The Shadows That Remain Rating: PG-13
A Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, The Silmarillion fic - CHAPTER05
Shadow Chaser

Reprieve

When they arrived at the police station, at least everyone who wasn’t injured that had been taken away to the nearest hospital for treatment was already sopping wet and in foul moods. Alec Richard stomped into the general common area, where all the desks were situated and a few of their detectives were working. He saw Robert take the young boy named David into the kitchen, the boy a forlorn look on his face.

His spirit felt as if it was weighed down with the death of his partner and all he wanted to do at the moment was to sleep. Sleep everything away, sleep his job away, and sleep his life away. He collapsed into his chair, and buried his head into his hands. Hearing the familiar footsteps of Ben walking by, he didn’t even raise his head to acknowledge his captain and friend and promptly heard his office door slam close.

Letting his mind wander, he listened as the other officers came in, some talking to each other, others heading to the kitchen for perhaps a coffee or pastry or something to eat. But what was common was that there was a certain hushed silence among them.

“Hey,” a very familiar voice spoke in his ear and he felt someone sit next to him, placing a hand on his shoulder, “are you all right?”

“Hi Anna,” Alec barely got the words out and he knew that they were muffled as he turned his head slightly to see the profile of his girlfriend staring at him. Her long dark tresses framed her face, which was pale and accented the faint blue-green glow of her eyes. Of all the Vernomages and Technomages he had encountered, Anna Elanore was the only Mage he had seen with a mix of a blue-green glow in her eyes.

“Hi yourself, Alec, you look terrible,” she rubbed his shoulder for a second before reaching up and prying the wet jacket he still had on. Alec allowed her to take off his jacket, and he sighed. “Do you want to talk about it?” she asked.

“Seven officers lost ... Tony included ... Gwen Turner’s dead,” he said woodenly, staring at his holo projector screen, no words written on it.

He heard the intake gasp of surprise and Anna’s hand that had been resting on his shoulder suddenly lifted away. He turned to find tears rolling down her face and knew that those tears were for a fellow Vernomage. Of all the NYPD, she was the only Vernomage left in their service ...

“Tony ... Gwen ... not Gwen,” Anna whispered and Alec reached out to pull her into an embrace. He knew that she was taking this a lot harder than he was, but that was due to the fact that Gwen was almost like a mother to Anna.

Gwen had taken Anna in as a young girl, after her mother died in a horrible accident, and discovered that Anna was a Vernomage. Being a Vernomage herself, Gwen took it upon her to teach the skills of being a Vernomage to Anna and to become one of the NYPD’s finest detectives.

He stroked her back, whispering nameless words that sounded so familiar yet foreign at the same time, trying to comfort her. Staring around the common area, he noticed that many others were just resting in their chairs, some praying others reading the Bible, the Holy Book, or whatever religious book they had. He saw another familiar figure walking towards them and nodded a silent greeting to Anna’s partner, Elizabeth Ruthersfield.

“I found out what happened,” she mouthed to him, tucking a strand of her long straight blonde hair behind her head. Though another detective too and being Anna’s partner, Liz, as she was known to others, had already been engaged to Ben’s brother, Franklin. However, unlike Anna, Liz was a normal human being, no trace of Mage magic within her. “I’m sorry,” she whispered as Anna looked up, wiping tears from her face.

“It ... would have happened eventually,” Anna replied softly and Alec looked at her, his arms tightening around her form as he held her protectively.

Liz nodded then turned to Alec, “How are you faring?”

Alec gave a small smile. Trust Liz to brighten even the darkest things up. That’s why he liked her as a good friend; she was able to lift anyone’s spirits up with just a word or a smile. Though he still felt devastated at the loss of his partner Tony, something within him told him not to dwell on it too much. “I’m okay, for now,” he replied.

He was about to say more when the door to Ben’s office suddenly opened and the man himself stalked through, shutting his door with a loud bang. Almost everyone in the common area, save a few others who were too tired to care, jumped at the sudden noise and Alec watched as his captain and friend stalked over to them then plopped himself unceremoniously onto an empty chair.

He noticed that Ben looked haggard, and was propping his head in his hand, an angry expression on his face. He was muttering soundless words, but from reading his lips, Alec could make out that a few swears were thrown into the mix of his soundless mumbling.

“Hey, Ben, you okay?” Liz tapped his shoulder.

Alec knew that Liz had a sisterly affection for Ben since she was soon-to-be sister-in-law, not to mention that they whole family of the Ruthersfields and Greens grew up together.

A grumble came from Ben and he murmured something unidentifiable, but to Alec’s ears it sounded something like a slur against his father, the commissioner.

“That bad huh?” Liz had no problem translating whatever it was that Ben said.

“Yeah,” was the muffled reply when Ben suddenly got up, “I’ll see all of you tomorrow. No need to start your reports yet, give yourself a small break. Gonna go get some coffee before I start those death ...” Alec watched as his goateed face closed up and he stalked away, unable to finish whatever he was saying.

Liz suddenly got up from where she was sitting and rushed after Ben, hoping to perhaps offer some comfort, or maybe someone to talk to. As she rushed off, Robert came in, the little boy David, who was drinking from a cup of what looked to be the hot chocolate packets that they had. Robert himself was draining the last of his coffee, an expression of disgust written all over as he threw the cup away into one of the desks’ trash bins.

“Uncle Alec!” David called out, placing his cup on one of the empty desks, and suddenly rushing over to him. The young boy stopped in front of him and regarded him with a wide smile and Alec couldn’t help but giving him a smile in return. David then focused his attention to Anna who was still in his arms. “Who is she?” he asked in a simple voice.

“Anna?” Alec gently lifted a few strands of her dark brown hair up and she looked up at him then noticed David and sat up, giving the boy a small tired smile. “Anna, I’d like you to meet David.”

“Hello David,” Anna extended her hand out and gently shook the boy’s hand, “I’m Anna Elanore.”

“Are you his girlfriend?” David dragged out the word girlfriend as most children had a tendency to do.

“Yes, I am,” Anna replied, laughing lightly at David’s child-like expression of disgust, “such a young child ... ”

“I’m not young!” David replied indignantly, “I’m ten years old! And my sister is eight!”

The mention of his sister suddenly jolted Alec back into awareness. He suddenly realized that the boy didn’t know that his sister had died during the attempted rescue ... the boy had to know sometime, but at the moment ... was it right to tell such a young child?

“Oh, and where is your sister?” Anna did not get his reaction.

“Uh ... yeah, Uncle Robert, where’s me sis?” David asked, turning to the black police officer with a curious expression on his face.

“Um ... you have to listen to me, son,” Robert started before Alec knew that he should be the one to tell David, after all, he was the one that saved the child and had not been able to save his sister.

Moving out of his seat, he turned the child and knelt down to his eye level and took the child’s small hands into his own. They were very cold and seemed very brittle, but he took that into account that the boy was very scrawny, an after effect of living on the streets for so long. “David,” he began, “your sister ... is dead.” He watched the boy’s eyes for any sign, anything at all, but what was staring back at him was a deep pool of blue and black pupil. “I ... I couldn’t save her ... like I’d saved you, David ... Do you understand?”

“She’s dead,” David whispered and Alec nodded sadly.

“Yes.”

“Can ... can I see ... her body?” the question came out so child-like and innocent that Alec almost felt his heart break in two at the simplistic reality of it. He glanced up at Robert who nodded then looked back down at David.

“You can,” he replied to the child’s question, and looked again into the pools of blue and black pupils for any sign of trauma ... he couldn’t see any ...

A sudden fiery eye flicked into his vision before it disappeared ...

Alec blinked a bit then suddenly let go of the boy’s hand. He stepped back and sat back down in his char just as Robert took the boy’s hands and led him away. Rubbing his eyes, he wondered what was that all about and jumped slightly as Anna placed a hand on his shoulder.

“Alec, what’s wrong?” she asked, concerned.

“Nothing ... nothing,” Alec rubbed his face one more time before staring at the retreating forms of Robert and David, “there’s something wrong ... ”

“You feel it too?” Anna asked. Ever since he had met Anna they had shared a rapport, able to feel each other’s emotions, and perhaps her Vernomage powers had rubbed off onto him as he sometimes could distinct whether something was wrong or not ...

“Yeah ... but it’s not just that ... when Gwen,” he swallowed, “died ... in my arms ... she said one word to me, or maybe to someone else, or even a prayer ... but even before that, words echoed in my head, words that sounded like they came from Ben. But anyways, back to the point, when she died ... Gwen said ‘elessar’ or ‘Elessar’ ... something like that.” He turned to face her, “Is that like a code among you detectives or Vernomages?”

“No,” Anna shook her head, “I’ve never heard of Elessar, but even that sounds familiar. I think it’s a name of sorts ...” she furrowed her brow then suddenly her eyes widened, “oh yes! Now I remember! It’s the name of one of the characters in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings!”

“A what and a what?” Alec was lost.

“Did you read J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings or saw Peter Jackson’s movie version of it? You know ... pre Nano War movies! Some are just plain pathetic, but this one was a real good one from that age!”

“Don’t have time to read or watch movies ...” Alec mumbled, “you think Gwen, maybe was quoting something from that book?”

“Could be,” Anna sobered once more, “she was a fanatic of those stories ... she loved the character of Aragorn, who had different names, including Elessar. I meant, not loved, but she loved the character like a mother to a child.”

“But one thing ... you’re right ... something about David makes me uneasy ...” her expression was thoughtful, but Alec could read a wariness in them, something he had never seen before.

To Chapter Four | To Chapter Six
To the Story Notes | To the Technical Notes

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