Title: Alias 1
Author: Sivan Shemesh firstname.lastname@example.org
Beta: Tena & Cal & Aranel
Rating: PG-13 or T
Disclaimer: Not mine, except the OC's.
Timeframe: Pre-LotR. Aragorn is 49 years old.
Warning: Angst, violence/torture, tissues alert.
Summary: Aragorn finds himself in a strange situation, and then in the dungeons of Gondor. But who is it that wants him dead so badly and why?
A/N: Written for the EAC entry, 'Prejudice in Middle-Earth.'
Aragorn sighed with relief.
It was good to be at home with no one to hunt him down, and no one to torture him.
Elrond watched his foster son as he came nearer; he noticed the way that he sighed, and he felt concerned about the man who stood in front of him. He wished that he could help him, but he could do nothing as he was held by both councils of his kingdom and Mirkwood.
He heard what had happened; rumors had been sent back and forth in the elven kingdoms.
Elrond approached him, clasped his hands on the man's shoulders, making the man look him in the eyes.
Elrond could always tell if the man was lying to him, and if he was hurt or angry; the eyes were the mirrors of the man's heart.
"How are you faring, Aragorn?" Elrond asked, concern lay in his face.
"Sore but relieved, my Lord Elrond." Aragorn replied, and then he moved away from the lord as remembered the hell he gone through in the last three month…
3 Months earlier…
Thorongil left Gondor to head back to Imladris. He knew that his time was well spent in Gondor, helping Ecthelion in the mission that the king gave him, and now his time to leave had approached.
He left Gondor riding on his horse, and then a group of men surrounded him, giving him no room to escape.
"Do not move!" one of the men warned him, and the other added, "You are arrested, Thorongil, or should I call you Strider from the North?" the men spit at him, and looked at him with disgust..
"What did I do for you to arrest me?" Aragorn asked, and felt like a mouse cornered by a cat.
"Leading an innocent family to their death, luckily there was one survivor." The other said, with a smile upon his face, "And while this man is recovering, we will guard you as we see fit."
And with that, Aragorn was shoved from his horse, and fell hard upon the ground. His body ached, and then the darkness engulfed him.
Later, as he woke from the unconsciousness, his back hurt though his head was throbbing. He was dragged upon the ground and one of his legs was tied to the saddle.
Aragorn hoped that he would survive until he reached Minas Tirith of Gondor.
The dragging stopped, and Aragorn lay motionless on the stone ground; the pain was unbearable as his back bled, and he was certain that his head was bleeding too from the rocks on the ground.
Aragorn sighed with relief when they stopped, and hoped that they would let him go. He hoped he would survive so he could defend himself against the horrible accusation that was set upon his name.
Aragorn watched like a hawk as another man got a long thick whip from his saddle, and smirked at him.
Then Strider flinched with horror as the sound of the whip was harsh against the blank air, as if it was ripping it. Aragorn's eyes opened widely as he realized that soon the whip would meet a part of his body. His heart raced like it never had before.
"Daren, wait!" the other man called, and then hurried to explain, "He might want to deal with him himself, and he wants him alive, not dead!"
Daren looked at Aragorn, a smile still masked his face, and said to Strider, "I will make you pay, you filthy man." And then he spat on him, and walked back to his horse, and mounted.
Aragorn sighed with relief, and wondered who it was that wanted him that bad.
Aragorn kept his mouth shut, not wanted to be whipped by the man, knowing that if he would say anything the man might not hesitate and whip him with no second thought.
"Get this filthy man from the ground, and bound him to his horse, do not let him fall, he will get away soon if he falls." The leader said to them with fierce voice, as he glared at Aragorn.
Aragorn swallowed the lump in his throat as they settled him on his horse forcefully.
Aragorn could feel the rope tear his skin, but dared not say a word, not wishing to tempt their cruelty, not yet, not until he figured who was behind all this.
"Ramin, take the edge of the rope, and hold it tight if he tries to do anything." The leader pointed at the other young man who rode beside Aragorn's horse.
Aragorn moved his eyes slowly at the man, beside him, and was surprise to find a boy wearing men's clothes. 'He is still a boy.' He thought, but said nothing.
Ramin stared at Aragorn with wondering gaze, wondering why he was the one to hold the rope, while the men around him were staring at Aragorn with daggers in their eyes. He knew he was the one that helped his family.
Ramin noticed that Daren took the man's horse's reins in his hands, and said something to him, "Move boy, I am not waiting, and grab the rope tight, do not let it slip from your soft hand!"
'Poor boy.' Aragorn thought as he kept his eyes on the boy. He hoped that if he continued to watch him he would see there was innocence in his eyes. He hoped maybe the boy would help get him loose.
But they might kill the boy as well. He did not wish that the boy would die because of his action.
He shut his mouth as they led his horse back to Minas Tirith, though he still could feel Daren's eyes upon him as he rode.
Once they approached Minas Tirith, Daren told the guards to throw the filthy man to dungeon at once, and then to beat him.
The guards untied Aragorn, and with no mercy, they pushed him against the wall, and each one, started to beat him.
Aragorn's hands were still tied, and he could not fight back; he was defenseless.
Taking beating after beating, Aragorn let the darkness take him, as the beating continued.
Daren smiled and stopped the guards, "That is enough for now, let the cold in the dungeon wake him, and send a word to the Steward of Gondor to claim his prize."
Later that day…
Aragorn felt the pain piercing him; waking him from the unconscious term he was in, feeling the cold floor, and knowing he was alone, and hurt.
Aragorn wanted to know why he was back in Minas Tirith at all, and he tried to remember the reason why those cruel men took him with brutality like this.
He stared at the ceiling, trying to remember, but it was with no success at all. His head was hurt, and the beating pounding in his head did not stop as much as he wanted it to.
Aragorn heard heavy steps; he took deep breaths, and waited as he lay on the cold floor.
"Take him! It is time!" Daren snarled as his eyes stabbed Aragorn when the guards dragged him from the bed with firm hands.
Daren's eyes seemed black to Aragorn, like some power sucked in his body, not knowing why this man is so cruel to him.
Daren's hair was brown, and somehow he was familiar to him, but he let go of the thought, and he figured that he might have a concussion.
The dizziness though seemed never stopped, and the pounding continued, but he had no one to help him right now.
He could hear them talking but it was too blurring, as he did not link to whom they were talking about.
"What do you think that he will do with this filthy man?" One of the guards asked Daren.
"That will be his choice of how to deal with him, why? Do you feel sorry for him?" Daren snapped at the guard.
"No, I was just curious of what he did to make our lord to act like this." The guard replied with cold tone, as he stared at Daren.
"Everything." Daren answered.
The guard nodded and yet did not seemed satisfied with the answer the man gave him, and he felt that he needed to know more.
"SILENCE!" But harsh and cold voice stopped the guard to say anything.
The gates were open, and Daren walked toward the Steward of Gondor, bowed to him, and said with smirk, "He is here, my lord."
The Steward nodded, as he saw the guards throwing the man in front of him. He rubbed his hands, as now he could accomplish his plan, and now even his father could not stop him.
Denethor, Son of Ecthelion II, left the crown chair where he sat, and walked over to Thorongil. He was also known as Strider of the North, and as Aragorn, the one that he followed by the palantir, watching every move that he and the Maia did.
Yes, Denethor had his reasons to kill Isildur's heir.