The Shadows That Remain Rating: PG-13
A Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, The Silmarillion fic - CHAPTER19
Lightning flashed in the night sky, and with it came an instantaneous booming of thunder. But there were multiple flashes of lightning at the same time, magic being drawn from the storm that had came over the Golden City, bathing the once shining city of hope and light, into all of its dark glory, the city that held deceit underneath its buildings ... Creatures of the night and evil prowled through the city, but there were those that defended it down to the last man, or Elf. The army of Elrond, combined with the rogue army of former United States General Edward Ruthersfield, was defending it against hordes of Orcs, Undead, and Irimages -- Sauron’s Army.
One such defender was Glorfindel, head commander of the whole defending army. He battled his way through the front lines of the skirmish, taking any evil creature down with perfected ease. He knew that his lord and commander Elrond was counting on him to stay the main forces away from the main building that was Lorien Inc.
As he concentrated and splayed his fingers out, lightning arched from the tips and struck multiple Irimages who promptly fell to the ground, scorched dead. But where the few that had fallen, more came to replace them. As a rare Techno- and Vernomage, Glorfindel knew that he had the ultimate advantage over many of his fellow comrades-in-arms, and his power rivaled that of the strongest Irimages, the Nine Walkers. Though he didn’t really know the reason, he speculated that it was probably from so many missions Lord Elrond had assigned him; the missions to assassinate rogue mages and trouble-makers.
But at times, he could feel a higher power calling to him ... something inside of him that was long buried. He didn’t know how to access this ‘foreign’ power, but instead it came to him sporadically ... usually when he was in the midst of a furious battle. There were the sporadic times in which he totally lost control of himself and lashed out with this hidden power, but usually it was when he was surrounded by enumerable opposing forces.
He hoped that soon he would be able to find out what this power was within him. He didn’t want to lose control in a calm situation, and he had a feeling that if he did lose control, it would not bode so well with his allies.
This was why he also distanced himself and let the enemy surround him. He could command from afar, but he did this as a safety precaution. Even his lord, Elrond, knew of his sporadic bursts of power and didn’t mind him commanding from afar. Besides, Glorfindel trusted his current second-in-command, Haldir, to take over if things turned awry. He also trusted his original second-in-command, former swordmaiden Rinaran. Both would be able to get the job done if he was incapacitated in any way.
As he drew out his sword, still sharp as ever since it was forged from the latter years of the Second Age, he held it ready in front of him. His hands glowed orange as he techno-fused it with magic, giving his sword, Raithen, an eerie fiery-orange glow. Flames licked the edges of his sword, flaring out occasionally as he charged into the fray of Orcs and enemy mages.
He greeted the first Orc with his blade, slicing its head off in one stroke. Stepping back, he flipped the pommel of his sword around and stabbed through the stomach of a Technomage, and raised a hand behind him to blast it away from his sword. The Technomage flew away with the cry of a wounded man and the weight upon his sword lessened.
He whirled around, blasting black a few mages with a burst of white light before fusing even more magic within Raithen. His sword began to glow a deadly glow of orange and Glorfindel concentrated. He drew upon all of the magic he had within him, reaching for those tendrils and added magic that he had just so recently absorbed by the dead mages around him. Opening his eyes he pointed his sword at an Orc who stared at him and growled.
Raising an eyebrow he eyed the Orc coldly before he let loose the magic contained within Raithen. Fire poured out of his blade and incinerated the Orc and those behind him. The fire spread in a circle and outwards, tendrils crawling at other enemies so far away, and were struck down. As soon as the fire circle died off a piercing scream reverberated through the thunderstorm and night.
The cry of a Nazgul.
Glorfindel looked towards the sound of the Nazgul and a glint appeared in his eyes. A glint that held the ancient power that he once wielded.
* * * * *
Elladan whistled over the comm. systems between fighters as he saw the Fire Circle Glorfindel produced near the front-line of the battle. The Elf sure had a lot of magic within him. That was one of the most impressive Fire Circles he had ever seen in his whole life.
He pulled back on the stick of his fighter and watched his world go in a loop before he righted again and a fiend summon flew past him, its long dripping claws attempting to rake his fighter in half. Not today little buddy, he let a rueful grin loose on his face. Using a targeting spell, he watched as his fighter drew closer to the fiend ...
“Star Leader, fox-four mark two,” he said as he launched a missile against the fiend. Moments later a brilliant explosion of color filled the air and the fiend was gone from his targeting spell.
“Star Leader this is Phase Leader, what’s your stasis bro, over?” his brother’s voice crackled over the comm.
“Got six so far, you?” he replied, glancing out of his cockpit window to see Elrohir dodge a few lightning strikes and fire a missile volley into a crowd of orcs and mages who promptly blew into dust.
“Seven ... ha! I beat you-“ Elrohir’s voice suddenly cut off and Elladan was worried but watched as he saw a massive surge of magical energy form their vortex and launch themselves at his brother’s fighter.
“Elrohir?” he called over the comm.
“Gimme a sec,” was the strained reply.
“Whoa! Phase Leader you’ve picked up a bogey on your tail!” Elladan peeled his fighter up and over towards his brother’s as he saw another summon, this time a black dragon rear its ugly head and make a beeline towards the swirling vortex that was his brother’s fighter.
“I got it, don’t worry,” the cool, calm collected voice of one of Edward Ruthersfield’s men called over, “Talon Squadron form up on me. We’ve got a dragon to hunt. Star Leader you better get your brother out of there. When this dragon goes, it’s going!”
“Roger that Talon Leader,” Elladan acknowledge the order, even though he was second-in-command of the air defense while his brother was commander, he was all options when taking orders from anyone in the air. It was a way to work, to defend the city. He pushed on the stick of his fighter and dived towards his brother. Surely the power transfer was complete, he thought as he leveled off, a bit afraid to approach. But no, the vortex was getting stronger ... and stronger ...
Elladan widened his eyes as he realized what his brother had done. He wasn’t letting the absorption into him, instead he was feeding off of it, building the vortex into a massive ball of intense magical power. He had a feeling that it was going to be for the dragon summon that was hovering near him, now fending off missiles and various bullets from Talon Squadron’s fighters.
He keyed the comm. quickly and spoke into it, “Talon Leader! Break off! Break off! The vortex is a magical nuclear bomb! Elrohir’s gonna blow that son-of-a-bitch dragon to hell with it! Get out of there NOW!”
There was a hiss and crack before Talon Leader’s awed reply came over, “Talon Squadron breaking, we’re headed towards your bearings. Better grab a few Vernos and tell them to build a shield on us. I’ve seen one of those things blow up before and barely survived.”
“Roger that Talon Leader,” Elladan acknowledged as he watched eight out of the twelve remaining specks that were Talon Squadron zip towards him. He hoped his brother knew what he was doing. It was rare for a Technomage to not absorb the powers and instead turn its raw form into a weapon ... but it was also something Elrohir had a natural affinity for, which was why his eyes didn’t glow as much nor did his skull palm turn darker with each mage killing. But Elrohir had as much experience if not more fighting mages ... he just chose not to absorb their power.
Flipping the comm. channel to a different frequency he signaled the Situation Room back at the Lorien Inc. building and got Fereveldir, one of Haldir’s two fellow White City elves who was monitoring the battle. “Hey Fere,” he knew that the elf didn’t mind the shortened form of his name, “we’ll be needing a few Vernos up here. Elrohir, if you haven’t noticed-“
“Unabsorbed magical nuclear bomb. Pleasant,” Fereveldir’s annoyance was evident but he smiled, “Roger that, Elladan. Good thing you’re away from the main battle, otherwise the Vernos down near the pillars would have one hell of a time trying to defend those pillars and save your skinny asses.”
“Dude, you are spending too much time in the Pentagon in the United States. You sound like one of those big military higher-ups who have got their heads stuck in their asses,” Elladan grinned warily, “go back to the White City where you belong.”
“After this Elladan, after this,” Fereveldir replied smiling before shutting off the link.
Elladan only had to wait a few seconds before he noticed pinkish tint around his fighter and around others too. Damn, Vernomages were really fast ... Turning his head he watched as suddenly the swirling vortex flew towards the black dragon summon who roared and attempted to swipe it out of the air. “Yeah! Go, bro!” he whispered as he cheered his brother on who immediately flew towards them after launching his “homemade” magical equivalent nuclear bomb. As he flew towards them a pinkish shield encased him ... moments before the blinding flash erupted from where the dragon was.
He threw up an arm to block the glaring light and felt a shudder run through his fighter as the shockwave traveled through the air. Moments later all was dark again save for the occasional lightning bolt and he peeked from under his arm to see that where the dragon once flew there was no more except falling dust.
“Yeah! That got ‘em!” Elrohir crowed over the comm. system.
* * * * *
Anna staggered back slightly as she kept her mind focused on some of the shields she and a few Elves had created to protect the fighters hovering near where the black dragon was. The shockwave of the magical bomb was overwhelming, but she had managed to keep her mind reinforced.
She knew that she had disobeyed Elrond’s command and had gone off to join the other Vernos in battle, but she had stayed near the entrance to the building, on the opposite side of Elrond and had steadfastly ignored his scathing glances towards her during the battle.
She, a Vernomage, had defended the city with a few summons, more like white demons to harass the fiends and the enemies that got too close, but she never knew Elrond was both a Techno and a Verno. As a Vernomage only able to heal and not summon or use any other magic, he made up this lack for wielding unusual magic that even she -- with her years on the NYPD -- had never seen a Technomage do.
Fireballs burst from his finger tips and he incanted some of his magic, making the magic more ancient and powerful, and they lit the stormy night sky up with burning summons, mages, and orcs. If Anna wasn’t so busy trying to defend herself and others with her shields, she would have found the display awe-inspiring.
She could see with her Elven far-sight that General Ruthersfield’s armies were having a grand time pinning the Orcs down from leaving or escaping as they attacked from the outskirts of the city. A loud whoop came over the comm. station near the entrance of the building and brought her gaze back up to where her “brothers” were in their fighters and she smiled grimly. Trust Elrohir to come up with such a foolhardy plan. They hadn’t changed except gaining mage powers.
Seeing that it was safe for the fighters to continue their runs, she signaled to the other Vernos around her and they let their shields go. Some of the mages fell to their knees, momentarily stunned by the power of the blast against their mental capabilities, but they shook it off just as fast and rose to their feet, eyes scanning warily for any sign of trouble.
Anna returned her gaze to the platform they were on and noticed out of the corner of her eye a few Wilders, floating on pinkish shields, rise up to face them. She focused on her powers and summoned forth two falcons that flew away from her fingers and started their attack run towards the Wilders.
A few other birds and animals joined hers, adding their white brilliance to her summon, the light even blinding to an Elf. But Anna was trained in the ways of blocking out that light and peered through it to communicate with her two falcons.
Left flank ... attack, she coolly sent to them in a telepathic message and peered beyond the bright light to see them dive at the Wilders who reacted instantly with a barrage of spells. Suddenly she could sense spells directed at her and her fellow Vernos and instinctively held up a hand and a pinkish shield formed just as an ice spell hit it, veering off with a pinging sound.
Ice magic, she told her magical falcons and they immediately crystallized into ice and dive-bombed in a suicide attack at two Wilders. The Wilders, sensing a suicide attack laughed and put up their shields, but Anna focused all of her magic onto her summons and saw them pierce the shields and dived straight into the hearts of the Wilders, killing them instantly.
Immediately the bright light dimmed with the passing of two summons but out from the light came two swirling vortex of untapped power and Anna welcomed the added power. She stored and converted the power to her own use, preparing another more powerful summoning spell.
The battle still raged on.
* * * * *
Haldir wiped blood off a fairly deep cut near his temple and matted his slick short hair with the crimson sticky substance, but he didn’t care anymore. He heaved a heavy sigh and fell back for only a second before turning around and hacking away at another Orc. He could barely see the whirling shape of Glorfindel a few yards away engrossed in his own magical battle, the Irimages sensing a more powerful opponent than he.
This left him to defend from Orcs and other mages who dare not go near Glorfindel. Haldir could sense a greater power in the golden-haired Eldar; a hidden untapped power that had yet to be released, but it was just brimming, sitting there. He briefly wondered if Elrond knew his second-in-command had such untapped power, but lost the thought as a Wilder peered up at him, the human’s eyes wild with unabsorbed and raging magic in his eyes. But he could also see stupidity bright in those eyes and shook his head imperceptibly.
“Get out of my way,” he growled at the Wilder, who only grinned insanely. Haldir stepped forward and held up a bloodied armored hand and attacked. Lightning crackled from his finger tips and traveled the short length between him and the Wilder, but still the insane mage grinned and suddenly a pink shield flared up between the lightning and the mage.
He watched as his lightning impacted the shield and dissipated harmlessly to the sides. Frowning, Haldir suddenly ducked as another Orc heaved a meat cleaver like weapon towards his head. He turned slight and stabbed at the Orc who immediately collapsed, dead. Turning his attention back to the Wilder, Haldir knew that he would have to go hand-to-hand with this mage until he could get past the Wilder’s shields.
Wilders weren’t hard to defeat, but they were a nuisance, especially ones that were able to produce shields like Vernomages. But he was glad that it was a Wilder instead of a Shadow Elf. If Shadow Elves appeared it would be putting the human mages here to doom. He stalked forward and released the Techno-fuse he had on his long sword. No magic he was capable of was able to penetrate the shield of a Wilder so regular weapons had to be used.
The Wilder grinned again and Haldir charged forward, blasting the Wilder with lightning as a feint attack. He saw the Wilder raise his arms back up in a counterattack and he slipped underneath the protective shield, feeling a brief burning sensation and tingle pass through his face and armor. Stabbing upwards, blood suddenly flowed from the gaping wound he gave to the Wilder when he shoved the human backwards and immediately swung his sword in a counterstrike to decapitate its head.
The Wilder fell back without another sound, its pinkish shield fading away. Suddenly the cry of a Nazgul pierced the stormy night sky and Haldir felt a shudder run down his spine. He really hated Nazgul ... in their previous incarnations and in this one ... especially this reincarnation of them.
Their magic was equal with Shadow Elves (Elf Irimages) -- if not better -- and they answered to no one but Sauron. Back then he was able to kill them with swords and arrows, but now ... he had to contend with powerful magic and the possibility of not even having a Verno around them. He glanced up into the stormy sky and saw one hovering above him ... or rather near where Glorfindel was. Glancing towards the Eldar, his eyes widened as he saw the Eldar glow a bit ... an almost radiance of a summon ...
Battling and hacking his way towards the Eldar, Haldir hesitated to touch the shoulder of Elrond’s guard-general, but did so anyways. What he felt was a sense of peace and tranquility amidst the raging battlefield pass over him ... and he felt renewed by this tranquility. His eyes could see with such clarity and he felt his strength renewed. Even his magical reserves inside of him were replenished ...
“Glorfindel?” he asked as he noticed the Orcs and other dark creatures were forming a circle around them, but keeping their distance. There was fear written in those dark creatures’ eyes and they occasionally stuck a lance or a sword near the Eldar and him, but drew it away as quickly. Even Wilders, Technomages, and Irimages were hesitant ... something that bewildered Haldir.
“We fight ... ” Glorfindel’s voice was as hard as ice, yet warm at the same time.
Haldir didn’t know if the Eldar was talking to the Nazgul who rode a fierce looking green dragon mount above them, or to him. He stepped slightly away from the Eldar and re-fused his sword, noticing that Glorfindel’s Raithen was glowing orange flames while his sword, Tathas, was crackling arcs blue lightning.
Glorfindel suddenly looked up at the Nazgul, “Come,” the demand and power in his word was so great that even he felt the force of them.
The Nazgul gave a shriek and dived down at them, his yellow-eyed green dragon roaring too. Opened mouth, the dragon breathed flame down upon them, and Haldir reflexively ducked but then noticed a pinkish shield forming around him and Glorfindel. However the enemies outside of the shield were immediately burnt to crisp.
As soon as the flames ceased, Haldir held both his sword and his free hand up. He summoned lightning like he had never summoned before to come and his hand crackled with enormous power. A column of blue lightning shot both his sword and hand, forming into a giant column and it struck the Nazgul’s steed straight into its heart.
He saw the dragon give a wounded cry before a bright blazing white steed rammed into it from mid-air, the steed breathing smoke and fire from its nostrils. The dragon suddenly convulsed once in the air before exploding into pieces.
Dragon carcass rained down upon them, but Haldir didn’t care. He and Glorfindel, moving as one, advanced upon the now fallen Nazgul who stared at them defiantly with red-blooded eyes. He knew that this wasn’t the Witch King -- obviously, the height of this creature was that of an adult human -- but this was probably one of the third-powerful Nazgul, he guessed.
As one they yelled a war cry and charged, Haldir with his lightning magic, increased ten-fold, Glorfindel with his Techno-Verno magic increased to who knew how much and attacked.
The Nazgul had no chance.
In feeble attempts to defeat them, the pitiful Irimage had cast a few deflection spells and some darker ones that drained souls, and death magic. But even that was not enough to stop the combined forces of the two top Elven generals on a warpath.
Moments later, the Nazgul was dead, fried from both the inside and outside and stabbed multiple times by magical weapons.
Haldir eyed the enemies that had made a circle around them, but they made no move to come near them. Instead they were stepping back ... slowly ... and fear was in their eyes.
Suddenly, Haldir jerked back as he felt the magical transfer of the Nazgul slam into him. It was so big ... so powerful! He reeled against that much power, even though he was sharing it with Glorfindel and squeezed his eyes shut. He had to transfer the power piecemeal before it consumed him.
Slowly he could feel its destructive force ebbing away ... but suddenly he felt as if he was going to be sick. A cold clammy feeling washed down his whole body and he felt as if his soul would be permanently damaged ... what was this? Was it from the Nazgul? It felt so foreign, so alien ... so ... evil ...
Haldir staggered a bit before opening his eyes once more. He could feel the power transfer to his skull palm ... he would be able to use more dark magic ... Looking around he saw that the Orcs and various dark mages that had been gathering around them were blindly retreating, but most of them fell at the hands of the mages who chased after them. There would be no escape for the assault force that Sauron had launched at them ...
He wanted to go and pursue them as a second-in-command should do, but he felt rooted to this spot. The evil still swirled around him and he tried to push it away, but it taunted him with its presence.
“G-Glorfindel?” he managed to get out from a sour taste in his mouth, not brought on by blood, but by the evil.
“So much evil ... if a Nazgul has it ... what can Sauron hold?” Glorfindel whispered and as he met the Eldar’s steely gaze, Haldir had to wonder if Lady Galadriel was right to give the task to Legolas.
He wondered if his best friend would be able to withstand that much evil ... and not succumb to it.
* * * * *
Author’s Notes: Sorry this came out so late ... was working on a bunch of things. ^_^
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