Written by Tanith 01-15-2003 07:53 PM
Tanith paced restlessly in the twilight woods of Lothlorien. The cold light of the stars shimmered through the canopy of the mallorns, casting an ephemeral layer of goassamer light on all that lay below. There was a sense of winter here, of emptiness... as if a once great warmth and power that had held the land in splendor was slowly departing, and the forest itself mourned the loss.
But Tanith paid scant attention to the sorrow of the Golden Wood. Nor did she care to rejoin the nightly celebrations that the Elves held this time. In a low voice, she spoke into her communicator to the Andromeda, holding council with the vessel and certain members of her crew. Although the great evil that had drawn them to this world was gone, not all was well.
"We have done as exhaustive an analysis as possible of Mg's condition," Rommie was saying, "and neither the most advanced of my systems nor the most powerful of Serra's spells reveal another hand in this."
"So you're saying that this... doppleganger... is entirely a creation of his own mind," Tanith finished bluntly. She sighed. Despite her supposedly immunity to illnesses, she could feel a headache coming on.
Silverfox's soft voice picked up the conversation on the communicator. "From what I've learned from his file and from what Elizabeth has told me," he said, "I think the darkness of his life has overwhelmed him. Hell, as I understand of it in your Earth religions, is not a place that would leave one unchanged. And his was burdened even before his death."
"So what do I do now?" Tanith asked plaintively. "I certainly don't want him to go kill himself. Especially if he's just going to wind up... there... again."
"He has not awakened yet," Silverfox informed her. "I will try to speak to him again if he wakes. But I fear that his malady is beyond even my skills." He paused for a moment, and then mused almost to himself, "ironic that of all the wounds and illnesses that span the multiverse, it is still the frailness of the mortal mind that holds no simple cure."
"Very well, Silverfox," Tanith acceded, "keep me appraised." She then turned her attention to other matters. "So what's the condition of the guest that we picked up from Mordor?"
"He's well, physically speaking," Serra replied this time. "He did not suffer any lasting or grievous harm from the spider caves. Watcher is speaking to him now."
Tanith nodded absently, forgetting for a moment that they could not see her. "Then let Watcher take care of this particular detail then." She frowned as another thought hit her. "In fact, with Z out of commission for the near future, he'll probably be needed to fill in for Z at PaDT. Has Nobody been notified of what's happened?"
"Yes," replied Rommie. "Much of the workload that Z usually handled have been routed to him and the Khazan office."
"Great. More paperwork," Tanith grumbled. "I think we need to promote up some more people into management positions... look into that would you, Rommie?"
"Of course," came the ready answer.
"And in the mean time, have you checked up on... that thing I asked about before we left Rivendell?" asked Tanith.
"I have. The results did not take long to come back. The assassination of the Prime Minister of Canada is not something easily missed."
"I... see..." Tanith closed her eyes. She hadn't wanted to confirm it, but the words that Aragorn had spoken to her were now crystal clear. Her dear friend was gone. "Did they catch the killer?"
"Then I guess we have yet another quest to attend to when all this is over." She was surprised at how steady her voice was.
Written by Tanith 01-15-2003 07:55 PM
The soft voice came from behind her. Startled, Tanith whirled around, and found herself faced with the newly crowned King of Gondor.
"Out for now, Rommie," she spoke quickly into her comm and closed it, before addressing the man before her. "Your Majesty. I didn't hear you approach. Is there something I can do for you?"
"More 'tis rather that something that I can do for you, my lady," replied Aragorn cryptically. He motioned for her to follow him as he started down a seemingly random forest path. Puzzled, Tanith followed.
"You were speaking just now of the matter I saw in my vision, were you not?" asked Aragorn.
"I was," Tanith affirmed sadly, "with certain friends of mine who are looking into the matter."
Aragorn nodded. "I feel as if I am responsible for bringing this heavy matter upon you, lady. And it troubles me that I can do little to ease it's burden as you and your companions have done mine."
Tanith shook her head. "Though you are king, you are not responsible for all that happens in the world, Majesty. You had naught to do with cause nor consequence of our troubles, but the same could not be said of us."
"Mayhap, but I would nonetheless help where I can," stated Aragorn resolutely. "I have spoken thus to the Lady Galadriel, and I believe there is something here that may be of aid to your new quest."
With that, he came to a stop. Looking around, Tanith immediately recognized the small clearing that the path led to, and the water basin that stood in its center. "The Mirror..." she breathed.
"The Mirror of Galadriel," confirmed Aragorn. "They say that it shows what was and what may be. It is my hope that whatever visions you see from it will reveal more of the path that you now find yourself upon."
Tanith flicked a glance at him. "I have to admit," she said ruefully, "that the thought of looking into this wonder had crossed my mind once or twice. But I didn't think it polite to just ask..."
"For what you and your companions have done, I do not think there is any place in the free lands that would deny you," reassured Aragorn.
"Though not all of us live to see it..." Tanith murmured, her thoughts turning for a moment to CBY. Then, her attention was diverted when Galadriel stepped into the clearing, pouring a stream of sparkling water from a tall vase into the Mirror.
Slowly, Tanith descended to where the Mirror stood. Galadriel finished pouring the water, and merely looked upon her expectantly. Stepping up to the Mirror, Tanith looked into the waters.
Images of the Past... The fatal moment when Z-man touched the Ring of Power... The moment of horror when Shelob's dark fangs sank into human flesh... A momentary flash - a gunshot - a Death... Images of the Present... A floating Realm, held aloft by paths lit with moonbeams... A deep, deep sea that sang with life and Power... A doorway... A path... A Pattern... Images of the Future... Paths... Paths of the Dead... A ghostly presence... A clang of swords... A flash of twilight locks and upswept ears... A flash of stormy grey eyes that drew closer and--
With a sudden wrench, Tanith was released from the vision. Taking deep breaths, she raised her head to meet the calm knowing eyes of Galadriel. Her mind felt numb, and she could already feel the images fading from it, as if sinking deep down into her subconsciousness. With forced concentration, she made herself listen as Galadriel spoke:
"A long path lies before you, who are no longer mortal. But you do not travel it alone. Seek for what is lost on the paths laid before you. Your heart has long known of what you must seek."
Somehow, the cryptic words made sense to her. Nodding, and still a bit numb, Tanith quietly thanked the Lady of the Galadhrim before she turned and walked back up the path she came. There, at the top, she was surprised to find not Aragorn, but an elf that she recognized as one of the twin sons of Elrond. But beyond that she could not tell if he was Elladan or Elrohir, for they were twins identical in appearance.
"Ah!" the elf said brightly as she walked near. "Estel asks me to convey his deepest apologies. But apparently he had an appointment tonight. In the same direction my dear sister has just 'retired' in, it would seem."
Tanith couldn't stop a small laugh of amusement at that. The mental image of the highly dignified King of Gondor and the rough Ranger of the North as a love-sick young man was quite incongrous to her mind.
The elf's eyes too shone with amusement. "And since your former companion, the Prince of Mirkwood, has decided that it was his duty to fly to his people as they fight the remaining darkness in Mirkwood, I have been asked to be your escort back to familiar grounds. For it would not do, certainly, for us to leave our guests endlessly wandering the Golden Wood!"
Grinning again, Tanith inclined her head. "Then you have my thanks, Lord... er... Elladan? Or are you Lord Elrohir?"
"You have it right the first time, my lady," the elf informed her. "I am Elladan. My brother is still back at the celebration, having cornered one of your companions... WriterBoy? Mike?... I do believe he intends to record everything that has happened to your companies since departing Imladris. He might even make a ballad of it!" Elladan quirked a smile and winked. "And I suspect that you will soon come under his queries yourself, lady. Beware!"
Tanith laughed. "It can't be that bad, surely. And certainly the tale deserves to be told, so that it will be preserved in history... and those that have sacrificed for Peace should not be forgotten..." At the last part, her mind turned to CBY once again, and then the Hobbits, the little heroes who never had a chance to live. In particular, she thought of Sam and Frodo, whose jobs it had been in another timeline to preserve the tale of the Ring. "Bilbo's legacy should be continued..."
"And it ever shall be," Elladan state resolutely, as if sensing her somber mood. "The Elves have seen Arda through it's darkest moments, and we have endured the touch of the Shadow. But though history fades into myth and legend, our memories will still shine as constant as Eärendil's path."
Tanith looked up at his words, and followed the half-elf's gaze into the night sky. Through the light canopy, she could easily see the light of the brighest star in the night sky.
Eärendil... Star of Hope...
Her mind turned to another subject as she gazed upon the star. An idea began to form in her mind.
Written by Yeoman 01-15-2003 08:27 PM
Tanith turned to see the ghostly blue image of the Chaos Bringer.
Tanith: Why am I not really surprised?
CBY: Hmmm... I do always seem to stick around whatever anyone tries, don't I?
CBY: Still, dreams are not necesarrily reality...
CBY: Yes, yes, "If we shadows have offended, think but this and all is mended," all that. Still, the king of dreams seems much more amicable to the dead than the living...
That was when Tanith woke...
Written by Tanith 01-15-2003 09:47 PM
Morning in Lothlorien found many of the Elves readying for travel. Tanith looked around in puzzlement, wondering if she had missed something in her preoccupation the night before. She had been so intent on discussing a possible solution for Mg's state of mind with Galadriel and Elrond that she hadn't noticed much else that was going on.
She spotted Aragorn speaking to his foster brothers, and decided to ask them what was going on.
"The War in the north is won," said one of the sons of Elrond, though she could not tell which. "Dol Guldor is fallen, and the woods are returned to Light once more. Grandmother means to go there now, for her skills are needed to see to it that the very roots of dark tower are cleansed from the land."
"Father is likely to go with her. But Elladan and I won't be, though," said the other, who could be no other than Elrohir, "for someone must keep an eye on our little sister here." He ducked to avoid a playful swat from said little sister, and Tanith noted that he was dressed in a lighter shade of the Imladris blue than his brother.
Aragorn shook his head ruefully at their antics. "And I must return to my duties in Gondor," he said, "though my heart would know no greater joy than to tarry here." His eyes sought that of his betrothed, and the two seemed for a moment to be lost in their own world. Elladan and Elrohir rolled their eyes in unison.
"You have already tarried here, tithen muindor," Elladan said, "by now the people of Gondor are no doubt aware of what has happened."
"And you have yet a long road to travel. Denethor is going to be beside himself," Elrohir put in. "You will have much to explain to him why it has taken so long for you to return to your duties."
Aragorn ignored the taunts. "The travel time I can shorten, if Lady Tanith is willing to lend her aid once more."
"Of course, your Majesty," Tanith replied as she took out her communicator, smiling at the smug look Aragorn threw at the twins. She called up Rommie, then waited as the two lovers once again bade farewell to each other, before the Andromeda's teleportation beam whisked Aragorn away to Minas Tirith.
"I should see to my own duties as well," Tanith murmured absently to herself. She then turned to the others and asked, "tell me, did Bilbo Baggins come with the party from Imladris?"
"He did not," Arwen informed her, "though he had much wished to. But he did not think he could endure the journey." Her eyes turned sad for a moment as she thought of the old hobbit who had stayed behind in Imladris. "I think the death of Frodo has much wearied his spirit."
Tanith nodded; physical frailty was not too much of a difficulty to overcome with the Andromeda's technology if the elderly hobbit were to depart Middle Earth with her. "I would like to speak to him again before I depart," she said simply.
"That is still a while yet," Arwen told her confidently, "for there is still my wedding ceremony to attend." She beamed radiantly as she thought of her King once more.
"Of course," Tanith agreed. She eyed the Elves that were just setting off toward the north once more. "What are they going to do at Dol Guldor?" she asked, unable to contain her curiosity. "Do you think I would be allowed to witness it?"
"I know not the particulars of what they plan," said Elladan, "but I do not think it would be secret. Do you wish to ride with them?"
Tanith thought for a moment. "It would take them some time to reach Dol Guldor," she thought aloud, "I think I shall return to the Andromeda first and see to some of the duties I've neglected so far. I can join them from there easily enough once they arrive."
"The Andromeda - a ship of the stars," mused Elrohir. "I would dearly love to stand aboard such a vessel, to travel the Void as Eärendil does..."
Tanith shot him a searching look. "As Eärendil..."
Not long later, Tanith finally found herself back aboard the Andromeda for the first time since she had beamed down onto Middle Earth. Rommie gave her a quick report, and she signed off a few urgent communiques from PaDT. Then she headed for the Infirmary rooms. Since Watcher had taken care of their visitor from Earth 3.0, there were only two people she needed to see... Z-man and Mg.
"tithen muindor" means "little brother" in Sindarin.
Written by Yeoman 01-15-2003 10:48 PM
ZY: So what do you think Baby, should we ask to stay on board for awhile or walk the multiverse for awhile?
RY: I'm thinking wandering. What's the fun in just staying in one place, when we can see everything?
ZY: *Grinning* I like your style.
Andromeda appears on one of the rooms view screens.
Andromeda: Yeoman, you have a message from Terra-Mars. It's marked urgent.
ZY: Man, what the heck could they want?
Written by Mg_knt 01-15-2003 11:26 PM
"The Andromeda! I am not supposed to be here." Mg said as he sat up.
"Mg, just what were you doing out there? You think I was foolish and couldn't guess what you were up to?" A look of concern and anger crossed her face.
"I was saving you and the crew. Can't you see that I am not right? Damnit, Tanith he came out at Helm's Deep and he rampaged. I...I...I couldn't control him any longer so I let him out and that has doomed me. Instead of stating him for awhile it just incited his bloodlust. Now please let me be alone and do what needs to be done..." Mg didn't look at Tanith as he said that. His head was cast down like a scolded child.
"Mg, you are going to get help. Luckily, through the events here in this ME, I have forged ties with the elves and Galadriel. When, the Andromeda departs you will stay here while Galadriel and Elrond help you." Tanith said sternly. Then added with a softer voice, "Mg you are my friend and have been for many years. Just let me help you again, I know you dislike help from others but this time you must accept it. Just promise me you will stay put."
Mg sighed heavily, he was under her total control here on the Andromeda not that he would try and hurt her in the first place but this was something he didn't feel comfortable with. He just wanted to end the war inside his head as quickly as possible and without the chance of it ever happening again but he had no other choice.
"I accept your offer Tanith and I promise I will stay here."
Written by Tanith 01-16-2003 02:03 PM
With a few whispered instructions to Rommie and Serra to keep an eye on Mg, Tanith headed for the isolated quarters next to the Infirmary, where Z-man was staying.
One of his pokemon opened the door for her. Most of them had not been too affected by his ordeal, having not been in conscious proximity to the One Ring long enough. Chikorita and Houndour have both recovered from their physical injuries as well.
Only Kadabra was still kept separately in the Infirmary, kept watch by Silverfox and Kasumi. Apparently, his psychic abilities had only made him more sensitive to be affected by the Ring's evil.
Nodding a greeting to the pokemon in the room, Tanith sat down in a chair facing Z-man. They traded meaningless pleasantries for a moment, both uneasy with all that had happened. Finally, Tanith voiced the question she had come to ask.
"So, what are your plans from now on, Z?"
Written by Z-man 01-16-2003 02:56 PM
"I think I can find a time for you to meet them," Tanith responded. "Bilbo might even be coming with us. As for Gandalf, he's traveling to Minas Tirith for Aragorn's wedding. We could go down and meet him when he sets up camp for the night, or just wait for the wedding itself, whatever you want to do."
"Could-" Z-man began nervously. He gathered himself for a moment, and then began again. "Could you ask him to come up here and talk to me? I don't entirely trust myself anymore, and I'd like Rommie to be able to reign me in. Just in case i'm still under Sauron's control."
With a small twitch of the mouth and some held back laughter, Tanith responded, "I really don't think you have to worry about harming Gandalf right now, even if Rommie would let you try."
Z-man smiled. It was a small smile, and it barely reached his eyes, but he smiled. "I know," he responded. "I just feel more comfortable right now knowing that there's someone keeping me from doing the wrong things right now."
"I understand," Tanith said, and stood up. Before she got to the door, she turned around. "I'm sure he does, too. I'll ask him when he sets up camp tonight." And then she closed the door.
"Thanks," Z-man said to the door, barely audible.
Written by Tanith 01-17-2003 01:27 AM
On the Andromeda:
Tanith stood before the wide open doors of the hangar bay of the Andromeda, facing toward the stars of Middle-earth... the stars of Elbereth. Her eyes, however were closed, and she stood silently as the doors before her slid shut. The doors leading to the Andromeda's inner corridors swished open, allowing in one of the Rommie's droid forms.
Rommie stopped not far behind Tanith and looked at the still form still standing on the docked hoverpad. Slowly, she lifted her eyebrows, and spoke. "You're glowing."
"Am I?" Tanith murmured. "Gimme a moment to let my eyes heal." Slowly, she opened her eyes in a small slit, then blinked them experimentally. When they no longer watered or itched, she sighed in relief and looked down at herself. Surely enough, there was a faint aura of light upon her skin, which was already fast fading.
Shaking her head ruefully, Tanith walked out into the corridors, with Rommie beside her. Absently, she rubbed at her eyes once more.
"Did the light filters not work?" Rommie asked inquisitively.
"They did," Tanith replied, "but I had to keep them lowered enough so that I wasn't just seeing black... and I guess even a little bit of light is still more than enough to sear the eye. It's probably more of a magical quality, I think."
Rommie nodded in understanding. "I see. And do you need to check with the Infirmary? You are still glowing."
Tanith dismissed the notion. "My eyes were just left sore, and my Quickening has already fixed that. The... skin glow isn't harmful, and it's already fading. It'll probably disappear altogether by the time I leave planetside."
Rommie accepted her decision, as her sensors had not picked up any dangerous readings either. The two walked onward a little more in silence, until they neared Tanith's office. It was then that Tanith suddenly broke the silence again.
"It's not fair, you know."
"What isn't?" asked Rommie.
Tanith sidestepped the question, and continued. "He gives up his family to save his people, risked his life to reach Valinor itself, and even after he saves his people, he's forever exiled from them and his family."
"Not all of his family," Rommie pointed out, having quickly figured out who Tanith was speaking of.
"Only one of his children will come to Valinor, and I doubt he knows how to fly."
"It could have been his choice."
"That doesn't make it fair. The entire line seems doomed when it comes to family."
"Some of the were Doomed," quipped Rommie.
Tanith shook her head. "Only Turgon, perhaps. Idril fared rather well. Dior didn't ask for the Silmaril, and neither did Elwing. And the Doom of the Noldor certainly doesn't explain Elrond."
"What do you mean to do?"
"Right a wrong in the only way I can."
"You're not going to get in trouble with the local deities over this, are you?"
"If I am, it's already too late. But I doubt it. No law was broken."
There was a brief silence before Rommie changed the subject.
"The Elves have arrived around Dol Guldor... the ruins of Dol Guldor."
Written by Tanith 01-17-2003 10:54 AM
At Dol Guldor:
Tanith stood upon a nearby hilltop, watching the elusive magic of Middle-earth at work under the skilled control of two High Elves. There was not much to see with just human eyes, for most of the action took place in the realm of the spirit. That was why she was leaving the recording and analysis to instruments that were more suited to the task. Even though, the data readings were somewhat vague. But then, such readings always were.
As the ritual wound to a close, the Elves began to set up camp nearby, for the day was getting late. Brightly colored pavilions rose up seemingly out of nowhere, and elfsong filled the air.
"Lady Tanith! I did not know you had accompanied the Lorien party to these woods."
Tanith started and looked up. She saw a familiar golden-haired elf draw near. Legolas stopped next to her and for a moment, seemed startled when she met his eyes. He gave her a quick piercing scrutiny, before composing himself once more.
"I didn't precisedly accompany them, Legolas," Tanith replied bemusedly, "but I was curious of how they were going to cleanse the dark tower." She then threw him a question of her own. "And I thought you had gone to rejoin your own people, oh Prince of Mirkwood?"
"I did and I have," replied Legolas affably. He half turned and pointed to where a large cluster of pavillions were being put up around a circular gathering of elves. "With the fighting now ended, my father has decided to come discuss with Lord Celeborn the fate of these woods."
Sure enough, Tanith cold see the tall silver-haired form of the Lord of Lorien conversing avidly with a similarly tall golden-haired elf lord. They seemed to be disagreeing on something. She turned back to her companion with a curious look.
"So that is King Thranduil. I have to admit that what little I know of him comes from Master Bilbo's book."
Legolas winced at that, having apparently read the book in question. "Ah. Well. He was not at his best in that particular... incident," the elf said ruefully, then rose to defend his sire, "but in other times he has always been a true lord to his people, and of the forest."
"I suppose a little paranoia might've been justified in those dark times," Tanith temporized with a small grin. "He did hold his kingdom for two millenia against the rising Shadow without the benefit of an Elven Ring."
Legolas beamed in pride. "Yes. And perhaps for that, Mirkwood shall be spared the swift fading of Imladris and Lothlorien. What little damage the war has done to the forest is already healing. Soon, Mirkwood shall become Greenwood the Great once more."
Tanith nodded. A woodelf would know how to judge the progress of the forest. She turned her gaze back toward the ruins once more.
"Lady Galadriel seems weary," she noted aloud, "and Lord Elrond moreso. Did their magics truly take that much energy from them?"
"It would seem so," answered Legolas as he looked toward them as well, "though I know little of magic. But I think Lord Elrond feels more the weariness of his heart than of his body." His eyes turned sad. "Soon, his daughter will bind herself to a mortal, and he will lose her."
"But he still has two sons that will accompany him West." Tanith turned to regard Legolas when he did not answer immediately. "Does he not?"
"Perhaps..." came the response at last. But Legolas looked uncertain. "I do not know what choice Elladan and Elrohir will make. But since the departure of their mother, the twins have kept more company with the Dunedain than with their own kindred."
"But their mother still waits for them in Valinor," Tanith pointed out.
"Yes," agreed Legolas. "And perhaps that may be enough to sway their choice. But if one were to insist upon staying, I do not believe the other can bear to choose differently."
"Or the opposite could hold true, if one were to insist on leaving," Tanith added.
"For the sake of their father and mother, let us hope it is so." Legolas looked back over toward where his father was once more, and turned back with a smile. "Ah. I see my father and Lord Celeborn have come to an agreement this night. Even if it were an agreement not to argue further. Come! You must come meet the king of the forest."
"As long as I don't end up in your dungeons like the dwarves," Tanith quipped with a teasing grin.
Legolas sighed exasperately. "Cellars," he corrected, in a resigned tone that hinted of many previous 'discussions' on the issue. "They were cellars. We haven't any dungeons. And you, my lady, are no dwarf."
Tanith just laughed as she followed him toward the Mirkwood pavilions.
Written by Tanith 01-17-2003 05:13 PM
Later that night:
Tanith walked among the elven pavilions in the silence of night. It was late enough that most of the elves, aside from the sentries, had retired. But as she came to a center clearing, she saw that at least one had not. The lord of Imladris sat near the fire, gazing into the dimming flames, and lost in his thoughts. An empty glass goblet rested on the ground beside him.
Tanith mused at her luck. Or maybe the small bit of probability manipulation I have is good for more than just shadow-walking after all.
As she quietly approached the silent elf lord, he became aware of her presence and looked up from the fire. One of his eyebrows rose upward, as if in surprise, when he saw Tanith standing there. "Is there something you wish to bespeak me of, lady?" he asked finally.
"Ah... yes, actually, milord," Tanith began awkwardly. She wasn't sure how to say this, not wanting to remind the elf lord of more unpleasant things of his past. And despite her words to Rommie before, she wasn't quite completely confident that she wasn't breaking any rule. She felt a compulsion to justify what she wanted to do first, even before the action itself.
"For we who are not from Middle-earth, this world and its peoples have always been but a story. And with all stories, there are things about it which we would care to change, should it be real, and the change possible. Indeed, that was what led the Ring to corrupt Z-man, and led us to support the battles in the West that had naught to do with the Ring itself. We all wanted, well, a happy ending for people we have only known before in song and tale..."
"That you wish happiness to others speaks highly of you all, lady," Elrond said calmly when she trailed off. "But Middle-earth has more life to it than just a few names in a book. Not even the Valar can cure all its ills. There is a limit to what you can do, and you need not worry overmuch over this world. Even though your people and the Elder kindred shall depart it, it shall not lack for its own champions."
"I don't think any of us can cure all the ills from a world," Tanith said wryly, "but there is yet one injustice that I, at least, feel deeply, and which I can amend."
"What injustice is this?" Elrond asked in a concerned voice. "Is there still another danger that threatens Middle-earth?"
Tanith shook her head. "Nay, my lord, I do not speak of any danger in the now. I speak of an unfairness that dates back to the First Age."
Surprise flashed across Elrond's eyes again at that. Tanith took a deep breath and skipped straight to what she had come to talk about in the first place.
"I come to ask but one thing, my lord," she told him solemnly. "I ask that you accompany me to my vessel, the Andromeda, for but a little while... There is something I would like you to see."
There was a long pause as she waited for Elrond's response. And in that long silence, nothing was revealed upon the countenance of the Lord of Imladris except the slow rise of both his brows. Tanith held her breath, and tried to keep herself from fidgeting. Finally, Elrond responded. In one smooth movement, he rose gracefully to his feet, his tall form towering over hers. Solemn stormy grey eyes met nervous brown. And the elf lord nodded.
"Your people's efforts on behalf of Middle-earth have not yet gone astray. Very well. I will come and see this thing that you would show me."
Tanith sighed in relief. "Thank you, my lord," she said as she took out her communicator. "It is my hope that I have not been too forward in this matter, and I dearly hope you will not regret this choice."
Opening the device, she called for the prearranged beam-up to the Andromeda. The air around them shimmered, and the ship's teleporters efficiently transported them straight to the hangar bay of the Andromeda. Elrond looked around curiously once the touch of the teleporter disappeared, his eyes automatically drawn to the starscape that hung outside the bay doors, separated from the room only by two transparent forcefields.
"If you would step this way, my lord." Tanith beckoned to a circular platform that was docked to the causeway they stood on.
Elrond stepped onto the platform as she asked, and watched cautiously as another dome-like force field shimmered into being around him. Tanith tapped the side of her gelsuit as a dark filter appeared over her eyes like a visor.
"What is it you wished to show me, lady?" Elrond asked as he gingerly examined the forcefield around him with an outstretched hand.
"Rommie." Tanith's voice was a command, and the ship responded by tilting just a few minute degrees upon its axis - just enough to bring into view of the hangar bay doors of the brightest star in the night sky.
All of a sudden, blinding white light filled the room. Even though Gil-Estel, the Star of High Hope, was still quite a distance away from the ship, it's brilliance easily pierce through the darkness and the distance. Tanith could hear a startled gasp from Elrond as he whirled around to look toward the center of the light, his elven eyes easily bearing the blinding rays to mark its source. Her own vision was quite hindered from seeing more than bare outlines of the things that were before her, though.
"The hoverpad will bear you close to Vingilot, my lord," she said toward the general direction of her companion, "close enough to speak. And I do believe there is someone there who would dearly wish to bespeak you. I will not come along, for this light is not easily withstood by humans, and for your privacy. But I will await here until the craft brings you back when the time comes."
With that, she gave the command for the craft to engage. The hoverpad detached from the causeway with a soft click and smoothly glided toward the doors. The containment force field infront of the causeway activated just as the force field on the doors deactivated. There was a soft hiss of air as the hoverpad left the hangar bay proper, headed toward the star that the Andromeda was positioned next to.
There, in the Void, the craft spurred quickly onwards admist the white light. Soon it came to a stop merely inches away from a beautiful sailing vessel of white and gold. A figure stood upon the glorious ship, with grey eyes and dark locks that were painfully familiar to the elf lord on the hoverpad. A bright jewel shone radiantly on the brow of that heavenly sailor - the source of all the white blinding light.
The two stared at each other for what seemed like an eternal instant. Finally, Eärendil, the Blessed Mariner of the skies, spoke up, his voice a soft whisper that nonetheless easily carried to the ears of the other, carrying within it infinite shades of emotion.
"Elrond... Nin ion..."
Just as softly, and with just as much emotion, the reply quickly came.
"Nin ion" means "my son".
"Adar" means "father".
"Vingilot" means "Foam Flower", and is the name of Earendil's ship.
"Nin ion" means "my son".
"Adar" means "father".
Written by Tanith 01-17-2003 05:18 PM
Back in the Hangar Bay:
While she waited for Elrond to return, Tanith took the time to go over the analyses of the two cards that Aragorn had given her. She sighed in resignation when she finished. There was no longer any doubt just exactly what they were.
Trumps. Creations of the Great Pattern.
They told her that whatever fate had befallen her dear friend, it was intricately tied to the Princes of Amber. And that meant, if she was to get to the bottom of his death, she would have to do what she had carefully avoided ever since gaining her powers - to involve herself with the people whose powers her shadowwalking was based upon.
Taking out the cards once again, she studied them. Power thrummed in the seemingly innocuous cards. It beckoned for her to use it, to call out though the vast distance of Shadow that they bridged.
But she did not.
A trump was not a tool to be used lightly. She herself had not the power to make one, for they could only be made by one who had walked the Great Pattern. Although one of her powers simulated the barest superficial results of such, she could claim none of the true gifts that the Pattern bestowed. And while any seeing and thinking being can *use* an already forged Trump, it was perilous to do so without knowing what lay expectant on the other side. She had no illusions that her mental defenses would last if pulled into a mental duel against a full blooded Amberite.
No. That road would only be her last resort, when all other paths of inquiry turn dead. For now, she would wait for more word from the investigative teams that she had hired to Earth Prime.
Sounds of shipboard electronics interrupted her, as the hangar bay warned her that it was about to open the doors once more. Putting away the two cards, she activated her eye-filters. The door to the bay opened to allow the returning hoverpad in, and white light cascaded into the room once more.
Tanith waited paitiently as the doors closed behind the craft, which docked onto the causeway. Dismissing her filters when the room dimmed to bearable levels once more, she watched as Elrond stepped off the pad, his posture one of deep thought and his eyes unreadable.
"It has ever been so long..." the elf lord murmured at last, as if to himself, "to forever forsake the land beneath one's feet for the hope of so many others..."
"You are welcome to return here, my lord," Tanith began hesitantly, uncertain of the response she would recieve, "you and your family, should they wish to, for as long as the Andromeda remains in this world. It... It is the least that I can do."
Elrond turned to her, as if noting her presence just then, and his eyes were sparkling with more than just the light of the Silmaril.
"Thank you." Gratitude hung thick in his voice, and Tanith couldn't help but smile in return.
Written by Locke 01-17-2003 10:33 AM
''Must you insist upon wearing sandals-even winged-sandals-as your *only* form of attire in what is after all, an interrealm conference for the record?''
The speaker, who might have been mistaken for a rather untidily clad white bearded hermit plucked from the depths of the forest primeval to which he had retired in seclusion, huffed as he contemplated the sheets of red parchment that lay before him on the stone table. Had an onlooker been present, peering over his shoulder, he would have seen that the black writing (scribbed on that parchment in a tongue no mortal could ever have mastered) writhed and twisted as if alive. The seeming youth to whom the query was addressed, smiled, and laid his serpent twined small staff upon the table.
''Now, now, Peter-may I call you that- do recall the prerogatives of godhood. And frankly, given where we are holding this meeting, I'd think you'd find that twatty old robe more then a bit sweaty....um...you aren't still fretting over that silly memo, are you?'
At the opposite end of the table, another gentleman, who had had many names over the course of countless, even measureless years, smiled quirkily to himself. Nattily attired in what appeared to be the latest in Armani fashion, he at least bore no sign of discomfort with the heat the youth claimed to find so oppressive. Now, as he insisted upon, addressed as the Senior Partner, he relished his appearances at these meetings. Indeed, he appeared to draw no small amount of satisfaction from Peter's seemingly eternal battle of wills over the interpetation of the memorandum that lay on the table. When he spoke up, it was in a smooth and practiced charm that had as Peter often pointed out, beguiled far too many souls.
'Standard boilerplate, my good chap" intoned the Senior Partner in his most silky, persuassive voice."And I might add, quite clear, as our esteemed Hellenic colleague has pointed out. Really, our case is beyond dispute.'
The Hellenic colleague in question nodded. ''Yes, Father is quite comfortable with the protocol as it stands. He had my sister go over that thing with a fine tooth comb, and when you're the Goddess of Wisdom, not much gets by you. Of course, since I myself, am not merely the patron of thieves, but of commerce as well, I've learned a thing or two about contract law over the eons. Let's focus our efforts upon more productive matters shall we?''
Peter nearly snarled as he lay aside the parchment. After a long pointed glare at the serpent twined staff that rested upon the table, he turned to the youth.
"I remind you, young man, that we are talking about the damnation of an eternal soul here, which cannot be taken lightly. Our responsibilities in these matters cannot be taken as lightly as you appear to!''
The youth shrugged with indifference, pausing briefly before he replied
'What is that line my elder brother is so fond of spouting? Oh yes...'
|those pitiful creatures are like the leaves,
now full of blazing life, eating nourishment
the earth provides, then fading into death.
''Let's not get too worked up over a routine matter now, shall we? And given that you are responsible for this entire muddle to begin with, perhaps you ought to focus your efforts upon resolving it as painlessly as possible...Ah Eonwe! I was beginning to think you wouldn't show. Have a seat. Wine?''
Peter frowned at the disruption of a meeting that now threatened to never end. A meeting that in truth, that had never properly gotten started, due to the now fashionablely late arivals of the realms' various negotiators and representatives, the vast majority of whom he would have been only too happy to consign to the tender mercies of the Senior Partner.
That latter had ignored the arrivals of their less punctual colleagues. He appeared all too satisfied with himself, as well he might. As Peter had to reluctantly admit, he did have the case law and the facts on his side.
'Yes, it's true enough' the old man-for thus he appeared to be-intoned sadly. ''The individual in question-a notorious unbeliever if ever there was one- perished without securing the necessary state of grace to enter His Precincts. He should have been consigned to perdition immediately for his sins of unbelief, but alas, the petition entered upon his behalf was most eloquent, even moving. Nor had we entertained the possibility he might prefer to spend eternity in some..heathen afterlife. By existing precedent, he should have been bound over at once to the eternal custody of the Senior Partner. He was not. I am compelled to authorize the duly established and authorized representatives of that...worthy ..to secure custody...'
''After you locate him of course' interjected Hermes, for whom the disposition of souls-not to mention their transportation- was, after all, an agelong responsibility. I for one would love to hear the explanation for how you managed to er...misplace one helpless soul, but I suppose recriminations won't help much now. And, assuming of course, now that he is at liberty to find his own resting place, that one of our realms does not, as it were prove, a suitable destination. Should he, for example, stand in judgement before my dread (but not unkindly) sister, and be permitted sanctuary in the Isles of the Blessed, there he shall remain.''
At this, Eonwe, last of the stragglers(most of whom had prudently elected to remain silent) shook his head firmly. When he spoke, it was with the utter conviction of one who is rightly confident be bears the complete trust of Manwe himself.
''Ah...you may not be aware of recent developements. Things are going to be...just a wee bit more complicated then that.''
Written by Yeoman 01-18-2003 12:03 PM
Zel-yeo enters, with a small child walking behind him.
ZY: Uh, Tanith, I was wondering if I could stay aboard for a little while this time. Becky and I have some... (He glances down at the child) things we need to think about and take care of before we start wandering around again...
Written by Tanith 01-18-2003 12:11 PM
"Christine?" She looked at Yeoman in askance. "What's she doing here? Has something happened on Terra Mars?"
Written by Yeoman 01-18-2003 12:15 PM
ZY: Turns out CBY wanted me to take care of Christine if anything happened to him... It's a little odd, but we talked about it and decided that since we wanted to have kids eventually anyway, and it was a last request from the dead that we would...
Written by Tanith 01-18-2003 12:57 PM
"Vicky?" Yeoman looked blank for a while, until recognition suddenly flashed across his eyes. "Oh yeah! Victoria, right? That's Kasumi's and Mac's kid. The last time I saw her she was just a little tyke."
"Well, she's still just a little tyke, Yeo," Tanith reminded him, "she's barely a year older than Christine. I'm sure they'll get alone fine."
"Heh. If they don't blow up their room or something," Yeoman added under his breath. "I think I'll go find Kasumi now. Thanks."
"No problem, Yeo," said Tanith. "You, Becky, and Christine are all welcome here."
Written by Tanith 01-18-2003 05:33 PM
The arrival of Arwen, Evenstar of the elves, at Minas Tirith, threw the entire city into a frenzy of preparation and celebration. Most of the men in the city had never seen an elf before. Now the sight of several elf lords and the Lady Galadriel had them lining the streets in wonder, gawking at a sight that would never be seen again on Middle-earth, as Lord Elrond solemnly placed the hand of his daughter upon that of their King.
Scarcely had the elven party been settled into the city than a host of riders from Rohan approached. Eomer rode at its head, as the representative and heir of his uncle, King Theoden. Eowyn, the White Lady of Rohan, came with them, and many people marked the glances that were shared by her and their own Lord Faramir.
Then, behind the Rohirrim, came another motely group that raised several eyebrows from those who knew of the long estrangement of the woodland elves and the Children of Aule. Legolas and Gimli rode at its head, upon the same elven-steed they had ridden to the Gates of Mordor. Behind them came elves from Mirkwood, now renamed to Eryn Lasgalen. They had come with their Prince not only to attend the wedding, but also to help restore the gardens and greenery of the White City as Legolas had promised before he left. And with their group there also traveled a party of dwarves, laden with carts that held various instruments of construction; for Gimli, too, had promised dwarven aid to repair whatever damage the city had sustained in its seige.
The two groups moved stiffly, with none of the ease and camaderie shared by their leaders. Aragorn, upon meeting them, commented in a low whisper to his friends that it was still a great wonder they had traveled all the way from the north without any bloodshed. Gimli had sputtered into his beard at that, and Legolas had flushed and immediately changed the subject. But no amount questioning could move the two to speak on the issue further.
And so it was in this commotion and celebration that the offworlders also attended, though they did not enter the city with any such pomp. Metaphysican's vessel, the Prometheus, had caught up to its captain and entered orbit around Middle-earth. After he had convinced Gandalf and Aragorn of his plans, he spent half his time on board the vessel, devising various fireworks for the wedding day.
WriterBoy had returned from his trip to the Shire, much more at peace with himself than when he had left. Renewing the camaderie that had formed between himself and two Lords of Gondor during the war, he promptly began to try and convince them, along with Eomer, Faramir, and Gimli, to throw a bachelor party for Aragorn. The men had been uncertain with the notion, though Gimli and Legolas (who found out from the dwarf) found it quite amusing, and joined WriterBoy's efforts to convince the groom.
Tanith and The Watcher also spent most of their time on the Andromeda, catching up with PaDT paperwork now that Z-man was officially on extended sabbatical. But they'd also taken time to enjoy the festivities planetside, and arranged to have permission to place recording instruments inobstrusively throughout the main hall. To their surprise, Kasumi somehow obtained permission from the proper people to help with the wedding feast. She and Mei busied themselves with adding traditional Chinese and Japanese dishes to the menu.
The Andromeda herself had given a few tours for those who wished to see the world from above, though she and Tanith were quite careful to make sure that such visits would not adversely affect their visitors. And of course, each night, Elrond would come and use the facilities to reunite with his long estranged father. A few times, his children also came with him.
But of the offworlders, neither Mg nor Z-man attended the festivities. The former was uncomfortable with parties in general, and perferred to remain aboard the Andromeda while his mind was still troubled. Z-man did not yet trust himself free of the Ring's influences, and feared to go out among the people that he felt he had wronged.
Written by Tanith 01-18-2003 09:14 PM 01-18-2003 09:32 PM
Rounding another corner and hastily dodging a scurrying maid, Tanith looked around the main hall for the sign of gleaming white robes. Not seeing Gandalf anywhere, she sighed and turned toward the doors, intending to head toward the outer courtyard, when she heard her name being hailed. Turning, she recognized one of Elrond's sons - she still couldn't tell them apart - striding toward her.
"May I help you milord?" she asked politely when he caught up to her.
"Indeed, my lady," the elf lord replied merrily, "for you are the last of the company that traveled into the darkness of Mordor that I need to speak to, so that I may write down all that has transpired during these last months."
Tanith remembered Elladan's words to her in Lothlorien, and knew who she was speaking to. "Of course, Master Elrohir, I'd be happy to share my memories and view of what had happened."
"Just Elrohir, lady," he told her as they both had to dodge out of the way from several servants, "and let us find somewhere calmer to tell this tale."
Slipping out the main door to the courtyard, they took a seat under the eaves of the White Tree that Aragorn had replanted. And there Tanith recounted what she remembered of her group's journey after Gollum and Z-man. Elrohir listened intently, sometimes interrupting for a clarification of some point. He did not need any papers or pen for note-taking, for his memory was keen.
Once she was finished with her tale, Tanith asked Elrohir for the whereabouts of Gandalf, who she'd been trying to find before he waylaid her. Elrohir led her into the palace once more, toward one of the smaller council chambers. They spoke of other inconsequential things on the way.
"...I'll probably accompany your party back to Imladris," Tanith was saying. "I owe it to CBY to talk to Bilbo about a promise CBY made to him."
"He was terribly sorry to be unable to come," Elrohir told her, "but I'm sure he'd love to meet you and hear your story. Assuming, of course, I have not written it down for him yet by then."
"Ah, so it's at Bilbo's request that you're recording all of our adventures then?"
"He did ask me, yes. He wished to write a second part to his book, to tell of the War of the Ring. But it's been so hard for him lately, that I have been doing much of the writing on this tale for him, and I find it all quite fascinating."
"Hm... well, if you want any fine details for your record, and not just accounts flavored by any bias, my scanners have recorded all that happened on our part of the journey. I warn you though, it would be very tedious reading."
"Perhaps I will come see these recordings. And Elladan too, for he has great interest in the artifacts of your people. And along with that, we would also like to see more of your vessel than just the hangar bay."
"That shouldn't be any problem," Tanith began as they neared the door to the council chamber. "You can simply stay up longer the next time Lord Elrond v--"
She was cut off as the council door suddenly slammed opened and Boromir suddenly strode through, his face dark as a stormcloud and his steps heavy with rage. Elrohir's quick reflexes pulled Tanith from being run over by the angry man, and they both looked after Boromir in surprise.
"Your son does not seem to agree with you." The low velvet voice sounded from inside the door.
It took Tanith a moment to place the owner of the voice as Lord Elrond, for she had never heard him speak with such veiled threat. Elrohir just stared at the open door in shock, recognizing his father's tone for a warning that usually preceded a harsh lecture. Almost simultaneously, they both backed away from the door.
"His agreement does not matter," another voice growled, filled with supressed rage. "It is my decision and I say that this shall not be a elven ceremony!"
"Calm yourself, Denethor," came a third voice. It was Gandalf's, and he sounded both tired and almost resigned. "This wedding is a union of a man and an elf. Surely a bridge can be found betwix the two customs."
Tanith and Elrohir looked at each other as they heard Denethor growl something again. Elrohir shook his head and beckoned for her to follow. Not wanting to be caught in between an enraged elf lord and an equally enraged Numenorean, Tanith quickly followed him as he sought after Boromir.
Written by Mg_knt 01-18-2003 11:40 PM
Written by Tanith 01-20-2003 04:04 PM
"What happened in there?" Elrohir asked without preamble.
Boromir shot him an annoyed look, but his temper seemed to be calming. Finally, he sighed in frustration and spoke as if rhetorically. "I love my father, but at times he can be the most... the most stubborn of people!"
"My father can be so at times too," Elrohir said amusedly, "but I have not seen him so enraged since Estel - that is, King Elessar - first asked for my sister's hand."
"In this I don't blame your father, Master Elrohir," said Boromir glumly. "I may be wary of your people, but my father's views against the Elven race would be quite unreasonable to anyone! If I do not know him better, I would think that he is using the argument over wedding ceremony as an excuse to show his disapproval of the King's choice for a bride."
Elrohir's brows furrowed into the countenance of a brother deeply concerned for his little sister's welfare. "You do not think that there are many in the city who would resent Arwen as their queen?"
Boromir shrugged. "Alas, it is the way of Men that there will always be those short of vision and wisdom," he sighed. "But take heart, for I doubt that there would be many who can look upon the Lady Arwen and think of aught but her beauty and grace."
There was a slam of a door from further back up the corridor. All three turned to look in the direction that they had come, but the hallway remained silent except for a few servants carrying on their duties.
"I'm sure Gandalf can talk some agreement out of them," Tanith suggested, "or perhaps Aragorn himself could step in."
"He would have stepped in already, were it not that he is also the groom, and so not in charge of the ceremony," explained Boromir with a wry look. "And I envy him in this, for I do not care to be pushed to speak on things of which I know little and care even less." He grimaced, and muttered under his breath, "the ease I feel upon the battlefield serves me no use now. I would dearly love to leave such things of talk and ceremony to my brother were it not for Father's insistence and Faramir's preoccupation with the Lady Eowyn."
Elrohir laughed brightly. "What you need, son of Denethor, is an adventure," he pronounced.
Then it was Tanith's turn to laugh at that. "What? The Battle of Helm's Deep, and the Seige of Gondor, and the Battle of the Black Gate were not enough?"
"I would be tempted to travel into the wilds in search of adventure if it would mean to distance myself from my father's incessant politics," Boromir said jokingly, "but I fear that there is no corner of Middle-earth that I can go that my father's arm will not reach eventually."
"Then perhaps you should leave Middle-earth altogether," Elrohir suggested, and his eyes flashed to Tanith briefly.
Before Tanith could ask him what he meant by that, she heard her name hailed from behind. Turning, she saw Gandalf walking up the corridor, apparently having finished his 'discussion' with the other two lords.
"Ah, Gandalf! I wanted to speak with you about something," Tanith called to him.
"Then we will leave you in Mithrandir's capable hands," Elrohir said as he took Boromir by the elbow and began to lead the man off. "Come, Boromir, let us speak more on this subject..."
Gandalf looked at Tanith curiously. "What did you wish to speak to me about?" he asked curiously.
Tanith gave the departing duo a final bemused look before turning back to the wizard. "I have a request on behalf of Z-man. His counsellor and I think that it would be good for him, now that his mind is somewhat recovered, to speak of some of what he has done under the influence of the Ring to those close to the people he has wronged."
Gandalf was silent for a time, his face unreadable.
"You wish me to speak with him?" he asked at length.
"He has asked to speak with you - on the Andromeda, for he still does not trust himself down on Middle-earth as yet," answered Tanith.
Gandalf thought for another while, before finally nodding solemnly.
"Very well," he said at last, "I will go and speak to him."
"Thank you," Tanith said in sincere relief as she pulled out communicator. She paused just before opening it. "Ah... I hope you are not too angry with what happened, Gandalf, as to turn him into anything... unnatural." Her words were half in jest, but also half uncertain.
Gandalf just chuckled, and bade her to deliver him up to the Andromeda.
Written by Locke 01-20-2003 06:00 PM
|Easy is the descent to Hades: Night and day the door stands open, but to recall the steps and pass out to the upper air, this is the task, this is the toil!
-Sibyl of Cumae, Aeneid, Book Six
Wonderful, even lovely creatures they were, he had always thought in unconcealed admiration, paying no heed to the shameful stereotyping to which that proud breed was yet unfairly subjected.
Not quite, he shook his head as a correction insistently pushed its' way forward.
The magnificent creatures that he saw before him gambolling almost merrily on the vast plain spread out before him, far below the black, scarred crag upon which he stood, could only be that species-commonly thought to have been extinct for 10,000 years- known as the dire wolf. How that could be at all possible-how he could be viewing this huge pack- eluded a mind that appeared to be shrouded with the fog of sleep not yet entirely shaken off.
The shrill cry of what appeared to be two large crows...no wait..they might be ravens.. drifting almost idlely on the wings of the wind served to jar some measure of coherent thought into him. Shoving aside the incessant noise of the circling avians, he examined the vista below.
His attention soon enough narrowed in on what appeared to be the very largest of the pack...a gray monster that dwarfed his fellows, two of whom were consideralely larger then their packmates. Squinting into the glare of an early morning sun, he took a moment to notice that this particular fellow who lounged under the shade of a rock had lost an eye somewhere along the way. The one eye remaining to him momentarily fixed upon the crag before scanning the horizon for all manner of threats to the pack which he apparently was not deemed to be.
Sleep had surely robbed him of his wits for it took some minutes before he realized this gray old behemoth was in fact no wolf, but rather some manner of coyote gargantuan and fearless if he had found a home among the dire wolves. As he puzzled over this new mystery, sunlight appeared to bathe some shard of metal down on the reddish sun baked soil, partially concealed by long grass. Metal? A spearhead, he thought, perhaps abandoned or more likely lost by whatever aboriginal culture might dwell on these plain
He wondered what these creatures might be hunting, as they surely must be, or at least would be soon enough.
Bison most likely on these plains, or elk. Whichever, just as long as they were not hunting him.
Leaving aside this cheery thought, he turned his attention to finding a way down from the crag. He supposed it was a good, even helpful thing that he had always loved rock climbing, and was moderately talented at it.
Fall from this height, he grinned to himself, and I won't have to worry about being eaten by the wolves...
|Do not speak soothingly of death to me, Odysseus. I should choose to serve as the serf of another, rather then be lord over the dead.
-Achilles, Odyssey, Book Eleven
Written by Z-man 01-21-2003 06:52 PM
He motioned towards another chair. Gandalf indicated that he preferred to stand.
Z-man began to talk, and got as far as the death of the Hobbits when Gandalf stopped him.
"Your companions have made many references toward Frodo's destiny and legacy. He was destined to destroy the One Ring, and he was destined to become a hero because of it. But the very quest itself would have destroyed him, and even Valinor would not have brought him joy afterwards.
"But now, his legacy may not be the same, but his fate is far better. I can think of no more fitting fate for his murderer than to bare the despair that would have been his. I care naught for his legacy, I care for his soul. So, while I do not wish you well, for Frodo's sake I do thank you.
"And your own companions would not have intervened to aid us, had you not first succumbed to the Ring. If what I understand about these books of yours is correct, there are three alive that surely would have perished otherwise. And let us not forget that I, myself, have been to the land of the dead, and I suspect that, had I been assigned to a less dangerous outing. You are not the only offworlder willing to kill for what you believe is right, you are simply the only one who was wrong.
"So, very well, I forgive you," he said, gathering his robes and turning towards the door, "And I thank you. But I do not think it would be wise for you to cross my path again. There are far more powerful feats I am capable of without the need for secrecy," he added with a glare.
The door shut behind him. Z-man sat in thought for awhile, then got up. He began to change his clothes, putting on a clean outfit for the first time in weeks.
"Y'know," he said to himself, "I think I might be ready to leave my room."
Written by Tanith 02-08-2003 10:09 PM
The wedding was held on the first day of spring, with the last chill of pale winter still clinging to the warmth of the morning sun. Silvery white hints spoke of the first emerging leaves that graced the slender boughs of the sapling that now stood in the court by the fountain - a sapling of the line of Nimloth the fair, a line that had long endured in the Blessed Lands before becoming the White Trees of Gondor.
It was altogether a beautiful morning that greeted a beautiful wedding, when the tale of Elfstone and Evenstar was come to fulfillment at long last.
The bride was, of course, resplendent as befit the Evenstar of the Eldar, and majestic as befit the daughter of Elrond, he who was mighty among Elves and Men. Though for this day it was not the light of Elvenkind that cloaked the Lady Arwen, but rather it was the radiance of the greatest of loves that suffused her.
To this lovely vision of beauty and grace, the mighty King Elessar of Gondor and Arnor matched with his own nobility and devotion. His eyes, too, shone brightly as he beheld his beloved, showing none of the unease of the predawn waiting (much to the envy of a few who had indulged overmuch in the impromptu bachelor party held the night before).
Gandalf the White presided over the ceremony, bedecked in robes of gleaming white that almost hurt to look upon. An accomodation had been reached on the composition of the ceremony by the steward of the city and the father of the bride (or perhaps despite them) It was an elegant mixture of Elvish tradition into the predominant conventions of Gondor.
As the path of the sun reached the point of midday, the official ceremony concluded and ceded to the celebrations that ensued. Many well wishes and gifts were plied upon the royal couple. Many tales were sung of the gallantry of the King and of the beauty of the Queen. Many toasts were made to those who had risen to valor in the War, and moreso to those who fell.
Even as the cool breeze of evening whispered of the fading of the Eldar from the land, the joyous festivities that rang unceasingly throughout every corner of the White City spoke of a new dawn and a new spring for the race of Men.
"Elfstone" is the meaning of the term "Elessar".
Written by Tanith 03-25-2003 01:04 PM
Rommie's droid avatar calmly strode into the small office as the door behind her swished shut. Tanith looked up from the small computer screen that she had been reading from as she asked the question.
"Serra reports that he will recover much of his former physical strength," replied Rommie. "The... corruption... that the One Ring once inflicted upon him is steadily fading away under her ministrations. Medical technology is more than sufficient to deal with the ailments that are due to simple old age."
Tanith nodded. "That's good," she mused, "and how's he getting along with the crew?"
"He seems comfortable around most of them, though we've been careful not to let him come across Z-man yet. He's especially fond of the children." Rommie smiled amusedly as she spoke. "He usually seeks the company of Rune, after you recalled her back here, and he also spends much time with little Vicky and Christine."
"Kasumi would be relieved," murmured Tanith with a grin. "Between Mei and Z-man and her own duties, Kas-chan had such a harried time in taking care of her daughter, even with the help that everyone else pitched in." She then changed the subject. "What of the others? How are they fitting in?"
"It may be some time before they can get used to my technology," Rommie predicted, "but they do seem to be getting along with the crewmembers." She smiled a bit. "Otherwise, they're quite excited about this so-called 'adventure', and I think Boromir is quite relieved to be away from the politics of his home."
Tanith sighed and rubbed at her eyes. "Denethor is going to throw a fit when Aragorn tells him..." She shook her head ruefully.
This time it was Rommie who changed the subject. "So what of this 'adventure' that you mean to go on. Have you received any further word...?"
Frowning at her computer screen, Tanith frowned and sighed. "No. Despite everything that we can dig up, it's not going to be enough."
She paused, then began hesistantly, "I... I think I will have to use the Trump." Her fingers indly traced the card that lay on the desktop beside the computer.
Rommie nodded. "I see," she said calmly. "Might I suggest having Serra and Firesong present when you do so?"
"My thoughts exactly," agreed Tanith as she contiuned to stare at the innocuous-looking card.
Written by Tanith 03-25-2003 03:46 PM
"Who-? Ah. So you finally came."
You are the Lady of Rebma?
"You are here to seek life in death."
... I suppose. Who was he to you?
"A friend. That is all you need to know."
It is said that to be a friend to those of your family is dangerous.
"*smile* So it is said."
Was it so in his case?
"His was... unfortunate. Something I think we would both seek to rectify."
Who was behind this?
"I will not name Names..."
"It is not a family issue."
Ah. That is good to know, I hope. Where is he now? What has happened--
"He is lost between afterlives, a vagrant spirit. He needs to be found... and returned."
"Through the city of dreams and mists. Step forward, and I will send you there."
Wait. I... will need to prepare. Your realm is close to Amber.
"So it is. This must be a journey of spirit. You will not walk any mortal realms."
So my body will remain in the material world while--
"No. You will physically enter the realm of the spirit. It is not unheard of."
If... If you say so. I will need to know the dangers and whatever else I might encounter.
"That is reasonable. The information will be sent to you."
How--nevermind. Am I to seek him alone?
"Nay. Bring who you wish, of those that can travel such paths."
What if this... foe... would stop us?
"I will see to that. *pause* There are many paths to the same goal."
I... Ah! I see. *musing* I don't suppose you'll give any hints.
"What you need to know you will find. I cannot risk saying too much."
Very well. I will seek you again when I... when we are ready.
"*smile* I'll be waiting."