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Recaptured!: 45. Goodbye
'no!… no!… noooooo! not do!… not do!' Merry broke
through Gandalf's disguise to scream in anguish through Pippin's mind. 'pleasssse
'THE OTHER PLEADS NOW – IT IS TOO LATE! THE DARK LORD
WILL SPEAK WITH YOU NO MORE – THIS ONE WILL BE DEAD WITHIN THE HOUR.'
'please! get i – not go kill pip – please! i wait you –
not go kill…!'
"Merry! Merry! Stop at once!" Gandalf was holding
the distraught hobbit's chin tightly in his hand and shaking his head from side
to side to try and get his attention. "Come away now!'
No response. Gandalf slapped Merry's face hard, once, twice.
Still nothing. Drastic measures were needed. Gandalf decided he had to risk the
mental link, it was too late for poor Pippin now, at least he could save Merry.
'aaaaiiiee! pip… pi…'
"Gandalf! You broke the link! Why did you?" Merry
was hitting the wizard with both his balled up fists, "Please let me go
back! I have to get to Pip!"
"Merry, no." Gandalf stood up and held the
hobbit's arms to stop the wild flailing blows against his chest. "I cannot
let you give yourself up to the Witch King. It will not save Pippin whatever
you do now – please try to understand."
Merry flung himself to the ground, his whole body wracked
with heaving sobs, "No! No! No! No!"
Gandalf knelt down beside him and gathered the agonised
little form up into his arms, holding him close and rocking him slightly.
"I know, I know. But Merry I cannot let you go back. Sauron is gone from
Pip's mind now, but you might tell the Witch King things you should not."
"I w-won't!" Merry sobbed into the wizard's cloak.
"Gandalf – he's going to k-kill Pippin! Didn't you hear? I can't leave him
now – pl-pl-please don't m-m-make me! please!"
"Merry, how can I? You already…"
"Pip! Gandalf, he's calling me – please l-let me at
l-least st-stay with him, s-s-say g-g-goodb..."
"Merry, the state you're in now, you won't be any use
to Pippin, you'll just make him more frightened." Gandalf reasoned.
"No I won't – I p-promise. I'll be c-calm." Merry
scrubbed at his eyes with his sleeve. "We can't just abandon him. He'll
think n-no one cares."
"But I'm worried for you too, Merry," Gandalf held
him by the shoulders speaking level with his anguished tear-stained face and
lowered his voice to a gentle whisper. "What will it do to you to hear
Pip, when… when…"
"What will it d-do to me to n-not be there?" Merry
Gandalf breathed a deep sigh. He knew it was not the
sensible thing to do and that it was fraught with danger. But he had known
these two since they were children and Merry was right, they could not just
abandon little Pippin. "I will come with you…"
"But…" Merry began to protest.
"No, that is the only way I will allow it."
Gandalf said firmly.
"Perhaps you will find a way to save Pip?" Merry
knew he was clutching at straws. "Persuade the Witch King to trade him for
"We cannot do that." Gandalf said softly. "He
would just kill both of you or use you one against the other."
"If you s-say s-so." Merry knew it would be futile
to argue with Gandalf. "But c-can we hurry. Pip is frantic, I hear him
Gandalf took Merry's face in his hands.
'I WILL BE SILENT WHILE YOU TALK – I DO NOT WANT THE
WITCH KING TO FEEL MY PRESENCE. CALL PIPPIN NOW.'
'pip i come'
'merr… got do bye now' Merry heard a tiny sob that
Pippin tried to hide.
'pip feel hand? i touch'
'SO YOU ARE BACK! COME TO SHARE THE OTHER'S LAST MOMENTS?
OR PERHAPS TO GIVE YOURSELF UP?'
'no… not kill pip… please to not…'
'NOT QUICKLY – NO. HE IS FOR THE ORCS AS THE GREAT SAURON
'ABSURD BRAT! SAURON DOES NOT SHOW MERCY! NOR DO ORCS,
THEY WILL USE IT – ABUSE IT AND THEN TEAR IT LIMB FROM LIMB.' the cruel
being's laughter cut into Merry's very soul. This was his Pippin's destruction
it was talking about.
'IF A SLAVE SERVES NO OTHER PURPOSE IN THE DARK TOWER –
IT BECOMES FODDER!'
'why d-do you f-fear this littlel one so – that you
m-must b-break him?' Merry realised that it was Gandalf speaking in his
voice. He had obviously decided to intervene after all.
'I DO NOT FEAR IT. IT IS JUST OF NO USE.'
'then let he go – he may lead you go to what you want.'
'THE LORD SAURON HAS SPOKEN. I WILL NOT DEBATE THE OUTCOME
WITH AN INSECT.'
'you may get more from let he go than his destruction.'
'WHAT ARE YOU? YOU ARE NOT THE HALFLING! THIS IS ENDED. I
WILL SPEAK NO MORE WITH YOU.'
And it was gone… Silence. Wait… a beat… a pulse.
'pip? what go happen?'
'big orc holded i… one first bringded i'
'oh pip – where go?'
'down go now steps.'
'pip did feel hand i?'
'holded tight you hand'
'see face? got 'membrer'
'do always go 'membrer… merry?'
'big 'fraid – sorry i do… not brave'
'not go think it, pip – think else – think shire – think frodosam
think applels be red – think mush-rooms taste – think blue-bells – think sky…'
'no go think more merr… too sad i not go see'
'think us – be 'gethrer…'
'pip hold tight – i love you'
'love you merr…aaiee!… sorry i go – not stay you merr…'
'what it pip? what go happ?'
'not stay merr… you do 'bye now… go now…'
'not send me go please pip – need stay – you need i
'orc squeeze-ed i neck – go hurt… merr… go big hurt soon
– you go now…'
'no pip – you go hurt – i go hurt too'
'merr? think it hurt big much – go die?'
'not go cry merr…'
'sorr… i not…only go miss you… sorry pip… cry latrer'
'not go cry big, merr…'
'merr - how legolas be – did he be good – not go die?'
Gandalf put the lie in Merry's voice 'he go fine pip'
'good – go say i 'bye he – say i love he too'
'say 'bye all else ones – say gandalf i sorry bad… and
'you not go be bad pip…'
'aaaiiieeee! go down at orcs… merr… hold i now!'
'pip! Pippin! I love you – I hold you forever!'
'uuurrrrghhhh! no! no! not! – merr… hel-pp… no you go –
'pip…my pip – hold hug – arms go round you…'
'hug feel – hurt i too – merry – hurt bad… sorry…
'pip love you – always love you – sorry not get you…
please pip… sorry…'
'merr orc go i – aarrhhh – you go now merr…please you go…
'bye merr – i got… not seeing morr-ed…'by-e…go bye merr…love you mer…'
'Pip! Pippin! Pleeeeeasse! Pippin!'
"Nooooooo!" The little voice had suddenly
vanished. Merry could no longer feel Pippin in his heart or his head. He fell
against Gandalf sobbing and sobbing as the wizard felt his own eyes leak tears
down his face and into his beard.
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