The Shadows That Remain Rating: PG-13
A Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, The Silmarillion fic - CHAPTER24
Shadow Chaser

VERNOMAGE

Author’s Notes: First off, I would seriously like to apologize to you, the readers of this fic. I know that I’ve been lacking on my updates and it’s partially due to my muse, Haldir, who’s off on another tangent for a while. He has been channeling my original stories ideas and I also want to finish that before the year’s end. I would have had this chapter up earlier, like around the 16 or 17, but I became really sick during this week and had to skip two days worth of classes. Now I’m in the midst of playing catch-up on homework, but I will find time to write since I’m in the midst of Thanksgiving Break. Don’t worry; I will still have access to a computer! Another thing is that starting from this chapter, there could be an alternate reality to the whole story, but that’s for another time ... ^_^

Thank you for staying with this story and without further ado, here’s the next chapter.

Notes: [] = denotes Elvish speech


Alec sliced the head of an Orc off before turning and stabbing another one in the stomach. Even with him near the entrance, they came in greater force than ever thought possible. He thought that all he had to do was just keep some pesky Nazgul or summon from harassing the entrance, but now Orcs and various mages had made their way past Haldir, Glorfindel, and Rinaran to attack them.

Now he found himself fending off numerous Orcs that came his way. They were overtly persistent and seemingly suicidal, something he had never seen before. He wondered why ... perhaps Morgoth was a harsher master that Sauron? He didn’t doubt that ...

As the Orc reeled away in its deathly throes, he shook his head slightly, before instinct made he suddenly duck and roll out of the way of a black fiend summon. The summon was promptly destroyed by a white wolf and he turned to see an Elf guiding the wolf summon to destroy others.

He could see beyond the Elf, Anna, her hands held up as she guided her summons, two falcons, in attacks against the various dark creatures. So far, it seemed, that Haldir and Glorfindel were holding off the Nazgul that had come with the assault force. He could see bright arcs of magic produced near the front lines and also near the pillars that held up most of the buildings of the Golden City. It seemed that Firfenion and his Silver City elves had their work cut out for them, Alec thought wirily before a charging Orc caught his attention and he swung his sword with frighteningly ease, easily killing the Orc.

Overhead, the buzz of hover copters and jets flew by, Elladan and Elrohir’s fighters doing their work and taking down winged fiends while doing strafing runs. The constant buzz was only shattered when the cry of the Nazgul echoed in the night. So far, Alec counted three Nazgul, the Witch King not among them -- which he thought was a good thing as David, the little Witch King, scared him. He knew that as Aragorn he wasn’t scared of anything, but he was still Alec Richard, and the human part of him was extremely scared of David.

He still couldn’t really believe that he had saved the Witch King ... if he only knew back then when they had been fighting the Wilder. If he had only let the Wilder kill David. But would you still have saved him? A voice in his head asked him and with absolute certainty Alec knew that he would have saved David no matter who or what he was.

It was because of his childhood. When he was just a boy, he had been in a similar situation like David and his sister. Roughly 25 years ago, he had been living in the slums of Boston with his parents. They were poor and were selling mere trinkets to those who would buy things from them. A mage war had broken out and his parents were killed in the ensuing battle, him captured because the mages wanted to have a little fun before they killed him.

The Boston police had tried to reason with them and there were a few mages among the police force that had come to negotiate for his release. One thing that was very peculiar was that most of the mages among the Boston police had blue glowing eyes, not the green ones that he had seen among the NYPD. He now realized that Elves populated the mage force among the BPD, with their glowing blue eyes, and human mages, instead, had green glowing eyes.

The mage that had saved him was wearing riot gear so he didn’t get to see much of the Elf’s features except the eyes. Now, he had a sneaky feeling that the Elf that had saved him was Elrond ... but he kept that thought to himself.

“Alec! Two, behind you!” Ben’s voice suddenly startled him and he turned around and swung without thinking. He instantly decapitated and killed two Orcs that had been trying to ambush him and glanced over to where Ben was dealing a mortal blow to another Orc, sweat matting his short brown hair.

The Elves had taken Ben to the Healing Hall and worked their magic on him and now, Ben had said that his link with the Undead that was formerly their co-worker Robert, had been completely severed since Sauron was dead. He was now fighting with more vigor than what Alec had seen in their quest to assassinate Sauron just a few days ago.

“Hey, you all right?” he called over to his friend and Ben looked up and grinned before turning around and yelling a war cry towards a group of Orcs who looked startled and frightened for a second before advancing upon him.

Alec smiled grimly at his friend’s actions. He could definitely see the Boromir part of Ben coming out. He remembered watching him fight and knew that Ben/Boromir, whoever was in control, would give the enemy hell.

Focusing his senses, he saw a group of Orcs trying to ambush a few of the Verno Elves who were directing their Summons. Oh no you don’t, he ran up a few steps and unconsciously held out a hand towards the Orcs. He didn’t really know what he was doing, but he knew that he wanted to destroy the Orcs. He didn’t see a white ball of light form on his outstretched hand. All he saw was a ‘battle vision’.

He could see the enemy clearly. They were pinpoint clear whereas the Elves around them were just blurs that he didn’t need to notice. He was focused on the enemy and the enemy had to be eliminated.

His hand moved of his own accord and he fired the white ball of light. He watched as his forward momentum was slowed to a heartbeat and his breathing became loud and harsh in his ears. The ball of light impacted the bulk of the Orc pack and exploded, sending Orc guts and blood everywhere.

Alec waded in and killed the rest. He looked around, his vision showing him the clear points of the enemy, the Elves and humans around them battling just blurs. He continued forward, ignoring the Elves and humans and was about to attack when suddenly a piercing scream threw off his concentration and everything flew back to normality.

Alec shook his head and looked up just as the scream came again. This time closer. His eyes widened in surprise as he saw a Nazgul, riding a dark green dragon whose fangs and claws were dripping blood, bank around them. The Nazgul screamed once more and he had to cover his ears at the harsh and loudness of it. He realized dimly as he crouched on the ground, trying to avoid the dragon’s fire and claws, that the scream was different ...

Even most of the Elves, still trying to battle the dark forces of Morgoth, were clamping their hands over their sensitive ears. He looked towards the distance where the front lines were and saw the two other Nazgul making dive runs at the Elves and noticed that also when they screamed, their scream was different. He didn’t know how it was different, but he could tell.

It sounded like the Nazgul were trying to call to something or maybe perhaps they were communicating with each other -- but then again, when David had attacked when they were trying to escape the Black City his scream didn’t seem to ‘call’ to the others. Alec watched as some of the Vernos, including Anna, tried to direct their summons towards the Nazgul, but even they were moving lethargically, like the Nazgul’s powers were keeping them at bay somehow.

He watched as one Elf fell down, oh-so-slowly, as the Nazgul, wielding a wicked-looking sword, cut him down. Everything was moving so slowly ... and the Nazgul seemed to know it as it pulled up on his mount and rose up into the air again, where the dragon screeched against the fighters that came near it. The fighters were also moving slowly and each time they fired their weaponry, the dragon seemed to dodge it, as did the Nazgul riding on top of it.

He didn’t know what magic was at work, but it seemed to paralyze and move time so slowly for everyone. He glanced up towards where Elrond was, and saw that even the Elf was struggling against the time-induced spell the Nazgul had casted. Suddenly, movement near Elrond caught his eye and he saw Anna, standing up slowly but surely and concentrate on a spell that was forming in her hands.

The Nazgul screamed again and to his horror, Alec realized that the Nazgul had spotted Anna trying to make a spell to repeal whatever time spell it had casted. “Anna!” he cried out, trying to catch her attention as she was standing up, her gaze focused on the spell in her hands.

“ANNA!” he yelled, as he made his legs move. He ran towards her, intent on saving her as he noticed out of the corner of his eye the Nazgul breaking off from its attacks on the fighters and flying down towards Anna who was standing like a lone warrior among her kneeling Elven-kin folk. He could feel himself moving slowly through the time spell and realized that at his current speed, he wasn’t going to make it and Anna was going to die.

Die.

Just like Gwen and Tony and countless others through his thirty years of life on this hellish planet called Earth.

Anna was going to be killed by the Nazgul.

Arwen was not going to live.

His love would die if she died.

Alec suddenly jerked slightly as he realized that without Anna by his side, his life wouldn’t be complete. It didn’t matter if she was the reincarnation of Arwen Undomiel or if he was the reincarnation of King Elessar Telcontar of the Free Lands -- all that mattered was his love for Anna.

His devotion and his strength of love towards Anna.

Nothing mattered anymore because ...

Because he loved her beyond her reasoning. His love for her was beyond the stars and beyond what the Valar could declare. It was beyond Eru’s control because he knew that in his heart, he would never part from her. They were one being -- one entity.

And so he had to save her.

Something deep and ancient awoke in Alec and he suddenly could ‘see’. He saw past the time spell the Nazgul had casted and rushed forward, no longer hindered by the spell. He was Vernomage, no, he was never Vernomage -- he was something else, something more ancient.

“Anna!” he called out her name just as he reached the platform she was fighting on with her fellow Vernos and looked up just to see the Nazgul preparing a spell to fire at her. By whatever Gods ruled this planet, he wasn’t going to let her die.

He was going to die first before any harm came to her.

Seconds passed by slowly, not from the time spell, but for Alec as he could hear his own harsh breathing coming through his ears. He saw the expression of concentration on Anna’s face, broken as she looked up and finally saw the Nazgul aiming a killing spell at her, whatever the spell was he did not know.

Her head turned slowly towards him just as he reached her ...

The Nazgul fired the spell at her ...

Alec pushed her away ...

He saw the fleeting startled expression on her face before shock registered on her beautiful face, her grey eyes startled. He smiled briefly at her before suddenly his world exploded in pain ... then all was black.

Alec Richard did not even feel himself fall to the ground, nor did he see a white glow around himself that broke the time spell the Nazgul had casted.

* * * * *

Glorfindel could feel a darkness descend over him as he glanced up in the midst of the battle he was fighting to see one of the three Nazgul cast some sort of spell and realized that it was a time spell to slow time. He suddenly felt lethargic, as if he was moving in thick mud.

Even the Orcs seemed to be paralyzed as their steps towards him, once hurried, was now slow and their expressions slightly comical if not for the rotten teeth and weapons they carried on them.

Raithen glowed in his hand and he tried to move against the spell, but somehow, he couldn’t. He drew on the powers of both his Verno and Techno traits and struggled against the effects of the spell. He had to break through! They were all going to be slaughtered by the two other Nazgul who were flying around the front lines!

Rinaran was somewhere near him and though their lines were holding back the waves of Orcs and mages in a fairly good fashion, he had noticed that as soon as the battle started, many of them were very suicidal and seemed to be running at them like crazed beings, more so than usual.

He had to break through this spell! He couldn’t let it hold him! He wouldn’t let it hold him. He was not to be confined to a simple spell so casted by a damned Nazgul! He would fight it! He wouldn’t succumb to it! No he was Elrond’s second, he was his guard-general ... he was ...

Eldar.

The word pierced through his consciousness and momentarily startled him, but he recovered quickly. He wondered why that thought or whatever it was, just popped into his mind. He wasn’t Eldar ... though many of the other Elves commented that he looked Eldar and held himself to be like one of them, but he wasn’t ... was he?

He tightened his grip on his sword and Raithen flared a bit brighter. Somewhere deep in his subconscious, Glorfindel knew that he had something within him that was trying to get out. He tried tapping into that and suddenly; he knew how to break the time spell that was affecting him. He didn’t know how to break it for the others, but he realized that he was able to break it on himself!

“[By light cast this spell ... by time bonds and break, thus everything unbroken to me.]” He started chanting softly as he retreated within himself to focus on the spell. He knew that it was risky, considering that he had a few Orcs and lots of Iri and Technomages surrounding him, but they were moving slowly, so he had some time -- at least that was the relative term.

Slowly with each chanting of a word, Glorfindel felt something change in him and he opened his eyes to see the Orcs and mages still moving slowly, but he ... he had released the spell on himself that the Nazgul had casted over everyone. He dimly realized as he waded in and cut down the helpless Orcs and mages who were still caught in the time spell, that he was glowing a bit white and for anyone to see him now, they would have seen that his green eyes were now glowing a slight white and his whole body, including his armor was not the red-gold of Rivendell, but a white-gold ...

But Glorfindel didn’t pay attention to any of this as he cut down a swath of Orcs and mages. He had almost made it to where Rinaran was when a sudden bright white light in the platforms above him caught his eye and he turned to see that the white light had come from near Elrond’s position ...

Time sped up again and Glorfindel, slightly surprised at the time spell being broken, received a painful blow to his temple, but he recovered quickly and slashed at the Orc who gave him the injury. He held out his hand and blasted a few mages apart with a fire spell and then turned his attention to where Rinaran looked to be slightly disoriented from the time spell and was faltering slightly.

“Rinaran!” he called to his regular second-in-command.

“I’m fine!” she replied before electrocuting a mage while bisecting another in half with her sword. “Holy ... Glorfindel, look!” her eyes and those of the Orcs and mages that were battling them suddenly look up to where the defensive Vernos were, where Elrond was, and all they saw was a crackling ball of blue-white light battling the Nazgul that had casted the spell.

Suddenly the Nazgul and dragon steed exploded without even a second thought and for certain, Glorfindel knew that the battle had been won. The Nazgul that had just been killed was not the Witch King, but the creature had been in charge of the attack and the two other Nazgul were under his command. They had won ...

* * * * * *

Anna could only gape in horror as she saw the Nazgul’s spell pierce Alec in the middle of his back and rip straight through him. When the Nazgul had casted a time spell, she knew instinctively the counter spell to that and had started to cast it; except she had never noticed the Nazgul creeping upon her, ready to slay her. She had only noticed too late that Alec was running towards her and pushed her out of the way before he was hit by the spell.

“ALEC!” she screamed as he fell to the ground and she tried to run over to him after regaining her balance from his shove, but everything still moved so slowly, the time spell in effect. Suddenly, to her surprise, Alec began to glow a bright white and she threw up an arm to shield her eyes from the blinding light that encompassed her lover. Dimly through the brightness, she realized that Alec was countering the time spell ... somehow; his latent Vernomage talents that Celebrian had been talking about were coming into play ...

The bright glow faded after a few seconds and it was as if everything sped up and Anna stumbled forward and knelt down next to Alec. “Alec!” she cried out his name as she cradled him on her lap, shaking him slightly to see if there was any response. “Alec?” she called again, but he remained still. She couldn’t see any physical, visible wounds that were on him, save for the ones he had received when he was defending himself against the Orcs that came his way. The Nazgul’s spell was invisible ... designed to attack the person’s spirit, she guessed, as there was no visible wound to show the attack by the Nazgul.

His face was ashen white and his lips were pale. The blood seemed to be completely drained from his face and she placed two fingers near his neck ... there was a pulse ... small ... thready ... and it was slowing with each passing second. “No ... come on Alec ... you can’t do this to me! Not today! Not ever! I can’t lose you like I lost Aragorn ... not again ... ” she whispered as she tried to cast a healing spell on him, but even that didn’t do anything to his prone body.

The sudden screeching of the Nazgul made Anna snap her head up and she glared daggers at the Nazgul who was flying around on its dragon steed, livid that its time spell had been broken. She felt hot swift anger at the Nazgul for what the evil spawn of Sauron and Morgoth had done to Alec. A rage of fury began to build up in her and she gently placed Alec’s prone, almost lifeless body on the ground, before standing up and glared at the Nazgul.

Her hands rose up on their own accord and lightning began to crackle in them. She didn’t care what she was doing; all she wanted was to kill the Nazgul that had hurt Alec ... Aragorn, her love. To anyone who saw her, they began to see an unseen wind swirl a vortex around her, lifting her up into the air where her eyes began to glow a bright white and the lightning crackling in her outstretched palms was beginning to form white balls of electric miasmas.

She was a pissed mage.

And you never get someone like Anna Elanore pissed off.

“How dare you,” she hissed at the Nazgul who wheeled around its dragon steed and stared at her with glowing red eyes of the Irimage.

“Elvish bitch,” the Nazgul replied in a harsh voice before he fired a spell at her to which she easily dodged.

“[By the light of the Evenstar. Waning ... waxing ... spirits of Luthien and Beren, help me! Light defeats darkness and despair ... ]” she started chanting to herself in Elvish before she heard another distant voice, one who was speaking with her ... a comforting presence and she realized that it was Elrond, helping her.

“[Surrender not this Evenstar ... surrender not this light which will vanquish the darkness!]” she finished before she clapped both of her hands together and fired the column of white light and lightning, the miasma spell completed.

The Nazgul had no chance.

The spell tore through him and his steed, invisible to others, but visible to Anna, and suddenly blew apart. Dragon and Nazgul carcass rained down upon those who were below them and she floated down gently to the ground before the white glow surrounding her disappeared and she suddenly remembered that Alec was grievously injured.

She rushed over to him once more as the cries of lost Orcs and mage troops resounded on the battlefield that was the Golden City. She knew that they had won, but she didn’t care as she gently picked Alec’s head up and stroked some brown hair out of his eyes. “Alec?” she tried gently, “we won ... ” she laughed a bit, feeling tears fall down her face as he didn’t respond. “Alec ... please ... speak to me ... come on ... please?”

There was still no response and Anna looked up to see Elrond approaching her and Alec. “Elrond?”

“Shhh ... do not worry child,” Elrond’s voice was soft and caring and Anna saw that two other Elves had followed him and were reaching down to carry Alec’s prone body onto a stretcher.

“Where ... ”

“Take him to the Healing Hall right now,” Elrond answered her question by addressing the two Elves who nodded curtly before they moved Alec up to the entrance. “Come, my child. He will need you help,” Elrond turned to her and stretched out an arm to which she took and together, both former father and daughter raced after to help save Alec Richard’s life.

The battle had been won, but at what cost?

* * * * * *

Author’s Notes: The next chapter will be regressing a bit and will feature Legolas. Heh. Enjoy torture folks, cuz it’s coming up! Sorry if this chapter sounds a bit convoluted ... I might re-write it again in the near future.

To Chapter Twenty-Three | To Chapter Twenty-Five
To the Story Notes | To the Technical Notes

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