44. Scene IV.xx
The Lay of Leithian Dramatic Script Project
BELOVED FOOL! BEYOND THE WESTERN SEA
[Elsewhere: the council chamber]
[Luthien is still hand-weaving away, the pattern having expanded significantly in width and complexity since last we saw it -- still apparently paying no attention to the verbal battle in full spate over her head. At the moment the Lord of Dreams is upbraiding the Hunter with atypical acrimony:]
No, the real problem was the failure of you and your people to finish routing out all of Melkor's beastly followers and properly destroy all of his property so he couldn't use it again. That would have forestalled his ability to wage a second subversion of the Light by giving him no resources to fall back on.
[jabbing his finger repeatedly upon the arm of his chair as he castigates Orome]
However, you didn't eradicate his support structures, and as a consequence, he was able to wreak havoc without even having to be in Middle-earth -- and he had a ready-made base of operations to encourage him to make such a move, which he wouldn't likely have done if he hadn't had any safe bolt-hole and servants to defend himself with. He was always a careful and cautious sort, not the type to act if he thought he was likely to come out the worst of it. So at the least your neglect is responsible for encouraging him--
Orome: [slouching back, very blasé -- and calculated to annoy]
Pfft -- you think he knew that all his surviving cronies had survived and scuttled themselves away deep underground to regroup and rebuild? That git was in solitary confinement, and after he was released it wasn't like he had any Messengers flying over the Sea to bring him news. I didn't see any, at least. And I don't think any of the Sea's People would have been gossiping with him, do you? Not even Osse would give him the grace of the Hour, even after he "reformed."
[frowning, Luthien reaches over and helps herself to some more of the glowing dew, spinning more luminous strands from it to add to her project]
Of course he knew -- he's tied himself into everything he can reach over there, haven't you been following the news? Or did you just give up your job and retire to a country life when the Eldar embarked for this shore? I'm telling you, Tav, that you're being very, very, blind if you go on insisting it's all Nia's fault, and ignoring the fact that your failures contributed at least as much to the disaster as anyth--
But you're forgetting the Spider, brother. --And the fact that logic and self-interest had very little part in anyone's response to the Silmarils. Rational or not, I am quite certain myself, that he would have tried to take them eventually -- even if he had been unable to enlist Her help in it.
Perhaps that's so. But even if it is, your negligence made it possible for him to re-entrench himself with minimal effort, whereas if you'd properly destroyed all of his Works he would have had to start from scratch, and then, regardless of what happened here, someone would have been able to deal with him over there -- whether us, or the rebels, or all of us together if there'd been no rebellion--
Orome: [a slightly-nettled tone creeping in despite his efforts]
--We spent decades mopping up. Whatever we missed was impossible to find. Anyone, anything that slipped through did so because of Fate. We pounded that place flat. There were no obvious -- or unobvious -- hiding-holes left when we finished.
[Namo shakes his head, gazing into his teacup with a melancholy expression as he gently swirls it about]
Nonsense. You didn't try hard enough. Surely your specialists could have done a more thorough job of tracking the rest of his crew down -- combined with selective tectonic realignment--
You haven't the least notion what you're talking about. I could explain it to you, if you'd pay attention long enough, but I think you can understand when I say -- again -- that one doesn't -- doesn't, do you understand? -- muck about with the basic structures of the world without dire consequences. It would have been a fine thing, would it not, to eradicate the very people we were put here to protect, in the process of saving them from their enemies?
Orome: [with a dubious look at the Smith]
--Though I do wonder how much of your concern was for the Firstborn, and how much for your own Children? Honestly, what possessed you--
[Aule's Assistant leaps (figuratively) into the fray before it gets even uglier]
Aule's Assistant: [urgent]
--Please, please, please! Noble ones, gentles all! We are not here to refight old defeats, really now, are we? --If you will forgive my impertinence in saying so, of course.
[abashed silence all around]
Now, we are here, if again you will permit me to go so far as to state the obvious, for the purpose of solving the problem of this anomalous mortal presence. And -- though I am but young in the Song by comparison to you, my Lord -- my Lords, my Lady -- still, I might venture to say that it seems to me that there might well be an acceptable solution, if you will graciously hear me out . . . ?
Luthien looks up with a sudden eagerness that belies her apparent obliviousness and uninterest in all that's been going on, her eyes blazing, letting the threads of liquid light fall from her hands unheeded]
Luthien: [fiercely passionate]
To be continued . . .
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