 12-06-2002 12:57 AM
"NO!!" A voice cried out, and he turned to see a horrified Elizabeth flying toward him with tears in her eyes.
"Why?!" she cried to him when she reached him, too distraught to speak coherently. "Why?"
Meanwhile, from her perch on a nearby tree, Pallas the Hootoot relayed what was happening to Tanith.
Written by Mg_knt 12-06-2002 11:42 AM
Mg:"I didn't want you to see this either Elizabeth. As for why, I promised Tanith that I would protect her againist all threats. I have become a threat there is an evil inside of me that desperately wants to get out. That evil will try to kill everybody that I hold dear even you. So I must make this sacrafice to keep my promise. I am sorry I have to do this."
*Mg swung a fist at Elizabeth but before it could connect, Hootoot launched a psybeam and Mg fell back knocked out cold.*
Written by Tanith 12-06-2002 12:49 PM
Tanith's voice came over the device. "Take Mg up to the ship. Tell Rommie and Serra to keep him sedated until I can get back to deal with him."
"Understood." Elizabeth closed the channel and did as she was told.
Meanwhile, Pallas teleported straight back to Tanith on her own. Her job was done there.
Written by Tanith 12-06-2002 04:21 PM
Whistling cheerfully, The Watcher made his way out of the audience chambers as the noon court ended. Gondor was quite busy this morning, the King busy settling things to rights in the aftermath of the fall of Sauron. There were honors to be given and royal decisions to be made.
He made his way to the front courtyard where the newly replanted sapling of the White Tree of Gondor stood, intent on taking some sensor readings of the plant, when he was waylaid by a page requesting his presence before the king. Amused and curious, he followed the page, wondering if Aragorn was going to try and give out titles to the offworlders.
His amusement disappeared, however, when he was brought before the king. Aragorn had a worried frown upon his face, as he stared off out of the window toward the north.
"Is something the matter, your Majesty?" Watcher asked politely.
Aragorn sighed, and rubbed his forehead. "A shadow and a threat hath been growing in my mind this morn, my fried. As if dire danger approaches one that I love above all. I have sought the cause of this unease in the palantir, and it showed me of a darkness in the north. A thing of shadow and flame approaches the Golden Wood, but I cannot name this thing. For this do I ask of your presence here, to see if this threat has been foreseen in the lore of your land."
The Watcher nodded. "You wish me to look toward Lothlorien and identify the threat," he clarified as he activated his clairsentience. It did not take long for him to find what Aragorn had seen. He withdrew his Sight with a sharp intake of breath. "It is a balrog, my lord, a demon from the days of Morgoth. The lore of my land spoke of one that dwelt deep in the dark places of Moria, but I do not know what has called it forth above the earth. It approaches Lothlorien on foot, driving the mountain-orcs of Moria before its flaming whip."
Aragorn looked even more concerned. "Alas! thy news brings darkness to my heart. For the might of the forces of the Golden Wood has followed Lord Celeborn into the north, where they with the Elves of Mirkwood do wage war upon the evils there. Lothlorien, I fear, is unguarded!"
"Ah, but you have our aid, your Majesty, to bring any number of forces to meet it within the blink of an eye," Watcher reminded him.
"'Tis true, my friend, but it would take precious time indeed to reassemble the army, and even then, they may not stand against such an elder being." Aragorn looked less gloomy now, but was still worried. "Tell me, if thou knowst, by what art or power could this creature be destroyed?"
"Gandalf was the one who killed it from what I have read," replied Watcher, "though it took much effort and time. But perhaps this time, with our help, the task might be more easily accomplished. I can inform him through Tanith right now, if you wish. Time is of the essence."
"Do so, lord Watcher," commanded Aragorn, "and I shall prepare myself to come with thee also. For my heart shall not be at rest until I see my beloved hale and well."
The Watcher nodded, and took out his communicator as Aragorn went to give orders to ready their horses and his armor, as well as orders to his Steward. Many wanted to come, but Aragorn knew that such preparations would take too long. In the end, only Gimli and Legolas were allowed to come, as well as Writerboy, who sought to distract his grief with battle. In no time at all, Watcher had prepared the gate, and the small group of four rode through.
Written by Tanith 12-06-2002 05:16 PM
Tanith and Gandalf, along with Elladan and Elrohir, materialized near the edge of Lothlorien to see that the battle was already underway. Orcs and goblins were everywhere, their fear of the sunlight overridden by their fear of their master. But their dissarray was matched by the lack of defenders, for only a scant handful of Lothlorien's warriors were present.
Many of the elves were clustered together, around the form of Arwen Undomiel, who alone stood facing the balrog. But she did not face it with drawn sword or strung bow; her face was lifted in song. It was the Song of Luthien, a song of Power that all could feel, a song that once beguiled the great Morgoth himself. And it kept the Balrog at bay, neither advancing nor retreating, as turmoil raged among them.
And then there was Galadriel, arrayed in the garb of war. The daughter of Finarfin rode through the ranks of the orcs as if a raging fire. Words of Power also fell chanting from her lips, and it was by her art alone that the great bulk of Moria's deizens were kept back.
Elladan and Elrohir immediately made for their sister with a cry of challenge. Tanith called forth Eos and Tachi once more, and went to help the defenders against the orcs. Gandalf, astride Shadowfax, rode straight for the Balrog, one hand flashing with Glamdring, and the other holding his staff that was aglow with white burning light.
Into that tableu did the party from Gondor arrive. Legolas and Gimli, along with Writerboy immediately joined the ranks of the other defenders against the orcs. Aragorn, like his foster brothers before him, had no thought except for Arwen, who was now fighting in her own right once the Balrog had turned its attention to the Istari.
Watcher conferred for a moment with Tanith on their communicators, before he brought forth his power. Two shields he wrought. One was wrought between the Balrog and the elven defenders, to ensure that no stray bolt would catch them unaware. The other was a little ways into the the forest, just beyond the edge of where the battle was being fought under the mallorn trees. That one was to ensure that no orc that escaped the blades of the forest's defenders could go on to invade the defenseless home of the Elves. It also took some pressure off of Galadriel, who was now free to turn her attentions to the balrog as well.
For a long while, the battle raged on. By the time the first hint of crimson touched the skys, most of the orcs and goblins had been decimated. The Balrog was worse for wear, bearing the wrath of both Gandalf the White and the Noldor Queen. And yet, it would have taken Gandalf the Grey more than a week to destroy Durin's Bane; and even with the greater powers brought against it now, the Balrog did not fall.
But then, all of a sudden, the call of trumpets interrupted the battle. From the direction of Redhorn Pass, a large party of elves appeared. At the fore rode none other than Elrond Peredhil, the Master of Imladris. Beside him, in his full shining glory, rode Glorfindel, Lord of the House of the Golden Flower and Balrog-slayer. Blowing another note of challenge upon his great horn, Glorfindel spurred his steed and charged like a bright arrow toward Durin's Bane.
With a cry of dismay, the Balrog spread its smoky wings and took to the air, seeking to escape its doom. But the offworlders had plans of their own. With a command from Tanith, the Andromeda rained down a beam of pure concussive force squarely on top of the Balrog, forcibly thrusting it back down to the earth. With a great CRACK, the ground sundered beneath the impact of the Balrog. And the three -- Gandalf, Galadriel, and Glorfindel -- converged upon it once more.
The Balrog didn't stand a chance.
The Watcher and Tanith broke out their personal recorders (not that they hadn't been recording the fight beforehand anyways).
As all watched with awe and amazement, the Balrog was cast down by the might of these three. It broke the ground around it in its throes of death, causing an upheaval of earth and stone that was somewhat contained by Watcher's hastily erected shields.
Silence reigned upon the field.
Finally, Gandalf stirred, and turned to the Lady Galadriel. "How fares your people, my lady?"
The golden lady smiled, and she shimmered in radiance under the setting sun. Passing her penetrating gaze over all that were assembled, she took stock of her people and their allies. As it met the gaze of Gimli the dwarf, wonder came across his face and he bowed his head. And as it in turn met the gazes of Tanith and Watcher, the could almost feel a light touch upon their minds.
Then, she turned back to Gandalf and Glorfindel, and addressed as well Lord Elrond, who also approached them. "We have suffered no loss this day," she assured them, "and we have gained much. Lorien's gratitude goes to thee all, who have come hither and raised arm in its defense."
Elrond shook his head ruefully as he greeted his mother-in-law. "'Twas chance that brought us here," he said. "Our party had left Imladris for Lorien some days ago, for there was much to prepare should the Dark Lord fall. But as we approached the Redhorn Gate, an ill wind reached me, speaking words of haste. Naught did we suspect that the evil of Moria had awoken once more."
"Yes, I was informed by our outworlder allies myself," said Gandalf, "and they from a vision that Aragorn foresaw. But I wonder what awakened Durin's Bane. For surely it was not chance that it struck at a time when the Golden Wood seemed least defended."
"The call came from the East," Galadriel informed him, "ere the Dark Lord's fall. That I saw in the Mirror, and heard upon the wind. Sauron has been desperate indeed, when so many of his captains have fallen." Her amused glance alighted for a moment once more on the two offworlders. "But come, the battle is done, and let all come rest under the eaves of Calas Galadhon, and there ease your weariness and toil."
No one was about to complain of the offer. And so they tarried in the golden city, for a while yet.
Written by WriterBoy 12-06-2002 07:48 PM
WriterBoy walked restlessly through the Golden Wood. Somewhere, he knew, there was revelry, a celebration of the defeat of the Balrog, and the ending of Sauron's reign. More celebrations would likely follow, culminating in the grand wedding of Aragorn and Arwen. But he did not feel like celebrating. Killing orcs had been fun at the time, but it did little do dsitract his mind from the pain in his heart. Not just from the death of his beloved Venusaur, but all the pain that had been wrought since the Ring had fallen into Z-Man's hands. He could see it in Minas Tirith: the mothers and wives whose sons and husbands would not return from battle; Tanith, who he could tell blamed herself for CBY's loss, like all good captains would; and Gandalf, who would occasionally turn west, to the Shire, with a horrible grief in his heart. He distractedly kicked up leaves as he wandered through the forest.
"Much troubles you, young man."
Startled, he turned. Before him, clad in a flowing white gown, stood the Lady of the Wood.
"It is none of your concern, my lady."
"All things concern me which take place in my realm. You are a guest, and an honored one at that. Middle-Earth owes you and your friends a debt it can never repay."
WriterBoy scowled. "Middle-Earth owes us nothing. You would have come out all right in the end. Trust me, I know."
"Do you? Have you the same sight as your friend, the Watcher?"
"Not his clairsentience, no, but the same knowledge of..." He trailed off.
"Of the way things were supposed to be? This is not your storybook; this is a living, breathing world, and its fate is no more set in stone than yours."
"No. It seems nothing is anymore." He turned to leave. An strong grip on his shoulder stopped him. He looked at Galadriel. She hadn't been that close to him, had she?
"I can do nothing to ease your loss, but there is something that I can show you, that may unburden your troubled mind." She turned and walked away. Knowing nothing else to do, he followed her.
They came at last to the Mirror of Galadriel. Niether of them spoke as she poured the water into the Mirror. Uncertain, he looked.
At first, he saw only water. But then, the waters parted. He saw the Morgul Plains, still black and lifeless. The shards of the Black Gate lay strewn about.
"What is this supposed to do?" he asked. Her gaze held no answers. Again, he looked into the Mirror. This time, he saw a closer view. He recognized the spot; it was the where Venusaur had died. A tear rolled down his cheek. As it fell into the waters, its ripples changed the image once more. Were those... Yes. On the very spot where Venusaur had breathed its last, tiny bulbs just broke the surface of the soil. As he watched, time sped up, and the bulbs grew. Then, they stirred, and one by one, infant Bulbasaur poked their heads into the light.
WriterBoy looked up at Galadriel. "Is this..."
She nodded. "A future. It will not come to pass for many months, long after you and your friends have departed this world. But I shall delay my journey to the West, and see to it that your creature's children are born."
"I... don't know what to say," WriterBoy choked. "Except, thank you. Thank you very much." For the first time in days, he smiled. "You've given me a lot to think about. You're right, it didn't ease the pain fully, but now, I have an inkling of some things I can do to make this world better before I leave it."
And so he did. First, he cornered Boromir and Arwen, and extracted from them a promise that the Shire would be protected from harm by Gondor, as in Tolkein's account. Then, leaving the wood, he journeyed to The Shire itself. There, in one night, with his telekinesis, he shaped stone and wood into a memorial, on the site of Bag End, depicting the four hobbits whose destinies had been cruelly stolen. It showed them standing side by side, looking towards the rising sun. At the base, along with their names, was an inscription:
"The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say."
Written by Z-man 12-07-2002 05:26 PM
Until his mind was fully under his control, his powers wouldn't be, either. He didn't want to even try his clairsentience, for he was pretty sure he knew what he'd see. He just couldn't look at that burning eye any longer.
He didn't even react when he heard his door open. He chanced a glance and saw his Pikachu, Sparky, wheeling in a small cart with a plate on it.
He had never intended to get a pikachu when he first started pokemon training. It was too cliche. But obviously some net eventer did, because he found Sparky abandoned as a pichu on the street. Some kid had used his powers to get one, and then abandoned it when he decided he didn't want to keep it. If Z-man hadn't found him, Sparky wouldn't have survived the night.
He knew what was on the plate, Sparky's favorite food to make: hash browns. Z-man sat up, took a bite, and grimaced. It tasted like there was an entire bottle of ketchup in that one bite. Obviously Sparky was trying hard to make him happy, since Ketchup was the Pikachu equivalent of catnip.
"Pika Pi!" Sparky said happily, as Z-man finished the hash browns, then hopped up on bed with him. Z-man scratched Sparky's head absentmindedly as they lay there together.
Written by Yeoman 12-06-2002 10:42 AM
J'onn: It my sad duty to inform you all of the passing of the Lord of Terra-Mars. While the details of his death are not important at this time, what is important are his last wishes.
J'onn: First of which, there will be an election to instate a Prime Minister for the Planet in the coming months. Until such time as this can take place, he has asked that I take on these duties.
J'onn: The second of these, is that he wished for this planet to help those affected by the Net Event that changed so many of the Earths.
J'onn: He has asked that we honor those who fall, to help those who need it. To be neutral ground when such is needed. These thing we shall do.
J'onn: As the first act in this new path, I have been informed of the Passing of Locke of Earth Prime. As another head of state, and one touched by the net eventer, we shall hold a memorial for him here.
Written by Ramz 12-06-2002 04:39 PM
Getting up, Z looked into the sky, flew away into the stars.
Z (mentally communing with J'onn): J'onn, I'm sorry for the lose of our master and friend. I'm also sorry I can't be at the funeral now, ill be taking a leave of absence.
J'onn: I understand Z, goodbye.
Z: Goodbye my friend.
Written by The Watcher 12-15-2002 03:29 AM
He looked up at the door as his keen senses detected someone approaching. It slid open to admit a familiar face. Manuel knew the Watcher not only as a Rumbler, but by his real name, for he was a well known figure back on their Earth. As CEO of Planar and Dimensional Travels (as far as Alternate Earth was concerned), one of the laragest and most influential companies of the world, The Watcher couldn't help but have some noteriety. Like other famous moguls before him, he found that wealth and influence were enough to focus the media's eye on him, whether he courted it or not.
"Hello. I can tell by that expression of inquistive recognition that you recognized me but aren't sure if you are right. The answer is yes, I'm exactly who you think I am. As for what I'm doing here, you've somehow stumbled into a very delicate situation.
"A rogue dimensional traveller had stolen The One Ring, causing complications which threatened to change the fate of the world below onto a dire path. My collegues were in the process of trying to set things right when you suddenly arrived on the scene. Naturally, they had some reason to suspect you were yet another interdimensional interloper attempting to sieze the Ring for himself.
"Now that we got you here we know that is not the case. I've already looked your file up and your profile doesn't indicate such behavior as likely. However, I am concerned as to how and why you ended up here. You may or may not know this, but dimensional travel is very restricted from our world. A dimensional barrier has been errected to prevent unauthorized transit from circumventing customs and quarantine.
"You shouldn't have been able to leave Earth, yet somehow you did. I'd like to hear the story behind the events which transported you here in your own words, to help us figure out what happened. Do you feel well enough to give a statement now?"
Written by Manuel & The Watcher 12-15-2002 12:18 PM
Manuel: Well... we were pursueing a rogue superhuman... that's my job. You looked through all my stuff, right? I'm sure you found my badge and other things, though I guess all my weapons are still down on the planet. Am I getting those back, by the way?
Watcher: Those were beamed up and deposited in a holding area. I suppose that since they were legitimately issued to you they'll be returned when we drop you off back home.
Manuel: Anyways, we were pursueing this guy, a Zooterrorist. You know what those are right?
Manuel paused for a moment, deciding whether to explain himself to the Watcher. He listened to Watcher's vitals, to see whether the term elicited confusion or curiousity.
Watcher: I think I've heard the term before. Go on.
Manuel heard some curiosity from the Watcher.
Manuel: Anyways, we followed him by just following the trail of ripped up landscape. He was really shredding the Los Kalinas canal area, like he was looking for something. None of the baseline cops wanted to go near him, so they called up Excalibur and me. We knew it was dangerous, because one of the things this guy had been doing was randomly teleporting chunks of objects around, or making wierd gateways. Most of them were local, so we didn't think it was a problem.
Manuel: I guess we underestimated how powerful he was. As soon as I got near the building, I could feel exactly where he was. His heartbeat and vitals were funny, like they weren't human. So I stealthed and went it, hoping to sneak in and get a clear shot.
Manuel: I don't know if he just panicked and got lucky, or seeing Excalibur out with the SWAT vans spooked him, but he freaked. Those weird constructs were everywhere, suddenly, and the building started to shimmer. Wierd geometric shapes started appearing in the air, it made me think of a jigsaw puzzle, like if the world was a puzzle and somebody just started taking pieces out.
Manuel: One of them opened underneath me, and there wasn't much I could do. I fell in. Didn't fall very far, my feet hit solid ground, and I was in that ash-mountain place.
Watcher: Hmmm, sound like that guy was more than a mere gate manipulater. Anyone who could open a breach in the dimensional barrier has some serious power.
Manuel: Where the hell was that, anyways? I used to read fantasy novels, back before the Net Event stuff. It reminded me of one, but I can't remember which one.
As he finishes speaking, Manuel absently raises a hand to scratch a bandaged spot on his arm, then pauses and lowers his hand, remember the doctor's command not to scratch any injuries, no matter how much they itch.
Watcher: That was Mordor. Specifically, the caverns in which the spider Shelob made her lair. A very unpleasant place to be.
Written by Mg_knt 12-26-2002 11:16 PM
*Elizabeth sat in the chamber that Mg lay in. Mg has been kept sedated for several hours now and lines streaked Elizabeths face where her tears had long since dried. She kept asking herself why this man had been so weak. He was the one that pulled her up out of her dreadful life. He supported her own weakness with his force of will in the darkest days when her addiction screamed out for some sort of drug. It didn't make sense, sure he kept to himself most of the time except when he was training her. She guessed something had been going on when the ships counselor had visited Mg's quarters for a couple of hours and it seemed to her that Mg had always looked at the Captain of the ship with a look of hidden sadness but he had to be stronger then that! Quickly Elizabeth got up and went to see the Captain, she was the one who would decide what was to be done with Mg.*