The Shadows That Remain Rating: PG-13
A Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, The Silmarillion fic - CHAPTER18
Alec reloaded his gun again and ducked behind a slab of fallen pipes that was part of the former subway tracks. Water dripped down his face as he had fallen into a slightly deep puddle a few minutes ago while dodging an Irimage’s blast of magic fire. His clothing was already soaked, but he didn’t care. Peeking out of his temporary hiding place, he quickly fired off a few shots and smiled grimly as they impacted the Sub-human he had been trying to kill.
Sub-humans had come upon them like ravenous dogs; all attracted to the magic used by Legolas, Gandalf and most likely the Irimages. They were attacking anything that resembled magic-using and thus weren’t too much a nuisance. But occasionally they came after them and defending himself from both Orcs and Sub-humans had become a priority.
For the two magic-users in their party, they were firing barrages of spells and whatnot, destroying the Irimages that had come upon them. It was up to the rest of the party to protect them from the feeding frenzy of the Sub-humans, as magic had absolutely no effect on them.
He heard the sizzle of a lighting bolt impacting the pipes he was hiding behind and felt its electrical current dissipate through the water and the metallic rusted pipes. Lucky for magic, the lightning generated by Mages wasn’t like real lightning and thus wasn’t able to do much harm if it came in contact with water or anything metal. He peered out once more and suddenly rolled backwards as a Sub-human launched itself at him. He leapt to his feet and shot the creature's foot out, kicking the Sub-human in the chest.
Slipping his gun into its holster, Alec attacked the Sub-human, raining blows upon the creature. Ducking beneath a wild grab, he felt the air passage of the creature’s claws and drew out his gun once more. Firing off a critical shot, the Sub-human dropped heavily to the ground, splattering water everywhere from the puddle it fell into.
Alec gave a quick sigh before turning around and firing off another shot. His gun clicked empty and the Sub-human who had been creeping up towards him gave him a leering smile, sensing that its prey ran out of weaponry. The Sub-human raised its hands, claws extended, wicked razor-like teeth gleaming from the glow of magic being fired everywhere.
Snorting silently, Alec threw away his gun and drew out the sword that was at his side. The sword felt right in his hands and he stumbled slightly as a flash of memory ran through his vision.
Helm’s Deep was falling ... he couldn’t let it fall ... no! Hacking away at an Orc that was reaching out to him, Aragorn glanced up towards the Hornburg ... reinforcements were needed! Even Eomer was faltering with his line of Rohirrim ...
The vision ended, just in time for Alec to raise his sword up, countering vicious claws that were trying to rip at him. He drew back his sword with a metallic clang and held it, watching the Sub-human warily. A battle sense seemed to fill him, and he could perceive what was going on around him with a certain clarity. Behind him, an Undead was trying to creep up; he would have to deal with the Undead soon ... A few more Undead were looking to attack Gandalf who was defending Gimli from Irimages, who had taken an abrupt slip on an ice sheet that had been casted by one of the Irimages. Gandalf would have to be warned.
He brought all of the battle ‘data’ as he quickly dubbed it, back to his senses and then focused on the Sub-human in front of him. The Sub-human licked its pale lips, and suddenly twitched. That was the entire opening that Alec needed and he charged at the creature with a battle cry.
Spinning away from the claws that tore at him, he crouched and whipped his sword around in an arc. Metal hit the rotten flesh of the Sub-human and ripped apart the creature. But Alec wasn’t done yet. He raised his free hand up and glared at the Undead that had been sneaking towards him. Without a second thought, Alec blasted the Undead into pieces with a white ball of light, similar to what Anna had done during their escape from the Black City.
The Undead died without a sound. Alec didn’t hesitate as he got up and thrust his blade into the abdomen of another Sub-human who came after him, attracted to his magic using. The creature hissed slightly before falling to the ground. “Gandalf!” he called to the wizard, “three Undead, behind you!”
That was the only thing he got out before a bright white light blinded the whole area.
* * * * *
Legolas’ eyes blazed with the internal power of all of the magic he could call upon. Even his reserves were being depleted and still they came. He didn’t bother with anymore techno-fusing as the enemy was too close together to his friends for him to target them safely without having his arrows ping off of shields and hit one of his friends. He held his hands up and let his magic blaze a warpath among the ranks of Orcs, Irimages, Undead, and Sub-Humans.
Calling up lightning, he splayed out his fingers and blasted two Irimages back into a crumbling section of the subway walls. Both impacted the wall and were obliterated into black dust. He formed two white magical daggers in his own hands and waded into the ranks of Irimages, all who leered at him with their red eyes.
There were no Shadow Elves -- he had to thank the Valar for that -- but still, these human Irimages were very pesky creatures. Jabbing a dagger into the throat of one, he swiftly drew a line, tugging slightly as the dagger snagged on muscle of the Irimage’s neck before ripping it out and plunged it into the throat of another. Lashing out with his other hand, he caught another Iri by the stomach.
Legolas grimaced before taking the dagger out of the stomach of that Iri and then turned around, elbowing one of them in the face. He immediately shifted his grip on his dagger and plunged it into the Iri creeping up on him, before blasting the head to pieces with a white ball of light.
He didn’t even flinch so much as the powers from the dead Irimages began to converge on him and forced themselves upon his own magic; he just let it pass through him and it added more energy to him. He could faintly feel its evil touching him, but he didn’t care at the moment. Focusing on the task at hand, he plunged his other dagger upwards into the jaw of a crouched Irimage and the mage died instantly, its brain pierced by the magical weapon.
Legolas allowed a rueful smile to creep to the corners of his mouth, in which he could taste blood from the various cuts and scratches he received while dealing with some of the mages and other unsightly dark creatures during the initial battle. But he shunted all of his pain aside and drew on the added power that kept coming at him from the various dead Irimages. He closed his eyes and with a scanning spell, could see the Irimages converging on him; the fringes of the group littered with Sub-humans ... all sensing the growing power within him.
He siphoned more energy into the spell he was going to unleash. The attack group that Sauron had sent them had lessened considerably, and this spell would finish all off ... He could feel the evil that had been transferred along with the dead mages’ powers growing ... but violently suppressed it. He would deal with it later ...
Feeling as if he was going to burst from the amount of power he had been gathering to himself, Legolas snapped open his eyes abruptly and pitted the red-glowing-eyed Irimage who so happened to be half-crouched in front of him, its glinting fangs dripping off saliva. “Goodbye,” he said in a simple cold voice before grabbing onto the Irimage’s forehead and drew its soul to him.
He dimly heard Alec shout something to Gandalf before he raised his arms upward and unleashed the spell, adding to it the soul of the Irimage that would increase it ten-fold. A bright white light filled the area.
Though Legolas knew his friends could not see what was happening, he saw. It was like watching a nuclear explosion take place, except with magic. All of the Irimages and dark creatures that had been battling them were obliterated, all pushed back slightly before fading into dust. He could make out the outlines of his friends, all shielding their eyes, but the magic passed harmlessly over them. He had made the spell harm not one hair on his friends, and instead focused on those attacking them.
The white light of the spell eventually faded, plunging them into dim darkness once more. He blinked; watching as the walls shone with blue then flickered slightly with each blink of his eyes. He could tell that his eyes were a lot brighter ... which meant that there were a considerable number of Technomages posing as Irimages among the enemy forces.
“The hell ... ” was the first words out of Matt’s mouth as he pushed himself up from the wall, his sword bloodied, himself slightly grimy but otherwise all right.
“What was that?” Ben’s groggy voice floated from somewhere near where Gandalf was brushing himself off and held out a hand to help the police officer get up from a fairly deep puddle he fell into.
“Legolas?” Gimli’s concerned voice made Legolas stare at the taller man, who was leaning against a long half-moon axe he had been hacking away with. A trickle of blood made its lazy way down one side of the Reincarnated dwarf’s face, but he didn’t seem to notice.
Legolas was about to reply before he noticed the magic powered vortex swirling around him becoming denser. All of the mages he had killed in that single shot ... all of their powers was going to come at him at once. He prepared himself both mentally and physically for the shock of it. He knew that it wasn’t going to be like the time him, Haldir, and Glorfindel were escaping to the Golden City with the twins in tow.
When the wave hit, he felt his eyes pop open at the intensity of it. It ripped through him, but he fought back. No! He wasn’t going to let some trivial thing such as a power transfer defeat him. Not when he would grow stronger.
What the ... a rational part of his mind suddenly jerked him, or was it the power transfer; he didn’t really dwell on that. Why did he have the sudden urge to grow stronger? Why did he want to? He gritted his teeth in silent anger as he could feel the evil that had come along with the Irimage transfers before; they were influencing his judgment. He was going to have to suppress them, and soon. No! Focus! He told himself as he battled with the power transfer within himself.
Summoning his inner strength, he started to take the swirling power within himself and transferred it, piecemeal. He could feel the magic around him waning ... dying bit by bit as he slowly won against its destructive force. He could feel his magic powers growing by the second as each transformation of the destructive force to a constructive force gave him more. Finally, he reached out mentally and bled the rest to the remaining corpses littered throughout the area and with closed eyes dimly saw fire starting around them, burning the corpses to ashes.
After a few minutes, he slowly opened his eyes once more and let out a soft sigh. It was over ... for now ... He felt a bit dizzy ... and slightly exhausted, as he seriously wasn’t used to this much power coming at him ...
“Legolas?” Gimli’s voice prodded him again and he met his best friend’s gaze evenly, noting how the former hobbits stared at him, recoiling slightly from his brighter glowing-blue-eyed gaze. Every person he knew did that at least once, including Haldir and the other Elves. “I’m fine ... you?” he replied then turned to the others and tilted his head slightly and silently asked the same question to the others.
“Can’t be more peachy than now,” Gimli replied, a wiry grin forming on his face, “it felt good to slaughter Orcs again ... ”
“I think ... we’re fine,” Alec answered, looking a bit dizzy himself and also confused as he sheathed his sword and leaned against the subway wall.
“Gandalf?” Fred’s voice brought everyone’s gazes to the wizard whose hand was glowing white as he had it placed on Ben’s forehead, the man looking as if to be in a trance.
“Yes, Fredrick?” Gandalf replied, releasing his hand from the man’s forehead and then looked around, shifting his staff to his other hand. Ben, meanwhile, looked considerably healthier than he was before the beginning of this skirmish.
“How come you didn’t absorb any of the Irimage’s powers?” Fred asked.
Legolas raised an eyebrow and looked at the wizard for the answer. Gandalf suddenly looked old and tired and even sat down on a slab, flicking a few ashes off of the slab, left over from a former dark creature. The wizard bowed his head for a while until even he thought that the wizard was suffering from an internal spell or an internal injury of sorts.
“Though ... I have the power, as I am Maiar,” Gandalf started hesitantly, which was a surprise for Legolas, “I am only in this human form and can do so much.”
“Why? Why not go to your real form?” Fred persisted, and Sam voiced his agreement.
“I cannot. The only way, is for me to die once more ... as I had done with my battle against Durin’s Bane,” Gandalf replied solemnly, which immediately plastered guilty looks from all of the former hobbits. They remembered ... hell, even Legolas remembered ... and it wasn’t a pleasant memory.
“I’m sorry ... ” Fred replied softly, which was loud in these echoing subway tunnels.
“Don’t trouble yourself Fredrick,” Gandalf smiled tiredly, “its only out of curiosity that you ask. Yes, the mages I have killed will potentially become Undead if an Irimage so happens plans to summon the spirit and body back up, but it is the least of all our problems.”
“Gandalf?” Alec’s voice had a curious pitch as if suspicious of something.
“Why are we doing this? Why were we the ones to be sent to kill Sauron?” Alec asked.
“Is it because we’re expendable? Because we are the Fellowship that Sauron feared us so? No ... it is because we have the ability to. We are a fellowship that has always supported each other, even if some had taken the path to darkness. Like brothers in arms, we each carry the same special skill no other have. Not hope, but the courage to see the hope through no matter the cost. Yes, some of the other Elves have that courage and that hope, but to combine ours together ... it is what enabled Sauron and Morgoth to fear us and grow overconfident of himself,” Gandalf explained patiently before he tilted his head slightly as if listening to something and Legolas caught it after a few seconds.
It was the sound of more dark creatures coming their way ... most likely Sub-Humans ...
“They’re coming,” he spoke up, alerting the others who half rose from their positions.
“Let us go ... there isn’t much time to waste,” Gandalf stood up, brushing dust off of himself, “Benjamin, Alexander, can you tell us where we are at the moment?”
“Um ... getting my bearings ... I say we’re just below the Empire State Building ...” Ben said.
“Then we climb up,” Gandalf hefted his gnarled walking stick and began to climb the ladder that was on the side, bits of entrails from the dark creatures hanging off various rungs.
Legolas waited until all of the others were up before starting the climb upward himself. He hung back for a second and with an outstretched arm towards the ground, he cast a trapping spell. That would hold off whoever was coming at them for a few minutes, giving them time to reach Sauron’s lair ... which was in the Empire State Building, presumably the top floor.
As he finished his spell, he began to climb up, not noticing a few red glowing eyes in the shadows of where the skirmish had taken place. The red glowing eyes came from within the walls and suddenly the eyes walked out of the walls ...
Attached to the eyes were dark bodies, bodies that could not be seen in any type of light save magical ones. They weren’t human Irimages, but they certainly looked like them.
“[By the light and darkness ... He will rule ... ] one of the red-glowing-eyed figure hissed in an ancient Elven dialect.
Silently, a horde of Shadow Elves descended themselves upon the ladder in which the fellowship climbed through and dismembered the spell Legolas had casted earlier with childish ease and followed.
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