The Shadows That Remain Rating: PG-13
A Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, The Silmarillion fic - CHAPTER35
Rinaran flew through a cloud of blood that was the remnants of a dragon she had been battling with in her fighter. She pushed forward on her stick and her fighter swooped downward, pressing the trigger on the stick, she let loose a volley of elemental bullets, her magical energy turning the once lead projectiles into deadlier shards of rocks, mini fireballs, and hail the size of golf balls. They peppered the ground where a slew of mages, orcs, and trolls fell to the ground. A few of the Shadow Elves that were hiding in the Big Ben that had come to assist in ground battle immediately put shields up and the elemental bullets pinged off of their shields.
Some retaliated with sprays of lightning and fire at her fighter and she twisted and turned, quickly rolling out of the way of a fire column that was blasted high into the air. She immediately heard a boom of a fighter exploding and looked up to see the remaining shards of one of Daisy Squadron’s fighters falling to the ground the sudden swirl of magical energy spiraling down towards the Shadow Elf that had blasted the fighter to pieces.
They couldn’t stand this for much longer they had to get back to the carriers to refuel and to assess their injuries. Staying in this death trap would be the end of them.
“Tirilas!” she called over her comm. patched to the command submarine.
“Go now!” Tirilas’ voice replied after a few seconds of silence and underneath her she could see a few of the submarines that had been in the Thames rising up, and immediately a group of Elves came pouring out of the top hatch and side hatches, all dressed in armor. She recognized the Tirilas’ armor, a similar design of Cirdan’s own armor and knew that the Captain was making his last stand so they could get away. Even before the first Elf was out, magic was thrown at the enemy and she smiled grimly, tipping her wings in a farewell to them before switching the comm. channel to her whole wing.
“Obsidian Wing, blast those barriers!” she called out, targeting the barrier that was put up by the Shadow Elves, that she saw through her scanning spell. “This is Hawk Leader, firing last of missiles, make ‘em count boys and girls.”
A chorus of replies from those who were still left in Obsidian Wing echoed hers and the flares of missiles flew towards a section of the Thames that looked invisible to the naked eye, but it was where the barrier was. Each of the missiles fired had a unique barrier-penetrating spell on them and Rinaran hoped that the combination of spells was strong enough to take down a Shadow Elf built barrier.
The few seconds it took for the missiles to reach the barrier felt like a lifetime, but suddenly the water around the Thames exploded into a myriad of colors and through her scanning spell still in place, she could see that the barrier was crumbling.
“YES!!” the cheers of both the usually reserved Tamir of Diablo Squadron and Seilith of Daisy drowned out the rest of the chatter coming into her comm. feed. She immediately switched channels to a broadcast to all allies in the area.
“All squadrons and ships, move out! Best speed! Katana and Hawk Squadron will cover the submarines. Diablo and Daisy, head to the carriers as fast as you can and report to Cirdan!”
She tipped her wing and swung around, Hawk Four forming on her left side to become her new wingman and Rinaran looked around at both Katana and Hawk and realized that with the fighters they currently had they could form their own squadron…too many had been lost and still the battle had not been won yet. With grim determination, she clicked her comm. to Hawk Four before tipping her wing slightly to indicate a firing run.
A click of acknowledgement came back and the two fighters soared from their position and back down onto the battlefield of London.
* * * * *
Glorfindel felt his heels digging into the dirt ground as he summoned up all of his strength and broke the stalemate between him and the Balrog. Backing up slightly, he could feel the winds of the storm that was brewing in the skies pick up, swirling the cloak that was around his armor, a few strands of his blond hair that had gotten loose from his tie blowing into his face, but he didn’t care and kept his eyes carefully on his opponent in front of him.
He could see the red glowing eyes of the Shadow Elves creeping up on him and wondered if they were going to attack. It seemed like they were waiting ... watching him battle the Balrog. If he defeated the Balrog, he would have to quickly summon a miracle to stop the onslaught of Shadow Elves that would surely kill him in that instance.
He decided to ignore them for now as they seemed like they were only observers to their battle and instead, summoned a bright glowing shield in his left hand, his right hand wielding his sword. Raithen flared brightly as he felt the anticipation of a battle. He hadn’t felt this confident since ...
Wait a minute; he hadn’t felt confident facing a Balrog. He hated these creatures. They struck an unknown fear in him and he didn’t know how to cope with it. Why did he feel confident right now? Why was he determined to face down this Balrog besides the fact that he didn’t want to die? Glorfindel blinked ... he did die ... a long time ago?
No, he had never died, he had been born in the last years of the First Age and he had never died ... or did he? Squeezing his eyes shut for a brief moment to dispel the confusing thoughts, he opened them again and glared at the Balrog who roared at him, blasting him with an intense heat that radiated from the fallen fire Maia. He had heard that of all the fire creatures created by Eru, Arien was the only fire Maia not to fall to the shadow that was Morgoth.
“You will submit,” the Balrog growled and he felt a wave of power wash over him, trying to force his body to stand down from the fight. He fought against the compulsion, putting every ounce of strength he had in his will to stop the compulsion from taking over. Gritting his teeth he suddenly forced the compulsion away with a yell as he pushed up against the Balrog, breaking the stalemate.
He backed up a few steps, his breathing coming in slight gasps as he stared at the Balrog who was glaring down at him with narrowed eyes.
“You are stronger than I had anticipated ... very well then ... ” the Balrog held up his free hand and suddenly brought it crashing down towards him. Glorfindel dived out of the way, rolling to his feet just in time to hear the crack of a whip before he raised his sword as the tip of the fiery whip of the Balrog wrapped itself around his sword. He kept a firm grip on his sword as the Balrog tugged hard and dug his feet into the ground.
“You will never turn me! I serve the forces of Light! I serve no one but Iluvatar and of Eru!” he yelled something that sounded odd to his ears, but somehow he knew that it was right. He kept a firm grip on Raithen, which flared even brighter, and splayed out his fingers and a spray of water burst forth, shooting towards the Balrog.
The Balrog screamed in pain as the water hit him and steam rose from his wound before he swung down on his sword. The golden-haired Elf ducked and released Raithen to which his sword went flying wildly into the air, where it was caught by one of the Nazgul who was circling the air, watching the battle with great interest. Glorfindel only saw a brief flash and knew that the Nazgul had broken his sword.
He ran towards the Balrog, hands outstretched and summoned two white flaming swords into his hands and cut at the Balrog’s legs, feeling the intense flame of the fire Maia burn all around him. The edges of his robes were singed and he could feel his skin blister a bit, but he didn’t care. He had to get close to the Balrog in order to defeat him.
As soon as his swords cut into the Balrog’s legs, the creature howled in pain before he took a few steps back, trampling a few Shadow Elves that were too concentrated on their spells. Glorfindel stepped back sweat beading on his brow. He could feel his skin pull slightly in pain and knew that he at least got a few 3rd degree burns ... but that was the least of his worries at the moment. The Balrog regained his balance and stared down at him, eyes full of hatred.
“You will never beat me. You are not Fingolfin-“
“Nor are you Gothmog,” Glorfindel countered as he unsummoned the swords and placed his hand together before a column of water burst forth from his palms. Immediately the Balrog dropped his whip and sword before summoning a column of fire and the two elemental forces hit each other head on, creating a huge cloud of steam and vapor. But even through the steam of the two spells colliding, Glorfindel could feel himself being pushed backwards by the force of the fire spell the Balrog was conjuring.
He doubled his efforts, trying to stay his feet from slipping across the terrain. A quick glance behind him told him that the Shadow Elves had moved out of his way and he was being pushed towards the edge of a cliff ... He dug in his heels, straining his magic as he continued the column of water at the Balrog. He could hear faint chanting that was getting louder and louder by the second and knew that the Shadow Elves were trying to break his concentration. No! He wouldn’t fall to their petty tricks! He was above them!
“I will not fall, I will not fail those that I protect with my life. I am of the Noldor blood and of Eldar! I defeated fought and bested the Witch King in Angmar, foretelling his doom in the Shield Maiden of Rohan and the Halfling of the Shire’s hands,” he whispered to himself as he focused on all of his inner being to stop this dark creature of fire.
Overhead, the screams of the Nazgul were heard and Glorfindel closed his eyes, reaching deep within him. He could feel the spark of power lying dormant inside of him. Tentatively he touched it, not knowing how much of that power will consume him, but he willed himself that he wouldn’t fall or fail his friends here. No, Saruman needed to be stopped and ultimately, these creatures couldn’t be allowed to join Morgoth again.
There would be no battle in the mountains of Thorondor and his Eagles no more falling from Crissaegrim ... the Balrog and those Shadow Elves would be stopped here and now!
He would not fail!
Glorfindel touched the spark of power and his whole vision was filled with pure white light. His head jerked up with such a surge of power and his eyes opened, but he didn’t see anything except for all of his visions and life flash by his eyes. He saw himself dressed in the robes of the time before the Ages began, the First Age he was battling the Balrogs in the mountains where the Eagles lived and saving his commander Turgon from certain defeat!
He saw himself falling over the edge of the snowy cliff, taking with him one of those cursed Balrogs ... everything became dark but a grey light filled his vision ... he was talking with Mandos he had been in the Halls ...
“You will live your life once more, Glorfindel of the Eldar,” Mandos spoke to him in a kind but neutral voice, “but you will not have memories of your past ... ”
“I understand,” he nodded.
Suddenly all became a tunnel and flashes of his feats and life passed before his eyes. I will not fail! I will not fall to shadow! I am a servant of the Light of Iluvatar! I am the shining beacon of what was once was, and still is. There is nothing that will stand in my way as I will lead my men to battle once more! Of those shadows they will fear the light that has come upon them!
Glorfindel suddenly snapped open his eyes and they were as hard as crystals. “You fall today, Balrog. I am Eldar,” he hissed as from his body pure white light poured from his soul and spread all over the battlefield a beacon of good eradicating evil.
Glorfindel of the Noldorian Eldar line had returned, his memories restored from before he was released from the Halls of Mandos to rejoin the land of the living.
* * * * *
Cirdan was in the midst of giving battle orders to his fleet and protecting his remaining submarines that had made it from the trap that had been set by Saruman in London, when he felt a surge of familiarity before gasps of wonderment from his crewmen made him look out the bridge window to see in the far distance, near one of the cliffs of Southend-on-Sea, a bright white light that spread in all directions.
A grin lit up his face, as he knew who was at the cliff face. “So, you’ve returned, Glorfindel,” he whispered. He could feel the pure light that flowed over his ships and bridge, bathing everyone with renewed energy.
“Sir! The enemy, they’re in chaos!”
“That’s our chance,” Cirdan barked, “I want targeting solutions on all enemy ships. Tell the carriers to launch whatever fighters they have left and to destroy every last bit of Saruman’s forces!”
“Aye sir!” the crew suddenly burst into renewed life, their strain of seeing losses pile up after these few hours of battling long forgotten.
Cirdan turned towards where he saw a glowing white figure utterly destroying the Balrog and Shadow Elves around him and a small smile quirked on the corner of his lips, “What took you so long?”
* * * * *
Rinaran had to shield her eyes from the blinding white light that erupted from Glorfindel down in the battlefield, but what she felt was a warm feeling of renewed energy, a boost of morale and the hope that carried within her commander. As soon as the light died down, she angled her fighter so that she saw just a white blur decimating the enemy forces.
A part of her wanted to cheer, but she knew that she had her job to do. Keying her comm to Hawk Squadron, cobbled together from the remaining pilots of Obsidian Wing that weren’t injured badly from their escape, they had refueled aboard the carriers and took off immediately for another round of fighting.
“Hawk, that was just the commander giving us a boost in morale. Let’s not disappoint him,” she smirked knowing full well that the rest of her squadron couldn’t see her, but they could hear the ruthless humor in her voice.
“Hell yeah,” Seilith replied over the comm, “Hawk Five, Fox Two, Fox Three.”
“Hawk Lead, Fox One, Fox Four,” Rinaran followed suit and the rest of Hawk Squadron let loose their missiles that impacted and blossomed their deadly package all upon the enemy, carefully avoiding their allies who were also on the battlefield.
* * * * *
The battle was shortly won in due order and Saruman was brought to the command ship, the Toriath where both Osse and Uinen held the reincarnated Maia at bay.
“He will be taken for judgment, Lord Cirdan, Lord Glorfindel,” Uinen said in a watery, but melodic voice, her wavy green hair rippled occasionally with a splash of water. “We shall return Lords, but until then ... the battle has been won.”
With a sudden splash, Osse, Uinen, and Saruman disappeared, leaving Cirdan, Glorfindel and Rinaran on the empty bridge. The rest of the fleet and crewmen had gone ashore to clean up any remnant enemy forces and some were just enjoying themselves on the once blackened skies of England, but now it was filled with bright sunny light that poured its grace and peace upon the battle weary forces.
Glorfindel stared out of the viewport, hearing a few seagulls cry out as they searched and picked at the bodies of orcs, Shadow Elves, mages, and trolls, finding a feast for their hungry mouths. He let a ghost of a smile form on his lips before a hand on his shoulder made him turn slightly to see a smile on Cirdan’s face.
He was aware of the fact that he no longer possessed the red-gold armor of the Golden City and instead wore a white-gold armor, a sign of his rebirth and change to complete Eldar status. He was also aware that he glowed slightly with all of the power that was inside of him, untapped, and dimmed the glow slightly as not to blind anyone near him.
“What took you so long to realize you were the original Glorfindel?” Cirdan asked in a gentle teasing voice.
“A battle with my self and with my memories,” he replied softly, “it was not of the Balrog or of the fallen Vanyar; it was with myself.”
Cirdan released his grip on his shoulder and clapped him once on the back, “Whatever it was, it’s good to have you back again, old friend.”
“Thank you,” Glorfindel bowed his head slightly, “it is good to be back.”
“Um ... m-milord?” Rinaran’s timid voice made him turn slightly to see her shrink back at the sight of him and he smiled.
“Rinaran, I’m still Glorfindel, Elrond’s Guard-General. Nothing’s changed, even though now that I realize it, I’m technically a lot older than he is ...”
The female Swordmaiden laughed hesitantly and he shook his head, “Commander Rinaran, relax. Yes I am Eldar, but I am also of the Golden City. There is no difference in your treatment towards me. Is that clear?”
“Yes sir,” Rinaran finally relaxed before she stared out at the blue sea, “so now what?”
“The Nazgul escaped as did some of the Shadow Elves. It is a good chance Morgoth now knows what I’ve become,” Glorfindel also stared out of the viewport, “the next step is to keep retaking the lands that Morgoth controls. We’ll need to contact Paris and see if General Ruthersfield was successful in establishing contact with the Reincarnated King Theoden. Our next goal should be Amsterdam and Rotterdam.”
“The port cities will be hard, but we will not fail,” Cirdan added his assessment and Glorfindel nodded.
The first major battle had been won against Morgoth.
* * * * * *
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