The Shadows That Remain Rating: PG-13
A Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, The Silmarillion fic - CHAPTER21
Shadow Chaser

POWER

Legolas yanked his magical dagger out of the body of a dying Orc and flicked blood off of its blade before dispelling it. Glancing up, his pulled his long hair back out of his face, noting that it was matted and sticky with blood. He wished he had a spare hair tie or something to pull his blonde hair back, but even that was lost a few levels back since their climb up to the spire of the Empire State Building, or now was called Barad-dur.

He knew that they were getting real close to Sauron’s lair, as the evil presence he had been feeling since they had landed in the Black City, was now almost overwhelming. It was taking a lot of his effort for his magically and Elvish attuned senses to block out the evil radiating from both the enemies he killed and Sauron’s power. Yet he felt something foreign ... alien ... familiar ...

Something that he hadn’t felt since ... well, since a long time ago. It beckoned to him, called to him ... but he shied away at its magical and telepathic call. He didn’t want to go to the call because it radiated evil. It felt like Orcs, yet not like Orcs. He had a feeling that it was Shadow Elves, but he still wasn’t too sure as he had rarely encountered them.

What he knew of Shadow Elves were that they were former Vanyar and Eldar Elves that had never rebelled against the Valar during Feanor’s crossing and after the Third Age when almost all Elves passed into Valinor, they had encountered this child-like innocent race of their kin. But when great evil returned to their lands, the Vanyar elves were the first to turn to be twisted and molded into dark, evil elves, thus becoming Irimage Elves, or Shadow Elves as they were known.

“Everyone all right?” Alec asked, and Legolas noticed that the reincarnated human king was falling more and more into his role as Aragorn, leader, commander, and king of the race of Men. The mannerism and concern that was written on his bloodied, matted, and slightly haggard face was that of Aragorn, but the weapons and stance he was holding his sword was the combination of Alec Richard and Aragorn son of Arathorn. The odd thing was the fact that throughout most of their battles, he had watched Alec fall into a mage like stance, using magic almost subconsciously. Through the records he read, Legolas had never encountered the fact that this reincarnation of Aragorn was a Vernomage.

And he suspected that neither did Alec know he was a Verno. He seemed to not really remember what magic he used (if any) during their brief sporadic battles with Sauron’s dark forces.

“Yeah ... I think so,” Fred replied, looking a bit winded after pulling the remains of an Orc off of himself. Sam put a comforting arm around him, helping him up and supporting him as any near-brother and best friend would do. Legolas noticed that the reincarnated Hobbit was looking a bit worse for wear – a probable effect of the darkness that Sauron was emanating.

“That wasn’t too bad,” Phil piped up, and next to him Matt also nodded his assessment and Legolas had to agree with the two college boys. They were getting their personalities back, especially since at their feet was a pile of Orc bodies, all slaughtered with efficient strokes. Apparently, they were taking all of their reincarnated memories and putting it to good use. There were a few sword strokes that looked to be of different periods, like feudal Japan, to the fencing era of the Romantic age.

“Easy for you to say Hobbit,” Gimli replied a bit grouchily, “you had fun dealing with Orcs and stuff. Look at me! Reincarnated as a tall figure, you think I can wield an ax like I used to? No ... now I use regular swords that don’t even work for my hands and the only thing I can do is shoot guns and crossbows.”

“Shh! Quiet!” Gandalf suddenly hissed and Legolas attuned his senses back to their surroundings instead of the slightly sarcastic conversation the rest of their party was having. He noticed Ben shaking his head occasionally as if to get rid of some unseen presence and wondered if the man was all right. Perhaps the Healer Elves of Elrond didn’t get rid of the connection between him and that Undead after all ...

“Be on alert-“

“Nazgul ... ” Ben suddenly hissed, seconds before a piercing scream reverberated through the air.

Legolas involuntarily flinched against the sound and finally sensed the presence of the Nazgul. Its dark presence touched his soul and he shuddered. The Witch-King ... it had to be him ... Only one other had ever felt this evil and that was Sauron. He hadn’t really felt the Witch-King’s permeating evil during his escape with Alec and the others the first time around in the Black City, but then again, being in the heart of evil now probably increased the Witch-King’s influence hundred-fold.

“It’s the Witch-King!” Fred suddenly hissed and he glanced back to see the Hobbit wincing in deep pain, clutching his shoulder that bore no wound, but the memory of one.

“There are more too ... at least ... three more of them,” Ben spoke quietly, but eerily, as if in a trance.

Putting a scanning spell over his eyes, Legolas scanned the area and saw that at least hundreds of Orcs and a few Shadow Elves were making their way towards them. They weren’t going to be going up any time soon. Suddenly, he focused on a far away mass of darkness that was at the far end of the long hall they were in. His spell told him that the Shadow Elves were summoning chimeras and dark creatures.

“Chimeras ... and a few black dragons I think,” he told the others as he dispelled the spell and once again, fused the little silver gun into a composite bow. Pulling back on the string, a bluish arrow suddenly appeared, ready to be shot.

“Oh ... wonderful,” Gimli groused grumpily, “this is just so fun ... why don’t we all just sit here and watch as chimeras go on the rampage again?”

“Huh?” Phil looked confused as did Matt and Sam. Fred was in too much pain or too lost in his memories to notice.

Legolas smiled grimly as he knew what his best friend was talking about. Chimeras were the summons that destroyed Central Park and probably most of the Upper East Side due to a mage gang war. No one could stop them except for those who were high caliber Technos or Vernos. All around, people stopped and watched in horror as the Upper East Side of the Black City was literally trampled by the rampaging chimeras. He knew how bad chimeras were ... he was one of the few called in by United States Special Mage Forces* to deal with the chimeras and their summoners.

“Something that happened when you were just young boys, Hobbits,” Gimli replied.

“Heads up, here they come,” Alec silenced all conversation as he drew out his sword. “Fred will you be all right?”

“I’ll ... manage,” Fred said between gasps of pain as he drew out Stinger, the sister sword to Sting and propped himself up against a support beam, “just ... keep them away from me, especially the Witch-King.”

“Ben?”

“Ditto with Fred,” Ben said, “but I have an indirect connection to him so it won’t be that bad ...”

Legolas tuned out the rest of the conversation and drew up his store of magic. He had been absorbing Iri and Techno power since the fight down in the subways and usually by now he would be in his reserves of magical power, but with this many enemies falling at his hand, he felt that he had enough magic to outlast at least a week of mage fighting.

Glancing to his right, Legolas saw Gandalf, his white robes spotless, even though they trampled through sewage and dirt, raise his hands up and a tingle went through him. It felt reassuring, like he had a second skin, and wondered once again, what kind of magic the wizard was using. It sure as hell wasn’t from this world or from Mage-Link or Dust. It had to be a part of his human-Maiar form that was creating this magic.

Suddenly, an arrow whizzed close by his head and Legolas returned the volley with his own, just as Alec and Ben charged into the ranks of Orcs who were running at them. He targeted and sighted with his bow by instinct, hitting Irimages first before they could get their shields up and hitting Orcs along the way. He didn’t want to deal with Shadow Elves at the moment as he knew that they would have already brought their shields up, making it impossible for him to shoot down with his magically enhanced bow.

The earsplitting roar of chimeras suddenly resounded in the great hall, shaking loose a few pillars and dust, but it also scattered the Orcs and mages that were coming after them. Legolas’ eyes widened as he saw at least three chimeras run towards them, on a rampage and bowling over anything that got in their way.

“Scatter!” Ben and Alec shouted at the same time, diving for the rubble of pillars and broken furniture that lay on the side of the hall. The hobbits also scattered, with the exception of Phil who took down an Orc before Sam pulled him to cover.

Legolas pressed himself against a wall, releasing the fuse on his gun, and felt the rush of a breeze pass by him as the chimeras charged past them. He watched as they skidded to a stop and suddenly turned around, each of their fire-breathing heads growling. He hated chimeras. Of the entire summons the Shadow Elves had to do ... this was one of them.

He rather take on the black dragons the Shadow Elves had summoned as their steeds, than face a chimera. Legend told that chimeras had the body of a goat, the head of lion, and the poisonous tail of a serpent. They were one of the fiercest creatures in myth and as summons possessed a great amount of independent magic of their own. The chimeras were primarily used as a desperate last resort attack by Irimages who had nothing to lose, it was because once summoned, chimeras acted on their own accord, like any other living animal would, and they hunted mages.

Their senses were tuned to the magical being that was around mages, and magic using, like subhumans, drew them ... which didn’t bode well for either him or Gandalf. He watched as the chimeras’ eyes raked over towards him, but suddenly turn his head towards where the reincarnated hobbits crouched, Sam half-crouched protectively over Fred, alongside with Matt and Phil.

One of the three chimeras took a step forward towards them, its lion-head licking its chops hungrily while its serpentine tail with acid dripping off of it flicked and swished in the air. “They’re not ...” Legolas whispered mostly to himself as he took a quick glance back at the distant forms of the Shadow Elves, seeing their ghostly pale Elven faces marred by red-glowing eyes, and fang like teeth. The realization belted him across the head and he jumped out from his position. “Hey! HEY!” He tried to get the attention of the chimeras-

“Get down laddie! Have you lost your marbles?!” Gimli shouted from his crouched position, but shut up as soon as another chimera stared at him, its bloodshot yellow eyes leering hungrily.

“HEY!” Legolas fired off a fireball at one of the chimeras, but the creature didn’t even flinch or stare at him. Instead it kept staring at where Ben and Alec were partially hidden. He realized that the Shadow Elves had full control over their summons, which meant that they were using the chimeras to kill the non-mages of the Fellowship! “Shit!” he cursed softly as he glanced around, noticing that the Irimages, Technomages, and Orcs who had originally scattered were now moving back to the battlefield, their eyes on him and Gandalf who had gotten up from his hiding place and joined him. Apparently the wizard had gotten to the same conclusion. They were seriously outnumbered if the rest of their party wasn’t able to fend off the Orcs while leaving them to deal with the mages.

He played with the idea of forming another nuclear-bomb like magic ball to blow up all the enemies, but he knew that he couldn’t absorb that amount of energy without putting himself at risk. He wished that he knew how to do Glorfindel’s Fire Circle magic as he had it described to him once by one of the twins.

“They will be protected,” Gandalf said softly and Legolas looked at him, puzzled.

“What?”

“That feeling before we fought ... you felt it ... it will protect them for a while,” Gandalf replied, giving him a small smile before holding both of his hands up. “Nîn o Chithaeglir, lasto beth daer, Rimmo nîn Bruinen dan in Ulaer! Nîn o Chitha-

Legolas had been following Gandalf’s incantation to summon the water-horses of the ancient river Bruinen, with his own water-based magic, but suddenly stopped. He felt heavy all of the sudden and his heart felt so sad. It was as if all the happiness he had in the world was suddenly drained away from him, and the void that was left behind cried out.

He felt evil race from the corners of his mind, trying to fill up the void and though he didn’t know it, but he found himself on his knees, staring up and beyond the Shadow Elves. He dimly noticed that the others had also fallen on his knees, with the exception of Frodo who looked to be in great pain. Even the chimeras had stopped their advances and were looking sullen. Only Gandalf remained standing, but even he had a strained look on his face.

Darkness crept into Legolas’ vision and he fought against it. There was so much evil radiating from all around ...

He looked up and saw the seemingly towering form of Sauron who stood in front of the Shadow Mages, his black cowled face staring out at all of them. Two blood-red ruby like eyes peered from the darkness inside the cowl.

Sauron the Irimage had arrived.

* * * * *

Fred’s world was just a haze of pain at the moment. But through that haze, a part of his mind knew that it was all an illusion, a memory, something that was once was, but now could never be. But that still didn’t make the pain go away.

He felt like he was pulled taunt on strings meant to rip him apart. His shoulder blazed with fiery pain from the phantom wound that he had received when he was a Hobbit from the Shire. With the Witch-King here, even hovering back next to the Shadow Elves, he could feel his influence. And that influence was greater than the Nazgul that had tempted him when he and his friends were escaping the Black City for the first time.

Suddenly, his world exploded beyond pain and Fred rolled to the ground, not caring if the chimeras that were hovering over him and Sam were staring at him. His mouth opened in a silent scream, a scream that his vocal chords could not process. It was as if everything around him became just red and white. He clawed for air, to fill his lungs, but it seemed that even the air was escaping him. Never before did he feel this much pain, this much suffering and it was overwhelming him.

He sensed that this was Sauron’s doing, but why him? Why did he have to relive his nightmare? His hands twitched of their own accord, especially his ring finger, the one Gollum supposedly bitten off before he fell into the fires of Mordor. His muscles tensed and spasm as Sauron reached into his mind.

“NOOOOOOOOOO!” the scream finally came to his throat and exploded, making his throat raw and dry. He desperately tried to block out Sauron’s evil influence. He knew that both the Witch-King and Sauron wanted to turn him, even now ... He was the Ringbearer ... and even now they were trying to take him into the darkness. The question was why? Why now? Why after all these years? Why him again?

Come to us ... Halfling ... Sauron’s seductive whisper wisped tendrils into his mind.

No! I will never submit! Fred thought back fiercely, Get out of my head!

Sauron laughed evilly in his head, a cold heartless laughter that touched the core of Fred’s being. He was aware that he was still screaming, but inside he was in pain.

In time ... Halfling ... in time ...

Fred lashed out once more with his mind. He wouldn’t submit! He wouldn’t!

* * * * *

Alec felt the oppressive feeling Sauron was giving off. Never before had he encountered the dark Maiar in such a way. Even the final battle in which Sauron was destroyed he hadn’t felt this evil. It had to be the fact that Sauron was in his lair, his stronghold that he drew this much evil to him.

He crawled to his feet, noting that the chimera that had been watching him and Ben was following his every move. Well, there were more important things to worry about. He drew his sword, Anduril, which Gimli had kept in his stash of illegal weapons in the Met, and walked forward, his legs feeling like lead. Each step his took was an effort and even breathing was an effort.

It was as if the evil that Sauron radiated was the very air, making oxygen a rare commodity. He forced himself to move, knowing that if he didn’t then it was game over for all of them. Out of the corner of his eye, he noticed Legolas getting up also, except the Elf had an unusual glow about him. He radiated a bluish hue, as if preparing for some kind of magical assault.

Suddenly, Alec staggered as Sauron’s gaze pierced into his and he stared into the Irimage’s ruby eyes, finding them so mesmerizing. He was vaguely aware that he had come to a complete stop and somewhere behind him, Fred was screaming in pain. Why did he have to worry about Fred? Where was he?

Welcome, Alec Richard ... Sauron’s voice was seductive and he tilted his head.

There was something not right about this ... why was he here? Even holding a sword? No ... he should be back with the NYPD, talking about the latest mission. He had a job to do ... he had to protect the populace of New York City from mages ...

Mages? What were mages?

May the grace of the Valar protect you ...

Alec suddenly blinked, and staggered back. He glanced at the sword in his hand. It was ... An ... An-something ... Anduril! Yes! That was it! Formerly the shards of Narsil, re-forged by Elven-smithy for him to carry with him on his mission with the Fellowship. This was the blade of kings! And he was a king! He was Aragorn, son of Arathorn and he was Alec Richard, NYPD, sworn enemy of Sauron and whatever darkness held his beloved Black City, New York City!

And ... Alec’s gaze suddenly focused on a small boy standing in front of the three Shadow Elves. The Witch-King. David. The boy he had rescued only to find that this boy possessed the reincarnated spirit of the Witch-King of the Nazgul.

“Don’t ... play your mind-games on me, Sauron!” Alec called to the Irimage who stared at him once more with ruby eyes before flicking them over to Legolas who suddenly halted and stood ram-rod straight. Alec turned his head with an effort as he felt the evil that had lifted while he was under the control of Sauron, back in full force, preventing movement. He could see Sauron’s eyes’ narrow while Legolas’ bluish hue grew ...

“You ... have come to slay me ... Elf,” Sauron whispered, loudly and clearly through the hall.

Alec’s eyes widened as he realized what had happened during the exchange between Haldir and Legolas in the Golden City before they had left for this mission. He realized what might happen to Legolas.

“You know what you are doing is suicide?” Alec called over to his good friend.

He watched as Legolas’ eyes narrowed fractionally, “Yes.”

* * * * *

“Yes,” Legolas replied flatly to Alec’s statement. Of course he knew it to be suicide, but it was a mission entrusted to him by Galadriel. He would obey his employer’s words, and especially the words of an elvish kin. He knew that he was the only one qualified for this mission ... and now he knew the real reason why.

All those missions he served with the U.S. government, and other foreign countries. They were to prepare him to absorb such a great amount of power. But he still wondered if he could do it ... if he could not succumb to the evil that Sauron had within him.

He could feel Sauron trying to work his way through his mind, but he had encountered too many evil creatures with the same powers to be fooled. He immediately slammed his defenses on and blocked out Sauron. There was no way the Irimage would be able to influence him. He could only hope for the best from his friends, especially Gimli. He didn’t want to see the geologist/archaeologist hurt.

He knew that the chimeras were still a problem, but that had to be dealt with later. Now ... now was his time to focus and kill Sauron. Eliminate him and the enemy would scatter and flee. Sauron was his priority and both Alec and Gandalf knew that.

He had the impulse to say something brave but nothing came to mind and he fell back to his routine as an assassin. He summoned up the power and strength; drawing upon his magical reserves ... he knew that he would need it to combat Sauron. The problem was, was the fact that Sauron was an Irimage and had the ability to produce shields while he, a Technomage, wasn’t able to.

“Kill them all,” Sauron hissed, waving a cloaked hand and before Legolas could take the opportunity to attack, Gandalf suddenly blocked his path. Deal with the lesser creatures ... leave Sauron to me for now ... he seemed to hear Gandalf’s voice in his head. Legolas was about to question the order, but realized that the wizard was going to weaken Sauron’s defenses so that he would be able to easily destroy the evil Maiar.

He turned around and put his hands together, and summoned forth a column of water-energy that he had been preparing with Gandalf before Sauron arrived. The column of water shot straight into one of the chimera’s maw and the creature suddenly reared its head and roared, but the roar was gurgled. Suddenly the summoned creature heaved violently and fell to the ground ... where seconds later; it exploded in a giant fireball.

Legolas ducked and felt the heat pass over him, and singed his clothes and some of his skin. He got up again and without hesitation, blasted the two other chimeras with columns of water before they could react and moments later they too fell to the ground and exploded into fireballs.

Turning around, Legolas could feel the evil Sauron had oppressed them with lessen slowly, and saw Gandalf battling against Sauron like no Maiar had ever done.

“Take them down!” he heard Alec order as the rest of the Orcs and mages came charging after them, sensing that they were mobile again.

Legolas wanted to go after the Shadow Elves so they wouldn’t summon anything anymore, but he noticed that they had disappeared, leaving the Witch-King alone in the background on his black dragon steed. Just as suddenly the Witch-King rose up on his black steed and tipped its child-like head in a mock salute before flying away.

That was when the first mage reached him.

* * * * *

Gandalf raised his arm to ward off Sauron’s electric spell, letting the current pass through him unharmed. He blasted the former Maiar back with his staff and looked on with grim eyes. The orders given to him from Lorien were strict and to the point. It was the Children of Eru’s war. Not their war even though they were considered to the Eru’s children.

No, this was a war to end all wars and Sauron’s defeat was only the beginning of it. At times Gandalf wished he was able to turn into his true form, but he loved his human form too, feeling a lot humbled whenever he was in it.

And now ... as a wizard, he was battling an Irimage. Not just an ordinary Irimage, but one who wielded the forgotten powers of a Maiar. How Sauron’s spirit got free from the Void, he did not know, but what he knew was to stop the mage from causing anymore destruction.

“You think you can defeat me, Olorin?” Sauron hissed, as he got up, wiping blood from his face. “You’re only human, not Maiar!”

“You forgot your place, Sauron,” Gandalf replied, circling warily. He ducked and held his hands out, fingers splayed as he created a shield, “you are only human too!”

“I am not HUMAN! I AM A GOD!” Sauron shrieked as a huge fire column blasted from his fingers, mixed with tendrils of pink lightning.

Gandalf grimaced as the blast forced him back a few steps. He could feel his shield weakening. For an Irimage to have so much power ... it was almost Maiar-like! He never knew how much power Sauron wielded! And now? Gandalf pushed against his shield and suddenly thrust his white staff out. “I still wield the secret fire! I will not let you win!”

He countered Sauron’s blast of fire with his own and gritted his teeth against the effort. Oh how he wanted to let loose his full extent of his power, but then he would have destroyed his human form. He didn’t want that to happen as his full power would also destroy the Fellowship.

“The Rings of Power are gone Olorin! They are of no use to you!” Sauron taunted and Gandalf flinched as an invisible hand struck his head, knocking him to the ground. He reacted by swiping his hand at Sauron who also fell to the ground.

“They are of use when we wish it to be!” he replied, getting back up. He could feel that a few of his ribs were broken as his breath came in sharp gasps. He extended his hand once more and blasted Sauron who retaliated with his own blast of power.

Gandalf slowly got up, trying to hold Sauron’s power at bay. He felt his reserves weakening. Even Lorien never warned him of how much power Sauron held. The urge to transform into his real form was so tempting. But no! He couldn’t give into it!

“Come on ... transform, you know you want to! Beat me! You know you can’t!” Sauron taunted even further and Gandalf narrowed his eyes dangerously.

“You have never seen me in my true form. Nor will you ever!” he replied in a cold voice before adding more power to his blast and threw Sauron back. “You are not a god, Sauron. You are only an Irimage. Your captor Morgoth holds your leash, does he not?”

“I am no one’s pet! I AM ME! I AM SAURON!” Sauron screamed and suddenly splayed out both hands and Gandalf sensed an enormous power emanating from the mage.

He braced himself for the assault but even that wasn’t enough. Gandalf flew back into a pillar hard and he groaned as he slammed to the ground. He blearily opened his eyes and saw Sauron tower over him. So much power in such a small human form ...

“You are beaten Olorin! I will win! I AM A GOD! YOU HEAR? A GOD!!!!!” Sauron screamed as he floated up, towering over Gandalf.

“You are only human, Sauron!” a new voice broke through Sauron’s rant.

Gandalf whipped his head around to see Legolas point a silver gun at Sauron and fire.

* * * * *

With all of his years of training, Legolas fired his gun, formerly Techno-fused into his composite bow. He knew that magical weapons would have no effect on the Irimage and he hoped that the regular gun would, and he would be able to catch the Irimage off guard.

He watched as suddenly Sauron staggered back, a surprised look on his face before he turned and faced him, his ruby eyes screaming bloody murder. “You ... how ... dare-“

He made the movement to reach down to him as Legolas stared impassively at Sauron staggering down from his fight with Gandalf towards him with outstretched bloody hands. “How ... ” Sauron suddenly convulsed and fell to the ground. His face turned an ashen white and blood froth from his lips, mixing with spittle. The Irimage made a few more attempts to crawl to him to kill him, but his strength left him and he stayed where he was ...

“I ... am ... a ... ” Sauron never got to finish his sentence as he hiccupped his last breath and died with a hissing sound.

“You’re only human Sauron,” Legolas replied coldly to the body before he flipped him over with the toe of his dirt covered boot. He saw that Sauron’s eyes were still opened and he had a surprised expression on his face.

Suddenly a glow began to form around Sauron’s body and Legolas knew that this was the power transfer that was inevitable. This had to happen ... and he knew that the power was going to be great ... greater than anything he had absorbed before. He mentally prepared himself ...

The power transfer hit him full force and Legolas staggered back, stumbling over debris as he squeezed his eyes shut. He let loose a gasp of pain as he felt the power consume him. It was so much! So much power, more than he had ever felt! All from one person! He tried to rearrange his thoughts to transfer the power ... he had to. He couldn’t die now ... not with everything resting on him. This was the part that Galadriel and the others of the Resistance were counting on him to do. He couldn’t let Sauron become an Undead! No more puppets for Morgoth to control!

Haha ... you think you can beat me?

Legolas started slightly at the foreign voice when he suddenly found himself in the brightly lit, but morning fogged woods. The woods looked familiar ... where was he?

“Welcome back, my Prince,” a feminine voice spoke from behind and he turned around, startled to find himself in elvish clothes ... and equally startled to see the one person who he had seen die. The person he cared for, the person that was his second-in-command ... the person that had been betrothed to his best friend Haldir.

“Valiya?” he whispered, not really believing what he was seeing.

“Yes, my Prince Legolas ... you have returned to Ithilien. We were worried about you,” his second in command was dressed in a red gown, her dirty-blonde hair tied back. She was out of her usual armor and was holding her arms open to welcome him back.

“Ithilien?” he questioned, looking around. No wonder the woods looked familiar. But wasn’t he back ...

“My prince? Are you all right? Do you need to see a Healer?” Valiya walked closer and alarms began to ring in his mind. Something wasn’t right here ...

He backed away slightly, holding his hands up, “No ... I’m ... fine, Valiya ... but ... I thought I saw you ... die ... ”

“Die?” Valiya threw her head back and laughed a gesture that was very odd for the former Swordmaiden.

“Yes ... you ... died during the defense of Ithilien when Orcs came to raid it after the War of the Ring,” Legolas replied, a bit confused.

“No, my Prince. I live,” she replied then suddenly her face twisted into a sinister smile ... “I live to take your body as mine!” Sauron’s voice suddenly burst from her mouth and Legolas’ eyes widened as she leapt at him.

He screamed as darkness over took his vision. The last thing he saw was Sauron’s ruby red eyes, laughing at him, then all was black.

* * * * *

Outside the power transfer, Alec watched worriedly as the swirling vortex engulfed Legolas. He hoped everything was okay and that the power transfer would be successful. The battle had been rough, but when Sauron had died, most of the Orcs and mages had fled, seeing their Lord dead.

He would have gone after them except he hadn’t the strength or heart to. He was exhausted beyond his reserves. He felt as if he was going to collapse soon and knew it to be the same with the others. Fred was sitting alone near a pillar, still recovering from his painful mind assault Sauron gave to him while Sam sat next to him, silent and sullen.

Phil and Matt were a bit away from them, tallying up their kills and generally trying to make light jokes of their situation. Gimli was tending to Ben’s wounds and occasionally looking at the vortex of power that Legolas was engulfed in.

Gandalf stood next to him and they both watched the power slowly fade away ...

Suddenly as if someone shorted out a circuit the power transfer abruptly winked out and Legolas stood still for a split second before he collapsed boneless to the ground.

“Legolas!” Alec was the first to reach the Elf and touched the side of the Elf’s neck. He found a pulse, but it was weak and thready ... The Elf’s skin was cold and clammy and he was extremely pale. “Legolas,” he called to the Elf but there was no response.

“Gandalf! What happened?” Gimli rushed over and nearly pushed Alec away.

Alec looked up towards the wizard who was staring down at the Elf. He noticed that his eyes were sad and troubled. “Gandalf?” he asked gently.

“He has fallen to shadow ...” was the Maiar’s soft reply.

Stunned silence followed the pronouncement.

* * * * *

* = When I finish The Shadow that Remains, I have a small Trilogy called the Shadow Elves Trilogy and it focuses on Legolas’ adventures and his missions as an assassin. ^_^

Author’s Notes: Wow ... longest chapter to date. Oh my god. Hope you enjoyed it so far! ^_^ More is to come!


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