Breaking and Loss
Here is chapter 10! I changed a few minor things in the dialogue and added Mae's own little twists as per usual.
Chapter 10: Breaking and Loss
I sighed as Legolas continued to push our little boat further down the river. Each stroke was powerful and we have been traveling for nearly a day now.
"Legolas how about I row for a little while? I can row for a short time for your arms to get a brief rest" I looked back at the stubborn elf. He has constantly turned my request down insisting that his stamina is properly maintaining the needed pace.
"I need no rest. You know of our kin's endurance" He refused once again with an innocent smile. He was frustrating me though. I may be a woman, but I know how to work. I need something to keep my mind busy before it wonders too far to unwanted topics.
"Come on, it won't kill you to let me row for half an hour" He rolled his eyes, a sign that I had won.
"Half an hour" he said pausing in his rhythmic strokes and handed me the oar. I smiled at him before finding my own pace.
We went by river for several days and the scenery was changing day to day; from amazing forests to the cliffs of mountains. The forests seemed to go much further than I realized. The water itself was often crystal blue and full of fish and other life. Legolas would often hum soft elvish tunes that I barely heard over the waves of water hitting our small boats. We only stopped for very short breaks and for the night when the moon was high in the sky. We often set a small camp on the Western Shore but I felt constantly uneasy when we were ashore. I had a feeling we were followed from the Golden Wood, since we left the protection of the Lady. I could tell Legolas sensed it as well. His eyes barely left the shores as we traveled during the day.
One day we passed between two statues and I heard Aragorn mumbling something about his kin. But these were considered the kings of old of Gondor. Legolas called them the Argonath. Were they not my kin? Perhaps I misheard the ranger. Everyone stared in awe of the statues. Not long after that we came to a vast lake that held a water fall at the opposite side. We yet again stayed to the Western shore as we continued on. When we were about half way across we went ashore and made camp.
"We will cross the lake at nightfall and continue on by foot. We approach Mordor from the north" Aragorn stated as everyone unpacked our boats.
"Really? It is just the simple matter of making our way through Emyn Muil, an impassable labyrinth of razor sharp rocks. And then, it gets even better! Festering stinking marshlands as far as the eye can see " Gimili protested.
"That is our road. I suggest you rest to recover your strength master dwarf"
"Recover my strength?" Gimili huffed at Aragorn.
A few minutes later, I saw Legolas pull Aragorn aside.
"We should leave now" Legolas pressed and I causally got closer to listen in. Did he share my uneasiness?
"No, Orcs patrol the eastern shore. We must wait for the cover of darkness"
"It is not the Eastern Shore that worries me"
"A shadow and a threat have been growing in my mind. I think Mae senses it as well, she has been restless since we left the protection of our kind. Something evil is drawing near"
"To close for my liking" I piped in then realized that I spoke aloud. The two looked at me with narrowed eyes for eavesdropping.
The two continued their conversation but we all froze when Merry asked.
"Where's Frodo?" Everyone looked around I noticed one other person missing… Boromir.
I ran off before the others noticed. I crested the hill and listened.
"Cruse you and all the Halflings!" Oh no, Boromir has succumbed to the ring's darkness. I ran towards his voice. I came to see Boromir sitting on the ground weeping yelling his apologies to Frodo obviously free of his trance.
"Boromir" I whispered. He looked my way.
"Maethriel, I have made a grave mistake. I attacked him. I attacked Frodo. The one I swore to protect above all else"
As he spoke, my ears picked up the sound of conflict. I closed my eyes listening harder. Swords clashing. Legolas' bowstring snapping at very quick intervals. They were in the middle of a fight, with Orcs no doubt.
"Then let us save him from a horrible fate. Quickly, Orcs are about!" I helped him to his feet and I followed the sounds until I heard Merry and Pippin shouting.
"Hey you! Over here!" Were they distracting the Orcs from Frodo? Or being stupid?
"Ridiculous Hobbits" I mumbled.
"What?" Boromir asked obviously confused to my words being unable to hear as I could.
"Merry and Pippin are drawing attention to themselves. Hurry, they will not last long on their own" I said heading in a slightly different direction. I saw the hobbits standing on a bridge like ruin and running towards us with Orcs close on their tails. But these were not Orcs, they were too large and their armor was different.
"Get the Halflings and the she elf!" One shouted from the top of the hill. I drew my bow and began firing arrows at the oncoming Orcs. Five fell before they reached me while Boromir had long charged into battle with his sword drawn to protect the Hobbits at a closer distance.
After a few minutes, it seemed that we were surrounded. I drew my sword knowing my bow would do me no good in close combat. However, my lack of skill with my blade may prove troublesome as well. The Orcs were too many either way. Boromir began blowing his horn in hopes of alerting the others.
We finally broke free long enough to race away from them as Boromir chased behind us.
"Run! Run!" he shouted. I turned briefly to see the largest Orc standing at the crest of the hill. I stopped. He had a bow drawn with thick black arrows in his quiver. He notched an arrow, drew back, and was aiming for…
"Boromir look out!" I shouted but was too late. An arrow hit his chest and he gasped in pain. He looked at me with shocked and sad eyes before striking out against another foe. A second arrow pierced his body and I cringed, this time hearing the thud. I drew my own bow again and shot at the creature. I hit his opposite shoulder drawing his attention to myself. He glared at me before firing an arrow once more hitting Boromir. But the Son of Gondor did not want to give up but eventually he fell to his knees. A tear fell from my eye for he surely could not survive three critically placed arrows. Then I felt a searing pain in my own thigh. I looked down to see a black arrow protruding from my own leg. I looked at Merry and Pippin and looks of fear and sorrow washed across their features. Then a glint of determination entered their eyes as they began to attack the Orcs around us again. I wobbled to Boromir. Orcs surrounded us but the hobbits lashed out against them. Only minutes passed before I saw the hobbits picked up and taken away.
"Stupid she-elf! Run while you can" Boromir spat pushing me away.
"Go!" But I didn't make it far. I felt an Orc grab me from behind and throw me over its shoulders. I fought as hard as I could but to no avail.
The last I saw of Boromir was the look of defeat on his face. Then I could no longer see him or any other member of our broken fellowship. I gave into the pain and exhaustion falling into darkness.
I reached the top of the hill only to see Boromir on his knees with three arrows sticking out from his body. Grief spread over me but fueled my adrenaline as I saw the archer standing before him drawing the final shot. I ran with all haste and tackled the beast before his arrow released. The battle between us was critical as he almost took my life several times however, I prevailed. However, I paused hearing Boromir's labored breathing. I ran towards him. Blood seeped from the corner of his mouth and his breathing was irregular and coarse. He didn't have long.
"They took the little ones and the she-elf" he rambled with his body shaking.
"Hold still" I put my hands to his shoulders. His skin was cold as ice.
"What about Frodo? Where is Frodo?" He asked.
"I let him go" I responded as I continued to examine him. His wounds were truly fatal. He had but minutes left.
"Then you did what I could not. I tried to take the ring from him. Maethriel came and caused reason to reenter my mind. I treated the she-elf so horribly, yet she risked her life for me" I could see the guilt in his eyes.
"The ring is beyond our reach and hopefully far from the grasp of Sauron's servants" I assured him.
"Please forgive me. I did not see it. I have failed you all. Especially the little ones" he said putting his hand on my shoulder. Sadness crept over me once again.
"No you have not. You fought bravely to correct your actions. You have kept your honor" I tried to remove an arrow to see I could heal anything if only to give him more time. But his hand snapped to mine.
"My time is over. It is over. The world of men will fall. And all will come to darkness. My city to ruin" His city, was my city. He was my kin.
"I do not know what strength lies in my blood, but I swear I will not let the White City fall, nor our people fail" I promised him with pride and as much strength as I could. I truly hoped I could only keep my promise.
"Our people" he paused with hope in his voice and a slight smile on his face. I also heard Legolas approach. He paused behind us.
"I would have followed you to the end, my brother…my captain…my king" And so he passed. I saw the life leave his eyes.
"Be at peace Son of Gondor" I said closing his eyes and kissing his forehead. Tears left my eyes as the loss slowly sank in. He was a true warrior of his country and fought for those in need until the end. Though he had his flaws, I could only hope to be half the man that Boromir, son of Denathor was.
We carried his body to the shore and prepared a proper boat funeral for our fallen friend. He deserved the respect of the kings but we had no time. After sending him towards the great falls, Legolas looked to the far shore.
"Hurry Frodo and Sam have reached the eastern shore. Mae, Pippin, and Merry must have already gone ahead" he looked back at me unaware that the three had been taken nor that I let Frodo go.
I looked at my friend with weary eyes. He was loyal to the quest but would he be willing to leave Mae to a fate worse than death?
"You mean not to follow them?" he asked confused.
"Frodo's fate is no longer in our own hands" I said softly.
"Then it all has been in vain. The fellowship has failed. We send four hobbits and a she-elf into Mordor alone" Gimili spat, angered by my words.
Legolas looked at me with uneasy eyes. He could tell I wasn't telling all the facts. .
"No Gimili, Mae, Merry and Pippin have found themselves in a worse fate. They were taken by the Uruks. And the fellowship will not fail as long as we hold true to each other. I for one will not leave my friends to such a fate. We will not leave them to torment and death. I have faith in Frodo and Sam that they can accomplish the task required of them and would want us to save the others" I saw fear and sorrow cross both of their faces but I knew the loss of Mae would be truly harmful to Legolas. He had feelings for her whether he was willing to admit it or not.
"Leave all that can be spared! Let's hunt some Orc!" I said sheathing my knife and smiling at my friends. New fires of passion and purpose filled their expressions as we took off running into the woods.
All the while, it made me wonder. What makes her so coveted by the enemy?
Yayy! I finished Fellowship of the Ring! And BEFORE Christmas! I am very much looking forward to working on the Two Towers portion of the story!
Remember to Follow, Review, and Favorite! I love your responses! Until next time!