The Shadows That Remain Rating: PG-13
A Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, The Silmarillion fic - CHAPTER17
Haldir folded his arms across his chest and stared at the holographic projector map of the Golden City. It was only a matter of a few hours before Sauron’s forces were to besiege them and Elrond had already given the evacuation order to the Mayor of the Golden City who then repeated it to the people to hide underground. Standing next to his right was Firfenion, the commander and representative of the one-thousand-strong army from the Silver City.
Surprisingly, the spiky blonde haired Elf introduced himself as Thranduil’s son, and that made Haldir wonder if Legolas knew that his estranged father had remarried ... as Glorfindel had told him what happened during their brief conversation. The Silver City Elves had arrived by copter, and were to be leading the air defense along with Elladan’s wing of jet fighters.
He and Glorfindel were to lead the ground assault with Edward Ruthersfield’s army roaming the outskirts of the Golden City, an attempt at a pincher attack, trapping the army of Sauron. Right now the large, crew cut haired man was standing a bit away from them, staring down at the projection with hardened eyes. Haldir had heard of the rogue military commander, and knew most of his story too as it had made national news, whatever news the United States government rationed.
The story went that Edward had been one of the Army’s foremost generals, excelling in tactical abilities that kept America’s enemies at bay. Something had happened within, and some said that he had been corrupted or framed, but the result was that he suddenly got up and left his post, taking with him a good portion of men and women who were devoted to him. They roamed the lands between the Black City and Golden City, hunting down rogue Mages that terrorized all who lived there.
“The weakest points would be here and here,” Glorfindel explained, he being the second-in-command to all of this, Elrond, obviously the commander. “The bridges are meant to withstand Mage attacks or any projectile, but it’s also vulnerable if they are to be hit multiple times.
“I’ll be assigning Vernomages to shield the weak points, but Firfenion, your Silver City Elves will have to defend these weak points,” the Eldar pointed to the various sections as green-silver dots appeared in that area, the color of the dots representing the Elves of the Silver City by what color their armor was.
The armor of the Elves was not of so many ages ago, but it was reminiscent of those days. It was military issued and built, but a lot sturdier than that of the humans’ armor. Able to repeal and absorb most magic if not concentrated, it gave the wearer the ability to survive longer from a mage attack. Haldir himself had armor, representing the colors of the White City, blue-gold-white pattern that he kept stashed in his temporary quarters in the Golden City.
“We’ll cover you backs,” Firfenion replied in a deep Californian drawl ... while managing to sound obscenely obnoxious. Haldir started slightly as the Elf to his right leaned back slightly, arms folded across his armor plated chest, an insufferable look on his face. He had forgotten that Elves so recently born, just starting after the Fifth Age, were very arrogant. They had never grasped the concept of the horror and mighty struggle the Elves previous to them had witnessed at the hands of Morgoth and Sauron.
Though it was slightly on the account that most of the Elves had already gone into hiding, after the fall of the great nations of Rohan and Gondor, that a new dictatorship of xenophobic Men had risen up, forcing them to hide who they were and what had happened so many years ago. Rarely did any of the Elves born before the Fifth Age, blame the younger generation for being at fault of not knowing their history.
But that still didn’t excuse the arrogance that had grown in the Elves born after the Fifth Age. Most of the Fifth Age and beyond Elves, or so they dubbed them the New Age Generation, had participated in both WWIII and the Nano War, and from that experience thought that they were ready to take on the world, ready to defend it from the evil. How very wrong they were, in Haldir’s own opinion.
But he had to admit; at least they weren’t like those of the Vanyar and some Eldar Elves who had never rebelled against the Valar. He suppressed a shudder of revulsion at the thought of the Vanyar ... when the evil that had enslaved the human race spread to the Elves, the Vanyar were the hardest hit ... turning at least most of them into Irimage Elves ... or Shadow Elves as they were known to most others.
“We’ll kick those Irimages to Hell and back,” Firfenion’s words broke into Haldir’s thoughts and he raised an appraising eyebrow at the young pretentious Elf.
“Enjoy your stay in Hell,” he murmured mostly to himself, underneath his breath, as he was very irritated with the younger Elf.
There was a cough coming from Glorfindel who was standing next to him and Haldir quashed the attempt to smirk as the Eldar had certainly caught his statement towards Firfenion. “Elladan and Elrohir, you’ll be leading the air defense. They’ll probably be using Summons, so that’ll be your primary target. Secondary target is strafing runs,” the Eldar continued.
“Got you covered,” was the slightly cheerful but grim reply from Elrohir who was standing in the back along with his twin brother, Edward, Liz, and Frank.
“We’re expecting Sauron’s forces to converge on one spot for the time being, while he will probably send scouting and raiding parties around to the back,” Glorfindel keyed up a different rotating image of the city, red points indicating the various spots that Sauron’s army was most likely to attack. “Rinaran, you’ll be leading the second defense group. We’ll need your forces to head to a few of these points through the various hidden paths if our forces are occupied during the assault.”
“As ordered,” was the grim reply and Haldir glanced over and caught Rinaran’s eye and nodded. He had known Rinaran ever since the first rise and fall of Sauron during the Last Alliance. The female Elf was formerly the head of all Swordmaidens in Rivendell, but when the group had disbanded after so many losses during a joint Elven assault on Angmar during the early-mid Third Age, she had in turn left Middle Earth with her husband and headed to Valinor.
When Haldir had crossed over himself, he had found her, living a peaceful quiet life, but that quiet life was shattered when a great evil consumed Valinor once more, turning Elf upon Elf, those of the Vanyar against those who had come from Middle Earth, forgiven by the Valar. The internal war raged on for many centuries and at least Two Ages before the Vanyar and those others that had sided with them were exiled from Valinor by a decree of the Gods of the Earth.
But by then, it was too late and many Elves had perished with the squabbling, including Rinaran’s husband. Though Haldir never had any romantic feelings for the former Swordmaiden, he consoled her as a friend would and together they reaffirmed the bond of friendship to a deeper level.
“Are there any questions so far?” Glorfindel’s brisk announcement startled him from his musings. There was a pause before the Eldar shut down the projector, “Good, preparations must be ready within an hour.” Haldir knew that the Elf wasn’t too keen on giving a ‘good luck speech’ or anything of that nature and tended to just say what he wanted to say, which was fine for him, as he also didn’t like giving last minute speeches. Not like what some humans did.
As the others filed out of the Situation Room, Haldir turned to the two other White City elves that had accompanied him. Both Fereveldir and Arthonas stood at attention like the soldiers they were under his command. They had already taken the liberty in the lull of the meeting that Elrond had called together, to put their armor on and now the blue-white-silver armor of the White City reflected the seemingly blue light emitting from the whole room.
“Fereveldir,” the younger Elf snapped to attention, “relay a message to Lady Galadriel and Lord Celeborn. Tell them of the situation here. You will be coordinating things with them from the Situation Room if we loose communications.”
The Elf nodded and headed towards one of the communication stations. Haldir turned towards the other Elf, “Arthonas, I’ll need you to tell the army I am commanding for this battle to move to these two positions,” he flipped on the projector and pointed to the two spots in which were near some of the vulnerable points of the city’s border. “I’ll be joining you shortly.”
The other Elf nodded quickly before jogging out of the Situation Room, making a beeline for the preparation area of the Golden City where the army he was going to command was waiting for him.
It was a small army, but they were loyal to Lorien Inc. and they didn’t really mind who commanded them, as they were freelancers. But it was also the army Haldir needed for this kind of defensive purpose. He needed an army that would be able to skirt around to different locations around the Golden City in a matter of minutes to help provide stronger defenses.
Taking one more look at the projector, he walked out of the room ... “Haldir,” Glorfindel’s voice stopped him and he turned to see the Eldar pulling the final piece to his protective armor across his shoulder. Like him, Glorfindel didn’t like helmets that obstructed his vision and his loose long blonde hair only pulled back with a tie hung down the back of his armor.
“Heading to change up?” the Eldar asked as he gestured for them to continue walking.
“Yes,” Haldir replied, taking an escalator down towards the armory. Though he was given temporary quarters at the Golden City to act as a liaison between White and Golden City, he left most of his armor and equipment in the city’s armory, which was under heavy guard at all times. “I sent Fereveldir to maintain contact with Lady Galadriel in case anything happens.”
“Good,” was the reply as Glorfindel adjusted the belt in which his sword hung from and a few barrels of what looked to be Mage-shield piercing guns. Though Haldir reluctantly placed himself underneath the command of others, with the exception of whenever Lady Galadriel or Lord Celeborn was the leader, he knew that he was at a disadvantage here.
This was Glorfindel’s city, and Glorfindel, being the guard-general of Elrond, had ultimate say in what was to be done in battle. He was just his second for now ...
“What are we expecting from Sauron?” he asked as they rounded a corner.
“Our scouts last saw Orcs and Irimages, no Shadow Elves though,” Glorfindel replied and Haldir breathed a quick sigh of relief. He didn’t really mind dealing with human Irimages, but with Shadow Elves they were another story.
“Are the Nazgul going to come?” he wondered if they would either stay at the Black City since they could sense the former Ringbearer or would they come and attack the Golden City.
“If they come, let them,” was the steely reply and Haldir noticed an unusual glint in Glorfindel’s green eyes, something that struck him to realize that the Elf probably had an innate power that he didn’t know about.
They continued towards the armory in silence.
* * * * *
Anna was pissed. Extremely pissed. She noticed that Elladan and Elrohir had even backed away during her whirlwind storm into the residential hall of Elrond and his family and nearly blew the doors open to the living room of the hall. Her eyes blazed as she searched for the target of her fury.
Spotting Elrond, she stalked towards him, her every step vibrating the floor. She could feel her hands curling up with defensive magical powers, but she held back, her police training preventing her from blasting the Elf into tiny pieces, though she highly doubted she could do it, and a voice inside her head told her to reason everything out with Elrond before making any rash moves.
“What’s the meaning of this, Lord Elrond,” she hissed his name, making him turn around as he fitted the final adjustment to his armor, a calm expression on his face.
“What, if I may ask?” he replied in a calm voice which only served to infuriate Anna even further.
“Why did you tell the other commanders that I am not to fight in this battle?!” she yelled. Elrond only stared at her with the same calm expression and she gritted her teeth in frustration. “I am a human being! A Vernomage! I can fight! I can help defend the pillars! Is this because I am the reincarnation of your former daughter?! Is it?!”
“Don’t lie to me, Elrond! That’s the truth isn’t it?!”
“I’m only trying to protect you-“ Elrond started calmly, taking his hands away from adjusting his armor and letting them relax at his side.
“Bullshit,” Anna fired back, interrupting him, “I don’t need your protection.”
“You are my daughter-“
“A reincarnated version. I’m not Arwen Undomiel in all her perfect bullshitting glory! I’m Anna Elanor, NYPD Detective, and if you have a problem with that, then take it up with my superior, Franklin!”
“I have, already,” the flat statement from Elrond was enough to stop her mid-rant, “and he has advised against using you in battle.”
“You can ask him if you want,” Elrond replied a bit sarcastically.
“No ... I don’t think so ...” Anna couldn’t believe her ears. Frank actually suggested that she be left behind. Did everyone think that she was going to break like china since she was the reincarnation of Arwen Undomiel? Hell no, she wasn’t ... she would prove it ... she would!
Spinning around on her heel, Anna stalked back to the door when Elrond’s next words floored her.
“We both agree to keep you in safety, which is why you will placed in the Healing Hall to help the wounded. Alec made this his last request before he left for the mission,” Elrond’s voice had softened considerably and Anna froze then turned around, not caring that tears were forming in her eyes.
“Prove it,” she demanded.
Elrond held out his hand and Anna’s breath caught in her throat. The pendant that Galadriel had given to Aragorn during his mission with the Fellowship glistened softly in the warmly lit living room. It was also the same pendant that Anna had seen Alec wear so many times and kiss it during his assignments with the NYPD. If Elrond had it, then it was most likely Alec who had made that request.
She walked tentative steps forward until her hand brushed against the jewel before Elrond gently placed it in hers. She stared at it for a moment, a tear falling down her face. She missed Alec already ... and she knew the risks of the seemingly suicide mission, but if Alec was a Vernomage then this would help his abilities increase ...
She didn’t really notice Elrond’s arms engulfing her in a gentle embrace before the tears started to fall rapidly down her face.
“It’s okay, my child ... cry,” Elrond whispered as both former father and daughter shared a quiet moment before the storm.
* * * * *
Haldir shared his quiet moment with no one, preferring to be alone with his thoughts as he stood at attention with the rest of his small army, watching from one of the walkways of the first defense line, watching for telltale signs that the enemy was approaching.
A cool breeze of the night lifted his slightly geld short hair up before it settled back down and he stared outwards, taking only a moment to glance up at the stars, offering up a silent prayer to Varda to give them a good victorious battle.
He once shared his quiet moments, the lull before the storm of the battle, with someone; she was already gone, having descended to the Halls of Mandos during the early Fourth Age. Her name was Valiya and she was a Swordmaiden of first Mirkwood then Ithilien, the second in command of Legolas’ former realm.
She had died during a battle with rogue Orc parties roaming the woods, who were leaderless, and though they did not have too much of a romantic interlude with each other, they still were deep close friends. Her death hit him hard, but he eventually recovered and seeing that there was no other attachments that held him to Middle Earth, he eventually departed for Valinor after Legolas and Gimli had went before him.
He shifted slightly while staring out into the darkness, the full moon sky. He could feel the darkness growing in his mind ... it wasn’t too long now, before the whole of the Golden City would be engaged in a bloody battle.
The Valar that had been present during the meeting with the Fellowship had left already for what they deemed ‘other business’. Haldir didn’t know whether or not to trust the Valar but finally decided if the Lady or Lord would trust them then he would abide by their judgment.
Franklin and Liz the other two humans in the small group that had been crowding around the Situation Room’s projector were in the Healing Hall, ready to assist anyone who was injured. They had opted to join Edward’s rogue forces in combining a pincher attack, but Edward had flatly refused their offer, saying that they were more important.
His eyes suddenly focused intently into the darkness as he casted a scanning spell on himself. He could see in the magnified distance the glowing red eyes of Irimages ... and the growling of Orcs ...
Haldir released the spell just as the piercing cry of a Nazgul echoed from the distance and lifted his hands slightly, each fingertip crackling with electrical currents from the magical lightning he was generating.
The battle had begun.
* * * * *Author’s Notes: You might notice a few familiar faces of semi-major characters in this story like Rinaran or the mention of a few old ones like Valiya. Those characters are from my story, Pastime Promises, Memories.
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