The Shadows That Remain Rating: PG-13
A Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, The Silmarillion fic - CHAPTER12
Once they were past the security checkpoint, with Legolas’ back once again smarting from the pain the detectors gave off, Glorfindel lead him down a few floors from the escalators running in the middle of the building, and towards a different area. On the third floor down, he noticed a sign pointing the direction to the library and was curious to look at it, but reminded himself to focus on the task at hand. He noticed that as soon as they entered the fourth floor down from the top, gone were the gold and silver plated trees, in was the high tech look of a business corporation on the brink of finding new technologies and whatnot.
On the fifth floor down from where they entered, dull silver walls streaked with the colors and bold print letters that said LORIEN INC. in a maroon color decorated the walls and Legolas wondered what was here. He followed the golden haired Eldar into doors that slid open when he touched a panel with his palm and stepped in.
Cautiously, Legolas followed and immediately his eyes widened in awe. The room, with a bluish tint to it from all the monitors and various lights that decorated huge boards with a myriad color of lights, was dazzling to his eyes. It was as if he walked straight into a war room and various Elves were inside this vast room, some talking on headsets, others pointing out various things on three-dimensional maps, yet others configuring system settings for whatever there was in the room. At least every Elf in this room had something to do.
He noticed a group of Elves crowded in an oval, all of them pointing out various things on a four dimensional map of what looked to be the East Coast of the United States. Blinking in surprise, he stared at the Elves once more, noticing that their clothing was completely different from that of some of the other Elves in the room. With a start, he realized that these Elves were from all over the world.
“Cirdan sent a few of his Grey Haven Elves…” Glorfindel whispered to him as he led him to what looked to be a communication board, Haldir with a headset on, standing by a terminal, talking in what looked to be a very fast form of Quenya to the holo-projected images of Galadriel and Celeborn.
“Then who are the rest?” Legolas asked as he looked around, noticing more different Elves.
“From all over. The Golden City is one of two, the White City being the other, for Elves to communicate and gather resource information. What you’ve entered is our Situation Room, where in case of any attacks, we come here and coordinate a battle plan. Haldir brought two of the White City Elves, while Cirdan sent three. Of the High Elves of the Undying Lands, we only have one representative. The rest are Golden City Elves.”
“What about the Silver City Elves?” he asked, and noticed a resigned look on the Eldar’s face.
“That’s where you come in,” Glorfindel replied and Legolas suddenly had a very bad feeling of what the Elf was going to ask him. “As I had told you before you left to pick the rest of the Fellowship up, I had a mission to go to the Silver City. We were to try to ask your father if he could spare a few troops for both the White and Golden City. Sauron is moving and we want to be prepared. Unfortunately, the mission did not go as planned ... and ... he might as well have thrown us out.”
“Did you happen to mention my name when you were talking with him?” Legolas asked as he knew that though his father was at times cordial to his allies, he knew something that was mentioned in a wrong way could set Thranduil off on a rampage. His father wasn’t what he used to be, a calm reasonable Elf ... something had changed ... but he figured it was because of living in the former city of Los Angeles.
“Yes ...” Glorfindel looked at him curiously and Legolas cursed silently.
“Then I don’t know how I’d be able to help you,” he apologized, “if you want me to communicate with him, then you’ve got the wrong person. Ask someone like Haldir or Elrond to do it.”
“I’m quite busy thank you very much,” Haldir called from his communication before switching back to Quenya and addressing Galadriel.
“Lord Elrond knows of your argument between you and your father, and so do I,” Glorfindel stated flatly, “but he also knows that you have a way to manipulate your father to convince him to send us troops ...”
“But why me? If you know of our ‘argument’ no offense Glorfindel, but it wasn’t a mere argument, it was more like a verbal battle almost to the point of blowing each other up with magic; but it isn’t logical for me to talk to him,” Legolas replied equally flatly.
“All right, then,” Glorfindel dragged him over to the oval area where some Elves were crowded, “fine. We’ll show you what’s going on.”
As the Eldar tapped a few keys and touched a few screens, the holo-projected map suddenly dissolved into what looked to be a map of the world, with dots of red, yellow, green and white. “Red is the enemy, yellow for neutral forces that have not yet allied themselves on either side, green for Elves and allies, and white for the Fellowship,” he pointed each cluster of color out and Legolas noticed that the Black City and a few other prominent cities were clustered with a lot of red. A few were moving, but in different directions. Green dots seemed to sitting next to the reds and the yellow of neutral forces only seemed to settle in small groups, near the edges of the map.
He noticed that there was a huge cluster of red and marked by orange on the landmass of what was once the United Kingdom. “What’s that?”
“Saruman,” Glorfindel replied with a hint of acid in his voice, “he’s been playing both sides. We cannot attack him until he turns into a red dot, as he is currently neutral. But with him slowly sliding into orange, then it probably wouldn’t be long before Elrond or Cirdan gives the order to attack.”
“He’s rebuilt an army hasn’t he?” he asked.
“Yes,” the Eldar replied, “and hid it from us for such a long time.”
There was a hint of finality to the subject and Legolas let his gaze roam elsewhere on the map. A small white clump of dots marked where the Golden City was, surrounded by a lot of green dots, but there were a few reds marked among the green. He realized that indeed Haldir was right in saying that the Golden City wasn’t all that it looked to be and appearances were very deceptive. His eyes traveled across to the Euro-Asian continent and he saw a great mass of red, at least three times the size of the cluster of red in the United Kingdom area, spreading as from the cities of Rotterdam and Amsterdam to the Black Sea, but for some reason only bordered to the former great country of Russia.
Among the masses of red were two groups of green, one close to the masses of red, the other extending from Switzerland and downward into Italy. He guessed that the mass of green hugging the coast from where the mouth of Europe’s three major rivers met (Rhine, Meuse, and Schelde) to the borders of Spain and France was Cirdan’s realm, knowing that the Elf had a great love for the Sea and Ocean. The green mass that extended south from Switzerland was probably where Galadriel and Celeborn held their realm, though he wasn’t too sure at the moment.
“The enemy are moving, Morgoth is growing stronger while Sauron eyes this very city to take under his control,” Glorfindel explained then turned to face him, “of the former Greenwood Elves, we are in need of support, that’s why we need you to contact your father.”
Legolas glanced at the map once more, noticing the various red dots moving about. He knew that the Elves would hold against the Sauron or Morgoth for a while, but to have the support of all their allies ... it would be vital to morale. Sighing softly, he nodded his head and headed to an empty communication station, the Eldar following behind him.
“All right, now what do I do?” he asked and Glorfindel handed him a headset to which he put over his ear and lowered the speakerphone.
The Eldar punched in a few numbers and codes into the screen that they stood in front of then backed away, giving him privacy as the call went through. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Glorfindel going back to the projected map and started to talk with the various Elves gathered around it.
“Lorien Technology Incorporated Silver City branch, you’ve reached Thranduil’s office, how may I help you,” the projected image of a female Elf dressed in a professional maroon cut business suit, her hair done up in a severe bun.
“I’d like to speak to Thranduil please,” Legolas was a bit uncomfortable, not really used to talking to secretaries or asking to speak to business people. Besides, he didn’t feel it was appropriate to say ‘Father’ since they hadn’t spoken for a long time.
“Mr. Thranduil is busy at the moment, can I take a message?” the Elf seemed bored with the whole conversation, as if she had to deal with something like this almost every single day. For some odd reason, the Elf looked extremely familiar, but he couldn’t place the name of the Elf with the face.
“It’s important,” Legolas wondered if mentioning Elrond would get him anywhere, but decided to go ahead, “I have a message from Lord Elrond.”
“I’m sorry, but Mr. Thranduil is not taking any messages from Lord Elrond at the moment, he’s very busy. Now if you need to leave that message I can transfer you to his answering machine-“
By now, he was getting frustrated at all the bureaucratic crap that he was receiving and steeled himself to stay calm, “No thank you, can you please just transfer me to speak directly to him?”
“I’m sorry, but I cannot. Mr. Thranduil is a very busy man-”
“So busy that he can’t even talk to his own son?” Legolas cut her off and watched as a new expression appeared on her bored face; one of surprise.
“Excuse me?” the secretary blinked.
“Hello Erdaliel,” he remembered the Elf’s name, as she was one of Thranduil’s advisors during when he ruled Mirkwood, “its me, Legolas.”
“M-My ... P-Prince,” Erdaliel immediately straightened finally recognizing him, “forgive me, Prince Legolas ... I, um, will put you through right away.”
The projection faded away for a few seconds before an irritated projection of Thranduil appeared. “What?” was the growl of greeting.
Legolas frowned at his father’s immaculate appearance ... then took a deep breath and let it out slowly. He steeled himself not to lose his temper and greeted curtly, “Hello Thranduil. Long time no speak.”
“You ...” was the surprised reply that wiped all pretenses of irritation from Thranduil’s face.
* * * * *
Haldir listened as Celeborn explained the mission the Fellowship was to go on. Though personally he thought it was a form of suicide, he had always respected the Lady and Lord’s wishes and their orders. They were the one of the wisest of all Elves he had known, including compared to the child-like innocence of the Elves of Valinor when he had crossed the Great Sea so many Ages ago.
The mission consisted of many dangerous perils, perils that he knew that even with a legion of Elves could not complete, yet for the Fellowship, they were special. Each one of the Reincarnated Fellowship members had unique gifts, and Haldir respected that. He knew that Galadriel who had planned the mission with the four other Elven Lords to be assigned to the members of the Fellowship was a wise decision, but he couldn’t help feel worried for their safety.
If they should fail ...
No, he mustn’t think such thoughts as that ... they were chosen to be Reincarnated by Iluvatar for a specific reason. They would not fail. As Celeborn finished up the specifics, Lady Galadriel’s intense gaze caught his and he pulled himself out of his musings.
“Haldir,” her voice was soft, musical, but cold as steel, “the last part of the mission must fall to Legolas and him alone. Warn him; tell him of the dangers involving this part. Tell him as you would for your own brothers. I know that though there is no blood bond between the two of you, you are still brothers at heart.”
“I will do as you ask me, milady. Though I am also concerned for the outcome and for his well-being,” Haldir replied, bowing slightly.
“He must not fail,” Galadriel whispered, “or die trying.”
There was a long measured look passed between Haldir and Galadriel before the communication faded. He took off his headset with a grim sigh then glanced at where Legolas seemed to be in the beginnings of communicating with his estranged father. Turning his gaze away from his best friend he looked over to Glorfindel, who was planning with the other represented Elves a feasible battle plan. He noticed that Fereveldir and Arthonas the two Elves that had accompanied him to the Golden City and also to represent the White City, were engrossed in the maps that the Eldar had brought up. They would be all right and if the Lady or Lord had another communication within the few minutes that he would be gone, they would be able to take the call.
He headed out of the Situation Room and went upstairs to where Elrond held his meetings in the ever changing and shape-shifting chamber. They needed to talk about the Fellowship’s upcoming mission.
* * * * *
Legolas didn’t know what expression had appeared on his father’s face, but he knew that all there was now between the two of them was neutrality, neither side showing any emotions whatsoever. “You’re looking well,” he commented.
“As you,” his father replied levelly. Gone were the blonde-brown long tresses, and in replacement of those tresses was a closely cropped hair that was spiked heavily with gel.
An uncomfortable and awkward silence followed before Thranduil sighed, “This isn’t a social call is it?”
“No,” Legolas replied, “I bring word from Lord Elrond.”
“Ah, so you’re playing his messenger boy now,” Thranduil jabbed and Legolas steeled himself not to flinch at the intentional jab. He knew his father wanted to provoke something out of him, maybe a groveling apology or maybe another fight, but he wasn’t going to give his father the satisfaction of that.
“Morgoth is moving as you might know-”
“You think? Of course I know,” Thranduil interrupted then clicked on a few buttons off screen, “he’s getting stronger and amassing his troops with far more efficiency than we’ve ever seen.”
Feeling his anger rise, Legolas tried to suppress it down and plunged on, “Elrond and the others request that you send a few of the Silver City Elves to aid us. Apparently, Elrond is going to war a lot sooner than any of us had ever thought.”
“That’s the same thing Elrond’s right hand, Glorfindel said ... well, except he didn’t say it in such a hasty fashion. More eloquent you know, just like the Eldar he is,” Legolas knew that his father was trying to bait him, but the real reason why he didn’t know.
“Then why did you reject his proposal?” he countered, not rising to the bait.
“Because it is foolish, Legolas. Elrond and the others are moving too fast and hasty preparation can get you nowhere. Look at how the humans fought, they were too hasty and now they’ve created monsters of themselves, all of them squabbling and fighting wars of their own,” Thranduil said, his glowing blue eyes blazing with held back anger.
“Then when is the time to move?”
“When the timing is right,” he father neatly dodged the question, but Legolas wasn’t going to let it slip past him.
“That’s circular reason, Thranduil, if the time to move is ‘right’ then why not now? Why not now when the Fellowship has been Reincarnated? If you do have your map up as I think you would, then you would probably notice that the Nazgul have been hunting us,” he explained.
“Hunting only the Fellowship, not us-”
“Hunting everyone,” he interrupted him, “Sauron’s probably afraid of what we Elves can do. Why not attack him now?”
“You sound just like a war-mongering fool, but if you want to wage this crusade of yours along with Elrond and the other High Elves, then so be it,” Thranduil leaned back against his leather chair, which Legolas noticed was made out of alligator skin, “troops will be sent, one-thousand each, one to the Golden City and one to the White City.”
“Don’t thank me,” Thranduil leaned forward, “I didn’t do it for your sorry-”
“It wasn’t for me,” he countered, “it was for the Elves.”
“Elrond had you call me because you knew how to manipulate me, isn’t that right?” Thranduil accused and Legolas frowned in stony silence, “Ha! Now it comes to this after all these years and centuries. My own son, or who calls himself my son, has sunken to manipulate me in the everlasting game of politics.”
The mental dam that Legolas had built to keep his emotions in check was starting to break, he could feel it. Anger was building up in him, hot swift anger that he hadn’t felt since the last time he talked to his father. Though he had forgotten what was the real reason of their estrangement he still couldn’t believe that his father was bashing him verbally after all these years.
“You seem to be better at that game of politics,” he replied coldly, “controlling Silver City, letting your minions do all your work while you hang around in such a posh office space, sipping miruvor and having your former Guard General Erdaliel play secretary.”
“Then why don’t you try taking some responsibility you disobedient son!” Thranduil yelled.
“Up yours,” was his swift reply as he let deep anger and resentment fill in his voice.
“How dare you ... You ... you ungrateful bastard!”
“Oh I dare because all I see here is a sniveling egocentric little Elf who runs his corporation with a stranglehold and letting the world rot its way to Hell!” Legolas nearly shouted, not really paying attention to the fact that Glorfindel and just about most of the Elves in the whole Situation Room had gone silent, some fiddling with equipment in obvious embarrassment, others just staring at him as they he and Thranduil sparred.
“You were an embarrassment, abandoning your realm just so that you can sail the Great Sea,” his father replied and Legolas decided that he had enough of this. Nothing was going to be resolved with their fighting ...
He turned and was about to take off his headset-
“Don’t you turn your back on me, you son of a bitch.”
Spinning back around he pitted the man whom he had formerly called Father with a glare, “I’m sure Morsantiel, my Mother, would have loved to be called a ‘bitch’.”
Throwing the headset off, he stalked away from the communication console, not seeing the shocked and apologetic look on his father’s face, and walked angrily passed the Elves gathered around the projected map, all of them quiet. He could feel their stares on him, but he didn’t care.
“He’s sending one-thousand each, one for the White City, the other for the Golden City,” Legolas replied curtly before brushing past Glorfindel. If there was only one thing that he knew he could trust, was the fact that his ‘father’ was true to his word and would send those troops out in the fastest time. Walking out of the Situation Room, Legolas headed towards the floor where he had seen the sign for a library.
He had to go to someplace quiet to think ... to sort his angry thoughts out.
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