The Shadows That Remain Rating: PG-13
A Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, The Silmarillion fic - CHAPTER30
FRANK & BEN
It had been three days since the Fellowship and a few other Elves went to the White City. And in those three days, Frank and Ben, the remaining Fellowship members who stayed in the Golden City, arrived back at the Black City, not as black now as sunlight streamed through hazy grey clouds, but still it held an air of evil. Elrond and the others of Lorien Incorporated wanted them to ask their father, the mayor of the Black City to send its National Guard, one of the most powerful besides Washington D.C.’s, to help aid them in defeating Morgoth across the blue expanse of the Atlantic Ocean.
But there was one slight catch.
No ... make that two.
One thing was that Mayor David Greens hated Ben and didn’t want anything to do with him, and barely contained his despised feelings towards his eldest son Frank. Two ... apparently their father’s reincarnated memories had woken up after Sauron’s defeat not as the great Denethor before the War of the Ring, but as the insane Denethor who was power-hungry and had tried to kill his own son, Faramir, during the Battle of Pelennor Fields.
The first one wasn’t too much of a problem as both brothers were used to dealing with their pig-headed father ... but throw in the second one and mix everything up in a nice little galactic blender ... Frank wasn’t too sure if this was a sane idea. He wondered briefly if Elrond was going senile for his age ... but then rejected the idea as he realized that Galadriel was a lot older and would have to have gone senile first before Elrond ...
Or perhaps his first thought was correct; after all, Elrond was Half-Elven, even though he chose his Elvish heritage. Humans did go senile in old age ...
But he didn’t have time to worry anymore as he and his brother made their way up the mayor’s office in downtown Manhattan, except City Hall wasn’t a grand building anymore, but a tall skyscraper.
Both brothers were dressed in their civilian clothing, not the ones given to them by the Elves, but their own that they had after Erestor, another of Elrond’s aides had dropped them off in the Black City. They had both parted ways to pick up some things from their own apartments, and decided to meet up in the front of the skyscraper that was City Hall.
“Remind me once more, Frank, why the hell are we doing this?” Ben asked as both watched the numbers scroll upwards in the elevator they were in.
“Because Dad’s gone crazy with his reincarnated memories and we might need some of the National Guard to send over to help the others defeat Morgoth. And because it’s about high time someone give him a piece of their mind,” Frank replied deadpanned.
If the sarcastic joke fell on Ben, it fell on deaf ears as he frowned and leaned against the posh maple wood elevator’s walls, one of his fingers absently tracing the gold inlay of decorative geometric patterns embedded inside of the wood. “I don’t think the National Guard would do anything ...”
“Ben, Dad controls at least most of the Northeastern corridor of military forces, with the exception of Edward’s rogue army. If we can get at least half of them to go, then they would be able to help. Plus the Pentagon and those assholes in Washington D.C. are too pigheaded to send anyone,” Frank replied, staring at the numbers, willing them to speed up. They were almost there ...
He could feel the memories of his former life as Faramir float around his mind, and realized that it was a miracle that his brain hadn’t exploded yet with so many memories. Sometimes an unbidden memory would surface and though some of those memories were nice, they were most annoying for most part. He was a practical man, a man who was the police commissioner of the NYPD.
But it was certain irony, he realized now, that his younger brother Ben, as Boromir had been his older brother, and had found favor with their father Denethor. Now, he, was in favor (or at least much favor as their father showed) of their father David, while Ben was always pushed aside.
“Listen, the last time I spoke with him was when he gave me the promotion to chief of a precinct, and that was five years ago. I don’t think that in his state he’ll be happy to see either of us,” Ben groused.
Frank sighed and ran a hand through his short brown hair, rubbing the back of his neck as a habit. When Elrond sent the Fellowship out to assassinate Sauron, he had been very worried about his brother and what the Undead connection did to his condition. Thankfully though, the Elves worked their miracles and his brother seemed to be back to his usual self, save for the occasional shudder. Frank wondered even if they killed the Undead who marked him and the Witch King who controlled the Undead will his brother be free of its affects would it be like with what happened with the One Ring?
“Well, maybe as Denethor, he’ll be happy to see you ...” he replied.
“Or as a meld he’ll not be happy to see either of us. Think about it, Frank ... if Dad’s himself, he hates me, but as Denethor, he loves me. As Dad he kinda loves you better than me, but as Denethor, he hates you,” Ben explained and Frank turned around to stare at him.
“Either that, he hates us both or loves us both ...” he finished his brother’s thought, and then shook his head, “nah ... can’t happen.”
“True,” Ben agreed, his face twisting into a disgusted expression at the last statement about their father loving them both.
Frank grinned slightly before the grin was wiped off of his face as he saw a sudden haunted expression on his brother’s face. “Ben?”
His brother didn’t answer for a moment and instead seemed to be focusing on a point beyond the doors of the elevator. The number ticked a couple of floors away from their stop.
“Something’s wrong ... there’s ... evil up there ...” Ben suddenly said in strained voice.
The elevator pinged and stopped. Their floor.
Frank unclipped his gun and snapped the safety off, holding it down, his senses alert for anything unusual.As the door to the elevators opened, oh-so-slowly, he noticed Ben recovering his senses and grab onto something hidden in the folds of his black leather trench coat. Frank had a feeling that it wasn’t a gun ... so ... what kind of weapon did his brother carry?
An eerily familiar wail resounded across the hall beyond the elevator and Frank met his brother’s eyes and the same thought ran through the brother’s heads. Oh shit ...
That’s when the first Orc poked its head in ... and was promptly decapitated.
* * * * *
Ben’s sword went flying out of his sheath and he viciously decapitated the Orc that had stuck its head in. Blood went flying all over the elevator, staining its walls and gold inlays, but he moved out into the hall before their father’s office, with a war cry. Behind him, he heard the firing of Frank’s gun as Orcs surrounded them from all different directions.
That was what he had sensed, the evil before they arrived. He knew that his connection to the Undead Robert had been severed, but it left him with a sixth sense of sorts ... and right now he was very glad that it was so damn useful.
He spun around and landed on his knee before stabbing another Orc through the stomach. Gripping both arms around the pommel of his long sword, he pulled out his sword and swung downwards, killing another one. Its shrieks filled the air and he barely glanced at it before cutting another path through the swath of Orcs swarming them.
Damn ... how many were there? He wondered briefly as he hacked away left and right. He couldn’t hear the sounds of his brother’s gun anymore, but he wasn’t too worried as he knew that Frank had packed in a hidden sheath inside of his dark grey duster a scimitar. He was probably using that weapon as he continued to hear inhuman shrieks of agony coming from somewhere in the big hall that was not his doing.
He didn’t feel any signs of mages, and was relieved that all there was were Orcs, but what worried him even more was why did the hall before their father’s office was filled with them? Had David Greens, the Mayor of the Black City been assassinated as retribution to the Fellowship destroying Sauron? Or was it that David acquired Orcs because of his maniacal nature?
As he slowly made his way forward to the doors, the pile of Orc bodies growing larger and larger by his feet, he kept a sharp eye out for any Uruk Hai. If Orcs existed, then surely Uruks did too and he did not want to encounter any of them ... particularly the one who killed him, Lurtz.
He had sworn when he was with the Fellowship on their mission to assassinated Sauron, that he would not die this time. He would survive and even if he had to save the college-enrolled hobbits, he would survive. Besides, dying hurt like hell.
Slowly as the two brothers made their way closer to the door, the number of Orcs coming after them dwindled, until the last vestiges of the swarm was eliminated. Silence once again reined the grand hall and harsh breaths coming from both brothers, exhausted, broke the stillness.
Underneath them, was the corpses of bloodied orcs, some which gave their dying breaths, but all of the made a lovely décor of a carpet in the grand hall. Ben leaned against a column next to the massive double doors to their father’s office. He waved his sword to the side, flicking off Orc guts and blood, but it was still covered in a thin coating of it. Grimacing, he noted that he would have to clean it later after they dealt with their father.
“You okay?” Frank’s voice asked in concern and Ben looked up to see him cleaning off his scimitar with a dirty cloth before sheathing it. His brother tossed him the cloth and Ben caught it before wiping his own sword clean and sheathing it. He tossed the cloth aside and shrugged at Frank.
“I’m fine. Just curious though ... what’s with all the Orcs?”
“You think Dad knows that we’re coming?” Frank asked and Ben nodded.
“Yeah. Good chance of that ...”
“Shall we then?” Frank gestured grandly and mockingly and Ben snorted before opening the door.
* * * * *
As soon as his brother opened the door, Frank’s senses were all on alert for anything possible. Considering that Orcs had filled the hall before their father’s office, he had expected perhaps Uruk Hai or even Wargs to be guarding their father. From what, was his question, but he had no doubt that it could have been from them or from potential assassins now that Denethor had full control of the Black City with the fall of Sauron.
His alertness was overrated as the grand office their father laired in was completely empty, save for a figure sitting in front of polished mahogany desk, fingers steepled and staring at them with cold eyes. Their father, Mayor David Greens, the reincarnation of Denethor son of Ecthelion.
“How did you two get in here?” was the first growling words out of Greens’ mouth and Frank knew that the personality merge had resulted in their father hating both of them. Lovely. Just lovely, he thought, as he was about to take a bold step forward when his brother beat him to the rush.
“Oh, you mean those Orcs outside? They were terribly rude to us, so we just gave them their due respect,” Ben gestured to the partially opened door as they walked forward towards their father.
“What?!” Greens hissed and half stood, but Frank drew out his gun, reloaded and pointed it at his father. A part of him said that it was a crazy idea and that no son would ever point a gun at their father, but another part of him said, ‘who gives a shit.’ He faintly realized that it was his other reincarnated selves battling it out amongst each other inside of him and knew that for some irony if this happened in another age and if he was the only one, they would lock him up in an insane asylum.
“Sit down and shut up,” the police inside of him barked out, “we want answers, Dad.”
To his credit, Mayor Greens sat down slowly and Frank knew that there was some part of their father who was not insane, or either that, very calculating and waiting for them to make the wrong move.
“What the hell happened to the Black City?” Ben asked.
“What do you mean? I’m the Mayor and so I control it.”
“Yeah, right,” Ben continued, snorting in a bitter laugh, “there are wild mages running loose. More so than before Sauron was destroyed. You’re just going to let them take over the city and kill innocent humans?”
“No one is innocent,” Greens sneered, “and besides, I’ve sent the National Guard to deal with them.”
Frank raised a skeptical eyebrow, “Yeah ... sure ... I think you just sent the Guard out to be fodder, didn’t you? How come you’re the one in charge here?”
“Because I am the Mayor,” Greens replied.
“No, you know what I mean, Dad, why the hell did you do this? Why are you doing this? Don’t you have the better memories of Denethor?! What about Mom? What the hell do you think she’s doing? She’s rolling in her grave because of you! Don’t you remember her?” Ben suddenly exploded and Frank stared at his younger brother in surprise. He had always known that as both Boromir and as Benjamin Greens he was hot-headed, but not like this ... They had almost never talked about their mom since she died 20 years ago.
“Your mother ...” Greens started in a hoarse voice, “was ... a whore.”
Frank stared at his father ... did he say what he thought he heard?
“Your mother was nothing but riddance to this land. I was so glad when she died. You never knew how much I wanted to be rid of her,” Greens continued, his voice rising higher and higher with each word. White frothing spittle formed at the corners of his mouth and he began to wave his arms around frantically.
Frank backpedaled a few steps, alarmed at his father’s sudden erratic behavior. Perhaps his memory as Denethor made him very demented and unstable ... that would be the case as David Greens sure looked like it. He glanced at his brother who, curiously, had a concentrated expression on his face.
“Ben?” he prodded him.
“There’s something not right about this,” Ben murmured.
“Um, yeah, duh, where did you come to that conclusion?” Frank shot back, keeping one eye on their father who by now was laughing maniacally, hands raised in the air. Frank expected lighting to burst forth in a horrible rendition of an ancient, but classic movie trilogy created way back in the late 20th Century called Star Wars. There had been an evil character in there who raised his hands and called for lightning to kill the hero of the trilogy ...
Just as suddenly, their father gave a spasming shudder and Frank’s eyes bugged as he saw the raised arms suddenly turn almost translucent ... and a sheen of slimy coating formed on his skin, from his face to his fingers ... almost ...
“Shit man! He’s Undead!” Ben drew out his gun and reloaded it with a fresh clip. “Aim for the head!”
Without a second thought Frank fired at the Undead’s head, his finger never letting go of the trigger. A part of him knew that their father was already dead; whoever had converted him to be an Undead had already taken his soul and twisted it into something dark and horrible. This wasn’t their father standing before them ... no, David Greens was already long dead before they even reached the Black City.
The Undead reeled back with each bullet coming towards his head, until the clips were emptied, but refilled quickly. Frank held his fire as he reloaded his third clip, watching as the Undead that was formerly their father stagger a bit before he toppled to the side, destroyed.
Frank heaved a small sigh of relief, but then was alert as a clapping sound came from the shadows behind their father’s chair and desk. He pointed his gun at the darkness and saw Ben do the same, his other hand gripping his sword tightly. One thing of which he had been jealous of Boromir was his ability to be ambidextrous with any weapon he got his hands on. While he usually favored his right hand while fighting, it wasn’t too much a nuisance for him to switch to his left if need be.
“Well done, well done,” the voice was that of a child and Frank had a very bad feeling who the voice belonged to. His fears were confirmed as David, the Nazgul Witch King, still in the guise of a mere harmless-looking boy stepped out.
We are in deep shit, he thought as he stared at the boy’s glowing red eyes.
* * * * *
Ben froze as he saw the Witch King step out from the shadows. The Elves had told him that his connection to the Undead Robert had been completely severed, but they hadn’t told him that he was still able to feel a presence of sorts that defined the Witch King inside of his head, still tempting him, still coaxing him to turn against the Fellowship and accept the powers of a Wilder to use for his own and for power.
He had never told anyone of his inner struggle, as he knew that the face that he put on for the rest of the Fellowship was something completely different. He wanted to protect them, but with him as just a lowly human, how could he when he had his own inner demons to battle? He was glad that he wasn’t in front of Lady Galadriel’s presence as she had an uncanny ability to ferret out whatever it was that laid dormant inside of his heart.
It was a coward’s way, he didn’t want to face it, but now ... with the Witch King just nearing them, them temptation was a lot stronger ...
Come ... turn on your brother ... after all, you were the eldest of all and had the respect ...
He has always held you back ... that’s why he got the position of Commissioner while you were just reduced to Captain of a Precinct ...
You want that power ... you want to prove to Aragorn you can take care of the Hobbits can’t you?
Yes ... release it!
Ben squeezed his eyes shut as he heard the Witch King’s voice inside of his mind. No ... he couldn’t. Somehow it was all wrong ... somehow ... he had to ...
You can show Elrond that you do not need the Elves’ help in defeating Morgoth ...
You can show Legolas that you are not the only one who is able to wield magic ... and surpass him too ...
Yes ... he had been extremely jealous to find out that all Elves were mages while the human population had to either be born a mage or take Dust with Mage-Link to become mages. Dust was something only those who were rich were able to afford, and those taken away for science experiments by Zenith Technologies. He remembered that he had tried to sign up, but was rejected because of his familial connections.
Come ... accept your true power ...
No ... no ... no ... NO!!!!Ben’s eyes snapped open and he glared at the Witch King. “I won’t bow to you, not to you or your master Morgoth,” he whispered towards the boy.
David only stared at him with a simple gaze before raking the two of them with another stare. “This was only a test,” gone was the boy’s voice and replaced with a hissing one. “However ... perhaps another worthy candidate will be those that you hold dear to your heart ... perhaps, the Maiden and her Helper? Yes ... they will do fine ...”
David suddenly disappeared before their eyes and silence reigned once more in the office of the late Mayor Greens. There was something odd about the Witch King’s last statement, something foreboding about it ...
The Helper ... and Maiden ...
Ben suddenly turned and stared at Frank just as his brother stared back at him. “Merry ... Eowyn!” both said at the same time. “Shit!”
* * * * * *
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