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Recaptured!: 16. All In Pippin's Mind
'PEREGRIN!" Gandalf's voice inside the
little hobbit's mind almost made Pippin choke with fright.
'IT'S ALL RIGHT PIPPIN' Gandalf tried to bring it down
a level. 'DON'T BE AFRAID.'
'…not…'fraid… i… i… too big at i is…'
Gandalf smiled inwardly at the muddled message. Legolas had
warned him that Pippin wasn't very good at thinking in mind speak. However he
was concerned that his first contact had been so overwhelming for the hobbit.
'HOW ARE YOU FEELING PIPPIN?' Gandalf decided some
polite conversation might put the little one at ease.
'…n-n-not know … b-b-bettrer now… not hurt …paste good
'NO - TOO MUCH IS BAD FOR YOU' Gandalf did not want
to only be saying 'no'. 'IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU WOULD LIKE?'
The wizard realized he was not doing very well with this
strategy. 'ARE YOU HUNGRY?' Hobbits were always hungry.
'…littlel hun-grery …miss merry most...'
'I KNOW, DON'T WORRY, WE'LL FOLLOW HIM SOON.' Gandalf
looked to see if there was anything to eat in the guardroom where they were
still lodged. He spied a box in which they had discovered some sugar-covered
cakes the night before. The wizard took one out and, breaking it in two, offered
it to Pippin. 'I KNOW YOU LIKE CAKE,' he said.
'…aiiiee! …not take! …sorry merry …i took …won't mean do
it... sorry did it.' Pippin then began to sob so that Gandalf could hear
his grief and the others could see the large tears running down his face. He
made no attempt to take the cake, but moved away from it, putting his good hand
behind his back.
Gandalf did not attempt to question Pippin about his strange
behaviour. The wizard just followed the trail of grief to that part of the
hobbit's mind where the fear of the cake had stirred a recent memory. 'SHOW
ME, PIPPIN.' He asked as gently as he possibly could as he held the little
face in his hands the way Legolas did and, attempting a small smile, told
Pippin with his eyes not to be afraid.
Pippin was trembling at the thought of having to explain to
Gandalf what Saruman had done to Merry and him, but there was no need. His
trust in Gandalf, laid the whole scene before the wizard in an instant.
'I UNDERSTAND – DON'T THINK ABOUT IT NOW, PIPPIN'
Gandalf needed the little hobbit to stop weeping. He was beginning to feel the
sorrow, tinged at the edges with loneliness for Merry mixed through a haze of
opium, starting to worm its way into his own consciousness.
The wizard had not explained to the others that another
reason wizards did not easily communicate with radically different beings was
that they tended to get overly involved with them and Pippin's thought patterns
were becoming uncomfortably intertwined with his own. He needed to get his
information and leave.
'PIPPIN, TELL ME ABOUT THE GLASS STONE – THE PALANTÍR –
THAT SARUMAN MADE YOU LOOK INTO.'
There was a small sob, a hiccup, then, '…not!'
That was all Gandalf heard. 'DON'T TELL ME THEN, JUST
SHOW ME. LIKE YOU DID BEFORE.'
'…how? not knowed i how …what do?'
'JUST THINK ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED, DON'T TRY TO PUT IT INTO
'…don't like …bad voice come in i! …too big!…must do?'
'IT IS QUITE IMPORTANT – IT MIGHT LET ME HELP YOU AND
'…try …ssshh …make want sleep …go close eyes soon…'
Gandalf remembered Legolas telling him that Pippin was
avoiding the Voice in his head by sleeping, so whenever his mind wandered too
close to whatever it was, he had taught himself to want to sleep. This actually
suited Gandalf. It would be safer to explore what was possessing the hobbit if
he slept through it.
'ALL RIGHT, PIPPIN, YOU CAN SLEEP.' Gandalf felt his way
along the mental path that led to the memory of looking into the palantír.
'TAKE ME TO THE PALANTÍR FIRST.'
'…'s all right, go now, ssssshhh don't say …got to be…
…not stay here …sleep now…'
Pippin slumped forward to rest his head on Gandalf's chest
and the wizard put his hand gently on the back of the curly head, letting him
sleep. Then bracing himself mentally he journeyed a little further into
Pippin's memory to the place the hobbit himself feared to go.
He saw Saruman lift Merry up from the floor to look into the
palantír. He of course saw it from Pippin's point of view, lying on the floor
but suddenly unable to hear or speak. The wizard felt the anguish and panic
that had rushed through the frightened little hobbit as Merry, who seemed
barely conscious and hung limply in Saruman's grasp was dragged to the centre
of the room. Gandalf watched in horror as Pippin's memory showed him the cloth
pulled away to reveal the dark glass ball.
Saruman locked his fist in Merry's hair and, lifting him up
around his waist, pushed his face towards the palantír. Merry shut his eyes
tightly, refusing to look into the swirling depths of the strange ball.
Saruman was shouting at him, but as Pippin could not hear
the words neither could Gandalf, nevertheless Merry shook his head as far as he
could and would not look.
Eventually Saruman lost patience and threw Merry to the
ground. He pointed his staff at the hobbit and rainbow-coloured light hit Merry
like a thunderbolt. Saruman was shouting at him again. Merry jerked in pain and
covered his eyes with his hands.
Gandalf then felt Pippin lifted up by his waist and was
suddenly looking into the glass sphere. He sensed the hobbit's confusion as
Pippin had no idea what it was, or what he was supposed to see but he knew that
as Merry had shut his eyes he should too. However before he could bring his
lids down a flash from within the swirling centre of the globe caught and held
him in his thrall and he was unable to avert his gaze.
As Gandalf stared into the black depths through Pippin, his
heart felt the great fear that had seized the hobbit. He heard a great shriek
and felt a terrible presence enter.
'STOP!' Gandalf did what Pippin could not, he
challenged the dark presence. "YOU MAY NOT ENTER HERE!'
"THIS IS MINE! GET OUT!' Snarled the black
'YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO THIS LITTLE ONE! BE GONE UNLESS
YOU WISH TO TEST YOUR MIGHT AGAINST I WHO AM MIGHTIER! LEAVE! LEAVE NOW!'
'THIS IS A DAINTY FOR MY MASTER – YOU CANNOT EXPEL ME – IT
HAS SOMETHING AND WHEN IT IS BORNE AWAY TO THE SHADOW MY MASTER WILL TAKE WHAT
'IT HAS NOTHING YOU WANT! YOU AFFLICT IT BUT YOU
CANNOT TAKE ANYTHING FROM IT. IT HAS NOTHING – NOW GO –IN THE NAME OF ELBERETH
I COMMAND YOU!
In the midst of the terrible struggle, Gandalf suddenly felt
a tiny stirring and a whimper. Pippin was waking up again. The dark voice had
roused the hobbit and was obviously planning to hold him hostage against the
might of the wizard. 'PIPPIN GO BACK TO SLEEP', he ordered.
But the other countered his command at once. 'COME
HALFLING WAKE UP! LISTEN TO MY VOICE!'
As Pippin became more alert, Gandalf could sense a growing
terror as the dark voice reached out to the hobbit and began to crush his
consciousness. Pippin squealed with fright in his head so that only Gandalf and
the entity could hear. '…merry! please …dark …not get some air i …help i…not
can't move! gandalf! …take i way! want stay you…want please get merry!
'IF I CANNOT HAVE IT – I WILL DESTROY IT!' The voice
Gandalf did not withdraw, but spoke in his normal voice out
loud. "Aragorn, give Pippin some more opium and Legolas, try to rock him
back to sleep."
Without questioning his orders, Aragorn scooped some more of
the paste into Pippin's mouth and Legolas moved the little body from Gandalf's
chest to cradle him and gently rocked and sang to him. Gandalf held the other
at bay until he felt the hobbit's thoughts gradually drift back into slumber.
YOU CANNOT WIN HERE – AND I SHALL NOT LEAVE SO LONG AS
YOU RESIDE IN THIS MIND! I WILL CHASE YOU OUT OF THE DARK PLACES YOU HAVE MADE
IN THIS INNOCENT ONE'S THOUGHTS AND INTO THE LIGHT IN WHICH HIS SPIRIT THRIVES
– YOU SHALL NOT PREVAIL!
The only reply Gandalf received was a ferocious snarl, but
he felt the dark voice diminish and fade. He chased it further. 'BE
He waited. A heartbeat…A pulse… one moment… another… it was
gone! Gandalf touched Pippin mentally once more "PIPPIN?
The hobbit had been sleeping again, but Gandalf had
accidentally forgotten to bring the level down and woke him with a start. '…aiiee!
big …what i do?'
'SORRY, PIPPIN. IT'S JUST GANDALF AGAIN. ARE YOU AWAKE?'
'…am waked …am sleepsy.'
'I KNOW AND YOU CAN SLEEP IN A MINUTE. HOW DOES YOUR HEAD
FEEL? CAN YOU STILL FEEL THE BAD VOICE?'
"…don't not think …can't …hear not to …sleep now
…get more paste …mmm!… more paste! sleep good now! bye bye, gandalf…'
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