21. He Who Arises in Might
"My king," Agan whispered, watching the body of the Andunie lord. It twitched once, and then the eyes opened. But they weren't the gray eyes of Morion; they were black, pupiless.
"Where am I?" Melkor asked as he sat up in Morion's body. He examined himself for a moment, moving his limbs, touching his face.
"Numenor, my king," Agan said, eyes firmly planted on the floor. He did not dare invoke his lord's wrath by looking him in the eyes.
"It is an island off the coast of…"
"I know where it is!" Melkor snarled. "I did not think you would be foolish enough to summon me here!"
"The kingdom has fallen into Sauron's hands," Agan said. "It is corrupt, ready to fall."
"Indeed?" Melkor mused, standing up. Snatching up Morion's clothes, he began dressing himself. "Who rules now?"
"Ar-Pharazon," Agan sneered. "He is weak, and a fool. Sauron is urging the king towards war with Valinor."
Melkor snorted. "Doom is upon Numenor then," he said. "What else is my old student up to?"
"He is hounding, capturing and sacrificing the Faithful," Agan said. "All dedicated to you."
"I'm sure," Melkor sneered. "Sauron cared for nothing but himself in the old days. I doubt that has changed."
"He has gathered eight to serve him. He has given them powerful rings. Sauron himself wears a master ring; the One."
"I see," Melkor said, his eyes narrowing. "What else? What of Tar-Miriel?"
"He is bedding her," Agan sneered. "In exchange for her cooperation in his plans. However, she still aids the Faithful. She gives them ships to escape Numenor and travel to Middle-Earth."
"Indeed?" Melkor asked. "That is unfortunate. Treacherous whores must be punished. Just as servants whose usefulness has reached an end must be disposed of."
He reached out and touched Agan in the center of his forehead. The dark priest's eyes rolled up and he collapsed, dead.
"I doubt anyone will come in here," Melkor muttered, shutting the door as he left. "Now, Sauron, my deceitful student, I will have my revenge on you."
As he walked through the halls of the palace, Melkor plundered Morion's memories. The Andunie lord had only been to the palace once before, but Melkor doubted the layout had changed much in the short time. In fact, he doubted it had changed much since it was built.
Numenor must fall, that was true. And Sauron's plan was cunning and very fine, that was also true. But in the dark Void, Melkor had sensed no true sacrifice to him. Oh, it was lip-service Sauron paid him, but that was all it was. Nothing more. His pupil would pay for this.
"The queen's chambers," Melkor murmured, pushing the door to Miriel's room open.
The queen sat in front of her mirror, braiding her long hair.
"What did he promise you?" Melkor asked.
Miriel whirled around, looking at him with alarm. "Who are you?" she asked. She frowned. "Morion?"
"No," Melkor said, walking towards the queen. "He is dead."
"But you are him."
"In body only."
"Who are you?" Miriel asked, trembling and backing away. "What do you want?"
"What did my errant pupil promise you?" Melkor asked. The queen had backed herself into a corner, quite literally. There was nowhere she could run. As if it was even possible to run from the Dark Vala.
"Who are you?"
"You know who I am. Now answer my question," Melkor hissed, dark lightning crackling in his eyes.
"He promised me a child," Miriel gasped. "To keep Pharazon away."
"Did he indeed?" Melkor asked, amused. What a clever creature Sauron had become. "And in exchange?"
"I was to cease aiding the Faithful."
"And have you?"
Miriel's eyes widened and her mouth opened, but she did not speak.
"I will take that as a no," Melkor said. "My pupil is a fool to allow this to continue. Undoubtedly he considers this entertaining. Some game to amuse himself with; Catch the Faithful Miriel is Sneaking Out of Numenor. However, while my pupil finds treachery amusing, I do not."
"Leave me," Miriel hissed.
"You say you wanted a child," Melkor said, entwining a strand of Miriel's hair around his finger. "I can give you that."
"Leave me," Miriel repeated.
"I think not," Melkor said. "Treachery must be punished. But I can be merciful as well. The blood of a Vala would greatly enrich your line's lineage. So I shall give you your child. If you can survive it!"
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.