Gathering of the Nine: 14. Escape

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14. Escape

It was nearing midnight. In a few hours his father would die. Isildur tossed and turned, wrestling with his thoughts. He meant to stay on in Armenelos as part of the king's guard in order to send information to Amandil and the other lords. But the cost was high. Was there some way he could speak to his father again? Was there some way in all Arda he could get him out?
The guilt weighing on him like lead, Isildur rose from bed, donned his armor and hurried out into the night. 
What do I mean to do? he thought. I'm not sure of it myself. But I do know this; Sauron is not what he said he was. He's been lying to us all along, and to me especially. I don't know what he wants from me, but it can't be anything good.
Isildur, shrouded by the black cape of the king's guards, passed another shrouded shadow without the two seeing each other. Isildur was headed out for the gardens to take in some fresh air, while the other was headed towards the dungeons.
With two quick stabs of her knife, Khamul killed Elendil's guards.
"Get up!" she hissed, rattling the cell bars after she had opened the door. 
"What? Who are you?" Elendil asked, leaping to his feet. "Ah, Lady Khamul, this is indeed fortuitous."
"No, it isn't," Khamul said. "Here are your sword and belongings. Take them, get a horse, and get out of here."
"Why are you doing this? Will you accompany me?"
"No! Just leave! Now! What I do, I do for my own interests. Now hurry!"
"This cannot be a trap," Elendil said warily.
"No, it's not! What for? You're condemned to die anyway."
"My son…"
"Has denounced you. Now leave!"
With only a single backwards glance, Elendil snatched his things and bolted up the stairs. 
Excellent, Khamul thought, sneaking out of the dungeons a few minutes after him. Now, to find Isildur and forever blot him out of Sauron's mind. After all, a corpse can't be the leader of the ringbearers.
Stealthy as a mouse, Khamul crept towards the guards' chambers. The king's guards had their own rooms, marked with their name. But Isildur's stood ajar, and Khamul could tell at a glance that it was empty.
Snarling a curse, Khamul hurried towards the garden, that being the only place she could think of that the young lord could be.
"Taking in some night air?" Khamul growled. "It's not good for you, you know."
As for Isildur, he was watching Nimloth sway in the night breeze when he heard the clatter of hoofs and looked up in time to see his father slay two guards and throw the gate open before dashing off into Armenelos.
He's escaped, Isildur thought. The king will blame me for this, I'm sure of it. My life is forfeit if I remain here. I must leave. Return to Andunie. If I hurry, I may be able to catch up with my father.
But the moonlight falling on Nimloth's blossoms distracted Isildur, caught his eye. 
Nimloth is a sacred tree, he thought. Sauron is an unholy being. The two cannot coincide. And since it is Sauron who holds power, the scion of Telperion is in grave danger indeed.
Reaching out, Isildur plucked a single silver fruit from the tree and hide it inside his tunic. Now, he thought, to make my escape.
"You're not going anywhere!" Khamul snarled, raising Vorea's spear, which she had 'borrowed' from the temple where the third ringbearer had left it.
"No! I am a servant of the king!" Isildur exclaimed.
"Sure you are," Khamul hissed, hurling the spear at Isildur. He dodged the worst of it, but the tip grazed his ribs. Crying out and stumbling, Isildur ran for the gate.
"Traitor!" Khamul shouted at the top of her lungs. "Archers to the walls! Kill him!"
There was a flurry of activity along the palace walls, and soon arrows began to fly. The Valar were with Isildur that night, for the vast majority missed him, though many wounded him, one even sticking his arm, and another his calf.
Cursing the Numenoreans for fools and idiots, Khamul drew her own sword and dashed off to slay the son of Elendil herself. But when she reached the gates of the palace, she could not see Isildur anywhere.
"Where did he go?" Khamul muttered, looking this way and that.
A sword whistled out of the darkness and struck her across the head, but because of the ring, all it did was give Khamul a little jolt and sent her stumbling back.
"Thrice-damned wraith!" Isildur snarled, sheathing his sword and running for his life, arrows whistling around him. 
By the time Khamul recovered, it was too late. The son of Elendil, and Elendil himself were gone. Oh well, she thought. It's not exactly what I wanted, but close enough. I can still blame Elendil's escape on Isildur.

This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.

Story Information

Author: Barazinbar

Status: General

Completion: Complete

Era: Multi-Age

Genre: General

Rating: General

Last Updated: 09/24/11

Original Post: 06/29/11

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