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Recaptured!: 65. Echoes


Smagnu surreptitiously counted his mithril coins again and then stowed them back in the leather purse he kept next to his skin. He was on duty outside and, although it was daytime for a change, he was still cold, he was even beginning to miss Grutfley a little, although not much.

It was actually better that his partner take on the responsibility of guarding the little Pips now, Smagnu was not too sure of his feelings in that respect. He had only ever experienced anger, greed, jealously and very occasionally lust before. The new emotions that these imps stirred in him were so alien to his being he could not even name them. Instead he tried to put them out of his head.

"Yeah, they want a messenger to go over to t'other tower, Cirith Ungol." Smagnu was eavesdropping on a conversation between his two superiors who happened to be standing close by. "Got some sorta spy there what they caught."

"Won't get no volunteers for that'n – not just now." The Captain from the other battalion was speaking. "Too many orcs not comin' back from messages right now, what with the war an all."

"Reckon they just fuggin' runnin' off that's all." His Captain observed. "Nothin' ain't happenin' to 'em. Not inside o' Mordor."

"Not so sure 'bout that." The other Captain had spent time in Cirith Ungol. "There's her ladyship an' all. I heared tell she's had a few orcs away in her larder."

"Be a fug-head to tangle with her, so I hear." The two captains were coming closer and getting easier to hear. "What'd make a soldier risk that endin'? Dinner for a giant spider."

"Without going through the Black Gate, it's the only direct way to get out o' Mordor without bein' seen, well that I knows of." The Captains were just about level with him now. "Have to be pretty scared of fighting to risk that, an' most orcs I know are only too happy for a fight."

"True enough." His Captain addressed him now. "Like you Corporal, you would rather fight proper than risk being dinner for a giant spider wouldn't you?"

"Yes Captain." Smagnu stood up straight. "But I ain't 'fraid of no spider." Smagnu had been listening carefully to what they were saying about Cirith Ungol being the only way out of Mordor. Would it be a possible escape route for his little Pips?

"Oh you might well be scared of this one." The other Captain laughed. "Even an Uruk like you – she'd have you, no trouble."

"If you say so, Sir." Smagnu decided to ask the question that had occurred to him when he first heard them talking. "Might I ask Captain, who're you going to send to Cirith Ungol?"

"What's it to you then, Corporal?" His Captain looked at the Uruk with interest. "Why? Did you want to volunteer? Fancy having a go at this great spider?"

"Err I ain't 'fraid of it, like I said, Captain." Smagnu gazed just past the Captain's shoulder, he did not trust his face not to give him away. "I just thought I might be good for the job."

"Oh you did?" The Captains seemed to share a private joke. "We been hearing 'bout you and how you're starting to collect these little imps! Only Number One's caught up to you now. He's gonna have 'em so I've heard."

"'T'wern't nothing to do with us." Smagnu had not realised that his Captain had heard about him and Grutfley and the two Pips. "We were just doing what we were meant to. I looked after the imp like the orders you gave me Captain."

"Hmm a bit too well if I understand right." The Captain started to move off. He did not really believe all the rumours he had heard in any case. It was hardly likely that a fighting Uruk-Hai would get emotionally attached to a halfling. "I've already decided though, I'm sending Trugba to Cirith Ungol. You can try and make him swap if you really want to go get that spider, but it'd be up to him."

Smagnu considered for a moment. Trugba was a very large Uruk, bigger than him in fact, it was doubtful that he could intimidate him into letting him go in his stead. But he might be able to bribe him. That way he could take a horse and take the two Pips with him and set them loose at Cirith Ungol. From there they might have half a chance of escaping.

The only problem was, he was not sure how to get them out of Tower of Barad-dûr itself. The entrance was guarded and even a cursory search would reveal them for certain. How was he to smuggle two imps past the guards?

The second problem was how would he explain their disappearance? Magic? Well that might work, although the chances of him getting caught with the pair were very likely. He wondered vaguely how much time he had before the Nazgûl would take them both anyway - not long.

Smagnu decided to put the two Pips out of his head again. It made no sense, he had only been given them to guard and that was all. They shouldn't matter so much. Forget it.

****

Legolas had pulled up Arod rather sharply and Éowyn was riding back to see what was wrong. The elf was sitting bolt upright on his horse staring into space. Éowyn watched and waited patiently.

'legolas!' The two little hobbit voices had called to him together. He answered them, perplexed and worried that they were mind-speaking now. Merry must have regained his memory. Legolas asked the question and the hobbit confirmed that he had remembered everything.

This did not bode well, especially if they were still prisoners in the Black Tower. Although they both started talking at once, Legolas could make out that that was indeed the case. Then Merry confirmed his worst fear, that the Wraith would soon question them and they were probably not going to be able to hold back the truth of the Quest and the Ring

At least Legolas thought it was his worst fear until he heard what followed. The little pair, his little hobbits, were asking him to say goodbye to everyone for them. What were they about to do? Surely not? But Merry confirmed it - they were going to kill themselves. They were going to drink a deadly quantity of opium.

Legolas called in desperation and horror. 'No! Merry Pippin! Don't!' But the only response he got was Pippin asking if they could have a song to remember them. Then he felt them both push him out of their minds.

The elf refocused on his surroundings and saw the patient Éowyn waiting to see what had happened. "They're going to kill themselves." He whispered in awe. "My little ones are sacrificing their lives to save everyone else, possibly the whole of Middle Earth.

"Do you want to wait here for a moment?" She asked. "Perhaps you can speak to them some more, find out if there is something you can do."

"Yes I will try." They both dismounted and let their horses wander across the grass, as the two travellers sat together, Legolas with his eyes clenched in concentration and Éowyn, ever watchful for danger.

"I cannot get them to listen to me further." Legolas spoke in anguish, not opening his eyes. "They have pushed me from their minds and cannot heed my calls."

"Can you still hear them?" Éowyn asked, concerned at the elf's obvious distress.

"Yes, it - it is most…" Legolas broke off mid-sentence.

"What? What it is that they are saying Legolas?" Éowyn spoke gently but insistently.

"Distressing… I cannot believe they will go through with this." Legolas was so frustrated at being able to hear the pair but not make them listen to him. "I am not able to hear everything they are saying, but… Oh Pippin!" Legolas suddenly experienced the vision of Pippin's reflection as the little one exerted all his effort into showing Merry his face.

"Éowyn, I have to stop them somehow." Legolas opened his eyes now, and took the maid's hands in his. "I do not know what to do. This is not something I can fight with a sword or bow. How can I make them listen?"

"Perhaps you cannot." Éowyn said gently. "Perhaps this is their fate."

"No! It cannot be." Legolas could not abide the thought of his little ones dying in the Black Tower, they were too young and full of life. He had hoped that they would eventually be restored to full health and be able to resume their happy existence back in The Shire.

"But Legolas." Éowyn still held both his hands in hers. "If they have charged you with saying goodbye to everyone, you should listen and stay with them to the end. Their parents I'm sure will want to know they did not suffer."

"Yes, you are right." Legolas agreed and closed his eyes once more. Éowyn listened to his soft murmuring voice as he kept watch over the last moments of his little ones.

"Oh Pip you aren't a bad hobbit… why must you think so…"

"…fibs! Sweet little one, you would not comprehend the mendacity of men!"

"…how can a dear child like you think ill of yourself when you are about to give up your life to save others."

"…noble Merry, most valiant of hobbits. You who would follow your beloved cousin into the jaws of Mordor and beyond the grave, at least little Pippin is safe in your arms."

"Oh Éowyn." Legolas's blue eyes swam with tears as they opened wide. "The love is incredible! My heart can hardly hold so much!"

"Please, please stop, my little ones." The elf's grip on Éowyn's hands grew tighter. "They are taking more of that poison. "Pippin! Merry! No! No!"

"Legolas?" Éowyn shook him gently.

"No! Pippin! He's gone. I can't feel him! I can't feel his life! Éowyn he's gone…gone…"

****

TBC

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In Playlists

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Last Update: 03 Apr 05
Stories: 15
Type: Workshop/Group List
Created By: Marta's Playlists


Stories I have read and liked, dealing primarily with interactions between members of the Fellowship.

Why This Story?

 

Story Information

Author: Llinos

Status: Reviewed

Completion: Work in Progress

Era: 3rd Age - Ring War

Genre: Action

Rating: Adult

Last Updated: 03/23/07

Original Post: 06/26/02

Go to Recaptured! overview

Chapter List

1. A Twist in the Tale

2. Hobbit Hurling

3. Merry Yule and Orange Pips

4. A Palantír Is Not A Toy

5. Rescue

6. King Théoden

7. Pippin

8. Merry

9. Gandalf

10. Legolas

11. The Council

12. Interlude

13. The Road To Edoras

14. Poppy Paste

15. Attack!

16. All In Pippin's Mind

17. Merry Gets Sad

18. Pippin Gets High

19. A Sulky Hobbit

20. Poor Merry

21. Fever

22. Don't Let Me Go!

23. Bitter and Sweet

24. The Trial

25. Crime and Punishment

26. The Show

27. Drums of War

28. Rumblings

29. Searching

30. Converging

31. Betrayal

32. Aftermath

33. Wraithride

34. Lessons

35. Stigmata

36. Decisions

37. Ménage à trois

38. Misunderstandings

39. Visions

40. Remembering

41. Summoned

42. The Plan

43. Confrontation

44. Questions

45. Goodbye

46. Gone

47. Recovery

48. Promises

49. Friends and Strangers

50. Knots and Plots

51. Hide The Hobbit

52. Lost and Found

53. Promises and Threats

54. Blood and Water

55. Dead or Alive

56. Sad and Lonely

57. Hide and Seek

58. Near and Far

59. Touch and Go

60. Questions and Answers

61. Rough and Tumble

62. Beyond Help

63. Planning and Scheming

64. Requiescat

65. Echoes

66. Bribery and Corruption

67. Quo Vadis?

68. Friend or Foe

69. Terra Incognita

70. Caveat

71. Déjà vu

72. Truth and Lies

73. Catching Up

74. frodosam

75. Partings and Meetings

76. Gollum and Co

77. Shelob's Revenge

78. Rendezvous

79. Quartet

80. Needing Help

81. Perilous Paths

82. It's Magnic!

83. Ambush

84. Many Meetings

85. Telling the Tale

86. Love in a Shirt

87. News Fair and Foul

88. Rejoined

89. Minas Tirith

90. Honours

91. Bonding

92. Trusting to Luck

93. Conversations

94. Dangerous Thoughts

95. No Escape

96. No Surrender

97. Coup de gras

98. Requiescat In Pace

99. Feelings

100. Dead or Alive

101. Tales and Toil

102. Boromir The Brave

103. Calon Lân - (A Pure Heart)

104. In Dreams

105. The Last Debate

106. Battle Plans

107. Hey Ho To the Battle I Go!

108. Getting There

109. Who Wants To Play?