11. Act IV, Scene III.i
The Lay of Leithian Dramatic Script Project
BELOVED FOOL: BEYOND THE WESTERN SEA
--That spirit that didst hold resolve
'neath lowering disapprobatory love
and force of fear, and fear of force,
imposéd of greed and by remorse
-- let it none astound
that still shall hold unto her ground
stronger far than foundation's stone
or spell-set servitude that shall groan
even as growl -- mightier than trees
enwound, withstanding even these
with love that weaveth fast as roots
[Elsewhere -- a circular room, much smaller than the great hall, but still quite large and with that spacious quality of certain medieval buildings, like the chapter house in Wells Cathedral. Around it between columns are hung a series of tapestries -- these are not like the ones we are used to, there being no visible stitches, and although they are very dim and dark like charcoal sketches now, there is a shimmering quality to the material that differentiates it strongly from the stone.]
[Chairs are set in a smaller circle in the middle of the room, around a light which consists of a low, glowing basin in the form of a wide shallow stone bowl filled with silver liquid. Again, understated elegance is the theme here. The chairs are radically different --each one is unique and doesn't necessarily go with the others or the room -- except the love-seat occupied by the Lord and Lady of the Halls. There are three empty places, between Orome and Vaire's left; Aule is to Namo's right. Luthien is sitting on a footstool-sort-of-thing with her hands clasped in her lap, looking sulky and bored, between Irmo and Orome, while across from her Namo massages his temples while Vaire pats him on the knee.]
I've heard it all before, you know, you're not saying anything in the slightest bit new.
And the source doesn't make any difference to you?
Why should it?
[in the resulting silence she hops up and begins walking around the perimeter of the chamber, looking at the tapestries, while the Powers exchange quizzical looks]
Oh -- that looks almost like--
[she touches the tapestry nearest her and the surface brightens and shimmers into motion -- she starts back]
--it is the woods near home. And there's Mom and Dad -- and me -- when I was very little . . .
[she trails off]
Yes, we thought you'd find it more comfortable here, surrounded by happier recollections and familiar images.
Honestly! If you'd paid attention, you'd realize that home is the last place to have any positive associations for me right now.
Vaire: [edged patience]
Child, you're being a most unpleasant brat, right now.
Am I? I've fought my way halfway across the known world, and to the ends of Arda. The people I should have been able to trust and rely on have betrayed me, and help has come only from where I least expected it and had no right to it. And we're at an impasse, because you're not hearing what I'm saying. I'm beyond fed up at this point--
[there is a loud disturbance from the hallway beyond -- baying like a hunting pack that has caught a scent, followed almost immediately by the flying form of Huan coming in at a run with Finrod crouched over his neck, taking the ring of chairs like a steeplechaser (fitting a tight half-stride over the pool of liquid light) and bounding across the other side to where she is standing amazed. The Hound drops down into the half-crouch of a predator, not the straight halt of a horse, and Finrod leans over, ignoring the astonished Powers]
He needs you.
[her expression changes from surprise to fear: he reaches down, she catches his hand and swings up behind him. They exit in the same spectacular way as before, without any word or expression of apology]
[brief silence -- sighs and headshaking]
I will be so glad when this yen is up.
Darling, have you considered the possibility that that might not end it? It wasn't an either-or, if you recall, but only an ultimatum.
Namo: [sitting up straight and pounding his fist on the arm of their bench]
No. I am not putting up with this until the end of the world. Nia is going to going to take responsibility for them one way or another. I have enough problems as it is.
Do you think they're coming back, or should somebody go fetch her? --Little Luthien, I mean.
[Namo lifts his hands helplessly]
This is even more in flux than the last crisis. Not that they're anywhere on the same scale, of course.
Vaire: [thoughtful frown, aside]
I wonder . . .
Give it a bit. I can do with a short break.
[he manifests his teacup and leans back, shaking his head.]
Aule: [to Vaire]
So how's that new system working out for you? I've got some more ideas for setting markers in to make retrieval and matching easier.
Vaire: [brightening right up]
Oh, it's perfect! We're wasting so much less energy this way, and we haven't had a data snarl since last equinox. If you've got any ways to improve the filing process we'd be very appreciative, but that isn't really critical at present. But -- some of my helpers were wondering how that project for enhancing resolution was coming along . The Spinners who tested the prototypes were very positive about the finer quality of the energy streams.
[their colleagues can't help smiling at the focus of these two enthusiasts]
Unfortunately, we're still having storage issues -- it isn't a matter of the process itself, you understand -- the difficulty lies in the fact that the raw format tends to want to bind back together again if it isn't used right away.
Oh, that's too bad. --What a pity it can't be applied retroactively as well . . .
Orome: [leaning back with his cynical attitude, looks around at the empty chairs]
So, as usual, it's left to those of us with an attention span longer than a single season to take up the slack. Though I'm surprised Nia isn't here yet.
Yes, so am I. You don't think Vana's coming back, then?
Considering that she said her sister had the right idea, even if she didn't have the same reasons for it, and that if she had to hear one more round of this she was going to be "screaming and breaking things too," I really hope she doesn't. You know her forte's making things, not dealing with the messes afterwards.
Namo: [over his mug]
You have to be fair, though -- the only reason Yavanna's not here is that she's too personally involved with the situation.
What? Did you say my wife's back?
Calm down -- we said she isn't here.
[the patron of Craftsmanship looks extremely relieved]
Namo: [frowning to himself]
Who does he remind me of?
[to his spouse]
Vaire sweetheart, doesn't that kid remind you of someone we've seen before? --Her consort, not Finarfin's boy.
Vaire: [frowning in turn]
Now that you mention it, dear, yes. --Not recently, though. Something about the personality . . .
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