5. Sending For Help
Walking quickly down the stairs, Boromir told Denethor a little of the wounds he had seen on Faramir. "But Siriondil took him to the operating chambers as soon as we arrived. Damrod says it is nothing; smaller wounds that needed care."
"You do not believe him?"
"I think he stretched the truth. Father," Boromir took his father's arm, "Faramir was raped--"
"I know, Boromir. They always rape." He tried to continue walking, but Boromir stayed him.
"Numerous times, Father. Blood ran down his legs. I did not have time to inspect the damage, but it is severe."
"Boromir. I rue the fact that I have kept some things from your eyes. You need not tell me the things that have been done to your brother. I have seen everything that the Orcs can do. And even more so, the Haradrim."
His eldest blushed. "I... I am sorry. I did not know."
"Listen to me, Boromir. Though I have seen degradation and shame put upon our men, I reel still, as you do, at the thought that it is our beloved Faramir that these things have been done to. Stand next to me, when we approach him, that I may not falter and thus dismay those who rely upon me for strength."
"I... I will, Father."
They continued on to the Houses and were led into a small room towards the back of the main building.
Siriondil met them, still wiping his blood-soaked hands. "I had hoped you would rest, Captain Boromir."
Denethor stepped forward. "I am here to see my son."
"He has suffered greatly, my Lord. Though I have sadly become inured to the ways of torture, I am nonetheless appalled at what was done to Faramir. It is not Orc-torture, Denethor." His voice dropped. "It is as if some evil thing decided to experiment upon him. Did Boromir tell you of the babe in his stomach? And the extra arm sewn onto his own?"
Denethor nodded as tears misted his eyes.
"That is not all. I will not even tell you, now, what further atrocities have been committed against your son, but know that I doubt he will ever wake. The horror is too great, even for such a man as he."
"Why would an arm be sewn to his own?" Boromir asked in bewilderment.
"To see if a man could have more than two arms for battle. Can you not imagine what a foe it would be, to see a four-armed man come at you with swords in each arm? That is all I can surmise from it."
"The babe. Why?"
"Orcs appear to be only male. I know not how long it must take to make one, but if they could be impregnated... well, that would swell the enemy's army."
"Let us discuss this no further," Denethor stated flatly. "I wish to see my son."
"Yes, my Lord," Siriondil opened the door and led them in.
Faramir lay, ashen faced and still; the white sheets on the bed darker than his face. Boromir strode forward and knelt at his brother's side, taking a hand into his and kissing it gently as tears fell.
"They took his eye."
"They did." Siriondil shook his head. "I have no idea why."
Denethor stepped towards the bed and laid a gentle hand on Faramir's forehead. "He burns."
"The dead babe contaminated his body. There is poison in it. It will take time to flush it out."
Denethor nodded and moved away. Siriondil followed him. "You do not think my son will wake?"
"No. There has been no sign, none since we found him in Ithilien, and none since he was returned here to the Houses. There should have been some movement. I believe his brain has been damaged. Perhaps when they broke his jaw."
"I am sorry, my Lord. Do you want a listing of his injuries?"
Denethor shivered. "No. Yes. Please, have it sent to my aide as soon as possible. Siriondil, is he in pain?"
"I think not. He has been unconscious the entire time. Besides that, I gave him a large dose of poppy. His wounds are dire."
"Thank you." Denethor left the room.
Boromir looked up in surprise when the door closed. "Siriondil?"
The Master Healer only shrugged.
"Thank you for coming, Imrahil. Your presence is a great comfort." They walked slowly from the Houses.
The Prince of Dol Amroth bowed his head to Denethor in acknowledgment, but said naught in anticipation of what his brother by law would tell him. Boromir strode next to his uncle.
"I have sent riders throughout the kingdom and into Rohan and further north. Some are headed towards Dol Amroth and others to the men of Erebor. If Mithrandir will let himself be found, then we will find him."
"You speak strangely, Father. Would Mithrandir hide from you?"
"I know not, Boromir. He is a riddle. I have never understood him."
"If I went, would he not let me find him?"
Denethor looked at his eldest in surprise. "You would leave Faramir?"
"If it was the only way to save him, I would. I know naught would harm him whilst you watch over him."
"Give my errand-riders a month. If they do not return with Mithrandir by that time, then I will send you."
"Father, I know not if Faramir can survive for a month."
"Siriondil promises me that he will live; with what kind of life, that I know not. Let my riders have the time, then I will send you."
Boromir nodded as they entered the Tower. "Very well. I would return to Faramir's room."
"Wait another moment. Boromir," his father hesitated. "Do we know if the Orcs knew who Faramir was?"
"I think not, Father. They would never have released him."
"Yet, with such tortures, you would think he would tell them."
"If they did not ask the right question, Father, even in delirium, I doubt Faramir would have offered his identity."
"Yes. I think you are correct."
He turned to Imrahil. "How long do you plan on staying?"
"Until Mettarë is celebrated. I would like to take my turn in keeping watch over my nephew."
"Of course." Denethor hissed. "It is difficult to see him, is it not?"
"I have loved Faramir since he was but a babe. It is as if one of my own sons lay there."
"Yes. Imrahil, I have sorties out every day in Ithilien, trying to find the band of Orcs that waylaid him. I wonder if you might spare some of your knights?"
"They would all be honored to serve in this capacity. During your family's visits, Faramir endeared himself to the men." A small smile broke across Imrahil's face. "He was always visiting the stables, or in the armory, or watching on the practice field. He is well loved."
"That he is."
Once they entered Denethor's study, he drew forth a large parchment and opened it upon his desk. "This is the area we are concentrating on at the moment. The attack happened here and this is where he was found."
Imrahil pointed. "So you plan on covering all this territory?"
"Then you will need many men."
"I have many. All volunteers."
"That I can understand. You have my own men."
"Belegorn," Denethor called and his aide stepped forward. "Take this map to the captain of Imrahil's men -- "
"If you do not mind, Denethor, I will take it and apportion my men for the duty. You have enough to keep you well busy."
Denethor embraced his brother and let him leave. "Go now, Boromir, and sit with your brother. I will relieve you when night falls."
"Think you that I should stay here, Uncle?" Boromir asked as they walked down the steps. "Though it would break my heart to leave Faramir in this state, I am anxious to bring the wizard here as quickly as possible."
"I know Boromir, but your father is wise. It would be useless, having you traipse about the countryside and perhaps missing the news that Mithrandir was on the other side of Rohan while you were up in Erebor. Have patience and keep close to Faramir. Even if he wakes not, he will know, he must know that you are by his side."